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The ability of a brand to connect with their “advocates” on-line, and proactively “reach out”  and interact is “key” to building a successful Social Marketing program. These “advocates” have the world within their reach, and want to be part of the brand’s lifestyle/culture.

If a brand fails to embrace these advocates from a viral and social perspective, they risk alienating their “core” consumer and driving business to another that will embrace them continually. In order to effectively reach out, you must define a clear social networking strategy , which encompass’s an “authentic” message with continual interaction. Many brands still reach out in a unilateral direction, which defines their strategy as self promoting machine that does not understand the current state of social interaction. When you have clear direction to viral/social interaction with your audience, it is not only defined by company positioning, but also infects everyone involved with the brand and as a result the message is clear, concise and effective at all levels. Successful Social Marketing is built off of foundation of guiding principles which are at the “core” of the brand:

Define “What” you stand for…

Communicate this clearly to everyone inside the brand “Camp”…

Be Proactive in “Reaching Out” to your Brand Advocates

Always be “Authentic”…

Once this “vertical” messaging is grounded into the principles of the brand, it can be communicated into the social world with your “brand advocates” , but the key to brand growth is the have these advocates “inject” others with the message, lifestyle and culture.  Remember, customers do not buy “products”, they buy “lifestyles”, and brands who understand this principle will  successfully grow not only their “advocate” base, but revenues as well.

Enjoy the Ride..!

Bryan Smeltzer

@bryansmeltzer

http://www.bryansmeltzer.com

“Product Innovation and Marketing Success Blog…”

 

Building a “Creative Engine” requires not only a defined process, but more importantly a team that understands how, and wants to take risks in the marketplace. In developing this engine, you drive on all cylinders, build a creative alliance and are constantly moving towards your long term goal of becoming a market leader. Being unpredictable, but execution driven is a core trait when building this “Creative Engine”. 

Being “Predictable” is another term for “Safe”.  Some Brands are comfortable being safe, but most also recognize this will not push the creative envelope. There is safety in numbers, but the goal is not to become another number…

As Mr. Seth Godin puts its so clearly…

“Safe is Risky..”

In building, inspiring and leading creative teams/brands, you must develop a sense of where you must go, and have a Visionary to show you the way. A Visionary is that rare breed who drives teams/brands to create a sustainable “Point of Difference” in the marketplace. This “POD” is what creates an environment of constant brand re-creation. It is this re-creation process that builds an “aura” of unpredictability for the brand, and drives the creative process…

Always look to be “Unpredictable”…

Always “Drive the Market”…

Always remember “Who you Are”…

Always stay true to the “Brand”…

Enjoy the Ride..!

Bryan Smeltzer

http://www.bryansmeltzer.com

“Product Innovation & Marketing Success Blog…”

 

All brands at some point face a crossroad, as to how and where continued growth will be sustained on a regional or global scale. Fortunately those who have an established a system for driving their creative engine, and have implemented an operational excellence platform allowing them to bring innovative concepts to reality will succeed. This system does not stop at commercialization, as it is integral that the timing of product releases be driven by your need to establish, build and sustain long term growth. In other words, your product “Pipeline” is integral to your sustainability as a brand.

This “Pipeline” is your system, and one which ties the threads of the overall company together and allows it to function as a team and run on all cylinders. Without a truly “Innovative” driven ideation, product creation process that allows Designers the freedom to breath and create, you will be challenged to look forward for fear of who is behind you. You know you have arrived, and have established a system for long term success, when you do not care who is behind you, but rather focus on chasing down the prize that is in front of you. Conquer those that “choose” to stand still. Remember you may be on the right track, but if you choose to stand still you will get run over…!

Build a Product “Pipeline”..

Stay True to the Brand..

Sustain a Long Term Vision..

Do not Stand Still..!

Enjoy the Ride.!

Bryan Smeltzer

web:bryansmeltzer.com

Twitter: @bryansmeltzer

LinkedIn: llnkedin.com/in/bryansmeltzer

“Product Innovation & Marketing Success Blog..”

 

Destruction-MDS-1024

The “Art of Destruction” is key to successfully building a long term brand that brings a constant “Point of Difference” to the marketplace. With this principle in place as part of your overall evolutionary process, you will never have a shortage of creative ideas, concepts and “pipeline” of product progressions or reinventions.

This “Destruction” principle follows very closely the concept of “Out-Innovating” yourself, as I had talked about previously, however it builds upon this principle and allows the Product, Marketing and Design teams to think completely “outside the box”. When implemented in combination with one another, the brands marketplace positioning is always protected both short term and long term. Implementing the “Destruction” concept is difficult and requires a more engrained long term thought process. This process takes into account competitive reactions, marketplace implications, product life cycles and adoption rates on a long term basis.

