Tuesday, December 29, 2009

2010: The Year Of The Web

Make 2010 the year that you take advantage of the web more to increase your business opportunities. Take the month of January to investigate gateways that you can use to best exploit the net. Some suggestions are to join Linked-in, start a blog, commence building an email database, get on Facebook or twitter. Html marketing and building a resource website.

You've ignored the web too long now. All of your customers are online. You should be there speaking to them.

Make Print Interactive With Your iPhone

How cool and powerful is this? Just put a 2D barcode on your print materials and using the camera function on your iPhone scan it and be taken immediately to your website or anywhere on the web. The scanning app is free and so it the barcode generator. Put it on your business cards, brochures, a t-shirt or a billboard for that matter. Bring print coupons to life!

2D barcode generator website.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Which One Are You?

Watching a show on television that was featuring businesses who struck gold through Oprah, I was struck by one in particular. The logo on their building was different from the one on their door which was different from the one on their packaging and so on down the line. This is symptomatic of a business allowing sign companies and printers to determine their brand image. From my point of view it is better to have a bad logo and use it consistently across the board than to have several different ways of presenting your name. This type of scenario just instills confusion among your target group.

The saving grace for this company was of course the big O. After Oprah's generous endorsement, this company's cache skyrocketed. Now they are doing it right. The thing is, consistency doesn't cost more money. As a matter of fact it can cost you less because it reduces costly confusion. The featured company didn't have to wait until Oprah put them on the map to get this right. Get it right from the moment you decide to start your business. Once you establish your brand image, guard it aggressively. If you want to be taken seriously and look like a player, then number one on your list of rules should be, to be consistent with your brand image. That goes for colors as much as the actual image.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Strengthening Brand America

A terrific interview with America's leading place brand expert, Ed Burghard. Ed discusses place branding and its unique attributes.
If place branding is of interest to you, then you will definitely appreciate Ed's views on the subject. His opinion on branding mirrors my own.

Ed can be found at the Burghard Group.

How To Find An Audience For Your Brand.

Finding an audience for your brand to speak to takes a considerable amount of fortitude. First you have to determine who that target is and secondly discover where they hide out. Once you find their hot spots, you have to keep in mind the old adage that people like to buy but they hate being sold to. This is very important to keep in mind.

One of my favorite venues for connecting to my audience is blogging. The experience you are having right now in your quest for information to move your own brand forward. Blogging allows you to build an expert profile. It is also a fabulous way to build an audience - your very own network. One of the untruths of blogging is "build it and they will come." You have to go out and lure your audience back to you.

You do this by visiting other blogs within your category and also where your audience hangs out. Start by leaving comments that show that you know your stuff. Become an opinion leader at that blog. After a while the owners of the blog get to know you as much as their readers. This is your opportunity to ramp up your influence and request to write for that blog. Once you get their approval, write as much as you can. Readers will follow your opinion back to your blogs and websites. This is where you have an opportunity to capture their interest.

Once they are at your sites, have an email harvester in place to get their email, so that you can launch a coordinated information program. This keeps your opinion in front of them. You are building a quality relationship which in turn can lead to sales. The process works but the effort must be consistent and the intent honorable.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Back From MOOB

MOOB stands for Mind Our Own Business. It is a mastermind group that I've been part of for going on seven years now. We are made up of business owners: Marcia Hoeck/Grosse Isle Michigan, Marcia McMIllen/Covington Kentucky, John Norman/Chicago Illinois, Richard Harrison Bailey/Mishawaka Indiana and myself, Ed Roach/Leamington Ontario. We meet roughly every 3-4 months and spend an all day session sharing ideas on how to improve our businesses and deliver a superior product to our customers.

This latest session hosted by Richard Harrison Bailey/Mishawaka was as invigorating as the very first, years ago. As you can imagine, we have become very good friends as a result of this group. Businesses have changed and adapted. Inspiration is rampant and encouragement is honest and invigorating.

The one constant among all in the group is the capacity to implement the strategies discussed. Much of what I do today I can attribute directly to a MOOB session.

Even as the global economy has had a negative effect on a few of our membership, it has not beaten them down by any stretch. Rather it has empowered them to re-direct their energies into redefining themselves. Their new focus has brought new successes to their doors and this MOOB session was witness to their new opportunities. This group never loses hope and consistently pushes forward. It is a testament to the spirit of the entrepreneur.

I am the lone Canadian in a group of Americans, so by definition we are an international organization (Sounds good eh?). I only mention this because the Canadian perspective is a little different than the American one. But we all benefit from both perspectives. To us, MOOB is integral to our success personally and professionally.

Much has changed in seven years.
More blogs about http://brandcorral/blogspot.com.