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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.

Business

Top Cyber Week Software Deals for Digital Marketers 2019

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Just when you thought all the best deals were on Black Friday, we've just found some even sweeter deals for those who missed the rush this weekend. Welcome to Cyber Week, a week full of even more sales and discounts ONLINE.

Being a digital marketer is already a tough position. That's why there are so many management software and tools available to help your day to day job. Marketing tools can get expensive. Here are some of the best Cyber Monday software deals on marketing software you don't want to miss.

1. Awario

Social media monitoring doesn't have to be a hassle this year. With Awario you can stay on top of all your social media mentions, monitor your competition, explore new influencers, and engage with your audience all on one platform.

The deal: 50% off plan. No promo code needed.

GET THIS DEAL

2. Penji

Marketers should be doing marketing, not design. I've never enjoyed designing infographics, newsletters, and marketing materials. And thank goodness we found Penji. Penji is a graphic design service that lets me work with a vetted designer on as many design jobs as I want - for a flat monthly rate of $369/m.

Hiring someone for one-off projects usually runs anywhere from $300 - $1000 per assignment. We can usually squeeze in 8 - 10 design projects per month. At $369 for 8 - 10 projects - that's a steal. But if that deal isn't good enough they're having a Cyber Week Special.

The deal: 30% off every plan - EVERY MONTH! Use promo code CYBER30. Code is limited to the first 100 customers. Valid from now until 12/6/19.

GET THIS DEAL

3. ProofCred

If you're selling products or services online, you'll know how important conversion is. ProofCred helps websites convert more visitors into customers by utilizing social proof notifications such as conversion counter, visitor count, recent activities, coupons, and more.

The deal: 70% off all plans. No coupon code needed. Just go to the website. Deal expires 12/7/19.

GET THIS DEAL

4. Poptin

If Proofcred alone isn't enough to help convert more sales, then combine that deal with Poptin. Poptin is a digital software that can help your website's conversion by monitoring visitor's behavior and displaying the right messages at the right time instead of just one annoying popup that comes up every time asking for their email.

The deal: Get 30% off for 3 months with promo code POPTINBF19. Deal expires 12/5/19.

GET THIS DEAL

5. Senuto

SEO tracking and content marketing are usually on separate platforms. Not anymore, thanks to Senuto. Upgrade your SEO tracking and content marketing planning with Senuto.

The deal: Get 40% off annual plans with promo code BLACKDEAL19 (it's a Blackfriday deal that carries over into Cyber week). Keep in mind, it's for ANNUAL plan, not monthly. Deal expires 12/6/19.

GET THIS DEAL

6. Avaza

Running an agency or a team of digital talents can be difficult. Avaza makes it simpler by integrating all your favorite tools into one platform. With Avaza you get project management, time tracking, scheduling, quotes, invoices, and comprehensive reporting all under one roof.

The deal: Get 50% the first 3 months on ANY paid plans with promo code AVAZABLACK2019.

GET THIS DEAL

7. SEMRUSH

If you're a marketer who's dabbled in SEO, then you've already heard of SEMRush. It's one of the most comprehensive, robust, and accurate SEO tools on the market. Take your SEO marketing and managing to the next level with this special deal.

The deal: Get 40% off GURU plans and 2 articles. No coupon code needed. Deal expires 12/6/19.

GET THIS DEAL

8. Appy Pie

Have you always wanted to get an app developed but don't have the coding expertise to get the job done? Appy Pie lets you create your own app without any programming experience. You can create fully functioning ios/android cross-platform apps easily with an intuitive front-end user interface.

The deal: Get 70% off. No promo code needed. Deal expires 12/8/19.

GET THIS DEAL

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Insurance Coverage For Your Business

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insurance coverage

If you are running a business, you must insure it. You should understand what kind of insurance coverage you need for your enterprise. If you have a consulting business, having a proper error and omissions (E&O) insurance is important. You should purchase a general liability insurance if you want to take the lease of a building. Small businesses have a lot of things to protect.



