Category Archives for "Brand Marketing"

The Money is In the List
Apr 26

The Money Is (and Always Will Be) In The List

By Rebecca Murtagh | Brand Marketing

The Money is In the List

Success lies in the relationship you have with each member of your audience.

‘The List’ is the lifeblood of any brand seeking to generate revenue, grow market share and create a sustainable business model that can adapt as the marketplace changes.

From the era of direct mail and traditional marketing to the digital age of websites, email, big data, search, social media, CRM, marketing automation, e-commerce and mobile commerce; one fact will always be true: The Money Is in The List.

What is “The List”?

“The List” is essentially the collective audience of a brand. This includes every customer type, from consumers to media, employees and investors. Each audience type will have a slightly different interest in the brand. Being able to identify and communicate with each type of customer is imperative. The more strategically inbound and outbound communications, social media and website content are optimized to resonate with audiences; the higher response, engagement and conversion rates will be.

The quality of the list is key. The higher the quality of the list is, the more effective marketing and sales efforts will be. It is imperative that the list be owned and managed by the brand, regardless of how it was curated. You may be familiar with my advocacy of the website as a vital business asset. The list is also a business asset that can exponentially increase the value of a business.

Compare Company A with one list that is comprised of customers who have purchased product or services to Company B with multiple lists of customers, influencers, blog subscribers, social media contacts, media contacts, investors (including crowdfunding backers), event attendees, those who have downloaded whitepapers, eBooks, reports, etc. – representing every phase of the purchase decision.
Which company is more valuable?
No-brainer, Company B.

The List is a business asset. Protect it like a trade secret; No exceptions. – Rebecca Murtagh @VirtualMarketer

History of The List

Before the Internet, lists were primarily used for distribution of marketing material and sales. Often, due to the cost of producing and mailing marketing collateral, the list would be trimmed to only include those who responded. The unintended consequence of removing inactive members from the list was that it eliminated future revenue opportunity. Performance of marketing campaigns (and relationship to sales) were essentially defined by response rate of the list. KPI (key performance indicators) such as how many phone calls, coupons redeemed, postcards or surveys returned, catalog requests, subscriptions, mail orders, store visits or purchases would validate the quality of the list.

The List Today

The Internet has created many more channels to create a quality list. The web makes building, managing and marketing to the list faster, easier to manage and measure through a wide variety of web-based applications and tools. The list is the foundation of email, CRM and relationship-management and marketing automation platforms. The top revenue models that support a business; including eCommerce, mobile Commerce, subscription, freemium to paid applications and platforms all require the aggregation and nurturing of a quality list to reach KPI’s that support goals and the bottom line.

To be successful, the brand must have a clear strategy of how it will attract, reward and sustain a relationship with each member of its list.

Psychology of The List

The decision to engage a brand is a deliberate act that can establish a life-long relationship – or at least a meaningful one – when you understand what makes your customers tick. Sure, some will jump in with both feet and take action. The lack of action should not deem the others unworthy of remaining on the list.

Never Underestimate Lurkers

Inactive members of a list are often dismissed. Writing these audiences is a mistake when looking at the big picture.

Value of Inactive Email Subscribers

As demonstrated by the chart below, inactive subscribers represent approximately 30% of the value of an active subscriber.

Lurkers are People Too!

The 90 – 9-1 Percent Rule

Approximately 90 percent of social media users are “lurkers”. These individuals observe, read and may even share content, proving that digital marketing cannot be measured solely by clicks and conversion. Each member of the list has the ability to influence others, even if they never purchase themselves. I explore this in-depth in my upcoming book ‘Spheres of Influence’ (to be published in 2016).

The 90 9 1 Rule

The lesson? Until someone opts out, never exclude them or underestimate their value.

Segmented Lists Make Communication More Relevant

Connecting with customers based on what is important to them amplifies value, increases visibility and the value of the list over time. A segmented list makes this much easier.

Communicating with your collective audience in a general fashion, communication is less likely to inspire engagement, sharing and action than targeted, relevant communication, engagement and offers based on what has been learned about each customer. Well-targeted content is also vital to SEO (search engine optimization) , PPC, advertising campaigns and highly effective when consistent across all marketing and sales communication.

List Segmentation is Vital

Customization of communication, calls to action and offers to resonate with each segment of the list greatly enhances relevance and response. Imagine that with every segment is access to multitudes of more people like those in the list, based on shared elements that I call ‘Spheres of Influence’.

