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Best Brand Strategy Books

5 Oct

Interested in a career in product management or want to learn more about branding? If yes, check out this post on best brand strategy books.

For many companies, the popularity of their brands is their best competitive advantage. That is known as brand equity. As examples, look at these posts.   Brand Positioning Strategy.    Brands Millennials Love.   Most Valuable Global Brands 2017.
 
 

Background

Let’s sum up the importance of branding.  Maryam Taheri writes for Creative Market.

 “A white swoosh. A red can. A white apple. Multi-colored letters. If you live in the civilized world, you understand the four things I mentioned above. They’re the logos of four of the most iconic American brands: Nike, Coca-Cola, Apple, and Google.”

 

“Each of these giant corporations started their brand in a small way. But what made them grow so large that they exist in the back of our minds? It’s not just the great products each of these companies make. It’s also the logos, commercials, and ideology that make up their brands. If you want to make your brands work as well as the big guys, check out these books.”

 

In a similar vein, Yoon Sann Wong reports for Design Taxi. All the famous brands that you’re familiar with today started out as [tiny] companies. Through their logos, ads, and marketing campaigns, each grew and prospered as world-renowned names.”

 
 

Infographic: Ten Best Brand Strategy Books

This is a valuable infographic on 10 of the best brand strategy books.

Best Brand Strategy BooksIt’s not just the great products each of these companies make, but the logos, commercials, and ideology that make up their brands. If you want to make your brands work as well as the big guys, check out these books.
 

Trix: Healthy Cereal Or Not?

27 Sep

McDonald’s and Coke know many consumers want healthy food and beverages. As a result, they added to their healthy offerings. Our posts on healthy foods include these. Want to Attract the Health-Conscious Consumer? Tricking Kids into Eating Healthy Veggies. How Healthy Are We? Perceptions Vs. Reality. Likewise, firms make healthy cereal due to presumed interest. An example of this is General Mills with Trix healthy cereal.
 

Healthy Cereal? Trix Is for Kids

In 1954, General Mills introduced Trix as a sugar-coated version of Kix. The “Trix is for kids” slogan dates to 1957!! Trix is popular enough for Family Guy to spoof it an episode.

 

In 2016, General Mills decided to remove the original Trix. The firm replaced it with a natural version. General Mills thought was a great idea. To the contrary, it it did not work. Why? Kids loved Trix as it was, not the new version.

In sum, as Wall Street Journal‘s Annie Gasparro reports:

 

General Mills is going to reintroduce the original Trix, artificial flavorings and all. It will go on sale alongside the more wholesome version in October. This reverses the firm’s’ pledge  remove artificial colors and flavors from all cereals. It said its 7 all-natural cereals boosted sales by 6% in early 2016. At the same time, natural-ingredient haters made calls, E-mails, and social-media posts. It turns out consumers ‘don’t all want one thing.”

 

This image shows the look of natural Trix (left) and original Trix (right).

Healthy cereal. Naturally colored and flavored Trix on the left, compared with the artificial version on the right.

Photo: Ackerman + Gruber for Wall Street Journal

 

This image shows the packaging of natural Trix (left) and original Trix (right).

Healthy cereal. The Trix version with no artificial colors and flavors, left, was introduced two years ago. The new-old version, which will use some artificial colors and flavors, is being called Classic Trix. Text size comment19 share tweet email Print more It turns out some Trix eaters prefer artificial colors and flavors.

Image by Star Tribune


 

Past Technology and Future Technology Predictions

26 Sep

Over the years, a lot of technology predictions have appeared. We divide this post into two levels of predictions. First, we look at several “way-off” past technology predictions. Second, we examine future technology predictions. Which of those future technology predictions will be correct? Which will be “way-off”?

“[Consider] an old saying. “Predicting the future is easy … getting it right hard.” Today, we greet a large supply of forecasters trying to predict the future.  The interesting part looks at the past to see who was right and who missed.

“Many past technology predictions became famous by how wrong they were. Consider IBM Chairman Watson’s 1943 quote on “a world market for maybe 5 computers.”

Further, Szczerba cites examples of incorrect predictions. The technology predictions span 130 years. For his full list, click the link:
 

Especially “Way-Off” Past Technology Predictions

1876: Indeed, “this ‘telephone’ contains too many shortcomings to seriously consider as a means of communication.” — William Orton, President of Western Union.

1889: “As usual, “fooling around with alternating current (AC) just wastes time.  Nobody will use it, ever.” — Thomas Edison

1903: “The horse is here to stay but the automobile is only a novelty – a fad.” — President of the Michigan Savings Bank advising Henry Ford’s lawyer, Horace Rackham, not to invest in the Ford Motor Company.

1946: “In short, “television won’t be able to hold on to any market it captures after the first six months.  People will get tired of staring at a plywood box.” — Darryl Zanuck, 20th Century Fox.

1955: Yet “nuclear powered vacuum cleaners will probably be a reality within 10 years.” — Alex Lewyt, President of the Lewyt Vacuum Cleaner Company.

1959: “Before man reaches the moon, mail will be delivered in hours from New York to Australia by guided missiles.  We stand on the threshold of rocket mail.” — Arthur Summerfield, U.S. Postmaster General.

1966: “Remote shopping, while feasible, will flop.” — Time Magazine.

1981: “Cellular phones will absolutely not replace local wire systems.” — Marty Cooper, inventor.

1995: “I predict the Internet will in 1996 catastrophically collapse.” — Robert Metcalfe, founder of 3Com.

2005: Still “there’s just not that many videos I want to watch.” — Steve Chen, co-founder of YouTube.

