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Desmond Croan

How to Identify the True Equities of your Brand

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How to Identify the True Equities of your Brand

It is important to know your true equities as a brand. It strengthens the brand and customer relationship and identifies the individual characteristics that make your brand unique. Begin this process by identifying what makes your brand recognizable, memorable and distinctive.


Recognizable

Identify what makes your brand recognizable. The more recognizable, the more trust can develop between brand and consumer. When customers recognize a name they are more likely to reach for that product. Get your name out there. Advertising and publicity should reinforce brand voice.

Memorable

Continue on to make your brand memorable. It is important for buyers to associate your brand as the top choice. Consumers base decisions on price and past experience with a brand. Build a quality emotional and functional value for your product.

Distinctive

Determine your brand promise and how it answers to the customer. Appeal to the personality of your ideal consumer and craft your promise accordingly. Customers respond to a strong brand identity. The more distinctive and unique the more you relate to your ideal customer

By identifying the true equities of your brand you determine what value you bring to your customers. It helps you to answer: Who are you as a brand? What your brand story is? What strengths your brand has? and What your relationship to your customers?

 

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Millennials: The Hard Workers and The Savers

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Millennials: The Hard Workers and The Savers

Millennials have been accused of being the laziest generation yet. They are labeled narcissistic, impatient, entitled and disrespectful. Although many believe this, the statistics say otherwise.

According to the Pew Research Center one in three American workers today are Millennials. This year, the Millennial Generation surpassed Generation X as the largest share of the American workforce. This proves that young people are focused and hardworking.

Not only do Millennials work hard they also save hard. They are leading a new era of financial conservatism. Millennials are confident about their ability to save and diligent about their budgets. 56 percent of Millennials believe they are “good savers” and many rely heavily on banking and financial apps to help do so. They have turned to their phones to aid them in tracking their spending.

The accusations of laziness and labels of narcissism are nothing new. Each generation before has faced similar claims, the only difference is that the Millennial Generation is actually evolving. They have adapted and learned how to cope with debt and they are preparing for a better future much earlier on.


As a brand, it can be difficult to reach a generation that is unwilling to spend. On The Fresh we have explored how to craft a campaign that appeals to Millennial Women and the African American Millennial Man. Although specific, this background knowledge can help your brand become a staple to the Millennial Generation. The hard workers and savers will view your brand as worth investing in every time.

 

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Marketing to the African American Millennial Man

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Marketing to the African American Millennial Man

We have learned a lot about the Millennial Generation on The Fresh with our recent series on Millennial women but we thought it would be beneficial to dive even further into sub-sections within the Millennial Generation.


As we have explored before in our blog Change It Up, the Millennial Generation is incredibly diverse. They have become one of the most ethnically diverse generations in the United States. Specifically, the African American population has grown 64 percent faster than the rest of the country since 2010. They are the third largest ethnic group of the Millennial Generation, occupying 13 percent of the population.

As a brand it is important to incorporate this information when marketing and to not homogenize Millennials. When targeting African American Millennial men there are a few things to keep in mind:

Inclusivity

38 percent of African Americans feel underrepresented in media and twenty five percent feel that many advertisements targeted towards them are offensive. Research has shown that African American consumers tend to respond more favorably to ads that feature an African American cast compared to ads featuring a non-African American cast. This means that when you're marketing, manipulate campaigns to reflect diversity and avoid falling into stereotypes.

Social Media

African American Millennial men are avid social media users. They are reported as being the most intense users of the internet based on time and frequency. More than any other Millennial of ethnic background, African American men use social media to research and purchase the best product for the best price. When targeting African American men consider emphasizing online campaigns.

Mobile

Interestingly, African American men are 78.4 percent more likely to own an Android over an iOS device. Overall, smartphone and tablet use is very high at 90.9 percent. This sub-section of the Millennial Generation is highly invested in their phones. Interactive and easy to navigate mobile websites are a must.

After engaging with a product, African American Millennial men have significant brand loyalty. By including some of these tips and reminders, your brand can connect more closely with this important sub-section of the Millennial Generation and possibly have a lifetime consumer

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Marketing at the Speed of the Consumer

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Marketing at the Speed of the Consumer

As a brand, it is important to keep up to speed with your consumer. We have discussed this concept as it relates to social media on The Fresh before.  Our blog, The Millennials’ Most Significant Relationship: Social Media, covered what millennial women are looking for when they engage with social media.  This is just one facet of the increasing speed of marketing.

Consumers are plugged in. They are continually connected and constantly influenced. Social networks have evolved to be more interactive and multi directional. Online networking can now mimic real time communication. As a brand you must operate at this level.

All channels have increased speed.  Results are expected faster, judgements are made more quickly and demands for growth have increased. The online community can build up or kill a new product over night. New knowledge is expanding. In the mid-20th Century knowledge doubled every 50 years and in 2010 new knowledge doubled every 11 hours. Today, new knowledge most likely doubled since you woke up this morning. New information is churning out at a volume and speed that makes it difficult for brands to secure themselves in the market place. Operating at the speed of your consumer can help you stay at the forefront of this tidal wave of new knowledge.

