How Can You Develop A Solid Brand Image?

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Many entrepreneurs are still not aware of how vital a good brand image is.  And mostly, they are the ones who in no time will quit the business, because they can’t compete with the chaotic marketplace.   It’s not enough to believe that you created something that is great, you have to let the people know about it by building a good image for your brand. 

What Is Brand Image?

A catchy name or a logo is not enough for your product or service to make an impact on your consumers’ minds.  Giving your product its own personality by building a good brand image is not just a representation of your product, but it tells so much about the core value of your company, your people, and people you serve. “The type of brand personality we are attracted to in others is probably influenced by what we think they can accomplish for us or what we can accomplish together,” Beth Fisher-Yoshida Ph.D., CCS explains.

Brand image is your company’s, brand’s, or service’s personality you want your core group to know. It is about the things your product represents. 

Your logo serves as the face of your product or company, but your brand represents all the likable things in your product.  It is your confidence in your product, the passion your company puts into that product, where does it belong, how can it serve the core group that would own it. Your brand is the feeling of security that it will be able to deliver its purpose for which it was created. 

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Nike builds their brand as a step towards creating value and making their brand stand out and desirable. 

Don’t Compare Yourself To Other Brand

There are many of your kind in the world market.  And it would not be fair to compare yourself to them when building your brand, because your product is its own unique self,a league of its own. Jonice Webb, Ph.D. furthers, “It is natural to look around and assess those around us, to some extent.”

People will acknowledge your company once you effectively send a positive message of what your product is about.  Some brands do this by finding people whom their market can identify with. 

A bakeshop can look for a successful or a model mom to represent their product when building a brand campaign.  Moms are best in giving their love and they show it in the food that they prepare for their families.  Thoughtful moms always bake or prepare a cake for any occasion to surprise her loved ones.  

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Most household products use moms to represent them in building their brand because moms do the chores, knows what her family needs, and she makes most of the spending decisions at home.  

Don’t Talk About Your Product

Instead, talk about how your customer would benefit from it, how they would feel the moment they use your product.   It’s not about having the icing on your cake, but how the look of the cake will excite a child or a mom, how they would feel the moment they take a bite of your cake. Peter G Stromberg Ph.D. advises to, “Figure out your strengths and then figure out how to market them, thereby creating a public relations image for yourself.”

Building a brand is about building the emotional connection with your target market. 

Steve Jobs, when building Apple’s brand, says that their customers would want to know who is Apple, what do they stand for, and where do they fit in this world? 

Tell the world who you are by making known to them what your business is all about.  Let it be known that you exist and you are different from the rest. 

To thrive in a jungle of enterprise where all we need seems to already be in the market, you got to have your own brand or else you’ll suffer from identity crisis.  You got to find a way to dig up your place in the chaotic marketplace by knowing your identity and letting the consumers know that you exist and you got something that they need.  To do that, you got to build a good image for your brand. 

Build your brand, make your dent in this universe.

Perks Of Branding Promotional Products For The Business

When new business owners think about advertising their products and services, the last thing that may come to mind is giving away free stuff. “That is too expensive for a startup company,” many tend to think. Others may say, “The consumers are techier than ever these days. We should only focus on internet marketing.”

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Although either notion is understandable, you should realize yourself that the latter is most applicable to businesses whose transactions take place online. For instance, you may be selling e-learning courses, freelance services, and other personal items. However, in case your goal is to have one corner of a department store dedicated to your label or catch the interest of local consumers in the supermarket, relying on social media or making a website may not be the best marketing strategy.

One of the techniques that always work, nevertheless, is printing your logo on promotional products. Here are the perks of doing so.

  1. You Encourage Brand Awareness

From the get-go, you need to remember why you are trying to advertise your goods: to inform your target audience that they exist. These people might see the items on the display racks, yes, but there is a likelihood that they will not even give it a second glance since the brand is unknown. Their eyes will focus more on the competitor’s products, which may have been in the market longer. Marty Nemko Ph.D. says that “a company trying to develop a more useful product or has a new such product needs to market it, and those are worthy activities.”

When you attach branded freebies to your goods, though, that can change the game. Folks love getting stuff for free, regardless of their status in life. If you can snatch their attention with a giveaway, it increases their awareness about your merchandise.

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  1. You Build Up Your Reputation

Consumers may not talk about it all the time, but they keep tabs of companies that often have free or discounted items to offer. Unless there are essentials which are exclusive to a brand that does not give promotional products, they gravitate toward the ones that have freebies naturally. Alex Lickerman M.D. wrote, “Our reputation represents the way others look at us and as such, is at once critically important and utterly trivial.”

