How to make a simple brand book

By Desiree Blue, UMSL Digital Student

A Brand Book is basically a set of guidelines that keeps your brand consistent. Brand Books includes the name, symbols, colors, and etc. that represents your organization. Every company should set aside time to create this book because your brand identifies who you are to the rest of the world. Also, every brand should always be consistent no matter who is representing your brand.  Below, you’ll find a simply outline of the 4 core items every branding guide should include to help build a stronger brand.

Brand Statement

A branding statement is a 2-3 sentence that communicates the fundamental of who you are and it reveals the mission of your business. 

Example:  Since 2005, XXX has established a strong brand Identity by offering YYY. We have earned the reputation of XYZ and our mission is to ZZZ

Brand Promise

A brand promise is a statement that states what your promises to your customers are. The easy way to compose this statement is to think adjectives that describe your company goals then explain how you will do that.

Example: Entertain – We showcase African choral composers by performing at concerts and programs. 


This is the most immediate representation of your company, staff, and brand. The logo is valuable and must be used consistently across platforms. Setting specification for your logo will be highly important to create a continuity of your brand. Below are examples of variations that you may create of your logo at the outset that you can may carry your branding across a variety of printed materials, advertising and digital platforms.


Screen Shot 2014-12-28 at 7.43.21 AMStandard Logo

This logo should be used:

1) On all print and digital documents (brochures, flyers, Facebook ads, posters, newsletter, PowerPoints, Prezi, etc.)   

2) By third parties with permission

 Screen Shot 2014-12-28 at 7.44.06 AMNon-color logo

This only should be used when color is prohibited.  Some print ads and sponsorship materials may require a non-color logo.


Edgeless LogoScreen Shot 2014-12-28 at 7.44.16 AM

This logo should only be used when there is no edge (promotional materials, the middle of a document or web page).

Horizontal LogoScreen Shot 2014-12-28 at 7.44.26 AM

The horizontal logo should ONLY be used in very small spaces such as on promotional pens to retain legibility.

Logo size specification example:

50 pixel: Email newsletters, web banner,

72 pixel: Web page

⅞”: post card, 8.5 x11” formats, PowerPoints

Brand Colors

Screen Shot 2014-12-28 at 7.44.38 AMHaving a core set of colors for your business helpful when making new designs for your company. You can always add more colors to your guidelines. You may wish to have your designer determine and provide your HEX, PMS and RGB colors to you at the time of creation for easy reference.

4 Steps to Effectively Measure Your Marketing Impact

Commercial Planning Marketing

by: Maria De Los Angeles Lopez De Lacalle, with Danni Eickenhorst 
Commercial Planning MarketingOnce a company decides to put focus on social media, one critical step they must take is determining its goals for this medium, and how it will measure those goals. The goals should be based on Key Performance Indicators (KPI), which are measurements that inform their strategic decisions in the future.

1. Set the goals

We cannot determine which measurements are our KPI without first having decided our objectives. While many entrepreneurs sometimes operate without a clean business plan, most know the goals they want to achieve in order to be successful. Most business objectives have a corresponding marketing measurement.
Let’s suppose we are marketing and managing a hotel. Our objective for successful marketing would be to increase the number of sales. In order to measure how successful we are at the marketing we perform, we would need to measure and monitor the conversion rate of visitors to our website who book a hotel room.

2. Set goals and measure progress

Once we have determined the marketing measurements that best reflect our business goals, we need to establish what goals we will measure to ensure that we are making strategic decisions that achieve our business goals. We will need to establish the goals and measure our progress to make better marketing decisions.
Is very important not to measure just to measure. It does not worth it know my conversion rate if I don’t compare it with my goal.

3. Analyze the data

Once we have our measurements and goals, we must measure and analyze. While measuring our progress is important, it cannot be truly useful without further analysis. Some things we might consider include:

  • How did those who visited our website and booked a hotel room arrive at our site?
  • Of all of the sources of traffic, which ones were most likely to convert into booked rooms?
  • Do we have any benchmark data we should compare against? What’s changed? Is it a positive or negative change?
  • Do we have competitor data to compare our data to? While not all competitor metrics are comparable, since we have reduced access to their data, there is almost always something you can find through social networks or online research to benchmark your successes against those of your competitors.

