|Mikono.com - Branding resource by Mikono.|
A Successful Failure
A successfully positioned business sometimes doesn't win a new client. And that, my friend, is the point. Let me illustrate with an anecdote.
Recently I was making a new business pitch to a Charlotte area professional services firm. The second meeting took place after I had provided a detailed proposal to the company on how I work. From the two meetings and the proposal it was made abundantly clear that I take a comprehensive, strategic approach to communications.
One of the partners asked me if there was a "PR light" alternative. This meant that he wanted a tactical program that required very little involvement or input from him and the other partners. I assured him there was, but that was not my approach.
I guess I could have taken the company's money every month just to perform a few tactical activities, but it would have been wrong for both of us. I wouldn't feel right taking their money, nor would I be happy implementing a program that a PR intern could accomplish easily.
Needless to say, the firm selected another communications agency. To understand why this new business loss was a success, we need to look at a definition of positioning.
An organization's brand identity must be a reflection of three things: market perceptions, the organization's acumen, as well as its aspirations. Positioning is where these three elements overlap.
The point of positioning is to develop a platform from which all communications emanate. Positioning defines who we are, the kinds of customers we want, how we will compete, and how we are different.
So, before you can hone your brand identity, and before you develop and implement a communications plan, you must approve a positioning statement. From a communications standpoint, it is the heart of your brand.
Let's look at the elements of positioning:
Market. The kinds of clients we want to do business with. Hoover ink's market definition is: For organizations that are serious about their success and that understand the need for focused communications,
Competitive Offering. The products/services and/or type of service we will provide. Hoover ink's competitive offering is: we are the PR and marketing firm that carefully defines its clients' audiences and develops market-based positioning,
Differentiation. The benefit that makes us special. Hoover ink's differentiation is: so that we can help our clients communicate to all of its constituencies clear, concise messages that have a bottom line impact.
When the prospect called to say they had selected another agency to handle its PR program, I was told that my approach was too strategic and comprehensive. I'll take that as a compliment any day, and as an indicator that my positioning is on track.
Harry Hoover is managing principal of Hoover ink PR. He has 26 years of experience in crafting and delivering bottom line messages that ensure success for serious businesses like Brent Dees Financial Planning, Levolor, New World Mortgage, North Carolina Tourism, TeamHeidi, Ty Boyd Executive Learning Systems, VELUX, Verbatim and Youth Link USA.
The Brand Called You
The best brands always try to do the right thing, so that their reputations will remain unsullied. But beyond that they grow, evolve and get better with time, while maintaining their special qualities from the past.We all have a personal brand with social, cultural, intellectual, and personal needs that may not necessarily be addressed in our daily work. Address these needs and you begin to improve your brand. Here is my agenda for building your brand.Join and participate in community and professional organizations Generate media coverage about your brand Stay in touch, or renew old ties with friends, family and business associates Let's examine how each one improves your brand.Join and participate in professional and community organizationsThe best brands grow, evolve and get better with time, while maintaining their special qualities from the past.Professional and community organizations provide ample opportunity to learn and grow.They provide professional development opportunities. They allow you to network with peers as well as with people you would not necessarily ever meet in the normal course of your workday.For instance, I am a member and served on the board of our local International Association of Business Communicators chapter. This allowed me to broaden my contacts in the corporate communications world, as well as form a number of friendships I probably never would have developed. I'm also a member of the North Carolina Citizens For Business and Industry. Here I meet people from all walks of life and all work disciplines. Finally, I am involved with Charlotte Reads, a local non-profit that focuses on literacy issues. This allows me to use my communication experience in support of an issue I feel very strongly about.But it's not enough to just join groups: you must participate to benefit fully. As a participant you have the opportunity to stretch, to gain confidence in yourself. Learn to lead by involvement on the board or in a special project.If you are a communicator by trade, try being treasurer for the group to exercise the other side of your brain, or take on a special project about which you feel strongly.Generate media coverage about your brandAll that professional and community involvement will certainly lead to opportunities to leverage that involvement into news about the brand called you. And, of course, there will be promotions, new assignments, and awards at work, too. More opportunities to make headlines.Your achievements are of interest to local print, broadcast, and online media, particularly the business pages. In Charlotte, the Observer has a weekly feature called On The Move spotlighting someone in a new position. The Charlotte Business Journal has a similar feature called Moving Up. If it is a big enough move and your company won't do it, pay the estimated $150 to place it on BusinessWire or PR Newswire. Consider it an investment in your future. Don't forget trade publications serving your industry and alumni publications.Seek out speaking engagements and write guest articles, too. This is yet another way to publicize your brand. And don't forget to do news releases when you make a speech or write an article. It's all about merchandising.To stay top of mind, you might even want to develop your own monthly e-newsletter like Think, the Hoover ink publication. Keep it mostly informational and limit the commercial material.Stay in touch, or renew old ties with friends, family and business associatesEveryone you know can be a brand ambassador for you, so stay in touch or reach out to those you haven't talked with for a while.Yet another reason for having a monthly newsletter that shares your expertise.The network of contacts you have built over your lifetime will be instrumental if you decide to start your own business, or change jobs.So, heed this word of advice: always deal fairly with people. One bad experience with your brand can negate 10 positive ones.Now, get out there and start branding.
