Insights

DRINK IT IN #3

Howdy friends, time to DRINK IT IN.

Today will be all about branding – how to develop your brand, how to market your brand, and how to RE-develop your brand when the time comes. I think I’ve found a few things ya’ll might find interesting to mull over while we start the weekend. Let’s take a look, shall we?

First, TIME.com came out with a short spotlight piece on QuadJobs – an online service that connects college and graduate students to potential employers based on location. Gathering from their success, the article boils down their effective brand strategy into 5 basic tips:

 

1. Be patient. Building a brand takes time, and it takes research. A lot of it comes down to finding out what works and what doesn’t. Your first priority should be clarity. Your second should be responsiveness. Get on the ground. Are people are digging it? If not, scrap it and move on.

2. Again, get on the ground. Talk to your potential customers, understand your target market, and find out their needs. For QuadJobs, they knew they had to focus on recent graduates (duh). So they held focus group sessions to “make sure the value proposition was clear.” Focus groups are handy. But when those are off the table, take to social media as a substitute.

3. Keep it simple. That’s it.

4. Be sure you know how to connect with your audience. Emotional appeal is huge. Keep in mind that your product is the most important thing you’re selling (again, duh), but emotional appeal explains why your potential customers need it. Let’s be real, we’ve all cried at commercials before. Have you ever seen the Budweiser puppies?

5. Finally, and in my opinion, the most important tip, is to stay flexible. Trends change quickly in the information age. Like I said constantly check what parts of your branding and marketing plan is responsive, but keep in mind that you have to be responsive. Like it or not, your customers will tell you where you need to go. It’s best to listen to them.

Whew, that was long. MOVING ON!

 

Continuing on this train of thought, Let’s look at an example of effective rebranding:

The video streaming service Hulu announced this week that it will drop the “Plus” off the name of its premium subscription service. Simply going from “Hulu Plus” to “Hulu.”

Riveting.

But this is a pretty good example of how nuanced effective branding can be. The company has confirmed that the move doesn’t signify any big changes. It’s just a marketing move based on consumer research and analysis. They just want to make their brand slightly less confusing.

This goes back what was mentioned in the QuadJobs article – both on keeping it simple and being flexible. Sometimes they mean the same thing. It seems to be going well for Hulu anyway – they currently have nine million subscribers, and saw 50% growth in premium subscriptions last year. When growing quickly, keeping it light seems to work out.

—Plus, Seinfeld will start streaming on the service next week. I don’t expect to see the sun for a few days.

 

 

One last thing.

This happened yesterday: the NFC South got into a Twitter war over a Mean Girls reference. Good branding? Probably not. But still pretty funny. Check out the whole thing here.

 

 

Okay we’re done.