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Category Archives: Branding

The Polished Approach: Why Uber Doesn’t Scare People

The Polished Approach: Why Uber Doesn’t Scare People

By | Branding, Culture, Customer Service, Economy, Technology, The Future | No Comments

A few days ago I was watching a Comedy Central show called Nathan For You, in which a guy named Nathan “helps” struggling small business owners. Part of the show’s charm is that Nathan often has pretty good ideas, but (primarily for comedic effect) he implements them all wrong. In this particular episode, Nathan decides to initiate a motorcycle taxi service. At its core, the idea isn’t bad – bikes have lots of advantages over cars (namely the ability to legally weave throughout traffic), and the cool factor never hurts. So Nathan recruits a couple of biker-looking bikers in a bar and sends them out onto the traffic-riddled Los Angeles streets, instructing them to pull up alongside stopped cars and offer their services.

Not surprisingly, this approach is not met with much success.
Correction: this approach is not met with any success at all.

Why? Because it centers around a couple of biker-looking bikers grunting, “Hey, wanna get on my motorcycle?” And that’s it.

When you think about it, Uber is kind of a crazy idea too. You’re hopping into the personal vehicle of a stranger (often while inebriated) because they have a “U” sticker on their window. Sure, you have an app. They have an app. We all have apps, but what can the app really do if something goes awry? Yet somehow, Uber makes you feel safe. Uber’s app is cool. Uber’s ads are classy. Uber’s customer service is awesome. In short, Uber’s done a great job of marketing their services.

You need to give your customers a reason to trust your product, and a lot of that has to do with presentation. Even the best concept won’t get anywhere if it isn’t marketed properly – and that’s where we come in.

Don’t get in your own way. Call Counterintuity today!

Image by Mark Warner is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

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Is Changing a Logo a No-No?

By | Branding, Design | No Comments

Okay, guys. Big news. Google has changed its logo.

Yes, Google temporarily alters its logo for special occasions and holidays, but the latest sans-serif modification is its biggest change in 16 years – and it’ll be sticking around for the foreseeable future.

While it might seem…dare we say it…counterintuitive for a company to mess with its beloved logo, when done properly it can be a great way to revitalize a tried-and-true trademark. What makes Google so impressive is that even with an obvious change in typeface, its logo is still instantly recognizable. You see those colors and you think Google. You just do. Now that is successful branding.

Keep in mind that a good logo should be:

  • Simple. Clean lines, a pleasant color palette, and a good name go a long way.
  • Timeless. You want your logo to last. Steer clear of anything too trendy – it’s likely to look outdated sooner.
  • Accessible. A logo needs to fit in lots of different spaces and be usable for many different purposes.

Becoming a household name is something many companies strive for and few accomplish. But with a memorable logo and proper marketing, Google-like status might not be as far out of reach as it seems.

What do you think of Google’s new get-up? Let us know in the comments below!

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What do you want to be known for?

By | Branding, SEO | No Comments

Regarding your business, what do you want to be known for?

This may seem like a simple question, but for small businesses in particular, this query can be deceptively difficult to answer.

Let’s say you sell shoes.

“I SELL SHOES!”

Well, lots of businesses sell shoes.

In fact, in the last 30 days, there were more than 33,000 Google searches for the word “shoes” in the Los Angeles area alone.

But of those 33,000 searches, how many of them were potential buyers for your shoes? It depends what you want to be known for. Some shoe sellers are giant like Shoes.com and try to cater to just about everyone, some are tiny like the store Cinderella of Boston who specializes in selling adult shoes to men and women with feet sized 5 or smaller.

So whether you’re a giant company selling shoes to the masses, or a tiny company only selling shoes to tiny people – you have to know who you are.

So let’s be more specific about what you want to be known for:

“I SELL REASONABLY PRICED SHOES FOR KIDS IN LOS ANGELES!”

Wow, that’s a lot more specific!

There were 1,900 Google searches for “kids shoes” in the Los Angeles area in the last 30 days, and while that’s a lot fewer than the total searches for just “shoes” – these 1,900 searches are much more likely to become a customer of yours because what they want (what they are searching for) is what you want to be known for.

In digital marketing terms, this is all part of a process known as Search Engine Optimization (SEO). We talk a lot about SEO here a Counterintuity but those conversations often get technical and complicated. Sorry about that – it’s a complicated thing. What you need to know is that at the end of the day, an SEO campaign will not only help you specify the way you describe your business but it will help your ideal customer find you on the web.

You may have heard horror stories about local marketing companies that outsource their SEO work to Bangalore or Islamabad where non-native English speakers dictate the language of your most important marketing tool: your website. We don’t do that. All of our SEO work is handled in-house by a team of trained digital marketing experts.

So… back to our initial question, what do you want to be known for?

FREE OFFER FOR THE FIRST 9 TO RESPOND:

Send us 2-3 words or phrases that you want your business to be known for, the ideal location of your customer (Only Burbank? The entire West Coast?) and we’ll send you some recommendations as to how you can help your ideal customer find you.

We’ll even do this for you for free. Because we want you to succeed!

Image by Jonathan Rolande is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

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Nurturing a Successful Brand/Consumer Relationship

By | Branding, Customer Service | No Comments

It can be said that courting a consumer is a lot like dating a real live person. But even if that’s not your strong suit in everyday life, you can still successfully craft a relationship with your potential customers. Here, a couple tips:

  • Don’t try too hard. Ease into things. Take your time. If you’re overly pushy, your consumer might mistake your persistence for desperation and lose interest. Remember, as with a new relationship, moving too fast can simply screw things up.
  • Make them feel special. Your love interest needs to feel important – you don’t treat them the way you treat everyone else. 78% of consumers believe that organizations providing custom content are interested in building a relationship with them. [Source]
  • Just be yourself. Once you’ve established a base relationship, open up a little. Let your consumer see the real you. You’re not like those other guys.
  • Don’t get too comfortable. Don’t think that just because your consumer is loyal, they don’t need you to try anymore. Don’t forget the romance – they still want to be wooed every now and then.

