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Why You? -- Professional Identity Branding
You can have first-rate products and services, but if you can't establish the need, communicate the benefits and differentiate yourself from the competition in ways that make people want to do business with you, you'll forever be selling up hill.
As Robert Krumroy, Identity Branding, Inc. says: "Branding is about the customer--who has never met you--being able to answer the question: 'Why you?'"
Your "Value Proposition"
Your brand can be based in large part on your "value proposition," which is what differentiates you from your direct and indirect competition-and, if it's good enough, will draw people to you.
Your value proposition should be a clear, concise statement of why your business is unique and a better choice. Your market positioning, competitive analyses and SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) gives you everything you'll need to develop a value proposition based on your strengths, your competition, what your "ideal" customer wants from you, and how this benefits people in your markets.
This message must be delivered to your markets consistently and repeated frequently. If prospects understand what they need, trust you and connect emotionally with your message, sales resistance melts before your eyes. Yes, it's that powerful!
My Value Proposition:
First Impressions, Last
Short-term, smart professional branding gives you the immediate recognition, market access and momentum you need to attract customers and build sales; long-term, it can help increase market share, foster customer loyalty, sustain your client-building efforts-and practically guarantee clients will eagerly refer you to others ("Hey, look what I'm part of! You should be too!").
Branding should be part of your annual marketing/advertising expense budget. The Small-Business Administration advises entrepreneurs to use 5% of gross sales on advertising, but that varies depending on sales volume and location.
Everyone Has a Brand
"Everyone has a brand, like it or not," adds John Melchinger, The Marketing Coach?. "You have one. It may not be the one you want and you may not be nurturing it, but it's yours nevertheless. Not to shape your brand rigorously and nurture it is to leave it to your public to decide. That is the much less effective alternative."
Building Your Brand
The purpose of this exercise is to create a short message people will remember whenever they think about you. When part of a coordinated marketing plan, your professional identity brand will drive customers to your business. You will also need to give some thought to which medium to use.
Example: This is Joe Financial Advisor's brand identity. It's deceptively simple, yet sends a compelling message to his target market, Tool & Die Makers:
Insurance Solutions ? Precision Business & Personal Planning
Why are we a Tool & Die Maker's insurance solution?Because we care and take the time to understand your unique needs.
Write your own message here:
Need help building your brand? Try this?
? Give stamped, self-addressed envelopes to 25 personal and business acquaintances.
? Ask them to write down how they'd describe you to someone who doesn't know you or what you do. Let them know you're looking for objectivity, not what they think you want to hear.
? Don't pressure them; they don't even have to tell you who they are their replies (it would be better if you didn't know).
Compare the results of this survey with your own view of who you are and what you do based on your value proposition.
? Brainstorm: begin jotting down key words that could become part of your businesses brand name and slogan.
? Compare against your SWOT analysis.
? Then stop: leave these alone for a week, then come back and repeat this exercise until you're satisfied with the results.
Brainstorm ideas for communicating your brand. Write them down, confer with others, research?
? Which media will be the most effective?
? Which media will be the most efficient?
? Which media will integrate well with each other?
? Which media do you have the resources to implement and sustain now?
? How frequently should you communicate with your audience?
? What combination of effectiveness, efficiency and simplicity will best reach your audience with available resources?
When you're ready, summarize your conclusions in your Marketing Plan (you do have a marketing plan, don't you?).
But can you do all this yourself? Should you?
Of course, hiring a full-time marketing professional for your small business may not be feasible. That's why outsourcing might be your best bet
Want More? Send questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bill Willard has been writing high-impact marketing and sales training for over 30 years-but as Will Rogers put it: "Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." Through interactive, Web-based "Do-While-Learning?" programs, e-Newsletters and straight-talking articles, Bill helps small-business owners and independent professionals get the job done: profitably improving performance, helping grow your business, skipping expensive mistakes, making the journey to success faster, smoother, easier. And fun!
Articles: The Perfect Branding Tool
If you own a web-based business, you're probably aware of the need for things like link exchanges, lead-purchasing, SEO copy, banner ads and all of the "traditional" ways to get exposure on the World Wide Web.
The Art of Successful Branding
Branding: it's a term that carries great weight in the world of advertising. Successful branding is best illustrated by the world's most prominent corporations, but it's no less important to the small business owner. Your Brand is your identity; it's every single puzzle piece, fitted into the big picture of your company. From your name and logo to your business philosophy and corporate mission; from your advertising campaign message to your design elements; from your products and services; all that is owned, produced, stated, sold and marketed by your company falls under the broad heading of your Brand.
