Showing: 1 - 3 of 3 Results
How to Brand Your Business: 7 Steps From a Brand Owner

How to Brand Your Business: 7 Steps From a Brand Owner

As a savvy entrepreneur or marketer, you are probably wondering: what can I do to differentiate my brand from an endlessly long list of cutthroat competitors?The short answer is branding.

Whether you’re actively managing your brand identity or not, it exists. And the chances of coming out as the ideal choice to your potential clients rests on how strong and reliable your brand is. Creating a logo and that catchy slogan isn’t enough, but just the beginning. To stand out, you need to go beyond these and include essential elements that define your business several years ahead.

In this post, we’ll cover:

Why it’s important to brand your business.
How to brand your business in seven steps.
Examples of strong brands and what we can learn from them.
Why is it important to brand your business?

Regardless of size, organizations of all kinds need to invest in branding to stay relevant. If you’re still wondering why you should brand your business, here are some benefits you stand to gain.

1. Distinguish your business from competitors

With the myriad of companies delivering similar services or products, standing out can be challenging. That’s where branding comes in. Your values, story, brand promise, and other assets provide avenues through which you can showcase your uniqueness. Leveraging on these to create a point of difference could set you apart from your competitors.

2. Become more recognizable

Another benefit of investing in a consistent branding effort is to make your brand more memorable. When customers can identify your company based on physical, visual, auditory elements, it breeds familiarity. This fosters trust, which 81% of customers rely on to make a buying decision. Brand recognition could also influence how customers recall and engage with your content, emails, or ads.  

Image source

3. Build customer loyalty

Powerful brands often have a loyal customer base, but it does not happen by chance. It stems from delivering unique experiences and messaging their audiences can relate with to form a bond. With this emotional connection, you’ll have more customers who will support your business and share their positive experiences. This advantage could mean repeat business, less churn, and more referrals through word of mouth.

4. Gain and retain employees

According to LinkedIn, companies with a strong employer brand will attract 50% more qualified candidates 1-2 times faster than others. Also, they’ll recruit at 50% less cost per hire. Moving down to your current and past employees, their experience, and how they spread the word influences your workplace reputation and employee retention rates.

Whether you’re looking to hire skilled developers and other specialized roles or seeking to keep your best talent away from competitors, actively managing your brand is not an option. It is a necessity.  

How to brand your business in 7 steps

The first step for branding your business is to understand who your potential customers are.

1. Identify your audience

There are a few steps to this process.

Analyze your current customer base

Existing customers are a goldmine of information as they know what is impressive or lacking in your brand. Discover their interests and needs.

What is their most pressing pain point?
Which businesses do they trust and buy from?
What would they love to see in your brand?
You can engage customers directly through calls and surveys or study them to find answers. Chances are, you’ll find common characteristics or patterns that’ll help you define your target audience.

Conduct market research

Market research can help you uncover industry trends, opportunities, customer preferences, buying habits, and conversations about your brand or others. Also, it’s an effective way to gather information on your competition. Note who their customers are, preferred channels, interests, etc. Relevant social media channels, review sites, industry forums, or Q&A sites like Reddit are great places to start your research.

Create buyer personas

Group customers based on patterns or common traits you uncover and represent them with a persona. Include demographic, psychographic, behavioral, and geographic details. For example, the name of a persona that describes a group of construction workers with similarities could be Building Ben. He could be:

45 years old.
A father of two kids.
Based in San Francisco.
Owner of Hammer River Construction with a team of six.
A lover of reliable but innovative construction tools.
The list goes on and on. What matters is that you include the crucial details.

2. Create your value proposition

Your value proposition is your brand promise. It is more than a tagline or a slogan. A UVP describes how your solution can solve the problems of your ideal customers better than competitors. To craft a powerful value proposition, think about the following:

What does your perfect customer really want?
How can your product or service solve their problem(s)?
What factors motivate their buying decisions?
Why do your existing customers choose your business over your competitors?
Create a unique selling proposition with answers to these questions using the voice of your customers. Communicate benefits, what you intend to deliver, and why they should choose you over competitors. Stick to the truth with no unnecessary hype.

3. Determine your mission and core values

Why does your business exist? Your mission answers this question. To write a powerful mission statement, describe the purpose of your business, who your customers are, the products or services you render, and how you do it. Summarize this in a few words to make it memorable. Here’s an example of a mission statement.

