Leave a Comment

Why Is Branding So Important?


Gone are the days when a well designed logo, printed on a business card, letterhead…then featured in a glossy brochure were sufficient to launch and sustain a company.

You’ll naturally ask “why” and the reply to that question will end up being a very good business plan in a way.

Many small business owners know that:

  • how they look,
  • who they are
  • what they sell,
  • and where they are will matter.

Those fundamental business basics are the same; what’s changed is the:

  • how
  • when
  • where &
  • why they are applied.

Those of us who’ve survived bringing our businesses into the digital age are still punch drunk!  We understand that in order to conduct a successful business we need to apply the fundamental good business practices that we’ve had in place and to which we owe our success.  The most recent addition required to successfully transition and ‘rank’ any business in the forefront of the digital age is video production.

It is more than a necessary ingredient, it is basic to how you publish your brand.  Currently some very sloppy video productions are thrown together and published onto the many video production portals, Youtube, of course, being chief among them.

This blog is going to be focused on how you apply your established branding towards video production and have that video mirror the best that you are.

There are some major mistakes that are more frequently made than most business owners want to realise.  Those of us who view videos, and who among us does not?!  can quickly sort the good video productions from the bad video productions.

So,…let’s begin there – what exactly is a good video? Here’s a short list:

  • the video shows what the subject is about by using pictures – it is visually driven. More of the ‘show’ than the ‘tell’.  Video does the heavy lifting as it’s termed in traditional advertising and marketing.
  • good video production generates an emotion
  • it is typically briefer rather than longer
  • it’s pleasing to watch, colour, movement,
  • the sounds, music, or voice, that’s used combines well with the visual subject
  • after watching it, you know more than you did before you viewed it
  • an excellent video production is one you want to share (this is not as common)

Now here’s a few issues that generally make for ‘bad’ video production;

  • you view it then wonder why you did
  • it gives nothing to you, no humour, no sadness, no urge to do anything!
  • it’s too fast or too slow
  • it’s purposeless & confusing
  • it simply does not give you what you had hoped it would.
  • generally speaking you feel that someone wasted your time!

As a video producer and scriptwriter, I am delighted to see video move into a central arena and that’s not just because I have my living carved out of the video production’s because now with many more people involved in making their own videos, it’s become a lot more exciting!

i am not the snob that feels that the technical side of video productions was very important anyway.  Yes, I’ll admit as probably you will, that is the images on the screen are pleasant and the music too, and you can actually see a reason for the video, even if it’s just to have a good laugh, well, wonderful!  But someone who picks up their smart phone or their smart tablet, even if it’s not an iphone and ipad ( sorry… LOL  )  and spontaneously captures an emotional moment that has you sending the video to everyone including your grandmother and the pastor, well, bravo or brava!

Add to that the heightened imagination of those who now think with video…they can summon some of the most interesting videos with no lights, sound, script or actors. I’m loving this!  Even many of the top multi national companies have full time staff whose job it is to troll the internet, particularly the video portfolios on YouTube to seek out interesting video production that could be used to market their own products.  Many of these very clever TV & Cinema commercials you’ve seen began by hiring talent located online.

So that’s all to the world of entertainment…. now, how do you get that fun into your video that is supposed to draw new clients to you as well as maintain the flock of customers you hope to retain?  HOW !?

This is very easy in one way and horrifically difficult in another. Our conversation here is strictly to do with Branding Video Production.  What does one of those do?…simple:

It makes people want to come and buy what you are selling and it makes the customers you have proud to be doing business with you.

I’m not leaving aside ‘nuts n’ bolts’ , by this I mean exactly what I’ve said: nuts and bolts that you may go to the hardware store to buy because you are building or repairing something.

No matter what you are selling, if you tell a story that portrays that product or service, it will sell it better than if you just tell something about the item you’re selling.

Stories sell just like facts tell.  How do you entertain while you inform?  We’ll discuss this later… let’s first revisit the many reasons why video is now crucial to your business success.  Remember we were saying that the fundamental basics of business have not changed, but the placement of those fundamentals has.

