Fortune 500 Companies are profitable and successful. They are profitable because being so is necessary for survival in this environment. They are successful because they function in an environment that has at its core, the realisation that people, whether they are customers or employees are the most important part of their companies. Through people , successful companies create marketing centred businesses that innovate, and cause changes that positively impact the communities that they do business. Here are ten marketing tactics that the people in Fortune 500 companies implement that could help you make a fortune:
1) Be clear about what your business stands for. What is your promise? Knowing this will not only help you put out consistent messages and attract the right customers, it will also help you hire the right people and develop products and services that are aligned with your promise. This is the story of Apple which has consistently wowed its customers with every ipad and iphone that the company has produced. They have come to be known for innovation in the mobile smart phone industry. A must if you want to build a brand.
2) A good Corporate Identity should communicate the purpose of your business, the values that the brand represents, it should engage your target market, be simple and memorable. A good example of this is the energy company, Chevron. The company prides itself on its values, and its clean and refreshing brand image , is reflected in its ways of working ,its concern for the environment and the people who work for and consume its products.
3) Make sure all of your marketing materials- website, photos, flyers- have the same look and feel. There are few companies that do this better that Coca Cola. Need I say more.
4) Ideally your name should describe your business, define the unique customer benefits, and reflect your business personality. If not, consider adopting a tagline .Nike doesn’t mean anything but “Just Do It” – sums up their philosophy and appeals to action oriented, active, competitive consumers. A tagline can speak volumes about who you are, what you stand for and the reason why your customers need you.
5) Be careful about launching new brand names every time you come up with a new idea for a product or service. The more brands you have the harder you have to work to raise awareness of each one. Having a masterbrand that tells your overall story and sub-brands that relate to the masterbrand will make sure that you build awareness more easily and keep your marketing costs down. Johnson and Johnson is one such company that has successfully leverages its strong corporate brand even while launching new products.
6) Packaging is a key part of the marketing mix. It’s the trigger which can attract and persuade a customer to buy your product. Is your packaging visually striking through design, colour or shape and communicating your brand ideals? If not, it might be time for a revamp. The McDonald’s colourful lunch box and French Fries pack is distinguishable wherever one is in the world. The company earlier this year launched its new consumer friendly packaging and in a statement Kevin Newell, the Chief Brand Officer said “Our new packaging is designed to engage with customers in relevant ways and celebrate our brand. Customers tell us they want to know more about the food they are eating and we want to make that as easy as possible by putting this (nutritional ) information right at their fingertips.” Good for McDonald, and good for their customers.
7) People love a good story. Craft your own around why you started your business and then tell it through your website, social networking pages and blogs or even write your own book. Let your story and personality shine through – it’s another way to build trust and appeal to customers. What Management strategy student has not heard of the Fred Smith , (Founder of Fedex} story of how his University professor said that an overnight delivery of parcels from one state to another could not be done and how Fred, broke and with his last dollar, won enough money in a Casino, to save his company and make it into a multibillion company? We all love good stories and you should love telling them, especially if they are success stories that make us want to get up and do business with you.
8) Use templates and create brand standards for your marketing materials. Apply the same colour scheme, logo placement, look and feel throughout. You don’t need to be fancy- just consistent! CitiGroup the financial services company that has a presence in over 100 countries and over 260 000 employees from diverse cultures has managed to establish a consistent brand imagery across all its global businesses. You can too!
9) If you are starting out, work on your personal brand to get that first contract/client over the line. Your appearance is an important part of marketing yourself. A tough issue to tackle but if you think you could look a little sharper – think about getting an independent opinion from an image consultant. If you feel drab, then you’re probably creating that impression with your prospect. CEOs of Global companies know how to dress the part. But even if you eventually build the wealth equal to Sir Richard Branson and develop his adventurous spirit,you still need a suit or two and a few good shirts and ties in your wardrobe. Don’t forget the shoes!
10) Use benefits and emotional language to engage your target market in your key messages. A masseuse doesn’t have a “massage” in her brochure, but a “Massage Recharge eases away the tension of a long day. Indulge in an invigorating treatment that loosens muscles & relieves fatigue”. Be proud of what you offer, dress it up and sell not just a product, but an experience that appeals to your target market. Gap Inc the global retailer with over 3100 stores around the world has the slogan “Wear your passion” I hope that you will too.
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