Beau Phillips is a marketing specialist who advises leading companies. In his new video, THE NEW RULES OF MARKETING, Beau explains the 8 pillars to successfully branding your company. Over the next eight weeks, he will discuss each rule, starting with:
RULE #1 LIVE UP TO YOUR BRAND
This is the tale of two companies, Microsoft and Chobani Yogurt. Both are leading brands. Both are headed in opposite directions.
Microsoft is the world’s largest software company…for now. Since Bill Gates’ departure in 2000, the company has squandered its leadership image. They’ve lost momentum, prestige and market share to companies like Apple, Google and Samsung. Gone are the glory days when Microsoft ruled the PC world. The company that built its brand on innovation has stalled, and may never fully recover.
Since taking over from the beloved Gates, CEO Steve Ballmer has piled up a string of failures. Microsoft completely missed the emergence of apps, the power of search and the shift towards mobile. Their highly-touted Vista operating system was a disaster. The MS Windows phone has failed, with just a 1% market share. And who can forget Zune, Microsoft’s “iPod killer”? Ballmer’s failures have been epic. So bad that Forbes named him one of the 5 Worst CEOs.
Sadly, the company that once stood for innovation is consistently late-to the-party. Their brand is now associated with weak, me-too products. True, Microsoft’s Windows software still powers most PCs. But with the emergence of tablets, they will lose that leadership position too.
Simply put, Microsoft lost touch with their customers. They forgot that people are loyal to products, not companies. Apple is learning that lesson now. To quote The Eagles, “they will never forget you till somebody new comes along.”
Let’s look at a brand that’s doing it right…Chobani yogurt. Grocery stores typically sell 5-6 brands of yogurt. But Chobani rules at the register, outselling the competition by a 10-1 margin. Is it their great taste and packaging? Partly. While Microsoft lost touch, Chobani obsesses about its customers. It’s woven into their culture (sorry, I couldn’t resist). Chobani buys milk from local farmers – and they pay well. Even when challenged by a recent recall, Chobani addressed it openly and honestly. They responded by voluntarily removing all product immediately – with full disclosure - and came back with a brilliant offer that reinforced their customer commitment.
Branding lesson #1. Your brand is your image. It’s what people say about you. So the value of your brand changes daily. So, it’s critical to respond to your customers. Nurture your brand and care for it. Make it a top priority by weaving that commitment through everything from your slogan to your commercials to how your receptionist answers the phone. Live up to your brand promise every day.
Here in Washington DC, branding is an important part of a successful marketing mix. Your marketing and advertising needs to reflect your brand in order to be effective. To help with this, watch Beau's video, THE NEW RULES OF MARKETING.
Before you can nuture your brand, you need an effective marketing plan. We have a free guide that will walk you through all the steps. Download our free guide, The Marketing Strategy Model today!