Spending 60% of your budget on brand building through TV- and print campaigns? For many marketers, this method has become outdated, and is dismissed as pre-digital & inefficient. We're all too focused on short-term strategies, says Peter Field, and seem to forget that building a brand is a long-term investment that can only be achieved through creative ads that evoke emotions.   "There's an exaggerated shift to online activation going on," says Field. “which is primarily a result of the ever increasing pressure from shareholders to see demonstrable growth every quarter. Additionally there is the rise of digital media and the unbridled belief in the power of digital. Digital media are very data driven and ideally suited to support short activation campaigns." Field argues it's time to make brand building about emotion again. And based on his research on hundreds of cases for the IPA Effectiveness Awards, we have sound reasons to do so: brands that evoke a higher emotional intensity receive 3x as much word-of-mouth compared to less emotionally-connected brands. Branding strategies, brand storytelling and emotional branding are not new. These approaches to branding were invented by marketers long before Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and blogging. A successful brand is much more than a logo, distinctive colors or a memorable tagline. The best marketers know that authentic and emotional branding is the secret sauce to igniting customers to loyal advocates, followers and fans. But what exactly is 'emotional branding'?   Wikipedia defines emotional branding as follows: “Emotional branding is a term used within marketing communication that refers to the practice of building brands that appeal directly to a consumer's emotional state, needs and aspirations. Emotional branding is successful when it triggers an emotional response in the consumer, that is, a desire for the advertised brand (or product) that cannot fully be rationalized. Emotional brands have a significant impact when the consumer experiences a strong and lasting attachment to the brand comparable to a feeling of bonding, companionship or love.”  Emotional branding helps connect your brand in the most human ways to your audience and ideal customers. It helps build lasting associations with human feelings and desires. It's not about finding a funny or sad photo or video to tap into these emotions overnight on social media. Instead emotional branding is about understanding your audience, humanizing your brand and using a language that connects with your brand. And most important, building an emotional brand requires a constant focus on these elements.   Dollars down the drain As Gary Vaynerchuk argues in this video, every dollar spent on traditional advertising is a lost dollar...

Rapid developments in technology have normalized the intimate role that AI plays in the consumers' everyday life. Rather than content highlighting how humans are using technology, we are seeing imagery that shows the fluidity between them.   Artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML) have largely influenced the way photographers work. Over the years camera manufacturers have added features that assist in shooting under challenging conditions like low-light, or adjust camera settings based on objects in an image. ML has been implemented in various image libraries to help us organize our photos based on who or what is in them. The smartphone camera is becoming instantly responsive to creatives’ needs and has become an extension of the user.   The view that technology can positively affect our daily lives is now widely shared, so the focus is no longer to ‘persuade’ consumers of the benefits. Technology aims to understand our personal preferences to make our everyday lives easier and more comfortable. It’s now expected to support our decisions rather than make them for us. This shift in perspective has allowed brands to explore the capacities of technology, some examples:   - In the fashion industry(*), we’ve seen the rise in wearable technology with companies like Neue and cutecircuit which aim to provide innovative and creative ways of improving our lives. - In the music industry we're already used to Spotify tracking our listening habits and suggesting new songs. But VR companies such as Melody take this one step further and allow consumers to gain live music experiences that were once unobtainable. - Amazon and other online retailers use AI to gather information about your preferences and buying habits. Then, they personalize your shopping experience by suggesting new products tailored to your habits. Below is an example of such AI-powered recommendations:   Out of all the applications raised by the AI hype wave of the past few years, the area with the most practical use today is arguably photography. The camera is an essential feature of any phone, and AI is our best shot at improving it. We wear technology on our bodies and use it to share our lives with the world. It’s this continued level of ‘intimacy’ that will affect the way both brands and creators think about visuals. Consumers expect to see images that cinematically show the futuristic connection between humans and the technology they live with every day. Interaction between the subject and technological components within the image will continue to become more intricate and personal.   An example of emerging AI in Photography A company called Meero makes photographs for real estate, food and other commercial uses. They developed a cutting-edge algorithm, inspired by how the human brain works. Can an algorithm perform as well as a professional photographer when executing an aesthetic, nuanced, complex task? Meero thinks it can. They propose that gradient-based learning is the solution. In their software, they use a deep neural network they believe mimics the way the brain works. It makes use of the errors the network’s neurons output and then computes its gradient using convex optimization methods. They draw from 25 million photographs in their database. By then, using the chain-rule to correct errors from the end to the beginning of the network, and repeating the operation millions of times, Meero’s proprietary deep learning algorithm performs as well or faster than a professional photographer, they say. The goal is to enhance photographs for commercial sale. www.meero.com   Interested in more info on how we apply AI in the STAMPIX Smartphone App? Contact simon@stampix.com ...

