Moving Your Lifestyle Brand from Tangible to Technology.

Your brand’s in-person marketing experiences help create real-life memories for your customers but you're leaving out a huge opportunity to share your brand with your online audience in the web, mobile, eCommerce, VR/AR and social landscape if you don't have a strong online presence. 

As a lifestyle brand, you may be familiar with developing unique experiences and offering authentic storytelling to your consumers or clients. 

While traditional brands take advertising to a broader audience and mostly communicate with consumers when they try to sell them a product, lifestyle brand customers want brands to care about their lifestyle instead of just focusing on the features or benefits of a product. 

You may already have a website, but have you thought about your mobile customer experience or introducing augmented reality into your digital marketing roadmap?

 

Mobile

As a lifestyle brand, customer experience is extremely important. Mobile usage is a lifestyle as well and it’s important for brands to look at mobile as more than just a marketing channel. Customer satisfaction and customer experience are now some of the most important KPIs or metrics that lifestyle brands use to grow their business. 

Marketing teams conduct client-experience maps of their websites and mobile sites to evaluate how their customers will interact with each touchpoint on the mobile site or app. The goal is to optimize each experience to increase revenue. 

Make customer satisfaction when browsing your app or ordering something online a top priority and you’ll see mobile success. 

 

VR/AR

In a survey by Greenlight Insights, 53% of survey respondents reported that they would be more likely to purchase a brand that used virtual reality compared to one that did not. 

AR allows you to add digital content to real-life environments. In the last couple of years, AR & VR have started to pop up in marketing campaigns to highlight product features, provide information, or even feature your products within your customer’s lifestyle. 

When starting a VR/AR marketing campaign, brainstorm immersive content that will help your brand and think of how you can integrate real-life experiences with the digital world. 

For Example, Ikea’s new augmented reality app allows customers to visualize how their furniture might look in their rooms at home. 

With improvements in AR technology, it’s worth seeing how your lifestyle brand can take advantage of adding digital content to a physical space. 

 

Social

Social Media is one of the leading ways that lifestyle brands are sparking interest and cultivating a community with their customers.

Sharing images and videos that represent your brand is also a great way to build credibility.

Consider Arc’teryx as an example. It’s one of the most popular outdoor lifestyle brands on Google+. They use inspiring video content to feature their clothing and gear on athletes in remote locations. Their Google+ page is also linked to YouTube to add to video count and overall reach. 

How can your brand create maximum exposure & engagement across digital channels? Ride the wave with us. 

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From Screens to Spaces: How Startups Can Think About a Connective Brand Story.

In today’s world, sometimes it can seem like the whole world has become a screen. 

It can be easy to keep your marketing stuck in the digital world but it’s still important to keep sight of the tangible even in today’s rapidly advancing and ever-evolving tech landscape.

It’s important to break up information to answer your prospect’s questions at different stages of the buying process and have materials or experiences that your customers can engage with across different channels. 

This article will show you how as a startup, we can think beyond designing for the screen (web, mobile, etc).

Here are 4 things to think about in your marketing that go beyond the screen to help you start thinking about a more connective, holistic brand experience that your customers can engage with across different marketing channels.

 

1. Business Cards -

Business card design is often overlooked but they can be powerful with a quality design that matches the rest of your branding. Be sure your team has printed business cards on hand to avoid having to make excuses for not having a card.

 

2. Marketing/sales materials -

Think of letterhead, envelopes, brochures, catalogs, billboards - any items in print that you use to communicate with your customers. Well designed marketing materials are important in making a good impression. Consistent fonts, colors and themes across all branded materials is part of good design. You’ll also want to think about the quality of your printed materials. They can help create a sense of legitimacy for your communications with clients or customers.

 

3. Presentation folders -

Does your business need to share a stack of loose leaf papers with potential clients or customers? Without a folder, loose papers can be easily thrown out. A custom presentation folder for your brand can help your business stay top of mind. It’s a great way to store pricing information or contracts to help ensure that they won’t be damaged or accidentally thrown away.

 

4. Experiential marketing -

Experiential marketing is also known as participation or live marketing and it uses events or experiences to engage clients or customers. This type of marketing helps consumers to be actively involved marketing for the brand. These live one-on-one interactions help consumers develop a stronger relationship with the brand.

By going beyond digital marketing assets, you can engage your customer at different stages of the buying cycle to help generate leads or make more sales. Even if you are a tech startup, it may be time to think about taking your marketing off-line as well.

 

RNO1 can help create beautifully designed marketing materials for offline spaces. Ride the wave with us. 

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A Digital CX (Customer Experience) Wins: Here's Why.

Having a strong digital identity will allow a startup or lifestyle brand to develop a relationship with customers across digital channels like your website, social media, and more. A strong digital presence can also help build long-lasting customer loyalty and more sales. 

 

The digital customer experience includes all the experiences that a customer views through a digital interface such as a tablet screen, browser, or smartphone. A customer researching your product online or using their smartphone to find the store’s nearest location are both examples of digital customer experiences. Customers are becoming increasingly critical of digital interactions and they expect more businesses and their favorite brands to invest in a high standard digital experience. 

