Are You Staying Competitive? Part 2

One of the most important things to remember when trying to keep a business competitive, as discussed in Part 1, is to know what sets your brand apart. The first step in any process of improvement is identifying what does and doesn’t work. If you don’t know how your brand differs from others in the industry, or don’t care, you’re never going to be able to convince a client to pick you over the competition.

This means knowing not only what makes your competitors unique, but also knowing what makes your brand unique. Do you offer any special services or expertise? Do you provide value beyond that expected of you? Is there something special about your company culture or the way you do business that you can point to? What are your key differentiators and value points and, more importantly, are you advertising them successfully?

These questions and your answers to them form the basis for brand endurance and revitalization. Without them, any marketing strategy is blind, and any company is doomed to eventual obsoletion, which is why Brand Iron prioritizes this investigative process. In order to stay current, businesses need to constantly reassess their position in the marketplace and adapt accordingly. Knowing, intimately, what your business has to offer from one moment to the next seems like an obvious thing, but it is essential for long term success.

Of course, knowing can only get you so far. Once these key differentiators and value points have been identified, the next step is making sure that these are communicated to the client in an efficient and convincing way. Nobody should have to ask what makes your company different; they should know without being told. It should be intrinsically linked to your aesthetic, your content, and your sales strategies, because if it isn’t clear to the client, it doesn’t matter how well you understand it.

The secret to staying competitive, then, is understanding, from every angle, what sets your brand, your process, and your product apart from the competition, and exploiting those differences to their maximum effect. Don’t march onward through poor results and falling revenue; reevaluate, reeducate, and revolutionize your marketing strategy so you can secure long term sustainable growth, as opposed to fleeting success.

Want some help identifying your business’s value points? Let Brand Iron revolutionize your marketing strategy so you can stay out in front of the competition and optimize your brand for the future. Contact us today to learn more by visiting www.brandiron.net

Contact Us!

Are You Staying Competitive? Part 1

No matter which industry your business resides in, it is likely that you don’t have a monopoly on the space. That means there is competition. Competition can be good for both businesses and consumers because it encourages competitive pricing and drives brands to distinguish themselves from the other businesses within the marketplace. However, competition can also create issues for your brand if you do not differentiate yourself enough to create business opportunities for your company.

Differentiating your business from the others in the marketplace is important for many reasons but most importantly, this practice explains to consumers why you are different, better and why you deserve their business.

In order to define your brand’s value points and key differentiators, you must first examine what strengths, weakness, threats and opportunities your competitors possess. Pick the top 5-10 competitors within your brand’s space and closely review what it is about them that makes them unique. Study what they do well and what they could improve, and learn from their mistakes. At Brand Iron, we do this in depth in our Achieve Anything Plan. During our initial BrandStorm session our team examines your brand’s strengths and weaknesses so that we can compare them to other brands in the marketplace and create a comprehensive document containing our findings.

Once you have identified the competition’s differentiators, you can then begin to hone in on what it is that makes your brand unique. Take the time to list out your value points and key differentiators and then make sure that those points are clearly conveyed throughout your brand; in your content, visually and in all of your marketing materials. These value points are what is known as your brand’s positioning. The more clearly you communicate these values to your customers and potential customers, the easier it will be for them to understand why they should choose you over the competition.

Need some help figuring out what makes your brand stand out? Let the Brand Iron team examine your competitors, review your current brand and create an unforgettable new brand position for you to boost brand loyalty and drive revenue. Contact us today to learn more by visiting www.brandiron.net

Contact Us!

Johnnie Walker’s ‘Jane Walker’ Campaign Celebrates Women’s History Month

Feature Image Source: CestLaVibe.com

March is Women’s History Month and one brand in particular is celebrating in a very special way.

Diageo’s Johnnie Walker, a well-known brand within the beverage industry, will debut their special edition Scotch whiskey, Johnnie Walker Black Label “Jane Walker Edition”, this month. This product rebranding coincides with not only Women’s History Month but also International Women’s Day.