Stampix + District Photo : why is it a match? In this blogpost co-Founder Simon Tavernier recaps the opportunities discovered during Stampix' first business trip to New York City #exciting Early 2019 Stampix was selected for the Boost-Me program together with 10 other Belgian scale-ups. Besides interesting workshops, the program mainly consisted of a Local Growth Camp on strategy and an International Growth Camp on expansion, which included a 1-week trip to the bustling City of New York in June. Thanks to the excellent preparations of Netwerk Ondernemen & BelCham we had a very busy schedule ahead, packed with meetings and introductions. The first stop however was a very special one, especially for my cousin and co-Founder Anton. Anton's laid father and my uncle (Johan Mussche, former CEO of the Spector) had a very good relationship with Neil Cohen, the owner of District Photo, one of the  largest photo finishing companies in the United States.  After a 3:30h car drive, it was a pleasure to be welcomed by his son Keith Cohen, the current CEO of the company. Fun fact: apparently Anton and Keith had been on vacation together with both families back in the 90's.   In contrast to their old HQ building, District Photo's production faclitiy was allround impressive. During the guided tour by Keith we witnessed what it takes to print and deliver +1bio photos per year, not to mention the countless photo books and other products. After discussing the Stampix' business model, we agreed on a partnership that allows Stampix to enter the entire U.S. and U.K markets, with a simple focus on B2B-sales, while District Photo takes care of all the operational aspects, including shipment fees and associated negociations with local postal services.   So, what was next? After re-joining our group at BelCham, we met with several fellow belgian entrepreneurs who succeeded in the US, and had to opportunity to pitch Stampix for real potential customers at C-Level. Most worthy to mention as the meeting on the 44th floor with the VP Marketing of L'Oréal Hair Care who was really charmed by our value proposition and asked for prices :-) Last but not least, Flanders Investment & Trade (FIT) welcomed us to their impressive office space at the New York Times tower. After some brainstoming on how to reach brand managers and marketers in the U.S. we agreed to host a business-event together once Stampix is up & running in the United States. We will probably call it Belgian Beer & Chocolates for Marketers or something similar...

Most companies agree it costs more money to attract new customers as opposed to retain existing ones. Loyalty programs have the ability to positively impact the company's bottom line but are often considered as cost drivers. This is reinforced by the typical transaction-based loyalty programs, where a customer is rewarded with discounts.   Loyalty programs are ofte n assessed in two ways: Does it have a positive impact on churn or does it increase the customer lifetime value (CLV)? The CLV is mostly calculated as shown on image:           To most marketers it is clear that great loyalty initiatives also have the power to differentiate a brand and prevent commoditisation of its offerings. This might not be straight forward to the company's CFO but loyal customers can also generate additional business value, such as: 1. NPS & Referrals; 2. Social media exposure; 3. Frequency of interaction (engagement); 4. Insights to generate Business intelligence; 5. Permission to share data; 6. Ratings and reviews; 7. Upselling and cross selling   Focus on Tenure Resent research* suggests there is an increasing emphasis on customer lifespan (=tenure), as opposed to spending, as a desirable loyalty behaviour. This could be in recognition of the increased competitive pressures resulting from digitalisation. Entertainment and telecommunications provider Sky introduced a reward programme that recognises tenure. Sky VIP has four tiers of membership, with the highest tier recognising customers of longer than 15 years. Sky’s Head of Customer Loyalty, Rob Chandler, said: "It’s about us looking after them [customers], not demanding their loyalty. The tenure framework really gives us permission to do that because it’s all about how long we’ve been together." UK retailers Tesco and Sainsbury have updated their loyalty programmes to reward longterm use and deeper engagement, as opposed to levels of spend.   Other Trends in Loyalty Customer loyalty is on the decline, a 7% drop since last year, per a global study by Verint Systems, with attrition higher among digital customers. Consumers prefer to engage with brands digitally, but ironically this makes them the more prone to switching providers. Research by Nielsen & PWC supports the fact that customers expect to be recognised beyond their spending habits, and value emotional benefits almost as high as monetary ones. It recognises the increasing importance of the relationship history in reward programs, where rewards are allocated on more than just a spend/transaction basis. The Table below summarizes these trends: Customers expect flexibility in terms of how rewards are accrued. Mobile optimized programs like those provided by Starbucks & Sky demonstrate the type of flexibility that is sought. Organisations need to think about loyalty moments, i.e. at what point in the customer journey an award should be made.   *Source: Digital Strategies and Best Practice in Loyalty Programmes (2018, Mobile Market Development) ...

