Feb 3 2016
I’m skeptical of old-fashioned segmentation: women, age groups, income levels. With so many data streams accessible and the ability to glean extensive information about consumers, we have an opportunity to reassess how we categorize affinity groups. Emerging fields like ethnography and neuroscience add layers of intelligence and new ways of approaching segments that can guide brand managers and marketers. I wrote about this in 2013 following a conference that I co-created to explore marketing themes in the wine industry, The Exchange. One example: analyzing how mothers and daughters shop together, a prevalent occasion in the Latina community, can enhance how beverage alcohol brands market to this group of potential consumers. That segment can’t be explored by broadly looking at women and wine.
Is simply halving the population enough of a segment to shed light on how to go to market? Can we glean any actionable information from this? The short answer is that it depends.
Last week, I attended a Wine Market Council research conference. The Wine Market Council has been tracking annual wine consumer attitudes and behaviors for two…
Jan 27 2016
A whopping 92 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail. I usually cut myself some slack when personal resolutions start to waver, but I have a much harder time letting go of professional goals. One of my 2016 resolves is to listen to one new podcast a week to step up my game as a beverage marketing professional.
I decided to let you in on the resolution and share my January finds. All it takes is 35 minutes of your time. Are you ready?
The EntreLeadership Podcast – Branding Your Story (Episode #103 – listen from minutes 10-16):
Synopsis: Brand guru Donald Miller challenges you to rethink how you are telling your brand’s story. His theory: Companies should not be the hero of the story, but the customer. Brands that understand how they solve the internal problems an external problem creates for consumers (e.g., a broken pipe causes frustration) will excel.
Miller uses political campaigns as an example: G.W. Bush ran on the problem of high taxes (external problem) and “hit a nerve” when he spoke about Americans not being able to send their kids to college because all their money…
Jan 11 2016
I’m a pretty avid college football fan, and tonight is the College Football Playoff National Championship game, the culmination of another exciting season. The game pits the undefeated Clemson Tigers of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) against Southeastern Conference (SEC) powerhouse Alabama Crimson Tide.
It’s worth noting that I’m a South Carolina native and a proud graduate of the University of South Carolina. So the national championship game features my Gamecocks’ cross-state rivals (Clemson) vs. fellow SEC team (Alabama). The conundrum for Gamecock fans, like me, has been: Who do you root for? If my Facebook feed is any indication, it looks like most Gamecocks are cheering for Alabama (or depending on your point of view, cheering against Clemson).
But I think it goes deeper. If Clemson had fallen to the Oklahoma Sooners on New Year’s Eve and not made it to the championship game, I think most fans from SEC schools would still be cheering on Alabama tonight. I also attended the University of Georgia for graduate school, so I have a fondness for the DAWGS as…
Jan 6 2016
When I went to school for international studies, my professors never talked about how business teams functioned across global markets. It was simply a matter of mastering linguistics. However, the reality is that cultural differences can create business challenges that get in the way of doing great work.
At the request of Felicity Carter, editor-in-chief of Meininger’s Wine Business International, I spoke on a panel called “Speaking Globally: Creating influence and negotiating deals in world markets” at Wine Vision, an annual conference that seeks to set the global agenda for the wine industry. Ms. Carter, very eloquently, spoke about direct versus indirect cultures, the significance of a strong translation partner, and how humor generally doesn’t translate well.
I drew upon my experience in managing multi-national communications campaigns and how the concept of “glocal” – where global strategy meets local execution – has shaped effective marketing campaigns.
A bit of background: The way we approach marketing has changed significantly in the last ten years. Gone are the days of executing one single program across the world in an imperialistic style. The phrase “glocalization,” or, in short, “glocal,” was coined…
Dec 29 2015
It’s the most wonderful time of the year—nope, not the holidays. Those are over and it’s time for my favorite New Year’s tradition: resolutions.
As you look through the ups and downs of last year, think about the business goals you have for this year. How are you going to get there? What tools are you going to need? Who will be on your team to help support you and keep you accountable to those goals?
Where is branding on that list? Is it at the top?
Without knowing your brand, you risk not creating clear and consistent messaging. More importantly, that messaging needs to be targeted and in line with your desired audience. It also needs to ring true, not just to customers but also to those within your organization.
Here are three reasons why a new or refined brand strategy must be at the top of your business’s resolutions this year:
Nov 19 2015
Do hospitals and physicians really want to improve the patient experience, or are they just studying to the HCAHPS and CG CAHPS tests? While this is only my experience, I am fairly confident my experience is all too common.
I was having significant pain on the left side of my neck and shoulder. And I had nerve pain shooting down my left arm. It was back.
Five years ago I was diagnosed with a herniated disc in my cervical spine. That time, I had no idea what was going on. I just knew I had uncontrollable pain that couldn’t be relieved by ibuprofen, ice or heat. And I had numbness and tingling in my arms and fingers. Fortunately, I was able to resolve the issue with physical therapy.
So back to my current diagnosis. While my doctor’s office was able to get me in pretty quickly and start a course of medications to relieve the pain and swelling, it took a week to schedule my MRI, and another several days after that before I could actually have the scan. Earlier appointments were available, but…
Oct 20 2015
This content was co-authored by Julie McCracken
Reputation is a critical component that often determines whether a company can bounce back from a potentially damaging situation. It’s also a determining factor in whether a consumer will decide to buy your product. These days, not only do consumers consider how they perceive your brand, but also how they perceive actions by your company.
Do consumers have an affinity with your brand? Do they believe your company to be a good steward?
Some of the most reputable companies are also the most valuable brands, and it’s no surprise that the two go hand-in-hand. While brand focuses on company promise (what’s in it for me?), reputation focuses on company purpose (what’s in it for us?).
But, successful corporate and brand reputations aren’t built overnight. Reputation management is a long haul. A strong reputation can drive lasting business success by increasing employee retention, and ensuring repeat purchases from customers. However, a tainted reputation disrupts the business cycle, and can make it difficult to bounce back from. It may take years to build or even restore a powerful reputation…
Oct 9 2015
With Facebook’s recent unveiling of ‘Reactions’ emoji buttons, marketers may gain a new way to gauge consumer sentiment. Mark Zuckerberg shares that Reactions are Facebook’s answer to the ongoing call for a “dislike” button. “Not every moment is a good moment,” Zuckerberg said, “and sometimes you just want a way to express empathy.”
The idea that one can express empathy with the click of a button seems a tad unauthentic to me. To McKinney chief strategy officer, Walt Barron’s point, empathy isn’t just caring about what another person is feeling; it is understanding and feeling what they are feeling – “hurting like they hurt.”
In today’s hyper-connected, technology-driven world, we still hunger for powerful human connections, even in the compressed culture of online communication. Empathy holds that power. It pierces through the noise because it captivates and motivates us – it spreads because we want to share it with others.
Virtual reality has the ability to reshape the future of entertainment, journalism and advertising. Facebook recently introduced 360-degree videos to its newsfeed platform, allowing users to experience video with the ability to look around in every direction, increasing user interaction.…