package design

5 Package Design Trends for 2018

Change happens quickly, and if you are caught unawares, you could be left with packaging that is outdated and stale. Recognizing and incorporating the following package design trends into your packaging ensures that your packaging is modern and beneficial to your image.

1. Minimalism

Minimalism, the use of elegant, streamlined, and visually simple packaging, never really goes out of style. There are numerous ways to achieve a minimalistic look, including using bold typography contrasted with stark white backgrounds, splashes of color on clean backgrounds, or a basic arrangement of simple shapes. If you incorporate this year’s top colors, including pink, purple, and color of 2018 PANTONE® 18-3838 Ultra Violet, you can make your minimalistic design modern and timeless, without isolating or overwhelming the viewer.

2. Go Bold

Color has always played an integral part in developing packaging and this year is no different. Use bold colors to evoke emotional responses in potential consumers and, consequently, impact their buying decisions. So, the primary color you use in your package design has a significant psychological effect on those viewing it, and you should choose it carefully. Be bold, but choose colors that represent the personality of your brand.

3. Handwriting and Handmadepackage design

Many consumers are looking for environment-friendly and ethical goods, including homemade items. Homemade products also create an emotional connection with the consumer, often evoking warm memories and nostalgia. The handmade package feel can be achieved through careful package design that includes text that looks handwritten. However, it is essential to ensure that your writing is clear and readable. You do not want to confuse or inadvertently mislead consumers.

4. Whimsy

Most consumers love goods that evoke positive childhood memories, or that engage their inner child. Using fun visuals, bright colors, and fantastic illustrations, including hand-drawn logos, is a great way to engage such consumers. Whimsy makes people smile and feel happier, so when your product packaging incorporates whimsy, you are creating this joyful connection between your customer and your product.

5. Eco-friendly

Going green is the best way to gain new customers and keep returning ones. It is not enough for your product to have eco-friendly credentials though; your packaging has to as well. Using packaging materials that are eco-friendly, biodegradable, and locally sourced is a great place to start. However, your design must also shout eco-friendly. Using earth-based colors in your packaging is one step, as are the inks you use in printing and the amount of packaging you use.

Incorporating these package design trends into your packaging will benefit your business in 2018. However, it is also important to employ them in a way that maintains your individuality and ensures that you are instantly recognizable to your audience, so using the same color scheme as you use in the rest of your marketing can be a great start.

 

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brand awareness

How To Drive Brand Awareness

Awareness, as we alluded to in our first article Using The Right Media Mix During Each Stage Of The Buyer’s Journeys, is a two way street. On the one hand your potential buyers become aware they have a problem that needs a solution, and on the other you as a marketer must boost brand awareness in order for them to find you, your content, and consequentially your products or services.

Brand awareness deals, in large part, with how familiar your customers are with your brand. In other words, how well do they identify with your brand name, its characteristics, your logo, or other things that strongly correlate to the products or services you offer. And while many major corporations have a significant hold on their respective markets with their branding, how can you as a marketer drive brand awareness? Let’s take a look.

Keywords and SEO

Your blog is the destination you want all prospective buyers to land on during their awareness stage, and keywords and SEO may as well be the road map to get them there. Getting found through search is the cornerstone of inbound.

As a matter of fact, the top 3 search results typically get 50% of the clicks which is exactly why you should strive to get your search results to the top of search engines. The search engine optimization game; however, is more of a marathon than a sprint and instant results likely won’t see your brand become the cream of the crop in the long run.

Correctly keywording your blog posts and your site as a whole will improve your company’s overall credibility which will in turn create trust between your brand and your site’s visitors. Additionally, SEO gives you a quantifiable, trackable avenue for your marketing by helping you see real data from your search results. For more on the nitty gritty of how SEO can boost your brand awareness, check out our blog post for how optimizing your website can lead to great results.

Keywords themselves will only get you so far, so let’s take a look at how to tie your target keywords into meaningful content via blogs.

