Search Results for: case study

BN Branding golf industry marketing case study (GNL Golf — Lady Lake, Florida)

Golf industry marketing and advertising (a case study)

Let me tell you a success story from the golf industry. Not a rags-to-riches thing, but a success story, nonetheless.

It began back in the golden age of golf, when Johnny Miller and Jack Nicklaus were battling with even older greats like Arnold Palmer and Sam Snead.

Back then, golf industry marketing and advertising was a much different proposition. It all revolved around the golf pro at the country club.

John S. Ford was a young, hippy prodigy who worked in the custom club department at MacGregor Golf. He made clubs for Nicklaus, Palmer, Snead and many other top-name pros, and made a name for himself in the golf industry.

Fast forward 35 years…

John Ford’s still making hand-crafted golf clubs, but for the average, retired golfer out of a shop in Central Florida that he called The Golf Institute.

When I met Ford he was running an inefficient, old-school operation.

No different than most golf industry marketing and advertising. He relied entirely on word-of-mouth, and he spent at least 45 minutes pitching every person who walked through the door. His closing rate wasn’t bad, but he also scared off a lot of people. It was not an efficient system.

He knew he needed a better system, so after interviewing a bunch of golf product marketing companies we went back to the drawing board. Together.

The first step was to discover the heart of his business. Show me your soul and I’ll show you your brand. It’s a proven process that appealed to Ford’s analytical nature.

While Ford studied marketing I studied his business. I witnessed the miraculous work he does with lousy golfers. I went through his process myself. I felt it all… Skepticism, curiosity, hope, and finally, my own ah-ha moment.

Then I wrote the book on Ford’s brand.

We narrowed his audience. We identified the key storytelling elements, the archetypes involved, and a pyramid of marketing messages.

It was a crossroads, both for Ford’s business and for his golfing customers. They could stay on the common path of frustration, or they could take a more direct route to lasting improvement.

Our insight proved that it’s not about club heads, shafts, or even Ford’s engineering prowess. It’s contentment after every round of golf. It’s hope, preparation the payoff of better play.

The name “Golf Institute” didn’t jive with the core brand concept, so step two became a quest for a new business name.

That’s where Ford and I disagreed.

“Golf at the Next Level” was not my first recommendation. Nor my second.

It ranked low on our “memorability” scale. And it didn’t have a nice ring to it.  (Also low on the audio quality scale.)

But it’s very literal, which he liked. And the tag line, “Up you go,” sealed the deal for him.

While our design team was working on the brand identity, I was showing Ford how he could transform his selling process from a time-sucking nightmare into a money making proposition.
BNBranding case study golf industry marketing
“Why don’t you do classes,” I suggested. “Get 10 or 20 people at a time and have them pay you to hear the sales pitch. Wouldn’t that be a lot easier?”

That’s how the “See Putt Sink” putting workshop was born.

Ford wanted to keep the classes simple, so we came up with the minimum viable product… For just $29 Ford would change your perspective on putting forever.

That’s a value proposition that resonates.

We built a website that pushed prospects to the putting workshop and enabled them to sign-up and pay online.

Then we did direct mail and local newspaper advertising to push traffic to the website. Everything is integrated, with the same messaging and the same graphic style.

Anyone who contends that print advertising is dead should talk to John Ford. Every little ad that he runs in the local paper fills up weeks worth of workshops. The ROI is indisputable.

The biggest challenge with the advertising was the amount of information, and the process of elimination. Ford wants to say everything, in every ad. We prefer brevity.

He wants to explain. We want to entice.

Today, 93% of Ford’s revenues come directly from the workshops. His sales pipeline stays as full as he wants it to be, and he doesn’t have to spend time making individual sales pitches.

Not only that, his closing ratio has improved.

The people who attend his classes are more informed because they’ve been to his website. Their expectations are set, they ask better questions and they’re more primed to buy.

So in a nutshell, Ford has an efficient new sales pipeline that’s constantly full of well-qualified leads. They pay him to listen to his sales pitch, and he closes 80% of those who attend a class.

Wouldn’t you like to have that business model?

It’s easy, and it costs a lot less than you might think. In fact, the first meeting is free.
Just click here to schedule a call. 

2 Keen brand strategy on the brand insight blog BNBranding

Keen Footwear is a great branding case study. If the shoe fits.

Keen brand strategy on the brand insight blog BNBrandingApparently, I have peasant feet.  At least that’s what the nice sales person at REI told me as I was buying a pair of Keens.  That comment inspired me to use that brand as a good branding case study.

Here’s how the story goes…

Back in medieval Europe, peasant’s feet were short and stubby, with toes that were all close to the same length.

Noblemen, on the other hand, had narrow, pointy feet, with toes that tapered off like an Egyptian profile.

Keen shoes seem to be tailor-made for peasants.

I’ve purchased two pairs of Keens for work, one pair of sandals, and two pairs of light hikers because they fit my feet perfectly. But I’ve never heard anything from Keen about fit. ( Or about catering to peasants, for that matter.)

Instead, the Keen brand strategy revolves around the theme of the “hybrid life.” Where did that come from, you might ask.

 

 

Like most great brands, Keen was launched with one simple idea. Their entire brand strategy focused on sandals with toe protection. It’s yet another branding case study that proves the power of singular focus.

Designer Michael Keen’s ah-ha moment derived from his experience as a competitive sailor.  At the time, serious sailors never wore sandals. Too many stubbed toes! So Keen came up with the Newport Sandal and dubbed it a hybrid — somewhere between a shoe and a sandal with visible reinforcement in the toes.

Stylish? Not really. But they sure are functional.

Sailors soon started moving away from Top Siders and embracing the protection provided by Keen’s distinctive toe design. There’s even a Keen model that looks like a deck shoe.

Keen shoes brand strategy on the Brand Insight BlogBut sailing is a preppy, upper crust activity, and Keen’s brand personality is definitely not preppy. That’s where this branding case study gets interesting.

You won’t see any sailing in Keen’s marketing materials, and I doubt they’ll be sponsoring an America’s Cup boat any time soon.

You’re more likely to see Keens on a dirt bag vagabond than an ivy league yachtsman.

Keen shoes are not high fashion, but they’re highly functional and amazingly comfortable. They appeal to river rafters, hikers, beachcombers, bicyclists, campers, fishermen and just about anyone who loves to play outdoors. Every model they make shows Keen’s original benefit… toe protection.

Needless to say, the brand plays well in the workboot category. But more than that, it’s also popular among urban hipsters in places like Portland, Seattle, Boston and Austin, Texas.

For branding purposes, the company latched onto Michael Keen’s term and expanded it into the “hybrid life.”

Unfortunately, most people don’t know what that means. It’s a conjured-up lifestyle thing that only makes sense to a tiny sliver of the peasant market. Like those of us lucky enough to live in Bend, Oregon.

Bend Oregon Advertising Agency Keen branding case studyWhen it comes to brand affiliations, Bend is the perfect town for Keen.

We get it. Recreation’s the name of the game here, and locals are very good at getting outside and having fun… Paddling  or fishing the Deschutes River, mountain biking, skiing, hiking, running the river trail.

The hybrid life is what we’re all doing here. Or at least aspiring to do.

But the folks at Keen like to say “hybrid life” is deeper than just what you do in your spare time. It’s “a call to create, play and care.”  That’s the heart of the Keen brand, and the company has demonstrated authenticity on all three fronts.

It’s one of those companies that’s genuinely trying to do good things. And that commitment is built into their brand strategy.

When it comes to caring, Keen walks the talk. When the tsunami hit Thailand and Indonesia in 2004, Keen donated its entire marketing budget for the year, almost $1 million, to tsunami recovery efforts.

Since then Keen has donated over $5 million to non-profits that share “a philosophy of caring, conscience and sustainability.”

On the sustainability scale, Keen CEO James Curleigh considers Keen an “accidental environmentalist”.

They launched a line of bags and wallets using scrap polyester and nylon. So now the company is heralded as “green” and eco-friendly. But to hear Curleigh tell it, the move had more to do with material costs and smart business decisions than environmentalism.

The Portland-based company encourages its employees to volunteer in the community, offering up to 36 hours of paid time each year to participate in volunteer activities. Appropriately, on Earth Day nearly 40 of the company’s employeeKeen shoes brand strategy on the Brand Insight Blogs helped with trail maintenance in Portland’s Forest Park.

And one of Keen’s recent advertising campaigns encouraged people to rekindle one of the favorite parts of their childhood and incorporate Recess into their adult lives.

Sounds good to me. Peasants deserve a break. We work hard.

The campaign is an improvement over Keen’s past advertising efforts where the hybrid life was sort of shoved down our throats. “Designed for your hybred life” was actually one of the headlines. (A classic case where the brand strategy statement made an unfortunate appearance as an ad headline.) The message has also lacked consistency over the years…

“Shoes with adrenalin.”

“Bear tested, Bear approved” with Bear Grylls from Man vs. Wild.

“Live Outwardly.”

