mini figures of men digging up a shell on the beach to put in a mini truck

Small Is The New Big

If any of us remember Jerry Maguire’s late night, pizza-induced rant that he insisted was just a mission statement, well, this really isn’t that at all.  It’s just the musings (hopefully not too rambling) of a creative director and writer who’s worked in the industry for too many years to remember. I’ve learned a lot, some the hard way, but I’ve also been blessed with working with many great folks and large agencies around the country.

After all of that I decided to start my own little agency. Six years in, I’ve realized why being smaller is something I love, and I believe is too often overlooked by many clients - simply because of appearances. Think about that for a second. As technology marches on, things have gotten better because they’ve gotten smaller. Computers. Devices we listen to music on. Cars. Planes. Things are becoming more efficient and faster and more responsive simply by going small. So, with that, if you’ll permit me, here’s why I think now more than ever, small is better than big for today’s advertising agency and their clients.

SMALL IS NIMBLE AND SHAPES TO THE JOB AT THE DROP OF A HAT

Small runs lean and mean. Here at EraserFarm, we are a small, experienced core group who, over many years, have developed long-standing, trusting relationships with many top-level strategists, creatives and experts. When a specific project calls for it, we are able to create a very specific, targeted and relevant group to work on that project - rather than having the same people work on every job they may not necessarily be as qualified for or experienced in. It also removes the heavy overhead clients are forced to pay to compensate for employees on staff. Conversely, small is able to scale up or down accordingly per assignment. That flexibility also allows us to change the business model when your competition changes theirs. And in the end, all of this helps small get into the tight little spaces that big can’t. And, come out with emotionally charged ideas that connect with people on a very human level. And that can turn your customers into salespeople as powerful advocates for your brand.

SMALL THINKS BIG WITHOUT BLOATING AD BUDGETS

A big idea that can survive the test of time doesn’t need to come with a big price tag. We’ve worked on TV assignments for global companies like Pacific Life and social content that’s distributed around the world for Outback Steakhouse. We’ve created work for national health organizations and restaurant chains like Arby’s and Bonefish Grill, gotten in the trenches with startups and local clients and partnered with our clients’ in-house creative departments too. We just don’t care about process or the way it used to be done. We are here to do the best work we can for clients in any shape or form that may take. It simply doesn’t matter what the size of the agency is. It’s the size of the thinking that the agency puts into each project without ever taking one for granted, regardless of what it is.

SMALL PUTS ONE FOOT ON THE NECK OF BUREAUCRACY AND KICKS AGENCY LAYERS OUT THE DOOR WITH THE OTHER.

One of the main reasons I wanted to start my own thing was being able to show our clients work I personally thought was worthy, without it being diced, sliced and minced up and left on the agency cutting room floor. Hey, if the client doesn’t like it, so be it. We have small egos and big, broad shoulders here. But at least we didn’t do them any disservice to not show them some thinking that could advance their brand message. That’s why we also think proactively on each client’s business and gather as an agency each week for creative thinktanks.

Know what else is great? Small means we can say whatever we want on our blogs like I am right now without repercussion. It means we answer our clients’ emails right away personally and answer our cell phone (which is on our business cards) any time of day or night. Trust me, I’m not kidding. And small works very closely with each client without putting B, C or D teams on it. Every job gets 100% from all of us because we all wear many hats here at EF.

If we define ourselves and our business in terms of how other agencies operate, we're living in an echo chamber. And, new ways of thinking will never surface to better serve today’s clients and the environment they exist in.

SMALL WORKS HARDER TO SURVIVE.

This is a no-brainer. We’re small, our rope is shorter and so you can bet your ass we will bust ours on every job to survive and keep chugging along. I’m convinced that when people become associated with an idea or company, the personal stakes get higher.

In the end, I truly believe an ad agency succeeds because they’re good. Not because they are big. You see, if you can look past just the size of an agency, you’ll discover a very valuable, powerful mindset like the one we adhere to every day at EraserFarm. And no matter how big we get, you can count on one thing: We will always keep rolling the way we started.

Small.

Let us prove it to you. Let’s grab some coffee, say hello and discuss a project we can work on together. Email my partner Cindy at cindy@eraserfarm.com and let’s get to it.


dramatically lit photo of kangaroo

What's On Our Menu For New Biz? Outback Steakhouse

We're celebrating over here. And that's because we're starting 2020 off with an announcement like this: EraserFarm is delighted to share that Outback International has named us their creative partner for social content development.

We have the pleasure of working with another one of the great concepts inside of the Bloomin' Brands family, so we couldn't be happier that Outback International came calling as well.

Our work for them began late last year as we prepared new social ideas and content for their international franchise system.  Outback has a strong history in this market and across the US, so as the system continues to grow internationally they needed to ensure they had the right partner to grow along with them.