Blogging

brand awareness

For small and large businesses alike, driving brand awareness starts with a healthy group of focused, educational content pieces in the form of your brand’s blog. Any successful blog starts by finding a topic that people are interested in. Add in a few internal links, some CTAs, and you’re mostly good to go. Here are a few of the finer points to a successful blog:

  • Proper Formatting – The meat of your blog is its content, so format it in a way that makes sense and helps your posts flow. Break the content up into short paragraphs for easier reading and intersperse some relevant offers and promotions throughout the body.
  • Attractive Titles – Titles should accurately and attractively reflect the body of the blog post. Keep your titles between 50 and 60 characters for search engines.
  • Pretty Pictures – Add some relevant pictures to your post to make it more eye-catching. Be sure to alt text the pictures in your blogs to help boost SEO.
  • Links and CTAs – Internal links help keep users on your page and help them take in more of your expertise. CTAs help convert visitors to leads through well-designed landing pages with offers as the end result for the user.
  • Consistency is Key – Regular blog posts with fresh content will keep your subscribers coming back to your brand. Start with one quality blog per week then expand as you feel comfortable.

While these tips are great foundational resources for your blog, tying them to your keywords is crucial to getting found organically via search engines. Once you’ve found a long tail keyword or group of keywords that work for your blog, it’s important to use those words naturally (generally 3-5 times) throughout the body of each blog post. Also, link similarly keyworded content to the keywords you use and connect the web of your websites SEO.

Check out this similar article about Blogging

Social Media

The final piece to brand awareness as it pertains to your buyer’s journey is social media. While social media is the last piece of the awareness puzzle we’re mentioning, it may very well be the first place your buyers land when seeking information to solve their problem.

Social media sites are some of the most indexed by search engines on the entire world wide web. With hundreds of millions of posts daily by businesses and individuals alike, social media is a crucial hub of activity for your content and your buyers. In all likelihood, ceteris paribus, your brand’s social media sites will be scrolled and indexed before your brand’s blog or website which makes brand awareness through social media all the more critical.

Posting on social media is an art and a skill that can be honed by knowing your buyer personas, what social media platforms they use, and what your goals for social media are especially as it relates to driving B2B sales. Tailoring your messages within those confines will make sure that the things you’re publishing are on point, relevant, and capable of converting interested parties into leads. Lead conversion in social media means attaching a meaningful CTA or offer to each of your posts to give your potential buyers the chance of becoming more aware of your brand through offers.

Next: Lead Nurturing During the Consideration Stage

In our next article we’ll move further down your sales funnel as we examine what happens during the consideration stage of your buyer’s journey including leveraging drip emails, marketing automation, and remarketing to move your buyers into the decision making stage.

 

successful blogging

 

 

Top Graphic Design Trends for 2018

With a substantial number of companies turning to the internet to market their businesses, it is harder to stand out from the crowd than ever before. However, knowing the graphic design trends that are most likely to occur in 2018 can put you ahead of the game.

1. Color Is Key

The key aspect of all elements of graphic design in 2018 is color – from multiple brand color schemes to the return of color gradients and the use of unusual color combinations. The colors you choose this year could make or break your web presence. The multiple brand color approach is already being piloted by companies like Dropbox. Rather than change their familiar and instantly recognizable logo, they introduced a new range of official brand colors including pink and purple, which are set to be central colors in design this year. It is worth noting that color of 2018 is PANTONE® 18-3838 Ultra Violet.

2. Image Authenticity

There has been a move away from stock images over the past few years, with businesses realizing that visitors and customers wanted and trusted authenticity. This move will increase this year with the winning pictures being carefully chosen, purposefully created, and impactful. Images that include photos of real people, which are really connected to your company are going to be essential, especially when it comes to your social media presence.

3. Think Fonts

 

In your written content, the focus of your font choice needs to be on providing a quality reading experience. However, the fonts you use in your design have multiple other purposes. One of these is to encourage an individual to stop scrolling and find out what you are all about. Graphic design trends for 2018 include using handwritten and bold fonts to create eye-catching features. Of course, color comes in here as well; fonts can be colorful, as long as the color engages and intrigues your visitor.

4. Getting to Grips with GIFs

GIFs are quite literally everywhere. While they are great fun, it is hard to see how they can be used seriously within your graphic design. However, while the GIFs you regularly share on your personal social media may not be right for the job, it is possible to create them specifically for your needs, website style, and your customer segment.

