Friday, April 24, 2015

Building Brand Awareness Requires a Consistent Brand Experience

Building brand awareness is one of the cornerstones of successful marketing. People need to see you as the trusted leader you know you are. Every message you put out into the world -- from flyers to advertisements to the content on your website -- must reinforce that core ideal. The goal is to create a consistent brand experience across every marketing channel.

To illustrate just how important a consistent brand experience is, take a look at a company that has mastered it: Apple. Apple is notorious for the strength of its brand. Say what you will about its products and services, but you can't argue with the fact that when that shiny white "Apple" logo appears on a computer, portable music player, or advertisement on television, a very clear image of what that logo represents pops into your mind almost immediately.

The major theme of Apple's company over the years has been simplicity. The lengths to which the company has gone in its effort to reinforce that concept are actually quite astounding. Apple has long been lauded for its television commercials. Instead of relying on flashy graphics, loud music, and other tropes typical of traditional television advertising, Apple displays key products on stark white backgrounds with a basic music track not unlike what you would hear in an elevator. In a word, the ads are incredibly simple, just like the products themselves.

If you take a look at Apple's website, it's almost like one of the company's television commercials brought to life. The website features a stark white background and large, simplistic lettering. The products themselves are clearly the emphasis. Simplicity rears its head yet again.

This extends even to the print marketing materials that come packaged in the box along with Apple's products. Instead of the extensive user manual that accompanies most products, you get a short and painfully straightforward pamphlet with basic tips on how to get started using the device you just bought. The only other item in the box (accessories notwithstanding) is a sticker with the Apple logo. Simple, simple, simple.

Apple succeeds because every last bit of marketing it puts out into the world harkens back to that core message of simplicity. The avenues it uses to communicate that message may change, but the look, feel, and emotion behind the message remains the same.

This isn't a phenomenon unique to Apple. If you think of the biggest companies in the world (or even the most successful businesses in your area), the one thing they all have in common regardless of industry is the consistent brand experience they deliver. By focusing on your own marketing message and clearly communicating it in a straightforward and consistent manner across all marketing avenues, you, too, can build awareness and create the same type of consistent brand experience for your company.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Building a House, Building a Marketing Campaign

Imagine building a house. Before you saw a single board or dig the footings for your foundation, you must first finalize your blueprints. Without plans telling you what your desired result should look like, you won't be able to accomplish very much.

You also need to make sure you have the tools to accomplish the job. In construction, tools all have very defined purposes, and failing to listen to safety guidelines about using the tools can end up either hurting you or destroying your house.

Once you have your final plans and all the tools and materials you need, it's time to get to work. Now is your opportunity to put all your knowledge to the test. The process might be slow, but as you go step by step, you start to see progress. Before you know it, the final result begins to take shape. The further you get, the more confidence you gain in your abilities.

Most of us will never build anything more elaborate than a bird house. That doesn't mean, however, that the steps involved in building a house cannot teach us anything. Even just planning how one might begin to build a house can teach us something about how to succeed in marketing a company.

The planning

Before building a house, everyone involved in the process needs to know their role and desired outcome. Without a final goal, it would be impossible to create anything useful or of value.

The same holds true in marketing. Marketing is most successful when you have a final goal and vision in mind from the beginning. Understanding the end goal is the only way you'll know where you're going and what the final result should look like. This final vision will guide you as you develop your campaign message and plan for reaching the desired intended audience.

The tools

When building a house, you need to use a variety of tools that each serve a very distinct role. In marketing, you'll also find various tools in your tool kit. From direct mail to Facebook ads to inbound marketing, a successful campaign involves understanding the purpose of each individual tool and how to successfully use them.

Perseverance

Building something as large as a house will require an incredible amount of perseverance. There will be times when you get discouraged or struggle to see progress, but you still must keep going.

The same lesson applies in marketing. When starting a new campaign, it can be hard to see tangible results right away. The results will come. You just need to keep pressing forward. You must be willing to put in some effort before you begin to receive any return.

Building a house is something most of us only imagine doing. Those who have had the opportunity to work on such a project, however, know what an educational experience it can be. Even if you only ever dream of building your own house, consider the steps you would take. You might be surprised at the tips you can learn about marketing your company. If you're interested in making your dreams a reality and getting your marketing plan off the ground, contact us today. We'd be happy to help you get started.