Brand Marketing

Brand Marketing

 

Jonathan Paisner shares an evergreen post on what it takes to make a good tagline for your business. 

How do we capture the essence of our brand in a handful of words?

This sounds hard. That’s because it really isn’t the right question to be asking. 

Better: What brief phrase can strengthen and deepen understanding of our brand?

You can’t say it all. Don’t try.

Name, logo and tagline partner to communicate the essence of the brand. 

What you don’t want to do is say the same thing across all three assets (i.e. a company called Speed with an arrow for a logo, plus the tagline “Faster is better.”). What’s the point of that? It’s not only a missed opportunity to tell other parts of the story; it reduces the needs of your customers to single dimension – and positions you for irrelevance if and when the better mousetrap comes along. 

Your tagline does not exist in a vacuum. 

A FEW TIPS AS YOU EMBARK ON THE ROAD TO A NEW TAGLINE:

#1 Begin with a brand platform.

Creating a tagline without a strategic foundation risks internal dissent and external confusion. Know what you are trying to say before you look for memorable and meaningful ways to say it. The brand platform serves as both guide and filter to what you say and to the tone you use in expressing it. Great taglines ring true – and the platform will clarify exactly what it is you are being true to. 

 

Key points include:

  • Understanding what a tagline is and what it isn’t
  • Keeping the bigger picture in mind
  • Avoiding buzzwords

 

Read the full article, What Makes a Good Tagline, on BrandExperienced.com.

 

 

In response to the recent news on how many brands approached this year’s Super Bowl ads, Jennifer Hartz shares an article that highlights corporate responsibility in action.  

Two stalwart Super Bowl brands and commercial rivals are skipping 2021 game ads.

On February 2nd, amidst a global pandemic and national division, millions will watch Super Bowl LV! The 2020 vs 2019 Champions, Kansas City Chiefs vs Tom Brady…. I mean the Tampa Bay Buccaneers…. will face off with the NFL’s first home field advantage final game.  The Super Bowl is frequently the most watched American TV broadcast of the year.

What’s the broad and enduring appeal of the Super Bowl?

For many, especially the younger generations, with ever-shrinking attention spans, football is now likely the nation’s pastime.  Average, baseball games last 3 hours and contain 18 minutes of action. Average football games last 3 hours and 15 minutes with 11 minutes of actual sporting.  So why do millions eschew the MLB and flock to the Super Bowl in person or on television or via streaming? It’s what nonprofits call “wrap-around services.” Someone in need may ask for food, but good organizations work to help them with job training, childcare, affordable housing, clothing.

Super Bowl commercials were memes before memes were trendy.

For the biggest spectacle in US sports, that means pre-game shows, team merch, player bios, coaches, and refs, instant replays, slo-mo, music, cheerleaders, celebrities, post-game analysis, and usually intriguing …. COMMERCIALS!

 

Key points include:

  • Brands joining the bandwagon
  • The broad and enduring appeal of the Super Bowl
  • What’s different about Super Bowl 55

 

Read the full article, Big Brands Redirect Super Bowl Ad Budgets to Accelerate COVID Recovery, on CorporateHartz.com.

 

 

In this concise but valuable post, Susan Meier explains how looking at a brand through the lens of empathy can inform and build strong brand relationship marketing strategies.

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. It’s putting yourself in their shoes. And it’s the key to good branding, because the brand relationship is built on understanding the customer’s world view and desires. 

Hey, you got a lock?

Would you make a key and then run around looking for a lock to open?

To make good products and services, you’ve got to think first about how they’re going to be used and care about the people who’ll be using them. 

Draw a small circle.

You can’t be all things to all people. Whom can you best serve? Draw the circle as small as you can – that’s called your minimum viable audience. Identifying who’s in and who’s out will save you a lot of effort in both product development and marketing.

Once you’ve identified that specific group, you’ll want to find out: What do they care about? What makes them tick? What are their aspirations? Because knowing your audience and what’s important to them is critical to building your brand.

Show me your underwear.

Ask your customers these questions. Listen mindfully and humbly. Get to know them as human beings.

Better yet, observe them in their natural habitat. I have crisscrossed suburbia taking photographs of peoples’ bookshelves. I’ve spent hours watching college students shop online. I’ve grocery shopped with moms and hit the dog run with dog owners. And I’ve had scores of women show me their lingerie drawers.

 

Key points include:

  • Beginning with brand purpose
  • Identifying brand benefit story
  • Drawing brand boundaries

 

Read the full post, Choose Empathy, on SusanMeierStudio.com.

 

 

Start the year armed with a strong marketing strategy. Kaihan Krippendorff shares a short post on successful marketing campaigns and introduces his webinar on strategies to become agile and win customers through proximity.

TONY HSIEH’S STRATEGIC PATTERN

As many of you know, we recently said goodbye to an amazing leader, former CEO of Zappos, Tony Hsieh. We learned many lessons from Tony, the most important one being that the key question in strategy is to ask, “What business are we really in?” On Zappos’ success, he told us, “We were doing pretty well as a shoe company, but our growth really took off when we realized we’re a customer service company that happens to sell shoes.”

