The Brand Integrity Equation
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The Brand Integrity Equation

When you hear or see the word “brand,” what do you think of? A logo? A slogan or tag line? A character? That’s what many consumers would think of.

Now, put on your MarCom hat – what do you think of? Brand identity, brand promise, mission, vision, logo, colors, tone-of-voice, visuals, taglines, personas, marketing touchpoints…

Sure. But that’s not all. A brand is made up of the sum of ALL its parts, not just the ones that marketers focus on. Brand identity is delivered to consumers through an organization’s products and services, its sales team, its pricing, its product development, its customer service, even its fine print.

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The Privacy Problem
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The Privacy Problem

Privacy continues to be a concern for consumers, yet most consumers still seem to be willing to give up at least some privacy for the sake of convenience. In a recent study (see complete infographic below), 92% of U.S. internet users worry about their online privacy and, while only 31% say they understand how their personal information is used and shared, 75% feel that they are adequately protecting their online personal data. WHAT??

How can a consumer protect the privacy of their data when they don’t even understand what is happening with the data they share?

It also appears that the level of concern is beginning to plateau. In 2014, the same study indicated that consumers were 74% more concerned about online privacy than the last year. Now, only 45% are more worried – which indicates one of two things: Either consumers can’t get much more concerned that they already are, or consumers are becoming more comfortable with the state of their online privacy.

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Psychology Behind Marketing – The Culture Filter
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Psychology Behind Marketing – The Culture Filter

PRSA (Public Relations Society of America) defines public relations as “a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.” Marketing, as defined by the American Marketing Association, is “the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.”

As a MarCom professional, the goal on both fronts is to build a meaningful, valuable, and mutually-beneficial relationships. In order to do that, you need to gain a deep understanding about each audience with which you are trying to connect. You need to understand what each segment cares about, what motivates them, and what inhibits them. This relationship building, when done correctly, requires a reversion back to the very basics – communication that is rooted in trust and cooperation.

Recently I was perusing some psychology articles in my feed, and two disciplines jumped out at me: Anthropology and Sociology. They got my MarCom wheels turning…

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Which is Your Biggest Marketing Hurdle?
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Which is Your Biggest Marketing Hurdle?

There are many problems plaguing today’s marketers. I’ve found that most of them relate back to at least one of three things:

  • Money
  • Channel growth
  • Data.

Even though most experts agree that our economy is on an up-swing, consumers are still spending less and saving more, which means there is less revenue to go around so marketing departments are struggling to avoid slashes to their budgets.  The best way to avoid such cuts is to be able to prove the ROI for marketing efforts.  Enter: Big Data.  A marketer’s dream and nightmare all rolled into one numbers-filled package.  (We all know how much marketers love numbers.)

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Universal Appeals in Marketing
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Is There Such a Thing as “Universal Appeal”?

I was recently in a conversation regarding global marketing strategy and the concept of “universal appeal” came up. The argument is that there are certain ideas, values, etc., that translate across global cultures, and can therefore be used in marketing campaigns. But I’m not so sure…

Dutch Professor Geert Hofstede, who has done extensive and widely-accepted research on global cultural difference and similarities, has concluded that each national culture (and in some cases there must be further segmenting, like with the U.S., which is so diverse) falls at a given point on six dimensions:

  • Power Distance (the disparity between those with and those without power)
  • Individualism vs Collectivism
  • Masculinity vs Femininity (which is really better explained as Assertiveness vs Modesty)
  • Uncertainty Avoidance (tolerance for ambiguity)
  • Long-Term vs Short-Term Orientation (focused on the present or the future)
  • Indulgence vs Restraint

Considering those dimensions, I find the concept of universal appeals would be tough to prove. Take superior quality, for example. At face value, it could be assumed that everyone would prefer products and services with superior quality. So, superior quality could be considered an universal appeal.

BUT… what is “superior quality”?

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