The number of people who go to a website and first look for video, look for it before they finish reading the opening paragraph on your home page!  That is usually your place to park your ‘mission statement’ …think of it!  They look to see if there is a video that will tell them all they need to know, without having to read about it.

For those of you that doubt this well researched fact, I invite you to do a bit of research and do it with in the unbiased companies who constantly collect and collate such statistics.

The facts are staggering. Why are most internet users preferring to view videos rather than read text?  Here are a few of the reasons that are listed in some of the major research polls:

  • video is preferred because so much information can be condensed into them;
  • convenience is a big factor; they choose the time & place to view video
  • moving image, combined with sound, graphics, etc. condense and combine all the senses – information is more easily memorized and recalled;
  • viewing videos in order to learn is less stressful than reading text;
  • in some incidences, videos provide actual evidence of what the company is ‘selling’, they sometimes also serve as a ‘meet & greet’- it is the business card of our time;

If video is the preferred as the tool that ‘most internet users’ seek out to learn about a company and is the main ‘evidence’ the shopper uses to purchase a product or service, then it’s probably something you need to consider adding to your marketing and advertising efforts.

Now having video production puts you behind the eight ball and here’s why:

Google, along with the other major search engines such as Chrome, Bing, Yahoo, etc. have their preferences set to follow the people!  That means they follow video.  If your site has video posted on it, it’s first to be visited by the google bots, further to this, there are some correct ways to post video to your site so that it will be found.

The more about that you know, the easier it is to get your site found and read.  These tools such as encoding the video into html5 is only the beginning!  We are so far beyond the days of website development when it was simple code and then tags and text it’s not even funny.

We are now into the realm of the expert; the webmaster’s specialize, some in search engine optimization, some in search engine marketing, some in building the actual website. And believe me, there are many reasons why each of these areas need a specialist.

It’s kind of like the once common ‘country doctor’, he or she knew something about everything and could diagnose their patients.  After all, they typically knew them and treated them for most of their lives.  Now we have an expert for everything and that same development is exactly what’s happened in the world of both the computer and the entire internet.

If you are wanting to promote your business online in today’s economic climate you really need to hire some expertise.  Like I said in the beginning of this blog,  not so very long ago, you could have a logo, a business card, letterhead and brochure and be fully fitted to promote your business.

If you could afford to advertise at all, you’d buy space in the local press, get yourself into the annual yellow pages, and if you were really rolling in the dough, you’d get a TV and Radio ad going!

That entire shebang is now online, everywhere, all the time, day and night!  What a market place!  And, like it or not, video is king of content.  If you don’t have one, you really need to have a good reason why.

If you are considering the option to add video to your sales efforts, make the first one a ‘Branding Video’.  That video, when well crafted, will take the very essence of who you are, what you do and sell then distill it into approx. 60 seconds of video.  It should entertain while it informs the viewer, they should feel ‘moved’ to buy your brand if they are at all in the market for your service or product. Leave a Comment

Petrushka Cooks Up A Video Production!

Video: The Most Cost Effective Marketing Tool In The World.

Whatever you’re selling, video is an excellent way to navigate the process of marketing and advertising it right onto the waiting plate of your consumer.  Video ‘shows’ more, ‘tells’ less and accomplishes most.  It’s simple really; the use of narrative video production, leaves room for the prospect viewing the video to engage into a conversation ( or conversion ) that signals the impulse to buy your service or product. In other words, (sticking to our cuisine metaphor) – preparing & serving food, the appetite is first stimulated, satisfied, so that lovely, stress free conversation can occur while its being consumed.  Technically, there is a bit of pleasant stress that should happen between the seller and the buyer.  A gentle, pleasant experience of being coerced, knowing you are but enjoying it anyway!

