Brand Champion: Sarah Huckabee Sanders

January’s Brand Champion is Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

Let me preface this by saying this not a political article but Sarah is a Brand Champion because she has brought stability to the Trump White House and the Press Secretary position, where three men before her couldn’t do it.

Josh Earnst Obama Press Secretary White House  Sean Spicer Press Secretary White House Donald Trump  Anthony Scaramucci Donald Trump Press Secretary White House

Source: Jdarsie11 (no attribution implied)

Huckabee Sanders is a calming presence that was desperately needed, she is self controlled, has a wit and she has an emotional intelligence about her that was/is desperately needed.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders is a Brand Champion because she has help to establish a sense of stability, something that her three predecessors couldn’t do. She is calm and rational, something that many thought was missing before she arrived at the White House. Brand Champions need to have a  “presidential quality” about themselves to forge a brand and effectively communicate what it stands for.

Another part of being a Brand Champion is being calm under pressure and having the ability to stand firm in the face of pressure and adversity, which she clearly has had to master. In a year, that was rough to say the least in that position, Huckabee Sanders has carried herself in a professional manner and represents the White House and the President very well. Brand Champions also communicate the brand message and position in a clear and concise fashion. Huckabee Sanders does this exceptionally well behind the podium each and everyday, making her an effective communicator and Brand Champion.

Brand Iron is a s a strategic branding, marketing, and enterprise value creation agency. Our conversation starts with you and the goals you set for your company. Founded by Michael Doyle in 2002, Brand Iron delivers on the promise to forge brands and drive revenue through strategy-based business development, creative, public relations, social media, positioning, and marketing.

7 Secrets of a Brand Champion is a book, talk and blog by Michael Doyle and Brand Iron.

Brand Champion 100 is a blog and product of Brand Iron.

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Sometimes, Simple is Better: One Color 3D Design and Responsive Logos

One Color 3D Design and Responsive Logos.

At Brand Iron, we talk a lot about differentiating brands from the competition. One way to make your mark is to show how creative your brand can be. With design trends constantly evolving, it can be hard to keep up. So far, 2018 has been about bold colors that make a statement. We’re seeing conservative companies evolve their look to incorporate more vivid colors and people are responding positively to these shifts and progressions.

One Color 3D Design

Timeless creative is difficult but the recurring trend that we are seeing is making it easier to stay competitive. Monotone, 3D, design is making a bold statement at the moment.  We’ve seen an influx of bright colors ruling the scene, paired with flat graphics creating a cohesive look. It is a simple, yet powerful statement that catches consumers’ eyes.

  

Source: graphicmama.com/blog/graphic-design-trends-2018/

The biggest dilemma with creative creative, is that it’s over complicated and the brand message gets lost underneath heavy layers of design. With one color, 3D design, the product is always the main focal point. By only incorporating one or two colors with 3D aspects, brands can add great depth to the image, keeping their audience’s attention.

Responsive Logos

Playing on the same theme of simplification, responsive logos are a trend that is taking off. We’ve already noted the shift to the semi-flat design, which has transformed overly intricate designs to flat graphics. Now the idea of responsive logos has really kicked off. Joe Harrison published an interesting experiment that presented the idea of simplified versions of logos to fit with different sized screens, windows or devices (http://responsivelogos.co.uk/).

Designing for versatility, it just makes sense.

Brands are altering their logos based on the size of the image or screen they are presented on. Creating a more simplified logo integrated throughout different marketing material as a subtle touch is more digestible.

Source: http://responsivelogos.co.uk/

Contrary to popular belief, slight adjustments to your logo does not negatively affect your brand identity. It shows an evolving brand that is willing to incorporate new trends, embracing new technologies that rise with the times instead of fighting against them.

We are all about making your brand stand above the rest with creative that gets results, but is also evolving with the current trends. We love the idea of simplifying design (when necessary) and delivering a cohesive look throughout every aspect of the design. If you need help adjusting your brand’s creative Brand Iron is here to help. Visit brandiron.net or call 303-534-1901 to see how our creative team can bring your brand story to life.

