The Facebook Page Cover Challenge

FOREWARD
In the short time that most of us have become aware of the need to make changes to our facebook (business) pages, some very interesting page covers have emerged. I would like to show some of them throughout this post and describe what I feel works or might work better in each case. Please let me know what you think, about the examples and about my comments.

https://www.facebook.com/help/?faq=276329115767498

Facebook Help: How should I choose a cover photo for my Page? @ facebook.com

INTRODUCTION

The word went out. Facebook was carrying its new timelines format from personal profiles over to the professional side. All (business) pages were going to not only have timelines but other MAJOR CHANGES would be taking place.

I can just imagine how this all took place. It is apparent even to this amateur detective that there were parties who were privy to this information long before the public became aware of this terrifying transformation to take place this past March.

On the downside, there would be no more default pages that allowed for potential customers to go directly to a landing page, sign up for an offer and begin the slide down the Inbound Marketing funnel. But on the plus side and best of all, in my opinion, would be massive billboard size ‘page covers’ ready for branding one’s business.

The CocaCola cover page

The CocaCola page cover from a Social Media Examiner blog post (credited below). This page was online way before the March 30th deadline. CocaCola knew. They knew what to do and they obviously have an in-house design department or marketing agency on retainer. Clearly,'Life is Still Better with Coke', without saying a word. The small icon has the traditional and world famous original glass bottle image with bubbles that bubble up with dreams of the better life with Coke.


WHO KNEW WHEN

Clearly, companies like Lujure and Constant Contact, not to mention many others less well known to me, had to know what was a foot long before the public announcement that everyone would be required to use the new format by the end of March. The webinars given by the likes of Amy Porterfield, Mari Smith, Nathan Latka and facebook itself indicates to me that many corporations and social media evangelists had considerably more time to prepare than a pedestrian facebook user like myself.

But I suspect that some companies were turned upside down having to scramble in typical Steve Job’s Apple time to accomplish the impossible because it was just a matter of working harder as he would insist to his staff. What clued me in was how early in March some of the major corporate brands were showing off their spectacular new designs.

The Ben & Jerry Ice Cream page cover

The Ben & Jerry facebook page cover @ Ben & Jerry is about as close to perfect as anything I think that facebook had in mind for this project. The only words are in the icon. The rest is the pastoral scene of contented cows that love to have their milk made into Ben & Jerry's ice cream. The style of the scene is folkart-ish, old fashioned. The subliminal message is that their ice cream is made the traditional, old-fashion delicious way. This image was found on a Social Media Examiner blog post.

A GRAPHIC DESIGNER’S DREAM

I was relieved. No more five-frame images that I could never get to stay in place. My company header looked like scrambled eggs rather than the banner it was meant to be. So when I learned that the new page covers would measure 851 pixels wide by 315 high with a postage stamp size area for the company’s logo or other icon, I was in Photoshop heaven.

Can Bloggers be Journalists?

'Can Blogger Be Journalists? Are Journalists Still Journalist When They Blog a Story?' These words appear to be carved in stone and relate to a case in a State Supreme Court where the Judge deemed that bloggers are NOT journalists. Other states realize that the medium is not the determining factor for credentials and qualifications to be a journalist. To emphasize the point, I have used my press pass in the icon square. How successful do you think this page cover is? What do you like or dislike about it? Do you know about this court case? What do you think? Can bloggers be journalists, too?

OK FOR FACEBOOK BUT NOT PINTEREST

Since I have about 20 facebook pages, divided up into a variety of categories, I immediately set about making my new page cover designs distinguishing them by the various categories. I had plenty of old artwork from a half dozen or so previous enterprises that I was proudly displayed as pages.

The page covers  are okay. Some are even not half bad. But once I pinned them to Pinterest, they plopped. There was no discernable diversity. They looked boring pinned next to each other. In addition to that failure, some very kind and helpful Internet colleagues started alerting me to the very clear and concise restrictions facebook was placing on what was and what was NOT allowed to be on these page covers.

What did not look bad as individual page covers looks terrible as neighboring pins on Pinterest.

