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Why everyone should care about the brand within the company.

Why everyone should care about the brand within the company.



There are many temptations when talking about brand management and the value of the same ones. One of them is to think that the brand and everything that corresponds to it is an issue that is only relevant for certain professionals and certain sectors. You can fall into the trap of compartmentalizing everything and put everything in its box, in its specific space and its specific niche, which makes you lose sight of the major problem.

In today's world of business, things no longer work exactly that way (if they ever did), and companies have to focus everything much more holistically than they did in business. It is becoming more important to see everything as a whole.

From the outset, consumers' own relationship with brands has changed. Consumers are increasingly able to access more and more information and are able to see in a much broader way what they have in front of them. Now they not only care about the products they are consuming, for example, they also want to know everything about the brands and companies that are behind them, from how they operate and how they manufacture things to how they treat their employees. This set of data and information is what has become a kind of compass today for consumption.

And to continue, the very importance of the brand and its value is so important that it should not be minimized or left alone in a few hands. 

The brand's value.

The brand is, it recalls, a kind of glue that holds everything together. Companies offer things to market, but branding is what makes them perceive one way or another and what makes consumers connect with it and its products.

Therefore, the brand should not be seen as only the concern and work that the CMO should carry out. "The brand does not belong only to the CMO," he recalls. Since the head of marketing is the main responsible for that field and the one who works in branding, making products known or positioning brands, its role is crucial, it is true, but not for this the others should be disregarded of the brand.

In reality, the brand is a work of all and an obligation / concern of all the different positions of the firm. In it they have to work from the CEO to the brand ambassadors, passing through all the intermediate points. Everyone involved in the company has to be aware of its importance and its weight and has to be able to understand its value.

And, once it is clear that the brand is crucial and that we have to work on it, there should be no doubt that there is also to invest in it. Allocating resources to the brand is, says the expert, how to achieve a return on investment. Cultivating the brand can improve your knowledge among the public and arouse emotions or can serve to connect with the consumer.

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Julio Alfonzo
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Tips for SMEs to succeed in social networks

Tips for SMEs to succeed in social networks






































Social networks had a moment of glory a few years ago. They were the scenario in which companies could reach consumers quickly, effectively and with very low costs. Consumers were there, brands and companies could be, and, more importantly, everyone played with more or less the same starting conditions. One could be a small company from a peripheral place and become a star of social networks.

Things have changed in recent times. On the one hand, social networks have made it more and more difficult to succeed organically. The content has more complicated reach consumers and passing from 0 to 100 fans in two days has become very difficult. You have to dedicate a lot of work to it and you have to make an investment in advertising and in a team or a professional that knows what you are doing. On the other hand, this has tipped the balance, or at least that's what it looks like from the outside. The big brands with their big budgets are those that have the fist for the handle.

But is that true? The truth is that social networks are still an interesting option for SMEs, which can reach their consumers through them if they have a good starting strategy. They have to be able to do things right and have to understand how social networks work. In fact, not seeing it can become a missed opportunity and the numbers of SMEs that still do not use social networks are, in fact, a problem. They are not seeing the opportunity before them.

How to launch to social networks and especially how to get connected with users despite not having the same weapons as large companies? The key is to be able to understand how the environment works and what to do. 

Go one step beyond your brand

One of the basic lessons of social networks and how to use them for the sake of the company is that they should not be used only to talk about yourself. In this same sense, we must also take into account another element. The brand should not be constrained by what it is and by its identity and has to go a step further. It has to become an expert, a dominant element in a field or market. 

Red Bull in its social networks does not only talk about their drinks but also extreme sports. Why? It is a land that can be linked to the brand and can be done in addition to the values ​​that she herself wants to highlight as her own, the adventures and the amazing capabilities.

This can be done by any brand and any company, whatever its size. You simply have to think about your products and services, your values ​​and the things that you can associate with them.

