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Branding Is More Than Just A Logo – Build The Perfect Brand Strategy

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brand strategy

I see it all the time. “I have my logo, I’m ready to start.” I hate to break the news, but your brand is about much more than this. Let me explain. Your Brand represents who you are, as a business and as a concept. I’ve capitalized it purely to highlight to you the importance. Your branding is about much more than just your logo. I’m here to tell you what branding is, how to create your brand and why you need to get on top of it so that you can start building a brand strategy that will resonate with people in order to initiate conversions.

THE MEANING OF ‘BRAND’

The word ‘brand’ tends to be propelled from one person to the other, and used in different contexts, often creating confusion around the real meaning behind it. Let’s get this one out the way first – your brand is the attitude and associations a person makes with your company, products or services. It’s as simple as that. The important bit is what you do behind the scenes that constitutes these attached meanings.  

The executive from one of the most powerful global brands, Coca-Cola, once stylishly stated “If Coca-Cola were to lose all of its production-related assets in a disaster, the company would survive. By contrast, if all consumers were to have a sudden lapse of memory and forget everything related to Coca-Cola, the company would go out of business.”

The associations that the world has to this company are phenomenal. Their purchases are driven by emotion, attitude and values as a result of the Coca-Cola branding, rather than the the conversion being made by cause of the physical product. It represents being ‘refreshing’ and ‘exciting’ alongside its distinct logo colors and, possibly even, the advert that initiates a bomb of social media posts after high anticipation highlighting that “it’s officially Christmas”. Coca-Cola is a prime example of a company who have created characteristics attached to their product in order to develop a deep meaning, rather than taking the alternative approach and placing a primary focus on hard selling of a fizzy juice.

As demonstrated by Coca-Cola, to have a ‘brand’ will often establish emotional attitudes towards a story or relationship despite what product or service you offer. I’m a firm believer that it is not absolutely necessary for start-ups to be based on a ‘never done before’ concept. If so, great. But effective branding can be so powerful, that it has the potential to create mass success in a highly competitive market place.  

RECOGNIZING YOUR BRAND

The number one thing to recognize in the modern world when creating a brand strategy is the growth in digital marketing and the power of online speech from the public. The combination of the two has ultimately affected the way many brands are perceived, and ultimately can be a primary influencer on your own brand. Encouragement to ensure a strategy is in place that allows you to take your brand online will always be given.

Before the design phase commences, firstly ensure you understand the fundamentals of what your brand should achieve within your industry, market place and in your market position.

Your brand should add value to your audience. When supporting my clients, I often source the perks associated and the barriers overcome from their brand and continue to build the brand strategy around these elements in order to ensure the audience is aware of the value. Ensuring the audience become familiar with that the company stands for and what it achieves is a key component to your branding.

Do you create a feeling of excitement, relaxation, relief or convenience? This list goes on!

What do you really stand for right at the very core of your business?

Most importantly, your brand should also easily connect with people. A simple approach will ensure your audience can recognize your values immediately, whether it’s viewing a piece of creative, reading an article or landing on your website. Much of this connection comes through the definition and the design of your brand.

DEFINING YOUR BRAND

The definition of your brand is the ideas, values, qualities and attitudes people associate with your company.

What would you like people to ‘think’ about your company? If we go back to the fizzy juice in the beautifully shaped glass bottle with the red and white label, we of course associate ‘Refreshment’ and ‘Excitement’, but we also see ‘Quality’, ‘Happiness’ and ‘Optimism’ as close colleagues. If we take a look at Red Bull, we think ‘Extreme’ with an added ingredient of ‘Adrenaline’. They resonate these to us through their extreme events, stunts, adverts and sponsorship decisions. At the more harmonious end of the drinks industry, we have Starbucks who highlight their Eco-Friendly’ coffee values to us in their ‘Relaxed’, wifi lit coffee shops.

What does your brand represent? Create a one liner that represents the brand, identify your values and determine the benefits of your brand. It is this brand definition that will influence your logo and creative design alongside your branding strategy.

DESIGNING YOUR BRAND

It is only now we are at design stage!

