Category Archives: Digital Media

Find Your Customer Sweet Spot – and Make More Money

Customer sweet spot

Thanks to the web and the ease with which virtually anyone can sell a product or service online, the market is now more competitive than ever. Regardless of what you sell or what services you offer, there are likely hundreds, if not thousands, of others out there doing the exact same thing.

So how do you make a profit in an overly crowded market such as this? It’s simple: Just find your customer sweet spot.

Your customer sweet spot is where need, value and behavior come together. It’s those customers who need what you sell, buy in the methods you sell through and offer an opportunity for profit.

As with anything, good data and analytics is the key to nailing down these potential customers. You’ll want to consider:

  • Need – What businesses or clients need your products or services? Whose lives could be improved or made easier through your offerings?
  • Behavior – Which customers buy through your sales methods? Do they prefer phone calls with sales reps, in-person meetings or a more DIY online buying solution?
  • Value – How often do they need your products? Is there potential for a long-term relationship? Do they have the finances necessary to purchase your offerings?

Once you identify the targets whose needs, behavior and value match up with what you’re selling, it’s time to start tapping that market. Here’s how:

  1. Sell the solution, not the product. Any company can sell products, but solving someone’s problems? That’s of much higher value. Sure, the product is what is purchased – what earns you money – but for the customer, it’s way more than just a product they’re buying. It’s something to make their life easier, to please their clients or to help them overcome some sort of hurdle. Sell your offerings as problem solvers instead of products, and you’ll have much more success with those hard-to-reach customers.
  2. Educate and consult. Many of these potential customers have the need for your offerings, but they might not know it or be educated enough in your space to realize it. Instead of just outright selling and advertising, try taking a consultative approach. Train your reps to connect with potential buyers and help them identify their needs, problems and potential solutions. Shift their mindset, make them realize your products can help, and then close the sale.
  3. Establish plenty of touchpoints. If you want to reach these potential customers, building a relationship with them is crucial. The best way to do that? Touch base when them on multiple levels. Have sales reps reach out by phone to close the sales, assign customer service team members to check in and offer assistance once the purchase has been made, and send email updates to remind customers you’re there for them even months or years after the fact.
  4. Streamline your data. You can’t discover what these potential customers want, need or respond to without solid data. But more important than just having data collection processes in place is ensuring every team member has access to that data in one comprehensive platform. Try not to house your data in separate silos; it’s hard to discern trends and determine next best steps that way.
  5. Reward your team. Your success as a business ultimately comes down to your team – how hard they work and how much they feel driven to move your company forward. If you want them to be invested in your organization’s success as much as you are, give them a reason. Compensate them well, reward them with bonuses for jobs well done, and have incentives in place for big sales. If they have a personal stake in turning those leads into customers, they’ll be much better at doing it from day one.

Want help determining your customer sweet spot and tapping into your company’s true potential? Contact Haley Aerospace today. Our expert branding team is here to help.

Letting Your Brand Lead the Way

brand identity

Branding is more than just positioning your company in the marketplace. If you really drill down, branding can actually determine your company’s overall path – as well as its final destination.

Will it succeed and make endless profits for you and your shareholders? Or will it flounder and let your competitors take the reins?

Your branding decisions play a big role.

Branding’s Part in Your Business

At the heart of a business’s success is its ability to connect with the customer. But how, exactly, do you do that?

Through branding.

With thorough research, good data and solid, fact-based decision making, you can create branding that touches your customers…that gives them what they need, when they need it.

Your branding can get them excited, make them happy or make their lives easier. It can also make them feel a part of your brand and encourage repeat business and longtime customer loyalty.

And the best part?

Once you’ve developed a solid brand, that branding can drive any and all decisions you make. It can help you make decisions regarding products and marketing, finances and budgeting, and anything and everything in between.

And as long as your branding is still accurate and hitting the right marks for your customers, those decisions will always be good ones – ones that make you money and further your business.

If done right, your branding should spell out your:

  • Core beliefs and values
  • Key differentiators and benefits
  • Purchase drivers
  • Customer needs and wants

With all this information at your disposal, it’s easy to make decisions that are smart for your business. There’s no more shooting in the dark or playing the guessing game. You simply let your brand lead the way, and success is right down the road.

Become Brand-led

Is your branding leading the way? Is it well researched and well positioned enough to do so? If not, Haley Aerospace can help. Our expertise in the aviation and aerospace industries, coupled with our hands-on branding experience, can give you the tools you need to make the right decisions in all you do.

 

 

 

The Importance of Employee Branding to B2B Success

employee branding

Few business owners recognize this, but there are actually two facets of branding: There’s the brand you present to your customers, and there’s the brand you present to your employees (or potential employees).

Though many think that the consumer-facing branding is most important (after all, it’s what brings in the money, right?), in reality, that’s far from true. In the long run, it’s actually your employee-facing branding that’s most important by a landslide.

You see, it’s your employees who ultimately create, control and manage your consumer-facing brand. If your employee-facing branding doesn’t draw in workers that are well equipped to handle those tasks, then your consumer brand is set up to fail from the very get-go.

It’s a little confusing, but let me boil it down for you:

  • Your employees create your brand – The branding you present to customers and potential buyers is ultimately devised and created by the employees you hire – the marketers, the designers, the executives, etc., that work for you. In order to be able to create a strong, effective brand, your employee-facing brand has to draw in new hires that have the knowledge and creative capacity to do that!
  • Your employees manage your brand – Even once your consumer-facing branding has been established, your employees still play a huge role in how the branding plays out. They’re the ones who convey it through advertising and marketing efforts, they translate it into social media posts, and they promote it on customer service calls and in sales meetings. Your employee-facing branding needs to attract workers who share the values of your brand and are equipped to properly manage and promote your consumer-facing branding to others.
  • Your employees control your brand – If there’s ever a need for a rebranding or new positioning, it’s your employees who will recognize that need and make that decision. If you want in-tune workers who can spot a lagging brand and devise creative, innovative ways to fix it, your employee-facing branding needs to draw in that type of talent.

