Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Consumer Behavior on the Couch: Freudian Theory

Sigmund Freud proposed the idea that much of one's adult personality stems from a fundamental conflict between a person's desire to gratify his/her physical needs and the necessity to function as a responsible member of society. This struggle is carried out in the mind among three systems:

Id - All about immediate gratification without thinking of consequences, our inner party animal. The id operates from the pleasure principle and wants to maximize pleasure and avoid pain, the id is selfish and illogical. It is the little red devil sitting on your left shoulder.

Superego - The counterweight to the id. It is a person's conscience. It follows society's rules and tries to prevent the id from seeking selfish gratification. It is the little white angel sitting on your right shoulder.

Ego - The system that mediates between the id and the superego. It's basically a referee in the fight between the id and the superego. It balances the opposing forces according to the reality principle which finds ways to gratify the id that the outside world will find acceptable. It is the person making the decision based on the id and superego's demands.

Freudian theory applies to marketing in the Ego system, and how consumers make unconscious decisions that guide purchases. The implication is that consumers cannot necessarily tell us their true motivation when they choose products, even if we can devise a sensitive way to ask them directly. The Freudian perspective also raises the possibility that the ego relies on the symbolism in product to compromise between the demands of the id and the prohibitions of the superego. The person channels her unacceptable desire into acceptable outlets when she uses products that signify these underlying desires. This is the connection between product symbolism and motivation: The product stands for, or represents, a consumer's true goal, which is socially unacceptable or unattainable. By acquiring the product, the person vicariously experiences the forbidden fruit.

The field of motivational research borrowed Freudian ideas to understand the deeper meanings of products and advertisements. This approach adapted psychoanalytical (Freudian) interpretations with a heavy emphasis on unconscious motives. It basically assumed that we channel socially unacceptable needs into acceptable outlets - including product substitutes. Ernest Dichter conducted in-detpth interview studies on more than 230 different products and found a couple of interesting major consumption motivations associated with specific types of products:

Motive                              Associated Products
Power                                             Sugary products and large breakfast, bowling, electric trains, hot rods, power tools
Virility                                          Coffee, red meat, heavy shoes, toy guns, shaving with a razor
Security                                         Ice cream, full drawer of neatly ironed shirts, real plaster walls, home baking, hospital care
Eroticism                                      Sweets, gloves, cigarette lighters
Moral purity                                White bread, cotton fabrics, harsh household cleaning chemicals, bathing, oatmeal
Social Acceptance                       Ice cream, coffee, toys, sugar and honey, soap, beauty products
Individuality                                Gourmet foods, foreign cars, cigarette holders, vodka, perfume, fountain pens
Femininity                                    Cakes and cookies, dolls, silk, tea, household curios
Reward                                          Cigarettes, candy, alcohol, ice cream, cookies
Master of environment               Kitchen appliances, boats, sporting goods
Disalienation                                Home decorating, skiing, morning radio broadcasts
Magic-mystery                             Soups, paints, carbonated drinks, vodka, unwrapping gifts. 

So next time that you purchase a product ask yourself which hidden motivation may be guiding you in buying that specific product? Even better, next time you see an ad you may be able to identify the hidden motivation that is associated with the product being sold.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Pavlov's Packaging

The design of a package generates expectations that allows us to imagine the pleasure that the product itself will give us. Every time that stand in front of a shelf to decide what to buy, our brain goes through a number of processes that combine our knowledge with our expectations. 

We base our decision on past experiences when picking a tried and true product and also when deciding wether to try a new product or not. In either case we are always moved by desire

Conditioned Desire

Ivan Pavlov was a Russian physiologist known primarily for his work in classical conditioning. The concept for which Pavlov is famous is the "conditioned reflex" developed in 1901. He studied salivations among dogs and learned that when a buzzer or metronome was sounded in subsequent time with food being presented to the dog in consecutive sequences, the dog will initially salivate when the food is presented. The dog will later come to associate the sound with the presentation of the food and salivate upon the presentation of stimulus. 

We function similarly than Pavlov's dogs when we are in the presence of a food package, and its design functions as the stimulus of the buzzer. The mere fact of seeing and recognizing a package reminds us of the experience of consuming the product or makes us imagine the experience of eating it if we haven't had it before. 

