Monday, November 8, 2010

Meet Jennifer, Becky, Melissa and Josh

Dan Hammer, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Schwan’s Consumer Brands, gave early afternoon keynote participants an insight into what it’s like inside the marketing department of Schwan’s. Apparently, the place is populated by Jennifer, Becky, Melissa and Josh. These are the proper names given to Schwan’s brand heroes that embody three tried and true fundamentals of marketing that hold true for anyone, no matter their level of expertise.
Dan distills all of the market noise that is out there today down to three key concepts that make an effective marketer and brand builder:
Know your brand
Know your consumer or customers
Focus on value creation
Knowing your brand means having a clear vision of why your brand exists. Making your message simple and easy will contribute to the clarity.
Know your consumers and customers by understanding their values and motivations. Be certain to speak on their terms and to build a personal relationship with them.
Then create value by making the message ownable and compelling so that it drives people to change their behavior and buy your product or service.
Using the brand heroes as personal representations of their customer helps Schwann’s focus their marketing and, as a result, focuses their customer’s feeling for the brands as well.

Dan closed his talk with the following principles for success in a Corporate structure:
Focus – be as declarative about what you don’t want as what you do want
Accountability – gain alignment on who does what/when and then hold people accountable
Simplify – Complexity causes confusion and chaos
Talk, talk, talk – you can’t over-communicate to your people and do it live, not via email, as much as possible
Execute with excellence – good ideas become great ideas when you do the last 10%
Results – celebrate the successes, big and small, to maintain a happy, motivated team

Dave Buchanan is an account manager at Capsule. He is involved in brand development, research planning, and naming for the firm's clients. Client experience includes: Rayovac, AMPI, Honeywell, Polaris, Carlson Companies, Spec Mix, Herman Miller, Vital Images, TIGI Linea and Target.

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