Integrated Brand Communications
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Integrated Brand Communications
Focuses on branding and the role of communication methods such as advertising, events, sponsorships, content marketing and social media.
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Content Marketing: 10 reasons to include infographics in your strategy

Content Marketing: 10 reasons to include infographics in your strategy | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

If you’re a business owner or entrepreneur you won’t have missed the amount of infographics that are shared. And they can be created quickly for almost any business. But why do business owners create and use infographics in their content marketing strategy?

 An Abundance of Inbound links – Infographics are not only sharable, you can also include an embed code, list your graphic on directories, and let other bloggers and business owners post them on their websites. It creates an inbound link to your site which boosts your search engine ranking. Increase Followers and Subscribers – One potential way to use infographics is to share them on social media. You’ll be able to reach a broad audience because infographics are shared by millions each day. As more people become aware of your business and social media profile, you’ll earn more subscribers and followers.Blog Engagement – Infographics tend to generate interaction when they’re published on a blog. You can increase the interaction on your blog by sharing an occasional infographic and discussing the data shared.Relationship Building – Creating great content including infographic content helps forge a connection between you and your audience. The more value you provide them, the more they’ll interact with you and become an active member of your community.Credibility – Publishing relevant and useful infographics that educate and offer value, positions you as a leader within your niche.Branding – Infographics can and should include your voice, logo, and message within. This helps brand your business. Scannable – The majority of people are visual learners and infographics serve them well. They’re easy to scan and provide a useful way to educate your audience. Viral in Nature – Include an embed code in your infographic and watch it spread. You’ll see your content on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google + almost overnight. People love to share infographics.Increased Traffic – Inbound links, improved SEO and more awareness for your brand and business all mean one thing, traffic.Multi-Purpose Content – Your infographics can expand beyond your online content marketing activities. You can use them as print material as well.

Whether you publish a brochure, book, or marketing content, infographics serve a variety of purposes and functions and bring in tremendous rewards.

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

A compelling list of reasons for using #infographics as part of your #contentmarketing strategy.

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Introducing The Periodic Table of Content Marketing

Introducing The Periodic Table of Content Marketing | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it
How to use the Periodic Table of Content Marketing

If you click the image a large screenshot should appear. I hope it is all reasonably self-explanatory. There are eight areas that I have focused on, as follows:

Strategy

The fundamental key to success. Planning and focus is essential. You need a clear strategy, mapped to your long-term business goals. If you don’t have one and need some outside guidance then we can help. We also have a very useful best practice guide on content strategy.

Format

Content comes in many different shapes and sizes. Note that you can use multiple formats for a single piece of content. Slice and dice! Right now, I’m writing a blog post to support a visualisation. Maybe I’ll produce a video or slideshow too.

Content Type

These are based on the common types of content that work well for our business. Many of them will work well for your brand too. Sometimes you’ll use multiple content types for a single piece of content. You could file this periodic table under a few different types.

Platform

These are content distribution platforms. You might own some of these (e.g. #59, your website). Others are social sites (your own, your network, third parties). All of these help spread the word about your content. 

Metrics

These help you to measure the performance of your content. For the purposes of brevity, I have largely grouped these metrics together (e.g. ‘acquisition metrics’). 

Goals

All content should support your primary business goals, whether that’s to generate lots of traffic, or to sell more, or to increase brand awareness. Laser-guided content will tick a few of these boxes.  

Sharing Triggers

This is largely inspired by Unruly Media’s triggers for sharing content. Think about the emotional drivers behind sharing, and make sure the content you create makes people feel something. 

Checklist

I will probably edit this post at least 10 times after publishing it, and no doubt the periodic table will need a tweak here or there. Errors need to be fixed, and all content should be properly optimised (for search, for social, and to support your business goals). Be diligent!

 
Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

This #infographic categorize and organizes #contentmarketing activities into 8 sets of elements. Basically this is a taxonomy. Is it useful for practitioners? You be the judge.

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Maryse Rebillot's curator insight, March 22, 2014 6:24 AM

Interesting tool. I guess you can link this tool with more detailed performance trackers (like Tweriod for Twitter).

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Three game mechanics you should borrow from Candy Crush

Three game mechanics you should borrow from Candy Crush | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

Game mechanics are the building blocks of a successful gamification strategy.


