Even The Most Famous People Need Personal Branding and So Do You!

Reblogged from Dr Mommy biz tips

Written by Kim Garst

Personal Branding is what helps to set you a part from the crowd. It is the process that one goes through to identify our skills, what our focus is going to be and ultimately, what products or services we intend to market.

Personal branding is very important in the online marketplace. You want to stand out in a very crowded marketplace and be the solution to whatever problem your prospect has.  It is all about getting your prospects to choose your business over someone else’s.

Here are five great benefits of creating a strong personal brand:

1. Staying Unique In Your Marketplace

The largest benefit, from a personal branding standpoint, is to create a uniqueness within your business so that your prospects are able to differentiate you from your competition.

2. Injecting Your Personality Into Your Brand and Your Business

The goal of personal branding is to be known for who you are as a person and what you stand for. Your authenticity must shine forth. Your brand is a reflection of who you are, your opinions, your values, and beliefs that are visibly expressed by what you say and do, and how you do it. How you conduct your business online should be authentic and transparent.

3. Creating Awareness For Your Services and Products

The branding process gives you an opportunity to share you identity and impact the perception others have about you and the services and products your business offers. Potential customers no longer see a huge difference in products and services but they do see a huge difference in brands and how they project themselves.

4.Build a Magnetic Brand That Drives More Sales in Less Time

A strong personal brand will be a great benefit when it comes to attracting clients and increasing your sales. You want to position your brand as THE leader in the marketplace so that you will be the first one to come to mind when your prospect needs a problem solved. Your magnetic brand will attract new prospects without even picking up the phone. Once you have built a strong brand, you will be able to pick and choose your clients and the fees you charge!

5. Become A Thought Leader

Establish yourself as an expert and become a credible resource for your area of expertise. The most important place that you want to gain name recognition is in your client’s mind. To gain this type of recognition you not only have to be good but you have to be different in some way. Make a lasting impression and it will be rewarded when your name and personal brand become a part of your audience’s relied up resource base.

The more your brand can be inserted into the marketplace in a trustworthy manner, the better. You want your business name and message to be foremost in your prospects consciousness so that they immediately think of you when they need a resource, product or service that your brand offers. Build a strong brand and let it propel you to the top in your marketplace.

Posted in Branding | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Three Lessons Brands Can Learn From Man’s Best Friend.

                              dogs playing                                                      My son opens the gate and his beautiful dog, Crystal,  leaps into his arms and knocks him over, playfully barking and showering his with dog kisses. This doesn’t happen just once in a while – it happens every single time he comes home from school and  enters our home.  There is no time that Crystal ever decides that his bone or some cat he is chasing is more important. He runs to his master all the time and showers him with all the love that a dog  can master.

 What does this have to do with brands?

The answer is “EVERYTHING!” Companies trying to elevate their brands can stand to learn a lot from man’s best friend!

 Lesson 1: Dogs are consistent – Brands need to be too!

 At its core, a brand is the attribute(s) your target audience thinks of when they hear the name of your company. Some of their initial perceptions will be based upon marketing communications. But ultimately your  brand will be built on your customers’ experiences with your company. If you consistently meet or exceed their expectations, they will love and be loyal to your brand. Woof! That is one of the many reasons dog owners are over-the-top in love with their pets – consistency!

 Lesson 2: Dogs focus on pleasing their owners

Brands need to be the same way with customers especially in these challenging  times when customers are fickle and they are careful what they do with their hard earned money and where they spend it.
In today’s digital world, companies  that push products, services and features will lose to those companies that create value  for their customers and resolve their problems. Savvy customers hop online and type in questions on how to solve their challenges. If your company is busy touting how wonderful it is, it is missing the opportunity to educate a potential customer on how your offerings can help with a particular issue.

Dogs get it!

Dogs snuggle up with you when you’re under the weather; give you extra licks when you’ve had a bad day; and will be your work-out buddy when you’re sweating-out a stressful day. Woof!

Herein lays another reason we love our dogs – their focus is on pleasing us!

 Lesson 3: Dogs are simple – Brands need to be too!

