Month: July 2014

Engage, Equip, Empower

 

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Engage—Give your audience the gift of you. Engage with them. Listen to what they are telling you. Be part of the conversation about your brand. Be a presence in your audiences’ lives. @NikeSupport is a prime example of customer service done well. They constantly respond to followers on Twitter, whether it’s about their apparel, Fuel Band or other products. Every few minutes, you can watch them respond to someone new.

Equip—Give them reasons to talk. It can be amazing products, great service, insider knowledge, social elevation, incredible stories, unbelievable facts or even funny disclosures. It’s on you. It really depends on you understanding your consumers and what they like about you and providing whatever it is they need from you. Apple revolutionizes technological devices and delivers amazing products to its consumers, allowing them to naturally raze about the newest iPhone. Another area to excel in and that’s on the rise is social customer service.

Empower—Give consumers different ways to talk and share. Let them know that they are important to you and that sharing their opinions is important to you. Help them find ways to share within their circles and find ways to help move their conversations around. Lay’s is an excellent example to highlight how they empowered their fans to “Do Us a Flavor,” and allow consumers to create a new flavor of potato chips to hit store shelves. Over 3.8 million submissions were sent in 2013 making it one of the biggest marketing campaigns for PepsiCo owned Frito-Lay.

Avoid Brand Selfishness

No one wants to listen to someone who only speaks about themselves! If you’re a brand, you should be here because you want to do something that’ll benefit others, not just yourself. Just think of the huge brands: Nike, Apple, Beats by Dre, or even Coca Cola. If you watch their commercials & campaigns, you’ll see how every move that they make is a move that will show how much they honor & appreciate their audience. Let’s use Coca Cola for example; In EVERY commercial & campaign I’ve seen, they’re giving their audience a unique experience. In the commercial above, they used a Happy (soda) machine & instead of charging, they gave away their drinks for free (you can’t beat free coke)! But most importantly, they gave their audience an experience that they will NEVER FORGET! Instead of putting the soda machine there & charging for each, Coca Cola charged for only ONE & gave the rest of them away for free! That’s what I believe most brands should make their EVERY move around. Coca Cola didn’t make their brand a priority however, they gave their audience a feeling of importance, & make them a PRIORITY! When you make people a priority, they’ll never forget it, & will do the same in return! :)

What Kind of Ideas Survive?

 

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STORIES! Not stories about you, but stories honoring your audience! People want to feel important and know that they’re appreciated. The reason that most athletes wear Nike is because of the way that the brand makes them feel. Nike communicates a story that ALL athletes can relate to, & since they do this remarkably, most athletes want to be a part of the Nike brand. The ideas that survive are the ones that are created based on a set of core values with morals that the audience can connect with on an emotional level.

 

Will You Still Like Me…When I Don’t Buy?

Cole Cornerr:

Jeff gives an excellent look at how brands should focus more on doing this because you love it . . & not just for the sale! Thanks Jeff! :D

Originally posted on Empowered Living with Jeff Crume:

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So many people today tweet, share, postcomment, and like, all to get you to do what? To BUY! “Well, of course! Isn’t that why we all do what we do?”

In the emerging trend of social media selling, it’s hard to even like someone’s page, connect with them on Twitter, exchange an email, or comment on their blog without getting a barrage of unsolicited solicitation. My “like” was not payment or currency given in exchange for your sales pitch; I simply liked your blog.

Will you still like me when I don’t buy?

Not everyone is in the business for the business. Some simply do what they do because they love to do it. Stephen King is quoted saying, “Yes, I’ve made a great deal of dough from my fiction, but I never set a single word down on paper with the thought of being…

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How To Be A Mentor For Your Audience?

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Most people see their brand as a hero, meaning, everything is all about them, which is why most of them FAIL! I don’t believe that brands should be out here to save people (leave that for themselves) instead, acting as their mentor, & showing them that you understand. STOP enforcing, let’s start supporting, STOP talking about yourself, why not embrace your audience, & let them know how great they can be? There’s too many selfish brands in the world & there should be more of them uplifting their audience. GIVING to them, making them feel special, & reminding them how important they are.

“Appeal to a man’s heart, not his brain.”

Think of Your Brand As A Story

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I believe that thinking of your brand itself as a story will make your strategies & campaigns become emotional, clear, & authentic. EVERY communication is another chapter with you & your audience. Just think about.

When J.K Rowling wrote the Harry Potter books, from the beginning, she made it clear  that Harry would be the hero of it all. Even though Harry Potter is a brand that J.K Rowling created, it didn’t seem that way while I was reading ALL 7 of them! Why? Because J.K Rowling is an excellent storyteller & knows how to create characters that her audience could relate to.

