Branding Essentials


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Whether you're launching, evolving, or repositioning your business, defining your unique brand identity is key. Who are (and aren't?) you? Are your current creative touchpoints and content elements telling your brand story —and, most importantly, engaging your target audiences — as effectively as they can?

Join Big Small Brands founder Jen Barth for an interactive session which includes tips, best practices, and real-life example/lessons learned on...

• Your Creative Identity: What does your name, logo, and creative identity say about your business today?
• Your Brand Voice: Elements to consider when selecting the tone — and type — of your content, both on and offline
• Gaining Customer Insights: Tips and low-cost tools for researching and exploring user needs — on a shoestring budget
• 5 Tips for Brilliant-Branders-to-Be: The 5 essential steps to consider when creating or growing your small business brand.

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Branding Essentials

  1. 1. Lunch & Learn: Branding EssentialsPresenter: Jen BarthDate: June 13th, 2012Location: Formic Media
  2. 2. About Formic Media• Launched in 2008 to service small business & partners• Specializes in search, social and website development• 100% of Account Team Google AdWords & Google Analytics Certified• 7 employees & 45+ clients• Strategic partnerships (SEMA, AlphaGraphics, etc.)• Focus on education via monthly Seminar Series
  3. 3. MARKETING THATMATTERS….Branding Essentials for Growing BusinessesJune 13, 2012Formic Media
  4. 4. What We’ll Be Exploring Today…• Knowing your audience, identity and brand voice is key to succeeding in todays marketplace.• Before you begin the marketing process, do you know who you are — and arent?
  5. 5. Introductions• Who are you, and what’s your business/target audience?• Top branding issue/question on your mind today?• Favorite PDX food cart????
  6. 6. First Things First:What Is “Branding”, Anyway?
  7. 7. A Bit About Branding….• 31,500 results on Google: Yikes!• One I like… “Who you are, what you promise, and your ability and willingness to deliver on that promise.” – Joe Callaway, “Becoming a Category of One”• Branding is the discipline that guides your thinking, your actions, and your behavior.• It is the personality that identifies your product or service, and how you relate to your audiences
  8. 8. Your Brand Is A Filter: Get ClearBefore You Create • Your brand is the lens through which all communications, actions, and resource decisions (time, money, energy) should be filtered
  9. 9. 6 Questions to Know…Before You Go1. What Are Your Goals?2. Who Are Your Targets?3. Where/How Are You Engaging Successfully Now? Where Else Are They Listening?4. Quick Reality Check: How Much Time and Interest Do You Have to Invest? (Be honest!)5. What Can You Delegate or Outsource?6. How Will You Measure & Evolve Your Efforts?
  10. 10. Where To Begin…6 Key Steps!
  11. 11. Tips For Brilliant Branders-To-Be1. Sweat the Small Stuff2. Listen & Look Before You Leap3. Tell a Story4. Create Connections5. Make a (Marketing) Plan6. Measure, Assess, Evolve. Repeat.
  12. 12. 1. Sweat The Small Stuff(or…clean up your room before company comes!)
  13. 13. Your Brand: The Sum of Many Parts… Your name Your logo The colors you use in your visual system Your slogan/tagline Your words, tone, mood, and personality (―voice‖) The types, & frequency of your communications  Your tactical touch points: your voicemail, email signature, invoices, contracts, agreements, forms… AND  How you address customer service issues (or DON’T don’t)FORGET:  Your partnerships and connections  Unexpected interactions – every moment of every day (because people ―stop by‖ unexpectedly…are you ready?)
  14. 14. Naming Approaches to Consider• Acronym• Descriptive• Alliterative• Evocative• Founder / Heritage• Geographical• Personification• Mythic• Neologism (make it up!)
  15. 15. A Few Logos That Tell Stories
  16. 16. The Psychology of Color
  17. 17. The Role of Color in Branding
  18. 18. The Psychology of Color As with other aspects of branding, we differ in our perceptions of color based on gender, geography, and other factors…
  19. 19. Tips On Color Choices…• Red: exciting, energizing, draws attention• Orange: fun, warm – but strong love/hate reactions• Yellow: optimistic, evokes creativity• Greens: tranquil, refreshing, natural• Blue: constant, dependable, often calming• Indigo: mystical, spiritual, insightful• Black: authoritative, powerful, sophisticated• Gray: intellectual, refined, neutral• White: clean, pure, safe–, ―What Your Web Design Says About You‖
