ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Susan Gunelius
Susan Gunelius, MBA is a 25-year marketing and branding expert and President and CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She is the author of 10 books about marketing, branding and social media, and her marketing-related articles appear on top media websites such as Entrepreneur.com and Forbes.com. She is also the Founder and Editor in Chief of WomenOnBusiness.com, an award-winning blog for business women.
Name that Brand – “Making Technology Work for You”

Name that Brand – “Making Technology Work for You”

Can you name the brand behind this new tagline — Making Technology Work for You? The problem with this tagline is that it fails some of the do’s and don’ts of tagline creation. It could be used for a wide variety of brands from software companies, to tech manufacturers, to retailers, and more. Most importantly, it offers no additional information beyond what consumers already expect from the brand. In other words, if this tagline represents a brand that is in some way related to the tech industry, then it fails to create a perceived expectation that adds value to consumers’ lives. If this is a tech-related brand, then making technology work for you should be an innate part of the brand DNA, and this tagline would be redundant. So what brand is behind this tagline? Read more

Using Market Segmentation for Better Brand Messaging – Part 3

Using Market Segmentation for Better Brand Messaging – Part 3

It’s impossible to adequately segment your audience without conducting market research. That’s the subject of Part 3 of the Using Market Segmentation for Better Brand Messaging series. If you missed the previous parts that discussed what market segmentation is and the common types of market segmentation, follow the preceding links to read them now so Part 3 makes sense. Read more

Using Market Segmentation for Better Brand Messaging – Part 2

Using Market Segmentation for Better Brand Messaging – Part 2

The practice of market segmentation continues to become more challenging as marketers gain more access to information about consumers. That information helps marketers understand consumer demographic characteristics, lifestyle characteristics, and more. The growth of the social web has opened the doors to massive amounts of information about consumer interests, preferences, and emotions. Gathering, analyzing, and prioritizing all of that information is a necessity that is continually evolving. If you missed Part 1 of the Using Market Segmentation for Better Brand Messaging series, follow the preceding link to learn what market segmentation is and why it matters to brands. Now, it’s time to learn about the types of market segmentation in Part 2. Read more

Using Market Segmentation for Better Brand Messaging – Part 1

Using Market Segmentation for Better Brand Messaging – Part 1

What is market segmentation and why do brands need it? Those are just two of the questions I’ll answer in my new series for AYTM, Using Market Segmentation for Better Brand Messaging. Market segmentation has grown to be incredibly complex in recent decades, and there are more ways to research and segment markets and audiences than ever before. This series will make sense of all of the steps brands should follow to effectively segment their audiences. Let’s get started! Read more

Lady Gaga and Little Monsters – Taking Back Control of Relationship Brands

Lady Gaga and Little Monsters – Taking Back Control of Relationship Brands

As the first person to have 25 million followers on Twitter, Lady Gaga is no stranger to the world of social media. Add her 50 million Facebook fans, 33,000 Google+ followers, one billion YouTube views, and more — and there is no doubt that the Lady Gaga brand leverages social media to build community engagement — one little monster at a time. In fact, Lady Gaga is paving the way for brands to take back some control via the social web. Read more

Leveraging Market Segmentation for Better Brand Messaging

Leveraging Market Segmentation for Better Brand Messaging

Consumers are complex, but they’re also consistent and predictable. That’s a key finding in the new Bazaarvoice, Inc. report, The Conversation Index, and a reason why brands can no longer target consumers based only on traditional market segmentation. Today, brands also need to consider consumers’ interest graphs, social graphs, and sentiment graphs. In other words, with access to more information, often directly from consumers thanks to the loud online conversation, creating market segments and messages targeted at those segments is more challenging than ever. However, brands that “get it” and “do it right” have a significant advantage. Read more

Prioritizing Verbal, Auditory and Visual Branding – Part 3

Prioritizing Verbal, Auditory and Visual Branding – Part 3

There is no doubt that verbal, auditory, and visual branding are all important to a successful brand strategy and marketing campaigns as you learned in Part 1 of this series. However, images without context can be meaningless, as you learned in Part 2. That means you need to find the best way to marry all three elements to achieve the results you want and need for your brand. How do you do it? That’s the topic for Part 3 of the Prioritizing Verbal, Auditory, and Visual Branding series, so keep reading! Read more

