Blog : Brand Positioning

How to Create a Meaningful Differentiation for your Brand

The essence of your brand is what makes your brand or service offering hard to copy.

In order to create the essence of your brand, I like to have my clients focus less of competitive differentiation (which in most cases can be mere feature/benefits) and instead focus more on what we call meaningful difference/differentiation. Meaningful differentiation is (in lack of a better term) “uncopiable” and when a competitor does copy it, they only strengthen your position in the marketplace.

In order to create/discover your meaningful difference, you need to figure out your brand’s purpose. Reason for being/why it exists.

To illustrate how you go about creating your meaningful differentiation, I’ll give an example of our branding agency.

As shown in the figure above, you can see our (1) Purpose (2) Focus (3) Difference. We’ve positioned ourselves as “Brand Elevators” and we apply this in everything that we think, say or do.

It’s all about “Elevating”

Therefore, we set our meaningful difference to be “The Elevator Principles“, they are 10 and just like above, we apply them in everything we think, say or do.

Here are the 10 principles, from it you can see how as a branding agency, this can be applied into “elevating” any brand that we work with. Also, if a competitor tried to claim this difference, they’d only be strengthening our position.

Here they are;

1. Be easy to use

Elevators are built with ease of use at the forefront. Get in, press button for your floor, wait for “ding”, done! Brands should function the same way. Over-complicating kills most brands.

2. Let us do the heavy lifting for you

Elevators do the heavy lifting, all you have to do is just be in them and they’ll take you up/down hundreds of floors and you won’t break a sweat. We aim to do the same for our clients, their brand/product/service should do the same for their audience.

3. Be efficient

Elevators are extremely efficient. By using counterweights to offset the weight they’re carrying, they are able to use very little electrical energy. As a brand, find ways to minimize waste as much as possible, it’s one sure way to grow your profit margins.

4. Know your limits

Each elevator has a “max weight limit”, brands should know theirs too. In regards to who your audience is, what your product/service is and what market(s) to compete in. Focus. When you try to be everything to everyone, you end up being nothing to no one.

5. Always function as expected- meet expectations

Sure, every once in a while an elevator will get “stuck” but most of the time, press up and it will go up, down and it will go down. A brand should always function as expected- delivering on its promise. Positive interactions build a brand, while negative ones kill it.

6. Be reliable/dependable

If we didn’t think elevators were reliable enough to take us up/down hundreds (or even 10) floors, we simply wouldn’t use them. If your audience doesn’t think you brand/product/service can get them from A to B, chances are they won’t consider you. The only way to achieve dependability/reliability is by following #5 above.

7. Engage your audience through interaction

Elevators require you to do something in order to get something- however small this is, it’s important. Press a button, I’ll take you to the floor you want to go to. Brands should be designed the same way. Some user involvement is important- it’s a psychological thing.

8. Evolve/Improve

We’ve come a long way since the first elevator. It’s important to constantly improve your brand in order to stay relevant. Now more than ever.

9. Revolutionize multiple industries

The invent of elevators revolutionized many industries e.g. Construction Industry (of skyscrapers) Architectural Industry (builders of these skyscrapers) Steel, Railway etc. Your brand should aim to shake not only the industry it’s competing in, but others as well.

10. Always have a “Plan B”

Did you know that elevators would still be able to carry it’s maximum weight even if all the cords broke and only one was left? Now you do. Did you also know that even if all the cords broke, there’s a fail-safe mechanism that we’ll lock the elevator in place preventing it from plunging? Don’t believe what those movies show you :)

Your brand should always have a Plan B (up to Z- why not).

Ok, enough lessons about elevators, I hope this helps in some way :)

The Rise and Fall of an Iconic Brand: Case Study

The Rise and Fall of an Iconic Brand: Case Study

The Fall

The customers’ perception of businesses has changed, and so has everything around us. Any business that wants to remain relevant and a float, will have to follow the leader – consumers; in making the necessary changes.

The McDonald’s Corporation is the world’s largest chain of hamburger fast food restaurants, serving around 68 million customers daily in 119 countries. But come 2003, it was about to make history, but for all the wrong reasons.