It’s pretty simple when you think about it: You can’t create or promote a great brand without great employees, and you can’t get great employees without spot-on employee branding.

So what do you need to do to ensure your employee-facing branding is bringing in the right types of talent? I’ll do a full post on that in the coming months, but in a nutshell, you want to brand yourself as a great place to work – somewhere that fosters creativity, values hard work and innovation, and offers a rewarding, enriching atmosphere in which to spend the day. You want to steer clear of being just a “9-to-5” for employees and brand your organization as a place where workers can learn, grow and thrive for the long term.

How’s Your Employee Branding Doing?

What does your employee-facing branding look like? Is it drawing in the right talent to ensure your consumer-facing efforts are at their most effective? If not, it may be time to take a step back and reevaluate. Contact Haley Aerospace today for help.

 

6 Strategies to Make Your B2B Brand Stand Out From the Pack

b2b brand

Even for B2B brands, standing out from the competition is important. Sure, there may be fewer competitors than on the B2C market and your buyers are likely a bit more educated and business-minded, but differentiating your products and services from others in the industry is still a crucial and vital part of long-term success.

Unfortunately, making a brand stand out is easier said than done – especially in the B2B world. With B2C products, a simple TV commercial or ad can do the job, but with B2B products, those strategies typically don’t reach the right type of buyer. Instead, you have to get a little more creative with your efforts.

Do you want to make sure your B2B brand is standing out from the competition? Here are a few ways to do it:

  • Use current events. A great way to draw attention to your B2B brand is to tie in your marketing and promotional efforts to a current event. A good example? The upcoming Summer Olympics or the big Oshkosh AirVenture convention! Build off the buzz that already exists for these events, and draw in some new customers as a result.
  • Create a new pricing strategy. B2B buyers are very price-minded, as not only are they working within a corporate budget, but they’re also considering how the prices they pay will trickle on down to the final consumer. If you want to stand out from other competitors in your space, try a new pricing strategy on for size. Offer a limited discount or promotion or add in a few valuable extras with your normal sales price.
  • Offer a freebie. Everyone enjoys free stuff, so use that to your advantage and create promotional giveaways you can hand out at trade shows, conferences and even in sales meetings. Just make sure it’s something your customers will use, so that it serves as a reminder of your brand on a regular basis.
  • Use social media to its full potential. Too many B2B brands simply use social media in a static, hands-off way. They post to it with company blogs and news occasionally, but they fail to use it as a real tool to connect with their customers or provide customer service. Start using your social media in real time, and use it to create conversations with customers – answer their questions, address their concerns, and react to their news and photos as they post them. That’s a definitive way to differentiate yourself from other B2Bs on the market.
  • Target a new niche. B2B brands are already pretty niched, but if you can find a niche within that niche, your B2B brand can stand out even more. Instead of targeting just pilots in general, try targeting pilots who value sustainability and green efforts. Instead of aiming your efforts at aircraft manufacturers, aim them at ones trying to creating smaller, more lightweight planes. The more niched your audience is, the better you can tailor your branding and marketing efforts to their needs.
  • Combine your efforts. In the B2B world, it’s all about who you know. Use that to your benefit. Try teaming up with another B2B provider in your industry and build off each other’s customer bases. Here’s a good example: If you sell in-flight dining services, team up with a company that offers private flight attendant services. Chances are, customers buying one service will need the other, so why not join up and make buying more convenient and effective for customers? It’s a win-win for both parties.

Standing out in the B2B world is hard, but it’s not impossible! Want help making sure your organization is making a splash in the industry? Contact Haley Aerospace today. Our experts are here for you.

Creating a Brand Strategy That Works for You

Brand Strategy

Every business owner wants to get their branding right. After all, it’s your branding that will resonate with consumers – what will make you stand out in their minds and make them choose your products and services over those of your competitors.

But nailing down branding isn’t always easy. In fact, it’s almost never easy – especially in our busy, marketing-filled world.

The truth is, before you can create a winning brand strategy, you really need to understand what makes a brand – the elements that come together to create a recognizable voice, face and personality for a company or business.

These brand strategy elements include:

  • Awareness – The buzz surrounding your brand and how well it is known and recognized by consumers – specifically those in your target audience.
  • Knowledge – What consumers know about your brand and the products and services it offers.
  • Image – What your brand looks and feels like – its colors, logos, slogans and other details that consumers can connect with.

Now, in order to create a great brand, you have to focus on improving all three of these elements – the awareness of your brand, the knowledge consumers have of it, and your image. And this can be done in a number of ways.

One of the best ways? That’s with qualitative research – focus groups, interviews and surveys conducted with your current and past customers. This research should help you get to know your target audience, as well as their needs and wants, and really nail down what place it is that you hold in the marketplace.

Once you’ve done research and are ready to start on strategizing, it’s time to go into testing mode. With every new tactic you try, test and monitor your results. Offer two or three versions of each ad, and see which ones resonate better with your audience and deliver better results. Keep tweaking and testing until you get the results you want. It may take a while, but testing is the only way to truly determine a strategy that works.

You can also use analytics, which allow you to monitor the success and performance of your efforts. How many opens is your email getting? Which links get more clicks? What ads and videos get more views? Use this information to learn more about your audience’s likes, needs and wants to keep improving your brand in your target buyers’ eyes. It may seem tedious, but I promise: It works!

I know it sounds like a tall order, but work hard to properly brand your company, and you’re set up for long-term, massive success. After all, only great brands can:

  • Stand the test of time
  • Command high prices for products and services
  • Increase annual profits and sales
  • Gain recognition and clout in the marketplace

Branding your company may be hard, but it’s not impossible. Want some expert help? Contact Haley Aerospace today. Our aviation marketing and branding pros are here to guide the way.

Mergers & Acquisitions: Branding’s Role in the Process

branding with mergers and acquisitions

Mergers and acquisitions are a pretty common occurrence in the business world. Companies get bought out, they band together, and they form newer, larger and more comprehensive organizations that better serve their customers.

