Best cheap web hosting indiayou’recorporatesclaypersonalassured yourselfwhatawareness recognitionwhat ethics: personal

Category Archives: Branding

Businesses are from Mars and customers are from Venus

By | Branding, Customer experience, Customer Insight, Thoughtleadership and Content Marketing, Value Proposition | No Comments

A major issue all businesses face is that of changing their internal measures and focus from that of what they need to be successful to that of thinking like their customers so they can solve their problems better and deliver a superior experience. These mindsets are in conflict and the internal pressures of running a business often give way to only thinking about costs and sales which creates less visibility to trying to innovate, look at customer aspirations and developing a truly differentiated experience.

It is really a catch22. The more internal a company becomes, the more internal measures then I propose the more likely they are to deliver a vanilla or commoditised customer experience and as such likely to resort to cost cutting. On the other hand the more innovative, customer centric and in-touch with their customers a company is the more differentiated and likely they are to create memorable experiences for customers and thus the more they can charge. This video featuring Lior Arussy, Strativity Group President explains it well.

How do we reconcile the external forces of running our businesses and being customer centric?

Sample: Principles of Customer Experience from Strativity Group on Vimeo.

Understanding and mapping out the customer buying path or touch points with your team is a good starting point.

Are you talking all about you, AGAIN?

By | Branding, Service Marketing, Small Business Marketing | No Comments

When I look at your website can I tell that you get me? I mean if you really understand my needs, or is it all about you? I am not interested in all about you. The problem with the majority of websites and I dare say most marketing materials, is  that they shows a distinct lack of understanding and insight about two things:
1. The ideal customers that they are trying to attract
2. A way of positioning the value that they offer to that customer group so it is effective.

Maybe this lack of insight  that is resulting in this swell in demand around research, buyer personas, geotargeting, consumer panels, crowd sourcing, social media mapping, branded communities and more.

Larger corporates are leveraging any means possible to provide insight into product development, positioning, sales touch points and refining their brand footprint. As a small business we can take a more immediate and simple approach but it is useful to stay abreast of the technologies used to discover real-time insights.
Some examples of companies in this space are:
Panelportal.com makes it easy for companies to deep dive into what customers think about their brands in real-time using a cutting-edge, socially inspired branded member community website. In real-time you can get feedback from the community on any idea.

Usamp -With 9 million panelists. Usamp combines self-service, mobile ap on demand audience, branded panel.

Gfk.com is a retail research company that has been around for ages but has adapted its research to take in more social media and mobile tools.

So what is the take away for us. Well as a small business ask your customers for their opinions. It might be as simple as having a suggestion tab on your website or doing a yearly survey using wufoo or survey monkey. The direct approach sometimes works well. Is there anything I could be doing to serve you better. Ask for recommendations in LinkedIn and read what they have to say. Do a poll on Facebook. Great a persona of your ideal customers and check it against who you are attracting.

Look at your marketing materials from your customer’s point of you. Are they written to them or more about you? It is not just about your customers but also your employees. Do you ask them for feedback about how they feel about working with you? They often have some good insights for better ways to serve your customers.

Tools

Content Mapping. This Barbara Gago Persona Mapping pdf is a great tool for mapping out your content strategy using the buying cycle and a persona profile template to profile your ideal customer.

Identify your ideal customers: who are those people you serve best and love to work with. Focus on these. This template helps you narrow your focus and allows you to be more purposeful with your marketing strategy.

If you don’t control your personal brand, Google will!

By | Branding, Service Marketing, Small Business Marketing | No Comments

Changes in how people communicate, research and connect have created the need to own your digital footprint or personal brand. To do this effectively you need to follow a few steps. I have researched personal branding and come up with my checklist. Hope you find it useful.

“Your personal brand is comprised of your character, competence and charisma. It’s who you are, what you do and why you’re special. You have to create it, claim it and then make sure everyone in your network knows about it!”

“The fundamental unit of the new economy is not the corporation but the individual” Tom Peters

Process- BRAND YOU!

Below is a process will you need to address to create your personal brand. Google yourself? Do you come up? Control what is being said about you, how you are represented and seen. If you are not online you are invisible.

1.Planning Stage Why: Your goals for branding yourself? 

“ Vision is a love affair with an idea.” Clarke and Crossland.