The overall intent and reasoning behind “Destruction” is to always find a way to “re-invent” yourself to your “core”, early adopter consumer through new product introductions, relevant brand content or enhanced technologies that move your brand into another level of “Evolution”. Although difficult it is a necessary part of your product portfolio, and brand “authentication”. What is your next “Break-Away” Design/Product..?

Always look for ways to destruct your current products or category…

Always re-invent yourself with “Flagship” Products…

Always leave your competitors wondering “What is Next”..

Welcome to the “Art of Destruction”..!

Enjoy the Ride..!

Bryan Smeltzer

http://www.bryansmeltzer.com

“Product Innovation & Marketing Success Blog…”

 

 

 

When looking to establish yourself within a specific market, whether locally or globally, establishing your brand “Pillars” are crucial to building a long term strategy.

These “Pillars” are what anchor your company from the top, and liquify the entire company on a daily basis. If you do not know what you “stand for”, then how will you define your  POD -“Point of Difference” vs competitors. Even better, assume you do not have any competitors in your space, what would “aspire” your brand to be or achieve ? This many time frees the mind to imagine what could be, not what has been done !

The key is to clearly define yourself, breath this daily, do not comprise, and live the life. You can not fake, nor imitate your way to success. Success is found when you provide a “lifestyle” to your consumer, and they engage with your brand. You can build great products, but if they do not relate to your consumer, or more importantly your brand image, your eventual success will be short lived. 

Always define your brand “Pillars”, they build your foundational success..

Always “Live the Lifestyle” you are looking to provide, this builds “Passion”..

Always “Engage” with your customer, they provide the “Keys” to your success..!

Enjoy the Ride..!
Bryan Smeltzer

bryansmeltzer.com

@bryansmeltzer

“Product Innovation & Marketing Success Blog” 

Merchandise your product as a complete brand, reflective of the “Lifestyle”, “Look” and “Feel” your “core” consumer would like to aspire to when they exit the retailers door. Many times brands do not fully embrace the significance of ensuring that all “pieces” of the merchandising puzzle are pulled together at retail. There are significant advantages to having a complete merchandised brand picture at retail, not the least of which is increased sales/ft 2, and brand equity. This not only involves the product, but also involves the aesthetics and environment in which you place your product. Uniform in design, complete in its message and rich in its environment.

When looking at what makes for a successful merchandising strategy for a brand, one key ingredient is a mixture of vertical product flow, assuming a collection driven product line, blended in an environment which makes purchasing this assortment open and easy to navigate. Many times the downfall to this strategy is out of stock sizing, colors, styles or plannograms that are not held in check. If not company owned, which the bulk are currently not, this is not controlled by the  brand and can be very frustrating to deal with when you have laid out a very clear  and cohesive merchandising strategy. Nonetheless, it can not be overstated, having a brand merchandising strategy is key to the overall successful sell through of  your product at retail.

This is a win-win scenario, as both the brand and the retailers look to have increased inventory turns. It has been proven that an effective merchandising plan increases sales/ft2, represents the brand as a lifestyle, and can provide for a relaxing shopping experience. The reward is the payoff, for the brand, retailer and the consumer…

Merchandise as a “Complete” Brand

Create a “Lifestyle” Environment

Build a “Loyal” Consumer

Enjoy the Ride..!

Bryan Smeltzer

bryansmeltzer.com

@bryansmeltzer

“Product Innovation & Marketing Success”

 

Ever try driving down the road while looking in the rear mirror without crashing.? Probably do not want to try this, as you are likely to crash and burn. Even with this common sense knowledge, you will find this analogy going on with companies every day, even though they know this will likely result in failure.

Market driving companies are one’s that find themselves at the forefront of consumer perception, from both a product innovation and market positioning standpoint. Those that “drive” the market vs those that are “driven” by their respective markets, have established creative processes which allow them to interpret future consumer desires, dreams and needs and bring them into reality. When brought to reality, it is packaged, merchandised and marketed as the next evolution/generation that all “early adopters” mush have or be left to follow the crowd. The earlier in the adoption curve the brand can grab these “early adopters”, the longer the product lifecycle and greater profitability  at retail. Both good for your customer … the retailer…

Companies’s that are merely “driven” by the market find themselves with a “late adopter” consumer base, competitive pricing pressures and shorter product lifecycle. They must be very adept at managing forecast and inventory turns, within a very short window of opportunity if they expect to achieve any margin contribution.

For this reason alone, the greater your ability to “drive” the market and “core” consumer to your new/next generation of products, the greater your ability to avoid significant competitive pricing pressures, increase your product lifecycle and eventually draw down your product price points over time, while still maintaining substantial margin.

Always look to be the Leader, not a Follower…

Always Innovate, do not Imitate, it will keep you in the “First Mover” position…

Always take Risks, it should the Lifeblood of your Creative Engine…

 

Enjoy the Ride…!

Bryan Smeltzer

T: @bryansmeltzer

web:bryansmeltzer.com

BLOG: “Product Innovation & Marketing Success..”