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.

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.

Debenhams Embraces Diversity in Fashion

debenhams diversity campaign

Debenham’s ‘Inclusivity Campaign’ offers a view of fashion that is both inspirational and realistic for its customers with models who represent a diverse range of sizes, ages and races, including an amputee and a paralympian athlete. The department store’s ‘High Summer Look Book’ has rejected the traditional industry approach and specifically chosen a more realistic array of models to show off their collection – a break in convention that is not simply a gimmick, but hopefully the start of a new, healthier view of fashion advertising.

debenhams diversity campaign

The high street retailer is the first in the UK to diversify their choice of models, in the hope that the move will help to promote body confidence in its customers. Director of PR for Debenhams Ed Watson explained: “Our customers are not the same shape or size so our latest look book celebrates this diversity.  We would be delighted if others followed our lead.  Hopefully these shots will be a step, albeit a small one, towards more people feeling more comfortable about their bodies.


Debenhams won a Body Confidence Award in 2012 for the on-going campaign, and is now part of the Government’s ‘Body Confidence Advisory Committee’. Minister for Women and Equalities Jo Swinson commented: “Once again Debenhams is showing that beauty comes in all forms – different skin colours, ages, body shapes and sizes. It was one of the first to introduce size 16 mannequins, and continues to send a clear message to the rest of the retail industry that many customers want to see more diverse and realistic images.”

We say hooray for Debenhams for not being afraid to break away from the unrealistic expectations enforced on us by the media and encouraging their customers to feel good about their bodies and appearances. Maybe Abercrombie and Fitch could take a few lessons…

About Ikroh SEO tm

Ikroh has over 35 years of experience in the industry.

The Battle of the Christmas Ads

john lewis christmas ad

Which is your favourite Christmas TV ad so far?

The major UK retailers have released their latest seasonal campaign, with an interesting selection of approaches – from the John Lewis animated tale to Sainsbury’s Christmas in single day… With retailers spending almost £400 million on advertising in the festive season, a greater proportion of this budget is being allocated to online marketing, according to market analyst Nielsen. And sensibly so, with rising numbers of online shoppers foregoing the Christmas rush and getting their Christmas lists sorted online – including their food shopping.

Whether you love ’em or hate ’em, Christmas adverts have a habit of sticking in your head – it doesn’t quite feel like Christmas until that first ‘holidays are coming’ ad from Coca Cola…

One of the few exceptions to the rule is Next, who focuses its spending on its infamous New Year sale, starting at the crack of dawn on Boxing Day.

Watch some of the main contenders below and let us know in the comments which one captures the spirit of Christmas (or should that be commercialism?!) the best:

About Ikroh SEO tm

Ikroh has over 35 years of experience in the industry.

The Future of the Google “Pay-Per-Gaze” Advertising Model

Devices like Google Glass, Nike FuelBand and are all forms of wearable gadgets which are able to collect data based on the user’s activity (like Nike’s FuelBand) and even their sleep schedule (like Jawbone Up – ’cause that’s not freaky at all….), begging the question: when will advertisers be invited to cash in on the opportunity to broadcast user-specific targeted marketing on these new platforms? Bloomberg TV aired a segment by Mashable earlier this week about Google’s new patent to use Google Glass to “see your feelings” (yup, totally not creepy) and how connective devices like this are likely to transform advertising (but not into a Fahrenheit 451 type situation, no, we’re not headed there AT ALL).

google glass advertising
Creepy? Google Patents Way to See Your Feelings – Mashable on Bloomberg TV

The technology tracks eye movements and would theoretically allow advertisers to note how many times users look at adverts and for how long, paving the way for a “pay-per-gaze” advertising model – although Google has asserted that Glass will be ad-free. Mashable predicts that this will also lead to the use of ‘augmented’ reality in advertising – responsively bringing up additional information, deals and promotions related to the business or product the user is looking at.

Advertisers are increasingly focusing marketing strategies on paying for engagement with customers, and devices like Google Glass provide direct access to user behaviour in a way that social media and traditional digital marketing can’t. But will users really want advertisers to “see their feelings” when some people baulk at predictive search functions?

So, will “pay-per-gaze” technology improve and expand our experience of technology, or is it simply a precursor to in-your-head advertising? The emotional response and user engagement to an ad could revolutionise advertising strategy and response, but could be a step too far for customer privacy.  Hey, we’re all for clever and personalised marketing, and paid search advertising is one of our specialities, but the user base for Google Glass is still pretty limited and our feeling is that for customised advertising like this to work, there needs to be a way for users to interact and respond.

What do you think? Is pay-per-gaze the future of paid search marketing or do we have a little longer to wait until augmented reality is a major part of digital and device marketing?

About Ikroh SEO tm

Ikroh has over 35 years of experience in the industry.