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Posts Tagged ‘branding’

Personal branding is how you project yourself to the world, how you create and maintain your image and identity. Your brand is just as much about your profession, business and career as your background, what type of person you are, your interests and any interesting facts.

Personal branding is what you do, what you are and above all – what you can do for others. Having a meeting, making a phone call, sending an email are all activities where you get the opportunity to demonstrate your personal brand. Offline and online, you only get a few seconds to make a first impression, so you must get it right.

Do you need a personal brand?

You already have one. You need to make sure it projects what you want it to by staying consistent or – better still – continuous improvement. You must take control of your personal brand because it can help your business to get noticed. It will help you to be seen by current and prospective clients, business partners, employers and so forth. You want people to remember who you are and what you do.

People buy from people – not businesses. Unless you’re ordering a book online, you want to know the people behind the business. This is especially true in service and high-end sales environments, where customers only buy from credible sales people with strong brands. Blue chips are giving their managers personal branding training to turn them into better ambassadors for their employer. The trend is growing and personal branding will be part of everyone’s induction training one day.

Personal branding is extremely important to start-ups – possibly even more important. Customers buy from a few individuals – not really the business brand, which has to be developed over time anyway. Having people with strong personal brands working for a start-up basically means they lend their credibility to the business. Leveraging your employee’s personal brands is probably one of the most cost effective ways of marketing and promoting your business.

Where do you start?

If you want to boost your personal brand and get the maximum impact straight away, the Internet is the best place to start. It’s free and very simple to sign up for online networking sites, which are great tools for promoting your personal brand.

A typical professional will have a profile on Linkedin or Facebook, some will have lots of others. As long as you use and maintain your profile correctly, you’re on to a winner. Try Googling your name and see what happens. Prospective customers are likely to do this these days. Are you happy with what they will see? If you were a client, you would probably want to see a supplier with a professional profile on Linkedin and possibly other platforms.

If you can’t find yourself, you have a fair bit of work to do. You will also be cross-referenced on Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, blogs and other sites to see that you are not simply putting on a ‘corporate act’. Make sure the brand you project is consistent and well positioned.

What are the ‘must-haves’?

Having a professional looking, well-written Linkedin profile will benefit many start-up owners. You should also have well-rehearsed elevator pitch that you can deliver at any time. I’d also recommend an online bio you can link to, as well as ‘clean’ and searchable profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube and Google Profiles.

And the ‘nice to haves’?

‘Nice to haves’ include a personal avatar for commenting, a personal blog or website, your own Linkedin Group, your own domain name, a forum you own or moderate and published articles or blog posts.

Make sure you’re consistent with everything you communicate to the world. This includes everywhere you have an online presence. Consider whether prospective customers will be surprised or even disappointed when they meet you for the first time. You must be one and the same across all channels, then you will stand a better chance of coming across as genuine and trustworthy.

Share information about yourself, tell stories and inspire others. Add some personality to your brand – we all know it’s easier to sell on emotions than facts. When you think you are finished, anyone should be able to locate you online and find out what you do and what makes you special. If this isn’t the case – you need to put some more work in.

Jörgen Sundberg, Personal Branding UK

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How confident are you in the strength of your brand? Do you find yourself nervously checking your competitors’ websites to see what they’re up to, only to find your heart sinking at their latest marketing campaign?

If you have a strong brand, if you’ve differentiated yourself from your competitors powerfully, then you won’t be doing this. You’ll still probably have a healthy awareness of what other businesses operating in your market are up to: but you won’t be lying awake at night worrying about it.

Successful businesses start by defining what makes them unique. They look at what their clients want, what they themselves are good at and what they know they can deliver. And they operate in a niche. They don’t get overly worried about what their competitors are up to because they know that to their target clients, their offering is irresistible.

But how about you? Which camp does your business fall into? Do you have a strong brand and a clearly defined niche or are you still looking over your shoulder at your competitors? Either way you’ll probably find my Brand Profitably article helpful. You can download it for free on our website. Enjoy!

Fiona Humberstone, Guildford printing.com www.guildfordprinting.com

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If you’re in the process of formulating a new brand for your business, you should take a peek at this show. See how they did it (with huge success) at Innocent Drinks.

Definitely food for thought. Liquid food perhaps?

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This is our first blog post for Start Up Donut and for this post we wanted to explore something that was close to our hearts, and also something that every small business has to go through – coming up with a business name.

This article is a combination of thoughts and actions we took from our branding exercise, where we explored our rationale for using the name Resonata Consulting.

