Pantone’s 2016 Color of the Year

As a marketing professional, I like to follow trends and color is certainly important in marketing. So I subscribe to Pantone’s email and look forward to learning about their new color announcement each year.

This past week the 2016 color of the year is actually two versions of blue and pink:

Pantone color of the year 2016

First impressions for me revolve around a baby’s room. Then I remembered back to the colors of the 70’s when dusty rose and cornflower blue seemed to be everywhere.

The color is certainly not as vibrant as the teals and florescents … or even the emerald shades that have been selected in other years. Whether you like it or not, you should be aware of it in the selection of your marketing colors.

You need to be aware of color trends in many situations: If you are adding skus to your product line If your product is needs to coordinate with other products as an accent. If you’re developing websites and need to be on trend. If you’re reviving your brand and updating the colors for a fresher more contemporary look.

Other articles about colors:

Your thoughts? Please leave a comment below.

What Does Your Meta Description Say About Your Company?

If you are new to marketing, you probably have no idea what a meta description can do for your business, luckily, you can check out this yoast seo tutorial by wp seo experts which could help you with your SEO marketing. If you are a marketing professional. however, in charge of the branding and marketing messages for your company, you’re probably acutely aware what your meta description says about your company.
You probably argued various versions with the “powers that be” and cajoled them into selecting a message that resonates with clear, compelling and memorable words.

Not sure what I’m talking about? Uh-Oh! Better go “google” a key phrase for your business and take a look.

Below is a screen capture of some meta descriptions. I’ve googled the phrase “chris brown marketing” and circled the meta descriptions in red to show you what I mean.

Google Your Meta Description

I’m talking about the 2 lines of copy that describes the webpage that was returned in the search results.

It’s the verbage that people read to decide if they should click on it or not.

I’ve also found that it can be very revealing for marketing positioning and when starting a online competitive review for a new client, I often start with a quick look at the competitor’s meta descriptions.

Don’t get me wrong. The title shown in blue, is very VERY important. You’ve probably set it up as the main keywords for your business… and for your business website, it’s probably your business name. But the title beyond the title is the meta description.

For the home page of a company it’s often what you’d want people to think and say about your company. Certainly what you’d want to tell them to get them to come visit your website.

Usually they only see these words when they search for information. But if you don’t conscientiously add a meta description, it automatically picks up the first 70 characters or so of the content on that page.

I recently tried it for “universities in Ohio” in preparation for a speech, I will be giving about creating positioning in branding for universities.

As you know, It’s a very difficult task to change the branding of a university. Alumni have strong feelings. Current students and faculty do too. And it’s often the potential students and their parents that are most strongly considered when the goal is to increase enrollment. However if the goal is to increase donations to improve the endowment, the positioning may be different.

Take a look at this 2 page PDF of the meta descriptions from universities in Ohio. Many of the descriptions are what you would expect, however as a marketer, I find it eye opening.

  • the use of the word “best” or “top”
  • Did one university forget completely about the meta description being a key online marketing media… and let the programmer write the description?
  • Maybe the cheering squad at the football game wrote one of the descriptions?
  • the role one university will play in about 12 months in the USA political election?
  • One university’s focus is the jobs it brings to their region

I’ve said it before. You can try to create your own brand positioning… but if you’re off target, you’ll find that the public will create the position without you. It’s hard to know what to keep and what to throw out.

So if you are a branding and marketing professional, your mini marketing homework for today is to check out your company’s meta description. Is that what you want it to say? Does it speak to existing employees? Potential customers? Or was it written by the programmer and says something like “don’t forget to enter the meta description here.” (Don’t laugh, I’ve seen something similar!)

Alphabet becomes Google’s Holding Company

Alphabet logoGoogle is going thru a branding and rebranding of sorts with the formation of a new holding company called Alphabet. Read all about it at ABC.xyc

Interesting name and logo, right?

We liked the name Alphabet because it means a collection of letters that represent language, one of humanity’s most important innovations, and is the core of how we index with Google search! We also like that it means alpha‑bet (Alpha is investment return above benchmark), which we strive for!

Plain. Red. Simple.

Sergey Brin and Larry Page will head Alphabet and Sundar Pichai will become the CEO of Google. Susan Wojcicki continues as the CEO of YouTube.

 

UPDATE (8-12/2015): BMW owns Alphabet.com.

The Secret of Creating a Great Brand Name

a great brand name has these qualitiesAlthough this was written for  creating a strong brand name for a new drug, the premise is true for any new great brand name:

A great drug name needs to be memorable. It needs to be easy to say. It needs to be easy to write and understand. And it also needs to be clear of any existing names that may be on the registers.

A tall order if you’re coming up with a new name. First you brainstorm names. And even bits of names. Combining things and separating things. Lists and more lists.

Check the trademark office. And the availability of the domain.

Then running it by people (potential target markets are a good idea… your spouse, not so much… unless of course, they are the target market.)

Don’t invest in a logo or graphics until the full legal work is done. Be sure to run it by the most influential people on your board of directors/investor’s group. Nothing worse then getting all the way down the road and finding that it doesn’t resonate with a key individual.