Remote Engagement Is Still Part of Your Brand Experience

Until early 2020, the mantra for marketers everywhere was to focus on real-time brand experiences. Consumers were increasingly looking to sensory stimulation and immersive environments as an integral part of their favorite brands (Sonic Drive-Ins, Apple stores, Starbucks cafes, etc.). The emotional connection with physical objects and spaces, and human interaction was an integral part […]

A Brand’s Best Friend?

Looking for a brand spokesperson that’s instantly appealing and memorable to virtually anyone? Someone who won’t demand an exorbitant fee or cause trouble away from the camera? Instead of thinking about TV/movie stars or sports celebrities, you might want to consider a figure with fur, claws, or hooves. For decades, animals (live and animated) have […]

What Is Brand Value?

Most people have heard, and have a vague understanding, of brand value. But what exactly does it measure? In simple terms, the monetary value of a brand—also known as brand equity—is the value that a brand adds to a company’s overall worth. It measures the difference between a consumer’s perception of a brand and the […]

Brand Purpose Versus Social Purpose

In recent years, consumers have been increasingly looking to support brands that not only align with their own values but also implement practices that make a positive impact on society. As a result, terms like “brand purpose” and “social purpose” have become more prevalent in marketing messaging and customer engagement. While these terms are increasingly […]

How Does a Brand Name Lead to Brand Success?

Companies large and small spend a considerable amount of time and effort on finding the right name for their brand. There’s no argument that first impressions are important, and a compelling, intriguing, and/or easy-to-remember name is the first step toward making that first touch point with customers and prospects a positive one. In addition, many […]

10 Quick Ideas for Differentiating Your Brand

Every brand strives to be different from competitors. However, most marketers’ differentiation strategies rarely go far enough to get peoples’ attention in a crowded marketplace—or are equipped and supported throughout the organization to maintain a unique appeal for the long run. If you’re ready and determined to separate your brand from others in relevant and […]

Strong Brands Put Employees First

Putting the customer’s needs and satisfaction above all is deeply ingrained in the mindset of all businesses. And why shouldn’t it be? Happier customers mean greater purchase frequency, higher revenues, and stronger brand loyalty, right? While putting in place operational processes and standards that support this goal are important for the success of any enterprise, […]

Great Ideas Often Come From Non-Experts

When we look for creative, breakthrough ideas, it’s a no-brainer to turn to people who have experience and an extensive track record of success. Or is it? The world is increasingly prioritizing specialization and sub-specialization. We—not without reason—believe that the more time and thought we spend within a highly defined area, the more likely we’ll […]

Do More With Less In Brand Positioning

Consumers, in particular American consumers, believe in an abundance of choices. After all, it’s in our national DNA. We want freedom—especially the freedom to have what we want when we want it, and in the color, flavor, and size that we want. In theory, endless options seem appealing. In reality, it can be paralyzing. Studies […]

Creating a Clearer Brand Story

We are attracted to brands that have a compelling narrative. Whether it’s about a service that was created to meet an unvoiced but meaningful need or an individual who has dedicated their life to crafting something of unparalleled quality, we want to know why something is special—and worthy of our attention. While most marketers are […]

Branding That Stands the Test of Time

A brand that stays relevant and appealing throughout its existence is a truly remarkable achievement. When you think of all the trends, technologies, communications platforms, social values, and countless other dynamics that change year after year, decade after decade, simply surviving is a feat in itself. That’s why brands that continue to connect to their […]

8 Ways to Expand Your Marketing Strategy

When most businesses market themselves to prospective customers, they employ or at least start with a basic transactional model. This involves communications that focus on selling customers on the practical, aspirational, and/or emotional value of products, an approach familiar to all. While these communications channels can take any form—traditional, digital, broadcast, social media—the appeal is […]

Down-Market Branding

While down-market branding is frequently seen as a viable way to reach new audiences and sustain business growth, it also creates worry about its impact on a company’s flagship brand. Will a new entry-level brand create excitement and interest? Or will it diminish hard-won brand equity? Is it a path to an untapped market? Or […]

