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How to Work with Your Graphic Designer
As a graphic designer, I can tell you something right here, right now, right off the bat without blinking?.the graphic design process is a pain in the butt. From the graphic designer point of view, here's what it looks like.
1. Client meets graphic designer to discuss elaborate plans to market, advertise or promote their products. Potentially, there's a chance that the client wants (needs) the graphic designer to 'revamp' the whole image and identity of the client company. Client gets all hyped up about the potential mullah that will roll into their bank account. Graphic Designer hyperventilates and salivates at the imagined amount on the invoice
2. Graphic Designer proposes some concepts and ideas. Client says that it's not EXACTLY what they had in mind and asks the graphic designer to come up with more ideas. For the graphic designer, this is like being handed a really enormous machine gun to just shoot around in the dark, hoping to hit the target on the dot, you get what I mean?
3. The process gets dragged on. Graphic designer gets frustrated because client is not able to dispense of his idea because he doesn't KNOW what he wants but knows it only when he sees it.
4. Client consults other people in the company and a whole bunch of people gets thrown into the picture with their own ideas and proposals.
5. Graphic designer and client sit down in a limp heap of entangled flesh, not knowing what to do now because months have been wasted testing and trying. Now, we start all over again?..
Knowing what you want right from the start is important. If you have no idea what it is that you want to achieve with your new marketing stuff, sit down with your staff BEFORE you get the graphic designer to do any work. Now, this is a very important point, so, let me say it again?.CONSULT WITH YOUR PEOPLE BEFORE YOU GET YOUR GRAPHIC DESIGNER TO DO ANY WORK!
Next, get it all down on paper. Even if you have no intention of passing that piece of document to the graphic designer, at least, you have a clearer vision on what you want. THEN speak to your graphic designer to explore ideas and possible changes to your original idea.
Once the graphic design process has begun, pick and choose the people you consult with with care. Too many cooks DO spoil the broth! Only people who can and SHOULD make or help make the decision should be consulted at this very point in time.
However, as any client will tell you, the graphic designer has a huge and major role in ensuring that they understand the client's instructions, takes the initiative to research and explore other ideas. When the client tells the graphic designer what he/she wants from their new marketing stuff, it's not set in stone. The graphic designer SHOULD present his/her own ideas as an alternative. If not, what's the use of the graphic designer? Why not just get a clerical or the secretary to just learn how to use the appropriate programs/softwares and come up with something that the client wants?
Being a graphic designer is a pain in the butt?.and working with a graphic designer is also a stab in the rear end but at the end of the day?when you see that your effort and all those frustrations results in a smashing success, you can sit back and admire your (and your client's handiwork) over a cup of cappuccino.
Marsha Maung is a freelance graphic designer and copy writer who works from home. She designs apparel and premium items at http://www.creativejooz.com and http://www.allmomstuff.com and is the author of "Raising little magicians", and the popular "The Lance in freelancing". More information can be found at http://www.marshamaung.com
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.
Living Your Brand on the Web - Part 2
Now that everyone has conformed to Living Your Brand on the Web, Part 1, it's time to add a couple of tweaks that will further reinforce your brand.
Branding Mistakes - Brand Identity Guru
1. It "sells itself." I don't need to market.
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.
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.
The Big Uneasy: Clearing the Clouds of Guess
People often come to me to assist them with developing their brand because they are unable to accomplish the business success they desire. They're experiencing what we call the Big Uneasy--the state of being when things are hard. They are stuck in an idea, unable to make it happen, and dreams are unfulfilled. Life is heavy, there's a lack of flow... the Big Uneasy has taken over.
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"
Brand to Sell Well
Branding is an application of appropriate marketing techniques in the right proportion to a product. Brand management is to manage the forces in a market suitably to win favors for the product.
A Lesson in Branding from Paris Hilton
I have never been a fan of Paris Hilton.
The Importance of Branding - Can It Really Make a Difference?
As consumers, we don't really think about the importance of branding. We just seem to go with the flow of brand names that have become synonymous with our daily living. But the impact of a name reinforces the importance of branding when we promote our business. Think about one of the world's most popular athletic shoe companies, Nike. The importance of branding is exemplified by the fact that when you hear Nike, you think athletics and "Just Do It." A great brand name and association has catapulted Nike to the top of its industry.
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.
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.
Branding Article: Pepsis Missed Brand Opportunity
I love Pepsi. It's that slightly sweeter taste and the all-American logo combined with the non-conformist statement that, well, it's not Coke.
Branding: Bring Back the Jingle!
Did you grow up in the '70s and '80s? If so, you probably have a slew of campy jingles from various TV commercials filed away in your brain. Today, advertisers still use jingles to help identify their brand, but not nearly as much as they did "back in the day." Why is this?
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?
How To Create A Brand That Sticks
Most people, when they hear the word branding, think logos - but in fact, branding is really much more than that. A brand involves blending the image, purpose, and focus of your business, with your core marketing message, and coming up with something which will stick in the minds of people who encounter it. As a business or an independent professional, it is who you are and what you do, packaged neatly, clearly, and memorably. A logo is only a tangible representation that works to reinforce a brand.
Build Brand Value BIG Time
Ask your self this question, In which business are we really in? And stay far from the dark world of commodities...
Time To Revamp Your Visual Identity?
Look at your company logo. Does it fade into the background against other images you use to promote your company? Has it become dated? Does it still fit with your company vision? Is your message connecting with the customers you want?
Branding Junk Removal - He Did It, Can You?
What does it mean to be remarkable?
Types of Logos
There are three basic types of logos: text, symbol, and combination logos. The type of logo that will work best for your company depends on a number of considerations, such as the size of your company, the uniqueness of your name, and a variety of other factors.
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