But while most executives have plans of action for M&As – how employees will be affected, what jobs will remain, and what will change from a production or service standpoint – branding efforts are rarely a part of that totem pole.

It’s a pity, too, because there’s no better time for branding than during a merger, acquisition or other big change at a company.

Why, you ask? Because it’s a clean slate.

It’s an opportunity to start anew – to create a new voice, a new personality and a new movement your customers and target buyers can get behind. And if branding is considered and prioritized during these hectic times, it can mean the difference between a wildly successful merger and one that falls flat for all organizations involved.

Is your company going through a merger or acquisition? Want to make sure you’re making branding a part of the overall plan? Here’s what you should do:

  • Plan ahead – Start early and plan for branding efforts long before your merger or acquisition is executed. Make it a priority and get your entire marketing and PR team involved from the very beginning.
  • Recognize changes – Consider how your organization will change once the merger or acquisition has occurred. These changes are what you can capitalize on – what you can sell in your new messaging to buyers and customers in need. While some changes call for simple changes in messaging or product offerings, others require more major branding work – maybe even a new name and logo.
  • Know your audience – Be aware of what your audience will be once the transition is complete. Sometimes, you may have the same target buyer as before. If so, great! Many times, however, you’ll have a different set of buyers you’re after – or at least an expanded one. These new buyers need to be considered in all branding efforts moving forward.
  • Identify opportunities – Finally, try to recognize the opportunities that will come from your transition. Could you market in a new venue? Could you sell add-on products or services? Could you expand your profits and sales in other ways? Know these opportunities, and use your branding to help seize them.

If you’re planning a merger or acquisition in the near future, don’t let branding be an afterthought. If done properly, updating your branding during a big transition can actually help your company in the long run. Not sure where to start? Contact the branding experts at Haley Aerospace today.

Is Your Brand Positioned for Success? (Part 2)

brand positioning

Last time we connected, I talked about the importance of branding and presented a few different strategies for positioning your brand within the marketplace – and in your consumers’ minds.

I also gave you six routes to take for handling your company’s brand positioning. Choose the right one, and your brand is on the fast track to success. Choose the wrong one, and you could very well be doomed – doomed to blend into the busy marketplace and let your competitors take the spotlight.

So how do you choose the right one and make sure you don’t fall into the former camp? That’s simple: Just know your audience.

This is the key to any sort of branding success, because before you can connect with your audience in a way that resonates with them and stands out to them, you first have to get into their heads. You have to learn their fears, their wants, their needs and connect with them in a deep and meaningful way.

Not sure how to get to know your audience and determine the best positioning method for your brand? Here are a few strategies you can try:

  • Surveys and interviews with past and current clients Find out what they know about your brand, why they’ve come to you, what their needs are and what challenges they’re facing.
  • A/B testing Try your next marketing campaign by coming at it from two different positions. Monitor the reactions on both sides of the coin, and see which positioning fares better. If neither does great, keep tweaking your positioning until you get it right.
  • Focus groups – Get to know the general marketplace you’re entering into. What do consumers associate with products and services in your space? What do they like and dislike about them? What are the problems they see? How do they choose which products to use and what makes them prefer one brand above another?
  • Innovation and concept testing – If you’ve got some extra resources, find some highly creative members of your target audience and get them involved in the positioning of your brand. Tap them for ideas, use them to generate ideas and strategies, and then use other members of the audience to test those ideas and flesh them out. Who better to tell you how to reach an audience than a member of it?

Once you’ve taken these steps and really gotten to know your audience, you can then choose the proper type of positioning and begin connecting with that audience in a real and memorable way.

Let’s look at an example in the aerospace and aviation world. Say you run a flight support services company. Rather than throwing your marketing messages out into the abyss and hoping you hit the right mark, you could target a higher-end audience and position your brand as a luxury – an add-on that can make high-end clients’ travels easier, more convenient and more attractive.

By positioning your brand in such a way, you can start to connect with your target audience and pivot all your marketing messages so they meet their discerning needs – the need for a five-star flight experience and the need for top-shelf convenience and comfort that only money can buy.

Do you know your target audience? Want help getting to know them or choosing the right position for your brand? Our aviation branding experts are here to help. Just shoot me an email, and we can get started on your strategy right away.

Is Your Brand Positioned for Success? (Part 1)

brand positioning

When it comes to branding, the true key to success stems from your brand positioning – the place you hold in the marketplace and, more importantly, in your target audience’s mind.

You see, our world is filled with brands, companies and advertising. Customers are bombarded left and right with marketing messages and it can often be pretty hard for any single brand to stand out among the clutter.

The brands that do stand out do so because of brand positioning.

Somehow, they’ve managed to occupy a unique position in the customer’s mind; they’ve connected with some deeper need or want, and they’ve managed to carve out a permanent place in the person’s consciousness.

Does your brand do that? Does it stand out amongst the clutter? Or does it simply blend in, using the same old tactics and marketing strategies that every other brand on the market is using?

If you’re not sure, then the answer probably isn’t good. Fortunately, pivoting your position and turning your brand around is actually quite simple.

The first place to start is to decide what type of positioning is best for your company. In general, there are six types of positioning you can opt for:

  • Geographic positioning targets an audience in a specific geographic area. This is a great option for aviation, aerospace and travel companies, as they’re often targeting travelers and clients in very specific areas of the country.
  • Distribution positioning targets an audience based on how your product or service is distributed. This can vary greatly and can factor in what season your products are used in, what type of weather your planes or products fly best in and other changing variables.
  • Psychographic positioning targets an audience based on some psychological fear or need they have. A good example would be a product that has green or environmentally friendly benefits or luxury goods that target higher-end clients.
  • Broad market positioning involves targeting a broad audience, rather than a very niche one. An example would be a plane manufacturer that, instead of positioning itself as a substitute for other plane brands, positions itself as a substitute for all methods of travel – helicopter, car, bike, train and more.
  • Price positioning involves targeting an audience based on their budget or price.
  • Usage positioning targets an audience based on one specific usage. A good example would be an airline that targets only business travelers or travelers with pets.

