Yes, You Really Do Need To Work On Branding Yourself

A company’s brand is extremely important. A business could have the best product or greatest service in the world, but if they have a negative image associated with their brand, they could end up having serious financial trouble.

Branding doesn’t just impact organizations, however. Individuals need to have positive brands associated with themselves, as well.

Unfortunately, you don’t have the vast resources that a company has at their disposal. A well-placed sign can expose local consumers to a company’s brand about 60 times per month, but you can’t just walk around with a sign promoting your personal brand. Or, at least, you shouldn’t.

Here are some great tips for improving and strengthening your personal brand:

  • Google Yourself — It feels weird, and try not to be the person who does this all the time, but searching yourself online can help you stay on track of your brand. There might not be anything other than your social media profiles, which is fine, but if you have a website, have published anything, or have any other links that could boost your image, try and get them higher up on Google just in case other people are searching for you.
  • Network with other positive people — Whether you’re attempting to promote your personal brand for professional success or just feel better about yourself, socializing and networking with other positive and creative people can be great. Find people who have excellent personal brands that are in your field and other careers, as well.

Keep in mind, while you’re focusing all this energy on strengthening your brand and image, you have to make sure that it’s your authentic voice. People can see through a fake image, so you have to stay true to yourself.


Ideas For Branding Yourself and Your Products

We truly enjoy working with our accounts to find clever and creative ways of branding their products, their shops and themselves.  We thought we might share some ideas for branding yourself and your products that might just get the wheels turning. But first it might be a good idea to define what we call branding.  We define branding as any way you can define yourself, your brand and your style.  This can be in the form of a logo, packaging style, color choices, product design, product style and labeling.  While branding in some industries is truly about the logo, label and packaging, we find that branding can mean so much more in the creative, DIY, handmade and gift market.  If you have your own product line, create your own art or are a maker of things, these ideas might just be what you need to take your products to the next level. Have you ever thought about custom prints?

merchandising bags

Whether you are using them to give to customers when when they check out or your ship the goods or maybe at a local trade show or event, placing your logo on a unique tote bag is a great way to brand yourself.  The tote bag can be a reflection of your style and if done right, is then used by your customers, helping to spread the word about your brand.  Think about your style, look and brand and bring together the elements to design a custom tote bag.

product labels

Large brands do it, some government regulations require it and strong brands don’t miss an opportunity to place a tag or label into their products.  This can be done in so many different ways and with so many different materials.  Labels that are sewn into a product can be fabric or paper, depending on what you want your customer to do with them, if you want them to stay there permanently fabric is a good choice, if you know the item won’t be washed or you want the client to easily remove the label paper works very well.  Adding a tag is a bit different as they are generally on the outside of the product to explain features, product more details and often have a UPC Code.  You can make your own label and tags in your style and they will give your products a professional look.  Keep in mind that you don’t need to follow the rules of standard, boring packaging, you can design them to suit your style.

colors and fabric choices

If your brand is recognized through fonts, color choices or style, you can carry that through in your packaging and product design to continue to promote your brand.  Even if the logo or the packaging is not in play, the look and feel of the items you offer can truly be a strong branding statement.

product names

A person will live up to their title and is proud of their name, so should your products be.  Give them strong, descriptive names that bow well with your brand and are noticed by your customers and new customers.


Logos are the center of branding for most product lines and while important, should not overwhelm the brand.  A logo can be a name, an icon or something completely unique, keep in mind if you use your name or personal data, everything you offer is an even stronger reflection of you, consider a unique name or something catchy that gives you the flexibility to do a variety of things down the road.


The products you offer, the sayings you use, the art choices are all a reflection of your branding.  In some cases you want to include your item on your brand, as Nike does on everything they do and in other cases you want the art, style and design to be front and center and the logo and branding can be found on the label so that the customer can track you down.  How you present your products is a big reflection of you, but offering merchandising that has your branding on it should be considered if it is right for your brand, organization or business model.  The more people wear, carry and talk about your brand the better, why not give them something that is a conversation starter.  People are going to talk, why not have them talk about you.

product branding

Many businesses are created by buying goods from other companies and brands and offering them in a cohesive collection that makes a great statement and focus for the customers, such as, a wine store that offers wine products from a wide range of suppliers and brands.  One thing to consider is to listen to what your customers are looking for and the items that are doing well and create the product yourself, in your style and something that is unique.  There are so many ideas, there is not a need for duplication, the key is finding a void and bringing to market what is missing, in this case, wine bags with funny sayings or coasters that represent your store name.


A growing market is your local market.  Many areas around the country are focused on updating their downtown areas, fixing up certain regions, adding new recreating and creative spaces or working hard to bring tourists and new business to the area.  You can be a part of that by offering unique, creative custom items that are all about your local area.  The more unique the products the more interesting they are to buy and share with others.  You might even find that other shops are interested in carrying your local branded items.  You might consider what you make local, but also consider other items with local art, sayings, town names and more.