When we see and hold a package we perceive it with all of our senses, that experience wether good or bad stays registered in our memory as an association with the product and the brand. 

As consumers are bombarded with options, brands get less and less attention in a supermarket shelf. Great packaging design should understand the values and desires of the consumer and connect in a deeper emotional level. We like to think of product packaging as a half-second commercial where great design makes or breaks a sale. 

Great packaging must combine art and science, where sophisticated research and analysis is converted into visually stimulating design. It must look beyond creative talent and seek to understand human behavior and target consumers in a compelling, fresh, and entertaining way. A well done product package delivers the brand message to consumers directly, while its appetite appeal makes a consumer imagine the flavors and experience of consuming the product. Just like a buzzer would make Pavlov's dogs salivate with desire. 

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Monday, November 10, 2014

The Importance of Emotional Branding

Brands are built on the unconscious part of the brain

A couple of years ago the New York Times released an article that made it clear that "over the last fifty years the economic base has shifted from production to consumption. It has gravitated from the sphere of rationality to the realm of desire; from the objective to the subjective; to the realm of psychology."

Simple ideas have turned from being basic concepts to consumer-based concepts. Food is no longer about cooking or chores but about "home and lifestyle design". Airplanes are less about transportation vehicles and more about "travel organizations." We are operating within different sets of values and in order to be relevant brands must understand this changes and compete accordingly.

But what constitutes a great brand concept apt to compete in our new environment? Goods and services alone are not longer enough to attract or retain existing markets or clients. What drives consumers to buy and become loyal to a brand?

In his book Buy-Ology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy, Martin Lindstrom talks about how we are deeply irrational beings. We make irrational decisions when selecting and purchasing products all the time, most of us are guilty of picking the second magazine instead of the first in a shelf and we can't explain why. He used FMRI methods to test how people react to objects belonging to their own religion and then compared to reactions of objects belonging to beloved brands, amazingly the same areas of the brain are lit on both scenarios, leading us to think that we feel just as strong about religion as we do about some brands.

What are the drivers behind such deep connection? We believe that emotional branding plays a big role. By emotional we  mean how a brand engages consumers on the level of the senses and emotions; how a brand comes to life for people and forges a deeper, lasting connection. This means that understanding people's emotional needs and desires is really, now more than ever, the key to success. Corporations must take definite steps toward building stronger connections and relationships and recognizing their customers as partners. Industry today needs to bring people the products they desire, exactly when they want them, through venues that re both inspiring and intimately responsive to their needs.

Emotional banding provides the means and methodology for connecting products to the consumer in an emotionally profound way. It focuses on the most compelling aspect of the human character: the desire to transcend material satisfaction and experience emotional fulfilment. A brand is uniquely situated to achieve this because it can tap into the aspirational drives that underlie human motivation.

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Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Psychology of Mobile Advertising

The mobile advertising market is soaring. According to eMarketer, the global mobile ad expenditure is expected to reach $45 billion in 2015. A major reason for this increase are intersitials - full screen ads that come at a "logical break point," as Google's Jonathan Alferness explains.

The new ads that organically appear within content are being fueled by technological advances and increase use of larger screens in smarphones. Intersitials have higher levels of organic engagement, thus allowing for longer viewing times and more tolerance. According to AppFlood, revenue generated from this new ad units increased to 43 percent between the first and second quarter of 2014.

Why are intersitials so successful? It is no secret that psychology is a big factor in the success or failure of an advertisement. According to Adweek, the reason for intersitials great success is familiarity, since they function in a very similar way to regular TV spots. We are so used to watching a show and having regular intervals with commercials. With the new technology, intersitials can be customized to selected content and that leads to a greater level of connection, actually creating a sensation of a bonus rather than a distraction.

According to Jane E. Raymond, professor of experimental consumer psychology at the University of Wales in Bangor, "we actually process information in gulps. The brain goes out, grabs a bit of information, digests it, then grabs another bit." The way the human brain processes information is a perfect fit with formats such as Interscroller, that place the commercial seamlessly within the flow of content allowing advertisers to deliver small "gulps" of information.

Another psychological mechanism that contributes to the success of intersitials is that our brains actually benefit from short distractions. According to a study by Psychology Today, students focus for only three minutes at a time. After the three minutes they where desperately looking for something else on which to direct their attention, therefore rendering intersitials as a welcome distraction.

