Category Archives: Brand Positioning

Times Are Tough, But Content Can Help You Weather the Storm

Your clients (and people around the world, for that matter) are experiencing hard times right now. They might be sick, juggling homeschool and remote work duties simultaneously, or even dealing with income cutbacks or other financial hardships.

So, making a big sales pitch? That’s probably not the most sensitive move in today’s environment.

What you can do, though, is stay top of mind while they weather the storm. Because while clients might not have the budget to buy from you today, they will someday. And when they do, you want to be the first brand they think of.

Content Is the Key

Your clients are on the web, consuming content more than ever these days. In fact, several studies show internet usage surged after self-isolation orders were put in place, and by a lot.

That’s more hours of checking email, reading articles, and scanning social media – all valuable opportunities to connect with clients and increase your visibility.

To leverage these opportunities, however, you first need content to fill those channels. That means:

Social media posts they can interact with and share on their favorite platforms
Videos they can learn from or be entertained by
Blogs and newsletters they can read to stay abreast of industry changes, trends, and other helpful guidance
Sponsored and syndicated articles in their favorite publications and trade magazines
Webinars they can participate in to grow their skills and strengthen their businesses
White papers they can download for deeper dives into complicated topics and pain points they’re dealing with

Just remember: When creating this content, be extra cognizant of what’s going on in the world around us. Exercise empathy, and write knowing that your readers may be stressed, overwhelmed, or even scared right now. Be sensitive to these circumstances, or even address them outright. Let your customers know you’re there to support them and ease their burden during these trying times.

Stay Strong

We at Haley Brand Aerospace are deeply aware of how much the current health crisis has impacted the aviation industry, as well as the millions of people employed in it. If you or your business has been hurt due to the ongoing pandemic, please accept our sincerest sympathies, and know that we’re here to help when and if you need it.

Stay strong. We’ll get through this together.

 

Top 5 Brand Positioning Strategies You Can Use Today

Great brand positioning is always important. But if you’re in a market with lots of competitors and tons of other options? It’s even more critical.

In a crowded marketplace, brand positioning can be what sets you apart from other companies in your space, and it can even help you better build brand loyalty and increase repeat business.

Is your aerospace or aviation brand up against a lot of competition? Is your existing aerospace or defense marketing not cutting through the clutter? Here’s how to use brand positioning to stand out.

What is brand positioning?

Brand positioning is all about differentiating yourself. It establishes you as the go-to for a specific niche of the industry or overall audience and highlights your company’s, service’s, or product’s overall strengths in relation to other options on the market. In short, it tells customers not just what you offer or what you do, but who you do it for.

Brand positioning informs consumer impressions of your brand. It influences what they think of you and your products, and even how they view your competitors.

Position yourself as a modern, go-to for younger, more tech-savvy consumers? Then your competitors look out-of-touch by comparison. Position yourself as the most experienced, time-tested company on the block? Then consumers see you as older, more trusted, and less risky.

Ways to position and differentiate your brand

There are countless ways you can position your brand and help set it apart from others in your industry (even ones with massive marketing budgets to their names).

Here are some of the most common areas you can differentiate yourself in:

  1. Price point: Are you the budget option or the premium one? The Kia or the Tesla?
  2. Tech-savvy: Do you have the most advanced technology? Is your tech (or your approach to developing it) somehow different than other brands?
  3. Experience or expertise: Is your team made up of highly respected experts and scholars? Has your brand been around the longest?
  4. Demographic: Is your target audience young or old? Located in a certain geographic area? Do they have a certain budget, need, or interest?
  5. Service: Are you focused on delivering top-notch customer service? Are all your customer reviews and ratings perfect?

You should also take a long hard look at how your competitors are positioning their brands. If another company has solidified their spot as the most experienced brand on the block, then carve out another niche for yourself. Brand positioning needs to be unique in order to be effective.

How is your brand positioned?

Want to better position your brand for success? Just need a tune-up for your existing defense marketing, aviation, or aerospace strategy? We can help. Our aviation agency experts boast over a decade of experience, and we know how to help your organization stand out. Our special focus is defense marketing, aerospace marketing, aviation branding, and aviation marketing. Get in touch for a free consultation today.

 

 

5 Common Aerospace Branding Mistakes You’re Probably Making

In a crowded marketplace, branding is what sets you apart from the pack. It’s what gets customers to try your products and services, re-up when they run out, or even write you a review or tout your company to their network.

But just as honing the right brand strategy can help your business, crafting the wrong one can hurt it. Big time, too.

Want to make sure your aerospace branding is on track for success? Here are the five biggest mistakes we see with new clients.

Choosing a brand that blends

This one’s big in aerospace branding. In a B2B, high-dollar industry like ours, many organizations fear pushing the envelope. This leaves us with tons of brands with very similar color schemes, fonts, logos, and even mottos and slogans.

For the average client, this can make it hard to differentiate from one company to the next, and isn’t that the whole point of branding? Be careful the fear of going “too far” with your branding doesn’t keep you from standing out.

Being too vague

For great branding, you need to know who you are: what matters to your company (and your clients) and what makes you different from other options on the block. Being vague with your branding only serves to confuse clients, and it can actually send them right into your competitor’s arms, in some cases.

The end-goal should be highly focused branding. Be direct, be specific, and really show what you have to offer through in a succinct, concise way.

A material-focused approach

We’ve built (and rebuilt) countless aerospace brands over the years. What’s become clear? Many organizations fundamentally misunderstand the point of it all.

Sure, branding gives your company a look, a feel, and a voice, but that’s not the ultimate goal by any means. What’s really important here? Giving your customers something to buy into.

Yes, the logo and fonts and color palette are all important, but the heart of branding lies in the movement you create. This is why clients to stick around, buy again and again, and even refer you to others.

