R[E]D – Research : Emotion : Design

A Brand Research and Development Strategy Firm


Leave a comment

Understanding, the Bridge Builder Between a Company and Its Audience

Pulling from logo warehouses or crowdsourcing design may sound tremendously appealing for filling in the blank spot on the top of your letterhead.

You want something trendy and cool, even if it’s just to check off a task on your to-do list.

checklist-2

It doesn’t make sense for a company to use a logo that has an immense lack of understanding. A logo alone isn’t the solution to developing a strong brand. Strength comes from understanding company culture, which is a giant part of a larger brand strategy. Understanding provides an opportunity to develop cohesive and consistent messaging. This requires customization, knowledge and skill. RED has acquired all the skills needed to build you a solid foundation that is not hollow and inauthentic.

conceptidea

 

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Brand Marketing Strategy | Put Your Money Where the Growth Is

people-group

Many political conversations today focus on the rapid, immense multicultural population growth in America. However, what about the business implications? How much does an increasingly diverse America effect direct marketers? Quite a bit, actually, according to a recent report from Geoscape.

Geoscape, a business information and services company, found that 88% of America’s population growth is composed of African American, Asian, and Hispanic consumers; particularly Hispanics, who comprise about 18% of the total U.S. population.  Hispanics are the fastest growing segment, having grown 11% since the 2010 census to more than 56 million. Multicultural groups now account for 35% of the American population.

“Some companies just aren’t bringing this growth into focus,” says Geoscape CEO César Melgoza. “Companies that aren’t prioritizing this growth are essentially investing is flat or shrinking markets. That’s probably not acceptable to their constituents,” he says. This leaves marketers with an interesting challenge, or rather, opportunity; one that has little to do with political correctness and everything to do with furthering business growth.

Many businesses struggle with prioritizing or realizing a multicultural marketing strategy. Here, Melgoza offers seven tips that will help keep marketers and their organizations remain relevant to the ever-changing face of their target consumers.

1.       Understand the level of urgency

“Understand that business is about growth and growth is multicultural. If you invest heavily in general markets, then that may not be the best use of budget.”

2.       Measure everything

“Start with a benchmark. Identify your penetration into a segment now, monitor that penetration, and use that data to improve it.

3.       Build a robust business case

“Link this growth with what the company is doing now to differentiate itself and use it to plan how the company will continue to differentiate itself in the future.”

4.       Develop a sound strategy

“Walmart is an example of a company that absolutely cannot ignore multicultural marketing. They know their growth is coming from these segments and they’ve positioned their company and products around this.”

5.       Address all touchpoints in the operation.

“It’s not just about marketing communication, or having cool ads. Develop all channels. How is the call center experience and does it direct consumers to where they need to go? Does the in-store experience match what’s been advertised? Does the product itself match what’s been advertised?”

6.       Scale these efforts according to the opportunity

“Sure, your multicultural efforts are great in Austin, but what about everywhere else? Businesses like Kroger are scaling multicultural marketing across their retail network because they’ve seen how successful it is.”

7.       Evangelize the organization

“A lot of the people resistant to this type of change are middle management. The executives get it. The stockholders get it. Some people may think this is a political or ‘do-good’ issue. They may not understand that their growth hangs on this. You need to grow, and growth is multicultural.”

Author / Perry Simpson
Source / dmnews.com


Leave a comment

What B2B Buyers Want From Vendor Websites

Easily accessible contact information is the most import thing on a B2B vendor website, according to a recent report from Dianna Huff and KoMarketing Associates.

Over two-thirds (68%) of B2B buyers say a vendor’s address and contact information is critically important on a site and 55% indicate they’ll leave if it isn’t available.

Moreover, 51% of buyers say having thorough contact/about information is the best way for a vendor’s website to establish credibility.

Most of the B2B buyers surveyed (81%) say they like to contact vendors via email; telephone is the second choice (58%). Only 39% like to use a contact form, yet that is the most common option provided by vendors.

contact-komarketing

 Below, additional key findings from the report, which was based on data from a survey of 175 B2B buyers.