Keen’s agency is obviously trying to make “Recess” more inclusive. They’re working to expand the definition of  “outdoor recreation” and include a broader range of audiences.

Maybe they’re trying a little too hard.

The ads feels a little forced. The photography has a stock look, and doesn’t sKeen advertisingeem authentic to me.  Compare it to the photography that Patagonia consistently produces… it’s no contest.

In the Keen ads there are no peasants, no grungy hipsters, no bearded mountain men. They’re all models — cleaned, pressed and ready to trek from one photo shoot to the next. I’ll bet most of them even have noble, pointy feet.

Which brings me back to Michael Keen’s original design.

Keen said he considered all kinds of feet before deciding on a last that fits 90 percent of the population. But there aren’t that many of us with peasant feet.

The fact is, the lucky people with noble, Egyptian feet can fit into just about any shoe, including Keens. But not vice-versa.

Try shoving a stubby, peasant foot into the typical golf shoe. It’s impossible. Just look how pointy they all are. It’s almost as-if the powers that be in the golf industry want to perpetuate that image of noble exclusivity.

Golf shoes just don’t fit peasant feet.

They won’t even make shoes for the working class, much less golf courses!

So here’s what I hope:  I hope Keen gets into the golf shoe business.

If they choose to make deck shoes and biking shoes, why not golf shoes? The toe construction of a Keen is absolutely perfect for the demands of the golf swing, and no other golf shoe accommodates the common foot.

And when they do move into that market, I hope I can do the ads. Because nobody knows peasant golf like I do.

For more on Brand Strategy, check out THIS post: 

Interested in buying some Keens? Check them out at GoodPairOfShoes.com

 

About

BN Branding - BeNoisy
 

Here's what we're all about:

Our sole purpose is to help you succeed. Simple as that. Nothing gets us more fired up than seeing our clients achieve their dreams. So we contribute in three key areas:

Strategic Branding.

First we help uncover the DNA of your brand. Then we develop an honest, relevant brand strategy that drives all the rest of our services. It’s creative work based on a disciplined branding process.

Advertising.

Once the the story is mapped out, you need an ad agency to execute the strategy in creative new ways. You’ll get effective, award-winning advertising in all forms; print, TV, radio and digital. Portfolio

Marketing management.

We can help you navigate the complex landscape of modern marketing by prioritizing tactics and aligning all the pieces with a clear cut strategy that will move the needle for your business.

Getting started with a branding firm BN Branding

 

Here's who we are:

John Furgurson, CEO/ Ad Agency Creative Director

John Furgurson branding expert and bend oregon ad agency owner

John’s been called an anomaly… A creative guy with a penchant for business. A poetic entrepreneur.

He can devise an insightful strategy in the morning, and craft award-winning ad copy over lunch. It’s a left-brain, right-brain one-two punch that few marketing executives offer.

John cut his teeth writing direct response ads — where sales were the only litmus test of success. From there, he worked for several Portland-area ad agencies on a vast array of print and radio campaigns.

John also did a stint in the video industry where he wrote scripts and helped produce long-format videos and direct-response TV for big brands such as HP, Tektronix and WearEver.

John Furgurson CEO of bend oregon ad agency

Eventually, John moved to Bend, Oregon to raise his kids and strike that delicate balance between work and play.

His first Bend ad agency was named AdWords, which worked out well until Google decided they really, really wanted that URL.  So he took their offer and rebranded the firm in 2004.

Learn more about John’s origin story and his rebranding effort.

BN Branding has touched many of Oregon’s most iconic brands, such as Black Butte Ranch, Sunriver Resort, and Bend itself. John and his team have helped plan, manage and execute marketing programs for companies across the U.S. and Canada.

John shares his expertise regularly on the Brand Insight Blog, which he’s been writing since 2007.

Get to know him on the podcast of “Bootstraps & Business. Find John Furgurson on LinkedIn:

Mattie Limon, Accounts and Business Manager

We need Mattie like an orchestra needs a conductor.

Mattie is the master of social media, project management and finance.  Under Mattie’s watchful eye our operation sings along in relative harmony… Our creative teams can operate way more effectively and our clients aren’t ambushed with surprises.

Mattie’s very handy in the kitchen, and with a camera, which works out well for our food industry clients. Her good-natured approach keeps everyone on task, including freelancers, vendors and, yes, even the CEO. It’s a win-win.

Connect with Mattie on LinkedIn

Dan Franklin, Sr. Art Director

Dan Franklin, Sr. Art Director

Dan believes that subtle, aesthetic considerations have a pronounced affect not only on your brand, but also your sales. That’s why he’s been a key team member at BN Branding since 2018.

Dan has the uncanny ability to help translate brand strategies into gorgeous, relevant design work. His talents extend far beyond brand identity design into packaging, print, video, web design, signage and digital advertising.

But he’s particularly good at packaging design in the food and beverage industries. Over the years, Dan’s been the design talent behind many great food brands, like Reser’s Fine Foods, Boyd’s Coffee, and Eathos.

He sweats every detail. From the psychological effects of a color change to the usability implications of a specific website font, he works with the precision and care of a true craftsman and artist.

Erik Zetterberg, Web developer

EZ head shot for website

Erik’s our web master/programmer/technology consultant. Here’s how it usually goes with Erik…

We approach him with our initial concepts for a website or a digital advertising campaign. He tells us it can’t be done. No way. Then we go back and forth arguing the merits of the idea vs. the realities of HTML programming. (We’ll spare you the details on that.)

Eventually Erik goes deep down into some technological rabbit hole, and we don’t hear from him for a couple days. But he always emerges with a workable solution. Every time.

The results are stunning… Websites that look as good as they perform. Web-generated leads that actually lead to something. With Erik’s help you get higher conversion rates and analytics that your CFO will love. It’s better with Zetter. Berg.

 
BN Branding - Be Honest

Here's what we believe:

Successful brands have meaning beyond money. They’re built on a solid belief system and authentic values that attract like-minded people. As a Bend ad agency, BNBranding is built on these core beliefs:

We believe that words come first. Before art.

BN Branding is the only words-first branding agency. While everyone else starts with art, we focus on getting the words right. It’s semantics. That’s the foundation of every great branding effort… Distilling the idea down to a few poignant words that inspire great design.

We believe creativity is the ultimate business weapon.

Inspired, creative thinking is behind every great brand, from Apple to Zappos. We also believe that it’s hard to be creative when you’re up to your neck in day-to-day operations. Most business owners need a creative spark from the outside.

We believe strategy is a creative exercise.

Strategy drives the execution that produces results. If you have a me-too strategy, no amount of creative trickeration is going to produce the outcome you’re looking for. Creative strategy plus creative execution is a formidable combination.

BNBranding bend oregon ad agency branding process

We believe that process matters.

This is a service business, so how we work is often just as important as what we produce. For us, it’s insight first, then execution. Every time. It’s a branding process designed specifically to produce maximum results with minimal headaches.

We believe  every company needs a seasoned marketing generalist.

A generalist can help you navigate the entire marketing landscape and make sure you’re maximizing every marketing tactic you can afford. Something you’ll never get from a digital ad agency.

We believe in the persuasive power of disruptive words.

Fact: The human brain automatically screens out the normal, mundane language of most business pitches. It’s in one ear, and out the other. Creative, well-crafted messages, on the other hand, fire the synapses and trigger an emotional response. Here’s an example of great messaging from our bend ad agency.

We believe that emotion trumps logic every time.

Research it yourself… the latest findings in Neuroscience prove that people make emotional purchases, then use reason to justify the decision. No great brand has ever been built on reason alone. Not one. In branding, it’s what they feel, not what they think.

We believe the marketing mix is more important than ever.

The marketing landscape is evolving quickly. Social media provides exciting new ways to tell stories and make connections, but you still need a healthy mix of marketing tactics. Some high tech, some high touch. Some old school, some new school.

BE NOVEL

We believe in the glory of a good story.

Every great business has an engaging story to tell. So tell it! Hire an ad agency that can help you find creative new ways to spin that tale… in ads, on your website, in presentations, tweets and Facebook posts.

We believe in skeptical optimism.

As creative thinkers we’re naturally skeptical, but not in a pessimistic way. We question the status quo in order to move your business upward. Tell us that something can’t be done, that it’s too hard or too “out there,” and we’ll be positively skeptical about that.

We believe Design belongs in business school.

Tom Peters calls it “the soul of new enterprise.”  It’s Design that differentiates the world’s most valuable brand – Apple.  It’s Design that made Nest a billion dollar brand. Design evokes passion, emotion and attachment… all required elements of great brands.

We believe in the art of persuasion.

Data is a big deal these days. But effective marketing communications still comes down to saying the right thing, and saying it well. That’s what a good ad agency brings to the table… A brilliantly crafted combination of words and images that can move the needle. Here’s a relevant case study.

 We believe in the power of collaboration.

Ad agencies can be pretty possessive when it comes to creative work. But great ideas can come from anywhere. We don’t have a corner on that market, so we collaborate with you to uncover ideas and insight that we may never have thought of. Then we take that ball and run with it.


