Friday, November 22, 2013

Letter from the Editor: It's a People Thing

Dear Friends,

In this world of turbo-charged changes, there are some, albeit seemingly few, things that do remain the same, and those things usually have to do with principles and people.

I took note of this in viewing a somewhat dated video recently. (View it here.) It’s a promotional clip entitled “Vision” for a motivational speaker, Howard Putnam, the former CEO of Southwest Airlines and Braniff Airlines. In between the various plugs, there are nuggets of truth delivered with humor and sobriety that pour from Putnam’s arsenal of experience, not with business strategies or financial spreadsheets, but rather with…people.

He begins and ends with the importance of people, specifically an organization’s team and its culture. According to Putnam, these form the foundation of a brand. “It’s a people thing. Hire attitude [confidence, talent, and ambition]. Find the folks that fit your culture…that’s how you begin to build a brand.” He continues by distinguishing the appeals: “If you sell a product or a service, you’ll be known as a vendor or a supplier. If you sell a vision or experience, now you’re beginning to develop a brand.”

In this world of smart-but-faceless-technology, the human touch is elusive and more important than ever. It’s the core of a brand’s existence, and the life and breath of an organization. Sometimes the anonymity of digital communication tools causes us to forget this fact. We need to keep in mind that they are merely tools, not replacements.

Putnam concludes, “The one business I know you are in and I know I am in is the people business. Your customers, your stakeholders, your suppliers, your investors, they are all people, and if we can work together as a team you have a much greater opportunity for success ahead.”

As the holiday season approaches and the new year is on the horizon, this is a great opportunity to thank you, our customers, for your continued support and trust! We appreciate you and, as always, we value your input and business. 

Here’s to the human touch and building a better brand through it,

Be a Patron of the Brand Arts

The Good Samaritan, Vincent Van Gogh,
oil on canvas, 1890
"In a picture I want to say something comforting as music is comforting. I want to paint men and women with that something of the eternal which the halo used to symbolize, and which we seek to give by the actual radiance and vibration of our colorings…" –Van Gogh

Just as consumers connect with the people component of your brand, they connect with the visual “painting” of your brand as well through shared values.

People are emotional intuitive beings who are actually the determinants of what your brand is. It’s not what you say your brand is; it’s what the customer says it is. However, we can influence the way people emotionally respond to an organization through branding. Just as Van Gogh and other masters did with canvas and oils, so it goes with branding. The medium is different. The act of messaging is not.

Your brand requires consistent development. If your brand embraces artistry and cultivates meaning (an authentic message about your organization’s culture), then you’ve increased your odds for connection. You’ve demonstrated the importance of the emotional aspect of your brand, which in turn means you’ve humanized the building process. Treating people as people and less as sales quotas will in turn…not only increase sales figures but, more importantly, create brand evangelists.

If the organization places little to no value with regards to any aspect of the brand, including the visual, then you lose the emotional connection with consumers. Its ho-hum, void-of-value-system comes across loud and clear to the consumer, adversely affecting the consumer’s perception of the brand.

Convey the value of the person within the brand by promoting excellence and authenticity at every turn. Even if you offer a low-cost product or service, the quality of the presentation and service will speak to the value you have for your customer.

Test Your Advertising and Marketing Knowledge

Test your advertising knowledge by answering the following questions. Answers are found below the test.


1) The purpose of advertising and marketing is to increase sales.
a) True
b) False
Go to the answer.

2) Marketing is the act of targeting specific groups of people based on demographics, i.e. “markets,” prior to and in support of the actual advertising and/or sales program.
a) True
b) False 
Go to the answer.

3) Implementing the “4 Ps” (product, price, promotion, and place) through tactics such as promotions, email campaigns, specials, among others comprise the basic elements of marketing.
a) True
b) False
Go to the answer.

4) Consumers’ perception of quality is the best measurement of good branding efforts.
a) True
b) False 
Go to the answer.

5) Successful ads garner awards such as the coveted Clio Award.
a) True
b) False 
Go to the answer.

