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Create better strategies and tactics and build a better brand.

Don't Wait: The Big Benefits Of Early-Stage Brand Investment

Posted by StellaPop on Jun 11, 2021 12:28:05 PM

Strong brand identity makes it easy to remember when customers are looking for a product or service you market. It increases trust and exponentially increases customer loyalty as customers share in your brand values and goals. A strong brand differentiates you from everyone else in your industry - it allows you to cut above the noise. Ultimately, a strong brand identity means increased profitability and longevity. Do You Know What Benefits Can Be Reaped Your Brand Identity?

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Topics: Branding, Marketing

More Than Meets the Eye: Back to Graphic Design Basics

Posted by StellaPop on May 12, 2021 6:45:00 AM

For many people, design is synonymous with appearance. The design of something is what it looks like, right? Well, to some extent, sure. But design goes way beyond just looks: it's also about function and communication. Good design uses visual elements to clearly, appealingly communicate a message or serve a particular function. It should look great but also work well because design that doesn't can have a major impact on the user experience - and your brand.

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Topics: Branding, Creative, Design

The 3 Primary Functions of a Kick-Butt Brand

Posted by StellaPop on Apr 23, 2021 6:45:00 AM

Your brand isn’t just that cool business name or that fancy logo. While those things are important, a brand is much more than that. It’s about perception and how your customers view you, view your brand, and view your products. The totality of those perceptions are what make the impressions––both good and bad––that your brand will leave behind, imprinted on their hearts and minds forever. No pressure. While a brand is made up of many things, there are a few key functions that all successful brands have.

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Topics: Branding, Creative, Marketing

Brand Building: When to Start the Rebranding Process and Revive Your Business

Posted by StellaPop on Apr 20, 2021 11:00:54 AM

A brand is more than a logo or your website's color scheme. It's your business's identity writ large and put out into the world. But that identity doesn't just come out of nowhere. From what you look like to how you sound, your brand's identity is built on top of the scaffolding of a brand strategy - what you stand for, what makes you you, and what kind of success you're reaching for.

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Topics: Branding, Creative, Marketing

Brand Naming: 7 Steps to Choosing a Brand Name that Sticks

Posted by StellaPop on Apr 6, 2021 6:45:00 AM

You could have the greatest idea for a business, product, or app ever — but if you don't have a strong name to support it, you might struggle to make it a success. 

But with so many brands competing for attention and revenue, it can be daunting to even begin thinking about a name. After all, there's more to a brand name than just how it sounds or how much you like it. Read on to learn seven important steps to take when naming your brand.

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Topics: Branding, Creative, Marketing

Never, Never, Ever Compromise On Your Business Branding

Posted by StellaPop on Mar 19, 2021 6:45:00 AM

Farmers brand their cattle for a reason: so you'll never mistake one of their herd for someone else's. Every brand is bold, unique, and the sum of years of hard work. It's the same in business. Your brand identity is the equivalent of Farmer Bill's cattle stamp. It's a mark of who you are and who you're not. Cutting corners, compromising, or failing to police how your brand is presented to the world muddies up that brand promise - and your reputation. 

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Topics: Branding, Creative, Marketing

Ahoy Matey: Standing Out in a Sea of Brand Sameness

Posted by StellaPop on Mar 5, 2021 6:45:00 AM

One is not like the other—at least that’s how it should be when it comes to your brand. Unfortunately, many brands appear to simply be echoing the landscape around them, virtually drowning themselves in a sea of “not that different.” 

We get it, it can be tough to differentiate yourself and your brand when the internet has essentially leveled the playing field for everyone, big and small. You have to crawl and drag yourself from the pit of the deep to make yourself heard above all the noise. No small feat! 

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Topics: Branding, Creative, Marketing

Got a Problem? Talk to a Brand Designer

Posted by StellaPop on Feb 25, 2021 11:12:46 AM

Ever wondered about what makes something art and something else design? Basically, art is primarily concerned with aesthetics, and design is about function first. If you're a designer, an amazing-looking chair that you can't actually sit in is a terrible design. But it might just nab an artist a MacArthur Fellowship. 

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Topics: Branding, Creative, Design

How to Build an Irresistible Brand – The eBook Edition

Posted by StellaPop on Feb 15, 2021 8:00:00 AM

Everyone wants to be the next Apple or Nike. Or so they say. What they really mean is that they want to be as successful, as awe-inspiring and as beloved as Apple or Nike. Because these two brands are irresistible. They’re among just a handful of brands that have superfans – fans that line up for a new product launch or stay up late to watch a new demo.

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Topics: Branding, Creative, Digital Marketing

Speak Your Customer's Love Language to Build A Brand They Love

Posted by StellaPop on Feb 12, 2021 6:45:00 AM

If you want your brand to be loved, you've to remember your brand-customer relationship is a RELATIONSHIP. Customer loyalty and trust don't just come out of nowhere. Just like your personal relationships aren't guaranteed without a little work. Thus, we can apply The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts, albeit creatively, to how your approach connecting with your customers. 

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Topics: Branding, Marketing

Legacy Brands vs. Digitally Native Brands: What They Can Learn from Each Other

Posted by StellaPop on Feb 4, 2021 9:45:52 AM

It's hard for some of us to imagine a world without smartphones, the internet, and social media. Millennials and Generation Zers have always interacted with friends, family, followers, and even their favorite brands online.

Just like these two generations, there are also brands that are digitally native—meaning their business has only existed in the digital world, and their sales are almost entirely made online. Examples include Zappos, Casper, Bombas, and Warby Parker. On the flip side, you have legacy brick-and-mortar brands like Coke, Pepsi, Microsoft, and Nike that have existed for decades and have had to delve into the digital world to remain relevant.

