Tag Archives: Brand

Branding – best way to start creating your brand new brand.

Best way to create a brandFirst, start with what value you want to communicate as the foundation for your brand. Your brand is not just a logo, but a collection of customer experiences and the culture associated with your business that you need to communicate. Your website’s design, social media impressions, what your representatives to the customer experience wear, your customer meeting room’s decor, your voicemail greeting, customer service, and the impact of all of those elements contribute to your brand. Your logo is the symbol that represents the perceptions of who you are as a company. Building a brand

Provide a summary of the above to your branding expert. That will help them be spot-on with the logo and brand to represent your company as well as reduce the costs of rework.  It’s best for all to be engaged and on the same page with a guide to communicating the vision for your brand.

My New Year Message …

NewYear2016-Gary

The New Year marks a time for reflecting on the past year and contemplating what we learned from the last 365 days to make the coming year even better. Yes, it’s a time to celebrate past success, but it’s also a time for bold moves and fresh starts. It’s a time for dreams and friendships both old and new. It’s an opportune time to raise a toast to those who share your business success and those who cherish your personal happiness and hopes for the future.

The New Year marks a new beginning. New people to meet, new adventures to enjoy, and new memories to create. Here’s wishing you the gift of peace and prosperity throughout 2016, and wishing you a Happy New Year!

Storyscape; Explaining this marketing trend and my 6 basic principles for marketing success.

“Storyscape” is a coined term for the latest alternative to traditional advertising and media plans by getting the consumer more involved in the “brand’s world” through various media channels. Create a world for the consumer using StoryscapeThe consumer wants to feel like a part of a story and think, “wow, that is cool” about the brand. The concept is to build a brand story that builds an emotional association that inspires the consumer’s behavior. That is the key, creating an emotional connection between the consumer and the product. Apple products are a perfect example of that – their customers have an emotional connection, a story to tell about their iPhone or iPad and how it changed their lives, which compels them as devoted customers to share their experience with like-minded people.

That said, there should be one strategy – versus a strategy for social, a strategy for events, a strategy for digital, and a strategy for public relations – there should be just one cohesive plan for all, Strategic thinkingand it’s directed by the big idea that organizes those activities. I ask my customers, “what’s your purpose?” Today’s customer wants to be able to connect to brands they trust, believe, feel are authentic, fill their needs and are able to take part like they are part of the company’s culture. They want to feel they connect with the company, like a friend, and are proud to say they are loyal supporter and part of the brand’s story.

So how is that type of marketing accomplished? It’s about creating a world or landscape of ideas that could be physical, virtual, emotional, and more than likely it’s all of those things. For Storyscape strategyexample a Storyscape for selling a new house; baking chocolate cookies in a model home’s oven for visitors so it has a nice homey smell, the website touts your model dream house and has free cookies when you visit, offer a recipe for the cookies in a blog and on Pinterest so that a story or idea for engaging the consumer crosses all media platforms. That way the consumer looking for a house creates their world or story about that experience at all marketing touch points – so they not only experience a world they helped create, but they also tell a story about their experience.

The social media world changes so quickly. The traditional media plan keeps different media in separate boxes with target dates – where as we need to be more fluid and to think about how the different media interact and affect each other, as well as being affected by an event that causes a rippling effect throughout the media plan. The key difference with Storyscape, it’s designed to give the consumer control over which marketing connection points they wish to be engaged with and then encouraged them to interact across those channels — all supported by an organized idea and not the marketer choosing, based on analytics and data, which channels might be more efficient to reach them.

It’s a more organic or worldly version of a customer testimonial. In traditional marketing, the marketer writes the customer testimonial Customer-testimonialso it fits the needs of the marketing plan and gets the customer to signoff on it or tweak it for approval. The hope is that it resonates on one particular level with other consumers. Where as Storyscape opens up the world to all possibilites, so when the consumer’s exposed to the “idea” – they have an experience in the world they helped create that is a life-changing and they are willing to share it with other like-minded people.

The marketing industry is famous for creating new trends. Keep in mind, every couple of years a marketing person coins a phrase for a “new” approach to marketing, sells a bunch of books and it becomes the latest defacto marketing tool to be used. A year  later, another marketing approach is the latest thing to do.

Marketing trendsRegardless of the latest marketing trend or coined name, it has been my experience for marketing to have been effective for the last 10-15 years –and going forward, it has these 6 basic principles:

1. Understand what the customer wants or needs,
2. provide a logical and emotional dialogue so the consumer has the information they need to help them make a decision,
3. give them plenty of opportunities for that exposure,
4. make sure customers feel connected to the brand’s world and product,
5. provide them with easy access (distribution points) to purchasing the product and,
6. after the sale, make the customer feel special and part of the brand’s family.

