Tag: personal branding

Brand Identity and Social Issues

white and black barcode
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

A question that marketers should think about would be, whether a social stance can impact a brand identity or image? Today, there are a lot of social issues that can deter consumers from purchasing your products. For instance, Nike created a campaign in support of Colin Kaepernick with his controversial stance on kneeling during the playing of the National Anthem. Since Nike has such a strong brand image, the backlash didn’t hurt sales or the company’s image. When you’re a marketer you need to think about the brand image, and how it will be affected by taking a social stance.  In 2018, Coke-Cola did the same thing with its “This Coke is a Fanta” campaign. The company took a stance on LBGT support, and actually increase sales by 2%. Taking a social stance as a brand can increase sales, but it can also hurt, as a marketer we need to conduct proper marketing research before we choose one way of the other.

Why Is Building Your Brand So Important?

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Brand building should be one of the first things you do when marketing a company. Consumers purchase from companies they know and trust. Think about this, you’re in a different country and you want coffee. There are two brands to choose from, Starbucks or Coffee Bean Coffee. Which would you choose? What factors of each brand would influence your decision? I would say that the main deciding factor is that the company has built a relationship with you. You personally trust the company, and you have built customer loyalty. That in turn means consumers are more likely to purchase from a brand that they know. According to Hector Hernandez, CDO of McCann World group, he states that un branded stream of revenue, return of investment (ROI) is on average -255%, which is the reality of an un branded item. Which makes sense, because most startups aren’t known by consumers, so how likely are consumers to purchase from a brand they aren’t familiar with.  On the other hand, Hector Hernandez later explains during his presentation at the Digital Branding Analytics Miami 2019 Conference (#DBAmiami), that if your brand is well known and well branded, you can receive an extremely higher ROI of 1049%.This all boils down to properly branding your company or product to make sure you build customer trust, and loyalty.

How To Standout in a Highly Saturated Market.

In today’s society, there are so many similar products marketed towards consumers. There are plenty of options to choose from. What restaurant would you dine in? What laptop would you purchase? Or What makeup brand would you purchase? Since the market is extremely saturated, how can you stand out? How would you be able to increase revenue? As marketer, we need to know how to set our product apart from competitors. The easiest way to do this is by utilizing the Blue Ocean Strategy.

The Blue Ocean Strategy is a marketing theory that allows marketers to find and create a new demand within that market space. The easiest way to do this would be to list all factors or specifications associated with your product, along with competitors’ products and rate them. Next, take a look at the rating and figure out what factors are lower on the rating scale. The low ratings are what you can use to make your product stand out. For instance, review the chart below.

No alt text provided for this image

As you can see each factor listed on the left is rated 1-10 (1 being bad and 10 being great). If you compare “My Product” against its competitors, you see that certain factors are rated lower than my product. That’s how you find your demand look at where you need improvement and create a product that standouts and rates higher within those factors.

The Blue Ocean Strategy is just one way to stand out in a highly saturated market. There are many ways to make sure that your product gets the recognition it deserves. According to Shonteria Gibson, Assistant Program Director at the Lotus House Sundari Foundation,

“The best way to stand out in a highly-saturated market is, as cliché as it sounds, to be yourself. It’s important to believe that you are unique and that whatever you possess is invaluable to any corporation or agency. Being aware of your talents and not comparing yourself to others (which is so hard!) are keys to truly standing out in a highly-involved area. You have to believe in your assets and what you have to offer, and then offer them with full force! Cultivate your ideas and your areas of expertise, too. If there is a topic in marketing that you’re passionate about or have ideas on how to improve upon it, write an article about it and post it to a blog as a part of your portfolio. Come up with sample content or marketing strategies for corporations (even if they’re imaginary ones), write about them, and add them to your blog / portfolio so that companies can see your creative range and abilities. These are the extra steps that most people skirt around that will catapult you into recognition in an overly-saturated market”

This gives a great outlook on what people are looking for with a company. Most consumers love the fact that a company is genuine, they want to share their truthful self. Marc Edmond, Coordinator of Youth Programs at Florida Atlantic University, has the same idea, he states “In a highly saturated market, remain authentic. Your authenticity will always draw the best people, businesses, and organizations to your brand and message”

Some marketers would take a human-like approach to stand out. Giving their product more human appeal or displaying human emotions from the company’s perspective.  According to Sean Cox, Marketing Strategist at Walt Disney World explains “Standing out in a highly saturated market is no easy feat. Many brands have employed the “personable” approach; giving the brand a distinct, human-like voice aimed at gaining consumer trust. I believe standing out in today’s market, requires an always-on content approach. Brands need to not only understand their audience’s buying behaviors but their online personalities as well. Questions brands should ask themselves are: What type of content does my audience enjoy? What channels are they most involved in? How can I create content that will resonate with this audience in an authentic way?”

