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Ideas of Substance: Spring Forward – It’s Time to Take Your Brand into the Future

In today’s world, marketing changes faster than the seasons. The strategies and tools that worked so well in the past are not only less effective now, they can be cost prohibitive for anyone but the largest corporations. Progressive marketers know how to minimize (or even eliminate) their media or printing budgets because the most effective marketing channels are, well, free.

But there’s a catch! The more progressive your choice of marketing channels is, the more progressive you brand must be. It must be ahead of the curve – in tone, image and message.

So, how can organizations spring their brands forward?

It starts with taking a big step back and looking at your brand from a fresh perspective. Here are the questions you need to ask:

  1. Identity. In what decade does it look like our identity was designed? If it looks pre-2000, it may be time for a refresh.
  2. Website. How interactive is our website? How valuable is it to our prospects, clients, partners, prospective employees and other stakeholders? If your organization's website is simply an online brochure, you have lots of room to spring forward. The best websites engage your audiences and create a strong connection with your brand and, therefore, your organization. They also add value through blogs, downloadable resources and multiple venues for relationship building.
  3. Message. Is our core message based on the benefits? Believe it or not, the feature/benefits paradigm is passé. Today, it's about your value proposition. And defining your value proposition starts with defining your brand – which then leads to your identity, your website, your marketing communications and your future success.

Learn more about the thinking that goes into building progressive brands »

Color Trends

Pantone Honeysuckle Pink – the color of the season: Learn more or get a Honeysuckle PANTONE Visa® Platinum Rewards Card.

Celebrate Earth Day 2011 on April 22nd!

Earth Day 2011

Earth Day 2011: A Billion Acts of Green® – Earth Day Network's people-powered campaign calls to generate a billion acts of environmental service and advocacy before Rio +20. Make your pledge!

Join The Nature Conservancy's Picnic for the Planet and learn about 5 things you can do (hint: all involve eating!). And also check out The Nature Conservancy's free carbon footprint calculator.

Plant a tree: Get a $25 coupon towards the purchase of a new tree to help Maryland reach its goal of planting 1 million new trees by 2011.

Marketing Green for Earth Day? See what FTC's Green Guides Mean for Your Business.


Substance151 welcomes new clients: TerraLogos Energy Group, Koolhof Earth, The Daily Washington Law Reporter and Kowitz Financial Group.

April 9, 2011 – Ida Cheinman joined an expert line-up of speakers at the A Day in the Life Design Conference – her topic: "Green is the New Black."

A Day in the Life Conference

February 9, 2011 – Ida Cheinman presented at the Society of Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) Maryland education seminar "How to Market Green When Everyone Else Is."

If you are interested in having us speak to your professional group or association or present at a seminar or program, please contact Ida Cheinman.