Dual Branding

If your business has ever expanded to the point where you’ve wondered, “Should we create a new brand for this segment of our business?” this article is for you.

We’ve had this kind of conversation with many customers, and there are pros and cons either way. Here are the four factors we consider when making this strategic decision.

Deciding Factors

  1. Nature of the service or product
    How different is this service from the other services you offer? The more different the service is, the more it lends itself to becoming its own brand.
  2. Clientele
    Look at your audience. If your services are catering to different kinds of consumers, then that’s another indication for a different brand.
  3. Customer experience

    Consider what it’s like for your clients to consume this product or service. The more different the experience is, the better it is to separate the brands.
  4. Customer mindset

    How connected are the different services in the mind of the consumer? For example, if a carpet store offers the services of carpet sales and installation, as well as carpet cleaning, how related are sales and installation with cleaning? One of them is a once-and-done kind of deal. The other has to do with scheduled maintenance. This question can be hard to answer. You might need to ask customers about their mindset because you may not be objective about this.

Benefits

After considering these factors, is at least one of them different enough to justify a separate brand? If so, there are several advantages to launching the new identity.

  • Focused marketing

    In general, marketing is more powerful when it’s concise and focused tightly on a niche. It’s easier to resonate with a simple targeted message, and customers can find exactly what they’re looking for without wading through unrelated stuff.
  • Unique branding

    Establishing a new customized brand lets it have more personality, reflecting specifically what it is. No more generic, one-size-fits-all branding.
  • Improved search engine results

    If you’re not trying to cram seemingly unrelated things onto one website, then it’s easier to be successful with search engine marketing. The range of search terms is narrower.

Sub-Brands: Four Stories

Here are examples of Accent Interactive customers that decided to create a new brand or new website for some of their services.

  1. Sea King: Same Surf, Different Turf

    If you want delicious seafood from Sea King Seafood Markets, you can enjoy it from either their take-out market or dine-in restaurant. This was a case of the same service/product and clientele but different customer experience and mindset.

    Sea King was running a successful take-out seafood market and decided to expand with a nice dine-in experience. So they renovated their warehouse into an adjacent restaurant. Sea King offered similar menus (but not exactly the same) in both the market and the restaurant. Their audience was very similar—the same local seafood lovers. The market and restaurant were even located in the same building, but had separate entrances. The customer experience and mindset is where the main difference was. Their customers choose whether they want to carry the food home and eat it there, or to dine in and have someone else do the dishes.The strategic decision for Sea King was to market the restaurant as a new brand, with its own name (Sea King Crab House) and website. This decision leveraged what customers already knew and loved about Sea King; and yet a Sea King customer who just wants the take-out market menu doesn’t have to bother with the restaurant’s daily special.

  2. Employee Assistance Program (EAP): The Power of Audience

    Many large corporations today have an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), which offers counseling and assistance to employees dealing with life’s ups and downs. Most of the factors here suggested that one brand could be sufficient. But this case study demonstrates how a difference in clientele can trump everything.

    EAP provides the same counseling services by the same staff to all of their clients. However, they are the designated service provider group for two different organizations. When it came time to decide how to brand themselves, we considered the options. One option was to create just one brand and one website for all the organizations they serve. Another option was to create all new brands and new websites for each organization client.The final solution is a balance between those two extremes. We feature a different logo and URL for each organization to give it a unique identity. But the customer experience is the same for each organization, and there is no need to create new content for each website. So we just mirror the content on both sites. This honors each organization with its own dedicated platform, while saving effort in content development.

  3. RMB Consulting: Get Your Own Bed

    This was a case of a service being embedded into a company when it deserves its own brand. The only question for this one was why we didn’t do it sooner.

    Nigel Jones specializes in embedded technology products. In addition to creating new products, he also uses his expertise to serve as an expert witness. All of those services were branded under RMB Consulting.He realized, however, that the service of testifying before court is quite different from embedded systems design and consulting. The audiences were different too. As an expert witness, he was offering his services to lawyers. As an embedded systems design consultant, he was marketing to technology companies, manufacturing companies, and engineering teams. The customer experiences were also different. His expert witness clients were trying to prove a case in court, whereas his engineering clients were collaborating on creating new technology.

