Good news for those of you with Squarespace sites: Instagram and Squarespace have partnered to allow shopping from your website on Instagram! By linking your product catalog and tagging a product on Instagram, users will be able to view product details and click through to buy it on your site without even leaving the app. This feature is available for the Commerce Basic and Advanced plans. Feel free to contact us if you want to know more about Squarespace or this feature!
Your company has a branding department. Hint: (It's you.)
At a time before the Internet and social media, branding was mostly about your logo, ads (if you could afford them), and press coverage. Now, with “transparency” a buzz word and consumers’ ability to access everything about your company before they step foot in your store or meet you, everything you and your staff do and say on behalf of your company is part of its brand. Your website, the images you use, the captions that accompany those images, the way you respond to reviews, your social media habits, your community support; it's all a part of your brand. The point is, consumers not only purchase products they love, they purchase products they love from brands they trust and connect with, so a strong, consistent brand is more important than ever before.
View and download three exercises to help you strengthen your brand and better connect with your audiences.
Have you ever instantly connected with a brand? Felt an emotional connection or loved a brand so much that you'd stand in line for days waiting for its latest product to be released? We all have brands that we value more than others. Your favorite brands might have great products, but if you dig a little deeper, you'll most likely find that the brands you treasure most share your core values and traits. That is, you share the same archetype. Welcome to the psychology of branding.
noun: a collectively inherited unconscious idea, pattern of thought, or image, universally present in individual psyches
The 12 Brand Archetypes
Famed psychologist Carl Jung first used archetypes to understand what subconsciously drives and motivates us. In 2001, authors Margaret Mark and Carol S. Pearson introduced Jung's archetypes to the marketing world in their book titled, “The Hero and the Outlaw.” Using Jung's theory, they created 12 archetypes, which are now widely used in branding.
Each archetype has its own set of values and personality traits. While your brand may identify with a few different archetypes, the strongest brands in the world adopt one dominate archetype.
Determining your brand’s dominate archetype gives it personality and meaning. It’s the image you present to the world. It paints a clear picture in your customers’ minds of who you are and what you stand for, and it differentiates your brand from competitors. Today’s consumers don’t just buy products; they’re much savvier and deeper than that. They buy the meaning and reputation of the product, those that create and share emotional connections with them.
When companies come to us looking to either create a brand or refresh their current brand, our first step is to determine their archetype. Following is a quick overview of each of the 12 brand archetypes we use to guide our process:
1. The Caregiver
- Nurtures, is trustworthy and humble
- Generates positive energy
- Has the best intentions for its customers
- New mission statement is "Spread the Good"
- Partnered with Ellen Degeneres for “One Million Acts of Good” campaign
- Encouraged consumers to post their act of good with #GoodGoesRound hashtag
2. The Creator
- Authentic and creative visionaries
- Perfection is the main goal; money and time are of no concern
- Non-conforming to society
- Consistently one step ahead of its competitors
- Sets the precedent for quality
- Creates innovative and original products
- Advertisement style is cutting edge
- Doesn't apologize for high prices
3. The Explorer
- Wants to create freedom
- Adventurous and open minded
- Geared towards consumers who spend time outside
- Resourceful and multi-functional products
- Encourages discovery and self-realization
Example: The North Face
- Slogan: Never Stop Exploring
- Sponsors many highly accomplished athletes
- Products are specifically designed to be durable
- Brand recognition is huge among adventurers
4. The Innocent
- Idealistic, optimistic and nostalgic
- Puts values at the forefront of everything they do
- Wants to be happy and make others happy
- Motivates others to "look at the bright side"
- Brand name and logo - dove - is symbolic of peace
- Ad campaigns use real women and celebrate all body types
- Recently launched the "Self Esteem Project"
- Encourages confidence in their consumers
5. The Hero
- Makes the world a better place
- Challenges consumers to be their best selves
- Effective at turning out results
- Proud and courageous
- Strong in their beliefs
Example: The Marines
- Motto: Semper fidelis (always faithful)
- Tagline: The Few. The Proud.
