Archive for the ‘Advertising’ Category

Do You Have a Quirky Brand? Here’s a Great Example of a Comic Marketing Video for a Fun Company

I ran across this comic marketing video for Dollar Shave Club featuring CEO Michael Dubin’s dry humor and I just had to share it. Dollar Shave Club sells razor blades by subscription. The video is a great example of not taking yourself too seriously and having fun with a successful idea and your brand. It is exceptionally well done and currently has well over 5.5 Million views on You Tube.

You can see through this video that the company culture is clearly fun, quirky and creative. This company filled a niche in the market and through advertising like this, it has built a cult-like following which also spills into their Facebook community. Fans post regularly to their Facebook page and they usually get a personal response from DSC admins.

Even Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, was impressed with this video and he wrote a blog about this fun company. He thought the video “epitomized the five classic business tips he outlines in his book Like A Virgin”:

1. If you don’t enjoy it, don’t do it. You must love what you do.

2. Be innovative: Create something different that will stand out.

3. Your employees are your best asset. Happy employees make for happy customers.

4. Lead by listening: Get feedback from your staff and customers on a regular basis.

5. Be visible: Market the company and its offers by putting yourself or a senior person in front of the cameras.

 

You shouldn’t be afraid to build an edgy brand or have lots of fun with your advertising. That’s actually what is wrong with some brands today; they are too conservative as they don’t want to alienate anyone, so they end up with a washed out message that is not memorable. Be bold with your ideas and that will pay off in the end.

If you think it’s time for your company to launch a memorable campaign, get in touch with Hadfield Communications at www.hadfield.net. We’ll be glad to analyze your current advertising efforts and give you feed back on how to improve on what you already have.

Does Your Business Need to be on Facebook?

Does Your Company Need tobe on Facebook

If someone likes your page, their friends will see the post and they’ll get exposed to your brand.

It seems that every company (small or large) has rushed to be on Facebook without considering many factors that need to be considered before starting a Facebook presence. The last thing you want to do is put up a Facebook page and not have fresh content to keep your page vibrant and people interested. Below are a few things you should consider before you begin.

Time is a big factor. Are you willing to invest the time it takes to make your page a destination to engage people? Are you going to constantly be able to add value and keep your page current to entice new visitors constantly? Ask yourself if you have the time to make that commitment. If you don’t, your efforts will backfire and your Facebook page will be stagnant.

Do you have a plan? You need to come up with a plan for posting engaging material to create a buzz around your page. Really think about how you can create value for your customers and map out a strategy that will work for your company. Think of your target audience and create content that will be useful to them.

One good thing about a well thought out Like Page on Facebook is that any interactions will make it into the newsfeed of those that like your page. Your posts will be seen by friends of those that Like your page, expanding your exposure. That means that their friends will see them interacting with your brand and the more interaction you get, the more your name will get out.

Another great thing about Facebook is that it will give you free exposure. You will be able to connect with people you would have not connected with if it weren’t for your Facebook page. Every good impression made on Facebook is a potential person that will Like your page and their friends will see it, and so on.

Long term, one of the most important reasons why your business should have a Facebook page is because you want to expand your network of followers and you’ll want to provide them with useful information about your business. Those new followers will eventually become an important source for future earning potential. They will also become advocates for your business if you provide them with a valuable experience. Just make certain that before you start, you have the time and the plan in place to make your company successful on Facebook.

If you think it’s time for your company to get a Like Page on Facebook, get in touch with Hadfield Communications at www.hadfield.net. We’ll be glad to analyze your current social media efforts and give you feed back on how to make it work for your company.

The Social Media Revolution 2012: Why Social Business Matters

Social business and social media marketing is transforming business large and small. The revolution will not be televised… it will be digitized.

The Positive of the Negative — the Power of the NEW White Space Prevails


“White” space, or “negative” space, has been used effectively in advertising design ever since the 1950’s and ‘60’s, and continues to be one of the most powerful design tools available, even as it evolves in the way we define it in an ever-changing environment.

According to a 2006 study in the Journal of Consumer Research, ever since print ads for Volkswagen in the 1950’s and the architectural minimalism influence of the 1960’s, “…nothing became something…” and “…is typically used to convey elegance, power, leadership, honesty, trust-worthiness, a modern nature, and a refined taste associated with the upper social strata.”

In 2011, designers find that white space can be either Active, and effective, or Passive, which is much less so, or not at all, depending on your point of view. Most stress that an Active space is one that is asymetric, but balanced, and deliberately structures the page and emphasizes areas of content.

Graphic Arts Magazine says that “Graphic designers have a challenging role to play in the 21st century (and numerous hats to wear) due to our increasingly technological world. Designers of the past needed only worry about the print options available, whereas designers of the new millennium have to understand various mediums, such as print (magazines, large-format signage, labels and packaging, to name a few), the web (via HTML and Flash, for example), as well as smartphone and tablet technology.”

In such environments, examples of effectively-used negative space can be found in the use of color, texture, pattern and even photography or typography.

Digital Mash Website

Hadfield Communications, Inc. has more than 16 years of experience in the creative, effective use of space in design. Contact us to find out more about how we can make positives of the negatives and provide an active influence on your business.

Communicate in Color — Consider the Culture

In a world of visual media, one of the most important first impressions you can make is with your use of color. Whether you’re looking at ads, logos, web sites or a product label or package, the impact of color on your perceptions can influence your emotions, attitudes, and ultimately the actions you might take in result. Furthermore, these perceptions can vary widely based on cultural differences around the world. For this reason, in creation of visual materials and images it is important to consider the impact that color might have in regards to the audience you will be targeting.

Psychoanalyst Carl Jung said “…colors are the mother tongue of the subconscious.” Studies have shown the importance of visual impact and the use of color in particular, on consumers and their purchasing choices. For instance, the Seoul International Color Expo conducted a poll in which 92.6% put most importance on visual factors when making purchases, and 84.7% felt that color accounts for more than half of that visual impact.

When you intend to communicate with color, take into consideration these suggestions about the meanings and perceptions associated with various colors as perceived in the Western culture and around the world:

RED — is powerful, passionate, exciting and energetic. As it is the color of blood, it can mean life and love, or conversely, danger and death. The stimulating characteristics of red make it a preferred choice in the marketing of beauty products and food. In China, red is a symbol of celebration and good luck, and in India it is the color of purity accepted as the traditional wedding color. In Japan red is the color of life, while in South Africa it is the color of mourning.

ORANGE — is cheerful and energetic, meaning warmth and balance. As a more neutral step away from red, it has similar energy without the negative connotations, except that it sometimes might give an impression of cheapness. Orange is used to market energy drinks, fast food and children’s item. In Ireland orange has a Protestant religious significance, and in the Netherlands is recognized as the color for royalty.

YELLOW — is generally considered a happy, joyous color, that of the sun and summer, though it also means caution. In advertising, yellow is a somewhat mixed blessing. While it is very eye-catching and optimistic, it can also be taxing to the eye and the mind. Sometimes symbolizing rejuvenation, yellow is often used to market beauty products, fast foods and children’s products. In Asia, yellow is a sacred, imperial color, in India the color for merchants, and in Japan it means courage, while it is the color of mourning in Egypt.

GREEN — is most widely recognized as symbolic of nature and the environment, and means good luck, prosperity and vitality, but also has connotations of envy and greed. Green would often seem to be a good choice for marketing use, though studies prove that not to hold true in France, where it does not seem to be effective in packaging, or in China where it can imply betrayal or exorcism.

BLUE — is perhaps the best universal color choice, signifying truth, serenity, comfort dependability and authority. At the same time, it might be the worst choice for food-related endeavors as it acts as an appetite suppressant, possibly due to the rarity of the color to be found in nature. There are some negative connotations as well, with the coolness of the color implying cold, distance or sadness. In China, blue means immortality, in the Middle East is symbolizes protection, in Judaism it means holiness, and in Hinduism it is the color of Krishna.

PURPLE — is widely accepted as a noble color of royalty, spirituality and luxury, excellent for representing the higher-end, top quality goods and services. Purple is also recognized universally to stand for Catholicism, while in Thailand it is the color of mourning worn by widows.

PINK — is generally known to be the most feminine color, signifying romance, friendship and affection, making it a good choice for use with anything for girls or babies, also for women and sometimes for candies or sweets. Although it can have a calming effect, it also seems to have an element of irritation in regards to most men. In exception to that is Japan, where pink is popular with both genders. In Korea, pink is the color of trust.

BROWN — means earth, home, comfort and stability. It can stimulate the appetite, which would make it a good choice for use in the food industry, however in India it is the color of mourning, and in Colombia it is known to discourage sales.

WHITE — in Western tradition means purity, reverence, simplicity and innocence, and is the most widely accepted color for weddings. This does not hold true in Eastern cultures however, particularly in Japan and China where white is the color of death and mourning, and in India where it means unhappiness.

BLACK — is powerful, sophisticated and elegant, while also meaning death or evil. In Thailand and in Judaism, black means bad luck, unhappiness and evil, while in China it is the color associated with young boys.

The use of color can have a marked impact on the messages you communicate visually though marketing materials of all kinds, so be sure to know your audience, and the effect that the colors you choose may have. Hadfield Communications, Inc. has more than 16 years of experience in marketing and promotions. Contact us to help you communicate in color!

More Holiday Marketing — Never Forget the Fourth!

Another holiday is already upon us, and in the tradition of the American Dream, the Fourth of July is surely a great one for promoting and growing your business. Of course Independence Day celebrations can clearly be expected to generate sales in the food and beverage industries, but many other areas of business will benefit as well, and all can certainly take action and observe the holiday to positive effect for the bottom line!

Americans celebrate the Fourth of July in many ways, including barbeques, pool parties, lake or beach excursions, tailgates, festivals and fireworks displays. All of these can require purchases ranging from food and drink to clothing, accessories, decorations, yard and garden goods, furniture, tools and electronics just to name a few. Your business might do well to advertise special holiday sale prices, or you could stage an event to attract consumers, using the holiday theme as an exciting departure from the ordinary.

A few methods you can work with to get the word out about your special holiday sales or events might include printed materials for direct mail or on-site promotion, web site presentation or banner advertisements and email campaign blasts.

Hadfield Communications, Inc. has more than 16 years of experience in marketing and promotions, so we can help you turn this Independence Day into a true celebration for your business. Contact us to make the most of your holiday marketing options.

Feature Father’s Day for Effective Marketing Efforts

Americans have been celebrating Father’s Day for more than 100 years now, and as with other holidays, it creates excellent opportunity to generate business and benefit your company, in addition to honoring our dads and all that they do. Now also observed in many countries around the world on the 3rd Sunday in June the U.S. can claim it’s initiation thanks to a Washington state daughter who wanted to honor her father, a Civil War veteran and widower who raised six children on his own.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are 70.1 million fathers across the nation, and Father’s Day is the 4th highest holiday for greeting card sales. Quite obviously, the greeting card business and others whose demographic is the adult male population, can, and do step up their business and marketing efforts accordingly. Creative Outlet (http://creativeoutlet.com/blog/2011/06/use-these-fathers-day-facts-to-inspire-your-advertising.shtml) says that some of these traditional categories include electronics, sporting goods and home improvement items or appliances. However there is even more opportunity presented by Father’s Day for all kinds of other businesses than might be generally recognized. Also according to Creative Outlet the largest percentage of gift purchases for last year would be dining out at almost 40%. Gift card sales were second highest at just over 31%, and books or CDs third at more than 23%. All of these make excellent gifts for fathers with any preferences or interests, not only the golfing, fishing and woodworking clichés!

These statistics clearly point to the special holiday marketing opportunities for restaurants and for book and music sales, but with the popularity of gift cards on the rise, the field is opened up to almost any kind of business or service. Don’t overlook the benefits of directing your marketing efforts towards Father’s Day celebrants, as not only are fathers recognized on this special day, but also are husbands, grandfathers, sons, brothers, uncles and even just “someone special”.

Although traditional gifts for fathers will certainly do well in June, completely unrelated businesses can get in on the observance to advantage. For instance, charities and non-profits might suggest donations in the name of the recipient, grocers might offer holiday specials for grilling at home instead of the more costly dining out option, and web sites might provide Father’s Day related fun facts, games, trivia or even free e-cards for Dad. For example, you can find free e-cards at SOS Children’s Villages or consider a donation in your dad’s name. These types of solutions can increase traffic to your web site and thereby help to promote your business.

Hadfield Communications, Inc. is proud to honor all fathers this year — including those who are friends and family, employees, clients, vendors, business associates and prospective clients. We invite you to contact us for more information about how you can provide special holiday-directed marketing to benefit your own clients and to better your own business.

An Infographic Explosion


Infographics have been used to get the point across ever since prehistoric man started drawing on cave walls. Today’s fast-moving society finds them ever more valuable to communicate information quickly and clearly. From cave paintings to maps, road signs, tables, charts and graphs, infographics have evolved into some truly eye-catching complexities well suited to today’s movers, shakers and web-browsers!

Wikipedia defines Infographics as “…graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge.” That source traces the history of their development from “… cave paintings, and later maps” through graphics used in astronomy in 1626, statistics in 1786 and medicine in 1857, among other uses through those years. In the 20th century infographics further developed into a visual language using pictographs and stick figures in many different applications, including the “Pioneer Plaque” that was launched into space aboard the Pioneer 10 probe in 1972 “…intended as a kind of interstellar message in a bottle, designed by Carl Sagan and Frank Drake.”

Since the onset of the Internet, and most recently the popularity of social media aggregation sites, infographics are exploding in popularity as a means of catching the eye and conveying a message as instantly as possible. In such a super-speedy environment, infographics can be an excellent method by which to generate viral content that can be readily shared. You can use infographics to grow your business by presenting your information in a way that is visually pleasing, interesting, exciting and entertaining to the viewer.

Whether you present information about your company, product or service via printed materials, web content or any other visual media, infographics spread the word in a visually appealing, simplified method that can be most effective. For example, you might present your best attributes as compared to the not-so-good ones of your competitors in the same way as this example from dailyinfographic.com compares prison food to school lunches.

Or, if you’re trying to communicate the importance of utilizing social media to help promote your business, you might want to include something like this infographic by Hadfield Communications, Inc. as a colorful, concise means of describing just how social media works.

Hadfield Communications, Inc. is an excellent source for your custom designed infographics. Contact us to provide you with pictures “worth a thousand words” to help you communicate as quickly and simply as only an infographic can do!

Cost-Effective Marketing at Crunch-Time

With the United States in an economic free-fall, businesses are pinching pennies and tightening up the purse strings in an attempt to survive the crunch. Marketing budgets are limited and are unfortunately often the first to go. What does this mean? It means that not only are you struggling to make ends meet, but also you’re not attracting any new clients. It’s time to dig deep and put your business sense to good use! Here are some tips on cost-effective marketing to get you started.

