Episode 26: Letting Go in Order to Have Deeper Relationships

Our last episode on the subject of what sets agile brands apart. Agile brands have a two-way relationship with their customers, particularly their best and most loyal ones. What does this mean? Brand development and marketing still belong to the company doing the marketing. However, being agile means giving a little bit away in order to get more in return.

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Greg Kihlstrom
Episode 25: Stay Nimble By Always Listening

To be nimble and react to what your current and prospective customers say, what your competitors do, and what your critics write, you must be prepared to listen, analyze and adjust what you’re doing at a moment’s notice. So, keep in mind the point above about using data throughout your processes.

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Greg Kihlstrom
Episode 24: Using Data to Drive Deeper Insights

Many companies got on the “big data” bandwagon early, driving it on a path of growth that IDC predicts will reach in excess of $200 billion by 2020. Everything from financial and sales data, to website analytics, to real-time social media listening tools can clutter any database and reporting tool. This creates overload and confusion, often resulting in marketing and sales reports based on what data is easy to obtain and make sense of, rather than what data is valuable to understand.

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Greg Kihlstrom
Episode 22: Agile Brand Values - Open Dialogue with Customers

We all hear about engagement, but what does it really mean? To many digital marketers, it’s a metric to be reported. Consumers rarely view engagement in the same way, or think of it all. In an era where advertising and marketing are so pervasive, customers aren’t seeking engagement with brands. In fact, most people who do not work in the marketing world rarely, if ever, think about something like brand engagement.

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Greg Kihlstrom
Episode 21: The Duality of the Agile Brand

While some things need to stay the same in a brand, a truly Agile one needs to evolve over time. There are two ways to look at how an audience changes over the life of a brand. First, you can look at audience shifts in terms of how an audience’s preferences and behaviors change over time. The second way you can look at audience shifts is in how different audiences may find your products and services useful over time.

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Greg Kihlstrom
Episode 20: The Duality of the Agile Brand, Part 1

Once when I was speaking on the topic of agile marketing at a conference, someone asked a question that should be addressed here: Doesn’t it go against the fundamentals of branding to be so agile, and adapt to change so easily? What about the core things that make up a brand? For this reason, we need to think of the Agile Brand as being nuanced. Earlier in the show, we described “timelessness” as one of the key aspects of a great brand. It’s important to make sure we don’t confuse matters. While much of our discussion of the agile brand has centered on creating a continually evolving entity, we should also be clear that there are certain brand elements which should not be readily modified.

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Greg Kihlstrom
Special Episode: Data Untangled with TEKsystems

Every organization has a not-so-secret weapon: data. It’s incredibly valuable information generated from every aspect of the enterprise, including research and development, sales and marketing, supply chain and customer service. Every activity in every facet of the business provides data. And it goes well beyond the organization’s four walls.

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Greg Kihlstrom
Episode 19: What is an Agile Brand?

Having discussed what agile is and means, let’s talk more specifically about the current state of branding, and what I’ve defined as the Agile Brand. Agility is built on principles of sprints and optimization discussed in the previous chapter, and on the fundamentals of branding. There are five key things agile brands do which sets them apart.

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Greg Kihlstrom
Episode 16: Brand as Relationship

The fourth and current stage of the evolution of brands. As more and more brands have adopted the experience approach, it has become clearer that a one-off moment in time is not enough to cement brand loyalty. This takes us to the current stage in the evolution of brands: brand as relationship.

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Greg Kihlstrom
Episode 15: Brand As Experience

The third stage in the evolution of brands. With increased competition, and consumer preference for more tailored products and services, brands were forced to differentiate themselves beyond occupying an idea. They needed to insert themselves into key life moments and become part of our experience. Apple’s brand experience extends all the way from the initial sale (either in one of its branded stores or its online presence), through the packaging you open to first use your product, through the ease of setup, through usage of the product every day. And if you have problems, you can go to the Apple Store to ask questions. In more recent times, brands have used experience to cut through the clutter of marketing and advertising, which creates deeper engagement with customers.

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Greg Kihlstrom
Episode 14: Brand as Idea

The second stage in the evolution of brands. With increasing competition from mass production, mass advertising, and mass media in general, the need for brands to be more than an object came along. Brands now needed to compete for mindshare. As consumers and marketers have grown more sophisticated, it is not enough to simply be known. Companies and products must stake out a claim on an area of the popular imagination and exist as an “idea.”

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Greg Kihlstrom
Episode 13: Brand as Object

The first stage in the evolution of brands. Our use of logos to represent companies, organizations, or individuals is based on a long history that originates with the very beginning of written communication. The moment we used a drawing, an image, a symbol to represent something else, we’ve been essentially branding things. From cave paintings to hieroglyphics, to the first logo representing a company, we’ve been using graphic representations to give meaning to ideas.

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Greg Kihlstrom
Episode 10: Branding and Focus

“Our audience is everyone.” If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard that sentence after asking a marketer or executive, I’d be a very rich man. Instead, in order for a brand to be successful, it must focus its efforts on defining its ideal audiences, even if it ultimately wants to appeal to a broad set of potential customers. I use Apple as an example of this.

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Greg Kihlstrom