Another psychological factor that plays in the success of intersitials is the "isolation effect", where people have higher recall levels for things that stand on their own. By breaking content in parts, and taking the entire screen, intersitials give a natural punctuation to the content that is being read, actually improving the reading experience.

As technology keeps improving it seems that advertising is moving from something forced upon us to content that is customized, relevant and that can actually enhance our experience.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Top Takeaways from Social Media Week

It has been a busy and exciting couple of weeks with Social Media Week and the World Business Forum. We want to share the top insights starting with Social Media week, a yearly get together of brands and agencies all discussing best practices on how to go about social media. Below are the top takeaways:

1. Social Media shifts from earned to paid media

The category is slowly but surely moving away from fluffy goal metrics such as more "likes" or "re-tweets".  2014 has seen the main social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter move away from the earned media space and into the more commercially viable paid media category. This allows firms to shift focus and be actually able to measure fluctuations in sales.

2. ROI taking center-stage

Social media for business is here, but not everyone knows how to use it yet. Case studies do show brands actually showing monetary wins from their social media campaign, but not all of them show actual ROI figures. Last year people talked a lot about ROI but this year some companies actually demonstrated ROI and proved it.

3. Know your audience

Know your global audience, research which times zones they are in, their language and what they care about. Once you know them well, you can create content that appeals to them and know when they will see it. The main social platforms have great analytics tools for this.

4. Go Glocal

Global brands' content can no longer be just local, it must be customized to become glocal local (glocal), this means that content must be customized to fit the needs of different audiences. It must be similar enough so that you share the same message but personalized to the different areas or groups that form your audience.

5. Be the cool kid

Similar to the previous point, global social media professionals must know the tools that their audiences use around the world. Just because one platform is very popular in the US does not mean that it has caught on another part of the world. As an example WeChat is the social platform in China despite the fact that is virtually unknown in the US.

6. Social media is not a channel

Social media is still not fully understood, some businesses still treat it as a weird peripheral strategy. Too often firms struggle with social media not through lack of connectivity but because they still treat it as a channel, rather than just another part of the organization. Businesses should strive to understand what they stand for and utilize social platforms as an extension of their identities.

There where definitely some interesting insights, we hope you find this list useful and remember to keep checking the blog for more enlightening insights from the World Business Forum.

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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Twitter Introducing Weather-Targeted Advertising

The competition for advertisers among social media platforms is on fire, as a way to continue being a key player, Twitter is constantly developing new ad tools and features. Now, the social site is introducing weather-targeted ads, in collaboration with the Weather Channel, Twitter will enable advertisers to target their product ads to real-time local weather conditions. 

So for example, a clothing brand could send promoted tweets for coats and boots to people facing cold conditions, or an coffee chain could promote their frostier products during a heat wave. Twitter's new system will allow advertisers to allocate targeted tweets based on the elements such as temperature, rain, humidity, wind, and dew point. The tweets will also be targeted by the Twitter subscriber's location, interests, devices, and keywords. 

The owner of the Weather Channel announced this new initiative pointing that the company is the first media company to use Twitter's advertising API (application programming interface). That system will allow the Weather Company to automatically buy ads across Twitter and gain access to the users' information. Sales teams from the Weather Company and Twitter will pitch the opportunity to advertisers at launch, the Wall Street Journal reported. This service is expected to start soon and its forecast look sunny and bright. 

"Marketers have a search strategy and a social strategy," said Curt Hecht, the Weather Company's chief global revenue officer. "Marketers also need a weather strategy."

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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

6 Steps to a Stronger Social Media Presence

Having a social media account is not enough. Firms should take advantage of the free traffic by engaging in meaningful ways. Here we share 6 ways to build a strong social media presence.

1. Immediacy 
Real time engagement is the key. Make a habit of searching what customers are saying about your brand and interact immediately. Plan to monitor continuously during key events or breaking news and react quickly by engaging your audience. 

2. Monitor Reputation
It is human nature to be more inclined to write a review or comment when things go wrong, so it is only natural that online conversations always tend to degrade. Don't ignore bad comments or reviews, engage and try to recover the user from a bad experience. Be on top of what is happening and learn from bad reviews to improve the customer experience.

