Business information written specifically for newspaper advertising departments

Freshing

A new business concept for advertising and branding
She argues this is a more foolproof marketing solution at a time when advertising staffs across the country have to trim their budgets and make it work with fewer resources at their disposal.

In an interview with The Huffington Post, Sara Arnell, the CEO of Arnell Group, discussed her new concept for brands looking to change their image and marketing campaigns. She calls it “freshing,” a play on the notion of refreshing a company’s brand image. Arnell explained that, typically, companies spend years and a great deal of money to change their public image, with new ad campaigns, logos and products. In contrast, freshing is the practice of changing up a brand’s image more frequently on a smaller scale. She argues this is a more foolproof marketing solution at a time when advertising staffs across the country have to trim their budgets and make it work with fewer resources at their disposal. This is valuable information for your sales reps to pass on to the newspaper’s advertisers, who probably are already working with smaller budgets than the major corporations Arnell works with. Ensure your advertisers are constantly innovating their image and offering small changes for their customers. Instead of putting all their eggs in one basket — a large-scale, expensive ad campaign, which customers may not like — they can make small incremental changes. This way, marketing teams can monitor customers’ reactions to these changes, and if they’re not working, it’s easier to return to the drawing board than if they had spent precious time and money on one campaign that failed.

Arnell explained the issue with a company spending all their time and resources on one, large brand change, saying, “That gives a company only one opportunity to make news. The idea with freshing, which is about constant change, is to regularly come out with a lot of small ideas so the excitement is always building. Then you have lots of opportunities to have people talk about your brand.”

Arnell says she got the idea from social networking. Online, people are freshing their image every day. When you change something on your Facebook page, releasing a new bit of information about yourself — a new profile photo, relationship status, etc. — you are freshing.

Although many professionals argue in favor of risk-taking, Arnell claims that making strategic, lower-risk business decisions has a better pay-off, at least in our present economy. “In today’s competitive market place, we do not necessarily get rewarded for taking risks. We get rewarded for successes, but risks do not always pay off. With freshing, you have lower cost and lower risk. If an idea doesn’t work out, you can move right onto the next thing. It’s not like you have the devastation of putting one or two years and a lot of money and effort into one idea that doesn’t pan out,” she explained. She went on to say that even if a large-scale marketing campaign does work, these days, consumers have shorter attention spans, so it won’t necessarily have the staying power it needs to be effective.

Arnell gave some examples of brands and products that are getting freshing right, saying, “Things like laundry detergent, paper towels and home products are constantly making subtle improvements. How many ads do you see about these products that boast that they are ‘new and improved’? And they often really are.”

As for companies, Arnell named a couple that are keeping consumers interested in their brands, “Starbucks and Target are great examples — every time you walk in, you can expect to see something new. In turn, they become brands we love and are loyal to. You have to give consumers something to be excited about, especially for products they already know and love.”