4. Interpreting & Representation of data

With all the indicators collected, measured and contextualized, you have now arrived at the moment to represent that data. Consider the audience who will be reviewing your data.
If your audience is executives in a board room (professionals who don’t specialize in marketing, but who are more concerned with bottom line business goals), you may wish to display and convey this data in a way that avoids marketing jargon and showcases your actual impact on the bottom line. One way you may present this data is, “We launched a campaign to drive our Facebook and Twitter followers to our website in February. In February, we received 5,000 new website visitors from these channels, which was 75% higher than previous months. We analyzed the data, and in the end, found that Facebook visitors were 33% more likely to convert to sales once they arrived on our site. We plan to repeat and analyze this approach and data going forward, but preliminarily feel that our efforts might be best adjusted going forward by spending a proportionally higher amount of our marketing time and dollars on Facebook over Twitter.”
If your audience is a group of marketing professionals, you may wish to pair this data with more technical marketing measurements, such as engagement, followers, time on site, etc.
If you choose to utilize graphic representations of your data, carefully consider whether graphics or charts will be better received by your audience. Always tailor the information delivered to that audience.
In the interpretation of your data, results and insights in this way, with analysis and strategic direction recommendations, you are providing value, and helping your company make stronger strategic decisions.

Student Feature: Howard Stamps III, marketer in the making

Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 11.12.11 PMMarketing has shown to be one of the most profitable and essential areas in business. It is the business of promotion and selling products or services, including market research, advertisement, social media, community outreach and more. Having already experienced real-world marketing attributes, enrolling in Intro to Social Media Marketing at the University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL), only enhanced his skills. UMSL graduating senior and soon to be Alumni, Howard Stamps III, has embraced the marketing realm from not only in his undergraduate career, but from operations in Fortune 500 companies, in the St. Louis metropolitan area.

Howard took a deeper liking for marketing, as an Information Technology intern for Centene Corporation, in Clayton, MO. As an intern, he interfaced with almost all employees including senior management at both their corporate headquarters, and other company sites. In particular, he had the opportunity to meet the Senior Director of Marketing and Communication, John Lee. Timing and introductions couldn’t have been more perfect for him, as the department was preparing to release all-new marketing products and materials for the company.

“When I would pass through the marketing department, it was always a fun environment,” said Howard Stamps III. “It just always seemed like an upbeat and cool environment to work in. Even the Directors corner office was cool to just observe.”

Having been able to intern for the company throughout the semester, Howard had the opportunity to switch positions and departments, as a Marketing Intern.

To better support this intriguing move, his enrollment in Intro to Social Media Marketing assisted with his social media and website responsibilities.

“Facebook and Twitter, Facebook and Twitter, we need to get that on the sites, was all I was hearing,” said Stamps. “Besides the many press releases that had to be written and uploaded, social media was my baby.”

Having thought to know it all about an effective message when using social media, he was wrong. Danni Eickenhorst, Associate professor for Social Media Marketing department, taught him many skill sets that played majorly in his job success. From minimizing word use, how to effective broadcast message, maintaining brand image and followings. All of which, were used and shown noticeable to the company. With the internship coming to a close due to graduation this fall 2014 semester, he is inquiring to stay on-board with Centene Corporation, to grow and seek more opportunities in the field.

St. Louis Brand Marketing Highlight: JORD Watches

St Louis Jord Wood Watches Cherry Maple

“JORD is a Swedish word for earth, soil, or land. We chose the name simply because we wanted something unique, short, easy to spell, but may cause discussion in how its pronounced. The word reflects what we do as a brand seeking to create premium fashion accessories from the most natural and sustainable of materials.”
-Amir Shah, Co-Founder of JORD Watches

St Louis Jord Wood Watches Cherry MaplePresently, JORD (pronounced “yoad”) offers a premium line of men’s and women’s wood watches. Amir points out, “As we grow, it is our intention to expand into other fashion items that stay true to our sustainable and natural mission while remaining fashion forward.” The brand is owned and operated by people born and raised in the St. Louis area. JORD wants to maintain an image of quality, fashionable, and adventurous. Amir said, “When people think of our products, I want them to feel like the watch or any of our products serve as a unique accent on an otherwise conventional day.”
During February 2013, the concept of a wood watch came from the co-founder’s friend in Europe.  The concept was unique and had not caught on yet, so with an existing channel of fashion bloggers and influencers, they decided to research the idea and see what was possible.  Wood watches were prototyped, tested, and manufactured for 8 months.  The official website launched on November 12, 2013, with their marketing strategy already in position. Amir states, “We have only one strategy and that strategy is: don’t spend money marketing directly to the customer. Instead, market and incentivize social influencers so they can vouch for our product to their audience.So as long as we are actively finding influencers ,gaining trust, and encouraging unique ways of introducing our products to their audience, we have something to measure and grow on.”
What differentiates JORD from their competitors? They are the only wood watch company offering automatic movements. They focus on the quality and design, unlike their competitors. Amir stated, “ We are not focused on being a commodity but rather a premium brand that continues to grow in reputation and durability.”
Their target market are millennials ages 24-40. Many of their customers are younger, but the majority falls into this age group. Amir states, “We are targeting working professionals with discretionary income who are seeking creative fashion accessories beyond just the utility of a watch.”

