Category Archives: Branding

Branding A Monthly Giving Program

We are a nonprofit org with a mission of assuring families have the means to meet their basic needs. We offer programs designed to help people get a new or better job (English as a Second Language, Employment Services, Financial Education); assist families facing financial crisis avoid homelessness (rent, utility, medical, dental and transportation assistance); assure children an improved school experience (school supplies and clothing); and provide value to our member congregations and the community through helping services and volunteerism.

We serve over 6,000 families each year with an annual operating budget of $4M. We have a small number of monthly donors and want to launch an official monthly giving program and need a good name! Our annual fund program is named Champions for Families, so we want to avoid any confusion with this existing program. Our org tagline is “Together we build a caring community.” Our supporters are very humble and faithful people. Any ideas on a name that evokes a warm fuzzy feeling?

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Jay’s Answer: 

  • Everyday Help
  • The Power of 12

Branding Norwegian Salmon

I’m looking for a few ideas on how to build a brand for Norwegian salmon. This product is used in restaurant Kitchens and sushi bars, therefore it does not go into any retail space where there is a branding opportunity. Our challenge is that the salmon is sold to restaurateurs who immediately discard all Packaging ( polystyrene boxes) and cut up the fish for grilling or serving raw as sushi. The consumer is the restaurateur. They have about 8 other alternative choices of suppliers for The Identical product. We all receive our salmon from the same farms in Norway.

Would simply placing a plastic tag somewhere on the salmon stating superior quality with a quality “looking” logo be sufficient at differentiating the product and creating a quality brand? Should I brand the outside box instead? Or both? Should our marketing efforts be with the people eating the product in restaurants? There is a miniscule margin of 2.5% on the product and therefore cost is a serious factor of consideration when it comes to Marketing. Any help would be much appreciated. Many thanks in advance.

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Jay’s Answer:  If your product is identical to the customers, why do people choose to purchase from you? What distinguishes you from your competition – pricing, service, or something else? Do you know who makes the buying decision for the salmon? If it’s administration, then emblazon it on the shipping materials – where staff in receiving will see it. If it’s the chef, then a message with the salmon (don’t make it more difficult for them to prep the product) would make sense.

Name My Parent Company

I am going to start a new company,in collaboration with other companies that will deal with pure consulting services, related to IT, Travel, Real Estate and so on.  This is going to be the mother company, with different brands working with it, like
1.travel and immigration…
2.IT, web designs, software…
3.Real state…

Our USP would be the honest and transparent services delivered that exceeds the customer expectations with value for money.

Kindly suggest a simple and catchy name for people to spell and understand, with a simple and effective punchline.  We need to have a one stop solution consultancy firm. To begin with, we will start with IT , immigration and Travel. Name of Parent company well in will be in the invoices issued …. Our Customers are supposed to know the brand like: Lux Soap..  is a brand…  mother comp is… ITC :D, same way

The invoice will be issued by the  name of mother company and it will be controlling the brands(IT &  Travel) Our USP would be..  Value for money…..  and Honest/true advise/services.  And if this does not make things clear, please suggest, what feature/quality they seek in a new service provider ….to ditch their old one..

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Jay’s Answer: An umbrella company name generally serves to unite similar brand niches (with a overarching brand promise) or is simply a business entity which owns companies for investment purposes. While you have a planned promise (transparent/exceeds expectation) – it’s not a USP – a unique selling proposition (or a unique benefit). Since the promise isn’t unique or targeted, in the minds of prospective clients – it’s likely not to be trusted (because it’s expected/generic). Since the sub-companies aren’t related by target market, uniting them under a branding promise won’t “stick” either.

So, my suggestion is if you must combine the entities, then pick a name that’s generic, and add your generic “promise” to it. It will make it easier to grow, won’t cause problems for you in the future, and won’t be a memorable name by itself. Instead, create great on-target names & taglines for each of the entities, and add “…a division of My Company” to make the mental link.

Branding And Marketing A Kindergarten

The enrollment rate of the kindergarten has dwindled so badly the centre is in the reds for a while. It is run like a missionary centre trying to serve the poor and underprivileged around the centre’s neighborhood.

Facing the reality of running into the reds, the centre committee has decided they need to re-brand and market the kindergarten. The presence of the centre is almost zero besides small community around the area and some of the alumni’s old girls.

How do we do branding for the centre? What marketing tools should the centre use so as to minimize costs?

