Cover Story: Tried & Tested
Establishing a brand image that is fluid, one that can flex to move with the marketplace and "that consumers can adapt to their own individuality," according to fashion icon Ralph Lauren, is a worthy goal for any marketer.
From 2-year-old Internet startups to 100-year-old established corporate dynasties, building a brand image to foster customer relationships and drive revenue is key.
A strong brand identity that builds equity with consumers does not reinvent itself every few years but rather must remain adaptable while maintaining its core components. A company's brand image is shaped by the promises it keeps, and for Day-Timers, a 60-year-old organizational products provider, maintaining a commitment to personal service while evolving to meet customers' needs means staying true to its original vision of printing innovative time-management products.
Since the Allentown, Pa.-based firm originated in 1940 when a local lawyer asked Day-Timers' founder, Bob Dorney, to print a calendar he had developed to record billable hours, the company preserves tradition today by continuing to investigate and implement new product lines based on relevant customer suggestions, which are tested through in-house focus groups.
Building Community, 21st Century-Style
In 2005, after researching consumer needs via customer surveys, the company decided it was time to open the door to more two-way communication with consumers. This led Day-Timers to expand from home and office organization products to the development of an online community and integrated product line based on health, wellness, organization and work-life balance.
Using the slogans "It's time to find time" and "Don't agonize. Organize!," the community provides articles, podcasts, self-assessments, seminar listings and, of course, product lists organized under topics that include: time management, home office, productivity, health and wellness, and leadership strategies.
The community also features advice from well-known fitness, health, organization and time-management experts; blurbs about their respective backgrounds; and, hewing to Day-Timers' raison d'etre, tips for time/life management. Since implementing the community in 2006, Day-Timers' Web site visits increased 13 percent over the prior year, visits from search engines increased 21 percent and the company received 33 percent more orders from unique visitors.