How Brands Contribute to Successful IPO’s?

The IPO pipeline is the largest it has been since pre-financial crisis levels. It is projected that there will be 191 new IPO filings in 2011 which is a 24% increase over 2010 and significantly higher than the 9-year average of 133. There are currently 250 companies in the IPO pipeline, which means that it will be much harder for companies to get the attention and ultimately the public financing they need.

Number of IPOs Filed in the US by month

Brands contribute to IPOs

Source: Renaissance Capital, Greenwich, CT

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June 29, 2012   1 Comment

Lessons from the Tiger Woods Affair(s)

While the flurry of media buzz surrounding the Tiger Woods Affair(s) is relentless, it is a real time example of a brand in crisis. But by stepping back from the immediacy of the situation and taking an objective view of the Tiger Woods brand, there is a lot to be learned that can help companies make better judgments about managing their brands to sustain and grow their businesses. It’s about brand attributes. Here are some important lessons that can help guide both consumer, and especially corporate brands.

Brands are Fragile

Three observations

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June 29, 2012   Comments Off on Lessons from the Tiger Woods Affair(s)

Rules to Make Loyalty Programs Work Harder in the “New World”

With the softening of the economy and the pressing need for companies to retain customers, there is a realization that loyalty programs need to work even harder. In the “New World”, traditional rewards are merely table stakes, and marketers must find ways to build a deep and sustaining relationship with customers beyond simply trying to buy their loyalty for the short-term. Price incentives are one strategy to stay afloat in today’s economy, but they rarely create a long-term relationship and customers will easily trade from one company to another. So the end game of competing on price alone could be that your customers leave you anyway.

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June 29, 2012   Comments Off on Rules to Make Loyalty Programs Work Harder in the “New World”

The Art and Science of Naming Brands that will Resonate in the “New World”

Creating names that can be trademarked has become increasingly difficult and is now both an art and a science. In the U.S. alone, there have been over 2 million trademark registrations in the past 15 years. And most words in the English language are trademarked in most categories. Add this to the requirement to secure trademark registration in countries around the world, and it is easy to see why there are so many new “invented” names. Further, most companies would like to have a parallel use of a trademarked name as their URL (domain name), and this becomes a greater challenge because anyone can register and own a domain name for about $7.00 and there are millions of domains already owned.

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June 28, 2012   Comments Off on The Art and Science of Naming Brands that will Resonate in the “New World”

The New Design Vocabulary for Corporate Identities

The principles for shaping a corporation’s image have changed. This is having a significant impact in a number of areas, especially in crafting corporate identities.

Fueled by difficult economic times, more and more aspects of corporate behavior are under the microscope:

– loss of credibility of corporations and institutions in what they say.
– increased skepticism of messages we receive from companies, whether we are an employee, consumer or customer.
– continuing overpromise by brands. We have had too many personal and professional experiences dealing with quality or customer service to be fooled by hollow promises.

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June 28, 2012   2 Comments

Three Rules for Corporate Branding with Social Media

Social media provides very attractive new channels to communicate and build relationships. The possibilities are expanding, and it is appropriate to contemplate how they can enhance corporate reputation and visibility. However, using social media can be risky, and great care must be taken to use the medium effectively.

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June 28, 2012   Comments Off on Three Rules for Corporate Branding with Social Media

8 Key Steps to Creating the Optimal Brand Architecture

If IBM decided to create a division to manufacture and sell MP-3 players, should the division or products carry the IBM brand or not? There are good arguments for and against each side of this issue. Brand Architecture is the underlying strategy that helps resolve these types of questions. It is the way an organization expresses the relationship between the parent or corporate brand and its divisions, lines of business, products, services, and subsidiaries. It is one of the primary means of bringing a brand strategy to life. It is also a very practical means of figuring out just what to “brand.”

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Preparing for the rush of IPOs and M&A’s – the importance of Turbo-Branding

Several years of volatility in the IPO market as a result of the financial crisis have created the largest backlog of IPOs since 2000. With so much in the pipeline, investors will have a plethora of investment and growth opportunities to choose from. While this is good news for the investment community, it makes it difficult for businesses attempting to go public to stand out in a sea of IPOs. The challenge becomes one of differentiation and while strong financials are key, in a crowded marketplace, real differentiation is what gets you noticed. Brand can play a significant role as a differentiator.

IPO candidates often have a shorter window of time to develop and strengthen their brand to be more than competitive… to be enticing. This requires having a ‘rapid deployment’ brand process that can achieve maximum effectiveness in a short period of time. This has become the era of Turbo-Branding, a condensed way to create a powerful brand to take advantage of the cash heavy private equity market looking for good returns. Read more →

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June 18, 2012   Comments Off on Preparing for the rush of IPOs and M&A’s – the importance of Turbo-Branding

7 Rules for Branding in the “New World”

There has been a fundamental shift in how brands are perceived and the value they provide. This is true in consumer and corporate brand arenas alike. There is truly a “new world” emerging in how brands build relationships with customers, consumers, employees, the media, the financial community and other important audiences. To understand the impact on brand strategies, it is important to understand what has happened.

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June 18, 2012   Comments Off on 7 Rules for Branding in the “New World”

The Perils of Creating a New Brand Name

Most people today, especially those in marketing, understand the tremendous value of a great brand name. A distinctive name will get an audience’s attention, help position and distinguish a company in the marketplace, take the company into the future, offer good ROI, and galvanize employees. Many do not, however, realize just how difficult creating a unique, “ownable” brand name has become.

Name styles seem to change every decade or so. Years ago, most companies preferred – and were able to own –  generic, descriptive names like International Business Machines, American Airlines, and Radio Corporation of America. Now, the trend seems to be a desire for names that are arbitrary, i.e., they have nothing to do with the business, service or product they represent. Think Apple, Java, Yahoo and Uber. (Although if you dig into the etymology of these names, you often discover they actually do have meaning to the company founders, be it an emotional connection or a favorite fruit or drink).

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June 17, 2012   1 Comment