Hyundai – Image Marketing Consultants Explains How To Prevent Branding Mistakes

Hyundai – Image Marketing Consultants Explains How To Prevent Branding Mistakes

The powers-that-be at Hyundai assumed they had a homerun in their provocative commercial in the UK.  As the media have reported, it depicted a man, despair etched on his face, who has an abortive suicide attempt locking himself in the gargage and turning on the car.  That’s because the Hyundai technology has an advanced feature that won’t allow it.  The commercial pans with the man flipping on the gargage lights and walking sadly back to the house.

Long story short, the commercial triggered a global backlash to Brand Hyundai.  It will take a while before the company will regain the momentum it has gained in climbing out the discount-car hole to standing toe-to-toe with players like Ford and GM.

The issue here is how you can avoid such brand mistakes.  Here are 3 recommendations from Image Marketing Consultants.

Consider line between provocative and good taste.  Humor site THE ONION can violate good taste and get away with it.  But its core business is humor.  Hyundai’s core business has a lot to do with human safety and satisfaction.

Take into account national/global mood. These have been times of despair in many developed countries.  For example, people have been leaping from their property in Spain when the bank forecloses.

Err on side of caution.  Niche brands and startups can take on more risk than established brands like Hyundai.  WIth creativity you can stay within the lines.

Kate Sirignano, founder of Image Marketing Consultants, invites you to a complimentary consultation for your marketing, public relations, partnerships, social media, and special events needs kate@imagemarketingconsultants.com

Social Entrepreneurs: Image Marketing Consultants Talks About Doing Good To Do Well

More businesses may be writing into their mission statement how they plan to change the world.  This is becoming the era of the social entrepreneur.

Doing good to do well has become so recognized as a winning approach that THE NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE featured the thinking of Wharton professor Adam Grant on how giving gets you ahead. The incentive is clearly there for you to frame your vision in terms of making the world a little bit better place.  The new missionary forces are business people who leverage their know-how to do good.

One way to become a social entrepreneur is to create a program for hiring youth this summer.  Likely they are not looking for the money as much as for the experience.  So, you don’t have to pay them a king’s ransom, only pay attention that they are learning.  You might be their first mentor for the world of work.

Another way is to partner with a non-profit with a niche mission related to your business.  Maybe that non-profit provides pro bono coaching in financial literacy and you are a financial-planning group.  You can donate the time of a few of your planners.

A third way is to invent an app for the smartphone which empowers Everyman and Everywoman to accomplish something in their lives which they couldn’t.  An example would be how to resist overeating.

Doing good means investing in hope for the human race.  That resonates after the tragedies of Newtown, Connecticut and the Boston Marathon.

Kate Sirignano, founder of Image Marketing Consultants, invites you to a complimentary consultation for your marketing, public relations, partnership, special events, and social media needs kate@imagemarketingconsultants.com, 202-404-4868.

Niche Marketing – Image Marketing Consultants Explains How To Hedge

There are trends and there are fads.  In your business you have to hedge your bets that your popular product or service will turn out to be a mere fad, like $4.50 gourmet cupcakes, and not a trend like nonfat milk.

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL reports that the bubble has burst on cupcakes, with Crumbs Bake Shop stock sinking from $13 per share to about $1.70.  Not only is the Crumbs chain but also bakeries across the nation are experiencing significantly depressed demand.

That’s why Image Marketing Consultants warns about the risks involved in niche marketing.  Sure, specializing in a one product or service has been profitable and a tactic to establish a strong brand identity.  However, given the rapid changes in the marketplace, especially consumer preferences, businesses shouldn’t bet the ranch.  They can introduce complimentary products and services, as has PepsiCo.  They can also, under another brand, diversify, keeping the brands separate, as has News Corp.

Kate Sirignano, founder of Image Marketing Consultants, invites you to a complimentary consultation for your marketing, public relations, partnership, special events, and social media needs kate@imagemarketingconsultants.com, 203-404-4868.

Cutting Marketing Costs – 3 Tips from Image Marketing Consultants

With the recovery comes opportunity.  So, companies are focused on marketing.  Some will be rebranding to reach new kinds of customers and clients. Some will be launching new products and services.  And some will be trying to sell more and/or at a higher price than before.  The rub is that marketing costs can be expensive.  How can you cut yours?  Image Marketing Consultants has these 3 tips.

