Tag Archives: Brand Management

Reasons to update your Linkedin profile to enhance your personal brand

LinkedIn

 

Over the past decade, Linkedin has grown into one of the most popular social networking platforms, especially for professionals and its use as a personal branding tool. Given the importance of Linkedin it is essential to maintain and update your profile. Linkedin is not only an online resume but also a comprehensive personal branding resource.

Here are some reason to update your Linkedin profile today:

  • LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with over 225 million members
  • Linkedin profiles shows up at the top go Google searches.
  • People are researching you to discover your strengths and, more important, about your brand.
  • Linkedin offers numerous valuable resources to expand your success by offering essential connections and expertise.
  • You don’t know what you’re missing out on. While you’re reading this, someone is searching LinkedIn for the services you provide.
  • Linkedin offer you the chance to follow industry and thought leaders and companies so that you can up to date on what is happening in your industry or job function.
  • Linkedin network allows you to stay connected in  world  where we are overwhelmed with daily tasks and less time to complete these tasks.
  • Linkedin network offers tags to manage your contacts and improve your efficiency to mange your network.
  • Linkedin offers you the chance to improve and increase your visibility and credibility with members of your brand community.

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Interbrand’s Best Global Brands for 2012

 

Brand consultancy firm Interbrand, has unveiled its yearly “Best Global Brands” study for 2012. The report rates what it believes the 100 most respected and valuable brands on conditions which include financial performance, the role the brand plays in having an influence on the choices made by consumers along with the brand’s capability to assist its parent’s earnings.

The American Marketing Association describes a “brand” as “a name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.” A number of marketing researchers claim that brands are amongst the most beneficial assets that a company possesses.

In-spite of the status quo at the top of the list, eight out of the remaining top nine brands changed ranks from the previous year. Apple, moved from 8 to 2, whilst Samsung improved to the 9th spot from 17. Noticeably , two brands that slipped in ranking during the past year are Disney, falling to 13th spot from 9, and Hewlett-Packard, which fell to No. 15 from No. 10.

Interbrand’s methodology in compiling their report examines the continuous investment and management of the brand as a business asset.

As a result their methodology considers all the many different ways in which a brand touches and contributes towards the organization, from luring and holding onto skilled individual to delivering on customer expectations. The final value, in turn, can then be utilized to assist brand management and make it possible for organizations to make better, more knowledgeable choices. The three crucial factors that help with the evaluation are:

 

  •  The financial performance of the branded products or services.
  •  The role of brand in the purchase decision process.
  •  The strength of the brand

 

To view the top 100 brands for 2012 – click here

Other reports – Best Global Green Brands

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Online Reputation – More Important Than Ever

 

“It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it”

This often used quote, originally spoken by Benjamin Franklin, has never been as truer as it is now in the digital age.

Online reputation has never been as fragile as it is today. Brands walk a precarious tightrope in their daily digital interactions. And employees are often not aware of the consequences faced when using social media, in their work capacity and personal lives.  And higher up the food chain; employers regularly fail to leverage tactical opportunities such as local events and industry happenings, or even worse, fail to notice sometimes glaring, sometimes subtle warning signs before it’s too late.

But what is online reputation management, and how does it affect your business?

Online reputation management, or ORM for short, is just that: a structured and strategic approach to ensuring that the reputation of a brand is never endangered, and that any strong opportunities are capitalised on.

Increasingly we’ve seen how the online blunders of companies now appear in mainstream press. The broader public has realised that social media (and the wider digital world) isn’t complicated to the point that they cannot interact with brands.

As such, brands now not only face satisfying a niche group of users, but rather their entire consumer base which has moved into the online sphere.

Companies must now take ownership of their online reputation. True to the snowball effect, it only takes one mistake for a brand to experience irreparable damage.

 

 

Before you pull the plug on your digital presence, relax!

Managing an online reputation isn’t impossible. In fact, there are several free tools to help you get started.

Monitoring what’s being said about you is the foundation of ORM. You might already know of the concept that the Internet is a series of conversations, with social media often acting as hubs for these exchanges. Because these conversations usually take place in public spaces, they are open for anyone and everyone to see.