 Has  an advert ever left you with no idea how the company is different  from others or how it can satisfy your needs? A lot of company adverts and on-line copy are riddled with marketing mumbo-jumbo  – so much so that it leaves your head spinning! Brands need to keep their marketing messages simple and focused on the customer.

Narcissistic, verbose advertising is generally a huge turn-off and accomplishes nothing towards boosting your brand. Checking your advertising channels including your  Web site analytics to see if visitors are bouncing off your site (high bounce rate) is always a sign on how effective your copy is in connecting with your target audience.

Meeting the needs of your dog is pretty simple – food, water, walks, and love. Brands need to communicate their value in simple terms!

 Dogs  are consistent. Brands need to be too
As I write this post, Crystal is snuggled right next to my son. There is nothing that he wouldn’t do for his little friend. And what has she done to build such love, passion and loyalty? She is her consistently beautiful, simple self every day, and she lives to make his life a little better. Shouldn’t your brand do the same for its customers?

 I asked my son why he was so attached to his dog and he said that his dog was his best friend because:
The dog is playful and makes him feel energetic and funny.
His dog makes him feel welcome.
He looks after it, washes it and he in turn feels loved.
He taught it a few tricks , adding to the fun.
He looks after it. ie he saved up and bought it its first collar and lead.
It showed its love and compassion by licking him, asking for belly rubs and rolling around playfully.
He tolerates it when it messes the carpet and he has to clean it up

Does you brand make your customers feel warm all over?
Hoof!!

Contact Chipo on chipomaps@gmail.com

Posted in Branding | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

When is a lie not a lie…when its advertising

Ginger kitten looking in mirror and seeing a lionWhile in pursuit of creativity and originality, some adverts can tread on or even cross the line between truth and, well… misrepresentation. And by golly, we are seeing a fair share of that in the market today. The pursuit of customers and the elusive dollar is driving advertisers  to new heights of imagination.   Brands that misrepresent product features, benefits and functions however  have a tendency to be found out and slaughtered in the media by angry customers. While we all love a good advert, brands should always weigh the reputational impact of promotional material.

In the past few years, many international  and global brands have suffered the embarrassment of having their lies exposed and having to pay (literally)  for their misrepresentations.  And here are a few examples of the  disgraced culprits.

Activia yogurt

Dannon’s popular Activia brand yogurt lured consumers into paying more for its purported nutritional benefits , when it was actually pretty much the same as every other kind of yogurt. Falsely touting the “clinically” and “scientifically” proven nutritional benefits of the product, Dannon even got a famous spokesperson, Jamie Lee Curtis, to endorse it for the supposed digestion-regulator. But after a while, some customers didn’t buy it. A class action settlement forced Dannon to pay up to $45 million in damages to the consumers that filed the lawsuit and others who said they had been bamboozled. The company also had to limit its health claims on its products strictly to factual ones.

Source: ABC News

Olay’s Definity eye cream

In 2009, an Olay advert for its Definity eye cream showed former model Twiggy looking wrinkle-free  and a whole lot younger than her years (she is 64). Turns out the adverts were retouched. British lawmakers yanked digitally altered spots, citing not only a gross misrepresentation of the product, but the adverts’ potentially negative impact on people’s body images.

Source: Yahoo! Shine

Rice Krispies & Frosted Mini-Wheats

Kellogg’s popular Rice Krispies cereal had a crisis in 2010 when it was accused of misleading consumers about its immunity boosting properties. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in USA ordered Kellogg to halt all advertising that claimed that the cereal improved a child’s immunity with “25 percent Daily Value of Antioxidants and Nutrients — Vitamins A, B, C and E,” stating the  claims were “dubious.”

Just a year prior, the company settled with the FTC over charges that its Frosted Mini-Wheats cereal didn’t live up to its ads. The campaign claimed that the cereal improved kids’ attentiveness by nearly 20%, and was shot down when the FTC found out that the clinical studies showed that only 1-in-9 kids had that kind of improvement — and half the kids weren’t affected at all.

