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Tag Archives: Marketing Strategy

Your Brand Name is Everything They Need To Remember

Your Brand Name is Everything They Need To Remember

To some a brand is just a name or a logo. To some, it stands for quality. To some it means a whole lot more like a status symbol.

So what’s in a brand, really? Is it the image? Is it the company behind the name? Of course, anyone with enough sense will say it’s about all these things, and more. It works for every business, big or small.

A commonly used term in marketing, branding is often the subliminal process by which a business employs marketing strategies to guide people to easily remember their products and services over a competitor’s.

Essentially, it’s applied psychology. Branding is also a method to leverage success, expand market share, and fend off competition. The problem is, companies are turning to branding as a panacea and the cold, hard fact is branding will not create a spike in cash flow or market share. Therefore, it makes sense to understand that the purpose of branding is not to make your target market choose you over the competition, but rather to urge your prospects to see you as the only solution to their problem.

Establish and evolve your brand. Branding is necessary to give your company a distinct and memorable identity. A company possessing brand recognition is better poised to succeed.

A good brand is one that can convey a company’s message throughout a wide array of audience, ideally one that is timeless and one that sticks.

A strong brand is invaluable, as the battle for customers intensifies day by day. Brands of the future will be those able to surround their products and services with ardent advocates and loyalists: passion brands.

All other brands will be left to compete in the price wars. It is important that the TV, radio, print online and offline images of your business be harmonious and that time is invested in researching, defining, and building your brand. After all, your brand is your promise to your consumer. Your brand resides within the hearts and minds of customers, clients and prospects. It is the sum total of their experiences and perceptions regarding your company, some of which you can influence, and some that you cannot.

How do you connect with the consumer when they’re calling all the shots?

View your consumers as both customer and collaborator and employ game-changing thinking. In order to change the game, you need to audit how you think, comparing rational versus intuitive decision-making strategies and identifying common mistakes made by even the most experienced professionals. The process is based on the premise that the answers to your company’s brand strategy reside in the heads of the CEO and the key management group.

YOUR COMPANY’S BRAND STRATEGY MUST BE OWNED BY EVERY EMPLOYEE FROM THE TOP DOWN.

Eleven key attributes necessary to become a passion brand include:

1.   You must recognize that your brand is a key asset in delivering strategic targets at a level that is higher than the industry standard.

2.  Do not consider the brand as merely a communications issue—your brand must be recognized as the key platform to link the company strategy with customers and employees.

3.   Make sure your brand management processes are integrated seamlessly into the company’s processes—i.e., “branding” is not a separate activity.

4.   Your senior management is accountable for the brand’s continued health—brand responsibility resides at C-level.

5.  All of your employees need to share a belief in the brand as well as a common understanding of the brand.  With this mindset in place, the power of the brand will act as an incentive to employees.

6.  Ensure your employees’ activities are aligned with the brand values and contribute to the building and strengthening of the brand.
7.  Your employees should be measured and rewarded by the success of these brand-guided activities.

8.   Your marketing department must be able to talk in terms of expected return on their investments and marketers must be able to leverage customer insights to make the most effective marketing decisions.  Future strategy should be built based on knowledge of the customer, product and practices.

9.   All marketing activities should be closely aligned with the core brand values.

10.   It is necessary to invest in sufficient IT capability to capture data on customers, segment customers in order to efficiently respond to their needs, and implement marketing techniques to deliver increased ROI.

11.   You must identify your company’s brand equity (the financial value of your brand) by understanding the brand’s value drivers and the levers required to influence these drivers.  This action leads to success.

Always remember that your BRAND IS EVERYTHING that you and your company stands for.  People may not know the name of your company, but it is important that they remember the brand you carry — especially when they decide to make a purchase.  

GET INTO THE GAME. 

BUILD YOUR BRAND.  MAKE IT STRONG.

______________________________________________________________

For discussion of Brand Building and Strategic Marketing Solutions, call me at (632) 514-5868.  We’re building brands not just for “awareness”, but to deliver “day-after” sales results.

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Creating Iconic Brands

Creating Iconic Brands

Nike.  Apple.  Facebook.  Google.  Some brands just make it big. So big, in fact, that the brand name goes before the product does.  And to some extent, they become a household name.

