Brand, loyalty, and positioning aren't what they used to be.
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Brand, loyalty, and positioning aren't what they used to be.
Interesting...but the author does seem to make a case for the importance of building loyal customers into brand advocates that write those reviews that influence new buyers to purchase a brand.
As for positioning, if positioning is done properly, won't that be one of the key factors that appeals to the user and winds up as a key factor in the reviews?
And lastly, do we have a handle on how many buyers are driven solely by reviews? And do user reviews count for more than expert reviews (or vice versa)? Personally, I am not influenced all that much by the comments of strangers on the Internet. And with some organizations being accused of writing their own positive reviews or negative reviews of competitors, I wonder why so many would be influenced by the reviews of strangers vs. friends, families, colleagues etc.
What's your reaction? Do marketers need to rethink these concepts?
If you are not getting the sales results you need or you need to attract more clients, make sure you are not making the following mistake.
What do you offer your audience that is a unique, valuable solution? It comes down to positioning (http://bit.ly/13rquhS) and too few firms make the time to work through the positioning process. The result? When asked to describe what it is they do that is uniquely valuable, the answer falls short. It's typically vague and it's typically indefensible (easily matched or passed by the competition).
And why is this? Well, when you do things like position your business, you're saying that you will say "No" to certain opportunities that walk in your front door and try to give you money.
People hate that. But you know what...saying "No" at the right time is key to your success.
What do you think about all this? Care to take the opposing point of view based on experience? Or do you have examples of how strong positioning saved your business?
As a senior brand leader, I have to confess a frustration when I knew the details better than my Brand Manager. And it's not just that senior leaders micro manage, it's really that they can just a...
This is a post that you need to bookmark, print a copy (and put it somewhere safe yet easy to access) and then spend the time to read it and soak it all in.
It's packed with great information and at the end, under "Other stories you might like", click the links and read on...especially "How to Write a Creative Brief".
The most successful businesses define what sets them apart--almost to the point of obsession.
Note from Pat: Simple point driven home in this article - and that's the importance of consistently offering a unique, valuable solution to your audience.
And I really need to get down to Georgetown Cupcake!
So what is your special sauce? Your unique value?
An installer of fiberglass pools uses an unconventional marketing approach to save his company and start a new venture.
Note from Pat: "Revolutionary" as in "a secret as old as time."
The right message to the right audience through the right channel at the right time in order to motivate the right response.
My problem with this article is that it ignores the importance of answering customer questions in other channels...I have no doubt that the online content worked...but imagine the impact if the sales team took the same approach. Or if the print ads, collateral, direct mail, telemarketing, events....
You get the point. What do you think? Blog posts gonna rock your business or do you think it makes better sense to answer your customers questions across all communication channels?
Brand Management - Naming or renaming your business or product can be one of the toughest challenges you face. Whether you decide to do it yourself or hire help, you need to know ...
Note from Pat: No, naming is NOT something you do with a couple of senior managers, a 6-pack and a pizza in your conference room one evening after work. And, NO, naming is not something you do through email - "Hey, we're looking for a name for our new product...anyone want to offer suggestions?"
It requires thought. Clarity of vision. Input from internal and external sources - including the target audience and maybe even media, industry analysts, shareholders....crazy, huh?!
Oh, and have a lawyer do a trademark search...it really does help avoid lawsuits.
Rob La Gesse, the Chief Disruption Officers at Rackspace, shares some smart thoughts about why you should hope your competitors succeed: Why I wish Amazon Web...
Note from Pat: The key point here is that if you have done your job, you have created a unique solution for your target audience. And when you do that, you really don't have competitors - you have other businesses in the same industry serving a different segment of the total universie. Then these types of stories can (and should) be more common because growing the industry/universe means everyone prospers.
Paid search, or search engine marketing (SEM), is an essential, yet often overlooked, power-tool for branding startups and small and mid-sized businesses.
But do SMBs have branding in their budget? Do they have 'generating awareness' in their budget?
Or do they have "generate leads and sell products" in their budget? And if they do have "generate leads and sell products" in the budget, will it do a good job of building awareness and the brand?
Typically, it won't do both.
