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SPIKE your Brand ROI: How to Maximize Reputation and Get Results

Book Description

Increase ROI through more effective brand marketing

According to, we are exposed to more than 5,000 brand messages each day. Marketers call this "creating engagement," and each comment, share, or re-tweet is supposed to be a win. But is this deluge of content really working to shift perception, change behavior, or sell products? The truth is, only 5% of people say that social media has a profound effect on their purchasing decisions. Moreover, only 2.7% of people are willing to stick their neck out on the line to recommend your brand via social media, a factor known as "social risk."

In SPIKE Your Brand ROI, public relations maven Adele Cehrs shares her strategy for effective engagement: it's all about timing. This book will teach you how to recognize, anticipate, or even create a SPIKE - a Sudden Point of Interest that Kick-starts Exposure. This is your opportunity to reach people when they are primed to hear your message, and your brand is most relevant to their lives.

Based on the author's actual engagements with clients like Yum Brands, Lockheed Martin, DuPont, and more, this practical guide outlines a new, pragmatic approach that will enable you to:

  • Learn to recognize brand patterns that are driven by audience interests and outside events

  • Focus your energy, resources, and money when your brand is top-of-mind

  • Decrease your marketing spend while increasing your bottom-line benefits

  • Maximize benefits or mitigate damage by anticipating when your company, association, or nonprofit is going to be in the spotlight

  • Retool traditional word-of-mouth initiatives for optimum results

  • With Adele Cehrs' proven methodology, you can turn a SPIKE into a strategic platform from which to improve results, build respect, and boost your ROI.

