3 Brands That Made Incredible Comebacks
Digital Branding

3 Brands That Made Incredible Comebacks

Every popular brand takes its fair share of bumps and bruises. Sometimes, a big financial loss or a scandal can ruin a brand beyond repair. It can be hard to believe that even some of the most popular brands that exist today were close to going extinct. In times of turmoil, the brands that come out on top are the ones that know how to adapt, take calculated risks, and reinvent themselves. Here are three brands that made incredible comebacks.

Marvel

Marvel

Marvel has a long history of being a leader in the comic-book industry but in the 90’s the market for comic-book market tanked and Marvel’s future seemed uncertain. In 1993, writer Neil Gaiman gave a speech to 3,000 retailers and told them that the comic book market was a bubble. Gaiman stated that the comic book market rose only because collectors were furiously buying comics in hopes that they would become valuable. Gaiman likened this to tulip mania in the 17th century when the value of tulip bulbs quickly skyrocketed and collapsed.

In 1996, after undergoing turmoil in the boardroom a year before, the company went broke. Marvel then decided to start focusing on the movie industry. Marvel struggled for years trying to convince Hollywood execs to put their superheros on the big screen. They saw a small success with Blade and then Spider-Man and X-Men went on to become massive successes but Marvel was only seeing a small percentage of the earnings.

In 2003, Marvel decided to start producing its own movies. Marvel struck a deal with Merrill Lynch that featured intellectual property such as Captain America and Thor as collateral. Merrill Lynch lent Marvel $525 million over a period of seven years. The company used that capital to spend on 10 movies and began having great success with movies like Iron Man (gross: $585 million), Iron Man 3 ($1 billion), and even the offbeat film Guardians of the Galaxy ($750 million). In 2009, Disney bought Marvel for $4.3 billion.

Delta

Delta

Delta is one of the country’s largest airlines but the Atlanta, GA-based company ran into trouble in 2005 when it filed for bankruptcy. Delta stated that the rise in prices of jet fuel and steep competition from budget airlines like Southwest and JetBlue were the cause. However, less than four years later Delta bounced back.

To get back on track, Delta started working from the inside out by making changes within its management and employee ranks. Director Gerald Grinstein, who stepped in as CEO in 2004 renegotiated union contracts and made an agreement with the pilots to take a pay cut (while cutting his own pay 25%). Grinstein was also able to cut a deal with several creditors which prevented a takeover by US Airways. These efforts helped, but Delta wasn’t done. Delta flew in employees for team-building events to boost morale and convinced its creditors to turn over 15% of the company to its employees. Delta succeeded in getting their creditors to see how important it was to have employee support.

Delta then recruited Glen W. Hauenstein from Italian airline Alitalia to bring Delta to underserved regions such as Tel Aviv, Kiev, and Nice, France. To save money on buying long haul jets, Hauenstein instead retrofitted existing aircraft to save fuel and reduce drag which provided them with more range. Then, in 2008 Delta merged with Northwest Airlines which helped cut costs and gave Delta access to Northwest’s Asian network while Northwest gained access to Delta’s strength in Latin America and Europe.

Converse

Converse

In 1917, Converse’s shoe “The All-Star” became the first mass-produced sneaker for basketball. In 1932, Converse signed hoops star Charles “Chuck” Taylor to sell the shoe. After the NBA began in 1946, The All-Star became the most popular shoes in the league.

However, in the 1980s competition from Reebok, Puma, Adidas, and Nike became to heat up. Converse’s market share fell to 2.3% in 1998 and Nike bought the company in 2003. It seemed to many like the converse brand was a thing of the past.

However, Nike creatively embraced the ‘old-school” feel that Converse had and began marketing their shoes to new demographics. Special editions of the Chuck Taylors featuring the Ramones and Kurt Cobain were born. Converse also went high-end by having designer John Varvatos create a premium line of Chuck Taylors. New life was given to the brand by transitioning away from basketball, focusing on fashion, and creating a lifestyle around the iconic shoe.

Conclusion

Bringing a brand off of life support is no easy task. In our fast-moving economy, it’s fairly easy for consumers to love you one day and quickly forget about you after a few bad business moves. Every brand on this list was facing the reality of shutting its doors but by adapting to their environment, thinking outside of the box, and making strategic moves they were able to come out ahead and return to the top of their game.

8 Steps to Building a Successful Brand
Digital Branding

8 Steps to Building a Successful Brand

When a customer hands over their hard-earned money for your product or service they are making a commitment to your brand. Having a strong brand means that customers know, like, and trust your business. Strong brands are rewarded with high customer approval. Successful companies know this and invest heavily in building and improving their brands. Your brand doesn’t just exist in your marketing message. It lives in every interaction your business makes with customers. The five steps below will give you a head start on creating a successful brand.