Influencer outreach with a contest on The Voice.
Influencer outreach with a contest on The Voice.

The company is active on many social media sites including Twitter, Facebook, Vine, Instagram, Pinterest, and others.  They are also testing getting involved with niche fashion networks like Polyvore and Wanelo.  Another part of their advertising and social media is their own customers.  Anyone wearing a JORD watch while sharing pics can attract interest from future customers. Amir says, “ Everyone who wears one of our watches is a walking advertisement. Sharing pics on social media can leave an impression on future customers. Our sole advertising campaigns right now revolve around social media.”
Their social media is firmly measured in their own marketing engine developed internally. Even though they have good numbers on their social influencers, they are still bootstrapping their social media strategy. Amir believes that they can be so much better engaging their audience through social platforms such as facebook, twitter, instagram and others.
Even though the company is not tracking the “chatter” with their products, they are working hard in tracking the SEO, facebook fans engagement, twitter, etc. Their plans for the future are to have their marketing team expand their social programs and develop creative ways to  improve engagement.
Outside of social media JORD was recently featured on FOX2Now with Chief Brand Officer Salman Shah and Retail Director Abby Peskorse and had product placement on NBC’s The Voice. Contestant Taylor John Williams was shown performing with the black watch from the Fieldcrest Series. JORD has also been featured in Alive magazine St. Louis, The Post Dispatch, and has recently partnered up with Touch of Modern.
Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 10.55.03 PMJORD has also had the privilege to work with the Albert Pujols Family Foundation to help generate revenue for them and spread awareness by designing a limited edition timepiece for the foundation.
When asked for any tips on success, co founder Amir Shah had this to say “Start with a market… not the product.  Beat headphones are not the best but they have market share because they tapped a very specific market.  They leveraged the athletes to gain access to their market. Spend your time and money finding the influencers over a target market. Gain their trust and vote of confidence and they will sell the product for you.”
What advice does he have for someone starting their own brand? Amir concludes, “ It does not matter how great the product is. If you don’t have access to a market, creating a brand is challenging. Before you even begin working on a product, clearly identify exactly how you will connect with the market. If your answer is social media, you are not ready. Instead, have an idea of how you can use social media and what resources you have to persist down this path. Instant success is almost certainly not guaranteed.”
This post has been completed by students in the UMSL Digital Marketing program Renee Richardson, Miquel Subira Ribas, Kyle Dermody, Kathleen Harris and Martin Gwozdz.

#TopTweeps: St. Louis' Top Twitter Influencers Announced

And the winners are…

UMSL Digital Mindshare was looking for a short list of the best Tweeps in the St. Louis region and a short list of the greatest minds, sharing their wisdom in 140 characters or less. Maybe you’ve seen one or more passing by on Twitter.
The UMSL Digital Mindshare #TopTweeps contest kicked off 11/6 and wrapped up 11/26. All Twitter votes were counted by our UMSL #TopTweeps jury. Special thanks to those who voted and our compliments to the nominated! You all did an excellent job and we couldn’t have done it without you!
UMSL Digital TopTweepsNow after all the energy, sweating and tweets, we are proud to announce the winners.
Best of Art & Entertainment

Best Local Brand
Best Business Leader
Best Advocate
Best of Sportsball
Best of Fundraising
All Around Best Tweep


You will all receive a shiny new badge for your profile or blog and bragging rights until next year!

Announcing the UMSL Social and Digital Media Lab

social media lab

UMSL Digital is excited to announce the addition of the UMSL social and digital media lab. UMSL’s social and digital media lab is a virtual agency run by graduate and undergraduate students specializing in digital and social media marketing and communications
Our agency is seeking clients for the upcoming winter/spring 2015 semester.  All St. Louis based non-profits and startups are welcome to apply. Continue reading “Announcing the UMSL Social and Digital Media Lab”