Birds of a Feather Flock Together

When a member of the list is inspired to act, the brand gains the potential to reach others like them (through Spheres of Influence).

List Segmentation Samples a/k/a Spheres of Influence

  • Professional Association
  • Referral Source (social media, event, blog, book, referral, etc.)
  • Education
  • Geographic location
  • Age
  • Profession
  • Hobbies
  • Topics of Interest
  • Travel Destinations
  • Favorites (color, foods, designers, TV shows, blogs, magazines, social media network, etc.)
  • Event(s) attended

…the possibilities are endless.

List segmentation is widely associated with marketing and sales funnels. However, the value of these lists to plan and publish content, promotions and engagement as channels to grow the list and move customers along the purchase journey are highly under-utilized. Spheres of Influence are extremely useful when targeting audiences and building the list in any context.

List Building Tip 1:

Apply a hashtag to each sphere or segment of your list. Use that hashtag to search on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or Google+ to identify prospects, influencers and conversations related to your brand…and grow your list


…you get the idea

Never Underestimated the Value of ‘The List’

You’ve heard the saying: it is easier to keep a customer than to acquire a new one. 70% of survey respondents to a Cross-Channel Marketing Report agreed that “it is cheaper to retain than acquire a customer”.

Tweak your perception of the definition of a “customer” to include brand influencers, vendors, media, ambassadors, employees, investors, social media connections – as well as the many people they influence – and the concept of a list suddenly becomes exponentially more valuable.

List Building Tip 2:

Make the brand more visible in social media and search to relevant to customer types (The List) by customizing content on the website (SEO) and social media. (I explain how in my book ‘Million Dollar Websites‘).

Segmentation Impacts the Bottom Line

Segmentation of email has proven to be effective in increasing performance and ROI of the channel. These elements can easily be translated in theory to every channel.

Benefits of List Segmentation


The List Delivers

Once you define and grow your list, your ability to build a brand, grow market share and sell products and services grows exponentially.

A Quality List Impacts The Bottom Line

My digital firm Karner Blue Marketing was nominated for Best Use of Social Media in Search by US Search Awards for creating and leveraging list segmentation across multiple digital channels to achieve the following metrics for a client that had not been building a list – all in just a few short months.

  • 1080% Increase in Marketing Campaign Transactions.
  • 816% Increase in Campaign-Generated Revenue.
  • 133% Increase in Organic Search = 45% Increase in Revenue.
  • 53% Increase in Direct Traffic = 22% Increase in Revenue.
  • 441% Increase in Referral Traffic (Including Social Media) = 251% Increase in Revenue.
  • 758% Increase in Email Traffic = 678% Increase in Revenue.

Outstanding results are achievable for any brand when a solid strategy and ample resources are applied.

List Building Tip 3:

Instead of posting 3 generic social media updates each day, post one update per segment/Sphere of Influence per day.

Launching a new product, service, crowdfunding campaign or new business is far easier when you have built an audience interested in the values represented by your brand. It takes time to build audiences. You can greatly increase your success by building your list ahead of time. One of the most effective, efficient methods of doing this is by targeting and engaging with audiences according to the segments or Spheres of Influence that align with the brand’s target audiences.

Use Segmentation To Make Marketing More Relevant

Customize communication and engagement to each segment of your list, and enjoy greater success with your list and their “Spheres of Influence”.

You May Also Like >  3 Rules for Creating a Quality List

Quality over Quantity
Apr 21

3 Rules For Building a Quality List

By Rebecca Murtagh | Brand Marketing

Communication and interaction with audiences is vital to sustainability of any brand. “The Money is In The List for individual brands (authors, consultants, celebrities, job-seekers, bloggers, thought-leaders, artists, etc.); as well as corporate brands.

To fully enjoy the benefits of having a list, you must first create the list.

List Rule #1: Define Your Audiences

Multiple targeted lists are far more valuable than one large general list. Communicating to collective audiences requires a high-level, general approach, as to not exclude anyone. Communication tuned-in to what is important to each segment communication is more likely to inspire engagement, sharing and action.

Segmenting your list according to shared interests or “Spheres of Influence” is vital to enabling your brand to be relevant to your audiences. There is no limit to how many segments you create. As your list matures, you will be able to craft messaging across all segments, helping every member of your list feel a connection and build loyalty to the brand over time.

