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Lifestyle Marketing – Separating the Good from the Great

Lifestyle Marketing – Separating the Good from the Great web

Estimated Reading Time: 4 Minutes

Gone are the days when a catchy ad was enough to keep consumers interested. Using the free online resources available, anyone can create a stunning ad these days. This means that there’s a lot of noise out there and simply having a catchy brand name, logo, and a list of basic marketing personas is no longer enough to keep consumers interested – they want more.

The good news is that there is a popular marketing technique designed to do that and much more.

It’s called Lifestyle Marketing, and this is how it works.

Whereas traditional marketing strategies aim to sell a product directly, Lifestyle marketing creates a link between the product and a particular lifestyle. These products appeal to the activities, interests, and opinions of the target audience.

It doesn’t focus directly on the product – it centres on the experience and emotions the product evokes; the lifestyle takes centre stage by connecting with the audience on an emotional level.

What makes this marketing technique so effective? 

We wake up, get dressed, spend the whole day at work before coming back to spend time with the family in the evening. Weekends are spent lazing around at home before repeating the whole process the following week.

Let’s face it – life can be pretty boring, and brands know this.

Lifestyle marketing works because creates an idealised image and highlights the consumer’s desire to enjoy the lifestyle the product promotes. It tells consumers that they can “become more like that image” by purchasing that particular product.

A good example of a lifestyle brand is Apple.

Its products are advertised as being innovative, simplistic, and stylish. Though Apple’s technology has evolved over time, the lifestyle it promotes stays the same. The brand is associated with living life on the edge of technology.

Lifestyle Marketing – Separating the Good from the Great B web

Image: IMore

Apple recently introduced four Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) videos designed specifically to give people a ‘tingly’ feeling. Watch these videos here.

What Makes A Lifestyle Brand So Unique? 

The idea is to separate the good from the great. It begs the question “why would you use this brand’s ordinary product when you can use our unique product and stand out from the crowd?”

Lifestyle marketing creates a community around the brand. It encourages customer loyalty which in turn provides a great source of long-term revenue and a group of repeat customers. Not only that, but brands can justify an increase in the product’s cost by marketing a product as being superior to that of a competitor’s.

Creating a strategy – what you’ll need

Before diving in, you need to know exactly which lifestyle you want to sell. To find out, brands need to connect with consumers on a human level by assessing their lifestyle choices, priorities, interests, opinions on various issues, and how they spend their free time.

Some of these lifestyle choices include product usage and buying habits, preferred leisure activities, role models, and product awareness. Demographic and psychographic characteristics are also emphasised.

Once you’ve determined the kind of lifestyle the consumer would like to lead, conduct internal research on the products to identify how your products can bring consumers closer to their desired lifestyle.

Next, you’ll need to create a brand story that focuses on this lifestyle.

Simply telling consumers that your brand can help them live their desired life isn’t enough. Show them that the brand in question is a manifestation of that lifestyle, that it symbolises the same principles and values they identify with.

And of course, communicating this message would only be possible by producing valuable, unique content. Every piece of content should display the brand’s personality and lifestyle.

The Bottom Line

Good lifestyle marketing is all about linking with an audience that would be interested in something because they consider it to be an extension of who they are, not as just another item.

Become part of the exciting world of marketing management with a BBA in Marketing Management. This industry sought-after marketing degree will provide you with the necessary graduate-level knowledge you require to start your career journey. Applications for 2020 are still open! Enrol today:  https://imm.ac.za/online-application/

Winning in the game of sports sponsorship

Winning in the game of sports sponsorship

With the Cricket World Cup, Afcon, Netball World Cup and now the Rugby World Cup taking place, Michael Bratt explores this valuable marketing option, and the intricacies involved in it.

This year has been a bumper time for major sporting competitions; with the Cricket World Cup, the Women’s Soccer World Cup, the African Cup of Nations, and now the Rugby World Cup all taking place. Each has not only attracted sports fans in droves, but also brands looking to take advantage of marketing opportunities.

Just like sports broadcast rights, sports sponsorship is a lucrative industry in South Africa, worth an estimated R8.5 billion annually (R6 billion direct spend and R2 – 2.5 billion leverage/activation spend), according to research by BMi Sport Info.

