0 comments on “Why your image matters”

Why your image matters

When you see content from a new brand for the first time, you immediately form an opinion. Whether it be consciously or sub-consciously, it happens. This will then be swayed and moulded by every piece of content you see from then on, effecting buying behaviour, word of mouth, advertising and PR. If you feel strongly against a brand, you’ll probably voice your opinion, therefore, it’s key to always leave the best impression possible.

Throughout this blog we will be discussing the leading creative brands that stand out in their industry, who have created their own high-quality niche to be head and shoulders above the rest.

Apple

Apple is one of the best examples of what branding can do for a business. Every piece of content Apple creates is modern, stylish and more importantly, consistent. Think of an Apple advert; a stylish white background with a shining black iPhone jumping out of the background, but that’s not all. Apple take attention to detail to the next level. Immaculate packaging and high-quality materials make even the unboxing of a product feel like a treat.

All of these factors help to mould this classy, modern, sleek image of Apple, but they’ve backed it up by creating market leading products through being a step ahead of their competition in both product creation and marketing.

What we can take away from Apple is that the small things add up. Every bit of attention to detail results in a constantly impressive package, setting the bar for other tech competitors.

Dyson

Dyson could be described as the Apple of the home appliances industry. They’re a creative, innovative company that’s constantly coming up with new cordless and bladeless products. They take a product as simple as a fan and asks themselves how they can change things like no one has ever done before. They then produce a product that has no blades and is simply a metal oblong that shoots out cold air. It’s incredible, but the fact that they do this on a consistent and regular basis is what really matters. Therefore, Dyson have branded themselves as the most creative, high end manufacturer of house hold electronics. So much so that instead of saying hoover, a lot of people will refer to theirs as “My Dyson”. Just like Apple where able to accomplish with the “iPhone”, It wasn’t a phone, but an iPhone.

Bang and Olufsen

Bang and Olufsen (initialised as B&O) is the pinnacle of high end stereo equipment. They’re in their own class along with Bose, Sony & Sennheiser. B&O are also famously known for their punchy price tags which in turn can be associated to their sense of superior quality and design.

B&O follow Apple in terms of their branding, they use lots of whites & greys and have their products as the centre of attention, usually in some sort of luxurious setting. The consistency with which they’ve done so has led to the company being regarded as one of the most luxurious and sought-after options in a crowded market. How has their luxurious branding and marketing helped them? It helped cement their brand as a high-end/high cost market leader for home audio products, which meant that anyone in the market for such items would take them into consideration. The reputation and aesthetic of the brand acts as a selling point for the hefty price.

By now you’ve probably realised that we’ve used the term ‘consistent’ a fair few times. Well, that’s exactly what good branding is; consistent use of the same principles across your whole business.

Using the same styles, fonts, colours, and images all combine into one package. If your brand image keeps changing these factors, then a solid image will never be cemented in a consumer’s mind. A fortune will also be spent on design and advertising, meaning the more changes you make, the more confused consumers you’ll have.

Strong branding principles that challenged the traditional status quo and created a firm brand identity in their consumers mind. All three of these brands have also mastered the art of simplicity. Your branding can be more effective if its simple. The message is put across effectively and the images are clear and of a high-quality.

At brookscomm we have over 20 years of PR & marketing expertise and a proven track record of providing an integrated, measurable PR and digital marketing strategy. We can help you boost your business. Email michael@brookscomm.com or call us on 01483 537 890. 

Follow us: Twitter @PRexpertsUK   Linkedin: brookscomm  Facebook: brookscomm Website: www.brookscomm.com

0 comments on “How to get the most out of Amazon’s mega sales events”

How to get the most out of Amazon’s mega sales events

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In 2015, Amazon told Black Friday to step aside and make way for their own brand new sales event. By offering exclusive discounts to Prime members only and holding the event during a traditionally quiet time of year for shoppers, Amazon were about to disrupt the retail industry once more.

