In these days of tweets, posts, and online reviews, a brand can be made or broken in 280 characters or less. Taking real-life customer service to the digital world is now a necessity. Here are a few tips from Asterisk Creative on using search to build your brand.
- Use Google’s questions and answers as a cue for your site’s content.
Ever notice when you’re typing in a search, Google gives you potential ways to auto-finish your query? You can start to perform queries about your own business and products/services to see what others are asking. Then you can build blog posts and on-page copy to answer the questions you find.
- Proofread your work. Have others proofread your work.
User experience plays a large role in organic rankings in the form of website bounce rates. If your website is filled with typos and grammar errors, folks aren’t going to stick around, and your organic rankings are going to suffer. Similarly, if your social media posts are misspelled, noticeably grammatically incorrect, or written in “text speak,” you’re not representing your brand well there, either, and you’re likely driving those seeing your posts to your competitors.
- Prompt responses are necessary.
It’s widely known that on many social media outlets, particularly Facebook and Instagram, if you do not respond to direct messages and/or comments promptly, the outlet will label your account as unresponsive. This signals the algorithms to lessen your organic reach, and it will be even harder than it already is to get your posts seen. (Some rumors have “promptly” defined as an hour or less, FYI.) Pay attention to your engagements and react appropriately.
- Keep your NAP consistent.
When you’re filling out online profiles like Google My Business, Yelp, etc, make sure your NAP (name, address, and phone number) are EXACTLY the same across the board. While this seems minor, when it comes to your brand online, and how the search engines show your company in search results, it makes a world of difference.
Warren Buffet has been famously quoted as saying, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” Now take into consideration that he said this in 2005, long before social media, and all of its “instant gratification” – for better or for worse – became widespread foundations in our daily lives. You can no longer afford to leave your digital marketing or branding efforts to chance. Contact Asterisk Creative, and let us help.
Branding, at its core, is about communicating your company’s identity in a concise and consistent manner. This all has to be done in a way that also makes a connection with your customers – current and potential. Lately, we’ve noticed a movement towards minimalism in branding as a whole. Here’s why this is a good thing.
Minimalism takes a pared-down approach. Designers get rid of all the unnecessary stuff, keeping only what’s important to the design and the brand. This leaves you simply with clean colors, straightforward graphics, and easy-to-understand content. It goes without saying that the simpler you make it for people to connect with your brand, the more likely that connection will happen.
In addition, simple designs, shapes, and colors make it easier for your brand to be remembered. When you strip away the fluff and leave only what you want to be remembered or what needs to be remembered, you have a brand and design that will stick with people.
Another underemphasized bonus to minimalism in branding is the ability to keep it consistent. Again, this comes back to the fact that you’re keeping only what’s important. The fewer elements there are to recreate and communicate, the easier it is to recognize your brand. And in an age where your branding and messaging needs to match across a broader array of outlets – print, television, social media, internet/website, and more – the easier you make it, the better.
Whether you’re starting your branding from scratch or in need of a brand overhaul, Asterisk Creative’s branding team has an answer for you. Give us a shout, and let’s take your brand to the next level!
When it comes to design, color has power. Everything from how your brand is perceived by potential clients to how well your brand stands out amongst competitors is influenced by the colors you choose. So how can you harness the power of color?
First, you need to be aware of what cues colors send. Red, for example, imparts passion and excitement. Yellow sends a message of happiness. Orange screams “high energy”. Greens and blues signal tranquility. Purple is traditionally equated with royalty. Brown is associated with nature. Pink is seen as feminine and romantic. Black ranges from sophisticated and luxurious to sorrowful. White is the symbol of purity.
Once you’ve considered the colors’ meanings, think about what you want your brand and marketing materials to convey. Studies have shown that color can increase brand recognition by up to 80% and that many first impressions about a brand or a product are formed solely on color. So choosing appropriate colors can be just as important, if not more important, than the words you use. If you’re promoting a high-energy dance club, a tranquil blue is probably not going to attract the right crowd. Conversely, if you own a yoga studio that specializes in restorative classes, reds and oranges won’t send that message effectively.
At Asterisk Creative, branding is a specialty of ours. Between our branding team, our design team, and our website developers, we are well-versed in using color to appropriately convey your brand’s messaging and values. We know how to take a competitive analysis and also use color to help you stand out in your crowd.
