Think Brand Consistency for 2020

It’s December, which means a new year will begin soon. As your company begins planning, take the time to discuss where your brand is (not just your company’s billings). Your brand affects all aspects of what marketers call the marketing mix – product/service, price, placement and promotion.  Here are some talking points and examples to help you stay on track and think brand consistency in 2020!

four_principles_of_the_markProduct/Service:

What are you selling to your clients? Does this line up with your firm’s values?

  • Make sure your company is clear on the product and which values it reflects back on your company. If they don’t line up, there is a problem.
  • For example: Volvo doesn’t JUST sell a transportation vehicle to its customers, it sells safety and reliability, which are values reflected in their marketing efforts.

Price:

What does the price of your product say about your business? What kind of customers are you looking to attract, and how does the price play into that?

  • Generally, a product can be two of three things: fast, inexpensive or high quality. If your values are efficiency, make sure your price reflects that… you’ll get it done fast and effectively, but you’ll be more expensive (or you’ll produce a less expensive item that requires less expensive materials).
  • For example: Walmart prices items very low to gain many customers and make more money. The value for Walmart customers is not in the experience; it’s in the low prices. Target, in contrast, prices their items a little higher, but includes fashion-forward and more associates around the store that can assist customers, placing more emphasis on efficiency and the quality. While this example may focus on B2C firms, the concept applies to all industries.

Placement:

Where do you want to place your physical product? Do you want to use a sales force? What will your distribution channels be?

  • This is where promotional items and brochures come in. If you don’t offer a physical product, make sure information is readily available and place it accordingly.

Promotion:

Where do you want potential customers to see the services you offer? Do you want potential customers to hear about you from editorial pieces, or from traditional advertisements?

  • The editorial route will focus more on PR and is an approach that takes advantage of word-of-mouth; advertising allows firms to seamlessly integrate a brand’s look with their message. There are pros and cons to each.
  • For example: Run Thru The Woods advertises in the local newspapers and running publications because the executives want to target the public in our area that is active and therefore more likely to participate in physical activity on a holiday.

As you can see, brand consistency is more complex than simply slapping your logo on everything, so talk to us if you need help figuring out how to execute the values of your brand. Our goal is to make sure you’re concentrating all aspects of your brand’s marketing efforts effectively and consistently in 2020.

While you’re at it, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and follow us on LinkedIn to be a part of the conversation.

Websites and Branding

apple computer desk laptop

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Your company’s online presence is a necessity for success. An understanding of online marketing is key to boosting your business. It all starts with your website.

 

A great website is created with an understanding that:

  • It needs to be functional and easy to use. If you can barely navigate your way through your website, chances are your customers can’t at all.
  • All content needs to be relevant and valuable to your customers. Don’t let your website become too dated or lacking fresh content. Keep up with it and reap the rewards.
  • Communication with your customers is key. Show them your portfolios or post customer success stories. Potential customers want to know they are signing up for a company that’s reliable and professional to their current customers.

 

Your company’s website also needs to be created with the idea of uniqueness in mind. Stand out and be bold. Ask yourself: What do your customers want to see when they see your website? How will they use and navigate through your site?

 

Make sure you maintain consistent branding throughout your online presence as well. If you don’t fully know what defines your brand, ask yourself some of these questions:

  • What makes your company valuable to customers?
  • What is your company’s philosophy?
  • What sets you apart?
  • What kind of customers do you want to have?
  • How can you use your website to showcase your company’s abilities?

 

In order to effectively communicate to your customers, build up your website around your brand.

 

There is no one thing to have on a website to make it successful. Make your online presence unique and creative. Always convey your company’s abilities in the best light possible and remember it’s not just who your company is – but how your uniqueness can serve your customers the best.


LJF Marketing is a full-service marketing communications company that is fully equipped to help you create and enhance your company image. Since 1989, we have been developing innovative marketing strategies, graphics, web development and advertising campaigns to help companies like yours grow to exceed expectations.

 

Allow LJF Marketing to conceptualize IDEAS for your website. It’s our business to grow your business and we love what we do!

 

Visit http://www.ljfmarketing.com/web.htm to see examples of our satisfied client’s websites and more.

Putting “Public” Back in Public Relations

LJF_FebBT.indd

When your public relations plan is considered, it’s important to recognize different facets of public relations – public speaking, press releases, social media and crisis management, to name a few. However, it is even more crucial to define your “public” before your company tries to relate to them. With your public in mind, your public relations strategy will yield greater results, because they will find the information you provide useful.