This fact is something that every new and old marketer should not take for granted. Whenever you provide extra merchandise without charging anything to the shopper, it enhances your significance in their heart and mind. The next time they go shopping, they may seek your goods first before looking somewhere else.

3. You Won’t Need To Employ Other Marketing Tricks

You should understand as well that it is good to make promotional merchandise because it can speak for itself. You can leave a regular product with it in the stores, and there won’t even be a necessity to hire a sales promoter. Additionally, if your freebies are enticing, the customers may promote it to their friends and relatives themselves.

One thing you better take note of, however, is the importance of creating freebies that everyone can use at work or office for more than six months. That can come in the form of mugs, pens, calendars, or even mobile power banks.

  1. You Can Fare Well Among Competitors

If you own a startup company that sells clothes, fizzy drinks, shoes, and other common merchandises, you ought to know that the competition in such niches can be fierce. The brands like Gucci, Coca-Cola, Nike, et cetera not only have a massive following worldwide. They also probably have a solid marketing base that will make consumers interested in their products for decades.

The truth is that you cannot compete with the bigwigs in the industry. Despite that, your chances of boosting your number of subscribers slowly but surely may increase when you start offering free goods. In time, you may achieve the same success that others have. What matters right now is that you don’t go bankrupt. “A “competition,” by its very nature, is what psychologists call an “extrinsic incentive,” Sander van der Linden Ph.D. wrote.

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To Sum It All Up

Branding promotional products mean that you have to contact a wholesale manufacturer of your item of choice. You will need to cough up anywhere from a hundred to a couple of thousand dollars to get them from the factory to the market, yes. Nonetheless, when you consider the benefits mentioned above, it becomes apparent that it will all be worth it.

Marketing Realities That Stress Out People

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The reason why all businesses invest time, effort and money on an excellent marketing strategy is not complicated to figure out even for consumers. They want to get the word out about their products and services and be as successful as similar brands before them. They also want to make sales and beat the competition.

To realize such goals, entrepreneurs need to start brainstorming about marketing techniques around the same time they begin a business and financial planning. You cannot put it off at a later date, thinking that it will be stress-free to create fan pages or gain followers on social media sites 24 hours before the launch. You need to do more than that to attract an audience. Even expert marketers tend to get in a slump sometimes, no matter how much experience they have in the advertising industry.

If you have no clue about the harsh realities that you’ll likely face when marketing your brand, check out some of them below.

  1. Your Efforts Won’t Always Result In Glory

You should understand from the get-go that many companies spend months working on their strategy. Some ultra-devoted people barely sleep every week because they wish to perfect the marketing campaign. Others cough up thousands of dollars to hire talents and directors for the TV commercial that they have in mind.

The thing is, the time and money you allotted to an ad cannot guarantee that you can lure the target audience with it. If you analyze the results and see that your losses outweigh your gains, that can take a toll on your self-esteem and wonder what went wrong. Heidi Grant Halvorson Ph.D. points out that, “Allowing mistakes is the best way to avoid making them.”

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  1. The Budget May Not Be Enough

When you are only trying your hand in business for the first time, you may not be willing to go all out and spend your entire fortune on one aspect of it. You need to pay your employees, after all, as well as purchase the items necessary to produce your products or services. Thus, there may not be sufficient funds for marketing purposes. Shahram Heshmat Ph.D. reminds that, “there is an opportunity cost to everything we do. And that cost is expressed in terms of the next-best alternative.”

Although it is wise to allocate your capital on more areas instead of advertising alone, you may find that a few hundred bucks cannot go a long way. Signing up to social media channels may be free, for instance, but there’s a fee for every digital banner that pops up on potential consumers’ accounts. There are also other online and offline marketing paraphernalia that you have to have money for. For that reason, you need to place your budget at the forefront of your considerations all the time.

  1. You Cannot Do Everything On Your Own

One more thing that stresses people out is the fact that you may need to employ the services of a marketing firm to get your ads going. Many dauntless newbies in business tend to insist that their knowledge about it is enough or that it will be effortless to obtain a crash course if need be. What you might not realize is that marketing does not merely involve putting out prints, pictures, posts, or commercials out there. You have to create layouts, learn about SEO and PPC, manage your sites, coordinate with clients, and analyze reports. These are tasks that can make a man or woman go crazy if done alone; that’s why you may have no choice but to outsource the job. “There are times when it would be nice if someone spontaneously offered to help you and they don’t. The more you practice directly asking for help in these situations, the easier it gets,” Alice Boyes Ph.D. wrote.