BMi Executive Director and CEO, David Sidenberg, comments, “Worldwide, sports sponsorship is still ticking over, it’s still doing very nicely, it’s growing faster than advertising, and it’s almost the perfect fit with new media, social digital media due to the platforms. Sport thrives on Twitter, on Facebook, on video. We love our heroes and our followers.”

A digital explosion

Indeed, this is one of the major trends in the sports sponsorship arena. Whereas before, traditional activations of sponsorships – such as logos on kits, stadium branding, and in-person activations – dominated, sponsorship activities are now moving into the digital realm at a rapid rate. Vodacom, which used to be the official sponsor of the Springboks and is the current sponsor of the Super Rugby tournament in South Africa (having been so for the past 23 years), has moved away from traditional sports sponsorship. “What’s evolved with where we are is very much around digital content, digital creation and social media platforms,” says the company’s head of sponsorship, Michelle Van Eyden. “We used to do a lot more of the traditional elements, but now it’s about second screen users, people who are constantly on the social media feed. We do not do anything on the ground unless there is a digital and a content angle behind it.”

Vodacom began sponsoring the Springboks back in 1994 as a brand and product awareness exercise. Over time it morphed into integrating the brand into a passion of fans, rugby and the Springboks. Mass brand exposure, with longevity, and audience targeting, which leads to real commercial return on investment, are the benefits.

Passionate, engaged fans

For sports sponsors, this is the main appeal; the ability to connect with consumers in a space where they are passionate and engaged. Telecoms giant, MTN, is the current sponsor of the Springboks. The company’s Consumer Business Unit Executive, Mapula Bodibe, says MTN are “the enablers and connectors of our consumers to their passion points of which the Springboks and rugby are one. The Springbok sponsorship enables us to bring the sport and the team closer to the people, which is very key to us as a telecoms company that always tries to bridge the gap between consumers and the things they love – Springboks! This is proof of our brand position of #WeGotU”.

Bodibe says sponsorship opportunities are “highly visible, offering exposure to millions of consumers”. As a proudly South African brand, it is fitting to back the “pride of the nation”. 

Tracking the effectiveness of sports sponsorship

Sidenberg reveals four metrics used to measure the success of a sports sponsorship. They are media exposure (how many times the brand’s logo or messaging was shown and putting the equivalent media value to that), reach (how many people got to see the brand in terms of audience numbers, which can also be segmented in terms of various demographics), awareness of a sponsorship (the number of people who know the brand behind a particular team, league, competition etc.), and qualitative impacts on brand sentiment/brand positioning as a result of that sponsorship.

Local vs global

“The misnomer about World Cup sponsorship is that while it is a great time in terms of national pride to be behind the national team, and it doesn’t necessarily cost a sponsor extra for the competition, in many respects you actually get less rights as the national team sponsor during a World Cup because they are clean stadiums and kits away from home, with no branding, so they actually have to spend additional money to leverage the sponsorship,” explains Sidenberg.

He believes it’s often more efficient to activate locally during an international World Cup, as the costs are far less than being a part of and visible at the event itself. Kelvin Watt, Managing Director for Africa, Middle East and Asia Pacific at Nielsen Sports, estimates that in South Africa there will be between R150-R200 million spent in marketing support of various Rugby World Cup, Springbok and other rugby related sponsorships and investments.

Sports sponsorship and brand building

Sponsors that are activating, leveraging and have done their research see impressive returns on investment. But they also need to be aware of their goals, aims and strategies, ensuring that their sponsorship aligns with their brand’s objectives, and asking themselves ‘why are we here’ and ‘what value do we add to fans’. This is another big trend in sports marketing. Brands scrutinise their sports sponsorship to see how it is driving return on investment in terms of brand growth and business objectives. Van Eyden elaborates: “It’s not just about having the logo on the shirts. We now have business objectives around our sponsorships, which in the past wasn’t necessarily as serious, but now they are measurable, commercial deliverables.”

