Networking & Building Brand Identity

If you’re working to build your business, you’re probably working on sales and marketing through networking. Networking can be done in person with events like Chamber of Commerce meetings, or online with social media tools such as Facebook or Linkedin. When you’re out there networking, remember the relationship between building your brand and building your network. Working the two together can improve your results. Similarities What are some of the similarities between the two activities? Make a good first impression. In person, it’s eye contact, professional attire, and a smiling face. With your brand, it’s your logo, your business card and the home page (or landing page) of your web site. Repeat, build, and reconnect. Both networking and brand building rely on repeated interaction with your customers. To begin with, people may need more than one interaction to remember you and your company. Secondly, it builds trust as they learn more about you. Consistency is important for both. Give at […]

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Do-It-Yourself Business Cards, or Hire a Pro?

If you’re starting a business you’re going to need business cards. But if you’re starting a business, you may be looking to save money on the myriad of upfront costs involved with getting the company up and running. Let’s look at the different levels of professionalism and brand identity that you could consider when getting your first business cards. Design & Branding Fees vs. Production Costs There are two steps to creating your business card: first is the design of the card, and the second is the printing of the card. For the design, you will likely start by developing a logo or a logotype (a specific, customized typesetting of the business name). In addition, you will need to typeset your contact information, and then you will need to look at the layout of the entire card. You could try to do these yourself, or you could work with an experienced designer. For the production, you will need to find […]

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Rebranding Blackwater: Your Brand is Much More than Your Name & Logo

Blackwater’s reputation and brand Blackwater is a private security and military company that has won numerous government contracts to support the US military. While fulfilling their contracts in Iraq, they ended up under hostile fire and also inflicting harm on innocent Iraqi civillians. Many remember, with a shudder, hearing about several of Blackwater’s stand-offs and skirmishes that led to fatal shootings in 2007. With a history like that, it’s understandable why Blackwater would want to start over with a new brand. The name Blackwater has become tainted, and is now synonomous with all of the distasteful practices that surround the war in Iraq and President Bush’s time in office. Blackwater is renamed Xe Blackwater had already made some adjustments to its logo that lessened the look of the bear in the cross-hairs. But now it has completely renamed itself as Xe. It has ditched the bear paw print and replaced it with a very tech-looking typography-only logo. It has also […]

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How to Keep your Brand Looking Fresh

In my last post, I wrote about the importance of consistency in branding. However, I want to take the time to also talk about ways to keep your identity and branding from looking stale. Probably the most important thing to keep in mind is that your brand is a living entity and will experience growth and change. The key is to have enough elements remain consistent that you can play with other elements. Timeless brands are like timeless fashions A good analogy is how individuals wear their clothes and style their hair. There are some people who are always up-to-date with fashion: if you first met them in 1982 and they were wearing parachute pants, you may not be surprised to see them in 1992 wearing an oversized flannel shirt. In contrast, there are some people who have a timeless style. They purchase classic clothes, and are never very trendy. A third group is those folks who seem stuck in […]

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