As reported by the telegraph newspaper, McDonald’s reported its first ever quarterly loss in Britain, in January 2003. With more than 1,200 restaurants in Britain alone, it made a pre-tax deficit of £198.6 million and an operating loss of £125.6 million in the last three months of 2002. It made a net loss of £212 million over the period but still managed a turnover of £2.4 billion.

The same historical reports were echoed in America, recording its first quarterly loss since going public in 1965. Comparable store sales in America were stagnant for the past decade, and had been falling for 12 months. Mr. Cantalupo, a 28-year McDonald’s veteran was pulled from retirement in January to replace Jack Greenberg, and insisted he would bring changes in just a period of 12-18 months.

 2014-Loss-Stats

 Unhappy Meal

Despite the optimism of a comeback shown by McDonald’s chairman, to others, this losses indicated a change in attitude towards McDonald’s. Research revealed the brand was seen as childish; service was slipping – it was slow and unsatisfactory; the restaurants looked outdated.

McDonald’s, once a good example for good service, was ranked the worst company for customer satisfaction in America for nearly a decade, below banks and health insurers. Their share price plummeted from more than $48 in 1999, to hover around a ten-year low of $12. The fast-food market had also become increasingly competitive as rivals such as Burger King, Wendy’s and Taco Bell fought to maintain their market share.

The consumers did not see what value McDonald’s as a brand added to their lives. They could not rely on them for cheaper, faster or healthier food and services. The happy meal had turned into the unhappy meal; hence McDonald’s with all its open branches and franchises all over the world were stumbling down. Drastic measures had to be taken. This was no 5 year plan; this was a rebranding campaign that was well over due; if it was to have any chance in remaining relevant to consumers and stay afloat.

 Unhappy-Meal

 Meaningful Branding

Mr. Cantalupo worked alongside Larry Light; the global chief marketing officer. Mr. Light acknowledged their need for immediate change and said, “We lost relevance, the world changed, but we didn’t.”

Mr. Light emerged with a new branding strategy and in the campaign, he came up with the slogan, “I’m loving it.” McDonald’s introduced a new healthier menu with items such as: salads; yoghurts; sliced fruit and grilled chicken; after intense criticism that its traditional products were too high in fats, salt and sugar a diet linked to obesity. A new Adult Happy Meal was also introduced in the US that included a pedometer to encourage people to walk more.

This was in efforts to show its consumers why they should choose them over their competitors. Finally McDonald’s was involved in meaningful branding; and this proved to be a change in the right direction because it in turn saw recovery in revenues as it posted its highest sales gain in 30 years. Consumers could now see that McDonald’s cared about their health and cared about providing better services at better prices – with the introduction of the dollar menu.

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 Lightning strikes Twice

This success from great leadership would be short-lived though, as Mr. Cantalupo dies on April 19, 2004 from a heart attack; he was attending a restaurant franchise of owners meeting in Orlando, Florida, when he fell ill.

This saw McDonald’s shares fall by 80 cents or 2.9% to $26.66 after Monday trading started on Wall Street following the announcement of his death.

“The worries are that perhaps there may not be a strong number two, since he was known as the one with the strong vision,” said Art Hogan, chief market analyst for investment adviser Jefferies & Co.

Despite McDonald’s going through this difficult time; the past 12 months were considered one of the fastest marketing and brand turnarounds in the business history.

Fast forward to the present, October 21st 2014; after a decade of doing well and changing hands in leadership, McDonald’s are once again in trouble. It turns in its biggest drop in quarterly profits, and CEO Don Thompson has acknowledged the calamity and the dire need for much needed change.

 Lightening

 Challenges being Faced

One could argue that McDonald’s has been facing significant short term and unrelated factors in posting a 30% drop in quarterly profits and 5% decline in revenue, which is worse than expected. It also faces international challenges: In China a meat supplier scandals continues; in Europe the economy is declining again; and in Russia authorities interfered with their operations in the last quarter.

Obviously all these are factors that are affecting McDonald’s ability to make any revenue and profit. But its biggest problem is that America and the global consumers alike no longer perceive clear meaningful reasons as to why they should choose McDonald’s over any other place to grab a bite. Consumers do not believe the food provides a satisfactory combination of great customer service; fast; convenient and healthy enough menu choices anymore.

