Sunday, October 24, 2010

Succeeding On A Tack!

It seems to me that our comfort levels are our worst enemy. Once achieved, it's like hull speed on a boat - you can't go any faster. It is at this point that our brands stand still. You become so complacent that you catch yourself avoiding challenges rather than embracing them. Life on the edge keeps you sharp and opens doors that might not normally be in your path.

Have you ever had lunch with a peer entrepreneur and listened to them tell you that they're in a good place right now. They've got their duck in a row. "I'm good." But are they really? They could be just playing the business version of "duck and cover." It sounds good for the moment, but in reality there's no logic in it and chance are it will be bad for your brand.

For me, getting too comfortable scares me. I could get to like it. How are you with comfort? My highest achievements have always come from challenging myself outside of my comfort zone.
The personal pat on the back, once having conquered something that initially frightened me is so rewarding. They typically spin into additional business as well.

Find your tack, it hurts less than you think.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The New Brand Advantage

In a lot of ways starting a business and giving birth to a new brand can be an exciting process. No one knows who you are yet, so they have nothing to build an opinion on. On the other hand, since there is no formal introduction yet, everything about you is essentially rumour at this stage. A good place to start your brand is PR. Having a basic introductory website, and a weekly update to media, will help build interest and keep your information factual.

Any contact with suppliers and potential customers should alway be cordial. How you treat any contact at this initial stage, could set the tone of your new brand. Determine how you would like to be perceived and then strategize as to how you might influence this. Developing a positioning strategy that makes you the leader or the best at something will give your new brand resonance with your market. The worst thing you could do, is "follow the leader." In doing this your brand offers nothing to the marketplace. Why bother existing at all? Every decision you make should assist in differentiating your new brand.

In discovering your difference, your launch can be exciting. You could be on your way to building a remarkable brand. Dream big! Don't strive to be one of the best - strive to be the best. Just delivering good customer service isn't enough - deliver the best service. Discover ways to over-deliver. Never forget that every thing you do affects the success of your brand. Don't take designing your brand image lightly. An amateur attempt just reflects back on you. I've known some small businesses who took more interest in their decor than their brand image. Ultimately this shows in their success or lack there of.

Your brand is in your hands. Ignore it and the competition will step up to define you.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Internet Allows A World Brand

Today I was fortunate to meet a designer ( Julie Pudlowski) who while based here in Dar Es Salaam, has clients and resources world wide. Her main business is The United Nations. Here I am doing a project in Dar Es Salaam. A little over a year ago I was speaking in Prague. I have clients, In Naples, the Czech Republic, Laguna Beach California, Saudi Arabia and noe in Dar Es Salaam. Julie agrees with me that the internet has changed the dynamic of our brands. We are not a localized company but one who's appeal has a world-wide audience.

Different cultures provide different challenges, but I am invigorated by being challenged. My branding process and design solutions continue to grow and deliver. If you take away the web, you eliminate an intriguing new business channel for me. Are you doing your brand a great favor by turning your promotional efforts to the web? The wider your scope, the less the local economy will impact you. Having a world brand is a terrific point of differentiation.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Brand Needs To Influence The Message

I'm in Dar Es Salaam, in Tanzania on a branding project. In one of our meetings, a manager pointed out the fact that they are getting public criticism due to the fact that while progress on the construction phase of the project is commencing, the perception is that they are not being honest about the reality of the project. They believe that it will never happen.

I believe that the issue essentially is that the client needs to develop an information program that delivers regular factual information to various local on and offline media. No information only allows those who have much to gain from a failed project, control misinformation about you. Regular good news builds a natural interest in your project. While 100% control is a pipe dream, playing a leading role in your Brand story goes a long way in improving your perception quotient.
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