News from RPS Archives - Rock, Paper, Scissors

Posted 28 Nov 2017
Best of Gwinnett

Rock Paper Scissors Nominated for 2017 Best of Gwinnett

We are thrilled to announce that Rock Paper Scissors has been nominated for 2017 Best of Gwinnett Awards! Each year, Gwinnett Magazine takes a poll of its readers in an effort to share the best of the best in Gwinnett County in a variety of categories, including bakeries, restaurants, lawn care businesses, gyms, and marketing firms, such as yours truly. The magazine considers the Best of Gwinnett directory to be a one-stop directory for all things Gwinnett County, and we’re honored to be among the nominees.

We know this nomination wouldn’t be possible without our fantastic clients and friends. We are so grateful for your unending support! We wouldn’t be where we are today without you!

Of course, we can’t win in the Best of Gwinnett without your votes, so take a minute to head on over to the Best of Gwinnett website and vote for Rock Paper Scissors!

Posted 07 Jul 2017

Brand Perception & Economic Development: Janus Forum Family Feud

We had the wonderful opportunity to attend the 2017 Janus Forum in Rabun County, Georgia in May 2017. The Janus Forum is a program of the Janus Institute, and we were asked to give a presentation at this year’s event. Rather than just stand up and lecture, we wanted to truly show the value of branding and how it relates to economic development. Our goal was to start a conversation that would inspire participants to put themselves in the shoes of the people who live in the communities they are trying to build up. We wanted participants to have fun and walk away with a refreshed perspective, which led us to create a Family Feud-style game, as we knew it would be a fun experience and generate great conversations!

To prepare for the game, we sent out a survey to a selection of both individuals that work in the field of economic development as well as related fields, such as site selection and elected officials. We also surveyed our connections within the general public so we could gather information on how people that do not work in the field understand economic development.

We had the group split into two teams or “families” and had each choose a captain that would start the game off. As we began reviewing the rules, it was obvious who of these nationally renowned economic developers had their own little Family Feud guilty pleasure. For those of you not familiar with the rules: the host reads the question and the first person to hit their buzzer would have three seconds to answer. The team with the highest ranking answer would have the opportunity to pass to the other team or play. If they chose to play, the rest of the team members would take turns guessing the answers. If they guessed three wrong answers, the other team would have one chance to guess and if they guessed correctly, they won that round. The team with the most winning rounds wins the game.

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Branding & Economic Development

We started the game with questions that lead to discussions on the importance of community branding in economic development. As expected, economic developers and those working in related fields feel that community branding is extremely important to economic development. With that baseline understanding, we moved on to what the public understand about branding and economic development.

For our survey, we asked consumers to give us their thoughts on the importance of branding for businesses, as well as how brand names affect their decision making process. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being least important and 10 being most important, the majority of survey respondents rated the importance of branding for businesses between as an 8, 9, or 10. Similarly, the majority of our respondents said that up to 75% of their decisions are based on brand names. No big surprise there.

economic development

What Does Economic Development Mean?

Interestingly, when surveyed about what they think “economic development” means, the respondents from the general public gave varied answers. We got some great answers that included some of the elements of economic development, such as:

  • Improving the quality of life and standard of living and average wages for people in the community
  • The act of bringing and retaining businesses within a specific geographic area
  • Promoting a destination/city/state to businesses, tourists and other investors
  • Marketing to attract revenue
  • Creating jobs
  • The development of the economy
  • Creating interest in a particular community based on items such as tax rate, skilled workforce, social services, arts and recreation, etc.

However, the majority of our survey respondents indicated that they had no idea what economic development is, and even though they feel this way, the majority also indicated that they felt branding is significantly important for communities. As we shared these answers with the group, they shared that they sometimes have trouble even explaining what economic development is to others. The more we discussed this, the more we all realized there is a great need for a solid elevator pitch for economic developers to use when explaining what they do and how it impacts a community at large.

