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  • Javier Velilla 9:00 am on January 18, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: branding,   

    How could a strong brand help your business? 

    Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

    Editor’s note: Today we welcome a new Zyncro Author: Javier Velilla, founding partner and director of the strategic communication consultancy company Comuniza. He is an expert in brand management, planning and social networks. He is also a professor at higher education centers, businesses and institutions, as well as an academic researcher and author of a book on branding. Thanks for joining the Zyncrommunity, Javier :-)

    Strong brands target consumers. They must do so from within, but outwardly. More or less introspective proposals, focused on, say, the product or on quality, are not enough. For example, in the kitchen manifesto of elBulli, the subject of quality lies second out of the 23 declarations: “The use of products of maximum quality, and knowledge of the technique to prepare them, goes without saying”. This culinary synthesis defines a style, and for years was behind the performance of this mythical restaurant. In short, quality is not enough and competitive branding needs more.

    More what? Performance of brand management has been discussed at length. In times of crisis when efficiency is a mantra, is there any return on brand management? Does branding make sense? And what sort of sense?

    Yes, (of course) it makes sense. Brand equity is dependent on a large number of factors we will thresh out in later posts, but the impact of these factors affects brand value, an intangible but vitally important reality (the same as other realities such as know-how). For accounting purposes, brand value can be calculated as an intangible asset or goodwill, but the aim of this post is to look outside this dimension (which makes sense, particularly when a company has to be valued for a corporate operation).

    The valuation of a brand is based on three simultaneous analyses: legal, financial and performance. Looking at the indicators which, although not set in concrete do offer a very revealing perspective, we perceive that a correct branding for an organization strengthens its market position, acting as an entrance barrier to new competitors, making copying more difficult, facilitating the incorporation of better talent, making access to financing easier, building memorable relations, orienting the sense of the organization as a shared culture…

    The key to understanding the value of a brand is knowing to what extent it contributes to the success of the business (and, to do so, focus must be on this objective).

    Essentially, managing a brand efficiently could help to accelerate your business at least from the point of view of four aspects:

    1. Defining the competitive field you operate in.

      It establishes the competitive arena, the rules of the game and relative differences. The brain’s function is, mainly, to discriminate constant sound and the thousands of impacts we receive each day. In this regard, the brand is a symbolic exercise that unifies, categorizes and organizes a large amount of information.
      In time frames (remember G. Lakoff and his elephant), a brand helps because it provides a very economical solution to conveying a large amount of information. Starbucks isn’t only coffee, it’s a “third place”; Volvo is safety on wheels; Estrella Damm is the Mediterranean; Duracell adopts the logic of superheroes… This exercise allows, in the terms of W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne, blue oceans to be created where the competition is nothing less than irrelevant.

    2. Defining who the brand exists for (in other words, the target).

      The proposal must mean something to someone, which is often manifested by profiles based on behavior. A brand is a proposal aimed at someone in particular. Séneca said that “there is no fair wind for a boat that doesn’t know where it’s headed”. Defining a target means choosing, and choosing requires ruling out. Strong brands are capable of conveying a proposal of value to specific people (or groups which share very specific motivations). For this point, segmentation is increasingly more to do with responding to insights, in other words, understanding that people have goals and that the way of discovering how to meet them is essential.

    3. Defining the vision of the world, the brand goal that synthesizes its mission, vision and values.

      This goal comes in the form of a promise that balances a combination of rational, emotional and relational elements. A business is an organization of people, therefore the collective sense (the goal, the dream, the challenge) should be inspiring and the cornerstone of the people who work there.

    4. Defining and extracting value from the main trends to align the business with cross-cutting elements that give the brand depth and speed.

      The world is changing and markets are becoming more and more dynamic. Brands that connect more closely to trends are capable of taking more value from the market and assuring they are competitive.

    And this is the secret. There are few approaches that are more powerful for a brand than working on these four aspects.

     

     
  • Eva Mª Vaquerizo 9:00 am on August 28, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: branding,   

    The essence of a digital strategy: contents 

    Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

    August. Vacation time. A time for rest and reflection… Will you accompany me on a short journey going through branding, experiences and storytelling? Let’s go! :-)

    Nowadays, companies have converted the Internet into an extension of their brands. Their presence answers the opportunity to exploit the major potential offered to them by the web to achieve business objectives, while responding to the demands and behavior of its target public, key in this medium and fundamental, given its power of exposure and diffusion of contents (opinions, recommendations and conversations, in general).

