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Inspirational Branding

The Brand Duel

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Private Label vs Premium Price

Blame it on the crisis or the changing market, today less consumers are willing to pay for the premium price of products.  Quite often we are somewhat forced to make a choice, between our usual Brand and the fairly-well-made duplicate.

It is clear that the one demanding this duel is the Private Label for it started this quarrel and since there are no codes of chivalry, it even mimics the premium-price design, answering not only to the costumers budget needs but is intrinsic as well.

Still, the obvious question is, who can defend its honor and claim once and for all, our loyalty? Let the 

The Brand Duel

Duel Begin!

By Price : The Private Label strikes with almost 50% less of a difference

By Personality: Premium Price hits with charming traits

By Story: Premium Price smashes again with compelling storytelling

By Budget: Private Label pounds back by aiding our daily expenses

By Experience: Premium Price slaps with a captivating customer journey

By Presence: Private Label slams with entire shopping-list choices

Our favorite Brand is still our favorite Brand, but should we dare to change?

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Inspirational Branding

The Brand Wonderland

brandland

Fashion Victims have 5th avenue,  Book Worms have Barnes & Noble, what do Brand Specialists have?

The Supermarket, the one-and-only place where we find Brands all lined up neatly in place and divided by market sectors. Just like falling into a rabbit hole, a wonderland of brands that interact with us on our daily-basis. The place where true marketing battles are won and lostBrandland

Think about the moment you walk into the store … you are immediately bombarded by thousands of Brand Messages all at once, but its the truly unique Brand that catches your attention: That one Brand will allure you with enough curiosity that you end up buying it (outside your list, of course).

The Supermarket is a branding paradise and every time we go in, we must be observant. There are three key elements that tend to catch my eye and in which I tend to base a new client’s research.

  1. Definitely keep the lookout for the NEW sticker on packages, this new products tell a lot about which Trends companies are basing their pack-design, color palette choices and personality.
  2. Pay attention to seasonal product, they usually hint on new costumer temporary-needs. The passing fad of the moment they just cant live without.
  3. Notice for the latest private label product, to see if the supermarket did a good job mimicking the Premium-Brand packaging  and design. Most importantly in whom they choose to copy their identity.

Next time you are in a Supermarket, take a moment to remember that every single Brand you are looking at, has had its own study, analysis, research and concept, developed specially for you.

 

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Inspirational Branding

Stop Overusing Helvetica!

Helvetica

What will become of it, if we continue its overexposure? It seems that in every Brand Project, Website Design, and Corporate Brochure, the safest and easiest choice is the beloved Sans Serif Font: Helvetica 

Poster by Famepix

The world is definitely going though an Helvetica-obsessed phase, and you can’t disagree with me when we see uses of Helvetica in coffee mugs and birthday cakes.

Helvetica has been around for years, 50 to be exact, its popularity always thrilled graphic designers, creating historic logos such as Post-it, Jeep and American Airlines. But, lets not forget the GAP Epic Brand Failure in its 2010 redesign, where Helvetica was not warmed welcomed as the design-team expected. Its use striped the Brand’s Personality completely and proved that Helvetica must not be used without a Brand Purpose in mind.

We certainly don’t want it to become another hated Comic Sans, which banal uses worn-out its true font purpose. Can Helvetica’s character and evergreen format be strong enough to withheld the drastic uses this passing-fad is creating? Or will this popularity, transform the font into a beacon for a new visual revolution.

Your call: A trend or a true rediscovery of this timeless-font.

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Inspirational Branding

Can a symbol become a Brand?

Mustache Brand

We give common symbols inner values, making them as important as the Brands that interact with us on daily basis, the love for your favorite [insert brand] sunglasses equals the love for your favorite mustache [insert accessory].

In the same way the Brand Manager determines a Brand’s Core Value, society gives this symbol a new importance, a new reason to be. We strip the symbol of its basic characteristics and we give it a true Brand Benefit, making it an Icon to cherish, admire and hold dear.

In the past we had the Peace Sign and the Flower, today we see this phenomena with the never-ending use of The Mustache or the Social Hashtag.

Mustache Symbol

This symbols represent something that we strongly believe at the moment, something that we want to endorse and wear or use proudly. Be it in a t-shirt or phone-cover, it becomes an accessory that represents who we are, and states our personality.

