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    10 Most Read Articles on Sounds Like Branding in 2010

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    We welcome 2011 by giving you the ten most read articles published here in 2010. Enjoy reading!

    1. The Manual - How to build a successful strategy to interest brands

    2. Heartbeats in conversation with Gerd Leonhard

    3. How to use social media in the music industry

    4. Marketing with a higher purpose

    5. How to turn a customer into a fan

    6. The Sounds like Branding beta version is yours for a tweet

    7. Lady Gaga - living proof of music branding

    8. A new marketing mix for the 21st century: 4Es (with audio)

    9. Heartbeats Trend Report : New York

    10. The philosophy of the four Es – why brands need to embrace this model in their marketing

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    Did You Give The World Some Love Today? - Free whitepaper on brand ethics

    Being ethical and defining what it means for our business might not be an option anymore, but a necessity to stay relevant in the new, fragmented marketplace.

    Heartbeats International gives you a whitepaper on Brand Ethics. This whitepaper is a call for those of us working with branding and marketing, to lift focus from consumer needs for a while and examine our own practice, how our everyday work actively contributes to society.
     

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    Heartbeats Trend Report : New York

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    Eric Welles Nyström, who works with artist management and brand consulting for lifestyle companies in NYC, and is a member of Heartbeats Movement, has shared his insights about marketing trends in NYC with us. Read about Eric’s thoughts of shoe brand Keep’s recent marketing campaign, the future of marketing in general and ‘organic’ as a trend, as well as why music is becoming more and more important to reach the target consumer.

    Get your copy of Heartbeats Trend Report : New York

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    Heartbeats In Conversation With Gerd Leonhard

    Sounds Like Branding presents Heartbeats In Conversation With, a series of short conversations on relevant topics for marketing and communication. First out is a conversation between Heartbeats’ CEO Jakob Lusensky and Gerd Leonhard, media futurist and CEO of The Futures Agency. Watch them talk about the media of the future and what we can learn from the days of Gutenberg.

    The conversation took place at Lydmar Hotel in Stockholm.

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    Experiences – Brands need to provide memorable experiences (4Es)

    Brands offering direct and authentic experiences are more likely to create deeper and more meaningful relationships with their customers than brands that don’t.

    In order to feel important, understood and connected today, people need meaningful and memorable experiences. A recent consumer survey in UK showed that people’s brand recall of an experience is 60%, while for newspapers only 30% and for TV almost as low as 20%. As more companies start to understand the importance of producing cultural capital, authentic brand experiences are becoming increasingly important in order for brands to connect deeper with their customers and get the desired customer attention. To be effective, the experience of a brand has to be rooted in the story the company tells, and appeal to as many of the human senses – i.e. sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste – as possible, and the more meaningful the experience is, the more cultural capital will be associated with it.

    Brands with the ‘fingerspitzgefühl’ of navigating between culture and commerce and direct authentic experiences, will be able to create a deeper and more meaningful relationship to their customers, and more easily succeed in building brand advocacy. Most good experiences tell stories, and a good brand experience makes customers feel closer to the brand. Greater customer loyalty is developed due to the emotional bond, established through the experience. Customers are also willing to pay more for products from brands providing them with meaningful brand experiences.

    Today, we can also see more brands that have started to approach experiences in a more strategic way. Above you can watch intros for T-Mobile’s Electronic Beats Festival, and Intel’s Creators Project, a project that will be presented in a case study later on in this series about the four Es of emotions, experiences, engagement and exclusivity.

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    Emotions – Something humane in the marketing mix (4Es)

    As much as we’d like to think of ourselves as objective decision-making machines, our actions often say otherwise. When we ‘shop’ for something, we typically generate rational reasons to justify our actions. But the decision at the exact time of purchase is quite impulsive and largely emotional.

    Emotional advertising content makes more impact on customers than any rational information. This has been strengthened by neuroscience research during the last few years. In short, our emotions ‘decide’, and do the ‘shopping’, for us. In the end, our actions are formed on the associations and feelings we have for a brand, together with our subjective history of it. Hence, it is essential for brands to establish positive, or ‘right’, brand associations and connect emotionally with customers.

    Establishing ‘right’ brand associations helps to shape positive customer perceptions around the brand, and build strong affinity that leads to a much-increased brand preference amongst the customers, generating engagement and increasing customer loyalty.

    Emotional substance in marketing and communication increases the likelihood of being remembered as well. Customers pay more attention to emotionally-stimulating brand activities than brand activities lacking emotional content. Kevin Roberts, CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi, coined the expression ‘lovemarks’ in 2002, in his book with the same name, where he stated the need for emotional brand connectivity with customers. Eight years later we find this need stronger than ever.

    Brands that establish emotional bonds with their customers will effectively place themselves apart from their competitors, enabling the growth of customer loyalty. Today it is no longer a question of struggling for recognition alone. Today it is a question of being relevant, and connecting with customers. Because only then customers will forward your brand to their peers, writing testimonials and recommending your brand to others they are connected to. Successful brands are thus the ones that offer their customers emotional content which make the customers associate with the brand in a positive manner.

    Worth noting is that rational strengths shouldn’t be utterly replaced by emotional ones: for smaller brands, or new businesses, rational marketing may well do better than exclusively emotional marketing, but for most of the already established brands, or bigger businesses, emotional marketing will definitely outperform solely rational ones.

    Above you can watch film clips from Levi’s and Dove, two brands successfully working with emotions in their marketing campaigns. Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty will be presented as a case study later in this series about the four Es of emotions, experiences, engagement and exclusivity.

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    The Sounds like Branding Beta Version is yours for a tweet

    SLB Beta Cover

    Sounds like Branding (How to use the power of music to turn customers into fans) is the forthcoming book by Jakob Lusensky, CEO at Heartbeats. The book takes you on an ear-opening journey through the history of music and marketing, from the humble jingle and Muzak to today’s music which is blurring the line between brands and bands; making brands in to the record labels of tomorrow.

    You can now download the Sounds like Branding Beta version for a tweet!

    Enjoy reading!

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    Interview with media futurist Gerd Leonhard about the future of brand communication

    We caught up with media futurist and CEO of The Futures Agency, Gerd Leonhard in Paris the other day. Here, in roughly 60 seconds, he gives you his take on the future of branding and communication.

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