6) Defining the various consumers' needs and their product/service usage is the best methodology for market segmentation.
a) True
b) False 
Go to the answer.

7) Defining click-through rates is the best methodology for measuring internet advertising’s effectiveness.
a) True
b) False 
Go to the answer.

8) A collection of brands, products, or services that consumers would consider purchasing is called a “consideration set.”
a) True
b) False 
Go to the answer.

9) Brand extensions allow marketers to enhance brand associations from a brand in one category to a brand in another category.
a) True
b) False 
Go to the answer.

10) Qualifications listed in a disclaimer diminish the brand’s perception.
a) True
b) False 
Go to the answer.


1) False. Marketing and advertising goals are elements of the marketing mix and sales cycle that are better thought of in terms of communication objectives rather than sales objectives. While immediate conversion is possible, it’s primary purpose is to communicate repetitively and frequently through targeted outlets in order to bring the product or service to top-of-mind at the purchase point.

Go to the next question.

2) False. This is actually an archaic definition of marketing. Today, because of the Internet, there are crossovers and blurring of lines between marketing, advertising, and sales departments roles. Marketing is no longer just about demographics and the data accumulated and used prior to the sales and advertising process, but is also now taking on the role of real-time, one-on-one behavioral tracking of an individual’s preferences. For example, if you are shopping online for cars, within days you might receive ads for cars, even if you are visiting an unrelated site.

Go to the next question.

3) False. The 4Ps are the tactical elements of marketing. Before implementing the tactics, you must first have researched the brand’s current position, which includes identifying the brand’s (internal) Strengths and Weaknesses as well as its (external) Opportunities and Threats (SWOT). From there, a marketing plan must be developed, which includes target market, brand positioning statement, goals, objectives, strategies, and tacticals; tacticals being the last item in the plan.

Go to the next question.

4) False. Measuring a consumer’s perception of quality is as varied as the number of people you survey. People have different opinions as well as levels of quality. A more quantitative, and thereby productive, approach would be to learn of specific features and benefits of a brand that consumers like and look for.

Go to the next question.

5) False. An ads success depends on the objectives set prior to implementation, and whether or not those objectives were met. Some goals might include increased brand or company name awareness, increased knowledge, or an increase in positive opinions.

Go to the next question.

6) True. Understanding the various demographics and the psychographics of a market is the best tool for market segmentation as consumers buy according to benefits and needs. Your product may have several benefits that meet different needs in different markets. Market segmentation will allow you to speak the language of a particular demographic without confusing or turning off another demographic.

Go to the next question.

7) False. Internet ads work the same as magazine ads. They provide information and resources to keep your brand top-of-mind when the consumer is ready to purchase. Usually a consumer is online for specific reasons other than viewing advertisements. That's why constant brand awareness--staying in front of the prospect--by implementing Internet advertising can go a long way when the prospect IS online looking for your specific product line or service.

Go to the next question.

8) True. When a consumer is considering a purchase, they first narrow the field to a certain number of brands… the consideration set. This is the first step towards a purchase, and if you want to be the chosen one in the end, you need to be in the consideration set from the beginning.

Go to the next question.

9) True. Brand names evoke certain benefit associations such as reliability, safety, ease, or convenience. Extending the brand to other product categories gives opportunity to infuse those categories with the same brand benefits.

Go to the next question.

10) False. Disclaimers only affect the brand’s perception to the degree of the consumer’s motivation to think about the disclaimer, how explicit the disclaimer is, and the time the consumer invests in thinking about the disclaimer.

The 10 Building Blocks of Trust

In any scenario, successful engagement begins and ends with trust. To motivate someone to move forward, go deeper, or reach higher with you over someone else, there must be trust. Below are ten areas where you can enhance your business’ trustworthiness and build your brand.

