Branding

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3 Qualities Your Brand Needs to Thrive in 2018

3 Qualities Your Brand Needs to Thrive in 2018 900 900 Aqweela Green

3 Essential Qualities For Your Brand to Thrive

Image result for work rihanna gif

Everything that

glitters isn’t gold.

(Sometimes it’s more of a mustard brownish.)

Work, work, work, work, work! Rihanna said it best. Yes, I know it can be extremely exhausting to put your 150% effort into building your brand and executing all of your services to a perfected completion. But friends, this is exactly what you signed up for. You may assume that the superstar, groundbreaking company that inspires you, got their greatness overnight. Believe it or not, every success story is rooted with struggle before the triumph. Just look at our billionaire pals who came from nothing: Starbucks’ Howard Schultz, Oprah Winfrey, Ralph Lauren. Entrepreneurship is a constant hustle to discovery, innovation, development and management. And that’s just the start of it. The finish line is not a hop, skip and a jump away. But more of a marathon that you’ll need to prep, train and condition for to get the results you want. My list of basic qualities you’ll need this year, will get you pushing towards meeting goals and getting on the right track during your marathon.

1. INNOVATION.

The most difficult thing to do when building your brand is be creative. Just about everything that you can think of has most likely been thought of already.  But hey, competition is not always a terrible thing. The fun part is exploring key components that will make your brand a “no brainer” against competitors. Identifying what you can offer that others won’t, and ultimately how you stand out from the rest, is always going to be your main objective. Find a skilled brand strategist to assist you with creating or enhancing your marketing plan.

2. DEVELOPED.

Make every detail perfect, and limit the number of details to perfect.  -Jack Dorsey, Twitter Co-Founder

Almost any quote from a billionaire is going to be easier said than done, but we take note because they know what they’re talking about, right? Your brand’s success relies on the development of the following tools: an efficient website, clever logo design, updated social media accounts, attainable business goals &  step-by-step strategies to complete them. Without making efforts to develop these tools, you can lose credibility as an established brand. Potential clients are comforted by the ease of going to your website to learn all that they need to know about your services. Then heading to your social media to discover if their values match yours. Check out 5 Ways to Brand Your Social Media Channel to learn more tips in this area.

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3. WELL-MANAGED.

With the help of Google reviews and social media, businesses can’t afford the slander that comes from even the most minor slip ups with unsatisfied customers. As you may have seen in the latest news, big corporations are losing clientele because of their lack of customer service skills or inability to meet customer’s needs effectively. Save yourself the embarrassment and financial loss. Either get your employees (re)trained in the necessary departments or handle the customer yourself in the professional manner that they require. A well-managed company will increase their client base just by great reviews. Invite your clients to submit a review or post on how amazing the service was afterwards. A simple shout out on social media can go a long way.

5 Communication Skills Every Entrepreneur Should Master

5 Communication Skills Every Entrepreneur Should Master 900 900 BrandFiend

Growing up an only child and introvert, I stay to myself a lot of the time. I’ve found myself to be an observer more than anything. So working on better ways to effectively communicate has been something I’ve consistently worked on since starting Brand Fiend. Good communication is one of the most important skills we can learn in life. Whether you want to have a better conversation in your social life or in your business, open and transparent communication allows things to flow much more smoothly and effectively. At Brand Fiend, we work with tons of clients simultaneously, so having a trusted communication process gives us the opportunity to help our clients reach their true potential. Here are 5 tips to help you level up skills!

1. Listen More, Speak Less

For some people, listening isn’t always so easy. For me, it’s perfect because I’m great at observing, and you can learn the most about anyone when you simply listen. In business, the best way to get to know what’s best for your clients or how to sell them is to hear them out. They’ll tell you everything you need to know and then some!

2. Don’t Hurry

Don’t hurry, take you time to have a conversation. A lot of people are so focused on getting the sale or closing the deal, they forget to pace themselves. Let them see that you find him or her valuable in the conversation. Sort through all the ins and outs first, it will be very appreciated. When you don’t rush a conversation you will also decrease the misunderstandings because you have more time to explain clearly what you want to say and that will make your conversations more efficient.

