Common Branding Mistakes People Generally Make

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Every business aims to create a successful brand for itself. In today’s market, creating a brand and promoting it among the customers is what drives the success of a business. But branding doesn’t end at PR, it also includes customer experience. These are some of the things about branding that every business has to focus on to nurture its development. But with branding being such a vast concept, entrepreneurs end up making a few mistakes that directly affect their business. Let’s discuss a few common branding mistakes that every entrepreneur should try to avoid.

• A trend that has been present for many years is of businesses not knowing what their brand really stands for. Every business in its initial stages should clearly decide its mission, approach and target audience. This will help the business focus on things that are vital to its success.

• Another aspect to look at for businesses is trying not to please everyone. The number of people a successful brand attracts will usually be the same as many as it repels. Brands that don’t appeal much to others will more likely appeal to the brand’s target audience. If you try to appeal to everyone, you risk reducing the effects of your brand message on your core customers.

• With exponential growth and success of social media platforms, it is vital for every business to make its strong presence felt on the web. Branding has been taken to another level with the help of such modern tools. But where most brands run into a glitch is when they over-utilize these platforms. Ensure that your brand has a great presence on social media sites, but don’t focus on quantity over quality. Interact through posts with your potential customers, but don’t hog their timelines and newsfeeds.

• When building a brand you might get tempted to share everything related to you on your website or social media platforms. But it is important that your posts are consistent with your brand image. This practice will go a long way in building a strong brand efficiently, as it fosters trust and confidence among your customers. Consistency begins with harmonizing all of your visual assets.

• Branding can never be complete without the feedback of your customers. Businesses make the mistake of not tracking their efforts and their effects on the market. Finding out how your customers view your brand message has become necessary in today’s competitive world. Consistent feedback can help your business to grow and strengthen its branding strategy.

Businesses quick to recognize their mistakes have greater chances of being successful in the long run. Though mistakes are part of every business and they can’t be completely eliminated. It is important to learn from your mistakes and from your competition’s mistakes as well to keep progressing.

Rational Branding V/s Emotional Branding

Branding is a multifaceted topic and is indeed the science of making promises and the art of delivering them. Companies and brands make several attempts and efforts in nailing the two through a variety of methods and strategies that can be basically classified as Rational and Emotional.

What is rational branding?

Anything based on reason or logic can be called rational. So rational branding means a branding strategy that is devised considering the benefits of a product. It highlights the reasons for picking a product. Also the product is at the center of the strategy here.

What is emotional branding?

When you deal with people, you deal with their emotions too. There is no shunning away from this fact. Hence a branding strategy developed considering the emotions of the target audience, would be called emotional branding strategy. The “buyer” is at the center of the strategy here and, the campaigns are designed in such a way that the potential clients are able to connect with the brand. While the prior one creates the reason, this one, creates the desire.

Difference between the two:

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Brand Positioning:
Since both the branding strategies have different orientations, they also have different cause and effect relationship with the brand positioning in the market.

Rational branding can help you in developing a strong footing in the market with the help of stats and facts presented right. You can inform people about your brand and if they find it useful, they would end up buying it. Rational branding can bring you good market recognition if your product is unique, useful and cost-effective and, your branding strategies describe the same to the fullest.

Talking about emotional branding, here you have to top your USP game to hit the right chord. If your consumer is able to feel it, you are sure to top the chart.

To get the best results, it is advisable to merge the two.

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Have a look at this product creative of one of our clients, Italica.

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It talks about the product in particular and also highlights the USP’s of the brand. Apart from that, it also narrates the benefits one can get on a lifestyle note.

All in all, both the modalities can do wonders for your brand, if used aptly.

Unique Selling Proposition

In this competitive world with innumerable similar products, it is vital for a business to offer something to their customers that is different. When marketing to customers, a business should always mention their USP or their product’s USP. Unique Selling Proposition or USP is what sets apart a business or a product from its competition, and making it easily recognizable by its potential customers. It basically means stating what you have, but your competitors don’t. Quite a few businesses make the mistake of being known for everything in their initial phase. But instead, they should be attempting to be known for something specific, which is the product’s or the business’s USP.

