Tag Archive: advertising

  1. How to name my company using poetry, fish, a front porch, and a set of made-up rules

    One of the most interesting and challenging things our clients ask us to do is to name things – products, service lines, and even entire companies. A brand’s *name* is critical to its identity in the marketplace and the impression it gives to consumers.

    While waiting in line for my first COVID vaccine shot, I was struck by the name of this business: Fishy Business Aquarium. It’s clever in that anyone who’s in the profession of trading in fish is, in fact, in a “fishy” business. Fishy is also a fun term because it’s playfully used as a reference to “suspicious” or “arousing in feelings of doubt.” Just ask Webster. Throwing in ‘Aquarium’ is also helpful in that it tells the story to those who don’t get the joke.

    The problem with this name, though, is that it’s tough to trademark or “own.” It’s why Starbucks doesn’t call itself “The Daily Grind” (there’s one in every city) or why Apple doesn’t call itself “Cupertino Computer Sales and Service.” Can you imagine?

    The temptation to do this is understandable. By default, we want brand names to tell the entire story about the product or company. But that’s too much to ask. A name can’t tell the entire story about a company, product, or idea, any more than a logo can. When we try to force that issue, what we often end up with is a name that doesn’t stand out, is boring, or lacks confidence. (Yes, it’s OK for your name to reflect a little swagger.) 

    I recently heard former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins refer to the title of a poem as its front porch – an invitation of sorts A title of a poem is meant to invite and welcome the reader, not to serve as a summation of encapsulation of the entire meaning of the poem. I think we might use that characterization of a poem for how we might think about brand names: merely a brand’s front porch. 

    Naming can be messy, confusing, and downright frustrating. Prepare to have lots of handwritten lists with most everything crossed off of them. Prepare to hear from your inner creative voice telling you that “these are dumb,” “these are stupid,” and “people will make fun of you.” Prepare to hear from your friends and family telling you all of these same things. Take it from a guy whose company is named “Findsome & Winmore” and whose tagline is Not a Law Firm. 

    To guide you in the process, think of some guidelines – rules of sorts. Here’s what we encourage our clients to think about when it comes to changing or shifting a brand name: 

    • Think like a customer, not an owner or employee 
    • Memorability is more important than likability 
    • Passion from a few is more important than consensus from the whole 
    • Emotive names are more profound than literal or descriptive names 
    • Controversial names have more impact than safe names 
    • Initials and acronymnare generally more confusing than clarifying 
    • Consider the ownability of a name within the marketplace 
    • Don’t set reasonable expectations 
    • Don’t expect the name you arrive at to jump off the page and give you a feeling of euphoria: it will take time for it to grow on you 

    When working with clients who want to name things, we encourage them to think about names that shy away from the descriptive and lean toward the obscure, fishy or not. For some further insight, thought, and therapy on the issue, take a listen to Seth Godin’s podcast episode called “Entrepreneur’s Guide to Trademarks.” 

  2. Company Naming with Findsome & Winmore

    Company Naming 

    What’s in a company name? Besides the inevitable fact that you’ll say it at least once a day and see it on signage, business cards, mugs and the like, names are the ultimate label for your company (no pressure). Company names are often your audience’s first impression of your brand and being. The naming journey can be daunting, whether you’re a well-known local shop or a budding startup, the challenge is the same: uncovering a name that speaks to who you are and who you serve. 

    To dig deeper into our own processes, we took the time to chat with some of our clients and even asked ourselves to reflect on some of our most game-changing company name endeavors. 

    Findsome & Winmore 

    In 1995, WebSolvers was born in its founder’s college dorm room. As the company grew, so did its ambitions, and it blossomed into a full-service marketing agency. With a focus on helping companies grow and thrive just as they had and inspiration from the spirit of two marketing legends, the team landed on a name that spoke to their main goal: finding and winning new customers. 

     

    Interview featuring Matt Certo, CEO & Principal at Findsome & Winmore. 

    What inspired your rebrand in the first place? 

    MATT: We were rebranding because our name WebSolvers was too limiting. We wanted to grow beyond just website development. For many of the years that we were in business, we built websites, and that was it. Overtime we realized that we needed to be more, we wanted to be more, and that we had become more. 

     

    How does your company name relate your industry? 

    MATT: The advertising and creative industry is generally looked to be off beat, to be out there, to be a little on the fringe as far as names are concerned. Findsome & Winmore was one that we felt reflected that expectation out of the advertising world. 

      

    What inspired you most during the naming process? 

    MATT: The level of effort and focus itself, it’s not easy. I tell people that naming products and companies is one of the hardest things we do, if not the hardest thing. To me, what was inspiring was going through the process, lists of names and concepts. Then also the collaboration. The back and forth between team members, that always gets your juices flowing. Knowing you’re going to end up with a name is very, very exciting. It kind of gets your adrenaline going knowing that this is a big deal that you’re embarking on and it’ll forever change the face of the company, literally. 

