R[E]D – Research : Emotion : Design

A Brand Research and Development Strategy Firm


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Understanding, the Bridge Builder Between a Company and Its Audience

Pulling from logo warehouses or crowdsourcing design may sound tremendously appealing for filling in the blank spot on the top of your letterhead.

You want something trendy and cool, even if it’s just to check off a task on your to-do list.

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It doesn’t make sense for a company to use a logo that has an immense lack of understanding. A logo alone isn’t the solution to developing a strong brand. Strength comes from understanding company culture, which is a giant part of a larger brand strategy. Understanding provides an opportunity to develop cohesive and consistent messaging. This requires customization, knowledge and skill. RED has acquired all the skills needed to build you a solid foundation that is not hollow and inauthentic.

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Brand Marketing Strategy | Put Your Money Where the Growth Is

people-group

Many political conversations today focus on the rapid, immense multicultural population growth in America. However, what about the business implications? How much does an increasingly diverse America effect direct marketers? Quite a bit, actually, according to a recent report from Geoscape.

Geoscape, a business information and services company, found that 88% of America’s population growth is composed of African American, Asian, and Hispanic consumers; particularly Hispanics, who comprise about 18% of the total U.S. population.  Hispanics are the fastest growing segment, having grown 11% since the 2010 census to more than 56 million. Multicultural groups now account for 35% of the American population.

“Some companies just aren’t bringing this growth into focus,” says Geoscape CEO César Melgoza. “Companies that aren’t prioritizing this growth are essentially investing is flat or shrinking markets. That’s probably not acceptable to their constituents,” he says. This leaves marketers with an interesting challenge, or rather, opportunity; one that has little to do with political correctness and everything to do with furthering business growth.

Many businesses struggle with prioritizing or realizing a multicultural marketing strategy. Here, Melgoza offers seven tips that will help keep marketers and their organizations remain relevant to the ever-changing face of their target consumers.

1.       Understand the level of urgency

“Understand that business is about growth and growth is multicultural. If you invest heavily in general markets, then that may not be the best use of budget.”

2.       Measure everything

“Start with a benchmark. Identify your penetration into a segment now, monitor that penetration, and use that data to improve it.

3.       Build a robust business case

“Link this growth with what the company is doing now to differentiate itself and use it to plan how the company will continue to differentiate itself in the future.”

4.       Develop a sound strategy

“Walmart is an example of a company that absolutely cannot ignore multicultural marketing. They know their growth is coming from these segments and they’ve positioned their company and products around this.”

5.       Address all touchpoints in the operation.

“It’s not just about marketing communication, or having cool ads. Develop all channels. How is the call center experience and does it direct consumers to where they need to go? Does the in-store experience match what’s been advertised? Does the product itself match what’s been advertised?”

6.       Scale these efforts according to the opportunity

“Sure, your multicultural efforts are great in Austin, but what about everywhere else? Businesses like Kroger are scaling multicultural marketing across their retail network because they’ve seen how successful it is.”

7.       Evangelize the organization

“A lot of the people resistant to this type of change are middle management. The executives get it. The stockholders get it. Some people may think this is a political or ‘do-good’ issue. They may not understand that their growth hangs on this. You need to grow, and growth is multicultural.”

Author / Perry Simpson
Source / dmnews.com


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True Brand Intelligence Lays Centered between the Head and the Heart

Today’s marketing strategy has been blown up with big data. Don’t get this wrong, data is important.

Image courtesy of Vlado / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

But the human emotional connection is what truly matters. If marketers are looking for the intelligent solution to today’s modern marketing, big data alone won’t be the “golden ticket.” Data alone promises a risk of an indelible letdown.

Getting the business needle moving takes a great brand development strategy and data research that brings precision to your relevant marketing. Data alone doesn’t motivate consumers to buy. Rather, the capability to read the mind of your customers will lead to the emotional connection that drives consumers to buy.

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Credit: officenow / flickr.com

With modern-day marketers having a direct focus on big data, the emotional connection on which humans thrive is being pushed into the peripheral. RED is leading in this brand marketing strategy. Leaders know that true brand intelligence is centered between the head and the heart.


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Entering the Participation Age of Branding

The-New-Definition-of-Brand-Value_Header-header

The tectonic plates that underpin our marketplace are in the midst of a large shift…and brands should be paying attention. As the Millennial Generation quickly becomes the primary force in consumer spending, our marketplace is shifting from a transaction based economy to a participation based economy.

The primary thought-currency no longer has a commoditized value, but instead, a perceived value. Customers base decisions on an entirely different set of criteria:  They don’t just want to buy your brand, they want to be a part of it.

To quote the great Bob Dylan, “The Times They Are a-Changin.’”

The Transaction Model

In the transaction model, brand value was defined in transactional terms. The formula looked something like this:

The-Transactional-Brand-Value-Model

This model told us that the functional benefits of our product or service were of primary concern to the end user. In short, utility was king.

This type of thinking spawned a primarily interruptive style of brand development. After all, when consumers are faced with a direct apples to apples (A to A) choice, the squeakiest, loudest, most present and most disruptive voice wins. Brands were rushing to interrupt potential customers to prove the utility and benefit of their offering. All of this utility proofing geared toward one objective — the transaction.

Brand value, as a result, was defined by converting interruption into transaction. The “proof is in the pudding” thinking cemented itself at the core of brand development —great branding created transaction. As the economic landscape shifts, the interruption to transaction model is becoming obsolete.

The Participation Model

As Seth Godin put it, “Relying too much on proof distracts you from the real mission–which is emotional connection…Selling to people who actually want to hear from you is more effective than interrupting strangers who don’t.”

In the participation model, brand value is defined in relational terms. The Participation model looks something like this:

The-Participative-Brand-Value-Model

This type of thinking tells us that functional benefits and emotional benefits are amplified by our willingness to include our customer in the experience. Participation represents an invitation. An invitation for co-creation, co-responsibility and co-delight. Participation gears toward one objective —the experience.

The direct apple to apple (A to A) comparison becomes an experiential comparison: Apple experience to apple experience (AE to AE). It looks beyond interruption and way beyond transaction. In the participation model, great branding invites participation.

Jeff Fromm summed it up well by saying, “Millennials want to co-create the products and services you sell, the customer journey and the marketing and social media.”

A Case Study For Participation: Apple

(Yes, I know it’s trite to use Apple as a case study, but in this instance, this really is the best example.)

Just this year, Apple unseated Coca-Cola’s 13 year run as the world’s most valuable brand in Interbrand’s coveted annual “World’s Most Valuable Brands” list.

This can’t solely be attributed to truly disruptive tech releases. In fact, from 2007-2008 (the release of the iPhone), Apple’s brand value ranking only jumped 9 slots (from 33rd to 24th). So what took Apple’s brand value from $13,583m to $98,316m in 5 years? A potent combination of the rise of the participation economy and the fact that Apple’s core promise is participation.

Think about it, their entire model is centered around the invitation of participation. Participation from independent third parties (apps, hacks, media); participation from partner industries (music publishing, cellular carriers, media producers); and, most of all, participation from their customers.

Apple exemplifies the participation model by placing participation at the nexus of everything it does.

Beyond The Transaction

How are you moving beyond the transaction? How are you being participation-minded? How does your brand’s co-relationship deepen and grow before and after you make a sale.

If your brand development and sales funnel end at transaction, it’s time to start thinking about the participation model.

Author / Jeremiah Gardner
Source / Branding Magazine


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Apps have grown into being an integral part of your brand | A Collection of Beautiful App Icons

When you’re designing an iPhone, Android or other mobile app – it’s easy to spend all your time focusing on the UI and the software itself, and then leave the app icon to last. It’s important to remember, however, that the app icon will be seen more often than the app itself. It’s on the user’s home screen, and may well be seen many times throughout the day. The app icon in this respect becomes an integral part of your brand – almost like your logo – as it’s what comes to define your app.

Creating a beautifully designed app icon often takes time and energy – and I’d recommend putting in as much time as you would with a logo. Despite it’s small size, it has a big impact and deserves to be crafted carefully. Beautifully designed app icons can take on any form or style – from elegant black and white icons to colourful and brash, but one thing to keep in mind is that simpler is often better. A simple and uncluttered icon can be easier to digest than a busy, visually noisy icon – especially because it’ll be displayed amongst a collection of other icons and will need to stand out and be instantly recognisable.

To help give you some inspiration, I wanted to bring together a collection of some fresh, interesting, innovating and beautifully designed app icons. Some of these designs fall on the side of minimalism, while others are more intricate – but each one of these designs has a certain charm and personality behind them, and each would look at home on even the most design-focused user’s phone. Hopefully these app icons will give you something to think about for the next time you need to create an icon, and that you’ll find some designs here that you love. I’d love to know what you think, so please do be sure to leave a comment below.

01-app

Source: http://dribbble.com/shots/1375719-ICON-Real-Estate-App-Etagi

02-app

Source: http://dribbble.com/shots/1379640-Camera-App-Icon

03-app

Source: http://dribbble.com/shots/1350588-Pencil-app-icon

04-app

Source: http://dribbble.com/shots/1366476-Epiclist-iOS-icon

05-app

Source: http://dribbble.com/shots/1355973-Drop-Ios

06-app

Source: http://dribbble.com/shots/1354776-Cleaner-Icon

07-app

Source: http://dribbble.com/shots/1361891-Xnphoto

08-app

Source: http://dribbble.com/shots/1343908-Wood-Chat

09-app

Source: http://dribbble.com/shots/1371619-Redeem-App-Icon

10-app

Source: http://dribbble.com/shots/1376544-Website-iOS-Icon

11-app

Source: http://dribbble.com/shots/1368848-Applisky-Icon

12-app

Source: http://dribbble.com/shots/1375551-Mug-iOS-Icon

13-app

Source: http://dribbble.com/shots/1317031-Watching-you

14-app

Source: http://dribbble.com/shots/1332621-ReadGloss-iPhone-App-Icon

15-app

Source: http://dribbble.com/shots/1357283-Speed-Limit-Radar

16-app

Source: http://dribbble.com/shots/1345574-Sound-Circle-Icon

17-app

Source: http://dribbble.com/shots/1318983-Mutual-Icon

18-app

Source: http://dribbble.com/shots/1355050-CoinFeed

19-app

Source: http://dribbble.com/shots/1352116-Temp-Clock-Icon

20-app

Source: http://dribbble.com/shots/1336311-Book-Tracker

Author: Ricardo Nunes
Original source: twoimpulse.com/zenith/design/collection-beautiful-app-icons

 


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Why Winning Brands Balance Long-Term Value with Short-Term Business Gain

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Body builders and gym rats are fond of a mantra-like motivational phrase – “no pain, no gain” – that can be equally applied to the approach smart marketers take in keeping their brands fit. Successful marketers are well aware that consistent investments in their brand equities (the pain, as it were) can deliver future business gains. The tension comes from the need to deliver consistent profitability in every financial quarter and not merely to boost awareness and attribute ratings over the long haul. To do both, it takes a truly healthy brand and a wise marketer who understands the levers to pull in balancing this dynamic effectively.

When a healthy brand and a wise marketer come together, consistent investments in long-term brand value can be made efficiently, thus creating the virtuous cycle that pays bottom-line benefits, as well. What once seemed like an impossible ambition has now become a widespread and expected business imperative. I’ll elaborate.

The increased focus on short-term profitability has come into new light as the US economy emerges from recession into recovery. Cautious investors, especially the fund managers and bankers driving the stock market, have become both more discriminating and less patient with their investments. As a result, public companies are under greater scrutiny to deliver sustained, profitable revenue growth each quarter and, therefore, from the C-suite down to the cube farm, corporate targets have become imperatives. There is a justifiable lack of patience, or call it tolerance, for focusing solely on the long-range plan.

And unfortunately for brand managers, creating long-term brand equity can be at odds with generating immediate cash flow. It is tempting for a young marketer, especially one who knows he will be rotated to a different brand in a few months, to focus on the bottom line in order to secure a bigger bonus, rather than to invest in winning the hearts and minds of consumers two years out. In fact, the pendulum has swung so far from the “head-in-the-clouds” marketers of old, so motivated by creating beautiful films and winning awards, that it’s worth appreciating those marketers making bold choices to keep their equity in good stead for the future fitness of their brand.

