The Revelation Will Not Be Televised!
Welcome to the ground floor, Version 1.0. This is the Newsletter of The Russo Group – a branding
and integrated marketing agency.
IN THIS ISSUE:
FEATURE ARTICLE: B2B BRANDING
A strong brand not only requires top-to-bottom support of the brand, but guides decision-makers toward intelligent choices
that will help grow the brand over time, from hiring the right people to developing the best products to acquiring the most
productive partners. The entire business strategy should be built around the brand.
Cellphone browsers, Cheetos for adults, what account service means to you, and why candidates should just pay voters outright.
Vice President Chris Hebert says, “A lot of companies are good – very good – at what they do. But rarely do their marketing
efforts match the quality of their work.”
A RUSSO RESULTS CASE STUDY: No. 00345-07
MCM / Mid-Canada Millwork. Quality. Unsurpassed.
GALLERY R DOWNTOWN SPOTLIGHT
Gallery R, located in the Russo building in the heart of downtown Lafayette, is committed to the work of both emerging
and established local artists throughout South Louisiana.
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RevelationThe Russo Group is a branding and integrated marketing agency, focusing on accountability and results.
THE NEWSLETTER OF
THE RUSSO GROUP
VOLUME ONE - NUMBER ONE
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“My business is not retail focused, so why do I need branding?” Good question, now here’s the answer.
B2B organizations benefit from branding as much as any retail based organization, by helping to reduce advertising and marketing costs
while improving customer loyalty. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, the hard part is actually committing to the brand and the branding
process itself—beginning with the workforce, all customer touch points, marketing messages and publicity.
The value of your brand acts as equity does for homeowners. Value accrues over time, until it eventually exceeds the original investment.
The initial investment can only be weighed by considering the future reward—the brand equity you build over time.
Brand equity describes the value the customer places on your brand name. That value breaks down into terms that are difficult to quantify
and often emotional, like “trust,” “reliability” and “security.” Equity is only built through consistent delivery of the brand promise over time,
without fail. But the reward is improved customer loyalty and brand advocacy.
When customers trust your brand and think of you before the competition, you will spend less to convince them to buy. They tell others
how satisfied they are with your company and products, referring new customers to your door and reducing the costs of new business pros-
pecting. And they regard you as a business that makes their lives easier, saves them time and continues to satisfy—often becoming “brand
advocates” who speak in your favor and spread the word to others. Brand value also generates increased sales, as brand-loyal customers
tend to buy their brands more frequently. The truth is, successful branding actually alters customer behavior. The thing to remember too is
that unsuccessful branding alters customer behavior as well, just in the not so good kind of way. Continued Next Page
B 2 B B R A N D I N G
“Brand” New Identities From The Russo Group:
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The bottom line is further improved by customers’ sense of your value, or more precisely, what you are worth in pure dollars. When your
brand is perceived to be a trustworthy, quality brand, customers are usually willing to pay more to purchase your product or service. Brand
“intangibles” including “trust,” “reliability” and “security,” add pure monetary value to your brand in the minds of your customers. This
allows you to avoid the commodity price wars trap that devalues a brand and makes it “just one among many.”
As a brand strengthens, the effect is to move the price-and-demand curve to the right. At any given price, demand is higher, and so
Perceived value is one thing brand gives you. Actual share value is also strongly influenced by brand. About “one-third of current corpo-
rate share value at any one time is based on brand-related issues,” according to a survey by Lippincott Mercer Research—including repu-
tation, familiarity, culture and other brand characteristics. Also, even as brand can drive growth in up markets, it also protects corporate
value in down markets.
“About one-third of current corporate share value at
any one time is based on brand-related issues...”
For all of these reasons, B2B companies should regard branding as a “must” in their business planning. In fact, brand should drive all
business decisions. A strong brand not only requires top-to-bottom support of the brand, but guides decision-makers toward intelligent
choices that will help grow the brand over time, from hiring the right people to developing the best products to acquiring the most produc-
tive partners. The entire business strategy should be built around the brand.
Branding is not a band-aid to be slapped on a faltering business plan. Branding is not a cure-all for a company whose products are
substandard or insufficiently innovative. But correctly developed and supported, and used as the driving force for business development,
successful branding can elevate companies to the top of their industries, and keep them there.
B 2 B B R A N D I N G C O N T I N U E D
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The last frontier for marketing – your cell phone!?! That’s what Yahoo! believes and others are already signing up. The
mobile market is gigantic in Asia and throughout Europe but is relatively untapped in the US – though Yahoo! hopes to change that. And by
signing on eBay, MySpace and MTV News as third party developers, Yahoo’s Go mobile browser looks for a big 2008.
Not just for kids. When you think of Cheetos you probably think of likable and hip Chester Cheetah, or orange fingertips. But that’s all
about to change. When market research told Frito-Lay that 60% of Cheetos consumers were over age 18, the company immediately
began developing the brand to target that market. With an ad push set for networks such as Comedy Central and late-night Cartoon Network
and new, more sophisticated, flavors, Frito-Lay is hoping to push Cheetos into some older hands.
Advertising agencies talk about how dynamic and vibrant their creative is, and how forcefully the message is communicated. But what
about at the ground floor of your relationship with the agency – Account Service? Clients need a representative who is
vigorous and energetic in their thinking, a person who sees those predictable ways of moving your account forward and chooses instead to
present new strategies and solutions to you.
$40 Million. That’s how much presidential candidates spent on television ads in Iowa during the recent push to the
January caucus. With 2.3 million eligible voters in the state, that’s about $17 per voter. Some of the candidates are probably wishing
they’d just forked the money directly over to the voters as a bribe (not that we are condoning that sort of thing). Still, with well placed media
buys, many candidates saw their visibility rise.
- Please Select the Highlighted Phrases for More on These Stories -
I N S I D E - R N E W S
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R U S S O P R O F I L E
Chris Hebert, Vice President
Chris Hebert has over 10 years of competitive sales and management experience, with a background as a small business
owner. With experience in New Business Development, Customer Relationship Building, Prospecting & Lead Generation,
Strategic Partnerships/Alliances and all levels of Account Management/Retention, Chris is able to work with our client
service staff while growing the client base, staking out new markets and innovative solutions.
What is the most exciting aspect of working with new clients?
Before everything else, it’s about people. A company may have the latest technology, or some previously unknown gold mine of a product,
but it’s people that make up a company. I love that first meeting, getting to see who the people really are and to learn from them about what
What can clients expect from working with you?
Total commitment. I don’t think I’d be doing my job right if I didn’t put everything into every meeting. Clients come to Russo when they’re ready
to take that next step, to go to the next level. So I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and stay until I can make that happen.
Do you have any advice for companies thinking of partnering with a branding and marketing agency, perhaps
for the first time?
A lot of companies are good – very good – at what they do. But rarely do their marketing efforts match the quality of their work. That’s why
they need someone else, a true partner, to come in and handle this for them. But they have to be willing to explore the possibilities, to keep
an open mind and take risks to bring their business to where it should be.
A R U S S O R E S U L T S C A S E S T U D Y : N o . 0 0 3 4 5 - 0 7
MCM / Mid-Canada Millwork Corporate Identity / Rebranding Project
Background: MCM is one of the most respected and elegant millworking firms in North America. The problem was, they didn’t have a
corporate image to match that. Through a process of research and analysis, Russo developed a new identity for MCM, including a new logo,
tagline, website - a whole new attitude. Additional MCM brand relative touch-points will roll-out as the new year progresses.
Results (and MCM’s new tagline): Quality. Unsurpassed.
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MCM’s Original Identity