How can you create such an ideal brand that’s synonymous with all the good things you wish to be, like quality, luxury or perhaps dependability?  Can you build a clear, strong, stylish, unique image for your brand? Can you give it such a unique personality that it gains a specific, clear, appealing meaning in spite of the brand clutter plaguing most markets?

Logos and names do matter. But brands are really defined by how people experience them. What matters most is not what the brand says, but what it does, how it behaves.

Here are a few thoughts you can think about in making that iconic brand for your company:

First and foremost, BE UNIQUE, and stand out.   Great brands achieve a high level of individuality and speak to a person rather than to the entire market.

There is a tendency among some, even at the most illustrious business schools, to treat the term ‘iconic’ as a trendy synonym for successful mass‐market brands. Iconic brands are unique, special, distinctive, and have very strong and appealing personalities. They have the kind of recognition that iconic movie actors or singers have.

Can you brand your product like a rock star?  Or, a movie matinee idol?  That’s what you want to strive for as you build an iconic brand.  Give it a unique personality and a highly distinctive voice, then be true to its personality and voice no matter what.

In iconic branding, the brand’s identity trumps everything else in the marketing plan. Don’t extend an iconic brand too far, for example, or you’ll water down its meaning and lose the special boost in sales and loyalty that your iconic status confers.

BE CLEAR. Refrain from speaking jargonese and from talking manufacturer. If your positioning statement uses acronyms, chances are most people won’t understand your branding, and your branding won’t last very long. Example, “Best DVD Copier” presumes that people understand what “DVD” and “Copier” mean. Ten years from now, who knows if DVDs would still matter. Here’s a good tip for you to try: If your parents get your positioning, then chances are, it’s good.

BE POSITIVE – When creating a brand, make sure that it is established on positive attributes like “doing good things,” or “being a catalyst for change.” Don’t try to create a brand that is focused on beating or damaging your competition. Make sure that your brand promotes happy thoughts. No one would want to buy a product that is majorly focused on hurting its competition. If you want to beat your competition, establish an uplifting brand

Consistency is key. Think of one message and work on it. Many companies commit the mistake of coming up with more than one message because they‘re afraid of being niched and want the entire market for themselves. “We sell the best high-end phones, and the best ones for the budget-conscious.” Let’s face it. You have to cater to a specific market, one brand at a time. This is the reason why big companies try to come up with multiple versions of the same product, so they can brand it for a specific market.

Building a personal brand requires a lot of time and consistency, the latter of which is a critical element to the brand’s success. Being consistent is what builds familiarity and trust in the minds of others and demonstrates that you are very serious about your business and it’s image.

By not being consistent, you may appear to be undecided or confused which leads to a loss in credibility.

The Opposite Test. You can always say that your products are “nutritious, delicious, and fresh.” However, how many other companies can claim that their products are nutritious, delicious and fresh? See if your competition uses the antonyms of the adjectives that you use to describe your product. If it doesn’t, your description is useless. Example, I’ve never seen a company claim its products to be slow, hard to use and bulky.

Fool-proof your message.  Once you have the perfect brand positioning for your perfect product, it’s time to make sure that everyone understands the message it conveys. Start within your organization, from your immediate people to the receptionist down the front desk. Make sure that everyone understands the message.

The power of PR. When it comes to branding, too much money is worse than too little because people who have a lot of money tend to spend a lot of money on stupid things like stupid awards night commercials. Keep in mind that brands are built on what people are saying about you, not what you’re saying about yourself.  Go advertise above-the-line, but don’t waste too much on advertising, use PR.  Make people realize that you’re offering a great product and you get great response.

Try staying away from conventional branding, and avoid speaking like a manufacturer.  Empathize with your target consumer, and genuinely speak to them.  Brands are created in the customers’ minds. And though customers may get attracted by the brand’s value proposition, it needs to live up to the promise and build a relationship based on trust.

Customers value some products as much for what they symbolize as for what they do.  For Nike, Apple, or BMW, customers value the brand stories largely for their identity value.  Acting as “vessels of self-expression, the brands are imbued with stories that consumers find value in constructing their identities.

Every marketer aims at creating brands that customers love and trust. Yet it is only a few brands that are able to win the hearts of customers.  The challenge for brand managers comes after the non-believers have bought into the brand. The brand experience needs to be managed well.