While many of these can work for many brands, it takes nailing down the perfect position if you really want to see branding success. And the way to do that is by getting to know your target audience.

Want to do that and get your brand positioning down pat? Make sure to check back for part 2 of this series! Until then, check out HaleyAerospace.com for more branding blogs.

5 Ways to Stop Brand Decline in Its Tracks

brand decline

Every great brand has experienced a slump now and then. Maybe a new and trendsetting competitor has hit the market, maybe consumer income or economics have changed, or maybe your products and services just aren’t hitting the mark anymore.

Whatever the reason, a little brand decline doesn’t mean you have to throw in the towel. In fact, it can actually present a great opportunity to step back, reevaluate and pivot your brand so that it’s more effective and profitable in the long run.

Is your brand in a bit of a slump lately? Are sales stagnant or are new customers nowhere to be seen? Here are a few ways you can stop brand decline and get your organization back on track in no time:

  • Talk to your customers. Take time to talk to the customers you still have, and get a feel for how your brand is perceived. Why are they still buying from you? What need do you serve for them? Why did they choose you over a competitor? Tap into what it is that is inspiring those buyers (even if it’s only a few!) to choose your brand, and use that information to realign your branding with those customers. There’s a big chance you’re simply targeting the wrong audience with your branding, so a few insight-driven tweaks can go a long way.
  • Tune in. Pay attention to what’s being said about you online and in social media. Are there lots of complaints about customer service, shipping or how your products and services work? Is there talk about how X product is better than yours? Check out Twitter, Facebook, Yelp and other online venues, and tune in to the conversation. Find out what’s being said about you and what you can do to change it.
  • Loop in your employees. Your team members are probably well aware of the problems that exist with your brand. They may have heard about it on customer service calls, in sales meetings with potential clients or anywhere else in the sales or marketing pipeline. Take time to talk with your team and find out what they know. What do they think is going wrong? What do they suggest could remedy the decline and help you better serve your customers? Get input from every department if possible.
  • Check out the competition. If there’s another brand out there giving you a run for your money, make a study of them. What are they doing differently? What makes their products or services stand out? Are there any gaps or holes in their marketing or sales efforts that you can spot? What you learn may offer you a good opportunity to swoop in and steal some customers.
  • Make a splash. A great way to ramp up excitement about your brand is to take a new visual approach. Redesign your packaging or labels, redo your logo and make some other eye-catching statement that makes you stand out from the pack. Make sure it’s unique and distinguishable from your original branding, and really try and go out on a limb – do something different and unexpected.

If you think your brand may be in decline, you never want to sit idly by. Start analyzing the marketplace, the conversation and your customers, and take a step back to reevaluate your branding efforts in light of all that. Need help? Want to get your brand back on the track to success? Contact Haley Aerospace today.

7 B2B Branding Mantras to Live By

branding mantras

Who better to learn from than those who came before us?

Here at Haley Aerospace, we know we’re experts at B2B branding and marketing, but we also recognize that we weren’t the first to do it.

Hundreds and hundreds of other marketers came before us, and thousands more will come after us. While each one offers something a little bit different, they all have their own unique set of skills, knowledge and experience we can learn from – things we can take, pivot from and use in our own daily work to improve our branding efforts and those of our clients.

That’s what today’s post is all about – learning from those experts who came before us, and discovering new insights that can take our branding efforts further and improve our results in the long term.

Do you want to learn from B2B branding’s best, brightest and most experienced? Here are 7 mantras and quotes from downright experts. Start using them in your own branding efforts today (we know we certainly will!):

  1. “It’s fascinating how the fundamentals of business-to-business marketing are the same today as they were 50 years ago. It’s still about relationships although today we have new tools and techniques at our disposal.” This David Meerman Scott quote is just a friendly reminder that despite all the technological changes our society has experienced, B2B branding is still, at its heart, the same as it was many years ago. We still need to put relationships first and remember that while our clients may represent big businesses, they’re still just people. They want a connection to the products they buy and the brands they buy from.
  2. “88% of executive buyers want a conversation, not a presentation.” This is in the same vein as Scott’s quote, but it really drives home the point well: Just because a buyer is a C-level exec or purchasing on a large scale for a massive corporation doesn’t mean they want to be sold to like a business. They want to be talked to like a human being, with their questions answered and their concerns addressed. They want to know the person they’re buying from cares about their needs and wants.
  3. Will B2B buyers find your company if they put your industry’s frequent search queries into a search engine? Your website only works when it is seen by potential prospects and leads. Most people find websites by using search engines.” Said by Thomas Schmitz, this quote reminds us of the hugely important role that SEO plays in the B2B world. Too many B2B brands get swept up in the world of trade shows, convention and cold-calling, and they forget that much of today’s lead generation happens solely online. If SEO isn’t a part of your branding efforts, it’s time to take a step back and reevaluate.
  4. Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” A quote from none other than Bill Gates, this one is crucial for B2B companies, who often try to hide away even the slightest negative comment or feedback from their customers. While bad feedback is never fun to take, it’s actually the best way to learn and improve our brands. It gives us insight into what we could do better, and in a highly transparent online world, it also gives us the chance to be more authentic, winning customer trust and respect at the same time.
  5. “Whether you’re in the B2B or B2C sales side and whether or not your product is a cheap impulse buy or a multimillion-dollar long-term sales cycle, your business is now – without a doubt – a media company as well.” With this quote, Mitch Joel reminds us of the massive role media plays in the branding world nowadays. No matter what type of company you consider yourself (aviation, aerospace, defense, etc.), your organization also needs to be a “media” company. It needs to use the web, social media, content and the digital landscape to connect with buyers, and it needs to do so better than the competition if it wants to survive.
  6. “Branding is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” It can be hard to grasp, but even though we create our branding personas, we don’t have full control over them. In the end, our true brand is how we’re perceived – what the end buyer thinks of us and tells their friends about us. For this reason, it’s important we don’t just focus on the nitty-gritty of branding – the colors, logos, etc. – but also the way our branding makes people feel … the experience it delivers. That’s what will last in buyers’ minds.
  7. “Marketing is what you do. Branding is what you are.” I often see branding and marketing mixed up, when the two really couldn’t be more different. While marketing is certainly important, helping you draw in more customers and sales, the real success of your company lies in your branding. That’s who you are to your customers – how you make them feel and what you stand for. In the long term, that’s what will keep you alive.

