10 Laws of Social Media Marketing

Leveraging the power of content and social media marketing can help elevate your audience and customer base in a dramatic way. But getting started without any previous experience or insight could be challenging.

It’s vital that you understand social media marketing fundamentals. From maximizing quality to increasing your online entry points, abiding by these 10 laws will help build a foundation that will serve your customers, your brand and — perhaps most importantly — your bottom line.

1. The Law of Listening
Success with social media and content marketing requires more listening and less talking. Read your target audience’s online content and join discussions to learn what’s important to them. Only then can you create content and spark conversations that add value rather than clutter to their lives.

2. The Law of Focus
It’s better to specialize than to be a jack-of-all-trades. A highly-focused social media and content marketing strategy intended to build a strong brand has a better chance for success than a broad strategy that attempts to be all things to all people.

3. The Law of Quality
Quality trumps quantity. It’s better to have 1,000 online connections who read, share and talk about your content with their own audiences than 10,000 connections who disappear after connecting with you the first time.

4. The Law of Patience
Social media and content marketing success doesn’t happen overnight. While it’s possible to catch lightning in a bottle, it’s far more likely that you’ll need to commit to the long haul to achieve results.

5. The Law of Compounding
If you publish amazing, quality content and work to build your online audience of quality followers, they’ll share it with their own audiences on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, their own blogs and more.

This sharing and discussing of your content opens new entry points for search engines like Google to find it in keyword searches. Those entry points could grow to hundreds or thousands of more potential ways for people to find you online.

6. The Law of Influence
Spend time finding the online influencers in your market who have quality audiences and are likely to be interested in your products, services and business. Connect with those people and work to build relationships with them.

If you get on their radar as an authoritative, interesting source of useful information, they might share your content with their own followers, which could put you and your business in front of a huge new audience.

7. The Law of Value
If you spend all your time on the social Web directly promoting your products and services, people will stop listening. You must add value to the conversation. Focus less on conversions and more on creating amazing content and developing relationships with online influencers. In time, those people will become a powerful catalyst for word-of-mouth marketing for your business.

8. The Law of Acknowledgment
You wouldn’t ignore someone who reaches out to you in person so don’t ignore them online. Building relationships is one of the most important parts of social media marketing success, so always acknowledge every person who reaches out to you.

9. The Law of Accessibility
Don’t publish your content and then disappear. Be available to your audience. That means you need to consistently publish content and participate in conversations. Followers online can be fickle and they won’t hesitate to replace you if you disappear for weeks or months.

10. The Law of Reciprocity
You can’t expect others to share your content and talk about you if you don’t do the same for them. So, a portion of the time you spend on followers, which could put you and your business in front of a huge new audience.

 

What is the difference between marketing & branding?

In a recent conversation with a very senior person at a financial institution my colleague was told,
“I think private wealth managers will have a hard time seeing the value of branding—they see marketing as a cost center, not a driver of sales.”

Hold it!

How did we go from branding to marketing in one sentence like that?

What is marketing? What is branding How do they differ?

There is a spectrum of opinions here, but in my view, marketing is actively promoting a product or service. It’s a push tactic. It’s pushing out a message to get sales results: “Buy our product because it’s better than theirs.” (Or because it’s cool, or because this celebrity likes it, or because you have this problem and this thing will fix it, etc.) This is oversimplification, but that’s it in a nutshell.

This is not branding.

Branding should both precede and underlie any marketing effort. Branding is not push, but pull. Branding is the expression of the essential truth or value of an organization, product, or service. It is communication of characteristics, values, and attributes that clarify what this particular brand is and is not.

A brand will help encourage someone to buy a product, and it directly supports whatever sales or marketing activities are in play, but the brand does not explicitly say “buy me.” Instead, it says “This is what I am. This is why I exist. If you agree, if you like me, you can buy me, support me, and recommend me to your friends.”

Branding is strategic.
Marketing is tactical.

Marketing may contribute to a brand, but the brand is bigger than any particular marketing effort. The brand is what remains after the marketing has swept through the room. It’s what sticks in your mind associated with a product, service, or organization—whether or not, at that particular moment, you bought or did not buy.

The brand is ultimately what determines if you will become a loyal customer or not. The marketing may convince you to buy a particular Toyota, and maybe it’s the first foreign car you ever owned, but it is the brand that will determine if you will only buy Toyotas for the rest of your life.

The brand is built from many things.

