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Effective Branding...Whats in a Name!
Ask any marketing executive and they will tell you that a company's name is golden. There are certain associations that people have with a name, one that invokes emotions -- good or bad. Let's examine three case studies of branding involving companies that have merged and where the buyer kept the name of the company they bought or are considering purchasing.
In the late 1990s with bank mergers in full swing, United Jersey Bank was faced with a dilemma. Having started to open branches in neighboring states, the "United Jersey" part of their name was beginning to become a hindrance. Bank executives knew that the name would have to be changed in order to continue to grow, while at the same time continuing to avoid being merged out of existence. The solution? The bank purchased a small, local bank based in Summit, NJ named Summit Bank. Once the merger was completed United Jersey Bank was renamed Summit Bank. Unlike the United Jersey name with its New Jersey correlation, few people associated Summit with the town of Summit. Instead, United Jersey Bank capitalized on a very positive name, summit, and started to market themselves as the peak of all banks. The campaign was a success as the name change was well received by consumers.
In 2005, KMart purchased Sears, Roebuck, and Company and the newly joined entity was renamed Sears Holdings. While it is much too early to tell if the decision to keep the Sears name is a success, most people have associated KMart with bankruptcy, run down stores, and as being a poor competitor to WalMart and Target. Sears, on the other hand, has pretty much put their woes behind them after forfeiting the spot as America's top retailer a generation ago to WalMart, and after laying off 100,000 employees, and closing out their famous catalog business. Branding experts will tell you that both names carry plenty of baggage [the stores will keep the KMart and Sears names too] as some see the merger as only a temporary fix. Thus, the Sears name may not be enough to save the combined retailer.
In the airline industry, several of the legacy carriers will more than likely find themselves out of business over the next few years. United, for instance, could find themselves a takeover target of a regional carrier. Skywest Airlines, which also flies as United Express [by providing regional jet services to United], may see a "buy" opportunity and offer to purchase the venerable, but bankrupt carrier. To "unite" the two companies, Skywest could consider tossing their regional sounding name and take on the reknowned United moniker. The new carrier would then be able to carry on the legacy of a 75 year old name and achieve instant recognition on the world stage while at the same time distancing itself from the problems that beset the original United.
With a wave of mergers and acquisitions anticipated over the next few years, more opportunities to purchase a "golden" name will arise for savvy dealmakers. These dealmakers must call upon the skills of branding experts to take the pulse of consumers' "feel" for a name. Neglect that or pick the wrong name and you are certain to invite disaster.
Matt runs two very successfully branded aviation sites: the Corporate Flight Attendant Community at http://www.cabinmanagers.com and the Aviation Employment Board at http://www.aviationemploymentboard.com
Brand Strategy - Brand Value - Brand Identity Guru
Developing brand strategy is extremely critical. The most important asset your company has is its brand. Quite simply, for better or worse, it drives the direction of your business. You should definitely have a well thought out brand strategy in place. Unfortunately, too many companies don't have a brand strategy, or have an inconsistent brand strategy. A brand strategy company should realize there's probably a good reason you may not be paying attention to your brand strategy-you're busy running your business.
Into The Limelight
To stand out in a cluttered world, become a recognized expert
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.
Franchisor Policies for Unlicensed or Sold Territories
Franchisors often have issues when they own a brand which has service vehicles; where franchisees wish to operate in non-franchise assigned territories. We had this as a re-occurring issue in our franchise system. We came up with this policy, which is also in our Confidential Operations Manuals. Here is a sample policy for our franchisees:
Are You Brand Worthy?
Branding is one hot topic, although it is wildly misunderstood. To make things even more confusing, branding is often tossed in the same basket as marketing which makes its application to an entrepreneur or sole-practioner even more unclear.
Branding Your Radio or TV Campaign With A Musical Identity (aka Audo Logo, aka Jingle)
You don't think twice about a business card and letterhead logo for the visual aspect of your campaign, why not an audio logo to brand your broadcast campaign?
Does Your Message Pass the Test?
Develop an effective benefit message and you're well on your way to building your company's entire marketing program. After all, you need focus to create success. Without it you can wind up expending effort without getting the reward (income, that is) you're looking for.
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).
10 Secrets for Free Media Placement
Why pay a high priced PR agent when you can get free media placement to promote your product, service, or book?
Creative Branding Increases Sales Through Company Recognition
The one thing that everyone has in common is that we are all consumers; we all buy. Every day, from daily small purchases, like your morning coffee and newspaper, to big monthly or yearly purchases, like a television or a car. But what influences your decision on what and where to buy. Surely, you have tastes and preferences but with all the competition for your purchasing power it is often small differences in the product that ultimately influence your decision.
How Do You Define a Good Logo Design?
Everyone wants his company logo to be the best but how good is good? How do we define a good logo? Is it necessary to be colorful or an exquisite piece of art? Can a simple design work as a good logo? We are often in a dilemma.
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"
Top Eight Mistakes to Avoid When Naming Your Business
Naming a business is like laying the cornerstone of a building. Once it's in place, the entire foundation and structure is aligned to that original stone. If it's off, the rest of the building is off, and the misalignment becomes amplified. So if you have that gnawing sense that choosing a name for your new business is vitally important -- you're right. With 18 years in the naming and branding business, I've witnessed the good, the bad, and the really bad. Here's how you can avoid the worst of the mistakes and get off to a good start.
Donald Trump On Branding - Brand Identity Guru
Love him or hate him, one thing is certain: Donald Trump is a successful guy. We don't have to sum up his accomplishments for you, because his name speaks for itself. Everything he does has his name behind it and, when you hear Trump, you know it's going to be over the top in quality and style.
Franchising is Virtually Fraud Free
The number of complaints to the Federal Trade Commission on Franchising do not indicate ramped fraud in the franchising sector. The FTC before Congress gave a report showing that the number of complaints was fewer than one tenth of one percent, lower than any other industry. Nearly all the franchising cases the Federal Trade Commission filed, were gray, crying wolf area of law and most settled as soon as possible; considering the slow nature of our courts in America.
The Very Basics of Design
Design is a very subjective thing, therefore, if you ask me how to come up with a first class design for your marketing collateral or publishing mediums, it would be very unfair for me or anyone else to tell you what is a good design and what is a bad design. But there are certain elements and principles that we should look for in a design to determine whether the design and layout of the material will be able to carry the message across effectively to the readers and your potential market. The main aim of every design material related to advertising or promotion is either to sell something, promote something or brand a company.
Logo Design - Branding - Brand Identity Guru
Do you have any idea how important your company logo is? Well you should. It appears on everything from your corporate identity system, brochures to your website, reaching customers, prospects, vendors and the press. In other words, your logo gets to everyone and as they say you only have one chance to make a first impression. Present yourself clearly and dynamically, and you'll look like a professional, even if you are a small company.
Personal Branding: Characteristics of a Strong Personal Brand
How many times have you been at a networking function and been lost for words when asked "what do you do"?
Brand Strategy - Brand Identity Guru
If you could have the secret recipe and all the manufacturing facilities of Coca Cola but not the Coca Cola brand-or have its famous brand but no facilities-which would you choose? It's not a trick question. But it demonstrates the power of the brand. Walk into any bank and say "hi I'm Coca Cola, how about a loan"!
Shattering the Branding Myths
If you've been online long, you're sure to have seen many "gurus" give their ideas about branding. However, much of what you read simply isn't true. Over the years, many myths about branding have taken hold in the online world and spread like wildfire. The fact is: They are doing you more harm than good.
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