Purpose

Purpose

With the advent of the internet, consumers have a lot of options when it comes to

selecting products and services. Just having a catchy slogan or a slick logo won’t get you very far. Your brand has to stand for something. You have to know why your business does what it does and you need to make sure that all of your customers are aware of this as well. Your purpose is the absolute, innermost core reason of why your business exists. When customers can align with your purpose they will buy into your brand at a cellular level

In Simon SInek’s “How Great Leaders Inspire Action” TED talk he shared that what separates great companies from good ones is the fact that great companies lead with their purpose in everything that they do. For example, Apple’s core message is to “Think Different” in everything that you do. They promote this message through selling products that are beautifully designed and exquisitely minimalistic. This is what allows them to stand out from the pack.

Emotion

emotion

Contrary to popular belief. We don’t buy based on logic. We buy based on emotion. Emotion is the reason why people spend thousands of dollars on designer handbags when a similar sized bag from Wal-Mart or Target could hold their personal items just fine. When someone chooses to spend this type of money on a handbag they aren’t buying a bag. They’re buying status. To make a successful brand you must create this type of emotion in your customers.

Community

Community

Humans aren’t meant to live alone. We thrive in communities. Powerful brands build communities that empower their customers and give them a direct line of communication to their audience. Now, any business can use social media to create a community with their customers. In a Business News Daily article, Manta CEO John Swanciger said that a brand’s top priority for social media should be community building.

Big brands know the importance of building a community. Take H&R Block for example. They created a section of their website, titled “Get Answers” that allowed users to ask tax questions and get quick answers from professionals. The community empowers user to share and learn all on the H&R block website. The company promoted this new feature with their “Get It Right” campaign on social media which gave them a 15% increase in business vs. the year before when no social media was involved in their marketing.

Consistency

Consistency

Many businesses make the mistake of branding themselves inconsistently across different platforms. They may take one marketing angle on their website, a different one on their Facebook page, and continue this pattern across several platforms. Usually, this is done to try and connect with several different audiences but this usually has an adverse effect. Inconsistent branding confuses customers and creates a disconnect. To create a strong brand, you must maintain a consistent image and message throughout your entire business, including your website, marketing, logo, social media channels, etc. Being consistent allows consumers to become familiar with you, and later trust you.

Value

Value

If you don’t provide value to your customers, they will quickly run to your competitors. Why should a customer choose you over anyone else? What can you offer that is head and shoulders above all others? You don’t have to be great at everything. Start with focusing on being great at one thing and do it better than your competitors. Offer outstanding customer service. Take a customized approach with your clients. Reward your customers for their loyalty.

You can’t mention customer service without bringing up Zappos. CEO Tony Hsieh has made it his goal to provide legendary customer service. In a Forbes.com article, it was revealed that to understand customer service, Hsieh gave each of his employees $100 and asked them to buy two pairs of shoes from Zappos.com – one to return and one to keep. He then asked the employees to share their experience with the team. Zappos invests heavily in customer service over marketing. They want to create more personal connections with customers by tracking and observing customer behavior. Although Zappos spends a lot of money on customer analytics they understand that there is a human touch that is essential in customer service that can’t be quantified.

Wrapping Up

Building a successful brand isn’t an easy task. Brands become extraordinary not by gaining customers, but by creating fans. Every brand mentioned above offers something unique that makes it stand out from all of it’s competitors. When you’re bold, honest, and transparent in your marketplace you’re rewarded with customer approval.

How-Apple-Creates-an-Irresistible-Brand-(and-How-You-Can-Too)
Digital Branding

How Apple Creates an Irresistible Brand (and How You Can Too)

It’s inevitable. Every year Apple releases a new iPhone and just like clockwork long lines of consumers flock to stand outside of Apple stores patiently waiting for the next new installment of the Apple legacy. It’s safe to assume that the release of the iPhone 7 will be no different.

Why would people put their lives on hold and stand in line for a phone? We’re not talking about a necessity like food or water, but a cell phone. You could simply wait a few days, walk into a store (sans the line) and buy one. Or, you could ditch the store altogether and order one online. But, no matter how convenient it is in the 21st century to buy an iPhone, there will still be a percentage of raving fans who will pitch a tent and camp out to get their hands on a new iPhone a few days before the general public.

Why Do We Line Up for iPhones?

Why-Do-We-Line-Up-for-iPhones

The most important point of all of this is that people aren’t waiting in line for a phone. They’re waiting in line to be a part of the Apple brand. Apple’s brand represents elegant design, sophistication, and classy minimalism. But, how does this happen and why don’t other brands evoke this response from consumers?

Bestselling author Simon Sinek sought to discover the answer to this question in his book “Start With Why”. According to his research, a company’s marketing can be broken down into three different layers:

  1. Why – This is what the business believes at its very core. This is what it stands for.
  2. How – This is how the company goes about fulfilling it’s “Why”
  3. What – This is how the business operates, or “What” it actually does

Simon discovered that most companies do their marketing in the wrong order. They start with “what” they do, then move onto “how” they do it, and don’t ever mention “why” they’re in business in the first place.

Apple starts out by making consumers aware of their why. Their “why” drives all of their marketing messaging. Simon broke this down in an example to make his point clear. Here’s what Apple’s marketing message would be if they took the same path as just about everyone else:

“We make great computers. They’re user-friendly, beautifully designed, and easy to use. Want to buy one?”
apple-macbook

These are all valid points but the message above fails to resonate with the consumer. It sounds like just about every other computer company. They have great computers, with great features and they cost X amount of dollars. This falls flat.