‘Must Have’ Content

        • After contact information, buyers say pricing is the most important content on a vendor website; 43% of respondents say it is a “must have.”
        • 38% say technical support information is key, and the same proportion say case studies, whitepapers, articles, and blog posts are essential.

must-have-komarketing

Homepage Expectations

        • 90% of buyers want to see product/services information on vendors’ homepages.
        • Buyers also want to see about/company information (61%), marketing collateral (37%), and testimonials (36%).
        • Fewer buyers look for social media buttons (24%) or links to a blog (22%).

homepage-have-komarketing

Why Buyers Leave Sites

        • Asked which website elements annoy them or cause them to click out of a page, most respondents (93%) cited video or audio that plays automatically.
        • Buyers also do not like animated ads that crawl across the page or pop ups (88%), lack of message/can’t tell what a company offers (83%), and lack of contact information (79%).

leave-komarketing

Author / Ayaz Nanji
Source / marketingprofs.com


Leave a comment

On the Move Marketing Strategy: 4 Ways to Optimize your Mobile Strategy

ipad-249417_640

Are you still unsure if you need a mobile strategy? Let’s look at some numbers: 91% of all American adults own a cell phone, and 55% have a smartphone. 63% of U.S. smartphone users use their device to access the internet – and 34% of them get online primarily via mobile. Worldwide? There are 1.2 billion people getting online through their phones. And if you thought the first digital revolution happened quickly, buckle up: mobile web adoption is occurring eight times faster. Here’s the good news: even if this is the first time you’ve considered a mobile strategy, you can get up to speed with just a few steps.

1. Optimize your site for mobile 

Did you know that 57% of users won’t recommend a business with a clunky mobile site? The two easiest factors you can address are your site’s appearance and speed. For appearance, your simplest two options are:

A) Responsive design: In a nutshell, your website’s code is modified to “respond” to the device it’s on and optimize the layout (header, images, text) for the best readability. It’s less complicated than it sounds (there’s a good, basic explanation here), and it’s quickly becoming the mobile standard. It’s also Google’s top recommendation.
B) Separate mobile site: Mobile/tablet users are redirected to a completely separate, mobile-only site. It’s built from scratch (based off of your existing site), and features smaller images and larger text, among other modifications.

It’s not all about looks, though. Slower-loading sites can drive users away, and sales can drop 1% for every 100 milliseconds of load time. Make sure your site doesn’t take too long to load – optimize images for mobile, look into a different server if you’re having issues, and clean up your site structure, especially 301 redirects. For more in-depth ways to speed up your load times, take a look here.

2. Don’t overlook Social Media.

It’s a point we hammer home time and again, but it’s even more important for mobile. Why? Again, it’s the numbers. Facebook represents 74% of all app downloads. Twitter began as a mobile application, and 75% of its users primarily access it on-the-go. That’s where your users are – it’s where you need to be, too.

3. Get your messaging right.

A smartphone is more than just a phone, obviously. It’s also more than just a work tool, or a recreational device, or a productivity enhancer – although it can be all of those things. People use their phones to unwind just as much as they use them for more serious tasks, so you want to make sure that your messaging is appropriate to your audience’s mindset.

This study – worth an in-depth look – says that 46% of smartphone use is for “me time,” while 11% is for “accomplishing” – enhancing productivity, for instance. Where would something like Twitter fall in that spectrum? Probably somewhere in the middle. So when the study tells us that ads are least effective during “me time,” but most effective while “accomplishing,” it’s your job as a marketer to toe that line. Don’t interrupt “me time” with an overt sales message, but instead post some valuable information or useful knowledge to make the subtle shift into “accomplishing” mode. It’s not going to lead directly to a sale, but can provide a great brand boost.

4. Know what not to do.

There’s a lot of information here – and much more to sift through around the web. You may end up wondering if there’s more you should do – and often, the answer is “not right away.” The flip side of the ubiquity of our mobile devices is the potential to become intrusive – unwanted messaging, too much interaction, a burden to the user. For instance, unless you have a truly innovative idea for a standalone app, you don’t need one – 65% of users prefer mobile sites over apps. They’re often rushed and not designed well, they’re an extra effort to download, and they usually don’t offer enough added utility to be worth it.

Start with the simple tips above, and stay tuned here for updates on the state of mobile. It’s an important opportunity for your business, and we’ll make sure you don’t miss out.

