Screenshot of Tory Burch accessories

Today we’re going to talk about one of my personal pet peeves as a brand marketer: the assertion that functionality is what truly wins customers. Or, more simply, that consumers don’t judge a book by its cover.

One would have thought that after Apple came in and crushed the personal computer market that the proponents of the ‘function over form’ argument would have been silenced for good. However, this line of thought seems to have no expiration date. Every time I see a commercial from a company-that-shall-not-be-named comparing its products side by side with Apple products, I can’t help but roll my eyes a little.

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During the month of August, we’ll be talking about how you can help your small business succeed by creating community around your brand. One way to do this is by getting know your audience well, and celebrating them in your marketing efforts.

A great example of this tactic is YouTube’s declaration of Geek Week, which began August 4th and goes through the 10th. YouTube knows that a huge part of their user base is made up of self-declared geeks, and they are rewarding their loyalty by celebrating “geek culture” all week long:

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Our series on starting a small business continues with a discussion about identifying your brand’s target audience.

As the old adage goes, you can’t please all the people all the time. So, it’s best to focus your resources on pleasing the right people as often as possible. The best way to do this is to identify your business’s audience right off the bat.

Now that you’ve named your company, found some small business financing, and branded yourself with a great tagline, it’s time to talk about who you think is going to buy your products.

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