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Posts Tagged ‘brand building’

What Does Your Logo Say About Your Business?

Posted by advantagemarketing on December 6, 2016

logos and branding

Your logo is the visual image of your company. Is it time to refresh yours to better reflect your company’s brand?

When I start developing a marketing program for a new client, the first thing we tackle is branding. This often means creating or updating their firm’s logo. Here’s what I tell new clients about branding…

Your company logo is the cornerstone of your branding. It is a visual reminder of everything your firm stands for. Some elements of a good logo, according to Duct Tape Marketing:

  • It has lasting value – trendy logos don’t hold up over time. Make sure your logo will stay iconic and reliable even if the design of your website changes.

 

  • It is distinct – some amount of uniqueness, as long as it doesn’t confuse, is valuable. A distinct logo will stand out among a crowd of dull ones and generate more sales.

 

  • It appeals to your target audience – if your target market is partial to blue, then it doesn’t matter that you’re not. Your design should consider what your audience values first.

 

  • It supports your core message – if you’re trying to communicate your low, low prices, then your logo should support that image. Your customers should be able to understand the heart of your company philosophy just by looking at your logo.

 

  • It is legible – This seems pretty obvious, but many people use typefaces and images that can’t be printed or carried to a large sign. Your logo should clearly identify your company, and it can’t do that if people don’t understand it.

Test Your Logo

I advise clients to get several outside opinions, preferably from clients or prospects, before selecting a final logo design and using it on their email templates, letterhead and website, etc. This helps ensure that the logo is effectively communicating their brand message to the target audience.

Don’t skip this crucial step! When we tested a lighthouse-themed logo for an HR client, for example, we discovered it did not resonate with the senior executives who were his clients. This valuable insight caused us to take the logo concept in a different direction, resulting in design that better reflected the value these executives received from my client’s work.

The Takeaway

A logo should be more than eye-catching, it should represent your company’s brand and appeal to your target audience. If your current logo hasn’t kept up with how your firm’s brand has evolved, then it’s probably time to update it.

 

Posted in B2B marketing, Marketing, Professional service firm marketing, small business, Traditional marketing | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Join Me at the GWACC Small Business Expo

Posted by advantagemarketing on September 11, 2015

GWACCIf it’s Fall, it’s time to start networking!

Join me at the Greater Westfield Area Chamber of Commerce Small Business Fall Expo at The Westwood in Garwood on Wednesday, September 16th from 6-9 pm. This event is open to the public and will be a great time for learning about valuable resources in the area and for networking.

Stop by the Advantage Marketing table for freebies, to enter to win my book RESULTS! Impactful Solutions to Drive Business plus a copy of the Advantage Marketing guide, “Turn Your Practice into a Client Magnet.” These resources are designed to help entrepreneurs and small business owners gain the information they need to have a successful business and see RESULTS! They will also be available to purchase.

If you are a small business owner looking to grow your business, you won’t want to miss this event. There will be hors d’oeuvres, a buffet dinner, wine, beer, and plenty of opportunities for networking. One lucky event attendee will even win 2 tickets to a Mets game! Purchase tickets for the event online: advance purchase $15 or $20 at the door.

Posted in Business, Networking, small business | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

7 Easy LinkedIn Profile Updates

Posted by advantagemarketing on August 11, 2015

Update your LinkedIn profile

Update your LinkedIn profile with these quick fixes

We all know that LinkedIn is a great way to build your professional brand and connect with others. You probably already have added your work experience to your profile and gotten your recommendations – if for no other reason then LinkedIn routinely nags you about these items.

But if you haven’t updated your profile in a while, you may not be presenting yourself in the best possible way. These seven quick fixes can refresh your profile, make you easier to connect with, and boost your position in search rankings, without a great deal of time or drudgery. (To make these changes, be sure you are in LinkedIn’s Edit Profile screen for your profile.)

1. Show your creds right up top. Include your credentials next to your name (e.g., CPA, MBA, etc.)

2.  Update your photo – SMILE!!!

3. Use your 120 headline characters more effectively. Include your title, company, and keywords. Some examples:

Senior Tax Manager, ABC Accounting, LLC | Tax Planning| Audits | Tax Compliance | Real Estate Taxes | Tax Research
Staff Accountant, ABC Accounting, LLC | GAAP | Financial Reporting | Account Reconciliation | Accruals | Bookkeeping

4. Create a custom URL for your Public Profile. This is easier to read and remember than the default URL LinkedIn sets up for you. For example: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lorainekasprzak. Get step-by-step instructions on customizing your Public Profile URL.