Here's where we choose to work:

Yep, it’s a Bend, Oregon ad agency, but we serve clients from all over.

They come from Toronto and Detroit. They come from Florida, California and even Costa Rica.  The fresh air, the beauty and the outdoor action in Bend is a mecca for creativity. It’s the juice that keeps the ideas — and the clients — coming.

Won’t you join us? We can arrange a rejuvenating, brand-building business trip that will inspire you – and tire you.

Bend Oregon branding company ad agency



About (old)

Smiles make sales. Disarm them with optimism, and build on a friendly platform of genuine passion.

 

Here's what we're all about:

We’re here to help you succeed. Simple as that. Nothing gets us more fired up than seeing our clients achieve their dreams. So we contribute in three key areas:

Strategic Branding.

First we help uncover the DNA of your brand. Then we develop an honest, relevant brand strategy that drives all the rest of our services. It’s creative work based on a disciplined branding process.

Advertising.

Once the brand strategy is set and the story is mapped out, you need an ad agency to execute the strategy in creative new ways. You’ll get an award-winning ad agency that can help you produce all forms forms of advertising, from print and TV to websites and digital advertising. Portfolio

Marketing management.

We can help you navigate the complex landscape of modern marketing by prioritizing tactics and aligning all the pieces with a clear cut strategy that will move the needle for your business.

Getting started with a branding firm BN Branding

 

Here's who we are:

John Furgurson, CEO/ Ad Agency Creative Director

John Furgurson branding expert and bend oregon ad agency owner

John’s been called an anomaly… A creative guy with a penchant for business. A poetic entrepreneur.

He can devise an insightful strategy in the morning, and craft award-winning ad copy over lunch. It’s a left-brain, right-brain one-two punch that few marketing executives offer.

John cut his teeth writing direct response ads — where sales were the only litmus test of success. From there, he worked for several Portland-area ad agencies on a vast array of print and radio campaigns.

John also did a stint in the video industry where he wrote scripts and helped produce long-format videos and direct-response TV for big brands such as HP, Tektronix and WearEver.

John Furgurson CEO of bend oregon ad agency

Eventually, John moved to Bend, Oregon to raise his kids and strike that delicate balance between work and play.

His first Bend ad agency was named AdWords, which worked out well until Google decided they really, really wanted that URL.  So he took their offer and rebranded the firm in 2004.

Learn more about John’s origin story and his rebranding effort.

BN Branding has touched many of Oregon’s most iconic brands, such as Black Butte Ranch, Sunriver Resort, and Bend itself. John and his team have helped plan, manage and execute marketing programs for companies across the U.S. and Canada.

John shares his expertise regularly on the Brand Insight Blog, which he’s been writing since 2007. Find John Furgurson on LinkedIn:

Mattie Limon, Accounts and Business Manager

We need Mattie like an orchestra needs a conductor.

Mattie is the master of social media, project management and finance.  Under Mattie’s watchful eye our operation sings along in relative harmony… Our creative teams can operate way more effectively and our clients aren’t ambushed with surprises.

Mattie’s very handy in the kitchen, and with a camera, which works out well for our food industry clients. Her good-natured approach keeps everyone on task, including freelancers, vendors and, yes, even the CEO. It’s a win-win.

Connect with Mattie on LinkedIn

Dan Franklin, Art Director/Designer

Dan believes that subtle, aesthetic considerations have a pronounced affect not only on your brand, but also your sales.  That’s why Dan’s been a key team member at BN Branding since 2018.

Dan has the uncanny ability to help devise brand strategies and translate them into gorgeous, relevant design work. His talents extend far beyond brand identity design, into print, video, web design and digital advertising.

But he’s particularly good at packaging design in the food and beverage industries. Over the years, Dan’s been the design talent behind many great food brands, like Reser’s Fine Foods, Boyd’s Coffee, and Eathos.

He sweats every detail. From the psychological effects of a color change to the usability implications of a specific website font, he works with the precision and care of a true craftsman and artist.

Erik Zetterberg, Web developer

EZ head shot for website

Erik’s our web master/programmer/technology consultant. Here’s how it usually goes with Erik…

We approach him with our initial concepts for a website or a digital advertising campaign. He tells us it can’t be done. No way. Then we go back and forth arguing the merits of the idea vs. the realities of HTML programming. (We’ll spare you the details on that.)

Eventually Erik goes deep down into some technological rabbit hole, and we don’t hear from him for a couple days. But he always emerges with a workable solution. Every time.

The results are stunning… Websites that look as good as they perform. Web-generated leads that actually lead to something. With Erik’s help you get higher conversion rates and analytics that your CFO will love. It’s better with Zetter. Berg.

 

Raise your right hand. Find your truth. Use it as a competitive advantage.

Here's what we believe:

Successful brands have meaning beyond money. They’re built on a solid belief system and authentic values that attract like-minded people. As a Bend ad agency, BNBranding is built on these core beliefs:

We believe that words come first. Before art.

BN Branding is the only words-first branding agency. While everyone else starts with art, we focus on getting the words right. It’s semantics. That’s the foundation of every great branding effort… Distilling the idea down to a few poignant words that inspire great design.

We believe creativity is the ultimate business weapon.

Inspired, creative thinking is behind every great brand, from Apple to Zappos. We also believe that it’s hard to be creative when you’re up to your neck in day-to-day operations. Most business owners need a creative spark from the outside.

We believe strategy is a creative exercise.

Strategy drives the execution that produces results. If you have a me-too strategy, no amount of creative trickeration is going to produce the outcome you’re looking for. Creative strategy plus creative execution is a formidable combination.

BNBranding bend oregon ad agency branding process

We believe that process matters.

This is a service business, so how we work is often just as important as what we produce. For us, it’s insight first, then execution. Every time. It’s a branding process designed specifically to produce maximum results with minimal headaches.

We believe  every company needs a seasoned marketing generalist.

A generalist can help you navigate the entire marketing landscape and make sure you’re maximizing every marketing tactic you can afford. Something you’ll never get from a digital ad agency.

We believe in the persuasive power of disruptive words.

Fact: The human brain automatically screens out the normal, mundane language of most business pitches. It’s in one ear, and out the other. Creative, well-crafted messages, on the other hand, fire the synapses and trigger an emotional response. Here’s an example of great messaging from our bend ad agency.

We believe that emotion trumps logic every time.

Research it yourself… the latest findings in Neuroscience prove that people make emotional purchases, then use reason to justify the decision. No great brand has ever been built on reason alone. Not one. In branding, it’s what they feel, not what they think.

We believe the marketing mix is more important than ever.

The marketing landscape is evolving quickly. Social media provides exciting new ways to tell stories and make connections, but you still need a healthy mix of marketing tactics. Some high tech, some high touch. Some old school, some new school.

bend ad agency BN Branding We believe in the glory of a good story.

Every great business has an engaging story to tell. So tell it! Hire an ad agency that can help you find creative new ways to spin that tale… in ads, on your website, in presentations, tweets and Facebook posts.

We believe in skeptical optimism.

As creative thinkers we’re naturally skeptical, but not in a pessimistic way. We question the status quo in order to move your business upward. Tell us that something can’t be done, that it’s too hard or too “out there,” and we’ll be positively skeptical about that.

We believe Design belongs in business school.

Tom Peters calls it “the soul of new enterprise.”  It’s Design that differentiates the world’s most valuable brand – Apple.  It’s Design that made Nest a billion dollar brand. Design evokes passion, emotion and attachment… all required elements of great brands.

We believe in the art of persuasion.

Data is a big deal these days. But effective marketing communications still comes down to saying the right thing, and saying it well. That’s what a good ad agency brings to the table… A brilliantly crafted combination of words and images that can move the needle. Here’s a relevant case study.

 We believe in the power of collaboration.

Ad agencies can be pretty possessive when it comes to creative work. But great ideas can come from anywhere. We don’t have a corner on that market, so we collaborate with you to uncover ideas and insight that we may never have thought of. Then we take that ball and run with it.


Here's where we choose to work:

Yep, it’s a Bend, Oregon ad agency, but we serve clients from all over.

They come from Toronto and Detroit. They come from Florida, California and even Costa Rica.  The fresh air, the beauty and the outdoor action in Bend is a mecca for creativity. It’s the juice that keeps the ideas — and the clients — coming.

Won’t you join us? We can arrange a rejuvenating, brand-building business trip that will inspire you – and tire you.

Bend Oregon branding company ad agency



Clients

Case studies from a Bend, Oregon Ad Agency…

You won’t find any Fortune 500 companies here. That’s not our niche. Our clients are business owners who don’t have time to become marketing experts. They are entrepreneurs with a dream. They are business owners and CEOs who want to reach the next level of success. Whatever that may be.

