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At The Blake Project our sole focus is helping organizations create brands that build and sustain trust. Branding Strategy Insider is an extension of our efforts as brand consultants to help marketing oriented leaders and professionals build strong brands.

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Brand Management

Customer Segmentation Explored

By

Cross Category Segmentation Strategy

Two universally scarce commodities are time and money. Some people have one or the other but not both, other people have neither, while a few fortunate people have both. Brands can command a price premium or a time premium or both. This leads into a universal cross-category segmentation scheme.

Regardless of the category, some shoppers are driven primarily by price or price discounts. These people tend to lack money or are fearful that they will. Some shoppers are driven primarily by convenience. “What brand is available near me now? Which brand will be the quickest to purchase?” These people are time deprived. Maybe they are single parents with one or more jobs or maybe they have very demanding professional jobs that spare them little time for anything else.

Others are category enthusiasts. That is, they are extremely active in the category and are always seeking out the latest product, service or brand. This makes them extremely knowledgeable but less brand-loyal.

Finally, there is a group that is brand loyal. These people are comfortable with the brand that they have been using over the years and feel no need to explore other options. Their satisfaction is high and their need to seek out new options is low.

So the generic segmentation schemes are “price conscious,” “convenience oriented,” “category enthusiasts,” and “brand loyal.” Usually, people are primarily motivated in one of these four ways. That is not to say that there can’t be price conscious brand loyal consumers or convenience oriented brand loyal consumers, but usually one of these is the dominant driver of their purchase choices.

Sponsored ByThe Brand Positioning Workshop, the Brand Storytelling Workshop Series and Brand Strategy and Customer Co-Creation Workshops

Branding Strategy Insider is a service of The Blake Project: A strategic brand consultancy specializing in Brand Research, Brand Strategy, Brand Licensing and Brand Education

FREE Publications And Resources For Marketers

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Brand Value & Pricing

Why People Buy Products, Services And Brands

By

Purchase Decision Strategy

Why do people purchase the products, services and brands that they do? At a minimum, marketers should think about this periodically. Ideally, marketers should always be thinking about this. So, why do people purchase specific things?

  • They solve problems. They make my life easier or safer or more pleasant.
  • They are whimsical. They make me smile or laugh. They make me feel playful. They entertain me.
  • They are beautiful. They are a source of awe or wonder. They calm me. They make me feel good about my life. I love to be surrounded by beauty.
  • They surprise me. I love their unexpected nature. They fulfill my need for mental stimulation and variety.
  • They make me feel important. They give me status. They feed my ego.
  • They are addictive. They fulfill a deep craving. They are pleasurable. They are satisfying.
  • They provide me with information or knowledge or access.
  • They give me more time. They increase my freedom. They reduce my workload. They release me from mundane tasks.
  • They reduce my anxiety. They increase my peace of mind. They give me one less thing to worry about.
  • They stimulate my senses. They look, smell, taste, sound or feel good.

Think about this. What are some other reasons people buy things? Why do you buy what you buy? What was the most recent product, service or brand that you purchased? Why did you purchase it? Why did you choose it over the competitive alternatives? What was your most memorable purchase? What made it memorable? What product, service or brand do you value the most? Why do you value it?

This sort of thinking should be second nature to marketers. After all, isn’t marketing the art and science of motivating people to buy specific products, services and brands?

Sponsored ByThe Brand Positioning Workshop, the Brand Storytelling Workshop Series and Brand Strategy and Customer Co-Creation Workshops

Branding Strategy Insider is a service of The Blake Project: A strategic brand consultancy specializing in Brand Research, Brand Strategy, Brand Licensing and Brand Education

FREE Publications And Resources For Marketers

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Brand Management

How Brands Lose Sight Of Their Customers

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Customer Service Brand Strategy

How do service organizations, specifically large service organizations lose sight of the customer and the shifting demands of a dynamic market?

Everybody says they’re in business to serve the customer, but the people who are actually customer facing and customer serving are often those with the least experience, the least knowledge and the least authority because that lowers cost-per-serve. Unfortunately, it also lowers quality, depth, flexibility and engagement, compromising the brand experience and making service a commoditized set of processes that frontline staff are judged on their ability to conform to.

