Ethical Marketing

Ethical marketing refers to the practice of promoting products or services in a manner that is honest, transparent, and respectful of consumers and societal values. This type of marketing aims to build long-term relationships with customers based on trust, integrity, and mutual benefit. Ethical marketers avoid deceptive tactics, such as misleading advertising or false claims about a product’s benefits, and instead prioritize accurate and truthful communication about products and services. They also take into consideration the wider impacts of their marketing activities, such as environmental sustainability or social responsibility. By prioritizing ethical marketing, companies can enhance their reputation, build customer loyalty, and foster a positive impact on society, while also promoting their products and services in a responsible and respectful manner.

  • For businesses: Ethical marketing can build trust and loyalty with consumers, which can lead to increased sales and profits. It can also help businesses attract and retain top talent, as more and more people are looking to work for companies that share their values.
  • For consumers: Ethical marketing can help consumers make informed choices about the products and services they buy. It can also help protect them from fraud and deception.
  • For society: Ethical marketing can help create a more just and equitable society. It can promote sustainability and environmental protection, and it can help to reduce social inequality.

Here are some examples of ethical marketing practices:

  • Using clear and concise language: Ethical marketers use clear and concise language in their marketing materials. They avoid using jargon or technical terms that consumers may not understand.
  • Disclosing all relevant information: Ethical marketers disclose all relevant information about their products and services, including the ingredients, nutritional information, and environmental impact.
  • Avoiding misleading or deceptive practices: Ethical marketers avoid misleading or deceptive practices, such as false advertising and bait-and-switch tactics.
  • Respecting consumers’ privacy: Ethical marketers respect consumers’ privacy. They do not collect or use personal information without the consumer’s consent.
  • Promoting sustainable practices: Ethical marketers promote sustainable practices in their marketing activities. They use recycled materials, reduce their carbon footprint, and support fair trade practices.
  • Raising awareness of social and environmental issues: Ethical marketers use their marketing platform to raise awareness of social and environmental issues. They support causes that make a positive impact on the world.

Of course, there are also some challenges associated with ethical marketing. It can be more expensive to produce and market products in an ethical way. It can also be more difficult to compete with businesses that engage in unethical practices. However, the long-term benefits of ethical marketing make it a worthwhile investment for businesses that are committed to doing the right thing.

Here are some tips for businesses that want to engage in ethical marketing:

  • Be honest and transparent: Be honest and transparent about your products and services. Do not make false or misleading claims, and disclose all relevant information to consumers.
  • Respect consumers: Respect the rights of consumers. Do not use manipulative or coercive tactics, and do not exploit consumers’ vulnerabilities.
  • Consider the environmental and social impacts of your marketing activities: Strive to minimize your impact on the planet and to promote sustainable practices.
  • Be socially responsible: Use your marketing platform to raise awareness of social and environmental issues, and support causes that make a positive impact on the world.

Ethical marketing is not always easy, but it is important. By following the principles of ethical marketing, businesses can build trust and loyalty with consumers, attract and retain top talent, improve their reputation, and make a positive impact on the world.

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5 Signs It’s Time For a Rebrand

Branding is critical to business. It is your identity, sets you apart from the competition and presents a memorable impression. This recognition increases company value, provides insight, sets expectations, and makes acquiring new customers easier.

But as the years go by, design trends change, and if your branding doesn’t keep up, you may start to lose customers. Even the most successful businesses need to rebrand at some point, but it’s not a decision to make lightly. After all, rebranding is an investment of both time and resources.

In this post, I’ll explain what a rebrand is, why a rebrand is so important for your business, and some of the top signs it’s time to rebrand.

What is a rebrand?

A rebrand is the process of changing a company or organizations initial brand. It can be as subtle as making small updates to your logo, color palette and fonts. It can also include extensive changes, such as completely new logo design or even a company name change. The level of rebranding needed will depend on a lot of factors, such as how long it’s been since the brand was last updated or the reason behind the rebranding in the first place.

Why rebrand?

Companies evolve, and often, to stay competitive, they must evolve their brand and branding. Even the most successful and big-name brands such as Pepsi, Nike, and Burger King update their brand on a regular basis in order to stay relevant.

Rebranding helps to ensure that your brand remains strong: that it has a consistent and recognizable identity. A strong brand makes it more likely your customers will choose your product or service over the competition. Strong brands attract more customers, at a lower cost per acquisition, who are willing to pay more, and will buy more often.

So now that you know what a rebrand is, and why it’s important, when do you know the time is right? Let’s go over the biggest signs.

Signs that it’s time for a rebrand:

1. The style is outdated.

Unfortunately, even the strongest brands have a shelf life. Markets evolve, the priorities of customers change, and design trends come and go. And so, a brand is generally only fresh and relevant for five to ten years.

If it’s been a long time since your brand has been refreshed, or if your logo has more in common with logos from decades past rather than modern logos, it might be time for a consultation with a designer.