Watt says the general trend today is towards larger, richer partnerships. “Smart rights holders are moving from selling a fixed menu of rights, towards more flexible, dynamic partnerships that can change during the deal. Smart brands are targeting sponsorships that align with their vision and strategy. You can see brands today are a lot more demanding. They want much clearer links to what they’re trying to achieve as businesses. Essentially, you’ve got to have much clearer objectives and much clearer KPIs and you’ve got to genuinely be delivering against your business growth targets,” he says.

Potential ROI is judged on a case by case basis. Watt elaborates: “It is varied from 2:1 to 5:1 return on investment. Certain properties such as the Absa Premiership are very media heavy and really over index in terms of ROI.”

Looming draft Sports Broadcasting Services Amendment regulations from the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) could drastically alter not only the ownership of sports broadcast rights, but also the sports sponsorship landscape in South Africa. Sidenberg comments that “as long as there remains uncertainty in this realm, some sponsors will be cautious to renew their sponsorships or commit long-term budget without clawback clauses, subscription broadcasters will be more tentative to take on sports rights without exclusivity, and the market is in a hell of a flux”.

It will be interesting to see how these proposed government regulations could impact sports broadcasting, sports sponsorship and the survival of sports federations in the country. Unfortunately, only time will tell.

Big things often have small beginnings

The role of social media in content marketing

By Wendy Monkley

CEO Digital Content Lab

Attention with a Capital ‘A’ is what every marketer wants for their brand, especially online. But what makes people follow or unfollow a brand? Much research has been done in this area. Time and time again we are told what we probably already knew – that people follow brands that are interesting and entertaining. The term interesting not only refers to the products and services that are on offer or their relevant promotions and discounts, but also the content associated with that brand. This should make sense, since people (in general) do know what they want, right?

When I first began my transition from ‘traditional marketer’ to ‘digital marketer’ some 6 years ago, I wondered what the point of this endless and seemingly useless supply of content was that brands seemed to produce faster than consumers could read. How does an inspirational quote like “Big things often have small beginnings” contribute at all to the marketing strategy and objectives? Quite honestly it all seemed like a massive waste of time and resource. It took me years of learning and on-the-job practice to fully grasp the power of content. Now, when asked the questions “What is the point of all this content?” and “What does social media actually do?” by brand managers, marketers and CEO’s alike, I answer with this simplified three stage explanation:

First, as with any promotional strategy, the objective for your social pages should be to build awareness of your brand and your product or service offering. In social media speak, your efforts of raising awareness builds a community of like-minded people. Unlike traditional marketing, this effort is extremely measurable by the number of likes/loves and followers you collect along the way. The content that you create for this purpose needs to appeal to your ‘perfect customer’ so that when the time comes for them to consider purchasing, your brand is already top of mind. If fact, eighty percent of social marketers say increasing brand awareness is their primary goal on social (Sprout Social Index, 2019). And for many, this is where it stops.

But, building a community is just the beginning. You now get to speak to your followers – your captive audience. Again, unlike traditional channels of marketing social media provides you with the incredible opportunity to engage with your future customers and have them speak back to you. At this stage of the game, it’s got to be all about them. You need to be listening, observing, learning what they like and love so that you can give them more of the types of content that appeals to them. Now is not the time for hard-selling offers – that will come later. You rather want to be educating your followers about your brand, what you stand for, your company culture and you want to introduce them to and educate them about your products and services. Essentially, you are building trust. If you do this part well, the magic starts to happen – increased traffic from your social pages to your website. After all, isn’t this really where you want your customer to be? If you need further convincing, know that when asked what content type they want from brands on social, the majority (thirty percent) of consumers surveyed said they wanted links to more information (Sprout Social Index, 2019).

And now the unveiling! Because your future customer visited your website, you have the privilege of getting to know them better. Through Google Analytics you can delve deep into several visitor insights; Who are they? What are they interested in? What technology do they use? Where do they live? How old are they? What media to they read? Where do they spend their time when online? And more. It’s here where the true power of content marketing is unleashed. It’s time for those great offers and hard-working ads. Here’s the thing, with all this information about your prospect, you have the power to create an offer that truly resonates with them – and with remarketing technology you can show them your offer in the online spaces that they frequent (outside of your social pages and website). And since they already know you and trust your brand, it’s an easy step for them to click back to your website and make a purchase. None of which would have happened if not for the small beginnings of an inspirational quote.

