Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Most Interesting Jam in the World

Thanksgiving is only a couple days away and Christmas is right around the corner so what does that mean?

Food piled so high you can’t see the person across from you, family and friends singing terribly off key (except for the one voice that happens to not be tone-deaf), air so cold you contemplate hibernation and the best thing of all – holiday marketing.

Marketing tends to get in the holiday spirit much like the rest of us. Images and sounds begin to reflect the season of cheer and marketing begins to not feel so much like, well, marketing. One new trend that has made this possible is cause marketing – but doesn’t all marketing serve a cause? Marketing has a purpose, cause marketing is something completely different.

The purpose of marketing is to increase sales.

According to Mary Plessas of the Presidio Graduate School:

“Cause marketing is when a for-profit company teams with a non-profit organization. The for-profit company benefits by generating goodwill and the non-profit benefits by increasing awareness and, usually, raising funds.”

A good example of cause marketing is being run by Dos Equis and “The Most Interesting Man in the World”. The company has partnered with The Wombat Foundation, an organization dedicated to thwarting extinction of the hairy-nosed wombat species.  That sounds like a pretty good cause – “The Most Interesting Man in the World” helping out one of the most interesting species in the world, but how?

The Most Interesting Man in the World is more than a philanthropist, he happens to also be a jam maker. This isn’t your ordinary jam; unless you make jam with grasshoppers in Thai herbs, Cuban oregano, gold dust, apples, sugar and apple cider vinegar.

Image

The jars of the most interesting jam in the world will be put up for auction on eBay with all funds raised being donated to The Wombat Foundation.

We may not be able to appreciate the grasshoppers in Thai herbs…yet, but we can appreciate the thought behind the campaign. The marketing serves a cause that aligns with the corporate image. Another similar campaign is being run between Coca-Cola and the World Wildlife Foundation in an attempt to help preserve the habitats of polar bears.

Any company has the ability to use cause marketing this time of year, just remember to have it align with your marketing strategy. Partnering with an organization may seem like a nice cause but it should still serve a purpose.

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Hot-N-Ready School Buses?

The end of August brings about the start of school for millions of kids across the country. With the economy in the plunged state that it currently resides, many school districts are faced with budget cuts and rough times. This has led to the recent decision in some states to sell school bus space for advertising in return for extra funding that schools are losing.

Sites, such as schoolbusadvertising.com, have emerged which make it easy for school districts to sign up and start earning revenue by allowing signs sized at 90 inches long by 30 inches tall to be displayed on the side of their school buses.

Currently only seven states; Utah, Colorado, Texas, New Mexico, Tennessee Arizona, and New Jersey, have passed laws allowing school bus marketing to be legalized. There are many other states in the process of starting this since they have seen the success school districts have gained from these additional sources of revenue.

Regulations have been placed on the ads and do not allow the school buses to promote alcohol, gambling, politics, religion or sexual innuendo. Beyond these restrictions it is up to individual school districts to decide what should and should not be allowed on the sides of their children’s transportation. While the target audiences of these advertisements are the motorists and community members who see the moving billboards, many groups still raise concerns about having ads (such as the pizza ad shown in the image to the right) promote unhealthy eating habits endorsed by the learning environment.

Campaign for Commercial Free Childhood (CCFC) is one organization that is taking a stand against these ads saying that while they may help fund the school district, this could just be the beginning of corporations invading the learning environments of our children, potentially swaying their views from an early age. Some parents and community members are also worried that students who associate riding the bus as part of their education may psychologically think the ads are part of their learning.

What are your thoughts? Are allowing these ads a good way to save sagging school district funds or a marketing strategy gone too far?

Do You Have an Eye for Detail?

“Don’t sweat the small stuff.” It’s a saying you have probably heard before, but is it still valid in today’s world of marketing? Don’t get me wrong, being able to see the bigger picture is always an important quality in marketing. However, the bigger picture cannot be built without the small stuff. In marketing, hammering out the details of a marketing strategy can be an intensive process, however, it’s essential in order to build an effective brand your company can be proud of.

At Baer Performance Marketing, we have an eye for detail. Do you? In honor of the NFL lock out finally ending, we have put together this Lambeau Field challenge. Can you find all seven differences in these two photos? Leave your answers below!

Lambeau Field

Click here for a larger image!

Owning a Color?

In today’s hyper-visual world, it seems like there are images and colors all around you. From flashy billboards to television ads and website banners, it seems like marketing is at an all-time high. The information consumers gain from all these promotions has a lot to do with the colors that capture their attention. In fact, according to Color Matters®, market research indicates that “over 80% of visual information is related to color”.

With many companies, the color of their brand has become synonymous with their corporate identity. Who doesn’t look at a pale blue and think of Tiffany or see a brown hue and think of UPS? While unofficially, many companies are associated with a specific color, and the legal debate as to who can actually own a color has become a popular strife with corporations over the last couple of decades.

