Branding Ideas℠

QR Codes: Business Cards

We’ve been talking a lot about Quick Response codes, two-dimensional codes that direct users to an online location with more information about a product, company or individual. Well, remember things called business cards, little pieces of paper with your contact information on them that you pass out to new people you meet in real life? Well, adding a QR code is a more up-to-date way to send people to your official website, Facebook or Twitter page.

Need some ideas for how you can use QR codes to boost your online presence, or got some ideas we haven’t thought of that you’d like to share? Let us know!

Calendar of Events: March

March is National Nutrition Month! If your business revolves around food, this is a great chance to promote your brand or a new product. Even if it doesn’t, there are plenty of ways to take advantage of this kind of promotional opportunity. Edible promo products are all the rage, and what better way to thank customers for their loyalty, or vendors for their continued business than with something yummy to eat that will keep you on their minds? If that’s not a good fit for your business, there are plenty of other holidays and observances in the month of March at your disposal. March is also National Women’s History Month. Here are some other ideas:

March 8: Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday
March 17: St. Patrick’s Day
March 20: Beginning of Spring
March 30: National Doctors Day

Need some ideas? Branding Ideas is here to help!

QR Codes: Boost Your Social Network Presence

We recently introduced you to Quick Response codes, two-dimensional codes similar to bar codes that send users a website or direct information about a product, company or individual. One way to use these codes to boost exposure of your brand, company or product is to send users to your Facebook or Twitter page rather than simply direct them to your website. Users can then “like” or follow your page, which means you’ve got a direct line to a potential new customer. You can even use QR codes to automatically generate a “like” for your Facebook page!

QR Codes: Boosting Online Traffic

Last month we introduced you to Quick Response codes, two-dimensional codes similar to bar codes that, when scanned by your mobile phone, send users a website or direct information about a product, company or individual. Sending users to an official website is one of the more obviously practical but incredibly effective ways to use QR codes. Imagine someone’s walking down the street and they see an ad or billboard promoting your product or business, or even an actual item for sale with a QR code prompting them to visit the official website for a special promotion. Rather than write down a web address and visit it later, which we all know is unlikely to happen, the consumer can gain access to all kinds of valuable information immediately, right at their fingertips. This is a great way to interact with current and prospective new customers in real-time!

TIP: Don’t simply direct customers to the main page of your website. Be creative, and link them to promotional giveaways, surveys, and detailed information that helps them better understand your brand.

Calendar of Events: February

Each month Branding Ideas compiles a list of possible occasions your business can use to help promote your products and events. Remember to always seek out holidays and special occasions that fit with your business’s brand and message. Today is Groundhog Day (and yes, Spring is on its way!), but there are plenty of other upcoming holidays and observances worth considering. February 14th is, of course, Valentine’s Day, and February is International Expect Success Month as well as Black History Month. Here are some other notable dates:

February 3: Chinese New Year
February 6: Super Bowl Sunday
February 7 – 11: International Networking Week
February 21: Presidents Day

Need some ideas? Branding Ideas is here to help!

QR Codes: The Future Is Here

In the future, we will all be branded with individual bar codes on our wrists or the backs of our necks. At least that’s the popular fictive prediction. Well, we might just be one step closer to that with Quick Response codes, which took off in Japan and are finally making waves on this side of the Pacific. QR codes are two-dimensional codes similar to traditional bar codes that, when scanned by your mobile phone’s camera, can be decoded using downloadable software, providing the user with a direct link to a website or more information about a product, business, or person. This is a fascinating new interactive marketing tool that can be used to provide consumers with up to date information and even help individuals market themselves more effectively (by, say, including a QR code on your business card or resume). You can even use QR codes to send private messages to individuals! Branding Ideas will be brainstorming new ways you can use these codes to enhance your business’s promotional efforts, so check back here regularly!

Warning Signs: Innovative T-Shirt Detects Pollution

We all remember Hypercolor clothes, right? Those tacky t-shirts everyone wore in grade school that just begged to be slapped as you walked down the hall to class. Well, grad students Sue Ngo and Nien Lam of the Interactive Telecommunications Program at New York University, have taken the concept to practical, and eco-friendly new heights with their “Warning Signs” sweatshirts. Emblazoned with a pair of lungs or a heart that change color when there’s air pollution in the immediate vicinity, the shirts use censor embedded technology in the fabric to detect high carbon monoxide levels in the air.  What’s next? According to one report, the pair are considering a breathalyzer shirt to detect alcohol level.  These designers are at the forefront of a growing field of wearable technology and e-textiles and there’s only more to come.

Minimalist Packaging

We stumbled across this study of using minimalism in a maximalist market. Of course, it’s just an exploratory exercise, but it meets design guru Dieter Rams’s 10th principle: good design is as little design as possible.” Now, if all branding was stripped down completely, it could make for a very unusable shelf experience. It might prove difficult to find a brand you like if all the containers were just a simple logo plastered on a single neutral color. But it’s interesting to see the layering of design elements that add visual complexity and, when done well, differentiate the packaging. One this is for sure, this approach meets design guru Dieter Rams A middle ground between the cluttered packaging we see today and what’s proposed here might be the answer. What do you think?

Calender of Events: June

Here at Branding Ideas, ideas are our business. The best way to come up with a unique idea to help promote your brand, product or event is to start with something small and toss the idea around for a while and see if something more substantial grows out of it. For example, each calendar month provides tons of ideas on which you could base a promotion for your business. That’s why we post a calendar of events each month to get you thinking. If something fits into the vision you’ve created for a new product or your brand in general, run with it. June is National Rose Month. It’s also National Diary Month, which provides a perfect excuse to send your valuable clients and customers personalized journals branded with your logo. (Need some suggestions for affordable journals and other promotional items? We’re here to help!) Here are some other notable dates and holidays for June:

Monday, June 14th – Flag Day
Sunday, June 20th – Father’s Day
Monday, June 21st – First Day of Summer

Mapping It Out

Design is an important part of what we do here at Branding Ideas℠. Coming up with new and creative promotional ideas that help communicate your message and brand is essential, but the design of your promotional items, your logo, and your product packaging are just as vital. The New York MTA will unveil their new NYC subway map design in June and, being the New Yorkers that we are, we’ve got an opinion! The new design is cleaner and clearer, and the color contrasts are a nice improvement, but we preferred the city parks in the bolder emerald green of the 1998 may design, as opposed to the new olive color. We think parks should err more on the side of tree color than dog urine, and they’ll be easier to find on a map. The subway lines now have a dark gray shading, intended to make them stand out more, but that could potentially cause confusion for people who use the MTA subway map to look for streets and intersections too. But these are minor complaints, and overall the map is an improvement over the last incarnation, and a big improvement over the grid maps used back when polyester bell bottoms were chic. Check out The New York Times for a more detailed look at MTA subway maps past, present and future!