Advice on Social Media Stories from a Brand Positioning Agency

Social stories have only been available for a few years, but as a brand positioning agency, we quickly recognized their marketing potential. Today, our expert storytellers use social stories to put a relatable human face on the clients we work with. Humanizing an organization makes it much easier for potential customers to develop a strong relationship and affinity for their products and services.

Why stories sell

Behavior experts tell us that humans are wired for story. We have what’s been called a “story drive” that makes us hungry for information presented in this format. In fact, we know that storytelling was the primary way that our ancient ancestors communicated. You might say that cave paintings were the first Instagram!

Stories are just as important today. They are the best way to sell a product or service because we connect with them at a deeper level than we do simple information. This is extra important in a generation where our attention span has dropped below that of a goldfish (that’s a little embarrassing). People want to know at a glance what you are offering, and stories give them that information in a very quick, visual, and scannable way.

5 tips on using stories to connect with your audience

As a brand positioning agency, we’re sharing insider knowledge on leveraging social media stories:

1. Start slowly

Rather than diving headfirst into being storytellers across the social spectrum, you and your team should pick a platform and get a good feel for the medium. Instagram is a great place to start, in part because it has an excellent set of tools for creating social content.

2. Make the most of the tools available to you

Many companies get stuck using just the basic functionality on a platform. If you want to create engagement with your audience, it pays to learn about all the features a particular service has to offer so you can make your stories stand out.

3. Work up to using multiple platforms

Once you’re comfortable creating stories on one platform, start reworking and repurposing the content you create there in other places. Doing so saves you time and provides consistency for your audience.

4. Create stories that exhibit both passion and practicality

While a story that is simply entertaining will get some attention, one that also provides practical, usable information will be much more widely shared, and we can tell you just how much with our social media monitoring services.

5. Be human

The “story drive” we have makes us want to hear stories from other humans. Content that looks and sounds like it was produced by a robot won’t engage people and may turn them off. Utilizing content that is relatable and organic will draw more of a crowd.

How can our brand positioning agency help you get the most bang for your buck through the use of social media stories? The best place to start is to get in touch with our branding experts and tell us your tale.

Color theory’s critical – but often hidden – role in marketing

If you haven’t thought deeply about the relationship between color and branding, a quick look around any retail environment will be an eye-opener. Consider the rich red tones used by Coca-Cola, the warm pink hues of Victoria’s Secret, or the bold green colors used by BP.
Color theory within the context of advertising and marketing plays a key — but not always obvious — role in how consumers perceive and understand these brands. Before we begin to process a marketing message (whether through advertising or by viewing a simple logo), we first experience the color in which that message is embedded. How we relate to that particular color often sets the tone for everything that follows.

Using color to connect with audiences

Satyendra Singh, an academic researcher at the University of Winnipeg, published results from a study that showed two very interesting things. First, people make up their minds about brands or other people within 90 seconds of meeting them. Second, between 62 and 90-percent of this assessment is based on color. The choice of color plays an instrumental role in influencing moods and feelings — and ultimately attitudes.

Given this importance, a strong grasp of color theory can help support marketing efforts by making messages more resonant and powerful. Choosing the appropriate primary colors, secondary colors and tertiary colors can also make messages much more readable and help with comprehension. By failing to grasp the importance of color, the effectiveness of messages can be significantly diminished.

 

With that in mind, here are some key things to understand before choosing your own color schemes:

  • If you’re looking to maximize conversions (and who isn’t?) choose bold and bright primary colors. Primary colors, such as blue and red, are those which can’t be created by the combination of other colors. Darker colors typically have lower conversion rates.
  • Consider the benefits of blue. Look around at corporate marketing and branding and you’ll see that no color is as popular as blue. Facebook, IBM, American Express — the list of prominent firms that use blue is a long one. In fact, 51-percent of Fortune 500 logos contain some shade of blue.
  • Choose simplicity over complexity. 82-percent of Fortune 500 firms use two or fewer colors in their logo. By keeping your color scheme simple, you encourage immediate brand identification (Coca-Cola and red, Facebook and blue, etc.).
  • Red delivers a message of energy. Blue evokes feelings of trust and placidity. Green generates feelings of naturalness. Orange and purple are “fun” colors. Black suggests luxury. If you understand the specific feelings and mood each color evokes, you’ll be on your way toward successfully applying color theory in your advertising and marketing.

