Thursday, December 17, 2015

2016: The Year of the Big Three...

As 2015 rounds the last lap, it's time to start building your branding plan for 2016. Here are three prompts to get you started:

  1. The Presidential Election: What is its impact on branding? Money and media congestion. If trends hold up, candidate and Super PAC advertising will drive media prices up 7 to 15% this year as well as filling up the airways. This applies to digital and social media as well. Some ways to maneuver your advertising plan during an election year:
  • Avoid booking during surge times such as two-weeks around both the primary and presidential elections. 
  • Plan ahead and buy early and be flexible and ready for changes.
  • Don't rely on just one medium, especially TV. 
  1. Foundations: What do I do and why should my customer care? Launch the new year by getting back to these basics, then make a plan to build on them.
  • Connect your brand with your customer: What is the relevance of your product or service to a customer's lifestyle? Connect your brand to the prospect's daily activities by selling the benefits instead of the features.
  • Review and support your brand promise: Springboard off your company's benefits to develop its brand promises. Then develop sound reasons why your customer should believe them. Then implement a plan on how you are going to follow-through.
  • Develop a clear and focused brand message: Strategy requires focus, clarity, and detail. Are your messages in line with what you want to convey about your company, products, and services? In what ways are your products and services more "genuine" than your competitors'? Emphasize those aspects of your brand to leverage your competitive edge.
  1. Customer Consent: How can I get my customer to want to interact with me? With ad blocking, digital clutter, increased spamming, and broadcast avoidance (read our article on iTV), brands need to aggressively find ways to cut through to reach their customer. 
  • Listen to your customer: Cultivate a dialog with your customer before, during and AFTER the sale. 
  • Ad-blocking (see our article on ad-blocking): The invasion of pop-ups, particularly on mobile devices, has invited a deluge of ad-blocking software. Gain permission to advertise and then use the opportunity to give your potential customers something of value. 
  • Build trust: "It takes 10 good deeds to undo one bad one." That's how fragile trust is. Be authentic and transparent in all your dealings with your customer; be clear about any changes impacting your product line or service offerings; be prompt, responsive, and thorough. 
The "Rule of Three" states that "Good things come in threes." Implement these points and watch your business grow.

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