Source: CNN

Eclipse gum

Eclipse gum claimed that its new ingredient, magnolia bark extract, had germ-killing properties. Consumers sued Wrigley [in 2009] in the USA federal court arguing the subsidiary of privately held Mars Inc. made misleading advertising claims about the germ-killing properties of Eclipse.

As part of the settlement, Wrigley had  to change how it marketed its products  and labelled its gum. It agreed to pay $6 million to $7 million to a fund that reimbursed consumers up to $10 each for the product and cover other costs of the settlement.

Source: Businessweek

Extenze

Extenze claimed to be “scientifically proven to increase the size of a certain part of the male body.” But in 2010, the company had to pay a $6 million settlement to disappointed, less-endowed men everywhere.

Source: BNET

Contact me for your marketing consultancy requirements & training at chipomaps@gmail.com

Posted in Branding, Marketing | Tagged , | Leave a comment

What we can learn from McDonald’s Global Strategy

A cup of rice with chicken, ginger, onion, shallots, and chili peppers. A fried patty made of potatoes, peas, and spices, topped with tomatoes and vegetarian mayonnaise. Grilled chicken in pita bread with lettuce, tomato, onion, and tahini sauce. English muffins topped with refried beans, white cheese, and salsa. Breaded chicken covered in guacamole. A deep-fried roll of beef ragout. Lamb wrapped in Arabic flat-bread with shredded lettuce and tomatoes. A sandwich made of grilled salmon and dill sauce.

To the delight of many Americans and to the dismay of many others, the golden arches of McDonald’s appear throughout the world. But the menu items vary greatly. Go to a McDonald’s in Singapore, and you can order jasmine tea and a Shaka Shaka Chicken, which you create by dumping spice powder into a bag and, with a quick “shaka” of the bag, coating your chicken patty in local spices. In Spain, you can actually buy the country’s chilled soup, gazpacho, at McDonald’s, where it is served in a carton. In Brazil, you’ll find McDonald’s filling that rectangular apple pie crust with bananas instead.

The burgers that made McDonald’s famous also vary tremendously by country. Head to Japan and you can order a Koroke Burger, which consists of mashed potato, cabbage, and katsu sauce. In Hong Kong, you’ll find a burger that is served not between sesame seed buns, but between rice cakes. In Malaysia, you can order a Double Beef Prosperity Burger, which features spicy black pepper sauce. In Italy, the burgers come with pancetta and usually are on ciabatta rolls. Visit India, where eating beef is against religious rules for about 80% of the population, and you won’t find any beef burgers on the menu whatsoever.

In Germany, you can pick up a McSausage Burger. In Greece, a Greek Mac. In New Zealand, a KiwiBurger. In Costa Rica, a McPinto Deluxe, with rice, beans, and plantains. In Thailand, a McSamurai Pork Burger. Head to the United Kingdom around Christmastime, and you can order a mincemeat and custard pie for dessert. When in France, you can order Le McWrap Chèvre, a goat cheese wrap. In Argentina, you can have wine with your McDonald’s meal; German outlets of McDonald’s sell beer; in Israel, kosher food is served; and in Hawaii, you’ll be handed Spam with your breakfast. How’s that for contrast?

There are  five important lessons we can take away from McDonald’s global success:

  1. Don’t confuse your brand with your products.  While it’s true that the McDonald’s brand is strongly associated with hamburgers, this has not prevented the company from dropping all meat from some local menus. McDonald’s announced that it will open up its first vegetarian restaurants in India, a nod to the dietary preferences and religious beliefs of local customers.
  2. Figure out which products have international appeal.  It’s quite likely that some of your products might be desirable in every market, as McDonald’s has found. Some of the company’s products, such as its fries and shakes, stay consistent at most of its global locations.
  3. View a new market as a chance to take on new brand attributes.  While McDonald’s is known for its affordable fare in the United States, in many countries with a growing middle class, it can actually be a status symbol to be seen eating there.  Don’t assume that just because your brand has negative aspects in one market that it will necessarily carry them into another.
  4. Remember that “small markets” may very well define your future. Many companies make the mistake of only focusing on major world economies. McDonald’s is a global company, but about 70% of its revenue, which normally tops $20 billion annually, comes from restaurants in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, and of course, the United States. Paying attention to those countries that “only” make up 30% of the company’s revenue is a wise move. As their spending power grows, so too does their share of the pie.
  5. Let your customers tell you what they want. McDonald’s did not come up with all those adapted product offerings in isolation from its customers.  Rather, the company observed the behaviours of customers in these local markets and packaged their products in ways that would seem local and familiar. When was the last time you adapted a product for a new market based on in-country customer feedback?  You should.

