Dan Ratner, Managing Director at uberbrand, was recently interviewed for a branding article in The Australian’s “The Deal Magazine”, which was published on May 18 2012
Every detail counts if you want people to have the same (good)view of your business.
A brand is often described as the sum of all the individual experiences and impressions a person has with a business. According to expert Dan Ratner, a great brand can be powerful: “It lives in their [the customer’s] head.”
Ratner, who runs brand agency Uberbrand, says the ideal endpoint is where similar perceptions are held in the minds of the people that matter most. And it’s not just for mega-corporations such as Coca-Cola or Nike. Businesses of all sizes can get into their customers’ heads.
That is what Naomi Simson set out to do when she launched Red Balloon 10 years ago from the front room of her home in Balmain, Sydney. Her idea was to build a brand around the simple premise that experience is a better gift than stuff. Her business model was simple: offer activities such as golf or scuba diving lessons.
Today, Red Balloon has more than 2500 corporate customers, 56 employees and its annual revenue is racing towards $50 million. And to underscore how all things contribute to branding, her trademark red balloons match her trademark red business suits.
If perception is reality, then a name that has become associated with losing money would surely be a candidate for change, right? Yes, but sometimes it takes a billion-dollar loss to rub the point in.
Last month, OneSteel floated a new name, Arrium, as part of its move to broaden from steel manufacturing to embrace mining and mining consumables, which now produce 40 per cent of the company’s revenue. OneSteel is trying to reposition itself in the market, and one way to do that is to change the name. Appropriately for steel makers, “Arrium” is a name fabricated for the occasion. Shareholders whose investment has lost 90 per cent of its value in recent years will be praying for a change in perception on the part of the markets.
Marketing experts point out this is not the fi rst time the company, originally part of BHP, has changed its name. The decision says a lot about the challenge of branding in a global, competitive marketplace, with product life cycles as short as three years.
Many small businesses in Australia suffer from a lack of visibility. As traditional advertising becomes less effective, it is important for small business owners to understand how to build their brand. Rather is keen on emphasising the power of perceptions.
“When you present a piece of advertising, you are making an impression and everything about the brand counts,” he says. “If you have a cafe, your job is to build brand equity. That’s how you establish customer loyalty. Every aspect of the customer experience counts – the service, the quality of the coffee, the price, the interior design, the layout, the location.”
His cafe illustration would be familiar to most people. Most of us will have our favourite place. “Why is it that it’s okay for you to be kept waiting occasionally at your favourite cafe, but it may be a totally dissatisfying experience at another place? It’s because that cafe has built brand equity. In other words, the sum of all your experiences with your favourite cafe outweighs the negative experience.”
The quality of your branding can be tested by asking a sample of relevant people about the business, and seeing what associations they have. Stronger brands will result in similar associations across your sample.
Ratner says that, ultimately, branding is about defining who you are and what you do to a relevant audience and trying to ensure similar perceptions across the customer segment.
“A brand manager who I worked with ran a test to understand if he needed help to refocus and better define his brand to his market audience. He simply asked 40 people to define his brand and when they came back with 40 different responses he knew that he had some work to do.” Business owners take note.
Morris Kaplan writes for Friday’s Entrepreneur section in The Australian (email@example.com).Comments >>
Has your marketing agency built your marketing plan to respond to the latest market trends?
Whilst it’s important for a business or marketing agency to stay focused on current marketing plans for 2012, it’s equally important to be prepared for the opportunities and challenges that will come from the latest market trends.
Here are 5 market trends that might help predict the future of the marketing year ahead:
1. Broader Brand Presence Across Channels – The range of marketing channels available to businesses is constantly growing. With this growth businesses will recognise the need to integrate their marketing efforts across the web, social media and other channels.
Instead of focusing on one or two channels, your marketing agency or business will link marketing activities across multiple channels – to create a streamlined, coherent brand presence both online and offline.
2. Increased User Generated Content – Whether it’s a YouTube clip of a consumer using your product, or a post on their social media page – user generated content is on the rise. An integral part for a business or marketing agency is to successfully inspire and facilitate user generated content. Video will be a key tool for marketers in 2012 as it lends itself to the way social media channels are currently used and shared.
Any marketing agency or business that can identify ways to generate positive content, direct from the consumer about their brand – will gain credibility both online, offline, and in social media channels.
3. Integrating Customer Service with Marketing – Many businesses are already finding innovative ways to integrate customer service, feedback and marketing efforts. Social recommendations are on the rise using social media to influence word of mouth marketing both online and offline.
The ability to influence, increase and map social influence across various channels will become even more important for your business or marketing agency in 2012. The power to inspire real people will make a huge difference to a brands performance in coming years.
4. Mobile Marketing – A third of all smartphone users have used their phone to make a purchase online (source: EPiServer). Preparing your marketing plan to integrate with mobile devices will allow your business or marketing agency to benefit from a potential database that browse, shop, and purchase whilst on the move – at any time of the day.
5. Diverse content for niche groups – In the next year marketing will become more personalised. Social media will once again play a large role in this as people start to manage which brands they choose to engage with in their online communities. This will increase the need for more diverse content, focused on telling stories about a business, product or service.