Your Brand Needs Enemies

Strong brands incorporate stories into descriptions and explanations of who they are and what they stand for. And the best stories have some kind of villain or antagonist that is defeated by a brand and its customers. Why is this noteworthy? “Bad guys” create conflict and stress—which make stories more exciting and attention worthy. And […]

Understanding Brand Equity

At first glance, the term “brand equity” seems like marketing jargon and/or an insider term that only people who make a living in marketing communications need to be concerned with. In truth, brand equity is something that affects everyone in an organization and may very well be the most important asset any enterprise owns.  But […]

Adding Reverence to Your Brand

Consumers demand brand authenticity today. They want to know that what they’re getting is what marketers are telling them that they’re getting. And if marketers are falling short, social media and online comments will let them know immediately. Accordingly, brands are pulling out all the stops to gain customer satisfaction and respect. But if your […]

Don’t Forget About the Small Moments

When we think of branding, what usually come to mind are elements and tactics that are often broad in scale. We’re talking about product design, packaging, retail space and signage design, standardized look-and-feels and color palettes, multi-channel campaigns, etc.—things that typically carry a lot of weight in creating initial impressions. There’s no doubt that all […]

Numbers Don’t Lie. But Do They Tell the Truth?

In today’s marketing communications world, virtually everything is measurable. We can know exactly how many people saw and felt motivated to act on any online ad, social media posting, direct mailing, etc. Data is invaluable in showing us what is happening in the midst of our marketing activity. But all too often data is regarded […]

Being Where Others Aren’t

Apologies right away if football or sports analogies make your eyes roll. But the following approach developed by a Hall of Fame NFL coach is critically relevant to standing apart from your competitors no matter what industry you’re in. And it’s a strategy that’s especially worth consideration if you’re an enterprise that doesn’t have the […]

Strengthen Your Brand—With Your Flaws

In many aspects of our lives, we’re conditioned to chase after perfection. We often find it hard to overlook even minor flaws and shortcomings in our purchases. So we naturally gravitate to messages and appeals that lead us to believe we can acquire, achieve, or experience the ultimate in some way. But…do we really? In […]

Building Brand Community

It’s always comforting to belong to a group that shares a common interest or set of values. It can be a fan club, a political affiliation, a hobby group, or even a trade association. Wherever there’s a passion for something, there’s always a community that’s talking about it, looking for ways to advance it, and […]

Understanding Brand Value

The first thing we associate “great value” with is almost always “low price.” And while one often accompanies the other, it’s also true that price cannot always be a reliable measurement of value. We’ve been conditioned to associate value with pricing for so long that we forget one important thing: while the seller sets pricing, […]

10 Unforced Branding Errors

Branding is hard. Great branding is even harder. However, many marketers make their jobs more difficult through a wide range of missteps—however well intentioned their purposes may be. The following are examples of some common branding errors. Changing or shifting your brand’s positioning often. It’s often tempting to make changes to brand elements if sales […]

What Does Your Brand Sound Like?

When we think of a brand identity, the first thing that typically defines our perception of it is its visual presentation. Sight is almost always our initial go-to means for receiving information from our surroundings and, accordingly, forms the main pathway for understanding and defining what a brand means to us. In the early to […]

Be Sure Your Brand’s Walk Backs Up Its Talk

Brands today must navigate social change like never before. Consumers are increasingly factoring how brands treat the environment, employee working conditions, diversity, gender inequality, etc., into their purchase decisions. Marketers are often quick to develop messaging that rides popular support on trending issues. However, they are finding that there are many aspects they need to […]

8 Tips to Upgrade Your Marketing Vocabulary

There are few languages that are as expansive and descriptive as English. However, this richness is often a double-edged sword, particularly for writers in marketing communications. Copy and content writers often unintentionally water down the impact of their messages with flowery approaches or overused words and phrases. Sharp, persuasive writing is critical for spurring interest […]

What Does Branding Mean Today?

