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Friendly branding: should it stop?

Friendly branding: should it stop?



It is not very difficult to find examples or at least think about them. We have all met with some product that advertised what it was with enthusiasm. The mini bottle of gel in the hotel room that exclaims I'm soap, use me! The chocolate that is sold as a remedy for difficult days.You just have to think about any product and it is possible that somewhere someone has already tried to sell with that presentation to the friendly and nice, the nice. It is what is known as friendly branding. The product is presented in a fun and friendly packaging, one that is charming and friendly.

These types of designs have a clear explanation and justification. To the user, these products are more accessible and it is easier to establish a connection with them. For example, you just have to think about the Dropbox case. Dropbox is a product that, at first glance, does not look anything particularly accessible or especially nice. In the end, what we are selling is storage in the cloud, something that sounds like technology (it is) and not something easy to enter (it is also, especially now that we have all gotten used to using it on a recurring basis). How was Dropbox introduced? He did it with a look and feel that started with drawings that looked like handmade. It was friendly, it was close.

At a time when companies are obsessed with being close and showing a certain warmth to the consumer, friendly branding helps to position themselves in that field. Adult products are almost sold as children's products, with drawings, pleasing colors and fun and empathetic presentations. The presentation also makes everything seem more human, closer, which in an economic post-crisis market in which consumers have lost faith in corporations (and trust) makes much more sense.

All this has also been growing more and more and as more successful had these friendly and close proposals, more and more brands used. Everyone seemed to be entering into the friendly and charming, a kind of 'friendly' tide that basically stemmed from the proposition selling. In fact, the presence on the internet of companies has adapted so much to this that wherever you look at everything is a space of similar typefaces (human ...) and palettes of similar colors that makes one not really know where it is. It can be a fertilizer company or an emailing company and will have a similar look and feel.

At some point, it has to stop

But, of course, all this boom and all this excess of interest in the lovable, the friendly or the human (put the label on it) will have to end sometime. 

It is not worth trying to be human and friendly if everyone is being equally human and friendly and the north is lost. To be exactly like the competition is hard, to have the same look and feel that the company that everyone considers the worst on the planet (but you want to reinvent) is worse.

As you can remember in the column, the friendly branding has, at the end, a dark area. The brands are using it to fill everything with optimism and warmth and are at the end perverting the message and even its own essence. 

Add to that the brands do not look even new, but one more of the pile in the middle of a lot of equal companies.

And in the end, the friendly branding turned out to be friend-washing, a sort of friendly touch more fake than anything else that consumers are beginning to see with an even more critical eye.
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Julio Alfonzo
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The Power of Experiences

The Power of Experiences














One of the recurring things in studies is that consumers are now looking for different relationships with companies. That they also expect them to offer different content, different actions and establish links. All this based on different things from those used in the past. In the language of brand strategy, new words, such as feelings, emotions and experiences, have begun to appear more and more persistently.

In this last point, companies are still beginning to understand what they should do and how they should play with it. In fact, the experiences are not only important for themselves, but also begin to be important for their impact on other elements. Experiences are key to generating those emotions and feelings that consumers are seeking to establish as links to their favorite brands. They're sometimes the only possible way to create that value relationship with them.

Few are the companies that have a budget destined to connect with these consumers using the marketing of the experiences, although more are those that plan to do it in the near future.

Only a small group of marketers now spend a portion of their budget doing marketing experiences. However, things change when you look ahead. a bigger group recognize that in the next three to five years they will spend at least a fifth of their budget on experiential marketing. In some cases the figure will be even higher.

Why do they do it?

The key is how the market has changed and how consumers themselves have evolved. The demographic changes have made this type of content / actions have become much more necessary. Traditional advertising no longer works and these kinds of actions allow "building relationships and inspiring action". Of course, things are not the same in all markets. Asian brands seem much more willing to play with these tools and use new technologies, such as virtual reality or gaming, than the European ones.