Identifying individuals according to their interest allows for creation of content that is relevant to each of those segments of your audience. Targeted content, communication and personalization are proven to improve visibility in search, profile views, open rates of email, social media engagement, website visits and conversions (sales).

Bottom Line: Engaged Audiences Are Worth Their Weight in Gold!

And, whatever you do, NEVER leave the brand’s list on another company’s platform. Whether it be email addresses, demo requests, event attendees, eCommerce customers, social media fans, followers or connections: the brand MUST own its network (the list).

List Rule #2: Choose Quality Over Quantity

If you truly want to benefit from having a list, you must be committed to quality over quantity. The list cultivated through organic opt-in by each individual will be far more valuable than a purchased list. Ideally, lists should be identified by acquisition method, and then segmented according action and behavior from that point forward.

The more qualified a person is when they join the list, the more valuable that person is to the brand over time. An engaged customer (member of the list) will share their experience with their networks, expanding your reach to others like them.

List Rule #3: Use It Or Lose It

If you fail to engage members of the list, over time they may forget why they joined the list. The longer your list remains dormant, the more likely it is to degrade in quality. You’ve invested in initiating the relationship, don’t let it slip way!

Use It or Lose It. Engage audiences or risk losing them to someone else who will!

Stay in contact and add value wherever you can to delight each member enough that they will want to act, and share with their Spheres of Influence.

This can be achieved in a wide variety of methods from email, social engagement, SMS text messaging, phone contact, direct marketing, etc.

And, whatever you do, don’t lose sight of what your list cares about. Build your messaging around what connected them to your brand to enjoy maximum response and return on your investment in building your list.

How many Spheres of Influence make up your list?

Influence vs Power by Rebecca Murtagh @VirtualMarketer
Feb 01

The Difference Between Popularity and Influence

By Rebecca Murtagh | Brand Marketing , SMM - Social Media Marketing

Updated November, 2, 2016

Influence = power. While many seek to grow audiences, focusing on the aggregation of likes, followers, fans and friends; what really matters is influence that inspires audiences to take action.

Influence vs Power by Rebecca Murtagh @VirtualMarketer

One of the most powerful illustrations of popularity and influence is about to play out in the 2016 Presidential election.

Campaign events held by Republican Candidate Donald Trump in his bid for the office of the President of the United States have been attended by large enthusiastic crowds at events complimented by large social media followings. Hillary Clinton has attracted much smaller crowds, yet her decades in politics have provided her name recognition and connections few candidates in U.S. history have enjoyed. Which will win the 2016 Presidential Election?

The significant difference between Popularity and Influence should give us an indication. However, in politics things are not always what they may seem.

The good news is that those of us outside politics can be winners if we focus on the fundamentals of Influence.

10 Lessons In Influence

Lesson 1: Influence Is Not the Same as Popularity

In 2010, a study by Brian Solis revealed how differently audiences viewed popularity and influence.

A brand (whether it be a corporation or person) can become popular without being able to influence. Influence inspires action without direct control on that action…a vital tool to growing market share, and building a sustainable brand.

In the digital age where authority and influence being garnered by individuals and brands, influence yields more power than ever before.

Lesson 2: Popularity is Fleeting – Influence Lasts

This simple statement identifies how many believe the 2012 U.S. presidential campaign was won.

Many believed it was President Obama’s popularity that enabled him to win two presidential elections. Post-election analysis reveals that it was much more than popularity – it was influence, transferred through the hands of individual voters, that helped the candidate win two presidential elections.

Michael Slaby, former Chief Technology Officer, Obama for America 2008, and Chief Integration & Innovation Officer, Obama for America 2012, was kind enough to share with me highlights from a presentation he made explaining the campaign capitalized on the new digital landscape to build influence that would help the first-term senator win two Presidential elections.

Leveraging the influence of Barack Obama’s message on individuals, and empowering them to influence friends, family, co-workers, etc. in their personal lives, (what I describe as ‘Spheres of Influence’ in my upcoming book), amplifying the investment in one, to reach many.

Lesson 3: Influence Requires Trust

To inspire change, you must first inspire trust. It is absolutely imperative you have full mastery of who you are and what you stand for if you want to inspire others to trust. This is equally true for brands as it is for individuals.

Slaby offered the following equation to illustrate identity.