"We are excited to be working with the great team at EraserFarm.  We've seen great things inside of their work for one of our sister brands, and look forward to carrying that level of creative thinking over to Outback International," said Claudia Mezzarano, International Marketing Coordinator for Bloomin' Brands International.

We look forward to continuing to make our new friends proud and deliver work that drives positive sales growth and traffic for their international business.


promote your florida business

7 Ways to Promote Your Business with Social Media

If you’re a business owner, you’re in good company. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA) the state of Florida alone is home to 2.5 million small businesses. It’s also super friendly for startups, ranking as the number five state in the country for venture capital funding.

While these numbers are promising, they also mean that you’ll have to work harder to stand out in the crowd. Learning how to successfully promote your business is critical for your success.

Social media continues to be one of the best advertising options for startups. Start with these seven tips and you’ll be well on your way towards making a name for yourself online.

1. Humanize Your Brand

One of the most important things to remember when creating your social media presence is that people do not care about your company. Whether you’re a tech startup with a product that’s going to change the world or a stay-at-home mom selling homemade jam, the facts are still the same.

People don’t go on social media to learn about companies. They go there to engage with other people and to be entertained. Keep this in mind when creating your posting strategy.

Instead of focusing on facts and figures, or heavily promoting your products, make it a point to humanize your brand. This could mean anything from posting funny memes and cute animal videos to sharing behind-the-scenes videos and photos of your staff.

Each time you create a post, ask yourself if it’s doing anything to tap into the user’s emotions. If the answer is no, do yourself (and your followers) a favor and just skip it.

2. Hold a Contest or Giveaway

It’s no secret that people like free stuff. Holding contests or giveaways on your social media platforms is a great way to attract new followers and engage the ones you already have.

This could range from asking people to like or share a post to hosting an elaborate photo content where users can vote for their favorites. The latter is an excellent idea because it helps you build up user-generated content.

What is user-generated content, you ask? It’s basically anything that users post about your product or brand. This could include photos and videos, written testimonials, and more.

When your followers see other real people using your products and talking about how great they are, this helps to build up trust in your brand in a way that you simply can’t do yourself. It’s incredibly inexpensive (sometimes completely free!) and is also extremely effective.

3. Find Your Community

Creating groups on Facebook and LinkedIn is an excellent ways to engage your core followers on a whole new level. This fosters a deep sense of community. If you provide valuable insights and information as the leader of the group, it also gives you a chance to build up even more credibility.

You can also look for niche groups to join. This can help put you in front of the right people and give you the opportunity to create some strategic relationships that you otherwise might not have come across.

One word of warning, though. Make sure you go into these groups with the attitude of “givers gain.”

This means that you won’t blatantly promote yourself and your brand every chance you get. Instead, participate in conversations and offer advice and insight where appropriate without throwing in a sales pitch. Others in the group will appreciate this and will be more likely to refer you business when the time is right.

4. Engage with Your Followers

One mistake that businesses often make with social media is to “post and run.” You can’t expect success if you just drop a post and disappear for a week. Instead, you need to monitor your posts and engage with your followers.

This means responding to comments and answering private messages right away. Doing so will remind your followers that they’re working with an actual person instead of a faceless business. This is another critical element in building up that all-important trust.

5. Invest in Video

Video is definitely the way of the future, in social media and on almost every other platform. Any time you have the opportunity to lean towards the visual and away from the written word, do it.

It’s also important to note that you don’t need a major Hollywood production to take advantage of the video trend. Short, bite-sized videos of decent quality are perfectly fine for engaging your audience on social media.

6. Pay Attention to Analytics

Social media marketing does require time, effort, and money. So, it makes sense to ensure that you’re getting a decent return on your investment. Tracking your results on each platform with analytics software is critical for your success. Doing so will allow you to quickly see what’s working and what isn’t so you can make adjustments on the fly.

7. Go with the Pros

If you’re reading these tips and wondering how you’re possibly going to have time to implement them while still running your business, then you’re ready for one of the most important tips of all – go with the pros!

Social media algorithms are always changing, and it takes an expert to truly stay on top of all the ways to optimize your presence. Don’t make the mistake of leaving something this important up to chance. Find a great social media pro who can ensure you always put your best foot forward online.

Promote Your Business – The Right Way!

At Eraser Farm, we have all the tools and experience you need to promote your business the right way. From brand positioning and perfecting your user experience to integrated advertising campaigns and social media strategy, we’ve got you covered! Contact us today to discuss your goals and get started!


logo design basics

The Logo Design Basics: How to Create a Great Image for Your Business

McDonald's golden arches. Nike's checkmark. Apple's... apple. Today, brands are increasingly recognizable by their standout, eye-catching logos. Companies that neglect essential logo design basics, however, will fail to create a logo that breaks out from the crowd. When you do stand out, you can attract new business and build your business. A consistent brand that starts with a memorable logo can increase revenue by up to 23%. Want to develop a great image for your business! Start with your logo.