The brand will temporarily rebrand their Johnnie Walker Black Label with the new “Jane Walker Edition” name and change the brand’s iconic logo from a man to a woman. The brand is excited to show its support for a cause that has been so widely talked about. In a recent article in Adweek, Stephanie Jacoby, VP of Johnnie Walker, said “important conversations about gender continue to be at the forefront of culture, and we strongly believe there is no better time than now to introduce our Jane Walker icon. We are proud to toast the many achievements of women and everyone on the journey towards progress in gender equality.”

Not only is the brand bringing additional awareness to the issue of women’s rights and equality, but it is also promising to donate $1 dollar for every bottle produced to nonprofit organizations dedicated to women. The two organizations benefiting from the proceeds are Monumental Women, a group that aims to erect more statues honoring women in history, and She Should Run, a group that encourages women to register and run for elected office.

Johnnie Walker should be commended for their timeliness, relevance and above all else, dedication to an important cause. This campaign is a sure-fire success because it is being launched at a time when this topic will be talked about online, in the news, on social media and across every other platform.This increase in media buzz will create more demand for their product and more attention for an important issue. Other companies can learn a lesson in timeliness and relevance from Johnnie Walker.

Brand Iron is a strategic branding, marketing, and enterprise value creation agency. Our conversation starts with you and the goals you set for your company. Founded by Michael Doyle in 2002, Brand Iron delivers on the promise to forge brands and drive revenue through strategy-based business development, creative, public relations, social media, positioning and marketing.


Contact Us!

#WomensHistoryMonth #JohnnieWalker #Branding

Trade Show Do’s and Don’ts

Trade shows are a great way to attract new business and have meaningful face-to-face interactions with potential customers.  While they offer a wide variety of opportunities, they aren’t cheap and it takes time to successfully prepare for a trade show. Here are some do’s and don’t to keep in mind while preparing for the big day.

Do

1. Pre-show promotion

First and foremost, you must tell your target audience that you will be attending the event. In the days preceding the trade show, post to social media and tell people exactly where your booth will be set up and invite them to stop by. Tag the trade show to increase visibility and run a small targeted paid campaign on social media to boost your reach.

2. Have a consistent look

If you are going to spend the time and money on the trade show, make sure you are exhibiting a strong, consistent brand image to the audience. You don’t need to have the flashiest booth to attract your target audience, but you do need a cohesive, stylized booth clearly displaying your message, products or services. Inconsistent or poorly designed booths, including sales materials and table covers, make your company look unprofessional and could end up making a negative impression on attendees.

3. Prepare concise sales material

Keep your sales materials brief. Attendees don’t have a lot of time to spend at each booth so having short sales sheets or brochures is a good idea. Handing out a concise, straightforward brochure will make a better impression on guests, even after they leave your booth.

4. Prepare an elevator pitch with a clear value proposition

There will likely be hundreds of different booths at any given trade show and as an exhibitor, you only have a few moments to grab people’s attention and explain your company’s mission. An elevator pitch is a quick way to convey your brand’s value points. Take time before the trade show to sit down with your sales team to prepare a quality elevator pitch that will help you generate leads.

5. Bring business cards

This may seem silly, but don’t forget to bring your business cards. Collecting business cards is a great way for attendees to remember who they spoke to and continue the business relationship after the trade show is over.

6. Get as many contacts as possible

Don’t be shy about asking for business cards or giving out your own. Make a note of the people you spoke to and made strong connections with and follow up with them after the event. Make a note directly on their business card, highlight their information, make a silly alliteration, do whatever it takes to remember who you were talking to and don’t forget to add these contacts into your database after the event.

Don’t

1. Don’t start a conversation with someone without finding out who they are

People joke about names going in one ear and out the other, but this can happen at trade shows. Make sure that you ask specific questions in order to get to know the person you’re talking with. Find out their position in the company, what their company does, the industry they work in, and any other attributes to make a personalized connection. These personalizations go a long way.

