branding

LVM President + Renowned Author and Concordia University Professor Educate Millennials on Personal Branding and Thriving in Today’s Market

Stacey from TEOC event
La Voz Marketing President, Stacey Kaszton Jones, was invited to speak at
The Elite OC’s May Educational Schmoozer, alongside Dr. Chip Espinoza of Concordia University.  The two speakers educated over 100 attendees on personal branding and thriving as a millennial in today’s market.  Dr. Chip Espinoza is the co-author of “Millennials@Work: The 7 Skills Every Twenty-Something Needs to Overcome Roadblocks and Achieve Greatness At Work” and “Managing the Millennials: Discover the Core Competencies for Managing Today’s Workforce.” He is also Academic Director of the Organizational Psychology program at Concordia University Irvine.

The Elite OC, with the support of Concordia University Irvine, hosts quarterly Educational Schmoozers that offer information about relevant topics. This quarter attendees listened to Stacey Jones talk about the power of personal branding and how one can establish and fortify their personal brand to achieve greatness.  Dr. Espinoza spoke about thriving as a millennial in the workplace, and how millennials can stand out among their peers and excel in the workplace alongside Baby Boomer and Generation X colleagues.

As part of its mission, The Elite OC raises awareness and donations for a local nonprofit organization at each event.  LVM’s client, the Newport Beach Public Library Foundation, was the highlighted charity for this event.  The Foundation funds valuable library resources and programs –– engaging the community in cultural and intellectual adventure through the sponsorship of diverse public programs and cutting-edge library enhancements.  Aside from funding the library’s Media Lab, the Foundation also funds plenty of educational community programs, such as the Witte Lectures and Library Live series, the monthly Medicine in Our Backyard, book discussion groups, financial workshops, and children’s events and programs.TEOC Image

The Foundation relies on its members’ support to fund the programs at the library that support education and culture in our community. If you’re interested in giving to this organization, click here.

The Elite OC has monthly schmoozers where attendees get the opportunity to network with like-minded young professionals while giving back to the local community. You can find information about upcoming events, how to become a member or about the organization’s partner charities on their website.

If you have any questions about personal branding or about millennials in the workforce, email us at info@lavozmarketing.com.

Re-Evaluating and Renewing Your Brand for 2016

NewYearGoalsIt’s a new year…so perhaps it is time to reinvent and think about those resolutions. It’s also time to evaluate the past year and move forward with those new ideas that you shelved. Setting new goals and resolutions for your business and brand is just as important as setting those personal resolutions.

Looking back at 2015, what efforts and campaigns did you execute? Did they work for your brand? These tips will help you to re-evaluate or re-invent your company’s brand to appeal better to your audience. If your resolution is to finally launch that business you’ve been dreaming of, then these tips are great tools for you to make it a reality in 2016!

1. Know your audience
What services/products does your business offer and who are you targeting? Asking this question is a good first step to understand if you’re appealing to the right group. All marketing tools and tactics that you employ will need to be relevant to your target audience, so you don’t waste your efforts. Learn about the interests, needs and concerns of your audience. Surveying your audience is a great way to get to know them and get feedback directly because you can ask questions about what they want, what their preferences are, and what you as a brand can do to fulfill them.

2. Ask yourself what goals you would like to achieve.
Are you looking to increase awareness, increase sales, or a combination of the two? For any campaign, it’s important to have a goal and a plan in mind. Listing your goals will help keep your company’s view and messaging focused. Getting to know your audience will help you define what goals are most realistic. Then, moving forward, keep going back to that goal to ensure you’re staying on strategy and on message.

3. Ensure your messages align with your brand’s voice.
Your brand is the personality and essence of your company. In Forbes’ article “Why Branding is Important,” Scott Goodson says, “Brands are psychology and science brought together as a promise mark as opposed to a trademark. Products have life cycles. Brands outlive products.” If you develop your brand with the proper messaging and audience in mind, it will expand and grow over time.

Researching and knowing your audience, again, is key in this realm. If your target audience is a younger demographic, you might want to adjust your brand’s voice to appeal to that target group. The use of images appeals to all audiences, but especially to younger groups. If you’re just launching your startup, you’ll want to develop your brand properly. Create a mission statement and a voice that conveys what your business does and why you’re doing it.

4. What channels does your brand use to communicate?
Surveying your audience first can help you determine the best ways to communicate. Ask them if they use Instagram. Ask yourself if that medium is an appropriate tool for your brand to use. You don’t need to be present on all channels of social media, but if you’re going to be on a channel, do it well. Use the media that best appeals to your brand and audience. Plan your posts ahead of time. Tailor your posts to what your audience wants to hear and decide what is relevant for you to share. There are so many ways to reach your audience, from snail mail and email to Instagram and Periscope – the proper connection is key.