What do you think makes for a great mobile experience? How have you implemented it?

Original posted by Jeff Morgan
source: thomasnet.com


Leave a comment

Personalized products and content-led conversation will win in 2014

The global e-commerce industry is expected to generate $1.2 trillion in sales by the end of this year, driven largely by the changing shopping habits of consumers, as they increasingly browse and buy across mobile, tablet and even social networks. Despite this predicted growth, 2014 will not be a year for retailers to rest on their laurels.

human-head-with social-network-icons

Retailers will have access to more information about their customers’ preferences and shopping habits than ever before and retailers must take steps to better understand the purchase journey. This insight will give retailers the understanding they need to develop relevant content and personalize deals, and ultimately help to generate more sales. Shoppers are looking for a richer, more personal shopping experience and retailers must reassess both how they sell and what they sell if they are to thrive.

Here are 5 top tips for those retailers wanting to stand out from the crowd next year using personalization:

1.     Content shopping will be king
The lines between entertainment and shopping are blurring further and 2014 will see more retailers offer shoppers a richer, content-led shopping experience. Driven by the media, which have become retailers in their own right to bolster dwindling revenues from advertising and subscriptions, savvy retailers are using multimedia content to make the shopping experience more engaging. Retailers recognize that shoppers are no longer satisfied by the vending machine model of the last decade; they want to be entertained and informed as they browse the web and make purchasing decisions.

2.     Social will steer retailers’ stocking decisions
Social media’s power to influence what people buy is widely recognized and in 2014 it will also influence what retailers sell. The rapid growth of social curation communities like Pinterest, where consumers curate their own collections of products that they like, offers retailers access to invaluable insights in near real-time, something that traditional market research simply cannot compete with. Savvy retailers will use social shopping communities as a temperature check for popular product trends and use this insight to inform and refine stocking decisions.

3.     Omni-channel will require a single customer view
In any given day a shopper could interact with a brand on multiple devices and through multiple platforms, from mobile browsing in the morning, to lunchtime shopping on a work laptop. In 2014, a top priority for retailers will be to join-up the dots between these channels so that a more comprehensive customer profile can be developed. Insight garnered by analyzing the purchase journey of shoppers will help retailers to streamline the channels through which they sell and personalize the shopping experience, helping to boost bottom lines.

4.     Hyper targeting will take the online personalization in-store
The long-held dream of being able to target shoppers in real-time, with relevant and personalized location-based offers took a big step forward in 2013 with Apple’s launch of iBeacon, which allows precise, low-cost indoor tracking in stores. There has been much excitement about the prospect of hyper-targeting shoppers on the go and in 2014 retailers will begin to take this proposition more seriously. We expect to see a number of high profile trials of hyper-targeting technology as retailers grapple to deliver the highly personalized experience that shoppers now expect online in their high street stores.

5.     Mass customization will make products feel personal
Consumers today want something that’s unique and reflects their personality. Retailers understand this and we are seeing more companies offer personalized products, from custom engravings to the ability to select bag zip or pocket colour in advance. There is a huge opportunity for small to medium enterprises to carve out a market niche against bigger retailers, while adding value to existing products through customization. Furthermore, the concept of customization should extend beyond the product itself; retailers need to look at how they can offer a more customized shopping experiences online by using insights gathered in customer profiles.

by Shingo Murakam


Leave a comment

How to Set Your Brand Up For Success

Graze restaurant

Madison, Wisc., a sizeable city in the Midwest, can seem quiet and unassuming to the average outsider. A peaceful, family-focused city, Madison is the capitol to a state with more than 76,000 farms. Thanks to the number of rolling pastures, it’s also the home of the farm-to-table movement, pioneered by Odessa Piper, the original owner of the city’s fine-dining restaurant, L’Etoile, and today, continued by people like chef Tory Miller.

In the state of Wisconsin, Piper is known as the First Lady of Cuisine, a name well deserved. Looking to create an unmatched restaurant experience, Piper opened L’Etoile in 1976, a restaurant with only high-quality, locally sourced foods. In the land of cheese curds, fried food and beer this concept took the traditional in a whole new direction. And for Piper it worked, as L’Etoile has earned accolades throughout the years.

