Category Archives for Branding

How to Stand Out Online

There are billions of people online and you need to stand out. The good news is that there is only one you. Therefore, the best way to stand out online is to be you because you are the only one who can do that.  Here are 8 ways that will get you started today:

Create a Detailed Profile – Do not leave out any information for your profiles on social media. You do not want each profile to be an exact replica, but you do want to use every single bit of space the social network allows you to in order to create a profile that stands out. The best way to stand out is to keep your target audience in mind as you create your profile – because yes, even when it is about you, it is really about them.

Get a Professional Profile Picture – It does not have to cost a lot to have a professional photo shoot four times a year. That way you have images appropriate for each time of year ready to share with others. You can also create memes with the images if you get a variety of shots. Seek out photography students who need to build their portfolio. Get your hair and makeup done professionally and wear clothing that represents who you are (or want to be).

Share Amazing and Relevant Content – Online it can be easy to get carried away and go against your niche, but if you stay relevant and only share content that is interesting to your audience you can not go wrong. Whether you created the content or someone else did, it needs to be something your audience needs to see and know about before you share it.

Be Controversial – Okay you do not want to go crazy with controversy but you can go against trends, disagree with gurus and let people know what you really think about things without worrying about the world blowing up. The important thing is to be yourself and be true to who you are, and not to worry too much about what others think. Just be able to back up your ideas with facts.

Respond Relevantly – Do not use every response as an excuse to talk about your offerings. People do not like that online. Instead, make sure that your responses make sense based on the post. Seek to help people instead of hawking your products.

Under Promise and Over Deliver – In everything you do, build a good reputation by always giving more than you get. When people learn from others about you via testimonials or just comments about you on social media, it is remembered.

Share Your Opinion Strongly – When you have an opinion about something that you can back up with facts (even if it is contrary to what others say and do), as long as it fits in with the narrative that you want to accomplish with your audience, go for it.

Be a Good Resource to Others – You want to always be a service to others in everything you do. When you are online, everything you say and do lives forever. Even if you delete it, it is there someplace for others to see and judge. Keep that in mind and always be a good resource to them.

Standing out online is easy to do if you simply start with being yourself. No one else can do you the way you do you. Do not try to be fake and do not try to be something you are not. Do not brag and do not be silent.

 

What We Can Learn from Famous Branding Fails

Most marketing blunders can be traced directly to a lack of audience knowledge and forget to put them first. Audiences and customers want to know what’s in it for them and want to know that you get them. They do not want to be confused by your message and feel unheard. Here are some famous marketing blunders that we can learn from:

  • Coke versus New Coke: The audience liked regular coke, there was no complaint about the flavor and they had a large market share. New Coke is a good example of not listening to your audience and moving in your own direction without any thought. You must keep your audience in mind when you are creating any type of product.
    Coke customers were already happy.
  • Badly Named Diet Candy: In the 70s a very popular diet candy called Ayds came onto the market. Shortly after, in the early 80s, a horrible disease called AIDS was sweeping the nation. If the makers had kept their ears to the ground regarding trends in the news, they could have quietly changed their name and marketed the candy with the new name.
  • Bad Imagery: Choosing the right images for your marketing campaigns are very important. Think about what happened to The Beatles, ‘Yesterday and Today’ Album with their poor choice of cover. They got rid of the chopped up bloody dolls and switched album covers after the backlash. Again, you have to know your audience. Obviously chopped up and bloody babies is not a good image for The Beatles’ audience.  **Link to original cover – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yesterday_and_Today#/media/File:The_Beatles_-_Butcher_Cover.jpg
  • Underestimating the Creepy Factor: You’ve seen the Burger ‘King’ commercials, right?  The King comes into a person’s room, in their beds, and in otherwise private moments, and it is just wrong and creepy. The consensus for this commercial was ‘ick’ and soon the King was gone. Humor is a good thing to use, but you must understand your audience and the type of humor they have.
  • Being Insensitive to Various Groups: In the famous Snickers commercial, Mr. T. bullies and makes fun of a speed walker for his choice of exercise and literally shoots him with Snickers bars. This commercial was not funny and did not bring home the message of a yummy, filling, peanut-filled snack to give you energy. Instead, it made people angry and they did not even notice the product. Your audience is first; product placement needs to make them feel good about using it.
  • Going Too Far with a Joke:  You are likely familiar with Skittles Pox and while those commercials are funny, the first foray into “Touch the Rainbow” campaigns was not as funny. A commercial about a man who can not touch anything, including his grandson due to turning everything into Skittles is not funny. It would be funnier if non-living things turned to Skittles instead of killing people.  Death never translates well in marketing messages.
  • Using Bad Puns as Marketing: Maybe it was on purpose, maybe not, but when Disney Garden came out with Hannah Montana ‘Red Cherries,’ it did not go over too well. It is very important to ensure that your message is not made into a bad joke. This, of course, starts with knowing your audience, understanding modern meanings for words, and testing your message.

Most marketing companies do not mean to make bad puns, turn their company into a joke, or have the point of their advertisements missed altogether. But, it does happen. And as you can see, it happens to large corporations with experts who should know better. Maybe it just goes to show that you can not get to know your audience enough, or keep your ear to the ground enough, or test your messages enough.