The Right & The Wrong Way To Create A Brand

It was a 10:32PM on a Friday night…

Ryan (my business partner) sends me this urgent message in our Slack group in a folder called “Urgent Address ASAP!” “Looks like Brian Kurtz isn’t happy with us Shane.”

He’s asking why we blatantly copied his Titans of Direct Response brand and company logo!

My first reaction is who is Brian Kurtz and who the hell does he think he is telling us we copied him…maybe he copied us…

after all we spent a lot of time and effort and marketing dollars creating this brand over the past year!

His name sounds vaguely familiar to me. Ryan says, remember he’s the guy that promoted the Titans of Direct Response last year and the CEO of Boardroom Inc. Okay well now I remember, but honestly we didn’t pay much attention to it (although we did want to attend because of all the dynamite world class copywriters at his event).

When the former Boardroom Inc. CEO calls you out, you listen, and respond. We were deep into several product launches including a big one with Robin Sharma for his Extreme Achievement Formula and didn’t have time to attend.

It was actually the launch we did with Robin’s team for EAF when we learned of his Titans Academy and we became enamored with Robin’s coaching & mentoring that became our inspiration for our own Titans of Marketing having long forgotten about Brian’s Titans of Direct Response (which by the way, we’ve since been able to review and it is kick ass – I’ll tell you more about that in a moment).

After I get over my initial angry reaction, I get more sensible (had a Snickers bar – Shane you’re not yourself when you’re hungry).  

Okay well obviously we didn’t copy him but as I compare our logos and certainly our names, I now see exactly why he thought we were just being lazy and ripping him off. You can see how similar the design is here;

titans of marketing & titans of direct response logos

Now I move from the angry phase to feeling low.

But he doesn’t know us …we’re not like that!

Sadly, we realize that everyone seeing this going on is thinking the same thing as Brian and we look like complete schmucks.

We need to do something about this. Ryan quickly messages him back apologizing and letting Brian know we will discuss it and would like to jump on a call if he has time because we lose context and emotion in an online chat.

To my surprise, Brian agrees to meet with us. Now I feel really bad and don’t want Brian to stew on this over the weekend. So I quickly friend requested him and send him this message;

fb chat with Brian Kurtz

 

So that Monday, the end result of the hour discussion with Brian was our agreement to stop any advertising under our Titans of Marketing name and to immediately begin the process of re-branding.

But the really great part of the discussion was some amazing business mentoring from Brian who is an absolute Titan when it comes to Direct Response Marketing and business building.

We actually ended with a new found friendship and an agreement on a collaboration to promote the new Titans of Direct Response DVD Edition to help pay for the rebranding and to make a contribution to our favorite charities with the proceeds.

That story could have taken a completely different turn if;

A) Brian Kurtz was not such a caring & honorable business person.

B) We reacted in defense instead of owning the mistake and apologizing.

Brian could have easily dealt with us through lawyers, but chose to not only meet us but offer a fantastic resolution to a situation that could have wasted time & dollars for all of us …not to mention the negative energy that would have been generated.

The lesson in all this is own your mistakes, apologize, be humble, and make it right again.

The biggest lesson, however, is don’t take your business name and branding lightly.

We thought we had put a lot of planning effort into creating the Titans of Marketing brand.

We had written up a document about the brand name,

what it stood for,

what type of clients we wanted to attract

and what were our differentiated skills we could offer to help both prospects and clients.

Then we took that information to 99 Designs & Fiverr to find a graphic artist to create a new look for the brand.

We sourced 4 different graphics people and had each submit 4-6 designs.

From there, we selected our favorite 3 designs and posted them in our private groups to solicit input from the people who knew us best asking which one they liked best and thought depicted us and our brand appropriately.

Once the favorite was selected, we had some final changes made to it until we got what we liked.

Turns out a lot of these inexpensive graphic designers either leverage from their previous design portfolio or outright copy designs that they Google …not sure which one, but you can see for yourself that even after the process we took that we thought was pretty good, we ended up with a brand name and design shockingly similar to Brian’s Titans of Direct Response.

This time, we updated our branding document, and took a week to brainstorm different unique names and checked on business/domain availability.

Here’s a copy of our branding document for you to reference when creating your brand’s persona.

Once we shortlisted to a few names, we reviewed everything with Brian and his team to get their valuable input.

And here’s the real kicker, we hired a professional Artist with a proven track record designing original art and business graphic design for several notable businesses.

