7 Ways to Create a BIG BRAND for Your Small Business

December 8, 2009  |  Branding, Marketing  |  No Comments
7 Ways to Create a BIG BRAND for Your Small Business

Branding for a Small Business – 7 Ways to Creating a Working Brand

Creating a strong brand for a small business can give you a big competitive edge and higher profit margin. A small business’s brand and marketing materials must do more than just ‘look pretty’ — they need  be effective as well. For your brand to “work” for your business it should accomplish these goals:

1. Build Trust – Your company brand should make your customers think, “That company is reliable, and always delivers what it promises”. Make sure your promise is what you focus on. If you promise great service, be sure your staff is well trained understands what great service means.  The key here is is never over promise and under deliver.

2. Define Your Point of Difference – Your brand should stand out from your competitor for one specific reason. It should also look more polished and professional. As a small business, competing against other small business this can be a real competitive edge. By investing in professional brand materials and a website you can immediately position yourself in a premium position and possibly command a higher price.

3. Communicate Credibility - Your brand design, slogan, and writing should all evoke a sense of expertise. To be authentic, be sure you are up on the current topics, trends or latest technology in your industry. Showcase your experience, training and continued commitment to being on top of your game. Read More

7 Branding Observations in NYC

July 23, 2009  |  Branding, Marketing  |  No Comments
7 Branding Observations in NYC

I just returned from a weekend trip to NYC with my 12 year old daughter. Being the brand designer that I am I could not help but notice the different marketing strategies and tactics used by various companies in the Big Apple. Here are my observations:

1. People like New (i.e, the New Coach line that just came out has been flying out of the stores for 3 weeks now)

2. Create addicts: tatoos (saw several ‘sleeves’), Apple (I bought a $34 case for my ipod, knowing I could get one elsewhere much cheaper)

3. Atmosphere stimulates the target market’s, “hot buttons,” My daughter enjoyed getting a picture with the male model at the front of Abercrombie and the store feels like a club or a house party, Apple is clean and new, etc.)

4. Bargain shoppers ARE willing to work for better prices on quality products. (Century 21 beside Ground Zero)

5. Avid sports fans don’t like to shop on Sunday afternoon! The ESPN store in Times Square was empty!

6. Reviews/Awards/Top picks are highly influential. I know the car industry makes a huge deal about reviews and ratings. I was totally influenced by the, “top picks,” stickers in the Sophora cosmetic store. -Take home point: get on a list, get rated or ranked! Read More

Social Media is an Organic Library

June 25, 2009  |  Blogging, Social Media, Twitter  |  No Comments

Social Media is HOT. Is it just me, or is are all the news articles either about Social Media or . . . John & Kate + Eight?

Really, it is fascinating to see all the publicity about these networks. It opens up a whole new world form me as a brand design consultant. I suffered from Blog Guilt for many months, and now I am up and running, but still work in progress. Always will be. Now I am addicted to Twitter. I prefer reading other’s posts to posting my own stuff. The millions of daily posts create a live, organic library. The information for the topics I follow (Branding, Design, Social Media, Personal Branding) is very helpful because it is current and concise and keeps me on top of my game. Great tidibits of info for cocktail parties too!

The key is to filter out the clutter. I commit to following ‘quality’ blogs and ‘twitters’. So, if you are on my list, thank you for participating in my organic library of information.

What is Personal Branding?

May 31, 2009  |  Personal Branding  |  No Comments

Have you heard of it? Personal branding used to be just for celebrities or Fortune 500 executives, but in today’s world everyone can and SHOULD think about and work on their personal brand. Times have changed—on average a person stays with a company for 4 years and then moves on. Your personal brand is an important part of navigating your career.

Personal branding is a hot topic right now, fueled by the growth of social media networks. These cyber groups and the technology behind them provide excellent platforms and tools for launching, positioning and promoting your personal brand. There is a terrific article by Tom Peters in Fast Company called “The Brand Called You”. Tom explains that our most important job is to be the the head marketer of Me Inc.

My favorite definition of this term is: Personal Branding is how people describe you when you are not around. In other words, it is a combination of your reputation, your strengths, your personality, your skill set and your position in your company or organization.

Do people around you know enough about your strengths, successes and skill set? If not, your reputation could use some bolstering, because chances are the people…

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Email Marketing

May 6, 2009  |  Email Marketing  |  1 Comment

I am finally ‘walking the talk’ as I launch this blog called THE PLAYBOOK to provide brief tips on marketing, advertising, branding and design. The blog is totally FREE and is intended to keep you informed with the ever changing trends in the world of marketing. Most importantly, this is to show you an example of what YOUR business can send to YOUR customers. Read on to learn why you should consider using email marketing and how to do it right.

Email Marketing sounds easy and looks simple, but it takes more than a simple jpg image to create a successful campaign.

Email marketing can help retain customers, increase sales, keep members informed, fill seats, raise brand visibility and help you grow your business. Email is faster and more affordable than traditional print mail, and, by some measures, it offers the best return on investment of any marketing medium.

But to work, email has to be done well. Content needs to be clear and compelling. Graphics need to be visually appealing. Campaigns need to be personalized and relevant. Delivery needs to be timely and accurate. And results need to be thoroughly tracked and applied to future mailings.

And that’s where we come in. With…

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