Designing your brand is when you will create the look and feel of your brand that will ultimately be placed in front of your audience and others. This is still not just about the logo. Brand design includes any advertisements, posters or creatives that are required for marketing activity.

On average, people are subject to 3,500 – 10,000 advertisements per day. Make sure yours is unforgettable, captivating and expresses the definition of your brand as identified previously in this article.

Your logo is the creative that will be used most regularly throughout your company lifetime, so making sure the nature of your design, fonts and colours used are relevant to your brand is fundamental. It should reflect your values, but should also be timeless, memorable and adaptable. Having layers of detail in your logo can cause difficulties if placed on different types of backgrounds or even printed on branded items. Keep it simple, consistent and straight to the point!     

CREATING BRAND STRATEGY

Brand Strategy is discovering and identifying when, where and how you will place your brand in front of your potential customers? As with any marketing activity, your core audience and target markets should be identified before your branding strategy is created.

I would always encourage clients to look into routes to market through digital and experiential marketing – purely because they are two of the highest converting marketing methods that currently exist.

Your strategy should not only identify your routes to market, but should also feature the format and tone of speech – specifically for digital marketing. What approach will you take for this? Different audiences respond in their individual ways to the voice utilised in marketing activities.

Having a strong brand strategy is important for both B2B and B2C business, and the strength behind it is what will ensure you are in the minds of the people who matter to you.  It is about much more than just your logo, it’s what you represent and is the core element of all marketing activity you carry out that triggers attitudes, beliefs and values.

Megan Burns

Megan Burns is a Marketing Advisor, Online Coach, Entrepreneur, Speaker and Chairperson. With expertise in strategy, branding and digital marketing, Megan has support leading industry brands, entrepreneurs, starts ups and small businesses to create effective marketing for positive results. Megan is also often asked as a speaker at events, and is currently in the process of building an online platform designed primarily to help entrepreneurs and start-ups. You can connect with her on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn.

Business

How To Attract Millennials To Your City

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Location matters in the means of professional success. Millennials are reported to be getting married and starting families later than their parents. This means that their main focus is strictly on their professional career, so these matters are taken seriously, as they involve these factors into determining where to live. Millennials select cities that will help them thrive. This goes vice versa, cities need to attract people in order to be sustainable. The city of Camden has been successful with this process. With the increase of millennial entrepreneurs entering the city, the better the economy gets, as it is shown around the waterfront.

To create more jobs and attraction, cities must attract the job-seeking millennials. There are 3 determinants for millennials to move into your city:

Affordability

Someone who is financially responsible will always consider the cost of living foremost. Cities that contain a high population of millennials often have low employment rates and affordability. If the city is popular but does not meet within millennial’s budget, then it wouldn’t be worth the cost. Money is the only physical asset that holds us restricted. The city of Camden holds that title of affordability. Tax cuts are what attracts entrepreneurs mainly, however the overall value of the stay is well worth it. Camden is located outside of Philadelphia, just close enough to go into their city to network without paying Philadelphia’s cost of living.

Entrepreneurship

Millennials are an ambitious generation. A reporting claimed that 54% have either wanted to start a business or have started one already. This characterized millennials as hard-working and motivated individuals. A location that showcases trails of entrepreneurship deliver a desirable reality to people. Silicon Valley embodies this example, as it is the most known startup hub for technology companies in America. Famous companies like Apple, Facebook, and Google are in that area, so the status of Silicon Valley is held at a high standard.

Another location that is maintaining that status is Camden. Due to Camden’s location outside of Philadelphia and surrounding fortune 500 companies, millennial entrepreneurs are inspired to bring their startup here. There are multiple different types of organizations located here with 76ers as one.

Accessibility

Millennials are attracted to cities that cater to their needs. About 66% of Millennials identified  decent quality transportation as a main influence to choosing a location to live. People typically pick the option that meets their social needs. To obtain that, a low cost transit is ideally looked for in a city. Cities with an ineffective quality transit fail to attract Millennials. 