These elements make the experience engaging and fun for the consumer. Points, badges and leaderboards are the go-to mechanics marketers often use to make their programs more engaging, but the mechanics marketers can tap go beyond PBLs (as they’re called among game designers). 

 

Candy Crush, the social game that is more popular than every other game on Facebook, uses a long list of mechanics to create motivating and addictive experience for the user.

 

And there are a number of lessons marketers can learn from the torrid success of Candy Crush.

 

Here are a few game mechanics you should think about borrowing from Candy Crush and including in your loyalty program or next promotional campaign.

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

Games can be used to build #brand #engagement and #loyalty. In this article three ways game mechanics or techniques that can be used to achieve those objectives are discussed. Examples of #gamification methods used by Candy Crush, Starbucks and Orbitz are highlighted.

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Infographic: only 28% of brands are able to measure the ROI of content marketing

Infographic: only 28% of brands are able to measure the ROI of content marketing | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

Almost two-thirds (63 per cent) of brands now have a dedicated content marketing budget, research from Bite has found, with 43 per cent of those surveyed saying content marketing was a board priority for their company.

 

It was discovered that 61 per cent of marketing leaders said they spent just half a day or less on content marketing related activities, with 71 per cent of brands producing social media content.

Video content was produced by 30 per cent, seen by 12 per cent as the most effective for their business. Infographics were produced by 23 per cent of companies, and were chosen by 10 per cent as the most effective for their business.

 

The research was carried out by Redshift Research, which surveyed 100 marketing decision makers, on behalf of communications, content and community agency Bite as part of its Stop Content Pollution campaign.

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

The research was done on a small sample in the UK, but the results can be used in developing research questions and hypotheses for a larger and broader study.

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It’s Getting Harder to Separate Advertising From Entertainment

It’s Getting Harder to Separate Advertising From Entertainment | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

The world of branded content has changed. Suddenly branded movies and TV shows are competing for the same marketing dollar and chunk of free time as everything else in the entertainment world. Advertising, in many cases, is no longer a toll you pay to watch content but is taking the form of content itself.

 

“Brands are realizing you have to hire experts” if you want to compete with pure entertainment companies, said Maker Studios’ Jason Krebs, who has worked all over the digital media ad world. “Procter & Gamble isn’t necessarily going to do some of these things themselves.”

 

And branded entertainment is vital. “If you want to reach millennials in the next five years, they’re going to be looking at this a lot more than at the spots and dots,” said Discovery Digital’s group operating officer Colin Decker, who notes that integrations are now the majority of the ads his company sells. These aren’t freebies that sneak in branding—they’re competing for brain share in the golden age of television. So what does this marketing look like, and is it any good?

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

Think "Lego Movie", the #brand is the star.

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How to optimise engagement in a multiscreen world

How to optimise engagement in a multiscreen world | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

Fresh research conducted by Millward Brown uncovers the opportunities brands often miss when trying to engage TV viewers on smartphones and tablets.

 

Marketers have long toiled over creating advertising that keeps people engaged. Award-winning creativity has kept pace with the leaps and bounds in consumer connectivity. Yet as more people turn to a multitude of devices to view content – the multiscreen phenomenon – there is more advertisers can do to keep their brands connected with consumers wherever and whenever they are most receptive to advertising.

 

Most brands don't advertise across all media all of the time. Marketers recognise that they need to be more present in other media formats but they are not adapting their strategies fast enough to match the momentum of multiscreen use. Dealing with multiple screens can also be a challenge for brands that are wary of imposing themselves on consumers at times when they may not be receptive to advertising.

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

Highlights of a global #advertising #research study by Millward Brown covering 30 countries and 12,000 multiscreen users. Some of the key findings were:

- A typical multiscreen user consumes 7 hours of screen media per day during a 5 hour period. In most countries, smartphones are now the primary screen, taking up 2.5 hours of time daily. Smartphones and laptops dominate daytime screen use while TV
takes center stage in the evenings, when tablet use also peaks.
– Just 35% of screen time is simultaneous use of TV and a digital device. Of this, just 14% is meshing (simultaneous use for related content). 22% is stacking (simultaneous
use for unrelated content).
– Therefore, the biggest multiscreen marketing opportunity is shifting (65% of screen time). Brands can take advantage of shifting by using synergistic multiscreen campaigns.
– TV is generally more of a starting point and digital devices are generally used more to continue/complete tasks. Multiscreen sequences are most likely to start on TV and
continue on a smartphone. However, all screen sequences are possible.
– Receptivity is higher for TV than for ads on digital screens, but brands cannot rely TV ads alone. Consumers expect brands to be present on multiple devices and are impressed by those who find entertaining and useful ways of delivering across screens.
– Different channels play different roles, both in terms of their effectiveness and implied messaging.

