Deeper Than Demographics

If you own a company or oversee a brand, you know that your target audience and their opinions reveal fundamental truths and insights into your business and how to run it. That’s why those consumer demographics – understanding them, measuring them, analyzing them, and applying what you’ve learned – are key to any successful branding strategy.

Demographics can help to define which segment of the population a company should target with their message, and their products or services. Profiled by writer Emily Potts in Neenah Paper’s “Against The Grain” blog, LogoLounge’s Bill Gardner points to the need to go beyond “who-they-are-and-where-they-are” demographic research to discover the target customer’s deeper motivations and desires.

Gardner clearly demonstrates the way several iconic logos go deeper than demographics to tap into the “psychographic” makeup of their targeted audience. Fascinating stuff.

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Be Consistent – Make More Dough

One of our favorite pizza spots here in Nashville is Nonna’s Pizzeria and Wine Bar (and it’s not just because we designed their logo…really!). We know before we step through the door exactly what to expect. That crust will present the perfect combination of crunchy and chewy, and that tomato sauce will sing with just the right amount of garlic. Every time.

It’s been said that repeating the same action over and over and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity. But Nonna owner Daniel Maggipinto understands that repeating himself is one of the keys to growing his business. It’s called consistency, and applied over the long term it works. Every time.

In the work you do, the service you provide, in your communications, in all of your branding, consistency is key. In fact, any sustainable brand is rooted in that kind of positive repetition. At Nonna, it leaves a great taste in your mouth, in more ways than one.

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The Too-Much-Information Age

The other day I went online in search of a little background on a specific topic and once again found myself jumping from link to link, spiraling down the rabbit hole until I woke up and asked myself, “How did I get here?” Here in the too-much-information age, that’s a very easy thing to do. Increasingly, these “little” online distractions are robbing us of focus and doing a real number on our productivity.

A recent blog from Behance’s 99U (one of our favorite sites for inspiration), chronicles writer Sarah Von Bargen’s approach to these endless distractions. Von Bargen took a hard look at the problem, and came up with a bold solution – unleashing the power of the “opt-out” button.

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Free Weight Brand Building

I met with a personal trainer this week. Turns out I have some work to do. It wasn’t intentional, but I guess I’ve kind of let things get away from me a bit. My trainer tells me that’s common, that it tends to creep up over time. We get busy, we neglect to cut out the time to plan, and we fail to execute.

We hear that same story from clients all the time. They’re talking about their brands, not their bodies, but the symptoms are the same. Where my trainer sees a lack of focus and the need for a more comprehensive exercise routine, the business owner feels a growing disconnect between his or her company and the perceptions, expectations, and desires of customers and/or employees.

Any conversation with a trainer quickly comes around to the word “core.” Keeping the body’s central nucleus toned strengthens the muscles that supports the spine, providing the foundation for overall health and wellness. In business, it’s all about your company’s “core” values. Again, same symptoms, same results. Letting processes, policies or behaviors deviate from the central tenets that support your brand leads to an unhealthy culture that will, eventually, negatively affect your bottom line.

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A Chair Called Clarity

Sitting here in front of my computer I recently stumbled into this sleekly produced video from Allsteel for a chair they call “Clarity.” Like most people, I spend a sizable chunk of my life in a chair, and the word “clarity” happens to be part our company tagline and key to our branding philosophy. So I kept watching.

I was drawn initially into the video’s seductive juxtaposition of line and type, but it was product designer Patrick McEneany’s succinct description of the Clarity chair that really hit home.

“With Clarity we wanted to eliminate all of the unnecessary features and functions of the chair and really focus just on the pure, timeless, essential design,” McEneany says.

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