When you’re ready to harness the power of color, give us a shout and let us help take your brand and your company to the next level!
Gone are the days when having a superior product or service is enough to be a success in your industry. More and more, consumers are choosing to do business with brands and companies that align with their values. A recent study showed that consumers are more likely to research the causes and culture of a company before buying. This is particularly true of Gen Z and Millennials. Businesses must clearly communicate the causes it is committed to, as a result. But how do you do that?
First of all, a socially conscious brand is authentic. The entire culture of the company reflects the cause or causes the brand is associated with. This isn’t a matter of choosing whatever social issue is popular that day and throwing money at it. This gets into a company being able to show internal policies and behaviors that support the issue, on top of the donations, volunteerism, etc behind it. Otherwise, the public will quickly be able to poke holes in the validity. In turn, the public will lose trust in the brand.
Companies that adopt this type of culture have to be prepared for the policies to be applauded AND criticized. Take, for example, Patagonia’s reaction to the announcement that the size of protected land in the U.S. would be significantly reduced. The company changed the homepage of its website to simply say, “The President Stole Your Land”. Given that Patagonia’s mission statement is “[w]e’re in business to save our home planet” and that they’ve long been known for sustainability and a commitment to earth- and land-related causes, this stance rang true for the brand, and many approved of the brand making such a bold statement. However, some felt the statement went over-political and crossed a line. Either way, it drove engagement in a way that was aligned with what the brand has been known for.
Similarly, to truly be seen as a supporter of a cause, a brand needs to be aware of events and times of year that are significant to the cause. Then they should build timely supportive content around that. If your brand’s cause is supporting the LGBTQIA+ community, you should be broadcasting your support during Pride month and posting your opposition to legislation against same-sex marriage. If your brand aligns with environmental conservation, Earth Day would be a significant event each year. You should also be speaking out against any environmentally-harmful legislation that comes up. No matter what causes your brand aligns with, missing the opportunity to speak out makes your “support” ring hollow to those whom your support means the most.
Make sure your brand isn’t missing the boat when it comes to its efforts on social issues. Contact Asterisk Creative, and let’s get your branding strategy on the right course.
We may be only a few months in to the year, but the top branding trends of 2019 are already starting to emerge. Here are a few of our favorites.
- Conversational marketing being ingrained as part of the brand.
As technology evolves, applications such as social media and chat bots are also evolving. They’re becoming a bigger part of companies’ brands. People used to be forced to call a customer service line to get an answer to a question. They’re now using social media comments, Facebook Messenger, tweets, Instagram DMs, and email to get in touch. And they possibly get a faster answer or one that doesn’t require them to sit on hold for an eternity. Many companies have built brands known for their responsiveness to these “new” customer service outlets. That’s happening more and more!
- A company’s brand becoming more of a factor in where a customer makes a purchase.
In many cases, a widget is a widget is a widget. With customers being faced with seemingly never-ending options online and offline for their purchases, they’re often looking to buy from companies whose stance on issues important to them align with their own. As a result, many companies are now publicly stating their policies in subtle and not-so-subtle ways via their social media, advertising, and public relations efforts. This, in turn, becomes part of their branding.
- Influencers as brand ambassadors making an impact.
As social media continues to be a part of daily life for most, more and more purchases are impacted by what they see there. When a person is in the market for a particular product or service, seeing accounts they follow on social media endorse a specific vendor is making an increasingly profound impact on which vendor they ultimately decide to use for the purchase. So it comes as no surprise that the more popular or famous the account is, the more likely it is to influence purchases.
- Serif fonts making a return.
For a long time, serif fonts were poo-poo’d because studies showed they didn’t translate well onscreen. They were deemed hard to read. As screen resolutions have gotten better and style trends have evolved into favoring larger type, though, the readability of serif fonts has improved. As such, this has made them viable for use in logos and branding overall.
Ready to bring your brand in line with the ever-progressing trends? Contact Asterisk Creative. We’re here to help!
When hiring a graphic designer, a lot gets laid on their shoulders and depends on their skills. But there are a few things you can bring to the table to get the best from your graphic designer. Here are a few tips.
Know the goals of the piece you want designed.
Is this an informational piece? Is the purpose of this piece more to drive sales? The look and feel of the design will be completely different depending on what you want the piece to accomplish. Communicating your goals to your graphic designer is certainly essential to get a proper design.
Communicate your expectations and deadlines.