Amazon Prime Day has been a staggering success so far. Each year the event has grown by over 60% in terms of sales and Amazon prime membership uptake.  Last month’s Prime Day was the biggest ever online shopping event. It took place in 17 different countries, where over 100 million products were bought by Amazon’s 100 million Prime customers.

The cost of success

Prime Day 2018 was a bittersweet affair for many sellers on Amazon.  Reports of a years’ worth of sales in a few hours were not uncommon, with some discounted product lines selling out in just a matter of minutes.

This left some to question what if they had more stock available and for those who don’t sell on Amazon what they are missing out on.

If you can’t beat them…

If you aren’t selling on Amazon it might be worth reconsidering your strategy to include it as a sales channel. The margins might be less than selling directly via your website or via another reseller, but the sheer volume of sales made possible by Amazon Prime Day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday make it hard to exclude.

We have worked with several clients over the last two years, helping them to achieve record sales on Amazon, especially during Amazon Prime Day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, here are our tips to any business looking to sell on Amazon:

Test the water with Amazon FBA

If you are already trading on Amazon, compare selling as a trader with selling directly from Amazon. “Fulfilled by Amazon” (FBA) means Amazon hold the stock and handle the delivery themselves. FBA listings are favoured over non-FBA in search results and generate more sales as Prime customers can get the products via next-day delivery. FBA also provides you with easy access to other countries with Amazon shopping portals, such as France and Germany, helping support your business growth aspirations.

Use Lightning Deals and Deal of the Day to measure demand

If your product earns good reviews then you can qualify for time-limited exclusive Amazon promotions. Lightning Deals are flash sales of limited quantities of products, Deal of the Day, as its name suggests, is an all-day unlimited quantity sale. Both promotions are very useful to gauge how popular your products are, which is essential when trying to predict sales during Amazon’s three major annual sales events. They’re also very effective in selling off surplus stock at discount (typically 25% off RRP).

Use Enhanced Brand Content to maximise appeal

Registering your brand with Amazon and meeting certain seller criteria unlocks a range of marketing features for your brand and your product listings. Visual aids, video and other media can all be used to make your listing stand out from the competition, appearing slicker and more attractive to buyers.

Use Amazon Sponsored search to refine your listing

The main difference between Google and Amazon is that people on Amazon are searching in relation to making a purchasing decision. In the same way a Google ad works, you can sponsor certain keywords, phrases or even other products, so that your listing appears before your competitors.

In addition to boosting sales, sponsored search provides rich insight into buyer search behaviour, which you can use to further optimise your listing, helping boost the organic performance of your listing.

Sponsored search also includes the option to run Dynamic ads, where Amazon uses its own algorithms and keyword ideas to target shoppers it thinks would be likely customers.

Plan your integrated PR, Social and Digital Marketing around Amazon major sales events

Assuming your participation in these events, where you need to agree with Amazon’s discount (circa 30% off the RRP) and FBA stock availability, its vital to augment Amazon’s marketing with your own comms plan.

In the build up to Prime Day, Black Friday or Cyber Monday get in-touch with the online and traditional retail press and let them know about what products and discounts are available. You can embargo the news so that it’s only released just before the start of the sale. If you have a customer mailing list, let them know they could buy more of your products via this special sale. Perhaps they make an ideal gift?

Promote the sale on your social media platforms using yours and Amazon’s branding to show your association. If you advertise on the likes of Facebook, Twitter or Google, target likely buyers with messages during the promotion.

If you work with an integrated PR, social and digital marketing agency, ask them about taking responsibility for this.

Remember that Black Friday and Cyber Monday soon follow

With three consecutive years of 60% growth its very likely Amazon Prime Day 2019 will be bigger than 2018. Sales forecasting will be challenging, but if you use your sales data from the other Amazon promotions and understand what an average week or month’s sales looks like you’ll be in a better position to predict. Bear in mind that there is five months of regular sales activity to meet after Prime Day and that you could run an additional Deal of the Day to help clear stock. Finally, with Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the Xmas build-up coming just five months later, there will be more opportunities to sell large quantities.

