Working with bright and talented people can achieve amazing things for one’s brand. Tasked with researching and strategising the launch and brand direction of a new mass market product, I was fortunate enough to work with Avumile Nodangala, founder of EntrX, who assisted in market research capacity along with creative design wizard, Jean-Paul Brouard of Assembly Studio. Watch this space!
On the 25th January I had the opportunity to speak at the Social Media Conference held at the Gateway Hotel. So, I thought I would share my presentation with you which outlines crucial elements to consider. Each point draws on successful local and global brands to draw key insights and inspiration. I hope it helps you as you develop your content plans for 2017!
I can’t stress this point enough – work with people, brands, organizations that share the same values as you. This creates a way more open and honest relationship, and enables both parties to speak their mind and voice their opinions freely.
An added benefit is that when you’re on the ‘same page’ at the outset, the expected deliverables are more likely to be aligned. In order to know when there fit is good, it’s important to have a clearly defined set of values and objectives. You need to know the type of people you enjoy working with, and the type of people you don’t. It’s imperative that you define the type of work you want to take on, and to have a view of how you want to grow your brand and business.
Being a little bit more discerning will ultimately lead you to feel a lot more confident in the work you’re doing and will contribute to a more fulfilling career and life.
In order to yield successful marketing efforts, the need for segmented targeting cannot be stressed enough. The view that marketing to everyone and everywhere sounds ideal in theory. Cast your net wide and therefore catch more fish. A great idea but in practice is flawed.
The reality is that we are competing against a number of variables:
1. Limited consumer attention spans;
2. Consumers’ inherent distrust of brands;
3. Brand’s finite marketing budget;
4. The plethora of channels available.
My recommendation is consider refining your target market. Think about segmenting your audience so that consumers are aligned with your offering.
The benefits include:
1. Targeted and relevant consumer;
2. Tailored messaging;
3. Higher ROI (Return on Investment).
Again, it boils down to the basics. Know your consumer, ensure your offering delivers on their needs and market to them using the right blend of channel(s). Your marketing efforts are more likely to be effective.
I really subscribe to Malcolm Gladwell’s 10 000-hour rule that if you dedicate the time, you can master your subject. The same goes for presenting. In my line of work, I am constantly presenting whether it be to a client or at an industry talk on branding. As I continue on my path to mastering my delivery, I have learnt some valuable lessons along the way. Below I have outlined 10 of my top lessons I have learnt:
1. It’s about your audience, not you. (Attendees are there to learn from you).
2. Keep your presentation short (audience attention spans are short).
3. Ensure your slides are simple. (Enlarge your images and keep your copy to a minimum. Slides should be a tool to support you, not a crutch to read off).
4. Be yourself. (Attendees tend to relate better when you are sincere. Arrogance is very off-putting.) 5. Dress the part (You will feel better prepared and more confident).
6. Ensure your presentation is underpinned by a story (this creates a structure and helps the audience to follow sequentially).
7. Be conscious of your body language. (Ensure that what you say and what you project align. Recording yourself talk is, in my opinion, a powerful tool for self-reflection and chances are you will be the most critical).
8. Ensure you project to the back of the room. (Just remember not to shout. Depending on the setting, considering using a mic or lapel to project your voice).
9. Keep your message simple. After all, if you can’t, how can you expect your audience to?
10. Look forward to giving a talk and enjoy it as you deliver it. I know this may seem absurd but if you visualize your talk going well, it most likely will.
What lessons do you have for public speaking?
As we kick off the year, you might be considering a rebrand or you may simply want to know more about what a rebrand entails. Before delving into the mechanics of rebranding, I thought I would share a helpful explanation on what the term “rebranding” refers to. I think the following excerpt explains it well:
“Rebranding is the creation of a new look and feel for an established product in order to differentiate the product from its competitors. Rebranding efforts may include a name change, new logo or packaging and updated marketing materials that includes the latest industry buzzwords. The goal of rebranding is to influence a customer’s perception about a product or service by revitalizing the brand and making it seem more modern and relevant to the customer’s needs.” (techtarget.com)
From this explanation, we can deduce that the key reasons to rebrand are to remain relevant in the customers’ eyes and to create differentiation in the industry.
Cambridge Design Partnership Rebrand: Case Study
What I particularly like about this case study is that Moving Brands (the agency) interviews, Mike Cane, founder of the organisation. In the interview, he unpacks the brand and his experience of the branding process. In addition, the interview covers the strategic direction and thinking behind the rebrand and how it all came to fruition.
Key considerations in rebranding:
An area of branding that I tend to emphasise in my posts is research. In my experience working with clients, solid research is an essential (often overlooked) foundation of strategic direction and branded executions. In a rebrand context, research is an important component of the journey toward understanding what your rebrand should encompass. Research has the capacity to reveal the areas of necessary differentiation and consumer feelings toward your particular brand.
In order to complete research for a rebrand, it is suggested that you explore the landscape i.e. your customers, competitors, industry trends, and so forth. From a customer perspective, it is valuable to seek out and gather information around their perceptions of your brand. This includes asking questions relating to added value, the customer journey, whether they consider you to be engaging and meaningful, and whether the brand is seen to be delivering against its promise.
It is essential to always remember that a visual identity makeover will never compensate for a lack of delivery.
