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Brand Audit

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PPT created by Kulin Marketing founder Elizabeth Kulin and her graduate school classmates.

PPT created by Kulin Marketing founder Elizabeth Kulin and her graduate school classmates.

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  • Analysis: Currently, referQuest offers incentives that no other type Online social networking platform offers. People that can fulfill the requests of others or know people that can help with the fulfillment yearn to be recognized for their time and effort. Offering commission to connectors and fulfillment to client requests, referQuest has carved out a niche market presence which has the potential to develop greater awareness, and increased loyalty as the platform matures, and becomes more ubiquitous amongst online users. 2 ways to use ReferQuest: Client v. Connector Using ReferQuest as a client:   ReferQuest allows you to post notices regarding what you're looking for, and how much you're willing to pay when someone (a "connector") helps you find it. The referral fee you post will attract connectors to assist you as you seek or sell a service or item.   ReferQuest doesn't take any payment upfront; when you're satisfied that you've found what you're looking for, the site trusts you to pay the referral fee you set. You can indicate that the transaction is closed by clicking on the status update button that appears next to the record of your posting in your Dashboard.   Paying the referral fee when you've finished a transaction will help you gain and maintain your standing as a highly-starred requester. A high rating will help ensure that highly-starred participants will want to work with you. It's up to you to decide how much you'll pay as a reward to find what you're looking for.   ReferQuest does not charge fees to post. It does charge by taking a 20% commission of the commission you post. For example, if you post a $20 reward, ReferQuest will take $4, leaving $16 for the connector. If you want the net fee you offer a refer-er to be $20, you would commit to pay $24.   2. Working with ReferQuest as a connector: Anyone can make referrals on ReferQuest. Connectors (people who make referrals) don't have to be professionals. If you see a posting and know someone who could fulfill the request, you can send them an message through the ReferQuest system. Your friend will then have a chance to contact the requester via ReferQuest. If the requester chooses your friend, they will be expected to report the transaction as closed, at which point they will be prompted to pay you the reward they promised.   All members of ReferQuest are on the honor system, and honest participation helps members gain, and maintain, higher star ratings. When the requester closes the transaction (that you helped to set up), you are due the referral reward that they offered . It's easy for the requester to pay the reward through the site. If you're the connector and want to make sure you get paid, or if you were referred, and want to make sure the friend who connected you got paid, then you can send a note to the requester through the site, prompting them to pay. Keep in mind that ultimately, however, ReferQuest can't force the requester to pay... so, when choosing among requesters whose requests you can serve, check to see that they have a good rating. Getting paid as a connector:   Payments on ReferQuest are made through PayPal.
  • In the category POP, it refers to something that ReferQuest has and also similar to other players or companies that fall under the same segment. In this category, When referring back to ReferQuest, their category POP is offering a medium where people who looks for service can meet those who offer them. This is something that other companies has too, for example, their main competitor who is craigslist also offer a place where buyer, seller, and people who offer service can meet with people who are looking for them. When a brand can find out their competition POP, they brand should be in a strong or unbeatable competitive position. I think that ReferQuest has achieved to create their competition POP where people who refers will get reward because of their recommendation and I strongly believes that this will make ReferQuest to be in an unbeatable competitive position.
  • In the category POP, it refers to something that ReferQuest has and also similar to other players or companies that fall under the same segment. In this category, When referring back to ReferQuest, their category POP is offering a medium where people who looks for service can meet those who offer them. This is something that other companies has too, for example, their main competitor who is craigslist also offer a place where buyer, seller, and people who offer service can meet with people who are looking for them. Here is a screenshot that shows how two of these websites are similar to one another. In craigslist you could find many category of services and it also the same as in referquest. Secondly, it is also a social community because people are allowed to offer their business in these websites.
  • Points of difference are attributes or benefits that consumers strongly associate with a brand, positively evaluate and believe that they could not find to the same extend with a competitive brand. There are three segments in categorizing point of difference. They are functional, performance related or abstract, and also imagery related consideration. ReferQuest fall under the category of performance related because they are service based business so they are rely on performance attribute of their business. I believe that ReferQuest’s points of difference is the reliability that they offer. This reliability comes from the people who offer jobs or services. There is an indication about their credibility from the amount of stars that they have next to their screen name. However, I find this point of difference could be further enhanced by allowing people to leave comment on the screen name. This could help other users of the website to see whether they had good or bad reputation, in addition to the stars that they have earned. This comment box and the stars could further strengthen ReferQuest’s point of difference and made them to be a strong player in the segment.
  • ReferQuest, as like other companies, must be able to segment their target market in the right manner. Without the proper segmentation, they will lose all possible customers and also jeopardize the business as a whole. This are some of the frameworks that could help ReferQuest to segment their target market. First, they have to realize the segmentation bases of their consumers. With the service that they are providing, the bases for their segmentation is customer oriented. This means that it related to what kind of person or organization the customer is. There are many elements that included in the segmentation bases such as behavioral, demographic, psychographic and geographic. In regards to ReferQuest’s business, under behavioral category, I strongly believe that they segment their customers as people who look for user status, usage rate, brand loyalty and benefits sought. For demographic, they are targeting anyone that looking for a quick service that reliable not from a company but also people that has used the same service. For psychographic, they are targeting people who values opinions, reward, and also reliability. Under geographic segment, they are only looking for national market. Another framework that could help to segment the market is the Criteria list. First in the list is the identifiably segment where it asked the question of can we easily identified the segment. I think that this segment is easily identified. The segment is about people who are looking to be rewarded for referring service to someone they know. Such segment has already been established with the introduction of craigslist and other service related website. The second in the list is the size. In size, it asked whether there will be an adequate potential sales in the segment. I strongly believe that there will be a lot of potential sales in this segment. Since ReferQuest re-innovate the segment with the reward system, I believed that there will be a lot of people who would like to be rewarded when they refer someone that they know. The third part in the list is the accessibility. Currently, ReferQuest only has one specialized distribution segment that allow people to reach the segment. This only segment is the internet. In the future, they could add other channels so that people will easily access the segment. The last part of this Criteria list measures on how does the segment reacts to a tailored marketing program. I think that the segment will respond greatly when there is a specialized marketing program since it is a very specific market and there are not many other competitors in or similar segment.