Reblogged from HBR Blog Network

McDonald’s’ Local Strategy, from El McPollo to Le McWrap Chèvre

by Nataly Kelly  |   1:00 PM October 8, 2012

For Global marketing training, email Chipo at chipomaps@gmail.com

Posted in Marketing, Videos | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

20 Terrible pieces of Social Media advice to ignore

Weapons of mass destruction

 The growing number of “social media” experts providing advice on social media  can make this marketing channel  a landmine and major accident waiting to happen for many companies.  Many organisations have made really bad  mistakes on social media channels that have cost them their credibility  and worst, their customers and followers. Through research done by Hubspot Marketing, I have complied a list of some of the best advice that I have received about how not to use social media.

1)  You need to be on every single social network.

If you have limited time and resources, don’t spread yourself too thin by trying to maintain an active presence on every single social media site. Research and learn about the makeup of  the audience that populates each social network so you can figure out where you should focus. If your audience isn’t there, don’t waste your time.

2)  Focus on Facebook …

… or LinkedIn … or Twitter … or social network XYZ. Yes, you should want to focus your social media marketing efforts, but at the same time, no single social media site is the Holy Grail. Experiment with a few sites, determine where your audience hangs out, and focus on the few that are the best fit for your company.

3)  You don’t need email.

The day Oprah signed up for Twitter and user registration skyrocketed, we didn’t all cancel our email accounts. Social media didn’t make email marketing extinct; it just added another integrated channel to make email even stronger.

4)  You can automate all of your updates.

Social media can be time consuming, so the automation of your updates is, of course, appealing. But the tough reality of social media is that it’s all about people talking with people. Automating all your updates (and believe me, people can tell) screams “I don’t care about actually talking to you.”

5)  Your customers aren’t using social media, so you don’t need to be there.

Research shows that 69% of adults use social media in developed countries and   the number is growing in developing countries. On top of that, there are reasons to get involved in social media aside from communicating with potential or current customers or expanding the reach of your content.

6)  The more you publish, and the more sites you’re on, the better.

Simply having a presence on multiple sites and spraying your content as much as possible won’t work. Yes, more content is better because it gives you more valuable social media fodder, but you need to make sure all that content is high quality; otherwise, people will see straight through you.

7)  You can outsource your social media.

Social media is a way for you to communicate with your audience, which means it not only needs to be your voice, but the content of the conversations you’re having needs to also be based on your expertise in the industry. Not just anyone can talk about the challenges and trends your customers face.

8)  An intern can manage it all for you.

The point is social media is not just some throw-away marketing strategy; it’s a public face of the company. Would you let a college student do an interview on behalf of your company for a TV program? I think not!

9)  Don’t get personal.

Social media gives you the opportunity to share a bit more personality than your website may allow. In fact, personality is often what gets you noticed in social media. After all, “People don’t fall in love with colours and logos — they fall in love with people,”

10)               Don’t let your employees use social media.

First of all, it’s useless to try to keep your employees from using social media. Even if you block social media sites on their computers, they’ve got their smartphones. Move your office to a dungeon with terrible cell reception, and your employees can still go home and get on those sites in their spare time. Forbid any use of your company name in social media and it shows you don’t trust your staff.

11)               Don’t respond to negative comments to protect your brand.

If someone has said something negative about your brand, it’s out there — visible to that person’s network or anyone searching for information about your company. And by not responding to negative comments, a small comment can spiral out of control for lack of attention. Admit mistakes when you need to, and share how you’re going to address any issues.

12)               Respond to every negative comment.