What did not look bad as individual page covers looks terrible as neighboring pins on Pinterest. @ Pinterest.com/AlisonsArt These are all page covers that I designed for a variety of my page categories for my numerous facebook pages. I followed the facebook guidelines and each looks okay on its own page. But they sure look boring together. Something to think about.

BEWARE OF BILLBOARD-ITIS

There are to be no billboards, no ads, no discounts, no calls to action, no URLs, no, no, no. So what is allowed? What is the Y-E-S? This is where many people shuddered, shouted, even screamed. My guess is that many people, who had created high tech facebook pages with apps for all kinds of tabs, were in a pickle. The programming part was not going to be much of a problem for them. But something else was, and it was a big BUT.

Now there would be a need to come up with something that fit within guidelines that were not typical of social media. This is usually a discipline that is code driven rather than driven by visual creativity, at least before Pinterest.

Bear's Cake Kitchen facebook page cover

Bears cake Kitchen facebook page cover @ Bears cake Kitchen had an adorable, colorful cake picture in its icon square. What is that in the billboard area? Personally, I would have rather seen the colorful cake blown up really big to fit into the billboard. Then their logo could have gone in the icon. I am sure the cupcakes taste delicious but to me, the dark colors and lavender icing are not appetizing. Too bad. This could have been and still can be a great page cover.

WE ALL NEED HELP

Facebook’s changes would provide plenty of chances for programmers and designers to help each other out. Opportunities for exchanges, barters and other compensations would be all around us. So how was one to go about building a billboard size page cover without using this spacious real estate like a billboard? It would indeed require the creativity of a seasoned graphic designer, branding expert and marketing maven.

HyperArts fantastic page cover. I love how the icon fits right into the design.

HyperArts fantastic page cover. I love how the icon fits right into the design. From the facebook page @ HyperArts and found on a Social Media Examiner Blog post. I have one question about the white type on the field of orange. How would their brand hold up to the elimination of the type, the repositioning of it, or perhaps just less of it? I'd love to see HyperArts in the right hand bottom corner with Hyper at a right angle to Arts or HyperArts at a right angle to Web Design. What do you think?

BRANDING HAS ITS DAY

To capture the essence of a company without spelling it out is a real challenge in the design world and even more so for the word bound world of the Internet and trendy, texting generation. Companies with design departments or design firms on retainer that understand the subtleties of what the facebook challenge is about would manage. To me, this is a designer’s dream come true. It is a chance to do some real design work amidst a world of coding, programming and ‘drag and drop’ programs. They are all indispensable but designers have moved very far into the background lately.

The Business Corners facebook page cover

The Business Corners facebook page cover @ The Business Corners. This page cover is a hybrid combining the original 5 panel design at the top into the new larger billboard size. Notice how most of the space is black while the images take up a small amount of room at the top. Do you think this works well? How would this look without the images and have the entire field black except for the slogan 'Space to . . . Connect Create Collaborate. The logo does not have to appear again as it is in the icon. What if the icon were also black with the letters in white like it is in the large black space? This would leave to the imagination what 'space to connect, create, and collaborate' might look like.

BUT NOT FOR ALL

Granted there would be the clip art programs and do-it-yourself apps with temptingly affordable templates that many would and will still need to turn to. But there are also be those who understand the intrinsic value of facebook’s challenge. It requires a design with the whisper, not a shout of explitives, the subtle expression of a company expressing its brand, its mission and passion in a subliminal rather than literal way.

How many have and will continue to rise to this facebook page cover challenge? What are some of your favorite new facebook page covers? How do you feel about the changes facebook has made in this area?

AUTHOR:

Alison Gilbert is the Digital Age Storyteller. She is a regular contributing author to DBME, writes The Marketing Byte Blog and is The New York Graphic Design Examiner. Alison is the owner of MARKETING BYTES Solutions 4 Local Biz. Located on Long Island, New York, MARKETING BYTES serves clients virtually everywhere.

