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Feb01

Wanna know the most DECISIVE element for marketing research?

Published by under Business & Marketing

I recently came across this quote by Zora Neale Hurston; “Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose.”

It got me thinking of the importance of market research for any business. Is marketing research really that important? And how important is DEMOGRAPHIC information in the bigger scheme?

The answers are yes and very!

Not knowing your target audience is really like shooting an arrow in the dark. How can you engage in appropriate promotional marketing if you don’t know who your customer is and what he/she likes, needs etc?

Customers today are spoilt for choice. In such a scenario, companies that can provide each individual customer with exactly what he/she needs and not a generic product are the ones that are successful. Indeed, demographic segregation and customization are at the core of brand marketing strategies of successful companies like Dell. Dell realized that customizing its offerings for its customers is essential in carrying out its marketing strategies as well as in enabling it to build a solid customer base.

The first step to any successful brand marketing strategy is determining your target audience. While in some industries, the target audience is limited. For example, a store that sells clothes for moms-to-be has a very niche target audience. For some industries, the target audience could be people from almost any age group, of any social background and any income level. For example, if you manufacture tomato ketchup, your target audience ranges from 5-70!

When identifying your target audience, don’t ignore potential customers from industries you haven’t worked with in the past. The ideal brand marketing strategy is to identify a wide ranging target audience and then segregate further. For example, 20-50 year old American men and women. Thereafter, segregate your audience further according to their ages or other aspects and create different promotional strategies for each group to appeal to them better. Thus, your advertisement aimed at those in their 20s-30s should be different to your ads catering to your 40-50 year old customers.

Similarly, if you want to engage in effective promotional marketing, you need to provide customers with products they will use. Thus, if you are a manufacturer of a product like chocolates (that appeal to both children and adults) you could offer promotional products like slap bandz to children and products like photo frames to adults.

So before you work on any elaborate marketing plans, remember that the first step to a successful brand marketing strategy is identifying your target audience based on key demographics and then catering your advertising, promotional marketing and products to the different customer segments you have identified.

I hope these branding tips have helped you! Good luck with your brand marketing strategy!

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Jan21

3 reasons why ‘The Social Network’ won Golden Globe Awards

Published by under News,Social Media

The Social Network is certainly the flavor of the season, having won four awards at the 68th Golden Globe Awards. The awards for Best Drama, Best Director (David Fincher), Best Screenplay (Aaron Sorkin) and Best Score (Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross) were all bagged by The Social Network.I won’t say I’m surprised. The movie doesn’t have one dull moment. Were it up to me, I’d add another award to the list; Best Inspirational Movie. Okay, I know such a category doesn’t exist at the Golden Globes. The point I’m trying to make is that there are many important lessons you can learn from the movie.Below are the top 3 lessons I learnt from ‘The Social Network’:Act now: How many times have you had a great idea but done nothing about it because ‘there’s always tomorrow’? Procrastination is one of the biggest obstacles to success. As the movie depicts, Zuckerberg wasted no time in executing his idea. Zuckerberg’s quick actions caught the Winklevii twins completely off guard but the movie shows you that if you don’t act on a great idea quickly, someone else will beat you to it.

Meet a major need: The reason Facebook is so popular is because it allows people to connect, know more about each other and essentially, get a peek into someone else’s life. It is said that ‘No man is an island’. All humans thrive on social contact. Facebook gives an opportunity to shy people who battle with face-to-face interactions to meet new people, in addition to connecting with old friends. What entrepreneurs can learn is to ensure that the product or service you offer meets the needs of your target audience. Meet unmet needs and solves problems through your offering and you are bound to succeed. This is the branding idea behind most successful companies. If your offering adds value to your users, your product or service will get sold through the most powerful manner; word of mouth.

Focus on growth: One of the main aspects that stand out when you watch the movie is Zuckerberg and Sean Parker’s foresight. While Mark’s business partner, Eduardo Saverin wanted to cash in on Facebook’s popularity by getting ad revenue back when Facebook was created, Zuckerberg and Parker didn’t want to sell out too quickly. Zuckerberg focused on content and increasing the number of users initially. He waited so he could target big fish instead of selling out to small fish too soon. This is an example of a great branding strategy. He worked to establish a trusted community of Facebook users and focused on earning revenue later.

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Jan02

Going Green … Going good! Knowing Green Chemistry!

Published by under News

California Governor Arnold Schwartznegger may be thinking that acting probably is the best thing that happened to him and politics the worst! Two years after he raised hopes among environment lovers by passing two bills supporting an intensive green chemistry programme, Arnie in a turnaround began supporting a new set of watered down rules that citizens claim will fail the ‘reduction of toxic chemicals in consumer products’ cause.

Not sure what Green Chemistry means? Let me explain.  For example; do you consider what and what quantities of chemicals go into the products you buy… be it any products for your company, promotional products like promotional bags, promotional pens to gift your clients or even day-to-day products like promotional sanitizers that you buy for your company. Green Chemistry is a process that comprises initiatives to lessen or purge negative environmental impacts.

