BEWARE WEB DESIGN PROJECT SCAM

Just a quick note:

Hey all, just spreading the word to my designer friends. Received a weird text message this weekend regarding a website redesign. Details of the email are below. Please always do your due diligence when working with clients online.

A simple google search of key elements of the email I received confirmed my suspicions. What surprised me is that I even received a text from this person.

Text Received from 303-999-5798 Paul Fowler. He indicates he is hearing impaired, which didn’t alarm me as much as the immediate question as to whether I can take credit cards or not. Most clients leave bill payment to the absolute end of the conversation with regard to web design projects.

Paul Fowler Website Scam

The email I received was:

Here is the job details

I have small scale business which i want to turn into large scale business now it located in TN and the company is based on importing and exporting of Agriculture products such as Kola Nut, Gacillia Nut and Cocoa so i need a best of the best layout design for it. Can you handle that for me ?. so i need you to check out this site but i need something more perfect than this if its possible. http://www.agroamerica.com.… the site would only be informational, so i need you to give me an estimate based on the site i gave you to check out, the estimate should include hosting and i want the same page as the site i gave you to check out and i have a private project consultant, he has the text content and the logos for the site.
Note:
1. I want the same number of pages with the example site i gave you to check excluding videos and blogs.
2. I want only English language
3. I don’t have a domain yet but i want the domain name as topfarmproduce.com
4. you will be updating the site for me.
5. I will be proving the images, logos and content for the site.
6. I want the site up and running before ending of next month.
7. My budget is $4,500 to $7,000

Kindly get back to me with an estimate okay.

Best Regards
Paul Fowler.

Some others same experience.
http://blog.ihenix.com/nearly-got-scammed/#comment-90

Create Visual Billboards to Promote Your Blog Posts

Create Visual Billboards to Promote Your Blog Posts

An eye-catching, infinitely share-able blog post billboard made for free on Canva.com

Cliches tend to be thrown around haphazardly in every industry, but marketing and branding professionals may be some of the worst offenders. Still, I’m about to drop one. Here goes:

Create Visual Billboards to Promote Your Blog Posts – A picture is worth 1,000 words

You know what else tends to be about 1,000 words (give or take)? Blog posts. Except those are 1,000 words you want people to read, because those words are your business, your voice, and the valuable information you wish to pass on to your dear readers.

But, what if you could use 1,000 words just to convince a potential reader that they should read your blog post? 1,000 words to persuade them, entice them, and communicate with them before they even read line one of your post.

If you could create a billboard, advertising your online content, for free or almost free, how could you say no?

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6 Misconceptions of Small Business Ownership

So many misconceptions about being self-employed and owning your own business. Here are a few I’ve experienced in my business life that maybe you can connect to also.

Misconception #1 of Small Business Ownership: Obviously, You’re Rich

Anyone who is an entrepreneur, or has started a small business of any kind, has had to deal with the perception that because they own a business, they must be rich. Oh how I wish this was true. And, logically thinking, if it was, then the small business failure rate wouldn’t be running at around Y1-25%, Y2-36%, and Y3- 44% (staticbrain.com).

Business Failure Rate

Although, most start-ups begin on varying budgets, the idea here is that most entrepreneurs are entering into this area of their lives because of one of two things. Either necessity, or passion. The biggest being passion. Most entrepreneurs will tell you that it’s the elusive desire to work for themselves, provide a much needed product or service, or the freedom of being their own boss.

I actually started my business in design from a desire of both necessity and passion. My necessity pushed me further into growing my business and that passion kept me consistent in my desire to grow as a business owner. Both for financial and personal freedom.

Whatever the reason may be, assume that at the start most entrepreneurs are barely making ends meet. That most are definitely fearful of what their financial future looks like. That they have risked a great deal in order to have taken this leap to pursue their passion in entrepreneurship.

So to be safe, this would not be the best time to be hitting them up for a loan. In fact, if you are friends or family with a new small business owner in your circle….take them to lunch. Trust me, they will appreciate it.

Misconception #2 of Small Business Ownership: You Have Copious Amounts of Free Time

It’s not unreasonable to think that self-employed individuals definitely have some flexibility in their schedules. As a matter of fact that’s one of the greatest benefits of working for yourself.

However, don’t confuse that with “copious amounts of time” it’s just not reality. Honestly the opposite is true. Especially if you’re building your business with sweat equity. You literally don’t have “hours” you work because you are willing to work at any hour for pretty much any client. Ok, well that doesn’t sound great, but you know what I mean.

As a designer, the term “starving artist” takes on an entire new meaning. I understood that I was willing to take any job, any specs, and pretty much at any rate just to get SOMETHING in the works.

Anytime you perceive “free-time” in all reality is lost opportunity to work.  Small Business owners will learn either by reading what I’m saying, or learning the hard way, that they have to stay busy. There is always work to do, even if it’s building your business. You should always be your first client.

Misconception #3 of Small Business Ownership: As Long As You’re a “Friend” We Won’t Charge You

I mean you’ve been a friend since 1st grade why wouldn’t I give you something for free? Well, probably for the same reason that you can’t go into your job and give them a week worth of free employment. If the purpose of your business is to make money then I will charge you. You won’t get free work, whether a friend or family member. If you’re making money in your venture, then expecting free design work really isn’t fair.