Planning Ahead With Your Designer: Tips For Design Consistency With Your Logo And Brand Elements
While we recommend that you contract with the same designer or design team while creating your brand identity materials as possible, we know that this scenario is not always possible.
Living Your Brand on the Web - Part 1
OK, so you took the plunge and purchased your internet domain. Good for you! Now what? According to Google.com there are about 8,058,044,651 current web pages. That's billion with a "B"! So how do you stand out?
Setting the Right Price
One of the ways people get to know you is by the identity you project. Your company name, the way you present yourself, your business card and brochure, where you work, and other ways you conduct your business create an image that gives your customers information about you.
Adventures in Advertising and the Affect on the Brand Name
Studying various target-marketing techniques and here is a thought. We have been reviewing companies who cross over into many sectors to identify with their potential customers. We have watched as they attempt to understand their customers buying behavior and how they try to create a desire to purchase. Few companies do this very well, few advertising agencies understand the dynamics of multiple markets. I have seen many advertising agencies squander their client's money. In my company, our team has nominated a few companies for their understanding of their customers, we have only considered those companies who cross ethnic barriers, and market to multiple sectors and customers in many industries. My choice was Rolex and Nike. Others members of our team felt comfortable with were GM, Dell, In and Out Hamburgers, Starbucks, E-Trade, MFS, Coca Cola, FEDEX, Washington Mutual, Mastercard, Wal-Mart (new series of ads), GE and Southwest Airlines.
A good logo vs. a FABULOUS logo
If you had a choice, which one would you choose, a good logo or a fabulous logo? Think about it for a second here, although I know the answer is crystal clear. Because many of us settle for a good logo created by a credible logo designer just because he or she is a credible logo designer who charges low prices. For example, I had a client who paid $500 for a normal-looking logo which looked like something anyone else can come up with. A couple of color changes to the logo, alteration of the logo text is inevitable and then maybe changing the alignment of the logo here and there?.THAT'S IT! $500 per pop!!??
Branding Advertising Agency
Branding used to be a fancy business word, but it is becoming more and more used in everyday business meetings. Finally! For decades, big corporations have used in-house, very well paid brand managers - someone in charge of managing everything that relates to the brand, including design, package and partnerships. You've heard enthusiastic talks about branding, but you are still not sure if you should get a brand management plan going for your business.
Value-pricing Strategy: Were not The Cheapest but...
In this highly competitive online marketplace, it can be difficult to persuade customers to buy from you when you offer a similar product to your opposition but with a higher price tag. And trying to beat competitors on price alone is a cut-throat business, very risky and not recommended. It attracts bargain hunters ready to defect to competitors for a better deal.
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?
Acquire, Then Rebrand
Acquiring another corporation usually means that the acquiring company's name will be the name of the newly merged entity. There is one factor that can change that -- one that is stronger than anything else. What is it? It is you, the consumer.
Clouds Gather Before A Storm: Utilizing The Power Of Brand
How brand management can help utility organisations to create a 'difference'.
Brand equity can be defined in many different ways. I have developed a simple, yet powerful, definition of brand equity. For a brand to be strong it must accomplish two things over time: retain current customers and attract new ones. To the extent a brand does these things well, it grows stronger versus competition, and delivers more profits to its owners.
The Secrets of Starting Business Successfully
Starting Business Secrets will help you to start your own business successfully.
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.
Go Ask Alice
One of fiction's finest marketing minds, The Cheshire Cat,once told Alice in Wonderland something all business ownersand marketers should remember:
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.
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.
Branding 101: Why Its Critical to Business Success and How to Do It Right
What's Your Brand?
Brand Boring or Brand Buzz?
I heard an advertisement on the radio the other day that surprised me, not because they were saying anything noteworthy, but because it was so banal. It was a national company's ad. They pay an ad agency to write and produce their commercials. There are so many words at their disposal, so many descriptions, so many emotional statements to attract customers, why would they use the trite phrase, " knowledgeable, friendly staff to serve you"? Even if they couldn't think of anything exciting, they could have used, "if you've got questions, we've got answers", "we specialize in providing answers"?"specializing in premium products and effective solutions"."Try and stump the staff with your questions, they love a challenge". "We don't have all the answers but we'll help find solutions"
What Make Us Unique and Different
Starting a business can take a lot of time, money, and energy. And because we don't want to completely re-invent the wheel, we often want to copy (legally) other techniques, strategies or processes used by others. While copying others has many benefits, namely using tried and true methods as well as saving time and money, the true success of your business will come from your own uniqueness.
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