Their boutique style – very personal service – hybrid company specializes in helping local/small biz generate sales leads by transitioning from traditional advertising to online marketing. Contact MARKETING BYTES at info@marketingbytes.biz or call 516-665-9034 ET

VIDEO RESOURCES:

5 Tips To Easily and Quickly Set up Your Facebook Fanpage- Business Page FREE!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5GaW8Unl550

New Facebook Fan Page Timeline Changes Your Business Needs To Know

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGPEVcLrCwc

How to create a Facebook cover for the new Timeline profile.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nwb9it9ATqw&hd=1

New *Facebook Fan Page Timeline* Design Coming March 30

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mdPshVbXfs&hd=1

Cover Photo Design & Facebook Timeline Branding

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qg0LoAbguww&hd=1

Facebook Fan Pages Timeline

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HIxQ3NTcKk&hd=1

Facebook New Timeline Design For Pages – Walk Through

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZoz7B-4nXM&hd=1

Introducing the New Facebook Brand Pages With Timeline Design

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wgG9SO3ceY

Cool Facebook Timeline Cover Page designs at http://www.coverdoodle.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHuWlGTmYwA&hd=1

Facebook business page, Facebook timeline design, generate business

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13vbgfJOZbU&hd=1

Facebook Timeline For Brands Facebook Timeline Business Pages And Fan Page Timelines Rock!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNVPTX9RHhU&hd=1

Introducing the New Facebook Brand Pages With Timeline Design

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wgG9SO3ceY

Facebook Timeline for Brands – Demo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kF_yAOHV80I

How To Create Pro Facebook Timeline Cover

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-bhngn3h6A&hd=1

5 Tips for Fantastic Facebook Fan Page Cover Pics

http://prezi.com/dgfa3fwsiroy/5-tips-for-fantastic-facebook-fan-page-cover-pics/


BLOG RESOURCES:

Facebook Facelift From the Inside Out

THE OPERATION BEGINS
Far brighter minds than mine have started and will continue to explore and explain the facelift that facebook is once again giving itself. First it was timelines for profiles (these are for our personal not professional or business use). Many surrendered to this initial makeover kicking and screaming. Personally, I loved the change since I would rather post and look at photos and images most of the time, anyway. Now, we have been informed by facebook that as of March 30, 2012 all facebook pages (these are the business/professional ones) will have the timeline format, as well. They are in preview now and none but the hardy are taking the plunge. Most marketers a very hardy. 

the icon for the facebook conference for marketers held 2.29.12

The icon for the facebook conference for marketers with a slight facelift of some red and yellow. Original icon in blue and white © facebook.

HOW IS THE OPERATION GOING?
Murmurs of protestation have already begun. But I decided to jump right in and give it a try as I did with my personal profile. I liked that change. I had no objections to it. So I assumed the same would be true of the pages makeover. As I began to explore this latest facelift, I realized it might not be as simple as I initially thought. I got a bit concerned about all those great tabs, apps and other features I had begun to explore, conquer and love. 

The first facebook conference for Marketers 2.29.2012

The first facebook conference for Marketers 2.29.2012

A BRIEF PANIC
But then I was reminded of the conference facebook gave in NYC this past week and the webinar given by Lujure that will be repeated next week. My faith was restored. With this information and the help of my colleagues, even I would eventually get it, again.

The Lujure webinar

The Lujure.com software and webinar information. To be held on March 6, 2012

WHAT NEXT?
So I started with what came easiest to me, the covers. It reminded me of grade school when we had to write book reports. I was not much of a reader or writer then but I loved to do the cover artwork. In that same spirit, I found some images I had made over the last few years for the various websites that correlated to my facebook pages and began to install them as my covers. Then I got a comment from a friend on facebook:

A quote from Rick Milne about the facebook page covers and the rules to make them

The Rules for Facebook Page Covers

Here is what Rick Milne was referring to courtesy of  a source from Craig Yaris’ sources.
This is # 6 on the list of 7:

7 Crucial Things About Timeline For Facebook Pages
The cover photo can be up to 850 pixels by 315 pixels but may not contain any of the following:

  • Price or purchase information, such as “40 percent off” or “Download it at our website.”
  • Contact information, such as web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your Page’s About section.
  • References to user interface elements, such as Like or Share, or any other Facebook site features.
  • Calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends.”

PROCEEDING WITH GREAT CARE
Oh dear, there I was again. Using old technology thinking for 4th dimension communication and expression. Well, back to the drawing board I went. In this case, it was to Photoshop on my computer. I really let my mind go and took flight of fantasy. Here was an opportunity to be as creative and expressive as I wanted. So I began.