  1. Word of mouth: Recommendations are by far the most effective way to build a trusted business. The percentages are overwhelmingly in your favor and require no heavy lifting on your part. If some third party goes to bat for you, trust is already built into the equation before you utter the first word.
  2. Direct engagement: What kind of communication has taken place prior to your engagement? Was it passive or aggressive? This will impact how a prospect will interact with you. There’s a big difference between a response to spam and a response to a mutual introduction. 
  3. Visual appeal: For example, when a visitor comes to your website for the first time to learn about you, their engagement is limited to the visual. What does it say about your brand? 
  4. Intonation: In tandem with your visual appeal is the tone of your communication…copy, images, video, etc. Your tone should always be set by your business goals, objectives, and strategy.
  5. Benefit orientation: Give your prospect a reason to listen to you. What’s the benefit to them if they listen?
  6. Emotional Connection: How have you connected with your prospect? What values do you share or interests do you have in common? 
  7. Brand awareness: If your logo is recognizable, your name is frequently passed around via hashtag, or you’re regularly in the media, you are not only gaining brand awareness, but trust as well. Public recognition goes a long way in developing trust, even if you’ve not had direct engagement with the prospect.
  8. Transparency: Ever been to a site that declares the “Five foods you should never eat”? 10 minutes into their video spiel, you still haven’t found out what the five foods are. It’s deceptive and wrapped in a sales ploy. Declare your purpose upfront, answer the pressing questions quickly, and make sure it’s understandable. Otherwise you are undermining your own trustworthiness.
  9. The Prospect’s Investment: What are you asking your prospect to do? There’s a big difference between asking them to “like” or “follow” you compared to asking for their credit card number. The security for each of these requests and everything in between needs to be cradled in care and trustworthiness.
  10. Social ranking and search engine metrics: First page Google rankings and a large number of Twitter followers have proven to gain trust among online users. 

The Digital Landscape: Career Prospects for the Next Generation

Generation Z, the title bestowed on those born after 1995, is a unique generation and the first to be completely submerged in the technological landscape we know as the Internet. Key projections are an ever-growing online social connectivity, a booming global e-commerce environment, and an overall more informed society than has previously existed.

Another name given to this generation is “digital natives.” Instead of growing up in a culture of rotary telephones, the Dewey decimal system, and one centralized-three-networked-television-set, they’ve been immersed in everything digital. All information is at their fingertips. No sweat-equity required.

According to Wagepoint, there are some interesting and exciting opportunities that await the Digital Natives:

  •  65% of today’s kindergarteners will work in jobs that do not currently exist.
  •  The top 10 in demand jobs of 2010 were not around in 2004.
  •  Some digital jobs with growth projections include app developers, social media managers, and user experience designers. These did not exist in the early 2000s.
  • Environmental careers will increase.
  • A new field of farmer will include “vertical farming” which will reduce the amount of acreage by growing crops upwards. Additionally, a climate controller will not predict weather, but manage weather.
  • Healthcare-related jobs will increase, especially with regards to nano-technology (“Nano-Medic”) that automatically regulates medication and a memory augmentation surgeon that will help memory in the aging population.



Wall Street Journal Reports
Facebook Decline

 “Facebook's web-based users in the U.S. declined year over year, and the company's core U.S. business may be shrinking,” according to the Wall Street Journal. The key words here are “web-based users.” Mobile users are increasing, however, 78% of Facebook’s revenue come from its web-based ads.

Additionally, teenage use of Facebook is declining in favor of Instagram (a Facebook acquisition as of Aug. 2012) and Twitter (among several other social media). According to Pew Internet & American Life Project, the majority of teenagers complained of “an increasing adult presence, high-pressure or otherwise negative social interactions (‘drama’), or feeling overwhelmed by others who share too much.”

A Revealing Social Media Campaign

Using social media for a brand unveiling is trending. In August, 2013, Yahoo! implemented a rebranding campaign with a 30-day preview of 30 different logo renditions on TUMBLR (Yahoo!'s social media/microblogging combo site, boasting 108.4 million blogs, 50.9 billion posts, and 175 employees). The final reveal was made September 5th with the purple and exclamation intact, but the type and website revamped. A video of the 30-day progression can be seen below.

