Category: Branding Tips


What Every B2B Brand Should Know About Brand Voice

B2B Branding at Dream Factory

Three Secrets to B2B Branding

Know Your Brand Why

Businesses, just like consumers, have needs and desires—and fortunately, their needs are comparatively straightforward. B2B purchases are never impulsive, but focused on necessity and logical reasoning. So when considering your brand, start by asking yourself two simple questions:

  • Why does our business exist?
  • And, more importantly, why is this valuable?

 

At Dream Factory, we’ve learned no two companies have the same exact answers to these questions. Whether it’s years of expertise in the industry, a reputation for good service, or affordable prices, knowing why you do what you do is key to maximizing your brand value. In the famous words of Simon Sinek, “People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it.”

Not sure of your business’s why? This requires some soul searching, and flipping traditional schools of value thought upside down. Instead of focusing on what you offer, and how you offer it, consider your motivations behind creating your products and services. That why is the crux of what you’re selling to your clients.

 

Be Purposeful in Your Content

Writing B2B content isn’t always easy. Still, it’s an important way to show your customers what your brand stands for. Keeping in mind your ideal customer’s concerns, provide content that appeals to their values and needs.

Your range of customers isn’t as diverse as a B2C company’s might be, so this lets you specialize. Instead of appealing to your audience as individuals, focus on relating to them in a professional sense. Be detailed and don’t be afraid to include longer-form content when necessary. Remember, you’re selling your expertise. B2B purchases are educated ones.

 

Connect Emotionally with Your Audience

B2B marketing has a reputation for being the unsexy arena of marketing. That doesn’t have to be the case. After all, businesses aren’t robotic hiveminds; they’re organizations run by people, and people do respond emotionally. In fact, business decision-makers are 10% more likely to consider a B2B brand that consumers feel connected to.

While B2C purchasing can be influenced by a variety of emotional appeals, B2B purchases can hinge on the fear of making a bad decision. This is unsurprising; B2B purchases are more expensive, and can cost anywhere from thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars. The consequences of making a poor purchase are far greater in that context.

Try to think of the impact your company has on its customers, beyond serving their day to day needs.

  • What problems do you solve for your customers?
  • When in the past have you improved a customer’s situation, and how?

 

For example, a good accounting firm doesn’t just help companies with their taxes. They also lower stress for their clients through their thoroughness and efficiency, making finances one less thing to worry about. A little reassurance can go a long way in establishing your brand is one a customer can trust.

 

Want to know more about Dream Factory’s analytical, results-driven marketing solutions?  We’re here to provide the strategies you need. Contact us and learn what options are right for you.

 

3 Reasons Why Your Site Needs to Be Responsive in 2014

responsive site

If your website is not responsive yet, it should be. A responsive site, if you have not heard, simply means that your website “responds” to fit and function on various screen sizes, from a desktop to different tablets and smartphone browsers, while still using the same code.

One previous trend, which many website still try to use today, was to create mobile websites that people using smartphones got redirected to instead of the original desktop website. This gave two different views for those types of devices. However, this didn’t take into consideration how tablets viewed the website and only adjusted to one mobile size.

Responsive design does not redirect users to an alternative website for one viewing format as opposed to another; it is the same website coded to adjust per device. With responsive design, your website is viewable on all devices and it looks great no matter how you are viewing it.

However, the push to go responsive isn’t only about looks. Here are three very important reasons why your website should be responsive in 2014.

 

1. Google Prefers It

As the leading search engine, impressing Google should probably be at the top of your website development priority list. Google states that responsive web design is the industry’s best practice and is the best strategy when it comes to mobile website configuration*. Google loves when websites are easy to crawl. Therefore, if your site has only one URL and the same HTML making it viewable on any device, Google will give it two thumbs up.

Google also supports responsive websites because it makes content easier to share and interact with. For instance, if you do not have a responsive website and someone using a mobile site version shares a link with a friend who then tries to view it on his/her desktop, he/she will see this tiny mobile view instead of the full desktop view. This does not create the enjoyable experience that was intended and diminishes the user-experience.

