Radio Shack’s Super Bowl Fumble

(Reading Time: 2 minutes)

Radio Shack ran an ad during this year’s Super Bowl. It was essentially an acknowledgement that their stores have been horribly out-of-date.

After establishing the premise of “The 80’s called – they want their store back,” a stream of retro characters poured into a Radio Shack store and began to dismantle it.

Hey look! It's Hulk Hogan! And Erik Estrada! And the guy from Cheers! Let's go buy electronics!
Hey look! It’s Hulk Hogan! And Erik Estrada! And the guy from Cheers! Let’s go buy electronics!

Some people liked it. “Funny!” they said. Or, “Look at all these characters I recognize!” Or, “I’m in my mid-forties, and I equate these warm pangs of nostalgia with quality advertising!” Continue reading “Radio Shack’s Super Bowl Fumble”

Developing a Brand Tagline: Five Tips for Success

Brand Tagline Five Tips for Success
(Reading Time: 6 minutes)

There’s a lot of advice out there regarding the development of a brand tagline, and some of it is crap.  (Example: “It needs to be short and memorable.” Wow, it sounds so easy when a professional explains it.)

In this post, my goal is to give you a set of considerations – some contrary to “conventional wisdom” – that will help you decide how to best proceed with the development of your brand tagline.

The first two tips deal with the “before” phase – what to consider before you move ahead with the development of a tagline:

Continue reading “Developing a Brand Tagline: Five Tips for Success”

Who’s Your Ideal Client?

ideal client or customer
(Reading Time: 3 minutes)

At two different coffee meetings, I ask two designers to tell me who their ideal client is. Both answer confidently.

Andy tells me this: “I can do it all – logos, print, graphic design, web – and in all kinds of industries.”

Beth tells me this: “I excel at serving clients who either need to build a visual identity from the ground up or completely overhaul an existing one, and then apply it across multiple media. My expertise is particularly deep in B2B. And my minimum for an integrated project is $20,000.” Continue reading “Who’s Your Ideal Client?”

Bad Packaging Design: Lessons From the Beer Aisle

Bad Packaging Design Lessons
(Reading Time: 3 minutes)

It’s safe to say I’m a pretentious, annoying beer snob craft beer aficionado.  I keep several varieties on hand at all times – just in case someone stops by! – and I regularly experiment with different breweries and styles.

Bad Packaging Design – Example One

So it’s not unusual that I recently found myself in the smallish (but well-curated) beer aisle of my local Whole Foods. On this day, they were featuring the Four in Hand Winter Brew. The two side panels of the six-pack looked like this:

Huh.  All that real estate, and not a word about what the beer tastes like.  Or even what style it is.  Is it a brown ale?  A porter?  Roasty?  Malty?  Spicy?  Sweet?  I removed a bottle from the carton, hoping to find a clue, but there was no information there either. Continue reading “Bad Packaging Design: Lessons From the Beer Aisle”

Make a Real Brand Guarantee

Holiday Inn Brand Guarantee
(Reading Time: 4 minutes)

A few weeks ago in this space, we discussed “Reasons to Believe.” We defined RTBs as persuasive facts that support the promise you make or the difference you claim.

Reasons to Believe are particularly critical in this era of eroding consumer trust. These days, you should assume distrust. That’s because consumers have been disappointed so many times in the past – lousy customer service, bait-n-switch, golden parachutes for incompetent execs, you name it. Continue reading “Make a Real Brand Guarantee”

Why Should I Believe You? RTBs and Your Brand

(Reading Time: 4 minutes)

Why should I believe you?

If you’re not asking that question – from the standpoint of your consumers or clients, both current and prospective – you should be. And for a simple reason: They probably don’t.

Consumers are jaded. They’re tired of being promised one thing and getting another. They’ve been repulsed by the Enrons of the world. They’ve watched CEOs receive multi-million dollar bonuses for running their companies into the ground. They’ve been burned by shady car salesmen. Continue reading “Why Should I Believe You? RTBs and Your Brand”

How Should Domino’s Respond?

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That Branding Thing reader Sean Grace asked a great question in the “comments” section of my previous post. He wrote:

“Matthew, what kinds of things do you think Domino’s can do in the near future to begin to win back the trust of customers? What would work in your opinion?”

I won’t claim to be a PR expert, but I’ll offer a few ideas. Continue reading “How Should Domino’s Respond?”