Creating too many sub-brands

As you launch new products and services, it’s tempting to want to create sub-brands to help differentiate them from the pack. But what you’re really doing is diluting your brand and all the recognition that comes with it.

To really give that new brand any traction, you’d need to put serious cash toward the cause. Wouldn’t that money be better spent on advertising and marketing instead?

Inconsistency

Once you have a brand, commit to it. Everywhere. It should be on everything you sell, do, and make, and it should look exactly the same every single time.

Inconsistent branding only makes you look haphazard and untrustworthy, and that’s the last thing you want in our high-dollar, discerning industry such as ours.

Get your aerospace branding on track

Are you making any of these aerospace branding mistakes? Just want to make sure your branding is on the right track? We’re here to help. Get in touch with Haley Aerospace today for a free branding consult.

 

 

 

3 Ways to Stand Out as an Aviation Brand in 2020

Want to be a Kellogg’s, Coca-Cola or Apple? A brand that sets standards around the globe? Want to really stand out at HAI HELI-EXPO 2020 in Anaheim this year?

Because every aviation brand is different, there’s no set-in-stone solution that will make one a success over the other. Some even become successes because of a viral ad campaign that draws in the millions, and some hit the jackpot out of sheer luck!

But that doesn’t mean you should wait around and have everyone in the company keep their fingers crossed. While there might not be a magic formula that can get you from $1 to $1 million in profits in one year, there is, however, a series of steps you can take that can aim your brand toward success.

Want to unlock your brand’s potential and get on the right path to success? These are our 3 tips:

1. Evaluate where your aerospace brand is and the path you’ve taken so far

Before you can move forward, you first have to know where you stand, where you’ve been, and where you’re headed. On the journey from point A to point B, how far are you? Halfway? Two-thirds of the way? Just getting started? What would be the ultimate measure of success? You should also take a look at how far you’ve come since the beginning. What successes have you experienced? What caused those successes and how can you emulate them again?

2. Create a plan (for all areas of your business) to get you there

Once you’ve determined your marker of success, it’s time to create a roadmap of sorts – directions on how you’ll get there and who will be a part of the journey. Sit down with key members of every department and map out how each area of the business can help drive home your branding and further your company’s goals. Get down to the nitty-gritty details and assign specific tasks, deliverables and responsibilities to all involved and create a timeline. You want the entire company on board – from the mail room up to the CEO’s office.

3. Implement safeguards and processes

Finally, you need to implement a few safeguards that will ensure your success along the way. Put quality control processes in place, assign people to oversee milestones and goals, make sure performance is being tracked, analyzed and acted upon to give you the absolute best results all the time. You need to be sure all the wheels are turning (at the right speed and in tandem) 24-7 to see success.

Need help getting your aviation brand on the pathway to ultimate success? Let Haley Brand Aerospace help. Our branding experts have helped hundreds of companies climb the ladder of success, and we can help your brand too.

 

Thought Leadership: How Does It Work?

If you follow any marketing blogs or influencers, then you’ve probably seen the phrase “thought leadership” used in posts.

Is it something you should be using for your own brand? Could it help boost your bottom line or bring in new customers in 2020?

Here’s what you need to know.

The What

So, what exactly is thought leadership? Put simply, it’s any sort of content that positions you as a leading, knowledgeable voice around a particular subject matter.

For us at Haley Aerospace Marketing, it’s blogs about branding and marketing. For Nike, it’s content around proper foot support or running form. And for stores like Walmart and Target, it’s about saving cash, getting deals, and making the most of your money.

Exactly what thought leadership content is about varies based on your industry, your products, and the customer you’re looking to reach. The main point? Show off your knowledge in your specific niche.

The Who

Who is thought leadership good for? That would be anyone and everyone: B2B companies. B2C brands. Your executive team. Your customer service reps. Everyone who has some sort of expertise to share can offer up thought leadership and help establish your organization as an authority in its industry.

The When

When should you offer up thought leadership? More importantly, when is a topic worth your thought leaders’ efforts and time? As long as you have proven expertise in the field, there’s no wrong time to share your insights.

There are, however, some times when your content may get more views or traction due to outside circumstances. These include when a subject is:

  • In the news or somehow topical
  • Getting coverage from competitors or others in your space
  • Related to some sort of challenge or struggle your clients are currently dealing with

Keep in mind, consistency is key here. You don’t really need a reason for offering up your team’s thought leadership. In fact, you should simply have a regular, set schedule for providing it. Maybe it’s once a month on your blog or every other Tuesday via Facebook Live. Whatever it is, stick to it and be reliable about it.

The Why

Great thought leadership takes time. It requires careful planning, great writing, and a good marketing strategy to get it in front of the right eyes (or ears).

Why should you bother putting in all that time and effort when you’re already resource-strapped and busy? Here are just a few of the benefits thought leadership can bring about:

  • It establishes you as an expert in your field
  • It helps you start conversations with clients (new and old)
  • It shows your abilities and skills to potential clients
  • It improves your SEO and marketing efforts

There are more, but the general gist is simple: It makes you look good.

The How

There’s no right or wrong way to share thought leadership content, but there are ways to increase your content’s exposure and the impact it has on your business.

If you want to see the most results from your efforts, you should:

  • Be consistent. Deliver your thoughts often and reliably. You want to be someone your clients (and prospective clients) turn to for advice. You can’t be that unless you’re consistently showing you’re there, you’re available, and you’re ready to dive in deep.
  • Be thorough. When discussing a topic, answer your reader’s questions fully, even the most basic ones. Show you know your stuff inside and out.
  • Be clear and direct. Don’t throw in all kinds of industry jargon and lingo. Readers shouldn’t need a thesaurus or translator to get through your content. Make it approachable, easy to understand, and concise.

You should also have a system for thought leadership production. How will you generate ideas? Who will write, edit, approve, and post your content? What’s the plan for promoting it once it’s finished?

