Posts

Women Are Today’s Brand Champions

Women have been long known to be holding the purse strings when it comes to the majority of household purchases. According to Monique Nadeau, President and CEO of Hope Street Group, “Women overwhelmingly hold the consumer purchasing power in our country, whether we’re talking about individuals or households. Their understanding of the market allows them to start businesses with a high degree of insight about both their potential customers and competitors.”

Then, you might wonder why so many companies are getting it so wrong when it comes to how they market to them. They are so far off base that one recent article noted that 91% of women believe that advertisers simply “don’t understand” when it comes to the female consumer.


Hi there! This article is available for free. Login or register as a StrategyDriven Personal Business Advisor Self-Guided Client by:

Subscribing to the Self Guided Program - It's Free!


 


About the Author

Michelle PattersonVisionary and lauded business accelerator Michelle Patterson is President of the Global Women Foundation and The California Women’s Conference – the largest women’s symposium in North America that has featured esteemed First Ladies, A-List Hollywood celebrities, and high caliber business influencers. Michelle is also the CEO of Women Network LLC, an online digital media platform dedicated to giving women a voice and a platform to share their message. Michelle may be reached at WomenNetwork.com.

Jeffrey Gitomer

Are you the dominant brand, or is your brand bland?

What’s the difference between you and all of your competition?

Are you different from your competition, or do you just THINK you are? Are you different from your competition, or do you just tell customers and prospects you are?

Or are you different from your competition, and others CLEARLY perceive you as both different and better?

REALITY: It’s not what you think or believe, it’s what your customers do and say.

REALITY: If I ask you what the difference between you and your prime competition is, and your answer is ‘our people’ or ‘me,’ you’re in serious trouble.

REALITY: If you asked your customer what the difference is, what would they say?

  • “Cheaper?”
  • “Closer to my home?”
  • “I dunno, been using them for years.”
  • “Six of one – half a dozen of the other.”

You’re in trouble.

Your reputation is a reality check of where you actually are versus where you think you are:

  • What’s your customer reputation? NOT A SATISFACTION SURVEY. A face-to-face talk. NOT A PHONEINTERVIEW. A face-to-face talk where you ask 100 of your customers what they really think of you, and why they buy.
  • What’s your social reputation? As posted on your business Facebook page by your customer, or as recommended by customers on their social media accounts?
  • What’s your industry reputation? How do both leaders and vendors perceive you in your industry?
  • What’s your community reputation? If you had a town hall meeting of the community, what wouldthey say about you?

Here are more painful ‘reputation’ questions about your company and your products:

  • What are you doing to build it?
  • What are you doing to innovate it?
  • What are you doing to change or enhance your customer’s experience?

Apple is the classic example of a brand, with products that back it up. Their competition is ‘me too,’ and often mentions Apple in their ads. If you brag that you’re ‘just like Apple,’ personally I want Apple. The experience I have in Apple stores is in perfect harmony with the brand they’re portraying.

In the computer industry, the smart phone industry, the tablet industry, and the music player industry, everyone has to start with some sort of comparison to Apple – just like, better than, cheaper than – whatever they say, they mention Apple. Only Apple stands alone not comparing themselves to other products unless it’s a joke. They don’t have to talk about their competition – Apple is the innovator. And they do it at their price.

What’s up in your world? Are you the dominant brand? Are you Amazon? eBay? Jello? Kleenex? Kellogg’s Corn Flakes? Jacuzzi?

HARD QUESTION: Are you comparing your products to the competition, or differentiating yourself from the competition?

HARD QUESTION: Are you trying to justify price, or does your quality reputation precede you?

OUCH QUESTION: Is your brand, product, or service market superior, and you haven’t elevated yourself to that position?

NOTE WELL: Then there are the brands that USED to be #1 and have fallen to #2 or lower. Either by inferior products, inferior service, or disgraced reputation. Blackberry, American Airlines, Barnes & Noble, Microsoft, and Tiger Woods to name a few.

Here are 5.5 interviews you need to do to get the TRUTH from people who are willing to give it to you. In order to get better tomorrow, you gotta know where you are today.

1. Interview customers who love you. They’ll tell you the good stuff.
2. Interview customers who left you. They’ll tell you why, and how to improve.
3. Interview customers who said no to you. They’ll tell you why they chose someone else.
4. Interview loyal employees. They’ll tell you why they love you.
5. Interview departed employees. They’ll tell you why they left you.
5.5 Interview industry leaders. They’ll give you the big picture you may not be able to see.

CAUTION: Leave PR, marketing, and advertising out of the equation, or you may NEVER get to the truth. My recommendation is hire an outside branding company, and at least get a new perspective on the outsideworld (your customers and the marketplace) and the inside world (your people).

After your interviews, here’s what to do:

  • Be realistic as to outside opinions, and how you can create improvement.
  • Create internal excitement about innovation and new ideas.
  • Train and teach attitude, self-belief, and creativity.
  • Give people paid days off just to think and create.
  • Create a sense of self-pride in your people by listening to their thoughts and ideas.
  • Praise and implement new ideas.

RESULT: A new, market dominant, more profitable you.

If you want to learn my secret for long-term brand, name recognition, and loyal customers, go to www.gitomer.com, register if you’re a first-time visitor, and enter the word NAME in the GitBit box.

Reprinted with permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer.


About the Author

Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, Customer Satisfaction is Worthless Customer Loyalty is Priceless, The Little Red Book of Selling, The Little Red Book of Sales Answers, The Little Black Book of Connections, The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude, The Little Green Book of Getting Your Way, The Little Platinum Book of Cha-Ching, The Little Teal Book of Trust, The Little Book of Leadership, and Social BOOM! His website, www.gitomer.com, will lead you to more information about training and seminars, or email him personally at salesman@gitomer.com.

How to Speak American: Building Brands in the New Heartland

“I think the Heartland is a nice place to raise children. People are nice, but they’re dumb, overweight and gullible. They wear tacky clothing and jewelry. They’re racist, unworldly and dumb.”

Marketing executive in New York City

If you are reading this column, you most likely play a role in building brands. You may even share the views of the marketing executive that I quoted above. If either is true, you need to take a deeper look into this massive segment of America.

From what I’ve seen, many marketers don’t understand the New Heartland. At all. They have wasted time and resources, and the results delivered, no matter how strong, are only a fraction of what they could have been. The Heartland consumer is a unique segment that is ever evolving and requires constant attention for brands to remain relevant.

This segment is underestimated, underserved and misunderstood, and that presents a huge opportunity for brands who become Heartland savvy. It is my mission to make sure that your brand will be among them.


Hi there! This article is available for free. Login or register as a StrategyDriven Personal Business Advisor Self-Guided Client by:

Subscribing to the Self Guided Program - It's Free!


 


About the Author

A brand strategist for more than 20 years, Paul Jankowski has created and executed consumer promotions for some of the world’s largest and most successful companies, including Pepsi, Ford, FedEx, and Beyonce. His experiences targeting the “typical American consumer” on the East and West Coasts coupled with several long drives within America’s interior in his Ford F150 provided fertile ground for his study of an often-overlooked segment of the population, what Paul calls “America’s New Heartland.” As Author of How to Speak American: Building Brands in the New Heartland, Paul shares his groundbreaking insights and has emerged as one of the most respected voices in marketing today. To read Paul Jankowski’s full biography, click here.