Posts tagged: Branding

A logo / design and tag line do not make a brand – especially a fashion brand

By , February 22, 2014 9:46 am

Yes. They are definitely contributors but there’s a 360-universe that comprises a brand and those elements are only a part of it. A key part of your brand is the brand promise:  what are you going to deliver?  It’s great if you can promise to deliver something no one else is talking about.  My company offers 60%-1,000% return-on-investment.  We back it up with numbers from actual clients.  A promise like this may not have clients knocking down the doors, but they ARE going to remember a promise that breaks through the clutter.

In what used to be called image marketing (such as fashion, liquor, and in the old days cigarettes),  you are often selling a story as the brand promise.  A story that the buyer believes will become their experience if they purchase and use the product.  Ralph Lauren is a master at creating stories that invite you to participate by wearing his clothing.

Below are some links that offer advice on branding for any kind of business (even Tom Fords’ advice works beyond the fashion world).

http://www.manta.com/TOTD/marketing/20140220/tm0h1bq

http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2009/12/define-brand.html

http://www.vogue.com.au/fashion/news/tom+fords+14+tips+on+building+a+fashion+brand,28189


Sandra Holtzman teaches CEO 035: Licensing.

She is the author of Lies Startups Tell Themselves to Avoid Marketing.

GOOD THINGS TO DO FOR BETTER CONTENT

By , February 6, 2014 10:39 am

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Sometimes we need a checklist to remind us of what is important. In the new world of all things “Content,” let’s review:

➢ Emphasize what your products and services do to satisfy your customers’ wants and needs

➢ Don’t market based on YOUR own preferences and behaviors. Think / Be Consumer Centric! Develop and use the number one communications skill of –“I’m Listening,” which indicates that you care if you act on what you are hearing.

➢ Explore customer behaviors and lifestyles and shopper personas. How do customers self-define their personas?

➢ Have customer data that is not influenced by your mindset. This is the customer era – bottom up not top down.

➢ Rely on onsite research to deliver insights into content useful to customers. What will initiate their discovery that you/your brand can help them solve their wants and needs problems?

➢ Good marketing content begins in imitation and develops innovation. The innovation doesn’t have to benefit those who are not your target market. Create specific strategies to focus mainly on loyal customers.

➢ Create your ideas for interactions by engaged-with potential customers

➢ Plan to answer customer questions in Real-Time (or Close-time). Remember – “I’m Listening – hearing – and acting upon your requests.”

➢ Develop intriguing, fascinating, compelling content that draws consumers into your brand’s world. The sense of discovery will bring attention, interest, desire and action (AIDA still applies).

➢ Trust and transparency in content and actions are critical to maintaining a sustainable relationship with today’s customers

brand content Drawing by Art Winters

Drawing by Art Winters

What do we understand and what can we put to use from this review of some of the key elements of Content Marketing Communications?

Let us know what you think…

Arthur & Peggy Winters co-teach SXB 200 Brand Marketing Communications for Image & Meaning and SXR 050 Intro to Branding: The Art of Customer Bonding.

RELEASE the PRESS RELEASE? To Deliver SEO or Not to Deliver SEO? That is the Question…

By , December 26, 2013 9:44 am

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Up to this moment in “cyber news”, the press release has worked as a significant contributor to what we used to call journalism.  The press release was able to give reporters and editors at newspapers and magazines – print, and TV, radio — broadcast media an essential story.  Relevant information was the currency between news makers and news reporters.

Now, there are so many omni-media ways for the PR practitioners to reach their audiences:  blogs, tweets, social media, e-mail newsletters, webinars, et al.  And, in this cyber world, search engines provide another major tool for omni-information seekers.   The press release remains useful as always, if it is relevant in this new environment of Search Engine Optimization (SEO).  P.R. managers and marketing directors may possibly add “journalist” to their job descriptions, since at this time they manage many more operations and produce publishable content, which can directly reach their key audiences.

If there was a period when the preponderance of media might have been a problem for a public relations operation to continue using the press release, it’s no longer the case.  One of the reasons the release gained publishing power, is because it helps to deliver the coveted SEO.  As such, these optimized links have brought companies their most useful keywords, helping them to obtain more acceptance on the Internet.  This is now a successful strategy to aid brands and companies with their online presence and recognition.