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Final Thoughts

An excellent marketing plan is supposed to hook customers to buy whatever you are selling. Coming up with one is not always stress-free – that’s for sure – because you need to consider plenty of things, including budget, time allowance, and skills. It may become a trial-and-error thing in the beginning as well if you don’t have experience or a great team on your side. However, once you get a feel of what your target audience appreciates, then the later campaigns may no longer be as triggering.

Good luck!

Common Items That People Use For Marketing

Word of mouth is unquestionably one of the most effective marketing techniques out there. You only have to talk about your products and services in front of neighbors, friends, and relatives. If you are generous, you may offer samples to them as well. To help your venture to succeed or because they genuinely believe in your ideas, they will spread your business information to others. In no time, customers may come pouring in the establishment.

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Despite the effectivity of word-of-mouth advertising, the entrepreneurs of today find it wiser to entrust the success of the business on more than this strategy. They have a budget in mind, and the former is almost costless, so it should be good. However, if these folks research the market, it may become apparent that most consumers react well to promotional products.

So, in case you are preparing a campaign that involves giving away freebies, here are a few everyday items that people use for marketing.

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Power Bank

Considering families or techy users compose your target audience, the first thing you should think of advertising with is a power bank. This device is a portable charger that is supposed to energize smartphones, cameras, tablet PC, and other small apparatuses with a USB attachment. Not only is it useful for the customers, though, but it is also customizable. You may print your brand name on any facet of it or even make its shape similar to your logo.

Drinkware

Drinking vessels like mugs, cups, tumblers, and highball glasses are popular products that companies like to use during the promotional season. After all, they are not merely cute items that you can drink your coffee, tea, juice, or liquor from. Some old brands, e.g., Coca-Cola and Nescafe, offer the same drinkware that followers have seen in the past. Hence, everyone wants to get them as memorabilia. That increases the value of the label in the eyes of the consumers.

Calendar

At this time of the year, the people who shop in various stores cannot help but ask the cashier upon checkout if they already have free calendars to give away. It does not matter to them whether the product needs to hang on the wall or can stand on its own on a desk. As long as the customers do not have to buy a calendar, they are willing to accept one from any brand.

USB Stick

Mobile storage devices like USB sticks promise excellent returns too. Similar to power banks, such items are beneficial for students and office workers who often have files or presentations to transfer from one computer to another. Video and music players have been optimized as well so that you can play songs or movies saved in the USB stick on the device. If you choose to promote with this product, you may take advantage of its flat surface to print the brand’s logo on it.

Pens

Of course, pens are very common marketing tools for years now. One may readily assume that only notebook companies can make use of a ball pen to advertise their goods. There is no limit to the type of industry that can launch a campaign with these items and find success through it. In reality, airlines, pharmaceutical companies, and even cereal brands customized them at one point to gain more sales.

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Final Thoughts

Whether you are old or new in the business, you should hesitate to try to attract consumers with giveaways. Remember that everyone can appreciate a gift, primarily if it’s free. Spending money on the manufacturing of the promo products won’t be in vain because they will serve as a constant reminder of your brand name in their mind.

Good luck!

Tips On Increasing The Success Rate Of Your Marketing Campaign

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Creating a marketing campaign that will run for several weeks requires months of preparation. You have to analyze the market, after all, and realize what your target audience wants to see and hear. In case the team that helped you previously does not seem to do your business good, you will have to recruit and retain new people for the advertising job. Then, there are the vital tasks of designing your promotional materials, aiming for grammatical perfection, and getting the overall vibe of the campaign.

“Successful people are driven to succeed. They have a psychological need to achieve their goals and status is important to them,” wrote Brad Klontz PsyD, CFP. A reality that many marketers fail to add to the equation, however, is the possibility of not gaining much success despite their hard work. If we take the brands at your local supermarket as an example, you may notice that some of the display racks dedicated to the products of one label are fuller than the others even with the banners, freebies, and point-of-sale stands they have in store. No one can say that that particular brand has been cost-cutting because the ads are all over the place. Yet, it is likely that the marketing team did not think things through before launching the operation.

If your objective is to avoid that kind of disaster and increase the success rate of your advertising campaign, you may heed the tips below.

