7 Costly Mistakes That Can Be Avoided By Brand Research

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

By: https://www.researchoptimus.com/

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Decision Analyst

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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Rebrands Can Be Tricky and Expensive. Here’s How to Get It Right the First Time

About a year after its 2016 launch, Pencil realized its name was bad for business. Co-founder Sydney Liu would talk about the online storytelling platform to enthusiastic listeners at events–but would-be users, thwarted by a second-rate domain name (usepencil.com) and a barrage of unrelated search results, couldn’t find its website.

So, in 2017, the company, based in Menlo Park, California, decided to redo its logo, site design, and color scheme before ultimately relaunching as Commaful. The overhaul worked almost immediately. “Within a week, we were number one on Google for our name,” Liu says, and organic sign-ups began to increase.

Rebrands are fairly common for startups and small businesses that don’t spend the time (or money) in the early stages to get their messaging, logos, or even monikers just right, says Douglas Spencer, president and chief brand strategist at marketing consultancy Spencer Brenneman. Besides discoverability issues, “they can run into legal challenges,” he says, or “find themselves with a logo that just looks amateur.”

But change is expensive: Most small companies (with less than $30 million in annual revenue) can expect to invest $90,000 to $180,000 on a rebrand, according to marketing agency Ignyte.

Fortunately, there are ways to cut down on costs–and make sure your investment pays off.

1. Do your homework.

Serial entrepreneur Dan Demsky once had to throw away thousands of dollars of packaging because of trademark infringement issues, so when it came time to brand his latest venture (men’s travel-apparel site Unbound Merino), he started with the basics. “Memorability and ease of spelling,” Demsky says, plus “having the domain name.” He also hired a good trademark attorney.

You’ll pay $2,000 to $2,500 for a comprehensive trademark search and around $1,000 for the application, says Marc Misthal, a lawyer with intellectual property firm Gottlieb, Rackman & Reisman. Expect added costs, including extension fees, if the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office rejects your application.

2. Solicit, but limit, feedback.

Opinions are a dime a dozen, so while you’ll want to run your brand plans past some employees and clients, you’ll also need to drown out the noise. When content marketing software company PathFactory–formerly known as LookBookHQ–started considering a change to its name and logo in 2017, it limited the internal brand committee to five people.

“Keeping the decision-making committee as small as possible really helped, because everyone will have their own idea of what [the brand] should be,” Cassandra Jowett, PathFactory’s senior director of marketing, says. “Changing your company’s name is not necessarily a democratic decision. Not everyone should get a vote.”

Conduct customer research, but avoid simply asking people whether they like a potential new name, logo, or color scheme, says Emily Brackett, founder of Branding Compass, a web-based branding app for small businesses. Instead, focus on the value prop you would like your name, logo, or design aesthetic to convey.

“You could say, ‘We really want to come across as caring and compassionate,’ ” Brackett suggests. “Does this logo look caring and compassionate, or does this [other] logo look caring and compassionate?”

3. Have a rollout plan.

PathFactory officially announced its new name and logo at the 2018 SiriusDecisions Summit, a major event for the B2B marketing industry. “We tied it together with a product announcement to explain the need for a change in our image,” Jowett says. “The two together got a good reception”–and a lot of much-needed media coverage.

Prior to the official announcement, the company sent swag bags to select customers, and for months after the rebrand, PathFactory left messaging about the change on all its digital channels. Even then, “not everyone realized it was the same company,” Jowett admits.

Smaller-scale rebrands won’t require so many bells and whistles. But you should still communicate why you’re making a certain change, Brackett says. Messaging can come in the form of a press release, blog post, or email to your customers.

“You want to control the narrative,” agrees Bo Bothe, CEO of Brand­Extract, a brand strategy consultancy. “If you just throw it out there to the wolves, they’re going to tear it apart.”

4. Avoid second-guessing.

Once you’ve unveiled your redesign, expect some resistance to your changes. So don’t rush to backtrack if you receive immediate negative feedback. Chances are, the blowback will blow over. (See Slack’s early-­2019 logo redesign, below. The barrage of bad press ultimately dissi­pated.) Commaful had several users threaten to leave once it unveiled the new name and logo, though they ultimately stuck with the platform, Liu says.

“Keep in mind, the product is what matters,” Bothe says. “If the product is badass, the logo will become less relevant. As long as you’re not offending anybody, you’re probably fine.”

