Is Your Brand Strategy Effective?

Branding
Consider these 2 scenarios Scenario A Your brand strategy is at its best: Prospects and customers know exactly what you deliver. It’s easy to begin conversations with new prospects because they quickly and easily understand what you stand for. You  close deals more quickly because your prospects’ experience with you supports everything you say. You can charge a premium because your market knows why you’re better and is willing to pay for it. Scenario B Your brand strategy is a work in progress: The market may not have a consistent view or impression of your product and company, but in general you think it’s positive. You haven’t thought a lot about branding because it doesn't necessarily seem relevant, but you admit that you can do a better job of communicating consistently with…
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Event Recap: BarkWorld F-U-N

Event Recap: BarkWorld F-U-N

Blogging, Branding, Marketing Strategy
I jumped into the final quarter of 2011 by indulging in a new experience and making a bunch of new friends in the process. I had the pleasure of hanging out with the pet loving community at BarkWorld, what an experience! First, I have to personally thank Women Intelligently Networking via TarynP for sponsoring my ticket. I had no idea what I was getting into, but if you know anything about Taryn and Denise Quashie, founder of BarkWorld™, you know they know marketing and social media, so you just go with it! What is BarkWorld? According to the website “BarkWorld is THE social media conference covering ALL facets of social media, pet lifestyle & business education for all pet lovers.” This is EXACTLY what the conference is all about! Even though I’ve owned…
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Use Features and Benefits To Promote Your Brand

Use Features and Benefits To Promote Your Brand

Branding
*Are you familiar with developing a branding strategy? If not, I would suggest you go back to the first exercise in “Lay the Groundwork To Define Your Brand”? Complete the questions, and come back to this post. You’ll be ready to CONFIDENTLY tackle this next exercise.* The purpose of developing your branding strategy is to figure out how to best convey your brand attributes to your market. You've already taken some steps to lay the groundwork for your company brand - you've looked at your company name, logo, and niche right? Let’s take a look at the 20 attributes you listed when you went through the earlier post. Consider each attribute as a product/service feature of your brand. You can use a simple features and benefits t-chart to find the best characteristics to…
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Can I Find Your Product In Anytown, USA?

Branding, Marketing Strategy
Have you noticed how certain shoe brands are sold exclusively in limited retail outlets? How about clothes, ever notice some brands can be found all over the place, and yet others are only found in major cities? Notice how you can’t just go into your local office supply store and purchase a $2,000 gold-cased Montblanc writing instrument? Ok, then you recognize that where you distribute your products/services is an important component of a branding strategy! Did you know your branding strategy should help define your distribution channels? It should be a guiding principle when determining exactly how you want to position your product or service in the marketplace. This applies to both products and services alike. Here’s a few examples: If the Price Point for your product or service is…
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Brand Strategy: Establish Your Competitive Position

Brand Strategy: Establish Your Competitive Position

Branding
We’ve laid the foundation to build your branding strategy in a previous post. Now, let’s talk about your competitive position, which in a nutshell is your differentiation in the market. Now, I could bore you with a bunch of technical marketing jargon, but that’s what you’d hire a marketing pro for. Instead, here’s an easy to use quick version in lamens terms so you can begin to create your differentiator to establish your position in the market. Answering these questions will put you on the right track! Develop a market profile as related to your niche. For example, I’m a marketing strategist for small businesses in xyz industries, and I'm based in Atlanta, GA. So, I may start with finding out how many small businesses in xyz industries there are in Atlanta, how many years…
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Branding Tip: Create Your Gravatar!

Branding Tip: Create Your Gravatar!

Blogging, Branding, Social Media
What in the world is a gravatar?! A gravatar is an image that appears beside your name when you comment on blog posts, web forums, etc.  It’s a custom avatar that follows you all around the web. Why should you care? Because those generic animated pics do not look professional! Your company and personal brand will appear far more polished when your pic appears with your username next to your post. Why is a gravatar important, as it relates to your brand? Your gravatar is a part of your brand identity. Just like your social media username, it will follow you all over the web. When you comment on articles/blog posts that have this feature enabled, your pic, or gravatar, will show up next to your comment. I don’t know about you, but…
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Lay the Groundwork to Define Your Brand

Branding, Marketing Strategy, Tips and Tools
Let’s define the word BRAND as it relates to your company. In a nutshell, a brand has to convince me to spend my money, time and effort with you and not your competitor. Think about iconic brands like Starbucks, Ferrari, ESPN, and Neiman Marcus. When you hear the names of these companies you immediately think of a host of attributes for each of them. Well, it’s their BRAND you’re thinking of! Now do you understand why your brand is so important, and why you need to manage your company’s brand? Good, we’re on the same page. Consider these criteria to start defining your brand: Company name: does it say anything / mean anything to your ideal client? Is it easy to remember? Hard to pronounce? Keep in mind, you can leverage…
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Social Media Usernames Count!

Social Media Usernames Count!

Branding, Strategy
One of the fantastic consequences of our socially connected world is that we can connect to people, clients and prospects around the world 24/7. But how does this relate to your brand, from a first impression perspective? Think about it: when you meet someone face-to-face, your first impression includes their clothes, neatness, appearance, handshake, etc. However, when meeting online, the dynamics of the first impression change. We meet people online by communicating across different platforms, and what’s one of the first, if not the first, things you become aware of when you meet a new person online? Their username, not their legal given name, but their profile username. Hence the reason why your social media username is critical as you define your brand! When choosing your social media username for each…
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