Who’s the World’s Best Brand? (No, it’s not Amazon or Google…)

digital branding

Data from a survey of over 10,000 respondents has crowned Aldi as the world’s top ‘simple’ brand in the Global Brand Simplicity Index – beating Amazon and Google to the top spot. The discount supermarket launched a ‘brand-like’ campaign in 2011, and has seen significant success with an expanding market share over the last few years. The results might be surprising but the survey made up a larger report researching the relationship between innovation and simplicity and showed that ‘simple’ brands tend to be recommended more frequently by consumers. “They are happy to pay a premium – pay more money – for the simpler brands,” explained the research director Brian Rafferty. 

The review looked at hundreds of brands across seven countries, focusing on the simplicity of each company’s products, customer service, and advertising. Aldi showed it has what it takes to make as much of a global impact as giants like Amazon and Google with its brand ‘simplicity’. I suppose what it boils down to is approachability and transparency – customers want to know that what they see is what they’ll get – and Aldi seems to have the balance right, beating Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrison’s and Asda to the title of Which? Supermarket of the Year for the second year running. 

digital branding

The full results of the Global Brand Simplicity Index report are as follows:

1. Aldi
2. Amazon
3. Google
4. McDonald’s
5. KFC
6. Carrefour
7. C&A
8. Samsung
9. Ikea
10. Pizza Hut

Who else would you like to see on the list?

About Ikroh SEO tm

Ikroh has over 35 years of experience in the industry.

Innovative Use of Tech to Make Shopping and Banking Easier

using tech for ecommerce

using tech for ecommerce

What innovative ways have you seen technology employed in stores or online? We’ve noticed a few notable ones this month, where companies have harnessed digital devices to make their processes simpler and more accessible to consumers. One such example is Argos, who are trialling tablets in one of its UK stores in place of the infamous Argos catalogue, which has been a central part of the home store for 40 years.

Chief executive of home retail Terry Duddy explained that the brand aims to offer “digital concept” stores where customers can use tablets to browse for stock with the hope of combating online competition.

Duddy continued: “The Argos transformation is well underway, including the introduction of new smartphone and tablet apps, the extension of the ‘hub & spoke’ trial, the launch of a digital Christmas gift guide and the development of digital concept stores.

“As we look ahead to the second half of the year, we expect consumer spending will remain subdued, and whilst some macroeconomic indicators are improving, these have not yet led to an increase in household disposable income. Overall we are making good progress and are in excellent operational shape as we approach the key Christmas trading period.”

Home delivery will also be removed as a service, along with the paper catalogue, reaffirming the hope that consumers will continue to shop in store rather than solely online.

Another tech development – this time in the banking world – comes from Barclays, who have revealed they plan to offer customers a ‘cheque imaging’ service to enable them to scan and cash cheques from home using a mobile phone. This system is already in place in France, Asia and the US with JP Morgan Chase, Citibank and Bank of America, where customers use a smartphone app to pay in their cheques. To use the imaging service, customers scan the front and back of their cheque and the details are sent electronically to the relevant branch and verified using a computer system. Barclays confirmed its intention to add the service in response to its YourBanking project which allows customers to offer suggestions on how the bank can make its services easier. An additional bonus of cheque imaging is a reduced waiting time for clearing the deposit, cutting the waiting period from two days to 24 hours.

We’re always looking for clever ways for companies to improve their productivity and customer service – and so should you! How can technology help your business run more efficiently?

About Ikroh SEO tm

Ikroh has over 35 years of experience in the industry.

Do you get your news from Facebook?

Facebook news

For many people, their first port of call on the internet is Facebook, so it would follow that the social network might become an ‘incidental’ source for news. As friends and contacts share and post information, opinions and links to news stories, you may find you start to build up a picture of the day’s events before you even buy a physical paper or click through to a news website. A survey by the Pew Research Centre in the US found that 78% of respondents said they received news information from Facebook ‘without actually looking for it’.

