A Brand Audit Will Move Your Business Forward

A brand audit tells you what’s so now…

What’s an audit? According to dictionary.com – an official examination and verification of accounts and records; or the inspection and examination of a building or other facility to evaluate or improve its appropriateness, safety, or efficiency…

When it comes to branding, a brand audit is a review and verification of your brand–printed and online; identifying communication channels and target audiences; and providing an analysis of what’s working and what’s not. It’s an examination and evaluation with the goal to improve the brand’s effectiveness.

If you’re thinking about a rebrand… begin with an audit

When you’re ready to begin a journey, you must have a starting place. When the decision has been made to refresh, restage or reinvent the brand program to market more effectively, a brand audit provides the foundation, the starting place. Continue reading »

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Kill the RFP, Look for Brand Expertise Instead

How do you find brand expertise?

You’re ready to review your marketing program. You’re considering a restage of your brand because you want to reach new markets. Perhaps you know your marketing isn’t really working any more. Or there’s new leadership and they want a fresh look at the brand. Maybe everyone is just tired of the out-of-date logo.

Whatever the reason, you want a consultant or a firm who can take on the program, work with your staff, and produce an outstanding result everyone will be proud of. Right?

One approach is to develop a Request for Proposal or RFP

RFPs are very common in government work, where there are many layers and procedures to follow based on purchasing and procurement processes and legal issues to address in contracts.

It’s also a frequent (and industry recommended) approach in higher education, where a college or university is looking for a partner to help them assess where they are and create either a more cohesive look or a fresh approach to student recruitment. Continue reading »

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The Anatomy of a Successful Brand Slogan: Lessons From the “One Pound Fish” Man

Last month, PSY’s “Gangnam Style” became the most viewed YouTube video of all time, and now, another video wonder is making it to the top of the site’s charts. This time, it’s the unsuspecting “One Pound Fish Man,” a fish stall seller named Muhammad Shahid Nazir, who works at Queen’s Market in East London’s Upton Park. In its first week since the video was posted, it accumulated over five million hits.

From a fish monger to an overnight sensation, Mr. Nazir has now been profiled on CBS in the U.S. and Australia, and on BBC World News in the U.K. Parodies have been created of his video, remixes of his song featuring President Obama are hitting the airwaves, and people from all over the world are visiting Queen’s Market to seek out Muhammad and get his autograph. He now has more than 30,000 followers on Twitter.

What could top that? How about a recording contract with Warner Music label, and Nazir’s first single of the song which was released on December 9th! Word is that he could end up having the number one Christmas single of the year. Continue reading »

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A General Overview of Personalised Work Wear

It is important for businesses to maintain high levels of integrity. This can be done by having the right dress codes for employees. Business organizations use customized dress codes to market their products and services. This impacts positively on businesses. Personalised work wear has become an increasing trend in today’s business world.

Businesses opt for customized dress codes to encourage workers. You can inspire your employees by providing clothing embroidered with the company logo. Companies that provide branded uniforms maintain high levels of professionalism. Branded uniforms give employees a sense of belonging. This leads to high productivity in the company because employees work together as a team.

Choosing the right custom clothing for your business should not be difficult. Companies are expected to consider various factors before making any decision. Your needs and requirements will determine the type of work wear you choose. Therefore, it is essential to evaluate your expectations. Take time to decide whether you need t-shirts, shirts or caps for your employees. Understanding your needs is the first step to making wise decisions. Continue reading »

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Beginners Guide To Branding

There seems to be a lot of confusion surrounding brand and what it actually means, so we thought we’d write a beginners guide to help you decide on your strengths and your weaknesses. In short, your brand is your business. It tells people how you work, what you think and what to expect if they were to work with you. A potential client will draw these conclusions subconsciously so it’s crucial that you use your brand to communicate the right messages about you. Here are our top 3 tips.

1) Dare To Be Different

Different business sectors tend to stick to the same colours. Health care business’ use greens, fast food outlets use reds, so the first thing to do is research the advertising trends within your market and see how you can do the opposite. Dove’s ‘Real Beauty’ campaign chose to feature curvier and older women to advertise their products which heralded a million pound return on investment. And why, because everyone else was doing the opposite.

2) Consistency

Once you have carefully chosen your typographic style, colour pallet, images and tag line, you must use them in everything you do. They can be modified to suit each medium, such as an icon for your Twitter page, or a promotional advertising banner, as long as they retain their signature qualities. Emails must be written in the font of your logo tagline, and your business name can even be written in the colour of the logo when mentioned in text. Also make sure you’re optimizing on opportunities to promote your brand. Continue reading »

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Why Your Personal Brand Matters

If you’re not managing your own brand, it is being created by default by those around you. How comfortable are you with that?

Do you trust your co-workers, your boss, even your friends to be able to describe you completely accurately? To be able to identify your greatest strengths, your inherent talents, where you can be most effective and valuable?