     

    How does your company name reflect the overall brand? 

    MATT: To me, I think it makes you chuckle. Theres a little mystery and intrigue to it, like what does that company do? The fact that we use the tagline not a law firm is really a play on our name because it doesn’t really tell you anything more about what we do. It leads to some level of intrigue and asking some questions. 

    26Health 

    After entrusting Findsome & Winmore to rebrand their corporate identity, the 26Health team is pleased to say their name and brand is the epitome of who they are. Providing care for every letter, 26Health’s new brand identity (including a name, tagline, logos and secondary marks, typography, inspirational imagery and collateral implementations) spoke to individuality and acceptance of each patient’s truest self. 

     

    Interview featuring Dr. David Baker-Hargrove, President, Co-CEO and Co-Founder of 26Health; and Robert Baker-Hargrove, COO, Co-CEO and Co-Founder of 26Health. 

    Can you speak to your company culture and your team’s drive to provide an all-inclusive health clinic to the Central Florida community? 

    DAVID: I think more than anything, it stems from who Robert and I are as a couple. Through our entire relationship, we’ve celebrated diversity and believe in how important it is. We wanted diversity to be more than a slogan or nice words in the employee handbook. Diversity hiring for us has always been intentional, not because we wanted to fill seats or make quotas, but because we intentionally looked for people who would be reflective of the patient population we serve. 

    All of this was done in mind with the patient population that we serve that has that rich reflection. We are primarily set up to provide services for people who have multiple identities. They can be LGBTQ, but also people of color and people who have a different immigration status. All aspects that occur within identities within 26Health also happen within our patient population and we want people to see themselves when they walk in the door. 

     

    With that in mind, what was most important for your company name to achieve? 

    ROBERT: We wanted a name that honored who we are as a company and the community we serve. We wanted it to have a level of standing beyond us as individuals. And we also wanted it to be memorable. Whenever you think about the people in our organization or the people that we serve or even the businesses that we do business with, it’s extremely important to us that everyone feels included. Diversity and inclusion is a huge aspect but then it’s also about acceptance. 

    And the other aspect and something really fun that we talked a lot about was that we wanted something that would have a logo that identified who we were before you even had to say it. So we were really focused on the logo as well as the name. Going through that process, we went through a lot of identifiers. 

    We allowed Findsome & Winmore to take that information and present us with some options – the name 26Health – we all fell in love with. That was it, that was the one. No matter what letter you are or how you identify, we care for you. That’s when the tagline ‘care for every letter’ came out of it. 

     

    How does your name lend itself to visual creativity? How does the name 26health provide opportunities for unique visual branding? 

    ROBERT: When you’re looking at the logo, if you slightly tilt your head to the left, you’ll see an equality sign. The curvature of the two and the six also create an infinity sign. We really thought that there were a lot of embedded symbols in there that give us something that really has a lot of meaning to the logo aspect of it that really takes it to another level. 

    We also wanted a logo that could stand on its own and looked really cool on things. We wanted something really broad, yet striking, that was innovative and different. So when we were going through the process and they showed us what the logo could look like on different things and how we were treating it, it was just something that we absolutely fell in love with. 

     

    How does your company name reflect your company’s mission?  

    ROBERT: Every person on staff really connects to it and the mission and the vision. We often talk that the mission is the mechanism of how you grow to your vision. Being able to have a name and a logo that truly encompasses everything we do for the community and encompasses how we feel and integrates our systems of care and how we bring them together really speaks to that people are more than just one letter. People have depth. They have feelings and there are dimensions to people. So what we really hope and feel is that when our patients come, they get that level of care that we’re treating them as an individual and not treating them as a number. They can come to us and they can bring their true authentic selves regardless of how they identify. 

    etectRx 

    Also undergoing a name change since its debutetectRx now has a company name that reflects its mission. Following the change, etectRx asked Findsome & Winmore to lead the way in creating a design identity that would bring their name to life. Learn how the evolution of a company name that was created over lunch conversation, combined with a compelling brand aesthetic, works for the leader in digital pills. 

     

    Interview featuring D. Eric Buffkin Jr., Sr. VP. Development and Technical Operations at etectRx; and Jessica Schein, Sales Operations Coordinator at etectRx. 

    Now that we know the result, tell us how you got there. Describe your company naming process. 

    ERIC: The process involved sitting at lunch and tossing names back and forth at each other around the idea that we were doing electronic detection. That’s where etect came from. Instead of calling it ‘edetect,’ we said, ‘let’s just call it etect.’ 

    We did toss around the idea of ‘smart pill’ but there was another company here in Gainesville that had trademarked the ‘smart’ term as it related to medication adherence. So, we didn’t want to just poke them in the eye completely or get poked in the eye by them, so we avoided the whole smart approach. But it was literally lunchtime conversation. And being two engineers, we had to come up with ‘OK, what are we doing and how do we make a name out of that?’  