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Jay’s Answer:  If people don’t know about you, then they can’t find you.
To have those you serve find you, you need to be where they are looking: online, churches, employers, newspapers, etc.
To save money, start by arranging one-on-one meetings with various community leaders in your area to both share your resource with their membership and also to find out how better to reach their members.

Color Scheme For Sports Bar?

I’m looking for a paint color for my new sports bar. The carpet will be dark green with beige flecks. The wainscoting will be medium brown wood paneling, up to four feet. Above the wainscoting, I’m considering a dark burgundy, blue-gray gray, but I’m open to other ideas….?

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Jay’s Answer: You need a color consultant, who’s well-versed in local color trends as well as understanding the effect of various lighting on your bar (at different times of the day, etc.). Talking about color with words is likely to confuse/frustrate you. You need someone to be in the space, to see what colors you’re working with, and give professional advice based on your audience and business goals.

Rebrand Construction Company

I run a small construction / renovation company. We specialize in the higher end of the market. Most of our work comes through referrals, but I’d like to advertise on occasion, to fill in the slower periods. We take care of everything for our clients, design, permit acquisition and of course the construction. I want to convey an image of boutique service. Help me create a new image! Company name… logo image… tagline… suggestions?

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Jay’s Answer: First, why change your name? Presumably you’ve been in business awhile (since most of your work comes from referrals) – why lose the name that people remember you by?

Next, what does “boutique service” mean for your company? What services do you (now) do that you haven’t before? How do you differ from other companies? Design, permits, etc. are the normal way construction companies (at least those I’m familiar with) operate in my area.

Are people paying more for “boutique service”? Rather than focus on the service, focus on the results. Focus on the overjoyed clients who love your work that came in under budget and early. Focus on the energy saving design or award-winning designs.

Build Your Personal Branding

Merge Your Unique Skills

(Photo by Sam)

When you’re thinking of starting a new business, it all comes down to your personal branding. Why should someone choose to work with you?

You can create websites. So can they. You can bake delicious cakes. So can they. You teach yoga. So can they. So, why start a new business that others are already also doing? You’ll have no name recognition, no trust, a price that’s likely no better than theirs’. You need to brand yourself differently.

The trick is to realize that many people (including your competitors) can do one thing well, whether it be sales, marketing, product development, etc. The key to crafting your personal branding comes in is merging one of your secondary skills with your primary skill to offer something no one else is.

If you’re a website designer that’s deeply religious, then why not specialize working with other deeply religious groups (not just your own belief or sect)? Your passion for religion will be self-evident in crafting high-quality websites.

If you’re a cake baker who loves fixing up homes, then why not specialize in architectural cakes? Make cakes that look like business buildings, newly constructed homes, room layouts, etc. Realtors and architects could give memorable thank you cakes to their clients.

If you’re a yoga teacher that loves hip-hop music, then why not feature hip-hop music in your classes, creating special yoga sequences that match the music and your yoga goals? Instead of wearing the normal yoga clothes, imbue your class with hip-hop spirit. You might attract a totally different type of yoga student.

It might not be obvious or easy to figure out how to merge two diverse interests or even how to be successful doing it. By making your personal brand unique, you’ll stand out from the crowded competitive field and make it much easier to find your fans.

Rebranding our Green Business

When we named our business, we did not realize how important it is that the name reflect what we do, although in a way it has worked out as we can add other segments under the main umbrella name. We are rebranding our business–have a new GoGreen logo, which is incorporated into a new look for our business cards, stationery, etc.  However, we need some kind of tag line or a “six-word memoir”.

Our product lines are:  

1.  Stand-alone air purifiers which remove pollutants from indoor air and permanently and quickly eliminate odors–provides healthier air, relief for allergy and asthma sufferers, removes toxins from household cleaners, sprays, outgassing from furniture carpets, etc., and greatly helps realtors with listings suffering from tobacco smoke, pet odors, etc.  This is done with no chemicals or replacement filters.  The different versions range from pocket size portable for use in the car, hotel room, etc., 1 tiny room like a powder room, 1 normal-size room, dorm room, or small apartment, to one that covers the entire house.  There is even one to wear when flying or in tight crowded places like theaters, doctors waiting rooms, etc.

2.  A counter-top unit that produces instant antioxidant, alkaline drinking water with various pH levels to choose from as well as acidic water for many household uses.  It eleminates the need for disposable plastic water bottles, and many household cleaning products, while providing safe drinking water that more effectively hydrates the body than many other beverages.

