Jun 14, 2012

Niche Branding Strategies: Identifying a Good Niche Segment

A niche is a small, focused target market for one’s services that can be very beneficial to the business. It will help business to focus on clients and identify the services that one can offer. To develop deep expertise in a single area and "niching" will help one to raise business rates and create a successful one. But to maximize the benefits one must to make it sure that it is selecting a good niche. To niche well there are several things to consider like following:
  • Potential customers in the target market afford those services: If one is offering a high-ticket item to a target audience that doesn't have much money, then it has chances to run into trouble? Or if target audience doesn't control the buying decision or isn't authorized to meet the cost of product or service that can also lead to trouble. In these cases, one might explore packaging products in a more affordable way, creating payment options, or choosing a new targeted niche market that will be easier to sell to. 
  • Put value to the products/services: Do they think that they use products/services? Even if target audience is able to afford products/services, they have to also feel that the products/services have value to them and that they need those products/services. If they think that products/services would not improve their lives or businesses, then they are unlikely to make the purchase. Likewise, if customers think that they can do it themselves, or that they don't have a need that services will fill, then they won't make a purchase. 
  • Understand the products/services: If target audience doesn't understand what products/services do means if it's too technical for them to understand what one is selling or why they might want or need it then one will have a very tough time making any sales at all. Make sure that the target audience can at least be taught to understand products/services and the benefits they provide.
  • Find the people as target market: If one can't find the people who will make up the target audience, then they likely cannot find the offering. For example, the easier it is to find networking groups or mailing lists that have large populations of people in target market, the easier it will be to market to them by speaking at events and sending out direct mails to them.
  • Look at competing providers in niche: If so, is there enough market for one’s products/services? If the target one is marketing to is served by many other providers, then it might be difficult to capture enough market shares to sustain the business.
  • Is the niche within the abilities to deliver: Do one have experience serving this niche before or can one get that initial experience easily? Some ways to do this include through pro-bono work, discounts, or aligning with a professional organization to offer discounts to its members. One might also be able to read about the industry one is planning to market to, to learn more about the specific problems and challenges they face.
  • Is the niche enough to sustain one in the business: Are there enough potential customer companies or enough need in that industry that one plan to serve? If one chooses a very specific niche, one might find that there are just a few companies that one could serve. If that's the case, one might want to widen the niche. If niche fits these criteria, then it's likely that one have created a great niche, in which one will make more sales and grow the business.

Jun 9, 2012

Top 3 Ways To Add Long Term Weight To Your Brand

This article explores the techniques and initiatives available to businesses which will enable them to develop and strengthen their brand, both in their niche market as well as generally.

Brand Development
Whether you are the CEO of a multinational corporation, owner of a small start-up business, or a self-employed trader, the identity and strength of your brand will undoubtedly be extremely important to you. Having a strong brand presence in every aspect, from quality products, to customer service and social responsibility, can help you truly stand out as a huge force in the business world. Brand development can truly help a business grow and transcend markets, offering huge opportunities for added value and growth across the organisation. A strong brand can be crucial for many reasons, including expansion, new product launches and seeking investment or venture capital.
Which are the top 3 ways you can aid your brand development and stand out from your competition?
  • Deliver Quality Every Time
This will appear quite an obvious one, but is an aspect that many businesses simply fail to deliver. Whether you are selling high end handbags or no frills food, the quality needs to be there to meet expectations and encourage repeat custom. We will explore advertising shortly, but no matter what your ad campaign says, the proof will be in the pudding. Travelodge do a great job of advertising rooms for £29 per night, yet struggle to deliver value even at such a low price!
  • Make Advertising Memorable
People know it’s Christmas when Coca-Cola say “Holidays Are Coming,” and this is probably the best advert on the planet for making people think of a specific time of year. Now we don’t all have the resources and clout of that company, but we can all make memorable adverts to get our customers hooked on our brand. Whether it’s a billboard, radio advert, or a simple flyer we post through the door, make it stand out and instantly relative to your brand.
Along with your advertising, ensure you have developed a tag line and a logo which makes you instantly recognisable. There are many marketing resources available online which will help you in coming up with brand defining tag lines and other advertising materials.
  • Get People To Care
This doesn’t mean you have to donate 50% of your profits to charity, but there are simple business practices which can help get people onside. Whether it is a standalone public relations campaign to raise awareness of your brand, or regular press releases to discuss your stance on current affairs, you can use both of these to boost your brand awareness. You don’t need to get involved in political debates, but you can deliver a great social responsibility program and let people know you stand for environmental protection and ending poverty, for example.
By carrying out these good branding practices, you will be putting your business in a prime position to remain successful and relevant for many years to come.