These are just a few of my favorite B2B branding mantras. Have more to add to the list? Let me know. Want to discuss improving your company’s branding? Contact Haley Aerospace today.

5 Branding Mistakes That Turn Customers Away

branding

Great branding can be a good way to attract customers, encourage them to buy and even turn them into long-term advocates for your company. But bad branding? Well, that can do the exact opposite, pushing customers into the arms of your competitors and eating into your profits and sales.

Sadly, most companies fall into the latter camp, making small but dangerous branding mistakes that threaten their sales and the overall health of their organization.

Want to make sure you don’t do the same? Take steps to avoid these 5 big branding no-nos:

1. Being confusing or vague. The whole point of branding is to establish a persona for your company – a clear-cut who, what, why and how for your organization. Good branding should tell customers what you stand for, what your values are and what you have to offer. If your branding is confusing, overcomplicated or, even worse, too vague, and these points don’t come across, then you may as well just hand the sale over to your biggest competitor.

2. Looking outdated. You definitely want your branding to stay consistent, but that doesn’t mean your logos, website and marketing materials should stay the same for decades. In fact, in today’s high-tech age, there’s no bigger turn-off than an old, out-of-touch-looking brand! Branding should be updated every few years for every company (no matter what!), so that it still resonates with the target demo as well as industry trends and expectations. Don’t ever let your branding get stale or tired!

3. Doing too much. The best brands are simple and easy to take in and understand. You might think it is clever to have a different slogan for every commercial you run or ad you place, but in reality it just muddles the brand and overwhelms the customer. Stick to driving home one logo, one slogan, one motto and one brand persona, and don’t try to do too much. Branding is about making the right moves, not making more moves.

4. Not knowing your audience. I talked about being out of touch on graphics, logos and your website, but being out of touch with your audience is even worse. You don’t want your latest campaign to illicit eye-rolls from the very people you’re looking to connect with, so make sure you always know who your audience is, what they’re looking for and what’s important to them at that very moment. This goes for big-scale marketing and advertising campaigns, as well as for simple things like social media posts, email newsletters or even your latest sale.

5. Being too jargon-y. This is a big one for B2B brands who often think that the more industry lingo and mumbo-jumbo they throw in, the more their customers will want to buy from them. The fact is, jargon is a turn-off. Even if your customers know and understand the terms you’re using, it makes your brand feel less accessible – less human. And in the end, people want to buy from people – not cold, faceless entities!

Are you making any of these big branding mistakes? If so, we can help. The branding experts here at Haley Aerospace have helped dozens of B2B brands get back on track and connect with their audiences. Want to do the same? Contact us today to get started.

How to Turn a One-time Buyer Into a Long-Term Brand Advocate

brand advocate

A single purchase will put some money in your company’s coffers, but is it the secret to long-term success? Definitely not.

The true marker of a successful brand is in its repeat buyers – the people who come back for more time and time again. Whether they do it every month, every year or just every 10 years, these loyal, repeat customers are what keeps the company alive, both financially and competitively.

They also play a big role in promoting the brand. You see, repeat buyers tend to be brand advocates – people so excited and passionate about a brand that they tell their friends, colleagues, family members and everyone else they can get their hands on. And that can go a long way in increasing your brand’s exposure, customers, sales and profits.

So take some time to look at your numbers: Are you bringing in just single sales one after the other? Or are you enjoying repeat business from buyers? Better yet, are customers sticking with your brand – and exposing you to others – for the long term? If not, it’s time to make some changes to your strategy.

Specifically, you’ll want to:

Make them fall in love. Deliver an experience that your buyers love from the very start. Don’t be pushy with sales or promos, and show them quality care, service and attention every step of the way. Give them top-quality products and service, and make the buying experience enjoyable, fun and easy. The happier they walk away from that transaction, the more likely they’ll want to do it again.

Constantly engage. Focus on engaging your customers, even after they’ve purchased and gone on their way. Keep in touch via email, interact with them on social media, and check in with them to make sure their purchases are delivering as expected. Show them that your brand cares – whether they spent their money today, yesterday or 10 years ago – and keep your company at the top of their mind whenever possible.

Give instead of take. Sure, the ultimate goal of great branding is to get sales, but don’t make that the focus of your strategies. Instead, focus on your customer – their needs, wants and goals. Give them great blog content they can use to better their companies, send them emails with how-tos and FAQs so they can get the most out of their purchases, and make them laugh with funny social media posts. Give more, and you’ll get more – I promise.

Make it as easy as possible. No one likes a sales process that’s a hassle, so do everything you can to streamline yours at every turn. Make finding, buying and receiving products simple, and cut out as many steps as you can. You want the transaction to be as quick and painless as possible.

Address feedback head-on. It might be uncomfortable at first, but don’t whitewash your brand. Negative comments or feedback might be hard to take, but don’t delete it, filter it out or hide it from your customers. In fact, respond to it publicly – show that you recognize the issue and are doing something about it. Customers want a brand they can trust and respect, and addressing your issues head-on commands just that!

Consider a loyalty program. Loyalty programs are a great way to encourage repeat business. If it works for your business model, consider implementing some sort of points-based system in which customers can earn points toward freebies, discounts or special services on every purchase they make. The prospect of free anything is a big one, so customers will likely jump at the chance to join and take advantage of it. Referral programs can work the same way and are great options for B2B brands!

If your buyers are only making one-time purchases, it’s time to make some changes. Transforming those customers into repeat buyers and brand advocates will take your company much further in the long term. Want help doing that? Contact Haley Aerospace today.

How to Make Your Brand Memorable

branding

When you boil it down, the whole goal of branding is to make your company memorable – to ensure it stands out from the pack and stands out in the minds of your customers.

If it’s not doing that – what’s the point?

