Social media can be a very fickle beast. Just when you think you are heading in the right direction you start to see a drop in engagement, so you switch things up to try something new and the days of planning and strategizing are out the window. Maybe it isn't the strategy that is failing, maybe it's your brand voice. Voice? YES, voice! Social media is all about connecting with your audience. Connections are developed by identifying common interests, senses of humor, vocabulary, and values. Establishing a consistent voice is the key to humanize your brand and develop a connection with your audience. Remember that kid in high school who would change how he acted based on the group of people he was talking to? He never really fit in until he matured and found his voice. Marketing is just like high school except your brand doesn't have acne or go to homecoming dances. Here are a few things to think about when establishing a brand voice.
These days you hear a lot about branding, building a brand, growing your brand and branding yourself. But what is all this talk about a brand? Heck, even professional athletes attempt to enhance their brand to give them more leverage for contract negotiations. When we talk about branding in this sense, what we are really talking about is reputation and perceived value. If you have a strong brand, more than likely you have a good reputation and would consider your product/service valued. So when Kim Kardashian takes a selfie it may take her 25 tries to get her lips to have the perfect duck face look, because she is trying to maintain her brand and all that it represents (sense the sarcasm.) So if you are looking to build a brand for your business or maybe you are a blogger wanting to build your personal brand, here is a list of tips that will help.
There is a lot to learn from the little guys, especially in the outdoor industry. To compete, the small companies must provide and execute their own unique brand to connect to their customers. A logo can either postively or negatively impact this unique view of the company. Here are 7 outdoor gear company logos that are awesome.
There's no doubt that marketing has changed; consumers have changed, how we reach people has changed, buying habits have changed, priorities have changed. As millennials continue to drive the outdoor industry many brands seem to be playing catch-up with their marketing strategies. The biggest piece of advice we can give you is to quit selling products and start sharing stories. Share your brand values, share ideas, share tips, share adventures. Be human, be authentic, be something that people relate to. A great avenue for this authenticity is an adventure blog where you can share amazing experiences that people can have through the use of your products. Isn't that what the outdoor industry is all about? We all aspire for that connection, that adrenaline rush, that moment of awe that we get from nature. Isn't that far more inspiring than the technical specifications of a mountain bike? Here are a few examples of companies that have taken storytelling to heart.
We, being graphic designers, have high standards--for design. Other areas of our lives may or may not live up to such strict guidelines. The best way to go about guaranteeing that the brand experience stays intact is to spell out how it needs to be represented in well put together Brand Guidelines. Boring, right? Not so fast - some of the best guides out there are just as creative as the companies they represent.
Companies With Effective Brand Guidelines
And it's not all about "the logos." Your brand represents not only who you are, but how people perceive every single aspect of your business. Yes, your logo and your business card matter, but that's just scratching the surface. It could be the first impression they garner from the first phone conversation. Or it could be how "business casual" is defined in your office.
The holidays are right around the corner and stores have spent months game planning for Black Friday. The usual strategy is to offer a handful of doorbuster deals, generating lines of consumers clamoring to start shopping. This year, there is one outdoor retail store that won't have lines of ravenous consumers, REI. The retailer’s 143 stores will lock their doors and shut off the lights on the biggest shopping day of the year. And instead of reporting to work, the co-op will pay it’s 12,000 employees to do what they love most— enjoy the outdoors.