How to Build a Brand, the Right Way

What branding means
When you think of branding, what do you think about? For the longest time, and even in my early agency days, I felt that branding was some magic corporate thing that didn’t have anything to do with small business. But branding is really everything about business. If you are the owner of a small business, you are the brand. Everything you do and say, the way you look, the way you talk, your people, your premises, everything has a bearing on that brand and goes into making your brand. The good, the bad and the ugly. And it shows up right down on the bottom line.Category of One
Category of One branding refers to an overcrowded market, which is very hard to break into. So what a Category of One company does is create a new category by being very unique and different from the current category competition. So now, the new brand is the only one in its category. As a rule, companies that reach a Category of One status are very successful. Today, Google is a great example. There are many search engines, but nothing like Google. Achieving a Category of One status isn’t accomplished just because you are a business owner. And, even though you are one doesn’t mean you have a Category of One brand.3 customer rules
If you want to be a Category of One company, you need to follow three rules:
You have to know your customer like the back of your hand and better
than anybody.
You have to be closer to that customer than anybody in the market.
You have to be emotionally connected to that customer more than
anyone.From Purple Cow
This phrase is right from the book by author, Seth Godin. This is what you need to consider if you wish to become a Category of One. Brown cows are boring. If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. But, according to Godin, a purple cow would be different. He defines a purple cow as counterintuitive, phenomenal, exciting and remarkable. People ignore brown cows all day long. But, be assured, they won’t ignore a purple cow. Of course, you can’t just paint your widget purple. Your cow has to be born that way to get any attention. Godin recommends that you follow the lead of companies that are outstanding with everything they do, because that explodes your word of mouth.But does it matter that I’m a small business owner?
If you are the owner of a small business, you may not think that branding has any impact on your business. But how about the other small business owners that you know? What is your image of them? Whatever it is that you think of your small business friends is their brand. You may not have realized it, but you do have a brand. So it would behoove you to manage that brand, rather than ignoring the fact that it exists.Key issues
Branding is critical. Remember, your brand is you and
everything you do and say is part of that brand. Good, bad or otherwise.
A Category of One brand creates its own category. You are the only
choice in that category. Do what you need to do to become a Category of One company.You can always look at it like the Purple Cow. Brown cows are boring.
Purple cows are a sight to behold.
The brand is you
Branding isn’t…
Your logo.
Your advertising.
Your product.
You are the brand. Think about that for a minute. Your business has a brand image, whether you had anything to do with it or not. This applies to all businesses. You have a unique brand whether you tried to create it or not. Even though branding is kind of abstract, it is still critical for the overall success of your business. Branding isn’t a simple concept and sometimes takes a little explaining. The thing is, branding is going to happen whether we have anything to do with it, or not. Therefore, doesn’t it make sense to take as big a role in your brand’s development as possible?Branding rules
Your solo business has rules, whether you have them written down or not. If your rule is “I don’t have rules”, you still do. For example, if you are a karate instructor, here are your brand rules:Don’t talk poorly about your competition.
Don’t talk like a salesman.
Have self-control and respect.
Be professional.Numbers one and three apply to every business owner. Remember that customers don’t want to hear about how awesome you are and how bad the competition is. And people don’t like sales people. Never sound like a sales pitch. Number three and number four are about reputation. So, if you are a karate instructor, your job is all about self-control and discipline. And if I’m going to instruct kids about respect on Saturday morning, then I shouldn’t go out drinking at the corner bar on Friday night. If a parent saw me dancing on tables, she wouldn’t think too highly of my Saturday morning respect lesson, now would she? This doesn’t mean you can’t visit the bar. Just stay off the tables! This illustration is a perfect example of how powerful branding can be. In “Karate Kid” there was a good instructor and a bad instructor. The good instructor taught respect and discipline, while the bad instructor stood for “winning, regardless of the costs” and bad sportsmanship. And then there’s our local guy here. Which one do you want to teach your child?Image enhancers
Remember the age-old expression: “You never get a second chance to make a first impression”. This applies to all businesses and all industries. Here are some image enhancers that apply to all businesses. As you design your brand, keep these in mind. Project professionalism at all costs:Be on time.
Be courteous.
Don’t promise what you can’t deliver.
Take responsibility for any issues.
Have outstanding customer service.
Be trustworthy, credible and professional with your customers and potential customers. Because you want their future business.
But how about my company name and logo?
They are important. But only as part of the overall picture. Don’t confuse the tangible tools with the intangible concept. Branding is the intangible that has to be considered from a different level. Both are part of your overall marketing strategy. But don’t confuse tangible marketing tools, with an intangible concept. Branding is an intangible concept that must be understood and used on a different level.
Branding is abstract and is all about reputation and perception. You can’t design trustworthy and credible. So, your brand is all about you.Key issues
You are your brand, not your logo, products or advertising.
Have rules.
Remember these image enhancers when creating your brand. What do
you want to represent?