I recently had the pleasure to witness the neuromarketing expert Martin Lindstorm on the UBA Trendsday. After doing some more research and ordering his best seller book, it turns out he actually invented the word 'contextual advertising', I bumped into this interview about the Future trends in marketing. Find below the main takeaways:   Contextual advertising to the extreme When Lindstrom predicted this trend fifteen years ago, he envisaged the idea of walking in the streets and receiving a message that is 100% contextual to that moment and place. He actually experienced this himself in Japan, where he was walking down the streets and received a message from the Starbucks chatbot saying "Martin, one of your friends is in the area, would you like to meet him?" He clicked yes, and the conversation continued: "You can meet your friends at the nearest Starbucks, where you'll be offered a free cup of coffee". So he clicked yes again, and found himself on his way to the nearest Starbucks to meet his friend. This shows contextual branding is all about sending the right message to the right audience at the right time. Obviously this is happening online as well, where brands are nowadays able to change the content of their home page depending on your recent behaviour, not necessarily with your permission. Let's assume you're a parent, so you're reading babyblogs and buying baby stuff. Just before you enter a brand's website, literally in just a split second, this information is passed onto the brand, which will load an entirely customized homepage around your area of interest. Since you are a parent, it will be all about babies. For many brands this sounds like science fiction, but it's a new reality, and in the future everything will be contextual. When you're walking around in a supermarket, your attractiveness for advertisers and products will be predicted based on your Facebook or Google profile. Your profile data allows the supermarket to customize your experience. For example, you will notice that the prices for pampers are surprisingly low for you because you happen to be qualified as a micro-influencer. Whether or not this scenario is ethical and GDPR compliant is of course another question.   Everything will become a game Lindstorm believes gaming will become omnipresent. We see it already today with doctors training for complex operations via computer games, he argues. The entire US military is basically trained on computer games, and we see it coming to schools too under the form of e-learning. Toddlers are learning by playing smart games. Let's say a car brand wants its customers to start driving in a more economic & environmental friendly way. Instead of sensibilisation campaigns saying "you have to care about the environment", they are now introducing a game. Ford for example added a 'flower plant' icon in their dashboard. If you're driving at a smooth desirable pace the plant is growing and gets flowers over time. But if you drive agressive the plant shrinks, or even dies. It's amazing to see how many people are affected by this game, some are even obsessed with the plant. This line of thought can applied to other industries as well: think about toothbrushes rewarding you with points or public transport, where if you take the bus, the government gives you points to be redeemed with your tax returns. Speaking from my own experience at Stampix I can only confirm these trends. Firstly, we strive to make a 100% match between the photo & the advertiser's message, hence making it more contextual & relevant. Secondly, we discovered the helpfullness of gaming elements to increase conversion - thanks to the loyalty programs Stampix is integrated in. For example, MediaMarkt rewarded all contest participants - even those who did not win anything - with free prints. KBC K'Ching asked people to solve a little puzzle before granting a printcode. Other brands let their audience engage with brand-related content during the online process, see an example for Granini below....

