12 Branding Strategies of 2012

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The 12th year of the 21st century is close upon us, bringing not just a new slate, but also a sense of significance: the very number 12 commands a lot of attention, in different ways.

For product brands it’s a unit of trade – 12 units to a dozen, said to be cheaper than other number sets. Service brands can identify with the 12 labors of Hercules. For readers there’s Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, Virgil’s 12 books of the Aeneid, and the Bible’s 12 Apostles. Music? There’s the holiday’s 12 drummers drumming and 12 studio albums released by the Beatles.

Once on celluloid, now digitally viewed, there are popular films: 12 Angry Men, Twelve O’clock High, and who can forget The Dirty Dozen. And whether an early or late adopter, there are 12 function keys on a computer and 12 “buttons” on telephonic key pads. Oh, and as everyone knows, there are 12 inches to a foot, 12 ribs to a chest, and 12 months to the year, with 12 associated constellations – those star configurations once thought to be portents of the things to come.

But as this is the 21st century, we prefer to rely upon the validated power of predictive loyalty and engagement metrics. Those, incidentally, allow marketers to measure the direction and velocity of consumer values and expectations at least 12 months in advance of the marketplace.

So we offer up 12 trends for 2012. Because success comes from acting on a trend when it’s identified – not waiting for market highs and lows. These 12 will have direct consequences to the success, or failure, of next year’s branding, engagement, and marketing efforts.

1) Value Is the Deal

Differentiated and believable brand meaning – emotional, rational, functional, and experiential – becomes a more effective and profitable surrogate for value than low-lower-lowest pricing strategies. But only the consumer gets to say how “valuable” is actually defined. Employ effective systems to listen to them and then figure out ways to tune in the consumer’s frequency.

2) Social Network Security

Friends have an even greater influence on purchase habits than before, but the trust in the community outside the brand space will only be extended to the brand if truly understood and properly incorporated into brand outreach strategies. More connected consumers won’t call, text, or email, but will use social network streams to talk about brands, create personalized content, and increase brand engagement – all necessitating a deeper understanding of what drives a brand’s category and how social network platforms play their part. But watch for more powerful peer-to-peer recommendations coming in the form of subject and feedback blogs – more targeted, more trusted, and more motivating than advertising, promotions, sponsorships, or celebrity endorsements.

3) Inward Bound

Differentiation will increasingly come from a brand’s emotional offerings and finding what will best resonate with consumers. Doing what others do signals commodity, not brand. This is one suit that needs to be custom made. Personal connection and engagement will be more and more critical especially in today’s weakened economy.

4) Great Expectations

Brands aren’t able to keep up with consumer expectations and haven’t for a while now. Every day consumers adopt and devour the latest and greatest, hungering for cutting-edge innovations and enhanced experiences. Accurate measures of real category expectations can provide both ‘roadmaps’ and significant advantages for brands that understand their value.

5) Now Entering the Statusphere

Status remains with us, but the definition continues its shift. The curtain has been pulled back on labels without meaning. Increasingly, meaning is defined far deeper than simple ownership and ubiquitous logos. Producing, selling, and shopping based on environmentally “green” production and design, and fair-trade and socially-conscious consumption is the trend for brands and consumers. To discover their best tactics here, a brand will need to investigate the components of important category drivers. Spot them. Understand them. Leverage them.

6) Appvertising

As a result of growing smartphone/tablet ubiquity, look for more and more apps and their effective use to create an interactive nexus to increase consumer engagement and brand differentiation. It’s not just about games anymore.

7) Mobilized Money

Handheld technology and smarter-and-smarter smartphones will increase opportunity for more mobile monetary transactions. Brands that do not facilitate small screen transactions will find consumers hanging up on them. Watch for increased credit card and promotional outreach, especially if the brand can customize the small screen experience.

8) Real-Time Branding

As brands (like Amazon and Zappos) taught, and consumers learned, fragmented lifestyles and increased expectations could be better serviced by the near-instantaneous availability of products (and their return). Consumers will expect brands to respond with the click of a “Send” key, no matter in which category they compete.

9) Innovation is Sincerest Flattery

Given increased consumer expectations and decreased brand differentiation, brands will need to understand what really drives their category and where to innovate against consumer pain points. Zappos sells shoes – but their brand equity lies primarily in the emotional driver of “service” and how they quickly they process both delivery and returns. Oh, and it’s free–erasing a consumer irritation with innovation in delivery, and likely increasing sales in the process as ordering more, and likely keeping them, became painless.