The Where

Thought leadership content can go just about anywhere: your blog, your social media accounts, your ads and marketing material, and more. Wherever there are clients or prospective clients interacting with your brand, there’s an opportunity to show off your knowledge and solidify your place as a trusted expert.

The Bottom Line

Great thought leadership content can set you apart from your competitors, and it could be what turns a casual onlooker into a longtime and profitable client.

Want help getting your aerospace brand’s thought leadership efforts off the ground? Then get in touch with Haley Aerospace Marketing today.

How to Get Your Team Onboard With Aerospace and Aviation Branding

Aerospace and aviation branding isn’t just an external effort. In fact, good branding actually starts on the inside – with your employees.

You see, if your team isn’t fully onboard with your branding, understanding and believing in it fully, then it’s never going to be effective, no matter how many marketing and advertising dollars you pour into it.

Your employees come up with your marketing strategies, they interface with your customers, they sell your products and they update your website and social media. If they don’t understand your branding or subscribe to it, how can they translate it properly to others? More importantly, how can they get others to buy into something that they themselves don’t believe in?

Customers are very intuitive, and they know when they’re being lied to or bluffed. And in this high-tech day and age, people are looking for full transparency. If they get the sense an employee at any point in the sales cycle isn’t fully onboard with the brand, they have no problem jumping ship and finding another company to buy from – even if it means more time and energy is required.

Do you want to make sure your aerospace and aviation branding is being translated properly? Want to ensure your employees are onboard and promoting that branding as effectively as possible? Here are a few tips to help:

  • Make branding a part of your interviews. If you really want to make sure your team is behind your branding, start from the very beginning – before they’re even hired. Talk to potential employees about what your brand stands for and who it is, and get their feedback on your brand’s persona and values. See if their opinions match up before offering them any sort of permanent employment.
  • Incorporate brand training into your new employee orientations. Don’t just train your employees on the basic processes they need to get through the day, spend time talking to new hires about your organization, what it stands for and what you seek to provide the customer. Show them just what your company is all about, and get them excited about sharing that with the world. That’s where great branding starts.
  • Include your employees in branding and rebranding efforts. When establishing your branding or delving into any rebranding efforts, always include your employees – and not just the C-suite ones, either. Get people from sales, marketing, customer service and every department in your company involved, and make sure you’re looking at the organization as a whole – not just one small part or portion.

Is your team fully onboard with your branding? Do they understand your company values and voice? Do they know how to translate that to the customer? If not, it’s time to make a change. Contact Haley Aerospace Marketing today, and we’ll help make your branding efforts more effective across the board.

 

Why Aviation Brands Should Focus on Storytelling

Why Aviation Brands Should Focus on Storytelling | Haley Aerospace Marketing

Technology, B2B, and aerospace brands all have something working against them: They feel unapproachable. Maybe it’s the confusing jargon or the big money involved, or maybe it’s just that customers don’t feel very connected to these brands. Either way, it’s a problem.

Fortunately, it’s one that great storytelling can solve.

How Can Storytelling Help?

Storytelling has a way of humanizing brands – even those you don’t have much in common with. It can make companies feel more approachable, relevant, and current, and it can spark that much-needed sense of connectedness that buyers need to pull the trigger and make that purchase.

In industries that often feel untouchable – aviation and aerospace included – a great story can speak to:

  • Who’s using your products and services
  • What kind of benefits they offer
  • What your values and mission are
  • The impact you’re making in your industry and beyond
  • Your authenticity and honesty
  • Best of all, it does this without any costly advertising or self-serving horn-tooting. Instead, it lets others do the talking for you. It lends clout to your offerings as a business, and it boosts trust in your overall brand.

The Keys to Great Storytelling

You can tell a story through social media posts, blogs, and even your website content. Really, any customer touchpoint is an appropriate place to use storytelling – customer service calls and email messages included.

Just remember: The human element is the most important part, so don’t try to relate to your customers as a business. Instead, use the people who are part of your business as the jumping-off point for your stories.

You can:

  • Recognize team members and employees
  • Highlight customer reviews and testimonials
  • Interview past customers and clients
  • Provide case studies and success stories
  • Show before-and-after transformations
  • Follow your products from purchase to implementation with real-life clients

The goal is to follow the people. What impact are you having on those you serve? What are the experiences of your employees, clients, and customers? How can you relay those experiences and have them resonate with your audience?

Make the Connection

At the end of the day, remember that while you’re a business, you’re a business that’s run by people – and that thread is what connects you to your customers, whether they’re buyers for the U.S. government or the average Joe down the street.

Do you need help making that human connection through your brand’s storytelling? Reach out to Haley Aerospace today. We’re here to help.

 

4 Ways to Build Trust in Your Aviation Brand

Trust plays a critical role in business success nowadays.

Buyers want to know that they’re spending their money wisely, with someone who will deliver on their promises and keep to their word. They want to know that the brand they’re buying from has satisfied past customers and that there are protections in place to ensure they’re equally satisfied too.

In short, they want you to prove yourself.

How do you do that exactly? How can you show new customers you’re worth their trust? How can you prove to existing ones that you deserve to keep it? Here are four ways:

Use social proof.

Social proof can be a great way to build trust with potential clients and leads. Ask your current customers to review you on Yelp, Google, Facebook, and other review sites, and share testimonials on your website and on social media. Show them that past customers trusted you with their business (and that they’re happy they did).

Go unrehearsed.

There’s nothing more inauthentic than being superscripted and rehearsed. It leaves customers wary and skeptical, and it might even turn them off for good. Customers would rather get to know the real business they’re working with, even if that means they’re not 100 percent perfect all the time.