A professional business designer should ask the right questions about your brand and provide several original artwork images for you to choose from.

This was not an inexpensive undertaking. A good Brand designer will typically charge $2,000 – $10,000 for a brand design portfolio.

At a minimum your brand design portfolio would include things like a color palette, logo, graphic art images, product graphic designs, website header images, Blog post images, fonts, on-brand designed slide decks.

The Artist we selected is Rob Secades and he is a true Artist and Business Professional in every sense of the word.

He has designed original art (I refer to it as art since I feel calling it graphics does not do his work justice) for people like Brendan Burchard, Frank Kern, Russell Brunson and is the current designer for the ClickFunnels Blog.

The brand name we ultimately selected was what you’re seeing today;

Bolder Future

Helping Entrepreneurs Think & Grow Beyond The Usual Limits of Conventional Thought or Action to Market responsibly, Unleash opportunities and Transform lives.

Here’s one of Rob’s FINAL CUTS for the new brand:

bolder future brand design concept

I did a little searching for more information on creating a great brand. Here are Forbes’s 4 characteristics of great brands

1. They own a Clear Space in the Consumer’s Mind.

2. They are Differentiated from their Competition.

3. They Live their Message.

4. They Deeply Understand Their Customers

As you can see, branding goes far deeper than just a catchy slogan or pretty image.

Your brand needs to capture the essence of not just your company and what you do for your customers, but it must clearly convey what you stand for, how you help and defend for your crowd and it and you must live that daily.

We reached out to Rob for his Top 10 list of Do’s and Don’ts

when it comes to professional business logo and graphics design.

Here’s what he had to say (and he has a lot of nightmare stories)

Rob Secades Top 10 List:

1. Take some time to understand what message makes sense for your company being different just for the sake of being different isn’t always beneficial. Most often, subtle minimalist design speaks the loudest.

2. Lots of logos get made vertically and they just pop them into the header but they are square or too tall so the words on the logo are small. I recommend doing a horizontal logo or as I like to call them “WordMarks”. LogoMarks are the icon/symbol with the text whereas WordMarks are the words only in the font that’s branding the company. If you’re super fancy hire a type designer to make you a unique font, but just remember to GET A LogoMark & a WordMark.

3. There are only a few colors in the rainbow, so don’t be a tacky fool. What I mean by that, is choose the right color for your brand. Most big brand corporations will only use a limited set of colors. For example the super obvious white and gray backgrounds. Just make sure you get the right colors to accent the backgrounds or if you’re adventurous make it the background. I find white and gray backgrounds convert the best with the exception of maybe blue (all light colors not the dark alternatives of blue and gray). Red is cool for logos and if you’re in some sort of woo-woo spiritual niche then purple and golds look great and even orange hues worked in look awesome.

4. Never use a pixelated photo in your background. You would be shocked to learn how many big name websites still do this! I don’t have detailed stats on how many, but just from a respect standpoint, treat your visitors with enough respect to make your website look better than a classic myspace background.

5. Keep to one color palette. The biggest thing is keeping it easy on the eyes. Just like clothes, you want it to match and accent on certain areas. You want you to notice the parts that are most exciting, so on a website that’s typically why you make the background fall back (dark background or light background, nothing in-between usually). Then place the opposite contrast like black letters on a white background or white on black or red on white for the headline. It’s easy when you look at it systematically like a hierarchy of what deserves different colors for attention purposes. Colors like black and gray are for the text and subtext, red, blue or yellow are the headlines, and orange and green or sometimes teal and blue are for the call to action areas. It leaves a pretty limited set of tools for design but its the safe zone. You can paint your picasso another time. Branding design is based on simple coordination of colors and the layout, which brings us to the next point.

6. Keep your layout to the 123 breakdowns. If your website is setup with 4 columns it will look insane because it’ll divide up your website content like a pizza restaurant menu or worse!… the newspaper classifieds. So best to go with set rules of breaking a site down. One (1) column stacking the entire site is my favorite way to go, because it instantly makes your site mobile ready. Two (2) column is great too The benefits of 2 columns are that you can setup a nice trail for the eye to read from copy to the CallTo-Action area. Three (3) columns are a very busy design and should only be attempted if you’re doing a blog or news style site. These are particularly bad if your demographic is above 40 as the type is much more difficult to read. If you must go 3 column do so with banners as a means of navigation on that page. Content delivery should be only in 1-2 column pages.

