Making the Case for (Re)Branding

By:  |  August 22, 2017  | 


Brand strategy is one of the cornerstones for successful marketing as it clearly defines a business’ voice, personality, and visual identity. Branding, particularly the logo, is a visual shorthand for the what the company represents and does for its customers. It is primarily a communication tool that sets the tone and feel for future communication. Some companies are formed without proper branding in place and often miss the benefits that come with a clear brand identity. Marketing without a brand strategy is similar to driving without a map: you can go the distance, but you may not be traveling in the direction you intended. Many successful companies, like Uber, Subway, and Instagram, have recently rebranded to a variety of reactions.

When is the appropriate time for a rebrand? A rebrand may be necessary when the company’s value proposition isn’t easily communicated and essential characteristics are overlooked. New logos, colors, taglines, and especially renames can confuse, but a well-planned rebrand can reinforce your company’s mission with revitalized visual elements and a stronger voice. More than anything else, rebrands draw publicity to a company and brings new life that can attract younger potential users.

The Sonoma International Film Festival rebranded in 2013 by updating their logo, messaging and positioning. Prior to the rebrand, SIFF didn’t have a concrete visual identity except for Tipsy, a de facto mascot who received mixed reviews from the community. A brand color scheme was also introduced- green for the beautiful Sonoma countryside and purple for the rich wine & local vineyards. A new tagline was also introduced: Welcoming. Entertaining. Inspiring. The new graphic elements provided a public face for the festival and further solidified their brand identity for future festivals, marking SIFF as a welcoming destination for world class cinema, intimate hospitality and local wine.

Keep in mind that rebrands don’t always hit the target. Unsuccessful rebrands, like Gap’s, can dismay loyal fans. In their minds, random or forced rebrands associate the company with inauthenticity and unoriginality. In the Gap case, many criticized how Gap’s minimalistic rebranding was a cheap take off other tech giants, like Facebook or Google. A half-baked logo redesign does not constitute a complete rebrand. This frustrates users because it sets conflicting tones for future communication.

Regardless of the initial shock to regular customers, rebranding is a big step to furthering your corporate culture and public persona. These changes are necessary for the growth and development of a business.

Read More

Four Ways to Create More Clickworthy Ads

By:  |  August 1, 2017  | 


In this digital day and age, it’s nearly impossible to open up any webpage without seeing a banner ad. Simply put, they are ads, typically rectangular, on a web page. With such a proliferation of web advertisements nowadays, it is especially important to keep these 4 simple, yet effective design practices in mind to create click-worthy ads.

1) Keep The Copy Simple

Be honest, how much attention do you really give to an ad while you’re scrolling through Facebook or any web page? Users typically spend only about 1 to 2 seconds on an ad, so the key is to keep your copy short, catchy, and most importantly, offer something of value to the user. It is best to keep the copy between 2 to 10 words max. Fun fact: human brains can only process about 5 words per second, so get to the point quick and get the click!

2) A Compelling Call To Action (CTA)

Messaging and visibility are key to an effective call to action. With limited spacing comes great responsibility in choosing the right words to use. A compelling call to action conveys a sense of urgency and addresses two important questions: what you want the user to do and why they should do it. Another equally important aspect is visibility – you want your CTA to stand out and you only have 2 seconds to do it! The easiest way is to present your CTA as a button. Even though the whole ad is clickable, users will instinctually want to click on a button. Lastly, avoid surrounding imagery or elements that will compete with your call to action button. Ensure your CTA is identifiable from the background and the other elements are not distracting the user from clicking.

3) Simple Animations

This tip really needs be executed with finesse. GIF animations are a great way to catch the users’ attention because human instinct is to look at what’s moving. As we just discussed, any in-ad animation should further promote the user to click your CTA and not become a competing or distracting element. A clever way to do both is to create an animated call to action button. The animation should have just enough movement to compel the user to click, but not so aggressive that it is off-putting. Trying to do too much on an ad renders it ineffective, and you run the risk of looking like ‘click-bait’ and damaging the reputation of your brand.

4) Size(s) Matter

Banner ads come in a variety of sizes, but a select few perform better than others for a few reasons. Firstly, wider horizontal banners outperform tall banners because people like to read from left to right and tall banners often mean the text needs to be stacked. Secondly, more ad space is available for particular sizes. Lastly, most people are glued to their phones more than ever, so designing a mobile banner ad increases your chances of an impression and a click through!

Here are the top performing ad sizes according to Google AdSense themselves:

• 728 x 90 (horizontal leaderboard banner)
• 300 x 250 (medium rectangle)
• 336 x 280 (large rectangle)
• 300 x 600 (half page)
• 320 x 100 (large mobile banner)

Read More

Spritz Up Your Vocab: Terms to Know

By:  |  July 5, 2017  | 

The thai dictionary consider under a magnifier on writer's desk with crumpled sheets around

The current marketing industry hosts a wide range of different disciplines, and includes not just your social media mavens but also your data researchers and analysts, your event managers, and your retargeting and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) specialists. Not only that, marketing dovetails right into other design and communications industries such as advertising and public relations.