“If we do not learn from the mistakes of history, we are doomed to repeat them. George Santayana.” This is something that is too familiar with McDonald’s.

McDonald’s also has been losing its influence and brand standing with its franchisees, who are forced to rely on Monopoly and McRib to see them through and with its traditional customer bases. Teenagers and young adults used to fill up McDonald’s because of the affordable prices, and it had a certain cool factor as a hangout; those days are long gone. And rivals such as Chick-fil-A have seized McDonald’s once-indisputable place at the top of preferred fast food restaurant for families.

 challenges

 Back to the Drawing Board

It’s time for McDonald’s to go back to their drawing board. The same purposeful and meaningful branding it carried out a decade ago is the only way forward. It needs to reassure it’s consumers it can be a consistent brand. Providing what they promise in their branding campaigns and following through. Consumers need a reason to go to McDonald’s as opposed to any other restaurant.

This is a challenge it will tackle head on if they are to remain relevant and functional in consumers’ lives. Consumers and competitors alike will be watching to see how it approaches and solves the underlying problems and it will be interesting to see what path it chooses. This will mean the difference between being a successful brand or a failed brand.

Will McDonald’s choose to make a stance to be a meaningful brand, with a clear purpose that makes an honest attempt to better the lives of its consumers and bring on the change that people want to see, or will it continue selling features and benefits of the burgers and remain irrelevant and die off? The consumers have spoken; the ball is in their court

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Why have a Brand with Purpose

Why have a Brand with Purpose

Why have a Brand With Purpose?

Consumers and marketers have conflicting ideas about brand purpose: They disagree on where brands should concentrate their efforts, and on which people are most receptive. As reported on a new research from the World Federation of Advertisers.

Only 40% of marketers thought that listening to and acting on customer needs was important to brand purpose, but in a parallel study by PR Agency Edelman, consumers chose “Listens to customer needs and feedback” as the number one attribute that builds brand trust.

The traditional function of brand positioning has come to a standstill. In other words, it is more rewarding to find your brand purpose and promote it, rather that promoting a competitive edge. One of the Key speakers at the IMC Conference, Jonty Fisher explains why.

“Having a clear and well established purpose for your business will help create much more relevance with consumers by focusing on what is a brand’s real motivation: What is the WHY underneath the HOW and WHAT that you do, hence seamlessly connect with the consumers on a belief and purpose level; as opposed to something that is purely based on a functional benefit that might not necessarily move them emotively. As we know consumer make decisions based on emotive benefits and post rationalize decisions based on the functional benefits that the brand holds. In summary, your functional benefits are your permission to play but your emotive or purpose is your way to win in modern market.”

 


This is the way forward from the standstill in modern market that will enable marketers to reach their intended consumers. This is what Stance Branding Agency thrives to provide all its clients on a daily basis.

 

What is Purpose?

Purpose is the deepest expression of a brand, drawing on its essence to determine its path in the world. It captures the relationship between corporation and community, touching on the financial, social, and environmental arenas. Today, people think of companies as corporate citizens. They expect companies to put their skills and resources to work for the common good, and they’re ready to reward those that do.

In China, 80% of consumers say they are willing to pay a premium for a product that supports good causes, compared with just 28% in the U.K. and 39% in the U.S. In India, it’s 71%, while 55% of Brazilians and Malaysians are prepared to pay more.

five-shocking-credit-card-debt-statistics

 

 

What is Brand Purpose?

Brand purpose is a natural outgrowth of the values embedded in your corporate culture. Call it corporate citizenship or corporate social responsibility; companies that have integrated this approach into their business strategy are seeing the profound benefits of taking an active role in changing the world. Social good and business good are deeply entwined in today’s corporate model.

The WFA surveyed 828 brand marketers from 33 countries, representing more than 400 companies and together accounting for $170 billion in global marketing spend, via email. The Edelman consumer study, which surveyed 8,000 consumers in 16 markets, makes it clear that brand purpose in 2014 is more about customer relationship management than corporate social responsibility.