  20. 20. Time to Give Some Thought:A Few Questions• If you have a logo or identity system in place, do the current colors support your message?• Does your identity reflect your values and vision?• Is your identity clear and easy to read?• Collect imagery with the look and feel you want to create.
  21. 21. A Few Website Pointers:It’s An Onion…Not Grape! Don’t make users work top hard to understand, and engage with, your website, which is often the first — and most universal — brand touchpoint. Different audience groups have different needs. Do you know what they are?
  22. 22. Learn from this (tough, & expensive!)Lesson
  23. 23. Time to Give Some Thought:A Few Questions• What website(s) do you feel most connected to and engaged with?• Can you identify what aspects of the experience help you feel that way?• Do you know how your target audience looks for and consumes information? How could your website reflect that experience?
  24. 24. 2. Listen & LookBefore You Leap
  25. 25. Do Your Homework…Secondary Research= What’s out there already?• Website analytics• 3rd party research studies• Web/Social media sleuthingPrimary Research= Connect directly with targets• Qualitative methods• Quantitative methods
  26. 26. QualitativeInterviews, focus groups, panels, advisorygroups, ―ethnographies,‖ web usability testingUse It To Understand:• Reasons behind behaviors, attitudes, beliefs, perceptions, motivations, etc.• How these reactions play out in individual behaviorKey Uses: Generate ideas & gauge reactions Understand behaviors, perceptions, and motivations, attitudes, beliefs of individuals Understand language, nuances, & trends Prepare for quantitative research
  27. 27. QuantitativeSurveys, online survey tools, Omnibus research(statistical significance is the key!)Use It To Understand:• How many people hold the same behaviors, attitudes, beliefs, perceptions, etc.• Their common characteristicsKey Uses:• Determining demographics/user segments• Pricing Studies/Sales Projections• Defining/predicting behavior
  28. 28. Many Ways To Cut The Cloth…
  29. 29. Some Research Tools to Consider• Survey Tools: – SurveyMonkey, Zoomerang, SurveyGizmo, PollDaddy – LinkedIn & Facebook Surveys• Panels –, ZoomPanel – Omnibus Studies Key Steps: 1. Create ―screener‖ 2. Recruit participants 3. Develop discussion/activity guide 4. Conduct study 5. Analyze results 6. Take action (please!)
  30. 30. Time to Give Some Thought:A Few Questions• Who is your ideal client? – Key facts/identity (demographics) – Values/motivators (psychographics)• Do you have primary and secondary audience(s)? If so how do their needs differ?• If you were your audience, what would you want to hear? (if you don’t know…do some research!)• Are your communications framed to address these specific interests and desires?
  31. 31. 3. Tell A Story
  32. 32. Why Story… And Why Now? “The balance of power has shifted. It’s gone from advertisers with deep pockets, throwing money at one-way media, into the hands of the audience members. The age of interruptive media is over, and that’s where brand storytelling begins.” — Jon Thomas, “The Power of Brand Storytelling”
  33. 33. Storytelling Tip #1: Share.85% of peoplewill take achance on youin business…if they knowsomethingabout youpersonally.
  34. 34. The Power of Story Stories help us: • Establish our humanity: strengths, values, friendships, enemies • Connect through common experiences • Give emotional context through a tangible and familiar framework
  35. 35. What Makes a Story?4 Key ElementsCharacter Conflict Plot Message
  36. 36. Sound Familiar?
  37. 37. But Wait…There’s More. Story Drives Retention Storytelling stands alone Statistics with some storytelling 65-70%Solely statistics 25-30% 5-10% — London School of Business
  38. 38. Elements To A Good Story• Context – do audiences see their • Connectedness – Show own story in yours? empathy and connect.• Simplicity –make your point & • Magic –Violate listener’s move on! expectations with a surprise.• Interest – A boring story won’t • Relevance – Do listeners feel promote understanding or inspire that this is their story, too? action. Will your audience register it, remember it, and tell it again? • Immediacy –A story helps people take the leap of faith• Trust – is your story true necessary to be inspired to (factually, and to the audience’s take action‖ experience?)• Meaning – Does your story -from Jon Winsor, “Developing support a deeper message or a Story” inspire your audience to rethink something?
