photo via Terry Johnston
**Guest Post by Aubrey Phelps
The best marketers in the world understand that branding is all about developing relationships with the public. When a customer buys a product, they have developed a small relationship with the store or website they’re buying the product from along with a small relationship with the product. If the customer discovers satisfaction with that product and price, the relationship that customer has with the store will increase. Over time that store will discover a strong residual income from the customers it established good relationships with. This is by far the best principle any marketer can ever understand about branding.
The principle of relationships extends into every aspect of branding. The best singers in the history of the world built relationships with their listeners by creating music that connected with the listener. As musicians offer better music, overtime their relationship with their audience increases, soon people start buying their music and then doing whatever they can to get to their concert. Money and wealth increase as the relationships increase if the brand can keep delivering quality products. Sports teams have learned this same principle. It’s vital that businesses understand it as well.
The three factors that go into quality branding are:
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Close to a year ago Brand Thunder launched its first holiday experience for the browser. For a business focused on the personalization of the Internet browser, it would have been an unfortunate oversight.
Christmas kicked off what’s been a full year of capturing the major holidays in our Booms! and they’ve been exceptionally popular. If you’ve not seen the Thanksgiving Boom!, check out our Gallery and click the Holiday link. It’s festive and fun, and it’ll be a nice placeholder until you download our upcoming Christmas Boom!.
From a business growth standpoint, Christmas provided a whole new avenue to explore outside of our focus on branded browsers. Great brands have solid followings and a lot of affinity marketing products are built on those relationships. But if you’re that business in the middle providing a service to the brand and to their end user, it makes sense for you to look at other outlets for your creativity and potential markets that are under served.
Our holiday efforts got our custom browser experiences into a lot of new hands. It’s been an effective and simple method to expand our product and help our business. So, in a few weeks, I know one additional thing I’ll be thankful for.
Each hurdle you place in front of your consumer has a material impact on your business. Do you know what yours are?
We’ve wrestled with this considerably. Our current business model is based on a browser with 20% market share. Sure, we can exceed that for our partners (request our Case Study here), but that’s still a question mark for some prospects. Here are a series of questions we ask ourselves in an effort to improve the ease with which people get our product.
1. Have you identified any immediate barriers?
For us, our users need to have the Firefox browser. If they don’t have it, we give them a link to get it for free – but there’s a cost to sending that user away before they can get what they want.
2. Do you understand the waterfall of user adoption?
If you’re in the software business, you know it’s not unusual to see a 30% drop off at each step of a software download (yes, that’s a 30% drop each time you present a screen where a user must click “next”). That’s why companies work so hard at keeping the installation process simple and streamlined, and why it’s important to know the number of people who start one step and the number who start the next.
3. Have you identified how to minimize the entire number of steps for a user to get your product?
When we launched our Huffington Post branded browser, we offered both the Firefox customizations as well as a “full build” of the browser plus customizations – removing the obstacle of sending a user to get Firefox first. (The hidden cost here was we couldn’t call the browser Firefox, even though it was the same code base. Officially, it’s the Mozilla browser. So, no free lunch here.)
4. Have you listened to your clients, prospects and end users?
Now, what are we still missing?