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Friday, 17th May 2013 at 8:01am
The value of your company and products’ reputation should not be underestimated. Reputation should be treated as an asset. Reputation is everyone’s responsibility. A good reputation buys you the benefit of the doubt when things go wrong.
The toughest lesson is to learn that sometimes it’s not what has happened that is the issue – it’s what people think has happened. Perception is everything.
What is an issue that can affect an organisation’s reputation?
“A condition or event, internal or external to the organisation, that if it continues will have a significant effect on the functioning or performance of the organisation or on its future interests”.
- Staff dispute
- Shortage of stock
- Supplier goes out of business
- Negative comments published online
- Computer virus
- Change in working hours for staff
- Health and Safety
Sign up to relevant Google alerts around your organisation’s name. If appropriate use other software available that will help you monitor mentions online. Be prepared to respond to comments if needed but you must be straightforward about who you are and never let emotional language influence what you are saying.
Do you know who your organisation’s stakeholders are? If not, find out. Stakeholder groups can include employees, clients/customers, opinion formers such as trade associations and professional bodies, your local community, investors in your organisation and key media who will act as commentators on what you are doing.
Don’t wait until there is a problem to engage with people; be proactive wherever you can. This also means getting together with colleagues in other departments to share and help identify potential causes for concern, even if an issue does not actually materialise.
You can gather information to help identify and manage risks via:
- Staff surveys
- Industrial relations
- Customers’ feedback
- Product development teams
- HR and Legal teams
- Health and Safety audits
Think about developing a crisis plan – you may need to get in expert external help. At least have a record of people/agencies that can help you if needed.
What threats can you anticipate? What do you know based on past experience? Do you know how to handle journalists, or who is the nominated person in your organisation that looks after this? This all goes back to having regular dialogue with your colleagues in other departments too – not just when the problem has happened.
Five core tips to get you started:
1. How much access during work time do your employees have to engage with social media and company data?
Blocking access to the internet or certain sites is often seen as the domain of the IT manager, but in today’s workplace this goes beyond merely the computer at your desk.In our networked environment people can access content and store information and data via their phone, tablet or laptop at any time of day. Therefore the rules are changing and your organisation needs to adapt.Expert Jamie Claret (www.amazingsupport.co.uk) suggests for starters you need think about:Good antivirus softwareSimple blocking systemsAdvanced blocking and monitoringPreventing sensitive data leaving your businessThe impact data leakage and wasted time during work hours versus empowering staff with access to these sources.
2. Does your organisation have a clear social media policy?
Social media encompasses a broad range of online activities, all of which can have a marked impact on the credibility, perceptions and awareness of an organisation. Outside the workplace rights to privacy and free speech can protect online activity conducted in someone’s personal social network with that person’s personal email address. However, the inevitable connections that can and are made with someone’s workplace can blur the boundaries. What is your organisation’s policy on this?
3. Have these policies been communicated to all staff?
Are they part of your induction programme?Your policy and procedures need to be communicated – don’t just rely on a document that sits in the drawer. Building this into your employee induction programme or at a team update meeting brings this to the forefront of people’s minds.Are your employees aware of the potential negative impact that online comments can have? Where social media interaction is not used exclusively for business, it is important to provide reasonable guidelines on online behaviour if any reference is made to the workplace. Furthermore you may need to draw attention to matters regarding confidentiality as they relate to your organisation or business, and how this can also cover photos or images posted online for example.
4. Are you aware of how other stakeholders might be looking at your organisation through social media?
Media management is likely to rest with either an external agency or your in-house communications team, or for smaller enterprises with a nominated employee or manager. The press have increasingly turned to social media channels not only regarding breaking news, but also to uncover more intimate details about an organisation.This can also be true of any stakeholders. And content posted online is hard to have removed… therefore you need to be as aware of what is being said about the organisation online, as others will be. Do you have any mechanisms in place to facilitate this?
5. Are you ready to act if something potentially negative happens?
You need to have a contingency plan; whether it’s customers commenting on a faulty product or poor service, or a disgruntled employee out to stir up some reactions or actually carrying out some form of deception. How will you react? Who needs to be aware of a problem as and when it occurs and importantly who should be tasked with sorting it out? Do you have an issues management team and plan? Does this plan map onto the online world?
Monday, 6th May 2013 at 9:45am
Through the development of the brand identity in the UK and an integrated marketing strategy the introduction of the new brand has been a great success.