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Facebook Unveils Video Ads to Court TV’s Market

Facebook Unveils Video Ads to Court TV’s Market | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

Facebook Inc. (FB) is releasing its long-awaited video-advertising product today, as the world’s largest social network moves to diversify its revenue by tapping into television-marketing budgets.

 

The 15-second spots, which Facebook began testing in December and delayed several times, will be offered to select U.S. ad partners starting today. The promotions will be rolled out into users’ news feeds in late April or early May. The Menlo Park, California-based company is also testing two new features that marketers can apply to its ads -- one for scheduling what times of day an ad appears, and another for setting a promotion’s reach and frequency, said Brian Boland, Facebook’s vice president of ads product marketing.

 

Facebook, which has said it won’t increase how often it shows ads to people, is bolstering its ad-product lineup as it seeks to charge more for higher-quality promotions. The company is going after the lucrative television-ad market, with marketers planning to spend almost 60 percent more on TV than on digital media this year, according to ZenithOptimedia, a research unit of Publicis Groupe SA. (PUBGY) Internet ads in the U.S. are projected to reach $43 billion, with TV advertising garnering $66.8 billion.

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

This addition by Facebook promises to increase the #advertising clutter on an already crowded interface. 

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Ben Alexander Hopkins's curator insight, September 23, 2014 10:36 PM

SOCIAL NETWORKING 3:

Given that social media is large a part of many peoples lives in the modern world, a venture such as this is a positive step for both Facebook, and marketers who wish to utilise this new marketing medium. Given the scrolling nature of Facebook, it will require marketers to become ever more creative in their promotional material to capture the attention of consumers enough to stop scrolling, and watch the 15 second clip. Putting video advertisement before consumers in a social media context may prove to be highly beneficial in creating brand awareness and the creation of value.

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3 Reasons Your Brand Strategy Always Comes First - Business 2 Community

3 Reasons Your Brand Strategy Always Comes First - Business 2 Community | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

Creating a company image involves a lot of different moving parts, from design and copy to marketing and branding. These components work together to present the buying public with the most complete vision possible of your company’s mission and products. The world’s most recognizable companies have one thing in common: Their brand strategy always comes first. Apple, Google, Nike, and LEGO built empires on public perception. Take Apple’s identity away—that of a company providing products for creative people—and it’s simply any other computer company.

 

Building a brand is so much more than the sum of its parts. When creating graphics, content, marketing campaigns, and web design, you may feel you need to choose any one of these over your brand strategy, even if for a short period of time. Before you set aside your branding standards to concentrate on any other part of your company, remember this: brand strategy always comes first.



Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

A good reminder of the basics for any #brand development effort.

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Sheryl Sandberg’s #BanBossy Movement Shows the Power of Social Media | Simply Measured

Sheryl Sandberg’s #BanBossy Movement Shows the Power of Social Media | Simply Measured | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In movement has linked up with the Girl Scouts of America for the #banbossy campaign, which seeks to inform girls, parents, teachers, managers, troop leaders and the world at large of the harmful effect this term has on girls, and how it can dissuade young women from pursuing leadership roles.


It’s no surprise that Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, has done an incredible job of saturating social media with her pro-confidence campaign—she works in this world, and has created similar success with LeanIn.org. Literally anything you click on the eponymous Ban Bossy website  gives you a chance to share the infographic on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Google+, and a ton of celebrities have signed on to support the campaign, including Beyonce, Jennifer Garner, and Chelsea Clinton.

 

We took a look at the different social strategies that are already making this campaign a success:

 

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

A detailed discussion and analysis of the power of #socialmedia behind the #banbossy campaign. I particular it highlights the influence of celebrities, partnering with YouTube, and the use of Twitter and Instagram. Using social media for successfully championing a emotionally charged social issue is not surprising, the key question is what are the lessons for other #brands in general? 