3. State Your Value with Confidence

Confidence is key! You gotta “Say it with ya chest!” in the most humble way possible. Branding and selling are all about being able to confidently communicate both your points of value and what makes you different than anyone else on the market. Spend time getting clear about the value you bring to the table and your unique selling points, and build your ability to confidently share that in different contexts. Practice boiling that proposition down to no more than two to three sentences. Some may call it an “Elevator Pitch”.

4. Manage Expectations

At Brand Fiend, we try to stick with the motto “Under-promise and over-deliver”, which might be the most on-point way to describe managing expectations. As an entrepreneur, you have many people pulling for your skills/attention for you to complete things in short time periods. The easiest way to alleviate pressure as an entrepreneur is to manage expectations.

Be clear about deliverables, time frames and results. If issues arise, communicate clearly and frequently. It’s always better to commit to less than raise people’s expectations and fail to follow through.

5. Conflict Resolution

Conflict management is an essential part of being an entrepreneur. A major component of successfully resolving conflicts is your ability to productively push back. The ability to communicate under pressure is a key entrepreneurial skill. When dealing with conflict, you should always be polite, productive and non-personal. Focus on clarity and resolution. Because let’s be clear, you’ll run into plenty of hurdles along this entrepreneurial journey.

 

Why Web Designers Matter

Why Web Designers Matter 1200 1200 Bree Johnson

Benefits of investing in a Web Designer

Starting a new business is such a stressful time as an entrepreneur. There’s this overwhelming list of things that you need to accomplish to make sure that the presence of your new company is received in the best light. One major step that many entrepreneurs skip during the initial process of organizing their company is hiring a skilled web designer to create their online home. Websites are the window to your brand and in many cases it’s your brand’s first impression. Therefore, it is important that you start off on the right foot and really invest in your site to create an appealing, unique web presence.

With the influx of website builders like SquareSpace, WordPress, and WIX it is easy to assume that building a website is as easy as making an account, answering a couple questions, and filling in some boxes. While you definitely could go that route, it’s important to note that this isn’t as easy as the commercials make it seem and it may not be the best decision for you or your company. With no graphic or web design background, taking on a website DIY project may be daunting. Web Designers are specifically trained to create a user friendly experience for your customers. Not only are they aware of what should be included on your site, but they also know how to make sure that your brand stands out! Web designers offer many services that will not only elevate your brand, but will make your life as an entrepreneur simpler and easier.

It doesn’t stop at just the design

There are a number of behind the scenes functions that go into developing and maintaining a website. Having a web designer on hand gives you access to services that you might not even know you need. For instance if you sign up for a hosting package through Brand Fiend, we will secure your domain, set up your Premium Hosting Account, and set up your business emails, for starters. 

As your business grows, the amount of content that you maintain on your site will grow! It can be such a hassle to have to worry about updating pictures, adding team members, changing product descriptions, etc., but did you know your web designer can do this for you? We won’t just leave you after we’ve designed your site, we make sure to keep your website running smoothly and efficiently with our Website Maintenance Plans, so you can focus on building and running your company.

But it doesn’t stop there, you can also benefit from having someone curate personalized blog content for you, keep your plugins updated, update your website regularly with fresh content, and even optimize the SEO on your site so search engines have the best chance of finding you!

Focus on your business, while we focus on the brand

Now I know what you’re thinking, “I’m a new business owner, why do I need these services”. The answer is simple: these services will help to increase your reach, provide a better web experience for your customers, and present a more consistent and professional brand image for your company. We do all of the work for your website so that you can focus on growing, while knowing that your company is in trusted and capable hands. When you hire Brand Fiend, it is more than just paying us to create your website, we develop, build, maintain, and curate individualized content for the window to your business!

 

How To Set Your Social Media Ads Up For Success

How To Set Your Social Media Ads Up For Success 2048 1365 BrandFiend

Pull out your phone, log into any social media app and I guarantee you’ll see some advertising. Why? Because all social media platforms will encourage any business, from Fortune 500 companies to a mom and pop candy store, to create ads. And they make it easy to do so too, but when you’re making an ad, there are plenty of ways to turn it into a flat out failure before you even hit submit.

All social media outlets are different & pretty much anyone can make an ad if they play around with it for long enough. But they’re also all similar in this regard: if you don’t have a plan for your ads, you might as well throw your money down the drain.

But don’t get it confused, we’re not saying having a plan is a sure way to creating a perfect social media marketing campaign every time – this stuff takes trial and error. However, there are ways to ensure that your ad isn’t a total disappointment. If you make sure that you avoid each of these common mistakes, you’ll have a head start towards successful ad campaigns. Here are some things to avoid when setting up your social media ads.