 

Online vs Offline Customer Experience

Online and offline customers are often very different so a company that pays attention to their digital customer experience often comes out winning. Customers that visit a brick-and-mortar location are much more patient than online customers. Things like temperature, lighting, noise, and music can affect the environment atmosphere and alter a customer’s in-person shopping experience. The online customer experience is different. At Microsoft, research has shown that a website begins losing traffic if it takes 250 milliseconds longer to load than a competitor.

Customers are becoming increasingly critical of digital interactions and they expect more businesses and their favorite brands to invest in a high standard digital experience. 

 

Inconsistency erodes loyalty

A customer's online impression of a brand is made up of several different touchpoints through various digital channels. When brands provide an inconsistent digital experience, a customer may be left with a confusing impression of your brand, turning business away from your brand and straight to a competitor with a more established and consistent brand. 

 

Visual Consistency

Visual consistency is important for keeping a regular experience across a range of products and digital assets. If you look at a big brand, such as Apple, you'll notice consistent visual patterns across different platforms and devices. 

 

Add value to your customers with a digital experience

Use digital experiences to complement already-existing customer experiences. Think about how these experiences will add value to your customers. By complicating the customer's journey through your website or any other digital experience, you may be driving them away. 

For example, Starbucks created an app that helps customers place orders and avoid long line-ups. With the help of this app, customers can save time and keep track of their loyalty points. 

Digital experiences can bring new opportunities for your business. 

 

Talk to RNO1 about how a digital experience can improve your customer journey. Ride the wave with us. 

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Is Your Lifestyle Brand Shaping A Memorable Digital Story?

As a lifestyle brand, you want your customers to incorporate your products into their lives. An essential ingredient in lifestyle branding is to create compelling narratives that attract consumers.

A good narrative or story will make consumers feel something. They’ll be able to get a better understanding of your values and be inspired to incorporate your product or services in their life.

Take Airbnb, for example. As an online marketplace with properties for rent to travelers, in the case of Airbnb, their brand is both the hosts and guests. Although Airbnb doesn’t have a product, it shares its customers stories in a section on their website called “Stories from the Airbnb Community.”

As part of Airbnb’s Belong Anywhere branding campaign, they used images and short films to show snapshots of the lives of Airbnb hosts and their hosting experience for their guests. Instead of showcasing their brand as rooms or places for rent, they’re using stories to showcase the experience of staying at a place like a local. They’ve positioned their customer as the center of their brand. Sharing their host’s stories also answer a pressing question or pain-point for the customers using Airbnb: what will the experience of staying at a stranger’s place be like?

New customers may feel anxious about staying at a stranger’s place but by using articles, videos, and storytelling, Airbnb is able to create an excitement for an authentic travel experience.

 

Here are 3 types of stories each brand should have in their arsenal. Keep these stories in your brand tool-kit:

 

1.  Brand History: This digital story tells the consumer who you are. Highlight the brand's journey from the past to the present. Take the consumer on a journey of self-discovery and establish an emotional connection with the consumer. You may want to mention mistakes or reveal other brand vulnerabilities if appropriate in this section. 

2. Show of Vision of Your Future: Create a story that show's your brands potential for the future and what it needs to achieve to get there. 

3. Show Brand Values: Use a narrative to showcase your brand's culture and values. What does your brand stand for? What is your team culture? Show the values that you want your entire team and consumers to connect with. 
 

 

How to create a memorable brand story for your brand:

 

  1. Know your goals:  A brand story is created in a business context with the intention to create results or impact consumer behavior. Answer the following questions to help identify the goals for your brand story:

  • What’s the purpose of your digital story?
  • Who is the audience of your digital story?
  • What’s in it for them?
  • What is the key takeaway?

 

Once you have set your goals for your brand’s digital story, you can follow these steps to start creating your story.

  1. Story Framework: Create a digital story with a narrative arc. Use Freytag’s pyramid to create your story’s framework:

  • Act 1: Exposition (Inciting moment)

  • Act 2: Complication (Rising Action)

  • Act 3: Climax (turning point)

  • Act 4: Reversal (falling action)

  • Act 5: Denouement (Moment of release)

2. Create more than one story: Ask your team members and/or customers to share stories of their interactions with the brand, service, or product. Gathering these stories will help you get different perspectives with the brand’s history and culture.

3. Hire experts: Hire a brand communication expert to give your brand story a competitive edge. If you’re looking for a polished brand story, an outsider’s fresh perspective can bring creativity and help you consider aspects of a brand story you may have missed.  

 

Give your brand storytelling a competitive edge. Ride the wave with us. 

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University of Texas at Dallas partners with RNO1 as new Digital Agency.

RNO1 is thrilled to be the new digital agency partner for the University of Texas at Dallas, and the Cognitive Neuroimaging Lab (CNL). Under the directorship of Dr. Gagan Wig, the CNL’s research program uses a combination of structural and functional brain imaging tools to understand both the organization of large-scale human brain networks and determine how these networks change over the adult-lifespan.

 

RNO1 will be working with the University of Texas at Dallas, and the CNL Leadership team to fuel the growth of their web and digital strategy delivering a modern and memorable storytelling experience to both private and public sectors. The undertaking will put an emphasis on research, education and opportunities actively being explored in the neuroscience community.