     

    What did you want your target audience to understand from the company name and brand Identity design? 

    ERIC: It was always the intent to make sure people know we are a wireless communications technology. 

     

    What does your company name help achieve in the visual and design space? 

    JESSICA: When you mention electronic detection, as far as our new branding and even our old branding goes, there’s a frequency radiating off of both our logo and our icons. I think both the name and the visual helps tie it all together. 

     

    Can you speak to company culture and your team’s drive to solve medication non-adherence? 

    ERIC: We started out purely as medication adherence. In the many years that we’ve had the company, the scope has actually expanded to really be digital pills. Digital pills mean measuring adherence, but they also mean other things. When you take that adherence or ingestion information and feed it into some of the novel software applications being developed to help people with particular illnesses, the combination of those makes a huge impact on people’s wellness, quality of life and how much money they have to spend to get well, so there’s all kinds of goodness around that. 

    The culture here is a ‘do what it takes’ kind of culture. This is a wide-open category. We feel like at this point we define the category since the only other significant player is no longer around. We feel like we have to do what it takes to drive this company forward and the culture around here is about doing what it takes.  

     

     

    Celeste 

    Findsome & Winmore found inspiration in the stars when naming Celeste, a new hotel concept on the campus of the University of Central Florida. Working closely with the Marriott team, we established a bold company name that paid homage to UCF’s ties to the space program, mythology and astronomy while staying true to the Marriott brand. 

     

    Interview featuring Matt Certo, CEO & Principal at Findsome & Winmore.  

    Now that we know the result, tell us how the team got there. Describe the naming process for this client. 

    MATTWe were working with the Marriott marketing team and we really looked to establish the brand pillars before anything else and what the brand was going to stand on. Before we talked about a name or a logo, we looked at concepts that should be representative of the hotel itself. 

    We arrived at ideas like discovery and exploration and an experience that was transcendent of some sort. And of course, UCF has an association and a longtime history/affiliation with the space program. We looked at that as a concept of something that we could build upon as this is the kind of feeling that we want to create with this brand and the kinds of impressions we wanted people to get when they were interfacing with the brand. 

     

    What’s most important when developing a company name for clients? 

    MATT: We have a number of rules that we look to follow. One of them is: is it ownable in the marketplace? Can you really say this is your name? We also look at: is this something that sets you apart and differentiates you in some way? And then, also, does it evoke that core of the brand or the essence of your brand? 

      

    How do you immerse yourself in the client’s brand? 

    MATT: We do that by digging into the founding story of the brand. We dig into the purpose of that organization or company. We also look at mission and vision, and personality traits that personify the brand. You immerse yourself in a client’s brand by being around the people, being around the founders, being around that ownership group. 

    This was a new hotel that wasn’t out of the ground, but if it was an existing hotel, you’d probably want to go there and visit to understand what the feeling was like, what the guests are experiencing, what you want them to experience. Just really immersing yourself by being there – talking to people, listening, observing, smelling – all these things are important. 

     

    What inspired you most during the naming process? 

    MATT: I think really the celestial thinking that we gravitated to really got everyone’s wheels turning. The celestial is very, very inspiring. So, when you arrive at that as a concept to play with, you can’t help but get excited. 

     

    What makes the name “Celeste” unique in the hospitality industry? 

    MATT: It’s a name that doesn’t exist here locally. No one is going to mistake this for a different hotel. It begins the journey of telling a story when you talk about the name and how it relates to the experience that the Celeste wants guests to have. 

     

    How did you ensure the company name reflected the overall brand? 

    MATT: You have to come back to the brand pillars, the foundation of the brand. And when you think about pillars it’s things that are on the inside of the brand that people don’t necessarily see, and that’s just like the pillars of the building. You look at columns that hold a building up. Usually, those things are inside and they’re not really exposed to the outside world. 

     

  3. Post for the Holidays: How to Celebrate on Social Media

    He’s making his list and checking it twice—has your holiday marketing been naughty or nice? Posting on social media during the holidays (whether it’s a traditional one like Christmas, or a quirky, “trending” holiday like National Cat Day) may seem like a no-brainer, but don’t let your brand fall victim to bad marketing etiquette. Keep the following dos and don’ts in mind when planning your social content.

    6 Dos and Don’ts of Holiday Marketing on Social

     

    Do: Stay True to Your Brand. Celebrating the holidays can be a great way to get creative and engage with your customers. That being said, it’s important to pick and choose the holidays that make sense for both your brand and its audience. For example, celebrating National Cupcake Day would make sense for a bakery, but National Sock Day would probably raise some eyebrows.

     

    Don’t: Force Your Messaging. No matter the holiday, your message should match the tone and style your audience has come to expect from your brand. If your brand voice is typically humorous, go ahead and celebrate April Fools’ Day. If you’re a funeral home, you probably shouldn’t. Content that seems inauthentic, offensive or annoying will stick out like a sore thumb—and nothing makes people hit the “unfollow” button faster.

