Understanding Branding Importance in Marketing Your Business | ghostsave.info

You may have heard something about marketing “branding,” but maybe you don’t truly understand what that that means exactly.Some people think branding is like positioning, but it is actually different. The main difference is that positioning is a fluid concept. In other words, you can position yourself at different times in different markets as different things. Branding is more set in stone– it’s a hard-core recognition factor.Branding is more about following rules because if you don’t follow those rules, things don’t look the same and people won’t remember you. When you put out your marketing pieces, you want to create a similar look and feel so that people remember you. And you want that similar look and feel on every piece you put out.The good thing is that you get to make the rules… colors are the same, style of lettering is the same, logo, etc. However, there is some flexibility as long as you follow the rules. You can’t go too far out of bounds, but you can change some things within the framework of what others can still recognize.Branding in your marketing has to make you feel something. A technology company can’t have an old-style font — you might not think that they are very advanced.A brand consists of eight basic building blocks:
The name
The logo (brand icon)
The brand’s colors
The slogan and brand messaging
The sound of the brand
The overall look and feel = the brand’s position
Packaging the brand
The brand experience
A brand is a greater sum of its parts. It is always more than just the nuts and bolts, the pieces; great brands are always the result of the whole equaling more than the sum of its parts.Branding is about making the consumer or buyer more hip, more in the “know,” more cool than anybody else. We are a generation and a nation wanting to be special. We want to be richer, more beautiful, better dressed, and more effortlessly gorgeous than any other generation that we know.Benefits of BrandingYour business needs to create a positive image in the minds of consumers. Contrary to what most people believe, branding isn’t just a logo. Your business’s purpose, focus, and image all combine to create your brand. Why should you make this effort? Below are a few benefits:

You are remembered: It’s hard to remember a company with a generic name. You may not be able to distinguish their purpose and business focus. And why would you call a company if you couldn’t tell what they did? Branding your business ensures that consumers will know what you’re about.

You gain customer loyalty: The fact is, people build close bonds with brand identities. Consumers want quality products that they can trust. So, your business should have an identity that your customers can cling to. If your company delivers great products and services and has a great brand identity, people will remember you. Additionally, they will often refer you to friends and family.

You become well-known: You want the people who have not done business with you to still know who you are and what you do. If they see your ads on billboards, hear them on the radio, see them on television, or any other media, they will know your brand identity. And when the time comes that they need your product or service, your company will be the first to come to mind.

Consumers pay for image: We are a very brand-aware society. People commonly associate brand names with quality and may only buy certain brands for that reason. If people only want one brand of a particular product, they are willing to pay a higher price. Having a great brand will make your company have a superior image and cause consumers to forget about the competition.

When you have distinguished your business through branding, the marketing has the capability of becoming so profound that little else is necessary. Developing your brand takes time and effort, but after it has been solidified, and after customers have had the chance to identify with it, your sales can increase naturally. You won’t have to spend as much time planning marketing strategies to attract the public.Online BrandingBranding, as a whole, is essential for any serious business because a company’s brand is what distinguishes it from its competitors. In today’s computer age, it is necessary for most businesses to have an online presence to stay competitive. Effective Internet branding, just like its offline counterpart, helps bring awareness to your unique business offering and drive customer demand.While Internet branding offers huge opportunities for business, in order for it to be effective, one needs to attract and engage its customers. This isn’t easy on the Internet. Branding is not as easy as putting up a website and adding your company logo and slogan. Your Internet branding strategy should make your online brand noticeable and apparent.Branding utilizes hi-tech tools to create an online presence for your business. Graphics and animation, compelling web copy, and overall website design that reflect your company are some of the important elements that will bring your online brand alive. An attractive website that helps customers easily and quickly find the information they need is the key to getting customer interaction and eventually, business.Your branding plan should include good design elements and ease of use to create an effective overall impression.A strong online image will make the difference between a customer who buys from you online or switches to your competitors. Remember that online customers can just leave your website and go to your competitors with the click of a mouse. A lot depends on the impression they get from your website. Branding seeks to convey an immediate unique message about your business to your target clients.Promoting Your BrandIf you haven’t already initiated a brand for your company, now might be just the time. Use these simple techniques in the promotion of your special brand.

Make your brand as unique as possible: Catch the eye of the public by creating something different — something that people have not yet seen. Instead of doing what has already been done, go the opposite direction and be creative. Don’t forget the legal dangers of copyright infringement related to borrowing or stealing from another firm’s design.

Display stability: Take time in the development process to establish your brand and accomplish the look you really want. It’s better to spend sufficient time in the beginning fine-tuning your design for the desired outcome rather than to play with it after it’s been revealed to the public. Changing your brand, and all that’s involved with it, including colors, slogans, logos, and tag lines, doesn’t support an image of reliability and longevity.