  • ANALYSIS: Strengths: Flexible incentives: Users can get paid based on whom they know and whom they introduce. Unique idea, with limited market competition. Focus is on various industries. Broader appeal. An online version of word-of-mouth advertising. Posting requests is free, and users only pay when they have found what they’re seeking. Weaknesses: Lack of specific industry focus may dampen credibility. Consider better segmentation of opportunities to increase overall brand loyalty. Developing customer awareness in the marketplace. Concept may be hard for customers to understand. No minimal reward amount. Users would have more incentive to fulfill a particular request if guaranteed a certain amount of money, eg at least $100, considering some of the requests are very random and the likelihood of fulfilling is probably extremely low. For instance, http://www.referquest.com/frontend.php/main/requestDetail/id/587/ref/1 Opportunity: To emerge as industry(ies) standard for referrals. Provide social capital to enable more efficient companies and industries. Threats: Current recruiter/head hunter model. Motivation for users to fulfill requests, when rewards are just nominal, not really “rewarding”. New concept in old industry, not significant competition at this time for ReferQuest.
  • According to the Customer Based Brand Equity model, customers’ brand knowledge is the key to create a brand equity. The model also further segmented into two categories; Brand awareness and brand Image. Brand recognition is further segmented into two categories; Brand recognition and brand recall performance. Brand recognition is consumers ability to confirm prior exposure to the brand when given the brand as a cue and brand recall performance is consumers’ ability to retrieve the brand from memory when given the product category given purchase situation and usage situation as the cue. In reference to ReferQuest, I strongly believe that consumers will have a high brand awareness because once consumers has tried ReferQuest, they will remember that it is so different from any other companies that offer the same service. Due to the uniqueness of ReferQuest such as the reward system and reliability of the services offer, people will definitely recall the experience that they had with ReferQuest whenever they are in the topic of looking for a service or products. Another source of brand equity is brand image. Brand image is the image that consumer created in their mind when they are talking about the brand. There are two sources of brand image that will help to strengthen a brand’s equity. First is the brand attribute. Brand attribute are those descriptive features that characterize a product or service. The second source of brand image is brand benefit. Brand benefit are the personal value and meaning that consumers attach to the product or service attributes When we apply brand attribute to ReferQuest, we could see that it has a very strong attribute because of their unique method of rewarding people who help users or consumers to find what they are looking for. Secondly, ReferQuest also have a very strong brand benefit because everyone will be excited to be rewarded when they help someone. Overall, I think ReferQuest has a very strong sources of brand equity. They have to continue to leverage this to their advantage such as distancing themselves from current or potential competitor. If they managed to manage their brand equity, they will be able to enjoy success in this market segment However, they also should beware of potential problem such as services that was done to consumer’s expectation or someone does not pay the reward that they promised initially. These problems might seems small but it has to be taken with serious consideration as they will lose their credibility and leverage if they don’t control the performance of their business.
  • Unique Brand Associations - Strong & favorable associations create points of difference that distinguish the brand from other brands = REWARD SYSTEM.   Analysis:   The sum of the brand elements are very strong and as the brand continues to mature in the early phase as an up-to-date, social, strong, unique, and favorable network, we encourage referQuest to set themselves apart by their most unique association: their reward system.   Recommendation:   Once consumers have utilized the services and brand benefits of referQuest: one of the strongest outcomes we see appropriate for referQuest is Greater Loyalty. One of the most unique brand associations for referQuest is its unique method of rewarding people who help users or consumers to find what they are looking for. This brand benefit will generate greater loyalty among audiences IF referQuest is consistent, reliable, and delivers the intended reward/benefit. This will keep consumers from going to the competition as most people like to be rewarded.  
  • Personalized Marketing   referQuests brand model is to serve the very individualized needs of its consumers by bringing consumers and business’ together through their online community of buyers and sellers capitalizing on networking capabilities to satisfy the very different needs of their target audiences.   Analysis:   The brand model reflects the concept of Experiential Marketing by not only promoting the brand’s product, in this case service, but connecting the brand with unique and interesting experiences. referQuests brand aims to demonstrate how their brand can enrich the lives the buyers and sellers by bringing them together to serve and satisfy the very individualized needs of consumers.   Recommendation:   Maintain and promote Experiential Marketing methods but also incorporate One-to-One Marketing methods by responding to consumer dialogue via interactivity- allowing the consumers to talk to you especially in the initial phases of building brand awareness. Consumers are able to add value to the referQuest’s brand by providing information as to the very specific needs/ requests desired by the consumer.   Benefits of One-to-One Marketing:   Singling out consumers needs for customized products and services. referQuests ability as an intermediary to be interactive between the buyer and seller for what is unique for the consumer’s needs.          
  •   Recommendation:   Maintain and promote Experiential Marketing methods, but also incorporate One-to-One Marketing: An approach that concentrates on providing services or products to one customer at a time by identifying and meeting their individualized needs. Use marketing methods by responding to consumer dialogue via interactivity- allowing the consumers to talk to you especially in the initial phases of building brand awareness. Consumers are able to add value to the referQuest’s brand by providing information as to the very specific needs/ requests desired by the consumer.   Benefits of One-to-One Marketing:   Singling out consumers needs for customized products and services. referQuests ability as an intermediary to be interactive between the buyer and seller for what is unique for the consumer’s needs.          