Over the past few months The Think Tank developed a range of collateral and marketing tools for AluK, ready for the launch in April 2013. This included a sophisticated web site that engages target audiences and provides them with the information they require to specify and purchase AluK products. This is already delivering results through lead generation.
The Think Tank organised a launch event for customers and the press at the beginning of April and has introduced the brand through a combination of PR, Advertising, eDM and Social Media, building brand awareness and encouraging enquiry. This has seen immediate results for AluK and has started to develop a new positioning for the group that offers a complete range of aluminium windows, doors and curtain walling systems.
We are continuing to develop the marketing strategy for the group and to raise awareness of the brand through a variety of marketing channels. This include engagement and support for existing customers as well as the launch of a wide range of new products over the coming months.
View the new AluK web site here.
Wednesday, 13th March 2013 at 3:32pm
Interviews can be stressful at best, but preparation is everything. That is however unless you were interviewing for Heineken's internship.
The company decided that they didn't just want someone who answered the right questions; they wanted someone up to the challenges that would lie ahead so they put the interviewees to the test.
During the course of the interviews the candidates were subjected to hand holding, fake heart attacks and fire alarms.
The one who kept their cool was voted for by the Heineken Internet community and the winner was taken to a Champions League game to represent the brand, having their success broadcast at the Juventus v Chelsea game on the 20th November 2012.
A great strategy for weeding out the chaff in the interview process or a very clever viral marketing campaign?
Watch the video below and choose for yourself.
Friday, 15th February 2013 at 9:39am
Called "Handy Prices", the campaign will see the DIY business lower the prices of hundreds of products, predominately those used on a more regular basis, and keep them at this new lower price, permanently.
The campaign is the first piece of work completed for them by Karmarama since their appointment last year, and may come as a surprise to some as they are without a Marketing Director since the departure of Katherine Paterson in October, the spot being covered in the iterim by brand director David Hutchinson.
The campaign will run on TV, radio and print. The TV ad is shown below, the most notable thing is the lack of products in this ad, so it will be interesting to see how this approach works for them. Take a look for yourself and let us know what you think.
Friday, 25th January 2013 at 12:57pm
Artek’s Stool 60 is a familiar sight to many, and it is not really a surprise that this beautifully simple stool was designed by highly acclaimed architect Alvar Aalto.
The unique design of the stool relies on the fact that it was the first 3-legged stool made of wood, and not tubular steel, with the iconic L-shaped legs taking years to perfect, the result being a simple and stackable stool that has survived the test of time for the best part of a century.
To commemorate the 80th birthday, Artek is releasing a series of the stools in the same colours that Alvar used in his designs at the time of their creation. They are also working with well known architects and designers to produce a new series of stools, with the first ones being released designed by Mike Meiré.
There is a video showing the creation of his colourful stools below. Read the 80th Birthday press release here.
Friday, 18th January 2013 at 10:57am
2013 marks the 100th Anniversary of the iconic Formica® brand, best known for high pressure laminates. The product was developed in USA in 1913 as a replacement for the mineral product 'Mica' and thus was called 'Formica'. Did you know that laminate is made from paper? Many people don't.
The Think Tank has worked with Formica in the UK and across EMEA for the past 10 years providing a range of marketing services including PR and as a part of the 100 years celebrations we have been working to raise the profile of the brand and its history through the media and yesterday saw a great article published in The Guardian Newspaper - both online and in print.
Formica® laminate is an iconic product that is used all around us in our everyday lives and, judging by the fantastic comments posted on the Guardian website, many people have very fond memories of the brand. One of the pictures featured takes us right back to when The Think Tank was based in Soho and used to frequent the Piccadilly Cafe - we remember it well.
The article, titled 'Shiny, happy households: Formica turns 100', is written by Oliver Wainwright and looks at the history of the brand, and how it has developed and been used over the years.
To find out more about the history of this iconic brand click here and read the full article or alternatively click here to see 'Formica: our century-old laminate love affair – in pictures', also published on the Guardian website.
You can also click below to view the article in PDF form.
Shiny, happy households_...pdf
Shiny, happy households_...pdf (957 kb)
Sunday, 7th October 2012 at 3:10pm
The Think Tank recently took part in a series of seminars, talking about issues surrounding the use of social media in the workplace and the impact that it can have upon brand and reputation.
These have been very well attended and judging by two recent Twitter abuses in the United States it is becoming a very important factor for businesses, both internally and externally.