The three stages above do not necessarily happen in sequence. That would be far too easy. This means that at any time social marketers should be creating three types of content; content that builds communities, content that engages and educates and content that sells. All of which should be aligned to the needs of the customer you want to visit your website and buy your products or services.

The above three stage approach to social content is a sure way to drive real, measurable returns, but it takes time and persistence.

Understanding Strategic Brand Management

The IMM Graduate School | Understanding Strategic Brand Management webBrand terminology and marketing jargon baffles even the most seasoned marketers. In today’s post we attempt to clarify commonly confused terms like branding, marketing and marketing communications.

What is Marketing?

If you are confused by ‘what marketing is?’ it’s because marketers often define what they do differently. The definition that makes the most sense to us is that of Dr. Philip Kotler, who defines marketing as “the science and art of exploring, creating, and delivering value to satisfy the needs of a target market at a profit. Marketing identifies unfulfilled needs and desires. It defines, measures and quantifies the size of the identified market and the profit potential. It pinpoints which segments the company is capable of serving best and it designs and promotes the appropriate products and services.” If you wish to explore more definitions of marketing, you can find a list of 72 right here.

What is Marketing communications?

Marketing communications is essentially a part of the marketing mix. The marketing mix defines the 4P’s of marketing (Product, Place, Price and Promotion). It is within the ‘promotion P’ that you will encounter the term and activity of marketing communications and the marketing communication mix. Marketing communication in simple terms is the message your organisation is going to convey to your market.

What is a Brand?

A brand is an overall experience of a customer that distinguishes an organisation or product from its rivals in the eyes of the customer. Brands are used in business, marketing, and advertising. Name brands are sometimes distinguished from generic or store brands.

In a marketplace saturated with products and services to suit every taste and every consumer, from a chic young urbanite who knows what he wants to an aunty who won’t budge in her brand loyalty, your brand needs an identity strong enough to stand out from the crowd. Strategic Brand Management adds value to an organisation’s products or services by creating a unique identity in the marketplace. This signature identity, or “brand stamp” if you like, allows a company to differentiate itself from its competitors and communicate its message and positioning in a consistent, integrated way.

If you want to learn more about how to make your brand stand out in an arena where everyone is jostling for attention, then consider signing up for the IMM Graduate School online short course in “Strategic Brand Management”. In this course you’ll be given practical tools to create a distinct identity for your brand and successfully position your brand in a relevant, meaningful and dynamic manner.

You’ll also get an in-depth look at the brand identity development process and brand positioning, brand architecture and the creation of the customer brand experience, consumer behaviour and its influences, and the competitive advantage of strong brands. Designed for those wanting to make their market place “mark”, this course is perfect for anyone in branding, marketing or marketing communications, or small business owners and managers wanting to create brand awareness and cement loyalty. So how about you put your hand up for this short course and let your brand stand up, stand out, stand strong and stand true!

During this course you will have the capable Karen Roos to mentor you.

Karen Roos Course Designer & Head Tutor Expert Course Developer, Specialist Lecturer, Facilitator and Consultant in Strategic Brand Management While you study this course you will be supported by your head tutor Karen Roos, an industry leader and trainer extraordinaire. Karen will be your go-to person, facilitating online discussions with your fellow students in your group, as well as, being available for individual queries and help if you need it. She’ll also be the one carefully marking your assignments.

Why ‘millennial’ is not the buzz word of 2019

Market research is an ongoing process. However, it is only useful and valuable if relevant. There are hundreds of articles about Gen X, Gen Y and Gen Z but they don’t quite hit the nail on the head. We set out to explore what Joe Public refers to as ‘generation fluid’. Gain new insight into South Africa’s youth segment and gauge if your brand is staying relatable.