Finding the right partner

There’s no need to type “top Florida advertising agency” into a Google search; BIGEYE is right here and we’re ready to help. We’ve helped countless clients understand and apply the insights of color theory for their own benefit, and we’d be happy to do the same for you.

By creating sophisticated and highly compelling content — and pairing it with an innovative and data-intensive approach to distribution — BIGEYE is able to deliver exceptional marketing ROI for all of its clients. Contact our team today and let’s spin the color wheel together.

Our most valuable customer service is: Brand naming

You have an amazing idea for a new app, you just got your first prototype back on a product design, you’re excited to hit the market and your customers are ready… ah, the excitement of a startup. There is an almost tangible, electric buzz in the air when a brand is ready to launch. And there are a million decisions to make between when you hatch an idea and when it hits the streets. The most important decision a business can make is brand naming.

In the excitement of a launch, naming can either become an afterthought with too little strategy too late, or a gridlock of decision paralysis. That’s why it sometimes helps to call in a third-party point of view that can guide you through this process. Here are just a few of the things we encourage our clients to think about when it’s time to name their products and brand.

Do Your Homework:

As soon as you think you have a name that works, do a little research. When you put it into Google, what are the first search queries that populate? Are there social media hashtags, handles, or personalities associated with or similar to your proposed product name? What corresponding URLs exist? Your goal isn’t simply to ensure your brand name is free, but to evaluate any preexisting associations with words related to your budding business. As an example, in 2014 the frozen pizza company DiGiorno used the hashtag #WhyIStayed (presumably the pizza) in a product campaign. Only later did the organization find out that #WhyIStayed was hashtag often used by domestic abuse victims to share their stories. What was meant to be a lighthearted new product plug quickly became a public relations nightmare. Do your best to understand the ways in which your brand and product names can be interpreted before committing. You’ll thank yourself later.

Tell Your Story:

We are rolling our eyes just thinking about the number of startups that use obscure names and nonsensical words in their product and brand names. While this can be an effective way to infuse your company with a little mystery and marketing mystique (honestly, what does a fruit like a blackberry have anything to do with smart phones?), it isn’t a safe bet. You risk customers forgetting or misinterpreting your brand name, or seeming too obscure to matter. Your name is your customers’ first impression of you and should tell part of your brand story. When “ShoeSite” was founded in 1999, the owners knew they would need to come up with a better brand name to capture what they were selling – shoes. Can you guess what ShoeSite settled on? Zappos. Zappos plays off the Spanish word for shoes, zapatos, offering a playful way to explain what they do, while differentiating the brand from the competition. The brand name is straightforward, creative, but helps tell the Zappos story. In other words, it’s perfect. It sounds simple, until you try to do it yourself.

Consistency is Key:

No matter what you choose as your brand name, it should serve a keystone for all future releases and iterations. Whether you are versioning products, or releasing something entirely new, use your brand name as inspiration and an anchor for future decisions. For example, the Swedish furniture company IKEA has over 9,500 products, all of which have Scandanavian-inspired names paying tribute to the company’s roots (all the way in suburban America). While the Kivik, Karlstad, Klippan, and Vimle collections may not necessarily tell consumers what those brands look like, the underlying brand values of streamlined Nordic simplicity and price value echo within these categories. The company’s values are reinforced with each product iteration that adheres to these naming principles. Just think how out of place Restoration Hardware’s product categories would sound knowing their emphasis is on artisan craftsmanship and materials: Gramercy Metal, Weathered Oak, Printmakers Collection, to name a few. No matter how small these details may seem, your customers will subconsciously absorb them.

Let us work with your brand to craft the perfect naming strategy or refine the brand and product structure you have today. Like we said – no detail is too small for your customers. Check out our website to learn more about our services and contact information.