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Ditch the pitch: Out with in-your-face advertising, in with branded content | warc.com

Ditch the pitch: Out with in-your-face advertising, in with branded content | warc.com | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

This article outlines some of the benefits of expanding the use of branded content, and offers some advice for creating good quality content. Branded content can be used in place of advertising as a way to establish credibility to trigger sharing. Good content is useful in some way, by providing information, tips or making their lives easier. A distribution strategy is needed to ensure content reaches the target audience and this often requires a multichannel approach including social media, search ads and paid media. Establishing multi-skill content teams and focussing on social media are also important. Examples of branded content strategies are provided from General Mills, the food processing corporation, and General Electric, the multinational conglomerate.

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

This article does an excellent job of presenting the case for a different and more effective direction in brand communication. Building on the argument that content marketing represents a transformation in branding by putting greater emphasis on the creation of compelling message strategies that resonant with consumers. A must read by all those who are managing brand strategies.

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Here Are the Best Ways You Can Leverage Positive Online Reviews | Sprout Social

Here Are the Best Ways You Can Leverage Positive Online Reviews | Sprout Social | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

Your happy customers can be your best brand ambassadors, pushing your products or services farther than even the cleverest marketing campaign. “There is so much data out there that shows the importance of favorable online reviews,” says Richard Thomas, Executive VP of Listen360. “We all like to point to the Nielsen report showing that online consumer reviews are the second most trusted source of brand information after recommendations from friends and family. The number of consumers that rely on these reviews is rising.”

 

The impact reviews have on your business isn’t as straightforward as just driving customers to your door — the quality of those reviews can have a big impact on your bottom line as well. A Harvard study reports that a 1-star increase in a businesses’ Yelp review can result in a a 5-9% increase in revenue. And, Thomas explains, businesses getting those great reviews are likely to have high customer loyalty, which means better performance and growth over time.

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

The author describes three best practices for leveraging #brand ambassadors. Although, the results may vary across product category and across brand market position. Recent academic research finds that the effects of reviews are equivocal and may benefit weak brands the best. 

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6 Brand Strategies Most CMOs Fail To Execute

6 Brand Strategies Most CMOs Fail To Execute | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

The ground rules for branding are rapidly evolving. Social media, content marketing, the younger generation, second screening, thought-leadership and the demographic shift are just some of the many things that are challenging brands to think differently. Creating and sustaining customer trust and loyalty is more difficult than ever before. Building relationships with consumers has never been more challenging, with so much competition for their attention. Look at the constant barrage of pop-up and video ads that flash before our eyes every time we use our phones, turn on our computers or tablets. Whether you are a Fortune 500 company, business owner or entrepreneur, here are six brand strategies that all chief marketing officers (CMOs) must not ignore.

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

The author provides six brand strategy guidelines that are worth considering.

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Consumers and Brand Loyalty | Social Media Today

Consumers and Brand Loyalty | Social Media Today | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

Engagement is an emotional connection. It's the DNA of the relationship. The intensity of the emotion is equal to the connection to your brand. If you don’t put your heart into engaging customers, your competitors gladly will. The apathetic shall walk alone.


 

An anthropologist, psychologist and neuroscientist walk into a bar….

 

It sounds like the beginning of a lame joke or an extremely cerebral story, but I have no punch line.

 

It’s no joke. Nor is it a heady story for all you Big Bangers.

 

I have good news for you though. We’re going to talk about passion and love. Human needs and wants. We’re going to have a look at engagement and the joyous places it can take you.

 

Matters of the heart matter in business.

 

Yes, this is a story about building your business.

 

The points I’ll make might appear to be about turning people on. They are indeed. We call this social media. It may seem I’m talking about courtship. I am. It’s often referred to as lead nurturing. You’ll gather my lesson here today is about commitment. Right you are. You can call that buying.

 

And you’ll pick up on my see-through attempts to talk about the importance of growing together. The business translation would be loyalty and advocacy.

 

Cupid’s not stupid.

 

Engagement is a big deal. In keeping with our love metaphor, I propose we agree the one night stand, though it may be thrilling, it’s not fulfilling. In marketing, a lead or sale usually does bring on a fleeting little buzz, but the days to follow could very well be empty.

 

The lover in us all wants a meaningful relationship. We long to have our needs and wants satisfied. True comfort comes from being able to depend on each other.

 

In my mind, it’s real easy to translate the metaphor to business. We strive to have people buy our products. We work to earn and keep the customers’ loyalty. And we depend on instilling the kind of passion that inspires customers to spread the love.

