Some New Large Format Ideas for Your 2023 Marketing Plans!
Strata believes (very much so) in the strength and effectiveness of smaller-sized advertising and marketing such as social and digital ads, email, direct mail, letters, and more. However, we also think that, sometimes, it pays to “go big or go home”. Today, we’re talking about large format printing. Here are 2023’s biggest (no pun intended) and most popular large-format printing trends. Side note – we offer many of these in-house!
When and Why You Should Use Large Format Printing
Although, like we said, smaller marketing materials and mediums are often very useful and effective, large scale can be the answer when it comes to getting attention and ensuring those passing by (whether that’s on the road, in the parking lot, in your store, or at an event) receive the message you’d like them to get. While you may be super familiar with the more recognizable and large-scale print tactics of billboards and bus wraps, that’s not where the possibilities end. Large scale printing can be used for branded, interior or exterior signage to “set the scene” and create an experience, can be displayed at events to draw attention to your offerings or booth, can be placed in front of your shop to bring customers in, pasted on your windows, hung on your walls and stuck onto your furniture…the list goes on.
Large-format print materials can do so many things and send just as many messages, from displaying your campaign or brand messaging to showcasing an offer, or simply catching viewer’s eyes with a thought-provoking graphic or image. And, with ever-changing print technology and possibilities, there are endless ways to set your company’s brand apart.
Still not sold on your company’s need to consider large-format print? If we haven’t convinced you yet, here’s one last reason for large print. These days, with the rise in hybrid working and the increase in employees staying at home, as well as a decrease in the customer’s willingness to enter establishments (they’d often rather online shop), expectations for in-office or in-building spaces are much higher. Bring them in-store or in-office with a bit of intriguing, interactive, thought-provoking, or maybe even just tranquil and safe large-scale design.
Some Top 2023 Large Format Trends
Many large format printers can print directly on a substrate, so large format prints are great for wall décor. Whether that material is adhesive, wallpaper, or signage, wall art can be used to tell a story, create an atmosphere, liven up a space, or express a brand message.
Die-Cuts and Unique Shapes
Large-scale printing already visually stands out compared to smaller formats, but what stands out even more is unique and unexpected cuts and shapes. If you’re thinking about printing a basic square or rectangle, explore taking the design a step further. Would it work better, or stand out more, if it were a circle? Triangle? Irregular shape? Would that shape further embody the message?
A very interesting and unique addition to any setting, floor graphics can help viewers move through a space, or simply add to their experience. Decals like this can make a great conversation piece. And, paired with elevated signage, make your message hard to miss!
Newly popular in the large-format world are interactive prints. These could include or be anything from games and experiences to signage that leads to other avenues, to installations that viewers interact with to reveal something hidden, and so on. The printing technology of today makes it easier than ever before to play with different elements, explore multi-sensory experiences, and create more immersive showcases. A good example of this? Adding a game-board at an event to showcase your offerings, educate your audience, and share your brand’s voice and personality – all in one!
Durable Outdoor Signage
Who knows what the weather will bring, and depending on where you live or where your business is located, sometimes it can be very hard to predict. With more and more materials and finishes appearing on the market, durable outdoor signage has become increasingly popular – whether it’s used to showcase products or simply house your store name.
Now and into the future, companies are becoming increasingly concerned about our environment, how we affect it, and what we can do to help it. So, printers and buyers of large-format printing need to stay cognizant of what they’re offering and provide options that range in their level of eco-consciousness. At Strata, we’re always striving to find new ways to conserve, reduce, and reuse, as well as supply options that have the world we live in, and its wellness, in mind.
Additionally, there are other eco-friendly printing practices that printers can try to follow, such as using automated processes, when possible, quality data and reporting, and carbon data analysis.
Interested in working with Strata on some of these large format projects? Feel free to reach out.
You Should Know About
Are you a grocery store or supermarket chain looking to expand your marketing horizons? You’ve come to the right place. We’ve consulted with our experts and have done our research to bring you the top marketing trends you should know about in 2023.