 

Creating a Product Installation Video

I’ve gotten many requests from companies asking, “How much information should I include in a product installation video?”  The simple answer is; depends on the type of product. The better answer is; because the visitor is watching your video online, more than likely the customer just wants the big picture of what’s involved in installing your product. If your product requires complex installation procedures, it’s best to use a printed document or a PDF file.

In an installation video, you have the opportunity to also reinforce your product’s quality by stating benefits and value. Keeping it short. I have seen so many installation videos where they show almost every bolt being inserted, or the process in real time. Forget that! People get that once they have seen one bolt go in, the other 10, 15 or 20 go in the same way.

Brand your videos. Create a graphic and music intro and ending that develops brand familiarity. Here’s an example of removing an old boat seat and replacing it with new seats in less than 4 minutes. The total time to shoot and edit was around 4 hours.

Strategic Intent vs. Mission Statement

A Strategic Intent statement is meant to not only be inspirational like a good vision or mission statement can be, but it also has a specific measurable goal. For example President Kennedy said, “the United States is going to land a man on the moon and bring him back safely by the end of this decade.” The US didn’t even have a space program when he said that, so it was a very bold goal, with a specific measurable time frame that inspired a nation and NASA.

The goal of a Strategic Intent statement is to inspire customers and employees that the company’s passion is being the “best or extraordinary” (in what ever defined aspect), and is inviting Strategic Intent vs. Mission Statementevery one to not just to come along for the ride, but rise-up to participate as well. It should be short and to the point, inspirational and specific – a phrase that people can easily remember.

The Ford company’s example slogan of  “quality is job one” is a good advertising slogan or general vision statement, but imagine if back in the 80’s they had written this Strategic Intent statement instead:  Ford will be the number one rated quality car with the best service in America by 1999.” If Ford had communicated that Strategic Intent statement, the public, the media, everyone would have stopped and taken Screen Shot 2014-04-14 at 10.41.57 PMnotice to watch and see if they could do it or not. People might even have rooted for an American car company as the underdog to see if they could climb to the top. The employees would have a very specific goal in all aspects of what they each did to be number one, and know they would have the bragging rights once they got to be number one. Management would be inspired to rally their teams and everyone would be pushing in the same competitive direction, to be the best. Customers would know that Ford is focused on producing the highest quality car in America, they would probably perceive that it was a quality product before they ever got to the top.

Remember, your company’s Strategic Intent statement not only needs to inspire customers and employees, but have a measurable and ambitious goal.

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The Secret of Mobile Marketing Strategies

5 important items to put on a mobile marketing to-do list…

It’s official: Mobile laptops, iPads, smart phones, tablet computers, have overtaken the desktop as the primary point of contact with consumers. Test it yourself when you are on your Facebook page – social media mobile devicesyour friends who are online are displayed with a green dot, note how many are listed as “mobile.” Everywhere you go people are checking their mobile devices for text messages, emails and accessing websites while they are in a “waiting mode.”  Here’s 5 items for a mobile marketing to-do list:

1. Use a flexible template. Marketing success depends on making sure your website, blogs and emails are using responsive design templates – designs that automatically adapt to the devices on which they are being viewed.

2. Consider the demographics of your customers; if they are younger they are more than likely on a mobile device, if they are older on a desktop computer. You need to better focus your marketing approach and not just send out a single message that applies to all social media channels, but specific messages that are formatted for each channel.

3. Create short content. In mobile marketing, the most important point is to make sure your “content” is king. Use fewer words to communicate the most important value of your product or service because when people are on mobile devices, they have shorter attention spans and time. To best engage customers, make sure your clickable items are seamless and smooth.

4. Repeat your message. It has been said that someone needs to see a product as many as three times before they actually take action and buy. What they’re shown doesn’t necessarily have to be the product itself. Brand awareness, complimentary products or comparable items can also be effective.

On the left the PC shows three columns of content, in the middle the iPad shows two columns, on the right an iPhone shows only one column of content from the original website.
On the left the desktop computer shows three columns of content, in the middle the iPad shows just two columns, on the right an iPhone shows only one column of content.

5. Test your messages. Test for things like spacing, image rendering, and multiple columns on a desktop computer may appear as only one column on mobile devices, with the columns being “stacked” – keep that in mind when determining which information is on the left, right and middle columns, (see above example). Finally, do what most don’t do – test your website, emails, and social media on different mobile devices, because you may be in for a shock at what you see!

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