Monday, December 17, 2012

Business Tips From ‘A Christmas Carol’


I came across this article by By Jen Schiller  with business tips from A Christmas Carol one of my favorite this time of the year. Enjoy, Don
As the holiday season bulldozes on it’s sometimes hard not to feel like Charles Dickens’ infamous boss Ebenezer Scrooge in the classic ‘A Christmas Carol.’
And business owners and entrepreneurs, feeling the pinch of the holidays, can unintentionally develop some Scrooge-like tendencies.
Therefore, I’m putting on my best Jacob Marley ghost costume to bring  business tips, courtesy of ‘A Christmas Carol.’
The Ghost of Company Past:
To start with, I bring you the Ghost of Company Past. If you are a business owner try to remember the roots of your company. While change and progress are critical to the sustained success of a company, so too is the adherence to the principles and values set forth originally. Many young entrepreneurs get so wrapped up in the future that they fail to recognize what made the company successful in the first place. As the boss it is your job to keep employees on an ethical path.
Ghost of Company Present:
Next, we sail off with the Ghost of Company Present. Here’s the time for business owners  to remember to enjoy the current path of your company and view the positives of your current situation. Just like Tiny Tim saw the good in people despite all the obstacles he faced, you too should enjoy what you have. There is room for ambition in business, sure, but there’s no joy if you never stop to experience it. Bosses can use the holiday season as an excuse to celebrate company culture and instil a sense of pride for the company within the company.
Ghost of Company Yet To Come
Finally, we find ourselves in the presence of the Ghost of Company Yet To Come.
As the New Year dawns closer, business owners should take this time during the holiday season to envision their goals for the future of the company- remembering the lessons learned from the past and present. As the boss you may not find your grave unkempt or yourself stolen from, but outlining future plans to fix any issues you saw in the past or present iterations of your company is a noble and important goal this holiday season.
So there you have it, entrepreneurial tips courtesy of a trio of holiday ghosts. Maybe Dickens planned to write a compelling ethical and moral tale, but his story of the world’s most notoriously stingy boss set the stage for a set of holiday season-themed business ideas.
Don’t be a Scrooge this holiday season. Instead, be the entrepreneur and boss who is able to run a flourishing business, and an ethical one.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

8 FREE ways to Build your Business


There are a number of methods that you can use to build your business. Many of these methods may already be in use but they are rarely used as part of a total marketing system so they are not used consistently.
When you begin using any marketing strategy as part of a system, then it becomes a positive source for the growth of your business.
Most businesses have methods of marketing; however, most do not pay close attention to the results and frequency of implementation. The key to remember is that when something is part of a system, then it is repetitive therefore multiplying the effectiveness and guaranteeing significantly better results.
The best way to implement your marketing strategy is to use this guide and make sure that you answer the questions that are part of each concept.
The goal of you answering the questions is simple. If you take the time to answer the question, even if it is just in your head, you will take yourself to a higher level of awareness of how you are working in your business.
MARKETING WEAPONS
1. Business Cards – Your business card should have key contact information and must be distributed to everyone you meet. The goal of giving your card to everyone is placing you in the subconscious mind of everyone you meet.
Q: Do you give your card to everyone you meet or just people that ask you about your business?
2. Ask For Referrals – Everyone you develop rapport with both inside and outside your business should know what you do and be able to refer someone to you. The best way to get a referral is to give one first. It will pay major dividends for you.
Q: How many people you know who are in business that would appreciate a referral? What goes around comes around!!!
3. Have a Clearly Defined Message – Make sure that everything you do has a message about who you are and/or what you do. Hone your Elevator Pitch!!
Q: What is your message? What do you specialise in? Who is your target market and what are your services? What problems do you solve?
4. Voice Mail Marketing – Make sure your voice mail has special marketing statements. It is very important to place some type of reminder for the listener to ask you about something specific about you or your products.  An example of a voice mail marketing system is at the end of your greeting, you add the statement “Don’t forget to ask me about….!”
Q: How do I get people to ask me about my competitive advantage?
5. E-mail Marketing – This is very similar to voice mail marketing. Every e-mail you send must have as part of your signature, a special offer or a marketing message!
Q: What does your e-mail signature look like?
6. Testimonials – It is a must for you to get testimonials from your clients and referral sources. Your website and marketing material should contain a customer quote. These quotes give customers sub-conscious references to your services and the quality of them.
Q: How many testimonials do you have and are they from different types of sources so you can attach them to the appropriate marketing piece?
7) Community Involvement – Get involved with your community and increase your exposure. Individuals that participate in community activities tend to be compelled to want to help other members of the activity because of the common bond that is shared.
Q: What organization could you join that would surround you with the type of people that either could use your services or refer you to people that could benefit from your services while simultaneously giving something valuable back to your community?
8). Accessibility – Make sure you are easily reachable. Make clear to your clients the best way to reach you along with the best times to reach you. Add on your voice mail message specific times that you will be returning phone calls so clients know when to expect to hear back from you. When you return clients messages when you say you will, your credibility grows and so do the quality of your referrals.
Q: How much time do you need to answer your messages and when would be the best time of the day to answer your messages and return client calls? Do this daily.
Implement each one of these simple marketing weapons and “Build Your Business” in 2012.
Donald Robichaud
President
FloodLight Consulting - Build Your Business - 1-888-768-9415
http://www.floodlight.ca/
http://donaldrobichaud.blogspot.com/