What to Consider Before Choosing Your Marketing Tactics
Before we get into the top trends, and before you implement some of them into your marketing strategy, we always recommend a starting point. Ask yourself and your team the following questions. What are you currently doing and using for marketing? What have you seen is working or not working? What are your goals for revenue, traffic, transactions, awareness, and so on. And lastly, how will you measure success? Once you know or at least think through the answers to these questions, you’ll be better prepared to make smart marketing decisions.
Top Tactics & Trends of 2023
1. Capturing Customer Data for Personalization
We’ve continued to see personalization grow and grow as a grocery marketing trend throughout the years, and this year will be no different. As the industry has blended with and moved more toward online avenues, it has become increasingly important for establishments to use data collected via marketing and other channels to create personalized experiences. We’d suggest encouraging and using feedback of store ratings and reviews, answering and recording questions and interactions, and communicating with customers via social media to acquire data and better your customer understanding. “Companies with stellar personalization programs can generate 40% more revenue than their competitors, according to McKinsey & Co.”
2. Delivery & Ecommerce/Digital Shopping
Staying away from the public may not be as important as it was in the onset of the pandemic, but it’s still convenient and expected – and something to showcase and advertise. Make sure you’re marketing this avenue when and where you can, so that you make the most of your different audiences (and, like we said above, personalize their experiences).
“Our 2022 Shopper Experience Index found that 64% of shoppers enjoy hybrid shopping that blends both worlds.” So, make sure to not only provide and showcase online shopping and delivery options, but in-store digital features, as well. Make sure shoppers, that always have their phones available, can use them during their shopping experience, whether that’s when they’re bringing in digital coupons, claiming in-store deals, or scanning foods to find out more, ensure their experiences is produced with an omnichannel approach.
3. New Mover Marketing
Always an important tactic in our book (and based on customer feedback and results), we continue to find this one among the top trends. For example, our multichannel, new mover marketing tactics over the past two years have helped a supermarket chain yield results of 25,000+ newly acquired shoppers, 2,700 coupons redeemed monthly, and an 18.6% coupon redemption rate. Don’t know about new mover marketing? Find out what it is, here.
4. Direct Mail Incentives
Direct mail continues to be a valuable tool to those looking to reach new and existing grocery customers. And, due to inflation from 2021-2023, customers seem to have a much higher focus on saving. So, you can imagine that gifts, freebies, deals, discounts, and so on, are more important than ever to include in your direct mail to entice customers to enter your store. Plus, it’s easy to understand whether this tactic is working – and quickly. If your avenue of enticing is a discount code or coupon deal, simply record the number of redemptions. Even better, if your enticing offer is claimed with a loyalty program sign-up, acquire even more information on your customer…
5. Loyalty Programs
You guessed it – our next recommended tactic is a loyalty program. These programs are just another way to help shoppers save, but increase their, well – loyalty. Loyalty programs, and the promotion of them, is a great grocery marketing tactic to keep customers coming back, and entice others to become repeat buyers. Plus, as we stated above, loyalty programs give you better data. “With the growth of grocery e-commerce and loyalty programs, retailers and brands have amassed more data than ever. You can see which brands shoppers interact with and ultimately purchase.”
Sustainable practices have become increasingly top-of-mind for 2023 customers, who value initiatives like plant-based living, environment, and social causes, and have more awareness of supply chain, packaging, and production. Because of this awareness and concern, more companies are putting focus on (and publicly supporting or combatting) eco and social causes. “Some 44% of Fortune 500 companies are integrating environment, social and governance practices into their core business strategies, as McKinsey also found that 76% of shoppers buy or boycott brands based on values.”
Not sure where to start? Providing reusable, logoed shopping bags is a great way to kick-off your eco initiatives, and doubles as a marketing tactic.
7. Quality Partnerships
Last but not least, marketing partnerships will be of importance in 2023, because you don’t have to (and likely don’t have all the tools to) do it all alone. Whether you partner with a resource to improve customer loyalty, work with a company to increase your quality data, or leverage services to facilitate business growth, any such partnership can be used to broaden your store’s horizons and enhance your practices. “Joining forces with technology and third-party delivery companies can help retailers gain cost efficiencies and eCommerce reach, as well as innovative value propositions for customers.”
Looking for tactics and trends to enhance your own grocery marketing? Contact the experts at Strata.
A Brief Introduction to this Important Marketing Term
Have you heard the phrase, “Integrated Marketing” before? We have – in fact, we hear it almost every day at Strata. Why? It’s one of our main services and something that helps many of our clients achieve success in their customer acquisition efforts. Sit back and settle in as we take you through the basics (an introduction, if you will) of integrated marketing.
In General, What is Integrated Marketing?
Integrated marketing is a way to “keep marketing communications consistent and easy”. It’s a strategic approach to integrating all your customer experiences and communications – ensuring everything about your brand is aligned, and that consistent and relevant brand messages are always delivered across all marketing channels. Integrated marketing’s main goal is to create a seamless and unified experience for the customer, and to do so, you must coordinate and streamline both your assets and your people. Find more on our integrated marketing communications services page.
As stated, this includes integrating everything across all channels – from print to digital, online to in person, and paid media to owned media. While ensuring that all of this aligns has never been more difficult (there are a lot of channels to consider and streamline), it’s never been more imperative to business success.
“RACE”, which stands for Reach, Act, Convert, Engage, is an acronym and marketing plan that can help you keep it all together. It structures your marketing communications around the life cycle (otherwise known as the customer journey) of the customer.
What are Some Statistics Behind Integrated Marketing?
- “It takes an average of 6 touches to generate a sales lead”, so it’s important that they all align!
- “According to a Cross-Media Ad Effectiveness Study by The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) consumers viewing a consistant message across a variety of channels can improve purchase intent by 90% and brand perception by 68%.”
- “70% of consumers use three or more channels when researching a purchase.”
- “Integrated campaigns are 31 percent more effective at building brands, even without customization.”
- “’AdReaction: The Art of Integration‘ found that well integrated and customized ad campaigns boosted effectiveness by 57 percent.”
Why Should I Use Integrated Marketing Solutions?
Although integrated marketing takes a lot of effort, communication, cooperation, and attention to detail, it’s worth the investment. Plus, if you don’t create cohesive marketing and communication, you risk confusing customers or even steering customers away with mixed, disconnected messages that delegitimize your brand and products and/or services.
Using integrated marketing can result in the following:
- Consistent/trustworthy messaging
- Reduced costs of bad/unnecessary/unaligned communications
- Increased brand awareness/familiarity
- Increased likelihood of brand loyalty
- Increased purchasing and intent
- Better customer experiences
- Increased marketing revenue
- Improved efficiency
You may be asking how and where integrated marketing can reduce costs? Although a good strategy and efficient streamlining comes with its time and costs, integrated marketing is cost-effective because its parts, messages, and pieces can be used repeatedly and seamlessly. Different graphics, content, and ideas can be used for many purposes across many platforms. Additionally, many integrated marketing campaigns incorporate user-generated content, which is – you guessed it – practically free marketing that “can also help drive your costs down while increasing efficiency and engagement.”
Overall, integrated marketing is key because your marketing piece may be great, but it doesn’t do much if it contradicts or doesn’t align with and emphasize your other communications. Plus, potential customers are less likely to remember or recognize something they only see or hear once. So, make sure it’s driven home across all platforms and communication channels.
Want to streamline your marketing processes and content, overcome operational challenges, and take control of your brand? Learn more here or contact us.
And Where & How to Use Them
There’s a lot of bad marketing circulating around out there – and you know what all of it has in common (besides – likely – poor design, lack of target market research, and missing call-to-actions)? Unpleasant imagery. We know what you’re thinking… “photography costs a fortune!” – but that’s not always the case. And, what costs even more than any photo is losing customers over a bad one. There are ways to use good photography on your marketing without breaking the bank. Today, we’re going to explain why photography is so important for your company’s marketing, how you can get and use good photos, and, if need be – tips for (carefully and creatively) shooting your own.
Why Quality Photography is Important
Like we said above, losing customers to a bad photo or photos can be very costly. A not-so-great photo can make or break any marketing piece or campaign and deter customers from ever contacting your company. Visuals are a huge part of what we choose to purchase and where it’s from. When advertising with only speech or text, customers only remember 10% of what they see or hear, but, when advertising with imagery, they remember an impressive 65%. Quality photos appeal to customer emotions, and are intended to trigger specific thoughts and feelings. So, make sure your imagery is eye-catching, impactful, relevant, informative, and realistic.
The right photos can be used in several areas – from postcards and flyers, to social posts and website banners. And it’s not like you can only use a great photo once. So, if you think about all the places a good photo can go, it’s worth the investment to get it.
Lastly, photography is a universal language – so no matter who’s seeing them, if your photos are informative and well-shot, potential customers will be able to understand and relate to the intended message, whether they speak English, Spanish, or Japanese. It’s best to think of photography as one of your main points of communication with your customers, because, well…it really is. Sometimes, it’s the first form of communication they get from your company altogether.
How to Obtain Quality Photos & Use Them in Your Marketing
If you’re not taking your own photos or utilizing a professional photographer, there are a ton of options out there to get great photography at varying prices. Websites like Pexels, Unsplash, Freepik, and Pixabay provide decent, royalty-free, commercial-use stock images – free of cost. But, make sure to use these wisely and always check the fine print. Some photography sites will want you to give credit to the photographer in some way, or use the image only under certain circumstances.
If you’re willing to pay a bit more for higher marketing ROI, stock photo packages can be purchased on sites like GettyImages, Shutterstock, Adobe Stock, and others. You have the option to purchase a few individual photos – but that can get costly. We’d recommend going with one of the free sites above, or, if you have more photo needs, getting a plan that, for example, gives you 10 photos a month at a lower package price.
If you do hire a photographer, you have a leg up on other companies. Why? Because experienced photographers know what to look for when it comes to selling products. They have an eye for detail, know when it’s best to add something or take something out of the frame, and can edit your photos to perfection.
With a professional photographer, we’d recommend a one-time photoshoot (if possible) to cut costs and photograph all of the things you’re hoping to capture – whether that’s your whole staff and office, your product catalog, or an event. We’d also suggest really planning ahead – not only to tidy up the area and make your subject look great, but to make sure you photograph everything you need to, and that you don’t run over-time.
If You Have to Take Your Own Photos, Here’s How…
It’s not the end of the world to have to take your own photos, since, these days, almost everyone has a mini professional camera right in their pocket. But just because we have better cameras doesn’t mean we have the skills of an experienced, well-versed photographer, or know the best settings and angles to get the best shot. Yet, with a bit of research and effort, we can take some great product photos that will do the trick. Here are some best practices to keep in mind when photographing your offerings:
Camera Awareness: You don’t have to read a manual to get to know whatever camera you’re working with, but, the more expensive and intricate the camera, the more time you should take to practice your skills. Have a bit of fun and experiment before doing an actual photoshoot with your products. Make sure you understand the effects and settings available to you and what will present your products best.
Camera Angle: There are a ton of ways to take your photos, but where you place the camera will help you tell whatever story you’re trying to get across. So, think about what makes your product look eye-catching and unique, and how it can best be framed to show its qualities. Avoid angles with too much slant, that are too close up, or that blur the wrong areas.
Detail: Before taking your photo, take note of the little things. Is the area clean to emphasize the product or focus? Does the subject look its best? Is the photo realistic?
Background: Almost always, you’ll want your subject’s background to be neutral and not in focus. There are exceptions to this rule, but it’s the safest bet to make sure your subject is in focus and is the center of attention. If your office is bright and colorful, it’s okay to have that as the background for staff photos. Just make sure it’s not so busy that it’s distracting from the subject.
Color & Lighting: When adding objects around your subject or creating some sort of background, make sure the color of your focus pops. If need be, make some color edits to your photography using Photoshop, Lightroom, VSCO, or a similar photo editing platform. But – don’t go crazy. Keep your photo looking realistic and authentic. Additionally, take note of the lighting. Feel free to get fancy and purchase professional lighting – but there’s often no need to. Natural lighting can produce great outcomes when it comes to photography.
Context & Scale: Especially for product photography, it’s always important to offer a sense of scale and context. Instead of only showing the subject on a white background, also show the product in a room, on a table, next to a person, or even being used by a person. This will help people “fill in the gaps” and understand the sizing of the product.
File Size: Pay attention to the sizes of your photos when taking them and uploading them. Make sure they’re not too small that they look blurry and pixelated, but also be sure that they’re not so large that they affect load times and user experience.
Authenticity: We’ve already brushed the surface on this one – but it’s so important that it can’t be said too many times. Make sure your photography’s an accurate, authentic depiction of your offerings. There’s nothing worse than getting excited over a product you see online, only to be disappointed by its appearance upon purchasing.
Need help finding the perfect photo, or ready to take these practices and put them into great, effective marketing? Contact Strata.
A Strata YouTube Channel Original
Figuring out the right design and message for your multichannel campaign can be time consuming and difficult to do without a proper plan. Thankfully, in our most recent YouTube video of our Multichannel Marketing series, we go over the best practices for making sure you create, write, and design effectively, and with purpose.
The key starting point, before you dive into developing creative and copy, is to make sure you clearly identify your audience. You’ll want to ensure you have a deep understanding of who they are and how they think. Once you have researched, compiled data, and considered all of the ways you can meet your audience, it’s time to design.
Starting with direct mail – here are a few important things to keep in mind. First, economize your words. The best direct mail uses clear and concise points that are on-target and on-brand. Next, prioritize graphics. Clean, attractive graphics can convey complex information while cutting down on copy. And lastly, consider the end product. Remember to carefully choose format, envelope, finish, feel – all of that good stuff, and don’t be afraid to think outside the box (or in this case, the envelope).
Now on to digital ads. When you’re creating these ads, remember to use eye-catching call-to-actions (or “CTAs”, for short). They’re the single-most important thing on your ad, and a simple button can usually get the job done. Also, we’d recommend designing with a mobile-first perspective since 70% of all ads are shown in that format. From there, scale up to other sizes for desktops & laptops. Finally, similar to direct mail, keep it short and sweet. There are no strict limits, but a general rule of thumb is that less is more when it comes to copy. Try to mirror your favorite billboard ad – short headlines that can be absorbed in just 1-2 seconds.
To see what other tips and tricks we have for designing your multichannel marketing creative and copy, click on the video below. You’ll hear our Marketing Manager, Caitlin, go through the best practices for email marketing. Or, if you’d like to discuss this concept with one of our multichannel experts, contact us today to get your next (or maybe even your first) multichannel campaign started.
Thankful for a Company Culture that Inspires Creativity & Customer Success
It’s the season of giving, and this year (and every year) we couldn’t be anymore thankful for the company we’ve become and continue to be. We’re so grateful for the people and clients we get to work with each and every day, and can’t thank them enough for their hard work and support. That being said, we want to take the time to share what Strata is most thankful for this year – good customer and company culture, and the ways in which you can foster it.
Thank You, Strata Company
This year, we’re not only taking time to look back on how far we’ve come, but to express our appreciation and gratitude for our successes, inspirations, and company culture. Good company culture is created by the employees who show up and give it their all, so it’s important that they have a good place to do that. Having a trusted and respected environment where employees’ voices are heard gives them a space to feel included and listened to.
We strive to make sure all employees feel challenged, supported, and respected, but also ensure it’s clear that Strata isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. The biggest part of a positive atmosphere is being able to handle negative or difficult situations and being able to overcome them. All companies encounter hurdles, but having a team that is ready to conquer them is a large part of a quality company culture. We’re thankful that our team embodies this and was able to be recognized this year, as we were awarded Great Place to Work certification. Check out our blog on how we earned this certificate.
How You Can Focus on Both the Customer & Your Team – Equally
It’s possible to put both your customers and employees first. How? By having good company culture. Customers take how your company is running into consideration, not just what you’re selling to them. The way your employees act, feel, and communicate with each other and your customers often determines how long your clients stick around for, or if they even buy from you to begin with. At Strata, we pride ourselves on the relationships we build with our clients and our employees. We like to believe that the more excitement and connection there is within the office, the more connected employees are with clients – and the more excited clients are about services and offerings. It’s one thing to sell your product well, but going the extra mile for client experience is the game changer. A positive work environment is what motivates employees to do just that. So, before you think company culture isn’t as important as other aspects of your company, remember that it could very well be the reason your company isn’t seeing consistent sales.
How to Show Thanks
So ask yourself, what do your employees value most in their work environment, and what will motivate them? Is it trust? Respect? Creativity? Consistency? Positivity? The freedom to speak and make decisions? Whatever it may be, whether it’s one, or all of them, instilling the ones that matter most is what will facilitate the best environment for your team. The goal is for everyone to feel welcomed and accepted. One of the best ways to do this is by periodically recognizing your employees – let them know you see and acknowledge how hard they’re working. Recent studies show that “the best-performing teams receive roughly six positive comments for every negative one. They then share this positivity with their co-workers”, causing a ripple effect of positivity.
Cultures that successfully embrace gratitude tend to share these basics attributes:
- They treat their employees like real people, not anonymous workers.
- They trust and empower those employees to do great things.
- They accept mistakes, encourage original ideas, and reward risk-taking.
- They routinely express appreciation for the person, not just the job.
- They hire individuals who care about the organization’s future and who will add to the positive culture.
As we said, a strong, positive, and motivating culture can take time, but the first step is recognizing the team and environment you have, and thinking through where you’d like both to be in the future. We figured, what better time than the season of giving to emphasize this topic? We hope you’re able to take away some insight, see why we’re so thankful for our current culture, and now have some ideas on how to improve your own. Questions? Feel free to contact us.
How to Fight it & Flourish
As spooky season approaches and Halloween is around the corner, we’re thinking a lot about our biggest fears. But today we’re not talking about ghosts or goblins or even Michael Myers. We’re talking about one of the scariest things of all to any workplace…complacency.
“Complacency is man’s biggest weakness. It creeps up on us when we least expect it.” – Jay Mullings
Even if you think your company isn’t anywhere near complacency, there’s still always room to evaluate and grow. And, you may be surprised by what’s lurking behind the door of contentment. Complacency is not only bad for your company, but good for your competition, which we’d assume will give you a bit of a fright. If employees aren’t challenged to improve, things are the way they are because it’s the “way they’ve always been”, and the company isn’t growing, it’s definitely affecting your revenue. But don’t worry – it’s never too late to change. In this blog, we’ll take a look at the best ways to avoid company complacency and ensure you’re periodically updating and enhancing your culture, practices, and marketing.
Complacency can sneak up on any company without warning, shielding it from growth and stifling creativity and innovation. Why? Because if companies are seemingly doing “fine” and meeting their goals on paper, they feel no “need” or urgency to change. That’s where the biggest mistake is made, because companies should always be looking to evolve and thinking about their vision for the future. If not, ideas become stale, talent becomes bored, and eventually, the company comes to a jarring halt without any clue of how they got there.
When everything seems to be going well, it can be difficult to disrupt successes. And it may feel like the right decision to let processes and practices take their course rather than think about next steps and development, but often “the riskiest thing we can do is just maintain the status quo.” Without urgency and consistency for change, employee performance shifts and can even decline. Statistics show that only 30% of employees in America are actually engaged in their work, and only 13% of employees worldwide are engaged in their office environment. With such low numbers already, it’s so important to keep employees excited, energized, and motivated for what they’re doing and what’s to come.
With complacency being a bigger, scarier possibility than you may have assumed, it’s important to keep it top of mind and to make sure you’re doing your best to combat it. Start with communication of your company’s mission, vision, and values. Make sure they’re clear, known, and maybe most importantly – accurate and true. Know who you are. If you do – your employees will too, and in turn they’ll feel more connected with and motivated by your workplace. Allow employees to see their contributions to the bigger mission, and their worth as an asset to the overarching vision.
After all, having a good (and growing) company culture is key to combatting complacency and ensuring workplace satisfaction. How do you improve your culture? Many ways, but the most effective tools are company newsletters, employee highlights, group meetings, and employee appreciation. Again – make your employees feel valued, and they’ll more likely provide value.
Additionally, make sure team members feel important and part of the greater whole. Encourage managers and team members to communicate within their individual teams, and make sure responsibilities are delegated and well distributed. Employees are more likely to become bored when they’re doing the same tasks over and over, so give them room to be creative and explore new opportunities. You never know who may have the next best idea.
Lastly, be prepared for whatever may come your company’s way, and never be too afraid to challenge the status quo. If we’ve learned anything these past two years, it’s that anything can happen, and that the saying “it won’t happen to us” is just not realistic. It’s important to listen to the ideas of your employees and always be prepared for what’s to come with an open communication structure. Make sure you have multiple decision makers, not just one, and that employees feel comfortable enough to make some decisions without “permission” from a leader. Training your employees to make decisions on their own will be a key factor in combatting complacency.
Refreshing Without Fear
Almost as important as your workplace and its people is your brand and marketing. Without change and evolution, your marketing can quickly become out-of-date right under your nose (causing your employees to lack company pride and your audience to lose interest). But how do you know when it’s the right time to update your brand and marketing?
A sure sign (these days) of lack luster marketing is an absence of social platforms. Some would even say if you’re not online, you might as well not exist. And although we think that sounds a little spooky, we’ll admit that it holds some truth. If you’re hard to find and not posting relevant content and imagery, target customers may be choosing your competitors (who are more accessible and approachable) over you.
Also important to your brand and its relevance is your website. In this day and age, it’s very easy to tell when a website has been left alone so long that it’s developing cob-webs. If you’re finding that your website traffic is down and your customers aren’t interacting with it, it’s time for an upgrade. But, before any big changes, compile data and make purposeful decisions. What is your audience looking for? What do they respond well too? How can you quickly and easily get them to have interest in your company and purchase goods?
Additionally, make sure you keep your advertising and customer communication – whether digital or physical – energized and creative. Combine direct and digital marketing to reach specific audiences and keep your brand top of mind. Don’t settle for just one medium that “seems to be working” if multiple channels of communication could bring you more success.
Lastly, avoid complacency by focusing on helping the customer rather than selling to them. While the overall goal of most companies is to generate sales, it’s essential you show your customers that you care about their pain points and needs. To see all of these tactics in action, check out our recent blog on how to create successful marketing campaigns.
Company complacency can sneak up on you like a ghost in the night and lead to missed opportunities, poor customer service, and disengaged employees. Stay aware of the possibility of contentment and make sure you’re always exploring, evolving, and rising above the rest. Change is inevitable, but complacency doesn’t have to be.
For more information on what we do at Strata and how we can help you fight complacency with one of our marketing solutions, contact us today.
With the Top 10 (Other) Best Rebrands & Refreshes
We can’t believe we’re already celebrating the one-year anniversary of Strata’s brand refresh. It’s been quite a year (to say the least). But we can honestly say that, with all of the struggles of 2020-2021, our brand refresh wasn’t one of them. If it did anything (and it did a lot), it definitely brought us together, made us more confident, and better showcased our personality, vision, team, and solutions. The brand refresh catapulted Strata into 2020, helping us solidify our style and services, attract new talent, and stay inspired.
When we decided we needed a new look – we had to pick between a full rebrand or a refresh. For us, the answer was easy. A complete rebrand would have required scrapping our identity and starting from scratch, where a refresh allowed us to keep our main identity and strategy intact. Our brand was strong with our current clients and we had a great reputation as problem solvers and solutions experts – so a refresh was perfect for what we needed to do.
With any rebrand or brand refresh – “consistency across all channels is key”. Over the past year, we’ve ensured that all our materials – from website to print, are on-brand.
Since we now have a bit of rebrand and refresh experience under our belts, we wanted to take a look at the top 10 best company rebrands and refreshes (in our eyes) besides Strata’s, of course.
Our Top 10
Dropbox refreshed its brand in 2017, and it was nothing short of successful. The company worked with design studio “Collins” to create a cleaner and simpler logo and lots of illustrative elements to better connect with their primarily creative and collaborative audience.