Instead, Apple starts with “why” which evokes emotion from the consumer and gets them excited about Apple’s brand.

“With everything we do, we aim to challenge the status quo. We aim to think differently. Our products are user-friendly, beautifully designed, and easy to use. We just happen to make great computers. Want to buy one?”

Since Apple starts out with their core beliefs, they attract customers who share their beliefs, which causes people to get addicted to their brand. Sinek states that “People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it.” Apple doesn’t sell computers and phones. They sell status, creativity, and a lifestyle.

How to Make Your Brand Irresistible

How-to-Make-Your-Brand-Irresistible

1. Start With the Core Purpose of Your Business

The first step is to align your core beliefs with your marketing. Think about your own business and how you extend your offerings to your consumers. How do you market your products and services? Is it aligned with your brand? People buy “the why” behind what you do so it’s important that your core beliefs are at the forefront of your marketing.

Before you do that you must drill down exactly what your “why” is.

For example, Tom’s is known as the “One for One Company” because they provide a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair of shoes they sell. Their why is that they want to help children across the world. What is your “why”?

2. Get your “Why” Into Your Marketing

Get-your-Why-Into-Your-Marketing

Whenever you craft a piece of marketing copy you’ll want to make sure that you’re installing your why into it. For example, here’s an example of the difference between starting with “Why” vs. “How”.

“In our new video course ‘The Top 10 Tips for Maximizing ROI on Your Facebook Ads’ we’ll show you how to create a profitable Facebook ad campaign and how to improve an existing one.” Click here to get your copy.

vs.

“Imagine your perfect customer – someone who loves your product, buys from you over and over again, and raves about your company to everyone. If you could click a button and have a line of these customers knocking on your door to buy your product, would you? In our new video course ‘The Top 10 Tips for Maximizing ROI on Your Facebook Ads’ we’ll show you what buttons to press. Click here to get your copy.

Do you feel the difference? The second piece of leads with the reason why people would want to maximize the ROI of their Facebook ads. People don’t want to actually create better Facebook ads. They want more customers and more specifically repeat customers.

3. Craft Your Buyer Persona

Have you taken the time to think about your buyer? Do you know exactly who buys your products? A lot of companies get so wrapped up in their own activity that they forget the most important part of their business: their customers. Without customers, there are no sales. Without sales, your business won’t last very long.

You don’t just want to know the demographics of your customer. You want to know what drives them to buy from you. Are you the “mom and pop” that has had loyal customers for years and always gives a personal touch to its customers? Do you provide incredible, individualized customer service and make yourself readily accessible when a customer has a complaint? Find what “makes you, you” and sell that to your customers.

Wrapping Up

Marketing this way may seem overwhelming at first but it’s actually very simple. If you need help figuring things out, go to your existing customers to find your “why”. When you start thinking from the inside out you’ll be well on your way to creating an infectious brand that your customers will love.

4 Tools for Driving More Traffic With Twitter
Digital Branding

4 Tools for Driving More Traffic With Twitter

According to a DMR report, Twitter has 100 million daily users, 300 million total users, and drives 120 million visitors to its website every month. With this kind of user base and traffic it’s no wonder why Twitter is a huge social channel for online marketers. Twitter allows people and brands to engage in conversations and share with just about anyone 140 characters at a time. Brands want to promote your marketing message to as many potential customers as possible. But, with all of the noise going on in the Twitterverse, it can be easy to get lost in the crowd and not have your voice heard. In this article you’ll discover four tools that will help you grow your follower count and engage with customers.

#1 Hootsuite: Automate Your Tweets

Hootsuite: Automate Your Tweets

Tweeting can take up a lot of your time. There are tools you can use to automate your tweets so that you keep your followers and audience engaged with your brand. Automating your tweets can also come in handy because your content will only reach a fraction of your followers the first time that you share it. Unlike other social networks, it’s a good idea to reshare the same content multiple times on Twitter. With automation and scheduling you can share content over and over without being labeled as a spammer.

Hootsuite makes managing your Twitter account much easier, effective, and efficient. It’s a free tool (basic package) and has over 10 million users. With Hootsuite you can schedule a few tweets for the day, or bulk upload hundreds of tweets at once (up to 350).

#2 Tweriod: Follower Analytics

Tweriod: Follower Analytics

Before you start automating your tweets you’ll want to make sure that you analyze your followers to discover their activity. You want to find out when your audience is the most active on Twitter. This step is necessary to make sure that you maximize engagement from all of your tweets. There are a number of tools that you can use to find peak periods on Twitter but one that is easy to use (and free) is Tweriod. Tweriod shows you when your followers are the most active on the platform so you can make sure that you’re tweeting at the best times.

#3 Tweepi: Gain Targeted Followers

Tweepi--Gain-Targeted-Followers

Learning how to automate and schedule your tweets is important for maximum efficiency but what if you have a brand new account and need more followers, or have an established account and want to grow your following?

