Find Your Brand’s Voice With Brand Identity

Before you can present a cohesive brand image that allows your company to communicate with a singular brand voice, you must determine and develop your company’s unique brand identity.

Even seasoned business leaders and marketing professionals can get a bit lost when it comes to the complexities of branding methodology and contingent content marketing processes. However, The Balance Small Business, an independent source of business news and information, breaks down the difference between brand identity and brand image quite succinctly. In short, brand identity encompasses all components of a company that define it intrinsically. It is the intent behind the company brand image, which it will attempt to project in the minds of consumers. 

To make the identity/image distinction clearer, it may be helpful to think of your company as a living person. In a person, identity relates to a personal understanding of the self, while image refers to the cultivated face that each individual shows to others.

The Ancient Greek aphorism “know thyself” wisely places identity before image in order to stress that man must live according to his nature. The branding of companies must follow the same general principle, allowing brand identity to determine brand image and dictate brand voice.

In order to arrive at a brand identity that is right for you, you must consider not only what your company stands for but also whom your company is trying to reach.

Know your audience

Before you can develop the brand identity that will allow you to speak to your audience in a unified and compelling voice, you must determine who your audience is with absolute precision and considerable detail.  

Because your brand identity will determine the public image of your company in all respects, you must be sure that it is compatible with your target customer base. For example, any brand name, logo, and/or slogan that is geared toward millennials should be drastically different from those of a brand that is geared toward baby boomers. Remember the golden rule of brand strategy when it comes to audience targeting: companies that try to reach everybody will ultimately reach nobody.

Know your company

With your target audience firmly in mind, you can more adequately address consumer wants and needs while offering unique approaches and value-added embellishments that make you stand out from your closest competitors. A go-to informational resource for all things content marketing related, the independent online media outlet the Content Marketing Institute suggests trying to describe your unique brand identity in three words. Whether they be “innovative,” “passionate,” and “hardworking” or “quirky,” “imaginative,” and “authentic,” choose words that identify the essence of your company and its particular goods and/or services. These overarching characteristics can prove extremely helpful when you apply them to your subsequent approaches to marketing strategy and consumer communications.

The specific elements of brand identity

As previously discussed, brand identity should drive all aspects of company outreach to existing and potential customers. This means that brand identity should be immediately evident in your verbal communications (from company name to ad copy), your visual communications (from company logo to product packaging), and your customer service communications (from staff interactions to courtesy emails).

Think about the ways in which brand identity can expand to all aspects of consumer psychological and emotional response. For example, the emblematic in-store scent of Abercrombie & Fitch and the dulcet vocal tones of Apple’s Siri each play an integral role in defining the unique brand identity of the companies that developed them.

The specific media channels through which a company chooses to propagate its branded messages must also reinforce its essential brand identity. Within the world of social media alone, a tremendous amount of diversity exists when it comes to the underlying philosophies and attitudes of individual sites and the types of users that they tend to attract. Just think about the vast intrinsic and perceived differences that exist between industry leaders such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, and Tumblr.

For more information

To learn more about the importance of brand identity development when it comes to projecting a cohesive and effective brand image and speaking in a cohesive and effective brand voice, contact a representative of Bigeye today. We’re a brand identity agency that offers both a solid history in proven marketing techniques and a progressive vision that embraces state-of-the-art innovation.

Read More

Learn the Brand Benefits of Transmedia Storytelling

In marketing, “transmedia storytelling” is a trendy buzzword. Marketers have often proclaimed the benefits of placing much of their advertising-driven focus on telling a compelling “story,” but what is actually represented by the story itself may be a bit hazy. That’s where the marketers at your favorite marketing agency in Orlando come in – we’ll help you paint a clearer picture of how a viable story might help you to provide positive support and reinforcement for your message.

Before the digital revolution, brand storytelling meant something very specific. In particular, it applied to the types of stories we share with one other, in both formal and informal settings, often containing an overarching narrative – including protagonists, antagonists, and the like.

With the ever-present and constantly changing advent of emerging technology, storytelling has taken on a brand new connotation (pun intended). Sometimes called transmedia storytelling, these are, from a broad perspective, the stories about your brand as told through the use of social media, design and other elements that help give people the entire picture of what your brand is all about. Additionally, every image or bit of copy itself can also tell a story. Even Google’s “Don’t be evil” slogan gives us a pretty solid example of how the brand strives to present itself – abiding by the belief that a company that does good things for the world might be forced to forego some short-term goals.

Let’s take a look at how we can apply storytelling in a variety of business facets:

Storytelling in Copywriting

“Just do it.” “Think different.” “Got milk?” Each of these copywriting examples represents a widely-known slogan. In just a few short words, the copywriters responsible for these taglines are able to tell fantastic stories about their business. But it doesn’t stop here. Content through longer-form text and via social media are both excellent avenues to deliver stories out into the world.

