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The 10 Functions of Storytelling

June 12, 2018 by Carla Johnson Storytelling gets too much credit and not enough appreciation. And that’s because people don’t really understand it, much less how to use it. Storytelling comes down to two things – connection and engagement. And when we look at it from this perspective, we have many more opportunities to use storytelling to create influence, affect …

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Should Your Brand Strategy Include a Bot, or Not?

April 24, 2018 by Mitch Duckler More and more, as customers increase their expectations of brands, they will continue to demand faster responses. Gone are the days when brands had the luxury of waiting a day to respond to an email. In reality, the majority of consumers expect responses to their inquiries in under 10 minutes—across all channels. This is the first …

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4 Ways Branding Contributes to the Customer Experience

April 12, 2018 by Sam Holzman In today’s digital age, the customer has more power than ever before—and marketers are taking notice. In fact, a recent study found that 83% of marketers think customer experience is more central to their role than it was five years ago (source). Interestingly, that same study found that 74% of marketers believe brand strategy …

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The Truth About Brand Extension into Unlikely Categories

March 6, 2018 by Mitch Duckler Many companies try to benefit from the equity of their established brands by launching brand extensions—new products that are introduced under an existing brand name. In our previous post, Why So Many Brand Extensions Fail, we discussed how extending brands has the potential to both heighten acceptance of  new products/services and generate positive spillover effects …

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Sorry…That’s Not What Our System Says…

February 8, 2018 by Carla Johnson I went to my local library yesterday to use their production studio to make a higher-quality voiceover recording than I could do on my laptop. My schedule’s tight so I reserved the room online ahead of time. I checked in with the woman behind the desk when I got to the library. She checked …

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How Brands are Using Artificial Intelligence in Customer Segmentation

February 6, 2018 by Mitch Duckler With another year of rapid advances, artificial intelligence (AI) was the marketing technology buzzword in 2017. And in 2018, AI and machine learning will become even more accessible to brands. AI will pave the way for marketers to laser focus on target market segments and reach customers, while attracting new prospects and leads, with highly-personalized …

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Why B2B Brands Should Jump on the UGC Bandwagon

January 2, 2018 by Mitch Duckler For years, the world’s biggest B2C brands (e.g. Starbucks, Target, Coca-Cola) have been riding the user-generated content (UGC) wave, while B2B brands have only recently begun to gain traction in creating and distributing UGC. Between 70 and 90 percent of the buyer’s journey is complete before engaging with a vendor, and according to Forrester, a customer …

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What “It’s a Wonderful Life” Teaches Us About B2B Branding

December 21, 2017 By Carla Johnson Sally Hogshead teaches people and brands how to be fascinating. I love her approach to branding because how many people would describe our companies as fascinating? Few. The other day she wrote a story about the holiday classic, It’s a Wonderful Life. Released in 1946, it tells the story of an angel sent from …

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Engineering a Voice to Reflect Your Brand

November 30, 2017 by Mitch Duckler In 1962, TV viewers were first introduced to an animated sitcom about a futuristic world of flying cars, cities in the sky, and space tourism. It was The Jetsons: adoring couple George and Jane, their kids Judy and Elroy, Astro their dog, and housekeeper Rosie the robot. The show lasted just one season (24 episodes) …

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B2B Marketing Lessons from Stove Top’s Thanksgiving Dinner Pants

November 23, 2017 by Carla Johnson To allow people to “enjoy more of Thanksgiving in comfort and style,” Stove Top designed a pair of unisex maroon pants with an elastic waistband. But they didn’t stop there. They fashionably accented the pants with a stretch band featuring an image of stuffing. And because you’ll be hungry later in the day, they …

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How To Write Customer-Focused Content That Converts

October 24, 2017 By Wendy Dressler Customer Experience Is Also PR Public Relations constitutes one of the most important aspects of any business. But PR isn’t just something on which just your marketing and outreach department should focus. How any client or prospect feels about interacting with your business is in an unrecognized example of public relations. This means your …

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Winning Brands Must Dare to be Different

October 19, 2017 by Mitch Duckler Does your brand own a distinct place in customers’ minds that is truly meaningful to them? Brand strategy is all about how you differentiate and position your brand in the market. Great brand strategy revolves around clearly articulating your differentiation against competitors. Differentiation gives brands their competitive edge. Brands lacking differentiation or a competitive advantage make …

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The Biggest Barriers to Brand Consistency and How to Fix Them

October 3, 2017 by Carla Johnson When we think of branding, we think of companies that pull out the big guns. The ones that put money behind Super Bowl ads and have tremendous social influence. That may not be your company. Whether you realize it or not, your company has a brand. And whether you invest in it or not, …

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The 16 Best Sites for Free Stock Photos and Videos

August 29, 2017 by Tom Pick There are lots of great reasons to include images with your blog posts and other marketing content. They add visual appeal. They can help with SEO. Visuals increase views on average by 94%. They improve information retention by up to 65%, increase engagement, and generate more likes and shares on social networks. Can’t find an image …

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Marketing’s Role in CEO Success – Do You Play a Part?

June 29, 2017 by Carla Johnson Successful CEOs understand that the ability to communicate and drive ideas forward is one of the most important skillsets of a modern-day executive. It’s not a nice-to-have, but a requirement of leadership. And even in a digitally driven world, the best know that offline and in-person communication matter equally. In their report, The CEO …

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How Marketing & HR Can Build a Much Stronger Brand Together

June 15, 2017 by Michelle Smith Enduring brands are built by people – not ads, clicks or views. Marketing has traditionally taken the lead in communicating the corporate brand promise, but when it comes to delivering on those promises, its people from all around the organization who have to do the meticulous work of successfully bringing the brand promise to …

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Do You Remember Your First Kiss?

May 18, 2017 by Carla Johnson First kiss. I remember mine. It was 7th grade. A brief chapped-lip peck that was awkward for both of us – like so many things during those middle school years of transition when you’re no longer a kid but not quite a young adult. But I will always remember my first kiss because of …

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Is Influencer Marketing B2B’s Golden Egg Opportunity?

May 16, 2017 by Carla Johnson As much as we’d like to think we’re impartial buyers, everyone’s influenced by someone. When it comes to big-ticket purchases, it’s even more true. B2B buyers like to think they make decisions based on research and data. But they may be the group most influenced during the buying process. It that’s the case, how …

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Digitization or Integration: What’s Marketing’s Holy Grail?

May 11, 2017 by Carla Johnson One of the primary drivers of change for businesses in the last decade has been digital transformation. But with the shift to a heavy digital-first experience, marketers have neglected the bigger picture: creating a connected, integrated and seamless experience for customers who bounce between online and real-world interactions with brands. When we look at …

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Digitization or Integration: What’s Marketing’s Holy Grail?

May 11, 2017 by Carla Johnson One of the primary drivers of change for businesses in the last decade has been digital transformation. But with the shift to a heavy digital-first experience, marketers have neglected the bigger picture: creating a connected, integrated and seamless experience for customers who bounce between online and real-world interactions with brands. When we look at …