A Branding Strategy Is More Than Just Looking Good

When hired as General Manager by the Chicago Cubs in 1981, George Dallas Green asserted at his opening press conference as well as every press conference thereafter that he was a baseball authority and expert. He spoke the truth. He played professional major league baseball for many years and managed major league teams for many years.

It wasn’t long before Chicago sportswriters, broadcasters, and local dignitaries came to label Green as an authority and expert on baseball. Newspaper articles routinely described him as a baseball expert or something similar.

What Dallas Green did back then was develop and implement a Branding Strategy. He positioned himself as not just one of the several major league baseball managers and general managers, but differentiated himself more so as an expert and an authority on baseball. He didn’t change his appearance. He didn’t need to be something other than what he was because his experience spoke for itself. It was a great branding marketing strategy at a time when the Cubs needed it.

Like the Cubs back then, today most small businesses need a great marketing strategy or business development plan to survive the economic ups and downs.

In my experience, a common consulting activity or action when addressing the business development needs of a small business involved connecting my client with an outside marketing or advertising agency. Usually, small businesses don’t have the resources or talent internally to provide the marketing needs or to develop the strategies required.

Typically, here’s how the process would go. Potential marketing or advertising agencies were invited to a fact finding and exploration meeting with the business owner, myself, and selected others. The outside agency would return in a week or so to present their plan. Virtually without exception, the strategy the outside agency would present was one of Branding or Re-Branding the client’s business.

Branding remains at top of the marketing and advertising buzz today. And rightfully so! Branding is a powerful and effective marketing process when designed and implemented properly.

However, after observing scores of Branding presentations by marketing and advertising firms, it is apparent to me that only a very few marketing and advertising firms really understand and know what a Branding Strategy is all about. In fact, most of the time the presentations I observed were not Branding Strategies at all, but more precisely Makeover Plans.

Sure the Branding Strategy may employ a new look, new logo, new colors, new tag lines, and so on. But the Branding Strategy needs to do more than change appearance.

The Branding Strategy translates the Company’s Vision and Goals into Strategic and Tactical actions and behaviors. New internal processes or procedures may be necessary. The Branding Strategy will establish and/or reinforce the Company’s Perception and Position in the marketplace.

Part of the Branding Strategy involves taking the Core Concepts and Core Competencies of a business and then identifying a singular concept, service, feature, or benefit that the business can claim that sets it apart from its competitors. That’s Competitors, not Alternatives.

There may be a number of alternatives for a person looking to replace the air conditioning unit, or to build an addition to the home, or to move to new home, or to replace the transmission, or to build a new deck. The alternatives range from the top quality and established brand name product and service providers to what is affectionately labeled as a Chuck in a Truck. The latter cannot be viewed as a competitor to a business that is among the former.

In most every market in the United States, there are usually about five or six established brand name product and service providers in each business category. Any one of the five or six would consider the others as true competitors. One of the primary objectives of the Branding Strategy must be more than to differentiate the company from its true competitors. The Branding Strategy must establish what separates the company from the others.

How? The Branding Strategy identifies or establishes a Singular Market Position that will separate the company from the others. The Singular Market Position or separation factor must be something tangible or concrete rather than abstract. Quality, Value, and Service are abstract, not really tangible or concrete. They are perceptions. More importantly, they are expectations particularly if the business is among the top providers.

Once the separation factor is determined or identified, then all the strategies and tactics associated with the marketing and promotion of the Branding Strategy will reinforce the Singular Market Position to everyone in the company’s Target Market. It is not just differentiation, but distinction and separation from the company’s competitors.

To illustrate, if the business is one of six short haul trucking companies in the market that is considered among the top alternatives, then most likely each company provides Quality, Value and Service. The six differentiate themselves by the color of their trucks. If one of the competitors has red trucks, the Branding Strategy surely would not be to have red trucks as well. So what could separate the company from the others? The answer usually comes from asking what the company does better or more often than the others. A look at the customer base may discover that the company has a number of electronics manufacturers or suppliers on the list. That discovery becomes the separation factor. The Branding Strategy centers on the claim that the company is the electronics products transportation experts of choice. The advertising and promotion programs reinforce the claim routinely.

Or, if the business is one of six residential roofing companies in the market that is considered among the top alternatives, then, like the truckers, each of the six provides Quality, Value, and Service as well as has different colored trucks and nifty logos. So what could separate the one from the others? Just like the truckers, the work history and customer base is likely to reveal what the company does the most and maybe more often than the others. So this company could be the clay tile roof experts, or singles and shakes roof experts, or metal roofs expert. That choice becomes the separation factor of the Branding Strategy. The advertising and promotion programs reinforce the claim routinely.

