Tag Archives: branding

How Complementary Marketing Can Empower Your Brand

How Old Spice Harnessed the Power of Complementary Marketing (And What It Means for Your Brand)

It’s easy to feel lost in the complex, brave new world of online marketing, where tweets or search engine results can be as crucial to your success as more traditional media. But never fear—the new school isn’t completely detached from the marketing you already know and love.

In fact, using your digital marketing resources to complement old school approaches can result in huge online successes. By looking closely at Old Spice’s recent and widely-praised major marketing campaign, let’s explore how complementary marketing helps brands navigate advertising in the modern world—and how you can do it, too.

What is complementary marketing?

Simply put, complementary marketing is what you get when the many arms of your marketing and branding work together in harmony. Whether your brand awareness comes from an email list or a broad social media campaign, you’ll be more successful when each component complements and feeds off of every other component. Complementary marketing means taking a look at each part of your marketing and making sure it’s aiming at a common identity.

How is Old Spice using complementary marketing to drive visibility and awareness?

Old Spice recently launched a marketing campaign to introduce their “Fresher” collection of nature-themed scents; each stick of deodorant or bottle of body wash comes packaged with a name like “Coconut” or “Roar.”

To usher in these new and novel scents, they released a series of video advertisements in which muscular men grapple with the complexities of nature while smelling fresh and clean. Armed with their brand’s distinctively edgy sense of humor, the videos poke fun at more traditional ads that evoke ideas of manliness, scientific breakthroughs, or nature to position a product as revolutionary.

These ad spots are hilarious and effective in their own right, but Old Spice’s team didn’t stop there. In addition to the videos, they’ve hijacked the #naturefacts hashtag by composing their own absurd, snarky “facts” about animals that call back to their line of scents. They’ve even rolled out a first-of-its-kind vending machine in New York’s Grand Central Terminal. The machine accepts only items from nature, and true to the Old Spice brand, it deposits bizarrely humorous items in return — for example, visitors can exchange ocean water for “all the wadded up cash in a rich guy’s pocket.”

It’s funny—but more importantly, it’s effective. Every piece of Old Spice’s marketing is working toward the same goal of promoting their transition to “nature” themed products; their multifaceted campaign is a perfect example of complementary marketing at work.

How can complementary marketing help your brand?

As we all know well, it’s easy for marketing campaigns to get messy. Sometimes the parts aren’t working in sync. Other times, the overall concept misses its mark, and the brand falls on its face as a result. But no matter your approach, your campaigns will stick in the minds of your target audience best if your various approaches are aligned.

You may look to SEO, social media, print materials, even television ads — but don’t forget to make sure that each of these are bolstering one another. When it comes to marketing, a cohesive whole is always better than the sum of many disparate parts.

On the surface, complementary marketing may seem like just another concept to wrestle with. But fret not: when the elements of your marketing are built to complement one another, you’ll find your message only becomes clearer and more powerful.


Neuromarketing: What Makes Your Customer Light Up…Literally

Neuromarketing is a relatively new branch of market research which utilizes brain imaging technology to record and analyze customers’ psychological responses to various marketing stimuli. While there are many arguments criticizing both the validity of the science and its ethical implications, this should be seen as a golden opportunity for marketers to build branding that is in tune with the customer psyche.

The Technology: How it Works

Before looking at what it can do, let’s break it down and see how it works. There are three techniques at the center of neuromarketing that, when combined, paint a picture of the consumer mind: fMRI, QEEG, and MEG.

Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) is a technology that is used to monitor normal brain function and provides insight into how the brain reacts to stimuli such as language, pain, and emotion. It is best used to illustrate changes in the regions of the brain and is most notably known for adding brain imaging to the beloved Pepsi Challenge, in which subjects blindly taste Coke and Pepsi and indicate which they prefer. The fMRI added a twist by showing that when customers were unaware of which brand they were tasting, both Coke and Pepsi lit up the reward center of the brain. However, when they became brand- aware, the centers of memory and emotion processing illuminated. This indicated that the taste of both products fills the reward role, but it is the brand that appeals to emotion and thus the purchasing decision.

