Tuesday, August 31, 2010

How To Manage Your Company's Brand

I was recently interviewed by Brenda Porter-Rockwell at Inc.com (the web devision of Inc. magazine). A number of branding professionals and I are featured in this informative article. I think you'll pick up some great tips and opinion here. Enjoy.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

How Bad Do You Want It?

How many people do you know who long to be in their own business? They have lots of great ideas and yearn to "be my own boss." They put a lot of energy in dreaming and wondering if this will be their ticket to financial freedom. I had the opportunity (I use this word lightly) to meet one of these dreamers the other day. They had that great idea that was going to do it for them. We shared a conversation over coffee. Essentially it was a web-based business, lots of coding etc. I said I'd investigate and can back with a price for this dream of theirs.

(You probably know where this is going)

When I submitted the fee, the instant reply I got was... "If I had that amount of money, I'd buy a car."

I'd buy a car. How perfectly telling. No - they wouldn't finance their dream - invest in themselves - they would buy a car! I guess they figured this would cost very close to nothing. It showed just how valuable their dreams are. I believe you see this all the time with start-ups. They have lots of cash for office equipment and decorating - things that make them "0" amount of income. Weeks before launch, with their budgets very nearly depleted, they then see "what's left" to put towards marketing. The very thing that "makes them money." The sad fact is that in many cases, decorating is fun. It's dressing up the dream. Marketing somehow feels and looks like air.

The smart ones get it and realize their dream. The rest - well, they're out buying cars!

If they don't have faith in themselves, how can they ever expect to succeed? That person I was dealing with, should have considered the fee and found a way to finance the dream just like all of us. Sometimes that financing is time, sometimes it's money, and sometimes it's perseverance. Whatever it takes. When I started, I put up my house, everything to realize my dream.

How bad do you want it?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Barriers to Branding Success

Everything that touches your brand affects it. How you market it, is the voice of your brand. Positioning is the stand you take. Community involvement is the heart of your brand. Brand perception is reality to your audience. How stake holders describe and talk about you has some impact on your brand standing and the perception factor. With all these influencers (and more that I haven't mentioned) there are any number of barriers that affect your brand's success.

Your job ( and a mighty big one) is to minimize any negative impact these influencers may have. Some of these are external and internal barriers. External barriers are situations like compliance issues and not keeping current with technology - this impacts productivity, dragging you down. Uninspired marketing addresses nothing and flies under the radar of your audience. Lousy service and union problems are massive barriers to your brand's success.

Every day in business something pops up that challenges your brand. How you react to them or not, impacts the brand. Couple the stress of this with personal barriers. One would be your alertness. Depending on how you tackle everything, fatigue has a huge impact on your efforts. Family responsibilities are another influencer. Whether you have a positive or negative point of view is a barrier. Have you noticed that when you dwell on the negative, it seems to attract more negative things to you? Lack of education - upgrading is another barrier.

Barriers are a fact of life. How you plan for them and how you overcome them are the bench marks of a truly great brand. Don't allow barriers to overwhelm you, and view their challenges as just another way to improve your overall performance. As I hurdle each one, I take pride in knowing I am in control. Surrendering to barriers is just the top of the spiral down.

A good exercise is to list your own external and internal barriers and develop a strategy to overcome and build on them.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

From The Horse's Mouth Podcast

Rumors Podcast

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Brand Scent Podcast

Do You Have A Brand Scent Podcast?

More blogs about http://brandcorral/blogspot.com.