The experts on brand marketing and growth
Wavelength Marketing are experts in brand marketing and brand-driven growth. Led by subject matter expert, Dr. Darren Coleman, they have developed a full suite of online courses that help businesses to develop and harness the power of their bands. The courses can be accessed on any LMS via our Course-Source eLearning supply service.
We asked Dr Coleman to share his viewpoint about the philosophy behind his courses and the issues faced by businesses as they try to maximise their brand value.
Course-Source: It feels like managers are under constant pressure to drive growth in existing and new markets. How do your courses solve this specific challenge?
Dr Coleman: “Brands provide one proven way to drive growth. But knowing where to start and how to structure a scalable approach to brand-driven growth is a challenge many managers face. Inspired by our experience and client insight, we’ve designed a suite of courses that are focused on helping learners drive growth through brands. This ranges from shorter 10 to 15-minute courses focused on brand performance measurement right through to a five-hour course, which is broken down into a series of bite-sized chunks, so learners can acquire in-depth knowledge when and where they want.”
Course-Source: What do you see as the main challenges relating to brand growth in the current climate?
Dr Coleman: “The main challenges relate to managers’ being focused on product, category and price.
A physical product has no emotion. This is problematic because it’s the emotion we feel that is the primary driver of human choice. Brands operate in the emotional space, and this is why they are so powerful. A bottle of water has no emotion, but Evian added roller-skating babies to convey the emotion of vitality. Before you know it you’ve got a commodity product that has emotive appeal – and very healthy profit margins.
Being category-focused restricts brand growth. For instance, you may sell energy drinks and position your brand in that category. If you reframe your thinking to position your brand as being associated with sporting performance, you can put lots of different products and experiences under your brand - which you don’t even have to make or deliver. This is what Lucozade has done to great effect.
Focusing on price is bad news. Years ago, in the UK there was a supermarket price war which meant supply chain margins were being squeezed. Findus frozen food decided to put horsemeat in their lasagne because it was cheaper than beef. The secret got out and brand trust was shattered. It’s far better to focus on value and not price because customers look for value. Powerful brands operate to focus on value and not price. Value generates cash flows that can fund subsequent growth in existing and / or new markets. If you’re focused on value you’ll also know when to walk away from a bad dinner i.e. deal.
These are just some of the types of points we make in our courses which are supported with data and relevant case studies from around the world.“
Course-Source: What do you see as some of the branding mistakes that companies often make, and how do you explore these within your courses?
Dr Coleman: “The largest mistakes relate to focusing on the product, not the brand experience. The latter is more powerful. When you focus on experiences there is almost an infinite number of ways you can differentiate your brand. This prevents your brand from getting sucked into price-based competition. Red Bull is a brand that has become more experiential over the years. Our courses are very focused on explaining the value of competing through brand experiences.
A lot of managers make decisions without understanding the logic of doing it. For example, why are brand values important? Most managers will talk about brand values but very few could answer this question in a convincing way. Our courses explain the rationale that underpins an idea so that the learner can explain the logic that informs the decisions they make. This is a great way to engage your colleagues and command their respect.
If I had $1 for every time a manager said to me “But our market is different because….” I’d be a multi-millionaire. It’s true many markets have nuances, but a surprising number of challenges and solutions exist irrespective of the market or location. I’ve learned this over my 25 years global experience and share these best practice principles in very practical ways in our courses.
It's common for managers to get bogged down with brand jargon. This adds confusion, complexity and alienates other people who may not be familiar with those terms. It’s best to use simple, clear, and straightforward business English. Our courses are designed that way.”
Course-Source: Tell us about the audience for your courses? Who would benefit from them?
Dr Coleman: “Our courses have been designed for ambitious and intellectually curious managers who are dedicated to their personal and professional growth. They seek tried and tested practical tools and templates which they can use to help them do their job more effectively. That is precisely what our courses deliver.”
Course-Source: What is the philosophy behind your approach to designing your courses?
Dr Coleman: “Einstein is quoted as saying “If you can’t explain it simply you don’t understand it well enough.” We go to great lengths to ensure that we explain potentially complex ideas using simple and straightforward English. Based on our client feedback we’d like to think I’ve done that.“
For full details of Wavelength Marketing courses please, please click here.
You can try their content on your LMS – please contact us for a free trial and a quote to meet your exact requirements and to preview the courses on your LMS.