Hitting a bullseye with your brand
Small and medium business owners are largely pragmatic people only too happy to roll up their sleeves and get on with the job but they ought to buy in to branding more in order to grow market share and 'get one over' on rivals.
Ger Tannam (pictured), founder of Islandbridge brand development, helps SMEs identify what he calls the 'bullseye customer'. Forget about marketing to 'everybody', a business should be about marketing to 'somebody'.
It's not just the 'ABC1, males 35 to 50' target audience, it's about shaping an extensive breakdown on the coveted consumer, including their name, values, beliefs, lifestyle, background, personality traits, hobbies and life stage. Tannam's bullseye customer spec runs to two A4 pages and covers the person's marital status, where they live, what sport they play or follow, conflicts and pain points in their business and grocery and fashion purchasing habits - so basically the whole kit and caboodle.
A former police inspector in Hong Kong, who ran an art gallery and events for Chanel and Cathay Pacific, Tannam has advised SMEs since 2004. He mentors with Enterprise Ireland's High Performance Start-Ups and DCU Invent's Incubation clients. His 'Kickstart Your Business' slot goes out on Newstalk's The Right Hook at 6.20pm every Thursday.
"Success in business is down to our ability to influence people to choose us over our competitors," Tannam says. "Identifying your 'bullseye customer' is a powerful way to frame marketing and sales messages. When you've a clear picture of who you want to influence, messages are more relevant and persuasive and your customer is more likely to buy from you."
Tannam points to Avoca and Insomnia, two consumer brands with different offerings. Avoca charges a premium price, nearly double what Insomnia offers for the same food and drink combinations. Yet, both consumers are more than happy to pay the going prices.
Graphic and website designer Steven Dunne felt his Logo 24 company name did not reflect the breadth of work he did. On Tannam's advice, he rebranded as Lightyear. Just as Buzz helped Andy grow up and mature, Dunne guides clients in its design work.
q Tourism Ireland will spend just over €20m promoting the island around the globe in the first half of 2016. Last year, 9.3m overseas visitors were worth about €4.7bn to the economy. Liam Neeson again extends St Patrick's Day greetings to people in 15 markets in a 60-second film.
Neeson's film is shared by Tourism Ireland's 3.4m Facebook fans, on YouTube, via emails and on ireland.com. The message also goes out to influential overseas travel and lifestyle journalists. The film includes scenic footage, along with images from Global Greening.
Among the world landmarks lit up in green today are the Sacré-Coeur Basilica in Paris, Rome's Colosseum, the 7 World Trade Center at Ground Zero in New York, Nelson's Column in London, Addis Ababa's light rail system and the Christ the Redeemer statue below) overlooking Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.
q Convenience stores account for 36pc of newspaper sales followed closely by supermarkets on 34pc, a report by Empathy Marketing indicates. Almost half - 48pc - of over-55s buy their newspapers in a supermarket. It's considerably higher than other age groups - 18-24s are on 25pc, 25-34s on 24pc, 35-44s on 29pc and 45-54s on 34pc.
q Musgrave has asked media agencies to pitch for its SuperValu/Centra account. Said to be worth €7m annually, the business is with Core Media's Starcom. Although Mindshare handles M&S, it's not considered a conflict, so the GroupM agency has been given the green light to present, alongside Vizeum, OMD, and the incumbent, Starcom.
A decision is due in May. As regards creative work, DDFH&B and Irish International handle SuperValu and Centra respectively, neither of which are currently up for review. Pictured below fronting for SuperValu is Dublin football legend and Twitter fan Bernard Brogan.
q The Institute of Advertising Practitioners in Ireland (IAPI) has added another three new members. The latest recruits are the DDFH&B Group's RMG, Guns or Knives, which is part of Rothco's wider family and Engage Communications. The news follows on from Dynamo, Verve and Vocal signing up to IAPI.
Aidan Greene, Core Media's deputy CEO and current IAPI president, said the institute is only as strong as its members, so growing the ranks by 12pc is a good start to the year.
Michael Cullen is editor of Marketing.ie; firstname.lastname@example.org