  • A perceptual map is a visual tool to portray perceptual differences among brands expressed by consumers. Consumers’ perceptions of product performance are highly dependent on their impressions of the brand that goes along with it. A perceptual maps is a tool marketers and businesses use to gauge what consumers think about a particular company and the products that it offers. It is important to use a tool that tells you what consumers really think of your company. What YOU think your customers are thinking is not as accurate as what they are really thinking. That is what a perceptual map does. Based on the info a company can implement more efficient marketing efforts. ANALYSIS and RECCOMMENDATION: Each axis should represent an attribute of the product. Pick two attributes of referQuest that are essential and that when people think about the product these are the attributes that they will look out for. *Personalized Needs – goes from general/various at the bottom, to tailored/highly segmented at the top. General includes minimal segmentation and categorization of subject matter. If the brand qualifies as General, it is likely that it limited in its availability across different geographic locations. Tailored/segmented includes brands that are highly segmented and users can quickly identify and place requests/ads in the most relevant sections of the sites. Further, these brands are internationally recognized and not just limited to the US. *Reward – goes from nothing on the left side to nominal or premium on the right side. The brands featured towards the Nothing end of the spectrum do not offer any rewards or receive any commissions from user interactions. However, on the other end of the spectrum, brands that appear in this quadrant utilize the reward system as well as receive commissions from user interactions. The landscape in this quadrant is fairly barren and depending on the success of the reward model, there may be a future influx of competitors in this target area. Thus referQuest appears to be the industry mover with regard to introducing an innovate monetization model. The map shows the extremes of each attribute that runs along the X and Y axis. The Y axis indicates demand, how tailored are the users needs as presented on the site. Some sites offer users general searches, whereas others offer users more tailored, segmented searches. The X axis displays the resources needed to accommodate the demand (Y axis). In most cases users can search and find what they want for free, however in other cases users must provide a nominal or premium “reward” to the users that have helped fulfill their search or request. The map ABOVE shows where competitors are in terms of meeting individual needs and rewarding consumers. The size of the circle indicates the size of market share occupied with regards to competitors. The areas NOT filled up are areas for potential growth, something to look in to pursuing. As a result, the map is ALL about what people think and not what you intended it to be. The more cluttered areas on the map contain greater competition in terms of developing perceptions from consumers. Thus the map is a helpful way to see what landscape you are in with regards to what your customers think. Therefore, referQuest must continue to market its service as rewarding to participants. There is little competition currently in the landscape surrounding referQuest’s current business model. The challenge will be marketing this potentially valuable service to the right audience. Furthermore, it may behoove the company to segment its request in order to save users time when they arrive at the site. Introducing a segmentation strategy like Craigslist, for instance, can be extremely valuable to visitors since they will be able to go directly to an area they believe they can fulfill a request in, as opposed to having to sift through an abundance of, what may be, completely irrelevant requests, considering a particular persons ability to only fulfill certain types of requests.
  • To get Referquest up to level of competition (on perceptual map)
  • A social networking platform for Online customers that struggle with having their requests fulfilled in an efficient and timely manner. An interactive community that offers buyers and sellers a way to motivate others (connectors) to find what they are looking for. Unlike other classified services and/or requests websites, referQuest is the only one that rewards its users for interacting with each other. For “target customer”, who struggle with “problem/critical need”, we are a “product category” that offers, “value proposition/benefit”, unlike “competitors”, we have a “basis of differentiation”. ANALYSIS and RECCOMMENDATION: Keep positioning as it is since it is currently differentiated from competitors such as Kajiji, Oodle, Gumtree, Angieslist, and/or Craigslist. However, the brand needs to be positioned as more reliable and accountable overall. Utilizing specific marketing communications tactics can help better position the site as a reliable and accountable service. These two traits, reliability and accountability, are what users consider very important when dealing with referrals. As a result, referQuest must position itself in a way that emphasizes the brands accountability and reliability as a fulfillment service that provides credible referrals regardless of the physical location of the buyer, seller, or connector. Positioning in more depth - ***referquest is an online tool for fulfilling the various requests of users. Traditionally, these users have struggled with having their requests fulfilled. referQuest is a product that lets you offer a reward to motivate others to find what you're looking for. It's free to post a request and reward. Referquest offers no risk and is a rewarding and convenient method for finding exactly what you want. Unlike other classified services/requests websites, referQuest is the only one that rewards its users for interacting with others.
  • Brand needs to be positioned as more reliable and accountable overall. For example, brands that are in the similar fulfillment business such as, Angieslist, requires a membership fee and thus customers may perceive it as more reliable off the bat, since they can associate the membership fee with increased accountability on the part of Angie. On the other hand, other free services like Craigslist has positioned itself as a fulfillment portal for local as well as international locations. The fact that craigslist has a customized presence in multiple cities across the globe, enables them to develop broader awareness and loyalty amongst a more diverse group of online customers, thus increasing its reliability. They have positioned themselves as a credible, supportive, mature, and reliable service. Customers in Shanghai can use the craigslist service with the same reliability as a customer in London when searching for a computer engineer or an apartment. Furthermore, both Angie and Craig refer to the names of the founders of each company. Incorporating the CEO with the brands marketing tactics and overall position will make the referQuest service appear more reliable. Making the CEO more visible on the site, will position the brand as more accountable with regards to the requests and referrals available on the site. It will also position the brand as more transparent since users will associate trust and reliability with the brand depending on how the CEO is represented on the site. They will be getting the inside scoop directly from the source. For instance, having the CEO post a weekly blog on biggest commission paid out and most interesting deal brokered are examples of ways to be able to position the brand as more reliable and accountable, as well as show the users that someone (CEO) is taking responsibility for the business that is occurring amongst the digital marketplace and its participants. In the future, referQuest must constantly reinforce its image as a reliable, accessible and supportive platform.
  • Sum of Brand Elements = Brand Identity     Analysis:   Brand Identity is young (young in age and new company), social, trendy, virtual concierge aiming to be consumer and service oriented.   Recommendation:   Maintain brand identity through technological innovations and strengthen credibility and reliability through time and experience.