3. "P" for Place
Your social media strategy should include a place where your community can have free conversations, try to allocate strategically wether so you can be able to better monitor 

4. Content
Content should be engaging, in order to win with social media create by using the three most important factors:
Information - Peaks under the curtain, exclusive access, teach something and give a vehicle to teach someone else. 
Identity - Anything that furthers someone's identity is more likely to be shared.
Emotion - Stirring powerful emotions that move people.

5. Community
Give your product a voice, a personality. Community is very important because a big part of the purchase decision is based in belonging to something that enhances your lifestyle. 

6. Think Ad-Hoc
In order to engage your customer base try to customize as much as possible. By creating sub-communities tied by #hashtags you can target and engage different smaller groups with more personalized communications.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Brand Newsrooms at the Speed of Social

With the increase usage of Social Media marketing "on-the-fly"or real-time marketing is gaining increased interest. Consumers have higher expectations for responsiveness, participation and relevance than ever before. A study conducted by Edison research shows that 42% of consumers think brands should respond to their questions within an hour; they also expect brands to react to breaking news and engage in conversations about trending topics at the speed of social.

There is 60 times more content from brands in our newsfeeds than just two years ago, as the amount of branded content increases our attention spans keep getting shorter, in fact they have dropped by 58% in the last 10 years, from 12 minutes to 5. Here is where Brand Newsrooms have become an essential part of the modern business model allowing the brand to engage customer with precise content and timing. The poster child and most successful example to date is the Oreo tweet during the 2012 Superbowl blackout, the tweet read "You can still dunk in the dark" "Power out? No problem." that single tweet generated more buzz than their Superbowl ad.

Here we share the best ways to ensure that you create an effective brand newsroom:

1. Define your reader
Clearly define the brand traits into a social persona and create your ideal reader including tone, linguistics, attitude, enthusiasm, humor and cadence. Then every time you create content think about whether he or she would want to read, watch, or share it. Consider their needs and wants. 

2. Have a pulse on your audience
Explore the interests and affinities of your audience, make sure you know what is trending, what is engaging them in real time, most importantly be ready to REACT to breaking news. The more a brand talks about itself, the more likely it is to turn a potential audience off, instead provide news and information that are useful and valuable to your audience. 

3. Develop a content plan
Use an editorial calendar to help you pinpoint and plan stories that connect to your audience at particular points throughout the year. Establish a critical filter for evaluating whether news, events, trends or memes are relevant for your brand and its audience. 

4. Establish no-go areas
Just as important as defining what you will talk about it is critical to define upfront the subject areas that should be never used for newsroom content, or that should be handled with extreme care. 

Ready to sprout your brand to the next level? Take the first step. Call us at 305.454.4106

Monday, August 25, 2014


There are many tactics that retailers use in order to make you want something that later doesn't have a place in your life. Pushing buttons in your subconscious mind leads you to behave in ways that satisfy basic evolutionary drives.

Below we'll explore 5 buttons that push impulse buys:

1. The Love of Shopping
Some people derive enormous amounts of pleasure from acquiring new or novel things, the act of shopping itself creates an immediate pleasure and taken to the extreme shopping acts as a short-term filler for voids of security, happiness, empowerment, anxiety etc...

2. Loss-Aversion Button
Human beings are naturally concerned with avoiding to lose something and feel bad in the future. Retailers push this buttons by creating promotions such as "limited-time offers" that elicit the fear of  missing out on a good deal.

3.  Heuristiscs
Heuristics are unconscious rules of thumb that help us make quick decisions based on past experience. Retailers take advantage of this mental glitch by using bulk packaging or including "free" extras that sometimes are not free at all, but through heuristics consumers get the impression that  it must be a good value without really making a conscious choice.

4. Innate Desire to Save
The desire to save comes from a natural instinct to stock-up in order to survive when resources are limited, thousands of years ago this would have meant the difference between life or death during a harsh winter.  Next time you see a product advertising how much you could save by buying and using their product, you know they are pushing this button to drive you to make a purchase just for the sake of saving.

5. Lack of Objectivity
Sometimes people really believe that by purchasing a home gym they will completely change their lifestyle. Lack of objectivity can lead consumers to make impulse buys that don't really fit with their schedules, personality or lifestyle and end up seldom being used.

Knowing which buttons to push can help you make decisions when creating your promotional strategy or if you are a consumer it can help you understand the dynamics and reflect wether you really need a product you were not thinking of buying in the first place.