There are several things brands can do to keep up with the consumer:

  • Leverage big data and analytics. Research and know what your customers are engaging with. Applying this data leads to faster and better responses to overall business challenges.

  • Aim for immediate satisfaction. This includes offers such as same day delivery, and instant downloads.

  • Respond. Customers need attention throughout the customer journey, no matter what stage they are in.

  • Utilize the cloud. The infinite space and flexible structure will be useful as the volume of data increases.

Brands need to launch, learn, and improve faster. By staying up to speed with the consumer, brands will eventually be able to predict what the consumer wants even before they know they want it.


Additional Sources:

Customer Think

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Millennial Women Series: Getting More Personal

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Millennial Women Series: Getting More Personal

Over the next couple weeks, we’re launching a 5-part series of blogs focused on the Millennial woman. Today’s feature: Getting More Personal.


Millennial women are revolutionaries. Demanding change and forging new paths for younger women coming after them, Millennial women are inspiring change. Whether or not this affects marketing is not a question. These women expect to be treated as individuals and that includes how marketers and brands speak to them. There are several ways brands can get more personal with Millennial female customers to make them feel valued and take action.

Treat Them Special

Go beyond simply ‘liking’ or commenting back. Giving a little attention goes a long way.  Creating loyalty programs, recognition events, special access to sales and promotional events allows a personal relationship to develop between the brand and Millennial woman. Simply appreciating anyone builds trust. In this case it also leads to increased ROI.

One Size Does Not Fit All

Millennial women want to engage with a brand that they can relate to and see themselves. Companies like Primark do this well.  Primania is an online fashion playground for their customers to post, share and get inspiration from. This site shows a range of individuals who engage with the brand, mainly by taking selfies. It allows old and new customers to picture themselves in the products with more of a sense of reality. These women look just like the customer, they are relatable. Instead of forcing women to believe they have to look a certain way in order to participate, brands can be inclusive, showing that Millennial women of all types are welcome to interact with and benefit from the brand. Do this.

Target

What better way to personalize than to use sophisticated websites that analyze cookie data and self-service platforms? Using this information actually helps to connect with Millennial women. This group desires to be seen as unique and authentic. The information these platforms provide allows that to develop. Personalized advertising will grow in importance for this generation as they continue to be the earliest adopters of new technology.

As the buying power of Millennials increases, brands must respect that members of this generation expect to be treated as individuals. Go get personal.


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Marketing to the Millennial Woman

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Marketing to the Millennial Woman

When it comes to Millennial women, fact, anecdote, experience and conjecture all play a role in outlining what brands can do to engage better with this subsection. In this article, we combine facts, research, the experiences of women in this category who work with us, like Courtney, and our experiences with brands who have succeeded in building great relationships with this audience.  The following insights are based off of this mix. The comments below are our top tips to help brands build better relationships with Millennial women. 


Get Personal
Women, more than any other subsection in Millennials want to feel that the brand they invest in understands them.  This means that brands need to do their homework. Track and note what social media conversations focus on and pay attention to trends that Millennial women are excited about. Sending personalized emails benefits, too.

Amazon is a great example. They do an incredible job of staying in touch with their consumer by sending emails with recommendations based on last purchased. This is getting personal without being creepy.
 
#HashtagIt
Hashtags create a pocket for people to find one another and connect in. With hashtags, brands can create an online community the consumer can easily associate with.  

Urban Outfitters created an entire website dedicated to their community. The site, UO Community, is a curation of uploaded Instagram photos and pictures hashtagged #UOonYOU.  It gives inspiration to those looking at the site and neatly packages the overall aesthetic of Urban Outfitters markets.
 
For God’s Sake, Have Some Values
Align with a cause or charity but only if it is authentic.  Millennials are known for their idealism.  Companies like Toms that have capitalized on the buy a pair give a pair model are successful among Millennials because they associate themselves with a larger cause and appeal to their values. It’s about making the brand or product larger than itself and asking how it can be seen as a movement.
 
Be Funny
This is a generation of women are growing up with strong and hilarious female leaders. Millennial women look up to Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Jennifer Lawrence, Kristen Wiig, and Amy Schumer--celebrities who are reinventing comedy with a feminist twist.  

Lastly, remember to keep on your toes.  This generation of Millennial women are groundbreakers.  More than ever before, stereotypes and previously crafted expectations are being broken and revolutionized.

That’s it. Well, almost it. Courtney, nice work of helping us pull this together. Thanks for your research, positioning, and writing. But most importantly, thanks for your honesty, insights and willingness to give a part of yourself to help others see what’s effective in marketing. And thank you, reader, for taking the time to find us on #theFRESH. 

We’d be happy to share more of our insights around this audience. Connect with us today.  

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The Millennials' Most Significant Relationship: Social Media

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The Millennials' Most Significant Relationship: Social Media

Millennials are challenging the status quo within marketing and advertising--forcing new tactics within the industry. There has been so much reported, researched and written about the habits of this generation. But one thing stands out: the significant adoption of social media into their lives.