However, these optimized links are being questioned.  Some industry voices have described these as “link devices,” warning that the anchor text in the news release will no longer build a company’s SEO and creating more links may even damage SEO.  Thus, brand content groups that produce readers to build “unnatural” links will be seriously stymied.

Point — Counter Point!!

by Art Winters Dec2013

 

As always, if the press agent dished out bad information, the media rejected it.  If they provided valid news of relevance to the media’s audience, the media appreciated the helpful, newsworthy information.  There are fewer gatekeepers to filter the news, aka content.  Then as now, high content stories provided in today’s press releases could still service market education and offer online discoveries through the omni-channels.

Therefore, we believe the press release is still a valid marketing strategy and tool, even if it is different from the past.  It needs to strive to be an effective communicator of authentic and timely content.

 

Arthur & Peggy Winters co-teach SXB 200 Brand Marketing Communications for Image & Meaning and SXR 050 Intro to Branding: The Art of Customer Bonding.

EDITORIAL AND PRESS RELEASE – P.R. influence through $$

By , October 31, 2013 10:06 am

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PRESS RELEASES BY PUBLIC RELATIONS COMMITTEES lead to content that functions like press releases but are paid-for in so-called NATIVE ADVERTISING. Here are some vital questions to consider:
Is a brand’s PR’s use of mobile media a sign of authenticity?
Will media have explicit editorial surveillance for a press release content that is paid for?
Will editorial content now be dominated by press releases in omni-media and omnicon?

Also, if Native Advertising consists of paid-for deals made between PR committees and a variety of media, how will reward advertising affect authenticity? Will the significant audience care – as long as they are rewarded? (see our July 2013 blog on Native Advertising.) (reward-based advertising rewards consumers for interacting with branded-content in their favorite mobile apps.)

Considering these new forms of PR content, what will editorial content become? Will it lead to an erosion of inconvenient factual positioning found in Brand Marketing Communications?
Will the PR factions of Brand Management actually create “contracts” between Brands and Media? Will the media be receptive to this idea as it changes the role of gatekeeper — to what exactly?

drawing by Art Winters

drawing by Art Winters

Now that we have omni-tweets and facebook updates and e-mail blasts, what will the consumer believe is the real story of the brand’s positioning, its image and meaning? A significant answer to this question is in the changes in marketing communications. We now have so many more methods of messaging and outlets for those messages: e-books, infographics; blogs, social media, email newsletters, webinars, … , not to mention, the traditional media that still exist.

These can be effective especially when they are a creative part of a brand’s PR and marketing campaign strategy. News outlets still need connections with the people and stories behind the brand.

The press release that was, is still useful. However, it is so much changed. What is needed now is relevant content that truly involves the receiver. The receivers of press releases used to be the media gatekeepers – reporters and editors… but this has changed due to the advent of social and mobile media, company websites and blogs. And a serious reality in this new age of PR is that the receivers of press releases are now almost any audience … and the harsh reality that content providers must face is that their press release content might never be read!

The evolution in information exchanges now requires a whole new
Brand Think!!

What do you think???

 

Arthur & Peggy Winters co-teach SXB 200 Brand Marketing Communications for Image & Meaning and SXR 050 Intro to Branding: The Art of Customer Bonding.

Corporate ID

By , October 19, 2013 9:26 am

Part 2: Focus on your Tag line

The tag line, slogan, customer promise, value proposition, etc. is a key part of your corporate identity and brand.  Like your logo, it’s important to get it right the first time so that you start to build and reinforce a story/image about your company. It’s a verbal complement and reinforcement of your logo. And vice versa.

All those phrases I used do not mean the same thing – I’m purposely over simplifying to make a point.  The same characteristics and endpoint should be the goal of that line and that is – it should provide a benefit with a very brief (a few words) phrase as pithy as possible.

Let’s take the value proposition – in short, it’s a promise from the company or the product, to the customer. It delivers a benefit or value to the customer.  Some lines serve to differentiate the company from the competition at the same time.  A really good line will do all of the above and take it even further.  Those lines are rare.  There are many methodologies to develop a tag line.  Again, as in having an intuitive and creative designer for your logo, use a resource who will work with you to develop an equally sustainable tag line.