Though branding has been regarded as a science, the process of building brands that are endearing is also an art. The culmination of science and art is what results in the creation of truly great brands.  If your brand becomes known in the market, good.  If your brand becomes popular, better.  But, in time, if your brand becomes an icon, great!

 

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When Its Time To Change Your Corporate Strategy

Most businesses have a core strategy that has been very successful in the past and where so much of their capabilities and strengths are centered. Every business also needs to move into adjacent areas just outside the core. These adjacent areas tend to be derived from the core, but hopefully those adjacencies strengthen the core in some way.

In order to add value to any business, you need to have a plan, and at least, renew the corporate strategy every five years, which will allow you to change with the company’s needs and recognize threats. Management should work out an updated strategy, enlist the help of experts, identify the company’s strengths, and help the organization weather the existing problems.

It’s not so much the plan, but it’s all the planning that goes into it. It’s the thinking through the various scenarios and understanding the business and what are the value drivers of the business. Where is value derived? Where is value created? Then it’s deciding what is the core that you want to build on for the future?

 

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For Business Consulting, contact
Dickie Aguado, Executive Director – Magna Kultura Foundation
CP Nos.: +63 917 8990025 (Globe) or +63 922 8990026 (Sun)
Direct Line: Tel No. (632) 514-5868
Email Address: magnakultura@gmail.com

 

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Brand X versus Brand YOU

Most entrepreneurs and senior executives completely miss out on one of the most powerful branding strategies available in today’s market: The Creation of Their Own Personal Brand.

Most people in business understand the need to build brand equity at the corporate level or for products, services, intellectual property, etc., but very few understand the substantial benefits that are created from increasing their personal brand equity.

In today’s competitive workplace, distinguishing yourself significantly from your peers can be a challenge.  it’s not just about “getting a job”—it’s about building your own personal brand. But what does that mean—“personal brand”? Much like the brands that we all know, such as Coke, Nike, or McDonald’s, your personal brand in the workplace is a combination of the product you offer (i.e., your job performance), the values that you embody, and how the two work together to create the “wholeness” that is you.

A personal brand is much more than a job title: It’s a holistic look at your goals, passions and values and how those figure into—and enhance—what you offer an employer. Oftentimes, it’s the individuals who truly know what makes them interesting, compelling, and differentiated who stand out from their peers. These people capitalize on their differences, parlaying them into an advantage. A personal branding can be the thing that will give you an edge, catch the eye of the people.

Of course, a personal brand is only as good as the reputation you are able to build around its unique promise of value—and what you ultimately deliver. Consequently, authenticity and honesty become the most important building blocks for your personal brand.

No matter where you are on the corporate ladder—starting out, a rising star or an established leader—personal branding is absolutely vital to your success. After all, numerous others may have your job title, but only a few might share your vision and appreciate the particular talents you offer. If you connect with the individuals and companies that value your “mission” in the world, you will have a much greater chance for success. No full-proof path exists for building a personal brand, but you can take steps that will help you create the best personal brand for you.

Before you head off to storm the castle, you’ll need a plan of attack and a few important tools. You need certain traits that will carry you and your vision in places you’ll walk in.

RELENTLESS PASSION

By far the most important thing you need is an intense passion for your cause, and carry it with a conviction that cannot be hindered by critics or your own shortcomings. You have to be willing to give it your all, and for a long time with potentially few rewards. In the short run, few people will notice, but in the long run, everyone will. Or at least, everyone you need to influ­ence in your campaign will notice.

HAVE A VERY SPECIFIC GOAL

What sets you apart? Where will your tipping point be? What will the world look like with you in charge? You can also call this your elevator pitch. If you had two minutes with anyone in the world who has the power to influence the rest of your life, what would you say to them? “Hi, my name is _____, I’m currently in ________, and I’m going to _________.”

A COMPELLING STORY

There must be a reason why you’re doing what you’re working on right now other than giving you the money that you’re getting.  (You’re receiving the money that you get because of you are good at what you do.) What do you, and why are you doing it. Is there a special reason? A story behind it?  What made you decide to it?  Whether you are just starting out in business or if you have been at it for a long time OR somewhere in between, there’s a compelling reason or motivation to do the things you are doing day in and day. If you are a “brand”, you must have a “brand story”.  Your story could spark inspiration.

