New Approach to Building Brand Identity and Marketing Goods and Services with a Long Life Cycle

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Case Study Reveals Corporate Branding Through Brand Advertising Isn’t Always the Answer

They often have a high price tag, may have a longer purchase evaluation period, and may involve group decision making. The ability of the customer to research the purchase on the Internet is often important to the purchase process.

An average American consumer is exposed to more than 3,000 advertising messages per day, which makes it difficult for any marketer to compete, especially those who are trying to build brand identity for a complex purchase with a long life cycle. A new case study on title insurance by Kilgannon, an Atlanta-based advertising agency, shows how this difficulty can be overcome. On average, people buy a new home once every seven years, and even then, they typically aren’t focused on decisions surrounding the need for and choice of a real estate attorney. Yet, one network of real estate attorneys has increased awareness of the need for their services by 45%, resulting in four years of record growth and profit. How did they do it? The group tapped Kilgannon, an advertising agency which understands the role of marketing complex purchases and corporate branding.

“It is no longer sufficient to simply produce great advertising when marketing complex purchases today,” says Michael Reineck, principal, Kilgannon. “Now, more than ever, it is critical for marketers to also understand how customers find and consume information about their products and services and where they are in the purchasing life cycle.”

Kilgannon takes a distinct approach to marketing brands with long life cycles. The firm has developed a methodology that groups consumers into three phases: passive consideration, active seeker and customer. The passive consideration phase is the first phase, when a consumer has no or low-interest in the category, but may in the future. The active seeker phase describes a consumer who is in the market and is actively shopping, attempting to gather data to make an informed purchase. Lastly, the customer phase is when a consumer has purchased a complex good or service and the goal is to keep them happy.

Providing appropriate communications at relevant points in the life cycle is key to successfully marketing in the complex purchase market and building brand identity. Brand advertising is most important in the passive consideration phase; however, it becomes less important in the active seeker and customer phases. In the active seeker phase, price, promotion, the Web and point of purchase are key factors, and in the customer phase, customer relationship management (CRM) and cross-promotion are critical.

“Complex purchase products with long life cycles are marked by several distinguishing characteristics,” adds Reineck. “They often have a high price tag, may have a longer purchase evaluation period, and may involve group decision making. The ability of the customer to research the purchase on the Internet is often important to the purchase process.”

Complex purchases may include either a business-to-business or a business-to-consumer company. Typical categories of complex purchase products include: automotive, building products, financial services, real estate and technology.

Kilgannon specializes in assisting marketers with complex products that have long product life cycles. In addition to producing relevant marketing communications at each of the critical points in the marketing life cycle, Kilgannon has developed proprietary ROI tools and analytics to assist clients in evaluating the effectiveness of complex purchase marketing programs.

Kilgannon has achieved results for clients in many industries. Highlights of their successes include automotive industry marketing, building products industry marketing, communications industry marketing, financial services branding and utility industry marketing, among others. For more information, visit kilgannon.com or call 404.876.2800.

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Rena Kilgannon
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