Does my Brand Need an Influencer?

To answer the title question, no, your brand does not necessarily “need” an influencer. There are multiple ways in which your brand can gain traction through the use of digital marketing agencies and things alike. However, it would be a disservice to you as a brand owner to neglect to shed light on what GoogleTrends and Forbes have reported as being the “fastest growing sector of digital marketing.” Although this post may not provide an exhaustive list of considerations regarding joining the trend of influencer marketing, it will offer you a better understanding of what an influencer is and how they can help your brand.

What Is an Influencer?

The short and sweet definition of an influencer is: A person who uses social media really well, gets a lot of likes, and influences people like you and me to buy the products or services they are using. Perhaps you already have a social media account on which you follow people who are always on trend, continually trying new things and encouraging you to do the same, or just seem to have a lot of engagement on what they post. If so, you have successfully been exposed to the world of influencer marketing, and it happened without you even realizing. Don’t be alarmed, this is good. It shows that the influencer has done such a phenomenal job of sharing their testimony of products, and building a relationship with you through their transparency that you actually have gained a sense of trust for an individual you may have never even met! See the beauty yet?

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How Can My Brand Benefit from Having an Influencer?

To determine if an influencer can be beneficial to your brand, we must first determine what exactly they do. The short and easy definition we provided you with earlier in the post has probably incorrectly caused you to assume that influencers are merely people posting pictures on social media. This thought couldn’t be further from the truth. Influencers are essentially the equivalent of a recommendation from your best friend! Now, just imagine that this recommendation is being made to 5,000+ best friends, and further, the suggestion is your brand or business! (If your best friend has lousy recommendations, then this isn’t a helpful analogy).

As a brand, one of your main goals is not only to reach the masses, but to create an entity to which people relate and with which they feel comfortable spending their hard earned money. As with the vast majority of marketing options, influencers come with a price tag, so before you make the investment, let’s take a look at the ways influencers can be beneficial. For starters, influencers are less annoying, and as a result, do not fall subject to the powerful pop-up blocker (can you believe 47 percent of online consumers use pop-up blockers?). This means, more people get to see what you have to offer, and most importantly, they are actually enjoying it. When information is presented in a more authentic way, as with showing someone’s favorite Instagrammer indulging in your product, people tend to have a better reaction, which leads to better conversion rates going forward.

Not only are the influencers helpful in presenting your product or service most organically, but they also put you in a better position to gain a cult of supporters. This holds true when statistics reveal customers acquired via word-of-mouth have a 37 percent higher retention rate. Another great way that an influencer can benefit your brand is by possibly saving you a few coins on the front end and yielding almost twice the reward of what your paid advertisements have provided you. Ultimately, influencers can work to bring your brand increased website traffic, create a sense of authenticity, and keep your brand at the forefront of the minds of your consumers without being a pest, and all for a fraction of the cost of paid advertisements.

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As with the many decisions you must make as a brand owner, the decision to hire an influencer isn’t one you want to make before you do your research on them and your desired target audience. Finding an influencer will require trial and error just like your previous marketing efforts, and will bring a new character to your brand’s story. The potential rewards that come from hiring an influencer are evident, but always remember that you are the captain of your ship and what works for one company may not be what works for you.

At Enrich My Brand, we are dedicated to helping brands like you discover what their next marketing move should be. If you would like to learn more about implementing an influencer marketing campaign for your brand, we highly recommend using our friends and partners at Ifluenz. Ask us how we can help you set up and manage an influencer marketing campaign of your own.











What We Can All Learn From Nike

Just Do It.

A slogan familiar to us all over the years has repositioned itself in the hearts of many Americans as of late. Earlier this week, Nike released a new ad campaign for the 30th anniversary of its famous three words in what some are considering the most controversial way possible. NFL player Colin Kaepernick is up close and personal with the masses in the new photo for the ad campaign, featuring a black and white headshot of Kaepernick with the words “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” A powerful statement from a public figure, and a bold move from a sports retail giant. Many small, up and coming, and personal brands may shy away from mirroring the footsteps of Nike, but perhaps, after the smoke has cleared, there is a lesson available to us all.