Embrace the native channels of your segment

Not only do you have to know the audience to establish what topics you are interested in and where you can stand out, but also you have to do it from the point of view of understanding where you move. What channels will work best for the types of content you share? And, above all, how should we change what is being done to fit in what is expected in each channel? Big names have a different strategy in each of the channels in which they operate and operate differently in each of them. What gets good engagement fees on Twitter does not have to be the same thing that works on LinkedIn or Facebook.

Buy a good camera

It may seem strange advice, but the truth is that analysts are quite right with it. What is working right now? The key is in the visual and in working with images. In fact, trendy social networks like Instagram already work basically from the photos. But to triumph with images is not worth any photo and is not worth any content. You have to do it well and you have to do it with content that is attractive and attracts attention. They have to enter through the eyes. And for that you need some knowledge of what is being done. And pf course, equipment.

Be human

That is, understand what concerns your audience and get involved in their causes. Try to create close and upcoming messages and demonstrate that you are not a simple corporate machine.

But beware! This point often leads small companies and their managers to deviate by a path that is not the right one. If a brand has to appear close and personal, that does not imply that it has to be a person in social networks. That is, one should never forget that one is still a company and has to be personal. Therefore, at this point it should be added that the corporate account should not be confused with the personal account.

Experience

Yes, having a strategy is very important. You have to think about what you want to do and why, but you do not have to limit yourself all the time to the booklet. You can also try new things and you can also try to be creative.
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Julio Alfonzo
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Do not leave your brand advertising to anyone.

Do not leave your brand advertising to anyone.



Brands and those responsible for their strategy have to face each time more and more varied problems and more demands. In the case of the internet and what they do in that environment, companies can no longer continue to bet on everything and they have to be careful with the type of advertisement they use. This, until the stage they choose to show it to the world. Consumers are increasing with more and more things. Not only do they not want ads to be annoying. They expect brands and companies to strive not to be intrusive, but are also increasingly concerned about who the companies are partnering with when launching those ads.

That is, for the consumer, the values ​​of the medium in which they have found the advertisement have a effect on the brand and the company that appears in that advertisement. People in Internet do not separate the content and assume that if you advertise in one place you are supporting that editorial line.

That thought has some logic. After all, the media live on the advertisers and it is the advertising that makes them reach the end of the month. Consumers no longer care that sometimes the presence of such ads escapes brand control and programmatic advertising networks position ads in an automated way, regardless of who or where those ads.

All this has become much clearer in recent times, when the boom of false news and the fact of starring in articles and analysis in all kinds of media and headers made the issue was on everyone's lips. Add to that the scandal that has meant that several big brands were being announced in extremist media or racist content, you can see the complete photo.

Brands and companies and their marketing managers have no choice, therefore, to start from a new reality. They have to advertise in quality media and in media with a good reputation. If the image of the medium is going to affect the image of the brand, there is no choice but to be very demanding with how and where they will serve those ads.
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Julio Alfonzo
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Have consumers had enough of confessing their purchases with e-commerce packaging?

Have consumers had enough of confessing their purchases with e-commerce packaging?



One of the weapons that e-commerce has is packaging. The way in which it presents its products is one of the elements that allow a closer relationship with its consumers. At the outset, packaging is important because it is the first real and physical view that the consumer has of what he is buying. 

Companies have to take care of it so that the first impact is positive. Thus, boxes of poor quality generate a poor opinion and predispose the consumer to see with worse eyes what comes inside. That is another important and outstanding point, since the packaging has to function as a kind of guarantee. It has to make the products arrive in good condition to the final consumer and that this receives them in the best possible conditions.

That is not the only point where packaging can become a decisive element in establishing value relationships. Packaging also helps create brand image and solidify the general perception of it and, at the same time, can serve as an element to promote other types of actions. Creative and imaginative packaging often arouses great interest among consumers and often functions as a key tool to generate certain types of response. Studies have shown that a different presentation often pushes the consumer to talk about it on social networks and to share in a greater percentage their shopping experiences with their contacts and friends.

Packaging is therefore a very powerful weapon to connect with the consumer but, or at least that is what they start to show new studies, it can also have the opposite effect. The very 'branded' packaging is telling the others where we bought them and can let them know what we have bought.