Last week a disgruntled employee at a company called Stub Hub sent out a tweet riddled with profanity, which the company subsequently had to apologise for and issue a withdrawal. We have added an image of this below but it does use quite strong language - you have been warned!
Another business, Kitchen Aid, mistakenly retweeted an offensive joke about President Obama's grandmother - possibly as a result of social media automation. Again, this is below but the content may be deemed as offensive.
These types of social media interactions may be mistakes or they may be on purpose but the problem is the same; Social Media poses new challenges to businesses as to how they and their employees interact online and the increasing possibility of damage to brand and reputation.
If you would like to discuss any of these topics and how they could impact upon your business then please get in touch.
Monday, 10th September 2012 at 8:33pm
This new book 'Logo Life' is a must for logo buffs, celebrating the development of 100 famous logos over the years. From Lego to Apple and Gap to Adidas, see how your favourite logos have evolved.
The book is by BIS Publishers and you can see an online preview of the book here.
Tuesday, 4th September 2012 at 7:17pm
It has the launched the new brand identity to be ready for the launch of Windows 8 and to bring it into line with the typeface being used on all its products.
See more in the video below and let us know what you think?
Monday, 23rd April 2012 at 9:44am
In the build up to a period of significant investment in the UK's rail infrastructure, Signalling Solutions approached The Think Tank to raise the profile of the brand and support the marketing function of the business in a variety of ways.
Signalling Solutions is a joint venture between leading energy and transport solutions company Alstom and Balfour Beatty, one of the world's leading infrastructure businesses. It was formed to provide advanced signalling solutions to the rail sector in the UK, combining the technology of Alstom with the contracting expertise of Balfour Beatty. The company provides design, installation, testing, commissioning and product support for signalling, power and telecommunications applications.
In answer to the brief, The Think Tank developed an eye-catching advertising campaign which promoted the three core products provided by Signalling Solutions. These combined abstract images that represented the core benefits of the products alongside a new brand style for current and future advertising.
This campaign was also extended to a corporate advert which brought together the three core solutions to demonstrate the opportunities for integration that Signalling Solutions offers.
An advertising schedule was planned by the client with ads appearing across the rail press in the build up to a series of tender opportunities. The goal was to position the Signalling Solutions brand at the forefront of the minds of specifiers and purchasers within the sector during this period, raising awareness whilst also communicating the brand ethos and values.
Find out more about Signalling Solutions here.
Tuesday, 27th March 2012 at 2:53am
We worked with the client on a selection of brand names and identities until Nurture was chosen for this fledgling company, complementing their ethos of asset growth through effective management.
Through a coordinated campaign of advertising, PR, direct mail, telesales and social media we launched the business to landlords and tenants across the North West, delivering enquiry and new contracts and raising the profile of the brand. The campaign focussed upon Nurture's Guaranteed Rent scheme and the offer of a Free Gas Safety Certification for new customers. Advertising and PR in the local property pages was supported by a direct mail campaign and telesales to local landlords. The brand profile was further raised through social media activity focussed upon Twitter and LinkedIn.
There has been a great response to the marketing so far and the campaign continues.
Sunday, 25th March 2012 at 9:39am
The campaign launches what was apparently the world's first spiced black rum. The agency developed the backstory of the Kraken’s true existence from a scientific point of view through a journal and a series of movies which brings the brand to life in an interesting way.
There is a series of animated videos for the brand which you can find here. We have added Chapter 3 of the series below which we thought was great fun.
Well done on a very engaging launch campaign.
Monday, 19th March 2012 at 11:08am
The 'Size Matters' study was carried out in the UK, the US, Europe, Australia and South America over a period of almost two years and collected data from 770 campaigns.
The results showed that billboard formats outperformed other online advertising including more recent display formats such as wallpaper and half page, as well as the more traditional ones, such as MPU, banner and skyscraper. Formats were analysed according to five criteria: aided brand awareness, online ad awareness, message association, brand favourability and purchase intent.
The Billboard format performed significantly better across some criteria, scoring three times better in terms of ad awareness and twice as better for brand favourability than wallpaper, the second best format of those measured.
The Wallpaper format offered the highest brand awareness against all other formats and was five times better than the average in terms of message association.
However, not to be left out, the Skyscraper format was the most successful in the purchase intent metric.
Tim Elkington, IAB director of research and strategy, commented, 'The industry can only benefit from the new large display formats, as both brands and consumers seem to be excited by them. The findings from the Size Matters study highlight the advantages of formats like billboard and wallpaper.'