 

"The opportunity to partner with UT Dallas is an exciting one," says RNO1 Agency Founder & CXO, Michael Gaizutis. “We align in so many ways...and that's the driving force behind this partnership. Early-stage, we'll be crafting new digital ideas to best represent the CNL within the University of Texas at Dallas, and expanding their reach so that the general public can better understand the value they bring to the community. Our hope is that we can drive the same level of impact they do within their very complex industry, across a newly defined digital footprint."

 

Stay tuned to see this digital roll-out into mid-2018. For more information on RNO1 and Agency News, follow rno1.com

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A Startup's Guide to Approaching a Digital Overhaul: Domains & Teams.

Last week’s article was about making sense of your timeline and budget before reaching out to an agency to help with your digital experience makeover - whether that includes a website redesign, web & mobile app, and more. 

If you’re working on a website makeover, it’s important to have some information about your internal technology resources as well as having the right team members in place to help the project move along as smoothly as possible. 

First, we’ll go over the domain information that you’ll need in preparation for your website redesign. 

 

Website & Domain Host

Your startup’s website host and domain name are important. When the digital agency you choose is ready to launch your site, they’ll need to be able to direct the domain name to where your files are hosted when you want your new website to go live. 

A hosting provider stores all your website’s files while your domain name hosting service is where your website’s domain (URL) is registered. In some cases, the domain hosting service and the hosting provider for your website are separate companies. For example, you may have bought your startup’s domain name on GoDaddy, but your website files are hosted on BlueHost. It can be tough to keep track of this information so it’s a good idea to find out how your domain and host are set up before you hire an agency. When you’re ready to launch your site, a knowledge gap can delay the launch of your site. 

If your startup has an internal IT team member that knows how to edit things like CNAME, you may be able to handle a website launch internally. 

 

Assembling Your Project Team

Now that you’ve prepared a timeline, budget and gathered important information such as technical constraints, it’s time to assemble your team. 

 

Decide who will be the final decision-maker

It’s a great idea to have multiple people from your team involved in your digital experience project. However, having several people adding input can prolong the timeline and increase the chance of conflicts. It will also place a burden on the agency to resolve conflicting feedback or opinions and you will ultimately be paying for this time-consuming process of having an agency play mediator for your team.

Before you contact your digital agency of choice, choose the person who will have the ultimate judgment over the project. Typically, this will be the CEO or a marketing director for your startup. Choosing a single decision-maker will make the process of working with an agency a lot smoother with an established point of contact for questions and concerns. 

 

Building the rest of the team

Now that you’ve selected a final decision-maker for the project, you’ll also need to assemble key team members that will be assisting during the project. They may be able to provide quick feedback as important deliverables are sent from the agency.

At the very least, the assembled team may contribute to the process with an initial kickoff call and evaluate deliverables during key milestones of the project. 

Here are members you may want to include as part of the project team:

  • Your marketing team

  • A higher-level executive

  • Subject matter experts 

  • Employees in client-facing roles

 

Having an idea of the team members you’ll want as part of your project will be helpful when you start reaching out to agencies. Specific team members may hold the knowledge to answer any specific questions from the agency. 

 

Do you have your team in place? Reach out to ride the wave with us. 

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A Startup's Guide to Approaching a Digital Overhaul: Timelines & Budgets.

If you’ve decided that your company’s digital experience needs a redesign, it’s usually because you’ve identified a pain point in your current digital assets including your website, social media, SEO, or other digital platforms.

Maybe you’ve noticed that the design appears outdated, the call-to-actions are confusing, or your content needs updating. Before you hire an agency, consider if a digital overhaul is going to fix your problem.

Simply not “liking” your website may not be a good enough reason to change your business’ digital experience. You may look at your website every day but what do your customers think about the website?

 

Here are a few good reasons for revamping your startup’s digital experience by revamping the website and digital marketing channels.

  • Your site may not be providing value to your potential customers.

  • Your site isn’t responsive (not optimized for mobile phone or tablet visitors).

  • Your site looks outdated.

  • New strategies and new business objectives include new clearly defined goals for the website.

  • Your startup is introducing a new product or service.

 

Before making a digital revamp, consider:

  • The number of leads your digital assets currently get.

  • Your user feedback about the current site.

 

There are 4 preparation steps that you should take into account before finding the perfect digital agency and in this article, we'll start with the first step:

 

Evaluating your timeline and budget 

Revamping your startup’s digital assets can take anywhere from 1 month to 6 months or more depending on the size of the project. Have an honest conversation with your digital agency about your project timeline.

 

Let your digital agency know if you’re working with a hard deadline

Does the startup’s digital experience need to be revamped for a certain conference or event?  (Keep in mind that a good agency will be realistic about how long a project will take. If you approach an agency with a large project during Q4 that needs to be completed by the end of the year, your expectations may be unrealistic).

Note: It usually takes about 3-4 weeks for agencies and clients to come to an agreement on the specifics of a digital asset revamping - whether that includes a website redesign or more. Sometimes the process can be extended if budgets need to be approved or a key stakeholder is away.

 

You have the power to control the timeline of a project

Many startups don’t realize that they have great influence over how long a project will take to complete. Throughout the project, you or one or more of your team members will need to participate in a kick-off call, provide brand assets, review deliverables and provide timely feedback to keep the project in motion. Sometimes, a phased approach is also an ideal strategy.

