Dramatically Improve Your Brand

How to Improve Your Brand
 
photo from Erica BensonI recently had the honor of serving on a panel on marketing for Women Business Owners. It became clear that many people don't understand what their brand really is. Here are the core elements, some of which you may not have considered.
 
(photo by Erica Benson) 
 
 Corporate Identity 
This includes:
your logo
logomark
theme line
corporate colors (PMS, CMYK, RGB)
font (no more than 2)
graphic standard
photos always associated with your company. 
 
In the logo below, the top graphic is a logomark.  The logo is the entire graphic with the words attached.
 
 
 
  
• Theme line / positioning statements   In the logo above, which we designed for Selander and Assoc, the theme line "Where People are as Important as the Numbers tells you who they work with and the next line tells you what they do.  Your positioning statement should do the same thing, with some kind of adjective or positive tone.
 
 
• Consistent corporate image everywhere  Same colors, same font, same artwork, same theme everywhere. In my logo below, the red (PMS 185) and purpley blue colors(PMS 2685)  are always used and show up in all my marketing .
Be sure yours is consistent in:
             ads
             brochures
             websites
             ezines
             business cards
           
             social media
             videos
             podcasts/ radio
             commercials 
             car wraps, truck art
             signage
             promo items, shirts, mugs, etc.
 

• Public behavior of you, your co-workers and your employees   A post of your people drunk at a bar may lead prospects to think your company is unreliable.  If you behave badly in a public setting, it can ruin your image.  (Think Reese Witherspoon.) 
 
 
 
• Customer service complaints Handling customer complaints is also part of your brand, which is whyyou should monitor social media or have an RSS feed with the company name and product names.
Anytime a complaint shows up, try to resolve the situation in a positive manner.  And if the comment is on google maps, ask happy satisfied customers to comment there. 
 
Recently a large company  blithely opened a Facebook page inviting feedback only to have hundreds of angry and dissatisfied customers rant about their lousy service.  They took the page down.
 
Your brand is so much more than just your logo.  It is the image and visible presence of your business.
 
Remember, it takes years to build a reputation and minutes to destroy it. 
 
If you have any questions, email me at orders@firedupnow.com.  (For those of you who don't know- I own a 30 yr ad agency, too.)
 
Happy marketing
Snowden

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Are You a Success in Your Own Eyes?

Only You Can Define Success

Holding the hand of another
Not long ago, I lunched with an extraordinary young woman.  We chatted about her internship at a battered women's shelter. The experience had such a profound impact upon her that she’s going to become a social worker. She questioned me about my life and the decisions I'd made.  She knew my parents had been alcoholics and that had substantially influenced my life choices.
My recommendation to her was to define success on her own terms and do what was truly meaningful to her. The families she had helped would never forget her acts of kindness. They meant more than any accolade, award or degree. The same is true of all those volunteers who are helping anywhere in the world, or just down the street.
In the final analysis, your life will not be measured by how high on the ladder you climbed, how much money you made, or how much you achieved.  It will be measured by the lives you touched, the kindness you extended, the generosity of your heart.
You are a success, just by being who you are.  Never forget that.

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Are You A Control Freak? Like Most of Us…

man listening intentlyHuman beings are master control freaks; we all want what we want when we want it the way we want it- myself included.

The problem is that other people have their own timetables and needs, and frequently, they conflict with ours.

An important lesson I continue to learn is to let go of control- on any level.  Any attempts to cajole, manipulate, demand or force your needs on others will most likely be met with resistance, and negativity.

Consider this: how do you feel when a parent or relative demands that you visit them or forbids you to do something? What's it feel like when your boss tells you no or blocks your vacation time or orders you to do something?

Like most people, you probably bristle and want to rebel.  The same is true of your employees,  co-workers and loved ones.

The solution: let go of control.

Businessmen HandshakeRelease expectations and demands on others.  If you need something, make a request, ask them if they would be willing to do such and such at a time that works for them, and then give them complete space to say yes or no.

If they say no, accept it and back off.  If it is a work situation, find another way to enroll their participation.

No one wants to be controlled. People want to be loved, appreciated and respected.

Letting go of control and demands will improve your relationships at work and at home.

 

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Unlimited Choice is NOT a Good Thing…For Your Business

Have you ever been to a restaurant with a huge menu?  I have and it just frustrates me because there is too much to focus on.

SwitchcoverMost of us think that "more" is always better.  But recent research indicates that is not the case. In the book Switch by Chip and Dan Heath, authors of Made to Stick, cite several researchers demonstrating that too much choice paralyzes buyers.

Too many choices overwhelm   Iyengar and Lepper share several studies where too much choice is "demotivating." A gourmet store featured a line of exotic, high quality jams.  Customers tasted samples and received a discount coupon to buy a jar.  6 varieties were used on one trial; another featured 24 varieties. 30% of people in the 6 choice trial bought the jam; only 3% of people with 24 varieties bought the jam.

What does this mean for you and your business ?

• Limit the options  If you have a variety of services or products, cut down on the choices. Make them no more than 6, if possible.  Make it easy for buyers, patients and customers to decide.

Be crystal clear about the value they will receive.  Differentiate between each option so they can choose what it exactly correct for them.

The old KISS method applies here.  Keep it simple & straightforward.

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Savor the Present Moment

 Increase Your Happiness with this Technique

tropicalbrookLR

After battling pneumonia, I was recently on vacation in the islands.  I had one focus: to enjoy the present moment.

That's not quite as easy as it sounds. Our brains are wired to continually think, and many of us project about the future (work, money, family, commitments, etc.)

But I tried hard to silence my brain and just be.  Looking at the exquisite turquoise water, I absorbed the beauty.  Walking past a brilliantly hued hibiscus, I appreciated the vibrant color.  Listening to chattering  parrots, I enjoyed their unique way of communicating.  And a funny thing happened.  I became more peaceful inside.  I truly relaxed and felt the simple joy of the moment.

 

A new study featured in this month's Prevention magazine explains it: Savoring the moment rather than analyzing or critiquing it gives you a huge boost in happiness.  So what does savoring look like?  Part childlike exuberance with whooping or whee kind of glee, and part adult wisdom of "enjoy life while you can."  This meant all the more to me since I had just been so gravely ill, but it worked.  For the most part, I spent all vacation in the present moment and it brought me such joy and peace.  So yes - your life can be better right now: just savor the present moment.

 

To sign up for Snowden’s ezine newsletter on stress, happiness, marketing and motivation, go to: http://firedupnow.com/firedupemailregister.html

©2013 Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved. No duplication or reprinting without permission and author reference

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