Marketing and Branding can be a Thousand Little Things – But It Goes Beyond That!

Filming my segment of Grow Your Business Cleveland marketing branding thousand
Filming my segment of Grow Your Business Cleveland

Often when I talk about making a difference with your marketing, it’s focused on the BIG PICTURE. Going after the right target market. Finding a strong compelling message that repeatable and memorable. Using cost effective media that helps to influences your target market. Or measuring your marketing efforts for the maximum sales impact.

Marketing and branding can be a thousand little things, all in support of the big picture. It can be the way you answer the phone, return calls promptly or smile when you shake someone’s hand. Or not. Failing to take care of the little things can impact the big things.

Often it is the little things that people remember. Kindness. Sincerity. Optimism. Actually, maybe those are the big things. Bigger than marketing.

Last spring I got to participate in a program that involved interns. We all know that internships can make all the difference in launching a career and I’m heartened when I see a good program in action.

I’m reminded of this again when I watched the recent recap of an internship experience of several Spring Interns that I had the opportunity to meet as part of a business professional series that I participated in for Grow Your Business Cleveland. Watching this video gave me the same optimistic feeling I had the day we worked on and filmed my portion of the video. Being around interns who are the beginning of their career is refreshing.

The interns made me feel relaxed and confident. They had great ideas for elaborating about different areas of my segment and I enjoyed working with them to create my tips. The video also reminded me that video plays in important role in telling your business story. It seems to bring the story to life much more than just a photo or the written word.

Video is just one of the thousand little things that contribute to the overall marketing program. But working with people who are kind, sincere and optimistic takes it over the top. Thanks for this experience!

Instagram Launches a New Logo

the new instagram-logo-colorful icon 5_2016the old instagram-logo-iconInstagram announced a new logo recently. I’m wondering where all marketers will be scrambling to make the adjustments. After all, instagram has become the hottest platform for marketers which is why many businesses are trying to get a large number of instagram followers.

Is it shown on any of your printed material? (Hope not!) Do you use a list of social media icons linked to your social media accounts on your website or blog?

If so, are you using the “latest” Instagram logo? Well, better click thru your websites to make sure you’re plugin’s and social media icons are up to date!

Click here for branding information from Instagram Brand Resources.

Here’s how they announced their refreshed logo a couple of days ago. This is how they described it:

Today we’re introducing a new look. You’ll see an updated icon and app design for Instagram. Inspired by the previous app icon, the new one represents a simpler camera and the rainbow lives on in gradient form. You’ll also see updated icons for our other creative apps: Layout, Boomerang and Hyperlapse.

We’ve made improvements to how the Instagram app looks on the inside as well. The simpler design puts more focus on your photos and videos without changing how you navigate the app.

The Instagram community has evolved over the past five years from a place to share filtered photos to so much more — a global community of interests sharing more than 80 million photos and videos every day. Our updated look reflects how vibrant and diverse your storytelling has become.

I’ve seen a few very short videos on Imgur that make fun of the changes… I guess there are always folks that love to make fun of any changes. Here is the “official” video on an account called Instagram on Vimeo makes the change look a bit more complicated.

Instagram Launches a New Logo With Simple Icon over Rainbow Colors

And I believe that this post explains a lot of the thought process that went into the new logo.

The 4 P’s vs the 4 M’s of Marketing

Speaking about Marketing Strategy with the 4 M's of Marketing
Speaking about Marketing Strategy

In the early marketing courses in college, they teach the 4 P’s of marketing: Product,
Price,
Place, and
Promotion.

I believe that the 4 M’s in marketing plan are a better place to focus.

Market – who your target customer is

Message – what you want to communicate to them

Media – the tools you will use to communicate to your customers (with a schedule and budget)

Measurement – what you hope to accomplish and tracking how well it worked.

Last night I spoke to a room full of business owners about developing their marketing strategy. As business owners, they are all wearing many hats. I’m sure that finding the time to create a full marketing strategy is a challenge. If they don’t have a good background in marketing, it may be even more difficult.

To make it easier in the 90 minutes we had together, I helped walk them through their 4M’s and also touched on each of the 4 P’s of marketing.

Food Marketing versus New Year’s Resolution

Today is the last day of 2015. Tomorrow morning many people will wake up with a New Year’s Resolution to lose weight.

Since 2007 I’ve been working on getting more healthy. I started this blog in 2006 and “coincidentally” gained quite a few pounds as I spent approximately an hour more a day working on formatting, writing, connecting and building readership.

In 2007 I had a wake up call and have shed quite a few of those pounds (with a LOT of work and constant vigilance) and try everyday to keep those pounds off.

In the past 8 or so years, I’ve learned a lot, but still have a lot to learn.

Looking at the changes in the numbers of people who are overweight in America since 1991, it becomes clear to me that it is not just me. There has been a significant change. The maps in 2011-2014 are different, because in 2011 they changed the way they compared things, but still a strong trend toward significant weight gain.

is the food marketing industry responsible for these obesity_trends_1990_to_2010

I am no expert but I think it’s due to two things:

  1. electronics
  2. food marketing

Are Electronics to Blame?

I say electronics because of all the time I spend sitting in front of a computer for work and for play.

Emails and texts have replaced much of the communication.

Even many of my meetings that used to be face-to-face in real life have become Skype, GoToMeetings, JoinMe, or FaceTime. In the 80’s, I remember running from building to building to try to make the meetings on time… and doing “rounds” with each of the stops checking on the product development, graphic design, engineering shots and running out to the factory for new product start-ups. Now it’s usually considered a “waste of time” to meet in person unless there is a specific reason.

No one can deny the change in the world today because of the smartphone, the computer, videos and the internet.

Is the Food Marketing Industry to Blame?

But maybe even bigger than the internet, is the change in the food we eat during the last 20-25 years. The convenience of fast food. The thought process around food for celebrating successes and for comforting during sorrow. Processed foods in every aisle of the grocery store. Food marketing makes it so easy to choose what to eat for snacks, for meals and what to eat when we’re busy. Even when we have time, the foods we chose are not necessarily the most healthy when we’re relaxing, on vacation or taking a holiday. However, some food marketing firms in the industry are trying their best to a healthy stance within their marketing. If you want to learn more about this type of food marketing you might want to visit somewhere like – https://www.ceres-pr.co.uk/

Each morning, I have been trying read at least one article about exercise, diet, food, health and so on. One writer I particularly enjoy is a doctor from Canada who blogs at Weighty Matters. I’ll warn you, he’s definitely farther out on the on the “what’s wrong with food marketing” scale than I am.

At the same time however, when I watched this 13 minute video called “What’s the Food Industry To Do”, I feel there is enough truth in it to make me feel embarrassed to be a marketer.

Towards the end, he (barely) gives the marketers a break. “It’s their job to do so… They have a fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders to make profits… ”

Many of the brands and marketing campaigns that he mentions would be considered outstandingly successful from a branding and marketing standpoint. But this made me cringe.

What about the ethical line in the sand? Watch this. Then you decide if you think the food marketing industry has pushed it too far.

Please leave a comment below.