Everybody who has gone through a similar exercise will agree it is incredibly hard to be original. Not only do you want the name to reflect your business activity, but it should also have a familiar ring to it – making it easy for people to find our company and remember you. At first we explored the straight-forward options such as for example MI-Consulting or IM Consulting. But not only were the names already registered, we felt both options reflected poor creativity and didn’t explain our services or how we wish to be perceived.

To build a strong brand we would have to find a name that would:

  • Stand out / be unique
  • Explain our services or express how we wish to work with our clients
  • Be internationally recognisable
  • Have a Consultancy feel to it

How our name stands out:

Resonata stands out from the crowd because although it has a familiar feel to it (resonate or resonating) it also incorporates data and when you see that resonate is brought together with data it immediately gives you a connection of resonating with data, therefore it stands out, speaks softly yet firmly and is ultimately memorable to others

How our name explains our services:

We came to the name Resonata Consulting, which reflects the essence of what we do and how we do it.

Resonata is a unique word, though it has a familiar feel to it making it memorable to clients and partners alike. Depending on your interpretation of the word Resonata, it is made up from the words resonate, research and data.

Therefore, it gives you an immediate impression of how our company interprets best practice: we resonate client’s data needs and actively research on data – a process driven exercise with the client at heart.

Many branding experts, consultants and our advisers consistently told us that our brand/company name had to incorporate the term data or even data acquisition – because that is what our service is all about.

We struggled at first to incorporate it, but by merging the word data with resonate and research we did not only manage to satisfy the most critical of branding specialists but we also found a way to express exactly how we bounce ideas of clients, actively help them and research around their data needs – this is partly to do with our philosophy of not making our client’s briefs fit to the prospect data available but making the data fit to our client’s brief – hence the research that we do on data, trends and insights to gain best the best possible prospect data for our clients.

How and why Resonata could be recognised internationally:

Because both directors have travelled extensively (Asia, Europe, North America, Central America, and South America), speak a number of different languages (English, Dutch, Spanish, French and German) and have both lived and worked abroad in various parts of the world (Europe, North-America and Asia), we knew that our services would have an international appeal. Because the word ‘Resonata’ was created by us it would have no negative cultural barriers concerning its interpretation.

Why our business name had to have a consultancy feel to it:

Resonata Consulting had to have consulting or consultancy within the company name to emphasise that we want to engage with our clients in the process and we are essentially Research on Data Consultants.

Coming from an international sales and business development consultancy background ourselves, this is the kind of company philosophy we want to be part of and are confident our clients will buy into as well.

What does Resonata Consulting mean to us:

We listen to our clients’ needs and act as an extension of their organisation; building on existing internal knowledge and processes, and resonating clients’ needs by understanding the clients’ goals and helping them to achieve the highest quality data in the most timely and financially efficient manner.

What have clients’ reactions been?

In the main clients feel positive towards our company name and are often curious as to where it came from and how we came up with it. Although sometimes if it is a bad phone line we have to spell it – something I did not expect!

All in all the naming of our consultancy was an interesting and involving exercise that in the main has had incredibly positive results!

You can see more about us on our website: http://www.resonata.co.uk where you are able to see more about our brand and how that has translated into a logo and overall feel of a Fresh Player to the Market.

Matthew Baker is the Co-founder and Director of Resonata Consulting.

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Having a business idea and a great intention to make it succeed is half the battle. Another aspect in making your business the best it can possibly be from day one involves an element of the marketing mix. I am talking about what for many is the fun part, naming your business.

Giving your business the right name can often be the difference between success and failure. It should be a creative and, on the whole, enjoyable process but you do need to get it 100% right. First impressions will win you business, friends and so much more. Therefore, putting that extra bit of effort and exhausting all possible avenues when coming up with the perfect name for your business is well worth it.

As a start-up, you may have little more than the name of your business to attract new customers – does you business name say great things of you and your products or services? Of course you want your name to stand out from the crowd and injecting an element of personality into the name can break down barriers in an instant but I recommend taking a pragmatic and objective approach to naming your business. Just because it sounds great to you does not guarantee that the majority are in complete agreement.

In the modern world of commerce, it is essential to secure web positing with your chosen name too. Before you appoint a business name that works well on a shop front or letter-head, does it work well on the web also? Check for the availability of the domain or if similar names are already being used and what they offer.

Learning from other people’s mistakes will demonstrate just why you need to think your business name through and check it several times over. Some titillating examples can be found here.

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