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The Importance of Building A Brand

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brandsBrand is one of the most important parts of a product. Brands can be a value added to a product whether they are in the form of goods or services. For example: If there are two (2) bottles of mineral water filled with the type of mineral water that is equally good in terms of quality and quantity, the mineral water which were given a brand would be considered valuable, better and more qualified than the mineral water that is not.

This additional value is very advantageous for manufacturers or companies. This is the reason why many companies are trying to continue introducing their brands from time to time, especially to their consumers who are the target market.

Brand is the term, sign, symbol, design or a combination where all of these are intended to identify products or services of the company, which distinguishes the products / services with other products, especially products from competitors.

Defining Brand Elements

Some of the criteria that must be considered in defining brand elements:

1. Easy to remember

This means the chosen brand elements should be easy to remember, to be called / spoken. The symbol, logo, name used should be interesting, and unique to attract people to remember and consumed.

2. Has the meaning

The brand element should contain a meaning or explanation / description of the product. This meaning can be expected to influence consumers to consume these products.

Description of the meaning contained can be:

  1. General information on the categories and contents of the product
  2. Important information about the composition of products and how consumers can enjoy the benefits from the product.

3. Interesting and funny

Another approach is to entice consumers with a variety of funny and unique brand elements, by selecting elements that are rich in terms of its visualization and imagination. In this case you’ll enjoy the design that is attractive.

4. Flexible

The brand elements should be understandable and can still be accepted by the regions / markets, even by other cultures. The name that is going to be used should not too difficult to translate. Often, the selections of branding elements are easily remembered by local communities, but it is too difficult to be understood by people from other cultures. This will certainly hamper the manufacturer to enter a new market.

There are several functions of a brand for consumers and companies.

For consumers, a brand will help them to identify a product quality, both in the form of goods or services. Brand will also improve the efficiency of the buyer as it will facilitate the buyers to find the products searched. Additionally, it will help attract the attention of consumers on a new product that may benefit them.

There are several new health products entering the existing saturated market. For example, Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) is previously known to be detected during a pregnancy. Recently, after several researches were being done by scientists, this hormone becomes very famous because of its ability to suppress appetite when consumed. The discovery makes a lot of health manufactures produces HCG by branding it into a unique weight loss product. According to, the best HCG diet drops brands are HCG Complex, HCG 1234, and HCG Triumph. The power of creating strong brand elements, make these products enter the market easily and make it to be well recognized by the consumers. A brand will prevent things that are not desired by consumers, both in terms of health risks, the risk of product malfunction, and error rates, or the risk from ineligibility products which are consumed.

On the other hand, from manufacturer side, a brand will facilitate the seller to process orders and track problems that arise. Moreover, it will assist sellers in doing market segmentation and attracting customers/consumers who are loyal and profitable.

From the previous HCG (health product) case perspective, a brand will help identify product excellence, which distinguishes the product with other products, especially the products of rivals.

Companies, both products and services companies, try to increase the strength of its brand in the market from time to time. In this case the manufacturer will strive to introduce the products, by showing the advantages that are not being provided by other products.

The existence of a brand is not merely indicating the name of a product, but more than that. The brand shows the added value of products in various dimensions, which distinguishes the product with other products.

A successful brand building will be formed when the elements of brands advocate to support and provide a positive contribution to the creation of a strong brand in the market. The elements that are meant here is the quality, the ability of products to meet the consumer needs or desires, and the ability of a reliable marketing strategy to continue introducing the brand to the market through all marketing programs.

Thus, by doing all of these strategies, the brands can continue to be known, and consumed by the public (creating consumer loyalty), so that the brand becomes a strong brand in the market.

The Way We Park and Drive is Challenged at ITS World Congress in Detroit

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As the largest ITS World Congress in the U.S. to date begins this week; the one thing that remains constant is change. Automakers are changing and it is a refreshing reality, full of hope and excitement for the future of automotive. In his keynote speech on Monday morning, Ford Motor Company executive chairman and founding partner of Fontinalis Partners, Bill Ford said “Traditionally our industry has not worked well with smaller companies.” This year’s ITS World Congress is proving that this notion is a thing of the past.