Good video production will always do the heavy lifting for you if you put it first into the process of locating your demographic (the domain of solid SEO as well as appropriate content, rich and easily accessed), discovering what they’re hungry for, getting it on the menu and to their plate.  Bon appetite & Voila’ all in one stroke!  That’s what makes video magical.  It does so much more than it seems to be doing.

Video: The Most Cost Effective Marketing Tool In The World.

The chemistry involved in good cuisine is kindred to the chemistry that happens when good film is produced.  Its about the mix of good story telling with the narrative of a single point well-illustrated… it’s about effective chemistry, when the mixing of the spices & ingredients combine to produce more than the sum of the parts; its a conversation with the viewer, a relationship, an interactive exchange that encourages engagement, ‘conversion’ and in the case of videos that are produced to sell products and services, then that conversion rate is higher and more likely to result in a sell!  Success! Mission accomplished. More than ‘dinner is served’, much more, here… we dine!  Think of it, you ‘eat lunch, sometimes alone’ but everyone should ‘dine for dinner’ & with good company.

So this video was produced with the idea that the viewer would get the salient point, that the ingredients need to be layered into the pot…timed, and when this happens a happy marriage occurs, blending deliciously into an irresistible idea, that should inform while it entertains. The buyer should be lured with both the ‘eye candy’ and be given something to chew on.  Something to savour…. a little something that lingers on the palate and lives long as a rewarding aftertaste.  So maybe my would be prospect is not in the market and video production is not quite on the menu (budget or preference) at the moment – but if I’ve done my job, this video production will stand apart from the pack and hopefully, when you are in the market for a video sales tool to advertise your business, this slightly edgy video production will bring me to mind!  Can’t blame a girl for some self-promotion, can you..?! LOL  Tell you what: if you can get yourself over here, I’ll even cook something up for you while I pitch you on hiring me!

Video: The Most Cost Effective Marketing Tool In The World.

Now, the real deal, or should I say reel deal, (sorry) is that, as stated in this mini-flick, you cannot produce a ‘Chicken Valentino’ from a pork chop and you shouldn’t be expected too!  This is one of the main issues that comes up during the discovery process that precedes the actual video production. Questions will be:

  • what’s for sale?
  • who’s buying it?
  • why are they buying it? and
  • where do they find it.

Those are the raw ingredients that need to get into the pot, and put there in order – not just thrown in…LOL

These questions must be simply answered and if these questions give rise to more questions in the mind of the viewing prospect, then they need to be ones that the would be customer wants to ask…. and you need to be able to answer them with what they want to hear.  No small order.  Put simply, they have a problem and you have the solution.  The reason I spelled it out in such detail is to further underscore the unconscious process that takes place when someone is shopping and the sales tool is video. It’s a concert in production.  It plays their tune, but that’s another subject! LOL

This process can sometimes be a less than elegant and here are a few of the reasons why;  a small business owner has an idea in his or her mind of what the video should look like that’s to represent their product or service. You could say this is a ‘good thing,’ right?   I’d agree with this were it not for the fact that most of us have far more sweat equity mingled in our decision making process than is good for our marketing purposes.

Video: The Most Cost Effective Marketing Tool In The World.

Add to this, most of us are too focused on what we do than we are on what the client does and how we can help supply their needs & solve some of their problems.  We sell to ourselves over and over again and what the buyer sees, needs to know, and wants is sometimes minimized. If I could count up for you the money that’s been spent by the small, medium and large business concerns, in producing video for themselves I could retire in considerable style!   The weight of the research needs to be put to the side of the would be client, what do they think they need and what to they really need.

Going back to interview clients who have hired us to produce video is a very sobering experience; I’ve often found that though they clung to their ideas that they wanted to frame out their video production, and passionately in love with them, when asked how often they viewed the final production, they usually say only a few times…meaning, on closer examination, 1-3 times!  So then you get a bit of sweat on the brow, hold your breath and ask, ‘do you like the video?‘ and they exclaim, ‘yes, we do’!  Deal is, most of those corporate styled videos are way out of vogue and positively boring to most of us.