We must get in the title-wave fast and use the symbol to our Brand’s advantage. Beware thou, anything that becomes this popular or iconic so fast, is provably just a passing trend.

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Inspirational Branding

Personal Branding starts at the Internship

Hello I’m Intern

You should be thinking of creating a valuable reputation as early as your first Internship.

Personal Branding

If you just graduated, I can bet you anything, that you feel like you can take over the world; well … you need to overcome your first Personal Branding challenge: Your Internship.

It wont be a walk in the park, it will definitely push your limits of patience and self-control. Yet if you want to, it can shape you into the future you! The CEO that’s inside all of us pushes its way through all those photocopying moments.

Start shaping your professional-identity in every meting you are asked to participate in. Pay attention to details and how professionals behave in the meetings. I found it best to observe the Clients; they will probably come from different sectors of the marketing world. Try to identify:

–       The way they present themselves and their team.

–       With what type of phrase they choose to start the presentation

–       The moment they choose to give their business card

–       The way they interrupt for questions

–       What type of feedback do they give

By doing this you can start shaping yourself as the type of professional you want to become, in what way you want other to see you and with what type of impression you want to leave them.

It is a slow process, but don’t shatter your spirit yet; budget-cuts and deadlines will surely try to do that for you. Build a Personal Brand and good portfolio with every project you do as an Intern (who knows maybe you find your professional-guru along the way.)

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Branding TrendsInspirational Branding

Instagrammer: The best digital job

Instagrammer

Move Over Travel Bloggers, Instagrammers are here to stay.My Instagrammer world

The newest trend for Brand Projects is to engage with the Instagram community via their lifestyle gurus: The Instagrammers.

When it comes to the digital world we see new jobs sprout out of the blue, blame it on the need to reinvent ourselves in this crisis time or just the basics of expressing our inner-creativity.

Just as bloggers, Instragrammers started in this social as a hobby, and now some of them have over thousands of followers, no wonder Brands are looking for their partnership. They even have their own community Instagrammers.com , where contest and activities are posted daily.

It most be the best digital job. Instagrammers get paid to express their lifestyle through photography (and cool filters of course) they get included in Brand projects to represent the way they interpret the Brand’s character and personality.

Just an example off their influence: Mercedes-Benz USA engaged with 5 instagrammers. Through the official Instagram profile @mbusa, who ever posted the most liked photo (that represented the new CLA model) would win the actual car: over 2,100 Posts & over 2,750,000 followers vitality thanks to the Instagrammers popularity.

They have become the newest addition to the digital world, making them as important to engage with as bloggers.  Next time someone is passing-around amazing jobs, sign me up! cause I’m definitely in need of a change into the oh-so-magical lifestyle-world.

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Inspirational Branding

Top 5 Social Networks for Brand Concept Inspiration

Inspirational Social

Inspire Social

The best Social Networks to use as inpirational-tools are the ones built to inspire the user to share their lifestyle.

Just accepted a new Brand Project and have no clue where to start, right?  Finding that key concept and client-pleasing idea is provably the hardest step to overcome on Strategic Branding.

We all wished we had a crystal-ball showing us the in-the-moment Trend and perfect Lifestyle we should base our Concept on.  The good news is that we don’t have to keep doing the well known, ineffective and tedious brainstorming meeting.

The universe of social media has given us brand insights at our beg and call. Users publish everyday their wants and needs, which is why the right social network can give you the basis for your next Brand Concept.  

5. Stumble Upon – Fast screening of the web, web-browsing meets social. Its easy enough to find something interesting and new, you can search by subject and save bookmark-style the website you are interest in. Great starting tool.

4. Tumblr – The Blog platform of the Creative. You can get inspiration from photo-archives  made by users. Trending Tags  and Blogs lets you understand the current popular subjects. Theme blogs are great to find your look and feel.

3. Instagram – Even thou its a mobile-only social. Its a good way to understand what the users are most proud of sharing. The creative ways users take pictures and show every day objects, shows the way they feel about certain Brands.

2. Pinterest – A melting pot of creativity and visual expression. The advantage of using  this social is that when do a topic search, you find everything concerning that keyword; from Do-it-yourself projects to concept-app designs.