7. Invest more in a designer and copywriter than a developer/coder. I’m probably going to get flack for this from the coders, the compiling of the images still has to be human made (like a fashion stylist or interior designer does with other peoples products to their client).

8. MAKE THEM WANT IT! Everything you’re looking at now is just pixels on a screen but to make it exciting you need artists. You need to make them want it with the packaging and in the branding. The best way to do that is by making you stand out in the brand by being honest on camera or in the copy and making them comfortable with who you are and what you’re there for. I make it a habit of trying to work with the most honest individuals who are even upfront about the flaws in their character in public. Being honest is a big key to branding yourself and for me as a designer it helps me draw out your unique vibe that incorporates your vision. That helps me to and flesh it out into a symbol and color scheme and layout. To summarize, to make them want it, you need to be honest, comfortable, have a cool logo, and make your product or service look great physically and digitally in how it’s packaged and presented.

9. Make them remember you. We are inundated with blah blah blah. We see a lot of stuff from business, especially online. So to stand out, you need to do all the stuff I talked about before so all summed up in a simple message that is packaged & presented to represent your unique vibe and message. Keep the message simple so it stands out immediately when they see your branding, logo, artwork message and design.

10. So that’s my list of the top do’s and don’ts for branding, logo & website design. I hope that kinda makes sense to you and you will find it valuable for your branding. I hope you have a great day, and if you want to work with me please know i get paid in non-perishable doughnut magnets.

 

Now that you have the branding back-story and Rob’s best branding secrets, let’s talk about how to market your message to your crowd.

Having the ability to eloquently communicate to your crowd in such a way that persuades them to take a desired action that will help both of you is another art in itself.

When we work with private clients in our marketing agency, we begin with a gap analysis of their business.

The gap analysis is the difference between their current state and the desired goal.

Then we outline the steps using a proven framework to get them to their desired goal.

Almost always, there is a disconnect in their copywriting, headlines and ads which is the most critical aspect of growing your business.

You need to have good copy because if you don’t, then all the marketing, system automation, and business strategies and tactics are not going to help.

Brian Kurtz put together a contingency of the best of the best direct response copywriters the world has to offer at his Titans of Direct Response live event

 

Brian has made all of the recordings and copywriting swipe files available to you for a discounted price available for a short time in either digital or DVD/Print version.

To get it all you have to do is click the button below;

DVD & Print Edition

get it now button

 

 

Digital Edition

 

get it now button

 

We didn’t get a chance to attend either because we were smack dab in the middle of a launch at the time.

But I have personally reviewed it and there is enough copywriting teaching, simple steps, and swipe copy for you to use that will undoubtedly earn you enough to pay for it ten times over.

Plus the best part is, we will donate half of all proceeds of these sales to a charity to help kids with learning disabilities to overcome them. 

My son has struggled all through school with ADHD and processing memory learning disabilities.

Many of his teachers have called us over the years to say they gave up on him and that he won’t make it.  That kind of talk over and over through the years was very hard on him.

In fact, it affected him so badly, that at the beginning of this school year, he had to leave the conventional classroom style school structure. 

He now learns at home through online correspondence ….BUT an amazing thing happened the very next day after he quit school.

Something great that I know if you feel you struggle at times as an entrepreneur, you will get this!

You see, once he was out of the rigid structure of school and the steely eye of his teachers, all of a sudden his entrepreneurial spirit awakened.

He realized that he had the freedom to accomplish things the way HE wanted to now.

He started hustling hard every day to build a business.  He just made shit happen.  Calls to suppliers, lining up promoters, setting up all the tech backend systems, meetings with banks …basically whatever it took to get his new business launched.

He just started his own branded line of apparel in an eCommerce store this month and has already sold out of his first 2 shipments.

I see a gleam in his eye again …he is genuinely happy now.

I’ve been wanting to help kids like him with entrepreneurial spirit for a while now, and after watching him thrive like that outside of the normal rigid schooling structure, I want to get started with it right away.

So when you get Brian’s Titans of Direct Response DVD’s or digital version, you’ll be helping out kids like Jake too.

Brian has also said he will be donating his proceeds to charity as well.

So you get to help yourself and so many others at the same time

Here’s my personal summary of the Titans of Direct Response package after reviewing it myself;

Summary of Titans of Direct Response

 

Brian Kurtz Keynote

Brian kicks it off with the 4 Pillars on How To Be Extraordinary.

What 2 NFL greats can teach you about how to be exceptional to stand out in your market.

How an MLB pitcher & a heavy metal song can help you to instantly making a bad situation turn great.

