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By: Samantha Scott, APR
Grand Poobah AKA Owner
Today is the day of love, Valentine’s Day, so I thought I’d write in genre. As we grow up we strive to find something that we love that can provide income and sustainability for ourselves as adults – a job or career. It’s my hope that you (reading this) have found that one thing, industry, topic or passion that you love. It’s more likely if you’re an entrepreneur. Take me for example.
My husband and I started this company 7 years ago because we found that we were both good at marketing. I love the process of communications and relationship creation. On the Myers-Briggs scale I’m an ESTJ. Words are my friends and I’m comfortable with new people. What I don’t like is math and numbers, especially balancing a checkbook and calculus. This is important because I do what I love and good at, and leave the other stuff to those who are good at it. I practice public relations and run Pushing the Envelope, but I leave the bookkeeping up to my accountant.
It’s easy to get caught up in running your business. You’re busy and work hard to meet the demands of your clients or customers and your staff. Maybe you could use a little help and as a result, have stopped or stalled your marketing efforts. Don’t let being busy in “season” (for those of you in Southwest Florida) lead to a lack of business or new clients come summertime.
You are good at what you do. You run a successful business, but if we’re being honest, it could always be better, right? It can be hard to ask for help or even realize there is a need. Chance are, you didn’t go to college for marketing or web development. You know you need both for your business to be successful and grow, but aren’t sure where to start or perhaps, what to do next. Why not let us help?
Our skilled team can be your virtual in-house marketing department, help you get social media going (you know that plan you talked about 6 months ago?) and work on updating your website for increased traffic generation – and ultimately leads.
Do what you are good at. Let us help with the rest. Have questions? Give us a call at 239.221.2858 or email info(at)getpushing.com. We’ll be glad to help you do what you love.
By: Samantha Scott, APR
Grand Poobah / Owner
I’ll admit it. I’m a bit of a “consistency stickler.” It doesn’t matter if it’s in the tone of writing used on a website or in PMS colors, I can’t help but notice when something isn’t consistent. In our field, marketing communications, it’s important. All too often business owners, marketing folks and other people communicating on behalf of companies don’t maintain consistency in their branding or marketing. This week we’re going to address this – and why it’s important.
What is Branding?
According to the mighty Wikipedia, “A brand is a “Name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.”Branding began as a way to tell one person’s cattle from another by means of a hot iron stamp.” Simply, branding started as a means of differentiation. That’s what it’s meant to today, as well.
Importance of Brand Consistency – Face Time
Let’s start with the basics. A company’s brand is their image. It’s their face, so to speak. Just like we differentiate people by their appearance, voice, and other attributes, we (consumers, people in general) differentiate companies and products by their logo and/or packaging, colors, etc. As Michael Tasner points out, “It’s the image, words, feeling, etc associated with your company.”
Not only should the aesthetic of the company, the logo, company colors, etc. be pleasing to look at and easy to read, it should also accurately depict the company and its offerings. If your logo is in Cowboy font, but you’re a tech company, something’s not translating. Keep in mind, people could see your brand/logo without knowing anything about your company. They have to be able to look at it and understand what you’re all about. Are you traditional or edgy, a modern and tech-savvy Internet firm or a mom and pop lawn service? Make it clear from the start.
Another key component in marketing as it relates to brand consistency is avoiding the risk of brand confusion. Did you do a double take when you saw that image? That’s what consumers do when they look for a certain package or product and can’t find it or see something similar. The more consistent your branding can be the safer your market share is.
Put yourself in the shoes of the consumer. You are one after all! If you go to the store and look for a specific product, say laundry detergent, and can’t find the brand you usually buy, what do you do (after seeking help from an associate, etc.)? You might try another brand or wait to buy it elsewhere. Now, what if the product was there, but the packaging had changed and you just overlooked it? That company, the one you were loyal to previously, just lost a sale and perhaps a lifetime customer or future purchases.
Of Note: The average attention span in 2012 is just 8 seconds. That’s down from 12 seconds in 2000 and even shorter than that of a goldfish. This makes it all the more important for your brand to be visibly differentiable quickly. Source: Static Brain.
Different Departments or Products – Same Brand
So you say, branding and consistency are important, but what if I have a multifaceted company? How can our brand be consistent if we have different departments and/or products? Colors and a primary logo will be key.
Use Coca-Cola for example. They have a number of different product lines, but their brand is consistent throughout. They use the same primary logo, colors and packaging.
Have a Guide – Enter the Brand Book
We’ve discussed why it’s important to maintain brand consistency. You get it, so now how to do you ensure the rest of your team or co-workers will support this as well? Enter the brand book. A brand book is a critical resource for any business. Simply put, a brand book is a guide for anyone involved with the company. It outlines the brand logo, colors (PMS, so they’ll be EXACTLY the same), typefaces or fonts, acceptable layouts, email signatures and more.
BrandMaker News offers an excellent review of what a brand book is, what needs to be included and how to use it.
Go. Brand. Succeed.
By: Samantha Scott, APR
Grand Poobah / Owner
If you work in marketing, PR, or social media how often have you heard someone (not in the industry) ask – “so what is it that you do?” Or, better yet, they tell you what you do – and it’s not close at all. Perhaps there’s a perception that you just badger people (advertising), draw pretty pictures (graphic design), spin news (PR), or create junk mail (direct mail/marketing)…
This happens to us quite often, especially since our company name (Pushing the Envelope, Inc.) doesn’t explicitly outline our business. This blog post will resolve this and explain marketing communications and what PTE is all about.
- Marketing – the total of activities involved in the transfer of goods from the producer or seller to the consumer or buyer, including advertising, shipping, storing, and selling.
- Public Relations – the management function that establishes and maintains mutually beneficial relationships between an organization and the audiences on whom its success or failure depends.
- Advertising – the act or practice of calling public attention to one’s product, service, need, etc., especially by paid announcements in newspapers and magazines, over radio or television, on billboards.
- Social Media Marketing – communicating and/or gaining website traffic or attention through social media sites that are used by large groups of people to share information and to develop social and professional contacts
So, back to the original question – what do you do again? Each marketing or communications firm is different. We pride ourselves in serving a variety of clients in a number of industries. From healthcare to hospitality, retail to restaurants and professional services, we are capable of helping nearly any company communicate their messages and reach their target audiences.
Our services include:
Public relations, publicity, crisis communications/management, copywriting/editing/proofing, branding, blog writing, direct mail, advertising, social media marketing, Internet marketing, web design and maintenance, measurement/analytics, mobile marketing, graphic design, and more.
Another common misconception relates to culture. People think marketing folk just write jingles and doodle all day. Or, if they watch too much Mad Men, they believe we have 3 hour lunches and martinis daily. Not quite.
At PTE, we pride ourselves in “working to live, not living to work” and having a good time, but we work hard too. We strive to be the best and give our clients the best – what any company looking to succeed should do. We’re also creative and strive to develop new ways of doing things, whether it’s using Facebook to engage Harley riders or get 5,000 people to grand re-opening (yes, we’ve done both). We work hard, we play hard and aim to succeed. How we can we help YOU push the envelope?