Posts Tagged ‘brand’

A Preference for Excellence

A “COMMA CAUSIE” (my newest made-up word) is an example of
when an ill-placed comma, or simply a missing comma,
causes the meaning of your statement to change.
We see these COMMA CAUSIES© all the time. Our clients either have way too many commas, or not enough. They look for areas where they can reduce their budget, and decide they don’t need an editor. Sometimes they elect to use their neighbor’s middle son who is a college journalism student, or their daughter’s 5th grade English teacher . . . all of which may very well be good choices, but perhaps not necessarily qualified to edit their book — making it make it more marketable and easier to read.

It boils down to a Preference for Excellence.

Kind of like deciding to make your wedding cake from a box mix vs. hiring a professional cake maker to create a masterpiece for your daughter’s wedding.
Trust me . . . I love cake, and am certainly the “cake mix” type of chef. Which is probably why Jack now does all the cooking (and baking) . . . you should ask him about his Red Wine Chocolate Bundt Cake or the Lemon Drizzle version (with at least 100 lemons). They are both excellent. I’m drooling.

It’s ALL about Excellence.

Whether we’re talking about writing or design, it’s all about EXCELLENCE. 
Years ago, I came across a copy of a speech given by Milton Glaser, to the graduating class of a prestigious graphic design college. Glaser is considered by many to be an iconic pillar in the world of graphic design. If you have not heard of him, I’m sure you have seen his highly-recognized icon for the city of New York.
I loved the speech enough to have it printed on greeting cards . . . and a very-much-shortened postcard version . . . both of which I often use when sending notes to clients.

Ready for Excellence?
Give me a call. We Brand, we Design, we Publish.

Let It Be: Teddy Bears & Tyrants

If you haven’t noticed, there’s a whole lot of negative-energy “stuff” swirling around the planet lately. From hurricanes and earthquakes to political tyrants, tirades and Twitter feeds.

I can easily name a few people who need an official “time out” in a rocking chair with their teddy bear (and I’m not referring to my two darling grandchildren who happen to be outshining ALL the negativity in this world).

I try to avoid the news so I don’t get caught up in all the negative “stuff,” but then I feel guilty not knowing what the heck is going on . . . that I “should” be knowledgeable and have an opinion.

So I peek at the news. DANG.

Yes, I have an opinion . . . and HERE IT IS:

LET IT BE.

LET IT BE ME WHO STARTS THE POSITIVE RIPPLE.

LET IT BE allows me to LET GO of that which I cannot control and focus on solutions. When I focus on the solutions, more solutions appear.

LET IT BE creates a sturdy, positive foundation at home, in my neighborhood, in my community . . . country . . . globe.

LET IT BE does not mean I don’t care . . . quite the contrary.  What we exhibit on the micro level affects the macro level. So I start at home.

LET IT BE empowers me to make positive choices at the micro level to create positive ripples with everyone I meet.

LET IT BEgin with me.

Done preachin’.

Go ahead . . . call me Pollyanna. I know you want to.

And if you’d like to hear my opinion on how to BRAND, DESIGN AND PUBLISH your way into a high-energy, absolutely-positively magnetic brand, give me a call.

I’ve got some pretty good opinions on that topic as well.

Now . . . to go find my teddy bear.

What’s in YOUR Dream Box?

I spent some time with my two grandsons this past weekend (ages 5.5 and 3). They love electronics . . . our iPad and iPhones have the requisite toddler apps for EDU-tainment.

Their latest attraction, which captures BOTH of their attention simultaneously is called, “Creative Galaxy” which we access through Amazon Prime (the 3-year-old showed me how to find it on the iPad).

Although I didn’t quite follow the storyline, as I “tuned in” late, I DID catch the part about having a “Dream Box”. The animation then cuts away to actual, real-live children who are in a craft-room setting, showing you how to make your very own Dream Box out of a Puffs box or milk carton, or such.

It’s probably no surprise to anyone who knows us (or our daughter), the boys have grown up in a world of art, and a “craft project” is definitely something their mother has made sure was on their list of to-do’s. In fact, they each already have a “Treasure Box” where they store their special finds . . . rocks, marbles, loose change, feathers, lost keys, broken pieces of toys . . . you know . . . TREASURES found along the path of Life.

