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thefresh

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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5 Tips for Effective Email Marketing Campaigns

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5 Tips for Effective Email Marketing Campaigns

Email marketing campaigns are a great way for brands to reach out to their target customer. They are a fast and cost-effective way of delivering content. With more brands turning to this method it is important to approach email marketing the right way otherwise your emails risk the chance of being blocked, deleted, or unsubscribed from.

The following tips help improve email marketing campaigns.

1. Target

Don’t spam! Segment your audience according to characteristics. This allows you to tailor the content of your email to certain customers. Instead of sending everything to everyone, your campaign lands in the inboxes of the customers who want to see it.

2. Strong Subject Lines

The subject line is the hook, it needs to entice the reader to click. Subjects need to be short to help leverage curiosity. Be sure to connect the subject line to the overall content of the email. Set up an expectation for the viewer and fulfill it.

3. Call to Action

Craft a call to action in each email. Display the offer and the end date clearly to promote a sense of urgency. The body of your email should draw your customer in and lead to your brand website.

4. Responsive Design

It is important for email marketing campaigns to look good on both web browsers and mobile device platforms. Responsive designs create a better experience for the viewer and optimize the effectiveness of your campaign.

5. Analytics

Focus on the conversions. Take advantage of email marketing tools offered through Hubspot, Mailchimp or Constant Contact to help track click to open rates. These platforms help your brand get the most out of your campaign as they track sales generated.

Email marketing campaigns can be a useful way to communicate and build relationships with customers, gather important analytics and increase ROI. These tips can help transform how your email marketing campaigns land with potential 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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How Microsites are Useful for Brands

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How Microsites are Useful for Brands

A microsite is separate from a company’s larger website and often focuses on one product. It provides specialized information without the clutter of a full website. Microsites can be used permanently or temporarily to promote a new product, launch a campaign or highlight a promotion.

Microsites are an exclusive space for the customer to interact with the product. The most effective microsites have focus by narrowing in on one product and providing quality information. They bring awareness to the product, create a call to action, and creatively use the opportunity to design an engaging interactive site for the user. Microsites provide flexibility and experimentation which can branch away from the restraints of the larger company’s website.

 

When crafting your microsite it is important to focus on the buyer persona. The site should cater to the personality and characteristics of the ideal customer. This means the content should be more about the customer than the product or services. Overall, microsites provide numerous benefits including:

Microsites are a versatile space for brands to provide a personalized experience for the ideal customer to engage with a product. Having a microsite creates an online community that centralizes the brand as a major source of quality information.

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6 Tips For Great Testimonial Videos

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6 Tips For Great Testimonial Videos

Testimonial videos are a great way to speak to your customer.  They highlight the benefits your company can bring to other brands and do this without bragging.  Making testimonial videos is a relevant and authentic way of reaching out to your customers, they resonate with past and potential clients.

There are several steps you can take to ensure you create strong testimonial videos that connect with the viewer:

1. Set Expectations

Figure out the schedule and answer the who, what, when, where and why. Reach out to potential customers who would be willing to take part in the video. Target customers who feel enthusiastic about their experience with the product or brand. Make sure to outline a vision for the look and feel of the video. 

2. To Script or Not To Script

Genuine conversation and expression means more to the viewer than robotic script. Before filming, share questions with your interviewees. Your questions should spotlight the benefits your brand and product provide for the customer. Before the camera starts recording take time to make each individual comfortable. Not everyone will react positively to being on camera!

 3. Take Your Time

Testimonial videos should be short, between 45-60 seconds long. However, they can be up to three minutes and still hold the viewer's attention. This does not mean that your interview is short. The more footage you gather the more important material you find. As the interviewee continues to speak to the camera they will adapt and get more comfortable. 

4. Keep It Simple

Within the time frame of the testimonial video, choose a few select benefits to highlight. Do not overwhelm the viewer. Consumers can only digest so many messages within three minutes.

 5. Visuals

When filming take some time to record b-roll.  B-roll includes product shots, simple text, a look at the community and the activity in and around the workspace. It’s an opportunity to show the viewer the product in action, what benefits it can deliver and the environment of the company.

 6. Structure

In editing, structure the videos to capture the viewer's attention right away. Deliver your message clearly and concisely. How can you edit your video to keep the viewers attention from the very beginning?