Facebook news

 

One respondent explained: “If it wasn’t for Facebook news, I’d probably never really know what’s going on in the world because I don’t have time to keep up with the news on a bunch of different locations.” Does this sound familiar? The researchers said the results provide evidence that the social platform exposes some users to news and information that they might not have seen otherwise. “It may be the very incidental nature of the site that ultimately exposes more people to news there,” the Pew Centre said.

On the surface, the survey seems like a pretty positive development in the social world – providing a wider source of information for users, especially content that they might not have otherwise looked for themselves. With this rise in exposure, does it mean we, as social users, are becoming better informed and educated? The idea is pretty subjective, of course, and depends on the type of news stories that are circulated. The likelihood is that the links that are most widely shared are those that provoke conflicting responses, or are concerned with an inflammatory subject – great for a debate but not necessarily always the most measured and unbiased views. Think about the type of news stories you’ve seen in your timeline recently – have you been inspired to weigh in with an opinion, or share a link, or sign a petition? Is receiving your news from social media broadening our outlooks or narrowing it even further with the biases of our friends and family? Or are we completely overthinking it? Tell us what you think!

Pew said that ‘it may be the very incidental nature of the site that ultimately exposes more people to news there’.

It also found that fully 59 percent of all adult Facebook users and 53 percent of Facebook news consumers mostly access the site through a desktop or laptop computer rather than a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet.
Read more at http://www.thedrum.com/news/2013/10/25/facebook-emerges-key-incidental-player-news#LRfEfth5x4OLfiEe.99

About Ikroh SEO tm

Ikroh has over 35 years of experience in the industry.

10 Ways to Increase Your Customer Retention

customer retention

Businesses often focus their efforts exclusively on customer acquisition, and much of SEO, PPC and social media marketing is about driving traffic to your website and increasing conversions, but customer retention is just as important – if not more important – than bringing in new customers. Think about it – if your customers find your sales process or customer service sub par, so-so, or just plain terrible, they won’t come to you again. It’s all very well driving a ton of traffic to your site but we want it to stick, and to visit again and again and again… Increasing your customer retention rate by just 5% can raise your profits by 25-95%, according to the Harvard Business School, so it’s time to start refocusing your efforts!

Building a sustainable business means paying attention to your customer retention, and here are 10 easy ways to ensure your customer retention strategy works:

1) Create a community around your brand – Make your brand recognisable, familiar, and something that customers want to associate with, and they’ll become part of your ‘family’. Each brand needs to go about this in their own way (and yes, we realise it’s a sort of vague instruction – that’s what a digital marketing service is for!), whether it’s a quirky social media presence or strong core values that really stand for something worthwhile.

2) Promote the positive – A fairly obvious one, but studies have shown that highlighting the benefits (“over 100,000 customers recommend us!”) over the negatives (“without our services, 80% of companies fail…”) is a much more effective way of getting customers on board with your brand. Even if your negative statement is reinforcing your worth, the human brain is wired to get more excited about the positives.

3) Utilise intelligent targeting – Targeting your audience goes beyond simple demographics. Find what makes your customers tick – or, more importantly, what they aspire to be or have. Zoning in on these aspirations and idealisms with your advertising, marketing, social media, branding and products can create a strong attraction for your customers’ ego! Make your brand appeal perfectly to their desires, their goals and their view of themselves. Fill the existing demand rather than creating a while new one.

4) Simplify your process – Reduce as many hurdles and as much friction in your sales and enquiry process as possible. Customers want to get the job done as quickly and as easily as possible, and they start to get irritated when faced with too many steps, confusing processes, mistakes and slow loading screens. The easier it is for customers to buy, the more likely they will – just look at how (terrifyingly) easy it is to use Amazon’s one-click button…

5) Reciprocate  Show your customers a little love and make it worth their while to stay loyal to you. Go above and beyond to make sure they receive the very best service – better range of products, faster delivery, cheaper (or free) shipping, flash sales, special deals and vouchers, recommended products based on their previous purchases, social media promotions – spend some time and a little of your budget on really giving your customers a good experience, and one they’re likely to talk positively about to others. 

