Weak Business Logo Or No Brandmark at All – Is Your Brand Visually Fit to Survive the Recession?

Many entrepreneurs still hang onto a weak brandmark (logo) that was created before the recession with clipart or by an under-qualified “expert”. The maestro usually turns out to be the entrepreneurs’ spouse’s sister’s brother-in-law’s daughter who has just bought a PC with CorelDraw, an equally inept art student or the jack-of-all-trades web developer that claims logo design as part of his or her many specialist skills or an under-qualified “designer/graphic artist” at an advertising agency.

A website with all the technical bells and whistles and search engine optimisation is not enough to ensure on or off-line commercial success. Weak or no visual branding of an enterprise will almost certainly put it in danger of appearing on the list of extinct businesses during this recession. A visually fit brand and brandmark boost not only your website’s success but extend beyond and across all media and will help your brand and in turn, your business survive the recession.

According to Netcraft the well-respected Internet research company, active websites have grown from around 60-million to around 78-million for the period June 2007 – June 2009. That means, in spite of the recession, your competition on the World Wide Web has increased by 30% over the past two years. However, did your potential market increase by 30%? Chances are it decreased by 30% or at best remained at around the pre-recession level.

Birds are clever dinosaurs

Businesses that have done well before the recession with a weak brandmark or without proper branding, now face brand stagnation that will lead to brand extinction. Because you never had any real brand equity, it is so easy for a newcomer with a good branded product or service to step in and take over your market. By the time you find out about the new kid on the block (and that block could be in Albania), he will already be one step ahead of you and you would have lost the only advantage you had: time to build a brand.

No matter how good your product or service is without the B word, in today’s world you have only half a business and are in danger of extinction. Now that the World Wide Web gives everyone an opportunity to shop around without leaving their homes, clients and customers have choices – that increase by the minute – they never had before. Suddenly they are able to buy your product or service virtually anywhere in the world and get it delivered in 24 hours or even instantly.

If you want to survive the extinction of the poorly branded or unbranded product or service that the cataclysmic recession is causing, you have to evolve in the way some clever dinosaurs did to avoid extinction. They grew wings, became warm-blooded and ended up as birds, soaring the skies in wonderful plumage, advertising their brand of species. Get your product or service brand fit before it becomes a fossil even unsuitable for a museum. In addition, it will be your insurance policy that will help form an entry barrier against competitors targeting your clients or customers now and after the recession. So how do you get your brand and brandmark visually fit?

Creating a successful brandmark

A brandmark is formed by a symbol (the face of a brand), the brandname set in unique type and a descriptor. This should all be in a single distinctive and dominant colour and in the correct visual format. A slogan – also referred to as a by-line, tagline, strapline or pay-off line – is used as part of the brandmark to position or promote the brand. Ideally, the descriptor and the slogan should be a combined unit.

If done correctly at the outset – good design does not have a sell-by date and is future-proof – the brandmark should never change. I have seen a perfectly good brandmark changed, just because a new CEO or marketing executive wants to make his or her mark. Or the brandmark gets the blame for the poor performance of the executives who manage it. The egos just can’t leave the most important part of the business alone. All the money and time spent to date and still to be spend on the origination of a new brand plus the investment needed to promote this new image are all wasted.

A successful brandmark starts with the right name, followed by the arrangement of the correct combination of visual elements, resulting in an elegant solution that does not date. Brandmarks should talk the walk, walk the talk and be positioned for tomorrow. Today’s fashion and fads should not be part of your brandmark. Reserve that for your advertising to promote, position and protect your brand.

Technology is the Home Business Entrepreneur’s Best Friend

Do you ever find yourself just completely amazed at how we function today as a society? There has never been another time in history like right now when it comes to what we actually have access to… and the greatest part is it’s all right at our fingertips. In the ever changing and improving world of modern technology, there’s a lot to pay attention to. And at the rate we’re moving, I can’t wait to see what we’re doing in 15 or 20 years from now. Think about this… Richard Branson is adamant about offering space tours…pretty sweet idea if you asked me.

Anyways, for some strange reason, we as human beings are wired to be fearful of the unknown, and one of the things that is most foreign to so many people on this planet is Technology. In reality, there isn’t much to be fearful of. If anything, we should be excited, especially when new stuff comes out and we get to play with all of the latest toys and gadgets. And we should be even more excited when it comes to integrating these toys and gadgets into our businesses.

HERE ARE A FEW THINGS TO PAY ATTENTION TO…

  1. You’ll have to invest some time, energy and effort into understanding how this stuff works. I know, I know… you never even looked at the directions when you were setting up your VCR back in the 80′s but times have changed. Those old habits will not get you very far, so kick that mental programming out of your mind and start to submerge yourself into learning this stuff. Here’s a tip, treat it like a foreign language, and know it will take repetition, time, and focus. But it will pay off for you 10-fold if not 100-fold in the end. Check this out… I went from knowing how to check my email and being able to search for stuff on Google, to 60 days later, having a personal blog, a personal web page for my business to advertise on Google through Pay-Per-Click marketing, a YouTube channel with 30+ videos on it and building relationships on Facebook and Twitter. Not bad right? I did 95% of the work myself. All I did was plug into an Internet marketing training course to learn what to do and how to do it. Not too shabby. So trust me, if I can do it…you can do it. Alright back on track now…next point…
  2. Embracing technology, especially Internet technology, has infinite potential for you in so many ways on both a personal level and a business level. Think about video for a second…you can take a recording of anything… your baby’s first steps or maybe a business meeting, it doesn’t much matter. You can upload that video to YouTube and have it available for anyone to view anywhere around the globe. It will literally take you 5 minutes to complete the process. This type of power and reach is just amazing to see and even more amazing to actively participate in.

