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The latest news and industry trends

Posts in branding
March Goals

 

The beginning of the year came and went like a flash of lightning. It’s hard to believe that it’s already March and we are getting close to the end of the 1st Quarter. If you haven’t hit all of your business goals yet, don’t worry...there is still time to regroup and accomplish some valuable things for the sake of your business.

A lot of people get overwhelmed because they either create goals that are unrealistic for completion within a certain time frame or not specific enough to keep you on track for completion. As the age old business model says, Goals should be S.M.A.R.T : Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Timely.  Declaring that you want to make $100,000 for the year is totally doable. But saying “I want to make 100,000 this year” but not knowing what products and services you are going to sell, how much you are selling them for, and who you are selling them to is unrealistic and sets you up for disappointment.

Even your small goals should be realistic. They should be related to the overall bottom line within your business. If your goal is to move to a brick and mortar location, it should be tied to a “why”. Will moving to a physical location help increase your sales? Will it give you more foot traffic? Don’t make a plan to move to a physical location just because you think it “looks” like a good idea. Create the goal to move because it is tied to something that benefits your business. Once you’ve decided on that goal, figure out the action steps to get you there, and make sure that they are SMART goals.

This is the perfect time for Spring Cleaning your business. In the next couple of days take an assessment of your business, its operations systems, and how well your products and services are doing. Figure out what areas need improvement, and what you can do to ensure that growth is taking place. Engage in activities that are strategic in helping you fine tune your business.

What things do you need to spring clean in your business? What areas need some special attention?

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Riding The Apple Train
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Today Apple unveiled their biggest change to the iPad since its debut. The new iPad is purported to be sleeker, lighter, and much more eco-friendly. It’s made out of 100% recycled aluminum and can even charge your iPhone while in use.The downside? It’s the most expensive iPad to replace.

With all of the bells and whistles, and the ability to use iPhone features such as FaceTime, the new iPad is definitely a technological gem. But with that also comes a hefty price tag that most Apple customers will probably still pay. Why? Brand loyalty. EXTREME brand loyalty. Apple has taken the simplicity of picking a cell phone and turned it into a sub-culture of loyal supporters. One does not simply use Apple products. You become an Apple user. It’s the biggest digital divide in modern history, with iPhone and Android users arguing over which devices have the best features.

The thing that Apple has done to separate itself from the Android market is to create a culture of exclusivity. Every single thing that you do on an iPhone has to be done within its suite of services. Every app that you download comes from the online Apple store, your music comes from iTunes, and if you have an issue with your device you go to the Apple store. With an Android you have Samsung, HTC, and countless others who share an operating system but don’t give you that feeling of exclusivity. There is no internal culture associated with owning an HTC, and device users don’t necessarily use any other HTC products.

The closest comparison to the Apple subculture is the growth of Google products. Google has put more effort into marketing its Google Pixel phone, and just recently introduced companion products like the Pixel tablet to create that same type of brand loyalty that Apple has with its customers. With Google already dominating applications such as Gmail and Google Drive, there just may be a chance for the takeover by ‘Googlers’.

Does your business suffer from a lack of brand loyalty? What are some ways that you can create a loyal subculture for your audience?

Why Nike Still Wins

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30 years in business and Nike is still coloring outside the lines. This week the apparel company announced their latest ad campaign with Colin Kaepernick. The former San Francisco 49er has been the center of controversy over the past year after sparking what some deep as a revolution when he decided to take a knee instead of standing for the National Anthem. Kaepernick started the protest in response to the unjust killings across the country of unarmed minorities. Soon after, athletes and other supporters across the country followed suit, causing an uproar and boycotts against the NFL.


With the current political climate and other controversies over race and ethnicity, many companies are afraid of pushing the envelope in terms of branding. But true branding lies within staying true to the brand values that your company is known for. Nike has a long history of supporting athletes from all walks of life; many of whom would not have been successful with sports. So it should be no surprise that Nike would continue to show their support and their non-conformance to political or social norms.


The global enterprise launched their “Equality” campaign including athletes such as LeBron James, Serena Williams and Ibtihaj Muhammad, an American fencer who wears a hijab when competing, and transgender triathlete Chris Mosier. Their new ad has enraged many who feel as though Kaepernick is disrespectful to the American flag, but also reinforced the support of people who have backed Kaepernick along this journey. Stats show that their stock has already started to drop, but Nike execs don't seem the least bit concerned. The company seems to be so confident about their brand and their loyal supporters. THIS is why Nike still wins, even if they lose money. Had Nike discontinued their habit of campaigns that promoted social good, it would have left their fan base with questions about the loyalty that the company had to its customers.


Consumers want to know that their hard earned dollars matter. They want to feel one with the companies they support. This type of unwavering support replaces any money that may have been lost in short term gains. It's what gives global brands longevity.

Your brand is your baby. It's up to you to stay true to your values as you nurture that baby. The long term benefits will outweigh any short term benefits you may encounter.

Are you looking for clarity in building your brand? Schedule your consultation today to get started!

4 Tips for Women's Business Success
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There are over 11M Women Owned businesses in the US. They make up 40% of new business owners and generate over $1.7 Trillion in revenue. So how can we make sure that these businesses are profitable and sustainable?

  • Collaborate

Collaboration (even with those you may feel are competitors) can open the door to more clients, more sales, and an increased presence in the business sector. Seek out entrepreneurs who match your focus and want to grow the same way.

  • Educate Yourself

Although women are building businesses at astronomical rates, we are often overlooked or denied when it comes to funding. Depending on your industry, startup funds and money for payroll may be an essential necessity for your business success. Find out what investors and banks look for when allocating funding, and find out what skills you may need to brush up on to increase your chances of success. Organizations like your local SBA will often offer FREE education on a variety of business topics.

  • Re-evaluate your business structure

Do you REALLY need that many staff members? Does that new software system serve your best interests? Comb through all of the elements of your business to see what elements are truly necessary and what elements are optional. You may find areas where you can cut back on expenses, or even raise your prices on certain products and services.

  • Don't give up!

No one ever said business would be easy. Be resilient in your quest to become a success. The pros will outweigh the cons once you've achieved your goals.

On October 24th The Women's Business Center of Charlotte is hosting its 2nd Annual Heart of a Women Conference. This conference will cover all of the areas of your business AND your personal life that will help you propel towards success. The breakout sessions are full of amazing educational gems and success stories from women just like you.

Session topics include:

  • Doing Business With The Government

  • Conquering Marketing & Branding

  • Nonprofit Management

  • Healthy Living Tips

  • Staffing Tips

  • Strategic Planning

This year's keynote speaker is Ms. Jacqie McWilliams, Commissioner of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA), Ms. McWilliams will share her success secrets that landed her a position as the first female African-American Commissioner of the CIAA.

 

Early Bird Registration ends soon, so purchase your tickets today!