Currently, Google uses both ease of navigation and user-experience as a ranking influencer. Therefore, making your site responsive is a significant component in boosting your SEO.

 

2. One Set of Files

If your website is still using the former trend of having a mobile site version as a solution, that means whenever you want to make updates you need to make them to both your desktop and your mobile website files.

For example, you change your email; that will have to be changed on both sites. You change your SEO keyword strategy; that is going to have to be changed on both sites. You want to add another picture to your gallery; that is going to have to be updated on both sites.

Ok, you get it. Having a mobile site and a desktop site will in the end have you spending more time executing updates. With responsive design you update your one set of website files and you’re done.

 

3. Wider Audience

How many times have you gone to a website and it didn’t quite fit your screen and instead of trying to awkwardly navigate around the website, you got frustrated, gave up and left? This happens on websites that don’t have alternative versions AND websites that have mobile sites. A mobile site can only be coded properly on one mobile device screen size (aka, an iPhone can see it perfectly fine but it fits improperly on a Samsung Galaxy S4). However, a responsive site can be seen on many screen sizes so, in return, you are able to reach a wider audience.

According to Pew Research Center’s cell owner platform choices 2013 survey:

  • 25% of smartphone owners use an iPhone
  • 28% are using Android
  • 4% are using Blackberry
  • 1% is using Windows

If you are losing 33% of your audience because you chose to code your mobile site just for iPhone users, you are going to lose a lot of potential customers this year and in years to come. Go responsive, and you’ll have a much larger audience to capture.

 

Ask yourself, “Is my site responsive?” If the answer is no, you may then want to ask yourself, “Do I want to rank higher on Google? Do I want to spend less time updating my site? Do I want to tap into a wider audience?” If the answer is yes to any of these, then it’s time to develop a responsive website.

 

References:

Google Developers

PWResearchCenter

Build Your Visual Position

Author: DANIELLE FLEMING, Creative Manager

Your company needs to have a brand identity that is easily recognized and stands out in a crowd. Brand identity, however, goes beyond just a strong logo design and the messaging you create. You also need to build what is called your “visual position.” Your visual position is played out across your entire brand, for every piece of marketing collateral, your website, your business cards, and more. Your visual position is just as important as the verbiage you use when shaping your brand identity.

There are various ways to develop your visual position. Here are four aspects that you can build upon to strengthen your identity and increase your brand recognition.

 

Play Up Your Color

tiffany-blue

One easy way to enhance your visual position is to play up a single color from your set of brand colors.

For most people, use of color for a brand is something that is very memorable. Taking a single color from your branding colors and using it as a prominent attribute in your marketing and advertising efforts will help create a lasting impact on your consumers.

EXAMPLE  – Tiffany & Co.

One company that does this visual positioning technique well is Tiffany & Co. Almost everyone knows “Tiffany Blue.” There is an everlasting association with Tiffany’s little blue box and the gift that is nestled inside. That is because the company strategically advertises with an emphasis of its unique robin egg blue color as a focal point over and over again. The emotional feelings that Tiffany & Co. strives to create in its messaging is significantly emphasized with the recognition of the Tiffany blue.

 

Use a Distinct Typeface

serif-vs-sans-serif

Another powerful way to establish your brand’s visual position is to using a distinctive typeface. Typeface is the set of one or more fonts chosen to represent your brand, giving it a unique character. Your brand’s typeface will be important in the feeling you create when someone interacts with your brand and your marketing efforts.

While we could easily write a full article on the discussions of fonts, to cover your basics, there are two types of fonts – serif and san-serif. Serif fonts have the small lines tailing the edge of letters and symbols and sans-serifs don’t.

