Wearable Tech & the Changing Narrative of your Brand

10.07.2014 Better Marketing
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Wearable tech is here and it’s not going anywhere. From Apple’s recently announced iWatch, to wearable fitness bands like Garmin’s vívofit® and UP by Jawbone™ to “reality enhancing” eyewear like Google Glass—the world (and the way we see and experience it) are changing quite rapidly.

…and we’re about to experience a huge culture shift in how we engage with brands, inspired by this disruptive technology.

From Staged to Sincere

Just as royalty used to pose for hours so an artist could capture their essence in paint, the same frame of reference carried forward in our shift to photography. From paint to film to print to digital and everything in between, we’ve been capturing everything from personal to professional moments in a “say cheese” manner.

That is to say, we’re big on staging the scene.

SELFIES. Need we say more?

But our most beautiful, honest moments as humans aren’t staged at all. That’s why we gaze in awe at the candid brilliance of a professionally taken photograph. The average person isn’t able to capture that kind of intimacy.

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6 Great Ideas for Branded Content

09.16.2014 Better Branding
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Your brand should be unique enough to be memorable to your target audience. But to get even that first glint of brand recognition, you need to get your brand out in front of people. Creating great branded content, as part of your overall content marketing plan, is a fantastic way to expand your brand reach. Here are some ideas to get you started…

1. Brand your Infographics

We already know visual content marketing gets a lot of attention and people just love, love, love infographics these days. These beautified bits of information get read, shared, saved and referenced all over social media and the web. Be sure your logo is stamped in a clear, readable place and use your brand colors to really showcase your branding throughout.

2. Brand your Inspiration

Your brand identity manager or a skilled graphic designer (who is familiar with your branding, of course), can create cool, funny and/or inspirational quotes on a background of your brand colors, stamped with your logo. Choose quotes and themes that interest your target market. Post your placards on LinkedIn and Facebook to get more brand attention.

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3 Painless Ways to Use Data to Up Your Brand Reach

05.13.2014 Better Branding
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Data is all around us, and it’s easier to collect than ever, so it’s no wonder you’re likely hearing terms like “big data” and “measurable marketing” as they’re thrown around from the C-level down to the IT department. Leading marketing companies are using a proactive approach, collecting data to predict brand success on the front end and to measure marketing efforts on the backend. While a lot of businesses hire external agencies for this sort of exploration (not to mention accountability), that’s not always an option for smaller businesses.

Does data collection, measurement and analysis seem like a huge undertaking? Well, I’m not going to lie: It definitely IS. But there are a lot of great ways even small businesses can use data to their advantage. Here’s how…

1. Collect & Care

First things first, if you’re not collecting basic customer data at every interaction, it’s time to get on that. Your best bet is to start with a simple, well-built customer relationship management (CRM) solution. Nowadays, most of the best CRMs are web-based and relatively simple to learn and use. Try Less Annoying CRM or Insightly—both are very affordable. (And hey, take your time finding a CRM that works for your team and your business. This is important. Most CRMs offer a free trial, so go for it!)

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Value Your Brand? Educate Your Audience

03.18.2014 Better Business
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The world is always changing, and nowadays it’s changing faster than ever. The good news is, since the advent of a more accessible Internet, today’s educated and curious consumers are regularly hitting the Web to research and discover the benefits of continuously emerging products and services. This is a huge opportunity to market your business and your brand—but there are quite a few tricks of the trade you need to know to best cash in on this opportunity and build your brand in process.

Ask yourself the following questions and you’ll be on your way to educating your target audience, building your brand identity, and seeing more sales in the long run.

Where’s My Untapped Niche?

Chobani tapped into the yogurt market by advertising their new product as not just another yogurt, but instead, a Greek-style yogurt. While most people had never heard of Greek yogurt before, they were immediately interested in exploring this “new” yogurt style that offers less sugar and more protein than traditional yogurt. The Chobani brand was launched in 2007 and in a few short years Chobani became the top-selling yogurt in the United States. (Read: they don’t just top the Greek yogurt charts—they’re THE top-selling yogurt in the entire country, and they became a billion dollar business during a period of economic downturn to boot!)

The Lesson: To educate your audience, first identify your niche.

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Can’t Miss Brands: The 4 Most Influential Brands of 2013

12.10.2013 Better Marketing

Whether completely over-the-top, controversial or just plain marketing genius, we’ve seen a lot of brands creating a lot of buzz over the last year. Brand advertising now comes at us from every possible angle: online, on TV and in print. Because of that fact, if you set out to advertise your brand in this day and age, you’d better have something pretty incredible to offer, lest be left in the marketing dust.