2. Don’t overload your attendees with too much information

With all the hustle and bustle going on, it is easy to feed off this energy and tell people every detail about your product or service. Someone once said “don’t throw up on attendees”, meaning don’t give them too much information that they won’t be able to recall later. Remember, keep your conversation on track and just discuss the most important information.

3. Don’t wait until the last minute to get ready for the trade show

Give your team enough time to prepare for the trade show. Make sure your print material is up to date, your booth is ready and your team is trained. If you need to order a material like a banner or table cover, make sure you build in enough time for shipping.

 

Brand Iron can help you with every step of the process. We’re experts in all things trade show related. Contact us today to see how we can upgrade your trade show game!

Contact Us!

Super Bowl Ads: Hits and Misses

At every Super Bowl, there are winners and losers, and we’re not just talking about the football players. Brands are also competing, not for a trophy, but for viewers’ attention. Each year there are over 111.3 million viewers tune in, making Super Bowl Sunday an epic opportunity to advertise your brand to the public.

1. Tide: “It’s a Tide Ad”

Tide and David Harbour had everyone fooled. The pair teamed up to poke fun at every stereotypical Super Bowl commercial in every product market. Not only did the ad convey the brand’s core message, that your clothing will be spotless if you use Tide, but it also had viewers wondering if each subsequent commercial was actually going to be a Tide ad rather than what it seemed to be.

2. Amazon: “Alexa Lost Her Voice”

Often times, brands get so caught up in making people laugh or showing off their celebrity ambassadors that they forget to show the audience the product, service or brand they are advertising. Amazon managed to do both of those things but still keep the commercial focused on the product and that’s why this ad worked so well. Bringing in relevant celebrities to voice Alexa and make us chuckle is the perfect combination for a Super Bowl commercial.

3. Doritos/Mountain Dew: “Doritos Blaze vs. Mountain Dew Ice”

Both Doritos and Mountain Dew are known for their funny, eye-catching and sometimes absurd Super Bowl ads. This epic lip sync battle between two superstars, Peter Drinklage and Morgan Freeman, with cameo appearances from the artist who sing the featured songs, Busta Rhymes and Missy Elliot, showcases the opposing flavors of the sister brands’ new products while entertaining the audience.

4. Fabreze: “Bleep Don’t Stink”

Febreze takes one of it’s products obvious uses and puts a humorous spin on it. Although the product wasn’t actually mentioned, this commercial worked because the innuendo was clear. Dave’s “bleep don’t stink”, but yours does, buy Febreze.

5. E-Trade: “Old People Working”

This commercial is creative, funny and clearly delivers the call to action: open a retirement account. While this ad is really targeting a much younger audience than the ad portrays, having the elderly people be the subject of the commercial drives the point home while using a more humorous take on the advertising scare tactic.

Not every commercial can be a winner. There will always be Super Bowl ads that just miss the mark. Here are a few of the ads that didn’t perform as well as they could have:

1. Coca Cola: “Diet Coke Twisted Mango Groove”


This was cringe-worthy. The awkward dancing spokes girl made the viewers feel almost embarrassed for her and did not convey any real message about the brand or product, making this commercial a flop.

2. Bud Light: “The Bud Knight

Bud Light has been pushing the “Dilly Dilly!” ad campaign successfully since 2017. Although the medieval-inspired ads have been a consumer favorite for quite some time, Bud Light’s Super Bowl ad under the same concept did not do well. The ad felt tired and didn’t add anything new to the “Dilly Dilly” story that the brand has been telling.

3. Groupon: “Who Wouldn’t”

Although Tiffany Haddish is always fun to watch, this Groupon comercial wasn’t. The purpose of the advertisement was apparent and but the humor and story line that went along with it felt forced.

If you need help making your brand stand out, visit brandiron.net or call 303-534-1901 to get started.

Fill Out The For Below To Get Started!