Design GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

5. Brutalism Bares All

Although brutalism has been around for a while, it is set to be one of the significant graphic design trends of 2018. Clear lines, bold yet limited colors, and functional typefaces are at the heart of this approach. This striped-back approach does not work for everyone, and it needs to be used carefully, with the question, “Does this fit my brand story?” being repeatedly asked during the design process. Websites that use the brutalist style well include EPIC Ireland, particularly in their headers and menus; Fake Music; and Tennent Brown Architects.

From bright colors and 3D modeling to brutalism and flat graphics, if the trends of 2018 tell you anything, it is that there is no one right way to stand out from the crowd. It is about choosing the typography, color palette, and design approach that best encapsulate your brand, its image, and its story.

business story

 

 

increase SEO

Ten Ways to Use Google Trends to Increase SEO

Most people love free SEO tools. Google Trends is one of the most underused free tools; it is a place marketers can use to get their finger on the global pulse. Increase SEO using Google Trends in the following ten ways.

1.    Start Big and Narrow Down

The latest Google Trends dashboard is much simpler and allows you to explore various topics before narrowing down. Therefore, begin by entering a broad or all-encompassing keyword and then drill down. For example, the Worldwide feature allows you to focus on a certain market geographically. The word umbrella will peak at different times depending on the location. You can also filter your search by time selection and category, enabling you to increase SEO by targeting a wider region.

2.    Use Specific Search Options

Get advanced insights using options like image search, Google Shopping or news search. Digging deeper into your queries can increase your chances of identifying a new trend. You can also click Rising to see the top keywords.

3.    Context is Key

Google Trends operates in a relativistic manner. Today’s results are not compared with popular trends; rather, with the prior keywords you entered, meaning results vary according to various factors like timeframe. Therefore, never overlook the context and avoid personal blind spots when trying to increase SEO.

4.    Target by Location

A cursory use of the tool usually focuses exclusively on keywords. To get the most relevant results, incorporate location into your mix. Focus on specific and relevant regions and sub-regions.

Check out this similar article about SEO

5.    Trend Predictions

It is easy to identify trends that leave a trail, but that is not very helpful as most marketers are using that data. Predict trends to gain additional insights. Identify potential trends by filtering according to specific countries or categories. Today’s  health story may not be a headline on Google Trends; however, it may help you spot topics to watch out for.

6.    Use Long-Tail Phrases

It may be difficult to rank high on the SERPs for a phrase like “Caribbean Cruise”, but you can make it to the top of the search results using a long-tail variation of this phrase.

7.    Use Top Chartsincrease SEO

Click on the Top Charts icon on the upper left to view Google’s version of Billboard Top 100. Do not confuse it with the trends most individuals are seeing. You can sort between Most Searched and Trending to glean more relevant information.

8.    Video Optimization Data

For example, if you posted a video on YouTube about how to avail discounts on Caribbean cruises, you can switch from web to YouTube search to explore related topics and queries. You can also sort by Rising or Top to capture more YouTube traffic.

9.    Cyclical Trends

If you are optimizing your wedding boutique, even a simple search will reveal that most weddings do not compete with holidays. With some aforementioned strategies, you can determine a few additional keywords to carefully direct your future posts to better handle each cyclical trend.

10.    Avoid Misreading the Trends

Advanced and sophisticated use of Google Trends allows you to move a step or two beyond your current insight to determine if there are any blind spots. For example, never trust one snapshot to tell you the whole story; instead, get a broad view of different timelines to figure out what else is happening.

17 SEO MYTHS YOU SHOULD LEAVE BEHIND

 

 

Logo Design Trends For 2018

Your business logo encapsulates your business. In one simple graphic, your potential customers learn everything they need to know about you. Logo design done right embodies your brand, makes you instantly recognizable, and creates a timeless appeal.

One of the critical mistakes that businesses of all sizes make when designing their logo is following the wrong trends. Another is following trends too tightly, and not adding that spark that makes them stand out from the crowd. Do you remember when everyone decided to include pixilated images in their logo? But, can you name any of the individual companies that tried that?

logo design

Think Social Media

One of the key trends for logo design in 2018, is designing with social media in mind. Logos on social media need to be short, punchy, and fit neatly into a square field. That does not mean that square logos are the way forward; it just means that the finished logo should fit, and be visually balanced, within a square.