Very important among these things is the lived experience of the brand. Did that car deliver on its brand promise of reliability? Did the maker continue to uphold the quality standards that made them what they are? Did the sales guy or the service center mechanic know what they were talking about?

Marketing unearths and activates buyers.
Branding makes loyal customers, advocates, even evangelists, out of those who buy.

This works the same way for all types of businesses and organizations. All organizations must sell (including nonprofits). How they sell may differ, and everyone in an organization is, with their every action, either constructing or deconstructing the brand. Every thought, every action, every policy, every ad, every marketing promotion has the effect of either inspiring or deterring brand loyalty in whomever is exposed to it. All of this affects sales.

Back to our financial expert. Is marketing a cost center? Poorly researched and executed marketing activities can certainly be a cost center, but well-researched and well-executed marketing is an investment that pays for itself in sales and brand reinforcement.

Is branding a cost center? On the surface, yes, but the return is loyalty. The return is sales people whose jobs are easier and more effective, employees who stay longer and work harder, customers who become ambassadors and advocates for the organization.

Branding is as vital to the success of a business or nonprofit as having financial coherence, having a vision for the future, or having quality employees.

It is the essential foundation for a successful operation. So yes, it’s a cost center, like good employees, financial experts, and business or organizational innovators are. They are cost centers, but what is REALLY costly is not to have them, or to have substandard ones.

J. Heaton/Creative Director/Tronvig Group/NY

7 Game-Changing Marketing Trends for 2016

Marketing constantly adjusts and reacts to changes in technology and attitudes.
While digital marketing has undergone a substantial transformation in the last few years, the technology that incited the changes is growing at a faster pace than most brands can keep up with.

So, what does this mean for competitive marketers that are already strategizing for 2016?
Brands need to look beyond the usual channels to stay ahead rather than simply jump on the bandwagon.

Here, we’ll discuss those trends that are changing the face of marketing (yet again) and give you an eye-opening look at what marketers should be leveraging in 2016.

1) Relationship Marketing
As smartphone adoption continues to rise with an estimated 2 billion consumers worldwide expected to own a smartphone in 2016, the opportunity for brands to be connected with their customers and prospects is set to be closer than ever. Enter relationship marketing.

The goal of relationship marketing is to focus on building stronger loyalty and long-term customer engagement rather than on quick, short-term customer acquisition and individual sales. This helps companies develop strong, emotional customer connections to their brands that drive word-of-mouth promotions and lead generation.

Through meaningful customer relationships and conversations, companies create loyalists and brand advocates. Companies that do relationship marketing well set the bar high for other brands vying for more meaningful connections.

So, how can companies develop community and personalize their outreach efforts? Data. We now have data in easily accessible and interpretable formats through which we can develop strong relationship-marketing plans. In 2016 and beyond, personalized, data-driven marketing will become increasingly important.

Intrusive, mass-target approaches to marketing will slowly dwindle as marketers who focus on relationships grow their businesses. All solid relationships are built on trust. Transparency between customers and brands is essential, so companies must keep this in mind when mapping relationship marketing tactics.

2) Marketing Automation
As marketers today are spending at least 50 percent of their time on content, companies are coming up with more ways to automate marketing. Marketing automation alone is worth $5.5 Billion and is leading the way in lead generation and prospect nurturing.

Using a marketing automation platform makes it easier to schedule emails, segment contacts, automate social media posting, manage your content, and track the lifecycle of customers in your marketing funnel. This automation trend also highlights the growth of convergence, which allows you to stay lean, focused, and as profitable as possible without compromising on quality.

With even more focus on marketing to deliver results, marketing managers and CMOs should be taking stock of their team’s skills, noting the gaps and defining a robust automation strategy to help sales through engaging prospects, qualifying leads, and shortening the overall sales cycle.

3) Location-Based Marketing Technology
How can event professionals and marketers create an interactive experience? They must target users at the point of engagement. Location-based marketing technology, like iBeacons and RFIDs, helps make this possible. iBeacons are small, inexpensive transmitters that use Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology to detect nearby devices that can be housed in retail stores, point of sale displays, and merchandising areas.

iBeacons can also help event attendees make the most of conferences through sign up and engagement in talks and sessions. Furthermore, Linkedin integration offers the opportunity to connect with attendees and send messages (including push notifications) about the latest news, reducing the need for delayed email communication.

A Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is a small electronic device that contains a chip and an antenna, providing a unique identifier for that tag. RFID wristbands, cards, and apps enable event attendees to interact in new and engaging ways. Event organizers can let visitors easily share their experience with their friends online. Brands can increase shares and likes with a simple photo and tap of the wristband to share across social media.
It’s all about location – and the marketer’s ability to make the most of it, in real time.