An effective USP clearly conveys the message of benefit to consumers, by offering them something that the competition can’t or doesn’t offer. Your USP is a successful tool that aids your marketing goals, and it ensures that every element of your marketing strategy makes a cohesive effort to set you apart from the competition. Your USP is also an integral part of your branding that can make your company or product memorable for customers or potential customers.

Every USP envisioned should be short and concise. It should tell your customers what your business stands for and what you promise to deliver that is unique in the market. Let’s see how you can come with an effective USP for your business.

• You should always start by identifying points that differentiate your business from the competition. These will be the factors that will compel your target audience to choose your business or product over others.

• Your USP should be such that it effortlessly instills trust in future customers. It should attract people and make them curious about your business. This will give you the opportunity to open conversations with your target audience easily.

• Most importantly, your USP should emphasize on the skills and experience behind your business. It should clearly state the expertise used to create your product or brand. This helps in winning potential customers’ trust and builds a brand.

Following this philosophy, Wolves Creata created a powerful marketing strategy for the launch of Motto Tiles’ new and exclusive size in India. We incorporated the product’s USP in Motto’s marketing creatives to efficiently state that it was the first time that 900×1800 mm size was manufactured in Asia. This special factor made a whole new category in the market, which obviously made the product different from its competitors. This gave Motto Tiles an evident advantage over the other manufacturers not only in India, but in Asia as well.

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This example of Motto Tiles shows us that a USP makes a business stand apart from the crowd and highlights its distinctive qualities. It has gradually become essential for every business to have a USP that is capable of drawing new customers for sustaining a business in the long-run.

Modern Tools of Branding

Evolution is a rule of nature. Over a period of time, almost everything adapts to face new challenges. The things that were considered modern 25 years ago aren’t anymore and new ideas have replaced them in today’s world. The same is the case with the evolution of branding and its tools. As the world has progressed and became technologically advanced, branding tools have also evolved over the years. This blog will talk about some of these tools and how they have changed and developed in the past few decades.

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If we start by talking about initial branding tools, arguably one of the firsts was the logo. Since ancient times, people have been using different techniques to put a unique symbol or mark on their products. Logos help people recognize their preferred brands out of thousands of other brands. Though logos are still one of the most effective branding tools, modern use and portrayal has evolved drastically. In the bygone eras, logos were only initials of the business’s name or the owner’s initials, but with time logos have started depicting a business’s true identity and character. Logos are designed intelligently to serve the dual purpose of easy recognition and to tell the world about the business in a brief manner.

Another branding tool that has stood the test of time but evolved drastically is the visual adverts for products. In the past, business used print ads and images to increase their market visibility and reach potential customers. With technological advancements in the last century, businesses found video advertising more compelling and attractive for their customers. Print ads still exist, but the effect video ads have on the masses can’t be argued.

Branding has always been about increasing a business’s reputation and visibility among the people. An effective branding strategy uses its existing customers as marketers for its business. People tend to turn to their loved ones for advice when it comes to choosing a new product. This is where word of mouth marketing comes in the fray and it has been here for centuries. In the old times, people used a product and they advised their loved ones to try the same. Word of mouth marketing has increased many folds with the invention of the internet. People now talk about products and services on their social media platforms, which has revolutionized word of mouth marketing for brands. Easy access to product details and ease of buying shows how seriously businesses take word of mouth marketing nowadays.

As we saw above, the tools of branding we discussed are still the same on the basic level, but their application and uses have evolved over the decades. These changes have benefitted both the businesses and customers alike. And we are sure these tools will keep evolving with the ever-changing market needs.

5 amazing alternatives to Google Adwords

Every time we hear PPC, the first name that coins in our brain is Google Adwords. Certainly it is a useful entity and has helped many businesses to grow and expand their reach. However, if you are a novice entrepreneur or are just starting out, then Google’s Adwords could take a toll on you. The said platform is effective and equally expensive. You might not want to invest so much in online marketing in the crawling stage of your business. Besides, the world of Adwords has got tough competition and for you to make a mark, a lot of planning shall go right. Note that we are not criticizing Google Adwords, it is utterly useful but mainly for big units. If you do not want to invest in it big time, here are some of its alternatives.