    Do: Add Value. How can you help your audience celebrate? Think about what you could offer them, how you could educate them, or even just how you could make them laugh. Remember, creating content without value is just adding clutter to an already oversaturated market. Make sure yours helps you stand out from the crowd.

     

    Don’t: Be Tone Deaf. Unfortunately, in an age when we’re constantly being marketed to, it’s easy to lose the true meaning of a holiday. And although self-promotion is perfectly acceptable on days like Cyber Monday and Black Friday, others like Memorial Day and 9/11 Remembrance Day have deep emotional significance. Take a step back to reevaluate your message and decide if your brand should enter the conversation.

    Do: Choose the Right Channel. Not all social channels were created equal, so tailor your content accordingly. If a holiday giveaway is one of your marketing tactics, the same rules might not apply on both Instagram and Facebook. Even more so, if most of your audience is on LinkedIn, it might not make sense to do that contest at all. Be strategic about where you share your message.

    Don’t: Go Overboard. In terms of creating content, holidays are usually low-hanging fruit. But that doesn’t mean you need to have a post for every occasion. Sharing a few posts that are thoughtful and purposeful will have much more of an impact than posting content that seems haphazard. Plus, you don’t want to fatigue your audience with the same type of posts over and over again.

    Whether it’s Valentine’s Day, Christmas or somewhere in between, your holiday marketing should always be an extension of your overall social media strategy. By thoughtfully incorporating these types of posts into your content, you can connect with your audience in new and creative ways. Who knows—it might even put you on the “nice” list. Happy holidays!

     

  4. What Makes A Great Logo?

    Apple. McDonald’s. Mercedes. Nike. Coca Cola.

     

    Just saying these names brings the iconography to mind. You know them well – the silver apple, the golden arches, the circle divided into thirds, the swoosh, and the italicized words – and could easily name the brands just by looking at the logos. You could draw them from memory.

     

    Besides being associated with longstanding global brand staples, these logos have endured for decades, and although they have evolved, many remain largely unchanged. So, what makes a great logo? How does it stand the test of time? And how does a logo become iconic?

     

    When creating a logo for your company, brand, or product, there are a few components to consider that have gone into making some of the world’s most recognizable logos.

     

    BEFORE YOUR START…

    Research is key! Before you begin your design process, make a list of words you associate (or want to associate) with your brand. Narrow it down to 3-5 keywords that sum up who you are and how you want consumers to feel about you. Next, take the pulse of your current audience. Ask them (without revealing your own list) to describe the company, service, product. Survey your team. See how the lists compare and if there may be elements and benefits to highlight that you hadn’t considered. Keep these attributes in mind as you design, as they are an important part of this process.

     

    It’s also key to understand who your audience is. How old are they? Are they predominantly male or female? Is your product for families? Moms? Teens? What is the household income of your target audience? What do they value about your service or industry? Answering these questions will help you to hone in on the type of design that will connect most with your audience.

     

    IS IT UNIQUE?

    Your logo has to be unique to stand out in the marketplace. While it is important to be mindful of trends in your industry, you don’t want to blend in with the pack. Consider any elements you may want to keep more traditional (font, perhaps), and where you have room to break boundaries (color). Make sure you do some research to ensure no one has come up with the same logo for the same type of product, which may ultimately lead to confusion or copyright issues.

     

    IS IT APPROPRIATE?

    Keep your audience and your keywords in mind. You may have a great idea for a logo, but it may not evoke the feeling of your brand or speak to your audience. Also, consider where and how the logo needs to be used. For example, fast food logos and signage appear roadside and strive to stand out from competitors. These signs feature strong, simple iconography and bright colors. If you are opening a quick-service doughnut shop, it would be wise to consider these elements in your design, as opposed to a long name, busy illustration, and muted colors that could easily be overlooked.

     

    IS IT SCALEABLE?

    Keep it simple! The most iconic logos are some of the simplest logos. The primary logo may consist of the name in addition to a symbol or “brandmark” (a “wordmark” is comprised of text only). Strong brandmarks may ultimately become the logos in and of themselves. Apple doesn’t even have their name on their storefronts, packaging, or website landing page – the iconic apple graphic is enough. Consider how your logo will look on everything from a business card to a billboard. If it is not readable or “scaleable” at any size, you may want to go back to the drawing board – Apple did! (check out their original logo, compared to the version that helped put them on the map)

     

    IS IT GOING TO LAST?

    Your logo should feel fresh and new. At the same time, be cautious of falling into “trendy” design traps that may make your logo appear dated in just a few years. The best and most lasting logos have evolved over time, and certain elements have been tweaked or updated, but the logos themselves remain consistently recognizable. Check out the evolution of Coca Cola below, or click here to see how some of the most iconic brand logos have evolved over time.

    As you create your logo, there are many factors in play, and elements to consider. Remember to stay true to your brand and keep your audience in mind. Your logo should be as unique as your brand, so keep it simple, unique, and, well, iconic!

