Over the years, I have helped a lot of back-of-the-napkin ideas make it. I’ve also participated in what seemed like slam dunk ideas that failed. In one instance, we got a retail product we developed as a side business on the shelves of Lowe’s, Auto Zone, Advance Auto and others. It was a unique Car For Sale sign linked as a joint venture with AutoTrader.com — unfortunately we discovered that people who sell cars with signs don’t use the internet (whoops). If the product had succeeded, I probably wouldn’t be consulting. My loss is your gain.
In nearly every case, the winning/losing formula was effective brand positioning: Is the product/brand aligned to solve a very real customer need?
In my screenwriting days, I worked remotely with Craig Kellum, a Saturday Night Live alum and screenplay consultant who helped me polish my material. I was a big fan of the remote consultant process, so I offer it here. As Craig described it, “The projects that make it have a common denominator–the scripts are tight, no fat, they make sense, you get it!”
The same tightly-focused, no fat, common-denominator characteristics apply to brands. Like screenplays, it’s all about the story, the Brand Story.
I will help you focus the core concept of your brand onto your target market. I can help you translate that into a brand concept — the differentiator that your customers care about and remember you by. A single idea (example “farmer-direct” coffee) can become the catalyst for your success.
Contact me to discuss and establish a scope of project. You might want an hour of brainstorming and feedback or desire for me to engage more fully in your project.
Brand Story Workshop
Whether you’re starting up or have an established brand, a Brand Story Workshop helps you target your marketing efforts more effectively. It’s designed to bring your entire team into alignment, so that all creative executions, product decisions and messaging are “on brand.”
Brand Platform Development
A brand platform is an essential tool for managing your brand. The brand platform is a graphic document that identifies the distinctive DNA at the core of your brand, establishes your key messages, look and feel, core concept and more.
Brand Identity is more than a logo. It includes Web domains, trademark, tag lines, color palettes, characters, signage and more. We can help you set up a fully implemented brand identity for your growing business.
Chatty Reception is an example of a sub-brand developed for a corporate call center business. Support Seven wished to establish a service for small businesses customers, so we developed the name, tag line, brand concept and “Chatty,” our friendly brand character. She’s always eager to answer your phone.
Using PowerPoint for “story telling” rather than information delivery makes your presentation infinitely more effective. As brand story tellers, we can help you structure your pitch, design the slides and pace the “info-density” of your presentation (i.e. just one idea per page).
We can also help develop a module-approach to presentation that offers more flexibility as you uncover customer needs. In this way you can accelerate the sales cycle by targeting the pitch on specific customer needs the first time. (See Sales Engine | 3. Pitch)
Think of your Proposal as a brand-driven selling document — not an off-putting set up numbers. We can help you apply solid layout and design to every proposal, summarize the pitch, illustrate with brand-inspired graphics, and deliver the brand experience.
We can also help you design and implement one of the many online proposal tools. With proposal automation, you spend less time developing proposals. Plus the proposals you do send out can more fully reflect your brand experience.
Effective emails begin with the subject line. The recipient asks, “Can this help me personally? How much time will it take. Is this spam?”
Delivering a tight, personalized, customer-focused message is the creative challenge with email. We can craft simple messaging (Outlook) or help you use your email platform to deliver custom-designed HTML emails.
With your messaging architecture in place, collateral development flows seamlessly. (see Sales Engine | 1. Position)
Miller eMedia focuses on brand-centered content development. Even if you use other design resources, let us help you develop your your collateral.
Strategy and Structure
Web pages are not technology — they are interactive stories. Every company that seeks to tell its story on the Web faces a moment of truth: Who are we? What is our brand position? Are we our products, services and people? Or are we more than that?
With brand concept and positioning in place, the Web strategy comes together: The big idea, the image slider and headlines. the site structure and flow.
A writer/brand strategist with a bit of technology and design up my sleeve, I can build a Web site that is on-message and where everything fits in half the time of the conventional approach tht requires lots of people, functions, meetings and moving parts. That;s because messaging is at the core of any brand experience.
On bigger projects, I use JumpChart, a collaborative Web-writing tool that allows the client and team to review, comment, and even edit as we go.
All of the sites listed on the Projects Page were written by Bruce Miller.
JumpChart collaborative content development for the Web
I create Web sites using WordPress and flexible tools that speed development and allow for quick, ongoing revisions. I believe that Web sites should be able to be updated monthly, weekly, and even daily — in response to new products, new strategies and initiatives. Shake things up. Keep it fresh. Try out ideas until you get it right. The Web is not carved in stone.
This Web site was created with this approach. If this appeals to you. Let’s talk.
To learn more, read: “Are Web programmers an endangered species?”
I am a graduate of UCLA Department of Motion Pictures and Television. I have scripted over 100 industrials and Web videos over the years. Where video production used to be complex and expensive, today’s tools make it possibly (and perhaps mandatory) for every Web site to use video to augment all that text.
Explainer Videos describe a product or service in a nutshell. The goal is to make it simple to understand, easy to use, and a no-brainer to buy. Explainer videos typically use graphics or animation to simplify concepts.
Using royalty-free stock images instead of original animation, it is possible to create explainer videos with the most modest of budgets.
Recently, I created an Explainer Video for a start-up I am developing with my friend, Jim Scully.
Jim likes to repurpose things (he is currently converting a trampoline frame into a greenhouse to support his green smoothie kick). He had developed an online benchmarking application for the HR market and he asked me to help him repurpose it for trade associations.
Here is the finished explainer video for Benchmark Genie:
A Brand Video presents your “brand position” — how your company uniquely meets the customer’s need and where you live in the brand universe. Unlike an Explainer Video, the video focuses more on brand attributes, higher production values and a bigger budget.
Here’s a brand video we created for USATestprep:
Testimonials and Interviews
Testimonials deliver an emotional authenticity that goes beyond features and benefits. They also take a bit of work to elicit naturalness in front of the camera.
To see how testimonials enhance a selling message, visit this Workout Anytime testimonial page we produced.
“Content-marketing” leverages the cost-effective, quick-to-execute power of story-telling to market your business. The key is to develop a Big Idea that you can use to drive your brand messaging across many platforms.
As an award-winning brand strategist, content-developer, scriptwriter, and author, Bruce Miller brings over 20 years of marketing experience to your next messaging-driven campaign.