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How to Build a Power Brand Through Chunk-Up Marketing

David Trounce
Dec 12, 2016

Discover the Rolls Royce marketing process that can energize your online brand.

Most small business relies on organic search and pay-per-click advertising. Under pressure, it is tempting to throw your money at the shady expertise of an SEO service or toward a poorly run pay-per-click campaign, just to get something happening. However, while the online competition may have increased, the reality is that the playing field is still fairly even.

With patience, a small start-up that is willing to take the long view can still build their brand, rank well in Google and see growth in sales. One of the levelers for any business, no matter how big or small, are the processes that drive your marketing strategy. “Chunk-up” marketing is one such process that has been used by many successful brands.

What chunk-up marketing is and what it does

Chunk-up marketing approaches the marketing process, including search engine optimization, through a series of small, deliberate steps that bring authoritative long-term results for a brand.

“Chunking” is a term found in a range of professional disciplines, including psychology. It involves moving from one concept to another through a series of connected ideas. These days, it is used as a problem-solving device in business. It is about breaking up the core business mission into manageable, interconnected components. It’s about:

  • Moving up to see the bigger picture (Chunking up to universals)
  • Moving down to see the detail (Chunking down to specifics)
  • Moving side to side to see the parallels (Chunking sideways for parallel niches)

An example from the automotive world

Rolls Royce sells cars. They are leaders in the Luxury car business. But at the outbreak of World War I, they were struck with a problem. Who cares about a luxury automobile at a time like this?

Here is my adaptation of the meeting that took place between Frederick Henry Royce and the heads of the Royal Aircraft Factory in London on the 7th of August, 1914.

RAF: What do you do?

FHR: We build luxury cars.

RAF: Who builds the engines?

FHR: We do.

RAF: Ah, so you are engineers?

FHR: I guess so.

RAF: Do you build anything else?

FHR: We build heavy vehicles

RAF: Oh, so you are in the transport industry?

FHR: Yes, I suppose we are!

RAF: So are we…

Do you see what just happened? This exchange is what you might call “chunking up.” It moved from the specific to the general. As a result of this simple, and probably accidental move, Rolls-Royce has gone on to becoming the second largest producer of aircraft engines in the world today.

How chunk-up marketing can help your small business

Chunk-up marketing is a powerful way to view your business. It creates the environment necessary to discover new markets, find new allies, and manage your marketing mission and strategy It is one of the best ways to build the foundational layers of brand power and authority.

Let’s say you own a Swimwear store. Are you likely to rank in Google or even be noticed online for, “Girls Swimwear'” any time soon? No. Here is where the chunk marketing process can help you move your brand or business forward.

Let’s chunk down:

  • What kind of swimwear are we talking about? Bikinis.
  • What color are they? Blue.
  • What style? Triangle.
  • What brand? Mikoh.

You don’t just sell bikinis; you sell Blue Mikoh Triangle Bikinis.

In the world of search optimization, this would be called a long tail keyword strategy, and the research has shown that this is not only a powerful marketing process, but it’s also a powerful ranking factor.

Not only is chunk-up marketing a way to find your angle, but it is also a way to join forces and collaborate with those in a parallel niche.

Suppose you run a hair salon. Your goal is to find allies you can collaborate and join forces with. Chunk down: You provide hair styling for weddings, don’t you? Then, chunk sideways: Who else operates in the wedding niche? Limousines services and dress/fashion stores. These are not competitors. They are potential allies whom you could cooperate with online and offline to the benefit of all parties.

Applying chunking to your overall marketing strategy

If you are going to engage in chunk-up marketing, you need to be logically consistent. One way to do that is to create content hubs. These hubs involve a range of media (articles, images, video) all circling around a particular target. In this case, the target is your brand or product. Applying this concept across your entire brand and you are now starting to generate some real traction.

One of the things I have noticed in using this process in my marketing plans with clients is how easy it suddenly becomes to create fresh, relevant and purposeful branding and content strategies. It clears the head, gives direction and focus to your online strategy and is actually quite an enjoyable task.

Photo credit: scyther5/Shutterstock

David Trounce
David is a small business marketing and web design consultant and the founder of Mallee Blue Media. David lives in Australia and is also a contributor to Lendio, Power Retail and Digital Marketing Magazine.