Thursday, December 22, 2011

What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more?

Let us remember that the Christmas heart is a giving heart, a wide open heart that thinks of others first. You are all probably familiar with the Christmas time story of Dr. Seuss', The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. Dr. Seuss was a favorite at our house and as my family gets a little bit older, we find we all need a break from the commercialism of the holiday season. In moving some boxes recently I came across a copy of the now famous Dr Seuss tale and in reading the book it brought back great memories of watching the original show on TV with my daughters. There is a part near the end that has always moved me and I trust this holiday season it will help you with what’s really important!!! From Dr. Seuss: And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store? What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more? As the holiday season approaches, we at Floodlight would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support. It is business associates and customers like you who make our jobs a pleasure and keep our company successful. We value our relationship with you and look forward to sharing our business thoughts with you in the year to come. From all of us at Floodlight we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a New Year filled with peace and prosperity. Donald Robichaud - President FloodLight - Build Your Business  1-888-768-9415 http://www.floodlight.ca

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Build your Business with a Brand Update Strategy

Summer, finally! For many businesses, summer is the ideal time to get ready for fall. September is too late. Back-to-school is back to normal for so many of your customers. Holidays are over. Routine replaces freewheeling. Unless your business is seasonal, then your sales cycle should be swinging to the high point of your year as fall becomes Christmas.
Brand
What is brand? Great question! Brand is reputation. It develops at those crucial moments in the relationship between you and your customers where they judge your worth or your value in the transaction. It’s the customer experience that builds or destroys customer loyalty. How you touch your customers will determine if they walk away satisfied - will they recommend your business or service to their friends? Will they help you build your business? Risk or reward Are your products or services the best they can be? No amount of marketing, no amount of staff training will mean a thing if you don’t have what the customer wants in your category. Always remember, in the Internet world, an unhappy customer can damage your brand reputation with the click of a mouse by sending an e-mail to a friend or by posting negative comments to their Twitter and Facebook communities. What now The business has had success in the past, but now you want to grow for the future. The responsibility falls on the business owner to invest in the time required to work on the business. Are you focused? Are you ready to do what’s necessary to grow your business? In a previous post, we discussed your 10 Point Communications Strategy. Your updated or new website will soon launch. You have learned to blog. Your newsletter strategy is in place and your business profiles on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are polished. So take the time now to update the rest of your Brand strategy. The in-store experience - a check list
  • Does the paint on the walls appear tired, discoloured, chipped, faded or out of date? Does the colour compliment the display of your products?
  • Inspect the door frames, baseboards and window sills for signs of wear, excessive dirt or mould.
  • Inspect all counter tops, shelving and display cases for chips, cracks, glue or sticker residue.
