Tag Archives: branding

The Evolution of Consumer Purchase Behavior

Shopping_Behaviors

Way back in the year 2010, smartphones had only just started gaining popularity, and the first tablets were being unveiled. The stores that were scattered all across the country were regularly filled with motivated shoppers looking to spend some of their hard earned money. Nowadays, this is a sight that is usually only seen during special events like Black Friday with more and more purchases being made without ever stepping foot inside of a retail store.

While this is not necessarily a bad thing, it is worth taking a look at how consumer purchase behavior has shifted over the last decade.

How Consumers Found Companies a Decade Ago
There were a couple of valuable marketing insights known as the first moment of truth and the second moment of truth. These terms were first coined by P&G almost 15 years ago and were groundbreaking concepts when they first emerged. They referred to the process in which a consumer forms opinions regarding which companies they will develop loyalty towards.

In the world of business, brand loyalty is everything and accounts for an average of 65% of the business that a company gets. Therefore, if a company is not able to develop a close enough link to its customers, then its amount of repeat business will sharply decline.

This first moment of truth occurred when a consumer first encounters a product on a store shelf. They would use their senses to analyze the product and then decide whether or not to purchase it. Once they purchased it and brought it home, they would arrive at the second moment of truth which was determined when the consumer used the product and evaluated its effectiveness.

These two moments of truth would combine to form an opinion of the product, and therefore the brand, in the mind of the consumer. They would then use this opinion to judge whether or not they would continue to use the company’s products or not. With the rise of digital technology, these moments of truth no longer exist in this order.

How Consumers Find Companies Today
Although the first and second moments of truth are still more or less relevant, there is now a moment that occurs before either of those begins. It is what Google deemed the zero moment of truth. Instead of the first experience that a consumer has with a product being when they engage with it in a store, it now starts by looking at a screen.

Mobile Shopping on Phone

It is estimated that about 81% of all purchases begin with the consumer doing an online search, which is the zero moment of truth. This means that consumers are researching a product before the retailer even knows they are in the market for it, and they have to evaluate it on a picture and information alone. However, convincing a consumer to consider a product based off of only a picture and some basic information is only a small part of the challenge. The bigger struggle is getting the consumer to engage further with the product your company is offering.

When a consumer does an online search, they are using keywords to try and come up with the results that best relate to what they are interested in. The search engine results page is then presented to them with a list of different companies. If someone’s company is near the bottom of that first page of results, or on another page entirely, then it is very unlikely that it will be considered by the consumer. So even before a company has to worry about winning over the loyalty of a consumer, they have to worry about getting in front of a consumer.

How Consumers Decide Which Company to Choose
As previously mentioned, the end goal of a company is to get the consumer to form loyalty to their brand. A significant component of developing loyalty is being able to trust the company. If a consumer feels like they cannot trust a company in any way, then chances are that they will never have loyalty towards them.

Trust is something that exists on a multitude of levels, so much so that even most consumers do not fully understand how they decide whether or not to trust a company. When it comes to doing anything that is at all risky, such as deciding which company to give their business to, consumers tend to rely more on their intuition than anything else. This can make it tricky for companies to figure out how to best display their website, products, and overall company image.

That does not mean that all hope is lost when it comes to knowing how to develop trust between the company and its consumers. It just means that it will likely require a bit of trial and error. Companies should be putting effort into the obvious factors, such as website security certification and detailed return policies, but they should also be paying attention to less obvious factors as well.

While we have all been told as kids not to judge a book by its cover, that is exactly what many consumers are doing. They took a look at a company’s website for a few seconds and might read a couple of lines of text but are mostly just taking in the aesthetics of it before clicking away. So while having descriptive company and product information is important, the font type, background color, and images used tend to be even more critical.

The Consumerism Power Shift
A decade ago, companies had a much stronger influence over whether or not consumers bought their products and services. Simply plastering their name and image everywhere was usually enough to get a lot of sales. However, in the age of digital technology, that power dynamic has shifted, and it is now in the hands of consumers. Showing up with a decent product is no longer enough to win over the hearts of consumers.

Companies now have to be active about engaging with consumers and finding out what it is that they want to see in a company and product. They should then do their best to reflect those desires in their operations. Consumers are also becoming more able to assess whether or not a company cares about its customers or what it is doing. Therefore, a company cannot be trying to fake passion because consumers will see right through that.