 If It Ain’t Broke…

When Nicolas Vandenberghe relaunched his software startup as Chili Piper in 2016, his wife and co-founder, Alina Vandenberghe, quickly designed a new logo and stuck it on the website. “It was meant to be temporary,” Nicolas recalls, but customers took to the little red pepper so much, it survived the company’s formal brand refresh last year.

Chili Piper hired a design agency to draft alternatives, but ultimately the New York City-based company realized “if we change the logo, our customers will go crazy,” Nicolas explains. “They love the logo.”

There are many reasons startups or small businesses rebrand, including copyright infringement issues and the lack of a competitive differentiator, says Brackett of Branding Compass. But founders should take a cue from Chili Piper and make sure they’re not trying to fix something that’s working.

For fledgling and cash-strapped businesses in particular, “there are so many people who haven’t fully learned about your brand,” Brackett says. “Don’t change it because you’re bored.”

 

Jeanine Skowronski Senior editor, Policygenius Magazine

 

Source: Rebrands Can Be Tricky and Expensive. Here’s How to Get It Right the First Time

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Rebranding your business can mean a complete overhaul of all of your visual marketing materials. This video can help you decide if your company is ready for this project or not. If you’re thinking about a rebrand, Visme can help you recreate all of your graphics. Try it free now: https://visme.co — There are many instances when your company might decide it’s time to start rebranding your business. The idea of a rebrand can be scary, but sometimes things happen and a rebrand just makes sense. In this video, Mike with Visme dives into a few of the reasons your company might be considering rebranding. Let’s take a look at what they are. Watch the video to see a few real life examples for each reason. 1. When your company merges with another brand. 2. When your company is bought by another. 3. When your company appoints a new CEO. 4. When your brand has acquired the wrong image. 5. When you want to reach a different audience. 6. When you’ve grown out of your initial mission. 7. When your brand needs to stay relevant. Does your company or brand fall into any of these categories? If so, it might be time to start thinking rebranding your business. However, you never want to take a project like that lightly. A rebrand is almost like a relaunch of your company in a more modern or different light, so you want to follow a rebrand strategy to a T. Learn more about our 12 step process for a successful rebrand in our detailed blog post: https://visme.co/blog/rebranding-stra… — The logos in the videos are trademarks of United Airlines, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Verizon, Huffington Post, Instagram, Burberry, MTV, TNT, airBNB, and Apple. Visme claims no ownership rights in any of these logos, and has no affiliation with these companies. All use is intended to be informative the significance of brand design details. Sources: https://logos.fandom.com/wiki/United_… https://www.verizon.com/about/our-com… https://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/a… https://www.theverge.com/2015/9/2/924… https://www.fastcompany.com/1724731/a… https://www.huffpost.com/entry/huffpo… https://www.forbes.com/sites/fruzsina… https://www.huffpost.com/entry/huffpo… https://www.fastcompany.com/1673210/a… https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/compre… https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/1469… https://www.wired.com/2016/02/mtv-wan… https://www.underconsideration.com/br… https://logos.fandom.com/wiki/TNT_(Un…) http://fortune.com/airbnb-travel-miss… https://www.underconsideration.com/br…

The First 5 Minutes of Microsoft’s Surface Presentation Included 4 Expert Public Speaking Skills

Microsoft Chief Product Officer, Panos Panay, unveiled new products on Wednesday that generated a lot of buzz. The products including Surface tablets, laptops and the company’s new smartphone, the Surface Duo. But it was the first five minutes of the presentation that caught my attention.

Last year Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella put Panay in charge of all the company’s hardware devices. Panay’s also one of the best presenters I’ve seen in years–in any company. Panay used four advanced storytelling, presentation and speaking techniques that will make you a more effective communicator. Here, I’ll take a deeper look at what he did.

1. Don’t start with products.

People don’t buy products; they buy feelings. The best presenters establish a feeling before explaining a product’s features and demos. Panay established the theme of his presentation in the first two minutes. He showed a video of his daughter, Sophia, playing the piano. He said,

“In order for Sophia to play her best, that piano has to be ready. It has to be tuned perfectly. The bench has to be the right height, her sheet music at eye level.”