    Who you are
+  What you believe
=  Single sense of self

Because every organization is slightly unique, any brand can adapt this equation by being clear and firm about who they are, and consistently communicating core values and unique value proposition to carve a place in the world. This could offer explanation to why, despite being a self-proclaimed socialist, Bernie Sanders is attracting voters in the world’s most successful democracy, and why Donald Trump seems unscathed by unfiltered speech relating to his personal thoughts and opinions on individuals, policies and beliefs of others. Each of these candidates is unwavering in being true to their brand. They are UN-apologetically authentic. Conversely, authenticity and clear conviction of beliefs could be viewed as a reasons why Hillary Clinton has struggled with Trust (demonstrated by honest and trustworthy polls)

Honest and Trustoworthy Polls


The same may be said of people and brands outside the political spectrum. Steve Jobs, known for being driven and difficult to work for, was known to be brutally honest. He strongly believed in his vision, which won the hearts, minds and loyalty of customers for decades. He has influenced the brand, its customers and investors, long after his untimely death.

Lesson 4: Influence is The Product of Earned Media

Nothing has changed the dialogue and relationship between brands and their audiences like the Internet and Social Media. Unlike the mass-media, broadcast method of the pre-Internet communication, where messages where rarely personal; today’s digital landscape has created a rich, although complex, dynamic landscape to directly aggregate and activate audiences for just about any cause.

The shift from channels where messaging was disseminated to networks that contribute in the dissemination of messaging is illustrated very well in this simple graphic shared by Michael Slaby:The evolution from channels to networks.

Lesson 5: Don’t Be Afraid of Change

The competitive landscape in which any brand operates changes every day. Those who innovate will succeed. Those who fail to keep up will fail. “Adapt or Die” is the cornerstone of brand sustainability.

Capitalization of the conflict between old and new ways of thinking can be very productive. It is not only the choice between old vs new. It is often the tension between who we are and who we want to be that brings an organization to life – and resonates with those needed to make it all happen. Internal and external audiences have equal voice when it comes to the evolution of a brand. Customers, employees, competitors, media, industry experts and investors all play a role in advancing, or destroying, the evolution of the brand.

Lesson 5: You Are Only In Control of Part of the Message

Influence is all about earning the relationship, and entrusting audiences to act on behalf of the brand. Influence cannot be bought, it must be earned. In 2013 Harvard Business Review Harvard Business Review evaluated the long-term value of influence in the context of the “iPhone affect”.

The value of an integrated marketing strategy that leverages peer-to-peer and traditional marketing campaigns throughout the product life cycle increased the impact of the message exponentially.

The iPhone effect illustrates the power of influence of users on their peers.

A video published by a brand is “owned media”. Yet, it is the “earned media” represented by shares, comments, likes, etc., that extends the message from broadcast channels to infiltrate personal networks.

Lesson 6: Build Influence From an Audience of One

One of the most overlooked facts by businesses and brands seeking to grow market share is that success is dependent upon the winning of each individual.

Only when a brand (whether it represents a corporation or one individual) understands the power of networks and ‘Spheres of Influence’, will they be successful in today’s digital, social economy. Earning the trust of one can create access to the many that each individual has influence over.

Marketing to individuals was a cornerstone of the Obama Presidential election campaigns. The successful cultivation and management of more than 300 million registered voters with a focus on distributing unique, personalized messages and a user experience would yield unprecedented results in the 2008 campaign, and subsequently adapted for the 2012 campaign.

Not every brand has millions to invest in such an undertaking. Fortunately, the abundance of simple tools and customer relationship management (CRM) programs making message personalization and engagement accessible to brands of any size.

Lesson 7: Winning Strategy is Never About You

Influence must be driven by vision with an intended outcome. When specific goals that resonate with audiences are articulated clearly, action comes naturally once trust and support have been won.

The 2008 Obama Presidential campaign was molded around principles of community organizing. Messaging was strategically focused to convey an “its about you” sentiment to voters, according to Slaby. The emphasis on connecting with voters on the issues that meant the most to them was the cornerstone of the political campaign that included millions of personal interactions. This had never been done before. And, may not have been done since at this level.

Today’s social landscape has created an environment inherently capable of supporting such an endeavor. Still, many brands still default to mass-communication and broadcasting that does little to connect with the needs and potential of each individual.

When the brand approaches the conversation from the perspective of its audiences, the context is more relevant.

Lesson 8: Listen Before You Speak

Successful entrepreneurs, salespeople and leaders understand the value of listening. One of the most powerful ways for communication to break through the clutter is to make it personal. This means much more than adding a recipient’s name to an email. It requires an investment at a personal level. Time invested is rewarded with a truly personal connection that will result in loyalty far faster than mass media messaging.