10) Coolsumption

Creative response to consumer expectation will become de rigueur for brand leaders. But the brand party many attended before the economy called in the police has left a beauty hangover that is not going away anytime soon. Sure, Apple sells phones and mp3 players, but they leverage engagement and loyalty, not by delivering “communication” or “entertainment,” but by delivering products that are beautifully, creatively and organically designed. Look for a desire for the coolness of beauty–whether a graceful delivery system or a gorgeous product–to escalate.

11) Simplexity

Increased consumer desire for simplicity is a strong trend as complexity pushes on people. Look for smaller, higher-quality products, and ease-of-service delivery methods. This will result in the convergence of complex services and products into simple, expectation-exceeding solutions. But only if brands know where to look in their own categories for the “wow” button to press.

12) You Need to Be Aware That Engagement is Not a Fad

Engagement is the way empowered consumers do business today, period. Marketers can and should plan with engagement methods like the right platform, program, message, or experience, but out-dated awareness models will continue to be ineffective and there should be only one objective for these engagement methods: Brand Engagement.

Accommodating these trends will require a change in the ways companies measure, manage, and market their brands. And yes. Change is often a scary proposition, but the key is focused changed. And that’s always a lot easier when you have the consumer telling you exactly where to focus.

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3 Comments
  • airdogspace2

    I just read what the details of the updates are and I don’t see how it makes use of 1gb of space. I don’t have Siri. And I don’t use iTunes Match. Am I missing a reason to want this update?

    May 27, 2013 Reply
  • thinkthought

    Sanjay M Waghmare
    S-4, Vainketesh Chintan Appt,
    Govt colony, Spurti Chowk,
    Sangli 416416
    Email : sanjaysaponeworld@gmail.com
    Ph. (M) +91-9762827611

    ¬¬OBJECTIVE:
    To seek a position to utilize my skills and abilities in the Technology Industry that offers professional growth while being resourceful, innovative and flexible.
    CERTIFICATION:
    Successfully completed SAP SD BS 7.0 Certification from Delphi Computech Pvt Ltd, Nasik.
    Date of Certification – 02/03/2012
    Qualifying Marks- 59%
    Certificate ID: 0008556672
    CAPABILITIES:
    * Processes in sales and distribution: organizational structures in sales and distribution, working with customer and material master data in Sales and distribution, overview of the process chain for sales order processing, introduction to pricing in sales and distribution, Introduction to the availability check, sales and distribution processing with make-to-order production, credit memo processing and returns Processing, introduction to sales and distribution reporting.
    * Sales: Creating and processing sales orders, sales document types, item categories, schedule line categories, document flow and Copying control, partner determination, contracts and scheduling agreements, special business transactions, incompletion logs, material determination, material listing/exclusion, product selection, free goods.
    * Delivery processes: Controlling outbound deliveries, creating and processing deliveries, picking, packaging, and goods issue.
    * Pricing and Billing: Basic function of pricing and billing.
    EDUCATION QUALIFICATION:
    Type Of InstituteName of the Institute & StreamUniversity NameYear Of PassingMarks Obtained
    10th Motiwala school, Chiplun Kolhapur Board 200252.13%
    12th `Topiwala college of commerce, Malvan, Dist-Sindhidurg Pune Board 200459.33%
    Diploma in labour laws and labour wealfareN.B.Thakur law college, Nasik Pune University 200860.00%
    B.comK.V.N Naik College, Nasik Pune University 200768.75%
    MBA(Marketing)PIRENS Institute of Business Management and Administration (IBMA),Ahamadnagar Pune University 201148.67%

    Total work exp-:2 years experience in Sales and distribution of Kirloskar water Pumps at Radhika Sales Agency Jaysingpur(Authorized water pump dealer), Kolhapur. (MH),
    From 01/05/2007 to 30/05/2009 as a Asst. Sales Manager.