Mr Loerke added, “It becomes clear that purpose isn’t necessarily about saving the planet. It doesn’t have to be worthy per se; it can be about taking small and meaningful actions.”

Marketers may be convinced that having purpose is crucial: 88% agreed that it is increasingly important to building brands. That is why huge companies are changing their marketing strategies with marketing campaigns to ensure they have a meaningful brand that appeals to the public in an deeper, emotional level. Showing that they are part of consumers’ lives and not just pushing for their products and services blindly, because the consumers are the market kings thus dictating the markets share.

Meaningful-Brands

What drives your Brand?

Purpose driven branding, while not new, has taken on new significance in this era of anxious consumers; not to mention anxious employees. A company that looks at its brand and asks not simply what promise does it make, but what purpose does it serve, to its customers and its shareholders, and brings this purpose to life through every customer experience will be the company most likely to beat its competition.

The consumers have spoken, and if any marketer wants not only to remain in the modern market but also remain relevant and profitable; they have to embrace this ideology. That’s why here at STANCE we help you answer the question “What value do I provide?” in a positive way, hence at the end of the day both your brand and your audience benefit.

“In this ever-changing society, the most powerful and enduring brands are built from the heart. They are real and sustainable. Their foundations are stronger because they are built with the strength of the human spirit, not an ad campaign. The companies that are lasting are those that are authentic.” ― Howard Schultz

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Brands Realize Being Meaningful is the New Black | Whirlpool Case Study

Brands Realize Being Meaningful is the New Black | Whirlpool Case Study

Whether you agree or disagree, I think it’s pretty obvious that most brands have realized that being meaningful is no longer an option. We have always know that customer is king, so how do you talk to the king? Actually, you will be surprised to find out that it is quite simple. You achieve that by speaking in a language that the king understands.

Right now, consumers want brands that carry a deeper meaning beyond their core product or service offering. They want brands that support the causes they believe in, they want meaningful brands.

meaningful-brands-index

A study conducted by Havas Media (who by the way coined the phrase “Meaningful Brands”) revealed some shocking statistics…

Most people worldwide would not care if more than 73% of brands disappeared tomorrow.

That’s insane!

Think about all the money spent globally on marketing, communication and public relations. Then think that for more than 73% of the companies who are spending it, their brands wouldn’t be missed if they disappeared entirely.

Only 20% of brands worldwide make a significant, positive effect on people’s well-being.

 With these shocking statistics, it’s no surprise that brands are doing their best to adapt or die. Read industry news and you will see all sorts of desperate efforts to be meaningful. From publicizing how your company supports the local cancer awareness foundation, to sponsoring kids from developing nations, to others rethinking their entire approach to Marketing via full-blown campaigns.

Major brands are adapting

A few days ago, I came across such a campaign by the veteran brand Whirlpool. The mega corporation markets Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, Amana, Brastemp, Consul, Bauknecht  and other major brand names. So when they make such a move, you know it is something worth looking into.

While I might sound angered by these attempts of what others would call “fake” or “rigged” ways to buy into what your customers (kings) want, I personally think that any attempt whether forced or genuine is a move towards the right direction. This specific 103-year old brand is making steps towards the right direction and adapting to change.

PROOF: The Whirlpool Case Study

WHIRLPOOL BRAND CHALLENGES INDUSTRY MARKETING NORMS; CHAMPIONS THE IMPORTANCE OF DAILY TASKS

The above is the headline in a press release for Whirlpool’s new campaign “Every day, care™”. The veteran brand aims to transform cold machine mentality into acts of love. Emotional branding is a powerful thing, our friends at Emotive Brand know this best.

Watching videos from this campaign and monitoring Whirlpool’s social media interaction, you can tell they are making a shift to be a meaningful brand.

Whirlpool has shifted from trying to sell features and benefits to reminding people that each act performed with one of their appliances is an act of caring. This in itself is a meaningful stance. By taking this position and positioning their brand as one that promotes care, people can relate to them at a deeper level. I was surprised the other day as I strolled around my local Lowe’s store Whirlpool appliances caught my eye, even though I had never paid attention to the brand much prior to this. As I mentioned earlier, judging from their social media, engagement, the brand is making waves and people are responding positively.

everyday-care campaign whirlpool

Still, I find it fascinating that brands are just now seeing the need to be meaningful.