This is my contribution to the facebook facelift from the inside out. Combining my spirit as a visual artist, my training as a graphic designer and my decades of experience in various design disciplines, I began to create unique and creative visions for my page covers.

LOOKING GOOD
I have begun to get a positive reaction to my cover art. I am proud to include a comment I made to Lujure.com and the personal response made by Nathan Latka, owner of Lujure.com. I sent him one of my designs. It is at the end of this post. I am saving the best for last.

Here is my comment and his personal reply on facebook:

Nathan Latka's comment on my facebook cover page design

Owner of Lujure.com, Nathan Latka, replied to my comment on his site.

First, I would like to share a two covers; an original designs which was rejected for reasons explained underneath it:

The original cover for Little Bytes of Art with logo, too much type, cluttered and ad like.

One needs to keep it simple. This is meant to be a brand statement not an ad or promo.

The follow up comment I made to the posting of the above design is, “This cover does not work. It is too crowded, looks too much like an ad and is promotional rather than creative. I have redone it more in the spirit of what facebook is looking for from us in making creative, inspired artwork.”

Here is the replacement. It is based on a painting my husband did of me, wearing one of my hats, holding up one of my decorative painted pots. I use the entire painting as my avatar. The cover is a sliver of the painting to make a statement:

The cover for LIttle Bytes of Art on my facebook page.

A simple statement branding 'Little Bytes of Art, Wearable & Shareable Art'

And for dessert, I would like to share my two favorite designs. One is for Alison*s Heirloom Projects facebook page:

The cover for Alison*s Heirloom Projects

The brand and cover for Alison*s Heirloom Projects

This one is for the Marketing Bytes Blog facebook page:

The brand for the Marketing Bytes Blog

Branding the Marketing Bytes Blog new facebook page

SO WHAT DO YOU THINK?
I would like to know what you think and I would love to see what you are coming up with. So please send me your comments and your links. Thank you and have fun, too. I have just one final word. The dramatic change facebook is making has a lot to do with branding. And branding is very much about simple statements mostly with the clever and creative manipulation of images and pictures. Bear in mind the saying. ‘A picture is worth a thousand words.’

AUTHOR:

Alison Gilbert is the Digital Age Storyteller. She is a regular contributing author to DBME, writes The Marketing Byte Blog and is The New York Graphic Design Examiner. Alison is the owner of MARKETING BYTES Solutions 4 Local Biz.

Located on Long Island, New York, MARKETING BYTES serves clients virtually everywhere. This boutique style – very personal service –  hybrid company specializes in helping local/small businesses generate sales leads by transitioning from traditional advertising to online marketing. E-mail us at info@marketingbytes.biz.

SOURCES AND RELATED INFORMATION

The New York Islanders Hockey Team: Keeping Them on Long Island

INTRODUCING THE SITUATION

Nassau Veteran's Memorial Coliseum

Nassau Veteran's Memorial Coliseum © The New York Times

Yesterday, I attended a multi-Chamber of Commerce Networking event at the Nassau Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum as one of about 50 -75 guests of the NY Islanders Hockey Club. The purpose of the event was to familiarize the surrounding communities with the team, introduce the various packages available to hockey fans and reinforce the NY Islanders brand reminding residents that the NY Islanders are still Long Island’s professional, four time Stanley Cup winning, hockey team as they rebuild towards their future. What’s their plan?


PLAN A:

In August, a 400 million dollar bond issue was on the ballot that would have made it possible to overhaul the Nassau Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum to house not only the Islanders, but be a draw for concerts, high school sporting events, tournaments, etc. The bond issue was voted down so Plan A was out.


PLAN B:

So what does one do when their plans fail for turning the Coliseum into a state of the art facility that would be more competitive with those in other cities? Selling the team or moving it are options that were put on the table. But the Islanders contract goes to 2015 and their owner, Charles E. Wang has agreed to honor it despite his tremendous disappointment with the rejection of the bond issue.

