What’s your brand positioning and why do you need one?

This post was written by littleBIG Marketing Strategist Kate Thompson, a superstar when it comes to summing up what a business needs at the brand, strategic and tactical levels. 

You may have noticed marketers love a bit of jargon (I can hear our Creative Director’s eyes rolling here). There’s your brand identity, brand essence, your benefit ladder, your USP, your TOV. And if you’ve ever Googled any of these terms after a meeting with a passionate marketer you will see each one has a myriad of definitions! It can be overwhelming.

Here at littleBIG we like to keep things simple, but effective. A key place to start when building your brand is identifying your brand positioning. So what exactly is that?

Put simply, “brand positioning” is the process of positioning your brand in the mind of consumers.

Who you are, what you do, who you do it for and why it is better, special and different. You could think of it like an elevator pitch to answer “why is your brand different from the others and why is it the best choice for the customer?”.

More than ever, consumers are bombarded with advertising messages and a host of brands to choose from. Since most of your competitors probably offer similar products and services, to truly stand out you need to consistently deliver a positive, memorable experience each and every time consumers think of or interact with your brand (from your Facebook page and recruitment to answering the phone and advertising). Your brand positioning is the tool with which to do this.

Not to be confused with a tagline (which is a customer facing expression of your brand), brand positioning will help you and your team make the right marketing and operating decisions for your business – drive your marketing strategy, determine customer messages, keep communications focused and consistent and ultimately leave a long lasting positive, credible impression on customers. Your brand positioning is the key pillar of every communication.

Let’s look at some world famous examples:
• Target: Style on a budget.
• Volvo: For upscale American families, Volvo is the family automobile that offers maximum safety.
• Home Depot: The hardware department store for do‑it‑yourselfers.

And their taglines:
• Target: Expect more. Pay less.
• Volvo: For life.
• Home Depot: You can do it. We can help.

Don’t make the mistake of trying to come up with brand positioning on your own! To do this effectively, you need to discuss your brand with your employee, customers, and other stakeholders, and do robust research on your competitors.

Closer to home, the littleBIG team have worked some wonderful brands like Winemakers of Rutherglen, Absolute Care & Health, Preston Market and Australian Blueberries to develop their brand positioning.

We like to work through the brand’s objectives, offering, target audience, competitors, brand pyramid, essence and unique selling proposition in an informal, collaborative workshop. Our team then do further research and distill this into a simple, clear document that outlines the brand story, essence, key messages, tone of voice and unique selling proposition.

This will set the tone for all communications going forward so that all key stakeholders have a clear understanding of what is required to successfully communicate the brand to consumers/market.

It can seem overwhelming to try and develop a brand positioning. But actually, once you have that clarity it will simplify and provide certainty to your marketing decision making. Without certainty, you default to the status quo. To actively position your brand means you have to stand for something. Only then are you truly on your way to owning your very own position in the mind of your customer.

Staff update: Welcome to our newest littleBIG babes

Times are a changin’ in the littleBIG office. Steph and Rhi have moved on to their next big career and life adventures and Kris is about to embark on her London move. Not all sad news though as we’ve welcomed a few absolute legends to our family, adding to the wealth of knowledge and experience we already have in the team.

Introducing Darinka, Nevada, Georgie and Penny. Get to know a bit about them below.

Darinka Hrkalovic – PR & Marketing Assistant

Something you can’t live without? 
My phone! I am constantly checking social media feeds and reading news bits from different media outlets.

Favourite place to eat? 
La Camera on Southbank – it is my favourite spot for authentic Italian food.

What are you passionate about? 
Fashion – I see it as a way of expressing yourself. You will always catch me reading fashion blogs and magazines and checking out street style all over the world.

Nevada Fontana – Marketing & PR Coordinator

Highlight of 2017 so far…
The highlight of 2017 without doubt would have to be my move from quiet Perth to the (super cold) hustle and bustle of Melbourne.

Oh and joining the amazing team at littleBIG of course.

