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Halloween Branding: Hair-Raising Strategies and Tips to Promote Your Brand

Posted by Lorraine Carter on October 31 2014 @ 16:28

Halloween isn’t just for kids anymore. This spooky celebration marks the start of a major holiday season, and it’s grown from a great time to sell sweets and treats, to a massive multi-billion dollar industry with all types of customers getting into the Halloween spirit and looking forward to scary fun opportunities!

 

Your business can take advantage of this thrilling, spook-tacular holiday with Halloween strategies to promote your brand, and engage customers through the holiday season and beyond.

 

Why Should You Use Halloween to Feature Your Brand?

Throughout the world, Halloween is big business. Spending on Halloween for 2013 was $8 billion in the United States, and £300 million in the UK. Those numbers are expected to top $11 billion and £350 million, respectively, for the 2014 retail season.

 

Considering that Halloween spending in the UK was around £12 million in 2001, and the holiday now sees more retail spending than Bonfire Night, there is a definite market for Halloween-themed branding. In fact, Halloween is now the third largest retail holiday in the UK, behind Christmas and Easter.

 

Candy and costumes are obvious targets for Halloween spending, with Halloween candy sales topping the Easter season, but shoppers are interested in more than these traditional purchases. In the United States, there is a massive market for Halloween-related decorations, with 70% of shoppers planning to decorate for this spooky holiday - compared to 69% who plan to decorate for Christmas.

 

Even if you don’t sell candy or costumes, your brand can benefit by having a Halloween related promotion. Both product and service providers can benefit by tying into this spooky holiday. According to a study from the International Council of Shopping Centre, 64% of shoppers are looking for sales and promotions on Halloween, which they state as their most important factor in deciding on Halloween purchases.

 

An example of a non-FMCG company using Halloween for branding is auto insurance company GEICO. Known for its talking animal mascots, the insurance company recently began using a new tagline for its advertising campaigns: “It’s what you do.” This Halloween, GEICO created a commercial that ties the new tagline into popular horror movie tropes for a funny and memorable message.

 

 

 

 

Looking to cash in on this surprisingly huge holiday? Here are some tips and strategies you can use to elevate your brand on Halloween.

 

 

8 Top Tips for Halloween Themed Branding Campaigns

Everyone loves a good contest, especially one that involves holidays and creativity. In fact, 30% more people participate in Halloween-themed Facebook contests alone. Holding a Halloween contest on social media can help you boost visibility for your brand and earn you long-term benefits by growing your brand’s social fan base.

 

No matter what type of business you have, whether it’s product or service oriented, there are plenty of ways to tie contests or competitions in with Halloween. For example, here are some popular kinds of Halloween contests, and ideas about how you can tie them into your brand.

 

1. Costume Contests

Product brands might ask their entrants to dress up in costumes that incorporate their products creatively - or even dress up their products in costumes, as Dunkin Donuts is doing on Twitter this year. The brand asked customers to post pictures of coffee cups in costumes under the hashtag #dresseDD, and is giving out prizes for the most creative coffee disguises.

  

   Dunkin'donuts Halloween Disguises

  

For service brands, it might be a good opportunity to show your lighter human or more humorous side with an idea for a costume contest such as asking your fans and followers to dress as unusual, scary, or funny representatives of your industry. Make sure the prize includes something Halloween-themed, such as a candy gift basket along with a gift card, free service, or whatever you plan to give away.

 

2. Pumpkin Carving

50% or more of those who celebrate Halloween are into carving pumpkins, so you can get a lot of interest with a pumpkin carving contest. Tie your contest creatively into your brand - such as asking people to carve a company logo into a pumpkin (their own, or yours).

  

  

 

3. Pet Costumes

Dressing up pets for Halloween is becoming a major retail event. Whether you’re a product or a service brand, you can run a pet costume contest along the same lines as a regular costume contest, and offer branded prizes that will appeal to pet owners.

You could also host a Halloween quiz, take a Halloween survey, or run an incentive program for customers to sign up to your mailing list with Halloween-themed giveaways.

 

 Pet Costumes Halloween

Image via www.costumeexpress.com 

  

4. Create Halloween-Themed Content

Working Halloween into your content marketing is an easy and creative way to brand for the spooky holidays. Whether you’re creating written content, images, infographics, or video, there are many ways to tie your brand to Halloween for both product and service-oriented companies.

 

5. Make a Halloween Bundle

Placing several different products together in a Halloween context can be an effective branding strategy. For example, retail grocery stores might offer a “vampire package” that includes varieties of garlic, meat, and red wine. Outdoor clothing and equipment retailer REI put together a clever "Zombie Survival Guide” infographic to celebrate the holiday that showcases several of their products.

   Rei Zombie Infographic 600

 Image via www.rei.com

 

6. Address Halloween “Pain Points”

Every situation comes with problems, and Halloween is no exception. For this holiday, one of the biggest customer worries is too much candy. Others may be Halloween on a budget, unique costume ideas, or finding Halloween-themed recipes or activities. Can your brand solve holiday problems creatively with some online content? Here’s an example of one personal trainer who tied into Halloween with a post called “The 15-Minute Yoga Routine to Beat Your Holiday Candy Binge.”

 

7. Consider a Halloween Video

Whether it’s a commercial, or simply posted to YouTube and your company website, holiday-themed videos are a great way to build buzz for your brand. There are endless possibilities in this medium for any brand, whether you’re FMCG, luxury, or service. Hotel reservation website Booking.com created a Halloween video that dramatized a haunted hotel to advertise its services for this holiday.

 

 

  

8. Dress up Your Brand for Halloween

Whether you simply change your website CSS to capture Halloween colours and images, decorate your retail location with all things spooky, or go all out with Halloween content on your brand collateral, promotions, and contests, getting into the spirit of Halloween can help you boost your brand recognition and broaden your customer base - giving you a head start on the big holiday retail season.

Have a happy Halloween!

 

So, what do you think?

• Have you run brand promotions for Halloween in the past or will you make them part of your branding strategy for next year? Considering the value of this holiday would it be worth reviewing it in the context of a brand audit - what strategies worked (or didn’t work) for you?

 

• Is your brand tied into Halloween on social media? What kind of contest could you run?

 

• What Halloween related problems can your brand solve?

 

• Can you create any Halloween-themed content for your website, business blog, or social media accounts?

 

• Have you wished your mailing list a Happy Halloween? What promotion can you offer with a holiday greeting?

 

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!

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Colour in Brand Strategy: Colour Psychology and How it Influences Branding

Posted by Lorraine Carter on October 28 2014 @ 10:45

Yellow arches. A red can of cola. A bird shell egg blue jewellery box. The colours alone are enough to make you picture the brand - McDonalds, Coca Cola and Tiffany’s.

  

Colour and the psychology or science behind it is an expansive subject with a depth which extends well beyond the aesthetics of just ‘good design’ and subjective preferences. The context of its usage together with personal and cultural associations has significant impact in terms of meaning and perceptions, both consciously and subconsciously, together with usability and purchasing preferences. Consequently the psycology of colour and how we consider its use has a huge impact on all the work we do with our clients and their brands both in terms of brand profiling and brand design. The following four key tips will give you some insights into how colour works, what to use and what to avoid in relation to your brand.

  

There are many studies on the use of colour all of which agree, colour greatly influences human emotion and behaviour. Colours have a powerful and unquestionable effect on branding. The right colours can distinguish your brand, attract customers and create strong brand-based loyalty, while the wrong colours can sink you in the marketplace.

  

In order to establish a comprehensive and effective brand identity, you must choose your colours wisely - considering not only what colours might attract the right attention within your category - while also giving your brand distinction, and for example standout on retail shelves, but how your brand colour schemes will affect customer perceptions, evoke certain moods and grab attention. Colour psychology is particularly critical in the retail environment and can make or break customer purchasing decisions.

 

    

 

 

Why Colours Matter

For your customers, colour is a powerful motivator in recognition and purchasing decisions. According to recent statistics posted by analytics company KISSmetrics:

  • 85% of shoppers cite colour as their primary reason for buying a particular product

  • 93% of shoppers consider visual appearance over all other factors while shopping

  • Colour increases brand recognition by 80%

  

 Kissmetrics Colour Purchases 600px

 Image via www.kissmetrics.com

 

  

The psychological reasons for the strong effects of colour are numerous. Visual perception is the primary sense people rely on - reacting to colours is hardwired into our brains. Identifying a colour triggers a diverse series of reactions that effect moods and emotions on a subconscious level...in short, colour makes people feel something and impacts their behaviour.

 

Colour is hands-down the strongest and most convincing factor of visual appeal. When you choose the right colours and ensure that your brand colour scheme is carried out consistently and coherently across your brand identity, logo, packaging design and all your brand collateral, you are creating powerful brand recognition and fostering customer loyalty that will pay off with increased profits.

 

 

 

  

  

The Meanings of Colours

Different colours evoke certain moods and emotions, and convey a particular sense of expectation. The meanings of colours often vary depending on a number of factors, including culture, gender, age, context and individual experiences, but the basic perceptions of colour remain fairly consistent.

 

Red is Passionate and Powerful:

A bold colour that stands out, red can be used to signify power or passion, and make a strong statement. Red evokes a visceral response, causing faster breathing and an increased heart rate. The colour red can be energetic, aggressive, provocative, or even dangerous - but it is always attention-grabbing.

 

Blue is Cool and Confident:

42% of people claim blue as their favourite colour, and that enthusiasm is reflected in the many companies that use blue in their branding. Blue colours are seen as calming, cool, serene, and stable - which is the reason for its heavy use in brands where security is a top concern, like banking and social media.

 

Green is Natural, Youthful and Plentiful:

A color associated with both money and the environment, green can point to health, serenity, and freshness. The meaning of green often depends on the shade used - while lighter greens are calming, deeper greens are associated with wealth or prestige.

