Archive | Business RSS feed for this section

Duracell warms up ice cold Canadians

10 Mar

It’s not really hard to get people to like your advertising and, by extension, your brand.

You just have to be useful.

Duracell figured this one out in spades during our Winter of Discontent.

Problem? Freezing cold, grumbling Canadians.

Solution? Check this beauty out:

 

It’s only a major drag if you’re at the stop by yourself!

 

 

 

A good brand specialist is part snoop, part janitor

19 Feb

silhouette window cleaner

Your brand is not a logo or a look that you toss out into the market with fingers crossed. It’s your company’s promise.  It tells the world what it can expect from you on a consistent basis.

Your brand promise might be experiential. You might promise “innovation” or “simplicity” or “to treat your customers like family”. (Hopefully that doesn’t mean shouting matches at the table!)

It could be functional. You might promise to “save time” or “use less energy”.

Whatever your brand promise might be, it has to be authentic to your business offering and relevant to your customers.

Even more importantly, it has to be achievable.

Part snoop. Part janitor.

Because of that last requirement, the first place I look, when helping a business uncover its brand promise, is not at the product or service itself, but within the company. That’s where the promise lies.

It’s there in the messy desk drawers. It’s hiding under the unpaid invoices and in the smell that greets visitors to your premises. It’s in the sound of your voice when you pick up the phone and the turnaround time for managing a customer’s complaint. It’s in the clarity of your sales pitch, and in the structure and frequency of your staff meetings.

All those things tell a story about the business’s ability to deliver against its promise to the world.

There is a closet detective in every good branding specialist. And a cleaner!

In order to ensure you live up to your promise, your company needs to have its house in order, and that usually means some things have to improve.

To figure that part out, I use a process I call the Brand Evaluation, where I analyze a business against the promise it should be making to its customers. This involves asking a cross section of staff a variety of questions that challenge them to think about their business and their brand in new ways.

I ask the tough questions during these sessions and dig hard for the dirt.

I learn what sorts of promises a company can support currently, what it’s getting hung up on, and what needs to change in order to offer a different level of promise to the customer.

The DNA for the look of your brand

Once the workshop is complete, I have the groundwork for an achievable brand promise – and the DNA for the physical look and feel of your brand.

But your brand promise is not just for your customers. It should also drive internal behaviour and give a company something to measure their operations against: their internal processes and communications, their customer touch-points and the business culture.

Then you’ve got yourself an authentic, consistent and achievable brand to unleash on the world.

Christmas card wars: Bell versus Dominos

12 Dec

corporate Christmas cards

Last Christmas Bell sent me an e-card to say Seasons Greetings. This year they put one in the post instead. (That’s a strange reversal of environmental culture from an industry that pushes hard for electronic billing, but that’s another story.)

The Bell card arrived the same time as a card from Dominos Pizza.

Guess which one I liked better?

Christmas card from BellDominos Pizza Christmas card and couponMy average monthly business to Dominos is about $25, so $300 a year. It’s easy to be disloyal and use another pizza delivery service, so the $5 gift card is smart. It will ensure my next order anyway.

I use Bell to the tune of about $150 a month. I have contracts so I don’t have much discretionary choice. If I want to switch to another telecom, it will cost me a bundle.

Bell knows this and didn’t reward my $1,800 a year business with anything beyond a “Thanks”.

Now in your mind, “Thanks” might be enough. But an unsigned card isn’t doing anything to earn my gratitude or keep my business. It’s just a corporate card, a cost to the company that goes straight into recycling. It has no value-add, nor even a rewarding idea. It wasted resources, and my time to open it and recycle it.

Don’t say it. Show it.

The Dominos card, while not going on my mantle, delivered something in the way of a message. “We are eager to keep your business”. They didn’t say it – they showed it with the coupon, which will hang around, an ongoing branding reminder, long after the recycled card has made its way back into paper mulch.

Of course you can argue there is a significantly greater cost to Dominos for the gesture for considerably less business potential. But my guess is it will pay off.

You must get corporate Christmas cards. Do you think they have value?

Amy C. Amy Do.

Amy fall down.

Son of the Morning Light

Just another guy with a camera

LE WOOD SHOP ANEKA DEKO

BOUTIQUE DE DÉCORATION ET DE MOBILIER EN BOIS ET MATÉRIAUX RECYCLÉS

the Blacklight Arrow

David Blacker's Blog

TV Amanda

Blogging about all things tv, advertising & marketing

Ballentine Media Inc.

Vancouver Small and New Business Branding, Design and Social Media Strategy

BriWrites

BriWrites: Brian Hartz's Blog

Financial & General Copywriter

Barry Hill, MBA (Ivey)

%d bloggers like this: