Category Branding

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?

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.

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.



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.



Private Label is here to stay

It’s no secret that private label products are those manufactured or provided by one company for offer under another company’s name, and are available in a wide range of industries from food to cosmetics. These, also known as store brands, private label, or private label goods were often considered to be lower cost alternatives to major brands, but many private brands are now showcased as premium and compete with existing products.

There are numerous advantages for retailers to promote private label products. The packaging and labels can be custom tailored to meet certain needs, including a specific target audience, name, description, logos, etc. Private labeling allows retailers to have more control over pricing strategies. There is also more freedom for retailers to create their own marketing strategies and to control their own inventory. Overall, with higher margins possible, there is a greater opportunity for profit.

Additionally, private labeling allows retailers to create a personalized and unique image, which promotes stronger customer loyalty.

With private labeling, retailers can acquire products that are already developed, or that can be changed and re-branded in an individual fashion. Basically, retailers can control many business aspects and create their own unique product. They can personalize the products, add their own information, additional materials, logos, titles, etc. This can all be done in a lot less time than it would take to develop the product from scratch.

In recent years there has been a significant increase in the number of private label brands on the market. This is particularly true in Europe, where private label goods account for almost half the products sold in stores. This figure is closer to 25% in the United States, and the trend appears to be increasing.

The team at Square One Branding can help you develop your own private label program. Give us a call and we can get started.

The Truth about Fiction

We’ve all heard the phrase “Life is but a dream…” However, no one takes this more to heart than the team atFiction Events.

For Fiction, it’s all about creating a surreal experience for each and every one of their clients. Unexpected concepts, rich textures and interesting color combinations that transport you into a theatrical world of fantasy and multi-sensory delight. Square One Branding was presented with the challenge of capturing this unique point-of-view and translating it into a brand that would communicate its essence.

A characteristic logo and color palette were created that informed everything about the direction for the look and feel. Vintage images were married with modern aesthetics and a well branded website and blog were developed using a myriad of technologies that deliver an online event in itself. In addition, a seamlessly integrated back office functionality was put in place that allows the client to update content easily and effortlessly, allowing them to focus on what they do best. Create.



Marketing, Branding and Advertising. What’s the difference?

Many people use words like advertising, branding and marketing interchangeably when they actually mean very different things. Today’s post is an effort to clarify these differences.


Marketing is usually the first step in the process of getting a product to market and promoting it. It’s the process by which companies create customer interest in products or services. It generates the strategy that underlies sales techniques, business communication, and business development. It is an integrated process through which companies build strong customer relationships and create value for their customers and for themselves. It’s used to identify the customer and to address the customer’s needs in order to keep them satisfied. With the customer as the focus of its activities, it can be concluded that marketing management is one of the major components of business management. The adoption of marketing strategies requires businesses to shift their focus from production to the perceived needs and wants of their customers as the means of staying profitable.

The term marketing concept holds that achieving organizational goals depends on knowing the needs and wants of target markets and delivering the desired satisfactions. It proposes that in order to satisfy its organizational objectives, an organization should anticipate the wants and needs of consumers and satisfy these more effectively than competitors.

A strong marketing strategy dictates the direction for the brand. It strives to create a product that is coveted for its function as well as creating an emotional connection that will result in brand loyalty.


A brand is the personality that identifies a product, service or company (name, term, sign, symbol, or design, or combination of them) and how it relates to key constituencies: Customers, Staff, Partners, Investors, etc.

Thoughts, feelings, perceptions, images, experiences, beliefs, attitudes, and so on are all part of the psychological aspect of brand associations. The experiential aspect consists of the sum of all points of contact with the brand and is known as the brand experience. The psychological aspect, sometimes referred to as the brand image, is a symbolic construct created within the minds of people and consists of all the information and expectations associated with a product or service.

People engaged in branding seek to develop or align the expectations behind the brand experience, creating the impression that a brand associated with a product or service has certain qualities or characteristics that make it special or unique. A brand is therefore one of the most valuable elements in an advertising theme, as it demonstrates what the brand owner is able to offer in the marketplace. The art of creating and maintaining a brand is called brand management.

Careful brand management strives to make the product or services relevant to the target audience. Brands should be seen as more than the difference between the actual cost of a product and its selling price – they represent the sum of all valuable qualities of a product to the consumer. There are many intangibles involved in business, intangibles left wholly from the income statement and balance sheet which determine how a business is perceived. The learned skill of a worker, the type of metal working, the type of stitch: all may be without an ‘accounting cost’ but for those who truly know the product, the difference is incomparable.

A brand which is widely known in the marketplace acquires brand recognition. When brand recognition builds up to a point where a brand enjoys a critical mass of positive sentiment in the marketplace, it is said to have achieved brand franchise. One goal in brand recognition is the identification of a brand without the name of the company present. For example, Disney has been successful at branding with their particular script font (originally created for Walt Disney’s “signature” logo), which it used in the logo for

Consumers may look on branding as an important value added aspect of products or services, as it often serves to denote a certain attractive quality or characteristic. From the perspective of brand owners, branded products or services also command higher prices.

Brand Promise:

The marketer and owner of the brand has a vision of what the brand must be and do for the consumers.

Brand Awareness:

Brand awareness refers to customers’ ability to recall and recognize the brand under different conditions and link to the brand name, logo, jingles and so on to certain associations in memory. It helps the customers to understand to which product or service category the particular brand belongs to and what products and services are sold under the brand name. It also ensures that customers know which of their needs are satisfied by the brand through its products. ‘Brand love’, or love of a brand, is an emerging term encompassing the perceived value of the brand image. Brand love levels are measured through social media posts about a brand, or tweets of a brand on sites such as Twitter. Becoming a Facebook fan of a particular brand is also a measurement of the level of ‘brand love’.

Global Brand:

A global brand is one which is perceived to reflect the same set of values around the world. Global brands transcend their origins and create strong, enduring relationships with consumers across countries and cultures.

Global brands are brands sold to international markets. Examples of global brands include Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Marlboro, Levi’s etc.. These brands are used to sell the same product across multiple markets, and could be considered successful to the extent that the associated products are easily recognizable by the diverse set of consumers.


Advertising is a form of communication intended to persuade an audience (viewers, readers or listeners) to purchase or take some action upon products, ideals, or services. It includes the name of a product or service and how that product or service could benefit the consumer, to persuade a target market to purchase or to consume that particular brand. These brands are usually paid for or identified through sponsors and viewed via various media. Advertising can also serve to communicate an idea to a mass amount of people in an attempt to convince them to take a certain action, such as encouraging ‘environmentally friendly’ behaviors, and even unhealthy behaviors through food consumption, video game and television viewing promotion, and a “lazy man” routine through a loss of exercise. Modern advertising developed with the rise of mass production in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Mass media can be defined as any media meant to reach a mass amount of people. Several types of mass media are television, internet, radio, news programs, and published pictures and articles.

Commercial advertisers often seek to generate increased consumption of their products or services through branding, which involves the repetition of an image or product name in an effort to associate related qualities with the brand in the minds of consumers. Different types of media can be used to deliver these messages, including traditional media such as newspapers, magazines, television, radio, outdoor or direct mail; or new media such as websites and text messages. Advertising may be placed by an advertising agency on behalf of a company or other organization.

Non-commercial advertisers that spend money to advertise items other than a consumer product or service include political parties, interest groups, religious organizations and governmental agencies. Nonprofit organizations may rely on free modes of persuasion, such as a public service announcement.

When you are ready to start promoting your product or service the Square One team is here to help you do it professionally, ethically and successfully!

Ready For Unprecedented Achievement

We all face challenges in life, sometimes personal, other times professional and when we do, we tend to retreat to what is familiar and comfortable instead of thinking things through and trying to move past them.

The Perczek Approach offers customizable programs for creating and sustaining momentum towards an individuals’ highest vision. It helps them develop the somatic intelligence necessary to achieve their goals and launch them into “The Zone”—that place where thoughts, emotions, and instincts are aligned as one. They work with high performance athletes, head coaches, community leaders, sport teams and corporate institutions with a common goal: to achieve the unprecedented.

Square One Branding was contracted to develop a brand and website that would help communicate the uniqueness of the offering in a very dynamic way and immediately represent the forward motion its clients would experience once engaged.

A strong and precise logo was developed and a contemporary and energetic color palette was chosen. For the website, a simple but polished design was implemented. Text effects such as colors and fonts were carefully chosen. For the main headings, bold and prominent graphics were created. A mix of Multimedia like text, images, animation and a blog were used to convey the message and promote interactivity. And since speed is king, precautions were taken to ensure speedy loading of all web pages.

The result is a sleek and contemporary website where anyone visiting would find themselves engaged and motivated to learn more towards the realization of their dreams. Something that for the most part is, well, unprecedented.