Brand marketing strategies

How Visually Appealing Goods Trigger Consumer Interest

When you are working up presentation ideas for whatever you want to market under the sun, it’s no secret that people have to like the way your images and appearance look. But there is an entire science that lies beneath just the first few thoughts any marketer has about visually appealing goods. Yes, your models and people can be attractive, but what about the WordPress theme, templates, colors, and text? What we have learned from many of our cohorts in media is that it only takes 1/10 of a second for people to form an opinion about your character, and websites are absolutely no different! We predict that that time frame is only going to get tighter, with some publications and bloggers claiming that web designers only have 50ms to make an impression. Even though that’s not a lot of time, there is plenty of positive news, and a lot of it is regarding the solution to appeal to a wide variety of viewers and tactics you can use.

What the most prominent names in the industry have decided is that the first impression depends on a lot of factors, but can be narrowed down just like any other. Key studies in this arena watched eye movement, how long participants took to focus on certain parts of a URL, and the menu, logo, images, and social media icons were the main focus. Many hours of research show that users spend about 6 seconds on a logo before moving on, the most important part, or “header” of a website. The main navigation menu takes a close second, also capturing an average mean time of about 6 seconds by the browser’s eye. The search bar is also a very important component of your website, where users can quickly look for what it is they are on the detective hunt for. When you are dealing with clothing and items in the fashion realm, also realize that first impressions in the web realm are 94% about design. Whether or not the layout is busy, half of all users surveyed say that typography, font sizes, color schemes are the most important things to them.

What most demographics that come out clearly in the wash tell us is that if people instantly like your website, they are willing to compensate for a few hiccups or misgivings down the line. The saying that the “above the fold” area is the most important really rings true, as the first second spent on the website is the most important. Bounce rates and subscription numbers are really the key elements to measure how the website is doing, and making things appealing visually are of utmost importance. Many website owners that we have talked to tell us that blue and green colors in web schemes attract browsers to stay, while other genres like the tones of red and black to convey their idea.

When dealing with a website, visual design and usability are the two most key assets, and it can take a few tweaks to get the idea perfect. In the fashion realm, most frames are best conveyed with the typical image that goes full screen when you hover over it or click on it, and shows you a boutique style image with goods for sale displayed. If the goods you are displaying are visually interesting, your target market will more than hover, they will be engaged and intrigued. The task of taking them happily through the shopping cart process and beyond is imperative, but you can do it with the perfect combination of design and above normal caliber engaging content.

Entrepreneur 101: Why the Cookie Cutter Method is a No-no

Cookie Cutter Method

For many decades, there were rules in the marketing world that some just didn’t break. Product development, testing, ad writing, and really all aspects of branding were held to a certain business model. The Cookie Cutter Method rules did work. Even in the early days of the computer age, there was pretty cut and dry product testing, focus groups, and means of getting people to buy. The saying “The future has no road map, but the past surely does” applied to marketing and branding in many ways.

In the past, there were many brands that used the Cookie Cutter Method to really step up and succeed. One truth in the web and smartphone app-ruled climate of the current time is that when you stumble upon a true Cookie Cutter Method marketing approach, it’s probably not going to work as well as you intended, especially if you’ve failed to incorporate your own ideas and concepts.

What a Cookie Cutter Method really does is emphasize a certain process. Within that process, there are charts, data, and of course, instances from the past where certain things did and did not work. While many clothing labels, soft drinks, sports teams, and even music acts benefited from the Cookie Cutter Method, there are some reasons why it can be a huge no-no. If truly using the wrong angle and agenda, you can waste thousands on storyboards and campaigns that never even end up being parked in front of anybody.

After gleaning many blogs and marketing how-to material portals, we found a kind of approach that can be a bit more rewarding than a Cookie Cutter Method. There are all sorts of products on the market these days, from dating apps and sites to personal concierges and dog hotels. Each one of these must take a somewhat unique marketing approach to thrive. We especially loved the treatment of Jaguar cars in the TV show Mad Men, personifying the car as a mistress.

In an approach that will hopefully work for marketing, the first objective is to look at inside sales vs. outside sales structure. PPC campaigns need to be multi-layered, and not just on one prominent social media platform. When dealing with lead nurturing, we found a great quote from the popular website Hubspot. It tells us, “Offer something of value first, not just a sales pitch.” Companies that skip this always lose out in the long run, and wind up confused about why they did not reach sales goals.

Cookie Cutter Method created pattern

Within the realm of emails, there are definitely some data-backed aspects that follow a more Cookie Cutter Method created pattern, and of course, the timeline between emails sent is always going to be a fairly structured. SEO guidelines, as much of a new science as it is, need to not fall under old patterns of thought as well. In the universal world of service, offerings of bronze, silver, and gold packages will yield you some customers, but we have found that businesses truly want to invest in solutions with evolved professionals. We challenge you to find what it takes to evolve, and not just “dole out snacks” of Cookie Cutter Method caliber. For once you accomplish this task, your business and the way you do business are going to reach epic proportions during 2015.

How to Create a Cult-Like Following for your Brand, Engrossing Followers to Elevated Status

FantasyFootballLogo_300x300 The Appeal of Hordes following your brand

As the purveyor of a brand, you would honestly love almost nothing more than achieving a form of cult status. Social media brands like Facebook have achieved this, as well as activities tied into brands like NFL Fantasy Football. Recently with about 35 million followers, the activity of fantasy football along with shows like “The League” has more than reached out and grabbed the attention of consumers. At a certain point, marketers have realized that people want to be a part of something that goes beyond just the sphere of themselves.