5. Tell stories, share experiences.
Consumers are valuing experiences more and more, and the social tools available are making it easier than ever to appeal to that. With apps like Periscope or Meerkat, you can live-stream an event and share it with your consumers. With Instagram, you share your brand purely through images. This can help build a connection between the company and the consumer. In Psychology Today, Pamela B. Rutledge Ph.D., M.B.A. said, “When organizations, causes, brands or individuals identify and develop a core story, they create and display authentic meaning and purpose that others can believe, participate with, and share.”

Starting a company blog is another way to share your message, while giving consumers insight into your brand. You can share stories about impacts your business has made, for example. A blog is a great way to build a connection with your audience and your company. Consumers don’t want to interact with a big corporation; they want to feel the personalized, intimate connection of a small start-up. They want to share your experiences and understand your brand.
If you’re looking to start your business or make a change to your brand this new year, contact us at info@lavozmarketing.com

The Basics of Branding Your Startup

The Basics of Branding Your Startup

According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), about half of startups survive five years and only one-third survive ten years. Although the economy has been improving, new businesses are still at risk of failure. New Business Incubators are on the rise, especially in California, and are a great way for businesses to gain mentorship and industry connections. However, they are not a sure-fire way to create a successful business.

Entrepreneur Gareth Forde from the startup “Tiny Kicks”, a product that measures the movement and number of kicks within the womb to help mothers and doctors track fetal health, spoke to the OC Register earlier this year about his acceptance to the EvoNexus business incubator in Irvine.

“The overwhelming reality of being in an incubator is it’s only as good as how engaged you are,” he said. “It’s probably one of the biggest drivers of success, the level of work and commitment of (your) team.”

Another key driver of business success is branding and engaging your audience through messaging.

Without a consistent, well-developed brand, a business can fail to reach the proper audiences or fail to accurately engage the intended audience because of incorrect messaging.

One important step to developing your brand is to ask the key questions: Who, What, Where, When, Why and How? – not quite in that order.

What: What is your business? What is the problem or issue your business is aiming to solve or address? Your business should be trying to say something through its products. What is it trying to say? What is the message?

Who: Who is your target audience? Who will be interested in your business or product? Who are you intending to reach? What is your target audience like? Are they young, old, professionals, parents? Audience demographics are key in determining how to market your product and create the proper messaging.

Why: Why is your business or product important? Why is it different than other similar businesses? The truth is, there are very few original ideas anymore…so why should a client or customer pay attention to your business over the competitors?

How: How will you develop your business’ voice and personality? Will you use social media to engage your audience? Will you have a website? How will your website’s design, logo and verbiage convey your message?

Where: Where will you reach your target audience? Is it best to reach them at trade shows or online? Are mailers effective? Understanding where your audience engages is key to ensuring you are heard.

When: When are you launching your business? It’s best to understand your brand and develop it before you launch your business. Developing a timeline can keep you organized and keep your message on point.
Asking these basic, but important, questions will help you develop a strong company brand. Your brand is the essence of the business – it’s your unique differentiator, your mission, your personality and more.

If you have any questions about the key branding and marketing steps to starting a business, please email info@lavozmarketing.com.

LVM + BisNow OC Construction and Development Conference

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La Voz Marketing recently attended BisNow’s 3rd Annual OC Construction and Development Conference.  The event attracted industry leaders and newcomers alike, all ready to discuss what it takes to get a new project off the ground in the current market.  The panelists shared insights on unique strategies behind creative renovation and repositioning of existing assets.

Here are some of the key takeaways:

  • Creativity is being rewarded in the current market, whether for design or how a deal is structured. The best marketing for a project is the quality of its design and brand.
  • From a demand standpoint, there are large differences in the tenant/buyer mix between the current cycle and the last cycle. From 2004 to 2007 most of the industrial development projects in Orange County were smaller buildings driven primarily by SBA financing. During the recovery and expansion cycle, however, demand has been most prominent in larger buildings.
  • Developers have to pay close attention to their basis to generate their desired return. Ever-increasing land costs, higher fees and an increase in construction costs leave developers with no other option. Many new projects require substantially higher equity contributions for the investor/developer to get started during the last cycle.
  • Investment capital is coming from overseas and from other sources. Investors are competing with users for small or large vacant buildings. Chinese business owners and investors are buying most of the industrial buildings.

Just as creative design is being rewarded, creative branding for properties and developments helps drive demand as well.  La Voz Marketing specializes in creative branding and marketing for office, retail, commercial and industrial properties.  Contact us at info@lavozmarketing.com for more information on our real estate specific services.

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.

How Digital Television can Benefit Your Brand

Digital TV

 

A Nielsen report, Shifts in Viewing: The Cross Platform Report Q2 2014, reported an undeniable shift in television viewing habits amongst American consumers.  Although viewership on traditional television is reporting a decrease, the consumption of multimedia content continues to rise.  Millennials, generation x and baby boomers alike are increasing their viewing time on digital devices.  Digital viewership has also increased by two percent among Hispanics, eight percent among Blacks and ten percent among Asians.  This shift in television viewing habits gives brands a unique opportunity to connect with consumers on multiple platforms.