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How Millennials Are Changing The Workplace

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Millennials are reshaping the traditional corporate structure. With new CEOs entering the workforce, more companies have been adapting new tactics for managing, motivating, and improving. Millennial entrepreneurs have set the new standards to doing business, focusing on collaboration and efficiency. Soon by 2025, millennials will accommodate 75% of the workforce. This will replace the baby boomers, who have been recorded as the largest generation in the workforce. This instant switch leaves other generations questioning their management. These are 4 ways millennials are changing the workplace:

Emphasizing Technology

Millennials are the generation born after year 1982 and before 2004. This was essentially the era of technology beginnings. To be raised in the ever changing state of development, this generation foresees big things for the digital future. This need for rapid growth has created various platforms for creators, entrepreneurs, and more. Millennials have a profound belief that technology is the future, and so we should precisely use it to our advantage. Networking has been perfected with Linkedin, while Youtube is colonized by content creators, and Slack has better connected employees.

Open To Change

Millennials were born to alternate between innovation and tradition. To be raised in the era of constant development, generation Y has cultivated the skill to be open to change. Arguably, change is intended for growth, so that is how Millennials greet it. The digital age has disrupted traditional systems for the better, a concept that was impossible in the past. Due to the inconsistency they’ve experienced growing up, millennials have subdue their harsh conditions by advocating innovation. Although innovation is a new idea, generation Y strictly believes this is an optimal lifestyle.

This generation does not believe in a constant, that everything has potential. Camden embodies that figure of high potential. Organizations are racing into the city of Camden, for it is the next startup hub for Millennial entrepreneurs. With the economy’s rapid growth and welcoming nature, businesses are rushing in to secure their space. Just outside of Philadelphia, the city of Camden possess hope, just what entrepreneurs need.

Work With Purpose

Millennials differ from baby boomers in one drastic motive. The new generation seek a sense of control and innovation that past generations seem to lack. Millennials deeply value purpose, to even go the extra mile in changing jobs for content. Perhaps it’s due to their entitlement, but Millennials are stubborn to the belief of following your inclination. 60% of employees confess that it is critical to allow them the capacity to do what they do best. Many Millennials will settle in the lower paying job, as long as it allows them the ability to express their talents.

As observed in the city of Camden, non-profit organizations scatter throughout in order to rebuild the city of hope. Devoted organizations and passionate millennial entrepreneurs in the city are growing and giving back to the community.

Work Flexibility

The typical 9-5 business hour job is declining as Millennials continue to enter the workforce. The Census Bureau estimated that 13.4 million Americans work from home. The data will only increase when more Millennials start to work. This new career outlook stems from the disfavored opinion against office confinement. In the strong devotion for both work and freedom, Millennials compromised with the issue by creating careers from the comfort of their own home. Freelance work has been the popular option for Millennials, since it allows independency.  

 

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Holiday 2017 Gift Guide for Stocking Stuffers

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2017 gift guide

Stockings are a traditional ornament to Christmas, but the stuffings inside are what makes it jolly. Stocking stuffers redefine gift giving, that neither size or price matters in the premise of giving a present. These miniature gifts give entrepreneurs the advantage to pick up gifts last minute. The standards for stocking stuffers are to simply be small and compact, but that shouldn’t reflect on the quality of the gift. When entrepreneurs want to impress their receivers, these are the gifts to provide for them in the 2017 Gift Guide:

Vanacci

2017 gift guide

 

The Vanacci lockstone bracelet is the bracelet that I have been waiting for. I have been using the Vanacci bracelet for about a month now and I haven’t taken it off since. Not only is there quality fantastic, there is the added benefit of the my unique scent/cologne will follow me around throughout the day.

Like most men, I did not follow the original directions of spraying the bracelet and letting it sit. I sprayed directly on the arm, and rarely have to reapply. My personal band is black and goes with just about anything. This is a great gift for the fashionable male.

Moment Lenses

2017 gift guide

The size and quality of Moment Lenses are impressive. The detail on each glasses are built professionally, while the weight of the lens are kept at a decent size. These attractive lenses are perfect for either starters or professionals in photography, since the product is easy to navigate through. The lenses offered are in the shape of a Wide 18mm lens, or a Macro 25mm lens, and also includes a 170 degree Superfish field of vision lens. Moment Lenses now have a battery case as well, that is also equipped with its new mounting system. They now offer external shutter buttons, travel cases, and other accessories all on their website. With finally an attached via a mounting clip(these new lenses twist 180 degrees). The perfect gift for self-proclaimed photographers from the 2017 Gift Guide.

