Branding

Break Out of Your Creative Rut & Flourish

Break Out of Your Creative Rut & Flourish 900 900 BrandFiend

Let’s face it, we’re all human. I know I know, sometimes as creatives people tend to think we’re super heroes & while we may possess some magical capabilities we all fall victim to a creative rut from time to time. But don’t worry, being stuck isn’t a bad thing, staying stuck is. Here at Brand Fiend we juggle tons of projects at a time, and when you’re paid to deliver these amazing ideas in a short time frame, getting overwhelmed is bound to happen. I’m not going to lie, sometimes I sit in front of my computer, getting absolutely nothing done. Not because I don’t want to, but because I haven’t found that rhythm that’ll help me produce the best work. So if you’re anything like me, you want to get out of these ruts as soon as possible. Below are some tips to break free from your creative rut & FLOURISH:

TAKE A VACATION

Sometimes it takes a total change of pace and scenery to reset the mind. Whether you can afford to take a few days off or simply enjoy the weekend, make a point to surround yourself with a culture different from your own. I recently visited Philadelphia, New York, then home to St. Louis to see family all in the month of September. Getting out of your normal surroundings can help spark ideas you didn’t know existed.

STEP OUTSIDE YOUR COMFORT ZONE

A lot of time ruts come when we’re most comfortable. Look at it as a sign, and as a time to challenge yourself to something new. Force yourself to do something outside of the norm in order to help keep you on your toes. As creatives, we need to stay sharp in whatever it is we’re trying to accomplish. So creating a challenging task for yourself then actually completing it might just do the trick.

MAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF

Being an entrepreneur/business owner is time consuming. People are literally pulling for your attention and expertise at all times. While it’s always great to do your best to help everyone else, sometimes it’s good to make time for yourself. Make time to do those things you love and help boost your confidence. Don’t lose yourself while putting others before your own personal care/needs.

LAUGH

Sounds pretty simple, right? Well, it is, at least for me. Creative ruts can bring on a lot of stress & stress can drain you. There’s nothing like a good laugh at the right time. So whether it’s watching one of your favorite TV shows, hanging out with friends/family, etc. Whatever the case may be, be sure to loosen up and allow some room for laughter. Sometimes, it’s the little things that count and those little things can help you get back on track.

INSPIRATIONAL MUSIC

As you all may already know, #FiendVibes is definitely a thing here at Brand Fiend. Music has always been one of my biggest forms of inspiration. It’s always been one of the most effective story tellers in my life, since I was a kid. I’ve gained a lot of knowledge from lyrics from those on this journey towards greatness, like myself. So when I’m in a rut, I’ll put on an album or a song that speaks to me, in order to help get me back focused. There’s nothing like putting on some good music to get you back in the groove.

SWEAT IT OUT

Sometimes the best thing to do is to just hit the gym, and sweat it out. Especially if you haven’t gotten much physical activity lately, you’ll feel great once you do! Look at it as the sweat releasing all the bad vibes from your life and giving you a fresh start, a chance to reestablish your creativity!

WRITE IT DOWN

Redefine your goals be writing them down. & I mean the old school way, with pen and paper. Sometimes seeing these things will help remind you of what you set out to do and help you get back to where you need to be.

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 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!

How to Help Your Brand Go “Viral”

How to Help Your Brand Go “Viral” 2000 1000 Mason Hylden

Viral is defined as usually as “being spread rapidly,” or “shared from person to person.” Coming from its origin word of “virus,” this term was thrown around in a rather negative connotation up until the past 5 years or so. Nowadays people from all around the world wish to go viral. The 15 minutes of fame has shifted from auditioning for reality TV shows to making cute, funny, stupid, or fantastic internet content.

Something I get quite a bit more than everything else related to marketing, is the question “How do I make my (insert thing here) go ‘viral’”?   That’s the new craze, the new fix. Creators, business owners, and tweens in their bedrooms all scour the internet in hopes of finding new ways and that 1 trick to make their stuff go viral, but it’s not that simple…

To put it simply, your content, your brand, your business, must BE viral. What I mean by that is you must think 3 steps ahead of your product. Imagine your later growth, look at your core audience, and think about how the people in their circles will view your content. The people who are sharing your content are the ones who are already sold. They are bought in to your ideas, what matters more is getting their at least 150 friends on Facebook or 50 followers on twitter to share your ideas. You can do this by making your content “shareable.” What makes sharable content is the ability to be understood on some level, or in other words people have to be able to quickly identify the why. Why your content is good, or why your product is the next big thing, and lastly why your brand deserves their time. A good example of this is any video on Facebook. For some reason we all have that one friend that shares a billion videos, it could be babies, it could be puppies, or it could be something political. The important thing is that that content is “SOOOO cute lol” or “very insightful.” People come to click on those posts because they have something, they offer, a response; they make people feel. The videos themselves give a reason to be shared. They have something. If Jimmy Fallon’s content is funny, other people will think so too, and so on and so on. If a cats with babies video is cute, other people will think so too, and so on and so on. This content have something that people get and people know other people will get too.