Your social media sites, website, Etsy shop, should also be content with your brand and have a strong look across all platforms so that your customers become familiar with you and your work is easily recognized.  Consider logos and tag lines that are square and long so that you have options for all media outlets.  If your look is clean and modern, you will want to make sure that is presented across the board.

So if you are a DIY Bar, Local Shop or online Etsy store, you can choose a range of different ways to brand yourself.  Just because you don’t have a traditional retail location does not mean that they way you package your goods for sale is not important, take every chance you can to brand, brand, brand.

The team at Canvas Corp Brands is inspired by the brands they work with and the unique marketing ideas they are asked to do every day.  They also work with clients to give them ideas of new and exciting ways to expand their brand.  Canvas Corp Brands is soup to nuts when it comes to offering branded merchandise bags, custom printed products, labels and more.  Canvas Corp Brands produces a majority of the products they offer in Springdale, Arkansas.  Along with paper and fabric, they also offer screen printing, labels and more.  If they don’t make it in-house there is a great chance they can lead you in the right direction to find what you are looking for.

If the ideas are flowing and you would like to reach out to the team at Canvas Corp Brands you can reach them at 866.376.9961 or email them at You can also visit their shop to learn a bit more about what they do – Canvas Corp Brands Shop 

Your information will *never* be shared or sold to a 3rd party.

Want Channel Partner Help With Marketing? Simplify Co-Branding Guidelines

In an article written for our sister publication, Channel Marketer Report, Mike Moore, VP of Channel Strategy at Averetek, a channel marketing automation software supplier, noted when CMOs see partners as unreliable participants in bringing the company’s message to the market, they generally direct their brand teams to exert tight control over use of the company’s brand identity and marketing materials.

The problem with enforcing strict co-branding guidelines, wrote Moore, is that it makes “through-partner marketing incredibly rigid and potentially ineffective.”

As many companies strive to boost their revenues through indirect sales organizations, making it easier for channel partners to promote their brands is critical. For example, Xerox launched co-branding guidelines so partners can creatively leverage the strength of the Xerox brand while ensuring quality results and copyright and trademark requirements.

“We are undertaking a massive effort to make it easier for partners to do business with Xerox,” Amy Belcher, the company’s VP of Global Channel Marketing and Enablement, told Demand Gen Report. “I know when partners are dealing with multiple vendors and multiple programs, if you’re not easy to do business with then you’re forcing sales resources to spend time on administrative work rather than actually selling.”

Making its co-branding guidelines more partner-friendly was a top priority. “We’ve updated those co-branding guidelines to make them easier to understand and easier for partners to do business with us,” said Belcher. “Obviously, we want to maintain and uphold the Xerox brand because there’s an integrity in that brand. But we’ve modernized our brand guidelines. We’re more sensitive to the current market state and recognize that partners need more flexibility to market and sell our products.”

Make Co-Branding Simpler

Channel marketing experts agree that simplifying co-branding guidelines is a good idea. “The more difficult it is to get assets approved by brands, the less partners want to work with their vendors,” said Gary Ritkes, President of SproutLoud, a channel marketing automation platform provider. “That’s what we hear over and over again from partners. When the brand approval process is too strict or time consuming, it absolutely decreases the partners’ motivation to co-market.”

Ritkes said you can see the impact of rigid branding policies in the amount of co-op funding partners leave on the table. “Over half of the co-op funds that brands make available in market expires and doesn’t get used,” he said. “It’s also why major dollars on creative assets end up wasted and not used in mass — certainly not to the extent that the brand intended.”

“Simplifying brand guidelines for partners makes sense,” said Mike Gallagher, Head of Marketing for Q2E, a SaaS platform that digitally guides the execution of partner programs. “For example, campaigns are often comprised of dozens of assets, each of which have their own distinct guidelines. Simplifying the guidelines on the elements of a campaign that partners are likely to touch — emails and landing pages, for instances — is going to eliminate much of the friction that keeps them from participating more enthusiastically.”

Like Xerox, other companies are trying to understand and then lower the barriers that keep partner from marketing the brands they sell, according to Cameron Avery, SVP business development at Zift Solutions, an enterprise channel management solution provider.

“Vendors used to be very protective of their brand usage in the channel because partners often went off track very quickly,” he said. “But things are changing. Forward-thinking vendors are taking a ‘less is more’ approach when it comes to branding channel assets. Partners are more likely to use campaigns and collateral when they are more brand neutral. Why? Because they can position themselves as experts with their own messaging and brand while getting a boost from the power of their vendor’s logo.”

Give Channel Partners The Spotlight

Dana Harder, VP of Strategy for Content4Demand, a content strategy and creative agency (and sister brand of Demand Gen Report), agreed that companies need to take more brand-neutral approaches to creating marketing materials for use by partners.

As she noted in a ChannelWeek webcast in August, many companies make big investments in heavily branded, product-focused campaigns. Instead, providing partners with lightly branded thought-leadership content that partners can easily customize with their own logo might be more effective.