 

If it can all be summed up in a word, the word is engagement.


Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

The author makes a strong case for why engagement is the DNA of relationships. He provides an outline of the factors or motivators that drive people to engage with brands. Bottom line...make the encounter transformative. 

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Nikke Blout's curator insight, May 26, 2015 7:02 AM

Engagement is the DNA of Loyalty. If you're not putting your heart into connecting your Brand with Consumers, your competitors gladly will. #branding #loyalty #engagement #marketing #influence

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See the Amazing Transformation of These Big Brand Logos [Infographic]

See the Amazing Transformation of These Big Brand Logos [Infographic] | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

Ah, yes. The logo. That emblem which represents the essence of a brand in a way that communicates its purpose in mere seconds. Or at least that is the hope. Over the years, brands have evolved their logos as both the times and the brand, itself have changed.

 

Taking a 100+ year look, this infographic from Graphic Design Degree Hub examines the transformation of logos from Pepsi, Coke, Shell, Mercedes, Kodak, IBM, Chevrolet, BP, UPS, Ford, Xerox, Canon, Walmart, Apple, Microsoft and others.

Some early logos from Kodak, IBM and UPS look nothing like their current iterations.

 

Also explored are logo screw up like the London 2012 Olympics and theArlington Pediatric Center, both of which connoted something completely different from their intended goal.

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

A nice historical timeline of major logo changes of some major brands.

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Brands and Authenticity on Social Media | Social Media Today

Brands and Authenticity on Social Media | Social Media Today | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

Do you find it difficult to set your tone on social media? Are you struggling to discover creative ways to authentically connect with your customers? Some companies clearly cover up their identity and don't allow themselves to really bare it all.

 

Being open, genuine, and authentic on the digital landscape means a great deal to your audience who wants to genuinely engage with your brand on social. It's important to apply a holistic approach, and although many brands struggle to showcase that authentic, relevant identity, it should, however, be effortless.

 

It's important to find your own, personal voice in the social sphere to have an even bigger impact and be your authentically awesome self. As Forbes already mentioned in 2011, the battle for social media authenticity is about showcasing the human side of your business to make your audience feel truly part of your brand in a culture of openness.

 

Whichever company makes the best attempt at making people truly care about their brand, ultimately wins that battle for authenticity. Marc Ecko, all-round entrepreneur, says authentic branding goes way beyond perception:

Your brand is not the game of perception. It's not what you parrot to. Your brand is on what is on the inside, it's like guts to the skin thing.

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

The author outlines 3 ways #brands can demonstrate their #authenticity through #socialmedia.

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Micro Content, Maxi Effect — How Shifts Toward Visual Content Will Impact Marketers

Micro Content, Maxi Effect — How Shifts Toward Visual Content Will Impact Marketers | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

The written word seems to be on the decline, at least in the online space. Articles and white papers have morphed into blog posts and status updates. Hashtags, acronyms and emoticons stand in for sentences.

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

The increased usage of mobile devices is driving the move toward greater emphasis in visual #content by marketers. Allows for more efficient communications.

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Does Your Company Need Audio Branding?

Does Your Company Need Audio Branding? | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

We live in a state of continuous partial attention, according to writer and speaker Linda Stone. We pay attention to a handful of sources of information at the same time—but only at a superficial level. To that fact, add that attention spans have been shrinking since 2000.

Now, you see the urgency of making the most of each consumer touchpoint.

 

As consumers tune out the excess stimulation delivered through the multitude of media channels, the competitive advantage goes to businesses that use multisensory approaches to emphasize and position the role of the brand in the customer's life.

 

One part of the multisensory approach is sound. Thinking of sound as filler or background music is a huge missed opportunity. When used correctly, sound has the ability to deliver a distinct branding message—and make it stick once it gets there.

 

Enter Audio Branding



Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

As marketers realize the need to align their brand messages with a distracted consumer market, a greater reliance will be made to use multi-sensory forms of communications. So along with visual and verbal forms, audio plays an increasingly more important role for embedding critical brand attributes of meaning. 

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Alicia Popescu's curator insight, November 4, 2014 7:41 PM

Audio branding is an up and coming topic for marketers. Experts are suggesting that "sonic identity" can be one of the most important aspects to a products brand equity today and deserves a designated position in a firm. 

