Brad VanAuken

50 Growth Strategies

by Brad VanAuken

Most every organization intends to grow. In fact, if an organization doesn’t continue to grow it generally must do the opposite because costs continue to increase whether the organization grows or not and it is difficult to continually pass the cost increases on customers without eventually experiencing decreases in unit sales.    The ways in which […]

Objectives and Strategies First, Please

by Brad VanAuken

At a recent marketing committee meeting for a local not-for-profit organization, we immediately dove into what to do regarding a number of marketing tactics from website, newsletter and Facebook page to brochures, videos and member database. The intent was to prioritize the tactics as a part of the organization’s marketing plan. The problem was not […]

The Importance of Colors In Marketing

by Brad VanAuken

Color is one of the most important considerations in your brand identity system, as colors have a significant impact on people’s emotional state. They also have been shown to impact people’s ability to concentrate and learn, as well as a host of other psychological associations. For instance:Non-primary colors are more calming than primary colors.Blue is […]

What Do People Need Most?

by Brad VanAuken

People with plenty of money often do not have a lot of time, while people with a lot of time frequently do not have a lot of money. And many people do not have enough of either. It is the lucky few who have plenty of time and money. Time and money are the scarce resources […]

The Elements of Business and Marketing Strategy

by Brad VanAuken

The terms “business strategy” and “marketing strategy” are used a lot, which begs the question, “What are the components of these strategies?” Here are some of the strategic questions that businesses should be asking.BUSINESS STRATEGYWhat is our mission?What is our vision?What are our values?Who will we serve?What is the most advantageous business model for us?What […]

The Exploding Use of Drones in Marketing

by Brad VanAuken

According to Gartner, the drone market grew 36% to 2.2 million in unit sales and $4.5 billion in revenues worldwide in 2016. But according to the Consumer Technology Association, 2.4 million personal drones were sold in the US alone in 2016, more than double the 1.1 million sold in 2015. Regardless of the exact numbers, […]

Big Data and Customer Targeting

by Brad VanAuken

Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media and networking websites coupled with smartphone GPS, AI and big data analytics allows the marketer to target customers in a way that was never possible before. Not only can the marketer target based on demographics, psychographics and physical location but also on intangibles such as highly correlated behaviors, purchases, web […]

Give the Gift of Brand Aid!

by Brad VanAuken

‘I am a huge fan of Brand Aid #2 and have been using it in my keystone graduate class called IMC 463 Brand Communications Decisions. I feel your book is one of the most practical and valuable books ever written about brands. I love the checklists and remind the students that your book is my […]

Industry Game Changers

by Brad VanAuken

Over time, there have been a large number of industry game changers. They completely disrupt an industry and often put even dominant share leaders out of business. As examples:The Ford Model T largely put horse and buggies out of businessComputers replaced typewritersVacation timeshares created a whole new industry, as did timeshares of private jetsThe Internet […]

Brand Manager’s Span of Influence

by Brad VanAuken

A brand is experienced at each customer touch point. So, the brand’s perceptions are created, reinforced or diminished at each customer touch point. And given that a brand must consistently deliver on its promise wherever it is encountered, this argues for an extremely large span of influence for the brand manager. As an example, consider banking. […]

Tapping Into Self-Esteem Affirming Symbols

by Brad VanAuken

Winning a cheerleading contest. Spending time with a cousin on a sailboat. Attending a prestigious university. Winning a fiction writing contest. Traveling across the ocean on an ocean liner. Performing as a soloist in the church choir. Spending Christmas Eve with your family. Scoring the winning goal in a hockey game. Riding with a neighbor […]

Brands & Tribalism

by Brad VanAuken

As in the television program, Cheers, everyone wants to belong somewhere.  Everyone wants to call some place home. Nuclear and extended families have always been tribes. Often, churches are tribes. Some times, towns are tribes. Schools can be tribes. Increasingly, political parties are tribes. Is your state a blue state or red state? You may […]

What’s Your Brand’s Buzz?

by Brad VanAuken

A brand is owned in the minds of its customers. So, what is your brand in their minds? Do you know?  If not, do you know where to go to find out? You can always use marketing research, but today, the Internet provides an unfiltered ongoing look into your customer’s minds. And it is as […]

Peeling Back the Onion

by Brad VanAuken

Sometimes, in brand research, one must continue to “peel back the onion” to better understand what the consumer is really saying. Recently, a client of mine (a heath care system) discovered that it was delivering well against convenience and accessibility. They discovered this through a quantitative brand equity measurement survey. Multiple data points pointed to […]

Determining the Current Brand Position

by Brad VanAuken

One of the first steps in a brand repositioning project is to determine the current brand position. While this is often done through a brand audit in which the brand’s website and its collateral materials are studied along with those of its competitors, this only identifies what the brand in question and its competitors are […]

The Importance of Brand Planning

by Brad VanAuken

“If You Don’t Know Where You Are Going, You Will Probably End Up Somewhere Else” – book title by author David Campbell.Hopefully, you have developed and are executing against a detailed brand plan. And hopefully, you are measuring the results against that plan. Brand plans are much like business plans or marketing plans. You start with […]

Twenty Brand Management Tips

by Brad VanAuken

Today, I am sharing twenty tips or “rules of thumb” about brands and brand management.The only thing that stands between a commodity and a brand is relevant differentiation.More than anything, your brand must be admirable. And, if not admirable, likable. In the long run, a strong brand will not completely compensate for a faulty product or […]

Brands, Mystery & Exclusivity

by Brad VanAuken

Mystery and exclusivity are two very powerful human motivators. Let’s take one at a time.A partial reveal is always more powerful than a full reveal. And the more often one is exposed to the partial reveal, the more one craves the full reveal. It’s human nature. Whether it is in a new product unveiling or […]

Brands & Risk Taking

by Brad VanAuken

Sometimes a brand’s worst enemy is its risk adverse caretaker. Usually, to break through in an overcrowded marketplace, a brand has to take some risks and do things that other brands in the category are not doing. My biggest disappointment as a brand strategy consultant is when, through rigorous research and out-of-the-box thinking, we help a […]

Customer Profiling

by Brad VanAuken

Customer profiling helps organizations identify and then effectively target the most lucrative customer segments including how to best reach them in the shopping process and what brand messages are likely to work best with them. We help organizations profile their customers in actionable ways. First, we measure brand purchase intent. We then discover the values, […]