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  1. Ensure That Your Strategies Match The Company Goals

For every marketing scheme you wish to employ, you should make sure that it is compatible with the goals of the company. For instance, the goods you are trying to promote are all eco-friendly. You may get a bad rep for creating advertising items out of plastic materials, which are non-biodegradable. The same idea applies to brands that endorse healthy living but offer free products that may keep people on the couch for hours.

  1. Figure Out What Forms Of Advertisement Work Best For Your Target Consumers

Although a few companies produce similar goodies, their target audience may not always be identical. Say, Kellogg’s Special K and Cheerios are both cereal brands that people love to eat in the morning. However, the former is better for diabetics, while the latter is more recommendable for kids in general.

From that deduction alone, you can tell that the marketing paraphernalia that the brands will use should be different. Hence, Kellogg’s can talk about the benefits of eating their cereals for folks with diabetes. The company can also put up a blood sugar testing booth somewhere to promote the product. Meanwhile, since the children are the primary consumers of the Cheerios brand, they can add toys in the box or let a mascot roam the supermarkets where the goods may be.

  1. Set Your Parameters

It matters as well to define some parameters that will affect your campaign. Technically speaking, you need to decide on how long it will run. That can give you an idea of how much your budget should be. Alternatively, you can do it the other way around to ensure that you won’t spend more than necessary.

Once you manage to cover such things, you may then consider how you will want to measure your success. Should it be via the number of likes, hearts, or retweets on social media? Should you base it on the number of sales you have made in a specific period? You can pick either or both to ensure that you’ll be able to monitor the effects of your advertisements.

  1. Run The Campaign With Confidence

Finally, you need to set your worries aside and launch your ads confidently. It is not the time to think about your competitor giving away a car or laptops, while you are merely offering products at discounted prices. You should not fear about others using catchier words than you either. When you entertain such thoughts, you will undoubtedly lose your motivation to advertise your brand well.

According to Hendrie Weisinger, PhD,  “The catalyst to bring the function of confidence to life is the realization that your actions influence your results. In other words, “it’s up to you.” If you do not believe in this fully, you will not make efforts to do your best since the outcome is out of your control.”

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“What marketing approaches are working best?” asked Marty Nemko, PhD. “Do more of what’s yielding the most clients you enjoy working with and, if income is important to you, the most income. Of course, do less of what’s not working, or stop doing that.

Don’t forget these tips when you have a marketing campaign to launch. Good luck!

Steps To Creating Your Ideal Marketing Strategy

Any new entrepreneur must have been told by colleagues and advisers about the importance of creating a marketing strategy. “That is how you can get the word out about your company,” some may say. The others can tell you as well that “If not for devising one, I would have gone bankrupt a long time ago.”

Nevertheless, if you ask for tips on how to make your own, the suggestions you will get may vary. One person may encourage you to focus on social media all the way. Consequently, another fellow may speak of the benefits of going old-school and handing out flyers or hanging banners out there.

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The truth is that formulas work for business models mostly. Sometimes it does not even happen, primarily when a company is so unique. When it comes to advertising, you may be unable to find a particular scheme that has made everyone successful either. Thus, you can learn how to create your ideal marketing strategy instead.

  1. Put Your Business Into Words

The first step is to offer a definition of what the company is supposed to be. It is your brainchild, after all. It should not be tough for you to explain what products and services you have, as well as why you decided to start a business of your own. If you manage to do that, it entails that your vision for your company is crystal clear.

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  1. Visualize Your Target Market

After defining your business, you should focus on describing the audience that you wish to attract. More than the age, it matters to realize whether you want them to come from the male or female population. You also need to think of what they do in life. E.g., are they working parents, kids, or millennials? Once you have a picture of your target market in your head, you may then start customizing promotional ideas for them.

“The narrower the niche, the more targeted your marketing can be,” wrote Marty Nemko, PhD. “Also, narrow nicheing makes it easier to become a true expert in it and thus be more helpful to clients.”

  1. List Down Your Goals

The main objectives of your company can evolve as the years pass by. No rule dictates that a firm that merely had pens to sell at first cannot produce paper in the future. Despite that, we recommend listing down your long-term goals at present so that you have a constant reminder of the things you must do. According to Jim Taylor, PhD, “Vision goal setting is goal setting with a grand purpose. It begins with a dream based in your passion and inspiration in your work.”

  1. Figure Out Ways To Realize Your Goals

When you already have the business goals defined, you may then come up with ways to realize each of them. It will help if you don’t worry about your ideas seeming too dull or too ridiculous in the beginning. The more you ponder about such points, the more you can shape up the marketing techniques you want to employ later.

