The Marketing Boutique

This month, I’m excited to welcome Liz Skalla from Skalla Consulting as a guest blogger! Liz is a master in brand positioning. Liz will share her passion for branding and will provide practical and compelling insight on how to develop your brand strategy in this 3-part blog series.

A brand strategy is necessary for all businesses.

Your product and service need to be solving a problem in a unique way to be competitive. True, it takes more work to develop a unique brand especially with today’s complex business environment and difficult to understand where to start when it comes to determining what will be your brand strategy.

The purpose of this three-part blog series is to present a simplified brand strategy, which I’ll break down into three manageable parts. I call it the ‘Brand Strategy Formula – Simplified.’ For today’s post I’ll be discussing brand positioning. Read More

If you’ve recently bought Company A and decided to change the name of Company A, you are probably in the middle of a rebrand. It sounds simple enough, updating all sales collateral to the new brand image, developing the right message and launching a new website that merges Company A with your company. Read More

Brand Engagement Formula

The brand engagement formula is not only about social media. And, it is more than brand awareness. Brand engagement is the process of forming an emotional or rational attachment between your consumer and your brand.

Why is brand engagement critical? Brand engagement and sales go hand-in-hand, where one can’t exist without the other. As a result, more companies invest in strategies that drive brand engagement to supercharge their marketing campaigns and win more sales.

Creating a brand engagement is a 3-step formula.

3-Step Brand Engagement Formula

  1. Create great customer experiences
  2. Add customer value
  3. Boost engagement with partnerships

Brand Engagement Formula: Create Customer Value

For B2C companies, creating great customer experiences include giveaways, test-drives, product demos, in-store experiences — customers are looking for new and exciting ways to engage with a brand.

However, it can be difficult to design these same experiences for B2B, but not impossible. Consider upgrading your customer support department with 24-hour support service, toll-free number and online training resources. You may want to include an onboarding plan and an after-service follow-up call to determine if the project was successful.

If you’re unsure where to start, look at your competitors to see what they are offering and where you can differentiate from the competition.

This approach helps to define your company’s position in your industry and at the same time, create messages and relevant customer experiences programs. Brand engagement includes the ability to define the qualities and attributes of your brands, how your brand delivers on its promise, clear brand messaging and targeted communications to the right target market.

Add Customer Value

Understanding the values and vision of our clients is fundamental in creating a genuinely engaging brand experience for their products or services. However, this also means that you may need to develop a single brand attribute to draw in their target audience.

As today’s brand builders, we want to create a genuinely authentic customer experience with your brand.

An authentic brand consists of being anchored in honesty in their message and can meet their brand promise.

The conventional approach to brand building is changing and evolving. With social media, online shopping, and social community groups, traditional B2B companies are starting to understand that one can not manufacture (no pun intended!) a set of static brand messages that can expand organically with today’s new online buying journey. Instead, B2B companies need to not only deliver the products and services that are of value to today’s consumer, but they also have to give brand messages that are honest and transparent.

Brand Engagement Formula Starts With the Client

  • Define the benefit(s) or feature(s) of your product or service that are important to your customer base;
  • Select the benefit or feature that will give you the competitive advantage
  • List the intended brand emotion your customer will get from your product or service

The Internet has changed the brand development environment. How they will interact with your brand and where they’ll find your brand is now online and with diverse mediums. Many, if not all of us will start our buying journey online. As a result, your customers want to know your brand on a personal level.

So, how can you create and maintain brand relevance in today’s fast-changing world?

  • Look to create new categories or develop value-add to your current product offering.
  • Change the brand message; sometimes the product is still great, but the brand message is out-dated
  • Change up how you promote your product or service; you may need to offer something free, try Facebook advertising or host a webinar to showcase that your brand is relevant.

Brand Engagement Formula: Boost Engagement with Partnerships

Partnerships also drive engagement. As a B2B company this could be as simple as attending a trade show and hosting a presentation while you’re at the show. The convergence of two well-established brand heavyweights can generate more sales leads and move prospects through the sales cycle faster.

If your brand could speak, what would its brand message say to your targeted audience? Is the message relevant and competitively different from the competition? How do you know? Start with a market analysis, such as:

  1. Competitive analysis.
  2. Industry trend review.
  3. Target audience purchasing behaviour, attitudes and biases of product or service
  4. Supplier Influence
  5. And other factors that will have an impact on your brand.