Here are the ten tips you need to create a logo that stands out from the rest successfully.

1. Add More Meaning

Too many logos fall into the quicksand trap of choosing dull, overused images. If you want to stand out, consider using the visual double entendre technique. This design technique takes two or more recognizable images and combines them for an eye-catching effect. What images connect back to your business? Consider what images people already associate with your brand. Then, determine how you can connect the two. This technique can add a fun, clever element to your brand. Instead of using imagery thousands of other companies have in the past, you can make sure your brand remains distinct. Careful not to get too clever, though. If your customers can't recognize the images you're using, they won't remember you.

2. Consider Your Colors

A signature color can improve your company's brand recognition by up to 80%. As you add these logo design basics to your brand, consider your color choices. Check out this color psychology map as you select your shades. What emotions do you want people to experience when they look at your brand? The right combination of colors can add another layer of meaning to your logo.

There are also different color palette combinations to choose from. A few include:

  • Analogous - three colors side by side on the color wheel (green, yellow-green, yellow)
  • Complementary - two colors opposite from one another on the color wheel (red and green)
  • Triad - colors evenly spaced out on the color wheel (green, orange, purple)

Finding the right color combination creates an effect that's pleasing to the eye. As you develop your logo, try different color palettes to see what best suits your brand.

3. Avoid Design Clichés

Using design cliches won't help you stand out from the competition. When potential customers see the same images over and over, their eyes glaze over. Remember, you're trying to attract people to your business. What makes you different from the competition?

A few cliches include:

  • The overhead arch
  • Overlapping letters
  • Using Helvetica, Papyrus, or Comic Sans
  • Random colored dots
  • The chat bubble

Instead of falling into the crowd with clichés, consider these 10 top brand marketing trends to amplify your reach and attract new business!

4. Consider Going Custom

There are more font typefaces out there than Helvetica and Papyrus. If none of the already-made options speak to you, consider creating a custom font. A custom-made font can give your logo a unique feel. You can also work with a designer to make sure your typeface captures your brand's personality. With a custom font, you're standing out while staying true to your company's brand.

5. Don't Neglect Simplicity

While you want to stand out from the crowd with unique imagery, it's important you don't overdo it. Sometimes, a little simplicity can go a long way. Don't overcomplicate your logo with crazy script fonts of dizzying double entendre designs no one understands. Instead, focus on your brand. How can you illustrate your company's personality? Work to capture the heart of your company in a classic logo. Then you can expand on it for a design that makes an impact.

6. Recognition Is Key

Instead of following the pack by using design clichés, consider imagery that will make you immediately recognizable. Think about the Evernote logo. They use an elephant head within their imagery. However, it's the folded ear (like the page of a notebook) and curled trunk that helps them stand out. As you develop a classic logo, start with a basic idea. Then expand on it. What can you do to turn your logo design into something unique?

7. The Beauty of Symmetry

Symmetry is pleasing to the eye. If your logo starts to look complicated, take a step back. Prioritize proportion and symmetry within the design. Symmetry will ensure your logo is balanced and consistent. Otherwise, it could end up looking complicated and chaotic.

8. Know Your Negatives

Using negative space is another way to add extra meaning to your logo. Consider the FedEx logo. Hidden between the second "e" and "x" is a small arrow. This imagery adds movement and extra meaning to the shipping company's logo. If it works within your company or blog logo design, try utilizing negative space. In addition to adding meaning to your design, it will also help demonstrate your company's wit and creativity.

9. Add Action

Movement (such as the Twitter bird in flight or Puma's pouncing wildcat) can give your logo energy. Instead of taking a passive approach, add movement, and activity in your design. For example, you can point your imagery upward, so it looks like it's moving. This will communicate a sense of motion, activity, and liveliness (instead of leaving your logo looking sleepy).

10. Know Your Brand

Above all else, know your brand. Your company has it's own story and history. Try to distill that story within your logo design.For example, the Apple logo has a "byte" missing from the apple. The World Wide Fund for Nature panda was inspired by a panda at the London Zoo, Choosing imagery that tells a story will spark intrigue and help people recognize your brand from the rest.

Design It Right: 10 Logo Design Basics You Need to Stand Out

Design it right and stand out from the crowd! With these 10 logo design basics, you can connect with customers through an eye-catching brand. Otherwise, you're fading into the crowd and potentially losing customers.

