Sunday, June 12, 2016

Five Brand Tips for Second Half of 2016

With 2016 nearing the halfway point, it’s time to review your brand strategies and see how effective your overall marketing initiatives have been. But wait. Before you review the email marketing metrics, website traffic metrics, and other key performance indicators, you can learn a lot about your overall marketing impact by reviewing your brand equity. According to Wikipedia, “Brand equity refers to the marketing effects or outcomes that accrue to a product with its brand name compared with those that would accrue if the same product did not have the brand name. “ So if you don’t like what you see, consider implementing these five brand tips for the remainder of 2016.

Build a more engaging Instagram presence and profile. While social media and social networking platforms come and go, Instagram has solidified its popularity with more than 300 million users. Since Facebook purchased it back in 2012, Instagram has become “the home for visual storytelling for everyone from celebrities, newsrooms and brands, to teens, musicians, and anyone with a creative passion.” So, does your brand have an Instagram profile? Some brands that effectively use the site to tell their stories include Tiffany & Co., Sherwin-Williams, M&Ms, Oreo, and the San Diego Zoo.

Build a top-notch mobile experience for your brand. Since most interactions between your brand and prospective customers result by a visit to your website, without a doubt, you want an amazing state-of-the-art website. But upon further thought, many people access the web from their smartphones and mobile devices – on a staggering rate. So that amazing website just might not be amazing on a small screen. Therefore, it’s critical that your site be responsive so that the important information can be seen, read, and acted upon. According to Wikipedia, “Responsive web design is an approach to web design aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing and interaction experience, easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling, across a wide range of devices from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones.”

Conduct a brand audit. If you haven’t conducted a comprehensive brand audit in the past two years, it’s long overdue. This means everything that reflects your brand – all printed collateral, signage, main website and sub-sites, all social platforms, logo, tagline, color palette, press releases, corporate communications, overall brand voice – must be reviewed for consistency and relevancy. If they don
’t align, you have work to do.

SHARE ON TWITTER: If everything that reflects your brand doesn’t align, you have work to do. ~@DebbieLaskeyMBA

Review and update your brand promise. Is it still relevant? Is it still supported by customers? In addition, is your brand story easy to understand? Is it easy to tell? Edit, tweak, and edit again. Make sure everything is up-to-date, relevant, and easy to understand and share.

Engage your employees so that they are enthusiastic about their most important job: being ambassadors for your brand. When employees are happy, customers feel the excitement and want to be part of the brand experience. Educate employees, inform employees, and reward employees. All employees are brand advocates whether they think they are or not.

And one final reminder as you look toward the second half of 2016, to quote Michael Eisner, former CEO of the Walt Disney Company, “A brand is a living entity – and it is enriched or undermined cumulatively over time, the product of a thousand small gestures.” Don’t mess up your thousand small gestures!

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