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.

3 Questions To Ask When Appealing to the Mom Market

Does your brand need to appeal to the all-powerful Mom Market? If so, ask yourself the following three questions to ensure your target audience chooses your brand over the competition:

1. Is Our Brand Memorable? Is It Easy to Find When You Look?

A brand that is not memorable lacks staying power. Though the brand doesn’t necessarily need to be in mom’s face at all times, she does need exposure to the brand and needs ways to be able to find it when needed. In this era, being able to find the brand means that she can find it in the store, using Google, or on Amazon. [quote]Check out BIGEYE’s successful mom marketing strategies that brought The Daily Mom App to the Top 25 Downloads Position on iTunes. [/quote] The harder it is to instill this brand into one’s memory, the harder it will be for brands to generate loyalty in their targets. In order to help make the brand memorable, it’s essential to go to the platforms where moms are sharing information with one another in order to leave a lasting impression.

2. Is Our Brand Meaningful? Where is the Connection Point Between Our Product and Our Target’s Life?

The greatest brands are the ones that make life better. Whether it’s enjoying a meal together at Olive Garden or walking through the mall in attention-getting Gucci shades, those brands that have positive impacts on the target’s lives are the ones that will succeed in creating preference. Without meaning, there’s no difference between buying Huggies and buying store brand diapers; but many moms are more apt to go for the Huggies because of their variety of facets, such as age-appropriate diapers, that help ease the frustrations of changing diapers. Huggies have made a connection point not only in their marketing, but also in their appeal to make women’s’ lives easier.

3. Is Our Brand Likable? What’s Great About Our Product? Why Do Existing Customers Like It?

Brand marketers should work to ensure that their brands are in line with the desires of mothers. A brand with a tough edge can open up it’s market to the modern mom by softening up, portraying the brand as likeable and fun. The brand marketer should embellish the aspects of their products that make moms’ lives easier, more exciting and more fulfilled.

Sometimes it’s not just about the product, but about the brand as a whole. A company that sells necessities for children can reach moms by bundling items such as diapers and baby wipes. Also, with new developments in big data, it’s easy to monitor what your users are saying about your products on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social media outlets. Marketers can learn what existing customers prefer by region, income level and numerous other demographics. It’s easy to overlook small ideas, such as the recent insight that moms like shopping at Home Depot because it offers a sense of empowerment.

Want to learn more about generating brand preference? Contact our team of strategists today to discuss strategies that appeal not only the mom market, but also a wide range of target audiences. Let’s get started!

Using the Benefits of Luxury Industry Branding To Your Advantage

If you work in the luxury market, chances are you know something about branding. You know how important it is for the brand to know its customer inside and out, and to use this knowledge to continue to build and sell products or services that create a meaningful experience for those indulging in aspirational lifestyles. Your brand is your identity – from your logo to your website to the voice in which you communicate on social media, there’s a line that offers immediate recognition. It creates that feeling that the essence is “on-brand.”

Unfortunately, sometimes luxury industry branding includes making decisions that lead them down the wrong path. For instance, they may start producing lower quality goods in order to increase the bottom line.[quote]But the reality is, especially in the luxury industry, that customers can see right through this.[/quote] Making a person spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on a shoddy project is a guaranteed way to make sure they never buy from you again. And, even worse, in this social media-driven world, you can bet that the person who has a bad experience is going to log on to Facebook and Twitter to complain about the experience to friends and followers. Imagine how rough it would be to recover if said unhappy customer is a fashion blogger with a million followers!

But brands do other things to dilute their brands, too, and in some cases, without even knowing it. For example, if your brand voice isn’t consistent on social media, that quickly becomes evident to your followers. People follow you because they’ve come to recognize a certain standard associated with you and your business. If you’re a high-end luxury brand that exudes class and elegance, you could lose credibility in tweeting out images of Miley Cyrus’s infamous tongue. It’s important to understand the types of things that drive your customers so you can keep your finger on the pulse of what’s relevant in their lives.

And, when it comes to luxury industry branding, the team at our Orlando marketing agency knows that more followers doesn’t necessarily translate to a better brand. I don’t fully understand the practice of buying followers from so-called “click farms” in other countries, because even if it does inflate your follower count, you’ve just paid for the experience of having tons of followers who don’t actually care about your brand. Sure, the number looks good, but with no real engagement, it seems like a waste of money. But this doesn’t just relate to click farms – this experience of doing off-brand activities in order to help raise your follows and likes can actually have a detrimental effect on your brand. Sure, you may get more exposure, but if that exposure is from people who don’t represent your target audience, then this can easily dilute your brand’s value on social media.

Another way you may be diluting the value of your brand is by having social media accounts that haven’t been updated in months. People follow you because they have an expectation from you, and if you don’t have the bandwidth or strategy to extend to that social media account, it’s important to assess whether you should take it down entirely. It’s my opinion that for most businesses on most platforms, having no page is better than having an inactive page.

If you’re a luxury brand, you have to act like a luxury brand —this is true in brick and mortar locations, as well as in the digital space. Remember that in branding, the customer is savvier than you think. If you need some ideas as to how to better understand your brand, your brand voice and your brand vision, contact our Orlando branding agency for a consultation.