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Five Elements to Consider Before Rebranding

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According to the Pew Research Center, nearly two-thirds of Americans own smartphones and use mobile devices as an entry point to the online world. Companies that recognize this trend seek ways to develop a strong mobile strategy, especially within the rebranding process.

Here are five elements to consider about mobile strategy before rebranding:

  1. Apps
    Apps can keep users engaged and become another platform through which they can interact with your brand. According to data from Nielsen, consumer preferences for mobile apps account for 89% of media time in mobile from the use of social networks, email and news apps. Although apps can be a positive asset to your mobile strategy, you first need to evaluate the purpose and value of launching an app. If your app will feature the exact same content from your mobile site, don’t spend time or money developing it.
  1. Website Design
    According to comScore, the amount of users who use Internet exclusively on mobile devices have exceeded the amount of users on desktop devices. If you want to provide users with a positive brand experience, your website should be mobile-friendly and employ responsive design so that it is easily viewed on different mobile devices.
  1. Language
    Many brands change their logo or name during the rebranding process to reflect a new identity, such as promoting new values or characteristics. The language used by your brand should reflect the new identity by choosing a tone that will ultimately build a deeper connection with consumers. A perfect way to utilize the new language can be through push notifications in a mobile app that will address users in a relatable tone.
  1. Audience
    Your new brand’s audience will change slightly during the rebranding process, which affords an opportunity for you to be specific about who you want to attract. Go ahead and test different groups as potential target audiences through mobile ad targeting, before adopting a specific group in your overall strategy.
  1. Marketing Campaign
    If there is a significant change to your brand, such as a logo, slogan or name change, you should make a huge effort to educate the market about those changes. The messages you are trying to send and the new image should be clearly understood to the public in order to avoid negative feedback. A great way to educate the market is to launch a mobile advertising campaign that presents the audience with the new brand messaging. It will allow the public to learn the new concept before they have strong judgments against the changes and it will set the tone for a successful rebranding campaign.

For specific examples of how these strategies were implemented, click here!

If you need more information, contact us at info@lavozmarketing.com. La Voz Marketing can help you with your company’s rebranding process and mobile strategy!

How to Succeed at Visual Marketing

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Customers are craving visual content and brands are aiming to give them what they want. Here are some recommendations on how to succeed at visual marketing through Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube:

Instagram

  • Feature your fans to increase visibility of your product, gain brand loyalty and increase sales
  • Hold contests and giveaways to increase brand engagement by requiring fans to “like”, comment, repost or participate in a photo challenge
  • Use short, memorable hashtags that tie back to your product and create a conversation

Pinterest

  • All content should be high-quality and aesthetically pleasing to advertise your product in the best light possible
  • Be creative by showcasing different sides of your brand and organizing them on different boards, which humanizes your brand and provides consumers with an in-depth look into your brand
  • Be inspirational by giving your audience the motivation they need to make positive changes and ultimately convert casual browsers into dedicated fans of your brand

YouTube

  • Actively participate and engage with your audience to expand your channel and help keep your channel alive
  • Understand your audience and make content specifically for them to keep their interest and increase brand awareness
  • Consistently publish content on one channel versus using more than one channel to increase visibility, subscriptions and engagement

For specific examples on how these tips have been successful, check out Entrepreneur’s recent article!

Invest in Your Internal Brand

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Once you have budget to invest in your brand, you may be wondering if it is best spent on a local television commercial or an ad on YouTube. Instead, we encourage you to consider investing in your people!

Google, for example, has spent little on advertising and more on its employer brand. Its main focus is on getting and retaining the best employees, knowing customers will follow. Google invests in its people and its “People” team by paying some of the highest salaries, giving out the best perks and having the most stringent hiring process. As a result, its team morale improves, workers are engaged and there is less turnover. In addition, Google employees brag about the investment, which is organic marketing at its finest.

AETNA, the health insurance company, offers another great example of a company investing in its employees. On April 30th, AETNA announced a raise to its lowest-paid workers to $16 an hour.  Mark Bertolini, CEO of AETNA, believes the raise could pay for itself by causing workers to be more productive. Approximately 5,700 employees will be affected by this pay raise, including people who have made ends meet by seeking public assistance such as food stamps or Medicaid for their children. Although some people are skeptical about this tactic, Bertolini stays firm in his belief that it is the right thing to do and many people agree.

A few weeks before AETNA’s announcement, Gravity Payments’ CEO Dan Price also gave his employees a pay raise.  He cut about 90% from his salary, nearly $1 million, and gave it to his employees. Not only is he getting widespread media attention for the pay raise and his sacrifice, but he is developing a stronger company culture.

LVM hopes that you find these stories inspiring! Investing in your internal brand is a new way to think about branding and a great way to improve the lives of your employees. For more information about branding, contact us at info@lavozmarketing.com.

Improve Your Website Homepage

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Potential clients will make a judgment about your service or product without really knowing what it’s all about. Why? Your homepage may prevent them from navigating their way to learn more about your offering.

A study conducted by Google found that a user could form judgments of attractiveness or trust within 1/50th of a second based on context or visual complexity on a website. As Hubspot mentioned, “Homepages are the online version of a handshake at a networking event”.  So, you need to make a good first impression!

Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind when developing your homepage:

Make it Simple

According to Harvard Business Review, a study revealed that over 7,000 consumers make their decisions to buy a product, revisit a website and recommend it to others based on their experience navigating through the site.

Tips:

  • Remove extraneous elements
  • Create more white space
  • Move content below the fold
  • Look at other websites and use a familiar layout

Make it Usable

We are sure you have heard the saying “less is more”. Right? To make a homepage usable and effective, it has to be easy to use.

Tips:

  • Identify your goal for website browsers and make that the central goal of your homepage.
  • Step into users’ shoes. What are they looking for? What are they trying to accomplish? Why are they there in the first place?
  • Reduce options on header menus, calls to action, social icons and other clickable elements. By doing so, you will remove distraction. Too many options can be distracting for users.

Create a call to action

As mentioned previously, your homepage must align with your overall goal for users.  Don’t forget to make that call to action!

Tips:

  • Use a prominent headline that calls for action
  • Clearly make a unique selling proposition on your homepage
  • If relevant, feature a large call-to-action button above the fold

La Voz Marketing can help you develop an effective, responsive-design website that achieves your desired goal. For more information, contact us at info@lavozmarketing.com.

Increase Your Email Marketing Budget this Year

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Statistics indicate that email marketing is successful and companies are seeing substantial ROI in the marketing medium. Here are five reasons why you should increase your email marketing budget this year:

  1. Email Marketing is Increasing
    According to Salesforce, 73 percent of marketers claimed email marketing was a core strategy for their business. It is becoming a trend to use it and you shouldn’t fall behind. In fact, eMarketer says 69.7 percent of US Internet users prefer email as the method of communicating with businesses.
  1. Email Marketing Helps Existing Campaigns
    You can direct attention to your website by offering sneak peaks of some of your content, or increase your social media followers by inviting people to share deals on social media.
  1. A small increase in your budget can lead to big returns
    Email marketing tools, such as MailChimp or Constant Contact, can help you get started on your email marketing efforts without a budget. Once you learn how email marketing works, don’t be afraid to upgrade! Spending extra money on your email designs will attract potential customers and increase both brand loyalty and engagement.
  1. Objectively measure your results
    Every email you send out will be tracked by the email marketing tool that you use. At the very least, you will be able to do the following

-Monitor your delivery rates
-Monitor your open rates
-Monitor the total number of click-throughs

Your conversion rates will help you to determine whether your email marketing budget and efforts are enabling a profitable return. Find out what is working and what is not working using the data you’ve collected.

  1. People demand more
    Serve your people with great designs, appealing copy, and better offers such as giveaways, discounts, and special deals. According to Salesforce, marketers consider email content and design as the most critical aspect of an email by 79 percent and as one of the most effective aspects of an email by 66 percent. Mobile-friendly email designs should also be something to consider since Forrester’s research reports that 72 percent of US online adults send or receive personal emails through their smartphones at least weekly.

For more information about email marketing, contact us at info@lavozmarketing.com.

