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Archive for November, 2006

Brad VanAuken Brand Management Brand Positioning Common Brand Problems

Overcoming Common Brand Problems – 11

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Like Number 10, Number 11 of the 40 Most Common Brand Problems manifests itself in the corner offices and hallways of an organization. Have you experienced number 11?

Common Brand Problem Number 11:
Senior managers do not understand what the brand stands for

Analysis: This could well be the most pervasive and detrimental problem of all. The consumer will never be able to understand what the brand stands for and what its points of difference are if your management team doesn’t.

Key Point: It would behoove you to gain the CEO’s support and to involve the management team in a process of defining what the brand stands for, including its target consumer, essence, promise, personality, and marketplace positioning. At The Blake Project  we call this The Brand Positioning Workshop. A particularly important part of the exercise is to gain insight and consensus on the brand’s most compelling point of difference. Managing the transformation of your entire management team into well-informed brand champions may be a difficult process, but the investment of time and effort will be well worth it.

Sponsored By: The Brand Positioning Workshop

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Brand Management Branding and Cultural Differences Derrick Daye Slogans/Taglines/Jingles

Branding And Cultural Differences

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Marketers can get into trouble when they introduce their products to new countries if they don’t pay close attention to cultural differences.  A case in point: Gerber introduced baby food in jars in certain African markets.  The jars featured cute babies.  Sales were very disappointing.  When the problem was investigated, brand managers discovered why the baby food wasn’t selling.  As many people in Africa are illiterate, people generally expect labels to visually portray the contents of the package.  Cute babies were not very appetizing.

Other brands have encountered cultural problems as well:

Brand: Perdue Chicken
Slogan: ‘It takes a strong man to make a tender chicken’
Slogan in Spanish: ‘It takes an aroused man to make a chicken affectionate.’

Brand: Chevy Nova
Name: Nova
Name’s meaning in Spanish: ‘It doesn’t go.’

Brand: Schweppes Tonic Water
Name: Schweppes Tonic Water
Name’s translation in Italian: ‘Schweppes Toilet Water’

Brand: Coors Beer
Slogan: ‘Turn it loose’
Slogan in Spanish: ‘You  will suffer from diarrhea’

Make sure you understand the direct translation and the meaning of your brand’s name, slogan and advertising copy when taking a brand global. Be sure to tripple-check your sources.

Source: Brand Failures: The Truth About the 100 Biggest Branding Mistakes of All Time by Matt Haig, Kogan-Page, London (2003)

Sponsored By: The Brand Positioning Workshop

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?Branding Bag? Derrick Daye

Branding And The Increasing Value Of Human Touch

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It always fascinates me to see product, service and marketing innovations emerge that bolster our ability to get the ‘bear hug’ we seek from consumers. Take Ms. Dewey for example. A search engine with a personality. Designed to interact, entertain and inform, Ms. Dewey 'humanizes' the search engine experience.

I think there's much more to Ms. Dewey than pages of links. I think she's a sign of things to come as we continue the pursuit of strong relationships with our customers. Let's look at the obvious: Now more than ever we connect with each other electronically. There is less face-to-face human interaction than that of a decade ago. For some, entire work days go by without an in-person experience. This has upped the value of human contact. The result? Consumers are responding more and more to the human connectivity strong brands transmit.

If you define a brand as the personification of a product, service or organization you see where I'm coming from. On some level we humans are always looking to make connections. When we make them we are moved in some way. In this case Ms. Dewey softens the pixels and for a second makes you believe you’re not alone at being alone. Where will Ms. Dewey pop up next? How about your ATM, a vending machine or a gasoline pump? She will be welcome at those cold, sharp places that separate you from your money and deny any sense of an attempt at human contact.

Bring your customer closer. Make your offerings magnetic to human touch with a sense of human touch.

Sponsored By: The Brand Positioning Workshop

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Brad VanAuken Brand Management Brand Value & Pricing

Brand Value: Cracking The Pricing Code

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One of the five drivers of customer brand insistence is “value.” While value is comprised of more than just price (benefit bundle, perceived quality, etc.), it's important to understand pricing to deliver a strong brand value. Following are some concepts that you may find useful as you determine pricing for your brand’s products and services.

Reference Prices
People often compare a product’s price to a “reference price” that they maintain in their minds for the product or product category in question. A “reference price” is the price that people expect or deem to be reasonable for a certain type of product. Several factors affect reference prices:

•Memory of past prices
•Frame of reference (compared to competitive prices, pre-sale prices, manufacturer’s suggested prices, channel-specific prices, marked prices before discounts, substitute product prices, etc.)
o Creating the most advantageous (and believable) competitive frame of reference is essential to achieving a price premium
•Prices of other products on the same shelf, in the same catalog, or in the same product line
o The addition of a more premium priced product typically increases sales of other lower-priced products in the same product line
•The way the price is presented – for instance, absolute number versus per quart, per pound, per hour of use, per application, for the result achieved, etc.; also four simple payments of $69.95 versus $279.80; for automobiles: total purchase price versus monthly loan payment versus monthly lease payment
•The order in which people see a range of prices – like when a realtor uses the trick of showing the poorest value house first.

Price Sensitivity
It is extremely important to be able to estimate the impact of price changes on sales and profits. That is, it is important to know how a price change will impact consumer response, competitive response, and unit volume. Many business people erroneously believe that a price increase is the most cost-effective revenue generating marketing tactic. I have heard generally intelligent business people share their excitement about how a price increase will drop to the “bottom line” dollar-for-dollar. Most of the time, this is simply not true.

People display different price sensitivities to different products in different situations. Often people are relatively price insensitive, but only within a relevant price range. Once a price exceeds that range, people become very sensitive. Raising the price across that threshold is akin to walking off of a cliff.

The following factors decrease price sensitivity:

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Brad VanAuken Brand Management Common Brand Problems

Overcoming Common Brand Problems – 10

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We're at number 10 of our countdown of the 40 Most Common Brand Problems. Sometimes it's the marketing manager that is part of the problem…

Common Brand Problem Number 10: Frequently changing your brand’s positioning and message

Analysis: New brand managers and marketing executives often feel as though they need to make a name for themselves to continue the climb up the corporate ladder.

Key Point: Don’t succumb to the temptation of doing this by changing the advertising campaign or the brand slogan, especially if the current ones are working well or haven’t been in place long enough to assess their effectiveness. Consistent communication over time is what builds a brand. After all, Hallmark has used its “When You Care Enough to Send the Very Best” slogan since 1944; the Marlboro Man has been Marlboro’s icon since 1955; and Absolut Vodka has featured its bottle’s shape in consumer communication since 1978. If you do make changes, make them gradually and in an integrated fashion based on sound consumer research.

Have a request for the countdown? Let us know.

Sponsored By: The Brand Positioning Workshop

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