When was the last time your brand made someone smile?
Welcome to our branding, business, and leadership blog, featuring insights, tips and opinions from our team.
Brand refreshes are common. But renaming an organisation is a rare, delightful game changer in our sector. Julia Keady from The Xfactor Collective takes us behind the scenes of a recent brand transformation project that is giving a Victorian organisation a new lease of life on all fronts.
The advantage of very small business Very small businesses are great at customer engagement. They have to be because that’s the only way they can compete. They don’t have vast resources to buy stock at scale or hire lots of staff. A family restaurant may have only have one or
The roller coaster of new markets Many organisations fail because they focus on what they want to be and forget who they are. They assume markets perceive them in the golden light they see reflected in the mirror, when in fact they may be invisible. Retail companies have to brand.
Bad bosses Studies show that the number one reason people quit their job isn’t because of money but because of management. Specifically, their direct supervisor, whether that person is a manager, CEO, or owner. For simplicity’s sake we’ll call them all bosses. Now bad bosses come in all colours. Some
Does your brand harness the power of emotion? Few businesses understand the power of emotion in branding. Emotions are the main reason consumers prefer brand-named products over generics and a key reason they prefer one brand over another. Emotions drive brand loyalty. And the foundation of emotional expression in a
Big, hairy, and audacious Most organisations do not have a brand strategy. As a result they are not using their brand as a lever to engage and drive preference. Some organisations discover this lack only when they are trying to do something that is big, hairy and audacious, and it
The Xfactor Collective brand specialist Darren Taylor answers the question that every organisation is now wondering – how to stay relevant and connected in with the communities they serve.
Do you know your values? Quick! Name your company’s values. A lot of organisations don’t even have values. They were created without leadership ever taking the time to articulate what they stood for. Some companies have their values etched in marble behind the reception counter, but leadership and staff never
A lot of organisations don’t know what their value proposition is. And sometimes when they do, it is inconsistently expressed by people in communications, or it’s not a true reflection of their fundamental value to customers. When this goes wrong there are three possibilities: 1. They never defined their value
Owning up to your brand I’ve run my own brand agency for over a decade, and in that time I’d say fewer than ten per cent of CEOs took ownership of their brand. CEOs tend to come from business, law, and accounting backgrounds and don’t receive any training in branding.
Putting your brand at risk Every time you sign an agreement to promote something or partner with someone, ask yourself if you are prepared to fall if they fall, to fail if they fail, to suffer public disgrace if they suffer disgrace. In late 2015 a serial con-artist named Billy
Wrappr is an Australian startup that brings the sharing economy to advertising by pairing brands with their brand advocates. I recently spoke with Wrappr cofounder Liam Shaw about brand advocacy and the future of advertising as I’m always curious about what’s new, what works and why it works in the
Dove, from Unilever, is one of my favourite consumer brands because their personal care products stand for something. Dove speaks to the fact that most of us don’t like how we look. Unilever’s PR agency, Edelman, surveyed more than 3,000 women in ten countries and found that only two percent
It will only get more emotional As digital marketing and marketing technology are receiving more and more of the CMO’s budget, brands have to find new ways to attract and keep customers. It’s not enough to use old media models for new media outlets. The key to breaking through the
Building Trust vs. Buying Trust Quick, think of three people you trust. Not family members or friends, but people in your organisation, or partners or vendors. Now, what are the reasons you trust those people? Most likely it’s not because they say, ‘Trust me!’ a hundred times a days. So
Start 2019 with resolve! While most businesses do some form of strategic planning, many fail to include branding in the mix. So I like to use the beginning of the year to ask my clients to come up with a few brand resolutions. Just like personal New Year’s resolutions, like
Are commodities brands? We normally think of branding as encompassing consumer-based products and services. But what about businesses that sell to other businesses, or to governments? Should these businesses hire brand managers or brand agencies? If your product is coal or aluminium or iron ore, do you need a brand
Luxury and scarcity Luxury is alive and well, but it has evolved as brands have evolved, and expanded to a new, larger market: the rest of us. Historically luxury, which was defined by rarity, was for the upper crust. Aristocrats and industrial magnates. Luxury items consisted of rare gems and
Jump into this #askXFACTOR LIVE full session with Brand Strategist and Author Darren Taylor as he gives you some tips to take away today that will enhance your brand immediately!
Our Banking Nightmare People often equate a brand with its logo and colours, or with its products and services. But even more important than those things is trust. People don’t equate branding with trust building because it often goes on behind the scenes. It takes much longer to build trust
Brand stereotypes The biggest stereotype in branding is to equate brand with a logo. The thinking goes as follows: You create a business plan, secure funding and name your company. You have a business but not a brand. So you hire a designer to give the name a font, a
Whether you like it or not, you have a brand Guess what? You’ve already started with branding. Even if you haven’t had a single brand strategy meeting or hired an agency, even if you don’t have a logo or Facebook page and had your 13 year old nephew design your
CONSISTENCY, CONSISTENCY, CONSISTENCY Not all brands get consistency right. But those that do, really get it right. They put it front and centre of their business strategy and never look away. McDonalds doesn’t have the best food by a longshot. And it’s not even the most price-competitive in all markets.
Brand awareness The first step toward determining whether your brand is working for you is to discover the degree of brand awareness amongst your customers. Just because someone patronises your business doesn’t mean they understand your brand. Have you ever pulled into a petrol station because you needed gas without
Teaching an old dog new tricks Brand equity is an intangible asset that can be worth billions of dollars to a global corporation. But even for SMEs, brand equity should be an important part of your balance sheet. The first chapter in my book, Rebranding Branding, is entitled ‘Why Brand Strategists
Whether you’re creating a new brand or trying to discover what makes your existing brand special, you need to start by asking the right questions. Journalists follow the old formula of the 5 W’s: Who? What? Where? When? Why? For brand strategists we normally don’t need the When and the
Are you different? Do you stand out from the pack? Are you sure? If your products or services were de-identified and compared to your competitors, would your customers know the difference? Differentiating your brand is one of the hardest goals for companies, especially in competitive categories. Take cheese. A few
How much revenue do you think you need to generate before you can afford to develop a strategy for your brand? $1,000,000? $500,000? $100,000? Historically brand strategy was for the big retail corporations: cars, breakfast cereals, soft drinks, cigarettes. The Mad Men in pricey office towers in St Kilda Road
If making purchasing difficult for your customers is intrinsic to your brand, then it may make sense to impose a surcharge on credit card purchases. If it isn’t, don’t do it! I’ve seen first hand too many businesses lose sales and customers through this short-sighted policy. I’m yet to meet
Quick, you have only 20 seconds… What’s one question you can ask to confirm your brand is working for you? Tick…tick…tick… Time’s up! What did you come up with? Ready for my answer, or rather my question? “In 25 words or less who are you and why do you matter to the
Branding is the mouth, not the lipstick Brand is not cosmetic. Brand is fundamental to practically every business in the world today, and if you ignore it I can assure you your competitors won’t. Branding is the heart, not the valentine I specialise in transforming companies through brand strategy. But
“A brand is the expression of an entity, person, product or service, as designed by its creator and perceived by the world.” – Taylor and Schreiber • Rebranding Branding In 2017 I published a book with Mark Schreiber called Rebranding Branding. I had noticed over my decade-long career as
Do you have money invested with AMP? If so, you must have trusted them implicitly. How do you feel about them now? Like all Australians, I have taken a personal interest in the scandal surrounding AMP. Some of my family and I’m sure many of my friends have money invested