How to Create Brand Positioning?

Brand positioning is the most important way to get your business and products out there. In order to maintain a great business running, the business’ brand needs to be recognized and remembered in a positive light. The goal in brand positioning is to create an image about your brand in consumers’ minds so that they can remember your products in a specific way. Because this is so important for your company, we have put together some guidelines to help you create an appropriate brand positioning.

Before you create a plan for your brand positioning, there are a few questions you need to ask yourself:

         How is your brand currently positioned?

         Who are your competitors?

         How are competitors positioning themselves?

Once you have found the answers to these questions, you would be able to have a better sense of which direction you would like to take your business -competing alongside your competitors, or divert from them completely.

If you want to differentiate your brand from that of competitors, the best way to do so is by focusing your brand position on the features your company has to offer that competitors don’t. If you and your competitors offer very similar services/products, you can focus advertisements on those features that competitors are not expressing in their advertisement. Many times, businesses tend to overlook some of their services without realizing how those services can be of priority to prospective consumers. Pay attention to what competitors are saying about their businesses to help determine the direction you want to take.

If you are interested in competing alongside competitors, determine what makes your service better than theirs and have your brand positioning revolve around that.

Industry Specific Social Site: ActiveRain

If you are in the real estate industry, you may have heard or already have an account with ActiveRain. This social channel is the world’s largest and most active professional network in the real estate industry boasting 285,233 members. If you happen to be in this industry but haven’t thought about signing up for an account, then read on to find out all the reasons why you should.

First and foremost, ActiveRain provides users with one of the industry’s largest real estate specific content library with over 4 million blog posts. This is due to members sharing their best practices from sales strategies and marketing to technology. Members are able to create and share blog posts onto the site to help teach and inform one other of real estate related topics. Through all of these helpful blogs, members are also able to build professional relationships with other real estate professionals around the United States and Canada, which can later help with building a national referral network.

These services can definitely help real estate professionals build a greater following; especially since other ActiveRain visitors are able to see member blog posts. The more people recognize your name and work, the better it will be for business.

Signing up to be a member of ActiveRain is completely free. In order to do this, click here! If you would like your blog posts to be seen and searched by the millions of ActiveRain visitors, you could upgrade your account to become a “Rainmaker”.  As a rainmaker member, not only will you be able to share your blog posts with millions of users but, you are able to create Hit Router and Home Search Campaigns using your IDX. To learn more about Rainmaker and its benefits visit here.

How to Gain Quality Followers

It is everyone’s goal to gain a large following on social media, but it can be very hard to keep those followers after you’ve gotten them. Because of this we have gathered details on ways to gain and keep a large following.

Enhance your Profile:

The first step is to focus on the social network where your following is more likely to be and enhance that profile. You can do this by using an identifiable name and image with a clear and concise description. In order to figure out which social media is the most popular for your following, you should research buyer’s personas by asking clients which social media they are more likely to be found, conducting an anonymous survey, or use share data.

Promote Social Presence:

Even though it’s important to focus on a specific social network, it is also important to still have a presence in other social media networks, as well. After getting a profile in all the important networks, you must promote it anywhere you can; this means on your website, your print advertisements, your business cards, your email messages, and even on social media.

Share Valuable Content:

Once you have your profiles set up and some following, the next step is to offer valuable content for your followers. Your content should be relative to your company and industry. However, you should be careful not to be too self-promotional. Your content should be fresh, interesting, and engaging. Adding visual content, personal posts, and hashtags can also optimize your content.

Build a Relationship:

Building a relationship with your followers is the best way to keep with around. You should interact with your followers whenever they mention or tag you into their posts. Following and building relationships with others in your industry is also important.

Making your social network one worth following is the goal in order to gain quality followers.

Networking Organizations We’re a Part of: The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce

This month we are highlighting the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, a networking organization we just recently became a member of! The Greater Boston Chamber currently supports over 1,500 organizations from all industries and of all sizes in the region. Their mission is to develop an economic growth throughout the greater Boston region as well as a vibrant and inclusive business community. By joining the organization, businesses are able to benefit from, not only networking opportunities but also, advocacy, leadership development, and innovation initiatives.

Strategic Networking Opportunities:

The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce offers networking events with top businesses and political leaders speakers in order for members to build professional connections, meet prominent business and government leaders, and engage in issues relevant to business community.

