9 Criteria for Establishing Brand Essence

October 21, 2011  |  Branding  |  No Comments

I talk about Brand Essence every day while dealing with my clients. Essence is much more than a feeling. It is the impression evoked by the brand though many touchpoints or connections with the consumer.  These 9 criteria sum up what the “essence” really is. This list is an excerpt from a post by HubSpot.
9 Criteria for Establishing Brand Essence
1. Focus: Find one or two words that define the brand. Deliver a unique experience, and document what it is you want to evoke.
2. Feeling: Describe what it is you want a consumer to feel when he/she comes into contact with your brand.
3. Individuality: In these communities, brands are people, too, and necessary to stand alone. The key here is uniqueness and charm.
4. Experiential: When a consumer experiences a product or service, what is the encounter eliciting?
5. Consistency: What a brand conveys now and every day. It is also a call to ensure that the brand team is structured in a way that allows it to deliver as promised.
6. Credibility: Aligning the brand essence with experiences and righting the course of engagement and transformation when necessary. (This is discussed further in Chapter 15).
7. Longevity: Is the essence designed to last, something…

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GPS Guide Featured on Wish TV 8 News

October 7, 2011  |  Graphic Design, Marketing, news  |  No Comments


The GPS Guide to the Teenage Brain was recently featured in the news n conjunction with a report on marijuana use in Marion County. Read More

Choose Reality Over Perfection In Brand Building

October 8, 2010  |  Branding, Marketing  |  No Comments
Choose Reality Over Perfection In Brand Building

I love this article posted by Martin Lindstrom on the Branding Strategy Insider. It is all about getting REAL. Let’s get REAL with our BRANDS. Make them authentic, let them make mistakes and react like a REAL person. Nobody likes a phony brand image and we all know what those look like. This goes for corporate brands, small business brands, service brands and personal brands. I love imperfect brands just like I love imperfect people — who are not afraid to admit it. Get REAL with your brand!

Source: Martin Lindstrom, Branding Strategy Insider

Is perfect branding really the best way of building brands? Up until recently this might have been true. Asking Martha Stewart fans they would have agreed with me. Year after year the ever-perfect Martha was dishing up one perfect decoration advice after another. And yes they were really perfect – but repeating this session decade after decade made one mistake look so much more dramatic than if the brand Martha would have conducted mistakes, purposely or not, through the years just like us “ordinary” human beings.

And this brings me to the point. I’m a big believer in the fact that the ultimate brand is like a real person. Needless to say no brand hardly reaches a stage where people perceive it as being a real person, but the fact is, that the more human components we associate a brand with, typically the stronger the brand is. Read More

Six Keys to Being Excellent at Anything

September 7, 2010  |  Being Excellent or an Expert, Motivation  |  No Comments
Six Keys to Being Excellent at Anything

I just read this article written on the Harvard Business Review Blog by Tony Schwartz: Link

Essentially this is not real new news, but I need to keep reminding myself again and again on these common sense facts on what it takes to be excellent:

  • We are what we repeatedly do.
  • It is not inherited talent which determines how good we become at something, but rather how hard we are willing to work.
  • Push past your comfort zone to get really good. Read More

I CRINGE when I hear the advice “SPECIALIZE in ONE THING”

August 5, 2010  |  No Comments
I CRINGE when I hear the advice

Finally an article supporting the notion of being a generalist, not a specialist. So many consultants say that to be successful you must be specialized. I cringe every time I hear that.

I can’t imagine doing the same task every day or working in the same market every day. My specialty is branding and marketing and that I thrive on the variety that comes at me every day. Thank you to Mindy, the author of this article.

Re-posted from webdesignerdepot.com, click here to read original article

“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, design a building, conn a ship, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve an equation, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” Robert A. Heinlein

It seems that the topic of specialization has come into focus yet again in the web world and with it, the people who say being a “jack of all trades” is a useless thing to strive for.

A lot of web professionals are pushing newcomers to specialize in a single area to make themselves more marketable and employable. Without a doubt, specialists will always be needed in any industry. But is it really so bad to be a web generalist?

Being considered a “jack of all trades” has always had a negative connotation. It implies that you dabble in bits of everything, but never achieve the expertise needed to be good at any one pursuit. Read More

Think like a designer

August 5, 2010  |  Branding  |  No Comments
Think like a designer

Even if you are not a designer, you can train yourself to think like one. Doing this will help you critique layouts presented to you for your opinion or approval.

Flex Your Design Muscle – A Few Exercises

Here are a few suggestions to train your brain to think like a designer . . .