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Topics: Branding, Marketing, Digital Marketing

Logo Design Theory: 5 Quick Tips for Better Understanding Your Iconic New Logo

Posted by StellaPop on Jan 6, 2021 12:41:10 PM

Your logo design is important. And saying it so simply is such an understatement it feels weird to even state. However, so many young businesses overlook just how important it is. It's not something you can slap together and call it good. Remember, bigger isn't always better. A smart design can make your business stand out more effectively than size.

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Topics: Branding, Design, Marketing

Keep it Simple: The Beauty of Brand Simplicity

Posted by StellaPop on Dec 29, 2020 6:45:00 AM

KISS: keep it simple, stupid. That old phrase is just as relevant today as when it was first trotted out. In fact, it might be even more so. According to a recent study, brands are failing to deliver the simplicity that today's consumers crave. Let's take a look at why simplicity matters, who's getting it right, and how to keep your brand as simple as it can be.

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Topics: Branding, Design, Marketing

Improve Your Brand's Health: How to Build Better Brand Immunity

Posted by StellaPop on Oct 2, 2020 6:45:00 AM

While a strong immune system is one of the population's best bet against viruses, brands need to focus on a similar approach: building up their own immunity. With 55% of temporary business closures since March now permanent, it's clear that COVID-19 presents a serious health risk to the nation's businesses. If the past few months have compromised the health of your brand, here's how to give your business a boost to keep it fighting fit. 

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Topics: Branding, Digital Marketing

The Power of Having a Brand Style Guide

Posted by StellaPop on Sep 17, 2020 6:45:00 AM

Marketing strategies look different based on a variety of factors– the size of a company, its goals, target audience, whether it’s B2B or B2C… the list goes on. However, one thing that should stay the same no matter what kind of business is being run is the presence of a brand style guide. 

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Topics: Branding, Creative, Design

Rollin’ in the Deep: How to Build a Killer Brand Partnership

Posted by StellaPop on Aug 28, 2020 6:45:00 AM

In life, and in business, you can only get so far when you go it alone. Even sharks, those fearsome creatures of the deep, have developed a mutually beneficial relationship with a species of fish called the remora, which swims alongside - or even attaches itself to - the shark—both species benefit. The remoras get transportation and a free meal, while the sharks enjoy free grooming.

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Topics: Branding, Marketing, Sharkapalooza

Make Waves with Branding Stunts for Your Business

Posted by StellaPop on Aug 18, 2020 8:00:00 AM

Stealthy, sneaky, and all about the ambush, sharks rely on catching their prey unawares. As marketers, we see something familiar in those sharktastic tactics. They way sharks hunt has a lot in common with guerilla marketing, a kind of surprising, unconventional marketing that pops up out of nowhere and sticks in your mind. No wonder Discovery's Shark Week is so big on the idea. 

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Topics: Branding, Marketing, Sharkapalooza

How Your Brand Can Thrive In A Post-Pandemic Apocalyptic World

Posted by StellaPop on Jul 31, 2020 6:45:00 AM

COVID-19 has reshaped how the world does - and thinks about - business. For the past few months, brands have been navigating shutdowns, lockdowns, shifting market forces, and drastically changing budgets and personnel requirements. But now that there's light at the end of the tunnel, it's time for your brand to shift its mindset from surviving to thriving. Here's how.

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Topics: Branding, Marketing

Why You Need a Killer Personal Brand Website

Posted by StellaPop on Jul 22, 2020 6:45:00 AM

Having a powerful personal brand not only opens up new professional opportunities, but it can also give the brands you work for - or with - a boost. But your brand is only as powerful as how visible it is. And these days, brand visibility is closely linked to your online presence. This is why it's vital to ensure that your personal branding strategy includes an on-brand, authoritative website for easy perusal by potential clients, collaborators, investors, or members of the media. 

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Topics: Branding, Website, CEO Series

Where Marketing Ends, And Branding Begins

Posted by StellaPop on Jul 15, 2020 6:45:00 AM

As a small business, you know how important it is to build your brand. Getting the word out there is vital, but so is figuring out what exactly that word is. And the more you try to do one, the more you realize that you need to get the other figured out. Welcome to the complementary, symbiotic concepts of branding and marketing!

If you're a little fuzzy on the difference between the two, don't worry: you're not alone. Even the most seasoned business owners sometimes struggle to figure out where one ends, and the other begins. That's why we've written this primer for you.

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Topics: Branding, Marketing

6 Brand Trends to Keep Your Business Fresh And Up-To-Date

Posted by StellaPop on Jul 9, 2020 6:45:00 AM

The world might be on pause, but your brand shouldn't be. In fact, now is an ideal time to push your brand forward with a brand update, refresh, or overhaul. By using these quieter times to revamp your brand identity or refocus your positioning, you can emerge from lockdown with a fresh, up-to-date brand that grabs consumers' attention in all the right ways. Here's what we anticipate to be the top branding trends of 2020 and beyond.

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Topics: Branding, Creative, Design

Keep Swimming: 5 Ways to Keep Moving Your Brand Forward

Posted by StellaPop on Jul 7, 2020 6:45:00 AM

Much of the country might still be on lockdown during COVID-19, but your brand doesn't have to be. We get that it's unnerving to dip a marketing toe into the ever-shifting waters of our times and that your instinct might be to "go dark" until things feel more certain, but that's the last thing you should be doing. Now is the time to dig in and push forward so that you're in a strong place to weather any market shifts. Here's how.

