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Putting a real human face to your branding

Putting a real human face to your branding

It’s not breaking news that in order to engage your prospective customers, you need to connect with them on a personal level.  Businesses often create and tailor their branding with that sole aim, whether that’s brand imagery and content that resonates with an age, an outlook, a demographic or a lifestyle.

Putting a ‘real life’ face (as opposed to a model or celebrity) to branding is a growing trend in for businesses of all sizes, with that face needing to be someone a prospect relates to, likes and wants to give their money to.

A classic example of a company using a real person for a big brand in the past might be Richard Branson for Virgin, but there are few people that could relate to a billionaire businessman that lives on his own island.  People might fly Virgin but it might not be the case that Richard Branson was the draw.  Another ‘big brand name’ James Dyson, by comparison, might also be a billionaire but he pitches himself as an inventor and engineer looking to solve problems rather than someone creating a business empire.

Using a business founder’s face as part of their branding sometimes happens organically.  The rise of reality TV like Dragon’s Den means that business founders including Levi Roots of Reggae Reggae Sauce singing fame, university friends Will Hodson and Henry De Zoete of Look After My Bills and Trunki Dad Rob Law have been thrust forward.  This platform gave them the opportunity to demonstrate how their product came about and why people should use it.  They often didn’t even need to win investment to get their business off the ground (they passed on Trunki!)

Other people ‘step up’ as the person who saw a need and filled it for personal reasons.  Organic, honest videos of founders, small business owners and entrepreneurs showing their passion for their product can inspire and motivate.

Other times it’s the members of staff that are put in the limelight.  Supermarket workers, factory workers and builders have all played a part in branding, and who can forget customer service adviser Howard of Halifax singing fame and unlikely sex symbol?!

Brand promotion is about more than just logos, colours, photos and animations.  The people behind the business are a part of the brand.  If you have the passion and the people, get in touch to see how we might help you use the best asset you’ll ever have.


Why use a seasonal marketing campaign?

Christmas is a solid seasonal marketing campaign that even the most straight-laced B2B company usually puts something out for.  Whether is a feel good bit of community spirit, an invitation to party or an animated carrot fighting other seasonal root vegetables, Christmas is a solid bet.

But it’s not the only one and people are no longer limited to festivities like Christmas, Mother’s Day and Easter.  More American style holidays and events are creeping across the world including Halloween, Black Friday and the SuperBowl.  In addition there are the awareness campaigns and novelty days including International Women’s Day, World Friendship Day, and even Bartender Appreciation Day!

Why do seasonal marketing campaigns?

Remind people you’re still there

John Lewis is a great example – they’re in the background and a well known name but come Christmas, the John Lewis Christmas advert coming out is practically a holiday in itself.  Not only that, the aftermath – where other marketing departments around the UK try and poke a bit of fun or respond to the advert theme.  It reminds people that John Lewis is a great place for high quality gifts with the extra dose of Christmas spirit that goes with a novelty character with a festive theme.

Generate urgency

It’s said that it can take 6-8 touchpoints before a person gets to the point of buying, and there are a variety of factors that will determine when a person gets to that stage – budget, pay dates, priorities, and so on.

If you’re marketing for people to buy for Christmas or a seasonal event, there is a definite end date that people need to buy for.


Christmas as an example of seasonal marketing, doesn’t change much from year to year.  Trees, tinsel, baubles, lights, these are pretty much always going to be acceptable to use at Christmas.  Updating it to fit in with different promotions or themes every year is a relatively inexpensive exercise.  There are a number of seasonal campaigns where this can be the case – Easter, new seasons, sporting events and so on.

If you’re looking for more ideas on implementing seasonal marketing into your business, get in touch.

PR verses Paid Advertising

Everyone knows the term PR and everyone know the term advertising, but there is often confusion on where one starts and one ends.  There are a couple of clear distinctions when it comes to PR verses advertising but it’s true, the two do often overlap.

Paid or ‘free’

Advertising is most often paid for, in that you pay for an advert in a paper or on TV, or you pay for a stand at an exhibition and so on.  PR is theoretically ‘free’, but in truth you would likely need a PR professional or agency who would charge a monthly retainer or fee.

Guarantee or no guarantee

If you pay for advertising, then that advertising goes ahead as long as you pay the invoice.  With PR, you’re putting the message out there but there is no guarantee that media will pick it up.  How well it works is dependant on how strong your message is, where it’s communicated to, what else is going on and how your story ties in to everything else in the world.  It can even depend on whether or not an editor or writer’s personal ideals, values and preferences.

Sales or news

Everyone knows what an advert is – it’s someone trying to sell you something.  PR is marketing messages tied up in news, whether that’s a product release, a new appointment, an ethical stance, a campaign or a new partnership.  It is often only those that are in marketing or business, or have an idea of PR, that can tell that what is ‘news’ is actually marketing messages cleverly distributed.