Storytelling in Imagery

Images are effective because they truly resonate with people, transporting them to the locale that they see in the visual. Make an impact on your audience by relying on impactful visuals to tell these stories.

Storytelling in Web Design

Does the design layout of your website accurately depict who you are as a brand? Cutting-edge companies often have interesting websites that also reflect these values, whereas simple brands will employ more simplistic websites to reflect the mission of the business.

Storytelling in User Experience

Beyond simply website or mobile app design, this scenario poses the question of whether the user’s experience across platforms is consistent with your brand story. For instance, if you advertise excellent customer service, then your user experience can aptly highlight this feature by allowing ease of navigation of your apps, as well as features that place the customer at the center of the experience.

Storytelling in Sales

People are much more engaged with stories than with hard facts. Use interesting stories in your sales decks and presentation in order to help highlight your business’s strengths and create a feeling of “relatability” within your audience.

Storytelling in Company Culture

To at least some extent, your company’s people are the living and breathing representations of your story. Think of corporations like Google and Apple, both of which lean on their unique corporate cultures as the heart of how they do business. As an organization, who are you are, where you come from, and why you do what you do often makes for a very compelling story.

Storytelling in Customer Service

For Zappos, customer service IS the story. Zappos employees will stay on the phone with customers for 8 hours or longer just to fulfill the high customer service expectations set forth for and by customers. And, Zappos’ customer service commitment actually inspired an entire book called Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose, which essentially contains a collection of stories the culminate in the overall Zappos brand story.

If you’re not focusing on your brand’s story in all areas of your business, maybe it’s time to shift the paradigm – to begin thinking about how your great tale might best be told. Our Florida marketing agency can help you find and focus on a brand story worth sharing with your customers. Contact us today to let us help you refine your approach, and develop strategies to create a library of success stories!

Frequently Asked Questions on Brand Messaging

Brand messaging is critical to the health of your business. Here’s a closer look at some of the most commonly asked questions about the subject.

Every business owner wants to build deep, long-lasting relationships with customers. Brand messaging is the mechanism by which this is accomplished. Every communication an enterprise engages in should be done with proper brand messaging in mind.

When done right, it inspires, informs, persuades and catalyzes audiences. When done poorly, it can do serious reputational harm.

Now that we’ve understood the stakes involved, let’s take a closer look at some of the most common questions business owners have about brand messaging.

Brand Messaging FAQ

1. I’m a brand messaging neophyte — can you explain what it means in two sentences?

Sure. Brand messaging is the language, voice, tone, and ideas that a business uses to convey its core value proposition and company values.

2. Can you give me an example?

Absolutely. The classic Nike slogan “Just Do It” is a famous example of potent brand messaging. It distills the company’s ethos into three unforgettable words.

3. What are the qualities that make brand messaging effective?

The same qualities that make interpersonal communication effective, for the most part. Great brand messaging resonates with audiences and builds a connection. It inspires, catalyzes audiences into action and engenders a sense of personal identification with the brand. It’s how lifestyle brands are created and lifelong customers are made.

4. What happens when brand messaging goes wide of the mark?

If you’re lucky, audiences simply won’t respond to it. In situations where brands badly misjudge their voice or misunderstand their audience, poor brand messaging can alienate people, anger them, and turn them into another brand’s loyal customers.

5. So how does one create effective brand messaging?

Here’s where things get a bit more challenging. First, brands need to identify and segment their audience. If you don’t know who you’re selling to, you’re just throwing darts in the dark. Do research, identify your audience, and query them. What motivates them? What matters to them? How do they engage with brands?  By understanding the answers to these questions, brands can then draw a line between their customers’ motivations and their own products and services, their values, and their unique value proposition. 

6. What else is important?

One word: Differentiation. When you’re developing a brand messaging strategy, it’s natural to review what your competitors are doing. After all, you’re targeting the same audience, so there should be some overlap between your messaging strategy. That said, it’s critical to differentiate your product or service. Sometimes you can accomplish this through features or innovations, but in many industries, it’s the branding itself that is the primary differentiator. So while you want your messaging to be informed by what your competitors are doing, you don’t want to follow what they are doing. Develop your own unique, differentiated voice and message.

7. Any other tips?

Yes. Consumers are inundated by advertising and marketing messages, so it’s important to develop language and themes that stand out. Seek to be compelling and memorable, rather than aiming for a bland, middle of the road voice designed to appeal to the broadest possible demographic. It’s also critically important to be clear and concise — audiences will disengage immediately if you’re sending confusing messages. Place the audience at the center of the story and explain to them exactly what your brand can do for them. Make sure that your messaging comes through in every bit of content or communication you author, and always ensure your brand speaks in a unified and consistent voice.

