Category: Branding

6 Must-Haves For Company Branding

🎵🎵“Whooooooo are you? Who, who? Who, who?”🎵🎵

Mr. Daltrey asked you an important question, dear anonymous blog reader. Who are you? We’re not talking about you as an individual, we’re talking about your business, specifically your brand.

Branding is made up of everything consumers experience when interacting with your company. The customer experience goes beyond just graphic design and messaging. Your brand should be viewed as a living, breathing entity.

Good branding should uplift people. It should allow them to easily envision a better version of themselves. No pressure or anything, right?

This blog post isn’t about lead generation. Let’s just get that thought out of our minds right now. Branding is about building your business for long-term success through the following strategies:

1) Consistency

Whether you have a ton of marketing channels or only a few, you need to be consistent with how you present your brand. For example, you can’t say one thing on your social media only to say something completely different on your website.

2) Authenticity

It’s surprisingly common for people to have difficulty grasping this concept. Many business owners try so hard to get people’s business that they cover their brand in confusing jargon or even outright lies.

You know what impresses people? Quality and fair pricing. Be yourself and don’t put up a facade. If your products and services are good, you’re 75% there.

3) Voice

Speak exactly like the internal dialogue of your clients, prospects, and target audience. In other words, if you’ve done this correctly, the people visiting your website will feel like you’re speaking to them conversationally.

This is easier said than done, of course. It requires a lot of research and superior copywriting. Maybe you have the means to do this on your own, but otherwise it might be a good idea to hire an agency.

4) Pain Points, Niches & Bon Jovi

Find the intersection between what you do amazingly well and what people need, then establish your specific niche and be known for it. Your customers have a specific pain, and your brand is their medicine.

🎵🎵Your love is like BRAND MEDICINE! Brand medicine is what they need!🎵🎵 … Okay, I’m done.

5) Presence

Where does your target audience hang out? Do they go on sites like Facebook and Twitter, or are they more of a message board kind of crowd?

Whatever channels they use, that’s where you should focus on to generate value. The more present you are in people’s lives, the more trust and loyalty you’ll earn.

6) Emotive Appeal

Getting customers to feel emotions about your company is a culmination of colors, language, persona, and a clear definition of your brand’s DNA.

If you have a cohesive appearance and vision, people will start to correlate you with their favorite things. I guess you could say, you’ll be one of a few of their favorite things

… Just kidding. I’m not singing again, I promise (In this blog, at least).

About Us

CG Marketing Group is a talented team of creatives and strategists who can make your business awesome. We like to have fun, but we’re very serious about digital marketing.

To sum us up in a single word — Scrappy. We’re always eager to branch out and apply new tactics to create successful campaigns. Our crew works hard to bring value, get results, and keep our clients happy.

Learn About Our Digital Marketing Services

How To Define Your Target Audience

Nearly every business needs print or digital marketing, but to avoid wasting ad dollars on the wrong potential customers, you’ll need to know exactly who to target. Here are some ways to define your target audience and how to market to them.

Start With Common Metrics

There are hundreds of characteristics you can use to identify who you want to sell to, but here are some of the basic ones that can be easy to recognize based on your industry or product.

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Values
  • Ethnicity
  • Location
  • Income
  • Education
  • Occupation
  • Interests

Having about 5 to 10 (or more) ways to describe your target audience will give you a good idea of where to place advertisements and what they should say.

Don’t Include Everyone

A common mistake business owners make is to try and sell to everyone on the planet, but this wastes advertising money on demographics that will never want or need to buy your product.

Not even McDonald’s has an all-encompassing target audience, even though they have claimed to have “a friendly, fun environment for everyone, and we mean everyone.” Their current focus is on lower and middle-class customers who want a quick and inexpensive meal that doesn’t need to be healthy. It wouldn’t make sense for McDonald’s to target health-conscious consumers who make over $150K per year.

Panera Bread could target every human being and see who comes in, but instead they target middle and upper-class college graduates who want a more well-prepared meal and often have extra time to sit down to eat it.

This way, Panera doesn’t lose money by buying ad space on Comedy Central or at a bus stop in a lower-income area where most of the viewers will never think about stepping through their door.

Quick Tip: Buyers Aren’t Always Users

Not all buyers are the ones who will be using the end product, so think about who you should really send the message to.

Young children don’t have credit cards, but they ask their parents to buy a toy after seeing it on a commercial. This is common with gifts, too—your relative or friend may see a product and request it for their birthday.

Who Are Your Current Customers?

Take a look at the people who buy and use your product. More often than not, these types of people are already your target audience.