6) Keep the lines of communication open – Make sure customers can reach you – by phone, email, social media, whatever – as easily as possible. Websites that don’t provide clear contact details, or companies that are slow to respond raise big red flags for consumers, and they’ll always choose a business they can easily get hold of over one that is unresponsive. 

7) Make it personal – Find a way to show your customers you appreciate their repeat custom. When you communicate, get their details right, take notes of previous interactions and keep on top of your business relationship. Suggesting related products based on their purchase history can offer an easy conversion. Once again – know your customers and give them what they want.

8 ) Be there when they need you – Your customer service department needs to be on point if you want your customer retention rate to be high. Errors happen but they needn’t affect your sales so long as you deal with them professionally and quickly. The customer is always right and you should go above and beyond to fix problems when they occur. If you use social media, make sure you have a strategy in place to deal with complaints and negativity – a social media marketing specialist can be  invaluable if you have a busy social presence to make sure everything runs smoothly.

9) Focus on speed and quality – Customers want great quality products and services, and they want them now. Given the choice between a slow delivery and a fast one, which one would you go for? Given the choice between a high quality product or a shoddy one, which one would you go for? In both these instances, price will also play a part, but if you give your customers both fast service and great products, they are more likely to pay a premium than go elsewhere.

10) Do what you do, and do it well! You know your company best, and you should be able to translate what you stand for and what you offer to your customers clearly and succinctly. Don’t try to be a Jack of all trades – focus on what you do best, and offer the highest service possible to your consumers.

Keeping customers loyal means making them a part of your business ‘family’, providing a solid reason for them to stay with you (great prices, great service, great communication, great overall business ethic), and showing them that they matter to you as customers. For more help creating a watertight online business marketing plan, get in touch with us at www.ikroh.com.

 

About Ikroh SEO tm

Ikroh has over 35 years of experience in the industry.

Multi-device PPC Campaigns – Reach Customers on the Go!

multi device PPC campaigns

The digital advertising world is swiftly having to accommodate growing numbers of mobile and tablet users, adapting web design, e-commerce platforms, PPC ads and social media into multi-device campaigns in order to reach customers on the go. Google transitioned all AdWord accounts to enhanced campaigns in July this year in an attempt to simplify ad management for multi-device campaigns, providing new options for PPC campaigns but also bringing in new challenges for digital marketers.

Multi-device marketing is a huge feature of modern digital advertising, and not taking advantage of mobile and tablet traffic can be a costly mistake. Cross-platform marketing means that your ads will be seen on whatever device a customer uses, from smartphone to iPad to home computer.

multi device PPC campaigns

There are some clever little additions to AdWords regarding multi-device marketing, such as:

  • Target visitors within a certain radius of your location during busy hours by bidding up on your ads at certain times;
  • Track ad performance across multiple devices, for example a mobile click that leads to a desktop conversion;
  • Enhanced measurement of your ad performance on different platforms;
  • Use bid modifiers to influence the device and locations you want to target, and the time your ad will appear;
  • Mobile-optimised ads (though mobile-only campaigns are no longer an option);
  • Add site links at the ad group level (previously only possible at campaign level).

Whether you’re managing your PPC campaigns in-house, or you outsource to a dedicated paid search marketing agency, you need to keep in mind the importance of tracking and testing your ads to ensure they are performing as well as possible. The changes to AdWords this year, though certainly offering a greater range of options across multiple devices, also create additional challenges for PPC campaigns. If you need help with your paid search marketing, or would like to know more about reaching customers using multi-device campaigns, get in touch with our PPC team at Ikroh.com.

 

About Ikroh SEO tm

Ikroh has over 35 years of experience in the industry.