Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Power of the Right Branding

We commonly come in contact with companies that are frustrated with their new business development. They blame the lack of budget for their woes and wish they could increase brand awareness to attract prospects. They all make the similar comment, "If prospects only knew what we offer and how good of job we do for our customers -- we would have great sales growth!"

For some, it is not a matter of marketing budget but the lack of proper branding. Without the proper brand positioning, your product and superior performance could be your best kept secret.

Your brand provides you with the most impact and visibility regardless of the size of your advertising budget. From the sign on your office door, the front lobby receptionist to every customer contact, your brand gives you the opportunity to tell the world who you are and what you are all about. If your brand does not do that in a differentating way with conviction, it's time for you to revisit your brand platform.

Powerful brands do not need to be that complexed. Take for example the law firm Levenfeld Pearlstein. With its website as an important marketing channel, this law firm expresses its "reason for being" as simply "Unusually Good". The positioning promotes a tone and personality not normally associated with lawyers. It offers a promise as well as it sets the bar for performance for each and every employee.

The Avant Brand Development Process provides enterprises with the ability to define the correct Brand Platform that perfectly tells your story to the world. Not only does the process maximize your brand impact and communications, but it truly becomes the "rallying cry" that promotes high performance within your organization.

Be looking for the new brand identities for two clients in one of our favorite categories -- municipalities. The new brand identities for Salinas, California and University City, Missouri are scheduled for launch in early in 2012. Both brands are focused on increasing city affinity with residents while attracting prospects in both the residential and business categories.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Is the Penn State Brand Too Tainted for Bowl Selection?

We all feel the disgrace caused by the scandal at Penn State. For many, Saturday College Football is a few hours of sanctuary from real life issues. When that sanctuary is invaded, it affects us all.
With its winning season, Penn State is bowl eligible. But from a branding standpoint, would it be good judgment for any bowl committee to invite a school that is under such scrutiny? Would any major bowl inherit the negativity that currently surrounds the school and athletic program?
This will be a hard decision for any bowl committee. From a financial standpoint, Penn State is a good choice. It is one of the largest schools in the Big Ten and its fan base travels well -- a bowl invitation would ensure a solid revenue and income base for the bowl venue.
Yet, with the ongoing investigation and potential cover-up, how can any bowl committee invite a school that will not only put it on the sports page but also on the front page with further scandal exposure?
Bowl committees should keep in mind that the players did nothing wrong. They deserve to be rewarded for a winning season – particularly making it through the turmoil that they faced this year. Second, the moral and ethical standards of an institution are not fully destroyed by the actions of a few. There is no group of people more disgraced than Penn State Alumni. The shameful actions of a few are shared by many – that is a basic law of brand affinity – you share in both the good and the bad attributes when you establish that affinity. But an institution’s standards and ethics do remain and must be reinforced by all who call Penn State home.
The current scandal should not negate Penn State from bowl play. It can provide the school the opportunity to reinforce its high standards and moral substance and declare to everyone that the institution is stronger than the actions of a few. It would also provide Penn State the opportunity to donate its bowl revenues to a deserving child abuse organization or charity.

There is a need for quality institutions to believe in. A quality Penn State brand is needed for its students, its alumni and by all of us who may not share in the value of the Penn State institution, but in the institution of collegiate academics and athletics.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Avant to Assist Veterans with Market Planning Assistance

St. Louis – Nov. 11, 2011 – The Avant Marketing Group, a market planning firm in St. Louis, has established an assistance program for veterans returning from military service who are interested in establishing their own entrepreneurial businesses.
“Returning veterans are finding the job market tough,” states Avant partner, Mark Buckley.
“U.S. troops who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan are faced with an alarmingly high jobless rate of 13.3 percent. While the economy is showing signs of improvement, finding a job is still difficult for many veterans. Many may elect to investigate the opportunities in starting their own business or expanding a family business and we want to help,” commented Buckley.
While there has been additional emphasis in the hiring of veterans with tax incentives for businesses, there is little assistance for a veteran who wants to plan his own business after returning to civilian life.
The Avant Marketing Group will offer market and business planning advice to those veterans. Through consultation with the firm, a veteran can receive business and marketing advice including market analysis, brand positioning and initial strategic plans to assist business development efforts.
Returning veterans can contact the Avant Marketing Group through its web site:
The Avant Marketing Group was founded in 2004 and serves both domestic and international clients with brand development, market planning and research. The firm recently relocated offices to 6 The Pines Court, Suite E in St. Louis, Missouri.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Avant Moves Offices

To better serve the growing demands of our customers, Avant Marketing Group has relocated its offices in the St. Louis area. The new facility now offers more capacity for both qualitative and quantitative research personnel.

Both our address and telephone numbers have changed:

New Address: 6 The Pines Court, Suite E, St. Louis, Missouri 63141

New Telephone: 314.576.7700 Fax: 314.576.7707