#marketing #advertising #superbowl #superbowlads #superbowlcommercials #branding

Creating an Email Drip Campaign

Consumers are bombarded by advertising content nearly around the clock. Your marketing messages will get lost in the crowd if you don’t take the time to personalize the content. Email drip campaigns are a great tool your company can utilize when trying to generate more leads, nurture qualified leads, and optimize your time.

What is a Drip Campaign?

A drip campaign is an automated workflow used to nurture leads through the sales funnel by dispersing specific marketing information to prospects over a long period of time. This helps establish credibility and brand recognition. If these drip campaigns are set up properly, you will only have to send out one initial email. The actions (or lack of) by the recipient will determine what content and how much content they receive. The best part? After the initial email, everything is handled automatically.

How to set up a Drip Campaign

You start by setting up a workflow that maps out the series of automated triggers and actions. For instance, if a lead opens an email, clicks within an email, visits a page, or fills out a form, these triggers will activate specific follow-up actions. Then, based on these triggers, different rules will be set in place for that lead.

For example, you are sending out an RSVP email for an upcoming event.  If a lead clicks on an “RSVP YES” button for the event, then they will be added to a list titled “RSVP YES” and 4 days before the event they will be sent a reminder email. But if they did not click on the “YES” button, then one week later they will be sent an email reminding them to RSVP for the event. This type of workflow can be tailored to all sorts of marketing campaigns.

Here are a few examples of different types of email drip campaigns:

1. Top-of-Mind Drips: these types of campaigns drive awareness and keep your message in front of your audience. Suggested content includes specific landing pages, infographics, case studies, newsletter recaps or any other information which will increase brand awareness.

2. Educational Drips: Provide relevant information on the unique products or services offered by your company and how they can help. These types of campaigns are great for prospects who don’t know what specific offerings would cure a pain point. Note: Campaigns that are too promotional — all about your company with no educational value — will turn away potential leads. Suggested posts: Case studies, how your product or service is applied in the real world, and infographics.

3. Re-engagement Drips: These are used to win back the interest of cold, unengaged or former leads. A great type of email to put in this type of drip is a case study showcasing current client work.

4. Competitive Drips: Target competitor’s clients with the various benefits of switching services. You see this all the time with phone companies. Suggested content include any statistical information, case studies and testimonials.

5. Promotional Drips: Entice leads with limited-run promotions and special pricing. The pressure of a limited-time offer is a known champion when it comes to converting leads into customers. A reduced price or free add-on may be just enough to make a sale.

6. Region or Industry Drips: Use a specific campaign to target various regions and industries. Tailor information and articles so that is resonates with a specific target audience. We recommend using this type of campaign if your company targets many different industries or personas. Slight personalizations go a long way in email marketing.

 

Now that you know about a few of the different types of drip campaigns, put them to use in your email marketing. Not sure how to begin? Brand Iron is ready to help automate your marketing. Get started by filling out the form below or visit brandiron.net and give us a call: 303-534-1901

Fill Out The Form For More Info!

#marketing #emailmarketing #dripcampaign #email #workflow #automatedmarketing

Defining Your Brand Voice

Every brand has a voice, but is it the right fit?

Start by thinking of your brand. What person or image comes to mind? Is this voice and personality communicated throughout the tone of your brand?  If not, it might be time to rethink your brand voice.

A brand voice should be distinguishable and is a critical step when it comes to defining your positioning and messaging in a way that appeals to your target customers. It isn’t about a creation of a non-human voice, but how you package and display your content, copy and creative. Combined, these elements create a tone which is communicated to your audience and puts a face to your company.

To start, you need to know who your target audience is and what makes them tick. Develop personas that define their unique personality traits and buying habits. Figure out what they care about tailor your content to appeal to them. Your brand’s voice will play an important role in developing this customized content. By first understanding your target audience you can build a brand voice that speaks directly to them.

Next, you should come up with attributes and adjectives that you want your brand voice to portray. Think about what you want your brand’s tone, style, and attitude to feel like. The voice need to be real and accurately reflect the personality of the company and the people behind the brand. Once you have determined the attributes of the brand voice, it is time to apply the voice to the creative look and feel.  