  •     Brand Personality Aaker Brand Personality Scale   Sincerity : referQuest appears to be a cheerful cyber “community”.   Excitement : an up-to-date resource where people can come together for new information utilizing technology for reliable, accurate, and rewarding resources/referrals.   Competence: reliable and technical broker serving all users encouraging highly rated and recommended transactions and ensuring accuracy in all transactions.   Sophistication: approachable and reliable person with a lot of connections.   Ruggedness: “ cyber” “tech” connector (opposite users of traditional media)   BASED ON PERSONALITY CHARACTERISTICS: (no inference to individuals as spokespeople)   Analysis :   WHO IS referQuest CURRENTLY: Justin Long:   He is an approachable, knowledgeable, well rounded character who is willing and able to connect people together through his vast connections to satisfy the needs and requests of consumers. He is not that popular but has a lot of potential.  
  •     Brand Personality Aaker Brand Personality Scale   Sincerity : referQuest appears to be a cheerful cyber “community”.   Excitement : an up-to-date resource where people can come together for new information utilizing technology for reliable, accurate, and rewarding resources/referrals.   Competence: reliable and technical broker serving all users encouraging highly rated and recommended transactions and ensuring accuracy in all transactions.   Sophistication: approachable and reliable person with a lot of connections.   Ruggedness: “ cyber” “tech” connector (opposite users of traditional media)   BASED ON PERSONALITY CHARACTERISTICS: (no inference to individuals as spokespeople)   Recommendation:   WHO should referQuest aim to RECOMMENDED: Verizon Guy   Maintain brand identity by being mature, approachable, accessible, knowledgeable, and a well rounded brand however create more positive associations through strong reliability and consistency factor backed by a large network. Consumers rely on him for his network as he goes out and checks the reliability of networks for Verizon consumers. Verizon Tagline: -  “It’s the network”.   USA Today Article: Posted 2/22/2004 10:30 PM     Updated 2/23/2004 8:14 AM   -Since the ads began two years ago, Marcarelli has helped Verizon gain market share and reduce customer turnover. Net customers grew 10% to 32.5 million in 2002 vs. 2001 and 15% more to 37.5 million in 2003. Customer turnover, a major expense called "churn" in the business, is at 1.8%, down from more than 2.5% in 2000, according to technology tracking firm The Yankee Group.
  • Landor’s Brand Name Taxonomy   NAME = Descriptive: referQuest describes the brand’s function literally. Searching for referrals for preferred products, services, etc.
  • Brand Elements Analysis: NAME RATING SYSTEM: 1-5 (1 lowest – 5 highest) Memorable = 4   Easy to recall, and easy to pronounce as the name is simple.   Meaningful = 3 Persuasive and suggestive of the brand elements for the type of services involved. The name is descriptive in its literal function reinforcing attributes of the brand. The name however DOES NOT reinforce one of the most unique attributes = the reward system.   Likeable = 2 The name is descriptive but very general and boring as it is just a compound of two words. As you start to build brand awareness through credibility and reliability (referrals than rewards), the likability rating will increase.     Analysis:   The name is descriptive in its literal function and easy to remember.   Recommendation:   We recommend to keep the name and work on the likability and credibility factor by creating strong associations with the reliability and credibility of the referral reward system.               Brand Elements Analysis: URL www.referquest.com   RATING SYSTEM: 1-5 (1lowest – 5 highest)     Memorable = 4 The URL is memorable as the compound of the brand name “refer” &“quest”.   Meaningful = 4 The URL serves the literal function of the brand to going online to search or “quest” of something.   Likeable = 2 The URL is very general and nothing special.     Analysis:   We feel the URL is a very strong brand element as it is the same as the brand name. This can be often times hard to accomplish or obtain as URL names are taken up so fast. (How fast??) Insert Stats!??????   Recommendation:   We recommend keeping the URL. The lowest rating was the likability factor, but this will not necessarily be the case when perhaps a quest or search is a successful one for a consumer. If a consumer is successful in referring or finding what they are looking for through the site, than perhaps the association of the URL will be likable if the service offering is consistent and reliable.                           Brand Elements Analysis: LOGO   Memorable = 4 The callout symbol is memorable as it is creatively used in place of the letter Q for Quest.   Meaningful = 4 The callout symbol is meaningful for the brand name and logo as it symbolizes the act of thinking or talking. Both of which consumers will do when looking to buy or sell.   Likeable = 5 The font is highly legible. The font looks to be Century Schoolbook and according to our Just My Type article, this font conveys a “stalwart of the community” which is a positive association with an online community brought together for resourceful referrals. The choice of colors is soft and playful.   Analysis:   The font is nothing exciting, but it looks credible. The colors are young, bright, and inviting as social media users are, but the colors are not too playful which would take away from credibility.   Recommendation:   We recommend to keep the callout symbol as the logo as it adaptable across many categories, people, and places.                                       Brand Elements Analysis: Tagline request. refer. reward.     Memorable = 3 The alliteration is of the consonant R, being the beginning letter of the brand name gives it a nice jingle. The tagline is also short and memorable.   Meaningful = 4 The tagline easily explains the attributes and benefits associated with the brand. It is meaningful as the words are descriptive of the process involved in the use of the brands services but it is vague in terms of what type of categories and services are offered.   Likeable = 4 It is likable as it gives some meaning to the brand and anything usually associated with a “reward” is a positive association and MOTIVATING.     Analysis:   The tagline is descriptive, easy to remember, and makes use of one of the strongest positive points of differentiation amongst competitors in the market place by using the word: reward.   Recommendation:   We would like to recommend the following two taglines:   It pays to refer. Connect & Reward   Both suggested taglines refer to the monetary reward system and will continue to set the brand apart from competition in the marketplace. It is both meaningful and descriptive.