How having big competition in your market is the best thing for you and can help you grow your business if you know this special trick he learned from Marty Edelston (CEO Boardroom Inc.).

The one thing that you need in your mastermind group – hint: it’s not what you think that normal convention says about having a room full of smart people either.

Learn the framework steps to take your big moonshot.

 

Gary Bencivenga Talk

Gary Bencivenga drops some copywriting bombs that you simply can’t do without.

Shoot your ability to persuade to the moon with this simple ad copy fomula.  Perfect ad copy must have 4 components – miss even 1 of these and your conversions will tank – this formula alone is worth the entire investment. 

If you only included these 4 things in all your marketing copy, you wouldn’t have to do a single other thing to make back your investment.

Gary shows the 5 exits of escape all your prospects are doing unconsciously and exactly what you need to say to stop them dead in their tracks wanting for more. 

From the second your prospect hits your landing page and starts reading your copy, they have their finger poised over the exit button.

Learn about the 3 most critical things that all sales MUST start with.

 

Jay Abraham Talk

Jay Abraham shows up for what will most likely be his last public appearance at an event like this

Jays must have 4 advertising & marketing reference book every entrepreneur should read more than twice and keep within reach of their desk whenever writing copy.  Two of these books were the exact same ones that started me on my marketing business and the other 2 I ordered right away. 

Jay doesn’t lie either …I keep these 2 books right beside my desk at all times and they have become so dog eared, highlighted, and tattered from use I may need to get new ones.

Everyone these days is putting up quick and easy landing pages that all say “Download My Free Report” and you look the same as every other lazy marketer out there. 

Jay says this is a death sentence for your sales and he tells you how to write your headline copy in 2 minutes so that you will have them saying “shut up and take my money now!”

 

Joe Sugarman Talk

Joe Sugarman the Direct Marketing mogul who was behind the giant multi-million dollar Blue Blockers sunglasses campaign, drops some marketing bombs about how to write your copy with stories.

The single biggest split test thing that cost Joe $2Million just because he didn’t implement it as soon as someone told him about it… and it still works today but hardly anyone is doing it.

One of the biggest ads he ever wrote that brought in millions and you can swipe it to use right now!  Hint; it has to do with a giant media news story that you can legally steal.

 

Perry Marshall’s Talk

Perry Marshall tells us what kind of books to read that will make you way smarter at writing copy even than reading the best business & marketing books ever written.

He also shares how to look outside of your own business to get better perspective for innovation.

How a 19th Century mathematician, scientifically proved by formula that you can never solve your customers problem by looking inside your own circle and what that means for your copy writing.

Then Perry drops the big bomb by giving a uniquely simple set of copywriting rules that will give you the magic ability to to write or change any copy element so you never run out of interesting unique hooks and how to tell an entire full sales page story in a single line of copy headline.

 

Ken McCarthy’s Talk

Ken McCarthy shows how to do your research for your next copywriting project to get the most sales.

The #1 thing you need to convey behind your copywriting words.

How to test new copy and how big of a sample size to use to ensure you’ve got a winner.

 

Dan Kennedy’s Talk

You’ll also get 90 minutes with Dan Kennedy who barely ever speaks at events anymore.

Dan shares the best “Disrupt Interrupt” ever used …and you’ll never guess who he got it from because this person has nothing to do with the marketing & advertising world.

How to not sound like you’re just a product features & benefits geek.  If you’re too close to your product or service, you are likely making this mistake and it’s costing you huge. Dan shares a better way to influence your crowd.

The one dominant thing that affects your influence and the closing of a sale.

Everyone asks, what works better …negative copy or positive copy?  Dan’s says neither.  His answer will shock you.

Dan’s highly guarded “7 Dark Art Manipulation Devices” to use in your copy for long or short form sales pages, ads, and landing pages.

There are many more interviews, panel talks, presentations, and swipe copy material in Brian’s Titans of Direct Response offer.

It’s the single largest compilation of the industry’s greatest Direct Marketing Copywriters of all time that are still living. Two days’ worth of the most powerful, profitable direct marketing principles, strategies, and immediately useful tactics — this will change your business and your life…

Get the recordings NOW from what Dan Kennedy called “THE Event of the Decade”…all available online.

http://bolderfuture.com/titansofdirectresponsedigitaledition

Or here to get the full package of DVD’s and books mailed to you;

http://bolderfuture.com/titansofdirectresponsedvdedition

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