Here are a few ways to get more real with your customers:

  • Try your hand at live videos
  • Let your sales reps go off script and have freer, more organic conversations
  • Use shorthand, emojis, and more casual terms in tweets and on social media
  • Talk about topics that matter to your customers (not just yourself and your products)

The goal is to make customers feel like they know you, the real you, and can trust you with their hard-earned money.

Guarantee value at every touchpoint.

The truth is, most customers could go to 10 other competitors to get the same products and services you offer. If you really want to earn their trust and repeat business, you need to show them why you’re better at every turn. That means giving them something back (not just taking something) each and every time you connect.

On your blog, maybe it’s tips on how to best use their new product or how to improve their business. On email, it could be a discount code or alert about a sale, and on social media, it could just be a funny meme that makes their day. The bottom line is that the customer walks away with something and that you never, ever waste their time.

Solicit feedback.

There’s no better way to earn trust than to ask for feedback. For one, it tells customers you care about their opinion. If you respond to that feedback or even make changes based on it, it also shows you’re legitimately concerned about the services and value they’re receiving as a client.

Try to solicit feedback regularly, at least once quarterly or after every engagement. You can do this with a simple reach-out via email or phone or through an automated survey program. Just make sure you’re prepared to read the responses and act accordingly.

How Trustworthy Is Your Aviation Brand?

What are you doing to build trust in your aviation brand? Want to do more? The Haley Aerospace team can help. Reach out today for a free consult.

 

Earned Media vs. Paid Media: What’s the Difference (And Does It Matter?)

Earned Media vs. Paid Media: What’s the Difference (And Does It Matter?) | Haley Brand Aerospace

Both earned media and paid media can offer added exposure, more leads and increased sales for your aviation brand – but the two aren’t one and the same.

While both types work together to support your marketing efforts, effective earned and paid media opportunities grow from very different seedlings: the former from your brand’s reputation and influence, and the latter from your pocketbook and advertising know-how.

Cultivating both is key to a 360-degree marketing strategy that works for the long haul.

Paid Media

Paid media is the simpler one. It allows you to pay (via an advertisement, for example) to promote your message, brand or product in a certain space.

Examples of paid media include:

  • Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn ads
  • Magazine placements
  • Paid contributions to publications or websites
  • Google Ads and other search advertising
  • Public or corporate sponsorships

Paid media is a great way to amplify your message, while also being very strategic with who sees that message, where they’re located and how likely they are to become a customer. Paid media is also a great way to gain exposure for your “owned” media — meaning the content, blogs, videos and resources you’ve created internally for your audience.

Earned Media

Earned media, put simply, is media exposure. It’s when a publication, news organization or some other channel with an audience shares your message, products, content or anything to do with your brand. Earned media is especially powerful because it increases your credibility (it’s someone else saying you’re great — not just you tooting your own horn).

Examples of earned media include:

  • Press mentions (including quotes from your team members or mentions of your products)
  • Positive reviews and testimonials on third-party sites
  • Reposts, shares and retweets on social media
  • Shares and emails of your content, blogs, articles, etc.

Earned media is a little harder to come by, as it’s largely out of your control. You can help your case by connecting with well-established voices and influencers in your space. For our clients, that means aviation and aerospace magazines, reporters, trade shows and others within the industry.

Part of your marketing mix should be owned media, your produced content that is shared with your audience. Materials such as a website, blog, social media accounts, collateral and other materials can be used to build your brand image, promote your products and services, and educate your target audience. In addition, owned media can serve as a valuable tool to help rebuild your reputation after a crisis event.

A Three-Pronged Approach

Really, the best marketing strategy is one that combines earned media, paid media and targeted owned media. This allows you to reach potential customers at all points in their buying journey, as well as leverage key influencers and voices in your industry.

Need help crafting your aviation brand’s three-pronged marketing strategy? Haley Aerospace can help. Get in touch today for a free consult!

 

3 Mistakes New Aviation Marketers Make

3 Mistakes New Aviation Marketers Make | Haley Aerospace Marketing

If you’re new to being an aviation marketer, you’ll quickly find that it’s a unique beast.

Not only are we selling high-dollar parts, products and machines, we’re also selling experiences. Doing all of these things take a powerful grasp on both our audience and the values and priorities that matter most to them.

Are you new to the aviation marketing world? Just want to brush up on your skills and make sure you’re on the right track? Here are the biggest mistakes newbie aviation marketers make (and how to avoid them):

Not measuring and tracking

Marketing without metrics is just shooting in the dark. If you want to ensure your strategy is an effective one, it needs to be based in cold, hard data. What areas are you failing in? Where are your efforts working and where is there room for improvement? What past efforts have been successful and what led to their success? Analytics can help you answer all of these questions and more.

It’s not just about watching your analytics, though — it’s about watching the right ones. As with anything, not all metrics are created equal, and if you want to drive more sales and get more clients, you have to watch the metrics that are tied to those numbers — the conversion rates on your content offers, the engagement on your social posts and the leads you keep in the funnel after a trade show. Know what your key performance indicators are and keep a good gauge on them at all times. Let them drive your strategy and move your brand forward.

Skipping social

Many aviation marketers feel social media is a waste of time. Are high-dollar buyers really watching your brand on Facebook? Could a Twitter post really bring a new B2B vendor into the fold? You bet it could. In aviation marketing, it’s all about choosing the right social channels to focus on.

For B2B brands, LinkedIn is king, and Twitter can bring in some healthy sales as well. For B2C organizations, visual platforms like Instagram and Snapchat are great options if you’ve got amazing aviation photography because they really draw people to your brand. (You just have to know how to convert them and turn those leads into a sale after that!)

Marketing to the wrong person

You also need to know who you’re marketing to. If you’re a B2B aviation brand, you’re not marketing to the CEO of a company. Instead, you’re trying to reach a buyer for that brand — someone lower on the totem pole, with less of a financial stake and more to prove. They want you to make them look good and they want you to show them how.

