Top five things to consider when rebranding your business

If anybody knows that rebranding is a huge undertaking – it’s us. Before you get to the best part (new colors, logos, web design, and all the exciting creative pieces in between), it’s important that your rebranding initiative is grounded in strong strategy. When fleshing out your process for rebranding, here are our top 5 things to consider:

1. Assessing your existing brand value:

Even if it’s time for a change, chances are your existing brand still holds some power. To help guide your rebranding strategy, take a step back and look at what’s being said about the company in the media, online, and in blogs. The existing conversation will help you understand your current brand value and make decisions about how much of that brand you want to keep and how much you want to refresh. A branding agency can also help you aggregate and assess this information — which is especially important if you want to put a monetary value around your old company assets or are considering going public in the near future. This assessment will help you understand what worked, what didn’t, and what elements of your current brand you want to protect.

2. Get to the “why” of rebranding:

What customer or market insights are driving this change? If you are rebranding due to a string of bad press, your strategic approach should be radically different than if you are rebranding because you are acquiring new, exciting assets. If these changes are sensitive in nature, partnering with a branding agency may be your best bet to understand how to reach out to the market and drive positive results. If you’re simply adapting to a changing customer demographic, you may have it slightly easier but still need to get ruthlessly specific with your internal team about what’s motivating this change so they can get fired up behind the company’s new goals. This “why” will serve as a compass for all future decisions, employee questions, and forks in the road. If in doubt during the rebranding experience, simply ask yourself how that choice ladders up to your “why.”

3. Defining what makes your rebranding different:

One of the most important steps in the process for rebranding a company is identifying competitive differentiators. What makes you, you? In many ways, rebranding a company is very similar to starting a new company or beginning a fresh entrepreneurial project. Your audience will need to understand your unique value proposition, what sets you apart from your competitor, and how you’re making your customers’ lives better. If you’re rebranding, you’ve probably already begun to anticipate a new customer need that they may not even realize yet, so don’t fall prey to the temptation of being a generalist. Sing those differentiators loud and proud and get specific about what customer needs you’re satisfying. In short, rebranding is a lot more than just a new name and logo. It fundamentally captures something new you hope to bring to the market – and getting clear on what that “something” is will help catapult the project to success.

4. Establish what success looks like:

Speaking of success, you need to understand what that looks like for your company. Is it an increase in sales? A new customer base? A bigger share of the competitive wallet? Before you begin a rebranding project, determine how much time, money, energy, and resources you’re willing to allocate to the initiative and what you expect in return. Having clear milestones and measurable goals will level set expectations and set the new brand up for success. This also serves as a system of checks and balances to ensure you are on track with your targeted process for rebranding a company.

5. Executing your rebranding strategy:

After all of that’s finished, it’s time to execute your rebranding strategy. That includes communicating to existing customers about the brand change and capturing the attention of new customers who are about to discover your organization. A branding agency is the quickest and most effective way to understand how to talk to these two very distinct audiences and what tools will be most beneficial in driving change. While you’re promoting the new brand identity, you also need to be reeducating existing clients about why the change occurred and how they still fit into your company ecosystem. This is a delicate – but important – balance.

You’ll notice that we intentionally left out detailing the creative development stages from our rebranding check list. That isn’t to say that we don’t think this step is important (after all, you can’t rebrand without those elements), but rather that it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of new creative or packaging and lose sight of the strategic insight driving your changes. A rebrand is the perfect time to hit the pause button on your business and make meaningful, lasting change that you can’t do when you’re wholly focused on the day-to-day.

Well, what are you waiting for? Contact us today and together, we’ll transform your brand.

Effectively manage customer relationships in marketing channels

We know we’ve been harpin’ on this for a while, but although your customers may be the same across all channels, how you communicate with them across these channels is not a one size fits all model. Deep customer insights start with understanding your customer relationships inside and out. Strong customer relationships mean that you not only understand the product features that influence their decision making process, but that you also understand how they like to communicate, what information they need, as well as when and where they need it. To help you understand the nuances and importance of this distinction, we’ve broken out the top customer channels and the important distinctions between each.