Foot traffic is an essential KPI when you are running a brick-and-mortar store. More traffic means more customer engagement and more opportunities for your sales teams to grow, which in turn leads to more penetration of your brand and more revenue.   As retailers enter 2019, they realize that when customers are in the outlet, it needs to be about more than just the transaction. Retailers need to offer something you can’t get online. They need to offer an experience people can see, hear, taste or feel in a live environment. Most retailers have realized this by now, and have - beside ensuring an omnichannel presence - implemented kids corners, workshops & events, training programs etc. All with one clear goal in mind: to make a lasting memory that will eventually result in the customer returning to the store. As the brilliant speaker Matthew Banks said at #KBCInspirationDay this week: "Your customers don't remember what you say, they only remember how you make them feel"   Most humans try to be efficient by nature, if you manage to get them in your store it's likely they'll grasp that moment and find an opportunity to buy something they need. Hence the importance of keeping high levels of foot traffic. Today many retailers are struggling with following question: “How can I increase store traffic in a predictable way and at a predictable cost per visitor?” Here below I'll share 3 tried-and-tested steps that allows our tech startup Stampix to drive traffic and increase revenue for our customers:   1/ Offer a personalized gift Brands & Retailers use Stampix to offer consumers a free foto gift that hits them right in the heart. Customers can zip though a digital experience that allows them to print their best photos straight from their mobile and select a store near them for pick up. This can be any creative photo product, going from classic photo prints, to a small photo booklet or a box with prints. Subtle branding, massive personalization. They love it, share it and can order in just a few clicks. Ideally this is offered as loyalty benefit linked to your existing customer journey (e.g. birthday emailing). By sharing this on social media through your brand ambassadors you can additionally attract new potential buyers. Tip: virtually all photos are on our phones, so focus on a mobile first experience   2/ Keep customers happy At Stampix we believe driving people into your store is a very powerful form of advertising. It is hard to match with a digital or analog media campaign. We observed when people are picking up their photo's they are in reciprocity mindset when browsing your store. Tip: make sure your staff is well-informed so they can get the conversation started. You can have the prettiest shop, implement the hottest gimmicks, and run the most enticing offers, but if your staff members provide poor customer service, people simply won't buy or return.   3/ Earn consent and stay in touch Giving something first simply works, and there is plenty of data to prove it: for one of our customers we shipped 60.000 nicely branded photoboxes containing a gift voucher for free photos. Only when ordering the photos, people were asked to opt-in for the newsletter. The result? Incredible opt-in rates of up to 70% were achieved! 😳 For our customer MediaMarkt we've realized almost 10.000 store visits over the last couple of months and the plan is to grow this number to 70.000 in 2019. Our photos drive people into the store and afterwards when they walk outside, they feel good about picking up their personalized direct mail piece with beautiful photos. Get in touch with Stampix and share your plans to drive traffic in 2019! info@stampix.com...

By Anton Mussche - Co-Founder Stampix   I’ve been a professional sailer most of my career. Although sailing open ocean waters may seem a far cry from the world of marketing, it has taught me one important thing: to discern how trends are forming, see where the world is going next and navigate successfully. Forming a vision of the future or navigating as you will, is what I love to do most. For the last two years I’ve been lucky enough to surround myself with a bunch of talented people. We’ve created a company that combines photography and marketing, 2 passions that run deep into my veins. We’ve adapted the classic advertising business model to the photo-printing market and it has been an illuminating experience. Based on our own launch as a consumer brand and hundreds of conversations with marketing executives of leading global brands I can see where we’re going next.   The ad agency with no ads I recently bumped into an ad agency called Giant Spoon, which was named Breakout Agency of the Year 2018 by AdWeek magazine and this inspired me to write this post. For clients like Uber, GE, Warner Bross...

Billions of photos are taken daily and shared through social media. People are taking pictures of just about anything, many are snapshots, but thanks to smartphone cameras which are getting better every day, there is a vast amount of photos that are shot in very high quality. Add the rise of latest generation digital printing machines to the equation and you have an amazing opportunity to turn these images into beautiful photo prints.   From doing business with our clients we observe many brands struggle to stand out in digital marketing, striving for authenticity through influencers and user generated content. At Stampix, our mission is to turn peoples' best photos into free prints, allowing brands to be present around precious moments and deliver a welcome message. Advanced vision technology and Stampix data clustering allows us to select specific moments and segment user profiles to match brand identities. We deliver contextual ads in print. The Stampix platform shows you how easy it is to tap into the potential of those billions of photos, whether you're a: • Brand Manager: You can use our service for different purpose. Either deliver a personalised gift for existing customers (loyalty) or to attract new leads (CRM). Go to our customer page and get inspired by campaigns we did for L'Oréal, Disney, Campina, Bambix...

