Tames Howtobuildabrand

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A step-by-step guide to building a brand that is focused, differentiating, likable, and "hits ya\' in the gut" (a good, memorable way).

A step-by-step guide to building a brand that is focused, differentiating, likable, and "hits ya\' in the gut" (a good, memorable way).

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  • 1. PAMELA TAMES 602-992-7773 ❘ ©2009, ZANTIUM, LLC
  • 2. Build A Brand
  • 3. A great brand holds the promise of an expectation or a desire to be fulfilled. But what promise? What does the market really want? Step one makes that discovery. You’ve heard the adage, ‘you see a lot by observing.’ We research. We talk with people. We do surveys. We look for insights, for the “aha” and the emerging trend. For Apple Computers, it was the insight that technology needed to be simple to use. We know we’ve got something when we have a ‘hinge moment.’ Suddenly a door opens and we shift to a new perspective, discern a trend, or ‘connect the dots.’ Ultimately, the aha is our stealth competitive advantage—stealth, because no one else has seen what we’ve seen. At least not yet. 1. ANALYZE MARKET TRENDS WHAT IS THE “AHA?” IS THERE A PATTERN OR TREND WE CAN “OWN?”
  • 4. They’re out there and they don’t always play nice. They definitely want to eat your lunch. They’re your competition and you better know what you’re up against. Which companies represent the greatest threat? What are they doing right? Where are they making mistakes? What are their brand and pricing strategies? Any possible co-marketing or strategic alliances? We map out the competitive landscape so we can see exactly where we stand, or need to. 2. MAP THE COMPETITIVE LANDSCAPE WHO ARE THEY? WHAT ARE THEIR BRANDS? WHAT ARE THEY DOING WELL & WHERE ARE THEY STUMBLING?
  • 5. You have an ambition for your brand. You want it to go places, be something when it grows up. What is that brand ambition? What perceptual space do you want to own? How is your brand positioned now, before doing any new communications? Creation of the brand ambition involves (1) a thorough understanding of the brand equity and the latent qualities of the brand that can be leveraged; (2) comprehensive knowledge of the competitive landscape and market; (3) an analysis of the business strategy and the objectives for the brand. Step three also includes a frank assessment of the brand’s flaws or weaknesses—its Achilles' Heel. It could be lack of resources or over- reliance on an outside partner. Better to know it now than to let a competitor stick it in your face later. When you understand your weaknesses, you can make them into strengths. 3. SWOT YOUR BRAND. HOW ARE YOU POSITIONED TODAY? WHAT ARE THE OBSTACLES & THREATS? WHAT’S THE BRAND AMBITION?
  • 6. President Obama went online to help win on a platform of change. How will your brand serve your business goals while wowing the world? How will you use communications to drive the business and brand? What are milestones for measuring promotional success? The business goals guide in establishing brand priorities. With prioritization comes focus. With focus comes precision, and with precision comes powerful communications. Step four also involves an analysis of the most important objectives marketing must address. Are we restaging the brand, accentuating under leveraged elements of the brand, introducing a line extension, or launching a specific tactical response to local competitive actions? 4. BUSINESS STRATEGY & COMMUNICATION GOALS WHAT ARE YOUR TOP BUSINESS GOALS & TIMELINES? WHAT DOES SUCCESS LOOK LIKE IN 3 TO 5 YEARS?
  • 7. Tell me a story. Those are some of the most powerful words we have because stories register in the heart and gut. Branding, too, is about telling (not selling) a story. Creating a brand story starts with an articulation of the best the brand can be; that is, the three most powerful, differentiated truths about the brand. We look for meanings, associations, category benefits, and iconic aspects. We use poetic, metaphoric language to capture emotional nuance. We also ask questions to capture the emotional tone or personality of the brand. We weave market insights into the story to connect and foster loyalty. The brand story is in fact your brand equity. It also provides a clear direction and vision for communications and business development. 5. THE BRAND STORY & MESSAGES. WHAT DOES THE BRAND MEAN? WHAT’S IT PERSONALITY? DOES IT INSPIRE, LEAD THE COMPETITION, INCITE TO ACTION?
  • 8. You have many target markets but only one conceptual target (CT). Harley Davidson’s target markets included wealthy doctors, lawyers and other professionals who wanted the occasional walk on the wild side. Their CT was “rebels was cash.” In this step, we characterize your CT by going beyond demographics to capture a deeper sense of who uses the brand. We then define their core desire —the need, hope or fear that the brand can most meaningfully satisfy. In establishing this, the brand takes on two critical success factors: relevance and resonance. 6. CONCEPTUAL TARGET & DEEP DESIRE HOW DO WE DESCRIBE YOUR TARGET MARKET ARCHETYPICALLY, CAPTURING THEIR ESSENCE & SOUL? WHAT MATTERS MOST TO THEM?
  • 9. This is where we determine if the brand can deliver on its promise, the moment where the rubber meets the road. This is “white paper” territory, the features and benefits section. What are the key facts that support your belief that the brand can satisfy the core desire of the conceptual target? 7. THE BRAND’S TRUTH CAN THE BRAND TRULY FULFILL THE CORE DESIRE? WHAT ARE ITS FEATURES & BENEFITS?
  • 10. Implicit in how we conceptualize the brand is the strategy. As we circle through the previous steps, we look for a single flow of thought that builds to a compelling conclusion, the big brand idea. A great brand idea is precise, inspirational and focused. It’s the catalyst for developing creative communications that will fully realize the brand ambition. For the MasterCard campaign, the big brand idea was “Priceless.” It led to the enormously successful campaign: “There are some things money can’t buy; for everything else there’s MasterCard.” 8. THE BIG BRAND IDEA & THE MARKETING STRATEGY
