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Rebranding? Let’s Talk About Your Logo

Every company, from Fortune 500 to a small family-owned business, goes through a period when their brand needs a new look—a brand refresh. It’s such a major undertaking that often gets delayed until it starts hurting the bottom line. That’s how powerful your logo is. People associate your products and services with it on both conscious and subconscious levels.

Your logo does a lot of heavy lifting. It appears on everything, from letterhead to sales decks to trade show booths. Think of it as the cornerstone of your brand. So, it should be eye-catching, memorable, and work well for large formats or small print.

 

Three Major Aspects of a Logo

To bring your logo to the next level, it needs to answer the following questions:

  • Who?
  • What?
  • How?
  • Why?

It should also reflect your company’s mission and vision for the future. This takes time and energy. It’s not something that can be done overnight, plus it will take several rounds of revisions to get it right.

 

To get you started with your brand refresh, start thinking about these three major qualities of your logo:

Color Does Matter

Researchers have spent a lot of time on how people are affected by color and color theory. You don’t need to spend a lot of time on this, just know that it exists and it matters (the Pinstripe creative team knows this stuff inside and out).

Colors that are analogous or complementary will create the most impact. How they do this is through the power of communication. The right colors provide contrasts to make an object stand out, which immediately grabs our attention. A great example of this is the FedEx logo: purple and orange on a white background (Did you know that between the “Ex” is an arrow?).

There’s also the psychology of color and its significance in our everyday lives. Let’s take purple as an example. Purple is a symbol of nobility and luxury. It signifies power and ambition. The “Fed” in FedEx is purple, showing the power of the federal government.

Another color, green, is about health, wealth, growth and safety. We are seeing greens being utilized in more banking and investment firms than ever.

As you can see, color goes beyond what you like or the latest trends. To make your logo timeless, brainstorm with your creative team to come up with color combinations that speak to your mission and vision.

The Font

To be unique and clever, you’ll need to distinguish your brand from your competitors. Using a simple yet eye-catching font can achieve this. Some brands have custom made fonts, such as Coca-Cola, whereas Target uses Helvetica (a very common font). It’s all in the presentation of the name, so you’ll need to be flexible.

Like Coca-Cola, your logo can be the name of your business, also called logotype. There are strong fonts available that represent your brand personality and send the right signals to potential clients. You also want to find something that will last, while remaining open to simple changes to fit the times. Just remember that keeping it simple is the best option. Again, the creative team that works on your rebranding campaign will guide you in font selection.

Symbols, Meaning and Motion

A symbol or picture can be a representation of your brand—the who, what, how and why. This is where negative space is a big help. Negative or blank space keeps the logo clean and makes it clever. You can introduce shapes as another way to help your logo maintain a professional look. Two of the most common are squares and circles. Many law and accounting firms place their names within a rectangle to show honesty and stability.

A symbol can also provide motion, such as the Nike swoosh or the Amazon arrow that looks like a smile, too. These act as metaphors for what the brands do. Turning a circle into a sphere will give it motion. The teardrop in Cott Corporations’ logo also shows movement. All of these are important if you want to show your audience the meaning of your company.

 

A Logo That Establishes Relationships

As you can see, bringing all of these elements together into one logo is very important. And, it’s important to remember that it needs to be balanced and flexible enough to scale without any issues. The logo should have positive symmetry and appear balanced in any configuration. It should also be visible and readily identifiable in black and white.

“We can explain the “how” all day; how color, font, and form come together to create a powerful logo, but ultimately you need to leave it up to your creative professionals like Pinstripe Marketing to design and color your mark. You do not want to DIY something like this, it’s just too important and the design process is too specialized to have your niece do it for free or even have your in-house designer whip something up. Logo development is a very strategic process,” says Nikki Devereux, Director of Account Management at Pinstripe Marketing.