Background In this blogpost co-Founder Anton Mussche will tell you what made him embark on this crazy adventure.   Early 2016 my cousin Simon Tavernier and I launched Stampix, an exciting and ambitious project to deliver you free photo prints. Stampix is a photo app that removes all barriers to print your favorite smartphone pictures. We aim for a happier world with free prints for everybody. After all, photographs are memories, and beautiful memories deserve to be printed! Stampix is not my first startup. After studying Marketing in Gent, Belgium I chose to pursue my passion for sailing and outdoors. I founded Incentive Sailing, a company that organised corporate day sailing in Zeeland. After having sailed the Schelde estuaries to the extent that I could do it blindfolded (and still can!), I sailed off into international waters. I became a commercially endorsed Yachtmaster Ocean and started sailing on large yachts in the superyacht class. During my travels across our beautiful planet I became increasingly passionate about photography. As it turns out this also runs deep in my veins. My grandfather was a professional photographer and founded DBM Color way back in 1964. My late father Johan Mussche took over the family business in his early 30's, and grew it into one of the largest independent photo finishing companies in Europe, Spector Photo Group. So, how did it all start? After many years offshore Simon told me about his wild business idea on a family wedding. He had been struggling with a postcard application, and his analytical engineering mindset immediately felt complementary to my rusty marketing skills. We discussed the business model until the early hours that day, with (probably too many) beers. The next morning we woke up without a hangover, but filled with energy to realize our dreams. I share my father's passion for marketing and technology. My fond memories of him and my love for photography gave me the spark to start this ambitious adventure, Stampix. Beautiful memories should always be printed. ...

In May 2018 our youngest team members Nathalie Demeestere & Lenie Van Hecke participated in the Young Marketers Competition organized by the Belgian creative cinema advertising agency Brightfish.   Every marketer under the age of 30 could participate with a colleague and follow 2 masterclasses: one on how to write an inspiring briefing for agencies by Marc Frederix (UBA, ex-Nationale Loterij) and Stéphane Buisseret (CEO Air). The second one was on ‘How to rock a presentation’ by Jorn Creaghs. The competition consisted of two challenges. The first challenge was to think of a charity project for the company you work for and write a briefing for a creative agency. Each team had 3 days to submit their best briefing. The 5 best briefings were chosen to pitch their briefing to a 6 member jury of marketing specialists. Our Stampix team was selected as one of the 5 finalists among AB Inbev, AD Delhaize, Colruyt Group and USG People. What charity project did we choose? Nathalie & Lenie: “As Stampix' catchphrase is “Remember with pictures” it didn’t take us that long to thing about Alzheimers disease. Within our campaign the main focus was bringing two generations back together through photographs: the grandparents (the master babyboomers) and the grandchildren (the millennials and generation X/Z/…). Our goal was to get the grandchildren to print pictures for the grandparents in order to stimulate their memory. Ultimately we want to motivate grandchildren to spend time together with their grandparents and bring them closer together.” The pitching competition took off on May 15th and Lenie and Nathalie had prepared a 10 min pitch to blow following jury off their socks: Marie-Noëlle De Greef (ING) Joachim Rubin (Delhaize) Hans Van Eemeren (BAM) Marc Frederix Stéphane Buisseret Joanna Leung (Brightfish). The first prize was for AB Inbev, but our young digital creatives came home with two out of the three awards (leaving the third and grand prize for AB Inbev): Best in Brand Love: Award for the best match between brand and charity. Best in Magic: Award for the most inspiring briefing to the creative agency   Why did you participate? Nathalie: I like to challenge myself and try out things I haven't done before. Especially pitching in front of a jury of marketing experts, that was going to give Lenie & I more feedback and input than in any regular occasion. Lenie: As a young marketer it’s always fun to challenge yourself and inspiring to meet the young potentials from other companies. What did you learn? Nathalie: To work within a limited timeframe, to work as a team and to rely on our common sense, motivation and confidence. As well as getting creative and that a campaign should always be focused on positive emotions. Lenie:  I mostly appreciated the feedback from the jury: they learned us to review every step, to always convince with positive emotions and to track our project from A to Z. And last but not least, I learned that stress isn’t necessary if you know what you’re talking about, right? And I definitely know that the complementarity with my colleague Nathalie is indispensable for our startup! Curious about how our team can help you with an inpsiring loyalty or activation campaign? Drop us a line at info@stampix.com....

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