Figure 1: Yahoo!'s old logo.
Figure 2: Yahoo!'s new logo 
released September 5, 2013.

Yahoo!'s "30 Days of Change" video:

Things that Make You Say, "Hmm..."

Would loved to have seen the events that led to this sign.

Instant marriage counseling for the commuter.

Be on the lookout for your friendly neighborhood Spiderman.

The van says, "Children's Club Pickup Service."
Shady, and we're not talking elms. 

Passive aggressive has found its place in the world.

Apparently, this was not handled by a business major.

For this rule to be in place, someone must have tried this.

Branding 101: Avoid message integrity problems.

Truth in advertising can be so refreshing.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

We're Hiring!

Hornsby Brand Design is looking for exceptional people to join our team! If you have passion about your skills and talents, are energetic, and ready to flex your muscles in an exciting and growing environment, then Hornsby Brand Design might be the place for you! 

Our current openings are for web developer/designer and designer. If you are interested in either position please go here* for more details and information on getting in contact with us.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Letter from the Editor: Reinvention Can Graduate Us

Dear Friends,

Recently, I heard an inspiring commencement speech made to the Dartmouth College Class of  ’11, by famed comedian, Conan O’Brien. Delivered in the humor that only O’Brien possesses, he stated, “Your path at 22 will not necessarily be your path at 32 or 42. One's dream is constantly evolving, rising and falling, changing course…after 25 years of obsessively pursuing my dream, that dream changed.” He was referencing, of course, of his unpleasant and highly public dismissal from hosting The Tonight Show in 2010, hailing the position itself the “ultimate goal of every comedian to host,” the definition of success, “the Holy Grail.”

Adding that we are not defined by job or career goals met or unmet, he expressed that the beauty of disappointment, which we all encounter, is the gain of clarity, conviction, and true originality. “It's not easy, but if you accept your misfortune and handle it right, your perceived failure can become a catalyst for profound re-invention.”

I draw inspiration from O’Brien’s words, knowing that his intent is that this broad stroke can apply to all areas of life, defining our character and enhancing our ability to succeed whatever the application, career and business…family…self.

Dreams do change over the passage of time, but it’s that profound reinvention that can graduate us from mere imitation to true success and satisfaction in life and business.

All that being said, as one of my favorite local radio talk show hosts (Hallerin Hilton Hill) always signs-off with: “I know you’ve got dreams. My question is, what are you going to do about them?”

Bridget Hornsby

“Architect of Change”: 3 Steps to Growth

Whether you are growing an existing company or starting a new one, change happens…cutting-edge technology, partner/employee transitions, the addition or removal of services and/or products or tectonic economic shifts, just to name a few. It takes skill, attention to detail, and a finger on the world’s pulse to create a blueprint for successful change. Being an architect of change can be a massive undertaking. However, internalizing the 3 steps below will put you on a firm foundation to getting started, staying on top, or just refreshing your memory.

  1. Know where you are headed. 
    Seems obvious, but these words are not always heeded. Don’t cut corners. Plan for both professional and personal outcomes. Define the conditions of satisfaction: growing professionally, making a profit, giving back, having fun, etc. Share these with your team and/or organization, be prepared to stand by them, draw on them to overcome the fear of change, and use them for targeted action.

  2. Evaluate the situation and set the direction.
     Find out what’s working and what isn’t. When urgency is needed, remember, as the leader of change, this is not a democracy. When someone is “Code-Red” you don’t hold a committee meeting to decide whether to give CPR or not, do you? Of course not, so do what needs to be done, make the hard decisions (which can sometimes be unpopular), take responsibility for your actions, and continue to move forward.

  3. Grab the reins and “git movin.”  
    From the boardroom to the mail room, establish direction and vision, cultivate buy-in, and consistently be your team’s guide. Motivate them to believe that the best days are ahead and that there is a goal worth achieving. Remember, that you set the mood. From happy-hour Fridays, a new coat of paint in the break-room, to letting naysayers go, “Whatever it takes” should be your mantra.

