Branding can boost direct response metrics

All direct marketeers know that converting prospects into a customers is the life blood of the direct marketing business.
Some direct response marketers decry brandingIt’s not the first sale that really matters – many willingly take a loss on the first sale just to acquire that new customer.
Most have figured out how much business an average customer will do with the firm over a number of years. It’s probably an order of magnitude larger than the initial sale because these marketers continually ask their customer to buy more stuff. They send catalogs, sales letters, bargain flyers, e-mails. Continually. Religiously. Obsessively.
All this communication develops in the collective mind of customers a position about the company. Low cost, reliable, great guarantees, unique products, whatever.
In cases where companies aren’t building brand and establishing a positive position consciously and consistently, their customers will do it for them. Continue reading Branding can boost direct response metrics

Brand associations classified

Brand associations can be viewed at two levels.

First brand architecture, or hierarchies, are the internal methods used by multi-brand operations to align and position their brands, brand families, brand extensions, brand satellites, sub-brands, feature brands and event brands.

Brand associations

In brand architecture, the structure is purely an internal matter. The company will decide upon these associations and develop them. In other words, it’s their fault if consumers misinterpret the associations.

The second level is not as controllable as the first, but nevertheless, brand management can either associate or not associate with various other brands.

There are several ways to associate your brand with others: Continue reading Brand associations classified

Cult branding: how to do it.

During this decade, much has been written and discussed about the phenomenon of “cult brands”.

Cult branding - crusaders march

The two most powerful brands in this category: Harley-Davidson and Apple. I won’t go into all the reasons those two have flourished as cult brands. We can observe their unique presence in our society ourselves.

One that wrote authoritatively about cult branding was BJ Bueno. I whole-heartedly recommend his 2002 book, The Power of Cult Branding (Random House 2002). I recently visited his website and found he had written a companion workbook Cult Branding Workbook. Continue reading Cult branding: how to do it.

Effective brand relationships: building through touch points

Utilizing the concept of touch points in your brand platform to determine where a brand intersects with customers and prospects is a good way to evaluate the importance and priority of different branding strategies and tactics, signals and messages.

Brand platform - touch points analysis 

I believe the first time I was introduced to the term “Touch Point” was in the book Building The Brand-Driven Business by Scott Davis and Michael Dunn, both executives of Prophet.

Here’s just a couple of highlights about touch points according to Davis and Dunn (don’t you like the alliteration of that combination?). Continue reading Effective brand relationships: building through touch points

Brand is substance

As I was beginning my career in the late 1950’s, it was common to think of advertising and marketing as a way to persuade people to buy based on an image or proposition.

 Brand Identity

When we talked of corporate identity, we spoke of image.

And somehow the mind-set was to make people think the advertised product was really better than it was. Continue reading Brand is substance

Is “green” a brand differentiator?

In a word, NO.

Like so many previous movements, “green” is a bandwagon that appeals to marketers as a way to gain positive props from customers.

Green is not a brand differentiator

It works in that regard if the advertisers are really complying with the Federal Trade Commission guidelines (Soon to be revised and strengthened according to an article on today’s BrandWeek web site.)

But following a trend is not differentiating. It’s just the opposite. Continue reading Is “green” a brand differentiator?