November 11, 2015 1:20 pm
After spending 5 weeks at Ketchup HQ, I have had the best experiences and learnt so much about the world of Marketing and working with local businesses. Here are some of the key messages from my time at Ketchup:
Knowledge is Power
It is vital that business owners understand who their target market is and how these clients engage with their business. Who is your ‘typical’ or most profitable customer? What kind of lifestyle do they lead? What brands do they buy? The answers to these kinds of questions will inform the style and tone of the Marketing materials produced for this group and will help make sure your Marketing is appropriate for these people. Those of you who know Michelle might have seen the Janet and John presentation…
Online – along the right lines?
While no-one can deny the importance of a professional website, not all aspects of online marketing are appropriate for every business. Business owners tend to view social media as an efficient way to boost their business profile, but certain industries are unlikely to increase their profits by 20% simply by tweeting about their work. For instance, cranes, labels, mezzanine floors and glue are not the sorts of posts likely to receive a record number of likes. Babies, food and pets, however, are. Equally, if you are going to have a Facebook or Twitter account, make sure it remains relevant and up-to-date, as it looks unprofessional if you started in earnest, but have made no effort to continue posting.
Branding: Three time’s a charm
Three really is the magic number in Marketing, with people needing to see a brand three times before remembering it. With this in mind, businesses need to ensure their Marketing message reaches their target audience enough times. There are many different ways of doing this, from offline A-boards to websites and online Facebook advertising. Likewise, being creative is a great way to be memorable, such as using different shapes for your Marketing material. However, businesses must ensure they have the money to execute a campaign effectively, and should have the 3 touch points goal in mind when budgeting.
For more insights into what I have gained from working at Ketchup, look out for my next blog.
To discuss how Ketchup Marketing can help your business, use the contact form here or visit the website for more information.
August 22, 2014 3:16 pm
What is a brand?
We have already touched on the subject of this subject in our beginners guide to branding blog but it’s worth touching on again as part of our A-Z of marketing series. A brand can offer enormous benefits to your business and, despite what many people think, building a strong brand is not just something for companies like Virgin, Apple, or BMW…
A brand is more than just your logo, your logo is simply a visual representation of your brand. It should incorporate your business name, products, and services, culture, and values. Your branding needs to appeal to your key stakeholders such as customers, employees, suppliers, and investors. Your brand values need to be communicated to, and run through, your entire organisation.
We all have brands that we display a certain level of loyalty to, whether it’s a specific coffee, shampoo, or even a particular supermarket or clothes store. What the marketing teams have done with these brands is invaluable to any business. By investing in and building the brand, from the imagery to the values and emotions associated with it, they have created a loyal customer base. This means that their competitors would have to work extremely hard, and potentially have to invest quite a bit of money, to knock them off the top spot.
Having a pool of customers who are loyal to you, your brand, and your products and services means that you will have a steady stream of income. Your customers will also be ambassadors for your brand, it is very likely that they will be recommending you to others, and people are more likely to buy from someone if they have been recommended by their peers.
Brand loyalty doesn’t just apply to customers, your employees will be loyal too. If your brand represents an enjoyable, rewarding, and supportive working environment and company culture, not only will you attract the best talent but you’ll keep them too.
Along with loyalty, a well-established and successful brand can also add value to your products and services in the minds of your customers. Taking the shampoo example again, if you are loyal to a specific brand it is likely that your will be willing to pay more for that product.
Adding value through your brand, whether it’s a consumer good or a business service, means that you can charge based on the overall value you offer.
Let’s face it, in some industries it’s extremely difficult to differentiate your products and services from those of your competitors. Building a well-established and recognisable brand could be your key to getting noticed longer term. A brand that resonates with your target market can often be the difference between noticing a business and what it has to offer and walking right on by and not registering it at all.
Building a brand is essential for your business, no matter what size. We don’t all have to be British Airways, KPMGs, or Gillette’s, but we do have to make an effort to grow within our market, attract and keep customers and employees, and differentiate ourselves from our competitors – your brand is key to achieving this.
If you would like some help building a successful brand call Michelle on 0330 088 9277 for a no obligation discussion or contact us using this form.
May 18, 2014 8:42 am
One of the most common misconceptions we come across as a marketing agency is that branding is only for the big boys and is too complicated and expensive for SMEs. Nothing could be further from the truth; many businesses of all shapes and sizes have achieved great success from developing a well-known brand within their marketplace.
What is a brand?
Many people are under the impression that a brand is an expensive logo, but it’s so much more than that, your logo and the colours/designs that you use represent the kind of business you are, your culture, and values. The logo is simply an image, a brand encompasses everything.
