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Viewing posts categorised under: Brand Management

Managing Your Brand Across Multiple Platforms

Posted by Liz Papagni in Brand Management | 0 comments

manage your brand Today’s consumers use a staggering amount of screens. In fact, it’s estimated that Millennials use three screens at any given time, and Generation Z spends time on five or more screens. In other words, if you want your message heard and seen, you must figure out how to reach these buyers on tablets, phones, televisions, laptops, and desktops.

Let’s Get Social

Not only must you become adept at multi-screen marketing, but you also have to determine which channels to use. Your target audience spends time in specific places online, and understanding where they are will help you market efficiently and effectively. For instance, Facebook may very well be considered the universal social media platform, with users from age 18 to well over age 65 calling it home. However, even though 79% of internet users are on Facebook, it doesn’t seem to resonate as strongly with younger audiences. Sure, teens are still on Facebook, but they prefer to share information on disappearing messaging sites like Snapchat, which boasts 79% of teens’ use. Marketers who want to reach teens are more likely to build an audience here than they will where parents see their kids’ activities. If you’re trying to reach women, Pinterest is still the powerhouse. While the social platform may not have as many users as Facebook—only 36% of users between 18 and 29, and 34% of users between ages 30 and 49 use the site—of those users, 45% are women. It’s a good bet that you’ll build a solid female base if you’re marketing through Pinterest.

Crafting Your Message

Knowing who will receive your message on each platform is just half the battle. It’s important that you create messaging according to the audience you will find on each platform. For instance, if you’re posting on Facebook, you want to create content that poses a question. This prompts more engagement, which drives your posts to the top of users’ feeds. Twitter doesn’t work that way. Hashtags are the best way to reach new audiences, but you don’t want to go overboard. This allows users to search by topic, which could lead them straight to your door. Proprietary hashtags are fun, but they’re only useful if you’re popular enough to prompt a search with that hashtag. Consider introducing one across several different tweets to build some recognition, but only in conjunction with more widely used search terms in your industry. If you’re trying to reach a younger audience with Instagram, remember that imagery is your best content strategy here. In fact, you’ll only have a few lines of text visible on each post (though you can include as much as you like—just don’t expect people to read it). Then, of course, there’s Snapchat, which has the shortest number of characters available, so your message should be almost entirely in the image you use. Short, snappy, and to the point is the best option here, considering you’re most likely dealing with an audience that has the shortest attention span to date—eight seconds.

Determining Which Is Best

You should know your brand well enough to understand which platforms work best for reaching your intended audience. Sometimes, however, your potential customer base is just too large to put in tiny baskets. If this is the case, segmenting is your only option. Create specific messages for each platform, with copy that’s crafted to speak to your intended audience there. For instance, if you’re working to reach consumers over the age of forty, then Facebook is probably your best bet. Millennials still love Instagram, so images or short videos with brief captions could help you bring these buyers into the fold. And if you also happen to sell to Generation Z, you know they’re likely on Snapchat. An influencer campaign could help you get the attention of teens. As you can see, the exact same message across all platforms will hit some and miss others. That’s why it’s important to understand your audience and your tools. If you need some help, we’re always here for you.

3 Branding Goofs That Could Change Your Image

Posted by Liz Papagni in Brand Management, Brand Strategy | 0 comments

branding goofs Have you ever seen messaging from a well-known brand that made you shake your head in confusion? Maybe one of your favorite companies released a product or service that just didn’t fit the brand you’ve grown to know and love. A departure from your brand mission and vision could happen if you’re not careful, and the result is always confusion among your buyers and fans. In most cases, this departure from the brand is an attempt to grow or to stay relevant during changing times. To avoid these mistakes, you must first know what they are. Let’s take a look at some flubs that could change the way your audience perceives your brand.

Inconsistent Messaging

Your brand messaging takes place across several different platforms, from your social media and website to your print materials and videos. In many cases, the differences found on each medium boils down to the people responsible for those individual platforms. For instance, the writer of your website content may not have any say in the copy used for your advertisements or video scripts. The social media manager might not be aware of the copy used for your retargeting ads. On top of all that, your website designer and graphic designer may be two separate people who have created their own interpretation of your brand’s aesthetic—and the two visuals could differ enough that recipients of your brand message aren’t sure which message is true to your brand. The solution comes in two parts: first, a style guide that lays out your preferred language choices, fonts, colors, and other imagery. Second, there must be one person directing all messaging that reaches the public. This director may not do all the work, but they should see everything before it goes out, so as to ensure all messaging is consistent and on brand.

