It’s pointless investing time or money in developing your brand without first ascertaining what will resonate with your audience, and to understand your customer’s habits, wants and needs it is essential to talk to them, says Matthew Crole Rees, head of marketing at carfused.com, a brand offshoot for confused.com. Knowing your audience is the first and most important task in building a brand. Branding Ideas For Authors
Today, YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world behind Google. Whenever someone wants to learn something visually, they head there. You've likely done it yourself countless times. So just ask yourself what you could teach in your business that would help consumers solve some pain point? What got you into business in the first place?

Why is that so important? For Zappos, making excellent customer service the cornerstone of its brand actually saved money on marketing and advertising. That’s because it created word-of-mouth among existing and potential customers, which is what we call earned media -- the recognition that your brand has earned, not paid for, from people talking about something remarkable you did. (Psst -- U.S. businesses, as a whole, lose about $41 billion dollars each year because of bad customer service.)
Blogs are good. Blogs help your business on multiple levels. First off, valuable content on a consistent basis will make you look like an expert. People are looking for experts, not apprentices. The software that powers blogs has multiple advantages. It’s very easy to publish. It’s a database driven environment where style is separate from content so you will not need to go back to your web design agency for every little change. And use of tags and sitemaps make basic search engine optimization easy. But the real reason blogs are great is that they enable conversation. Two-way dialog is much more valuable than a company that just dumps messaging and collateral on their customers.
Keep things simple and inviting with this toasty template. Pairing some warmer brown tones with a pop of colour along the bottom of your visuals helps liven up your design and also creates a strong colour palette right at your disposal. Offset this warm palette with a simple white serif typeface to keep it all clean and friendly and just like that you have a delightful design, perfect for any inviting, friendly and warm brands.

Write your USP. Use the information you've gathered about your customers, products, and competition to create a unique selling proposition. This is a compelling sentence that describes the essence of your business, focusing on who you serve, what benefit you provide, and why you are the best business to provide that benefit. Your USP, also known as your value proposition, will guide all of your messaging, branding, and other marketing efforts.
This book will help you fashion a brand that is fresh and new. By shifting the focus from products to people, this book will help you create the “feel” you want to convey with your brand. Furthering its reputation as a current and modern resource is the fact that it’s the first marketing book that examines the influence of the LGBTQ community on several brands.
This book is described as “The cult classic that revolutionized marketing by teaching businesses that you’re either remarkable or invisible.” Instead of following traditional, boring branding methods, Seth Godin pushes the reader to create something extraordinary that everyone will talk about. Purple Cow challenges business owners to adopt new marketing strategies and to “put a Purple Cow into everything you build” in order to set your brand apart. The book discusses successful brands such as Starbucks and Apple and has been translated into 36 languages.

Looking for a modern and bold design? Look no further, because this template has it all. By pairing muted greys with more lively colours as sampled from your high-saturation images, you can create a stunning contrast. This kit is all about the balancing of elements, so be prepared to crop your images in unique ways to shift the focus about, and perhaps toy with the idea of a few icons. Keep it fresh, modern and vibrant!


Marketing strategy involves mapping out the company's direction for the forthcoming planning period, whether that be three, five or ten years. It involves undertaking a 360° review of the firm and its operating environment with a view to identifying new business opportunities that the firm could potentially leverage for competitive advantage. Strategic planning may also reveal market threats that the firm may need to consider for long-term sustainability.[9] Strategic planning makes no assumptions about the firm continuing to offer the same products to the same customers into the future. Instead, it is concerned with identifying the business opportunities that are likely to be successful and evaluates the firm's capacity to leverage such opportunities. It seeks to identify the strategic gap; that is the difference between where a firm is currently situated (the strategic reality or inadvertent strategy) and where it should be situated for sustainable, long-term growth (the strategic intent or deliberate strategy).[10]
A brand is about much more than a logo, it is the public personification of your company, conveying everything you believe and hold dear about what you do, he says. “But ultimately what you do is no different from your competitors so why you do it has to be front and centre in branding because, as the saying goes, people buy a product but they join a cause. Airbnb has done this spectacularly well, its brand has never been about finding accommodation; what their customers are actually buying into is belonging and finding community.”
Key Ideas: Each business is unique and that there can be no formula for achieving competitive advantage; firms should adopt a flexible planning and review process that aims to cope with strategic surprises and rapidly developing threats; management's focus is on how to deliver superior customer value; highlights the key role of marketing as the link between customers and the organisation. Daymond John - Branding Your Business
David, there is a difference between the logo and the overall website design. This site is a perfect example. We basically don’t have a logo, but because there is valuable content in an easy-to-read layout, people keep coming back. The overall design of your site reflects how in touch you are with current trends and technologies. If you’re still using frames, tables and animated spinning logos, you’re out of touch with current best practices and that reflects badly on you – regardless of what the logo in the corner looks like. Your business logo typically has little to do with your website design. It may influence the color palette and in rare cases be the inspiration for certain design cues – think of Coke’s swoopy logo and integrating a swoop on the page – but your logo doesn’t dictate the layout, technology or usability.
During the 1990s, the resource-based view (also known as the resource-advantage theory) of the firm became the dominant paradigm. It is an inter-disciplinary approach that represents a substantial shift in thinking.[73] It focuses attention on an organisation's internal resources as a means of organising processes and obtaining a competitive advantage. The resource-based view suggests that organisations must develop unique, firm-specific core competencies that will allow them to outperform competitors by doing things differently and in a superior manner.[74]
Managers typically establish objectives using the balanced scorecard approach. This means that objectives do not include desired financial outcomes exclusively, but also specify measures of performance for customers (e.g. satisfaction, loyalty, repeat patronage), internal processes (e.g., employee satisfaction, productivity) and innovation and improvement activities.[106]
By no means am I saying that your examples are good logos. The companies you mention are brand masters, no doubt about it, and I fully agree that a logo is part of a brand. Some of them have poor logos because a redesign would be damaging, as you well know. In fact I think the logos of IBM, VW, GM and others you mention are horrible. Particularly that of Starbucks – I don’t know what they were thinking. Speaking of the Starbucks logo however, the two-tailed mermaid was used to signify a seductiveness, and there’s your emotive aspect. It might not work, but it’s there.
Growing a business isn't easy. First, you need a viable idea. From there, you need to discover a profitable niche, define a target demographic and have something of value to sell them. Whether you're peddling products, services or information, getting the word out has become increasingly burdensome. And without the right marketing strategies to fuel your growth, churning a profit and staying afloat is virtually impossible.
Creating a strong logo can take a lot of effort and expense because it’s typically a very emotionally charged conversation for a small business owner/executive. I’m not sure that it has to be. If you’re working with a professional designer, with a lot of proven experience, you should be in good hands. Let them do their work. When you try to work too much into a logo you usually lose effectiveness. A logo isn’t meant to tell your entire corporate story, it’s meant to be mark that can be easily identified with you – something that will be remembered. And to be remembered, it has to be used frequently and appropriately.

Are you looking to channel all things clean, clear and natural? Well, be sure to check this set of templates out. With a mix of italic, bold and regular serif typefaces, this template creates a classic and clean effect that looks beautiful when paired with a textured image. An ideal template for any business looking to combine elegance with all things natural and calming.
Did you know Dollar Shave Club, an American start-up based in the state of California, was able to attract over 12,000 people within 48 hours with its viral video? Yeah that’s true! Dollar Shave Club’s viral video ad released on Youtube in March 2012 helped the company garner 5 million views. Now, this can be easily called one of the best branding ideas that was effective as well as within budget.
Strategic planning focuses on the 3C's, namely: Customer, Corporation and Competitors.[13] A detailed analysis of each factor is key to the success of strategy formulation. The 'competitors' element refers to an analysis of the strengths of the business relative to close rivals, and a consideration of competitive threats that might impinge on the business' ability to move in certain directions.[13] The 'customer' element refers to an analysis of any possible changes in customer preferences that potentially give rise to new business opportunities. The 'corporation' element refers to a detailed analysis of the company's internal capabilities and its readiness to leverage market-based opportunities or its vulnerability to external threats.[13]
There is a wide variety of ways to get your marketing message in front of your prospects, more than ever, in fact. You can go the traditional advertising route and stick ads in newspapers and on billboards, or you can try more modern and ever-evolving tactics like SEO and content marketing. Whatever route you head down, you need to figure out what channels you’ll be using in order to turn your audience into prospects and then into customers.

While we have already encouraged you to be creative in writing your tagline, now we want you to think about shortening it! Major corporations often incorporate their name into their tag line, or they follow their brand name with their tagline. For example, “Tesco: Every little helps” and “My goodness, My Guinness.” Keep it short and relevant. Then, use it everywhere. Apple's Award Winning Marketing Strategy ║ Brand Marketing ║

Are you looking to channel elegance and daintiness in your design? Consider customising this template, then. This template steers away from any harsh black colours and instead uses grey tones with the softly coloured imagery, creating a much more dreamy and romantic feel. This design is perfect for any brand looking to add a touch of the finer things into their communications.