So, how does your brand take a meaningful stance and position itself as a meaningful brand? Is it possible? Is it too late? Let’s take a look at how we did it. Hopefully this will shed some light into how you can tap into your own unique purpose

STANCE: The Meaningful Branding Agency

When I founded STANCE, I didn’t look at industry trends, or what’s “hot” in the market right now. I looked within and asked myself one questions: “What kind of company will I look back at the end of my life and be proud to have built?”, the answer- a company that truly positively impacted people’s lives. Later came to realized they had a term for it, “meaningful brand”, hence the meaningful branding agency was born.

This is not just something we say to be cool, we truly believe that great brands stand for something and that brands that commit to a meaningful STANCE—and those who engage with them—win.

That is why our purpose is to be advocates for all meaningful brands. We envision a world where brands genuinely exist to positively impact the lives of those they serve. This is reflected on our purpose which is to elevate meaningful brands so they can elevate the lives of those they serve.

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A Reflection on your brand…

[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=”#MeaningfulBrands”]How is your brand impacting the lives of those you serve? [/inlinetweet]Have you taken a meaningful stance? What kind of legacy will you leave for your children and grandchildren? Is your brand meaningful? Only you can answer those questions honestly.

Defining a Brand Name by Its Innuendos

Defining a Brand Name by Its Innuendos

The name of a brand is the key to its identity – it’s what people say when they recognize your logo or tagline. This name isn’t (or shouldn’t, at least) be taken lightly — it’s like naming your child; it requires some thought and deeper meaning.

However, not all babies are named as thoughtfully such as Fox India Owen, Bear Winslet, North West, Cricket Pearl Silverstein or the lovely Rosalind Arusha Arkadina Altalune Florence Thurman-Busson (yes, that’s one person).

Some brands have followed in these poor babies’ footsteps with unusual names (that don’t work) and oddly enough, several have some awkward sexual implications.

 

Kum & Go

Based in West Des Moines, Iowa, this convenience store attempted to do a play on the phrase, “come and go,” however I’m not sure if it was the best option they could have picked in 1975. If anything, they’re extremely memorable.

kum-and-go-stance-branding-agency-las-vegas

 

Smashburger

With the motto, “Smashed Fresh. Served Delicious,” Smashburger apparently does just that to serve tasty burgers (no matter it’s implications).

 

BJ’s (Restaurant | Brewhouse)

There are too many places with this name (from a wholesale club to a 99 cent store), but a prominent one here in Las Vegas is the restaurant BJ’s, where they promise you’ll be greeted with, “Welcome to BJ’s!”  They’ve been flaunting a good restaurant owned by BJ since 1978. Simply put, there’s too many inferences that can be made from this name.

bjs-stance-branding-agency-las-vegas

 

Grey Poupon

A Kraft Foods product, this dijon mustard may be the best-selling Dijon-style mustard (there isn’t much competition) in the U.S., but it also may make you second guess the process in making the condiment. It’s a partnership between Maurice Grey and Auguste Poupon since 1886, but no matter how you say it doesn’t sound like their tagline in the video below: “One of life’s finer pleasures.”


Now yes, it’s important to have thought behind your brand name (which all of these listed do), but it’s also important to realize how people will perceive your name. If you want sexual implications when people think of your restaurant, then go ahead and name it “BJ’s,” but if not then be sure to reassess that decision. [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]It’s a risk to stick with an odd name, but just be sure to own it if you do.[/inlinetweet]

These companies below have odd names, but do a good job of making fun at themselves while still creating a positive face for their brand.

 

Fresh Body: Fresh Balls

A personal hygiene brand dedicated to keeping you “So Fresh and So Dry,” they really go all out to take care of a man’s genitalia. Also, don’t worry they feature Fresh Breasts too, ladies.

Thus, this video shows the very concern involved with a man’s sweat in his not so talked about regions.

