• Creative Myth #4: Branding and Logos are the Same Thing

    On: July 13, 2017
    In: Branding, Marketing, Uncategorized
    Views: 466
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    These two words are often misused and misunderstood. Branding is about the elevation of a company, product or service from being a commodity to being distinct and recognized through identity, marketing, advertising and most importantly, client experiences. There are many competing products, services and organizations, but branding creates that crucial distinction from the competition.

    Logos by themselves are a graphic icon and/or typographic mark that identifies and represents a product, service or company. Logos are part of brand identity which is the visual part of branding that includes advertisements, signs, uniforms, packaging and many other collateral materials.

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  • Is your social media marketing working? Here’s how to tell.

    On: March 22, 2017
    In: Branding, Google analytics, Social Media
    Views: 353
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    To measure your social media marketing you do it in a similar way in which you analyze all your marketing strategies.

    Measuring your firms reach is one of the most important first steps in this process. Reach is how many people are exposed to your account/advertisement. How many followers your Twitter and Instagram have and how many likes on a Facebook page your firm has are great measurements of how much exposure you social media marketing is receiving.

    Next, you must look at the level of interaction from people who were reached. Social media marketing can be highly interactive, which in turn can increase your reach. You can measure this by the amount of clicks, shares, likes, reposts etc. These are easily measured and can be done by someone fairly inexperienced.

    Most importantly you must look at your conversion rate. Your conversion rate is dependent on your original marketing goal…why are you advertising? Your call to action can be increasing visits to a store front or website, increase sales, or even increase brand awareness. It is all dependent on the firm and what they need to better their business. Google Analytics is a free tool to help you analyze your conversion rate, but there are many others out there too.

    Just like any other type of marketing it is important to realize that this is a great way to advertise, but it’s also extremely easy to lose a lot of money and time. As long as you keep up on your reach, interaction, and conversion you should have no issues creating a cost effective social media campaign.

     

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  • Brand Ambassadors: What they do & What are the Benefits

    On: December 14, 2016
    In: Branding, Online marketing, Uncategorized
    Views: 387
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    What is a brand ambassador? A brand ambassador is a person who represents the brand by going into the community and increasing brand awareness. They can accomplish this through many different faucets. For instance, they can create events, attend events, create a social media presence, or even use personal experience to spread awareness through word of mouth. Often times around colleges, brand ambassadors are unpaid volunteer positions given to students. If this is not an option, you can easily pay a brand ambassador minimum wage to entice them to help.

    When searching for your perfect brand ambassador it is important to make sure their values align with the brand. In most cases they will have very little supervision when it comes to being out in the community and interacting with potential customers, so you want to make sure what they are saying and how they are acting aligns with your company.

    The Benefits:

    • Inexpensive
    • Creates Positive Word of Mouth
    • Increases Company Awareness
    • Helps Reach Different Geographical Locations
    • Receive Direct Feedback
    • Seen as More Credible

    A brand ambassador can assist in brand awareness and brand image overtime. It also helps to create a direct marketing strategy to better reach your target audience. Remember, you want a brand ambassador to align with your target audience with regards to ethics and personalities.

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  • The Product Lifecycle and Marketing

    On: December 7, 2016
    In: Branding
    Views: 309
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    The product lifecycle is one of those things you hear about and only think of using when it comes to how long your company will live. Well using this idea with marketing can help you increase the effectiveness of your marketing budget.

    The first stage of the product lifecycle is introduction. This is just like a baby’s first breathes in the world. No one knows about your product or why they need it. The goal of your marketing at this stage should be to give information on the product and explain the usefulness of it. You want people to understand the product especially if it is a new product category. Your main purchasers at this stage will be trendsetters. Trendsetters tend to be the first to try out a product or service and then other consumers follow suit.

    Your next stage is the growth stage. This is a time where you want to increase awareness. You can do this by marketing to a broader audience while still targeting your market. The consumers who are usually next to purchase are mavens and you can utilize them to help market your product.  Now with the internet and icons on social media you are able to use these personalities to help bring awareness and attention to your product.

    The third stage of the lifecycle is the maturity stage. This is the time where people know about your product and may already be using it. This is where you want to have your marketing targeted at reminding consumers. Having a lot of advertisements in different media will help you do this. Another way to remind customers of your product is by launching a new product line. This can not only make your current customer rebuy, but it can help start your product lifecycle over with a new product.