Naming, brand strategy and identity design in the natural foods industry

Client: Superior Foods Int. — Watsonville, CA

 

Brand: Eathos – Premium, plant-based frozen foods

 

Bend, Oregon Ad Agency: BN Branding

 

Initial Assignment: Create a new frozen food brand, from scratch.

 

Solution: Brand Strategy, Naming, Identity Design, Packaging Design, Web Design and Development.

 

Craig Forrest is a veteran sales executive from the frozen food industry. After 20 years in the business he wanted to launch a brand from the ground floor, so he teamed up with his old friends at Superior Foods Int. and with BN Branding.

“I had a general sense of what I wanted this new brand to be, but John and his team at BN Branding helped flesh it out and literally brought it to life,” Craig said.

BN Branding began with research and a thorough brand strategy that helped Craig and his partner solidify their vision for the new business. Then they dove into the naming process.

“BN Branding has a really great system for namestorming that takes some of the guesswork out of the process,” Craig said. “It’s never easy, and it took some time for the lawyers to sort out the trademark registration, but we’re thrilled with the name Eathos and the tagline. It’s a winner.”

Once the naming process was complete the BN Branding team designed the brand identity and wrote the book on the Eathos brand. That brand bible is still the guidebook for everything they do at Eathos,

“The brand bible’s been tremendously helpful for our entire team,” Craig said. “It’s been a great guide for our discussions with our vendor, with brokers and for pitches to prospective retailers. It was instrumental in landing 800 Target stores.”

The brand book also guides the packaging design. BN Branding designed the boxes for the first eight frozen entrees, as well as bags and cases for four different club store items. (Eathos is currently available in 800 Target stores and will be rolling out in Costco later in 2022)

They did all that while simultaneously delivering the website: Eathosfoods.com 

In addition, BN Branding devised a hyper-targeted digital ad campaign that produced 20% lift in velocity during two short time periods right after launch.

“By zeroing in on specific Super Target stores we were able to produce a good lift,” Craig said. “Now we just need to be in more retail locations. Then we can duplicate that advertising in many more markets.”

BN Branding’s range of services also includes PR outreach, social media, trade show booth design and branded merch.

 

 

 

 

 

Food branding by BN Branding

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Naming, branding and advertising in the supplements industry

Client: Organic 3 Inc. — Detroit, Michigan

 

Brand: Smidge – Small Batch Supplements

 

Bend, Oregon Ad Agency: BN Branding

 

Initial Assignment: Design a brand identity for the company’s line of probiotic supplements, vitamins and minerals.

 

Solution:

Reorganize, rename and rebrand all products under one cohesive identity. Invent a whole new product category.

 

Dan Corrigan and his partners at Organic 3 knew they needed help with their branding. They had a successful ecommerce operation selling vitamins, minerals and probiotic supplements, but they were selling their products under a hodge-podge of names, identities and packages with no clear brand strategy.

“We were all over the place,” Corrigan said. “We thought we wanted to keep the GutPro name, and introduce a new name for our other lines. So when we approached BN Branding we had a name already picked out. That was a huge mistake.  The team at BN Branding pointed us in a much better direction.”

“Smidge”

“small batch supplements”

Corrigan believes it’s a friendly, memorable, creative name that clearly stakes out his company’s position in the market place. “BN’s strategy of owning a new category is absolutely brilliant. No one else in our industry has ever done that, and it gives us a tremendous competitive advantage.”

It was a classic case of choosing the one name that produced the most divisive feedback in early research.

“We thought we knew what we wanted for a name, Dan said. “But Smidge is so much better! People either loved it, or hated it. That’s how we knew it was going to be a winning brand.

Once the naming process was complete and the trademark law was handled, the BN Branding team designed the brand identity and the packaging for the first six SKUs.  The design team also produced posters, branded merchandise, digital advertising concepts and the entire look and feel for all Smidge stuff.

The first two years in business with the new Smidge identity produced record sales and a dramatic jump in market share for the Detroit-based company.

“My biggest mistake was not calling BN Branding a lot sooner,” Dan said.  “The false start on our re-branding cost us a lot of money. I should have deferred to the BN Branding team from the very beginning.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Branding in the natural foods industry

Client: Leslie’s Organics — Petaluma, CA

 

Brand: Coconut Secret

 

Bend, Oregon Ad Agency: BN Branding

 

Initial Assignment: Update an old, outdated website for a consumer packaged goods company.

 

Solution: Launch an ecommerce operation and turn the website into a profit center.

 

Coconut Secret was first-to-market in the alternative soy sauce category, made from coconut aminos.  Co-owner Leslie Caren was drawn to BN Branding through the Brand Insight Blog.

“When I read their article on the yin and yang of marketing, I just had to connect with them,” Leslie said. “I could tell that we’d get along… that they got it.”

Leslie called BN Branding because she needed to update the company website.  It turned into a classic case of delivering what’s best for the client, rather than what the client thought she needed.

At that time Coconut Secret did not have an ecommerce store, their website was desperately outdated, and they had no brand strategy to speak of. So it wasn’t a case of migrating old content onto a new website platform.  BN Branding had to develop a new foundation for their brand messaging  and a whole new approach to their business.

“The team at BN Branding really went above and beyond, with a new tagline, new photography, new storytelling ” Leslie said. “The tagline is absolutely brilliant… “Tap into it” says it all, in just three little words. It’s literally what we do, and it’s an affirmative call to action. We love it.”

Leslie said she never dreamed the project would lead to a whole new way of doing business through Shopify.

“The service at BN Branding has been tremendous,” she added. “We knew nothing about ecommerce or about modern website design, and they made the process totally manageable. They handled everything from the copywriting to the images and the coding and the maintenance. It opened up so many new doors for us.”

Two years after the new site was launched Coconut Secret was acquired by a multinational food company. Leslie and her brother Randy said they were able to sell for a multiplier that was millions of dollars over anything they ever dreamed of.

“Who knew that Coconut Aminos as an alternative to soy sauce could amount to all that,” Leslie said.  “But we built a nice little brand with tremendous upside potential. It was time for new management that could take it to the next level. I was sad to see that the first thing the new owners did was dismantle the website and all the great work that BN Branding did.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Golf Industry Marketing

Client: The Golf Institute — Lady Lake, FL

 

Initial Assignment: Re-name and re-brand the company.  Create the company’s first website and ad campaign.

 

Bend, Oregon Ad Agency: BN Branding

 

Solution: Build a whole new business model that turns the sales pitch into a money-making educational service.

 

John Ford’s not the type of guy who dishes out compliments. In fact, he’s one tough customer. But he’s been a client since 2006, and has stuck with BN Branding through three different business entities and multiple projects.

“Marketing is kind of an obsession of mine,” Ford said. “I’ve studied it. I’ve read tons of books. And I’ve worked with big-name advertising guys all across the country, but I keep going back to this little advertising agency in Bend, Oregon.”

“They have a process that I like, and they always deliver what they say they’re going to deliver. And damn… some of the advertising they’ve done for me is just brilliant.”

The BN Branding team started with a brand strategy, a value proposition and brand identity for GNL golf.  (The name, while an improvement over his previous brand name, was not up for debate.)

The work continued with a website, point-of-purchase materials, direct mail and print advertising.  In the process of developing Ford’s new website, BN Branding devised a whole new business model for GNL Golf.

“We have more leads and a better sales process than we’ve ever had before,”Ford said.  “We’re killing it with our putting clinics… basically getting people to pay us to learn and listen to our sales pitch.”

Recently Ford has begun work on a new golf brand that promises to be even more lucrative than his current operation in The Villages, FL. The BN Branding team has been intimately involved in all phases of that start-up; Developing the brand strategy and the business model, naming and brand identity development, writing and honing the investor pitch deck, devising a marketing plan and providing overall vision for the company.

Read more about the GNL case study here.

 

 

 

Marketing in the natural foods industry

Client: Azure Standard — The Dalles, OR

 

Bend, Oregon Ad Agency: BN Branding

 

Initial Assignment: Increase ad revenues in the company’s quarterly publication.

 

Solution: Revamp the magazine, launch a content marketing effort, and build industry goodwill.

 

Results:  Increased revenues 10x in just 12 months.

 

Azure Standard is a national distributor of natural foods and organic household products. Based in the tiny town of Dufur, Oregon it’s part organic family farm, part direct response marketing firm and part nationwide logistics company.

Initially, BN Branding was hired to increase the revenues for Azure’s quarterly sales catalog. Consumers all across rural America order bulk items from the quarterly publication. The products are then “dropped” off at community drop points, and families often drive long distances to pick up their orders. They’re a die-hard group of brand loyalists.

“Sometimes the best branding projects aren’t focused on end customers,” said Debbie Pantenburg, CMO at Azure.

The BN Branding team devised the Azure Indie Partner Program that targeted Azure’s vendors, industry partners and potential vendors in order to build the Azure brand from the inside.

“What they created was a strategically brilliant concept that transformed Azure’s position in the industry. They rallied suppliers, team members and customers around a common cause. The idea went right to our core values, and helped define a business model that differentiates Azure from the competition.”