Truth is, properly branded products most often make it to the shelves of our local stores and become household names. But influential branding isn’t always about big names and corporate money. Sometimes, even little brands can make a BIG impact in the marketplace.

Today we’re going to take a look at the brands of 2013 that stood out as most memorable, despite all obstacles.

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This Year’s Most Controversial Ads

12.03.2013 Brand Mistakes
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Advertising your brand can be tricky sometimes. When it comes to big brands with hefty bank accounts whose main goal is to grab people’s attention at any cost, advertising has become downright silly and even offensive. From prankvertising to catvertising (using cats to advertise your brand—trust me, it’s a thing) to print ads you simply can’t believe someone had the guts to think up, brands are certainly getting more and more risqué with advertising.

Today we’re going to take a look at (arguably) some of the most disturbing and controversial ads of 2012-2013.

DISCLAIMER: Linked content may be too disturbing for some viewers. Please proceed to linked content with caution.

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Tongue in Cheek: Holiday Commercials We Just Can’t Forget

11.26.2013 Better Marketing

For decades now, big brands have spent big bucks to deliver some unique (and sometimes cheeky) advertising content to our TV screens in hopes we’ll return the favor by shopping at their stores or buying their products during the busiest shopping season of the year.

But, in today’s day and age, when 86% of the general public skips TV advertisements, brands have become much more hard-pressed to capture the attention of their audiences as their commercials zoom by at triple speed. Read: if you’re not memorable, your holiday advertisement may never be seen at all. On that note, let’s get into the holiday spirit and take a look at some of the most memorable holiday commercials we’ve seen—and let’s see if we can’t learn a thing or two from those brands about smart advertising.

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Prankvertising: Worth the Risk for Your Brand? (Part 2)

11.19.2013 Better Branding
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By now, you should know what prankvertising is and why big brands use it to garner attention. Yes, it’s true that prankvertising really gets people’s attention. After all, if you were (unknowingly) part of a prank that involved a violent scene of two men fighting each other in an elevator and subsequently watched one of those men slip a noose around the other’s neck, pulling it tight, you’d probably remember that pretty well, wouldn’t you?

That’s exactly what the marketing firm Thinkmodo was banking on when they orchestrated this stunt to promote the 2013 movie “Dead Man Down.” But, when we consider the outlandish nature of a prank such as this, the real question becomes, how far is too far when it comes to scaring the daylights out of people in the name of advertising?

Are the costs really worth the potential negative effects of prankvertising? Big brands with big bank accounts might have the flexibility to hire a team of lawyers, should a lawsuit pop up as the result of a misguided prank, but what about a small business?

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Prankvertising: How and Why the Big Brands Pull off Master Pranks, Part 1

11.12.2013 Better Branding
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Forget about April Fools’ Day. The days of anticipation, of knowing when the pranks were coming and where they were coming from, are long gone. Watching your back is no longer a suggestion; now, it’s a way of life. That is, if you want to get through the latest stream of big brand advertising spoofs with your head still on straight. What on Earth are we talking about, you ask?


It sounds just like what it is: prank-advertising. But, in some ways, prankvertising has become its own animal, especially with respect to how the big brands are using it to garner attention in mainstream media.

Try this analogy on for size: if prankvertising were a spit-ball, the target advertising market would be the teacher. No matter how gooey and gross that spit-ball is, when it hits the teacher’s leg, he or she is most certainly going to pay attention to the brand who threw it.

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What the Pocket Fisherman Can Teach Us About Branding

09.03.2013 Better Marketing
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Recently, I ran across old pictures of my parents out fishing with the Ronco Pocket Fisherman. I had myself a good laugh. The old commercials came to mind, so I checked out YouTube—and lo and behold, I found them! Yes, the commercials are a little silly, but something dawned on me: I can totally see why my parents and other people bought the Pocket Fisherman in the 1970s and 1980s.

Those Ronco commercials! They’re so cheesy, but so enchanting. They’re the products you never knew existed, but now you can’t live without them. Hey, I’m not a big shopper, but even I can’t resist some of those Ronco products. I’m a beer drinker and I love entertaining guests—how cool would it be to be able to instantly frost my glasses with the Ronco Glass Froster? (Sure, with some forethought I could have easily put those glasses in the freezer, but the Ronco does it instantly, like magic!) See, now you could insert ME right into the infomercial.

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