2006: Indeed, “everyone’s always asking me when Apple will come out with a cell phone.  My answer, ‘Probably never.'” — David Pogue, New York Times.

2007: After all, “there’s no chance that the iPhone attains any significant market share.” — Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO.

 

Future Technology Predictions

 
Lot sof technology predictions have appeared. We divide this post into two levels of predictions. First, we look at several “way-off”past technology predictions. Second, we examine future technology predictions. Which of those future technology predictions will be correct? Which will be “way-off”?
 
Above all, the infographic adds to our knowledge base. Our past posts include: A Look Back at Some WAY Off Predictions.Bloomberg 2016 Forecasts.2017 Global Economic Prospects from the World Bank.
 

Product Launch Timeline: Tips and an Infographic

20 Sep

Conceiving new products and then developing them into commercially viable products can be time-consuming and complex. First of all, many needed steps in new-product planning do receive proper attention by firms. However, the buildup to the product launch also needs planning through a product launch timeline. That’s why careers in product management are so appealing. Most of all, thanks to Convertkit for the content that follows about the product launch timeline.

As Dani Stewart notes for Convertkit (a firm specializing in E-mail marketing for professional bloggers):

“Every good [new] product deserves a great product launch timeline. Because of the work you’ve put into creating your beautiful, world-changing product, you need to the recognition due. Enter the product launch timeline. Especially relevant: learn about your customers, write persuasive content, beta test, and choose the best promotion channels. It’s important to put a product launch timeline into place so you don’t miss a thing. Therefore, to help start your product launch timeline, here are steps to help gain momentum and have a successful launch.”

 

The steps for a superior product launch timeline are highlighted here and in the infographic below.

 

Product Launch Timeline: Months Out
  • 4 months to launch — “Get advice: Start talking about your product to your mentors, people in the real world, and potential customers. Get that elevator pitch ready. Customer development: Your product should be a reflection of your customers. To find out if what you want to create is something your customers need, you first have to know your customers. Implement the 10-Person Rule  and create avatars. Messaging and positioning: Once you have the information using  the 10 Person Rule, it’s time to come up with messaging. How will you position your product? Think about Who it’s for? What does it do? Why it’s better than similar products?”
  • 3 months to launch — “Create a launch plan: Work backward from your goal launch date and think about every step and marketing activity needed for a successful launch. Create launch content: Think about all the collateral you will need to sell you product. Start drafting  demo decks, product screenshots, sales materials, the landing page, Web site updates, E-mails, etc. Choose specific social media channels. Prep your team: If you have a team, teach them your positioning/message. Make sure they are ready to sell. Go-to-market strategy: Compile all this information in one place for easy access. This can include pricing recommendations, market research, competitive analysis, and any other information you might need. Find promoters/affiliates: You most likely can’t launch on your own. Find influencers in your industry who might be interested in helping you. Take time to make a list of influencers to contact.”
  • 2 Months to launch — “Beta: Write and send an E-mail to potential affiliates and send them your product to test and review. Make it easy on them to review by including swipe copy for their blogs and social media. This beta step is very important. Because you want influencers to help you evaluate your product before public release and give you feedback about what works and what doesn’t. Start building anticipation: You can’t just release in one day. Without notice, no one will know what you’re talking about and they won’t care. Hence, here are some examples of building anticipation. Most of all: Create a landing page about the product with a ‘stay in touch’ opt-in form. Put a banner on your site hyping the product that links to your product landing page. Talk to your social media followers and ask them questions to make sure you’re on track. Finalize launch content: Take all customer information you’ve been gathering and make sure launch content is still on par. Ask a friend/hire a professional to look over it and edit to make sure it launch worthy. Gather reviews from your beta testers: Add beta reviews to your landing page and seed throughout social media. These reviews will add to your social clout and brand authority and trust.”
  • 1 month to launch — “Announce your launch: It’s time to start announcing your product to the public! Post about your launch on your blog. Have your opt-in form link to your landing page. Start your E-mail sequence to your opt-in list. In addition, set up your opt-in form for your blog main page.”

 

Product Launch Timeline: Weeks Out
  • 3 weeks to launch — “Check in with affiliates: Make sure your promoters have everything needed to spread news about your product. Start seeding social media: And Post teaser videos and images on social channels, blog posts, etc.”
  • 2 weeks to launch — “Set up shopping cart. Research paid traffic: Facebook Ads, Google Ads, etc. if interested. Create sales funnel: For people who click to opt-in and for after they’ve purchased. Create thank you page: For people who purchase.”
  • 1 week to launch — “Set up your product in your storefront. Check all your links! Before launch, do a final check to ensure that everything works. Therefore, see if buttons are functioning, forms are working, copy and creative looks good, etc.”
  • Week of launch — “Keep sharing on social media and through your E-mail list. Make your launch an event: Everything is more exciting when you take the time to promote it well. Hence, here are ideas how to make your launch extra exciting. Host a webinar. Hit the podcast circuit. Host a TwitterChat. In addition, release a new (longer-than-a-teaser) promo.”

 

Product Launch Timeline: Post-Launch
  • After launch — “Pop the champagne! As a result of your efforts, you did it! Launching a product is no easy feat. It’s easy to jump from prep-work to post-work, but it’s important to celebrate every little victory you can. So take a little time to reveal in your success. Follow up for testimonials: Consequently, about a month after launch, send an E-mail asking new customers what they thought about your product. Take your feedback and make your product better: Because everything your customers tell you is important. Therefore, listen to them and take data from your launch to re-work your product for your next launch.”

 

Product Launch Timeline Infographic
 

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