Bad targeting

What social networks can promise you when you make an ad is traffic (or impressions). Brands are buying eyeballs when they run social media ads. Facebook, Instagram, and the others can promise that they will serve the ad you made to someone. But to who is the biggest question of them all.

There are plenty of targeting options on the major social media ad platforms. But they won’t force you to use them. They’ll let you run an ad targeted to every man, woman, and child in America, if you want. Which is a common mistake beginners make when running these campaigns.

Impressions will be through the roof when you target a massive audience, but it’s not a measure of success. You can get a ton of impressions targeting swim suit ads to people on the North Pole, but how many of those people would click on your ad and make a purchase?

Do your research. Know your audience. Then run your ads.

Bad Imagery

Social media users prefer simple visual content because it’s easier to process by our brains. However when images embody too many elements, they become confusing. When this happens, our brains are not sure where to look at. This creates stress that makes users simply ignore the content and keep scrolling. The key to a good social media image is to generate a positive feeling in the users that are seeing them, while keeping things simple.

Only Making One Ad

Trial and error is a big part of social media marketing, hell it’s a big part of life. Each ad that you put out is an experiment. Sometimes an ad has all of the “right” components and it ends up being a disappointment. But that’s no reason to give up.

Making just one and hoping for the best sets you up for a very limited experience. Making multiple ads gives you a chance to experiment and learn which images and text your audience is connecting with. You can’t get that from just making one ad.

No Call-To-Action

Every ad should have a goal. Send someone to a page on your website, ask them to like your Facebook page, or make them watch your video that you spent so much time making.

Most of the time, a brand has a call-to-action in mind, but they haven’t explicitly stated it. And in on someones social media timeline, you’ve got a matter of seconds to get someone’s attention before they’re gone. Probably even less than that, really.

Nothing’s better than telling someone what you want them to do in the ad copy. If you build in a call-to-action with your words in addition to other options, you’ll be in good shape.

How We Can Help

We can help determine your audience, plan your messaging, and determine an ad budget. We focus on serving ads that resonate with your audience. Success may not come immediately, but the social media world is massive. If you have an audience in mind, social networks will help you find them. Need help putting together a Social Media Marketing plan or need assistance in running your advertisements? Feel free to contact us, we’d love to help!

The Benefits of Outsourcing Social Media Management

The Benefits of Outsourcing Social Media Management 3000 3000 Raquel Grant

When speaking of social media management, what all does that include?

Social media management includes creating content, scheduling posts, and the overall upkeep of various platforms. It includes the tracking and analyzing of interactions with customers and performance of various campaigns. With social media management you can get a more in depth idea of your audience through those specific social media platforms. This will help with creating more effective marketing campaigns. 

Now, you may be thinking “Hey, I use Facebook daily, managing my business accounts shouldn’t be too much different.”. Although the similarities are clear, there is much more that meets the eye. Managing social media can be a lot to handle for companies who don’t  have a specific team in place. Hiring a secondary company who is well equipped with covering social media management is very beneficial. It will give you a strong social media presence and help keep your business ahead of the competition.

So Much to Do, So Little Time

Managing social media is extremely time consuming. From creating content, to analyzing data, and just simply engaging with your audience, there is a lot of time that has to be dedicated here. There are many companies that aren’t aware of the magnitude of time that goes into managing their social media. This underestimation may cause them to become overwhelmed or simply neglectful. Outsourcing this task to a third party will give you the opportunity to focus on the tasks that cater to your employees strengths, and other important factors such as finances or customer service.

The Art of Penny Pinching

Hiring a single individual as a social media specialist or marketing manager can be an added expense that won’t amount to the alternative of having a team of people who can produce more. When you go with a secondary company, they can provide a team who will cater to specific entities within the social media marketing umbrella. You can get a web designer, graphic designer, social media specialist, brand specialist, and the list goes on. These individuals will possess specific skills that you may not be able to find in just one individual. 

Knowledge and Resources

Companies who specialize in social media management have the knowledge and resources necessary to optimize success and generate more business. They have already researched and are familiar with the trends, now they just need to tailor it to fit your brand. Don’t underestimate the creative process. Creating a mix of sales-based and fun, engaging content that offers value to your audience takes a special eye. Companies who specialize in social media management have systems already in place to utilize platforms simultaneously making for a more well-rounded and effective campaign.

