Sinclair and Ruiz | Our Blog

Sinclair and Ruiz is a consultancy that creates integrated local, national and international marketing strategies


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Rebranding.

rebrandingBranding refers to establishing a company’s identity. Branding includes determining a logo, name, and message that identify an entity. Establishing a brand and what it stands for in the minds of consumers, is the starting point on which to build a marketing strategy, and ultimately reach sales goals.  Rebranding can entail changing certain aspects of a brand, or completely changing a company’s identity.

Why Companies Rebrand

Companies may rebrand in order to refresh and update their image, communicate a change, or shed a negative image. In order to undertake a successful a rebranding campaign, it is important to understand that building an identity is far more complex than simply choosing a name and logo; and communication is essential to implementing a rebranding campaign. Two of the more complex reasons companies rebrand include shedding a negative image, and to consolidate mergers and acquisitions.

Sinclair and Ruiz has rebranded itself once before, and  will soon launch another rebranding campaign to update the scope of services provided – as we are proud to say they have increased over the past seven years. We have also worked with clients to improve their image after a cycle of crisis management, rebranding for mergers, as well as rebranding for the evolution of an organization’s identity.

Rebranding to Shed a Negative Image

In order to shed a negative image it is important to face the issue that is causing the negative image head-on. Organizations must decide how they want to be perceived, make the necessary changes and communicate them to the world. Organizations must be committed to the message, as shedding a negative image requires consistency, and often entails regaining the trust of existing clients as well as winning over new and weary markets. Rebranding campaigns must be tailored and highly targeted, depending on the entity requiring the update, and the reasons behind the need. In this case, the message is often more important than the name or logo.

Read an example of how what you say can damage your brand at http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/227164

Rebranding Due to a Merger

Mergers are challenging as a result of the uncertainty they can project to employees as clients.  Mergers are inherently a cause of change and it is important for companies to acknowledge and embrace this reality. Rebranding due to a merge is the perfect opportunity to focus on the improvements that change will bring, rather than how things will remain the same. Failure to acknowledge change may cause distrust within an organization, and failure to engage employees will project negatively onto clients. Effective rebranding is imperative to employee and client retention during and following a merger.

The breath of image change will vary for each case. Some mergers require complete structural change, while others keep the existing name, service and market it under an umbrella company.

Thus rebranding requires careful consideration of the most basic “branding” elements, as well as a clear message.  Among other Things, successful rebranding entails:

·         Determining exactly what your brand stands for.

·         Setting out a clear strategy and timeline for rebranding.

·         Communicating the new brand message to employees, partners, industry and clients. Successful rebranding will take place once all stakeholders know and accept the new message and image. Organizations that do not control a branding message risk projecting an image based on the voice of exterior forces (i.e. rumors).

·         Careful planning and measured execution of rebranding are key to consolidating the desired image, and avoiding collateral costs.

Contact Sinclair and Ruiz today to learn more about how we can plan and guide a successful rebranding campaign. info@sinclairandruiz.com

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Gaining an Edge through Partnership and Sponsorship Marketing

Marketing partnerships and event sponsorships are effective marketing tools.  The first refers to linking two or more different non-competing brands for marketing purposes. The second refers to brands that become supporters of charities, sporting events, trade shows, etc.  We highly recommend both options because they are cost-effective and – when implemented correctly- provide outstanding results. When S&R designs and implements such strategies for our clients, the efforts generate all or o most of the following (depending on the clients’ needs):

  • Exposure to new consumers
  • Partnerships  with brands that are prestigious and important to

the target market

  • Positive brand association
  •   Increased brand awareness and enhanced image
  •  Exposure in the media
  • Revenue

We rely on our networks and those of our clients to carefully seek-out and evaluate opportunities that will provide the best return on investment. When searching for the best opportunity for your brand it is important to know who the target market is and how you want to reach them. Some organizations are better set-up than others to provide the right value.  Annual events and sports organizations often have an established framework within which they work with partners and sponsors.  Others, who have access to your target market, may not have previously provided the service your company requires or are simply less efficient.  Therefore it is important for the marketer to be involved through every step of the campaign.

Partnership and Sponsorship Marketing initiatives Sinclair and Ruiz has coordinated on behalf of our clients include:

  • In-kind sponsorships for charity tournaments, cultural and business events. Benefits include brand exposure in printed materials; value added advertising; spoken acknowledgements; speaking opportunities, and activation at the events.