Gabriela Borja
SEED Branding Studio

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Facebook's Controversial Mood Manipulation

Did you know that in early 2012 for one week Facebook manipulated the content viewed on its News Feeds? Facebook conducted a research manipulating what 690,000 subjects saw, the results of this experiment where published this month on the prestigious journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

The research was designed to show two groups of people different types of content in their News Feeds, one group saw mostly positive posts from their friends while the other group was shown mostly negative posts. Interestingly the people in the negative posts group wrote a higher number of negative posts themselves and the positive group wrote a higher number of positive posts. The implications? Facebook successfully manipulated subjects mood making them happier or sadder for a week. 

Facebook's terms of service allows them to perform this kind of research but many users are outraged and believe that this experiment is a dangerous form of social manipulation. Also, users feel that their privacy was violated because they were was not informed consent which raises ethical concerns.

Adam D. I. Kramer, the Facebook researcher who designed the experiment said "I can understand why some people have concerns about it, and my coauthors and I are very sorry for the way the paper described the research and any anxiety it caused" Kramer wrote. "In hindsight, the research benefits of the paper may not have justified all of this anxiety."

Susan Fiske, the Princeton professor who edited the research stated to The Atlantic "I was concerned, until I queried the authors and they said their local institutional review board had approved it, and apparently on the grounds that Facebook apparently manipulates people's News Feeds all the time...I understand why people have concerns. I think their beef is with Facebook, really, not the research."

Gabriela Borja
SEED Branding Studio

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Creating Brand Equity

A Brand is a name, term, sign, symbol, design, or a combination of these elements intended to identify the goods or services of a seller and differentiate them from competitors. A brand name is the part of a brand that can be vocalized. A brand mark is the part o f a brand that can be recognized but is not utterable, such as a symbol, design, or distinctive coloring or lettering. 

The brand is the most important asset of a company, for all the hard assets can be lost but everything can be re-built if the brand is intact. A brand is more than just product or services, it implies trust, consistency, and a defined set of expectations. Brands signal a certain level of quality so that satisfied buyers can easily choose the product again. Brand loyalty provides predictability and security of demand for the firm, and it creates barriers to entry that make it difficult for other firms to enter the market. Loyalty to a brand can translate into customer willingness to pay a higher price-often to 25 percent more than competing brands. In this sense branding can be a powerful means to secure a competitive advantage. The strongest brands in the world own a place in the customer's mind and when they are mentioned almost everyone thinks of the same things.  The most important question a company should ask is "What does the brand stand for in the customer's mind?" 

So what is brand Equity and how is it created? It is the added value endowed on products or services. It is reflected in the way consumers think, feel, and act with respect to the brand, as well as in the prices, market share, and profitability the brand commands for the firm. How do you build brand equity depends on what customers see, read, hear, learn, think and feel about the brand over time. There are three key ingredients of customer-based brand equity:

1. Brand Equity arises from differences in consumer response.
If no differences occur, then the brand name product is essentially a commodity or generic version of the product. Competition will probably be based on price. 

2. Differences in response are a result of consumer's knowledge about the brand.
Brand knowledge consist of all the thoughts, feelings, images, experiences, beliefs, and so on, that become associated with the brand. In particular, brands must create strong, favorable and unique brand associations with customers.

3. The differential response by consumers that make up brand equity is all about perceptions. 
This is created through the perceptions, preferences, and behavior related to all aspects of the marketing of a brand. Stronger brands lead to greater revenue. The key challenge in building a strong brand is therefore ensuring that customers receive the right type of experiences with products, services, and their marketing programs to create the desired brand knowledge. 

In conclusion your brand is the major enduring asset of a company, outlasting the company's specific products and facilites. From the perspective of brand equity, branding is all about creating a brand promise, and at the end of the day, the true value and future prospects of a brand rest with consumers, their knowledge about the band, and their likely response to marketing activity as a result of this knowledge.

Gabriela Borja
SEED Branding Studio

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

What is Content Marketing and How to Start Using it Today

Miami Heat & Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

Content Marketing in short is Social Storytelling distributed through the various tools provided by the different social media platforms. It is all about connecting with audiences through unique content such as videos, images, relevant quotes, rewarding fans, sharing secrets, knowledge, running contests and  more that convey every aspect of branding and community. The information should be fresh, provoking, enriching and so exciting that fans are eager to share and come back for more. 