 

Yellow is Cheerful and Optimistic:

Universally associated with the sun, yellow is the most visible and noticeable colour, seen by the eye before any other. Bright or warm yellows evoke feelings of happiness, optimism, and friendliness.

 

Purple is Luxurious and Creative:

The colour of artists and royalty, purple can evoke feelings of quality and decadence, mystery, or sophistication. The choice of shade and hue when using purple is of vital importance - light purple can be calming and whimsical, and deep purple can be luxurious, certain shades are viewed as garish or tacky.

   

  Color Emotion Guide

  

  

Orange is Fun and Lively:

Ranging from warm and intimate to playful and exuberant, orange can represent comfort, excitement, or even upscale quality, depending on the shade used. Light orange and peach tones are used in high-end branding, bright orange can be effective for entertainment brands, and muted orange is a favourite for restaurants because of its association with food and warmth. However, in some cases orange can come across as frivolous or cheap.

 

Pink is Sweet and Feminine:

The range of pinks has long been associated with femininity, as well as nurturing and love. Light pinks are sweet, cute, and fun, while richer pinks can be sensual and energetic.

 

Brown is Straightforward and Dependable:

The right shades of brown can evoke feelings of stability, simplicity, and a dependable nature. Light browns and rich browns can be used to convey an upscale feeling. In some cases, brown can portray a rugged appeal or a feeling of warmth.

 

Black is Dramatic and Sophisticated:

Popular among luxury products, black is the colour of sophistication. Black-heavy colour themes can create a bold or classic look, and lend a serious air to branding schemes that conveys power and elegance.

 

White is Clean and Pure:

People see white as a brilliant and eye-catching colour. While not typically a main choice for branding purposes, white can be used effectively as an accent colour, or as a primary differentiator for products - such as Apple’s predominantly white range of accessories.

 

 

Factors That Affect Colour Perceptions

Not all colours are perceived the same way by the same people. Two of the biggest factors that affect the perceptions of colour are culture and gender.

 

Cultural differences can pose a challenge for brands looking to strengthen their international visibility and appeal. While some of the largest cultural divides of colour perception have been softened, or even erased, through widespread adoption of the Internet, these differences can still play a role in global brand identity. For example, green is considered nurturing and prosperous in the United States, evokes national pride in Ireland, and is often viewed as undesirable for packaging in France. On the other hand, blue is viewed worldwide as a positive and acceptable colour.

 

Gender perceptions of colours are not limited to “blue for boys and pink for girls.” In fact, blue is a favourite among males and females. A well-known study by Joe Hallock, Colour Assignments, found that among favourite colours by gender:

  • 57% of men and 35% of women chose blue (the largest segment for both groups)

  

  • Purple was the second favourite for women at 23%, and no men chose purple as their favourite colour—with 22% of men citing purple as their least favourite

 

  • Brown was the majority least favourite colour for men with 27%, while women cited orange most often with 33% least favourite

 

  • 14% of both men and women chose green as their favourite color

 

Another primary and notable difference for gender colour preferences is that men are more receptive to bold colours, while women respond better to softer colours.

 

 

Choosing Colours According to Your Target Audience

The meanings of colours are important, but more important is to be sure that your brand colours are perceived as appropriate for the brand message you’re trying to convey. This is a vital consideration, especially for brands looking to veer from the usual colour choices of their industries in order to stand out. While Rachel’s Organic Butter succeeds in evoking distinction and elegance with black packaging that stands out from all the yellow and green competition, Harley-Davidson might not be so successful if marketing a line of pink, glittery motorcycles to their male customers.

  

Rachel's Organic Butter Salte 600px 

 Image via www.rachelsorganic.co.uk

  

 

Gender can be a primary factor in choosing brand colours. If your target audience is predominantly male, for example, you might want to avoid using the colour purple. Green or blue are good choices for nearly any audience, and softer colours can convey femininity for branding aimed at women.

  

Your positioning and pricing strategy can also come into play when choosing your brand colours. Black, navy blue, royal purple, and deep or dark green are common choices that signify sophistication and luxury. Oranges and yellows can convey bargains or fast-moving deals.

  

Ultimately, colour choice is crucial for a successful branding strategy - so consider the psychological effects of colour carefully when launching your new brand to market or rebranding your company, or an existing product or service.

 

What do you think?

• What kind of emotions do your current brand colours evoke?

 

• Are you using the right colours to convey the brand perceptions you want?

 

• Is your brand colour palette similar to the colours your competitors use? Is the distinction helping or hurting your brand?

 

• What colours would you consider using to rebrand your products, packaging, and identity to maximise your success?

 

• Who is your target audience, and what colours would grab their attention?

 

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!

 

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CEO Brand Leadership: How Does Your Leadership Impact Your Brand?

Posted by Lorraine Carter on October 21 2014 @ 09:00

Branding is the dominant decider for competing successfully in today’s business world. Organisations with the strongest brands are able to achieve far greater market share, higher profits, and long-term viability and sustainability. Whilst most companies focus their branding efforts on marketing, platform and brand collateral, many neglect one of the most important drivers of their brand - their chief executive’s or managing director’s brand leadership.

 

Particularly in a small, medium or large businesses (SMEs), the company leader is the single most powerful influencer on branding, the visionary behind the brand. Downplaying or ignoring your role in shaping your company’s brand often weakens your potential success and dilutes the potential impact of your brand. Whereas on the other hand, embracing your brand potential as the leader and visionary behind your brand provides the additional direction and focus much needed to help your brand grow and flourish.

  

We work with a lot of SME owner managers, helping them by adding distinction, structure, substance and more compelling meaning (from a customers perspective) to their vision of their brand. This is a key part of our work and ultimately critical to our clients brand success and the work we do in supporting them in their businesses.

 

   

 

 

 

Why Strong Leadership has a Powerful Brand Influence

A business brand is so much more than a name and logo. It’s the total brand experience from the moment a customer first interacts with anything that represents your brand. This could be an employee, a referral or conversation about your business, an article in the media, a person or an indirect affiliation which represents your business. It involves every piece of brand collateral, from your business cards to your website and product packaging, the look of your retail location or business interior, and every visual representation across all customer touch points. What’s more, your brand encompasses all the intangible aspects of your business - it’s reflected in your employees behaviour, your customer service, your pricing policies, the internal culture of your organisation and your total customer experience offered.

 

All of these elements together shape customer perceptions of a brand. In an SME business, the leader has the final say on every ingredient that goes into creating, developing, directing, growing and maintaining the brand. Each decision you make has the potential to impact your brand, for better or worse. Branding begins from the inside out - as a leader, you set the tone that resonates throughout your company and extends to your customer-facing brand experience, all of which is critical to your businesses survival, growing profitability and long term success.

 

One of the most familiar examples of this concept in action exists in chains and franchises. For instance, most people have been to more than one McDonalds, or Starbucks, or KFC. You’ve probably noticed that while they are the same stores, selling the same products in the same way, they can be quite different in brand experience. One chain location may be clean and well-lit, with a fast and friendly service, while another may be unkempt and slow, with terrible service and miserable employees.

 

This sometimes striking difference is the result of indifferent leadership, typically the store manager or franchise owner. If the leader of a franchise store is disengaged and out of touch, the brand suffers even with the backing of a national or global brand name behind it.

 

 

CEO Brand Vision: How Influential Leaders Shape Brands

In contrast, to the leader who pays little or no attention to their influence on their branding, some leaders carry a company’s brand and drive it with incredible success. Having a strong brand vision as a leader creates a powerful ripple effect that starts with the internal company culture, and extends into customer interactions and overall brand perceptions. Apple CEO Steve Jobs is a well-known example of this. The brand floundered and nearly went into bankruptcy when Jobs left in 1985, but bounced back stronger than ever with his return in 1997.

 

   Phil Knight Nike

  Image via www.nikeblog.com

  

 

Phil Knight, co-founder of Nike and CEO of the company until 2004, when he resigned but remained involved as chairman of the board, has continuously served the Nike brand through a powerful brand vision. Knight’s leadership ensured that the company maintained an internal culture that lives and breathes sports. Employees at Nike are highly competitive, careers are envisioned as extended sports seasons, and committees are quarterbacked rather than led. This pervasive dedication to the industry, to fans, and to players has cemented Nike as a global leader in the sports sector. Customers respond to the passion behind the company with a strong brand loyalty that mirrors the internal culture.

 

  Richard Branson Virgin

 Image via www.virgin.com

 

Among iconic brand visionaries, Sir Richard Branson is another standout example with a powerful personal brand that unifies more than 400 companies under the Virgin umbrella. Branson himself understands the supreme importance of branding, and knows exactly how he wants the Virgin brand to be perceived. He is a great living example of the visionary behind the brand. In an interview with Inc. magazine, Branson says, “I think people see the Virgin brand as not taking itself too seriously. It’s a fun brand, an adventurous brand. It generally offers great quality at great value…It’s a people brand.” Fun and adventurous certainly describe Branson himself, who’s attempted several outrageous stunts, such as flying around the world in a hot air balloon and trying to break the trans-Atlantic sailing record.

   

  

  

  

CEO Brand Leadership: Driving the Customer Brand Experience

Visionary leaders understand exactly how they want their brand to be perceived, and take steps to ensure that the brand is represented consistently throughout all channels and at every touch point. A consistently strong brand strategy creates powerful customer experiences that engenders strong loyalty.

  

  Maxine Clark And Staff

  Image via www.buildabear.com

 

 

Maxine Clark is the visionary leader of Build-a-Bear Workshop, a retail toy outlet that creates a highly personalized experience for its customers, the young and the young at heart. Clark’s official title is Chief Executive Bear (CEB), which is just the beginning of the consistent branded experiences she brings to the company.

