6 Brand Strategies Most CMOs Fail To Execute

The ground rules for branding are rapidly evolving.  Social media, content marketing, the younger generation, second screening, thought-leadership and the demographic shift are just some of the many things that are challenging brands to think differently.   Creating and sustaining customer trust and loyalty is more difficult than ever before.   Building relationships with consumers has never been more challenging, with so much competition for their attention. Look at the constant barrage of pop-up and video ads that flash before our eyes every time we use our phones, turn on our computers or tablets.

Being an on-trend, relevant, inspiring, purposeful, innovative and community-centric brand – these are the things that will make people pause, listen and pay attention.  Customers want to identify with a brand they can grow with, that earns their trust and makes them feel valued.   People want to evolve with a brand whose products and services help give their business or life meaning and significance.  End to end, a brand must become a consumer’s best friend.

Whether you are a Fortune 500 company, business owner or entrepreneur, here are six brand strategies that all chief marketing officers (CMOs) must not ignore :

 

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4 Examples of Brand Strategy Driving Organizational Success

 

Social media, SEO, and mobile dominate today’s marketing discussion, with good reason. New media technologies require new thinking to capitalize on them. But, like radio and TV before them, new media are merely enablers, not solutions.

The single greatest determinant of marketing success is, and has always been, brand strategy.

Which customer niche should we target? Who are the key competitors we need to differentiate ourselves from? How can we effectively position ourselves as something better? If you don’t get the answers to these types of questions right, communications are powerless, and the media channel irrelevant. So while it’s important to leverage media technology intelligently, brand strategy is the primary determinant of marketing success – and often organizational success. Continue reading “4 Examples of Brand Strategy Driving Organizational Success”

Leveragind Branding for Long-term Growth

Brands today must be global. They must offer value across different countries and diverse cultures: that is, they must be porous enough to allow for reasonable brand and product-line extensions, broad enough to change with dynamic market conditions, consistent enough so that consumers who travel physically or virtually won’t be confused, and precise enough to provide clear differentiation from the competition. In this age of total transparency—one slipup can go around the world via social media instantaneously—a strong global brand must express the same core meanings regardless of the market it is in. If those core meanings are not stable across markets, the authenticity of the brand is threatened. Consumers who travel virtually or physically will be confused, and the brand will lose its power. If a brand is inconsistent in its central values, consumers will surely point out the discrepancies, and if they start doing this, the bottom line will suffer. But brands and products are not the same thing. While brands must be global, products introduced to new markets should be implemented with a clear understanding of the local culture and conventions, and advertised, distributed, and priced with local market conditions in mind. The distinction between brands and products became clear in 1985. Brands had existed before then, of course, but neither customers nor marketing managers genuinely understood their true power or realized that they had a life of their own independent from the products’ attributes.

Almost without exception, pre-1985 brands were product focused. Think Coca-Cola, Gillette, Nabisco, Campbell, Lipton, Goodyear, and Kellogg. Each one of these was—and still is—a very, very strong brand, but each one also, at least initially, was identified with specific product attributes, which limited growth potential and global credibility. Continue reading “Leveragind Branding for Long-term Growth”

Branding Strategy As Your Secret Marketing Weapon

Marketing without branding is like fishing without a hook. You’ll be distributing your message, sure. You may see results in the forms of sales closed and new customers. But is there even anything behind the words? As expert James Heaton eloquently puts it, your marketing is a method of pushing your message out, while your branding is the pull that attracts customers. While a marketing campaign may convert a prospect into a buyer, your brand is what retains their business for life. In an ideal scenario, it’s so much more than pure messaging. Branding strategy allows you to position your … Continue reading Branding Strategy As Your Secret Marketing Weapon