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How you can develop a brand which lets you stand out from the competition

A business can have the best product or service in the world and offer it at the best price and still fail. Why is that? Because they fail to differentiate themselves from the competition and show a clear and compelling reason why potential clients should do business with them. The key is creating a solid differentiation strategy that will set you apart in the marketplace and show prospects why it’d be foolish to go anywhere else. Business differentiation is the process of making your firm stand out in a crowded field of me-too competitors and a differentiation strategy is the guidebook for how to do it. As a digital marketer, you can do this efficiently and cost-effectively using a variety of digital tools. This blog post will show you how. Developing and implementing a differentiation strategy is a five-step process…

Utilize these important trends this year if you have a niche product 

Niche businesses usually cater to a relatively small and well-defined market by tapping an unmet demand. For example, Lefty’s store is a good example of niche business as it sells products for left handed people. Other examples of niche businesses include GetOutfitted, YearBook Innovation, and boutique consulting firms which provide consulting services to specific industries. Google, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are all examples of niche technology businesses which went on to become mass business later. Niche businesses need to do focused marketing to become profitable as they serve a small segment of the market. Traditionally, niche marketers have used demand based marketing methods such as Pay-per-click advertising and focused industry events for promoting their products or services. However, advancement…

Using video for brand storytelling

There is no shortage of people out there telling us that marketing today is all about storytelling, and that if you want people to connect with your brand, you need to tell stories that they can relate to. Of course, this is easier said than done, so in this post I wanted to introduce you to some ways of determining what story you should tell.

Making a video about your product

When you first consider making videos about your product, the natural tendency is to think about making videos that revolve around the product itself - demonstrating its features and benefits. This is our connection to traditional sales-focused advertising talking. Here is a Fairy Liquid advert that anyone based in the UK of 30+ years should remember. It is a good example of a product-focused advert that clearly shows some awareness of the importance of ‘story’ and emotional connection –…

How to create an uncontested market place by repositioning your brand in the digital world

A number of well recognised brands have disappeared over the last few years such as Blockbuster, Woolworths, Compaq, Republic and Jessops - all recognised brands who at one stage were market leaders. So what's the common thread of these well-established traditional retailers not managing to re-invent themselves as a digital brand? 'Dont find customers for your products, find products for your customers; putting the customer at the centre of the conversation by interacting, engaging and using their feedback to steer new opportunities to satisfy and delight users (e.g. Threadless, Apple, 37Signals). The removal of the 'us v them' mentality and building one to one communication with their customers through the use of social media. Digital disruption - Start-ups who were prepared to take on the big brands and re-invent traditional markets by eliminating running costs, reducing value chains and doing…

Examples showing that Why is often more important than How and What in brand storytelling

Have you ever wondered why some companies do what they do?, Why do Hotpoint make washing machines?, Why do Dyson make hoovers?, Why do Casio make watches?,Why do Yale make locks? or Why do Baxi make boilers?

Why does Alexander Dennis make single and double-decker buses? (you probably didn’t know this right? You do now)

If you haven’t already then I urge you to read a book called ‘Starting with why’ by Simon Sinek. It’ll change the way you think about marketing and differentiating your business from the competition. The book talks about how some companies became so successful by communicating the why’s (beliefs, causes, visions) before they communicate what they do & how they do it.

Simon…

Getting your message across with a Message House

Message Houses are a simple but effective tool for helping your teams stay on message in their marketing communications across different channels. They can be applied not only for general company marketing and brand positioning, but also for other projects (such as events and conferences) and even for the messaging of an organization as a whole.

You might have seen Message Houses that look like the one in the image below: with an 'umbrella statement' inside the roof, three rooms underneath (each containing a different 'core message'), and with a first floor full of 'evidence, proof or support.'

Let's call it the 'multi-room Message House'.

The idea is to have the contents of your Message House inspire all other communications. Consultants like to tell their clients: 'Stay inside the Message House, and you'll be safe!'

At the …

Making your brand promises matter

"Move from [product] differentiation to actually making a difference" Umair Haque, the director of the Havas Media Labs and Harvard Business Review blogger

Earning your way into a consumer's heart is something that we know is important. Helping consumers feel something positive is the goal, convincing someone of purchase can only be an easier win as a result, surely?

The case for this being important, I think we'd agree, has never been as strong, when so much of marketing success hinges on forming connections with consumers, earning even seconds of their valuable time.

This at a time when despite the billions of £/$'s spent on marketing, Haque's latest report states that consumers just don't care - 73% of people don't care if the brands in their life disappeared tomorrow. Ouch, and yet so obvious. If consumers are that indifferent, then we have to make them feel, we have to…

Examples show why advertising still has its place

I am a dinosaur because I believe in advertising!. When I wrote my book, ‘Brilliant Marketing’ I spent little time writing on digital but when, three years later it went to a second edition I’d come to realise that digital and social media occupied a rather more important role in marketing than before.

But does this mean advertising is dead?

Maurice Saatchi of M&C Saatchi had a slightly morbid view himself when he wrote: ‘Sometimes I feel as though I am standing at the graveside of a well-loved friend called advertising. The funeral rites have been observed. The gravediggers have done their work. The mourners are assembled. Most of them are embarrassed to say they ever knew the deceased. ‘Advertising?’ they say. ‘I’m not in that business.’ At the age of 50, advertising was cut down in its prime.’ But he was wrong. The media spend on pure…

4 key issues to consider in raising your profile through your online content marketing

The pitch process has changed out of all recognition. The days of agencies pitching for each project and clients constantly searching for new agencies are (thankfully) a thing of the past. Clients are looking for longer term partnerships with fewer agencies. That is a great thing for client retention and agency financial planning. But, it is potentially bad news for the new business development team. With fewer pitches, the game has changed. The role of business development is to build long term relationships with the Marketing Directors and Procurement teams who manage the tenders, so that they are on the next long list to be considered for the pitch. These relationships are ideally built on personal interactions, but inevitably they will start…

My goodness, how I love a good argument……..

One of my favourite Monty Python sketches in the distant past was the one about the “Argument Clinic”. It was a great idea…the outlet that allowed disputation a place to play out….for money.

“Excuse me I’ve come in here for an argument.”

An argumentative proposition I heard recently was “no one gives a toss about brands any more”. Well, true or false? Actually, neither … how’s that. It’s clear enough isn’t it? No it’s not. Yes it is. No it isn’t… The fact of the matter is that more rubbish is talked about brands than anything else. Linda Barker (God bless her, calls herself a brand – Linda? You know the Interior Designer and TV Presenter). Jordan née Katie Price probably thinks she’s one too.

This is brand Barker or barking….. …