There are various methods in which content marketing can work for businesses in virtually any industry, with the information provided in a variety of formats. You can either do this in-house, or hire professional content creators in a variety of mediums to do this for you. Here are some ideas that could work for you.
The unique selling proposition (USP) is a concept that has evolved from a factual, externally focused message to one that is more holistic; it now has to touch and inspire your target audiences, whether it is your customers, employees, or partners. In our world, we believe it's the foundation for communications and a core capability of our firm.
Future scenarios should be thought of as being in perpetual draft form; they should be rewritten constantly and thought about critically -- always in the condition of workshopping. Questions about how things like new technologies ought to exist are matters of vital social consequence. They are political decisions; questions that we should all be engaging.
Before you start lighting up those pitchforks and come after us marketers with a mix of mass hysteria and moral panic, take a look at your own online behavior and ask yourself, which scenario you prefer? Go to Amazon and start shopping (presuming you have been there before), and ask yourself, "what is the experience like?"
It's hard to argue that most content-based webpages aren't all that annoying, but there is a cost for access and there is a cost for this content that must be paid by the consumers. Whether this is a paid-subscription model to underwrite the profitability of the business or ad-supported as the model, consumers have to accept that advertising and pageviews are going nowhere.
If Yahoo can acquire sites like Tumblr and Hulu while pushing beyond their history of being a Web portal, spending a billion dollars on a platform like Tumblr and/or Hulu could well be the cheapest way for a company of that size and magnitude to not only save itself, but rebuild its brand reputation as a leader in the digital world.
We've all heard the saying "It's like herding cats." As challenging as that might be, it's not much more difficult than building consensus with a global committee: everyone has a different view, and often a territorial approach to meetings. In fact, while herding cats is tough, creating a brand change in corporations may be even tougher.
In a time where anyone with a smartphone can become a news aggregator or citizen journalist, corporations appear to following suit, and are coming down with a serious lack of continuity in their communications. I'm talking about how understanding what some companies are trying to stand for these days has become an impossible task.
The speed with which our world now lives could well put an end to the world of iconic brands. Before all of this connectivity, a great brand could stand the test of time. It now seems like insanity. The Beatles were iconic. Do you believe that any of the musicians today that we admire will be able to leave this kind of legacy? What about companies?
What is a "lovemark" you ask? Well, I like to say that it's all about the emotional cement. Brands that are emotionally cemented to their customers reach their hearts as well as their minds and they deliver beyond expectations of great functional performance. They capture "heartshare as well as mindshare." It really has been a bad year for lovemarks (ahem, RIM).
A shopper will saunter over to the kitchen appliances section, whip out their smartphone, scan the UPC symbol on a food processor, and walk out. What just happened? Their phone just looked up that processor and told the shopper where they can get it within a three-minute walk. Welcome to the terrifying new world of retail and declining brand loyalty.
For me, the quintessential source of inspiration comes from where I start every morning, and that place is Starbucks. I am a Starbucks Brand Addict because they have created an environment and a brand that has me hooked. What Starbucks has done rather ingeniously, is create a Brand Ambassador out of me without me even knowing it. Here are some ways that Starbucks is doing it right and how you can learn from their holistic approach to the customer experience.
Every once in a while, we brand consultants get ourselves what we call a "trainwreck" -- a bona fide, dyed in the wool, gong show of a client. And we roll up our sleeves and get to work. Such is the case of the "in the headlines again this past week" Bev Oda -- she's just not getting a break is she? And so, I surmised that maybe she needs some help to get her out of this and send her on her way to a fresh start.
Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of Canada, probably has the best personal brand of anyone in Canada right now. Carney has created a spotlight for himself by taking some risks, all of which could have blown up in his face. I think he managed to avoid disaster by focussing on some key principles about personal branding.
Guess what? Personal branding is just as important for bank managers and accountants and human resource specialists as it is for actors and advertising executives and sports figures. Many people shy away because they think only the famous need them, but you already have a brand -- it might not be accurate, and it might not be the brand you would like to have -- but you have one. Why not optimize it?
My dream client? Conrad Black-- the good Lord Black My ultimate professional challenge would be to be part of the LB Reputation Recovery dream team. Your personal brand has taken a bit of a beating lately, your Lordship, but I want you to know that there is hope for recovery, if you really want it badly.
There's always been a fine line in branding between flattery and imitation. No doubt store brands tread on the right side of the law. But just because they're not doing something illegal does not mean that they're completely transparent. This is the approach I find less clear-cut: when the store brand's packaging looks a little too similar to the product it's "inspired" by.