 

Poo-Pourri

It’s literally what it sounds like. A freshener that you spray prior to dropping the motherload (or using the restroom) to prevent others from smelling what you just did in the bathroom.

This video shows their great use of playing on their awkward name and concept altogether.

 

[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]So when you name your brand, be sure it’s something you’d proud to hear in conversation.[/inlinetweet] It’s just like naming your baby — you want it to thoughtful and meaningful. Unusual brand names are great, but only when they’re marketed appropriately and reach their desired audience.

 

Case Study Airbnb’s Rebrand

Case Study Airbnb’s Rebrand

Airbnb’s Rebrand

Yes, we know were a bit late on this one, seeing as it was front page news a week or two ago.  It all started as part of a re-branding campaign that refreshed the website, Airbnb also introduced a new logo, which they christened the Bêlo.

 

airbnb

 

Often called, “a community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique accommodations around the world”. The company has positioned itself to be a sort of community that links people from 190 countries and 34,000 cities, all around the world. A sort of hub for all of those who share the same values and wishes when it comes to their vision of seeing the world.

 

airbnb-rebranding-image4

 

This huge brand redesign was presented by DesignStudio, and at first things were going smoothly, great even. Design blogs, like behance or abduzeedo were praising the innovative and simple re-design, often quoting how  much of an improvement it was over the old logo. BrandMagazine even posted an article on how great it was, without so much as a hint of trouble.

airbnb_horizontal_lockup_print

Then after a short time, people started to see other things in the Belo. To quote a Forbes article “To Oliver Wainwright at The Guardian, Meg Wagner at the New York Daily News, Alissa Walker at Gizmodo and scores of folks on Twitter, it looked like a body part, though there’s some debate as to which part.” The Social media platform Tumblr has even joined the “roast” finding surprising new uses for the Belo. The new logo’s gone viral in a close likeness to the McDonalds Happy social media storm.

 

Airbnb is not taking it on the chin however, they are fighting back. It’s obvious that the company invested a lot of money on the rebrand as well as a good deal of emotional effort. Crafting a new personality for your brand is not an easy endeavor. The Mail Online quotes Airbnb CTO Nathan Blecharczyk as saying,

“It’s just like: Go ahead, laugh all you want, guys. We wouldn’t want to design a logo that caters to the lowest common denominator.”

 

Social media scandals have a tendency blow up and then blow over: it’s just the way it works. The real question is whether the flop uncovers a real problem with the design. Will it cost you money with average consumers? Will ordinary people be distracted every time they look at your logo? Pepsico recalled the Tropicana packaging not because it was embarrassing the brand but because it was ineffective. That’s what matters.

 

Regardless, Airbnb’s CTO made a mistake in arguing with the masses, the company needs to show that it doesn’t take itself too seriously. Too many startups act as though they’re curing cancer. They’re not. And the average consumer reacts negatively to brands that show themselves that way.

 

It’s still a bit early to definitely know what the future holds for Airbnb.

Will they change their logo?

Will they take advantage of all the media coverage?

Will they start developing a line of feminine products?

Monty-python-joke

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just to be clear, Airbnb

 

Our STANCE on Value

Our STANCE on Value

We have taken a solid stance on the word value.

 

Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value. –Albert Einstein

 

Value is a word that is thrown around nowadays. When something is overused, you tend to forget the actual meaning. For example, the word asylum comes from the Greek word asylon which means sanctuary. Synonyms for this word are shelter, haven and retreat. Unfortunately, this isn’t what comes to mind when we hear the word asylum. We have negative thoughts- where “crazy” people are sent-and that may have to do with our tendency to put the word insane in front of it. Either way, as we use language throughout time and in different contexts, the social standard for the word changes. This is what is happening to the word value.

Value is used in numerous ways, mainly in monetary examples. You saved money at the grocery store, “Oh what a great value!” or as an assigned worth, “This vase is very valuable.” But if you think about it, we have it all wrong.

shareholder-value

Einstein clearly separated value from success. When you go to the grocery store and save money, we think of it as a success. When we are auctioning off a painting for charity, we want the greatest amount of money because it will be successful to sell it for a larger amount. We forget what value really is and the actual value the word has.