Stability should be maintained with branding: If you have integrated a brand into your company’s marketing, use it all over the place. It should appear on all of your marketing materials, business cards, website, and printed items. The same is true for your packaging. Your brand should appear on all of your products.

Give your brand away to the public with diverse promotional products: You can help your brand to saturate the consumer population by handing out precious, yet low-cost, items. Promotional products encourage possible customers to keep in mind your brand and your gift every time they are used.

ConclusionBranding is just like the old coat of arms that families used to have connected with their name. It instills respect, fear, and wealth. Likewise, a country’s flag gets people to feel a certain way about their country.Think about what message you want to convey. What do you want recipients of your promotion to think about you? What image of your company do you want to put out there? That is your brand. When people see you continually as one thing, they begin to expect the same from you and they get used to you.We are pleased to provide you with the insightful comments contained herein. For a complimentary assessment of your online presence, let’s have coffee.

Brand Book: Build a Consistent Brand Around Your Company Logo | ghostsave.info

Let’s say you have decided to start your own business, or you thought of upgrading or reinventing your brand. One of the first order of things you would be doing is to design a logo for your business. Your logo would have to say it all about your brand: your color scheme, font styles, feel and so on. But sometimes, the whole thing would just seem to be quite off, and you can’t figure out what is wrong.This kind of situation is the reason why you need to have a consistent and strong brand identity. Especially in today’s modern market trend, when tiny details make or break you. Not only does it makes your brand look firm but it would build your credibility, as well.So here’s the big question: How? – Well, enter the brand book.What is a Brand Book?A brand book is a set of rules and guidelines for the use of your brand. A standard if you must. A style guide, in a designer’s context. It basically explains how to properly make use of elements to make sure that it is consistent with your brand.Why create a brand guide for your business?Having a brand book makes it easier to do a project. Example: if you decided to do a packaging for a brand product, presenting the brand book to the designer would make things easier to select font styles, colors, and whatnot and output would be consistent with your brand.Makes you look professional. Being consistent with your marketing tools and outputs makes you look professional. Like everything’s planned out to be the way they are.You will have control of your brand. Having standardized brand gives your control of any loose ends. If something is not working – a look or feel – you refer to your trusty old brand book.Never a cheap moment. When you have a brand that’s solid in all corners, your brand would avoid looking cheap.You enhance your brand. With your brand’s style regulated, it makes you progress into a finer and solid brand. You are put onto a perspective where you see your brand’s untapped potential and develop changes for its betterment.What to Include in a Brand Book?There are several components to include in a brand book. Here are the basics and must be included.BRAND OVERVIEWAs much as possible, this should be brief. In little words as possible, make sure that the concept for the design of your brand is clear. A designer should likely read this very important part of the brand book; it should tell what the brand is aiming to be, its look and feel.LOGOSA logo is the brand’s key component to its strategy; therefore, it should be taken seriously. The brand will likely revolve around the logo concept BUT the logo is not your brand alone. Make sure there are many logo variations for certain styles and backgrounds, and clarify minimum sizes.INCORRECT LOGO USAGERemember when I said, a detail can make or break your brand? Here’s a common mistake in the branding world: logos are used and stamped upon on almost anything. Your brand has to look professional, and you should know not to mess around with it. If you do, you’re basically messing with your reputation. You have to be careful to make sure that designers or anyone that would make use of your brand logo understands what they can and cannot do with it.FONTSFont is crucial. It also affects your brand’s feel. You have to define what kind of typefaces to use. More so, their size, colors, headline and body typeface. Do not forget to include web and non-web fonts.COLORSSince your brand revolves around your logo, and your logo revolves around a particular color set, it is imperative to make sure that the use of colors is specified. Specify primary and secondary colors – when and where to use them. Include color palettes, as well as, formats for both print and web end.COPY AND TONE OF VOICEThink of this as another key component to your brands personality. It’s how you would want them to “hear” or “read” you – your character. Defining the way you deal or sound like, especially in the social media, is a great way to be consistent. When there are several people writing or doing the copy in their different ways, your brand would seem to have several personalities. That is why it is key to have these laid out properly.ICONOGRAPHYSpecify what size, spacing, and where to use icons is significant to promote consistency.OTHER COMPONENTS THAT CAN BE INCLUDEDThere are still several components that you can integrate in your brand book. It’s really up to you and up to the industry your business is in. Some components that you could consider include:
Photography style
Supporting graphic elements
Design layouts and grids
Social media profile page applications
Brochure/flyer layout options
Website layout
Signage specifications
Advertising treatments
Merchandising applications
Who makes a Brand Book?Usually, brand books are developed by an experienced graphic designer. Sometimes, the agency where your logo is made could do this for you. Even if you already have a logo, you can always hire someone to make your brand book. But of course, it’s better to have the one who made your logo do the brand book for you, as well, to ensure that it flows well with your logo.It is always better to have a PDF format brand book for you, aside from it being printed. It’ll make things convenient especially during a project where you can always send it via email.The Bottom LineYour logo is a significant component of your brand. Several aspects of your business revolve around it, especially in the modern branding world. But your logo alone is not your brand. It’s just a part of your strategy to be identified with. How your logo is treated and used is where your branding unfolds. By having a brand book, you can ensure that everything works consistently to have a strong and solid brand.