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Topics: Branding, Marketing

Wake up Your Brand! It Might be Time to Rebrand or Suffer the Consequences

Posted by StellaPop on Jul 2, 2020 6:45:00 AM

It happens to the best of us: you spend all that time and effort growing your business, and suddenly you've outgrown your brand. Maybe you've refocused your service offering. Perhaps you've narrowed in on a new audience. Maybe you're doing everything right - but your competitors are doing it better. Or it could be that COVID-19 has got you rethinking who you are and what you stand for. 

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Topics: Branding, Creative, Marketing

Starterfluid Coffee is Here. Are You Ready for It?

Posted by StellaPop on Jun 30, 2020 6:45:00 AM

Calling all coffee lovers! It’s finally here - the fuel that will ignite the fire that burns inside all of us. Our first passion gets us up in the morning. Our second passion keeps us up.

Starterfluid Coffee is a heart-pounding, mind-sharpening, sleep-scaring fuel like the world's never seen before, but sorely wishes it had. Because if history had run on Starterfluid all those what-ifs and could be’s would be done and dusted. 

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Topics: Branding, Creative, Design

How to Use Creative Thinking and Campaigns to Solve Real-World Issues

Posted by StellaPop on Jun 18, 2020 6:45:00 AM

Today's brands are expected to do more than simply sell products or services. Their audiences want them to stand behind particular ideals or beliefs, and to use their reach, clout, and resources to effect change in the world. And not just in the vague "help the planet" or "be kind" way that so many brands have relied on in the past. As the world has become more politicized and divided, and as income, class and racial disparities have become more evident, consumers want brands to openly and assertively stand behind the things that matter to them.

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Topics: Branding, Marketing

Thanks Mom! 7 Branding and Marketing Lessons We Learned From Our Mothers

Posted by StellaPop on May 8, 2020 8:00:00 AM

Mother's Day is about more than flowers and chocolates. It's about celebrating the women who shaped us into who we are - and whose lessons and advice influence how we live and work. Here are some of the life lessons from Mom that have turned out to be invaluable in our marketing careers. 

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Topics: Branding, Marketing

How to be a Creative Wild Card

Posted by StellaPop on Apr 28, 2020 6:45:00 AM

Creativity is a key factor in business success. Creative minds are able to bring together ideas and concepts in the novel, engaging ways, with the results being unique brands, incredible innovations, and unbeatable market positioning. However, when you spend your days behind a desk, it's easy for those creative muscles to atrophy. 

Here's how to channel your inner creativity.

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Topics: Branding, Creative

The Outrageous Power of the Audacious

Posted by StellaPop on Apr 15, 2020 7:30:00 AM

Social distancing has given us an unlikely star: the Tiger King. A trending topic all over social media, this eponymous star of a new Netflix series has captured the imaginations of the world's quarantined populace. With his blond mullet, sparkly jackets, and unfettered self-belief - culminating in an attempt to run for President - Tiger King is a big, bold, strange and yet somehow captivating personality.

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Topics: Branding, Creative, Marketing

The Ins and Outs of Brand Positioning

Posted by StellaPop on Mar 25, 2020 7:45:00 AM

Brand positioning.

Maybe you’ve heard of it, maybe you haven’t. Boiled down into a nutshell, it’s the process of the tactics and strategies you use to position yourself a certain way in the minds of your customers. It’s the message and story you tell that reveals who you are as a company.

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Topics: Branding, Marketing

The Growing Power of Challenger Brands

Posted by StellaPop on Mar 17, 2020 8:00:00 AM

For years now the public conversation has been focused around "disruptors" - brands that seek to become market leaders through a powerful USP. They're different from disruptors. The conversation is shifting towards a new type of powerhouse: the challenger brand.

A challenger brand is a mission-driven company that sets itself apart with a vision for improving things for the customer. It's less about a winner-takes-all competition mindset and more about progressing the category. Challenger brands challenge ideas or processes, not just other companies, as disruptors do. They're about challenging a what, not a who.

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Topics: Branding, Creative

Why Every Business Should Implement a Brand Audit

Posted by StellaPop on Mar 5, 2020 8:56:01 AM

Building a great brand requires ongoing work. That's because success is a moving target. Business growth and market shifts impact the overall trajectory of your business, requiring you to adjust and adapt. If your business is losing customers or seeing a drop in sales or revenue, it's time to think about a brand audit.

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Topics: Branding

The Branding and Marketing Game Plan for Every AI Business Leader

Posted by StellaPop on Feb 28, 2020 7:51:00 AM

Raise your hand if when AI entered the everyday home and workplace, all you could think about was Disney Channel's Smart House and the AI system overtaking the family and losing it? Or perhaps the 2001 movie AI that was just a little bit creepy? Anybody?

We've more than entered an age of AI where it doesn't just exist in the plot of sci-fi movies. People are using AI products and services in every part of their daily lives - both at home and at work. 

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Topics: Branding, Creative, Marketing

SaaS Brands and Pushing the Proverbial Envelope

Posted by StellaPop on Feb 25, 2020 6:00:00 PM

There’s no denying that making, well, just about everything a service these days is a “thing.” From productivity and platforms to identify and infrastructure, XaaS (affectionately dubbed—you guessed it—everything-as-a-service) is a market that’s expanding rapidly.

Gartner predicts that public cloud services worldwide will grow by as much as 17% this year. That means numbers growth from $227.8 billion to $266.4 billion overall, with cloud app services and SaaS brands accounting for $116 billion of that number all on their own.

