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Marketing

Marketing

Get out-of-the-box and discover small marketing ideas with big impact!

GuyInBox

You don’t have to spend a lot of money or time to attract new customers. Step out-of-the-box and consider if one or more of the following marketing ideas might be a fit with your business.

  1. CROSS-PROMOTE– Find another business that also targets or caters to your market. Promote in or on their products and open the door to a new delivery channel for your marketing message. For example, what if a vision center partnered with a book store?  The vision center could print nicely designed book marks that can be given away free at the checkout. Include a famous quote or saying and at the bottom ask the question, “Having trouble reading this bookmark? Come see us!” Likewise, the book store could design a fibercloth for cleaning glasses that could be given to each customer that includes the text, “Put your new glasses to good use…” This is what you call a win-win!
  2. DRAW TRAFFIC– A great way to increase awareness of your business is by holding events in or even outside your location.  For example, many Chambers of Commerce seek business locations to hold morning networking meetings, a non-profit group might welcome the opportunity to have a fundraisers.  In the case of the latter, you may even offer to donate a percentage of your sales on a particular day and have the non-profit group help promote it to their supporters.
  3. PIGGYBACK PROMOTION– Have some promotions already developed so that you can quickly take advantage when a larger neighboring store has a big advertised sale. That way you are ready to go even at the last minute.
  4. CREATE PACKAGES– Customers often lack imagination. Do the work for them and watch your sales grow. Combine services or products together and give them a package name and special price.  This is a great way to give new life and purpose to your products.  For example, a local deli could package some “comfort” items like banana bread, cheese & crackers, and a quart of homemade soup and market it as the “Under the weather” package and encourage customers to pick it up for a friend who is sick or injured.  The customer is not likely to think about purchasing those items separately for that purpose, but the “package” will prompt them to think for whom they could buy it.

  5. VOICE MAIL – Make your voice mail message work for you. Take the opportunity to ask your customers to Like you on Facebook or Follow you on Twitter. Tell them about a special “package” you are now offering, or about a big sale you have coming up.  Reinforce your brand by telling them why you are different than the competition.

 

Author: Bethany Meadows is the owner of Vertical Solutions Media Inc. She has over 20 years of solid marketing experience in a wide array of industries including insurance, financial, pharmaceutical, retail, hospitality, and more. 

 

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Brand IdentityMarketing

Six Key Considerations Before Branding Your Company

brand word in letterpress type

Clearly, creating or rejuvenating a company’s brand is a critical initiative. Creating or establishing a strong, vibrant brand is not about creating advertising, an ad campaign, or a new slogan. It is a strategic issue that should be undertaken with a disciplined approach because if done properly, the initiative should be a long-term investment that stands the test of time.

However, to be truly effective, a company’s brand cannot just be an external projection or some creative “face” applied to a company.  We believe an organization’s brand must be developed “inside out.”  Having a clear understanding of corporate culture, core values, as well as business strategy is vital to the creation of a strong company brand—a brand that is not based on short term marketing positioning, but rather is anchored deeply in the “DNA” of the organization.

So is it time to redefine or rejuvenate your brand?

There are many events that can signal the need for rebranding such as a merger, a major acquisition, a significant change in business strategy, or a new business venture.  Even if you are not experiencing one of these milestone events, you can assess your current brand by asking yourself the following questions along 6 simple dimensions of brand strength.

If you are expecting dynamic company growth, category leadership, or a distinctive and superior competitive position and the answers to the following questions do not seem to align with the expectations for your company, perhaps it is time to consider a strategic branding initiative.

  1. Loyalty – Is this a brand for which a customer is willing to pay a premium?  Is the brand consistently in the top 3 of the customer’s considered set?  How easily will the customer switch brands?  Is retention high?
  2. Perceived Quality – Compared to other alternatives, is the brand seen as the best, or one of the best?
  3. Distinctiveness – Is the brand seen as distinctively different on dimensions that are important to a large number of potential users?  Does the brand have a “deep drawer” with many rich and positive associations?  Is the brand highly respected, trusted, liked, with strong functional and emotional ties.
  4. Awareness – Is the brand top-of-mind in awareness?  Is it a leader in unaided awareness?  In recognition?


Visual Imagery/Deployment      

Of Brandable Assets

Are the visual representations of the brand consistent across applications and geography?  Do they consistently enhance the strategy/position of the brand?  Do they help the brand stand apart and above the competition?  Do they contribute to strong recognition and deliver positive cues for the brand?  Are the brandable assets deployed in a manner that maximizes the effectiveness of available brand support resources?

Market Performance

Is share growing? Are sales growing? Is distribution expanding? Is the % of business done on promotion increasing or decreasing?

One final recommendation, if you think it may be time, work with a proven, professional brand development firm to help you create and establish a strong, vital brand that endures over time.

 

AUTHOR: Terry Slaughter is President and Senior Creative Officer of the Slaughter Group, a consulting and design firm specializing in the creation of external corporate identities and the development of internal cultures. Learn more at our Contributors tab.

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