With few exceptions, every company has many competitors for the product or service they want to sell. Each one feels their product is different, better. Unlike all the others. But with so many other companies saying the same thing, no one is paying attention.
How do you cut through all the noise? The answer is branding. But having a successful brand is easier said than done. One good place to start is by studying the six essential traits shared by the world’s top brands.
- PASSIONATE: 64% of consumers who said they had a strong brand relationship with a company cited “shared values” as the primary reason. (Corporate Executive Board)
- DEPENDABLE: Marketing consistency pays off; 87% of consumers who interact with a company daily feel loyal to that company (Strativity)
- RECOGNIZED: 89% of B2B marketers say brand awareness is their most important goal, followed by sales and lead generation. (Content Marketing Institute)
- CONSISTENT: 45% of a brand’s image can be attributed to what it says, and how it says it. (Landor Associates)
- AUTHENTIC: 80% of consumers said “authenticity of content” is the most influential factor in their decision to become a follower of a brand. (Pardot)
- CUSTOMER-CENTRIC: 48% of Americans expect brands to know them and help them discover new products or services that fit their needs. (Microsoft)
Other valuable branding habits include audience engagement, company storytelling and pinpointing a target audience. But using the above six traits as a springboard for your corporate branding policy will enable you to start 2018 with a renewed focus on increased brand visibility and improved customer loyalty.
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), commonly known as drones, have been around for about a century. Originally developed for the military, development of UAV technology has allowed commercial drones to become cheaper, lighter, and more sophisticated. And with those advances, drones are now delivering your packages, taking photos, and helping brand marketers get their audience excited.
Drones combine fun, practicality and brand awareness in one product. It’s not a big leap to envision the positive brand impact it would have on trade show attendees watching a flying mini drone demonstration at your booth while waiting to take a turn with their own mini UAV, and then providing their contact information for a chance to win a full-size recreational drone after the show. Outdoor community events and employee team-building meetings would benefit from the same brand engagement exercises. Think of it as taking experiential marketing to new heights!
According to one industry report, consumer drone sales are set to surge in the next five years, with global annual unit sales increasing more than tenfold from 2015 to 2021. Companies looking to rise above the ordinary by capitalizing on the popularity of this growing consumer trend should consider including branded drones in their 2018 marketing tool box.
The business benefits that can be accrued from corporate gift-giving are many, from increased productivity to employee satisfaction to longevity in customer relationships. The gifts you give represent your company, and should express the value you place in your relationship with the recipient. And what better way to show your respect for your employees and customers than to give them the gift of warmth.
Name brand clothing lines with fashion-forward styles, better fabric options and more choices for women, in particular, offer the corporate world an opportunity to give a gift that will build loyalty and brand awareness with every recipient. Rather than the standard polo or button-down shirt that is a necessary choice for trade shows and office attire, cold weather clothing essentials are items that will be worn at home, on the weekends, and on the job.
Consider the following apparel categories and the new ways to give the gift of warmth to your customers and employees in the coming winter months.
- Hats: Beanies with leather patch, bluetooth headphones, or LED light; fleece lined tassel hat; or polar fleece headband
- Fleece Jackets: Lightweight microfleece full zip jacket; super warm brushed fleece pullover; or sophisticated quarter zip rib knit fleece
- Hoodies: Vintage french terry hoodie; women’s poncho hoodie; or hooded hockey sweatshirt
- Puffer Jacket: Packable down vest or jacket; water resistant finish polyfill jacket; or ecologically sound lightweight layering jacket
There is a cold-weather clothing item that will work for nearly every recipient. Take the time to consider the age and lifestyle of those people you want to thank, and give them something that will give them comfort from the cold in the coming months. They’ll thank you!
Each January, roughly one in three Americans resolve to better themselves in some way, and many of those people will fall short. Among the most popular resolutions is the promise to lose weight and get fit, which suggests just how difficult it is to commit to.
However, since most of us know that increasing physical activity is one of the most effective ways to improve physical fitness, corporations have an opportunity to help their customers reach their goals with promotional products that are useful in all levels of exercise. Focusing on the need to move more and eat less provides these companies with many excellent product options.
- Pedometers: This doesn’t have to be an expensive activity tracker – to record daily movement, a simple step counter will do.
- Cooling Towels: Towels, bandanas and buffs, made from high tech fabrics, instantly cool with water or perspiration.
- Misting sport bottles: Quench a thirst, then spritz a cooling spray.