4) Virtual Reality
Virtual reality technology will inevitably have a huge impact on the way that marketers engage consumers in 2016. One of the biggest keys to marketing, especially to Millennials, is personalization. With the ability to literally tell 360-degree stories, companies will be able to engage like never before.

Companies who don’t supply a virtual experience for prospective customers, such as retailers, could see a drop in sales. Adoption of VR in 2016 and beyond will undoubtedly cause some kind of shift in marketing ideology. It’s best to hop on the VR train now to get a first look at what these new eyes will show us.

5) Ephemeral Marketing
Snapchat is already moving into the space of a “standard marketing platform.” In the upcoming year, marketers will come to understand that Snapchat isn’t just a tool for fun marketing experiments; it’s a platform that users are flocking to in order to digest social media in real time.

In order to deliver integrated campaigns that make constituents feel connected, especially the younger generation of consumers (read: Millennials) you need to be offering exclusive content that has an expiration date. This “less is more,” or ephemeral, marketing is all about communication that’s shorter and more to the point. In a world where people have less and less time, this model works.

Snapchat is the ultimate platform for making consumers feel connected and at the same time, unique. Brands such as ESPN, Vice, and Comedy Central already use it to push their messages to voracious consumers of media. With Snapchat, the advertisement becomes the product – something that competitors won’t be able to ignore. Take advantage of this huge opportunity to connect uniquely using just a small window of your audience’s time. Be organic, speak their language, and just cut to the chase.

6) Search Past Search Engines
With Facebook already working on tests for its own search engine, it seems inevitable that search capabilities will go far beyond Google, Bing, and Yahoo. As search capabilities improve within social media, brands will get an automatic boost. In addition, when buy buttons and payment messaging appear on social in 2016, an all-in-one-type platform will manifest (more convergence).

With advanced search capabilities, integrated payment methods, and the social impact that empowers sites like Facebook and Twitter, consumers will be able to make purchases, chat with their friends about what they bought, and post the social proof of their new purchase.

Advanced search will bring a more integrated social experience that expands to the e-commerce realm. If you cater your marketing efforts to this all-in-one, buy-and-share social media search, it’s clear that your brand will realize returns. Make the buying process easier, but also make it an experience.

7) The Internet of Things (IoT)
Wearable technology will see a user adoption rate of 28 percent by 2016 – even more data for marketers to mine. So, will this data be derived from people’s day-to-day habits? It looks that way. Every year from now until the foreseeable future, we’ll see the IoT become a bigger tool that marketers can use to engage with customers.

Maybe this means that ads will soon have the ability target people based on their every move. For marketers, this means that your data will have to become more behavior-driven and, although the power of devices may seem unsettling, you’ll be right on target. At the end of the day, people will what they want.

These 7 game-changing trends should be essential elements in your 2016 marketing plans. By 2017, we’ll have a whole new bag of tricks to share with you – but for now, get ahead, keep thinking ahead, and see how things evolve from there!

Should branding start from the product or from the values?

Neither. Branding starts in the mind of the prospect. After all, that’s the place where your brand will live or die.

You need to look into the minds of your prospects and ask yourself: What do we stand for? Did we invent a category? Are we the leader in a category? Are we a no. 2 brand?

Keep in mind, the most successful brands are ones that pioneered new categories, established the brand in the mind and dominate the category. Google in search. Coca-Cola in soft drinks. Uber in personal car service.

As for values, sure it is great that Google will do no evil but that didn’t make it the world’s most valuable company. Dominating search did. Google focused on search when others saw it as just a small part of a portal.

But if you want to start the next Google, the first thing you think about is not values. It is the mind. How can we focus on one thing we can own in the mind? How can we make that category important?

The objective of your branding program should be to own the leadership position in your category. But what if someone else got there first? Then you need to try to be a strong no. 2 brand. And how do you do that? You need to be the opposite of the leader.

For instance, Red Bull was the first energy-brand and rapidly became the market leader. There were more than a thousand competitive energy-drink brands launched in the American market. And virtually all of them were introduced in 8.3-oz. cans, which  made sense. The small cans created the perception that the contents were powerful. Like a stick of dynamite.

So which brand became a strong no. 2 energy-drink brand? Monster and was the first brand introduced in a 16-oz. can. Today, Red Bull has 45 percent of the domestic energy-drink market and Monster has 37 percent.