One lesson I learned early is if you DO discount a rate, show it on the invoice. Not to let the client know how much they are saving, but to show the value of the work they received. Nothing hurts your business worse than you undervaluing your product or service. Sure it may be necessary to cut your rate, put a product on sale, in order to get the customers attention….but don’t do it blindly. Make sure your client knows they got a deal. Yes, even friends and family.

Misconception #4 of Small Business Ownership: We NEVER Work for FREE

Ok, so I’m not a complete stickler. I’d be lying if I said I never work for free for friends and family, but I’ve found a way to incorporate that into some specific boundaries that I have established for myself and my business.

The first area that I work for free for friends or family are life events. Graduation Announcements, Wedding Invites, Funeral Programs etc….. I WILL design these for free. I don’t know why, I’ve just never felt right about charging for these. Maybe it’s the sentimental part of me, but if I can be a part of the atmosphere of the event, then I’m more than honored to do this work. That one for me was always a no brainer.

The Second, I am open to consider doing free work for ANY company/business/event that is a not-for profit business. It’s at my discretion and according to my availability. I do like to take on pro-bono work at least a few times a year, or when business is slow. It’s also a great source of inspiration because most non-profit work, in design at least, serves to be a great source of design exploration.

There’s a ton of freedom with design work in this field because the majority of people you are working for appreciate you helping them, and it feels good to do it. I’ve heard of designers using this as a means to gain exposure for their business. idk, I guess that’s ok, a free plug. But if you’re doing pro-bono work it should be done without any strings attached (and that means no notoriety). Of course, you find your boundary and work within them.

I think it’s important to not turn into a tyrant or scrooge, when you become a small business owner. Which means staying faithful to the friends and family that were faithful to you. Give back from your passion what you can. I’m not saying give away at the extent to damage your business venture, but “give-back” should constitute at least some value of your services and yes the recipients of that should be your closest friends and family members and those within the community that could benefit from what you do.

Misconception #5 of Small Business Ownership: You Need a Job? We’re ALWAYS Hiring

For some reason it seems like if you own a small business, long lost friends, family members, ex-colleagues, and old high school sweethearts…. reach out to you in order to find employment. U.S. Small Business Administration show small firms employ just over half of the private-sector workforce and created nearly two-thirds of nation’s net new jobs over the past decade and a half.

Now with that kind of figure, of course one would assume that we’re always hiring just because our neon open sign is lit, and we have purchased our business license. NOW, let’s understand that the term “small business” is a broader term on a national level than the small business I’m discussing.  The SBA considers firms with fewer than 500 employees a “small business.” I’m discussing the mom & pop shops and the one-woman shows.

It costs money to hire an employee. Even one, and even minimum wage. There are taxes involved and most of the time the help we need isn’t in the menial tasks that we COULD potentially hand off to someone else. We need help in the areas that are usually more technical, more strategic with a specialized skill set.

So, is the first line of jobs available for my business going to be someone who can answer my phone, send out my invoices, or respond to emails like an administrative assistant? Not likely, because what I need are skill sets that will expand upon the businesses and services that I’m offering or wanting to offer my clients.

So for a designer, I’m looking to hire employees like an accountant, business strategist, blogger, content strategist, web developer. These as you can see are all specialized skill sets. Once I’m in a place to not have to answer emails personally to clients, well then this blog will no longer apply.

Misconception #6 of Small Business Ownership: Clients Shmiants

I swear it took me YEARS, and I’m not exaggerating to say YEARS to convince my family (especially my mother) that I had legitimate “clients”. That my design business was no longer just something I did for fun. That I literally worked with large corporations and legitimate business heads in areas of technology, real estate, service industry, media, etc…

For some reason, it’s hard for people to see the person I used to be, and the business person I’ve grown into . Honestly, I’ve had a tendency to keep my business and my family separate for a lot of the formidable years of  business growth, because I didn’t want my already insecure spirit to be shaken. It’s hard being in business for yourself. It’s even harder to not have the people closest to you fully on-board with your vision.

Keeping your business plans, your expectations, hopes and dreams limited to a trusted “few” is something I highly recommend. Your business is honestly to be protected, and sometimes that protection needs to be implemented against a well meaning Aunt Sally, that thinks your business hopes are “cute”.

Until a point where your business is speaking for itself, so to say, keep it under wraps. Even Jesus was kicked out of his hometown because those that saw him growing up weren’t geared towards seeing him as anything other than the child he had been. This is a great lesson for business as well. Keep it under wraps. Let your family and the outside world see it’s growth from their own perspectives. All in due time.

How To Build A Consistent Small Business Brand

Your brand presence is important to your business, for brand awareness, online and print advertising and for marketing your business. Because small businesses often have small marketing budgets, utilizing the power of having a consistent brand will help to maximize your message in the marketplace.

Utilizing an Alaska web design firm that also understands online marketing, brand design, and branded content, will give you small business marketing budget, the biggest bang for your buck.

Brand recognition grows over time and ensuring your brand is consistent across all of your online and print channels is even more important than what your budget is for marketing services.

It is important for your marketing campaign to have a consistent brand across all online channels. Whether you are marketing your brand through SEO (search engine optimization), Social Media Campaigns, Print Advertising or Video/Commercial means…the one underlying and most important element is that your branding remains consistent.

