10 Questions to Help You Position Your Brand

Identifying a strong and usable brand involves both looking at yourself and looking outward to find a niche. In my first 10 questions, I focused on the introspective part of branding—helping to define yourself. These next 10 questions are aimed at discovering where there is an opportunity in the marketplace. Questions to help you position your brand Who are your direct and closest competitors? By category, specialty, location, etc. How are you different? In some industries there are a lot of very close competitors: for example if you run a dry cleaner in a big city there are probably many, and you could differentiate yourself on location, price, service, etc. Who are you indirect competitors? For example, restaurants are also competing with grocery stores and magazines are competing with web sites. What would be involved to define and defend your unique brand, based on your answers to 1, 2 and 3? Are you able to articulate how you are different […]

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10 Questions to Help you Identify Your Brand

Branding can be a complex subject. As a designer, I tend to focus on the look & feel of a brand, but there is much more to it than that. Creating a unique and memorable brand will make you (your company or product) stand out. However figuring who you are, can be a difficult job. And it’s essential to do this work before developing any graphic systems. The process involves both introspection as well as a keen view of the competition. This list of questions focuses on you and your company’s identity. Check back shortly for additional questions to help you identify your position within the marketplace. Introspective questions: If you were a celebrity who would you be? Oprah, Will Ferrell, Tiger Woods, George Clooney, etc. Each of these names brings to mind a certain set of characteristics. If you were an article of clothing, what would it be? Sweat pants, faded blue jeans, stiletto heels, perfectly tailored black suit. […]

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Naming your Business to Attract the Right Clients

One of the most exciting parts of starting a business is coming up with a name. The name becomes central to the brand and can help you define your target audience. The Senior Citizen Barber Shop I read a fun story about the local Senior Citizen Barber Shop and how it got it’s name. The full story is in the Portland Press Herald and below are the key passages: Q: What did the shop used to be called? A: Longfellow Barber Shop. That changed when the hippies came out in the ’60s. It was kind of funny, the telephone company called up and asked me, “What do you want to put in your ad?” I wanted to say something about senior citizens, but they kept saying you can’t do this, you can’t do that. Then finally she said, “Let’s start over. What’s the name of the shop again?” I told her “Senior Citizen Barber Shop.” She said, “When did that […]

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Email Marketing Proven to Build Loyalty

A recent study shows that permission-based email campaigns overwhelmingly have a positive influence on consumer behavior. The study of 1517 consumers, completed by marketing agency Epsilon, showed that 57% of consumers feel they have a more positive impression of companies when they receive email from them. In addition, email builds consumer loyalty, increases purchasing both on- and off-line, and generates a positive impression of the sending company. Highlights of the study This study was focused on businesses in Financial Services, Retail, Consumer Packaged Goods, and Pharmaceuticals/Healthcare, but the statistics are so overwhelming there should be a takeaway for all businesses. Also, the study was not just focused on open and click-through rates, it was looking to shed light on brand building. Some things that really jumped out at me: 57% of respondents said they remembered a company when making a purchase online, even when they didn’t use the email link itself to make the purchase. 50% said they’re more likely […]

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Good Design vs. Good Branding: Tropicana Case Study

You’ve probably heard by now that Tropicana redesigned their orange juice cartons, but then received so much negative feedback they’ve decided to revert to their old design. This is an example of how design in a vacuum can lead to terrible branding decisions. The design changes For years, Tropicana used their image of the straw in the orange to suggest a fresh-from-the-orchard taste. That image was backed up by a package design that had a sense of old-time farm stand signage while still being clean and modern looking. On the other hand, their new design shows orange juice poured into a wine glass sort of goblet. The placement of the glass is off-center in a way that abstracts the image. The typography changed from featuring the brand name top & center, to rotating it 90-degrees. The remaining type is sans serif and set in a modern and minimalist way. Personally I favor the old version because the colors are richer, […]

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