Living Our Brand: Fulfilling The Promise Our Stakeholders Perceive We Make

I was looking through some of my older presentations before and had come across one slide that said,

“Living Our Brand: Fulfilling The Promise Our Stakeholders Perceive We Make” – Leigh Wong

Allow me to unpack that a little for you:

  1. It is not enough to have a great brand strategy – one must live it out too!
  2. Living out our brand happens in two parts: first, it’s about fulfilling a promise to our stakeholders. I know there are many, many, many ways of understanding what a brand ultimately is – but suffice to say, one of the better ways of understanding what a brand is, is that it is a promise made between our stakeholders and our brand. So, living our brand means keeping and fulfilling that every promise.
  3. Second, living out our brand must also be understood in the context of our audience/stakeholder/customer/end-user. The promise we are making is not necessarily the one that we think we are making, rather it is the promise that our stakeholders perceive we are making!

So, when you want to think about living out your brand, you’ll really need to think about it in at least these terms described here.

How Brands Talk (via Tom Fishburne – Marketoonist)

Tom Fishburne’s cartoons always very nicely sums up some of the marketing problems we face today. This cartoon “How Brands Talk” really made me LOL! looking at how self-centered brands are – even as they claim to be all about “you”; the customer.

His commentary on this is also very insightful. My key takeaways were:

Continue reading “How Brands Talk (via Tom Fishburne – Marketoonist)”

Seth Godin on “Loyalty”

Seth Godin is my absolute guru on marketing ideas! I really like how he puts things together… his recent post on what “loyalty” means is brilliant! It’s so chock-full of brilliance, that – with all due respect to Seth – I have to reproduce it here in full:

Loyalty is what we call it when someone refuses a momentarily better option.

If your offering is always better, you don’t have loyal customers, you have smart ones. Don’t brag about how loyal your customers are when you’re the cheapest or you have clearly dominated some key element of what the market demands. That’s not loyalty. That’s something else.

Loyal customers understand that there’s almost always something better out there, but they’re not so interested in looking.

Loyalty can be rewarded, but loyalty usually comes from within, from a story we like to tell ourselves. We’re loyal to sports teams and products (and yes, to people) because being loyal makes us happy. Why else be a fan of the Cubs? Some customers like being loyal. Those are good customers to have.

Loyalty isn’t forever. Sometimes, the world changes significantly and even though the loyal partner/customer likes that label, it gets so difficult to stick that he switches.

I think there’s no doubt that some brands and teams and politicians and yes, people, attract a greater percentage of loyal fans than others. Not because they’re bigger or better, but because they reinforce the good feeling some people get when they’re being loyal. Hint: low price or supermodel good looks are not the tools of choice for attracting people who enjoy being loyal.

Rewarding loyalty for loyalty’s sake–not by paying people for sticking it out so the offering ends up being more attractive–is not an obvious path, but it’s a worthwhile one. Tell a story that appeals to loyalists. Treat different customers differently, and reserve your highest level of respect for those that stand by you.

AIDA Doesn’t Work For B2Bs

Today, I was fortunate to have been able to carve out some time over lunch to read and think today (compared to rushing harriedly from meeting-to-meeting, to-do item to to-do item)… so, naturally in my geekiness, I was thinking about branding and marketing.

While sitting down to jot down some notes and put structure to my thoughts, I ended up on this very fascinating blog post (from last year!), “AIDA Doesn’t Work For B2B” by Lindsay Willot of The Marketing Practice.

Her essential premise is this that the AIDA (Awareness-Interest-Desire-Action) model of a customer’s path-to-purchase is based on an emotional aspect that is relevant in B2C industries, which is not suitable in a typical B2B decision making process that is based on rational justifications.

Instead, she offers an alternative model for B2Bs:

Continue reading “AIDA Doesn’t Work For B2Bs”

How to De-Commoditise Your Product

I really like what Ed Byrne has to say about this:

This is how to de-commoditise your product! This is how to move your business UP the value chain and stop having to compete on price in an un-differentiated market!

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If you want to avoid competing on price, and becoming a commodity, then you need to get customers that will buy your product for reasons other than price. How do you do that? Provide more than everyone else, be different and better. This doesn’t mean you line your products with gold – it just means the experience of dealing with your company is better than dealing with anyone else – and that in the long-term consumers know that buying from you, and sticking with your products, will ultimately be a better purchase and provide higher value than anyone else.

Read the rest of his post here.