To get more followers you’ll want to start off following other Twitter users so that they follow you back. But, you don’t just want to follow every Twitter user you can find. To increase the chances of them following you back you’ll want to find relevant users, i.e. users who are interested in your topic. But, manually searching phrases and hashtags on Twitter to find relevant users can be very inefficient and take up a lot of time.

Instead, you can use a tool like Tweepi to get more targeted Twitter followers in a fraction of the time it would take to do everything manually. With Tweepi you can find users based on another account’s followers, list members, another user’s friends, tweet search, or user search. A great way to get started on Tweepi is to select “Follow @ user’s followers” and type in the account of one of your competitors. The next page will show you all of that user’s followers and you can just start following them one-by-one!

#4 Rite Tag: Join the Right Conversations

Rite Tag: Join the Right Conversations

Hashtags make it easier for social media users to find, engage, and follow different conversations about promotions, events, and brands. Hashtags also allow brands to determine the effectiveness of their campaigns and marketing messages across the web. According to Twitter, tweets that use a hashtag followed by a related keyword or subject can increase engagement 1.5x for brands. Using generic hashtags like #electronics or #vote will give you results that are too broad and managing that many hashtags would be inefficient because you would be going through too many irrelevant conversations. When you find the right hashtag you’ll also want to make sure that you’re using that hashtag at the right time. Using a relevant hashtag during the wrong time can be as bad as using the wrong hashtag altogether. If you’re using the right hashtag at the wrong time, you’ll be broadcasting your marketing message to an audience that isn’t listening.

Rite Tag changes all of that,. With Rite Tag you can grade hashtags, find related hashtags, look up analytics of your hashtag usage, and schedule tweets. Hashtag grading will tell you whether your hashtag is good, great, overused, or underused while you’re composing a tweet. The related hashtags feature will allow you to input a keyword or subject into the Rite Tag website and find related hashtags (that are also graded) based on your search term.

Wrapping up

Getting heard on Twitter doesn’t have to be a difficult process. With a solid strategy and consistent action, you’ll be well on your way to growing your brand with Twitter. The tools above can give you just the boost you need to become a Twitter power user in no time.

6 Branding Mistakes You'll Want to Avoid
Digital Branding

6 Branding Mistakes You’ll Want to Avoid

When it comes to creating an online marketing strategy for your business, you’ll want to begin with your brand. Strong brands are powerful, consistent, and focused. When people engage with a powerful brand they feel something. Good brands create familiarity in consumers, which leads to likability, trust, and then sales. Without having a clear, concise, and consistent brand image, you’re setting yourself up for an epic failure. However, many small businesses don’t think twice about their branding or brand themselves the wrong way. If you want more customers, and happier ones, you need to get started on your branding. This article will outline a few branding mistakes that you need to avoid.

Not Creating Clear Brand Guidelines

Not Creating Clear Brand Guidelines

You know that you need a brand, but you don’t know how to start. When you’re building a brand, you want to make sure that you have clear guidelines that cover everything relevant to your company. This includes your colors, logo, taglines, fonts, company voice, mission statement, etc. You’ll want to begin by compiling these guidelines with a style guide. Having clear guidelines will allow you to create a consistent brand image and create a clear marketing message in all of your communications. If your brand isn’t clear, it will create confusion in your audience, which will lead to them running off to your competitors.

Being Inconsistent

Inconsistency is definitely one of the most common branding mistakes made by small businesses. Have you ever seen a company that has a website, Facebook page, Instagram profile, Twitter account, etc. that all look different? This is inconsistent branding. Again, inconsistent branding leads to confusion and ultimately lost sales.

Not Protecting Your Brand’s Image

Not Protecting Your Brand’s Image

Building a brand isn’t easy. You want to make sure that it’s represented exactly the way you want. Putting in a lot of sweat equity to create a successful brand only to see a competitor creating a marketing message eerily similar to yours won’t give you a warm, fuzzy feeling. You want to make sure that you stay on the lookout for any misrepresentation of your brand that may come up in the marketplace.

It would be wise to create a Google Alert for any phrases associated with your brand so that you can get the jump on any issues that may occur. Also, make sure that you consult with legal representation to protect your brand or take any legal action, if necessary.

Sloppy Rebranding

Sometimes your brand has grown old and ineffective. In this case, you’ll need to rebrand. However, proceed with caution. No matter how hard you try, rebranding will cause you to alienate some of your existing customers. But, if you’re strategic in your rebranding process, it can prove to be a very profitable decision. When you do rebrand you’ll want to make sure that you keep all of your existing customer in the loop so that you don’t experience any unwanted backlash.

Being Too Vague

Having a vague brand is just as bad as inconsistent branding. The last thing you want someone to wonder when they come to your website, Facebook page, etc. is, “what do they actually do?” You want your brand to have a clear, simple, unambiguous value proposition.

For example. food delivery service Sprig offers healthy meals on-demand. Their value proposition is simple. “Delicious Meals. Honest Ingredients. Delivered Now”. This is an excellent value proposition. It explains everything about the company in very few words. When you’re creating your own value proposition, try to sum up exactly what your company does and/or stands for in one to two sentences. Also, use clear images and logos to solidify your message.