Sure, your brand might look cool, but if it doesn’t get customers behind your brand for the long haul, it’s really just a waste of time and energy. In fact, it could actually be helping your competitors get ahead.

Fortunately, there are some easy ways to ensure you’re not just shouting your branding into the void – that it’s sticking, standing out and making an impact on your target audience. Want to make sure yours is doing just that? Follow these tips:

Interact with them – Forget just posting about sales and pushing promos onto your Twitter and Facebook accounts. Use your social media (as well as other venues) to really interact and get to know your customers. People remember how a brand makes them feel – not what a brand says or does.

Know who you’re talking to – It’s crucial you have an intimate knowledge of your target audience before branching into any sort of branding work. That’s because your branding should resonate with your customers on every level – whether it’s the color of your logo, the verbiage of your slogan or even just the way your website is laid out and organized. You need to know who those customers are, what they’re looking for, and what they want. That’s the only way to deliver a memorable experience from start to finish.

Share their values – Stand for a cause or a way of life – something your customers care about and value. This humanizes your brand, giving it more of a personality and making it more of a “who” than a “what.” That’s something customers can truly connect with.

Become a part of their life – Make your brand more about a lifestyle than any certain product or service. Promote a way of living that resonates with your customers, and show them all the ways you can help them live that life to the fullest.

Always deliver – No matter what platform you’re interacting with a customer on – be it online in the sales process or in-store at a customer service desk – always deliver 100 percent satisfaction. Be friendly, stay in line with your brand, and make sure they leave happier than they came in. Like I said, customers remember how you make them feel. Anything other than happiness just won’t do the trick!

Get on their level – Don’t ever talk down to or at your customers. Talk with them. Use the language and slang they’re comfortable with, and ask them questions, get their feedback and bring them into the conversation like they’re a real, true part of your brand. Because let’s face it: They are. They’re the most important piece of the entire puzzle!

Is your brand as memorable as it could be? If not, you may just need a few minor tweaks to bring it to its full potential. Want help? Contact the experts at Haley Aerospace today.

Why Thought Leadership Is Vital to Your B2B Brand

B2B brand

No matter what industry you’re in or what product or service you sell, you want your company to be seen as the expert. Customers come to you with a need – maybe even a problem – and they want to feel confident and secure that you know how to (and can) help them.

This is especially true in the B2B world, when so much is riding on one single customer relationship. With B2C companies, you’re merely talking about the purchase of one small product or service. With a B2B brand, you’re talking about a purchase that could impact hundreds, thousands or even millions of other customers once all is said and done. And because of that, B2B buyers take their decisions very seriously.

They don’t want to buy products from just anyone. They want to buy from the best – and only the best.

So B2B brands have a unique challenge in that they don’t need to just stand out from the competition. They need to establish themselves as above, beyond and better than the completion in whatever way possible.

Obviously, though, that’s easier said than done. Sure, advertising and marketing campaigns help. But if you really want to set off your brand as the resident go-to expert in your field, there’s actually a much more affordable way to do it: Focus on thought leadership instead.

What do I mean by that? Let’s dive in:

  • Show customers you know your stuff. Don’t just offer your customers products and services, offer them information too. Enlighten them with new ideas and expose them to strategies and data they might not have heard of before. You can do this through blog posts, ebooks, white papers, email newsletters, even brochures at your next trade show booth. In fact, do all five! The more information you can offer them, the better.
  • Help customers be better and stronger. Give your customers the tools they need to be better than their competitors. Don’t just focus on what can make YOU better. Show your clients how they can use your products and services to stand out, make a splash and come out on top in their marketplace as well.
  • Give it away for free. You charge your customers for products and services, but don’t charge them for information. Make your thought leadership offerings easily and readily available via your website, and don’t require them to make any sort of payment (other than maybe entering an email address) to get them. The main goal here is to show that you’re the expert, not to bring in more cash. Do the former, and the latter will come naturally!
  • Get the whole team involved. Everyone on your team has something to offer, whether it be sales tips, marketing advice or intricate knowledge of how your products are built and manufactured. Get the whole team involved in creating thought leadership offerings, and give your customers a comprehensive education in the things that matter most to them.

Have you put any effort into thought leadership at your company? If you’re a B2B brand, you certainly should. Contact Haley Aerospace today, and our B2B branding experts can help.

The Key Components of Luxury Branding

luxury branding

Many aerospace and aviation brands are considered “luxury.” They’re expensive, they’re aimed at not-your-average American, and they’re something only a certain sector of the population needs (or can even afford).

Because of this, luxury brands require a different approach strategy-wise. You can’t go about their branding, marketing or advertising efforts as you would any old off-the-shelf product or company, but instead you need a more targeted method – a niche tactic aimed at reaching only a very small sector of the world.

That’s a stark difference for many marketers. As with most products, you’re looking to reach as many people in as many places as possible. While luxury brands still want lots of buyers, they also need to realize that not everyone has the potential to become one. Because of their price points or the products and services they offer in general, many luxury brands are just simply out of the question for the bulk of the world’s customers.

It’s sort of like “anti-marketing.” Instead of throwing a blanket brand out there that’s designed to include anyone and everyone, you’re creating something exclusive – something you don’t want everyone to feel welcome joining, buying or doing. It can feel wrong at first – like being the bully at the lunch table – but once you get the hang of it, it can help drive luxury sales through the roof.

Would you consider your brand a “luxury” one? Do you sell services, products or parts not designed for your average American buyer? If so, keep these key points in mind when branding or marketing your company:

Don’t advertise to sell.

Commercials, billboards, print ads – those are all fine to invest in, but don’t create them with the idea of selling a product in mind. Instead, use that ad space to show potential buyers “the dream.” Use it to show people the expensive luxury lifestyle your products and services can offer them. Sell aircraft? Show them what life is like with your own private plane. Offer in-air dining options? Let them see what a five-course meal in the sky is like. Most luxury buyers buy into an experience rather than specific products or offerings.

Get detailed.

