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Branding

The Purpose-Driven Brand

You can probably name a luxury brand. Tiffany comes to mind. Or an active brand, such as Nike or Patagonia. Or a traditional brand, such as General Motors. There are brands that own product names, such as Scotch (brand) tape or Band Aid bandages.

 

So what is a purpose-driven brand?

 

As the name implies, it’s a brand that is very consistent about it’s purpose and place in its marketplace. You know what you’re getting with the brand, and you like the brand’s purpose.

 

You should be able to tell a brand’s purpose by its tag line, for instance:

  • Disney – The happiest place on earth
  • Avis – We try harder
  • Nike – Just do it
  • Capital One – What’s in your wallet?
  • US Postal Service – We deliver
  • Kentucky Fried Chicken – Finger Lickin’ Good
  • Budweiser – The King of Beers

 

A new report from Kantar Consulting shows that purpose-driven brands consistently outperform brands perceived as without purpose. According to the study, brands with clearly defined purposes grew twice as fast as other brands, increasing their brand valuation by 175% in the past 12 years. Compare this to a 70% growth rate for “low sense of purpose” brands, and you can see why your organization could benefit immensely from having a brand associated with a strong and readily recognized purpose.

 

Another way to look at this is brand transparency. Adweek magazine recently stated that younger customers want to know what their favorite brands stand for.  According to Adweek, two-thirds of Gen Z and Millennials prefer a brand that stands for something and has a clear point of view.

 

But it’s not easy to establish

 

Consumers can tell when a brand is authentic and when it’s created for attention. The recent Pepsi “Kendall Jenner” commercial is a good example of a company trying to create a purpose-driven ad, but not getting it right because it didn’t feel authentic.

 

The good news is being purpose-driven doesn’t have to cost anything close to what Pepsi paid for its failed Jenner ad.

 

“As long as you have your customer in mind with everything you put out there on social media and advertising,” says Brien Richmond, CEO of FocalPoint, “you’re headed in the right direction.”

 

Your marketing team should be always be asking:

  • How does our customer “see” us?
  • How do our customers actually use our products?
  • What is s/he interested in?
  • What other activities are likely to interest them?
  • What are they watching, reading or doing day-to-day?”

 

“It doesn’t matter if your marketing budget is $10k or $500k, if your marketing efforts consistently support your client’s point of view,” says Richmond, “you are speaking their language. Your brand image is authentic and transparent, and ultimately, purpose-driven.”

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Updates In Logo Land

Have you noticed all the new logos recently? Logos are definitely evolving. They are getting less intricate, using very easy to read fonts, and any imagery or design is much simpler than earlier versions of the same logo.

Logo redesign isn’t new. Just about every organization revitalizes their logo every so often. But why – suddenly – are so many logos getting a make-over?

The answer is simple. Smaller screens.

Older logos full of visual information and hard to read fonts just don’t translate on cell phones’ smaller screens.

Another factor is that logos need to pop – getting easily recognized within seconds – no matter what else is going on around them. After all, logos don’t exist in a vacuum. They share space and compete with other information on pop up ads, newsfeeds, even on their own websites.

So what does that mean for your organization’s logo? If it’s been more than 5 years since you’ve taken a fresh look at your existing logo, it’s time.

Here’s how to begin a logo update:

• Get real about how your logo will most often be seen. That might mean on your store front and on your website, and mobile website, business cards, ads, possibly even on the items your company manufactures.
• Does your logo use a lot of space? Does it look similar to lots of other logos? Is it very horizontal or overly vertical? All of these issues will make it more difficult to use in a variety of applications.
• Pull out your phone and take a look at several different apps. Now look at your logo on this screen – perhaps from your website. It should be immediately identifiable.
• Does it tell people who you are and what you do in 3 seconds? Or does it need a tag line to make that clear?
• What’s in the background (behind the letters in your logo?) The more “stuff” cluttering your logo design, the less effective it is.

After you’ve taken a look at your company’s logo with fresh eyes, it’s time to look at logos that others use that you and your team like:

• Make a list of what you like and why.
• Notice things like colors, fonts, and size of letters.
• Note upper and lower case.
• Check out background colors.
• Register how warm or cool (and any other emotions) the logo suggests.

