Components of Building Brand Value

It’s hard to plan your marketing without first understanding your brand’s value. About 80% of marketers say brand awareness is one of their greatest differentiators. Yet, 76% can’t tell you what percentage of customers can actually pinpoint what their brand is. That’s why assessing brand value is so critical. You can’t know what to say about your brand if you don’t know what customers are thinking. To chart your path forward, follow these three steps.

1. Find Your Sweet Spot and Stay There
Loyalty follows consistency. In fact, 90% of consumers both crave and expect consistency when engaging with brands. That means your social media, advertising, website, and other communications must all share the same message, same approach, and same voice.
2. Identify Where Your Brand Is Now
Begin with a thorough, unbiased evaluation of your brand’s foundation. Conduct focus groups to identify your current market position and brand perceptions. Be sure to assemble groups that truly represent your customers. And use an unbiased moderator capable of reading subtle body language and intonation.
3. Walk Your Brand’s Talk
Studies show 45% of your brand’s value can be attributed to your words and actions. But if your message and your actions don’t align, your customers won’t buy into it. So make sure your business can deliver on all of its marketing promises, before it makes them.

Once you know where your brand is, and where you want it to go, you’ll experience a brand journey that encounters fewer bumps along the road.

Based on Before Building Brand Awareness, You Need to Assess Brand Value. Here’s How to Do Both. by Dara Treseder.

Use Body Language to Build Your Brand

Any good speaking coach will tell you that your success relies not only on what you say, but how you look when you’re saying it. Your audience picks up on visual cues to assess whether they like you, and whether they trust what you’re telling them. Those cues also impact your personal brand.

Consider these statistics* about the information we communicate:

More than half of personal communication is your body language. With that in mind, here are 7 great ways to improve your body language and establish your personal brand.

1. Present a good first impression
Bring a positive attitude, stay loose, and express sincere interest with your face, eyes, and smile.
2. Shake hands with confidence
Stand, square your body, shake firmly, maintain eye contact, and be sure you speak before releasing.
3. Avoid misreading others’ body language
Don’t focus on, make assumptions about, or apply too much importance to a single gesture.
4. Inspire confidence
Claim your space, sit up tall, use confident gestures, and align those gestures with your words.
5. Make yourself likeable
Face others directly and give them your full attention. Nod, lean in, and never look at your devices.
6. Consider your tone
Speak calmly. Vary your tone, volume, and pace. And remember that pauses can be powerful.
7. Give others their space
Keep a respectful distance, but move closer as you build trust. And be mindful of gender and culture.

We hope you find these tips useful in communicating your personal brand at your next meeting or networking event.

* Statistics based on Albert Mehrabian’s 7-38-66 Rule of Personal Communication.

Branding Colors That Matter

Some brands are instantly associated with colors. That’s often a primary objective as companies seek to take advantage of the psychological impressions colors have on us. Color can subliminally communicate security, responsibility, value, or other traits. You should always consider the impact of colors before determining which ones work best for your business and its brand. To help you choose wisely, here is an infographic from Vistaprint that shows how brand color can influence your customers.


Based on The Most Popular Colors in Business and What They Say About a Brand by Laura Forer.

Nine Big Predictions For Social Media In 2018

We’ve discussed social media technology and graphic trends. What about social media trends?

What are the passing fads? What’s here to stay? What is likely to emerge? This infographic by Filmora that lists nine trends to keep your eyes on this year. Some of the highlights include video trends, augmented reality, AI, and the increased involvement with “dark social.” Take a peek to see what’s in store for social media in 2018.

Parting Shot

Based on Top Nine Social Media Trend Predictions for 2018 by Laura Forer.

A Brief Guide To 2018 Graphic Design Trends

In the era of digital art, graphic design trends come and go. Sure, some trends stand the test of time, but others vanish in the blink of an eye. New design trends are emerging and there’s one thing they are not—boring. This is beginning to look like a year of design experimentation and wild imagination. So, let’s look first at several graphic design trends and then a few typography trends you’re likely to see a lot of in 2018.

1. The “Glitch” Effect
The glitch effect is one of the most popular trends in digital design. What once would have appeared to be a technical issue is now a desired effect. Often employed by horror films, these corrupted images are taking over the graphic design world.


2. The “Ruined” Effect
It seems contemporary graphic designers may be obsessed with the “art of destroying.” Anything that includes splashing, scratching, ripping, breaking or ruining the aesthetics of a composition is now in vogue for 2018.