Keep reading to discover three free resources to help you answer this essential question and set your 2021 strategy.

Peter Drucker highlighted this principle when he said, “‘What is our business?’ is almost always a difficult question which can be answered only after hard thinking and studying. And the right answer is anything but obvious.”

Strategy comes down to finding the answer and making decisions consistent with what business you are in. I give more examples in this free webinar.

HOW MICROBREWERIES GET CUSTOMERS TO DRIVE 100 MILES

This year my family spent Thanksgiving in Louisiana. During the trip, a friend from home asked me to pick up some of his favorite beer from a microbrewery a couple hours outside of the city. I found myself journeying past swamps, farms, and alligators to visit the brewery and fulfill his request.

 

Key questions addressed in the webinar are:

  • What business are we really in? 
  • What need will make customers drive 100 miles? 
  • How can we win by delivering value closer to customers?

 

Read the full post, What Microbreweries, “Micro-factories”, And The Late Tony Hsieh Can Teach Us About Creating Our 2021 Strategy, and access the link to the free webinar at Kaihan.net.

 

 

Toopan Bagchi identifies the importance of  building segmented brand management teams to maximize marketing capabilities and effectiveness.  

In a continuously disrupted landscape, many retailers are realizing the potential for private brands to not only improve margins, but to also attract customers, build baskets and drive loyalty. However, given retail’s traditional reliance on CPG companies to develop and cultivate brands, capabilities around true brand management are often limited. 

Retailers leaning in on private brands would be wise to establish and elevate brand management capabilities to improve the likelihood of success of any private brand strategy by establishing a clear and coherent brand architecture, identifying white space opportunities, developing brand platforms, creating and launching product, and sustaining brand health over time. Retailers such as Target are recognizing this and establishing brand management teams to oversee the portfolio of private brands, define strategies and lead execution.

 

Information in this article includes:

  • Picking the team
  • Setting up brand architecture
  • Launching brands

 

Read the full article, Keys to building a private brand management team, on the Storebrands website. 

 

 

If you are looking for ways and means to improve client attraction, spend, and retention, read on. David A. Fields provides practical steps and innovative approaches to improving your firm’s offerings.

If your consulting firm’s offerings aren’t generating gleaming stacks of revenue, it’s time to develop a Level 3 Offering.

You’re not alone if the projects that sustained your consulting business in the past have recently become difficult to close.

Prospective clients are confused about how to please their own customers, or are caught in the grip of uncertainty. As a result, they no longer view your consulting firm and your solution as an obvious, easily-justified choice.

New times, new conditions, new market reality.

Or, perhaps you’ve realized that you need to change up your offerings in order to elevate your consulting firm to the next level of success.

Either way, your consulting firm needs to revamp, or craft from scratch, your offering to achieve your ambitions.

 

Areas covered in this article include:

  • The basics of building offerings
  • Offering-development questions
  • The three levels of consulting firm offerings

 

Read the full article, If Your Consulting Firm’s Offering Isn’t Attracting Enough Clients, Try This…, on David’s consulting website.

 

 

James Black shares the first post in a series that explores the development of customer understanding in 2020. 

To kick off the new year, I suggested ‘20 Questions to Help Your Brand or Business See 20/20 in 2020.’ To help brands and businesses assess the state of your business and identify opportunities, I wanted to take a closer look at the topic of Customer Understanding.

Developing a deeper Customer Understanding is helpful to identify opportunities to strengthen your business. If you didn’t enter the New Year feeling like you had a deep understanding of your customer, here are some tips on how to quickly build your fact base. At P&G, business understanding always began with a robust “WHO” Understanding – that is, the consumer who used the product and the shopper who bought it.

 

Questions asked and explained include:

  • Do we have a clearly defined target customer?
  • Do we have a clear understanding of the end benefit the customer is seeking?
  • Does our offering fit with his/her desired benefit?
  • Do we understand the customer’s unmet needs vs. current offerings?
  • Are we conducting the right mix of research (qualitative and quantitative)?
  • Do we prioritize what we do (and don’t do) and what we invest in (and not in) against customers’ needs?

 

Read the full article, Seeing 20/20 in 2020: Part 1 – Customer Understanding, on LinkedIn. 

 

 

Kaihan Krippendorff asks a most pertinent question to help companies identify a strategy that will improve customer relations and revenue.  

The former president of Starbucks, Howard Behar, told me a few months ago that the most important decision Starbucks made, that led to many of the disruptive choices this category-defining company made, was their decision to be “in the people business serving coffee” rather than the “coffee business serving people”.

In other words, Starbucks decided to view their “customer” as the worker in their store serving coffee. Their purpose was to create great jobs and lives for them.

Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, said, “We were going pretty well as a shoe company but our growth really took off when we realized were a customer service company that happened to sell shoes.”