- Inspire younger generations to support their country
- Brave protectors
- Specialized in their realm of work
6. The Jester
- Brightens your day with humor
- All about having fun
- Doesn’t deal with serious issues
- Connects people with their inner child
- Makes you smile
- Tagline: Taste the Rainbow - colorful and lighthearted
- Live in their own world of fun and bizarre humor
- Don't try to solve the world's problems, just focus on having fun
7. The Lover
- Wants to be associated with life’s intimate moments
- Advertisements are passionate and sexual
- Makes consumers feel special
- Evokes emotions
- Encourages indulgence
- Slogan: Every woman is one part (go)diva
- Ad campaigns sexualize and romanticize chocolate
8. The Magician
- Sells a transformative experience, not just a product
- Wants to understand how the world works
- Makes dreams come true
- Motto: The Happiest Place on Earth
- Delivers a life-changing experience to children and their families
- Imitates the fantasies it creates onscreen
- Delivers the magic in the smallest of details
9. The Outlaw
- Seeks a revolution
- Appeals to consumers’ inner rebels
- Develops radical ideas and products
Example: Harley Davidson
- Rebellious brand to its core
- Edgy ad campaigns
- Inspires revolution
- Doesn't conform to the norm
10. The Regular Guy/Gal
- Creates reliable products without the glitz and glam
- Unpretentious and humble
- Appeals to all demographics
- Makes consumers feel comfortable
- Dependable and practical
- Slogan: Go Forth
- Appeals to working/middle class
- Products are durable and functional
- Stresses its belief in equality
- Advertisements have a simple, comfy, ‘no fuss’ style
- Makes products for all body types
11. The Ruler
- Creates luxurious and exclusive products
- Gatekeeper to the upper class
- Highest quality and highest prices
- The leader in their field
- Shamelessly declares themselves the best
Example: Grey Goose Vodka
- Slogan: The world’s best tasting vodka
- Advertisements are boastful and luxurious
- Appeals to upper class
12. The Sage
- Significant expertise
- Wise and philosophical
- Provides consumers with useful information
- Contributes knowledge
- Seeks the truth
- Motto: For the Benefit of All
- Educates the world
- World re-knowned for space exploration
We're interested to know which archetype your brand most closely associates with. Not sure? Give us a call! Branding is one of our specialty areas. We have a tried-and-true process that will help you create a strong brand and then determine how best to connect your brand with your target audiences.
Join us as we speak to Anne Hudlow and Rick Sizemore about their podcast success story.
King Family Vineyards is best known for its outstanding wines, nestled in the hills of Crozet, just a short country drive away from Charlottesville. KFV is also known for drawing large crowds. Watch as we discuss what role events play in the vineyard's overall marketing strategy.
Welcome to Episode 4 of Five in the Hive! We recently interviewed our clients, Jenna French and Brenda Black, about the branding and the launch of the Shenandoah Spirits Trail. This trail consists of wineries, breweries, distilleries, and cideries and was part of a collaborative effort of Winchester-Frederick County, Shenandoah County, Harrisonburg City, and Rockingham County to help drive tourism to these areas. Take a closer look to see how we came up with the concepts for the name, logo, tagline, collateral and website to help promote the trail.
Introducing Five in the Hive, our video blog "vlog" series about all things related to PR, marketing and graphic design. Let's get honest. We're tired of blogging. And, we wanted to bring something new and fresh to our friends. We will be featuring local brands we admire each month, and we're open to ideas. Enjoy this first installment featuring...us!
The power of a good website design can take your business far and wide. Especially for a small business, where company knowledge is essential to the customer. Studies show that 70-80% of people will research a company online before the making a purchase or engaging in service. Furthermore, approximately half of small businesses have invested in a website, which is exactly what our client Parrott Orthodontics did.
Parrott Orthodonicts is a paradigm of how a good website can do wonders for branding. We hired the client a photographer, revamped their logo, added relevant copy, and redesigned their website itself. This is the finished product:
For reference, this is the old site:
1. Pleasing Layout
The old Parrott Ortho website employed the traditional “F Pattern” that is highly common on websites. When a reader glances at a website it has been noted that he or she scans a horizontal line across the top of the screen from left to right. Then, the reader moves down the left side of the screen looking for keywords or points of interest. Even though the “F Pattern” is logical, it is not always aesthetically pleasing. Our client changed from this layout to a more contemporary design. Now the homepage has easy visuals and utilizes white space. White space is important to break up content and photos.