Building A Unique Brand Identity | ghostsave.info

What is a brand?A brand is a name, term, symbol, design or a combination of these used by an organisation to identify it or its products as unique from others. It acts as an identity and signal, communicating many messages to the market.Therefore, brand identity is its ‘personality’ in context of your target market. In other words, it’s a brand’s characteristics as sees by the market. Every business has one, although some are more subtle and others are very in-your-face.It’s very important for a brand’s success to have a solid, well supported identity as it allows the target market to relate to it. People are emotional beings and this comes across in their buyer behaviour, so therefore, if a business wants their product to appeal to a certain customer, the identity of the brand must offer a relevant characteristic that is pleasing and favourable to them.For example, popular cola soft drinks run intensive branding campaigns with their product on the beach with people enjoying summer, with the intention that their brand will become associated with ‘fun times’ and ‘enjoyable experiences with friends’. This trait, which is an element of brand identity, means that customers will recognise a relatable characteristic, and associate their happy emotions with a product that naturally lends itself to that situation.Five Dimensions Of Brand PersonalityResearch into the marketing and psychological aspects of branding date back to the 60s, 70s and 80s, and identify five main brand personality traits, known as ‘The Big Five’, which encapsulate the main categories of identity.How a consumer interprets all brand messaging is how a brand identity is defined, and the definition tends to focus on one of the following traits.(1) SincerityDown-to-earth, genuine, honest, and comfortable.(2) ExcitementExhilaration, adrenaline, fun, stimulating and sporting.(3) CompetenceReliable, trustworthy, successful and intelligent.(4) SophisticationUpper class, cultured, charming and posh.(5) RuggednessOutdoorsy, tough and strong.Regardless of which category, a brand identity can significantly impact a customer’s interaction and emotional connection with a specific product or organisation.How To Develop A Brand IdentityAn identity of a business, a product or brand functions very similarly to that of a person. When you think of a person, you can list off all of the qualities they have that come across to you when you interact with them. For example, witty, smart, fun, outgoing, frustrating, and so on. These qualities can be both negative and positive, and the way you were able to come to the conclusion of these adjectives lies in how you’ve interpreted the signals they projected through their actions. For example, you would label someone as fun, because they shared an experience with you that you enjoyed, or label someone as frustrating because they were difficult to get along with.It works the same with a brand. The best way to establish, uncover and promote a brand identity is to begin describing the traits and characteristics that come to mind. Then you (as the owner of that brand) must leverage messages and actions which act as signals to the target consumers to allow them to discover and interpret those characteristics and relate your brand to those traits.Branding ElementsBranding elements are the physical identifiers of a brand, such as design, images, colours, font, name, shaping, spacing and so on. Consistency is key here: once you establish your traits, as discussed above, the way your brand physically exists must be consistent with the characteristics you wish to portray.For example, if you want a sporty, exciting brand, you may lean towards brighter colours, modern fonts and trendy logos, as opposed to, say, a conservative fashion brand which may choose a more formal name, a cleaner font, a more conservative colour palette, etc.Customers are very intuitive, and therefore, brand identity and the associated branding elements must be planned very carefully to ensure that they both sync in such a way that the correct messages are being successfully and easily interpreted by the market.Using A VoiceA ‘voice’ in this branding context refers to the entire suite of communication tools used to promote the brand identity and elements, above, to the market. Basically, it’s how you speak and interact with your audience and how they relate to this.This can be the colouring, layout and words used on a website, the music and sound on a radio commercial, or the images featured on a print advert.Again, consistency is very important here. It’s very essential that the voice matches the characteristics and traits originally established for the brand, so that the audience isn’t the victim of mixed or conflicting messages.Write A Branding Guidelines DocumentA ‘branding guidelines’ is a document where all of the branding elements, identity and voice are clearly written out in detail. It provides the ‘go-to’ guide regarding everything about a brand, from design, exact colours, tone, images, sizing, backgrounds, tag lines and correct use.As mentioned above, for a successful brand and strong identity, consistency is paramount so that the audiences are not receiving mixed messages or incorrect signals. The market is already cluttered with noise, and so it’s very important that a business sharpens their message to be so specific that when a customer interacts, they interpret the message positively and correctly.A branding guidelines document ensures that all of the branding is used correctly so that the entire marketing effort is heading in one, uniform direction effectively. Making this document easily accessible internally within a business ensures that everyone working on promoting the brand is doing so in the correct manner.Every business has, or should have, a distinct and unique identity which makes it appealing to their customers, and it lies in a solid branding program to ensuring your brand’s personality stands out from the crowd.