  1. Start a design folder or binder to keep samples of ideas you like. This helps you wake up and become more alert. I often get inspiration from designs I notice in totally different markets than the one I am working on. You don’t have to like everything – notice the details. You may like a font, a color scheme, a style of writing, a photo treatment or even the way the paper folds.
  2. Analyze your junk mail every day, then explain why you hate it or love it. Keep the ones you really like.
  3. While grocery shopping study the cereal boxes. The large packaged goods companies (Kelloggs, Kraft/Nabisco, General Mills) spend big bucks on their packaging. Get some ideas from the pros. See how they prioritize the information and use bold graphics to highlight and catch the consumer’s  attention.
  4. Start paying close attention to billboards, signage, invitations, and even instruction manuals. See how they pick the design elements to appeal to their target audience and to create a strong brand image. Read More

I’m a Raving Fan of Seth Godin

August 1, 2010  |  Marketing, Personal Branding  |  No Comments
I'm a Raving Fan of Seth Godin

I am a “Raving Fan” of Seth Godin’s book “Linchpin” and I have recommended it to many clients and many college students who are about to start their careers. The world has changed, and is continuing to change very rapidly. This book shifts your mindset on the way we do business and how to can manage your own career by making yourself distinctive. This is the new school of thinking for future leaders.

It was fun to be part of Seth’s brilliant, grass roots, tech driven, unconditional book launch. Seth offered advanced copies of Linchpin to the first 3,000 people who donated $30 to the Acumen Fund. I bought a copy — or, rather, I donated to the Acumen Fund and Seth sent me his book before it hit the shelves in stores. I thought that was brilliant, but here’s the kicker – - about 2 months after I received my book he send me a second copy to pass on to a friend. Now, that is impressive! Can you see why I am a Raving Fan of Seth Godin?

I follow his daily blog at http://sethgodin.typepad.com/and I encourage all creative thinking business people to join me!

From The 60 Second Marketer Blog

I became a huge fan of Seth Godin after reading TRIBES. He written several other bestselling business books such as Meatball Sundae, The Dip, Small Is the New Big, The Big Moo, Purple Cow, All Marketers Are Liars, Free Prize Inside, Survival Is Not Enough, Permission Marketing, Unleashing the Ideavirus and, The Big Red Fez. Read More

Leaders Should Feel Uncomfortable

December 27, 2009  |  No Comments
Leaders Should Feel Uncomfortable

An excerpt from one of my new favorite business books, TRIBES by Seth Godin.

“Leadership is scarce because few people are willing to go through the discomfort required to lead.

The scarcity makes leadership valuable. If everyone tries to lead all the time, not much happens. It’s discomfort that creates the leverage that makes leadership worthwhile.

In other words, if everyone could do it, they would, and it wouldn’t be worth much.

It’s uncomfortable to stand up in front of strangers.
It’s uncomfortable to propose an idea that might fail.
It’s uncomfortable to challenge the status quo.
It’s uncomfortable to resist the urge to settle.

When you identify the discomfort, you’ve found the place where a leader is needed. Read More

3 Killer Social Media Marketing Tactics

December 21, 2009  |  Social Media  |  No Comments
3 Killer Social Media Marketing Tactics

I found these tips while checking my Twitter. Zeke Camusio has a Blog full of great tips and advise about Internet Marketing and Entrepreneurship at The Outsourcing Company. http://www.theoutsourcingcompany.com/blog/

3 Killer Social Media Marketing Tactics

Tactic #1: Find Out Who’s Talking About You and Your Product and Engage in the Conversation

  1. Set up BuzzStream with your name and keywords (e.g. “back pain”, “natural healing”, etc.)
  2. You’ll get alerts every time someone talks about you or the stuff you offer.
  3. Go there and engage in the conversation.

This tactic rocks! You find people who need what you have and help them. That’s what Social Media Marketing is all about.

BuzzStream is a paid tool ($49/month). If you want a free alternative, use Google Alerts, but you won’t get the same great results.

Tactic #2: Share Someone Else’s Content
Most people freak out over Social Media Marketing because they don’t have the time to write 100 articles and shoot 100 videos. It’s OK. Be a “resource sharer”. Those resources don’t need to be yours. If you come across videos and articles that your audience might find useful, share that stuff with them. Read More

define: Brand

December 14, 2009  |  Branding  |  No Comments
define: Brand

This blurb is from Seth Godin’s Blog post today. It is a terrific explanation about Brand Value. Does your product or service command a premium price because its Brand Value?  To create an outstanding brand you must take a wholistic approach. Your brand is every connection or impression with your consumers. It is the impression they create in THEIR minds about you, your product or service.

Posted by Seth Godin on December 14, 2009

define: Brand

Here’s my definition: A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another. If the consumer (whether it’s a business, a buyer, a voter or a donor) doesn’t pay a premium, make a selection or spread the word, then no brand value exists for that consumer.

A brand’s value is merely the sum total of how much extra people will pay, or how often they choose, the expectations, memories, stories and relationships of one brand over the alternatives.

A brand used to be something else. It used to be a logo or a design or a wrapper. Today, that’s a shadow of the brand, something that might mark the brand’s existence. But just as it takes more than a hat to be a cowboy, it takes more than a designer prattling on about texture to make a brand. If you’ve never heard of it, if you wouldn’t choose it, if you don’t recommend it, then there is no brand, at least not for you. Read More

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