 

Be prepared for the project

Expect to dedicate 2-3 hours per week to work on the new digital experience. Digital agencies will respect your time and use tools such as project management tools to make the process of relaying deliverables and feedback as simple and seamless as possible without having to leave the comfort of your mobile phone or computer’s browser to keep the project moving.

If your team is quick to provide feedback and provide all the necessary assets needed to complete the project, your project may get done a lot faster than you think. Of course, the opposite is true if you take days to provide feedback or if you are unprepared to provide things like your startup’s logo, images, or other branding assets needed for your startup’s digital experience revamp.

 

Budgets

Budgets can vary for revamping your startup’s digital experience. Here are a few things to consider when making a budget:

  1. What’s on your wishlist?  Consider if your startup needs a simple redesign of a website, new brand messaging, an entire digital strategy, or new photography and video production. All of these items need to be factored into your budget.

  2. How much of your current content will be used on your new website? You’ll need to know if your brand messaging is on point or if the written content on your website needs a complete makeover. Not all agencies are equipped to handle content creation that will speak to your customers.

  3. Do you need to integrate existing technology such as an e-commerce platform, like Shopify? If your current site uses e-commerce as a platform, it may require additional testing to see if the platform will be compatible with a new site. Sometimes forgotten technologies can present new problems and an outside developer may need to be called in for help breaking your original budget.

  4. Leave room for contingencies. As the project progresses, you may consider adding new features or making changes that you hadn’t considered at the start of the project. It’s a good idea to leave room in your budget to make these improvements to your startup’s digital experience.

 

Is your startup considering a new digital experience? Ride the wave with us

 

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Empathy in Design: Developing an Empathic Approach in Marketing.

Being empathetic requires us to put aside our experiences and our own views in order to try to imagine another person's perspective. It's an important part of the design process in marketing.

Empathic design is design that is focused on a user. It pays attention to how a customer or user is feeling towards your branding, design or any other marketing collateral.   

In the first stage of any design thinking process, empathy is especially important. 

Step one is to empathize with your target audience. Putting yourself in your users’ shoes is a great way to learn about them and how they may interact with your brand. 

Here are a few tips to prepare for empathic design or branding:

 

Listen

Listening attentively is the first step to empathizing. Train yourself to control the tendency to formulate your own opinions and mention them before the other person has finished speaking.

 

Be Humble

Humility as an important characteristic of design-focused leaders. 

 

Put your Ego Aside

We tend to adopt an egocentric view and stay firm in our opinions and thoughts. The goal of empathy in design is to understand and experience the feelings of your audience, customers, or users. 

 

Observation Skills

Observe your users. Take notes on their behaviors or body language. Record verbal expressions and their environment. Oftentimes, people don't articulate the full story so by honing your observation skills, you'll be able to get a better picture of your customer and better understand their experience. 

 

Care

Show a genuine concern for your users or customers. By showing a sense of care and concern, your desire to help or provide assistance will help you seek to understand your target audience. 

 

Curiosity

Be curious to understand what motivates people to take an action on your website or to buy your product. Look at unexpected areas to help expose the information you need for problem-solving. 

 

Sincerity

A lack of sincerity will kill empathy. Approaching people with a superiority complex or any mindset that may undermine a sincere intention to understand the other's experience can place a barrier between you and your customers. 

 

The best way to gain an understanding of your customer or user base is to have direct experience with their lives, environments, and activities of the customers you’d like to understand. You’ll gain first-hand experience about what if feels like to be a user. 

 

RNO1 works with empathic design. Ride the wave with us. 

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RNO1 Agency Founder Featured in Total Prestige Magazine.

RNO1's Founder & CXO Michael Gaizutis was recently featured in Total Prestige Magazine, a new publication in business and luxury lifestyle for an exclusive circle of decision makers.

RNO1's Founder was featured along with a great mix of early-stage entrepreneurs to the world’s best-known business leaders. He recently sat down with Total Prestige Magazine to talk about how they are aligning with clients, driving meanignful and memorable solutions using RNO1’s west coast philosophy. 

 

How do brands and businesses benefit from RNO1?

Our clients are our partners. We’re a true extension to their team and the net effect Is a highly collaborative process, achieving breakthrough results across all customer and user touchpoints. Over the years, several of our client partners have leaned on our team to help them with ongoing design and digital strategies that have resulted in brand growth, more sales and company acquisition. 

 

How did the company begin and what have some of the highlights been?

We began as a brand consultancy in San Francisco, originally named Rule No.1. Over the years, we evolved into a full-service brand and digital agency, and shortened our name to best represent who we were: RNO1. Our team evolved to encompass client reach in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle and Vancouver, BC. Within a short period of four years, while aligning with our agency team, four of our agency clients were acquired by Airbnb, Ericsson, Cox Media Group and a well-known real estate brand. One of our clients aired recently on the hit US TV show Shark Tank and took funding from billionaire investor, Mark Cuban – and we supported their launch for the airing on the show as a lifestyle brand.

 

Michael, what is next for RNO1?

RNO1 is in growth mode. We’re tapping into new territory, each and every day. While we’re always design first and focused, our digital experience team is rapidly expanding. We’re now getting into very large e-commerce and application builds, and exploring how AI, VR and blockchain will make a huge impact in the design and digital space. Being positioned as a west coast agency, we’re fortunate to be heavily immersed in the space.