  • NAME Analysis:   The font is nothing exciting, but it looks credible. The colors are young, bright, and inviting as social media users are (which makes is memorable ), but the colors are not too playful which would take away from credibility. Also, it omits RQ’s POD – rewards.   Recommendation:   We recommend to keep the name and work on the likability and credibility factor by creating strong associations with the reliability and credibility of the referral reward system. Support the name with a tagline that can inlclude the descriptive POD of rewards. URL   Analysis:   We feel the URL is a very strong brand element as it is the same as the brand name. This can be often times hard to accomplish or obtain as URL names are taken up so fast.   Recommendation:   We recommend keeping the URL. The lowest rating was the likability factor, but this will not necessarily be the case when perhaps a quest or search is a successful one for a consumer. If a consumer is successful in referring or finding what they are looking for through the site, than perhaps the association of the URL will be likable if the service offering is consistent and reliable. LOGO: Analysis:   Very likable and even descriptive of the website (social referals). The font is nothing exciting, but it looks credible. The colors are young, bright, and inviting as social media users are ( colors match name = good branding consistancy) , but the colors are not too playful which would take away from credibility.   Recommendation:   We recommend to keep the callout symbol as the logo as it adaptable across many categories, people, and places. Tagline request. refer. reward.     Analysis:   The tagline is completely descriptive, and makes use of one of the strongest positive points of differentiation amongst competitors in the market place by using the word: reward . However, it may not be easy to remember, because each word begins with the same letter and this could be dangerouse. The words are very related to each other in sound which could cause people to blur them together, and because it is not a flowwing phrase, forget the order of the words and possible even the words themselves.   Recommendation:   Remain descriptive and include the POD - rewards, but create a new tagline that is more easy memorable for consumers, for example, an easy to remember phrase. We would like to recommend the following two taglines:   “ It pays to refer.” “ Reward your wisdom”   Both suggested taglines refer to the monetary reward system and will continue to set the brand apart from competition in the marketplace. Also, both of these taglines speak to both the sellers and buyers. “ it pays to refer” could have monetary meaning or not - sellers get paid in help of a referral, and buyers get paid (montary paid) by refering. “ Rewards for Wisdom” for the seller means that they are willing to reward for some wisdom, and buyers get paid for offering wisdom to those in need.
  • These are the potential competition that referQuest faces. These brands are all engaged in the fulfillment aspects of customer needs, whether they do it on a local, national or international level. With regards to meaningfulness, likeability, and memorability of competitors brands, the following applies: 1 – lowest 5 – highest Competitor Analysis: Kijiji.com – free local classifieds in the US and Intl Name – The name is positive sounding, almost like “Genie”. Users may feel like they will have their “wishes” granted. But, hard to remember how to spell and what the company does from the name, likeable, memorable, lacks overall meaning. Logo – Playful, colorful, can be interpreted as professional. Almost Google-esque with the colors and style. Yet, doesn’t speak to purpose of company. Tagline – “Free Local Classifieds”, its likeable and meaningful. Listasaurus.com – List it, sell it, find it. Fast… Name – The name is long and hard to remember how to spell. Lacks professionalism. Although the site spells the brand name out, it is still not too memorable or meaningful. Logo – Playful and likeable with a young, energized dinosaur as the brand character. However, the connection between the dinosaur and purpose of the brand is hard to determine at first glance. Tagline – Explains the core function of the brand, and is the strongest brand element with regards to meaningfulness and likeability. Oodle – More listing, smarter classifieds Name – The name is easy to remember, however, may have been more effective to make the name plural. Traditionally, “Oodles” indicates a lot, or a plethora of options. Logo – speaks to the function of the brand. The shaking hands in the center of the “callout” speaks to the exchange or interaction function of the brand. Likeable, memorable, and meaningful. Tagline – Concise and meaningful. Lacks memorability, but entails likeability. Angieslist – Name – Likeable and reminiscent of “Craigslist”. Assumes credibility due to “list” aspect in name. Memorable, and only meaningful due to secondary association of Craigslist. Logo – Small “callout” indicates some type of action, however, without the craigslist association, an objective third party may not understand the meaning behind the small logo. Too small, lacks memorability. Tagline – lacking, could add some meaning to the brand on its own merit and not from the secondary association from Clist. Gumtree - Homes, jobs, cars, sofas, white tuxedos… anything, really Name – memorable, and meaningful since it is unique. Similar to “giving tree”, mature sounding. Reputable, it is the UK's biggest website for local community classifieds and one of the top 20 websites in the UK. Logo – trees are known for giving, similar to how the brand can help users find, and give them what they are searching for. Likeable, meaningful, and memorable. Tagline – inclusive of the the purpose of the brand. It is memorable in that it appears to enable a user to find “anything, really”. Craigslist – Name – Not much meaning, yet brand has evolved to be a reliable online service, thus with maturity has come meaningfulness, memorability, and likeability. Logo – None, brand has developed brand equity without a logo, basing it service on quality, and reliability. Tagline – None, could help further develop the brand, increase memorability, likeability, and meaningfulness. As a result, referQuest, differs and is unlike the other classified services and/or requests websites mentioned above, since it is the only one that rewards its users for interacting with each other. Although it appears that some of the potential competition has positioned their brand logo as playful, it is in the best interest of referQuest to steer away from this approach since often times playful logos can translate to a customer perception that the brand lacks professionalism, or reliability. Keeping the logo efficient, relevant and meaningful with regards to the core function of the brand is the best way to portray the referQuest logo. A further analysis will be conducted on the overall brand a little later on in the .ppt.
