Your address will show here +12 34 56 78
Advertising, Branding
When I was but a child, perhaps about six or seven, I didn’t care what brand I wore. My mother, also, didn’t care what brand I wore. I’m not insinuating that I was a walking fashion disaster – I was not. I was simply decked in obscure, on-sale brands. However, I imagine when I have children of my own I will need those specific shoes from that specific company, honey.
    So while the generation past preferred benefits to personification, my generation has come into the branding world with a giant sledgehammer and completely re-written the rules. With the rise of social media comes the rise of brand identity. Marketing is an ever-changing game, and right now, it’s all about identifying with the product. Okay but people out there still want something that will benefit them, right? I mean, c’mon – we all know that the “in” brands fall apart one year into owning them.
    Not so fast –

Truly successful brands build a strong brand identity and a reputation for quality. Here’s a few that did just that:

Patagonia

College campuses beware – young, handsome collegiates will be wearing Patagonia’s brightly patterned, incredibly obnoxious fleece for years to come. It’s become a symbol across America everywhere that says, “Yeah, I’m involved in Greek Life” or “Yeah, I’m a stoner with a trust fund and a penchant for sleeping outside.” But, all joking aside, Patagonia actually does it job. Really damn well. Patagonia’s quality makes it a reputable choice for all age groups. If that college boy ever finds himself on a mountain, his fleece will keep him warm. That’s the magic – it’s a versatile piece that can serve as a stylish accessory or to do as nature intended it to: climb a freakin’ mountain.
   

L.L.Bean

Another product that has taken the youth by storm and yet never seemingly worn in any of the conditions it was made for: L.L.Bean. Many of LL Bean’s Duck Boots orders are going to people who will never hike or climb in them. Cue the sad music. I’ll wait. Yet with every stitch, LL Bean screams quality. It means that if your feet step off the concrete for a second and you find yourself grizzly-bear watching in Montana, those trusty stylish boots will do their thing.
   

VANS

Those canvas skate shoes sure make you feel edgy when you put them on. Trust me on this., I buy Vans;, I feel like Tony Hawk. Have I ever touched a skateboard? Um… no. However Vans has been around a long, long time, and while they’ve done a good job with their new designs appealing to young people and becoming “hip” once more – they also do their, you know, job. I like to daydream up scenarios where somebody throws me a skateboard and I’ve got these bad boys on. I just hop on and I’m a master. I do a sick 360 flip and everyone cheers. My trusty Vans save the day and I win the skateboarding competition.
  I digress.
So… What’s the Lesson?
Quality is a powerful tool for a product. It’s great to be known for the quality or the performance. Pair this with a strong brand identity and you’ve got a winning combination. If a consumer can a) buy a product as an expression of their identity and b) see that it actually serves a purpose beyond fashion, the consumer now has a brand that can satisfy both needs. It’s a yes from me!
    Do you have a great product or service but struggle to convey its benefits to your customers? Are you looking to build a brand that better resonates with your target audience? Hit us up today for a free consultation. We’d be glad to offer advice and strategic tips to getting your quality brand in front of your perfect people 🙂 Talk to us! http://www.forgedigitalmarketing.com
0