    When we want to buy something, the Internet has become our first stopoff in the purchase chain. Through the web, we expect to get personalized information when we need it. We have the means to get it and our demands are high.

    For that reason, the Internet has become the most influential medium for brands, as it also offers multiple ways of working brand building actions through which it can transfer and reinforce its identity, and involve its target audience in the process. But we cannot expect those benefits without planning and understanding the options out there with a global approach.

    Where to start?

    Listen? Create content? Social networks? Inspire interest!?

    Given that we need to start from the idea that resources are always limited, the most essential factor in any strategy, before planning any action, is to understand the driving force; brands must focus on the STRATEGIC CONCEPT and the CONTENT (brand territory): meaning, ideas and values, direction… that goal greater than the brand itself; that which should be offered to inspire its audience and create relationships through the web and social media (which we will talk about in another post).

    A brand is not a logo”, a set of products (intangible in the digital sphere), services and messages. Now more than ever, brands are experiences resulting from its audience’s interactions with it (sensory, emotional, cognitive, social experiences…); they are stories lived and perceptions experienced. Something transcendental, which should be highlighted.

    We are in a world of socially connected brands, in which brands must be present and connect with their audience well before the purchase. They must accompany the consumer on their journey discovering the brand, creating a RELATIONSHIP OF TRUST, and providing value, ENGAGEMENT through CONTENT (key moments of inspiration and decision).

    (Next stop on our journey: storytelling and strategic concept ;))

    Eva Mª Vaquerizo is an expert in Digital Marketing, Brand Corporate Communication and Web Analysis. She is defined by her passion, willingness and enthusiasm for facing each challenge with a smile, a real commitment, a resolute attitude and a desire to overcome the odds.

     

     
  • Mila Nikolova 9:00 am on May 22, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: branding, , lovebrand,   

    Lovebrands and how to become one in a 2.0 world 

    Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

    For some time now, the term “Lovebrand” or “Lovemark” has been doing the rounds. To be more precise since 2006, when it was coined by Kevin Roberts, CEO at Saatchi&Saatchi in his book “Lovemarks: The Future Beyond Brands”. According to Roberts, they represent those brands that create a loyalty that goes beyond common sense, or the rational exercise of weighing up price vs. quality and find the maximum balance.

    How to become a lovebrand?

    The first step is having a good product, but the essence lies in creating an emotional link with customers and employees through engagement.

    Good internal communication, and having employees who are happy in their job and share the company’s values are the bases for transmitting “love” to existing or potential customers. Enterprise Social Networks like Zyncro has much to contribute on this area, aiding transparency in intra and interdepartmental communication, increasing employee motivation through recognition, and evangalizing the idea of “sharing” knowledge. All this must be combined with a vision, mission and values that are clearly defined and are reflected in the company’s every action, both in communication and the product. Many companies have managed to achieve it; companies like Google, Apple, Coca-Cola, Starbucks and in Spain, Desigual, Camper, Vueling…

    To achieve “engagement”, an inspiring story is needed. In fact, most companies have one, but haven’t found the right way to communicate it. Digital channels offer countless options to communicate that story: creating a blog, a Facebook fan page (now with the timeline, it’s even easier to become “storytellers”), a discussion group in LinkedIn… Examples to follow in this case are brands like Ben&Jerry’s, Urban Outfitters or Toms.

    It’s not about communicating from the company to the customer, communication needs to follow the bidirectional symmetrical model, created by Grunig & Hunt in 1984 as part of their study “Managing Public Relations”, which still applies to today. It is not a model designed to make the public to recognize the reality of the company, rather it attempts to make the receiver part of that reality. It must give customers the opportunity to express their opinion, while giving them the security that their views will be considered and valued.

    A community is an excellent model to achieve this, as illustrated by Lego or La Caixa bank with its Club Ahora for customers over 65 years old. Now even banks striving to achieve that feeling of belonging.

    What about you? How is your lovebrand being built?


     
  • Sílvia Majó 10:21 am on February 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: branding, , , , ,   

    Internal branding, an intelligent plot 

    Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

    Today we’ve a great opportunity to talk about the book by Alejandro Formanchuk, one of the most important organizational communication experts in Argentina. On his blog Todo Significa (Spanish)  he shares his extensive experience in internal communication and has compiled a summary of it under the title Branding Interno, Una Trama Inteligente (Internal Branding: An Intelligent Plot only in Spanish right now).

