Brand Strategy

Welcoming new member Sean Folan

September 17, 2020

Umbrex is pleased to welcome Sean Folan.  Sean is a versatile brand growth strategist with deep expertise leveraging insights and analytics to build and activate brand strategies and growth plans for clients in healthcare, consumer products, hospitality, aviation, telecom and financial services. His work has ranged from category and brand creation to product/service innovation, launch planning and campaign development/execution.

Sean and his family live in Connecticut where they enjoy hiking, biking and spending time with friends. He is looking to collaborate on projects involving brand growth strategy development and execution in the US, regionally, or globally.

Expert Insights on Building Brands

 

Susan Meier was recently interviewed on the Expert Insight Interview where she shared her expertise in brand strategy building.

The world is rapidly changing, and many things are being disrupted or reinvented. While various activities are paused at the moment, it’s the perfect time to reflect on your business and brand. It is the first step on the road to finding the right strategy and determining the place of your brand in that new environment. Reflect on every aspect of your business, from your team, products, and offers to its purpose, values, and uniqueness. Think about what your brand stands for and what you want it to stand for, so you can assess what kind of future you want.

 

This interview includes points on:

  • Brand reflection
  • Audience assessment
  • Building brands with promise

 

Watch the full interview, How to Build a Brand with Promise, on the  SalesPop website.

 

Gain 20/20 Insight into Your Marketing 

 

James Black shares the third article in the  series Seeing 20/20 in 2020. Each post shares steps to help brands and businesses improve their marketing strategies. This article focuses on marketing plans and capabilities. 

To kick off the new year, I suggested “20 Questions to Help Your Brand or Business See 20/20 in 2020.” And what a year it has been already! No doubt, COVID-19 is leading many brands/businesses to revisit their marketing plans, but the logic here still applies. To help brands and businesses assess the state of the business and identify opportunities, I advocated taking a closer look at the topic of Customer Understanding (Part 1), and then turning attention to the Brand/Business Proposition and The Path to Purchase (Part 2). In this post (Part 3), I conclude the series by looking at Marketing Plans and Marketing Capabilities.

 

Points covered in this article include:

  • Identifying objectives
  • Evaluating tactics
  • Success criteria

 

Read the full article, Seeing 20/20 in 2020: Part 3 – Marketing Plans and Capabilities, and access links to the series, on LinkedIn.

 

Brand Thinking for Growth Post COVID-19

 

Susan Meier was recently interviewed on The Growth Zone where she shared her expertise on good branding strategies and how to upscale brand visibility.

Brands of all kinds are seeing a huge need to rethink and reinvent in the new context we’re faced with. The game has changed, but the basic rules remain the same.

I encourage people to step back from that (social media), before you build your platform and presence, you need to think about who you are and what’s going to be really interesting and meaningful for the customers you serve. So I encourage my clients and those entrepreneurs and small businesses that I advise to start thinking about themselves. So often, myself included, we start with the products or service is, we know what it is we have to offer, but around lies three different things, the way that I see it: who you are as an individual and what you bring to the table, what is that DNA, what are your core values, dig into your specific identity so that you discover the origin story before you dive into your products and services. That’s going to start the process of understanding what really makes you different.

 

Points discussed include:

  • The myths about creativity that hold us back
  • What makes a good branding strategy?
  • How can the creative part of branding stay on track?
  • What are Susan’s tips to scaling one’s brand visibility?

Listen to the podcast, What makes a good branding strategy?, on The Growth Zone.

 

How to Develop Comprehensive Customer Understanding

 

James Black shares the first post in a series that explores the development of customer understanding in 2020. 

To kick off the new year, I suggested ‘20 Questions to Help Your Brand or Business See 20/20 in 2020.’ To help brands and businesses assess the state of your business and identify opportunities, I wanted to take a closer look at the topic of Customer Understanding.

Developing a deeper Customer Understanding is helpful to identify opportunities to strengthen your business. If you didn’t enter the New Year feeling like you had a deep understanding of your customer, here are some tips on how to quickly build your fact base. At P&G, business understanding always began with a robust “WHO” Understanding – that is, the consumer who used the product and the shopper who bought it.

 

Questions asked and explained include:

  • Do we have a clearly defined target customer?
  • Do we have a clear understanding of the end benefit the customer is seeking?
  • Does our offering fit with his/her desired benefit?
  • Do we understand the customer’s unmet needs vs. current offerings?
  • Are we conducting the right mix of research (qualitative and quantitative)?
  • Do we prioritize what we do (and don’t do) and what we invest in (and not in) against customers’ needs?

 

Read the full article, Seeing 20/20 in 2020: Part 1 – Customer Understanding, on LinkedIn. 

 

Branding Broken Down

 

Susan Meier was recently interviewed on the Change Creator podcast on the fundamentals of building a brand.

In her nine years of helping companies build their brand identity, Susan has always set aside a portion of her portfolio for these smaller projects despite them being less lucrative for her. The payoff? They inspire her and she learns a lot from them. She enjoys contributing to entrepreneurs who are just starting out. That aha moment when the small, independent professional who has come to her for help realizes what their true identity is, who their audience is, and how they empathetically connect with them is something Susan finds truly rewarding. She refers to these elements as the three pieces of branding.

 

In this interview, Susan discusses:

  • Discovering and leveraging uniqueness
  • The pitfalls of social media
  • Advice for early stage entrepreneurs

 

Listen to the full interview, Electrifying Your Brand Strategy to Amplify Your Impact, on the Change Creator’s website.