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Topics: Branding, Creative

Hocus Pocus Focus: The Importance of Building a Focused Brand

Posted by StellaPop on Feb 6, 2020 7:29:00 AM

Magic words are one thing, but brand focus is one of the most important concepts in business marketing. However, it's one that brands are often leery of. This is because brand owners think "focus", they worry that they're giving up potential sales and profits by narrowing their offering. Focus goes against our natural inclination to cast a wide net and capture as wide an audience as possible.

But successful brands know that the danger isn't in being too focused, but rather in being not focused enough.

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Topics: Branding, Creative

The Christmas Story- An Ultimate Model for Holiday Branding Campaigns

Posted by StellaPop on Dec 27, 2019 9:12:31 AM

Christmas is without a doubt one of the greatest stories ever told. It has been passed along through thousands of years, told by both oral and written traditions and has withstood the sands of time. Was Jesus secretly a Branding Genius? We’d say so!

Stories Stick

Why is the Christmas story so memorable? A large part is because simply put, stories stick. Stories have staying power. Even bad ones! 

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Topics: Branding, Marketing

Storytelling 101: The Four Stories You Need to be Telling in Business Marketing

Posted by StellaPop on Dec 24, 2019 8:14:00 AM

‘People think in stories, not statistics.’  - Ariana Huffington

Whether you are trying to appeal to a consumer, a colleague, or a client, stories are an influential tool. People naturally listen, respond, and remember them (especially more than facts and stats). Stories are passed on again and again, and in business, they can be used to help drive you forward. Uri Hasses of Princeton, studied the brain activity of audiences as they listened to a speaker tell a story and the results showed that the speaker and the listener had very similar brain activity. Research suggests that stories can affect employee performance, by allowing them to think, feel, and respond the same way as a character in a story.

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Topics: Branding, Marketing, CEO Series

Thump Value: The Importance of Print-Based Marketing Materials

Posted by StellaPop on Dec 17, 2019 7:49:00 AM

Ah, that satisfying thump you get when you set your marketing materials down on the table at a meeting. "Thump value," as it's known in the industry, arises when you've developed a suite of quality, on-brand materials that you can use to impress prospective clients, customers or vendors. Together these say that you're here, you mean business, and you know what you're doing.

Let's explore what it takes to maximize your thump value.

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Topics: Branding, Marketing

What is Your Brand's Purpose? Your Brand Exists to Solve a Problem

Posted by StellaPop on Dec 6, 2019 8:00:00 AM

A brand isn’t just about an image, pretty colors on a website or a cool logo. A brand is also about the message, emotions, and value you create for your customers and clients. Every company or brand starts because they want to solve a problem, fill a void, or make something better. 

Do you know what your brand's fundamental purpose is? Do your employees? Your company and brand should be built upon your purpose. Having a solid purpose, and knowing what it is, can be a major factor in the overall performance of your business.  

Here's how to identify and lead with your brand's purpose.

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Topics: Branding, C-Suite

There's Strength in Branding | A Venture Capitalists Investment Ethos

Posted by StellaPop on Oct 22, 2019 7:42:35 AM

As you're looking for investments, you may be tempted to focus on your priorities versus those you're seeking investment from. This temptation comes from the very human habit of viewing the world from your standing point, versus that of the person next to you.

When you're pitching to venture capitalists - be it an individual or a firm - you can't afford to ignore their priorities for investment.

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Topics: Branding

How to Keep Your Brand Relevant in 2019

Posted by StellaPop on Oct 11, 2019 8:00:00 AM

Being a brand today is like being a senior in college: you're constantly working at staying socially relevant as new classes come up. Not only is the market moving at a faster pace, but consumers have heightened, more sophisticated expectations of brands. To stay top-of-mind, your brand needs to evolve in a way that differentiates you from competitors while meeting the needs of customers, all without losing your established identity and credibility.

There are a few courses of action your brand can take to stay relevant in 2019.

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Topics: Branding

No Copycats: The Trend of Customization

Posted by StellaPop on Sep 26, 2019 8:37:33 AM

The days of one-size-fits-all are long gone. Custom, create your own and modify are now common options on menus of products. The "Chipotle-style" of restaurants where you create your order based on available ingredients are commonplace. Consumers now expect tailored experiences adjusted to suit their specific needs, tastes and interests. To meet those expectations, today's brands need to adjust their product and service offerings accordingly. 

While much has been made of the idea of personalization, today's businesses should be focused instead of customization. Let's take a look at what this entails and how it can be achieved.

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Topics: Branding, Business Consulting

Why Brand Marketing is Like Fixing a Broken Car

Posted by StellaPop on Sep 12, 2019 8:01:00 AM

Brand marketing is like a car: it's a handy tool that ticks along, getting you to where you need to be. You only realize how much you rely on it when it's out of action. Unfortunately, it's all too easy to set and forget your marketing approach, assuming that since it's working today it'll be working tomorrow. 

Like any vehicle, your marketing plan needs regular TLC. Just as you wouldn't want to forego your regular tuneups, you don't want to skip out on the care and maintenance of your marketing efforts. Sure, you might be able to get away with it in the short term, but sooner or later wear and tear will start to rear its ugly head. And the repair costs will pile up.

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Topics: Branding, Marketing

What Challenge is Your Brand Marketing Solving?

Posted by StellaPop on Sep 10, 2019 7:56:00 AM

Being successful in business is all about solving problems, whether it's for your customers, staff or stakeholders. Every new proposal, plan or initiative should arise from an identified business need.

The same is true of marketing. It can be easy to think of marketing as a "fluffy" creative endeavor whose impact is difficult to quantify. But this is a misnomer. Good marketing is all about solving business problems.

Let's take a look at some of the business challenges that marketing can be used to address.

