This month we’re reading about leveraging events to expand your brand, specific branding tactics from top domestic retailers, how to get yourself booked as a podcast guest, and the implications of the worldwide takeover of mobile payments.
Ad Week/Diana Pearl
Alaska Airlines faced a conundrum: how to help travelers understand that their airline serviced destinations well beyond the Pacific Northwest, in spite of their name. The airline flies East Coast routes and offers the most West Coast nonstop flights daily than any other airline.
To help undercut this misconception, Alaska Airlines is leveraging event activations to create immersive experiences with potential travelers, with the goal of letting influential micro-audiences know that they do, in fact, offer country-spanning sojourns. One such event was Create & Cultivate, a New York City-based conference for women entrepreneurs and careerists. “We know that travel is so important to businesses starting out, so we love to be a part of an organization that is empowering people to do what they want to do,” the airline’s brand director, Katie D’Amato, said, by way of explaining the alignment between Alaska Airlines and Create & Cultivate.
This type of event strategy might also offer some promise for connecting practices with potential patients in novel ways, as our House of Modern Beauty at SXSW demonstrated earlier this year.
Harvard Business Review/Dorie Clark
Onto personal branding, taking advantage of the audio renaissance ushered in by the podcast boom might be another way to interact with potential patients. What would it look like for someone with your expertise to be a guest on podcasts about careers, beauty, parenting, fitness, life planning, or goal setting, for example? We love this article in Harvard Business Review, which offers very prescriptive step-by-step tips for how to land yourself a gig as a podcast guest, starting with identifying target podcasts you might like to appear on.
“More and more professionals are tuning into podcasts as an information-packed complement to their daily commute, workout, or chores. Indeed, there are now an estimated 660,000 podcasts and 26% of Americans listen to at least one per month,” writes marketing strategist Dorie Clark.
What can you and your practice learn about branding from some of the largest companies on earth? It turns out that it is possible to distill branding lessons from conglomerates that are actionable at a smaller scale.
As Katie Lundin put it in WWD, “Your brand lives in everyday interactions your company has with its prospects and customers, including the images you share, the messages you post on your website, the content of your marketing materials, your presentations and booths at conferences, and your posts on social networks.” You can see how having a strong brand is critical in the aesthetics world, where trust and reputation are critical currency. Lundin breaks down top-level branding strategies from five household-name companies—Walmart, Amazon, Costco, Walgreens and Home Depot—then lays out 19 highly tactical next actions you can take, based on their successes, to build and fortify your own brand.
Vahe Habeshian/Marketing Profs
Moving off of branding, let’s talk for a moment about how people pay for goods and services. Electronic payments have been a pretty straightforward utility for decades, but with the burgeoning popularity of mobile payments, how customers pay has now become a site of innovation and an opportunity for increasing customer delight. One of the overriding expectations of Uberized consumers is a frictionless payment experience. And while the percentage of U.S. consumers using mobile payments is relatively low compared to India, where more than a third of consumers use them, the pace of adoption is increasing, and it will accelerate as younger users, who are more likely to adopt this technology, begin to age.
It’s a trend that may not be immediately actionable but that is worth keeping an eye on. The reason: mobile wallet platforms like Apple Pay and Android Pay are attached to broader ecosystems that include consumer-facing content and advertising. Businesses that enable mobile payments early may set themselves up to transact more seamlessly with consumers, providing an Uberized experience that could also become a competitive edge.