    Considering all the differences, it was an easy decision to create a second brand for Nigel Jones as an expert witness. We created a new website and customized the content to the audience. Each service is featured in its best light, without the distraction of a seemingly unrelated service on the same website.

  4. Lead NYC: Fruit Salad on a Tree

    In this case, a non-profit had already branched out to the point of bearing different fruit. They had one brand for their parent company and another brand for their marketplace services. The parent company was getting rebranded as Lead NYC, and in that process, we reassessed if the marketplace services brand should still be its own entity. Were the kinds of fruit different enough from each other to justify separate brands?

    Lead NYC was known for catering to an audience of non-profit and church leaders through conferences and training programs. The marketplace services, however, was targeting a different audience—business people. The mission was to help them vocationally through coaching and executive round-table groups. Thus, the services and clientele were very different from each other.The customer experience and mindset were also different. Charitable people are used to reaching for their wallets to make an impact through non-profits. However, the marketplace services wanted to focus on serving these career-oriented people, not getting donations from them.

    So it was an easy decision to keep the marketplace services as a separate entity. The next step was to rebrand it, to fit with the new Lead NYC parent brand. To come up with a new name, we asked the founder, Dr. Chip Roper, a series of clarifying questions. This helped him get to the heart of what he wanted to communicate and represent with the marketplace services.

    The result was a new name: VOCA Center, and a tagline “find and follow your calling.” The logo was designed to give the VOCA brand a family resemblance with the parent organization.

    Establishing the new VOCA name and tagline gives Chip the key he needs to instantly open up conversations with prospective clients. The name VOCA is memorable and compelling. “People never forget VOCA,” said Chip. “It’s life-giving. It’s got zing. And it lets me tell people in one sentence that what I do is about them.”

    We also created a video for Voca Center, consulted on their program design, and facilitated team creativity coaching.

    After working with us on branding VOCA, Chip can clearly and enthusiastically explain to people what he does now. As he reflected on the branding experience, he shared advice for other business leaders preparing for that process. “It’s important to have self-awareness about what you’re trying to communicate. Be ready to have your assumptions challenged and to have humility,” he said. “It’s hard to tell the forest from the trees on your own. Accent Interactive figured this out much better than I could have. And at the end of the day, I’m really happy.”

Like Launching an Emerging Adult

We understand that your business is like your child. If your company has grown up, and it’s time for one of its distinct services to become an autonomous person, we’re ready to help it take that step of maturity.

Let Your Voice Be Heard: Podcasting for Marketing


Have you considered creating your own podcast? It’s a fun and effective way to regularly reach an audience with your message.

Podcasts can be audio or video. The advantage of audio is that listeners can be doing something else with their eyes and bodies while enjoying the podcast. The advantage of video podcasts is their ability to illustrate and show what they are talking about.

Benefits

  • Conversational
    The nice thing about a podcast is that you can keep it casual in tone, and that makes it different from other kinds of marketing. You can make it feel like people get to eavesdrop on your coffee conversation. They can learn from your business expertise—and hopefully laugh at your jokes. The dialogue is what makes the message engaging and accessible.“Conversational” describes the tone of our own podcast, WorkWise. Most episodes are a dialogue with Ken and Mike, but sometimes we mix it up with a guest.
  • Fresh content automatically
    Subscribers conveniently get your podcast right on their phones, and they can listen whenever they want. This is your chance to get in front of them on a regular basis. They want to hear from you.
  • Redeem time
    What do people usually do while they’re driving, exercising, or doing chores? Chances are they’re listening to something. With audio content, you’re giving them the opportunity to enrich their time with your message.
  • Cost-effective
    The production cost for a podcast is relatively low because you’re just recording a conversation. All you need are standard tools like computers and microphones, and you can self-publish a podcast. One of our clients produces Leading in the City by just getting a few people in a room with some microphones.
  • Repurpose other content
    There’s no need to create something from scratch for a podcast. For example, you could make a podcast from audio versions of your articles, like we did for Clinical Laboratory Sales Training. Or you can use recordings from events, like STORY Podcast does.
  • Unique style
    A podcast gives you a platform to get your unique voice heard. As with any form of marketing communication, think about what style is best to connect with your audience. Make sure your podcast feels like you.