“Core Systems designs and manufactures best-in-class industrial and military computing products based on our customer’s specifications. Our commitment to provide the best service throughout the design and engineering process is what sets us apart from the rest.”

Next up are your core values. They are principles that drive your goals, mission, and vision. These beliefs shape your company culture, which then influences stakeholders’ perceptions. Therefore, using generic words that do not define what your business stands for will only lead to a conflicting brand image. Instead, be specific, use your own words, and ensure the entire organization embodies these principles.

Here’s a list of over 200 core values to inspire you.

4. Define your brand personality

Image source

Your brand personality, just like that of an individual’s, is a combination of qualities that your organization exhibits. Ideally, these characteristics will attract people to your company and shape their perceptions. Therefore, a personality that resonates with your customers could help you build an emotional connection and stand out from competitors.

Consider the qualities you’d love to associate with your brand. Do you want to be seen as visionary, competent, or charismatic? Pick your traits and the voice you’ll communicate with. For example, if your brand personality is rugged, your brand voice could be confident and strong.

This list of emotional words and phrases may help you in this process.

5. Create brand assets

The next step is to choose the elements that will identify your business. Some examples are colors, fonts, packaging, slogan, and your logo. Certain colors evoke specific emotions and convey meanings. For example, The Logo Company suggests that red boosts energy levels, yellow is optimism, and purple activates the imagination.

Image source

Whichever logo, color scheme, and style you choose to brand your business, ensure that it is distinctive and easily recognizable. You can work with professionals and branding experts to get optimal results.

6. Integrate them across your channels

Now your branding elements are ready, distribute them across your channels. For example, you can include visual assets such as your logo, colors, and fonts in all your messaging. A lengthier version of your mission statement could serve as your brand story on the About Us page.

Although your core values will mostly remain within your website, you could also enlighten customers and potential employees on what you stand for through branded videos and posts. Keep in mind that branding is an ongoing process for as long as your company exists.

7. Be consistent

According to MarketingNutz, it takes up to 5-7 brand impressions before an individual can recall your brand. From the website to social media channels and offline interactions with customers, branding must be consistent. Create brand guidelines to reinforce cohesiveness.

Is your brand voice youthful and casual on socials? Then there’s no need to be stiff on your blogs. Your customers should know what to expect or feel once they see your content, logos, or other brand assets. Consistency builds familiarity, trust, and loyalty. These feelings reflect successful branding.  

Examples of businesses with a strong brand identity

Let’s look at some existing businesses with a strong brand identity and tips you can leverage for your company.

1. Drift

A popular conversational marketing platform, Drift seeks to redefine how B2B sales conversations occur. With its leadership principle of ‘‘Put the customer at the center of everything you do,” the company focuses on fast human-to-human interaction.

Through Drift, businesses can have personalized conversations with customers in real-time rather than through the traditional friction-prone method of lead forms and endless emails.

The company lives up to its customer-centric values by engaging with its customers in the same way. Drift’s core traits are human, playful, and bold. This is visible in its relatable webinars, blogs, and marketing materials delivered across channels with knowledgeable but jargon-free words.

Key takeaway: Your values and UVP are not just words. They are promises and actions which the entire organization should live up to.

2. Zopa

Fintech companies are usually a tad too serious, but Zopa stands far out. Zopa offers fixed-term savings and peer-to-peer lending services to customers across the UK.

Image

The brand delivers educational and entertaining financial content to followers in a quirky, humorous but professional way. It makes their content easily digestible even to a non-financially literate audience. Also, the company maintains a consistent tone and color scheme from their social accounts to their website.

Key takeaway: Don’t be afraid to explore a personality that may not be popular within your niche. As long as it’s reasonable and is one your customers may relate to, give it a shot. While you’re at it, be sure not to confuse your audience with fleeting changes. Stay consistent.

3. ASOS

The ecommerce brand ASOS describes itself as authentic, brave, creative, and disciplined. All these qualities are visible in its merchandise and content. ASOS aims to ‘‘become the world’s number one destination for fashion-loving 20-somethings’.’

This explains why its content is sassy, youthful, and engaging. From the mission statement to the Twitter bio and regular posts, the messaging matches a brand that serves millennials and older Gen Zs. The response they receive clearly shows that the content resonates with its audience.

