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Does Color Really Count?

We all have our favorite hues, but is it possible our favorite brands use color to make us like them more? As much as we may like to believe we’re more independently minded than that, the truth is that visual appearance has the greatest influence on our shopping behavior. Think about it for a minute… there’s a reason orange sodas are branded with bright orange labels and logos. They want you to associate the product inside the bottle with the taste experience of oranges. Orange is a color that’s meant to grab your attention and motivate you to do something (in this case buy and drink the soda). The same can be said for virtually every product, service, or brand image we come across in our day-to-day lives. Blue is generally thought to instill comfort and trust, which is why it’s so popular within the healthcare and aviation industries. Red, on the other hand, is actually meant to agitate or excite people which is why you’ll see it everywhere from snack food to sweepstakes entry forms. Even more interesting is that different shades within a certain color group (light blue vs. dark blue for example) can convey different meanings. And, women and men often react differently to varying shades of a color (men tend to prefer more orange-based reds while women lean toward blue-based reds like brick red).

So why does it matter? Well, in the hands of a design professional, color can become an iconic part of your brand. Remember UPS’s “what can brown do for you?” campaign? An experienced professional took the opportunity to give meaning and cache to that brand color – but to also amplify it’s potential with a bold yellow accent (typically reflecting energy, motivation, and other characteristics very positive to associate with a shipping company). Color can also be the difference between success and mediocrity in the sales world. Sure, Coca Cola’s a worldwide leader now – but would the same have been the case if instead of their signature red, they used purple?

Borgioni at the JCK show in Vegas

Expressive. Exotic. Inspired.

Mother and daughter team, Rhonda and Tiffany Bartolacci wanted to have a strong presence at the JCK jewelry show in Vegas. These are some of the designs we created for them, following their now well established brand standard.

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Emotions Rule!

A strong emotional connection between your target market and your brand can increase sales volumes, increase customer loyalty and lead to higher profits.

Emotional connection is a powerful way to link the heart of your target market with the soul of your brand. This connection is the degree to which your customers care about your brand beyond its rational attributes. It is more psychological than logical and more unconscious than conscious. Above all, emotional connection can make a big impact on your business.

Brands that evoke a stronger emotional response than comparable goods are able to sell in greater volumes, create rabid customer loyalty and charge more than their competitors. Customers were willing to trade up to such products across many business categories, from coffee, beer and dog food to household appliances or professional services.

According to market researchers brands are now being forced into two distinct categories: (a) low-priced commodities or (b) brands you will pay more for because you care about them. Brands in the middle of the road will get run over, either by the low-price leaders or by the brands people love.

All Buyers Are Affected by Their Emotions. Few Buyers Are Aware of It.

Many businesses operate on the assumption that their customers make decisions consciously and
rationally. Even in technical categories (or in business-to-business), this assumption is largely false.

No human being is immune to the influence of their unconscious emotions. The rule of thumb among cognitive scientists is that 95 percent of all human behavior is unconscious. Emotional connection is even more critical if your target market is female. Women already control or influence over 80 percent of the purchases in the United States, a total of around $3.5 trillion every year. They base their decisions primarily on emotional characteristics such as relationships and on what your product will do for them personally. They don’t like reading lists of numbers, specs and statistics. (Then again, who has time?)

Emotional connection is easy to overlook because customers are often unaware of their deepest motivations, especially when those motives are not socially approved. Such motives can include greed, ambition, status-seeking, fear, anger, love, lust, disgust and pride, to name a few. What people can consciously articulate has only about a one in ten chance of being truly accurate.

Categories and Brands Differ in Their Emotional Opportunities.

Not every brand can be Nike or Harley or Madonna. Not every brand can have enthusiasts tattooing the company logo into their forehead. In categories like car repair or hemorrhoid medication, customers basically want the whole subject to go away.

In categories like candy and soft drinks, the driving emotion is really just a mood or whim. But even the most humble product or the most fleeting mood can have the right emotional connection. And every appropriate emotional connection can be maximized.

Two strategic questions any business should ask are:

(a) which emotion can we own? and
(b) how much emotional intensity does our category and brand merit?

Both answers are defined and limited by your target market. But within those limits, you can tailor almost every business decision you make to maximize the appropriate emotional connection.

Product design, price, distribution, packaging, promotions, media spending, co-branding, marketing communications, and staff recruitment and training can all be tweaked to get your customers to care more. The goal is to use all the touch points of your business to create a consistent emotional effect in your customers that will allow you to build brand trust and loyalty.

Divinely Inspired. Strategically Branded.