Here are some memorable taglines — some deliver a perceived benefit that is larger than the actual product:

BMW  -  The Ultimate Driving Machine
DeBeers   -  A Diamond is Forever
American Express   -  Don’t Leave Home Without It
Calvin Klein (fragrance)  -  Between Love and Madness Comes Obsession
Calvin Klein Jeans  -  Nothing Comes Between Me and My Calvin’s
Clarks  -  Shoes Designed for Living
Clarks  -  Shoes Designed to Live in
Levis  -  Original Jeans. Original People

Make your tag line memorable; it’s vital to capturing the image and story of your company, plus the immediate and aspirational benefit of your product/service.

 

Sandra Holtzman teaches CEO 035: Licensing.
She is the author of Lies Startups Tell Themselves to Avoid Marketing.

Your corporate identity…get it right the first time

By , October 5, 2013 10:13 am

Part 1: Focus on your logo

Every company should start out with minimal corporate IDs or branding – logo, name, tag line (value proposition), design templates and color palettes. There should be a template developed that shows how these items are used (in larger companies, a brand book is created that spells out exactly how sizes, placements, colors etc. are to be used ).

This is the core of your company’s identity. Like a skeleton, it supports your body.  Do it early, and do it correctly. And especially don’t skimp on the fees to get it done.  It’s a lot more difficult to correct a brand identity mistake or direction than to establish it the first time – to make a correction, you will have to re-ID your company, and then spend countless dollars and time on PR to explain why the company has changed its basic identity and to overcome confusion created by this change.

I’ve seen a lot of results from websites where designers bid for the logo work.  Some of it is okay.  Okay is not good enough for your company.  A lot of the results are derivative of other logos, and leftover designs an artist hasn’t sold. Remember, you are going to pay for the result.  Pay one time and get it right and it won’t cost you dollars and time down the road.

So invest the money into a designer or firm who gets you.

When it’s my money, I look for someone who is intuitive about what my client or my company is and what they are trying to do/say to the marketplace (how do you know they are intuitive?  Check out what they’ve done for other people…you’ll get a feel for if they have a feel for their clients).  My designer is one of my company’s secret weapons to success.

An interesting take on designers is expressed in this link:
http://www.manta.com/TOTD/marketing/20131004?referid=16483&su=MT1000787066&uu=511dac7431f24625b3909f94

 

Sandra Holtzman teaches CEO 035: Licensing.
She is the author of Lies Startups Tell Themselves to Avoid Marketing.

Warby Parker talk

By , September 23, 2013 7:58 am

Warby Parker

SHOPPERSONA … CUSTOMER BEHAVIORAL CONDITIONING through DIGITAL MARKETING CONTENT

By , August 29, 2013 9:33 am

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Knowing your key customers’ lifestyles and work behaviors can help create content to align your brand shoppersona with your target customer’s shoppersona. In this digital era, to communicate real value, it is necessary to provide meaningful experiences through content that is based on your carefully researched key customer persona. With exploding competition for the customer’s time and attention, brands must become the “go to,” “top-of-mind” brand name for acquiring that special “persona” humans seek. To ring that bell, as Ivan Pavlov’s studies in behavioral conditioning explored, brands must create web content experiences based on knowledge of what will activate the customer‘s want/need to shop and buy. Brands have always sought to learn how they shop and why they buy; now they must go deeper.

Ivan Pavlov by Art Winters

Ivan Pavlov by Art Winters

So what do digital marketers need in order to create their behavioral conditioning strategies? Starting with lifestyle and life work, learning your customers’ online habits: Do they spend a lot of time online? When: While at work? Only when at home? Any time on the go? For What: Are there categories of products they are more or less likely to shop for online? Where do they get relevant brand information; which blogs do they value; how much do they rely on friends and associates for referrals; what media and devices are they using …?

To gain and keep customers, a brand must align its “positioning conditioning,” to establish why the customer should consider changing their brand preference behaviors. Again we ask: How is your brand different and better in terms of what it offers the customer in their managements of life? How do you lead the customer to your touch points and get them to engage with your brand?

If you haven’t been thinking about how digital marketing is changing the behavioral conditioning in customer behavior, it may be time to update your knowledge. Specifically why and how potential customers are now shopping and buying. These insights can be used to create content for the new Native Advertising (see our July 2013 blog) that takes a new approach to how media and brands are communicating what products and services a brand can promise and deliver. Digital marketing strategies should concentrate on interactions rather than transactions. The primary goal is to develop new ways to approach your key customers with content that contains sincere concerns for helping them and developing experiences to build a relationship that is based on knowledge of their new behavioral shoppersona.

