Category Archives: Haley Brand Intelligence

Winning Strategies Focus on the Three R’s of Content Marketing

Have you ever noticed that when you see a McDonald’s, typically you will also see a Burger King? Or when you see a Target, odds are a Walmart is in close proximity? With brick and mortar brands, this is visually obvious, but the same coincidence is true when it comes to online space. Type in the keywords for your brand and you’ll notice that you might appear in the search results, but so do your closest competitors.

A little competition is actually a good thing. It gives brands a benchmark to compare or strive toward. It also provides consumers with choices. That’s right, I actually said that consumer choice is a good aspect of competition. A healthy bit of competition serves as a natural reminder for brands, forcing them to consistently have a gut check, evaluate current positioning and offerings, and push toward product enhancements.

While competition can be great for creating product roadmaps and defining consumer demand, it does make the landscape a bit more treacherous for online content marketers. Have no fear – we have three rules of content marketing that will steer your content marketing efforts toward search results success.

Roulette Anyone?

One of the biggest hurdles for any content marketer is to figure out how to create pieces that are not only interesting but also entertaining. One of the best ways to achieve this goal is to make it fun – take it back to grade school and make it a game. Get consumers involved through a game of chance…a game of roulette.

Don’t leave the reputation of your brand to chance but rather make the involvement of your consumers exciting by engaging them in a way that they’ll never be completely sure what they’ll get. Make your message the surprise.

An excellent example of this is the new Doritos campaign, which is aptly named Doritos Roulette. This incredibly creative campaign has chip lovers across the globe rushing to purchase the mixed bag of regular Doritos with a handful of extra spicy ones in order to play the game for themselves. And word is spreading like wildfire on Vine and YouTube as consumers film their games and share their experiences.

By creating something that is fun and engages consumers in such a way, Doritos has established a campaign that is self-feeding with a message that is spreading virally and organically across cyberspace.

Rivalry Develops Advocates

Rivalries are a staple of our everyday lives through athletic teams, hometown cities and our brand preferences. New York vs. New Jersey, University of Texas vs. Oklahoma University, Pepsi vs. Coke – it’s something that is ingrained in our culture.

So why is this the key to content marketing? Glad you asked! These rivalries are key drivers for creating brand advocates. Think of how many times your grandparents preached about the dependability of a Buick as you were growing up or how many times you found yourself buying the maximum amount when your favorite but slightly more expensive brand, Tide, went on sale. Brands can become such a part of our lifestyles that, as consumers, we do a great deal of storytelling in hopes of swaying others on behalf of our favorite brands.

This natural tendency of rivalries helps create some of the strongest brand advocates. As content marketers, it is our job to fuel the fires of rivalry, providing our advocates with additional ammunition and publicly thanking them when they take a stand on our brand’s behalf.

Recognition Is the End Result

Want to increase your brand’s organic reach without spending a fortune? Recognize your consumers. This gesture of recognition often instills a sense of pride and provides a natural motivator for increased word-of-mouth advocate marketing.

You see this in restaurants all the time – a menu board full of sandwiches named after the store’s more famous and/or loyal patrons. Domino’s recently took this cue and created an app that allows customers to not only customize their pizza but also name it, and they can even earn money for local charities when other consumers order one of their creations.

Not only does this give consumers a chance for the public spotlight, it also allows Domino’s to put themselves in a position of charitable giving within individual communities, giving consumers even more reason to pledge their loyalty to the brand and return again and again.

Creating a Game Plan for Your Brand

The first step to any journey is always the hardest. At Haley Brand Intelligence, we’ve helped hundreds of brands create roadmaps for success with their content marketing strategies. If you’re ready for your brand to get into the game, contact Haley Brand Intelligence and let us guide you to a winning strategy.


How to Increase Customer Loyalty Through Your Branding

brand ambassadors

Good branding doesn’t just help increase leads and bring in new customers. In fact, it’s actually best at improving the loyalty of existing customers who already know about your brand, have bought from you and have used your services.

Now I know that doesn’t sound as exciting … the same old customers? Don’t you want new ones to improve your profits?

Actually, there’s a lot more money to be gained from a passionate, loyal following than just a bunch of newbies. For one, they’ll buy from you again and again – that means no advertising costs, no sales pitches, and no added expenses. Just regular income from them month after month or year after year.