Quantitative Electroencephalography (QEEG) is a more statistically based method used to monitor brain patterns. It records electronic patterns on the surface of the scalp, converts and records the information onto a computer, and compares large populations of individuals. It is more suited to observing the customers’ minds where it matters most: when they are in stores making their decisions. QEEG is used to watch the brain as a customer is exposed to different advertisements, drives a new car, and even receives an unexpected freebie while shopping. It is noninvasive and provides easily comparable data.

Magnetoencephalography (MEG) provides its value in psychology by being able to measure brain activity by the millisecond and provide data in small- time intervals. Out of all the techniques, MEG is used the least in neuromarketing. Its most noteworthy contribution is finding that the emotion processing portion of the brain only lit up when customers observed brands in their comfort zones in a virtual super- market.

The Implications: Threat or Opportunity?

Now that we have the “how,” we move into the “if we should” aspect of neuromarketing. The ability to watch the psychological impact of marketing has been criticized by both the scientific community as well as those concerned with ethics in business.  There is a fear that the ability to see advertising at a neurological level will lead to the manipulation, or even mind control, of customers and be a gross violation of their privacy.

Rather than focus on the potential for malicious use, however, this should, instead, be seen as a golden opportunity to rebuild brands based on what customers actually respond to and what literally makes them “light up.” By gaining so much insight into what stimuli creates meaningful and emotional impressions on customers, companies would be able to build brands using that stimuli, meeting  and exceeding expectations at the neurological level. Drilling down, this will enable companies to find more effective ways to communicate their marketing messages, instead of using resources to create noise that is expensive to produce and a hassle for customers to watch.

It is important to note that the neuromarketing concept is by no means a new or perfect science -scientists and marketers have dabbled in mind mapping with advertising for a number of years. Advances in technology, however, are at the crux of the push to expand this field as they allow more portability and versatility in what researchers can actually see.

Author: Natacha Arora

Creating a Public Persona of My Personality for Personal Branding Purposes

I started my second personal blog the other day. I won’t shamelessly promote it here, but my friends have been inundated with requests for support. I received an interesting response from my good buddy Joe. After reading a few posts he wrote to me, “Impressed how easily you put yourself out there to the masses. I find it easy to present a character for audiences, but feel less comfortable broadcasting myself. Brave.”

Although brief, I was taken aback by his commentary. Was I really wearing my heart and soul on the sleeve of this blog? Was I laying it all out there for the world to see? Surely I wouldn’t be so stupid as to be one of those people who just say whatever comes to their minds, right? You know the type. The blogger who thinks the world gives a damn about the mundanity of his or her life: “Today I bought shoes and already I have blisters. Wait, hold on a second, need some water. Okay, I’m back. Anyway.” Or someone who shares inappropriate confessions, driven by insecurities and the need for drama: “My boyfriend isn’t romantic and often looks around the room when we kiss.”

Is this who I’ve become but in a less exaggerated sort of way? The answer, I’ve come to discover, is maybe. If some of the things I write about come from a place of truth, then maybe I really am broadcasting myself to the world. The thing is, it doesn’t feel like that. For years now I’ve considered these public displays of personality to be fiction.

I’m talking about personal branding. I’m talking about the line, which has become incredibly blurred, between who we are and who we pretend or act like when we participate online, particularly in social media. When I think about the message I put out there for the world to view, I wonder if it’s really me. And again, the answer is maybe.

Personal branding is not a new topic. In fact, it’s become our way of life. Today, people can obtain or lose jobs based simply on the way they brand themselves online. What I wonder is, are we even aware we’re doing it anymore?

I’m reminded of my Facebook page from 2005 (Ah, the gloriously elitist days when you needed a .edu to get in). The page allowed you to fill in fields about your personality: favorite songs, books, movies, etc. They still exist today, but they’re certainly not as exposed and important as they were back then. I remember all the clever things I’d post: Favorite artist—post-mortem Tupac; Favorite activity—avoiding death; Interests—onesies; Favorite quote—“Sometimes I question your dedication to Sparkle Motion.”