 

What is the most challenging part of your work?

The daily grind. We’re continuously immersed in a million daily tasks, so staying laser focused is always a challenge. Fortunately, we’ve built an amazing team who helps us stay grounded, and allows us to sustain and scale all at the same time.

 

Were you ever influenced by other entrepreneurs?

Absolutely. Some of the greats including Richard Branson and Elon Musk have always acted as a point of inspiration due to their game-changing focus and commitment to shift and shape old-school industries through innovation.

 

We encourage you to read the full article here. For more agency news follow RNO1

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Growth-driven design: Is it time to change your digital strategy?

Your website and digital presence is one of your best marketing assets. Do you have a strategy to make sure it’s in its top condition?

The reality is that if you haven’t done anything to adapt or analyze your current site or digital touchpoints since it’s launch, you’re letting one of your biggest marketing assets fail at it’s #1 job - bringing in serious growth for your business. 

How do you keep your digital strategy updated so that it’s in top shape? Use growth-driven design. 

Growth-driven design is an important term used for design that drives growth in conversions and revenue. 

 

What is growth-driven design?

Using a growth-driven design strategy is a smarter approach to designing a website or digital experience. Instead of taking a high-risk bet and making a large up-front payment for a website, your website will launch quickly and improve over time while your investment spreads out over time. 

Using data-driven decisions, the team will make design improvements over a month-to-month period. 

You can expect your website or digital experience to continuously evolve and improve over time with tweaks and updates made to improve traffic and conversions. 

 

Here are the three stages of growth-driven design:

 

1. Strategy

During this stage, the project goals are made and the agency works together with the business to understand it’s website users. This can include forming user/target personas, creating a user journey map and/or brainstorming a list of website components. 

 

2. Initial Site Launch (MVP)

An “initial” website is designed, developed, and launched with the goal of launching quickly to get the first version out to the users. Right after the initial launch of the site, additions can be made to the website that didn’t make the initial launch, quick updates can be made based on initial user feedback, etc.

 

3. Continuous improvement

Once enough user data has been collected, decisions can be made about larger improvements on the site. 

Speak to RNO1 about using a growth-driven design strategy to help your site deliver it’s maximum performance for your business. Ride the wave with us. 

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Creativity Inc. partners with RNO1 to develop a new digital experience.

RNO1 is thrilled to be the new digital agency partner for Creativity Inc., headquartered in Silicon Valley. Creativity Inc. is a leading independent provider of digital development, including game design, audio, art and software development for the global toy industry.  Since 1998, Creativity Inc. has aligned with major players in the toy and learning space to bring creativity to play. From working with Mattel and Hasbro to Google and Netflix, they're bringing delightful and intuitive product experiences to life.

 

RNO1 will be working with the Creativity Inc. Marketing team to fuel the growth of their web and digital strategy to an expanding customer base within the education and tech marketplace. 

 

"We're beyond excited for the opportunity to partner with Creativity," says RNO1 Agency Founder & CXO, Michael Gaizutis. “At the core, their entire team is both innovative and game-changing: now venturing into new markets that adapt to the rapidity of change in technology and aligning with major tech players like Google and Netflix. It’s a great time and place for both of our teams to bring new digital ideas to market, fueling their growth across digital touchpoints."

 

Stay tuned to see this digital roll-out into mid-2018. For more information on RNO1 and Agency News, follow rno1.com

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Gestures. The Next Big Thing in Design.

Gestures are fueling the next best wave of innovation in design. This new technology is changing the way we interact with devices as well as each other. 

The vast majority of consumer products like PCs, smartphones, TVs, tablets and even automobiles are becoming camera-enabled. With gesture-based devices and various flagships following the suit, gesture technology seems to be the next big thing in design.

 

How gesture-technology works

By leveraging multiple image sensors, these cameras produce data that represents three-dimensional spaces surrounding the device. This data is then transformed into meaningful operations with the assistance of different products.

For example, the new iPhone has a camera that records a depth for every pixel. This technology also has neural nets that allow the device to improve and learn with data. Cameras are able to create a depth map of people in a scene - capturing information on how people are posing and/or moving. These cameras have the capability to classify activities, recognize specific people and can respond to gestures even at a far distance. 

 

From Voice Command to Gesture Command

After the introduction of Alexa and Siri, the world has become increasingly enamored with voice-based interactions. ‘Hey Siri’ and ‘OK Google’ are have even entered our homes. However, these voice-enabled interactions have several limitations. They can have a slow interface and, oftentimes, it can feel uncomfortable to use voice-enabled interactions when other people are around.

It’s perfect timing for gesture recognition to join existing interaction modalities like haptics (touch) and sound (voice).

 

Why Are We Adopting Gesture-Enabled Technology?

Innovators boil their thoughts down to a few primary reasons to adopt a gesture-interaction modality.

  1. Distance – if you need to communicate from a distance, using gestures will be easier than trying to project your voice volume.

  2. Speed – making a move or making a gesture can be a lot faster than saying the right command or formulating the right sentence.

  3. Rich User Experience – gesture-enabled interaction can offer a richer user experience with understanding gestures, a more universal human language.

 

It will be an exciting time for brands to think about how people can interact with brand experiences using gesture expressiveness over voice to control modern devices.  