How to Build a Brand, the Right Way | ghostsave.info

What branding means
When you think of branding, what do you think about? For the longest time, and even in my early agency days, I felt that branding was some magic corporate thing that didn’t have anything to do with small business. But branding is really everything about business. If you are the owner of a small business, you are the brand. Everything you do and say, the way you look, the way you talk, your people, your premises, everything has a bearing on that brand and goes into making your brand. The good, the bad and the ugly. And it shows up right down on the bottom line.Category of One
Category of One branding refers to an overcrowded market, which is very hard to break into. So what a Category of One company does is create a new category by being very unique and different from the current category competition. So now, the new brand is the only one in its category. As a rule, companies that reach a Category of One status are very successful. Today, Google is a great example. There are many search engines, but nothing like Google. Achieving a Category of One status isn’t accomplished just because you are a business owner. And, even though you are one doesn’t mean you have a Category of One brand.3 customer rules
If you want to be a Category of One company, you need to follow three rules:
You have to know your customer like the back of your hand and better
than anybody.
You have to be closer to that customer than anybody in the market.
You have to be emotionally connected to that customer more than
anyone.From Purple Cow
This phrase is right from the book by author, Seth Godin. This is what you need to consider if you wish to become a Category of One. Brown cows are boring. If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. But, according to Godin, a purple cow would be different. He defines a purple cow as counterintuitive, phenomenal, exciting and remarkable. People ignore brown cows all day long. But, be assured, they won’t ignore a purple cow. Of course, you can’t just paint your widget purple. Your cow has to be born that way to get any attention. Godin recommends that you follow the lead of companies that are outstanding with everything they do, because that explodes your word of mouth.But does it matter that I’m a small business owner?
If you are the owner of a small business, you may not think that branding has any impact on your business. But how about the other small business owners that you know? What is your image of them? Whatever it is that you think of your small business friends is their brand. You may not have realized it, but you do have a brand. So it would behoove you to manage that brand, rather than ignoring the fact that it exists.Key issues
Branding is critical. Remember, your brand is you and
everything you do and say is part of that brand. Good, bad or otherwise.
A Category of One brand creates its own category. You are the only
choice in that category. Do what you need to do to become a Category of One company.You can always look at it like the Purple Cow. Brown cows are boring.
Purple cows are a sight to behold.
The brand is you
Branding isn’t…
Your logo.
Your advertising.
Your product.
You are the brand. Think about that for a minute. Your business has a brand image, whether you had anything to do with it or not. This applies to all businesses. You have a unique brand whether you tried to create it or not. Even though branding is kind of abstract, it is still critical for the overall success of your business. Branding isn’t a simple concept and sometimes takes a little explaining. The thing is, branding is going to happen whether we have anything to do with it, or not. Therefore, doesn’t it make sense to take as big a role in your brand’s development as possible?Branding rules
Your solo business has rules, whether you have them written down or not. If your rule is “I don’t have rules”, you still do. For example, if you are a karate instructor, here are your brand rules:Don’t talk poorly about your competition.
Don’t talk like a salesman.
Have self-control and respect.
Be professional.Numbers one and three apply to every business owner. Remember that customers don’t want to hear about how awesome you are and how bad the competition is. And people don’t like sales people. Never sound like a sales pitch. Number three and number four are about reputation. So, if you are a karate instructor, your job is all about self-control and discipline. And if I’m going to instruct kids about respect on Saturday morning, then I shouldn’t go out drinking at the corner bar on Friday night. If a parent saw me dancing on tables, she wouldn’t think too highly of my Saturday morning respect lesson, now would she? This doesn’t mean you can’t visit the bar. Just stay off the tables! This illustration is a perfect example of how powerful branding can be. In “Karate Kid” there was a good instructor and a bad instructor. The good instructor taught respect and discipline, while the bad instructor stood for “winning, regardless of the costs” and bad sportsmanship. And then there’s our local guy here. Which one do you want to teach your child?Image enhancers
Remember the age-old expression: “You never get a second chance to make a first impression”. This applies to all businesses and all industries. Here are some image enhancers that apply to all businesses. As you design your brand, keep these in mind. Project professionalism at all costs:Be on time.
Be courteous.
Don’t promise what you can’t deliver.
Take responsibility for any issues.
Have outstanding customer service.
Be trustworthy, credible and professional with your customers and potential customers. Because you want their future business.
But how about my company name and logo?
They are important. But only as part of the overall picture. Don’t confuse the tangible tools with the intangible concept. Branding is the intangible that has to be considered from a different level. Both are part of your overall marketing strategy. But don’t confuse tangible marketing tools, with an intangible concept. Branding is an intangible concept that must be understood and used on a different level.
Branding is abstract and is all about reputation and perception. You can’t design trustworthy and credible. So, your brand is all about you.Key issues
You are your brand, not your logo, products or advertising.
Have rules.
Remember these image enhancers when creating your brand. What do
you want to represent?

