Marketing

Higher Education Branding

by Brad VanAuken

While higher education is a very crowded market, there are some colleges and universities that have differentiated themselves in highly compelling ways. Here are some of my favorite examples of this: Naropa University: Transform Yourself, Transform the World The Naropa Experience: Perform in an Indian classical music ensemble. Write a thesis on creativity and social […]

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SEO Freelancer V. SEO Agency Outsourcing Partners

by Kevin Rowe

SEO has become a desirable services in the last decade, but also very difficult to find professionals that know how to successfully turn it into a revenue stream. Agencies and companies seem to be scratching their heads to integrate this services into their [digital] marketing program. It’s a very specialized field that many companies and

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The Importance of Careful Customer Targeting

by Brad VanAuken

I have positioned five wealth management brands and over a dozen other financial service brands. Most people, when thinking about wealth management brands, think the target customer is fairly straightforward – anyone who has more than $250,000 or $500,000 of investable assets – individuals or institutions. And while most wealth management firms’ customers would meet […]

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Making and Keeping Brand Promises

by Brad VanAuken

Brands make promises and then they must keep those promises. Making the promise is easy. Keeping it is the hard part. One can make a promise with words. But it can only be kept through actions. Consider BP repositioning itself as an environmentally friendly brand with the “Beyond Petroleum” slogan and the bright yellow and […]

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Basic Human Needs and Branding

by Brad VanAuken

As branders, it is useful to understand the basic needs that drive human emotions and behaviors. Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs addresses this, as does Artur Manfred Max Neef’s classification of fundamental human needs. Albert T. Poffenberger, Ph.D. devotes an entire chapter to “An Inventory of Human Desires” in his book, Psychology in Advertising, published […]

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Rochester Branding Survey Results

by Brad VanAuken

In branding themselves, municipalities should always play off of their strengths. In a recent online survey of 452 Rochester area residents, we discovered that Rochester has many strengths that can be used to develop a powerful brand position.

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Mailing Tactics

by Tommaso Occhiuto

I’m sure anyone who has tried to figure out the best strategy/tactic to use in direct mail has left in frustration.

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Branding and the Olympics

by Brad VanAuken

An interesting side story on the London Olympics (Games of the XXX Olympiad) is the power of brand sponsorships and the battle against ambush marketing. Olympic organizers have hired about 250 “brand police” to patrol the London streets to make sure brands that are not official sponsors of the Olympics are not presenting themselves in […]

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Brand Values

by Brad VanAuken

Our research over the past twelve years has shown that brands whose values align with their customers’ values have much stronger brand equity as measured by brand preference, loyalty and emotional connection. I recently read Jim Stengel’s book, Grow: How Ideals Power Growth and Profit at the World’s Greatest Companies. He has come to a […]

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Why Is There a QR Code on My Banana?

by Janice Hanson

I noticed a funny sticker on my banana one recent morning when I was making breakfast. You’ve probably seen them around – a small square with a bunch of squiggles, and then four smaller boxes within the image.

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Women In Graphic Communication: A Comparison of Two Studies

by Twyla Cummings

ABSTRACT In 2000 a research study was conducted to determine the demographic and employment status of women in the Graphic Communication industry. In 2011 the research surrounding this study was revisited in an effort to determine if there were any significant trend changes over this eleven year span.

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Continue Direct Mailings Even During Difficult Times

by Tommaso Occhiuto

You have heard the saying “Desperate times require desperate measures.” Unfortunately, there is no better, or worse, time than the present to do all you can to improve your direct mail response rates. With the economic climate declining as it has in the last few years, everything in its wake gets affected. From gas to […]

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Marketing Communication Strategy is Not Brand Strategy

by Brad VanAuken

I have found that a common error advertising agencies commit is equating brand strategy with brand messaging and marketing communication. While brand messaging is an important part of brand strategy, it misses many other potential components of brand strategy.

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What Can Kim Kardashin Teach You About Business?

by Alan Sartain

Today we’ll talk about shameless self-promotion. That’s right, I said it! Shameless! After all, we are learning from Kim Kardashian here.

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10 Things To Look For In A Product

by Alan Sartain

I recently had an opportunity to meet Kevin Harrington at the EO (Entrepreneurs’ Organization) meeting in Buffalo. In 1984, Mr. Harrington produced one of the industry’s first 30 minute infomercials. Since then, he has helped produce over 500 product launches with over $4 Billion in global sales. Mr. Harrington was also selected as an inventor […]

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Branding as a Solution to All Organizational Problems

by Brad VanAuken

As a branding consultant, I am the beneficiary of branding being a high profile area of focus for organizations. We have been invited into hundreds of organizations to help them improve their brand awareness, positioning and perceptions. However, perhaps one out of every five times we are contacted, the primary problem is not a branding […]

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Brands and Story Telling

by Brad VanAuken

Yesterday, I was drawn in again by a street person’s story. It is not the first time. If the story is good enough, it tugs on your heartstrings. While, as a marketer, I am always leery of being taken in by total fiction, at the same time, if the story is good enough, it doesn’t […]

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Moneyball Marketing Strategies

by Tony Lang

On September 23 a movie about baseball’s front offices will be opening in theaters across the country, starring some fellow I’m often mistaken for (just kidding…it’s Clooney I’m always mistaken for…ok, so a young Steve Carrell), based on the book Moneyball by Michael Lewis. The book focuses on Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane, who […]

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Changing Brand Perceptions

by Brad VanAuken

Brand perceptions are much more often created by the product or service experience itself than from marketing communication. Marketing communication is much more effective in building brand awareness than it is in creating or changing brand perceptions. That is not to say that marketing communication cannot be used to help change perceptions, but it can’t […]

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Brand Research: A Must for Brand Repositioning

by Brad VanAuken

Many organizations looking to reposition their brands are reluctant to conduct the necessary customer research at the beginning of the brand repositioning process. They will say, “We conduct ongoing customer satisfaction research,” or “We do product research quite frequently” or “We measured our brand’s equity five years ago” or “We talk with our customers all […]

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