The aim of your brand is to get people to associate it with the products and services you provide. It should help distinguish you from your competitors and help customers choose you over them. Not only that, it should create a positive emotional response within your customers and potential customers.
Examples of brands that have nailed this are:
Disney – the brand just makes you feel happy
BMW – quality, status, success
Amazon – reliability, variety, fast delivery, quality
Visual brand representation
Logos, colours, and fonts all represent the visual aspect of your brand. To make these effective for your business, and to begin to build a brand that is recognisable and linked to quality products and services, you need to make sure it is used correctly.
You can maximise the visual representation of your brand by adding it to everything you put out into the marketplace, from your website and email signatures, to business cards, product manuals, and building signage. Download our branding signals document for more ideas about where to use your brand.
Emotional brand response
We touched on the emotional response of brands earlier but what is behind this response? The visual representation of your brand, i.e. your logo, is the vehicle for people recognising the company but it, in itself, will not create an emotional response.
The emotional response comes from a number of factors
- Your products and services – why do people buy what you offer, is it a symbol of success, does it make them feel good etc..?
- Your customer service – how do your customers feel when they are dealing with your company?
- Your staff – do your employees enhance your brand and the customer experience through the way that they act internally and externally?
- The messages you put out into the marketplace – what tone of voice do you use, what response are you trying to get from your audience, why should they buy your products and services?
The implications of not building a strong brand
The implications of not investing in and building a professional brand can be far reaching. Today business is more competitive than ever and with the ability to get your business online and out to the masses instantly, you need a strong brand to back up the messages about your products and services.
Some of the main implications of not having a strong brand include:
- You will get lost in the crowd – If you don’t build a strong brand you can lose out to your competitors and get lost in the crowd. People need to recognise and relate to your business, branding is one of the key ways to begin building recognition and relationships with your customers. A strong brand, which incorporates everything mentioned in this article, will enable you to stand out from your competitors, therefore increasing interest in your business and what it has to offer.
- Your products and services won’t seem as valuable to customers – one of the key benefits of a strong brand is that it actually adds value to your products and services. Why else would we pay so much more for branded items, such as coffee, when the supermarket’s own brand is half the price?
- Not having a brand, even if it’s a personal one, can impact on customer relationships – your customers will be filtering a lot of promotional information throughout the day, you need to have something up your sleeve that will make them sit up and take notice. A strong brand is a great start.
- Harder to establish loyalty from customers – in some marketplaces and for some products and services brand loyalty is everything, from going to a particular hair salon to only buying a specific brand of cola. Building brand loyalty increases repeat business and creates ambassadors for your company.
If you are looking for some expert help with your branding, call Michelle now on 0330 088 9277. Start building your brand today!
August 21, 2013 10:14 am
According to a recent Survey conducted by Live & Breathe, 73% of shoppers care that the nations high street are in decline, and a good proportion of them are worried about their local high street.
At Ketchup Marketing we have been working with two local independent retailers in Oakham, in two very different businesses, selling products which are poles apart. They seem to be rather pleased with the results so far, so we thought we’d share our top ten tips for independent retailers.
- Make sure you have a good, clear sign which is perpendicular to the front of your shop so that pedestrians and traffic can see you on their approach.
- Make sure any offers or discounts you’re promoting aren’t devaluing your customer’s buying experience. Nothing like screams “naff” more than massive “SALE” signs in your window.
- Sell baskets. Before you try and sell anything to anyone, make sure they have a basket in their hand. Studies prove that having a basket increases the average transaction value at the till.
- Use music (as long as you have appropriate licences in place) to enhance the experience. Fast music speeds up your shoppers. Slow music slows them down.
- Similarly, shoppers are shown to slow down and ponder over goods where the lighting is slightly dimmer than the rest of the store.
- Position your most profitable goods at eye level. Eye level is buy level.
- Make sure your team in-store are empowered to deal with problems quickly – everyone should know what the process is for handling a complaint, return etc.
- Monitor what sells, and what doesn’t. Move your stock around to see if that changes the results.
- Position goods strategically – between 4pm and 8pm a certain supermarket chain positions nappies near beer, so that fathers on the way home from work, when requested by their partner to pick up more nappies, will “just happen” to pick up a four pack of tinnies too.
- Use your window display like a billboard advertisement – create something that’s going to inspire your customers to buy – change it regularly, use it to showcase your best products, with messages calling customers into the store. If you’d had to pay for an advertising space that big I’m sure you’d think about it really carefully, so do that with each new window display.
Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to retail marketing and merchandising, and if you want to know more then give us a call on 0330 088 9277 and we’ll be delighted to see how we can help you.
There’s no excuse for just being lazy!
August 12, 2013 1:03 pm
Years ago, Siouxsie Sioux (of punk & goth-pop fame, for the benefit of younger readers, and by default, showing our age) commented that people just don’t pick holes out of society anymore. Perhaps we’re all becoming lazy. Lazy with our marketing too? Well we’d hope not…
There are many famous and amusing marketing blunders that spring to mind …Scandinavian vacuum manufacturer Electrolux using “Nothing sucks like an Electrolux” in one US ad campaign, and Vauxhall didn’t think to change their Nova model’s name so when it launched in Spain the locals thought it was a car called “doesn’t go”.
Well the Ketchup team were out and about in Birmingham in July and saw this lovely campaign The Big Bandage which is an initiative to raise support for the work of Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
Great idea, really nice branding which is consistent across their web presence as well as this ambient media – and this was a particularly novel way of taking the message to the people – but something was wrong. And it was one of those things we’d spot – picky as we are.
The last time we used a safety pin in the office was to hold Gary’s shirt closed when he realised he’d lost a button in a critical place, just before an important client meeting. And so we can say with some confidence that the safety pin holding the bandage around the injured tail of our four legged cow friend above was, in fact, the wrong way around.
We marketing folk can’t be perfect all of the time, but there’s no excuse for just being lazy.
If you need an injection of marketing brilliance, ask our (ever so picky!) team to come and help you with your next marketing campaign; just call us on 0330 088 9277 or contact Michelle here.
“Hi, I am rich, marry me!”
June 26, 2013 10:00 am
Gary stumbled across this joke again on Twitter the other day about marketing that has been doing the rounds for a while, but we thought it was still worth sharing…
“You see a gorgeous girl at a party and you say to her “Hi, I am rich, Marry me!” ~ That is Direct Marketing.
If she walks up to you and says, “Hi, you are very rich, I want to marry you” ~ That is Brand Recognition.
If you call her the next day and say, “I am very rich, Marry me” ~ That is Telemarketing.
If she slaps your face when you say “Marry me” ~ That is Customer Feedback.”
Funny? We liked it. But we also smile at this bit that can be added on:
“One of your mates says that there’s a gorgeous girl you should marry” ~ That’s social marketing.”
And hopefully, in a nutshell, that explains why using social media can help your business. Using Twitter and Facebook give you the opportunity to share not only your thoughts and ideas, but also good contacts via great public testimonials. 3rd party endorsements have massive influence and, if harnessed correctly, can be a hugely important addition to your over-arching marketing strategy.
If you think you “could do better” (as my teacher used to say!) with using social media as part of your marketing mix, then drop Michelle a line on 0330 088 9277. She is married though, so don’t go getting any funny ideas 🙂
It’s my turn to have a little bit of a grumble today...
May 31, 2013 2:12 pm
It’s my turn to have a little bit of a grumble today. I shouldn’t really, the sun’s finally out and at Ketchup Marketing HQ the atmosphere is bubbling with focused creative energy as we busy ourselves with some juicy projects… but something has been irritating me.
Over the last few weeks I’ve spotted that a couple of local small businesses have invested in A-boards. A-boards and other such signage can be a great way to attract passing pedestrians into your premises, but getting the message and position right is critical. The thing that has irked me is that these two new, shiny A-boards are situated on a busy A-road, so very few passers-by on foot. Most people who spot them will be, like me, driving past at 40 mph. And guess what? You can’t actually see what the boards say from your car at that speed.
It bothers me on two levels; As a marketing professional as well as from the point of view of a small business owner in tough economic times, we all want as much bang for our buck as possible. So spending a couple of hundred quid on something that has no impact whatsoever actually makes me feel a bit sad that these small businesses have wasted their hard earned money. Yes, yes, it’s my usual mantra about return on investment. For the same money – or less, the businesses could have chosen something much more effective – a vinyl banner, a sign positioned perpendicular to the building, posters, or leaflets distributed to target postcodes.
Here at Ketchup Marketing we wouldn’t dream of selling you an ineffective “solution” to help you attract more customers. If you have a store and you want more people to come into it, we can advise you on how best to get your message to people (one that is meaningful, and importantly, one that they can actually read) to maximise your return on your marketing spend. So, give me, Michelle a call on 0330 088 9277 and I (and Gary) will help you avoid the A-road-A-board error, among others.