2. Easy Navigation
One of the most essential steps to a good website is for it to be easily navigable. There is no correct way to move visitors around your site but there are strategies to avoid. Using drop-down menus is a popular option, but menus within each other can be cluttering. For example, in Parrott Ortho’s original site six drop down menus existed. Some pages did not have content. On the new site, four menus are used with each page with relevant information.
3. Appealing Graphics
Stock photos may be easily accessible, but they may not always assist in the overall impact of your site. While Parrott Ortho had photos of people with braces in their first site, they were not unique images by any means. With their new site we hired a photographer that took high quality photos of Dr. Parrott, staff, and patients. Furthermore, a proper color palette should be developed.
4. Meaningful Copy
The text that goes on a website itself should be purposeful and relevant to the brand. You never want to have a thick block of text on your web page for a business. The first Parrott Ortho site also had symbols that did not properly show up. Always remember to revise and proofread the content too. The new Parrott Ortho site does a better job with clear and concise text. The viewer can quickly learn about the business and decide if he or she is interested in pursing it further.
5. Social Media Icons
30% of small businesses owners say that keeping up with technological advances is a major concern. What this means is that even as a small business it is important to have linked social media accounts. On your business’s webpage a small icon bar should feature links to these pages. The new Parrott Ortho site does a good job of showing they have a Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Even if your business does not post too frequently on these pages, it is important to check on them. Social media can extend your brand’s awareness beyond just the home website.
In March, we were hired by the Virginia tourism bureaus of Winchester-Frederick County, Shenandoah County, Rockingham County and Harrisonburg City for a destination marketing campaign to help brand a winery/brewery/cidery/distillery trail. The trail was created as part of a collaborative effort of these localities to help drive tourism to the Northern Shenandoah Valley area. Hive Creative was hired to create a name and logo for the trail; marketing collateral for visitors and businesses; and, a one-page website to promote the trail online. Here's a case study outlining our work for this branding project.
1. Research - Before we begin any project, we dive in to collect as much information as possible. For this tourism marketing campaign, our research included informational and planning sessions with the clients, visiting as many establishments as possible in each locality along the trail (and sampling, of course), conducting phone interviews with owners of these businesses, and researching similar trails online to get a better idea of the competitive landscape.
2. Common Themes - Throughout the research phase, we looked for common themes to emerge. These could be common words people use to describe the area, architectural themes, or any other commonalities among the establishments and localities that would help us in the logo design phase. The beautiful, scenic mountain views were at the top of that list, closely followed by the friendly people, and outdoor recreation. We developed a few concepts based on these findings, but none of them gave us that "aha" moment we were seeking. Back to the drawing board!
3. Logo Design - One thing that stood out during our visits were chalkboards that were used in almost every brewery, winery, distillery and cidery that we visited. Chalkboards were used for tasting menus, food menus, announcement boards, and various other purposes. Lo and behold, we found our winning concept. The Shenandoah Spirits Trail logo design was born.
We incorporated hops for the breweries, grapes for wineries, apples for cideries and corn for distilleries. The logo also incorporates a typeface and colors that were inspired from the many chalkboards we saw.
4. Creating a Tagline and Hashtag - Like other winery and brewery trails, the Shenandoah Spirits Trail is meant to encourage visitors to make multiple stops along the route and provide unique experiences with each visit. There isn't a final destination. In fact, the choices are vast enough that you can return to the trail time and time again and have a different experience each time you visit. The tagline was created to help convey these points: "The Ultimate Path to Beverage Enlightment...One Sip at a Time." A hashtag was created, #SipShenandoah, to help filter conversations and posts online.
5. Designing a Brand Guidebook - Because each of the establishments and tourism bureaus along the trail will be using the logo for promotional purposes, a guidebook was created to help with consistency and correct usage of the brand and logo. The guidebook included recommendations for logo use, Pantone and CMYK colors of the logo, typefaces and usages, and more.
