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What Are The 3 Reasons To Urgently Rebrand Yourself?

3 Reasons You May Need to Urgently Rebrand And Yes, Covid Is One of Them
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Published on Dec 12, 2020

By Shona Maitland


Your brand is your fingerprint, your voice, your very essence of business being. It’s the sum total of everything you do, everything you offer, everything you believe, everything you project. Get it right, and your business thrives. Get it wrong, and you could lose customers by the droves. Let’s avoid that at all costs.

Here are three important reasons you may need to rebrand urgently: 

1. Your branding makes people think of a pandemic 

When I write the word “Covid-19”, what images do you think of?  Sickness? Stretchers? Viruses? Microbes? Face masks? Colors like red, black, clinical blue, and surgeon-gown-green? What words do you think of? Contagious? Sick? Quarantine? Death? Cough? Sneeze? Testing?

How do you feel when you think about Covid-19? Scared? Isolated? Anxious? Annoyed? Angry? Grief-stricken? Lonely? These are just a handful of common images, feelings and words associated with the pandemic, and none of them are particularly uplifting.  Yet, they may be the very words associated with your brand, if elements of your branding remind people of the virus. You might be wondering, “How would any brand possibly be associated with Covid-19?” 

Well, it might just be coincidence and plain bad luck. For example, years ago I saw a business logo on a van where the letter “o” within the logo was made into a little, spiky virus ball, almost identical to the ones we currently and constantly see on our televisions and news feeds. 

If that company is still operating today, I’d suggest an urgent rebrand. Despite the logo possibly working for them in the past, it will now be linked, even just fleetingly and subconsciously, to something negative and dangerous. It could impact sales. In the above example, the logo lettering was deliberately crafted to look like a virus, but what of all the quirky shapes and images that accidentally look like viruses? 

In my opinion, they should change.  It’s true, Covid-19 will pass but in the meantime, the owners of those businesses are trying to run their brands under a banner of positivity, which is challenging given the possible association with the virus. If you want a positive brand, you must create branding that triggers positive feelings, not negative ones. 

“Brand is just a perception, and perception will match reality over time.” – Elon Musk

Make no mistake, brands are getting it wrong. Viewers in the United Kingdom were repelled by a KFC television advertisement featuring people licking their oily fingers in public spaces, after chomping on the chicken. 

What did viewers instantly think of? Covid-19! They were unimpressed that KFC was encouraging people to lick their fingers during a health crises.  KFC pulled the ad. If they hadn’t, their brand could have been temporarily fried. KFC would have been seen as reckless and irresponsible, and definitely not doing their bit for the pandemic.

In a nutshell, Covid-19 is currently imbedded in the collective global conscience. If your branding is associated with it in a negative way, consider rebranding ASAP. If you cannot invest in rebranding, try to remove or tastefully obscure the images that create the negative association.

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2. Your branding is offensive 

Stroll around certain parts of the internet and social media, and you’ll see rampant, chest-thumping, offense taking. You aren’t expected to know everything people are offended about, needless to say, it’s a lot! Some of it completely frivolous. But there are also many legitimate reasons why people take offense. 

With that in mind, the key areas to naturally avoid are: racism, sexism and anything that insults, attacks or marginalizes people because of their age, intelligence, religion, gender, sexuality, physical appearance, and mental or physical disabilities. A timely and well-publicized example of rebranding amidst the foreground of Black Lives Matter, is the NFL team formerly known as the Redskins, who are now temporarily known as the Washington Football Team. 

Redskins is a disparaging term for Native Americans, and it had been the team’s name since 1933 after initially being called the Boston Braves in 1932, prior to moving to Washington. After years of protests from Native Americans, fans and players, the Redskins leadership announced they’d drop the name and logo after a review process, to the anger of some, and the relief of many. 

There has been mockery around the temporary name: the Washington Football Team, and admittedly, it is beige – but likely deliberately so, to avoid any attacks relating to creativity, given it is impermanent. 

Importantly, management understood the very message I’m highlighting in this article, that sometimes the need to rebrand is urgent. While it took the leadership a long time to get to this point, once the decision was made, there was urgency to follow through. Given the process of creating a new brand is going to take time, a temporary new name was pressingly necessary. 