Touchless interfaces with our devices will be critical for better engagement and may enhance productivity and user experiences.

How will your brand prepare for gesture-enabled technology?

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Getting to the Heart of Emotional Branding.

Marketers know that feelings get people to buy. Emotional messages and images in your branding let your customers feel bolder, sophisticated, or any emotion that can make them feel good about themselves.

If you want to get your brand to tug at your customers’ heartstrings, use these 5 steps in the emotional marketing process:

 

Know Your Customer First

Get to know the customer's feelings, emotions and behaviors that motivate them to make a decision and buy your product or service. Use this knowledge to connect these feelings with your brand through imagery and copywriting.

 

What makes your brand stand out?

In branding, positioning is everything. If you are able to position your brands in an emotional way, it will help your brand stay memorable in the minds of your customers. How are you positioning your brand to show that you are different from your biggest competitors? If you can’t explain how your brand is different in less than 10 seconds, you may have a problem with your brand positioning.

 

Get your story right

An emotional story can make an impact on a motivating action like getting someone to sign up for your email newsletter or to buy your product or service. Portray your brand's story in an emotional way and it will become something that people care about and want to buy into.

 

Use imagery to evoke curiosity or attention

People process images faster than written words. It’s no wonder why platforms for sharing images like Instagram have grown so popular. People are drawn to interesting images. Images used in advertisements communicate emotions and can evoke powerful thoughts or memories. Images should be used in the same way with your branding. Moving images and video is one of the reasons why YouTube may be so effective in influencing buying behavior. Look for powerful visuals that will attract interest for your brand.

 

Share memorable ideas

Brands with unique, creative, and emotional ideas will stand out from the crowd. Some brands share their ideas in a form of a manifesto. Other brands will convey ideas through their website copy. Sharing ideas that create conversations and make people think or feel will inspire them to remember and share your brand with others.

 

Integrating your branding with digital experiences can help your brand connect emotionally with your customers across various channels.

Need help reaching your customers with emotional marketing? Good branding is always behind a good web or digital experience. We can help. Ride the brand wave with us.

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Brand Belonging: Good for People, Good for Brands.

Ever wonder how technology feeds into our growing isolation?  Technology is changing our culture and some say it may be eroding our sense of belonging. 

Brands are looking into the business of belonging. Brand giants such as Starbucks and Airbnb have made “belonging” a big part of their brand’s purpose. 

Many of us are drowning with news, notifications and posts coming from email, social media and an increasing number of apps. As we retreat to our screens and distract ourselves, it makes us increasingly isolated. Even though our digital connectedness help us in terms of convenience, self-empowerment and mobility. It can be tough to partake in activities that help us feel a sense of community. 

This disengagement presents brands with opportunities to do better. How can a brand address the downsides to our digital connectedness?

As a leader in AI-generated marketing insights and design of data-driven brand experiences, IBM iX conducted a Brand Belonging consumer study with great insights for marketers. The research demonstrated that 39% of the brand behavioral imperatives that matter to customers and improve business are collective in nature. These brands highlight collective experiences such as shared values or interests. 

Brand experience designers and marketers have the task to uncover their target market’s shared affinities and to have the brand experience foster their shared expression. 

IBM iX researched "Brand Belonging” and found that the revenue for top Brand Belonging performers grew at 3 times the rate of lower performing brands over six years and gained market share of up to 10% over 3-years. 

 

What are the elements that contribute to Brand Belonging?

Individual Elements

  • Excitement: being reliable excitement and enhancing life’s pleasures with brand interaction.
  • Meaningful Moments:   enriching everyday tasks by simplifying or allowing for self-improvement
  • Deep Relationships: developing a compelling relationship by recognizing customer loyalty and personalizing experiences.

 

Collective Elements:

  • Purpose: Fostering a feeling of community and positivity through actions that benefit the world and well-being. 
  • Feedback: A system to hear consumer feedback and implementation to improve products or services. 
  • Community: enable customer interactions focused on self-expression and/or social good. 

 

The key to fostering “Brand Belonging” is with a brand that cares for their customers' sense of self while inspiring them.

Looking for help to show Brand Belonging with your brand? Ride the wave with us. 

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How to Help Your Brand Connect in the World of Digital.

It's not enough to have a website and a social media page as a digital marketing strategy. In today's digital world, you have to carefully think about which digital channels to use and how they will best reach and resonate with your target customers. 

We've put together seven ideas with examples of how big brands have used them for an effective digital strategy in our ever-evolving technology landscape. 

 

Learn how different digital channels serve different customer segments 

Having a strong brand identity can deepen engagement and bring certain customer segments together. For example, Burberry uses microsites for customers to upload photos of themselves in their Burberry coats while allowing younger users to stream fashion shows on the mobile app. 

 

How will you add value to the customer

Customers need a good reason to tune in to your digital channels. Patagonia has discovered a great way to connect with conscious consumers and created a website where consumers can buy used clothing at a discount or trade their used clothing for gift certificates.  

 

Pick the right digital channels

Every digital channel is known for targeting a different target audience. Pick digital channels that will reach your target market. Does your brand reach consumers in China? Try using China’s popular WeChat app. Whirlpool has several brands that include Maytag and KitchenAid. They use different social media and YouTube channels to keep a separate brand voice for each of those brands.  