How to Build a Brand for Your Small Business | ghostsave.info

What is Branding?According to the businessdictionary.comDefinition: The process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumer’s mind, mainly through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme. Branding aims to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers.When building your brand the key objective is to create a character or Brand Identity.This character or Brand Identity will allow you to:

Stay consistent in the market your product or services are competing in.

Create a better understanding with customers and employees of what your brand is all about.

Define and improve marketing efforts.

Become more focused and confident when dealing with your brand.

See your brand as the main character in a Movie production and within this production are other role players or actors competing for the same leading role!If you create a character that does not fit the role play nor the content of the movie, viewers cannot relate to your character, soon they will get confused, bored, and will quickly lose interest in the movie. Other moviegoers will read the bad reviews and they will not flock to the cinema to see another performance!But if you deliver a strong performance, you will receive an accolade at the end of the season in the form of returns.There are many key factors to consider when first start building a brand after you have established brand identity, but I will focus only on the 3 basic brand objectives any young entrepreneur or business individual starting up a small business enterprise can follow, mainly:

Brand Positioning

Brand Value & Proposition

Brand Awareness

1. Brand Positioning – Your brand should promote your business, and differentiate you in the market. Look around and do research on the competition, see what they are up to!If you selling a typical green wheelbarrow, which is big business in Africa and where the competition is extremely visible, you must position yourself in the market by selling the same product for the same price with some creative changes made on the product, example:Brand Name: GT BarrowsSlogan: The most reliable & cost-effective wheelbarrow in Africa!Product description: Green wheelbarrows with a yellow stripe & painted rims.Be creative and position your brand!2. Brand Value – The best way to establish good brand value is to build good customer relations and to be honest about the product that represents your brand name.If you create trust and deliver on the promises your brand represents, customers will soon start to pay the extra premium on the product.Remember – honest branding with good values deliver a solid value proposition:

Customers know what to expect from your brand and you don’t have to compete against price from other products!

3. Brand Awareness – Building a strong brand awareness strategy is key to help you create positive sales figures. All buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated. It is incredibly important that your brand establish a loyal following.Most new business owners will immediately kick of a brand awareness campaign by trying to get new customers, spending fruitless amounts of advertising funds on distributing flyers and other irrelevant printed media.Here are some basics guidelines:

Get a professional Brand Development Consultant, Graphic Designer or Agency for creating your brand logo, image and all your advertising needs. It will show any potential client that your intent is to deliver the best possible service!

Try to capture the attention of your competitor’s customers: Create a content strategy. Once you’ve gained a solid understanding of your audience, you’ll need to create a strategy for reaching them.You can promote your brand in a way that reflects where you started, how you succeeded, and what you believe, along with your company’s values. Keep these aspects at the forefront of your campaign to give a clear picture of who you are as a company.

Strong social media content allows you to show your customers who your company is and what your brand represent. Share details about your company that make it clear what sets you apart from others in your industry and show potential customers why they should choose you over your competitors.

Identify new customers on Social media platforms and other networks. Send them an e-mail elaborating on your services or product on offer, monitor and be pro-active in:

Target those individuals that visited your site

Customers that have opened or respond to your email.

Always keep record and track of customers that have searched for your products.

Your Brand need to stay unique & inside the market you operating in and relevant to consumers at all time. The key is to always put emphasis on serving customers efficiently, politely and in line with your brand’s image, this will create and lead to a positive & credible recognition for your brand.

