Points of View
There's no such thing as a free lunch, but our ideas are on the house.
The following 91 articles were tagged as "branding".
- My six personal pet peeves about marketing & advertising trends
Thom Villing shares six practices that diminish a marketer’s brand.July 02, 2019 Read More
- Boomers don’t get the buzz but they’re still paying the bills
When it comes to spending, the boomer generation is “where the action is.”June 07, 2019 Read More
- Five frequently missed marketing opportunities for professional services
Amid our day-to-day responsibilities, it is easy to temporarily lose sight of the fact that marketing needs to be a sustained and nurtured process.May 03, 2019 Read More
- What influencer marketing is and what it should be: The Contrarian strikes again.
Marketers frequently overlook opportunities to access third party referral sources as a means of extending their brand messaging.April 23, 2019 Read More
- Press releases are still important…so how do you write a great one?
The ability to write and send actionable press releases remains one of the core components of any PR professional’s toolbox.April 12, 2019 Read More
- The spring of our content: A compelling tool for professional services marketing
When you demonstrate that your organization has a high level of expertise, you are more likely to get referrals.March 22, 2019 Read More
- Making Patient Empathy the Foundation of Your Healthcare Marketing Strategy
Each component of your marketing strategy should be designed to make it easier for patients to take the actions you want them to take.March 14, 2019 Read More
- If consumer attention spans are shrinking, who is to blame?
Bloated and uninteresting content is the reason consumers aren’t engaged in our marketing messages, not goldfish-like attention spans.February 26, 2019 Read More
- Social Media Marketing: Get To The Point
Marketing on social media forces you to distill your message down to its essence.February 22, 2019 Read More
- Strategic & memorable: Creativity’s missing ingredients
I have always believed truly creative marketing requires a unique blend of memorability and strategy.January 24, 2019 Read More
- Review Responses: An Untapped Branding Resource
Make sure you have a plan in place for responding to customer reviews online.December 14, 2018 Read More
- “Still I look to find a reason to believe”
It is not reasonable to expect consistent success without providing the target audience with validation for the action you wish them to take.December 07, 2018 Read More
- Marketing with Conviction: Should You Take a Public Stand for Your Brand Values?
You want people to connect with your brand. They cannot do that if they feel your brand does not align with their values.October 04, 2018 Read More
- What’s love got to do with it? (The cold truth about branding)
We must engage the consumer in interesting and compelling new ways.April 06, 2018 Read More
- Co-branding: Choose your partners wisely
When it comes to picking a marketing partner, we would all do well to remember the advice our parents gave us. Choose our friends wisely.March 02, 2018 Read More
- Go for the Moon: What Tesla’s Futuristic Stunt Can Teach Us about Marketing Strategy
The goal in marketing is always to get the maximum return on the dollars you spend. To do that, it’s okay to get a little creative – in fact, that’s encouraged.February 16, 2018 Read More
- Super Bowl Commercials: This Year the Fans Got It Right (Almost)
Villing & Company president Thom Villing breaks down the best and the worst from the ads that aired during Super Bowl LII.February 06, 2018 Read More
- Don't Concede The Branding Game To The Big Guys
How does a credit union or community bank create a strong brand?January 19, 2018 Read More
- If Every Day Could Be Christmas: Why Limit Feel-Good Advertising to the Holidays?
Maybe, just maybe, more feel good advertising can help consumers feel a little better. About themselves, their world – and, yes, the brands that help them feel that way.December 28, 2017 Read More
- The Brand You Save Could Be Your Own
It is human nature to “hope for the best” so we seldom “prepare for the worst.”November 03, 2017 Read More
- The case for cause marketing
If you think cause marketing is just for large organizations, think again.August 23, 2017 Read More
- Confessions of a marketing contrarian: Strategy, tactics and paralysis by analysis
We, as marketers and as humans, have a battle on two fronts. One is to take the time necessary to make sound decisions. The other is not to allow ourselves to over-think a given situation.July 26, 2017 Read More
- Is branding still relevant in a digital marketing world?
AIDA. No matter how many ways we repackage the marketing funnel process; these four letters still speak to the essential steps required for effective marketing.June 30, 2017 Read More
- Marketing Magic: Getting in the Mind of Your Customer
If you are able to wow your customer, you can create a long-lasting relationship.June 20, 2017 Read More
- Only the name has changed: Financial branding takes strange turns.
