Creative & Brand Development

A Step-by-Step Brand Audit Process

A brand delivers an experience at each interaction with the marketplace. Following this step-by-step brand audit process will enable you to understand how your market feels about that brand experience – both your internal market (your stakeholders) and your external market (your customers and prospects). Understanding if the market responds to the key elements of…Read More

Strategic Planning

How to Create a Compelling Brand Story

Great brands make an emotional connection with their market. Your brand inspiration is the foundation of your brand strategy. And in today’s digital world, that can be more complicated than ever. Customers’ expectations of brands are changing, and we’re undergoing a massive shift in how we deliver that brand experience. Some brands won’t survive. But…Read More

Strategic Planning

How to Become a Brand Strategist

The most important role in marketing is that of the brand strategist. A good brand strategist can unify a company, influence a market, and architect and implement the brand experience that can directly affect the success of a company. And a brand strategist is important when the economy is booming, or you’re struggling to survive…Read More

Strategic Planning

Build a Brand Using the Brand Strategy Toolkit

CanopyNation is an employee benefits advisory firm that creates, administers and services custom employee benefits packages. They work with companies in the United States that have between 25 to 3,000 employees. The company was formed in January of 2018 after being spun out of Simmons Bank in Memphis, Tennessee. The company principals, Orma Smith and…Read More

Strategic Planning

Competitive Positioning

What sets your product, service and company apart from your competitors? What value do you provide and how is it different from the alternatives? Competitive positioning is about defining how you’ll “differentiate” your offering and create value for your market. It’s about carving out a spot in the competitive landscape, putting your stake in the…Read More

Strategic Planning

Rebranding – How to Rebrand a Company, Product or Service Effectively

Considering a rebrand? Rebranding your company, product or service can be one of the most important decisions you make as a strategic marketer or entrepreneur. A successful rebrand can allow you to access new markets, win new mindshare, increase your top and bottom lines and build powerful brand equity. Rebranding requires a tremendous amount of…Read More

Strategic Planning

How to Build Brand Loyalty

Suggest to an iPhone user that she buy a Samsung when it’s time for her next phone upgrade and chances are, she’ll say, “no way!” Ask a Harley Davidson rider if he’d consider riding a Honda instead, and you may not want to hear his response. Bring Pepsi to the company picnic where everyone is…Read More

Strategic Planning

How to Improve Marketing Planning

“Those who plan do better than those who do not plan, even though they rarely stick to their plan.” – Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister   “Have a plan. Follow the plan, and you’ll be surprised how successful you can be. Most people don’t have a plan. That’s why it’s easy to beat most folks.” – Paul…Read More

Strategic Planning

Crafting Your Brand Personality

Your brand is more than just your logo and color palette; your brand is an experience that communicates the essence of what you represent. And like people, each great brand has a personality – your brand personality traits. It’s one of the many elements of your brand architecture. Your brand’s personality and voice are what…Read More

Strategic Planning

Customer Retention Strategy

How much have you invested in sales and marketing over the last few years? Thousands? Tens of thousands? Millions? Tens of millions? Your customer retention strategy is about keeping the customers you’ve invested in to acquire. And if you’re in an industry where your customers make multiple purchases over the years, your entire team should be…Read More

Strategic Planning

Marketing with Purpose

One of my favorite quotes is from the late Peter Drucker: “Marketing is the distinguishing, unique function of the business.” On first glance, it’s not an earth shattering quote. But there are plenty of case studies about companies that delivered average products yet became distinguished because of their marketing (think Coca Cola, Nike, Corona, Microsoft,…Read More

Strategic Planning

Discover Your Competitive Advantage

Why do your customers buy from you instead of your competitors? When asked that same question, research shows that nearly 4,000 CEOs of mid-market companies don’t know the real answer. Some think they do, but most are relying on false information. And this limits their ability to grow. In Jaynie Smith’s book Creating Competitive Advantage, only…Read More

Strategic Planning

Understanding the Psychology of Your Buyer

Here’s a secret of great marketers: They truly understand the psychology of their buyer. Marketing is about persuasion: creating the impression you want to make, eliciting a specific feeling or response, and then enticing a person to take action. If that sounds difficult, you’re right – it can be. The great advertisers of yesteryear kept…Read More

Strategic Planning

Pricing Strategy

Pricing is one of the classic “4 Ps” of marketing (product, price, place, promotion). It’s one of the key elements of every B2C strategy. Yet for many B2B marketers, the pricing strategy in their marketing plan is challenging to write; many aren’t even involved in creating their pricing strategy. There are many factors to consider…Read More

Strategic Planning

5 Things Every CEO Should Know About Branding

If you review the background of the CEO of every company in the Fortune 500, you’ll find that most of them were trained in one of these areas: sales, engineering, finance, or operations. They either knew how to sell their product, build their product, manage their money, or manage their operations. By the time they’ve…Read More

Strategic Planning

Getting Distribution for Your New Product

Distribution is critical for every startup. It’s all too common for a startup with a great product to fail due to lack of distribution. If your business model is designed to rely on distribution partners to deliver your product to the market and you don’t have experience building and managing a distribution channel, then take…Read More

Strategic Planning

Top 4 Benefits of a Written Strategic Marketing Plan

Big brands almost always invest substantial resources to create a comprehensive strategic marketing plan. Especially in consumer markets. Yet from my experience, few small to midsize businesses bother to create one. (And many don’t even create a written annual marketing plan, opting to simply operate from a budget instead.) Why? Part of the reason is…Read More

News & Updates

Introducing Qlutch – Our New Marketing Planning Web App

After a lot of hard work, we’re proud to announce the launch of Qlutch – our new marketing planning web app. Qlutch delivers almost 400 step-by-step plans for almost any marketing activity and replaces our legacy Marketing MO offering. We invite you to check it out! Here’s what’s new: We’ve streamlined the interface for easier…Read More

Campaigns & Execution

Direct Mail Campaign Ideas

For many years, direct mail has been an important marketing medium. Even though many companies have turned to social media, email and internet marketing, a targeted and well-produced mail campaign can still be highly effective. Direct mail campaigns can be used to generate leads, promote special offers, support other campaigns, communicate with customers and raise…Read More

Strategic Planning

How Marketing ROI Calculations Can Get You in Trouble

Over the past decade, there’s been a big push for marketers to improve their use of financial metrics, especially marketing ROI calculations. This enables them to better communicate with the rest of their executive team. Instead of speaking in terms of brand awareness, conversion rates and leads generated, marketers have been focused on speaking in…Read More