  • Visibility, Preference, Credibility, Engagement, Influence, Perception

Who? Who is your audience and who do you want to influence? Choose a Niche or target Audience (make branding easy) “

“It is easy to decide what you are going to do. The hard thing is to decide what you are not going to do.” Michael Dell

  • Key stakeholders
  • Influencers
  • Niche

2.Extract and Get and External View Point

What is your current brand identity? Identifying brand You. Me Inc.

This involves looking at yourself and your attributes in a brutally honest way. It takes guts to unflinchingly take stock of the details of your life, personality and achievements.

Like Improve upon

 

External Feedback – current reputation

  • 360 reach – online tool
  • What words would you use to describe me?
  • Listen to how you are introduced.
  • What am I good at?

“All the worlds a stage. I love the Brand You idea, the brand you life. It is my life. My love. My art. My craft. My performance.” Tom Peters

40 yrs 11000 days to go! Life is short, play more…

 

 

Your personal ethics: What you stand for? 3 Brand rules: clarity, consistency, constancy. One core message.

“Create a cause not a business.” Gary Hamel

What do you want it to be? Own your brand.

  • Work out what traits you want to scrap and what you want to profile.
  • What is the pitch? Take a position. What do you want to be known for?

3. Express Stage – Getting your message out there How to we reach your right target market of people you want to influence? Choose the right tools!

“We are CEOs of our own companies: ME Inc. To be in business today, our most important job to be head marketer for the brand called you.” Tom Peters

Using collateral: your look feel style – evaluate your touchpoints

  • Positioning Brand Statement – attach and idea to yourself
  • Elevator pitch – express your essence in a sentence
  • Profile
  • Portfolio
  • Biography
  • Press Kit
  • Cover letter
  • Social Media profiles; Linkedin Profile
  • Recommendations
  • Success stories
  • Your brand identity system – Name in font, tagline, colour, thank you notes
  • PR
  • Domains
  • Website
  • Email accounts and signature
  • Phone message
  • Texting
  • Pictures
  • Events
  • Office environment
  • Personal style; (reflect your brand) grooming, clothing, posture, communication style
  • Forums – On and Off Line
  • Networking Associations

End game is a media/communication plan for me.

4. Ongoing Measurement

  • Google
  • Google Alerts
  • Network expansion
  • Projects
  • Recommendations
  • PR
  • Vizibility

If you are not branding yourself, you can be assured that others are doing it for you!

Resources:

Reach – Online branding

Selfbrand Catherine Kaputa

Colin Wright – How to be remarkable

Jump start your personal brand

Tom Peters the brand you 50 – Amazon

Dan Schawbel – Personal Branding Blog

Personal Branding Slideshare – Kristian Andersen

Your brand surey – Brand You

Online ID calculator

Personal Branding Summit in itunes

Online Johari Window – your key attributes

Visibility.com

Personal Branding

about.me/yourname.

 

“Personal branding is all about soft power. It’s about knowing how you add remarkable, distinctive, measurable value,and being able to communicate and market yourself and your ideas. The reason most people don’t succeed is not because they lack business or technical skills. It’s because they lack soft power skills: the ability to communicate well, to influence and persuade, to build a powerful network of business associates, and to plan a career strategy the maximizes your strengths and the realities of the marketplace.” Katherine Kaputa

 

Contact: Danielle MacInnis to do a Personal Branding workshop today. Download this article here.

Key functions of a brand for a small business

By | Branding, Small Business Marketing | No Comments

What is a brand?

The collections of perceptions about your company.

Brand is not just a packaging, tag-line and logo. Brand is every interaction with your customers. The perceptions your customers have about your brand, influences whether they choose you over a competitor.

Brand is more than a logo.

Do you have brand recognition or awareness or just a corporate identity with a logo? Many small businesses spend a lot of time on their logo or website without considering the messaging to the target audience to see if it will resonate and any time promoting their communications. A brand is not just visual, it is behavioral. Are you listening to your customers?

I bought an Apple Mac computer this week. Until then I had a Dell and had been very happy. The support was fantastic, they were proactive with their sales calls and not pushy. Despite enjoying my Dell laptop it did get viruses and I didn’t feel as cool as I might. I even stuck on a Apple logo on my Dell saying to clients ” I want to be an Apple computer”. So you get the picture. So the time had come and I ventured into their Chadstone store.

The store the atmosphere and the branding everywhere made you feel like you were somewhere special. The uniform of the staff being hip and the furniture and layout super cool. Then  I met a salesperson called Clay. He was helpful but not energetic like I imagined a Apple person to be. I felt like I got the right technical advise but the service  left me feeling ripped off. First I asked Clay if there was anything else I needed (perfect up-sell opportunity). I thought at the end of the conversation I had everything only to discover when I got home I didn’t. I didn’t have the extra software I asked for and I didn’t have a mouse which I think is key. What’s more the 1 to 1 registration that we did for extra support in the store had locked me out on my new computer at home. All of this I could live with but then I experienced more dissatisfaction when I went back into the store for the second time in 2 hours. This time Igor told me I had to bring in my old laptop with my new laptop so they could see how long the appointment time would be for support which I then had to book! Holy cow, totally rubbish support and not only that, apparently wrong. I spoke with another salesperson when getting my wireless mouse and he (Chris) said I could book the support/ lesson on line. Come on Apple what is going on? I tell this story because Apple have nailed their physical brand. The logo, tag, store and salespeople appearance, but it all is devalued the moment you experience less than satisfactory customer service. Someone needs to start training these geeks in customer service fast!!! Interesting also is there is no where on the Apple website to make a customer compliant. Not at all promoting the right image in assisting customers.

Brand attributes: for a brand to do its job well it should have the following benefits.

  • Recognition/ awareness: Does the market know you exist? Have you heard of x company?
  • Top of mind awareness: memorised your brand
  • Brand preference: choose you over others, they need what you do.  They like you.
  • Differentiation: they believe you are different to the other choices.

Remember the famous McGraw Hill ad from about 30 years ago? The one with the grumpy, old man saying, “I don’t know you. I don’t know your company. I don’t know what you stand for. Now, what was it you wanted to sell me?”

Brand can help give you sell you service by providing a level of trust and comfort in the eyes of the customer.

What does branding do?

1.Branding – draws clients to you and gives you opportunity to meet face to face with customers.

2.Brands pulls everything together in a cohesive package which gives the your business a visual identity.

3.Brand can make price less of a consideration in the buying cycle.

4.Brands increase sales effectiveness. Brands help generate leads. It makes lead generation programs work better.

5. Brands helps you beat the competition.

6. Brands facilitate repeat purchases as customers prefer to buy from you.

7. Brands attract the best candidates.

8. Brands increase value of a company.

Brands have many long term financial benefits. So as a small business think about brand as more than the physical elements and put as much effort or more into the messaging about what you stand for and delivering the brand promise to your customers.

Insight taken from Professional Service Marketing by Mike Schultz and John Doerr

Virgin Airlines lead the way with social CRM

By | Branding, Customer experience | No Comments

Virgin Airlines have recognised that maintaining their competitive advanVirgin airlinestage in terms of their culture is critical and something that the other airlines could find it hard to replicate. The friendliness of the Virgin staff has become a foundational element of their brand.  To keep this culture in tact has been a challenge as they have grown. 90% of their staff never sit down at a desk or pc. They needed a app that would allow the conversation to be mobile. They wanted their staff to be able to communicate effectively with staff and with customers. They use Salesforce’s CRM social chatter function to deliver this functionality and is a real competitive advantage.Chatter Hear from Virgin Airlines American division how they are going to change the flight time for all of us.

10 Ways to write an E-book

By | Branding, Content Marketing, Content strategy | No Comments

Writing an e-book gives your audience a chance to see your expertise. It is a way of giving your audience a taste of you without buying a premium product or service. The end goal of the e-book is to build your credibility with your ideal audience but also create a list of leads that you can nurture over time.

So how do you write an e-book? Here are 10 ways.DeathtoStock_Desk11

Here are some of my suggestions.

1. Expand on a topic of one of your blog posts. Your e-book doesn’t have to be a tell all but could focus on a particular area or niche.

2. You could combine some related articles you have written into a report or overview

3. You could ask others to contribute by asking a question on a social media forum and write-up the answers

4. You could ask someone to interview you and then transcribe the interview

5. You could interview someone else. I have done this on my podcast and these interviews could then be used to create a e-book.

6. You could list all the top questions you get asked by clients and do an Expert FAQ as an e-book

7. You could hire someone to write it for you. With so many freelancing sites for copywriting this might be a way to create a thought-leadership piece quickly.

8. You could curate other people’s content and the reference them to create a book

9.You could attend a presentation and then create top hints.

10. You could edit a presentation and handbook and make a special report.

Take our Marketing Health Check I'm marketing savvy!