Millennials barely watch television but sleep with a mobile under their pillows. For them, the mobile device is an extension of the body, mind, mouth and heart.  Socializing and connecting is in the palm of their hand. Whether it is through Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr or Yelp--starting a conversation has never been more instant. These social media sites allow millennials to like, hashtag, repost and share content.  They are given the freedom to create their own online archive. 

But what aesthetics are millennials actually looking for in social media? Here's what our research and work tells us:

  • Mobile content
  • Consistent themes, both written and visually
  • Clear and accurate content that is impartial
  • Various viewpoints and recognizable names
  • High quality videos and photos
  • Brands with a sense of community
  • Interactive platforms

These qualities attract Millennials. They help to deliver concise, digestible messages and create a personal experience online. When crafting any content, to engage your millennial audience it helps to keep the following in mind:

  • Reveal the human side of your company
  • Write short status updates (recommended under 100 characters)
  • Respond to each comment or post on your page promptly
  • Produce content that is relevant to your audience/followers (know who they are)

Brands need to act like Millennials to attract them. In doing so, brands reduce the distance from themselves to their customers. That gap is now replaced with a personal connection the customer feels towards the brand.

Questions? Give us a buzz or send us an email. We’d love to discuss our insights and what’s worked for us. 

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What We Can Learn From Millennial Behaviors in the Alcohol Market

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What We Can Learn From Millennial Behaviors in the Alcohol Market

Millennials have changed the drinking culture. Alcohol brands have four generations to consider; the Greatest Generation (68+), the Baby Boomers (49-67), Generation X (37-48), and the youngest, the Millennials. In this article we look at alcohol preferences of Millennials to outline behavioral patterns of this group that can be applied across industries.  


Social Is Important:
Drinking alcohol is much more of a social activity than with any other generation. Millennials associate drinking with outdoor activities and holiday occasions while older generations think of drinking as something to do alone. And why wouldn’t they? Being social is a fundamental behavioral trait for people age. It’s also mirrors the digital experience Millennials have today. 

Authentic Identity and Storytelling Are Critical:
Millennials look for more authentic and flavorful experiences with their alcohol. They prefer to support brands they feel could make a difference in their own lives. What they choose to drink, is an extension of their identities. “Traditional American” beers, like Budweiser, are seen as bland so they choose craft beers, like San Francisco’s own Anchor Steam. Craft beer brands have found success by creating niche stories and designs that connect authentically. This type of experience has become the standard of trustworthy marketing to Millennial audiences. Simply put, Millennials are receptive to this flavor of content campaigning. 

Event Marketing and Blogs Rule:
When it comes to alcohol, Millennials respond best to in-person events and online blogs. Traditional marketing can be seen as untrustworthy and unnecessary. They take pride in finding a brand they love and discovering it on their own.

Brands from all industries can learn a lot from these preferences when it comes to connecting with Millennials. Baseline opportunities: 

  • Provide opportunities for the consumer to engage with and get-to-know the personality and values of your brand.
  • Align with the storytelling, authentic and adventurous spirit of millennials (How does your brand act as an extension of their respective identities?)
  • Create unique environments for to connect with your brand on a human level, whether it’s in person or online. 

If you’d like more information about how to better connect with Millennials, contact us.  We’d love to discuss how we can help you with your goals. 

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Welcome to The Fresh: A Message from the CEO

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Welcome to The Fresh: A Message from the CEO

Welcome to our new blog, The Fresh

We're excited to share our most recent work, insights and stories, as well as those of our clients, friends and industry influencers. 

2015 has been a remarkable year for us. As a small, nimble marketing agency, we've had the privilege of working with amazing brands on strategic initiatives and creative output, like FICO, SephoraJamba Juice, and Maersk, and up-and-comers who have blossomed into industry leaders, such as, DocuSign, Pure Storage and ClearSlide to name a few. We're also very excited about our new partnership with KITE--that helps brands partner with the best emerging innovation companies.

WHAT WE DO & WHY IT WORKS

To our new friends and acquaintances, we are masters of video production, branding, content strategy, design, copywriting, and other marketing components. We cover A-Z for marketing support, design and strategy, in-house, on time and on budget. With a vast experience in working with big brands and helping small brands to emerge into "something great", we pride ourselves on two things:  

  1. Our Process:  Our process involves collaborative work-sessions, open communication and development. We work with you to truly understand what matters and why, to pinpoint what really moves your audience. This empowers us to create a strong, singular brand, and content that’s sharp and effective.
  2. Storytelling: Storytelling is the fundamental way that human beings communicate. It's what sparks emotion, love, passion. This carryover is especially important for brands who want to connect with their customers and potential customers. We’re focused on storytelling in everything we do. Customers love, embrace and respect brands that they can connect with on an emotional level. Whether it’s design, video, UX, copywriting, content strategy, brand or anything else, we start with a storytelling approach. 

WE'D LIKE TO DO MORE WITH YOU

As we approach the holiday seasons, connecting with target audiences is even more valuable. We're ready, willing and able to engage with you, starting with a conversation about how we can help you achieve your goals. We look at our clients as our friends and partners, and we'd love to develop our relationship with you. Our phones are always on and email is never down, so reach out to us!

Best Regards,

Desmond Croan, CEO of Minty Fresh Digital

 

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