The vast majority of ORM tools use search engines as the backbone for monitoring; performing scores of searches in a heartbeat which would take a human hours, if not days. With access to all this real-time information, reputation managers can make on-the-fly decisions, especially during brand crises.

And from a proactive stance, ORM allows companies to capitalise on positive opportunities. For example, imagine a blogger wrote a glowing review of your product, telling the world how it made his life immeasurably easier, impressed his friends and led to an overall genuinely happy experience. Using even the most basic of the free tools available, you could pick up on this mention and engage the blogger directly; thanking them and then sharing the link to your wider network.

This is by far the simplest way of looking at online reputation management, but it is definitely not limited to these sorts of activities.

The nature of the Internet and social spaces is that your positive leveraging is limited only by your will.

Our online reputation management course addresses these issues and more. It is aimed at employees and employers who already have some level of experience in digital, and are able to understand the importance of managing a brand in a holistic manner.

We will teach you how to easily and thoroughly monitor the Internet for mentions of your brand, how to react to attacks, and crucially, how to take capitalise on business opportunities through a hands-on approach.  We will teach you about the difference between company and personal branding, and how your actions as an individual can have massive ramifications for your entire business.

Still not convinced? Ask yourself, can you afford not to be?

For more information on this course and others, visit our company profile – click here.   Our team of experts are happy to advise you on which course would suit your needs perfectly.

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Coca-Cola Retains Title as World’s Most Valuable Brand

 

Bloomberg unveiled Interbrand’s Best Global Brands of 2011 report. The rankings are derived from five criteria and don’t include privately owned brands. The current recession has provided marketing executives throughout the world with the most challenging test of their careers. A number of brands have excelled amid the difficult times-or at the very least held their own. While others have fallen an unexpected number of spots in the latest report compiled by consultancy Interbrand. However, for seven brands, remarkable performances saw them race up the charts to take their place on this year’s list.

The majority of the top 10 have retained their positions from last year. Coca-Cola retains the #1 spot, followed by IBM, Microsoft, Google, and GE. Despite the fact that there aren’t a great deal of differences on this year’s list, you will discover a couple of unexpected surprises. Nissan, John Deere, and HTC are new on this year’s list, ranking at 90, 97, and 98, respectively.

 

Out of all the brands listed, Apple experienced the most significant growth and second biggest jump in the rankings. In a year when the majority of brands moved no more than a few spots in either direction, Apple leaped amazingly nine places becoming the eighth most valuable brand globally. With an amazing 58% improvement in brand value, Apple leaped from 17th place last year to break into this year’s top 10.

Amazon too experienced incredible growth, jumping 10 spots to come in at No.26 on the list, having a year-over-year value increase of 32%. Microsoft and Google finished in third and fourth respectively, with Microsoft slipping 3% and Google increasing 27% as compared to 2010.

Apple’s tremendous increase is extraordinary, but not all that unexpected, considering the year the company has experienced. What is going to be interesting is to see where Apple is ranked the same time next year, taking into consideration the adjustments to the company at the end of 2011.

To view interactive table ranking of the top global brands –  click here

Source: Interbrand.com

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Digital Marketing for the Small Business

While big business and established brands have seemingly endless budgets and an army of tech-savvy staffers, many small businesses are left scratching their head at this “whole Internet thingamajig”.

This article will give you practical advice and some of the basic know-how needed to move into the online world. But before we delve into some of these low-cost tips and tricks, you should consider what exactly you are hoping to achieve.

Strategy

The first thing you need to do before even opening a browser is to look inwards. Ask yourself (or your employer) a few vital questions:

•    Who are you and what is it about your identity that makes you useful?
•    Would it be suited to the online world?
•    What would your brand gain from going digital?
•    How much time and money can you invest?
•    How does online marketing tie in with your overall marketing and business objectives?
•    Who are your competitors? These might extend beyond organisations that compete with you on the basis of price and product and could also be competition in the form of abstracts such as time and mindshare.

These are all important questions that should be answered before even attempting to move your brand online.