  • What about your washroom or washrooms? Whether for staff only or available to the public, have you made all necessary repairs?
  • Is your furniture in good shape or does it need to be replaced?
  • What about your lay-out? Is there logic and flow to the placement of furniture and the efficient use of space? Remove clutter.
  • How good is your lighting?
  • Is your window display inviting? Does it represent the essence of your business?
  • Is your place of business pleasing to the senses? Visual, smell, and, don’t forget, the ear?
  • If you play music or have some sort of digital display with TV capability, who controls what the customer hears or sees, you or your staff? Be sure the customer experience is the first consideration in every audio or video decision.
  • Are all signs and point-of-sale items up to date? Is your technology reliable and in good working order?
Staff training – a check list
  • Have you identified and addressed any personnel issues? In other words, do your staff members take care of your business the way you want it done? When was the last time you reviewed your sales system with staff? Do they know what to do and when to do it? Are they good at problem solving? How are their sales closing skills?
  • How good is their product knowledge, are they able to easily answer questions, discuss key properties of each product?
  • Are required documents and forms up to date, are supplies ordered and does staff know how and why they are important?
  • Are all staff members comfortable with your technology?
  • Dress code: do you demand a certain look from each employee? Do you have compliance? Does your dress code include shoes, their cleanliness and state of repair?
  • Do those who require business cards have a supply?
  • How do you want your phone answered? Does each staff member know the drill?
  • How do you want your customers greeted? Does each staff member know the routine, or does that part-time kid on the weekend still call your customers "dude"?
  • When customers have questions, in person or by phone, how do you ensure the proper follow up?
  • Is there a smile in every transaction?
Every one of the items on the above check lists can be adapted to any business setting. As a business owner it is vital to pay attention to every detail because your customers do. The old adage speaks to the impossible task of pleasing all of the people all of the time: can’t be done! However, you can reduce the risk of losing a customer with a focused Brand Strategy. The Floodlight Business Solutions Group is here to help you Build Your Business. This article is contributed by Ted Farr - Floodlight Business Consultant Ted Farr Communication Specialist Floodlight – Build Your Business Kelowna – Ottawa – Kingston – Toronto 1-888-768-9415

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Build Your Business -The Brave New World of Content Marketing

The Brave New World of Content Marketing Content marketing is not a new concept!!!

Since the dawn of the search engine, internet users have been on a quest for information in the Brave New World of Content Marketing.

The idea is simple really!!

Consumers want to know more before they buy. They want answers to their questions, solutions to their problems. They want to be engaged, informed and entertained. Back in the day, if I can use that well worn phrase, the on line sources of the information were often in other cities, even other countries. They were the corporations and institutions with the money to spend developing an on line presence. Thank them because they made all the mistakes as they evolved so you can begin where they left off. The critical difference in today’s internet world is that consumers are searching for retail businesses and services that live where they live, shop where they shop.

Local is once again key to success. Just having a website is no longer enough. It is now vital for businesses to have a content strategy where the goals are:

1. “to be found” by both current and potential customers

2. to build a relationship with users

In addition to content strategy, the website design must include the carefully managed process of search engine optimization. Of course, the most desirable result is face to face conversation. The customer who found you on line comes to your office or store to buy what you have to sell. Because of content marketing and purposeful website design, the user already knows you, your reputation, the quality of your work, the reliability of your products, your phone number, email address and a map showing where to find your office or your store. They know you because of the stories you tell and the information you share. Content marketing is a magical world. To emphasize the obvious, one of the best and most efficient marketing investments a business can make is a website and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. It’s not as daunting as many business owners believe. Old, tired or out of date websites damage the reputations of any retail outlet or service. Not having a website at all guarantees limited or no growth. A website must be dynamic and useful. It must be properly designed and robust enough to achieve the goals. The clincher is that the business owner must commit the time personally or have the budget set aside specifically to create and maintain the required content. Make your website valuable to your customers by offering reasons to come back again and again and it will become the heartbeat of your marketing. Are you ready to explore content marketing? Here are five common questions. How do I get started?
  • Seek advice
  • There are many companies in the business of providing solutions for the problems of businesses
  • Find the people you trust and engage their services. Use a search engine just like your customers
  • Discover for yourself why content marketing and search engine optimization are so important
  • An expert will understand your needs, work with you to describe your goals, assess an existing website if you already have one, work with you on the development of a new web presence, provide ideas and solutions and help you devise your content strategy along with the systems required to achieve desired results
  • You must have a realistic goal, a defined strategy and a workable routine in order for content marketing to be the critical weapon in your business building arsenal
Who is my audience and why my business?
  • Discover what your customers want to know and develop that as your content
  • Be entertaining and educational. For example, if your category is natural foods, how can you provide recipes and or content around making healthy choices?
  • Learn how best to educate your users. Identify their problems and provide solutions
  • Bring your brand to life with content and personality
  • Use the on line tools that suit your budget and your time
  • Look for topicality in current events every day. How can you capitalize on the Canucks run to the Stanley Cup or the return of NHL hockey to Winnipeg or a new product or innovation in your particular content category? How can these events inspire your content?
  • Content must be engaging, sticky, relevant, useable, entertaining, educational
What content tools do I require?
  1. A blog with photos and/or video whenever possible
  2. A forum for the presentation of related content through re-purposing in-the-news items, related articles, research studies and papers from other bloggers, re-post relevant YouTube videos
  3. Video may include interviews with experts, staff talking about their expertise, visual examples of your products in action, vodcasting how-to tutorials
  4. The creation of video content is determined by your personal ability to shoot and edit or your ability to hire someone to do it for you
  5. Create an online community for your customers to share their knowledge and experiences
  6. Create an interactive module for users to ask questions and get expert answers
  7. Make it easy to share your content. You want your users to re-post, re-tweet, email to their networks
What integrated social media links do I need?
  • It is important to understand and employ the big three, Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin
  • Use permission marketing by having users register to receive a weekly or monthly newsletter via email
Should I use a call to action? – A tip worth every penny!!!
  • Users have to know, like and trust you before they will tolerate a sales pitch
  • Your call to action is vital as you convince readers, viewers, visitors to take the next step in your marketing process
  • Afterall, when you users need what you have to offer, you want them to buy
This article is contributed by Ted Farr - Floodlight Business Consultant Donald Robichaud is the President of the FloodLight Consulting and can be reached at donald@floodlightconsulting.com For help and advice on Content Marketing to Build Your Business contact Floodlight Business Solutions Group.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

How do I Brand my Business Effectively ? - Branding Consulting



The brand happens when you describe what you do in terms that build you into the partnership with your client - either based on what they tell you they want, or things you see happening that they haven't yet identified.

How to Create Brand Identity - The goal of branding is to create in the mind of the end user the belief, or curiosity, that something special exists that didn't exist before. The brand happens when you describe what you do in terms that build you into the partnership with your client - either based on what they tell you they want, or things you see happening that they haven't yet identified.


Three ways to brand your business :

Personal Brand - Your brand is created by you and the people at your company. You emphasize the image of your company and de-emphasize the product. If you ask your end users, they will easily be able to identify your "people brand." The most notable example of this is IBM. You can't help but picture blue suits, white shirts and red ties. You can make a conscious decision to change your personal brand if it isn't what you would like it to be.

Product or Service Brand - Brand is simply by virtue of the product or service being differentiable. The implication is that the service aligns with something the consumer wants - either by fulfilling a need, or solving a problem. Revlon is an example. They sell beauty, not cosmetics.

Market Brand - You brand by virtue of the target market that you take the product or service to. Your expertise and your specialty need to reinforce your target market. You won't find a Rolex advertisement in Fishing or Popular Mechanics, but you will in Skiing and Fortune.