2012 will be a year where marketing channels and messages will diversify – and user connection, communication and influence will bring the greatest opportunities for growth. Your business or marketing agency can stay ahead by embracing and facilitating online social communities – creating more targeted content and better connecting marketing channels to help grow your leads, customers and revenue in 2012.
A branding agency lives and breathes by the brands they help build and maintain, the clients they work with, and the consumers that engage with the client’s products and services. Many branding agencies appear to be the same, but there are innate differences that distinguish one branding agency from another. Here are the three key areas you need to take into consideration when selecting the right branding agency:
1. Brand Strategy – A great branding agency uses research and talent to develop strategies that transform brands into innovative market leaders.
Branding agencies identify the true needs of consumers, and help build brands that consumers aspire to. A brand agency should then focus to define brands that deliver on ambition by driving consumer’s perceptions toward that aspiration.
2. Creative Design and Production – A branding agency should be immersed in popular culture, communications and media. From this, as well as from research on the product and the marketplace, a branding agency can develop innovative, creative visual and verbal expressions of your brand.
A great branding agency brings big ideas to life, using the design and production skills inherent to an agency to bring brands that make an impact on people’s lives to the forefront of the marketplace.
3. Marketing Communications – Great ideas, products, services, and design need to be effectively communicated by the branding agency to build customer awareness.
Meaningful communications means getting the right message to the right people, at the right time. Furthermore, branding is all about the branding agency becoming extremely, and appropriately, focused on maximising consumer reach and engagement with a brand, in order to establish and build a relationship with their consumers, as in the end, branding is all about connecting brands with the right people.Comments >>
Brand design is an ever-increasing tool used to promote and entice audiences by brands. A successful brand design creates a memory or feeling for the spectator. When you flip through magazines, drive to work or shop you consume hundreds of brand designs without even realising it.
Here are five examples of successful brand design:
With its big golden arches representing the M word and its jingle “I’m loving it”, McDonalds is a global leading food service retailer with a brand design that is recognised by people across the world and which continues to grow in popularity.
Who could forget Cathy Freeman’s sprint to the finish line or Thorpie’s stroke and energetic fist pump when he won the 200 metres men’s freestyle. With its five interlocking rings and simple design, the Olympics logo is a unique and inspirational sign recognised by millions.
Microsoft’s distinctive brand design represents their passion for technology and high quality of customer satisfaction making Microsoft a high contender in business awareness.
Coca-Cola’s distinctive cursive script has spread the thirst around with its top selling franchise and global approval. As a global leader in the beverage industry, the Coca-Cola industry sells many products which maintain widespread popularity.
The sleek apple design represents a multinational corporation that designs and sells consumer electronics, computer software, and personal computers. The munched on apple is branded on all related products and has become internationally recognised.Comments >>
At uberbrand, our boutique team has exceptional combined experience in marketing, strategy and brand management. When we’re not busy creating great brands, our heads are buried in branding books.
That’s why we present to you our top 3 brand management books for you to learn more about what we love to do.
1. The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding – By Al Ries and Laura Ries
This marketing classic has been expanded to include new commentary, new illustrations, and a bonus book: The 11 Immutable Laws of Internet Branding. Smart and accessible, this book is the definitive text on brand management, engaging its readers with insights into some of the most successful brands in the world.
2. BrandSimple: How the Best Brands Keep it Simple and Succeed – By Allen P. Adamson
Drawing on his years of experience working with some of the world’s top brands, author Adamson shows how to communicate with customers and make your brand resonate. He also gives a behind-the-scenes look at his work with traditional names like Maxwell House as well as newcomers like JetBlue and iPod, explaining what makes them successful.
3. The Brand Gap: How to Bridge the Distance Between Business Strategy and Design – By Marty Neumeier
The Brand Gap is the first book to present a unified theory of brand-building. Whereas most books on branding are weighted toward either a strategic or creative approach, this book shows how both ways of thinking can unite to produce a brand that customers feel is essential to their lives.Comments >>
Over the years, we have built relationships with some of Australia’s leading retail, hospitality, education, financial service and insurance organisations, providing them with comprehensive branding services from strategy to production.
We have a growing portfolio which we are dedicated to showcasing to old, new and potential partners.
Whether it be a brand refresh, marketing campaign or website design, we are proud of the results that culminate from our branding services; there is nothing better than seeing our clients revel in the end products. Take a look at just a small portion of the work we’ve loved being engaged in – and don’t forget to visit again as it is a constantly growing portfolio.
If you like what you see and would like to enquire more about the branding services we offer, visit our offering page, call us on (02) 9357 3973 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d really love to hear from you!Comments >>
Welcome to the uberbrand website! uberbrand is a leading Sydney branding agency based in the leafy suburb of Darlinghurst.
We’re a team of passionate individuals ready to showcase to the world some of our latest and greatest work.
Some of us have come from other branding agency backgrounds, while others have gained experience in the hospitality, fine art and medical industries. No matter where we’ve come from, the team brings their knowledge of industries, expertise and spirit to each individual clients’ project. Check out some of these projects on our portfolio page.
We hope your website experience is as enjoyable for you as it was for us to put it together. If you have any further enquiries about our branding agency, give us a call on (02) 9357 3973 or e-mail us at email@example.com
Happy surfing!Comments >>