You are currently browsing the IDEAS4 Blog blog archives for January, 2009.

Branding Means Logos, Right? Hardly.

January 26th, 2009

I run into a lot of corporate leadership types who think branding is a just developing a great logo. I try to explain the difference between a brand and a logo, but it often seems like more that they can handle – “too much work” seems to be the consensus.

Yes, branding is a lot of work, and yes it involved a lot more than just developing a logo – but if you are committed to establishing a brand that will be memorable and taken seriously, it is well worth the effort. 

A brand is in fact how a company ‘feels’ (what it says and does consistently) not what a company ‘looks like.’ It is the essence of a company’s soul; its belief systems, philosophy, commitment to excellence and its love or distain for customers and suppliers all rolled into one fleeting moment of opportunity when an audience thinks of your company. The essence of that brand identity should be reflected in its logo, themeline and mission, not the other way around. 

Most importantly, it is how the senior management acts and reacts to situations, be they production problems, customer complaints, employee relations and the like that communicate some of that brand essence to its employees, suppliers and customers. When a CEO pays only lip service to the company brand, a positive brand identity will not survive because of the trickle down effect of apathy. The audiences who watch the senior management use cues they get from corporate leaders to guide their own behavior, leading to sloppier production, lackadaisical customer service ultimately negatively impacting the company brand. 

Management that treats its employees poorly will in turn ‘empower’ its employees to treat customers and suppliers badly. Employees, customers and suppliers all have friends, relatives and social circle, and before you know it, your company name and brand is damaged. 

This same initiative works in your marketing communications as well. Your company’s brand image is projected through its advertising, collateral material, stationery, logo and other visual tools. Being consistent, communicating clearly, and factually will enhance your brand image. Sloppy marketing, inconsistent messaging and poor quality materials will tell your readers that the company is sloppy, inconsistent and cares little about product quality. 

Fore more on developing a successful brand, please download my e-book on why brand initiatives fail and how to avoid them. Available from our website at  http://www.ideas4.com/brandbook.asp

Welcome To The IDEAS4 Blog

January 25th, 2009

Welcome to the IDEAS4 blog. We recently updated our website to be more user friendly, easier to navigate and be more Google-friendly. It always seems like we are always working on other organization’s sites are not often enough on our own.

In lieu of having a news section on our site, we’ll use the blog to keep you informed of the latest happenings with ideas4 and when we find interesting little snippets of information to pass along, we do that here as well.

Yesterday I was reading through Google Analytics website and noticed an interesting little fact. They say they use 200 different criteria to evaluate a webpage to determine where it ranks in natural searches. Since none of us SEO geniuses have any clue what all 200 are, we can only use what we know to help promote your site to the first page.

I did notice that they take a considerable amount of time discussing inbound links, and how those count as “virtual votes” for your website. But they can’t be just any links, they need to be links from sites with similar or related content to your site to give them additional credibility. Link farms of random volume of links won’t work, and may in fact count against you.

For more details on how you can improve you seo rankings, don’t forget to download our beginners guide to SEO found on our search engine optimization page.