From that basic distinction, there are a large variety of fonts within those two types to choose from when deciding what evokes your brand’s personality, from simple to slightly more exuberant. Here are a few samples:

font-examples

You can see how your typeface choices can have an impact on your entire brand. Once you pick a set of fonts for your typeface, you can apply it to all your marketing and advertising, and overtime consumers will start recognizing your company by just a glance at the fonts used – especially when paired with an emphasized brand color as mentioned before.

apple-iphone

EXAMPLE  – Apple

Apple has done a magnificent job branding itself with just its typeface and its product. The san-serif font is iconic Apple because the company uses it on everything from its products to packaging, advertisement, website and more. No need for flashy graphics, typeface and a product shot is all this company needs to establish its sleek and simple visual position that it aims to make.

 

Repeat a Shape

If your company’s logo has a noticeable and simple graphic shape as a part of its icon, use it to its full potential. By using your icon in other formats on your marketing and advertising pieces you are reinforcing that visual, enhancing your visual position and generating greater brand recognition.

target-iconEXAMPLE – Target

An example of a company that you can identify just with the logo icon alone is Target. Target is very clever in the way it repeats and uses its icon in various unique ways to reinforce the brand, through print ads, TV commercials and more. You probably recognize this icon yourself, proving the lasting impression it has generated.

 

Use a Character

A character, a specific person with a distinguishable personality, can also be a significant and effective visual positioning attribute when shaping your brand identity. Having this character as a central part of your brand not only gives something tangible for people to recognize, but also gives it a precise voice by which your audience can associate with.

progressive-floEXAMPLE – Progressive

Flow has put a face and personality to Progressive Insurance Company. This character has created an approachable and relatable feel to the brand, which is quite a feat when it comes to selling something as stiff as insurance. Flow has created a very positive image for this company, giving consumers the feeling that the company is indeed just an honest, bubbly and down to earth brand.

 

When it comes that time where you are in need of building a brand, remember these four surefire ways of creating an effective and unique visual position for your company. Implementing one, if not a couple of them, will definitely help create that long-lasting recognition every brand strives for within their industry.

 

You Have a Tagline, But Where Should It Go?

tagline

Author: DANIELLE FLEMING, Creative Manager

You have brainstormed, had a few back-and-forths, and you decided on an official tagline for your company. Fantastic! However, while you’ve thought deeply on the marketing value this tagline delivers to your brand, you may not have thought about how you integrate it into design.

Where does your new tagline go for your brand visual presentation? There is no true right or wrong when it comes to tagline placement. Each company is unique and operates in different industries with different target markets, so when it works, it works. However, there are always some parameters to follow, no matter what the company. Here are some simple guidelines that will help you choose the best tagline placement for your company.

 

WHAT IS IT SAYING?

First thing to ask yourself when you are adding your brand new tagline to your company’s advertisements and marketing materials is, “What does my tagline say about my company?” There are three main categories your tagline will probably fall under:

  • Our tagline says exactly what my company does.
  • Our tagline shows off our features and/or benefits.
  • Our tagline is a top-line statement.

The category your tagline falls under after answering that question will then steer you in the right direction of where to place it.

 

Our tagline says exactly what my company does.

xtupleWhen you are new to the market or have a name that doesn’t directly reflect what it is your company does, you may opt to use your tagline to express what your company’s product offering really is.

In this case, one of the best ways to display this type of tagline is to attach it to your logo. Attaching the tagline to your logo will help define what your company does at the first moment your target market sees your brand, and it will start establishing your company’s brand recognition and association to the product or service you provide.

 

Our tagline shows off our features and/or benefits.

avisEach company has certain features to their product or service that many like to use to differentiate themselves from other competitors in the market. If you choose a tagline that shows off a particular feature or product benefits, you will want to place it so that it reminds your audience why they should choose your company.

When you choose a tagline like this, you want it to be related to your logo, but because people most likely already know what you do, it should be somewhat on its own. In this case, the best placement is to be near your logo but not connected to it. This way the benefits coincide with your brand but it is not defining it.

 

Our tagline is a top-line statement.

cokeA top-line statement is usually not defining your company or what it provides, but rather, is used to provoke an emotional interaction or make a relatable statement to the target audience. If your company decided on a top-line statement, you probably have an established brand and you may be aiming to re-energize the messaging that you send, provoke more intrigue or interaction, or something along these lines with your target market.

