Brand positioning is perhaps the most important task in brand management. Ideally, it should drive everything else. Brand positioning is part art and part science. I like to inform the exercise by in-depth research including qualitative customer benefit exploration, brand equity measurement, brand benefit importance/delivery mapping and brand position testing. Having said that, intuition and […]

Shared media is a vital part of the PESO model, which also includes paid, earned, and owned media. Sometimes, however, the lines get blurred between shared media and its earned and owned media counterparts. This results in an unclear definition of exactly what shared content is, and how to use it effectively. Let’s untangle the […]

Usually the brand that has the most to gain by promoting category benefits is the market share leader. For instance, as market share leader, Hallmark had the most to gain by promoting the benefits of sending greeting cards. However, over time, I have come to realize that many brands would benefit from promoting category benefits. While […]

  Earned media has a reputation of being a little bit of an enigma in the world of PR strategy. This is because it is partly out of your hands — you can’t pay for it, and you often can’t write it yourself. This type of media is born from hard work over a concentrated […]

How many times has a brand’s computerized system made you frustrated or angry? Have you ever had to enter your user name and password more than once to get what you wanted either online or via the telephone? Have you been offered a price discount as a valued customer only not to receive it because […]

  Owned content, also known as owned media, is just one part of the puzzle in your PR strategy. An effective strategy also includes earned, shared, and paid media. This post will address how you can most effectively use the content you publish and own to move your brand ahead. The beautiful thing about owned media is […]

To really understand brands you need to understand what people most often associate with those brands. It is from these associations that a viable brand position could emerge. The best way to identify these associations is through specific exercises often used in qualitative research designed specifically to identify these associations – collages, ideation, metaphorical thinking, […]

The problem with any industry is that it includes some inept practitioners. The marketing industry is no exception to this. If you have retained a marketing research firm, brand consultant, marketing agency, brand identity firm or other outside expert that displays any of the following, reconsider using that entity or individual for brand strategy work:They […]

Occasionally, I have encountered brand problems that are not marketing problems. As we conduct brand equity research for companies, we discover that the problem is not with the brand’s promise, nor is it with the marketing communication. In fact, it is not with any of the typical brand equity dimensions (such as awareness and relevant […]

The primary purpose of a business is to make money, right? And shareholders are a business’ most important stakeholder, right? And the marketing and sales functions exist to generate additional revenues, right? So, ultimately brands exist to increase sales and profits, right?Partially right, but it is always important to remember that any business, in fact, […]

[Editor’s Note: Our original post on earned, owned, shared, and paid media has been so popular, we’re revisiting the topic with new gems of information. Enjoy!] Your PR strategy, like a fine piece of machinery, is composed of many moving parts. It can include earned, owned, paid, and shared media that together help amplify your […]

It’s easy to keep on top of cultural trends that beam out at us from all media. But how about public relations trends that can help your growth and development? These can be less accessible and tougher to master. Yet, they can help you get a jump start on the future. Read on to discover the […]

As we continued to squeeze every last bit of sun and fun out of a summer that seemed to last all of five minutes, AAF Buffalo officially kicked off its 2017–2018 season with the annual Big Tip-Off. Our local marketing celebrity bartending event drew a record crowd to the breezy rooftop of the Soho Burger […]

Do you fully understand all of your brand’s strengths and weaknesses? Do you understand its opportunities and threats including its brand positioning opportunities and threats? Do you know how to optimize its positioning? Have you identified your brand’s critical vulnerabilities? Do you know what you need to do to take your brand to the next […]

Strong PR strategies keep you on course as your business moves ahead. Like a map for an unfamiliar place, a strategy takes the guess work out of your next move. It keeps you focused so you can reach your goals. But how do you even begin to develop an effective public relations strategy?  We’ve got […]

I am making a prediction. In the age of “false news” and “alternative facts,” more and more people will grow weary of being lied to. While the Internet and instantaneous global communication enables people to easily create unverified and uncorroborated “stories” and “news,” it also enables the truth to eventually come out on almost everything. […]

I am making a prediction. In the age of “false news” and “alternative facts,” more and more people will grow weary of being lied to. While the Internet and instantaneous global communication enables people to easily create unverified and uncorroborated “stories” and “news,” it also enables the truth to eventually come out on almost everything. […]

Decisions, decisions, decisions. What are the most important ones for brand managers? It depends on the scope of the job function within your organization, but here are the typical important decisions:Who are the brand’s target customers?What are the different customer segments and why have we created those segments?What is the brand’s competitive frame of reference? What […]

We’ve been fortunate to have three great interns help us out at the agency this summer. One of them was Sean McMahon, who finished up his time with us just last week. On his last day, he sent out this message to the company, and it made our hearts swell. Footnotes are ours, not Sean’s. […]

This year marks the 95th business anniversary of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Blake REALTORS®, (formerly Prudential Manor Homes, REALTORS®), a company led by the Christiana family ( Every family has a story. Here is one that celebrates that business anniversary milestone. Pamela D. Marinello has been a real estate sales associate with BHHS Blake, REALTORS® for […]