- Sunglass Lanyards: Perfect for a short walk or long distance run – no more searching for a place to put sunglasses when they aren’t being worn.
- Cell Phone Armband Pouch: Strap to the arm or leg for a hands-free way to listen to music or answer a call.
At this time of year, when nearly one third of Americans are getting ready to sweat off those extra holiday pounds, one of the best ways to increase brand awareness would be to put a branded fitness product in their gift bag. Then, even if their motivation slips a bit, the brand will remain on that sunglass lanyard even when sitting by the pool.
A blanket statement is a generalization – something that covers everything, like a metaphorical blanket. There is an implication when using this term that it is an over-generalization. Some might say it ignores diversity. However, a blanket statement is clearly not the same as a blanket that makes a statement!
A BLANKET HOLDS SIGNIFICANT MEANING: By definition, a blanket is much more than a fabric you sleep under. It is a symbol of warmth and friendship, and a form of craftsmanship, artistry, history and generosity. To give a blanket is to demonstrate great respect, honor and admiration for an individual. In Native American traditions a blanket is used to create and seal relationships. This action is transferred from generation to generation. Throughout history, the way blankets are draped on the body has indicated certain emotions.
BRANDS CAN MAKE A STATEMENT: Going into the cold-weather season, giving a branded blanket (subtle logo decorations are a must!) provides companies with the perfect way to make a statement of appreciation for customers or employees. A well-considered blanket style in a quality fabric is a symbol of the value you place on that relationship. Whether it’s a soft throw for a cold night in front of a favorite TV show, or a water resistant roll-up blanket for outdoor activities, the recipient will remember the giver and the brand awareness will increase every time it’s used.
A high quality blanket has meaning, and companies that give them will be remembered warmly … and that, is a blanket statement that makes sense!
The months between September and December are a time of change for consumers. Back-to-school tasks for children and young adults hit frenzy mode by late summer; parents and caregivers have once again re-shuffled their schedules to accommodate the school calendar; and professionals in every industry are planning for the end-of-year push to meet their revenue goals.
With all this activity, fall becomes an opportune time for brands to initiate a new approach to increasing brand awareness and hitting the target audience with products that make the most of the changing season. A few ideas to jumpstart your fall campaign are listed below.
- Academic TabbedQuarterly PageSaver: Students can plan the year ahead with a calendar and handy bookmarks
- Custom Eye Black: Reduce glare and show support for local sports teams, charity events or company sponsorships
- Tailgate Kit: Drawstring bag, beverage cooler, stadium cup and moistened towelettes provide all the pre-game essentials
- Financial Tool: 7-in-1 multi tool can be a wrench, ruler, screwdriver, or bottle opener while securely holding cash and credit cards
- Adult Coloring Book: They are flying off the shelves at retail! Give your customers a way to relieve stress by ditching technology for a brief return to their childhood
- Fleece Beanie: With a subtle logo decoration on the side, this one-size-fits-all classic head warmer will appeal to every age group
Now that we are moving into the last half of summer, it’s time to plan for the fall marketing push. Get ahead of competing brands and show your customers you support the changes that come with the season.
The good news: Summer is here! The bad news: So are the bugs. Even before all the disturbing news about the Zika mosquito, the summer battle against insects has always been annoying for anyone that likes to enjoy outdoor activities. However, now that the stakes are higher with the increasing health dangers that come from a simple mosquito bite, it’s a good time to arm your customers and employees with effective weapons to keep them safe.
Some of the best options are products you may not have considered in the past, but now may be the time to look beyond the typical bug spray. For instance:
- Insect Shield T-Shirts: with insect-repelling technology that lasts the expected lifetime of the product. Available in short sleeve, long sleeve and youth sizes.
- Natural Insect Repellent Wipes: certified to fight Zika spreading mosquitoes. No DEET; allergy tested; non-irritating; good for adults and children.
- Insect Repellent Spray & Lotion: formulated with no harmful DEET. Convenient sizes and available with naturally organic ingredients.
- Mosquito Repelling Wristband: easy to use; won’t stain clothing; no DEET; safe for kids; made in USA.
- Mosquito Repellent Button Stick-On: perfect for hard hats; no DEET; eco friendly; made in USA.
All of these items can be decorated with the corporate logo, and are priced at budget friendly levels. Companies looking to increase their brand awareness at a time when the whole world (literally!) is looking for ways to stay safe from disease carrying mosquitos should consider one of these valuable weapons for their summer giveaways.