When you have a tagline like this, the best place to display it is on its own as a separate entity from the logo. Having it separate from the logo enables your logo to establish the brand but allows the tagline to grab the viewer’s attention and focus them on your latest message.

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While these guidelines are quite broad and simple in direction, keeping this in mind will significantly help in integrating the wonderful new tagline you have created with the design presentation within your marketing and advertising materials.

4 Qualities of an Effective Logo

September 2013 Design Tip

Author: DANIELLE FLEMING, Creative Manager

A logo is the most visually representative aspect of a company. It is the single most visible component to a brand and has a huge impact on the company’s marketing. But how do you make a well-designed logo that is truly effective and adds value to the company’s overall marketing strategy?

Here are four key components of an effective logo:

 

1. It has a meaning.

First and foremost, your company needs to have a concise message that you want to convey to your customers. That way, when you are initially brainstorming ideas for your logo, you are picking symbols, typefaces, colors and shapes that reflect the concise message that you have in mind.

For example, take the AmeriCare Health logo that Dream Factory designed in 2011. AmeriCare’s main message as a medical supply company is “Freedom to live your way.” Therefore, we incorporated an American color scheme and an abstract eagle wing to represent this message in a subtle, yet effective way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. It is simple.

Keeping it simple ensures that your logo will be recognizable. If it is relatively uncomplicated, it will not only be readable on a billboard to a car passing by on the highway, but will also easily be seen on packaging placed on a store shelf, stand out inside a busy store, and really pop in a fast 30 second commercial spot.

Here is a fantastic example of a logo that was kept simple but is still highly recognizable – the ProsActive logo Dream Factory created back in 2008.

ProsActive Logo

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. It is versatile.

Not only does your logo have to look good, it needs to be versatile across a range of mediums and applications. For this reason you have to create your logo in vector so that it can be utilized by the company and your marketing team no matter the color printing or size needed.

The Dream Factory logo below shows that when it is selected in a design program it has anchors all over it indicating that it is a vector object.

Dream Factory Vector Logo Example

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. It is fitting.

A logo should reflect your company’s culture and values. The use of color, patterns, style (illustrative, grunge, techno, Web2.0, etc.) and typography is imperative to getting your company’s personality across. Each element helps establish the culture and in-turn the brand of your company.

In 2012, Dream Factory designed the logo for a kindness lifestyle company, Be Kind. Feel Good. The handwritten typeface and the friendly dandelion icon made out of hearts truly got across that Be Kind. Feel Good. was an authentically friendly company.

Be Kind. Feel Good. Logo

 

 

 

 

 

It’s evident that these four simple characteristics of a logo can really shape how effective it really is. Go ahead. Take a look at some of the most iconic and recognizable logos out there and see how they follow these guidelines. Whether trying to develop a new logo for a new company or simply evaluating your current logo, these four qualities can help you see how effective the logo can be.

 

3 Trade Show Ideas for 2013

trade shows

Trade shows used to be a level playing field for groups trying to reach their specific industry audience, but that is no longer the case. Showing up with a booth table and a couple basic giveaways won’t get you very far in 2013.

Do you want to be just another business at the convention or do you want to develop relationships and generate leads?  Think of the convention as a race and the standout booths as the clear leaders of the pack. Companies that are thinking outside the box, engaging and differentiating themselves from competing exhibitors are having more success.

Dream Factory recently joined over 20,000 industry professionals, including several clients at Power-Gen International in Orlando. To mark this record-breaking convention, we’re sharing three of the best tips to help you with a successful trade show in 2013.

Stand Out with Your Space

The days of simple booths at trade shows have gone by the wayside. When you are planning out what materials and setup items you need for a convention, it’s crucial that you look to set your company apart from the rest of the areas at the expo.

Companies who are currently having trade show success are the ones that are looking to be innovative in showcasing themselves. Many are using tactics like available seating, providing charge stations for people’s phones and private meeting rooms within the company’s area.