Changing With the Times

Trends changes at a blistering pace, and a brand that doesn’t keep up with the times could find themselves woefully out of touch within a short amount of time. Does that mean you need to update your logo and imagery every time the trends change? Absolutely not. Brands that do adopt the trends as quickly as they change will eventually find themselves without an audience, as buyers struggle to keep up with the changes their favorite brand is making. Instead, develop something that will stand the test of time. Using every one of the latest trends will make your brand look dated within no time, resulting in yet another brand refresh. It’s important to approach any brand refresh carefully, and only after fully examining your brand’s effectiveness. If you feel you’ve lost touch with your target audience, then perhaps a brand refresh is in order—just not every six months.

Trading Relevance for Visibility

Reaching a wider audience is any brand’s dream, but you can’t give up everything you stand for to get your fifteen minutes of fame. The problem is, you may not even realize you’re trading relevance for visibility until it’s too late. Some of the biggest mistakes you can make include major social media faux pas, introducing or attaching your name to confusing products, and participating in guerilla marketing that backfires. Social media faux pas can happen before you even realize it. Have you read any of the horror stories about companies that jumped on a hashtag bandwagon, only to realize later they were associating their brand with something totally irrelevant? One of the most cringeworthy is the Kenneth Cole Twitter account, where the brand constantly shoves a foot in its mouth. In this case, we think perhaps the brand likes the notoriety too much, but it’s not something other brand should emulate. As for attaching your brand to the wrong product, look no further than the Fyre Festival debacle. Kendall Jenner is definitely a brand, and her connection to the Fyre Festival as an influencer was damaged—perhaps irreparably, since she also has to deal with the Pepsi commercial fallout, too—when the festival went belly up before it began but after fans had already arrived! As for a backfiring guerilla marketing campaign, there are probably too many to even mention. Some are excruciating to watch, while others just prompt a grimace. The movie Forgetting Sarah Marshall launched a campaign that irritated every real Sarah Marshall out there, as they installed posters with mean messages to the Sarah Marshall character in the movie. Lines like, “My mother always hated you Sarah Marshall,” and “You suck, Sarah Marshall,” prompted all the actual Sarah Marshalls out there to react with their own posters directed to the creators of the movie. Your company’s brand is your most invaluable asset. You’ve worked hard to develop this image and to build an audience that understands your values. In all cases, put your brand first. You could avoid some of these crazy mistakes and keep your image intact. That’s a lot more valuable than fifteen minutes of fame. If you’d like to explore marketing initiatives that don’t put your brand in danger, give us a call!

5 Tips to Fix a Bad Business Reputation

Posted by Liz Papagni in Brand Management | 0 comments

fix bad business reputationYour brand is your most important asset. How your buyers perceive your company determines whether or not they’ll make a purchase, refer you to other customers, and—most importantly—come back for more. That relationship between you and your buyers is a lot more fragile than you might think. One PR disaster may be all that stands between you and a bad reputation. If you don’t believe me, consider the mighty blunder of United Airlines. Wow, now there’s a bad reputation in the making. At the writing of this, their stock has dropped $1.4 billion, and is still plunging. Recovering from this could take a while. Now, in most cases, the ding to a reputation isn’t nearly as devastating as this particular example. Before you despair, try these tips to fix a bad business reputation.

Acknowledge the Problem

Whether your problem is presented within your business reviews or all over the news, it’s important that you first acknowledge that there is an issue. Sticking your head in the sand and hoping it will all blow over will only anger your audience.

Learn from the Bad Press

There is a learning moment within even the harshest reviews. Deconstruct the complaints, categorize the statements within, and determine which should be addressed. This is where’ll learn how your buyers feel about the quality of your products, the professionalism of your staff, and the helpfulness of your customer service. Without the bad reviews (or bad press), you may remain unaware of the ways in which you’re failing your customers. Take the criticism to heart and pledge to be better.