Marketing should start before the product is designed and produced. Before a company decides on the product or its packaging, it ought to consult with marketing experts who can formulate the product’s strategy.

And what is the most effective marketing strategy? Be first in a new category. Consumers, for example, know Chobani, as the first Greek yogurt, but oddly enough, Chobani wasn’t first. Fage was the first Greek yogurt. (Chobani wasn’t introduced until nine years later.) While Fage was first, virtually no consumers knew that because Fage’s packaging focused on the word “Total.” (A reference to the fat content of the yogurt.) So that left an opening for Chobani to become the first Greek yogurt “recognized by consumers.” The Greek yogurt market illustrates the importance of looking into consumers’ minds.

What if your company is late in bringing a product to market? And what if there are already two strong brands in your category? What should you do then? You have two choices.

1. Set up a new category you can be first in. Earth’s Best, the first organic baby food; Horizon, the first organic milk; and Silk, the first soy milk, are just a few pioneers. This is the best choice but not always possible.

2. Narrow your focus. BMW narrowed its focus to “driving” and became the largest-selling luxury-vehicle brand in the world. Subaru narrowed its focus to “four-wheel drive” and became the most successful automobile brand on the American market, in terms of market-share increases. Subaru even outsold Volkswagen in 2015 by 40 percent.

To sum up, start the marketing process by looking into the minds of your prospects.

Then make your marketing decisions based on where you are in the mind and where you would like to be in the mind.

You don’t win in the marketplace. You win in the mind.

 

2016: What’s New in Advertising?

Consumers will expect even more from advertising.

The content will need to be increasingly honest, relate-able and contextually relevant in order to help shift perceptions. With the continual evolution of in-stream ad products, the need for strong content will only increase. Brands producing content that feels taxing will fail, while others who understand the platforms for which they’re creating content will thrive, gain consumer trust and achieve social currency. The key here will be the shift away from the mindset of content as a window-to-window strategy and more as a perpetual way of speaking to the consumer through different lenses.

Art and design will continue to be a strong part of every aspect of advertising, but there will be an increased emphasis on data to help drive creative decisions.

The combination of science, art and design will be used to test and learn to see what resonates. This methodology will increasingly become the primary way ‘big bet’ creative decisions are made, specifically in the form of video advertising. … Creative direction will be less focused on driving traffic back to a single destination, but rather on a holistic but distributed approach where many pieces of content are adapted to reach people where they are, specific to the devices that they’re using.

The big shift will be thinking about the future and the new technology that allows marketers to tell their story in unique ways. Through this, there may be older forms of ad models that are reinvented, but the focus will be on the new mediums and how they can best be utilized.

There will be an increased awareness that there needs to be an adaption of the insight for the platform, which means that marketers will increasingly rely on creatives to be experts in all aspects of the evolving social space.

 

 

Pantone’s 2016 Color/s of the Year!

A softer take on color for 2016…
For the first time, the blending of two shades – Rose Quartz (13-1520)
and Serenity (15-3919) are chosen as the PANTONE Color/s of the Year.

As consumers seek mindfulness and well-being as an antidote to modern day stresses, welcoming colors that psychologically fulfill our yearning for reassurance and security are becoming more prominent.  Joined together, Rose Quartz and Serenity demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace.

Rose Quartz is a persuasive yet gentle tone that conveys compassion and a sense of composure.

Serenity is weightless and airy, like the expanse of the blue sky above us, bringing feelings of respite and relaxation even in turbulent times.

The prevalent combination of Rose Quartz and Serenity also challenges traditional perceptions of color association.

In many parts of the world we are experiencing a gender blur as it relates to fashion, which has in turn impacted color trends throughout all other areas of design. This more unilateral approach to color is coinciding with societal movements toward gender equality and fluidity, the consumer’s increased comfort with using color as a form of expression, a generation that has less concern about being typecast or judged and an open exchange of digital information that has opened our eyes to different approaches to color usage.

“Joined together Rose Quartz & Serenity demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer rose tone & the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order & peace.” Leatrice Eiseman Executive Director, Pantone Color Institute

8 Recent Digital Marketing Stats

Below are 8 interesting digital marketing stats posted recently posted in AdWeek.

1. Facebook users are becoming lurkers.
34% of Facebook users posted a status update during the third quarter (according to GlobalWebIndex) – meaning 66% didn’t post one at all during a three-month period. Down from 50% of users updating their Facebook statuses during the same period the year before.

