Today, more consumers than ever are demanding that companies become transparent and take hands-on approach to making the world a better place. They’re looking for what experts call “conscious brands,” companies that embody a higher purpose by having an intentional purpose or embracing social responsibility. Think: Tom’s Shoes or Jessica Alba’s Honest Company.
According to a report by MWWPR, not only do 90% of consumers say they’re more likely to patronize companies that take a stand on social and public policy matters, 80% say they’ll even pay more for products from such brands.
But you don’t have to be a big name in order to transform your business into a conscious brand. Follow these three steps to make sure that your actions resonate with your ideal customers, helping you multiply your revenue and make a lasting impact.
As people become savvier, trust in marketing is growing more vital each day. It’s not enough to just offer a great product or excellent customer service. Customers want to do business with companies they like, trust and align with. Those brands that sit on the sidelines regarding important issues are coming under greater scrutiny. Meanwhile, those with the guts to take bold but strategically sound stands are being rewarded.
Follow B&J’s lead and include your views and values in your marketing. Share your beliefs, and ask your audience to take part alongside you in supporting the causes you believe in. By intentionally integrating social responsibility as part of your daily business routine, you can ensure you are doing your part in practicing social and environmental responsibility and be seen as a thought leader in your niche.
It’s one thing to talk about the causes you support, but it’s another thing entirely to actually do something about them. People are jaded by outdated marketing techniques, false advertising and businesses and influencers who don’t walk the walk. While building and running a conscious business requires more intentional decision making and an uncompromising commitment to the mission for good, the reward is the creation of a movement that leads to unparalleled success and impact.
There are countless ways you can become part of the change for good: collect donations, offer scholarships, take part in activism. Use the resources you have — your voice, your business and your community — to take action. When you weave these actions into your company culture, and it’s embodied by employees and customers alike, you create a movement. By embracing ethical business practices while creating transparency and accountability, and providing immense value, your brand will rise up over the competition.
3. Cultivate partnerships based on values
Co-branding with another company is an effective way to double the awareness around an issue, increase the impact of an effort and, ultimately, expand the visibility of both organizations. Who you partner with has a direct impact on your reputation, your bran and your potential customer’s perception of your business.
As reported in a recent Hubspot post by Sophia Bernazzani, “In 2015, Target partnered with UNICEF on a campaign called Kid Power, which committed Target to one of UNICEF’s sustainable development goals (SDGs). The retailer sold kid-friendly fitness trackers encouraging them to complete various fitness activities, which ultimately helped deliver food packets to underprivileged children around the world.”
To ensure that you’re making smart partnering decisions, choose partnerships that align with your values. If you have not yet determined your brand values, make it a top priority. The best way to do this is to follow my 3S Method. First: Source. Do a Google search of “brand value words.” Choose as many words as possible that you resonate with and feel are important.
I like to put them on index cards (or you could use digital Kanban boards) to make step two easier. Second: Sort. Group the index cards with similar words. For instance, honesty, integrity and truth would go in the same pile. Finally: Select. Choose your final words from the groups by what you feel best represents your deepest values.
Now, use these brand values as your North Star. Refer to them any time you are making decisions, such as who to partner with, who to hire, which clients to work with and more. Doing so is sure to help you stand out amongst the noise online and attract raving fans with similar values.
Branding strategies can make or break an organization. There’s a lot that goes into developing a successful brand, and the best companies around the world put substantial time and effort into brand development and image. Creating a successful brand requires time and research commitment and is an ongoing strategy that can yield amazing results.
However, small businesses at the start of their inception can potentially create crucial branding mistakes during their initial stages of development that costs them a lot of customers, money, and time. Even major brands make big branding mistakes, like Nintendo’s Virtual Boy and Amazon’s Fire Phone.
Brand research services for positioning strategies, brand mapping, and perceptual mapping can help you, whether you’re a small business or a long-time market player, to avoid pitfalls and the costly mistakes of failed brand positioning.
Common Branding Mistakes by New Businesses and Entrepreneurs
Do you remember Nintendo’s Virtual Boy in 1995? You might not because it’s one of Nintendo’s biggest failures in the history of the company. It didn’t offer what it promised, a true VR experience, resulting in incredibly low sales and quick removal from the market. What about Amazon’s Fire Phone in 2014? It only lasted one year because of its limited availability and features that didn’t resonate with audiences. Even major companies like Nintendo and Amazon have to be careful about product or service branding that can tarnish their reputation and result in massive profit loss.
Even small branding mistakes can cost a company. Not only will your efforts and time spent towards planning to be lost, but you will have cost your business a lot of money and even potentially tarnish your reputation permanently, which can be completely devastating for the longevity of a brand.
