What a crazy year!

What a crazy year!


We survived 2018

If you are reading this post it means you have survived!

Well done, you are still here, you made it!

So many companies, both large corporate and small business’s took a hit in 2018…some closed down completely, others down scaled or got new investors.

2018 changed they way we approach any marketing activities

Quote from Brandwatch – “Thinking back on it all — Facebook dramatically changing their relationship with advertisers and vendors, GDPR taking effect across Europe, value-based shopping and the related buzzy, take-a-stand marketing campaigns — it hardly feels like everything happened in the same year.”

Value based shopping will definitely play a big role in the consumers buying habit this year.

 The big question how do we survive 2019 when most of us and our customers are just barely hanging on.

Most companies stopped marketing activities or have scaled it down to almost nothing and have been doing so for the last couple of years. This obviously has a positive impact on you bottom line for the short term, but can hurt your company in the long run. It was assumed that brand loyalty will prevail and customers will stay with you.

Now we see that customers are buying with their hearts. They want to know what you stand for, what you are giving back. They are weighing the the principles, price as well as quality

In 2017 statistics show that 67% Of belief-driven buyers, bought a brand for the first time because of its position on a controversial issue & 65% will not buy a brand because it stayed silent on an issue it had an obligation to address. One in two were belief driven buyers. 

In 2018 we saw a rise to two out of three people to be belief driven buyers. They will choose, switch, avoid or boycott a brand based on its stand on societal issues? This now is applicable to all generations and income levels!

 Additionally, brand loyalty has been on the decline for years due to increased competition, and more general cultural shifts.


How can we assess the new decision matrix for consumers in an increasingly complex purchasing journey? Price, convenience, new environments emerging daily – plus consumers want a trusted brand but not too corporate. Yikes!
— Julie Pender, Jim Beam Bourbon

Grow Your Business

by Keeping Your Name in Front of Customers

Ever wondered whether Twitter or Instagram of Facebook is the better social media platform for your business? Or maybe its Blogs or a YouTube Video, or maybe you should just give them a pen..

The point is all of them…it really just depends on so the trend at the time…You cannot afford to stick with just one thing because it work for your father and for his father before him

The bottom line is we can never stop marketing as that could mean the death of the company

Keeping your name in front of customers and prospects is critical to growing your business especially if you rely heavily on word-of-mouth and referrals. You’ve got to find ways to make it easy for people to remember you and even easier to find you.

Fun & functional  as well as memorable and cost-effective promotional items is still effective as we just love getting stuff for free, especially if it is something that would probably be used daily

The point to high light though is – it must be through the creative use of promotional products- items

Who hasn’t received a pen, key chain, or mug imprinted with a company’s name and phone number on it? But do you know the true power of promotional products and how to use them most effectively?

Consider These Statistics: 

The “staying power” of promotional products is what makes the difference. Unlike ads that can be overlooked, a good quality promotional product is functional and used for a very long time. Imprinted with your logo, website and phone number, these branded products continue to remind people of your business long after they have been received. 

The following statistics and trend information from the Promotional Products Association International might surprise you:

Banner ads…27% Print & TV ads…53.5% Promo Products…76.1%

Promotional products are used daily, and 83 percent of consumers use them more than once!

Promotional products provide brands with a reliable path to reach the target consumer group by positioning their message as it will be best received. In fact, according to PPAI research, promotional products are the most welcomed form of advertising by all generations and considered most effective in providing a rationale to respond 

Try to pick a time that ties in with something directly related to your business – use your slogans, product benefits or even the results your service delivery will have on your customers

Exactly what are Promotional Products?

Promotional products are tangible symbols. They are usually imprinted with a company’s name, logo or message, and include useful or decorative articles of merchandise that are utilized in marketing and communication programs. They include ad specialties, business gifts, premiums, other identification applications, and recognition awards. When promotional products are distributed free, they’re referred to as advertising specialties. When the items are given in exchange for a purchase, deposit or financial contribution, they’re called premiums. Other kinds of promotional products are business gifts and awards.

Quality off Gifts & Delivery Methods

From NexMedia:

It is not only the quality of the product that is gifted that needs great evaluation, but also by what method it is given,’ said Nick Sarnadas, event director for the Markex 2018 tradeshow at Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery. ‘As a brand, have you considered all the consequences of your promotional campaign? Have you set boundaries? Are you at risk of it all getting to unmanageable and damaging your brand?’

He explained that social media channels have become popular platforms to swiftly spread the promotional freebie word. ‘A hashtag is far cheaper than running a media campaign,’ he pointed out. ‘However, social media can morph into a life of its own and, if a proper strategy is not in place, the short-term excitement can turn into a detrimental disaster in the long term. Just imagine the hashtag, the shares and comments, should you have run out of freebies, or your promotional item not live up to its hype, and no terms and conditions are in place?’

Sarnadas stressed, ‘That said, the promotional item still has a critical place within the marketing mix, but rules need to be adhered for it to garner a positive reputation, a loyal customer and a potential buyer.’He said that the easiest means to judge your promotional campaign and item is to put yourself into your customers’ shoes. Ask yourself, what value do I expect my client to obtain – and vice versa, what value should my brand get from this. That pinpointed value is the ultimate goal from which your strategy, good planning, item inventory and rollout follows. Never lose sight of this value and nurture and protect it, because this value holds both your reputation and the customer experience.

‘Remember, everyone loves a freebie, and promotional items remain hot news – but, the “free” needs to be treated precious.’ Don’t make a costly mistakes


Why is branding so important

What is branding?

Branding is strategic and marketing is tactical and what you use to get your brand in front of consumers. 

Branding is one of the most important aspects of any business, large or small.

In our current business environment, branding has a totally new meaning and VITAL in today’s world of marketing. an effective marketing strategy will give you an competitive edge

What mental picture does your customers see when they look your brand?

Branding is not only about getting your consumers or target market to select you over the competition but about getting your prospects to see you as the sole provider of a solution to their problem or need.

Think of branding as the expression of who you are as a company or organization and what you offer

 

What Should branding achieve?

  • Tell them exactly who you are
  • Build trust
  • Connect buyers Emotionally with your product and or service.
  • Build loyalty
This is the mental picture you want them to see
  • Consumers must identify with you
  • you must be the only solution to a problem they have
  • they must become loyal to you
  • they must relate to you
  • trust is very important
  • reliability

The importance of branded gifts

  • your brand is the source of a promise to your consumer
  • Your brand is a corner stone in your marketing communication and one you do not want to be without.
  • Brand serves as a guide to understanding the purpose of business objectives
  • It helps them understand the purpose of the organization or the business.

A Basic Checklist to Evaluate Your Brand

  • Does your brand relate to your target audience?  Will they instantly “get it” without too much thought?
  • Does your brand share the uniqueness of what you offer and why it’s important?
  • Does it reflect the brand promise that you are making to who you are targeting as well as to your internal audience?
  • Does your brand reflect the values that you want to represent as a customer?

Where to start

if  you have no idea where to start or have a vague idea of what you want to achieve,  you may want to return to the drawing board and refine the marketing approach that will strengthen and support your brand

the marketing activity should be an instant “ah-ha” it should be a perfect fit that will last as the mental image your customer will have of you when they see your brand

Summary

A product is …..well a product…

A brand is the perceived image of the product you sell!

BUT  branding is the strategy to create that image

How are you going to achieve that perfect image today?

Decide on the message and choose the perfect gift to strengthen and enforce that Image