Tag Archives: Brand Awareness

Pancakes mini-tower

You Don’t Need To Become A Conglomerate To Be Successful

Pancakes mini-tower
GloriaGarcía / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in the United States in the 21st century as adults, and even teenagers, are looking to different ways to make a living during trying times in a struggling economy. New and growing businesses will be the helping hand that gets this country back on it’s feet and revitalizes this nation as a whole. We’ve been blessed with the ability to learn from our predecessors that lived before, during, and after the Great Depression and by ripping a page out of history, we can once again hold our heads high and bring back a winning and thriving attitude that has been lacking since 2008.

While some of the biggest corporations that we know today were started in the early 20th century, they weren’t the only businesses that cured local economies, and later the United States, of the Great Depression. Regionally around the country there may be a very successful business that was started in the 1930’s, but it’s not a conglomerate and it could be possible that it took this company decades to get where they are today, as technology has allowed businesses to reach more people in a broader area.

You may ask why am I pumping the brakes on being a national brand, or why focus on successful regional businesses. The answer I can give is that you don’t have to be a conglomerate to be successful, own a big house, have exotic cars, and live a life that you think is out of the realm of possibility without being nationally recognized. It’s a lie, and with determination, passion, and thinking outside the box, you could run a seven figure company from your office without getting the recognition of some of the biggest companies today.

TV shows such as Shark Tank and The Profit prove that one store, or a company that distributes their products regionally, can be prosperous if they manage the business properly and there is a need for the product or service the business is offering. During an episode of Shark Tank last season, a company called Kodiak Cakes went into the tank to pitch their pancakes to the sharks. They were selling their product in Target stores and were making $2.5 mil in sales that year, with projections of sales doubling in the following year. However, the issues the sharks had was the name of the company and the packaging of the product itself because they believed it sounded too much like a hiking product, and a kodiak bear was on the box which somehow confused them.

After doing some research, Kodiak Cakes are based in Salt Lake City, Utah. The name of the company and having a bear on the packaging makes sense because of where they are regionally in the United States. While the sharks didn’t see them becoming a nationally recognized business, they certainly have the branding to appeal to customers in the region of the country in which outdoors and hiking is more of a pastime, than in a densely populated city where the great outdoors is skyscrapers and taxi cabs.

Another great example of successful regional business that would later go national is Dunkin’ Donuts. Founded in Weymouth, Massachusetts, this once small donut shop now has the slogan, “America runs on Dunkin”. Their coffee is what makes people come back for more, and through word of mouth, and growing gradually, they’ve become a empire that if they didn’t exist, America might cease to function.

You should always have dreams and aspirations of growing into a conglomerate, but always know that you can run a multi-million dollar business by staying local and or regional. By being smart and managing the business right, you can be successful and watch your business grow through the years.

Old Spice

Marketing Matters: Where AXE and Old Spice Commercials Differ Greatly

When we think of commercials, AXE and Old Spice might come to mind, especially on Superbowl Sunday. However, there is a vast difference in marketing strategies that either grabs the audience’s attention, or leaves them baffled as to what they just witnessed on their television screen. Effective marketing goes beyond just funny commercials. There has to be strong sales numbers that prove the ad was effective, and that the company should continue going in that direction. For years, Old Spice has aired strange commercials to say the least, some of which made little to no sense. In all honesty, who are these deodorant companies marketing to and is one of them making a huge mistake moving forward?

If you’re in your 20’s or 30’s you can probably relate to the AXE commercials in which a young guy puts on the deodorant and a bevy of beauties tackle him or are immediately drawn to him. That’s effective marketing. Every young guy wants some advantage over the rest of the field to get noticed by the girls, and AXE is that answer. Everywhere teens starting using it, and later on AXE moved onto shampoos and conditioners to further reach out to the single men who are looking to become magnets. AXE’s ads completely makes sense and is relevant to the target audience in which they’re marketing to. By establishing that connection with teenagers and early 20 year olds, this is the reason why we see their products in a majority of teenegars’ backpacks.

Old Spice on the other hand was originally seen as the older man’s deodorant, the man that’s seen in barbershops, on the golf course, or driving a Jaguar. Seeing that their target audience was getting older, Old Spice made a complete 180 by marketing to the younger generations, making less sense with their commercials as the years passed. Maybe I’m the one individual that doesn’t get it, but I’m not understanding the lunacy behind the commercials Old Spice has aired over recent years.

Last year’s Superbowl ad, where mothers stalked their sons or were completely saddened because their sons found a girl who replaced them, may not only have been the weirdest commercial, but also was poorly thought up as the teenaged guys should have been the focus in the commercial not the mothers. It’s these errors that can be costly, especially if viewers are creeped out by the commercial more than finding it funny.

Looking back into their past, why was Old Spice a popular brand? Because their ads were relevant to the consumer who would buy the deodorant, the older gentleman.