EXPERT STATUS IN SKILLS THAT HELP OTHERS

As we’ve seen here, you can’t just take over the world for yourself. You have to add value to others, or no one will want to help you. Therefore, you need to have skills that will radically improve the lives of others. Does your world domination plan have an educational component?

Here is the interesting thing about this: when you take the time to become a real expert in something highly specialized that really adds value to the world, the people you help will start looking to you for answers about seemingly unrelated topics. It’s always better to start highly focused and then work outwards than to begin with a broad, unspecific mandate.

A SMALL ARMY

You need to recruit a small army of com­mitted believers who will support your cause and add their own resources in support of it. How many people do you need? Well, obviously it varies, but 100 true fans is a great start. In fact, a small, devoted army is far better than a large, uncommitted mob.

You can tap into networks, or even create a network.  As example, I advocate the Philippine Traditional Street Games in our country, and I have sports coordinators in key cities.  My coordinators don’t only coordinate with local Barangays, but with school officials; and two years ago, they have networked a data-base of 80,000 retail stores where they are loading Larong Pinoy toys and creating product promos for corporate sponsors of the games in communities.  Now, isn’t that’s a vast multiplier to the small army?

 

FRIENDS OF FRIENDS

A small army is critical, but in the long run, the friends of your friends may end up helping even more. This is because of the phenomenon called “the strength of weak ties.” In 1973, sociologist Mark Granovetter published a controversial ar­ticle claiming that “weak ties,” or friends of friends, are responsible for the major­ity of new jobs and opportunities we encounter. This claim runs contradictory to the classical understanding of efficient markets, and Granovetter even showed how most new information we acquire in our daily lives comes from extended social networks.

ENOUGH MONEY

Your goal will probably require some amount of money. How much do you need? Simply put, you need enough money to accomplish the goal—no more, no less. Figure out what the true cost is and then figure out how to get it. Work the math out backwards.

For example, I figured out that visiting the entire regions of the Philippines would cost me an amount of money that would be equal to buying a brand new S.U.V. When I saw the costs and the relative value for both, I felt encour­aged. I gave up the hypothetical large vehicle and “discovered” the Philippines.  In “discovering” the Philippines, I discovered myself and many other priceless things.  It was worth the investment.

ENOUGH TIME

You have to be able to devote significant time to improving your skills. You don’t just want to be good enough; you want to be remarkable. What this means is dif­ferent for everyone — some people are able to their goals in their off hours, while others will need more time.

Some people get up at 4:00 a.m. every day to study, or work on things other than their jobs. This strategy doesn’t work for everyone, how­ever, because many people find that their 9-5 commitment steals their best energy from them. In these cases, you’ll need to make some major adjustments. or even create a 8th day during the week.

Regardless of which side you fit in, you’ll need enough time. You won’t grow as tall as a giant work­ing only four hours a week.


ONE-WAY COMMUNICATION

Indeed, social networking is here to stay, but you also need some kind of “pulpit”. You need to be able to speak to your army directly.

This can be done through a web site, a blog, a newsletter, an email list, a phone broadcast, or something else. You can’t create just a virtual army, you need to have real faces in front of you.  You will need to go out in the fields, put in the trenches, where it matters most.

That’s it!

The above list may not be fully com­plete.  And there are certainty other things that people will expect from you — some are necessary, and other that are com­pletely unnecessary.

This list of ignorable expectations in­cludes:

• Qualifications

• Introductions

• Endorsements

• Everything the gatekeepers expect from you

These are all the things you DON’T NEED.


I’m probably going to make some people angry with that sentence, but my goal to present the truth. And the truth is that if you want to achieve your most significant goals, and you want to transform the world for the better in the process, you really don’t need to jump through all the hoops that people hold up for you.

In the past, you had to keep checking boxes in application forms and ticking tasks off the expecta­tions list for a long time before anyone would listen to you and get an audience.

But guess what? Life is different now. You are your own specialist in your field of expertise.  If you have something of merit to bring to the table, serve it.

You can be successful the moment you decide to give more than is expected in all that you do. Make yourself valuable in your field of expertise.  If you build it, they will come.

