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One of the key characteristics of brands that are launched by entrepreneurs is that they leverage the personal passion and history of the founder. It’s hard to think of Starbucks without thinking of Howard Schultz, Zappo’s without Tony Hsieh or Virgin without Richard Branson.
Each of these founders has spent time building their businesses but also paying attention to their own brands and building up a reputation for credibility and expertise that goes beyond any one individual business venture. Many entrepreneurs tend to be serial entrepreneurs; they get involved in more than one venture.
Personal branding is particularly important here as odds are some of your ideas will be successful and some won’t. But you want people to continue to invest (time, energy, money) in you as an individual.
Let’s not kid ourselves: creating a brand can be complicated. (If you’re reading this, you likely know firsthand how complicated.) Not only do you need to decide what your brand stands for, what you want to provide consumers and how to convey your brand promise, you must identify who you want to use your product.
This is one of the most important decisions you can make. After all, brands are relationships, and like romantic relationships you need to make sure there are two mutually interested parties. You don't want to get into an unrequited love situation where no one is interested in what you are offering. This can be a very cold, lonely, and ultimately very unprofitable situation to be in. Healthy relationships involve two interested and equally committed parties. Unhealthy ones don’t – and rarely last long.
Australia dominated the Digital Asia Awards this month, bringing home more trophies than any other country involved. New Zealand also did incredibly well, tying for fourth place in the final trophy tally.
The Digital Asia Awards, organised by Lions Festival and Haymarket Media Asia, are a celebration of the best that Asia’s digital marketing industry has to offer.
This year the event was held as part of a two-day Digital Asia Festival in Beijing, allowing over 300 members of the digital industry to come together, share inspiration and network.
Starbucks has come a long way since it’s first Seattle store in 1971. So it makes sense that last year it decided to task its brand team with redesigning the logo.
Steve Murray, Content Manager of Brand Strategy and Expression at Starbucks, worked as lead writer on the team that spent hours, weeks and months creating a new logo and brand identity for Starbucks and he shared what they did at Starbucks to a full room of retail marketers at the recent shop.org conference.
But how do you improve and simplify a logo that is only made of four parts and one basic colour? And why was it important to do so?
The noise around social media in Australia appears to be increasingly amplified by marketers and clearly continues to be a hot topic.
There are also snippets of data emerging that explore this large and complex digital arena, but one of the questions that seems to be asked is why consumers choose to engage or associate themselves with brands in the social space.
So, in association with Toluna, Econsultancy surveyed more than a thousand Australian consumers, in an effort to explore what attracts users to a specific brand or company on social media platforms.
US internet retailers are more likely than their UK counterparts to target Brazilian and Chinese markets in the next year.
However, all agree that use of social media networks and website translations are fundamentally important tools for making progress into international e-commerce markets.
After attending two events, most recently the IRCE in Chicago, USA and the IRX in Birmingham, UK back in March, I found several crucial differences in the way that companies in the US and UK were approaching the various international retail markets.
Bob Garfield, editor of Ad Age and host of NPR's "On the Media," took to the stage at the Brite Conference at the Columbia Business School to speak about the human element that is needed in digital marketing today.
For more than 300 years, we were in the product era and from 1965 to now, it is the era of the consumer. But how is social media changing the standard of what was the standard of trust?
Earlier this week a post on the average clickthrough rates for popular Facebook brand pages reminded me of an article I wrote nearly three years ago, which was all about how to measure social media.
At the time I believed that social media sat somewhere between offline and online, as far as measurement was concerned. Yes, you can measure the hard numbers, but what about the softer metrics? Doesn’t there need to be a little room for interpretation?
Well, I still believe all of that. The key to measuring social media is to track all of the usual ‘hard’ metrics, but it’s also to step back and correlate performance against the major business KPIs. That’s pretty much the key to measuring everything. If it an engagement tactic or marketing campaign doesn't move the needle in terms of sales, satisfaction, loyalty or profit then ultimately what's the point of doing it?
Paid search is typically perceived as a direct response channel. It is most frequently used by firms for sales and lead generation.
There are definite brand benefits to paid search, but most advertisers do not focus on the softer brand metrics when placing Adwords campaigns. Clickthrough and conversion rates are what matter the most, as far as most people are concerned.
As such it was rather interesting to spot a seemingly random paid search ad for Ann Summers, which was anchored to a keyword search on last year’s budget.
Software licensing can be a tough business. But if you're able to build a great product and acquire customers, it can be a rewarding business. The founders of Jelsoft, the company behind the popular vBulletin message board software, know that first hand.
Having built arguably the best message board software out there, they sold Jelsoft to Internet Brands in 2007 for an undisclosed amount. And two years later, Internet Brands is facing a violent customer revolt over a new product and new licensing terms.
It's still happening! Brands are doing their best to manufacture social communities using the social web with varying degrees of success. The majority of 'forced' online communities would appear to be made up of family, friends and those willing to give support...but not really going anywhere.
How many such company-originated Facebook groups have you seen that are genuinely thriving and active? Most don't really go anywhere, but on the rare occasion some really do take off.
I've tried to analyse why and I think there may be a need to go back to basics; your feedback is most welcome on these thoughts.
I'm working on a new startup / brand and have been doing a lot of reading lately on branding. This morning I was truly blown away by a presentation called The Brand Gap by Marty Neumeier, which sums up the modern age of branding in 162 genius slides. I liked it so much I bought the book.
As much as I wanted to feature Marty's slideshow alone (it is arguably all you need) there are other sources of inspiration out there, and I have compiled four additional presentations - including one video from Gary Vaynerchuk - which will help focus minds on the most important factors when trying to establish a brand.
These presentations can be digested in half an hour or so, and I found them all really helpful. Remember that even if you're 80% on track, there's still 20% scope for improvement. And besides Gary V is always worth tuning into. Enjoy...