Sometimes it can be a lonely experience out in front of the heard, but as the architect of change you are charged with leading your company toward success and that means knowing where you are headed, having a vision, establishing a plan, and sometimes steering through bumpy rides. However, having the satisfaction of accomplishing your goals is, as MasterCard aptly puts it, “priceless.”

Memphis MPO on the Move with New Logo and Website

Hornsby Brand Design is proud to announce the launch of their latest logo and web design and development project for the Memphis Urban Area MPO ( on June 3, 2013.

The Memphis MPO is a doorway to this region’s growth and future. So, the logo was designed by taking the “M” in Memphis and creating a doorway with an infinite path to the future. Additionally, it also does a triple play by being a building block as well as a gauge for community growth.

The website takes these same ideas and conveys them throughout through the look and feel, and the functionality of the site. Developed within the Drupal content management system, in a responsive design framework, the Memphis MPO was looking for a complete website solution (design, development, training, support, maintenance, and hosting) along with a new logo, and rebranding.

Overall, the finished product needed to be educational and informative regarding transportation issues facing the Memphis MPO, user-friendly, and attractive. The website incorporates a calendar of activities, interactive indexing of transportation projects, a photo gallery, language translation, and surveying capabilities. It also implements SEO-optimization to maximize its reach and is, of course, mobile phone and tablet friendly.

Key Features 
  • Responsive design 
  • An extensive menu with multiple connection points
  • Beautiful brand photography throughout
  • Slide shows 
  • Engaging, intuitive design and navigation
  • Polling capabilities 
  • Search features
  • Client portals 
  • Contact forms 
  • A media center 
  • Live social media streaming and integration 
  • Calculable Performance “Gauges”
  • V-cards 
  • A localized environmental widget
  • Calendar with Google Calendar and iCal integration

In addition to a cutting-edge responsive website the Memphis-MPO also wanted a very easy-to-use administrator CMS system where updating is made easy.

CMS Features 
  • A password-protected CMS area dedicated to the administrator with easy-to-use navigation. 
  • The ability to register new users, control access, and create updates with ease. 
  • A complete set of comprehensive tools for in-depth editing, adding, and deleting of videos, photos, additional pages, navigational control, tracking, and more. 
  • A help section (users manual) design to answer any question 24/7.
  • Easy form creation with CAPTCHA integration.

Revolution or evolution?

Does your logo/identity need a complete overhaul or just some modifications to make it relevant? Which step to take depends on the current status and future direction of your brand’s marketing position. To the left are some examples of how a few famous brands have evolved their logos.

Google Panda: Improve Your SEO Rankings with Google’s 23 Tips

In Feb. 2011, Google introduced Google Panda, an SEO algorithm using AI (artificial intelligence) that gave preference to quality websites over lean ones or ones that contained lots of advertising. (The new criteria for quality includes design, trustworthiness, speed, and return rates. It does this by ranking the site as a whole, instead of individual pages as was once the norm.) The main purpose was to level the playing field and penalize sites that are using duplicate content and link building.

In fact, in its continuous climb for a better, quality Internet, Google released another significant improvement in SEO on May 27, 2013. According to Google,

“In general, webmasters can improve the rank of their sites by creating high-quality sites that users will want to use and share.” 

This statement replaced the previous line, which read,

“In general, webmasters can improve the rank of their sites by increasing the number of high-quality sites that link to their pages.”

So in light of this, what are some practical tips on building a quality site that will rank on the first page? Google's number one is to ensure that your site provides high quality content. The better the quality and quantity of content, the higher you will rank in Google. Basically, you need to ask yourself what will the average user find useful when they search for a keyword related to your site.

To help with this endeavor, Google offers twenty-three tips without, of course, revealing their top-secret algorithms in their official blog:

Upon reflection, Google Panda is actually in line with our branding philosophy here at Hornsby Brand Design, which is to build trust, offer quality, originality, professional design, and attention to detail. Basically, a successful site is user-centric.