It’s always a good idea to look at your competitions’ logos. What do they do well, and what don’t they do as well? Be sure to notice dominant logo colors in your industry.

Once you have some pretty good ideas of what you like and don’t about your logo and others in your industry (as well as logos in general), talk to a marketer like us, one that consistently provides excellent professional logo design. Ask for samples of recent work. Have a conversation about timing and pricing.

After consultation and sometimes marketing research, a company generally receives several design “rounds” in which to fine-tune a new or redesigned logo. You have a hand in the design process.

Logo design isn’t rocket science, and there’s no single solution to your update. That said, it can be a lot of fun seeing your older logo evolve into a hipper, crisper, leaner looking version of itself. And – perhaps more interestingly — you’ll learn a lot about what is important to you and your company as a whole, during the process.

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4 QUESTIONS EVERY BUSINESS SHOULD BE ASKING THIS TIME OF YEAR

Well, Fall is officially upon us and Winter is fast approaching. You know what this means – the holidays are quickly approaching as is the end of the year.  Yep, I said it; 2016 is coming to a close and 2017 will be here before we know it.  It seems like October is that magical month when businesses take a long hard look at what they’ve accomplished throughout the year, what they can wrap up in the last few months and begin planning for the new year.  So today I wanted to follow that up by sharing with you some of the questions that every business should be considering this year as it relates to a marketing strategy.

 

 

What Are Our Big Wins So Far This Year?

Think about the first 9 months.  What are the 3-4 big wins that stand out to you?  Maybe it’s a big deal that you closed or a social media marketing campaign that was very well received.  What did you accomplish that helped you or your business move closer to where you want to be?  Whatever it was, take a moment to think about why it was successful.  All too often, we get caught up in the day-to-day stuff and forget to take a step back to evaluate things.  And I’ve got news for you, if you don’t get this done in October there’s no way it’s happening in November or December.  We all know how crazy that time of the year can get, so take the time to search for those golden nuggets NOW and learn from them.

Where Did We Come Up Short?

No doubt, there will be some areas over your overall marketing plan or business strategy where you’ve fallen a bit short.  It’s much easier and more beneficial to identify those things now rather than at the end of the year.  Let me cover that again, think about and begin dealing with your shortcomings NOW rather than at the end of the year.  Sometimes we get too caught up in moving forward forward forward, that we forget to look back at things we might be able to easily fix now.  Maybe earlier in the year you were working on a website redesign and rushed things a bit when it came to the content development convincing yourself you’d come back to it later in the year.  Well, now’s that time.  Or perhaps you were thinking about getting some commercial photography work done for your new product line to update your online catalog, but just didn’t get around to it.   It’s important to identify these things now, and I will tell you why on my next point.

How Will You Make the Most of the Next 3 Months?

After taking a step back to look at your big wins and places where you fell short, think about how these things fit in with what’s left of your 2016 marketing plan.  What can you learn from these successes and setbacks so far to make the most of where you’re going next?  Your answers to these questions my change the plan moving forward.  Perhaps your original marketing budget didn’t have enough built in for social media marketing or hadn’t taken into consideration the benefits you might get from producing an online video to follow up with the one you rolled out in quarter 2 that was so successful.  While it’s always important to stay on budget, where you allocate that budget needs to always be open for review and discussion especially this late into the year.  And I’ll tell you one thing – doing things the same way you have always done them in the past is a recipe for getting left in the dust of your competition.  In other words, just because you spent X on a TV commercial or radio ad last year around the holidays and included that same budget this year doesn’t mean it’s in your best interest.

What’s The Plan for 2017?

Now that you’ve taken some time to look at the first 3/4 of the year and make sure you’re on the right track for the last quarter, it’s time to turn your attention to next year.  The good news is that by answering the first 3 questions, it will make building out your 2017 marketing strategy much easier.  Start by visualizing where you want your business to be at the beginning of the new year.  Let’s say the New Year starts off with a bang and everything is going great – what does that picture look like for your company?  Now, ask yourself that same thing about the end of the year next year.  Next it’s time to work backwards – what do you need to do to connect the dots from the most successful year beginning to the most successful year end?  Identify the mini-goals that need to be achieved along the way so you have nice, bite-sized chunks to tackle one at a time.  If you’re in the right business, answering these questions is sure to get you excited for new year.  After all, there’s no reason why it can’t be your best yet.

