Recently Tata Motors changed the name of its car from Zica to Tiago as Zica sounds similar to the deadly virus Zika. It’s a timely business decision that reminds one of Ayds candy.
Ayds is perhaps the only brand to die of Aids. The appetite suppressant candy enjoyed strong sales in the seventies and eighties, until the Aids epidemic swept the world. The company tried changing its name to Diet Ayds, but met with little success and the brand soon died a natural death.
The bard may have said, “The rose would smell as sweet by any other name,” but then he never worked as a brand manager. A strong brand name is a huge asset in marketing warfare, and often the right name can make the difference between victory and defeat.
Smuckers, a US brand of fruit spreads, peanut butter, ice cream toppings, etc. once ran their ads with the line ‘With a name like Smuckers it has to be good’, turning a weakness into an advantage.
Meow Mix, a cat food brand, has the slogan, ‘Cats ask for it by name’.
Perhaps the most brilliant name in the recent past is I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, a brand of butter substitute from Unilever.
How does one choose a brand name? Ideally it should be simple, memorable, and a bit different or unusual. If you need a website with a brand name, the unusualness quotient has to be pretty high.
Further, it should not feel out of place, i.e. there should be a fit. For instance Maggi is a good name for noodles, but will not work for something very Indian like, say, pickles.
Vimal is a good name for a sari brand, but for suit material, Raymond is a better name. It’s western, and has a hard masculine sound, unlike Vimal, which despite being a man’s name, sounds feminine.
The entertainment industry knows how important it’s to have a name that sounds right. Ben Kingsley and Krishna Pandit Banji are the same people, but with his real name he would not have been a successful actor
You can telegraphically convey quite a few things with the brand name – who the target group is, the country of origin, the price, etc.
Branding experts claim that in the long run a non-generic brand name trumps over a generic one. Apparently Domino’s is a better name than Pizza Hut. However, you may need to invest in making the name popular, as the name alone does not explain what the product is all about.
This is why companies go for brand extensions, as launching a new brand and making it popular calls for investment. The extension rides on the popularity of the original brand name. Launching Tab is more expensive than launching Diet Coke, though that aside Tab is a better brand name.
One thing to avoid is fads. Recently a builder in Delhi-NCR launched a property, with the name, Selfie Square. So what are they going to come up with next – Gangnam Style Mall? Point is, one should choose a brand name that has longevity, without falling for the latest craze. (Incidentally, Gurugram will never be the same as Gurgaon. Already properties like Hamilton Court, Magnolias, Camellias, Carnation, Palm Springs, etc. sound phony and incongruous.)
The consumers are ahead of the curve. They are agile and receptive to newer
technologies. They’re early adopters of new social networks, and trends, while being
sceptical of conventional advertising practices. These qualities provide a plethora of
exciting opportunities and challenges in engaging with the GEN Z audience – an
audience if tapped properly, could become immediate and lifelong customers.
Here’s how we can engage and interact with the versatile and dynamic Gen Z
1. Informal is good but maintain a fine balance
Maintain the right balance between being genuinely relatable and being cringeworthy
when you engage with the Gen Z audience. In marketing to Gen Z, brands shouldn’t
treat them differently to other audiences. The demography of the younger audience
should not be a reason for organizations to amend their broader approach or existing
brand values. Simply err on the side of caution, and if you sense your Gen Z messaging
is not delivering on the parameters you envisioned– then you’re probably right. Move on
and find your audience.
2. Mobile is the medium
We increasingly live in a mobile-savvy world, and Gen Z are the most mobile-oriented
consumer group. In engaging with Gen Z, brands need to think about how their brand is
perceived online, but specifically how users more broadly relate to their brand through
mobile. Always ensure that your brand works across multiple devices and has the
potential and accessibility to experience a variety of user journeys. Think about
mobile responsiveness of your website and your content – and its shareability. Unlike
the erstwhile generations that have grown up in the transition to the online world and
who have been willing to learn new systems and tolerate bad design, GenZers expect a
user interface to be intuitive and mobile apps with practically zero downtime.
3. Invest in Influencers & Social Platforms
Brands need forward thinking and they need to think beyond just what social networks
and new tech they should be on. To a Gen Z audience, content becomes relatable only
if it is backed by strong and well—researched claims of influential marketers. Any old
content does not cut ice with them. Think smartly about how you can deliver the content
in line with new platforms, new influencers and new opportunities.
Gen Z don’t just want scheduled content from brands, but a sense that the content is
both targeted to them and organically arrived at. Seeming natural is achieved by
choosing not just influencers, but the right influencers, and ensuring every decision you
make with regard to Gen Z gels with your overall strategy.