  

 

Build A Bear Workshop Store Front 

   Image via www.buildabear.com

  

  

Build-a-Bear is a completely customer-centric organisation. This unique toy retail model allows customers to design their own stuffed toys, and then watch the personalized toy made right in the store. The Build-a-Bear brand stands for whimsy, love, and the magic of childhood, and every aspect of the company is designed around amplifying that brand story, its values and promise.

 

  Build A Bear Workshop Founder Maxine Clark

  Image via www.buildabear.com

 

 

In addition to hiring employees and managers based on customer-focused personality and the ability to see themselves through the eyes of a child, Build-a-Bear engages their young customers at every opportunity. The company website lets children create virtual versions of themselves and their stuffed creations, and interact with other bear owners online. They provide each bear with a built-in barcode and a “birth certificate” so that lost bears can be returned to any store and matched with their owner. The company also recruits and maintains a team of kids called “Cub Advisors” who provide feedback, ideas for new animals, and thoughts on other Build-a-Bear products and services.

  Build A Bear Workshop Logo

 

 

In an interview with TeleTech, Maxine Clark said, You don't have to have all the ideas. Let customers give you ideas. It's not about being psychic. We are just really good listeners.” The customer-focused brand has achieved tremendous success, with more than 400 retail outlets around the world and nearly $400 million in annual revenue.

  

   

 

  

  

 

CEO Brand Leadership: Influencing Brand Originality

Distinctive brands truly thrive, standing head and shoulders above their competitors, and visionary brand leadership typically is the secret catalyst behind driving that brand success.

 

  Johnny Cupcakes Packaging

  Image via www.johnnycupcakes.com

 

  

Such is the case with Johnny Cupcakes, a unique apparel company that sells branded t-shirts and more with a baking theme. The company’s ironic shirts are packaged in baking styles like frosting cans and donut boxes, and the stores display merchandise on oven racks and baker’s shelves, with decorations like industrial mixers.

  

  Johnny Cupcakes Store

  Image via www.johnnycupcakes.com

  

  

This unique brand is highly successful with thousands of fans, some of which are dedicated and loyal enough to have tattoos of the Johnny Cupcakes’ cupcake-and-crossbones logo!

  Johnny Earle Founder Johnnycupcakes

 Image via www.johnnycupcakes.com 

 

 

Johnny Earle, the founder of the company, started Johnny Cupcakes when he was in his early 20s. Earle committed himself fully to developing the distinctiveness of the brand, investing almost nothing in advertising in favour of creating an incomparable brand experience in his retail locations, from the displays and shelving right down to the smells of a bakery, achieved with frosting-scented air fresheners.

  

  

  

CEO Brand Leadership: Connecting Your CEO Brand to Your Company Brand

Sir Richard Branson is highly conscious of the Virgin brand and treats it as not just as a company, but as a lifestyle. Throughout every piece of brand messaging that bears Branson’s name or participation, he repeatedly reinstates and lives the Virgin culture and core values, ensuring a clear vision, mission, and direction that is echoed through the vast Virgin empire.

  

As a leader, you have the opportunity to exert a powerful influence on your brand, from all the internal processes and details to external customer and stakeholder perceptions and experiences.

 

“Living the brand” is a very effective strategy for any leader, regardless of the size of your company. When you channel your leadership skills into directing and building both your company brand, while ensuring your personal brand is fully aligned to those product or service brand values, you ensure both internal and external brand consistency. This relentless focus to constantly deliver on your brand promise to both your employees and customers alike is what ultimately makes brands successful, gives them longevity and helps grow your company’s long term profitability.

  

What do you think?

  

• Does your current leadership style reflect your company brand?

  

• What is the internal perception of your brand at your company?

  

• How many brand elements do you have direct control over within your company?

 

• Do you have a strong brand vision that guides your leadership actions?

  

• What changes can you make in your day-to-day leadership to encompass and support more of your brand’s core values?

  

• Are you “living the brand” and leading by example in living the brand? Are your employees living the brand?

 

Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!

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Brand Strategy: Getting Your Brand Noticed at Fingal Enterprise Week 2014

Posted by Lorraine Carter on October 17 2014 @ 15:05

Last weeks event at Fingal Enterprise Week 2014, run by Fingal Local Enterprise Office, was a huge success judging by all the enquiries and warm messages we've since received.

  

        Terry Prone And Lorraine Carter Few14

    

 

I was speaking alongside Terry Prone from The Communications Clinic together with Al Dunne, Breda Browne and Padraig McKeon on the theme of "Getting Noticed: Branding, Communications and PR for SME's".

  

     Terry Prone Fingal Enterprise Week 2014

   

  

Terry Prone, well known internationally as an authoritative commentator and leading advisor on reputation management, and the most frequently used crisis management consultant in Ireland, a regular on TV (NBC, CNN, PBS, BBC and ITV) and radio and the author of twenty six books, eight of which are critically acclaimed, was as compelling as ever. A highly informed and masterful story teller she had everyone riveted with her presentation "Effective Communications: How to Find a Voice for Your Business".

     

      Lorraine Carter Terry Prone Al Dunne Breda Browne

   Left to right: Lorraine Carter, Terry Prone, Al Dunne and Breda Browne  

 

 

Breda Browne and Al Dunne of Unique Media also had the attendees hooked on their every word with very interesting insights into the world of journalism, PR and media. Breda, a well know journalist who's written for multiple national publications and held the post of Head of News for Dublin's Q102 and 98FM shared some very useful information and actionable tips which really engaged the audience. Al, a director, programmer and veteran broadcaster in both domestic and international media (Dublin's Q102, 4FM, Atlantic 252) for over 30 years, and still much in demand as a stand-in news and talk show presenter, equally engaged and entertained the attendees in his shared presentation with Breda "Generating PR and Media Opportunities for Your Business".

 

Padraig McKeon, of McKeon Communications, also with an illustrious career in communications, which include former Managing Director for Drury Communications and currently holding various director and advisory roles such as with Adare HRM, Ocean FM, Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute coupled with acting Director of Alumni Relations at DCU, shared some invaluable insights on "Building Business Relationships" and how this has been and continues to be the backbone to his very successful career.

  

 

Lorraine Carter Fingal Enterprise Week 2014

   

 

I spoke about "Your Brand's Personality: Is it Compelling Enough to Grow Your Business? Top Tips to Get You Noticed and Increase Your Customers" which included insights into brand strategy, how brands work, how to use the key elements of our Mastermind Branding Blueprint System™ to build your brand - with a particular focus on the Personality Profile Performer™ module of our system for creating your brands' personality to make it really captivating and irresistible to your primary target audience. 

  

    Lorraine Carter Get Noticed Fingal Enterprise Week 2014

  

 

I also shared real life insights into why people buy brands, together with examples of three highly successful SME brands from the USA, UK and Ireland which, not only generated huge amusement for all, but gave attendees information they could take away, evaluate against their own brand building activities and implement in their businesses immediately. 

  

 Branding Attendees Few2014

 

All in all a very successful event and a big thank you to all involved for making the day a huge success.

  

      Oisin Geoghegan Lorraine Carter Paul Reid

Left to Right: Oisín Geoghegan CEO of Fingal Local Enterprise Office, Lorraine Carter of Persona Branding and Design, Paul Reid CEO of Fingal County Council

 

 

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Social Branding: The New Rules for Brand Success on Social Media

Posted by Lorraine Carter on October 14 2014 @ 14:40

There’s no doubt about it: If you want a successful brand, you need to incorporate social media into your branding strategy. Customer interactions are increasingly taking place online rather than in person or over the phone, and your audience expects to find a strong social media presence for their favorite brands.

 

Just how important is social media?

Here’s what the landscape looks like as of January 2014, and the statistics just keep growing:

  • 74 percent of the world’s Internet users are active on social networks

  • 44 percent of users in Western Europe are active on social networks

  • Mobile is increasingly used for social, and Western Europe’s mobile penetration stands at 128 percent—or 1.28 devices for every person

  • Social penetration is 78 percent in the UK

Source: US Census Bureau, ITU, CIA

 

  

  

 

In the early days, brands were successful on social media if they had a lot of fans or followers. The bigger the numbers, the better your brand was perceived. But now that social has exploded into a vast sea of noise, effective social branding has moved out of the numbers game. It’s not the size of your customer base on social media - it’s what you do with it that counts.

 

  

Top 4 of today’s most important rules for social media branding success.

 

Rule 1: Be Consistent

As with any other element of your branding strategy, consistency is vital for social media success. Each of your social channels and platforms should clearly belong to your brand - but remember that consistency extends to much more than your logo and signature colours. With social media, you also need to develop consistent brand messaging, and a consistent tone and voice. Your company can’t be formal and serious on Facebook, yet irreverent and fun on Twitter.

 

      Etsy Pinterest 600px

 

    

Being consistent on social media requires your brand to develop and adhere to a style that is followed without fail. If you have more than one employee participating in your social media campaigns, especially if they work on different platforms, make sure they’re on the same page when it comes to your brand messaging, promise, values, voice and your brand tone.

   

       Etsy Twitter 600px

      

  

Etsy is a strong example of a brand that maintains social media consistency. The online community marketplace with an emphasis on hand-crafted and vintage items has a branded presence on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest, that makes use of the Etsy brand’s simple, memorable logo and distinctive orange brand colouring, paired with plenty of stunning product photos. Etsy frequently and consistently cross-posts to Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, and makes full use of Pinterest with dozens of organized boards arranged into product categories.

  

        Etsy Facebook 600px

  

  

Rule 2: Be Active

Simply being on social media will not help your brand. In order to drive social branding, you need to have an active presence on the platforms you use, and interact with your audience frequently. In fact, having an inactive social media page can turn potential customers off, because your brand will be perceived as not interested in hearing from your audience.