Selecting a brand name should be a strategic undertaking.June 07, 2017 Read More
- Walking on Thin Ice: Politics and Marketing
It may be tempting as a brand in the current cultural climate to enter into political discussion. Not so fast.March 14, 2017 Read More
- “Alexa, help me promote my brand.”
The difference between voice search and traditional search is the same as between casual conversation and written narrative.February 21, 2017 Read More
- Branding’s Big Game: Are Super Bowl Ads Bigger than the Game Itself?
Brands are throwing more resources at Super Bowl advertising than ever before. But are they using the right strategy?February 08, 2017 Read More
- Are We Fishing Where the Fish Are?
Healthcare marketers know the internet has become a driving force for patients researching providers. So, doesn’t it make sense for our marketing efforts to align with how patients search for and make decisions about providers?December 02, 2016 Read More
- Scoring with event marketing
Being successful with event marketing requires practice and the experience to take advantage of an open shot when it presents itself.November 18, 2016 Read More
- Political advertising: The triple threat to democracy
Unfortunately, the combination of obscene sums of money available for political advertising and the conventional wisdom about the effectiveness of negativity paints every politician with the same cynical brush.November 07, 2016 Read More
- Stop Looking for Marketing Shortcuts. Create Value Instead.
Your audience is YOUR audience. Make sure your content is uniquely crafted with them in mind.October 14, 2016 Read More
- A Logo is Still a Logo
Logo design is fun. Designing new visuals is fun. Creating a tagline can be fun. But at the end of the day, these elements are simply tactics, nothing more. They may be a visual or verbal expression of the brand, but they are not the brand.October 05, 2016 Read More
- Case Study: Goshen Community Schools
A strategic branding and marketing communications plan needed to be produced so that the campaign could impact fall enrollment decisions. The following case study provides an overview of the campaign development process, as well as examples of campaign components.September 29, 2016 Read More
- The A-TEAM guide to professional services marketing
I love it when a plan comes together!September 19, 2016 Read More
- An Event to Remember
A good event leverages in-person engagement—so a two-way conversation vs. a lecture is paramount to success.September 13, 2016 Read More
- Making Your 2017 Planning a Little Easier
For the rest of this month, we will be dedicating our social channels to helping you plan. Your strategy won’t plan itself. Take the time to plan for success.September 06, 2016 Read More
- The Genius Branding Strategy That Sounds Too Simple
This genius branding strategy may have gone overlooked by your organization because it’s so obvious. It’s not new and shiny. It just works. Want to know the secret? Here you go…August 26, 2016 Read More
- Leveraging brand advocates: Smart marketing for banks and credit unions
If your customers have been loyal users of your services, they bring a passion and perspective that can be extremely powerful with their peers. So why not put them to work?August 09, 2016 Read More
- The brand name game
The right brand name can simplify delivery of marketing messages immensely. The wrong name can create untold obstacles to potential marketing success.July 08, 2016 Read More
- Learning from Instagram's New Logo
Don’t be lured into making a change just to make a change.May 20, 2016 Read More
- Stand by your brand
I’m reminded of a cartoon I saw once that showed two people watching new signage being put on a restaurant. One said “New restaurant?” to which the other person responded, “No, new advertising agency.”May 17, 2016 Read More
- Employees: The New (and Old) Media Platform
You want to make sure you’re engaging your brand ambassadors, because that positive word of mouth can have a big impact on your business.April 29, 2016 Read More
- Whose CV is it anyway? Personal branding vs. institutional branding
The brand of a professional services firm is only as strong as the collective skills of the team. April 19, 2016 Read More
- Not Ready for a Close-Up: How to Avoid Your Own Red Lobster-Beyonce Debacle
You should at least have a hierarchy of communication in the event that your brand is mentioned online by an influencer.February 23, 2016 Read More
- Piling on: Observations about the 2016 Super Bowl commercials
True creativity doesn’t get in the way of effective advertising. It enhances it.February 09, 2016 Read More
- No Brand Is An Island
I just can’t get this phrase and image out of my mind. I think I am intrigued by this turn of phrase because it highlights multiple facets of the branding process. January 20, 2016 Read More
- Star Wars Marketing: Genius or Over the Top?