Hartford Steam Boiler, whose strategy I will dig into in a later post, seems to be an insurance company but actually sees itself as and, more importantly, acts as an engineering company that happens to monetize through insurance.

 

This article explains how the following questions help define a growth strategy.

  • What is our actual business (e.g., consumer electronics and not medical devices)?
  • How does that kind of company behave differently?

 

Read the full article, The Most Important Strategic Question To Ask: What Business Are You In?, on Kaihan’s website. 

 

 

This article from David Burnie’s company blog identifies the value of the contact centre, and how it helps to prevent customer attrition. 

The contact centre is a necessity for any mid-large size organization. It is where customer inquiries are handled across multiple channels, such as the phone, email or live chat. It is a bustling place of energy, activity and collaboration and often a starting point for many who want to forge a career in corporate.

When built and supported the right way, the contact centre can be a highly engaging and interactive environment. Palpable energy can be felt if you were to walk the floor and observe employees in action. It is a place of discovery, learning and, most importantly, the hub of customer information. No other place in a company can provide the same insights regarding how customers are feeling.

 

Points covered in this article include:

  • Why contact centres are undervalued
  • How to prevent employee and customer attrition
  • How to leverage the full value of the contact centre

 

Read the full article, The Value of Contact Centres, on the Burnie Group website.

 

Umbrex is pleased to welcome Richard Cho with Growing Abundance Mindsets.  Through his time at Gartner, Bridgewater, and McKinsey Richard developed a set of tools, frameworks and practices that have been adapted from leading business thinkers and applied across multiple Fortune 500 company teams to successfully drive new initiatives.

Often times technology problems are usually business engagement problems, and he has a track record of getting these initiatives on track. Richard is passionate about building world-class cross-functional digital teams that go after big goals by developing a culture of meaningful trust-based relationships and continuous learning.

 

Robbie Kellman Baxter explains why a free trial is not always the best tactic and identifies three  reasons a subscription business isn’t attracting new members.

Recently, a CEO of a major professional association asked me what I thought of a 30 day free trial for new members.

He worried that potential members would sign up for the free trial, binge the value in that free period and then cancel without paying. But his board was concerned that not enough people were joining and thought a free trial could be the solution.

In this case, I agree with the CEO, not the board, about offering a free trial. Here’s why.

A free trial is a taste of the best you’ve got, which you offer because either:

 

  1. They don’t understand what it tastes like
  2. They don’t believe it tastes as good as you say

 

Read the full article, “Free”​ Is a Tactic, not a Strategy, on Linkedin.

 

Jason George explores the relationship between the human need for ritual, community, and purpose, and the organizations or entrepreneurs who see that need as their next opportunity.

 

Come all ye faithful

Some of the devoted choose to meet in the early morning, braving the cold and arriving at their nondescript buildings in the predawn darkness. The name on the sign outside might reference “soul” or “cross,” but there is nothing outwardly grand about these places. The real draw is the service about to start inside.

The congregants’ earlier interactions have acclimated them to social norms like dress codes, so they choose their attire with the fastidiousness of early Puritans. This leads to a generic sameness among the group—deviation would make one stick out, and this experience is not about the individual.

 

Key points include:

-The pursuit of salvation through testing the body

-How brands like SoulCycle and CrossFit fulfill the need

-Religion-as-business

 

Read the full article, The Business of Religion, and the Religion of Business, on Jason’s website.

In the digital age, Amanda Setili explains why every company — big or small – needs a platform strategy to connect with customers.

 

Today’s businesses now live or die based on how well they cultivate and connect those who they do business with. Just look at the seven most valuable companies in 2019—Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet (parent company of Google), Amazon, Facebook, Alibaba and Tencent. Each created their success by deliberately and aggressively building powerful platforms to connect customers, content providers, suppliers, and others to each other.

 

Amanda provides five detailed steps toto build a vibrant, self-reinforcing community that can propel your company’s success.

 

The five steps shared include:

Step 1: Take inventory.

Step 2: Attract and connect your ideal.

Step 3: Assure participants get value.

Step 4: Create physical or virtual engagement platforms.

Step 5: Listen, observe, enhance.

 

Read the full article, Why Every Company — Big or Small — Needs a Platform Strategy on Amanda Setili’s company website.

Robyn Bolton shares five techniques that can help you understand your toughest customers in this post recently published on Forbes.

Let’s be honest, we love talking to people who just ‘get’ us. I believe this is because we often must hold a number of conversations with people who don’t ‘get’ us.

In business, the people who don’t understand us are the ones we desperately need: Our customers. Many might not understand why your products or services cost so much, why your offerings are so complicated or why they should choose your service over a competitor’s.

 

Points covered in this article include:

-How to open the conversation

-How to learn from customers

-How to ask the right questions

-How to share your opinions

-Knowing your limits

 

Read the full article, Five Techniques To Help You Understand Even Your Toughest Customers, on Forbes.