  • Social Media: Facebook group – 162 fans, logo matches website, connected to some appropriate favorite pages. Facebook brand image is transferred to RQ. Seen as modern, social, accessible. Twitter- twitter 1,396 followers. Twitter brand image transferred to RQ. Real time information and updates. But picture should be logo! Who is the women? Not CEO when dig deeper! Blog – Look and Feel: colors from main webpage not carried over. Content: PR articles and announcements posted. This becomes an area where you can reinforce aspects of your brand. You can remind and explain in detail the your brand identity, connections to associations, and build brand personality through your choice of content and tone. Affiliate Program: busy moms website. Can increase brand awareness if banners placed on sites that your target market visits. Also, can alter brand image depending on look, feel of banner and also the site where visitors find it. By placing your logo on another site, in the form of a banner, you are linking your brand to their these in a way. Therefore, some of their image, in the consumers mind, gets transferred to your brand. Role Mommy.com affiliation speaks to both potential buyers and sellers. It is a good association because moms have image of being busy, and referquest seeks image to be the solution of the busy person. Copy is descriptive, and the RQ logo shows, and matches logo on website in color, font and feel. Consumer Promotion: Refer 5 friends to website, entered into $50 star bucks contest. Connection to brand image because it is a reward system for referrals, which is ReferQuest’s core competency and main service. Also, this program speaks directly to those who use ReferQuest (have to visit website to engage in the promotion) and not only are their friends likely to possible have similar interests (for example, in a website such as RQ), but their friends will trust RQ because the brand arrived to them via a personal referral. PR: PR announcements about the sites function or facebook ap. PR can reach specific audiences where they are likely to be, and communicate with them in a way that sparks interest, but also portrays the basic meaning and identity of a brand. At this point, PR has been in minimal areas where RQ target market resides. Rolemommy.com shares audience, but is new itself. And WebWire (visited by 20k/day: statbrain.com) fits with those who use the internet often and would likely use it to find referrals, solutions to problems, etc. However, the content has revolved around innovative and trendy social community component (facebook app). MARCOMM CAN HELP TO BUILD BE.
  • Social Media: Facebook – Facebook connect would bring some imperativenesss to this marcom area. Viralness would grow brand awareness on facebook and this growth would be associated to facebook brand image of social networking, referral through a connected network, publicizing ones ability to help others (sellers to buyers). Reinforce POD Twitter – change picture to RQ logo (not girl picture). And tweet industry news too (not only referral posts) – link to articles, blog posts. This goes for blog too: blog – Contact and Tone Recommendations – pleases where people can find things. Tips on busy people solutions. For example, post articles and links to websites that write about topics your target market may be interested in: FE: Housework, quick meals, busy solutions for buys moms. This way you can reinforce to your target audience that your site is a source where they can find solutions. Craigslist doesn’t have a blog, and Angieslist only blogs about company successes. You could be different by offering true valued content to your audience. Be a source where people can find solutions, or links to solutions for their lives/needs. Banner Ads: This type of advertising is quite effective in establishing and enhancing the brand image in the target market when affiliate site caters to the same target market (http://www.articlesbase.com/ppc-advertising-articles/online-banner-advertising-enhances-brand-image-373702.html). However, the ads must be attractive enough, and related enough, to capture attention and interest. The content, message and inclusion of RQ logo on this banner is good, but it mixes rolemommy branding and RQ together. This could cause some confusion visitors, or canalize RQ brand in some way. Message does provoke interest because it implies that clicking here shows a solution. Also, it is a good TM. However, rolemommy.com does not receive much traffic at this point, and they are still very new and young. Affiliate partners that are more visited, and rebound, can offer greater brand awareness growth potential and different brand image associations. Promotion: Hoobly has referral program, but no prize incentive. Journal of Promotion Management states that monetary incentives and non-monetary incentives have positive effects on response rates (www.informaworld.com/index/903905095.pd). Reinforces brand’s function and image in own referral reward program to its current customers and creates referral for reward program that is connected to referquest which could spark interest in others to join, thus growing brand awareness. REINFORCES POD. PR: More high trafficked sources that target your shared audience can help grow more brand awakes. Also, The brand image of where you brand is shown becomes linked to your brand image. So, sources that your target audience considers accessible, likeable, and reliable would help strengthen your current state. For example, Angielist.com uses her PR webpage to show PR articles by top news and business online publications (NYTimes, USNews and World Report, and PCWorld) – these reputable sources become associations to Angieslist and their brand image of reputable, reliable and relevant with our times gets transferred to Angieslist. ADDITIONAL, cost efficient, MARCOMM CHANNELS CAN further ASSIST IN GROWING BRAND AWARENESS, AND FORMING BRAND IMAGE.
  • Competition, examples, rational – LINK POD, POD TO CUST MEMORY. BRING MEANING TO BRAND. REACH CORRECT TM, GET DESIRED RESPONSE. MESSAGE CONSITANT WITH BRAND. Email: Email is non intrusive communication channel that has many advantages. In terns of branding, it can reach your desired audience via renting lists of email addresses who you believe would be most likely to respond to RQ services. For example, people who have families, travel, mid-income level, are involved in multiple hobbies and activity groups. The messaging within the channel can be controlled by you. For example, you could have an opt-in to monthly email newsletter button on website, and build a community of newsletter recipients. Or you could send segmented emails to buyers, encouraging them to search more often; and also one directed to sellers, encouraging them to help those in need more often. Whatever the email content it, from a branding perspective it is important to always include your logo in an email, and ensure that any images that you place in the email are related your brand – either RQ perspective or related to TM. In additional, the response method of clicking to linked pages is easy, accessible for the tm – matching the RQ brand image. SEO: RQ’s target market, the buyers, are searchers. Be well optimized for your most related keywords. 90% of search engine searchers click only on links on first 3 results pages (62% first page. http://blog.pixelpunk.com/increasing-brand-seo/). When your potential customers are in need of something which they can not find on their own, they most likely turn to the web. You can be placed on Google, yahoo and MSN to come up on first 3 pages, and be the solution to their search. RQ will receive growth in brand awareness, and image of ACCESSABLE, and EASY TO FIND. Aslo, with Google Adsense (in Google Adwords) you can allow similar websites, who have the most shared common TM as you, to interact in a contextual advertising program and post your paid ad on their site. Contextual Avd: For example, I was on rateitall.com where you can see consumer ratings for products (baby bottles, etc) and also movies, restaurants, computers and even websites. When I was looking at Massachusetts, the ads were geographically targeted towards me on the page (mass cleaners, realtors). This gives me the impression that the website is authorizing the advertised company. It is almost as if they are referring. And because it is targeted based on my search behavior, I am more likely to click on it and thus, brand awareness is grown and brand image of credible is built. These marketing communication channels and tactics can help build brand equity. Each of them connects with the audience and links of associations are created. There are other ways that links and associations, which can help to build brand equity, can also be created. Secondary Brand Associations that diversify your service, and also add value to your brand can be created and strategically chosen.