The evolution of Coca-Cola's logo over the years, as a chart.

2. You want to target a more specific audience

Trying to market to everyone is the perfect way to fail. Similarly, if your brand isn’t speaking directly to your target audience, then you also risk failing. In such cases, you need to rebrand to ensure that your brand identity resonates with your audience.

Rebrands done to target a specific audience often turn a neutral-looking brand into something a lot more evocative and relatable, making it easier to effectively communicate your value proposition to your target audience.

A person is shown holding a lightbulb. Digital icons and a target are superimposed over the picture.

3. You’re struggling to stand out from the competition

Another way to know when to rebrand is when your brand starts looking like every other brand. Branding is all about competitive differentiation. Competitive differentiation is how a company’s product or service is distinct from what its competitors offer.

A strong brand will involve a design that is themed appropriately for the target audience, while including unique elements like creative typography or an appealing, memorable logo. You don’t want to stick out like a sore thumb: you want to stand out in the crowd.

A group of little wooden figures, all white except for a red one in the center that stands out.

4. Your business model or strategy has changed

You can’t always predict the outside forces that will compel changes to your business. But when your business model or strategy changes, so must your brand. The way your company is perceived by those it serves should always align with the way it operates and what it offers.

Any extensive rebrand should begin with solidifying your company’s purpose, vision, mission, and values. If your brand doesn’t reflect the focus or strategic direction of your business, rebranding your company is critical. You don’t want to send mixed messages about who you are or what you do to your target audience.

Hexagonal tiles are shown, with icons like a bag of money and a shopping cart, put together to imply they're parts of a bigger business model.

5. You just don’t like your current brand style

If you feel like your website needs a “New website coming soon!” disclaimer, or you cringe when you go to give someone your business card it might be time for a rebrand. Your brand is your professional identity, and it should never make you feel embarrassed.

Sometimes all it takes is a simple palette change, an updated logo, or a different font choice to make a difference in how you perceive your brand. But if you’re unhappy with your current brand it’s always worth a consultation to chat with a professional about your options.

A man is shown sitting in front of a computer, head leaning against one of his hands. He looks unhappy.

Now that you’ve considered these factors that signal it’s time to rebrand your business, remember to keep them in mind and stay conscious of your brand moving forward. Rebranding can be difficult for your business, but it’s worth the effort when done correctly.

And if you find yourself wondering if it’s the right time for your business to rebrand, get in touch for a free consultation here. I specialize in brand development/rebranding and would love to help!


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Color Theory 101: Using Color Schemes to Pick the Best Palette for your Design

Have you ever seen a colorful logo or design and wondered what makes it pop? There are a lot of elements to consider when working on a design project. Text is, of course, extremely important when it comes to effectively communicating your message, as is the layout and how things are balanced. But when it comes to creating an aesthetically pleasing layout, attracting a potential customer’s attention, or conveying something on a deeper, subconscious level, color is incredibly important. To understand color and it’s effects on your design you first need to learn a bit of color theory.

Color theory is both the science and art of using color. In graphic design it’s the collection of rules and guidelines which designers use to communicate with users through appealing color schemes in visual interfaces. In simple terms: color effects how users feel about the overall design, and how the message is received or in some cases, if it’s received at all.

The Psychology of Color

Color psychology is the study of how color impacts the way we perceive the world around us. Many colors can have a powerful effect on our emotions, as well as how we behave as consumers, so color psychology is widely used in marketing and branding. Designers view color as an important element in their design since color can influence consumers’ emotions and perceptions about goods and services.

Understanding the basics of color psychology can make the use of a certain color palette a deliberate decision to elicit an intentional psychological response, rather than based a personal preference or fleeting fad. A key part of color psychology that is used for graphic design is a consideration of color associations (subconscious associations that people make between colors and abstract things like emotions).

Color Associations

(As is the case with many things, color associations vary from country to country. The following examples are generally Western color associations and don’t necessarily apply to all countries worldwide.)

Red: Power, Passion, Energy, Fearlessness, Strength.

Orange: Amusement, Extroversion, Warmth, Autumn, Energy, Activity.

Yellow: Sunshine, Joy, Youth, Creativity, Energy, Optimism.

Green: Health, Hope, Nature, Freshness, Growth, Prosperity.

Blue: Trust, Loyalty, Dependability, Logic, Security, Peace.

Purple: Royalty, Nobility, Luxury, Power, Ambition, Creativity, Magic.

White: Clarity, Cleanness, Purity, Simplicity, Peace, Minimalism.

Black: Power, Security, Elegance, Authority, Mystery, Sophistication.

The Color Wheel

One tool that artists, designers, and other professionals who work with color use is a color wheel. A color wheel is a visual representation of colors in a color model (a system that uses three or four primary colors to create a larger range of colors), with hues arranged according to wavelength. Color wheels allow color relationships to be represented geometrically, and show the relationship between primary colors, secondary colors and tertiary colors. For my examples I’ll be using a RYB (red, yellow, blue) color model.