For B2C brands, you need to dive into the psyche and demographics of your target audience. What’s their income level? Do they have kids? What stage of life are they in? What’s important to them and what are their values? These should all play a role in both how you market to them and what venues you use to do it.

Always keep the end-buyer’s unique scenario in mind when crafting your marketing efforts. What are their challenges and struggles? What are their pain points? How can you, specifically, help them solve and overcome them? More importantly, how can you convince them of your abilities and earn their trust?

You’re Not Alone

You don’t have to go it alone in aviation marketing. Our experts are here to help point you in the right direction — both on metrics and on strategy. Contact Haley Aerospace today for help with your 2019 aviation marketing.

 

How to Find (And Connect with) the Best Exhibitors for Your Brand at HELI-EXPO

Overwhelmed at HELI-EXPO? How to Find (And Connect with) the Best Exhibitors for Your Brand | Haley Aerospace Marketing

Next month’s 2019 HAI HELI-EXPO in Atlanta is sure to be an educational, productive and, hopefully, profitable event.

But with more than 700 exhibitors and 18,000 industry pros in attendance, it could also get overwhelming, too.

How do you know where to focus your efforts? What booths to spend your limited time on? Which exhibitors to explore partnerships or business relationships with?

This is the struggle of any modern trade show-goer — but it’s not one without a solution. Want to make sure you spend your time and resources as wisely as possible at this year’s 2019 HAI HELI-EXPO? These tips can help:

Study the exhibitor list ahead of time.

You don’t have to set aside hours to do this but take 30 or so minutes to browse the list and get familiar with at least the categories of exhibitors who will be at the event. Do it while waiting at the airport, when you’re on the plane or even just on the Uber ride over. If any names or booths stand out, jot them down on a notepad or on your phone. Make sure to include the booth number, if it’s available.

Go in with two or three overarching goals.

Having a few larger goals for the event can help you home in on the best exhibitors to spend your time with. Are you looking to for advanced avionics systems to upgrade your aircraft? Are you hoping to find a new distributor or part manufacturer with lower costs? Do you need consulting, marketing or branding assistance? Pick two to three overall goals for your visit and let those guide both the exhibitors you visit and the questions/concerns you bring up when you do.

Divide and conquer.

Instead of touring the expo in pairs or groups, give each member of team individual assignments — either a full hall or a handful of specific booths. Make sure to keep the assignments in their vein of expertise, though. Send your marketing director toward the advertising agencies you’d like to learn more about and send your CTO down the hall with the avionics manufacturers you’re considering. This divide-and-conquer method will help you make the most of your limited time on site.

Don’t get distracted.

It can be easy to get distracted at trade shows — especially ones like 2019 HAI HELI-EXPO that have mind-boggling (and massive) technological and aircraft displays to look at. Try not to spend too much time at these eye-catching displays (or worse, just waiting in line for them), and grab a brochure or flier instead. You can also snap a picture on your phone, so you can go back and check out the displays later on.

Stay tuned to social media.

Be sure to watch HAI’s social media, as well as the hashtag #haiexpo19 on Twitter. Not only can this keep you up to date on the latest happenings at the show, but it can also clue you into new exhibitors and booths you might not have heard of yet.

At the end of the day, it’s important to attend 2019 HAI HELI-EXPO with a plan. Know your goals for the trip, have a handful of must-see exhibitors and use your team to divide and conquer once you arrive. And remember, once you start talking with an exhibitor or vendor, if they don’t have the answers you want, or it doesn’t feel right, move on quickly. Your time is limited and wasting it on an exhibitor with no promise means less time with one who could actually help grow your business.

Want help with your next trade show? Want to learn more about our aviation marketing and branding services? Let’s connect in Atlanta next month. Contact us today to schedule a time.

 

5 Steps to Revitalizing (and Re-launching) an Old Brand

5 Steps to Revitalizing (and Re-launching) an Old Brand | Haley Aerospace Marketing

There comes a time in any brand’s story when it’s time for a change – time to kick things up a notch and remind everyone that you’re there and you’re special.

But breathing new life into an old brand is easier than said than done, especially if you’ve got a long-established company on your hands.

So, what’s the key to revitalizing your brand and re-launching it with success? Just follow these five steps:

1. Aim for real change.

Brand revitalization isn’t about doing the same old thing in a new way. It’s about re-inventing that old thing and bringing new value and meaning. It’s about evolution and realigning your values and mission with the changing trends of your industry – and audience. It requires rejecting the status quo, challenging your existing beliefs and stepping outside your comfort zone.

2. Get everyone on board.

Make people believe in your branding – both internally and externally. To do this, get others involved in your revitalization process. Bring in employees outside of your marketing department, and get people from all corners of the organization on board. Survey customers and members of your target audience about your efforts and get their input. Don’t do your rebranding in a vacuum!

3. Give your audience a reason to care.

You’re rebranding. So what? What’s in it for your audience? Why should they pay attention? More importantly, why shouldn’t the rebranding worry them? Many customers think there are problems afoot when you start touching an old brand. Put their minds at ease by building anticipation. Intrigue them and get them excited about the changes to come.

4. Be sweeping.

Revitalizing your brand takes more than just a logo update or a new slogan. It should affect everything you do across the organization – from the design and verbiage on your website to your sales and customer services processes. Align your internal resources to make sure your rebranding is comprehensive – and consistent.

5. Measure, test and measure some more.

Know your metrics and KPIs, and track how your rebranding impacts those. You might not hit the mark right off the bat – and that’s OK. Use data to make slight changes, re-calibrate and measure again, and eventually, you’ll land on something that hits home with your audience.

Want more help giving your old aerobrand new life? Haley Brand Aerospace can help. Get in touch with our branding experts today to get started.

 

Are You Making These Dangerous Aviation Branding Mistakes?