The new generation of audience is a versatile, dynamic and connected set of users who
play by different rules, previously unknown to the world of advertising. It is important to
move beyond what we knew. Unlearn the few things and explore the realm that GEN Z
Let us start with a fundamental question: Is advertising even relevant as a factor in sales today? The answer is a resounding yes. Even the largest companies and the biggest products benefit from advertising. That’s because advertising allows us to spread our message to the most amount of people at once, rather than individually. This frees up our time so we can meet potential customers,innovate within our processes or products, or simply runour business without having to worry about sales.
Even if advertising doesn’t translate into an immediate spike in sales, it is quietly doing its job of building the brand in the public eye, positioning it, giving it a personality, humanizing it and keeping it visible. Advertising thus places your product in the consideration set of the potential buyer, and that is half the battle won.
A new revolution
Advertising has evolved from time to time. From the loud verbal pitches of street vendors, to posters, to print ad in newspapers and magazines, to radio ads, to television ads – the advertising industry has seen one revolution after another. This article is about the latest such revolution – internet advertising. As we shall see, this latest revolution is as vast as the internet itself.
Almost a quarter century ago, in 1994, the World Wide Web was in its infancy, and a new company called Yahoo had just created something called a ‘searchengine’ – a way to look for sites on the Internet. In the same year, HotWired became the first online magazine to carry advertisements in the form of colourful banner ads that looked like hoardings. These were the world’s first banner ads, and about 10 percent of those who saw the ads clicked on them. These people were then taken to the sponsor’s Web site, and advertising’s new age had begun.
Today, Internet advertising is much more sophisticated, and pervasive, with powerful capabilities to deliver cutting-edge graphics, to target the precisely correct audience, and to measure results instantaneously.
Even today, many experts believe that Internet advertising is just taking baby steps, and that in the future we will compare today’s internet ads with the first television ads – where people – usually attractive ladies – walked across the screen carrying a sign that pitched the product, or we had a visual version of a radio ad – often called a talking heads ad. These were near-literal translations of hoardings and radio ads and they did little more than set the previous forms in motion.
But television ads evolved to give us a revolution in the art of visual storytelling as well as an entire range of special effects. Similarly profound revolutions are taking place today, thanks to internet advertising.
In the old school of advertising, somebody made a popular TV show or a magazine and thus created a dedicated audience of a particular demography. Marketers then took advantage of this by running their ad. Today, through internet advertising, we can identify and reach our customers rather than having them come to us.
Also, effectiveness data was provided to advertisers (in the offline realm) in the form of monthly or quarterly reports.Today, one can get these results immediately, and thus can fine-tune their online ad campaign in real time.
So where is it all heading?
Just a few years ago, online advertising made up about a quarter of the $500 billion global advertising business, and it has been rising fast ever since. Some of this century’s most powerful companies, including Google, have emerged on the back of it.
The first is the rise of mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. Today more than 1.7 billion people (around 20% of the world’s population) use smartphones.Mobile devices, which are intimately connected to their owners, have changed the way in which people use the internet. Users are now spending more and more time on their mobile devices compared to desktop computers.
The second trend is the rise of social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, which have become important systems for people looking for content across the web. Social networks hold rich data about their users, who volunteer lots of information about themselves. Facebook and Twitter can also see where else people go online, which can help them sell their users’ attention to advertisers.
The third big development has been the rise of real-time bidding, or “programmatic buying”, a new system for targeting consumers precisely and swiftly with online adverts. Publishers, advertisers and intermediaries can now bid for digital ads electronically and direct them to specific consumers at lightning speed.
In conclusion, the internet is here to stay, and so is internet advertising. Because wherever the consumers go, advertising must follow. As humanity changes the ways in which it interacts, socializes, spends its work and leisure time, expresses its thoughts and feelings and looks for fulfilment, advertising is marching right alongside, every step of the way.
As you may have guessed from the title of this article, there is something called Influencer Marketing. It is the hottest new thing in town, and it’s showing no signs of cooling down.
So before we get into how it works and why it’s hot, let us see what it is.
What is Influencer marketing?
We may not realize it, but we are breathing in Influencer Marketing everyday. In simple terms, it is influencing the opinion of your target audience by hiring some of the ‘influencers’ of that category.
So who are influencers? These are people who have, through their social media activity, proved themselves to be passionate experts in a particular field. Through Instagram, Blogs, YouTube, Facebook etc., they have managed to become the stars of this generation, and bona fide celebrities.
Their passion, expertise and willingness to share the same ensures they get a horde of loyal fans who trust them blindly in that category – be it gadgets, fashion, cellphones, books or practically anything.
When these ‘celebs’ recommend your brand of face-cream, television, movie or fashion line, their impact is stronger because their credibility is absolute. This credibility rubs off onto your brand. After all, this is no movie star endorsing a brand – this is a trusted category expert.
In other words, it is new-age word-of-mouth marketing, and it is one of the best ways to build brand credibility today.
