6 Takeaways for Marketers from Brand ManageCamp

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Brand ManageCamp was a whirlwind 1.5 days consisting of 13 keynote-level speakers sharing expertise on building great brands. Here are the top 6 takeaways from the conference I wanted to share with my community of fellow marketers and brand protectors:

  1. Embrace Complaints
    Jay Baer kicked off the conference with a session called “Hug Your Haters.” Inevitably you are going to learn more from your complaints that make you uncomfortable than from customer praise that makes you feel good inside. So get more complaints! Then answer every complaint, everywhere, with empathy, as quickly as possible and see where it takes you. As part of a company that values continuous improvement, I full-heartedly endorse Jay’s preaching.
  2. Leverage Your Unfair Advantage
    Jay Acunzo pressed the audience to question conventional thinking using your own context, by paying more attention to your own customer than the industry at large. Smart companies are using their “who we are” statements to create an unfair advantage in the market. By inspiring the true believers among their customers to trigger an emotional response, they can skyrocket to new heights.
  3. Woo the Gator
    Zoe Chance took us inside the gator’s brain to show us it’s not that different from a human. We’re unlikely to respond to marketing because (like gators) we are lazy and unlikely to move unless it’s a threat that cannot be ignored and we can’t handle it on our own. When opt-out is easy and change is hard, how can you make the gator want to move? A question I will continue to ponder another week.
  4. Add Fireworks
    Andrew Davis talked about the Loyalty Loop and how adding small things to your services can translate into big value for customers. The key is to look for spots along your customer experience journey where you can add enjoyment, heighten anticipation, remove friction and maximize enthusiasm. In other words, “Where can we add some fireworks?”
  5. Use Attention Triggers
    Ben Parr detailed his 7 triggers that can be used to capture people’s attention. My favorite was Mystery, as he explained the human brain has a special memory for things that are incomplete, and suspense can be used as a powerful motivator. To be continued…
  6. Be Bold
    Jackie Huba and her alter-ego, Lady Trinity, used lessons from drag queens to encourage brands to be bold in three ways. First, triple down on what is authentic about you. Second, create shareable moments to find success with social media and word of mouth. Third, take creative risks to differentiate yourself.

And all of this occurred on the first day, whew! For more inspiration on brand marketing, I invite you to sign up for our new newsletter: Distributed Marketing Monthly. I plan to share ideas and best practices each month for corporate marketers who need to manage their brands at the national and local levels.

About the author

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Karen M. Wenning

Karen M. Wenning

Karen aspired to be a cowgirl or a farmer, but after graduating from UW Madison she found herself crafting prose for luxury brands at an advertising agency. There, she developed a passion for working with graphic designers and marketing professionals, creating brand-right marketing across their networks. As a former client of Suttle-Straus, Karen joined the team in 2008 serving in marketing and sales. She considers herself an accidental salesperson, on a mission to increase her clients’ traffic and sales. At home, Karen can be found challenging her husband and three children to a downhill ski or swim race, growing organic produce while fending off garter snakes, or herding her small flock of chickens.
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Topics: Franchise Marketing, Brand Management