Tag Archives: branding

Branding and Advertising as Part of a Start-Up Company’s Budget

Joshua Andrews writes this week on Branding and Advertising as Part of a Start-Up Company’s Budget. Read on …

Build it and they will come?

What comes to mind when you think of a start-up company’s budget? Maybe the first thing you think of is inventory. Having a product and enough money in the budget to supply that product to the public is certainly an important consideration, but is it the most important thing? What about equipment, or facilities? These are also things you cannot live without when it comes to starting a business but there is another important budget item that you do not want to overlook. You want to make sure you are leaving enough room in your budget for branding. 

First impressions count.

When you are starting a business, you are not just striving to sell a product or service, you are creating a brand. You are building your image. You want to make sure your image is something memorable and instantly recognizable. You are not just selling a product, you are selling a personality. 

Who are you?

Thanks to the phenomena of social media, everyone is branding themselves these days. We all make a point of ensuring that our personal social media accounts are not just reflecting us but that they are reflecting the side of us that we want everyone to know. For millennials in particular, brands are incredibly important. Do not let your start-up be left behind. Think about who it is you want to present to the public and reflect that in your branding. And make sure that you have enough room in your budget to do so. If you want to learn more about branding, get in touch with us today. 

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Creating Real Product Differentiation Is Hard, but It’s Still Worth It

Creating real product differentiation. Hard. Worth it? Contributor David Caissie thinks so, Read on.

Does anyone really know what ever happened to that fifth dentist that didn’t recommend Trident for their patients who chew gum? All most of us can remember is that Trident had this distinction of somehow being the optimal choice by dentists all over the country. Actually the slogan may have not even been about recommending Trident. I think it just said sugarless gum, but everybody still remembers Trident as having this advantage—or competitive edge if you prefer. Whatever you want to call it, they did a great job of creating a significant product differentiation.

The problem with trying to repeat what Trident managed to create decades ago is that it’s flat out harder to create real product differentiation today. When Trident created their successful branding campaign it worked because most of the competition they were facing was from tooth decayers like Bazooka Joe and Juicy Fruit. Today a lot of brands of cell phone companies offer unlimited texting, a lot of pizza is made with “fresh” ingredients, and most cars in a similar price range offer relatively similar features. It’s a big challenge today to create that special branding that consumers can develop an affinity for.

Creating differentiation may be harder, but it can still be done. You can appeal to value customers by offering a perceived notion of “more bang for their buck.” You can also effectively use promotions and free trials to bring in new customers, hoping that once they try your product they will undoubtedly fall in love with its uniqueness. The key at this point is to make sure you drive home that air of uniqueness with effective advertising that reinforces it.

Appealing to vanity

What about appealing to a consumers sense of affordability or luxury. Some buyers will always buy the cheapest option, and it’s not entirely dependent on income level. Plenty of wealthy people still purchase the cheapest detergents, sneakers, and paper products. On the other hand, other folks will always pay more for a luxury product because of a perceived increase in quality. Within reason, this isn’t entirely income dependent either.

Tougher in a global marketplace

It may be a tougher challenge in today’s highly competitive global marketplace to create real product differentiation, but it’s definitely still a valuable edge. Just take a look at those that do it best like Apple and lululemon. Whether you do it through price, promotion, advertising, or some other creative method all of your own, product differentiation needs to remain at the forefront of your advertising focus.

The MAD House knows exactly how to create real product differentiation to give your company a competitive edge. Please contact us today for more information.

 

Opening a Business? Start with Branding and End with Success

This week, MAD Contributor-Freak Sandy Gates thinks properly branding a new business leads to success.

Finally, you have made the life changing decision–going into business for yourself. Yikes! That is one scary, exciting decision, but working for someone else is just so unsatisfying. So, what’s next?

Well then, where to go from here?

You have done your homework, research, and have the needed funds. Let’s say you have decided to use your talents to open a craft beer brew pub. BANG. There is the brand. A brew pub. Not just a dive bar, no ambience joint, but a real, high quality, fun, neighborhood, crowd drawing brew pub. From all the reading and meetings, you’ve learned that success is achieved through hard-hitting branding.

You grab a pen and pad beginning the all important list to get your brand created, being sure you will stand out in the crowd, and get those doors open:

A name for the pub

Catchy and fun, but sophisticated enough to attract the   customers who will do anything for a great tasting brew.

Business cards

Visually appealing and easy to read, nice logo, using high quality card stock.

Website

This is key toward success of the business. It must look absolutely professional including the needed tabs and pages with email and social media connected to it. That way, your customer list will grow like a mature hops vine.

Advertising

What avenue should you take? Budget? Who to target with which media?

Sure, you could do all of this yourself. Or, perhaps, you could call in that favor from your brother-in-law who took that art class that time. But, after some serious thought about the business that will be your livelihood, you realize you may need a reputable professional to create and get this brand out. The MAD House specializes in the entire marketing package–the creative process,  branding, graphic design and advertising. The MAD House has the experience to create the brand and design for the cans, bottle labels, tap handles, and even the swag! Today, the brew pub may just be a dream, but in the near future it will be a successful small business! Contact us to begin the branding and advertising process today.

8 Things Small Businesses Need to Know About Working With an Advertising and Design Firm

If you run a small business, you should know that hiring an advertising and design firm can be one of the best things that you’ll ever do for your company. If you have never done it before, however, you should know that there are a few things small businesses need to know about working with an advertising and design firm. Follow these tips, and you can make the most out of using the services of one of these firms.

1. Treat Them Like a Partner

First of all, treat your firm like a partner in making your business succeed, not a vendor. Your advertising and design firm wants your company to be a success.

2. Be Up-Front About Your Budget

You can develop a good marketing campaign with a little bit of money or a lot. However, your marketing firm needs to know how much you have to spend so that it can make the most out of your money.

3. Talk About Your Goals

You probably have certain goals in mind, such as introducing a new beer or increasing foot traffic. Let your advertising and design firm know what your goals are so that they can work to achieve them.

4. Be Realistic

You might dream of seeing huge results in the first week, but it’s just not realistic. It’s kinda like baking a cake. Take it out of the oven too early, and you have a pan full of goo. Make sure that you are realistic in your goals and expectations because marketing takes time.

5. Take Their Advice

You’re hiring a professional firm for a reason — they know what they are doing. Trust them, and take their advice because your company will benefit if you do.

6. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

Make sure that you communicate with your marketing and design firm about the results that you see from your campaign — such as if you see more people coming through the door because of your new advertising — and about other things that they should know about, such as changes in your budget or inventory.

7. Keep the Approval Process Small

You might want to have a team of your employees look over the things that your marketing firm is doing, but that slows down the process. Ideas and campaigns can lose their luster quickly when the committee weighs in. Exercise a bit of trust, and keep the approval process small, such as approving things yourself or only getting a small team of employees involved.

8. Be Prompt With Payments

Your marketing and design firm works hard and deserves payment for all that it does. Plus, it costs money to keep advertising campaigns going. Make sure that you are prompt with payments to maintain a good relationship with your firm and to prevent any hold-ups on your campaign.

If you are ready to make the jump, contact us at The MAD House today. We’d love to talk with you.