So, when the oldest asked me, “What’s a Dream Box?”, I jumped at the chance to talk about hopes, dreams and aspirations . . . the invisible stuff you hope (learn?) to manifest. OK, so maybe the word “manifest” is a bit much here for the audience, but when the 3-year-old tells me, “I want a Manta Vest” . . . I’ll work on finding one.

So, we talked about the invisible stuff . . . how fun it would be to grow up and be a robot . . . and work on a construction site driving a “mixer” (but it has to be air-conditioned) . . . and eat chocolate cake every day . . . with pears. We talked about drawing pictures of things we want to do and adding them to our Dream Box . . . kind of like a 3-D Vision Board. Pretty Cool, huh?!

I WANT A DREAM BOX! . . . Guess what just got moved to the top of my weekend “do something creative” list!?

SOOOO . . . What would YOU put in YOUR Dream Box ? . . . and how can I help you make it a reality?

Our clients come to us with a vision . . . a dream to attract more clients, help more people . . . and yes, make more money.

Share Your Dream. Share Your Vision. Share Your Wealth.

Give me a call . . . I’d love to hear ALL about what’s in YOUR Dream Box and help you make that happen.

Brands. Books. Dream Boxes.

What size Manta Vest do you wear?

Fireworks Get Noticed

My mother’s birthday was July 4th.

And, YES, she was one heck of a FIRECRACKER. She LOVED being the focus of attention, and knew how to make that happen.

She always led with her “sparkling” personality, and it always served her well. Even after she moved to a nursing home, she landed on the front page of the Webster Kirkwood Times at least twice.

As I look back, I now realize (in her own way), she was teaching me to be a “Firecracker”. . .

After all . . . Fireworks Get Noticed.

I now use my Mom’s “how-to-be-a-firecracker lessons” for creating my own “Fireworks” in business:

  • GREET and introduce yourself to everyone you meet.
  • SMILE and the world smiles back (she wrote this one in her high school year book).
  • SPARKLE and always dress to impress — whether it’s your wardrobe or your website.
  • GIVE of your Time, Treasure and Talent.
  • COMMUNITY — surround yourself with supportive people.
  • PERSISTENCE — if there is something you want, ASK for it.
  • HAVE FUN — people want to work with people who are having fun.

If you are in business for yourself, and are ready to get noticed, give me a shout . . . I bet we can create some great fireworks together . . . I learned from the best!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM!

Creating Positive RIPPLES

At Davis Creative, our mission is to “create positive ripples”, and our purpose is to help YOU (our clients) help more people. You rely upon us to help you Look Good, Attract More Clients and Make More Money, and we love helping you create a “Happy, Healthy, Heart-filled Planet” — be it the mental-, physical-, financial-, or social-health of an individual, business or community.

From logos and taglines to business cards and books . . . our client base spans the globe with sales in all 50 states and in 17 countries. We help the “helpers and healers” . . . the life coaches, mentors, therapists, physicians, educators, authors, speakers, and a spectrum of professional service providers — all having one thing in common — they are making this world a better place.

Our RIPPLES . . . Our Core Beliefs . . . Our Client Commitment:

  • RESPECT: We value diversity, unique perspectives and positive experiences.
  • INTEGRITY: We take responsibility and do the right thing.
  • PASSION: We love working with people who are passionate about their business and about helping others.
  • PROMISE: We keep our word and make a commitment to support our clients’ best interests.
  • LEGACY: We give. We give back. We give our clients their brand advantage.
  • EXCELLENCE: We believe “Good Design is Good Business”, and good design encourages an atmosphere of excellence.
  • SHARING: A peaceful world starts with sharing a single smile.

Sharing our RIPPLES . . .

The greatest compliment we receive is your repeat business. The second greatest compliment we receive is your referral to a new client! If you know someone who you think would be a great fit and needs our help, have them give Cathy a call at 888-598-0886.