Property Insurance coverage

You have tangible things to protect, such as machinery, merchandise, etc. There can be natural calamities like flood or earthquake. There can be major fire accidents. A fire can destroy all the machinery, and you need a replacement. The insurance should specify in clear terms that how much coverage they will provide in case of any accidents. In general cases, the property insurance covers business building along with inventories, furnishings, etc. It can also provide coverage to equipment breakdowns and the cost of removing debris.

General Liability coverage

You must purchase a general liability insurance for your enterprise. This insurance covers your products, completed operations of the company and premises operations. If you rent a building and one of your employees falls, you will be covered. If you are into a restaurant business and someone gets food poisoning, you will be covered.

E&O insurance

This insurance is also called the professional liability insurance. It is important for the people who are in the consulting business. If your consultation does not meet your client’s requirement and your client sue you, you will be covered by the legal fees and defense costs.

Worker’s compensation insurance

If you have employees in your business, you need to purchase worker’s compensation insurance. The cost of this insurance depends on your residing state. You should remember that worker’s compensation insurance is subject to audit.

Auto insurance

If you own a vehicle for your company, you need to buy auto insurance. You should add a hired and non-owned automobile liability rider. Auto insurance is important if you face any accident when you or your employee use your vehicle during working hours.

Cyber Theft of your business bank accounts

Every year huge amounts of funds are stolen from different accounts through cyber hacking. You need some protection to save your business from this financial crisis. There is a new kind of insurance in the market to cover you from cyber theft and fraudulent wire transfers. Consult your insurance advisor to know more about the insurance policy.

Small business data compromise insurance

If you are running a small business, you need to protect your vital data from getting leaked. This insurance helps protect your company’s reputation of your customer’s personal data is stolen or your employee’s information is compromised from your business side.

If you have a home-based business, the homeowners’ insurance policy usually provides very limited coverage for tools and equipment damages and business related property. Consult your insurance agent to understand each point of insurance coverage. Decide which insurance is more appropriate for your company. You can also consider buying more coverage to protect valuable data.

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Business

Step Away From The Office To Boost Creativity

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innovative creativity

We have all faced a situation where we came across a mental block. We try to come up with an innovative idea or try to solve a problem, but that just does not happen. Hours of hard work at the office, meetings, or even dedicated effort in your office cubicle has led to no real positive outcomes. Then, after all that effort and frustration, you decide to take a break, go out of the office for a meal or drink, watch your favorite movie, or even choose to take a nap. Suddenly, creativity hits you, and everything falls into place as a result of which you see a clear solution to the problem lying in front of you. This “Eureka” moment solves all your problems in a jiffy.



The main reason behind this is that if you always focus excessively on the task that is given to you, then your brain won’t be able to come up with interesting and unique solutions to your problems using the information stored in your memory. By taking a break from your routine (in the form of a walk, drink, or a nap), your brain is given the freedom to explore and search for possible solutions. So, whenever there is a problem which needs to be solved, let your gray cells relax and concentrate on the task at hand.

Some of the reasons why you should take a break from your monotonous office life are:

It improves your creativity to a large extent

Whenever you realize that your creativity is not flowing out, you should definitely take a break and move out of your office premises. One of the best ways to be inspired and remove your creativity block would be to visit some new location. So, whenever you are unable to come up with any solution, having a meal outside could be one of the best options.

It is profitable for the business

If you leave your office due to a creative block, then coming back with a fresh chain of thought will definitely boost your productivity. This, in turn, proves to be very beneficial for the business you are working for. You can also easily tag your meal as a business expense which would make sure that your bottom line is always healthy.

It is the best way to know your peers

While you are working hard for eight hours in your office 5 days a week, it might take a toll on your health as well as your working relationships. Spending some time with your co-workers and getting to know them better away from all the work related stress will be beneficial for your mind as well as the body. One of the best ways of doing so would be by socializing outside your office. This would result in the development of new relationships and friendship and at the same time reducing your stress and refreshing your mind.

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