One notable partnership is between smart parking leader Parkmobile and German automaker BMW. On Monday morning the announcement, as described in their press release, was made that a substantial investment by the BMW Group was being made in Parkmobile. Parkmobile’s app allows drivers to pay for parking via their smart phone, eliminating the need to search for change for parking meters. BMW also is integrating “Parkmobile’s on-demand mobile payment solution,” with ParkNow to allow drivers to pre-pay for parking before they arrive. This simplified parking solution is being made available not just for BMW connected vehicles, but for all automakers.

“The integration between Parkmobile’s on-demand and ParkNow’s prepaid system provides consumers with a superior mobile payment experience for on- and off-street parking,” said Cherie Fuzzell, CEO of Parkmobile USA, Inc. “At the same time, the strategic investment of the BMW Group clearly demonstrates Parkmobile’s expanding leadership in the mobile payment and connected vehicle space.”

The next generation in mobility is certainly upon us. In the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Summit, Dr. Ahmad Bahai, CTO, Texas Instruments, explained that “In the next couple of years there will be around 24 million connected cars on the road.” It was also explained…

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3 Simple Steps to Increasing the Positivity in Your Workplace

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As a leader in business, you understand that someone who is happy and feels valued will work harder. The challenge is achieving that state of positivity. What’s the best way to do that, you ask? You gave them more money already. They have the title that befits them. What more do they need? It’s a little more complicated than that, but the solution is simple really.

Positivity breeds positivity. Positivity must be engrained into the core of your organization. Not sure how to do that? Read on. Here are three simple steps to increase positivity in your workplace:

  1. Lead by example. When I said “Positivity breeds positivity,” I meant it. This doesn’t mean skirting by the facts. Be open and honest with your staff, even behind closed doors. Depending on the hierarchy or your organization, one manager could feel threatened or defeated by your way of speaking behind closed doors. If that manager feels uninspired, how do you think the team members in the weeds will feel? It is important to find the positive of the situation. If sales are lower than projected, do you think the team would perform better if you harped on them for missing projections or if you inspired them to develop a solution?
  2. Find brand advocates. Internal brand advocates can bring massive benefits to an organization. Sometimes brand advocates are…

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5 Tips in Telling Stories for Business Success

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Nearly everyone on this planet has one thing in common – the love of a good story. As staples at bedtime and in board rooms alike, what makes a “good” story is highly debatable. Actual good stories last years, decades, centuries and even millennia. Businesses that aren’t telling stories are simply losing out on engagement with new audiences. Here are five key tips in telling stories for success in any business:

1.Keep it simple: Simplicity is bliss. Once consumers have to start trying to figure out where you’re going or remember random facts they will likely give up. Don’t overcomplicate the story. Sometimes it takes an outside person to see the full picture and edit your story down. Certain facts that may be relevant for you don’t matter to the end user.

2.Success lies in truth: Making up stories may work in advertising but never in an actual news item or business pitch. Get your facts ironed out and straight first. Assuming makes an… well you know.

3.Make it relevant: Relevancy means that when telling a story it may not be

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Daddy Diaries

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I woke up this morning and felt my baby kick for the second time. The feeling is hard to explain. It is unlike any other and I don’t think it will ever get old. While my wife has been pregnant for almost six months now, I have not been able to feel him like she has. This moment made it more real that I am becoming a dear old “Dad”.

It was a “Cats in the Cradle” moment for me. I thought about how growing up I wanted to be just like my dad in every way. I played the sports he liked to play, I watched the TV shows he liked to watch and I played music just like him. Dad taught me a lot about life. He formulated my personal brand into what it is today. He showed me how to fix just about everything around the house, he showed me how to act in public and private, he taught me how to keep my word, he showed me the finer things in life and taught me the meaning of being a good man. How do I teach my son all of this? Where do I begin?

