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How to Develop a Strong Company Culture

Dec06

If your business is looking to hire and retain the most talented employees, differentiate your brand, and attract desirable clients, you must develop the right business culture. Your culture is simply the set of beliefs and behaviors within your company that determine how it is run. Three crucial components of any business culture are:

Mission.

Your company mission should impact every decision that your employees make, and your mission statement is a simple – yet crucial – element of your culture. Formalize and document it to ensure that all of your employees and new hires fully understand what you are trying to accomplish. In this article, Hubspot provides 12 outstanding examples of inspirational mission statements.

Values.

Your company’s values are at the core of its culture, providing a set of guidelines regarding the behaviors and mindsets needed to achieve your mission. Values define what your company stands for, establish the workplace climate, and help to determine how success is defined and measured.

Practices.

Values don’t amount to much unless they are enshrined in your company’s practices. For instance, if you claim that your employees are your company’s most valuable asset, you must be prepared to visibly invest in them. Your values should be reflected in the daily operating principles of your business.

While culture is somewhat intangible and subjective, there are a few metrics that you can use to track it. These metrics will help you determine if your culture contributes to an effective, engaged workforce. Read more

How to Use My Brand to Make Strategic Decisions in My Business

Nov29

Effective brand messaging requires effective brand positioning – one area where far too many businesses have failed. According to a 2015 study by Gallup, only about one-third of the American workforce said their company’s mission makes them feel like their job actually matters. This is significant, because a strong brand requires a commitment from each member of your team, and it can’t be created by a marketing department alone.

Here are three steps you should take to infuse your brand essence into every part of your organization:

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Building Brand From Within

Oct28

Nothing has impacted the way in which we think about marketing quite as much as social media has over the past decade or so, and with this comes the realization that we have been looking at branding from an archaic approach. No longer is branding about developing a relationship with consumers but, in effect, your brand ‘is’ your relationship. If you are going to build any kind of following whatsoever, your brand needs to be about the special relationship you have with your target audience.

A Look at the Evolution of ‘Brand’

If you were to take a few moments to think about what the word brand means and where it came from, you’d probably work your way back to the days when ranchers began ‘branding’ their cattle. This was a definitive mark that proved, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that any particular branded animal belonged to that ranch. A brand back then was a mark indicating where the product came from. Branding was an external feature indicating ownership of an idea or a product. However, there has been a shift that has fundamentally changed the way in which branding works within today’s society.

Today’s Business Is Rooted in Relationships

Those who study business administration are being taught the new paradigm for understanding brand. Today’s business is rooted in relationships and if you are going to develop your brand you need to focus on how you engage with your audience. That’s the essence of branding as taught in major schools of business around the country, such as the D’Amore – McKim School of Business at Northeastern University. From on campus MBA curriculum to online MBA programs, a huge part of business administration is focused on how you are perceived by those you do business with. Did you know that marketing is also a central focus of many online MBA degree programs? Without marketing, a business is often doomed to failure.

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3 Keys To Branding Success

Sep27

What makes your brand unique? What does your story tell your audience about your company? Are you nothing more than a logo or a tagline in the mind of your customer, or do you connect with them emotionally? The values your company stands for are just as important as the product or service you offer.

Here are three keys to crafting a brand that differentiates your business in today’s crowded marketplace:

Create A Brand Statement.

Your story encompasses the unique qualities of your brand that bring value to your customers. It goes to the heart of who you are, and builds an emotional connection with your buyer. If someone asks you what you do, and you can’t deliver a clear, 2-3 sentence answer, it’s time to rethink your brand statement! If you’re stumped on how to develop one, start by asking yourself these 4 questions: Who do you serve? What do you provide? Why do you care? How are you different? Now, combine your answers into several short sentences.

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Value of Branding: How Brand Awareness Generates ROI

Sep20

When should your company focus on brand awareness? The answer is yesterday. It’s impossible to spark interest in your business, boost engagement, and power growth without first establishing your brand in the mind of the buyer. The real value of branding is Brand Awareness. It boosts your ROI when it makes generating sales easier, improves customer satisfaction, and helps you foster relationships to promote growth.

 

Here are three important steps to help consumers become more familiar with – or aware of – your brand:

 

Establish A Memorable Identity.

