A what is Branding? Outline

I like Branding, this is one of those areas where a business person can get creative.

What is a Brand?  Anything and everything can be branded: products, people, services,commodities,ideas,political groups,places,arts,movies, etc…

Brand is more than just a logo it is a positioning, a slogan or tag line, a packaging, a buying experience ( in store or online), it is price and promotions, and management. 

Moreover a brand is a promise of value for consumers and manufacturers. 

a) Values that are sought by consumers:

->risk reducer (safety, but also risks at all levels)

->cost reducer (long term cost reducer, or one time deal)

->symbolic (social styles, self-image …)

->quality (brand is well known, established, or trusted)

values that are sought by manufacturers:

->transport (logistics, ID for tracking, …)

->legal (laws, intellectual property …)

->quality (linked with customers satisfaction)

->asset ( brand equity, competitive advantage)

->revenue ( ROI)

b)Challenges to build brands:

 -Savvy Customers: Consumers information is more and more available, with internet and peers reviews customers are more knowledgeable and picky.

-Brand Proliferation: (E.g For consumer products more often )when there are multiple variants of a product.

-Media Fragmentation: raise of multiple medias and channels lead to more difficult brand management.

-New Competition: When barriers to entry are low, the risk from competition is very high, think of consumer products or commodities. Today, competition is global and everywhere and not only for manufactured products but also for online services and technological products such as web applications that are now in part or totally built by people from around the globe.

#w2sw

As I have previously tried to start a startup I went yesterday to the Women 2.0 startups we in San Francisco. First of all, I wanted to say that it feels  good to join a group of people who like me, have tried to start multiple startups as of today. It feels a little like being among peers and realizing ( even if I knew it somehow) jeez I’m not the only one!

The meeting started with a bunch of people gathering and networking in a cool red bricks building in SOMA. Later on, those who had an idea were invited to pitch it in one minute in front of a quite large audience. The goal for the speaker was to enunciate a solution to a problem using an idea more than basically saying I have an idea and I think it’s cool. Then the speaker had to ask for specific help to build her team. Most speakers and team leaders were in need of developers and I found that ruby on rails developers were highly wanted. Of course the team leader who is also the founder and CEO of the startup to be is the business strategist and it appeared that there was a little less need for recruiting marketers or sales people, I guess the reason is that most founders were business people themselves.

After pitching the audience had to vote for the best ideas, start to form teams and from there getting to work till midnight and come back on saturday morning to work until sunday. The objective being to start a startup within just a weekend.

Without revealing the details of each startups ideas of yesterday , I can tell that some ideas were similar or linked to a same market or theme. Here is a list non exhaustive though: movies app linked to geo localization service, beauty community online, street cleaning app, alternative to groupon app, sounds recognition, for fashionistas apps, clothes swap app, jobs search service, cooking recipes aggregator… etc.

Marketing tactics effectiveness (survey by Sherpa aug2010)

Craigslist vs LinkedIn vs the others

Today most skilled job seekers use Internet to find a or “the” job. According to a study by Nielsen, in 2005 already 3 out of 5 job seekers used Internet, now it’s even more. When searching online, there are multiple options; basically social networks and job boards. Social Network LinkedIn allows people to connect and create their professional network online, allowing them to build a professional identity and eventually credibility online. The network also allows people to engage in topic/professional based conversations. The network also allows advertisers to reach a very targeted audience. Head hunters and talents acquisition professionals use the site to get in touch directly with the “talent” who is often someone who is expert programmer or expert in product or project development ( high tech, bio tech, internet …). This “talented” audience is the one who really benefits from the network by getting real leads.

Craigslist allows searching a wide array of job categories and in my opinion provide more leads for the other type of job seekers ( all those not cited above)  than any other places on the internet.There is actually a big chance someone actively seeking to hire posted an ad and will follow up ( in a timely manner) with the person who replies the ad.

Then there are all the others such as Indeed, Monster etc that in my opinion score less in the number of leads you can get that from craigslist.

This video has got more than 3 million views on YouTube, very interesting, watch out paper magazines editors and publishers.

a media plan

Outline of the media plan which is part of the marketing strategy:

1) Media channels section: lists all the channels ( outlets) that will be used.

2) Goals: describes all the goals by channels and explain how and why each outlet reaches these goals.

3) Audience: this section analyses all the details of the target groups of the advertising effort. Here are listed all demographics, lifestyles, and if available insights data on what the audience thinks of the product/brand that is being advertised.

4) Strategy statement, and positioning statement: where are we now and where do we want to go.

5) Financials: budget and calendar.

social analytics

In Social Analytics it is more about analyzing PEOPLE behaviors and demographics than just pages. Therefore metrics provide insights on:

a) What people Do: The metrics applying provide insights on behaviors such as events attendance or number of apps installs.

b) Users demographics:  for example in facebook the group of metrics called “Application Users” are for determining by a specific period of time ( either day, week or month) the geographic situation of the user or its gender or age.

c) Friend Graph and Influence Map : on facebook one of the metric that is about friend graph and influence map is the “page_storyteller” It shows the number of people sharing stories about your page. These stories include liking your Page, posting to your Page’s Wall, liking, commenting on or sharing one of your Page posts, answering a Question you posted, RSVPing to one of your events, mentioning your Page, phototagging your Page or checking in at your Place.