success

Fast-Growing Franchises: Why Consistency is SO Influential

06.03.2014 Better Branding

Here at The Branding Spot blog, we like to talk about consistent branding.

What is a consistent brand? A consistent brand presence means that your logo, your brand colors, and the look and feel of your business is consistent across ALL of your marketing collateral and present in every way your customer interacts with your business—from website to tradeshows to business cards and so much more. We like to call this Brand Alignment.

Why be consistent? Brand consistency is hugely beneficial for your business. The more consistent you are across all your brand elements, the more recognizable your brand becomes. When you see fire engine red and mustard yellow “McDonald’s” probably pops into your head, automatically—probably even subconsciously. Consistent branding is just one reason the McDonald’s brand is so easily recognizable and memorable.

The Business of Consistency

Across-the-board consistency is the key to the overall success of any franchise. One of my favorite business books, The EMyth talks at length about this phenomenon. While not all successful businesses need to be franchises, the principle behind the franchise is what makes these businesses work.

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Company Culture vs. Brand Personality—Does Your Company Measure Up?

03.25.2014 Brand Presence
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Your brand is the whole package. Or is it? We talk a lot about brand alignment on The Branding Spot blog. A great brand must be consistent across the board to be unique, memorable, and thus: effective. This means your website, your marketing collateral, your logo, your brand colors—everything that says HEY! This is my company! needs to be uniform to get the full effect. Heck, at Spot-On Branding, we even offer our popular Brand Alignment Package to help business owners create a consistent look, feel and flow to their brand online and off.

But what about your company culture? Does your company culture actively represent your brand personality, inside and out? Not sure? Here are some areas to focus on:

Your Team Members

Aside from providing excellent customer service (which can truly make or break a brand), is your team actively representing your brand every day, in everything they say and do?

If your business strives for a professional by-the-numbers appearance (let’s say you’re an accounting firm) and your logo, colors, look and feel illustrate these themes, be sure that attitude extends into your each of your team member’s attitudes. Each of your employees should have a standard, professional phone greeting and voicemail, and a standard, professional email signature. When it comes to their company’s financial future, your client is going to want that consistent reassurance that their money is in good hands.

Whatever your industry, your company handbook should outline how your team members are expected to interact with your customers. This might include always mentioning signature services under their full trademarked name, or, for example, always listing three amenities when a potential customer calls to book a stay at your hotel.

Your Office or Store

When a client, customer, or potential customer enters your office or brick-and-mortar shop, are they greeted with an atmosphere in line with your branding? Let’s say you run a surf shop. You want to be sure your brand extends to your store, creating a fun-in-the-sun feeling with every customer, even if they’re just browsing. If your shop prides itself on custom-made surfboards, be sure your shop environment offers potential buyers every opportunity to ask for more information about your sweet custom boards.

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Value Your Brand? Educate Your Audience

03.18.2014 Better Business
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The world is always changing, and nowadays it’s changing faster than ever. The good news is, since the advent of a more accessible Internet, today’s educated and curious consumers are regularly hitting the Web to research and discover the benefits of continuously emerging products and services. This is a huge opportunity to market your business and your brand—but there are quite a few tricks of the trade you need to know to best cash in on this opportunity and build your brand in process.

Ask yourself the following questions and you’ll be on your way to educating your target audience, building your brand identity, and seeing more sales in the long run.

Where’s My Untapped Niche?

Chobani tapped into the yogurt market by advertising their new product as not just another yogurt, but instead, a Greek-style yogurt. While most people had never heard of Greek yogurt before, they were immediately interested in exploring this “new” yogurt style that offers less sugar and more protein than traditional yogurt. The Chobani brand was launched in 2007 and in a few short years Chobani became the top-selling yogurt in the United States. (Read: they don’t just top the Greek yogurt charts—they’re THE top-selling yogurt in the entire country, and they became a billion dollar business during a period of economic downturn to boot!)

The Lesson: To educate your audience, first identify your niche.