1. Facebook Ads (https://www.facebook.com/business/products/ads)

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Facebook is aware about its reach and command and hence provides a perfect platform to you to boost your business. Under the tab of ads, coherent sub-tabs are placed for you to select just the right format for your ad. And there you have it…your ad, in your budget! Talking about the reach of this platform, the clicks received on facebook are lower than other sources but it is definitely cost-efficient.

2. Amazon paid ads (https://services.amazon.com/advertising/overview.htm?id=hm1)

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Amazon is expanding its roots at the speed of light worldwide. Apart from being loved as an ecommerce market portal, it is also gaining a lot of appreciation and accolades for its advertisements skills. Potential customers get onto the portal to make their necessary purchases and while browsing they could see ad of the related or similar products, giving you the competitive advantage.

3. Clicksor (http://www.clicksor.com/)

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Clicksor is definitely not that a cheap option but yes, it is highly conducive in expanding the reach of a business as it has multi-layered advertising format that can help you to reach to your mass.

4. YouTube ads (https://www.youtube.com/yt/advertise/)

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YouTube is the third most visited website in the world. It is one of the most incredible platforms to advertise for any product. Google Adwords work on the basis of pay per click but YouTube works on the basis of pay per view structure. It is one of the booming platforms for running video ads as YouTube provides multiple platforms for letting your video appear.

5. Yahoo! and Bing Ads (https://secure.bingads.microsoft.com/)

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Bing Ads works on the model of pay per click on both Yahoo! and Bing. This model offers a vast reach and great market presence. Besides, its service portal is highly appreciated. Not only that, its click through rate is also phenomenal.

So these are some of the useful and cost-effective alternatives to Google Adwords which small scale business models can use to get necessary market recognition in a reasonable budget.

What are Google AdWords and AdSense? Difference between them

The world of digital marketing is dominated by PPC model and one of the pioneers of the same is Google AdWords. Google AdWords is a program that allows you to create an advertisement that would appear in the relevant search results of Google pages and on its Network Partner Sites. The best part is the advertiser only pays when someone clicks on the ad. Google AdSense is a program that publishes the Google AdWords Ads on individual websites and Google pays the publisher depending upon the clicks received by the ad. They are co-related and function in sheer coordination.

Let us learn about the two in detail

As a businessman, if you will to expand your business through digital marketing, you would definitely think of advertisements. Google AdWords helps you in creating your marketing campaigns advertisement.

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Create your account, select the format, fix your budget, and select where you want your advertisement to be published and let Google handle the rest. Depending upon the periphery of your layout, it will publish your advertisement in its relevant search results and network partner websites and you pay only when the ad is clicked. Text, i.e. keywords driven ads appear on the search engine results page while otherwise rich advertisements (the ones having images or videos) appear on the relevant partner network websites- the AdSense Websites that are owned by bloggers or webmasters.
Time and again, Google AdWords have proved their worth. You can follow the clicks received to your ad; you can calculate the conversion rate and also compute the returns on your investment. So basically, you see where the money is going and learn if the investment was worthy.

Google has its own content network sites that it uses to publish the advertisements that are registered with AdWords. Depending upon the nature of the advertisement and target audience selected by the advertiser, Google publishes the ad onto the respective website/s. These advertisements generate revenue for Google on the basis of pay per click or pay per impression (the rate paid onto receiving 1000 views of a particular ad) model.

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Create your account with Google AdSense, select the type of ads you want to be published on your website, define the location and let the money flow in. Once you are a part of the circuit, Google would start publishing ads on your website and every time it gets clicked, you receive a share paid by the advertiser.

You might not be able to earn a lot of money in the beginning. You should keep on posting more of relevant content on your websites so that associated ads would be published on your website by Google. The service system of AdSense is highly active and helps its users at each and every stage. Besides, the payment model of AdSense is also very transparent.