Your brand will only have power if it is constantly reiterated and reinforced in the marketplace by everything you do - advertising, promotions, word-of-mouth, PR, etc. (Touch Points)

The goal of continually positioning your brand is to situate your product or service permanently in the mind of the consumer. The realities of your product or service have no bearing on the decision to use your brand. The only decision-making criteria that counts is what your customers believe.

So what Ever you do.......Don't be Generic!

If you do not create brand identity for your product or service, you are selling something generic. Positioning your product or service to be "brand identifiable" is measurable in the eyes of the customer.

For this to happen, your customers must:

1. Understand what makes you different

2. Articulate it to others

3. Value your brand and be willing to pay more for it

4. Embrace it and defend it when it comes under attack

If the customer can not differentiate your product or service on these criteria, then you will fall into a large gray, amorphous category - generic.

The goal of branding is to create in the mind of the end user the belief, or curiosity, that something special exists that didn't exist before.

If your Brand is ..... not working!!!!

Contact us today and start Marketing and Branding your Business!!

FloodLight Consulting - 250-768-9415
http://www.floodlightconsulting.com/
http://donaldrobichaud.blogspot.com/

Seth Godin: Sliced bread and other marketing delights

Saturday, September 12, 2009

How many Business Cards will you be handing out in the hopes of building your Business?

At FloodLight Consulting, we know that if you build your website with a marketing strategy in mind as a first step, this will lead to a better strategically designed website, leading to better website construction, design and Internet Implementation.



A website, built with a positive marketing strategy and message, will speak to your clients, generate a response, and greatly assist with its appeal to search engines and visitors alike.

A website that speaks to your clients’ challenges, with content that offers solutions to their issues, including testimonials about your services, will engage them to contact or purchase your product and/or services.

The importance of your website cannot be overstated, as 80% of buyers visit a website before contacting a business; this is due in part to the web’s influence in buying patterns since2005.

Your potential clients make decisions quickly as to whether they call you or ultimately buy from you.

Think of your website as the hub for your Marketing and Branding activities. No matter what marketing style you are using—direct mail, email, referral generation, PR, cold calling, etc.—this style is driving buyers to your website. Your website is the portal by which clients and prospects are using to learn more about you and your services.

They are searching for information to validate you as a professional in your field.

Your potential clients have a need for your service and your website must offer a solution to their problems. You must be able to speak to the challenges that your clients are facing.

If they find what they are looking for, they will take action. They go to your website to form an impression of you and interact with your brand.

Donald Robichaud
President

FloodLight Consulting -Grow Your Business - 250-768-9415

http://www.floodlightconsulting.com/

http://donaldrobichaud.blogspot.com/

Branding

Branding strategy, global branding, online branding, corporate branding, digital branding, product branding, internet branding, web branding, branding logos, corporate identity, advertising, marketing, branding, design, identity, brand

Friday, July 17, 2009

Promotional Products - What are they? When is the right time to use them?


I have just read this great article on promotional products from the blog of Falkins Advertising Specialties and I have posted for you to read,

Donald Robichaud

The greatest value of Promotional Products comes from their ability to get an effective, targeted marketing message in front of the prospects and clients you have to reach, without the wastes high costs associated with other media.

The definition of “Promotional Products”, is any useful item showing off your company logo, name or advertising message, however the best promotional products don’t just brand, they generate actual, measurable results.

WHAT IS A SUCCESFUL PROMOTION?

• An audience-appropriate product. – The most compelling marketing message in the world is lost on the recipient if the promotional item is not appropriate to your target audience.

• An effective message. – Very often, a promotional product shows only a company name or logo without any strong benefit statement, advantage or call to action. It usually costs no more to add these things to the imprint, but it can have a dramatic effect on the entire campaign.

• Targeted, Qualified recipients. – Very few companies can afford to market to everyone, so each promotion should be geared towards your target audience.

• Timing is everything. – A perfect marketing message delivered either too soon or too late does not produce positive results. I.e.: Calendars!

When you imprint an audience-appropriate product with an effective marketing message and deliver it to motivated recipient at the proper time, you dramatically increase your likelihood of success. Falkins Advertising helps our clients to master the four factors of a successful promotion!

