Archive for December, 2010

Dec 11 2010

WikiLeaks wisdom – Business tips you learn from the controversy king.

Published by under Business & Marketing,News

Its controversial and its criticized; yet no one can dispute that WikiLeaks is here to stay! Be it the non-profit new media organization’s methodical leaks about America’s closely guarded secrets or its smug readiness to tackle any form of censorship that comes its way, there are a lot many lessons to be learnt from WikiLeaks. Business tips for better branding strategies too! Read on.

Understand the market – brand relationship – WikiLeaks is a whistleblower supremo today because it has an enviable dedicated audience which includes Governments, media as well as the world’s avid citizenry that tracks its every revelation. The first step in your branding strategies should be to closely track your market, identify the niche audience you want your brand to cater to and consistently keep proving yourself over and over again to them.

Create a buzz – Remember my last post, when I spoke about being positive about negative publicity? WikiLeaks is a live example of that. Keep your brand alive and kicking in news as well as in your clients’ mind; be it by periodically revamping your website, coming up with lucrative offers or discounts or even promotional items as periodical gifts for your clients.

Logo, lingo and limelight ‘Big Brother is watching- So are we’, ‘Nesting lies – Hatching truth’, ‘We open Governments’ or ‘Information wants to be free’. WikiLeaks ads can’t get any louder! Consider these business tips/models for effective advertising and ensure your ads speak your brand’s language rather than being blasé ad copies, detached from your business context.

Have back-ups – Do you know its probably true that WikiLeaks can never be completely erased from the internet? It is hosted on multiple servers and lists 1005 mirror websites to access it, in case if someone tries to delete the website from one domain. In business too, your funds may dry up or recession may play spoilsport but keep alternatives ready in advance.

Business = bruised egos – Look out for them and deal with them. The Government is its sworn enemy but WikiLeaks continues to be unfazed and churns out its best works. Similarly your competitors will try their level best to bog you down but keep your branding strategies crisp and your ideology clear and you will race your competitors out of the competition.

Make your brand a movement – Seems like the term brand loyalty was exclusively coined for WikiLeaks. Its thrown the world into a tizzy. Every little titbit about Julian Assange gets several hits, it has 447793 Twitter followers and 7650 FB friends, WikiLeaks promotional items are being lapped up and so on. Hope the above points will make your brand a phenomenon too!

With these business tips am sure Victory… or should I say ‘Wiki’tory isn’t far off!

To view a large variety of branding products for your employees, please visit our website at www.promodirect.com

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Dec 09 2010

Be positive about negative publicity.

Published by under Business & Marketing

Am seething and I only read about it! Imagine the frustration felt by the DecorMyEyes (a that deals in specialty glasses) client who did not get the glasses she had ordered, had her complaints sabotaged and got a mail from the company proprietor who smugly described his strategic business plan saying ‘…just wanted to let you guys know that the more replies you people post, the more business and the more hits and sales I get. My goal is NEGATIVE advertisement’.

Are you gaping at the screen? I did too. Lets keep our reservations aside however, and think of business ideas to deal with negative publicity – should you keep it simmering for better SEO or address it immediately? Your strategic business plan need not goad customers to crib…

Heard of prevention is better than cure?

Applies to publicity too! Clients with genuine grievances will first complain privately, either via email or a call to your customer care center and as a last resort they go public. You can shape their opinion and its expression if you address their complaints the first time they approach you. A simple way to pacify them is to say you are sorry and send them corporate gifts to let them know that you will be resolving their grievance soon.

Be civil on Social media

Social media works like a double edged sword and suitable business ideas like – responding in a civil fashion to negative comments against you, acting promptly on the complaints posted on social media platforms – can transform negative criticism into positive comments.

Let actions speak

Business ideas focusing on customer loyalty can make your brand image stronger according to a recent LinkedIn poll on Best way to maintain your Brand Image and the best way to ensure loyalty is to keep them happy. Everyone loves surprises, so in addition to acting on their complaints, send deserving complainants business promotional products as spontaneous corporate gifts and they will find it an endearing gesture.

Cues that convey whether you mean what you say

…Like whether the tone of your customer care representative is sugary sweet or genuinely concerned, the quality of the business promotional products you send as gifts – whether they are sub-standard ones sent out in bulk or are good quality items personalized well, whether the mistakes are repeated, how soon they are resolved etc.

You agree now, that bad publicity need not give a dark edge to your strategic business plan like DecorMyEyes. With a little bit of fortitude, you can transform sour customers into satisfied ones!

To view a large variety of branding products for your employees, please visit our website at www.promodirect.com

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Dec 03 2010

Of Happy Employees and Happening Sales!