Web:

Your website is the face of your company. It’s your biggest and best opportunity to showcase your brand’s personality, expand on your value proposition, and capture the heart and attention of your customer base. You can include as many product and service descriptions as you like, snapshots of your brand values, and a deep dive into your mission statement and authenticity as a company. Understanding why customers are coming to your website and what they’re looking for is key. Spend time digging into the information architecture of your site (a.k.a. what information is shown when and where), and deeply consider the user experience by looking at other industry leaders. If you need creative support or strategic insight, a digital marketing agency can definitely help. This is arguably the single most important aspect of your branding strategy in today’s digitally-driven world, so it’s a good place to splurge (or start).

Social:

Unlike your website, which presents static information outward to your consumer, social media is an opportunity for you to have ongoing customer relationships. You can directly answer their questions, address customer service issues, and understand their feelings about your brand. This channel is important because interaction tends to be more casual, more personal, and more tailored on an individual level. Social media helps you strengthen existing relationships and create brand advocates who will recommend your company or share their experiences in the digital marketing ecosystem. Customer relationships through your social media channels are likely farther down on the conversion funnel than first time visitors to your website, so your primary goal here should be to re-affirm your brand identity and share culture related updates and additional industry relevant information. A content agency can help bolster your posts to alleviate the time required managing this content in house. At the same time, you can also use social media as a real-time focus group to provide feedback on how you’re doing, how to improve, and even soft launch ideas or products.

Media:

Paid traditional media is a unique and quickly evolving channel. In previous years, it was used as the marketing bread and butter for everyone from the sole proprietor to the advertising agency, today, it works as a very top-of-funnel experience to drive general awareness about your brand. Paid media doesn’t hold the same authority it once did (because customers are more likely to trust social media or peer reviews than an ad in a magazine), so treat it as an introduction for your customers rather than a pure closing mechanism. Tease the brand values. Peak your customers’ interest. Media is a gateway that directs customers to your website or sales funnel, so understanding this distinction will help you target your messaging accordingly and provide proof that backs up your brand statements.

Mobile:

It’s easy to mix your mobile prospects in with your desktop website users, but the reality is that people searching your site on their mobile devices and tablets are likely at a different stage in the customer lifecycle and purchase journey. Mobile users are most likely looking for quick, high-level information (because let’s be serious, they’re either sitting at a red light or passively doing something else while also looking at your site). Very often, they are at the start of their purchase path and just beginning to get a feel for your company, so only the most crucial information from your website should be presented. However, mobile purchases are on the rise, and it is one of the fastest growing channels for conversion, so people may also be returning to the mobile site to complete their purchase after they’ve dug deep on the full desktop site or via social media. In this way, the mobile channel serves as bookends for your customer experience and should distill the most essential messages down to their essence.

Organic search:

Last, but certainly not least, organic search is an incredibly powerful tool to help manage your customer relationships. Understanding that customers coming in through this channel are likely very new and unsure of what they are looking for – is crucial. You must anticipate their needs by aligning your company to non-branded words that customers will search for and provide enough information so that they want to learn more. Prospects coming in through the organic search channel may benefit from a tailored landing page or web experience that formally addresses the search terms they used and the needs of that audience. Unlike your main marketing site, these customers are likely looking for something specific (even if they’re unsure of what that solution looks like yet), so you want to make sure they know you can deliver.

While each channel is unique and different, they’re all important for the overall customer journey and experience. It’s tempting to say one is more important than the other, but knowing that potential customers often drift through many – if not all – channels before committing to a purchase will help you understand how this concert of information works together. Each channel is a key piece in the customer journey and an opportunity to show the heart of your brand.

Visit our Digital Marketing services page to learn more.

