One thing I really do like is getting back and connecting to the consumer and creating that personal story of why that brand aligns with a person’s goals, aligns with their values, or aligns with just their day to day.
Chad Birenbaum is the Creative Director and Co-founder of Duckpin, an integrated agency focused on the brand experience, ranging from Fortune 500s to startups. Birenbaum has extensive experience in the graphic design industry and a background in brand building and development.
In this episode of Velocitize Talks, Birenbaum discusses creative and brand trends, startup advice and brand affinity.
Creative connections (1:20)
You have a lot of brands now going back to the beginning and saying what makes us unique, what’s our selling point, how do we tell that story and connect?
One trend Birenbaum sees in design is refocusing on the consumer and pinpointing how the brand aligns with their customers’ goals, values, and day to day. Specifically, he zeroes in on what makes a brand unique and how they connect to their customers.
Duckpin’s client the Lusby Group, a Baltimore real estate company, wanted to re-brand in order to focus on growth, expansion and scalability. Duckpin created branding and graphics to connect the Lusby Group’s core values in order for them to be easily recognizable to their community.
Properly aligned (2:29)
The one thing I really learned was taking our personal experience and taking our personal story and then finding the people that want to buy that product or aligned with that lifestyle and really be able to create something that people want.
Birenbaum has first-hand experience on running a startup. In 2006, he started a shoe company with his brother called 100 Styles and Running on a shoestring budget. They quickly realized for the company to succeed, they needed to interject their personalities into the brand so they could connect with consumers. This is something that has carried over into Birenbaum’s work with Duckpin that he uses with current clients.
Every brand has a story (3:34)
It’s aligning a product with your own personal brand. It’s taking a big brand, personalizing it, and making it your own.
As an avid mountain biker, Birenbaum thinks the bike company Trek is a great example of a company that gets personalization right. Trek allows its customers to purchase a personalized bike with preferred paint colors and other features, so each customer has as unique a bike as they are.
Even Trek’s brand statement underscores this core belief: “Trek is an extended family, and though our family is diverse, every branch has the same values and the same goal of making the world a better place through cycling.”
Making of the brand (4:31)
What we’re trying to do is get people to connect back to their brand—finding that brand voice, finding the values. What do people like about us? We have a great product, but how do we align ourselves with the person’s lifestyle or how do we integrate into somebody’s lifestyle?
Brand affinity is when a customer believes a brand shares common values with them and therefore they are more loyal to that brand for longer, according to Brandwatch. Customers want to align with great companies for a variety of reasons, such as when the brand gives back to causes customers align with or the brand connects to them on a personal level. In a Duckpin blog post titled “What it takes to inspire brand affinity in 2020,” they identify three methods to inspire brand creativity: define your brand personality, find the right people, and build lasting relationships.
Social returns (6:46)
There’s a lot of noise out there. If you can really separate yourself and put a good campaign together, something that’s honest, something that’s genuine, something that feels like you wrote it, not a hired media company, I think that’s great.
According to the 2017 Salesforce “State of Marketing” report, 75% of marketing leaders see a direct return on investment from social. The report also points out that social media accounts for a third of all time spent online worldwide, and in the United States, people check social media seven times more than they do on email.
If you can break through the tidal wave of information on social, connect to your customers and cultivate brand advocates, social media is well worth the effort and investment.