Overcoming this may require making changes to a company’s staff, culture, and brand that can be reinforced by the majority of employees portraying passion around what they do. When an employee is miserable at their job, then it is bound to show up in the work they do. Once that work is put out into a product for consumers to see, they will be able to sense that lack of passion, and it will hurt a company’s chances of getting the sale. So in many ways, earning the business of consumers starts with developing a healthy workplace where employees are happy and have a passion for what they do.

The world of consumerism is an ever-changing one, and just like it has changed over the last decade, it will continue to do so in years to come. If you have questions or need help positioning your product or business, please contact Glint by emailing us at agency@glintadv.com or better yet, give us a call at 817-616-0320.

How to Create an Employee Spotlight for Your Marketing

When it comes to advertising, one of the most common complaints customers have is that marketing campaigns and materials aren’t personal enough. The ultimate goal of marketing is to entice a customer to make a purchase or some other form of conversion. However, no customer wants to feel like they are being treated like a statistic rather than a human being, which can happen with poor marketing campaigns.

Even if we remove the emotional aspect, there is a potent argument for implementing a human element in marketing. Different demographics of potential customers all have different needs and concerns when it comes to what business they choose to patronize. Successful marketing shows that you are thinking of the people and also thinking about the issues. This approach adds a layer of authority to your product or service.

With all of this said, there are a lot of different elements that you can employ to build a personal connection. Perhaps one of the strongest, though, is using a person.

An employee profile or spotlight is a compelling piece of marketing that uses a single person’s accomplishments, personality, or background to help establish credibility for the business. However, there are some best practices you need to implement to use this effectively. Here are some that you need to consider.

Who Should Consider an Employee Spotlight for Marketing
You’ve probably seen some examples of employee marketing, although chances are it’s not about a typical employee. Major companies use CEO branding in one way, shape, or form, whether it’s traditional marketing, like a commercial that tells the story of how their CEO got to their position, or a digital tactic, like using social media to share an article relevant to their audience.

Some companies even take this to the next level by writing an interview article with a CEO as a form of thought marketing. However, don’t make the mistake of thinking this is the only option you have out there.

Let’s start with the example of a medical group. The group may have several different doctors on board, with a clear business goal of serving as many patients as possible. However, if you were to flip things to the patient’s perspective, the goal becomes to find a practice with traits like:

  • Experience in the field;
  • A caring bedside manner;
  • An efficiently run office;
  • Compliance with all medical standards;
  • Coverage by their insurance.

In a way, the doctor (and their skills) is the product, which makes a medical group the perfect fit for an employee profile. By focusing on a specific doctor at the practice in their marketing and branding, the practice can take their experiences and accomplishments and co-brand it with the practice itself. In addition, marketing can answer some of the critical questions that any prospective patient might have, like how experienced the doctors are, and so on.

Medical groups are far from the only business models that benefit from this type of marketing. To illustrate this point, take a look at an advertisement for real estate in your area when you get a chance. The most prominent things you will see in the ads are the for-sale properties and the agents. Again, this is because consumers place a premium on trustworthy and skilled agents when deciding whom to partner with when selling their home or buying one. Other business fields also operate under the same principle, some of which include:

  • Law firms;
  • Wealth management firms;
  • Tax professionals;
  • Sports management.

In general, the profiled employee is someone prominent. However, there are other options here. For example, some companies in niches with bad press may want to project a positive image of themselves through marketing. By profiling an employee who may be lower on the chain of command, they have the chance to portray their company as a good place to work and buy from.

A company specializing in making furniture may share a profile of someone working in their factory, showing things like the fact they are well-paid, have a future with the company, and are happy with their job. Every employee has an impact on your company’s brand identity Crafting a spotlight lets you take control of it.

Crafting an Effective Employee Spotlight
At this point, we can move on from the theory behind employee spotlights to the mechanics of creating one. There are four main steps that your marketing team will need to consider, and they are as follows.

Choosing a Purpose
We’ve been talking about the different reasons why a company may opt to market themselves with an employee spotlight, but which of those reasons applies to your situation? For example, is your goal to grow credibility with your audience because you are new, or are you a larger company that wants to maintain a positive connection with long-time customers? Knowing this will affect the tone and format of your spotlight.

Choosing an Employee
In some instances, like in law firms, selecting the employee to feature is a no-brainer. In other cases, though, you may need to choose from a pool of handpicked employees, and you want to select wisely.

