Tag Archives: Brand

Build an Experience

Look at Yelp. Nine times out of ten, a bad review comes down to someone’s experience with a staff member. When building a brand, you’re shaping every experience that a user shares with your company.

Today I want to give the spotlight to one of my favorite stores in New York: Cure Thrift Shop.

P1000508Not only is it a great thrift store that donates all profits to diabetes research, but it has also managed to cultivate a certain ambiance that welcomes the culture of thrift shopping (not the Macklemore culture, but the thrill of a sweet vintage discovery).

Cure Thrift store hoursIn a recent blog post, Cure even designed a job posting that fits perfectly with the NYC style of Broadway casting calls (and how hard it is to get a job here!).

Cure Thrift Shop is my local brand crush.

 

 

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We need elbow room

As seen in the picture below, advertisable space has gotten a little crowded recently.

Overstimulating ads

So what did architects do when they started running out of land? They went in a new direction: up.

There are two main ways to “build up” and find new space for advertising that I’ll describe today.

1. Find new spaces to buy, like the food cart below:

IMAG0581

This is the simplest form of “new media”. This requires no change in how you advertise, just where you put it. In the last two months that these food cart ads have popped up, the most interesting/eye-catching ads have been like the one above, not even selling a product. This form doesn’t make your ad more memorable, but it at least gives it some elbow room and allows it to be seen.

2. Use the space you already have:

NYC coffee shop "The Bean" draws in customers with it's flamboyancy

The space you already own – your store, kiosks, product packaging, etc. – is your best asset. This is how people see you anyways, so why not show people what you’re made of?

Pretty bar codes are pretty

For instance, why doesn’t everyone have a decorative barcode? They’re easy to make and are an innovative continuance of your brand.

This is what you see on the ceiling when you lay on a bed in IKEA

IKEA is one of my favorite brands when it comes to marketing. The above picture I took while trying out one of their mattresses. Each bed had a different statement pointing out a feature.

What are your favorite creative uses of space?

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I love your copy.

When people hear the word “brand,” they usually think of a company’s name, logo, and the products or services they provide. But a brand shouldn’t be just that.

Branding is how a company is characterized and set apart from its competitors. This characterization is shown just like our own personalities: through communication. You learn about a person’s character by how they speak, what they talk about, their body language, even how they react to a rude comment. A brand needs to be the same way.

One of the most creative NYC companies that does this is Manhattan Mini Storage. This storage company really understands its target audience, and brands itself as a true New Yorker, as seen in these billboards below.

Apartments are small.

Apartments are small.

These ads demonstrate the need for storage, while empathizing with its audience, and being witty.But branding isn’t just clever copy, it’s also about an always evolving brand, and the world around it.

New York is a  notoriously liberal city, so when election time comes around, Manhattan Mini Storage isn’t afraid to take a stand.

Though this type of copy can be risky and may alienate a few customers, it plays to the overall character of the brand. I’ve never personally stepped into one of these storage facilities, but I know where they are when I need storage.

This marketing might not be applicable to everyone. This works well for Manhattan Mini Storage because its target audience has a stereotyped personality to lock onto. not only that, but storage companies usually advertise to increase awareness and stick in your mind. These don’t need to be especially informative or technical, they just need to make an impression.

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TED: What is your brand’s body language?

Watch this TED Talk: it’s amazing and this blog post relies on you watching it.

Warning: the text below has spoilers for the TED Talk above.

In Amy Cuddy’s TED Talk, she demonstrated how our body language not only dictates how others see us, but how we see ourselves. As I watched this video, my first thought was, “all those after school specials were right, you need to fake it till you make it!” My second thought was, “what does body language look like for brands?”

Brands assert their personality and values through all communications, both within and outside of the company. Because brands aren’t physically people, they’re dominance and character is mostly seen through word choices and images/sounds associated with the brand.

The following picture is a perfect example:

Powerful Yogurt, because Greek yogurt is for weaklings.

I found this shelf of yogurt at the grocery store a few weeks ago and I just died of laughter. Apparently, yogurt companies think that they need to look dominant to appeal to men, and the only way to be dominant is with the color black and toned abs. You can also see the differentiation in brand through the no-nonsense font and the word “powerful”; much different than the more flowery “Swiss” yogurt next to it.

This is a silly example, but big brands really do pay attention to every word choice and every image being released to the public. What ads have you seen that you think show dominance?

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