Simon Sinek explains how to truly differentiate a brand when most fail

Leadership expert Simon Sinek is perhaps best known for giving one of the most popular TED talks of all time, which you can view at the end of this post. Its focus is on how leaders can inspire cooperation, trust and change in a business based on his research into how the most successful organizations think, act and communicate. [si_guide_block id="81859" title="Download our Free Resource – 10 digital marketing megatrends" description="This free guide for all members shows how your business can get an edge by reviewing five key types of marketing trends and specific digital marketing techniques that will help your business become more competitive. Become a free member now."/] I think that marketers will find the most value in his Golden Circle model, which helps give focus to how a business can stand out from similar competitors by communicating its…

Examples of creating powerful online value propositions

Today’s customers are experiencing an information avalanche with social requests, blog posts, real-time updates, news outbreaks etc fuelled by companies eager for our attention. Using digital channels to interact with their audience but not adapting their strategy of pushing messages out and expecting an instantaneous return on investment by measuring their digital channels as they measured their offline channel. Brands are clambering on the digital band wagon but using the same techniques they used in a bygone era of broadcasting their message through buying up media space (Radio, TV, ad impressions) but it is no longer working: appealing to the masses means appealing to no one – rather, brands need to spend more time to get to know their audience and know what motivates their audience. There requires a change in approach and change in tactic, brands need to be asking the question: Am I…

Does your digital brand really stand out from the competition?

Have you really considered the extent to which your online brand proposition  provides something compelling to your audience on an ongoing basis? With the rapid acceleration in new technologies and channels to interact with generic and niche audiences, brands are having to adapt quickly in order to stay relevant and to their audience as well as to out-manoeuvre the competition. For brands it is ensuring you’re playing to your strengths – are you trusted source or supplier which audiences continue to engage with over time? Are you retaining your authority within your sector and are you listening to your customers and aware of your competition? Developing a digital brand differentiation strategy is essential to retain brand identity and relevancy. This post will focus on the concept and importance of creating ongoing engagement or 'lock-in' – explaining what it is, how it can be…

Our interview with Michael Welch of

Michael Welch created as a new way for consumers to buy tyres at competitive prices either over the Internet or on the telephone. From the site, consumers can find the best deal from a network of over 1,000 local dealerships. now has a turnover of £18 million and is growing rapidly, so we thought it would be interesting to learn the approaches its founder, Michael Welch has used to grow and sustain the business. Thanks Mike for sharing your story!

Key success factors for the business

Q1. Which factors do you put the initial success of down to? At the very beginning it was mainly about hard work, determination and not ‘taking no for an answer’. If I’m honest there was no real difference between me…

A tutorial with examples and ideas of what to test

Prominently displaying why users should buy from you rather than a competitor is extremely important for any business look to increases online sales, particularly in retail, but it applies across many other sites. As Bryan Eisenberg, author of Always Be Testing can Call To Action explains in this punchy clip, testing value propositions can have a massive impact on conversion. [youtubevideoembedder id="ps7bB9-ksMY"] Bryan Eisenberg On Unique Value Propositions (1m45s) >> As Bryan says: "If you're not doing this, you're wasting your time" Given this, value propositions are something that I love to test. Smart Insights have covered the importance and examples of value propositions in other posts on their hub page, here I'm going to focus on testing, looking at retail Ecommerce examples.  I will looking at testing and optimisation point of view, starting with a review of…

Ideas, examples and a process to develop your online value proposition (OVP)

I’m really pleased that Jay Baer of Convince and Convert could speak recently in our webcast. He explained three blueprints and examples of how companies can develop their Youtility.  Jay is one of the great original thinkers who shows how to apply social media and content marketing to get business results. Dan and I have been following his ideas from his blog for a couple of years now. The talk and slide deck are now available

Youtility talk

Youtility slide deck

Examples of how to communicate your offer effectively

Simply put, value propositions are the reasons retailers use to persuade us to buy products or services from them rather than competitors. From a retailer's perspective we also consider them sales tools. This includes benefits provided by products/services or even the website, functionality, customer service, loyalty schemes etc. This tends to be done really well by retailers offline, but for some reason online value proposition (OVPs) becomes a watery-at-best version – and this is something that is quite possibly MORE important online than offline. One common theme that I’m sure many can resonate with is that website owners will often say ‘I thought the designers would do that’. But here’s the thing: most designers have studied design, not marketing. Typically, when you ask for them to design an ad, you usually provide…

Great examples of websites with effective online value propositions (OVPs)

"Why should I do business with you online?" is the question on the subconscious minds of all site visitors and especially first time visitors. I believe the design has to emphasise your key offers and why we should do business with you online rather than via another channel or a competitor. I call this an Online Value Proposition. I'm always on the lookout for sites that do this well, so thought it would be handy to present some examples here from different sectors. I like the example on the left from O2 which they use in the area of the site where visitors are viewing phones. It has links to the main parts of the proposition to help support the decision and highlight it with a good hook, image and…

How to engage your site visitors with your brand in 7 steps

Ever been to a web site and wondered 'Why am I here?', 'How does this help me?' or 'Does this site give me what I need?'. And then left shortly afterwards? A succinct online value proposition is a crucial way to hook new visitors into your site and brand in those crucial seconds (not minutes!) that a visitor is deciding to click-on or leave your site. It also encourages continued usage and advocacy about your site, so it's vital to an effective web strategy. An online value proposition is closely tied to your brand positioning which answers questions like: who we are, what we offer, which markets do we serve, what makes us different? But the OVP extends this the difference is that it identifies the reasons why customers will click on, return, register or buy from your site…
Search marketing essentials is our weekly round-up of what really matters in search marketing if you're a marketer or digital marketing specialist. Since Google is dominant in search in most markets, we focus on the changes made by Google to it's search experience and the implications for SEO and Paid Search. Unlike the portals specialising in SEO and PPC we will only select posts from around the web which are "must-read" for marketers managing search, but also responsible for other areas of marketing. Of course, if you are a busy search specialist, aren't they all, we hope you find our updates useful. Sign-up to our enewsletter if you'd like a reminder of the updates each Friday.

Our recommendations on Search Engine Marketing practice for week starting 30th August 2010

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