Archive for the 'Brand' Category
I recently spent some time in Southern California, where I found a hip hangout place called Pinkberry. Pinkberry is a fairly new frozen yogurt parlor that has combined healthy goodness along with great tastes in their treats. Not only has Pinkberry found a niche market with with multiple types of frozen yogurt, including pomegranate and greentea, and toppings, including coconut and raspberry, but they also make any trip into Pinkberry a personal one; when ordering a frozen yogurt treat, the worker asks your name and then calls your name when your treat is ready.
Although Pinkberry has limited themselves to a few different products, they are not limited in types of consumers; each time I have visited Pinkberry, I have seen young and old people, as well as surfers or children stopping for an after school treat. So ask yourself, what can I do to attract a wider range of customers?
A few weeks ago I blogged about buzzmarketing, creating advertising that leaves a lasting impression. The Super Bowl is known for its high-budget and comical commercials that cost $3 million for 30 seconds of air time. During the Big Game last weekend, the most effective commercial was one by Miller ‘High Life’ Beer. The ad was only one second long and consisted of a brewery worker yelling “High-Life!” This ad, which cost only $100,000 to air, drew some of the biggest laughs and created much inquiry into the product. This blog is further proof of the ad’s buzzmarketing potential. Often times, being different is the most effective way to catch attention, and when being different costs less, everyone benefits.
As I begin to create my own company, I have started to gather information on how to create an effective company logo. Business logos need to show that your company is distinct and original from other companies, as well as building brand recognition, while representing the company’s interests. The most effective logos that I have seen are ones that are simple with powerful colors. A key question that business owners often forget to ask in the design stages – will your logo look good at any size? How will it look on a business card, coffee mug, or even the side of a bus?
Finding a name for your new business is frustrating and time consuming for most entrepreneurs. You can come up with endless lists and then everyone around you gives you a different opinion on which ones are good. It is enough to make your tear your hair out!
The Wall Street Journal recently wrote an article on a 12-point test for naming your company, designed by Eat My Words - a San Francisco naming boutique, a San Francisco naming boutique, known for playful names including a chain of frozen yogurt stores named Spoon Me, and a home-cleaning robot named Neato. They call it the Smile and Scratch test.
A good company name should have the following qualities:
Simple – one easy to understand concept
Meaningful – customer instantly “gets it”
Imagery – creates a mental picture
Legs – carries the brand; lends itself to wordplay
Emotional – empowers, entertains, engages, enlightens
Scratch the name if it has any of these:
Spelling-challenged – you have to tell people how to spell it
Copycat – similar to your competition
Random – disconnected from your brand
Annoying – hidden meaning, forced or cutesy
Tame – flat, boring, uninspiring
Curse of Knowledge – only insiders get it
Hard to Pronounce
This post is guest blogged by Isabelle Swiderski, Creative Director of Seven25 (http://www.seven25.com), who provides 6 tips on finding the right designer to work with.
Starting or growing a business is like an endless first date. You want your organization to make the right impression and to be memorable for what it stands for. You want it to be recognized and praised for how it expresses and presents itself. Right?
So why is it that some business owners so often come up with flimsy excuses to justify producing their own companyâ€™s identity and promotional materials? While Iâ€™m the first to try to demystify what we do as creative consultants, there is something to be said for hiring a professional. The most obvious one is that in this competitive market you need to be visible; sending your organization out there without proper branding is just plain cruel – youâ€™re setting it up to be teased or, worse yet, completely ignored.
Here are a few tips I’ve learned over the years to facilitate the process of finding someone who can help put you on the map:
1.Set aside a realistic yearly budget for marketing and design. If you have no idea what design services might cost, call a few studios and get budget quotes. Alternatively go to the library and consult the Graphic Artists Guild Handbook: â€¨Pricing & Ethical Guidelines. It outlines pricing guidelines for design services for organizations of various sizes.
2. Do your homework. Visit the Graphic Designers of Canadaâ€™s website â€”or your countryâ€™s equivalent. These sites are full of tips on working with designers and feature links to reputable studios and independent designers in your area.
3. Narrow down your options to 3 studios whose philosophy, size, or aesthetic strikes a chord with you. Consider working with an individual rather than a studio if the size of your budget or project is more suited to it.
4. Meet with them to discuss your specific needs and to see if you might be able to work together. Take a good look at samples of previous work, not to verify that theyâ€™ve already done exactly what you need for someone else but that they are able to resolve a variety of design problems in appropriate and engaging ways.
5. Be upfront about your budget and clear about your goals. A designerâ€™s skill set shouldnâ€™t be limited to making things aesthetically pleasing. It should also encompass strategic thinking to find the best ways to overcome your specific challenges and build visibility for your company.
6. Get written estimates from each short-listed candidate outlining the deliverables and, if the deadline is looming, a timeline for completion.
Once youâ€™ve found the right fit, the relationship should be one of partnership where you can each benefit from the otherâ€™s expertise to make a better end product. Youâ€™ll be on your way to the second date in no time at all!
(Isabelle Swiderski is creative director at Seven25. Design & Typography Inc., a full-service multidisciplinary design consultancy with international experience based in Vancouver, BC. http://www.seven25.com/
My column in this monthâ€™s edition of Make it Business talks about how branding can drive sales for any company and it doesnâ€™t involve spending tons of money. I talk to a branding expert who defines 3 key things to consider when building a brand:
1. Define who you are.
2. Stand out.
3. Be clear on who wants what you have.
I recently discovered a great blog â€“ Oddee. They describe it as â€œ A blog on the oddities of our worldâ€ and it is great reading. Their recent article is on the unfortunate effects of badly placed advertising.
Ever wonder how to differentiate yourself or your company in a world where the starting point is excellence? A world where being great at your job, having all the right tools and products – is the commodity-level minimum?