NY Islanders logo

NY Islanders logo © NY Islanders

PLAN C:

With three years left to keep things, at the very least, status quo, the NY Islanders have their work cut out for them. For now, they are one of four professional hockey teams that exist in the NY state area including the NY Rangers, the NY Islanders, the NJ Devils and the Buffalo Sabres. Without realizing it, the NY Islanders are in the same boat and in total alignment with many other LI based corporations, how to ‘Keep It On Long Island’,  with the acronym, ‘kioli.org’.

The Islanders are in good company. Kioli.org, an organization founded by a handful of LI businesses, with the LI Press, the weekly newspaper, at their helm. All have a keen understanding of the challenges everyone, from companies to consumers and retailers to residents have on LI at this time. To learn more about Kioli.org, refer to the previous article written by this author.

Kioli defined

Kioli defined © LI Press

WHAT’S NEXT?

The situation the Islanders face has financial as well as branding implications. The Islanders are OUR professional hockey team. I believe that the current effort to reach out to the communities surrounding the stadium in Uniondale is a noble effort to reinforce the team’s brand as OUR team. One cannot deny that standing at the edge of the arena itself inches from the ice and looking all around an empty 16,000 seat stadium is awe inspiring. The materials that were provided to us as well as the thorough explanation of the available plans to become game attendees were tempting as well.

Mostly, the friendly, even neighborly approach of the young people who work to promote sales for team attendance as well as the staff that arranged the delicious, informal dinner we were treated to went a long way in saying, ‘Welcome neighbors, we are part of your LI community and we want to remain so.’

SUMMARY
When I was asked what my story had to do with the DBME mission statement, I had to stop and think for a moment. I went to the MISSION STATEMENT page of the site, as you can too through the link provided. I read no further than the first  paragraph, “Digital Brand Marketing Education (dbmei) is an experiential learning process for professionals. It serves as a continuing education tool in the “Read, Write & Share” philosophy covering subject matter in digital, branding, marketing, business and more.”

The words branding and marketing are there and so are the words business and more. To me, the challenge facing the coliseum and the NY Islanders involves branding, marketing and business. The situation might be compared to solving a problem using a computer. There are two choices, to solve it with hardware and/or with software.

Hardware, in this case, would be refurbishing the stadium. ‘Not in the budget’, comes the word from above. Then there is software, marketing and branding, in this case. To me, there is a clear and obvious path for the stadium and the NY Islanders, in particular, to take. Re-Branding and Local Marketing.

Islanders_small_logo

WE'RE ALL ISLANDERS © NY Islanders

The Islanders latest sticker logo contains the slogan, ‘WE’RE ALL ISLANDERS’. That clearly brands them as part of the Kioli philosophy, ‘Keep It On Long Island’, in other words, Local Marketing, that’s easy. New media is built for local marketing.

So there’s the answer, brand and market to solve this business challenge. In addition, what fascinated me most, after doing this additional exploration, is what powerful tools branding and marketing can be for a business; how they can be assets and even best friends when used properly and when there is no other choice.

SOURCES:

NASSAU VOTERS REJECT PROPOSAL TO OVERHAUL COLISEUM

THE NY ISLANDERS

PROFESSIONAL SPORTS ON LONG ISLAND

NY METROPOLITAN AREA SPORTS TEAMS

THE DIGITAL BRAND MARKETING MISSION STATEMENT

Lessons I’ve Learned from Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs on the Cover of TIME © Cult of Mac

Steve Jobs on the Cover of TIME © Cult of Mac

INTRODUCTION
Steve Jobs was an icon of the personal computer industry. In my opinion, there is only one other living human being who could equal or rival his celebrity status. That person is Bill Gates.

Their lives had many similarities and some differences. They both were brilliant. They both started their businesses several years after leaving college. They did not consider a college education tantamount to their success. They both grew up on the West Coast. Jobs took a class in calligraphy at Reed College that he said inspired him later as the multiple fonts and word spacing (kerning) manifested themselves in the Macintosh.

Steve and Bill © Wikipedia

Steve Jobs and Bill Gates © Wikipedia

 

But there were also the differences between them. As extraordinary as they both were as showmen and business titans, Steve was all about perfection and aesthetics never compromising for profit. Bill Gates was very focused on profit and simplicity of code. He has since been able to relinquished his throne to go on to global-community service. He last wrote his last lines of code in 1989. Steve battled through a liver transplant and pancreatic cancer while holding aloft the mantle of the brand for his firm, relinquishing the stewardship of it only when his health failed him. It was no more than a matter of six weeks between his resignation and passing.