One of the most extreme examples of bold decision-making in the interest of long-term brand health is the recent decision of a wine brand to sit out an entire vintage (and a year worth of sales) because it felt that that season’s grapes were not of sufficient quality to produce a product worthy of their brand name. Chateau d’Yquem is one of the most valuable, sought-after Bordeaux wines, and likely the most famous brand of sweet wine in the world. Their reputation has garnered a cultish following among well-heeled wine enthusiasts around the globe. Unfortunately, the 2012 growing season was so poor that Chateau d’Yquem’s grapes did not fully ripen. As a result, the company took a tough stance in favor of the brand: If it could not make a great product from those grapes, then it would make no product that year. While Chateau d’Yquem might release stocks of prior vintages to ensure cash flow, the overall decision was for huge short-term “pain” to protect and promote long-term equity gain.

Few brands have the financial freedom to sit out a year, but as an extreme case we can learn and be inspired by the position taken at Chateau d’Yquem. To be clear, their decision was a marketing investment. Within the world of CPG, we should be reminded that even the most famous brands – from Coca-Cola to Tide to Dove – continue to invest heavily in the value of their brands, when it might be tempting to drop more dollars to the bottom line. The winning formula is to generate awareness, affinity and preference via inspiring brand mixes delivered consistently and efficiently.

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A brand that stands for something meaningful and can deliver that message through every touch-point, every pack, even every business decision, is positioned well for long-term health. Delivering this message consistently over time reduces churn, consumer confusion and, more importantly, the cost of marketing investments, which benefits the bottom line. It’s a virtuous cycle – perhaps in the same way that consistent trips to the gym make each workout a bit easier and the cumulative effort all the more effective.

Author Bruce Levinson
source: brandingmagazine.com/2014/01/18/winning-brands-balance-long-term-value-short-term-business-gain


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Sandy officials use Web resources to keep residents up to date

Enhance The Experience: Fundamental to Branding

At RED, we know that delivering a one-of-a-kind engaging experience is one way to reach customers. But we’ve seen time and again that creating an emotionally-valued experience within them gives us a deeper view into the mindset of the customer. This view reveals the hidden behavioral triggers that motivate their decision making.

See what Nicole Martin, Communications Director for Sandy City, has to say about RED.

It is always a challenge to keep an ever-growing community aware and involved in the goings-on of their city. In the summer of 2013, RED helped Sandy City build a new website that did just that.

SANDY — Decisions being made in the Legislature will impact some laws more than others, and Sandy residents can find out that information on a new website.

Sandy_City_Gov_Building

SANDY — Decisions being made in the Legislature will impact some laws more than others, and Sandy residents can find out that information on a new website.As Sandy’s population continues to get bigger, communications between residents and the city government sometimes gets smaller.”It’s so difficult to get information out and receive information back from your citizens. You really work hard at it,” Sandy Mayor Tom Dolan said.Dolan has seen plenty of City Council meetings where there were more councilmen than residents. And yet tough decisions still have to be made.”The biggest failure is communications,” said Nicole Martin, Sandy spokeswoman. “If you’re not communicating, then your residents have no idea what you’re doing.”Although communications with residents is something cities everywhere have a difficult time with, Sandy is trying something not many have tried before.”What’s different about Sandy now is what we call our online information dashboard,” Martin said.

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Sandynow.com is a website. Most cities have websites, Twitter and Facebook pages, as well as old-fashioned newsletters to communicate with residents.But Sandy is bringing all that together with constant updates to let residents know what’s going on. The city is following the legislative session this month to post information affecting its residents.”With today’s technology, it’s not enough for cities to kind of passively communicate and hope their residents are informed,” Martin said.Dolan remembers scrolling through city information on a cable-access TV channel years ago and called the experience “the most boring thing in the world.”He’s amazed at how far technology has come and how it’s so crucial for cities to use it to make sure residents are informed.”It’s getting much better because people are more technologically advanced and this is the way they communicate,” Dolan said.Dolan understands not everyone has the Internet and said newsletters and announcements will still be mailed to residents.

By Alex Cabrero                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=28541824#uKYMlX4fL2TVj5jr.99