Over the last few weeks, it has been hard to avoid the Star Wars hysteria. Villing & Company assistant account executive, Aaron Charles, discusses what lessons can be learned from the marketing for the blockbuster film.December 21, 2015 Read More
- A Tale of Two Retail Marketing Strategies
Before you build a house, you need a foundation. When it comes to retail marketing, that foundation is the retailer’s brand.December 04, 2015 Read More
- Dunder Mifflin: Analyzing a "Fake" Brand
Villing intern, Collin Smith, takes a look at Dunder Mifflin - the fictional paper company portrayed on The Office. For a fake brand, it has made a lot of actual waves.September 14, 2015 Read More
- The Accidental Tourist Brand
Beginning just north of Manistee and ending in a circle around the peninsula is one of the most picturesque highways you will ever have the joy of navigating. It is Michigan State Route 22, or better known as M22. It is also a brand.September 02, 2015 Read More
- Amazon Echo Doesn't Need to Be the "Star Trek Computer" to Be Successful
There is a great deal of hype surrounding the new Amazon Echo, with some even calling it a "Star Trek computer." But does it need to live up to the hype for Amazon's marketing strategy to be successful?June 30, 2015 Read More
- Does Anybody Really Know What A Tagline Is?
Does Anybody Really Care?
While both positioning statements and taglines should flow logically from your overall marketing communications strategy, the similarity of intent ends there.January 05, 2015 Read More
- T'is the Season: A Case for Cause Marketing
When orchestrated effectively, cause marketing can be a win-win for commercial marketers and specific charities.December 23, 2014 Read More
- The Necessity of Self-Understanding
One of the biggest challenges facing marketers is demonstrating a fundamental understanding of what their company does and why.December 17, 2014 Read More
- Brand Storytelling. Duh!
"Brand storytelling" is all the rage these days. While the concept is one to which we have always subscribed, it seems strange that marketers are embracing this as something new.October 17, 2014 Read More
- The Scariest Case of Tourism Marketing. Ever.
What do you do if you want to promote an abandoned prison that is not a national landmark? You have to get creative.October 07, 2014 Read More
- To Rebrand Or Not To Rebrand, That Is The Question.
The idea of rebranding often leads to questionable decisions. Some organizations fail to rebrand when they possibly should while others rebrand when they probably shouldn't.October 01, 2014 Read More
- Announcer Gaffes Cause Surface Tension
Imagine the frustration Microsoft must be feeling after paying $400 million for the Surface to be the “official tablet of the NFL” only to have their product incorrectly referred to as an iPad by the announcers. September 17, 2014 Read More
- Coke Plays Name Game to Perfection
In the waning days of summer, Coke has heated up their social media efforts through the ‘Share a Coke’ campaign.August 12, 2014 Read More
- Stand By Your Brand (2013)
With the government shutdown and all the other news media noise going on, you may have missed an interesting piece of business news a few weeks ago. Coca-Cola was bumped by Apple as the most valuable brand in the world.October 18, 2013 Read More
- How a Company You've Never Heard of Beat Intel in the Next-Gen Console Market
Most you have heard of Intel, but I’d guess only a fraction of you have heard of the second-place CPU company: AMD. Learn how effective marketing strategy helped AMD go 3-for-3 in powering the XBox One, PS4 and Wii U.July 02, 2013 Read More
- Monday Morning Quarterbacking the JCPenny Logo Changes
JCPenny is undergoing a bit of an identity crisis. The logo modifications made over the last few years have contributed to an astounding decrease in awareness of the century-old brand.May 23, 2013 Read More
- Manti, Lance & Chip: Cautionary Tales About the Fragility of Trust
This isn't a sports story; rather, this is a cautionary tale ripped from the current sports headlines.January 17, 2013 Read More
- The Origins of Halloween and a Refreshing Shower
There's a big difference between Halloween as we know it today and its origins. Surprisingly, this understanding has interesting marketing implications as well.October 19, 2012 Read More
- Baby Names and Branding
For some reason, Nathan and his wife have chosen extremely rare and hard to pronounce names for both of their children. He explains why and how the same considerations apply to naming products and companies.October 10, 2012 Read More
- Your Logo: Love It or Leave It
Thom discusses the controversial London Olympics logo, some recent articles about logo design and the effect that your logo has on your brand.August 17, 2012 Read More
- Surveying Your Brandscape
One's brand isn't a logo, tagline or elevator pitch. It is a strategic process by which an organization clearly articulates its essential qualities, core values, and how it is perceived externally and internally.June 28, 2012 Read More
- How Marketing Will Make or Break Our Public Library System
Will our public libraries survive the shift to digital books and media? Or will publishers and other copyright holders use this opportunity to take them out?March 15, 2012 Read More
- Are Consumers Really Brandwashed?
Lori discusses a recent book about the tricks companies use to manipulate our minds and persuade us to buy.February 06, 2012 Read More
- Which Comes First, the Culture or the Brand?