    JOB PROFILE :
    Handling and monitoring of Primary / Secondary Sales, Target Setting, Collections, Inventory Management,
     Responsible for Achievement of Product sales Targets of the assigned Areas as per business plan.
     Weekly/Monthly/Seasonal Analysis of Target Vs Achievement Reports
    To operate distribution chain from manufacturers to our company, as well as to operate distribution process from our company to final customers.
    To understand customer’s technical inquiries, data collection and making technical comparisons of competitive products.
    Technical discussions & interactions with customers.
    Making techno-commercial offers, proposals etc.
    Providing ideas and discussing, for developing strategies to increase business in my territory, with Superior.
    Attending customers Inquiry, quotation, final order, delivery, transportation, billing etc.
    To send Inquiry, final order, deliveries to the water pump manufacturers.
    Maintain good relations with my staff as well as with the Customer and Water Pump Manufacturers.
    Attending customer’s complaints guarantee and warrantee of the water pumps.
    Minimize the strength of competitors and make them sick in market.
    Creating Targets Brand Wise/Product Wise/Distributor wise monthly, quarterly & seasonally
     Regular Review on Business Planning & execution plan for the balance targets achievement.
     Budgeting & Sales Planning Region Wise/Team Wise.
    Developing & Appointing New Dealers Both Exclusive &Multi Brand Outlets

    PERSONAL PROFILE:
    Name: Sanjay Madhukar Waghmare
    Father’s Name: Madhukar P Waghmare
    PAN: ACCPW6551A
    Date of Birth: 16 June 1986
    Age: 26 yrs
    Sex: Male
    Marital Status: Single
    Languages Known: English, Hindi, Marathi,
    Declaration:-
    I hereby certify that the information furnished above is true and complete to the best of my knowledge and belief.

    July 4, 2013 Reply
  • Kristian

    Im trying to get a second job. does this look allright or should i change some things???

    Seeking an opportunity to become part of a dynamic and energetic team which makes customer service and fast friendly service a priority.
    Skills
    —Excellent Communication
    —Customer Service
    —Able to work independently or in a group—Able to stand on feet for long periods of time
    —Able to lift 25+pounds
    —Quick learner—Determined /optimistic attitude
    —Ability to constantly interact with customers
    —Always follow all company polices
    Experience
    KFC/Taco Bell
    Team Member
    July 2012 to Present

    •In-depth knowledge of basic kitchen duties and food preparation
    •Ability to multitask and prioritize responsibilities
    •Fun and friendly nature; value customers and takes complete pleasure in every kind of work
    •money handling skills

    Café Colucci: Authentic Ethiopian cuisine, Oakland Ca
    Bar back
    June 2012 to July 2012
    •Keeping various supplies in stock throughout the shift
    •Washing dishes
    •Preparing and serving drinks and food
    •Making sure restaurant is clean at all times
    •Answering phone calls and taking “to go” orders

    AMC Theaters, Emeryville, Ca
    Film Crew
    Usher/Concession/Box Office/Ticket Drop 3/12 to 4/12
    •Maintain cleanliness of lobbies, restrooms & auditoriums
    •Respond to visitor’s queries, complaints and take corrective measures to ensure their grievances are resolved
    •Making sure guest service is friendly, helpful and fast Served but not rushed with a smile

    First Impressions: Home Services, Oakland, Ca
    Telemarketer/Door to door canvasser/Personal Assistant/Sells Rep, 10/11 to 1/12
    •Walking door to door in many neighborhoods in the bay area communicating with at least 100+ people a day
    •Vigorously working to generate leads by setting realistic goals
    •Always positive, respectful, and enthusiastic when speaking to the customer whether it be in person or on the phone
    Staying up to date on all existing and new company policies

    Opera Piccola/”I Go Poetry Leadership Group, Oakland, Ca
    Student Teacher, 11/07, 6/10
    •Responsible for booking, coordinating, designing curriculum, poetry performances, community workshops, facilitating meetings and creating websites
    •Demonstrated ability to interact and communicate with both children and adults
    •Facilitated workshops encouraging self-esteem, positivity, public speaking, self-expression and leadership skills through poetry to youth 18 and younger throughout the bay area
    •Created marketing strategy to increase the “IGO” brand
    •Learned logistics of running an organization

    Volunteer Experience

    Society of St.Vincent De Paul of Alameda County
    Title: Dining Room Volunteer 1/2010-4/2011
    •Serving hot meals to the less fortunate
    •cleaning cafeteria when individuals leave
    •washing dishes
    East Side Arts Alliance/”HollaBack” Open Mike/
    2007-2010
    •Cleaned area before ShowTime: Sweeping, wiping tables
    • Helped Set up chairs, refreshment tables, donation station
    •guest host when main host was unable to attend

    Education
    Laney College, Oakland, CA
    Pursuing degree in Photography, Minor in English, 8/08 to 12/11
    Oakland Technical High School, Oakland, CA
    Received diploma, 8/04 to 6/08

    September 1, 2013 Reply

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