Branding: It’s More Than Just Your Logo

Understanding that your brand is not just your logo, but the full spectrum of the experience with your company and its product or service offering, is the first and most important step in the process of building a good brand. This means that anything and everything that interacts with both the internal and external stakeholders should be considered part of your brand, from your company name, your logo, and any visual representation, to phone and personal interaction with you and anyone who represents you, as well as the quality of your product or service, your online activities and how you engage with your audience and other stakeholders, and yes, even how you drive if your vehicle shows your company name. And the list doesn’t stop there!

You only get one chance to make a first impression… taking steps to ensure that it’s a good impression, on all fronts, will help your brand, and your company establish itself. We specialize in

  • Strategic brand development for start-ups
  • Brand mentoring for existing companies
  • Rebranding for existing companies

From the logo and visual representation through how and where your company appears, our goal is to help you find the most cost-effective and productive ways to build your brand and engage with your audience.

Speaking of logos and visual representation, it’s critical to understand the vast difference between graphic design and visual communication. A graphic designer can design something that is visually appealing, but does it convey the desired message?

  • Does the image or design speak to what your product or service offering is about?
  • Does it engage your target audience and compel them to want to buy or do business with you?

If not, you are basically doing the equivalent of tossing spaghetti against the wall and hoping something sticks, and quite probably wasting your hard earned money. In this age of sensory overload and data bombing, you have about the blink of an eye to capture someone’s interest. If they “don’t get it” in that brief moment they will most likely not waste their time asking and you’ve lost the opportunity to engage. A solid branding strategy will encompass all aspects of your brand so your target audience isn’t left guessing, and will ultimately achieve the most bang for your marketing buck.

Give us a call or send an email. We can help!

The Importance of Choosing the Right Photographer

Recently Canon did a test to show how a photograph is shaped more by the person behind the camera than by the subject. To illustrate this, they invited six different photographers to shoot a portrait session, and they added a little twist. They named the project ‘Decoy’ and designed it to highlight the influence the creative thinking of the photographer behind the lens has on the final result of the portrayal of the subject. Canon told each photographer a different story about their subject thereby shifting the perception each of the photographers had about the person they were photographing. The result was quite remarkable, showing six very different representations of the same person to the extent that it was almost like looking at six different people.

For anyone who has ever hired, or considered hiring, a professional photographer and wondered about the variance in the rates charged by different photographers, or who has hired one based on price and been disappointed in the resulting photographs, or who has struggled with selecting the right photographer to capture that special occasion for any other reason, this video is for you! It definitively illustrates why it’s so important to make sure you select a photographer you feel a connection with, whose past work you really like, and one who has shown their ability to create the style of image(s) you are looking for. It also reinforces the fact that you are hiring the vision and artistry of the photographer, and not just a technician who knows how to use a camera.


Advertising gone wrong: Bloomingdales catalog drink spiking ad sinks to new advertising lows!

I am often rather disgusted by advertising messaging I feel is in poor taste, lacking intelligence, has a negative or deprecating slant, or is inane or otherwise obnoxious. Yes, I can be overly critical at times, but it’s because I believe integrity should be at the root of marketing for it to truly be good, and there isn’t often a whole lot of it in mainstream messaging I see. That said, I have to say that Bloomingdales’ recent holiday ad for Rebecca Minkoff merchandise has to take the cake as one of the absolute worst ever.

Bloomingdales ad--epic fail. WHAT were they thinking? Colorado Marketing Chick.The ad suggests that men should “Spike Your Best Friend’s Egg Nog When They’re Not Looking.” Bloomingdales has since apologized for the “poor taste” and “error in judgement”, but only after the massive social media backlash. To say this is in extremely poor taste and an error in judgement is the understatement of the century. It’s blatantly suggesting young men commit a felony since spiking someone’s drink is illegal, and according to the U.S. Department of Justice, drug rape is one of the most common sexual assault crimes today.

So my question is, how on earth did anyone arrive at the conclusion that there was anything remotely professional, appealing, ethical, or acceptable in producing, much less actually publishing, material like this? Additionally, what could it possibly have to do with the holidays since it was produced specifically for their holiday catalog, and how could anyone in a position to approve ad materials at Bloomingdales even remotely think it was in the company’s best interest to approve something so disgusting and creepy?! I have no issue with pushing the envelope and getting edgy, but that doesn’t mean you lose site of what is ethical and in integrity.

Of course, there is the speculation that this was a devious move on Bloomingdales’ part under the precept that all media is good media, and that doing something so outrageous is a strategic way to gain “earned media.” To that I say, if that was indeed the case, and it might well be, then double shame on them for the underhanded blackhat tactics, and for sensationalizing and capitalizing on a topic which epitomizes a systemic problem in our society.

This marketing professional is steadfastly of the mindset that when you have the power to influence people you should do so with integrity. Marketing doesn’t have to go to such extreme measures to be good—that’s not creativity… it’s stupidity, and just should not happen!