Top Ten Branding Considerations for 2011

by Brad VanAuken, BrandForward, Inc.

  1. Learn everything about your customers. Understand them at a deep level. Know what motivates them. Know what they aspire to and what they fear.
  2. Stand for something important to your customers. Let them know that you share their values.
  3. Interact with your customers as if they were your partners. Respect them. Listen to them. Collaborate with them. Co-create new products and services with them.
  4. Grow with your current customers. Identify how you can meet more and more of their needs. It is much less expensive to sell a current customer one more thing than it is to gain a new customer.
  5. Innovate. Don’t rest on your laurels. Anticipate your customers’ needs. Give them something that they would really appreciate but perhaps had never conceived of before.
  6. Become adept at social media. It is not the “end all” in marketing, but you need to know how to interact with your customers in this space.
  7. Know that mass marketing is gone forever. The name of the game today is one-on-one marketing or at least customer segment marketing.
  8. Outstanding service is the “cost of entry” in today’s world. You must deliver it consistently over time. If you don’t, you will lose market share.
  9. Don’t forget about your customer facing employees. They are essential in creating your brand’s impression. Hire them carefully, train them well and incent them to support your brand’s promise.
  10. Have fun in what you do. Love your work. Your enthusiasm will be contagious.

I wish you a wonderful 2011. I hope you and your brand thrive in 2011.

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