LVM Supports 16th Annual Newport Beach Film Festival

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The Newport Beach Film Festival kicked off on Thursday, April 23rd with the Opening Night Gala featuring a screening of Russel Crowe’s directorial debut, “The Water Diviner” This post-World War I Battle of Gallipoli film tells the story of an Australian farmer who travels to Turkey to find his three missing sons. Karen Lanyon, Consul-general for the Australian Consulate-General, shared that this year marks the 100th anniversary of the battle and it’s very close to the hearts of many Australians.

Actors, directors, and city council members, alongside La Voz Marketing, gathered to support the 16th annual film festival that brings the best of classic and contemporary filmmaking from around the world. The Festival provides a forum for cultural understanding and enriching educational opportunities by showcasing a diverse collection of both studio and independent films.

This year, the film festival showcases about 150 feature films and 200 short films from more than 50 countries. Special spotlights highlight films from the United Kingdom, Canada, Europe, and Ireland. The Festival also features Latino, European, and Pacific Rim Showcases.

The Newport Beach Festival is not only open to filmmakers and VIPs, but to anyone who has an interest in supporting the creation and advancement of innovative and artistic cinematic works. “[W]e have something for everyone,” says Gregg Schwenk, co-founder and CEO of the festival. New additions this year include horror films, outdoor screenings of throwbacks like “Clueless” and even a showcase of old Disney clips!

The Festival proudly embraces the passion, vision and independent spirit of both emerging and seasoned filmmakers. LVM encourages you to participate in events like these to support arts and culture in Orange County!

The European Showcase starts tonight with films from Sweden, France, and Italy. The Festival also includes a special screening of “A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story” and a guest visit from Lizzie herself tonight at the Regency South Coast Village in Santa Ana.

Tomorrow the Latino Showcase will feature Chilean, Brazilian and Mexican Spotlights. Enjoy a special discount on a combo ticket of any of those films and the after party by using the code: NBFFLATINO.

Stay connected by following them on Twitter and ‘liking’ them on Facebook!

A Smart Investment: Tapping into the Hispanic Market

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It’s not a surprise that the Hispanic market is rapidly growing. So what is the #1 tip when targeting US Hispanics?

Develop strong culturally relevant messages.

Many companies have made the mistake of simply translating their English content into Spanish without considering the consistency of the message.  Seasoned PR and marketing experts within the Hispanic market will tell you that it’s not enough. A “one-size fits all” approach will not work. Spanish is only a small part of a marketing strategy for the Hispanic market, of course, only if your audience prefers Spanish.

Current studies show that Hispanics dislike being viewed as a consumer segment. Instead, Hispanics prefer companies and organizations that make an effort to understand their culture and their needs. Through that process, Hispanics seek to build loyalty with brands that properly represent their voices and unique identity or with brands that empower their heritage by embracing their cultural characteristics.

Let’s take a look at the automobile industry.

eMarketer’s study in 2013 on the new-vehicle sales growth showed the US Hispanic automobile shopper is more likely to buy a car than the general market. Sarah Hasson, Senior Vice President (Automotive) in Univision’s Strategy & Insights Group, conducted a study revealing 20% of all new vehicle sales growth in 2013 were Hispanics.

Clearly, targeting the Hispanic market is a good investment for an automobile company, but what are those companies doing to achieve success?

Univision’s report reveals “leading brands all have awareness in the range of 60% to 71%, which is no surprise, given how active these brands are in Spanish-language media, and the consistent and culturally relevant messaging they’ve employed over the last 20+ years.”

Toyota has been the top-selling brand to Hispanics for over 10 years, due to effective marketing, public relations, community relations and stakeholder and influencer engagement. Toyota is also involved with several Hispanic events and conferences throughout the year to engage with the Latino community and to thank them for their business. “We strive to remain close to the market in order to understand each unique culture and be able to speak about the opportunities that Toyota vehicles provide in the most relevant and respectful way,” said Javier Moreno, manager of external affairs and communications for Toyota Motor North America Inc.

According to Pew Research, Hispanics are the most active group on social media in the United States.  Toyota has used that to their advantage to also engage with Hispanics on social media, using hashtags that are culturally relevant to Hispanics.  Honda, another automobile company successfully reaching the Hispanic market, also used social media to deepen engagement and build relationships with Hispanics by @HondaLatino Twitter account.