I’m a Brand, You’re a Brand | ghostsave.info

The talented comedian, actor, writer, producer and singer Steve Martin once said, “Be so good they can’t ignore you.”This theory expands much further than the entertainment industry. Rather, it is an excellent goal for any individual who wants to grow their professional life and build a successful career.You may think branding and marketing are for the public relations and communication departments; however, you will never be considered for a job opening or special project lead if no one knows your name. If people remember you, what they know about you and how they talk about you is all part of your personal brand.Certainly having a resume and an accomplished work history is important, but your personal brand – how people identify you – is the selling point in your career success.Personal brand expert Dan Schwabel gives one of my favorite definitions: “Personal branding is all about discovering what makes you special, and then communicating it to the right people, through the right channels.”Building an effective brand, sharing your brand, and then continually strengthening and protecting your brand are the three steps to lead you on the path toward increased salary and personal job satisfaction.1. Build Your BrandBefore you can build your personal brand, you must know what your existing brand is. You may ask yourself, “How can I know what it is if I have not built it yet?” While you may not know what it is, others have already been creating it for you. How you act, present yourself and treat others and how hard you work all reflect people’s opinions of you, which is in fact your brand. Ask a trusted superviser, mentor or colleague to describe how others perceive you.Leverage this information and the following checklist to start planning how you will refine your brand.• Define your professional goals and how you will accomplish them.• Use this career map to identify the key elements of your personal brand.• Create a brand statement that details how you want to be known and what you want to be known for.2. Communicate Your BrandAlthough you might have built a great personal brand, it is only useful if you are able to effectively communicate it to the professional world. To communicate your brand, you need to:• Ensure that your supervisor, boss and other executives in the company are aware of your unique talents as well as the value you add to the corporation. Do this by maintaining regular communication on your progress on projects and the results that you deliver.• Start paying attention to your daily interactions with those around you, including colleagues, clients, and even friends and family, consciously aligning these interactions with your personal brand goals.• Remember the timeless saying that your actions speak louder than words. At work, volunteer for extra projects and take on new responsibilities that are in line with the talents and traits you want to showcase.• Social media has enhanced the way companies market their brands and connect with their customers. You can implement this same technique to network and market yourself to employers. The key to creating a strong brand image through social media is consistency. Use the same name, picture and personal tagline when registering for different sites to assure people recognize your profile. About.me is an excellent way to link your different profiles, blogs and websites. You can personalize this page to reflect your brand image as well as track activity.• Consider starting a blog or creating a personal website to showcase your work. This allows you to build your reputation as a subject-matter expert, which is important to maintain after you have landed your dream job. Link your social media profiles with automatic cross posts to make this easier. In addition, reaching out through blogs and other communication outlets opens the door to grow your professional network with other bloggers.• Update these other communication tools to help you highlight the brand you want to communicate: business cards, résumé and cover letter, work portfolio, and wardrobe.3. Strengthen and Protect Your BrandTo climb the corporate ladder you need to market yourself and your brand image. This includes maintaining a professional appearance and behavior at all times. As a result of increased technology, especially social media outlets, the lines between your personal and professional life often blend together. “There is no professional or personal anymore,” says successful entrepreneur and businessman Peter Shankman. “There’s simply your brand, and it’s up to you to determine whether your brand is affected positively or negatively.”The following steps will help you strengthen and protect your personal brand:• Continually update your brand, and your professional achievements will grow. Maintain records of projects you have worked on, as well as the quantifiable results of these projects. This proof is what you will need to present when you are ready to ask for a promotion or raise.• Protect your reputation by regularly monitoring your social media accounts, website, blog posts and other communication outlets. Review pictures, comments and posts to assure they are appropriate and professional. Your brand should be a positive reflection of you.Building, improving and maintaining your personal brand takes a great deal of work. Managing your brand is a continuous process. It is not easy, however; taking the time to align your career goals and how you want others to perceive you is a proven way to help you confidently ask for a raise or bravely go outside your comfort zone to pursue a new opportunity. Ultimately, your personal brand will help you achieve your career dreams.The author is the CEO/owner of the locally-based outplacement firm, DMD & Associates, Inc. Her firm is engaged by companies worldwide to deliver outplacement programs that empower those effected by a reduction in force to get back to work quickly, while helping companies protect their brand and limit legal exposure.She is a board member of several Society of Human Resource Chapters, speaks throughout the United States about career transition topics and is published in multiple publications.