Among the first pieces of information your graphic designer needs is your deadline. Everything hinges on that. Your designer will need to work backwards to factor in print time, proof time, revision time and design time. Your graphic designer also needs to know how involved you want or need to be, as well as any fonts and colors associated with your brand. This will allow them to work with you appropriately in terms of how strict a brand standard they need to stick to.
Be clear about your design ideas and inspirations.
If you have a concept in your head – or in your boardroom – of how you want your piece to look, let your graphic designer know now, not later. No one wants to let a client down. And no one wants to spend time on a design that doesn’t match what a client is looking for. If your brand is built upon a Bohemian look, giving a designer free reign may find you getting a highly structural piece back as a result. And you’re not going to like it.
Also be crystal clear about your audience.
While your wants and needs should come into play, a good graphic designer is going to chat with you about who you’re trying to reach, too. As we’ve discussed in a previous post, things that seem like simple choices, like fonts and colors, often communicate “messages” of their own. Having a graphic designer that knows those messages and uses them to your advantage in reaching YOUR audience is crucial.
Ready to get started with your graphic design project? Contact Asterisk Creative today.
At Asterisk Creative, we talk a lot about being storytellers. But what do we mean by that?
Effective advertising and marketing campaigns don’t just market a product or a service. They convey your brand message to your target audience. They authentically communicate the values of your company. In short, they tell your story.
As one of the southeast’s premier advertising, marketing and branding agencies, Asterisk Creative has made storytelling an award-winning business. We understand that in order to grow a brand you must find the genuine values that speak to your target audience. We know that you must then leverage those in a way that creates new business. Our team focuses on your marketing and branding goals and how they pertain to your overall business objectives. We take a big-picture look at what is meaningful branding-wise, and we set a clear definition of what success will look like. Our team then gets to work on creating a branding and marketing strategy that is the right mixture of design, advertising, & public relations. All to get your story told effectively.
We have a team of storytellers, creative minds with the capability to create content, design, and experiences that will speak to your audience in a way nothing else can. Contact Asterisk Creative and have your story told.
At Asterisk Creative, we talk a lot about brand messaging and sticking to a brand’s message. But how do you decide your brand message?
First things first. Consider your target audience. Who are you trying to reach? What of their pain points that your product or service can solve? How can you strike a chord emotionally to make your product or service their preferred solution?
Next, talk to your target audience. What do they know about your company? How does your company rank in their minds when compared to your competitors? You can get this intel through focus groups or surveys.
Now you look at where these two sources of information align. Play up what your target audience knows about you and what they see as the things that give you an upper-hand. You don’t need to mention a specific competitor to highlight your high points. Speak to what your audience WANTS to hear, and differentiate yourself within that space.
Most importantly, be true to yourself or your company’s core values. Potential clients can smell authenticity a mile away…and that’s what they want. If they get the sense that a company solely wants their money and doesn’t care if they’re putting out a good product or trying to help solve a problem they have, they’ll find another solution.
There’s a lot to consider when figuring out your brand and its messaging. When added to the plate of an entrepreneur that’s also trying to run a business, it can become overwhelming and get pushed aside. But branding is ultimately needed. Don’t push it aside. Contact Asterisk Creative today for the branding help you deserve.
At Asterisk Creative, we offer branding as one of our services. But what is branding?
Your brand is everything your business encompasses – the name, the image, the culture, the idea that comes to mind for clients and potential clients they think of your company. Basically, it’s everything that differentiates you from your competition and helps you retain your clients.
When we bring on a branding client, we’re used to starting from the ground up. As we say on our website, “we start every project by bringing together people from strategy, media, creative, technology, and public relations.” In order for your branding to work, all of these elements need to gel, to tell the same story or message.
How do you want your company to be known? Everything from your color scheme, your website design, and social media graphics to your print ads and business cards should speak to that tone. Taking phone calls? How you and your employees answer the phone is part of your brand. Sending emails? Your email signature speaks about your brand to recipients. Consistency is key, and using the same “voice” across all marketing and advertising tells your clients and potential clients how you’re going to help solve their problems. And that’s the element that persuades them to buy from you.
The Asterisk Creative team is here to help, not just in creating your brand but in producing the elements that will build it publicly. We offer website design, graphic design for marketing materials and advertising campaigns, public relations, and more! Ready to be on board? Give us a shout and let’s get started!