Every country or union has different rules and regulations based on corporations in their country. In the United States, the Supreme Court ruling of 1995, Qualitex Co. v. Jacobson Products Co., Inc. set the national standard that color can be used as a trademark, provided that the color has developed “secondary meaning” in consumer minds with evidence that this color is prevalent and most often associated with the brand already, and any other use of the color in the same industry would lead to consumer confusion. If both Coca-Cola and Pepsi both had the true red color wouldn’t you be confused as a consumer whenever you see their ads?

T-Mobile, for example, has the exclusive rights to the color No. 395 52 630 “magenta” — but only in the telecommunications sector. Therefore, the law can be interpreted in a way that allows non-communications companies who would like to use the same magenta the right to do so (as long as no other company in their industry has already trademarked it). However, not all companies have been as successful in copyrighting their color. In Australia, for example, BP has lost numerous battles fighting to protect their synonymous green identity despite their registered rights in over 20 other countries.

The ethical question of whether a company has the rights to own a color has two sides. Those who own the business say the color of their brand has a large impact on what consumers recognize, and creative designers often oppose the idea of ‘owning’ a color since the legal uncopyrighted color palette selection is a limited resource that would be shrinking with each new copyrighted color — thus killing creativity in the future.

So, what do you think? Should companies be allowed to claim colors?

Who are you?

Do you know who you are?

Strange rhetorical question, right?  But as a business owner, can you legitimately answer this question?  What is your business known for, and what do you do different and better than your competition?  I’ve worked with hundreds of businesses in a wide variety of industries, and it’s amazing how many businesses have different logos on sales collateral, two separate tag lines on their website and brochure, or even messaging that is inconsistent with why they are different.

In order to remain profitable as a business or capture a larger market share, it is absolutely necessary to develop a single message and unique selling point to distinguish your services or products from that of your competition.  Simply put, a unique selling point is the answer to the question, “Why should I buy from you?” If your company has yet to develop one, it’s important that you follow three key steps of brand positioning:


Step One: Understand your target audience’s perception of your industry and brand.

We recently tackled the process of brand positioning with one of our clients, Advanced Roofing Specialists (ARS).  Most homeowners have either dealt with or heard horror stories pertaining to “roofers”.  There is a stereotype out there that a crew of guys will show up with no shirt on, dump the materials in your yard, trample over your lawn and flowers, leave scraps of shingles and nails scattered throughout your yard, and get the job done when they get around to it.

With the current state of the economy, many people are trying to pinch pennies, and “fly by night” roofers are getting more consideration for jobs than they justifiably should.

 

Step Two: Determine how you want your brand to be perceived.

Advanced Roofing Specialists has a very experienced crew that pride themselves on professionalism, cleanliness, and doing the job right the first time. With over 50 years of collective experience, full insurance to cover any unlikely but potential issues, and an obsession with being prompt, ARS is the exception to the roofing industry, not the rule.

So, who is Advanced Roofing Specialists, and how can they combat the cheap guys without any insurance that don’t stand behind their work?

We needed to think about what means the most to people that need a new roof and what motivates them to use one company over another.

Who is Advanced Roofing Specialists?  They are a company driven on providing long term, high quality roofing with a promise of prompt service throughout the roofing process and long after.

I have a hunch that a lot of people out there associate these words “cost” and “price” with the same meaning, but I promise you they are worlds apart!  Let’s say I have a budget for a used car of $18,000 and have my eye on a certain type of car. I find one on Craig’s List for $15,000 when most others are between $17,000 and $20,000.  It’s a great price on the surface but let’s talk about the potential costs involved.  Initially, I’ll save $3,000 on the purchase price — which is fantastic!  After doing further research, I learn this highly discounted price has gotten in three accidents, has three different types of tires on it, has never had an oil change, and has a small chip in the windshield.  Now let’s add up the potential costs:  $1500 for new tires, $750 for new rims, $1100 for a new radiator that was cracked in one of the accidents, and a new windshield costing $650, all within 6 months of purchase.  Your PRICE was $15,000 but your COST was $15,000 plus $4,000 (and that was only in the first 6 months of owning the vehicle).  Don’t you think it would’ve made more sense to buy one of the more “expensive” vehicles for $18,000 and saved yourself a lot of time, money, and anger?

This same battle of COST vs. PRICE is something we want to highlight with Advanced Roofing Specialists.  Although the price of partnering with ARS may be higher than some estimates, there is no doubt that the cost will be much less in the long term, both monetarily and in saving time.

 

Step Three: Implement messaging into marketing and sales pitch

Our research and brainstorming by our amazing staff at BPM led us to the tagline of “Raising the roofing standards, so you don’t have to worry” which has been implemented into their advertising and marketing materials. ARS’ sales team has also been instructed on how to better communicate the value in ARS while talking with potential customers. Check out ARS online at www.roofinggreenbay.com.

 

If your business needs help determining who you really are, give us a call and let’s talk. Brand positioning is both fun and rewarding!