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6 Super-Expensive Products…and How To Knock Your Biz Up a Notch with Perceived Value

03.11.2014 Better Branding

While most of us aren’t billionaires, many of us have spent more than the average price on a product or service because we believed the investment (or indulgence) was well worth the cost.

But how much would YOU really pay for the following super-expensive products?

1. Domain Name

In 2007, VacationRentals.com was purchased for $35 million. Next up on the list? Insure.com at $16 million and (of COURSE) Sex.com comes in third at $14 million.

2. Dessert

Serendipity 3 Restaurants offer a $25,000 sundae, the Frrozen Haute Chocolate, made with the world’s finest chocolates and served in a baccarat Harcourt crystal goblet, complete with an 18 carat gold and white diamond bracelet, plus a $14,000 jewel encrusted spoon. Too pricey for your tastes? Try the Golden Opulence instead—a steal at $1,000.

3. Beer

Back in the mid-1990s, a Cambridge archeological team helped recreate just 1,000 bottles of Queen Nefertiti’s 3,250 year old recipe, dubbed Tutankhamun Ale. The brew originally sold for $7,686 a bottle, but the price eventually dropped to $75. Soon after, King Tut’s curse struck again and the brewery closed its doors.

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4th Quarter Business Boom: Wrap Up the Year Right!

10.08.2013 Better Business

Now that we’ve entered the 4th quarter, it seems like time keeps ticking away faster and faster. The New Year is just around the corner, and we’re not slowing down any time soon. Well, you know what they say: time flies when you’re having fun!

You may have had a great time running your business in the last year, but you likely have some concerns as well (after all, you’re human!), especially as we enter the last quarter of 2013. So, are you nervous? Clueless? Do you know what you’re supposed to do in this last quarter?

Think back to the beginning of the year. Did you happen to write up some business goals? If not, don’t fret. Try writing up your business goals at the start of next year—and keep moving forward.

But, if you did record your business goals, you’re in great shape. Pull the file, clear off the dust, and let’s get to work!

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Nix the Negativity!

09.24.2013 Better Business
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How do you make your clients feel?

Do your clients look forward to your correspondence? Or do they dread hearing your latest sob story?

Even if your head is spinning from an already-busy workweek, or your Monday didn’t run as well as you’d hoped, when it comes to your relationships with your clients, you best keep your negative business to yourself.

TMI

I’ve noticed a serious increase in negative attitudes in the professional world over the last few years. Maybe too many people became too friendly and forgot the importance of professionalism. Perhaps it’s this new culture of over-sharing. (If you’re posting to Facebook on the hour and Instagramming your breakfast every day, it might be time to step away from the computer for a week…or a month.)

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The New Networking Hotspot: Airplanes

02.12.2013 Branding Tips & Resources
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While speaking with a few of my business friends the other day, I was quite shocked to hear that most of them had never given much thought to the idea of networking while flying. So many missed opportunities! Sure, there’s always the fear of accidentally engaging The Never-ending Talker or, even worse, the fear of being […]

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Focus from the Get-go

12.18.2012 Better Business
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So now that you know how to address your distractions as they happen, let’s talk about how to start your day off focused from the get-go! There are a bunch of little tips and tricks I use to ensure that I start my day off right, and continue to stay focused on my most important […]

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Focus: Dealing with Distractions

12.04.2012 Better Business
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Every time you stop for a distraction, it takes you 8 to 20 minutes to refocus and get back to where you were before you got distracted. Every time. Distractions are a common problem in most workplaces, and are an especially pesky problem for freelancers, solopreneurs, and others who work from home. It’s time to […]

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Reinforce Your Brand with Excellence

11.26.2012 Brand Presence
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Guest Post – Mónica M. Arias Much has been said about improving customer service over the past few decades. Given the trend toward globalization (especially due to the Internet) and world economic turmoil, one could easily assume customer service is no longer an issue, simply because (in theory) companies should have learnt enough from the […]

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