Packaging Has Strategic Role in Brand Refresh/Renovation

There’s an old marketing adage: when a new brand manager arrives, get ready for a package design change.

While there may be some historical truth to that expression, its use typically conveyed a sarcastic, shallow and derogatory view of marketing. Hopefully, such thinking has dissipated, because packaging is a critical success factor to maintain brand health and relevance. And, those marketers and business leaders who take a disciplined, strategic approach with packaging have a distinct advantage.

This brings me to Arrowhead Mills, a brand of Hain Celestial.

While brand management personnel may have changed over the years, the company’s view of packaging as a strategic, brand-management driver has not. This year, Arrowhead Mills has been phasing-in a complete redesign across categories, including cold cereal.

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Unexpected Sources Can Power Content Marketing

It’s an increasing challenge. Where do business teams get the content to fuel their content-driven marketing?

Part of the answer is that great content can come from unexpected places.

To begin, ensure that your content fits your overall marketing and specific content strategies. That requires you to do your homework.

From there, keep these five guide rails in mind. They’ll help you to be meaningful to, and resonate with, customers and key constituents:

  1. Be genuine
  2. Be authentic
  3. Be relatable
  4. Place your content in the right context
  5. Communicate at the appropriate time

Credit: Allen Edmonds. Father’s Day 2017 catalog.

As an example, consider the CEO who wrote about walking his daughter down the marriage aisle, and even posted a picture, in a Father’s Day product catalog. Continue reading

Don’t Retreat Marketers. Ben Franklin to the Rescue.

What the heck is going on in the business world?

Judging by all the negative stories, one would think that a plague of incompetence has afflicted commercial teams across the country.

However, beyond the obvious blunders (e.g., United and airport security personnel), some of the backlash is a bit perplexing.

Are corporations and their marketing teams failing at higher rates or is something else going on?

I suggest the latter. That’s partly because social media has, for better and for worse, totally disrupted the way so many now get and process their information.

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Poor Integration and Sales Bombardment Equals Bad Customer Experience

It’s hard to create good customer experience when sales teams are not aligned and compete against themselves.

Credit: iStock

When customer-facing personnel from the same organization, including across different divisions, are not integrated, customer experience is likely to suffer. It may go unrecognized, but eventually the ultimate one suffering is the company itself, with lost sales.

Poor integration, combined with lax management, can cause the classic “left hand, right hand what the heck is going on syndrome.” And the terrible question: Who’s managing the customer touchpoints?

Thanks to Cision and PR Newswire, I’m such a victim. Good news, though. It’s a mild case and I’ll be fine. Continue reading

Why “Pop-up” Thinking Can Boost Your Marketing

What can marketers apply from the “pop-up” go-to-market concept popularized in recent years by Halloween costume stores, and now chefs?

iStockphoto.com

iStockphoto.com

First of all, think about “pop-up” as a business mindset, not just a retail brick and mortar tactic.

Applied this way, pop-up thinking encapsulates a range of important ideas such as customer choice and variety; experimentation and testing; and an agile, asset-light business approach.

For example, writing in The Wall Street Journal, Jane Black highlighted how chefs are using a modified pop-up model to build their brands and make money. A common approach is to join forces with an existing restaurant owner and “take-over” the physical space at a designated time to produce and deliver the chef’s concept. As Black explains, “permanent pop-ups also feed diners’ hunger for all things new.” Continue reading