Pinstripe has helped local and nationally-based businesses with their logo. We specialize in discovering their traits—their corporate character—and putting them on display. Our creative team consists of listeners and discoverers that have an innate ability to help you achieve your vision. Contact us to tell us more about your company and the logo you envision.

How to Address the Creativity Squashers in Your Organization

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Being creative is not a “luxury that you can’t afford.” It’s not just something for the dreamers, the wanderers, the artists. As a matter of fact, creative marketing is a differentiator, especially with all of the messaging that’s out there. It is essential to the lifeline of your business, and anyone who thinks creativity is a waste of time is certain to fail at business.

 

The Internal Tension

Creative marketing strategies and strategic implementation may create a lot of internal tension during the early stages of development. So many different opinions collide when concepts are presented. These opinions often reflect the internal views of the firm. Any of these sound familiar?

  • We’ve never done it that way!
  • That won’t work.
  • The boss will hate it.
  • Don’t rock the boat.

These opinions are what we call “Creativity Squashers,” and they often hold back the true potential of a great marketing campaign. Unfortunately, none of them address the real problem, and that’s how to stand out in a crowded marketplace.

There are also some preconceived notions about what creative marketing is and how it needs to be handled. Here are some good ones that we hear all the time:

  • We don’t have the budget for it.
  • Let’s sleep on it.
  • It’s not in the plan.
  • There isn’t enough time.

These fail to recognize the need for eye-catching designs and unique concepts that gain more traction with the target market. Plus, you don’t have to spend more money when being creative. You just need to be more aware of what your competition isn’t doing and how you can capitalize on that.

 

Recognize “My” Organization

Creative marketing doesn’t change your firm’s identity, and it won’t require more work. It simply needs readjustment to standard ways of thinking—to step outside the box. To help your firm adjust to new ways of looking at things, you can respond quickly to this negative feedback by using the following techniques.

  1. Ask Open-Ended Questions

You need more information on why their opinion is the way it is. Yes or no answers won’t cut it, so learn how to ask open-ended questions to be more engaging and less adversarial.

  1. Listen Carefully

For this process to work, you need to be in the moment. Don’t let your mind wander and never look at your phone. Details matter, and you’ll need these details to reframe their negative opinions.

  1. Don’t Get Defensive

It’s their opinion, not yours, so don’t get defensive or attack. Most people will see this as a sign of conflict that they want no part of. The moment you get defensive is the moment you lose your opportunity.

  1. Reframe Negative Comments

You’ve listened to their opinions and exactly how they feel. Now, it’s time to transform their thinking and reconsider things in a positive light. Positive reframing is a skill that’s learned, and it will become invaluable to overcoming adversity.

  1. Use Data

It’s time to really drive your point home—to really convince them to change. There’s no better way than pointing to data that supports your argument. Using data is a great way to show changes in the market or consumer attitudes.

  1. Gather Consensus

Having more than one person’s opinion is more substantial and credible. It also shows organizational support. Take the time to bring others in on your side and use their opinions to show consensus.

Respecting everyone’s opinion is important, especially when you believe it’s misplaced.

 

Creativity: A Calculated Risk

Most creative ideas are never implemented. They typically end up on the cutting-room floor because our preconceived notions often get in the way. Creativity takes some risk, but it’s often a calculated risk when you rely on data and trends. Plus, you’re not losing or changing your brand identity to gain more attention. You’re simply trying to stand out from the competition in a crowded market.

At Pinstripe, we have some of the most creative people working for our clients. Our creative team consists of listeners and discoverers that have an innate ability to help you achieve your vision. We have helped local and nationally-based businesses with their marketing needs for over two decades. We specialize in discovering your traits—your corporate character—and putting them on display in creative ways. Contact us to tell us more about what a creative campaign would look like for you, and we’ll help you get there.

Video Interview Tips

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More and more companies are placing video interviews on their websites. So, chances are sooner or later you may end up on the interview side of a video, especially if you are a thought leader or executive in your company.

If this sounds like the last thing you want to be doing, you are not alone. Many people, even great public speakers, hate being recorded on video. Being on video is awkward for everyone.

