I have taken a 4 month hiatus from blogging. So, what have I been up to?
I’ve been on a quest to learn as much as I can about branding and account planning. As per the project that I embarked in December, I’m still in the midst of doing it. I have increased my reading list immensely. The main themes I have been able to extract from this extended reading list would be: Role of Account Planning, Market Research Methodology, Organizational Strategic Management, Branding, Role of Advertising, Sustaining Innovation and Human Behavioral Traits. My objective for this extensive reading list was to produce a toolkit for Account Planners and Brand Strategists. Far too often, as I had alluded to an earlier post, with so many choices available, it sometimes hampers our ability to make sound decisions. This toolkit will contain ideas that I have gathered through this extensive reading list to incorporate into any branding strategy.
While embarking on this project, I wanted to learn the theory but also practice it. Back in January, I took on two clients: one designs kitchen goods, and the other offers fitness services in the home and at the gym. The idea for both clients is to break apart from traditional branding methods and to create new opportunities. Both clients I’m working with have now are being connected closer to the customer via blogging, twitter, facebook and other social media. For both businesses, I have suggested that they engage the consumer through open source collaboration, where the customer is able to design their own kitchen tools. For the fitness services, incorporating cooking classes and social meet-ups would bring their community closer.
From all this reading that I have done, the biggest lesson that I have learned is that too many businesses equate brand building as selling. Brand building takes considerable amount of time. Advertising should be a communication vehicle for building the brand unless it is a business reply card or a direct sales piece. In addition, the role of advertising is used to ensure constant awareness of brand consideration for the customer. Advertising is not very effective in convincing people to switch brands. That is accomplished by having the customers try the product and service and having this experience exceed their expectations.
In case you are all wondering what books I have read they include the following:
For Account Planning:
For Market Research Methodology:
For Organizational Strategic Management:
For Role of Advertising:
For Sustaining Innovation and for Design:
For Human Behavioral Traits:
Other inspirational books: