25 Tips to be Consistent With Your Brand

Recently, I was researching a business and came across its Facebook page. The cover image was great + conveyed a strong message with the logo prominently placed. I know exactly who they are. But the little square profile image that shows up in my newsfeed is different (I noticed because I do branding). You know what though? New potential customers like you + me who like that page will never notice that brand’s updates in our newsfeeds because it’s the wrong, outdated logo.

On social platforms all we see is that little square profile image and if you have a different image, icon or logo then how do people know it's you

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Brand Positioning: It’s not you, it’s me. Actually, it’s you. You’re boring.

Branding is a hot topic around these parts (parts = my office chair). I’m obsessed with lots of things but brand strategies is in my top 3 along with close, authentic relationships and ‘Hot Now’ Krispy Kreme Donuts. The inventor of Spanx is a billionaire because donuts {and bacon} are delicious (honestly, I can’t take credit for that one because I saw it in a birthday card the other day).

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Dirty Little Secrets: I've had Enough with internet Searching

I HATE the Google!

There! I said it. And it feels sooooo good to get it off my chest.

I can't stand researching or looking up information. Your mouth just dropped open, didn't it? You are probably thinking... "You do know you are in the marketing biz, right?" "Research is your job."

Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Bite me! I still hate the Google.

Every time I ask a question... "Well did you Google it?"  Noooo! That's why I asked the question. GEEZ!!!

Why does everyone love the Google? Our world depends on THE. GOOGLE. It is a verb in the dictionary for crying out loud!

goo·gle

verboften capitalized \ˈgü-gəl\

goo·gledgoo·gling 

transitive verb

:  to use the Google search engine to obtain information about (as a person) on the World Wide Web

Is this what life has succumbed to? THE! GOOGLE!

I mean.... COME ON! When you type in something you get a gazillion choices to pick from. Who the hell has time to go through all those links? I want an answer and I want it now. I don't want to click on 2, 3, 6, 10 links to find the answer. All I need is a phone number to my local liquor store DAMNIT! AAAAHHHHHHHHHHH! I HATE THE GOOGLE!

*inhale... deep breath...and let it out slowly*

Ok, ok I have to calmed down... as you can tell Google brings out a whole other side to me. The side that likes to use A LOT of 4 letter words. I am sure THE. GOOGLE. can tell me all about that mental disorder that I MUST have because I get so angry when I talk about THE. GOOGLE.

But let's be real for a minute... I am going to admit something that is very hard for me, but you have to promise to not let Ronii know. It would go to that Rock Star head of hers. I mean she is the one who is always telling me to "google it” (I totally just made that crinkly nose, high pitched voice “impression” of her), even when I know she knows the freakin answer... buuuuutttttt...

The Google is a powerful, useful tool. (I wish I was the genius who came up with that brilliant idea and then brilliantly branded the hell out of it.) You can find ANYTHING on Google. It might take some navigating (this is what drives me to 50 Levels of Crazy) to get to the right source of information, but the information is there. The key to Google is the words you put in the search. You really have to be specific on your search criteria to get faster and more accurate results that are on the coveted page 1. Otherwise you will get lost in Google universe and will be sitting in front of your laptop screaming at the search results on your computer screen, making your family (and neighbors) think you've lost your ever lovin mind and need to be wearing that fashionable white jacket that keeps your arms crossed against your chest and ties in the back. (I can neither confirm or deny that I may or may not have done this.)

You can find anything, and anyone for that matter. Businesses (especially small businesses) need the Google to help market itself. You know... that little thing called SEO. Yeah if you have enough meta tags and keywords and blah blah blah, you will pop up closer to the top of the Google List. Doesn't that just make you want to hate the Google too? Doesn't that make Google seem like it is all high and mighty and chooses what the searcher wants to see?  What gives THE GOOGLE the right to randomly (well not technically randomly) pick what IT thinks I want to see? It's THE. GOOGLE. It should know I need the address (because now I am at level 30 on my 50 Levels of Crazy meter) to MY local liquor store. NOT a liquor store in Idaho, but the one in Martinsburg damnit. I mean it is THE ALL KNOWING GOOGLE!

But I digress again. Obviously, we need to The Google. And that local liquor store that I so desperately need the address too also needs The Google. This is why SEO may be an important factor for your business. While, I’d love to tell you that its easy, an SEO strategy is not. Google changes their algorithm constantly to get you, the searcher, better results but makes it harder for a business to get in front of those people. There are lots of articles and blogs out there that can give you tips and pointers on ways to get better rankings but truthfully and honestly when our clients ask us about SEO we recommend contacting a professional to talk to you about putting together a good strategy. One rule of thumb that we go by is: good content. Writing good articles and blog posts with valuable information is your best tool for SEO. People will find you if you have good information.

Now you are in the know as to why I hate the Google. I need something stronger than wine or Champagne now… maybe Fireball. Good thing I can Google the closest liquor store to go buy it...

So there are those of you that embrace the Google and love the Google. And there are those of us that despise it and just want a simple answer to a simple question and not having to take 15, 20, 40 minutes to find it. You obviously know where I am on that matrix! But where are you on the… love/hate the Google meter? Leave your comments below and tell me I’m not alone in this Google conspiracy.

2014’s Hot Messes Lead to 2015 Hotness

Hey Darlin’
 
Every year I make a couple New Year’s Resolutions that I get all hot + heavy over like that sultry summer love affair and 2 weeks in I’m crawling back to my old familiar ways.
 
Not this year. I’m not falling for the bad boy of business hype. I’m going for the good guy that wants a long lasting relationship that keeps on giving + giving.
 
I’ve been watching (and not in a creepy peeping Tom kinda way), all year long, and the #1 challenge I see you having is… organizing your business ops to make good marketing talk.
 
That’s why I’m declaring 2015 the Year of the Champagne Thursday.
 
I’m on a mission to get you popping a bottle of bubbly and gabbing about business, branding and booze (for the love of Ryan Gosling, let’s talk booze).
 
Here’s just a tasting what we have cooking for 2015:
 
:: We’re revamping our emails. I’m like pee-my-pants excited about this one. Every month our little corner of the business world will get a Happy Day present from us. Its gonna be something fun + useful that you’ll love and be able to use that very day.
 
:: While we’re revamping lots in 2015, we’re still here to help you with a branding session or workshop, marketing campaigns including social media + implementing business strategies that work for you.
 
:: You’ll hear from us on Champagne Thursdays. We’re officially making the last Thursday of the month Champagne Thursday cuz you know… its Thursday and all. And in between those you will catch us over on the blog or chatting it up on social media for #motivationalmonday or #winewendsdays, maybe #funfactfriday or (my personal favorite) #caturday
 
:: In addition to all that fun stuff I just mentioned, you can expect to get little presents from us like… THIS. (Hint: It’s a super handy resource list of what we use to stay semi-sane.)
 
That’s my New Year hot trends list.
 
What about you? What are your big plans for 2015? Hit the reply button and give us the juice gossip about:
 
In 2015, I’m totally committed to _________________ and I’m SO excited about ___________________.
 
Can’t wait to tip it back and let the inspirations flow with you.
 
Here’s to the happiest of happy New Years!
 
xoxo,
Ronii

Marketing Strategy: Tell a Story Pinterest Style

Pinterest Marketing Strategy

Hi. I’m Ronii. And I have a Pinterest obsession.

also have an elephant obsession, flamingo obsession and everyone knows about my crazy cat lady obsession, which you can find on my, you guessed it… Pinterest boards  There is no 12 step program for these addictions and I’m super excited about that. But I digress.

Recently I won this amazing Alesya Bag. How did I do that? My Pinterest obsession of course.

So Alesya Bags ran a contest on social media to tell them in 140 characters where you are going on your summer vacation and why you need an Alesya Bag for your trip. The top 5 most creative entries would win a bag and you can enter everyday until the finish of the contest. I’m sure that you are painfully aware as much as I am that 140 characters is short. Like Daisy Dukes kinda short. How am I going to tell my summer adventure in this short format and get the emotion I want across? Oh, and did I mention that you had a hashtag to use as well taking up even more precious characters? Yeah, that too. But...

Challenge Accepted.

Pinterest obsession rears its beautiful winning head with storytelling.

At B&A we have been using Pinterest for a variety of initiatives over the years. We use it as a collaboration and content distribution tool. Branding and vision boards are big for us and our clients and it’s an amazing collaboration tool for us to gather visuals that drive art direction. And like everyone else we use it to distribute our content like blog posts, products and ideas.

Since on Pinterest you can tweet your pins (or post to Facebook), I decided I wanted to use it. One because I wanted to tell a story and not just a tweet and two because I freakin’ love me some Pinterest. I figured why can’t I use Pinterest more like a storyboard rather than as a vision board and then tweet out each pin with a teaser to read that piece of the story?

I will admit this storyboard idea took some planning and definitely time, but I WON! And if I can utilize this strategy to win an amazing bag (which by the way I’ve been carrying for a couple of months now and want to marry it) then I’m sure I can use the same strategy to win audience engagement and hopefully customers. 

Tweetable: Utilizing Pinterest in multiple ways for business is a good strategy for winning audience engagement and potential customers

Tell a story with a Pinterest Storyboard  

Here’s how I did it:

  1. I planned out the days of the contest and knew that I needed about a post a day because I got an entry per day.
  2. I created a separate board that was named the hashtag and wrote a short description about what my story was about.
  3. I outlined the story by day so each piece of the story had one post. I started my story with an overview of everyone needs an adventure and why I needed an Alesya Bag for that adventure. Then everyday you got a little piece of the adventure until we got to the final days and I revealed where I was going on my summer vacation. I put these all in a doc so that it could make the daily task of posting a bit quicker.
  4. Everyday I pinned an image that correlated with that day’s piece of the story and used the pin description to write that day’s adventure. It was longer than 140 characters but it gave an expanded detail of the adventure and then I used the tweet this pin on my Pinterest app to submit via Twitter with a shortened version or teaser of that day’s adventure.
  5. The last day I gave the big reveal. But then after I found out I won. I did do a final post to conclude my story that I did actually win the bag because that was the goal of that board.

This strategy was so much fun to plan and do and it worked. We can translate this same strategy into a marketing campaign that tells a story rather than just pretty pictures and distributing content. It's a great way to engage your audience and then get them hooked on following the story and engaging with your brand. It could work for as a story countdown on a product launch (watch for this from us in the fall) or leading into a big announcement or sale. The one thing that I found to be a disadvantage is that if you go to the board because pins post by day the story on the board is backwards and you have to read the whole story from the bottom up. But the point is to get people to follow daily so that shouldn't have a huge impact. 

What do you think about this strategy? How will you use it? Do you have any other cool tips for using Pinterest as a business or marketing tool? Let us know in the comments and if you decide to run a story, post it here so we can follow it. I’d love to know your results.