To find out more about online advertising you can find interesting insight on the IAB's website however some of it is only available in full to members.
Wednesday, 29th February 2012 at 9:14am
CURB uses attention-grabbing media such as chalk advertising or bespoke interactive productions where the individual acts as an instrument for creating the experience or message - pedal to charge your phone or dance to make the music louder! CURB also uses natural media which they tailor to their clients’ briefs – to promote the movie Contagion they worked with a world renowned microbiologist to create an enormous Petri dish inoculated with mould, penicillin and Pantone-matched live bacteria. Over the span of a few days these grew into the movie title ‘Contagion’ (and yes, it went viral).
During the Multisensory Media demonstration TTT’s meeting room was filled with the scent of freshly-cut grass from the pitch of a well-known Italian Serie A football club. Unfortunately for CURB there were no football fans in the meeting to appreciate this particular experience; nevertheless we were amazed at how particular they can be with creating scents and sounds. We found out that specific scents can be used to change an emotion as well as perception of time and environments.
CURB has also developed a technique to package the scents in a way that is sustainable and fun. We enjoyed the experience of small customizable pouches that released a lovely scent with just one squeeze – some of the scents included the smell of chocolate truffles or red roses (a note to all men – do not use as a substitute for a gift).
CURB uses entirely natural or sustainable materials that are recycled after they’ve been used. If that is not possible, the materials are upcycled; for example a huge poster of Michael Jackson’s album next to Heathrow airport was made out of plastic that was later upcycled to mobile phone cases and various other goods.
To find out more about their fun and innovative approach to Out-Of-Home media, PR and experiential marketing, visit www.curbmedia.com
Tuesday, 13th December 2011 at 9:19am
The pages have two key elements, both of which are free. Ad Age tells us 'They can be customized with large header images that advertisers can use to display their logo and tagline more prominently than under the standard format, where branded elements of the page design are often partially covered by the time line of tweets. Brands can also choose to keep a particular tweet at the top of their time line, and that top tweet also auto-expands to reveal an embedded photo or video from Flickr, YouTube or other sources, without requiring the user to take action.'
Ad Age interviewed Twitter's Chief Revenue Officer Adam Bain to find out more about their plans. The launch will initially include brand pages for 21 marketers including American Express, Best Buy, Bing, Chevrolet, Coca-Cola, Dell , Disney, General Electric, Hewlett-Packard, Intel and McDonald's who are all deemed strategic partners.
To read the full article please click here or to find out more about how to enhance your page click here.
Tuesday, 22nd November 2011 at 8:50am
It’s a fascinating theme in that it runs right to the heart of brand experience and corporate reputation. In terms of PR, how you handle an issue makes all the difference, and ultimately as one of the commentators in the Forum points out; “we all mess up sometimes… apologizing and accepting responsibility for [one’s] failings often diffuses the situation”.
How you attract people back is another matter. Discounting or offering a free replacement of some sort is often the accepted short-term response to help ameliorate the immediate frustration that your customers have felt. But the tone of that communication is also key, as is the way your employees/staff handle the situation. If the whole process is felt to have been handled swiftly, in a straightforward and fair way, then most people will give you the benefit of the doubt.
Ultimately though, as the Forum respondents agree, this activity also needs to be part of a broader series of responses too to re-establish trust in a brand and ultimately as part of more regular, strategic reputation and risk management planning that the Board or senior management need to undertake.
See the full article here
Thursday, 29th September 2011 at 7:02am
This MNI would be required to work across a wide range of marketing channels and collateral including advertising, point-of-sale, direct marketing, digital channels, social media and sales collateral.
See how we got on - click here
Wednesday, 18th May 2011 at 8:08am
A new survey of UK architects lists Kingspan, Trespa, Velux, Schüco and Otis as the "strongest brands in building materials."
In the Q1 2011 research from the European Architectural Barometer, which is a quarterly study of attitudes of 1200 architects across Europe, architects were asked which brands they perceived as "strongest" in building materials such as bricks, concrete, mortar, insulation, facade and cladding material, aluminium systems, construction floors and roofing material. The top five firms for the UK were Kingspan (with 40% of responses), Trespa (15%), VELUX (8%), Schüco (7%) and Otis (6%).
Read more on Building Products
Wednesday, 11th May 2011 at 1:13am
Wednesday, 13th April 2011 at 7:11am