  • 11. If you don’t brand yourself, the market will and you probably won’t like it. You create a brand to proclaim what you stand for and to capture market share. You also create it to provide vision. Its the job of the creative director to guide the expression of that vision in all the creative. This includes the NAME, LOGO, ICON, TAGLINE, VISUAL IMAGERY, VOCABULARY, DESIGN, COLORS, and COPYWRITING. If the creative director also happens to be a copywriter, well, it’s your lucky day! CREATIVE DIRECTION & CAMPAIGN ROLL OUT BRINGING YOUR BRAND TO LIFE.
  • 12. The Brand Gets Personal: Online Marketing
  • 13. Online, content is the tool that shows off your expertise. You start with an understanding of your buyers and build content especially for them. This step is dedicated to creating buyer profiles: who they are? What issues and problems do they want solved? Where do they go for information (preferred media)? What kinds of keywords and phrases do they use? What are their daily activities and influencers? The best way to get this information is by interviewing them, tracking the media they track, and reading the stuff they read. The keywords and phrases will later be incorporated into content to establish recognition and relevance and drive organic search engine optimization (SEO). A. BUYER PROFILES & CUSTOMER NICHES WHO ARE THEY? WHAT ARE THEIR PROBLEMS? WHERE DO THEY LOOK FOR SOLUTIONS?
  • 14. This where we start to think like publishers: consider first, our buyer’s problem, and second, our product or service. Online, people are not looking for ads. They’re looking for information and insights. You demonstrate brand leadership through your dedication to solving problems. This steps also involves creation of an editorial strategy that tailors content to each buyer profile or niche, in their preferred media. This could mean adding links to your brochure website with pages organized by buyer personae, or creating an ebook, white paper, news releases of interest to buyer groups, blog, podcast, or videos (YouTube). The editorial strategy must link content to action (eg, sign up for a free ebook; send ezine to leads offering new content and special offers). B. CONTENT STRATEGY: BRIDGING CUSTOMERS & THE BRAND WHO’S ON YOUR EDITORIAL TEAM? HOW CAN CONTENT BEST SERVE STRATEGY?
  • 15. On the web, success equals content. One of the easiest ways to get content into the market is via an online media room with RSS feeds. We include links in news releases to drive inbound links (search engines increase the rankings of the page where the URL is pointing when the link appears on the news release). We develop a lexicon of words and phrases our buyers use and incorporate them into news releases to optimize search engine marketing tool. We create a regular editorial calendar that includes a series of news releases showing your company is ‘busy.’ Consistent, high quality news release content brands a company as an important market player, active expert in the industry, and a trusted resource. C. PR STRATEGY & ONLINE MEDIA ROOM WHAT SHOULD YOU WRITE A PRESS RELEASE ABOUT? HOW CAN YOU OPTIMIZE IT FOR SEO?
  • 16. Search engines care about two things: 1) the number of high-quality inbound links to your website; 2) the amount + quality of content on your site. Blogging delivers both through inbound links from other bloggers, blog search engines, and blog directories; and through focused, relevant content. The more often you update the content, the more frequently search engines visit. Who is your blogging team? What do you blog about? Inside perspectives. People stories. Announcements, updates, and thank you’s. Features, or media-worthy stories. Issues and perspectives. “Behind the scenes” happenings. Forums (for community members). Anything you’d include in an email newsletter or a press release. Photos, video or audio from events or interviews. The key to success in blogging is authenticity, passion, transparency, and personality. Once you’ve got a blog rolling, you reach out through social media channels and aggregating sites (eg, Facebook, FriendFeed, YouTube, Twitter) to create and participate in communities abuzz with conversations that matter. D. BLOGGING & OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGIES HOW TO USE BLOGS & SOCIAL MEDIA TO SPARK CONVERSATIONS THAT MATTER.
  • 17. Before YouTube made video commonplace on the web, you’d only see small forays into corporate video. Usually these efforts were mundane and predictable—stuff like broadcasts of the CEO’s speech at the annual meeting. Highly unlikely to go viral. Some companies are still experimenting, often by imbedding video (typically hosted at YouTube) into their existing blogs. Others (IBM) create a regular series of videos that might be delivered through a video blog (vlog), an online video channel at a company site, or a vodcast (a video series syndicated with iTunes or RSS feeds). Today, video is exploding online and everywhere else. As of July/08 there were 8.6M mobile video users in the US. What’s your video strategy? What will you shoot? What’s the balance of brand advertising to content? E. HTTP://WWW.YOURCOMPANY.TV LET’S GO HOLLYWOOD! LET’S GO VIRAL!
  • 18. SEO is the art and science of ensuring words and phrases on your site, blog, and other online content are found by search engines, and that once found, your site is given the highest ranking possible in the natural search results. Search engine advertising is when you pay to have advertising appear when a user types in a particular phrase that the marketer has purchased. The best way to do search engine marketing is to start with buyer profiles, build content for each (content that talks about the problems they face, in the words an phrases they use), and deliver the content in online forms they prefer. This content designed especially for your buyers will be indexed by search engines. If this doesn’t sound familiar, please see Step A. F. SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING LOST AND FOUND, THANKS TO CONTENT.
  • 19. PAMELA TAMES 602-992-7773 ❘ ©2009, ZANTIUM, LLC