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When you’re one of the most popular athletic brands in the world, losing an audience member or a few thousand is not the end of the world.

The Nike ad campaign is a perfect example of how controversy can be used to help your brand stand out amongst the crowd. Sure, Nike has been a household name for decades, but now Nike is being admired for taking a stance on a sensitive topic. By taking into consideration the political climate of our country today, Nike has been able to use it to propel itself to new heights. The retail giant has always been an all-inclusive brand, and all things considered, this step to choose a side required a severe risk-reward assessment. Clearly, Nike made the right move as their stocks have risen to $83.47, an all-time high for the company. What does this teach us? Don’t break a sweat searching for the next hot political topic to get people and their emotions involved in your brand, but instead, take note of the fact that emotions sell, people like to feel, and if you can connect with their feelings, you win their hearts and continued support.

There are times when it is appropriate to share your values on an issue.

As a brand owner, often times there is the underlying notion of keeping your political views private. It is no secret that Colin Kaepernick has taken a stance in the face of what he and many other Americans have experienced to be social injustice. The question then becomes, when is it acceptable to share your semi-unpopular opinion? In Nike’s case, the company approaching the 30-year anniversary of their famous slogan was the perfect opportunity to hone in on the fact that 91 percent of millennials will switch brands because they support a specific cause. Nike, in a sense, has given its stamp of approval to Kaepernick and single-handedly polarized what seems to be an entire nation concerning who will #StandWithKap or who will #BurnNike. Using morality in marketing is far from a new technique, but understanding the importance of researching market trends is what will allow you the time to assess the risks of voicing your opinion and prepare your brand for the initial backlash you may endure. Not every company or brand is in a position to take such a stand, or just may not be interested in doing so; what is most important is that before you choose to act, be sure it is for something you believe in wholeheartedly.

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Going forward, what are some ways that your brand can take advantage of the social climate our nation is in today? What are some issues that drive you, and are perhaps the pillars of what your brand stands on? Would you rather have a large audience that is seemingly disconnected or do you prefer to have an audience that shares your values and ultimately will band together to ensure your longevity? And the ultimate question, when was the last time you and your colleagues discussed a Nike ad until today? It looks like they may be on to something!

As for us at EMB, we’ll choose to hold onto our Nikes and Converse while we dream crazy.

How to Know When It's Time to Hire a Copywriter

Copywriting is defined as, “the process of writing advertising promotional materials.” As the creator of a brand, you presumably know the ins and outs of your brand, and also probably believe that you have been doing a decent job of creating your own copy thus far. The good news is you may be right, but what if you were informed of how much a copywriter could benefit and improve the overall quality of your brand’s presence to the masses?

"Poor copy cannot overcome faults or gaps in dealer distribution; it cannot even cash in on the finest dealer setups. But good copy can, and does, surmount many dealer difficulties, making them secondary, and selling in spite of them." – Victor Schwab, Author of How to Write a Good Advertisement

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Writing Can be Time Consuming.

According to Hubspot, it takes marketers about one to two hours to write a 500+ word blog post; this length of time also increases by a couple of hours when tasked with writing longer content. This time spent can include everything from doing the research necessary to inform your readers with accurate information to merely outlining the flow of the material. If you often find yourself pressed for time, or just not willing or not able to dedicate those hours needed to produce quality content, this may be a sign to begin your search for the perfect copywriter.

Copywriters Can Guarantee A Better Quality of Work.

How do you feel after reading an article containing at least one or two typos or grammatical errors? Do you immediately begin to criticize the author and find yourself doubting their credibility? Do you feel your time has been wasted when the article you are reading is for a company attempting to sell you a product or service? Chances are you are a harsher critic when you are deciding where to spend your money as opposed to reading a personal blog. The unfortunate reality is that typos and grammatical errors can equal a 50 percent loss in potential sales. Hiring a copywriter who specializes in catching these types of errors and ensuring that you consistently put out quality work will not only naturally increase your sales, but will attract an audience who can begin to trust that you are the person they want to continue to support! Remember, the reality is, your brand is a delicate entity that at times requires a trained eye to keep your vision alive.

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Investing in Your Brand Pays Off in the Long Run.   

When you hire a copywriter for your brand, you are essentially making yet another investment in the life of your brand. Many people shy away from the idea of hiring a “professional writer,” because they feel as though “anybody,” can do it; however, it’s just not that simple. Although it may hold some truth, the benefits of hiring someone trained explicitly in engaging with your potential clients can yield far better results. Professionals with degrees in journalism or public relations who have experience copywriting know to look for things the average business mind may not.

Knowledge of AP Style, editing tricks, meticulous eyes trained to catch typos—these are just a few of the things a professional copywriter can bring to the table. Upon hiring a copywriter, you will be able to consistently produce educational and entertaining content, establish and maintain a relationship with your target audience, as well as increase the overall traffic to your site. Among these and many other benefits of hiring a copywriter lies the ultimate advantage: making your brand stand out amongst the crowd!

At Enrich My Brand, we pride ourselves on being a team made up of proficient, trained copywriters, because it’s what we do. At the end of the day, if you’re unhappy with the content your brand is generating, it’s time to consider bringing someone on to take it over. Let us at EMB make sure you’ve dotted your i’s and crossed your t’s so that you can get back to doing what you do best—running your company.

 

 

 

Branding At Its Finest—Cult Brand: Old Spice

In a recent blog post on rebranding, we touched briefly on the incredible marketing campaign and rebranding overhaul Old Spice did in 2010. That said, we thought about and decided the brand needed much more than a short paragraph, but rather its own spot in our ongoing cult brand series to thoroughly discuss the enormity of their achievement.

Old Spice is an American company owned by Procter & Gamble that produces body washes, deodorant, antiperspirants, shampoos and soaps for men. The brand has been around since 1937 and has steadily been successful, but no one could predict the aftermath of the now famous “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” ad that premiered during the 2010 Super Bowl. In the hours after it premiered, the ad was viewed on YouTube more than 220,000 times. Today, that number has risen to more than 55 million.

After this massive success, Old Spice kept the ball rolling and created more than 180 videos, which were distributed across TV, Print, Facebook, Twitter, etc., that led to 29,000 new fans on Facebook and 58,000 new Twitter followers. Say goodbye to associating Old Spice with your Grandpa, and say hello to a shirtless Isaiah Mustafa on a horse.

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Aside from the fact that these videos were just wacky enough to be wildly entertaining and just short enough to hold our collective attention spans, the brand also achieved their primary goal—reaching a new audience. Prior to 2010, Old Spice was targeted toward men ranging between the ages of 40 and 60; now, Old Spice is ranked as one of the top-selling body washes in the world for men aged 18 to 35.

Now some people may wonder why a men’s body wash brand would use a good-looking man to sell to other men, but studies show that women make up 50 percent of the consumer group and are buying skin care products in an effort to stop their husbands, boyfriends, etc. from using their own grooming supplies. Knowing this, Old Spice built a campaign around an ad that is entertaining for everyone, but specifically used a male sex-symbol to garner female viewers' attention.

Finally, Old Spice managed to keep up their momentum by continually engaging with their followers. As stated above, in the months following the initial ad’s release, the brand put out custom, rapid response videos to questions asked by fans on Twitter and YouTube, some of which featured celebrities like Ellen DeGeneres, Alyssa Milano and Ashton Kutcher, to name a few. Suddenly, followers felt they were personally engaging with stars, something no other brand had ever before provided with a marketing campaign. In fact, the ad is still so well loved that Tide put out a spoof of it for the 2018 Super Bowl.

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At the end of the day, connecting and resonating with your audience is what will make a video go viral or cause a brand to set new records. This is just one part of developing an unstoppable social media and marketing strategy—something we prioritize on a daily basis here at EMB.