Guest post courtesy of DealMarket. Dealmarket is a recent start-up company that offers a more efficient and accessible private equity marketplace. It offers an extensive global private equity platform.

May 8, 2012

Impact of Logo & Tag Lines on Visual Branding Strategies

Why a competitor's business gets more attention than ones? The answer just may have to do with the elements that go into how memorable the business and that has to do with branding. For this particular scenario think of branding as predefining statement “what a company is all about in the minds of its clients”. Good branding differentiates one product and services in a positive way that really sticks in the minds of potential customers. 
The key elements of that branding are of two kinds such as: 
  • An attractive, easy to read, and memorable logo 
  • A great tag line, assuming product is fabulous, it all comes down to image. Graphic design can play a huge part in that image. 
However, some key things to consider are following: 
A great logo, it is a great deal of attention to company name and believe it speaks to that what company are and what company does. Great! Now the need is to wrap a graphic image around that name to carve out a prime piece of real estate in the target customer's mind. That is exactly what a great logo can do. 
Furthermore, keep in mind that a powerful logo has a strong, balanced image with no little extras that clutter its look. It is a distinctive and bold in design, making it easy to see at a glance. It has graphic imagery that looks appropriate for the business. It works well with the company name. It has to be done in an easy to read font that communicates the business clearly and looks good in black and white, as well as in color. 
A distinctive tag line, it is a three to seven word phrase that accompanies the logo. It expresses company's most important benefits and/or what company wants for customers to remember about working with it. Think of it as the words want to linger in company target customer's mind about it and what it has to offer. 
Great tag lines appear to be effortlessly created because they just seem to flow. In fact, creating and refining one takes time, just like designing a great logo. The benefits of taking the time to craft a great tag line lie with the tag line's stickiness. Great tag lines stick in your memory. Could there be a better way to attach the image of quality to a product? The tag line capitalizes on that image well with words that stick in the mind and exemplify good taste. Creating a great logo and distinctive tag line are critical in creating a brand that provides the perfect image for the company and great ones just might be memorable enough to company.

Apr 18, 2012

Brands, Branding Experts & Branding Strategies

The value to businesses of owning strong brands is incontestable. Brands that keep their promise attract loyal buyers who will return to them at regular intervals. Thus brands, with their ability to secure income, can be classed as productive assets in exactly the same way as any other, more traditional assets of a business plant, equipment, investments and so on.
The durability of brands, the quality of their earning power and their widespread appeal make them highly desirable properties. Branding is paramount, and companies that are known for the quality of their products and services, their integrity and the transparency of their actions are the ones best placed to sustain a competitive edge.
Brand owners need to ensure that they deliver high-quality services that are aligned with a compelling vision and delivered with a genuine commitment to customer satisfaction. Brands must remain relevant to their customers, contemporary and appealing. This means that sufficient investment must be made in advertising and marketing as well as in new product development. Understand that successful brand management nowadays is a complex task. It requires skills not normally associated with the traditional marketing function. The ability to brief market-research companies, advertising agencies and designers is to liaise with the sales and distribution people and to survive.
Brand experts certainly need to be adept in all these areas, but they also need to understand how a brand can be managed for the benefit of shareholders. This requires an understanding of how, in financial terms, a brand contributes to the success of a business and the creation of shareholder value.
The best branding strategies to apply now-a-days are such as: In branding focus on what you do best and then communicated your inimitable strengths through consistency. Supports and challenge brand business model to maximize the potential within brand. Consistency in brand message is the key to differentiate. Own brand positioning on every reference point for everything and brand is not a name, logo, website, ad campaigns or PR; those are only the tools not the brand. A brand is a desirable idea manifested in products, services, people, places and experiences.
Sell people something that satisfies not only their physical needs but their emotional needs and their need to identify themselves with the brand. A well-managed brand is always making adjustments. Branding is a process, not a race, not an event so expect to constantly tweak its message and refresh image. Successful brands don’t cling to the old ways just because they worked in the past; instead, they try to re-invent themselves by being flexible which frees them to be more savvy and creative.
Invest your branding efforts on the right platform that communicates to the right channels. Give brand options to test different marketing tactics, make sure they fit with its authenticity and align with its brand strategy. Moreover, Brand communities allow companies to collaborate with customers in all phases of value creation via crowdsourcing such as product design, pricing strategy, availability, and even how to sell.