  1. Client Retention. Keep your current clients as happy as you can. Ask about their concerns and work with them to accommodate their every need.
  2. Testimonials. Grateful clients are often happy to spread the word about your great products or services. Encourage them to do so! Then, share their enthusiasm with potential clients. Ask if they would like to be a “featured client” on your Web site or blog in return for their testimony about your company.
  3. Public Relations. Executing a well-organized public relations campaign can be invaluable in a recession. A good public relations plan includes face-to-face interaction, consistent production and distribution of press releases and editorials and attendance at special events and workshops.
  4. Network, network, network. Join professional organizations; attend events such as conferences, trade shows and association chapter meetings, and take full advantage of social networking.
  5. Collateral. While you’re out networking and collecting those contacts, be sure to distribute your own information as well. Always have current, updated business cards and any other materials that can immediately identify your company and explain how you can be of assistance.
  6. Cross-Marketing & Promotions. Join forces with other companies in related businesses to share the cost of marketing ventures. For example, a hair salon and a nail salon might promote a “spa day” sale, or a mortgage firm and real estate company could share the cost of local advertising for special events or open houses. By splitting the expenses, you’ll keep your marketing budget in line while still benefiting from the exposure.
  7. Outsourcing. It’s sometimes better to hire temporary help for a special project rather than to use valuable time and resources to add to your current staff. Hiring some things out will help to keep customers and employees as content and stress-free as possible.
  8. Remain Aware. In times of economic hardship, stay well versed in terms of what is happening in your field. Pay attention to headlines that might affect your client’s bottom line, and have a solution ready. Then share your knowledge by forwarding relevant articles and announcement to existing and prospective clients.
  9. Evaluate and Adjust. Set aside time during each month, quarter or year to thoroughly re-evaluate your marketing situation. Determine what has been working and what has not, and proceed accordingly.
  10. Stay the Course. When constantly berated with headlines of a crashing economy and the fall of the American dollar, it is easy to panic and start slashing budgets indiscriminately. It is important therefore, to realize that thoughtful adjustments to your marketing plan can help to keep the business on an even keel in order to  weather the storm.

Cost-effective marketing can be your best ally during a recessive economy. Remember, marketing is an investment in your company as well as your future. Hadfield Communications can be your source for marketing help in these times of uncertainty.

Contact Hadfield Communications for more information and to take the next steps in a positive direction for your company.

World’s Largest-Ever Natural Products Trade Show Proves Healthy Growth in the Industry

Trade Show MapWith its largest number of exhibits (3,533) in a 31-year history, the Natural Products Expo West 2011 attracted more than 58,000 industry members to Anaheim, California in March. This turnout provides a healthy picture of industry growth and the increased interest in and awareness of more healthy lifestyles.

A Hadfield Communications colleague attended the show as a representative for the marketing interests of one of our retail food industry clients. She returned to the office with entertaining tales about the walking, talking, tasting and learning, all of which abound in endless supply throughout the event. Our friend not only tasted “…more yogurt than “…I may have had in a lifetime”, but also discovered the heretofore unrealized benefits of mushrooms, agave and especially “…these unbelievable red wine vinegar snack chips”!

We commiserated with her over the ordeal of walking her “…feet completely off”, as she covered as much as possible of the five fully filled exhibit halls, displaying eight different categories of natural product, including Organics, Natural & Specialty Foods, Supplements, Heath & Beauty, Natural Living, SupplyExpo and even the relatively small, though notable Pet division. It is probable, however, that she might have eliminated a few of her extra steps by not returning time and again to re-taste those red wine vinegar snack chips!

Many businesses recently seem to be discrediting the value of attending trade shows and of preparing the necessary materials and collateral in favor of focusing on Internet commerce and social media types of marketing. The success of the Natural Products Expo West shows that such face-to-face interaction can be a valuable resource for businesses, providing unmatched opportunities for education, networking and hands-on experience. These opportunities are backed by the event’s statistics that reflect 86% of the attendees have buying authority and that three-quarters of the buyers are likely to sell a product if they saw it at the Expo.

Hadfield Communications has more than 16 years of experience providing quality materials, packaging and collateral that can make an impact with new and potential customers or buyers for any event or trade show. Contact us to find out more about how we can help your business to always be trade-show-ready.

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