Branding: Worth Reading for Some Nuggets
"Brands Seek Fans on Facebook"
"Brands Seek Fans on Facebook"
We have generally assumed that the process consumers go through for making a purchasing decision is based on various touch points: awareness of a product or service, becoming interested in that product or service, forming positive attitudes and then making the purchase. However, according to a recent McKinsey Quarterly newsletter, that process does not work any more because it does not recognize "all the touch points and key buying factors resulting from the explosion of product choices and digital channels, coupled with the emergence of an increasingly discerning, well-informed consumer." McKinsey has labeled the new process "the consumer decision journey," and points out that by understanding that journey, "and directing their spending an messaging to the moments of maximum influence, they stand a much greater chance of reaching consumers in the right place at the right time with …
According to Forrester, marketers are cutting their marketing communications budgets significantly. Are their brands at risk? Yes! A soft market can be an opportunity. Companies who increase their marketing communications budgets during recession experience a drop in ROI. However, these companies achieve greater market share gains; they are in a better position to reap post-recession profitability. (Strategic Planning Institute, PIMS database) For more on Forrester go to: http://www.forrester.com/Research/Document/Excerpt/0,7211,47951,00.html.
According to BUSINESS WEEK, advertisers and their agencies are not taking advantage of communicating with their customers using social networks. They have not figured out how to effectively break through. That's because when consumers go to Facebook or My Space, they are more interested in socializing, i;.e. building relationships, re-connecting with past friends, or adding information to their profiles, etc. "In sum, social networks and related tools are transforming the way companies communicate with consumers and potential consumers in profoundly interesting ways. In this light, questions of Facebook's valuation are at best mildly amusing to me. If, as I suspect, Facebook is at the vanguard of transforming how companies reach consumers, $10 billion will some day seem laughably small. Now it's up to the advertising industry to get its collective head out of the sand and exploit this transformation …
We've all seen numerous definitions of a brand. Essentially a brand where a product or service "fits" in the consumer's mind. That fit is all about a basketful of attributes made up of two key components: performance (what are you going to do for me today) and emotional rewards (how are you going to make me feel today). Successful marketers have and continue to recognize those important components, with emotional rewards becoming more and more important given the sea of sameness in product and service offerings available today. To better understand brands and branding, read UNDERSTANDING BRANDS BY10 PEOPLE WHO DO, edited by Don Cowley. It's available on Amazon.com.
Consumers spend an extraordinary amount of time on the web, working, playing, searching, checking and more. According to Matt Greene of Blue Ribbon Consulting, to survive these days, marketers need to place significantly more of their marketing and media dollars on digital channels in order to win, or maybe even survive, in one of the most challenging environments marketers have ever faced. Read more: http://www.blueribbondigital.com/blog/
Teamwork is very difficult to teach when it comes to decision-making. Practice helps. Exercises help. Often though some essential guidelines are not used to make decisions through consensus. Read what Bob Frisch offers as tactics "which are designed to fix the decision-making process...and have far greater success in achieving real alignment." (http://harvardbusinessonline.hbsp.harvard.edu/hbsp/hbr/articles/article.jsp?articleID=R0811J&ml_action=get-article&print=true&ml_issueid=BR0811)
There are tons of articles and journal articles that help us define brands. One simple truth is that to succeed in the sea of sameness world of branding, connecting with customers at their emotional level is essential. That is not to say that rational connections are not important. Read what some British experts have to say at http://www.hdm-stuttgart.de/~britsch/nmdesdev/downloads/article/branding_4.pdf.
More and more companies are instituting web grass roots efforts to build their brands. According to Umar Hague, a London economist and Havas Media Lab director, "By choosing to invest in consumers over advertising, Google is a living example of a deeper truth: The future of communications as advantage lies in talking less and listening more." Read more, about brands like Zappos and Craigslist at http://www.adweek.com/aw/content_display/esearch/e3i5e732e045deaaba3ecab1948a0858e5b/
According to a recent study conducted by Feed Company, an online marketing company, more and more marketers are embracing viral video. "Over 70% of ad agency and media buying executives plan to increase their viral video marketing budgets next year, despite cutbacks in projected spending. (For more: http://www.brandweek.com/bw/content_display/news-and-features/digital/e3i677aeab462cd125fa1225335b5a78b84)