5. Make it easy for others to get in contact with you by adding to your contact information. Be sure you have:

Included your company address, phone and website, and a Twitter name, if you use Twitter too.
Included your email – which will be visible only to your connections.

6. Add or edit your Profile Summary to highlight your accomplishments. You will want to:

Summarize your work experience – use keywords and focus on the results you’ve achieved.
Add a short summary of the company you’re working for and the solutions it provides to clients.

7. Showcase your work in your Profile Summary or Experience sections. Add an article, video, or slide presentation that highlight your excellent, valuable work.

Let these quick fixes inspire you to build an even stronger LinkedIn profile by adding volunteer activities, honors and awards, and more!

Posted in B2B marketing, brand building, Business, career, LinkedIn, Marketing, personal branding, small business, Social media marketing, Traditional marketing | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Whole-Brained Approach to Marketing Is Most Valuable

Posted by advantagemarketing on December 2, 2014

whole-brain-marketing

Today, you need both creative and analytical/technical components to your marketing plan, if you expect to be successful in engaging customers.

By guest blogger Laura Carter

When we think about marketing, we most often think of creativity, innovation, and visual appeal, traits that typically come from so-called “right-brained” thinkers. However, a new trend is taking over, where “left-brained” or analytical thinking is just as valued and respected in the marketing world.

The main goals for marketing have always been to understand the customer and then guide him or her towards a purchase. The path that a buyer takes to that purchase has evolved over the years. According to the CEB Marketing Leadership Council, customers now progress nearly 60% of the way through the purchase decision-making process before actually engaging a sales rep. This places a heavy burden on marketers to deliver value and education early on in the buying process.

As a result of changing buying styles, businesses must embrace the role of technology in their marketing strategies. If you expect to reach and engage customers today, your marketing strategy must employ both analytic/technical and creative strategies. In other words, you need to have both geeks and creative types contribute to your marketing.

Those who don’t include technology and analytics will surely be left behind, if they haven’t been already.   Spending in this arena has already increased and is still on the rise. In fact, Laura McLellan of Gartner predicts that by 2017, CMOs will spend more on IT than CIOs.

The best companies must know how to generate interest using technology and turn that into actual revenue. They also must realize that their products and brand need to have a broad appeal that comes from a full right and left brain marketing approach.

With more money being invested in marketing technology, businesses want to see that they are actually getting a return on their investment. This often requires a more refined approach to analytics than what we have seen in the past. Modern marketers need to constantly monitor these analytics to know which areas to focus on and which areas to drop.

Marketers are not only expected to provide good marketing skills, but must also be able to track results with accurate analytics. They must also be able to merge fine details with creativity, analytics with the abstract, and logic with imagination to capture market share.

What marketing strategy do you use for your business? Is it a left-brained, right-brained, or whole-brained approach?

Posted in B2B marketing, Business, content marketing, lead generation, Marketing, Marketing automation, Marketing plans, Marketing Strategy, Marketing Trends, Social media marketing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Growing Your Consulting Practice

Posted by advantagemarketing on September 25, 2014

Growing a Consulting PracticeIf you run your own consulting practice then read “Growing Your Engineering Consulting Practice” from Chemical Engineering Progress magazine for practical advice from established, successful consultants.

Smart moves for your consulting practice

While the article was written for chemical engineers who run consulting firms, it can help any professional who wants to grow their consulting firm. You’ll find out why it’s important to:

  • Delegate so you can focus on growth
  • Align your growth plans with your company’s philosophy
  • Tell a compelling story about your company’s brand
  • And more!

Is your consulting practice in growth mode? Tell us about your successes and challenges in the Comments section!

Need help growing your consulting practice? The experts at Advantage Marketing will review your consulting practice and provide advice you can use immediately. Contact us today!

Posted in brand building, Business, Chemical Engineer, Consulting, Management, Marketing, Professional service firm marketing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Build Your Brand for Positive Career Impact

Posted by advantagemarketing on April 28, 2014

personal brand

Can Jimmy Buffet’s brand help you build yours? Read this article and find out!