The Beads of Life team wanted a strong, yet playful design for their newly launched line of beautifully handcrafted bracelets inspired by a Christian message. The collateral and package designs needed to connect the audience with the message that inspired each piece and convey a feeling of quality and craftsmanship. Using the designer’s signature fuchsia, a well branded look and feel was developed that delivered the experience with a high level of impact and sophistication.beadsoflife3

 

Emotional experience marketing

In the past few years, we’ve seen a shift in the marketing strategy of many companies. This shift has been towards creating more of an “emotional connection” with their audience. The success of the Emotional Experience Marketing model is indicative of a profound transformation in our market economy. More and more, consumers are no longer buying products, services, lifestyles or information. Instead, they are seeking satisfaction of their emotional desires through the purchase of complete experiences.

Case study: Starbucks.

Starbucks has been very successful in implementing this model, they’ve done away with directly targeting the whole person, but rather their mood. Even though the customer may be the same person demographically, if they are in a different mood they’ll be more inclined to choose a different product. Therefore the target market is essentially the person’s desire or emotional need.

The person uses the coffee product, not as an end in itself, and not as a lifestyle choice “I’m a Starbucks person!”, but as a means of delivering a larger emotional experience (comfort, reward, escape, etc.). The focus is on the experience at the moment of usage. The product is only part of a larger experience. The larger experience may include the store environment, the social occasion, other customers, the time of day and even other products such as books and music.

Delivering on your promise

Hay House, the reputable publisher in San Diego, California was working on a challenging project with Suze Orman, their client, TD Ameritrade and QVC. They needed someone with the experience and confidence necessary to orchestrate the many facets of production and fulfillment needed for the successful launch of Suze’s latest financial product without skipping a beat.

Suze Orman, worldwide celebrity and trusted financial advisor, together with TD Ameritrade was launching a new product called “Suze Orman’s Save Yourself – Retirement Program” that would be sold on QVC and on the World Wide Web under the Hay House umbrella. Located across many different time zones, everyone on the team was very hands on and had a say on every aspect of the creative and budgetary approval process. Ultimately, and due in part to the magnitude of the project, the pieces had to be produced close to the QVC distribution centers in Pennsylvania for easy access and cost effectiveness.

Few professionals welcome the challenges of innovative, smart print production with Square One’s adrenaline and vision. Never limited by ‘the way it’s always been done,’ our team is invigorated by new opportunities and approaches each project with an open mind for creative solutions. Leveraging experience and profound knowledge of print production with a vast network of vendors worldwide, Square One was not only able to deliver a quality product on time, but deliver on its promise of unsurpassed customer service and dedication.

Do you have a challenging project? Give us a call and allow us to help.

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New offering with a brand new image to match

Tom Cabrerizo, former COO of Paramount Companies of Florida, commissions Square One Branding with the branding of his newest venture CFH Group a real estate investment and rental community management group based in Coral Gables, Florida, with over 25 communities under their belt. Boasting their own nursery and construction materials’ depot CFH Group offers unparalleled service and value to their customers.

Among the materials created for CFH Group are a corporate kit for investors and a more unified look for their rental communities.

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Enchanted Liaisons

International powerhouse BAP Development, responsible for the award winning, Los Altos in Casa de Campo, contacted Square One Branding to design the brand launch of their newest undertaking, Los Altos Club. A joint venture between BAP and Preferred Residences, the Asian-rustic inspired resort offers impeccably designed residential style accommodations with five star services, and it promises to raise luxury hospitality expectations in the Dominican Republic and throughout the world.

Square One developed marketing materials that capture the essence and allure of the location while maintaining the focus on the services and amenities offered, targeting both trade and consumer audiences.

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Expanding brand experience by making people smile

Whether little or all grown up, at work or on vacation, candy has the power to bring on a smile. To that end theFontainebleau Hotel’s team commissioned Square One Branding to design a line of private label candy for their retail stores. The Fontainebleau Candy Shop was created. In developing the line, only the highest quality candy was considered and the most popular flavors researched to ensure the success of the new venture. For the packaging, pattern, bright colors and foils were used for a fun yet sophisticated design that would entice adults and kids alike while staying within the hotel’s now well established brand.

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Art Lives Here

Another creation from the masterminds at CMC Group in conjunction with Lionstone and Ponte Gadea, EPIC rises at the edge of the Miami River where it comes to meet the bay.

The team was looking for a fresh set of materials that would highlight this urban-chic property’s unique location, lifestyle and culinary offering.

Pulling from the well established EPIC logo and its graphic components, Square One Branding developed a new ad campaign, email marketing strategy and collateral that convey a high level of elegance and sophistication while showcasing the inspiring works of art that live alongside its residents.

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