Prioritizing Verbal, Auditory and Visual Branding – Part 2

Prioritizing Verbal, Auditory and Visual Branding – Part 2

In Part 1 of the Prioritizing Verbal, Auditory, and Visual Branding series, you learned the difference between these three types of branding elements and why they’re important. Now, it’s time to learn why visual branding is such a hot topic these days and how to effectively balance visual branding in your overall branding efforts. If you missed Part 1 of the series, follow the link above to read it now, so you understand the importance of marrying verbal, auditory, and visual branding in order to achieve the best results from your marketing initiatives. Read more

Prioritizing Verbal, Auditory and Visual Branding – Part 1

Prioritizing Verbal, Auditory and Visual Branding – Part 1

Every brand is made up of visual, verbal, and auditory elements that cue recognition and spark recall. When those elements work together, marketing messages are well-received and consumers are motivated to action. When those elements don’t work together, marketing messages fall flat and advertising expenditures fail to deliver an adequate return on investment. In my new series, Prioritizing Verbal, Auditory, and Visual Branding, you’ll learn what each of these sensory brand elements is and how to develop a branding strategy that leverages them in the best way. Read more

Huffington Kills AOL News

Huffington Kills AOL News

In an abrupt move on June 13, 2012, AOL pulled the plug on AOL News and all links were redirected to the Huffington Post. The next day, AOL launched the premium (meaning it’s not free) Huffington iPad app which will feature long-form content and high resolution media for $1.99 per month. In other words, something unusual (although not unheard of – -think of Google and YouTube) happened on that day — a company that acquired another dropped its own brand name and product a year after the acquisition and replaced it with the acquired company’s brand name and product. Let’s take a closer look. Read more

Building Brand Reputation – Part 4

Building Brand Reputation – Part 4

Your brand reputation is a critical component of your brand strategy and has a direct effect on the success or failure of your brand. Companies must invest time and money into defining, developing, and monitoring brand reputations as you’ve learned in earlier parts of the Building Brand Reputation series. However, protecting and defending your brand reputation are equally important. That’s the topic of the final part of the series, so keep reading to get all the details. Read more

Building Brand Reputation – Part 3

Building Brand Reputation – Part 3

So far in the Building Brand Reputation series, you’ve learned how to define and develop your brand reputation, but your work isn’t done yet. Now, it’s time to learn how to monitor your brand reputation to ensure it stays laser-focused on your target audience so you can meet your goals. A brand reputation can go astray at anytime. If you’re not monitoring yours, you won’t know when danger looms. Don’t let that happen. Instead, follow the advice in this article to stay on track at all times. Read more

Building Brand Reputation – Part 2

Building Brand Reputation – Part 2

It’s the company’s responsibility to build a brand reputation by consistently living the brand promise and creating messages and experiences that enable consumers to develop their own perceptions of that brand reputation. In Part 1 of the Building Brand Reputation series, you learned how to define your brand reputation. Now, it’s time to learn how to successfully develop that brand reputation. Read more

Building Brand Reputation – Part 1

Building Brand Reputation – Part 1

Building brand reputation is a critical component of any brand strategy, and there are more opportunities to develop, monitor, and protect your brand reputation than ever these days thanks to the accessibility of the Internet. Brands can build reputations and listen to consumer conversations to ensure their brand reputations are positive. You’ll learn about all of these things in my new series here on the AYTM blog, Building Brand Reputation, but first, you’ll learn what brand reputation is and how to define yours. Read more

Differentiating Cable Network Brands Is an Uphill Battle

Differentiating Cable Network Brands Is an Uphill Battle

How do you differentiate a cable brand? There was a time when cable brands promised specific types of programming and delivered on those promises. If you wanted to watch music videos, you turned on MTV. If you wanted to watch music videos but were over the age of 25, you turned on VH1. Today, both networks offer little music content. But you can watch Jersey Shore or 16 and Pregnant again and again. Read more