Here’s a quick read on how to maximize your Online Brand Marketing that further explains the importance of brand consistency and online marketing strategies.

Logo Design = Visual Brand or ReBranding for  Small Business Brand

One of the most recognizable parts of your visual brand is your logo. Finding out rules of how to create an effective logo design are an integral first step. Hiring a professional graphic designer to assist on establishing your initial brand, or rebranding an existing brand can help to ensure a powerful and memorable logo direction.

Ensuring your logo is consistent across each of your online channels is crucial. Having a consistent visual brand is essential in ensuring that your company’s visions and mission are reflected.

It should be the same on your website and all your social media pages.

Anytime it comes up on another site, your logo should be the same as on your own site.

If you have partnerships with other companies and they advertise that on their website, send them an image file of your logo and ask for theirs.

Cross marketing accurately is helpful in consistent branding.

Content Marketing for your  Small Business Brand

There is a feel and vibe that comes from the word choice used by companies on their websites and social media.

Depending on the type of business you have, you may have a more fun and light hearted vibe or a more serious and informative feel.

The message of your company can be easily construed on each online channel with carefully chosen words and font choices.

Releasing press releases, weekly blogs, social media content will allow for your branded content marketing to be useful and to further keep your brand consistent. It will also help steer all the media about your business.

Analyze your  Small Business Brand

You can’t know if your brand is consistent unless you’re constantly on the lookout for what’s out there about your business.

Check out any likely places your business name will come up including sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, Angie’s List, and any review site specific to your type of business.

You can’t change what people say but being aware of it will help keep your brand consistent.

Contact us today to see how we can help with your brand!

Bianca Frank Design offers a comprehensive brand and brand development package that can be utilized to begin or reinvigorate your small business marketing strategy. Whether you are in need of small business marketing strategies, graphic design, brand design, web design, or just need consultation on where to start. Drop a note and we will be in touch soon.

The 5 Things You Need to Know about Alaska Logo Design

An effective logo can mean the difference between grabbing attention and being passed over. Your logo is one piece of media that will represent you on all different marketing fronts. It will tell your client base if you are cheap, easy, fun, trust-worthy, professional, or unorganized among a laundry list of other adjectives. Your logo is the “first impression” of who you are as a business, and your credibility. Understanding the importance of this first impression can help to present your business or organization in the best possible light.

Here are some quick rules that will help ensure you have an effective logo design & lasting first impression!

Ensure Your Alaska Logo Design is Unique & Memorable

It may be difficult to be completely unique but doing so will make your logo memorable and recognizable. Now, there’s a fine line between being unique and being too abstract as to lose what your trying to communicate. Knowing and understanding that fine line is key in logo design. Looking too much like a competitor, or even a big name company that isn’t in the same industry, could be confusing for customers. A custom logo design will ensure a unique image for your company. Keep in mind, without researching other competitors, logo styles, or industry standards you can NOT develop something unique. You have to know what the market trends in your industry look like in order to set yourself apart from your competition. Research is the soul of developing a logo that is unique and in turn memorable.

Be Interesting and Engaging

A logo that has only one “visual” story is boring. When designing a logo, the obvious solutions are the first to be developed because they are the easiest. However, pushing past those initial solutions often times provide you with more interesting, and impactful logo directions. An example would be a design for a company called “Stars Automotive”. Well the obvious solution would be a Star with a Car. However, if you push past this initial idea into some more abstract ideas, maybe you can represent “star” or represent “car” without the literal translation of that image. It’s all about exploring ideas past the initial concepts. This will help you to create something interesting and well received. It’s not unheard of to sketch out well over 100 logo concepts before coming up with some final directions. Flushing out all of these ideas will get you to a solution that has depth. One that is interesting and engaging.

Make Your Logo Design Printer Friendly

Technically speaking here, and it may seem obvious, but many logos designed do NOT transfer well to print. Even if you have a web based business, there’s a high probability that you will need to print your logo at some point, either for marketing flyers, business cards, posters, embroidery, or screen printing on a tshirt. When you do, your logo should still be crisp and clear. In order to ensure that it is, you have to have a logo that transfers to black and white. Therefore, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS…..design your logo in black and white first! I know the desire is to jump right into developing your colors, but this should always (did you get that) be secondary to the correct representation in black and white. In black and white you will be able to clearly see any legibility issue that your logo may run into. If you are working with a professional designer, always require them to provide you with a logo in black and white first to avoid headaches and a logo redesign in the near future.

A Timeless Logo Design

With any luck, your business will be around for a long time. Your logo may be perfect for your business and following the current trends now but one, two, or five years down the road, you may need to adapt it to meet your current needs. Therefore, it’s best to avoid logo trends and create a logo that represents your underlying vision. Many logos developed under the “Web 2.0” trend, have since been redesigned in order to accommodate a more timeless look. You want to avoid your logo looking outdated in a few years, and the only way to do this is to steer clear of design “trends”. Trends can certainly influence your logo design but they should not be the basis for the logo itself. Some of the best logs have been around for years, and any attempts to change them have come with great backlashes from the general public. Look at the uproar over the GAP logo redesign. The company quickly, went back to their original design. Although a redesign is another beast all it’s own, creating a timeless and good logo design that connects with your customer is of vital importance to begin with.

