Tag Archives: Off Madison Ave + SpinSix

bloomquist

Experts: Keep branding simple even in the era of social media

Got milk? The swoosh stripe. The Aflac duck. Kleenex. Successful branding effectively uses a name, term, design, symbol, or even a musical jingle to distinguish a product or service from those of other sellers.

“Brands are sincere, distinct and consistent,” says David Eichler, creative director and founder of David and Sam PR. “Brands are by definition, built over time. A brand is a promise kept to its consumer, over and over.”

Kristin Bloomquist, executive vice president and general manager of Cramer-Krasselt Phoenix, has a simple way to define good branding: “Branding is a popularity contest and the brand with the most friends wins.”

While it’s common sense to think that effective branding will lead to an increase in business, experts point to several critical things to remember when a company tries to build an effective branding campaign.

“First, it’s important to understand that while there’s a time and place for a specific branding campaign, effective branding should be an ongoing effort for every organization,” says Christine Olivas, director of client services for Off Madison Ave + SpinSix.
“How and when to communicate the company’s values shouldn’t be a one-time outreach.”

However, Olivas says there are times when a branding campaign makes sense:
• When you are looking to change perceptions in the marketplace.
• When a new product or service is launching.
• Or, when you are introducing yourself to a particular market or segment.

“In these instances, it is important to consider how to make an impact while ensuring that the subsequent marketing and operational efforts can continue to support and sustain the awareness you’re creating,” she stresses. “The last thing you want is to have a campaign that drives, say, tons of buzz in the social space but to not have an ongoing social media strategy that will continue the conversation when the blitz is over. You should also have an obsessive eye on visual consistency. If you are launching a brand campaign, make sure the look and feel aligns with your core identity so as not to create confusion in the marketplace.”

While Olivas touched on the impact of social media on 21st-century branding, there is no denying that it’s changed the way companies market themselves.

“Social media is like a two-way megaphone for brands,” Eichler says. “Consumers are now empowered to share their experiences — positive and negative — and brands have the ability not only to convey their brand’s attributes, but reinforce them by how they interact with their customers. Especially when someone is disappointed with their experience with the brand.”

That ability for consumers to immediately engage is why successful brands need to have depth to their brand story and relevant reasons for people to want to engage, according to Bob Case, The Lavidge Company’s chief creative officer and creative director.

“Setting up a Pinterest account and a Facebook page aren’t effective unless you have a reason for having them,” Case says, “a strategy for how you want to shape the message and a plan for the unplanned — negative responses, etc.).”

Case says his best advice when creating a brand is to keep the message simple.

“Advertising is expensive, which can lead to companies trying to sell everything about their products and services in every message,” he says. “What’s the ONE thing you want people to know? It should be devastatingly difficult to build your campaigns because of what you leave out.”

EXPERTS’ BEST BRANDING

Here are some of the Valley’s best marketing experts’ picks for the best branding efforts:

Kristin Bloomquist, executive vice president and general manager of Cramer-Krasselt Phoenix: Corona does a terrific job of reaching into its authentic heritage and creating a world that represents the feeling of a tropical vacation, an escape to the beach, to a place of a warm sun, gentle breezes and sand between your toes. Corona’s consistent brand imagery has become an iconic symbol of the Corona brand, driving case sales in excess of $120 million to become the No. 1 imported beer in the nation.

David Eichler, creative director and founder of David and Sam PR: “The one that comes to mind, given the time of year is the NFL. In the 45 years of Super Bowls, the league has masterfully overtaken all other American sports in sales, merchandising, ad revenue and fan loyalty. They are savvy in how they have positioned themselves as vested in communities and causes.”

Isabelle Jazo, vice president of brand strategy at E.B. Lane: “Apple’s brand archetype is “Revolutionary.” The brand associates itself with thought leaders, artists and people in history that changed the rules of the game … Apple’s marketing certainly gets people’s attention, but the customer experience is what makes the branding phenomenal.”

Bob Case, The Lavidge Company’s chief creative officer and creative director: “I’d go with Nike. Not for any single campaign, but for their overall brand. They are a vibrant, living brand that re-invents itself without losing its core truth. It’s relevant, serious, fun, humorous, inspirational — in truth, a well-rounded robust story.”