Favourite place to eat?
I have a current obsession with the delightful South-East Asian cuisine up for offer at Hawker Hall. If you’re like me and find it impossible to decide what to order, the ‘Feed me’ Menu ticks all the boxes.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?
When I’m not working you’ll find me mastering zen with hot yoga, brunching or searching for the best espresso martini in town.

Georgie Gascoigne – Studio & Senior Account Manager

Highlight of 2017 so far…
Getting engaged!
What are you passionate about? 
Design, physiology and wellbeing/health.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working? 
Pilates, sleeping, cooking, painting, crafty projects that take forever to finish.

Penny France – PR Account Director

Something you can’t live without? 
Morning and afternoon tea tend to punctuate my day, so I’d have to say regular cups of tea (it’s the Brit in me) and quality chocolate biscuits.

Highlight of 2017 so far…
Holidaying up in Queensland where my sister lives – beach, sun, good food and good times on repeat.

What are you passionate about? 
Without being too soppy, my beautiful little daughter who brings so much joy and madness into my life!

My 5-tip survival guide for making it through your first day at a new job.

This post was written by the fabulously named Nevada Fontana, who recently joined the littleBIG team as PR & Marketing Coordinator after relocating to Melbourne from Perth. Welcome Nevada!

So, you’ve landed your dream job, had time to celebrate with all your friends and family but now it’s actually time to go to work.

Starting a new job is always super exciting but also a nerve-wracking experience at the same time. Having recently made the leap myself, to help you with your transition from old to new, facing the fear of the unknown, I have listed my top 5 tips to help you survive your first day in your new job.

Tip 1 – Be early.

I once read that people who are fifteen minutes early, are more successful in life (who knows if this is entirely true) but from then on, I made it my goal to always arrive early. For your first day allow enough time to tackle traffic, find parking, oh and suss out the closest coffee shop.

Nev’s tip: Being fashionably late on your first day is not cool.

Tip 2 – Buy lunch.

We all know bringing lunch to work is the key to successful saving but for this first week I give you permission to treat yourself. Sure, store bought lunches are delicious, but it’s also good to take a break from the first-day information overload, socialise and help avoid the awkward “who’s lunch smells?” situation.

Nev’s tip: Think twice about bringing canned tuna on day 1. 

Tip 3: Listen and ask questions.

I know…everyone says it over and over again, but it is a must to always ask questions. No one expects you to know or remember everything – so it’s always better to ask before completing one of your first tasks completely the wrong way.

Nev’s tip: No question is a stupid question (even if it’s asking where the toilet is)

Tip 4: Smile

A smile is contagious, makes you feel better and live longer – so what’s not to love? Walk in every morning with a giant smile and you’ll set yourself up for success.

Nev’s tip: Keep smiling… it makes people wonder what you’re up to. 

Tip 5: Be yourself.

The most important part of starting a new job is just to be you.

Remember, It was you who landed the job (so you must be doing something right!). Stay friendly, happy and passionate from the get go, and you’ll be a part of the furniture in no time.

Nev’s tip: But maybe try to keep the Harry Potter obsession under the rug until week 3. 

Bonus Tip: Say Thank you.

I would like to extend a massive thank you to every single member of the LittleBIG Team. Thank you for making me feel so welcomed and especially for making last week the best first week, ever.

 

YOU by Skechers: A woman’s shoe, designed for you

One of our longest standing clients (and global footwear giants!), Skechers is expanding its lifestyle range to include a collection curated for women in all walks of life, Skechers YOU.

Dropping in stores this month, Skechers YOU combines lifestyle and wellness in one, providing the modern woman with both comforting support and style.

Featuring a responsive, cushioned insole to make every step comfortable, the lightweight sneaker has been constructed with soft woven mesh fabric, providing breathability and freedom of movement with each step.

Available in six stylish colours, the YOU sneaker is extremely versatile and easily paired with active-wear for a casual stroll, or styled up for lunch with friends for a sport-luxe look.

These affordable sneakers are priced at $149.95 for the lace-up style and $119.95 for slip-ons.

YOU by Skechers is launching Australia-wide, both in-store and online.