To have a complete profile of your public, you simply need to understand the following questions about your target market:

  • Who?:
    Who do you need to be targeting? Decide which demographics your ideal client falls within; if you already have your ideal clients, define their similarities, so you can gain more like them. Below is a list of several qualities to consider (don’t limit yourselves to only these, though):
    –  Age
    –  Gender
    –  Education level
    –  Field/business practice
    –  Cultural/ethnic background
  • What?:
    What are they interested in? What is their story? Given that you now have an idea of what type of business they own and what their background is, brainstorm what items of news likely appeal to them. If I target potential male clients with some form of post-graduate education that own B2B-focused businesses, the following news pieces would likely get their attention:
    –  A LinkedIn post for a business-related skill that can better them
    –  An article in their trade publication about what problem is solved by my company’s new product
    –  A presentation at a Chamber of Commerce on your personal insight into issues that affect the local market
  • When?:
    When do they read the media you are considering (if they read it at all)? Take our client from the previous example – do you think that client would be on Pinterest? Do you also think they will be likely to read something that is posted at midnight, or attend an event later in the evening? Probably not, so tailor when you send the info accordingly.
  • Where?:
    Where are they concentrated in? Suburbia? The big city? If you want to target the well-educated businessman, they could be concentrated in both geographic areas, which means you will need to tailor your message to specific issues affecting them.
  • Why?:
    Why do the do what they do/why are they motivated? Your messages need to tap into these factors. If you’re not apparently trying to help them fulfill their goals more effectively, the value in your PR efforts will be missed. Some  very common motivators are:
    –  Making more money
    –  Helping other people achieve success

Take the time to figure out who your public is and what makes them tick. Pick your media and your messages accordingly to leverage your public relations potential. Contact us if you would like some guidance through the process, or just need someone to implement the message.

You can get in touch through whichever means is best for you – like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and follow us on LinkedIn.

Marketing Research Done Right – Getting to Know Your Audience

audience

When you are thinking of conducting market research for your company, it’s important to do it the right way. You may think back to the hours you spent on research projects in college and high school. In my youth, I thought I would never use that stuff again! However, the steps you took then will help you conduct successful market research now. Luckily, if you have social media outlets, some of this can be done yourself!

Follow the steps to get to know your audience in a whole new way.
*For the purposes of this blog post, pretend I am a women’s boutique owner in a college town. This is a completely hypothetical situation.

  • Step 1 – Identify a problem. Say that I end up putting a lot of things on sale at the end of each month and losing money.
    Example problem: Everything ends up on sale.
  • Step 2 – Choose your topic. You’re not trying to solve a problem here (though market research can have that positive side effect). Pick something general you want to find out about your market that may relate to your problem.
    Example topic: College students’ spending habits
  • Step 3 – Find basic information. While basic trends and common knowledge come from some parts of the truth, don’t simply rely on stereotypes; having a general understanding of your target audience is an essential foundation that will help you move into deeper subject matter. Wikipedia can be a good place to start for finding basic information.
    Example info: College students use Facebook a lot. Some students also have a lot of discretionary income from their parents, but most live on a budget.
  • Step 4 – Refine your topic. What is unique to your market but still relates to other markets? This part is where you narrow your search to make sure you actually get relevant information. You should also decide whether you want qualitative or quantitative information.
    Example: College students’ spending habits/budgets for clothes in Texas
  • Step 5 – Conduct research. Using relevant sources (i.e. sources with more credibility than Wikipedia) find information and studies on your refined topic. You can also do customer surveys through Facebook, conduct focus groups, etc. depending on if you want qualitative data. Make sure you are consistent in your research approach in whatever you decide. Take notes on your findings.
  • Step 6 – Summarize your findings.
    Example: Female college students spend 25% of their money on clothes. The average amount of extra money college students have is $500/month.
  • Step 7 – Apply and assess implications to your business.
    Example: Since most female college students are on a budget of some sort, it might be worth it to offer a wide variety of items that vary in price points. This would accommodate the needs of smaller and larger budgets.

We also found another great article that can be a vital resource for you in this process.

Remember: we’re here for all of your marketing needs. Contact us if you have any questions.


 

Founded in 1989 by Linda Freede, areas of expertise provided by LJF Marketing include public relations, graphic design, media planning, web page development, corporate branding, corporate specialty logo products and social media planning and support.