3. “Color Channel” Effects
Playing with color channels is pretty popular. The technique allows designers to produce some impressive artistic illusions. Holographs, hallucinations, and distorted realities are all color channel looks you’ll be seeing more of.


4. Double Exposure
The double exposure technique has been around for a long time. This year, it’s re-emerging in some eye-catching new ways. What was once old is new again.


5. Double Exposure Duotone
“Seeing double” no longer means you’re hallucinating. This trend combines double exposure, duotone, and color channel treatments. The look is achieved by overlapping distinct or identical images, creating the impression of jumping in time.


6. Double Light
Yet another double-image approach is the double light. This dual-color effect transforms simple compositions into edgy, modern looking ones. Double light is created by using two light sources or by splitting color channels.


7. Creative Typography
Creative typography isn’t unusual, but in 2018, it’s taking our imaginations to bold, new places. It combines type, imagery, and ingenuity to produce some truly striking looks and compositions.


8. Cropped Typography
Cropped typography was a hot trend during 2017 and it’s still hot in 2018. Cropped typography is the art of removing parts of the letters while still maintaining readability. It requires a careful eye and uncommon creativity, but the results are compelling.


9. Chaotic Typography
Chaos was another top trend in 2017. Typography looks to become increasingly chaotic in 2018. Readability takes a back seat to design as misalignment and reordering letters are in the spotlight.


10. Typography as Real Life Elements
Another typographic trend is having letters interact with photographic images. In essence, turning type into real-life objects, or at the very least, incorporating them into visual compositions.


If there’s one thing we can count on, it’s that the upcoming year promises to bring forth some truly mesmerizing, engaging, and out-of-this-world digital designs. Watch as these trends progress and evolve in 2018.

Based on Top Graphic Design Trends 2018: The Ultimate Guide from

Use AI-Assisted Creativity For Better Social Media Ads

Social media is transforming the way you connect with your target audience, and if it’s not, it should be. Artificial Intelligence (AI) allows you to create, test, and optimize your social media ads. Powerful creative, assisted by AI, not only shows what performs best; it also helps you refine how you engage customers.

Creative Ideas Matter
The right images in social ads can convert prospects into customers. It’s proven that social ads with visuals impact more than those without. For example:

  • On Twitter, tweets with images are clicked 18% more than text-only tweets.
  • Four times as many consumers would rather watch a product video than read about it.

You can take steps, such as determining your best-performing past ads and researching creative trends on social channels. But AI makes data analysis faster and more accurate. Tracking ad performance, benchmarks, social trends, and feedback becomes easier so you can explore your creativity without wasting time or resources.

Testing Takes Effort
Marketers have always relied on A/B testing, but in the fast-changing social ad landscape, two choices aren’t enough. Multivariate testing—testing a variety of headline, copy, visual, and video options—works much better. It predicts performance and reveals which creative appeals most to different target audiences on various social platforms. Yes, it requires marketers to track each aspect of an ad, eliminate low-performers, increase spending on effective ads, and use the data to create new ads. However, by committing to multivariate testing and evaluating your process regularly, your ads will be consistently effective.

Technology Makes It Easier
Very few effective social ad tools are free. But investing in the right tools can result in a positive return on your ad spending. Consider your current social ad tech stack. Do your tools make producing and choosing creative faster? Do they report on your most and least effective ads? Do they automate ad creation and improvement? Do they work across all channels? Few solutions meet all criteria, but you can build a tech stack that works best for you.

These tips can help you deliver visually interesting ads that engage customers in a relatively short time. And with the right approach and the right tools, you’ll be well on your way to effective social media marketing.

Based on Effective Social Media Ads: How to Leverage AI-Assisted Creativity from

The Busy Company’s Guide to Giving Back

Generosity is good for your company’s image, and even better for its soul. Whether your business volunteers its staff, sponsors a donation drive, or simply cuts a charitable check, it’s certain to make the holidays merry and bright for both those on your payroll and those in need. For inspiration, here are a few ideas to help your company give back even during those busy holiday months.


#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. It happens on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, and you can learn how to get involved at the #GivingTuesday websiteNo time? No problem. Giving Tuesday is a movement to give back in any way on November 28th, 2017. Your company can donate money or goods to any non-profit on November 28th to be part of this movement.