In my latest Career Corner article for Chemical Engineering Progress magazine, I talk about the role branding plays in career success.

Consider these common situations: You are up for a promotion only to learn the position went to a more highly visible coworker. Or perhaps you run an engineering consulting practice, and you lose a big bid to a better-known firm.

Whether you are an employee or run your own company, having an authentic personal brand and communicating it effectively can help your stand out in the minds of others. Your personal brand is a snapshot of what others know about you and what they can expect from  you.

Read Build Your Personal Brand for Career Impact and find out why looking at Jimmy Buffet’s brand can help YOU become more successful.

How you have used your own brand to advance your career? Share with us in Comments.

Posted in brand building, Business, career, Chemical Engineer, Consulting, Marketing, personal branding, small business | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Leveraging Social Media – an AEC Professionals Circle Program

Posted by advantagemarketing on April 2, 2014

AEC New JerseyAEC Professionals Circle New Jersey is offering a program on social media and its potential to bring your company business. The event is called “Leveraging Social Media and Technology to Build Your Business,” and I’m so pleased that Advantage Marketing is teaming with AEC NJ as an event sponsor!

AEC Professionals Circle is a New Jersey-based organization that provides educational and networking opportunities to Architects, Engineers and Contractors.

The event will be held on Tuesday, April 8, and offers two 3-hour working sessions plus a lunch and evening networking. The folks at New Millennium Millwork are hosting the event at their Riverdale, New Jersey, facility. Frank Morales, Sandler Coach & Mentor, is the presenter and he’ll be doing a deep dive into LinkedIn and all the strategies and techniques that you can use to grow your personal network and prospect for business.

At Advantage Marketing, we’re known for helping our professional services clients craft content that positions them as the experts people want to hire, so I’m doubly excited to be premiering our Sticky Content Plan at this event. The Sticky Content Plan helps our clients build the information resources that bring customers to their doors. (You’ll be finding out more about the Sticky Content Plan in upcoming posts.)

We’ll also be running a fun social media quiz and offering prizes. We’ll be selling our guide, “Turn Your Practice into a Client Magnet” – which will soon be available online.

If you’re an architect, engineer, or contractor here in New Jersey, and you haven’t yet been to an AEC Professionals Circle event, this is the one to attend! AEC’s founder Shallon Gammon of Guiding Graphics, shared these top 10 reasons why this is a not-to-be-missed event:

10. Earn one CEU Credit while networking with decision-makers.

9. Learn HOW to build your network—online and in person.

8. Learn how to post your 30 second Elevator Pitch ONLINE.

7. Demystify Social Media channels and decide which one(s) will bring in new business.

6. Learn how you can have all of your documents, quotes, estimates, specifications, client information, and more for all of your projects with you, at all times.

5. Leverage your LinkedIn profile to promote your personal “brand” and proactively prospect.

4. Systematize attending networking events and consistently set and achieve realistic goals.

3. Find the right vendors to outsource services you’re not an expert on.

2. Acquire new customers through online recommendations, postings and word-of-mouth.

1. Learn how you can empower your friends, clients, prospects, and business associates to consistently give you referrals.

Here are the links to register:

RSVP for a Session: http://conta.cc/1fXBLLj

RSVP for the Social Event only: http://conta.cc/1cQF08r

Hope I see you there!

 

 

Posted in Business, content marketing, lead generation, LinkedIn, Marketing, Networking, personal branding, Professional service firm marketing, small business, Social media marketing, Thought leadership, Word of mouth marketing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Lead Generation and Trade Show Marketing for an IT Client

Posted by advantagemarketing on March 11, 2014

lead generation

Aujas, our California, New Jersey and India-based client, needed a lead generation and brand building strategy for the IBM Pulse conference and exhibit at the end of February. Teaming with their practice heads around the globe, Advantage Marketing brainstormed and developed their messaging, and then created display signage and service briefs to support their brand and promote their services.

We also ran Twitter and LinkedIn campaigns to promote their show presence. Aujas garnered well over 50 leads and lots of positive attention for their brand.

Thanks to Guiding Graphics for the design work and Graphic Marketing Group for printing – most of which was completed during one blizzard or another this February!

Need help with lead generation and brand strategies for trade shows or other marketing campaigns? Contact us for a complimentary initial consultation.