 

  • Coordination and implementation of advertising campaigns between different segments of the tourism industry (destination, country, airline, travel agents).

 

  • Sponsorship and partnership of sporting events and organizations. Benefits include media exposure, brand exposure in printed materials, spoken acknowledgements, speaking opportunities, activation at the events.

 

These marketing efforts work well for small businesses as well as large organizations.  In order to make the most of partnerships and sponsorships, companies should gain exposure through an integrated mix of advertising and PR.  As always there should be a consistent message directed towards a clear objective.

Related articles that may be of interest:

http://www.businessknowhow.com/marketing/marketing-partnership.htm

http://marketing.about.com/od/eventandseminarmarketing/a/sponsorship.htm

info@sinclairandruiz.com

http://www.facebook.com/sinclairandruiz

 


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Turning 5

As S&R enters its  5th year, we are excited for 2012. How time flies!  It is interesting to look back and  see how far we’ve come.  Considering a few of the highlights, turning 5 means:

  • The company has planned and managed 26 exclusive events on behalf of our clients across Canada, the U.S. and Mexico.
  • We have represented clients at over 35 tradeshows and third party events.
  • S&R staff has been the MC and public speakers at nearly 30 events.
  • S&R has designed and executed nearly 20 individual advertising campaigns including 5 public/private sector coops with the Mexico Tourism Board on behalf of private companies and associations.
  • We’ve launched image, sales and sports campaigns.
  • In terms of PR, the company has coordinated press trips, national T.V. network interviews, provided a spokesperson during radio interviews and participated in crisis management for our clients.
  • The S&R team has provided graphic design services for corporate branding and advertising.
  • We have translated approximately 100 documents including lease agreements, purchase agreements, marketing material, websites, and correspondence, among others. We’ve provided this service for companies from the real estate, tourism, food, mining, and engineering industries doing international business.

We look forward to the continuing our collaboration with clients, partners and service providers. Cheers to the next 5!


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Figures for 2012

The Economist recently published its special issue titled “The World in 2012”. Its “The World in Figures” section includes some interesting commentary and predictions for 2012.  We thought we’d share some of their figures regarding predictions on GDP growth v.s. inflation in several countries (please refer to the magazine issue for the full list). We include percentages for both developed and emerging markets, which we think tell an interesting story for entities analyzing options for international business.

Country GDP Growth % Inflation %
China 8.2 3.8
India 7.8 7.7
Brazil 3.5 5.5
Turkey 3.5 6.6
Canada 2.5 1.4
Mexico 3.1 3.8
U.S. 1.3 2.1
UK 0.7 2.9
Spain 0.3 1.8
France 0 1.7
Germany 0 1.8

According to this portion of the list China and Canada are the two countries projected to keep a better balance between growth and inflation.The section notes the deepening consumer market in China (page 111). For Canada it highlights efforts to pursue “closer economic ties with major overseas markets to diversify away from its dependence on US consumers” (page 115). The article also sees the U.S. narrowly avoiding a recession, but consumers will likely remain shy. On the other hand, growth in emerging markets such as Brazil and India is tempered by inflation.  All in all, 2012 is approached with caution as well as opportunity.

More on consumer markets:

America’s Slumping Consumer Confidence


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Advertising vs. Public Relations

Advertising and public relations are both different and integral parts of the marketing whole. However, there are plenty of people who take sides and passionately believe in one over the other. For example, the anti- PR camp may agree with the statement in a recent article that  “…Anyone who announces anything is a fool because nobody cares unless they’re Apple or Google…[and] many people still don’t get that public relations is no longer public relations. By many people, I don’t mean just PR people: I mean the companies that hire them and demand they do it a certain, familiar way.” On the other hand, I’ve also heard executives say they stay away from advertising because they don’t believe it is effective. For them the best and only valuable promotional strategy is to earn media coverage.

Public Relations

Public Relations includes much more than press releases and media coverage. PR also includes creating networks (not limited to virtual ones), hosting events, participating in trade shows, corresponding with existing and potential clients, and of course social or new media. The right balance and ensuring your message is directed to the correct audience should result in interest and therefore people caring about what you have to say.