More effective indeed. Zift’s Avery said that one client’s unbranded thought-leadership campaign was generating attention-getting results. “The campaign had three times the adoption of the company’s heavily branded product/solution campaigns,” he said.

Angela Leavitt, Founder and CEO at Mojo Marketing, commented that while partners are more eager to support their vendors’ marketing activities, they are becoming more discerning about the messages and content they’ll share. Partners are giving preference to market materials they feel are more reflective of how they talk to their customers. Vendors should be careful not to brand the materials they want partners to share too heavily, both in terms of message as well as design.

“Partner are pushing back on sharing heavily-branded materials that they feel are disingenuous,” she said. “They are not eager to share anything that looks or reads like something they would never say.”

Less branding does appear to be more with many partners. According to Leavitt, the most eagerly adopted through-partner marketing materials are very short, text-only emails.

Improve Co-Branding Communication

“Overly rigid, strict guidelines for marketing and PR will deter utilization and erode partner confidence,” agreed Nikolett Bacso-Albaum, CEO and Founder of Market Impact, LLC, a communication firm. But before companies start trimming away at their co-branding guideline, they may want to determine if they are successfully communicating them in the first place.

“Partners generally respect brand guidelines,” she noted. “The issue isn’t with guidelines per se, it is with the clarity and consistency in which those guidelines are communicated. Brands need to understand the different contexts that partners will market their brand in. For example, offering partners a few simple variations of design that use different combinations of brand name and logo placement to account for different applications.”

Ritkes commented that embedding brand guidelines into channel marketing solutions can simplify the “ad customization and brand compliance process for partners.”

Leavitt agreed, stating that more partners are showing interest in working with vendors who deliver campaigns via channel marketing automation solutions. “The adoption of solutions that auto-generate campaigns is growing,” said Leavitt. As a result, vendors can ensure greater compliance with their brand guidelines when they use solutions that automatically incorporate them into the materials they want partners to share.


9 Video Branding Strategies to Get More Followers Right Now

There are billions of videos on YouTube right now. If you’re a content creator, it can be hard to get noticed! But if you carefully apply smart branding strategies, you can stand out of the pack and build a base. It’s easier than you may think. Today we’re going to go over ten brand strategies to help your video content rise above the rest.

Be known for doing one thinginsanelywell

With so many people accessible online, it’s temping for brands and individuals that are creating an online persona to make video content for everyone. But by doing so, you’ll be stretching yourself too thin, and sending mixed signals about what your brand is.

That’s not going to get you anywhere. 

The best way to retain and build followers is to pick one defining thing, and and create video content that reinforces that message. Be the first place people go for that one thing. 

Use branding to stand out from the crowd!

Brand Strategy example: DOVE

When you think about soap, chances are a number of different brands come to mind. Dove was sick of that, so they decided to rise above with a video campaign that focused on respect and self esteem. 

Their “Real Beauty” video has been seen almost nine million times. Now “soap” is synonymous with Dove.  

Know your strengths

Similar to the previous point, you don’t want your content to go all over the place. A common problem new YouTube channel have is that they cover too many topics and may lack focus. But, if you have a clear idea of your brand’s key traits, that can keep you on track.

We recommend making a list of your brand’s strengths, and then rank your top three. These should be the focus of all the video content you produce.  

So let’s take StudioBinder as an example. Our top 3 strengths are: 

  1. Great Design
  2. Education
  3. Innovation

So it doesn’t matter if we’re launching a new feature….

Or producing a video for Youtube….

…we always make sure that we incorporate great designs and keep an eye on education and innovation.

So how does this apply to you?

Define your top strengths. Think of it as a checklist. Share it with your team. Get everyone on the same page, and make sure it’s present in everything you create.

Brand Strategy Example: Gatorade

Gatorade was a beverage company interested in the science behind hydration. Who needed to be hydrated the most? Athletes. So the company combined its knowledge of sports, beverage acumen, and hydration science to create a coherent brand. And then they made sure every video they produced reinforced that.

Now Gatorade controls 77% of the sports-drink market.  

Lemon-Lime has the coolest online persona. Always up front.

Always be promoting

We all know promotion important, but the average tweet disappears in 4 seconds. We live in an era where promotion is a 24/7 job. If you’re willing to embrace promotion as a constant, then you can start cutting through the competition.

Plan and promote your clock around the clock. 

That may sound daunting, but there are scheduling tools like HootSuite or Buffer that make it easy for you to schedule your content to go out 7 days a week. Make a recurring notification or reminder in iCal so to get up early to promote your content daily.

Don’t be shy about asking your friends and family to retweet and share to get the ball rolling.

Cultivate your page

One of the hardest things about building a video brand is how long it can take. You want instant results but rarely see them. Instead, think about your brand like a garden. You have to plant the seeds and then water them daily. 

It’s easy to get edgy or impatient, but you have to let it grow. 

Make a schedule for yourself where you release new content so that your audience always has something to share and like. 

At StudioBinder, we have a useful task manager built into our software. That way, we can plan ahead and assign tasks to different people.   