They’ll also become your biggest brand ambassadors. Without any payment, they’ll start shouting your name from the rooftops, getting their friends and colleagues to love your brand too. You can’t get much better than that!

So how do you make this happen? How do you increase loyalty with existing customers simply through your branding? Here are a few simple ways:

  1. Give them an experience. Your customers should experience more than just an exchange of money and goods. Make their experience memorable. Make it easy, fun, helpful, valuable and anything else you can. Get everyone from your sales team to your customer service specialists on board, and create a consistent level of care and service that customers can learn to love and rely on.
  2. Make a human connection. Sure the web makes everything easier, but there’s something to be said for human connection, too, and don’t forget that. Whenever possible, add personal touches to your customer experience to make buyers feel more at home. Reach out with a personalized thank-you email, call them up and make sure their purchase is up to par, or check in a month later to see if there’s anything you can help with.
  3. Get to know your customers. Take time to find out what your customers like and don’t like, need and don’t need. Then use that information to tailor your brand exactly to them. Add them to an email list specifically aimed at buyers in a certain sphere or positions in a company. Direct them to landing pages that address the unique challenges they’re going through. Use their first name when they call for customer service or email your team for help. Make them feel like a part of your branding – not a victim of it.

What has your branding done for you? If it’s not encouraging repeat business or turning customers into outright brand ambassadors, you’re doing something wrong. Contact the branding experts at Haley Brand Intelligence today to learn more.

The Ultimate Online Branding Checklist

social media

Branding is no longer just the logo and colors you slap on your products or hang from the walls of your trade show booth. While these physical pieces of branding are still very important, they only account for a very small portion of your overall branding strategy.

The bulk of your branding? In today’s world, that’s found online.

It’s your website, your social media accounts and your email campaigns. It’s everything your customers see when they search you on Google or research your products on the web.

So take a minute to look at your online presence. Is it branded properly? What is it saying to your potential customers? Is it selling them on your company or making them run for the hills?

Go through this checklist and make sure your online branding is up to snuff – before it’s too late:

  1. A well-designed, easy-to-navigate website. Your website is going to be your first touchpoint with customers, so make it one to impress. Your site should be sleek, professionally designed and, most importantly, easy to use and navigate. Confusing menus or overly complicated designs are just going to turn users off, so keep it simple and beautiful at every turn.
  2. A well-honed voice. Just like your customer service reps have a voice on the phone, your brand needs to have a voice on the web. It should show off your personality and values as a company, and it should carry over through everything you do – your website, your social posts, your email newsletters and more.
  3. Matching social media accounts. On the web, your brand needs to have consistency so your Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and any other social accounts fall right in line with your website. They should share the same logo, have similar design schemes, and the same voice.
  4. Online customer service. The service you deliver is a big part of your branding too. It’s what makes people feel a kinship with your brand – what keeps them coming back for more time and time again. So don’t slap a phone number on your website and call it a day. Invest in online chat functionality, install web contact forms, and make getting in touch with your team a breeze. Don’t forget to also have the right staff in place to manage those contact funnels. You don’t want long queues or angry customers.
  5. Good calls to action. What’s the point of pulling in customers online if they’re not converting in some way? Make sure you have a call to action on every point of contact with a customer on the web – a product to buy, an ebook to download or at the very least a contact form to fill out. The more you interact with a customer, the more chances you have to impress them and draw them in for more business.

Want more help with your online branding? Contact the branding experts at Haley Brand Intelligence today. We’re here to help.


Ace Your Content Marketing Game to Drive Higher Traffic

The world of content marketing is an unglamorous and sometimes unrewarding place. We spend hours poring through analytics to determine high-performance keywords and the online habits of our target audience in order to create better and stronger blogs, press releases and emails. You write, rewrite and send your content off to editorial. Once cleared, you send your hard work out into the world…and then you wait.


Hours and days go by and you begin the slow process of analysis; watching and studying in order to see just how accurate your original planning was and how appealing others find what you have created. You have now entered the hardest part of being a content marketer – evaluation. Writing can be so personal for many, so waiting to see what others think and determine how well it performed can be agonizing.

But then the stats come in and you see you were on track. After a quiet moment of celebration, you begin the process again by creating new content that will build on the moment of this most recent piece.

And thus is the day-to-day reality of so many content marketers. But how is it that some brands appear to have figured out the secret sauce of social media success while others still struggle to create content that performs well and connects with their target audience?