 

Use analytics to inform strategy

Use analytics to advise your digital marketing strategy. You may use Google to help you find topics that are trending and respond with a new product or marketing plan. For example, L’Oréal found that Google searches for the ombre hair color were trending so they responded with a new product to meet the demand for this trending hair color. 

 

Keep an eye open for new technologies

Take advantage of newer technologies to reach customers and improve your brand experience. For example, Samsung uses virtual reality to help customers visualize their TV placement in their homes. Retailers are now using in-store radio-frequency to show up-to-date stock availability in stores and online. Home furniture stores such as Wayfair use augmented reality apps that allow customers to picture models of furniture and decor in their own homes.

 

Social Media Influencers

Even if your brand doesn't have strong social media accounts, brands can partner with social media influencers to reach their big audiences. For example, makeup brands sign with social media influencers to review products, make video tutorials and to cover events. 

 

Work with third-party retailers

Worried about losing a customer relationship if your brand appears on large multi-branded retail channels? Despite concerns, website retailers such as Amazon may be worth considering. Large third-party retailers bring in large amounts of online traffic. Even large brands such as Nike sell their athletic clothing and gear through Amazon. 

Although some retailers may impose some levels of constraint, special programs such as Amazon’s Prime Wardrobe offer flexible programs for consumers. Participating members can order clothes without payment and get a discount on the pieces they decide to keep. 

 

As more brick-and-motar retailers close their doors (especially apparel retailers), thinking digitally is a must. A brand’s digital channels will be just as important as traditional marketing, product development, and distribution. 

 

Ready to improve your brand’s digital experience across touchpoints? Let's make waves.

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Squarespace Teams Up with Keanu Reeves in Compelling Super Bowl Ad.

If you have plans to watch the Super Bowl this weekend, you may come across Squarespace’s ad for this year.

Now it’s 5th consecutive Super Bowl ad spot, Squarespace has teamed up with Keanu Reeves to shoot a compelling ad.

The teaser features Keanu Reeves surfing on a motorcycle and reciting some words of encouragement. That’s about all there is to it. There’s a good blend of action and weirdness in the short ad that makes it a very watchable and memorable ad. It has the same charm and charisma that you see in Matthew McConaughey’s Lincoln ads.

Reeves uses Squarespace to host the website for his company, Arch Motorcycle.  

Watch the Teaser Ad below:

 

 

At RNO1, one of the many things we specialize in is crafting connective and compelling Squarespace sites and digital experiences. RNO1’s very own Founder and CXO Michael Gaizutis gave an interview with AdForum with his viewpoint on the new Squarespace Super Bowl ad.

Are you thinking of using Squarespace to launch or lift your business or brand? Ready to make waves? Let's Connect.

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Tryolabs aligns with RNO1 to redefine their Brand Identity & Experience Design.

 

Tryolabs is a hi-tech boutique AI development shop helping startups and enterprises build amazing products and features. They wanted a new visual identity that would elevate their brand story and mission as a disruptive player in the field of AI and technology.

 

The Tryolabs leadership team approached RNO1 to help them strategize on how to improve their brand identity and visual design experience and improve growth in their market. They were looking to extend their identity in a meaningful and memorable way from digital touchpoints (web, mobile) to experience design.

 

First, we began the process by understanding who the Tryolabs team was and how we could effectively connect their customers and partners across marketing platforms. Both digital and traditional marketing was considered including office signage, social media channels, websites, conference booth designs, and more.

 

Using a modern and minimal design path, we set out to design a clean and connective typographic treatment for Tryolab’s new brand identity... Interested in hearing more? Check out the full case study.

 

 

Tryolabs Identity.jpg

 

“RNO1 did an amazing job as a value based partner...showing great professionalism and working within tight deadlines. The entire team quickly understood our business needs."

MARTÍN ALCALÁ RUBÍ • CEO

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eCommerce Trends to Pay Attention to in 2018.

These days, retailers that embrace digital commerce are thriving as stores without a solid online presence are starting to disappear. 51% of Americans prefer to shop online versus a traditional in-store buying experience. This figure increases to 67% of Millennials and 57% of Gen Xers who prefer shopping online. Some experts believe that there will be a rise of 9.32% in online sales per year.

As a digital agency that partners with eCommerce clients such as LOLIWARE (featured on Sharktank), Bright Antenna Records, Guidecraft, to name just a few, we can see some of the trends to watch for in 2018.

Here are a few of the latest trends in ecommerce that you may want to take into consideration to see online and in-store sales grow.

 

Customized Shopping

With a dynamic shopping experience that is customized to each shopper, each person will have automatic access to things such as add-ons based on demographics, geographic location, past purchases and more. Data aggregation is also helping ecommerce platforms predict a customer’s next purchase.
 

Data Aggregation

Uncertainty is a big reason why people may not buy online. The vast majority of internet shoppers regularly read comments and product reviews before making a decision to purchase. The more information that is shared online regarding a product including pictures, reviews, specifications and descriptions, the more sales you will get online. Without a good ecommerce platform it can be hard to keep up with adding changing product information in real-time. Data aggregators are able to compile information about products - including pictures, price comparisons, specs, UPC codes, and reviews. Many retailers are working with these data aggregators and when a merchant links its site to these databases, automatic product information updates can happen.