Being Too Complicated

Being Too Complicated

When branding, it’s important to remember that simplicity is key. Think of some of the biggest brands right now: Google, Apple, Amazon, Visa, etc.. These billion dollar companies all have something in common. Their brands are simple. We’re not just talking logos here. The most successful brands make an effort to get out of the way of their customer and make it as easy as possible for them to buy or use their products. Apple does this the best. It prides itself on minimalism and giving users a clear, simple interface without sacrificing beauty and design. You have to avoid adding too many features to your branding. Don’t confuse your customers. Have a clear service and/or product offering. Delve deep inside every aspect of your brand and constantly figure out ways to refine and streamline it.

Conclusion

This is definitely not a comprehensive list of the marketing mistakes that can be made when it comes to branding. You don’t have to have your entire brand figured out in one sitting. Proactively working on building your brand, avoiding any mistakes above, and taking notes from other successful companies will put you well on your way to crafting an irresistible brand.

6-Examples-of-Great-Co-Branding
Digital Branding

6 Examples of Great Co-Branding

Partnering strategically with another business in your marketing can be wildly successful for everyone involved. However, if the relationship isn’t constructed properly, a co-branding campaign could turn into an epic failure. Both companies have to be on the same page with their target audience, vision, promotion, and price to create a successful campaign. The whole point of co-branding is creating an agreement that will make both parties more successful than they could have been on their own by finding a partner that complements them well. There are plenty of examples of great co-branding and below you’ll find six from major brands that can help you in your own business.

Red Bull and GoPro

Red-Bull-and-GoPro

In 2012, Red Bull and Go Pro teamed up for the event “Stratos” which featured Australian Skydiver Felix Baumgartner jumping from a helium balloon 24 miles above the earth. During the jump, Baumgartner broke three world records, shattered the sound barrier, and used a Go Pro camera to capture everything. The event was wildly popular and a successful project for both Red Bull and Go Pro.

Stratos worked because both brands target the same audience. These companies market to thrill-seekers, extreme sports fans, and those who want adventure. Red Bull’s director of sports marketing Sean Eggert has said that “GoPro camera technology is allowing us to compliment the programming by delivering new athlete perspectives that have never been seen before.”

Cold Stone Creamery and Tim Horton’s

Cold-Stone-Creamery-and-Tim-Hortons

In 2009, ice cream chain Cold Stone Creamery and coffee shop Tim Horton’s launched a partnership where each company would put the other one’s menu in 50 of its stores. Executives from both companies decided to partner with each other because they share many of the same customers and each company does most of their business during different parts of the day. Tim Horton’s sees most of its sales come in during the morning and afternoon while Cold Stone serves more customers in the evening. After seeing an increase in sales during a test run, both companies decided to expand the initiative. The two even started offering joint menu items such as coffee floats after listening to the requests of customers.

This co-branding strategy made sense because each company looked at their sales activity and realized that they could complement each other since many of the same customers enjoyed products from both brands at different times of the day. They believed that creating co-branded stores would draw in more customers and they were right.

Uber and Spotify

Uber-and-Spotify

Who doesn’t like listening to music in their car? This partnership allows Spotify users to listen to their favorite songs while they’re in an Uber ride. When you’re waiting for your car to arrive you can queue up a playlist so that your song starts playing as soon as your driver begins your trip. It gives an exclusive experience for Uber riders, Spotify customers have another a reason to pay for a premium membership, and it also gives both companies a unique differentiation over competitors like Lyft, iTunes, Pandora, and YouTube.

MasterCard and Apple Pay

MasterCard-and-Apple-Pay

Both Apple and MasterCard understand that cashless transactions are where our society is headed. MasterCard became the first credit card company to support Apple Pay. This gave Apple an ample customer base to work with while it tweaked its service and gave MasterCard a brand new functionality that was exclusive to their customers. Apple has since teamed up with other major credit card companies to expand their user base.

Dr. Pepper and Bonne Belle

Dr.-Pepper-and-Bonne-Belle

The oldest partnership on the list started in 1975 between cosmetics company Bonne Belle and beverage company Dr. Pepper. After launching the flavored lip balm line Lip Smacker in 1973, Bonne Belle successfully formed a partnership to create Dr. Pepper flavored lip balm. This flavor of lip balm still exists today and continues to be successful.

Nike and Apple

Nike-and-Apple

This is an absolute no-brainer and is an example of very successful complementary branding. Nike knows that their customers who are runners want to listen to music when they exercise and track their progress. So, they formed a partnership with Apple so that their customers could do both. Nike developed a footwear line called Nike+ and Apple created a microchip that fits into the shoes which records the users progress when they activate the feature from their iPod or iPhone. This microchip will tell the user statistics like the number of calories burned, speed, distance, and time. You can even program your Apple device to start playing a particular song when you reach a certain point during your run.

Conclusion

Co-branding can be an excellent way to grow a company without having to make a major investment in resources or create expensive marketing campaigns. It creates a “best-of-both worlds” relationship where each business benefits from the reputation, image, and customer base of the other. However, co-branding isn’t an end all be all solution and should be executed with caution. If co-branding initiatives aren’t performed correctly, they can turn into absolute blunders. However, if executed properly, they can pay off greatly for all involved and make customers happy.

