Friday, September 12, 2008

What Story Do You Have To Tell?

From the time we're old enough to understand, we love stories. They engage us, fire our imagination, let us experience fear without risk, loss without pain and the hope that anything is possible. They instruct, they teach us what to do and what not to do, they share wisdom.

The only thing that has changed is the media through which we tell our stories. Instead of sitting around a campfire we sit in a movie theater. Instead of sitting around the kitchen table, we sit at the computer and chat online.

So how does this relate to your business?

If you've been in business for any time at all, you've got great stories. A few days ago my friend Diane Henry, who is a Mary Kay consultant, told me about being invited to teach make up and skin care to a group of men going through the transition to become women. Great story. Another friend, Sue Koch the owner of told me about a client of hers who was desperate to leave her corporate job but didn't know what to do. Now she owns a popular gym and loves her life.

Great stories. What do you do with them?

Never underestimate the power of a press release. There's a general belief that a press release is for new products, big companies, or executive promotions. But the press release is the best possible place to tell your story and the return on your dollars can be tremendous.

Reporters are always looking for ideas and inspiration. They need them like you need sales. What they're looking for may be exactly the story you have to tell. So here's what you need to know to be effective at telling your story in a press release.

Make it compelling. Focus on the personal. Make the person reading feel what it was like for the people in the story you're telling. It's the ability to see ourselves in the story that makes us connect.

Keep it succinct. Tell the story in no more than three paragraphs. Don't embellish but don't leave out anything. Have a beginning, a middle and an end. Then tell what you did that made the story happen. Don't sell.

Be excited about the outcome. If there's a triumph in the story, let the reader feel it. Use words that convey those emotions.

Make it easy for the reporter. They are looking for your story. Make it easy for them to find it and choose it. Give them as little work to do as possible. Know their schedules. If the deadline is at 11 am, don't wait until 2 pm to email them. Send the story at 5:30 in the morning.

Get your stories out there. They give you credibility and visibility and add to your press kit. And they bring in business.

Of course, you can always call us and we'll handle all of that and get you great exposure.

More about press releases later.

Monday, September 8, 2008

New Brochure... Soho feel?

This is a new look for one of our old favorites. Thought you might be interested in seeing it.


Sunday, September 7, 2008

Branding 101

We received a request last week to write a piece on branding for one of our favorite clients to post on his blog. We did a rebranding for his company earlier this summer and he loved it so much he said he was going to have his wife get a tatoo of his new logo. I'm pretty sure he was kidding.

Here's the article. Love some feedback!

The Art of Branding

Kleenex or tissue? Coke or cola? Xerox or photocopy?

Branding, the art of using design to attract your audience and set you apart from your competitors, has become a common business buzzword in the last few years. But how do you really brand yourself effectively?

To brand a business, start at the beginning – with the message. If there were one simple message you could communicate to your potential customers, what would it be? Is it your reliability? Your great customer service? Your pricing? Your cutting-edge technology? Your playfulness? Your sense of community responsibility? Branding is about your customer, what you will do for them, how you’ll do it differently and how they feel about you. It’s about people rather than products.

Consumers buy a specific brand for three basic reasons: 1) It’s recognizable. It stands out from its competitors and tells the customer it will deliver its promise; 2) It’s reliable. The product will be exactly like the product you bought last time, no matter when or where you buy it. It takes the guesswork out of the purchase and 3) It makes the consumer look or feel good. All three reasons must be there for a brand to be successful.

How do you communicate all of this in a single visual image?

Your brand will be the foundation of all your company’s marketing and, as such, it has to be able to be translated to many different media. It needs to be flexible enough to be readable on a fax and vibrant enough to stand out on your website. Simple is best. Once you’ve determined what your message is, the design should communicate that message. If your message is reliability and your demographics reflect an older consumer, you should stay with traditional color schemes and shapes. If you’re appealing to a younger demographic, brighter colors and designs that indicate movement may be more effective. Remember it isn’t what you like that’s important – it’s what your customer likes and responds to that counts.

Dezign Matters Creative Group, Inc. is a full-service advertising agency. We take our clients through these and other fundamental principles of the branding process with ease. A strong brand is essential and we have years of expertise in developing branding that is clean, clear and effective.