  

For this reason, it’s important to choose the right platforms for your social branding strategy. Many companies make the mistake of thinking that the more social networks they join, the stronger their social marketing will be - but creating accounts on dozens of social platforms and ignoring most of them is actually detrimental to your brand.

   

Instead, look for the networks where most of your target audience is, and focus on building a strong presence on those networks. Facebook and Twitter might be totally suitable for some brands and a lot less relevant for others. Your chosen social platform is driven by what is most appropriate for your core target audience and where they interact most. LinkedIn is very effective for professional and B2B brands. If your brand has a strong visual component, Pinterest is an excellent platform.

 

Once you’ve chosen the right platforms, get active. Post frequently - but don’t make all your content about marketing. The goal of social media is not to sell, but to build relationships. Your social media posts should entertain, inform, inspire, or interest your audience.

    

      Taco Bell Facebook 600px

    

  

Taco Bell has a highly active social media presence that gets results. With a brand platform dedicated to fun and delight, and frequently posted content that focuses on customers, the restaurant chain’s Facebook page has more than 10 million fans, and 1.37 million follow them on Twitter.

  

 

   

Rule 3: Be Engaging

An important part of Taco Bell’s social media success, and many other brands that understand how social works, is engaging the audience. The best brands on social media don’t broadcast - they have conversations. They post content that invites audiences to participate, and encourages them to share with friends for even more visibility. From simple questions to elaborate contests, these brands make followers feel like part of the brand experience.

    

In 2012, Domino’s UK ran a Twitter campaign called “Tweet for Treats” that engaged audiences in a very direct way. For a time period of two hours, they invited followers to tweet with the hashtag #letsdolunch, and stated they’d knock ­a minimum of £0.01 off the price of their pizzas for every tweet sent that day for lunch. The campaign knocked the pizza price from £15.99 to £7.74. Anyone who followed Domino’s UK on Twitter or liked their Facebook page could order pizzas at the final discounted price through the Tweet for Treat Facebook Tab between 12:00 – 15:00 GMT on their Facebook page. The campaign gained the brand lots of interaction and hundreds of new followers, and helped them sell a lot of pizzas.

 

 

Rule 4: Be Social

Another highly effective strategy for social branding is to make it social - in the name of corporate social responsibility (CSR). Practicing good CSR boosts brand perceptions and brand awareness, and social media is an ideal channel for spreading the word about your brand’s social consciousness.

 

Brewing company Molson Coors Canada uses social media to leverage CSR and increase reach for their responsible drinking initiatives. The company’s social media team focuses not only on selling beer, but also connecting with communities for their programs that include responsible drinking education, the TaxiGuy program that provides cab rides for people who’ve had one too many, and covering the costs of public transportation for drinkers on New Year’s Eve.

 

Your brand can’t afford to ignore social media. Effective social branding doesn’t have to be complicated - when you maintain consistency. Focus on the best platforms for reaching your audience in terms of what is relevant to them, keep an active brand presence, and engage audiences with informative, interesting, entertaining, or interactive content that meets their needs.

When done strategically and consistently social media can amplify your brand visibility and boost your bottom line.

 

What do you think?

• How many social channels is your brand on? Are any of your pages inactive?

  

• Have you integrated social media into your brand strategy or rebranding strategy?

    

• Which social networks are most likely to attract your target audience?

 

• Is your brand displayed consistently across all of your social platforms?

 

• Are you using a consistent brand tone and voice for social media?

 

• Does your social presence reinforce your brand messaging and values?

 

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!

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Packaging Design: How It Can Make or Break Your Brand

Posted by Lorraine Carter on October 07 2014 @ 07:45

In a fast-paced and highly competitive world, packaging design has become one of the most crucial elements for communicating your brand and standing out from the competition. Your brand might be the best in its category, but without packaging that grabs your target audience, customers won’t investigate your product to find out more or see what’s inside. In fact research shows that you have less than 9 seconds to engage your customer and close the sale!

 

  

 

 

What Are The Characteristics of Highly Effective Brand Packaging?

What goes into a fantastic package design? The best packaging engages customers at a multi-sensory level that includes a visual and tactile experience of your brand which communicates your brand promise and evokes a memorable, emotional response.

 

Successful packaging is a combination of powerful shelf impact or standout and a strong visual aesthetic, coupled with other triggers such as additional sensory memorability through its feel, sound, or sometimes smell and taste too.

 

Effective packaging design should deliver the following:

  • An immediate sense of your brand story, promise and core values i.e. 'What your brand stands for?' also known as its Brand DNA, Brand Essence or Genetic Code etc.

  • Trigger a positive emotional response through design simplicity, elegance, a sense of fun, mischief, healthiness, honest natural nourishment or whatever sensory experience is appropriate to your brand and what it represents

  • Have a clear, strong call to action with a really significant and compelling point of difference to every other competitor in its category i.e. an incomparable selling proposition backed up with reasons to believe this proposition (note: this must be authentic and honest)

  • Reflect your brand’s primary characterizations and personality whether your products offer luxury, security, environmental awareness, corporate social responsibility, reliability, tradition, or pure unadulterated pleasure etc.

  • Use impactful brand visuals and verbal differentiation that separates your products from competitors on retail shelves or displays, through irresistibly strong brand design that hooks your core target audience immediately

 

  

Elements to Consider in Winning Package Design

Successful branding through packaging design requires more than just reproducing your brand collateral on the container your products come in. Multiple factors must be considered to create a coherent and unified design that conveys your brand message, separates you from the competition, and makes your brand instantly recognizable. Some of these factors include the following:

  

Signature Colours:

Your brands colours should be integrated with your package design in order to maintain brand continuity. Successful FMCG brands make use of carefully chosen colour palettes and colour coding to differentiate their product lines and expedite choice for customers who are often brand or category conditioned by colour application. Colour psychology has a huge bearing on attracting customer attention, pick up and conversion, particularly in the visually chaotic environment of retail. 

  

Logo:

As an iconic representation of your brand, your logo should feature prominently in your packaging design to preserve and promote your brand identity and ensure customer recognition and trust transfer. Conversely if you brand is an iconic one like McDonalds, Marmite or Heinz than your logo on pack may be a less significant requirement because the rest of your brand messaging is so powerful and highly recognizable as an embodiment of the brand the logo is no longer always necessary.

  

 Debranded Packaging 570px

 

Image via www.selfridges.com  

  

Tag Line:

You may have a single strong tag line e.g. Uncle Ben's Rice - Never Sticks, or multiple tag lines to represent different product lines. Strategic integration of your tag line on your brand packaging can help reinforce your brand messaging and amplify your brand promise.

  

Shape:

The shape of your packaging is a vital consideration. Distinctive or iconic packaging shape designs, such as Coca-Cola’s contoured bottle or Johnny Cupcake’s paint can T-shirt containers, can be powerfully effective as brand assets with instant recognition value which over rides everything else. In fact structural shapes when done well can become valuable intellectual property assets in themselves.

 

Other elements that may be considered in your package design include the materials used, the way the package is opened, the unique rituals around its use or consumption with text to support this message, the on pack messaging and text, and any visual or tactile aspect that will affect a customer’s experience with your product. Each of your package elements should work together to create a cohesive and fully engaging branded experience.

 

The following are some examples of brands that got their packaging right—and one that failed to communicate its brand promise, with damaging results.

 

 

Vivid Water: Differentiation Through Environmental Awareness

Environmental responsibility is a strong selling point for many modern customers. Few products are more environmental than water - a product that generally comes in non-eco-friendly and relatively unhealthy plastic bottles. In 2013, Vivid Water introduced Water In A Box, the first Tetra Pak carton-packaged water product in the UK.

 

 Vivid Water In A Box 600px

 Image via www.waterinabox.co.uk

 

 

Every part of the package design for Water In A Box reinforces the simplicity, purity, and responsibility of the brand, from the clean and uncluttered visual design to the instantly recognized water drop icon. The packaging is made with renewable, responsibly sourced paperboard, and unlike plastic competitors, contains no PET.

 

Water In A Box packaging clearly conveys a brand promise of fresh, pure water that considers environmental impact and promotes health and vitality.

 

 

Toscatti: Simplicity and At-a-Glance Convenience

Toscatti offers premium kitchenware with a very distinctive design and unlike most reusable plastic storage containers, Toscatti is made with food-grade stainless steel. The brand is committed to minimizing its planetary footprint while providing the highest quality food-grade stainless steel containers - independently certified to be free of BPA, PVC, phthalates and lead. The durability, high quality, easy to clean, and aesthetically appealing qualities of this premium brand are reflected in its unique packaging system - which helps reinforce and underpin the brands' promise.

 

 Toscatti Product Range 600px

 Image via www.toscatti.com 

 

The packaging for this kitchenware product line uses a Pantone™ color scheme, with bright, bold colors to categorize different sizes and capacities of the containers. The minimalist packaging - an easy-to-remove paperboard sleeve, are made memorable with colorful geometric shapes and a rounded typography that appears friendly and approachable.

 

Toscatti Extra Large Container 575 600px 

  Image via www.toscatti.com 

 

This packaging, combined with the unique qualities of the product itself, makes Toscatti stand out on shelves, creating instant recognition and very strong visual impact.

 

 

 

Festina: The Proof is in the Packaging

Packaging can make a bold statement about your brand without saying a word. Such is the case with Festina diving watches. This German company’s brand promise is quality and performance - and their highly unique packaging conveys this promise instantly. Festina diving watches are displayed at the point of sale inside clear bags filled with distilled water, unarguably proving that the watches are indeed waterproof.

 

 Festina Engineered For Water 600px

  Image via www.festina.com

 

The packaging carries only the Festina name and logo, and the brand’s clearly demonstrated promise in a succinct tag line: “engineered for water.” This innovative packaging makes a powerful statement about the quality of the Festina brand while winning high recognition value coupled with instant customer loyalty.

