As marketing channels become increasingly fragmented, what of the tried and tested corporate event and its place within a promotional strategy?
As many executives now use webinars and conference calls for that direct, personal contact with potential and existing customers, it would be easy to jump to the wrong conclusion and think that corporate events have had their day. However, having important delegates under one roof, whether for a trade show or charity event, is still a valuable approach to customer relationship marketing. It’s not a case of the new, virtual versions taking the place of the real thing, rather how they can complement each other. Continue reading
There is an ever-growing trend towards “nostalgia,” hence the throwbacks from Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Doritos, Nike, candy companies, and prominently through the NFL this past season. As technology is moving us forward at warp-speed, the economy is in disarray, and the world seems to be filled with disaster, consumers want to feel safe and familiar again.
It’s time to turn-back to tune-in. People are looking for more ways to enjoy life again, simply. Families are finding the importance of sitting down to dinner (this time without cell-phones and remote controls), people are searching for vacation getaways where there is limited phone reception and internet, people want to learn about the past – hence sites like ancestry.com and the show ‘Who Do You Think You Are’ (in its second season).
Classic brands are taking note and tapping into this emotional yearning from consumers. Of course, this only works with brands that ‘we’ grew up with. With the use of throwback packaging, these brands are triggering consumers to think about the past and reminisce about the ‘good ‘ol days,’ even if it was just 10, 15 or 20 years ago.
In order to avoid possible mistakes in managing your brand there is a need to clarify and identify some of the main brand and branding terms.
When analyzing your current brand situation there are three elements that should be taken in consideration:
- A. Where is your brand at the moment? – how’s your brand perceived by your audience. Where you stand in the eyes and minds of your stakeholders. This is your Brand Image.
- B. Where do you want it to be? how do you want it to be perceived. There might be some surprises in making the differences between how you wish your brand to be perceived and how it is actually happening. And this is Brand Identity.
- C. What are you communicating? What are you actually doing to move from point A to point B. What part of your brand identity you actually communicate to your audience. What is the value you communicate, how do you do it. How do you translate your identity into valuable propositions for your audience. And this is Brand Position.
We should keep in mind that the target audience for your brand should be either your current customers or potential new ones, your employees, your partners etc. You should carefully consider appropriate ways to communicate with each of them in order to have a message that converge to your brand identity.
Since you have to start with the final purpose in mind you should, first of all, correctly have a clear vision of what do you want your brand to be. How do you want it to be perceived? Defining a brand identity should be step one. In his “Building Strong Brands” book, David A. Aaker identifies four traps you can get into when you approach the development of the brand identity: Continue reading
Deloitte released Top global retail trends for 2009 report. In terms of branding, the report has some interesting points:
In an era of slow growth, tight margins, and fckle consumers, the key to success is to differentiate. One critical element in successfully differentiating is communicating that difference to consumers. Hence, branding will require special attention from retailers who want to stand out from the crowd.
Aside from specialty apparel and luxury retailers, branding has not always been seen as important for retailers—especially those that sell food and other mass products. Yet for these retailers, branding has never been more important.
Today’s most successful retailers typically have one of two attributes. First, there are those with the most effcient supply chains, which translates into lowest costs and prices. However, there are those retailers that do not attempt to match low-price leaders and have succeeded by managing their brands and demonstrating to consumers why they are different.
Read all Deloitte reports on retail in 2009 here
Well seems that the topic I mentioned here just a little earlier, Brand Attack on the Rise, was took over as a main subject on brand guru Laura Ries’s Blog, in a post on how and when a brand shoul attack.
In general, the leader should never attack or name the competition. Instead the leader should promote the category. By attacking a competitor or responding to an attack ad, the leader only legitimizes the competition and the existence of a choice. Neither is good.
If under attack, a leader should instead address any problems with PR. Never with advertising. When Apple says consumers are frustrated with Vista in its advertising, Microsoft shouldn’t run ads saying everybody loves Vista.
That above, is just a quote. More, with examples and details on Ries’s blog here.
In today’s competitive business climate it is important to differentiate your brand. A sound investment is defining and communicating what is truly special about your business. Your brand will bring you the success of your business and financial results through loyal and happy customers. Your brand will tell the world why they would be crazy not to do business with you.
Here is an interesting list, Michele Schermerhorn President of Online Business Institute Inc. has put together:
- Know Your Customers Better Than You Know Yourself
- Understand Your Competitive Environment & Competitors
- Define Your Brand Personality
- Make A Brand Promise
- Define Your Brand Strategy
- Identify Your Branding Game Plan
- Be Consistent in Action
Now, the second point is not the most commonly use when setting-up such branding rules lists, but I find it very true and usefull: Continue reading
Despite the fact that the hot ways to enhance your brand involve new media, business branding basics are still in style. Branding success will depend on adapting to the rapidly evolving media environment and taking advantage of new opportunities to reach your target audience.
But, there are some branding constants that will remain critical for establishing and maintaining brand awareness with your target audience. Regardless of the medium chosen for distribution, you must: Continue reading
Interesting article about the way organizational culture, business goodwill, branding and the law are interacting. Here is an excerpt:
Whether shaping the branding strategy of a start-up or optimizing the strategy of an established company, the key to maximizing goodwill is in closing the gap between organizational culture and organizational brand. Sometimes we see wonderful brands that resonate with the market, but are undermined by the internal culture as in the case of marketing an image of customer service, but having sales clerks who are untrained or unhelpful. In that case, the challenge is to correct the organizational culture over time to effectively support the brand. Typically this management issue can be resolved through a process of adjusting the focus of existing employees while working to make sure new employees match the needs of the evolving culture.
As consumers, we sometimes see a great company culture anchored to a lousy brand, what I call “the best kept secret” syndrome, such as finding a wonderful product in unattractive packaging. Typically, this marketing issue can be resolved by investing in creative communication services to more accurately share the story of the organization. In both reconciliation processes, there will be an investment of time, money, and emotion. These investments should be made with a strategy to leverage and protect that investment, which is where the intellectual property enters the picture.
Read full article in the Kevin E. Houchin’s Creativity and Law Blog.
Brand and brand name is the key factor for customer when choosing a wireless service. What’s interesting in the J.D. Power and Associates 2006 Wireless Retail Sales Satisfaction StudySM whose Volume 2 was released today – is that the customers are increasingly influenced by the handset when selecting a wireless service.
While the summed importance of branding (of the carrier and the phone) in purchasing decision seems to remain constant at a total of 59% it is worth noticing that 19 percent of customers cite the type or brand of cell phone as a key factor during the initial process of selecting a wireless service, up from 11 percent in 2004. While the brand of wireless provider is still the most popular reason influencing the initial selection process, it has decreased significantly in importance, down 8 percentage points from 2004 to 40 percent in 2006.
Make a national brand local, that’s the new Bank of America branding strategy.
Consumers interact with brands locally every hour of every day. With expanded creativity around media from agencies, brands and media owners, these media touchpoints are expanding rapidly. How do large organizations managing a brand across different regions, markets and locations do so while ensuring flexibility across their local markets?
Once upon a branding time, local branches were free-wheeling with their marketing practices and the Bank of America logo was “wantonly” emblazoned on diverse products. When a national marketing exec saw the Bank of America logo stamped on a “piece of cake,” a memo went out advising: Local branches will no longer be allowed to “eat the brand!”
Bank of America’s solution? Centralize the development of consistent, national brand messaging and collateral and enable local markets to “attach” them to local marketing initiatives and sponsorships.