Dec. 20, 2006 – In 1988, the principals of Persona Corp. invented Image Marketing, a system that overcomes the “Advertising is expensive, PR is not predictable” issue faced by branders and business owners. “Marketing was never accountable,” said Derek Armstrong, co-inventor of Image Marketing and co-author of the best-selling book The Persona Principle (Simon & Schuster.) “Ad agencies spend millions on behalf of clients with only token research efforts–and rarely with trackable results. PR firms sell credibility, but results are not predictable by definition. Image Marketing was designed to map a certain path to achieving goals––any goals, without the weaknesses inherent in both advertising and PR marketing.”
Notable innovations in the Image Marketing system included the now well-known and broadly used Power Personas, used by many ad agencies and taught in MBA programs. “Our research indicated a strict pattern in marketing,” Armstrong said. “We call it he Rule of Fives. Regardless of industry, your brand will fall into one of five very clearly defined brand archetypes. Only one brand can own each in a niche. If two try to own the same Power Persona, one will be forced out–either into another niche, or even out of business. In the end, only five players per niche, and only five years to achieve it. Our research, renewed yearly, indicates that 92% of the time, in every one of the 62 sectors we track, that after five years there will only be five players in a niche representing more than 98% of all revenue for that category. But more importantly, we analyzed why this was happening. The why led to a how. How to make your brand one of the five.”
Persona Corp built a 98 point rated inventory system which allowed them to measure both their client and their key competitors. Then, using specific gap analysis, a plan is built that ensures success. Persona has created successful Image Marketing Personas for companies as diverse as IBM, Merrill Lynch, Coors beer and D-Link Networks.
“This stuff works,” said Toron Lee of D-Link. “The combination of credibility marketing with a defined Power Persona. It changes everything. Very savvy.”
The Power Personas revolutionized marketing, and became the center platform of Persona’s Image Marketing invention. The entire program is built around a complex audit to determine which Power Persona to claim, then an action plan to achieve it–even it if means, according to Armstrong “knocking a competitor out of the category, or creating a new niche where that’s not possible.”
Next year, Persona Corp. and Image Marketing reach their 20-year milestone of helping brands around the world succeed. “We can’t work with every client,” Armstrong explains. “We’ve worked with just over 300, but our best-selling book, our workshops and our knowledge-base on our very big website have helped countless others.”
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