 

 

 

 

  

Tropicana: Fixing What Isn’t Broken

When considering a new package design, rebranding strategy or package redesign, your business can’t afford to ignore your existing brand equity. This was a lesson Tropicana learned the hard way, when a packaging redesign for its Tropicana Pure Premium orange juice line resulted in a 20 percent decline in sales over less than two months, dropping roughly $33 million and sending the company rushing to restore the previous packaging.

 

 Tropicana Before Rebrand Fail

 Image via www.tropicana.com

  

The Tropicana carton design, with its vibrant straw-sporting orange, had become synonymous with the brand for customers. The redesign replaced this iconic image with a juice glass featuring weaker colouring, shrank the bold stripe at the top identifying the juice type to a thin strip, and replaced the conversational product titles No Pulp, Some Pulp, and Lots of Pulp with the starker and less interesting Pulp Free, Low Pulp, and High Pulp.

 

Tropicana Rebrand Fail Reject

 Image via www.tropicana.com

  

The rebranding was an effort to create a more refined contemporary image for the Tropicana brand, but customers clearly demonstrated they weren’t interested in sophisticated orange juice - and further, the complete and abrupt change suggested the contents of the packaging might have changed.

 

  

  

 

Whenever we start work on a new brand packaging design project, or even revitalizing an established brand for our clients, all the key ingredients discussed and various methodologies mentioned are automatically integrated into our brand packaging design process everytime -  to ensure we achieve the best results for our clients.

Effective package design that reflects your brand profile,  brand story and conveys your brand promise collectively helps strengthen your brand, increases customer loyalty, and ultimately supports growing your bottom line.

It's vitally important that you place as much emphasis and care on your packaging design as you do on your products themselves, to ensure a consistent and memorable brand experience that drives repeat purchase, referability and increased profitability.

 

What do you think?

• Does your current product packaging design accurately reflect your brands' promise?

  

• How can you reflect the best qualities of your product through your packaging design?

  

• What innovations or brand differentiation does your product packaging convey?

 

• Is your packaging congruent with your overall brand collateral? 

  

• How recognizable are your packaging designs? Do they strongly stand out on shelf from the competition?

 

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!

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Brand Audit: Tips for Determining Your Brand’s Health - Can It Be Improved?

Posted by Lorraine Carter on October 02 2014 @ 14:25

Have your sales hit a slump? Are hot new brands drawing your customers away? If your brand seems to have lost its shine, it may be time for a brand audit or brand health check.

  

Brand audits are effectively a health check for your brand. These comprehensive, honest evaluations look at the overall effectiveness of a brand and its current position in the market compared with the competition, as well as pinpointing inconsistencies and weakness, and identifying potential areas for improvement.

  

With a thorough and properly executed brand audit you can halt brand deterioration and refresh or revitalize your brand, giving it a new lease of life and effectively stopping the rot to grow your bottom line.

 

 

When Should You Perform a Brand Audit?

While a brand audit can provide you with valuable insight into your brand’s performance at any point, there are certain times when it makes more sense to have a brand audit done. One is at the peak of your brand’s evolution.

  

Brands typically follow a lifecycle that’s similar to most living things: they begin new and full of potential, enter a growth phase, and eventually reach maturity. At this point, you may begin to see market slippage as your brand loses relevance, or your customers move on to newer brands. Regular brand audits that are timed against your brand’s lifecycle can actually help you identify the signs that your brand is about to plateau, allowing you to refresh or revitalize before you begin to lose sales.

 

Another common time when a brand audit not only makes sense, but can actually be pivotal to success, is prior to a planned rebranding campaign. There are a number of reasons your organisation may be undergoing a rebrand, and a thorough brand audit is a crucial part of any effective rebranding strategy.

 

Brand Audit Team

   

Why Do You Need a Brand Audit?

Having a brand audit done at the peak of your brand lifecycle and prior to a rebrand are proactive strategies for preserving and developing your brand. There are also several circumstances that can merit a reactive brand audit—one intended to diagnose issues and problem areas, and turn around a flagging brand.

 

Brand audits can help you:

  • Determine the actual position of your brand in the marketplace, and develop effective strategies to elevate your market position

 

  • Identify the strengths and weaknesses of your brand, so you can address weak points and capitalize on your strengths for more effective brand differentiation

 

  • Discover the actual expectations of your target markets and align your brand more thoroughly with its intended audience

 

  • Gain a clear perspective on market perceptions of your brand, and make any necessary adjustments to strengthen your brand platform and customer experience

 

  • Address internal issues and repair your brand positioning within the company, in order to strengthen employee morale, productivity, and empowerment

 

A strong and consistent brand makes more money, both through increased sales and decreased market spend as the power of your brand drives more word of mouth, greater customer engagement, and increased brand loyalty.

  

Comprehensive brand audits allow you to strengthen your brand and make it the best it can be, illuminating new growth opportunities and new ways to create resonance with your audiences.

 

 

What Does A Brand Audit Involve?

There are several factors that define the depth and extent of an effective brand audit. These include the size of both the brand and the organisation itself, the power of the brand relative to the industry and market, the required timescale to complete the brand audit, and the available budget.

 

In any event, the first step to a brand audit is to clearly define the objectives of the audit. You may simply want to perform a health check for your brand and gain an accurate measure of your market standing, or you may be in the early stages of a rebrand and require an extensive brand audit. The brand audit’s objectives must be absolutely clear from the start in order to develop an effective strategy for analysis and measured against the desired deliverables.

 

The actual elements of a brand audit vary according to the objectives and the factors mentioned above. These elements may include:

  • Internal elements: Positioning, brand values, culture, voice, USP, product or service positioning etc.

 

  • External elements: Logo and other branded design elements, all brand collateral, website, packaging, social media, SEO, advertising and public relations, content marketing, sponsorships and CSR, videos, testimonials, customer experience etc.

  

  • System elements: Corporate brand standards, brand style guides, customer service systems, sales processes, touch points, HR policies, internal systems etc.

 

Additionally, a comprehensive brand audit will involve strategy reviews, market research, communications reviews, customer research, and employee and HR research.

  

Internal Brand Audit Support: Getting Employees On Board

Without internal support, a brand audit that is carried out for the purposes of revitalising, refreshing, or salvaging a brand will fail. An essential component of a brand audit is ensuring that both your management and employees understand the reasons for the audit.

  

Employee Brand Champion

 

It’s critically important to get their full support and commitment on board, not to mention help get them excited about the upcoming changes. Employees who embrace your brand can become powerful brand ambassadors, allowing you to maintain brand consistency and cultivate a loyal customer base.

Some strategies for engaging employees in a brand audit include:

  • Communicate: Employees who aren’t aware that a brand audit is being conducted can’t contribute to the cause. Inform your employees early and often about the process, and invite them to ask questions and offer suggestions.

  

  • Solicit Input: Your employees are an excellent source of information about customer perceptions of your brand, as well as the business itself. Actively solicit employee input on how they view the brand’s strengths and weaknesses, what changes they would make if they could, and how they see customers responding (or not responding) to the brand.

 

  • Reward Participation: Employees who “live the brand” are powerful assets—and the more you have, the more effective your brand will be. Watch for employees who embrace the brand audit and strive to reflect changes, and reward them by publicly acknowledging their contributions, or even offering bonuses. This can also encourage others to engage in the process.

 

 

Enlisting Your Customers For Your Brand Audit

Public perceptions of your brand are a vital part of a brand audit, and may even be the main reason for performing one. The best way to learn what your target audience thinks about your brand is to ask them directly.

  

Online polls can be a simple and effective way to gauge customer sentiment about your brand. These one-question checks are quick for viewers to complete, they can be promoted easily online, and they can offer an honest starting point for more in-depth elements of your brand audit. If you have a Facebook page for your brand, you can run the Facebook Poll App and gain instant feedback from your fans.

  

For a more comprehensive customer view, you can create an online survey with several questions and multiple answers. Online surveys offer greater potential for detailed data and analytics from a wide sampling of your target audience, and can help you further refine your brand audit objectives.

  

Finally, hiring mystery shoppers is an effective and candid way to gain customer perspective on your brand. Mystery shoppers can engage with your brand at every touch point, and offer a detailed picture of the way customers actually view your brand from the outside—a perspective that is virtually impossible to gain internally.

 

We have found when conducting brand audits for clients using our Auditing Analysis Accelerator™ system that a combination of all these elements, together with face-to-face interviews, field and desk research  produce very insightful and valuable information, often throw up unanticipated surprises which can have a significant impact on the brand strategy going forward.

   

 Eurofound Brand Audit Cover 600px

 

 

ROI: What You Can Get Out Of A Brand Audit

Brand audits show you how your target audience truly perceives your brand, how your brand is actually performing, and how you compare to the competition. A well planned and executed brand audit will benefit your business in myriad ways:

  • Gain insight into your brand portfolio and brand architecture

 

  • Evaluate and refocus your brand positioning to improve engagement with your target audience

 

  • Align your brand collateral with your brand mission, values, and differentiation to strengthen the perception of your brand

 

  • Boost internal brand awareness and drive employee brand engagement

  

  • Refocus and improve your brand management and marketing communications

 

  • Provide direction for your brand into the future to maintain relevancy, consistency, and growth

 

As the success of a brand audit depends on honest, detached assessment, working with an experienced external brand agency is the most effective strategy to ensure a true picture of your current brand positioning, and to best identify areas for improvement to revitalise your brand.

 

What do you think?

• Has your organisation undergone a brand audit in the past?

  

• How could a brand audit help you identify potential reasons for business decline?

  

• If your sales are stagnating, what areas would you focus on for a brand audit?

 

• How would you measure the ROI of a brand audit? How many potential new customers would you need to justify the investment?

 

• What areas of your brand positioning may be slumped and in need of a brand audit?

 

• Would you consider a brand audit to identify potential loss of relevance and proactively refresh your brand to avoid declining sales?