With most products, buyers don’t care about where it was made, who made it or what parts were used, but luxury buyers give these details serious weight. They love to know their purchases were made somewhere exclusive or touched by the hands of a known expert. Communicate these unique details about your offerings, and make those buyers feel even more luxurious and exclusive than they already are.

Deliver a VIP experience.

Buyers expect a VIP experience throughout their entire relationship with a luxury brand. From the first visit to the website or the purchase of a product to a customer service call or repeat purchase down the line, they want to know their business is valued, important and not something the brand takes lightly. Make sure your luxury brand invests in the proper resources to deliver this sort of experience – plenty of service reps and salespeople, a five-star online presence, killer marketers, and more.

Do you have a luxury brand? Are your products and services doing as well as they should be? If not, give Haley Aerospace a call. We know luxury brands – and we know aviation. We can help!

4 Signs You Chose the Wrong Branding Agency

branding agency

Recognizing that your branding needs work is only the first step toward success.

Once you do that, you still have to find a good branding agency, work with them on perfecting the best possible look and feel and, finally, launch that new branding to your customers and employees.

It’s a long road ahead. And unfortunately, if you fail to choose the right branding agency, it can be a doomed venture from the get-go.

Are you currently looking for a branding agency to help brand or rebrand your company? Have you already settled on one to guide you through? Here are a few signs they might not be the right fit:

  1. Their branding’s not up to snuff. To really evaluate an agency’s abilities, look at their own branding. Does it look modern and in line with today’s trends? Have they carried that branding across all platforms, like their website, blog, social accounts and more? Does their brand say something and speak to customers? Chances are, if they can’t create a brand that works for their own agency, they can’t do it for you either.
  2. They’re not doing any research. Did your branding agency start sending you mock-ups and design ideas right off the bat? Consider that a major red flag. No branding work should be done without some serious research first. That means talking to your customers, your employees and anyone else the new branding will target. If a research phase isn’t included in your agency’s plans, it might be time to look elsewhere.
  3. They don’t have a varied team. A branding agency of 2 people isn’t going to cut it, because branding is a multifaceted genre. It requires great marketing tactics, killer research skills, top-notch graphic design chops, and a stellar digital strategy to boot. Look for agencies that boast a varied team of professionals – people who are great at marketing, design, copywriting, digital and more. Together, they will make your branding better and stronger in the long run.
  4. They don’t know your marketplace. If you can find a branding agency that specializes in your marketplace, you’re already 5 steps ahead. Sure, you could go with someone who has their hands in many buckets, but if you really want someone who gets your space, your customers and how to reach those customers, then choosing someone with real industry experience is key. If your agency doesn’t have past clients in your sector or they simply don’t specialize in anything, you may want to head back to the drawing board. A specialty agency can take your new brand so much further.

Your branding plays a huge role in your company’s success. It’s what potential clients experience when they come to your website, connect with you on social media or even just call you up on the phone. If it’s not done perfectly, it could mean a lost sale, or worse, a dinged reputation.

Don’t let your branding be your downfall. Make sure you choose the right branding agency to help guide the way. Contact Haley Aerospace to learn more today.

5 B2B Branding Traps to Avoid

branding traps

We’ve been in the B2B branding biz for a while, so we’ve seen our fair share of brands that work and brands that, well, could use some work.

Most of the underperforming brands that come to us have fallen into one of 5 categories – branding “traps” as we like to call them.

These traps keep them from truly reaching their customers, building a following and seeing the success of their brand’s potential.

Want to make sure you don’t become a victim? Here are the 5 common traps you should avoid:

  1. Thinking B2B branding is starkly different than traditional branding. Sure, with B2B branding, you’re looking for other businesses to buy your products, but you know what? At the end of the day, the decision to do that is made by, you got it, Just like in traditional B2C branding, B2B branding needs to be aimed at people too – just a different sort. Don’t make the mistake of thinking your branding should be aimed at faceless entities. Instead, get to know what the people behind those entities are like. They’re who you should be targeting!
  2. Stopping a name, logo or slogan. These are all facets of branding, but are they the complete package? Definitely. Your branding is the experience you deliver to your customers – the service they receive, the website they visit, the marketing emails they receive. And all of it needs to be custom-fit to your audience’s unique needs.
  3. Branding is hands– You can’t just choose your colors and logo and call it a day. Branding is a companywide, ongoing effort. It should reach from the mailroom to the CEO’s office, and everyone should be working daily to further that brand in everything they do. Like anything that’s successful, it requires regular upkeep, pruning and work to really see results.
  4. Branding is only for products. Branding is certainly important for products – physical items you can buy and sell – but it’s also crucial for services, even ones that are completely intangible. The main goal of branding is to show customers what makes your company different – what makes you a valuable commodity in their lives. That should shine through every time, regardless of what you sell or how you deliver it.
  5. Branding is just external. Branding is vital to bringing in new customers and keeping your current ones loyal, but do you know how else it’s important? The internal success of your organization. A good internal brand can keep your employees happy and efficient, and it can help you draw in top talent from across the world. This all means a more successful business on the whole.

If you find yourself slipping into any of these branding traps, give the experts at Haley Aerospace a call ASAP. We can help get you on the path to branding success right away.

Slogans vs. Taglines – Which Works Best for Your Brand?

branding agency

As a branding agency, we often get asked about slogans and taglines by new clients.

They know they need a logo, but should they also tack on a slogan? What about a tagline? Maybe both?

The truth is few outside of the branding world know the difference between a tagline and a slogan, and to be honest, they probably should!

While one can add value to your branding suite, the other serves more of an entertainment purpose and is funny, silly or a little bit flippant.

So which is which? And which should your brand be using? Let’s dive in.

 

Taglines                                    

Taglines are the flippant short phrases you hear at the end of commercials, radio ads and other promotions.

A good example? “We’ll leave the light on for you.”

That’s Motel 6’s tagline, and let’s think about that for a moment: What does it really tell you?

Nothing actually. It doesn’t speak to Motel 6’s value proposition, nor does it even explain what Motel 6 offers. There’s nothing about comfort, affordability, number of locations or anything remotely helpful to a potential customer.