BN Branding was a key partner on Azure’s marketing team. Once the magazine was producing a record volume of ad revenues, there were videos to produce and a book full of ads to design for vendors.

“Azure has a special place in the hearts of vendors as well as consumers,” Pantenburg said.  “Many of our vendors are small companies that can’t afford marketing on their own, so any help they get from us is golden.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Real Estate advertising and branding

Client: Morris Hayden — Bend, OR

 

Bend, Oregon Ad Agency: BN Branding

 

Initial Assignment: Naming, brand identity and website design

 

Results: Successfully launched a new brand in a highly crowded market and later sold it for a 12x ROI.

 

Morris Hayden was a property management company and real estate brokerage in Bend, Oregon. We did the naming, created this brand identity, and built a highly functional website that enabled the owner to achieve her dream… a highly profitable sale of the company.

“Bend is overrun by realtors, investors and property management companies,” said Erika Morris, founder & former owner of Morris Hayden. “BN Branding helped us stand out from the crowd and added immediate value to the company.”

“We needed the website to be just as functional as all the rest, with the MLS listings and all that, plus it had to look different. The idea of Rosey the Riveter was perfect for us. We got compliments on that site all the time, and it was a big factor in my successful exit from the business. ”

 

 

 

 

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Marketing in the tourism industry

Client: Black Butte Ranch

Bend, Oregon Advertising Agency: BN Branding

 

 

Assignment: Brand re-fresh, advertising, resort signage, collateral, direct mail.

 

Results: A record number of heads in beds

 

When it comes to weekend getaways and quintessential Oregon scenery, Black Butte Ranch is a beloved, family tradition. It’s a mainstay in the Pacific Northwest travel industry, but after 40 years in business the place needed a complete image makeover.

“When I was at Black Butte Ranch we had a number of major capital projects going,” said Preston Thompson, former Director of Marketing.  We built a new pool complex, redesigned both of the golf courses, and basically gave the whole place a major face lift. BN Branding was a big part of that reinvention process.”

As the resort’s advertising agency of record BN Branding started by researching the history of the area and writing “the book” on the Black Butte Ranch brand. Fifteen years later that book is still sitting on the GM’s desk.

“That brand book gave all the managers a clear vision for both the heritage of the brand, as well as the future vision for the resort,” Thompson said. Over the next few years BN Branding updated the original logo, which dated back to 1968.  Then they produced new beautiful signage throughout the resort, and did some great advertising campaigns for us.”

BN Branding’s print ads, radio ads and direct mail work put heads in beds and helped Black Butte Ranch increase their golf revenues dramatically. One seasonal promotion literally broke the resort’s phone system, and pushed the management to upgrade their reservations system entirely.

“I think the radio campaign that John and his team did for us was some of the best radio work I’ve ever heard. It was “out there” for Black Butte and yet it was right on brand. The storytelling, the script writing, the choice of talent, the sound design… it was amazing.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Branding a Non-Profit Organization

Client: Working Wonders Children’s Museum

 

Bend, Oregon Advertising Agency: BN Branding

 

Assignment: Launch a new non-profit brand from the ground up.

 


Launching a start-up is hard. Launching a start-up non-profit organization is even harder.

In the early 2000s BN Branding was the advertising agency that helped build Working Wonders Children’s Museum from the ground up. The broad variety of creative pro-bono work was one of the most rewarding assignments in the history of the agency.

In the earliest stages of development BN Branding helped research the category and develop a strategic plan by traveling the country, visiting other children’s museums, and interviewing executive directors and board members. From that, a “museum without walls” strategy was adopted.

For three years the museum existed only as a grass-roots organization with pop-up exhibits and activities at community events. Even though there was no actual museum building, the brand was already becoming well known around Bend, Oregon.

BN Branding devised the name, tagline and brand identity for Working Wonders.  The team helped with fundraising and board development, wrote their mission statement and ran advertising to support those first community events.

When it came time to open a physical location, the team helped conceptualize the space, create the exhibits design the  signage and build the playful, hands-on spaces in the museum itself. It was a labor of love.

Sadly, when the economy hit rock bottom in 2009 Working Wonders was forced to close its doors. The lesson learned?  Non profits that do not have multi-million-dollar endowments will not withstand a global economic melt-down.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Here's what they say about us:

 

“As a CFO, I’m pretty leery of branding firms. Most of them just end up costing the company a lot of money, without any measurable results. But John Furgurson has a good head for business and he grasps the importance of results. His batting average is very good. Plus, he looks for ways to save money, not just spend it. I wish we would have spent more with BN Branding, and less with the other firms we’ve hired.”

Carl Rigney

CFO and franchise owner

 

“From a branding standpoint, we were pretty well lost before we hired BN Branding. They’ve helped us organize our product lines, create a comprehensive brand strategy, and design two fantastic brands. It’s been a great combination of strategic consulting and creative design… I’ve been very impressed.”

Dan Corrigan

Organic 3

 

“As an interior designer I really appreciate the art and craftsmanship of the work they do at BN Branding. Their design work is meticulous and very well thought out. John Furgurson is the consummate professional… always delivers what he says he’s going to deliver. They did my website and some very nice printed sales materials. It’s first rate. I would definitely recommend them.”

Lisa Slayman

Slayman Cinema

 

“My “aha” moment with BN Branding was truly remarkable.  They helped me recognize a far broader application for my product.  They also went above and beyond with their namestorming process and came up with Kittigan Crossboats. My relatively small, early investment with BN Branding was immensely worthwhile.  John is a skilled strategist with some mad creative skills. “

Michael Grant

Kitigan CrossCanoes

 

“We didn’t think we needed an ad agency, but when we found BN Branding, our website was in a state of emergency. They took great interest in our products and took the time to get familiar with our business model and our clientele. John came up with the new name and logo. And when the site was finished and launched, our selling proposition was much more clear, which led to more online sales without the “pre-call”.  I would recommend BNBranding to anyone looking for any marketing.”

Scott Beydler

Beydler CNC

 

BN Branding News

National brand launch in the supplements industry.

Sept 10, 2020

Dan Corrigan and his partners at Organic 3 knew they needed help with their branding. They had a successful ecommerce operation with one of the leading brands of probiotics, but they were selling their products under a hodge-podge of names with no clear brand strategy.

“We were all over the place,” Dan said. “We thought we wanted to keep the GutPro name, and introduce a new name for our other lines. We even had a name in mind, but we ran into some trademark issues with that.  Luckily, the team at BN Branding pointed us in a much better direction.”

Smidge, small batch supplements.

BN Branding invented a whole new category of supplements and devised the brand name and new identity for Organic 3. It was a classic case of choosing the one name that produced the most devisive feedback in early research.

“People either loved it, or hated it,” said John Furgurson, Creative Director at BN Branding. “That’s how we knew that Smidge was going to be a winning brand. “We just had to show the team enough other good names, and wait till all the partners came back around to Smidge. I give them a lot of credit for being brave, and diving into the new identity with both feet.”

Once the naming process was complete the BN Branding team designed the brand identity, the packaging, advertising concepts and the entire look and feel for all Smidge stuff. See it all at GetSmidge.com

 

 

 

Big things happening for our client in the proptech software industry.

July 16, 2019

SaleFish Software is a SAAS company out of Toronto that serves residential real estate developers. Rick Haws, SaleFish CEO, hired BN Branding initially to do a new website. However, as the research & discovery work progressed we determined that SaleFish needed to rebrand itself in order to achieve the goals that Rick set out.

The scope of work has progressed from a simple website refresh to a new brand identity, collateral materials, video production, content marketing and digital advertising.

“I’m very happy with the new branding,” Haws said. “It came together perfectly… with the new logo and the new site, and some new sales materials… now we’re poised to expand our global reach.”

 

Bend branding firm redesigns GutPro packaging

Jan 2, 2019

Organic 3 Inc., makers of Gut Pro probiotics and owner of Corganic Ecommerce has hired BN Branding to design a new brand identity and packaging for their GutPro line of probiotics and enzymes.

 

 

Bend, Oregon advertising agency BN Branding chosen to help launch a new health benefits company in California.

Nov 15, 2018

Bend, Oregon branding firmIncentive Health of Bakersfield, California has hired BN Branding to help them stir things up in the health benefits arena. The Bend, Oregon advertising agency is working on a brand strategy, go-to-market plan, website, sales materials and a tactical marketing plan for the new company.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for us to help create a disruptive new brand, from the ground up,” said John Furgurson, owner of BNBranding. “We’re going to change the way CEOs look at health benefits. It’s exciting.”

Until now, CEOs have faced a difficult decision when doing their annual review of health benefits.

“It’s always been a trade off,” Furgurson said. “They had to choose between their people and their profits. It’s a no-win. But now there’s an alternative to that.”

 

 

BNBranding launches new website and ecommerce store for Coconut Secret

Aug, 2018

BNBranding website for Coconut SecretWe’re proud to be working Leslie’s Organics, makers of the Coconut Secret Brand of natural foods. Leslie and Randy chose BN Branding to launch an ecommerce website and provide tactical marketing assistance.