Ready to stand out from the crowd? Let's work together! Contact us today to get started with your next logo project.


book with fairy lights in the middle

Once Upon a Time: The Importance of Storytelling in Marketing

According to Forbes, there's a new technology for marketers out there called emotion analytics. Emotion analytics can be used to scientifically measure the emotional reactions to your marketing campaigns and individual ads. Ethical concerns aside, this technology has the potential to change the way marketers target potential buyers.

Why is emotion analytics making such waves? Because in today's oversaturated online world, your prospective customers won't connect with your brand without feeling something first. That's why thousands of businesses have begun to turn to storytelling.

Storytelling techniques have been around for as long as humans have. And it's not hard to understand why - stories are the methods by which we connect with one another. Using a brand story is no different.

Curious about the importance of storytelling for your next marketing campaign? Keep reading to find out why you need to use storytelling techniques, and stick around for our top marketing storytelling tips.

The Importance of Storytelling in Marketing

So why is storytelling important for your brand?

With so much content floating around online these days, your brand story can seem like a drop in a bucket on a rainy day. How is a customer supposed to connect with your brand over the hundreds of others like it?

With a brand story, that's how.

Stories go beyond mere words. Stories evoke emotions and make people want to take action. And that's no wonder since people tend to make decisions based on their initial gut reaction.

In fact, research shows that the part of your brain responsible for emotions can make decisions up to 5 times faster than the brain areas associated with reason and logic. It takes time to reason, but when you appeal to your prospective customer's emotions, they're quicker to make a decision.

That's not all, though. According to a 2016 study, customers with a positive emotional experience of your brand are:

  • 15 times more likely to recommend your brand to others
  • 9 times more likely to trust your brand
  • 8 times more likely to try new products and services your brand has to offer
  • 7 times more likely to make more purchases from your brand
  • 6 times more likely to forget about a mistake your brand made

If you want to start attracting more references, increasing trust with customers, make more profits, and buffer your brand in case of future issues, you've got to make an emotional connection with your customers. That's where storytelling comes in.

5 Ways to Use Storytelling in Your Marketing Campaign

We've told you why storytelling is important. But now, we'll show you how to do it. If you want to start using storytelling in your marketing campaigns, here are the top 5 things you need to know to do it.

1. The Main Character

When you think of the main characters in your favorite story, what do they all have in common? At the very core, all main characters have a problem that is (usually) solved by the end of the story. The same goes for your brand story.

But contrary to popular belief, your brand isn't the main character or hero of your story. That role goes to your customers. Because when customers feel like they're the star of the show, they trust that they're in good hands with your business.

2. Beginning, Middle, and End

What makes a story different than a collection of words on a page? Stories have beginnings, middles, and ends. Your brand story should, too.

In the beginning, you should present a problem that is happening to the main character, your ideal customer. In the middle, the guide swoops in to offer advice and help the hero come to a solution to that big problem (more on this guide later). And in the end, your story's main character should be changed in some way by the guide.

3. The Guide

Stories about heroes almost always have a guide character. In the original Star Wars trilogy, Luke finds a guide in Yoda. In the Harry Potter series, Harry relies on the guidance of characters like Dumbledore and Sirius Black.

So if your client is the hero, that makes you, your products, and your services the guide. After all, it's their story - your job is to help them get the ending that they want. When you try to make your brand the hero of the story, it makes it harder for customers to trust you. But by putting them in the spotlight and making them feel more in control of their own success, they're more likely to come to you for help.

4. Rhetoric

If you think the only stories that use rhetoric are political ones, think again. Every good story uses rhetoric to get the theme across. Rhetoric is the language you use and the way you structure your story so that you can get the response you want.

Evoke passion with emotive language, appeal to intellect by citing stats and research, and show your social proof with quotes from happy customers.

5. Multimedia

Every truly great story has illustrations to go along with it. And the same holds for your brand story. Every truly incredible brand story is accompanied by animation, illustration, and images to really drive your point home.

Multimedia comes in many forms, but each image or video you choose should further the goals of your story. For example, if your product or service is difficult to explain with words alone, a video showing customers using your products can help. Not only that, you'll be building trust with your prospects at the same time.

Marketing Agencies as Storytellers

As a business owner, you're too busy to play the role of storyteller, too. Now that you know the importance of storytelling in marketing though, you don't want to miss out on any opportunity to engage your audience.

So what can you do, you might ask?

Well, EraserFarm can help you craft a brand that people relate to and connect with. Get in touch with us and let's chat about how we can create your story together.


packaging design

3 Reasons Why Packaging Design Is Just As Important As Your Product

Approximately 67 percent of consumers state that the packaging of products influences what they wind up buying. And 63 percent of consumers stated that cardboard or paper packaging makes a product seem high-quality or premium.

This makes it clear how important your product packaging design is and why it is so important you pay attention to what you are using. Remember, the packaging you use ultimately goes into your brand identity.