Airbnb did a full rebrand in 2014 with Design Studio, sending their team of designers to 13 cities to truly immerse themselves in Airbnb’s offerings, community, and mission. It resulted in a beautiful brand that differentiated Airbnb from its similar competitors. The CEO of Airbnb even stated, “When I look at this brand, I suddenly realized everything I’ve been trying to say, now we have a way to express it.”
“There are very few companies in the world that managed to change the public perception of their brand as successfully as Walmart did.” In 2008, Walmart made this change to get away from their “always low prices” slogan that often-made customers feel like it was also “always low quality”. They also wanted to steer clear of the questionable corporate practices they were called out for in the early 2000s. So, Walmart did a complete 360 with a whole new brand from redesigned stores to a new look and personality.
We love this brand refresh because it reminds us of ours. Without a complete overhaul, Southwest changed its look and logo to showcase their humanity and heart – literally.
Good old Guinness. Many love it, others don’t, but it always holds true that Guinness makes us feel like we’re back in the olden days, sipping a brew in the pub. Instead of following the crowd of flat logo designs, Guinness actually added detail to its logo in 2016, working “with real harp makers to breathe new life into the legendary logo” that “could be built into an actual harp that would work properly and be in tune.”
Starbucks is loved by many – and dare we say it – is mainly successful because of its brand (although we do love it a latte). They’ve made slight changes over time to the brand, always increasing their user experience and recognizability with a “distinctive color scheme, typography, and illustrations.”
You may not have really noticed Taco Bell’s brand refresh until now – but its cleaner, simpler look has helped it stay relevant among its many fast food and taco chain competitors. Along with this well-done refresh, Taco Bell has been named “one of the healthiest fast-food chains in America,” so, they’re doing quite well.
In 2016, Mastercard conducted a refresh with Pentagram to emphasize “simplicity, connectivity and seamlessness.” It’s simple and sleek look of just the famous two overlapping circles is surprising, but logic-based. “The change follows research by Mastercard that found that more than three quarters of people asked were able to identify the brand from the two interlocking circles alone.
For the first time in 20 years, Burger King conducted a brand refresh with a new logo, uniforms, and packaging – and we love its nostalgic look. The new logo is actually very close to BK’s logo design from the 70s-90s. The creative agency on the project wanted to “pay homage to the brand’s heritage with a refined design that’s confident, simple and fun.”
Last but not least, Intel’s 2020 refresh caught our eye because of its subtle hints to past logos. Again, it refers back to their past while being currently relevant. “This new logo includes elements of both (past logos), but in a much more subtle, minimalist way.”
To take a more in-depth look back at our brand refresh, visit our original refresh blog, here. If you’re looking to make your branding and marketing communications more effective and efficient, give Strata a call.
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Choosing the right multichannel campaign provider can be difficult, especially if you don’t know exactly what you need. Come along as we walk you through a few things to keep in mind when making this decision and understanding what best fits your company’s wants and needs.
Research, Research, Research
When searching for a multichannel provider, make sure you’re choosing one that understands the size of your business, your budget, and your end goals, and one that has experience in every aspect of multichannel marketing, not just one. If you’re stuck, it can be helpful to ask yourself the following questions before getting started; What is the size of your industry? How have sales been? What goals does it make sense for your company to set? It’s important to define your business objectives before starting to search for a partner. At the end of the day, your team members are the only ones that truly know your company, so the more you provide these possible vendors and the more you research, the better.
You know what they say… you’re only as good as your list. Partnering with someone that has the ability to enhance, enrich, and fill the gaps within your data is key. You don’t want a one size fits all approach, because each company is different. Without data, you’ll never know what’s working and what’s not. Crafting not only a list but a targeted list will make all the difference. That includes demographics, psychographics, behavioral, and B2B firmographic info. Considering 51% of companies today use at least eight channels to interact with customers, why wouldn’t you want to start using multichannel marketing?
Want to learn more about the other two components to consider when choosing your multichannel campaign vendor? Click on the video below and hear from our Marketing Manager, Caitlin. Or, if you’d like to discuss this concept with one of our multichannel experts, contact us today to get your next (or maybe your first) multichannel campaign started.