Value should be defined socially as the merit, the worth, the importance of. Sure, its the first definition that pops up in Google, but its not the first one that pops up in our minds.

Value is different from success because you can hold importance and merit without being successful. Being successful means you are wealthy, you have a high position, or numerous honors, but it doesn’t mean you actually hold any value!

When Einstein tells us to strive to be valuable, it means we need to hold a merit, to be important, to serve a purpose. Success isn’t mandatory and if you really were a person of value, success wouldn’t even be necessary because with value comes being humble.  This word[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”amd5555″ suffix=”#takeastanceonvalue”] “value” is skewed in our minds because we tie it with success and as our culture has determined, the only people who are worth value, are those who are successful.[/inlinetweet]

This is false.

[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”amd5555″ suffix=”#takeastanceonvalue”]The people who are truly valuable don’t need to be successful because they are content with serving their purpose and guiding others.[/inlinetweet]

 

This is what value truly stands for.

How to Cope with the Negative Face of a Brand

How to Cope with the Negative Face of a Brand

Reflect back to December where gifts and holidays are a commonality, however Target graced us with a disclosure that hackers stole credit and debit card information from millions of customers. Or travel back another three years to BP’s Gulf of Mexico oil spill, which is recognized as the worst oil spill in U.S. history.  Both BP and Target experienced the concept of negative face.

Face Negotiation Theory


This concept stems from Stella Ting-Toomey’s Face Negotiation Theory, as she described the concept of our self-image, or face. We all have a positive and a negative face, which is defined by our culture’s reaction. It could be something as little as not saying “thank you” to a generous donation or “accidentally” sneezing on someone to add to our negative face. In an individualistic culture like the United States, the perspective of face is reflective on the individual. So, in turn, the individual determines our positive and negative face (compared to a collective group).

This very concept is easily reflected within the core definition behind a brand. At its bare basics, a brand is the gut emotion evoked by the customer (best described by Marty Neumeier). So in turn,[inlinetweet prefix=”null” tweeter=”null” suffix=”null”] the customer or individual determines the face of the brand, which can be a different evoked emotion for each individual.[/inlinetweet]

Now, let’s say the brand got itself into a pickle and is now reflecting a negative face to the customer. This could be something as little as posting a tweet linking to a disliked article or forgetting to send out a thank you letter to a recent client…or hackers and oil spills for Target and BP. Whatever the situation was, the brand is now stuck with this distasteful image.

Five Different Approaches

Ting-Toomey said there are five different approaches we take to save both our face and the face of the other in communication. We can dominate (win/lose), avoid (lose/lose), oblige (lose/win), compromise (lose/lose) or integrate (win/win). Obviously the best option from these is integration. This is simply by recognizing there’s a conflict amongst both parties and agree to resolve the problem together.

target-shoppers-stance-branding-agency-las-vegas

So in the brand’s recent situation with the negligence of a thank you letter, they would contact the client and meet with them to formally apologize. Both parties will discuss any issues and integrate a new solution together.

Target responded with integration, resorting back to its positive face by providing coupons for customers and then also hiring a new security chief six months after the incident. For BP, despite their efforts to remove the oil and their negative face, there is still some left today. The company responded with providing $500 million towards the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative: a 10-year independent research program.

The key behind a brand’s positive face or image is connected engagement with the audience, as well as being consistent with each individual’s evoked emotions.

However, [inlinetweet prefix=”null” tweeter=”null” suffix=”null”]we’ll all come across moments of negative face and when that happens remember to integrate and communicate. If we don’t, then we’ll be stuck with a distasteful image.[/inlinetweet]

 

 

Brand With a Purpose- My Kid’z Adventures

Brand With a Purpose- My Kid’z Adventures

Ladies and Gentlemen, we have found a Meaningful Children’s Brand with a Purpose!

As a parent, you are your children’s number one fan. You believe in your child 100%. Unfortunately, sometimes children don’t feel the same way about themselves as you do and don’t believe they can do anything they set their minds to. There is a brand out there that allows your favorite person to be the center of attention and see themselves on numerous amazing adventures!