 

Feel free to let us know your thoughts in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!

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Brand Naming: Top Ten Methods for Brand Name Creation

Posted by Lorraine Carter on September 23 2014 @ 11:58

“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” This immortal line from William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” reminds us that names have only as much power as we give them - but Shakespeare didn’t have to worry about branding.

 

The name of your company, product, service or range etc. is often the first thing anyone will come in contact with. It’s your first impression. The question here is, do you want your first impression with your primary audience to be something that’s interesting and helps tell your story? Or do you want something that sounds like many others, an industry or category norm but consequently has less impact because it blends in with the rest. That might be a strategic choice but often not the one most desired.

 

So what’s in a name, really? Everything, when it comes to your brand. A great brand name is a vital element for brand success, yet so many companies neglect to place enough emphasis on this key ingredient as a fundamental aspect of what makes a sustainable and impactful part of their branding strategy. Naming is all about strategic rationale, not emotion and not politics. If its comfortable and safe – don’t be tempted, it’s totally forgettable too.

 

Why is your brand name so important? A good name is a compact easy-to-communicate piece of information. It can grab peoples’ attention and make them want to know more. Ideally a good name should communicate one key objective which is strongly founded on your brand promise, positioning, brand values and tailored to fit with your core customer mind set. An effective brand name is memorable and enables it to carry a hugely significant portion of your brand recognition all on its own. It captures a piece of your customers mind share. On the other hand, a forgettable brand name forces you to work much harder to keep your brand visible or even memorable to your customers.

 

Here’s some ideas on how you can create a powerful brand name that’s memorable, resonates with your target audience, and serves to strengthen your brand collateral while adding amplification to your overall branding strategy.

 

Understanding the Different Types of Brand Names

Brand naming should not be a haphazard process or a random occurrence. It's equally a systematic, holistic and creative process driven by very clear branding and commercial objectives. The first step to choosing an effective brand name is to familiarize yourself with the many styles of brand names, and decide which type is conceptually appropriate for your company, your products or services, and your target audience. Set clear and consistent objectives with a solid brand naming brief for your name selection. Avoid the temptation to choose your name subjectively and rigorously benchmark against your agreed criteria during the creative process. Before we start any work creating names for our clients we'll have completed the brand profiling work which shapes and provides the direction and rationale for the whole brand together with the brand naming brief and its only then we set to work using our Nail It Naming System™.

 

Here are several brand name types that can serve as a starting point for your brand naming process.

 

Top Ten Brand Name Creation Categories

  

1. Founders’ Names:

Among the simplest type of brand name, this one can also sometimes be difficult to use effectively. This style uses the name of the person who founded the company as the brand, with or without further qualifiers that describe the products. Disney, named after founder Walt Disney, is one of the most famous examples of this. Other examples include Cadbury (after John Cadbury), Tata Group (after Jamsetji Tata), and Horlicks (after founding brothers William and James Horlick).

  Corporate Cadbury Logo 600px

Image via www.cadbury.ie

   

2. Descriptive Names:

Another fairly straightforward brand naming convention, this style uses brand names that describe the products or services offered. Some examples of this include Internships Ireland, Slendertone, O’Egg, Whole Foods and Internet Explorer. One important thing to note with this category is that sometimes, brand names which seem to describe a product are actually powerful brands that have become synonymous with the products they offer - such as Xerox for copy machines, Band-Aid for elastic bandages and Scotch tape for clear cellophane tape.

 

 O Egg Logo 600px

 

 

When you get so big you’re your trademark protected brand name becomes the byword for the whole category, it potentially becomes a huge problem for the brand owner. These types or brand names are almost victims or their own success and are now fighting the problem of generification. Whenever we say we want to search for something online we say ‘I’ll Google it’, now the byword for search! Frequently people will say they're 'Hoovering' when they mean vacuum cleaning! When a brand name becomes so commonly used, it can lose its value and in worse case scenarios, it can also lose its legal protections! Although it has to be said the brand’s with these problems are in the minority!

 

3. Geographic Names:

Once again, this simple naming convention is what it sounds like - the use of a region or landmark associated with a product or service in a brand name e.g. Patagonia, Clonakilty Black Pudding. Connemara Seafoods is a premier shellfish company named after its location, the coastal Ireland district Connemara. Emo Oil is named after the company’s home village of Emo. Global tech company Cisco Systems, Inc., draws its name from a shortened version of the company headquarters’ location in San Francisco.

  Connemara Logo

  

4. Personification:

These brand names are centered around either a real or mythical person who is not the founder, and may not even be associated with the company. Personification brand names may use historical figures, legends, or may create a brand personality around a fictitious company mascot - such as Aunt Jemima or Betty Crocker.

 

Bettycrocker Logo 600px

Image via www.bettycrocker.com

  

5. Evocative Names:

This type of brand name is designed to paint a vivid and relevant image for the customer e.g. The Body Shop, Amazon. For example, Sea Wynde rum evokes images of relaxation on a Caribbean beach with a cool drink in hand.

 

Seawynde Logo 600px 

  

6. Alliteration or Rhyming Names:

This category includes names that are both memorable and fun to say e.g. YouTube, Piggly Wiggly. Dunkin’ Donuts uses alliteration and a shortened word to create a rhythmic and easy to remember brand name.

   Youtube Logo 600px

Image via www.youtube.com  

 

7. Derivative Names:

This category includes names that are almost like something you’ve heard but have somehow been changed to sound different e.g. Nespresso, Zappos. It can be one of the most creative ways to create a name that is unique and is very reflective of more contemporary naming trends and can be easier to legally register, protect and buy the relevant URL.

 Zappos Logo 600px

Image via www.zappos.com  

 

8. Neologisms (new made-up words):

Some brands use completely made-up new words, which creates a sense of uniqueness and infuses memorable qualities with the brand that help to set it apart from the competition. Examples here include Omniplex, Kodak and Twitter. Neologist brand names, when developed properly, can be among the most powerful brand naming strategies and like Derivative names, easier to register and protect. However they typically require more initial marketing resources to become highly recognized and given meaning through the branding strategy.

 

Twitter Logo 600px

 

Image via www.twitter.com

  

9. Hybrid Names:

This category refers to brand names like Swissair, ThinkPad, Microsoft, Swisscom and Nice and Easy. All are combinations of current words or recognized syllables which when combined send the right message and potentially highlight attributes and benefits relating to the brand. This form of naming can deliver very creative and memorable results too and like Derivative and Neologist Names are less likely to infringe on other trademarks.

 

Swissair Logo 600px 

Image via www.swissair.com 

  

10. Acronyms and Initials:

This category refers to brand names that stand for something longer, such as KFC for Kentucky Fried Chicken, VHI for Voluntary Health Insurance, and HP for Hewlett-Packard, GE for General Electric. Names like AA for Automobile Association and BMW for Bavarian Motor Works, only became acronyms after each company had made its mark. They've typically rebranded when the long name version no longer served its purpose as effectively e.g. it was so well known and well established in the market place and customers were shortening it colloquially because it was too long winded!

 

Bmw Logo 600px 

 Image via www.bmw.com

 

 

Note: Initial or acronym brand names typically work best for companies that are well known or large corporates and have already established a brand under their full names, and shortening the names won’t impact their existing brand equity. For most brands this type of naming convention is best avoided as it effectively amounts to a meaningless mix of letters leaving the customer confused and indifferent.

 

  Ikea Logo 600px

Image via www.ikea.com 

 

Brand naming can also combine several of these conventions to arrive at a distinctive and powerful name. IKEA is a great example of this. On the surface, IKEA is a neologism, a made-up word that’s easy to remember, and it’s also fun to say. But looking into the origin of the company name, it’s actually an acronym for the founder’s name and the Swedish property and village where he grew up: Ingvar Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnaryd.

 

 

 

 

Below are three brand naming methods and tips with strategies you can use to come up with a memorable and effective brand names.

  

 

A. Brand Naming Methods: Strategic Brainstorming

Brainstorming, or coming up with as many ideas as possible in a short amount of time, is a great way to get the creative juices flowing. When it comes to naming your brand, you can engage in focused brainstorming by asking and answering a series of questions in as many ways as you can, and then narrowing down to the best choices. It’s important to do this also within the context of an agreed naming brief and a very clear branding rationale based on your brand profile and brand strategy to keep everyone on track.

Some questions you can brainstorm include:

  • What does your product or service do?
  • What is the purpose or function of your industry?
  • How does your product or service benefit your customer?
  • What’s your brands' mission?
  • How does your brand promise solve your customers problems?
  • What is unique, different, or interesting about your product or service?
  • How do your brand values enhance your customers lives?
  • What are some of the common terms in your industry’s lingo or jargon, that apply to your products or services?

Once you have a list of solid possibilities, you can take your brainstorming a step further and list all of the synonyms for the words or phrases you came up with during the session.

  

B. Brand Naming Method: Name and Word Lists

With this method, you can generate lists of words or names in certain categories that are relevant to your brand, and spin the results into possible brand names. For example, a brand that is based on heritage, classic themes, and timeless roots might look up lists of geologic periods, Latin or Greek roots, historical figures or events, and geographically appropriate legends or myths. Enter “list of [your term]” into Google, and you’ll find plenty of lists to choose from.

 

When choosing which lists you’ll look up, consider your products or services both literally and abstractly. You may find useful, evocative, or memorable words and names in unexpected places that can create powerful connections with your audience.

  

C. Brand Naming Method: Puns and Plays on Words

If your brand would benefit from a sense of fun, a touch of whimsy, or cheeky and humorous themes, using a pun or play on words can give you a memorable and highly effective brand name. There are some great examples of brands that use word play like alliteration, alternate spellings, partial word or letter replacement, letter dropping, rhyming, and more, including:

  • Poo-Pouri®: A toilet odour control product
  • Krispy Kreme®: An American donut brand
  • Slim Jims®: A brand of meat jerky snacks
  • Burt’s Bees®: Natural skin care products made with beeswax

 

 Burts Bees Logo 600px

 Image via www.burtsbees.com

 

Play with your brainstorming and word list phrases, and look for opportunities to create plays on words. Experiment with combining and replacing until you come up with several possibilities.