Let us know if we can help with SEO implementation that will make your content king.

Online Reviews: How Important are They?

Bright Local just released the findings from its Local Consumers Review Survey 2013, revealing that 67% of consumers read up to 6 online reviews before deciding on a product or service.

According to the Survey,

“Consumers are forming opinions faster now than before. They are reading less reviews before they decide if they trust and want to use a local business.
“This means that local businesses need to manage their online reputation even more closely than before. They need to ensure that their most recent reviews are positive because this is what they are being judged on. They need to ‘manage’ out bad reviews and focus on generating regular, fresh, positive reviews.”

Additionally, the Survey found that 73% of consumers say positive customer reviews make them trust a business more (up from 58% in 2012).

“Consumers are becoming more trusting of online reviews and using them to form opinions (both positive & negative) about local businesses. These entities can’t afford to let their online reputations lie idle or unmanaged as a negative reputation will directly impact customer acquisition and ultimately their revenue.”

Things That Make You Say “Hmm.”

‘Jolly Green Giant’ translates into ‘Intimidating Green Monster’ in Arabic. Try getting your kids to eat their veggies with that terminology.

For those who want their pork to have a healthy workout before being eaten.

But it’s so tempting…

We must be in Colorado or Washington State.

Our tax dollars at work.

What about carrot phones?

No wonder the lines are so long.

Creative Corner: Thinking Outside the Box

"If you don't like what they're saying about you, change the subject." -Don Draper

Even though Don Draper is a fictitious character from the Mad Men TV show, this advertising truism has stood the test of time. If you don't like what's being said about your brand, change the subject and talk about something else. Be bold enough to take command of the conversation and alter the story.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Letter from the Editor

Dear Friends,

December 21, 2012, was the worst apocalypse. Ever. And we're glad!

In fact, if 2013 were rails and Hornsby Brand Design was a train, I'd have to say we've left the station, are ahead of schedule, and steaming towards the next junction. Now that we're well into the beginning of the new year with spring on the horizon, we're seeing blue skies...even if it is just for the time being.

One piece of news is that recently, we welcomed Pierce LaMacchia to our team as Account Executive. Previously with another creative firm in Knoxville, Pierce brings exceptional experience, energy, and "engine-uity" to our "train." A public relations graduate from the University of Tennessee, he proactively applies his thought leadership and adept marketing skills as he fosters client relationships. Join us in welcoming him the next time we connect!

Left: Hornsby Brand Design accept four Addy Awards at the 2013 Addy 
Awards Ceremony.

Right: Hornsby Brand Design welcomes new A.E. Pierce LaMacchia.

On another note, Hornsby Brand Design took home four Addy awards from the annual American Advertising Federation of Knoxville Gala held Sat., Feb. 16, 2013, at the newly renovated, historic landmark, South Depot Station. Of the honor, Chris Hornsby, our "conductor", stated, "Our mission has always been to pursue excellence in everything we do...our creativity, our service, our follow-through, everything. We think this is what makes our work unique and most of all successful. We are thankful and humbled by our peers' recognition. It's icing on the cake and we're grateful." The gala is the year's largest gathering of communications professionals – celebrating the creative product produced in Knoxville and the surrounding area.

However, the honors didn't end there. Chris was inducted into the American Advertising Federation of Knoxville's Hall of Fame. This award recognizes notable advertising leaders in Knoxville and the surrounding area for their significant contributions to the advertising industry as well as their personal commitment to society. Congratulations, Chris, on a job well done!

Of course, none of this would have been possible without our great list of clients on board who allow us to do what we do best. So a special thanks and cheers to you! Here's to wishing you the best and more this coming year.

Happy 2013!