Even though Mrs. Rowling was the creator of one of the largest brands of all time, she wasn’t the hero of it all. The most compelling stories come about when the author (founder) creates a brand that will act as a mentor to its audience, while keeping them as the hero. Think of Nike commercials & how most of us can relate to many of them. Even though Nike clearly targets athletes, they communicate a story based around the values & morals that their audience relates to.

 

Allow Room For Brand Growth

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I don’t believe that brands should get caught up in “brand consistency”. Meaning, sticking to the same campaigns, same voice, same experiences, same design, & that same message! Yes, you should know what your brand stands for,  but also knowing how to market from that place to the best of your ability. Trying new campaigns, new voices, new experiences, new designs, & new messages is what I believe will take brands to the next level. Once people start sharing & connecting with your brand, they may use it in ways you hadn’t planned. Your audience may suggest changes or even create hashtags for you. Don’t shoot them down because they aren’t sticking to the same old stories! Instead, why not embrace the new, and see it all as an opportunity to GROW…..fast!

Figuring Out Your Brands’ WHY?

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I believe that if I don’t know WHY my brand exists, it’s going to be unclear when it comes to building it. Knowing why will be the heart of everything & also with determine how I make important decisions we face. Answering that simple question will be something that I can always go back to.

Let’s use Steve Jobs for example:

In 1998, one year after Jobs had returned to Apple, he reminded everyone (including the company) why they were there in the first place. In order for Apple to have gotten back on track & reach the next level, Steve knew that they’d have to go back to WHY Apple was created I the first place. Once he opened his eyes to WHY, everything, from that point on was remarkable! :)

*The WHY to your brand should go deeper than money can buy. I believe that the “WHY” should consist a set of values that steer your brand (especially when making important decisions).

Focusing on Your Strengths

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If you’re better with twitter, build a solid following via twitter. If you’re better at writing about a specific topic, then stick to that specific topic. I don’t believe that people should try to be the best at EVERYTHING! It makes more sense to me when people stick to their strengths and when it’s time to grow, FIND people who’s strengths make up for your weaknesses! That goes for any brand in ANY industry. Whether you’re a fashion designer, writer, blog, tech, or food. FOCUS intensely on what your strengths are & when it’s time to grow, find the right people who make up for everything else.

For example, Nike is THE biggest athletic brand of all time! They didn’t get there by focusing on anything outside of athletics! Nike started off by targeting specific athletes & communicating emotional experience that communicated a universal message, around that specific audience (athletes). Even though there are everyday people who aren’t athletes that wear Nike, most people wear it because of the way the brand makes them feel. They continue to keep their focus on the characteristics athletes and the brand will continue to grow.

 

Simplicity is Beauty.

@PressCoffee tweeted: Baby feet and cappuccinos Happy Saturday!!!

@PressCoffee tweeted: Baby feet and cappuccinos Happy Saturday!!!

I don’t try to be EVERTHING to EVERYONE! I can’t! Well, maybe I can try, but I will never get a chance to accomplish anything. The world is too noisy to even attempt to be all in one. Why not choose one specific area to specialize in & focus intensely on that area? Being simple is clear & easy for people to understand. @PressCoffee (presscoffeeaz.com ) is a locally owned & roasted coffee shop in Scottsdale & Phoenix, Arizona. They’ve won numerous awards & the tweet above obviously tells you one of the reasons why. @PressCoffee decides to focus intensely on their everyday coffee drinker & create an experience that all of them can relate to! I love it & hope that they continue to deliver these remarkable experiences! :)

Just think of J.K Rowling,  THE greatest best-selling author of all time (over 400 million copies sold), didn’t get there by focusing most of her energy into more than one main character. She started with Harry, his life, and focused 90% of her energy on things that would go on in his life. Yes, there were other characters, but none of them wouldn’t have came about if Harry’s life wasn’t the way it had been. I believe that when I focus all of my energy into giving ONE, other opportunities will form. But, not losing sight of the ONE that got me here is what will keep my brand going.

Another Example: Apple is one of the greatest electronic companies of all time! But, they didn’t get there just by focusing on their facts or features (even though they do it well). Apple became the greatest when they started to create an experience with the PC that no other brand did. Apple added color, emotion, and HUMANITY to the PC, which allowed them to appeal to a larger audience. Instead of focusing on the many facts & features, Apple chose to pick ONE within EVERY commercial or campaign they had, & added humanity to it, which made things simple.

Focusing intensely on ONE & allowing everything else to build around it is not only SIMPLICITY, but BEAUTY.