    The last stage is the decline stage. Sadly, this means your company may not last much longer or it may become a novelty product. During this time you should decrease your marketing budget. There is no need to keep marketing a product that has become irrelevant to consumers.

    Overall, you are able to use the product lifecycle stages in order to help you direct your marketing messages. This can help you increase your longevity of your lifecycle while simultaneously increasing your revenues. When to pull out your marketing budget on a product line is a difficult decision and one that most businesses struggle with.

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  • Are Your Radio Commercials Working? Here’s Seven Ways to Tell.

    On: September 7, 2016
    In: Branding, Marketing, Radio, Uncategorized
    Views: 369
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    1. Be Creative. Radio is said to be “the theater of the mind.” It allows you- for a minimal cost- to create the most interesting man in the world, or an economy motel chain with a light on for you. A sharp agency can make your product (mnemonically) tap dance rings around your competition.
    2. Address Your Buyers. It’s drive time. Do you know where your audience is? You shouldn’t be spending money talking about semi-conductors to a group whose highest aspiration is obtaining front row tickets to a Taylor Swift concert.
    3. How You Say It Is Important. Skimping on production costs is like eating a chimichanga without sour cream and guacamole. It’s better than nothing, but doesn’t come close to reaching its potential. If your ads sound like they were recorded in the can, consumers will think your business is too. Insist your agency go the whole nine yards for quality production.
    4. You don’t think radio can affect your image?Imagine Hulk Hogan doing a spot for feminine deodorant product. See what we mean?
    5. Talk To One Person. Fascinate your listeners. If you just preach to them you’ll sound like your high school teacher. And get as much response.
    6. Start Strong. The first and most important step is to get their attention. We can do this without physically harming your customers.
    7. One Message. Reduce your commercial to one single message. This will keep it memorable…and from sounding like an auctioneer on a caffeine binge. Remember to sell one thing at a time otherwise you will confuse the audience and they are already easily confused!

    If you’re not getting a clear signal that your radio advertising is working, give us a call. You’ll get a lot less static and make a lot more noise.

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  • Myth #2: It Should Only Take A Couple Of Hours To Design A Logo Or A Website

    On: August 24, 2016
    In: Branding, Design, Uncategorized
    Views: 319
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    It’s easy to look at a logo or a brochure layout that appears to be very simple and conclude that did not take much time to design. That conclusion is very far from reality. Graphic designers follow a methodical design process, and every step of that process requires time to complete.

    Designers need to research, ask questions, formulate a creative brief that guides them to developing a solid final design. After the brief is established, a bulk of our time goes into creating ideas and concepts. Depending on the number of rounds of revisions, the refinement phase may require additional time. Stronger concepts are refined until the final design is approved. The design process applies to everything from logos to web sites and requires several weeks to several months depending on the scope of the project.

    Other aspects of design can be time-intensive. A layout of a document like a brochure, a newsletter or a magazine spread is more than copying and pasting text from a Word document. There needs to be time allowed for typesetting to optimize readability, for formatting to create consistent appearance, and for proofreading so that the message isn’t compromised by errors.

    Achieving an effective design solution cannot be rushed. Hastening projects along also leaves room for errors to occur which is a waste of time and money for the client and the designer. Remember, the wise words of Benjamin Franklin, “Take time for all things: great haste makes great waste.”

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  • Is Your Newspaper Advertising Delivering? Here’s Seven Ways to Tell.

    On: August 17, 2016
    In: Branding, Marketing, Newspapers, Uncategorized
    Views: 319
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    1. Dominate The Page. A good ad, like people how moved to Arizona, needs its space. In a medium where you, the news and your competitors are all struggling for the same reader, it’s important to “win the spread.”
    2. Corral The Reader. The right border around a small add can give it a big impact. It’s an inexpensive way to fence off your territory and let people know what’s yours.
    3. The Ol’ One-Two. A strong headline and graphic working together can be as appealing as peanut butter and jelly, bacon and eggs, or spaghetti and meatballs. If it’s really spectacular…ice cream and apple pie.
    4. The “Me” Generation. The old Mousketeers asked “Why? Because we like you,” are now asking, “What’s in it for me?” A benefit in the headline will keep them all ears.
    5. Keep It Simple. “See Jack run” and “to be or not to be” are both classics. They are easy to understand. And hard to forget. Whether you’re writing to someone who’s 5 or 50, simple sentences often work best.
    6. White Space. Philip Glass, a famous composer, said it was as much a part if his music as the melody. White space doesn’t have to be filled up with ink. Let it work to your advantage.
    7. Color Gives You Pop! In the black and white world of newspaper, color can really set you apart from the crowd. The pink hair you see people with at the mall will verify that.