Your Logo Design is Representative

Your logo is meant to represent your company. It can’t tell customers every nuance of what you do but, if it fits with your business, your logo could explain your business without having to say anything. This is easy for companies whose specialties are things people are familiar with- plumbing services, gyms, and gas stations for example- but other companies may have to get creative. As long as your logo tells the story of your company and supports the vision of your brand, it’s something you can stand behind as the owner proudly, then you are on your way to pushing your first impression to the next level.

Contact us today- we can help with an effective logo design for your business!

Bianca Frank Design offers a comprehensive brand and brand development package that can be utilized to begin or reinvigorate your small business marketing strategy. Whether you are in need of small business marketing strategies, graphic design, brand design, web design, or just need brand or design consultation on where to start. Drop a note and we will be in touch soon.

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3 Big Trends That Could Affect Your Alaska Small Business In 2015

It’s that time of year when we start to wrap up what we’ve done in 2014 and look toward next year for new and innovative trends.There are new trends emerging in marketing, advertising, and technology that could affect your Alaska small business.

>h1>Branded Content Marketing

The line between marketing and entertainment is becoming more and more blurred. Merging these two ideas means audiences not only want information, they want to be entertained at the same time. This may mean your advertising campaigns need to shift in this direction, if the audience you cater toward is at the front of social and market trends.

Cloud Based Storage for Alaska Small Business

People are coming around to cloud based storage and media sharing.Even with some of the recent media scandals, cloud based networking is efficient and convenient and will continue to be used for business going forward.Your small business may be affected- you may end up using cloud services yourself or will have customers or vendors that do. Especially being located in Alaska, getting information to and from people needs to be as easy as possible. Keep your information protected but embrace the convenience of third party file storage.
Alaska Small Business

Mobile Friendly Content for Alaska Small Business

If you haven’t seen this trend coming, you haven’t been paying attention!Nearly everyone carries a smart phone with more data capability than it took to put a man on the moon.We use our smart phones for much more than just phone calls. Potential customers will Google you as soon as they are intrigued- and what they find better be easy to navigate.If they’re not able to immediately get the information they need- what your company does, hours, contact information- they will likely move on to the next site.

Contact us today to see how we can help your Alaska small business keep up with the trends in 2015!

Bianca Frank Design offers a comprehensive brand and brand development package that can be utilized to begin or reinvigorate your small business marketing strategy. Whether you are in need of small business marketing strategies, graphic design, brand design, web design, or just need brand or design consultation on where to start. Drop a note and we will be in touch soon.

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4 Content Business Marketing Trends

Content marketing is getting more and more targeted and important to your company’s marketing plan.Keeping on top of market trends will keep your business ahead of the pack and keep your business on top. Not all trends will apply to your business or fit into your market plan and that’s ok! See which of the below you can use.

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Brand & Marketing Terms

source: Brand Channel

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Awareness The percentage of population or target market who are aware of the existence of a given brand or company. There are two types of awareness: spontaneous, which measures the percentage of people who spontaneously mention a particular brand when asked to name brands in a certain category; and prompted, which measures the percentage of people who recognize a brand from a particular category when shown a list.

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Brand A brand is a mixture of attributes, tangible and intangible, symbolized in a trademark, which, if managed properly, creates value and influence.

Brand “Value” has different interpretations: from a marketing or consumer perspective it is “the promise and delivery of an experience”; from a business perspective it is “the security of future earnings”; from a legal perspective it is “a separable piece of intellectual property.” Brands offer customers a means to choose and enable recognition within cluttered markets.

Brand Architecture How an organization structures and names the brands within its portfolio. There are three main types of brand architecture system: monolithic, where the corporate name is used on all products and services offered by the company; endorsed, where all sub-brands are linked to the corporate brand by means of either a verbal or visual endorsement; and freestanding, where the corporate brand operates merely as a holding company, and each product or service is individually branded for its target market.

Brand Associations
The feelings, beliefs and knowledge that consumers (customers) have about brands. These associations are derived as a result of experiences and must be consistent with the brand positioning and the basis of differentiation.

Brand Commitment
The degree to which a customer is committed to a given brand in that they are likely to re-purchase/re-use in the future. The level of commitment indicates the degree to which a brand’s customer franchise is protected form competitors.

Brand Earnings
The share of a brand-owning business’s cashflow that can be attributed to the brand alone.

Brand Equity
The sum of all distinguishing qualities of a brand, drawn from all relevant stakeholders, that results in personal commitment to and demand for the brand; these differentiating thoughts and feelings make the brand valued and valuable.

Brand Equity Protection Is the implementation of strategies to reduce risk and liability from the effects attributable to counterfeiting, diversion, tampering and theft so that the differentiating thoughts and feelings about the brand are maintained and remain valued and valuable.

Brand Essence
The brand’s promise expressed in the simplest, most single-minded terms. For example, Volvo = safety; AA = Fourth Emergency Service. The most powerful brand essences are rooted in a fundamental customer need.

Brand Experience
The means by which a brand is created in the mind of a stakeholder. Some experiences are controlled such as retail environments, advertising, products/services, websites, etc. Some are uncontrolled like journalistic comment and word of mouth. Strong brands arise from consistent experiences which combine to form a clear, differentiated overall brand experience.