Partner.  To get its initiatives in the digital wallet off the ground American Express has found partners such as Wal-Mart.   They pool resources, ranging from know-how to distribution channels.  That not only saves money and spreads the risk but also increases the odds for success.

Place small bets. With so much turbulence in the economy it’s downright reckless to bet the ranch.  Try out a number of strategies and tactics in small ways.  JC Penney bet the ranch on its anti-discounting strategy and lost out big time.

Reward. Both research and experience show that customers and clients want to be thanked for doing business with you.  Companies such as Discover which structure their loyalty rewards programs right are growing faster than those with no or ham-handed programs.  Rewards don’t have to cost much and, since they reduce churn, they can save on marketing costs.

Kate Sirignano, founder of Image Marketing Consultants, invites you to a complimentary consultation for your marketing, public relations, partnership, special events, and social media needs kate@imagemarketingconsultants.com, 203-404-4868.

 

Peggy Olson – Image Marketing Consultants Tells Business What It Can Learn from “Mad Men” Character

For years on “Mad Men” we have watched the character Peggy Olson suffer, grow, and finally succeed.  Unlike most of the rest of those on this series Olson not only has made it professionally.  She also has found inner centering and maybe even happiness.

Image Marketing Consultants sees plenty of lessons business can learn from Olson’s difficult journey from a blue-collar background, insecurity, and a tendency to idolize those who seem to have all the answers to establishing her own creative space, on her own terms, without bitterness.  Here are three.

Break away. From the get-go as infants, we human beings learn by imitation.  The challenge is to finally stop that and find our own identity.  There are those organizations and individuals who can’t let go of the model of the late Steve Jobs.  Yet they should be focused on developing their own type of genius.  Despite the emotional odds against her for carving out her own territory, Olson did break away.

Forgive.  Carrying resentments from the past provides distractions from the present.  That’s why the wise in every field, be it business or religion, hammer the importance of forgiveness.  That process of letting go of ancient grudges frees up energy to achieve right now.  Olson not only isn’t obsessed with the possible wrongs done her.  She also isn’t trapped in castigating herself for her own mistakes when learning the ropes of the ad business.

Stay open.  Olson is the one character on “Mad Men” whose future is open, both professionally and socially.  We can’t predict what she will put together for herself this sixth season. We only expect more suffering for Don, Megan, Roger, Joan, and Pete.  They close themselves to most opportunities.

Kate Sirignano, founder of Image Marketing Consultants, invites you to a complimentary consultation on your marketing, partnership, public relations, special events, and social media needs kate@imagemarketingconsultants.com, 203-404-4868.

Push Selling: Straight Talk From Image Marketing Consultants

A few weeks ago a successful upscale restaurant leveraged a push selling tactic which probably was counterproductive to its brandingand long-term business.  For a week it promoted a special of two meals for $25, including any choice of its award-winning made-on-the-premise designer desserts.  Although in the depth of the economic downturn this restaurant had struggled, for the past 18 months it had been thriving.

From marketing experience, Image Marketing Consultants knows that such steep discounting will bring in business but those who try the restaurant out are unlikely to return as regulars.  They can’t afford the standard premium prices.  In addition, the regulars get to thinking if they want to be associated with a bargain basement.  Some might not return if their dining experience had been marred by crowds who didn’t know how to comport themselves in an elegant setting.

Admittedly, many enterprises had to discount during hard times.  But as the economy shifts from recessionary to growth, they have to be mapping out strategies and tactics to transition from push selling to those based on a differentiated product or service. The risk is losing the bottom feeders, which might not be a bad thing.  To keep the doors open during The Great Recession, all business might have been welcome.  Now, it’s wise to remember the 80/20 rule.  That is, that 80 percent of profits usually come from 20 percent of the business and 80 percent of the headaches come from customers and clients who are probably contributing least to the bottom line.

Pricing sends a powerful signal. Make sure it’s sending the right one about your brand.

Kate Sirignano, founder of Image Marketing Consultants, welcomes you to a complimentary consultation about your marketing, partnership, public relations, special events, and social media needs kate@imagemarketingconsultants.com, 203-404-4868,