Value Positioning: Feel Better. Work Less. Sell More!

Posted on Apr 23, 2015 | 0 comments

Can we be real for a minute? Sometimes marketing feels like an exercise in futility, doesn’t it? You hire the best employees, craft the perfect solution or create the best product out there, then you lob it over the fence to your peeps only to watch it die a slow, painful, unnoticed death as people fail to trip over themselves in a frenzy to buy from you. You email them. You send them postcards. You blast it all over social media. You email them again. But the sales just fail to manifest and no one seems to be paying any attention. You start to doubt yourself: “Did I do something wrong? Am I over-pricing? Is this product a big waste of everyone’s time? Should I even be promoting this stuff?” You start to hate your customers: “What is wrong with these people? Why don’t they just get with it already?” It’s enough to make you cash in your chips and call it a day. The frustration you feel is real. But, the good news is that there’s an easy fix. The best way to sidestep marketing burn out is to ensure every conversation positions the value you deliver. People want easy solutions. They want instant results. They want to feel or look one hundred times better. They want a glamorous transformation made easy. They don’t want 6.4 fluid ounces of organic shampoo — what they want is shiny, shimmering hair that’s the envy of everyone. The impetus is on YOU to infuse your marketing with value-based propositions. Make it easy for your readers to see WHY they should open your emails, visit your web site, or stop by your store. Here are some solid tactics to help focus on value first: Avoid concentrating ONLY on the details/logistics of your offer. Instead, engage your readers first by showing them you understand how they feel. Spend less time talking about yourself and more time talking about the RESULTS they will get when they work with you. Share social proof and success stories that illustrate WHY your clients really love your services or offerings. Solid value positioning helps your best-fit clients see your brand as a place that understands their challenges and knows how to fix them. Prospective clients know they can get products and services anywhere. But, the rare find is a company that listens to their needs and delivers the results they are looking for. Value positioning ensures your marketing gets noticed. And more importantly – it becomes the effective means of selling your products and services, and changing the lives of the people you love to serve. Did you enjoy this post? If you’d like to get more valuable content like this delivered straight to your inbox, simply subscribe to our email newsletter. Click here to join our tribe. Share...

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Branding Craves Consistency

Posted on Apr 9, 2015 | 0 comments

  How many times has your logo been misprinted? Maybe it was too close to another company’s logo when you sponsored an event. Or maybe some nut-job designer made an executive decision to convert your colors or type your name out in a font they thought looked “close enough.” Maybe even your own in-house team was really feeling the purple end of the color spectrum for your headlines one day. The point is – brand creep happens. And it happens in the blink of an eye. Major corporations spend thousands of dollars developing brand-usage guides that spell out nearly every imaginable design element and application of their brands. They understand the value of a consistent brand impression and are willing to pay a premium to ensure they stay on brand. Brand-usage guides normalize your brand’s look, tone, voice, and messaging. They help you communicate your standards consistently to anyone who touches your brand, including creative vendors, contractors, and in-house employees. When you forego brand standards and build your brand project by project, you run the risk of going “off-script.” This piece-meal approach creates the potential for confusing your customers and undermining your credibility.  A brand-usage guide can be as comprehensive or concise as you need it to be. Some of our corporate clients have guides that include hundreds of pages of detailed rules and best practices. If you want an idea of how detailed brand-usage guides can get, click here. But rest assured; most of our clients get by confidently with a ten to twelve page guide that serves them just fine. Fortunately, you don’t need to hire a branding expert to create a brand-usage guide for your business. In fact, it can be an easy, DIY project that you can start today. All you need is a simple document to capture your brand’s basic standards. What should your brand standards include? Fonts – We recommend no more than two to three fonts you use consistently online and in print. Logo – Ideally, use ONE version of your logo, with clear standards for placement (i.e., in the upper left or lower right, with a specific amount of “safe space” around it). Colors – Choose a primary color palette that is always used, and a secondary color palette, which is used sparingly to augment or complement the primary palette. Image standards – Do your images include people or no people; what types of lighting do you prefer? Do you use illustrations? Tone, voice, and language – Is your tone casual, assertive, or professional? Do you use slang or is your language more formal? Establishing consistent branding guidelines not only strengthens your brand’s presence, it ensures a seamless experience for your customers. When customers feel safe, secure, and confident in your messaging, they are more likely to become loyal members of your tribe.     Ready to lay a reliable brand foundation for your business so you can make more money, work with best-fit clients and build the business of your dreams? Then check out Lab Monkey Brand Academy. Registration closes April 26. The class is limited to 20 participants. Click the button below to learn more! Share...

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The Maddening Truth Behind the Creative Process

Posted on Apr 2, 2015 | 0 comments

Mad Men’s final season kicks off Sunday, April 5th. We’re counting down the days with mixed emotions in our office—excited that it’s back, but sad that it’s coming to a close. You might think a team of people who spend their days dreaming up creative solutions for their clients might not want to watch a TV show that’s essentially based on the very work they do day in and day out. You couldn’t be more wrong. We are obsessed with Mad Men (and maybe a little obsessed with our work, too). While the 1960s styling and unpredictable personal drama make the show infinitely watchable, we’re the nerds who sit up a little taller when the creative team at Sterling Cooper & Partners gathers to brainstorm the night before a big pitch. When Peggy and the boys burn the midnight oil in search of that creative spark, we can’t help but resonate with the glorious agony of being a creative professional! I’ll let you in on a little industry secret—creative people love playing the martyr role! We moan and groan about waiting for inspiration to strike. We act as if what we do is so completely unique that it can’t possibly be constrained to the fluorescent lights and tiny cubicles of the cruel corporate machine! In a past job—I’m not too proud to admit—I got into a heated argument with a writer who owed copy to our client at noon, but was sitting in the window at 10 a.m. watching her spirit animal and waiting on her muse to strike. Her spirit animal was a buzzard by the way, which conveniently urges you to take your time and make decisions slowly. I’m pretty sure we missed that deadline. While creativity certainly requires a fair share of free association and daydreaming, it also benefits strongly from a balanced approach that leverages a little logic. There is undoubtedly a degree of magic that makes what we do exciting and elusive. But we often fail to embrace the more practical aspects of the creative process that actually give our magic a strong foothold in the hearts and minds of our peeps. Yes, we tattoo ourselves with sharpies in meetings. We take “creativity walks” in the middle of the afternoon. We play with toys at our desk. But we also set goals. We write creative briefs exploring our audiences’ deepest desires. We field test our designs and see how they stack up in the real world. We survey target markets. This quote from Don Draper sums up the creative process pretty well, ” … just think about it. Deeply. Then forget it. And an idea will jump up in your face.” Creative people LIKE being shrouded in mystery. But make no mistake about it—the best ideas come from thinking “deeply” as Don Draper says. It’s that deep thinking—setting goals, writing creative briefs, and field-testing—that gives your creative daydreams a real hook in the hearts and minds of your best-fit clients.   Want to explore how you can pair your inner muse with logic and strategy to transform your brand? Then check out Lab Monkey Brand Academy. Registration closes April 26th. Class is limited to 20 participants. Click the button below to learn more! Share...

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