    Table of Contents

    1. Cover Page
    2. Title Page
    3. Copyright
    4. Contents
    5. Foreword
    6. Preface
    7. Acknowledgments
    8. Dedication
    9. About the Author
    10. Chapter 1: What's Real Brand Engagement?
      1. Did You Know?
      2. What Exactly Is a SPIKE?
      3. Relevance and Timing
    11. Chapter 2: Why Your Brand Doesn't Stand Out
      1. How Do Marketers Take Advantage of SPIKEs?
      2. Why Is It So Critical to Use SPIKEs?
      3. The Best Way to Use This Book
    12. Chapter 3: Brand Narcissism
      1. From Aesop to Oprah
      2. If You Care, Don't Miss Out
      3. Anticipate When Your Brand Loyalists Need to Hear from You
    13. Chapter 4: SPIKE Assessment
      1. Self-Assessment
      2. SPIKE Action Questions
    14. Chapter 5: Be Nimble, Assemble the Right Team, and Get Buy-In for the SPIKE Method
      1. Assembling Your A-Team
      2. The Buy-In Barometer
      3. Checklist for Buy-In
      4. Silo Busters
      5. Ghost SPIKE
    15. Chapter 6: Picking the Perfect Audiences and Crafting Compelling Messages
      1. Not So Different, After All
      2. Don't Forget Traditional Media
      3. What Your Audience Wants
      4. Groundhog-Day Your Messages
      5. Messages and Audience Exercise
    16. Chapter 7: Manufacturing a SPIKE
      1. The News Cycle Has Flipped
      2. What's Trending?
      3. Awards, Celebrities, and Grabbing Some of the Fame
      4. Competitors, Allies, and Relevance, Oh My!
      5. Predicting What People Will Argue About
      6. Presidential Initiatives, Press Conferences, and New Laws
      7. What Brings In the Most Revenue?
    17. Chapter 8: When Is Your Brand Truly Relevant?
      1. Be Aware: Don't Do It When Everyone Else Does
      2. Aim Right and Hit Your Mark
    18. Chapter 9: Brand Patience
      1. Controversy Can Mean Constructive
      2. One Size Does Not Fit All
      3. Apology Trifecta and Video Addresses
      4. To Respond or Not to Respond: Key Questions to Ask Yourself
    19. Chapter 10: SPIKE Spotting
      1. SPIKE Spotter: Predicting a Positive Brand SPIKE
      2. Revealing Data in an Exciting Way
      3. SPIKE Spotting
      4. SPIKE Spotting for Nonprofits
    20. Chapter 11: The Upshot of a Positive SPIKE
      1. Take a Public Stance and Become a Go-To Expert
      2. Ignite Brand Loyalists and Draw Attention to Your Campaign
      3. Make It Easy for Others to Help Elevate Your SPIKE
      4. Tip Off the Media to Your SPIKE
      5. We Have the Right to SPIKE
    21. Chapter 12: Finding the Lost Principle of Influence
      1. The Availability Bias
      2. How Thinking Styles Influence the Blame Game
      3. Principles of Influence
    22. Chapter 13: Create a Contrarian Brand Platform to Stand Out
      1. Figure Out What Is Polarizing
      2. Create a Brand-Hater Audit
      3. Anticipate Brand Contempt and Get Ahead of Issues
      4. Playing Chicken with Your Positioning Strategy
      5. Dan Snyder: Touchdown or Fan Foul?
      6. Checklist for Creating a Contrarian Brand
    23. Chapter 14: The Fairness Fallacy and How to Call a Time-Out When Things Go Bad
      1. Fight or Flight Mode
      2. Preparing for a Crisis: Trust Always Trumps Likeability
      3. Stop the Clock
      4. Positioning the Gravity of the Negative SPIKE
    24. Chapter 15: Have a Crisis Plan in Place to Handle Negative SPIKEs
    25. Chapter 16: The Real Benefits of Responding to or Ignoring Negative SPIKEs
      1. Managing Negative SPIKEs in Advance
      2. Increased Executive Involvement
      3. Three P's to Evaluate Importance
    26. Chapter 17: Maximize (or Minimize) 15 Minutes (or Days) of Fame or Shame
      1. SPIKE-Spotter Takeaways from PBS
      2. Up and Down the Celebrity Shame Game
      3. Don't Get Caught with Your “Brand Pants” Down
      4. What to Do in a Negative SPIKE
    27. Chapter 18: Why Wait? Anticipate Negative SPIKEs
      1. How Carnival Cruise Ship Sank Its Reputation
      2. Fifteen-Day Analysis
      3. Fool Me Once
      4. “Fortune Favors the Bold”
      5. 100 Days Can Be an Awfully Long Time
      6. Anticipation Checklist
    28. Chapter 19: Don't Spin Out of Control, Manage the Viral Spiral
      1. Announcing Change
      2. Handling a Real-Time SPIKE
    29. Chapter 20: Dark Websites See the Light of Day
      1. A Well-Oiled Dark Site
      2. Creating a Dark Site
      3. Evolve the Site as Needs Change
    30. Chapter 21: The Underdog versus Top Dog Effect
      1. Sara Blakely Spanx the Hosiery World
      2. Who Doesn't Want to Be BFFs with Jimmy Fallon?
      3. Lance Armstrong's Reputational Battle
      4. Mark Sanford: The Political Comeback Kid
      5. Apple's Garage-Made Fortune
      6. The Underdog Is You
    31. Chapter 22: The Pedestal Principle
      1. Get Off the Pedestal or Risk Being Kicked Off
      2. Domino's Pizza Gets Attacked and Comes Back Stronger
      3. Paula Deen: Comeback Queen or Fallen Star?
    32. Chapter 23: Internal SPIKEs
      1. Communicate Major Changes in Structure, Management, or Authority
      2. Head Off Disgruntled Employees
      3. Sound Out New Executives and Board Members
      4. Manage Disputes between Executives and the Board
      5. Explain Changing Product or Service Offerings
      6. Be Open about Dues Increases and Pricing Changes
      7. Plan Messaging for Internal Conferences or Tradeshows
      8. Remember That Transparency Is Paramount
    33. Chapter 24: Measuring the ROI of a SPIKE
      1. Why Failing Is Good for Marketers
      2. Where Do I Start?
      3. Budget for Measurement Up Front
      4. Get Enduring Executive Buy-In
      5. Always Be Closing: Getting the Sales Team on Your Side
      6. Create Measurable Wins
      7. Create a Control Group
      8. ROI Key Takeaways
      9. Where Do We Go from Here?
    34. SPIKE Spotting: Worksheets
      1. Focus on Best Success to Date
      2. SPIKE Spotter
      3. Finding Your Ideal SPIKE
      4. What Does Your Current Customer Really Think?
      5. Who's Your SPIKE Audience?
      6. SPIKE Plan and System
    35. Bibliography
    36. Index