Posts Tagged ‘branding’

My Favorite Items on the Menu: Know, Like, Trust

Our favorite family-owned Mexican restaurant is right around the corner, about a mile away. We were there for their opening, and 10+ years later, we keep going back.

We like to “shop local” and when I find a favorite menu item at a local restaurant, I’m known to order the same thing each time I visit. Occasionally, I’ll stretch my comfort zone and try something new . . . which may get added to my “favorites” list, OR, I’ll try to remember not to order THAT again.

I’m much more apt to try something new at restaurant I frequent, vs. trying a new restaurant. I probably have 3-4 favorite menu items, which I rotate through depending upon my hunger scale. They remember we prefer a booth, and if our favorite booth is open, they take us right to it. We KNOW the owners by name and a few of the wait staff even have our drink and appetizer order memorized. We LIKE checking in with the staff we’ve known for years, and hearing about their kids, classes at the local colleges, and vacations. They have earned our TRUST and they treat us like family (they get concerned if we haven’t shown up in a while), AND we don’t have to cook or do the dishes!

I see the same thing in our business, although our “neighborhood” is now global, many of our clients have been with us for a very long time. They may have first started with a logo and business card, and years later, turn to us for help with updated or additional marketing collateral, and/or with their website, and/or their first (or second) books.

After almost 15 years in business, we’ve gotten to KNOW many of them like family. We keep up with stories about kids, grandkids, and dogs (and cats, and birds) . . . and talk about transitioning parents to nursing homes . . . LIFE in general. It’s “family.” If we don’t hear from them in a while, I reach out and check in. We genuinely LIKE our clients. Over the years, they have learned to TRUST us to take care of their branding and publishing needs, as we continue to help them grow their business.

So, the next time you’re in our neighborhood (earth), check out our menu of services. I KNOW you’re going to see something you LIKE, and you can TRUST us to treat you like family (or better!).

The Story Matters

We’ve all seen the t-shirts about how “Punctuation Matters” . . .

And I recently learned first-hand how much placing your words in the correct order ALSO matters.

My entire life, I’ve heard the family story about how one of my Miller ancestors married a Cherokee maiden back during the Trail of Tears era. I have Cherokee documents showing both my Mother and Grandmother’s membership in the Cherokee Nation. It was simply understood as “fact” that I had inherited my Cherokee DNA from a female ancestor.

 

Enter the power of 2017 technology through Ancestry.com and Facebook. A distant cousin posted on Facebook that she was doing some research, and ran across a hand-written letter from the 1800’s which had been scanned into Ancestry.com. It told the story about the actual origin of our family’s Cherokee heritage.

As romantic as the original family story was, come to find out, it may not be all that accurate. It seems the Millers lived above their General Store, in an area now known to overlap the borders of Oklahoma and Kansas – right along the path of the Trail of Tears. To their dismay, they awoke one morning to discover a small Cherokee boy sitting outside of their establishment. According to the letter, he had gotten lost or left behind, and they immediately adopted him as one of their own.

So, rather than the original story being told as . . .

“A Miller married a Cherokee maiden during the Trail of Tears era.”

It should have been told as . . .

“A small Cherokee boy, lost on the Trail of Tears,
was adopted by the Miller family and grew up to marry a maiden.”

This throws a whole new light on the subject of ancestral DNA . . . where DNA also stands for “Do Not Assume”.

This new info does not dispute our Cherokee heritage . . . BUT for those family members who are trying to connect the dots on the family tree, this creates a whole new grand adventure of exploration down another “limb” of this newly-found maiden’s heritage.

So, whether you are writing your family history or making history by being the first in your family to write a book and grow your business, we can help.

And we promise to help you put your words in the proper order.

To learn more about how our Branding and Publishing programs can help you tell YOUR story, give us call at 888-598-0886.

Step Up, Step Out, Stand Out

 

I was NOT happy.

My Mom had just lifted me out of the boat and now my feet were in the muck and mud. I can vividly remember the feeling of this strange, new substance oozing between my toes.

Get me out of here, FAST!

It was the flood of 1960 in northeast Oklahoma. The flood waters had not reached her home, but the only way to/from my grandmother’s house was by boat. I had just turned four and figured out very quickly, I DO NOT LIKE STRANGE substances touching my feet. What the camera does not show is how fast I ran towards the house, screaming.

Fast forward several decades, and I still DO NOT like being stuck in the muck — even metaphorically speaking.

Our business is growing, and although we are on target to double last year’s sales, I can still get caught up in the muck of temporary slow periods or hign-maintenance clients (no, not you).  When I step back into the muck, business slows down, clients tend to pay more slowly, and I have the tendency to isolate (not good) . . . or run towards the house screaming.

So how do I get back into the flow of clarity and Step Up, Step Out and Get Going?

  • I take the small, 1″ Post-its and start posting “gratitudes” all around the house
  • I catch up on returning phone calls and get current with emails
  • I pay a bill . . . even a small one . . . to let the Universe know I’m interested in the flow of money
  • I move to “receiving mode” . . . if I get a gift or an invitation, I accept it and say, “Thank You!”
  • I add “Sir” or “Ma’am” after every “Thank You!”
  • I ask for help with something I’ve been avoiding
  • I stop trying to “hold it together” . . . I let go of the “hold” . . . I surrender
  • I smile at strangers and open doors for everyone
  • I give away a perfect parking spot to a total stranger
  • I pay for the person behind me in the drive-through lane
  • I rest. I breathe.

And sometimes, I DO NO THING. I value my silence and my “alone time”. I sit (or lay) in silence with my eyes closed. Some call it meditation . . . I call it “plugging in”. It restores my energy, which allows me to better serve our clients.

I’m ALSO learning that when you run a business, the “muck” will always be there. How I choose to react to it is determined by me. If I don’t like to be in the muck, I’m learning to step out of it.

So, the next time you find yourself stuck in the “whatever” with your business, give me a call.

If you’re ready to STEP UP and STEP OUT of the muck, I can help you look good, STAND OUT and attract more clients.

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 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?

Hidden Messages in Logos

WendysWe drive by them all the time.

Rising 20 feet in the air, the Wendy’s fast-food signage has been around since the chain was founded in 1969. But have you ever noticed the “homage to MOM”?

In an attempt to endear the public to the Wendy’s brand, the word, “MOM” has been incorporated into the illustration above the name.

Better seen here, all in one-color at the neck of little Wendy, “MOM” set a subliminal tone for “at home” and “comfort food”.Mom

What does your logo say about you and your company?

NOTE: Latest conversation regarding the Wendy’s “MOM” image . . . not intentional?
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/15/wendys-hidden-message_n_3599128.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular