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This site is currently under construction. We are, however, pleased to say that the SMU 102 Digital Copywriting Unit is now open. We've also added Marketing Principles and an Intro to Public Relations. Our Content Marketing Unit is currently in development.

Few businesses, organizations, product providers or service providers have wallets deep enough for television advertising. Start-ups or fairly new businesses/services more than likely won't. However, television adverts do demonstrate the main points we're making to illustrate the concepts we're covering in this session. Learn from the successes and the mistakes of the big boys - and adapt them to your own branding solutions. This is what we'll be doing here with the scenarios that accompany this session.

Aardvark Music built an international branded success story without advertising or big branding spend. SMU tutor Alex di Savoia simply used his imagination. Taglines like "music, unlimited", "adventures in sound" and "united colours of sound" not only enabled him to successfully brand the record label and music publishing business in an extremely saturated and competitive global market - these taglines were the hallmarks of Aardvark's brand position. These, along with the perception of being a Fair Trade label (something Aardvark's artists advocated and not the company), allowed the company to score big wins on the strategic branding storytelling front. Truly, the only limitations Aardvark had were the imaginations of its branding team and not its budget. Indeed, by not splashing out on expensive branding options and high profile advertising, the company deepened its connections with its global audience who were turned off by the perceived financial excesses of the music industry.

In short, Aardvark won its audiences' hearts and minds. It turned consumers into an audience - and then into brand advocates. a savvy understanding of brand positioning was essential to our success.

The video below outlines successes and failures in the brand positioning arena. Listen to the commentary, making notes if you need to do so. Think about the take-away points. And think about how you will address them when you do your own brand positioning outline. These points will come in handy when you begin working on the template for this session.

Some of the most interesting brand position has involved everyday products: from dish washing liquid to bottled water, from headphones to shower gel. The video below covers the successful elements of these brand positioning exercises.

The last scenario is a video from the Swedish cider company Kopparburg. After watching the video, think about what its position statement is. What's this story conveying about its uniqueness as a brand? And what story elements does it use to convey this strategy and uniqueness?

Some thinking points follow below the video. This is the final bit of reflection preparation for you before you go on to the template section for this session.

A few industry-specific example scenario questions to get you started before you tackle the template. Really thinking about the answers to the questions below will not only prepare you for the template - they will also prepare you for the other courses. Understanding what you don't know now, and thinking about what you need to learn regarding integrated marketing, will enable you to focus on specific areas on the other SMU courses.

As we've said previously, branding really is the foundation for the entire spectrum of integrated marketing activities - from writing effective copy to creating engaging visual content to social media. 

If you are a designer-maker:

  • How will you convey your passion for what you do? What words would you use?
  • What challenges do you face in framing an interesting, engaging story that connects with an audience at an emotional level?
  • How will you frame your emotion-based and persuasive messages for your audience?
  • What marketing tools will you use to convey your branding stories
  • How will avoid telling stories about what you make or how you make it - and offer stories about why you design/make the products that you do? Or what the elements of your products mean to you? For instance, if you're a ceramicist who uses china clay, why china clay? Is it a connection to the earth? What does that mean to you? What's the experience?

If you are a photographer:

  • How will you convey your passion for what you do? What words would you use? Why that style of of photography?
  • What is it about picking up and handling a camera? How do you see the world down the lens?
  • How do you frame your world? And how are you going to communicate this?
  • What challenges do you face in framing an interesting, engaging story that connects with an audience at an emotional level?
  • In a word filled with self-published amateur photographs (Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchap, etc)...what's your persuasive proposition?
  • What marketing tools will you use to convey your branding stories
  • What's the experience you're sharing? What's unique about it?

If you are an NGO or Not-for-Profit organization :

  • What drives you to do what you do? How will you convey this?
  • This specific arena typically relies on either overt or subtle messages of guilt in their branding narratives. How will you not do this? How will you create a narrative that's different?
  • How will you convey what you do - and its importance - without getting bogged down by detail? How will you do this without citing a list of facts?
  • What's the experience you're sharing? What's unique about it?
  • Remembering the point about reciprocity, are you willing to reciprocate? How?
  • How will you frame and deliver an experience?

If you are a technology start-up:

  • Why do you exist? What problem (if any) do you seek to solve?  What experience are you offering?
  • How will you convey your passion for what you do? What words would you use? What makes you excited about the day ahead at work?
  • What challenges do you face in framing an interesting, engaging story that connects with an audience at an emotional level?
  • How will you convey what you do - and its importance - avoiding the pitfall of detail? How will you do this without citing a list of facts?
  • What's your persuasive proposition?
  • What marketing tools will you use to convey your branding stories
  • What's the experience you're sharing? What's unique about it?

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