Brand Extension
Leveraging the values of the brand to take the brand into new markets/sectors.

Brand Harmonization Ensuring that all products in a particular brand range have a consistent name, visual identity and, ideally, positioning across a number of geographic or product/service markets.

Brand Identity
The outward expression of the brand, including its name and visual appearance. The brand’s identity is its fundamental means of consumer recognition and symbolizes the brand’s differentiation from competitors.

Brand Image
The customer’s net “out-take” from the brand. For users this is based on practical experience of the product or service concerned (informed impressions) and how well this meets expectations; for non-users it is based almost entirely upon uninformed impressions, attitudes and beliefs.

Brand Licensing
The leasing by a brand owner of the use of a brand to another company. Usually a licensing fee or royalty rate will be agreed for the use of the brand.

Brand Management Practically
this involves managing the tangible and intangible aspects of the brand. For product brands the tangibles are the product itself, the packaging, the price, etc. For service brands (see Service Brands), the tangibles are to do with the customer experience – the retail environment, interface with salespeople, overall satisfaction, etc. For product, service and corporate brands, the intangibles are the same and refer to the emotional connections derived as a result of experience, identity, communication and people. Intangibles are therefore managed via the manipulation of identity, communication and people skills.

Brand Mission
See Brand Platform.

Brand Parity A measure of how similar, or different, different brands in the same category are perceived to be. Brand parity varies widely from one category to another. It is high for petrol, for example: about 80% of respondents (BBDO survey) see no real difference between brands. By contrast, brand parity for cars is low: only about 25% of respondents say that one make is much the same as another.

Brand Personality
The attribution of human personality traits (seriousness, warmth, imagination, etc.) to a brand as a way to achieve differentiation. Usually done through long-term above-the-line advertising and appropriate packaging and graphics. These traits inform brand behavior through both prepared communication/packaging, etc., and through the people who represent the brand – its employees.

Brand Platform
The Brand Platform consists of the following elements:

Brand Vision The brand’s guiding insight into its world.

Brand Mission How the brand will act on its insight.

Brand Values The code by which the brand lives. The brand values act as a benchmark to measure behaviors and performance.

Brand Personality The brand’s personality traits (See also definition for Brand Personality).

Brand Tone of Voice How the brand speaks to its audiences.

Brand Positioning The distinctive position that a brand adopts in its competitive environment to ensure that individuals in its target market can tell the brand apart from others. Positioning involves the careful manipulation of every element of the marketing mix.

Brand Strategy
A plan for the systematic development of a brand to enable it to meet its agreed objectives. The strategy should be rooted in the brand’s vision and driven by the principles of differentiation and sustained consumer appeal. The brand strategy should influence the total operation of a business to ensure consistent brand behaviors and brand experiences.

Brand Tone of Voice See Brand Platform.

Brand Valuation The process of identifying and measuring the economic benefit – brand value – that derives from brand ownership.

Brand Values
The code by which the brand lives. The brand values act as a benchmark to measure behaviors and performance. (See also Brand Platform.)

Brand Vision See Brand Platform.

Branding Selecting and blending tangible and intangible attributes to differentiate the product, service or corporation in an attractive, meaningful and compelling way.

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Co-branding The use of two or more brand names in support of a new product, service or venture.

Consumer Product Goods (consumer goods) or services (consumer services) purchased for private use or for other members of the household.

Core Competencies Relates to a company’s particular areas of skill and competence that best contribute to its ability to compete.

Corporate Identity At a minimum, is used to refer to the visual identity of a corporation (its logo, signage, etc.), but usually taken to mean an organization’s presentation to its stakeholders and the means by which it differentiates itself from other organizations.

Counterfeiting When an organization or individual produces a product that looks like a branded product and is packaged and presented in a manner to deceive the purchaser.

Customer Characteristics
All distinguishing, distinctive, typical or peculiar characteristics and circumstances or customers that can be used in market segmentation to tell one group of customers from another.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Tracking customer behavior for the purpose of developing marketing and relationship-building processes that bond the consumer to the brand. Developing software or systems to provide one-to-one customer service and personal contact between the company and the customer.

Customer Service
The way in which the brand meets its customers’ needs via its various different channels (for example, over the telephone or Internet in the case of remote banking, or in person in the case of retail or entertainment).

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Demographics The description of outward traits that characterize a group of people, such as age, sex, nationality, marital status, education, occupation or income. Decisions on market segmentation are often based on demographic data.

Differential Product Advantage A feature of a product that is valuable to customers and is not found in other products of the same category.

Differentiation Creation or demonstration of unique characteristics in a company’s products or brands compared to those of its competitors.

Differentiators
Any tangible or intangible characteristic that can be used to distinguish a product or a company from other products and companies.

Diversion When genuine product is sold to a buyer in one market/channel and then resold by the same buyer into another market/channel, without the consent or authority of the brand owner, to take advantage of a price arbitrage situation. Definition also applies to parallel trade, gray market or gray market activities.

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Endorsed brand (See Brand Architecture.) Generally a product or service brand name that is supported by a masterbrand – either dominantly e.g. Tesco Metro or lightly e.g. Nestle Kit-Kat.