When considering truly iconic brands, like Nordstrom, Zappos or Apple, a classic chicken-and-egg question arises: Which comes first, the culture or the brand?January 27, 2012 Read More
- The BCS: Brand Championship Series
The elegance that was once found in names like the Citrus Bowl, Orange Bowl and heck, even the Tangerine Bowl seems to be lost forever, buried under a pile of awkward sponsor-touting titles.January 23, 2012 Read More
- Competitive Brand Names: The Importance of Planning Ahead
If we can learn anything from Apple's recent "App Store" trademark silliness, it's the importance of planning ahead when launching new products and services.May 27, 2011 Read More
- Error Ball: NBA Shows that Ad Campaigns Can't Cover Defective Products
No ad campaign is a slam dunk, but marketing a defective product will always be a brick.April 07, 2011 Read More
- NFL, You Are Breaking My Heart
Besides over $12 billion of lost revenue, the NFL brand image is also at stake if there is no professional football season this year.March 28, 2011 Read More
- Is Your Brand Talkable?
"Talkable Brands" are companies that do things that are worthy of being talked about, of being shared via word-of-mouth.December 22, 2010 Read More
- Forging a Brand: Do It Right or Watch the Sparks Fly
Forging a company or organizational brand is fraught with hazards. Executed properly, branding can pay remarkable dividends. But failing to do it right can cause some serious sparks to fly.December 14, 2010 Read More
- Fix Your Broken Windows
Fixing your company's "broken windows" may be the best way to start building your brand.November 24, 2010 Read More
- Does Your Brand Have 'Refrigerator Rights'?
The word "community" is a buzz word in marketing circles. Often I see it used in some sort of ambiguous way by folks trying to sound hip, especially in the social media space.November 01, 2010 Read More
- Go All In, But Know How to Get Out
When it comes to marketing campaigns, charge in with steadfast commitment, but keep mindful of what may be around the corner.September 29, 2010 Read More
- What We've Got Here is a Failure to... Differentiate.
Differentiation is like the weather. Everyone in marketing talks about it, but no one does anything about it. And for good reason. It's hard. Brutally hard.September 24, 2010 Read More
- Short or Long Taglines? Maybe That’s Not Even the Right Question.
Take our quiz to see if you know which brands these taglines belong to. You may find the length of the tagline doesn't necessarily determine its memorability.September 15, 2010 Read More
- "Fox in Socks" and Other Lessons in Values Marketing
Every brand, every company has a set of values, and many are finding it as important a selling point as the performance and quality of their tangible products.July 20, 2010 Read More
- Golden Goal and Golden Opportunity: U.S. Soccer's Product Test
In our country, sports-obsessed as it is, soccer has never been given much of a place at the table. Recent wins have given the sport an opportunity to improve the relevance of its brand.June 25, 2010 Read More
- Branding with "Style": The AP Rethinks "Web site"
On the afternoon of April 16, you may have been surprised by a spontaneous, boisterous round of cheering and applause. The reason: The AP announced it was changing the accepted style of the term "Web site" to "website."April 26, 2010 Read More
- Marketing to Your Employees: Say What?
Employees are often the direct link to customers, which is why it's important for them to understand their company's brand. Here are two examples of companies that understand the importance of internal marketing.February 26, 2010 Read More
- Do You Have a Brand Cause?
Lately I've been very involved in several projects and discussions involving what we refer to as brand trust. Fortunately, there are ways to increase the value of your brand and they are as elementary as the golden rule.November 13, 2009 Read More
- 'Tis the Season: How the Holidays Provide a Perfect Branding/Image-building Opportunity
For most marketers, the holidays represent a unique opportunity, but the nature of that opportunity varies by business and deserves careful thought and consideration.October 23, 2009 Read More
- Breaking Through the Clutter
Breaking through the clutter in marketing and advertising these days can be a huge challenge. After the big Kanye West hoopla that went on, I came upon a statistic that made me think about branding.September 30, 2009 Read More
- All Branding is Local.
I believe it was Tip O'Neill who said "All politics is local" – the implication clearly being that people care most about what affects them directly. Seems to me, the same can be said about branding.July 10, 2007 Read More
- People Don't Answer the Door for People They Don't Know.
There's this wonderful ad created by McGraw Hill back in the 30s. Perhaps you’ve seen it. (OK, maybe not in real life, but possibly in a marketing textbook.) The ad features this very stern looking man – your classic crusty CEO type.November 30, -0001 Read More