Fast Forward - March 2016
Ready For A Rebrand?
The times, they are always a-changin’. Does that mean your company has to change as well? In some ways, yes. Rebranding is one way to reflect how well you keep up with the times, but introducing ‘the new you’ isn’t as simple as sporting a new logo. Read on for tips on making the most of your plans to rebrand.
Figure out why. Branding is what connects consumers to companies. Well-known brands don’t want to flush all that brand equity down the drain, so it’s important to know exactly why a rebrand is desired, or even necessary. Is it a matter of getting with the times, or reflecting a new slate of services and products? Change can be good—if you are certain of the payoff.
Keep something from the past. Maintain recognition with a single element or group of memorable design pieces that can be incorporated into a new logo, icon or image.
Get everyone’s input. The decision makers in a rebrand shouldn’t be limited to the top brass. Every employee or brand representative is going to carry this new image on their shoulders going forward, so make sure they all get to participate at some level. It’s a way of ensuring everyone is truly on board with the rebrand, and it makes the rollout that much smoother.
Keep it simple. Take advantage of established best practices to pare down your rebranding ideas. Use only those elements that will stand out and stand the test of time—a bright, minimalist color palette, a reader-friendly font, or a sharp and concise tagline.
Explain yourself. Tell stakeholders and end users what you’re doing and why. Reassure them that all the good points of your business—service, favorite employees, favorite products—aren’t changing, but the way you deliver or package those elements is being upgraded.
A Storied Passion
Five Minutes With Terry Dodd, MAS
Somewhere between a 20-year career with industry supplier The Vernon Company and 20 years as an independent multi-line rep for his own Dodd Consulting Group, Terry Dodd, MAS, has managed to churn out more than a few stories. He spoke with PPB about his latest book, Mirror Magic, and about the inspiration he drew from his work as a promotional products professional.
PPB How long have you been writing, and what kinds of stories have you written?
Dodd I’ve been writing for about 25 years; it’s both a hobby and a passion. I’ve written three memoirs and seven novels. One of my memoirs was about the loss of my first wife to cancer; another was about my juggling ministry, which I use to share the gospel at assisted living facilities. My seven novels are based on everything from historical fiction to science fiction to romance. There’s a Christian element to every one of my books.
PPB Mirror Magic is a mystery that is set in the promotional products industry. What’s the story about?
Dodd Part of the book is about a struggle between a promotional mirror supplier and a distributor, but it is also about subliminal messaging; the mind can register information outside of awareness. The book is obviously fiction, but it relates to the industry itself.
PPB What inspired you to choose an industry trade show as the backdrop for this story?
Dodd Like anything in promotional products, you see one thing and it makes you think of another. I’ve had a longtime fascination with promotional mirrors, and I saw an opportunity to further develop the plot at a trade show. The first chapter is devoted to a specific trade show; I mention PPAI several times in the story.
PPB What methods do you use to promote your work; in particular, Mirror Magic?
Dodd My books are self-published, so I can get them into print quickly. Mirror Spirit, an industry supplier, has a full-page ad in the book, which I traded for three custom backlit mirrors with the book title on them. The book is also available as an ebook, and I offer autographed print copies to readers through my site, terrygdoddbooks.com
Tired of tracking down data to prove to the naysayers that your marketing efforts are working? If you’re an Apple user, you might want to look at Databox. Billed as a personal data assistant, the app notifies registered users when changes occur in metrics compiled on several platforms, including Google Analytics, Salesforce, HubSpot, Twitter and Facebook.
Once you’ve got said data in the palm of your hand, how do you make it work for you—and your customer? Databox blogger Matt Black offers these tips:
Make The Connection
Everyone on your team could use data to their advantage, so help them see how their roles connect with information and to your company’s bigger picture.
Since 65 percent of us are considered visual learners, turn those numbers into infographics or other forms of visualization to help metrics make more sense. Use terms your team understands to explain the data you provide.
Work with data as often as possible, in as many ways as possible. Find meaningful ways to integrate metrics into everyday tasks and short-term goals, and incentivize employees to use data for building your client base and growing your bottom line.
Getting Around The Block
Ad blockers have earned the wrath of digital advertisers, who stand to lose billions in revenue thanks to these online tools, and many digital content heavyweights are fighting back by banning, or installing paywalls for, users who keep such tools in place. But some ad industry experts see the conflict as an opportunity to learn more about the consumer.
Some advertisers are beginning to change how they approach their outreach, switching to formats such as native ads to be less intrusive into the user’s digital experience. Pre-roll video ads have been cited as the biggest driver of ad-blocking growth, says Ben Williams, spokesman and operations manager for popular blocking software company Adblock Plus.
Of course, more subtle advertising doesn’t address concerns over privacy and malware, both issues that top the list of reasons users install ad-blocking software in the first place. To ease privacy fears, Williams says pop-up ad producers might consider removing the trackers that drop cookies onto their customers’ devices.
Take A Better Break At Work
How many times did you check Facebook before you finished that report? Was it more often than running to the break room for a coffee refill? If you thought you checked Facebook more often—well, you would be wrong. Traditional workplace distractions still outpace technological ones, according to a study of 1,000 full-time workers in the U.S.
Of the top eight distractions reported by survey respondents, taking non-lunch breaks to visit the office kitchen/break room/water cooler took up the most time. Using social media for non-work purposes ranked seventh (watching TV on the computer or a mobile device was eighth).
However, the highest ranking time-suck was also believed to be one of the best ways to enhance workplace productivity, according to the survey. The majority of respondents said they felt social media and talking to family members on the phone were the greatest hindrances to productivity at work.
Of course, the mere act of taking a break won’t guarantee better quality work. A study by two Baylor University management professors found that it’s what you do on your break that matters. In the study, participants who performed a preferred activity (one they enjoyed) during breaks reported greater productivity when they returned to work-relevant tasks.
The study also found that mid-morning breaks prove more beneficial to resource recovery; the closer to waking up the participants took a break, the more energy, motivation and concentration they experienced.