Earlier in my career, I was part of a national organization of creative firms that met in different parts of the country. I recall sitting at bar in the French quarter of New Orleans, a few cocktails in, when a colleague from New Orleans said, “You know the difference between branding firms in Boston and those down here?” He paused, “Y’all live above the neck… we live…below the neck!”
As well as being highly amused, I recognized the depth of his colorful statement and it caused me to reflect upon the top ten attributes to look for in a Boston based branding agency:
Naming is fun, rewarding, creative and interesting. How’s that for negating just about every post about the pitfalls of naming or how tedious it seems to be for many people? Granted, naming in a world of diminishing dot com availability is a challenge, but overall, I’ve found naming to be more gratifying than frustrating — when you have the right approach.
I’ve distilled four criteria that when followed, will greatly increase your chance for success and provide awareness of where the pitfalls lie so you can minimize time-intensive dead ends.
If you’re in the marketing field, you’ve probably heard of “Buyer Personas,” but what are they exactly, and why do you need them?
For fans of the Showtime series, Homeland, you may have seen super sleuth antihero, Carrie Mathison, sitting cross-legged, surrounded by an array of suspect’s photos, including bios, histories and known associations. These are personas. In the case of “Homeland,” these are Terrorist Personas. Fortunately, we live in the less perilous, yet often elusive world of marketing, but share Carrie’s need for a deeper understanding of our targets; what they look like, what they like and dislike, where they congregate, what they read and who they associate with on a regular basis.
Amidst the blow-by-blow coverage of Donald Trump, and by association, the other candidates (including Democrats), there has been surprisingly little said about the 2016 candidates’ taglines and their impact, or lack thereof, thus far. This post should not be construed as an endorsement or opinion of any candidate, just their brand strategies as represented through their use of campaign taglines.
To understand the power of a tagline, look no further than Barack Obama’s success in 2008 with his two taglines: “Hope” and “Change We Can Believe In.”
You are in charge of Marketing. Your competitor just launched a new site. And it’s good. They have case studies, testimonials, video and interactive diagrams. What’s even more disconcerting is that they are telling a compelling story with a point of view. Their copy is solid, design is modern; They got their branding right.
Your CEO is not happy, wants to see something done about it and wants results fast… but within a budget. How do you get it done?
My mother taught me how to write. My father taught me how to defend myself (verbally). Art Center College of Design taught me how to present my ideas. But none of these venerable resources taught me how to read minds. What does mind reading have to do with marketing or design: practically everything.
The other day, I saw a website for an agency that uses the tagline, “We Work on Your Business, Not Just Your Website.” I related to the line’s strategic positioning and have to admit to being disappointed that I hadn’t come up with it myself.
What can cause a web design project to go over budget or off schedule? This question is often asked of web firms. Similarly, client’s ask, “What can we do to ensure success with our website project?”
Good news, bad news: this is not rocket science. In design, success is often subjective. Reigning in subjectivity is where we can realize economies, both in money and in time. To that end, the following recommendations apply to a majority of website projects, regardless of industry and irrespective of intentions.
Sometimes when people come to us for “branding,” I quickly ascertain that what they really mean is an updated “visual identity.”
“So, you’re looking for help integrating your vision, competitive positioning, audience messaging, market perception and corporate culture,” I might ask. Just as often they respond, “I just need an update to our logo, collateral templates, PowerPoint, web design, etc.” For many, the visual manifestations of a brand are “The Brand.”