Published by under Business & Marketing

Seen how a beautiful pattern gradually unfolds in front of your eyes when a line of dominoes rhythmically slide into each other? A successful business development strategy embodies this too; happy employees = happy clients = rising sales = happy You, and the beautiful pattern spells ‘Success’.

Read on for more business tips about how happy employees will boost your sales.

Satisfy them and they will satisfy your customers

Satisfied employees will genuinely like working for you and not just because you pay them well. Make them feel important by giving them an occasional compliment or corporate gifts and they will have a similar demeanor while dealing with your customers.

They are brand messengers

Promotional products are not the only means to publicize your brand; the people who use them can spread the word too. Corporate gifts like promotional t-shirts, promotional mugs and imprinted travel bags will boost your brand in addition to their morale. A satisfied employee is likely to flaunt these corporate gifts even outside work.

Aggrieved employees can antagonize your clientele

Remember for your client, your employees represent your business and an unprofessional employee can sabotage client relations. The trick is to have a healthy, understanding employee-employer relationship. Even if you can’t afford to give promotional t-shirts or other such fancy promo items, the least you can do is have ‘grievance discussion and resolution’ sessions. Your indifference about their issues can kill their spirit but your interest can revive and boost it.

Hang on to them because they save costs

Its always advisable to hang on to your long-standing employees even if they aren’t going through a particularly productive period. The bottom line is they know their work; they are going through a phase and will get out of it. On the other hand, hiring new employees means training costs and valuable sales time lost in instruction.

Business tips are about action rather than mere ideas. Act today! Make your business development strategy employee-friendly. Treat your staff as your assets and they will treat your work personal responsibility rather than a mere professional task.

To view a large variety of branding products for your employees, please visit our website at www.promodirect.com

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Dec 02 2010

The Brand image contest – and the winner is…Customer loyalty!

Picture this: You are the owner of ‘Successfully Successful’ – an imaginary company that has everything going right for it. Your branding strategies are impeccable – you believe that ‘new’ never gets ‘old’ and regularly update your gradually increasing products and services catalog, you diligently make your presence felt on Facebook and Twitter and are an advertising whiz when it comes to brand promotion. You don’t worry even when your customers come and go, nor do you woo them back with corporate gifts or promotional items; because you know you won’t run out of clients.

Brand Image – Mission accomplished? No. Far from it! You have been looking inwards all the while and ignoring the one aspect that can give permanence to your brand identity – Customer loyalty. It is not my verdict alone, over 100 other individuals (104 to be precise) agreed with me when they chose customer loyalty over options like advertising, social media visibility, introducing new products/services etc in a recently concluded LinkedIn poll on the Best way to maintain your Brand Image.

LinkedIn Poll Results for Maintaining A Brand Image

Maintaining customer loyalty secured a whopping 41% of the votes from most business owners and individuals on the VP and management level.

As Carissa Siems,VP of Marketing at CAS Inc puts in her comment on the poll,
“effective branding starts with your own customer database. The loyalty of your customers is the greatest advertising you can ask for. Happy customers spread the word and get others involved in your brand. Branding encompasses all of the topics, but it all starts with your own customers.” True.

The simplest ways to maintain customer loyalty would be to…

  • Be prompt in your service. Prompter than your rival, actually.
  • Keep your promises and if you don’t hesitate to say sorry.
  • Gift of appreciation can make apologies easier. Promotional items as corporate gifts. will leave them with fond memories of doing business with you.
  • Take their feedback, and take it seriously.

And yeah, I agree with Wendy Soucie, a Social Media Consultant who says that the choices are also influenced by age.
“Its interesting that the youngest suggest social media visibility which your customers can find and interact with. The oldest poll responders suggest that maintaining customer loyalty is most important. In my opinion, these two are really the same but seen from different perspectives. Use social media to stay in front and accessible to your customers which will maintain customer loyalty. This also supports your brand while the customers become evangelists.

After all, Social media today is not just about merely reaching out, its about reaching out to fulfill concrete goals like sales, creating brand identity and profits!

Though the option only got 14% of votes, I do believe that creative advertising as a means for brand promotion is going to get BIG. According to Barclays Capital, US advertising will increase by 3.5% to $167 billion in 2010 that should account for something.

Ok, now I will choose to disobey my diplomatic mind’s contention that a combination of all of the above is a perfect recipe to maintain brand image, and go with the majority. (Though personally I think many of us picked customer loyalty, solely because we thought of ourselves as consumers first rather than entrepreneurs or professionals!)

To view a large variety of branding products for business promotion, please visit our website at www.promodirect.com

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