- Develop SMART objectives:
It’s so important for brands to have clearly defined objectives. Using the acronym SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound), as criteria for objectives, can be invaluable in locking down exactly what you want to achieve in your strategy. Your research will help identify opportunities and areas for improvement.
- Craft the brand strategy:
A rebranding, in my view, needs to fit in with the overarching brand strategy. Insights and strategic direction need to support why a rebrand is necessary.
- Brand identity:
Having a formulated and well-articulated brand identity is one of the pillars of a strong brand. If you are considering a rebrand, it is important that you have defined your brand identity. Without this foundation, there is a tendency to pursue solutions that do not speak to the core or heart of your brand. Always consider components such as the brand personality, the key characteristics, the brand’s preferred approach to customer and business, and the ways in which it is differentiated from competitors.
- Brand vision and direction:
Does your brand have a stipulated vision and desired direction? I believe that having a specific strategy in place is key to a brand’s success. If you do not have one, use your research and objectives to guide you. If you do have one, make sure that your rebrand embodies it.
- Brand relevance:
A rebrand can only be successful if it is relevant to the target audience. This is reiterated in the techtarget.com excerpt shared at the beginning of this post. It is important for brands to consider how they will be contemporary and engaging in their approach, and how the rebrand will contribute to consumer interactions and perceptions.
- Beyond window dressing:
Point 7, in my view, cannot be stressed enough! Too often a rebrand is a superficial coating to make a brand look updated. As I have highlighted in the previous 6 points, a rebrand needs to be built on a foundation of research and strategic direction in order to achieve marked impact. A rebrand needs to add weight and substance to avoid it being little more than window dressing. Identify your brand promise and deliver consistently.
- Align brand touch points:
Every consumer-facing touch point is communicating something about your brand. If you undergo a rebrand, it will be worth your while to map out key touch points or ‘points of contact’ to ensure consistency in message and overall image. Tied to this, remember that presenting a unified and coherent brand presence creates impact. When undergoing a rebrand remember that key visual elements need to align. The new visual identity (VI) can extends across elements such a new logo, business cards, letterheads, website, social media pages, signage, vehicle branding, through to the physical office environment. It is important to think of the scale of the rebrand and the associated costs.
Don’t rebrand for the sake of keeping up with competitors, a rebrand should be firmly rooted in a desire to be truly differentiated. When strategised and executed correctly, a rebrand has the power to create a meaningful and distinct place in the hearts and minds of customers.
A strong brand is reliant on engaging relationships with the customer. It is important that there are strong, significant perceptions in place, and that all branding activity strengthens the positive, differentiated associations. A rebrand is a great tool to improve engagement and perceptions, but must always be driven by a solid foundation of research and insight. My advice would be to weigh-up the costs and to reflect on where your brand’s current situation. From here, you can then determine whether a rebrand is the right approach for updating your brand.
On the 9th March 2018, Pro Talent will present ‘Marketing Like You Mean It’ which will be held at Westville Country Club.
I’ll have the honour of presenting alongside entrepreneur and philanthropist, Cindy Norcott from Pro Talent, and communications specialist, Alice Leah from The A-List.
My presentation centres on using the right social media mix to build a brand. Core aspects that I’ll cover will include strategy, namely objective setting, brand identity, target market identification and channel relevance.
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org by 6 March 2018.
We look forward to seeing you there!
We recently rounded off our last marketing brainstorm session with a focus on ‘closing the sale.’ Whether you are a for- or non-profit organisation, closing is crucial.
In our session, we unpacked our respective sales tactics and strategies. A core theme that was echoed by everyone was that closing a sale doesn’t work in isolation, there needs to be a considered sales funnel approach.
What advice do you have to close sales?
On Friday, I had the opportunity of speaking at Marketing Indaba held at the Oyster Box in Durban. My talk focused on building one’s brand identity and image. Many businesses invest in marketing strategies without ensuring that this spend successfully builds their unique brand. To address this brand challenge, I discussed two core branding elements: brand identity and brand image. Attached is some photos from the talk:
Such a fantastic venue and audience!
As you can imagine, The Oyster Box didn’t disappoint!
During the lunch break I checked that my presentation played. This is a valuable lesson which I can’t stress enough.
Marketing Indaba Conference is hosting its’ second series of talks in October and November this year. I am fortunate to have another speaking opportunity to present on ‘Are You Projecting The Brand You Think You Are?’ I hope that you can attend this amazing conference in Johannesburg, Cape Town or Durban!
Here’s the excerpt:
“Calling all Marketers…
Stay up to date with the latest marketing ideas and trends. Attend the 7th Marketing Indaba in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban.”
In an increasingly connected marketplace and a world of “sameness”, marketing professionals strive harder than ever to stand out and produce better results. To achieve this, marketers need to stay at the forefront of market trends, branding and the integrated communications landscape. Marketing Indaba’s programme and content will supply marketers with fresh ideas and key considerations to elevate marketing strategies and ultimately improve the bottom line.
Delegates will get the opportunity to listen to and tap into various industry leaders and speakers covering an array of aspects of the marketing discipline. The conference also offers great networking opportunities for marketers.
The Johannesburg and Cape Town editions are two-day events and the Durban leg is a one-day event only with limited seats.” (Marketing Indaba)
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