 

logo designConsidering Context

Designing your logo is not just about the logo itself, but also how it is presented to your potential audience. One trend that is gaining momentum, and which is likely to continue to do so into 2018, is placing your logo in a real-world context. That includes ideas such as showing the logo on wall signage, business cards, and stationery. Taking this approach creates a visual link with the audience, so when they then see your signage with your logo, they automatically think back to what they have seen, and read about that logo and therefore that brand.

 

Mindful Monogramslogo design

Monograms and single letter logos are ideal for social media. They play on a classic idea that has been placed on everything from letterheads to cufflinks for centuries. However, it can be challenging to make monograms and letter logos unique. If you are going to use your business initials to create your monogram, then be watchful of unintended words, shapes, and puns that can be created.

Making this type of logo stand out, and say something meaningful about your brand, can also be difficult. Colors, shapes, letter styles, and letter combinations need to be well chosen to ensure that you do not create a logo that looks just like everyone else’s.

 

logo design

Going Back to Basics

Logos that include geometric shapes and clean lines are set to be on trend in 2018. These logo designs come back into favor regularly because they are, when done right, elegant and timeless. However, you need to avoid these types of logos becoming over simplistic and boring. You also need to ensure that your logo design stands out; after all, there are only so many shapes and shape combinations that can be used to create a geometric design.

 

Bringing Back Colorlogo design

Working in a digital medium gives you unprecedented access to colors in tones and shades that have been near impossible to create or show in a logo before. This is one of the reasons why there has been a surge towards brightly colored logos. However, when using color, it is not enough to just use blocks of bright, intense colors. To stand out, your logo design needs to consider intensity, saturation, shades, fading, and mixing of colors. Moreover, the colors you use must still reflect your business and its brand.

Logo design trends are there to guide you in creating the perfect logo. However, the focus of your logo design must remain on designing a logo that represents your business positively and makes you both visible and memorable.

 

call to action phrases

 

brand loyalty

The Brand Loyalty Of Generation X

Consumers like certain brands. They develop a trust that the brand’s products are of the right quality and a good value. That trust, along with other positive emotions, causes consumers to develop brand loyalty, where they tend to buy certain products from particular brands now and into the future. How brand loyalty works depends on many factors, age and status in life being two.

It is critical to understand how a particular generation develops brand loyalty. The insights gained by this understanding make marketing to the generation in question much easier. Let’s look at Generation X for example.

What Makes Generation X (Gen X) Unique?

Generation X is usually defined as those born between 1965 and 1980. This generation sits between the much larger Baby Boomer and Millennial generations. Because they are smaller than those two generations, many marketers forget they exist.

Members of Generation X straddle a critical divide. They remember times when Internet access wasn’t the norm. They grew up with a more traditional business model. However, they also came of age at the beginning of the Internet revolution. They have adapted quite well, using the Internet in many of the same ways their younger Millennial siblings do. By straddling this critical divide, Gen X feels comfortable in both traditional and digital markets.

How To Develop Content To Build Customer Loyalty 

Opinions of Gen X vary greatly. As Gen X came of age, they were called slackers, loners, and apathetic. However, as Gen X emerged into adulthood, the descriptions changed. They are often called independent, dedicated, savvy, and innovative. Many of this generation grew up as “latchkey” kids, coming home to an empty house because both parents worked.

Because they came of age during a time of high unemployment and a stagnant economy, Generation X tends to be skeptical and cautious, with a bit of cynicism thrown in. They also look for lower price, high value options that are convenient.

Generation X and Brand Loyalty

In June 2015, CrowdTwist conducted an online survey of just over 1200 North American consumers between the ages of 18 and 69. Approximately 1/3 of the people who participated in the survey were part of Generation X. The results of this survey provided critical insights into how Generation X develops brand loyalty and how brands can retain that loyalty.

Due to this generation’s built in skepticism, brands have to work to gain their loyalty. High quality products and excellent customer services are two components that members of Generation X value. They also want brands that are authentic and trustworthy. They must be relevant and stay relevant. Brands must prove they have value. Marketing pitches and overt salesy advertising are two things that turn members of Gen X against certain products.