Objectives are vital for any planned expansion. For instance, an objective could be to grow a community of fans around your brand in a particular country. Thus, your key performance indicator might be fan numbers, and you could look to set a target of 5 000 Facebook fans over six months.

Step one – create your own space

The first thing you will need to do as a small business without an online presence is to stake out your base. This should be the first port of call for any consumer wanting to know more about your brand or hoping to get in touch.

Register for a domain in line with your brand identity. To put it more clearly, register a domain that actually ties in with your business. Choose something that is easy to remember and relatively short – long URLs or ones with unusual characters are likely to either be forgotten or entered incorrectly.

Be prepared to invest money in your website. For a small business this is the one section where you shouldn’t skimp. A proper base of operations, with all the relevant information and an easy to use content management system will go a long way in turning your offline brand digital. You may have to spend initially.

But remember that without a website, your brand could come across as a fly-by-night company trying to make a fast buck online. A website serves two purposes. Firstly it informs consumers about your company – what it offers, its history, how to get in touch and any other information you’d like to share. Secondly, it acts as a platform to give your band exposure and credibility. For example, a bed and breakfast without a website might look untrustworthy or shabby, while one with a relatively simple website would use it to showcase great reviews and testimonials.

Yet another perk of owning your own space is that you’ll be able to drive traffic through useful or interesting content. Create infographics, reports, whitepapers, directories or anything else that might be relevant to your brand, and then share! This brings us to our next step.

Step two – getting social

After you’ve gone about giving your brand an Internet home it’s time to move onto the ever-popular social networking aspect of digital marketing.

Social media has changed the way we go about our lives. Never before have so many people, from so many different places had the opportunity to communicate so easily and at no cost (besides an actual Internet connection). This has changed the ways brand behave, both online and off. Consumers are now able to interact with brands completely in the public eye, whether they’re attacking or complimenting it still has the chance of being seen by scores of users.

From a strategic perspective, social media is useful for branding, raising awareness of the brand story and allowing the consumer to become involved in the story through collaboration.

Social media platforms also play a role in building awareness, due to their shareable, viral nature.

They can also provide crowdsourced feedback via open graphs and social analytics systems.

Choose a social network where you think your consumers will feel most comfortable interacting with you. Remember, social spaces are owned by people, not brands.

Consider establishing a strong presence on Facebook and Twitter – the two most popular social networking platforms in the Western world.

Both of these networks are free to use, so go ahead and create a Facebook page and a Twitter handle. Start by inviting friends and family members, drive traffic from your (new and snazzy) website by inserting icons representing these platforms (called chiclets), and include links to your pages in email signatures. Don’t spam people with messages, but use your already existing network of contacts to get the ball rolling.

Below you can see a section of Quirk Education’s infographic on online learning. Try to create content which is meaningful and relevant to your brand as this will work towards establishing yourself as a thought leader in the field.

 

 

Step three – getting a newsletter out there

Newsletters offer a great way of informing your customers while retaining a community. And even better, they’re relatively cheap for small businesses to create and send.

Services like Mailchimp  and Graphic Mail  offer incredibly cheap (and sometimes free) services and tools including templates, training courses, graphic designs and even content.

Using a neat template, clever branding and well-written copy can go a long way in promoting a brand. Again, ask yourself a few questions: How many times should I send the newsletter? What will I offer? What do I want to achieve via my newsletter?

Make an effort to offer valuable content in your newsletter. This could be anything from a discount to an article on tips or tricks relevant to your services. Another perk of an email newsletter is that it will inevitably drive traffic to your other platforms.

Let’s recap

With careful planning and consideration, consider investing in a website for your brand. After you’ve completed this step take a look at social networking. Offer your consumers useful content and they will love you, ignore or mistreat them and they will hate you. Think about investing in an email newsletter to expand your customer base while retaining already loyal customers.

This article introduced you to the teeny weeny tip of the digital marketing iceberg. This is a basic guide to going digital, and there are several other techniques for digital marketing, but many of these require large budgets and long-term commitment. For small businesses hoping to enter digital space the above steps serve as a perfect starting point.

To view company profile and courses – click here

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