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#GraphicDesigner #ResponsiveLogo #OneColorDesign #3D

Super Bowl Ads: Hits and Misses

At every Super Bowl, there are winners and losers, and we’re not just talking about the football players. Brands are also competing, not for a trophy, but for viewers’ attention. Each year there are over 111.3 million viewers tune in, making Super Bowl Sunday an epic opportunity to advertise your brand to the public.

1. Tide: “It’s a Tide Ad”

Tide and David Harbour had everyone fooled. The pair teamed up to poke fun at every stereotypical Super Bowl commercial in every product market. Not only did the ad convey the brand’s core message, that your clothing will be spotless if you use Tide, but it also had viewers wondering if each subsequent commercial was actually going to be a Tide ad rather than what it seemed to be.

2. Amazon: “Alexa Lost Her Voice”

Often times, brands get so caught up in making people laugh or showing off their celebrity ambassadors that they forget to show the audience the product, service or brand they are advertising. Amazon managed to do both of those things but still keep the commercial focused on the product and that’s why this ad worked so well. Bringing in relevant celebrities to voice Alexa and make us chuckle is the perfect combination for a Super Bowl commercial.

3. Doritos/Mountain Dew: “Doritos Blaze vs. Mountain Dew Ice”

Both Doritos and Mountain Dew are known for their funny, eye-catching and sometimes absurd Super Bowl ads. This epic lip sync battle between two superstars, Peter Drinklage and Morgan Freeman, with cameo appearances from the artist who sing the featured songs, Busta Rhymes and Missy Elliot, showcases the opposing flavors of the sister brands’ new products while entertaining the audience.

4. Fabreze: “Bleep Don’t Stink”

Febreze takes one of it’s products obvious uses and puts a humorous spin on it. Although the product wasn’t actually mentioned, this commercial worked because the innuendo was clear. Dave’s “bleep don’t stink”, but yours does, buy Febreze.

5. E-Trade: “Old People Working”

This commercial is creative, funny and clearly delivers the call to action: open a retirement account. While this ad is really targeting a much younger audience than the ad portrays, having the elderly people be the subject of the commercial drives the point home while using a more humorous take on the advertising scare tactic.

Not every commercial can be a winner. There will always be Super Bowl ads that just miss the mark. Here are a few of the ads that didn’t perform as well as they could have:

1. Coca Cola: “Diet Coke Twisted Mango Groove”


This was cringe-worthy. The awkward dancing spokes girl made the viewers feel almost embarrassed for her and did not convey any real message about the brand or product, making this commercial a flop.

2. Bud Light: “The Bud Knight

Bud Light has been pushing the “Dilly Dilly!” ad campaign successfully since 2017. Although the medieval-inspired ads have been a consumer favorite for quite some time, Bud Light’s Super Bowl ad under the same concept did not do well. The ad felt tired and didn’t add anything new to the “Dilly Dilly” story that the brand has been telling.

3. Groupon: “Who Wouldn’t”

Although Tiffany Haddish is always fun to watch, this Groupon comercial wasn’t. The purpose of the advertisement was apparent and but the humor and story line that went along with it felt forced.

If you need help making your brand stand out, visit brandiron.net or call 303-534-1901 to get started.

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#marketing #advertising #superbowl #superbowlads #superbowlcommercials #branding

Crisis Communication 101

Any business is susceptible to crises, but it’s how you handle it that determines if you will overcome it or not. Since ignoring the problem is not the answer under any circumstances, your business will need to devise a plan ahead of time so that when disaster strikes, you’ll be ready.

Let’s go over some of the things that you need to do to effectively manage your crisis communications:

1) Proactively develop a plan long before or if you ever have a crisis that you need to manage the communications

2) Take a look at potential things that you may need to address such as job site accidents, job place violence, major catastrophe, etc.

3) Develop a communications strategy that explains what you would do if an incident occurred, how would you handle it, who would handle the media, etc.

4) Who would you call for help on how to handle the situation

5) Who would be the potential spokesperson to address the media if you needed to address and/or answer questions?