If you are trying to create a strong brand identity, you have to use good storytelling to establish your brand as relevant and unique, and to make it more engaging for your target audience. Keep reading to learn more about package design and how to ensure yours conveys the right message to your target audience.

1. The Right Packaging Makes a Good First Impression

Regardless of what industry you are in, you have competition. You have to think about how you can differentiate your product from your competition.

Effective packaging is one of the best ways to stand out from the competition and to attract customers. If you are selling in a brick-and-mortar store, the packaging design is the first thing a potential customer is going to see. They may get their first impression of your product and company based on the packaging you have used.

Even though the total value of your product isn’t determined by how it is presented, this is the first (and sometimes the only) opportunity you have to win a customer over.

The graphic identity of the package you use needs to capture your buyer’s attention. Think of the packaging you use the same way you think about branding and advertising.

2. The Right Packaging Design Creates and Demonstrates Your Brand Identity

Brand identity helps to connect with consumers in two ways:

  • It creates a clear impression of a product or company
  • It reminds consumers about the products or brand

The packaging is a key element in sharing and defining brand identity. The impression you create for your business and your product is what helps consumers not only recognize it but remember it.

Look at your current packaging. Does it clearly show your company logo? Does it include company trademarks, fonts, or colors? If not, then it’s time to consider a redesign.

Put simply, a customer should be able to glance at your product’s packaging and have it create a new impact or rekindle a memory.

3. Your Packaging Communicates all the Important Information

Not all packaging is created equal. However, there is something that they should all adhere to. The packaging you use should be informative.

You need to tell a user everything they could need or want to know. Put all the answers to common questions on the outside so they learn about the product before the box is opened.

Some questions the packaging should answer include:

  • Why is this product needed?
  • When should the product be used?
  • Where was the product made?
  • What is the product used for?
  • Does the product have limitations?
  • What skills are needed to use the product?
  • Who designed the product?
  • Who is the product designed for?

By answering these questions, the customer is going to be able to see why your product (rather than the one next to it) is the right option for them.

Tips to Use Your Package Design for Brand Storytelling

As mentioned above, the packaging you use should tell the story of your brand. Now that you see why it’s so important, it’s time to ensure you get the packaging design right.

Target the Product’s Audience

When you begin designing the visual elements of your package, you need to consider your target audience. For example, if you sell products for kids, use a colorful style and bold, large typography.

If you are targeting career-oriented adults, use a minimal design with typography that’s more elegant.

Convey the Experience

The package design you choose needs to reflect the experience of the product. For example, eco-friendly products need to be packaged with sustainable materials to build trust in the product.

If you sell a luxury product, use high-end materials for packaging, rather than cheap packaging. If you have a product that touts convenience, the packaging should be easy to open and use.

Create a Design that’s Aesthetically Pleasing

Most people judge a book by its cover – it’s really human nature. If they see a brand that has put effort into the creation of a package that’s visually appealing, they are going to assume this reflects the brand’s effort to make a high-quality product.

The real challenge is being able to create a great looking design, but that’s also unique in relation to the competition.

Details Matter

You can’t ignore the small details that go into your packaging. A carefully planned package design is going to let your customers see you mean business.

Details like FDA information can help you gain your customer’s trust, and help ensure the item isn’t recalled off the shelves.

Getting Your Packaging Design Right

The packaging design you ultimately use can have a huge impact on your brand identity. You should use the packaging to help spread awareness of your business, brand, and the products you offer.

It should also promise to deliver on your UVP (unique value proposition) while targeting your audience and speak to the brand’s personality. Not only should you use packaging that leaves a great first impression, but it also needs to have a lasting impression.

If you want to create amazing packaging, but don’t know where to start or what to do, contact us. We can help you get the desired results with the product packaging you use.


brand construction

Building Your Brand: The Top Branding Trends of 2019

There are nearly 200 million companies around the world. With that number increasing each year, you must know how to stand out. Building a brand can set you apart from the competition. It's also your chance to make a life-long impact on new and potential customers.

So how do you make your company stand out? Well this is how.

1. It's All About Experiences

Pushing a brand onto consumers to make sales no longer works. Instead, brand marketing allows companies to pull consumers into the brand. There are several ways for this to work. For starters, you need to create opportunities for consumers to experience the brand firsthand. Consider pop-up shops. These use the fear of missing out (FOMO) to draw people in. Then, companies offer participants an exclusive, short-term experience with the brand. These unique experiences can be virtual as well as physical.

Experience-driven brand marketing can include:

  • Mono-branded stores
  • Malls with tailoring, personal stylists, and spa services
  • Branded hotels
  • Themed restaurants
  • Themed exhibits

Combining your brand with these exclusive experiences is far more memorable than any billboard or banner ad.