 

  

  

Your brand name is one of the most important elements for the success of your company. Taking the time to create a memorable, evocative, and distinctively unique brand name will give you an unshakeable foundation for an effective branding platform that ultimately leads to your brands success and growing profitability.

  

What do you think?

• Do you already have a brand name for your company, products, or services?

 

• How did you come up with your brand name? Was it a process, or did you end up using the first idea that came to mind?

 

• What brand name type or types is best suited to your brand’s goals, themes, and brand personality?

 

• Are there any people (real or fictional) or places that tie into your brand? How would you use them in a brand name?

 

• What categories would you consider relevant to your products or services, either literally or abstractly, that would help you create a great brand name?

 

• Are your products or services suitable for a brand name that’s a play on words?

 

• Is your brand naming part of a rebranding strategy and if so how near or far away from the previous old name does it need to be?

 

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!

 

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Rebranding Strategy: Using Premium Repositioning To Increase Profitability

Posted by Lorraine Carter on September 16 2014 @ 14:44

Repositioning or revitalizing your brand can be a powerful way to gain new market share and boost your profits. One of the most effective rebranding strategies is premium brand repositioning or premiumisation, which is about establishing higher perceived quality or specialness in order to achieve increased profitability by enabling you to charge more for your products and services.

 

Premium repositioning involves elevating demand and customers’ willingness to pay higher prices for your brand by adding value, which may be either actual or perceived. Checkout the following premium brand repositioning tips to help you make your rebranding strategy a success and grow your revenues.

 

5 ‘Premium Positioning’ Rebranding Strategy Tips

  

1. Increasing Actual Value

It’s only natural that improving the quality of your products or services will allow you to charge more. With a premium brand repositioning strategy, adding actual value typically represents a larger financial investment upfront but in turn leads to steady and substantial long-term growth profitability which considerably outweighs the initial investment. Some examples of actual value increase include new innovations, sourcing higher quality materials for product manufacturing, redesigning with new premium features, or delivering higher service quality.

 

Technology companies are a frequent example of adding actual value to achieve premium rebranding, in an industry known for rapid evolution and innovation. One of the most well-known rebranding campaigns involved Apple, which faced near bankruptcy in the mid-1980s before founder Steve Jobs returned as CEO to turn the flagging company around.

  

 Apple Logo

 Image via www.apple.com

 

Among several dramatic steps that included a partnership with primary competitor Microsoft, Jobs increased the actual value of Apple products and the company overall by eliminating a large, money-draining project, and introducing a new, sleek design for Apple personal computers with higher performance—the iMac, which would lead the way for the company’s best-known premium branded products in today’s mobile technology market.

 

 

2. Increasing Perceived Value

Premium brand repositioning that involves an increase in perceived value is a popular strategy because there is often less upfront loading and less ongoing capital investment, compared to the previous strategy mentioned, in order to achieve higher profits.

  

Adding perceived value to your brand requires engaging a rebranding strategy which causes a change in customer perceptions so that your products or services are considered to be worth more—even though you haven’t necessarily changed anything significant physically about the product or service. There are numerous strategies that can be deployed to increase perceived value. Some of them include:

We’ll explore some of these strategies in detail, all of which we've deployed with multiple clients over the years when enaging in premium branding repositioning strategies, with examples of brands that have successfully moved and repositioned to more premium markets through increasing their perceived value.

  

  

3. Premium Brand Repositioning Through Packaging Design

Birchbox, a subscription ecommerce company offering beauty products for women and men, underwent a premium rebranding campaign in 2013 that focused on its packaging, together with all its brand collateral. The company created a new global identity which included replacing its logo - with its light, somewhat illegible font and splatter style box - with a stronger modern, elegant sans serif font and a simple diamond, representing the 'spark' or 'aha' moment of the Birchbox brand experience.

  Birchbox Before After Rebrand

 Image via www.birchbox.com

 

The previous single shipping boxes were replaced with an inner box in a clean sophisticated brown with a silver foil embossed logo on it, designed to set off the boxes tissue wrapped interior contents to their best, and a colour-coded outer box with a large, monogrammed version of the new logo design - fuchsia pink for women’s products, and teal blue for men’s.

  

Birchbox Box Detail Inside 600px 

Image via www.birchbox.com

 

Adding an inner 'gift' box not only increased the aesthetic appeal of Birchbox, but also improved customer service, as the outer box tended to become slightly crushed or damaged during the typical rough and tumble of shipping or postage. In addition to the new packaging, Birchbox redesigned its website and messaging across all its brand collateral and communication channels.

    Birchbox Box Customer 600px

   Image via www.birchbox.com

 

Redesigning brand packaging as a premium rebranding strategy can be highly effective in shifting customer impressions of your brand and adding a stronger perceived value to your products or services, provided the total brand and product or service experience is congruent with what the packaging sells or communicates!

You won't get a second sale or good 'word-of-mouth' if your packaging oversells and underdelivers in terms of product or service. In fact you'll deservedly get so much negative customer sentiment both on and offline you'll likely undermine your brand and its reputation, not to mention potential profitability even further.

 

  

 

  

 

4. Affiliations and Testimonials for Premium Brand Repositioning

Associations with well-known public figures, VIPs or trusted organizations can enhance your brand identity immensely and help accelerate your rebrand as a premium provider of products or services. A clear example of this theory in action are celebrity endorsements. People are willing to pay more for products or services when they have the perception that celebrities use them, which is why big brands continuoulsy shell out millions for endorsements from celebrities and VIPs, relevant to their target audiences.

 

 Kate Middleton Michelle Obama

 Image via www.stylist.co.uk

  

And some brands just have the good fortune to be chosen by the much admired. High street brands such as LK Bennett, Reiss and Whistles when worn by the Duchess of Cambridge are well know for selling out of the favoured items in less than a couple hours - as are items from brands such as J.Crew when worn by the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama. In fact Michelle Obamas’ endorsement of J.Crew has helped the fashion brand rebound from plummeting sales enabling it to reposition itself as a premium line of casual wear.

 

 J Crew Michelle Obama

 Image via www.jcrew.com

 

However aligning your brand with premium affiliations doesn’t have to cost your company millions either. Local celebrities can have a significant, positive impact on your brand positioning and contribute to a more premium perception too. For some companies, professional certifications and ties with trusted organizations also work to create premium brand repositioning and enhanced brand credibility.

 

 

5. Brand Messaging and Premium Brand Positioning

Your brand can achieve a shift into the premium market through refined messaging that targets a more discerning marketing demographic. Many luxury brands use this strategy to increase perceived value of their products or services, by conveying their brand as a desirable “must have”.

 

Stella Artois is among the most in-demand beer brands in the UK. However, in 1976 when the brand was introduced, it was considered too strong, too different, and too expensive. When Frank Lowe took over marketing for the company, he launched an innovative campaign that transformed the perceived disadvantages into strengths. Using the tag line “Reassuringly expensive,” and a focus on the experience of the brand, rather than the taste, Stella Artois was effectively repositioned as a premium brand that still holds strong today.

 

   

  

 

Whether the focus is on increasing actual or perceived value, premium brand repositioning can be a powerful strategy for boosting your brand’s visibility, demand levels, and profitability.

  

Creative brand repositioning can revitalize a flagging brand and give new customers reasons to try your brand and existing customers new reasons to remain loyal to your products or services for years to come. As a rebranding strategy, repositioning is one of our most requested services from clients and one which has reaped them the most rewards, assuming everything else in the mix lives up to customer expectations or ideally exceeds them!

 

What do you think?

 

• Does your brand have a viable way to increase the actual value of your products or services?

 

• Would you focus on production values, customer service values, or both?

 

• What types of perceived values could you increase in association with your brand?

 

• Could your products benefit from a packaging redesign? How would you add premium value through your packaging?

 

• Are there any affiliations or professional organizations that would create a good premium association or match for your products or services?

 

• How would you shift your brand messaging to appeal to a higher value customer?

  

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Brand Personality: Is Your Brand’s Character Big Enough to Compete?

Posted by Lorraine Carter on September 09 2014 @ 07:53

Just as people can be larger than life, a brand’s personality can take on a life of its own. Creating a brand with an authentically strong character is central to your branding strategy success and effectively the decider between just another average price fighter or a truly magnetic and profitable brand.

 

And the good news for smaller brands - who frequently think branding is purely the remit of deep pocketed big national or global entities - it’s entirely within your grasp too, if you develop the right ‘know-how’. With a solid brand profile and the right brand strategy in place, your brand can punch above its weight and become bigger than another mere product or service, and consequently generate tremendous brand impact and instill an unshakeable brand loyalty in your target audience.

 

Here’s how you can be a small player with a big heart—and big profits—by using brand profiling and amplification strategies to create an magnified personality that brings your brand to life and makes it truly compelling to your primary target audience.

  

Note: These tips are some of the magic sauce we use coupled with our 'Personality Profile Performer System™' when working with our clients to help them develop their brand profiling.

 

Key Ingredients for a Compelling Brand Personality

What goes into a great brand profile? Brands with compelling, customer centric personalities are able to reach out to, and engage their target audiences in ways that elicit strong emotional responses.

 

An effective brand profile provides the direction for creating a customer centric, brand resonance or affinity with your customers through the emotions your brand endeavours to elicit in them, whether it’s gritty and real, sophisticated, entertaining, decadent, or simply warm, feel-good pleasures. Regardless of the overall effect, brands with strong personalities share characteristics that include:

  • A Compelling Brand Story: Delivering an incredible brand story gives your core target customers a foundation for engagement and loyalty, and adds depth to your brands’ embodiment.

