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Getting Started in the Mail Order Business. How Much Does It Cost?
Brand Positioning - Brand Image
That cross-trainer you're wearing -- one look at the distinctive swoosh on the side tells everyone who's got you branded. That coffee travel mug you're carrying -- ah, you're a Starbucks woman! Your T-shirt with the distinctive Champion "C" on the sleeve, the blue jeans with the prominent Levi's rivets, the watch with the hey-this-certifies-I-made-it icon on the face, your fountain pen with the maker's symbol crafted into the end ...
Logo Files: Versions Of Your Logo That You Should Own
Your logo is the most important graphic element in which you will invest for your business. You should own the logo in many file formats. Having a library of logo files will enable you to send vendors the types of files they need (for example, other designers, printers, or other service providers).
Brand Building 101
Building your brand into a brand leader isn't easy. There are 2 areas that can really help you grow your brand, passion and consistency. Passion is incredibly important. You have to understand that even if you are a start up or a one-man operation, or are well on your way, you are still a brand. You have to care passionately about the way your brand is nurtured, developed and presented to your target audience. Everything that leaves your building, every impression that your staff and your company make, is lasting. Take advantage of this opportunity to get your customers and potential customers to remember you in the way that you want them too!
Im Just Starting, Why Do I Need a Logo Design?
Businesses eager to open often give little thought to their identity.With so much to get done, designing an appropriate logo hardly seemslike a top priority. However, this oversight can prove to be acostly error in the long run.
Quality and Service - Yeah, Right!
One of the critical drivers of business success is having a unique competitive advantage. Most managers understand that to attract a larger share of the market, or find enough customers prepared to pay a premium price, they must provide something of greater value than their competition. For most managers, competitive advantage boils down to providing superior quality and service. Think about it. Is this what you are aiming for?
Revealing the Roots: The Process of Building Brand
How is branding different than marketing?
The Positioning of Success
Many businesses of today are often driven to compete striclty on price, quality, and features of their products and services. Companies who prosper over the long term don't simply offer the best deals, the best quality, or the most impressive bells and whistles. If you want to win big in today's cutting edge world of business, you have to begin by thinking differently and by challenging the status quo. Whether you are a new or an established business owner, these ten powerful strategies will position your company for big success. (1) Adopt the philosophy of "Givers Gain." In 2003, the members of Business Network International (BNI) passed over 2 million referrals to each other. Founded by CEO Ivan Misner, BNI is a business and professional networking organization that offers members the opportunity to share ideas, contacts and most importantly, referrals. Misner founded BNI based on the philosophy of "Givers Gain," which is the belief that in order to get business, it is important to first give business. One of the critical factors in achieving success rests in the ability to develop reciprocal relationships where two parties naturally refer business to each other on a consistent basis. "It's not what you know but who you know" has never been so true as it is in today's competitive world of business. For more information on Ivan Misner and his philosophy of "Giver's Gain," access an interview here: http://www.cvcommunity.com/utility/showArticle/?objectID=1452 (2) Focus on Soft Innovations In today's competitive marketplace, the old equation of spending more on advertising to increase profits it not working as it once did. In his latest book, Free Prize Inside, author Seth Godin, makes a strong case for using soft innovations as a way to get noticed in this crowded and noisy world. Soft innovations are the small yet insightful ideas that can take your product or service from good to remarkable. They are often hidden, and they usually solve a problem that is " peripheral to what your product is ostensibly about." At first glance, you think the soft innovation does not mean much, but once you have it in place, it becomes an essential part of your product or service. Examples of soft innovations include Starbuck's Cards, Dinosaur-shaped pasta for kids, and Amazon.com cutting its ad spend and offering free shipping with the money saved. For more information, read an interview with Seth Godin in Today's Coach here: http://www.cvcommunity.com/utility/showArticle/index.cfm?objectID=1524 (3) Re-groove! How do you operate when the heat is on? How do you respond to chaos? When new skills or new behaviors are needed, how do you respond? Knowing what to do and how to do it is one thing but being able to respond effectively and to keep your cool under pressure and on a consistent basis is a very different ballgame. As leaders in today's world, it is crucial to learn how to work differently and how to be able to shift and bend to meet expectations which here one day and gone the next. The half-life of a great idea or a new product or service has never been shorter, and it is up to you as a business owner to become masterful with reshaping strategies, adding new perks to old products, and to stay on top of your game in the face of dramatically changing circumstances. You may find that your strength of achievement was required to get your company up and running but that same strength is now squelching the creativity of your team. It's time to Re-Groove! It's time to unlock the incredible potential that is inside of you that is required to get the job done under present day demands. If you are dedicated to re-grooving (getting past the old worn out grooves of your past conditioning,) it is essential to work with a coach or trainer who can coach you through the new behaviors quickly and in real time. By learning to re-groove, you will be able to create incredible opportunities for your company and for yourself. (4) Make your brand a "state of mind" Are you winning when it comes to style, a smart and accessible mix of products and services, and first rate customer service? If so, Bravo! However, this is just a part of the equation of what it takes to truly succeed. In order to create a brand that is truly memorable, it is crucial for you to live an inspired life and to make your brand a "state of mind" for