Archive for category Marketing Strategy
Nike, Adidas, Puma. These are all brands that could come into mind when thinking of athletic goods and active lifestyles. But what distinguishes these sports-focused brands? What images come to mind when thinking about them? Do you know what they stand for? Guy Kawasaki, former chief evangelist of Apple, states “In the real world, you don’t have infinite resources; you don’t have a perfect product; and you don’t sell to a growing market without competition. You’re also not omnipotent, so you cannot enforce what people think your brand represents. Under these assumptions, most companies need all the help they can get with branding.”
See what Kawasaki, an icon in the advertising industry, has to say here: https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140317131156-2484700-the-art-of-branding?trk=prof-post
OLAA brand developers Sheri Audette, Alyse Stranberg and Micah Panzich agree, and share their viewpoints on Kawasaki’s art of branding:
A mistake a company can make in the branding process is having more than one message in one brand campaign. When it comes to creating a branding statement, make it simple and to the point rather than try to reach multiple markets with different messages. Sheri Audette, Art Director, Integrated Advertising states, “Less is more when it comes to branding a company statement. Trying to fit everything in one piece/campaign is misguiding and creates confusion in your audience.”
Examine the bounce back. Alyse Stranberg, OLAA Lead Strategist, Integrated Advertising states, “This is critical. What you may believe to be clear and direct, can easily be missed or misunderstood. And because your audience is often made up of a variety of consumers, it’s always a good reminder to ask those around you who relate to the target demographic. This can be a small sampling (you don’t want too many chefs in the kitchen), and the findings can be hugely beneficial. It’s important to step back and look at a message newly, as a potential consumer. Re-review the goals and objectives of the campaign’s message, and then ask yourself, ‘what’s the brand, what’s the call to action, what’s the differentiator, the WHY.’”
Strive for humanness. “This may be something used in marketing, but can also be seen in things as simple as song writing. Take it from the Beatles. Song titles like, I Feel Fine, All MY Loving, From ME To YOU, Drive MY Car, Can’t Buy ME Love, Hide YOUR Love Away, Please Please ME, She Loves YOU, I ME MINE, I Want YOU, I’LL Be Back, Etc… They figured out from the start that the audience really connected with a song when the lyrics became personable. This no doubt led them to some great success, even when the Stones were actually a better band,” states Micah Panzich, OLAA Graphic Designer, Integrated Advertising.
Consumers want to be targeted as an individual, not as an entire market. A crucial component of developing a personal connection with your target market is creating a personal experience for each consumer. When developing your brand, always envision the consumer’s personal ownership of the product or service and how that will translate into a relationship to a brand as a whole. For example “My Nikes, My Adidas, My Pumas.”
Although the art of branding is a continually evolving component of marketing, using these fundamentals has proved to be helpful when working with our OLAA clients when developing brands.
When a negative patient experience or an unconfirmed rumor begins to travel across social media channels, does your team know how to respond?
Here’s a “checklist” to prepare for these moments:
- Designate a social media auditor. Daily, a team member should be responsible for monitoring engagement activity to ensure that when a sensitive post occurs it is identified and addressed in real time.
- Bring the team together. Once an issue arises, determine who from the team is to be brought in. Legal representation? A patient quality or experience advocate? A Director, CMO or CEO? The communications team and all other necessary influencers should be in the same room.
- Discuss the facts, and develop a response. Is the post a general complaint? Does it reveal private medical information? Was what was shared true, or is some of the story missing? Whether responded to privately or publicly, and if the response explicitly acknowledges the circumstance or is simply generalities, the designated action should align with the brand’s vision and mission.
- Debrief. Review the outcomes of the response and discuss how the team can apply best practices going forward as the new standard.
Social Media PR issues are not alleviated with a “one-size-fits-all” approach, yet having a proactive process in place will strengthen your team’s ability to respond with intelligence and compassion.
Leveraging Authentic Language for Branding and Marketing Strategies
OLAA’s integrated advertising team is always keeping up to date with and brainstorming new, innovative and relevant ways to create buzz amongst consumers. Yet, the oldest form of advertising, word of mouth (WOM) communication is still the most powerful tool for influencing brands. This week, we came across an article that describes just how powerful “word of mouth” communication is, and how this ties in with digital marketing. Check it out:
From our perspective, brands can have a brand promise, but how does a guarantee truly work to their advantage? How does this help a brand stand out amongst the competition? The key to success is maintaining consistency. What your customers actually experience with the product, customer service and what your brand stands for should match what is shared in advertising and marketing messages and brand images. That’s what makes a promise deliverable and believable. And when that promise is delivered upon, customers develop trust and loyalty. This is what gets people talking in natural, every day conversations.
From what we’ve seen, heard and read, word of mouth mentions are far more powerful, and occur most often, when consumers are interacting with others offline. “Americans engage in many conversations about brands every day and more than two-thirds of those conversations involve a recommendation to buy, consider or avoid the brand.”
Yet even with the majority of recommendations occurring in person, WOM isn’t only spread through face-to-face testimonials. Today consumers use sites such as Yelp or Trip Advisor to share their experiences and to assist in their own decision making process. The feedback from previous customers is a major determinant in the decision making process for a potential customer. WOM provides a sense of authenticity that future customers trust.
Positive reviews and customer referrals support differentiation and advertising messages. Unfortunately, rule of thumb is that an unsatisfied customer will spread the word of their negative experience to twice as many people as a satisfied customer. Delivery of a brand promise, consistency in brand messaging and appropriate encouragement of positive sharing can help sway this in a brand’s favor.
Social media is another outlet for digital WOM to occur. Yet, if fans aren’t engaging with a brand through sharing and commenting, the outlet becomes one-sided with marketing messages only coming from the brand source. This transforms a digital engagement tool to a traditional advertising medium, and the benefits of social WOM can be lost.
Word of mouth tactics are implemented into OLAA clients’ brand development and marketing strategies. For example, OLAA client, Hawaii Forest & Trail differentiates itself in the market by delivering professional nature adventures that transform visitors and locals through sights, stories, knowledge and experiences. The guides are natural experts of the Big Island’s terrain and are genuinely passionate about what they do. The personnel respect that their customers are on vacation and make it a constant priority to take care of them.
This kind of personal customer service results in positive feedback and translates online when customers use social media sites to share their experience with friends and family. Pictures and tagging locations increase the number of referrals of family and friends when customers enjoy their stay. At Hawaii Forest & Trail, the customer is buying an experience, making memories, and sharing their time with a company who cares.
This sentiment was not only shared with us from the Hawaii Forest & Trail staff. It was reiterated to us from their customers, who OLAA spoke with as part of the View From the Field™ and Orange Label Process™. OLAA is leveraging true WOM, authentic language as part of the rebranding process, to ensure that the brand message and image are aligned with the company’s vision and the customers’ perceptions. This consistency, as mentioned earlier, is what establishes and sustains trust amongst customers and increases WOM communication – both online and offline.
WOM communication plays a major role in supporting a company’s advertising message. Tell us your thoughts on “word of mouth” and how it has worked for you.