Marrying the creative look with the brand voice is where the magic happens and brings the whole package to life. When these two elements are combined just right, you create a powerful and wonderful brand that connects with your target audience and brings your brand to life! To find out more or if you need help developing your brand’s voice visit brandiron.net or call 303-534-1901 to get started.

 

Fill Out The Form To Get Started!

#branding #marketing #brandvoice #brandstrategy

Tips For Setting Up A Seasonal Marketing Campaign

Tis the season for seasonal marketing campaigns. What will your company do to prepare for the holiday season?

The holidays are fast approaching, which means new opportunities for seasonal marketing campaigns. Over the next few months companies will be preparing for the seasonal rush. This year holiday sales are projected to top $1 trillion. Your company should take advantage of these opportunities by setting up a seasonal marketing campaigns. Don’t wait, because these opportunities will come and go before you know it.

Marketing around the holidays may seem easy since there is tons of content to share, but this flood of content can make it tough to get your message seen. We put together some tips for you to keep in mind while preparing for the holidays.

1. Time is of the essence: Timing is everything during the holidays! We advise you to start early and end late. Each year people start preparing for the holidays earlier and earlier. Shoppers are not only looking for inspiration, but they are actually making purchasing decisions far in advance. Establishing a touchpoint calendar early is important to provide your audience enough information to make a purchase decision before the holidays. So plan in advance and be thoughtful with each marketing touch.

2. Set up posts that “drip” into each other: This means creating posts that build off of each other. Radio stations use this type of drip all the time when they want listeners to tune in at a certain time. For example, you may create a post that only contains teaser information. The goal is to pique your audience’s interest so they want to learn more. You can use a countdown to tell your audience exactly how much time they have before a target date or tell them to stay tuned for the next round of information. These drip posts work well for contests or promotional information that contain time sensitive information.

3. Create a seasonal special: Use the holidays to your advantage by setting up seasonal promotions, contests or limited time offers. Prepare for these promotions with introductory posts or sneak previews that set up and frame the larger campaign as well as grab the attention of your audience early. If promotions and specials aren’t enough, try running a photo contest or something out of the box to set you apart from all the holiday discounts.

4. Quality over quantity: This may seem obvious, but during the holidays it is more important than ever to only share information that is essential to your audience. The frenzy surrounding the holiday season means people are bombarded with content. Make sure that you don’t overwhelm your audience with promotional content during this time as it may do more harm than good.

5. Don’t forget about smaller holidays: Everyone tends to focus on the big holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving but overlook the smaller holidays. Holidays like New Year’s and Valentine’s are a great opportunities to keep a marketing campaign alive and your company on your audience’s mind.

6. Support a charitable cause: This time of year is called the season of giving for a reason. Supporting a charitable cause is a great way for your company to give back to the community that supports your business. Rally your team and followers to get involved and give back in some way, either through volunteering, donating. Don’t forget to spread the word of these actions through social media and press releases.

 

Use these tips and tricks to take the holiday season by storm. Brand Iron can help you prepare a seasonal marketing campaign. Visit brandiron.net or call 303-534-1901 to see how we can help.

Fill Out The Form For More Info!

#seasonalmarketing #holidaycampaign #tipsfortheholidays #marketingfortheholidays #marketingtips #seasonalcampaign

10 Tips for Companies with Small Marketing Budgets

How to get the most out of your marketing efforts.

Are you a small business that doesn’t have the resources to spend on marketing? No worries –– there are plenty of ways to maximize your marketing efforts on a budget. Marketing is an area that small business owners don’t want to ignore. It helps you put your brand in front of your target audience and grow brand awareness in order to close sales. We put together some tips on how to stretch your marketing dollars while strapped for cash.

1.  Social media: Ramping up your company’s social media is an easy way to build brand awareness. Sharing original and repurposed content is an great way to distribute engaging information, while gaining a loyal following.