At the outset, this is one of the recurring complaints from consumers during the Christmas campaign and at certain special times when they are not buying for themselves, but are making gifts. The packaging often becomes a brutal spoiler of the gifts that are being made, either because knowing that something comes from a particular store is easy to imagine what it is or because the packaging leaves little space to the imagination.

Pay for discreet packaging

It is not the only time consumers complain about the information that the packaging of their online purchases reveals. A study by Shorr Packaging has just discovered that a third of consumers would be willing to pay even a little more for their online purchases if they arrived in unmarked and more discreet packaging, one that made it more complicated to know what's inside.

The study has to be put in a certain perspective, since it is done on a US sample and these consumers are faced with a somewhat different online shopping delivery system. Product distribution companies do not always deliver the product face-to-face and leave it in areas where it is possible for other people to get it. They leave it in the mailbox or at the door, which actually makes anyone take it. 

31% of consumers surveyed have acknowledged that in the past year they have been the victim of theft of products purchased online because of this delivery system. Someone stealing something from the mailbox seems here less feasible, where even some courier companies call to ask if you can leave the delivery "with some trusted neighbor."

But despite this the study serves to put the question on the table and to ask once again how e-commerce firms should act. In a way, the packaging also has to respect the privacy of the buyers, even if anyone who sees the package is no more than the professional in charge of delivery. The consumer does not want to always tell the world what he has bought, whatever the reason.
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Julio Alfonzo
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The 4 realities that most frustrate and annoy buyers in physical stores

The 4 realities that most frustrate and annoy buyers in physical stores



When e-commerce appeared, many people rushed to announce the death of traditional commerce. Consumers were increasingly buying online and, therefore, they were condemning physical stores to a possible future death. His luck was set and it did not seem to be very positive. But in spite of it, the physical stores are still there and they are a very important part of the buying habits. In fact, consumers are quite far from being buyers of one or the other scenario. They want to buy in all the stages and they want to do it also how and when they please.

That does not imply, however, that they do not see the different sales channels without problems and without fail, and that they have no complaints and negative opinions about them. That physical stores have been around for so long does not necessarily mean that everything is seen in them with special good eyes. Consumers remain highly critical and continue to find defects that should be addressed.

What are the things that most frustrate consumers when they go to a store?

The queues

The main problem that consumers find when buying in a store is closely related to waiting. For shoppers, having to queue is the most frustrating thing about your shopping experience at physical stores. For shops, true, this is often difficult to solve or to alleviate. The supermarket queue is a kind of recurring evil that can not be avoided, even when supermarkets try out new tools such as single queues (so you do not always feel that you are in the queue slower).

Not having everything you are looking for

Following this problem lies the fact that the inventory is not absolute. For buyers, some of the most annoying and problematic things are that the product they want to buy is not in their size or finished in stock. This is especially serious when dealing with younger consumers. For them, this is much more frustrating than for older consumers. Since the internet usually offers a much larger inventory (after all, in a store you can only have a few products) this is a problem that can mean a break between a format and another one of purchase.

Bad organization

To these problems are added the own derivatives of the organization of the store. It causes frustration that the store is too full and therefore have to suffer too much noise.

Staff training

And, finally, the stores have to train their sellers a lot better, since the relationship between them and their consumers is also a point of friction. For the customers, that the staff can not solve their problems or their doubts is a serious problem.
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Julio Alfonzo
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The 10 keys to seducing and conquering consumers online (Part 2)

The 10 keys to seducing and conquering consumers online (Part 2)



In our previous post, we explained 5 keys to get consumers in online markets. Of course, that is not enough and we are here to give you 5 more pieces of advice to make you e-commerce grow.

1) It has to be a solution

When we buy online, we can buy simultaneously in several spaces and various types of products. We do not have to navigate sections of a supermarket, for example, browsing shelves to see what we find, but you can put many things at the same time in the cart. This implies that companies have to be able to see the purchase not as something that is made product to product, but rather as a process in which products are keys to more things.