Embrace the green principle and you’ll see that you don’t need statutes to do what you believe in. You can start on a simpler basis by using eco-friendly products that are bio-degradable.

Use eco-friendly stationery. Every office needs notepads or jotters so why not combine your need with your cause. I personally use the Economy Recycled Jotter and Bic’s Recycled Notepads. They aren’t even that costly. Today, there are Recycled Paper Pencils and promotional pens like the Recycled Eco-Friendly promotional pens available too and as if to stress that the smallest of things can make a difference, there are tiny eco-friendly paper flags and matchbook flags available. Amaaazing!

You should definitely let your clients know you are a Green supporter. Give them eco-friendly promotional products like biodegradable bottles and instead of regular promotional bags send them your annual report or samples of your products in eco-friendly bags like the Eco-Therm-O-Tote or the Eco Little Thunder Tote Bag.

Rope in your employees too! Spreading the green message by giving them eco-friendly promotional products is not enough. Inform them about the importance of going green and inspire them to be green supporters as well.

Tradeshows can be a good way to spread your brand popularity and your green message. Distribute giveaways that are eco-friendly like LED lights or Recycled Paper Pencils.

Arnie may have changed his course, and Green Chemistry may be a concept that is yet to establish a hold on the majority of the world, but just like tiny eco-friendly paper flags are helping to make a difference, you can too!

To view a large variety of  Eco-Friendly promotional products for your business promotion, please visit our website at www.promodirect.com

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Dec26

Share quick & make brand promotion stick with the new LinkedIn Share Button

Published by under Branding,Social Media

LinkedIn has finally gone the Twitter and Facebook way – possibly a step further – and introduced a LinkedIn Share buttonthrough which users can share information or content on their profiles as well as on LinkedIn Groups.  I know … I know that such forums for brand positioning were already started by the FB and Twitter magnates. Still wondering why am I so kicked about LinkedIn finally getting there? Its because this will give a professional focus to brand promotion on the social media network.

With most of your current and potential business contacts already on the site, the LinkedIn  Share button can prove to be a blessing for your brand promotion and can direct your brand positioning. Here’s how and why…

Share information

Any new developments in your business, new products introduced or discounts offered. All you have to do is share it using the LinkedIn Share button and the news gets zapped into the LinkedIn sphere that hosts all your business contacts. Brand promotion – instantly achieved!

Strengthen contacts

It works like the FB ‘likes’ and the Twitter ‘follow’ or ‘retweet’! In addition to your information, share information you sourced from your contacts’ blog or website too, using LinkedIn Share. The business camaraderie generated will be good for your business and will be reciprocated too. Brand promotion – gradually … but achieved nonetheless!

Save time

Information dissemination – to business contacts at LinkedIn who make up your business destination – at the click of a button! Brand promotion – won’t take more than a few seconds!

Linked in also recently introduced LinkedIn Company pages where companies can ‘build their brand through network-aware recommendations, giving members rich, credible insights into how any given product (or service) is perceived by their fellow professionals’ – (that’s how LinkedIn blog described it!) It works pretty much like the Facebook ‘like’ concept wherein clients can visit the company pages and ‘recommend’ your company and go a step further in your brand promotion.

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Nov27

The true colors of successful branding strategies!

When you see an apple, do you recognize it by its shape or by its color? Never thought so profoundly before gobbling up the fruit, did you! According to an ingenious team of researchers from Vanderbilt University, apparently an area in our brain is divided in such a manner that it responds differently to different colors. This in turn defines how you discern a particular object.

Go a step further and think branding strategies as you read this and you’ll have one of those ‘Oh why didn’t I think of it before’ moments like I did. Visualize Coca Cola and doesn’t ‘red’ flood your thoughts or ‘blue’ when you imagine Facebook? (This is apart from the shape, font etc.)

Take color seriously like the above brands did, and you’ll find brand identity and recall baby steps away. Find out why some colors work and how can you use them:

Blue – It represents calmness, integrity and stability. No wonder then its the most popular color preferred by businesses. Use it in your business cards, office décor, brochures to convey the ‘you can trust us’ message.
Red – It represents the color of danger, excitement, and passion. Use this color to imprint your logo on the promotional items and rest assured, it will keep drawing attention to your brand.
Orange – It represents enthusiasm and its vibrancy is guaranteed to enhance your brand identity. Use it for your banners and your marketing message will be communicated loud and clear.
Green – It represents prosperity or money. Sending mailers about how your low prices facilitate savings, write it in green. Want to portray your company as eco-friendly? Give your office, office stationery, promotional items a green tone.
White – It represents peace and simplicity. Pick this color while gifting promotional shirts or assigning uniforms to your employees, and not only will they use it as formal wear, your logo will look the brightest too.
Black – It represents seriousness and no-nonsense boldness and is the preferred color while stating facts. Use it while writing your website or brochure content and the readers will believe in you and your services. If in white, they convey simplicity, promotional shirts in black convey style.

So there! Why stick to drabness when you can add a dash of color to your branding strategies, right?

To view a large variety of branding products for business promotion, please visit our website at www.promodirect.com

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