Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Double or Nothing!

Your business card is a simple and effective tool in sales. That little 3.5" X 2" message can make or break your first impression. How much importance you put on it will make you money or leave it behind. Your brand relies on it to succeed. Let's assume you've had your logo done professionally, and let's also assume you've positioned yourself properly. The next question is, have you exploited everything about this pocket billboard?

Have you used BOTH the front and back of your card? Utilizing both front and back allows you to refine your message. The back of your card is the perfect spot for your elevator speech. You can use it to point out your positioning or brand message. It represents a total image.

Have a look at stock weight as well? If is too floppy it feels cheap to the touch. You want some bite when you flick it. Saving a nickel on design will lose you that first impression and bruise your brand.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Is Your House In Order?


Are you looking for that magic bullet that will reinvigorate your community and attract investment? Direct your attention to place branding. Like corporate branding, place branding embraces positive experiences to lure and win site opportunities, for communities around the world. Ed Burghard of the Burghard Group - a leader in place branding recently interviewed yours truly on the benefits of place branding whether done on a large or modest scale.

The Burghard Group also has launched the Brand America initiative whose goal is to provide accurate and accessible data to states and communities wishing to exploit their positive brand experiences. Place branding is a critical strategy that compels investors to chose based on a powerful brand. If you are new to place branding, The Burghard Group is a great resource to get a handle on its value to economic development officials globally.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Give Back Bucks.

Employees and suppliers are often over-looked as advocates of your brand. Both have a vested interest in your success. Here is an idea that will nurture their love for your brand.

Give Back Bucks!

Have some paper money printed up that has your company logo on it, and make it in various denominations? Put together a program that rewards efforts that are beyond what is expected. Your supplier group will probably be the most surprized to be included. It will prove to them that you view them as part of your team and integral to your success.

As they collect your Give Back Bucks, they can spend them on various branded products and clothing items. An added bonus is that your advocates now are advertising for you.

So don’t just give away those branded sweatshirts - allow your team to happily deliver better behavior to earn more bucks to spend.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Write Your Way To FREE Publicity.

Publicity - it is seen as free advertising. Everybody wants positive publicity. Wouldn’t it be great if you could control publicity?

Well you can.

There are two ways to get publicity that you can do today that has a good potential for success.

The first method is to develop a media center on your website. This involves having a canned article of different lengths. The media center should also have pictures that can accompany your article. Also, include your company’s logo and a bio of yourself. Now you have to contact different media of your choice, and make them aware of your ready to print good news stories.

The second method is to go to blogs in your industry and offer them your articles. Blogs and traditional media are looking for content continually. You will find that blogs are anxious to take your material.

Which ever method you favor, the trick is to be confident in your attempts to get publicity that compliments you. Don’t assume media will not be interested.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Are You Getting My Weekly FREE Branding Tips!

Every week I email several hundred companies my FREE branding tip of the week called, "Ed Roach's Two Cents Worth." For a taste, take a look at this week's installment.

For more like that, just sign up and start getting great tips every single week delivered to your in-box!

How Branding Can Impact Your Bottom Line

So - you've decided it's time to cast your own shadow. You are an entrepreneur at heart, and you've got the encouragement of family and friends. You've talked to an accountant and corporate lawyer. You signed a lease on a great new office, and it's decorated beautifully. You've joined the appropriate local business clubs and lined up a modest operating line with the bank.
You have a cool name, and logo, and you're ready to launch.

Or are you?

Read more of this article I've just posted over at Startupnation.com...

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Comply or DIE!

Differentiate or die - stand out from the crowd - swim free from the sea of sameness, these phrases are the mantra of the modern branding mind set. You and I know that they are true, but their implementation is a challenge. Finding that nugget that compels your target audience can be a daunting task at best. If you want the point of differentiation to hold water and last, it has to be something that comes from the core of your brand. It must compliment your brand values and frustrate your competition.

One solution might be - Compliance Branding.

If you are in an industry such as manufacturing or the food service industry, you are currently heavily regulated. If you are a manufacturer who exports, you 'enjoy' an increased level of scrutiny. CTPAT is among the latest. The food service industry must meet stringent health and safety compliances. At the end of the day, adhering to industry, and government compliances make you competent to do business within your category, but it does nothing to differentiate you. You are simply on an equal footing with your compliant competitors.

Compliance Branding builds on the already established trust that your competitors have for compliances. They recognize that, if you are compliant you are a professional in your field, and they will be protected in doing business with you.

So to benefit from customers who trust and respect compliances, you should develop and implement your very own self-administered compliance. Take a hard look at how you do business. What processes are in place that your company uses to improve your productivity or service delivery? Are these functions proprietary? They must be your own. I have to stress that this tool must be real. Your self-administered compliance cannot be advertising spin. It must in trackable and validated like any standard compliance. There must be regulations in place to keep it real.

Let's say you have a chain of restaurants, and of course there are compliances that you are forced to have if your wish to stay in that business. Many time these compliances are the minimum standards. Here is your chance to shine. Make it your goal to raise the bar and implement a cleaner than clean compliance. Together with your management staff and front-line employees, try to come up with a procedure that follows this initiative through to completion. Develop a validation and follow-up process to check the validity of the claim, into the future - self-policing your compliance. There should be penalties for any deficiencies.

Your next step is to give it an image. This should take the form of a crest or symbol. Now when you launch it, you can claim that you are the only restaurant with "XXX Cleanliness." It is a great PR topic and good news story. Because it is your compliance, your competition can't apply to get it. It will probably drive them crazy trying to determine how they can also be awarded this honor. This marketing initiative can be effective in nearly any industry.

Ideally, having the assistance of a Compliance Branding consultant will have you self-compliant quicker and I just happen to know a good one :)

My Newsletter Is Available On Your Mobile!

My FREE monthly eNewsletter, "USEFUL INFORMATION" is available on your mobile phone right now. Just go to my information signup page and request the the FREE Newsletter.

It is currently in it's 56th issue. It contains a feature article that I author and information I collect and present for you so that you can apply it to your business today.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Do You Purchase For Pleasure or Pain?

We are all consumers. Our motivation for purchasing has been studied from every possible perspective. Two avenues of purchase I find intriguing are pleasure and pain. An example of this would be upgrading my Mac because it is too slow. My pain is performance. How about purchasing a ticket to a Star Trek movie? Your pleasure is - you're a Trekkie. Off the top, I figure that most of my purchases are pain based. This topic came up in a discussion with a friend. Most of his purchases are pleasure based. He upgrades his computer to have the latest and greatest. He said pleasure is his motivator.

When you try to connect with your customers, do you try to determine if their motivation is pain or pleasure? Understanding this would give you quite an edge in the discussion. If they purchase for pain, they are probably reacting to something. It is a defensive move. If they are purchasing for pleasure, it is probably an offensive move. If they are releasing a new product, they will purchase promotional tools to tell the story. If the products are under attack from competition, they are purchasing tools to defend the position.

Your brand's success will be rooted in either a pain or pleasure benefit. Neither is right or wrong. You only have to identify the money maker and embrace it. I've seen some identify a negative attribute and try to change it thinking that every negative "must be bad." Not every time. Sometimes the negative is what brought you the success.

Case in point - Hospice. Most people relate Hospice with death or last days. Death frequently would definitely be a negative. But Hospice is different. They are renowned for how they handle death and caring for people in their final journey. So it could be said that death has made Hospice powerful. They are the experts in handling death. The ultimate "pain purchase."

What is your biggest motivation for purchasing: pleasure or pain?
More blogs about http://brandcorral/blogspot.com.