2. The Online/Offline Overlap

Online and offline experiences are also starting to overlap. This brand marketing trend is blurring the lines in retail, too. For example, online retailers are heading into brick-and-mortar stores. You've probably seen Buzzfeed at Macy's. More Amazon bookstores are popping up, too. Instead of keeping still, brick-and-mortar retailers are upping their game to compete. Bridging the gap between on- and offline experiences will also help companies take advantage of micro-moments.

3. Ramp Up AR

Any Pokemon Go or Wizards Unite fans out there? You might want to take a page out of that book for part of your brand marketing strategy. After all, the market for augmented reality is expected to reach $198 billion by 2025 worldwide.

AR is another way for consumers to experience your brand. It also makes it easier for consumers to get information. With AR, they can see and experiment with products. This direct engagement can make it easier to make purchasing decisions. As a result, AR is changing the game for how consumers interact with a brand. This marketing trend brings digital experiences into the real world. Let's say you're trying to redesign your living room. Brands like IKEA and Wayfair offer apps that allow you to see how furniture looks in your home. Then, you can make a purchase straight from the app.

Easy!

4. Pick A Purpose

Young consumers are choosing brands that take a stand. In some cases, this can include controversial positions. The shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School led brands to rally against gun violence and abandon the NRA. Meanwhile, some brands prioritize non-controversial positions. More companies are taking green initiatives every year. Either way, brands can no longer stand on the sidelines. No matter what cause your company supports, keep in mind that it's not enough to talk the talk. If you don't also walk the walk, people won't believe that your support is sincere.

5. Gen Z

Gen Z is taking the world by storm. This generation, defined as anyone born after 1998, now makes up 32 percent of the world's population. This generation is glued to their smartphones, Amazon, and Google. They're digital natives, too, so they jump between multiple platforms with ease. This generation expects brands to set sales tactics aside. Instead, they're looking for brands to act as advisors.

Generation Alpha is on its way, too. This generation includes anyone born after 2009. While they're not that old just yet, this generation impacts their Millennial parents' buying behaviors.

6. Digital Brands Dominate

Digitally-native brands are dominating online, too. Many are making a significant impact in the marketplace. Consider the online mattress-in-a-box company Casper as an example. This company spends a big part of their digital advertising budget on social media ads. As a result, the brand was able to compete with more prominent, more established names like Sealy and Tempur-Pedic. New digital brands will continue to emerge in the marketplace. These brands are equipped to target consumers who spend most of their time online.

7. Go Old School

If Stranger Things is any indication, old school is making a come back. Younger generations are even interested in the decades before they were born. To take advantage of this trend, Amazon is returning to brick-and-mortar bookstores. Meanwhile, consumers are buying more vinyl records in addition to MP4s. This can lead brands to bring back old products and trends as well.

8. Chatbots and AI

For a smooth online experience, more companies are using helpful chatbots. Chatbots make it easier for consumers to find what they're looking for. This helps to streamline the buyer's journey so that it becomes a smooth online experience makes your brand appear helpful and informative, too. Website chatbots can also direct website users to specific areas of content. By doing this, companies control the sales funnel as well.

Machine learning and artificial intelligence are stepping up their game, too. Data allows companies to make smart decisions based on consumer data. Using this data, you can develop a marketing strategy that's designed with your customers in mind.

9. Brand Differentiating

As one of 200 million brands, your company needs to stand out. Branding is becoming one of the most reliable business tools for company growth. Instead of trying to convince consumers to buy, companies can use branding to appeal to their emotions. That gets customers to care. This can impact customer acquisition as well as retention. That way, customers stick around for the long-term.

For this to work, your company needs a relatable, consistent brand. A relatable brand helps you connect with customers. Meanwhile, consistent branding ensures customers recognize you every time. Here are ten signs it's time for your company to consider rebranding.

10. Digital Detoxing

With all of the digital advancements out there, it's no wonder everyone is always stuck to our smartphones. However, consumers also want to take a break from their devices from time to time.

This cultural paradox offers companies new opportunities to reach out at the right place and right time.

10 Top Brand Marketing Trends of 2019

Brand marketing can redefine how you reach and interact with customers. With these top 10 trends of 2019, you can ramp up engagement and attract new business.

Learn more about how our methodology can help develop the foundations of your brand today.


rebranding a company

Rebranding a Company: 10 Signs its Time for Your Business to Update its Look

Like anyone who has started their own agency ( or business for that matter), my partner and I give everything we have to the business and have so since day 1. And as such, I am aware of the difficult decision to make a change. While we haven't reached that bridge yet, circumstances can arise that will force you to seek out a new look for your company in order for it to survive or thrive well in the market.

Most people have the mentality that the brand of a company consists only of a logo and name. On the contrary, because there is more to a company’s brand than just its name and logo.