Appropriately, “pick your battles wisely.” Beware of people simply trying to capitalize on your visibility by getting you to respond to their comment, or trolls who just want to cause trouble. Know when it’s appropriate to step back instead of adding fuel to the fire.

13)               Disable comments altogether to avoid negative comments … or delete negative comments.

Disabling comments is both anti-social and unwise. People will say what they’re going to say, whether you let them do it on your Facebook Page or they have to use their own Facebook Timeline as their platform. And by allowing people to comment on your own turf, you can manage the conversation, monitor comments, and respond to people appropriately.

14)               Social media is completely free.

While, yes, there is usually no cost to sign up for a social network. You can’t stop there if you want to achieve true social media marketing success. You need to actually use the site, publish content, and engage with your followers. All of that takes people’s time, which isn’t free. So to be effective in social media, you’ll need to invest in human resources.

15)               You can’t measure social media.

When you approach social media — just as when you approach any channel or tactic — you should know what your goal is. Is it new leads? Is it to increase the reach of your content? Is it to reduce customer support calls and complaints? Whatever your goal, measure the progress toward that goal.

16)               Fan/follower growth is the most important metric.

Sure, fans and followers are nice, but they don’t actually pay you money or keep you in business. Instead, think about what matters most to your business — leads, customers, etc. — and focus on that as your top priority metric.

17)               You should only publish messages about your company.

Here’s the thing….. If you’re only publishing messages about your company — your recent awards, upcoming events, latest product releases — I really don’t care to listen to you. What I do care about are my problems, my challenges, and my interests, so that’s what you should write about.

18) Once you get your Facebook/Twitter/Blog account set up, social media is super easy!

Setting up an account is like buying the ticket to a networking event. You still have to go and talk to people to get any value out of it. You’ll never get results from social media marketing if you won’t put in the time and effort needed to make it successful.

19)               You don’t need a strategy for social media.

While you do need to be an agile social media marketer to be prepared for the unexpected, it’s also important to go in with a strategy. More specifically, you should know your goals in regard to your social media efforts — and how you’re going to work to achieve them.

20)                You can’t simply ask people to comment, follow, or retweet you.

It may seem too forward to come out and ask someone to take an action in social media, but it actually works. And you don’t get a terrible reaction because what you’re doing is taking someone who already is reading your content, tweets, blog articles, etc. and saying, “Hey, if you like this, why not share it with someone else?”

Adapted from article written by Ellie Mirman in Hubspot Marketing

For Social media marketing training  for your team, email Chipo at chipomaps@gmail.com

Posted in Marketing, Social media | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The 13 Pillars of Internet Marketing

Great video to help you to market your business online.

Video | Posted on by | Tagged | 2 Comments

Creative advertising: Make your customers say “wow”

In this day of information overload, it is no surprise that people are paying less and less attention to advertising. You only get ONE CHANCE to make a great FIRST IMPRESSION! If your adverts  don’t catch your customers’  attention within seconds they are considered failed. To really stand out of the crowd, your adverts have to be really out of the box, something that makes your customers  laugh, makes them talk about your brand or at least makes them  look twice.

creative ads2

creative ads1

creative ads 9

creative ads3

creative ads6

creative ads

creative ad15

creative ad13

creative ad12

creative ad11

creative ad 14

Image | Posted on by | Tagged | Leave a comment

Traditional Marketing is dead: Welcome to “On-demand Marketing”

marketing is deadDigital marketing is about to enter more challenging territory. Building on the vast increase in consumer power brought on by the digital age, marketing is headed toward being on demand—not just always “on,” but also always relevant, responsive to the consumer’s desire for marketing that cuts through the noise with pinpoint delivery.

 What’s fuelling on-demand marketing is the continued, symbiotic evolution of technology and consumer expectations. Already social media encourages consumers to share, compare, and rate experiences; and mobile devices add a “wherever” dimension to the digital environment.

 Most leading marketers know how to think through customer-search needs, and optimizing search positioning has become one of the biggest media outlays. Companies have ramped up their publishing and monitoring activities on social channels, hoping to create positive media experiences customers will share. They are even “engineering” advocacy by creating easy, automatic ways for consumers to post favorable reviews or to describe their engagement with brands.

