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When selecting a primary source to produce your product overseas, you must ensure that the “core” compentancies/capabilities of  the factory match the “vision” of the Design team and brand as a whole. This many times is where brands fall short, and compromise happens, whether in construction, materials or both. In falling short, you risk alienating your consumer and long term growth of the brand. 

The sourcing component, and the development teams ability to carry the “vision” torch are integral to the success of not only the product itself, but assures the overall founding principles of the brands are carried out  in each product for the new season. This seasonal process begins with product line planning, marketplace positioning, concept/final design and ends with development, sourcing and final product qualification. This is a difficult, but necessary process, if you are to maintain your leadership position, and stay “true” to your brand. Sourcing with factories that are not component in your product will surely destroy your brand, as the consumers will recognize an inferior product and move to another brand. 

I always mention brands, not commodity driven products, as brands truely have an “advocate” following, and their expectations are to not buy a product, but rather live a “lifestyle: (ie. Ralph Lauren..). When you compromise this “lifestyle” through inferior products, the affinity for the brand has dimished and will eventually fade away….

Always bring Design “Vision” to Reality…

Do not compromise your “Principles”…

Always bring reality to the “Lifestyle”…

Enjoy the Ride..!

Bryan Smeltzer

http://www.bryansmeltzer.com

@bryansmeltzer

“Product Innovation and Marketing Success Blog…”

 

With the World literally within your reach, the new reality for driving your brand will be to connect globally with your prospective consumer through digital interactive media. The new interactive media “bloodline” is digital, which allows the marketing team to drive instantaneous brand messaging both virally and socially.

This new “weapon”, which has been proactively adopted by many brands, still is being deployed like a bomber blowing up anything in it’s path, versus an “elite” strike force with a defined target and mission. With this focus, this new weapon becomes a powerful part of your marketing strategy arsenal. Specifically, there are many different areas of “soft” copy digital media that can be implemented at lower cost with increased market penetration and defined metrics. This is the magic formula for marketing team that has always struggled to calculate ROI.

These digital campaigns are most effective when they  are part of an ongoing brand message, seasonal product releases and integrated into social media strategy. By “reaching” out to your “core” consumer, one who embraces culture and lifestyle of the brand, you have effectively built a pathway for them to become part of your brand. This is done via social networking, where you can “activate” interaction between “the brand” and the consumer. With this type of networking you can also decide to “partition” interaction between different segments of the brand such as: Sports Marketing, Marketing, Product, etc…. effectively creating an “underground” connection to the brand.

You can also extend digital marketing messages, and strategic campaigns that are measurable through “activation”, “interaction” and eventual consumer “purchase”. The power of digital marketing comes through in these campaigns and “social” interaction. Soft copy is now what Hard copy once was, still integral to the overall marketing strategy mix, but as a secondary component vs a primary driver. This “blending” marketing strategy will continue, but most if not all hard copy advertising has in someway adapted to the  “softcopy”  digital transition.

The message should be loud and clear, like a freight coming at you full speed.. your Choice is clear….

Jump On and Enjoy the Ride…

Get out of the Way and become Extinct…

 or do nothing and Die….

Your choice should be to “Jump On”.. Enjoy the Ride.. If you don’t, the next evolution in Marketing is coming and you need to be prepared with what is new reality today, so you are prepared for tomorrow..!

All the best..!

Enjoy the Ride….

Bryan Smeltzer

“Product Innovation & Marketing Success Blog”

T:@bryansmeltzer

WEB:bryansmeltzer.com

 

Brand Culture…

Brand Culture…

A brand IS a Lifestyle choice for a consumer, not a Product choice. Growth for a Branded consumer products driven company is driven by your ability to create a Lifestyle for your “Core” customer first, and then balance it’s extension beyond this base. This is a very delicate balancing act, as a significant number of brands extended to far, eventually went over the cliff and their “core” base never returned.

Product by design for a premium brand should always be driven a quality and performance, but also has a story built around its eventual creation. This story is the “Connector” between the Design Ideation process, and Marketing’s ability to convey the vision at retail or on-line.

As the brand execution team, you are the ” keepers of the flame” , do not let it burn out… keep thinking outside the box… provide new experiences for your loyal followers, take them on the ride with you..! Always, Always…

Think

Act

Be

Different..!

