Category Archives: Uncategorized

New Look for Lipton Fresh Brewed Tea

I’m a very big fan of tea, iced or hot it’s my favorite drink. So I was excited to see that Lipton did a rebrand on their Fresh Brewed Ice Tea for the food service industry. The revitalized look showcases a new logo and “Drink Fresh” tagline.

The firm, Moxie TM, Inc., responsible for the rebrand, incorporates great design elements that help to convey the core message of freshness and refreshment.

The use of a familiar glass of iced tea, suggests the beverage was recently made. The wave of tea behind the glass adds excitement and movement. The golden brown tones of the tea convey the idea of fresh brewed. The supporting color palette is clean and bright and just screams fresh.

It’s a very well executed rebrand. Totally on target.

I love the pure simplicity of it. Makes me want to run out and get a big glass of cold ice tea.

Building Your Brand: Defining Your Message?

Think of building your brand like building a house. You have to have a solid foundation to build a strong stable home and it’s no different for your business. Branding is the foundation of your business and it needs to be solid and strong to build a stable business. It’s important to invest the proper time and resources to get it right the first time.

When people think of branding, they usually think of a logo. However, a logo is only a piece of a company’s overall brand. Your brand should speak about what your company stands for, what differentiates you, as well as how you want people to feel when they encounter your brand. Ultimately, branding conveys the overall personality of your company.

Your brand should drive everything from the look and feel of your marketing materials to how employees answer the phone. The most successful and memorable brands are the ones that have developed a strong brand message and have implemented it consistently throughout every aspect of their business.

A great example is Apple. They have branded themselves as a company that makes high-end, innovative products geared towards a hip, tech-savvy consumer. Everything from their product design, packaging, advertising to their store layout reinforces this idea.

Before you hire someone to create a logo, website or any other marketing materials, it’s vital to determine your brand message. Your brand message not only explains why customers should choose you but if done properly your brand will make them think that you are the only one that can solve their problem.

It’s important as a business owner to define your brand. You can hire someone to help you develop your brand, but you really need to do your homework and answer the following questions yourself. You and only you know the answers. You need to have clarity on who your business is in order to start the branding process.

Here are some simple questions that will help you define your brand.

  1. Determine what problem you solve. When you decided to start a business, you realized that you could fill a need in the marketplace. What is that need or that problem that only you can solve?  Remember, your business isn’t about you, it’s about filling a need.
  2. What is your area of innovation? As an entrepreneur, you have the unique ability to determine what is important to you and your business. What do you want your business to stand for? Quality? Price? Convenience? Think about one or two words or phrases that you want to define your business. Keep it simple. Otherwise, it will be difficult for you to communicate effectively and for your customers to identify.
  3. Who is your target market and why do they care? Understanding who your customers are and what’s important to them will help you develop an effective message to attract them. For example, do your customers want Quality or Value? Speed or Convenience? Experience or innovation? There is a huge difference between Walmart and Macy’s and you’ll need to determine where your customers are and what they think in order to develop the proper message. You can’t be all things to all people, so make sure your brand speaks to your target audience.
  4. What makes you truly unique and different? Part of branding is determining how your business stands apart from your competitors. Let’s stick with the dog-walking business example. If your business targets working mothers, you could include other add-on services that would be appealing to this audience. For instance, when you come to walk the dog, you can pick up or drop off the dry cleaning. Or, your service could include bathing the dog once a week. Listen to your audience. Research your competitors. Then, determine what makes your business different.

Building Your Brand: How to Create a Lasting Logo

The most important component of a solid brand is your corporate identity, or logo. It’s the cornerstone of your visual communications and brings together your business name and sometimes a graphic element to establish your business identity. Used consistently, logos help customers remember you when they need your product or service.

A common mistake business owners make is it to think that their logo has to include an image of the product or service they offer. A logo is simply a visual representation of your business. While it can be tempting for a financial planner to use a dollar sign, it doesn’t make for a very original logo. If every other financial planner in town uses the same imagery then your target market can’t tell you apart. The main goal of a logo is to connect with your target market and it can’t do that if it doesn’t differentiate your business from your competitors.

Entrepreneurs on a budget often decide to design a logo themselves. Although this may seem like a smart option, it can cost you in the long run. Not only can it be time-consuming to develop a logo yourself, it can also make your business look amateur. Even if you have a great idea for a logo, you may not be able to execute it properly.

Professional graphic designers have the skills and expertise to create a logo that will last. They understand how to use color, fonts and imagery to create a logo that matches your brand message. A professional designer will also keep into consideration the various uses of your logo and make sure it will look good no matter what the medium, from a business card to a billboard.

Hiring a professional designer does not have to break the bank. There are many talented freelance or boutique firms who can create a professional, lasting logo for a lot less than the large design firms.

Whether you decide to design your logo yourself or hire a professional, here are some things to keep in mind as you choose a logo for your business:

Design: Choose a design that reflects the style and personality of your business. And, almost more important, your logo should be appealing to the people your target market. For example, the logo design for a children’s clothing boutique would be vastly different from that of an accounting firm.