Coconut Aminos is the nation’s #1 selling brand of soy-free Asian condiments. They also have a delicious line of candy bars, chocolate bars and granola bars, all sweetened with coconut nectar. So we’re getting some tasty photography for that. (Thanks to Mike Houska, at Dogleg Studios.)

www.coconutsecret.com

 

Read more news »

Some of the brands we’ve helped over the years…

Brand identity design by BNBranding


Black Butte Ranch brand identity design by BNBranding


Coconut Secret logotype and tagline by BNBranding

Print advertising for Desert Orthopedics by BNBranding





client list of BNBranding

advertising and content marketing for Azure Standard

BNBranding client list

Advertising for Bend Cable - now BendBroadband


Broken Top brand identity by BNBranding

Advertising for COPA in Bend, Oregon

trade advertising for Clif Bar

golf industry branding by BNBranding



14 4 ps of marketing brand insight blog

The 4 Ps of Marketing – Plus one for Ecommerce

brand credibility from branding expertsEvery year, thousands of E-commerce startups are launched with nothing more than a whim and a prayer and Shopify site. Most will fail because they ignore the 4 Ps of marketing and launch with just a product and a place – an online store.

the 4 ps of marketing for e-commerce BN BrandingBut a few will experience meteoric success and become iconic brands. (Here’s how Zappos did it.)

What’s the difference? Why do some e-commerce start-ups succeed while so many others come and go faster than a bad Chinese restaurant?

Often it’s for the same reason that traditional, brick and mortar businesses fail: They don’t follow a disciplined process of brand building, and they ignore the traditional 4 Ps of marketing.

Many people in the on-line world seem to think they can abandon everything that was taught in Marketing 101 simply because they have a relatively new distribution method. But “Place” is only part of the picture.

4 ps of marketing brand insight blog

The traditional 4Ps of marketing: Product, Price, Place (distribution)  & Promotion is an old-school notion that’s just as applicable today as it was in the heyday of Madison Avenue.

However, there’s at least one new P you should also seriously consider if you’re in the ecommerce business.

But before we get to that, let’s look at the originals that make up the 4 Ps of Marketing. Consider it a handy refresher:

 

1. The first P of marketing: Product

There’s an old saying in advertising circles… “nothing kills a crummy product faster than great advertising.” These days, it happens in hyper time.

Blogs, tweets, and consumer-generated reviews doom bad products faster than you can type “#bankrupt.” So the first P is more important than it’s ever been. If you’re starting an e-commerce store, you better find some good products to carry.

Thirty years ago if you had pockets deep enough for a sustained mass media campaign and a good creative team, you could you could go to market with a mediocre, me-too product or service.

Not anymore. These days your product line-up has to be among the best in class. Because people expect more. They’re looking for something compelling — and genuinely different — that’s built in to your core product or service. In other words, the marketing needs to be baked right into the product.

Seth Godin Purple Cow BookSeth Godin talks about a Purple Cow or a “Free prize inside.”  Tom Peters talks about the pursuit of WOW!

Whatever you want to call it, Product still is, and always will be, the single most important P of the 4 Ps of Marketing. Doesn’t matter if your business is providing the latest, greatest mobile web technology, or an old-fashioned widget, Product comes first and all the other P’s fall in line from there.

 

2. The second P of Marketing: Price.

I’m no expert on pricing, but I know this: Smart pricing strategies are crucially important in e-commerce. Here are just a few of the reasons:

• With Google at our fingertips it’s easy to make more intelligent purchases than we did 15 years ago. We’re doing more research and minimizing “bad”purchases and buyer’s remorse. We’re still willing to pay a little more for premium brands, but we’re not going to get gouged. And we’re much more likely to price shop, since it doesn’t involve driving all over town.

• In the world of e-commerce you can’t just apply the old “cost-plus” pricing model. It’s way more complicated than that. Even though e-commerce businesses tend to have high margins you have to work really hard to develop sustainable revenue streams. Discounting, shipping costs and the rising cost of pay-per-click ads and social media advertising are eating away at margins.

• It’s harder than ever to compete on price. Unless you’re the size of Amazon or Walmart, forget about it! There’s always some other website waiting to undercut you.  So you have to go back to the first P. You have to devise a retail experience that has a higher perceived value than your competitor’s, but a sale price that’s equal or lower.

Apple has adamantly stuck to their premium pricing strategy. It keeps them honest. It’s one of their brand fundamentals. They know they have to keep launching products that are superior in design and function. They understand price elasticity and the value of their brand.

 

 

The Third P of Marketing: Place.

The traditional third “P” refers to distribution channels and the placement of your product in stores; Basically, where and how you sell your product. Where can customers find/buy your product?

This is still one of the most fundamental elements of any solid business plan.

Look at Costco… They didn’t start out as a retailer. They said, we’re a wholesaler, but we’re going to open our warehouses to the public. That’s a big idea. A purple cow based on the 3rd P.

Even though you may be selling your product strictly over the internet, Place is still critically important. In fact, you could argue that the internet, as a distribution channel, has actually added complexity to the decision…

Will you sell on Amazon? Use Amazon fulfillment? Start an affiliate program and let other web merchants sell your products? Will you warehouse some products, or drop-ship everything? Sell to specialty brick & mortar stores at wholesale? Thanks to the internet, there are all sorts of possibilities.

One thing’s for sure, when your website is your only storefront as well as your #1 marketing tool, you need to make sure it’s absolutely fantastic on every level. 

Messaging. Content. Ease of use. Overall design. Product presentation. Back-end functionality. It’s all important.

 

The 4th P: Promotion.

Everyone understands this one… it’s how you get noticed, seen, and chosen.

Historically, the fourth P revolved around mass media advertising. Sure, there were other elements such as sales promotions, telemarketing, PR and direct response, but advertising was the heart of it. And many businesspeople equated advertising with marketing.

the 4 Ps of marketing for E-commerce - BN BrandingThese days, a lot of people seem to think social media is synonymous with marketing.

But social media is just another promotional marketing tactic… Just another way to spread the word about your product or service. There are dozens of other tactics you should consider once you’ve devised a clear brand strategy.

Insight first, then execution. Strategy then tactics. One without the other is like a Ferrari without a throttle.

Once again, the internet complicates matters… Where there used to be just four or five choices, you now have dozens… Content marketing, You Tube videos, paid search, Facebook posts, Twitter, Snapchat and a hundred other online options complicate the tactical marketing mix. The marketing landscape isn’t so much a landscape these days, as it is a landslide. Most business owners are overwhelmed by all the “marketing opportunities” out there.

And don’t forget packaging, which has always been lumped into this category. If you’re doing business exclusively online, your ecommerce website is, essentially, the packaging.

But here’s the good news about the 4th P: Ecommerce offers advertisers what they’ve always wanted: definitive, trackable ROI on their investment. Tracking those click-throughs to conversion allows you to hone in on the message that’s most persuasive and eliminate the promotional efforts that don’t pull.

Many great brands have been built, just in the last 10 years, on nothing but social media campaigns and word-of-mouth advertising driven by micro-influencers.  Laird Superfoods, Warby Parker, and the golf brand Sub 70, to name a few. And it doesn’t take a huge budget or Kardashian-level connections to make it happen.

So that’s a brief on the traditional 4P’s of marketing. Think you can afford to ignore any of them?

What about the new one I mentioned?

The biggest complaint against the original 4 P’s was this: They’re designed from the top down, around what the company wants, rather than what the consumer really needs. They’re too inwardly focused.

new approach to website designThe new 5th P of Marketing: Perspective. The consumer’s perspective, to be precise.

Ecommerce companies that thrive today are the ones that embrace the perspective of the consumer. Not the 1980’s idea of the consumer as one, massive heard of lemmings. We’re talking about individuals. Real people who are involved and engaged with your brand.

How do you do that?

It starts with market research in its most basic, fundamental form. It’s what Tom Peters calls “strategic listening,” and he contends it’s the most important job of any C-level exec or business owner and it’s a critical first step in the branding process.

 

Strategic listening requires that you set aside your existing perspective and listen without prejudice.

Some people simply can’t do it themselves… they’re too far inside the bottle to see clearly. So get some professional help. Talk to your front-line employees, customers, non-customers, competitor’s customers. Do it on the phone. In focus groups. In on-line chats. On Twitter or Facebook or Instagram. Doesn’t matter. Just do it.

The point is, you’ll come away with a new perspective about the genuine wants and needs of your potential customers. And that insight is what weaves all the other Ps together. It’s a great way to jump start your branding effort – with BNBranding.

It should be the starting point, not an afterthought.

You may have to change your product or revise your service. You might have to rethink your pricing structure, shift your promotional strategy or adopt an entirely new business model, but it’ll be worth it.

Because then you’ll have a business built on a foundation of solid marketing fundamentals… five P’s. Put them all together, and sustain the effort, and you’ll have one big, iconic B:  A Brand.

