Wednesday, December 19, 2007

David Airey's link for now

Follow this link to David Airey's Graphic Design blog.
Enjoy again.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

David Airey was Robbed!

David Airey, a fine Graphic Designer from Scotland recently had his domain stolen from under his nose. Now if you go to all you will find is a sponsored link page instead of the great blog he's been building for quite some time now. Watch this space for a new link to his blog, so that we can continue to read his observations - inspiring all.

They may have stolen his domain but not his brand, which I believe will emerge even stronger once this ordeal has been put to bed.

All the best David in the New Year,


Monday, December 17, 2007

Have Friends - Will Travel!

What do you do when you are offered an opportunity, but you are unable to fulfill it? It would be a bad move to take it on then take the risk of fouling it up and damaging your brand. Sometimes our skill sets are not complimentary with an opportunity offered. BUT we have friends or colleagues who have the desired experience.

It is important that you build relationships with your industry for just this reason. All too often, business people are very paranoid to build alliances. We all hear about partnering but putting it into action takes trust in someone you essentially don't know. Myself, I give the benefit of a doubt. Through blogging I've met a good number of people whom I've targeted as potential partners of future projects - as yet unknown.

Off-line, I've also developed professional relationships that will definitely help to put another dollar in my pocket. A great recent example of this was an email I got first thing in the morning last Friday. The writer was looking for good advice on a branding issue concerning non-profits. This is an area I have little experience with. I wouldn't dream of faking it and trying to figure it out later. My goal is to try and find the writer a solution to their problem. They found me by googling and choosing my web-site to begin their journey.

The writer was a Canadian organization with a interesting dilemma. From the initial discussion, I offered to help by referencing my resources to pull in the right experienced party to solve the problem on the table. I am located in Leamington, Ontario Canada - across from Detroit, Michigan. I contacted an associate of mine in Cincinnatti/Northern Kentucky who has a partner in Minneapolis/St. Paul who has exactly the experience needed. The Writer hailed from our nation's capitol - Ottawa.

So, in the course of an hour the writer went from a blind contact to potentially finding a solution to their problem., crossing an international border. It was accomplished with help of affiliates all working together to find opportunities to solving brand issues where ever they may occur. Of course this is networking on a global scale, but suffice to say it works. I have access to specific talents in Tampa, Florida - Toledo and Cincinnati, Ohio - Brisbane, Australia - Chicago and Troy-Michigan to name a few. Of course by extension, you have trusted access to their affiliates. This is "Linked-in" on a more personal and professional level. It doesn't only apply to places far and wide but also locally with trusted contacts.

I'm not a secretive person and I dislike egos and game playing. In the spirit of trust, I enjoy the challenge of finding a solution that is asked of me. It makes my brand more powerful if I am able to develop solutions for any number of industries. It's like they say about hiring employees - hire those smarter than you. The same holds true for building your brand, build the walls with strength with yourself as the foundation.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Ten Steps to Brand Power.

Let's start with the assumption that you've done your homework and you've established a competitive strategy based on differentiation. Now here's where we go next.

1. Develop a logo that inspires your audience adopting a palette that sets you apart.

2. Use the corporate palette through out your entire operation.

3. Use the same logo on your business cards, stationary, signs, vehicles etc.

4. Everyone in the company must know the same brand message.

5. Your marketing materials must exhibit the same brand image and brand message. Your materials should represent accurately what your companies stand for.

6. Your product or service should reflect your brand values and personality.

7. In your presentation materials - be sure that your brand image is on every page and in the corporate palette. The target audience should always be aware of who is talking to them.

8. Develop a PR presence that reflects the type of brand relationship you wish to create with your customers. Never surrender your brand values just for a little notoriety.

9. Put your differentiation front and center in everything that you do.

10. Talk to your stake holders to be sure that your brand is still on track and they understand exactly who you are and what you are offering.

Maintaining your corporate brand doesn't have to be difficult. Just bear in mind to stay on track with a consistent message. The worst mistake you can make is to tire of your brand image and "update" it way before your market has even come to value it. You have to give it time to make an imapct and work to your favor. Icons for instance can take up to 2 years before they are recognized as the parent company. Have patience and soldier on.
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