Ignore the Irrelevant

You will receive feedback that has nothing to do with your products and services. Once you’ve become well known, it’s inevitable that someone somewhere will attempt to drag you down. Learn how to ignore the feedback that can’t help you. Otherwise, you’ll agonize about things you simply have no control over. Consumers are savvy enough to spot a smear campaign from miles away. If you’re working hard to fix the actual problems, then you’re building even more trust with your buyers. Those irrelevant reviews will have no bearing on your brand.

Address Your Audience

A simple statement from the CEO or PR representative is all you need, but make sure you cover a lot of ground with your address. Name the problem, provide an explanation—not an excuse—and, if you have a solution, convey the steps you’ll take to fix the issue. If you don’t have a solution, at least let your buyers know you’re working on it. Then, reach out to the buyers who made complaints. Thank them for their feedback. Invite them to try your services or products again so they can see how their opinions helped you improve. Even more importantly, they’ll see how you’re working hard to solve for their needs.

The Last Ditch Option

A brand refresh is always an option, even if you’re not dealing with negative publicity. However, a brand refresh should be handled with care, simply because you don’t want to alienate your brand advocates. When you make major changes to your image, you have a lot at stake. Is it time for a refresh? In the case of United Airlines…well, it’s very likely. Digging out of the hole they’ve created will be difficult, but not impossible. If you’re facing total annihilation, then maybe you should consider this option, too. At any rate, it’s never a bad idea to take a critical look at your company and business practices. Ask trusted friends to give honest feedback, and then expand your circle to include strangers and even detractors. The wider the array of people, the more truthful your feedback will be. Remember that a brand refresh isn’t turning your back on your established brand. Instead, you want to maintain those aspects of your identity that your buyers still love while tweaking or updating your vision and mission. These waters are dangerous, but you can navigate them. If you’d like help—whether to weather a PR storm, fix a bad business reputation, or just refresh your brand—give us a call.

Putting Your Brand Advocates to Work with Influencer Marketing

Posted by Liz Papagni in Brand Management, Brand Strategy | 0 comments

influencer marketing This year, 87% of marketers plan to launch at least one influencer marketing campaign. Social proof is huge for Millennials and the up-and-coming Generation Z, and influencer marketing is one of the most effective ways to provide that validation they seek. All you have to do is find the right influencers and put them to work. Believe it or not, you may already have the perfect influencers lined up. You’re probably well aware of your most loyal brand advocates—those cheerleaders who have been a fan of your company and products for so long that you even know them by name. What if you let them do what they do best: sharing the benefits of your brand with the world?

No Celebrities Needed

While celebrity endorsements do tend to reach a larger audience, they’re not always the best option for your brand. Millennials and Generation X crave authenticity, and they can tell when an influencer’s heart just isn’t in it. That’s why your brand advocates may just be the best people for the job. Relevancy and authenticity will always win out over follower count. As an added bonus, your cheerleaders may not cost as much as a celebrity.

Identifying the Right Influencers

With the stress of finding a celebrity off your plate, you can now identify the right influencers from your current brand advocates. This is actually a pretty tough job, as 73% of marketers say finding the right influencers is the hardest part of this type of marketing. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible, though. You’ve already won half the battle by identifying people who genuinely love your brand. Now, you have to determine if your brand will love those influencers. Investigate their current social media and other online presence to ensure they mesh with your brand standards. Can they also support and reflect your brand’s mission and vision? If so, then you’ve got a bona fide influencer on your hands.

Keep an Eye on the Ball

However much you may trust your cheerleaders to always cast you in the best possible light, you can’t simply set your influencer marketing campaigns in motion and then let them go. You’ll have to keep an eye on everything to make sure things are going smoothly. Track your metrics often to gauge your success. Are your influencers reaching your target market? Do your buyers react well to the messages they receive through your advocates’ social media pushes? By tracking Google Analytics, you’ll always have a good idea of where your traffic is coming from, so you can know for sure your influencers are doing the job. You’re well on your way to driving awareness and affinity for your brand. If you’d like to explore other ways to reach today’s buyers for your brand, give us a call.