Brad VanAuken

39 Marketing Tactics That Work – Part 1

by Brad VanAuken

ADVERTISING is usually the most important element in any brand marketing plan, but many companies are finding that other approaches are also effective. Some have pursued these approaches out of necessity, being unable to support national advertising campaigns, while others are just more innovative than most in developing their marketing repertoires.Following are some examples of nontraditional […]

Using 1-800 Numbers in Marketing Campaigns

by Brad VanAuken

Have you heard of the J. G. Wentworth brand? You might have if you need cash now (or even if you don’t). The brand’s television commercials featuring its operatic jingle are difficult to forget, especially the jingle’s refrain of “Call J. G. Wentworth 877-CASH-NOW.” Click here to view the latest J. G. Wentworth television ad. […]

Targeting Children to Create Early Brand Loyalty

by Brad VanAuken

Studies have shown that children are expressing brand awareness as early as age two and that the average three year old in the US can recognize 100 different brands. Young children cannot distinguish between fact and fantasy so many consumer packaged goods companies target children when they are most susceptible to marketing messages. In fact, many […]

Brands – The Broad View or the Narrow View

by Brad VanAuken

I tend to think about brands in the broadest terms, but others view brands in narrower terms. When someone talks about a brand others may or may not have the same understanding of what that person means. And when someone says he or she is a brand consultant, that person may mean it in the […]

Timeshare & Resource Sharing Brands

by Brad VanAuken

I remember thinking that timesharing and resource sharing would eventually hit every industry back in the mid to late 1980s when I was responsible for new product development at Hallmark. It was a trend that I thought would explode due to the more efficient sharing of resources. Back then, timesharing mostly applied to vacation rentals. […]

Customer Journey Mapping

by Brad VanAuken

I have witnessed dozens of approaches to customer journey mapping leading to dozens of different types of customer journey maps. They all have one thing in common – they attempt to map the customer journey. Many approaches overlay the purchase decision hierarchy: awareness -> consideration -> preference -> purchase -> repeat purchase -> loyalty -> […]

Common Brand Problems

by Brad VanAuken

Over the past twenty years, I have helped more than 200 brands in a wide variety of product and service categories. Here are the most common problems that brands seem to encounter.A disruptive technology has made the brand’s core product obsolete. Example: Kodak.The brand’s level of service and product innovation has not kept up with […]

Politics, Brands & Research

by Brad VanAuken

Some politicians intuitively know what to say to motivate voters. However, there is generally much more science to creating political brand messaging than the average person might suspect. For instance, the first step would be to identify a voter segmentation scheme. And it should be substantially more nuanced than Democratic, Republican, Independent, Liberal and Conservative. […]

Brands and Rituals

by Brad VanAuken

For most people, the mention of a ritual conjures up images of religious or even occult ceremonies. It might include robes, chanting, incense and even perhaps sacrifices upon an alter. But a more universal definition of ritual is something done in accordance with social custom or normal protocol. So all of the following might fall under […]

Bayer Acquires & Abandons Monsanto Brand

by Brad VanAuken

On June 7, Bayer officially acquired the Monsanto brand for $66 billion. Bayer remains the company name and Monsanto has disappeared as a brand. The acquired products are retaining their brand names and have become part of the Bayer portfolio. The Monsanto brand had become significantly tarnished in the minds of the general public for its […]

Branding Municipalities

by Brad VanAuken

I am a keen observer of place branding and I have been privileged to help several places brand themselves. Here are some of my observations regarding municipality branding: Most places do a terrible job of branding themselves. There are many contributing factors. Many places do not have ample budgets to include rigorous research in their branding […]

The Tesla Brand

by Brad VanAuken

Tesla is a wildly popular brand. Today, it’s stock is up 1.98%, trading at $351.60 per share despite continuing to return an earnings per share loss. So what is behind such a successful brand? First, there is Elon Musk, a highly successful serial entrepreneur. He cofounded Zip2, which was acquired by Compaq for $340 million and […]

Twenty-Two Brand Management & Marketing Posts

by Brad VanAuken

Here is an eclectic mix of twenty-two past brand management & marketing posts:The Twelve Key Elements of MarketingThe Elements of Business and Marketing StrategyIndustry Game ChangersBrand Management TodayLeading-Edge Brand Management and MarketingPurchase Patterns of Wealthy HouseholdsTwenty Brand Management TipsThe Importance of Colors in MarketingWhat Do People Want?Basic Human Needs and Branding50 Growth StrategiesBrandForward’s Next Level […]

Marketing to Satiated Consumers

by Brad VanAuken

I have a birthday coming up. My wife asked me what I wanted for my birthday. I said,”nothing” and I meant it. Why? I just bought a new Tesla for myself and we are in the middle of a master bathroom remodel. We have spent enough money for the year as far as I am […]

Brand Identity Elements

by Brad VanAuken

When most people speak about brand identity, they are speaking about the brand’s visual identity. I will cover all of the components of a visual identity system later in this blog post. But first let’s define brand identity. A brand’s identity system is comprised of all the visual, auditory, kinesthetic, olfactory and gustatory elements that […]

Mastering the Art of Brand Engagement

by Brad VanAuken

Brands that engage their audiences grow and thrive. Brands that don’t survive or gradually wither away. So, what are the key elements of engaging brands?Establish compelling mission, vision and values.Build internal consensus and alignment around the mission, vision and values.Embrace 360 degree engagement of all employees, strategic partners, vendors, customers, volunteers, members, board members, etc. […]

Is Your Brand Still Relevant?

by Brad VanAuken

When talking about brands, brand managers often mention relevant differentiation but a less talked about topic is brand relevance. What happens when your brand is no longer relevant to its target customers? What happens when it is decreasingly relevant to any customer? What are the signs that your brand is losing relevance?If you are a […]

Brand Leadership

by Brad VanAuken

Unfortunately, there are too few true leaders in this world. Authentic leaders, not just people assigned to leadership roles, possess a number of unique qualities. They are visionary, charismatic, introspective, compassionate, decisive, and above all, inspiring. They tend to be self-aware and curious. They care about people and enjoy lifelong learning. And often, they embody […]

Identifying Riding Lawn Mower Brands by Color

by Brad VanAuken

I live in a town in which the minimum acreage per residential parcel is 3 acres. However, many of my neighbors have 30 acres or more. People live in this exurban location because they like its rural character. Many people fancy themselves as gentlemen farmers and some have horses and chickens and even llamas and […]

Fast Food and the Customer Experience

by Brad VanAuken

McDonald’s recently created a marketing campaign promoting its new customer service including mobile ordering, customer touch screens and table service. Panera Bread has been using customer touch screens for awhile now. Wendy’s has upped its game with very friendly and efficient staff who always greet customers and help them however they can. My local Boston […]