Now It sounds a lot like I am saying that you need to have a gimmick….and well…I kinda am. For lack of a better way of phrasing it, you are not special, and if you are, you’re lucky. BUT for the rest of us figuring out what you can offer to your clients or customers is important to understanding how people will make you go viral. That could be a number of things from the people in your company, to your unique style, the great music you make, the culture you promote, or hey maybe you just do excellent work! Whatever makes you different will help you go viral. Figure out what is unique about you and your brand or content, and run with it. From there, people will come.

Have a project in might for your brand? Or do you have questions on how we can take your brand to the next level? Let’s chat. Contact us.

-Thank you

Mason Hylden,

Marketing Specialist

Genuine Branding Matters

Genuine Branding Matters 2000 1000 Mason Hylden

If you do not care about your brand no one else will either.

Most people will tell you to “fake it til you make it.” Unfortunately this doesn’t always work out for the better when it comes to communicating your message.

For example, let us say that I am promoting my new kind of computer that is the best in its class. High performance, great speed, insane graphics and the price point cannot be matched by its competitors; and this is plastered all over their social media and website:

Gaming! Movies! Creation! Anything you can imagine! With the Mega Computer, anything is possible. With a Qual-Dragon 5576 Processor, 12 gb of Random Access Memory, a 3 TB solid cold titanium status drive, and a clean steel wash exterior, the Mega Computer is the #1 computing machine in the world, and as far as we know the universe! Pre-order now and you too can receive a free wired mouse perfect for pro gaming! On Sale Soon!  

Let’s say the company trying to sell this Mega Computer is called, DemoComputing. Now this tech company is scratching its head in confusion about why the product they just created, top of the line mind you, is not selling a single unit. Taking a look back they’re marketing is fine, they seem like they reach enough people to sell, they contacted the right individuals to stock on shelves, the team put in the work, but they are still coming up short. DemoComputing is a national brand (a fake one but just for example), there is no way they overlooked something. And they didn’t, fact of the matter is, DC checked the numbers and by all accounts are a successful company that should be doing well.

Flipping this over, in the office right next to them we have a mid-level business called IndeCom (again, fake names). IndeCom’s focus is all across their website:

Once a small garage tech company, making computers from scratch parts and selling them to neighbors, IndeCom grew into a profitable company by repairing, creating, and selling computers to local schools, businesses, and of course retailers (though that came later). Our main drive is to better communications in the classroom, the workforce, and even in homes. Soon to be partnering with St. Mason’s Hospital, IndeCom is working to bring quality computing to even the medical field, and right now with every purchase of a personal computer from selected retailers, we will donate proceeds to the local children’s center.

IndeCom went on to sign several deals with local and national businesses, and school districts across the country, in addition to making great retail profits.

This example may be a bit extreme, but one of these definitely stood out from the other. No not DemoComputing, IndeCom! When it came to moving sales and and attracting people, IndeCom has it down. Simply from making it clear for it’s audience to know what they are about and what they are trying to accomplish, they are able to market leagues above someone who is just listing out cool things about themselves. Now you don’t always need a heartfelt, drawn out sob story or history, but rather a genuine feeling. A message to get behind, with people who believe in what they are selling. Sure, DemoComputing believes their computer is the fastest, and will make the job of ten men and women fit into one single operating system, but it is just specs. Nothing about where the idea came from, the inspiration behind such a revolutionary machine, and why they chose to make this beautiful work of art. The story behind it was lost, and so their approach to their customers and clients come off just as robotic as the computers they were trying to sell. It came across fake. And no one likes fake.

It is okay to believe in the product you are selling.

I don’t want to come across like you solely have to believe in your brand. You can have it both ways, honestly. You can have it to where you believe in the people, and you believe in the company making your product AND believe that your product is the greatest But if you do not show why people should invest in YOU, your business, your brand; people will not turn heads. Give em’ a reason to love and they will love you. Or in better words, “If you build it, they will come.”

Take a moment and look at your branding…

Ask yourself these questions when looking at your brand or business image:

  • Does my brand serve a purpose?
  • Can I make that purpose easily available to my audience?
  • How can I tell my story?
  • How can I continue to expand and grow my brand, while still sticking to the core values?
  • In what ways can I show my own employees what we are about, so that they too can pass that on in their work?

Implementing these strategies and answers to these questions can sometimes be hard too but there are others out there that can help you get those values, and stories across, like Brand Fiend for example. And from there the rest is easy.

It goes back into the word of mouth marketing as well (https://brandfiend.com/what-is-marketing/). If people see you are a great business and your brand is genuine, they will stand with you, and 10 of their people will stand with you, and 10 of their people, and so on and so on. Tell your story, build your brand.

-Mason Hylden

Marketing Specialist