     

    For more inspiration, check out these iconic brands, or check out this designer-driven logo checklist!

  5. Daring to Be Different: The Brand Strategy That Sets the Successful Apart

    brand strategy

     

    The black sheep gets blamed for a lot – being a loner, nonconformist, or contrarian. Through researching some of the most successful companies in the world, I’ve found that the black sheep is often one other thing: an example of what every brand should dare to be – different.

    In my latest book on effective marketing strategy, Formulaic: How Thriving Companies Market From the Core, I took a look at a brand that has a special place in my…stomach: Chobani, the Greek yogurt giant. Though it may now be a staple in the yogurt aisle of your favorite major grocer, it wasn’t so long ago that the idea of Chobani making a splash in the US was laughed off as an impossibility.

    Through the doubters and naysayers, Hamdi Ulukaya, founder of Chobani, knew that his brand’s secret ingredient would provide the push the company needed to break through: the courage to be different than the competition. To dare to be the black sheep.

    The Difference That Being Different Makes

    Chobani, at the time of its debut in 2005, was a bit of an anomaly. In a market lead by non-Greek yogurts chock-full of artificial ingredients, Mr. Ulukaya decided to take another path. Bringing America the distinct flavor of Greek yogurt made with high-quality, natural ingredients and produced at Chobani-owned factories instead of outsourcing the product, as many others had. Within about 10 years, Chobani crossed the $1 billion dollar revenue milestone – not too shabby for the black sheep of the yogurt-making family.

     

    brand strategy

    Chobani never uses artificial preservatives, opting for natural ingredients

    So, does this mean that all you have to be is a contrarian to find success in your market? Well, not quite. Chobani’s brand strategy wasn’t born out of a desire to be different for the sake of being different. These pioneering practices in the yogurt industry were based on a belief that this was a better way to create a higher-quality product that people wanted. There was an opening in the market just waiting for a company like Chobani to have the courage to fill it – to do something markedly against the grain because the status quo was lacking what Chobani could bring to the industry.

    Strategically different companies, like Chobani, can find success where other, more conformist companies fail for one simple reason: differentiators make all the…well, difference, in the world. Chobani had the courage to crack wise about ingredients like “Purple #40” in many traditional yogurts, despite it being the “norm” to use these ingredients. This brand strategy caused them to take center stage and break away from the pack – something highly valuable for any company in a crowded market.

    Lessons Learned, One Spoonful at a Time

    What can your brand glean from Chobani’s success story? Well, if there’s one thing I’ve pulled from my research, it’s that brands need to be bold. Find out what makes your brand, product, and process different, and shine a light on it – whether it’s the unique way your company manufactures better products, the extra care your brand takes in research, or the fresh ingredients your restaurant sources from local farms that make a lasting impact on your audience. In marketing, doing as others do is often the road to mediocrity. Embrace your brand’s uniqueness and share the benefits that come with it. These quirks may just be what gets your product off of the shelves and into homes. Just ask Chobani.

     

  6. 8 Powerful Springtime Marketing Tips to Make Your Brand Blossom

    marketing tips

     

    Spring has officially sprung, bringing with it a sense of renewal and rejuvenation. Though traditionally a time we associate with tending the garden as flowers begin to bloom, I see some direct correlations between springtime planting and mastering marketing’s many (sometimes thorny) facets. Inspired by the season, here are eight springtime marketing tips that will help your business bloom.

    1. Planting Seeds: Storytelling is the seed of great marketing, and brands that tell a compelling story get the most attention. Storytelling that rings true helps to personalize your brand to an audience looking to make a human connection–not a corporate one. Nike gets this right on the money, crafting a tonally perfect story for nearly every product and creating content that inspires interaction. 
    2. Birds of a Feather Flock Together: The type of content you create and its style are largely based on understanding who your clients and prospects are and how best to reach them. You must know your audience just as well as you know your own product in order to speak authentically and make a more meaningful connection. 
    3. Choosing the Right Fertilizer: As we know, planting the seed is just the start. In order to grow and flourish, you need a team of people who are multidimensional, diverse and has a grasp on today’s socially-conscious consumers. Starbucks has a powerful stance on inclusivity and hiring the best, brightest and most dynamic mix of people from all walks of life. 
    4. Be a Social Butterfly! By sharing content on social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, you can effectively share your messages and start a conversation with fans. Additionally, consider writing thought leadership content, such as guest blog posts, for popular websites in your industry and backlinking to your website. This is a simple, smart way of building awareness and credibility within your niche. 
    5. Soak Up Some Sun: Good public relations efforts can put the spotlight on your marketing efforts as long as you have a story to tell and know the right person to pitch. Falcon’s Creative Group, a developer of amusement attraction experiences, often shares their latest exciting projects with trade publications within their wheelhouse. This gets the news out to the people who care about their work and positions them as an industry leader. So, go on–don’t be afraid to get your brand out in that sunshine. 
    6. Having a Garden Variety: In 2018, creativity counts more than ever. Do something different, create a shareable meme, try a strategic sponsorship, pin images on Pinterest and share user-generated content. For example, check out Old Town’s Instagram page. This iconic Kissimmee, Florida walking district full of shops, rides, food and entertainment, shares regrams of user-generated photos, which has enhanced social engagement. 
    7. Staying Fresh as a Daisy: If you lose sight of what’s working and what’s not, your marketing can quickly become anything but spring-fresh. For instance, if you’re a smaller craft brewery looking to bring in locals, spending your marketing budget on a wide-spanning social media push rather than investing in sampling events or pop-up shops at the farmers market may be a misstep. Barnie’s Coffee keeps their efforts fresh by focusing on local outreach opportunities like this one benefitting survivors of the Pulse Nightclub tragedy. 
    8. Celebrate a Bumper Crop: Metrics can tell you if you’re blooming or wilting on the vine. It’s only through taking a hard look at the numbers that you can measure successes or failures and react accordingly. You simply don’t know what you don’t measure.