It’s frustrating when you stumble over sentences and phrases that you’ve repeated effortlessly in speeches, elevators, and at events countless times. You’ll eventually ask yourself, “What’s wrong with me? I should know this.” Absolutely nothing is wrong with you.

Below are a few tips to prepare yourself for your next video interview. These will help you get over any frustrations and the anxiety of being on camera.

  • Prepare your notes, but don’t over-prepare – You’ll end up making yourself nervous. Don’t try to recite word for word the answers you’ve typed up on a sheet of paper. It will sound unnatural. Instead review the questions and get a general idea of what you’d like to discuss, but let it flow naturally during the interview.
  • Videos can be cut and edited – Don’t think that you have to get it right on the first take.
  • Remember that you can also return to a question later, once you’ve warmed up – Sometimes the first questions need to be revisited because you were still getting the hang of it.
  • Keep it conversational – Talk to the interviewer as if you were chatting at a networking event or even talking to a close colleague/friend.
  • Sometimes you need to take a deep breath and grab a glass of water – Do this when you feel stuck with an answer, or you start to get caught up with overthinking what you’d like to say.
  • Leave the paper on the table, don’t use it as a crutch – It’s not going to look good if you keep looking down at your answers on a sheet of paper and the sound of the paper crinkling may be picked up by the microphone.
  • Dress comfortably – Wear what you would normally wear in a professional setting. Make sure to confirm with the video team if you will be filmed torso only or if you need to make sure your pants or skirt are pressed.
  • Patterns are ok as long as they aren’t too tiny – Consult your video team for styling tips.
  • Wear normal makeup + 10%

These tips should help you become more comfortable and relaxed in front of the camera. If you’re interested in creating a series of videos, Pinstripe can help you. We’re experienced with professional, high-quality production to make you look good enough to rise above the competition. Get in touch with us.

Some Things to Know About Marketing Automation

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by Michael Premo, Content Strategist

Marketing automation has been around for a while. There are a lot of platforms available, and it’s become more affordable for small to midsized businesses. And, we have seen a growing interest in these amazing marketing tools because they work really well, especially when you’re looking for more data on what your customers want.

This is not a review of automation platforms because there are so many available and each one has its unique characteristics at a wide range of price points. I want to focus on what you should expect when using marketing automation.

 

Believe the Hype

You’ve probably seen the numbers on marketing automation already, but here are a few important statistics if you haven’t.

  • When using 3 or more channels, marketing campaigns increased engagement and purchasing by 250% while earning a 90% customer retention rate.
  • Targeted campaigns have a 35% higher open rate.
  • Dynamic sign-up forms have a 25% success rate on landing pages.
  • Over 60% of companies outgrowing their competitors are using automation.

What this means is that using one channel of marketing is good, but coordinating 3 together is great. For example, a 3 channel campaign would use text messaging, email, and social media.

Channels also involve data collection so that a good B2B campaign would look like this: email, social media, and behavioral tracking. There are many more combinations and activities to have in a campaign. I think the biggest takeaway is that successful marketing is targeted-frequency.

 

Understanding Expectations

Naturally, you’re going to want to set your marketing on auto-pilot. That’s one of the reasons why automation is so attractive—it drives itself. Though this may be true, it’s also a bit misleading. Automation takes resources to strategically develop and implement a campaign.