Nomad’s Leather Charging Wallet

2017 holiday gift guide

Nomad brings the perfect combo to solving iPhone’s battery problem and wallet situation. The wallet contains a thin lithium-ion battery that holds a 2400 mAh charge in their built in cable. Mobile users are saved from a sudden battery shortage with this unique product. The idea of applying a charger within a wallet stems from the belief that we will always have our wallets with us. Now, with a charger embedded into our wallets, you can charge your phone whenever or wherever. Displayed in brown, the advanced SoC (system on chip) microprocessor additionally enable the battery to fully charge your mobile device. A first choice gift to a loved one from the 2017 Gift Guide. 

Upright Go

2017 gift guide

The device that is about 4.25’ long, 1.5’ wide, and 1’ thick, Upright Go is the perfect gift for people who slouch. The product is made of silicone rubber material and can be used up to 10 days on a single charge. Upright is also connected to your iOS or Android smartphone app, with individual training plan for gradual change. The strict reinforcements in Upright’s gentle vibration delivers a cue to help you remember to sit up. The method is taken from B.F. Skinner’s operant conditioning theory, that is effectively used in Upright technology today. The obvious gift to offer in the 2017 Gift Guide. 

Anker SoundBuds Curve Bluetooth Headphones

2017 gift guide

Anker headphones are the perfect fit for athletes. The headphones have an earhook with a waterproof nano coating for complete comfort, this also includes a gym and running workout headset with pouch. Athletes can continue their rigorous workouts with Anker headphones on due to their lightweight condition. The product itself is durable with a strong connection to devices up to 30 feet. Their most special quality is within their CVC noise cancellation feature that runs on 12.5 hours of battery. Although Anker’s bluetooth headphones have amazing qualities, a headphone can’t be rated without mentioning their sound. With that, Anker provides a quality sound with it’s ample bass, that will allow users to really capture a feel for their music. 

Anker PowerLine + Lightning Cable with Pouch

2017 gift guide

The charging cable for many apple products, including the new iPhone X to the iPod touch. The product is named the lightning cable simply due to their fast speed charge, due to their wide diameter wires and minimized cord resistance. Like many of Anker’s products, the lightning cable is durable. The cable is 5x more durable than other original products also. The product’s performance remained constant, no matter how many times the cable has been bent. The 3ft toughest and fastest cable product comes in black, grey, white, red, and blue. 

Anker PowerCore Portable Charger

2017 gift guide

The Anker powercore ultra-compact 10000mAh portable charger is designed to be smaller than a candy bar. Their unique cut ridged-surface brings a new experience to users, allowing a precise grip to the charger. The surface is also intended to avoid smudges so the product is looking presentable always. This includes an output temperature control, high voltage protection, current regulation, and more. Their most distinctive feature is within their 8-light led sensor to detect the power percentage on the charger. One of Anker’s most unique product and a good choice for the 2017 Gift Guide.

Mikol Marble Notebook

2017 gift guide

For writers, sketch artists, or simply anyone, Mikol provides an attractive notebook for a gift. The Mikol notebooks offer a Carrara white and the Nero Marquina style, made of 100% real natural stone from Spain. With this, their brand name is engraved in gold on the front. This can be altered by an additional $25 for a word of your choice engraved below. The notebook contains 180 pages of cream colored paper, while each section is divided up by a variety of different types of styles. One section of the notebook provided lined pages, the next a grid, and the last section, blank pages. A quality notebook for all types of talents.

Sudio AB

2017 gift guide

Headphones are an essential asset due to the digital age, Sudio AB are as aesthetically pleasing as it is practical. The wireless headphones are lightweight, easy to use, and are perfect for entrepreneurs who desire functionally and beautifully designed products. Tres headphones are ideally for office use, with the 9-hour battery life and quick charge capability. The packaging is simplistic and mirrors Apple’s minimal designs. The headphones themselves come in neutral colors with an accent of black, gold, or rose gold that appears more like pink in person. Different size ear comforters allow fit for a variety of users, although long term wear can leave the ear a bit sore.

 

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