“Hello from the other side:” Social listening effects

In 2013, Maker’s Mark made a decision that lead to a very serious problem – they reduced the amount of alcohol in their whiskey, a move that likely made sense on paper or in the boardroom. Not surprisingly, once word began to emerge, imbibers everywhere expressed outrage and after thousands of social media complaints and organized petitions, the company utilized social listening data and reversed course within a few days.
The company’s response actually turned what could have been complete brand suicide into a social media win, and a positive experience. Not so much because they gave in fast to angry shouting, or even took action in the first place with little market research. It was more about listening to their current and potential customers, apologizing, trying to make things right and continuing forward with a strong relationship.

It was also a perfect example of something we call social listening. True social listening is when you take extra effort to discover what people are saying about your brand online. This could found in comments or questions on very public forums like social media platforms, positive or negative feedback on review sites, or even opinions on personal blogs.

Social listening blends fundamental customer service skills with digital marketing efforts. And businesses can go beyond their own social media and digital presence and utilize other methods, like SEO techniques, to track discussions and references, either getting involved in conversations – or at least observing what people have to say.

Here’s why it makes sense.

Easy market research

With social listening and social listening tools, you’ll have more specific and thorough data about who is using your products or services and what they genuinely think about them. Just because your CMO decides that a particular strategy is a solid one, doesn’t mean your customers will buy into it. This can of course be a positive experience, as well as a negative one – as in the case with Maker’s Mark. A great company can learn from both types of feedback. If you partner with an agency to engage in social listening, you’ll be guided through data like: where your customers are coming from and how important your product is in their lives. You can take this feedback and shape future projects and even online content.

Real-time results

Before the digital marketing age, most companies had strict business hours and any customers who tried to contact them after these times were told to come back another day. Today, customers have the possibility to come from any time zone, anywhere around the world and provide feedback at anytime. By saying “we’re closed” may be frustrating or set a perception that you simply just don’t care. A smart strategy would be to put processes in place in order to provide customer assistance around the clock. For instance, the airline KLM has customer service staff that focus on email and phone support, plus 130 full-time social customer care employees who are strictly on social media. These types of efforts are responsible for an impressive 23-minute response time.

Discover and follow the influencers

If you listen hard enough, oftentimes there are super-users or prominent influencers who are using your product and talking about it positively to their respective audiences – even without you requesting or paying them. This type of authentic, extra exposure can get more people to experience your product than you ever thought imaginable, especially with a positive endorsement. If they already like your product, they might be willing to talk to you about your other products or spread the word about what’s new. Today’s consumers, specifically millennials, actively go out of their way to engage with brands highlighted by prominent social media influencers.

Better retention

A J.D. Powers study of 23,000 people in 2013 showed 67% contacted a business through social media for service needs. Related to this interest is a 2012 study from Gartner, which urged companies not to ignore social media comments, questions or complaints. Ignoring someone is as bad as not answering the phone or an email, and can lead to a 15 % increase in churn.  The study’s conclusion warned companies to put mechanisms in place to accommodate what they anticipated would be a high rate of people interacting through social channel. So yep, you guessed it, listen to your audience on social and respond to them with an authentic brand voice.

To learn about our expertise in Digital Marketing, visit our Digital Marketing services page.

5 social media marketing tips for restaurants that really work

For the American restaurant culture, 2015 was the year of enthusiastic nautical decor (boat ropes, life-sized buoys, natural and sustainable materials, Edison lightbulbs, contemporary color palettes), imaginative dishes including everything from briny olives to mashed potatoes to marinated pickles to Korean BBQ tacos (seriously, is it time for lunch?), and even more uber-elaborate cocktails with rare spirits, hand-cut herbs and artisan ice cubes.
As we enter into a new year, industry leaders recognize the continuing shift towards a more relaxed, affordable, intimate, and collaborative dining experience. Culinary enthusiasts are seeking out restaurants that provide extremely friendly price points while also expecting a higher quality product. So as the competition continues to increase and evolve, it’s absolutely imperative for restaurant brands to maintain a strong social media presence that keeps them authentically engage with their audience. Here are five social media marketing tips from our team that will help you maximize your efforts:

Consistency is key:

Maintaining consistency on your digital channels is about more than the frequency of your message. Maintaining a consistent tone in your tweets, Facebook, and LinkedIn updates, while understanding your unique audience segments on each platform – is key. Developing and creating consistent, relevant, content is a ton of work, so it’s far better to start slow and steady. Despite popular belief that everything you post will go “viral,” a true social media marketing strategy should focus on long-term efforts – slow and steady wins the race! Also, by following this rule of thumb, this will provide your followers with a realistic expectation of when they will hear from you, creating a pattern of user behavior in respect to your brand.