Here’s a list of things you need to be aware of:

  • People – You’ll need someone to be in charge of managing automation. This can be a part-time or full-time job for one person or several, depending upon the workload. Or, you can hire an outside firm to handle it, which can save you money. Regardless, these people will be coordinating all activities and in direct communication with management and sales.
  • Content – Automation runs on messaging. Without content, there’s no message. A range of content is needed for a successful campaign: promotions, photos, video, thought leadership, etc. You get the idea. Plus, it has to be fresh and new. Of course, you can repurpose old content, and that should be done after a couple of years.
  • Segmentation – Targeting the right message to the right person is far more successful than throwing it to the wind and hoping they catch it. You should already have your customer segments, so the message should fit their needs. If not, they might get annoyed with your lack of knowing who they are and what they want.
  • Patience – Automation is not like a grand opening. It doesn’t start with a “Bang!” It’s more like a drip. The biggest thing to avoid is being spammy. It’s easy for your audience to opt-out, so decide what the frequency should be by looking at some averages for your industry and market.
  • Data – A huge benefit of automation is the data it can gather about customer behavior. The numbers can be granular, specific and complex. You’ll need to know how to analyze them and then interpret what that means for your future campaigns. Statistical analysis is not easy, but it will improve your lead generation and conversion rates.
  • Feedback – Automation is a great tool for gathering feedback through follow up surveys and reviews. But, when you ask for feedback, your customers will want to hear authentic responses. This requires a set of rules for responding:
    • Timely responses matter
    • Apologize when necessary
    • Be open to criticism
    • Don’t argue
    • Offer solutions

 

Test Through Trial and Error

Successful automation campaigns don’t just appear because they’re automated. The statistics I listed earlier come from an average of robust and informed programs. A lot of testing is involved in optimizing the performance of each campaign. To get there, you’ll be going through a lot of trial and error.

Pinstripe understands what it takes to run an automation team. We have helped local and nationally-based businesses with their marketing needs for over two decades. We specialize in discovering your traits—your corporate character—and putting them on display. Our creative team consists of listeners and discoverers that have an innate ability to help you achieve your vision. Contact us to tell us more about what a successful automation campaign looks like to you, and we’ll help you get there.

Marketing Checklist for 2020

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by Nikki Devereux, Director of Account Management

Have you started thinking about your business in the new year, particularly from a marketing perspective? It’s definitely not too early to start doing so, because if you wait until December, it will be too late.

Now is a good time to come up with fresh, new ideas to promote your business. Planning ahead will allow you to seamlessly incorporate these ideas into your daily business activities. We’ve come up with a checklist to get the ideas flowing and get your 2020 marketing off to the right start!

  • Revisit your marketing plan – If you haven’t in a while, you’ll need to dust off that old marketing plan. Review the initiatives, goals, mission, vision, audience and strategy to see what’s changed and what’s stayed the same.
    • Audience – Consider how your audience may have changed and grown since the last time you really thought about them. What do they need now? What new technology has changed their lives? How can you better communicate with them? Are there any new audiences you would like to reach? Ask a lot of questions and add to your notes.
    • Goals – Consider some goals for 2020 and compare them to the original goals. Are they similar? Have they changed as the audience has aged? Take more notes!
    • Mission and Vision – Do these need to be rewritten? Who can you loop in to help you rewrite or reimagine?

During this process, gather colleagues and stakeholders and bring in your team . They all have something valuable to share and creative ideas you need. Remember to take lots of notes during your review and brainstorming.

  • Consider adding digital or social media advertising – If you haven’t already incorporated Google Ads or social media advertising, consider adding it to your marketing plan to supplement (or replace) print advertising. It’s measurable, inexpensive, and you can set and track goals easily.
  • Revamp your content marketing – Chances are you’ve been blogging and posting to social media as part of your content marketing. Rethink your strategy for the new year and bring video or even a podcast into your repertoire. Make sure you keep your clients and prospects in mind when creating any content. Give them useful information, tips and resources that they can actually use and apply. This infographic brilliantly demonstrates different types of content and where/how they affect your prospects on their buying journey.
  • Consider new giveaways – When was the last time you selected items to gift to your clients and prospects? There are so many creative, fun giveaways out there—be memorable in 2020! Check out some ideas like these sporty backpacks or this adorable foldable fan.

These are just a few ideas to get your creativity flowing for your 2020 marketing strategy. Get in touch with our creative team if you want Pinstripe to help rejuvenate your marketing plan for the new year!