2. Website: A well-designed website is crucial for any small business. It is important that both the frontend and backend are designed correctly to create a clean, direct and easy-to-navigate site. Since your marketing efforts will be driving people back to your website, the website must be able to can handle the traffic by redirecting them to important pages. Don’t forget to have a form and/or call-to-actions so you can capture leads and connect with them!

3. Sales deck: Sales decks are a shortened version of your company’s pitch deck. It should properly package your company showing long-term goals, any important statistics, and how you will reach those goals and objectives. Most small businesses are constantly talking to investors and trying to get funding, so having a strong sales deck is worth the investment.

4. Informational video: Creating an info video is a great way to visually explain your services, product offerings, or process to your audience. These videos can be short whiteboard videos, self- promos, tutorials, you name it. Once you create the videos you can share it on multiple platforms.

5. Press release: Nothing is better than free media. Submitting a press release announcing a launch or new product line is an excellent way to get your brand out in the light.

6. Blogs: Writing original blog content is a easy way share the voice of your brand. You can write blogs about specific products and services, industry trends, tips, or anything you think your audience will find interesting and share it on multiple platforms.

7. Repurpose content: Don’t create more work for yourself. For one example, if you’ve written content for a press release, repurpose it by turning it into a blog or a social media post.

8. Never. Stop. Networking: You never know where your next lead or sale is going to come from. Follow up with leads, and show them you’re interested in doing business together. Go to networking events and use business cards that you collect to help grow your email list. It’s worth taking the time to make genuine connections.

9. Business Cards: You may not think of business cards as marketing per se, but this is an easy way to get you and your business recognized. A clear and well-designed business card can make quite an impact and go a long way in helping your marketing efforts.

10. SEM/AdWords: Running a paid search engine marketing campaign is a cheap and effective way to promote your brand. With Google AdWords PPC, you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. The key is to solidify strong keywords that will drive people to your website.

With these 10 tips, you can maximize your marketing efforts which will help grow your business. It takes time and resources to make your marketing work for you but if you keep these nine things in mind you’ll be off to a great start! Brand Iron is here to help you develop a strong marketing strategy that will elevate your brand in the market. Visit brandiron.net or call 303-534-1901 to see how we can help!

Fill Out The Form For More Info!

The Benefits of Targeted Touchpoint Marketing

How to effectively engage with your audience. 

In today’s world, we are bombarded with content and information everywhere we look. As a business you only have seven seconds on average to capture the attention of your audience before they make the critical decision to either keep reading or move on to the next thing. Making contact with your audience, which is called a touch, must be both interesting enough to keep your audience reading and frequent enough to nurture, and eventually close, a qualified sales lead. Generally, it takes 7-15 quality touches to move a prospect to the point of closing.

Fifteen touches may seem excessive, but it will help generate and nurture more qualified leads, and it’s generally spread across a year. Consumers are used to having access to mass amounts of information and expect to be given all the facts before they reach the final decision-making stage. Targeted touchpoint campaigns help grow your brand’s reputation while nurturing leads by giving them information relevant to them. Here are some ways you can effectively communicate with your audience and expand your brand’s reach with these different touches:

  • Blogs
  • Calls
  • Case studies
  • Direct sales
  • Email marketing
  • Networking
  • Press releases
  • Social media
  • Website traffic

Incorporating a variety of these touches in your marketing calendar gives your company a significant advantage to actively engage leads and eventually close sales. We’ve seen warm leads slip through the cracks and fall out of the sales funnel because they have not received enough valuable information to make a decision. It’s important to stay in front of your audience by educating leads through consistent, attention-getting touches.

Brand Iron can help you stay in front of your audience with targeted touchpoint campaigns that identify, attract, and develop brand awareness among prospective leads. Visit brandiron.net or call 303-534-1901 to see how our services can help!

Fill Out The Form For More Info!

#marketing #branding #targetaudience #emailmarketing #socialmedia #blog #directmail #pr #blogs #targetedtouchpoint