Can you see how beneficial it would be to outsource your social media management? Here at Brand Fiend, we have a group of talented and passionate employees. Let us lend our expertise to you and your brand. Click here so we can talk about it!

 

Hiring a Graphic Designer Versus A Branding Agency

Hiring a Graphic Designer Versus A Branding Agency 3000 3000 BrandFiend

WHAT IS BRANDING?

The term “Branding”  is very broad & a lot of times its hard to fit what all we can do into one sentence. Sometimes one paragraph isn’t even enough. Initially, a lot of start ups look at us as Graphic Designers because the things they believe they need fit into what a Graphic Designer does. While there isn’t anything wrong with what they can provide, it only scraps the surface of what we can do as an Agency. First things first, bringing brand strategy into graphic design is no easy task, but it’s one every business needs to achieve if they want to brand themselves the right way and establish a solid foundation.

Graphic design is just one element of branding. How your brand is perceived by the world has a direct impact on your success. Your brand should be communicated clearly at every touch point in order to create consistency and to establish who you are in your particular marketplace. Perhaps it’s just easy to confuse graphic design with branding but here’s an easy way to look at it. Your brand is how people see your entire company, i.e. brand image. It encompasses your brand identity, logo, web design, brand message, social media, fonts, values, color palettes, and more.

KNOW THE DIFFERENCE

While a Graphic Designer can provide you with the initial things, more than likely they won’t assist in helping establish your brand’s entire foundation, i.e. your message, taglines, strategy, website, and more. That’s where we come in. We work extremely hard to provide a cohesive experience for your entire brand. Not only can we knock out your logo and visual design needs, but we also help establish your brands message, website, social media, taglines, values, email campaigns, and other things to help bring your brand together. All things that are essential in establishing a solid foundation for your startup.

HOW WE CAN HELP

Ideally, you want one person/agency to accomplish all of these things for you in one place. Simply because you want your brand to provide a well put together look on all platforms once presented to the world. Getting these things in different places doesn’t ensure that will always happen and most times, you’ll end up spending more money having to revamp once you realize your brand isn’t quite a “brand” just yet. So as an agency, we’re here to help with all these things and are passionate about helping startups effectively get it right the first time, so there’s no need revamp over and over again.

Need help establishing a foundation for your brand? or need help revamping a brand that you’ve been struggling with? We’d love to hear about it along with what you’re passionate about. Reach out to us by clicking here.

Why Branding Your Startup is Critical

Why Branding Your Startup is Critical 1200 1800 Aqweela Green

Properly Branding for Your New Business is a Must!

One of the most confusing terms for startups is “Branding”. You hear it often, but can’t decide if it’s absolutely necessary. The answer is yes! While there are rookies in the entrepreneurship game, there are also veterans. Veterans know the importance of branding and how IMPOSSIBLE it is to avoid it. Unlike rookies, who often have no clue what all it entails, and naturally believe it’s irrelevant to their progression. Luckily for you non-believers I’m happy to share why branding should be a priority for your business’ success.

BRANDING IS A PROCESS

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First of all, let’s start with the fact that branding is indeed a process! This process includes creating a unique image and name for your product or service. As I mentioned in my last blog How Your Brand’s Image Can Spark It’s Success, it’s important to know what your goals are for your brand. When customers talk about your product to their friends and family, how will they associate your brand and will they recommend it as “the best” option. You’ll need to take your time on figuring out just what you want your brand’s message to prospective customers to say. Without careful attention to detail here it will make it difficult for you throughout the rest of the process.

PORTRAY THE SAME MESSAGE

Your next step will be using advertising campaigns to portray the same message throughout various media outlets. Social media accounts will illustrate what your company is made of and what your brand offers. Your potential and credibility is evident through the constant briefing of your company’s growth and development through updates via: social media posts, blogs, interviews, or featured articles on publications. The key is to stick to the message that clearly describes your brand’s mission. Finally, any mention of your brand should be positive and reflect your brand’s image. Huffington Post’s 4 Ways to Amplify Your Brand Message definitely helps to give you an alternative perspective as well.