Learning technology is something I recommend to anyone and everyone no matter your age, background, demographic, or level of education. I say this because technology is meant for everyone. If you give technology the cold shoulder, you could be shooting your business and your future in the foot… just my opinion.

Internet technology has become the gateway to a whole new type of business opportunity and in result has created a new type of entrepreneur…the Internet Entrepreneur. But the thing to realize here is that because of today’s technology, anybody, and I mean anybody, can be an Internet marketer no matter what skill level you’re at. Technology today is more user friendly and more accessible than it ever has been and it’s only going to get more user friendly and accessible in the future.

You know the saying, “A dog is a man’s best friend,” right? Well, “Technology is an Internet Entrepreneur’s and Home Business Owner’s best friend and then some.”

The Importance of a Marketing System or Program to Build and Promote an Internet Based Home Business

The need for a marketing system to help build and grow an online business or Internet Based home business is not disputed by Internet marketers. In fact, many top internet marketers, and more specifically internet network marketers, not only use such a system to help build and promote their businesses, but often also develop a marketing program for the specific purpose of building a particular business interest. There are many systems available, but what is a matter of debate is which system to use since some are obviously superior to others, while many more are simply worthless.

What Is A Marketing System/Program?

An Internet marketing system in simplistic terms can be best described as an online program with built-in tools, processes and resources to significantly and automatically enhance the marketing of any particular online business, while at the same time offering additional income streams over and above the income from recruitment into the primary business incorporated into the system.

The Components and Characteristics of an Effective and Powerful Marketing System

1. An Opportunity to Build Your List Of Subscribers and Monetize That List Is Built Into The System

Based on the premise that every successful Internet marketer has a huge list of targeted subscribers from which they secure product sales and enrollments to business opportunities offered, a good marketing program should offer free subscription (membership) with incentives to subscribe. It should effectively serve as a funnel capturing the contact particulars of subscribers. These subscribers are then added to your list, they are your leads that you can follow up with, build a relationship with and are prospective customers for services and products you wish to promote irrespective of whether these subscribers are interested in the business opportunity you have incorporated into the system/program.

In Internet marketing, the money and the power is in your own list of targeted subscribers and a good and effective marketing system should be to help you do exactly this. By offering people free access to and free membership of the marketing program with the strong incentives offered, you therefore build you very own list. Hence by simply offering free access to a top quality resource, the people you recruit for such free resources are automatically on your list and will be exposed to and offered what you have to offer as their referrer.

To recap, a professional and powerful marketing program will not only show you how to build your own list of prospects online, but it will also introduce your prospects to your business offers and your primary business.

2. Funded Proposal/Funded Sponsoring Model

A funded proposal, which is widely accepted as an important part of the Internet marketing and network marketing process, constitutes the first income stream as the first offer to purchase to your new prospects. It is offering an initial sale to your new prospects before offering them your main product (your online home business opportunity).

From the new prospect’s perspective, the funded proposal or the initial (low-cost) product purchase introduces a buyer-seller relationship between you and your referral (new prospect) and sets the tone for your prospect to buy more products from you in the future. It establishes a sense of trust with new prospects in you, their referrer, and as such increases the potential of further purchases from you.

From your perspective as the recruiter/seller, the initial sale is intended to help cover the cost of advertising for building your list by recruiting new prospects and hence new potential customers into the marketing program.

Bear in mind that the entire process of offers to purchase is completely automated by the very nature of the system without any need at all for you to be in direct contact with your prospects regarding the initial offer or funded proposal.

3. Leverage And Duplication

By duplication is simply meant that the system and the processes inherent to it should have a proven success record, which you can duplicate by using it. It allows you to follow in the footsteps of the leaders in Internet marketing.

By leveraging is meant a spontaneous growth of your business and income without requiring additional input from your side. (Money invested to bear interest and as such increasing your income can serve as a good example of leveraging. Another example is companies’ employment of people to work for them, grow their business and as such increase their wealth through the people who work for them).

In the case of a good marketing program, leveraging is at your disposal through advertising and affiliates. (The people you recruit into the marketing system of whom many will join your online business opportunity as offered by the program, become your affiliates). Advertising, free or paid, online or offline, works for you when you are not around. Your ad can be read months after it was published with a prospective customer visiting your website from the ad, from where the sales process will take over.

By having affiliates or a network of partners, you can capitalize on the efforts of others that are also interested in building a successful home-based business for themselves. And since most of us who start out a new home-based business can’t afford to pay employees to work for us, we resort to recruiting other affiliates to work in our network, where we can also earn a very small percentage from their efforts and success as well.

4. Successful Products and Services to Sell

A preferred marketing program provides for the promotion of any online business of your choice. This online business would be one of the products in the sales process and is preceded by the funded proposal as described earlier, as well as a secondary sale or sales. The funded proposal and the secondary sale are provided for in the marketing system with the former being a low cost ($10 or less) high volume product that funds your advertising and the latter, a medium cost, back-end product or service.

In Summary

1. Your marketing system of choice should be free with a powerful incentive (e.g. marketing training,tools and resources) for people to subscribe to it.

2. The system serves as a sales funnel, generating free leads for you and helps you build your own list of targeted email subscribers. These leads, email subscribers are your prospects for much more than only your home business opportunity offered to them in the program.

3. Your marketing program with its sales process should have a proven success record, meaning that you can duplicate a successful system and process.

4. It should offer successful products and services over and above your online business opportunity, hence offering you additional income streams.

5. It should offer you leverage through the advertising potential of the system and through the nurturing of the affiliates you enrol into the system through whose activities you will also benefit.