According to a Nielsen report earned media, that is, content that is shared about a brand by a third party, is 88% more effective and has a greater impact at all stages of the consumer purchasing cycle. Earned media is acquired when your content is shared and if content goes viral the rewards can be quite powerful so creativity is the key. 

Three poster children of amazing content media are GE, Miami Heat and Four Seasons Hotels and I love to cite them as examples when I talk about content. GE has been able to successfully re-position themselves from an appliance company to an "innovative and competitive science and technology leader" through their campaigns featuring 3D printing #3DPrintMyGift or their #6SecondScience Fair. On the other hand Miami Heat's content is filled with dynamic and exciting on-court images, sharing game and practice updates, behind-the-scenes and first-to-know information. And Four Seasons Hotels content takes you inside the luxurious lifestyle of the brand through evocative images, DIY spa treatments and virtual image tours of their amazing properties leaving you in an inspired state. 

Content Marketing is not the same as Social Media Marketing but both are related and essential to each other. The difference between the two is where the information comes from. Content Marketing comes through the brand's website or microsite and it is shared through the different social media platforms in the form of links. 

In conclusion, to begin using content marketing today start thinking of yourself as a as publisher of high-quality content to build audiences on your own website and make sure to share and encourage others to share your content on relevant social media platforms. This can result in greater opportunities to nurture motivated leads that can turn into loyal customers. Feel free to discuss your thought and share with us your best content marketing practices.

Gabriela Borja
SEED Branding Studio 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Why Storytelling should be your top Marketing Tool

The traditional concept of Marketing revolves around business functions, or things that Marketing people do: sale, promotion, advertising, market research, distribution, public relations and so forth. As a matter of fact most of the marketing money is spent on activities and the personnel who handle them. However Marketing is also an orientation, an operating philosophy geared towards customer satisfaction, towards creating a brand experience, a connection and in this realm is where storytelling is a powerful tool. 

Human beings have traditionally used stories to describe or explain things they could not explain otherwise. There are stories explaining the mysteries of creation, the afterlife, the apocalypse, heroes and more in cultures all over the world such as Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Hebrew, Indian, Greek, Christian, Hopi, Boshongo and in the modern age. Although most stories are very different in context they all share a basic structure that is very similar to one another, this is remarkable and significant because most of the stories where written at a time where cultures did not connect to one another. This implies that the stories that are perpetuated share elements that resonate deep into the human subconscious and become ingrained in our minds.

How does this translate into the business world? Apple is a great example, behind its marketing powerhouse is the foundation of the brand that dates to its very beginning. The story of Apple follows the classic journey of the "Hero", this has helped the brand go from underdog to a market leader and it is the single most effective tool that creates a cult-like following for the brand. The myth of the hero  emerges from the many cultural versions and is seen as a universal metaphor for the human search for self-knowledge, to follow the hero is to lose ourselves in order to find ourselves. Jobs and Wozniak created the company in a humble garage, they did not wear suits and where part of a counter culture, Jobs went through trials and tribulations being fired from the company he created only to have a great comeback balancing his failure by sources of strength and completing his journey as a hero. 

The best way to create a connection with your customer base is through storytelling, why would people wait months and pay a fortune for an Hermes bag? Because of the story of the brand, its history of craftsmanship the great feats it has to go through in order to acquire and manufacture the top materials. This connection can also be created using stories in your advertising, think of Budweiser's highly successful Super Bowl commercial "Puppy Love", it is a story of the adopted puppy going on a journey, going trough trials and tribulations until he finds his place in the world at the barn where he befriends a horse, they are separated and it seems that it will have a sad ending, but then the horses band together to save the puppy and bring him back home. The puppy succesfully embarked in the journey of the hero and Budweiser successfully created a long-lasting bond with consumers. In conclusion, the next time you think of marketing try to embed your own story into your plan, or create stories through carefully crafted communication in order to create emotional bonds and ingrain your brand in the hearts of consumers. 

Gabriela Borja
SEED Branding Studio

Monday, May 19, 2014

Should you use celebrities in your Advertising?

We see celebrities in ads everywhere selling products ranging from cars to watches, cosmetics, baby products, insurance and more. Celebrity endorsements bring attention, and are definitely expensive but are they worth it? In this article we will discuss when it is useful to hire a celebrity to endorse your brand, when it is not, and when you must run away from them. 