6. Creating Marketing Materials - The logo directed the look and feel of the supporting marketing materials. One piece that was designed was a Pocket Guide, which folds into a 3.8" x 3.2" rectangle. When opened, a hand-drawn map with tasting notes is included on the front side and the trail's breweries, wineries, cideries, distilleries and localities are featured on the back.
6. Designing a Website - The final piece of branding the Shenandoah Spirits Trail included designing a one-page, mobile-friendly website to allow users to download or request a copy of the Pocket Guide, visit websites for the localities and establishments along the trail, and plan their visit(s) to the area(s). www.shenandoahspiritstrail.com
7. The Brand Launch - Our clients planned a fantastic launch event for the Shenandoah Spirits Trail, which was held at Woodstock Brewhouse. Local government officials, tourism officials, the media, and owners of the breweries, wineries, distilleries and cideries were in attendance. This was a pretty cool moment for us: witnessing a project that we'd worked hard on for several months finally come to fruition; seeing the logo appear on signage, t-shirts, glasses, and more; and, hearing the positive feedback from everyone involved.
We'd love to hear what you think!
Interested in reading more? Check out a few of our other blogs that relate to tourism marketing and, specifically, the winery and brewery trails.
In this day and age, accessibility of content is at the forefront of Millennials’ minds. This demographic has been noted to “disrupt trends” as the consumer-provider relationship has shifted to the power of the consumer. There is now more importance than ever to understanding the habits of Millennials as they begin to age and move into their spending years. This interactive infographic from Goldman Sachs illustrates telling data from the generation. Millennials carry more importance than ever, especially regarding how the digital landscape should be. Here are three of their notable on-line habits:
1. A majority of Millennials are almost always online and connected.
On average, Millennials check their phones 43 times a day. They spend 5.4 hours per day on social media. As digital natives, they are constantly consuming media. Some of the most popular activities include email, texting, social media, and streaming entertainment. Constant enjoyment with technology is a hallmark of the generation.
2. They’re not as concerned about on-line privacy.
Only 26% of Millennials worry “a good deal” about privacy, identity theft being the primary concern. Other concerns are schools and potential employers using social media accounts against them, and strangers learning their exact locations. This applies to brands marketing to Millennials because they do not seem to show concern about big companies collecting their information and selling it or using it for marketing purposes. In fact, Millennials more than any other generation understand these on-line relationships: they get information from companies, and companies collect information from them.
3. They seek user-generated content.
Studies also show user-generated media is more memorable to Millenials than traditional media. User-generated content includes social media postings, blogs, emails, texts, photos, and talking to others about media. New research reported in this Entrepreneur article indicates that individuals ages 18 to 36 spend an average of 17.8 hours a day with different types of media. Those hours represent a total across multiple media sources, some of which are consumed simultaneously. Information gathered through user-generated content is trusted 40 percent more than information from other media – including newspapers and magazines. Millennials also find user-generated content 30 percent more memorable than other sources.
The inundation of media in the lives of Millennials creates a generation that heavily values connectivity, accessibility and instant gratification. This is reflected in the hours they dedicate online, either building relationships or seeking user-generated content. After all, with the average attention span only clocking in at 8 seconds today, content that can be easily and quickly ingested is valued. New formats of media and technology production will be sought once patterns of Millenials become increasingly understood.
Interested in reading more? Check out our blog post about 5 Key Concepts for Marketing to Millennials
Millennials. With a majority of this generation now in the workforce, they currently command an estimated $1.3 trillion in annual consumer spending.
Born from approximately 1980-early 2000s and accounting for one-fourth of the U.S. population, this group seems to be an enigma to most. Their buying habits tend to differ greatly than the generations preceding them. However, Millennials’ buying habits can be easily understood when you look closely at what they care about. Here’s a quick glance at what matters most to this generation when it comes to supporting brands:
Experiences. A study by Harris Group found that 78 percent of millennials prefer to spend more money on experiences than on material things. And, it doesn’t stop there. Seventy-two percent said they plan to continue to increase their spending on experiences. This risk-taking, adventure-seeking generation has had a huge impact on the creators of and brands behind festivals, concerts, sporting events, craft beer and wine trails, and anything and everything associated with the travel and hospitality industries.
