Bringing opportunities to the prepared mind.

Archive for the ‘Branding’ Category

TCBY’S new ultramodern re-design!


“Those of you who follow the intersecting planes of cutting-edge interior design and, uh, cheeseburgers will probably remember how McDonald’s started redoing its restaurants in 2006 into Euro-chic nooks (see the four images below) with wood-slat room dividers, amoeba-shaped couches and avant-garde muraling (all courtesy of French tastemaker Philippe Avanzi, though executed in the U.S. by Lippincott Mercer). The idea wasn’t just to update the look of restaurants that hadn’t had a facelift since 1976 but to cater to the visual discernment of the digital generation by creating “linger zones” with puffy couches and WiFi connections to go with those nifty new Asian salads.”

Read the full article @BRANDFREAK!

Latest Old Spice Parody Gets an A+

This week, the Internets have mostly been talking about Old Spice’s awesome advertising campaign. Actor Isaiah Mustafa’s take on the man that men want to be, women want to be with has had just about everyone trying their hands at it. From amateur bodybuilders, to overweight “comedians“, to tattooed “comedians”. Most of them just don’t get it.

The Harold B. Lee Library, part of the Brigham Young University in Utah, however, does. It’s cribbed the Old Spice from head to toe, for a campaign but it succeeds where others fail because it doesn’t deviate from the script. At all. (Obviously it’s written its own, B. Lee-friendly script, otherwise, where would we be? On an old donkey, I guess.)

Read the full article @FASTCOMPANY.

Creative Branding 101 (Interview w. Nikolas Allen)


I had the pleasure of speaking with Nikolas Allen and getting some feedback into the creative mind of this branding band man.  Originally a rock musician, Allen has begun his career as a graphic designer, to art director, then became a filmmaker and a contemporary pop artist, finally landing his destination as a Branding and Marketing Consultant.   He has always had a relentless pursuit of passion.

  • What is your stance as a marketing professional? What are you good at? What differentiates you from others?

I am well-rounded and able to execute my visions. Thinking big is one thing, making it happen is another. I do both. My philosophy is, “Do it with excellence, or don’t bother.” I’m able to focus on the micro details, while not losing sight of the macro objective. Oh, and I’m great at telling other people what THEY should be doing! Ha! I’m half-joking, but I guess that’s part of the reason I got into consulting. I truly want to help and inspire people to succeed.

  • A marketing strategy begins with an idea. How are yours born?

A mixture of creative and analytical thinking, research and asking lots of questions. This is why branding is important. When you know what your brand stands for, and what your objective is, your marketing message comes into focus. Then it’s a question of how you choose to execute it and what tools you utilize to do so.

  • Can you cite brands or well-known products that you admire for marketing brilliance?

I wish I had a long list to rattle off, but honestly, nothing comes to mind. Plus, I’m way more impressed with a solid, quality product (which is rare to find anymore), than brilliant marketing strategies.

  • Are we heading towards more individualized marketing and advertising?

Absolutely! There’s more fragmentation in business now than ever before. With so much downsizing, outsourcing and telecommuting going on, “Independent Contractor” has become the new “Employee.” That’s why you hear so much about Personal Branding these days. The individual has become his own one-person company. Therefore, you need to brand yourself (i.e. become) a reliable, professional, productive asset so you stand out amongst the competition and continue to capitalize on opportunities.

  • How do you evaluate the potential of social networks for marketing on-line?

The main reason you should be using certain social networks for business is because your target audience is already there. So, number one question is: WHO is using this platform? Secondly, it’s important to know what your objective is: to sell product, to entertain, to educate, to establish thought-leadership, to engage customers, to drive traffic to your other sales channels, etc. Third, you want to know the Analytics. Are the results trackable? Will there be an ROI?

Finally, you gotta JUMP IN! Check things out for a specified period of time and see how it goes. Then, keep this bit of advice in mind: Use what works and drop the rest.

  • What industry or market segment do you find attractive for devoting yourself to in the coming years?

Art Brand Plan is my new Education and Consulting business, where I teach Branding and Marketing to Ambitious Creatives.  As a life-long artist, I’m aware of the challenges creative people face trying to merge art and commerce. I want to use my passion and experience in business, advertising and art to educate and inspire these people to do the work necessary to achieve their own vision of Success.

  • How do you do your own personal branding? What do you recommend other professionals do to position themselves in the job market?

For myself and others, I highly recommend the following:

Show up. Get involved. Have FUN. Love what you do. Do what you love. Know who YOU are as a person. Allow others to be who THEY are. Refuse to compromise your values. Strive to inspire others. Be open to learning. Accept that you have more knowledge than some people and less than others. Be dependable. Be accountable. Stop making excuses. Take responsibility for your words, thoughts, actions and creations. Strive for self-improvement. Say YES to opportunity.

“I take the concept of Personal Branding seriously. To me, it goes beyond business and becomes an ongoing quest for self-improvement. When you strive to become an extraordinary Person, you can’t help but have an extraordinary Reputation (i.e. Brand). Then, in work and in life, you become the very embodiment of Success.”

AllenNikolas Allen is a contemporary pop artist currently based in Mt. Shasta, California. His background is in advertising, music and video production. He is passionate about both art and business and currently runs Art Brand Plan, an Education and Consulting Business that teaches Branding and Marketing to Ambitious Creatives.

For FREE Marketing Tips, Links and Videos, find Art Brand Plan here:

Managing your brand is not common sense

BrandingOften times people begin their branding by attaching a name to their brand. They highlight benefits and features, some appeal to more and more people through the use of advertising. The most important thing to do is to highlight what their brand really does for the consumer, making all the difference.

Talk to many marketers and they would verify most things above, but once you get into their “expertise” it is formed through their own personal common sense. We are all consumers, so we all are participants in the advertising we see and packages we open, all the way to the products we try. Through this we begin to learn about what works and what doesn’t.

“More often then not, effective brand management is the complete opposite of common sense.”

Understanding that an effective marketing strategy is built on a foundation of principles and guidelines; that are the opposite of our natural thought process. You must know what your brand stands for; what it doesn’t stand for; understanding not only who the brand is for, but who it is not for. Common sense tells us our brand should appeal to as many people as possible.

Tell us about your marketing strategies, and how you avoid common sense branding.

Andrew Margolin