     

    If your newspaper ads aren’t creating any sales news, shouldn’t we talk?

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  • Reasons Your Business Needs Marketing for Success

    On: July 6, 2016
    In: Branding, Uncategorized
    Views: 338
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    Most aspects of a business rely on successful marketing. Marketing covers advertising, public relations, promotions and sales. Marketing creates a process of introducing and promoting a product or service to potential customers. Therefore, if your business does not have marketing, your great product or service will not be known to your potential customers. Without marketing, your company may lose sales and continue to collapse.

    There are many reasons why a business needs marketing to succeed. Marketing gets the word out. The product or service your business is offering to potential buyers must be known. You must use marketing strategies to create product or service awareness. Using marketing to promote your product provides your business with a chance to be discovered. Today, the most effective way to get the word out about your company is through social media. There are many different ways to use marketing strategies through social media, such as promotions, sales, deals, presenting new products, and the list goes on.

    Marketing can also generate higher sales. Once your product or service is known, it increases the chances of a purchase from customers. These new customers also start to spread the word about your product, which will cause your sales to increase. Without these sales a company cannot succeed and without the marketing strategies there may not be customers making purchases.

    Marketing can build brand name recognition, and when a company reaches the high expectations of the public, a solid reputation is established. As the reputation grows, the business expands and sales increase. Marketing efforts create or support the business’s involvement and active participation in community programs, effective communication and presenting quality products or services.

    Marketing also cultivates an environment for healthy competition. Marketing gets the word out on the companies pricing of products and services, which reaches the intended customers, while also reaching other companies competing for the same consumers. Marketing keeps pricing competitive for a business trying to win over consumers before the competition does. Marketing facilitates the healthy competition that allows small and new businesses to be successful and grow in the marketplace.

    Though marketing can be expensive for a new business, it is worth it after reading these reasons why your business needs marketing for success. A marketing program that gives your company the best chance is a healthy mix of different forms of marketing, such as website development, public relations, print and broadcast advertising, design, trade shows and special events.

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  • Using Social Media to Increase Sales

    On: May 25, 2016
    In: Branding, Social Media
    Views: 342
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    Just about everyone is using a form of social media today, whether it is Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. Many companies use social media to sell their products or services, however, there are certain sales practices for using social media to help increase sales.

    Social media is known for its “soft selling” approach, meaning most people are not online with the sole purpose of shopping and, therefore, they must be persuaded to buy your product or service. This depends on what you post and how you post it and the marketing strategies used to increase sales and keep your audience happy.

    The first most important strategy when using social media to increase business sales is finding the right channel. Research must be done to find your companies target audience so you know you are appealing to the right customers. Consider the following: Who are they? Where do they live? Where do they work? What do they do for fun? What kind of products or services do they purchase? Once you answer these questions you will have the right idea about who your target audience is.

    The second strategy is to produce and engage. In order to build trust, authority and an increasing online following, you will need to post quality content that will spark interest in potential customers often. The content must be informative and useful to viewers. Producing quality content is important, as is interacting with other bloggers, businesses and the audience. It is essential to “like” the comments and posts of others and to share other quality content that is relevant to your industry. Share opinions and popular topics on your social media portals so the audience can get to know your company. This will get the potential customers interested in buying.

    On social media it is important to show the value of your company and how your product or service will benefit your potential customers. You can push these benefits through infographics, demos of your service in the form of short videos, free trial offers and other promotional deals. This is an easy way to get potential buyers to look at what you are offering.

    The last step would be to persuade your potential customers to take action. This can be done by having a call-to-action in your posts and other areas of your profile. This presses users to make that step from the information stage to the buying stage. Connect your posts, advertisements and other icons to your website where you can bring them to the stage of potential purchasing.

    As you can see, the most important step when using social media to sell a product or service is choosing the right channel. Once this is done, every step you take on social media counts towards that “hard sell.” By following these simple steps your social media outlets have the potential to gain followers and increase sales for your business.

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