The situation should logically resolve itself as people become more valuable to the organization, and therefore gain what has been missing when they were on the frontline – experience, knowledge, authority, influence and networks. But what actually happens is that those people are shepherded into talent programs that promote them further and further away from a direct relationship with customers – which is an increasing juxtaposition in itself – and their focus moves. It becomes more and more introverted.

Market-based innovation then becomes increasingly difficult, because the people now empowered to make change decisions are locked into an internal bubble that seals their own market impressions firmly in the past. They are also fighting battles and priorities that actually have increasingly little to do with where the money comes from.

Sponsored ByThe Brand Positioning Workshop, the Brand Storytelling Workshop Series and Brand Strategy and Customer Co-Creation Workshops

Branding Strategy Insider is a service of The Blake Project: A strategic brand consultancy specializing in Brand Research, Brand Strategy, Brand Licensing and Brand Education

FREE Publications And Resources For Marketers

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Brand Engagement

Rethinking How To Reach Brand Audiences

By

GoPro Brand Strategy

We need to move on. That’s my take-away from a piece by Tara Walpert Levy. We need to move on from a mind-set based on reach and drop-off, and replace it with one centered on engagement and accumulation. “Historically, our media plans have focused more on exposure and broadcasting than engagement and response…,” writes Levy. “We focused on reaching as large an audience as we could and hoped or planned that of that 100%, we would eventually whittle down to the, call it 5%, of people who actually cared and mattered for our brand. We focused on reach because our ability to measure engagement…was lousy.”

Not any more. Instead of opening the jaws of the sales funnel as far as they will go, Levy calls for an engagement pyramid that flips the funnel on its head. Start with what has always been seen as the end of the filter – the 5% who will be most interested  - she says, engage them, get them talking and let the growth begin. Her thinking directly echoes that of Joseph Jaffe whose book of that name some years back first drew my attention to the need to pay attention to the “right” end of the funnel and use commitment as the multiplier.

The thing all brands with a social presence need to be paying attention to, Levy says, are the dynamics of Gen C (the content generation). For this tribe, content is the basis of conversation. It’s the prompt everyone in this generation is looking for in order to have something to share. Gen C are using social networks and content platforms to define their sense of self. They are what they see, what they make and what they distribute. Here’s a great insight: “When they share a video or an image, they’re not just sharing the object, they’re sharing the emotional response it creates.”

And this selfie generation don’t just define their lives this way, they record them as well. One in four upload a video every week and nearly half upload a photo every week. The way I see it that makes almost every Gen C participant a potential media company because so many people are now documentary makers. They are documenting their lives in words, pics, tweets, opinions and shares.

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Brand Strategy

Repositioning The Competition

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Repositioning A Competing Brand

Marketers mostly focus on repositioning their own brands. But, you can also reposition a competitor’s brand. That is, you can create messaging about your brand that shed’s a negative light on the competitor’s brand, making your brand look better in comparison. Repositioning is how you adjust perceptions, whether those perceptions are about you or about your competition often hanging a negative on the competition as a way to set up a positive. Here are some examples of that.

  • Avis leveraged its #2 rental car position with the tagline and campaign “We try harder,” implying that the #1 brand Hertz was resting on its laurels.
  • Scope focused not on the consumer problem which its product cured, but on the consumer problem its competitor caused. Scope used this weakness to reposition Listerine as “medicine breath.”
  • Apple repositioned PCs as stodgy and boring in its ‘I’m a Mac and I’m a PC’ campaign. A Bill Gates look-a-like punctuated the portrayal of PC’s while Mac had a cool, progressive Jobs-esque character.
  • Arrowhead Smoke Shop and Gas Mart (in Upstate New York) ended a series of television ads with the comment, “and we don’t add water to our gasoline” implying that some of their competitors might (a claim that I believe only a few people would find credible).
  • We helped one health care system reposition their competitors as not being able to handle the toughest medical cases, identifying many proof points to reinforce this perception.
  • We helped FootJoy tap into golfers’ aspirations to be seen as serious golfers with the tagline “The mark of a player” implying that its competitors’ brands are not the choice of the most serious golfers.
  • Tylenol repositioned Bayer and its miracle drug aspirin as something that is harsh on your stomach by claiming that “aspirin can irritate the stomach lining…for those that cannot take aspirin, fortunately, there is Tylenol.”
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