Digital advertising gives brands the ability to direct consumers to its landing page from an ad.   Brands can also engage in pop culture conversations online and share video links on online platforms.  For example, DiGiorno Pizza’s witty tweets during NBC’s Sound of Music Live garnered the brand publicity in a way unheard of over five years ago. Also, brands can create their own digital television programs for their audience’s enjoyment.  Chipotle developed a web series, Farmed and Dangerous, which stresses the importance of Chipotle’s stance on food safety and sustainable farming without placing a burrito in the show.  Denny’s recently launched a web series, “The Grand Slams” which will feature its favorite breakfast items and their stories.  According to Restaurant News, “the series targets millennials designed for viral social media play.”  Just like social media, brands that are innovators and early adopters in the digital television space will reap the benefits in the future.

 

 

The Future of Marketing and Public Relations

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In a recent Fast Company article, Jarone Ashkenazi discusses the future of public relations and its changing landscape in today’s business world.  Prior to the internet, public relations used to operate under the filter down theory and public relations practitioners relied on traditional media to get the word out.  In today’s world, public relations, marketing and social media are interdependent on each other and a brand and its audience communicate in a dialogue.   Although the storytelling aspect remains the same, measuring the tactics’ effects on sales and marketing goals is more critical than measuring impressions solely.

The future of public relations and marketing will have a huge effect on a brand if practitioners do not adapt to today’s business world.  In line with the article, La Voz Marketing recommends the following tactics to help your brand adapt to the future of marketing and public relations:

  • Write your brand’s story

Many brands have the opportunity to share their story through various online channels such as websites, blogs and social media.  Although engaging influencers and pitching news outlets is still important, you do not have to wait for someone else to share your story.  A google search that directs consumers to a problem-solving product that your brand offers will drive conversions.

  • Monitor all of your brand’s conversations online and offline

Listen to the conversations your audience is having about your brand.  You will learn about the positive aspects and things you need to improve.  A crisis can be avoided by simply listening.  Monitoring the conversations may also lead to a potential story idea for your brand’s blog and influencers.

  • Join your audience on new social networks

If your audience is active on a new social network, your brand should join the conversation.  It will help your brand in the long run.  However, we do not recommend for that you join every new social network.

  • Provide an opportunity for your audience to collaborate on content creation

A collaborative effort of content creation will engage your consumers and allow them to become a part of your brand.  For example, Doritos created the $1M Doritos Super Bowl ad contest which encouraged consumers to create a Doritos ad for the opportunity to be shown at the Super Bowl.  Besides impressing the Doritos execs, the $1M Doritos Super Bowl ad was chosen by the general public.

  • Demonstrate your brand’s value to your audience

At the end of the day, your brand must demonstrate value to your consumers.  People are utilizing and will continue to purchase your product if it’s value is demonstrated consistently.  When brand trust is proven, consumers will recommend your product to others.

How to Engage your Consumers in Brand Storytelling

Storytelling

An Adaptly and Facebook study, called ‘The Science of Social Media Advertising’, found that campaigns that told a brand story before asking people to buy something were more effective.  The social media advertising technology firm noticed an 87% increase in people visiting the landing page and a 56% increase in subscription rates among the people exposed to the sequenced ads.

Since Adaptly and Facebook have reaffirmed the importance of storytelling in social media advertising, brands may wonder what is an engaging way to share its story.  LVM recommends structuring your story with a plot that is found throughout literature and all cultures.  Listed below are seven plot lines (and examples) that are found throughout literature, pop culture, and mentioned in the book The Seven Basic Plots by Christopher Booker.

1. Overcoming the Monster:  From David and Goliath to Harry Potter, this plot capitalizes on the story’s hero winning battles against dominant, more powerful characters.  It truly is the underdog story.

2. Rebirth:  A plot featuring second chances and renewal, characters receive a new beginning and learn from the past.  In the Disney classic Beauty and the Beast, the Beast receives his rebirth through Belle’s love and kiss.

3. Quest:  The main characters strive to reach from point A to point B and face obstacles along the way.  Monty Python and the Holy Grail best demonstrates this plot in a humorous way.

4. Journey and Return:  After the main character travels to a distant land and returns home, he or she will undergo a transformation of self-discovery.  Many people watched Dorothy undergo a transformation in the Wizard of Oz as she traveled Oz with her new friends and Toto.

5. Rags to Riches: As the struggle of poverty inspires hard work, the character manifests riches of wealth and prosperity.  Many fiction stories feature this plot line including Disney’s Cinderella.

6. Tragedy: Shakespeare is best known for telling the stories of humanity’s dark side and the vanity.  Stories such as Romeo and Juliet highlight the emotion and tragedy while telling an important message.

7. Comedy:  Everybody loves stories that make them laugh and showcase unusual solutions to solve a problem.

If you are interested in learning how brands have utilized these plots in their storytelling, LVM recommends you read this post in Ad Week. By telling your brand story with one of the plots listed above, you will identify an emotional trigger within your audience and turn them into buyers.

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