In 2002, Miller, a chef Piper considered one of the most important young chefs in the nation, began working at L’Etoile. In 2005, he, along with his sister Traci, purchased the restaurant from Piper to continue in her high-quality footsteps.

Related: What Your Brand Can Learn From a Waterbed Company for Cows — Yes, Cows

Today, the restaurant remains one of the top fine-dining restaurants in Wisconsin but for Miller, this wasn’t enough. He wanted to find a way to share the fresh cuisine with a bigger audience. So in 2010, Graze was opened in Madison offering a more casual dining experience but still keeping with the high standard L’Etoile had set.

Both restaurants continue to gain attention for their sustainable, local branding efforts by receiving recognition in publications like Gourmet magazine’s “America’s Top 50 Restaurants” and Saveur’s “Top 100.”

Here is what you can learn from Miller and Piper about how to make your brand stand out:

Food at Graze restaurant

1. Understand your audience and dare to be different. The Midwest is not known for being foodie heaven. Graze knew it had to be different. Looking out on the capitol building, Graze has the air of a hip city restaurant with the huge hearts of the Midwesterners bustling around to bring delicious food to every table.

The people in the Madison area – some local and others transplants attending University of Madison — are engaged and interested in what they’re eating. With an eclectic menu, you’ll find two different types of people at Graze: Those who love local beer, cheese curds and burgers and those adventurous foodies who enjoy the charcuterie and unusual, traditional Korean dishes, like pork belly.

2. Stick to your mission. With up to 170 different Wisconsin farmers on the menu, Graze is careful to work only with farms practicing sustainability. Though they’re careful about who they work with, they don’t limit their farms to certified organic. May seem a little backwards, but for Graze, it makes sense. The farmer’s sustainable practices, for instance, allow them to get goat cheese from a woman who loves her goats and takes excellent care of them but is willing to give antibiotics if they are sick.

3. Set your employees up for success. Graze holds its entire staff to a high standard. During their extensive training, employees get quizzed on everything from the mission to the farmers and the expected exceptional customer service. Those who don’t fit well end up weeding themselves out quickly. The result is an impeccable experience for customers.

 

“Hire people you can trust and then trust them,” says Stacy.

For those that make the cut, every member of their staff knows where every item on the menu comes from and management wants employees to be engaged. For example, “That’s John and Dorothy, and we buy our beef from their farm,” can be overheard, as employees point to the pictures on the wall.

By

Read more: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/230242#ixzz2nDIFCGz5


Leave a comment

The Future Of Branding Is Creating Real Connections Between Consumers And Products

It’s not about selling, it’s about giving control to the people.

Written By Rita J. King

control_to_the_people

The future of branding belongs to storytellers who understand the hero’s journey in the context of modern, mobile life. The hero’s journey is a storytelling structure pervasive across cultures. It starts with a call to adventure, requires that the hero be connected to others, including a mentor. The hero will face extremely difficult challenges along the way. The hero ultimately wins and returns home, armed with new knowledge about herself, other people and the world.

Does your brand inspire people to respond to the call for adventure, whether through providing information, tools or a catalyst? Does it help them overcome the obstacles they will face on the path, either by making sure they have nourishment, transportation, tools, information or access to other people? Does it provide guidance, support, or a framework in which the story of the process, with all its ups and downs, can be documented and shared in real time? If your brand doesn’t serve any of the segments in the hero’s journey, you’re right to be concerned about the future.

Cecelia Wogan-Silva, the director of creative agency development at Google is tasked with growing brand advertising through Google’s platform. She accomplishes this, in large part, by inspiring thoughtful collaboration with intriguing insights and co-ideating with creative agencies at the beginning of the process instead of jumping in when distribution is the last bit of conversation left.

“We’d rather work on a cool idea together,” she said. “We try not to be product focused. Instead, we’re problem-focused. Working up a solution that’s only inclusive of what we do at Google is like dropping feta cheese off at the door of someone who doesn’t know they’re sitting on an entire Greek salad. We help them manifest the big idea that brings the salad together. We are in the business of sales but we don’t start with a pitch. we start with a conversation. We try to develop story engines. We ask: What story are you trying to tell? We want to launch a thousand ships together.”