Finding the Right Brand Messaging Agency

At BIGEYE, we’re experts when it comes to resonant brand messaging. Whether you’re looking for an innovative approach to brand video or new, tech-forward ways to reach your desired audiences, we can help.

Contact us today to learn more about what a sophisticated brand messaging strategy can do for your firm.

Read More

The Consumer Experience: Brands Overpromise and Under-Deliver

A brand strategy agency is imperative to building a brand that has its own identity and doesn’t fall into the stream of overpromising and under-delivering.

You don’t have to run a brand strategy agency to understand the importance of the customer experience. Creating a personal connection with audiences through meaningful experiences is the gold standard of modern marketing and its value is repeated ad nauseam.
Yet simply because we all pay lip service to this notion doesn’t mean we’re actually getting it accomplished. Many brands are still falling woefully short in terms of delivering a compelling cross-channel consumer experience.

So what’s the key to unlocking these sought after, but rarely realized, customer experiences?

Building a more human brand.

Taking your brand’s pulse

According to the most recent Forrester U.S. Customer Experience Index, there has been a minimal improvement in the overall quality of consumer experiences. Think about this: Though brands and their CMOs line up to testify to the necessity of great customer experiences, the actual customers are deeply unimpressed.

Clearly, something is fundamentally amiss. Put simply, brands are focusing far too much on product experience and much too little on the human experience. If you want to connect at a deeper level, you need to move beyond the way people interact with products in a narrow use case sense, and instead consider the full range of feelings, desires, hopes, aspirations, etc. that are connected with any product or service.

We certainly have the right tools at our disposal. Today’s digital technologies facilitate the kind of close engagement with audiences that would have been unthinkable just a decade or two ago.

A date with implementation

So how can these tools be deployed in service of more human-centric experiences? Consider the following:

We like to think we are rational creatures.

The truth, however, is that emotion guides us more often than not. A few years ago, leading neuroscientist Antonio Damaso made a pioneering discovery. Damaso studied subjects who had experienced serious damage to the part of the brain where emotions are generated. Everyone he studied had an unusual commonality — they struggled mightily with even the simplest decision-making. Brands need to understand the profound role emotion plays in how consumers respond to marketing messages and optimize accordingly.

The best ideas and intentions are often utterly lost in execution.

It’s one thing to conceptualize human experiences; it’s another thing entirely to deliver them effectively. Forward-thinking brand strategy agencies grasp the importance of digital tools in this process. According to Gartner, 63% of CMOs are expecting an increase in their innovation budget. If you want to deliver personalized experiences, you need to build the architecture to do so.

The consumer/brand relationship is being utterly transformed.

But not every brand is at the same place on the acceleration curve. The days of deploying one size fit all marketing, selling a product and periodically keeping in touch with consumers are long gone. Today, the most successful brands build communities; they encourage constant digital interaction and engagement; they facilitate a continuous relationship that integrates directly into a consumer’s lifestyle. These brands aren’t merely companies — they are, in many ways, an extension of the consumer themselves.

The takeaway

Digital technologies have created tectonic shifts in the ways brands sell and market their products and services. The best brand strategy agencies understand these changes and help position brands for maximum competitive advantage.

If your existing marketing approach needs to be upgraded with a more human-focused, digitally powered approach, please contact our brand specialists today.

How to Build Trust Through Community Bank Marketing

Leverage the unique opportunities of a small bank to drive effective community bank marketing strategies that will turn your small branch into big business.

Many agencies and marketers like to think that finance is a big mystery—an animal all its own with completely different rules. In some ways it is, but in most ways, it isn’t. Effective branding gains attention and keeps it; just like it does in every other industry. Community bank marketing is very similar to small business marketing, it just calls for a more sophisticated twist.
Here are 3 key concepts for building trust in small banks:

1. Get personal, to an extent

Small banks have the unique opportunity to build strong interpersonal relationships. To not just become a brand or company name, but to become Sammy, the helpful man at the front desk, who can help you get what you need. He knows your name and asks about your son’s baseball games.

Let empathy drive your services so that your consumers feel valued. Show them directly how your customer relations can brighten their day while your services exceed every expectation. Leveraging expertise and friendly service, you can turn your brand into a mentor for each and every customer.

Find an agency that understands the delicate differentiators’ in voice and branding to craft the perfect balance for your community. Drive real results with community bank marketing that cares just the right amount.

2. Leverage digital effectively

Digital is invaluable to community bank marketing because it’s a great way to establish one-on-one interaction and build strong relationships. Digital marketing for banks works a lot like digital marketing for anyone else but should be held to a higher standard. For example, a clothing company or salon should have Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts; while banks should be on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, but never Instagram. It’s just too casual.