The good news is that Gen X tends to stick with the brands they love. Almost 50% of Gen X survey participants indicated they are extremely loyal or quite loyal to their favorite brands. Only 14.6% said they are quite willing or moderately willing to try new brands.

Takeaways

If you are targeting Generation X, you need to understand what it values if you want to develop brand loyalty with this age group. They can be cynical, skeptical and cautious. That requires a company to prove their authenticity and relevance. Gen X wants high value, cost effective options. They expect good quality products at affordable prices. They also love it when these deals are easy to find and easy to purchase.

Once your brand earns the loyalty of a Gen X member, that person is likely to remain a loyal customer for years to come.

brand loyalty

truly supplements brand launch

Stevens & Tate Marketing Awarded For Brand Creation and Launch

Stevens & Tate Marketing awarded with three ‘American Package Design Awards’ from GD USA for brand development of their St. Catherine’s Village campaign and for Truly Supplements’ package design, brand creation and launch.

Stevens & Tate Marketing continues to make an impact in the health and wellness space with award-winning graphic design for two businesses. The Lombard, Illinois, agency was just recognized with three 2017 “Health and Wellness Design Awards” from Graphic Design USA for its St. Catherine’s Village branding campaign and for Truly Supplements’ package design, brand creation and launch.

According to the agency, branding and package design both have a significant impact on a consumer’s purchasing decision, and GD USA recognizes this. The annual awards celebrate innovation and excellence — not only in graphic appeal but also in a brand’s ability to create an emotional link with a shopper. For GoldenTree Brands, which owns the probiotic line Truly Supplements, enhancing the shopping experience is an essential part of brand development. Stevens & Tate has helped the company meet changing consumer demands in each channel by launching the Truly brand from scratch.

The brand design was executed to appeal to an upscale audience through sleek packaging and a thought-out strategy. Mark Beebe, partner and creative director at Stevens & Tate Marketing, said, “We really wanted to underline the organic and natural aspects of this product, which is why we went with the tea leaf logo design and vibrant colors. It is simple yet sophisticated.”

Knowing that health and wellness is becoming an increasingly dominant trend in today’s consumer market, the art department created something that would appeal to a conscientious female buyer. Lee Golden, CEO of GoldenTree Brands, acknowledged this by saying, “Stevens & Tate is an innovative marketing company with vast industry knowledge. They are very up-to-date with consumer trends and the design team has a wonderful flare for out-of-the-box thinking.”

Versatility is Stevens & Tate Marketing’s strong suit — designing with the consumer in mind has always been a main objective for the agency regardless of the client or market. When creating the award-winning campaign for St. Catherine’s Village, the team again utilized their strategic talent to construct key insights about the senior living community. In everything from the website to collateral pieces, engaging photography depicts seniors in action and “really living” in their environment, sending a message of non-exclusivity.

“The new responsive design puts finding information conveniently into the hands of users wherever they are,” said Beebe. “Beyond being mobile and search friendly, the website also focuses on lead generation, offering numerous conversion points throughout to engage readers — whether they are active seniors or their adult children.”

In addition to highlighting the friendly and comfortable atmosphere at St. Catherine’s Village through artwork, the choice wording of the campaign and it’s warm color scheme emphasize that the all-inclusive, continuing care retirement community is luxurious yet still attainable.

These three winning entries are among 66 awards and recognitions Stevens & Tate Marketing has earned since its inception in 1995.

“We’ve never entered this competition before and weren’t expecting to win – however, we took home the title for all three categories we submitted entries for,” said Beebe. “We are honored to be recognized for our ability to produce impactful work that influences the consumer’s behavior – not only by the design community, but also with the success of our clients. This continued response is the ultimate reward.”

To learn more about Stevens & Tate Marketing’s award-winning brand development and package design, view the agency’s online portfolio at www.Stevens-Tate.com/work. For more information on the GD USA Health and Wellness Design Awards or other work, call Mark Beebe at (630) 627-5200.