  • Borrow judgments, feelings. Transfer. Help evoke judges and feelings to affect brand image. Your current brand associations are used in different ways to diversify your service and brand. Each of these other companies have brand equity of their own, which is transferred either positively or negatively to your brand due to the association. Facebook: RQ homepage has link to facebook group page, and advertises the facebook ap on facebook page, PR announcements and in blog. This association to Facebook is a natural one to believe and understand because they have similar commonalities. Both sites are social community platforms that allow users to interact with each other freely. This association therefore reinforces this image for RQ. At the sometime, because facebook is so highly used, this association also allows RQ to grow brand awareness, to leverage from the facebook popularly among their similar audiences. Facebook users who are not RQ users can learn about RQ within FB. And although the RQ facebook group page has under 100 fans, the app has been used by over 3k. Twitter: Much like facebook, twitter is a social community that has commonality with RQ. By placing the RQ twitter link on the RQ homepage, the association is created. Twitter is able to reinforce the brand image that RQ is an updated, constantly moving and growing community of buyers and sellers. It also allows RQ to leverage from the twitter strong brand awareness and number of users. Starbucks: Using Starbucks as the reward prize of its own consumer promotion referral program. Starbucks is not a social community platform more does it have to do with the online world at all. Therefore as a complementary association, we have to look deeper to see how coffee relates to RQ brand image. One hand, it is a solution for the buys person, but it also has a brand image that targets a specific group of people – those how enjoy drinking coffee. Because of this, it is only allowed to transfer a positive brand image association to those customers who enjoy coffee, and enjoy starbucks coffee. PayPal: the electronic, trusted, currency transaction partner for referquest. In this case, there is a commonality because PayPal is a service specifically for e-commerce websites. It is a well known brand, and although it has a general theme of associating itself with images of reliability, there is also a number of press against PayPal. For example, paypalcomplaints.org & paypalwarning.com.
  • A secondary brand association can ignite and transfer response-type accusation, which are judgments related to the secondary brand that get transferred to RQ because of its association, or meaning-type association which are related to performance or image in the secondary brand association that causes a meaningful response to be transferred to RQ. Keep Facebook company – HOW: PR – WHY: online industry too, commonality, community, trendy, social. Transfer to brand image Keep Twitter - PayPal/VeriSign (payment transaction that is easy, with security, fraud protection coverage, acquired 2005)company – HOW: both signs on site, payment method – WHY: commonality, BI RELYABLE transfer that could also ignite meaningful feelings and judgments – money is precious and people want to know it will be safe from fraud. (angieslist mentions VeriSign on FAQ page, but no logo) BBB 3 rd party endorsement: HOW – get certified, logo on site main page (bottom, Oodle is only on scam page, kijiji on bottom of front). WHY – complementary BI CREDIBEL transfer Zappos company: HOW – promotion prize. WHY – prize relate to higher volume of TM (everyone needs cloths and shoes), community culture (Zappos has largest twitter following), and also complementary, meaningful transfer of COMMUNITY CULTURE/NETWORK and TRENDY
  • American Heart Assco cause: HOW – Feb 2% give, PR, logo on site. WHY – complementary meaningful transfer BI of LIKABLE, memorable. Also, everyone can relate to cardiovascular disease as it is the #1 cause of death in the united states. Could integrate support for this cause in blog by posting content related to staying healthy. CEO spokesperson: HOW – 24hr email response. WHY – Angieslist does it, apple’s Steve jobs does it. commonality transfer, SUPPORTIVE, ACCESSABLE, meaningful BI of CEO transfer, memorable (Craigslist just general email, no time response commitment). In future, perhaps if resources allow, online im with CEO (no competitors do this, but bank of America does it with staff). Iphone: How – ap costs $10k, but mobile website for phone cost $2, PR this ACCESSABILITY on site with phone logo/pic. WHY: commonality, BI transfer, TRENDY, CONNECTED, HIGH - TECH. (Kijiji.com does it) **EXAMPLE*: Refer on the go with your phone. Click here to stay connected.
  • ReferQuest has an app. on Facebook where facebook members can: Become referquest members make requests Make referrals Critic: Good: public view of postings Public comments – more direct engagement (more social than website) See members facebook profiles (more social, and link to facebook image The tagline matches that on the RQ website Bad: Logos are not constant in look and feel: font and color Dashboard tab is different than main website
  • Recommend: Consistent logos throughout app. pages Publish the app more on website (build facebook sync’d awareness) – link on homepage Facebook app. Advertise to fans using marketing communication channels (PR, SEO,email, add content to affiliate copy, post on FB and Twitter) encourage fans to virally spread word about ap to their friends (create a button for the ap that fans can take for their own blogs, websites, etc), Mobile connection to app via facebook phone app – advertise this. Overall Recommendations: change slogan. Exand on cost efficient marketing communications tactics. Change & Add 2ndary brand assocaitons and show website visitors the assocaiton via images on site (not only text).

Brand Audit Brand Audit Presentation Transcript

  • Brand Audit: Prepared by: Stephen Baum, Elizabeth Kulin, Parisa Khazei & Winoto Lie
    • Online customers waste time in search of buyers and sellers for their time-sensitive transactions.
    • Need for increased efficiency across e-commerce transactions.
      • Client vs. Connectors: Hosts requests and brokers fulfillment.
      • Win/Win: Commission to company and the person who provided the successful referral.
    Overview
    • Category POP
      • A web platform industry.
      • Social community.
    Points of Parity
    • Competition POP
      • Reward System.
    Points of Parity
    • Reward Model.
    • One of a kind market presence, minimal competition with regards to reward model.
