Be A Brand Fan

brandWith 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.

  1. 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)
  2. DEPENDABLE:  Marketing consistency pays off; 87% of consumers who interact with a company daily feel loyal to that company (Strativity)
  3. RECOGNIZED:  89% of B2B marketers say brand awareness is their most important goal, followed by sales and lead generation. (Content Marketing Institute)
  4. CONSISTENT:  45% of a brand’s image can be attributed to what it says, and how it says it. (Landor Associates)
  5. AUTHENTIC:  80% of consumers said “authenticity of content” is the most influential factor in their decision to become a follower of a brand.  (Pardot)
  6. 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.

Cruising With Your Favorite Brand

coke bikeIncentive programs that promote wellness are always in style.  These programs exist because healthy employees mean greater productivity, lower absenteeism and reduced healthcare costs.  Biking, with its growing popularity, would be a perfect addition to any wellness program.

The number of cyclists saw a big increase between 2012 and 2017, increasing from around 51 million riders to slightly more than 66 million riders in 2017.   More than double the number of bikes are sold each year than passenger cars, and where passenger car sales are on the decline, bicycle sales have been steady or slightly increasing since the 1990s.

However, does it make sense to plan for a spring/summer wellness program initiative in December?   Of course it does!  It especially makes sense if you want to incorporate a custom-designed bike, with longer lead times, as part of your program.  Customizing that bike can be as simple as adding a logo to a stock unit, or you can get creative with a full blown custom bike, using any colors and graphics package you desire

In either case, giving a bike as a door prize at a wellness event, or offering branded bike accessories as incentives for meeting targeted health goals, will serve to build excitement and participation for the program.  If you consider the evidence that 30 minutes of daily cycling saves $544 per person in annual medical costs, it’s easy to understand the return on investment is real.  So start now, and be ready for the 2018 cycling season!

 

 

It’s Not Techy, And That Is The Point

moleskine-evernote-planner_243x284We use our smart phones for everything.  Talking, shopping, making dinner reservations, following navigation directions, getting stock updates – the list is endless. However, bouncing between apps, and trying to stay on top of everything through multiple functions can be time-consuming and unproductive.  The phone alerts that need to be silenced during meetings; the constant search for the perfect list-making app; and the need for many of us to still use sticky notes for the things that we absolutely, positively cannot forget has brought us full circle to the time-tested journal as the perfect tool for getting organized.

The journal works on the premise that nothing is forgotten if it’s written down.  An idea for the next blog, an appointment, sales goals, client information – it can all be recorded with a personally designed organizing system, or with the help of popular new systems like those employed by the designer of the Bullet Journal.

As reported in the Wall Street Journal, another popular journal brand, Moleskine, revived the popularity of journals in 1997 with a traditional leather-bound notebook and has seen revenues double over the last 5 years.  And many of those users are millennials who embrace the digital lifestyle. Why?  According to Moleskine co-founder Maria Sebregondi, “… even the most plugged in people find it comforting to create their own designs”.

Companies who recognize this trend take advantage of the branding opportunities and  apply their logo to journals in every style and price point.  The choices range from simple styles that offer chip board covers, 70 sheets of paper and wire binding – to the more sophisticated versions with features like die-cut covers, custom tip-in pages with graphics and event details,  business card pockets, and pen ports.  These journals are used every day at home and in the office by the scores of customers who welcome an opportunity to write it down instead of logging it in – what better way to keep your brand front-of-mind?

Consider the classic journal for your next promotional gift – it’s not techy, and for many of us, that’s the point.