1.We Heart it – Its places, people, colors, objects, patters, everything its users love. The users  express their lifestyle, sharing in the mood images and deeply though photos. It can give you a new perspective on any concept and ideas

Definitely the best way of being inspired by this Networks is to use them wisely, depending on your objectives and concept-style you are looking for. Try using more than one each time you are looking for that bullseye Brand Concept Idea.

Do you use other  social networks to help you with inspiration?

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Inspirational Branding

Social Copycatting – no longer a bad idea

Be my Copycat

Peppe le pewAre  social icons an untapped power to improve our lifestyle and work value?

We all follow famous or just plain-interesting users on social networks. Be it fashion-icons, fitness-coaches or just the cool-crowd guys. We follow them because we feel some type of connection to their social lifestyle.   But, can their be more for (us) the follower than just (our) comments and likes?

YES!

Of course I’m not saying you should become a stocker (you provably already are), use their posts or pics to your advantage. They are a great source of inspiration and trend hunting. The trend-setters of the digital world, they adopt to market trends earlier than other consumers, so we should copy-cat them! Don’t be just a follower be the inspired-crew.

Recently, I was fresh out of ideas for work and during one of my usual social-breaks (yeah I’m a digital-freak I know) stumbled upon interesting pics from a fashion-blogger I follow on Instagram. Well you guessed right, I went into copy-cat mode, did a fast mockup using his pictures and presented it to the client who loved the idea. Most likely he agreed to the idea because it had the look, feel and mood that users are looking for in social media.

Never mind others, being a copy-cat is TRENDY!

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Brand JourneyInspirational Branding

Brand Guilty Pleasure

Tiffany Blue

That Tiffany BlueQuestion … Do you use terms like “Tiffany blue”, “Instagram style” or “Oreo flavored” when describing something?

If you do, those Brands are provably your guilty pleasures. I can bet you anything, you feel a tingling sensation at the mention of your favorite Brand and you have the immediate urge of making a comment. Use this (awkward) love to your benefit. 

Call them guilty-pleasures, since you no-doubt are embarrassed to accept that you feel part of a love-hate relationship (you know its true). When the Brand comes-up with something you like, you adore her, if it produces something you don’t like, then you-don’t-get why she doesn’t-get-you. That Brand is part of your everyday life, it can make you feel better or worse.

The first step is to accept it, then what? right … well since you are a consumer and most definitely a Brand Evangelist, try defining the reasons why you seem to adore that Brand to the point of craziness. Maybe its sleek design? Does it make the best guerrila mrkt? Always organizes the event of the year? Does it make you feel part of its family?

Its almost the same reason why you never-ever will eat that sinful vanilla ice-cream without your beloved chocolate syrup. The list of things that you would never replace from that Brand, identify the specific elements of a well planed Brand-Relationship and this knowledge is the key to every awareness, communication and marketing campaign. Brands kill to have this customer-insight apply it to very research you need to do.

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Case StudiesInspirational Branding

Brand Trenders

Trender

Proud to be a TrenderDo Marketing-men categorize and dictate the type of group in which you belong to?

We hear labels like Preppy, fashion-victim, Indie, shabby-chic or Swag to describe certain types of lifestyle. The latest being,  the well known “Hipster”, that vintage-addict, vegan-eating, retro-wearing subculture.

Well I don’t know about you but lately I don’t feel I quite fit in with most consumer-groups, meaning that I like bits and pieces of every lifestyle; I’ve got my (preppy) Lacoste polo, my (hipster) Vespa iPhone-cover, I go to work with my (retro) Pan Am bag and my (now mainstream) Macbook. Crazy-right?

That’s why via wordpress I here by submit the name of “Trenders” to that cluster-target who certainly are early adopters of fads of the moment. We like to continuously change style (disposable-fashion) and look for those cheap but trendy products. We look for Brands that makes us look up-to-date on fashion, technology and lifestyle. Brands most make us feel part of their lifestyle and world, it takes much to gain our loyalty, even if we an easily change, when you do win our trust, we are the best Brand Evangelists you will have. Our socials constantly change style, we carefully choose our profile-pic and header picture, they most be in sync with the moment trends.

If you can’t find where you belong, then you belong to everyone and to every Brand.

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