your customers. This state of mind could be a feeling of trust and confidence, a sense of well being, or a state of knowing that you are buying from a company who has your best interests at heart. This state of mind cannot develop behind the confines of the walls of your business. It grows and develops when you are in the middle of your potential buyers?in restaurants, traveling, checking out the competition, playing sports, tinkering with a hobby, having fun and lots of it! If you are living fully and in relationship with others, you will be re-energized every day and you will give your customers a vision of what an inspired life actually looks like, because you are living one! Your brand will become much more than your trimmings...it will become the connection that others feel when they think of you as a valued person in their lives. (5) Become masterful at mobilizing resources The ability to galvanize resources, both human and monetary, and to build effective and efficient projects with them is a critical component of success in today's marketplace. We are quick to look first at the monetary costs of a project and quickly get cold feet, when the reality is that we have valuable resources hidden in our personal and professional lives which may not cost a dime. Social capital is one resource that is one of the most valuable assets available to business owners of today. The term social capital emphasizes that very specific benefits are made available from the trust, reciprocity, information, and cooperation associated with social networks. The value of social capital is that people can draw on the wisdom of each other to solve common problems, especially as it relates to money, time, and resources. (6) Buck conventional wisdom In 1971, Rollin King and Herb Kelleher decided to start an airline that you might say?was different and a little bit quirky. They began with one simple notion: If you get your passengers to their destinations on time, at the lowest fare possible, and make sure they have a fantastic time doing it, people will choose you over a competing airline. This is the story of Southwest Airlines, who chose to move beyond the status quo by offering services and a sense of style that bucked conventional wisdom. With their focus on fun, games, and "Love Southwest Style," Southwest has made its mark with its strong focus on stellar customer service and conveniences such as allowing customers to proceed to their departure gate without stopping at the ticket counter, skycap, or self-service kiosk. Most importantly, Southwest has honed in on searching for important personal qualities in those they hire-- the perfect blend of energy, humor, team spirit, and self-confidence to match its famously offbeat culture. Southwest was once dismissed as a maverick, as their strategies seemed strange to the "airline powerhouses." These same powerhouses are now looking in awe at what this "maverick" has built. The strategy of originality worked?It had the sticking power required for success. (7) Become a Talent FarmWhen recruiting new employees, what are you looking for? Raw talent? Raw communication skills? Intellect? Athletic ability? Commitment? Skills? Flexbility? What about all of this and more? If you are a company who wants to operate at the leading edge, where change is the greatest and success is the goal, you will want to recruit the most talented group of people you can find?those people who are self- starters and who are living boldly in the world. By developing a "talent farm" culture, you can instill a mindset of excellence from the top to the bottom of your organization. This culture encompasses a deeply held belief that having high caliber people is crucial to your success. With this "talent farm" approach to recruiting, your company will also be required to recruit great talent every day. Successful businesses and organizations have a strong sense of what they are looking for, and they are always on the look for new talent and ways to retain them for a lifetime. (8) Embrace your core values What is it in life that you most value? Do you value beauty, leadership, creativity, stability, or family? You can choose to orient your life around your wants and needs or the list of things you feel you "should" be doing, but if you embrace your core values and build your life around them, you will find experience inspiration and joy at a level you never thought was possible. Whole Foods Market is one of the fastest growing supermarkets of today, because its commitment to fresh, nutritious products is a value that keeps customers coming back for more and employees happy, hard working, and committed. When you focus your business on doing what feels right and what fulfills you, you will have no regrets, because you have been true to the very core of your being. (9) Become a "white hot center" of influence A "white hot center" of influence is an organization or group that you most want your company to be aligned with tightly and in a relationship which is reciprocal. One connection into a strong center of influence can position your company to attract a stream of qualified opportunities. (Example: You are an interior designer, and you want to be in the middle of Southern Accent or Better Homes and Gardens Magazine.) In order to attract a "white hot center" of influence, you have to become what you want to attract. Be well educated, highly skilled, experienced, trained and innovative in your product development. Fill your network with other business owners who are up to big things in the world and who are experts in their respective fields. Attract talented people into your company, and tap each and every talent and skill available in your company. As you begin to raise your bar in all areas of your business and enhance your network, you will eventually become a "white hot center" that will attract others by the thousands. (10) Just Begin! Start where you are, and begin today to create success in your life. Drop the excuses, reasons or people to blame, dis-empowering attitudes and behaviors and get on with the business of living the life you know you were born to live. Do what you know you want to do, and do it with passion. Begin today to create the tomorrow you want. As Peter Drucker said, "The best way to predict the future is to create it"
One of the most important things in a business is a clean image. I started a small business when I was twelve years old and built it up in a very large small business and then franchised the business. I retired at age 40 after setting up franchises in 23 states and four countries. It is an automotive and cleaning franchise. We always believed in image and cleanliness. How can you sell cleaning services when your equipment is ratty looking, it shows a complete disrespect for the customer.