Kendall Jenner
But first let's go through a quick psychological background about how we process information and how we direct our attention. There are basically two ways in which our brain processes information from the outside; an active and a lazy way. The active way is called the Central Route Processing and we use it when we are highly involved in something, such as the purchase of a home. The lazy way is called the Peripheral Route Processing and it is when we pay casual attention and we process a message without in-depth evaluation. With this in mind I will discuss three brand scenarios and when it is worth splurging in hiring a celebrity to endorse your brand.

1. High-Involvement Brands
In this type of scenario your customer is highly motivated to buy and they will make a highly focused evaluation of your product offering. On the other hand you have a strong value proposition that makes your product different and unique plus you have a strong argument as your sales pitch, a good example would be a home loan. With this type of product offering a celebrity endorsement would not make a significant difference in terms of sales so it would not be worthwhile to spend the extra bucks. 

2. Low-Involvement Brands
In this type of scenario your customer is casually motivated and will pay peripheral attention to your product. Your product offering may not have a strong enough argument to grab your customer's attention and convince them to buy your product.  If money is an issue you can use pretty pictures, humor, nudity, taboo or heartwarming messages to make a connection. But if your budget allows, here is where a celebrity endorsement can become your secret weapon! However the celebrity must be chosen very carefully and strategically.

3. When to Run -Away 
In the case of true luxury brands celebrity endorsements are a big no-no. The luxury brand must be courted by the celebrity not the other way around. The luxury brand must exude an air of mystery that can be cheapened or killed by a celebrity attachment. Your head may begin to start popping with a couple of ads of "luxury brands" that have been endorsed by those belonging to Tinseltown, but if you dig deeper you may be surprised to find out that those brands are no longer true luxury. Thinking of the Roger Federer-Mercedes Benz pairing perhaps? If you dig deeper Maybach is now Daimler's true luxury brand and Mercedes Benz now belongs to us mere mortals.

Gabriela Borja
SEED Branding Studio

Friday, May 9, 2014

At SEED Branding we love the kind of thinking that just as a small seed has the material and potential to grow into a huge tree, so do we have all the material and potential to become who we would like to. We are are part of nature and we are part of the same principle: It is all about growth, if you are not growing you are dying. Let us help you build your passion and grow your dreams.


Wednesday, April 30, 2014

5 Ways to attract FEMALE customers

85% of purchases are made by or influenced by women. If you are not incorporating a strategy for attracting the world's  most powerful consumers think again. Here SEED Branding Studio shares 10 ways to attract the ladies:

1. Focus on costumer service 
Women are socialized to be the peacemakers and problem solvers of the world. The female mind is able to think ahead and picture a worst case scenario, so it is very important that the salesperson or customer service rep be a good person who will be responsive during and after the deal is sealed. All things being equal women are willing to pay more for better service

2. Women are more interested in the WHAT than in the WHY
In order to get women's attention focus more on benefits than specs, speak in practical terms and paint pictures with stories. In order to appeal to women's psyche don't go on and on about size capacity, premiums, deductibles, liabilities, etc... Rather paint a picture on how a product or service can benefit and improve day to day life. Capture her imagination first and explain policy later. 

3. Women want to know their business is appreciated
Treat them right and they will spread the word, build a strong loyalty program. Invest in the right technology that will allow you to personalize appreciation in the form of a personal thank-you note, discount on a future purchase, a free giveaway or any expression of gratitude.

4. Cater to kids when you can
This is a biggie. If a woman's children are happy and occupied she can focus on your product. Whether you use toys, videos, or coloring books, find ways to incorporate the "kid factor" into your environment so that Mom can concentrate in what you are selling.

5. Give her a reason and a space to tell her friends about you 
Women are a great source of referrals. Give her something to pass along to her friends so that they can sample your product. Build a strong community and a space for social interaction, request that she joins and gives reviews. 

4 Ways to Unleash Creativity and Innovation

Creativity is food for the soul and let's get real, it can make you tons of money as well! SEED Branding believes that just as a huge tree can come out from a small seed, as organic beings we have all the information and material inside us to make something huge. 

It all begins with an IDEA, here we share 4 ways to unleash inner creativity using Madan Birla's M.I.N.T. process.