Now try to describe them in more detail. How much do they spend per visit? When do they shop? Where do they go where you can influence them (shopping malls, social media, etc.)? Why do they use your product?

Also think about if you are happy with your current customer base. Consider the fact that they may change their behaviors as they age and you may be out of customers at some point.

90s teens loved their slap bracelets, but grew out of the trend and had no one to fill the role. On the other hand, Nintendo was successful in the 80s and 90s with young male gamers, but instead of launching the Wii console to a market crowded by Xbox and PlayStation, Nintendo targeted men and women over 25 (which resulted in 100 million units sold).

Who Do Your Competitors Serve?

Take a look at your competition. They likely have the same type of target audience, but maybe that’s where you want to differentiate.

Soft drinks are all very similar, but the majority of Barq’s Root Beer’s customers are 55 to 64-year-old males without college degrees, while Mountain Dew has a target audience of young teenage boys who often play video games.

This means Barq’s can make references from the 1970s in their advertisements while Mountain Dew can use trendy slang, and both can see good sales numbers.

What Problem Does Your Product Solve?

This is a great way to figure out who your target audience is. Is your product cheap and easy? You probably have a lower-income audience who are busy with work or family, meaning you should advertise with quick, straightforward messaging.

Does your product or service improve customers’ physical features? You may have a target market that cares about their image and has the money to spend on looking better, which also means they may be very social or single and looking for a partner.

You can then advertise to this audience in a fashion magazine, at a gym, or on a website frequented by single women who make over $60,000 per year.

Next Steps: Nailing Down Your Branding and Voice

Once you have the demographics of your target audience in your toolbox, you can now build a solid brand look, feel and sound to fit your company and your products, which can do wonders to your sales figures.

About Us

CG Marketing Group is a talented team of creatives and strategists who can make your business awesome. We like to have fun, but we’re very serious about digital marketing.

To sum us up in a single word — Scrappy. We’re always eager to branch out and apply new tactics to create successful campaigns. Our crew works hard to bring value, get results, and keep our clients happy.

Email Us For A Free Consultation

How To Brand Your Business

Having the right branding can do wonders for your sales figures. A logo, company look and ad designs can grab the attention of your specific audience, while your brand voice can speak to them in just the right way to urge them to buy.

Brand Personality

The first step in nailing down your branding is to decide what your brand personality is. If your brand were a person, what would they be like? Would they be loud and happy, like Kool-Aid, or soft and emotional, like Dove?

You can narrow down your brand’s personality characteristics by deciding who your target audience is, what problem your products solve, and from what position your brand helps your audience:

Friend to friend

Acquaintance to acquaintance

Mentor to student

Superstar to super fan

Advisor to advisee

Mother to child

Host to guest

This will help you see how a “human” version of your company would be. Your brand personality also helps dictate your overall look and voice.

Brand Colors

Humans see colors before they see any other element of your marketing, including shapes, images and words (in that order). This makes colors extremely important to both potential and current customers.

Your brand colors should be appealing to your specific audience. Business professionals appreciate blues and grays. Children react to yellows and bright blues. Eco-conscious consumers favor greens and browns, while wealthy customers tend to favor whites and beiges.

brand colors marketing materials demographics

While there’s plenty of room for overlap between color choice, a graphic designer can create a color profile of shades and hues for your company that’s versatile and complement each other.

Just be aware of colors that are recognizable to one brand, like T-Mobile’s bright pink and black, or Coca-Cola’s red and white. In many cases, the colors of a brand aren’t protected and can be used by other brands (though some colors are protected in certain industries).

Brand Typefaces/Fonts

Typefaces (often called fonts) are the styles of the letters in your marketing materials. There are thousands of letter styles in the world and, like colors, your typefaces should appeal to your target audience and work with your brand across print and digital marketing materials.

Loud, wild, fun brands may use a thick and uncommon typeface, like Chalkduster:

marketing message chalkduster

Warm, welcoming, motherly companies may use a thin, wispy typeface, like Savoye LET.

marketing message savoye let

Serious, technical businesses may use a strong, straight, proportional typeface, like Gotham.

marketing message gotham

Logo Design

Now that you have an idea about your brand look, let’s talk logos. Your brand logo will be a defining mark of your company and often the first impression to new customers.

Good logos are three things:

Simple. Adding too much detail will make your logo hard to read and stand out less.

Branded. Use your brand colors, typeface and appropriate graphics so viewers can associate it with your company.

Usable anywhere. From online to print to promotional items, your logo should be easy to use in ink, pixels and stitching.

spotify logo design

Marketing Designs

There’s more to your mailers, brochures, website and advertisements than colors and typefaces. More often than not, companies have strict and detailed design rules that help their marketing both stand out and be instantly recognized.