At brookscomm we have over 20 years of PR & marketing expertise and a proven track record of providing an integrated, measurable PR and digital marketing strategy. We can help you boost your business. Email michael@brookscomm.com or call us on 01483 537 890. 

Follow us: Twitter @PRexpertsUK   Linkedin: brookscomm  Facebook: brookscomm Website: www.brookscomm.com

0 comments on “Why integrating business communications matters in 2018”

Why integrating business communications matters in 2018

Customers don’t think of brands in terms of digital marketing, advertising, PR or social media, so it makes sense that you shouldn’t either.  Successfully integrating these communication disciplines makes sure your brand messaging is consistent and effective.

Integrated comms is not easy though. It’s especially hard for smaller organisations where there’s less resource or expertise. At first glance it may seem that it requires four times the effort or budget to get results, but that’s not the case. Here’s how you can make your 2018 business comms strategy more effective:

Align goals

Find out from the senior management what the business objectives are for the year. Then plan how your marketing strategy can help achieve these goals. For instance, if the business wants to grow by 20%, understand if this is likely to happen by upselling, acquisition, market diversification or launching a new product etc. Visualise what business communication activities are most likely to support this desired goal in the year ahead.

Aligning the marketing strategy with business objectives may sound obvious, but its surprising how often the previous year’s marketing strategy gets repeated. Aligning goals brings clarity and focus to the marketing strategy.

Profile the customer 

Build a profile of your ideal customer. Speak with your customer service and sales staff to find out what your customers goals and challenges are and how your product/service solves them. If you’re unsure what challenges your customers face, then create a survey and ask them. Include in the profile demographic information so that you know what media and whose opinions your customers value. Use the customer challenges as topics or themes for your business communications plan for the year ahead.

Build an integrated content map

Customers transition through three phases before buying: awareness, consideration and decision making. Using the customer challenges you have identified, envisage what content you can produce for each phase. For the awareness phase try to come up with ideas for content that are eye-catching, short and informative. For instance, an infographic, tips articles, a short advert or quote. The goal here is to reach your customer and impressive on them that your product/service is a possible solution to their problem.

For the consideration and decision making phases you are looking to convert leads. This is where you can use elements of the marketing mix (price,product, promotion, placement) to communicate what is special and unique about your product/service. This type of content is typically longer to consume, more detailed and authoritative than the first phase, its vital that you provide evidence of the benefits that other customers have found from your brand.  Content formats include case studies, white papers, and survey findings, with special offers, discounts to help turn prospects into customers.

Overlay the 2018 calendar to spot seasonal opportunities and finalise your plan to product content that can be repurposed in terms of length and style for PR, digital, social, and advertising formats. If it can’t be used across the four disciplines, seriously consider the value of the exercise.

Use Automation to improve efficiency

The best integrated marketing strategies utilise automation tools to make sure they are regularly communicating with their stakeholders, not just when they publish fresh content.

Automation isn’t expensive or overly complex. Platforms like mailchimp offer basic automation for free. Consider setting up a series of emails which regularly talk to customers who have opted into your comms over a three-month period. Plot the emails and the content they deliver to mirror the buying lifecycle. Older content could be quickly repurposed and added to email workstreams. Integrating email automation with opt-in leads captured from e-advertising on Facebook or from Gleam competitions can be a highly effective and constant stream of new business.

Automation doesn’t just apply to digital marketing. Set up Google trend and publication alerts to be kept informed on developments in your market. Understanding what and when journalists publish in your sector help you fine tune your PR outputs so that your business communications remain aligned and integrated.

At brookscomm we have over 20 years of PR & marketing expertise and a proven track record of providing an integrated communications strategy. We can help you boost your business, email hello@brookscomm.com or call us on 01483 537 890. 