Creating Your Dreamcatcher Platform

The number one question I get from non-fiction authors is, “How do I sell more books?”
It’s not about how well you sell your book, but how well your book sells YOU.
Marketing your book begins before your book is ever published, and begins with developing your Author Platform. Your Author Platform becomes your foundation – not only for your book, but for your entire business.
The Dreamcatcher, as explained in a variety of Native American traditions, exists as a safety net – a way to let the bad dreams flow on past us, while attracting and retaining the good. Much like the traditional elements of a Dreamcatcher, your author platform consists of three primary elements:
  1. The HOOP represents the foundation of WHO you are, your essence, your unique sense of self. Who are you? What is your history? What gives you credibility and “expert” status? It does not necessarily need to be the extra alphabet letters after your name – more-often-than-not, it also includes your life experiences which have allowed you to develop into who you are now. Having a well-defined Author Platform creates a strong foundation for building your tribe of followers.
  2. The WEB represents WHAT you stand for, and HOW your unique offering serves others. What is your mission, your passion – both personally and professionally? Quite often, it’s our life “mess” which becomes our message. How can you take that message and share it with the world? How can you share your life lessons to help others? Weaving a well-crafted, consistent visual, verbal and virtual message attracts people who are eager to work with you, and will more than likely be the ones who buy your book.
  3. The EMBELLISHMENTS (feathers, beads, arrowheads) represent HOW you serve others. These are your gifts to your tribe, your followers. Interacting with your tribe strengthens your platform and helps to build a stronger relationship:
  • Social media – be visible where they hang out.
  • Workshops, webinars – create programs to share your knowledge and experience.
  • Blogs, guest-blogging – reach a larger audience.
  • Events – attend, become involved, extend your network, plan your own.
  • Partnerships – create online and in-person events to increase visibility.
In several Native American tribes, the female elders crafted the Dreamcatcher in order to capture the good dreams that would otherwise blow away in the night winds. Building a strong Author Platform works in much the same way – allowing you to capture the attention your target audience, strengthen relationships with existing clients and attract new members to your tribe.

Fuzzy Brands Breed BANAL Benefits

ba·nal
bəˈnäl,bəˈnal/
adjective

D: So lacking in originality as to be obvious and boring.

I learned the word BANAL from my mother.  She LOVED crossword puzzles, and as it became more difficult for her to see, I would sit with her at the nursing home, asking her the clues as she rattled off the answers with lightning speed.
She had most of the answers memorized from years of subscribing to the same puzzle magazine.  She knew the answer by how they asked the question.  She knew the answer would change, depending upon whether we were looking for a 5-letter word vs. a 7-letter word.  She learned to rely upon repetition, consistency and memory.  
That’s why it was important when I went to replenish her inventory with new crossword puzzle books, I was told (by her) to look for a specific publisher – a specific brand – the “EASY Crosswords” by Dell Magazines.  I’m pretty certain my mother was not their only loyal fan “for life”.
So how did Dell turn mundane crossword puzzles
into a “gotta have” brand?
REPETITION:  Brand awareness is one of the most important things you can build for your business.  You want customers to recognize your brand when they see it. You want to create a specific emotional response in the viewer when they come into contact with your brand.  Many customers  will still remain loyal to a brand they love, even it that means paying a little more for it.
CONSISTENCY:  Consistency makes your brand feel more dependable.  Part of engaging a positive emotion with your consumer is to make them feel like they know your brand and that your brand can be trusted.  They learn to know what to expect and they know they will like the outcome.  Putting a consistent brand message in front of consumers is one strong step in the right direction to attracting new customers.
MEMORY:  Everything your customer and prospects remember about your company through interaction, products, advertising, events, etc. contributes to the overall lasting impression of your “brand”, be it positive or not.  Brand memory occurs when you share a consistent visual, verbal and virtual brand message, and is a major step towards letting consumers get to know you.
Just like my mother, as she became increasingly more familiar with the “Easy Crosswords“, nothing else would suffice – which is the ultimate definition of Brand Loyalty.
When consumers learn to know, like and trust you, they are more likely to purchase from you and more likely to recommend you to others.
It’s really that Easy.
PS:  Thanks, Mom, for giving me the love of language! 

10 Ways to BE Your Brand

The first question I typically ask a new client is, “What are you REALLY selling?”  

A few look at me as if I’m crazy — but soon learn I have method in my madness. We’re not selling windmills, whistling lessons or wonder-bras — we’re selling the RELIEF or FEELING our customer receives from making the purchase. We want them to feel good about doing business with us.