    Spring is a time of rejuvenation. And in the spirit of the season, I encourage you to shine some new light on your marketing. From planting the seeds of storytelling to following your metrics, and everything in between, refreshing your marketing strategy can grow your brand. Ahhh, the sweet smell of success.  

     

  7. Best-Kept Secret: How Kadence Leverages the Power of a Secret for Brands

    Kadence

    Spoiler alert! It’s the call of the millennial TV and movie watcher, the warning cry of secret holders or defeated wail of those prematurely and unwittingly exposed to plot-ruining details.The buzz behind today’s narrative-driven entertainment, from Game of Thrones to the Serial podcast, seems to be as much about the secrets of a story as the overall story being told. But who can blame us? From whispers in the schoolyard to rumors at the water cooler, having a secret, especially a juicy one, is tantamount to having a hidden superpower that you only unveil to carefully chosen confidants.

    Though secrets are powerful when they entail the latest fatality in Game of Thrones or the big twist at the end of Fight Club, but when leveraged for businesses they can create a buzz that gets the whole town talking. Take, for example, a hidden pizzeria in Las Vegas. Though Vegas is known for its neon-clad casinos, lounge singers and a less-than-squeaky-clean history, you can add the ‘za to that list thanks to a literal hole in the wall.

    Featured in Marketing Tip Monday, this pizza place, known fittingly as “Secret Pizza,” has no sign, no listing in the building directory and can’t even be seen from the main floor of the Cosmopolitan hotel where it resides. This is a marketing nightmare, no? Businesses pour millions into marketing their brand, increasing their social media presence and producing high-end commercials just to get the word out, after all. Yet, against all odds, this hidden pizza joint boasts five-star reviews on Yelp and Tripadvisor and has become something of a local legend.

    Kadence

    Image courtesy of Tripadvisor

    For a local example in a similar vein, we need only cruise down to the Audubon Park Garden District, home to what appears to be a big matte-black box. This box’s name is Kadence, and it is home to a truly unique dining experience in Central Florida.

    The idea of a limited-seating, reservation-required nine-seat sushi bar specializing in a highly personalized, chef-picked multi-course tasting menu is wholly unique to the sprawl of Central Florida’s sprinkling of Asian fusion and street taco purveyors. Though the Kadence’s concept is simple, you get little-to-no hint of it being a sushi bar by looking at the almost comically nondescript façade. Instead, we are forced to stare in wonder and, short of walking in to inspect for yourself, find someone to share what they’ve heard around town.

    Kadence

    Kadence’s unassuming exterior leaves no hint of the culinary treasures hidden within.

    The marketing heavy lifting for Kadence isn’t achieved by radio ads or tacky banners that proclaim, “GREAT SUSHI–OPEN NOW!!!” Kadence takes a much more subtle approach: an approach largely afforded to them thanks to the quality of their product. The secret hiding within that box is, from all signs, well worth the buzz. If they were serving up mediocre-at-best airport sushi on styrofoam plates, the word of mouth may fall flat on its face. But instead, these chefs who cut their teeth at Michelin Star-rated restaurants provide a unique, truly high-end dining experience. With each satisfied customer, Kadence builds onto its mythos as the best-kept culinary secret in Orlando.

    That’s great for them, but you’re probably wondering what your brand can learn from Secret Pizza and Kadence. These success stories are proof that the power of secrets isn’t reserved to your favorite TV show, movie or podcast. This implicit power can be leveraged in any business willing to keep a secret from the masses. In doing so, a brand is able to inspire a small, in-the-know fanbase who will spread the word like wildfire: from an über-exclusive sushi bar, a secret-but-sublime pizza joint, a secret menu only regulars are privy to or a special cocktail that’s only sold after midnight.