Stevens & Tate Marketing is a full-service advertising agency offering on-strategy creative, integrated message development and cost-effective media planning and execution. The team creates targeted solutions for clients within the food/grocery, retail, homebuilding/real estate, travel/tourism, business-to-business, health care and senior living industries. To learn more about how Stevens & Tate Marketing can help Make Things HappenTM for your business, call (630) 627-5200.

brand packaging resources

Top 7 Packaging Design Resources

Today’s package designers have such a wide variety of tools, technologies, and materials available that they can create just about anything they envision. Add in digital printing and their amazing design options become available to everyone. If you are looking for packaging design resources, here are 7 to get you started.

Packaging World

The world of packaging continues to evolve. To keep up with the latest happenings in the industry, you need to keep in touch with Packaging World. They offer daily articles on a variety of topics about what is hot, what materials are on top, and the leading inspirations designers have today.

The Die Line

Do you want to see the latest design inspirations from students all the way to big corporations? The Die Line is definitely the place to start. You get access to a packaging directory as well as a complete library of designs. There are new designs being added all the time, so you have a wealth of inspiration at your fingertips.

BXP (Brand Experience)

Packaging design comes together at BXP. It features design inspiration from the entire globe along with industry headlines and a fully stocked directory of packaging design resources. You get to meet some of the brightest talent in the design world. It is a place for inspiration and trends.

Seven Steps To Launching A Packaging Brand

Packaging of the World

 Packaging of the World is like an art gallery of package design. You get to see some of the best design work from professionals around the globe. The best part is that you can filter the gallery based on exactly what you want. You can search by country, category and even most popular.

Retail Design Blog

The Retail Design Blog from the Creative Craft Laboratory brings selected retail packaging designs to the world. You get to see exactly what designers have in mind in a visually stunning presentation. The blog is updated every few days with even more designs. That makes it a resource you can return to time and time again.

Packaging Design Archive

If you are looking for a place to do package design research, the Packaging Design Archive is the place to start. You have the opportunity to see a wide range of designs in any number of presentations. You can filter by typography, shape, design aesthetics, materials, and environmental category, among others.

Brand New

The design firm Under Construction offers up Brand New. This features a true library of packaging designs. You get to see the latest inspirations. But, what makes this site extra special is the fact that you get a thorough review of many designs, which helps you know why a particular design works (or not).

All of these packaging design resources will give you inspiration, news, updates, and design help with any packaging need you might have.

7 packaging brand

how to tell your brand story

What Is The Brand Development Process?

Branding is more than just creating a logo and slapping it on a website or the side of a van. Brand is about a consumer’s perception of your company. A positive perception means that a customer has a sense of quality, value and trust in your company. A negative perception means the opposite. Connecting emotional with a brand takes dedication, a brand leader and relentless following the style guides rules and guidelines. That is why you need to understand the brand development process and how to do it successfully.

Brand development is a multi-stage process with the ultimate goal of building brand equity in a consumer’s mind. Brand equity is an intangible set of assets that cannot be tracked on a balance sheet. But, the value of that equity is the most valuable asset a company can own. Think about Kraft, Amazon, Apple, Will Ferrell or Servpro. What emotional ties do you have with these brands?

The Brand Development Process

Developing a brand must be part of the larger marketing plan for the company. It is often the biggest challenge but the most critical. You don’t have to invest millions to develop your brand, but making the effort will pay off.

The Brand Development Process Demystified 

Determine what you are branding

You can brand almost anything. The most common things are a person, a company, a product or a service. A critical part of the branding process is determining exactly what you are branding, positioning the brand, what you are promising with your brand, your story, and your elements and style. This process can be overwhelming, but with the help of a marketing team, you can make it happen.

Research your target market

Marketing research into your target market is critical for effective brand development. It is a step that many startups overlook because they think they know their audience. The reality is that, professional market research will give you critical insights into who the target is, what they like/dislike, what their challenges are, and how you can help them. As I have been doing this for 30 years, not ONE company has ever properly realized their target audience upon the first meeting.

Compile your brand definition

The next step is developing a clear brand definition. This definition can be in the form of a story or statement that clearly reflects what your brand is all about. Your marketing team will help you define what you are offering, how your target audience will benefit from it, what guarantees you offer, and what your unique selling proposition (USP) is. Remember to ask the question, what can this brand do or stand for that no other brand can say?