Graphic designers often customize branding as detailed as object spacing, image gradient, even the angle size of geometric shapes.

medium marketing branding guide design

Brand Voice and Writing Style

Your brand voice should be one that your audience really connects with. Go back to your brand personality: think about if your brand is a friend, mentor, parental figure, etc. How would they speak if they were talking to your audience?

The voice spectrum stretches beyond serious-to-casual. Consider these types when choosing a voice style:

Professional and straightforward, like IBM or Zastro:

brand voice professional

Empowering and emotional, like Dove or Apple:

brand voice empowering emotional

Welcoming and friendly, like First Round Capital or Starbucks:

brand voice welcoming friendly

Entertaining and witty, like Gym It or Old Spice:

entertaining witty brand voice

Creative and quirky, like Man Crates or Innocent Drinks:

brand voice creative quirky

Aggressive and snarky, like Cards Against Humanity:

brand voice aggressive snarky

It’s important to know that while your brand voice will remain relatively the same, your tone may change based on location and situation.

Your website should be conversational, so use first-person (you, your) and second-person (we, us, our) language. Social media organic content is more casual and informative while social media paid ads are persuasive.

Even if your brand is goofy, things like error messages and warnings should have a more serious tone.

About Us

CG Marketing Group is a talented team of creatives and strategists who can make your business awesome. We like to have fun, but we’re very serious about digital marketing.

To sum us up in a single word — Scrappy. We’re always eager to branch out and apply new tactics to create successful campaigns. Our crew works hard to bring value, get results, and keep our clients happy.

Email Us For A Free Consultation

3 Tips For A Promo Products Strategy That Gets Results

Hello there! We recently wrote a blog explaining why promo products are awesome. If you’re on the fence about using a promo strategy, it might be a good idea to check out that post.

Promotional items, giveaways, tchotchkes, trinkets or swag. Whatever you want to call them, the biggest key to success comes down to staying power. If a product is useful and durable, it’s unlikely to get thrown away or stashed in a drawer.

If you’re excited about promo products and can’t wait to get going, great! Here are a few fantastic tips to help you figure out your next steps!

1) Hire A Graphic Designer And Printing Partner

Branded products need to look professional and deliver a wow factor. The design needs to make a positive, memorable impression and the print quality needs to be top-tier.

There are do-it-yourself promo product websites available, but these don’t guarantee the best quality or price. Do yourself a favor and partner with a reliable, experienced company that can offer you design and print services.

2) Choose Quality Products That People Will Really Use

There’s a lot of crap out there in the world of branded products. Cheap headphones with terrible audio quality, sun visors and paperweights may seem like nice gifts initially, but they’re hardly helpful or memorable.

Instead of bland products, go with fun items like stylus pens, candy and simple desk games. Don’t go for middle-of-the-road items just for the sake of marketing. Promo products should be fun or helpful.

Gift selection can be based on event locations or themes, seasonality (snug hoodies and ice scrapers, or golf balls and beach towels), or it can be conceptualized out of a headline or tagline. It’s always important to keep your budget in mind as well.

Here are four categories of branded promo products to consider:

  • Practical/useful: Hand sanitizer, water bottles, tote bags, sunglasses
  • Fun/unique: Mini basketball hoops to put over a trashcan, magic 8-ball
  • Thought-provoking/engaging: Games, puzzles
  • High tech: Phone charger power banks, flash drives, Bluetooth speakers, webcam covers

3) Maintain Your Vision

Know your demographics and remember that you’re targeting a specific buyer persona. This information will keep you focused on a strong campaign theme and guide you through the entire strategy.

In order to make a lasting impression, make sure the items or clothing support your corporate image, brand and campaign theme. Tie in a memorable message that brightens people’s day and gives them positive vibes when they think of your brand.

About Us

CG Marketing Group is a talented team of creatives and strategists who can make your business awesome. We like to have fun, but we’re very serious about digital marketing.

To sum us up in a single word — Scrappy. We’re always eager to branch out and apply new tactics to create successful campaigns. Our crew works hard to bring value, get results, and keep our clients happy.

Email Us For A Free Consultation

3 Reasons Your Brand Needs A Promo Products Marketing Strategy

Do you use promotional products to propel your brand? How about branded apparel?

It doesn’t? Oh, damn. That’s a cold-hard mistake right there. Look around your desk, your office, your catch-all drawer…how many logos do you spot?

Right now, 80% of consumers have hung on to as many as TEN promo products they’ve been given. You can bet this has an impact on purchases. If people see a brand consistently, they’ll be more likely to gravitate towards them when considering their next purchase.