Experiential marketing requires greater creativity on many occasions and being able to seize opportunities. Companies have to be able to create opportunities that make the consumer live that experience and, above all, have to make it all remarkable, different and highly memorable. This often means not only thinking about what one does but also what others do.

Experience sometimes does not require a million dollar investment, but rather a good inventiveness.


Brands and companies have to work to create actions that work in a face-to-face scenario (one approaches the consumer at the moment), to send the message that is to be shared and to interact (the receiver has to participate in it). What is being done: you have to live it. All of this has to make the experience highly memorable and allow you to connect to a level that is not the usual with the brand.

To this is added another interesting element. The experience has to be unique. Creating experiences is not giving away a product by buying two others or giving a special bag at the supermarket on a designated day. Those are interesting actions and with their own potential, but they are not exactly marketing with experiences. Experiences have to be unique, different and have to be noticed. The consumer has to be surprised and have him in a sense to move.
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Julio Alfonzo
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M-Commerce and mobile commerce: How to make the most of it during the summer?

M-Commerce and mobile commerce: How to make the most of it during the summer?



Summer and heat are once again one of the most feared e-commerce times, which until now were forced to dust off their heavy artillery if they do not want to experience a considerable decline in their sales. In the summer, customers and potential customers disconnect their computers and set off for the beach to slip on their sandals, put on their swimsuit and lie on the sand. However, it seems that the season is going to be different, and is that, in this holiday context that is characterized by a certain distance between the brand and the consumer, the mobile is presented as a great help to alleviate this summer fall.

This summer the mobile becomes the ideal travel companion. State-of-the-art cameras allow users to share their services and videos on their social networks, finding excursions and activities is easier than ever, and booking a room in a hotel or table in a restaurant is not a problem. The purchases through the mobile reach their maximum exponent with the "trade of the Beach-Towel", or what is the same, the tendency to buy from the towel. The mobile phone has become an extension of the people.

In view of this increase in the use of the mobile that seems to have no brake, we are here to give you the keys to get the most out of your m-commerce this summer:

Adapt to changing trends: Mobile, an increasingly powerful device

Not to be outdone e-commerce have to take into account the paradigm shift that is taking place, where mobile is no longer an information tool at the beginning of the client's journey. Although this device continues to dominate the beginning and intermediate stages of travel, the difference is becoming more and more diluted than before separating from other devices such as the desktop, where most transactions were completed. This tendency was reinforced by the demand of the consumer of not to find physical obstacles when making their purchases; whether from the office or from the seashore; the consumer demands something and wants it instantly.

The mobile and app duo gets stronger

In this context, the use of applications that facilitate transactions of all kinds increases. E-commerce must also be aware of the limitations of each platform. The brand that was able to link a user with its application (download and use, without uninstallation) gets a very loyal consumer and can expect high conversions, albeit in a more limited buyers base. 

Everything points to the fact that, shortly, the choice of the device with which to carry out the transaction will be a mere matter of convenience of the user at all times.

Customize communication through transversal campaigns

A well structured complete strategy establish a personalized communication and the possibility of offering a bi-directional communication with the potential consumer, aware of their right to receive information according to their summer interests. Making the most of the e-commerce this summer is not only about bringing the demand to the most attractive and specialized way, but also for offering e-commerce the possibility of applying differentiated strategies that fit the best shape. 

Cross-border campaigns require traceability that is difficult to achieve now, but steps are being taken that e-commerce can begin to implement. Among these initiatives we have mandatory registration at the beginning of navigation, or inference tools that help advertisers to make desktop and mobile campaigns increasingly consistent.
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Julio Alfonzo
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The newest professional profile that companies are looking for.

The newest professional profile that companies are looking for.



Brands and companies have to face a changing environment and a series of new demands and new challenges, which quickly move to their workforce. What do they have to know right now? What do they have to be interested in than ever before to meet consumer expectations and to be the latest in the needs of the market?

Companies not only need to answer those questions, but the answer is also changing what they are looking for and what they need in their marketing teams. This is what has made that in recent times they've sought profiles specialized in Internet and particularly certain specific elements, have begun to seek profiles such as mathematicians and scientists for marketing teams to meet the needs associated with big data or that have been robbing professionals from other sectors, such as the media, to fit the growing needs of companies in content.