Create your name, tagline and logo

Giving your company a name, a tagline and a logo is the fun part of brand development. But, it is not something you should do without careful thought. Your marketing team can help you determine what name, tagline and logo will resonate with your audience. Nike’s Just Do It! has become a staple of a strong statement just as “It’s Finger Lickin Good” or “Just like a Good Neighbor, State Farm is there”.

Launch the brand

With all the elements in place, it is time to launch the brand. That means creating your first products, offering your services, or making a name for yourself. It could mean many things to many brands like digital campaigns, radio spots, drip campaigns, demographic targeting, print or even showing up at tradeshows. On the surface that sounds easy, but there are many moving gears that need to align to keep the marketing moving forward. The good news is that with all the prep work you did before, your launch will have a great foundation.

Manage the brand

With good up-front work, your brand launch will be successful, gaining momentum as you provide consistent service and quality. Even with a successful launch, you will still need to manage your brand going forward. That is why you need a dedicated team, always monitoring your company’s reputation, doing continuing research, and updating the brand as the market evolves. This step is one that is most ignored when things are running well, but is most important.

Read more on 10 Rules Of Brand Development

These steps will help you and your marketing experts develop a strong brand. The full brand development process takes time. But, look at it as an investment in the company’s future, one that will pay off with dividends for years to come.

I always tell individuals that if your air conditioner breaks, you hire a professional that does it everyday to find the problem and find a cost efficient way of solving the issue. The same theory can be applied to marketing and developing a brand. Marketing companies do it everyday, know the shortfalls and successes, and will have it launched months or years before you could on your own.

what is the brand development process

effective marketing strategies

Creative Marketing Solutions

There are many creative marketing strategies that you can implement in order to increase outreach to customers and improve your bottom line. While many businesses are going above and beyond in their search for creative marketing solutions, you can simply seek to be creative within the 4 basic components of an online marketing approach (i.e. brand development, inbound marketing, content marketing and email marketing).

By seeking creative solutions within these 4 tactics, you can develop a successful creative marketing strategy. Here’s how:

Creativity in Brand Development

A creative way of increasing the relevance of your brand is by making your brand tell a story. Story-banding is an effective way to connect emotionally to your customers so they can see your products as having a greater purpose. You can achieve story-branding for your company by highlighting the inspiration behind your products and services.

Emphasize what motivates your company to achieve its goals (for example creativity, self-fulfillment, better health etc.), and incorporate your operations as a means towards achieving this goal. That way you can make your brand the hero of its own story, one which customers will relate to.

Read more on Defining Your True Brand Story and Bringing it to Life Online.

Creativity in Inbound marketing

A creative way to generate leads to your website is by having unique, yet appropriate content across all your channels. One approach you can use is to dedicate a portion of your site for product education.

If you are selling a well-known product, you could come up with creative ways on how the product can be used, how to make it last longer, behind the scenes details on how it works, etc.

One company that uses product education as a tool for its inbound marketing strategy is Gonesh Incense. The company produces incense products and has a DIY blog that contains videos on how their products can be used in many different ways; from re-using flowers after Valentine’s Day to making bath salts using their fragrance oils.

Such content is not only useful and appropriate to potential leads, but it also helps their brand establish trust and stronger relationships with customers.

Read more on The Benefits Of Inbound Marketing.

Creativity in Email Marketing

When you send out emails, incorporate interactive elements such as GIFS, rotating banners and menus. You could display an enticing sales discount or a new product launch by using a GIF. You could also categorize information about your product under different headings within a menu in the email.

This gives your customers the independence to browse product information and select whichever section they would like to read more about, right within the email.

Read more on Interactive Email Trends.

Creativity in Social Media Marketing

One way that you can utilize social media creatively is by developing targeted messages that appeal to common groups of people online, who you can bring together in relevant social media groups.

For example, a company specializing in manufacturing bicycles can create a fan page for cyclists and bring them together through targeted messages that contain useful information that applies to cycling. The more cyclists the company is able to attract to join the group, the more they can incorporate their branding into the fan page and begin to nurture their leads.

Read more on 8 Tips on Social Media Best Practices For Your Business.

Creative marketing solutions are the future of online marketing. By simply rethinking and refocusing the conventional ways through which you carry out your online marketing, you can be able to achieve creative marketing solutions and grow your bottom line.