Below are seven mistakes that you can avoid when it comes to brand positioning so that you learn more about them and avoid them altogether:
Lack of Competitor Research You have to learn about your competitors if you want to be successful. How do they position their brand? What types of products and services do they offer? How are they perceived in their respective industry? How are they succeeding? Do you have a potential opportunity in the market where they do not? You don’t want to identically replicate your competitor’s strategies. But you do have to learn everything there is to know about the successes and failures of your competitors so that you know how to uniquely position yourself in the market.
Brand Messaging Doesn’t Suit Target Audience If you can’t develop a brand message that fits with your target audience, nobody is going to buy from you. You have to learn everything about your target audience like demographics, what they like to buy, where they shop, what times of the day or times of the year do they make purchases related to your offerings, what colors motivate and drive them to make purchases, what parts of the world are they located, how does culture affect purchasing, and many more.
Failed Market Study Effective market research needs to be obtained about how people are reacting to your brand, products, or services. Survey analysis can be obtained to further your market research and understanding, or a complex study of social media research and analysis can help you to understand how people review or perceive you in the market. If you don’t analyze feedback from your customer base, you will be making a costly mistake in your brand research initiatives.
Association or Dissociation with Events and Motives Just because you want to create a product or service or build your brand around a particular design or niche space in the market, doesn’t mean it will be successful. You can’t just build and sell tablets just because iPad’s are popular, create a bottled water company because you feel people will always need to drink water, or design makeup and cosmetics because there is a popular trend in that space this year. You have to delve deeply into your brand research strategy to truly understand the reasoning behind purchasing decisions and product and service popularity.
Inconsistent Corporate Identity Everything about your brand identity has to make sense, from the colors that you choose to represent your company, to the logo and fonts that you use throughout your campaigns, to the style of writing, tone and messaging that you implement to speak to and reach audiences. Everything has to remain consistent so that people understand your brand values and what you are offering them. If you fail, you could spend a lot of time rebranding and causing confusion to your audience and miss a lot of opportunities.
Poor Product Packaging
Product packaging is the first thing people see when looking at your brand, whether they are online or physically in store locations. Everything from materials, graphics, size, shape, and color all are important elements of packaging designs. You could spend a lot of money rebranding your packaging if your product performs poorly. On the other hand, you might spend money rebranding your packaging when it isn’t even necessary and have to revert back to the way it was. Effective brand research is going to help you understand the best elements and packaging designs that will help your company thrive.
Making the Wrong Impression If you are selling premium services, you don’t want to use commodity branding. You will deter audiences from your brand. There is a reason why so many fast food restaurant chains use the colors red and yellow, like Burger King, MacDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Carl’s Jr., and software companies use blue and black like Intel, IBM, Apple, or Google. People associate certain attributes to particular products and designs. People won’t understand what you are offering them if you make the wrong impression. Pay particular attention to detail and use the right research and analysis to make a lasting impression that makes sense with audiences.
How Brand Research Can Help
Brand marketing research is integral to the success of organizations in the modern world. In fact, no business out there that is successful in today’s market leaves home without brand research.
Brand research improves your competitiveness, visibility, and messaging and can help your business take a strategic position in the market using proven data from effective research and analysis services. Here are some of the major benefits of effective brand research:
Integrated Metrics: You can see the impacts of your project decisions and forecasts with measurable and tangible results.
Allocate Market Spend: Understand how to make investments that will lead to successful outcomes.
Identify Competition: You can not only find out who your competition is, but you can find out how and why they are successful in the market, or even discover how to position your brand in areas where your competition is lacking.
Develop Accurate Strategies: Create informed decisions built on a foundation of research and analytics with a better understanding of market developments, pricing, and positioning.
Capture Target Audience: Better understand consumer behavior and create effective marketing and advertising strategies.
Brand Perception: Truly understand how audiences feel and react to your brand, products and services.
Effective Brand Research for Organizations Across Industries
Research Optimus (ROP) has top research and analyst specialists who are tenured in market research, business research, customer analysis, and brand research services that provide the required insights to take the appropriate steps towards building effective and long lasting business brand awareness, brand marketing, and positioning strategies. Apart from services like market research, product research, and risk analysis, contact our team today to jump start or further advance your journey into brand research and obtain the targeted insights you need to avoid branding mistakes.
An introduction to brand strategy, and the tangible and intangible elements that make up a brand. And a brief discussion of the questions of to ask in order to focus and improve your brand strategy. Learn More: https://www.decisionanalyst.com/servi…
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One of the most noteworthy consumer trends to come out of Covid has been the shift in focus to community-based shopping. Of course, e-commerce has experienced a major surge, but many consumers are now searching online for shops and services in the local area to find what they need, especially as daily commutes are no longer the norm and people are avoiding unnecessary travel.