The truth of the matter is that the road to social media success is different for every brand. Every brand has its own unique map to success. The key ingredient to their secret sauce, though, is that they understand how to read the cryptic feedback and directions they are receiving from their analytics and turn them into a championship guide for brand content marketing success.

Grab Your Caddy and Hit the Links

Believe it or not, content marketing is the golf game of online user engagement. Some days, your game is off and your content fizzles away into the black hole of cyberspace. Other days, you continue to hit hole-in-one after hole-in-one with content that delivers a punch and expands your reach through viral, grassroots efforts. It’s this success, just as in golf, that keeps us coming back for more.

Content marketing is a game of patience and one that we must practice daily. It’s not just something where you can pick up a club for one day and simply expect to automatically remain under par. It takes practice and commitment. It takes an appreciation for the game. It takes years of working with and understanding the course.

Over time, just as with golf, your understanding of the game will increase and your performance will improve, garnering you better page rankings and a stronger online reputation.

Appreciate the Best Practices of the Game

While you’ll never have a guarantee that your content will go viral, there are things you can do that will ensure a better performance and increase the longevity of your pieces. Following these tried and true tactics is the first step to any successful plan:

  • Know your target audience – Take time to get to know your target audience, where they hang out and what their “hot button” topics are. This will guide you in creating a roadmap for your brand’s content strategy.
  • Freshness is key – Ensure you’re putting out new content on a steady and consistent basis. Your audience will come to expect it and look for it, and your rankings in the various search engines will rise.
  • Variety is the spice of life…and content marketing – Mix up your formats and spread your brand message via blogs, emails, videos and infographics. This gives your content additional channels to travel and increases your probability of sharing.
  • Let your audience be heard – Add social sharing icons to your content to make it easier for users to share, but also include an avenue by which they can respond directly to you. Let them share feedback on your content, your brand and your products. This not only gives them the chance to connect with your brand, but it will also give you insight into what products and services your audience is seeking.
  • Know your game stats – Review your content performance on a daily basis and work with your team to adjust your strategy on a monthly or weekly basis so your game stays fresh and on target.

Is Your Brand Ready for Your First Set of Clubs?

Being able to perform well in the game of content marketing requires skills and a deep knowledge of the game. Just as with golf, working with a pro from the start will help your brand to develop a strong swing and appreciation for the game.

The Haley Brand Intelligence team is full of pros – we’ve studied user behavior and engagement for years; we’ve practiced our swing so that we are able to hit consistently long drives down the online fairways; and we know how to drop it in for putt. Wherever you want your brand’s game to go, Haley Brand Intelligence can provide the guidance to get you there.

Does Facebook Make the Right Connections for Your Brand?

Midyear is here and it’s time for many brands to step back and evaluate their social media performance for the first half of the year and adjust as needed for the remainder. Facebook, a longtime requirement for most successful brands, has had a year of ups and downs already, causing many to question its value in a brand’s social media portfolio.

Facebook now has over 1.28 billion active users and more than 30 million brands with some sort of a presence on the site. With that many consumers available in one place, Facebook is a marketer’s dream.

Here are a few facts and stats to keep in mind while your brand evaluates and plans for the remainder of 2014.

  1. More than 19 million of the businesses on Facebook have optimized their Fan Page for mobile. Considering 399 million Facebook users use mobile on a monthly basis, if you want to compete, your brand should do the same.
  2. Facebook ads now command a 122 percent higher price tag per ad unit than they did just a year ago. Brands spent $2.66 billion on Facebook advertising last quarter, which is an increase from $2.27 billion the previous quarter.
  3. 829 million people use Facebook on a daily basis, an increase from 802 million last quarter. In comparison, Instagram is only used by 200 million people each month.
  4. The average Facebook user spends 40 minutes a day on the platform. That’s a lot of opportunity for any brand.
  5. Facebook users bought $234 million worth of virtual goods and gifts on Facebook over the last quarter.
  6. Why is it important to consider video on Facebook? Because twice as many people now watch videos on Facebook in their feed compared to just six months ago.
  7. There are over 1 billion searches performed on Facebook each day. With those kinds of numbers, shouldn’t your brand be part of the search result?

Despite the competitive landscape, Facebook continues to outperform market expectations in both revenue and user engagement, which ensures that it’s still one of the top social media darlings and a must-have for any brand’s online marketing portfolio.