 

Integrate transmedia storytelling into your brand story

Transmedia storytelling is a powerful tool that integrates marketing and entertainment across channels to deepen fans’ connections with the narrative. More simply put, transmedia storytelling helps bring entertainment to life. It uses a popular story – usually, a movie, television show, novel, or trend – and expands it from its channel of origin (e.g., television) into the mainstream world. For example, The Limited clothing brand released a line of Olivia Pope-inspired clothes based on the ABC hit drama Scandal’s main character. Blogs discussed what Kerry Washington’s character wore each week, “Gladiator” wannabes could dress like Miss Pope herself, and enthusiastic viewers could be part of the show in some small way … all while expanding the brand’s influence and revenue.
The idea of transmedia storytelling isn’t new. Large franchises from the likes of Harry Potter to the NFL have harnessed the power of integrating media platforms with games, apps, websites, merchandise, and spinoffs that bring the magic of their brand into the real world. But one recent breakthrough has left them all in the dust. And your brand can’t afford to miss out.

TRANSMEDIA STORYTELLING AND AUGMENTED REALITY:

In 2010, we hit a critical turning point in transmedia storytelling. DreamWorks Entertainment debuted the family-friendly fantasy How to Train Your Dragon around the same time that augmented reality (AR) was gaining some steam as a new technology platform. Augmented reality represents the marriage of technology with the real world. Think: Google Glass. At that time, DreamWorks released an augmented reality app in which fans could interact with dragons by using the camera on the phones. Sound familiar? It should if you’ve been following the Pokemon Go craze.

In many ways, the How To Train Your Dragon app paved the way for augmented reality as a viable transmedia storytelling channel. While early AR adopters may have gone crazy for Google Glass and geo-based advertisements, the general population simply wasn’t ready for widespread applications of augmented reality. Just six years after DreamWorks’ first attempt to use AR as a transmedia storytelling vehicle, the public is finally ready.

Nintendo’s stock has soared an unprecedented 90% thanks to the newest combo of transmedia storytelling and augmented reality. Enter, Pokemon Go. Pokemon started as an anime series and evolved – as transmedia storytelling does – into a card game, clothing lines, toys, and more. Pokemon Go takes it one step further by encouraging fans to search for Pokemon in the real world using the camera on their phones. See, we told you that DreamWorks app sounded familiar.

The results for both the Pokemon brand and for local businesses alike are mind blowing (for more information about how local businesses can take advantage of the Pokemon Go craze, check out our Marketer’s Quick and Dirty Guide to Pokemon Go here). Your brand could be next.

YOUR BRAND MEETS TRANSMEDIA STORYTELLING:

Whether your brand is telling a story or complementing a story, you have the opportunity to become part of a transmedia storytelling narrative; and with the rapidly increasing adoption of AR, this process has never been easier. To determine how to use transmedia storytelling to your advantage, ask yourself these simple questions:

  1. Is your brand part of a larger story or trend? If so, it’s time to start forging partnerships and taking note of where your customers are naturally discussing your story.
  1. If not, ask yourself: what types of stories does your brand align with? Tangible goods and hospitality brands may have an easier time answering this question, but even service-based brands are packed with potential. Our team of Orlando marketing agency experts is on call to help you brainstorm and build out an action plan.

No matter where your brand falls, augmented reality can help you bridge a gap between your brand and the story you want to help tell. Learn how to best tell your story here.

Differentiation and retail consumer packaged goods design

With great packaging, comes great power.
We may have butchered the Spiderman quote just a bit, however when referring to retail consumer packaged goods design, these truly are wise words for a brand to live by.

When analyzing consumer behavior, and contemplating the all-important psychology behind a buying decision, it might seem relatively obvious, but prospective consumers will tend to notice a product’s packaging first; and arguably, a product’s packaging is just as important as the product itself. I can’t tell you the number of times that I’ve willingly skipped over, or perhaps even overlooked, a potentially great product, simply because the packaging seemed inefficient, cluttered, or just didn’t catch my eye. As the old adage goes, we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover – but if it saves me money, and prevents the opportunity for me to unknowingly taking home an inferior product, I’ll likely stick to my gut, and the lasting first impression of a brand as it’s been initially instilled in my brain. And did I mention that if delivered in a manner that is enticing enough to match-up with a product’s perceived value, it’s hard to resist temptation? Many retailers are well aware of this game – and have it completed mastered – although some have taken heed of how to maximize the effectiveness of retail consumer packaged goods design concepts and strategies.