6) Once the incident occurs, meet as a team to address how to handle the situation

7) Put together a messaging platform with what you want to say, how would answer the questions and how you would handle potential questions and what the response would be

8) Put together a plan for follow-up questions and how you will handle them

Once you have put together a proactive plan on how to effectively handle a crisis communications situation, you, your company and brand can be prepared to handle whatever situation may occur.

If you need help developing an effective crisis communications plan for your brand, Brand Iron can help. Brand Iron is here to help! Visit brandiron.net or call 303-534-1901 to get started.

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#crisiscommunication #crisismanagement #communication #marketing #branding

Hope at Home’s New Website is Live!

Brand Iron is excited to announce the launch of Hope at Home’s new website! The website went live this month and incorporates their new brand image, positioning and messaging. Hope at Home is your preferred in-home, palliative and personal care provider, offering the Michigan residents a complete package of holistic care regardless of payor. Their mission is to improve the quality of life for their patients and families, employees and community.

Brand Iron worked closely with Hope at Home to develop a new brand, voice and tone for the website that embodies the mission of their company. Our creative team made sure to incorporate all the brand elements from the messaging into the new web design. Click on the like to take a closer look at their new site! http://hopeathomehealthcare.com/

The new site marries the voice of Hope at Home with creative visuals, bringing new life to the brand. It was important for us to convey the core values of their company since these values are reflected in every other aspect of their work. The site map, color scheme, tone and visuals all complement brand. The website was designed with their patients, family members and partners in mind, allowing them to experience the brand and view their differentiated services. The site is visually easy to navigate and is strategically designed to educate the viewers without overwhelming them with content.

Prior to the website launch, Brand Iron developed and established Hope at Home’s new brand image, with a new name (previously Metro Health Care), revised their messaging & positioning, and created a distinct tone and voice for the company. Hope at Home’s brand now has a cohesive, strong, image that is apparent throughout all aspects of the company. It was a pleasure to work with everyone on the Hope at Home team and we can’t wait to see how your brand grows in the future. Congrats on the launch of your new site!

If you need help redesigning your company’s website, messaging, sales collateral etc. Brand Iron is here to help! Visit brandiron.net or call 303-534-1901 to get started.

 

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#newwebsite #hopeathome #webdesign #web #SEO #weblaunch

Good Creative Gets Results

Creative that sells.

We talk a fair amount at our firm about the vital role that creative plays in your branding and marketing efforts. Creative visually pulls your entire brand together. Great creative work isn’t just good because it’s cool, funny or hip, it can also increase user engagement and convey messages when done right.

Sometimes when creative work is too creative the messaging can get lost and it does not capture the brand’s story. What makes good creative work is its ability to get results by driving people to take action. Let’s take a look at a few elements that all great creative pieces have in common.

1. The creative work is engaging and grabs the attention of the consumers and gets them to take action.

2. It effectively conveys the brand promise and what the experience would look like if consumers choose to buy their products or services.

3. Creates a lasting impression on the consumer and stands out from the crowd. More brand recognition can mean great things for a brand.

4. Effective creative should speak to a specific target audience. Know who your customers and potential  customers are and develop personas of what appeals to them and develop creative that speaks directly to them.

5. Good work utilizes visual imagery, content and tones to create an emotional connection.

6. Great creative drives leads, first and foremost!

Now that you understand the elements that go into good creative and gets results, it’s time to engage, connect and drive leads. Brand Iron is a strategic brand and value creation agency that develops create creative that connects the brand and drives leads. To get started fill out the form below or visit brandiron.net and call 303-534-1901.

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#creative #graphicdesign #marketing #results

Creating an Email Drip Campaign

Consumers are bombarded by advertising content nearly around the clock. Your marketing messages will get lost in the crowd if you don’t take the time to personalize the content. Email drip campaigns are a great tool your company can utilize when trying to generate more leads, nurture qualified leads, and optimize your time.

What is a Drip Campaign?