Panay was making the point that when the instrument–the technology– is right, it allows Sophia to unleash her creative talent. “When all the pieces line up, you can stop thinking. You’re just inspired to play better.” Panay has just made an emotional connection with the audience and framed the products as much more than new hardware–they’re instruments to help them unleash their inspired creativity.

2. Tell customer stories.

Panay’s first slides showed photos of several people–real customers with inspiring stories. For example, he showed a picture of Steve Gleason, a former professional football player diagnosed with ALS. Gleason is an advocate for Microsoft’s products that help people living with disabilities. Another photo showed Collete Davis, a race-car driver who runs her career like a startup–using Microsoft hardware, of course.

As humans, we’re wired for stories. We think in story, talk about stories, and enjoy information delivered in narrative form. Tell more stories to win people over.

3. Use multimedia to engage the audience.

Stories are engaging, as are photos and videos. We are not wired to engage with text and bullet points on slide. And that’s why there were no bullet points in Panay’s presentation. In fact, the first slide with text appeared ten minutes into the presentation–and even then, it was only one sentence.

Most presenters don’t use video, but they should. People love video. Research shows that videos and images are far more engaging than text alone. But communicators are often reluctant to insert videos into their presentations as Panay did when she showed his daughter playing piano.

Neuroscientists have found that visual and verbal information are encoded in different parts of our brain. University of Washington molecular biologist, John Medina, has addressed the phenomenon in his research. Simply put, Information that’s presented in text, pictures and video for is more richly encoded. Adding a video is more likely to stamp your idea on another person’s brain.

4. Connect with the audience.

Panay uses a speaking style that requires confidence and practice. You can see him in action in the video of the event. From time to time, Panay steps off the stage and walks among the audience members as he delivers information about the products. He’s not relying on notes or a prompter as he does so. Panay hits his marks and makes it look effortless because he’s put in the practice time to make the presentation great.

Delivering a great presentation doesn’t come naturally to most people. Presentations that leave a strong impression on the audience requires creativity and practice. When you get access to an expert like Panos Panay, it’s worth investing the time to watch his performance.

By: Carmine Gallo Keynote speaker and author, ‘Five Stars: The Communication Secrets to Get From Good to Great

Source: The First 5 Minutes of Microsoft’s Surface Presentation Included 4 Expert Public Speaking Skills

391K subscribers
Watch as Microsoft Chief Product Officer Panos Panay talks about the importance of technology fading to the background and how these products can help you achieve more. Microsoft products, a symphony of technology between Windows, Surface, Office and AI, are designed to amplify your ideas, get you into your flow and let you build what’s in your mind and heart. Like an instrument, our products, our technology fades to the background so you can focus on your craft. Learn more at http://msft.social/PPTech

 

Perpay Is an Amazon-Style Marketplace That’s Just for People Living Paycheck to Paycheck

Meet Beverly. She’s worked at UPS for 10 years. She has one to two kids and is earning $40,000 to $50,000 per year. She has limited or no access to credit and can’t handle an unexpected expense of more than $500. And her fridge just broke.

Chris DiMarco knows Beverly well; she’s a hypothetical representation of the target customer for Perpay, the fintech company he launched in 2014. DiMarco co-founded the Philadelphia-based Perpay, along with David Hayne, with the goal of helping people who struggle with debt better afford unplanned big-ticket purchases.

On Perpay’s Amazon-style shopping site, users can buy items from brands like KitchenAid and LG–basically anything you can find at Best Buy or Walmart, DiMarco says. They pay for purchases over time with deductions from each paycheck.

Instead of charging interest to make money, Perpay operates like other e-commerce marketplaces: It buys items wholesale from distributors and sells them at a markup. The model is paying dividends. With more than one million users to date, Perpay’s revenue has grown 18,166 percent over three years to $22.5 million in 2018–helping it land No. 5 on Inc.‘s annual tally of the fastest-growing private companies in the U.S.

A light bulb moment

This isn’t DiMarco’s first time on the Inc. 5000. In 2015, his previous venture, Lamps.com, a Philadelphia-based e-commerce site that primarily sells lamps and other lighting equipment, landed on Inc.‘s list at No. 161. While the 12-person company pulled in north of $3 million in revenue that year, DiMarco got the urge to start another company, so he stepped down as CEO.