It motors straight ahead, like a walking base in a jazz band…always a delight when there’s something significant riding over it…a solo here or there, a song bird who can sing the lyrics and sell them to you…instead we don’t even get a talking base, just walking in time.
A few videos (at least a library of 3)  produced with just one idea each, and delivered in an entertaining & informative manner would have justified the thousands they spend. 
After all, isn’t the big idea to please the palate of the consumer?!  By the way, yes you can conjure a 7 course meal and all of it represent just one selling idea.

Video: The Most Cost Effective Marketing Tool In The World.

Buyers don’t want to be in the ‘kitchen’ while you’re cooking anymore than the diners who patronize their favourite upgrade restaurant want to join you at the cooker.  The discovery process is a fine balance between getting the business owner to view their offering thru the eyes, of not only the consumer, but the industry standard that’s been established for that product or service within the current market trends and expectations.

I am very fond of the commercial that is so minimalist, it’s often reduced to a single, simple statement..sometimes one word or well-crafted sentence, stated in text or well timed and executed voice over.  In essence, the understatement that says it all by leaving the most important statement unspoken, that way its heard loudly in the mind of the viewer.

Think here – good acting.  If you can see it, it doesn’t need to be said. Video delivers by virtue of well-chosen imagery…. narration sometimes, but not always works here, but it always delivers over the radio! LOL

That is, in my opinion the most successful marketing & advertising tactic ever. THEN, if that magical formula is fueled with the steroids that good, solid, well-researched, SEO can surely provide…well, let’s just say, we’re talking 10 Star, Cordon Bleu Cuisine in the hottest dinning spot  uptown. Up-city in cyberspace. We can do that too!  SEO on Steroids, guaranteed!   (will soon be doing some blogs on that – that’s where the Cyber-Action is.

Video: The Most Cost Effective Marketing Tool In The World.

So,…if you’re still wondering – ‘what’s with the food metaphor?’ then you may not know that the biggest percentage of the sales process is accomplished with the eyes. Call it ‘curb appeal’.  Its not unheard of that those selling property can add thousands to the value by putting in flowers..lots of them. Eye Candy curb appeal. Food, displayed and well- plated, somehow tastes so much better than slopped onto the plate for the kitchen crew.

Of course when someone is buying a service..then the  pictures that good text and narrative summon to conscious mind, are more universal in nature. Marketing & advertising is an art form; its very subtle.  Its as sophisticated as you want to make it providing you cling to the one salient reason someone will want to buy what you’re selling.  It sometimes surprises a person that the one reason is nearly always hung on an emotion of some sort.  The customer must be moved with the sales pitch towards the sale.

The idea of freedom, wealth, health and happiness to take a broad sweep of these universally shared desires.  Its a ‘set-up a promise’ & a ‘delivery’ on that promise commonly called, supply & demand.  And the savvy business owner, especially the struggling small business owner, knows that the internet is the shopping mall of our time (lovely – one market, online, all day, all night, & everywhere) and in that arena, ‘content is king’ and ‘king of content is video.’

In my next blog entry you will find a good bullet pointed list of what to do to prepare for the process of video production, be it one you intend to accomplish yourself or a concept for a video production that you want to hire someone to produce for you.

bon appetite! whatever you have on your plate.

Video: The Most Cost Effective Marketing Tool In The World. Leave a Comment

Silk Road Dance

Silk Road Dance – 60 sec.

Live performance featuring 18 samples of choreography by famed Laurel Victoria Gray, Artistic Director & Costume Maker of the: Silk Road Dance Company, Washington, D.C.  A must see, whether you do or don’t have knowledge of rich and colourful history of the Silk Road – the information super highway of it’s time.  Some of these stunning, richly colourful, and elaborate, silk costumes are replicas of the original garments drawn from the regions the dance narratives portray.  The choreography is representational of skilled storytelling and soulful sensitivity; this is rarely, if ever, seen to be this magical..all set to haunting music.

Continue reading