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Brad VanAuken

Brad VanAuken

Online Brand Management & Marketing Courses

by Brad VanAuken

Do you want to dive deeper into brand management and marketing? I have created seven online courses to help you do so. They include the concepts, tools and techniques that every brand manager should know. The courses range from one to two contact hours each. Each course includes many real world examples and links to numerous […]

A Common Sense Approach to Marketing for Startups

by Brad VanAuken

If you are a startup, you are likely more focused on raising money, prioritizing your next steps, prototyping and perfecting your product, figuring out business partners and sourcing, addressing operational issues and getting your idea in front of potential customers than on developing and executing marketing plans. And if you are trying to generate sales, […]

26 of the Most Common Startup Challenges

by Brad VanAuken

 Following yesterday’s blog post, today I list the 26 most common startup challenges. Having the right idea – building something someone wantsUnderstanding your business’ unique value propositionConfirming customer need / marketplace gapListening to and acting on customer feedbackThinking too smallTaking the first leap – knowing where to startAssuming you need a lot of money right awayMoney […]

Start-ups and Unique Value Propositions

by Brad VanAuken

I haven’t written a blog post in a while because I have been consumed with a new role (in addition to my brand strategy consulting). I am a part-time new venture coach for RIT’s Venture Creations Incubator. In this role, I am coaching and consulting with nine start-up companies, mostly in technology spaces.There has a […]

Repositioning Through Labels

by Brad VanAuken

It is fascinating to me how politicians and political parties use labels to position or reposition bills, ideas, agendas, actions or groups of people. For example, children who arrived int he US illegally at a very young age are called either dreamers or illegal aliens depending on which political party is talking about them. The […]

Research Must Precede Strategy

by Brad VanAuken

Marketing research must precede brand strategy — period. The best strategies are based on extensive research. Qualitative research can provide insights regarding beliefs, values, attitudes, hopes, fears, anxieties, dreams and other core motivations. It can also help you understand how the category is perceived and how each of the brands in the category are perceived. […]

Anatomy of a Marketing Plan

by Brad VanAuken

A marketing plan is a request for funds in return for a promised level of incremental revenues, unit sales, market share or profits. One can develop marketing plans for products, services, market segments or brands. The critical components of a marketing plan includes the following:SummaryObjectives (attract new consumers, create new uses, increase share of requirements, incent […]

Brands & Browser Functionality

by Brad VanAuken

I normally do not post about something as tactical as this, but it has a huge impact on brand perception. Recently, as I have been approached by companies trying to sell me their services, I have found several of them do not have websites that work on my Safari browser. Logins don’t work. Navigation does […]

Do you know how non-customers perceive your brand?

by Brad VanAuken

To be efficient in marketing spending, brands usually focus on their best customers first and then on their other customers. Typical objectives are to increase their customers’ individual average transactions (IAT), spending and share of wallet. They often also want to increase customer loyalty. Less often, brands allocate marketing resources to communicating with potential customers, […]

Dick’s New Destination Store

by Brad VanAuken

A 17,000 square-foot turf field is adjacent to the Dick’s new 100,000 square-foot Eastview Mall store. I am happy to write about something happening in my neighborhood. Dick’s has decided to erect its new destination store concept at my local mall first – Eastview Mall in Victor, New York, a suburb of Rochester, NY.As malls and […]

H-E-B Brand the Big Winner in the Texas Energy Outage

by Brad VanAuken

People often are fond of their local grocery store chains. H-E-B is no exception. During Texas’ recent winter storm and energy outage, H-E-B became even more beloved as it proactively helped the people of Texas in several different ways. When a busy H-E-B store in Leander, TX lost power, the store’s staff let shoppers take […]

Global Competition & The Increased Importance of Carefully Crafted Messaging

by Brad VanAuken

Mobility and communication have increased substantially since the dawn of inexpensive air travel and the Internet. Historically, competition was mostly local or regional, but with every breakthrough in transportation and communication technology, every business is increasingly competing with every other similar business across the globe. Companies that used to pay hundreds of thousands or even millions […]

Brand Spokespeople and Characters

by Brad VanAuken

Not every brand uses a spokesperson or character as a part of its identity system or advertising campaign but many have over the years. The spokesperson or character can give the brand a distinctive voice and personality. This blog post is a celebration of some of the more memorable brand spokespeople and characters. Some of the earlier […]

Customer Brand Insistence Revisited

by Brad VanAuken

I have been preaching about the five drivers of customer brand insistence since we first developed and tested this brand equity measurement system in the late 1990s. Since then, we have tested this system with hundreds of brands across almost as many product and service categories. It indicates that five things drive customers from being […]

Brand Identity & Architecture

by Brad VanAuken

I have just created a new e-learning course, “Brand Identity & Architecture.” This is a comprehensive course on brand identity and architecture. In it, you will learn about common brand identity problems, brand identity system components including names, taglines and non-visual components, types of branded entities and their relationships, types of brand architecture, how to rationalize […]

Pivoting Your Business During COVID

by Brad VanAuken

Some businesses have been the beneficiaries of the COVID-19 pandemic. They were either in the right place at the right time or they seized an opportunity created by the pandemic. Disinfectant product sales were up 230% in March and April of 2020. Clorox has enjoyed great success in 2020. Zoom has become a household word […]

The Evolution of the Trump Brand

by Brad VanAuken

I have been following the Trump brand since I encountered Donald Trump at Studio 54 in the early 1980s. Back then, he had a reputation in New York social circles. He was viewed as an outsider to polite society. He was seen as a nouveau riche playboy and real estate developer who was aggressive but […]

Trump Brand

by Brad VanAuken

I need your help. I am conducting a survey on the Donald Trump brand. I first conducted this survey in June of 2016. I repeated it in January of 2019. I want to compare earlier perceptions to today’s perceptions of the Trump brand. I am looking for diverse responses so please share this link with […]

Pretend Your Brand Has Died…

by Brad VanAuken

 People periodically go through the exercise of revising their brand’s essence, promise, personality, unique value proposition and other brand positioning elements. A fun approach to this is to pretend that your brand has died. Now you need to write its obituary, its epitaph, and its eulogy. It’s obituary is akin to its elevator speech, while its […]

The Importance of Color in Brand Identity

by Brad VanAuken

Choice of color is more important than you may think for brands and their identities. I have created an online course that covers color in great detail including the associations and emotional responses to a wide variety of colors including in different cultures.Other topics covered in the course include:The most and least popular colors by genderThe […]