Because I am an author with the Digital Brand Marketing Education Blog, I would like to focus my lessons learned from Steve Jobs on these four topics, Digital, Branding, Marketing, and Education.

Apple Logos © Wikipedia

Apple Logos © Wikipedia

DIGITAL
Before the invention of the personal computer that Steve Jobs presented in his usual fanfare, pulling it by the handle out of a gym bag, mainframe computers took up entire rooms. The idea of a personal computer on every desk and in every home was viewed as preposterous if not impossible.

Apple I © Wikipedia

Apple I © Wikipedia

Steve acquired the original mouse technology from Xerox who could not commercialize on it but in an agreement let their engineers work with Apple in return for IPO offerings when it became commercial. The “GUI” (graphical user interface) allowed the development of graphics, images, and multiple fonts. It was the essential element that allowed the transition from a totally code and programmer based system to a user-friendly system. His team created the initial software and then other companies jumped on the bandwagon.

His leadership fostered a creative environment that let the team negotiate, innovate and create with a high standard.

The First Macintosh 1984 © Wikipedia

The First Macintosh 1984 © Wikipedia

Bill Gates was primarily a software man learning early on that he preferred more pedestrian, affordable PCs in contrast to the ‘elegant’ devices of Apple and then Macintosh. Bill’s goal was to mass-market software and for a while Microsoft was the proprietary software on all PCs. In contrast, Steve Jobs computers were and are geared to the connoisseurs in the industry.

BRANDING
Over time, the two companies did become more similar. With Windows, Microsoft adopted the more obvious mechanisms of the Mac, the mouse, and the programs in PC version and now Macs use the Intel processor. But Steve was the master of the brand. His mantra was perfection.

The Macintosh II © Wikipedia

The Macintosh II © Wikipedia

He would not let a product emerge from his laboratory into the public domain until he felt it had reached absolute perfection. The quality control with parts suppliers is one example. Perhaps this was a drain on his health compared to his, at least seemingly more laid back adversary, Mr. Gates. His interest was quantity over the level of quality that Jobs demanded without compromise. One wonders where Apple will be headed without Jobs. Microsoft seems unfettered by the resignation of Gates.

MARKETING
Jobs was a master at marketing. Just the mere rumor and then word of the emergence of a new or newer model of a product sent the Mac devotees to the stores where they would often camp out over night to be the first ‘kid on the block’ to have the latest version of whatever it was.

Apple Aficionados Wait in Line © Wikipedia

Apple Aficionados Wait in Line © Wikipedia

The presentations of his latest products were also impeccable examples of marketing and promotion. One year Ridley Scott, now a famed film and TV producer, was brought on board to create a memorable, even shocking Macintosh Super Bowl commercial. No one who has ever seen it will forget it.

When generations of the various Macs were born in irresistible, candy colored variations, potential consumers were tempted to not only purchase these mechanical wonders but agonized over which day-glow color to buy. That would be a major problem for me. I would want one in each color. Jobs combined perfection of design, streamlined elegance and hot colors.

1984, Superbowl XVIII Commercial  © Wikipedia

'1984' Superbowl XVIII Commercial © Wikipedia

EDUCATION
Have you ever wondered why school systems buy and use Macs? If one is a student, there are special reduced price versions of the programs available and discounts on the computers themselves. What does that say about the quality of a Mac over a PC? I feel there is no more evidence necessary that ‘the proof is in the pudding’. Educational systems throughout the country chose to have their students learn on Macs, not PCs. They may have had to settle for PCs when their families both them their own. But the educational system provided only the best and most reliable quality control.

The iMac G3 1998 © Wikipedia

The iMac G3 1998 © Wikipedia

Steve Jobs has left an indelible mark on the world of technology and design. Much has been written about him before and since his passing. This post is but a peek at one small part of the universe he occupied. For me, his example showed there are some valuable lessons to be learned in Digital Brand Marketing Education.

