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While social is generally accepted, it is still grossly misunderstood. And, thus not fully vetted by all as a tried and true marketing tactic. Social goes way beyond just posting pictures and sharing memes. Social business is real and the effectiveness requires thinking beyond just broadcasting the same message on different channels. It requires integration with your website, a content strategy, curation of content and of course monitoring and response.

Most brands have only hit the tip of the iceberg when it comes to understanding what social media can do. It is important for brands to learn about all the benefits of being a social brand. Social connections go beyond the networks themselves, from data collection to more personalized relationships, social is a point of entry into a customer’s personal preferences. Respect it. Honor it. Embrace it.

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When a business declares they active on social media, and yet they are only on Facebook than that brand really isn’t active on social media. That brand would only be active on Facebook. And while Facebook is the biggest social media network with over 1 Billion subscribers, there is more to social media than just Facebook.

Social media can offer brands many advantages. However, some of these advantages aren’t attainable if Facebook is the only social network you are active on. One of the reasons social media is so popular is because it’s inclusionary. When you limit the network you are active on you are being exclusionary. You are also being limited with the types of content you can share and above all else you are giving up control. Facebook can be a lot of things but one thing it is not is willing to give brands total control.

Search beyond Facebook for Social Media Answers

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This is a guest post by Linda Dessau of Content Mastery Guide.

Food is a big part of life and an easy topic to work into conversations, yet many restaurants aren’t using a blog to have ongoing conversations with their customers. Now you might be thinking:

 “But we post all the time on Facebook!”

Being social on sites like Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram or Twitter is important and valuable, but that’s the equivalent of handing out samples at a big food fair. Right after they consume your sample (your message on social media), readers are likely to encounter another interesting delicacy and may soon forget all about you.

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When is the right time to consider targeting a new audience? Sometimes we get so focused on our target audience that we lose focus of our emerging audience. Do you know what audience is next for your brand? The Baby Boomer generation has been the apple of brand’s eyes for decades, it’s now time to consider the next group to build a relationship with. It’s time to learn about the Millennials, who they are and what they are all about.

The Millennial Generation is Made Up of 86 Million Americans

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One of the phenomenons of social media is how it has encouraged all of us to share more. The sharing generation has created a movement built around people accustomed to sharing. Sharing everything from what we had for breakfast to major life events or simply offering up opinions or advice. This movement has created an open flow of information. People want to hear what other people have to say, and other people really like to share what they think. For brands this can be good or bad, do you know what people are sharing about your brand?

What does the sharing generation mean for brands?

We share everything, everywhere or at least that’s what it feels like. It is no longer reserved for reviews sites or from “professional” critics. Now, everyone can be a critic of food, fashion and everything in between by commenting on social networks or blogs. What this means for brands is that today a single individual might have as much impact or influence as paid media once had.

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Today, when we travel we have an opportunity to instantly share our experiences as mobile ambassadors for brands. Heck, it doesn’t really require us to travel to share our experiences with friends or family. All we have to do is leave the house with a smartphone or tablet. As a society we have become accustomed to sharing our happenings, our experiences and this includes sharing our endorsements… on the move.

What Makes A Smartphone So Smart?

I am not going to get into the technical aspects of a smartphone, but mobile has changed the way we interact as individuals, consumers and hopefully as businesses. The Smartphone Generation works because it is built on simplicity, an easy way to communicate and to share information. Using a Smartphone while on the go is not as much a modern way to stay connected as much as it is now the norm. Exchanging ideas and thoughts while being mobile is a way to stay connected and be both timely and efficient. Why does it make sense? Because it is easy and fun to be connected with friends and family at all times, plus we are used to having information at our fingertips. How long would you last being detached from your mobile phone? Read More…

Dining out should be an experience, today most of us have integrated technology into our daily lives. For restaurants technology is being used by consumers and by the restaurant’s staff throughout the entire dining experience. Now servers take orders on handheld electronic devices, restaurants are using digital POS systems, Tablets are on tables to order wine or to review a menu, even the back of the house uses technology to guarantee accurate orders. Technology is most definitely a part of the dining experience at restaurants. In a business that still requires human interaction, does technology improve the dining experience at a restaurant? Read More…

Food photography and images have always been vital when marketing a restaurant brand. A professional food Photographer has the ability to create “Craveable” pictures for restaurants. We all see food before we eat it, images can help peak customer’s interest, which in turn can drive customer traffic. With the continued emphasis by brands to utilize both social media and digital as part of a content marketing strategy, food images may just be more valuable than ever before.

Everyone feels like a photographer these days, it is understandable with the popularity of digital cameras and smartphones. The ability to capture moments in time and share them instantaneously with friends and followers is now ingrained in our culture. Instagram itself has changed the way brands and consumers interact, especially for restaurants. User-generated content can be great for engagement, but when it comes to marketing a restaurant brand it is hard to replace the skills of a professional food photographer.

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Curiosity has more than peaked, at this point social media is gaining mainstream traction. The benefits of social media for marketing and internal communication is a challenge and an opportunity for brands of all sizes. The value is most definitely there, while the concerns are both valid and understandable. Make the investment to explore the full spectrum of benefits that social can provide a brand before you let the potential pass you by.

One of the difficulties with social media is that it is still considered new, while most people today have heard about social and might even be able to name more than one network, yet it is still not fully accepted. Acceptance takes time, the beauty and the curse of social media lies in its unknown and sometime uncontrollable nature. Most companies would sign-up in a heartbeat for a positive video of their brand to go viral, of course no one really knows what it takes to go viral. Thus, the challenge with social is that control is no longer in the hands of the brand but rather in the hands of the customers and the consumers of media.

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Ever notice how once you discover something it starts showing up all around you? It seems like for some brands social media has all of a sudden blossomed into this new and incredible marketing medium. I suggest that all brands become active in social media, however I encourage my clients to take the time to understand that social media is not like other advertising mediums.

Comfortable is convenient, it is also safe. No matter the industry you are in technology sprouts new and better ways to produce results. In marketing or advertising new mediums don’t often sprout overnight. Therefore when something new like social media comes around it takes time to understand. Walk, and don’t run into social media for this reason.

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We believe in building a brand for the long haul. 

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