Posts Tagged ‘brand’

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?

Turkey Business

My grandmother was one-quarter Cherokee, and was not-all-that-impressed by the loose translation of our Cherokee family name: “Running Turkey”. She always considered turkeys “not-so-smart” and would recant how a turkey would “sooner drown in the rain” because it wasn’t smart enough to come inside. Whether or not this is true, I have no clue. To her, “Running Turkey” was not a name of which she was proud.

turkeydinnerFast-forward almost a dozen decades and notice how far the Turkey has come. If you consider the Turkey as a brand — a business — he’s done pretty good for himself. He’s pretty much cornered the food market at Thanksgiving, thanks to Butterball and that Pilgrim story.  There’s even turkey tofu for vegetarians.

Mention the word “turkey” and all kinds of stories come to mind of events surrounding the 4th Thursday in November. The turkey brand now represents many things to many people — college break, parades, family, pies, football, shopping — with everyone having a “story” about what Thanksgiving means to them (some good, some not-so-much).

Every brand needs a story, and every brand tells a story — much like every business needs a mission, a purpose. Butterball isn’t selling turkeys — they are selling memories, as hinted at in the first sentence of their Mission: “Butterball provides great-tasting foods that inspire joyful experiences, bringing people together.” Every business should have a clear and succinct expression of its purpose — its reason for being — beyond the product it makes or the service it provides. Your mission becomes the story people tell when they talk about you.

Perhaps a “Running Turkey” is a good thing — especially if it runs faster than the farmer who wants to cook it. It all depends upon the story it wants to tell.

Golden Threads of Light

I talk to my clients quite a bit about finding the “Golden Threads” when it comes to their branding and how to create a connection between their passion, purpose and profits. It’s the common golden threads that become your signature — your brand — the reasons why your followers feel comfortable working with you.

As we make our way through this 2013 holiday season, I notice the “sparkle” of lights popping up in neighborhoods and retail areas. Within our diverse circle of friends, family and clients, the use of light — be it with candles, twinkle-lights or fireworks — seems to be one of those “golden threads” helping to create a global community.ThanksMerry12

Many of our neighbors adorn their homes with lights, glitter and “all things that sparkle”. Our community is one of many faiths, each celebrating their own traditions — which ironically also involves the use of twinkle lights and candles — I guess it’s our attempt to bring back the magic of childhood, while at the same time add some light on our shorter, mostly-gray winter days.

  • Diwali: Starting in November with the Hindu festival of lights, Diwali, is often celebrated with food, dancing, parties and colorful lights hanging everywhere. Lamps, candles and fireworks are lit, representing the celebration of family and community.
  • Hanukkah: Also known as the Festive of Lights, Hanukkah uses the eight-branch Menorah to light a candle on each of the eight nights during the holiday. This age-old tradition is associated with the miraculous burning of the Menorah during the rededication of the Holy Temple of Jerusalem.
  • Bodhi Day: Observed on December 8, Bodhi Day celebrates the day in 596 BC when Buddha attained enlightenment under the Bodhi tree. Lights symbolizing enlightenment are strung around the home or along pathways during the 30-day celebration.
  • Saint Lucy’s Day: A Scandinavian tradition on December 13, where the female chosen to play Lucia wears a white robe and crown of candles, chasing away the winter.
  • Winter Solstice: The word “solstice” is derived from two Latin words: sol (“sun) and sistere (“to stand still”) — essentially the day the sun “stands still”. The winter solstice occurs on or around December 21, and marks the shortest day and longest night of the year. Historically, candles, fireplaces and lights have symbolized “lighting a path”, “enlightenment” and “rebirth”.
  • Christmas: The most obvious symbol of Christmas are lights – Christmas candles, window lights, luminaries, lights on the Advent Wreath and Christmas tree. All signifying to Christians that Jesus Christ is the Light of the world.
  • Kwanzaa: The kinara candle ceremony is the center of the Kwanzaa celebration. Candles have two primary purposes: to symbolically recreate the power of the sun and to provide light. The celebration of life through candle-burning uses the seven candles of Kwanzaa…three red, three green and one black.
  • New Year’s Eve: Many New Year customs that include “light” actually date from ancient times. Diverse cultures and countries around the world display fireworks in celebration of new beginnings, typically at midnight. In China, firecrackers are known to dispel evil. In New York, the Times Square crystal ball “drops”

Whatever your celebrations may be this holiday season, may the Golden Threads of Light that we all have in common serve as a precursor for a most marvelous New Year in 2014!

DESIGN FOR BUSINESS

What’s YOUR Type?

Does this font make me “look big”?

Ever since Typography Class in college (yes, we spent an entire year analyzing and “designing” new fonts), the language of fonts and their subliminal messaging continues to fascinate me. Choosing the right fonts — whether for your logo, your annual report or your next book cover — sets the tone for how your business is perceived.

Traditionally, financial services have always been known to use a SERIF font from the Times Roman family to emote trust, stability, authority (as in the ING example) — but even that has changed over the years in an effort to be portrayed as less “stodgy” and more “current” (as in the US Bank example).

 
ING bank

 

Choosing your “TYPE” is much more than just picking your favorite font from your computer.