Standing out with your space is about defining your setup from the rest of the show, but it also comes back to engagement. Visitors come into the booths, but so many times they aren’t even approached or followed up with. The simple and effective solution to this is staff training, which prepares them to create points of engagement and build relationships. Your staff should maintain a three step process with every potential lead that comes into your booth area:

  1. Gauge their interest level
  2. Get them talking to the right person for their needs
  3. Have an expectation and plan to follow up

If you have prepared to engage booth visitors in a unique space and use a process of communication during your trade show, your company is setup for success. Without any type of communication and follow up plan for potential leads, your business could end up wasting money and time on trade shows.

Give Away Something Different

Most of you know the classic convention routine. At the end of your trip through the show floor, you usually have a bag full of small branded items that you’re more than likely never going to end up using.

In the same way that diversifying your booth and exhibit space sets you apart, so should your giveaways. Think of them as a strategy to keep people at your booth and make them remember your company long after the show is over.

Some companies who are successful with giveaways are using the audience’s love of new technology to their advantage, by giving items that people will want and use. Start thinking about raffling away high-value objects like tablets or laptops and announce the winners at your booth, ensuring everyone who wants to know if they won must return. Giveaways like these require higher investment, but they keep people at your exhibit longer. Use this tactic to make sure your visitors don’t forget the company who gave them something more to remember about the convention.

Be Interactive

As giveaways and booth designs have evolved, so have communication and displays. The advancements in technology and creativity allow us to show products and processes in new ways, promoting interaction just as much through devices as face-to-face contact. Embracing this strategy will allow your company to keep booth visitors engaged.

Repetition is a common theme of trade shows, so let technology assist your booth, whether it’s a touch screen interface or a tablet device. If you look to be interactive with your product displays, your crowd is more likely to stick around and remember your message than if you were just talking about your product or service.

You can’t let the display do all the work either, as it also goes back to engagement with your audience. The last thing you want is a potential lead to come into your booth and be impressed with your displays and interactive features, then leave without being talked to. Always remember to look to create points of engagement with a plan to follow up and get the most out of a potential lead relationship.

The more original your overall presentation is at a trade show, the better chance you have of obtaining leads and increasing your potential clients. Taking advantage of these three strategies at a trade show will put you ahead, but tying them together with engaging interaction will separate you from the rest of the pack.

Increase your B2B business with the best practices for marketing and trade shows. Contact us or download our “6 Critical Steps to an Organized Marketing Strategy.” 

Are you ready for the new Facebook Timeline?

Facebook Timeline

Facebook has been gradually forcing its users to switch over to the new Timeline format since early this year. While some individuals have been reluctant to the switch, companies have been excited for the benefits from a marketing perspective.

Regardless of your preference, on March 30th every page will automatically become a Timeline. Rather than just letting it happen, we recommend preparing for the change in order to fully utilize all of the new features. If you have or are creating a new fan page, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Pictures
    • The new layout has the capability to create splashy, media-rich pages. Instead of clicking from tab to tab, photos are nicely laid out and easily accessible. Having pictures directly on the page makes it more aesthetically pleasing.
  • Highlight
    • Not all stories are created equal with the Timeline. Brands can now highlight a story or picture by clicking the highlight button, which will make it much larger than regular stories.
  • Story Telling
    • Timeline makes it easier to tell stories about your brand. A large amount of cross-platform sharing will offer new and exciting ways to tell your story and help with new campaign initiatives.
  • Interaction
    • Brands can better interact with their audience using the new Timeline. When Red Bull made the switch, it created a scavenger hunt contest asking fans to navigate through company history and facts for clues.

Time is running out. Start planning your brand’s Facebook Timeline to capitalize on the format and features it has to offer. Before making the switch, Facebook gives you seven days where the timeline is private, allowing you to update the content and delete what you don’t want before it goes public.

Dream Factory has been on board with the new Timeline from the start. We are very excited about the benefits these changes will offer our social media rich world and what role they play in the future of businesses around the globe.