I know in my own life, there have been times when I’ve had a revelation about how someone perceived me and thought to my self, “Really? After all these years, you haven’t realized that I’ve evolved beyond that?” Those moments highlighted disconnects between who I had become and how others around me still saw me. After the initial surprise and disappointment, I finally realized that the responsibility for the misalignment was more mine than theirs. After all, other people are busy living their lives, worrying about how others see them, and aren’t going to give a lot of thought to how they see others unless faced with a situation that confronts their long-held views.

But your personal and professional brand is the image people have of your ability to contribute, your value to the organization, your future potential. Are you willing to risk that past perspectives are driving how you’re seen in the organization? If you’ve never considered your personal brand, assessed what others think it is, or thought about the actions and words that convey your brand to others on a daily basis, then you have relegated your brand to others and their perspectives. Continue reading »

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What IKEA Can Teach Us About Online Branding

I love IKEA. No, I’m not a big fan of the Swedish meatballs, and I don’t particularly care for putting furniture together. But the store is way cool. I wish there was one closer to where I live, but getting there is a day trip. When I lived in Los Angeles, we’d go to the Burbank location and spend a Sunday afternoon there. It’s like a giant furniture theme park. Aside from furniture shopping, IKEA can also teach us a thing or two about online branding…

IKEA started out in a small village in Sweden in 1943, when a 17-year-old entrepreneur began selling flower seeds, Christmas tree decorations and pencils to the locals. It wasn’t until 1953 that the first showroom opened in Almhult, Sweden; but by 1956 IKEA was designing its own self-assembly furniture for which it is now famous. Today, IKEA has over 300 stores in 37 countries.

But what’s that got to do with online branding? Here are a few lessons we can learn from the furniture retailer:

1. Create an experience

Going to IKEA is not like going to Sears or Walmart. A trip to IKEA is more like an event. It just feels different. It’s an experience. Starbucks does the same with coffee, Apple does it with their retail stores and just about everything they produce. How can you make your products or services more of an experience for your customers? What can you do to be more memorable and unique? Continue reading »

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Set Up a Winning Plan for the New Year

In a competitive business environment, it is wise to think about how to reach more customers as a new year approaches. For the business owner, a necessary resolution for the new year is to set up a winning plan to become a household name or at least the go-to brand for those looking for a particular product or service. One of the best ways to get noticed by more people is to develop a social networking or social media strategy.

Social presence has numerous advantages for the business owner who wants to broaden his or her reach. With millions of users, the various social media platforms can catapult an unknown business into a household name in a matter of seconds. The good news about the social network approach via social media is that the return on investment is profitable and tremendous.

Social networking means that when one person is impressed with a product or service, the news about their contentment can go viral. As their friends tell other friends and family, a business gains tons of potential customers or clients. Social media also opens the door to a younger demographic since most young adults constantly communicate daily via social media networks. The key to setting up a social media network that work it to hire an employee or a consultant experienced in maximizing or optimizing the benefits that social media can bring. Continue reading »

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Give Your Clients Something Special

If you want to keep your clients happy there is one way that is guaranteed to make a difference. Although giving your client what they want every time will help to ensure their satisfaction, you can also make a difference by giving them a custom award.

These awards include items such as pens, bags, jackets, tumblers, engraved watches and even iPads. Clients need to know their business is valued, that they are an asset and you don’t want to lose them. Giving them a gift such as a custom award can help them to feel appreciated.

What The Awards Also Do

Without realizing, if one of your clients uses a pen for example, that you’ve given them, they are promoting your business. While the pen won’t be screaming and shouting about what you do and who you are, it will be sending a gentle message across every time it’s used. This message will become familiar to the user and it will be a part of their everyday life. Continue reading »

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Branding for a New Year

The New Year is upon us! It is time to start winding down on Christmas and preparing for the new season. Now is the perfect time to start working on branding in your retail store. Review your store policies, revamp your image, and focus on your branding strategy. Being consistent is important for branding, but you need flexibility to keep things fresh as well. Use these tips from our professional retail display designers for finding that balance between keeping things interesting and solidifying your brand at the same time.

1. Come up with new and interesting displays to rotate product focus. Change out mannequin outfits weekly. Put different items on the ends of your displays where they can be easily seen on a regular basis. Use different products in your window displays from time to time so that repeat visitors are always seeing something new. Make part of your retail branding strategy “freshness” so that people know that every time they visit they will find new ways to pair outfits and accessories or discover something that they overlooked before.

2. Signage can also have an impact on your store image and brand. Clearly communicating deals and gift ideas with customers makes shopping easier for them. You don’t want to put up so much signage that it distracts from your merchandise, however, you do want to make sure that questions customers might have can usually be answered without having to track down an employee. If it’s too difficult or time consuming to learn about your customer loyalty programs or whether or not something is included in a sale, they are likely to give up and dismiss it. Continue reading »

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