2. Toys for Tots
Toys for Tots has been collecting and distributing toys for disadvantaged children since 1947. Your company can host a drive, become a drop site, or volunteer at a local warehouse. Connect with your local Toys for Tots program. No time? No problem. You can visit their site and choose to donate monetarily by mail, through eBay, or by starting an online fundraising team.


3. Second Harvest Food Bank
Second Harvest offers several options to help feed the hungry this holiday season, like hosting a food funding drive, offering to match gifts, or sponsoring a 48-hour virtual race. Visit their website for all the details. No time? No problem. Your company’s employees can choose an existing Second Harvest fundraising organization or individual to donate monetarily to and help reach their goal.

4. Family Giving Tree
The Family Giving Tree fulfills gift wishes for Bay Area low-income children, families, and seniors. Find out how your company can lead a drive or volunteer to help make this year’s Holiday Wish Drive more successful than ever. No time? No problem. Become a sponsor for Family Giving Tree and they will customize sponsor benefits and tailor them to the needs and wishes of your organization. All sponsors will receive sponsorship recognition on the Family Giving Tree website, recognition in their quarterly newsletter, business logo display in their drive warehouse, and special recognition at Family Giving Tree’s annual appreciation luncheons (one for each drive).

5. Humane Society Silicon Valley
There are many ways for your company to increase its visibility in the community and build positive brand presence while helping Humane Society Silicon Valley (HSSV) in its mission to save and enhance lives of animals. HSSV offers team building opportunities through their corporate volunteer days. No time? No problem. Let HSSV assist your company in setting up your charitable campaign employees can donate to, or for a monetary donation they will bring puppies and kittens into your office for a 2 hour stress relief session. Other ways you can help with little or no time is to promote HSSV in company emails, newsletters and bulletins by throwing in a quick shout out about their cause.

Based on 5 Ways Your Company Can Give Back This Holiday Season from

5 Creative Trends Transforming the Marketing World

The word “transformative” may be as overused as “game-changing,” but it wouldn’t be a reach to use either when describing our current creative renaissance. Previous creative renaissances have been driven by technology, and this one is no different. Contemporary media currently provides so much opportunity for today’s creative marketers and may soon offer even more. Check out these five trends that prove the point.

1. The human body is the latest user interface.
Facial recognition on your phone? A microchip implanted below your thumb? User interface is moving beyond the touchscreen and human anatomy is quickly moving to the forefront of the “quality user experience.” It may sound like the stuff of science fiction, but two separate groups of researchers in Germany are testing technologies that use the human body as an integrated component of the user interface. Many industry innovators also believe that technology will soon become more transparent as the human body becomes the ultimate interface.

2. Popularity is giving way to performance.
Traditionally, brand personality has always dominated consumer passion. Customers have typically sought out brands they can relate to. More and more these days, customers are looking for experiences. This reality calls for a new approach to the top-down creative development process, and calls for experiential creative strategies that optimize individual media channels. For example, one promotion recently allowed users to remotely skip a stone at a lake using a mobile app, leveraging the mobile medium to let users perform during the brand experience. It’s the medium, not the message, that enables such possibilities.

3. Big data can bring forth big ideas.
While on the topic of experiential marketing, we need to mention big data. Big data is almost exclusively used to inform, but it’s human intuition that determines how the data is used. While data might be seen as creatively constraining, it can be utilized to drive creative experiences that audiences connect more personally with. Creative brilliance is essential to bringing brands to life. That brilliance can then be applied to new brand experiences, which big data makes possible.

4. Diversity is the new gateway to trust.
Marketing often promotes diversity as a broad topic. But diversity is now a strategic brand imperative. Why? Because genuine diversity is what now garners customer trust. Diversity makes companies seem more authentic. AJ Hassan, the executive creative director behind the iconic “Like a Girl” campaign, says, “There’s a responsibility to being authentic, and [businesses] must accept nothing less.” In this renaissance, diversity opens the gate to trust, which authentic marketing will walk through. This is done by leveraging creative and technology to expresses genuine human moments.

5. Trust isn’t won with algorithms.
Advertising technology algorithms can’t replace human wisdom, intelligence, and insight. Yet, that human element is rarely integrated into marketing analysis. It’s a gap many feel undermines the trust between consumers and brands. New technologies, however, are helping to overcome that obstacle. Virtual reality and wearable technologies, for instance, give power back to audiences in the form of experiences they trust, because they control them.