The Obama campaign did just that.

Each of 2.2 million volunteers were empowered to engage in 150 million conversations with individual voters. The campaign used technology to enable volunteers to “listen” to conversations to find out what was important to potential voters. They were then able to  customize communication and inspire action at an enormous scale with consistency and efficiency.

Slaby has explained how the campaign deliberately created a valuable experience for long-time supporters, empowering them to “teach” new members to the community, while addressing the motivating factors that inspired the very first interaction of each member uniquely appropriate to an introductory exchange. Slaby said we must “honor people’s experiences. … It is our job to connect the dots on the back end.” This is where technology makes all the difference.

Lesson 9: Technology Makes All the Difference

Technology is only as good as the results it delivers.

The NORWHAL platform was created by the Obama campaign to execute the integrated campaign strategy. Said to have been run more like a startup than a political campaign, the platform was designed to support each and every aspect of the strategic vision. In addition to collecting and leveraging mammoth amounts of data, the technology had to serve the needs of the users, without interfering with inspired action to influence others to vote. In other words, tools that work and are user-friendly is vital to any organization being able to win hearts and minds.

Lesson 10: Data Makes Human Interaction Smarter

Data is how each and every aspect of a brand’s influence is measured. Every aspect of a campaign to grow market share, regardless of industry, depends on metrics that identify core audiences, target communications that are relevant, measure the reach each and every engagement and aggregate it all under one umbrella. Data is the most effective tool available to guide efforts, maximize on wins, and seize opportunities as they arise.

Scott VanDenPlas, head of the Obama technology team’s DevOps group, expressed the power of the technology built to sustain the campaign in a Twitter Update that outlined the system designed and deployed to support 10k requests per second, 2,000 nodes, 3 datacenters, 180TB and 8.5 billion requests.

Big Data generated from Obama 2008 Presidential Campaign

The data and reports created from this campaign would be any data scientist’s dream to explore.

The most important factor is to remember that behind every click, update, comment, like and share is a human.


Brands as Publishers by Marketing Keynote Speaker Rebecca Murtagh
Feb 11

Why Every Brand Must Be a Publisher

By Rebecca Murtagh | Brand Marketing

5 Reasons Why Every Brand Must PublishBrands as Publishers by Marketing Keynote Speaker Rebecca Murtagh

Regardless of exit strategy, every businesses and brands is seeking sustainability.

In a quest to win market share, many businesses prematurely invest in SEO, social media, content marketing and advertising, when leveraging these investments for optimum results and ROI, requires they first become a publisher.

I have been emphasizing the “brand as publisher” model to clients for over a decade. The buzz term now is “content marketing”, which many distill down to blog posts.

Still, many businesses resist the reality of the landscape in which they compete. Below is the essence of the case I make when convincing them the brand must publish.

Brand Publisher vs Content Marketing?

Beyond the mere concept of content marketing which often focuses on publishing blog posts, the mindset of the publishing brand leads the conversation around topics vital to the success of their core offering in text, video, audio, conversation and search. Publishing enables brands to gain a distinct competitive advantage.

Here are five compelling reasons for every brand to embrace and run with the concept that they are a publisher.


If a brand is not “the” authority on the topic related to its primary product or service, who should be?

When strategically planned, created, optimized and distributed; conversations around the topics related to the problems a brand solves contribute to the creation of trust and authority in the topic – to humans (customers) as well as search engines.


Publishing content for consumption as written word, audio and video feed social media updates, conversation and visibility in search directly impact clicks to conversion. Brands must first put their message in the path of target audiences (customers, media, investors, etc.).

It is important to remember that search doesn’t just happen on Google, Bing and Yahoo. Search also occurs on YouTube, social platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook. Planning, optimization and proper targeting makes all the difference for the brand publisher. Proper strategic optimization can make or break any brand’s investment in becoming a publisher, so be sure to invest in proper optimization to fully leverage the relationship between social media and search.


When content is optimized to appeal to customers, based on a specific aspect of their purchase decision, it becomes extremely valuable. The greater the understanding of the customer journey, the more effective the brand publisher will be. A publishing brand will insert itself into each of the many considerations and discussions relevant to how their customers come to the final decision.