Your personal brand is a reflection of your greatest strengths. Identify what those are, and then make that the ground you stand on.

________________________________________________________

If you need consultancy on your career, or a business plan… give me a call.  I may have a few cents of ideas which you can turn into paperbucks of a plan that will lift you up.   Tel. No. 514-5868.

Keep the fire burning!

Dickie

 

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Your Brand Name is Everything They Need To Remember

To some a brand is just a name or a logo. To some, it stands for quality. To some it means a whole lot more like a status symbol.

So what’s in a brand, really? Is it the image? Is it the company behind the name? Of course, anyone with enough sense will say it’s about all these things, and more. It works for every business, big or small.


A commonly used term in marketing, branding is often the subliminal process by which a business employs marketing strategies to guide people to easily remember their products and services over a competitor’s.

Essentially, it’s applied psychology. Branding is also a method to leverage success, expand market share, and fend off competition. The problem is, companies are turning to branding as a panacea and the cold, hard fact is branding will not create a spike in cash flow or market share. Therefore, it makes sense to understand that the purpose of branding is not to make your target market choose you over the competition, but rather to urge your prospects to see you as the only solution to their problem. 

Establish and evolve your brand. Branding is necessary to give your company a distinct and memorable identity. A company possessing brand recognition is better poised to succeed.

A good brand is one that can convey a company’s message throughout a wide array of audience, ideally one that is timeless and one that sticks.

A strong brand is invaluable, as the battle for customers intensifies day by day. Brands of the future will be those able to surround their products and services with ardent advocates and loyalists: passion brands.


All other brands will be left to compete in the price wars. It is important that the TV, radio, print online and offline images of your business be harmonious and that time is invested in researching, defining, and building your brand. After all, your brand is your promise to your consumer. Your brand resides within the hearts and minds of customers, clients and prospects. It is the sum total of their experiences and perceptions regarding your company, some of which you can influence, and some that you cannot.


How do you connect with the consumer when they’re calling all the shots? View your consumers as both customer and collaborator and employ game-changing thinking. In order to change the game, you need to audit how you think, comparing rational versus intuitive decision-making strategies and identifying common mistakes made by even the most experienced professionals. The process is based on the premise that the answers to your company’s brand strategy reside in the heads of the CEO and the key management group.


YOUR COMPANY’S BRAND STRATEGY MUST BE OWNED BY EVERY EMPLOYEE FROM THE TOP DOWN.

 

Eleven key attributes necessary to become a passion brand include:

1.   You must recognize that your brand is a key asset in delivering strategic targets at a level that is higher than the industry standard.

2.  Do not consider the brand as merely a communications issue—your brand must be recognized as the key platform to link the company strategy with customers and employees.

3.   Make sure your brand management processes are integrated seamlessly into the company’s processes—i.e., “branding” is not a separate activity.
4.   Your senior management is accountable for the brand’s continued health—brand responsibility resides at C-level.

5.  All of your employees need to share a belief in the brand as well as a common understanding of the brand.  With this mindset in place, the power of the brand will act as an incentive to employees.

6.  Ensure your employees’ activities are aligned with the brand values and contribute to the building and strengthening of the brand.

 

7.  Your employees should be measured and rewarded by the success of these brand-guided activities.


8.   Your marketing department must be able to talk in terms of expected return on their investments and marketers must be able to leverage customer insights to make the most effective marketing decisions.  Future strategy should be built based on knowledge of the customer, product and practices.

 

9.   All marketing activities should be closely aligned with the core brand values.

10.   It is necessary to invest in sufficient IT capability to capture data on customers, segment customers in order to efficiently respond to their needs, and implement marketing techniques to deliver increased ROI.

 

11.   You must identify your company’s brand equity (the financial value of your brand) by understanding the brand’s value drivers and the levers required to influence these drivers.  This action leads to success.





Always remember that your BRAND IS EVERYTHING that you and your company stands for.  People may not know the name of your company, but it is important that they remember the brand you carry — especially when they decide to make a purchase.  


GET INTO THE GAME

BUILD YOUR BRAND.

MAKE IT STRONG.



______________________________________________________________


For discussion of Brand Building and Strategic Marketing Solutions, call me at (632) 514-5868.  We’re building brands not just for “awareness”, but to deliver “day-after” sales results. 

 

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