Customer testimonial videos provide your brand with a unique opportunity to build trust with potential clients and strengthen existing relationships. They are a great way to reveal to your customers the personal side of your brand and how it benefits your customers.


Additional Sources:

Wistia

 

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Personas vs. Cookies

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Personas vs. Cookies

 

Personas vs. Cookies

As a brand, there are several ways you strengthen your connection with customers. Customer personas versus cookies is a hot topic amongst brand strategists and digital marketers right now. Some businesses opt to rely on personas while others only trust cookies. Here at Minty Fresh Digital we wanted to break it down.


Personas

A persona is a fictional avatar of your ideal customer. Buyer personas are shaped out of research, surveys and interviews with the target audience. They are not broad; instead of targeting a general population personas are specific. They focus on quality over quantity. They zero-in on the characteristics of the ideal customer. Personas define the age, education level, income, location, goals, and challenges of the target customer. They outline their values, hobbies, which blogs they read, and how they get their news. Personas make clear how best to speak to the customer and and identify which of your products features and benefits are most compelling to them. With enough detail, personas allow the brand to view the product from the ideal customer's point of view.

Some argue that by focusing on a specific buyer persona you leave out or alienate possible customers. However, it is this specificity that also draws in and retains your ideal customer. Personas allow for consistency in marketing and an understanding of the customers wants and needs. Brands can use personas to build a reliable strategy to connect deeply to their ideal customer.

Cookies

Cookies are small text files placed on a user’s computers. They are used by websites to gather information about the user. Essentially, cookies are responsible for delivering a personalized experience.

For example, Amazon personalizes each customer's shopping experience with the use of first-party cookies. These cookies track what you buy and allow the site to suggest other options that may interest the customer. Third-party cookies track browsing habits across several websites. They allow for a customized browsing experience based on a customer's past behavior and help automate dynamic advertising units like dynamic banners.

Although some object to the use of cookies, believing they invade privacy, Hubspot actually found that personalized content performs 42% better than standard content. Cookies report and store hard data that internet marketers and advertisers can use to customize the user experience.

Personas and cookies are indeed different animals, but they share one important commonality. They are both proven to boost ROI by personalizing the online shopping experience through the magic of predictive and behavioral marketing. It is up to your brand to decide what is best for your product.


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8 Blogging Tips: What Brands Need to Know

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8 Blogging Tips: What Brands Need to Know

Building online content as a brand is a strong way to connect with customers. Blogging is a new part of our brand strategy, but it is already paying off. The following tips are important for brands that plan to enter, or have already entered the blogosphere:

1. Capture Email Addresses

It’s all about the list. At the end of each blog post, include an option for readers to subscribe to receive updates when there are new posts. Every time you publish a new blog post, copy/paste your most compelling fact, statistic or paragraph into an email with a link to the full article. This is a great way to increase your website traffic and email marketing is one of the best ways to grow your audience and retain readers.

2. Attend Conferences and Meetups

Become an active member of your business community. Discover what is trending and engage with like minded individuals. Conferences and Meetups provide a space for conversations that cannot and will not transpire in a digital forum.  Live events allow you to network and further your industry acumen.  Live events provide learning opportunities, ideas for your next blog post and foster lasting relationships.

3. Repurpose

Just because it is old, does not mean it isn’t still relevant. Repurpose previous content into infographics, videos or presentations. Show your readers how the content you publish is still valuable.

4. Write Often

Write at least twice a week. Publishing posts regularly transforms your blog into a hotspot for new information. It trains your readers into expecting new content from you. They will check out your site more often.

5. Less is More

The shorter the better. Blogs are effective when they are instructive and to the point. When writing a post consider writing shorter sentences and paragraphs. Edit posts to reduce the clutter.  Instead of a 500 word post reduce a post to 350 words to cut the fluff. Some may argue that long copy post (1500 words or more) rank better in Google. They do. But, writing two 1500 articles per week is not a realistic goal for most.

6. Optimize!

Incorporate keywords. After you have produced a number of posts track what posts are doing best. Invest time into Google keyword generator. Use those keywords in posts as well as headings.

7. Get Social

Post to all social media accounts. Use each account to show off different aspects of your brand. On LinkedIn, you want to be all about business, share posts that are professionally oriented. On Facebook, show a little of your personality and keep it light. On Twitter, shine the spotlight on your blog. If you want to reach the millennial audience your brand should also be on Instagram and Snapchat.