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How to Express your Brand’s Big IDEA through Great Advertising | Beloved Brands

How to Express your Brand’s Big IDEA through Great Advertising | Beloved Brands | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

In an earlier article we talked about creating your Brand's Big Idea and using it to drive every inch of your organization. The Big Idea should drive every activity and every function.  


To read more on how to come up with the Big Idea and how to leverage it throughout, click on:  How your Brand’s Big Idea should drive every part of your Organization


Once you have your Big Idea, you should then use it to frame the 5 different connectors needed to set up a very strong bond between your brand and your consumers.


Brands are able to generate love for their brand when the consumer does connect with the brand. I wish everyone would stop debating what makes a great brand and realize that all five connectors matter: promise, strategy, story, innovation and experience. The first connector is the Brand Promise, which connects when the brand's main Benefit matches up to the needs of consumers.  Once knowing that promise, everything else feeds off that Promise.  


For Volvo the promise is Safety, for Apple it is Simplicity and FedEx it might be Reliability.  It’s important to align your Strategy and Brand Story pick the best ways to communicate the promise, and then aligning your Innovation and the Experience so that you deliver to the promise.  


Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

One approach for how a brand's big idea gets communicated in the market.

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When Good Logos Go Bad

When Good Logos Go Bad | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

Olive Garden recently unveiled its new logo, which has been met with criticism. Here are a handful of other logo revamps that consumers ridiculed.

 

Revamping a brand is a tricky proposition.

 

The most recent logo refresh by ailing Olive Garden, has been widely critiqued. The logo, designed by Lippincott, is part of what parent company Darden is calling a strategic growth plan and "brand renaissance." It includes new menu items, smaller plates and a new advertising direction, though the company for now is mum on details of the latter.

 

Critics have said the updated logo is generic, with some saying it looks like a logo created by a first-year design student.

Olive Garden is hardly the first company to face criticism of a new logo. In recent years, Gap and Tropicana redesigns have raised the ire of consumers and led the companies to scrap their efforts in favor of old designs.

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

Are the critics right about these #logo revamps? You be the judge.

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Why You Should Shift Your Content Marketing Focus to ROI

Why You Should Shift Your Content Marketing Focus to ROI | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

Content marketing will be an essential part of leading marketing strategies in 2014, but many marketers are still challenged by its deployment. For our 2014 Content Marketing Tactics Planner, Curata surveyed over 500 organizations about their content marketing strategies. Marketers identified their top three content challenges as limited staff, limited budget, andcreating enough content.

 

These same marketers ranked measuring content marketing ROI and promoting existing content as their lowest priorities. While it’s possible that some organizations are so effective that ROI and promotion aren’t seen as challenges, many companies are simply too focused on creatingcontent. They aren’t giving enough thought to promotion, distribution, and measurement. It’s time to put those priorities at the top of your list.

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

This article provides many useful guidelines on measuring and improving a brand's ROI on #contentmarketing activities. 

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Monica Norton's curator insight, March 17, 2014 4:58 PM

I especially like the "content marketing pyramid" at the bottom of this article.

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What are the Primary Roles of Various Channels in the Customer Journey?

What are the Primary Roles of Various Channels in the Customer Journey? | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

Experian Marketing Services has released the latest of its mammoth annual digital marketer reports, and in this edition [download page] the analysts pay particular attention to cross-channel marketing, with a headline result being that half of global cross-channel marketers surveyed plan to integrate 4 or more channels in their campaigns this year. Effectively managing cross-channel campaigns requires moving out of channel silos – and it’s interesting to see how marketers view the primary roles different channels have in the customer journey.

 

It’s an important point, given that three-quarters of respondents still operate in silos, where their departments are somewhat organized by channel. This type of arrangement means that marketers might be more concerned with the performance of their own channel rather than how it fits into the broader customer journey.

 

Marketers were asked to identify how each of 12 channels fits into their customer’s journey, choosing whether each has a “greeter” role (creating awareness), operates as an “influencer” (generating interest) or is a “closer” (getting the sale).

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

Interesting look at how marketers perceive the role of different media channels in the customer journey. But , how do the customers actually use them? 

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Why Your Branded Content Shouldn't Always Be About Your Brand

Why Your Branded Content Shouldn't Always Be About Your Brand | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

Creating branded content that doesn’t specifically showcase the brand through its products or services can be a tricky prospect for many businesses. A company may have spent years developing its brand image — and content to support it — yet agencies are increasingly advising clients to create content that barely mentions its own brand or products. Let’s explore some of the reasoning behind this.