Set to be a wardrobe essential for any modern woman, Skechers YOU doesn’t compromise style for comfort with an active lifestyle in mind.

Facebook: /SkechersAusNZ

Instagram: @skechersausnz

Where to find images that don’t suck

This post was written by littleBIG’s youngest creative gun, Joel Langford. With an ever-growing list of design tools under his belt, he lets us in on some of his latest learnings… 

Design and imagery have always gone hand in hand. The combination of great photography and epic design will always create beautiful artwork. However, this imagery needs to be the correct match for the design work. Hence why it is vital to have a strong free stock image library, providing high quality images to pair with high quality design.

The following are my top five sites for free stock images, that have helped me improve my design work…

Unsplash.com

Unsplash is the most valued free stock image website in my library.
Its collection of stunning photography and user friendly interface makes it a clear first on the list.

 

Lifeofpix.com

Lifeofpix showcases some exceptional free photography, providing images with an excellent range of applications.

 

Kaboompics.com

Kaboompics provides a large spread of images, useful for a broad range of design work.

 

Negativespace.co

Negativespace boasts a broad range of high quality free stock images, useful to any designer.

 

Pixabay.com

Lastly, Pixabay contains an array of excellent photography, a perfect tool for any design work.

 

 

 

 

Market Love

This post was written by chief boss-lady and littleBIG founder Sally Harley (née Urquhart). 

We have had the pleasure of working with many of Melbourne’s wonderful fresh produce and general merchandise markets for six years now, including the magnificent Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne’s most visited tourist attraction. I will never stop pinching myself over this fact. Melbourne’s markets are such amazing places.

After attending our VIP launch for the Queen Victoria Market’s Winter Night Market 2017 season Wednesday night, I’ve been bitten by the market love bug but again and I’m buzzing. We got a taste of the warmth, flavour and intrigue our Wednesday nights now have on offer thanks to: amazing lighting installations from John Fish (“think hazy walls of red smoke, glowing neon lights and bright white beams illuminating the entire main food hall,” as Timeout put it); incredible eats from Pacos Tacos, 400 Gradi, Southside Smokers and so many more; and awesome design and gift shopping including Out of Anakie’s epic leather and canvas bags and purses and deliciously smelling Coconut Revolutions goods.

And that’s just the Winter Night Market. In Melbourne, every day of the week but one there is an authentic market experience to be had. I can’t think of anywhere else you can replicate it. WE ARE SO LUCKY.

Where else do you find every ingredient you could possibly wish for, and countless ones you never knew existed – fresh, blissfully free of ridiculous superfluous packaging and at great prices (crazy great prices come 3-4pm!!!)

Where else do you find down-to-earth, knowledgeable, approachable salespeople (traders) who make grocery shopping a delight not a chore?

Where else do you find local craftspeople making clever and creative jewellery, art, fashion, furniture… you name it… and selling it direct? Where else do they get that opportunity to make a buck from their own ideas without crazy retail rents and multi-national overlords dictating their prices/brand/direction?

Where else can you grab a great coffee, a comforting meal from one of Australia’s best chefs (hello Pickett’s Deli & Rotisserie), gorgeous flowers for home, a gift for your girlfriend and your grocery shop in the one place? Only one tram-ride, stroll or car-park required.

Where else not only provides us incredibly fortunate Melburnians with a soul-feeding place for all of the above on the regular, but is the place we send our interstate and overseas friends to spend time on their Melbourne holiday. Because “you have to experience a Melbourne market”. We’re not sending them to Aldi, Coles or Woolies, that’s for sure!

Ah, markets. I love you.

STAFF UPDATE: INTRODUCING JOEL

This month we are thrilled to welcome our newest Designer to the team, Joel Langford. Joel has been part of the littleBIG family as an intern for some time now so you may be familiar with his face. He joins us in a more official capacity after putting in the hard yards and kicking creative goals.

Get to know a bit about Joel…

Something you can’t live without? 
Food. Quite literally, but jokes aside, eating is without a doubt my favourite activity. Breakfast, lunch or dinner, I’d be out 7 days a week if it were possible.