Are You Making These Dangerous Aviation Branding Mistakes? | Haley Aerospace and Aviation Marketing

It doesn’t matter how big your company is or how many products you’ve sold. In aviation branding, even the smallest mistakes can cost you.

We’ve seen it ourselves.

Want to make sure an aviation branding mishap doesn’t throw your company off course? Here are the biggest mistakes we’ve seen to date:

1. Thinking branding is a one-time to-do.

Too many companies approach branding as a one-time project – particularly in the old-school industry of aviation.

Though your organization certainly does need a physical, tangible branding suite with defined logos, colors and slogans, the work doesn’t stop once these are checked off your to-do list.

In fact, branding never stops.

That’s because branding isn’t just a noun. It’s a verb. It’s an ongoing effort to carve your company’s place in the world – to make it stand out in customers’ minds, to oust the competition, and to strengthen the unique message and value you have to offer. It requires constant work and attention, and it should be a factor in every effort you undertake.

2. Forgetting why you started.

Your company first started for a reason. Maybe there was a void in the market you wanted to fill, or maybe you found a way to do it better, bigger or faster. Maybe you just had a great passion for the industry. Whatever that reason was, it should remain at your company’s core today.

Your branding efforts should revolve around that original vision, and instilling that initial idea or passion within your customers should be the end goal. If it’s not, refocus on what makes your company who it is – and find ways to drive that home with your target audience.

3. Being too internally focused.

Your team might have great ideas, but if they don’t know who they’re talking to or what challenges that audience is facing, they’re never going to create branding strategies that truly resonate.

Great branding requires working from the outside in – understanding your customers’ needs, wants, desires and even demographics first, and then positioning your brand to meet those unique requirements in every way possible.

It might sound difficult, but the digital landscape we live in has made tuning in to customer feedback incredibly easy. Use social media, online reviews, surveys and other tools to really get to know your audience and what makes them tick.

4. Putting the branding burden on one department.

Branding isn’t an effort reserved just for your marketing department. It should drive every strategy across every division and team in your organization.

From sales and customer service to marketing and IT, every department needs to be on board with your branding, using it to create targeted, purposeful solutions that really resonate with your audience. In fact, representatives from each team should be involved in creating your branding, so that it truly speaks to your organization as a whole from the outset.

How Does Your Aviation Branding Stack Up?

Have you made any of these aviation branding mistakes? Want help honing in on the right strategy for your unique business and customers? We can help. Get in touch with Haley Aerospace & Aviation Marketing today.

 

Are You Committing Any of the Online Reputation Deadly Sins?

Are You Committing Any of the Online Reputation Deadly Sins? | Haley Aerospace Marketing

How well do you know your online reputation? How closely do you monitor it? If you’re iffy on either question, you’re likely killing your online reputation without even recognizing it.

We’ve seen it time and time again with our aviation and aerospace clients. Maybe they ignore a certain aspect of their online presence or they fail to put the right resources behind their social media accounts. Maybe they avoid Facebook or Twitter altogether just to steer clear of potential conflict.

There’s no doubt their intentions were good: They simply wanted an easier operation to manage or they wanted to avoid conflict in the public eye.

Sadly, in the end, these actions hurt more than help. In fact, they could even ruin your online reputation altogether.

Want to safeguard your online reputation? Here are just a few of the deadly sins you’ll want to avoid:

  • Failing to respond on social media – Social media platforms are as much for entertainment as they are for plain old customer service. If someone calls you out on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or another social platform, don’t just ignore it, even if it’s bad or nonsensical. Remember, these are public forums. Everyone can see how you respond (or if you fail to respond altogether). No response gives potential customers insight into how you operate. If they do business with you, will you ignore their calls for help too?
  • Not being transparent online – Don’t have your team members listed on your website? Do you avoid posting photos from the office or behind the scenes? Is your voice bland and impersonal on social media? Today’s consumers are tired of those old walls between brand and customer. They want to get to know you. To understand your voice and your vision. Your values and your goals. If you don’t use your digital arsenal to give them a glimpse behind the curtain, you’ll come off as cold, sterile and unapproachable, the exact opposite of what today’s buyers want.
  • Ignoring bad reviews and ratings – You should be checking your reviews across Google, Yelp, Facebook, the Better Business Bureau and other major sites regularly. If you see a common thread of dissonance, address it head-on and quickly. You’d be surprised at how much weight those reviews and ratings hold; take action now, and start turning things around as soon as possible before they snowball.
  • Not staying on trend with design and layout – If your website looks like it’s straight out of 2002, with vertical menus and flash intros, then your online reputation’s shot already. If it doesn’t work on mobile devices, you might as well stop doing business. Clean, functional, mobile-friendly web design isn’t just nice to have nowadays; it’s a downright precursor to doing business. Work with an experienced agency ASAP to fix your site if you think it may be lacking. In today’s digital world, that’s your No. 1 marketing tool, so make sure it’s sensational.

If you’re guilty of any of these deadly sins, you could be hurting your online reputation right this very second. Want to fix it and get back on track? Get in touch with us today.

 

Meet Ken Koester: Haley Aerospace’s Branding Design Extraordinaire

Meet Ken Koester: Haley Aerospace’s Branding Design Extraordinaire | Haley Aerospace Marketing

It’s time for another behind-the-scenes peek at Haley Aerospace. Today, we’re sitting down with Ken Koester, senior design director and creative extraordinaire. He’s the talent behind much of the branding, advertising and marketing collateral we produce for our clients here at Haley, and he’s got more awards than we’ve got room to list!

Read on to learn a little more about Ken and what makes him tick.

Q. Where do you get your inspiration?

A. Generally, I get inspiration from anything that has a great idea behind it and is exceptionally well done. From fine art and graphic design to movies and music. Creatively, I like to immerse myself in the world of the client and the people who will encounter what we are creating.