WHAT ARE THE MOST POPULAR PROMTIONAL PRODUCTS?

There are over 650,000 items available providing a wealth of choices to fit any target audience and message.

According to the PPAI (Promotional Products Association International) the top 10 promotional product categories in North America are;

1. Wearables 29.3%
2. Writing Instruments 10.6%
3. Desk/office. Business accessories 7.6%
4. Calendars 7%
5. Bags 5.9%
6. Glassware/ceramics 5.5%
7. Recognition awards, watches/clocks etc. 4%
8. Magnets/buttons/badges/stickers 3.5%
9. Automotive accessories 3.5%
10. Sporting goods/leisure products 3.3%

If you would like to enhance your image and achieve a stronger bottom line through the use of promotional products please contact Bruce at;

Falkins Advertising Specialties
"Promotional Products to Brand YOUR Business"
Tel: 250-317-4333
FAX: 250-448-5730
bruce@falkinsadvertising.com
www.falkinsadvertising.com

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A Guide to Choosing Colors for Your Brand

A Guide to Choosing Colors for Your Brandby Dmitry
One of the key elements of building a strong brand is color selection. Every color has a different feel and various associations. By choosing a color or a combination of colors for your brand identity, you will take on those associations. Colors will evoke certain emotions and feelings towards your brand so it is vital to choose a color that will represent your identity effectively.

Research reveals people make a subconscious judgment about a person, environment, or product within 90 seconds of initial viewing and that between 62% and 90% of that assessment is based on color alone.

Why Color Matters
If you own a color in your industry, this color will symbolize your product. This can act as a great identifier. For example, if you sell physical goods, your packaging will stand out from the competition. The color will also be recognizable on any promotional media and your logos.

Where to start?
There is a great new tool which can help out with color selection called Cymbolism. It’s an interactive survey of color and word associations. Every page loads a new word, for which you have to select a color you feel best represents it. The results are then aggregated and you can see most popular associations either by color or by word.

To help you select the right color for your brand I’ve aggregated the results from Cymbolism, and also provided examples of logos that use each color: (Click on chart for full view )

These aren’t the top ten words that represent each color, these are just the words that happened to have been entered and processed by Cymbolism and came out on top. Having said this, the sample size is quite large and the selection should give you a decent indication of what a color stands for.

I’ve also included some multi-colored examples at the end. Some brands choose not to associate themselves with one color. Instead of two or three colors, they choose four or more. This represents variety. This makes sense for brands that are platforms or marketplaces as they host vast amount of different applications or goods.

There are also two more colors that haven’t made it on the list: black and white. These are arguably not even colors, and they will go well with pretty much everything you choose. White you probably shouldn’t use because you won’t be able to print the logo on white paper unless the white is used on a darker background. Black is a good complementary color to use and a lot of brands choose to have the text set in black because it is neutral and serious.

How to select your color
Look through the table above for a quick overview of what each color stands for. Some questions to ask yourself:

What color do you like?
What color represents your brand’s personality?
What color suits the characteristics of your product/service?
Color’s aren’t tied to any particular industry — though some may be better suited for some services/products than others. You should aim to pick a color that will represent your brand’s personality best. One that will give your customers the right impression the first time they see it.

You aren’t limited to one color. Some brands like eBay choose to go with many colors to represent variety — but you can also choose a couple of colors that work well together.

Consider differences in cultural interpretations of your color. For example in the Western world, white is considered the color of purity and peace, however, in some parts of Asia white is the color of death. Make sure the color you select will give the right impressions in the markets you’re present in.

At the end of the day, the color you choose should be something you like, not just something you worked out through a formula. The brand colors tell others something about your company, but it is also something you should get behind and enjoy. If you don’t like the colors in your logo, then you won’t very happy seeing it every day on your stationery, your website and your product packaging. Select something that represents your company, but at the same time something that you like as well.