How to Pay Less For Good Renters Insurance

If you wish to purchase cheap renters insurance coverage it is not that difficult. It only requires sticking with a few time-confirmed rules. It won’t take an excessive amount of your time, but you’ll have to put forth a little effort. But once you’ve done your duties you will feel a sense of satisfaction knowing that you are saving money each month. Begin your quest by locating some insurance comparability web sites on the internet. This is the easiest method to compare rates. There are a seemingly countless number of comparability web sites that make it easy for you to examine quotes from lots of A-rated companies. This makes it possible for you to discover the cheapest prices for the very best coverage rapidly and effortlessly.Just because they offered the least expensive initial quote doesn’t imply you must get a policy from themWhatever you do, if you wish to lower your premiums, don’t get a policy from the agency giving you the least expensive quotes. At least not yet. This is alright, but basing your choice solely on these comparability quotes can frequently cause you to miss out on some extra savings. With just a bit of additional effort you can often discover considerably lower rates.Take note of the three agencies with the cheapest quotes and call all of them independently. The rationale for calling is to find out what kinds of price reductions they offer that will decrease their low-cost renters insurance coverage premiums even more. Depending on the insurance agency you can frequently get some significant reductions if you understand how to approach things.Ask about their discountsThe first thing you want to determine is what type of a discount you will receive when you purchase both your renters and auto insurance policies through them. As a substitute for buying these insurance policies from two completely different agencies you can typically save up to 15% or possibly more by obtaining them from the identical agency. That is the best strategy to cut your premiums by a considerable amount.Altering the deductible amount can save you a whole lot of money. Smaller deductibles translate into higher prices so by elevating the deductible your premium will drop. If you can live with a larger deductible your premiums will fall. What you want to do is find every discount that you may be eligible for. Different insurance agencies may give different types of price reductions so ask the agent about every discount they provide. You’ll get a lowered rate for each one you qualify for.There are more potential reductions that you need to be conscious ofYou can get as much as 10% off your premium if you are a senior citizen. If you have excellent credit you will typically be eligible for an additional discount in your premiums. Insurance agencies will usually lower premiums for anything that decreases their risk of loss. For instance, when you have smoke detectors in your home or condominium it’s much less likely that your residence will be completely ruined by fire. Installing smoke detectors will decrease the risk of loss to the insurance agency and therefore it will reduce your rate.You can lower your rates even more by installing equipment like fire alarms, dead bolts on doors, burglar alarms, and different security equipment. Ask about each discount from the agent so that you will be positive to find each one you are eligible for.It’s now time to select the one with the cheapest prices. Once you can see the lowest price for each agency, including all reductions, you can merely choose the lowest priced policy. Chatting with agents is the best way to discover the least expensive prices so don’t be afraid to be persistent. Insurance agents need your business so they will do just about anything they can to make you happy.

Cut Clutter and Learn How to Organize Your Home for 2016!

It’s a new year and it’s time for a new start. There are decisions to be made. This, is your year. You’ve finally decided to learn how to organize your life and create a happy organized home. Good for you, you’ve taken the most important step to creating a new habit by making this commitment. Now that you’ve done the hardest part let’s get to work!Getting rid of clutter will become a natural habit once you break through your walls of resistance. If you focus on changing one habit at a time, it will all add up to a huge transformation. Disorganization in any situation starts with a series of small decisions and habits adding up to big problems.If you say to yourself “I need to organize” but continue to contribute to the disorganization, you have made the decision to live in chaos. Once you get serious about your reasons for becoming organized it will be a lot easier to conquer the clutter.It’s only natural that changing these habits will take some time. Changing everything in your life at once is confusing, stressful, and more often than not unsuccessful. Change one small thing, one small habit, then give yourself some time to digest. And don’t forget to reward yourself for the strides you do make.For example, it’s easy to grab the mail, bring it through the door and just drop in on a table to be dealt with later. But it’s not so easy after one… two… or three weeks you have a small mountain of bills, advertisements, junk mail and whatever else has gotten into the mix. It doesn’t matter at that point if you have 50 ideas for getting organized if you’re unwilling to put in the work.Retrain your routine in 2016. Instead of piling and putting off, take two or three minutes to sort, toss and file. Sort what’s important or useful. Toss the junk. File (or find a home for) the rest. Same rules apply for stuff on the floor. Every time you walk by sort, toss, or put a few things away. It’s a simple step that makes a huge impact.This is your year to conquer the clutter. Don’t wait for things to become overwhelming. Don’t waste one more minute of your life searching for your stuff in a sea of chaos. Tackle that clutter before it becomes a problem. Pick up that stuff from the floor. Sort through the mail when it comes in. Take a few minutes to prevent disorganization because your future self will thank you. Have a rocking 2016!