The evolution—and unchanging truth—of occupying the hearts and minds of your audiences Ask 10 people what they think branding is and you may get 10 different answers. The meaning of “branding” has continuously evolved throughout its history, and while it’s more ubiquitous than ever, it’s still perceived in a wide variety of ways and not […]

How 5G Will Change the Marketing Landscape

Super-fast wireless service brings abundant possibilities for marketers You’ve probably heard about the arrival of 5G wireless service and wondered what the big deal is. Is 5G really all that different than the current 4G standard? The fact is that 5G not only presents a quantum leap in data transmission speeds over 4G but is also […]

Digital Branding and Marketing Trends for 2019

As we near the end of 2018, it’s only natural to look forward to a number of emerging trends in digital branding and marketing for the new year and beyond. Many of these were dismissed in their early development as gimmicks, yet have now proven to not only have staying power but to be important […]

Drain the Beer Test Out of Your Hiring Practices

Understand what’s behind the way you evaluate potential employees Finding and hiring the right people for your organization is far from an exact science. It’s rare that someone you’ve recruited turns out to be exactly how you envisioned them when you offered them a position—even after you’ve carefully vetted their qualifications, work history, and suitability […]

Put More Smart in Your Smartphone Marketing

Make your mobile experience friction-free Regardless of what business or field you’re in today, your digital marketing and outreach platforms need to incorporate mobile-centric strategies. Today there are more than 2.5 billion smartphone users around the world in 2018 while shipments of desktop computers, at roughly 95 million units, have been in steady decline for the […]

The Oxford Comma Controversy

An age-old argument that continues to make grammarians’ blood boil Ah, the Oxford comma. A welcome sight to some. An irksome blight to others. And the subject of a never-ending battle among grammar and punctuation geeks. So what is the Oxford comma? First of all, the Oxford comma (also known as the serial comma—your choice […]

How Your Event Can Become THE Event

Meetings, conferences, and tradeshows are major branding opportunities We typically equate brands with products, services, places, and even people. But one area often under-utilized as an opportunity for branding is events. If you’re an association or trade group, you know all about promoting your annual meetings and shows. But are you giving these the branding […]

There’s a Story Behind Every Brand

Narratives create empathy—and engagement opportunities In an earlier post this year, we discussed how President Trump’s Make America Great Again campaign message during the 2016 election season was an example of extraordinarily efficient storytelling. Whether you agree with his ideologies or not, you must give him credit for creating a four-word narrative that stirred emotions, […]

Setting Brand Standards

The importance of branding guidelines Brand standards manuals are internal publications that recommend typefaces, colors, symbols, and layout options that pertain to an overall identity for an organization. These style guidelines provide a base for building a brand look and feel and ensure that all materials produced within this system will work in harmony. A […]

Uncommon Branding Stays True to Key Fundamentals

The ingredients and factors that go into better branding When companies and organizations establish a new brand or rebrand themselves, it’s par for the course for the primary goal of the new branding to be differentiation from competitors. This makes perfect sense and is clearly something that any branding effort should strive for. However, setting […]

Ten Common Grammatical Errors

Sharpen your postings and overall writing by avoiding these blunders Thanks to the Internet, and social media especially, we are all writing more than ever. We are continually dashing off emails, pecking out texts, and posting on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. However, given the often informal nature of these writings, grammar rules often got overlooked. […]

Emoji Marketing Has Arrived

Will your marketing message work better with this form of communications? Keeping up with the development of technological communication is an important part of knowing how to market effectively. The way we speak and write is constantly evolving. It is up to us to make sure that we utilize this knowledge so that we can […]

TED Talks: Presentations from Which You’ll Learn a Lot

Ideas and inspiration delivered effectively TED is an acronym for Technology, Entertainment, and Design. What TED Talks have become, however, cover a much wider range of topics and ideas than its creators initially anticipated. “Ideas worth spreading” is its tagline, and its mission is to make those ideas more “accessible and spark conversation.” Each TED […]

Building a Brand from the Ground Up

A how-to guide for developing a strong, engaging brand In today’s fast-moving, get-it-done-now world, building a brand seems like it ought to be a fairly easy, streamlined process that anyone could do. Think of a catchy tagline, some arresting visuals, maybe even a celebrity endorsement, and you’re good to go, right? Well, that’s one way. […]