Boost brand awareness by showing a little personality in all of your marketing efforts. Coca-Cola uses social media to connect with their customers and demonstrate their fun-loving spirit. A unique brand identity sets you apart from the competition, keeping your business front of mind when your prospect has a need. Producing a steady stream of informative, engaging, and entertaining content ensures that customers keep coming back for more, again and again. Read more

How to Reach Mobile Shoppers With Your Business

Sep16

Consumers are increasingly choosing to make purchases online, according to an eMarketer report. This report shows that retail e-commerce sales will outpace those of brick and mortar stores by more than three times through 2019. Similarly, Gartner reports that mobile commerce is currently driving 22 percent of digital revenue, a number that is expected to increase as shoppers continue to crave the convenience and immediacy mobile devices offer. Even the devices themselves are being shaped for purchasing power. For example, the Samsung Galaxy S7 has a big screen for easier digital store navigation, and the Samsung Pay feature acts as a digital wallet and allows for seamless in-store payments.

Regardless of whether or not your small business has a physical storefront, a smartphone sales strategy is imperative to stay competitive and fulfill your customers’ needs. Here are some best practices to keep in mind to reach mobile shoppers more efficiently. Read more

What Is Brand Strategy?

Sep13

Your brand is so much more than just your name, logo, or slogan – it’s the entire experience you provide to your audience. Your brand strategy establishes what your company is all about. It’s the pledge you make to your customers, the values you hold dear, and the personality you project. Every connection you make – from the messages on your website, to the customer service you provide, is an opportunity to grow and strengthen your brand.

A powerful brand strategy should:

Define Your Purpose.

Your brand isn’t your name, product, logo, or website – it’s all of the intangibles that make up your business. Your purpose serves as a key differentiator between you and your competition. Purpose can be seen in two different ways: functional and intentional. Your functional purpose relates to your commercial success, while your intentional purpose relates to your ability to be a positive force in the world. Having a clearly defined and effectively communicated purpose builds loyalty, and cultivating loyalty from your customers will yield more business. It inspires people to write about you, tell their friends about you, and serve as your brand ambassadors. Here’s more on defining your purpose. Read more

3 Ways To Use Pinterest To Rank High In Search Engines

Sep06

Think your business doesn’t need to be on Pinterest? Think again.
Pinterest is one of the most popular social networking sites for good reason – it has great visual appeal, taking beautiful images to a whole new level. Not only can your business benefit from establishing a profile on the site, it’s an excellent resource to discover new ways to promote your website or blog. No matter your niche, you’re bound to find great opportunities to extend your reach.

Here are three ways Pinterest can improve your search engine rank:

Participate In Conversations.

When registering to comment on a blog, include your website address in your profile. Leaving a comment on a post will then result in a link back to your site. By making thoughtful contributions to posts related to your industry, you’re establishing authority while growing website traffic. Pinterest is a great tool for locating popular blogs where your input will be valued. Search the Categories section to locate topics that fit your industry, click on a pin tied to a blog post, register with the blog, and contribute to the discussion. Read more

How Do I Know If My Business Needs a Rebrand?

Aug30

Your brand is so much more than just a logo or a slogan – it’s a promise and an expectation living inside the mind of your customer. Everything you do should be a reflection of the feelings you wish to generate when people experience your brand. If your business isn’t connecting with customers on a deep, emotional level, it may be time to consider a rebrand.

Here are three good reasons to rebrand your business:

You’ve outgrown your brand.

Your brand should convey who you are today. As your business inevitably changes over time, your branding should reflect that growth. If it hasn’t been updated – and no longer represents everything your business stands for – it’s due for a refresh. Read more

How and Why to Conduct a Brand Audit

Jun29

Your brand is alive! It has a personality all its own, with elements beyond your control. Over time, you may discover that your identity has diverged from your original vision. Since brands tend to lose relevance slowly, it’s difficult to determine the precise moment that you should change – but a brand audit can help you decide if it’s time for a refresh.

Here are three steps to a successful brand audit:

Evaluate Your Identity.

Surveys provide an informative overview of customer perceptions. For the best results, ask open-ended questions, like:

  • How was your experience with our website?

  • Is our written material appealing? What do you like about it? What do you dislike about it?

  • How does our logo make you feel? What are your initial thoughts when seeing it?

  • What – if anything – would improve your opinion of this brand?

This article provides some useful tips for creating effective surveys.

Evaluate Your Strategies.

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