SOURCES

What I learned from Steve Jobs by Guy Kawasaki

This Week’s Issue Of Time Magazine Has Steve Jobs On The Cover And The Story Behind His Upcoming Bio

The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs: One Last Thing; R.I.P Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs on Wikipedia

Apple Computer on Wikipedia

Macintosh Computer on Wikipedia

Bill Gates on Wikipedia

The iMac 2007 © Wikipedia

The iMac 2007 © Wikipedia

Branding, Part One: Design by Dunkin’

A Brief History of Branding: Ancient Times
It may come as a great surprise to other present day design professionals, as it did to me, that the branding and marketing industry has been around for thousands of years. Documentation exists as far back as 2700 B.C with examples of oxen hieroglyphics depicted on Egyptians tombs indicating ownership by the deceased.

The History of Tartans
In the 1500’s, woven woolen cloth, known as tartans, are believed to be derived from the French word ‘tiretaine’. They identified the geographic area from which a person came. Later, these fabric patterns became affiliated with families or clans, which is how we primarily know them today. Tartans are attributed to Scotland but also existed and still exist in Britain, Ireland, North America and in numerous other countries around the world. Some tartans were even created as late as the 20th Century. Societies, institutions, philanthropists and organizations inspired these.

World Tartans

World Tartans, book by Iain Zaczek

Livestock Branding
The original intent of livestock branding was to identify ownership, to be ‘a visible and permanent mark’ to distinguish between what was yours and what was mine. It was a clear-cut way to prevent theft as well as a simple way to identify and return lost livestock to its proper owner. Branding of cattle is still used in the same way today.

Cattle branding

'Ouch! That's some way to get a name'. Picture source identified at end of blog post.

Branding and Marketing in the Food Industry: Three Phases
Over time, branding has evolved into an indispensable marketing and advertising tool applied to a great extent, but not exclusively, to the food industry. As such, it has existed since the late 1800’s, a mere sliver of the total time line pie in branding history.

Culinary Ephemira

Food Marketing and Branding. Picture source at end of post.

Commercial food branding has gone through three phases. But for the purposes of this article, they will not be described in detail other than to distinguish their periods, “the fragmentation phase (before 1870–1880), the unification phase (1880–1950), and the segmentation phase (1950 and later).” These are referred to with the source credit below. In addition, the ‘4P’ marketing theory is listed below.

History of Food Production

The History of Modern Food Production credited in the sources below.


I Want It and I Want It Now!
Present day branding has brought the science of marketing and the art of branding full circle. A brand with the proper marketing can now be known for instant product recognition. The goal of this immediate recognition is the advent of instantaneous acquisition and consumption.

Seamless Retail Experience

The Seamless Digital Retail Experience. Credit unkown.

The Seamless Digital Retail Experience
The purpose of the type of branding that identifies livestock is called, ‘what’s mine is mine’. But in retail, it is now ‘what’s yours is mine’ and ‘make it mine now’. This is becoming imperative and possible. Recognition through branding and acquisition through digital technology and online marketing make this process closer to seamless on a daily basis.

With the evolving technologies of near field communication, local mobile fusion, radio frequency identification, QR code generation and identification, retailers are becoming able to make us offers we can no longer refuse. There is almost no time to reconsider offers as they become digitally seamless and irresistible.

I Want it now

I Want It and I Want It Now. Credit Flickr jpg.

In Conclusion
When done well using the art of marketing and science of branding, the result of immediate recognition is now approaching ‘0’ time between recognizing,  purchasing and consuming. With the continually growing addition of new technology, this process is getting even faster and the gap is lessening to the point where our wishes will be the digital genie’s immediate command. I want it; you have it; I see it; I got it. Just like that!

A Short Video Visit to One of the Best Examples of Branding Today
I consider Dunkin’ Donuts (Dunkin’ not Duncan and yes there is a Duncan tartan has no relation to the retailer’s brand or history), to be one of the best examples of branding and marketing in the US today. Watch this short video and let me know what you think. Future articles will continue to explore the fascinating topics of digital, brands and marketing.

Sources:
World Tartans by Iain Zaczek (Image #1)
A Brief History of Cattle Brands (Image #2)
Culinary Ephemera, An Illustrated History (Image #3)
Food Marketing (Image #4)
A Brief History of Branding
A Visual History of Cookery

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