Answer These Questions NOW

I am going to wrap things up by echoing what I said earlier.  NOW is the time to answer these questions. I say this for 3 simple reasons:

1. It’s not too late to get back on track even if 2016 isn’t finishing the way you had hoped.

2. It’s never too early to start planning for the new year.

3. End of year/holiday craziness will soon ensue.

Need help with your strategic marketing plan?  Here’s how we can help.

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Use Video Brochures to Make A Presentation Unlike Any Other.

How do you break through the clutter of the competition? This is a question we all ponder at one point or another.

In an attempt to answer this question, many marketers will say content, content, content. But what happens when it all just becomes noise?

You need a way to reach people, leave your mark and make an impression they’ll never forget. It’s not just about producing content, it’s the right content at the right time using the right medium. That’s why you need to give video brochures a try.

Focal Point Offering Video Brochures

Focal Point is now offering video brochure solutions to our clients because we see the value and the vision behind it. We understand where the marketplace is headed and believe video brochures can be impactful for sales, marketing, recruiting, training, branding, motivating, fundraising, sharing testimonials, and more.

Engaging people with both visual and audio elements through video brochures goes a long way in making it to the next step – whether that be earning a follow up appointment or bringing top talent to your team. With video brochures, recipients are able to hold, watch and listen to a company controlled message in the ideal way without a salesperson having to be present. Simply put, when done correctly video brochures can do a lot of the heavy lifting for you.

How Video Brochures Work

For the recipient – all they have to do is open it. That’s it. Just open it and they can experience the video as you intended.

For the producer – it’s a matter of creating a video, selecting a design and simply loading your video into the brochure. All stuff we can assist you with here at Focal Point.

They are completely rechargeable and reusable, meaning you can update the video as needed to match your latest marketing message. Additionally, they don’t use any complicated technology so there’s no need to worry about the video crashing. And finally, video brochures work with a Mac or PC making them very versatile for different file types.

Why Video Brochures?

Video Brochures give you a leave behind or presentation supplement that doesn’t get forgotten/thrown away. Analytic reports show viewers are sharing them with their co-workers, and most importantly, decision makers.

Whether you’re trying to win “the war in mailboxes,” secure a follow up meeting or simply reach people in a way that’s more affordable and effective than TV – video brochures could be the missing piece to your marketing puzzle.
Focal Point & Video Brochures

When working with clients, we were able to see how video brochures fit into their marketing strategies time and time again. By having the ability to produce video content for our customers, while also being about to coordinate the design presentation and functionality of delivering video brochures – adding this service just made perfect sense. It’s essentially an extension of what we are already doing for many customers, just packaged in a new, highly powerful way.

Contact Us

Considering a video brochure? We’d love to have a conversation about how this service could work for your business. Just take a moment to contact us online today!

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How Hot Will Your Brand Be Tomorrow?

The hottest newest brand or brands attract a lot of consumer and media attention. When they’re hot. But whatever is hot today is rarely still hot next quarter.

 

Updates, fads and trends are coming faster and more frequently.

 

That’s why former hot brands like Dell soon get crushed by Microsoft. And Microsoft gets toppled by Apple. And Blackberry moves out of favor as iPod comes on the scene, and so on.

 

At FocalPoint, we think there is a lesson in all of this for the rest of us. As soon as a hot brand becomes exceptional, it’s hard to grow, move ahead and make changes. Why? Because the ‘wow’ is working too well for you at that moment, and it’s hard not to drink your brand Kool-Aid.

 

We think brand evolution and flexibility are the best responses to the ever-changing, fast-paced competitive marketplace. So we work with our clients to continually improve our client’s brand. Even when it’s hot. This is particularly true in today market.  I just came from a speaking event where the subject was in part how the product lifecycle has changes and you really do need to be reinventing your product or service while it is still a hot commodity.

