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Monthly Archives: November 2019


Be the Brand

Posted on November 19, 2019 by Nicole

Recently my partner, David, and I were fortunate to have the opportunity to go to New Orleans to help launch the brand we developed recently for one of our clients, Centennial Mortgage.

As a Certified Brand Strategists through the Brand Establishment, we subscribe to a specific methodology of developing brand for an organization. This is a proven and efficient process, and we’ve seen outstanding results as we help companies understand their distinction in the marketplace.

The brand development process began earlier in the year as we worked closely with the Centennial team to understand their uniqueness.  There were many interviews both with the internal team and then with a group of their clients and vendors. Along with the interviews, we did a communications audit and finally took their team through our Soul Searching™ discovery process. Voila, the new brand was born – ok, it wasn’t that easy, but that was the general process.

Once you have determined the brand essence, franchise and positioning statement you need to communicate it internally first. Everyone on the team needs to understand, believe and live the brand. This “enculturation” needs to take place before you even THINK about telling your clients/customers.

Enculturation, or operationalizing the brand, starts with a solid understanding by the internal team of what the company promises to their customer. Then making sure each person is empowered to deliver on that promise from where they sit within the organization.

Because their team was scattered across the country, there were members new to the organization that have never met face to face. This needed to be remedied and the client began planning to bring everyone together. This gathering offered the perfect opportunity to do some team building and to formally launch the new brand and begin the all important enculturation process!

Important elements of brand enculturation:

  1. The team should hear from the CEO, as brand is driven from the top down, to talk about the direction of the company and her/his vision moving forward.
  2. There should be a presentation of the new brand elements – brand essence (the heart and soul of the company – pulling in recently uncovered Unique Value Propositions (UVPs)); the brand franchise (promise to the customer, a further distillation of the UVPs) and positioning statement (what the essence and franchise equal), new logo and colors, etc.
  3. Presentation of brand guidelines in printed form so that everyone can move forward with one cohesive look and feel.
  4. Establishing core groups assigned with particular tasks to work on aspirational goals and closing any brand gaps.

A company brand needs to be reinforced and nurtured, and then when fully understood by organization, shared with the customers through every touchpoint.

The Soul Searching process is fun, revealing, and sometimes emotional. When you dive deep and understand your brand so you can “Be the Brand”, it can be a game changer.

Get in touch with us at Force 5 if you are interested in creating a stronger brand for your organization, we’d love to help!




Google SERP: Get With It

Posted on November 11, 2019 by Nicole


Can you think back to when searching the internet was simpler? No mumbo jumbo, ads, and information you don’t care about displaying everywhere? Yeah, I remember too. Take a look at the Google Search Engine Results Page (SERP) just a decade ago.


Now, take a gander at what the SERP looks like today by just typing in “Dwayne Wade”


Holy cow, what a difference! Google has constantly been changing its Search Engine Results Page over the years to create a more personalized experience for the searcher, which isn’t a bad thing. Whenever a person has a desire, need, or question, more than likely we turn to the internet, more specifically Google.  Google owns a whopping 92% of worldwide market share for search engines. That’s unbelievable! But what does this have to do with SERP?

Look back at the modern SERP page previously shown. Structurally, the page is entirely different and is constructed by what Google thinks you want to know. This is important to understand, because SEO and SERP are becoming two different things when looking to “optimize.” Traditional SEO practices (targeted keywords in your content, backlinking, etc) mainly impact your site’s ranking in the organic search results. While the organic results are certainly still relevant, now they often take up a very small portion of the overall search results page. So traditional SEO is still relevant as part of a larger SERP strategy.

The SERP is a personalized experience like no other. Depending on the search query, Google will provide you with as much information as possible before even showing you the traditional list of websites you may be looking for. What does this mean? Well, it means that we need to take a holistic approach to your business, and think about how can we get into some of these “featured” areas. Approx. ¾ of a modern SERP page contains multiple “featured” areas and only a ¼ of them being organic website results. This is why traditional SEO is still important to try and show in the ¼ part of the SERP page and optimize for branded terms. However, if that doesn’t happen, how will people find you in the big mess!? (You can always “pay to play” but that’s not for everybody.)