These thoughts poured through my mind. I started to over think it. The fact is I have already begun. I just have to be myself. I have to continue to stay level-headed, calm and thoughtful. This is the biggest change my life may ever endure. When I think back to other big changes in my life I think about getting married, losing my grandparents, Dad being in the hospital, getting a new job, losing friends and gaining new ones. Throughout each of these situations, it was best to simply be myself in the end.

Do I know if my son will prefer to listen to Otis Redding or Kanye West? No, no I don’t. What I do know is that I will always be my best self and bring him up the only way I know how. I will embrace the little man he is and the grown man he will become – just like my dad did for me. I will always put forth my best effort because that is what he deserves. After all, he could be President one day, you never know.

Everybody is a Student in Social Media

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social-mediamanagementEverybody is a student in social media.” This is one of the first phrases I stated last night when I taught my first class on “Introduction to Social Media for Small Businesses” at Madonna University.

There are no social media experts. There are no social media ninjas or gurus or geniuses. Instead there are different levels of students. Some students are more developed and some are still getting their sea legs. In staying with the karate theme, last night I had a class of white belts. I could have taken the class and jumped right into how many times to post and what to do when but I did not. I brought them to the ground level.

Now some people may not have enough patience for the ground level. The ground level is the most important. Look at the leaning tower of Pisa. I was there. Its beautiful but its foundation was so messed up for so long that the building was about to topple over. They had to create a whole project that involved the greatest modern minds in masonry, architecture and the like to reset this foundation. And, after all of that you know what they say? In 200 years it will be leaning the other way just as much. By that point, a whole new generation will have to worry about keeping it erect.

The point of that story is that if the foundation, the ground level, was set properly, we would not have to worry about going back and fixing [retraining] from the ground level. Also, you can think about your favorite musician. Chuck Berry did not start out his life playing Johnny B. Goode. It took him years to find that style. He had to learn the basics from teachers, like jazz guitarist Ira Davis.

Social media is very public and the ground level is just the first important step. By the looks of social media today I think many higher level social media students would say that a lot of us need to go back and take another look at that ground level.

In social media I see these self-explanatory levels from highest to lowest:

Well-established and committed
Comfortable, but hungry
Getting it
Hungry for more
Gaining steam
Testing the waters
White belt

What’s your level?

Use This Blog Article Checklist Before You Publish

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checklistThinking about starting a blog? Jump on the bandwagon. There has never been another time when we have created more content as a society. TechCrunch reports that every two days we create as much information as we did from the beginning up until the year 2003.

If this number does not stop you in your tracks I am not sure what will, digitally. The digital and social generation that we live in today is all about creating content. So let’s take the last 100 years for example. In 1914, they were writing about Henry Ford offering workers $5/day, an unheard of amount, to work in his factories. In 2014, we are creating more content than ever. In 2114, we need to allow our grand children, great grand children and great great grandchildren something good to read.

With that, the time is now to get to work. After reading through and reviewing quite a large number of blog articles over the years I have noticed many inconsistencies. The following list, not in any order, should be reviewed before you publish any article to a personal or company blog:

  • Spell check your post: This is a grate place to start but is just one small step. Remember, spell cheek does not catch everything. Notice what I did there?
  • Re-read the article for clarity.
  • Check for grammar, spelling or punctuation errors: Once you read through it once you should find most of these corrections. However, you may have to go through it more than once, especially if you wrote the article. Your eyes will start to glaze over the simplest things.
  • Make sure an image is included: This is so important in the visual world in which we live in.
  • Check images for copyright infringement: If you do not pay for stock images you need to be careful n this one. if you pull images down from the internet chances are they may be copyrighted. Filter the images you pull to make sure they are okay to share.
  • Ensure that all links are functional.
  • Check your word count: The target range is 400-800 words. Two short and you may not get your point across. Too long and nobody will read it.
  • Check formatting: Make sure there is consistency throughout.
  • Have keywords and tags been used? This is one of the most important things to incorporate for your SEO.
  • Does the title and/or subtitle clearly communicate what the post is about? The eye catcher. Bring them in. Get them sleepy – very, very sleepy.