As per a recent survey, 86% of the marketing professionals surveyed were found to have used influencer marketing and 95% of those said that influencer marketing was very much an integral part of their overall marketing strategy.
Influencer Marketing Case Study
An illustrative example of influencer marketing is the 2015 Amazon India venture, #CrazyForReading, where they roped in India’s bestselling authors – Amish Tripathi and AshwinSanghi to endorse their e-reader, Kindle Paperwhite.
Two ad films were made that captured the authors e-reading habit. Both the authors have a huge following on social media,which helpedin reaching out to potential customers. Moreover, the campaign asked readers on social media platforms to share their #CrazyForReading stories.
This is exactly what influencer marketing does. It identifies the right influencer in a particular segment and approaches them to initiate a momentum about the brand that eventually urges the potential customers to reach out to the brand.
Needless to say, it was an extremely successful campaign.
Amish celebrates the best device for reading! - YouTube
Ashwin Sanghi celebrates the best device for reading! - YouTube
How does one find the right influencer for a brand?
It is of course absolutely necessary toidentify just the right influencers for one’s brand. There are a few points to keep in mind while choosing the right influencer for your brand –
What is the potential reach of the influencer?
Who is their audience?
Does your product/service fit into their area of expertise?
Here are five factors that help identifythe right influencers for your brand.
Before you look at unique visitors and other metrics, it’s important to look at how aligned the influencer’s content is with your messaging. Read through the created content to get a sense of his viewpoint and relevance to your brand.
Engagement is an indicator of how highly engaged theinfluencer’s audience is with his content. Do those readers respond, comment, and share? What percentage of readers are returning vs. new?
While not the most important metric, reach is certainly a valid consideration. However, marketers should resist the urge to only look at unique visitors as a measure of reach. Quantum of traffic and followers are importantonly if the influencer is reaching out to your brand’s target audience.
For many verticals, there is a direct correlation between how often an influencer posts and rate of return visitors. As with marketing any website, it often takes multiple exposures to get a visitor to click and check out your site, and you want to make sure they come back.
Influencerswith a smaller ratio of sponsored content appear more authentic. Personal stories that include genuine use or mention of a product, service, or brand are more trusted than straight product reviews.
Some of the most famous influencers in the industry are:
Rajiv Makhni (Tech)
To recap, here is the basic criteria to assess credibility of social media influencers:
Expertise & frequency of following
Social Media Following
In addition, the following online tools come in handy in assessing the same:
Blog Moz Rank
So what is the future of Influencer Marketing?
Today it is a serious consideration forthe majority of brands to include Influencer Marketing as a part of their overall marketing strategy. Influencer Marketing is believed to be more cost effective than paid advertising, creating more credible leads.
Influencer Marketing, a $1 billion dollar industry today, as per predictions, will be worth $5-10 billion dollars globally in the next 5 years.
With the number of Internet users increasing in India at such a blazing pace, Influencer marketing will be a game changer for years to come.
On Sunday night, the English News Audience was introduced to a new Spokesperson of the second major national party of India. And within a matter of half an hour, he became a sensation on the social media, so much so that the news channel where he was featured, kept repeatedly telecasting the show where he made his sensational debut. So why did he trend? Well mainly because people loved his style and the way things transpired during the show itself. Basically, a viral video was being broadcast on TV instead of being uploaded on YouTube.
So why did the show become viral? Here are some possible theories and some lessons to learn:
It’s All in the Name.
So even if he had been ordinary like other panelists, he would have still caught people’s attention. Overnight, hundreds of people followed him on twitter. Lesson: Distinguish your brand with a great name.
When asked if there was corruption during the UPA rule, he responded with a “Hell yeah” like a true American cowboy. This “Hell yeah” was constantly mocked by fellow panelists and within hours became associated with the brand Americai. In time, no one will remember in what context he had said “Hell Yeah”. But the brand Americai has a great catch phrase. Lesson: Come up with a catch phrase which people can immediately associate with your brand.
When people checked out this “Spokes Person” twitter account, they saw a man wearing tshirt and shorts and a picture of him doing Surya Namaskar on a Surf Board. This was highly consistent with his brand of “America returned” Indian gyaani who knows things better. The fact that he constantly keeps reminding people that he’s a Certified Public Accountant (American for Chartered Accountant) and an MBA from America, further solidifies his brand as an unabashed American who likes to use American lingo. Lesson: Be consistent in your Branding across all mediums.
A good sport
They laughed at him, they insulted him. But towards the end, Americai, like a good sport, started laughing with everyone. He even tweeted with the hashtag “HellYeah”. This perhaps endeared him towards the masses (including the BJP supporters, who became his fans). Lesson: Make your brand endearing. People will accept it more easily. Figure out a way to do so.