ESTABLISHING A SIGNIFICANT PRESENCE

Last but not least, establishing a significant presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers is your last step. Unless you’re proficient in creating strategies for your company’s growth in sales, Marketing Specialists are your go-to people. Marketing is not as easy as it sounds and takes some serious research to gain real results. Knowing your competitors in your industry plays a big part in securing as well as maintaining customers. Most of all, to keep customers interested and loyal to your services, do your research. Find out what’s expected from you as a company (surveys or reviews) and make those necessary changes accordingly.

Here at Brand Fiend, our team of professionals are equipped with the knowledge and experience to effectively guide you and your new company through the branding process. We aim to provide you with as much insight and knowledge on the appropriate plans and branding services to help you meet your goals with ease. Get started now.

Why Branding Comes Before Marketing

Why Branding Comes Before Marketing 2000 1000 BrandFiend

It’s been two years since I started Brand Fiend and since then, I’ve learned a lot. One common thing I’ve noticed is that a lot of people mistake what we do for just “marketing”. Now while marketing is a small piece of what we do here at Brand Fiend, it only scratches the surface. I want people to understand that there’s a difference between branding and marketing and that your brand should always come first. The terms are increasingly used interchangeably, which only adds to the confusion. But that’s what we’re here for, to educate!

First things first! Your marketing may be your brand’s vehicle to carry your message, but without a brand foundation driving that vehicle, you can’t go anywhere. It’s like a car with no gas. Your brand is what touches hearts and builds trust within your potential customers. It’s what they think when they hear or see your name. From your logo to your website to your social media presence, brand culture, and more, these things play a major part in establishing what your brand is. The most successful brands, no matter what size, focus on both branding and marketing. The combination is powerful. But in order to successfully market, you must first develop your brand.

Branding builds trust and loyalty. Marketing helps inspire buyers.

It’s tempting to jump right into marketing. After all, your ultimate goal is to sale your product, we get it. But if your strategy is based only on selling your product and service, you are at a serious disadvantage. If you have not taken the time to develop your brand, you will be forced to compete on price. That is rarely a viable long-term strategy. It’s best to establish a culture people trust and figure out how to connect with your consumer. The sooner you can figure that out, the more effective your marketing strategies will be, and the sooner the cash flows.

Need help developing your brand identity? We’d love to take a look at what you’ve been doing thus far to see if there’s room for improvement. Got a project? Let’s chat!

Know When It’s Time for a Logo Redesign

Know When It’s Time for a Logo Redesign 2000 1000 BrandFiend
Here at Brand Fiend, we look at your logo design as an essential piece in telling your brands story. So when evaluating your companies logo there are a few things you should think about, especially if you plan on developing your brand for the long term.
First think about how versatile a logo is. Most times, your logo will serve several different roles when branding your company. Whether it being placed on branding materials, your website, social media, and more, you should make sure your logo translates on all platforms. Also, some people think a logo should include specific things geared around what the brand is about. For example, if you have a computer company, some people would think the logo needs to incorporate a computer. This theory isn’t always true. If you think about some of the most highly recognizable brands: Nike, Apple, Coca-Cola, etc. They’re all clean, simplistic logo designs. Look at your logo and ask yourself these questions:
1. Is your logo simple?
2. Is your logo modern?
3. Does your logo make an impact?
4. Does it work across all mediums? (In all shapes and sizes at various distances?)
5. Do you remember the last time a professional evaluated your logo?
If your answers to all of these questions are yes, then you should be good to go! If they aren’t or you’re not quite sure, then it may be the perfect time for a new logo. Don’t panic, re-branding is actually pretty common. You may not have noticed but brands like Google and Pandora have recently revamped their logo design. Sometimes, there are certain investments you just have to make for your business no matter if you’re a well established company or a start-up. You’re never too good to improve.
A more direct approach to your companies logo design could be like a breath of fresh air. There’s nothing wrong with refreshing a stagnant brand. Remember, even if you’re a decent drawer and on a tight budget, you should leave logo design to a company who specializes in that field *cough cough*. Below are 5 key factors that will make your new logo something to be proud of!
  1. Keep it Simple
  2. Make it Memorable
  3. Make it Modern & Timeless
  4. Make it Proportional
  5. Make it Versatile
Do you feel your brand is in need of a new logo? No worries, we’d love to assist you. Let’s chat. Click here or send an email directly to jesse@brandfiend.com.