While you can’t possibly forecast the future, ideally, you want someone committed to the company for the long haul and has an established social media presence they are willing to maintain. The reason for the latter is that if people see your marketing materials, want to look up the person, and have difficulty finding them, it can cast a negative image on the business.

Crafting a Narrative
Creating a narrative is essentially the culmination of everything we’ve talked about until this point. What is the customer dilemma you are trying to solve? How does your product or service solve it? What are your company’s brand values?

The narrative is how you weave all this together in your advertising. Going back to our doctor example, you may provide a bulleted list showing how long the doctor has been practicing medicine, as well as a list of relevant awards. This approach instantly solves the customer’s concern of finding a doctor who is credible in their field.

Creating the Materials
One final thing you need to decide on is the method you will use to present your employee spotlight. For example, a digital ad can be relatively inexpensive and may attract a decent amount of traffic, but communicating your narrative in a limited space may prove difficult unless you plan with this in mind.

Whether using traditional marketing like a commercial or radio ad or content marketing through an article or podcast, you want to know the formats your audience is likely to use to ensure your spotlight has the maximum relevant reach.

Getting Outside Help With Your Employee Spotlight
By taking the time to use an employee or employees as part of your marketing campaign, it may be tempting to try and put other elements of said campaign in-house as well. For example, maybe you think that you can have someone in your company write up the copy or design the visual materials for your marketing as opposed to using outside help. On paper, some companies do this to save money, but that’s not always worth it.
All the tips we mentioned that go into crafting a strong employee spotlight are best accomplished when working with a skilled set of marketing professionals. Depending on the size of your business, you may not have the expertise or means to reach that level with your existing staff. The good news is that you can still make this happen with the knowledge of a skilled marketing agency. Experience and knowledge is what makes Glint Advertising a perfect match for your marketing. We can help you create an employee profile that mirrors your business objectives while establishing a personal connection. Reach out to us for a strategy session today.

Creative Messaging Is Key To Success

Creative Success Messaging Graphic

When it comes to marketing in the online space, it can be easy to get lost in a pile. Think of the digital environment as a community of brick and mortar stores, not unlike what you see outside in the real world every day. In fact, the online shopping industry alone is growing 3x faster than traditional storefronts. Unsurprising, now that about 51% of the population prefer to shop online over visiting a store in-person.

This means we can apply a lot of the same tactics to both areas. A key difference to keep in mind though is that there is a lot more business in the digital community of stores then there are on a street and it is a lot harder to see all the business available in an online environment. This serves as a strong reminder that your competition is a lot larger than may you perceive when you just think of your local competition.

What tends to be the biggest factor of change when moving from physical to digital is not how we engage, but where. This is why you can find so many digital marketing agencies focused on things like behavioral targeting, banner ads, and automation. What most fail to take into account is that these companies are only providing you with where you’ll be shouting your message from, but if your message isn’t engaging, it won’t matter how many places you are displaying it.

The success of your marketing efforts, be it traditional or digital, will come down mostly to the strength of your message, creatives, and content.

Credit Card Computer Screen

Your Key Message and Why It’s So Important
Your key message is one of the most important aspects to consider. The first question you should be asking yourself is what your key message is. Organizations of all types have key messages intended to help them get across why you should use their product or service. While you likely could form a pretty long list around this, it’s best to whittle it down to one key message you want to use to define your business.

Essentially, your key message is what you want to be known for, and this message needs to be consistent across all your marketing materials and brand.

This will provide a certain level of control over how people talk about you, as we give them one simple thing to focus on. Having control of the conversation about your products or services can be invaluable if you push forward a clear and effective message about what you provide.

Tone and Style
As part of a consistent brand and key message, we need to make sure we have established a consistent tone and style. Your tone and style should fit in closely with your key message.

Writing is arguably the most shared form of content. Even if you are running image-heavy campaigns, you will likely find yourself in need of some written work for captions and social media posts. Whether you are writing for your company blog or just updating Twitter, you need to be sure you have the same style and tone all throughout.

Contrary to popular belief, tone and style are not the same things. A style is best applied to short, catchy sentences, great for social media posts. A tone conveys authority, it’s the vibe you give off and the feeling you get when you read something written by someone who knows their stuff. These two things intertwine and will eventually end up creating what we call your voice.