It became a persona—a way for me to make fun while having fun. It was also the loss of my creating-a-personal-brand virginity (and just as experimental). It was me choosing to show the world, “Hey, I want you to think I’m funny!” And this has carried on for years. We all do it. Every time we post a Facebook status update or send out a tweet, we’re communicating something about ourselves. We’re making a choice, cognizant or not, about who we are or who we want people to think we are.

Larry Kimmel of the Direct Marketing Association recently said to our company, “Kids today begin branding themselves at the age of 16.” In fact, he’s right. The millennials today learn very early on how to portray themselves in social media. I think it’s going to become harder and harder for future generations to recognize the difference between this online community and the community of our neighbors.

Thanks to my pal Joe’s insightful observation, it made me realize that maybe we’ve all gotten a little too comfortable with our pen names. We ought to step back and think about the content we’re putting out there for the world to see. Whether it’s for privacy concerns or some other reason, unintended vulnerabilities could come back to hurt us. And if I get hurt, you may end up reading about it in my blog.

Author: Eric Swenson

Rebranding – yes or no?

The value of branding is tremendous. A brand is a competitive edge that you can offer, something that is yours, and no one can copy. Your branding might have a collection of positive feelings, and seems to all be set in terms of customers’ perception of quality, image, lifestyle and status. So why rebrand?

Why fix something that isn’t broken? You could look at it that way, or you could think of rebranding from a positive perspective.

Reasons for rebranding are various:

  • Business expansion
  • Location change
  • Customer base change
  • Outdated look
  • Competition
  • Negative perception
  • New mission

We all know that brand is a powerful association between a company and their customer. When done right, rebranding can build up the relationship between a company and their customers — at the same time helping the company develop.

Things to consider when rebranding:

  • Listen to what your customers have to say
  • Understand your weak point
  • Clarify your new marketing strategy

You should have a valid reason for rebranding. Not all rebrands are successful. Do you remember, Tropicana for example? The newly designed packaging was on the market for about two months. Not only have they gained customer disappointment, but lost lots of money. What went wrong? Customers didn’t like the new design, thinking it was orange juice’s generic brand. How about the Gap logo change fiasco? Gap tried to introduce a new logo design and people hated it. Lesson learned here: product positioning should be changed before you go ahead and apply changes to the logo and other visual aspects of the brand. AOL wanted to represent themselves as a new media company by getting rid of the classic triangle logo for a random image of a fish. How do you explain that change to the audience — who saw this as a pathetic attempt to get hip?

The bottom line is, have a valid reason if considering rebranding, and do it well.

Do you have a rebranding failure story to share? Maybe we can all learn from other people mistakes.

Author: Marina Kaljaj

What Do Consumers Want From Brands Online?

In order to gain a competitive advantage, many forward-thinking companies have established a social media presence. Social media marketing definitely adds to a company’s positive image, helps to make a stronger consumer connection, and encourages consumers to engage. Social media marketing has been a success for companies that listen to consumers and actually give them what they want and need.

What is it that customers really want from brands online?

Are people willing to engage more if incentives––such as free products, coupons, or discounts––are offered, or are they interested in problem solving and brand information?

According to the Ad Age article cited below, what consumers most want from brands online are:

• Coupons (65%)
• Better customer service (42%)
• Games or other entertainment (28%)
• Company news (22%)
• None (19%)
• Other (7%)

In order to succeed in attracting social media fans and followers to the brand and retaining them: don’t act irresponsibly, don’t send spam and/or too many messages, don’t post irrelevant content, make sure to respond to comments and/or concerns, and don’t delete negative comments.

Whatever the social marketing offer, it has to be meaningful to the target audience and add value to people’s lives. Be clear, concise, personable, honest, and real!

Author: Marina Kaljaj