A drip campaign is an automated workflow used to nurture leads through the sales funnel by dispersing specific marketing information to prospects over a long period of time. This helps establish credibility and brand recognition. If these drip campaigns are set up properly, you will only have to send out one initial email. The actions (or lack of) by the recipient will determine what content and how much content they receive. The best part? After the initial email, everything is handled automatically.

How to set up a Drip Campaign

You start by setting up a workflow that maps out the series of automated triggers and actions. For instance, if a lead opens an email, clicks within an email, visits a page, or fills out a form, these triggers will activate specific follow-up actions. Then, based on these triggers, different rules will be set in place for that lead.

For example, you are sending out an RSVP email for an upcoming event.  If a lead clicks on an “RSVP YES” button for the event, then they will be added to a list titled “RSVP YES” and 4 days before the event they will be sent a reminder email. But if they did not click on the “YES” button, then one week later they will be sent an email reminding them to RSVP for the event. This type of workflow can be tailored to all sorts of marketing campaigns.

Here are a few examples of different types of email drip campaigns:

1. Top-of-Mind Drips: these types of campaigns drive awareness and keep your message in front of your audience. Suggested content includes specific landing pages, infographics, case studies, newsletter recaps or any other information which will increase brand awareness.

2. Educational Drips: Provide relevant information on the unique products or services offered by your company and how they can help. These types of campaigns are great for prospects who don’t know what specific offerings would cure a pain point. Note: Campaigns that are too promotional — all about your company with no educational value — will turn away potential leads. Suggested posts: Case studies, how your product or service is applied in the real world, and infographics.

3. Re-engagement Drips: These are used to win back the interest of cold, unengaged or former leads. A great type of email to put in this type of drip is a case study showcasing current client work.

4. Competitive Drips: Target competitor’s clients with the various benefits of switching services. You see this all the time with phone companies. Suggested content include any statistical information, case studies and testimonials.

5. Promotional Drips: Entice leads with limited-run promotions and special pricing. The pressure of a limited-time offer is a known champion when it comes to converting leads into customers. A reduced price or free add-on may be just enough to make a sale.

6. Region or Industry Drips: Use a specific campaign to target various regions and industries. Tailor information and articles so that is resonates with a specific target audience. We recommend using this type of campaign if your company targets many different industries or personas. Slight personalizations go a long way in email marketing.

 

Now that you know about a few of the different types of drip campaigns, put them to use in your email marketing. Not sure how to begin? Brand Iron is ready to help automate your marketing. Get started by filling out the form below or visit brandiron.net and give us a call: 303-534-1901

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#marketing #emailmarketing #dripcampaign #email #workflow #automatedmarketing

Defining Your Brand Voice

Every brand has a voice, but is it the right fit?

Start by thinking of your brand. What person or image comes to mind? Is this voice and personality communicated throughout the tone of your brand?  If not, it might be time to rethink your brand voice.

A brand voice should be distinguishable and is a critical step when it comes to defining your positioning and messaging in a way that appeals to your target customers. It isn’t about a creation of a non-human voice, but how you package and display your content, copy and creative. Combined, these elements create a tone which is communicated to your audience and puts a face to your company.

To start, you need to know who your target audience is and what makes them tick. Develop personas that define their unique personality traits and buying habits. Figure out what they care about tailor your content to appeal to them. Your brand’s voice will play an important role in developing this customized content. By first understanding your target audience you can build a brand voice that speaks directly to them.

Next, you should come up with attributes and adjectives that you want your brand voice to portray. Think about what you want your brand’s tone, style, and attitude to feel like. The voice need to be real and accurately reflect the personality of the company and the people behind the brand. Once you have determined the attributes of the brand voice, it is time to apply the voice to the creative look and feel.  

Marrying the creative look with the brand voice is where the magic happens and brings the whole package to life. When these two elements are combined just right, you create a powerful and wonderful brand that connects with your target audience and brings your brand to life! To find out more or if you need help developing your brand’s voice visit brandiron.net or call 303-534-1901 to get started.

 

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#branding #marketing #brandvoice #brandstrategy

Meet Your Newest Co-Worker: Amazon Alexa

Now everyone can have their own personal assistant that helps with everyday tasks like automatically dialing into meeting rooms, ordering new supplies, reporting equipment problems, providing directions to offices and finding overall information to name a few.