2. Social network usage is on the rise.
Facebook users were using an average of 2.5 social networks in 2012, that number has since increased to 4.3 social networks. (according to a recent GlobalWebIndex report)

3. YouTube vs. Facebook.
200,000 consumers were interviewed across 34 markets for its Q3 study. While Facebook has the biggest worldwide membership of any social platform, it is not the most-visited social platform – YouTube is. YouTube is No. 1 for visitation, with 81%  of respondents having gone to the video platform at least once last quarter compared to Facebook’s 80%. (again, according to a recent GlobalWebIndex report)

4. Wearables usage to double.
By the end of this year, 39.5 million U.S. adults will have utilized wearables such as smartwatches and fitness trackers, a 58%  jump over last year, according to data from eMarketer, which expects wearables usage to more than double by 2018 to 81.7 million users.

5. A good review is important.
41% of those surveyed by Social Media Link say it takes between one and four digital product reviews to get them to buy.

6. Are we addicted to our smartphones?
58% of Gen Y consumers consider themselves to be addicted to their smartphones. The company’s mobile-minded report also said that 66% of millennials are likely to contact a business by placing a call versus 22% who are likely to use social media. (Invoca report)

7. A note from Wall Street.
Mobile might be the future of marketing, but Wall Street could be more impressed. “Mobile Internet” stocks were down 15% during the third quarter. (recent Digi-Capital report)

8. Cookies are more than a snack.
When asked what their single most important source of data for insights creation will be two years from now, 30% of clients and 27% of suppliers chose “consumer-specific data collected passively.” The most common example for “passive data” is the use of cookies on a consumer’s computer to capture Internet browsing history. (GfK and the Institute for International Research (IIR) surveyed more than 700 market researchers  and suppliers)

If you are interested in hearing more digital marketing stats & how they might apply to your business’ bottom-line be sure to contact us.

Cutting through the “noise” revealed as top social media program challenge

Cutting through the “noise” has been revealed as the biggest social media challenge facing B2B brands, according to B2B Marketing’s 2015 Social Media Benchmarking Report.

38% of respondents cited cutting through the “noise” as the main stumbling block when it came to social media.

Companies are also struggling to determine their social worth, with 35% encountering ‘difficulty proving ROI’.

However, the study also showed only two in five (40%) senior managers expect their social media channels to accurately demonstrate ROI, while 34% rarely or never expect any proof in regards to ROI.

Yet, respondents were largely confident in their ability to improve ROI over the next year, with 55% expecting a slight improvement and a further 23% anticipating significant gains.

Other significant challenges for social media marketers included ‘lack of time’ (30 % and ‘lack of strategic planning’ 25%).

The report also revealed just 35% of companies use paid-for social media monitoring platforms, perhaps explaining why marketers are struggling to present comprehensive analysis.

An over-reliance on standard website analytics could explain some reservations, with
75 % of companies using platforms such as Google Analytics, which only focuses on web traffic from social rather than audience breakdowns, engagement and interactions.

Let’s look at some of the statistics:
– Only ½ of marketers say social media is an important part of their marketing:
56% critical or important, 44% of some importance/limited importance or no importance
(Interesting note: not much has changed since 2014 when 62% said critical or important & 38% said of some importance/limited importance or no importance)

– Marketing allocates: 12% of budget & 20% of time on Social Media

– Marketers are focusing on reach, rather than engagement:
16% use Social Media to interact, 69% broadcast own content, 13% direct conversations

– Top challenges: Cutting through the “noise”, followed by difficulty proving ROI & finally, lack of time

– Most B2B actively used platforms: 76% Twitter, 71% Linkedin, 47%YouTube

– Most effective B2B platforms: 58% Linkedin, 24% Twitter, 9% Facebook

– Most effective content formats are: Infographics, videos, images
(Interesting note: the most used content formats are: Links to longer content, videos, written copy)

– Measurements to measure success: 56% web visits, 58% interactions, 42% downloads of content

Contact Debbie @ Radsick Ad Group to plan & implement your companies 2015/2016 Social Media Program – we can help you cut through the Social Media “noise” – saving you time & getting a greater ROI.

 

 

 

Think Outside the Box When Marketing Your Business

The way that we market our business has changed a lot even in the past year, let alone over the last few years, and in 2015 we’re seeing a lot of “different” thinking.

There’s more competition out there – but the good news is – there are more options to get your message in front of your target audience.

Why not surprise your audience with something interesting and new?

