What Your Price Says About Your Brand

When you think of some of the most popular/trusted/like consumer brands in the US today, you might think of Budweiser, Coke, Amazon, Apple, Walmart, etc.

Some brands are closely linked to price, rather intentionally. To illustrate two of the extremes, let’s use Walmart on the low end and Apple on the high end.

People who know Walmart know they stand for everyday low prices. Their brand is identified with low prices. And for them, that’s a good thing, because it is a part of what makes them so successful. Customers shop at Walmart because they can afford to (in addition to it being convenient).

At the other end of the spectrum we have Apple, who has always taken special care of their brand’s reputation. They offer high-quality, good looking, intuitive technology products. And because of their brand, and the loyalty of most customers, they can command a higher price.

Unlike Walmart, Apple will never specifically tout their higher prices as a part of the marketing. But consumers know that the higher prices they charge are worth it because the brand is so powerful.

Price and brand will always be linked in the minds of consumers. Which makes it hard for companies to change prices or offer new product lines outside of their traditional markets.

It would be difficult for Walmart to suddenly try a higher-price, higher-value strategy. Likewise it wouldn’t make sense for Apple to start slashing prices and try to compete with Dell in the computer market.

Savvy marketers must learn how the pricing strategy they employ sets the stage for how consumers view their brand.

Simple Website Fixes – Part 9

Welcome to the latest edition of our newest weekly blog series, Simple Website Fixes. Each week we will identify and explain one easy change that you can make to your company’s website in order to improve performance. Last week’s fix was – Use Buttons.

This week’s fix = Add Video

We can go ahead and admit that video is not easy, and so it might not seem like a perfect fit for this series on “simple” fixes. But, let’s pretend for a minute that you have the budget and/or capabilities to create quality videos for your site.

If so, then adding them is simple. Hosting them on YouTube or Vimeo and embedding them, or simply adding a custom video player to your website is something any junior developer can do.

Why is this a fix?

Video has taken over for text as the dominant content type on the web. 3.25 Billion hours of video are watched on YouTube alone each month. This is a video-driven world and if you have something to say, you are better off saying it with video than any other medium.

Adding video to your sales pages will help engage your audience. Adding video to your blog pages will keep people around longer. Adding video to your landing pages will make people more likely to convert.

Video holds several advantages to text.

  1. It is easier to consume.
  2. You can say more with less.
  3. You can showcase products better than text and images alone.

If your site is light on video, starting to populate more videos should help you turn more visitors into customers.

Have an idea for a simple website fix? Submit it here and maybe we will include it in an upcoming post.

Zach Heller Marketing Week in Review

Companies, in order to succeed, must be able to simultaneously play offense and defense. On offense, they must be able to envision their future, and chart a strategy for growth in their current markets and beyond. On defense, they must always be wary of competitive pressures and changing trends that threaten their existing product lines and businesses. Savvy leaders will recognize the importance of both and run their teams accordingly.

To check out any of last week’s posts, click on the links below:

  1. Simple Website Fixes – Part 8
  2. How to Cultivate a Customer Community
  3. What Do You Know About Your Customers

Happy Saturday!

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What Do You Know About Your Customers

Here is the simple truth – the more you know about your customers, the more successful you will be as a marketer or small business owner.

  • Knowing your existing customers will help you find more people like them
  • Knowing your existing customers will help you create products they want
  • Knowing your existing customers will help you provide better service

What should you know about your customers? In short, as much as you can.

You should know the things that relate to your business – how they found out about you, why they chose you over your competitors, how they use your product or service and whether it solves their problems, how they purchased, when and how much.

You should also know things that don’t relate directly to their interaction with your business. You should know things like where they live, how old are they, what do they do for a living, what are their hobbies and interests, where do they get their news, where do they shop, what else do they spend money on.

The world of big data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence will allow companies of all sizes to take advantage of information to improve their business. Marketers will have new ways of reaching out to potential customers with proven ROI. And with more data, those efforts will be more fruitful.

If you don’t know enough about your customers now, today is a great time to start learning. Collect data through user behavior tracking, focus groups and studies, surveys and questionnaires, interviews and direct customer outreach. Marketing departments should put someone in charge of customer knowledge and data analysis.

You may be surprised by how much information you already have on your customers. Start asking questions internally, streamline and protect that information for later use, find the holes and begin to fill them.

How to Cultivate a Customer Community

Many successful companies have figured out how to put their customers at the top of their priority list. And although almost any company will tell you that’s the case with them, most of them are lying.

I’m talking about companies like Harley-Davidson, who recognized a number of years ago that they needed a new strategy. They had hordes of die-hard fans, customers who would forever be loyal to the brand. But the company was not being loyal to them.

A strategic shift put customers front and center, creating a worldwide community around the brand that helped them turn the business around.

Not all brands are Harley-Davidson, but that doesn’t mean the customer community can’t work for you. Cultivating a brand-enhancing community like Harley-Davidson can be the ticket to increased loyalty, word of mouth marketing, goodwill, press coverage, and more.

To do it requires a fundamental shift in the way your business operates – from who makes decisions and how, to the company organization, technologies, processes, etc. Putting the company first, in practice, is about making them the stars.

First, figure out who your biggest fans are. And find out why they love you. Your goal is to make them happier, and use the tools and products you have that make them happy to grow their ranks.

You can do this with online communities, special offers and exclusive content, meetings and events. You become their advocates, as much as they become yours. Give them the tools to connect with one another and get more out of your offerings.

When you thrill your fans, you turn them into champions for your brand. And when you connect them with one another, you create a movement that can redefine your business.

Do you have what it takes to make this strategic shift?