Once you reach a cult following, if it happens overnight, you may even run out of product. If you can keep the product stocked, you will see more users talking about your brand than maybe ever imagined. Shoe purchase portals like Zappos, Soft drinks like Coke, beers like Dos Equis and many more have achieved this status with more than just placement and protocol. They have sometimes gambled everything to create a persona that people will not only never forget, but tell everyone they know to consume. The initial feeding frenzies drive up IPO’s and in some cases, get the product out of the red forever.

Dreaming at the drawing board

Creating a cult brand is something that is much harder than just creating any brand. One of the pinnacles of the industry, Harley Davidson, formed their cult status because people literally formed groups based on the brand. At the time and even still, it didn’t matter that some of them were perceived as a bit on the outlaw front. When you are really thinking about taking a brand to cult status, envisioning it as a group activity (Think Pinterest) is sometimes a great first step. Along the realms of cult status success in transportation is Vespa, the Italian made scooter that was a driving force in gaining many people the ability to get from A to B after the Second World War.

When you are trying to create a cult following for your brand, it is hard not to imitate directly, but there are some great brands to take a beginning nod from. Trader Joe’s created an incredibly loyal fan base with “Two buck chuck” wine, and a selection that feels like a local market, has uncommon items, and tries to shy away from steep prices. When looking at truly becoming a cult brand, there are really two most important elements to investigate; creating a community of customers, and selling an overall lifestyle.

How could my brand do these things?

One successful thing that brands have done to create a community of customers is by encouraging them to show off their wares. Toms shoes has done this, by encouraging customers to show off their loyalty and their pairs of Toms in pictures they personally take. Even though to be truly iconic there has to be a lot of other appeals, sometimes risky and weird works. A whole culture has sprung up since about the late 1990’s that embraces coffee, quirks of life, imperfection, and noticing the oddities in the workplace. Having a scrapbook themed sharing platform and/or finding a way to reward people posting the coolest photos of your brand is a great start.

If you feel in any way that your product is limited or not as good as others, don’t panic. One thing that entrepreneurs have really seen help with cult status is creating the “fun factor”. Cars like Volkswagen have mastered this. It needs to be a careful blend of engineering & design, and then perhaps spreading around some examples of the fun and savvy ways people use your product. There are some small startups, pet companies and others creating loyalty and driving good reviews by having over the top customer service. These companies must really hire only the best of the best, and know how to be perfect ambassadors even when times are stressful.

It is true that some companies have been lucky enough to stumble upon these quirky ideas that make their product stand out. There have been many brands that really start to rise up and then can’t accomplish the next level of true attachment to the brand. While there are many things about a product like food that can attach a customer to a brand, examples like Zappos show us that any niche can work. The absolute best strategy is providing something different. In this day and age there is always another person doing what you are; the challenge is dripping originality, and creating a desire for what you have that is unparalleled.

TOMS Shoes; a Marketing Plan with Meaningful Donations + Specific Social Interest Targets


Addressing a Need

The main staple of promise and business that launched TOMS; giving to someone in need a pair of shoes for every consumer pair purchased. There are more than 75 shoe companies that partnered up with the manufacturer to help people in need and it doesn’t stop there; the same partners oversee other issues like vocational training, school support, and youth leadership. The shoes given are a canvas black slip on modeled for comfortable distance or village walking and play, with reputable durability. Nations such as Bangladesh, Belize, Kenya, Mexico, and Uganda are some of the receivers of the shoes.


The videos TOMS uses are very engaging and have earthy textures, childlike feeling with acoustic tones. In one video a couple meets each other while each wearing the brand, and only their feet are shown throughout, tapping each other and scooting closer together on a bench. Believe it or not, this almost brings into play the same dynamic that made the “Mad Men” TV show so successful. The video is a little bit timeless, and makes the consumer drift mentally to an era perhaps without as much technology and distraction. The way it’s done is by focusing on the feet only, and creating an audience for one part of their branding in which the couple meet at a vintage store. This is very important to win over the customer who would be concerned about the foreign aid programs of TOMS; one who is not consumed with mass materialism.

Internet Marketing Strategies

TOMS is one brand that really used Pinterest to their advantage as well. Doing this a step above the rest is critical, in the beginning if you just roll out a strategy quickly in order to do something, all hope and prospective sales may be lost. What TOMS did is encourage customers on Pinterest to show pictures of their pairs of the shoes, and discuss and suggest cool places to wear and place the shoes. As with YouTube and video comments, the conversations that happen here are very valuable; and the goal can be reached of eventually getting into the customer’s subconscious and reminding them they need to buy another pair. Blake Mycoskie, the founder of the company decided to start the venture after an eye opening trip to Argentina, where he saw too many shoeless for his own comfort. After a very successful batch, he sold his driver’s education company to fund the rest of the venture.

Traditional Marketing

Highlights of TOMS marketing strategy were going to university campuses to promote the line, and an AT&T commercial that filmed a shoe drop in Uruguay, therefore painting the company as a Robin Hood of sorts in a dismally capitalistic world. It doesn’t matter that TOMS shoes are a for profit venture, the fact remains, there is a mission to give shoes to those in need and its always going to lure future peace corps folks, liberal missionaries, and tree planting types globally. Some of these individuals need more than a gentle push to go out and buy a product but when you look at entities like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, the granola marketing strategies are very diverse, and they do win people over.

Many of these buyers are college educated, giving them more money for the product of TOMS as well. Setting up something like partners that will give away shoes when you sell a pair will not happen overnight. There are so many ways to give these consumers opportunities to help those in need. TOMS has proven this, and has also reaped the hard earned fruits for 7 years now.