Solving modern problems that face consumer brand marketers and brand managers

consumers

Today’s consumer market is a moving target. Consumer expectations — the stories they tell themselves everyday about the value of products and brands — are both varied and constantly changing. Making matters more challenging, marketers can no longer rely on “one to many” media channels and now must engage directly, socially with customers who want to consume content as much as they want to consume a brand’s products.

As a result, consumer brand marketers using research and marketing approaches that worked when media was controlled and change was manageable are struggling to keep up with the pace and the interaction demanded by today’s markets. We developed specific Action Science Marketing™ (ASM) solutions to transform the way our clients view their customer base, segment their audiences, and create timely, relevant content. This approach solves a number of common problems, including:


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“How can I more accurately segment, understand and connect with multiple customer audiences?”

ASM Solution

Ethnographic research reveals the fundamental values, beliefs and assumptions that underpin the story your customers tell themselves about how they see your product and where it fits in their world. Use these deep insights to craft customer-centric stories that bind audiences to your brand.

Key Deliverables

Story Development engagement, which produces both an Audience Narrative and a Company Narrative. May also be expanded to include a Company Story Schedule, which includes key themes and topics or a Product Packaging initiative, which helps to name and position products within the Company Story.

“Can you help me tell a more distinctive and differentiated story?”

ASM Solution

Brand differentiation is about much more than feature differentiation. Build value into your brand by identifying what your audiences value and then reflecting those values back to them in the form of messaging that informs and educates in addition to persuades.

Key Deliverables

Story Development engagement, which produces both an Audience Narrative and a Company Narrative. May also be expanded to include a Company Story Schedule, which includes key themes and topics or a Product Packaging initiative, which helps to name and position products within the Company Story.

“I know I need to produce more content, but what kind of content should I develop and who is going to create it?”

ASM Solution

Build upon the values, beliefs and assumptions of your customers and prospects to create a story calendar that includes key themes and topics which may be developed for a wide range of channels – PR, content, social, video and more.

Key Deliverables

Thought Leadership engagement, which produces a Company Story Schedule. This schedule is a set of themes and related topics that directly reflect the values, beliefs and assumptions of your clients and prospects. Bylines, blog posts, video, thought papers, press releases, speaking topics and other channels are prioritized and planned in order to establish thought leadership. May also be expanded to include the development of a Learning Program, which formalizes best practices and training into a repeatable and marketable program.

“How can I ensure that our positioning keeps pace with changing audience and marketplace interests and trends?”

ASM Solution

An ASM engagement is an ongoing, iterative process that adds to your understanding and story every single month. Research and story crafting become a singular exercise meaning that research in the field one month is written into the messaging in the next. That messaging is then exposed via research and evolved based on concrete audience feedback. This ongoing process ensures that messages never get stale and yet are always based on concrete research.

Key Deliverables

ASM produces monthly deliverables across three four-month cycles. Consumer brands receive a story that is developed and refined in three audience narrative deliverables and three story deliverables throughout the course of a year. These stories are also validated three times per year via quantitative measures to see if the narrative is changing and/or remaining relevant to your audience.

“Our brand needs to reconnect with the market and customers in order to be more relevant again – how do I make that happen?”

ASM Solution

At the heart of the ASM approach is the focus on discovering and reconstructing your customers’ values. Reconnecting with an audience is about reconnecting with these values. The stories that emerge from this value-based process, while promoting your brand, are actually reflecting customer values. And the more they focus on their customers’ values, rather than their own features and benefits, the more they resonate. As a result, brands are able to uniquely reignite their brand because they are telling stories about things they are confident people care about.

Key Deliverables

Marketers receive not only the stories that revitalize their brand – customer narratives, product stories, industry stories and more – but they also receive the technique to help them write compelling stories long into the future. We move beyond the standard approach of building value propositions, features, benefits and examples. Instead we spend our time writing about customer challenges, opportunities and ideal solutions. We deliver themes that support the goals of establishing 1] trust, 2] new beliefs and 3] leadership.