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Topics: Branding, Marketing

What's in the Box? The Importance of Branded Packaging

Posted by StellaPop on Aug 27, 2019 7:51:00 AM

You've spent countless time and energy perfecting your product, and now it's time to send it out into the world. But what kind of packaging will it be presented in? Of course, you want to keep it safe and secure. But beyond that, you want the packaging to be an extension of your brand – representing who you are as a company.

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Topics: Branding

How to Craft a High Impact Powerpoint Presentation

Posted by StellaPop on Aug 21, 2019 7:52:00 AM

As a business leader, giving talks and presentations is par for the course. But one bugbear that even the most experienced speaker tends to struggle with is the infamous Powerpoint presentation. Used well, Powerpoint can be an effective tool for engaging your audience and illustrating your point. But all too often these slideshows become unwieldy, repetitive and text-heavy. The outcome is a presentation where your audience is focusing on what's on the screen rather than what you're saying - or worse, they're nodding off.

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Topics: Branding, Marketing, CEO Series

Branding Lessons from Mascots: The Power to Bring Your Brand to Life

Posted by StellaPop on Aug 8, 2019 7:48:00 AM

In today's increasingly competitive business world, it's becoming more and more essential to truly connect with customers, stand out from the crowd and create a brand that is memorable.

Think about sports mascots. Every college has them, as do many great brands. We're not saying you have to have a mascot to be a great brand with bandwagon fans, but we are saying you can learn some lessons from them. After all, they are one of the few branding tools that have withstood the test of time.

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Topics: Branding

How to Marie Kondo Your Marketing

Posted by StellaPop on Jul 18, 2019 7:50:00 AM

Thanks to Marie Kondo, people across the world have been asking themselves, "Does this spark joy?" And if the answer is no, the item goes out the door. She has taught us to tidy up not just our homes, but our lives.

So what does this have to do with marketing? We can learn a lot from this philosophy of simplicity. Marketing designers often reference KISS – Keep It Simple, Stupid. It's a little more brash than Marie Kondo's advice but expresses the same important idea: that many times, less is more.

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Topics: Branding, Marketing

The Golden Rules of Typography

Posted by StellaPop on Jul 16, 2019 7:23:00 AM

What do you know about typography? When it comes to branding, typography matters quite a bit. The typeface, negative space, alignment, height...it all communicates subtle messages to your customers. 

It's the body language of words. As an element of design, it can be used to guide the eye, giving visual cues. Which, in turn, is why it's important to pay attention to since it can easily turn into a hot mess.

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Topics: Branding, Marketing

Experiential Marketing: Why Your Business Should Care

Posted by StellaPop on Jun 28, 2019 8:59:52 AM

In marketing, rules constantly change as advertisers and businesses discover new and fresh ways to market to their right people, and consumers respond, react, and engage with their favorite brands. One strategy that’s getting bigger is experiential marketing.

You might get the gist just from the name, but basically, you’re creating an ad strategy that helps consumers experience your brand. Some call it an immersive experience, while others call it engagement marketing.

Whatever you call it, think of it like this. Why listen to your favorite singer on YouTube if you can see them live, in action? Because we all know there’s something special about seeing a live show that you just can’t convey adequately through a video or an mp3. It’s immersive, and you have to experience it firsthand to really get the full effect.

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Topics: Branding, Creative, Marketing

Everyone Loves Your Brand: Designing for the Human Mind

Posted by StellaPop on Jun 26, 2019 9:25:00 AM

Have you ever landed on a website and immediately felt turned off? Sometimes it's really obviously chaotic and overwhelming, other times it just feels out of place or even is disorienting. In all likelihood, you left the website. Plus, you probably didn't bother to look at whatever product or service that brought you to the website in the first place.

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Topics: Branding, Design, Marketing

Why Brand Aesthetics Play a Major Role in Shaping Online Opinion of Your Business

Posted by StellaPop on Jun 18, 2019 1:58:08 PM

We live in an increasingly visual world, and looking the part is critical to thriving in the market. Today's consumers are highly informed when it comes to design and branding, meaning that they'll approach your brand with a sophisticated set of notions and assumptions. To survive market disruption, your brand needs to look great - and it needs to reflect what you do and who you are.

Here's what your brand's visual identity needs to deliver.

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Topics: Branding, Design

Marketing, Advertising and Branding – What Does It All Mean?

Posted by StellaPop on Apr 30, 2019 10:04:26 AM

There are a number of ways to influence the perception of your company in the public eye. From advertising to marketing to public relations, you have a cornucopia of options before you to solidify your brand and interact with customers. But what's the difference between them all? Read on to find out.

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Topics: Branding, Creative, Marketing, Digital Marketing

Does Your Brand Standout? Why Differentiation Matters

Posted by StellaPop on Apr 23, 2019 8:40:22 AM

Most brands know that they need to stand out, but when it comes time to execute, many take the safe route. They compete with the market, instead of trying to break out ahead of the curve. But differentiation is one of the most important elements of a successful brand. If you aren’t different, you are dying. To stand out in the sea of sameness, you must differentiate your brand through a seamless choreography of messaging, branding, product offerings, and communications.

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Topics: Branding, Design, Marketing

Up Your Marketing Campaign Game: Get Emotional, Not Rational (Part 1)

Posted by StellaPop on Apr 19, 2019 9:54:58 AM

For many years, marketing and advertising have used rationality behind their advertising campaigns. After all, it just makes sense. The reasoning is that if you hit people with enough information about features and give them a cool USP (unique selling point), logic will prevail. The consumer will digest all the facts and data, realize your brand offers exactly what they’re looking for, and make a perfectly rational buying decision. Except erm… no. That’s rarely what happens.