Strong says: “To keep your brand identity consistent across all media channels, create a set of brand guidelines containing detailed information on the colour palette, fonts, and tone of voice to be used in your branding, along with other elements such as how your brand should appear on staff uniforms, marketing literature and advertising materials.”
“Even if you’re in an unsexy market, it isn’t necessary to conjure up a personality for your brand,” says Cowley. “It might be important if the brand is aspirational and needs to fit into a particular lifestyle but if your business provides something customers need, rather than want, then prices and service may well be more important than brand personality.”
Define your marketing methods. Once you understand your customers, market, and resources, choose the marketing mix that will most effectively promote your business and share your USP. How can you show customers the value of your products or services and persuade them to make a purchase? Will direct mail, online advertising, SEO, TV ads, or trade shows be an effective way to reach customers? What strategies are your competitors using? Will any of those work for you, or do you need different marketing tools?
Looking for a simple, clean and neat way to present a lot of written information? Give this kit a look-see! By dividing your information into boxes and using a focal colour to highlight important pieces of information, you can easily turn a lot of type into an easily digested graphic! This set of templates are incredibly useful for anyone looking for a fast, easy and fairly minimal way to make a chunk information look good.
^ Berkhout, F. and Hertin, J., "Foresight futures scenarios: developing and applying a participative strategic planning tool," Greener Management International, Spring 2002, pp. 37+; Skumanich, M. and Silbernagel, M., “Background on Foresighting Methods,” Ch. 2 in Foresighting Around the World, Battelle Seattle Research Centre, 1997, e-text, www.seattle.battelle.org
Market pioneers are known to often open a new market to consumers based off a major innovation.[93] They emphasise these product developments, and in a significant number of cases, studies have shown that early entrants – or pioneers – into a market have serious market-share advantages above all those who enter later.[94] Pioneers have the first-mover advantage, and in order to have this advantage, business’ must ensure they have at least one or more of three primary sources: Technological Leadership, Preemption of Assets or Buyer Switching Costs.[92] Technological Leadership means gaining an advantage through either Research and Development or the “learning curve”.[92] This lets a business use the research and development stage as a key point of selling due to primary research of a new or developed product. Preemption of Assets can help gain an advantage through acquiring scarce assets within a certain market, allowing the first-mover to be able to have control of existing assets rather than those that are created through new technology.[92] Thus allowing pre-existing information to be used and a lower risk when first entering a new market. By being a first entrant, it is easy to avoid higher switching costs compared to later entrants. For example, those who enter later would have to invest more expenditure in order to encourage customers away from early entrants.[92] However, while Market Pioneers may have the “highest probability of engaging in product development”[95] and lower switching costs, to have the first-mover advantage, it can be more expensive due to product innovation being more costly than product imitation. It has been found that while Pioneers in both consumer goods and industrial markets have gained “significant sales advantages”,[96] they incur larger disadvantages cost-wise.
You should never take packaging lightly. Some businesses have ordinary packaging for their products. They end up with a heavy loss of customers. A wrongfully done packaging discourages people from buying the product due to the doubts it creates in their mind. So, do not treat the label merely for providing some legal information. Instead, make a lasting impression on them.
Today, YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world behind Google. Whenever someone wants to learn something visually, they head there. You've likely done it yourself countless times. So just ask yourself what you could teach in your business that would help consumers solve some pain point? What got you into business in the first place?
The drawbacks to this kind of service are that you might not get the kind of customisation you would find if you hired someone to create and execute your content plans, including your social media strategies. But if you need to get out a lot of content in an organized manner, this service just might help you out. This service does not create content, but rather helps you find and manage content that might be relevant to your business.

Patterns are an awesome tool to use in your branding, but they can easily be overwhelming when not balanced out with enough white space. Luckily, you don’t have to worry about doing any balancing, because this template has got you covered. The sharp, retro-inspired, geometric patterning is beautifully offset with plenty of whitespace, giving your written content plenty of space to shine. Add some colour or keep it sleek and monochrome, whatever you choose to do, this template will be ideal for all sophisticated and creative business ventures. How to Choose the Best Business Name
Barney stated that for resources to hold potential as sources of sustainable competitive advantage, they should be valuable, rare and imperfectly imitable.[75] A key insight arising from the resource-based view is that not all resources are of equal importance nor possess the potential to become a source of sustainable competitive advantage.[73] The sustainability of any competitive advantage depends on the extent to which resources can be imitated or substituted.[6] Barney and others point out that understanding the causal relationship between the sources of advantage and successful strategies can be very difficult in practice.[75] Barney uses the term "causally ambiguous" which he describes as a situation when "the link between the resources controlled by the firm and the firm's sustained competitive advantage is not understood or understood only very imperfectly." Thus, a great deal of managerial effort must be invested in identifying, understanding and classifying core competencies. In addition, management must invest in organisational learning to develop and maintain key resources and competencies. A Beginner's Guide to Branding Your Business
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