We regularly answer questions from marketers on Branding Strategy Insider. Today we hear from Debbie, an entrepreneur in Brisbane, Australia who writes…
“We’re a B2C startup looking to make an impact in our national, and potentially regional, markets. We know we need a strong brand but with so many things to think about, how do we responsibly allocate our resources knowing that every dollar we spend on our brand means one less dollar we can spend on anything else?”
Great question Debbie. This is something we’re asked often. Many entrepreneurs are reluctant to invest in their brand in the early days of their companies because they believe there are more important things to spend their money on.
Disclaimers are everywhere. From the websites we visit to the products we buy and the ads we watch, the terms under which consumers read and receive are carefully wrapped in legal bubble-wrap to protect brands from liability. In an age of transparency, such disclosures seem prudent and very much in keeping with the demands of today. You know where you stand. The terms for what you are getting are laid out in explicit detail. Or are they?
At a time when so many consumers admit to having disclaimer fatigue and not checking the fine print, do disclaimers work to build trust? How much do customers really need to know to feel they are dealing with a brand that is being honest with them, and do disclaimers fulfill that purpose?
Every company that rebrands does so with high hopes. Their expectation is of course that this will mark a new chapter in the life of the business. Given how much is being invested, that seems more than a reasonable goal on their part. But is it realistic? How much change can a company expect to see through a rebrand, and where? This article by Laurent Muzellec and Mary Lambkin from some years back lays out some evergreen principles and reminds us that no two rebrands are the same in terms of the results they generate.
It depends on the degree of change. Muzellec and Lambkin draw a clear distinction between evolutionary rebranding – a brand refresh – and revolutionary rebranding. The former are the many tweaks that brand owners instigate to keep their brands up to date. These are a necessary and important part of keeping a brand current, and many brands make these changes without consumers being consciously aware of what’s gone on. While much of the onus here is often put on changes to the visual language, I see no reason at all why a brand cannot refresh other aspects of its brand structure and still remain largely recognizable as the brand that people know.
Personalization is the quest of the moment for so many marketers, with 70% of executives interviewed by Forrester saying it is now of strategic importance to their business. (What may surprise you, as it did me, is how generalized so much of marketing still is.)
According to the Forbes article, most personalization efforts are currently underpinned by customer preferences and purchase history. Looking ahead, marketers see social sentiment, contextual behaviors, time of day/week and location information as emerging factors in their bid to make experiences feel more specific.
Few retailers do personalization better than Amazon. Their ability to suggest offers that are relevant based on what they know about consumers from previous behaviors is insightful and addictive. But that doesn’t make personalization a panacea, and it certainly doesn’t mean it can apply universally. As Paul Boag points out, “Too often personalization is requested with no clear idea of what that means or what benefits it would provide.”
Boag identifies five other types of personalization beyond Amazon’s custom personalization approach:
Branding Strategy Insider helps marketing oriented leaders and professionals like you build strong brands. BSI readers know, we regularly answer questions from marketers everywhere. Today we hear from John, a VP of Marketing in Dallas, Texas who writes…
“We are a global B2B brand and the the market leader in our sector. We have a much smaller brand attacking both us and our offer and using very clever brand messaging to do so. Our response so far has been restrained and very much in keeping with your brand storytelling strategy of redirect, refute, re-position and remind. That hasn’t stopped them. In terms of best practice, when do you feel is the right time for a leader to send a more direct message that draws clear contrasts with the challenger brand offering? I know the inherent risks for giving free mindshare impressions, and generating big guy beating up on little guy perceptions, but keen to hear your thoughts.”