  • Clear Brand Values: When your brand stands for something that matters to your target audience, your customers can feel like they’re part of something bigger whenever they engage with your brand.

  • Evocative Emotions: Funny or poignant, lighthearted or dramatic, brands that make customers feel strongly about something that matters to them are far more memorable, referable and engaging than the bland, boring or just another ‘me too’ average. People buy with emotion and justify with rationale!

  • Your Big Why? Your Brands’ Mission: Coca-Cola wants the world to be happy. Apple wants everyone to enjoy and intuitively use their cutting edge technology and enhance peoples’ lives. What does your brand want to accomplish? A great mission statement is an authentically lived experienced which encapsulates the DNA or core essence of your brand and not only generates buzz and excitement for your brand but gives it substance and depth. It’s not something clinical and stark living on the corporate wall gathering dust or buried somewhere in your annual report or on your website. It’s an integral part of the way you fundamentally do business and interact with the world around you and most importantly it's about what you do, with or for your customers and how you want them to feel.

  • Absolute Consistency. Developing and sustaining an incredible brand profile requires consistency across all aspects of your brand, throughout every channel and touch point. Each customer interaction should reinforce your brand personality and keep your brand promise.

 

 

1. Building an Emotional Response

Strong emotions are central to a larger-than-life brand personality. The most effective brand profiles are developed to evoke a specific feeling that your primary customers value and experience each time they choose to buy that product or service from you.

  

An effective brand profile is also developed in order to amplify the brand’s difference and set it apart from all the other pretenders competing for wallet share. And this is the fundamental core of the work we do with our clients in helping them build their brands.

 

Many companies believe an emotional brand is customer-generated, and therefore unattainable—but successful brands understand that emotional responses can be evoked through creating a strong brand personality coupled with strategic brand engagement. Successful branding is a two way interaction between the brand and the customer.

  

It's a shared 'meaningful' exchange that the customer values. In short its a humanly emotional engagement where the customer electively participates in the exchange because it positively enhances their lives in some way that they value. And this is what brand profiling is all about - using systems like our 'Personality Profile Performer™' for creating the character of your brand and then developing the 'road map' of how it will be brought to life.

  

  Besame 50s Exotic Pink Lipstick

 Image via www.besamecosmetics.com

 

Such is the case with Bésame, a niche cosmetics company with a powerful brand personality rooted in the glamour heydays of the 1920s to 1950s. This entrepreneurial business set out to develop its brand profile from the beginning, and intentionally created a nostalgic brand with old-fashioned values that evokes wistful memories of a bygone era.

 

  Besame Compact

 Image via www.besamecosmetics.com

 

Gabriela Hernandez, the founder of Bésame, was inspired by the vintage original cosmetics of her grandmother. Prior to launching her company, she decided that her brand’s personality would be very feminine, romantic, nostalgic and elegant in a traditional sense, while delivering very modernly efficacious products.

     

   1920s Black Liquorice Lip Besame Cosmetics

  Image via www.besamecosmetics.com  

  

Every aspect of the Bésame brand was developed to amplify this glamorous and nostalgic personality to create differentiation in an incredibly busy category noted for the billions spent on selling hope and aspiration to its largely female audiences!

   

Besame Signature Compact  Image via www.besamecosmetics.com

  

The company’s distinct packaging design uses very tactile high quality materials including rich fabrics, metals and colour palettes designed to stand out from the oceans of plastic containers. Consistency across all brand channels, a distinctive experience from start to finish, and internal branding that extends to the way the company’s phones are answered and staff interactions all contribute to underpinning this distinctly nostalgic brand profile. Collectively it’s what makes Bésame a highly successful brand that’s carried in major department stores around the world.

 

 

2. The Bold and The Brave

A strong brand personality, even if it’s controversial, can elevate your business to success. The key to this strategy is to start out bold and stick to your guns, regardless of any potential criticism or public outcry from a small minority. Taking a stand—preferable a defensible one—can help you define a brand profile that outshines your competition consistently.

 

 Ben And Jerrys Ice Cream

 Image via www.benjerry.com 

 

For specialty ice cream brand Ben & Jerry’s, that stand is irreverent fun. The entire company, which began with founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield selling homemade ice cream from a renovated gas station, is built on the idea that if you’re not having fun, you shouldn’t be doing it!

 

 Ben And Jerrys Core Ice Cream

  Image via www.benjerry.com 

 

The small brand made a big impact early on with its whimsical and cartoonish packaging, outrageous flavour names like Cherry Garcia and Wavy Gravy, and a high-demand strategy of selling only pints instead of half-gallons, offering exclusive batches and retiring flavours. In fact, the Ben & Jerry’s website maintains a Flavour Graveyard that showcases “de-pinted” flavours throughout the company’s history.

 

 

Ben & Jerry’s has never shied away from controversy—it’s all part of the fun. The company has embraced such controversial flavours as Black and Tan, named after an alcoholic beverage but perceived as associated with a paramilitary police force, and Schweddy Balls, named for a Saturday Night Live character and decried as “too explicit for grocery store shelves.” Ben & Jerry’s consistently bold stance has earned their ice cream an outrageous brand personality and a strong, loyal customer base.

 

 

3. Redefining a Niche

Finding a new twist on an old industry standard is a fantastic strategy for building powerful brand profiles. This involves highlighting and amplifying one or more aspects of your brand differentiation, and turning those amplified characteristics into a brand personality that can stand on its own.

 

 Poopourri Toilet Call To Action

 Image via www.poopourri.com

 

An incredible example of this comes from an FMCG brand making a huge stink, namely Poo-Pourri! Founded in 2006, the odour control company has already made a huge impact by turning the usually discreet nature of bathroom odour product marketing on its head and flaunting the fact that its product deals with poo!

 

  Poo Pourri Spriz Message

 Image via www.poopourri.com

 

The secret blend of essential oils and other natural compounds eliminates bathroom odors by creating a protective film on the water's surface. More than 4 million bottles have been sold, according to the company's official website. When I first wrote about this brand a few years ago they were already making waves but take a look at what they achieved now – and they’re not a massive company!

  

Poo Pourri Free

 

Image via www.poopourri.com

  

This brand has absolute clarity over who their target market is, namely glamorous, silk robe wearing, youngish women and they’re not afraid of who they might offend. They’ve developed their whole brand personality around suiting this target audience’s needs and they never waiver from it. Yes they have other secondary products aimed at men, parents and even pets with Pooch-Pourri, but their primary audience is a very particular kind of women and everything is geared to engage her in a certain way!

 

 Poo Pourri Preventive Odor Spray Scents

 Image via www.poopourri.com

 

Take a look at how their brand personality extends onto their product scent names:

• Hush Flush - A fresh Floral Blend of Wildflowers in the Spring, Before You Go, Give the Bowl a Spray, the Air Stays Fresh as a Spring Bouquet

• Deja Poo - A Soft Sweet Blend of White FLowers and Citrus, You've Been Here Before But Now With a Scent You Adore

• Party Pooper - A Fresh Crisp Floral Blend of Mandarin, Tangerine, and Lily, When Glasses CLink, Don't Ruin the Party With a Stink

• Poo La La - An Elegant Blend of Peony, Rose and Citrus, Embrassing Odors... Say Adieu

• Sh*ttin Pretty - A Delightful Fresh Blend of Rose, Jasmine and Citrus, It Ain't Awesome Till Smells Like a Blossom

And this is just a small sampling of a pretty extensive list!

 

Poo-Pouri’s marketing has a very definitive brand voice that features loads of toilet humour woven throughout its website, commercials, and other brand collateral. The brand’s very first social media marketing campaign, featuring a video called “Girls Don’t Poop,” went viral almost immediately with over 6 million views within a week, doubling Poo-Pouri’s Twitter following and increasing Facebook fans by 70 per cent in just a few days, not to mention their bottom line!

 

And while this advert might be ranked by USA Today as one of the worst adverts of 2013 it’s got 29,334,105 views and counting, with 67,298 likes and only 3,572 dislikes. They don’t give a ‘crap’ about anyone else – other than their primary target market!

  

 

 

Brand Amplification Strategies for Spreading Your Brand Personality

Once you’ve defined a distinctive and larger-than-life brand personality, there are multiple ways in which to leverage your brand profile through brand amplification strategies. When your brand has an attention-grabbing personality that stands for something your audience cares about, amplifying that brand message will get you noticed in a crowded market place. However you must consistently deliver on that personality and brand promise in everything you do.

 

Brand consistency is critical to any amplification strategy and especially effective for smaller brands too. Being truly consistent with your brand means ensuring that your website, packaging, brochures, vehicle livery, social media accounts, brand collateral etc. and all customer-facing touch points congruently mirror your brand profile and echo the same ‘exaggerated’ characteristics that infuse personality into your brand and everywhere it lives or interacts.

 

Your company’s public relations should also reflect your brands’ personality and the stories associated with it in the media. Community activities and corporate social responsibility (CSR) campaigns are also an important part of your brand strategy, especially for brands with feel-good, give-back mission statements and socially mobile brand stories.

 

When it comes to brand personality, the size of your brand truly doesn’t matter. Larger-than-life brand profiles help you rise above the noise and breathe life into your brand, so you can capture the imagination, emotions and ongoing support of your primary target customers.

 

 

What do you think?

 

• What kind of personality does your brand have? Does it match the profile you envisioned for your brand?

  

• How can you differentiate your brand and amplify those differences into a brand personality?

  

• What emotional response do your customers expect from your brand?

  

• Are you delivering your brand personality consistently across all channels?

  

• Does your brand packaging reflect a larger-than-life personality?

  

• Which aspects of your brand platform fail to capture your brand personality? How can you change that?

 

Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!

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