Alex Rhodes

Brands – Everybody’s Got One

From a Fortune 500 company to a local business owner to an individual, the approach to managing a brand is all the same.

A brand requires regular care and attention, but it’s not just about listening, it’s about learning, too. Today’s market requires companies to be more targeted and relevant than ever before. It may sound like an arduous task to know exactly who your audience is and what they want, but it’s not as hard as you think. The great news is the answers you’re seeking are likely right under your nose. Speak to your customers, seek their input on product innovations and/or changes, see what they’re saying about you on social; these all are great ways to get feedback and insights from those that matter most: your customers.

2. You can’t set it and forget it

A brand is a living, breathing thing. Many businesses launch a brand or product and think, “Phew, I’m glad that’s over!” Wrong, it’s never over. But that’s the exciting part. The beauty of a strong brand is that it never stays the same for too long; it’s constantly evolving and optimizing itself based on the market. Use this rule as an opportunity to stretch your creative muscles, to think bigger and outside the box.

3. Your reputation is everything

The world is no longer made up of passive customers. They are more knowledgeable and intelligent than ever before. They have a million different options, and they’re constantly seeking opinions, creating opinions and then letting others know of their experiences (good or bad). These opinions have the ability to impact your reputation, and your reputation matters. If done well, your reputation will work hard for you to win brand loyalty, competitive advantage and, most importantly, sales.

If you remember anything, remember this: everyone has a brand, but it’s how you manage it that can make or break a company. Constantly evaluate your place in the market, your customers’ needs and your reputation amongst your audience. Then use this information to iterate and evolve your brand and stay ahead of your competition and your customers’ wants and needs.




Trevor Stauffer

How Dollar Shave Club Changed Shaving

Dollar Shave Club started selling disposable razor subscriptions in 2012. In a few years’ time, it had catapulted into the realm of the unicorns.

Why Turnaround Specialists Need Market Invention

Turnaround specialists can be called in at all stages of failure, from decreasing working capital to impending bankruptcy. While the work of a turnaround specialist in these situations is irreplaceable, it can be effectively supplemented by incorporating Merit’s Market Invention strategy. This unique partnership turns a rather dire situation into a net positive by implementing change and inventing a new opportunity for a business to not only survive, but to thrive.


Public Relations and Market Invention

“We need public relations!” We hear this command frequently from big and small organizations across the country. However, we promptly question what exactly they’re seeking. Every organization needs a smart PR strategy, but most don’t know exactly how.


Web Design and Market Invention

Web designers are the architects that create the visual elements of the site, the stuff the user sees. Web developers create the functionality that works in the background. When working together, the two disciplines deliver a seamless, clean experience that ignites a buyer’s interest.

Design and Market Invention

Understanding how to use—or not use—design archetypes is at the core of a well-planned Market Invention strategy. Market Invention can use a shift in brand imaging or messaging to pivot into a new market and target unreached customers.

Trevor Stauffer

Five Lessons From the Growing Artisan Economy

We hear a lot about the artisan economy. It’s a movement towards personalized, hand-made, small-scale production that has been gaining lots of momentum in the US. So much momentum, in fact, that artisans are taking a measurable chip out of mid-sized manufacturers. According to the Inter-American Development Bank, if the artisan economy were a country, it would have the fourth largest economy in the world. While larger sized businesses obviously cannot compete with some aspects of the artisan economy, they can certainly reflect on some of the principles that are propelling artisan growth and apply them to their own organizations.

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