 

My Kid’z Adventures

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It is common to place yourself in a novel you’re reading, to feel as though you’re in the minds of the character and apart of the plot. My Kid’z Adventures does all of this! This brand allows you to create books with the help of your child. Instead of some ol’ boring story, your child is placed into a new playground filled with fun graphics and bright colors. There are multiple settings to be your child’s new playground-the circus, camping, the beach, the farm, and the world! Each setting is host to many different fun activities your child will participate in! When your child is at the farm, he/she will milk cows, your child will surf at the beach, do some really cool magic tricks at the circus, and have a warm campfire at the campground. Furthermore, the books are also helpful for learning Spanish. Every word on the page has a Spanish translation. Common words like milk and butterfly are fast and simple for your child to learn in the books. Plus, on the bottom of every page is a recipe for you and your child to try. They’re fun and simple tying in items your child probably doesn’t eat often like papaya and basil. Plus, they sound absolutely delicious!

Now you might be wondering how your child is actually in the adventures.
Their picture is on every page!

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Plus, their name is on it!

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Getting started is really easy too! 

First, you choose the theme of the book based on your child’s gender and the adventure you want your child to explore! Each adventure has both a male and female version so your daughter can do all of the things any boy can do and vice versa! Then, you pick your package. You can order just one, or many more. Plus, there is a digital series and you can easily order each adventure for you child with just one click! After you have made your decision, the really fun stuff starts begins!

Your child gets to be the star of the show by showin’ off their complete adorableness and modeling for 11-16 pictures. The cuter and funnier the pictures are, the better! This book is to show off your superstar’s personality as much as possible. Once those are done, it gets even better!

You can dedicate your child’s book to any friend or family member your both are close to and have it be a gift to them as well. You love your child, but you’re not the only one. That’s why these book are such great gifts and can be shared across the whole family.

Purpose

 

A child’s self esteem is important for their growth. The amount they have carries on through not only their childhood, but the rest of their lives. With the recent publicity of bullying, the lack of self esteem children have is unreal. When Nuria Sanchez created My Kid’z Adventures, she hoped to elevate the lives of the children who saw themselves in their own books, doing things they never thought they could do.  [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”@amd5555″ suffix=”#brandwithapurpose”]My Kid’z Adventures is an outlet for children to begin believing in themselves and seeing themselves how others perceive them: as the awesome little people they are- making My Kid’s Adventures a brand with a purpose. [/inlinetweet]

 

Go ahead, see how happy this child and his family are when seeing themselves on an adventure for the first time. (:

Does Branding Matter?

Does Branding Matter?

In short, Yes, of course brands matter.

But here’s why,



Brands are important to those who produce goods and services and to those who consume them. In this new age of mass production and economic development, society is pushing commoditization of goods and services. This makes it so goods and services become more and more similar in form and function, as quality climbs to relatively high levels, then the selection can be determined largely on the basis of price.


branded-razors


Branding is the bulwark against commoditization. Take razors for example. What is it, really, but metal blades attached to a handle? Yet gross margins on branded razors are very large. Branding supports these margins as it works to differentiate one razor from another and to create some meaningful distinction in the mind of the consumer.

On top of that, brands have proven to be really well-suited as platforms for communication. Well-crafted and professionally designed, brands (with language, logo, messaging, colors, and other brand guidelines) can amplify and focus marketing communications. This means more bang for the metaphorical buck.

There is also research to suggest that brands are a very efficient way for consumers to organize information and remember it.  Just think of the easy associations you make with well known brands like McDonalds, Disney and Starbucks.

Why are people willing to pay more for branded products than for unbranded products?

brand-name-vs-generic

Ever wonder why people are seem to be willing to pay more for a branded product, when they can get the exact same product as a generic brand? The answer to this has to do with consumer tastes and perceived quality. Consumers tend to feel that a brand name product is of higher quality than a product that does not have a brand. If consumers believe that the good is of high quality, they will pay more for it than if they think it is of low quality. This is where branding comes in. Creating and publicizing a brand tends to create the perception of quality among consumers. When they perceive this, they will pay more for the good.

In conclusion.

Yes, of course brands matter.