Honda and La Agencia have established a four-tier approach to market to U.S. Latinos, which includes cultural enrichment, community support, sports marketing, and product advertising. As a result, Honda’s Civic Sedan and Accord Sedan have been the #1 and #2 selling models to Hispanics for the past 8 years.

If you are seeking to develop culturally relevant programs for the Hispanic market, La Voz Marketing can help!  Click here to read a few case studies about how we helped our clients strengthen their relationship with US Latinos. For more information, contact us at info@lavozmarketing.com.

Finding a Catalyst to Ignite Change in Your Brand

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Every year brands seek to increase their favorability, but only a few are successful in doing so. If you are wondering what you can do to increase your business’ impact, find a catalyst. Forbes considers catalysts as the “bold, simple and powerful statements that indicate what a company stands for, where they are going, and what matters – to customers and employees”. Companies with outperforming brands had leaders who focused on how the brand could communicate its strengths, which in turn energized and accelerated the business.

Catalysts are focused on long-term brand commitment by stripping away distractions, honing in on what matters most, and showing a clear vision. To find a catalyst that will ignite a change in your brand, look in these three places:

  1. Your brand’s expression

You may already have the inspiration for your catalyst in the words and symbols representing your brand. Use that to your advantage.

For a broad change or already loved brands, a powerful catalyst can also be a new visual brand identity.

  1. Your brand’s experience

Most of the time your brand is already taking the right action, without creating a big buzz. As marketers, you should be able to identify those actions and highlight them. For example, if a new business strategy is implemented in a large company, embrace it by aligning branding, communication and PR efforts around that new strategy.

  1. Your employees

Don’t take this part for granted. Your employees have a great impact, both internally and externally. Employees need to be aware and supportive of a common goal or purpose to successfully deliver the brand externally.

For examples on how catalysts have ignited change in companies’ brands, please check out Forbes’ article.

Dove’s Campaign is Really Making a Difference

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Dove wanted to rebrand itself by doing something out of the ordinary. Many advertisements for beauty products target women and the media has a certain way they portray ‘beautiful women‘. After discovering, through a survey, that only two percent of women across different countries consider themselves beautiful, Dove launched its “Campaign for Real Beauty” in 2004.

According to Dove, the campaign was created to provoke discussion and encourage debate. In 2010, the brand evolved its campaign vision to provide women with opportunities to mentor the next generation and celebrate real beauty. Since Dove launched this ongoing campaign, they have increased sales and succeeded in increasing women’s confidence. Dove’s latest film, for example, encourages girls to love their curls as only 4 out of 10 curly-haired girls love their hair.

After seeing the results of their initial survey, Dove was not only focused on rebranding itself but wanted to make a difference in the way women viewed themselves. Their latest video is a testament to their success.

LVM provides branding solutions that will help you make a difference. To learn more about branding, please read our recent blog Branding Your Startup or contact us at info@lavozmarketing.com.

 

Branding Your Startup

Branding your startup this year will be challenging but full of opportunities. Use these four proven strategies to brand your startup:

1) Tell stories

Tell a story about your brand; but most importantly, brand yourself as a storyteller. Make a bigger impact on your potential customers by telling stories that evoke emotion.

It’s becoming a new trend for marketers to brand themselves as storytellers instead of telling a story about their brand. Potential customers should remember your brand from your stories, not from telling them how you want to be seen.

2) Take a stand

Instead of focusing on the revenue, focus on causes. If you want to get the millennials’ attention, you need to be a cause-driven business. What we mean by cause-driven business is that you shouldn’t make the mistake of only doing cause-driven marketing. Millennials are becoming less trusting of those strategies.

3) Defy expectations

Steer away from competition by defying conventions within your industry. Depending on your industry and your audience, you will have to decide which conventions to break and determine the extent that you will defy them.

4) Focus on great design

It might not seem as a surprise, but prioritize making products and experiences remarkable for your customers.

To learn about specific examples where these strategies were successful, visit Entrepreneur’s recent article on branding.

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