Business Advocacy:

The Greater Boston Chamber gives businesses a voice in economical and political situations through legislative efforts and policies, which help improve the region’s business climate and competitiveness. These advocacy efforts take place through the public policy committee, the “Advocacy Pulse,” a monthly update for all members, and “Growth Tracker,” an online resource with comprehensive economic views.

Leadership Opportunities:

The Greater Boston Chamber cultivates programs for the region’s business leaders. These include the Executive Leadership Institute, Boston’s Future Leaders, Women’s Leadership Program, and the Chamber Intern Connect, an internship website.

Innovation Initiatives:

Along with this, the chamber creates initiative designed to foster and promote the growth of the region’s economy. They also take initiatives towards showcasing innovative companies, and innovation-related advocacy.

Among all of these services, the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce offers many other services. To find out more about the benefits and services available through this organization, visit their site here.

Industry Specific Sites: Dribbble

Welcome to the first blog post of our newest blog series where we will be reviewing industry specific social sites. If you thought the only social mediums important for your business are just Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn then you are wrong. If you weren’t already aware, there are many other social sites out in the virtual world that are specific to your business’ industry and can be much more important in placing your company in that industry’s map.

For the first blog of this new series, we will be reviewing Dribbble. Essentially, Dribbble works as a “show and tell” platform for all digital designers. Designers of all types (web designers, graphic designers, illustrators, icon artists, typographers, logo designers, etc.) use this social media platform to share their work with others. Just like other social media, Dribbble helps connect other designers and employers of the industry all around the world. Designers can, not only share but also, promote their work and discover and explore new designs!

As you may be wondering, some of our own team designers use Dribbble to share some of their works as well. The way it works is, designers submit the work they are most proud of or what they are currently working on onto the site everyday. They describe the design and can share the color pallets used on the work. Other designers can then share that work or comment and give advice on the design. Overall, this social site can help designers find jobs and companies find talent.

Originally, Dribbble began as a side project and then developed into what it is currently – a small, bootstrapped and profitable company located in Salem, Massachusetts helping designers around the world get noticed!

If you are interested in learning more about this Designer industry specific social site, or are interested in creating your own Dribbble account, visit the site for more here.

Recent Major Security Hacks

There have been thousands of security breaches in the past few years. Many times, hacking accounts can be very simple to prevent by having an effective password security system. It seems, however, that not many still struggle to develop an effective password system, even successful entrepreneurs like Mark Zuckerberg.

As you may have already heard, this past Sunday Mark Zuckerberg’s Twitter and Pinterest accounts were hacked by hackers going by the name of OurMine Team. It seems that the 2012 LinkedIn breach was a great contributor to the hacking because they seemed to have gotten Zuckerberg’s password from the LinkedIn database.

A message sent from the Twitter account read, “Hey, [Mark Zuckerberg] You were in Linkedin Database with the password ‘dadada’! DM for proof..” His big mistake was reusing the same password for more than one account.

Another major hack that occurred this past Tuesday morning was the official NFL Twitter account hack. Peggle Crew (the hackers) had sent out a message that read, “We regret to inform our fans that our commissioner, Roger Goodell, has passed away. He was 57. #RIP”. This statement was quickly denied by NFL Spokesman, Brian McCarthy who sent out a tweet stating that the account had been hacked and that Roger Goodell “is alive and well.”

A Peggle Crew member told Tech Insider that they had gotten the social media information from an employee’s email where the account password was located.

Going back to the 2012 LinkedIn hack, it was recently revealed that the hack had actually compromised 117 million LinkedIn IDs as opposed to the claim of only 6.5 million IDs released at the time of the hack. It was also discovered that the IDs were up for sale in the dark market known as TheRealDeal.

With all the hacking, it is crucial for everyone to do their part in protecting their account. Here are some tips to take into consideration:

  •      DON’T reuse a password.
  •      Make your passwords long.
  •      Use upper and lower case letters with special characters.
  •      Avoid full words.
  •      Use two-factor authentication where a code is sent to you after entering your password.
  •      Choose difficult security questions and/or make up answers only you will remember.
  •      DON’T share your passwords with anyone.
  •      Use a password manager to safely keep track of your passwords.