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Focus Group A qualitative research technique in which a group of about eight people is invited to a neutral venue to discuss a given subject, for example hand-held power tools. The principle is the same as an in-depth interview, except that group dynamics help to make the discussion livelier and more wide-ranging. Qualitative groups enable the researcher to probe deeper into specific areas of interest (for example, the nature of commitment to a brand). The result adds richer texture to the understanding of broader data (for example, quantitative), which may paint general trends or observations. Also known as a group discussion.

Freestanding Brand (See Brand Architecture.) A brand name and identity used for a single product or service in a portfolio, which is unrelated to the names and identities of other products in the company’s portfolio.

Functionality What a product does for the buyer and user; the utility it offers the user; what he or she can do with it.

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Goods A product consisting predominantly of tangible values. Almost all goods, however, have intangible values to a greater or lesser extent.

Group Discussion See Focus Group.

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High Technology (high tech) A term with vague and far-reaching meaning. This covers electronics, data technology, telecommunications, medical technology and bio-chemistry. In order to be classed as a high tech company, one definition is that at least 35 percent of staff should have a technical qualification, and at least 15 percent of sales should be used for R&D. Another definition states that the company must employ twice as many scientists and engineers and invest twice as much in R&D as the average of all manufacturing companies in the country.

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Intangibles “Intangible”
– incapable of being touched. (1) Intangible assets – trademarks, copyrights, patents, design rights, proprietary expertise, databases, etc. (2) Intangible brand attributes – brand names, logos, graphics, colors, shapes and smells. (See Service Brand.)

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Launch
The initial marketing of a new product in a particular market. The way in which the launch is carried out greatly affects the product’s profitability throughout its lifecycle.

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Market Leader A company that has achieved a dominant position – either in scale (e.g., British Airways) or influence (e.g., Virgin) – within its field. This leading position often comes about because the company was the first to market a certain type of product and, with the protection of a patent, has managed to consolidate its position before direct competition was possible. Alternatively, a company may overtake a previous market leader through greater efficiency and skilful positioning.

Market Position
A measure of the position of a company or product on a market. Defined as market share multiplied by share of mind.

Market Segment
A group of customers who (a) share the same needs and values, (b) can be expected to respond in much the same way to a company’s offering, and (c) command enough purchasing power to be of strategic importance to the company.

Market Share
A company’s share of total sales of a given category of product on a given market. Can be expressed either in terms of volume (how many units sold) or value (the worth of units sold).

Mass Marketing
Simultaneous standardized marketing to a very large target market through mass media. Other names for this are market aggregation and undifferentiated marketing.

Masterbrand
A brand name that dominates all products or services in a range or across a business. Sometimes used with sub-brands, sometimes used with alpha or numeric signifiers. (See also Monolithic Brand.) Audi, Durex, Nescafe and Lego, for example, are all used as masterbrands.

Monolithic Brand
A single brand name that is used to “masterbrand” all products or services in a range. Individual products are nearly always identified by alpha or numeric signifiers. Companies like Mercedes and BMW favor such systems.

Multibrand Strategy /Multiple Branding Marketing of two or more mutually competing products under different brand names by the same company. The motive may be that the company wishes to create internal competition to promote efficiency, or to differentiate its offering to different market segments, or to get maximum mileage out of established brands that it has acquired. When a company has achieved a dominant market share, multibrand strategy may be its only option for increasing sales still further without sacrificing profitability. For example, Lever Brothers sells washing powders under the Persil, Omo and Surf names; Cadbury sells chocolates under the Dairy Milk, Bournville and Fruit & Nut names; Heinz sells canned convenience foods under the Baked Beans, Spaghetti Hoops and Alphabetti Spaghetti names.

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Names
There are three basic categories of brand (or corporate) name:

  1. Descriptive nameA name which describes the product or service for which it is intended, e.g., TALKING PAGES.
  2. Associative name A name which alludes to an aspect or benefit of the product or service, often by means of an original or striking image or idea, e.g., VISA.
  3. Freestanding name A name which has no link to the product or service but which might have meaning of its own, e.g., PENGUIN.

The following are also helpful:

  1. Abstract name A name which is entirely invented and has no meaning of its own, e.g., ZENECA. Abstract names are a sub-set of freestanding names because they also have no link to the product of service.
  2. Coined name Any name which is in some way invented. Coined names can be descriptive (CO-CREATE), associative (IMATION) and freestanding/abstract (ZENECA).

Niche Marketing Marketing adapted to the needs, wishes and expectations of small, precisely defined groups of individuals. A form of market segmentation, but aimed at very small segments. Niche marketing characteristically uses selective media.

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OEM market OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturers. The OEM market consists of companies that use another company’s product as a component in their own production. A manufacturer of ball bearings, for example, sells both to OEM customers who build the bearings into machines, and to end users who need the bearings as spare parts for machines that they have bought from the OEMs. Most manufacturing companies thus have an OEM market and a replacement market. The latter is usually called the MRO market or aftermarket.

Offering
What a company offers for sale to customers. An offering includes the product and its design, features, quality, packaging, distribution, etc., together with associated services such as financing, warranties and installation. The name and brand of the product are also part of the offering.