Quite often, as with APPLE or TIFFANY or DISNEY, we are simply selling our brand essence — our brand experience — how great it makes a consumer feel to be associated with our product or service. How can you develop your Brand Essence? . . .

10 Ways to BE Your Brand.
  1. BE-Lieve. Believe in your product/service and others will too. Love what you do and don’t be afraid to let it show.
  2. BE Giving. Be of service by offering more than your customers and staff expect.
  3. BE Integrated. Create brand standards and use them. Identify colors, fonts and messaging unique to your business. Again, USE them.
  4. BE Seen. Have a great logo? Use it. Need a new one or an update? Hire a professional to fix that for you.
  5. BE Heard. Know your key messaging and share with your employees and around your community. Let people know WHY you love what you do.
  6. BE Bold. Boldly share your visual, verbal and virtual message every chance you get. Find your niche, fill a void.
  7. BE Valuable. Bring value to the table. Value propositions have no value if they fall short of expectations.
  8. BE Committed. Follow through on your commitments to your clients, your community, and to yourself.
  9. BE Trusted. Establish relationships based upon trust, honesty and integrity.  Trust your gut, follow your instincts.
  10. BE Consistent. Deliver on your brand promise. Play your strengths. Reframe your weaknesses. Respond proactively.

10 Ways Santa Builds Brand Equity

Santa’s back in town! I saw it for myself — several sightings on the retail front.

We can learn a lot from Santa when it comes to branding. He does a pretty darn good job when it comes to effectively delivering his brand promise.

Think about it . . .

  1. CREATES RELATIONSHIPS: Santa builds positive relationships across the globe; he attracts throngs of people who are willing to stand in line to meet and talk with him — if only for a few minutes.
  2. SERVES HIS COMMUNITY: Santa serves his “tribe” by offering a service unlike any other. He’s definitely not “in it” for the money, but more for the outcome — the feeling his followers receive when they interact with him. He has definitely earned the love and respect of customers AND his staff.
  3. BELIEVES IN HIS BUSINESS: Not only does Santa BELIEVE in his mission, but so do his followers. It’s all about offering a product or service which makes people happy — we are ALL attracted to people and things that make us happy. Santa consistently fulfills his positioning statement of Bringing Joy to the World.
  4. PLANS FOR SUCCESS: Nothing stops Santa — just remember Rudolph and the fog. Santa finds solutions. He’s a “can-do” kind of guy. The kind of guy you want at the reins of your business.
  5. BUILDS TRUST: Santa instills “trust” and “warm cozy feelings”.  If you can’t trust Santa who can you trust? You’ve been telling him your heartfelt wishes since you were a kid. Santa listens and follows through on his commitments. He doesn’t over-promise, and always has a back-up option — just in case (toy recall).
  6. CROSS PROMOTES: Santa is everywhere. He graciously offers his positive brand to movies, car dealer ads, non-profit causes and more — all in the hopes of spreading goodwill and good cheer across the globe.
  7. STAYS FOCUSED: You don’t see Santa expanding his line of offerings beyond the aspect of “giving”.  The downfall of such was creatively portrayed by Martin Short’s Jack Frost and Tim Allen’s Santa, in the “Santa Clause 3” movie, showing the negative impact of wandering off-target. Ultimately, “good” overcomes “evil” and the movie ends with the North Pole back to “normal” — back on target.
  8. SUSTAINS HIS IMAGE: Santa creates a positive response in the marketplace and emotes a distinct visual image which immediately comes to mind when his name is mentioned. Even with 100’s (if not 1000’s) of Santa likenesses seen around the world, we all have our favorite that comes to mind — white beard, red suit, and a wink of the eye.
  9. ADAPTS EASILY: It’s not everyone that can morph their body PLUS a 100-pound bag of toys small enough to fit down a chimney (and in some cultures through a keyhole). Knowing when and how to adapt to your customer’s needs — and a willingness to do so — always give you an edge with the competition.
  10. RISES ABOVE: Santa is basically one-of-a-kind, so rising above your competition is a piece of cake (or cookies and milk). Taking flight is easy when you keep your magic-sparkle flying dust handy. Markets change as often as the weather . . . being able to fly above a snowstorm or around lightning strikes allows Santa to deliver a solid brand — on time, on target and on budget.

How are you delivering YOUR brand?