Importance of Brand Consistency

 

Having brand consistency for your company or organization is extremely important for your business. Brand consistency should exist throughout all documents created by your business, the location of your business, the products your business offers, and much more.

One reason why consistency is important is because it can help create the perception you want clients to have of your organization. If your branding is consistent in every aspect, the client will perceive your business as a professional one.

The way you portray your brand, and the consistency of it, also conveys the kind of attitude your company has. It can portray whether your organization is a serious one, if you follow through with what your organization is about, or if you are confused as a business owner on what you want your business to be.

With that said, having brand consistency can exclude any confusion the audience may have on what your organization is about. If the audience doesn’t know what you are about, then you could potentially lose them as customers. That’s something no one looks forward to.

Integrity and investments can suffer when you are not consistent with your branding. By building an effective brand consistency, you can protect these aspects of your business.

Most importantly, having consistency can help your business grow through previous successes. If your company had an amazing achievement in the past, you would probably want clients to remember that it was your company that did it. If the brand stays consistent throughout time, potential clients can recognize your business and its achievements easily.

Here are some examples of businesses with great brand consistency:

The Museum of Fine Arts

This Boston Fine Arts museum has been consistent with its brand’s colors sticking with the two-to-three tone pallet and their signature red color. They also have their logos on all employees’ aprons, outdoor banners, throughout their website, and brochures. 

Lush Cosmetics

Because Lush is an organic, natural cosmetic store, their products sit in their raw forms to show their freshness and fill the shop with their products’ scents. For the products that need to be packaged, the ingredients are displayed at the top of the packaging so that customers know about the organic materials in them. They also gave stickers of the packagers face on them to give a personalized feel to them.

Target

Target is a great discount retailer that everyone recognizes by the logo, the white puppies, and the red accent colors throughout the store. If you have not noticed, they are also consistent throughout their social media. They stay consistent with red colors, puppies, and logo throughout their pictures, banners, and posts on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

For the benefits of your company, stay consistent through the designs of your location, products, documents, and social media as you expand your business.

Why you Need Reputation Management

Are you a small or local business owner? Did you know that small/local businesses are more vulnerable to online reputation attacks? By this I don’t mean having hackers going in to hijack all of your media. It is much simpler than that. Someone posting negative content through videos, blog posts, complaint comments, or even promoting your competition or developing a hate site are all ways in which your business’ reputation can be attacked.

Word-of-mouth can travel much quicker than you may expect. If your business is being under attack and you don’t invest what is needed in developing your online presence and reputation, your business will suffer damages—like lost revenues—later on.

Luckily, we have searched and developed some points to guide you in avoiding such losses.

Assess Your Online Reputation:
The first step is to assess your current reputation by looking up the name of your business, your name, any brands and products in relation to your business, you high-profile employees, and usernames or handles. By doing this you would be able to determine where to start in managing your online reputation.

Be Active in All Relevant Online Mediums:
If you don’t already, make sure your business is on these 3 MAJOR platforms:

  1. Twitter
  2. Facebook
  3. Google+

Having a strong online presence can surpass any negative postings about your business, especially if you’re engaging with your audience.

Aside from the 3 major platforms though, stay up to date with other online properties that may be associated with you industry. If your business has visually-oriented products, get active on Pinterest, Instagram, Flickr and all other visual websites.

Avoid Online Argument:
Sometimes your audience can leave harsh comments about your business, but you must avoid negatively engaging with them. When handling these situations, be nicer than you think you should be and respond professionally.

Make Blog Posts:
Creating blog posts with relevant keywords in them can help with your business’ ranking. It also provides you with a reliable platform to respond to any major allegations made about your company.

Develop Platforms for Executive Names:
All individuals associated with your business (founders, owners, executives) should have strong social media. Many times, a company’s identity is associated with executives and, if they do not have high profiles online, they could be leaving themselves open to any online antagonists.

Be Mindful:
If your business is receiving a lot of negative feedback, you should probably reconsider whatever it is you are getting negativity for. There may be some weaknesses that your company members should address. If in fact you are in the wrong, own up to the mistakes made by your business and try to make amends with your customers.

It is crucial to invest your time and—sometimes—money in your business’ reputation development. People could be looking up your business online to find out more about it. If you are not taking control of your business’ brand online, someone else will.