2) Many more audiences have to be reached, even those who have been forgotten

In a physical store, space is limited. A supermarket can not sell vegan products if there is not really a significant niche market and a cosmetics store can not sell a type of shampoo that only buy 2 people in that neighborhood. However, the online store allows you to do it (as well as allowing you to reach many more consumers than two) and must offer it. The Internet allows reaching more niche audiences and offering a much wider variety of products. It is not limited by space, which allows it to be much more varied and reach more consumers. In fact, it is what they expect.

3) Do not limit things

Let's talk about joining the points. In fact, it is what we have been hearing for months now as the need to connect with the omnichannel consumer. Consumers no longer function as watertight compartments but have been seeing more and more customers that jump from one channel to another and expect to do so in the same buying processes.The Internet and the physical stores can no longer be separated.

4) Do not forget personal experience

On the other hand, although the internet has created a new way to consume, citizens are still looking for experience, they want to continue to test what they are going to buy. It is what made showrooming become fashionable, for example, but also what makes them keep looking for samples and still wanting to try the product. Some recent success stories have been those of brands that, although they knew that their consumer was online, have allowed them to test their products offline before.

5) Use the data

Information is crucial, as has been learned in the latest analysis and studies. So is electronic commerce, which has also become a source of information with which it was not previously and with a quality that goes much further than others that companies have. The consumer is saying all the time how he wants to consume and what he wants to buy, something that is very interesting for brands and that these should take advantage of to be much more efficient.
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Julio Alfonzo
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Friendly branding: should it stop?

Friendly branding: should it stop?



It is not very difficult to find examples or at least think about them. We have all met with some product that advertised what it was with enthusiasm. The mini bottle of gel in the hotel room that exclaims I'm soap, use me! The chocolate that is sold as a remedy for difficult days.You just have to think about any product and it is possible that somewhere someone has already tried to sell with that presentation to the friendly and nice, the nice. It is what is known as friendly branding. The product is presented in a fun and friendly packaging, one that is charming and friendly.

These types of designs have a clear explanation and justification. To the user, these products are more accessible and it is easier to establish a connection with them. For example, you just have to think about the Dropbox case. Dropbox is a product that, at first glance, does not look anything particularly accessible or especially nice. In the end, what we are selling is storage in the cloud, something that sounds like technology (it is) and not something easy to enter (it is also, especially now that we have all gotten used to using it on a recurring basis). How was Dropbox introduced? He did it with a look and feel that started with drawings that looked like handmade. It was friendly, it was close.

At a time when companies are obsessed with being close and showing a certain warmth to the consumer, friendly branding helps to position themselves in that field. Adult products are almost sold as children's products, with drawings, pleasing colors and fun and empathetic presentations. The presentation also makes everything seem more human, closer, which in an economic post-crisis market in which consumers have lost faith in corporations (and trust) makes much more sense.

All this has also been growing more and more and as more successful had these friendly and close proposals, more and more brands used. Everyone seemed to be entering into the friendly and charming, a kind of 'friendly' tide that basically stemmed from the proposition selling. In fact, the presence on the internet of companies has adapted so much to this that wherever you look at everything is a space of similar typefaces (human ...) and palettes of similar colors that makes one not really know where it is. It can be a fertilizer company or an emailing company and will have a similar look and feel.

At some point, it has to stop

But, of course, all this boom and all this excess of interest in the lovable, the friendly or the human (put the label on it) will have to end sometime. 

It is not worth trying to be human and friendly if everyone is being equally human and friendly and the north is lost. To be exactly like the competition is hard, to have the same look and feel that the company that everyone considers the worst on the planet (but you want to reinvent) is worse.

As you can remember in the column, the friendly branding has, at the end, a dark area. The brands are using it to fill everything with optimism and warmth and are at the end perverting the message and even its own essence. 

Add to that the brands do not look even new, but one more of the pile in the middle of a lot of equal companies.

And in the end, the friendly branding turned out to be friend-washing, a sort of friendly touch more fake than anything else that consumers are beginning to see with an even more critical eye.
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Julio Alfonzo
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