Archive for the ‘Corporate Brand’ Category

Welcome Aboard, Chris

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

Chris Giltz - Executive Vice PresidentI’d like to introduce all of you to Chris Giltz, the newest member of the 3wC management team. Chris, whom many of you have already met and worked with, is our new V.P. of Operations. We welcome him aboard.

Mr. Giltz joined the management team of 3Wc in 2011 bringing an extensive background in management and operations.  As Executive Vice President, his responsibilities include overseeing the day-to-day operations of the company to ensure customers continue to receive the high-quality software for which 3Wc is known.  In his previous role he was Senior Vice President of Operations for a $200 million trucking company.   He brings over 25 years of management and software development experience to 3Wc.  In his management roles in trucking, he was active in the industry serving as Chairman of the Technology Committee for the Intermodal Association of North America as well as a member of the Executive Committee for the Intermodal Motor Carrier Conference for the American Trucking Association.   Mr. Giltz attended Florida Atlantic University where he received a B.B.A in International Business.

Your Small Business Brand – What a Personality! (Part III)

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

Brand Strategy Planning Program

Initially, fully review and examine who you are, what company you need to be, and what you’re up against to get there. You may not completely fix all ills with this initial exercise, but it’ll make your vision more clear and your pathway less cluttered.

Each company is unique and has their own very specific requirements and set of business values, but here are some suggested core planning program strategies.

  • Champion It – First and foremost, select a branding champion who believes in the strong brand concept, and who will support its continuous development, implementation and maintenance.
  • Reinforce It – Pinpoint the stakeholders of your business and determine how they should reflect and reinforce your brand.  Make certain they all carry and deliver a consistent brand message from you.
  • Engage It – For your branding efforts to be fully strategic, engage the main points made in your mission and vision statements. Plain and simple.
  • Profile It – Determine the profile of your best customers and focus on brand building here. Your initial strategy will be more effective and you’ll save time and money.Other profiles can come later.
  • Survey It – Research and survey your customers and those stakeholders to fully understand how you’re perceived. If the perception has gone awry, plan a fix.
  • Examine It – Research and examine your industry’s marketplace… taking complete advantage of those opportunities and controlling the threats.
  • Move It – Determine your positioning in your industry and absolutely plan for logical next steps along the pathway. Even small steps are okay, but just don’t remain motionless.
  • Live It – Teach your stakeholders how you want to be perceived. If you want your brand image to invoke a feeling of the best in hi-tech sales and service, for instance, your staff needs to reflect it.
  • Build It – Your business is unique and something about it appeals to your customers. Find out exactly what that is, illuminate it, and that’s what you build your brand or image (and slogan) around. Also, focus on what your competitor can’t do.
  • Market It – Obviously, a persistent multi-touch marketing plan that gets your image and brand in front of your intended audience is a must. You can do this inexpensively across different channels and formats. Strongly consider email marketing campaigns, webinars, sponsorships, article writing, community marketing, and social marketing (blogs, etc.) in the mix.
  • Consistent – Branding is a long term effort, and everything from your great logo, to employee uniforms, packaging, customer service, and your website, etc. all play an integrated roll in the recognizable, visual aspect of your brand. Obviously, persistency and consistency throughout and over time are crucial. Keep top of mind awareness at work and you’ll reap the rewards.

The aforementioned list is a quick overview of core planning program strategies; in response to the current economic climate, please consider creating or redefining your brand strategies today.

The Sum of it

There are numerous core steps to building a strong brand for your small business, and this article only scratches the surface. However, I’m hoping to raise your own brand consciousness and help jumpstart your brand strategy planning program.

Remember… your business isn’t going to brand itself, but with the right blueprint to communicate your brand or image, you can move to the next level of effectiveness in the marketplace.

Your customers and prospects have too many choices and little time, so a strong brand and great business personality is invaluable as the battle for customers intensifies daily.

And who doesn’t like a great personality.

Your Small Business Brand – What a Personality! (Part II)

Monday, October 25th, 2010

Brand Consciousness Exercise

Your business has an audience of involved stakeholders. These are your employees, partners, sponsors, and whoever else that come in contact with or “touch” your customers.

Owning a successful brand includes the art of controlling the image you want those customers to have of you. Thus, since your stakeholders help shape that image, it would be prudent to make certain they know what that image is and how you want it reflected. That being said, can you honestly say those stakeholders have an equal understanding of your brand and its attributes, and how you want to be perceived by your customers?

  • Do your stakeholders know what your brand promise is to your customers?
  • Do they know why you’re different or better than your competitors?
  • Are they cognizant of the intangibles that keep you ahead of the pack?

If you answered “no” to any of those questions then you might have some work to do.

Your brand in part is your label and what you want your customers to see, think, feel and know about your company. If your stakeholders don’t have guidelines or a blueprint to follow to project that, you need to create or redefine your brand strategies now.

Common Conundrum

A strong brand image is one that influences buying decisions and shapes perceptions held by your customers and prospects. It makes people trust that image and allows you to command a premium price for your product or service.

Creating brand philosophy or thoughtfully planned strategies to market and project that brand image and reputation is the first step to enforcing them.

However, before we list a few important elements of a Brand Strategy Planning Program, I thought it advantageous to clarify common business branding issues.

For a number of small business owners, their brand is not the easiest thing to understand and translate for them. This is a very common conundrum.

So, to review – your brand is not just a logo and slogan. It’s the result of all experiences your company creates with customers, vendors, the media and employees. It’s the image and great business personality they see, the primal feeling they get and what makes them remember your organization. Understanding the image and feel that people associate with your company is the platform on which your strategies are built.

Drafting a realistic Brand Strategy Planning Program that’s professional and stays well-managed is now in order.

Next: Part III – Brand Strategy Planning Program

Your Small Business Brand – What a Personality! (Part I)

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

Your small business. It has its own great personality, with an intangible essence and a certain perception to those at any level of awareness of it. So, realize it or not, your business already has its own label or “brand” – whether it’s a good one or a not so good one – and it’s the recognizable “face” that differentiates your company from the pesky competition.

Love it, like it, or hate it, YOUR BRAND IS YOUR IDENTITY! It’s who you are, who people perceive you to be, and should be treated as one of your company’s most valuable assets.

Simply said, your brand is not just your logo and slogan, but the image, impression and reputation behind them as well. It’s also what people consciously or unconsciously feel about your company, and it’s the overall “trigger inducer” when deciding if to get involved.

Let me add quickly and emphatically:

Building brand awareness is often not a focus for busy small business owners, but regardless of how small small is, retail or B2B, your business needs existing brand strategies to strengthen its image to secure an edge in increasingly competitive markets.

Control Yourself

Brand sells. Your business needs a solid brand reputation or you’re at a disadvantage. Today, branding has become much more than just a trendy business word and is an essential element of selling in the new economy. It conveys your uniqueness, focus and values through the art of creating a consistent, recognizable and unified voice or personality. Unfortunately, in many organizations, confusion reigns as the unified voice or personality is really multiple voices and personalities. Their strong, proprietary image becomes diffused, weak, confusing and out of control.

Bart Crosby, one of the first marketing experts focused on branding, jokingly but compellingly said, “Cowboys all know you can’t brand nuthin’ till you tie three of its legs together, slam it to the ground, control it and sedate it.”

The key word here is control.

There are sometimes many mixed messages spiraling out of an organization, pulling in opposite directions, and you need a logical, methodical branding strategy to plan, attack and control those messages.

Next: Part II – Brand Consciousness Exercise