  39. 39. Not Exactly A New Idea…• ―Life it too short for a long story‖ — Lady Mary Wortly Montagu ―Your tale, sir, could cure deafness‖ — Sir William Shakespeare• ―Tell me a fact and I’ll learn. Tell me a truth and I’ll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever.‖ - — Indian proverb
  40. 40. Story Telling Tip #2:• Never underestimate the power of a picture and connecting content through visual elements: • Colors / Bolding • Images • Infographics
  41. 41. Storytelling Through Imagery
  42. 42. Personal Storytelling: Infographics
  43. 43. Story Telling Tip #3:• Don’t travel solo!• What hero’s journey have you taken?• Who is/are your trusty sidekicks?• Are you even the hero in the story, after all?
  44. 44. Consider Your Brand Voice… Before…
  45. 45. After
  46. 46. Brand Voice: Authenticity Matters
  47. 47. Brand VoiceThe right ―voice‖ canhelp demystify, createrelevance, and forgean emotionalconnection (with eventhe mostun-emotional oftopics!)
  48. 48. Storytelling Through Imagery
  49. 49. Personal Storytelling: Infographics
  50. 50. Time to Give Some Thought:A Few QuestionsAsk yourself…• Are you currently speaking in an authentic and credible voice?• Are you making promises you can keep?• Is what you are saying relevant, valuable, and motivating to your audience?• Take the ―Business Obituary‖ test: Pass or Fail?
  51. 51. 4. Create Connections
  52. 52. Growing Your Network• Deepening Your Existing Connections - Who do you know? - How can you help them? “Stories make our messages easier to - rememberthey help you? used How can and have been - throughout history to explain concepts Segmenting/Prioritizing Your Networking more effectively.”- Daniel Pink, A Whole New Mind• Making New Connections - Networking Events - Volunteer/Community Work• Broaden the Dialogue & Deepen the Engagement - E-mail Newsletters - Social Media
  53. 53. Small Biz Goes SocialUS small businesses saw the followingbenefits from social media in 2011:• Staying engaged with current customers 69%• Create more loyal customers through more direct engagements 63%• Increasing brand awareness 61%• Identifying/attracting new customers 59%• Collaborate more effectively with external partners, suppliers, and colleagues 44% & internal teams 31%• Correct problems before they escalate 30%• Defend against negative publicity 18%– 2011 State of Small Business Report
  54. 54. Many Channels, Many Options
  55. 55. But…Some Food For Thought• 56% of small businesses in 2011 state that social media used up more time than they expected• 40% experienced having their business criticized• 36% feel that social media usage has fallen short of expectations• 5% felt it hurt their brand’s image, versus helping it
  56. 56. What’s Your Social “Score?” “Stories make our messages easier to remember and have been used throughout history to explain concepts more effectively.”- Daniel Pink, A Whole New Mind
  57. 57. 5. Make A (Marketing) Plan
  58. 58. Elements of the Marketing Plan
  59. 59. Think About…. Who’s your Who are From here, audience? you? create...• Who do you serve? • How can you meet • Brand vision these needs? • Brand values• What needs do they have? • Who are you • Brand ―voice‖ today? • Communication• What unmet needs tools: exist? • What do you want to stand for in the – Tagline• Who are their key future? – Elevator pitch influencers (social, professional, media, • What is your – Media kits community, etc.) Unique Selling – Marketing Proposition (USP)? content• Where do they work, live, eat, • What will your – etc. shop, play? brand and/or product architecture be?
  60. 60. 6. Measure, Assess, Evolve. Repeat.
  61. 61. Measure, Assess & Evolve• Create track-able data points• Establish frequent reviews• Enlist a trusted, honest, and unbiased resource to help keep you honest in evaluation and ongoing optimization planning
  62. 62. Back to our Questions…1. What Are Your Goals?2. Who Are Your Targets?3. Where/How Are You Engaging Successfully Now? Where Else Are They Listening?4. Quick Reality Check: How Much Time and Interest Do You Have to Invest? (Be honest!)5. What Can You Delegate or Outsource?6. How Will You Measure & Evolve Your Efforts?
  63. 63. OK Now…Time to Think of 3 Things:Based on your thoughts and notes,Make the “Three Things” list:• 1 thing keep doing• 1 thing to stop doing• 1 thing to start doing next month, quarter, or year
  64. 64. Questions / Open Discussion JEN BARTH 503.732.0203 @JenUnplugged