    We would like to thank Alejandro for letting us dedicate a post to the main lessons we’ve taken from his new book which can be applied in our organizations.

    To start, when we want to place the value of internal communication or internal branding in companies, we need to ask ourselves, like the author did, what possesses value in the corporate world?

    The answer lies in Branding Interno, Una Trama Inteligente with authors such as Jonas Ridderstrale and Kkell Nordstrom, who declare that the classic balance sheet captures less than a quarter of the real value of a modern company.

     

    75% of that value can’t be seen, accounted, measured and recorded by those old balance sheets

     

    That’s what Formanchuk maintains. For him, this figure has a clear translation:

    • A machine, a building, a product: 15%.
    • The loyalty and the positive image in the eyes of your customers, partners, employees and others: 75%.

    Departing from this or from a similar qualitative calculation made by other authors, which places human capital at the center of any successful corporate operation, Formanchuk’s reading is a must that you should flick through at the very least.

    In it, you’ll discover important maxims for designing valuable internal communication:

    • Many of the most important resources in a company are not tangible.
    • Employees are not an internal audience. They’re an outside actor.
    • The barriers are gone between external and internal communication.
    • People themselves are a branding channel.
    • Internal branding is simply just branding.

    Having made these reflections, Formanchuk puts forwards some guidelines for determining the actions that can be taken from them. For the author of Todo Significa,  brand value is built from within the organization. For that reason, we talk about strategic decisions that necessarily involve integrating disciplines. In this sense, remember that organizations mustn’t forget that they need to:

    • Manage the brand from within the company.
    • Execute branding actions designed for and aimed at employees.
    • Carry out internal communication done with branding techniques.
    • Organize ERM programs (Employee Relationship Management).
    • Employ B2E strategies (Business-to-Employees) driven by “EVP” (Employer Value Proposition).

    To all this, from Zyncro we could add the best practices proposed by the manual for Enterprise Social Networking.

    And a final quote from the author in his book:

    The people making up a company are its best ambassadors.

     
  • Carlos del Pozo 10:36 am on December 9, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: branding, , , , , ,   

    Zyncro Customization: Corporate image 

    Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

    How do I get my company to identify with Zyncro as their Social Network?

    Start customizing the interface with your logo and corporate colors!

    When creating your organization in Zyncro, the first step your admin needs to do is to define the corporate image. This option is found in the Administration Panel > Corporate image.

    Zyncros graphic customization options

    1. Your company’s logo

    First you need to upload to Zyncro the image (we recommend using a transparent .png) that will be used as a logotype for your organization and that will appear in the top left corner of the header.

    The size is limited to a maximum of 250 pixels wide by 40 pixels high. If it is any bigger than this, the image will be resized.

    2. Header background color

    If you click on the square icon, you can select the color to appear in the header, which is always shown at the top of the screen. If you want define a more precise color tone, you can also edit it using the RGB color model.

    3. Header text color

    Just like the previous option, you can also edit the color of the texts that appear above the header (Help, Language, First and Last Names of the user, Departaments, etc.).

    We recommend you use the corporate colors and combine them in such a way that they are easy to read and attractive for users, taking into account that it’s a web environment.

    Each time you change the logo and the colors in the header, you can preview the changes to check the end result before saving the layout.

    4. Customize the subdomain of the organization and the login page

    Apart from the interface colors, Zyncro contains an option to customize the URL from which organization users can access their corporate Zyncro.

    The default URL for accessing Zyncro is: https://my.zyncro.com/, but from this screen you can configure the URL of your Zyncro, using “https://MYCOMPANY.zyncro.com” instead of “my.zyncro.com”.

    To do this, just enter the name of your organization or any other term you want that can be used as a URL in the corresponding text box.

    If you have changed the image and corporate colors of your Zyncro as well as the subdomain , when you access your customized URL, a login page with your own corporate image will appear.

    This is the login page for our company, Zyncro Tech:

    5. Hide Zyncro links and logos in Zlinks

    Finally, there is also an option to hide the “Zyncro” name in links and logos within Zlinks.

    After making any changes, don’t forget to press “Save”!

    Customize your Zyncro appearance and apply your brand image to your Social Network.
    Win your employees over not only with its content… but also with its design!

     

     
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