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Topics: Branding, Marketing, Digital Marketing

Brand Strategy vs. Content Marketing Strategy

Posted by StellaPop on Apr 2, 2019 8:03:00 AM

This is not a case of tomayto , tomahto

With all the marketing, branding and advertising jargon out there today, it's easy to get confused. You've probably heard a lot about the importance of a brand strategy as well as the hot topic of content marketing. But what's the difference? We are here to tell you and help you understand how they work together to strengthen your brand.

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Topics: Branding, Marketing

Mighty Over Massive: Choosing A Small Creative Agency

Posted by StellaPop on Mar 28, 2019 8:36:57 AM

 Creative giants have long ruled the advertising world, but times are changing. Small creative agencies are proving that mighty is more potent than massive. Big brands are working with smaller creative shops, swapping bureaucracy for innovation and agility. Small agencies cut through the noise, think outside the box, care about the work, and attract top talent who want to work closely with their clients.

For big ideas, it’s best to think small. Here are a few reasons why you should choose a small creative agency:

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Topics: Branding, Creative

Does Your Brand Pass the Test? Find Out.

Posted by StellaPop on Mar 19, 2019 7:59:00 AM

No one likes taking tests. Tests are stressful and anxiety-inducing. But, as much as we hate to admit it, they might just be a necessary evil. 

That's why we're going to ask you to test your brand. Now before you start sweating or stress eating that bag of Goldfish, just remember that this test can only help your company improve. And we promise we won't send you home with a note for your parents if you don't do as well as expected.

In case you need a refresher on what exactly a brand is, it's the overall perception of your business in the mind of the public. It's the culmination of your company's personality, visual presence, voice, and psychological associations.

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Topics: Branding

Cross My Heart: 5 Elements of Brand Promises That Resonate & Deliver

Posted by StellaPop on Mar 14, 2019 9:01:45 AM

All brands are promises. A successful brand is one that delivers on that promise consistently. Like pinky swears made to friends, a brand promise begins with a simple verbal pledge – but the real value lies in the unspoken commitment to those words for days, months and years to come.

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Topics: Branding

The Importance of Authentic and Connective Storytelling in Branding

Posted by StellaPop on Mar 6, 2019 8:04:00 AM

Humans are a storytelling species. We have always used story to express ourselves and to understand the world around us. So it comes as no surprise that the brands who get storytelling right are the ones that rise above the crowd. As consumers, we support brands that align with our values and inspire us to action. We engage with brands who inform and entertain us. And we are loyal to brands who make us the hero of the story.

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Topics: Branding

Visual Research: An Important Step in Business Branding

Posted by StellaPop on Feb 21, 2019 11:47:16 AM

It's a dog eat dog world out there today. In order to survive, it's uber important for your brand to stand out, be recognizable and be unique.

Branding and business have everything to do with what we presume about human behavior, based on our research. And branding, especially in this digital age, has everything to do with the visual. 

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Topics: Branding, Design

Two is Better than One: Creating a Successful Brand Partnership

Posted by StellaPop on Jan 30, 2019 8:06:27 AM

Brand partnerships that work don’t happen by accident. They are born of thoughtful collaboration, strategic thinking and a realistic vision shared by both parties. 

When done right, brand partnerships can have the power to elevate both brands. But, you can't force a connection. There's gotta be a spark. You want to have common ground with the other brand, but not so much common ground that you're competing with each other.

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Topics: Branding, Marketing

Brand's Are Only Human After All

Posted by StellaPop on Jan 24, 2019 1:57:04 PM

No longer is it enough for a business to merely be a corporate brand and business entity. The companies that are succeeding in today’s culture are the ones that are learning how to humanize their brand and resonate not just with customers as a whole, but customers as individuals.

No longer is it enough for a brand to merely do business with people. No longer is it enough for brands to merely be social and engage their customers and clients. Now it is important for businesses to do both of the above, as well as humanize themselves and simply, “be real,” with customers today.

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Topics: Branding, Digital Marketing

2019 Gen Z Brand Trend Forecast

Posted by StellaPop on Jan 3, 2019 9:51:22 AM

Millennials used to be the biggest buzzword in marketing. For years, brands were scrambling to find new ways to tailor their content to meet the younger demographic. Sometimes it worked (like with Spotify’s New Year’s campaign) and sometimes it didn’t (see: Pepsi’s disastrous Kendall Jenner commercial). However, as 2018 comes to a close, we’re faced with another grim reminder that we’re not only getting older, but Millennials are too. In fact, Generation Z is set to outnumber Millennials in 2019 and is set to become the next biggest target group.

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Topics: Branding, Marketing, Digital Marketing

How Your Brand Can Bridge Digital and Physical Experiences

Posted by StellaPop on Dec 5, 2018 7:58:00 AM

Today's brands bridge the digital and the physical in a complexity of ways. You interact with customers in-person or in-store, through social media, via your website and through physical assets such as packaging or marketing collateral. 

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Topics: Branding, Marketing

You Need a Brand Positioning Statement - Stat!

Posted by StellaPop on Nov 28, 2018 8:44:01 AM

If you’re scratching your head, asking yourself what the heck a brand positioning statement even is, keep reading. We’ve got you covered. In a nutshell, a brand positioning statement is your mission, condensed down into a sentence. Think of it as similar to a logline or the premise of a story, found in fiction and television. Except this one is about you and your business.

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Topics: Branding, Business Consulting

The Importance of Market Research: How Studying Your Market Can Boost Your Brand

Posted by StellaPop on Nov 15, 2018 8:44:38 AM

Do you know your audience as well as you should? Unfortunately, not taking the time to research your market is one of the most common mistakes brands make, and it’s one of the biggest factors that can help turn any campaign from a sizzling dud into a star.