 

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

This article provides 4 useful guidelines for the use of #contentmarketing activities as part of the brand messaging strategy. It would be nice to have some large scale fact-based evidence that supports them.

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Hidden Persuasion: Unconscious Branding Actually Works

Hidden Persuasion: Unconscious Branding Actually Works | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

Brand advertisers who strive to improve metrics like "ad recall" may be focusing on the wrong measures of success. A new study adds more weight to the argument that brand impressions that aren't consciously perceived do, in fact, affect brand preferences. 

 

In May, a study will be presented at the Association for Psychological Science in San Francisco that shows how unconscious brand exposure affects consumer preferences. The lead researcher, Thomas Zoëga Ramsøy of Denmark’s Copenhagen Business School, describes the work:

30 women were subliminally exposed to brands prior to evaluating fashion clothing. What we found was that women’s own brand preferences impacted on their ratings of the clothing – despite that they had not seen the brands consciously…

The study demonstrates that brand equity can trigger emotional responses even during unconscious exposure, and then carry on to affect preference of products.

The subliminal exposures were created by exposing the subjects to the brand for 32 milliseconds, or about three hundreths of a second. Although the subjects were not consciously aware of this exposure, eye monitoring gear showed that their pupils dilated slightly when they saw brands they liked or disliked. This pupil reaction indicated an emotional response to the liked/disliked brands.

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

OK, maybe there is a nervous system response, but is there any #brand value?

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Your Content Marketing Strategy Should Not Be Like Mine | Social Media Today

Your Content Marketing Strategy Should Not Be Like Mine | Social Media Today | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

With so much focus on developing content marketing strategies, it seems that many ideas have gotten lost in the list-building generation.  You know the type – 6 Steps to Developing the Best Content Marketing Strategy or Your Five Step Guide for Better Content Marketing Planning.  The truth is, there is no single content marketing strategy that can be universally applied in such simple and easy to follow steps! If that’s what you were expecting from this post, you can look away right now.

 

Building Your Own Content Marketing Strategy

The problem with most of these “listicles” is that they cannot focus on the individual needs of each content marketing plan. This is because, every business will have to approach their audience differently for two major reasons:

Target audiences aren’t all the same: You wouldn’t market adult diapers to teenagers, just like you wouldn’t market tattoos to a senior citizen’s group (well you could try).  Each market is different which means defining and understanding your target audience is extremely important.If your competition has the same strategy as you, you lose: Although there’s much to be said for employing a proven strategy, it’s far more important to stand out.  Did you notice the headline for this article standing out from all the list-type posts?  That’s strategy.

The bottom line here is that a unique, individual twist on a winning content marketing strategy is going to be your best bet here.  You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, but you do have to make sure that your customers want to ride it.  So, how do you do that? 

 

 

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

Some basic guidelines that every brand manager should keep in mind about the importance of uniqueness and clarity of effective messaging. Copying another brand's content campaign just doesn't cut it.

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Creating Content that Speaks Volumes in Multiple Languages

Creating Content that Speaks Volumes in Multiple Languages | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

If you work in a global marketplace, you will need to create multilingual content — and by that I mean content that is created in whatever native language your customers speak, not just English!

This is important for two reasons:

 

Content is most effective when it leverages the full power of the language it is written in, including puns, local references, alliteration, etc. If you just speak to your global customers in their second language (in most cases English), you will fail to engage them with the words and phrases that have the most cultural and linguistic significance for them.Search engine optimization (SEO) is more important than ever, and creating content in a non-English language will help you rank in SERPs (search engine result pages) served in that language. This is especially true if your competitors aren’t creating multilingual content — and any edge you can gain in the world of SEO is one worth pursuing.

 

But many marketers don’t see the value in creating multilingual content. I work in the Middle East, and the vast majority of companies develop content solely in English, despite the vast and affluent Arabic-speaking population. Indeed, Arabic content constitutes just 2 percent of global digital content (as of 2013, per ESCWA) despite being the native tongue of 290 million plus people! That is an enormous market to leave untapped.

 
Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

This article does a good job of raising the importance of multi-lingual #marketing communications. It also provides a five step process that can be followed to ensure that the #brand message is getting across in the manner intended. #crosscultural

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