If you’ve ever received complaints about your brand, or sensed a general unease amongst clients and potential customers toward it; or indeed, felt uncomfortable yourself, it’s urgently time to rebrand. 

“Branding demands commitment; commitment to continual re-invention; striking chords with people to stir their emotions; and commitment to imagination. It is easy to be cynical about such things, much harder to be successful.” – Richard Branson

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3. You’re embarrassed of your branding

An entrepreneur came to me with a common problem. She’d started her business years ago with little money, creating the brand entirely on her own, including designing the logo. As her business developed, it quickly outgrew the branding, and certainly was not reflective of her polished image anymore. 

Her embarrassment was so intense she stopped handing out business cards, using business stationery and telling people to visit her website. Yet, she saw rebranding as a low priority. Until of course, sales began to dwindle. All of a sudden, rebranding became an urgent task because she wanted to shout loudly and proudly about her business again, but couldn’t do so with her existing branding.

My suggestion is, don’t wait for business to falter. If you’re embarrassed about your branding, treat rebranding as a top priority, proactively rather than reactively. 

Although rebranding is a process you’d like to undertake in your own time, there are occasions where it becomes an urgent matter, particularly if your branding causes offense or creates a negative perception around your business. In some cases, saying goodbye to your existing branding might be hard, but saying goodbye to your business, as a possible result of that branding, is much harder. Stay clear, stay respectful, stay congruent, stay the course.

RELATED TOPICS:BRANDINGBRANDING TIPSBUILDING YOUR BRANDBUSINESSENTREPRENEURSHOW TO BUILD A BRANDWHY YOU NEED TO REBRANDDON’T MISSEntrepreneurs: 7 Tools For Improving Your Edge

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Shona Maitland

Shona Maitland has 10+ years experience as a business owner, brand strategist and designer at Shona Creative. She has further expertise in ethical and socially-responsible businesses and charities at Brands of Change, her second business.


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How To Survive and Thrive During the Pandemic of Covid 19.

 
Starting a Business from Home is the Only Way to Survive and Thrive During the Pandemic of Covid 19.

Dateline: Creve Coeur, MO. USA.

By: Jeffrey L. Klump 10/03/2020


The world is much different than it was just one year ago.

People have gotten use to the new vocabulary such as “social distancing” and wearing masks.

Regardless of what political spectrum you may fall under, the economic implications are staggering.

Very few people are buying the propaganda that the economy is recovering.

We keep hearing, including at the most recent political debate, that the stock market is at an all time high.

That may be true, but the stock market has nothing to do with the real economy.

Massive jobs layoffs continue, and the lines at food banks are getting longer.

The most recent Gross Domestic Product(GDP) estimate is a staggering minus 31%. That number is huge and it maybe worse than that.

The United States economy needs to be retooling itself and getting ready to start producing items such as paper products and things that we have become way to dependent on other countries, especially China, but I do not see that happening.

Our trade balance with China is still out of whack which means we are way too dependent on them for basic materials including toilet paper, kleenex, scott towels, and the list goes on.

The United States for far too long has become a consumer nation and this needs to be reversed immediately, otherwise, our dependence on other countries will continue.

We must become a producer nation once again if we are to have any sort of the American Dream in our future.

That is where small business plays a huge role. The problem is, with the new rules and fear of the Covid 19 pandemic, that has put a stranglehold on small businesses from operating as normal and profitable. This in turn could lead to more jobs layoffs.

Those who are not mechanically inclined like carpenter’s, contractor’s, mechanic’s, tool & die maker’s, need to develop their own new skills from home.

There are literally thousands of ways to make money from home or online and not working for someone else. You could have an idea that could be worth a lot of money just rolling around in your head, and you never thought twice about doing anything about it.

Then there are already established companies looking for people to sell or promote their products for them.

One of the keys to creating long term wealth is by selling something or investing in something that produces monthly residual and passive income.


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Don’t look to Washington to save you. You should know by now that politicians only care about themselves and enriching themselves and their friends and financial backers.