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Topics: Branding, Marketing

How to Make Your Brand Exude Luxury

Posted by StellaPop on Nov 6, 2018 7:37:00 AM

What do you think when you think of luxury? Sure, Louis Vuitton bags, Lambos, and bottles of Dom Perignon spring to mind, but the term may not be as regal as you think. By definition, luxury brands are ones that provide a sense of exclusiveness; they’re brands that have built a reputation out of offering a highly personalized service that typically exceeds expectations.

With the release of Interbrand’s yearly Best Global Brands report earlier this month, luxury was far and away this year’s best-performing category.  In fact, luxury products increased an impressive 42% from last year. It seems everyone’s hopping on the luxury bandwagon these days -- from tech companies to budget brands and more.

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Topics: Branding, Creative

Stand for Something: Using Content Marketing to Highlight Your Company's Purpose

Posted by Michael S OGrady on Sep 13, 2018 7:49:00 AM

It's no longer enough for your business to simply sell a great product or service. Plenty of businesses do! Increasingly, consumers shop based on whether a company aligns with their goals, purpose or outlook. To reach them, your business needs to stand for something. 

But in a world of content marketing, standing for something is about more than simply listing a handful of pillars on your website. It's about showing those values through your actions, partnerships, and campaigns. 

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Topics: Branding, Creative, Digital Marketing

Everything An Executive Needs To Know About Branding But Was Afraid To Ask

Posted by Michael S OGrady on Aug 23, 2018 11:07:19 AM

Have your eyes ever started to glaze over as people threw around a bunch of marketing jargon? You're not alone. This is especially true in the realm of branding. I mean, how many terms can you possibly make with the word "brand?" Turns out, a lot. 

So if you'd like a quick-and-easy guide to branding terminology, keep this post handy and you'll sound like an expert in no time.

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Topics: Branding

5 Reasons to Rebrand

Posted by Michael S OGrady on Aug 16, 2018 7:28:00 AM

Most companies will need to rebrand/refresh their brand at least once during a ten year period. But, how do you know when the right time is? We know it can be a painful process - you're invested in it, attached to it and it's hard to let go. But, there always comes the time for a new chapter as your company evolves.

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Topics: Branding

Are You A Business Owner Who Focuses On The Buyer Or The User?

Posted by Michael S OGrady on Jun 28, 2018 7:58:00 AM

Buyer-centric strategy: You're the owner of a business that puts a lot of effort into marketing a product you believe in. You've spent time and money building buzz and testing the waters on which techniques encourage your target customers to open their wallets. 

You're careful with your messaging and try to shape your customers' view of your brand and product. You focus on differentiating yourself from the competition, showing why your product is the only solution for your customers' problems. 

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Topics: Branding, Design, Management, C-Suite

How to Simplify Your Brand and Grow Your Market Share

Posted by Michael S OGrady on Jun 26, 2018 2:41:31 PM

Simple brands are iconic brands. They benefit from clarity, focus and transparency. They stand out, stand apart and rise above the noise. 

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Topics: Branding

The Golden Rule of Branding: Pick One Thing and Tell It Well

Posted by Brian Wilson on Jun 21, 2018 8:49:00 AM

When building or defining a brand it's natural to want to include everything. Especially if you're an entrepreneur and your brand is basically you. There's a lot that you want to communicate, and you want to make sure that people understand it.

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Topics: Branding

Rebrands Done Right

Posted by Brian Wilson on Jun 14, 2018 8:09:00 AM

Overhauling the look feel, or even name of your brand is a big deal. So much so that many brands struggle to pull the trigger a rebrand — often to the detriment of their bottom line.

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Topics: Branding

Extreme Makeunder: The Rebrands That Should Never Have Been

Posted by Brian Wilson on Feb 16, 2018 2:08:59 PM

Overhauling your brand can help refresh your brand's image. Done well, it brings you up to date and into focus. Done poorly, it can do away with years of carefully developed brand equity and consumer recognition.

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Topics: Branding

Great Brands Don't Convey: They Evoke

Posted by Brian Wilson on Feb 1, 2018 9:16:24 AM

Great brands evoke something in consumers. When consumers feel something about a brand, they're more engaged, more loyal, and more likely to take action.

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Topics: Branding, Visual Identity

Build Brand Buzz With A Name That Reflects Your Positioning

Posted by Brian Wilson on Jan 30, 2018 8:00:00 AM

Naming your company is probably one of the biggest branding challenges you'll face. How do you come up with a name that reflects who you are, what you do and what you stand for? A name that becomes an icon of your category, while also leaving room for growth and expansion?

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Topics: Branding

Less Is The New More 

Posted by Brian Wilson on Jan 16, 2018 6:47:00 AM

Simplifying your brand is like decluttering your house. You know it's going to be good for you, but like that awesome kitchen gadget you bought on late night TV maybe you really will use one day. Here's our advice for kitchen gadgets and cluttered brands: if in doubt, throw it out.

Our clients are often completely on board with simplification until it comes to pulling the trigger. Sometimes they're worried about brand equity with an old style, communicating their offerings, not showcasing every little detail or being heard with less. Simplifying your brand may seem like a risk, but it's actually the best investment you'll ever make. Here's why. 

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Topics: Branding, Design, Visual Identity

To The Point: Brands That Keep It Simple

Posted by Brian Wilson on Jan 9, 2018 12:46:38 PM

Simplicity arises from understanding. Simple brands aren't unfinished or unsophisticated. They're brands with absolute clarity of purpose.

