21 Must-Read Articles for Branding and Marketing Inspiration
We’re so in tune with creativity that we can’t help but write blogs every time inspiration strikes. Want some guidance with your upcoming re-branding effort? Want to sneak a peek at some intriguing advertisements? Need a few pointers to get those marketing juices flowing?
Ew, wait. That sounded gross…
Anyway, the following QLP classic blog posts offer ample guidance for any aspiring marketer or branding enthusiast:
The Batman Guide to Brand Building: How is your brand perceived in the public eye? Are you going about brand identity the right way? Take a few hints from a well-known superhero with years of experience — the Dark Knight himself.
The Hunger Games Pairs with Fansites for Slow Season Marketing: Don’t be one of those companies that shies away from fan bases! When it comes to embracing fans and rewarding their interest, no one does it better than the Hunger Games partners.
Dr. Pepper’s Unique Advertising Flavor Gets It Right: If a proper jingle and a few catchy commercials are in your brand’s future, then you may want to check out how Dr. Pepper succeeds in those areas first. They’re good at using music to reach people of all ages.
‘The Hobbit’ Marketing: A Not-So-Unexpected Journey in Marketing Diversity: The Hobbit would have been a hit regardless, but it was a blockbuster because their marketing team varied their efforts. From offline marketing like co-branding and merchandising to online marketing like social media, there’s nothing small about the pointers in this post!
Legendary Guide to Personal Branding with Barney Stinson of ‘How I Met Your Mother’: If you’ve ever seen Neil Patrick Harris in action on HIMYM, then you know of his legendary nature. But this womanizer offers a lot more than his good looks; suit up and build your personal brand by taking a few pages out of his book (no, not the little black one).
OREO’s Daily Twist Campaign: Cleverness in a Cookie: Everyone knows the deliciousness of Oreo cookies, but the brand knows better than to rely on the taste alone. They celebrated their 100th anniversary in 2012 and chose to convey their style through a series of creative cookie pictures, some of which are featured in this post.
‘Monsters University’ Website: Disney/Pixar Major in Immersive Marketing: Disney/Pixar’s 2001 film, Monsters Inc., is undeniably one of their most memorable, right? Well, there’s a prequel in the works for 2013, and Disney spared no expense with building an immersive experience to gather interest. Check out the full rundown in this post — you won’t be sorry!
Taco Bell: Marketing Genius and Taco Extraordinaire: Knowing your audience is a huge part of marketing, because it gives you an idea of what they’ll like or dislike. Taco Bell succeeds because they listen to their customers, both offline and online, and use that information to their advantage. You could say the same if you follow their lead…
Michael Jordan and Space Jam: A Branding Match Made in Heaven (or Space): Sure, Space Jam came out in the 1990s, but that doesn’t make it any less awesome. In fact, Jenna argues that Michael Jordan’s affiliation with the movie is still brilliant even by today’s standards! Epic pairings like this could do wonders for any brand (or personal brand).
Shrewsbury, [Literally] Stamped with History: How Branding and Image Revitalize a Sleepy British Town: Do you know what the British town of Shrewsbury did when they realized tourism was down? They rebranded themselves by highlighting some of their best “one-off” features! It’s a brilliant campaign with a lot of actionable advice.
Marketing 101 from McDonald’s: From creating a memorable logo to keeping their materials consistent, McDonald’s has always excelled at marketing and branding. What else are they doing right? Well, you’ll just have to read on to find out.
Become a Master of Co-Branding with Tips from Converse’s Chuck Taylor All Stars: Co-branding, the art of pairing with another brand for a mutually-beneficial business endeavor, isn’t always sunshine and happiness. There’s a trick to the process, and you can learn about it from a brand that’s no stranger to it — Chuck Taylor and Converse.
Are You Missing the 5 Design Principles Needed for Successful Branding?: Unless you’re a graphic designer, you’re probably not a pro at principles like focal point, hierarchy, balance, contrast, unity, and harmony. That’s okay, because you can brush up on all of those concepts in Jenna’s article above.
Assemble the Perfect Brand: Lessons from Marvel’s ‘The Avengers’: We could all learn a thing or two from the Avengers crew, especially if we possessed an attribute from every member of the team! The movie may have already come out, but the tips are still as relevant as the day this post was written.
Marvel’s ‘The Avengers’: How to Be a Facebook Marketing Superhero: No, you’re not seeing double and we didn’t make a boo-boo. Marvel is so good at what they do that we justified two different posts about their efforts! This one focuses on their outstanding social media outreach.
The Success of Fear: What the Slender Man Can Teach Us about Viral Marketing: If you’ve never heard of the Slender Man and the corresponding computer game, Slender, then you’re in for a treat (and a scare or two). Every good marketer knows that it’s a bust to force virality, but here’s how Slendy went from an unknown meme to a household name.
Microsoft Surface Marketing: How One Tweet Got Me a Trip to New York City: You recognize the Microsoft name, yes? Well, their commercials led one of our bloggers, Mandy, to enthusiastically Tweet them, and she ended up with an unforgettable experience! You’ve just gotta read it.
Branding Lessons from Walt Disney World, Part 1: Designing the Customer Experience: Not all of Disney’s magic is inexplicable; some of the sights and smells were specifically created to attract customers and didn’t occur naturally. Rachel wrote this blog to explain how and why they do it for their brand.
Branding Lessons from Walt Disney World, Part 2: Taking Cues from Theater: More of Disney’s tricks are revealed in the follow-up to the article above. They set the tone from the moment visitors walk through the gates, which makes for one heck of a great time!
Neuromarketing Nation: How Emotions Influence Your Buying Decisions: Marketers often use fear tactics to reach their customers and convince them to whip out their credit or debit cards. We’re not saying you should use fear, mind you, but it’s worth knowing about for your own brand’s campaigns. Don’t exploit your audience!
Burt’s Bees: Advertising, Outreach, and Community Service Worth Buzzing About: Burt’s Bees has come a long way since their initial inception; they started in a one-room schoolhouse and now operate out of corporate headquarters. And you know what else? They know how to rock everything they try, from advertising and outreach to customer service.
John McClane, CEO: The Die Hard School of Business: What can the Die Hard movies and John McClane teach you about marketing and taking action? How will they help you avoid classic mistakes? We’re not going to tell you here, silly. You have to click over. Oh yeah, one more thing… Yippie ki yay!
And as a bonus, I should also mention our article called 75 Tips to Land Prospects at a Trade Show. It’ll really help you out if your business or organization is headed to conventions this year.
Whoa, that’s a lot of reading material. I’ll shut up now and let you get to it! If you need me, leave a comment below.
What’s your favorite QLP article about branding, marketing, or advertising? Anything you’d like to add to our list? How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop? The world may never know…