In short, the purpose or objective of the Branding Strategy is to alter the competitive arena in the company’s favor by setting the company apart from the others in its class, and then advertising and promoting the separating product or service until the message of the Brand is known and repeated by all who matter and more.

Real Ways To Make Money From Home For Free

In today’s tough economy, more and more people are looking for a way to make a few extra bucks. The problem is that many of the things they stumble upon are often scams.

When someone comes across a few scams, their level of confidence often goes into the toilet. They feel that every opportunity is a scam because so many of them have turned out to be. So, if you have been scammed, please know that you are not alone and it is not your fault. Now, if you are looking for real ways to make money from home for free, you are in the right place at the right time. I know you may have heard that before. I really mean it though. I have been involved in making money online for many years. I have done everything from typing to working as a virtual assistant to making phone calls to building my own websites. Trust me, you can make a living online doing what you love to do.

The problem as I see it is that no one has taken you by the hand and shown you the roadmap of real ways to make money from home for free. I know because I have looked for that magic bullet myself to no avail. However, I have put together a few roadmaps in my day and I know that there are places when you can do just that, make money from home. Yes, you can do it for free sometimes. Often it could cost you just a small amount of money. For example, to host your own website or online business you may have to pay for a domain name and hosting. This cost is around $15 a month or so. I would say that it is well worth an investment of fifteen dollars a month, $180 a year to have your own business online.

I know you want to find real ways to make money from home for free and they are around for sure. You may also want to look into your own website at a point too. Why? Simple… because it is the one thing you have control over. For example, a few years ago people put their stock in a site called Squidoo. This site was amazing and peopleused it and built un incomes around it. One day the owner did away with it. It was taken over by what is now called hub pages. The problem is that HubPages works differently than Squidoo. So everyone who put their eggs in that basket got them all cracked when the website shut down.

If you want real ways to make money from home for free, we can help you with that. Just do some tasks included in one of our guides and at some point, start your own website. Trust us on this one. We have been around the block a few times and want to save you the headache of trial and error and being scammed. We don’t want to promote items that are going to sell for a few days and not make you any money or help you learn new skills. We understand the need for everyday people like you and me to be able to support our family with money we make online. What would an extra one hundred dollars a day do for you? I know, it could certainly help. Let’s go even lower, what if you only make $50 or $100 a week online? So what right? Money is money. If you can find real ways to make money from home for free, that would be amazing. Don’t you think? We do.

Developing a Brand Strategy With Your Blog

If you are blogging to make money it is important to have some type of brand strategy on your site. This will help to boost the clarity of who you are and what you do which will result in an increase your marketing effectiveness. Brand building is a relatively simple process that is most effective when your efforts are consistent and repetitive. On your blog there are 4 simple branding strategies you need to implement and most especially if you are intent on earning an income.

Here are 4 easy to implement strategies you can use when blogging to make money that will increase your marketing effectiveness.

Mission Statement

Stating your reasons for why you blog is something commonly recommended and should be place either within the ‘about author’ section or on a separate page. Your mission statement will set the tempo of things to come on your site and makes visitors aware of what they can expect. This can be considered the cornerstone of your brand building strategy on the site since it clearly conveys your intentions.

Content

The content you place on your blogging platform needs to conform with the ‘intentions’ of your mission statement. The success you achieve will be very dependent upon the quality and consistency of your postings. As far as the consistency is concerned, branding strategies are all reliant upon continually reinforcing the image being developed. The entries published on the site will be a significant ‘tool’ in helping to continually reinforce your brand!

Layout

Calling upon your creative talents here is where you can ‘artfully’ reinforce any image you are wanting to develop. One of the more subtle branding strategies you can use is in the design or layout you choose for your blogging platform. Creating an environment or theme consistent with your image is a terrific subliminal approach to brand building but yet a very important component of your overall strategy. You want the layout to give the ‘look and feel’ of the brand you want to establish!

Logo

Once again a little creativity is needed here by choosing some type of logo, symbol or even a picture that best represents what it is you stand for or how you want to be perceived. The use of your selection here is not limited to the blog itself but can also be used in ‘off site’ branding strategies as well. Email, signature files, newsletters or even viral reports can all be identified with your logo!

The need for a brand strategy when you are blogging is especially important if you intent to earn an income. Brand building is important because it makes you more easily identifiable online and leaves little question as to what you do or who you are. By boosting your profile in this way it will also help to boost your marketing effectiveness as well while decreasing your efforts, sweet deal! The 4 branding strategies reviewed above are very easy to implement and downright essential if you are blogging to make money. It makes little sense to invest the time and effort to generate traffic for your business without first letting people know who you are and what you do! Brand building can and will do just that for you while making your name a more familiar one on the internet.