Professionals have begun to be much more imaginative and creative as far as professional outings are concerned and also have been forced to assume more and more needs in what training touches. In a scenario in which companies look for professionals prepared on more specific issues, training and courses have become the key to being that particular professional looking.

Social networks have become the epicenter of many of these new demands. Community managers, for example, were, in the early days of the social boom, the professionals that had become fashionable and that everyone seemed to want and seek, as brands and companies were facing a reality that they didn't know and they seemed to be who could offer the solution. Everyone seemed to be looking for a community manager and everyone was trying to become one.

But social networks quickly became a much more complex and much more diverse space and therefore, companies had no choice but to incorporate many more professionals with many more capabilities. They began to need analysts, managers, content creators, graphic designers ... And, in the midst of all this boom of professionals and needs, a sort of constant was emerging: as certain networks became fashionable and certain behaviors and contents become social, companies needed professionals who fit with it.

So now companies need those who offer them video services and who help them capitalize on the interest that online videos spark both in streaming and on demand, for example. And, of course, they need those who help them position themselves in the latest fashion social network. Instagram has become the social network in which everyone wants to be and that has begun to cannibalize the engagement and success of other social networks, as can be the case of for example Facebook, its owner. As Instagram is getting more successful, companies are looking more and more to professional experts in it.
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Julio Alfonzo
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The Internet and the changes it made to our ecommerce lifestyle

The Internet and the changes it made to our ecommerce lifestyle



Many are the changes that the internet has brought to the market and they have changed how businesses have to operate and work. The network has made the communication change, the way to access to the information or the marketing strategy that companies are using. And, of course, the network has also completely changed consumption.

Broadly speaking, internet propitiated a modification between what triumphs and what does not. Before its existence, the success or failure of something was closely linked to the fact that it could reach large masses of consumers and seduce them. A product could not be considered a success if it did not sell massive quantities and if it did not reach many consumers. One of the best examples to understand how this idea works is in books. Before the internet, only genres with massive audiences were easy to find. Now anyone can read almost anything thanks to the distribution in electronic format and even thanks to distribution via paper, since the model of print on demand has appeared.

But this was only one of the changes in consumption. The Internet imposed many more of those. It turned e-commerce into one of the great fashions and one of the most important elements of the economy in the 21st century, causing consumers to start buying virtually everything online. If first we only dared to buy tickets to shows through the network, now we buy almost everything, from books to the furniture studio we need.

And, finally, the internet has disrupted the consumption and the relationship between who offers and whom it serves, thanks to the boom of the collaborative economy. The issue, which appeared a few years ago as one of the great novelties of the market and as something innovative made by a few, has become an overwhelming market force with consequences that go far beyond the network. 

The Generational Gap

But, of course, this change is not only linked to the irruption of the Internet into consumption, but also thanks to a generational change. Those who use Uber, Airbnb, BlaBlaCar or the different crowsourcing platforms are, above all, young consumers. Millennials have put these tools into fashion and millennials are, in the end, those who employ them. Why? If you ask a millennial who has just traveled to some place and stayed in one of those apartments that can be rented online, via the platform of the sharing economy, he will surely talk about freedom, certain services that he does not access other way and experiences.

Millennials are the ones who participate most in these services and who are their main consumers. With respect to millennials, it is three times more likely that they will use collaborative economy services for anything (from renting spaces to contracting professional services) than older consumers.

For these consumers, these services are seen in a much more natural way, so they have less reluctance to start using them. For them they are simply one more opportunity to acquire what they want.

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Julio Alfonzo
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We need to make digital things to look more natural.

We need to make digital things to look more natural.




Since the beginning of time, human beings have had to deal with their environment. Animals and nature have been our inseparable companions, and as a consequence, our internal programming is prepared to interact, protect and take advantage of their natural habitat.