5 Famous Rebrands and What We Can Learn From Them
Digital Branding

5 Famous Rebrands and What We Can Learn From Them

At some point in time, every company is faced with the decision to rebrand. Rebranding isn’t easy. Changing your message, mission, culture, or target audience is guaranteed to alienate part of your customer base. Many rebrands are unsuccessful. It takes more than a new slogan to create a successful rebrand. A successful rebrand must win over the minds and hearts of customers to be successful. Changing how people think of you is no easy task. However, by taking the initiative to do things like engage in creative marketing, focus on the consumer, develop a quality product, and address public concerns, successful rebranding is possible. Take a look at how these five companies have rebranded successfully.

Old Spice

old-spice

Clever marketing revolutionized the Old Spice brand and gave a big boost to their bottom line. Old Spice’s sales were slowing down and they needed to take a fresh angle to rejuvenate their brand. After realizing that females made up over 50% of their customer base, they started a viral marketing campaign that sold directly to women, instead of men. Old Spice’s first over-the-top commercial starring Isaiah Mustafa went viral and generated millions of views on the internet. But, they didn’t stop there. They went on to release 186 video responses to online comments on their YouTube channel from celebrities and bloggers to drive engagement. It worked. Within the first six months of the campaign their sales increased 27%.

Creating clever, viral advertising and using social media to reach your customers directly can pay huge dividends. Old Spice was once only seen as a product for older generations and now has become a staple of a younger audience.

Harley-Davidson

harley

In 1982, Harley-Davidson was in debt $90 million and no banks wanted to lend them money. The motorcycle company had a solid customer base and brand but they were failing to generate any profit because they didn’t have a quality product. The company almost went bankrupt in 1985. Instead of going under, Harley-Davidson started focusing on providing a better product to their customers. They improved the reliability and quality of their products and it paid off.

Focus on your customers. Make sure you’re providing them a great deal of value and it will pay off.

Lego

lego

Danish toymaker Lego was facing bankruptcy in the late 90’s and was forced to make a change. Lego dropped hundreds of different products and was able to successfully turn itself around. Lego took the approach of marketing to an audience that had fond memories of their brand (adults) and then used that connection to establish a bond with a younger generation (their children). Lego uses a lot of social media and user driven content. You’ll routinely see customer creations on Lego’s social media accounts. They focus on engaging with consumers.

Remember that your customers are actual people. People want to engage with brands that they admire so make sure that you give them an opportunity to do so.

Apple

apple

In the 90’s, Apple nearly went bankrupt and was facing tough competition from its competitors. The company needed to revamp its image. Steve Jobs launched the “Think Different” campaign to turn the Apple brand into a lifestyle, rather than just a computer company It is now estimated that Apple will soon be worth more than $1 Trillion. But it wasn’t just an ad campaign that brought Apple back from the brink. The company focused on producing reliable, quality products that are beautifully designed. They have also instilled their core values in all of their employees and make sure that their message is communicated to their consumers as well.

What can we learn from this? Don’t just sell customers a product or service. Sell them your core values. Customers who share your beliefs will turn into loyal fans. Also, you can’t go wrong with investing in creating quality products and keeping your customers happy.

McDonalds

mcdonalds

McDonald’s has been a juggernaut in the fast food industry for quite a while but they have had their fair share of bumps and bruises along the way. McDonald’s has been criticized for being a cheap, unhealthy restaurant with products that promote obesity. To avoid this, McDonald’s has focused on providing healthy options such as salads. In its advertising, the slogan “I’m Lovin’ It” has been coupled with images of young people and families enjoying their meals. The company has also been able to reach the coffee crowd with their premium coffee product line McCafé. These initiatives have worked and have driven a rise in sales.

What we can learn here is that it’s important to listen to your customers, the public, and the media. But, don’t just brush off negative comments. Take a look inside your company and see how you can address these concerns.

Conclusion

Your brand is vital to your business and should be protected like your first born. Rebranding, when done properly, can pay off in a huge way. However, a hasty rebrand can have adverse effects so make sure that you tread carefully.

The Secret to Selling $1,500 Coats
Digital Branding

The Secret to Selling $1,500 Coats

During the winter months, you won’t have to look too hard to find someone with a winter coat made by Canada Goose. Once reserved for Canadian Rangers and explorers, the Canada-based winter clothing retailer has become an elite brand all over the world that’s worn by everyone from college students to celebrities. If you stumble across a Canada Goose jacket the first thing you’ll notice is the price. Their coats retail anywhere from $500 to upwards of $1,500. However, the sky-high prices haven’t slowed Canada Goose down at all. When Dani Reiss became CEO of the company, Canada Goose was bringing in $3 million in sales annually. That figure has now climbed to over $200 million and counting. How did Canada Goose do it?