Amazon is sending Alexa into the workplace to act as your intelligent assistant. Why get bogged down with tedious tasks, such as managing your calendar, scheduling client meetings or making phone calls when you can have a robot do them for you?

New technology is allowing you to be more productive during the day by setting Alexa up at your desk acting as your personal assistant while you stay on top of what’s important. Or share the love by setting up the device in a common space like conference rooms, where you can automatically dial into conference calls.

Alexa is customized to work for you. People may have been hesitant to invite Alexa into their homes, but now she’s a reliable part of the family. Not many other devices are integrated as seamlessly as the Alexa has proven itself to be. The extension of Alexa into the workplace is a logical progression from the home. A simple voice command is all it takes for a flood of information and answers to all your questions.

Utilize this powerful tool to help manage your company. Here is a visual on how Alexa works by integrating with your shared devices.Visit https://aws.amazon.com/alexaforbusiness/ for a more detailed explanation.

The best part about Alexa is she never talks back, and you never have to pay her a salary. It will be interesting to see how new technologies will disrupt the workplace. Alexa can help with tedious tasks in the office, but she can’t help you with your marketing. Now that you’ve got yourself a personal assistant, give Brand Iron a call 303-534-1901 or visit brandiron.net to take your business to the next level.

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#marketing #alexaforbusiness #amazon #techinbusiness #technology

Brands Who Killed It With Their Holiday Campaigns

The holidays are a time to give thanks, spread cheer and spend time with your family. It’s also the peak season for consumer spending. Companies must stand out by promoting and expressing their personality in order to win the seasonal business of consumers. We’ve put together four of the best holiday campaigns we saw in this holiday season.

Glade

Memories of the holidays often bring to mind the spicy aroma of gingersnap cookies and the crisp pine scent of a Christmas tree. Glade already has an emotional connection to the holidays with their seasonal scents and fragrances, and they took it a step further with “The Greatest Gift” campaign by reminding us what the holidays are all about. This is a really great holiday campaign because they play right into the emotions that surround the holidays. Best of all, they keep it very simple. When it comes to advertising the simpler the better. Glade closes with the tagline “Feel Joy” which perfectly sums up the message of this campaign.

Sephora

Sephora took a new approach to their 2017 holiday campaign. Typically, they use top models for their holiday shoots putting forth a homogenous definition of beauty. This year instead of hiring size-2 models, they reached out to 11,000 of their store clerks for casting. The 10 lucky employees were chooses to be the stars basted of their unique approach to what beauty means to them. The thought to cast their own employees was brilliant. They were able to create one of the most diverse campaigns to date. Their audience responded really well to their new Reach Out and Gift campaign because it embraced the individuals beauty and fit inline with their new tagline “Let’s Beauty Together”.

Starbucks

Everyone knows that Starbucks signature red holiday cups mark the arrival of the holidays. It’s an unmistakable sign that you need to start your holiday shopping if you haven’t already done so. Starbucks ranks in our top holiday campaigns because this year they did a 30-second spot “Giving Good Starts With You” where the message is that “the holidays mean something different for everyone”. The ad promotes their new holiday cups while predominantly showing a lesbian couple holding hands. The response on social media was overwhelmingly positive. Starbucks’ audience appreciates that the company takes a stand and supports what may be a controversial topic for some companies.

 

Air New Zealand

I may be bias since I lived in New Zealand, but I love how Air New Zealand expresses their brand in all of their advertising. This year they launched a #AirNZXmas campaign, where they poke fun at their own accent. Kiwi’s (or people from New Zealand) are known for having their own spin on words. This campaign shows that it is not easy for Santa to understand what Kiwi’s want. We rank this campaign with some of the top this season because the voice and personality fit the brand image of Air New Zealand so well.

It’s never too early to start planning different types of seasonal campaigns. Brand Iron can help develop campaigns that will leave a lasting impression on your audience. Visit brandiron.net or call 303-534-1901 to get started!

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#marketing  #holidaycampaign #branding