An outdated image, new management, and international growth are some of the reasons that may indicated the need to rebrand a company. If it has been a while since your business look was designed, it may be time to take another look. Here are a few signs that should tell you its time for rebranding a company.

When Your Company Name Or Logo Don’t Reflect Your Vision Anymore

One thing is for sure, the world keeps on changing. For your business to thrive you need to adapt and change right along with it. Your business name could have sounded like a great idea five or so years back but now it might not reflect your brand anymore.

This could be the case because your business name could be outdated or maybe society and its cultural changes have contributed to the alteration of the meaning of your brand's name or logo. Whatever the reason is, don’t let it be a burden that will slow your business down in any way.

Embarrassed Of Your Own Business Card

If you find yourself in a situation where you are ashamed to give out your business card or share your website with new people or customers, this is clear evidence that your company is outdated and needs a rebrand. There are so many interesting and clever ways to design a business card that will impress folks. Many times it is the first real piece of communication about your company someone may have.

If you feel that your website address needs a disclaimer or your business card is a little cringe-worthy, boring or stale, well, maybe these are some valid signs your company could benefit from some rebranding.

Be Different From Competitors

You simply can't ignore your competition. You need to take a look at other businesses and compare yourself because they might provide insights as to where you can make changes in your business. This can be the change you need in the process of rebranding. reluctance to adapt to new times has always been one of the company killers.

Change In Business Model

Each company is built on a set of values and objectives but due to unpredicted changes in our world these objectives can transform with time. They could be facilitated by technological variations or unforeseen market opportunities in the market.

The changes experienced in your business models can change your company’s brand. If you find yourself falling victim to this situation, don't shove it aside. Make sure you take necessary measures to rebrand your company.

Outgrowing Your Brand

Scaling is one of the problems experienced in business. In order to compete highly with rival brands, you need to change your old name and logo in order to meet the current needs of the market. Check our article on brand positioning to help you strategize your business for a better market share.

If Your Company Is Undergoing Through a Merger

Sometimes it can be difficult to find the right fit for a new company’s brand to adjust from the parent company. It’s a good opportunity to change your brand when your business is undergoing a merger. And that's because you’ll be able to represent new strategies and objectives of your new company to your users. Failure to change a brand in an acquisition or merger can cause confusion due to poor brand alignment. This will wreak havoc on both brands involved in the merger.

Changing Or Expanding Your Geographical Location

Companies often experience growth in the market and they start to expand. This will force them to relocate to a better location or open another branch in another area to facilitate the expansion of their services. Once your business starts to experience this kind of change, you need to rebrand your company for national and international significance.

Lack Of Attraction For Top Talent

All upper echelon talent wants to associate with top company brands. If your company can’t recruit great employees to boost your business to another level, it’s clear that your brand services are outdated. This could be because of subpar trade standards or clinging to old and outdated market morals. Rebrand your company not only for the sake of the current employees but also for future employees too.

Connection With New Customers

There will always be new generations to utilize their capital in the market. Your company can only satisfy their needs by adapting to the needs and requirements of each generation. Rebranding is a way to recreate your business in order to meet the goals of these new audiences.

A good company is the one that is able to adapt with time and meet its customer's needs. This is because no one is interested in purchasing commodities or services that were previously associated with our parents.

Difficulty In Raising Your Prices

If you’re experiencing problems with fixing your brand's products and service prices in the market despite the high prices of materials, you should try rebranding your business You see, sometimes the way to boost your company’s business is through changing the minds of those you serve.

Rebranding could help to reshape your business and change your customer's perspectives about your products and services. This will in return help you raise the prices of your services accordingly.

Rebranding A Company Helps To Gain Better Chances In The Market

An effective and suitable brand is something difficult for any company to pin down. It’s also important to note that a powerful and sustainable branding is also something that consumers can’t fail to spot. So if you have any strong reason to change the general outlook of your business, take all the essential measures to do it.

Rebranding a company in good time will bring in more capital and help avoid losing customers and employees. Be sure to contact us if you need to redesign your package or forge a new eye-catching brand identity for your business. We'd love to work together.


packaging trends

The Hottest Packaging Trends You'll Want To Follow

I must admit, I have at times (in fact even over the Thanksgiving holiday) purchased a product specifically because I liked the packaging. How many of us have done that before? Hopefully I'm not the only one raising his or her hand. But just peruse any alcohol store or college apartment and you will understand something about packaging. When the contents of a product have an intrinsic but subjective value packaging can certainly be the one extra factor that seals the deal.

Boxes and colors and bags wrap up the plastic and glass containers for trips home. High-end scotches come in lined wooden boxes screaming class and refinement.

Vodkas and schnapps, popular with faster drinkers, feature shaped bottles and colorful arrays. Alcohol packaging trends lead the market in finding new ways to dress up old products. Suffice it to say, I'm a sucker for great packaging.