The right digital strategy in banking is all about finding your line of sophistication and building that ever-important trust. Use digital in conjunction with strong branding to build effective consumer relationships. Post community views and common local phrases to evoke nostalgia and build understanding. Using effective bank marketing strategies, your brand can become a community pillar.

Represent your brand as a member of the community and follow through. Post photos and short videos of the front office team to build a connection before a customer even sets foot through your doors. Show the management team doing community service and attending local events, embody your brand through human interaction. Demonstrate a neighborly connection to develop a real personality.

3. Embrace ever-evolving technology

Maneuverability is a great advantage that small banks have over large institutions. Every day enhanced technology is being developed in all aspects of every industry—including banking. Due to the security necessary throughout the banking process, it can take years to implement any one new process across an entire large bank. For a community bank, that same process can take just a few months.

Incorporate cutting edge technologies into your services to provide convenience as well as modernity for your customers. Leverage your agility and technological know-how in your brand’s bank marketing ideas. This will draw in young consumers looking for a better way to the bank as well as the older markets that simply enjoy the advantages offered by new technologies.

More than a novelty, technology can cut your company’s operational costs while allowing for more personal service. Incorporating a one-on-one, on-demand experience for consumers to interact with your brand without having to walk in. Utilize effective customer service in combination with technology to add value to your services. Remember, it’s nice to like your bankers but your bottom-line is built on trust, experience, and results.

The takeaway

Small banks have a lot more going for them than meets the eye. Make sure your brand’s target audience understands all that your company brings to the table through genuine connection built the right way, digital that effectively reaches consumers and furthers that connection, and unique offerings that only smaller institutions can accomplish.

It can be a lot to manage yourself. Don’t hesitate to reach out to an advertising agency that understands the demands, opportunities, and limitations that your company faces. When you’re ready to market your bank on the next level, get in touch with our community bank marketing professionals.

Want Your Next Marketing Campaign to Be Great? Demand Originality

Take a stance alongside a creative brand consulting firm to strategically place you at the intersection of originality and personality.

The phrase “there’s nothing new under the sun” is pretty old itself — it’s the source is the Book of Ecclesiastes. Yet that ancient proverb is still relevant today, as it’s also the lament of just about every creative director and content editor. This sea of monotony does have one upside: Businesses that pursue creative brand consulting to help generate original ideas will earn a significant competitive edge.

The value of originality

Our world is a derivative one. If you need proof, just look at Hollywood’s endless procession of remakes and superhero franchises, the music industry’s love of cover songs, and the advertising industry’s tendency to copycat and mimic. Hey, it’s easier to copy something that works rather than developing original material, right?

Sure, it’s easier — but it’s also much less effective. The law of diminishing returns kicks in, as the third and fourth versions of a great new idea always have much less impact. Given that we’re all surrounded by advertising, we’ve become inured to it in many ways. If brands want to truly engage an audience and snap them to attention, they need to be boldly original. They need creative brand consulting.

One great example of this is a recent ad campaign from Farmer’s Insurance. The insurance industry isn’t particularly exciting, but companies within the sector have found some success by creating standout characters (the AFLAC duck, Flo from Progressive, etc.).

Farmer’s has employed the Oscar-winning character actor J.K. Simmons to much the same effect recently. In a recent campaign, Farmer’s created a 60-second ad based on “Oh, the Places You Will Go” by Dr. Seuss, with Simmons providing the narration.

The commercial had a special hook, however: Farmer’s took actual claims from customers and reimagined them as Dr. Seuss stories, complete with whimsical rhyming narration. Farmer’s and its ad agency partner RPA took added pains to ensure the end product adhered closely to Seussian style, both in terms of style and quality.

The result was deeply clever incorporation of the core business (insurance claims coverage) into a larger creative message that emphasized experience and exploration. To top things off, the ad was released on the 115th birthday of Dr. Seuss.

Why originality is the ultimate differentiator

The next time you’re consuming content, take some time to really watch the ads and marketing message you’re being served. You’ll find that a handful of them are fantastic — and the majority are utterly forgettable.

Forgettable is one of the worst things you can say about an advertisement. So why do so many brands settle for mediocrity? Part of it can be ascribed to the agencies with which they’re partnering. It’s not easy generating original ideas, and generating these ideas to work within the specific context on an ad campaign is even more difficult. This means agencies have an incentive to settle for “OK” when they should be aiming much higher.

It’s the responsibility of businesses to demand original and highly engaging ideas. While this work isn’t easy, the right creative brand consulting firm can deliver the kind of deeply original advertising and marketing content that audiences find impossible to ignore.

The takeaway

At BIGEYE, we understand the value of originality — and we have the resources and talent to take advantage of it. We specialize in creating advertising and marketing campaigns that engage audiences and deliver maximum ROI for brands.

If you’d like to hear more about the power of truly original work, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.