Bridget Hornsby

Friday, February 15, 2013

Ride the Wave: Elevate Your Brand with Video Marketing

1.3 billion. That’s the massive number of hits the viral-epidemic music video, Psy's "Gangnam Style," has accumulated on YouTube. The video has captured the mobile and desktop screens of viewers worldwide, and has infiltrated nightclubs, commercials, and radio stations. Not too shabby for a parody video about living the high life in South Korea.*

It's hard to imagine a world without YouTube and its astronomical effects now. It seems to be at minimum a once-per-month event where the next great video release spawns chain emails, dons Facebook posts, and results in a cultural phenomenon. Indeed, the 4 billion hours per month—the time allotment citizens of Earth are tuned in to YouTube*—has produced one of the most massive social swimming pools in our planet's history.

And the addiction is only increasing. Forbes reports that the 72 hours of video uploaded every minute in 2012 is contrasted with 23 hours uploaded every minute in 2010, and 50 hours per minute in 2011.* It's safe to say that, bar a colossal hack-attack, YouTube is here to stay.

And it's not just YouTube that's delivering motion to the masses. Individuals and organizations are offering video on their websites via YouTube or some other platform and have either made out like bandits, wasted their efforts, or fallen somewhere in the middle. Some successful big brand marketers leveraging video are Red Bull, Nike, Ford, and The Home Depot. Examples of smaller brands are Rekonbok, GoPro, and Six Pack Shortcuts. As for brands that are doing it wrong, well... we've all seen them. No need for examples.

But that's the main point of this article: I want to offer a few pointers to help you land your brand at the top in your video marketing endeavors, whether it's being broadcast from your website or on a third-party site. Following are four foundational principles for moving you in the right direction to producing your video: Differentiation and creativity, benefits orientation, quality production, and professional editing. Implement these four, and I know you'll be off to a great start.

1. Differentiation & creativity

The information highway is cluttered with the good, the bad and the ugly, so differentiating your brand through telling your own unique story in a creatively compelling way is critical for your success. Certainly “unique” and “quirky” earned the South Korean rapper, Psy, a place in video history. But it didn’t happen without creativity and strategy. First of all, Psy combined enhanced technology with his keen understanding of the public to deliver humor with a techno bent. His horse-riding, “getty-up” dance was the winning entry from a choreographer’s contest. Additionally, social media and celebrity tweets played a large part in its success. A key strategic move, however, was the purposeful waiving of his copyrights claim, which enabled parodies (such as “Hongdae Style” and “Church Style”) to fuel the fire of his catchy, hilarious song and aid in its virality.* "Gangnam Style" is certainly different and creatively stands out from the rest of the videos with a story of its own, and he’s got the numbers to prove it. 

2. Benefits Orientation

Be sure to create a concept that speaks to your target audience. Obvious, right? Maybe, but it can be hard to do. This is where the elusive "benefits-orientation" principle comes in. To be successful, each and every video must provide unique value to your target audience. All famous brand videos online have at least one thing in common: they appeal to the viewer through the benefits and value they offer, and they do this creatively through humor, inspiration, or social validation. If your video marketing is to be successful, you'll want to hire a professional agency, who will analyze your target, see what interests them, and tell your story in a way that engages the viewer in his/her own sphere. For example, if you're a manufacturer of cribs, then your agency should create a nurturing appeal to pregnant mothers. Promote benefits through story appeal. This will launch you into the video marketing stratosphere. 

3. Quality Production

To prevent your video from looking like a shaky, grainy “America's Funniest Home Video” rerun, hire a professional agency or videographer that has the know-how to provide high-quality video and audio so that your audience can have an enjoyable experience. Having good quality production means that more people are going to invest their time watching your video, share it with friends, and respond to your call to action. 

4. Professional Editing

Around the workshop here at Hornsby Brand Design, we like to remind ourselves that "we live in a time-poor and media-rich environment." While there are some instances where a long video is necessary (for example, an instruction video), cutting to the chase and giving people concise and well-scripted video that tells your story in 2-5 minutes will win more views and shares. Editing makes or breaks a video story. Remember that the ultimate goal is to communicate effectively.

Successfully bringing your services to market via video takes investment and patience, but it’s an effective medium once the stars begin to align. If your message is creative, valuable to your audience, a quality production, and edited professionally, you’ll hit the fast track sooner than you think.