Leadership Qualities: How to Create An Unforgettable Personal Brand That Gets Results | ghostsave.info

What makes you so memorable that you stick in people’s minds long after you’ve left the room?If you can’t answer that question quickly, you probably haven’t created a personal brand strong enough to be considered a business asset.You’re also not alone. It’s estimated that over 95% of business people haven’t bothered to create a personal brand.The other 5%, people like Donald Trump, Howard Stern, Gisele, Martha Stewart, have leveraged their personal brands into a competitive advantage.So has the person in your company who seems to defy the odds and get all of the promotions. And so has your competitor whose product is no better than yours but who magnetically attracts clients while you battle it out with the rest of the pack. And so has that industry ‘expert’ who gets the phone calls from the press for commentary.A strong personal brand has the ability to increase your value in the marketplace, raise your profile within your company, attract like-minded clients and customers who identify with your brand, and increase financial returns. And every day you don’t spend time cultivating and leveraging your own personal brand, you are creating missed opportunities.I worked with an executive who decided when he was in his 20s that he wanted to become the global CEO of a major organization. From that moment on, he considered his personal brand a business asset.While he wore the same blue suit, white shirt, and black loafers as everyone else in the company, he naturally stood out.Why?He was gregarious, he showed an interest in everyone he came in contact with, he asked a lot of questions, he went out of his way to support others, he built a strong network of people at all levels, he smiled more often than not, he found solutions, he showed up.All common behaviors of successful leaders.When people saw him, they saw a future CEO. He used that brand to set himself apart. It became his distinctive advantage. And he became a global CEO in his 40s.That’s what personal brands do. They build expectations of what you promise to bring to the game. And every time you deliver on it, your brand becomes more valuable. It sets you apart as the go-to person for the skills associated with your natural brand. Your value goes up.Whether you know it or not, you already have a personal brand. It may be an advantage, it may not be.The power is in knowing what it is, how people perceive it, and cultivating it every day to stand out from the crowd – even when you’re dressed like everyone else in the room.Here’s how to create an unforgettable personal brand that fires up your business success:ACCESS YOUR NATURAL BRAND ADVANTAGEThe most effective consumer brands are powerful because their central promise is built into the fiber of their organizations. Everything they do – from their products to their customer experiences and marketing messages – are all designed to articulate and reinforce their central brand message.Your personal brand is exactly the same. To be effective, it must communicate the values and behaviors at the core of your personality.Who am I? What value do I bring to the table? What sets me apart from everyone else? Your personal brand must answer these questions.The good news is the values that make up your brand are there. You just have to dig them out and take a good hard look at them.Think about the kids you grew up with. If they were asked to describe you, what would they say? That unvarnished truth about how you behaved consistently as a kid will give you a good indication of your starting point.To this day, I can go down the list of kids I grew up with and tell you exactly what their personal brands are:THE TOUGH COOKIE: Becky was the tough, take no prisoners tough cookie who backed up her challenges to ‘bring it’ with a few epic brawls that set her brand firmly in neighborhood lore.
THE OLD SOUL: Nonnie was the quiet, kind, and thoughtful girl who always chose to sit on her front stoop and read a book while raucous games of dodgeball and double-dutch played out before her.
THE GOLDEN BOY: Todd seemed to be able to effortlessly do it all — the football hero, the straight-A student, and the kid who was able to build a fort out of snow that could withstand any frenzied snowball assault.Why do I remember these people so clearly years later? They were consistent; what you saw was what you got. I knew if I wanted help with a troublemaker, Becky was my go to. If I wanted to sit and chill out, there was Nonnie. And if I wanted help conjugating a Latin verb, bring on the Golden Boy.Identify your natural brand advantage and you’ll reveal the behaviors that flow naturally from the values at your core. You’ll understand what you won’t do even under the toughest peer pressure, and what is so memorable about you naturally that it sticks in people’s brains even years later.DEFINE YOUR BRAND PROMISEDetermining what sets you apart is only a professional advantage if people can quickly recognize the promise of value that goes with it. Or, in other words, what’s in it for them?This is the promise that underpins your personal brand – the value you bring to an employer, colleague or client, consistently reinforced through all your interactions.Ask yourself what it is about your personal brand that makes someone’s life or business better, easier, happier, or more profitable. What expectations do you want your personal brand to build in the minds of the people you work with and for? And what can you consistently deliver on?Becky promised protection, Nonnie promised good conversation, and Todd promised to elevate my standing in the neighborhood simply by being a part of his inner circle. They all brought clear, consistent value to my life.This is how you become a go-to person. Communicate your brand promise clearly — and deliver on it consistently – and you’ll quickly rise to the rank of indispensable.MANAGE YOUR BRANDWith your clearly defined personal brand in place, consistency becomes the name of the game. Just as consumer brands build loyalty over time with consistent customer interactions – and lose it with one bad review – you must also put your money where your mouth is.Consistently reflect your personal brand values in everything you do. Not just in delivering your hard and fast KPIs, but also in how you interact with colleagues and clients everywhere from the boardroom to the water cooler.For your personal brand to be seen as an asset, people have to experience it over time so they can build a confident frame of reference as to what to expect when they interact with you. To leverage your personal brand, you have to think, talk, and act in a way that delivers consistently.People are looking for clues that they can trust you, that you mean what you say, and that you will deliver on that brand promise you made. Give it to them.ELIMINATE DANGER ZONESNone of us are perfect, and we all run the risk of falling into old behavior patterns or allowing negative emotions to drive reactive responses to stressful situations. This, of course, is part of being human. However, identifying and understanding your triggers will go a long way to keeping your personal brand on track even when the stress hits its hardest.Stay mindful that everything you do and say has an immediate impact on your personal brand and, just like a bad review, snapping at a colleague, letting down a client or losing focus on a project will threaten to topple your carefully constructed personal brand.Set aside a few minutes at the end of each day to evaluate how your behavior that day reinforced or detracted from you brand. Identify any negative behavior patterns that need busting, confront any emotions that are likely to send you into a downward spiral, and consciously de-stress.Most importantly, be kind to yourself in your lesser moments. We all fall off the wagon from time to time and behave in ways we’d rather not in hindsight. But take these missteps as opportunities to learn and grow, not as reasons for self-punishment.And remember, to master your personal brand, understand that talk is cheap. Say what you mean and do as you say.