So get going, learn and earn through these Google programs.

PPC and Keywords. How are they useful?

PPC or Pay Per Click, as the name suggests it is an online advertising feature, where advertisers pay the search engine every time someone clicks on their ad. It is a cost-effective way to get your website noticed by your target audience, while other online marketing strategies gradually help your website reach maximum visibility. PPC campaigns are driven by keywords. It is these keywords that make ads visible on various web pages. A thoughtful process to come up with a bunch of keywords that are related to your business can do wonders.

So, it is clear that for every PPC campaign to be successful, keywords are important. But every time someone makes an online search, which ads show up on top are decided by an auction. Advertisers bid the amount on the keywords they think their potential customers would search online when they are looking to buy something. Every time a searcher types in a keyword, the product’s ad pops up in the search results at the top and the advertisers pay the search engine whenever their ad is clicked. That is why it becomes absolutely vital that the keywords should be closely related to the product or service.

But keywords can spread into hundreds of variations. So, it becomes important to carefully select a few keywords that more relevant to your business or product. And when it comes to PPC campaigns, it should be ensured that the keywords follow a theme. The theme could be based on the service, product, searcher intent or audience. This grouping of keywords based on a theme help determine the when and where an ad will be featured. These groupings also affect the how search engines perceive the relation between a keyword, and ad and the page the searcher is going to be directed to.

A clear internal strategy should be created to shortlist keywords. The list should be made after considering the nature of the business, your web pages with the highest traffic and a clear market research. The keywords should be popular among your customers, which will ensure better results. You can always include related keywords of your choice as long as they follow the common theme.

Generally, PPC ads are differentiated from normal ads by putting them in a section named “Sponsored Ads” or “Sponsored Links”. This also makes it easier for the searcher to notice these ads on a webpage that is filled with products and services that are competing with you.

Bidding for keywords and having your ads visible at the top of a search engine page definitely gives the advantage to a business. So, PPC campaigns should also be on every business’s agenda when forming a strong online marketing strategy.

The Rise of Social Media Optimization

In layman terms, Social Media Marketing is the process of using social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube as marketing tools. Social media marketing uses the social aspect of online connectivity to interact with potential customers on a more personalized and effective manner than traditional marketing. The main objective of Social media marketing is to create content that can be shared by users on social media sites for improved brand exposure and customer reach. And to increase the visibility of this content search engine optimization is necessary. We have all heard about SEO, SMO is a strategy to attract future customers to your website.

SMM has become widely popular in the last decade with the rise of social media sites, which also brought a need for SMO. Social media optimization can be successfully utilized by adding social media links to your content and articles, such as sharing buttons or RSS feeds. Another way of utilizing SMO is by doing activities like posting statuses, tweets or blog posts to promote your social media. When you optimize your content for social media it enables more people to connect with you and visiting your website.

Let’s talk about some key points to take care when developing a SMO strategy.

• Always make sure that your SEO aligns with your SMO strategy. This is a great way to maximize your brand exposure. It always better when different elements of your strategy can give a cohesive experience.

• It’s called social media for a reason. Customer interaction is a mainstay of social media marketing and optimization strategy. So, be as social on these sites as possible and interact with your customers and potential customers.

• Regular updates about your brand on your social media posts are important to maintain your brand visibility. And also integrate your social media into your website.

• Just as in SEO, content is very crucial in SMO as well. Your strategy should contain content that is both original and curated. Interesting content is always a crowd puller.

• In the recent years, SMO has been transformed with growing use and popularity of hashtags. Adding hashtags to your posts can increase the reach of your posts, and it can also make it easier for people who don’t follow you to find your content.

• When creating social media posts, it becomes vital to keep a check on the length of every post. For proper optimization they shouldn’t be too lengthy and they should also be posted on specific times to increase their visibility.

A proper SEO and SMO strategy can maximize your reach to your customers and potential customers. So

Increasing Importance of Search Engine Marketing

In the previous few blogs, we read about digital marketing. And under that topic, a certain term ‘search engine optimization’ was mentioned quite a few times. SEO involves creating content that will pop up first in search engine results. But here, we are going to talk about Search Engine Marketing or SEM. Though SEM and SEO are components of digital marketing, both serve a very different purpose.

