March 29, 2017

A more excellent way to become a valued brand

There’s a reason people don’t care about the mission and values of most businesses. Most mission and values statements are written for the business. They typically focus on the business’s goals of being the most profitable, the most customer-centric, the most sustainable or the most ethical business in its category. And they often put the […]

The most important question in marketing

Marketing success can be boiled down to one question. The answer to that one question can make all the difference in the world to your position in the marketplace. … it is a difference that makes customers love you and stay loyal to you … … it is a difference that makes you stand out […]

The tension between results and relationships

You can tell more about a company’s values by looking at what it motivates employees to do than by what it says. We value what’s right for our customers in everything we do. Everything we do is built on trust. It doesn’t happen with one transaction, in one day on the job or in one […]

Higher purpose matters to your customers and your sales

Here is a paradox for the times. A brand’s higher purpose is the reason it exists beyond making money. But brands that have a clearly understood higher purpose frequently have the greatest financial growth. That conclusion comes from a Millward Brown analysis of the 50 fastest growing brands over the 10-year period 2001-2011. All of the […]

Extending the brand experience

Some brick and mortar retailers are trying to differentiate their brand by creating unique shopping experiences. Done well, this can be a smart strategy. One example is Origins beauty stores. Origins, owned by Estée Lauder Cos., has tapped into a consumer desire for experiences by encouraging slow shopping. It is a trend that encourages a leisurely browsing […]

Digital marketing and the human equation

Digital gives us opportunities to see our customers and to be more responsive to their wants. – Bernadette Jiwa That’s the promise, but it isn’t always the practice. We get excited about digital technologies like chatbots, the Internet of Things, marketing automation, artificial intelligence or virtual reality, but often miss the most important business opportunity. […]

Relationships are for people, not brands

The notion of a brand relationship has always been a flawed metaphor. The idea that repeated encounters between a brand and a customer would eventually take on the characteristics of a relationship between people diminishes the humanity of real relationships. Can anybody truly have a relationship with a tube of toothpaste or a sack of […]

Building your brand on moments of helpfulness

There is a difference between branding and being a brand. Branding focuses on the grand gesture. The big ad campaign with major media impressions. The breakthrough product innovation. The viral marketing event. Those things capture top-of-mind awareness for a short period of time. But in today’s noisy marketplace that awareness is quickly displaced by the […]

The helpful brand wins the heart

One way to disrupt your market is to disrupt your marketing. What if you set aside the hard-sell persuasion techniques and the broadcasted interruptions, and instead served up a generous portion of radical helpfulness? What if helping people actually became your marketing strategy? Do you think you could still compete and win? Some brands are doing […]

A suspect is not a prospect

Prospects are people who are able, ready and willing to buy. Suspects are merely eligible to do so. – Lester Wunderman Far too much time and money is wasted on marketing to suspects. Misusing data and technology enables marketers to waste time and money at scale. Prospecting with email is one example. Recently I got an […]