How can I track MY BRAND’S growth?

In an article by Kurt Braget, we learned a simple formula called PILLARS that can help you effectively track your brand’s growth over time. 

  • Place — Where you’ll be posting. Instagram? Facebook? YouTube? 
  • Idea — What’s the topic of the video? 
  • Labor — How long did it take you to create the video? 
  • Link — What’s the call to action for the audience? 
  • Audience — Who are you trying to reach? 
  • Result — Did it get views? Shares? Likes?  
  • Spend — How much money did it cost to create this project? 

Get emotional

We can all agree consumer interaction can be a challenge. It’s hard to connect with your customers at first. But if you speak on an emotional level, they’ll come back for more. That’s a scientific fact! 

Psychologists Roy Baumeister and Mark Leary created something called the “belongingness hypothesis” which states “People have a basic psychological need to feel closely connected to others, and that caring, affectionate bonds from close relationships are a major part of human behavior.”

Your goal is to give the followers the support they need from your video series. You and your followers are in a marriage. That takes constant communication. If you like them, you better put a ring on it. 

No one has a better brand than Beyonce 

Read the comments

Nothing is worse than negative feedback. But if you’re going to build your brand you need to develop a thick skin. You need to be socially engaged on every level. If a lot of people are calling out something that’s not working, think about changing it for the better. 

Brand Strategy example: Southwest airlines 

According to Southwest Airlines’ corporate fact sheet, they monitor up to 3,900 flights per day. They use social media to respond to and manage their customers’ questions, delays, concerns, anything and everything. They have over 30+ people that work in their “Listening Center” that carefully analyze and respond to tweets and other social mentions.

Try new things

Once you’ve mastered the one thing you do well, it can be scary to dip your toe into uncharted territory. You always want to move forward. Falling back is not an option. But you have to be willing to expand with the market.

Switch up your video’s style or tone to see if you can tap consumers from another market.  Check out your top competitors. What do they do different than you? What can you emulate? 

Remember those top 3 strengths we covered earlier? What were strengths 4 and 5 on that list? How would you communicate that through a new branded video campaign.

Brand strategy example: DOMINOS

When pizza sales were stagnant, Dominos knew they needed a revamp. Instead of hiding their rebranding, they developed short-form video content that zeroed in on why they were changing. This admission let the consumer in on the process and felt fresh. They weren’t selling pizza like everyone else, they were selling the people who made the pizzas.

Stay in your lane

I know we just said, “try new things,” but there is danger to going too wide and chasing markets that don’t relate to your brand message. You could overextend and fall on your face! Still, if you keep focused and make sure you embrace what your audience loves, you’ll have no problems.

There’s always room to try new things, but make sure you’re making calculated decisions about what you try.

Don’t try to jump on a bandwagon. Stay in your lane. Do what you do best.     

Brand Strategy Example: Pepsi

PepsiCo is one of the largest manufacturers in the world. Pepsi’s brand was known for sexy or funny commercials, but when it wanted to quickly jump on the “social consciousness” bandwagon with its “Peaceful Protest” ad spot featuring Kendall Jenner all hell broke loose. There was a ton of backlash. 

Pepsi is no stranger to innovative ads, but it strayed too far away from their brand identity, and had to work to clean up the negative attention. 

Work with influencers

When you’re making video content you can feel like you’re on an island. It’s hard to find people who simultaneously identify with your struggles and also aren’t your competition. But when you find some allies, you can work in tandem and find new customers along the way.  

The best way to attract new followers is to do a crossover with a video-maker whose audience you want to lure. Do your research. Make a list of influencers that align with your audience, and reach out to them. You may be surprised by how open influencers are to collaboration. Chances are they did the same thing with someone else when they were coming up.

Plus, this will help your brand positioning.

What is brand positioning?

Brand positioning is defined as the space you want to own in the ideal consumer’s mind. It’s that ONE THING you do best. An effective brand positioning strategy will keep you competitive in the marketplace. 

Example:  Frito-Lay received a letter in 2009 begging them to make a “Dorito Taco Shell.” The man who sent the letter, Todd Mills, started posting photos of what the shell would look like. Eventually, Taco Bell replied to one of his Instagram posts. Taco Bell and Frito-Lay got together and created what is now one of their best-selling menu items.

Hang in there

The uphill climb while breaking your video content is a marathon. There are going to be plenty of moments where you might want to quit. If you keep climbing, even a little at a time, you’ll eventually hit an inflection point.

A lot of it boils down to working hard until you catch a lucky break. If you make great content on a recurring basis, you’ll eventually get discovered. People will retweet it, and you’re off to the races.

You can’t really plan for those moments, so you can do is buckle down and keep working on your craft until it happens.

James Cameron flipped the Terminator’s branding strategies to nice robots in Terminator 2. 

Now that you know all about video branding strategies, you’ll need to start coming up with video ideas. We know there’s a lot of different directions you can go, but don’t worry.

And when you’re done, drop us a line. We can’t wait to watch them. 