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Packaging Design The design of the pack format and graphics for a product brand.

Parent Brand A brand that acts as an endorsement to one or more sub-brands within a range.

Passing Off The name given to a legal action brought to protect the “reputation” of a particular trademark/brand/get up. In essence, the action is designed to prevent others from trading on the reputation/goodwill of an existing trademark/brand/get up. The action is only available in those countries that recognize unregistered trademark rights (for example the UK and US). In some countries, it is called “unfair competition action.”

Perceptual Mapping Graphic Analysis
and presentation of where actual and potential customers place a product or supplier in relation to other products and suppliers. Most perceptual maps show only two dimensions at a time, for example price on one axis and quality on the other. There also are methods of graphically analyzing and presenting measurement data in three or more dimensions.

Positioning Statement A written description of the position that a company wishes itself, its product or its brand to occupy in the minds of a defined target audience.

Power Branding A strategy in which every product in a company’s range has its own brand name which functions independently, unsupported by either the company’s corporate brand or its other product brands. Power branding is a resource-intensive strategy, since each brand must be commercially promoted and legally protected. This strategy is used mainly by manufacturers of consumer goods. Lever’s and Procter & Gamble’s detergents are good examples of power brands.

Product Brand A brand which is synonymous with a particular product offering, for example, Cheerios.

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Rebrand When a brand owner revisits the brand with the purpose of updating or revising based on internal or external circumstances. Rebranding is often necessary after an M&A or if the brand has outgrown its identity/marketplace.

Relative Market Share Your own company’s market share compared to those of your competitors. A large share confers advantages of scale in product development, manufacturing and marketing. It also puts you in a stronger position in the minds of customers, which has a positive influence on pricing.

Relaunch Reintroducing a product into a specific market. The term implies that the company has previously marketed the product but stopped marketing it. A relaunched product has usually undergone one or more changes. It may, for example, be technically modified, rebranded, distributed through different channels or repositioned.

Repositioning Communications activities to give an existing product a new position in customers’ minds and so expanding or otherwise altering its potential market. Many potentially valuable products lead an obscure existence because they were launched or positioned in an inadequate manner. It is almost always possible to enhance the value of such products by repositioning them.

Rollout The process by which a company introduces a new product or service to different geographical markets or consumer segments.

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Selective Media Media that, unlike mass media, reach only small and identifiable groups of people, for example, members of a particular profession or industry or other groups defined by geographic, demographic or psychographic data (otherwise known as targeted media).

Service Brand A product consisting predominantly of intangible values. “A service is something that you can buy and sell, but not drop on your foot” (The Economist). In this sense, a service is something that you do for somebody, or a promise that you make to them.

Share of Mind There are many definitions of share of mind. At its most precise, share of mind measures how often consumers think about a particular brand as a percentage of all the times they think about all the brands in its category. More loosely, share of mind can be defined simply as positive perceptions of the brand obtained by market research. Whereas market share measures the width of a company’s market position, share of mind can be said to measure its depth.

Share of Voice
The media spending of a particular brand when compared to others in its category.

Sub-brand A product or service brand that had its own name and visual identity to differentiate it from the parent brand.

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Tangibles “Tangible” – capable of being touched. (1) Tangible assets – manufacturing plant, bricks and mortar, cash, investments, etc. (2) Tangible brand attributes – the product and its packaging. (3) Tangible brand values – useful qualities of the brand known to exist through experience and knowledge.

Target Market The market segment or group of customers that a company has decided to serve, and at which it consequently aims its marketing activities.

Top-of-Mind
What is present in the uppermost level of consciousness; the manufacturer or brand that people in market surveys name first when asked to list products in a specific category. Top-of-mind is the highest degree of share of mind. To attain that position, a company normally needs to have a large share of voice in its category.

Trademark
“Any sign capable of being represented graphically which is capable of distinguishing goods or services of one undertaking from those of another undertaking” (UK Trade Marks Act 1994).

Trademark Infringement
A trademark registration is infringed by the unauthorized use of the registered trademark, or of one that is confusingly similar to it, on the registered goods or services, or in certain circumstances on similar or dissimilar goods and services.

Trendsetter Someone or thing that breaks a traditional mold or routine and gains a following because of it. iMac is an example of trendsetting in design as now office supplies come in the familiar colors and translucent packaging of an iMac.

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User Segmentation Division of potential customers into market segments according to how and for what purpose they use a product. Do they use it for cleaning their teeth or for making cakes (baking powder)? For oiling their hair or for frying food? (True story concerning use of Brylcreem in Nigeria). As a decongestant chest rub or as an aphrodisiac? (True story concerning Ribby Rub in Caribbean).

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Visual Identity What a brand looks like – including, among other things, its logo, typography, packaging and literature systems.

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Bianca Frank Design offers a comprehensive brand and brand development package that can be utilized to begin or reinvigorate your small business marketing strategy. Whether you are in need of small business marketing strategies, graphic design, brand design, web design, or just need brand or design consultation on where to start. Drop a note and we will be in touch soon.

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Get Results from Online Brand Marketing with These 4 Programs

Once we’ve worked together to create a brand that represents your company, maintaining that brand is an ongoing process and having a plan in place should be your top priority.