Q. What design trends do you see coming down the pipeline in 2018?

A. I was glad to see, in the last year or so, the return to simplicity in identity design. Simple shapes, lines, type and forms either converged or played solo to create solid, lasting logos that are easily interpreted – and reproduced. I think we’re going to see a continued upswing and more attention given to those really simple elements in the coming year.

A fairly new result from the trend of responsive web design is companies refreshing their brand identities into modern, simplified versions. Creating a logo hierarchy that can meet the user demands of an endless assortment of devices and screen sizes. For instance, there’s Disney’s hierarchy of the “Walt Disney” full lockup logo with castle, just the “Walt Disney” logotype, just the “Disney” logotype and, most simply, just the “D” from the logotype.    

Q. What’s the coolest thing you’ve ever designed?

A. An invitation to the grand opening of a unique shopping mall built on the location where John Philip Sousa and his band originally played. The invitation was a small box that you were instructed to place on a flat surface. Then you opened it by pulling a side of the box down, and a marching band wind-up toy walked out. It took a lot of engineering and test mailings, but it resulted in a very successful mall opening.

Q. What are your biggest design pet peeves? The deadliest sins of design, in your opinion?

A. Using bad photography. Nothing can mess up good design quicker than having to use poorly photographed, low-resolution images. It is always better for a client’s brand image to shoot new professional photography that is unique to them, rather than relying on stock images.

Making a brand look like everybody else in an industry is a pet peeve too. The point should be for the company to be more memorable than the competition and stand out, not be camouflaged within the market.

Q. What’s the best part of being a designer?

A. Being a designer in the creative brand marketing business allows me to work in hundreds of different industries. I get to learn all about the operation, management, sales process and customers of completely different, but equally interesting, companies.

Q. What can clients expect when they use Haley Aerospace’s design services?

A. Integrity. Creativity. Friendliness.

Q. When did you know you wanted to be a designer?

A. My parents said it was when I tried to paint pictures with my baby food. However, my first recollection of being aware of good design was watching television and the opening titles to the great Stanley Kubrick movie Spartacus. I remember just being awed by the iconic and dramatically lit photography, along with beautiful typography (and, of course, the music). It wasn’t until I was in college that I learned it was designed by one of the greatest graphic designers of all time, Saul Bass.

 

We’ll be introducing you to more of the team here at Haley Aerospace in the coming months, so stay tuned to the blog and watch for our emails. You won’t want to miss it!

 

Building a Luxury Brand? Create Your ‘Tribe’

luxury brands

For luxury brands, the target customer is a minutely-drilled down avatar. It’s not just a “Millennial female in the Midwest,” but instead a “26 year-old female from St. Louis with an income of $100K or higher who’s interested in fashion, travel and shoes.”

It’s specific. It’s detailed. It’s exclusive.

At first glance, many marketers think appealing to more people is the best way – it means more potential, business (and more potential sales), right?

Logically, that seems correct, but in the luxury world, it couldn’t be further from the truth.

To build a luxury brand, you don’t want to reach the masses. You want to reach a small, highly qualified subset of people.

In fact, you may even want to take it one step further and, instead of just simply pulling in those who are qualified to be your brand’s customer, work on repelling those who aren’t.

Where Your ‘Tribe’ Comes In

There are a few ways you can think of “tribes.” There’s the age-old type – communities of indigenous people that span generations – or the new-age type – like crunchy yoga PTA moms or just the “tribe” of friends you regularly hit up $5 sushi night with.

Either way, these “tribes” are exclusive. They have a “you’re in or you’re out” mentality, and their doors aren’t open to just anyone. You have to meet certain qualifications, be they gender, income level, geographic location, or even something as superficial as hair color or weight.

In our increasingly politically correct world, making yourself this hard-lined exclusive can be scary. After all, won’t alienating people hurt your brand?

For your average brand – one that wants to appeal to everyone and get business equally across demos, yes, it very well may. But for a luxury brand? It can only help.

You see, building an exclusive tribe, a group that only a certain, limited amount of people can join, is a way to build standing for your brand. It makes you special. It makes you in-demand. It makes you a marker of status.

And, best of all, it makes customers come to you – not the other way around.

Do You Have a Tribe Yet?

You can be as subtle or as in-your-face as you like about your luxury brand’s exclusivity, but the goal is to build an “us” mentality with your tribe – a feeling of solidarity and similarity amongst those who belong to it.

Do it right, and you’ll have lifelong customers who are loyal to your brand and vocal about it in their circles. And that’s something any brand would want, luxury or not.

Do you need help building your brand’s tribe? Contact Haley Aerospace today. Our luxury branding experts can help.

 

For Customers, It’s All About the Journey

Customers

Having a great product or service is definitely crucial to a company’s success, but though customers come to you for those offerings, it’s not all about the end result for most.

Sure, that product or service will solve their problem or meet some need they have, but what really matters most to the customer? It’s the journey … the experience along the way.

Give them an experience that delights them, and they’ll be longtime buyers and brand advocates. Deliver an experience that lets them down, frustrates them or feels invaluable, and you can kiss their repeat business goodbye.