Your brand is the culmination of everything about you and your business. It is how people come to know you. It is your business name, logo design or other symbol that identifies your goods and services. It's what makes you different from everyone else in business. What are some of the components that come to make up your brand?
Multi-Brand Franchises in the QSR Sector
Well not everyone is aware that McDonalds also owns several other bands such as Boston Markets; 650 stores in 23 states, Chipotle Mexican Grill; 230 stores in 10 states, Donato's Pizza 200 stores in 10 states, Pret a Manager 140 stores in 4 countries, Fazoli's 400 units in 32 states and two countries. Of this the company derives 2 Billion in annual sales, this is not even counting McDonalds. Many people are unaware of this because McDonald's has not connected the dots. However other franchise companies which franchise and have multiple brands have.
Not So Stationary Stationery
The elements and functionality of the basic stationery system is changing. With the advent of email, fax, web and cell phones, stationery systems must be adjusted to meet the needs of today's business.
Brand Equity - Brand Identity Guru
7 Qualities Of A Strong Brand:
Having a concise, clear image that you project to your clients and customers is important in today's market. More and more people are leaving the job market and creating their own business, whether by choice or necessity, so the competition continues to expand. Therefore it is increasingly important to stand out among your competition. You want your business to be memorable!
Your Identity Speaks Loudly...What Are You Saying?
Your corporate identity is a graphic expression of who you are as an organization. It plays a major role in what sells your company and its products. Everything that identifies your business, including your logo, color scheme, and tagline, work together to create an image that your customers remember. Building a corporate identity that bolsters your business objectives is a subtle, yet important part of achieving business success.
Entrepreneur Speaks on Brand Extension in the Franchise Cleaning Business
On question I have been asked over and over again from prospective franchisees of our companies has been one in which I am very adamant about it; do we require prior experience? No, like many franchise companies we actually frown upon it and think it is such a detriment that we usually disqualify the franchise candidate if they do have prior experience. And we always ask the prospective franchise buyer what sort of experience they have in our industry. When people find out we specifically do not want to sell franchises to those in our industry we are often ask; "Why Not," as it would appear that a franchisee with prior experience has a leg up on the world and would have a better chance of instant success in our business models.
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.
Value Proposition Writing - Brand Identity Guru
Your Value Proposition, or as I usually call it, your Core Marketing Message, is still misunderstood by most professionals. It's not just a tagline, sound bite or even an "Audio Logo." It goes way beyond that.
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?
Logo Design Tips
Logos can be described as visual icons that provide a unique identification element to a business or product. Logos provide quick visual recognition of a Company which in-turn builds branding. Business owners and overly enthusiastic artists can often go astray in their efforts to design the perfect logo. There are too many examples of logo designs that look uninspired, overtly abstract or seem to be nothing more than whimsical art. Many of these logos are designed without forethought into usage, application or even cost impact upon a business. So how do you create a logo that makes business sense? Consider following a few simple guidelines:
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.
Intelligent Design comes from Brand & Account Planners
I've been reminded recently, rather forcefully, that not all reality hackers are anti-neoconservatives. Bush endorses teaching 'intelligent design'. I can't help hearing "intelligent design" as emerging from scores of focus group research.
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.
New Uniforms Could be the Gold Charm for the Golden Arches
New designer uniforms could be the gold charm McDonald's needs to connect their new hip marketing campaign to their fast-food restaurants. This possible gold charm for the fast-food chain has the ability to let the actual fast-food restaurants reflect the image they are portraying in their advertisement campaign. The new "I'm lovin' it" marketing campaign has attracted a youthful audience to the fast-food chain. However, when this trendy younger crowd comes to McDonald's, they do not see the same fashionable place that they saw in the commercial. Instead, they see the same thing that they would see at just about any fast-food restaurant. McDonald's hopes to further entice this target market into their restaurants by updating their restaurants with new employee uniforms.
Is Your Logo Helping or Hurting Your Business?
The quality of your logo can mean the difference between success or failure. It can be that simple!
7 Branding Secrets: Ready or Not?
Every company has a brand (how people think of them) whether they created it through design or accident. By creating your brand through design, you shape the way you wish your company to be viewed by customers and potential customers. This will remove some of the uncertainty concerning what others will expect from you and say about you. The power of a brand can't be over-estimated. The Golden Arches are known worldwide.
Quick Tactics To Brand Your Business And Make More Sales
This may come as a surprise... to you, but Branding is more than just Logo and Business or Product Name recognition.
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