So, does your brand matter? Yes! And, it matters to your employees, your customers, and your bottom line. Surveying your customer base, the market, and your employees, can identify the level of brand engagement that exists today and can identify key action items to increase brand engagement across these key populations.

var $zoho=$zoho || {};$zoho.salesiq = $zoho.salesiq || {widgetcode:”700e1d4bef66f63946792ecfb24356cc28cfb8a149fd0e3fdb62ebdd7c0f16ff”, values:{},ready:function(){}}; var d=document;s=d.createElement(“script”);s.type=”text/javascript”;s.id=”zsiqscript”;s.defer=true; s.src=”https://salesiq.zoho.com/widget”;t=d.getElementsByTagName(“script”)[0];t.parentNode.insertBefore(s,t);d.write(“
“);

I read an article today from Sanjeev Patel, from Aura Wellness Center on “The Problem with Teaching Yoga Fitness Classes”. Now stay with me on this post, it will relate to marketing…

Sanjeev highlights how yoga has changed in North America, due in part for the “need for speed” attitude that is mainstream in North America. He notes that instead of yoga being about mindfulness, it is changing to meet the needs of people who expect results – pronto. Sanjeev asks the question to yoga instructors, “Which way will you go?”

This got me thinking, can a single yoga instructor solve this problem? Or, should the yoga industry take back the word yoga? How do we solve this brand identity problem?

Brand Identity – How To Best Enter A New Market

It’s the nature of North America, in particular for the US – we see something that popular with the opportunity for growth and what do we do? We take it, own it and try to make money out of it. Even if this means we blend yoga with Zumba and call it Yoga Intense, Power Yoga or Yoga Dance, you get the idea.

However, entering a new market, in any market does mean that your product, image, message and sometimes even ingredients will change. It has too. Lucky are the products that don’t have to change, for example, a car is still a car in any market. For others, like the yoga industry is in a crisis. People are taking it and liquefying the product to the point that it may become unrecognizable.

Protect Your Product, Control The Brand

The main problem is that we keep calling these exercises Yoga when it fact these are not yoga at all. Because yoga took a long time to become mainstream and as a result the slow, grass movement created a fragmented market, making it hard to control ‘true yoga’.

When a product that is exported via a single distribution will help to protect your brand. Apple product is a perfect example where we can only buy these products as their retail stores or on the Apple site. Not only are you creating better control over their brand but also price leadership.

The “yoga” product is harder to control since it is not a physical product, then we have an increase in Yoga Teaching Centers in North America, all adding to this challenge. But there is a way…keep on reading.

Trade Mark or Brand the Industry or Product

While we all hope to have this problem, a brand that is too popular to control, this does present a second problem – an industry or product that becomes diluted due to its popularity. The industry or product is being crushed or in business terms, cannibalized by its own financial success.

This presents an opportunity… trademark yoga, making all the others irrelevant.

Take the case study of Parmigiano-Reggiano – the greatest cheese in the world, by the way.

But I digress.

Many years ago, Parmigiano became very popular, to the point where we even had Kraft Parmigiano Cheese in a shaker tube, sold on the shelf. It wasn’t even required to be put in the fridge!! And, yet they got away with selling it as ‘Parmigiano’. Now you know you have a brand problem when Kraft is selling ethnic foods as ethnic and people believing it’s the same product as the imported Parmigiano-Reggiano.

What did Italy do?

They trademarked, branded and added the word, “Reggiano” to their product. Today, if you buy any other Parmigiano without having it state, Parmigiano-Reggiano, it is not Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Yoga associations or perhaps India should do the same thing. Brand Yoga with Yoga-Saraswati or something like that.

Protect Your Brand | Stay Consistent With All Your Sales Channels

We all need to make money. Now that’s out of the way, let’s take a step back and look at all the recent popular online promotional programs, specifically those list building programs. I’m all in favour of building your email list but not at the expense of selling your brand or expertise.

This is the same for yoga teachers, who want to increase the number of students and as a result, we blend and create a new yoga class to hopefully attract the people who like to beat themselves silly to get fit and hopefully will find Power Yoga really interesting.

I think the question that should be asked is, “How will you protect your industry?”

Cecilia

Article: The Problem With Teaching Yoga Fitness Classes.

I read an article today from Sanjeev Patel, from Aura Wellness Center on “The Problem with Teaching Yoga Fitness Classes”. Now stay with me on this post, it will relate to marketing… Read More