Posted in B2B marketing, brand building, Business, Consulting, lead generation, LinkedIn, Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Professional service firm marketing, trade shows, Traditional marketing, Twitter | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Notes With Benefits: Build Your Brand, Strengthen Client Relationships

Posted by advantagemarketing on October 4, 2013

by Guest Contributor Susan M. Krien, Happenstance Creations

Chameleon resumes

Custom notecards, such as this one for Chameleon Resumes, can help you build your company’s brand as well as client relationships.

Our world of electronic gadgets and technology has a major impact on how we communicate with each other. Speed and efficiency are of the utmost importance, but where is the personal touch in all of this?

Emails are great for getting business done: confirming and setting appointments, sending documents, following up, but do little to enhance the business relationship.

We don’t communicate our thoughts on paper as often as we should, primarily because of our ready access to smart phones, iPads, and laptops. The challenge is to step back and find your voice on paper.

If you take account of all the occasions that arise in business that would motivate you to send an email: a referral, a promotion, thank you, happy birthday, project delivery – the list is endless – consider what it would be like for you and the recipient if you wrote a handwritten note instead. The recipient wouldn’t have to sift through a pile of emails to read your message. After all, what would make it stand out and be noticed? Instead, they would have the pleasure of opening a personally addressed envelope with a thoughtful message. This experience makes a lasting impression.

What a great “authentic” marketing opportunity for you and your brand! Note writing is a personal touch point that enables you to build good business relationships by expressing and revealing your genuine thoughtfulness.

Note writing, however, is more than just jotting down a few lines on paper.  It’s a process that requires having a selection of paper, writing instruments, stamps, and some focused, quiet time to compose your thoughts and write your message. The handwritten note is something special for both you and the recipient.

One key to selecting notecards is ensuring that the card conveys your business. There are many paper format options available including the fold-over note, along with the flat notecard, both created in various sizes. An added enhancement to consider would be to include your company logo or address. Monogrammed notes work nicely as well.  In addition to selecting an appropriate design, take note of the pen you select. All these features will combine to portray your desired image. Remember the note is an extension of you and your brand.

Kerry Cordero notecard

The handwritten note is something special for you and the recipient.

Once you have made your selections, having them on-hand and readily available will ensure your ability to compose and send notes in a timely fashion.

There are many books that have been written on the value of writing notes that can be used as reference. Business Notes…Writing Personal Notes That Build Professional Relationships by Florence Isaacs is a great resource, as is The Art of the Handwritten Note: A Guide to Reclaiming Civilized Communications by Margaret Shepherd.

If you are searching for a new marketing tool that provides personal attention, comes at a very low cost, AND has a high chance of being read, then incorporate handwritten notes into your business marketing. It may become the highlight of your day!

Do you send handwritten notes? Tell us how they’ve worked for you in the Comments section.

Posted in B2B marketing, Business, Marketing, personal branding, Professional service firm marketing, Traditional marketing | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Building Your Company’s Brand

Posted by advantagemarketing on March 8, 2013

brandingI recently had a conversation with a sales director of a New Jersey-based emerging tech firm. He asked me whether or not the company should be paying attention to branding. Here’s what I told him:

Branding is a distillation – and often a visualization (think: logos) – of what your clients value about working with you. A good brand sets you apart from the crowd in your prospects’ minds (this is also known as your brand’s strategic positioning).

There are several components to having a successful brand. The first is knowing who your ideal customer is, and what THEY want – not what you want to sell them. Check out my ideal customer blog post for a quick overview and 6 questions you can ask to uncover who your ideal customer really is.  When you’re going through this discovery process, it helps to have input from your current customers. Read Letting Your Customers Have Their Say for more on this.  Your sales team should also have input – but recognize this feedback has some bias to it.

You then need to distill all this information and create a compelling core message – one that will resonate with your ideal clients because it addresses their pain points and motivations. You can learn more about core messages in the post: Powerful Marketing Tactics: Creating a Compelling Core Message.

Once you have gone through this thinking process and you know who your ideal clients are, and what your core messages are, then you can do the fun, creative things like tag line and logo development. At that point, you may also want to run some image-building ads. And you certainly want to build the messaging into your current marketing and sales efforts.

How are you building your company’s brand? Share your ideas in our Comments section.

Posted in B2B marketing, Business, Marketing, Marketing Strategy, small business, Traditional marketing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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