Branded Entertainment – What It Is and How It Can Help Your Brand | ghostsave.info

The good old days are a thing of the past when it comes to marketing your brand. Gone are the days when you could simply put out a print or TV ad and consumers would flock to the stores to buy your products. One new form of content marketing that looks to take over in a big way, ready or not is branded entertainment (otherwise referred to as native video advertising).Branded entertainment is a type of content marketing – it’s all about creating entertaining content to capture the attention of potential customers for longer periods than traditional ads. The content is usually delivered online, as video-based series, Web-based magazines, podcasts, and more. A great example of branded entertainment is Lego’s interactive children’s magazines, which feature as characters toys that readers can purchase from its store. Many other brands are currently investing in branded entertainment, including fashion giant Dior, male grooming products maker Old Spice, and energy drinks seller Red Bull. Branded entertainment takes the notion of brands as publishers a step further; turning brands into producers of entertainment content.Understanding Brand MarketingIt can be said that branded entertainment has arisen as a reaction of marketers to the fierce competition between brands, as well as to the increasingly fragmented attention that consumers have developed because of the multitude of ads with which they are bombarded on a daily basis, online, in print, on the TV, on the radio, and on the street. Brands that engage in branded entertainment try to stand out from their competitors, offering content that engages customers by grabbing their attention, keeping them hooked, and making them want more.Branded entertainment resembles content marketing in that it usually doesn’t try to sell products directly, although it refers to them a lot and even integrates them as essential parts of the story/plots it develops. Furthermore, it is usually targeted at consumers who have chosen a certain lifestyle promote by the brand’s mission.Brand Marketing Takes Marketing to a Different Level You are probably used to seeing brands sponsor sporting competitions, film releases, art galleries, and other social events in order to promote their logo to an audience interested in their product. With branded entertainment, brands not just ‘present’ entertainment, but take an active role in its creation.Branded entertainment is more personal, more engaging, and more effective than advertisements and other marketing techniques, and more exciting that traditional content marketing. It transforms a brand from a sponsor into a creator of fun and engaging content. At the same time, it delivers a richer experience than other forms of marketing while requiring unprecedented levels of intentionality and commitment on behalf of consumers.Embracing Branded MarketingBranded marketing isn’t just for huge brands like Lego, Dior, or Red Bull. When content marketing began its rise to power, there were those who thought that it would be effective only for large businesses who had the financial resources to invest in content production. Today, empowered by social media sites and blogs, everyone does content marketing, from Cola to the small local car repair service.While it may appear too costly for small brands, branded marketing is ultimately scalable – a business that cannot afford to hire film stars and create a short series can engage in branded marketing in different ways, such as publishing an online magazine, creating an in-house audio show, or simply being creative about it and finding a compelling format and using it to create an engaging storyline that can grab and hold people’s attention.From Content Marketing to Branded EntertainmentYour brand, too, can embrace branded entertainment and use it as a highly effective marketing tool to strengthen your brand culture and make your company stand out. It is important to understand, however, that branded entertainment naturally follows in the footsteps of content marketing, and that to get it right you must first embrace the latter, if you haven’t done so already.If you do embrace content marketing and branded entertainment, your brand will become not just a publisher, but also an entertainer. It will not create ads but content, and thus differentiate itself from the marketing noise in your industry. It would not be an exaggeration to say that branded marketing, as a creative and engaging way to promote brands and products, may become in the near future a key strategy for all companies that want to establish a stronger connection with their customers.