- A cause. According to a 2014 survey by Nielson, 55% of global Millennials say they are willing to pay extra for products and services from companies that are committed to positive social and environmental impact. Millennials like to feel that they are giving back to their community and helping others through buying products. TOMS is a great example of building brand loyalty with Millennials through cause marketing with their “One for One” campaign.
- Sharing. Word-of-mouth has a new definition with this generation. "Give them something to share" has replaced “give them something to talk about." If you take the time to deliver content or a campaign that users care about, surveys have consistently shown that it will get shared at least 50% of the time. Just ask Coca-Cola how it’s “Share a Coke” campaign turned out.
- A good story. Millennials love a story behind a brand. Is it a family-owned company? Hand-crafted? They especially love if it’s a product that is local. This populaltion segment grew up surrounded by technology that helped keep them connected. In a large bustling world, they want to feel that connection to the brands behind the products.
- Authenticity. Only 1% of Millennials claim that a compelling ad influences them. Traditional advertising? Direct mail? Billboards? Toss them. They see what you’re trying to sell, but they’re not buying it. Instead:
- Engage them. Respond to their comments and feedback on your Facebook page.
- Make sure your brand represents who you are; don’t try to be something you’re not.
- Be transparent - give them a glimpse of the company behind those walls.
Here’s a great article on Huffington Post about the importance of authenticity with this generation.
Millennials span more than 20 years, so we can’t expect to reach every one of them through these concepts. But, this generations’ buying habits also have been studied 10 times over, and there’s a pretty good consensus that companies that embrace even a few of these will see a pretty hefty increase in brand loyalty and profits.
Next up…Online Habits of Millennials
Interested in more? Check out our post: 3 Millennial Marketing Musts
Sure, you've probably heard about Millennials and how important it is to reach them. But what is a Millennial, and how do you make sure you are reaching this valuable audience? First, the loose definition is those born between 1980 and early 2000s - you might have also heard of Generation Y. Same breed, different name.
According to Forbes, there are 80 million millennials in America alone, and they represent about a fourth of the entire population, with $200 billion in annual buying power. Simply put, it's important for us to consider this influential group if we want to get their attention.
Here are three key ways to nail millennial marketing.
- Authentic Content is Crucial:
On average, this group spends 25 hours per week online. They’re scouring websites, blogs, and social media and they’re also sharing, liking, pinning, tweeting, snapping, forwarding, and commenting on all of their findings to remain active in online communities. Millennials are focused on solving real-life problems through online research. Brands that can bring relevant, simple solutions to real-world problems are the ones that are going to win attention from this generation. In addition, this group relies on their friends to recommend new products; the best way to get your message heard among millennials is to have millennials themselves spreading the word. You can do this by having content that is authentic, interesting, problem-solving and sharable.
Looking to market to Millennials? Here's a good first step in diving deep to help target this audience. Download our Buyer Persona Guide to help you identify and reach this generation:
How to Create Buyer Personas
- Inbound Marketing is In!
A 2014 survey, Engaging Millennials: Trust and Attention Survey, reveals that 84% of Millennials don’t trust traditional advertising. What they do trust is content that serves a purpose and seems helpful to others. When your company takes the time to provide information that shows you care for others, Gen Yers appreciate it and respect what you stand for. So, e-books, whitepapers, blog posts, videos, and other how-to information are popular ways to reach this age group.
Check out this Blog Post on how Hive Creative Group recently became Inbound Certified
- You Better be Mobile
Marketing through mobile devices is important in general, but given that 85 percent of millennials in the U.S. own smartphones, it’s essential when you’re targeting this generation. When looking at your website, it's important to ask yourself: are my pages optimized for mobile? How are my load times on images and graphics? Is my message clear, even on a small screen?
We hope these tips help you see that marketing to millennials doesn’t have to be hard. By providing awesome content, using inbound marketing, and making sure your message is mobile, you'll be off to a solid start.
How do you market your product or service to millennials? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below!