 

We want to be sure our clients’ positioning re-earns attention and re-connects in new ways so it stays in line with what’s important to their customers.

 

We make it a point not to drink any brand’s Kool-Aid here.

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In 3… 2… 1…

You’ve got less than 5 seconds to pique someone’s interest enough to click on your link.

The first few sentences of any presentation determine whether your idea gets heard.

Studies show that each of us has to connect on some level with any new idea or product at least three times before we are willing to give it a chance with our pocketbook.

How does the information above square with your marketing campaign?

Here are basic questions to ask before you launch any new marketing campaign:

  • What need does this fulfill?
  • Are there typos?
  • Is the idea sexy?
  • Is the design compelling?
  • Is it this offer too good to be true?

You can’t blame your prospects for ignoring you. You’ve got to know the game and cut to the chase differently, faster, and most importantly, memorably.

Stand apart from the crowd in a way that is memorable. And timely. Then you will be heard above the fray.

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shake-things-up

Shaking it up

Do you want your marketing to fit in with everyone else’s? You want to stand out. Get noticed.

We thought so.

At FocalPoint, we know it takes real work to become a stand out. It takes questioning basic assumptions and trying a few crazy new ideas to create something different. Something of value.

If you have a vision that’s different from the norm and a passion that pushes you to move forward with it, here at FocalPoint, we consider that a gift.

We like to work with the movers and the shakers in the business and tech world. We enjoy working with folks that aren’t looking for different just to be different. Like us, they are looking for different to be better.

If that sounds like you, let’s shake a few things up together.

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Getting it right

Attention to detail is big for us at FocalPoint.

We believe in getting things right. The first time.

And – what we seek to get right that first time matters more than just about anything else. Like what’s really important.

Really important like…

  • Creating a product or a service you are truly proud of
  • Addressing a workable business plan that meets a real need
  • Hiring a team that cares about the dream and the details
  • Building shrewd creative marketing around your business model that will speak to your mission and your audience

About that last bullet point…

FocalPoint creates marketing strategy with an end point in mind. The tag line won’t simply be ‘catchy.’ It will support that business plan you lost sleep over.

We understand that there will be endless details to get right before you launch your web site and your social media plan. That’s the ground point where we work best together. Before you have something that you’re truly proud of. That’s an ideal place for us to be. So together we can create, double check, test, and launch with more than just a hunch.

We want to get things launched right— right alongside you and your team. Greeting success together after hard work ironing out what’s most important.

What can we learn from our competitors?

The answer is quite a lot.

Your competitor is not your enemy. He’s an educational opportunity just waiting to broaden your horizons.

Chances are great that your competitors do all kinds of things you can learn from. If your competitor frequently hires staff out from under you, for example, find out why. What benefits do they offer that you don’t? Ditto for the people that you’ve tried to hire away from them. Ask why they chose to stay, even if you offered them more.

Ask yourself:

  • What does your competition do they do better than you? And how do they get it right?
  • How and where do they market their services?
  • What are the best decisions your competitor or your predecessor made recently?
  • What do they do or make that you could produce better?

It’s always a good idea to pay attention to your competition in an open minded way. It’s easy to get in a rut with insider thinking. Looking at the way your competition does things can unlock new ways of thinking and open doors to biases you didn’t even know you had.

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See the Fork First

More than a few famous poets, authors and songwriters have waxed poetic about the point along the road where one has to decide which direction to take.

At FocalPoint, we think the key to making the best decision about the road less travelled, the road not taken, or the fork in the road is NOT the crucial part of your journey. We think that first you have to SEE the fork, and recognize it for what it is.

That’s a huge thing in marketing and communications strategy. Many, many organizations misstep by failing to see that there is a critical decision to be made at a particular juncture — and do not understand the importance of the fork in the road.

How does one develop the insight to take the right path? At FocalPoint we set out these reminders for ourselves:

  • Stay focused on shifting currents
  • Be open to change and stay nimble
  • Be accessible and approachable
  • Consult with others and listen
  • Understand the way it always was is not the way it is

Recognizing the significant, life-altering twists in your company’s path is difficult. It helps having a company by your side to help you anticipate change.

Together, we can decide which new direction to take to forge ahead.

 

 

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