Off the Bench and Back in the Game!
What our clients have been up to so far in 2013
From our not-so-small corner of the world, client activity points to a prosperous outlook for the balance of 2013 and beyond. While the pundits endlessly debate the state of our economy – improving, declining, or unchanged – we’ve observed broad-based confidence, assertiveness, and expansion among the many brands we serve.
Four key themes precisely summarize our clients’ activity to date in 2013, and all support a more positive outlook for the present – and future – state of business.
Here’s the quick summary:
- GO GLOBAL. BE LOCAL.A number of clients are expanding their reach as they introduce their brands to emerging global markets. This has been evidenced by an uptick in demand for not simply translation, but “trans creation” of brand messaging and imagery that acknowledges distinct cultural, linguistic, and visual nuances of each targeted region.Companies both large and small are taking advantage of digital communications to reach out globally, with the realization that a “one style fits all” approach simply will not work. By carefully crafting messaging to appeal to specific regional wants and needs, and at the same time staying true to core brand standards, companies are more effectively extending themselves globally, while applying a localized touch.
- SMART AND MEASURED EXPANSION
It seems we’re finally learning from brand over-extension failures of the past: Think Harley Davidson perfume, Gerber baby food for adults, Crystal Pepsi, or BIC disposable underwear. If it looks crazy and sounds crazy… you get the point.Across the board, companies are introducing new products, announcing product extensions, and adding services. What has been universally consistent among our clients is the thoughtful and responsible manner in which they are making these introductions so as not to over-extend beyond core competencies. Making moves in this fashion allows new offerings to tie into and support existing products and services in a way that both future and current customers can understand, appreciate, and ultimately buy into.
- RE-ENERGIZING BRAND IMAGE & STORYIf I had to point to two words most used with new clients in 2013, they would be, “It’s time.” For a number of clients, 2013 marked the year of surfacing from their brand cocoons. They enthusiastically engaged in previously made plans of formulating a strong, powerful and revitalized brand image, one that better resonates with a preferred and more profitable clientele.In some cases, companies also began the process of stripping away marginal product or service offerings as they turned their attention to their best performing and most lucrative offerings. This is a common occurrence during an upturn of a business cycle; companies refocus on what they do best. This often results in refinements of brand image and messaging as they repower their distinctive value with greater focus, confidence and authority.
Companies in all market sectors have now fully accepted that their online brand presence has as much influence on customers and prospects as their offline or in-person activity.
A winning smile and firm handshake will only get you so far. Everyone is checking out everyone online, with decision-making being directly influenced by what they see and find – the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Others have become more introspective as well, as they re-think value propositions, the telling of their brand story, resetting the vision toward a bigger future, and consideration of the legacy they wish to impart on the world.
There is also a genuine and broad-based energy evidenced among many of our clients that suggests we have entered into a fresh period of imagination, creativity and innovation. “It’s time” – time to think big, be bold, and visualize the attainment of dreams.
- ENRICHING THE ONLINE EXPERIENCE . . . FOR VIEWERS & CUSTOMERS Clients are readily recognizing that content means more than words on a screen and they are now also making greater use of online video, info-graphics, expressive visuals, in addition to an array of content deployment methods. The result: A true rich-media experience, with multiple ways for buyers to interact with brands.Responsive design in website development, previously an added feature, is fast becoming mandatory as companies recognize that the desktop is no longer the primary location from where viewers receive information. With the steady rise of web-based content consumed on smart phones and tablets, companies are adapting to deliver brand content and messaging more effectively through the devices of the day.Even those on the fence about the benefits of search marketing have become ardent believers in the power of search and in the importance of being seen.
We’re also seeing more clients connect the dots as digital brand communications become more integrated. They are recognizing that buyers consume content in different ways, and formulate opinions about brands based on input from a growing variety of sources. Brands need to connect the dots, ensuring a unified front and consistency of messaging to buying audiences.
AT THE CORE . . . THE CUSTOMER
Central to these themes is the connection of brands to customers, whether existing, new, or prospective. By connecting, strengthening existing connections, and increasing the number of connection points between brand and customer, organizations will prosper in any economy, whether improving, static or even in decline.
The road to greater connectedness between your brand and your customers begins with a simple first step: Go here, or call 908-534-9044.
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