Uses

  • Marketing
    According to Naresh Vissa, author of Podcastnomics, “Podcasting is now entering into its true golden age of mass adoption.” Many companies, such as our client Maroon PR, use podcasts as part of their marketing strategy. Similar to blogging, podcasting is another way to regularly create fresh, value-added content. You can make it available on your website and/or other platforms like iTunes to reach more people.
  • Later this year, Apple’s iTunes will be making it easier to track analytics for your podcast, so you can tell how many people are listening and how much of each episode they played.
  • Education
    Some companies are using podcasts primarily for internal purposes, to educate their own team. It can be hard to schedule time for the experts in the company to train other staff. But if you record a series of their presentations or interviews, then you can use it to educate anyone at any time. For example, our client Inolex is creating an internally published podcast to educate their sales team on their technologies and sales strategies.

Speak Up

If you’re interested in starting a podcast, get in touch with us. We have the professional equipment and experience, and we can help you craft a podcast that projects your unique style.

Facebook: Personal Connections for Your Business

Business is all about connecting well with the people you serve. While nothing can truly replace those face-to-face chats, Facebook can help keep you top of mind with clients and prospects.

Since you need a personal account before setting up a business page, it emphasizes the Facebook way: it’s all about individuals. Here are some tips to promote your company and connect with some of the 1.2 billion people who use Facebook every day.

The Anatomy of a Good Business Page

  • Profile Photo
    Your company logo works well here. It’s recognizable and it’s the thumbnail image that is displayed with all your updates.
  • Cover Photo
    This is one of the first things people will see on your business page, so make sure it hooks them in. Feature an engaging image that sends a message, and make sure it’s optimized for the right dimensions. We can help you polish your business page profile and design a snazzy cover photo. If we’ve already done design work for you, we can even repurpose it for Facebook, like we did for this managed IT services company:
  • Call to Action
    Take advantage of Facebook’s call-to-action button. Choose an option that will drive people to do something important for your business. For example, with one click, people can easily contact you, sign up for something, or even make a donation.
  • Posts
    To be effective on Facebook, you need to engage with your network on a regular basis. This is how you keep the marketing conversation going. Think of posts as tidbits that highlight your company’s services and results. Show what you do through photos and videos. And did you know you can pin your posts to feature the most successful ones? We’ll work with you to create compelling images that pique interest. Leave it up to us to schedule posts so you don’t have to worry about it. Here’s an example of what we’ve created for a power wash company:
  • Ads
    Investing a bit of marketing budget into Facebook ads will increase your reach. You can pay to boost a post or create an ad that targets an audience by criteria, including:

      • Location such as country, state, city, and zip code.
      • Demographics such as age, gender, language, education, work, ethnic affinity, and more.
      • Interests based on their hobbies and pages they like on Facebook.
      • Behaviors such as what they purchase or where they travel.


    Are you curious about paid ads on Facebook but aren’t sure how to go about doing it? We can help you figure out the best strategy for your budget.

If you are looking to get more business using social media, especially if you market directly to consumers, ask us to help you connect your business using Facebook.

WJTL Radio Interview 2017-05

Internship and Mentoring Millennials (Radio Interview)

Want to learn more about mentoring millennials? Check out this radio interview.

Lancaster Bible College Radio Interview

Ken Kinard was featured on a WJTL talk radio show at Lancaster Bible College in Lancaster, PA. Host Oliver Lehman asked questions about how college students can learn creativity skills when they enter the marketplace. They discussed two kinds of internships and the power of internship and mentoring for millennials.

Preparing Millennials for the Workplace

Hear more of this conversation in part 2 as they discuss how Creativity Camp helps prepare millennials for the workplace.

LinkedIn on mobile device

LinkedIn: Your Digital Business Card

If you’re on LinkedIn, you’ve probably noticed their new look. In January 2017 LinkedIn released a desktop redesign, the largest overhaul since their inception. They wanted to make it easier for you to access relevant conversations, content, and opportunities, whether from a mobile app or desktop.