For more on Online Shopping Habits of Technology Consumers, go to these very interesting and current survey results: http://www.logicbuy.com/features/survey-online-shopping-habits-of-technology-consumers-infographic

 

Arthur & Peggy Winters co-teach SXB 200 Brand Marketing Communications for Image & Meaning and SXR 050 Intro to Branding: The Art of Customer Bonding.

Developing Your Personal Brand

By , July 29, 2013 11:54 am

FIT Students are ambitious, energetic pacesetters who pursue careers in design, fashion, art, communications, and business. No matter what your career, developing a personal brand will allow you to differentiate yourself in the market, whether you want to design a new shoe line or become a movie producer.

We found a great article, Personal Branding 101, by Lisa Quast at Forbes.  A quick summary of the six specific tips follows, but the full piece is worth the read so check it out:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/lisaquast/2013/04/22/personal-branding-101/

Step 1: Define your aspirations. Be specific about your goals and objectives. FIT students need to set clear goals that relate to their interests, such starting their own jewelry line.

Step 2: Conduct research. What can you learn from what others are doing? There is a lot of competition in the fashion and related industries, so learn more about your competition.

Step 3: Determine your brand attributes. What adjectives do you want people to associate with you and why?

Step 4: Assess your current state. How large is the gap between the current you and the person you want others to perceive you? For FIT students, this may mean that you are a hobbyist with tremendous talent who wants to be seen as a serious designer.

Step 5: Create your game plan. Your game plan needs to include all aspects of yourself as a product. Your specific media strategy counts, but so does but how you present yourself in person.

Step 6: Manage your brand. Proactively manage all aspects of your brand and make sure everything works together to reinforce your attributes and market niche.

This article definitely offers a lot of great ideas for both established and developing professionals.

NATIVE ADVERTISING… a new definition, or will it lead to consumer deafinition?

By , July 25, 2013 11:14 am

Brandpsych logo

It may be the time to ask whether this new definition is helpful — NATIVE ADVERTISING is a method of communication that is “native” to the experience offered within a website’s content, valuable content integrated within the editorial feed — not an ad-in-a-box alongside the search page.

Actually, we have already used descriptions of Native Advertising such as advertorial, brand reference, and sponsored content, among others.  Thus, Native could be defined as any ad that is blended within content.  Also from a consumer’s view, it may be an opt-in interactive choice in which she or he is aware of the advertiser’s message intent, and still opts-in.  Different age groups react to marketing online in more or less accepting/receptive ways.  Therefore, a Native Advertiser needs to communicate how its offer has personal appeal and feels native to the site, overcoming the consumer’s wish not to hear or see advertising messages.

Up to this era of constant change and 24/7 communications, the advertiser and the media had agreed that the blending of advertising and editorial was not allowed. There was a wall between the two because it was considered confusing to the consumer.  It might be suggested that the media’s main interest was in making money through advertising, even more than in providing useful information and entertaining experiences.  However, many of the media are in a new world of needing to find new revenue streams.

At this time, an argument is occurring about what the term Native Advertising really describes.  And if it also means advertising that will not be received as advertising.  On the other hand, it may prove to be perceived as better than the newer omni-channel forms of advertising that surely are on the way.

Some practitioners will contend that in this new “social media world,” many consumers don’t perceive any difference between editorial and advertising.  They regard it all as content in their communication.com lives.  Behind the strategist’s attempt to create appeals by linking content to a consumer’s wants and/or needs is still the positive positioning of a brand.  Whatever method used, increased brand relationship + loyalty = improved brand equity, which is the goal.

It is important to note that consumers are now more informed, aware, and selective.  So we ask: Is it wise to use “Native” in our advertising and communications?  Will it be a strategy to increase trust or mistrust?  Will it be constructive or obstructive?  Will marketers get better results, publishers get a premium revenue stream, and audiences get a better experience?

Will Native Advertising be the new strategic direction or just one more arrow in our ad quiver?

Native Advertising Mad Avenue

“I feel that Native Advertising may turn out to be the Mad Avenue to be on…” Drapered by Art Winters

 

For more on Native Advertising:

Adyoulike.com; Nativo.net; AdsNative.com

sharethrough.com

 

Arthur & Peggy Winters co-teach SXB 200 Brand Marketing Communications for Image & Meaning and SXR 050 Intro to Branding: The Art of Customer Bonding.

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