 But we’re just getting started. The developments pushing marketing experiences even further include the growth of mobile connectivity, better-designed online spaces created with the powerful new HTML5 Web language, the activation of the Internet of Things in many devices through inexpensive communications tags and microtransmitters,1 and advances in handling “big data.” Consumers may soon be able to search by image, voice, and gesture; automatically participate with others by taking pictures or making transactions; and discover new opportunities with devices that augment reality in their field of vision (think Google glasses).

 As these digital capabilities multiply, consumer demands will rise in four areas:

 1. Now: Consumers will want to interact anywhere at any time.

2. Can I: They will want to do truly new things as disparate kinds of information (from financial accounts to data on physical activity) are deployed more effectively in ways that create value for them.

3. For me: They will expect all data stored about them to be targeted precisely to their needs or used to personalize what they experience.

4. Simply: They will expect all interactions to be easy.

 Now

Marketers have gotten a foretaste of the consumer’s desire for more urgency and ubiquity. Bank balances running low? Send the consumer an alert on her cell phone. An executive of one major bank believes that the immediacy of smartphone apps has already made brick-and-mortar contact unnecessary for many young consumers, who use a range of mobile services to manage their accounts and rarely interact with the brand physically. Yet having an entire bank in your phone may be only a baseline for the experiences on the horizon.

Digital information technologies, operating behind the scenes to integrate data on all interactions a consumer has across the decision journey, will provide insights into the best influence pathways for companies, while also triggering new personalized experiences for consumers.

 Can I

Most first-wave digital capabilities helped people access things they already did—shopping, banking, finding information. Consumers must often settle for compromises in their digital experiences. Yet robust programming, data-access, and interface possibilities now available could make every digital interaction an opportunity to deliver something exceptional. Consider Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s new smartphone app, which changes the house-hunting experience. A prospective home buyer begins by taking a picture of a house he or she likes. Using image-recognition software and location-based technologies, the app identifies the house and provides the list price, taxes, and other information. It then connects with the buyer’s personal financial data and (with further links to lender databases) determines whether the buyer can be preapproved for a mortgage (and, if so, in what amount). This nearly instantaneous series of interactions cuts through the hassle of searching real-estate agents’ sites for houses and then connecting with the agents or with mortgage brokers for financing, which might take  weeks.

 The challenge for companies is to look beyond today’s interfaces and interactions and to see that moving past compromises will require a rethinking of aspects of packaging, pricing, delivery, and products.

 For me

Some online marketers already use features in devices such as cameras and touch screens to help consumers see what apparel and accessories may actually look like when worn. In the future, demands for more personalized experiences will intensify.

 With each interaction, the consumer will be creating new data footprints and streams that complement existing digital portraits, sharpening their potential impact. Facebook will eventually be able to mine the world’s largest database of photographs, linking individual people to their activities.

 Simply

The quest for simplicity led Amazon to create a subscriber model for delivering bulky repeat-buy items (such as diapers) and Starbucks to adopt a tap-and-go approach to mobile payments. Evolving technologies and consumer behavior should make it easier to redesign many complex experiences. For example, companies offering inherently complicated products or services could overlay a game interface on certain Web pages, to let consumers play at trading off different options and prices. Visual-recognition technology could allow you to scan receipts, statements, and appointments into one integrated calendar and cash-management system. Already, start-ups in travel, expense, and sales-force management are experimenting with approaches that streamline processes and make interactions more inviting—using touch and swipe to make changes, gestures to activate large displays, and data in phones to recognize consumers and automatically customize interfaces.

 Conclusion

To deliver these new experiences, executive teams must rethink the role and structure of the marketing organization and how it engages with other functions. The changes are likely to cut deeply, transforming the way companies manage campaigns and communities, measure performance, provide customer support, and interact with outside agencies.

Written by Peter Dahlström and David Edelman. April 2013, “The coming era of On-Demand Marketing”  Mckinsey Quarterly

Posted in Marketing, Social media | Tagged , | 2 Comments