From this, we can also see that there is an opportunity for those working in the field of economic development to get to know the communities they serve. This will help them better understand the perspective of the residents in these communities and allow them to better explain the value their services can provide, even breaking it down in a way that will showcase the benefits of economic development on a community and personal level.

 

Brand Loyalty & Millennials

If people really do make the majority of their decisions based on a particular brand, it’s likely that they use the same process to choose which community they would like to live in. When you think about decision making based on brands, there is always a buzz about what the Millennials think. In fact, this had been a topic of conversation at the Janus Forum the previous day, so we adjusted our game a little so that we could have a deeper conversation about this generation and how branding drives their choices. This was especially important to include since younger economic development professionals are a group that the Janus Institute would like to build more connections with, and because they are currently at a stage of life where they are establishing their careers, starting families, and looking for a places to live, work, and put down their roots.

This demographic tangent sent us in search of the facts. According to a past report from Inc. Magazine, Millennials are the most brand loyal group out there. With that information at hand, we wanted to discuss which brands Millennials spend their money with. The University of Alabama recently conducted a survey aimed at identifying brands that Millennials are most loyal to when making purchase decisions. According to the survey results, the top eight brands Millennials are most loyal to are:

  1. Nike
  2. Apple
  3. Target
  4. Amazon
  5. Coca-Cola
  6. Lulu Lemon
  7. Starbucks
  8. Victoria’s Secret

economic development

As we revealed the answers to the group, some were surprised to learn that these were the top ranking brands, due in part to some viewing Millennials being very loyal to smaller brands and entrepreneurs that sell their goods in local shops and websites like Etsy. Perhaps the biggest surprise was Amazon because most people viewed it as more of a curator of goods rather than a brand itself.

 

Perspective is Everything!

Overall, the game allowed us all to take a step back and remember that perspective is everything no matter what industry you’re in, and that’s why it’s important for economic development professionals to learn about the communities they are working with and the perspectives of the residents as they work toward making these communities the best places to live, work, and play.

Posted 31 Oct 2016
power of color

The Power of Color in Branding and Marketing

Did you miss our recent  webinar on The Power of Color? Read on for the full recap, or check out the video at the bottom of this post!

Fall is one of our favorite times of year because it’s such a colorful season here in North Georgia. The leaves are turning to brilliant shades of red, orange, and yellow and you can’t miss the colorful pumpkin patches that seem to be on every street. Drawing from the seasonal color inspiration, we want to encourage you to take a closer look at the importance of color and how it applies to your business’ branding and marketing efforts.

Now some of you may be wondering why focusing on color is such a big deal. Color is a reflection of your brand, and each color tends to be associated with certain characteristics or emotions that can trigger either positive or negative associations with your audience. With that in mind, you want to make sure you’re choosing colors that paint an accurate picture of your brand in your audience’s mind. Consider the following:

  • Blue tends to be associated with feelings of trustworthiness, dependability, and commitment.

color

  • Orange is energetic and warm, but as Sensational Color shares, it is known for stirring up stronger “love it” or “hate it” responses than other colors do.

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  • Red is naturally exciting and attention grabbing, but can occasionally conjure up negative feelings, especially when related to finances (“in the red”).

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  • Green is most common color appearing in the natural world and as such is typically associated with the environment and represents freshness and growth, but is also associated with money.

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  • Yellow tends to be related to happiness and optimism.

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  • Black is often representative of authority and power, but can quickly become too overwhelming.

color

Beyond the different associations one can have with a particular color, it’s important to think about the challenges certain colors may present. For example, sometimes red can either be too aggressive or appear more pink than you want it to. Yellow can be a particularly challenging color to work with because there are different versions and because of the way the human eye perceives the color. To add to the challenge, you may see one shade of yellow on one computer screen and it will look very different on another.

Many times, the challenges often come down to individual perception. For instance, men see a lesser range of colors than women do, which is due to evolution and genetics. Women have more alleles that allow them to see different wavelengths of color, thus seeing more colors.

So how do you ensure the particular sea foam green that’s the main color in your branding looks the same from your printed materials to your website and everything in between? That’s where color systems come into play. Following are three of the more common color systems.