At Zappos, they moved their headquarters and changed their entire approach to customer service in order to build their brand around one key brand concept. Read the Zappos case study about their holistic approach to branding.

Want more on the 4 Ps of marketing and the fundamentals of branding: Try this post.

Need help getting that new perspective you need?  Talk direct with a branding expert who can give you a fair and affordable assessment of where your are and what you need.  Schedule a meeting directly with me on Calendly. 

  See some of the Ecommerce sites we’ve worked on.

About (old vers)

Smiles make sales. Disarm them with optimism, and build on a friendly platform of genuine passion.

 

Here's what we're all about:

With BNBranding, you’ll enjoy progress, across the board. We’ll help you take your business to a whole new level. So you’ll sell more, grow faster, and prosper like never before. We can help in three three essential areas:

Branding. First we help uncover the DNA of your brand. Then we develop an honest, relevant brand strategy that drives our naming services, brand identity design, and brand story development. It’s creative ad agency work based on disciplined, strategic thinking that touches all facets of your operation.

Advertising. Once the brand strategy is set, and the story defined, we help you promote your brand in creative new ways. You’ll get effective advertising in all forms, from print and TV to the latest digital platforms. See some examples.

Marketing management. We can help you navigate the complex landscape of modern marketing by aligning all the pieces and providing exceptional client services.

We’re here to help you succeed. Simple as that. Nothing gets us more fired up than seeing our clients achieve their dreams.

BN Branding

Here's who we are:

John Furgurson, CEO/ Creative Director

John Furgurson branding expert bend oregon advertising agency ownerJohn’s been called an anomaly… A creative guy with a penchant for business. A poetic entrepreneur.

He can devise an insightful strategy in the morning, and craft award-winning ad copy over lunch. It’s a left-brain, right-brain one-two punch that few marketing executives offer.

John cut his teeth writing direct response ads — where sales were the only litmus test of success. From there, he worked for several Portland-area ad agencies on a vast array of print and radio campaigns.

John also did a stint in the video industry where he wrote scripts and helped produce long-format videos and direct-response TV for big brands such as HP, Tektronix and WearEver.

John Furgurson CEO of bend oregon advertising agencyEventually, John moved to Bend, Oregon to raise his kids and strike that delicate balance between work and play.

His first Bend ad agency was named AdWords, which worked out well until Google decided they really, really wanted that URL. So he took their offer and rebranded the firm in 2004.

BNBranding has touched many of Oregon’s most iconic brands, such as Black Butte Ranch, Sunriver Resort, and Bend itself. John and his team have helped plan, manage and execute marketing programs for companies across the U.S. and Canada.

John shares his expertise regularly on the Brand Insight Blog, which he’s been writing since 2007.

Find John Furgurson on LinkedIn:

Elissa Davis, Art Director/Designer

Elissa Davis bend Oregon branding expertIn this day and age, inspired design often takes a back seat to the bells and whistles of modern technology. Too bad.

We believe subtle, aesthetic considerations have a pronounced affect on your brand and your overall business. That’s why Elissa’s been a key team member at BNBranding since 2005.

Elissa has the uncanny ability to absorb brand strategies and translate them into gorgeous, relevant design work.

Over the years, she’s been the design talent behind many award-winning brands, like the playfully random eBay logo, for instance, and the brilliantly simple Malibu Country Club brand identity.

Elissa’s talents extend far beyond logos, into print and web design as well. And she sweats every detail. From the psychological effects of a color change to the usability implications of a specific website font, she works with the precision and care of a true craftsman and artist.

Erik Zetterberg, Web developer

EZ head shot for websiteErik’s our web master/programmer/technology consultant. Here’s how it usually goes with Erik…

We approach him with our initial concepts for a website or a digital advertising campaign. He tells us it can’t be done. No way. Then we go back and forth arguing the merits of the idea vs. the realities of HTML programming. (We’ll spare you the details on that.)

Eventually Erik goes deep down into some technological rabbit hole, and we don’t hear from him for a couple days. But he always emerges with a workable solution. Every time.

The results are stunning… Websites that look as good as they perform. Web-generated leads that actually lead to something. With Erik’s help you get higher conversion rates and analytics that your CFO will love. It’s better with Zetter. Berg.

 

Raise your right hand. Find your truth. Use it as a competitive advantage.

Here's what we believe:

Successful brands have meaning beyond money. They’re built on a solid belief system of authentic values that attract like-minded people.

As a bend ad agency, BNBranding is built on these core beliefs:

We believe that creativity is the ultimate business weapon. Inspired, innovative thinking is behind every great brand, from Apple to Zappos. We also believe that it’s hard to be creative when you’re up to your neck in day-to-day operations. Most business owners need a spark from the outside.

We believe that strategy is a creative exercise. Strategy drives the execution that produces results. If you have a me-too strategy, no amount of creative trickeration is going to produce the outcome you’re looking for. Creative strategy plus creative execution is a formidable combination.

BNBranding bend oregon advertising agency branding process

We believe that process matters. This is a service business, so how we work is often just as important as what we produce. We don’t take shortcuts. For us, it’s Insight first, then Execution. Every time. It’s a process designed specifically to produce maximum results with minimal headaches.

We believe that every company needs a seasoned marketing generalist. A generalist can help you navigate the entire marketing landscape and make sure you’re maximizing every marketing tactic by effectively managing the necessary specialists. Something you’ll never get from a digital advertising agency.

We believe in the persuasive power of disruptive words. Fact: The human brain automatically screens out the normal, mundane language of most business pitches. It’s in one ear, and out the other. Creative, well-crafted messages, on the other hand, fire the synapses and trigger an emotional response. Here’s an example of great messaging from a Bend Ad Agency.

We believe that emotion trumps logic every time. Research it yourself… the latest brain science proves that people make emotional purchases, then use reason to justify the decision. No great brand has ever been built on reason alone. Not one. In branding, it’s what they feel, not what they think.

We believe the marketing mix is more important than ever. The marketing landscape is evolving quickly. Social media provides exciting new ways to tell stories and make connections, but you still need a healthy mix of marketing tactics. Some high tech, some high touch. Some old school, some new school.

We believe in the glory of a good story. Every great business has an engaging story to tell. So tell it! We can help you find creative new ways to spin that tale… in ads, on your website, in presentations, tweets and Facebook posts.Bend, Oregon Advertising Agency

We believe in skeptical optimism. As creative thinkers we’re naturally skeptical, but not in a pessimistic way. We question the status quo in order to move your business upward. Tell us that something can’t be done, that it’s too hard, or too “out there” and we’ll be positively skeptical about that.

We believe Design belongs in business school. Tom Peters calls it “the soul of new enterprise.”  It’s Design that differentiates the world’s most valuable brand – Apple.  It’s Design that made Nest a billion dollar brand. Design evokes passion, emotion and attachment… all required elements of great brands.

We believe in the art of persuasion. Data is a big deal these days. But effective marketing communications still comes down to saying the right thing, and saying it well. A brilliantly crafted combination of words and images will always be more motivating than data. Here’s a relevant case study.

 We believe in the power of collaboration. Advertising agencies can be pretty possessive when it comes to creative work. But great ideas can come from anywhere. We don’t have a corner on that market, so we collaborate with you to uncover ideas and insight that we may never have thought of. Then we take that ball and run with it.

BN Branding

Here's where we choose to work:

Yep, it’s a Bend ad agency, but we serve clients from all over.

The come from Toronto and Detroit. They come from Florida, California and even Costa Rica.  The fresh air, the beauty and the outdoor action in Bend is a mecca for creativity. It’s the juice that keeps the ideas — and the clients — coming.

Won’t you join us? We can arrange a rejuvenating, brand-building business trip that will inspire you – and tire you.

Bend Oregon branding company



Golf Industry

Golf industry branding, advertising, and digital marketing

Golf is a tremendous passion of ours. So is advertising. So it makes sense to combine our passions. We provide golf industry branding, advertising and marketing that produces tangible results. No one knows the golf market better than we do. Forget-About-It!

If you’re marketing a golf product, golf clubs or a golf course, give us a call. Read this blog post about golf industry marketing, or a case study on GNL Golf

4 ipod branding on the brand insight blog

Successful Branding — Zero-in on the main thing for brand loyalty.

BNBranding logoI love this saying: “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.”  I think Steven Covey coined that one, and when you boil it all down, that’s the essence of successful branding: Zero-in on one thing you can honestly, passionately, expertly hang your hat on, and stick with it.

successful branding BNBrandingThen when it comes to marketing communications, come up with one idea to convey the main thing, and just pound that home in every way, shape and form you can afford.

One idea, multiple executions. Do that long enough — and handle your operations well — and you’ll achieve brand loyalty.

Unfortunately, most business owners and brand managers don’t have that kind of focus. Once they get a taste of success in one little niche, the temptation is just too much… They take their eye off the main thing, and dive into a lesser thing, hoping it will become the next big thing.

It seldom works out that way. The single biggest barrier to success, especially for young brands, is lack of focus.