 

Identifying Which Social Media Platforms are Best for Your Brand

By now, we are all aware of both the benefits and problems social media can bring our brands. Virtually free promotion and advertising are right in the palms of our hands, and according to We Are Social, there are more than 3 billion social media users as of 2018. With such a powerful tool at our disposal, how unfortunate would it be for us to utilize the wrong social media platform for our brand? Here are three strategies for determining which social media platform your brand should use:

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1. Know Your Target Audience

One of the most effective methods of discovering which social media platform will best communicate your brand is identifying your target audience. When presented with the 2018 statistics for the most popular social networking sites, you might feel an added pressure to choose between Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, and Twitter. Before you decide to opt for the statistically more popular platform, take a moment to identify with whom your brand seeks to engage. Sure, Facebook may have more overall monthly users than Instagram, but when you are striving to build the trust of millions of college-aged consumers across the world, Facebook may not be the best choice considering their largest demographic is users between the ages of 25 and 54.

2. Which Type of Content Will Serve You Best?

Rightfully so, each of the social media platforms available to us provides a different method of content publishing. For example, Twitter is a site primarily driven by written blurbs of up to 280 characters in length. The nature of Twitter in and of itself is fast-paced conversations beginning and ending every second in real time. Twitter also allows users to post pictures for others to “like” and “retweet” affording more exposure to the publisher. Instagram, on the other hand, provides users with a portable, personalized art gallery in the form of a feed of thousands of photos from their family, friends, and most importantly, favorite brands! Instagram also has a new feature that allows users to “go live” through streaming in real time as well as create interactive slideshows in the form of a “story.”

Here we have two amazing platforms with equally amazing features, so how on earth do we make a decision? First, take a closer look at the nature of your brand. What is your brand’s personality? Is your brand one people can come to for quick updates, new tips, and new trends in the market? If so, you may consider a platform like Twitter, where it is a social norm to post consecutive posts within two to five seconds of your initial post. Or perhaps you are an up and coming stylist with the goal of gaining clientele and showcasing your talent. In this instance, your vision may require the tools of Instagram allowing you to provide your future clients with an aesthetically pleasing portfolio of your capabilities. Allow your brand to speak for itself through the proper platforms!

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3. Don’t Be Afraid to Have More Than One

This is an essential tip for many brands on the hunt for their proper social media avenue as often times when making decisions, we naturally feel compelled to decide on one item. Fortunately, there are often many situations in life where you can have your cake and eat it too. Having more than one social media platform for your business not only increases engagement between your brand and consumers, but also gives the audience a multifaceted view of your brand as a whole. The key to each one of these social media platforms is using it in your favor.

Take McDonald’s for example, they chose to introduce their “All Day Breakfast” campaign with an Instagram photo and a Tweet to the same effect. The results of their campaign efforts through Instagram yielded greater engagement than what resulted from the Twitter post, but the fast-food powerhouse was also able to publish more content back-to-back on Twitter without being thought of as obnoxious from its followers, something that may not have been as welcomed on Instagram.

The key takeaway here is that each social media platform offers a valuable feature that another may not. As a growing brand, do not allow yourself to feel confined to one specific social media site, and more importantly, make sure the platform you do choose will provide you with the proper tools to communicate your brand to the masses. Trial and error are inevitable on the journey to cultivating your brand, but with the help of Enrich My Brand, you no longer have to go at it alone!

 

 

 

 

How the Use of Social Media Can Ruin Your Brand

Starting a business and launching a brand; it seems as if everyone is doing that these days right? In case that isn’t enough pressure, have you also noticed that a social media presence is imperative to the success of your new venture? According to a 2017 report by Infusionsoft, a whopping 71 percent of small businesses and brands plan to use social media to gain new customers in 2018. New customers, clients and new interactions are the goals, but one must always be cognizant of the unique problems social media can bring your company.

Lack of Control Over Content Posted

Whenever you’re coming up with a new social media strategy, there are some key things that you want to keep in mind. Who all will have access to the social media accounts? Will one person be in charge or will multiple employees be working across the platforms? Your brand is delicate, and one undercooked post will leave a bad taste in everyone’s mouth, meaning you have to be extremely cautious when devising digital marketing tactics. Consider the tragic social media marketing snafu Snapchat had earlier this year. The social media powerhouse chose a less than ideal marketing tactic when they used the incident of domestic violence between singer  Rihanna, and her ex-boyfriend, singer Chris Brown, as a way to promote a new game. The post posed a question asking users if they would rather “slap Rihanna” or “punch Chris Brown.”  The ad was quickly removed after Rihanna herself issued a statement shaming them for making light of domestic violence after which Snapchat issued an apology on the matter stating that the ad was “approved in error.” Sounds like a classic case of not having enough control over what your brand is putting out in the atmosphere.