It’s a great time to revisit your LinkedIn profile. Like it or not, LinkedIn has become like your digital business card. And who wants to give out a sloppy business card—to 450 million people?

What Not to Do

Here are some common mistakes we see in LinkedIn profiles:

  • Unprofessional profile photo

    Save the selfies for your personal life. When it comes to business, make sure you have a professional image of yourself. It can get you up to 9x more connection requests.
  • No background image

    Don’t settle for the standard nondescript blue background. If you want to stand out from the crowd, then visually showcase your business in the header.
  • Default headline

    This is like your personal tagline. Have something more creative than just your job title and company name.
  • Uninteresting summary

    A professional bio is your chance to shine. Tell your story in a way that sticks.

Take It Further

Once you have a profile set up, are you leveraging the power of LinkedIn? Here are some other actions to consider that will promote your company.

  • Keep connecting with more people to expand your network.
  • Create a company page. This will highlight your business more than your profile can.
  • Post content that shows your expertise in the field. This will engage people on a deeper level. 94% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn to distribute content.

We Can Help

We’ll help you create a digital business card you’ll be proud of.

  • Are you confused by all of LinkedIn’s different sections? 

    We’ll help you figure out what information goes where.
  • Do you want to improve your profile, but don’t have the time to do it?
    Let our creative team craft it for you.
  • Do you need a professional photo?

    Come on over to our studio, or we’ll come to you for a photo shoot.
  • Do you want to create a company page or content to post?

    Consult with us, and we’ll strategize together.

Partner with us to develop a LinkedIn presence that will set you apart. Show the world that you want their business.

From the Floor Up: New Website for a Commercial Flooring Company

Have you ever walked the aisles of a Giant Food store? If so, then you have B.W. Hovermill Co. to thank for installing that floor.

Based in Maryland, B.W. Hovermill Co. specializes in commercial floor installation. Over the last 60 years, they have established decades-long clients, such as Giant. However, Hovermill didn’t have an online presence that featured their expert work and clientele. They came to us wanting a website that showcased their breadth of experience and longevity in the industry. Here’s how our creative team met the challenge.

Wide Variety of Experience

  • Floors: We featured different kinds of floors on the homepage slider, including inlays and carpet from actual projects.
    Result: The first impression images say it all—“We specialize in an array of flooring.”
     
  • Services: We helped Hovermill identify which services to promote, from as standard as installation to as specialized as moisture mitigation.
    Result: Clients learn that Hovermill offers multiple flooring-related services, not just installation.
  • Projects: We highlighted key projects in different industries and around the community with a gallery.
    Result: Web users can see at a glance the variety of work Hovermill has done and can click on the images to learn more about the specialty projects.
  • Manufacturers: Hovermill is a supplier for over 40 manufacturers. We organized their logos and linked to their respective websites.
    Result: Clients can conveniently see the plethora of brands all organized on one page and click for more information on each manufacturer.

Deep Roots in the Industry

  • Testimonials: We included a “What Customers Say” section on the homepage and more testimonials on the Customers page.
    Result: Hovermill is established as being credible, professional, and trustworthy by satisfied customers in their own words.
  • History: We emphasized the company’s 60-year history, their multi-generation ownership, the management team’s expertise, and Hovermill’s long-term clients.
    Result: Prospective clients realize that Hovermill is established, knowledgeable, and reputable.
  • Branding: We incorporated color and design elements from Hovermill’s logo throughout the website. We also pulled geometric angles like a carpet pattern to draw the eye down the homepage in bite-sized sections.
    Result: People want to keep reading more on the website, and Hovermill’s brand is further established, building a consistent look.

Let the World See

Hovermill does world-class flooring work—and now they have a website that shows it. Our creative team was able to maximize the potential of the available photos and resources to represent Hovermill’s skilled craftsmanship.

Do you want a website your clients will be floored by? Let’s get started. We’re ready to roll out our red carpet just for you.

Sleek Website for Barcode Solution Consultants

Barcode technology is all around us. You see it when you’re checking out at the store, when you’re boarding a flight, or when you’re filling a prescription. TCG is a company that specializes in this kind of automated data collection.

