Brad VanAuken

Marketing Careers

by Brad VanAuken

I am often asked by college students majoring in marketing about what types of marketing positions, paths and careers are open to them. Careers in marketing are myriad and often require very different skill sets. Without going into great detail about any one of them, here are just some of marketing positions and paths open […]

Common (And Not So Common) Brand Problems

by Brad VanAuken

As I was doing my research for an article that I am writing on brand problems, I realized that I had written much about common (and not so common) brand problems in this blog. So rather than write yet another post on this, I thought I would provide you with links to all of the […]

Brand Building Advertising

by Brad VanAuken

Advertising and other marketing campaigns can have many different objectives – for instance, increasing brand awareness, changing brand perceptions, increasing emotional connection with the customer, transforming customers into brand advocates, or driving sales.However, the key distinction I want to make is between brand building advertising and advertising that sells. The latter usually includes an offer […]

Brands as Social Status Signals

by Brad VanAuken

Most people feel more comfortable spending time with people with whom they have something in common. Often people can find like-minded others though organizational affiliation. Churches provide this function as do country clubs, alumni groups, political parties, hobby-relied organizations and civic organizations. But products also serve as identifiers of like-minded people. For instance, someone who […]

Most Popular Branding Strategy Source Posts By Year

by Brad VanAuken

As 2018 draws to a close, I thought I would feature the four most popular posts for each of the last five years:2018BrandForward’s Next Level Growth ProcessThe Importance of Colors in MarketingWhat Do People Need Most?Objectives and Strategies First, Please2017The Elements of Business and Marketing StrategyThe Quick Brand Health AssessmentNaming BrandsThe Exploding Use of Drones […]

Brands and Outsourced Sales

by Brad VanAuken

Every organization needs a sales function. If you do not have a sales function internally, you need to outsource that function to someone else. But know that sales is the first point of contact that your organization will have with potential customers. Those first customer contacts need to deliver against your brand’s promise and personality. If […]

Brand Aid

by Brad VanAuken

Brad VanAuken’s Brand Aid book has sold more than 30,000 copies, been translated into several languages and is used by several business schools to teach brand management and marketing. The substantially revised second edition of the book was published December 2014. Brand Aid is available at Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com. Here is what people have to say about this […]

Brand Messaging Today

by Brad VanAuken

At the beginning of my brand strategy consulting career, I talked a lot about relevant differentiated benefits. The benefits could be functional, emotional, experiential or self-expressive. This evolved to focusing on the non-tangible benefits (emotional, experiential or self-expressive) with the product functions or features serving as support or proof points. Now, I mostly focus on […]

Types of Research for Brands

by Brad VanAuken

I have spent the past 35 years conducting research on behalf of brands. Over that period of time, I have conducted hundreds of studies. In this blog post, I thought I would outline the types of research that you can conduct and the things you can learn from that research. One of a researcher’s most […]

Marketing Trends Today and Tomorrow

by Brad VanAuken

I am delivering a talk on the future of brand management and marketing next week. Things are changing so quickly in the marketing world that it is difficult for every marketer to keep up with all of the new approaches and techniques. While I do not have the space here to explain each one of […]

Ethics in Marketing

by Brad VanAuken

Ethics is not a topic that I hear marketers talking about very often, however it is something that I think about frequently because I understand the societal impact of what I do. Marketers can often drive human desires and behaviors, getting people to buy things that they may or may not need, making them feel […]

Brands and Tribalism

by Brad VanAuken

While many people consider tribalism to be a bygone adaptive effect in the evolution of human culture, many forms of tribalism exist today. Modern tribalism recognizes that humans feel more safe and comfortable in smaller groups of people with whom they share similar values. Tribes can also lead to a sense of belonging. And research has […]

Compulsive Naming Syndrome

by Brad VanAuken

Compulsive Naming Syndrome is more common than one might think. When I was at Hallmark, in part because we had more than seven hundred writers and artists and tens of thousands of skus, but not just because of that, people were creating named product lines, services, programs and promotions almost weekly. But Hallmark is not […]

Brands, Identity & Labels

by Brad VanAuken

In this era of increased tribalism, I thought it important to revisit the topic of personal identity and labels. There are many types of identities and labels that can be applied to an individual. They may be related to any or all of the following:GenderSexual orientationRaceNationalityCulturePolitical partyReligionProfessionAvocationPersonalityPassionsSocio-economic statusBody typeSchools attendedPlace of birthPlace of residenceFamilyIdentities, which […]

Twenty Research-Based Findings Regarding Brands

by Brad VanAuken

I have drawn these findings from a variety of research studies. Most are outlined in my Brand Aid book.The five drivers of customer brand insistence are awareness, relevant differentiation, value, accessibility and emotional connection.Brand familiarity and knowledge are the most important components of brand equity, leading to liking, acquisition, retention and profitability. A brand’s relevant differentiation is […]

The Relationship Between CMO and CIO

by Brad VanAuken

Because the brand is ultimately about the consumer experience, I have spoken about the cooperation that needs to happen between CMO and HR VP, but equally importantly in today’s digitized world, there needs to be a close working relationship between the CMO and the CIO.Consider the impact of the online banking software and its functionality […]

What Brand Equity Studies Can Reveal

by Brad VanAuken

I have conducted brand equity studies for hundreds of brands over the past twenty years. In doing so, I have identified some patterns that tend to occur throughout the studies, patterns that it would be helpful for brand managers to understand. Here are some of the insights from those studies:Brands often have lower unaided awareness […]

Customer Purchase Patterns

by Brad VanAuken

Do you fully understand your customers’ purchase patterns? Do you know how often they buy? Do you know what puts them in a ready state to buy? Do their purchases follow a regular pattern? Are they seasonal? Do you know what events or stimuli can trigger a purchase? Are their purchases  sensitive to pricing or […]

Market Segmentation

by Brad VanAuken

Market segmentation is often necessary to effectively meet the needs of different customer groups. Different segments will value different aspects of your products, services, and brands differently. You should have a good understanding of the following dimensions of each market segment:Its overall size and its growth rateIts price sensitivityThe benefits that are most and least […]