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What is branding?

Gah, it’s complicated. But in a nutshell, your brand is your reputation and it’s visibility in the marketplace. Ultimately, it’s your customers that will define your brand, but there are a number of things you can do to define your company’s voice, your message and establish those traits.

Sounds boring, yes? NO! Ok.. maybe a little. This process is extremely important and should be thoughtfully done before any marketing strategies are in place. To be successful, you need to start by asking the most fundamental of questions and understand the current state of the business and market. You need to go deep. Deeper. Too deep! Go back!

I have my clients fill out a client collaboration worksheet that helps to define their business, goals and voice. Asking yourself questions such as:

  • Where do I want my company to be in 5 years? If your answer is “Makin’ those benjis”.. you need to go deeper.

  • What personality traits describe my business? Quirky? Sophisticated? Whimsical? Trustworthy? Plays well with others?

  • Who are my target audiences and what do they want from my brand? Potty trained toddlers looking to let off some steam? Aggravated equestrians seeking a helping hand?

  • What kind of culture do I want to encourage in my company?

And here’s a big one - know your business’s purpose.

Why do you walk through the door each morning? What are you offering your target audience that makes a difference in their lives? This is actually one of the differentiating factors that separates you from your competitors. Yes, making a profit is an obvious answer, but think about what you do for your customers that drives you. For example, think of Nordstrom. Stop thinking about shoes, stay focused. You have to admit that their amazing customer service does come to mind. In that regard, they are accomplishing their company’s mission statement: To work relentlessly to give customers the most compelling shopping experience possible.

So once you are able to get to the core of your values, goals and voice, you’re well on your way to creating a thoughtful and strategic brand that tells your company’s story.

But wait. There’s more. A good brand strategy doesn’t just define what you do, it’s as much about what you don’t do. You’ll want to work with your team to develop policies and values that direct action, but also rules out those approaches you want to veer away from. Think of your brand strategy as the North Star, the foundation.

Next you can begin to move on to logo design (or a logo refresh in a lot of cases), marketing strategies (with those oh so fun tactical executions) and designing all of the beautiful collateral that goes along with it.

With the recent roll out of this new feature meant to target the influencer market, users of Pinterest can expect more encouragement to shop their pins. Although businesses can already upload “Product Pins” to Pinterest, allowing people to click through to find and buy a product, creators can now play a role in promoting those products via "Idea Pins".. Let's dive right in.

What You Should Know:

Idea Pins:

  • New feature rolled out in in May of 2021

  • Think of them as a cross between TikTok videos and Stories

  • They offer a way for creators to produce content that combines music, voice over, video and other interactive elements

  • Can be up to 60 seconds per page, with up to 20 total pages per pin

  • Creators can also add other features to their pins, like stickers or music, and tag other creators with their @username

  • New updates to Analytics to help creators learn what content resonates with their audience

Shoppable Pins and How They Help Your Brand:

  • Influencers can now promote items on Pinterest, earning commissions through affiliate links and partnering with brands on sponsored content

  • This finally allows influencers to build their own businesses and expand their reach on Pinterest- a feature that platforms like YouTube, TikTok and Instagram have already mastered

  • Creators will be able to tag products in their pins, resulting in a purchase from the Pinterest app

  • Businesses win as well when Pinterest influencers create this new content with their products, making it easier for potential buyers to understand how to use their products and their benefits

  • New feature supports affiliate programs and brand sponsorships, thought this is currently only available for select creators

Whitefox has worked on successful creative social media campaigns for a number of businesses. See how we can help your company build a presence with compelling digital content.

Image Credits: Pinterest

Monotony could be considered the kryptonite to creativity- making this ongoing pandemic its worse nightmare. Waking up to a Groundhog's Day scenario day in and day out could mean certain death to your inspired creativity- so here are some ideas to keep things interesting.

1. Put time on your side- and work with it not against it.

There are numerous studies that point out which times of day are the most productive- here are some highlights:

This study found that workers’ cortisol levels were significantly increased when exposed to stress later in the day as opposed to the morning. "The hormone also restores balance after a stressful event, which means that you will be better able to settle down again after a high-pressure morning." Take away: schedule the presentation or call with the boss in the morning

According to this BBC article, based on circadian rhythms, about 75% of people tend to be most mentally alert between 9am and 11am. It also points out that you are most productive on Mondays and Tuesdays, with 40.6% of all tasks completed on these days. Productivity falls as you approach the end of the week and apparently little to nothing is accomplished on the weekends- go figure. Take away: Monday morning you're a powerhouse

2. Use music as a tool.

Just as an embellished soundtrack of a movie is used to build suspense and keep the audience captivated- it can be used to keep you focused and interested in your projects. Keep playlists varied - Vintage French while designing florist's website, 90's Hip Hop to inspired a youth oriented marketing campaign. Pleasurable music may lead to the release of neurotransmitters associated with reward, such as dopamine- and who doesn't love dopamine. Take away: There's a reason Spotify stock is on the rise

3. Walk it out.

If you find yourself stuck in a rut- it's amazing what a ten minute walk can do for your psyche. Sometimes, if I'm super stressed or worried about a deadline, a walk seems to be the worst idea- but studies show that as little as 10-15 minutes can improve your well-being. Walking triggers your brain to release endorphins, natural cannabis-like brain chemicals (endogenous cannabinoids) and other natural brain chemicals, mentally preparing you to get back in the saddle and create. Take away: When you're stuck- go around the block

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