So, does it all matter? Absolutely. We are trying to convey a consistent message and to do that we need a consistent style, tone, and voice as well. They key to a great brand voice is first and foremost consistency, but being creative and different is key to standing out amongst the competition.

Search on Mobile

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
If you take a moment to consider what actually makes you click an article, pick a video game, or buy a certain food item, you’ll likely come up with two answers, convincing written copy, like an article headline or catchy phrase that sticks with you, or the visual content associated with it.

Visual content accounts for so much of what your customers will perceive that it is arguably more important than your written content. Having the two work seamlessly together is the makings of a great piece of content.

To do this, we need to keep our images in line with the rest of our message. This means it should match our style, tone, voice and key message. This is going to require us to get pretty creative with our message and find ways to convey it visually.

The key to producing great image content is to focus on these key aspects while keeping your overall brand in mind at all times.

Capturing the Viewers Attention: Before we can start to convey our message to our target, we need to have their attention. Strong, eye-catching visuals that scream your message are perfect for drawing people into your other content. Afterall, 93% of communication between people is visual and 90% of the information sent to the brain is visual.

Claiming a Spot in Their Memory: What do you want people to walk away with? If I’ve viewed your ad, what types of things should invoke me to think about it again? The answer to both these questions is found in your key message and brand voice, as we want them to walk away with that being the takeaway point. Creative imagery can be far more effective than body copy for achieving this, as people tend to remember visuals more clearly.

Why Creativity is So Important
Being creative with your brand voice and key message is key to success. In a world where it gets harder and harder to compete and get noticed, you need something to make you stand out. A common mistake is to check out competitors and copy what they are doing, and while this can prove to be valuable, it can also hurt your overall exposure. Being unique is key to standing out amongst the crowd. If you plan your key message creatively, the rest should follow suit much more easily, setting you up to emerge at the end with a truly unique and creative brand that will stand out amongst your competitors, both online and offline. If you can achieve that, you’ll be well on your way to overall success.

None of This Changes Between Digital and Physical
The takeaway here is that no matter where your advertising is operating from, your campaign and business will benefit from creative messaging. We are trying to create a consistent voice and message for our brand, which means it needs to extend to both the online and offline spaces. It doesn’t really matter how targeted your ad is if your brand message is speaking to an entirely different group then you are targeting.

It’s important to distinguish that while digital and physical spaces require different strategies on a whole, your message should remain in use and unchanged. This makes implementing creative messaging into your materials a universal approach for both markets. In short, your message doesn’t change depending on whether you’re online or not, what does change is how you get that message delivered.

If adding a layer of support to your branding, advertising, or marketing would be beneficial, we would love to talk with you. Email us at agency@glintadv.com or better yet, give us a call at 817-616-0320.

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Glint Advertising Welcomes Two New Glinsters

Farmers Branch, TX: Today, Glint Advertising announced the addition of two new employees to its roster of talented advertisers and marketers. Jordan Jones comes from Williams-Sonoma, and possesses a degree in graphic design, and Meredith Redfern joins Glint as a summer intern as she finishes her senior year at the University of North Texas with a major in advertising and minor in psychology. Said Craig Lloyd, President of Glint Advertising of the new additions, “We are very pleased to add these two very talented ladies to our Glint team. Between Jordan’s energy and eye for innovative designs, and Meredith’s educational background and passion for client satisfaction, we will continue our mission of providing unique branding insight, bold designs and diversified perspectives.”

Jordan Jones comes to Glint from Williams-Sonoma in Oklahoma where she was a Designer. Jordan has a bachelor in Graphic Design from Southern Nazarene University and is inspired by photography and modern/industrial design. Jordan is a big sports enthusiast, and will be an Olympic Skier or X-Gamer in her next life.

Meredith Redfern will be completing a summer internship, and is a senior at University of North Texas. Meredith has expressed her creativity since she was quite young, and has been providing client satisfaction at her parent’s retail business since she was a teenager. She is our own rock star, having attended over 50 concerts and counting.

About Glint Advertising: Glint Advertising was founded in 2000 and provides branding, advertising and marketing services to a diverse client base throughout North Texas and beyond from its two DFW locations. Glint is a full-service advertising agency specializing in branding and integrated marketing campaigns, with a focus on strategy and collaboration. Glint has received numerous awards for its creative work. For more information visit: glintadv.com.