Your customer wants to be part of the lifestyle offered and envisioned by your company, the brand. Their is a certain persona and lifestyle associated with… so give it to them and let them be part of it ! The Product is an extension of the brand, which is driven by a lifestyle chosen by your “core” consumer. Stay true your purpose, be authentic and they will stay loyal to you… The BRAND…!

Enjoy the Ride !

Bryan Smeltzer

“Product Innovation & Marketing Success Blog..”

T: @bryansmeltzer

http://www.bryansmeltzer.com

Driving, and building a Brand’s ID to your “CORE” audience is key to developing a social presence, and long term relevance. “Juicing” the Brand is a continual process, and has many components that work together to ensure you have an effective marketing strategy. 

In the “digital” age you are constantly challenged with not only keeping your audience engaged, but ensuring your “voice” is of interest. With many voices looking to engage this audience, you must have an effective plan to continually keep them coming back and engaging them in your brand “culture”. As we have discussed, this Brand Culture…is the lifestyle your audience wants to be a part of.. 

Bring them in, engage them in your Brand, and keep them coming back..

Always look to “Juice”  the Brand…!
Always drive a “relevant” Brand message…!

Always build a long term “Plan” to Engage…!

Enjoy the Ride !
Bryan Smeltzer

BLOG: “Product Innovation & Marketing Success”

WEB: bryansmeltzer.com

T: @bryansmeltzer

 

 

 

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..”

 

Whenever brands look to strategic marketing and brand “activation” , one component is always how to effectively build, manage and define metrics on sponsorships deals.

With digital marketing and social media tools, athlete/team “activation” has become easier, but you must also have a cohesive, brand driven strategy to reach out to your target demographic. This “reach out” campaign is an integral component to assure your brand stays front and center with “key” influencers and target demo. With attention spans being shorter, this is one the main reasons why “traditional” hard copy media has collapsed over the years, with digital marketing becoming more prevalent. The reason for this is “synergy”, synergy between content activation your demo is looking for (i.e, NFL,NBA, NHL..etc.) and how they obtain this content via on-line activation (Social Media, Digital Marketing). This is a seamless interaction between “brand”, “influencers” and “target demo”. This is a classic case of market evolution, and extinction of another medium no longer being adopted…

Two of the main issues brands have with effective sports marketing is “athlete activation” and “defining metrics”. With the implementation of digital analytics (ie. Google), these sponsorships via on-line activation can be effectively measured and “drilled down” to extreme detail. This becomes tangible data which builds an interactive database of “core” consumers who then become brand advocates, assuming your strategy resonates. Once established, you can continue to build, refine and grow this advocacy group, who should be converted to “viral” generators, spreading the brand “virus” via word of mouth (WOM) and digital/social world.

Welcome to the new world of Sports Marketing Metrics analysis…

Define a Cohesive Digital Sports Marketing Strategy…

Activate your Brand, Sponsorships and Social Media plan…

Reach out to your “Core” audience…

Watch the “Virus” expand…!

Enjoy the Ride..!
Bryan Smeltzer

http://www.bryansmeltzer.com

“Product Innovation & Marketing Success Blog…”

Evolve or Die…

With the retail environment changing at light speed, brands must find ways to stay relevant for their retailers. Any brand must “evolve” as it grows, or become stagnant, and lose all momentum built up since its inception. This sometimes requires making a bold move to obsolete a product, even when sales would tell you to hold on longer.

When moving a product out of the life cycle while still popular, creates an inherent demand for the next “Evolution” of this generation or completely new idea. From both a design and functional perspective, this relentless pursuit of “Innovation” many companies profess is extremely high risk, and not always swallowed in its entirety. Some make progressive improvements, and still keep the previous generation in the pipeline, while others “pull and push” the old with the new.

Either way, each may be right for the brand, relative to the current status of product pipeline, and needs within your specific channel (i.e, price point, draw down’s). However, the truly “Evolutionary” brand not only re-creates the product, but the category and eventually becomes the dominant leader as a result (Apple, Nike..). This is why there are so few “Evolutionary” brands, as this mindset is established through its founding principles and never compromised.

“The only sustainable competitive advantage is out-innovating your competition.”

– James Morse – Change Guru

“Stay True”, “Take Risks” and success will come to those who “dare” to “Evolve”…!

Enjoy the Ride..!

Bryan Smeltzer

“Product Innovation and Marketing Success Blog”

http://www.bryansmeltzer.com