Advertising, Branding
Today we’re covering the all an important concept in Advertising: The Brand Gap. Huh? Excuse me? What in tarnation is that? The Brand Gap could be defined as bridging the gap between creativity and strategy, a.k.a what you think your brand is and how it’s actually perceived by potential customers and brand loyals. How you view your marketing strategy will play a significant role in how your product sells. Don’t believe me? Think of all the brands that failed miserably because they failed to recognize their brand aura. Instead of focusing on what the consumer has decided they are, they ignore this and choose their personality themselves. You might be saying, “Ok that makes no sense – we, the marketers, decide what our brand wants to be known for.” You may think that advertising professionals sit up in ivory towers rubbing their hands together, waving magic wands and declaring that their brand is now a cool/funny/edgy brand with one clever piece of copy. Well, that isn’t exactly how it works. http://giphy.com/gifs/crystalstarr-l0ExpNqEegk5eVW2A Word of mouth can be the silent killer of many a product – how the consumer sees your brand aura, how they talk about your brand, controls your image more than you would like to think. The first lesson of bridging the brand gap is realizing that your brand is not what you say it is, it’s what the consumer says it is. (Gulp) Okay, enough words. I know how much you all love pictures. A good visual example of brands that have crossed the Brand Gap and become “charismatic brands” are: Bridging the brand gap | McDonalds These are the brands in America that we can’t live without. Maybe you think to yourself, “Um, I’m SUPER healthy, I can DEFINITELY live without McDonalds. Or Coke. Also, if you aren’t from Kansas are you sure you own a tractor?” The point is that you know these brands, they are familiar to you, and you can identify what they stand for. On a smaller scale, such as local advertising, being the “go-to” coffee shop in town could be considered a charismatic brand. http://giphy.com/gifs/season-1-episode-8-showtime-3ohfFE19LpU939JqHC So the question is, do you have what it takes to capture a consumer’s heart as well as strategically orient yourself as an essential part of their lives? A great way to start building your customer base is through TRANSPARENCY! WHAT? Here’s an article to prove it. Want to make advertisements that will help you become a charismatic brand and bridge that brand gap? Check out this one. http://giphy.com/gifs/80s-chappelles-show-kazoo-kid-4nI8xTsPdwhs4
0

Advertising, Marketing
I won’t try to sugarcoat this: staying fit in America is hard. It’s like clawing yourself out of a deep pit of fried foods, endless ice cream and oodles of full fat coffee drinks. It’s no easy task. Many of us, myself included, fall back time and time again. There’s about a 50/50 chance I’m either valiantly running miles around the track or spooning to the bottom of a Ben and Jerry’s. There really is, on any given day, an equal chance for both of these outcomes. Don’t test me. This is why marketing “Fitness” is so hard. We are all bandwagon fans. How do you switch the consumer from seeing the gym, or your fitness class, a piece of equipment, et cetera, as “sometimes, occasionally, not really, not my thing” to “a daily practice, part of the routine, in my schedule” ?

Go digital

This one is very important. These days, everything is online, and a product’s online presence is almost as important as its physical one. A nicely designed website and social media campaign goes a long way. I’m not going to purchase your fitness product if I can’t find any information about it online, or even worse, the website is a hot mess. (Sorry, website.) Better yet? Get yourself an app.

Get those testimonials

I really like before and after pictures, and it turns out I’m not the only one. I like reading about how a person’s life completely changed after using a product. I mean, this person was a real mess, right? And then they use this new product and in a month they have an awesome job, lost twenty pounds and are having terrific luck in the stock market. Every product, especially when it comes to the fitness industry, needs to bulk up on its brand trust. Testimonials are a great way to do this. If you’re confident in your product, it shouldn’t be an issue gathering a few testimonials to drive home that you can be trusted.

Invest in photography

You know what doesn’t catch someone’s eye? A grainy iPhone shot of your product propped against a white background that could (although not confirmed) just be curtains. It’s worth it to get a few great shots of what you’ve got. If someone asks you what exactly it is that you’re selling, wha-BAM! you whip out a photo of your product in action. It’s so moving that people are crying as they pull out their check books.

Understand that launching a new fitness product is hard work. Take the time to create a kick-ass website and a message for yourself. Invest in photos that represent the product as it should be, and what it can become to your target audience. As a culture, we have gravitated towards the “feel” and “aesthetics” of fitness. The sleek, fresh new styles that we incorporate into our digital lives (think FitBit) and physical (those sleek new Nikes you have your eye on) have replaced the epic era that was practical red jumpsuits and sexy sweatbands. A website, message and compelling photography will help propel your brand into the spotlight. Ready to get started with those sweet photos? Check out this post on how to take better pics for your online business.
0

Advertising, Creative, Marketing
Hi there! We need to talk. I couldn’t help but notice that your advertising is falling a bit flat these days. Don’t get defensive just yet: this happens to more companies than you might think. You fall into the same old, same old pattern that everyone is doing and eventually our fearless consumer can’t tell (or simply doesn’t care) that your product is The Best Product Ever!™ because they cannot for the life of them distinguish you between all the other noise they’re hearing on the daily. Look, buddy, I’m not even going to ask you how you got into my office. I don’t have the budget or creative genius required for high-profile advertising – I’m just trying to get my message out there! Fear not, I have good news. You don’t have to be a genius or have a huge budget to put forth some truly stellar work. Unfortunately, your refusal to believe that there are better ideas out there on the creative horizon are holding you back. Let me show you how to cut the cord and banish boring advertising copy to historical archives (where it belongs.)