A brand management package tailored to further develop and maintain the effectiveness of your brand is crucial. The four programs below create a cohesive management package that will bring your brand to the next level. A brand strategy matters because a logo alone won’t gain you recognition in the marketplace. You have to have a process in place in order to push the brand visuals into the face of your prospective customers. You can read more on the importance of brand here or take a look at relative “brand & marketing” terms to better educate yourself on what it means to brand and market your business.

Blogging or Online Branded Content

You may have heard the term “Content is King.” But if content is king, how do you develop and maintain a new flow of content to your customers and potential customers?  One of the BEST ways to drive traffic to your website is maintaining a blog. New content added to your website on a regular basis with information that relates to your target audience keeps them interested and aware that you’re a vital, live brand. You don’t need to be a writer to have a blog- that’s a program that can be purchased and tailored to your company!

Under a Brand Management Package, you will have new content written for you that will be posted to your website and social media outlets on a scheduled basis. At the beginning of each month you will receive a list of blog titles that pertain to your industry or service. With your feedback and approval these topics will be created and posted on your behalf. We offer a free, one time sample blog to try it out before you purchase!

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

You want to come up in a search when your clients try to find a company that provides your services.Ultimately, your customer will search for you online based on information that you provide to them about your product or service. With a SEO optimized site, you keep the keywords that your customer searches for within the content of your site. Keeping content fresh and relevant ensures your name comes up in search engine results. Search Engine Optimization is an ongoing science that has been perfected by brand managers and designers. It’s vital to your business’s success and is a key part of helping your brand grow.

Social Media

Everyone has Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, or GooglePlus. Many people have multiples or all of these but maintaining all of these accounts on your own for your business could be a full time job! Updating these even on a monthly basis means your most important events, specials, and information gets sent to your clients in the manner that they are more likely to see. Not everyone is going to see the ad in the paper or get a paper flyer, but if they have liked you on Facebook, they will see the update you post about an upcoming event. It’s the simplest and fastest way to reach your existing audience with information you want to relay.

We will take the content that is developed for you and share it by posting it respectively across all social media outlets. This will allow for the full extension of reach to your client and potential client base.

Analytics

There’s nothing worthwhile if you can’t see tangible, and calculable results.It is best to start out your brand management campaign small, and grow as you see the areas of where you are connecting with your customers the most. This will allow for you to take small financial steps in budget to grow your brand exposure.

We will start with a baseline assessment of your Web Traffic and Social Media stats. This first report will allow us to determine the ongoing effectiveness, month by month, of your brand management package. This will reflect all new traffic to your site and the

Consider a Brand Management Package for your start-up or business and ensure the advertising details are taken care of so you can focus on everything else!

Contact us today to talk about this and so much more!

Bianca Frank Design offers a comprehensive brand and brand development package that can be utilized to begin or reinvigorate your small business marketing strategy. Whether you are in need of small business marketing strategies, graphic design, brand design, web design, or just need consultation on where to start. Drop a note and we will be in touch soon.

Anchorage Alaska Business Advertising Design Strategy

Anchorage Alaska Business Advertising Design Strategy

Anchorage Alaska Business Advertising Design Strategy


One of the fundamentals of growing a business is good advertising and design.
Any business owner knows this and takes steps to ensure their target audience knows they exist. Your message is important and you want your potential clients to see it and understand it. Here are a few key elements that you need to keep in mind when utilizing design in your business advertising strategy.

Create a Cohesive Message in Your Anchorage Alaska Business Advertising Design Strategy

It can’t be said enough – a cohesive message across all of your marketing platforms will ensure your business’s advertising is consistent. If a client goes to your Facebook page, it should have the same look and feel as your own website. Print material should have a flow of ideas, language, and presentation that represents your company’s message as well as agrees with the rest of your advertising efforts. Design is the visual way to ensure all of these media outlets match and give off the same vibe, tone and voice of your company.

Professional Design for Your Anchorage Business

While creating advertising on your own may save you money, it won’t save time and it won’t give your business the polished, professional appearance it needs to get the results you want. Even if you have one simplified ad created by a professional to express your message, reusing that ad in multiple media outlets will still allow you to keep costs down as well as maintain a professional appearance. You can also hire a designer on a retainer basis, where you utilize their knowledge and feedback to ensure your materials are as effective as possible.

As a consumer, we all have multiple options on what company we choose to hire or purchase from. However, most people are drawn initially toward the advertisements that look most professional and put together. Think about how you choose from your available options. Without more information to assess the different options, the better design will draw you in. It looks better, and in turn expresses a more credible company and/or service.

Gaining Results from Your Marketing Efforts | Anchorage Alaska Business Advertising Design Strategy

With the help of a designer, you can see real results when you utilize proper design techniques in your advertising. Markets have many different trends and the design style that is effective in each will fluctuate based on any number of factors. Your target demographic, what your product or service is, or where you are connecting with your audience are all areas a professional designer can assist you. In turn finding a professional designer can not only gain you results but will also maximize your marketing dollars. After all, you get what you pay for.

The whole point of advertising is getting the results you want, which usually calculate to more clients! Make sure you are investing as much time in sending the right message to your audience, as they are in choosing to use a credible business for their needs.

Not sure where to start with design for your Anchorage business? Contact us today to see how we can help turn your message into a client!