Still struggling? Let us change your approach – consider us your branding coach.

Image by Nickay3111 is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

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Seeing that your branding works

By | Branding, Design, Email Marketing, Fun, Holidays | No Comments

One way to know that your branding — your logo, your colors, your style, etc. — is working is when you see that it works across different platforms, and that others have started to adopt it.

Sure, we designed and ordered this Counterintuity bento mug ourselves (and if you want one, let us know — we have a few left):

 

CounterintuityBentoMug

 

But last night, at our annual holiday party, people started bringing things of their own design. Like this Counterintuity floral arrangement, courtesy of our party planners:

CounterintuityFloral

 

And these Counterintuity cupcakes, from our caterer:

CounterintuityCupcakes

 

 

And this Counterintuity vase from our party planners (note how even though our logo isn’t on this vase, our branding comes through in the color pattern):

CounterintuityBouquet

 

But, get this, one guest cared enough to go ahead and order boxes of these Counterintuity cake pops all on his own to hand out. Thanks, guy! (They were pretty tasty, too.)

CounterintuityCakePop

 

So were we proud to see all of this? Sure. And sorry if we’re sounding braggy. That’s not the intent. It was just great to see how well our logo and our colors are working for us.

(Not sure about your own branding? Give us a call.)

 

 

 

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How to get seen better on Facebook (Part one)

By | Branding, Business Etiquette, Clients, Content Marketing, Email Marketing, Facebook, Social Marketing | No Comments

Edgerank is the algorithm Facebook uses to determine the importance or popularity of your Page’s posts in the newsfeed. Facebook is an ever-changing landscape of social innovation and features and yet, some things never change. Here are some tips sourced from our own experience, recent findings and even Facebook itself on how to improve the popularity of your posts.

1. Use visuals
Found an article perfect for your Facebook Page? Rather than sharing it as a link, try posting a photo with a brief description and including the URL in the caption.

2. Keep it quick 
Posts between 100 and 250 characters get 60% more likes, comments and shares than posts with over 250 characters.

3. Keep it simple
Asking simple opinion-driven questions or “fill in the blanks” brings in 90% more engagement than the average post.

Stay tuned for next month’s follow up in this two-part series. Want to learn more about Social Media? Email us!

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Client Spotlight: United Teachers Los Angeles

By | Branding, Clients, Design, Email Marketing, Facebook, News, Websites | No Comments

The Client
Established in 1970, United Teachers Los Angeles is a union of professionals representing over 35,000 public school teachers and health and human services professionals in Los Angeles. UTLA serves over 750 school locations that makeup the diverse cultural climate that Los Angeles is known and revered for.

The Task
The client wanted to make it easy for its members to stay informed and active in their respective chapters and communities, give their web presence a makeover and publicize their many goals and achievements.

Our Work
Counterintuity redesigned and developed a new mobile optimized website and performed social media customization for the client.


Results Achieved
The client was excited to share their new website and revamped social media platforms with their members and the general public. We think this note from them says it all:

It was a pleasure working with Counterintuity. From our first meeting, through concept development and execution, Amy, Lee, and their entire team delivered. They’re exceedingly professional, detail-oriented, and developed a site we are extremely happy with. They created a visually appealing site and we’ve received only positive feedback about the new site. Thanks, Counterintuity!

-David Lyell, Secretary
United Teachers Los Angeles

 

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6 Pinterest basics you should know

By | Branding, Content Marketing, Design, Email Marketing, News, SEO, Social Marketing | No Comments

Pinterest is a popular social photo sharing website that allows users to create and manage digital pinboards around various interests, hobbies and more. Whether you’re a Pinterest fiend or a total novice, this social newcomer is not to be ignored. Pinterest is being touted as the fastest growing social network ever. With Pinterest’s newly launched business pages, don’t you want nab a piece of the pie? For those who need a primer on how to get your brand started on Pinterest—we’ve got you covered.

1. Tell your story
Pinterest is largely composed of images and it’s a great opportunity to create a visual narrative for your brand. Rather than focus entirely around your products and services, remember that it’s more valuable to create a mood or lifestyle that corresponds to your business.

2. Target your audience
Knowing your audience will help keep your content focused, fresh and engaging. Do not mistake Pinterest’s fun nature for a hodgepodge of images. Consistency is key to your success on this platform. If your audience wants and expects recipes then make sure you deliver. Create the boards you want to fill up and add new pins consistently across categories.

3. Be Creative
Feel free to have some fun with Pinterest! It is by far the most casual platform available to brands and gives you the opportunity to showcase your creativity. It’s important to provide a mix of your brand’s content, but also related pins from other popular sources with similar interests.

 

4. Build a following
So how do you engage with users on Pinterest? For starters you can follow all of a user’s boards or just specific pinboards. The next level of interaction is repining, liking or commenting on pins that you feel speak to your brand. Pinterest is all about genuine and organic content and so it should be no surprise that accounts with a personal touch are most successful.

5. Drive traffic
Pinterest has acquired a reputation for driving traffic and if your content is compelling then it should do well. Pin graphics that lead to your brand’s latest blog post or press feature. Content is king on Pinterest but it has to have striking visuals to compete with all the sources vying for a users’ attention.

6. Monitor results
Like with any social platform, it is important to keep track of what is working and what’s not. Let’s say your DIY cupcake tutorial got a crazy amount of likes, repins and comments then try to model more content after that pin. Likewise, don’t spend too much time on content that doesn’t get much of a reaction.