Avoid familiar – it may not be relevant

Gen Z might be a familiar term for marketers and a key point when doing market research but familiar does not mean relevant. Gen Z, occurring after the cohort commonly known as ‘Millennials’ or ‘Gen Y’, are labelled as unpredictable, elusive and non-conforming. The consensus being that no ‘one-size-fits-all’ campaign is going to reach them.

When it comes to the youth segment of the market, we may all be guilty of misusing the term ‘millennials. According to research, people under the age of 25 make up a quarter of South Africa’s population, yet millennials, otherwise known as Generation Y, surpass that age bracket as of 2019. Wake up marketers, it’s time we stop characterising and labelling the youth as the ‘Millennial Generation’.

Move over millennials, make way for your successors: Generation Z

Gen Z, as a large and increasingly influential segment of South Africa’s population, are driving our consumer landscape, compelling us to move away from traditional forms of branding and reshape our communication efforts.

Joe Public, in their recent white paper, refers to Gen Z as the Generation of Fluidity and describes them as fluid in the way they relate to themselves and the world.

The term ‘Generation Fluid’ is explained eloquently by Joe Public Shift. You can download it here: https://joepublicunited.co.za/staging.dev/jpu-new/news/generation-fluid.

But what does this actually mean and why is it important for businesses to embrace it? Generation fluid, as put by Joe Public is showing a complete shift. “From the reimagination of spaces to visual, experiential content and less-structured, disruptive perceptions in terms of living, working and connecting, this generation is fluid in the way they relate to themselves and the world. In recent years, it’s been said that brands must fight to break through the clutter. This is truer than ever before with Gen Z at the forefront, spreading their time and attention across multiple tasks and blurring the lines between traditional and digital media.”

Take your brand to the next level and download the white paper to get an understanding of today’s youth market: the social-born, multitasking, beyond classification #GenerationFluid.

Some more food for thought that concerns our South African youth is from Andrea Kraushaar who shares her unique opinion on the unique things about South African youth today. Read the full article here: https://www.proudnationbuilder.co.za/single-post/2016/09/14/The-Unique-Things-About-South-Africas-Youth-Today-And-Tomorrow

Most corporate social investment in SA supports things that service young people, and not because of a random non-thought like “the youth are our future.” It’s because they are, of course, their own future, and that that will look very different to ours. Deep research over long time-and-place horizons by Youth Dynamix (YDx) reveals the unique “personality” of this South African in the younger generation, many of its marker traits uniquely specific:

Rewired brains – these South Africans use their brains in ways more efficiently adaptive as they demand, search-and-find, and then process copious information of the widest range, fast.

Technologically wired – technology is pervasive and influential in fundamentally more consequent ways here, and this driver is ubiquitous.

Me! Me! Hey! Me! – this generation is so self-aware that expectations can quickly become the stomping of entitlement – and narcissism finds this a sometimes-easy environment. How this plays through the next decades could weigh more heavily than we perhaps think.

Family the rock – family is this generation’s most valued and admitted thing, possibly a happy first reward of South Africa’s reunification of familial bonds through quickening urbanisation, and our ever- healthier social cohesion generally. Now the matriarch becomes goddess, mom being Generation Y’s most influential life person. Many successful Millennials feel indebted to their families for especially their education – and so they feel bound to give back in turn – the so-called “Ubuntu tax”.

They value education – not only is education seen as one of the top three things in their lives – it is seen as a compulsory rite before any chance of later success: “getting a good education gives me a good job which brings me lots of money and success”.

Money spins their world – Money in bucket loads is important to 87% of core youngsters: “With money I can do whatever I want”. Wealth also assumes an unnerving status as an assumed indicator of personal worth.

““I’ll be my own boss” aren’t just the famous last words of most youngsters, not in this case. Rather, they are the welcome sign of this most alert of South African generations that long ago absorbed that tomorrow’s economy won’t look too much like ours. It anyway won’t be a thing of pre-existing jobs needing to be filled. So, start-up, or sink. Think about that for a moment – a vastly different projected world-of-work has already been taken in the stride of most of the young. That’s quite an extraordinary feather in their clever caps, worth our humble admiration. “

What do you make of these new characterisations and how might you go about keeping your marketing efforts relevant?