TCG’s original website had a defunct online store with overwhelming lists of scanners, printers, and mobile devices. They came to us wanting a new website that still featured products, but not for sale online. Our challenge was to present their new message: We’re not just retailers—we’re established consultants who advise clients, create solutions, and sell curated products.

Product Presentation

TCG had about 200 products to feature on their website. How could we present all of them in a way that was space-efficient and easy to navigate? And how much product data should we show? Too little and the products couldn’t be distinguished from each other; too much and it would be overwhelming.

Here was our solution:

  • Organize the products

    We arranged the products by product category, manufacturer, and industry.
  • Create a simple, one-phrase description
    Instead of just listing the product name (e.g., CN51), we included an informative subtitle (e.g., versatile mobile computer with large 4-inch touchscreen) and an image.
  • Depend on the data sheet to provide product details

    Why fill up the website with lots of details? Clients who want more information on a certain product can download the data sheet as a PDF.

Modern Design, Personal Touch

A company that specializes in barcode technology needs a slick, contemporary look. TCG also wanted to emphasize that they were an established team of experts with a brick-and-mortar presence.

These design features carried that message:

  • High tech look

    The products shine against a neutral page background that is finished with a glossy black. And, of course, the website is mobile friendly.
  • Photos of office and staff 

    TCG shows their high capacity warehouse and office space. We also included bios and headshots of the management team to add their personal touch and expertise.
  • Custom logo development

    We added small graphical touches to highlight TCG’s distinctives, such as 30 years of longevity and enhanced warranty protection. To show TCG’s consultative value, we included an iconic “thumbs up” on recommended products.

Migrating a Web Application

TCG used a web application for providing quotes and tracking products and sales. The application also allows client to check the warranty on the products they purchased. We helped them migrate the web application to the new site as well.

Check Us Out

Now TCG has a website that features both their products and their expertise as consultants. The next time you’re checking out at the grocery store, you very well might be using the technology provided by TCG.

If your website needs a new look, there is no need to search and scan—we’re only a click away.

Display Banner “Rains” People In

As a nonprofit, Kingdom Rain relies on supporters to accomplish their mission—training Christian leaders in remote areas of the world. Setting up display booths at conferences can be a great opportunity to promote their ministry. But with all the other organizations that also vie for people’s attention, how could Kingdom Rain stand out?

Kingdom Rain had already seen success in the website and print materials we had created for them, so they came to us for their display banner. Our creative challenge was to design a banner that would draw people in for a closer look, demonstrate Kingdom Rain’s mission, and develop a consistent marketing brand for them.

Kingdom Rain Banner

The Banner Beckons

The 80” tall banner piques interest from afar with captivating design elements. Once you’re up close, your eye flows down the banner like rain. We achieved this through using:

  • Geometric shapes at descending angles
  • Rain drops falling down the banner
  • Sophisticated images (alternating between color and monochrome)
  • Dramatic contrasts between light and dark

Result: The banner attracts attention from a distance, draws people to the booth, and keeps them interested from close up.

Message at a Glance

We wanted to communicate the essence of Kingdom Rain’s mission with the fewest number of words. At first glance, you can tell Kingdom Rain serves outside of North America.

  • The header reflects Middle Eastern shapes
  • The photos show cultural diversity
  • The background image is a subtle world map
  • The words are concise, from the tagline at top to the blocks of simple content along the sides

Result: The message is suited to the medium of the banner, which is meant to visually show what the organization is about. This gives Kingdom Rain opportunities to talk with people who are interested in learning more.

Consistent Branding

To create a consistent marketing brand for Kingdom Rain, we repurposed some of the photos and design elements from their website and brochures.

Result: If people see Kingdom Rain’s display banner, look at their printed materials, and visit their website, they get a consistent experience that builds trust and increases the likelihood of them engaging more.

Increased Booth Traffic

Kingdom Rain loved their banner and were excited to have it at their booth. “I’ve been to a lot of conferences in my lifetime and seen a lot of banners,” said the founder of Kingdom Rain. “This is the best banner I’ve ever seen.”

If you want to attract potential clients or supporters at a conference, then it starts with having alluring display materials. We’ll help you design whatever you need to get people interested in your work.