Nike, Colin Kaepernick and the pitfalls of ‘woke’ corporate branding

Nike reignited a culture war recently by revealing Colin Kaepernick as their spokesperson for the 30th anniversary “Just Do It” campaign. The sportswear brand’s announcement came via a new advert in which young African Americans, Muslim women, physically impaired athletes and white skateboarders all encourage the viewer to follow their dreams, no matter how crazy.

Nike is clearly taking advantage of hot-button social issues to promote their brand, but commercialising human rights is tricky territory. Can a global brand like Nike really support a cause without coopting it? And is the company prepared to face scrutiny over its own ethical record?

Colin Kaepernick, a former National Football League (NFL) star, knelt during the pre-game national anthem in August 2016, in silent protest at police brutality and in the wake of several high-profile police shootings of unarmed African American men.

Dozens of fellow NFL players, of all backgrounds and heritages, followed suit and the protest soon included players from every team in the league. The backlash was swift and severe, with conservative pundits, veterans and president Donald Trump decrying the protests as disrespectful to the American flag and military.

The latest salvo in the debate was launched by Kaepernick’s narration of the advert, prompting a social media hashtag urging people to “#BurnYourNikes”. Some observers in the US seemed to think that Nike had gone too far, while the company’s share price and brand approval ratings fell, at least, in the short-term.

Nike’s skeletons in the closet

Kaepernick’s role as a Nike brand ambassador may seem like political theatre, intended to antagonise Donald Trump and his supporters. However, the reality is much more vapid.

This is smart business. The ad is clearly targeted at Nike’s most important customers: young, urban consumers whose views are supposed to resonate with the advert’s apparent homage to diversity and social justice.

The brand made a strategic commitment to equality several years ago, which has seen it become a visible advocate for equality and civil rights. Nike has been trying to reposition itself since then as a socially conscious sportswear brand, to escape its ties with Lance Armstrong, Oscar Pistorius and Michael Vick.

Nike’s new campaign ad in Times Square, New York.Alba Vigaray/EPA

But the company suffered an own-goal this spring, when a New York Times investigation revealed complaints from 50 current and former employees about Nike’s “boys’ club” culture of sexual harassment and gender pay disparities. The allegations led to several high profile departures from Nike headquarters in Oregon, but it didn’t end there.

In August, four female executives filed a class-action lawsuit against the company for gender discrimination. In the #Metoo era, Nike has, once again, found itself on the wrong side of the debate.

It’s no wonder then that some commentators have become uncomfortable with Nike’s foray into politics, arguing that it’s a cynical ploy to hijack social movements in order to sell shoes. Causes and campaigns can be big business for sportswear companies and may even do some good – just look at Adidas’ training shoes made from ocean waste.

Yet Nike’s support for Kaepernick’s protest, given its origins in opposing racial profiling and violence by the police, raises questions which detract from the lustre of the brand’s apparently noble stance.

Coopting or cooperating?

Part of the problem lies in Nike’s use of imagery, words and stories that lie well beyond the reach of sport. The tag-line of the campaign, “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything”, sounds like a call to political action.

It’s the kind of soaring rhetoric you might expect to hear at a Black Lives Matter rally or the Women’s March on Washington. It’s certainly a far cry from the banter between Michael Jordan and Spike Lee from the original Just Do It adverts three decades ago.

1989 – a simpler time. Beta MAX/YouTube.

By exploiting injustice for commercial purposes, Nike may be undermining or demeaning the causes it declares to support. All of this begs the question of what relation social justice and equality bears to training shoes anyway.

Nike’s choice of Kaepernick to front the latest ad campaign commercialises issues such as racism, Islamophobia and human rights violations. Their framing of these problems beneath one catchy slogan seems to imply that there is equivalence between the experiences of kneeling NFL players, Muslim women wearing hijabs in a boxing gym, people overcoming cancer and urban white male skateboarders.

It’s all further complicated by Nike’s own internal ethical struggles. Nevertheless, despite the knee-jerk reaction among shoe burning ex-customers, sentiment already seems to be bouncing back in Nike’s favour. The company should expect positive medium and long-term results.

In the meantime, every training shoe that Nike antagonists burn generates more attention and therefore revenue for the company. Critics discount the current advertising campaign at their peril.

We should expect more of this kind of corporate support for social issues in Trump’s divided America. Capitalism and activism have always been uneasy bedfellows, but companies should be wary of appropriating social justice movements and equating buying products to fighting for human rights. Nike, and other companies, risk exposing their own skeletons in the closet by taking these high and mighty stances.


Four Ways To Start Branding Yourself Today – Marketing And Growth Hacking

The word branding comes up in every other sentence nowadays but how do you actually go about “branding yourself”.

Well, first of all, you have to understand what branding really is.

I like to think of your brand as both intangible and tangible.

The tangible elements are all the visual elements like your logo, favicon, submark, typography, colors, etc… but what’s really going to set you apart is the intangible aspects like the way you show up for your audience.