Build a Strong Social Media Brand Presence

With all the competition out there, creating a presence for your brand is not only more important than ever, but ensuring you stand out is now trickier than ever.  The Haley Brand Intelligence team knows how to create brand social excitement online.  Wherever you want your brand to go online, Haley Brand Intelligence can provide the map to get you there.

Does Your Brand Tell a Story or Nah?

Today’s online marketers now understand the importance of creating stories, not just campaigns, that not only weave a tale of history and purpose about their brands, but that stand out and connect with consumers via a more personal social media marketplace. This emerging strategy is visible in just about every industry and resets the bar for online consumer engagement.

With so many examples of the phenomenal success of this new strategy, we are forced to wonder why more organizations aren’t structuring their own strategies and issues as stories versus continuing to pursue the dying art of campaign and old-school commercial marketing?

A Case of a Viral Success Story

zayuum-you-gotta-bae-or-nahWhere did you come from and what do you stand for have always been essential elements of a brand’s history, but the story a brand tells is more about the message, context and emotional triggers it uses to connect with its target audience. If you want to see a successful case of a story that connects, just spend a few minutes watching the videos of Nash Grier, a sensation who has created a cult following on a global scale.

Wait – a teenager posting online videos is our case study? Yeah! What Nash did was simple – he cracked the code of online social media and created a viral story, which he tells through quirky short videos. His ongoing story and his message are authentic and entertaining, continually forming an emotional connection with teens through personal excerpts from his daily life.

Through his story, Nash turned himself into a brand – a brand that many companies now believe in enough that they sponsor his YouTube channel and provide him with products and apparel to pitch on their behalf. Even more ingenious is how Nash turned one very highly watched and shared video into his own commercial success. His “You Gotta Bae or Nah?” video has now become his signature calling card and is a slogan available for purchase on everything from t-shirts to iPhone covers on his website.

What Nash did was to be authentic – telling his story instead of pitching a commercial. His followers believed in what he was saying and connected to it emotionally enough that they did the work of expanding his social reach for him. This is a true success story in how a story should work online.

You Got a Story or Nah?

A brand story that is true, authentic and engaging will make the paradigm shift from traditional marketing to consumer engagement successfully. When a story connects with its audience, it becomes sharable. Statistics prove that brands with sharable content are seen by others as being more trusted. Brands with a sharable story become more trusted, with a message and following that are more organically created through brand advocates and become brands with stronger sales and growth.

Haley Brand Intelligence is a leader in crafting unique, entertaining and authentic stories that enable brands to stand out among the pack and create an organic following of true brand advocates and supporters.

A Case Study in Rebranding Success

Considering the virtually endless amount of competition that businesses face in most industries today, uniqueness and brand honesty have never been more important. To stand out, a brand must develop a powerful identity and value proposition – one that makes an emotional connection with consumers.

Adding complication to this effort is how to handle the rebranding for a company under new leadership, one that has recently merged with another brand, or simply one that is seeking to freshen up their image after several decades of never really reaching the top of the industry with their message.

Whether they’ve been around for decades or are coasting through the sophomore stages of growth, some companies just have a bit of a magic touch when it comes to grabbing consumers’ attention and establishing themselves as fan favorites. Let’s take a look at two brands that have managed to obtain the magic touch and create rebranding campaigns that have become case studies in how to do it right.

The New Face of Old Spice

Old Spice Campaign

Old Spice Campaign

On shelves across America since 1938, Old Spice had long been associated with legacy, confidence and more mature gentlemen. In 2008, Old Spice kicked off a new campaign in order to provide a more appealing message to their younger targeted demographic audience.

The Old Spice Swagger campaign completely transformed the face of the Old Spice brand and, through a series of commercials and ads, gave a new voice and sense of style to the stately old brand.

Proving that a successful campaign requires more than a revamped logo or tagline, the Old Spice Swagger message demanded the attention of a new generation and connected with them via a new emotionally charged value proposition.

Staying true to their roots, Old Spice has raised the bar on creativity and has proven itself to be a long-lasting face in the fragrance and beauty industry.

Plenty of Obvious Staying Power Captain Obvious Campaign

Only the other end of the spectrum you’ll find, one of the best examples of successful rebranding during the sophomore stages of company growth. What started as a small reservation website, is now one of the top booking sites in the world, and thanks to a collective marketing genius, they’ve given a rather uniquely identifiable personality to their brand.

