Pick The Right School Online For Brand Marketing

Many people nowadays are turning to the Internet to receive their education from online schools and universities. Marketing professionals have much to gain from taking online; not only is it cheaper to pay the tuition for an online class, but going to school online allows you to have a flexible schedule so that you can work in your spare time. While taking online classes is easy, the process of finding the best online school is not and not every school that offers a marketing or social networking program is worth your time. To separate the best from the rest, here are a few points to consider. Continue reading

Defining an Authentic Brand

In response on Pepita‘s comment here is an interesting reading:

Authentic brands are not about marketing. They are not products. They live inside the company. And they are held and enacted of the people, by the people and for the people!

Just like the Declaration of Independence created the foundation of a nation, so does your brand act as the foundation of your company. Its principles are the framework for thought and action by everyone in the company. Without it there is no consistency, no alignment between what you say and what you do, no synchronicity between who you are inside and the way you present yourself outside.

You may ask—“well isn’t that the same as culture?” The answer is yes and no. Authentic brands are in many ways the identity of the company culture. They help that culture become visible. They also embody the values and purpose of the company, giving all these things a face and a voice that can be seen and heard by everyone the company touches. But especially your employees. As the people who most keenly impact the day-to-day beliefs and actions of the company it is constantly amazing how little they are considered when brand is discussed.

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Consistency – The Most Important Aspect of Sucessful Branding

Consistency is considered to be the most important aspect of a succesful branding by branding experts and industry opinion leaders questioned in a an Interbrand’s survey made pubilc late January this year.

The experts cited understanding of Customer/Target frequently. This mirrors the finding in this report that metrics and brand research are key tools. Communication and Creative effectiveness were also frequently mentioned as critical aspects of successful branding.

These open-ended responses provide a useful counterpoint to the other findings in this report. They reflect the classic tenets of branding and marketing, which are focused on knowing the customer, maintaining a consistent brand in the marketplace, and delivering winning content and creative.

study says.

Here is the list of the top 10 aspects of successful branding, as resulted from the study:

  1. Consistency (36.0%)
  2. Understanding of Customer/Target (18.2%)
  3. Message/Communication (14.7%)
  4. Creative/Design/Brand ID (12.8%)
  5. Relevance (12.4%)
  6. Differentiation/Uniqueness (12.0%)
  7. Key Stakeholder Buy-In (10.9%)
  8. Positioning (9.7%)
  9. Clarity (8.9%)
  10. Connection to Customer/Target (8.9%)

Read the study here.

Best Marketing Book of 2005

strategy+business, published by the leading global management and technology firm Booz Allen Hamilton, has selected ProfitBrand: How to Increase the Profitability, Accountability and Sustainability of Brands by Nick Wreden as the best marketing book of 2005.

Mr. Wreden takes ambitious steps in explaining the significance of “sustainability” in customer relationships and the value of measuring marketing spending to establish accountability and profitability. Sustainability is critical, since by some estimates 80-95 per cent of products fail to become brands, he writes. Sustainability is also important because more than two-thirds of purchases are one-off buys. Only a brand focused on sustainability will take the steps that lead to second, third or even a lifetime of purchases.

ProfitBrand amplifies this concept, known in direct-marketing circles as the true value of a brand: “A brand is not built by acquiring customers; it is built by keeping them,” he writes. “Most competitive product advantages can be duplicated. The one advantage that cannot be duplicated is customer relationships.” Branding strategies that aim to make a company No. 1 in the market, for example, are doomed to failure, Mr. Wreden argues. That’s because brand sustainability can be achieved only on the basis of relationships formed on customer terms, not company terms.

Read the full review of the book here. (free registration required).

Other leading business books selected by the editors at Strategy + Business in marketing categories include:

Top 25 Branding Blogs – According to Technorati

Following the example of Media Orchart blog which compiled a list of top 25 blogs tagged Public Relations in Technorati blog search engine, I did the same, getting a list of top 25 linked blogs tagged with branding.

Before the list itself, is worth mentioning that the list is problematic, in terms of there might be some blogs that are not exclusively discussing branding subjects (it all depends on the blog authors tagging their blogs with the term) on one hand or some others that are more visible branding blogs that are not present in the top (as their authors never signed up with technorati), on the other hand.

All in all, it is an interesting list of blogs, if you’re looking for more information or resources on the matter.
1. gapingvoid
2. Johnnie Moore’s Weblog
3. Thinking by Peter Davidson
4. The Social Customer Manifesto
5. Media Culpa
6. everyhuman
7. Influx
8. superchefblog
9. Piaras Kelly PR
10. IF
11. Advertising/Design Goodness
12. Emergence Marketing
13. Brand Infection
14. Cherryflava
15. 360east
16. brandXpress Blog
17. Jane Genova: Speechwriter Ghostwriter
18. Media Orchard
19. Jefte.net
20. Marketing Usabile
21. Shotgun Marketing Blog
22. Casual Fridays
23. My Name is Kate
24. The Brand Builder Blog
25 Day Care For Your Brain

Brands and Blogs

The New York Times has an article on the emergence of blogs dedicated to the discussion of individual brands

As the number of blogs has grown, more consumers are keeping Web diaries dedicated exclusively to their favorite brands. While most of them are written without the consent of the companies that own the brands, some companies are starting to pay attention to blogs, using them as a kind of informal network of consumer opinion.

For these bloggers, intertwining their personal stories and commentaries gives them a stake in defining the brand’s image while linking them with fans of similar mind across the country.

They feel like they own the brand, that it’s theirs, Jackie Huba, author of the book Creating Customer Evangelists: How Loyal Customers Become a Volunteer Sales Force said of the bloggers. They feel they’re doing the world a service, she said.

For readers, these blogs, help them make decisions about what to buy. And according to a survey released this spring by Yankelovich, a marketing firm based in Chapel Hill, N.C., a third of all consumers would prefer to receive product information from friends and specialists rather than from advertising.

The brand blogs also give consumers information that companies do not necessarily publicize on their Web sites.

Steve Rubel, of New York, whose blog Micro Persuasion, follows the impact of blogs on public relations, argues that companies should embrace the in-depth customer feedback the blogs offer.

It’s a 24/7 focus group that’s transparent and out in the open,[…] the opportunity here is for companies to find their brand ambassadors. 

Read the full NYTimes article: Brand Blogs Capture the Attention of Some Companies

Branding & Packaging – a little history

Continuing somehow the previous post, I found yet another valuable resources, with loads of pictures and stuff, of us brands and packages. The American Package Museum site claims that:

it’s primary objective is to preserve and display specimens of American Package design and branding from the early decades of the 20th century. The secondary objective is to establish a community for those interested in such endeavor.