In the case of social or new media, its applications are still in the development phase and currently change. The phenomenon has created much excitement in the PR camp. Yet, not everyone is enthusiastic about the challenges new media represents. As the head of a well established PR company closing its doors explained “…Ad firms are having mixed success with their early forays… and jumping in because their clients expect it…” while on the other hand “Companies have no budget line for this. They don’t know how to measure it. They struggle with balance between responding to customers, over-compensating small issues, or being too ‘corporate’ in their responses. There is no measurement tools that make me go, ‘Snap!!’ that’s who is listening to us.”

It is important to recognize that social media opens the door to endless possibilities. The key is not to become consumed by the options, and as with any strategy, stick to a plan that reaches the company’s objectives. Also, don’t forget that social networks are not limited to Facebook and Twitter. Networks are formed through business, partnerships, and memberships. The main goal of PR is to get people talking about you according to the image you want to portray – one that encourages people to become clients.

 

Advertising

Common comments from those who do not like advertising often mention that a) they prefer not to pay for coverage if they can get it for free and b) that people believe what the media says more than what advertisers say. It is important to take into consideration that earned media does not guarantee full control of the message nor does it control exact timing. In addition, it is up to the company to transmit the right message through their advertising and make the necessary information available to people researching the product in order to satisfy consumers. An ad can include specific information and calls to action that may not be conveyed in earned media. In addition ads can be repeated frequently to maintain the message current while- for example- a columnist is not likely to write about your company 3 times a week for an entire month repeating your message. In fact, even Apple – a company that earns more media attention than most- resorts to advertising to communicate specific information about their products.

Balance
The use of Advertising and PR requires a balance that depends on the company, its goals and the situation. An integral and effective campaign should implement both in a complementary way, especially as people choose multiple media through which to research products. The balance may shift according to the needs of the company and must adjust to new developments. The most important element is to know what you want to achieve and have a clear plan as to how you will achieve it.

Contact us to learn how Sinclair and Ruiz can help design the right strategy and balance for your business.

www.sinclairandruiz.com

www.facebook.com/sinclairandruiz

@sinclairandruiz


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Selling a Destination in Less Than Ideal Conditions

Many travel and tourism destinations face challenges because of  the ongoing economic downturn. Others additionally face negative press regarding environmental issues, violence, and civil unrest; as well as misinformation.  Therefore destinations must  constantly evaluate their situations and take the necessary measures required to survive and thrive at any given time. The following are a few points that should be considered:

 New Markets – When a traditional market does not respond, destinations must adapt and reach-out to new markets. While traditional markets should not be ignored or forgotten, destinations need to expand their reach.

 Focus Budgets– It is important to target limited funds on very specific areas. Destinations and private organizations must resist diluting their investments by trying to cover as much market as possible. It is amazing what can be achieved with limited budgets if they are applied effectively and consistently.

 A Balanced Approach – Marketing efforts should be directed to the consumer. Tourism and recreational real estate marketing strategies often rely heavily on third parties such as tour operators, travel agents, and brokers to connect with consumers. Though third parties continue to be essential players, consumers increasingly make purchasing decisions based on their own research and peer reviews. Therefore communicating directly with existing and potential clients is a key element in any successful campaign, as are great customer service and ongoing client care.

Education – Destinations should reach out to consumers and educate them about the competitive advantages of their brand. Inform consumers what the destination offers and clarify misinformation.  In addition, communicate what the destination is doing to correct issues that displease consumers.

Speak the Consumers’ Language – Take into account language and cultural nuances to make sure the message being heard by the market is the one you are trying to transmit.


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Elements of Successful Marketing Campaigns

I’d like to share some elements that have made marketing campaigns successful in our experience:

  • Effective communication and promotions that are attractive to the target audience. In addition to a new audience, the communication strategy should motivate contacts who have known about the company for over a year – but had not done business with the company – to finally respond to the call to action.
  • The strategy should take into account past strategies that worked as well as strategies that  may been good ideas originally – but weren’t implemented properly. They should be modified to fit into the objectives of the current campaign if it is thought they can meet the needs of the target market.
  • The campaign execution should include plenty of follow-up with  prospects along the way.
  • The strategy design and execution phases need to run their course without being rushed. Each phase should be implemented without cutting corners. Once the campaign ends, it is importante for the client’s staff to continue to engage the segments of brand new audiences who were not ready to act right away.