The investment to demonstrate understand of the many aspects of the problems customers face, improves the brand publisher’s chances to solve that problem with their product or service.

4.Customer Relationships

Today’s digital, social marketplace enables brands to connect with individual customers like never before. However, like any other aspect of human relations, a brand must make an investment in order to win the hearts and minds of customers. Brands who listen, publish, engage and invest in relationships with customers understand that each customer won, or lost, has influence over many others who will be influenced by them. A single review gone viral can make or break a brand. Acknowledging that every customer holds the future of the brand in their hands amplifies the value and impact of a strategic planned stream of conversations that continually reveal the value of the brand.

5.Customers Create The Sustainable Brand

Truth is, customers control the destiny of the brand. They really always have. However, social media has created a transparent competitive landscape that will amplify all that is good (and bad) about a brand.

What many now call “content marketing”, many brands distill the concept of publishing down to blog posts.

The publishing brand understands the value of taking a proactive role in creating informed customers, engaging in conversations, and promoting the value of the brand. The brand that adapts and responds to the demands of  customers over time will always appear to be relevant and responsive.

Question: If a brand doesn’t lead the conversation about the problems they solve, who will?

Answer: Their competitors.


5 Steps for Brand Crisis Management
Sep 03

Brand Phoenix – Re-Invent the Brand After a Crisis or #Fail

By Rebecca Murtagh | Brand Marketing

Orchestrate a Brand Come-Back: 5 Steps To Reinvent a Brand5 Steps for Brand Crisis Management

Just as the phoenix emerges from the ashes, so too must a brand when faced with crisis or an epic fail.

In 1989, the San Francisco Bay Bridge suffered catastrophic damage during the earthquake that shook Northern California. While many were settling in to watch the World Series between two Bay Area teams; Oakland A’s and San Francisco Giants, the earthquake wreaked havoc on the infrastructure of the Bay Area.  I remember this event well. I was living right on the bay at the time and remember standing on the water’s edge that night, seeing only blackness where I had enjoyed the skyline of the City by the Bay so many evenings before.Crisis management is vital to all brands.

I, and millions of others, have traveled the Bay Bridge many times. A vital connection between the city and East Bay, he bridge has been replaced with a better version of itself, and opened on Labor Day, 2013. Soon, the memory of the old bridge will fade.

Which got me thinking about how brands must also evolve over time – especially after a crisis or public #fail.

San Francisco Bay Bridge re-opens.

One of the worst thing a brand can do is to ignore crisis. In today’s transparent, social landscape, when **** happens, the brand that acknowledges the problem, solves the problem, and becomes better as a result, wins.

When your brand is faced with lemons – be prepared to make lemonade when faced with blow-back from a product or service failure, human error, natural disaster, or crisis.

Crisis Management

5 Steps to Bringing a Brand Back From Crisis or #Fail

  1. Listen: Understand where the brand has fallen short or failed to meet the expectations of those vital to the success of the brand (customers, media, investors, employees). Use existing platforms like social media, surveys, feedback forms and help desk/customer service reports to identify the problem and who was most impacted by the problem.
  2. Respond: Communication is key in the wake of a crisis, no matter what the cause. Use social media monitoring tools to respond to mentions of the crisis on public blogs, comments, social media, forums, etc. It is important to keep employees and investors informed as well by way of internal communication vehicles – these people play an important role in helping to manage fall-0ut, and serve as extensions of the brand.
  3. Learn: Parse feedback and comments through filters to prioritize the most frequented points of pain or frustration. Evaluate what can be done immediately to address challenges, as well as what can be improved over time. Be sure to document your process for future reference.
  4. Adapt: Implementation is key. Act as quickly as possible to improve mission-critical process and interactions with customers. Build a plan to improve upon infrastructure, process and communication related to this event. Integrate into culture to prevent, or respond to future events. A sustainable brand will be required to adapt many times over its life.
  5. Re-Emerge: Everyone loves a come-back. Once the dust settles, adapt brand messaging to reflect the improvements and success of the brand. And, be prepared to back them up. Over time, positive experiences and reviews will replace memories of any damage done. And, the newest version of the brand can emerge bigger and better.

Adapt or Die.

Truth is, the marketplace in which the brand must operate changes every minute of every day. And, every once in a while, just as an earthquake can disrupt business as usual, businesses will be faced with some event that could make or break the brand. The brand that is ready, willing and able to use a crises, disaster or #fail event to become better, will sustain and succeed.