With COVID-19 set to spark the worst economic recession since the Great Depression, new research by the World Federation of Advertisers says 89% of large international companies have put their marketing and advertising campaigns on hold. Global marketing and advertising spend is plummeting at the fastest rate since the 2007-2008 financial crisis, leading to uncertainty and trepidation within the sector.
Let’s not beat about the bush: social media has tonnes of benefits. It empowers people to stay connected across huge distances, it has kept people motivated during crises such as the coronavirus pandemic (you thought you could read a blog without that being mentioned?), it empowers quick and simple customer service, and for businesses, it’s a free way to demonstrate your brand values.
As renowned author and alternative medicine practitioner, Deepak Chopra once said: “You have to think of your brand as a kind of myth. A myth is a compelling story that is archetypal, if you know the teachings of Carl Jung. It has to have emotional content and all the themes of a great story: mystery, magic, adventure, intrigue, conflicts, contradiction, paradox."
It goes without saying that for any business, in any sector, in order for it to survive, grow and prosper, sales are imperative, because sales generate profit and cash flow and these are the lifeblood of any business. It is understandable, therefore, that I often overhear the question ‘how do I promote my business?’
Emerging and fast-growing markets offer the biggest opportunities to build and grow a brand. If you can start at the point of early adoption and gain enough traction, your brand could become a leader as the market becomes established. Identifying the right market is about understanding cultural trends and then positioning your brand as the solution to shifts in consumer behaviour and growing demands such as meat and dairy reduction or a move towards a more natural, skin-first makeup routine. With the right timing, you can hit a perfect intersection like the widespread adoption of craft beer coinciding with the cultural shift towards independent brands.
The Halo Effect is a type of cognitive bias, commonly known in marketing as the tendency for positive impressions in one area to influence one's opinion or feelings in other areas. When it comes to branding specifically, I believe that this effect has been demonstrated to reinforce as well as rejuvenate a brand in the eyes of its fans, it can be utilised to spark conversations around it and thus leading to more organic growth. The question that poses itself is how can we successfully achieve this effect, and why is it necessary to keep a brand alive in the fast paced and media devouring environment that we live in today?
Perhaps you know it: the iconic scene from Jerry Maguire where Dorothy (Renee Zellweger) stares longingly at Jerry (Tom Cruise) as he declares his undying love for her, announcing that she completes him, hoping it will win her over but he needn’t have, he had her at 'hello'. She was gripped from the moment he walked in, she wasn’t listening to his fumbled speech, she was mesmerised, and one thing is for sure, she certainly wasn’t thinking about leadership. Nope. That was far from her mind.
If a guest asked for toast, would you butter a piece of bread and serve it up to them? No way - the ‘toasting’ is the essence of toast, and anything else is simply a job half done. The same applies to your brand. Skipping straight to designing your business logo is equal to spreading the butter straight onto bread...it’s ineffective and lacks the ‘essence’.
As a global pandemic sweeps large parts of our world, one could be forgiven for not having their new marketing strategy or business pivot plan at the top of their agenda. We are collectively experiencing some form of anxiety to one degree or another, with our systems on constant, low-level 'limbic alert'.
'How to prepare your brand for the next stage of growth': Many of us have tried a digital detox for ourselves: whether we’re trying to get back to nature, not ignore our families, or just step away from the phone for more than an hour! It is often far harder than we think, no matter how many influencers go on about it - ironically, on social media.
Your brand identity is how customers perceive you. A simple way to look at it, is to view your brand as a person. Someone unique, with their own beliefs, values, look and feel. Your brand identity is what sets you apart from others. So, it’s important to have this down pat. Here, Carie Barkhuizen, founder of Seymour PR, shares her top tips for building brand identity quick-smart.
Congratulations! You are officially moving from the status of startup to scaleup. It’s a big move that brings lots of opportunities, and you have managed it because you have been successful. What that success looks like will be different for different companies. For some, it’s because of sales: either a few big global sales, or in other cases, huge numbers of small scale sales. For others, it will be because you’ve landed investment. In some parts of the world, grants allow a startup to accelerate their growth and really anchor themselves in the market.
With the UK currently home to more than 5.9 million SMEs, the likelihood of reaching success for any small business owner depends largely upon their ability to make their company stand out from the crowd. Differentiating your brand from others can be a challenge in any industry, but with the right knowledge and mindset it can be achieved.
Nigel Botterill’s entrepreneurial journey began in much the same way as many others. The Founder and CEO of The Entrepreneurs Circle, a company whose mantra is to educate, motivate, help and inspire business owners to achieve more than they ever thought possible, was following a classic corporate path and had forged a very successful career with Barclays, who he joined at 16.
The startup landscape is notoriously difficult to navigate. The numbers speak for themselves – 60% of startups will fail in the first three years of launching. Whether it’s because their core proposition is unworkable and fails to fulfill a market need, or the fact they simply haven’t built the right team, there are a variety of reasons that could lead to a company ultimately closing its doors.
Building a website is about more than just an online page that shows who you are in today’s society, it is part of your brand identity, and imperative to your company or business. Wix really understand that, it’s not just putting some text and images onto a page and sharing your website with people. It’s something that reflects your business which is a part of you, and that’s why it includes a number of features that help you take your website further.
Companies have been marketing their business in weird and wonderful ways for centuries, but, in 2019, what is the best way to draw in, and retain a solid customer base through strategic marketing. When you think of Nike, you think of ‘Just Do It’, when you think of McDonalds, you think of ‘I’m Loving It’.
When it comes to marketing a startup, there can often be some misconceptions: Is it too soon to start thinking about? Is the company too small? Some people think marketing isn’t a priority and budget should be spent elsewhere (something that bigger corporations also fall foul of), or that any type of marketing is good.
On the ScaleX stage at Dublin Tech Summit 2019, April 10th, a panel comprised of: Andrew Lindsay VP Corporate Development and Business Development at Hubspot; Alan Costello Venture Investor Leader at NDRC; Niall McEvoy Manager of High Potential Startups at Enterprise Ireland; and moderated by Graham Hussey co-founder of The Startup Van, discussed how to position your team and brand for international scaling.