In addition to convenience, consumers want to support local businesses, as well as the communities in which they live. Shopping local isn’t just about frequenting small businesses, though. Big brands such as Marks & Spencer, Halfords, and Currys PC World are also thriving at the local level because they have a neighbourhood presence and are well-known, trusted brands that have, at least historically, conducted business predominantly offline.
But in the race to win the attention, and business, of these bricks-and-mortar shoppers, businesses must ensure their ‘Near Me’ Brand Experience (NMBX) – consisting of all the touchpoints along the customer journey from online ‘Near Me’ search to offline purchase – is meaningful and positive across multiple channels. Not only that, for global brands and multi-location businesses, this also means engaging with consumers at all levels, whether country, regional, or local.
While many companies manage these communications well at the global level, they often fall down when it comes to building positive relationships with customers at the local level.
Current research shows that around half of Google searches have a local intent, with consumers searching for products and services ‘Near Me’. But consumers aren’t just searching for local store options. They are turning online to plan their journeys, evaluate local store reviews, and engage with brands directly through social media.
It appears that global brands have started to become aware of the ‘Near Me’ Brand Experience (NMBX) and its importance in their brand strategies, with Gartner’s recent 2020 Spend Survey of CMOs revealing that the most important brand metric for 2020 is brand health – namely, what consumers know and think about a brand.
The challenge for brands has always been that the bigger the brand – and the more locations there are to manage – the more difficult it is to maintain the quality and consistency of the customer experience. To create a memorable NMBX, brands must implement the right multilateral communications strategy that ensures the online to offline customer experience is uniform at the global, regional and local levels.
Create an outstanding NMBX
Global brands tend to have their business information and reputation management under control at the global, and sometimes even at the regional level, but this is often not the case at the local level.
This can be the result of organisational silos, where different levels of the organisation don’t share plans, goals, and processes with each other, or due to a simple lack of strategy and resources applied to actively manage the brand experience from top to tail.
The first step for brands to create a successful NMBX is to identify key stakeholders at the global and regional levels to lead the initiative. This project can then be owned at the global level by a single senior marketing lead – CMO or Head of Digital. Limiting key participants tends to generate better outcomes and more efficient project implementation, while still allowing for cross-departmental cooperation.
Develop brand trust through data accuracy
One of the most overlooked, yet vital, aspects of brand trust comes from consistent data quality. Especially now, consumers are searching online for the most accurate and up-to-date information on location, opening hours, and more.However, as local information is constantly changing depending on an outlet’s location, brands need to be able to manage all changes promptly and centrally. This means updating local level data directly via a master data system, or single source of truth, so it can be kept up-to-date across a brand’s entire directory ecosystem. If done right, this will increase visibility in search engines, increase trust and positively impact customer reviews.
When it comes to data accuracy, brands are facing a particularly difficult challenge, as operating restrictions during Covid vary not only country to country, but between regions and even neighbouring cities. Just like the UK, changing government guidelines meant McDonald’s Germany needed to update their opening hours on an almost daily basis. Because local store managers are always the first to know when key business information changes, they empowered them to log in to their in-house master data management system, powered by Uberall, and update the information quickly. This meant that McDonald’s could quickly and efficiently manage data for their almost 1,500 locations in Germany. As everybody was working from a centralized data management system, they were able to stay agile and consistently provide online store information that customers could trust.
For global organizations, ensuring data accuracy across each and every location is no easy feat. But doing so is essential to build and maintain global brand trust amongst local consumers and drive foot traffic.
Strengthen brand health through reputation management and social media
Another key aspect of brand experience is consumer engagement via online reviews and social media. Managing local reviews and engaging on social media effectively can pose unique challenges, as it can be difficult to know who should be engaging with local customers and how to do so at scale, whilst still maintaining brand ethos and identity.
However, online reviews and social media are golden opportunities for brands to interact with consumers the most directly, and, if well-executed, are a crucial way to turn those interested consumers into customers and advocates.
Depending on their aims and goals, brands can manage brand reputation and social media entirely at the global level, or choose to empower local owners/operators with more independent control. Regardless of the strategy, given the breadth and sheer volume of online reviews and social media interactions, a manual approach simply isn’t feasible.
Instead, brands can use digital solutions to manage and shape their online reputation and customer engagement, allowing corporate control but providing local teams with access to online interactions as needed. By utilising a platform that makes it easy and simple to respond, backed by clear guidance and communication about core messaging, brands can make certain that their brand experience is consistent and compelling from global to local.