    Don’t mistake this blog post as an admission that traditional advertising and social media marketing is all a sham–far from it. However, sometimes a little mystery goes a long way in creating underground chatter that can penetrate far deeper than more blatant advertising. The traditional marketing tactics could, and often should, work in tandem with the myth building of your brand. Also, never lose sight of the fact that Secret Pizza and Kadence both succeed because their secrets are worth uncovering. The disappointment would be hard for these restaurants to shake if their product was anything but exceptional.

    In reflection, much of the appeal of a secret is the feeling of being an insider. It’s completely human to want to belong to a community and an exclusive club. There’s a definite cool factor to being the guy or gal who knows all the speakeasy passwords, where to find the most authentic (insert ethnic food of choice here) in town and which hallway leads to the best pizza in the city.

    Brands bend over backward to make meaningful, emotional connections with their audiences but many fail to capitalize on the allure of being an “insider.” Spoiler warning: whispering into your customers’ ears (or inspiring their friends to do so on your behalf) can be a truly powerful tactic to add to your more traditional marketing methods.

  8. Findsome & Winmore Announces Plans to Occupy and Remodel 8,000 Square-Foot Building in Winter Park

    Orlando digital marketing firm enlists help of local clients to relocate headquarters ahead of anticipated agency growth

     

    Findsome & Winmore, the classic digital marketing agency that helps clients find and win new customers, announces today plans to relocate its headquarters to an 8,000 square-foot, full building located at 1550 South Lakemont Avenue in Winter Park. This announcement comes as the company prepares for continued strategic growth in 2018 and beyond.

    In searching for and finalizing the purchase of its new space, Findsome & Winmore enlisted the help of clients Foundry Commercial, Fountainhead Commercial Capital, and Sloane & Johnson. Additionally, Baker Barrios Architects, another Findsome & Winmore client, will oversee the remodeling of the building.

    “We have always considered ourselves to be an extension of our clients’ teams, so involving them in the process of finding our new home was very special for us, ” said Matt Certo, CEO and principal at Findsome & Winmore. “With their assistance, we have found a space that will not only allow us to grow our agency significantly over the next 18 months, but will also provide our team members with a creative, interactive environment they can thrive in. We thank Foundry Commercial, Fountainhead Commercial Capital and Baker Barrios Architects for their continued, invaluable insight as we embark on this journey.”

    Findsome & Winmore’s decision to relocate its headquarters comes just two years after the company expanded its current office space, increasing office capacity from approximately 15 people to 25 people. Now, the company is moving to a building that will sustain its steady growth trajectory while permitting extra room for a kitchen, coffee bar, multiple meeting spaces and more.

    In 2017 alone, Findsome & Winmore’s growth involved the onboarding of multiple new clients, including Virgin Produced, Tijuana Flats, Children’s Home Society, onePULSE Foundation, Park Square Homes, and more.

    Following a five-month construction period, the Findsome & Winmore team will relocate to its new office in May 2018.

  9. How the Summer Olympics Can Teach Gold-Medal Marketing

    Summer Olympics

    Rio’s 2016 Summer Olympics is finally underway and the energy is palpable. It’s amazing to think about the level of talent from across the world coming together, putting aside politics and cultural differences to compete in something as pure as sport. Surely, there are Olympic-sized swimming pools of emotional inspiration to be had and lessons to be learned from the Summer Olympics, but as a marketer at heart, I have also found inspiration that directly correlates with my profession. Though onlookers can glean a few tips from watching the exhaustive efforts put into branding and marketing the games, I have a bit of a unique point of view on this subject.

    Working as part of the 1996 Summer Olympics’ sales and client services team, I had a front-row seat to witness greatness achieved both on and off the fields.

    Summer Olympics5 Marketing Lessons Learned from Working the Summer Olympics

     

    • Training isn’t just for the athletes: Good marketing doesn’t just happen. No, it takes the mentorship of skilled experts, daily preparation, continued study and detailed observations to get it right. There is something to be said about resilience in this industry, and the Olympics are an excellent metaphor for the years of hard work that go into being the best.
    • Even tried and true products can use innovation: The 1996 Summer Olympics marked the first time that skyboxes and suite-style seating were utilized to generate revenue. If the Olympics can embrace new ideas and reap the success of such innovation, your brand should be willing to do the same. Even though things had been running smoothly for (thousands) of years, they still sought out opportunities to take the product offering to another level.
    • Messaging moves the needle: The innovation mentioned above demonstrates more than the benefits of trying new tactics — it also shows the importance of messaging. One of my tasks at the Olympics was to fill seats at the less popular events (everyone wanted to attend the gold medal gymnastics event, but fewer people were buying judo tickets). Strategically positioning and pairing the lesser attended events with the more popular ones led to successful ticket sales and attendance rates.
    • Marketing and sales play for the same team: Whether marketing for something as tangible as tickets or as intangible as general brand awareness, in my opinion, you cannot effectively market something until you learn how to sell it. I was responsible for selling packages for a combination of sporting events and learned many marketing (and sales) lessons through this experience that I still utilize to this day.
    • Winning matters: We all know that winning an Olympics competition is a HUGE deal, and the truth is, it can be a major public relations win and morale booster for an entire country. The same can be said for winning awards for your company. Applying for awards and seeking accolades for your products and services helps demonstrate expertise and ultimately assist in generating new business.
    Summer Olympics