Most of you in serviced based business are your brand and this is the most valuable asset you have in your business.

There are probably so many other businesses out there doing the same thing as you BUT what makes your business different is YOU!

So you’ve got to make sure to show up for your audience and give them the opportunity to connect with you. Allow them to get to know you so that you can inspire, motivate, educate, and entertain them.

First things first, who are you talking to?

Make sure you are clear on who your ideal client is so that you aren’t speaking to everyone and consequently not talking to anyone at all.

I actually created an in-depth worksheet to help you figure out who your Ideal Client really is so make sure to download it here.

Ok, so let’s now go into the four ways you can start branding yourself today

1. Story

We all have a story to tell, a why, a journey, and it’s our job to share it with our audience so that they can connect with us on a deeper level. People buy from people and your story is the best way to help others relate to you and provide a human element to your brand.

Storytelling is a powerful tool when communicating what your brand is all about.

2. IG stories

IG is honestly the best SM platform to reach your audience right now! Of course, this depends on who your audience is but in general your audience can be found on IG and if you aren’t using it to reach them then I suggest you hop on it ASAP.

I wanted to cover IG stories in particular because stories are the best way to give your audience a behind the scenes look into your business and life. Stories give you so many tools like polls and the ask a question feature to allow you to have a conversation with your followers.

Using IG stories can help you form relationships with your followers, especially with the new “questions” feature. Stories are a behind-the-scenes look into business. When creating a stories strategy, tailor your content to your followers’ needs and focus on providing value. Be consistent with your stories — I typically suggest posting daily and numerous times throughout the day if possible. The more consistent you are, the more your story will pop up for your followers to view first. Fortunately, stories can be off-the-cusp and less polished than a post, so there’s no excuse to not show up daily.

3. FB group

I know what you’re probably thinking… “there’s already soo many FB groups out there! Why start my own?!”

I felt the exact same way until I realized I have my own perspectives, skills, values, and overall value to share and so do you! Start a FB group in your niche so that you can start growing a community of like-minded people and establish yourself as an expert.

When you start your own FB group don’t go into thinking that you are just going to start this group and all of a sudden you are going to have tons of clients coming your way. You have to genuinely deliver value and grow a community!

I started my very own FB group recently!

4. Newsletter

Last but not least is your newsletter! You need to be sending out newsletters at least four times a week to 1) deliver value straight to your potential clients inbox 2) so that they don’t forget about you 3) to start conversations.

I’ve honestly slacked off on this area of my business but I’ve developed a schedule and have gotten way better at communicating with my audience via my newsletters.

Use your newsletters as a way to share a behind the scenes look in your business, share exclusive announcements with your list, and to engage them.

Four Ways To Start Branding Yourself Today

“woman sitting on floor and leaning on couch using laptop” by Thought Catalog on Unsplash


6 Social Media Branding Strategies You Can Steal from Your Competitors (Updated September 2018)

Social media isn’t just about connecting with your friends from high school. It’s gone way past that nascent stage. It’s a goldmine for advertisers, if only they can get their social media branding and marketing strategies right. However, with Instagram and Facebook constantly changing their algorithms, it can be difficult to figure out what’s best for your brand.

Many digital marketers try every known trick in the book. From posting great content consistently and at the best times of day from the engagement perspective. In spite of doing so, it’s not uncommon to find them struggling to figure out how to beat their competitors.

So, what exactly are their competitors doing differently? If you scan through the most successful social media branding campaigns, you’ll find that they all have one thing in common. They are all investing their time and money into devising clever strategies to grab more eyeballs. They’re consistent, regular, and actively engaging with their followers on all of their posts.

That’s just one piece of the puzzle. We’ve got some more pieces to share too, so start taking notes. Here are six social media branding tricks that your competitors may be using to get more leads.

Top 5 Social Media Branding Strategies

1. Re-Sharing Blog Posts Multiple Times

Forget the notion that you can share a blog post on your social profiles only once. If you want more engagement on your blog posts, you need share them multiple times on all of your social accounts. Worried that you might bore your audience? Well, you’ll need to get a little creative with the way you share the same blog post time and again. Tweak your captions a bit the second time around.

You can try adding statistics in the caption or go with an intriguing quote. If something is trending in the news or on social media, see if you can relate your caption to it. Obviously, this needs to look natural, so make sure you only do this when sharing blog posts that are relevant to the trending topic.

By doing this, you’ll be able to grab your audience’s attention better. Your audience may have scrolled past your post the first time they saw it.

But that interesting hook you added the second time may get them to notice and engage with it. Which means you can earn more engagement by reposting the same content.

AdEspresso, for one, benefited a lot from this social media branding strategy. They shared the same post with their audience but with a different caption. Here’s the first.

Later, they re-shared the same post with a different caption to gain more engagement on it.

2. Encourage Your Audiences to Create Content

Content isn’t a one-way street. You post your content and your audience consumes it, right? Yes, that’s how social media branding used to work. But things are changing. User-generated content is the way to go forward.