In spite of this, times change, and today we find ourselves immersed in a technological world, which, far from visualizing itself reversible, seems to be advancing by leaps and bounds towards an increasingly technological society.

But is the brain also prepared for this technology?

The truth is that the brain is not yet fully "adapted" to it. A child learns to handle different devices from the earliest years of life. However, it is mere learning early. Innately, children are born more prepared to interact with their environment.

Our brain seems to continue to be more attracted to those natural sounds, shapes, colors and movements. Some of the most prestigious Universities in the world proved this phenomenon. Oshin Vartanian, of the University of Toronto, after showing 200 images of different architectural designs, discovered that circular forms were valued more positively than straight or squared forms.

Another neuroimaging study conducted by Moshe Bar (Harvard Medical School) suggested that organic forms are preferred by our brains because they offer a sense of security. The billiard and straight elements have always been associated with dangerous objects, and also produce activation in the amygdala (brain zone focused on the "processing" of fear).

At the same time, several studies of Neuromarketing have demonstrated how the packaging of some products are sold in greater quantity when using these forms. An example could be the CocaCola bottle. In addition, these designs often incite interaction with the product. That is, a detergent with straight corners, is less attractive than a detergent with circular shapes and rounded corners. The latter is perceived more tangible.

Definitely, the organic is more normalized, we are more accustomed to perceive similar forms in the environment. Therefore, entering the new digital world, webs, blogs and e-commerce must also try to approach this natural dimension in its design.

Facebook is a good referent. Zuckerberg and his team have managed to create a 100% digital platform, but with a natural cut. Each element of the social network has rounded corners and curves. The messenger sounds are simple, fun and very organic. And like Facebook, we could name Twitter or Apple (among many others).

Other platforms, like LinkedIn, prefer to use more serious designs with straight terminations. After all, everything depends on the experience that we want to create in our users. But without a doubt, we must make the technological thing more pleasant for the brain.
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Julio Alfonzo
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If you aren't on the internet you don't exist and soon you will not be able to sell either

If you aren't on the internet you don't exist and soon you will not be able to sell either



Many were those who did not want to believe that Bill Gates phrase, when he mentioned that "If your business is not on the Internet, then your business will be out of business". That phrase is perfect when it comes to verify the true importance of the internet for businesses. Now, the most immediate future, augurs us a new generational change where electronic commerce and the way of selling will be protagonists.

The Internet is an increasingly important part of the day to day and is also becoming a fundamental part of understanding the future. The network is appropriating all the parts of our day to day and is integrating all our needs. The Internet is no longer an element or part of what we are or do, but has become a vehicle element that unites everyone and everything.

Therefore, and especially as the penetration of the network becomes deeper and as its importance is touching more and more points (do not forget that the immediate future is undeniably smart and that everything will be connected to the Network, from the city where you live to domestic appliances), the weight of the internet in the business world is greater and greater.

Brands, products and companies have to be present in the network and have to adapt to the needs it imposes. If you are not on the internet, you will hardly reach the consumer. And if it is not on the internet, it is hardly going to be sold, now and especially in the immediate future. What makes the network crucial for survival?

The audience is on the internet: the search engines are the new Yellow Pages

One of the main reasons that explain the need to be on the internet is the fact that consumers are there. The net is the source of wisdom to which they come at all times, either because they need to consult the life of a dark king who appears on a plaque in a museum on Wikipedia or because they want to find a restaurant to have a dinner and do not know where to go. The network has become its source of information for everything and has done so for all generational groups. The Google search is no longer old.

And if the audience is there it is absurd not to be where they are looking to be found, especially as the passage of time points to a change in this behavior that will make consumers to be even more on the internet. Mobile devices are becoming more popular and year after year they improve the conditions of mobile internet connection while the prices of these services are reduced. This is increasing the number of consumers connected and that the use of the internet to find information is year after year higher. Therefore, relying on the network to be found when consumers need the services or products on offer is even more important.

Do not forget: internet and search engines are the new Yellow Pages.
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Julio Alfonzo
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