Sarah and I recently received our Inbound Marketing certifications, meaning we spent hours (more like months) training in person and online and then passed a 90-minute exam. The idea behind Inbound Marketing is to attract ideal customers through targeted online marketing. No more "fingers crossed" for a prospective client to call after you blast out an email. No more cold calls and blindly chasing potential customers. Instead, there is a very specific methodology behind Inbound Marketing that turns visitors into leads, leads into clients, and clients into promoters of your business. Sounds good, right?
Two Key Takeaways
How can our Inbound Marketing training help our clients, you ask? Through our certification, we've gained access to endless marketing tools and resources, which we can use for our clients. There is too much information to cover in one blog post, so we'll be doing a series on this topic. But, we'd like to start with two helpful takeaways. These are just samples of what we will do for clients before every major campaign.
1. Create buyer personas, which are semi-fictional reprensentations of our clients' ideal customers. What's a day in the life like for these customers? What problems do they have that our clients can solve? What are their shopping habits? What might they be searching for online? How do they get their news? By answering these questions (and many more), we're able to zone in on those ideal customers and target them easier.
We've taken out the guess work and created a FREE guide for you to begin working with buyer personas:
2. Search for specific keywords relating to our clients' businesses. Through the software that we've invested in, we are able to see what words, terms and/or phrases are most searched for in industries; determine the difficulty of getting clients ranked at the top of the search engines; and then choose the most appropriate key terms to use throughout blogs, social sites, web sites, etc. to help convert strangers into leads.
From this screenshot, we can see that "Virginia Wineries" is searched for 3,600 times per month, but it has a difficulty of 85 out of 100. If our client was a winery in Virginia, depending on their ranking (these numbers are based on the Hive website ranking), we'd most likely suggest they use a term that is searched for more than 100 times, but has a difficulty of less than 50. If our client was a brewery in Virginia, we'd definitely suggest using "Virginia Breweries" as a key term throughout their online marketing efforts, since it is searched for 1,000 times per month and only has a difficulty of 42.
If you're interested in learning more about Inbound Marketing and how it can work for your business, feel free to give us a call!
Stay tuned for episode 2 of this blog series: Creating Content for Your Ideal Customer
In a 30-day experiment, it was found that the click through rate (CTR) of posts containing photos is 128% higher than the CTR of posts containing videos or links.
We also know photos on Facebook generate 53% more "Likes" than the average post.
While it's awesome if you can use original photos on your Facebook for business page, we know it can be challenging to walk around with a selfie-stick 24/7. To help you out, we've got a couple of great resources for license-free photos that will keep you from violating copyright laws.
Many Flickr users have chosen to offer their work under a Creative Commons license, and you can browse or search through content under each type of license.
In Google’s Advanced Image Search, you can filter your search by images licensed for public reuse. When you open the Advanced Image Search, an option appears at the bottom to choose usage rights. Use the drop down menu to choose how you’d like to filter your images. Choose from a myriad of options ranging from “free to use" to “share” to “free to use, share, or modify, even commercially.”
This site adds 50 new high-quality, royalty-free photos daily. Search for and download pictures of cityscapes, food, nature settings, sports, lifestyles and much more.
This site contains high-res food images that are free to use without attribution; however, they may not be resold.
A site containing Vintage Photos from the public archives. They are free of known copyright restrictions and a great place for recapturing history.
Hive's Best Practice recommendation is to use your own photos whenever possible. Self-created images hold several benefits: there are no copyright laws, they’re more personal to your business (you're putting a face to a name), and you don't have to worry about a competitor using the same image.
Where do you get photos for your blog and Facebook Page? Are there some other resources we should know about? Please let us know firstname.lastname@example.org
interested in more Facebook for Business tips? Download our free guide by clicking below.
We've conducted public relations and marketing campaigns for several franchises, and individual franchisees, over the years. With each experience and client, we've learned some general do's and don'ts when it comes to marketing a franchise to consumers. If you're a new franchise owner or manage a national franchise brand, this one's for you.
1. Keep it Consistent - The benefit of buying into a franchise is that it (hopefully) already has an established brand. As a new franchisee, use this to your advantage! Don't try to re-create the wheel. Instead, use what the experts have given to you and build on it from there. For national franchises, please, please make sure you have a brand guidebook and are monitoring closely to ensure brand consistency. As a franchise, you have many entities using your logo, ads and other marketing materials. These should come with a list of regulations and training to ensure that, although there may be many stores/locations, there is only one look and voice.