About 70% of companies use promo products as part of their marketing strategy and they consider it highly effective in boosting sales. If you’re not using this promo strategy, you’re probably losing business to the competition. Losing business sucks, so consider adopting a promo strategy.

Younger people are more open to digital advertising while older prefer print, but promotional products are the most effective form of advertising for all generations. If that’s not enough of a reason to use the strategy, here are a few more:

1) People Like Getting Stuff

T-shirts, hats, mugs, office supplies, you get the idea. People enjoy gifts, and more than three-quarters of people have positive feelings for brands who give them stuff.

One of the most important things a company can do is evoke positive emotions. The more people like you, the more likely they’ll be to purchase from you.

2) Promo Products Inspire Brand Research

If you’re handed a hat with a logo on it, your gut reaction would be to Google the brand and see what they’re all about. You’re not alone, over 75% of people would do the same thing.

3) Your Brand Will Be Remembered

The goal of marketing is to drive conversions. The best way to drive conversions is to stay on top of people’s minds every day, and there’s no better way to do that than through branded products.

If somebody sees your logo all day, they’ll be more likely to consider you for their next purchase. This is why so many companies send things that can be used around the office, like mugs, pens and notepads.

If you’re excited about promo products and can’t wait to get going, great! Here are a few fantastic tips to help you figure out your next steps!

About Us

CG Marketing Group is a talented team of creatives and strategists who can make your business awesome. We like to have fun, but we’re very serious about digital marketing.

To sum us up in a single word — Scrappy. We’re always eager to branch out and apply new tactics to create successful campaigns. Our crew works hard to bring value, get results, and keep our clients happy.

Email Us For A Free Consultation

Looks That Kill: Expert Advice On Graphic Design

Vince Neil and the boys weren’t singing about graphic design, but we’ll act like they were and sing it louder than hell. See that? Two Mötley Crüe references in one sentence!

Glam Metal had something very right: People love visual stimulation. This applies just as much today as it did back in the ‘80s. Actually, it might apply even more!

People are on their mobile devices constantly now, and some of the most popular social media channels are Instagram and YouTube. Consumers are attracted to visuals that make them feel a connection to people and brands.

To get some expert opinions on what’s important in design these days, we asked a few questions from our rockstar graphic designer, Sharee.

1) What makes a great logo design?

A logo plays a major role in how your customers will perceive your brand, so understanding the brand is key and a great logo can tell a story about that brand. Picking the right colors also carries a lot of weight. Colors can evoke specific emotions and ideas.

2) What do you think are the most important elements of web design?

Providing a good user experience through a quality user interface. Websites need to be clean, simple and easy to navigate while getting the key message across. Also, speed!

As a designer, you feel like you need to pack a bunch of cool elements into the site, but you have to keep in mind how much bandwidth those cool elements are taking up. Waiting for things to load and using laggy, slow interfaces is frustrating for users.

3) How important is branding and what are the best approaches to branding content?

So important! It’s the face of your company and it’s the way your customer perceives you. Having a unified story and look leaves a memorable impression on consumers, which in turn creates trust. People are more likely to purchase from a business that appears polished and legitimate.

The best approach for me when helping our clients build their brands is to do my homework to learn about the company.  Learn what they want to accomplish, who their audience is and who their competitors are.

I always try to figure out what the brand voice is; is the company professional, friendly, quirky, authoritative, technical, promotional, conversational, passionate? This information will set the tone when designing.

4) What should be considered when choosing web page images?

  1. Quality should always matter. Grainy and poorly reproduced photographs on a small business website can be an instant deal-killer.
  2. Taking photos or finding images that cohesively work with the brand. When choosing images, I strive for originality. I suggest that every company hire a photographer so that they have original and unique photos that can connect with their audience.
  3. Color, cropping, filters, style, and orientation should all be taken into consideration.

5) What qualities are important to being a graphic designer?

Good communication. A designer’s job is to communicate a client’s story, brand, and ideas. You’ll also need good communication skills in order to present, charm and negotiate for your work.

The ability to take criticism is also essential, which is possibly the toughest thing for any designer. It’s important to be receptive and open-minded and understand that when our work is under criticism there’s no need to take it personally.

As a designer, you have to be good at taking direction to improve your work and build on communication. It’s an evolving process and often produces positives in the end.

Lastly, keep positive. There are enough assholes around already.

About Us

CG Marketing Group is a talented team of creatives and strategists who can make your business awesome. We like to have fun, but we’re very serious about digital marketing.

To sum us up in a single word — Scrappy. We’re always eager to branch out and apply new tactics to create successful campaigns. Our crew works hard to bring value, get results, and keep our clients happy.

Email Us For A Free Consultation

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