Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Why Brand Values Matter.

Just what do you stand for? In order for you to grow your brand effectively, you have to know your brand values. What are the characteristics that define you? These values are such that without them it would fundamentally change your brand. Let's say that giving back to your community is a huge brand value. No longer giving back, would be way out of character. Your audience would not recognize your company as once they did.Your brand would be damaged as it would be viewed as more selfish. This is how brand values define you.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Scensory Branding

This week's podcast is on scensory branding:

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Branding Voodoo That'll Smoke The Competition

There are lots of ways that you can approach your brand to make it more effective. Some can be
costly, while many are simple and relatively inexpensive. It is the latter that I will outline for you today. They don't take much thought or effort but can impact your brand in a big way.

1) Sponsor a local adolescent sports team.
This is not so much to get your logo on a jersey but it
is part of giving back to the community. Volunteerism speaks to your brand values. Not to mention that many of the organizers are also leading members of the
business community.

2) Join local networking groups.
Don't just join groups and wait your turn to say your
elevator speech, but take an active role. Join committees, offer your assistance where ever you see an opening. People are impressed by go getters.

3) Write a short eBook.
You are an expert in your field. Take that valuable knowledge and apply it to a subject your potential customers might find compelling. Offer it up on your website or blog for free. Doing this puts you on
the path to building a niche group to sell to.

4) Consistency of image.
Make sure that all your materials have the same brand image. Any deviation only causes confusion among your audience. I go to great lengths to be sure I stay on track with my brand, so should you.

5) Do you have a new product or service that needs attention?
Do a press release and spread the word in the media. Any pick-up is free advertising for you.

6) Do a color analysis of the competition.
See what colors the competition is doing and choose a color they are NOT using to own that color and differentiate yourself. Of course this is great if you're willing to re-do your brand image. If not, look at the attitude or tone of their messages and differentiate based on that observation.

7) Go on blogs that your audience is on and purposely leave constructive comments.
These comments will lead customers back to you. This is a great way to get the conversation started. It also works the same way in Linkedin groups, Facebook and Twitter.

8) Track your online visitors.
Be sure that your websites and blogs have analytic code installed so that you can see what keywords people use to find you. Use those keywords as the basis of links back to you rather than your company name.

9) Record podcasts/videos.
They don't have to be super professional, just decent so as not to cast any negativity on your brand. A/V adds a distinct tone to your online content and positions you nicely. It helps add a personality to your brand.

10) Lead don't follow.
How can you lead in your category? Determine a way to take the high ground from your competition. In Branding Voodoo, you MUST have the bigger pins, anything less is just doodoo.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

10 Yrs. To Build, 12 Min. To Destroy

I have been offline over the past week due to a tornado touching down in our backyard. A terrifying experience. It came at 3:00 in the morning, waking us out of a sound sleep. Of course we had no idea of what was happening, only that the weather outside was continually getting worse culminating in a massive crashing , crushing sound. We live on 2 acres of lakeside property with 28 mature trees. We lost ALL of them and the house got hit a little.

Now the joy of dealing with insurance and the major disruption to our lives. The marvelous thing to come out of this tragedy is the incredible show of assistance from friends, family and strangers. What we thought would take months to clear up has been accomplished in just over a week. We had continuous day and night shifts of people chipping in to clear of our property. Friends and family pulled in favors from their contacts to speed up things. I had continuos emails on my iPhone on volunteers offering their help of labor or meals and moral support. Friends cried when they saw the scope of the destruction.

A fabulous volunteer group called Samaritan's Purse set up shop in town and provided us with three volunteers who worked like dogs to help. Two of the young people were from Utah. Everyone worked as a great team. We almost had a chainsaw shop going with sharpening and re-fueling. We went through countless cases of water as the heat was about 80 -90 degrees everyday.

We are now able to look ahead and to the future. Mother Nature dealt us a bad hand that night, but our human bonds were our ace in the hole. Our landscaping is a clean slate again and we are able to see more of the lake now. There were no injuries in the town and the community is closer. Where once there was darkness now there is light.

(In the photo we uprighted the barbeque to boil water as the power was out.)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

How To Be Found Online Podcast

This week's podcast is, "How To Be Found Online."

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Drew Gerber Speaks on PR and your Brand

As part of my interview series with "Thought Leaders," PR guru and author, Drew Gerber from "Pitchrate.com" shares his wisdom with us. I've been following Drew online for some time, so I was pleased as punch that he agreed to this important interview.

Ed Roach: How much does personal branding matter in Public Relations?
Drew Gerber:
Personal branding is as important in the world of business survival as food, shelter, and water are to personal survival. If you want to set yourself apart from the competition you have to make a name for your products and services. Chances are someone else is doing the same thing you are, so you really have to find what’s unique about you. The goal of branding is to make it so your target market remembers you. When you’re giving an interview you have to make sure you deliver your message in way that forces people to take notice of your brand. You have to make it like a song they can’t get out of their heads.
Ed Roach: Whenever I speak of corporate branding, I believe a company is smarter to lead than follow. Taking their PR efforts into consideration, how important is "being the leader"?
Drew Gerber: Being a leader is definitely important, but you also have to know what others are doing. I would never advocate following or “riding the coat tails”, but with the Internet and social networking, ideas and thoughts are being exchanged at a very rapid pace. It really comes down to progression these days. How far you can take an idea and how you can leverage it to really make a difference in you company.
Ed Roach: Drew, I've heard you say, "When it comes to small businesses, PR is in everything you do." Since your PR is a part of your brand would you agree that the tone of your brand should be reflected in your PR initiatives?
Drew Gerber: Definitely! The tone of your brand should be reflected in all your PR initiatives. Your brand is who you are. It’s counterproductive to deliver a message in an interview that doesn’t align with your branding. You have to be memorable, not confusing.
Ed Roach: Let's say a company is in crisis, how can PR play a role in re-establishing brand reputation?
Drew Gerber: PR can be a company's most effective tool-- as long as they are willing to take responsibility and be vulnerable. Crying on camera seldom hurts either. We all watched as Toyota launched a huge PR campaign after all the recalls. They had to reestablish trust with its current and potential customers. They went hard after their long history and track record, and even brought emotion into the campaign, which we don’t see too often from large corporations. When a company's relationship with the public is tarnished for whatever reason, PR is the most effective way to get the shine back on.
Ed Roach: As a Public Relations expert, how do you believe the Drew Gerber brand is perceived?
Drew Gerber: Well, I always think it's hard to be objective about yourself, even if you a branding expert. Ever try cutting your own hair? I hope I'm perceived as approachable, passionate, and, above all else, committed to making a difference.

L. Drew Gerber is CEO of Wasabi Publicity, Inc. (www.PublicityResults.com) and creator of www.PitchRate.com, a free media tool that connects journalists, publicists, and experts. Gerber's business practices and staffing innovations have been revered by PR Week, Good Morning America and the Christian Science Monitor. His companies handle international PR campaigns and his staff develops online press kits for authors, speakers and companies with Online PressKit 24/7, a technology he developed (www.PressKit247.com). Contact L. Drew Gerber at: AskDrew@PublicityResults.com or call him at 828-749-3548.
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