Positioning

Positioning-canada-goose

Canada Goose was originally founded in 1957 by Polish Immigrant Sam Tick under the name Metro Sportswear Ltd. In 1972 Tick’s son-in-law, Reiss’ grandfather, became CEO. In the early 1980s Reiss’ grandfather purchased the company from Tick and started making parkas under the name “Snow Goose” which was eventually changed to Canada Goose. The brand was originally made to keep wearers warm under the harshest and coldest environments. Canada Goose gained a cult following from those that used and needed the company’s products the most.

In the early 2000s, there was a mass exodus of North American manufacturing jobs. Companies were moving their manufacturing operations to Asia in droves to reduce costs, lower prices, and improve margins. Instead of following the herd, Reiss decided to keep manufacturing in Canada to maintain the company’s authenticity. At first, the U.S. market rejected Canada Goose’s high price points. However, Canada Goose became a luxury item in Europe and slowly U.S. retailers caught on and began to see Canada Goose as a high-end brand that was worth the cost.

Consumers love a good story and they have fallen in love with the company’s humble beginnings and strong narrative. Staying true to its roots and remaining authentic allowed Canada Goose to separate itself from the competition and position its products as high-end.

Cultural Branding

Cultural Branding

Canada Goose doesn’t engage in traditional marketing campaigns. They rely on cultural branding. Cultural branding occurs when a company wants their brand to assimilate within a culture. They do this through strategic product placement within a target market. By doing this, Canada Goose has taken the power of influence away from marketing experts and has given it to the consumer. They want awareness of their brand to spread between friends, family, coworkers, etc. This creates a brand that is much more likeable than one that just blasts ads to you through several mediums. When you buy a Canada Goose product you aren’t buying a coat, jacket, or hat. You’re buying a lifestyle. Canada Goose has made some genius marketing moves to shape its brand:

In the 2013 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, supermodel Kate Upton was photographed on a yacht in Antarctica. To keep herself warm, Upton wore a Canada Goose jacket lined with fur. This gave Canada Goose a huge brand awareness boost.

In 2012, Canada Goose sponsored the Sundance Film Festival by giving coats to over 300 celebrities. This exposed the brand to the “who’s who” of Hollywood and gave the company excellent exposure. To penetrate the high-end luxury culture, Canada Goose took a top-down approach by influencing celebrities and tastemakers to wear their merchandise. This helped to make their brand popular among the average consumer.

Becoming Fashionable

Canada Goose has followed in the footsteps of brands like The North Face and L.L. Bean whose products became popular with small groups like hikers and fisherman but later started engaging broader audiences. They did this by shifting from being seen as a functional brand to becoming a fashionable one. People are willing to pay more for fashion and luxury.

Reputation & Distribution

Reputation & Distribution

Canada Goose has done an excellent job at protecting its brand. When you first think of Canada Goose, high prices may come to mind. When it comes to their success, Canada Goose must be recognized for their ability to hold onto a strong reputation. As Canada Goose grows in popularity there has been an increased demand for their products. But, the retailer has focused on limiting access to their product. A luxury brand has to remain exclusive. Canada Goose has remained exclusive by not saturating the market with too many product lines or allowing their product to end up in discount stores.

Wrapping Up

wrapping-up

In 2013, private equity firm Bain Capital bought a $250 million majority stake in Canada Goose that will give the retailer cash to expand its operations. The company has offices in the U.S., Europe, and of course, Canada. Moving forward, Reiss wants to make sure that he maintains the brand’s integrity and value. “We have to continue to make an amazing product…We have to stay away from licensing, stay away from diluting the brand, stay away from making crappy stuff and throwing our logo on it, because I think that kills anything. We’re not just a logo.”

The Top 5 Best Ad Campaigns of All Time
Digital Branding

The Top 5 Best Ad Campaigns of All Time

What makes people buy? The best advertising campaigns are able to invoke an emotional response from consumers, connect, and engage with them at their core. A product rarely achieves advertising success based solely on merit. The best marketing and ad campaigns psychologically and emotionally create a response in all of us. With the growth of the internet and social media, brands are constantly fighting over the attention of consumers. To make your product or brand stand out you must get creative. Here are four brands that created insanely successful ad campaigns.

Dos Equis – The Most Interesting Man in the World

Dos-Equis---The-Most-Interesting-Man-in-the-World

In 2006, Dos Equis took a drastically different approach to selling beer. Instead of positioning their product as a must-have for getting the attention of attractive women, Dos Equis turned their beer into something that promoted distinction and curiosity. Played by actor Jonathan Goldsmith, the character “The Most Interesting Man in the World” says the following tagline at the end of every commercial: “I don’t always drink beer. But when I do, I prefer Dos Equis.” The ad campaign was so successful because it didn’t feel like a commercial. It felt more like a comedy short. Viewers became enamored with the character’s experiences and the character has even been turned into an internet meme. This unique positioning by Dos Equis opened the company’s product to a wider, more youthful audience.

California Milk Processor Board – Got Milk?

California-Milk-Processor-Board---Got-Milk-

California milk sales rose 7% in one year thanks to this clever ad campaign. The interesting part of this campaign is that it wasn’t created to target non-milk drinkers, but those who were already drinking milk. This is important because it’s not always beneficial or cost-effective to try and reel in a new audience. Sometimes, it’s better to market to your current audience and get them to not only start buying your product more, but become fans that promote your product to others as well.