Geoffrey Moore spelled it out in his seminal work, “Crossing the Chasm: “Target a specific niche as your point of attack and focus all your resources on achieving dominant position in that segment. It’s far better to be the big fish in a smaller pond, rather than flopping around in several small puddles.”

 

Al Ries and Jack Trout call it the most violated of their “22 Immutable Laws of Marketing.”  They rail against line extensions and point to IBM, Microsoft, Levis, Heinz and this classic case: Crest.

viewdental116successful branding case study on the Brand Insight BlogIt used to be very clear… Crest fights cavities. That was the micro script for the brand. The Main Thing.

Crest was the “first mover” in the cavity prevention category and it was a strategy that worked brilliantly, cementing Crest as the #1 toothpaste for more than 30 years.

Unfortunately, over time, other toothpaste brands entered the same niche.  Everyone started offering cavity prevention toothpaste, so Crest abandoned the claim and didn’t find anything to replace it. After holding almost 40% of the market through the 1970s, Crest’s position began to erode at about the same time they launched their first brand extension”Advanced Formula Crest.”

Now there are 41 different kinds of Crest toothpaste. Count ’em!  Crest Complete Multi-Benefit Extra White, Crest + Scope, Crest Lasting Mint, Crest Pro-Health Clinical Gum Protection, Crest Invigorating Clean Mint, Crest glamorous white, Crest vivid white, Crest baking soda & peroxide, Crest gel, Crest liquid gel, Crest whitening, Crest gum protection, Crest fluoride anti-cavity and sensitivity relief and even Crest Night Toothpaste.

Give me a break. The Main Thing now for Crest is just the next new gimmick. And it’s no longer the #1 brand.

Marty Neumeier in “Zag” says… people want choice, but they want it among brands, not within brands.”

More and more line extensions is not the key to successful branding. All that Crest clutter just dilutes the brand and confuses the consumer. We have no idea what Crest stands for anymore.

It’s natural for successful business owners and marketers to lose focus and start adding stuff to their portfolios of goods and services. They don’t want to miss any opportunities, and they argue that many successful companies have a wide range of products. Apple, for instance.maxresdefaultsuccessful branding examples on the brand insight blog BNBranding

successful branding example from Apple's iPod launch campaignBut every Apple product is designed around the one Main Thing: Delightful Simplicity. All the innovation, design and technological prowess of Apple comes together in those two words. That’s the heart of the Apple brand.

Remember this spectacular product launch for the iPod? The product design was disruptively simple and elegant. Even the advertising was delightfully simple.

There were plenty of other MP3 players on the market, but the white cord let everyone know you were listening to something different. And the graphic execution of the ads was brilliant. Overall, it was tremendously successful branding.

But you’re not running the world’s most valuable company. And chances are, you don’t have The Main Thing really nailed down like Apple does. When you do, things will become easier.

Ries and Trout say: “Focus is the art of carefully selecting your category and then working diligently to get your self categorized in people’s minds.”  In other words, successful branding is a long-term process that involves more than just the marketing department.

A good way to start is by saying no. Because when it comes to successful branding, what you DON’T do is just as important that what you do do.

Say no to the new investor that thinks you should add a mobile app to your mix.

Say no to the engineers who say “we can do this, wouldn’t this be cool.”

Say no to the marketing consultant who says you’re missing a great opportunity.

Say no to the guy who thinks you should open another location.

Sometimes you even have to say no to your biggest customer. It’s not easy, and it’s often unpopular within the ranks, but that’s what focus is… NOT trying to be all things to all people.

If you’d like some help zeroing in on your main thing, call us. Because focus is the fundamental element of successful branding.  541-815-0075. For more on developing a clear brand strategy, try this post. 

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Non-profit branding (A story of start-up success and failure)

In 2009 I called it “A feel-good brand in a bummed out world.”  It was the type of non-profit brand that genuinely touched people, and put smiles on little faces. For me, a few minutes at Working Wonders Children’s Museum was a sure cure for a crummy day. It was also a great example of non-profit branding.

WWLogo - smallOur story of success, and failure, is valuable for anyone who’s starting a new business or running a non-profit organization.

When we started Working Wonders we did a lot things right. It was non-profit branding “by the book” all the way. First, we thoroughly researched the market and determined that there was a gaping need. (We conducted large-sample phone surveys as well as focus groups.)

Once we saw encouraging results from the research, we wrote a mission-focused brand strategy and built a business plan around that. After our strategy was clear, and the business plan written, we came up with a great name, designed a nice logo and put an operational plan in place based on our cohesive brand platform.

 

 

non-profit branding case study by BNBranding bend oregon

Print ad for Working Wonders Children’s Museum

At first, Working Wonders was just a concept. A “museum without walls.” Initially we raised enough money to build some traveling exhibits and we went to every event in town to introduce kids, and their parents, to our brand of educational play.

And it caught on! Before the days of Twitter, it went viral.

Our bootstrapping, “museum without walls” strategy achieve the immediate goal: Proof of concept.

Parents and kids loved it. In less than three years we raised $400,000 and arrived at that crucial, “go or no-go” point. We had a location and we had enough money to open the doors. Just barely.

The argument TO go: We figured it’d be easier to raise money once people could see a finished children’s museum. We knew we could spend years traveling around, trying to raise more money. (Many Children’s Museums spend a decade doing that.) Or we could get the doors open, and go from there.

The argument to NOT go:  We’d be undercapitalized. Cash would be tight, and there was no endowment safety net. We were relying on the on-going generosity of a couple key donors and most of all, corporate sponsors.

We chose to go. Damn the torpedoes!

A team of volunteers scraped up donated materials, did the heavy lifting, and created a children’s museum that was small, but delightful. We launched in less than one-third the time and for one-fifth the cost of most children’s museums. It was a labor of love. A thing of beauty. A non-profit branding success and the biggest accomplishment of my marketing career.

Working Wonders ran successfully for four years. It broke my heart when it had to close because of the economic tidal wave that hit our town in 2009. Despite our best efforts and exceptional marketing, it was not sustainable.

Some people contend it was actually branded too well.

Many customers and community leaders thought we were part of a national chain of some sort. Never mind that our marketing was done with volunteer labor. (mine) Never mind that our advertising was mostly donated space. The general public simply couldn’t conceive of a little, local non-profit doing things so professionally. They figured we had all the money we needed, from some, mysterious, out-of -town source.

But there was no endowment. By the time we identified the perception problem and started addressing it with overt messaging, it was too late.

Our lessons learned from Working Wonders tie-in directly to an online discussion that I’ve been following about non-profit branding for marketing for 501c3 organizations. It’s an informative conversation between branding professionals that everyone can learn from. Profit or not.

One key question that came up:

What happens when the public image of a non-profit organization suffers because of commercial branding strategies?

One could argue that’s what happened with Working Wonders. However, there’s more to the story than that.

If not for commercial branding practices the children’s museum never would have opened in the first place. That’s how we were able to touch so many kids. In hindsight, the execution of our marketing was not the issue. We did a great job of reaching the parents of young kids. They came in — over and over again.non-profit branding by BNBranding Brand Insight Blog in Bend Oregon

Unfortunately, in the non-profit world customer satisfaction and brand loyalty doesn’t always translate to financial viability.

For children’s museums loyal, repeat customers aren’t enough. They also need loyal, repeat donors who can provide an endowment.

That’s what we missed… the big dollar benefactors.

In a town of only 100,000 people those are hard to find, so we relied heavily on corporate sponsorships, and those dried up overnight when the economy tanked.

As the online discussion points out, nonprofits are often torn between two marketing objectives: Attracting visitors and attracting donors.

But the biggest effort HAS to be directed at board recruitment and fund raising.We woulda, coulda, shoulda spent less time getting kids in the door, and more time on a grass roots effort to raise money and load the board of directors with wealthy supporters.

So if you’re working with a small, local-level non-profit, by all means, do a professional job with your marketing. Non-profit branding is absolutely important! But first and foremost, make sure you’re telling your story of need to the right people. Solidify the base of financial support first, then open your doors.

more effective advertising from BNBrandingIt’s always a delicate balance to demonstrate that dire need without looking desperate. That’s your challenge as a non-profit marketer. And keep in mind, if the organization does not appear grass-rootsy, potential donors might jump to unfortunate conclusions about your funding sources.

If you’re in a for-profit venture, look closely at the passion and commitment of the people who help build non-profit organizations. At Working Wonders, we were all deeply passionate about the needs of our young kids. That cause is what fueled us.

What’s your “cause?”  Every great brand has one, beyond just making money. Is it written down somewhere? Is your operational plan aligned with that? Does anyone really care? These are some of the key strategic questions you need to ask yourself, before  you worry about executing your go-to-market plan.

And, of course, you have to balance that thinking with the practical, numbers and sense question of, “where’s the money coming from?”

For more marketing tips and non-profit branding advice, check out THIS post:

BNBranding's Brand Insight Blog

 

 

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