  • CMYK, or Cyan – Magenta – Yellow – Black, is a print industry color model that uses these four colors as primary colors.

color

  • RGB, or Red – Green – Blue, is an additive color system that is used in computer monitors, TVs, and in theater. This system only works in devices that employ light.

color

  • Pantone Matching System, or PMS, is a commonly used color standardization system that most printers understand. This system not only offers consistency, but also allows you to use colors that can’t be mixed using CMYK.

color

Now that you know a bit about each color system, you may be wondering when to choose one over the other. As a general rule of thumb, CMYK is best for full color printing and full color photography; RGB is best for web use; and PMS is best to ensure that branding colors are consistent among printed marketing collateral and other items.

We know we’ve given you a lot of information to think about, so feel free to send us any questions you have about the power of color and how it relates to your business’ branding and marketing efforts.

Posted 06 Oct 2016

We Had a Blast at the RPS 30th Birthday Bash!

The RPS 30th birthday bash was a blast! A great time was had by all as we commemorated 30 years in business with our clients, vendors, and friends. We are grateful to everyone that was able to join us and especially enjoyed hearing your memories of RPS!

Here’s a look back at our big night, as well as some thoughts from Amanda as we look to the future.

As many of you know, I was only going to work for the family business for a year after I graduated college, but eleven years later, I have had the privilege to step in and take the reigns. Thirty years may seem like a long time, but it has flown by. It is made up of moments, people, and projects that we put our heart and soul into. We live in the moment when we are creating so this is how we lose track of time, which makes taking the time to celebrate that much more important to realize how far we have come. It is like hiking a mountain; you get to the top one step at a time, and when you get to the top you can just keep on hiking, or you can look around take it all in. On Friday, September 30th, we chose to take it all in.

I was “hiking” to the summit that Friday when I was picking up balloons for the party. I was waiting for the florist to wrap up when the summit came into view for me and I realized what it means to have a family business for this long. It made me so grateful for what my mom set out to do with this business. I also realized how brave she was to do this, even though she would have never thought of it as brave. It was just what she had to do.

It takes a combination of a lot of hard work, trust, and a little luck to make it to 30, and more of the same to make it to the next 30. So today we look at our pictures from the summit to remember how far we have come and start on our next climb. Thank you all for being a part of our journey so far and we look forward to many new adventures yet to come.

Once again, thanks to everyone that came out to celebrate our 30th birthday! Here’s to the next 30 years!

Posted 30 Sep 2016

The Value of Branding

Did you miss our latest webinar on The Value of Branding? Check out our recap below, or watch the video included at the bottom of this post!

Think about the last time you went to a restaurant and were asked what you wanted to drink. You may have asked for a soda or a pop… unless you’re in Georgia, where everything is Coke. That’s an example of the power of branding. People don’t just know or recognize your logo or products; they ask for them by name. However, that’s only a small part of the value of good branding.

Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s recap what a brand actually is. A brand is more than a logo, tagline, and color scheme. A brand is the manifestation of a business or organization’s beliefs shown through its products and services, experiences, and interactions. It’s how the audience connects to the business or organization and what they think and feel as they experience the brand first hand.

Branding is what differentiates you from the competition. When branding is done right, it brings in loyal customers that come to you day after day, week after week, and year after year. This relationship is what allows you to charge more for your products and services than your competition. Having loyal customers and the ability to charge more for your products and services offer great value to your business and brand, but that’s only scratching the surface. If you dig a little deeper, you’ll discover that good branding can position you as a familiar and trustworthy brand people love doing business with.