Negative Review Circulation

We have all seen the power of social media interactions! Perhaps you are like many other people who check a company’s reviews before making a purchase or booking their services. After all, an informed consumer is the best consumer, right? This is true, but when the reviews about a company are negative, take a moment to reflect on how that impacts your buying thought process. Now multiply that feeling times a couple thousand retweets/shares on various social media platforms. Brutal. We have seen it happen to some of the largest brands, from airlines like Delta to fast-food chains like Chipotle. One lousy customer review from a mistreated guest or the receiver of contaminated food can send your reputation down the drain, so being on the forefront of correcting poor customer care is paramount in maintaining reputations.

Nothing Special About You

The truth is, your company’s social media feed should not just be about you. Often times small businesses and brands take a step toward social media marketing, but entirely miss the target. Sure, you want your followers and potential customers to be well versed in the services and products you offer, but where is the balance? 45 percent of consumers will unfollow a brand on social media if their platform is dominated by self-promotion. If the vast majority of the content you post is a text-filled image advertising your rates and special offers, your social media won’t feel very… “social.” Remember that people follow businesses and brands because they want to feel engaged,  so don’t forget to give them an opportunity to do so.

Social media marketing is supposed to be a fun way to bring you closer to your target audience. Use your platform to your advantage, and allow your business and brand to be transparent, extremely informed and willing to engage. Statistics from Social Media Today tell us that 20 to 40 percent of consumers spend more money on brands who they are able to interact with. Why not put yourself in the proper position to experience this benefit? And of course, if you need a bit of direction, we at Enrich Your Brand can do just that!

Walking the Fine Line of Rebranding

In a world where your website and social media accounts can either bring you a customer or scare them away, your brand, personal or professional, needs to leave a lasting impression. 48 percent of consumers report that they are more likely to become loyal to a brand during the first purchase or experience, so you need to be bringing your A-game from the moment the consumer begins interacting with you. Your website should point your audience in the direction of finding what they need from you, and your social media should be an active point of communication between you and the potential customer. This whole “branding” phenomenon is time-consuming and costly, but even with all of the effort and elbow grease put in, there comes a time where rebranding may do you some good. Sometimes rebranding works, but unfortunately, sometimes it ends up doing more damage.

Rebranding works when you have a clear vision of where you want to take your brand, and who you want to reach, but there are also some crucial rules to follow when rebranding. Something as simple as even a minor logo redesign may seem insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but the fact is your customers trust you and have certain expectations, and when they’re not met, the backlash can be detrimental.

Not even major companies like Starbucks are immune to this kind of problem--let us all look back on the infamous Starbucks “Christmas Cup Controversy” of 2015. Every November since 1997, Starbucks debuts their new “Christmas cups” that replace the standard cups for the remainder of the holiday season; however, 2015’s debut of plain, red cups saw not only lackluster reviews, but outrage on social media. Millions of people took to Twitter alleging that Starbucks was waging a “war on Christmas” with the removal of snowflakes, trees and ornaments seen on cups in years prior; some celebrities even called for boycotts. Of course, the story did die down in time, but one can’t help but notice that 2016’s cups returned to featuring reindeer and other whimsical images depictive of Christmas. Don’t fix what isn’t broken, you know?

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That said, rebranding works when you want to introduce a new aspect of your brand, and can be your way of re-introducing yourself to new, younger generations. Before 2010, Old Spice was known to millennials as a brand for their grandparents--if they had even heard of it. To capture the attention of that missing audience, Old Spice launched a campaign of strange, yet highly-entertaining videos, that led to not only sales skyrocketing, but a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Commercial. Suddenly Old Spice was no longer reserved for the geriatric crowd, but the number one brand of body wash for men.