Highlight of 2017 so far…
Without a doubt it would be seeing one of my favourite bands, Catfish and the Bottlemen, live. Amazing band, amazing venue filled with amazing friends, it really cant get much better…

Favourite place to eat? 
A quiet little Japanese restaurant tucked away in Ivanhoe – Kanda. They serve some unbelievably high quality traditional Japanese cuisine. Truly a hidden gem. 

What are you passionate about? 
The beach. Any chance I have to get myself on a beach, I’ll take it.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working? 
I love sports and exercise. If I’m not playing football, I’ll be playing basketball, and if I’m not playing basketball, I’ll be at the gym. Few things are better than running around getting fit with your mates.

The PR power of the effective visual

This post was written by littleBIG’s PR Specialist Camilla Speirs, one of Melbourne’s all time PR guns. Camilla’s a pro when it comes to media communications and smart strategy so listen up y’all…

We’ve all heard the cliché, a picture tells a thousand words and in today’s landscape, it’s never been so true.  The impact of imagery on our daily lives is at an all time high with the constant bombardment of unavoidable visual stimuli evoking an array of emotions at any given moment, from joy to sadness, bliss to fear and humour to elation.  Thus, the power of the visual.

From the moment we awake, our minds are submerged in a world of varying imagery, all of which our brains respond to and the world around us becomes a veritable smorgasbord of stories. Images created with a particular message or story in mind, when created well, can be a brand’s most valuable tool. And with the rise of social media, we are now incessantly consuming and reacting to more visuals than ever before and a clever but conscious marketer will know and understand how to best use imagery to tell a story which will ultimately illicit a response.

No one can argue that unlike text, a strong visual can tell a story that will remain in our neurological library for years to come. Pictures not only help us recall experiences they enhance our emotional response so, it’s no surprise that visuals are paramount when it comes to communicating a brand ethos or a campaign message.

So, if the main ingredients for telling a story or selling an idea are words and images, PR’s are required to be outstanding in both areas.  This requires educated thought and the ability to respectively work with a myriad of visual talent such as photographers, illustrators and graphic designers alike.  And with rapid digital processing at our fingertips, there is no excuse for poor visuals when it comes to creating an impactful and relevant media kit.  The industry is filled with talented photographers keen to hone in on their skills and produce engaging and impactful images so brands need to willing to invest in quality imagery in order to clearly tell their brand story when it comes to PR.

Quality imagery in a media kit can mean the difference between standing out and demanding attention or falling to the bottom of the pile.  Storytelling visuals in a media kit create greater recall relating to both product and brand.  So when communicating with media and consumers alike, strong visuals are imperative.

So, the moral of this story is to invest in great imagery because as a crucial ingredient to selling a story idea, if content is king, then visuals are the crown jewels!

 

The science of hashtags: How to develop a # library for your brand

This post was written by the magnificent Stephanie Hyde, a littleBIG Marketing & PR Account Executive with a special knack for influencer marketing and social media. 

If your Instagram account isn’t feeling the love, it’s time to consider boosting your hashtag game.

Thinking strategically about your content pillars and developing a hashtag library is one of the easiest ways to increase engagement to your brand’s account, and it’s a great way to connect with consumers who might not have previously known about your product/service.

Forbes article ‘Big Mistake: Making Fun Of Hashtags Instead Of Using Them’ sums up the importance of having your #HashtagGameStrong by noting that “when individuals use a hashtag, engagement can increase as much as 100%; brands could get an increase of 50%. The reason for this is because a hashtag immediately expands the reach of your post beyond just those who follow you, to reach anyone interested in that hashtag phrase or keyword.”

But how do you ensure you’re finding and using the right hashtags? We’ve broken down some helpful tips for you to follow below…

  • Monitor trends and do your research

Check out Instagram’s ‘top trending’ hashtags. These #’s can throw you into a large feed that consumers are already searching for, and are great for increasing engagement (likes and comments) on your posts. However, don’t just use them for the sake of it. It’s important to ensure that the ‘top trending’ hashtags are relevant to your brand and the image you’re posting.