LJF Marketing provides full-service marketing communications support, serving local, national and international clients within a variety of industries. For more information, visit www.ljfmarketing.com or call 281-367-3922

Questions to Ask Yourself Before Meeting with LJF Marketing

LJF Marketing wants to get to know you and your company, and as an experienced full-service marketing company, understanding your company’s objective and branding from your perspective is key to success!

Before meeting with us one-on-one, review these questions and answer them to help you convey your thoughts to us so that we can help you as efficiently as possible.

  1. Why are you interested in advertising/marketing? Is it to:
    1. Generate sales
    2. Introduce new products/services
    3. Outreach to existing customers
    4. Learning/teaching
    5. Increase awareness of your company/product
  2. What is your message? What message do you want to communicate in the first 3 seconds a visitor sees your website/ad/brand?
  3. What will attract an audience to your company/products?
    1. Public relations in news/publicity
    2. Place-based promotion – events, displays, sponsor booths, other live presentations
    3. Giveaway item/offer that will draw attention to your company/brand/products
    4. Brand recognition of product/service
    5. Design and graphics
  4. What is the brand image you wish to project?
    1. Examples – Conservative, Leading Edge, Contemporary, High-tech, Progressive, High-style, Established Values, etc.
  5. Will you need one time only marketing or use it long term? If so, what intervals?
  6. What are your competitive advantages?
  7. What kind of venues for placement? Where specifically for each?
    1. Online?
    2. Newspaper?
    3. Magazine?
    4. TV/Radio?
    5. Outdoor?
    6. Email/Blog/Newsletter?
    7. Press release?
    8. Direct Mail?
    9. Social media

Answering these questions will help us to help your business grow and prosper!

We appreciate your interest and look forward to working with you.

 

 

Founded in 1989 by Linda Freede, areas of expertise provided by LJF Marketing include public relations, graphic design, media planning, web page development, corporate branding, corporate specialty logo products and social media planning and support.

LJF Marketing provides full-service marketing communications support, serving local, national and international clients within a variety of industries. For more information, visit www.ljfmarketing.com or call 281-367-3922.

LJF Marketing “Meeting Eye2Eye”

Trends in marketing have been shifting to “Content” driven tactics encouraging our potential target market to contact us by clicking on landing pages, completing forms and downloading eBooks.

All of us have morphed from Direct Mail to becoming e-newsletter savvy, optimizing our websites for searchable traffic and then realizing “what ever happened to just meeting face to face or eye2eye?”

As people in charge of marketing for our companies, we realize we have to employ cross marketing channels with the same consistent brand messaging but we need to include how we tell our message eye2eye.

Networking, providing “Lunch n’ Learns” to community groups such as Chambers of Commerce, hosting events or participating in trade shows, ‘putting social back into social media’ and lastly, becoming involved in our communities where we live; these are the tactics that still need a huge presence in our marketing strategies to build our companies.

We have come across these links to get you thinking about Meeting Eye2Eye:

Lunch N’ Learns:

AmsterdamPrinting.com shared an article Small Business Marketing Magic, How to Engage Prospects through Lunch & Learn Series. We all have general expertise we can share by creating our own series to invite potential prospects or by getting on the chamber of commerce speaking lists; anywhere we can share our knowledge to get a conversation started.

http://www.amsterdamprinting.com/blog/2012/05/21/small-business-marketing-magic-engage-prospects-through-lunch-n-learn-series/

Networking:

Entrepeneur.com contributing writer Deborah Mitchell gives tips for networking that may be very beneficial in building your lead base – know your audience, prepare to meet and greet, skip the drinks and stay focused and follow up but be patient.

http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/242199

Client Visits:

Dave Roos on HowStuffWorks.com gives these tips for meeting clients – plan and prepare, set an agenda, make a professional impression, take notes and send a meeting summary asking for the next step.

http://money.howstuffworks.com/5-tips-for-meeting-new-clients.htm#page=5

Event Marketing:

Olsy Sorokina of Hootsuite says, “social media is an intrinsic way of how people respond to events,” and delivers tips on how to utilize Facebook and Twitter to promote your event.

http://blog.hootsuite.com/social-media-for-events/

Community Involvement:

Getting involved with your community is a key factor in staying relevant. Here’s why it’s important, according to guess columnist Lindsay Lavine on Entrepeuner.com

http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/226974

We invite you to sit down with us eye2eye to start a conversation about marketing your business. LJF Marketing values the relationships we have maintained over our 25 year history, a lot of them started over a cup of coffee or an ice cream cone.