Brand Positioning for Marketing to Women – Part 6

Brand Positioning for Marketing to Women – Part 6

To wrap up the Brand Positioning for Marketing to Women series, let’s take a look at some excellent examples of gender branding. These examples offer brands to benchmark for marketing to women or men as well as for cross gender and gender neutral branding. Be sure to follow the links at the end of the article to read the first five parts of this series. Remember, research shows that over 80% of all purchase decisions are made by or influenced by women. It’s critical that you understand how to position your brand and market it to women. Read more

Brand Positioning for Marketing to Women – Part 5

Brand Positioning for Marketing to Women – Part 5

A series of articles about brand positioning for marketing to women would not be complete without a section about research. If you missed previous parts of this series, follow the links at the end of the article to catch up. You can’t conduct the right research and gather the right data to make the right business decisions if you don’t understand the how and why of gender branding. One thing is certain when it comes to marketing to women, qualitative and quantitative research are imperative. Read more

Brand Positioning for Marketing to Women – Part 4

Brand Positioning for Marketing to Women – Part 4

Time to learn tips to market to women effectively in Part 4 of the Brand Positioning for Marketing to Women series. If you missed Part 1, Part 2, or Part 3 of the series, follow the preceding links to catch up. There you’ll learn all the basics about gender branding and why marketing your brand to women the right way is critical to its success, regardless of your brand’s category or industry. Read more

Brand Positioning for Marketing to Women – Part 3

Brand Positioning for Marketing to Women – Part 3

There is plenty of scientific evidence that men and women are different physically, biologically, neurologically, psychologically, and emotionally. Yet brands fail to recognize and market to these innate gender differences. If you missed Part 1 or Part 2 of the Brand Positioning for Marketing to Women series, which discussed gender branding and why marketing to women is important, follow the preceding links and read them now. Once you understand why brands need to focus on genders, you need to learn how women are different from men in terms of processing information and making buying decisions so you can market to them more effectively. Read more

Brand Positioning for Marketing to Women – Part 2

Brand Positioning for Marketing to Women – Part 2

As you learned in Part 1 of the Brand Positioning for Marketing to Women series, you need to understand the fundamentals of gender branding before you can create a strategy and plan to market a brand to women. But why is it so important to market to women? Yes, 80% of purchase decisions are made by women, but that’s just the beginning of the story. Read more

Brand Positioning for Marketing to Women – Part 1

Brand Positioning for Marketing to Women – Part 1

For years, research reports have revealed that women make the vast majority of purchase decisions, even when they’re not directly involved in the actual transactions. Despite the fact that women make around 80% of purchase decisions, companies still struggle with brand positioning for a female audience. In my new series for AYTM, Brand Positioning for Marketing to Women, you’ll learn not only why it’s critical for brands to communicate with women today but also how to do it effectively. Read more

JC Penney Rebranding Problems Highlight Consumers as Emotional Beings

JC Penney Rebranding Problems Highlight Consumers as Emotional Beings

In February, JC Penney launched a rebranding initiative that would practically eliminate the sale- and discount-heavy marketing tactics that consumers have come to expect from retailers. However, JC Penney made a critical mistake in its rebranding strategy. Consumers weren’t willing to make an instant jump from discounts and sales to every day low prices. As Tom Denari reminds us in an article from Advertising Age, consumers are not rational beings — a trait JC Penney failed to address. Read more

The Marriage of Market Research and Social Data

The Marriage of Market Research and Social Data

Market research and social data must come together to offer the most comprehensive analysis of customers, competitors, markets, and brands. Marketers have access to so much data today that it’s easy to fall into a silo marketing approach where the focus is either on market research data or social data but not the two together. However, neither type of data paints a clear picture. The trick is marrying the two in order to find the necessary clarity to make the right strategic business decisions. However, this is a relationship that needs to be nurtured if it’s going to survive the long-haul. Read more

Brand Extension Brings PayPal to Brick-and-Mortar Retailers

Brand Extension Brings PayPal to Brick-and-Mortar Retailers

PayPal is coming to a store near you. Fifteen retailers will allow consumers to pay for purchases via PayPal at brick-and-mortar stores according to an Advertising Age report. There are many ways to extend a brand, and this seems like a great strategy for PayPal to offer its 110 million users additional ways to use its payment service. The brand extension could lead to new customers, too. Read more