Key takeaway: The power of relatable content is enormous. Understand your target audience and create engaging content that can help evoke feelings and build a relationship with customers. 

Follow these steps for branding your business

As you can see, building your brand does not have to be overwhelming or expensive. Most of these tips cost little to nothing. You can start with a slim budget and then scale your branding efforts as your company grows. Follow these seven simple steps to brand your business:

Identify your target audience
Create your value proposition
Determine your mission
Define your brand personality
Create brand assets
Integrate them across your channels
Be consistent.

Dow and S&P End Four-Day Skid after Fed Statement

This story originally appeared on Zacks

It took a Fed statement on Wednesday to snap the market out of its sour September mood and finally end a four-day losing streak. The major indices were each up approximately 1%.Basically, the economy is improving enough that scaling back the asset purchases “may soon be warranted”, perhaps as soon as the next meeting since the inflation and employment mandates are close to being met. For now, the Committee was unanimous in keeping rates near zero.“To summarize FOMC: Tapering is coming, but one month later than the market expected,” said Jeremy Mullin in Counterstrike. “The language hinted at a $20B taper in December, instead of November, which was enough for the market to rally after the statement came out. In reality, a month difference should not move markets, but the buy signal was triggered with the “no taper” language.”The S&P jumped 0.95% on Wednesday to 4395.64, while the Dow increased 1% (or about 338 points) to 34.258.32. These gains ended four consecutive days of losses for the indices. The NASDAQ rose 1.02% (or around 150 points) to 14,896.85. Stocks are still lower for the week with two sessions to go.But the Fed was only one concern this week. Now that the statement is behind us, investors are still nervous about China’s largest property developer Evergrande, which is in danger of defaulting.The company said it resolved a $36 million interest payment due tomorrow, which made enough room for the market to rise on Wednesday. However, an even bigger payment is due at the same time.Investors are concerned that such a problem in the world’s second-biggest economy could have an impact on the U.S., especially at a challenging time when the delta variant is limiting the economic recovery.Tomorrow will be interesting. Stocks often have big moves on the day after the FOMC meeting, and the Evergrande situation could exacerbate the volatility. We’ll also be getting the jobless claims number on Thursday.Today’s Portfolio Highlights:Home Run Investor: It looks like Exp World Holdings (EXPI) could have a nice post-earnings drift higher, so Brian bought the stock on Wednesday to take part in the advance. This Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) provides cloud-based estate brokerage services. More specifically, it uses blockchain to record home sales and provide services to brokers. The editor was very impressed with EXPI’s topline growth of 182% in its most recent quarter, while earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 380%. The valuation is rather high given its sales growth, but margins are slowly improving with plenty of room to continue rising. Make sure to read the complete commentary for a lot more on this new addition. By the way, Brian also sold Rada Electronics (RADA) today to make room for the new entrant.TAZR Trader: Even if the Fed sounds “lovey-dovey”, Kevin said yesterday that he would add more to the portfolio’s recent position in ProShares UltraPro Short QQQ ETF (SQQQ). Regardless of whatever kind of kneejerk reaction comes after the statement, the editor thinks the market is headed lower in the near term. Well, the Fed statement did send stocks higher by 1% on Wednesday, so Kevin stuck to his word and added more SQQQ today. Read the full write-up for more on his analysis moving forward.Technology Innovators: This portfolio easily had the top performer among all ZU services on Wednesday as Celestica (CLS) soared 17.5%. Brian added this electronics manufacturing services company back in late July after posting its eighth straight positive surprise. Today we found out that CLS raised its 2022 outlook and also entered into an agreement to acquire PCI Ltd. for $306 million in cash. CLS is currently up nearly 7% in the portfolio since being added less than two months ago.Options Trader: “(Stocks) were already up from the opening bell, but added to their gains after the Fed said they would likely begin tapering their bond-buying “soon,” which many have interpreted as their next meeting in November.”The market cheered the last time the Fed hinted that the tapering was likely to come sooner rather than later. And the market’s reaction was no different this time.”Why so happy about tightening monetary policy (albeit just a little)?”Because 1) it shows the Fed’s confidence in the recovery, and 2) it shows they won’t let inflation get too hot before acting. And that’s reassuring to the market.”As for rates, those expect to remain near zero for the foreseeable future.” — Kevin MatrasHave a Good Evening,Jim Giaquinto
Recommendations from Zacks’ Private Portfolios: Believe it or not, this article is not available on the Zacks.com website. The commentary is a partial overview of the daily activity from Zacks’ private recommendation services. If you would like to follow our Buy and Sell signals in real time, we’ve made a special arrangement for readers of this website. Starting today you can see all the recommendations from all of Zacks’ portfolios absolutely free for 7 days. Our services cover everything from value stocks and momentum trades to insider buying and positive earnings surprises (which we’ve predicted with an astonishing 80%+ accuracy). Click here to “test drive” Zacks Ultimate for FREE > >  Zacks Investment Research