2. Keep it Local - Consistency is key for overall branding, but franchisees should be given independence when it comes to connecting with individual communities and adapting to local market needs. Each franchisee should be managing local Facebook business pages, Twitter accounts and granted access to a web page (as part of the national website) that can be customized for local community outreach. You don't want a national marketing team in Los Angeles creating Facebook posts for a store in Charlottesville, VA. Customers will see right through it, and your engagement will drop. Nor, do you want one central page posting about events and specials all over the country. Your message will be lost, as well as your readers. As with branding, though, monitoring and training are keys to making this work.
3. Keep It to The Experts - As a franchise, you'll want to have a strong marketing team - internal, external or both - for many reasons:
1. Keeping a finger on the pulse. As a franchise executive, your time should be spent running the business. Your marketing team, on the other hand, should be focused on promoting your brand and creating successful campaigns. They also should be monitoring for brand conistency and customer satisfaction.
2. Working with franchisees on local community outreach, assisting them with national campaigns and responding to individual requests. Whether you have 10 or 75 franchise locations, you need a strong communications team to be able to effeciently and effectively manage all of the activities and requests.
3. You're the expert at growing and managing the business, they're the experts at marketing it. Although you need to be involved in the marketing efforts, especially in the beginning as messaging, plans and brands are developed, don't try to be the master of all things. This is an area where you can bring in outside experts and delegate appropriately while still keeping your toes in the water to help it succeed.
4. Keep it Flexible - When it comes to marketing a franchise, flexibility is another factor. Just because a campaign worked in Seattle doesn't mean it will work in Miami. You have to consider the different cultures, markets, consumer behaviors, and more. Rather than having franchisees adopt a one-size-fits-all campaign, allow them the flexibility to tweak campaign messaging and promotions for their markets.
5. Keep it Simple - A franchise needs its franchisees to adopt to its brand standards, marketing materials, email templates, promotions, signage, etc. All of this can be overwhelming for an owner. Make sure your templates, promotions, artwork and other materials are easy to find, use and, ultimately, adopted across the board.
Fortunately, we live in an area - Charlottesville, VA - that has a lot to offer tourists. Attractions, a top-ranking university, outdoor recreation, gorgeous scenic views and a rich history bring many visitors to the area, which helps bolster our local economy. Another popular tourist attraction (and gaining popularity by the minute) are our area's vineyards and wine trails. (Side note: Did you know Virginia has more wine trails than any state in the U.S.?) Recently, though, we've noticed a trend emerging: wine trails expanding to encompass breweries and distilleries helping Virginia tourism. Something for everyone, right?
A wine tour in Virginia used to mean visting vineyards and wineries located in beautiful settings with classy tasting rooms. Today, visitors are adding breweries, cideries and distilleries in diverse settings and locations - from urban warehouses to rural farms - to their list of destinations.
While the drinks themselves often are the reason for visiting, savvy beverage makers and marketers have gotten creative not only with their varietal offerings, but also with how they're attracting customers. Yoga at local breweries. Music festivals at local distilleries. Polo at wineries. 5k runs through the trails. Weddings everywhere! They're offering experiences and connecting with customers and communities outside of the tasting room. And, they're consistently giving people a reason to return.
The breweries, wineries and distilleries aren't the only ones benefitting from the increased tourism. Local transportation companies and restaurants, not to mention the bed & breakfasts and boutique hotels, have all jumped on the bandwagon, creating special group deals and web site pages specifically dedicated to these tours.
We're not sure who came up with the brilliant idea of using wineries, breweries and distilleries as a way to increase tourism, but cheers to them. It's working! And, we're buying!
See also: Craft-ing Your Message
I’m going to be brutally honest. Hearing the words, “Oh, I already have a logo! My _______ (son, daughter, nephew, milkman) made me one in Powerpoint (or gasp, Word),” fill me with dread - every time - for two crucial reasons. First, good, professional logos don’t happen in Powerpoint, or Word. We'll get to that in a second. Second, you’ve got an emotional connection to a logo that doesn't necessarliy represent your brand. It's like that old t-shirt you keep around that has holes in it, but you can't trash it because you've had it since the "good ol' college days." Everyone else looks at it and sees a holey t-shirt that needs to be thrown away.