Click Here the rest of the article

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The importance of Branding


Branding is perhaps the most important facet of any business-beyond product, distribution, pricing, or location. A company's brand is its definition in the world, the name that identifies it to itself and the marketplace.


A model may be beautiful, but without a name, she's just "that girl in that picture." Where would Norma Jean be without Marilyn Monroe, or who would imagine Coca-Cola as just a soft-drink manufacturer?


A brand provides a concrete descriptor to customers and competitors alike, a name for a product or service to distinguish it from anything else. Bob may run a hobby shop, but trying to advertise as "The hobby shop a guy named Bob runs down the street a ways" is financial suicide. Each customer will have to describe the shop, who Bob is, and what the shop does every time someone asks about it. This makes the process of recommending a good hobby shop too much work for the average customer, and far too much work for a user looking for hobby shops on the Internet. A customer looking up Bob's hobby shop will have an easier time of it if he or she knows to refer to it as "Bob's House of Hobbies," and the customer can then refer others to Bob's hobby shop by name, increasing the potential advertising exponentially.

Developing a brand involves more than just picking a catchy name and placing an ad in the newspaper-a brand is more than a unique string of letters denoting a particular product; a successful brand is a mnemonic trigger that makes a consumer feel a certain way when the brand is thought of.


For those who drink cola-flavored soft drinks, which is more appealing on a hot day: a cold cola soda, or an ice-cold Coke? Coca-Cola has spent 100 years developing their particular brand of cola-flavored soda as a refreshing beverage and a seminal representation of a market segment. Coca-Cola has used a combination of direct marketing, give-away techniques, and multi-product cross-branding to achieve maximum brand recognition and visibility in not only its immediately competitive market, but in markets as diverse as Coca-Cola branded race cars and house wares.

Brand loyalty is an integral part of building a brand, as consumers usually have a choice of products in the same market segment, and so a successful company will come up with a way to keep consumers re-buying their product or coming back to their location rather than going to a competitor.


These brand loyalty-building efforts may come in the form of coupons, incentives such as many grocery chains' technique of "grocery discount cards" or "loss leaders," meant to draw consumers into the store, where they will hopefully buy products along with the discounted fare at a higher profit ratio.


In exchange for these discounts and grocery cards, many companies collect information about buying habits and average spending amounts, the better to tailor advertisements and better-focus future promotional efforts. Once a consumer is hooked, brand loyalty tends to result in higher sales volume, as well as loyal customers being less sensitive to price changes of their favorite brands (within reason, of course), as well as less sensitive to competitors' incentives. Studies have shown that it takes 5 times as much money to gain a customer as it does to retain one. That's 5 times as much money as could have been spent on other things.

A brand is who your company is, and what it is selling-it is as important as naming a baby, and should require the same amount of effort to develop it, but if done well, can mature into a successful and profitable adult.

© 2005, Wholesale Pages UK. All rights reserved.

William King is the director of UK Wholesale Suppliers, Wholesale Suppliers and Pakistan Property Portal . He has 18 years of experience in the marketing and trading industries and has been helping retailers and startups with their product sourcing, promotion, marketing and supply chain requirements.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Three Brand Identity Myths That Will Bring Your Business Down in Canada


This is one of the best articles that I have read that explains why your branding is very important and why should not be taken lightly. It come from Yahoo Small Business
Don
Donald Robichaud Floodlight Consulting By Erin Ferree "Brand identity" is the combination of consistent visual elements that are used in your marketing materials. A basic brand identity kit consists of a logo, business card, letterhead, and envelope. It can be extended to include a Web site, brochure, folder, flyer, or any other professionally designed pieces. Having a brand identity is extremely important to your business's success. However, many business owners have misconceptions about brand identities that can damage their businesses.