Here are a few of the least conventional methods we have seen in marketing recently:

Know Where Your Customers Are.
Knowing where your clientele frequents can help you figure out how to best position your marketing. Where are they going? What are they reading? What are they watching? What are they listening to?

If you can answer these questions you can find them and communicate your message to them there.

Develop Personal Connections
Coke has capitalized on it with their “Share a Coke” campaign. Consider personalizing the products that you market or arranging to have them personalized for your customers. This simple gesture goes a long way toward establishing a more personal connection.

Say Thanks In A Special Way
TD Canada Trust utilized this in their “TD Thanks You” campaign, which saw them sharing over 300,000 twenty-dollar gift certificates for their clients. You don’t have to go that big, but thanking someone by giving something back to them resonates in a special way with customers. It can be as simple as a gift-code, or a VIP program that gives reward points that eventually convert into gift certificates.

Don’t Underestimate the Power of the Internet
Have you ever seen a flash mob? It’s easily arranged and gets a lot of social media attention. Banco Sabadell is producer of one of the more famous flash mobs using Beethoven’s Ode to Joy with a complete orchestra and a background of onlookers. Internet shares have made their name pretty recognizable to many people who otherwise would not have known who they were.

Try Some Info-graphic Marketing
Though everyone is trying info-graphics, it’s important to use them correctly. Words aren’t nearly as effective as they used to be, and multimedia communication is on the rise. Info-graphics are an excellent way to explain a topic or provide information in a fun and interesting way. They also have the potential to spread like wildfire on the web via social media shares, media outlet exposure, and info-graphic directories.

Launch an Affiliate or Referral Program
Affiliate marketing is an excellent way to drive sales to your business. Try offering a referral fee to people in your locality for qualified leads. Entire companies have built huge businesses out of creating referral programs for online companies. Don’t just say “thanks” – actually give them something in return for their referral.

People Hate Ads – Unless They’re Creative
People remember when something is unique, Think & be creative – leave a lasting impression so you will not be forgotten.

Contact Debbie @ Radsick Ad Group if you are ready to think outside the box for your next marketing project or campaign – you will be one step ahead of the competition!

Are You Ready to Brand or Re-Brand Your Business?

Learning the basics of branding can help improve communication with your customers and help separate your business from the competition.

Branding creates an emotional connection between your business and the consumer.

If you don’t tell your customers who or what you are, you are giving them the opportunity to form their own opinion.

The obvious risk here is that their conclusion might not be what you want them to think.

A brand strategy communicates the story you want to tell.

Below is a list of some common and often critical mistakes many businesses make:

Are you confusing your customer?
Your customers must know what to expect when engaging with your business. This applies to everything you are doing at your business – from the moment your customer visits your website or enters your business. From the initial first impression to when they leave & of course everything else in between.

Do you understand your customer?
It’s likely that decisions you made about your business were based on what you thought sounded or looked good. Beware – you may risk creating something that is so personal that other people won’t connect. At Radsick Ad Group we will help you make decisions based on market data – not personal preference.

Why do I need research?
Research gives your business the best opportunity for success. Research everything – the competition, your customers, your marketplace and your business model. Knowing what your brand is up against and how to properly position it can save you valuable time and costly dollars down the road.

Should I copy my competition?
Remember – you are trying to differentiate yourself from your competition – not match them. If you can’t tell customers how you’re different from the competitor, the consumer will go with the most convenient option. Give them a reason to choose you.

How are my employees valuable to my bottom line?
Hiring and training employees that are passionate and knowledgeable about your business and what you are offering or selling is key to your business success. Develop their strengths and engage their feedback. Your employees are your #1 asset – investing in them engenders their loyalty and pays back in customer loyalty.

Should everyone in my company have a say?
Inviting everyone in the company to share an opinion may delay the branding or re-branding process and diffuse the focus needed to achieve ROI. Keep those with critical approval authority to an efficient shortlist. Assemble the smallest, most essential team possible. Be sure to include a mix of levels – not just executive.

Does my company need a brand change?  (It worked before)
Today’s customers are changing faster than ever and have more choices than ever. Re-branding well means staying relevant. Assumptions made when the brand was established may no longer hold true. Analyze changes in target markets – your current model may be missing an entire market that didn’t exist the last time around.

Are you guilty of making any of the above branding or re-branding mistakes?

Not every company needs a total branding overhaul, but working with Radsick Ad Group to create a brand or re-branding strategy can help you create a consistent experience to your target audience. Contact Debbie Radsick – debbie@radsickadgroup.com