Old Spice had a specific goal in mind--reach a new audience. Starbucks simply changed something on a whim. Having clear aims is essential to a successful rebranding; customers need to understand why you’re changing something on them. Over time, pages can become outdated; an old webpage or an unkept Instagram feed can yield negative results that rebranding can fix just by providing your consumers with an up-to-date experience. Not only does rebranding allow your brand to level up, but it also allows the consumer to feel as though they are moving forward with you.

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More money, a different audience, an insane desire to keep your brand fresh--whatever your reason for wanting to rebrand, with the proper team and strategy, you will be able to accomplish your goal. If you are struggling with the decision to rebrand yourself or your business, take some time to reflect on the scenarios listed above. Know that you are not alone in this marketing frenzy and we at Enrich My Brand are here to help you sort through the confusion and ultimately help you acquire the brand you deserve!

 

 

 

 

Four Books Every Marketer Should be Reading

While reading non-fiction books may not be at the top of the list for millennials these days, the fact is it’s still a critical habit for successful business people. When Warren Buffet was asked about the key to success, he said he read between 600 and 1,000 pages per day when starting his career and even now still devotes 80 percent of his day to reading. Now, we’re not suggesting you start off at quite that level, but we did compile a small list of books that are vast resources for anyone in marketing.

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The Lead Machine: The Small Business Guide to Digital Marketing

By Rich Brooks

Everything Entrepreneurs Need to Know About SEO, Social Media, Email Marketing, and Generating Leads Online.

With The Lead Machine, Rich Brooks has written an all-encompassing guide for beginners and small businesses in digital marketing. He covers everything from how to increase SEO to building a social media audience to understanding analytics. Succinct chapters make the book a quick read and give just enough information on each subject without bogging the reader down with business jargon and minute details.

The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period! 2.0

By Stoney deGeyter

This is your one-stop shop for everything you need to know, plus some stuff you didn’t think you needed, on website optimization and marketing. The updated 2017 guide includes a total of 39 checklists and more than 675 web marketing action points that deliver online success. This book is especially ideal for people who often work solo or remote as the checklists ensure you aren’t missing a single step. Of course, you’ll inevitably end up falling into your own personal checklist for your brand, but this is undoubtedly a great jumping-off point.  

The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use Social Media, Online Video, Mobile Applications, Blogs, News Releases and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly

By David Meerman Scott

The international best-seller released its most recent edition in 2017 and has already sold more than 350,000 copies printed in 29 different languages. It is an excellent source for entrepreneurs, business owners, students and PR professionals alike as it offers all of the most up to date information and resources on PR and digital marketing today. Inside, readers will find case studies, actionable strategies on newer platforms like Snapchat and Instagram and other tips that should be implemented not only in media companies, but any successful company in 2018.

Content Strategy for the Web, 2nd Edition

By Kristina Halvorson and Melissa Rach

When it comes to original content, less is always more if you’re putting whatever up just for the sake of having a post. It’s much more important to promote unique, high-quality content, even if that means you’re not posting as often. In Content Strategy for the Web, the authors dive into how to make smarter decisions, how to gauge what is quality content, understanding what makes a content strategy effective, and more. It is a must-have in the arsenal for anyone beginning in the field of content marketing.

 

 

 

 

 

Branding At Its Finest—Cult Brand: Southwest Airlines

When Southwest Airlines was founded in Dallas in 1967, it began as a small airline operating only within the state of Texas. As of March 2018, the airline employs more than 57,000 people, oversees more than 4,000 departures a day during peak travel season and operates in 99 destinations across North America and the Caribbean. So how did the once tiny budget airline grow into the cult brand it is today? It’s simple, fostering a great company culture.

When Southwest Airlines first comes to mind, you’ll likely think of the iconic blue, yellow and red planes and catchy, satiric slogans such as “You're Now Free To Move About The Country” or “Without a heart, it’s just a machine.” But where Southwest really sets itself apart is in how they treat both their customers and employees. In fact, in 2016, CEO Gary Kelly revealed that the company has never laid off a single employee. That kind of security is the reason you’ll always be greeted by smiling faces every day because the flight crews actually enjoy coming to work.