  1. Set Your Budget

Of course, it is vital to consider how much you can cough up for the advertisements that you got in mind. If you must know, the cheapest form of marketing is making an account on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn. You can create a website or commercials too, but you need a few thousand dollars for that.

  1. See What Works

Finally, when everything is ready, you can launch your marketing paraphernalia and wait for feedback from the general public. With everyone on social media these days, it may not take 24 hours before someone talks about the ad on their personal accounts. Others may go straight to your website and avail the products or services offered currently. From there, you can figure out which advertising medium to continue or change.

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To Sum Things Up

If you are looking for a universal marketing strategy that every successful entrepreneur has used, you need to stop your search right now. You won’t find any because such a solid plan does not exist. Many factors affect promotional success, and they are so volatile for anyone to come up with a single scheme out of them.

Your business’ future may be better off with you creating a marketing strategy that’s ideal for you. “Marketing is fundamental to what makes us human.  Marketing is not solely about selling chewing gum, cars, cellphones, and tourist packages.  Everything in life involves the process of marketing something to someone,” wrote Gad Saad, PhD. Heed the steps above to make it happen. Cheers!

Why You Should Give Branding More Thought

When someone thinks of opening a startup, the attention tends to be on the products and services mostly. That is smart, of course – you cannot start a business without knowing what you have to offer to your target audience. Then, you need to consider how to market them. E.g., should you hire people to promote goods on social media? Do you need to pay for directors and talents to create a commercial? It is only after those two things are clear that you may think of branding. According to Peter Noel Murray PhD, “The significance of brand personality has been demonstrated in research showing that the greater the congruity between personality characteristics that describe a consumer’s actual or ideal self and those that describe a brand, the greater the consumer’s preference for the brand.”

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The thing is, while this progression does not seem like a recipe for disaster at all, there’s a chance that you are already fatigued by the time you ponder about how your brand will appear. Does it have to have squiggly or bold letters? What color scheme should you use? What is supposed to be the tagline? At times, business folks tend to leave such matters in the hands of others instead of focusing on it themselves.

As an aside, we’re not saying that you cannot trust your team when it comes to branding. However, the probability of it not meeting your requirements can increase when you think less about it.

Let us give you some reasons to give branding equal or more attention while planning your business.

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  1. It Makes Your Goals Clear

Remember that your brand is no different from your marketers or ambassadors who speak about how people can benefit from connecting with you. It serves as your first advertising method, to be honest, since your potential customers may see it before the actual marketing techniques. Thus, the brand should be able to convey your goals to anyone looking at it immediately.

  1. It Enhances Consumer Awareness

A label that has gone through a series of careful planning is more likely to have all the elements to attract consumers than one that got created overnight. You need to think of your branding scheme with the target audience in mind, after all. This way, you can come up with various promotional ideas to make everything – from your products and services to the website – eye-catching for customers.

  1. It Boosts Transactions

Of course, the ideal result of getting the attention of potential buyers is earning more profits. Even the sales of your company depend on how excellent your branding skills are, considering you don’t know that yet. Consumers naturally feel drawn towards brands that look crisp and original instead of ones that seem to be a spin-off from old brands. “Emotive messaging, flash sales and timed promotions have long been staples of the retail arsenal, with impulse-driven purchasing proving to be one of the most effective tactics for retail-marketing success,” Liraz Margalit Ph.D. wrote.

  1. It Improves Your Company’s Value

A well-thought-of brand tends to increase the value of the company not only in the industry it belongs but also in the eyes of the target market. With so many establishments producing similar products and services, the customers have grown smarter than ever now. They want to offer their loyalty to a label that’s on a league of its own more than a brand that is practically the same as the others before it.

  1. It Promises Incredible Name Recall

Another benefit of thinking about branding profoundly is that it will help people to remember your label whenever they hear a word or phrase related to it. “You buy something because you remember a persuasive ad for it. Thus, advertisers seek to find ways to get consumers to remember their products and services. One obvious way is to repeat the ad over and over,” William R. Klemm Ph.D. says. For instance, when you speak of fizzy drinks, the first company that may cross their mind is Coca-Cola. When it comes to sports shoes, there’s Nike. You can bring in more consumers to your side when you picture out a brand that can also become a household name.

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Final Thoughts

Branding has evolved in recent years, in the sense that it does not merely pertain to the logo or slogan of the company. It also has to allow your message to resonate to your target audience through short words and images. That is the best way for you to gain more customers, sales, respect, and loyalty soon than you envisioned.

Good luck!