Visual or language

With PR, there’s no ‘news’ that is completely visual whereas in advertising there are often adverts where all there is are visuals with very little text.  Language skills and experience is much more important when it comes to PR.  Design is much more important when it comes to advertising.  Having said that, there are more elements of design creeping in to PR in the form of infographics and video.

Exposure or trust

If you’re happy for as many people as possible to see your message and that exposure is what you’re hoping to achieve then advertising is a strong bet, as it is guaranteed exposure in the place you want to put it.  If you are looking to establish trust with the general public, as maybe a more complex or established business, then PR is something to consider.

In reality, it is a mix of both advertising and PR that will get you the most sustained results.  If you’re looking for some information on how advertising and PR can help build awareness and belief in your business, get in touch.

Marketing campaigns – changing the world

It’s possibly an exaggeration to say that any marketing campaign could change the whole world.  But that’s not to say that marketers only sell things, the campaigns they make can make a huge difference in perceptions across society (as well as sell things)!

This month has shown a strong example as Cadbury’s join forces with Age UK to help fight loneliness in elderly people across the country.  To help understand what that kind of extreme loneliness feels like, TV presenter Sue Perkins spent 30 hours in total isolation, then having explored the impact of loneliness, Cadbury’s packaging of the Dairy Milk bar stated it’s donating 30p from every pack sold to Age UK.  Awareness of the Cadbury’s adverts increased by 11% in the over 65’s.

Superhuman marketing campaigns

This isn’t the first marketing campaign trying to make a difference.  An amazing campaign in 2012 was Channel 4’s ‘Meet the superhumans’, set out to redefine what it is to be an athlete and what strength really is.  Featuring footage of a variety of athletes with disabilities carrying out sports able bodied people might find challenging and an epic soundtrack, this campaign demonstrated these 2012 athletes as role models and celebrities in their own right, and catapulted the Paralympics forward as a top event to watch, equal to the Olympics themselves.

Campaign like a girl

Another groundbreaker – not least because it was a strong female statement to make at an overly masculine event; the Superbowl.  Feminine hygiene company Always‘ advertising spot was where they tried to redefine what it means to do something ‘like a girl’, but showing that before society gets to them, ‘like a girl’ to young girls means ‘do it as fast/hard/well as you can’.  #LikeAGirl is a hashtag that still stands today and continues to make a strong and relevant statement.

The fact is marketing campaigns don’t need to be that extreme in that they change the way a whole stadium thinks about something.  But a campaign that generates a smile, a laugh or even a ‘huh, I hadn’t thought about it like that’, is time well spent and money well invested.  It’s campaigns like this that will make a business not just stand out but also build credibility and trust.

How to make print marketing measurable

The rise of digital marketing is well documented, and some have said that print, as the formally ‘traditional marketing’ source, is now the official ‘non-traditional marketing’ source.  Where digital used to fit in with print, combining digital and print marketing seems to have more of a digital led feel.

One advantage of digital marketing as opposed to print marketing, is how measurable it is.  You can use analytics packages to see where traffic is coming from, the quality of the traffic and the conversion rate.

Traditionally you would measure print reach and engagement but the number of people it went to or went in front of, and looking for any enquiry or sale increases.  This could be unrealistic and unreliable.  Having said that, using digital marketing alongside print, or just boxing clever with your print marketing, means you can pretty accurate on measuring Return On Investment (ROI).  Here are some ideas on making print marketing measurable.

Unique landing pages for print marketing

On digital marketing you can give complex urls on landing pages to show every aspect of the campaign and measure it’s success including location, keyword and source.  On print there is no ‘click’ but you can make the CTA a specific url.  “Visit for example is easy to type and find, and if that url was only used on your print campaign you can see how many people are following your CTA.  Even if your page does get picked up by searches, you can still see this and identify the keywords used.

Set up conversion tracking on this landing page

The ability to see the engagement on this campaign as well as just the amount of people reached is essential, because in addition to measuring the effectiveness of the landing page, it will also help you see if the print campaign is getting the right leads to the website.  It would be better to have 100 leads with a 10% conversion rate than 1000 leads with a 1% conversion rate, as if you’re paying for print by the number of items to print.

Setting up conversion tracking on your landing page means that you can see how many of those leads actually went on to do what you wanted them to do.  Whether that’s clicking to buy, downloading a brochure or attending an event, using conversion tracking is essential to monitor that.  A good web designer will be able to incorporate this into a design.

Get them to give you your print back

Whilst converting of course! The idea of giving out coupons is not exactly revolutionary but at the same time, it can be very cost effective in comparison to digital coupons. On average, digital coupons tend to perform 35% better when it comes to bringing in new customers, retaining existing customers, and raising brand awareness. However, printed coupons typically provide a higher return on investment, with digital coupons typically getting a lower ROI by 18%.

If you’d like more information on using print alongside digital marketing, get in touch with the team.