Christine Olivas, director of client services for Off Madison Ave + SpinSix: “The best example of a brand that has become an experience is Zappos, an online retailer. From day one, the company has embraced service as a differentiator, but service isn’t just defined as a helpful customer service representative. Instead, the company has extended its friendly and fun approach to doing business across all internal and external communications.”

87789455

Seven Habits of Seven Successful Arizona Entrepreneurs

Everyone wants to know the secrets to succeeding in business. Most agree hard work and intelligence are a given.  But what about those attributes that cannot be taught in school or by working long hours?

Entrepreneurs are a breed who typically embody qualities that make up a successful business person. They tend to be risk-takers, passionate, altruistic and confident. They avoid getting stuck in a rut. Entrepreneurs turn what other see as obstacles in to challenges, and ultimately, opportunities. They are relentlessly positive.

In addition to possessing some of these qualities, entrepreneurs usually have a rule, philosophy or ritual they live and breathe each day. This can be anything from beginning the day in a positive way to how they treat anyone the come into contact with. As an entrepreneur myself, I have learned the importance of working “on” my business and not just “in” the business.  By this I mean you must treat your business like we treat our clients and must make time to focus on our strategic planning and growth.

Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO), a leading professional organization designed to offer entrepreneurs additional resources, support and collaboration, has an extremely successful Arizona chapter. Some of our state’s most recognized small business owners are EO Arizona members, ranging from well-known restaurateurs to real estate moguls.

What are their secrets to success? Here is insight from EO Arizona’s most established entrepreneurs (hint: Their habits are less about what you know and more about achieving the right mindset):

Paul Dembow, Arizona Natural Resources, Inc.

I wake up early everyday and meditate for 15 minutes with positive thoughts and deep breathing. I exercise for an hour, then start my business day. I also study, read, research, etc. but the mental attitude that my morning routine gives me is the winning edge. Attitude is everything!

Dan Sager, Civil Search International

If I hold myself 100 percent accountable for all my work/relationship problems, then all issues can be quickly rectified.

Derek Greene, Get Your Move On

The most impactful habit I have practiced is meditation. With this hour of “me” time, I afford myself the time to enjoy a calm cup of coffee, read the news online, do a brain teaser and most importantly sit quietly for 10 to 12 minutes and breathe. I do not miss a day most months and I do the same thing before bed. I find myself, among many other things, as serene as I have ever been in my life.

Max Hansen, Y Scouts and Job Brokers, Inc.

The rule I live by that has been a big contributor toward my success is summed up in a quote by Theodore Roosevelt.  “People don’t care about what you know, until they know about how much you care.”  As with anything in life and business, people follow people they trust and care about them.  Once you genuinely care, you just have to show them and tell them.

Robert Clinkenbeard, Integrated Landscape Management

Discipline is one of my biggest rules in business which also translates into my Ironman training. Unless you have a vision or goal, develop a plan and have the discipline to execute day after day then it is very easy to become distracted, lose focus and not achieve anything. Every year I prepare my business and personal goals for the year ahead and then every month and week I review them and figure out how I am going to execute them.

Steve Levine, Steve LeVine Entertainment

At Steve LeVine Entertainment and Public Relations, we have 2 rules that we use in our office on a daily basis.

1. Never assume anything.  When we assume we are taking a chance to get something wrong. If we never assume, and double check our work, we are less likely to have mistakes and the final product is always better.

2. Take responsibility for your actions. If you know and admit your mistakes, I have found that this helps future mistakes. Also, a client wants to hear us take responsibility rather than pass the blame on to someone else.

Jonathan Rosenberg, Levrose Commercial Real Estate

Over the years, I have learned when to say “yes” and when to say “no”.  When I was younger, I said “yes” to every client or potential business opportunity and soon found that it was impossible to be as effective when trying to please everyone.  Determining where to draw the line between these two responses has allowed much greater focus and clarity.

Every business person is different and their own personal formula for success depends on so much more than one daily ritual or philosophy. But, by using the advice from the above local entrepreneurs as a starting point, you are sure to be on the right path.

 

David Anderson is the communications chair for Entrepreneurs’ Organization, Arizona chapter, a professional group of Arizona’s most successful entrepreneurs. He is also the managing partner and CEO of Off Madison Ave + SpinSix, a marketing and communications firm in Phoenix.