That's why, in my opinion, understanding the emerging trends of packaging can make the difference. Do you want your items rotting on or flying off the shelves?

Emerging Packaging Trends

Of course, creative packaging isn't new. Boutique industries and gifts industries have been fighting these battles for a while. Other industries didn't care. They were able to dominate or saturate a particular region and their packaging didn't need to be anything more than functional.

Packaging does more than serve as a container to deliver the goods inside. Packaging serves a purpose in establishing your brand and engaging customers. It does so by mixing the right material with the right impact.

Purpose

Packaging serves three major purposes to a customer.

  • House the objects inside.
  • Provide or indicate status.
  • Market through brand positioning.

Brand positioning focuses your product packaging from ancillary to necessary. You want your customer to be of the mindset that they aren't buying an item but The Item.

Trending

Making brand packaging trend is about glomming onto the most potent of marketing: named brand recognition.

Unboxing

A newer trend pushing popular packaging designs is the unboxing potential. People love to unwrap and reveal the contents of packaging. Unboxing has emerged as a whole world of anticipation and fun. Making packaging that presents well in an unboxing means tons of views and shares. So now that you have an idea of the end goal of packaging, here's the big question. How the heck do I achieve these goals?

Materials

Considering the material shapes the product messaging. Increasingly, consumers crave packaging that functions well and leaves less damage. Recyclable and upcycle ready packaging get noted and praised. Innovative use of materials and 'less is more' philosophies garner accolades.

Papers

Wooden boxes, cardboard wrappers, and paper constraints make great packaging. Wood is renewable (though it takes energy from other sources). Paper packaging also recycles efficiently.

Paper materials work best when they accent the products inside. Since paper isn't often transparent, cutouts and previews are recommended. These designs provide a little taste of the contents inside.

Laser cutting logos into the packaging provides an old-world flair. Laser cutting is also a great way to create interactive packaging that becomes puzzles or games.

Minimalist designs and DIY looks pop better on paper products than plastic.

Plastics

Plastic wins in terms of durability and longevity but loses in overall appeal. Many consumers also have it out for plastic thanks to the floating garbage islands.

That said, dedicated industries make strides in plastics recycling and upcycling programs.

Plastics provide useful ways of making form-fitting contents with injection molding processes. This makes it easy to keep products from sustaining damage and, in the case of multiple components, can be designed as a storage or carry case.

Think of any given tool case. The packaging that sells the product also contains and transports the product.

Plastic products make large text easy to read and unusual shapes easy to form. Don't settle for a box when an oval, dinosaur or recreated sarcophagus can house the goods.

Impact

Part of what you will select in a material is for geared toward the impact you desire. With so much jockeying for position in store shelves, an eye-catching package can seal the deal.

You also want to find a trend that matches the desires and expectations of the target consumer. You don't want to sell baby shampoo in a hand-tooled wooden box or a set of knives in a pop out Day-Glo plastic case.

Colors

You already know that color theory and the psychology of color are important. Consider also, that tone has an effect in packaging. Bright and bold color appeal to the youth while down-played pastels attract older audiences.

Simple contrasts command respect and offer a quiet superiority. Garish jumbles of colors invoke youth and enthusiasm in their chaos.

Loose design elements lend themselves to color. Precision lines and angular shapes do better in monochrome.

Pick a color scheme that matches your audience but avoid looking like a competitor. Stand out by being precise.

Minimalism

Mark Twain famously intoned, "I didn't have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead." So too, minimalism takes a lot of time and effort to look simple and uncomplicated. This constantly rediscovered 'trend' in packaging makes sense. People want the packaging to do its job and expect to receive what is advertised. A simple external package sells a promise to uncomplicate stressful lives.

The internal components, though, keep any number of pieces and parts free of damage and easy to remove.

Minimalism in the unboxing era also provides a nice slight of hand for designers. Audiences (future consumers) love to see how many things can emerge from an otherwise unassuming box.

Vintage

The post-modern 21st-century world also loves a good harkening. We love to be reminded of simpler times. Products with a heritage or traditional sensibility make us feel part of a wider world.

Obsequious lettering and simple color contrasts advertise well and boast readability.

Combine a vintage design with some typography know-how to build your brand into a collectible. How often have you seen a t-shirt with a logo for a product that has nothing to do with shirts? That is the power of typography at work.

Also, if you hate the overuse of certain typefaces, get outside of the papyrus and comic-sans horrorscape with a fresh take on lettering.

Get Creative

With these tips and packaging trends, you have what you need to edge out potential shelf-mates. Design and marketing go hand-in-hand and it takes a lot of information to stay ahead of the competition.

Contact us for details on how you can apply design to all of your business functions.