Search Engine Marketing or SEM focuses on ads which appear alongside the results of a search engine. The product images with prices you see related to what you searched for is the outcome of SEM. A person is said to be in ‘hunt mode’ when he or she is searching for products on the internet. This is a clear-cut sign to the search engine and the advertisers that the person wants information about a product in a commercial or non-commercial manner. When a person is in ‘hunt mode’, he or she can be in the beginning, middle or end stages of the purchasing process. And this makes search engine results one of the best places for targeted traffic, whether the source of the traffic is unpaid search results or paid advertising.

Search engines use complex algorithms in an attempt to give relevant results to searchers based on the keywords used, their device, location, past search behavior and identity. So, a well-thought-out strategy needs to be adopted by businesses and advertisers to take advantage of the so-called ‘hunt mode’ of potential customers to increase their sales. SEM is a non-intrusive way of advertising, which is quite unique from traditional ways of advertising. Search engine traffic originates from elective and audience-driven search behavior.

All marketers can gain by interacting with their potential customers when they are in the process of making a decision. But for your add to pop alongside search results, you will have to win auctions organized by various search engines. Advertisers bid on keywords related to their business and the ads of the highest bidders pop on the top. The more you are willing to pay for every click increases the chances of your ads to be one of the first ads a searcher looks at. But the ad auction takes varied factors into account before an ad appears on a webpage. For example, the two main factors that Google takes into account as part of the auction process are your highest bid and the quality score of your ads.

Search engine marketing’s prominent quality is that it offers marketers the chance to put their ads in front of customers who are ready to make a purchase at that precise moment. No other advertising medium can provide this, which is why search engine marketing is so potent and such an amazing way to develop your business.

Top Digital Marketing Trends of 2017

2017 was another year that saw revolutionary advancements in every industry. The digital space and marketing saw immense growth in the past year. A few digital marketing tools and topics gained popularity and maybe changed the space forever. Let’s take a look at some of those tools.

Mobiles and smartphones are still leading the way when it comes to digital marketing. Consumers or prospective consumers of a brand do the initial research about a product or service on their smartphones. Retailers and e-commerce companies already have a stronghold in this category. But each year, this space is being re-invented to attract more and more consumers, as the competition has increased.

In the past few years, the advancements in 3G and 4G network have made it easier for people to stay online. Taking advantage of this, companies like Facebook and Google rolled out live video streaming on their platforms. These live videos have caught on like wildfire in a short period of time. Brands have started using live videos to interact with their consumers while promoting their brand. These interactions with consumers or potential consumers feel personal as they happen in real time, which may affect the purchasing decision of individuals.

Arguably, the most trending topics on the internet last year were viral videos and memes. Words proved to be overrated, as videos, images and GIFs took center stage. Memes on various subjects like politics, sports and relationships were shared all over the internet. Companies identified it as a great branding tool and used relevant memes and viral videos to promote their brand. Quirky and unorthodox branding came like a breath of fresh air and helped businesses to stand out from the crowd.

As talked in our previous blogs, influencer marketing has really caught on. Brands have realized its great potential and it has become a part of their fundamental marketing strategy. 2017 saw a justified increase in influencer marketing, which will continue in 2018 as well. Influencers give brands an easy way to connect with their potential customers without having to go through the process of identifying the target audience. And influencer marketing also creates a sense of trust among the customers as the product or service is promoted by someone they know.

If someone has been active on social media in the last couple of years, I am sure they have heard the word ‘millennial’. Millennials are the demographic, who were born between the years 1978 and 2000 approximately. Millennials have a lot to offer and they have become the most valued segment of marketers and brands. By directly interacting with this generation, brands and marketers are able to form a bond. But to sustain this bond and grab their attention, brands came up with some unique strategies in 2017.

We are sure 2018 is going to be another great year for the digital marketing space. With the evolution of these trends, we will also see some new trends coming to the forefront.