The primary colors in the RYB color model are red, blue and yellow. The primary colors of a color model are mixed to create other colors.

Secondary colors are combinations of two primary colors adjacent to each other on the color wheel. These secondary colors are orange, green and purple.

And finally, tertiary colors are combinations of primary and secondary colors that are adjacent on the color wheel, such as teal, vermillion and violet.

Color wheels come in many different styles. In addition to the natural colors, other colors include tints (colors with white added to lighten them), tones (colors with grey added to dull them), and shades (colors with black added to darken them).

These styles of color wheels are also used to illustrate color schemes, which are used to create color palettes.

Color Schemes

A color scheme is an association of colors based on an organizational system. Basically, it’s a set of colors that work well together to create a unified aesthetic. Color schemes are used to create an emotional impact, evoke a certain mood, communicate a desired message or theme, and to provide balance. They can also be used to differentiate elements in a design, making them easier to read or understand.

The seven major color schemes are monochromatic, complementary, analogous, split complementary, triadic, square, and rectangle (or tetradic).

Monochromatic

A monochromatic scheme is one color with all of it’s varying shades, tones, and tints. Though this scheme is low in contrast, designs using it tend to look neat and polished.

This scheme is used often by designers and is suitable for countless purposes from web design through brand development, as long as high contrast isn’t needed between the elements. White space (the areas of a design with no content in it) is an important consideration, and you need to make sure the layout includes enough in order to not appear cluttered.

Complementary

A complementary color scheme is based on the use of two colors directly across from each other on the color wheel with their tints and shades. This scheme provides a lot of potential contrast, and care should be given to use it correctly to not create jarring designs. It is best to focus on one color predominately and use the rest for accents.

This scheme is great for any projects where you want to use high contrast colors to grab attention, such as flyers or promotional materials, or even a website landing page.

Analogous

An analogous scheme is three or more colors (including tints, shades and tones) that are beside each other on the color wheel. It is relatively low contrast, but can create soothing, appealing, and satisfying designs.

This scheme is generally not high contrast, but it can be an excellent choice for just about any kind of design if used with appropriate white space. Seasonally themed designs (like Autumnal reds, oranges or yellows), anything where pastels are appropriate, and brand development are three areas you’ll see it often.

Split Complementary

A split complementary scheme includes one dominant color and at least two colors directly adjacent to the dominant color’s complement. This creates a more nuanced color palette than a complementary color scheme, while still retaining the benefits of contrasting colors. You can use any two colors in the scheme and get great contrast, but that also means it can be tricky to find the right balance between the colors so trial and error may be needed.

This scheme is great for any projects where you want to use high contrast colors to grab attention, such as flyers or promotional materials or even a website landing page.

Triadic

A triadic scheme is a combination of three colors that are equally spaced on the color wheel, forming a triangle. Triadic palettes are rich in color and allow visual artists to create contrasting, yet harmonious, designs. The main trick is to balance composition with the help of color hierarchy – let one shade dominate and use the other two as accents.

Triadic schemes can be very high contrast, but be careful not to pick all bold colors. Instead, focus on one main color and balance it with a combination of tints and shades from the other colors to create a nicely balanced design. This scheme is good for advertisements, brochures, and anything that you want to use to catch your audience’s eye.

Tetradic (Square or Rectangle)

Also known as a double complementary color scheme, this scheme is comprised of two pairs of complimentary colors that form a square or rectangle on the color wheel. If you mix all the hues in a tetradic palette equally, your design may look unbalanced. For the best results, use one color as your primary color and the other three as accents.

As with Triadic schemes, Tetradic schemes are very high contrast so they are very effective at grabbing the viewers attention. Just make sure to be careful about which tints and shades you choose to avoid creating a jarring design.

Color Palettes

A color palette is a set of up to six colors (rarely more) used together in a design. These colors should include one dominant color, four accent colors, and one standard color for your text (which is usually black or grey). When choosing colors you’ll need to make note of their value. Usually hexadecimal values (For example: #FFFFFF) are used, as they are the easiest to share with your designer due to their universal assigned value and seven digit format.

Once you’ve determined what color scheme you’re going to use it’s time to make a palette. There are many tools to help you with this:

Adobe Color

https://color.adobe.com/create/color-wheel

My personal favorite. Free, very easy to use, with a simple interface and adjustable sliders.

Coolors

https://coolors.co/

A random palette generator. You can also explore trending palettes as well. Free and premium accounts available.

Canva Palette Generator

https://www.canva.com/colors/color-palette-generator/

If there’s a graphic or photograph that you want to use to create your palette Canva has got you covered!

And there you have it, a quick guide to creating a color palette. Have any questions? Please feel free to comment below, or reach out to me here if you’d like to chat more. I’m also on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Happy Designing!

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