3.  A small appliance that naturally pretreats water before it enters the washing machine, making it possible to get clean, sanitized laundry using no hot water, no detergent, bleach or fabric softener, and no chemicals.  It protects the environment by eliminating chemicals from the water and it also prevents skin irritations and rashes caused by detergent residue.

4.  A small appliance that, when installed into your power box, actually helps to conserve energy, protect and prolong the life of electrical appliances and electronic equipment.

5.  We also carry a line of very absorbably, all natural food-based nutritional products.

Our previous taglines were:  “Indoor Pollution Solutions” and  “Indoor Pollution, Wellness, Energy Conservation and Money-Saving Solutions”.   On the back of our current business cards, we say, “We Purify the Air You Breathe, the Water You Drink, the Clothes You Wear and the Electric You Use”.  That, too, is kind of long and still doesn’t reflect the whole story.

Do you have any suggestions on taglines or 6-word memoir that can somehow convey what we in just a few words?

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Jay’s Answer:  The good news is it’s never too late to improve your business/marketing message.

But if you’re trying to holistically change your rebranding effort, you need to consider the bigger picture. For example, your website is a cookie-cutter website that doesn’t convey the image you’re hoping to present: professional, health-conscious, modern, and effective. The website makes it look like you’re basically a reseller of products, not a specialist in solving wellness issues. By positioning yourselves as specialists, you’re saying “this is all that we do – making your life better” rather than “want to buy what I’m selling?”

Next, you asked about a tagline. Because your business name says nothing about what you sell (or for who), it’s up to the tagline to clearly articulate it. “Indoor Pollution Solutions” doesn’t convey a clear benefit to the reader. “Indoor Pollution” isn’t a problem that most people are thinking they have, so they wouldn’t consider “Indoor Pollution Solutions” something to be remembered. You also have to be careful making any health claims – the FDA is very specific on what you can and can’t say about “wellness and health solutions”.

A tagline needs to convey a primary (and hopefully unique) benefit your customers care about. It’s not about the products you sell – it’s how your products makes your customers feel. For example:

  • Feel Better, Breathe Easier
  • Cherry Hill’s Quality of Life Specialists

 

How To Brand My Haircare Business?

I am re-entering the world of haircare/styling as a result of being laid off for the fifth time in the last ten years. I will be renting booth space in a salon. The salon is nice and has a great, peaceful atmosphere. I need a name and I need to leverage myself as my brand and have a catchy tagline. My name is Dawn and the salon I will work at is called Ambiance Salon. As I am a booth renter, I want to focus more on me and incorporate the salon somewhere but I am not sure where. I have even thought of using my middle name (Rachelle) or a form of it to create another image or just use another name all together. I specialize in cuts, color and extensions. Any help would be appreciated.

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Jay’s Answer: Don’t try to be a brand – be a stylist. Let word-of-mouth (and some beautiful model headshots) help to bring people to you. Your tagline can be simply “Specializing in Cuts, Color, and Extensions”. That clarifies who would most want to seek you out. As for a name, why not use your name, such as: Dawn Does Hair, Dawn Of A New Hairstyle, or simply “Dawn Moore Dixon”?

The Right Way To Start A Business?

I have a wonderful idea for a new business that I believe is going to be quite successful. I know I have to get a website going and jump in with both feet into social media with the blogs I have started but the branding and website development are holding me back. Where do I get started? Can you refer me to a good graphic designer and web builder that won’t cost me an arm and a leg?

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Jay’s Answer: You have a couple of options: hire someone to do it for you or create the website (at least the first version) yourself.

However, before you create a website, you really should consider a strategy for making your business succeed. Having a website and blogging won’t by themselves create website traffic. You need to identify who is likely to want to buy your offering, why they’d choose you (instead of your competition), etc. The basics of this are covered in my article: http://www.manygoodideas.com/2008/10/01/unpeeling-your-marketing-onion/

If you’ve done your strategy homework, then you have a good idea of the problems these people face, the language they use, the images they like, and the offer they’d react to. Using this information will create a website that resonates with your audience and is more likely to create sales for you. If you skip this step, you’ll get a web designer’s idea of what they think your website should look like – and not a marketing professional’s.

You can hire people locally (who you can meet face-to-face) or globally (www.elance.com, www.guru.com, etc.). But be warned: the true cost of a website isn’t in its creation – it’s in maintenance. Be willing to pay for each revision you make to your designer.

If you can, create your own website (or have a designer create a CMS-based website for you) using WordPress, Zoomla, iWeb, etc. Make sure whatever choice you make you use your own domain name (not: mycompany.freewebsite.com) to ensure that your visitor’s first impression is favorable.