The brand of YOU!

The brand of YOU!

There are many books published on the subject of personal branding. These range from “You are a Brand” by Catherine Kaputa to “Can I wear my nose ring to the Interview?” by Ellen Gordon Reeves. What all these books have in common is the importance of creating an image for yourself from who you are, rather than from what you do.

We went on a journey to discover the key insights on this topic so that we can share them with you. So here is a synopsis of what we found:

“7 Things That Define You and Your Personal Brand” by Nicolas Cole

First, your voice! Each of us has a voice to express ourselves. Writers have a voice on paper, musicians within their instruments, models in their eyes and keynote speakers in their speech. Personal branding is not as much about a good or great voice but rather about having YOUR OWN voice.

Then, your style. Cole describes your style as the wardrobe for your voice. Its not only an expression of you but it also aligns with the type of audience you need to attract. Most of all your style must fit you comfortably.

Third on the list is your mannerisms. These are things that say more about you than things said outright. Your handshake, whether you make eye contact, holding doors open, using foul language and checking your phone every five minutes. These are all aspects that contribute towards “the portrait of who you are.”

Moving swiftly along, point four is your network. Cole states “You are the product of the 5 people you spend the most time with in your life”. Just like when you are dating, you learn a lot about the other person just from the type of friends they hang out with, the same applies to your personal brand. Who you associate with says more about you than you realise.

Five, your habits. Success is not built on one event only. It’s a long process and requires continuous focus. What is it you do every day? What is your routine? What motivates you? How do you approach your work? Cole says, “Our habits are what build us as people — and they are also what build a meaningful Personal Brand.”

Next, your word. Since your personal brand is based on you as a person, whatever you say, you will be held accountable to and for. It’s no good just saying it, you must follow through. Promises must be kept and honesty, integrity and loyalty with your audience maintained.

As a seventh and final point, Cole lists consistency as the thing that speaks volumes for your personal brand. Cole explains that consistency “rewards both you, the creator, and your audience.” He also stresses that “consistency is what teaches you who you are, is how you discover your voice, your style, your mannerisms, your habits and is how you refine yourself.”

“5 Steps to Empowering the Brand You” by Megan M. Biro

Biro declares that “you” branding is real and imperative and is a road that leads to our best career and leadership selves. Her article is based on five essential steps that include:

Listening to Shakespeare – “This above all: to thine own self be true.” In other words, your brand must start with you.

Taking a personal inventory – an objective look at your strengths, your weaknesses and your personality.

Being honest – Extroverts must be extroverted, and Introverts must be introverted, because it’s OK to be who you were naturally born to be. Don’t force yourself to be someone you’re not.

Don’t over (or under) sell yourself – Biro refers to the “Donald Trump Syndrome”, where it seems the most aggressive (even arrogant) people get noticed, hired and rewarded and points out that for every Donald, there are a dozen people who oversold themselves, weren’t able to deliver, and stalled their careers. The moral is “shoot for the stars on every project, but let your results speak for themselves.”

Bring your best self – Work can bring fulfilment and challenge to our lives. It can be filled with excitement, and financial and social rewards. It can give real meaning to our lives. To this point, Biro concludes that “Brand You is about making that happen for you. It’s about understanding yourself – your best self!”

Here are some further “Tips on Creating and Growing Your Personal Brand” that we borrowed from Laura Lake. She explains why EVERYONE should cultivate their own brand. She reckons, “Personal branding is the process of developing a “mark” that is created around your name or your career” and that you use this “mark” to express and communicate your skills, personality, and values.

Besides rehashing what’s already been covered in the two articles above, Lake adds some more insights about perfecting your uniqueness and strengths and sharing your knowledge. According to Lake, “It’s not enough to learn it; you have to teach it and share your knowledge by helping others. Do this through videos, social media, and writing both online and offline. This is where you prove you know your stuff and gain exposure from doing so.”

All in all, everyone agrees that building a personal brand takes time and effort. Best you get started then…

Want to do a short course on The Brand of You? Look no further. We have one at an extremely affordable price. Click here. https://www.immsc.co.za/online-course/the-brand-of-you/