As a result, it can be difficult for clients to adjust to new terms and quantifiers that arise when they begin working with a marketing agency. Never fear! Study up on our quick and easy marketing vocabulary primer below – terms that we’re commonly asked about.

Brand Activation – As opposed to more data-driven, automated activation, brand activations are part of the events, sponsorship, and partnership wheelhouse, and offer brands an opportunity to really engage and make real-time impressions upon their target audience. Brand activations can also be sources of good feedback regarding a brand or service, and can help identify critical weak points in marketing and branding strategies that need to be addressed.

Circulation – This public relations and advertising term refers specifically to print materials, and identifies the number of print copies that a publisher creates and distributes.

Call to Action (CTA) – Most commonly used when making design and pathway decisions in digital campaigns, a call-to-action is text, imagery, or buttons that entice and prompt the viewer to take action or engage with the campaign in some way. Common CTAs include “Purchase Passes Now”, “Download White Paper”, and “Learn More”.

Clickthrough Rate (CTR) – When examining the results of digital advertising campaigns, the clickthrough rate is an essential metric point that helps identify your return on investment. The click through rate indicates what percentage of your viewership audience has actually followed through on your call-to-action to the next step of your campaign – say, “clicking through” a digital ad, or newsletter link. How do you calculate CTR? Clicks / Impressions = CTR.

Content Management System (CMS) – A CMS is a front-end computer application that allows users, even those with limited technical abilities, to make changes to the basic content of a website. Popular CMS platforms include WordPress, Joomla, and Drupla.

Impressions – Often confused with reach, impressions indicate the number of time that your content has been served to an audience. Impressions are most often used in reference to social media analytics, or for online and digital advertising, describing how often an ad or post has been displayed, and quantifies the potential audience pool.

Lead – A lead is a potential customer who is currently in the sales funnel, who is interested in your service or company. A successful lead becomes a consumer or client.

Out-of-Home (OOH) – An advertising term used to describe large-scale advertising options that are not found in the household, such as a advertising on billboards, at bus shelters, in subway and metro stations, etc.

Open Rate – An important email marketing metric, the openrate indicates what percentage of your mailing list has opened the email material distributed.

Pageviews – This web traffic metric describes the number of times that a webpage has been viewed.

Pay-per-Click (PPC) – A digital advertising model intended to direct web traffic to specific websites, where the advertiser pays a publisher each time their ad is clicked. PPC campaigns usually come in two forms, a flat fee model where there is mutually agreed price paid to the publisher each time the ad is clicked, or a bid-based model where advertisers compete against each other for an ad spot in an auction held by an advertising network. The advertiser can set up the maximum bid they are willing to pay when setting up the advertising contract. The primary advantage of PPC campaigns is being able to see how cost-effective and successful your ad campaigns really are, since clicks reflect audience interest. The higher interest in your campaign, the lower your PPC. Calculate your PPC: Advertising cost ($) / # ads clicked = PPC.

Reach – In contrast with impressions, the reach describes the definitive number of people who have seen your content, social post, ad, or otherwise.

Unique Visitors – The preferred audience metric for web traffic – whereas pageviews does tell you the number of times a specific page has been viewed, it does not necessarily convey how many of those views are from the same person. In comparison, the unique visitors metric only counts the singular moment a viewer lands on a site, so even if they view one page 10 times, they are considered a single visitor. As such, unique visitors is a more accurate reflection of the amount of traffic a website receives. The abbreviation uv/m, unique visitors per month, is a common metric to measure digital traffic.


Read More

Create Engaging On-Site Activations

By:  |  June 12, 2017  | 

group of business executives walking at an exhibition

Event activations, like samplings or demonstrations, are an incredibly effective way to raise awareness, engage with potential customers, and reinforce brand identity. But with sponsors competing for guests’ attention, how do companies stand out? Here are some tips to creating an engaging and unique on-site event activation.

  1. Align your brand with the event

Before creating any activations, find the connection between your brand and the event. Is it an industry event? Is your target audience attending? Is the event connected to a corporate cause? Understanding the relationship to the event will allow you to go beyond promoting your product or service and elaborate why your company is a valuable addition to the event as a whole.

  1. Design captivating & creative signage

Whether you’re working with a standard 6ft table or a full 10’x10’ booth, eye-catching signage will be a key factor to attracting guests’ attention. There are standard conference signs like pop-up banners, branded table linens, and pop-up tents. Or if you’re looking for something a little more fun, die-cut signs make for a great photo-op. Regardless of format, your signs should display your company logo and website. Keep the message clear and concise – don’t overload signs with text as guests typically don’t have time to read.