Old Spice – The Man Your Man Could Smell Like

Old-Spice---The-Man-Your-Man-Could-Smell-Like

You usually don’t see a lot of overnight successes in online marketing but Old Spice’s “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign is an exception. In February 2010, ad agency Weiden + Kennedy launched the first commercial in the campaign, featuring actor Isaiah Mustafa, and it was a viral sensation. Later that year, Wieden + Kennedy devised a social media video campaign in which Mustafa made 186 video responses to viewer comments online. Wieden + Kennedy creative director Jason Bagley described it by saying, “We were creating and sending miniature TV commercials back to individual consumers that were personalized, and we were doing it on a rapid-fire basis…No one expects to ask a question and then be responded to. I think that’s where we broke through”. The video responses made this campaign extremely successful. Weiden + Kennedy capitalized on the momentum of their initial TV spots and engaged with followers and fans. Through all of this, sustaining the brand’s new image and voice were always kept as a high priority.

Dove – Campaign for Real Beauty

Dove---Campaign-for-Real-Beauty

In 2004, Unilever discovered that only four percent of women thought of themselves as beautiful. So, with the help of Edelman Public Relations and Ogilvy & Mather, the company launched a campaign that challenged people to rethink how they perceived female beauty. The campaign gained a flood of attention from the media and discussions of female beauty started taking place on talk shows, in magazines, newspapers, and online. One ad features a sketch artist who first draws a woman’s face based on the woman’s description of herself. Next, he does a sketch of the same woman but based on someone else’s description. Once complete, the sketches are both posted side-by-side and the subjects look at them. In every case, the drawing based on a description from a 3rd party is more flattering than the woman’s own description of herself. This video went viral and contributed in a big way to the success of this ad campaign. This campaign was successful because it touched people emotionally and allowed people to realize that “normal” standard for female beauty isn’t always attainable and that just being yourself is enough.

Progressive – Flo

Progressive---Flo

It’s not easy to make insurance interesting. With the help of stand-up comic Stephanie Courtney, Progressive launched an ad campaign that featured an upbeat, perky sales agent named Flo. In these commercials, Flo talks to customers about Progressive’s features in a sitcom style setting. Viewers loved the ad campaign so much that Flo has appeared in over 100 commercials since 2008. Progressive was able to successfully break away from the negative public perception that people have of insurance companies by creating a fun and interesting character.

Conclusion

Creating amazing, viral marketing isn’t easy. For every incredible success, there are many more failures. However, if you focus on engaging with your customer and creating a psychological and emotional connection with them, you’ll be well on your way to creating a successful campaign.

Branding
Digital Branding

4 Ways to Create an Engaged Team Using Your Corporate Brand

As a leader in your industry, it is often difficult to connect your corporate brand with the rest of your team. Creating an environment of teambuilding and employee engagement is a fantastic way to achieve the brand objectives of your company.

Teambuilding Using Your Corporate Brand

This process doesn’t need to be any more difficult than it already is. Please use the four suggestions that we are about to share with you. Apply them from the very beginning when onboarding new members of the team and use it to help existing team members.

Create a team brand

1. Create a Team Brand 

When you build a Team Brand, you will have dedicated members of your staff that are ready to perform special tasks and are eager to complete their assignments. Many of these tasks will be relegated to brand communication. As an example, some tasks will include creating and implementing a brand strategy, adding valuable insight and input in regards to corporate communication campaigns, getting involved in social media discussions for the company, and handling client feedback.

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2. Make brand reinforcement a top priority

Take the time to refine your current system or put an entirely new system in place that guarantees that brand reinforcement is a main priority for your company and staff.

As an example, let’s say that your brand is about innovative product development. This message needs to come across in every way possible. You have to infuse your brand with innovation in all of its processes and systems. That’s how companies stay on point with brand reinforcement, because it becomes everything that your brand is all about. One way to reinforce your brand is to reach out to and engage brand ambassadors.

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3.  Build solid employer/employee relationships

A simple way to keep your team engaged is to build a solid relationship with them as a leader. These relationships should be founded on engaging conversations that you have with the members of your staff. When you stay connected with your employees, you should also have regular conversations about the brand strategy. Help them get a better grasp of the company’s values, vision, mission and more. And even help them better learn key brand initiatives, brand attributes, your brand’s promise, and a host of other things that will keep them on task.

Think about Google as a prime example. All Google employees know more than the basics about the company. There is a very popular story behind the color scheme of the Google logo, and every employee knows it.

Do your employees know why you chose the colors for your logo? Maybe it’s time they find out.

If you’d like to become a better leader for your team make sure to check out these infographics.

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4.  Make a commitment to your company’s brand identity

Whether your company has been around for many years or it’s a brand-new start up; committing to a brand identity is an absolute must in today’s business world. Come up with brand imagery, fonts, color schemes, and more, and stay consistent with them with all communications and marketing messages.

Here’s a useful resource for branding a startup: Illustration: Brand Your Startup Uniquely