Branding On The Web Is Like Mining For Fools Gold
I am sick and tired of marketing geeks touting the beauty of branding, brand building and just spouting branding in any context, especially when the term is used with "internet" or "web" or "digital!" You can't have a conversation today for more than five minutes without some marketing type throwing in a line about brand building!
You?ll Bring a Parade of Business to Your Door!
Parades happen in every big city and many small towns. They are fun, relaxing and most people are there because they really want to be. Parades are a wonderful marketing tool if you know what to do! I recommend being a part of your local town parades. For most local home towns, it only takes a convertible and some decorations. The biggest parade in my home town is the Rose Parade because I grew up in Pasadena. There are not too many locals in that parade, but the little know Doo-Dah Parade is FULL of locals and locals watching it. When people like a particular float or group, they throw soft tortillas at them. Most local parades are covered by the local cable company.
Britney Spears Branding
How would you like to sell as much in one year as Britney sells in one day or in one hour? Have you put much thought into how marketing empires are created? If you're selling anything then you're a marketer and you should study the biggest successes to follow in their footsteps.
No Logo? Launching A Business Without a Logo Can Sabotage You
Initial lack of customers and cash flow often causes a small business to put off designing a logo and marketing materials professionally "until [they] got a few clients" or "until [they] get started." Designing their own marketing materials when they launch their business, instead of having them professionally created, will make getting those initial clients more difficult, and may result in a business that will not succeed.
Trademark Issues in the Mobil Auto Business
There have always been trademark issues and lawsuits in the mobile auto service business. I know this because I own several such businesses. We first noticed a competitor in the Mobile Auto Detailing Business, which had a name "Mobile Auto Services" another "Mobile Oil Change" and still another "Mobile Car Care". Mobil Oil Company was marketing at the time their Gas Station Service Centers as "Mobil Auto-Services" "Mobil Car Care" and "Mobil Auto Care."
Branding: What Not to Do
Here's a little story about what not to do as you carve out a name for yourself in the world of internet business.
Branding has been defined, explained and examined extensively. There are books, articles, publications, seminars, and groups all dedicated to exploring the meaning and use of brand today.
How Will Your Visitors Remember You And Your Business? Brand Yourself From The Crowd...
Big and Yellow 'M' reminds you McDonalds... 'DELL' with oblique E reminds you famous 'Dell' computers...
Do What Works
"Can you hear me now?"
Branding Strategy - Brand Identity
Today, in many organizations around the world, branding is treated as a cosmetic exercise only, and regarded merely as a new name, logo, stationary and possibly a new advertising campaign. But, to associate your "brand" with such superficial cosmetics is like saying that people are really only the sum of their name, face and sometimes their clothing
Branding: You are the Brand
What's in a brand name? Everything! Think of these brands: Coke, Barbie, Hershey, McDonalds, Madonna, Pepsi, Bono, Microsoft, Kleenex, Xerox, Steven Spielberg, Dell and GM. Did you notice that brands can be things, replicas of people and actual people? Brands are the public perception of a thing or person. Companies work very hard to establish their brand, sometimes failing when they attempt to tie a secondary product into the popular brand name. Does anyone even remember A1 chicken sauce?
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