Keeping this type of compelling design in mind, nearly every aspect of a brand’s packaging must be determined by the brand’s overall identity. The game-changers in the field of retail consumer packaged goods design are those who know how to sufficiently intertwine the presentation of how the package and product should appear to the eligible consumer. Think about this example from Silicon Valley: Apple has practically made unboxing a new iPhone an art form, likely because of the sleek, minimalistic packaging – no pesky plastic to break apart or cardboard to cut – and this is reflective of the iPhone’s sleek design and uncomplicated interface. It’s just so much fun opening that clean, white box with the expectation of what awaits. While it may not be your first iPhone, the attention to detail and extent to which the package becomes a part of the buyer’s brand experience is undeniable. And while enjoying the sheer bliss of unwrapping my iPhone 6 Plus earlier this year, I couldn’t help but ponder the fact that I’ve been a long-time customer of the Apple brand, and the experience – as matched appropriately with the functionality and capabilities of the mobile device – keep me coming back for a newer model year-over-year.

While possessing some degree of retail consumer packaged goods design differentiation undoubtedly has its benefits, attaining the iconic status in packaging that retailers Apple and Tiffany & Co. have mastered, and as mentioned in our previous blog, doesn’t happen simply by chance. [quote]Achieving such branding perfection begins in large part with the presence of strong brand identity, a dose or two of creativity – and immense knowledge of your ideal consumers’ expectations. (And capitalizing on those expectations.) At BIGEYE, we’ve compiled three key tips to consider when developing your own captivating retail consumer packaged goods design concepts, in an effort to ensure that each has the potential to resonate with your target audience on an iconic level:

1. Know your audience. What issues does your ideal client complain about most when it comes your product type? What aspects do they praise? When seeking to create sleek, beautiful, or practical packaging, the responses to these simple questions are a thought-provoking launching point. For example, it’s absolutely crucial for make-up companies, to listen to women’s reviews on products – especially on packaging. Studies prove that women are almost overwhelmingly turned off by the lack of a pump on a foundation bottle, regardless of the product’s quality; while in other instances, women have reportedly – and more often than not – impulsively purchased expensive lipstick simply because the tube was gilded and gorgeous – with an often prominent logo. Listening to what your consumers both need and want from retail consumer packaged goods packaging design can honestly make or break a perfectly great product – even if the vibrant shade of said lipstick is undeniably perfect for the season. Madame Coco Chanel, I’m talkin’ to you.

2. Give experiential packaging a try. While not conceivable for all products, the consumer’s experience with a product’s packaging doesn’t have to come to an abrupt end when the item has been successfully taken out of the box. HBO’s dark-humored drama, Six Feet Under, released a beautifully designed “complete series” box set a few years back that corresponds with the show’s somewhat grim subject. A tad tongue-in-cheek, the top of the boxed set features fake grass and a grave marker, displaying the name of the series and the date it began and ended, while the sides of the box resemble dirt. Taking it one step further, the box containing the series’ DVDs stands at 6 inches tall. Equally creepy and stunning, the smart design correlates with the show itself (and doubles as outstanding Halloween decor).

Take a look at how BIGEYE took an established coffee chain, Barnie’s Coffee, and modernized their packaged goods design. 

3. Explore the benefits of going green. Research proves that it’s often worth it to ensure that your brand is perceived as “earth-friendly.” Nielsen’s 2015 Global Survey on Corporate Social Responsibility shows that 66% of global online consumers across 60 countries are willing to pay more for products and services from companies that are committed to positive social and environmental impact. What does this mean for your brand? It’s simple: packaging a product in recyclable, reusable, or sustainable container is a consistent reason for consumers to choose your product over a competitor’s. For this reason alone, socially conscious initiatives are not only beneficial to Mother Nature, but might also prove lucrative to your bottom line. And admit it, that’s a real win-win.