 

Mobile Payments

Accepting mobile payments is the way to go as more and more people are making purchases without their wallets. People are making purchases with mobile payments using their smart phones, watches, rings or other wearable technology.


 

Real-time Experiences and Promotions

Merchants and retailers can provide digital experiences that use sensors to detect nearby devices. This allows merchants to offer promotions in real-time to attendees at a grand-opening or any other event - using interactive experiences as an innovative way to reach more customers.

 

Artificial Intelligence

Did you know that following a live chat session, the buyer conversion rate is 5 to 10 times higher after the chat session occurs? More consumers are now having interactions with chatbots to answer their questions in a timely manner. They will be as commonplace as automated phone systems - only more interactive. For example, chain restaurants like Pizza Hut and Burger King have implemented a system that allows customers to order food directly through Facebook Messenger and Twitter.

 

Same-day Delivery

As online retail orders grow, new opportunities for better logistics and delivery have also arisen. Same-day delivery is now possible to a private address or to a store drop-off point that may be near the customer - and it’s becoming increasingly popular. Amazon offers free same-day delivery with any purchase over $35 to Prime members in 27 countries.

Many stores are now operating as showrooms, fitting rooms, or product drop-off points where customers can order the product after having seen it in person.

 

Centralized Ecommerce

Merchants are moving towards the centralization of IT infrastructures - integrating stores (physical and digital). Brands and retailers want to offer their customers more freedom as they are expecting to be able to search, interact, purchase, deliver or pick up products whenever (and wherever) works best for them. Retailers know that customers will make purchases when it’s convenient for them. The idea is to have the consumer interact with the entire brand experience - whether that’s in a physical location, online store, or browsing the brand’s Facebook page.

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Hello 2018: Go-To Marketing Strategies for a Sensational New Year.

The start of the year is a great time for marketers and founders to consider their 2018 marketing campaign. It’s not too late to work on a marketing plan for 2018 if you didn’t get a chance to prepare one before the end of the year. How do you know which areas of your business to focus on for your marketing plan? Here are a few tips for developing your marketing plans and strategies for the new year.

 

Reflect & Reframe

Take some time to reflect on your marketing strategies of 2017. What worked? What didn’t work? What have you learned about your target market? Do you have more insights about segments of your target market?  You can also find insights about your target market by evaluating your competitors’ marketing efforts. Look through your competitors content, social, and other marketing strategies - you may find opportunities to improve-upon their strategies while finding out what is and isn’t working for them.

 

Content Strategy

The quality of your content is crucial to help your SEO rankings and keep a good engagement with your customers. If your having trouble creating a new content strategy for 2018, try choosing four general topics you want to present in your content. You can then narrow down on each topic and get more specific with your content for blog articles, videos, or more.

 

Revamp your Digital Experience

Your website and digital presence is an important face for your business. Even if you haven’t completely changed your marketing strategy this year, you may be missing a few updates to your website. Have you introduced a new service or product? Maybe your marketing plan includes adding new blog articles to your website. Or perhaps your website design is now looking outdated. Your website is an important place to showcase your new and improved business. It may be time to give your website a facelift and January is the perfect time to include a website refresh into your marketing plan.

 

Boost your Inbound Marketing

These days, more leads are generated from inbound marketing efforts. If you have a large budget currently going towards outbound marketing such as print or radio advertisements, you may want to reallocate some of your budget to inbound marketing efforts that will bring in leads. A digital agency can help you set up inbound marketing plans that include SEO, email campaign automation, quality blog posts and other content that is relevant to your business.

 

Offer a Consistent Brand Experience

Does your marketing collateral offer inconsistent branding? Maybe your website is outdated or your logo needs a re-fresh. With consumers being empowered to shop in store and online, companies need to put extra effort into ensuring a consistent brand experience at every touch-point. A marketing team or agency needs to work with your resources to produce messages that are being relayed to customers at the right time in the buyer’s journey. Offering a consistent brand experience across touchpoints will help customers develop a connection with your brand and along their journey to become loyal customers. Commit to delivering cohesive messaging and imagery across your marketing materials and digital touch-points this year. A digital agency can help you audit your marketing materials and touchpoints to see where you can improve your brand experience.  


Are you looking to refresh your brand or digital marketing plans for the new year? Let's Make Waves.

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Product Labs partners with RNO1 to develop a brand vision for company launch.

RNO1 has recently been selected as the brand design and digital agency for the newly launching, Product Labs, a product management consultancy based in Los Angeles. As a unique strategic partner, Product Labs works with West Coast based startups in need of Product Managers.

RNO1 will be working with the Product Labs founding team to produce a new brand identity and guidelines, visual story across social channels, and digital experience rollout, including website.

The essence of Product Labs is built around simplicity. This will also be a large part of the brand’s visual and digital story.

"We're beyond excited for the opportunity to partner with a true disruptor in the Product Management category: the newly launched Product Labs," says RNO1 Agency Founder & CXO, Michael Gaizutis. "As a leader in their space, originally hailing from the UK and Australia, we wanted to create a brand identity that could support their immediate needs and scale up for the future."

RNO1 can’t wait to share more in early-2018 on what sets this brand apart. For more information on RNO1 and Agency News follow rno1.com.

 

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