So, how exactly do you design a stellar customer journey? Here are the steps:

  1. Be proactive, not reactive. Know what it is your customers want, and deliver. Don’t make them ask for it. Anticipate what problems and frustrations they may have along the way, and take steps to prevent them before they happen. Think your airline’s customers will get frustrated with the time it takes to print out boarding passes? Enable QR code tickets so passengers can use their phones instead. Worried pilots will find your display too complicated to install? Include professional installation with every purchase.
  2. Be consistent. Deliver the same, reliable experience every time. Let customers know they can count on you for whatever you’re offering – anytime they need it. Align your processes and train your employees so that the customer experience is consistent across the board from A to Z.
  3. Know what you want out of the transaction. Do you want to make money off your ticket prices, or would you rather be a budget airline and make cash from food, beverage and upgrade sales in the air? Are you looking to get pilots to subscribe to your monthly fuel packages, or do you want to be an on-the-fly refueling solution when anyone needs it? Start with your goal, and then use that to point your customer experience in the right direction.
  4. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes, and imagine how they feel at every step in their experience with you. Adjust the experience to avoid frustration and annoyance and increase delight and satisfaction. What could you do to make things easier? What could be changed to make the experience even better and richer?
  5. Know what’s expected. Make sure you’re delivering on your customer’s expectations. If they expect an easy, quick check-in process, no baggage fees and no delays, deliver on that. Customers don’t like to be surprised. They like to know what they’re getting, and then get just that – and more.
  6. Keep evolving. As customers and trends change, your experience will need to change too. Never stop measuring, analyzing and reviewing your customer experiences and making sure you’re still delighting them at every turn. That’s how long-term relationships are made!

What is your customer’s journey like? Are you giving them the five-star experience they deserve or are you sending them straight into the arms of your competitors? If you’re not sure or you think improvements could be made, contact Haley Aerospace today. We’re here to help.

 

Loyal Fans Carry the Brand

loyalty

For a brand, the key to long-term, extended success is brand loyalty.

By building up a following of passionate, devoted fans, a company can virtually guarantee a long, profitable life for as long as those fans still exist … and as long as they’re kept happy.

But that’s easier said than done, isn’t it?

After all, customers are fickle beings. One minute, they like you, and the next, you’re yesterday’s news.

So, how can you ensure your brand continues to satisfy those who’ve helped it thrive – especially as the market, trends and society constantly shift and change?

There are a few things you can do:

  • Stay true to your original values and differentiators. If there is something that makes you stand out from your competitors – something that your customers love about your brand and have come to expect – make sure that it always motivates your strategic efforts. Sure, you can expand and evolve over the years, but don’t stray too far from what got you where you are today. Customers want consistency and reliability from their brands!
  • Don’t let budget break you down. We all have to cut costs sometimes. It’s just the nature of an economy that ebbs and flows. To ensure those harder times don’t break you, make sure to do some heavy research before cutting costs in any of your departments. You want to ensure your cuts aren’t going to negatively impact the value of your products or the services that your customers have come to expect. Long-term buyers will spot the difference right off the bat!
  • Avoid expanding too fast. There’s nothing wrong with adding more products to your line or expanding into other related services and offers. But try to temper expansion a bit, and give your customer base some time to adjust. Like I said, customers expect consistency. They don’t want a brand they’ve known and loved for three decades to suddenly up and do a 180. Expand and change in phases, and let your customers get used to each change before you move on to the next.
  • Always be in tune. Initial audience research is, of course, crucial to setting up your business. But it shouldn’t be a one-time thing. In fact, your influx of consumer data should be constant and year-round. You should be collecting, analyzing and acting on customer research every day you’re in business. That’s the only way to keep your ever-changing audience happy and coming back for more.
  • Stay in alignment. As your customer’s needs and attitudes shift, so should your operations – and across the board. Of course you’ll need to change up your marketing efforts to better reach your target buyers, but don’t forget to also shift how customer service works, sales, HR and more. They will all need to align with your new approach if you want to see success.
  • Build customer intimacy. Let your customers know you appreciate their business. Build relationships with them through social media, keep in touch via email, and approach them like an old friend by remembering their name, purchase history, preferences and more. You want them to love your brand so much they take ownership in it!

How loyal are your fans? Does your brand have long-term customers and repeat business? If not, it’s time to make some changes. Contact Haley Aerospace today, and we can help.

 

 

Stop the Scapegoating: Strategize Better Instead

brand positioning

When a business isn’t doing as well as higher-ups think (or simply wish) it should, there’s always somewhere to point the finger.

It’s the sales reps’ fault for not selling well enough. It’s the marketing team’s fault for not using the latest technology or tracking the right analytics. It’s the supply chain’s fault for not securing the right logistics.

Sure, some of these things may be true, but is any one of them THE reason for a less than stellar performance? Definitely not.

In fact, it’s probably a bigger, more overarching problem at hand: Your customer strategy’s not right.

But what does a good customer strategy look like, exactly? There are 7 facets:

  1. Picking the right customers. Targeting just any customer isn’t the way to success. In fact, going too broad with your target audience can actually hurt you in the end. Make sure you’re picking customers you can win over – ones who need your products, who have the money to pay your price and who fall in line with your brand lifestyle.
  2. Knowing your customer intimately. And that doesn’t just mean doing surveys and following your analytics. It means segmenting your audience and learning about each one’s individual needs, wants and preferences.
  3. Innovation. Your customers expect you to provide them with direction – to tell them when they should use new technologies and strategies and then how exactly to do that. They’re not going to come to you with every idea and just ask you to execute it. They want you to be innovative and keep them at the cusp of their industry.
  4. Consistency in value. It’s okay to offer tons of services and products, but make sure you’re consistently providing the same value with each of them. If you’re giving them budget-friendly products, stick with that on each new offering you launch. If you’re about style (think Apple’s clean, white design), make sure that style carries over across product lines.
  5. Consistency in experience. By that same token, be consistent on each channel you operate on. That includes your website, your brick-and-mortar stores, your sales reps and more.
  6. Your relationships. You’re more than just your organization. You also have vendors, business partners, suppliers, shipping providers and more. The strength of all these relationships carries down to your customers, so make sure you cultivate a great network of connections.
  7. Your organizational layout. Once you identify the right customers and know what each segment needs, it’s time to organize your business around them. Align your departments with your goals in mind, and appoint the proper employees and leaders to deliver on those goals.

Align these 7 things, and you’ve got a foolproof customer strategy on your hands. Need helping getting there or executing your strategy? Let Haley Aerospace help.

 

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.