Today’s commercial landscape calls for a modernised approach to brand experience. Brands that are able to utilise the right technology tools, processes and feedback loops will be able to achieve an outstanding NMBX for consumers at hundreds, and even thousands, of locations.
While global brand reputation will always be important, when it comes to fostering growth, brands must also focus on improving the brand experience at the individual store level. After all, no matter how good a brand is at creating an image of quality, consistency, and trust, if a customer’s experience doesn’t match that promise, they won’t be a customer for long.
Learn what brand experience is to design a journey that leads to the successful outcome your brand offers. —————-FREE BRAND STRATEGY RESOURCES——————– // PRO BRAND STRATEGY BLUEPRINT Download your FREE Pro Brand Strategy Blueprint here: https://brandmasteracademy.com/brand-… Step-by-step brand strategy development process // BECOME A BRAND STRATEGIST Take a FREE look inside our flagship training Brand Master Secrets – All you need to level up to brand strategy and become a brand strategist. https://brandmasteracademy.com/brand-… Our flagship training “Brand Master Secrets” has everything you need to become an in-demand brand strategist, raise your expert profile, and grow your branding revenue and business. // BRAND MASTER ACADEMY Brand Master Academy is where brand builders go-to for actionable tips and techniques to, Learn Brand Strategy, Help Their Clients On A Higher Level, Raise Their Expert Profile & Branding Revenue. —————- LEARN BRAND STRATEGY IN THE COMMUNITIES ——————– // BRAND MASTER ACADEMY ON SOCIAL Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/brandmaster… Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/pg/brandmast… Linkedin – https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephen-h… Youtube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBFW… Twitter – https://twitter.com/BrandMasterAcad // JOIN THE FACEBOOK COMMUNITY https://www.facebook.com/groups/brand… Join in the conversation with other experienced and budding brand strategists to enhance your brand building systems. // EXCLUSIVE TIPS & TECHNIQUES https://brandmasteracademy.com/subscr… Get on the list for exclusive brand strategy tips and techniques —————- LISTEN TO THE BRAND MASTER PODCAST ——————– The Brand Master Podcast is a show specialized in helping professional brand builders and entrepreneurs to build brands using strategy, psychology, and creative thinking. [Two Shows Per Week] https://brandmasteracademy.com/brand-… About This Video: By the end of this video, you’ll understand what brand experience is, the role it plays in raising brand awareness, and converting prospects into clients. First, we’ll look at some of the terms that are often confused with brand experience and how they differ including experiential branding and brand activation. Next, you’ll discover what brand experience is and the ecosystem of touchpoints that contribute to it. Then we’ll uncover the misconceptions of what brand experience is not and understand why brand experience is so important in building modern brands. Finally, we’ll dive into what brand experience design is and take a look at a brand experience example in the form of Nespresso. 0:00 What Is Brand Experience? 1:21 What Is Brand Experience 2:24 What Is Brand Experience Is Not? 2:53 Why Is Brand Experience So Important? 4:30 WHat Is Brand Experience Design? 5:42 Example Of Brand Experience – Nespresso
Brand awareness is more than people simply recognizing your business name or your logo.True brand awareness entails your audience getting to know the personality behind your brand and what makes you different from your competitors.
It’s vital to build brand awareness because consumers are much more likely to buy from a brand they know and trust than one that’s new to them.A research study found that over 80% of people searching for a product on Google chose to click on websites they were already familiar with, regardless of their position in the results.
Content marketing can be a highly effective way to build brand awareness. With every piece of branded content an individual sees, they become more familiar with your brand. But while exposure is important, it’s not the only factor at play. Content can help to build your brand in several different ways.
Content marketing is an excellent way to demonstrate knowledge and expertise and build trust with your audience.
The more content you publish, the more exposure you give your brand. Every piece of content has the potential to widen your audience.
Your content is an important part of your overall brand and can be used to amplify your brand voice and reinforce your commitment to your brand values.
1. Demonstrating Authority and Expertise
By regularly publishing informative and educational content that helps to solve your audience’s problems, you demonstrate the fact that you know what you’re talking about as an expert in your industry.
For example, take a look at the blog published by marketing and CRM software company, HubSpot. HubSpot publishes a lot of detailed and useful articles on subjects such as content marketing, web design, email marketing, SEO, and customer experience.
Most of these articles are not written with the aim of selling more software licenses. Nor, indeed do they even mention the products and services that the company sells.
This informational content is not published with the aim of making more sales, but rather to share knowledge and cement HubSpot’s position as an authority in the area of digital marketing.
