Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Seeing God In Branding

For many years it has been fashionable to hate on brands, branding and brand practitioners alike. We are seen as evil corporate attackers against the pure state of affairs that is un-adulteration.

But the reality is not as it seems. In fact, the practice of branding, done well and ethically, brings out our inner spirituality.

This is true in a couple of ways.
  • For one thing, brands work well because they mirror the human drive to know God, the inner unity behind all things.
  • For another, brands work against human division by showing how diversity is in fact part of a larger reality.
  • For a third, the highest kind of branding taps into our spiritual need for affiliation with those who share our values. As commodity items are all essentially the same, the only real difference in the end is what and who we identify with.
It is unfortunate that this art/science is traditionally misused for the wrong ends.

The way you can tell? It leaves you troubled, disgruntled, and unconvinced.
Copyright 2017 by Dannielle Blumenthal, Ph.D. All opinions are Dr. Blumenthal's own. All rights reserved. CC0 Image via GDJ/Pixabay.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

5 Brand Trends for 2018

These are my predictions for 2018:

1) Blockchain industry to generate many products and services - branded virtual currency, smart contracts, training, staffing and backup.

2) Cannabis to expand its march toward legalization and regulation for medical and recreational use, leading to branded products, accessories, treatment practices, magazines and resorts.

3) Alexa, Siri, AI to begin to take off as human companionship is supplanted by robots that can alleviate the eternal loneliness of the human condition and help us to get stuff done. 

4) Similar to #3 but more focused on emotional and physical intimacy, expect the beginning of mass adoption of virtual assistants, daytime companions, nighttime spooners, cuddle parties and sex robots. 

5) Guns, martial arts and swordfighting: Look for self-defense to continue to gain traction with consumers seeking out products, training, and recreational activities related to survival. 


Copyright Dr. Dannielle Blumenthal. Opinions my own. Graphic by me.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Addictive ThredUp

You feel better when you’re dressed nicely.

We used our most recent shopping credit to pick up a cool black skirt and shoes—black sneakers, white sole.

What brand it is doesn’t matter. It’s the energy.
Check out all these cool links to the types of clothes we like—most recently, stylish work blazers, skirts and shoes you can walk in.
The special promo code for my readers is: DOCDANNIELLE

Use it to get 50% off through the month of November 2017.

All opinions my own. Compensated post.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Sugarloaf Crafts Festival 2017: A Marketing Perspective

So we attended the Sugarloaf Crafts Festival in Gaithersburg, MD yesterday. You can still head up there today (October 23, 2017) if you're available and have interest.

Probably my favorite thing about these types of events is actually talking to the artists. Like the one in the cover photo, who was selling mezuzot made of her mother's lace, rescued from the Holocaust.

I had the good fortune to meet Tracy Levesque, a self-taught artist whose work is simply stunning (see photos above and below).

What I appreciated about Tracy was that she made the effort to produce items an average person could buy, like the coasters, which were 4 for $35. As she helpfully explained, you could put them on the wall if you think they're too nice for drinks. Here's a link to her Etsy store. Based on quality alone, I love this art but the populist element adds to its appeal.

Someone was selling salad bowls and I stopped at the exhibit not only because they were beautiful, but also because there was a video running in front of them. I can't even recall what the video was about, only that the bowls were in them, and it was pretty cool. So that is a marketing tactic that worked, because here I am telling you about them.

A number of beautiful fashion exhibits were on display at the festival and I especially liked this dress. The problem however was that it -- like most of the items -- were priced beyond the reach of the average person. (Many of the prices ran into the hundreds of dollars.) 

The price of the food was exorbitant as well -- $5 for a single cup of strawberry lemonade, $10 for a plate of sliced potato fries.

From where I sit, if you're holding a community festival you should be sure that all the vendors are offering a reasonably priced set of alternatives to their higher-priced items. It didn't look to me like the crowd was buying such expensive stuff, anyway.

On the subject of money -- let's talk for a second about the entry fee. Especially considering the high prices that vendors were charging for their products, it seems they could have eliminated the minimal $8 (online)/$10 (in person) ticket cost and had the vendors make it up from their revenue.

The setting of the fair was the Montgomery County Fairgrounds. There were many references to animals and 4-H (even painted on the side of one building), but no explanation or integration into the fair. More than once I found myself staring at creepy-looking animal statues and empty horse stalls, wondering exactly what this place was and what had gone on there. Some effort to provide explanatory information for this implicit knowledge base would have been helpful, instead of off-putting.

Regarding artists marketing themselves:  Certainly a giveaway stack of postcards would have been great. But these were nowhere to be found. Additionally, On top of this, several exhibitors were visibly upset when we took photos of their beautiful work. Instead of saying: "excuse me!" or "ask permission!" they might have realized that such photos could lead directly to sales.

If you are an artist, encourage people to take a ton of photos, pose with prospective customers, give them your hashtag, and offer a reward for the best photos posted to Instagram!

Similarly, if prospective customers come up to talk to you, don't just stand their woodenly and answer their questions with a single word. You're at a fair -- you're there to be human!

Make the customer your partner in marketing. OBVIOUSLY.

Work with the flow of the river, never against it if you can.

The idea of the artist as an elite reclusive genius is old. And it doesn't apply to 99.99% of the people exhibiting at craft fairs.


Copyright 2017 by Dannielle Blumenthal, Ph.D. All opinions are Dr. Blumenthal's own. All rights reserved. Photos by the author.

Consider The Brand Environment Before Adding A Logo

The brand environment is often overlooked because  designer and client alike are focused on graphic material and message solely. 

The result, here: An otherwise good logo, for Feed the Children, is buried amid unnecessary so-branding, and it competes with the Metro logo. 

Bottom line: Keep it simple & bold - cut something out.  

Posted October 23, 2017 by Dr. Dannielle Blumenthal. Photo by the author. All opinions are the author’s own.  All rights reserved. 

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