Another way companies can stand out is the use and understanding of their core values. Getting to know their “Why” helps the company focus on their overall product, it gives them guidance to remain on track. According to Justin Seedman CEO of Justin Fit and Vice President at Morro Capital “Renowned motivational speaker and organizational consultant, Simon Sinek famously said, “people don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” As a business owner and vice president, I can attest first-hand the importance of standing out in a highly competitive market. Every business has a story to tell, their why, their core values, that will connect potential customers to their brand. Today consumers are considerably more educated than ever before. Business owners need to deliver extraordinary service by addressing customer pain points, providing value and creating memorable experiences”

The overall marketing strategy can also be a way to stand out, according to Debra Cabrera, Professor of Marketing at Florida International University, “Focus on strategy – There’s a good opportunity to invest in developing a multicultural and multi-generational team. I would recommend creating strategies to incorporate seasoned employees, and not phase them out. The age diversity could bring the best of both worlds: The maturity to speak to a target that has more disposable income, and the enthusiasm needed to communicate to younger audiences.”

This is a great point of view most companies want the new and improved employees but forget about the ones that made the company great and uphold the traditions the company has.

These experts explained how a company can stand out within a market share. What about marketing yourself, building your personal brand. How can you stand out against your competitors? Carolina M Rodriguez, International Marketing Director for Luxury Goods and Jewelry states “At the age of 21 I started my career in an advertising agency, I was promoted within my first 6 months due to outstanding performance. I quickly learned that I was in control of my career and that I will decide how much and how fast I grow. I read one marketing article a day, take courses, listen to webinars, always looking for ways to stay relevant and knowledgeable. I did my masters after 12 years to be able to have the requirements for a C-Level position. My differentiator is my attitude, I’m always learning and growing, I hire people who can help me learn and grow and who are partners and want to grow with me. At the age of 25 I became Director and at the age of 40 I strive to be CMO. My life is my canvas and I’m the artist/the brand, everything from the way I dress, say good morning and how I conduct business is a representation of my masterpiece and my masterpiece is unique to only me and that along with previously mentioned habits helps me standout”

Carolina explained how she has the drive and determination to stay focus and build upon her personal brand to make her stand out. Because of this she will become CMO at the age of 40. Phillip Montaivo, Ecommerce Marketing Manager at Flex Seal also has the same thought, he states “With the MSM degree you’ll likely be receiving this year, you’ll distinguish yourself from traditional MBA students from the unique curriculum the MSM program has to offer and focusing brand analytics, digital marketing, and brand development. These core areas and the classes you will take will you prepare you for the competitive job landscape out in the “real world.” Being able to build upon your personal brand will allow you to set yourself apart from everyone else.

The running theme and keywords that I see from all experts above is the use of core values, goals, strategy, education, self-improvement, and determination will all set you apart from your competitors. This will allow you to stand out in a highly saturated market, whether you’re selling a product, or yourself.

Personal / Professional Branding. Can They Coincide?

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

I remember when I was a child, and every time I would go out to the mall, grocery shopping, or even a restaurant, my mom would give me a stern look and say, “You better not act out in public!” At a young age I was taught the difference between how I would act in public (professional) and how I would act in private (personal). When it comes to branding yourself personally and professionally we need to be able to separate the two. Would you behave in same manor or express your personal views in a public event? I would think not. Let’s look at President Trump as an example, his personal opinions about women and minorities have affect his professional standing as a The President of the United States. His approval rating has
declined and now the nation is in its longest Government Shutdown in US history. Ultimately, your personal view can drastically affect your professional branding, especially if it’s a non-popular, or controversial opinion. So, if you’re planning on continuing with your professional career, make sure to separate your personal and professional opinions.