Feb 14, 2012

Ideas to Branding Strategies through Tagline

A brand tagline is a key factor in brand strategy decisions. A tagline is something that concisely and powerfully communicates the brand’s promise is one of the quickest, easiest and least expensive ways to communicate the brand’s new position to internal and external audiences. It should consistently accompany the brand’s logo in situations outlined by the brand architecture. Developing brand taglines are the most important next steps one can take once a brand has been positioned or repositioned.
A tagline should achieve all of the following for your brand:
  1. Communicate the brand’s unique value proposition (brand promise)
  2. Be succinct
  3. Be memorable
  4. Cause a person to want to know more about or interact further with the brand

Achieving all of the above is more easily said than done. Over time, researchers have found that the less sophisticated the client, the more they are primarily interested in a tagline that sounds good, even if it doesn’t really say the right thing or anything at all about the brand. Many relatively unsophisticated clients would choose a tagline option that sounds great but that is completely off brand strategy over one that just sounds good but perfectly communicates the brand’s unique value proposition and brand promise.
The unique value proposition and brand promise are similar. They both focus on the one or two key points of difference between the brand in question and other brands. Typically, these points of difference are brand benefits, benefits that are relevant, unique, compelling and believable for the brand in question. Brands typically focus on only one or two benefits and research has shown that people can’t link more than that number of benefits to a given brand in their minds. The first or most important benefit is sometimes referred to as the primary brand benefit.
Definitely, it is up to the brand consultant or marketer to create or recommend the perfect tagline, one that does all of the above, but the question is that how many clients are willing to walk away from their brand strategy to embrace a cool sounding tagline that means nothing. It is heard by marketers that their clients say many things about their required taglines such as: “Some like tagline because it could mean anything” or “some like that tagline because it could mean different things to different people.” Or worse yet, “That sounds so cool. Does it really matter if it communicates our brand’s promise?” Yes it does. Why bother with a tagline if it is not helping position one’s brand the way it want it to be positioned? Don’t settle for a tagline that just sounds good. Hence, keeps the process going until one has found and achieves all of the above criteria. By doing it in such a proper way one will be rewarded with a stronger brand.

Feb 10, 2012

How to Make a Lasting Impression at Marketing Events

Trying to be creative when devising your marketing plans for the year can be challenging but, if you're looking for something unique that might really help boost your brand awareness, it is worthwhile considering taking part in marketing events.
These public occasions give you the opportunity to tap into areas of the market that are still unfamiliar to your company or campaigns - plus, you can talk directly to future customers and clients, giving yourself a better idea of what they want to get out of your services.
If you really want to leave a lasting impression on potential consumers, give out free promotional items with your company's name, logo or campaign printed on them so passersby will be reminded of your brand identity time and time again.
Give people a treat
Most people don't turn down free food - and giving out complimentary sweets and treats is one of the best ways to attract attention from those walking by.
Place tubs of goodies on your stall and make sure your name is printed on them so visitors can immediately see who you are.
Or, you might prefer to give away packets of sweets so people can take the treats away with them and be reminded of your firm whenever they reach for something tasty to eat. Boxes of mints and small pots of chocolates are a great idea.
You might also wish to offer something fancier, such as a hamper as a prize for a raffle or tombola, which will attract attention from passersby, as well as allow you to take down details of potential customers which you can follow up after the event.
Offer promotional packs
Something else that could be a solution to your marketing needs is to give away promotional packs on your stall.
While freebies such as printed pens are great at attracting people's attention, if they can receive an entire bag full of goodies, they are more likely to head over to speak to you.
This will also allow you to give them lots of promotional items that they can use every day or give to friends and family, thereby spreading the word about your business further afield.
Fill branded tote bags with promotional pens - which are always useful to have around the house - along with bookmarks, badges and notepads, all with your company's name on them. Recipients are sure to be clear on what your brand identity is once they begin using all these products.
What's more, the goodie bag can double up as a useful shopping bag for when they're on the move or provide them with something to carry their things to and from work, with the added bonus of attracting the attention of passers by.
Make your promotional gifts stand out
Marketing events are full of companies trying to promote their business to prospective clients and customers, making it challenging to make your firm stand out from the rest.
However, don't feel defeated, as there are plenty of things you can do in order to tempt people over to your stall and away from competitors.
Why not offer them a promotional product that is unusual or special that they will definitely want to get their hands on?
You could hand out free wallets, health pedometers or pop-up ice buckets, as these are all sure to be items they won't find elsewhere at the event, making your stall a unique place to be.
Or, you could enter attendees into a competition to win something special, such as a camcorder or digital photo frame, which will help grab their attention and give you the opportunity to market your brand identity to the winners - and everyone else who enters.
These tips could help you secure more business easily, but don't forget to take a supply of lanyards, banners and wristbands to the event, as these will help quickly identify who you are and what you stand for to passersby.
If you have seen any great tips for marketing at exhibitions or trade shows, we'd love to hear to from you. Post a comment and let us know!