“A brand’s value is merely the sum total of how much extra people will pay, or how often they choose, the expectations, memories, stories and relationships of one brand over the alternatives.” – Seth Godin

There are lots of articles out there about the value of your brand; you can easily do a Google search and find them. We want to look at this from a different perspective and don’t want to just focus on the monetary value of your brand. We want to look at the value of your brand as it is perceived from the people who encounter it. Today we are going to focus on the perspectives of the customer, owner, and employee

20160921_RPS_CustomerPerspective

The Customer’s Perspective: If the value is not felt at the customer level, you are in trouble because you’ll begin to lose customers and miss opportunities to reach new ones. That’s why it is extremely important to consider the customer’s perspective as you establish your brand so you can form strong relationships that will positively impact the value of your brand.

  • Consumers trust companies that have invested in their brand. This trust adds value to your brand because you don’t have to keep winning customers over once trust has been established.
  • They also trust companies that are consistent in their branding and messaging. Inconsistency can create doubt and confusion in your clients and can break down their trust in you, but the familiarity of a business with a consistent brand will keep them coming back to you over and over.
  • With only seconds to connect and grasp a customer’s attention, it’s even more important to remain consistent so you build a recognizable and familiar brand. Over time, the familiarity of your brand creates a sense of ownership in your customers, and you can’t beat that kind of loyalty when you’re building your brand.

Mcdonalds-90s-logo

Consider these examples. Your brand is your company’s uniform, and a uniformed look makes you more familiar and trustworthy to your customers. For instance, bankers are usually dressed in suits and that’s what you’ve come to expect. You wouldn’t feel the same way about a banker if they showed up in their gym clothes. Similarly, McDonald’s is a welcome sign when traveling because you know the burger will taste about the same as it does at home, and the restrooms will probably be clean.

20160921_RPS_Owner

The Owner’s Perspective: Branding offers tremendous value to business owners. There is a definite monetary value for owners, but a solid brand offers so much more to a company’s leadership. Consider the following:

  • Good branding increases the value of the company. Solid branding can also helps make the business scalable by allowing you to charge a premium for your products or services.
  • Branding also helps make business decisions easier because owners have a clear vision of who you are AND who you are not. It also gives those in leadership positions a direction in which to lead and makes saying “yes” and “no” more streamlined because you know whether or not the opportunity will add value to the brand. It also helps in terms of scalability because you have a shared vision of the brand and can grow the whole culture.
  • Good branding differentiates you from the competition as well as build brand ambassadors that help spread the word about how great you are.

Terry Crews Old Spice

Many brands have set themselves apart through celebrity endorsements, such as Old Spice with Terry Crews, American Express with Tina Fey, and countless others. Having that celebrity status helps no doubt, but when you have easy message and story to tell, people will start sharing it, and that can add exponential value to your brand because you’re not having to pay for all of your advertising.

20160921_RPS_Employee

The Employee’s Perspective: This is probably the most overlooked aspect when people talk about the value of branding, but the employee’s perspective of the brand can be a make or break point in the success of that brand.

  • Consistent direction and messaging from leadership gives employees a focused direction in which to follow. This perspective and by-in is what will make your brand scalable.
  • Good branding also creates a sense of belonging for employees. When your employees feel that they belong, they’ll likely be happier and more motivated to provide the quality products or services your customers come to you for.
  • Another way branding adds value for employees can be found in how it helps set a new employee’s expectations of the culture of the work environment. For some companies, their branding tells new employees that this is a fun and creative place to work with a more casual environment, while the branding of other companies may set a more serious tone and approach to the work they do.

20160921_RPS_ChickFilA

Chick-fil-A is a great example, especially for employee direction. Like other fast food chains, they hire lots of teenagers but pay attention to the authority and support you get as a customer the next time you walk into your local Chick-fil-A compared to other companies. It’s ingrained in their brand, and their brand in regards to their staff is more than just a logo, uniform, and for some, the cow costume. It’s an attitude as well. This kind of direction definitely improves the customer experience.

To bring it all together, value in a brand is far more than the monetary standing when you start to look at the different players in the game. Branding takes all the parts between a transaction into account to create experiences that stick with people and build relationships that add incredible value to your brand, business, and the experiences that people want to talk about.

Do you have questions about the value of branding? Contact us or tweet us @rps123shoot and ask away! We’ll be in touch as soon as possible.

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