The Impact and Importance of Brand Adoption by Sales Reps and Managers
Focus on the last 4 points raised at the end of the post - because these are key to success and by far the most overlooked and/or ignored steps in business.
How many of you work for a business where new products are developed in secret and tossed out to sales and marketing with "Okay, this is ready...go sell the hell out of it"?
If you answered "Not me!", congratulations...because in the past 20-years, I can count on one hand the number of new product launches that were different than that example.
You want successful new product launches? Bring sales and marketing into whatever secret chamber you use to create new products - and let them know what you're creating, why and when it will be ready to go.
Set up a process for launching that includes internal and external launches.
Remember to convince sales that this new offering is going to help them succeed. Show them how. Convince them. Because if you can't, the launch is going fall flat. Think about it - how can you expect sales to convince buyers when they aren't convinced? (And for those of you that said "That's their job", shame on you. It's not.)
Training the sales team is more than a half-day lecture on how to use the new product. It's a longer process that helps them understand the market demand, the segments and their unique needs, the logic of the pricing strategy (which hopefully isn't '..whatever you can get for it.')
And as for the 3rd point raised at the end...a little bit of market research would be so refreshing. Especially if it proves that there is strong demand for the offering. Call me crazy, but I am getting a little too old to get all worked up over someone telling me that "...we think this is going to be huge..", especially when that person NEVER interacts with buyers in the target audience and is completely unaware of what the competiton offers.
Alright, time to bottle up my unvarnished presentation on this one...let me know what you think. Could your new product launches be more successful if there was a process that allowed for a more effective launch for internal and external audiences?
A recent McKinsey report on brand strategy and practice proves that B2Bs that invest in a solid brand strategy achieve greater success. Get the facts around tha value associated with a B2B brand strategy and successful B2B branding tips.
Am currently involved in an interesting discussion about the importance of branding in B2B marketing over at LinkedIn Groups...and came across this report.
The discussion brought up the concern that branding is defined by some as logo, colors palette, fonts and imagery - rather than the sum experience of the customer with the organization and its offerings. Which is why this excerpt from the McKinsey Report struck a chord with me...as did the paragraph on IBM and Smarter Planet.
"Many times B2B corporations put branding emphasis on marketing and the creative application instead of viewing it from a strategic orientation driving decisions."
The old, boring elevator speech is dead. Finally. Use these four tips to create a pitch that doesn't sound like an outdated sales speech.
Note from Pat: I help businesses attract and retain profitable clients.
That's my 30-second elevator speech...with time to spare. I learned a long time ago that the most effective messages are benefit rich rather than feature filled. And when a business owner or a member of the leadership team of a growth-oriented business hears my elevator speech, they always stop, turn and ask "Really? How?"
Then, I mention that "By helping them focus on providing the right audience with the right message and offers at the right time via the right channel in order to generate the right response. You see, too often, businesses forget that it's about the customer and they start pushing the wrong messages at the wrong time through the wrong channels...and that creates waste, missed opportunity, higher costs and lower profits."
"I help them put their focus where it needs to be ... and results have included double digit increases in conversion, retention and referral rates. That means a lower cost per sale, higher order frequency...and higher profits."
What do you think...would that be an interesting elevator ride for you?
Start with why. Most small business owners can tell you what they do. Most small business owners can tell you how they do it. But not why they do it.
Note from Pat: Why should your audience care about your offering? What's in it for them?
If your offering helps your audience save time or money...or if your offering provides your audience with confidence and peace of mind...or if your offering helps your audience gain higher status with their key audience of family, friends, colleagues etc...then you are answering 'Why?'
If your answer to "Why?" is "because we make the best product" or "ours is fast" or "because we're dedicated to your satisfaction"...you're not answering "Why?" with a response that will matter to your audience.
So how do you answer "Why?"
Every company has a spirit. How do you share that with customers and prospects? How do you show them there's a human inside?
Note from Pat: Great post...and something that too many organizations do. I like to consider myself fairly intelligent and yet I am amazed at how many companies put out communications that I can't figure out.
What do you do? Who do you do it for? Why? What is the value to the user?
And please show me a little personality...if it turns out that I want to do business with you, the final piece of my decision making process is "Do they seem like people I want to work with?" If your messaging is cold, robotic, cryptic...the answer is "Nope!"