The Hot Iron => Branding

    





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“The Hot Iron” is cool when used for Branding


Issue 2  


    


Stepping Back Is Not All Bad When Strategizing  


Good business decisions can only be made when you don’t let your emotions rule.  More than anything….you never want to implement a plan out of anger.  It is more than tempting to choose a strategy that you may think could get back at your competitor, or you are upset with something a customer/client said, or you want to get back at a particular organization.  Well you get the picture.  More businesses and organizations than I can count have harmed their brand and bottom line by not stepping back and truly evaluating long-term implications of their decisions.  It is also a slippery slope when your staff recognizes the “getting back at” attitude rather than a “stepping back from” thought process.  They will emulate you which will in turn create a disrespect of your brand.  


Logo Colors  


So we all know about logo colors, how important they are and it identifies our brand.  HOWEVER…..notice I said, “it identifies” your brand.  Your BRAND is a whole lot more than your logo colors.  Yes, you should always use your colors but don’t get overly concerned if it is a shade off.   The idea is not to use green when your logo is royal.   As an example,  here are varied shades of  green, green, green.  Those shades may fall within what we call a closest match.  What you could object to is  green, green ….very different.  Or….  red, red.  It can get very costly when ordering imprint, embroidery and/or print materials to always get exact match.  In fact, some businesses are totally confused about what their real logo colors are because a printer may not be able to match a PMS color to CMYK.   My own logo was such a challenge that I ended up changing the purple to a lighter shade.  Now working with a client that one of their colors is salmon color.  Guaranteed there will be many versions of that color.  Point is….don’t pay extra dollars to get exact match unless it is way off because as long as it is not salmon vs. salmon you are not harming your brand recognition.  It is also perfectly OK and exceptable to use one-color to save money as well.  You can use your prominent color, black, white, gold or silver.  Never do an ad, whether in print or on TV and because you think another color rather than your logo colors would look better, change the color of your logo for the ad.  If it doesn’t blend in, that’s fine.  You want your logo to stand out.    


 Acts of Kindness and Respect  


Tough economy has resulted in our clients spending less.  There still is business out there…..someone else is going to get it if you don’t.  Also, don’t forget about nurturing your current clients.  What are one of the ways we can stand out because we are probably already lowering some of our pricing? I’ll lead by example……acquired two new large organization clients in December……one because I gave her son a gift at a trade show and the other because I was the only business that answered her email request for quote and followed up with a phone call the same day.  Why other like businesses didn’t respond, baffles me, but certainly to my delight because I have already earned this large organization’s trust and my brand is intact.  Don’t under estimate the value of kindness, respect, integrity and honesty….especially in this economic climate.  


January 2011 ~ Issue 2 


This Quarterly Newsletter will offer summarized tips on the importance of Branding.  Next Quarter we will touch on important choices you could make to protect your Brand personality and the importance of some over others.  If you do not wish to receive “The Hot Iron”, kindly email me at Diane@marketingbyDM.com.  “The Hot Iron” is cool when used for Branding.

The Greed Generation

Branded as Greedy

A Lesson in Branding that really hits home!

Recently on an evening Cable News program, former Senator Alan Simpson of Wyoming, offered some suggestions as to how to correct the deficit.  When he ended his commentary he said we were a Generation of Greed.  So have we gone from The Greatest Generation to The Greed Generation.  Well we can have a different opinion, we can debate it, or we can be horrified at being branded as Greedy.  We could go on, but the negative Branding has taken place.  He is not wrong or right, he spoke rendering his perspective as he sees this generation, his perception reflects exactly what he (himself) has observed. 

For the past few days I have tossed these comments around in my mind and realized that this is the most impactful Branding example I could use to show how it can take only a few or a minority to negatively ruin a Brand.  Sen. Simpson didn’t harm our Brand….a certain few in our Nation did and he stated how he sees it.  This is exactly what can happen to YOUR company brand or personal brand. 

This branding of The Greed Generation was inevitable don’t you think?  We must have seen it coming.  BUT if you were like me, I was thinking “Well that is all those other people who are living above their means….doesn’t effect me.”  Well as you can see, it only takes a few to cause others to negatively Brand all of us.  Same holds true in your organization.

As an example, let’s look at our Nation as your Company.  We really only had a small percentage of people that caused some of the financial issues because of their Greed but look who takes the blame…..we all do.  That will work the same in your Company.  If you do not set a policy that is reviewed frequently, I say quarterly, with all staff that sets forth the Company’s Branding initiatives, you risk your competition stating what your Brand is. 

As I mentioned in my Quarterly Newsletter, The Hot Iron, there has to be a total buy-in by your staff as to how you wish your clients and the business community to view you.  Branding for some only means the logo and the colors of the logo.  It is so much more than that and the way one person speaks to another at any level, how issues are handled, effective communication, presentation of product and self, consistency and so much more than logo. 

When you identify an issue….address it immediately.  Negative branding can be turned around.  I say we can change that concept of The Greed Generation by addressing, realistically, what caused us to get to this point….but it takes courage.  Maybe we could then be branded The Realistic Generation.  With all these reality shows, I’m surprised that hasn’t been written somewhere.   

Taking some courageous steps toward protecting your Brand is imperative.  Tough to turn around once it is damaged.  Protect your business with kindness, consideration, caring, fairness, professionalism, honesty, integrity and give and take.  When you hear an alarm….pay attention!!  Don’t let your business be Branded by anyone else but YOU!!

I would be very interested in your thoughts. 

Retention… Benefit of Attention

Standout from the Rest

Standout From The Rest

We all know, don’t we, that our clients crave our attention and it is our full intention of giving them the attention they deserve.  However, intentions don’t always result in attention which in turn affects retention.

Every client is different and requires a certain amount of nourishing to keep your relationship flourishing.  In order for us to prosper and succeed, we have to value all the experts out there that guide us regarding the importance of retention of clients/customers and what we absolutely must do to achieve this all important goal.

There are some very simple basic guidelines that are worth reviewing:

  1. Truly listen to your clients’ needs
  2. Follow up with them in a timely manner (make sure you understand what their expectations are)
  3. Remember you work for them
  4. Understand their decision-making process
  5. Vary your contact with them; i.e. email, phone, in-person

I would like to address telephone calls separately because I have read some articles that advocate that you could save time and not answer the telephone.  This is so you can call people back on YOUR OWN time.  I view that is very selfish.  My clients time is just as valuable as mine and if we all did that, we would not connect at all.  The problem with that as well is people pick up on that very quickly and you have now jeopardized retention.  You may just stand out if you are accessible and respectful thereby giving your client the attention they deserve.

Businesses built around the philosophy that the customer is worthy of “whatever it takes” also builds an in-house respect for quality service and these companies, even in times of economic downturn, continue to grow.  There is a business culture established that we are in this together.  I’ve seen it!!

Re-examine your marketing strategy to see if you are implementing at least the basics for retention of your clients.  It is so much more costly to seek new clients and build relationships instead of nourishing those that you have at hand.

What are some of the key elements of retention you would like to share?