Simple branding evokes rather than describes. It inspires rather than convinces. It's stripped-back, iconic and authentic. And it's linked with brand success.

Once you go simple, you never go back. Let's take a look at some of the places simplicity is taking over.

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Topics: Branding, Design, Visual Identity

How To Tell Your Brand's Story

Posted by Michael S OGrady on Jan 4, 2018 8:12:00 AM

"So, what's your story?" 

It's a question we ask clients all the time. In fact, it's a question that people are always asking. Your story is what defines you, your values and your purpose. It creates a personal connection between you and your audience. 

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Topics: Branding

Simplicity Speaks Louder Than Noise

Posted by Brian Wilson on Dec 12, 2017 8:17:00 AM

Too often simplicity is equated with being easy or undemanding. In fact, simplicity is the opposite. It's not about cutting corners or dumbing things down. It's a purposeful decluttering. It's the outcome of thoroughly considering a problem and its solution — and providing only what is needed.

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Topics: Branding

Creating a Brand “Survival Bag” for Your Biz (Part Two)

Posted by Michael S OGrady on Dec 12, 2017 7:19:00 AM

If you missed part one of this series, be sure to check it out here. 

We all know there are some things you just shouldn’t skip over when it comes to building a business that’s profitable. One of those vital elements is your brand. This includes creating it and maintaining it, which is where that branding survival kit can come in handy. In the last post, we covered four essentials necessary for a well-stocked kit. Today, we’ll cover six more. 

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Topics: Branding, Creative

Creating a Brand “Survival Bag” for Your Biz (Part One)

Posted by Michael S OGrady on Dec 5, 2017 9:16:30 AM

You know you’ve got one. That hidden “survival bag” you’ve got tucked away for the zombie apocalypse, so that when the time comes, you can grab it and make haste to safer ground. And with today’s current climate and all the natural disasters going on, that hidden survival bag becomes even more important.

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Topics: Branding

How to Create a Holiday Card That’s Not from a Template

Posted by Brian Wilson on Nov 21, 2017 8:01:00 AM

’Tis the season! You know, that time of year to start sending out holiday trinkets to all your favorite clients? (C’mon, you know you’ve got them!) 

Along with the gift, you’ll want to include a holiday card that is eye catching, yet still nails your brand message. After all, conveying brand messaging is always a top goal in collateral, and that shouldn’t change when it comes to holiday cards and seasonal email blasts. 

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Topics: Branding, Holiday Cards

Does Your Brand Have Brand Loyalty?

Posted by Michael S OGrady on Nov 14, 2017 7:39:00 AM

The Phenomenon of Brand Loyalty

In the world of advertising and marketing, the word ‘brand’ gets tossed around a lot. Some companies think of branding as a cool-looking logo, a rhetorical catchphrase and a uniform color scheme. However, just feeding a brand to the masses, won’t always create loyalty and raving fans. In fact, it’s said that 89% of consumers don’t feel a connection to their chosen brands. Shocking, right?

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Topics: Branding, Creative

The Best and Worst Fonts For Branding

Posted by Brian Wilson on Oct 26, 2017 1:43:58 PM
ty·pog·ra·phy

tīˈpäɡrəfē/

noun

  1. the style and appearance of printed matter.

    • the art or procedure of arranging type or processing data and printing from it.

As a designer, I spend a lot of time choosing the perfect type face for brands for established corporations. The reality is they all require a well thought out typeface strategy for their marketing collateral to evoke a certain brand look and feel.

So in the spirit of Halloween here are my top scary bad fonts to absolutely put to rest, and scary good fonts to consider when creating any type of collateral for your brand. For fun we tied these fonts (both good and bad) into Halloween rhymes. 

Here are some of the best and worst fonts for branding...

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Topics: Branding, Typography

What’s In A Company Name? Everything.

Posted by Michael S OGrady on Oct 10, 2017 1:34:00 PM

Ever heard of such famous companies as Backrub? The Sound of Music? What about Blue Ribbon Sports? Of course, you haven’t. These were the original names considered for Google, Best Buy and Nike. A business name can make or break a company, especially in today’s crowded digital and mobile world. A simple, easily remembered name can also be immeasurably helpful in your marketing and branding efforts. Let’s consider these three names to illustrate what we mean.

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Topics: Branding

Brand Design for Higher Education

Posted by Brian Wilson on Oct 5, 2017 3:34:00 PM

Students form their perceptions of brand image, identity and meaning before enrolling at a university — and they continue to evolve during and after graduation.

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Topics: Branding, Design

The Do’s and Don'ts of Email Signatures

Posted by Brian Wilson on Aug 22, 2017 7:30:00 AM

The Best Seven Seconds You’ll Ever Send – Why Email Signatures Matter

One of our favorite questions to ask a new branding client is, “If you have seven seconds to tell your story, what would you say?” With internet speeds approaching warp speed, we are no longer managing emails at the pace of dial-up. The average person’s attention span is less than 3 seconds probably shorter and with the flurry of emails that get sent daily, no one has time to digest a lengthy, link-filled and graphically styled email signature. Here are a few ways to keep your email signature simple while still serving your business goals and objectives for the long haul.

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Topics: Branding

Is Your Brand a Living Asset or a Liability?

Posted by Brian Wilson on Jul 18, 2017 2:46:00 PM

Has your brand messaging kept up with your business? Does it reflect who you are now and what makes your company different and better? The following are four key topics that will show you if your brand content is working for or against you.

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Topics: Branding

What Is Visual Brand Identity?

Posted by Brian Wilson on Jun 6, 2017 9:57:00 AM

How your brand looks, matters.

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Topics: Branding, Creative, Design, Visual Identity

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