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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
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Branding, Social Media
I’d like to let you in a little well-kept secret: the Denny’s tumblr. If you haven’t seen it, please check it out. It reads less like a major corporation and more like some fourteen year old drank a Monster and started a blog about… eggs? (Seriously, there seems to be an underlying theme of obsession with eggs here, understandably so.)   What do you think of when you hear “Denny’s”? Boring old diner that your grandparents go  to? That 24/7 dinner where (rumour has it) if you go at 3 am, you may fall into a Denny’s-esque Twilight Zone, never to return?     Maybe you think of their wild Tumblr account, with their ridiculous and often-times questionable responses to their fan’s inquiries. Denny’s is introducing themselves to the millennials and generation Z as a much cooler, much snarkier version of the Denny’s your mom and dad know and love.   Don’t believe me? Look at how integrated their tumblr has become with internet-speak. No high-fluentent wordings and proper capitalization here! No ma’am, Denny’s is changing the game when it comes to marketing a pancake diner. denny's tumblr Or perhaps…   How can we learn from the Denny’s tumblr? Almost every product can benefit and gain positive PR by “getting with the times.” I do not mean desperately slapping your brand on a meme and calling it a day. Denny’s has cultivated something truly unique here – and they have a whole generation hooked on their sardonic words. They’re over here like:   Recognizing how this generation differs from the last. We’re a little less serious, our humor as evolved (or taken two steps back, your call), and we identify with brands that are more brutally honest than try to win us over with lots of fancy guarantees.   Rock on, Denny’s. Keep showin’ us how it’s done. Want more microtrend marketing brilliance? Read more here: A Mega Idea: The Microtrend
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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
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