If you didn’t write the article, check these things too:

  • Verify the author’s name & credentials are correct.
  • Add (and verify) any referenced sources.
  • Check for plagiarism: Try a free plagiarism checking website such as I once reviewed an article on plagiarism that was 96% plagiarized. The other 45 was the person’s name and title.

What else would you add to this list?

The Future of High Tech Automotive

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Recently, I had the opportunity to attend Matt Roush’s monthly Technology Report event series discussing high-tech automotive trends at Lawrence Technological University. Joining Roush was a panel of four esteemed guests: Andrew Pontius, Chief Engineering Technical Officer, NAO, Faurecia Emissions Control Technologies; Tom Apostolos, President, Ricardo USA Inc.; Jeff Gilbert, Automotive Reporter, WWJ Newsradio 950; and; Jerry Klarr, Director of Innovation and Strategy, AVL.

Pontius started off the morning’s festivities with an intriguing discussion on the current state of future of the automotive emissions industry. With Faurecia being the sixth largest automotive supplier in the world, Andrew offered an expanse of insight. The audience was shocked to hear that with emissions as they are today, a V6 Toyota Camry today is just as fast as a classic Chevrolet Camaro IROC. For the automotive emissions industry, Pontius sees one of the major shifts is the downsizing of engines – predicting that the industry is headed for two liter turbo engines for everyone.

“Engines overall are operating at lower speeds with less cylinders,” said Pontius. The main problem with this is increased noise. Cars are trending towards less space and less weight, but still need to somehow remain quieter than their predecessors. Pontius predicts we are moving towards cylinder deactivation and silencing volume. Contributing to this, Faurecia has begun a new, innovative lightweight initiative and has already built an exhaust system that is 40 percent lighter than its competitors.

“We are coming to the age with the digitization of exhaust sound,” stated Pontius. “We cancel out the current sound and produce another.” His focus on the acoustics and dynamics of exhaust compelled the audience. “The next thing to focus on is energy recovery,” said Pontius. He concluded with the fact that 30 percent of fuel energy is lost through the tailpipe. The future of auto emissions also will focus on harnessing that energy to make it useable.

Automotive panel discussion

At the completion of Andrew Pontius’s presentation, Matt Roush and audience members posed questions to the panel. What is the most interesting automotive tech today? Jerry Klarr stepped in stating that the most interesting piece of automotive tech to him is… Read my entire article on Airfoil Group’s company blog at:

Calculating ROI in Social Media

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roiROI. ROI. ROI. Say that ten times fast! Say it once or say it a thousand times, most social media professionals are tired of getting asked to calculate it. I spoke with a representative at Oracle, one of the largest tech corporations, not long ago. My contact there confirmed that nobody has a definite answer to calculating ROI in social media. This proves a point of mine exactly, there is no direct answer to return on investment (ROI) from social media.

Now, there are things we can quantify in social media. We can find the number of likes, retweets, mentions, pins, hashtags used and more. We can find out how many people visit our website and are referred from social networks. We can see how many people share our most recent blog article or press release. What we cannot determine is what we are going to get out of it for all the money that we spend on it – and if you’re not spending money on it you’re already in trouble.

What most do not realize is that no matter how you see it, social media is a key lifeline for business. It is necessary. It is no longer an optional thing to do. Everything is becoming socialized. To maintain a positive share in the marketplace, businesses need to keep themselves out there. Ten years from now, you will stumble upon this topic and laugh. I’ve been using social media for 11 years now and all it has taught me is that people like to feel close to what they believe in. If they like science fiction novels, people will use social networks to connect with science fiction authors, fans and companies. If people are interested in baking, they will follow famous bakers, share recipes on networks and talk with other fellow bakers.

The fact is, if you are not out there talking with those interested in topics that you or your company cares about, someone else will. Someone else will lead the conversation. Someone else will move your customers to their side. The question constantly arises – What is the ROI of social media to our organization? The real question is – What is the negative ROI if you do not use social media?