The perceived need to master emerging technologies and engineer a viral video dominates much of the conversation in the world of branding. Clients want measurable proof of eyeballs on the screen, and creatives struggle with the expectation that they’ll be able to engineer a hit. But what is a hit? The trend toward the mean-spirited shock video filled with actors faking real-time reactions to disgusting pranks is the result of the mistaken belief that eyeballs equal success. This mentality is largely a relic of the measurement of success in television advertising, which isn’t surprising. The history of the advertising industry, Wogan-Silva said, is a string of attempts to reincarnate what came before in a new medium.

“The poster in the window got smaller as a print ad,” she said. “But it was just like the poster in the window. Then print ads got read on the radio. Then the concept transported itself to TV in the beginning with still pictures added to what were essentially radio spots. In each instance, advertisers didn’t take advantage to the fullest of the new medium. Our habit is to stick to legacy. Radio was a new technology. So was TV. The exponential release of new technology doesn’t change the need for percolation in the creative process.”

consumers

“There’s this automatic inclination to believe that new technology is creativity’s silver bullet. But invention of technology is different than innovative use of existing things. Great TV wasn’t born from the new platform from the get go. But the stories got better, the use of bookends in commercial buying was a new variation that came from careful, deeper consideration for what could be done with this amazing medium.

“The same is true for using digital platforms. Brand marketers waiting for the latest product to be the first to use it might miss the chance to do something extraordinary with what we already have before us. Something extraordinary is usually something that touches consumers and tells a story, it’s not just technology alone that builds a brand.”

Wogan-Silva believes that the concept of being a slave to the latest technology fad or ad unit will become a thing of the past.

“Instead, there’s value exchange brought to you by a brand,” she said. “What does that look like? Uber.” Google is an investor in Uber, an “app that connects you with a driver at the touch of a button.” Transportation is a natural part of your life experience, Wogan-Silva said. Brands that are focused on getting us places and connecting us to others, essentially offering sustenance, transportation and intelligence, are the brands of the future. Uber is welcomed, rather than invasive. “My sense of what a brand can do for me doesn’t come in the form of what it promises, but what it delivers to me. Uber sits on my body, on my mobile phone. Location speaks the language of intimacy.”

sense of a brand

Intimacy will come in many forms in the future. Not only will objects be connected to each other, but they will be connected to you. Businesses will know more about you, your habits, the bits of data that together compose the very shape and texture of your life. All of this will be connected through objects on us and even in us, as well as in the cloud, that nebulous concept that is becoming more tangible all the time.

Drew Ormrod, Ogilvy’s Worldwide Account Director for IBM Midmarket, which serves small and mid-sized companies. Science House, where I’m the EVP for Business Development, is collaborating with IBM on a project that Ormrod manages from the Ogilvy side. In recent years, he has seen the evolution of consumer values head toward a greater need for trust and transparency.

Customers want to buy what they need and not a bit more,” Ormrod said. “Also, they want to understand what they’re buying. As consumers develop a taste for the new from freshly-hatched web companies without excess baggage, established brands are turning toward a new model for innovation, often called Labs. Smaller, more agile and often beyond the usual rules of a company, Labs are expected to drive innovation to market from within a traditional company to allow them to compete with new brands. The new consumer is better connected, forms opinions faster and has a better understanding of how systems work.” This new knowledge can come paired with distrust toward traditional brands in favor of those born on the web.

intelligent connections

“It’s a matter of putting the customer in control,” Ormrod said. “The future is built on more intelligent connections. Mobile is going to play a huge role. It adds value by connecting our virtual experience to our real experience.”

What does that mean, exactly? It means that brands like Zappos and Seamless, Airbnb, Kickstarter, and others are enabling the digital, mobile realm to serve as a portal into increased real-life access to goods, services, and new experiences. It also means that data is enabling companies to tailor those experiences to customers in real time, right where they are in the physical world.

The brand isn’t the hero, it is an enabler of the journey the customer is on. That requires a lot of listening, in order to understand the challenges each customer faces, and customization, in order to meet those needs. Ultimately, it requires the delivery of simplicity in an increasingly complex world. When the hero does get home after battling the forces of nature and humanity, she might want Uber to get her there and Seamless to deliver tacos right away. Adventure is hard work.