    Points of Difference
    • Segmentation Bases
      • Young and tech savvy people, quick and reliable service, value opinions and rewards and national based.
    • Criteria
      • Identifiably – Relatively easy to be identified.
      • Size – Huge sales potential.
      • Accessibility – Only one channel available.
      • Responsibility – Possible good respond.
    Target Market
  • SWOT
  • ReferQuest Service Reward Innovative Craigslist Online Community PayPal Fulfillment Young, hip and trendy Mental Map
    • Brand awareness
        • Rewarding experience.
        • Memorable and unique.
    • Brand image
      • A web platform that offer services and reward.
    Sources of Brand Equity
    • Unique Brand Associations
    • Strong & favorable associations in which create points of difference
    • distinguishing the brand from other brands.
    Greater Loyalty Unique method of rewarding people will motivate & encourage consumers to keep coming back as consumers like to be rewarded. Outcomes of Brand Equity
  • Personalized Marketing – Current
  • Personalized Marketing – Recommended
  • Personalized Needs Rewards Nothing Nominal/Premium General Tailored/Segmented Kajiji Craigslist Angieslist Gumtree Oodle Perceptual Map referQuest referQuest
  • Brand report card RATING SYSTEM: 1-5 (1 lowest 5 highest) Element Score Rational Is Refer Quest positioned strongly? 4
    • Clearly differentiated, but lacks reliability and/or accountability.
    Is the brand identity as strong as it needs to be? 3
    • Current brand identity is good however could be strengthened in certain areas.
    Is the brand personality the best reflection for ReferQuest? 2
    • Expand branding to reflect different and additional traits.
    Are the brand elements memorable, meaningful, and/or likable? 4
    • Name is descriptive of referral program, not rewards. Also, details could be altered for branding.
    • The logo is descriptive of social & referral characteristics.
    • The tagline is descriptive but could focus on POD more to increase memory.
    Is ReferQuest involved in enough MarComm tactics to really build strong brand equity? 3
    • Good start to building BE, Could do much more to grow brand awareness.
    Are current 2ndary Brand Associations relevant to desired brand identity and personality? 2
    • Need additional associations to strengthen brand identity, image, and leverage brand awareness.
    Does the Facebook application branding match ReferQuest branding? 3
    • Great start but branding is inconsistent and need to take advantage of association more.
      • A social networking platform for request fulfillment.
      • Offers buyers and sellers a way to motivate others (connectors) to find what they are looking for.
      • referQuest is the only one that rewards its users for interacting with each other.
    Brand Positioning – Current
    • Keep current positioning but:
      • Emphasize providing reliability of referrals.
      • Highlight transparency and accountability.
        • CEO visibility.
    Brand Positioning – Recommended
  • Brand Identity – Sum of Brand Elements
  • Brand Personality – Current
  • Brand Personality – Recommended
  • Naming Guidelines Landor’s Brand Name Taxonomy ReferQuest is:
  • RATING SYSTEM: 1-5 (1 lowest 5 highest) Brand Elements – Current Name 4 3 3 URL 4 4 2 LOGO 4 4 5 Tagline 3 4 4 Memorable Meaningful Likeable
  • Brand Elements – Recommended
  • Marketing Communications – Current Way to inform, persuade, and remind customers about the brand. Current Channel CRITIQUE PERTAINING TO BRAND Social Media
    • Evidence : Social Networking (Twitter, FB) & Blogging.
    • Effect to Brand:
      • Brand image transfer – social, modern, accessible.
      • Brand inconsistency– Twitter profile picture, Blog lacks colors.
      • Brand image reinforcement – blog content & tone.
    Online Adv
    • Evidence : Affiliate Program.
    • Effect to Brand:
      • Common target market.
      • Targeted brand awareness growth.
      • Brand image transfer.
    Consumer Promotion
    • Evidence : Referral program.
    • Effect to Brand:
      • Connection to brand image.
      • Targeted brand awareness growth.
    PR
    • Evidence : 1888 Press Release, Rolemommy.com Blog, PR Log, WebWire.
    • Effect to Brand:
      • Brand awareness/exposure among common TM.
      • Band Image building via PR source & Content.
  • Expand: 1. FB Connect 2. Post’s Content Rational : 1. Grow brand Awareness fast. 2. Reinforce POD. 3. Build brand Image: Supportive. Marketing Communications – Recommended Expand: 1. Sources 2. Content Rational: 1. Larger Audience. 2. Build Brand Image: Credible. Expand: 1. Sources 2. RQ brand only Rational: 1. Higher traffic Affiliates = more brand awareness growth. Keep as is: 1. Reward for Referral program Rational: 1. Incentive = Response. 2. Reinforces POD. Keep
  • Marketing Communications – Recommendations
    • How :
    • Buy list
    • Brand
    • Rational:
    • - Brand awareness
    • growth opportunity.
    • - logo, related
    • images and content.
    • - Easy response.
    • How :
    • SEO
    • PPC
    • Rational :
    • - Grow brand
    • Awareness
    • among
    • “ Searchers”.
    • - Brand image
    • building – easy
    • Solution.
    Need better Solutions? Encourage honest referrals here. Email SEO/PPC Contextual Adv
  • Secondary Brand Associations – Current
    • Commonality
    • Reinforces “Social community” image.
    • - Leverages brand awareness.
    • Complementary
    • Attempts to connect with target audience interests
    • Transfers brand image.
    • Commonality
    • Reinforces “Real time information” image.
    • Leverages brand awareness.
    • Commonality
    • Attempts to transfer image of reliability.
    Associations to build brand equity.
  • Secondary Brand Associations – Recommended
  • Refer on the Go! Search, Find and Solve with your phone. Click here for details. Secondary Brand Associations – Recommended
  • Channel of Brand Equity Building & Brand Identity Strengthening. Facebook Application – Current
    • Consistency
      • logos: color and font.
    • Build Awareness of relationship
      • Link on site.
      • Include in marketing communications.
      • Build app button for fans.
    Facebook Application – Recommended