Archive for the ‘Marketing and Branding’ Category

Brands: Build on Reality—Not Advertising Campaigns

Thursday, August 17th, 2017

20846299 - typography illustration poster of brand management wordsMarketers are understandably concerned about building and protecting strong brands. An Economist article from a few years ago discusses the power of brands.  “Brands account for more than 30% of the stock market value of companies in the S&P 500 index, reckons Millward Brown, a market-research company. Everyone knows that a Ralph Lauren Polo shirt costs more than a polo shirt; Coke without the logo is just cola.”

But, brand-building efforts are sometimes misguided– (more…)

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Retailers on Red Alert: Are They Doomed?

Tuesday, July 18th, 2017

Sears. Kmart. JCPenney. Macy’s. These are just a few of the growing list of retailers announcing store closures.  

And yet, at the same time as many stores are shutting down, Amazon is opening brick and mortar stores and recently purchased 431 Whole Foods stores.

It’s an interesting dichotomy and one I considered recently as I was writing a column for the summer issue of Chippewa Valley Business Report. (more…)

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Toward a Broader Understanding of Brand

Thursday, July 6th, 2017

Most businesspeople and students of marketing would probably agree with the statement that your brand is important. Yet, despite this importance, the concept of a brand isn’t always easy to grasp. Part of that problem is because a brand is made of so many components that it needs to be considered very broadly.

In an article for Forbes titled “Your Brand Isn’t What You Think It Is,” author Ty Kiisel points out that most people don’t truly understand what a brand is. Kiisel writes: “I think most people would agree (although there are still some holdouts), your brand is not your logo or your colors. Of course the colors you choose and the way you present your name to the world is considered part of your brand, but it’s not the most important part. Your brand isn’t what you say you are either.” This is true … but what is your brand? (more…)

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Social Media: Not Just For Sales; Another Area of Big Value

Thursday, June 29th, 2017

Social media is a powerful marketing tool for any business. Business and marketing professionals are particularly drawn to the extensive reach of social media and its potential for driving droves of new customers through their virtual doors. However—and this may surprise you—social media marketers shouldn’t be focused exclusively on bringing in new business.

A recent article on the American Marketing Association (AMA) website by Lawrence Crosby looked at the effectiveness of social media marketing on another important measure of marketing success— (more…)

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The Softer Side of Brand Analysis

Friday, June 16th, 2017

We’ve written multiple posts on how to evaluate your brand, the fact that your brand is largely out of your control because it’s defined by your audience, and how to effectively manage your brand. Brands are subjective and live in the minds of your consumer, or business, audience. It can be tough to quantify the strength or weakness of a brand, which can be endlessly frustrating for numbers-driven marketers and business owners. (more…)

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Your Website and Your Employer Brand

Tuesday, June 6th, 2017

Since the dawn of the Internet Age, businesses have been quick to see the benefit of a company website to attract customers; however, a company website, like any communication channel, should be thought of in the context of all of an organization’s stakeholders. This includes business partners and potential business partners, as well as employees and – the focus of this blog post – potential employees. (more…)

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Competing with the Big Guys: Leveraging a Narrow Niche, the Personal Touch and Agility

Thursday, June 1st, 2017

Whether you’re a startup looking to break into an existing market, or an existing business looking to branch into a new product or service line, it can be intimidating to survey the competitive environment and find yourself potentially face-to-face with behemoth multinational corporations and Fortune 500 companies. While a mega-competitor could, theoretically, direct its massive resources into forcing out an upstart competitor, there are some ways to compete by exploiting the advantages small can have over large. (more…)

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Best Practices for Social Media Marketing

Tuesday, May 16th, 2017

It’s hard to succeed at anything if you’re not focused. Whether you’re golfing, driving, taking an exam or giving a presentation, losing focus on your objective can be disastrous. The same is true of your social media activity. Granted social media marketing is a longer-term activity than golfing or giving a presentation, but the importance of focus is no less important. In particular, we’ve selected three key elements marketers should keep their focus on when engaging in social media. (more…)

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Influencers: Organic or Paid? Making the Right Choice Matters

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017

Testimonials and endorsements have been a mainstay in marketing for many years. In the online environment, these concepts have been combined, embraced, and refined to drive a hot trend: influencer marketing. It works. If you think about your own purchase behaviors, you can probably trace many of those purchases—whether for some electronic device, a hairstyle, a meal, or a car—to a recommendation or referral that came from a friend or relative or that was prompted through some online endorsement from an individual you admire. How effective are these kind of endorsements? Both Nielsen and McKinsey have studied the issue.

(more…)

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Best Practices in Using Live Streaming Video

Sunday, April 30th, 2017

8970947 - illuminated light bulb in a row of dim ones concept for creativity, innovation and solutionVideo has long been touted as a must-do in content marketing, particularly in a business-to-consumer (B2C) environment. Many marketers have used video to capture special moments; showcase products, services, and personnel; and provide how-to instruction of various types. One need only look to the tremendous popularity of YouTube to discern that video communication is something consumers crave. But, can video work in the business-to-business environment? Social media channels, videographers and content marketers are betting the answer is a resounding “YES”! (more…)

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