So encourage your audience to post more photos or videos and tag your brand in them. You can even create a custom hashtag for your brand and ask users to share their posts with it. This way, you can ensure that you are pumping out more content without directly investing your resources into it. You’ll also be able to build a community of users who are genuinely interested in your brand.

In the this process, your audience will also take on the role of an advertiser for you. You can just curate or feature the best user-generated content on your social media accounts and let them shine in the limelight. Your chances of getting voluntary also increase with this. It’ll help you reach more people and ensure that your audience feels more engaged.

Buffer has seen incredible on social media. Their Instagram account grew by almost 400% within a year of opening their gates to user-generated content.

success with user-generated content Social Media Branding Strategies

3. Use the Right Hashtags

Your content may be brilliant, but what if it doesn’t reach the right audiences? That’s exactly where you may be losing out to your competitors. To reach the right audiences, you need to make hashtags an integral part of your social media branding strategies.

Hashtags are a great way to improve your visibility if you use them effectively. Hashtags help your content get discovered via search so you can reach more of your target audience.

To create an impact, you need to research your hashtags well. Instead of loading your posts up with tons of hashtags, use only the right ones. Use hashtags that your target audiences are likely to search for. Also, keep a tab on the search volumes of those hashtags. If they run into the millions, that implies extremely high competition which will not benefit you.

After a few posts, see which hashtags are getting more visibility and engagement for your brand. Use them more often, but avoid going absolutely overboard with them.

4. Collaborate with Influencers

Big brands and established bloggers have massive loyal followings. Don’t you wish your posts could get the same kind of engagement that they do? It’s possible if you as part of your social media branding strategies.

But you need to identify the right influencers – the ones whose niches align with your brand and who have a pretty solid engagement rate. Create an outreach program to connect with them and familiarize them with your brand. Grin can help you find and connect with the right influencers for your campaigns.

Encourage your influencers to share authentic reviews about your products. You can also share some promo codes or discount coupons for their followers as well. You could also encourage them to host contests or giveaways.

Clothing retailer, , has been leveraging influencer marketing successfully for social media branding. In the past, they collaborated with beauty bloggers like and to reach a wider audience. They were seen wearing clothing from Revolve and outlining its salient features on their social media accounts.

Collaborate with Influencers Social Media Branding Strategies

5. Take a Stance on Social Causes

Show your customers that your brand truly cares about a social cause – something that is in-sync with your brand’s values. By resonating your voice with it, you’re likely to attract more people who share similar ideals.

Many brands evade taking a bold stance for the risk of losing some followers. They fear that their brand may be labeled in a certain way. But you can use the same reason to support a cause as well. It can be a big advantage.

When you support a relevant social cause, you can showcase your brand’s personality. You send the message that your brand is socially conscious. You’re not just promoting your products or trying to drive more sales. While it is a game-changing strategy, make sure you handle sensitive issues with care.

Procter and Gamble’s line of feminine hygiene products, Always, created waves with its . Originally started in 2014, it aimed to empower women. After the huge success of the campaign, they brought it back last year with a video on YouTube. It has more than 3.4 million views, and has sparked conversations on other platforms too.

Take a Stance on Social Causes Social Media Branding Strategies

The #LikeAGirl campaign has brought attention to a serious social issue. Always started off a dialogue that solves a problem in the society. Along with it, they’ve cleverly managed to get positive attention for themselves as well.

6. Nail Your Customer Service

It’s a universally accepted truth that the “customer is king.” But while all of us accept it, only a select few create strong systems and processes around it.

A few of the best practices that can help you deliver better customer service are cross-selling, upselling, post sales selling, and maintenance services. More importantly, monitor and follow your competitions efforts to create their own processes.

Customer feedback is turning into one of the most effective social media branding strategies there is. Regardless of your industry, customer service plays a major role in retaining and gaining new customers.

User feedback and polls are a great way to learn more about yourself and your competitors.

You can create a survey in your CRM and send out emails to your clients who are at various stages. Another alternative to you typical surveys is to get undercover, more insightful feedback.

Starbucks, for instance, doesn’t ask boring questions. They try to derive more insights from interesting questions that customers will be more likely to answer.

Customer satisfaction is the door that leads into a profitable business because it helps you win customer trust. Customer support should be accessible and prompt in addressing any issues customers might have. And that’s exactly what social media allows you to do.

Social media conversations happen in plain sight and are viewed by multiple other users. Good service will earn you brownie points with them while poor support quality will turn potential customers away.

Major brands like IBM, for instance, understand the potential of using social media for customer service. That’s why their social media branding strategy includes having a dedicated support page on Twitter.


Social media is a powerful tool to engage with your audience and get more publicity. If you get your social media branding strategies right, you can automatically drive traffic and convert leads. From established brands to small startups, everyone is cashing in on the opportunity.

There is a lot of noise in the virtual world. If you don’t want your voice to get lost in it, you have to communicate effectively. Be observant and see what your competitors are up to. Learn from their mistakes and see what they are consistently doing right.