The audience reading HubSpot’s blog may not immediately be looking for a marketing software solution. However, with each piece of content they read, they’ll build a stronger association between the HubSpot brand and marketing knowledge.
If at some point in the future they are in the market for a CRM or marketing automation software, they’ll already have HubSpot in mind and be confident in the brand’s experience and knowledge.
2. Building Trust
Consistently publishing helpful information for your audience not only helps to demonstrate your expertise and authority but is also vital for gaining the trust of your target audience.
People don’t like to feel like they’re being sold to or that brands only have an interest in gaining their business.
Content marketing means publishing content that’s not sales focused and demonstrates you care about your audience and their problems, rather than just making the sale.
The more content your audience reads and the better they get to know your brand, the more likely they will be to trust you. The more they trust you, the more likely they are to spend money with you in the future.
3. Fleshing Out Your Brand Personality
Many brands offer very similar products and services, often at similar prices. Your brand personality is what distinguishes you from your competitors and builds relationships and loyalty with your customers.
Your content should reflect your brand values and mission. It should demonstrate what you offer beyond the products and services you sell.
Every piece of content you publish should also reflect your brand tone and voice. Whether this is fun and friendly, creative and quirky, or confident and informative depends on your audience, the industry you’re in, and how you want to position your brand.
To get this all right, it’s important to have a clear and defined brand, mission, value, voice, and content strategy that pulls it all together. Skipping over any of these steps will result in content that doesn’t have a clear voice or personality, and your brand will be weakened as a result.
4. Increasing Brand Exposure and Mentions
Every piece of content you publish gives you a new opportunity to expand your audience and reach more eyes.
Publishing content around the topics that your audience and customers are interested in is a highly effective way to boost your SEO. This means your site is more likely to come up in searches for keywords related to your business. The more content you publish, the more chances you have of showing up in search results.
Good content can help you to attract traffic from many other sources apart from search engines.
People share high-quality content on social media. Social media mentions are doubly effective because they not only help you to reach a wider audience, but a social share acts as a vote of confidence and demonstrates that others trust in your brand too.
This is increasingly important these days where 83% of consumers say they are more likely to buy a product or service if it is recommended by a friend or family member.
5. Building Customer Loyalty
Content marketing is not only important for attracting new customers but also to keep the customers you already have.
Strengthening relationships with your customers is also important for building your brand. When customers are loyal to your brand, they are more likely to recommend it to others.
Consistently publishing new content is a great way to stay in touch with your existing customers, keep your brand on their mind, and give them more opportunities to share your content and products with others.
6. Engaging Your Audience with Brand Storytelling
Everyone loves a good story. So it’s no surprise that much of the most successful content on the web involves some element of storytelling.
Likewise, some of the world’s most successful brands have a great story behind them. Just look at Apple (founded by college dropouts out of a garage) or Toms shoes (inspired by the travels of the founder and the barefoot children he met along the way).
If you can use content to tell the story of your brand in an engaging way, you’ll build an emotional connection with your audience that will make them want to read more, interact more, and buy more from your brand.
If you are ready to get more traffic to your site with quality content published consistently, check out our Content Builder Service.
Set up a quick consultation, and I’ll send you a free PDF version of my books. Get started today–and generate more traffic and leads for your business.
Facebook depends on YOU to generate relevant content. Content that people want to see again and again. You can bet they don’t want low-quality content, or content that their algorithm flags as being spamy. That’s why it’s even more difficult than ever to build organic reach with unproven content. Facebook’s algorithm will PROMOTE fanpages that push out good content consistently.
Turn your passive fanpages into sales by posting your offers alongside organic content from the web. You’re already spending money and getting fresh fans and reach. Why not improve your business by making sales with organic reach too? Spending all your time posting to your fanpage? Pull some content from web and ease your burden.
Reach local customers on 100% autopilot using your fanpage. No need for costly maintenance. Get maximum reach and maximum impact from your Facebookbfanpage. Building your pages with ads? Turn your new fans into sales by showing them organic content all the time. Build a powerful fanpage by posting a wide variety of content consistently.
Grow multiple fanpages at the same time without having to clone
yourself. Drive an ever-growing amount of traffic to your offers and websites from your fanpage through organic marketing. Get the full range of content for your fanpage, and appeal to every sort of content consumer.
Increase your Facebook ad’s benefits by adding to your bottomline through organic reach. With Viral Reach powering your Facebook pages, it’s just easier and simpler to put the right strategy in place. Your content is going to be there every day in front of your audience… and your fans are going to be engaged… ALWAYS.” (Embolden Always…).