Truth be told, whether a brand’s retail consumer packaged goods design lends itself more on the side of quirky over stunning, or simplistic over creative, its popularity in a competitive buyer’s market truly boils down to a unique selling proposition. Your brand must communicate its product and benefits in a manner that is equal parts functional, entertaining, and enthralling. Apple watch, I can’t wait to see what your packaging holds in store.

If you’re looking for ways to unleash the power of your brand’s identity though innovative retail consumer packaged goods design, contact us today! We’re poised to provide the necessary expertise to conceptualize a myriad of new and innovative solutions to ensure that your product is this season’s (and all of those that follow’s) must-have.

What goes into the beauty of a brand’s social campaign

Looking back at ad campaigns with lasting impact, one could safely gauge that the past year-and-a half has undoubtedly been that of taking an honest look in the mirror (naturally, pun intended) through judgment-free eyes – at least that’s been the mantra according to Dove. From the brand’s “Real Beauty Sketches” to the short video “Evolution,” I have to admit that Dove has been a breath of fresh air when it comes to empowering women. Continuing this message on to Super Bowl XLIX, Dove challenged us all to think differently about doing things “like a girl” – with the basis of running, throwing a ball, and the larger impasse – showcasing the differences in how young women, boys, and young girls respectively perceive the phrase. The Super Bowl ad won significant online kudos for changing the conversation, and again, during the 87th Annual Academy Awards, the brand started an entirely new conversation — this time on Twitter.

As part of a hashtag campaign, #SpeakBeautifully, Dove teamed up with the social media platform to add a positive spin on some of the negative tweets about beauty and body image on awards night. Arguably one of the chattiest (and often, cattiest) nights on social media, Dove created a Twitter tool that identified hateful keywords, and responded to them with non-automated tweets during the show. When someone tweeted a nasty comment about someone else, Dove’s Twitter accounted tweeted back constructive advice to encourage more positive online language and habits.

The campaign is based on a study done by Dove, which found that 50% of women are more likely to post something negative about themselves on Twitter, rather than positive. Even more upsetting, four out of five women encounter negative tweets commenting on other women’s appearances. Twitter CEO Dick Costalo has addressed the issue that seems to run rampant on Twitter, saying “We stink at dealing with abuse and trolls on the platform and we’ve been bad at it for years. It’s no secret and the rest of the world talks about it every day.” Through a strong partnership with Dove – viewed as having changed the paradigm in the industry – on this social media campaign, he endeavors to encourage positivity towards women, and on a grander scale, initiate changed perceptions on the Twittersphere.

It’s no surprise that the significant, lasting impact of social media’s oft-unmonitored commentary and postings may prove to be incredibly damaging to women’s self-esteem, especially for young girls. As a caveat to that, the anonymity of the Internet, including insults easily shared regarding appearance, can be even more hateful and significantly more widespread. “Ideas and opinions about body image are now fluidly shared every second through social feeds, and sometimes we do not fully realize the resounding impact of the words in even one post,” says Jennifer Bremner, director of marketing at Dove. [quote]“The power to #SpeakBeautifully is in the hands of us all – we can positively change the way future generations express themselves online.”[/quote]

The campaign, Dove says, will continue long after awards season is over. Social change doesn’t happen overnight, but the #SpeakBeautifully campaign sends an inspiring message – that hopefully social media will serve as the catalyst to create a less hostile online environment for women.

Although it’s early in the year, (and admittedly, this national brand has tried to make me cry twice already), I’m growing to realize that there can be true societal beauty in a brand’s social media presence. We at BIGEYE admire a company that uses such a highly televised event to promote genuine, positive change – and not to simply push a product to consumers. Dove, if we could present you with an Oscar for that, we most certainly would.

View the #SpeakBeautifully ad.

If we’ve left you feeling inspired to generate an innovative social media strategy for your brand, contact our team of digital experts today! We have significant expertise in consumer packaged goods (CPG) marketing – like the folks at Dove – and really understand the value of differentiating through the creation of a brand strategy and presence that truly generates lasting emotive impact with your target audience.