My cousin can design my brand identity

There are some very significant areas of your business that should be left to the professionals. First of all, while your cousin may have been "great in art class," this does not mean that she has the knowledge and expertise required to create great graphic designs. Designing a logo, business card, or Web site is much different than painting a picture or making a collage. You must make a brand logo scalable, meaningful, and symbolic. Second, having a professional designer on your business marketing team ensures that your projects will be a top priority. I have many potential clients who start their designs with a friend or relative and are then "put on the back burner," leaving their project to drag on for months. After much frustration, they hire a professional and are amazed at how quickly things are completed. Finally, would you trust a friend to do something really important for your business? Would you ask her to do something that requires unique skills, like making a client presentation for you or giving a speech? Probably not, unless she is a sales professional or a professional speaker. Would you trust a friend who is "good with math" to do your corporate taxes? If you wouldn't trust an amateur with an important business function, then why would you trust an amateur with your brand identity, the key to your marketing success?

Designing a custom brand identity is too expensive

It's true that having your marketing materials designed is an expensive proposition. But it may be even more expensive if you do not have a high-quality, custom brand identity professionally designed. There are many effects that will harm your business, including the possibility that your clients will not respect you or take you seriously, among others. A strong brand identity quickly pays for itself. For most businesses, if just two or three new clients call you over the course of your lifespan because of the equity that your brand identity creates, your logo and brand identity design package would be paid for. When you have a top-notch brand identity, new customers will contact you because they remember your logo, have held on to your business card, or are impressed by your brochure. And it's likely that many more clients than the required few will contact you and your business will grow and flourish from the (relatively) small initial investment in the brand identity. Consider also that a brand identity is a sustainable expense. Once you have had a timeless logo and set of marketing materials designed, you can use them for years to come. And, once you have a strong logo, creating consistent, targeted marketing pieces and programs is an easy addition to your existing system.

 I do not need a brand identity

If you are a professional in business, you need a brand identity. You wouldn't consider being in business without other important business essentials -- your own computer, perhaps, or a business name or bank account. A brand identity is another of these basic business essentials. It's the central requirement for marketing and promoting your business. There is nothing that looks less professional than not having a professional brand identity. If you do not establish a clean, high-quality, and consistent look and feel to your materials, you will have a much more difficult time gaining the trust of potential clients -- and signing them on to use your services. All of the Fortune 500 companies have a logo, and for a good reason: it makes them look more professional. If you want to be perceived as offering a high-caliber service, you have to look polished and "put together."

Saturday, January 24, 2009

What's Next do I need to brand my business in Canada?

Does creating brand identity for your product or service have any merit?

Would your market share be positively affected by a different positioning approach?

At FloodLight Consulting we work with Entrepreneurs, Small and mid size businesses assisting them with their Sales, Marketing and Branding of products and services.

What they say, how they say it and when to say it!

What our clients like best is that we help remove the bottle necks in their business and change the way they think and feel about Sales, Marketing and Branding which helps to increase sales and profits.

FloodLight Consulting specializes in Sales, Marketing and Branding programs for Entrepreneurs and Small to Medium Business (SMB). FloodLight core competencies were designed specifically to meet the operational needs of any business relying on standard communication practices.

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If your Brand is ..... not working!!!!
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Contact us today and start Marketing and Branding your Business!!
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FloodLight Consulting - 250-768-9415
http://www.floodlightconsulting.com/
http://donaldrobichaud.blogspot.com/

Friday, January 23, 2009

What are the benefits of branding my business?

  • Branding helps to unlock profitability
  • Branding prompts consumer selection
  • Branding builds name awareness
  • Branding increases the odds of business survival
  • Branding produces long term loyalty
  • Branding differentiates you form the competition
  • Branding allows you to introduce new services more quickly because of the trust you have created
  • Branding builds a positive image of your business

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Not Sure that you need help to brand your business?

As a business coach “I'd like to learn about your situation and priorities for building your business and if appropriate, to explain how FloodLight Consulting might approach these issues, then if there looks as though there might be some common ground, to agree how we could move to the next stage."

The next step is yours !!

Give us a call or send an email for a complimentary coaching session where we will assess your needs.
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Donald Robichaud
FloodLight Consulting
250-768-9415
http://www.floodlightconsulting.com/
http://donaldrobichaud.blogspot.com/

Kelowna Business Coach - Branding Consultant - FloodLight Canada