Is Your Brand Brawn Enough?

A carefully developed brand is similar to a carefully sculpted physique. It must be honed and sculpted to meet desired goals. Like a body builder, a brand needs to be proportionally shaped from top to bottom. In the world of Marketing this boils down to whether or not your brand identity is built with enough brawn to shoulder your foreseeable growth. You don’t want to get to the point where you have to play a desperate game of catch-up with your brand’s new-found ubiquity.

Like everything else in life and business, why not prepare for it while you still have time? [Read more…]

The Power of Proofing in Personal and Professional Communications

When I was in college I took a journalism course called Editing. The key nuance of the class was that your grade on any writing assignment weighed heavily on how error-free your work was. For ever misspelled word or grammatical error, you lost 25% of your score. This is the true point in my life when I decided it made no sense to write anything at all that was overtly incorrect in any manner. I’m not one of those people that write personal emails to family and friends and don’t even take the time to press the “shift” key to make a capital letter at the start of the sentence. These people kill me. I mean what does it say about you as a person if you are that lazy that you can’t even properly express yourself in the written form? The same thing goes for incomplete sentences and missing punctuation like a period. [Read more…]

The Elements Of An Effective Marketing Plan

I believe one of the single most critical components to any comprehensive business plan is the Marketing section. I mean, regardless of how great your product or service is, no one will buy it if you can’t effectively target and reach your prospective customer base.

In my many years of PR and Marketing Communications, I have developed countless Marketing Plans for businesses of all types, sizes and at different stages of growth – from the fresh start-up to the established bellwether that is launching a new campaign. From these experiences, I have learned that a carefully researched, planned and executing Marketing strategy is imperative to the success of any business. [Read more…]

You Cannot Brand Your Business in a Vacuum

Branding is something you must do with your eyes looking forward, behind you and side-to-side at the competition, customers, partners and other industry forces. While your brand does describe the essence of your business and your solutions, it must be based largely on carving out differentiation in the marketplace you are playing in. You may claim to have the fastest widgets in the industry and base your branding largely on that fact. Well, what happens when your competition trumps you with something even faster? You’re entire brand essence is shattered. After all, you would no longer be the fastest. [Read more…]

Branding Your Business Through SEO

Here is an interview I did recently with with Joe Balestrino of www.MR-SEO.com:

Kevin: How did you come up with MR-SEO.com?

Joe: I had just started my small business, focused on search engine optimization and knew I wanted to come up with a name that would be memorable and would help me brand my business. As a small web-based business, it is important to choose a name that has to do with your industry and will count in search terms. I liked MR-SEO.com but when I typed it into the search engines a bunch of guys were coming up that had nothing to do with my business. I knew I wanted that name and had to think of a way to capture people based on my spelling of MR-SEO. To make it happen I had to work constantly on getting other sites to link to me.

Kevin: Why is link-building so important? [Read more…]

The Branding Power of Business Networking

For this piece I am interviewing Chris Pareja, founder of B2BpowerExchange.com, a leads group for “true B2B business developers”. Chris started the organization over three years ago as a means of cultivating substantial B2B (business-to-business) business opportunities for himself and others. Chris felt that normal business networking groups weren’t generating opportunities for him of the caliber he was seeking. To him, these organizations were primarily focused on exchanging retail-focused leads and not business-to-business opportunities which is where his focus was.

What follows is my interview with Chris…

Kevin: What does branding mean to you Chris? [Read more…]

The Marketing Power of Success Stories

We often hear the phrase “prove it” in our daily lives. In the world of sales and marketing this “proof” typically comes in the form of validated ROI statistics for your products or services, a research report touting your offerings by a credible third party, etc. I believe the single most effective proof a business can provide is with a quantifiable success story from a successful past client. What better validation could there be in business than a satisfied client talking about how you and your business helped them in some way?

I write success stories for my clients all the time. Once I’ve received approval from my client and from my client’s client, I urge both parties to promote the piece on their websites. I then tell my client to post the article online, perhaps at a superblog like hubpages.com for added visibility. A recent client of mine posted a success story I developed on hubpages.com and actually generated a $70,000 deal from a person that searched on Google for the types of products they sell (wireless communications systems) and found the success story. The prospective buyer read the story, contacted my client and purchased thousands of dollars of equipment.

An effective success story for any type of business should have several components, including: [Read more…]

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