Think visually:

We know that visual content is far more effective and leads to increased engagement, especially on Facebook, and restaurants are at a unique advantage because the products their customers care about most can be displayed visually. It’s an easy sell. So, take photos of your product! Leverage highly visual channels like: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and even Snapchat. Craft cocktails are in, and here to stay, so give your viewers what they want to see – your delicious food and awesome cocktails.

Control the conversation:

Your social media team members should be willing and ready to respond to questions and comments at anytime. Companies like Jet Blue, Nike, Air Asia, Starbucks, and Whole Foods rock customer service on social media. JetBlue makes it a point to respond not just to customers who @mention them, but also to customers who talk about the brand in general – even if they weren’t tagged in the post. This means that the company’s social media team is tracking and monitoring keywords and relevant hashtags extremely well so that ultimately, they can find and respond to more customers. Nike actually takes this one step further, and with over 4 million followers on Twitter, they’ve created a separate Twitter account specifically intended to responding to customer inquiries and issues (@NikeSupport). They’ve created a well-oiled customer service machine by responding to requests every few minutes. And by following this type of strategy, Nike customers feel their concerns are being validated while they’re receiving the timely customer assistance they require. Happy customers build brand ambassadors, and brand ambassadors generate recurring revenue.

Sidebar: we know what you’re thinking…”Nike is a multi-billion dollar company with the resources to support that type of strategy.” Indeed they are, but the premise is still the same and equally important for your brand, no matter how large or small. Remember that consistency is key over quantity, so maybe you dedicate one or two days a week where you respond to all customer service inquiries and let your customers know when that day is. Practice makes perfect.

Create plenty of ways for people to interact with all of your channels:

The ultimate goal for any restaurant owner is to grow and maintain recurring traffic as it comes through the restaurant. Therefore, some of your posts should incorporate a call to action of some kind to inspire interaction from your viewers. Like, maybe you direct users to check out your site to receive information on special menu items only available to those who click through a specific link. Consequently, your website should also provide easy access to your different social media platforms while incorporating SEO techniques to attract customers who are searching for certain keywords and topics about restaurants. Other strategies, like email newsletters, could include unique and relevant info that they can’t receive through other social media platforms. You get the gist, provide opportunities for people to interact with your brand in unique ways.

Invite collaboration:

User-generated content is the social gods’ gift to the digital universe. Rather than having your team constantly create unique content for all of your channels, effective social media marketing also incorporates repurposing user-generated content. You can encourage customers to share their experiences with you via a specific hashtag, invite your customers to check-in to your restaurant to receive something in return, run contests and repurpose photos or video – the possibilities are endless.

There you have it. With 77% of B-to-C marketers acquiring customers through Facebook, and over 90% of Twitter users reporting that they follow brands to receive special promos and discounts, a strong social media marketing strategy will continue to be vital for the success of restaurants within this competitive landscape. And on that note, we’re off to happy hour.

 

The top 4 Facebook marketing do’s and don’ts you should know

We’re gettin’ down to the nitty gritty of 4 Facebook Marketing Do’s and Don’ts, an article published from our very own Vice President of Strategy and Insight . Soak it up people!
Originally published February 22, 2016 on BrandBlab.

The Facebook marketing do’s

1. Visual content reigns Start with relevant and compelling videos or high-quality images first in order to tell the story and support it with minimal copy. Utilize the new photo/video posting options by sharing multiple videos, photo album, photo carousel, or create a slideshow.