Build your own strategy. However, base it on ideas that work for those who are ruling the social media world. Learning from your competitors is the best way to make sure you can actually get ahead of them.

Which other social media branding strategies have worked for you? Please share them with us in the comments section below.


Corporate Branding and PowerPoint: Conversation with Frederik Dessau

Frederik Dessau is a senior consultant at SkabelonDesign, a world leading agency within brand management and productivity in Microsoft Office. Frederik has been working professionally with PowerPoint (from template, to content) since 2005, implementing not only brands, but also sales processes and project management excellence. Frederik came to SkabelonDesign with a broad background from traditional communication, ad and design agencies. Today he is a leading resource in terms of corporate efficiency within Microsoft Office with a special force (and love) within the domains of PowerPoint.

In this conversation, Frederik talks about corporate branding, in relation to PowerPoint.

Geetesh: Frederik, when we talk about corporate branding, what are the challenges faced by large corporations when they make their presentation templates and slides more in tune with their overall brand?

Frederik: First let me start out with stressing the importance for all corporations to implement their corporate visual identities in PowerPoint. The investment in corporate design means nothing if all employees are not using the design in their daily work. In fact a recent study shows that more than 30% of employees use PowerPoint every single day. In addition, by far, the vast majority of content produced by almost any organization is documents and presentations. Why should we accept this collateral to be off brand?

Just as we embrace, that branding is an investment with a certain return, we should also accept that PowerPoint is a basic tool for the modern workforce. Productivity gains are there to be found, and they can be huge.


To get back to your question; in the end, most severe challenges related to implementation of corporate brands come down to usability. We are able to implement all designs and design elements into PowerPoint, but if the user will have a hard time recreating it in their own slides, the actual outcome will be messy. One thing is the facets and complexity of the design, another is how well the brand team know their own organization and the actual work that is done by their co-workers. This is by far the biggest challenge to overcome – translating the corporate visual identity into a single (or maybe two) useful templates to be used across the organization. Because let’s face it, we rarely develop more than a few templates in PowerPoint.

To give you an example. It is always a big thing, at least to us, when new features are released from Microsoft. Not that long ago , Microsoft released Morph and Zoom for PowerPoint. Right away, we start looking at the release, and together with our clients we looked at how we could get more brand dynamics into their PowerPoint mix, or if we could change the daily output created by their employees. Have a look at how we inspired Carlsberg with Morph.

Change Management

The next hurdle, in terms of the implementation is user adoption. Even if we have relevance and usability in place, we human beings love status quo – or at least we have a shared fear of change. We have seen how the change of the PowerPoint template have led to outrage with some departments within our clients’ organizations. This has lead us to take change management very seriously. If you accept that the brand implementation is important to you, you must do all you can to get change averse, design naive, subject matter experts to board the bandwagon. Interviews, surveys, analysis, communication and involvement are just a few of our tools to succeed in an environment that can at times be quite hostile.

Geetesh: Can you tell us more about how a company should approach the process of incorporating their brand in their business content, such as slides, documents, and spreadsheets? Is there a checklist that can help them get started?


Involvement and Understanding

As we all know, you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. In the same way, the brand team is not done before a representative part of the organization has been involved in the project. Often this ends up with a group of super users, that are representing their colleagues poorly, as their level of work is way too high.

You ask for a checklist, and to celebrate the much debated bullet list, I would like to share my best tips and tricks with you in the bullets below:

  • Involve, analyze and communicate. This phase is crucial in terms of ownership later on
  • Remember the user, think use-cases before making any decisions
  • Do not lock down or hide anything – users should be free, and enabled to do the right thing
  • Test the result of your work before roll-out. Test it with real life content and users
  • Ask professionals – spend one hour now, save 1,000 later

It is clear to me, that involving experts and accepting guidance and advice at a very early stage in the brand development process is key to success. There are no good reasons to not go and see how far the brand and design can be stretched in order for all users to be empowered. Not only to work within the corporate visual identity, but to work efficiently with their day-to-day tasks.

We have data from a recent study showing that close to 100% of employees in regular office jobs from all levels in the organization spend at least one full hour using Microsoft Office (very often PowerPoint). If we can help users save 5 minutes (which we can) it is a huge productivity gain for any company.

You might ask, how we contribute actively with productivity tools except from the brand implementation in the actual template. Well, a great example of a tool we have developed for PowerPoint that offers usability, supports the brand and create huge productivity wins is our BrandedAgenda.

A simple task of creating an agenda, using it throughout the presentation as a breaker, and distributing the chapter title to the footer. It might not seem as something too heavy. At least, not much brain power is spent. Well, actually this is something that might entail hours of work for a single presentation. One little last-minute change will mean a total rework of the agenda and then a thorough walk-through of the entire document.

How often do users add an agenda to their presentation? And how much time do they spend on this? If you ask any user in your organization the answer will probably be “too long” – and various studies support this. So why not make it easy while at the same time being true to your brand. Have a look at the video here to see how agendas should be made.