    By Photo: Niteshift36; plaque: International Olympic Committee – I (Niteshift36 (talk)) created this work entirely by myself., CC BY-SA 3.0, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=47303233

    Admittedly, a lot has changed since 1996.  However, the marketing lessons are still relevant and viable in 2016.  Taking cues from a marketing and sales powerhouse like the Olympics can help garner your brand a few gold medals of its own. Just remember to train hard, stay open to innovation, be observant and keep your eye on the prize. We’ll see you on the podium.

  10. 2015 Marketing Campaigns We Loved

    angel-1070418_960_720

    Did you know that every time a bell rings a marketing campaign gets its wings? Well, maybe the wings part is fiction, but they sure do sprout into this world at a rapid pace. With 365 days for different marketing initiatives across a variety of mediums (think email, web, social, native, etc.), there are plenty. Here’s a little breakdown on digital campaigns we FOUND and think WON this year.

    Geico’s Unskippable YouTube Ads

    If you’re like me and every other person I know, you typically tune out the preroll ads on YouTube right when you click play. You know they’re coming up, so you check out for a couple of seconds until you’re ready to watch your intended video. Knowing this, Geico’s marketing team opted to strategically alter their content to combat this issue.

    What Geico did was hook the viewer during the first five seconds, knowing that if they couldn’t get them then, they’ve lost them forever (or until the desired and intended video starts). They did this by creating digital ads that concentrated all messaging efforts on the first five seconds of the video while rolling funny, albeit ridiculous, footage afterwards for pure entertainment purposes. The real pull was that these ads put a new spin on preroll video and grabbed the attention of Geico’s peers, other digital marketing strategy agencies and yours truly. Check out one of the videos below for yourself.

    Domino’s Tweet-to-Order

    Pizza. Check. Twitter. Check. Emojis. Huh?

    pizza emoji

     

    You would think I was checking off a weird lunch/work list, but no, it’s just me talking about the Domino’s 2015 campaign and long-term strategy that struck a chord with millennials and more. Speaking to the five seconds that resonated with Geico, Domino’s understands that getting your message across in a clear, concise and clever way matters more now than ever. They also understand that ease and speed is more important to customers than ever too. Understanding that, they’ve given the ability to TWEET AN ORDER FOR PIZZA IN JUST ONE EMOJI. Right? It amazes me too. We might not be living the Jetson’s lifestyle I thought we would be by now, but we can tweet for pizza! That’s a win in my book, as it’s way more efficient than signing in online or calling in an order.

    All you need to do is register your Twitter handle on your Domino’s Pizza Profile. You can then tweet the pizza emoji or #EasyOrder to the Domino’s Twitter handle and, BOOM, you get a direct message confirming your order. Then pizza will be on its way to your home, office, bodega, wherever. Joy!

    This newfound system is a part of Domino’s AnyWare ordering technology. Not only can you order food from your computer and phone, but your smartwatch and smart TV as well. The digital options are nearly endless.

    The future is here my friends.

    Always “Like a Girl”

    A smart and heart-tugging campaign will, of course, be in the mix. You’ve got funny (the Geico campaign), the genius tech-centric (the Domino’s one) and now you have the smart, empowering and beautiful one.

    The Always “Like a Girl” campaign did exactly what it intended to:

    • Brought attention to the limitations put on girls by social norms
    • Established Always as an ambassador for equality

    The campaign first drew attention on SuperBowl weekend, with the Always 60-second spot airing during the big game. The reason this commercial stood out in its time slot was that it was so different from any of the previously played commercials. The spot challenged the idea that doing something “like a girl” is an insult, which is what it’s commonly thought of. Instead, it promoted the idea that anything performed “like a girl” could and should be associated with strength.

    The video was inspired by a study sponsored by Always. The results found that more than half of the respondents experienced reduced confidence during puberty, which occurs between the ages of 10-14 in girls. At the start of the video, it shows a group of kids, ages 10-14, acting out what “like a girl” means when speaking about certain activities. Those in this group presented themselves as weaker when acting out what “like a girl” means. When asking a younger group, the individual kids responded with assertiveness and power, showing the strength in what being a girl means and is.

    Social experiment campaigns (remember Dove’s Real Beauty?) that help shift social norms to a positive are always something that we can back…like a girl. 😉 WINNING!

    The above are just some of the many smart and creative campaigns that have grabbed our attention this year as the time ticks towards 2016. We hope the campaigns of the future present us with many more thoughtful, smart, creative and engaging campaigns to look forward to. Remember, the foundation of these campaigns is always a strong marketing strategy.