  1. Engage & educate

Staff should be accessible and ready to answer any questions. This means no phones on the floor and no ignoring guests. A friendly smile and simple introduction (i.e. “Hello. How are you?… Would you like to learn more about…?”) is usually enough to break the ice and get the conversation going. Come ready with talking points to convey some of your company’s top selling points. This is where Tip #1 comes in handy to communicate your brand’s objectives and benefits.

  1. Capture leads

For brands looking to grow their customer base, this may be the most important step. Turn conversations into connections, into clients. One fun and easy way to capture leads is to collect business cards in a fishbowl for an enter-to-win contest. Additionally, you can have sign-up sheets or iPads with your website’s email subscription portal.

  1. Activate & experience

Here’s where the fun really begins: brainstorm an experience that actively engages audiences. Traditional sampling is sometimes the best way for consumers to test your product. Or leave a larger impact with group activations, like a photo booth with photo props. From live screen printing to dunk tanks, there are countless options for brands to entertain. Another tip: pay attention to your competitors’ activations – it may inspire some ideas!

  1. Giveaways

Leave guests with a token to remember you by. A customary business card is the best way to share your website and professional info. This is another opportunity to get creative in a way that the premium item reminds guests of you: for example, a tourism bureau distributes luggage tags or a pet care facility gives out “poo bags”. The most important detail is that all giveaway collateral should have your company’s branding and, if applicable, contact information.

  1. Follow-up

Sending out an e-blast thanking your new contacts is a great way to stay top-of-mind after the event. Giving an exclusive offer to these attendees will incentivize them to take the first step and secure their business.

Event activations are a great opportunity to communicate a strong brand identity. At Spritz, we enjoy developing unique activations that leave potential customers feeling excited about a new brand. Making a connection makes an impact, and event activations remain one of the best ways to stand out.


Read More

How to Market A Milestone

By:  |  May 23, 2017  | 

Happy senior man cheering with champagne

In addition to an ongoing marketing strategy, companies should take the initiative to market special dates and achievements. Birthdays, anniversaries, or milestones are unique opportunities to engage loyal patrons & partners, attract potential customers, and reinforce brand loyalty.

How should you market your milestone? Spritz has compiled a list of tips to share with you to leverage your commemorative occasion.

1. Turn Numbers Into A Narrative

Numbers tell a story all their own. Showcasing key measurements of your business, such as revenue or team size, gives a unique perspective of your company’s growth, and marketing your milestone through numerical data objectively demonstrates how your company operates. Graphic representations of data, such as infographics or timelines, also effectively communicate your brand’s mission through past achievements.

At the end of 2016, Spritz designed an infographic for RealtyShares, real estate crowdfunding company, to highlight all the milestones and achievements that the company had accomplished that year. The data displayed company growth, and provided insight into the real estate investment industry as a whole. This infographic also supported email marketing efforts, transforming company data into a vivid depiction of the business. RealtyShares effectively turned a holiday into an opportunity to tell their entire story.

2. Make A Brand Look Brand New

Who doesn’t want a fresh, clean look for their birthday? Selective rebranding for significant anniversaries may be just what a company needs to bring extra attention to an already recognizable brand.

For the 20th anniversary of the Sonoma International Film Festival, Spritz incorporated the “20” into their current logo for a simple, yet powerful design. The logo update stayed within SIFF branding guidelines, but emphasized the continuing and exciting growth of an established community festival.

3. Celebrate Together

Who wants to party alone? Whatever the milestone, we recommend you turn your achievements into an open invitation to celebrate with loyal customers because, truth be told, you wouldn’t be anywhere without them. Throwing an event, no matter how big or small, to honor loyal customers is a strong and heartfelt way to reinforce brand loyalty and promote word-of-mouth referrals.

Spritz client Farallon restaurant is celebrating their 20th anniversary on June 10th with an intimate gathering of friends, family, and loyal patrons. A special a la carte menu commemorates the restaurant’s history in Union Square, entirely composed of classic dishes from The Farallon Cookbook: The Very Best of San Francisco Cuisine. For an extra special touch, three generations of chefs: current Executive Chef Jason Ryczek, former Executive Chef of 13 years Parke Ulrich, and Chef/Co-Owner Mark Franz, will all be cooking in the kitchen together.

4. Get Your Audience Involved

Rouse enthusiasm and excitement among your loyal customers by getting them engaged in celebration planning. By running themed giveaways, contests, or campaigns that appeal to customers, you can increase their personal interest in your milestone, and engage them in an ongoing dialogue about the history, significance, and relevancy of your business.

For Farallon’s 19th anniversary last year, Spritz devised a social media contest that would bring attention to the restaurant’s anniversary and cocktail program, as well as drive social media gains. Posts were made across Facebook and Instagram listing the ingredients of a special anniversary cocktail, inviting followers to submit cocktail names that included the number 19. The winning name would be adopted, and listed on the menu – but to be eligible to win, followers had to follow Farallon on both Facebook and Instagram. This contest drummed up excitement among the Farallon customer base, interest in the cocktail and bar program, and also drove awareness for the 19th anniversary.


Read More