8. Don’t Give Up

There is a misconception that by simply creating a blog you will automatically attract thousands of viewers which will then lead to increased revenue far beyond expectation. In reality, blogging takes time. It takes persistence and patience to build a substantial following. With each new post, your brand voice will gain resonance, depth and distinction. Focus on your actions (writing 2 blog posts and publishing it on 4 different platforms every week), instead of comments, likes, retweets and shares.

Building a popular blog with a large readership takes time. If you use these tips and stay the course, your brand will reap the benefits of blogging.


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Millennial Women Series: Change It Up

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Millennial Women Series: Change It Up

The last of our 5-part series focusing on the Millennial woman. Today’s feature: Change or Staying Relevant.


Millennials are ushering in a wave of change — a change which should affect the tactics and techniques used in digital marketing today. This change is seen in the high diversity present in this generation. Within the Millennial Generation alone the US Chamber Foundation reports that 60% of 18 – 29 year olds classify as non-Hispanic white. There is a record low of whites, with 19% Hispanic, 14% black, 4% Asian, and 3% of mixed race or other. Minorities are becoming more and more represented.

Within this diverse generation, Millennials are revolutionizing everything. Past expectations and stereotypes are being questioned. According to NPR, 34% of 25 to 34 year olds are waiting longer to get married. 38% have between one and six tattoos while 23% have a piercing in some place other than their earlobe.

Millennial women are a large part of this change and revolutionary lifestyle. Gender roles are being criticised and challenged. Millennial women are more career-oriented, educated and ethnically diverse than previous generations. They are pursuing independence like never before and forging new paths for the next generation

Brands must reflect the diversity that is so highly revered by Millennial women. This includes (but is not limited to) race, gender identity, sexual orientation, family makeup, body type, and cultural background. As we mentioned in our recent blog post (Millennial Women Series: Getting More Personal) this generation of women appreciates the personal connection.

ModCloth does a great job of connecting with female Millennials and honoring their diversity.  

In recent campaigns ModCloth has used actual customers as well as their employees to model their products. They have even taken a pledge promising not to photoshop their models. This marketing tactic is authentic. By using a diverse range of models and promising not to alter their bodies, Modcloth gives each customer more of a reason to connect with the brand.

Marketers should not only be considering the eclectic nature of the entire Millennial Generation, but specifically Millennial Women. Including their revolutionary perspective in brand strategy, could strengthen the bond between brand and consumer. These women are a force to be reckoned with, we shouldn’t be surprised as they create more change.

 

 

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Millennial Women Series: Find the Funny Bone

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Millennial Women Series: Find the Funny Bone

Continuing our 5-part series focusing on the Millennial woman. Today's feature: "Humor"


Women are a large segment of the Millennial generation; they’re highly diverse and challenging traditional marketing methods. One interesting way they have affected branding already is with the inclusion of both socially conscious and female-centric humor in marketing.

This is a generation that grew up watching the comedy of Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Kristen Wiig. Actresses like Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Schumer join this genre of comic.

These types of performers manage to successfully talk about social and day-to day issues from an honest female perspective while living as a celebrity/idol. Being honest requires one to be vulnerable, and to be vulnerable is fearless. Millennial women are inspired by this type of genuine strength. The off-beat humor isn’t mean-spirited and relates to the actual experiences of Millennial females.

Relating a brand to humor is a clever marketing tactic and it's memorable. This is the cycle:

  1. As the customer laughs they are reminded of the brand

  2. The next time the customer sees that respective brand’s ads, a positive association with the brand is achieved. Through humor.

  3. Humor, humanizes. It builds rapport, makes brands more memorable and increases consumer-brand affinity.

A couple of ads demonstrate this tactic by successfully associating their brand with one of the comics these Millennial women look up to:

Relatability. Relevance. Realness. These are the reasons why brands choose to work with these types of female performers. Contemporary female comedians, tap into the authentic narrative of a Millennial woman. As illustrated in the cycle above, brands can leverage this gateway to strengthen their positioning. As a large portion of the Millennial generation, the female perspective is highly important to consider for brands approaching marketing. The female voice is getting stronger in marketing, humor is one way to reach this defiant crowd.

 

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