7 Elements of Small Business Branding

Every business can increase the value they offer their customers by promoting one of the above. Before choosing which one you’ll offer customer, it is important to understand what drives the consumers to buy. Many ecommerce businesses think the secret to success is ‘low price.’

  • Trust – can you deliver ‘on time?’
  • Security – Does your program focus on client’s privacy and security?
  • Relationship – Can clients IM you, ask questions, follow the project step-by-step?
  • Increase Customer’s Potential – Can you offer something no one else can offer?
  • Social Standing – Can you make them look wealthier, sexier, more influential?
  • Power – Do you have what it takes to increase your client’s power?
  • Free – Consumers who are motivated by price can feel they are being ‘treated right’ if they give their clients something real. Not an ebook – but a membership or passing on an association newsletter.

7 Benefits of Personal Branding

Corporations out there needs to understand that each and everyone within the business can contribute to the success of there corporate brand and what better way than to allow their staff to build a personal brand inline with the corporate brand. Now what benefits does a personal brand offer?

1) You get to know yourself better.

2) You increase your visibility and presence

3) You increase your chances of compensation

4) It puts YOU in charge of your environment

5) You have continuity

6) You achieve your goals

7) It is fulfilling

Identity, Message, Presentation – 3 Levels of Branding

Interesting post over at StickyFigure. Even if it’s discussing the topic of “department branding” the three bullets that mention 3 potential levels of “branding” that might occur are generally acceptable when talking about branding:

  1.   Presentation (basic look/feel) – this is less a true branding exercise, than an attempt to arrive at consistent visual standards. Often, this will involve a logo of some sort, and some graphical/color standards that are designed and enforced in all production (e.g., a stylized T&D with a red and grey scheme).
  2.   Message and Presentation – this includes the above, plus the addition of some sort of defining and aspirational message that truly represents the aim of the group.
  3.   Identity, Message, and Presentation – this involves a more thoughtful process of seeking to articulate the value, culture, outlook, and goals of the department, now and for the future, and crystallizing this in clear summary statements and messages. In this case, an exercise of “brand-storming” precedes development of messages and presentation element, since those are the outflow of identity definition.

Continue reading

Entrepreneurial Branding

Entrepreneurial brand building is an area of study in its infancy. The nature of entrepreneurship which typically implies serious limitations on the availability of resources suggests that entrepreneurs need to take an unconventional approach to brand building.

When an entrepreneur brands his or her product, business or concept, inadvertently the entrepreneur himself often becomes associated with that brand.

Basically the decision is to determine which company relies most on you personally for its brand recognition.
Continue reading

Seven Branding Secrets

In today’s competitive business climate it is important to differentiate your brand. A sound investment is defining and communicating what is truly special about your business. Your brand will bring you the success of your business and financial results through loyal and happy customers. Your brand will tell the world why they would be crazy not to do business with you.

Here is an interesting list, Michele Schermerhorn President of Online Business Institute Inc. has put together:

  1. Know Your Customers Better Than You Know Yourself
  2. Understand Your Competitive Environment & Competitors
  3. Define Your Brand Personality
  4. Make A Brand Promise
  5. Define Your Brand Strategy
  6. Identify Your Branding Game Plan
  7. Be Consistent in Action

Now, the second point is not the most commonly use when setting-up such branding rules lists, but I find it very true and usefull: Continue reading

Approaches to Brand Valuation

Interesting article on brand valuation on 4hoteliers.com website. First off all the author is corectly placing the brand as a independent category among the intangible assets of a company:

Brand and relationship intangibles: these include trade names, trademarks and trade symbols, domain names, design rights, trade dress, packaging, copyrights over associated colours, smells, sounds, descriptors, logotypes, advertising visuals, and written copy. In addition, associated goodwill (the general predisposition of individuals to do business with one brand rather than another brand) should be included.

Then the article si focusing on several approaces to brand valuation:

Continue reading

UK’s 07/08 Superbrands Top Announced

Microsoft is the UK’s number one brand for the second year running according to the UK public. Microsoft took pole position beating a resurgent Coca-Cola, which re-entered the top ten following a one-year absence. Google finished third with the BBC and BP making up the public’s top five. Brands falling out of the top ten included Porsche, Marks & Spencer, Heinz and Duracell.

The Top 10 UK brands according to the public looks like this:

1. Microsoft
2. Coca-Cola
3. Google
4. BBC
5. BP
6. British Airways
7. LEGO
8. Guinness
9. Mercedes-Benz
10. Cadbury

Is interesting that the parallel study with media and marketing experts on the independent Superbrands Council disagreed with the public, placing Google in the number one slot. Innovative brand Apple, its sub-brand iPod, car icon Mini and online auctioneers eBay completed the experts’ top five. Only three brands made both top tens, namely Google, the BBC and Coca-Cola. Here is the Expert’s Top 10: Continue reading

9 Responsibilities of a Marketing Department

Rob Engelman is putting up a list of nine core activities / responsibilities a Marketing Department must handle.

1. Focus on the Customer
2. Monitor the Competition
3. Own the Brand.
4. Find & Direct Outside Vendors.
5. Create New Ideas.
6. Communicate Internally.
7. Manage a Budget.
8. Understand the ROI.
9. Set the Strategy, Plan the Attack, and Execute.

As per the 3rd point in the list Rob is saying:

The perceptions and feelings formed about an organization, its products / services, and its performance is what is known as its “brand.” The Marketing Department is responsible for creating meaningful messages through words, ideas, images, and names that deliver upon the promises / benefits an organization wishes to make with its customers. Furthermore, the Marketing Department is responsible for ensuring that messages and images are delivered consistently, by every member of the organization.

I cannot agree more with the this, with only one point to add. While it’s true that the marketing department is usually the one that gets the praise or blame for a good/bad branding I believe that both the ownership and message delivery of the branding message / image are the responsibility of the entire organization.

Read detailed list here.

Read more on the subject:

Your Marketing Department: Its Organization and Structure

How to Evaluate and Improve Your Marketing Department

Data-Driven Marketing: The 15 Metrics Everyone in Marketing Should Know

Top Brand Extensions

Brand extension is a marketing strategy in which a firm that markets a product with a well-developed image uses the same brand name but in a different product category. Brands use this as a strategy to increase and leverage equity.

Product extensions, on the other hand, are versions of the same parent product that serve a segment of the target market and increase the variety of an offering. An example of a product extension is Coke vs. Diet Coke

A successful brand helps a company enter new product categories more easily.
Continue reading