Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Trailblazing Brands...1

There are plenty of good brands, smart business owners, and savvy marketers that are both risk-averse and successful. They follow trends, do their research, and identify good opportunities to capitalize on.

Then there are the trailblazers. The ones that identify trends before mainstream adoption, or heck, just create the trends themselves. The result? They're more than just successful. They redefine their industry -- sometimes even national or international discourse -- and of course, make a pretty penny from their foresight.


Believe it or not, diamonds were not always associated with love. In the late 30s expensive diamonds weren't popular in the United States -- not surprising, considering the economy. They were sold in Europe, but not as engagement rings. And when the United States did sell diamonds as engagement rings, they were smaller and of poor quality.

DeBeers decided to change all this. They launched an ad campaign designed to convince men that the size of a diamond in an engagement ring showed how much they loved their fiancé. They also showed movie stars wearing lavish, expensive diamonds in new movies, further convincing America that diamonds demonstrated love. Finally, in 1947, DeBeers coined the phrase, "A diamond is forever." The sale of diamonds in the United States increased by 55%.

To this date, the slogan "a diamond is forever" still lives on and is, at this point, just a part of popular culture. (Any James Bond fans out there?) DeBeers' campaign to convince America to associate diamonds with love and engagement also lives on, as we still see the emphasis on larger diamonds on engagement rings -- just the first step in an ever-burgeoning wedding industry. The campaign may have been decades ago, but DeBeers' impact is still seen in advertising for diamonds today, and the attitude toward diamonds today.

source : Hubspot blog

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Social Engagement - It's Relationship that Matters..

In Social Media Engagement isn’t hard, or so it is thought! – “anybody can engage… use cute cat videos”. However, the prerequisite for sustained engagement over a long time is a relationship.
Strong relationships need lots of time and attention, something that the modern customer is unlikely to have – particularly for brands. People have finite time and attention for relationships, and by their very nature, relationships with brands are always weaker than interpersonal relationships with people.
So how can brands build stronger relationships with customers?
  • Time – Time together with a person increases tie strength. But if the desire to spend time together isn’t mutual it can turn to hate! So the key is to know when the customer wants to spend time with you and then be there for them at those times.
  • Intensity – Customer intensity is always lower for brands than for friends. But you can appeal to greater causes that customers may have strong emotions about, such as the environment… But don’t try too hard in this area and don’t be fake about it because it will backfire.
  • Trust – Social media can really help brands develop trust. Trust is essentially how transparent you are. The more transparent you are, the more trust you can build. There are two types of transparency: brand-customer transparency (letting customers know what is happening at your organisation via blogs, etc) and customer-customer transparency (customers want to know what other customers think of the brand, i.e. through community discussion forums). While transparency is one way of building trust, there is another approach: co-creation. People trust themselves, so they tend to trust brands that co-create with them. There are two types of co-creation: passive co-creation (brands are listening and collecting information from customers and then quietly implementing the ideas) and active (actively going out to crowdsource ideation).
  • Reciprocity – Make it easy for customers to help each other and reward them properly and serve them right. Co-creation also builds reciprocity as it’s all about the customer telling the brand what they want and then the brand building it. The key is not to forget to let your customer help you, as it is good for both of you.
Ultimately, customer communities are ideal platforms for building relationships with customers. 
“They are opt-in, so they are there for the customer if they want it but they won’t bug you,” explained Wu. “It may have a greater cause. They are a transparent channel. They are platforms for co-creation. It also enables reciprocity. And that means that it helps your brand to build the four pillars of customer relationships.”
With the social customer, it is not enough to just monetise them. If you only focus on monetisation, you will miss engagement – and then you’ll only be able to monetise them once and that is it. You need to focus on the entire journey – the journey to the transaction point, and after that transaction point.

source: Going through the gears: How to ensure your social strategy is sustainable