The creative strategy model seems to be expanding for the first time in decades. These trends illuminate the reality it’s no longer enough to create unique messages when consumers really want unique experiences. Design and the future of advertising are evolving more and more to focus on how to deliver these experiences.

Based on 5 Transformative Creative Trends In 2017 by Judy Shapiro

Thanksgiving Marketing Ideas for Your Brand

Thanksgiving Day is a terrific opportunity for your company to share appreciation for customers and employees. Doing so can lift the holiday mood, make staff more productive, and impact your brand in a positive way. With the holidays already upon us, it’s time to consider how your business can gain the goodwill of customers, employees and strengthen your brand. Here are several marketing examples to get you thinking.

Practice Generosity
If there’s one thing nearly everyone can appreciate, it’s a gift card. So, what better way to show your gratitude than by putting money in the wallets of customers and staff. Be sure to use your website and social media to promote them.

Show Some Heart
People love patronizing generous companies. It gives them a good feeling. Identify charities that are either near to, or relevant to, your business. Then make a charitable donation to help their cause and mention it across your social media channels.

Hold A Contest
Offer followers on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn prizes for sending in their best Thanksgiving snapshots. Ask them to get creative, involve your company if possible, and share the winners across every platform for greater exposure.

Distribute holiday giveaways imprinted with your logo and message. Make sure it’s something people really want. There are enough fruit baskets and mousepads in the world already and bad gifts don’t help your cause.

Take A Poll
Polls are a fun way to interact with your target audience. You could launch a poll that asks social media followers about their favorite Thanksgiving dishes or traditions. Have your marketing team create something fun and interactive to capture and maintain interest.

Whatever you do, don’t let this tremendous opportunity to engage customers and employees pass you by. If you need some creative ideas, don’t hesitate to ask for our help.

Based on 7 Thanksgiving Day Marketing Ideas for Your Brand by Susan Smith

Top Decca Halloween Stories We’ll Never Forget

What better way to wrap up this month’s issue than with a few stories from the Decca staff? We polled the team for its most vivid recollections from Halloweens past. Frightening moments, fond memories, cool costumes, stuff like that. Then we shared them on the Decca Facebook page for our fans to vote on the top five. Here are the top-5 Halloween stories that resonated most with our friends and followers. To view all of the submissions, check out our Facebook Page.

1. Deanna Martignetti, Senior Account Manager
On Halloween when I was 10 years old, a boy was chasing me during recess and I slipped on the grass and broke my arm (due in part to my fancy 1980 wooden high heels). I was in emergency all afternoon and by the time I got home, I was not a happy camper, but still wanted to go Trick-or-Treating. I didn’t have a costume, so I dressed up as a housewife – with a broken arm. I put on some Pajamas, rollers, and face cream and went out that night with my brother and sisters and had a great time. Whenever I think of Halloween, I always remember the broken arm incident, which could be one of the main reasons I’m not a huge fan of Halloween.



2. Carissa Parsons, Account Manager
My costumes growing up mostly consisted of Disney princesses, but one year I branched out and decided to be a bride because we came across this really cool (at the time) dress that was PERFECT for it. Apparently, the boy who had a crush on me found out…lo and behold guess who showed up wearing a tux. He stood up in front of the entire class, got down on one knee and proposed. It was 1st grade so I was mortified, but it did make a lasting memory.



3. Nicole Gerardin, Associate Account Manager
My little sister and I are 5 years apart. We only got to share one Halloween at elementary school together before I went to middle school. She was a 5-year-old with a vivid imagination, and was dedicated to giving us the most authentic Simba experience possible. She came right up to my friends scratched, growled, and even gave them a big lick on the arm. We still joke about it till this day.



4. Jim Reed, Associate Creative Director
My most favorable Halloween memory would have to be when I won the best mummy contest for our Halloween work party. I’m not a big fan of Halloween, but I am a fan of beer. I didn’t have to dress up, everyone else did all the work, and I never once had to put down my beer. It was a success to say the least.



5. Sheila Hatch, Creative Director & President
In early Sept in 1995 and there was a huge controversy in the OJ Simpson Grand Jury testimony over a mysterious brown envelope which might change the course of the trial. Because it was right before Halloween, we seized the moment and went to our party as Lance Ito and The Mysterious Brown Envelope.