The Captain Obvious campaign launched in late 2013 when the travel giant was leveling off in growth numbers and starting to find itself becoming a small voice in a loud industry choir. The smart one-liners, cheeky situational comedy and quirky personality of the brand’s new spokesman, Captain Obvious, have proven to be entertaining, memorable, and captivating with consumer audiences.

In similar fashion to the rebranding of Old Spice, has found the magic bullet and has not only given new life to their brand but has also managed to create a marketing message that is so entertaining that consumers share it wildly on social media channels and talk about it during office breaks and social gatherings.

Creating Something Uniquely Your Own

Let’s face it, crafting a personality and voice for your brand can be an arduous task. Finding that magic message that will appeal to a large audience, expand your reach and inevitably impact your bottom line by creating a brand name and message that sticks in the minds of the collective consumer consciousness requires deliberate and savvy know-how.

The Haley Brand Intelligence team knows how to devise unique, entertaining and charismatic campaigns that help brands to stand out among the pack and establish leadership in any category. Wherever you want your brand to go, Haley Brand Intelligence can provide the map to get you there.

Three Reasons to Hire an SEO Agency

profilepicSearch engine optimization (SEO) is engrained in the vernacular of today’s marketers.  However, most marketers only understand the basics of the practice. SEO is a complicated practice that touches on elements of analytics, content development, planning, usability and the ability to stay on top of the ever-changing algorithm rules of the main search engines.

Many companies think “if I have a marketing department, we can do SEO in-house.”  Although you might be able to cover the basics, SEO experts are what it takes to strategically stay ahead of the competition on the right side of the complex search engine rules.

Here are three great reasons to hire an outside SEO agency instead of trying to tackle the job internally:

The Ever-Changing Ways of Algorithms

Believe it or not, the search engines don’t change their ranking requirements and algorithms continually just to drive the average marketer mad. The ongoing updates they make are typically in practice to keep the playing field even and prevent those who are gaming search rankings from continuing to do so.

Because these changes happen frequently and can be quite robust in requirements, working with a professional who focuses on following these updates and knows how to be maneuver these ever-changing waters is absolutely smarter than trying to figure it out and handle it internally.

One Size Does Not Fit All

As with many marketing practices, search engine optimization is focused theory and has variation for implementation by market. What works in search rankings for the food industry, for example, is not going to be what is successful in the aviation or aerospace industry. Each group or niche has its own vernacular, customs, habits and hot buttons. Understanding what these are and how they work most effectively with SEO is what a professional agency will be able to bring to the table.

It Pays to Employ an Agency

One of the biggest reasons companies attempt to handle SEO internally is to save money; however, what they often miss is the true benefit an agency brings. An agency understands white hat practices for SEO; an agency understands the latest algorithm and regulatory changes; an agency understands the ins and outs of your niche; and an agency will be spending their time on the projects that produce results for you. An internal employee, on the other hand, would have to spend so much time staying on top of a successful program it will preclude them from handling other responsibilities, and in the end will cost you money.

Even though there are initial setup costs involved with creating a search engine optimization program with an agency, the increase in traffic, higher sales volumes and relief of the burden of having to attempt to manage the program in house far outweighs the start-up costs, which makes working with an SEO agency truly priceless.

Haley Brand Intelligence Welcomes Engagement Manager

In an effort to better support the changing needs of clients, Haley Brand Intelligence is pleased to announce the hiring of a new Engagement Manager, Rebecca Downing Scott. In this role, Ms. Scott will focus on developing strategic online social strategies for clients, oversee the online content development for clients and Haley Brand Intelligence, and head up the in-house project management team.

“We are very excited to have Ms. Scott on our team,” states Gayle Haley, CEO and Founder of Haley Brand Intelligence ( ). “Her online social strategy, usability and user experience background coupled with her project management, content development and marketing skill set are sure to quickly become assets to Haley Brand and prove to be incredibly powerful and impactful to our clients and their projects.”

Ms. Scott has over 16 years of online B2B and B2C experience in product management, online usability, marketing and brand development, and content management with companies such as, imc2 and Belo. She is PMP Certified and holds a B.S. in Biology from the University of Texas at Austin.

“Being able to add my background and experience to the high-level talent pool already in place at Haley Brand is very exciting,” says Scott, Engagement Manager of Haley Brand Intelligence ( “It’s truly humbling to be a part of such an amazing team of professionals and have an opportunity to bring what I know to the aviation brand marketing arena.”