His idea for Perpay came from examining Lamps.com’s HR benefits. Various providers promise to reward employees with items like discounted movie tickets, among other goods. Vendors clearly had large enough profit margins to afford discounts, and were choosing which companies could access them. DiMarco wondered if he could make a direct-to-consumer version.

He posed the concept to Hayne, his childhood friend who was the COO of Free People, a women’s apparel brand owned by Urban Outfitters that Hayne’s father founded in 1970. Hayne, Lamps.com’s first investor, was intrigued.

The pair started by identifying common financial stresses in people’s lives to find their ideal customer. Working backward, they stumbled onto the Perpay marketplace concept; both men had worked in the retail world, but neither had any formal experience with the rent-to-own industry, which differs from the layaway model by allowing customers to obtain the goods they want immediately and pay for them over time.

Perpay’s offices in Philadelphia.Hannah Yoon

Still, the more they thought about the idea, the more they liked it: a “white knight” alternative to rent-to-own vendors that cater to vulnerable consumers, often charging them extremely high interest rates and fees. One example: Rent-a-Center, the massive Plano, Texas-based rent-to-own furniture and electronics business, regularly charges customers up to three times a retail item’s list price or tacks on other fees that are roughly equivalent to triple-digit annual percentage rates, according to a 2017 NerdWallet investigation. (Rent-a-Center did not respond to several requests for comment and verification.)

Perpay also charges more than traditional retailers, on average. A Ring Video Doorbell 2 on Perpay currently costs $259.99 plus $12.99 shipping. The same item on Best Buy’s website is $199.99 with free shipping, and comes with a free Amazon Echo Dot.

While Perpay enjoys an A-plus rating on the Better Business Bureau’s website, it has drawn a number of complaints about its pricing. To that, DiMarco says: “We’re very comfortable with our pricing, because it’s so much fairer than the alternative.”

Perpay may also levy fees on users who don’t pay on time. The company’s terms and conditions list a $35 charge each time a customer delays a payment. DiMarco counters that the company has never actually levied that $35 fee, and that the language is “standard legal verbiage” recommended by the company’s lawyers. The clause, he says, exists for legal protection–and he’s considering removing the fee entirely. Even so, he adds: “If you follow our rules, you’ll be fine.”

A place for all

Perpay could make sense for a specific segment of users, says Graciela Aponte-Diaz, a policy director at the Durham, North Carolina-based Center for Responsible Lending. Those who live in states with fewer financial regulations, like California, for instance, might consider it as an alternative to payday loans, which are small, short-term unsecured loans. Payday lenders in the state have been known to charge some of the highest interest rates in the country, adds Aponte-Diaz. By contrast, Perpay may be less attractive for those in high-regulation states like New York, as it faces tougher competition from providers.

DiMarco insists his product has a place in any employed and credit-challenged person’s household, and he says that Perpay more closely competes with rent-to-own vendors than payday lenders. “All situations are different,” he says. “We just work with the customer on what the best approach is.”

Some customers, for example, need to find alternative methods of payment if they get fired or change jobs midway through paying for an item. Perpay employs a full-time staffer dedicated to solving those issues–solutions range from allowing customers to pay installments with debit cards to putting accounts on hold–and recently instituted automated tools to help manage payment reschedulings.

That kind of individual attention may prove challenging as Perpay continues to scale. DiMarco’s short-term goal is to add more marketplace categoriesthe company recently added tires and baby equipment to its catalog. His long-term goal is to create stronger relationships with wholesale distributors so he can lower Perpay’s prices. He also expressed interest in expanding Perpay’s scope. One idea: a Perpay-backed credit card, with which consumers’ Perpay history could help improve their real-life credit. Currently, using Perpay does not affect users’ credit, for better or worse.

“The ultimate goal would be to improve somebody’s credit to the point where they actually are a prime borrower,” DiMarco says. “Can we do that today? No. But we’d like to keep providing more products to our best customers.”

Clarification: An earlier version of this article contained a reference the inclusion of which overemphasized the significance of Perpay’s terms and conditions statement regarding its ability to edit or otherwise alter online reviews. The reference has been removed. While the company can edit or otherwise alter third-party reviews, the company doesn’t, nor does it plan to. 

By: Cameron Albert-Deitch

 

 

Source: Perpay Is an Amazon-Style Marketplace That’s Just for People Living Paycheck to Paycheck | Inc.com

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