Logo design requires an expert. A professional designer is going to listen to you, gather ideas, research your competition, and create a logo that clearly communicates your message. Equally important, you’ll get a logo that works in all sorts of real-world applications and sizes (think websites, brochures, business cards, large signs, baseball caps). Believe it or not, a logo is not one-size-fits-all. Have you ever seen banners or signs with blurry images and graphics? It's because they were sized appropriately. That winning logo will also be provided in the correct format(s) for your website designer, printer or promo company to work with.
Here are three (of many) reasons to use a professional designer:
1. Save Time (And Money)
You are running a business. On any given day, you're probably tracking finances, working on new business, hiring and training staff, and wearing 20 other hats that have you pulled in many different directions. Sure, you can download Adobe Creative Suite and start watching YouTube tutorials, but a firm that is solidly rooted in the fundamentals of design is ready to design that logo in a fraction of the time. AND, it’s going to look better. AND, it's going to be formatted for use across many applications, so you're not left scrambling when a printer asks for a size or format that you don't have.
In terms of cringe-worthiness, the online logo you bought from some firm outsourcing to low-cost designers across the globe is second only to the logo your kid designed for you. Trust me, those guys don’t know your business, your clients, or your competition. You are going to get a cookie cutter logo that won’t get you noticed. You're better off going for that made-from-scratch standout to elevate you above the competition.
3. Solid Branding
Your logo is the cornerstone of your brand and its message. All of your messaging will be built off of that logo – so it’s definitely not the time to skimp or cut corners. A good designer is going to listen to your ideas and craft your vision. The final product will be worth every penny (which you saved in time).
We've got plenty of reasons why working with a professional designer is key. Coming up soon...how to find that design partner that nails your concepts the first time. In the meantime, have you ever had a design need where you regretted not hiring a professional graphic designer? We'd like to hear your stories. If nothing else, share for a good laugh!
As brand specialists and marketers often working in the food and beverage industry, one element of our job is to create strong messaging that will help drive awareness and sales of our clients' products. Part of what we rely on when crafting these messages is research data.
A 2015 online Harris Poll surveyed 2,225 U.S. adults to determine what words have the greatest influence on purchasing decisions within the food and beverage industry. A breakdown of the findings...
- “Handmade/handcrafted” showed the strongest potential sway with 48% estimating it has some or a great deal of influence on their decisions.
- "Handmade/handcrafted" also was deemed to communicate "high quality" by almost 60% of the survey respondents. "Artisan/artisanal" and "custom" were voted the next best quality communicators.
- More than 1/3 of those surveyed indicated “limited edition” (37%), “custom” (36%), or “artisan/artisanal” (36%) have at least some influence on what they buy.
- Thirty-two percent stated that “craft” has at least some influence, and “small batch” trailed with 25%.
Of course, it also depends on the product you're marketing. More than half of the drinking-age respondents (52%) indicated "craft" is the best fit for beer, while only 20% said the same for wine. "Handmade/handcrafted" were marketing terms found to be best suited for foods that satisfy the sweet tooth crowd - baked goods, jam/jelly/preserves and chocolate/candy. Cheeses and baked goods are most seen as appropriate fits for "artisan/artisanal" descriptors.
There also were some differences that existed between generations. Fifty-three percent of Millennials felt that "craft" indicated high quality, while only 31% of Matures agreed. The same applied for "small batch" with 39% and 19%, respectively. Is that because more Millennials are drinking beer and wine? Perhaps. As to what terms influence purchasing decisions among these generations, "handmade/handcrafted" was ranked highest across the board. "Limited edition" was voted 2nd highest among Millennials, Gen Xers and Boomers, and "artisan/artisanal" among Boomers and Matures.
Our takeaway on this? If marketers follow these research results, you'll probably see a lot more products in 2016 touted as "handmade/handcrafted." But, marketers shouldn't rely solely on research when creating messaging for food and beverage clients. The type and uniqueness of the products being sold, as well as the target audiences should be considered, as well.