Here is a list of Google’s featured areas:

  • Direct Answer Box
  • Featured Snippets (multiple variations)
  • Rich Snippets
  • Rich Card (for mobile)
  • Knowledge Graph
  • Knowledge Panel
  • Local Pack
  • People Also Ask
  • Image Pack
  • Video Pack (You
  • Site Links
  • Twitter
  • News Box
  • Paid Ads

All of these “featured” areas aren’t for everyone, can be super competitive to dive into, and takes time for Google to digest information. Depending on the scope of your business, there are ways to break into these areas, which is done by creating CONTENT. Content is king, you can optimize your content by focusing on what’s important/relevant to your business.

Every digital avenue of your business plays a key role, as Google tries to find content that is relevant to that search query and pulls it onto the SERP. For example, if your business doesn’t do much on YouTube, but you have the ability and could create impactful content that people would watch, perhaps it’s worth looking into so Google can draw connections to your activity and content.

In a nutshell, Google search results pages are constantly changing and can be a pain to keep up with. But at the end of the day, everyone uses Google to help answer questions that can arise at a moments notice. It’s best for us to try and be there in those moments, or you risk missing an opportunity with your customers

There are so many different ways you can now be found through Google search. Force 5 can provide a lucrative strategy in upping your SERP game. Get in touch with us today!


Jim Ragosta

Digital Media Specialist

Force 5



Whatever type of business or organization you’re in, you’ve probably been working on your big plans for 2020. Maybe you’re aiming high at some bold and exciting sales goals or perhaps have decided you want to work on increasing your brand awareness. At Force 5, we’d love to help you reach whatever marketing goals you have set for the future.

Here are five important things to consider when setting a course for your marketing in 2020.

1.  How will you leverage digital marketing?

There is an ever-increasing number of tools, tactics, and services in the digital marketing world. Plus, what works today may not work tomorrow! Which things are right for you? How much should you spend? Well, like many things in life, it depends. Statistics show that digital marketing spend has consistently grown for years now, and doesn’t show signs of slowing. What is most important is that your business/organization is exploring what digital marketing efforts are right for you.

Start by looking at your target customers. Where are they paying attention? What digital tools do they use? If you’re putting out content through the right channels with a relevant message, you’ve taken a great first step in leveraging digital. Next, take a look inward at your brand and culture. Which digital channels and what types of messages will be most authentic to you? Be careful not to jump on the next big thing without making sure it fits your brand.


2.  Do you have the right media mix?

Which marketing and communication channels do you use, and why? Using the right marketing channels at the right time and place can make a huge difference in your effectiveness. An easy way to determine the right media mix is to look at your audience, budget, and brand/message. First, how does your audience get information? Do they read the news paper or get news on their phones? Second, what resources do you want to allocate to your media buys?  If you’re relying on your marketing and media buys to drive your business, are you spending enough to meet the business goals you’ve set? Third, what is your message? If your call to action is complex, you probably shouldn’t put a paragraph on a billboard and hope people pull over and read it. Your message should fit the medium, whether it be broadcast TV ads, OTT streaming ads, radio, or outdoor.


3.  How do you want to be perceived?

It has been said that your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room. This is a great example that illustrates the fact that brand is all about perception. But this doesn’t mean perception of your brand is out of your hands. Start by first defining who you want to be and what you will promise to your customers. From there, act and speak in a way that is true to what you promise. Being consistent and authentic are some of the fundamentals of reinforcing your brand.


4.  How do you capture sales leads and what do you do with them?

You probably have some sort of system for gathering and tracking leads. Whether you use an Excel spreadsheet or a robust customer relationship management system, it can be challenging to get your sales system and your marketing efforts aligned and working in harmony.

5.  What is the big picture?

Everything we’ve mentioned up to this point are different pieces and parts of an overall marketing strategy. Maybe your marketing efforts have been scattered, feel sort of random, or maybe you’re just reacting to what’s in front of you. It might be time to take a few steps back and look at or reset the big picture for your marketing. What are your goals for your business or your organization? How can you leverage marketing to help support and accomplish those goals? What do you want your marketing efforts and team to look like in five years? Do you need to make some changes in your marketing strategy?

We hope that these questions have sparked new thoughts and ideas for your business or organization. If you have big plans and goals for 2020 and beyond, it can be daunting to try to set goals, manage budgets, lay out tactics, and then execute them on top of everything else! At Force 5, we truly seek out strategic marketing partnerships. We think our work as brand and marketing specialists gets better the more deeply we know and understand our clients. If you’re looking for a team of marketing experts that support you as you aim high in 2020, we would love to meet you!

Get in touch today!