13 Clever Gift Ideas For Coworkers In 2021

Shopping for coworkers is tricky, especially when Christmas comes around. With so many people to buy for already, the people you work with probably aren’t your top priority. Chances are, though, all you need is some inspiration.

HOerwin56 / Pixabay – Valuewalk

Q2 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and moreCheck out this round-up of 13 great gift ideas, including funny, thoughtful, and personalized gifts for coworkers.

Personalized AirPods Case

If your colleague already has earphones they love, then a personalized AirPods case is the perfect gift. Available in sophisticated color pallets and with beautifully inscribed initials, they show a genuine and personal touch. Buy these monogram leather cases in a range of shades to sort your shopping for the whole office.

Desktop Tetherball

Bring a sense of fun into the office by gifting your coworker a desktop tetherball set. It might seem like a simple gift, but it has the power to improve even the most boring working days. Plus, you might get to take part in any desktop tetherball tournaments that take place during lunch.

Desk Fan

There’s always someone in the office who can’t keep their hands off the thermostat. You can help to keep them cool with a desktop fan. You could even consider buying it in your coworker’s favorite color if you wanted the gift to be more thoughtful.

Headphones

If you know anyone who struggles to focus when they’re in the office, noise-canceling headphones could help. They’ll allow your coworker to keep their head in the game even when the workplace is bustling.

Coffee Hamper

There are probably a few people in your office who can’t go a day without coffee. So, they’ll surely love a coffee hamper. With a range of exciting coffee blend samples and other treats, a suitable hamper will be a hit with your coffee-loving colleagues.

Portable Keyboard

Many offices have shifted towards more flexible working arrangements. So, why not give a gift that will make that shift a little smoother? Portable ergonomic keyboards that fold away are easy to store, transport, and connect to any device. As such, they are ideal for colleagues who work outside the office more often than they used to.

Storm Glass

Desktop storm glass clouds are fascinating things. These little glass clouds contain a special liquid that reacts to changes in the atmosphere. They also brighten up any desk. So, they’re great for anyone interested in meteorology or a love of all things quirky.

Wireless Phone Charger

Offices always seem to be flush with tangled wires. To ensure your colleagues’ chargers don’t get lost in the chaos, gift them wireless phone charging stations. There are plenty of eye-catching ones that make great presents, including stylish wooden wireless chargers.

Back Support Cushion

Most workers who spend their days hunched over a laptop will deal with work-related back pain at some point. If you know of anybody already struggling, they would probably benefit from a back support cushion. While they’re maybe not the most exciting gifts, they’ll certainly appreciate the thought.

Monogram Laptop Case

For coworkers that lug around their laptops all day, a monogram bag for their laptop is an ideal gift idea. With a personalized case, they’ll never be in doubt about which laptop is theirs. And, they’ll look far more professional and trendy, too.

Digital Photo Frame

Digital photo frames are great workplace presents. Ideal for coworkers who miss their families or want to remind themselves of a recent vacation. They’re easy to upload and display high-quality photos.

Fidget Cube

Far from being just for kids, adults can benefit from fidget cubes, too. During stressful workdays, this six-sided sensory toy gives workers an outlet for their anxious energy. So, it can improve focus. If there’s anyone in your office who struggles to keep their mind focused, it’s likely to be a well-received gift.

Monogram Leather Notebook

A leather notebook with monogram initials is such a thoughtful present. Classy, personal, and valuable as well, there are sure to be plenty of people in your office who would love a monogrammed notebook. Buy them in your coworkers’ favorite colors for the best-monogrammed gifts going.