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Although the lack of seating assignments and premium cabins may be a dealbreaker for some frequent flyers, the airline does offer perks such as two free checked bags and no fees for flight changes/cancellations to any and all customers. This is compared to an airline like American which offers only one free checked bag to AAdvantage members and up to a $200 cancellation fee. They may not provide you a complimentary meal or personal TV, but a flight attendant in a good mood might give out a free drink coupon or two on a delayed flight or even waive a substantial difference in fare when changing flights.

Now, the flexibility the airline allows, of course, does not come without its own set of challenges. No seating assignments mean a frenzy at the gate when boarding begins to have the first pick of seats that many have compared to a cattle call. Southwest flights also do not pop up on popular travel search engines such as TriVaGo or Google Flights, which bothers some people who like to shop around for flights. In side-by-side comparisons, Southwest may not always be the lowest fare, but it makes up for the extra cost by superior customer service and the other perks listed above.

At the end of the day, the airline delivers on expectations. Their current motto is “Low Fares. Nothing to Hide.” They believe in a culture of transparency both among their employees and to their customers, and this is one of the many reasons they have been able to retain 45 consecutive years of profitability, something no other major airline is able to boast. Through some of the business practices we’ve discussed above, Southwest has been able to build an army of loyal customers that will ensure they remain at the top of their game for many years to come. At Enrich My Brand, we are always looking to creative and unique strategies like this to inspire us for both our own business practice and our clients’. Check out our corporate site to learn more about our services.

 

Navigating the Complex Web of Protecting Customer Data

In the digital age where social sharing is the norm, brands have more opportunities than ever before to reach their target audience across a wide range of media. Moreover, today, digital marketing and advertising via leveraging social media are more affordable than traditional print and TV advertising of just two decades ago.

However, this digital age isn’t all golden as there are many risks associated with the free flow of data and information. For starters, brands must be conscious of potential scandals that may befall them in instances of negligence, e.g., racist, sexist or other controversial posts. The recent H&M “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle” sweatshirt and infamous Kendall Jenner Pepsi ad scandals come to mind. Much like a positive ad or organic social media content can go viral, so too can a negative post and, more often than not, the backlash is swift and consequential with the proliferation of hashtags calling for the boycotting of your brand.

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Some scandals may even have legal ramifications and result in class action lawsuits, especially those concerning data breach or negligence in protecting customer or user data. With every happening as of late, you can’t help but think of Facebook’s ongoing privacy crisis. This alleged deliberate mishandling of millions of Facebook users’ private information caused significant losses and damages to Facebook, including devaluing their stock by a large margin almost overnight. Moreover, the crisis persists as other ramifications unfold such as its CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifying before Congress and the European Union, and the increased scrutiny and governmental regulations that have since followed.

The Facebook scandal caused thousands of companies across the world to reexamine how it is they collect customer data and ensure that they are compliant with privacy laws. While some people may assume worrying about privacy laws is reserved for industry giants like Facebook and Sony, but it is just as crucial for small businesses because you want to keep your customers’ trust.

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When done correctly, the collection of consumer data can be hugely beneficial in building a relationship with your customers and increasing your sales. That said, if the data you collect is not secure, it can be near fatal to a company’s success. In 2014, Target was hit with a significant security breach during which hackers stole the credit card information, addresses, phone numbers and more of 70 million customers. While the popular retail chain has been able to bounce back from a mishap like this, the company did have to pay nearly $20 million in a settlement agreement.

These are just a few of the reasons why it is so critical to be aware and cognizant of when you are collecting consumer information, what information you’re getting and how you are maintaining its security. While Target was able to rebuild its image thanks to decades of excellent customer service and loyalty, a small company struck with a similar scandal may not have survived. Due diligence is paramount when it comes to protecting customers’ privacy.

At EMB, we strive always to keep our clients happy, which includes ensuring they feel safe sharing information with us. Visit our Services page to learn more about our services.