Being funny only goes so far, converting that laughter and enjoyment of the commercials into sales is the more important aspect. AXE understands this, and having a single guy get tackled by beautiful girls is every guy’s dream. They made that emotional connection to that buyer of the product; those kids wanted that scenario to play out in their lives so they bought the product.

Old Spice on the other hand should look back to their roots and re-think their marketing strategies. Have a specific audience, have the commercials make sense to those who intend on buying the deodorant, and stop marketing to mothers who are heartbroken because their sons are focusing all their attention on their girlfriends.


Where Does SMM Fit In A Marketing Strategy?

FindYourSearch / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Throughout this summer, multiple marketers I follow have been having issues with organic reaches when it comes to their Facebook pages, and as a manager of some pages myself, I’ve also noticed a decline in organic reaches depending on the subject and audience base. The question being raised by many is whether we’re jumping the gun on social media marketing, and maybe we should place some more realistic expectations on this modern marketing and advertising platform. Let’s be honest with ourselves for a minute, where does SMM fit in a marketing strategy, and should it be in the driver’s seat, riding shotgun, or should be in the backseat with the occasional question “are we there yet”?

To put it bluntly, social media marketing is great for brand awareness as it can promote products, and the users behind the social media platforms can post important information, pictures, and any other content that is relevant to the audience in which they’re marketing to. However, is it converting into sales? For some businesses social media is indirectly making them rich, but for others, there is a need for face-to-face marketing, a website, and maybe even YouTube videos to capture potential customers’ attention. Depending on the industry, all social media is a reminder that you didn’t forget your kids at the last rest stop because you still hear their voices, but what they’re saying may not be relevant to those in front seats as they’ve already heard the same stories multiple times.

There are limits to what social media can do for businesses and there has to be other elements tied together to help social media marketing reach it’s full potential. When you follow your favorite store, product, or sports team, what do these accounts usually post? Pictures are always the first to come to mind, but more importantly, they’re posting links from websites, blogs, and online stores. All social media platforms really are is an extended arm that reaches customers where they chat with friends and occasionally search for something such as a product they want, but usually don’t buy in that very instant.

Websites and email marketing are still the best ways to convert sales, and social media is what keeps current customers up to date on products or news concerning the company that is operating the fan pages and social media accounts. Don’t get me wrong, SMM is still a great marketing and advertising tool, but it shouldn’t be the center of a market strategy for small or larger businesses, and be more of a brand awareness technique that gets potential customers interested in finding out more about the product and company.

At the end of the day, consumers are still buying the same way they did 10 years ago, whether that be shopping at brick and mortar stores or online. To say that customers shop on social media right now, we’d be lying to ourselves. Until people start buying exclusively on social media, SEO and other forms of internet and email marketing will continue being the conventional route to driving customers to businesses’ brick and mortar and online stores. For the time being, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms will have to wait because the only way shopping has been revolutionized is through Amazon and eBay. Social media’s day may come, but it’s not right now.


Social Media Matters: SMM Gives Your Business the Brand Awareness It Needs

loop_oh / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Prior to social media’s existence, what was one of the problems small businesses had to face? Brand awareness. After getting into the yellow pages, local newspapers, and creating a website, that still wasn’t enough to grow the business into something bigger. As with any form of marketing, getting customers to walk through your storefront doors or having online shoppers buy products off your online store is the number one priority. But the question really is how? Social media allows you to promote your business and brand on a regional and even a global scale.

There are many small businesses these days that don’t put a lot of emphasis on their websites, and instead have the main focus on Facebook and Twitter. The reason for this is that updates can be posted with a click of a button, photos of products can be shared, and a connection between the business and the customer are much easier established. Even before they click on the business’s website link for more information, or walk into that store, the customers already get a feel for how they’re going to be treated and know exactly what to expect when they step in the door.

Sharing pictures of what you sell, and exposing your company’s logo on social media helps spread the word throughout the social media platforms you’re marketing and advertising on. By posting what products are in your store, informing your customers that your store is having a sale, or showing what services your business provides all helps spread brand awareness to current and future customers and clientele.

Years ago, television ads and even YouTube were the more viral route to travel to expose a company’s brand. But with Instagram, a short fifteen second video with the right hashtags can have the same affect, and you didn’t waste time and money on production. Using all of the major social media platforms is the best way to get the full effect of social media marketing. Facebook can be used as a micro blog, Twitter can be the site that connects your business with current and future customers, Instagram is where photo’s and videos can be shared, and Pinterest allows you to post pictures of what you sell and direct the viewers to your online store or website.

The best part of social media however, is the fact that you can connect all social media platforms together, creating a web that all leads to your website or online store. That’s where social media in itself becomes a search engine such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing, but it’s your search engine, the one you built and created.

Until Facebook and Twitter become e-commerce sites, which has been discussed, social media should be primarily used as a brand awareness tool and marketing outlet that drives traffic to your site. Social media marketing indirectly boosts sales, as you’re informing the customer about what your business does along each social media platform. Don’t hesitate now, get started and promote your brand on social media. You’ve got to reach out to the customer and meet them at the halfway point to guide them to your business and online store.