Feb 5, 2012

Strategic Branding Keys To Ensure Business Success

One needs to clearly define strategic focus and marketing vision for business. Next is to develop the IMC (Integrated Marketing Communication) plan that incorporates and integrates the key strategies for advertising, marketing, and public relations. Then define the target market of business. After this draw down the marketing objectives and strategies by keeping in mind the target market. In further step every company have to develop a strong position statement that must offer a compelling message to the target market.
In order to achieve a top of mind awareness status in the target market minds remember to take effective actions regarding the customer care and communications. Always develop and implement an evaluation system for all marketing and branding activities. In a way to stand business towards a more productive track it is necessary to include the use of technology into marketing campaigns. Utilize the resources effectively especially personal contacts and other referral power in marketing tasks. Make a panel of highly qualified personnel to advice company base on their knowledge to establish it as a lead in the marketplace.
The critical things to do in a successful business are following: Make a habit to write everything related to marketing projects as it comes to mind. Divide goals, simply, make sub-goals from each goal it will make work easier. However, prepare a proper document for each goal and objective. For each goal or objective make a benchmark to follow. On a specific goal a team can work jointly so that it will accomplish with 100% success. It automatically improves their communications, planning, and implementation.
Commit to establish long-term relationship with actual and prospective customers. Hence, a company can take their patronage. Time management is crucial for every business, for every task, and for everyone. For this one can think it as what is the most important branding strategy to focus on at that time? What actions are important to do for that particular strategy? What are short-term and long-term goals related to it?
A company can hire a business coach to guide their employees about how to develop a goal and how to achieve it? Usually a business coach offer in its services the time management plan, build team for a specific project, encourage employees to implement positive behavior at workstations, and most importantly resolve issue among them as it occurs to maintain business productivity and success.

Jan 19, 2012

SOPA & PIPA: Online Copyright Laws for American

The two terminologies are stand for “stop online piracy act” and “protect internet product act” respectively. It is a bill presented by United States House of Representatives. Behind this the logics are as: stoppage by law of online piracy and protecting the intellectual property of Americans, Saving of online revenues that are going to the foreign parties and above all enlarging of Americans’ job spectrum”.
The consequences of these two laws on other parties would be as: America may face the copyright court case too in other countries. According to Harvard University professor said that the law itself is against the United States Constitution 1st Amendment which is as “The amendment prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances”. It is an attack on one’s freedom of speech as far as openness and sharing of information is concerned.
All people around the world are quite upset because of threats to their businesses. In the bill it is clearly stated as USA property theft of contents. And pursue to ban transactions and payments on those sites who are promoting such illegal activities by companies like Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, Skrill and other brands. But the fact is that these are generating more a kind of negative publicity. And many congressmen are going to drop their names from it due to the negative sentiments it is propagating. The major opponents of the bill comprises of free speech advocates, civil rights groups and tech companies.
SOPA and PIPA supporters are only those companies belong to USA and are attached with the field of record labels, TV networks, movie studios, and book publishers. The other fact is that not only foreign parties are doing piracy, USA also involves in pirating content from other foreign sites. The supporters of SOPA and PIPA believe that forcing Internet Service Providers, search engines, web hosts and users to take accountability for infringing attitude will put a stop to the infringement. This is narrow-sightedness and misconception.
Although, major issues are of piracy and copyright infringement and they needs to be addressed immediately. But these laws do not do anything to resolve the problem. Perhaps these SOPA and PIPA supporters should focus on initiatives like make improvements in the content delivery.

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