Consider celebration days and keep a calendar so you can hashtag strategically in conjunction with them. For example, with Mother’s Day coming up, you could hashtag #MothersDayGifts in the lead-up as Instagram users may be looking for inspiration and you’re strategically reaching potential consumers through this hashtag.

Research competitors and relevant influencers and note down what they’re hashtagging. This is another great way to push your content into the feed of consumers from your ideal target market.

  • Don’t worry about the number of hashtags you use

Did you know interactions are highest on Instagram posts with 11+ hashtags? Hashtags were invented by us (the user) through our obsession with categorising our interests into specific areas (who doesn’t love Pinterest for this?!).

Instagram allows 30 hashtags per post, and by using the maximum amount you can extend your reach into a variety of categories that your target market may be interested in and searching for. Using maximum hashtags also increases your chance of increasing followers at a quicker rate than those who don’t use hashtags.

  • Use online tools which are designed to help you succeed

Online sites such as Hastagify.me and All Hashtag will help you build a solid hashtag library with minimal effort. Simply type in an area of interest and it’ll come back to you with relevant hashtags that you can note down to use on your posts. 

You can also use sites such as Tagboard to monitor hashtags across Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and see all recent content using that hashtag.

  • Create a simple spreadsheet to keep track of your hashtags

We’re a little bit spreadsheet obsessed when it comes to social media planning here at littleBIG and we find that it’s easiest to organise hashtags into ‘Brand’, ‘Trend’ and ‘Content’ sections to ensure we’re covering all bases.

Brand hashtags are hashtags that are specific to your business. E.g. #CatProtectionSocietyVictoria or #WinemakersOfRutherglen.

Trend hashtags are hashtags that are currently trending in your industry. E.g. Clean eating and vegan-related tags are really popular for our client Australian Blueberries.

Content hashtags are hashtags that are relevant to the image you’re posting. E.g. If it’s an image of Blueberry Biscuits referring to a recipe in the copy, then we would hashtag #HealthyRecipe, #HealthyBiscuits, #CleanRecipe, etc.

Don’t use “Click Here”

This post was written by our web legend Michael Urquhart. Michael is great at translating web-speak for us mere mortals and builds a mean site, be it simple or complex.

Often as I sift through the series of tubes that is the internet I come across things that, as a web developer, frustrate me.  One of the most frustrating things is the use of “click here”. This term is used quite widely, but in reality has no place in web copy. Let me explain why.

Firstly it’s redundant. The Internet has been around for long enough for people to figure out what you can click on. They don’t need to be told where they can click. The copy should be written and the links should be styled in such a way that it’s obvious where the user can click.

Secondly it’s poor SEO (search engine optimisation). The user should be able to determine the expected link destination based on the content of the link, e.g., “…please contact us for more information…”. Search engines broadly “read” pages in a similar manner. If you use “to view our portfolio click here” it may make sense to a human, who can preface the click here, to figure out the parable link destination but to a search engine it does not. They assume that the link referring to information is about ‘click here’ not a portfolio. The correct use would be simply “view our portfolio”. That way the search engine knows that the link is about our portfolio.

Thirdly it’s bad accessibility. Websites should be designed so anyone can use them, no matter what their situation. A classic example of this is visually impaired people who “view” Internet using screen reading software. They should not be disadvantaged. One of the many features of these screen readers is listing all the links in a page, so a user can navigate quickly. If all your links are click here the software would just repeat click here, click here, click here… you get the point. The user is none the wiser of what these links are and where they go. This goes hand in hand with my second point.

During my university work experience I had the privilege to work with a totally blind web developer. It was an eye opening experience to say the least (pun intended). At one point he unplugged his headphones so I could hear what the screen reader sounded like. It was like chipmunks on acid it was reading so fast.

These a just a few reasons why ‘click here’ should not be used. So if you are writing copy for the web or email in the future please think twice before using it.

P.S.

A perfect example of where its unnecessary:
Wrong – “Click here to view our services”.
Right – “View our services