Push a few boundaries.

I’m not talking about deciding to litter your copy with profanity or calling out your competition or any number of ways you may take this tip and twist it into an excuse to behave badly. I’m talking about playing on words – and to stop taking yourself so seriously! Geez! The last thing you want to do is cause an uproar and have your consumers clamoring at your office doors for an advertisement copy that brought you and your coworkers to tears (it was just so funny, you didn’t mean any harm!) a week ago. There is a very fine line between tongue-in-cheek-advertisements and now-society-hates-you copy that could land you, and your product, in hot water. This advertisement is clearly labeled towards the younger demographic but it’s also a clever play on words. It pushes a few boundaries but it offers a delicious alternative to America’s Favorite Pastime (wait, I thought that was baseball?). Make the consumer smile and shake his head. I need some camaraderie in these copies! Walk the fine line of pushing a few boundaries in your copy and you will reap the benefits.

Make ‘em cry

Okay, you say to me, I see where you’re coming from – but my product can’t be sold like that. I’m selling baby diapers, wrinkle cream, life insurance! This leads me to the second tip of the day: resonate with the consumer by going the sentimental high road. I’m a firm believer that if you are making the target audience laugh or cry you’re doing a good job. People remember the things that make them laugh, and the things that make them cry. https://youtu.be/Cjq50t_-JFo I have sobbed in public places due to the MetLife Hong Kong commercial. I wish I was joking, but I’m not. This is of course a large-budget kind of execution, but the sentiments are the same. If you can get your advertisement to resonate with the consumer you will not soon be forgotten. Advertisements that preach happy, generic smiling faces are advertisements that make me yawn, what else is around for me to look at? Here I believe is a two in one: pushes some boundaries with the imagery but also catches the eye and makes a person think about what the advertisement is really trying to say. They may stop, be intrigued, and want to learn more. If you are trying to speak upon the dangers of emotional abuse by showcasing a happy child who has already worked past their abuse, your audience will not be so captivated. After all, that child is safe and happy now, so why should they worry? Another cool example of hitting the sentimental button in a consumer’s brain.

Guerilla Marketing

This is easily one of the best, low-budget, high-recognition advertising strategies out there. And trust me when I say, it certainly won’t be boring. If you’re anything like me (and I hope you are not) when you first heard of Guerilla Marketing your initial thought was: What the hell is Guerilla Marketing? In which case my ever-patient professor went on to explain it and all was made clear. Therefore in this same knowledge-sharing spirit, let me explain Guerilla marketing to you. This is Guerilla marketing: https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wordstream.com%2Fimages%2Fmr.clean-urban-marketing.jpg&imgrefurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wordstream.com%2Fblog%2Fws%2F2014%2F09%2F22%2Fguerrilla-marketing-examples&docid=ITbQopbSaxkNXM&tbnid=sVC_qo5kUxXSiM%3A&vet=1&w=600&h=399&client=safari&bih=696&biw=788&q=Guerilla%20marketing&ved=0ahUKEwiH8ZqX6dHRAhVn6IMKHZSnAfwQMwitASgAMAA&iact=mrc&uact=8 This is Guerilla marketing: http://favbulous.stfi.re/post/1278/80-creative-ads-campaigns?sf=yoklopo And this is Guerilla marketing: Guerilla marketing is essentially displaying some ingenuity when it comes to your advertisements and the environment around you. It’s difficult to find advertisements more engaging than the ones Guerilla marketers come up with. Consider where your target demographic frequents and scope the area out. Now for the fun part: making use of those spaces.The park bench is now an advertisement, the floor you walk on, the wall you lean on. It’s hard to ignore. For a low budget campaign, Guerilla marketing can be a cost-effective option that reaches a lot of foot traffic. I hope with a little creative elbow grease you can finally ditch the boring advertising copy you have burdened yourself with and enter into the world of actually surpassing your sales quota. Alright, I know, a little harsh – but a good marketer recognizes that the world is saturated enough as it is with flashy advertisements. An advertisement that can make a person stop for even two seconds and think – “Huh” – is a brand that is on its way to success.
1