2. Be social – Seems obvious but socializing requires consideration and an openness to enter into a two-way dialogue with someone. Broadcasting and publishing content is a one-way monologue and doesn’t forge friendships. Take interest in what others are posting on and off your page and engage with them. Also tag those who are significant to the nature of your posts.

3. Spell check is your friend – Don’t ruin great content and social dialogue with typos and grammatical errors. Always run spell check and carefully proof every word and punctuation before you hit enter. Your digital language is representative of your brand’s personality.

4. Targeting – With the decline in Facebook page reach, post targeting is a feature that can get posts to the right audience. You can ensure that your posts are connecting with a specific demo with relatable interests. A minimum of 20 people must be in the target group.

The Facebook marketing don’ts

1. #TooManyHashtags – Hashtags are not as actively used as they are on Twitter and Instagram. However, be sure not to flood your copy with hashtags and definitely avoid making up random non-trending hashtags as substitutes for phrases in your sentence.

2. The commercial – Organic content on Facebook should not be salesy or promotional in nature. That’s like going to a friend’s house party and instead of socializing, trying to sell merchandise out of a suitcase to the guests. Use Facebook Ads to strategically advertise your wares to the right audience seeking what you have to offer and leave your organic content to nurturing sincere relationships with your audience.

3. The short story – Do not write a paragraph worth of copy unless you want to ensure that no one read it. While Generation X and Baby Boomers are the growing demos on Facebook, their attention spans are not much greater than that of the younger generations. Keep it concise and limited to a sentence or two if at all possible.

4. Barking orders – There is absolutely no need to tell your audience to “click here for more,” “watch this video,” or “like this.” They will do everything you want them to do and more if you are compelling, relevant, and engaging with your content. After all, you should desire real fans and not those that feel obligated to follow your demands.

Wagner dos Santos Assumes New Role As VP of Strategy and Insights

BIGEYE’S WÁGNER DOS SANTOS ASSUMES NEW ROLE AS VICE PRESIDENT OF STRATEGY AND INSIGHTS
Orlando, Florida – February 29th, 2016 – BIGEYE, a fully integrated advertising and marketing agency headquartered in Orlando’s Audubon Park announced today that Wágner dos Santos will assume a new role as Vice President of Strategy and Insights. Dos Santos initially joined the agency as Senior Director of Marketing and Strategic Planning in December 2013, and since that time, the agency has experienced rapid growth. As a result of this expansion, in mid-January 2016, BIGEYE released news of its relocation to a new workspace, tripling the size of the company’s former location. With a burgeoning portfolio and long-term focus on expanding its reach by serving clients in varying industries, the agency has solidified its dedication to providing enhanced strategic insight and direction to clients in conjunction with a number of planned initiatives over the next four years.

Dos Santos is an industry veteran with a career spanning more than twenty years. He is a seasoned brand strategist, experiential and social marketer, and esteemed public speaker. Prior to joining BIGEYE, he served as President/CEO and founder of Beloved, a national award-winning marketing agency. Throughout the course of his career, he honed his craft by collaborating with international brands such as Coca-Cola, Google, Dell, Target, Ford, Sprint, Autograph Collection Hotels, and Hilton Hotels & Resorts, among many others. He has also gleaned invaluable expertise through his past positions with Sony Masterworks and agency powerhouses Momentum Worldwide (Interpublic Group), GMR Marketing (Omnicom), and Havas Impact.

In 2010, dos Santos was recognized as a “Most Influential Businessmen” nominee by the Orlando Business Journal. He is also a trustee and former president of the American Advertising Federation-Orlando.

“Our growth as an agency is, in part, attributable to Wagner’s leadership throughout his tenure with BIGEYE, and his new role in spearheading our strategy and insights team presents the ideal opportunity to further our standing as an industry leader in Florida, as well as the southeast,” said BIGEYE’s CEO and Principal, Justin Ramb. “Wagner’s extensive expertise and unique strategic vision proves to be an invaluable resource for our clients,” Ramb commented.

Now that you’ve met Sir Wagner, meet the rest of our creative renegades.