Twitter @PRexpertsUK  Linkedin: brookscomm  Facebook:brookscomm Website: www.brookscomm.com

 

0 comments on “Crisis Communications”

Crisis Communications

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Be honest, authentic and appropriate in a crisis

Crisis management has been centre stage recently with the incident of a passenger being forcibly removed by aviation security officers from a United Airlines flight, with the incident filmed on mobiles.

Handling a communications crisis in an age where news travels in seconds is complicated.

The need for truth

Authenticity is key. A brand needs to be clear about its stance, goals and messaging, but what else should be considered when looking to put together a crisis management strategy?

Crisis strategy

Mandy Brooks gives some pointers:

  • Treat your customers well, as Stephen Waddington notes in response to the United Airlines fiasco. Do everything you can to avoid a crisis. Put your customers first. Be honest, authentic and appropriate.
  • Plan and have a clear strategy for dealing with a crisis. Model different scenarios, know who will respond and how. Know who won’t respond. Clarity and guidance are key.
  • There is a need to react and adapt instantly as events evolve. Have intelligence on your stakeholders. Know which are likely to respond with positive comment and monitor these who could be negative.

When dealing with any communications crisis, what sets you apart is how you plan and react to the situation, your crisis management skills and subsequent communication strategy.

A company or spokesperson should be available to comment, communicate often, be transparent, and honest. Mistakes occur but ensuring they are dealt with promptly and efficiently makes the difference.

At brookscomm we have over 20 years of PR & marketing expertise and a proven track record of success in crisis management. We can help you in a crisis or boost your business so call us on 01483 537 890 or email michael@brookscomm.com

Follow us: @PRexpertsUK   Linkedin: brookscomm  Website: www.brookscomm.com

 

0 comments on “Advice On Creating Successful Events”

Advice On Creating Successful Events

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We have held hundreds of media events for clients in differing industries over the past three decades. Here are some top tips for creating a successful event.

Visualise your goal

What do you want to achieve? Knowing and understanding what media coverage you want to gain helps you define your target audience, timescales, budget, impacting choice of venue and style of event. Do you want to create a buzz and raise awareness of a new product or service, improve media relations, increase coverage in a niche sector, or increase sales in a specific timeframe?

Research

Before finalising details of an event, ask yourself “Does this event clash with another? Could there be travel disruptions? Is the venue easy to access? Are the acoustics good?” Put yourself in the shoes of the journalists you are inviting. Will the choice of date and venue be appealing to your target media?

Focus on your audience

Do you want to attract niche or mass market media? The demographics of your desired audience and the platforms to which you want your content shared will decide the key influencers, bloggers and journalists you need to target. Along with invitations, provide detailed timings and story outline to the potential attendees.

Preparation is key

Do as much preparation before the event as possible. Ensure collateral e.g. banners, press releases, goody bags, name tags etc. are organised in advance. To reduce the possibility of technical glitches, check the WiFi and that the venue has the necessary equipment.

On the day

To maximise brand coverage across the media, ensure attendees are aware of any relevant hashtags. It’s important to ensure the venue is well lit to allow for photo opportunities. Make sure you connect with all attendees. Key influencers unable to attend are important, so you might be able to follow up with individual meetings with them. Taking an interest, knowing and understanding each journalist and blogger’s style, areas they cover and how they prefer to be contacted are important. This level of personalisation means that you are more likely to achieve success. Good relationships with journalists and bloggers make it more likely that they will want to work with you in future.

After the event

Journalists and bloggers are busy. Following up afterwards is vital, allowing journalists to ask questions and giving you relevant feedback for future events.

To summarise:

Establish your goals, conduct your research, prepare, maximise exposure and follow up.

Organising successful events, developing strong media relations and providing a high return on investment can be a daunting task. brookscomm has extensive knowledge and experience of co-ordinating events globally. Regardless of budget, we can introduce or increase awareness and media profile of your product or service, successfully attracting positive coverage in target publications.

Email: chaz@brookscomm.com or call us on 01483 537890.

Follow us @PRexpertsUK   Linkedin: brookscomm  Website: www.brookscomm.com