Scalability: When choosing a logo, make sure it will look good no matter the size. Your logo needs to be something that can be reproduced on both a business card and billboard. Logos that have too much detail can be difficult to recognize when distilled to a thumbnail.

Less is more: Some of the most recognizable logos, Nike, Mercedes, Coca-Cola and all have very basic, iconic designs. Simple logos are often the most effective as they are easy to digest and can more quickly communicate the essence of your business. They are also easier to reproduce in a variety of mediums like apparel or promotional items.

Uniqueness: As mentioned throughout this series, your logo should represent YOUR BUSINESS. Avoid using clip art, templates or other generic images.

I would love to get your comments…

Did you hire a designer to design your logo? Why or why not?

Why is Branding Important for a Small Business?

Is your sales cycle like a roller coaster ride? It could be because you don’t have a solid brand identity. Many small businesses don’t consider branding important, but I believe it’s one of the most important parts of your marketing efforts.

As small business owners you want to sell your products or services. Who doesn’t. So to avoid the roller coaster effect, consider adding some branding into the mix.

Investing in branding is a longer term strategy. It makes sales easier because the prospective client or customer already knows what the brand stands for, the quality, features and benefits, and has a level of expectation of service.

It’s also less expensive to roll out new products and services when you already have a strong brand umbrella. It’s like the difference between a job and a career. Branding is a commitment.

Why should b2b companies use a branding strategy?
It’s actually less expensive in the long run. Every product doesn’t have to have it’s own promotional program and stand like a silo. A well developed brand is the thread that ties everything together.

I hate to use Nike as an example but they do have branding down to a science. They have expanded beyond just athletic shoes into apparel and sports equipment and have been accepted into those markets with open arms, because they have a sold brand umbrella and a consistent visual identity.

What makes up your brand?
Your brand is more than a series of words; it is your identity. Your name and logo should tell people something about you. Your brand should be strong enough to convey a message and a feeling in an instant. When you run a small newspaper ad, besides a Website, phone number and address, your logo may be all someone has by which to judge your business. If your logo design looks professional, it alone may be the reason that someone decides to buy your product or to hire you. Branding also includes clearly defined messaging, with words that connect with your target market. A set of design elements such as photos, color pallet, typefaces and illustrations are also integral parts in creating a dynamic brand.

Where to begin when developing your brand

  1. What are your business’s values? What does your business stand for? What do you bring to your client relationships?
  2. What’s your business’s personality?
  3. Come up 5 feelings or thoughts that you would like your business to evoke for your clients and prospects. Keep in mind that these feelings or thoughts should be in-line with the way you perform your service.
  4. Describe the services or products your company provides.
  5. Which small businesses are your competitors?
  6. Figure our what makes you truly unique and different?
  7. Define your target or niche market and make sure your branding speaks to those groups.
  8. Last but not least…What are some of the qualities that a client has to have to be a great client for you? Remember not everyone is a good client for you. It has to be a good fit on both sides of the coin.

Become the most recognized Brand in your market
Properly executed branding can set small businesses apart from their larger counterparts and get them noticed. Many small businesses think that they can’t compete, that their “market” is dominated by big business. When you do the steps above and define your target market you can compete with anyone.

New Gap Logo – Branding Gone Wrong

OK really what were they thinking. The original Gap logo was an icon in American fashion. Whether you liked the clothes or not is another issue, but  pretty much everyone knows the gap logo. It’s right up there with Nike.

This is big branding mistake and clearly a display of corporate suits messing where they shouldn’t. I’m sure they thought since sales were down that they needed to rebrand themselves. A company with the brand equity they have does not need to do that. They can wade out the economic storm in tact if they stay strong to their brand. But they decided to make a change and now I think they will lose even more market share with this rinky dink, mess of a logo.

I’ve seen high school design students do better. The gradient of the logo really cheapens the overall identity and it lacks any sort of strength or visual interest. The font says nothing, well it does say something… boring.

I’m struggling to understand how this new logo came about, what’s its purpose and why it fails miserably. Even the original gap logo created in 1969 has more character than this new one.

I’m really hoping this is some kind of joke they are playing to get everyone to talk about them.

I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

New Democratic Party Logo

The new mark for the Democratic party leaves me feeling a little empty. I like the simplicity of it but it does seem meaningless. I can see the republicans having a hay day with the “D” as a poor grade for the current administration. How could the designers miss that. Not very well thought out.

As boring as it is, it must have taken a lot of balls to decide not to include an American flag somewhere in the logo.

I’m very surprised at the lack luster of this logo. Maybe they are trying to appeal to the straight laced, button up conservatives. Which I think is a shame.

I give this design a D.

Not a fan of the new TCBY brand, just on

Not a fan of the new TCBY brand, just one word, BORING… http://bit.ly/aoX4Kl