It’s simply meant to be a memorable little phrase that people can recall later on.

But does it do anything for their business? Not really. Sure, it may stick out in someone’s mind, but is “We’ll leave the light on for you” ever going to be what makes a customer choose Motel 6 over the Ramada? Definitely not.

 

Slogans

Sadly, most people lean toward using taglines over slogans, simply because they’re usually a bit shorter, more fun and easier to integrate with a logo. But in reality, it’s slogans that hold the most power.

Slogans are more strategic. Instead of simply entertaining you or being memorable, they tell you something – they speak to the brand’s overall value to the consumer.

Let’s take that Motel 6 example. Instead of “We’ll leave the light on for you,” a good slogan would be something like “The lowest nightly rates in the U.S.” or “Over 1,000 locations nationwide.” Both of these give consumers information they need to make their buying decision.

Is Motel 6 affordable? Slogan No. 1 tells you yes! Will you be able to find a Motel 6 on your next trip? Slogan No. 2 says most likely!

A good slogan gives you a reason to buy from a brand, and it tells you why one brand stands out against another.

When it comes to selling, slogans are going to help your case and should play a big role in your marketing and advertising campaigns. Taglines, on the other hand? You may as well not waste the time.

 

Need a Good Slogan?

Want a killer slogan for your aviation or aerospace brand? Let our branding agency help. We’ll craft a slogan that powers your marketing efforts, drives sales and brings in new buyers. Contact Haley Aerospace today to schedule a consult.

3 Branding Lessons We Can All Learn From This Year’s Primary Season

branding lessons

With Donald Trump securing the Republic nomination and Hillary Clinton a mere 100 delegates away from the Democratic one, primary season is finally winding to a close.

And though I certainly don’t want to get into policies or political beliefs here, I do think these primaries need to be talked about – particularly in a business sense.

You see, this year’s primaries did more than just expose us to new ideas, new people and new potential leaders. It revealed a lot about how people, companies and even just ideas can connect with the American public on a personal and intimate level and earn their support.

Put simply? It showed us what effective branding looks like.

Regardless of who comes out on top in November, every candidate made a splash in his or her own way. We can learn a lot from their time on the election trail. Here are some of the top lessons I picked up on:

  1. Always show your values. Not everyone agrees with Trump or Sanders, but that doesn’t keep them from voicing their opinions and getting candid about every single issue or question that’s thrown their way. Sure, an attitude like that is going to alienate some people (and it has), but it’s also going to endear them to the people who will be their biggest supporters – the ones who will shout their names off of rooftops and make sure others do too. So never be afraid to step out on a limb for what your brand stands for and believes in. That will be what sets you apart from your competitors.
  2. Trust matters. She may be the leading Democratic candidate – and judging by polls, possibly our next president – but Clinton’s campaign has been riddled with trust issues from the very beginning. With her role in Benghazi and the much-talked-about email fiasco, many Americans have been hesitant to get behind her campaign, yet alone endorse her for leader of the country. It makes you wonder: Without these trust issues at work, would Sanders still be in the game? This same sentiment can be applied to brands. Want to outperform your opponents? Earn their trust. Want to make it an uphill battle? Dishonesty is the fastest route.
  3. Go big or go home. One thing’s for certain about this year’s primaries: It’s been full of characters. From Trump’s outlandish statements about Hispanics, women and the KKK, John Boehner calling Ted Cruz “Lucifer in the flesh” or Sanders touting completely free college and other near impossibilities, it’s been a year of big, bold statements in politics. And you know what? It’s brought more attention to the primaries than they’ve seen in years! Sure, not every candidate will win, and no, not everyone will come out with a better career because of it, but each one made an impact. They were noticed. They were seen. And their personal “brands” connected with people. It’s a lesson all companies can learn from: Don’t go about your business with a whimper. Go about it with a bang.

Want help translating these lessons into big business for your brand? Contact Haley Aerospace today. Our branding experts are here to help.

 

Why B2Bs Should Get Visual With Their Branding

visual branding

It can be hard to admit sometimes, but branding in the B2B world can often be boring. We use the same old colors on our logos, we market to the same old executives and C-levels, and we attend the same old trade shows every year.

Fortunately, this branding standstill doesn’t have to continue.

The web is moving toward a more visual strategy, and though at first glance this tactic might seem more primed for B2C brands, in fact, visual content can actually help reinvigorate a mature or static brand.

What do I mean by visual content, you ask? Well, that includes things like infographics, charts, videos, memes or even just great photos – anything your customers can see and interact with visually.

Have you started going visual with your branding? If not, you may want to. Here are just a few of the many benefits it can offer B2Bs:

  1. It’s more exciting. Let’s face it: It’s easy for a B2B to be boring. You know you’re only marketing toward C-levels and execs, so numbers, stats and PowerPoints become the norm. While those can sometimes work to sell your services, adding some visual spice to your branding strategy can go a lot further. This is especially true in the aviation world, where visuals can be especially stunning. Just think: An aerial photo of your planes in action instead of a bulleted list of PowerPoint? What do you think will sell better?
  2. It’s shareable. Visual content is super shareable, meaning people are more likely to forward it to a colleague or friend, retweet it on Twitter or share it on Facebook for others to see. That means more referrals and more potential customers will see your brand. It’s a win-win that equals a stronger customer-to-brand connection and more leads in the long run.
  3. It tells a better story. Storytelling is a big part of branding. It keeps customers engaged – even long-term ones – and it makes people feel more like a part of your brand, like they’ve been there with you through it all. While a good story can certainly be told with words, like the old adage says, “seeing is believing.” A little visual content can make a big difference in telling a wow-worthy story to your customers.
  4. It brings clarity. In the B2B world, our sales pitches can sometimes get a little complicated. We sell complex products in a high-tech industry, and it can be easy to get bogged down with the nitty-gritty details. While this can be overwhelming with just plain text, an infographic or chart can help bring some clarity to the situation, making it easier to digest and understand.

Think your B2B branding may be getting boring? It may be time to take your visuals to the next level. Contact Haley Aerospace to see how we can help up your branding ante today.