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Should You Care About Branding?

"I'm not a businessman, I'm a business, man."- Jay-Z

What most people don't realize is that even a living person can become a brand. This is a basic staple of advertising and sometimes it needs to be asked: what exactly is a brand? In a nutshell, The American Marketing Association (AMA) defines a brand as a "name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of them intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of other sellers."

You don't have to be a genius to realize that Jay-Z for example, can attach his likeness or endorsement to anything and it will sell. What if a Jay-Z created cereal comes to market right now...would you buy it? Someone absolutely will. Let's really explore the basics of a branding campaign. Smart people know that if you have a product or offer a service, you must advertise. This is essential to building a brand and honestly, it's hard selling something you have if no one knows it exists. There's a great line from Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross where he states that sales is about "A.B.C. - Always Be Closing." In this case, we can go with "A.R.A - Always Run Ads". The main DNA for running an ad is composed of two elements: Frequency and Reach.

Frequency is based on your advertising schedule. Ask yourself: Are you going to run this ad every day? Four times a week? Only on Thursdays? When you can answer that question, move on to Reach. For example, I can create the most amazing, awesome, astonishing ad of all time. You've never seen anything like it before and It will blow you away. If I only show it in a five mile radius, then it's not worth a lot. There's no substantial return on investment (ROI). You must have the ads run repeatedly and cover as much geographic area as financially allowable. That’s how advertising breathes and more importantly, how building your brand really works.

As a former advertising executive, the HARDEST part of my job was convincing business owners they still needed to advertise. You don’t want your customers thinking you’re going out of business if they don’t see the ads you used to run. Business owners feel that because they've been around a several decades that running ads are not necessary. That's not entirely true but telling them in a delicate way that they're wrong takes a certain amount of finesse. On the other hand, there are some situations where running an ad campaign sporadically makes sense. Think about that really popular annual football game with the extremely expensive commercials? Those are all about reach and because of the audience it draws in, frequency is not a huge factor. Your message has impacted the masses on a global scale and the cost definitely justifies the motive.

When it comes to building a brand, I would say that one important step is to create a logo. A symbol that when recognized will tell a prospective consumer or client exactly what your company, products and services are all about. That same logo will eventually lead the public to your brand's awareness on a social level. People see your logo and will always recognize your company under any circumstance. Does it mean they will always to buy in that moment? Of course not, but they will always know your company and when they need what you have, they will come. If it still remains whether you should care about branding then you're asking the wrong question.

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(Source: Web Marketing Group)

Infographics are quite trendy these days throughout the marketing and tech community. It's not difficult to see why. Through infographics, marketers and researchers are now able to provide substantial information/statistics while still be able to appeal visually. But, what exactly is an infographic?

Put simply, an infographic is 50% informational (INFO-) and 50% visual (-GRAPHIC). It's that simple. An infographic is the result of both research and analysis on a specific topic. (i.e. car shoppers during the holidays) While some may knock the infographic as just being another fad or trend, you must remember this: More than half of us are Visual learners.

What Purpose do Infographics serve?

  • They build links. Chances are if someone finds your infographic useful, they'll share it and it link it back to your website, blog, etc. This helps immensely to increase your visibility. And, when people continue to link back to your website, you'll receive more traffic.
  • Possibility of Virality Is there anything more powerful than Word of Mouth? More specifically, is there anything more powerful than a "Viral campaign" in 2012? Yeah, I didn't think so. If you create a stunning infographic with substantial facts and stats, the more people will share it, and the more people share it, the better the chance of it going viral. It doesn't have to be shared by everyone on the internet. It can go viral in your field (automotive).
  • Branding If you create a visually attractive infographic embedded with logo on it, it will help to increase awareness of your brand in both your local area and a more national scale. As Web Marketing Group points out, "using infographics are scalable, shareable and brandable."

My Take on Infographics:

I think infographics are awesome--and, that they're here to stay. Being a writer, it's hard to admit, but the truth is that people don't read as much as they used to, meaning that they're more likely to click on your infographic than they are to click on your blog post. "Hey, look it's shiny!" Infographics are not only appealing visually, but they also enhance and inform your marketing strategy in regards to SEO, online visibility and brand awareness.

So, perhaps, the next time you plan on writing a blog post featuring different statistics, you might want to hold onto those stats and embed them into a nice little graphic for everyone to enjoy.

[Source: Web Marketing Group]

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