Get together with your family and friends and develop a plan where you can work together on starting a business from home and then monetize it and share with others.

Learn to be dependent on yourselves and try to learn new skills that you can use and that you can eventually teach to others.

Most politicians and government bureaucrats have never started a business or been in business for themselves. They do not have any answers when it comes to improving our economy and helping you survive and thrive.

The only answer in Washington is for you to become dependent on them. That approach has never worked in any other country before and it won’t work here either.

Corporate layoffs are continuing. The need for people to earn additional income has never been greater. The new online classifieds ads list to help you make money, save money, and improve your life, is Jeff’s List.

So many people have hidden skills and talents that they never have tried to use before. Most don’t know they have them. Many have been told your idea won’t work and so they do nothing because no one supports them with positive reinforcement. Just think if Einstein or the greatest inventor, Nikola Tesla were told that, and they listened to them. Where would we be?

The current environment of Covid 19 is not going away regardless of who is in the White House.

You can, however, survive and thrive during the pandemic called Covid 19. All you need to do is believe in yourself and learn new skills and you will be on your way.


 

 

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How To Develop Traits For Success From 7 Entrepreneurs

7 Entrepreneurs and Their Traits That We All Can Develop for Success

Published 4 hours ago

on Sep 15, 2020

By Madhur Kushwah


Succeeding in life and entrepreneurship takes more than just desire and passion. According to many successful entrepreneurs, life rewards people who take time to cultivate their minds for success.

If you have read Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich, you might recall his idea of a mastermind alliance. In case you’re not familiar with the book — a mastermind alliance is “a friendly alliance with one or more people who will encourage one to follow through with both plan and purpose.”

Imagine what wonders you would make if you could have the most successful people as your allies. In this blog post, I have listed 7 successful entrepreneurs and their advice to develop traits for success.

1. Gary Vaynerchuk – Enthusiasm

“If you 100% enjoy the chaos and the unknown, you’re an entrepreneur.”

Running a business involves dealing with many people and shouldering several responsibilities; at times, working this hard can exhaust you to unexpected levels. That’s why entrepreneurs need to be pleasantly energetic. 

If you have watched any of Gary’s videos, you can visibly tell that his energy is on another level. Being energetic helps Gary work long hours, like 12 – 14 hours a day. Gary suggests practising natural optimism for high energy.

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2. Grant Cardone – Confidence

“Comfort makes more prisoners than all the jails combined.”

Having confidence in your abilities will take you places. While on your entrepreneurial journey, people will point fingers at you for your decisions, choices and desires, but how you respond to them will depend on you.

The degree to which you have faith in your skills and vision will drive your efforts. If you have confidence in yourself, you’ll not budge from your goals. Confidence will also allow you to do more for other people. Keep doing the difficult things to build confidence, says Grant.

3. Narayana Murthy – Courage

“Progress is often equal to the difference between mind and mindset.”

Courage is the differentiating factor between successful and the rest. Entrepreneurship requires you to go out and make decisions that no one else is making. To do that, you need courage. 

Many entrepreneurs fail not because they lack skills or resources, but because they shrink when they should expand. All the stories we hear are stories of courageous decisions and not cowardice. Without courage, there is no progress in life and business. According to Murthy, openness to new ideas is what makes people and organizations courageous.

4. Mark Zuckerberg – Change

“People think innovation is just having a good idea but a lot of it is just moving quickly and trying a lot of things.”

Change is the only constant in life and entrepreneurship, and people who realise this are usually the ones who change the world. Often we make the mistake of sticking to one way of looking at things, which hinders our progress. Learning how to move quickly and at the right time is the winning formula of the game of entrepreneurship. Mark states to move quickly, “iterate, learn from the feedback and go from there.”  

5. Bill Gates – Gratitude

“Through it all, what makes you happy?”

On your entrepreneurial journey, there will be instances where you’ll feel dissatisfied with your progress. To keep dissatisfaction at bay, practise gratitude — it’ll keep you focused on your destiny. 

Helping others to achieve their goals is one of the many ways to practice gratitude. You can also do philanthropic work to express gratitude. Practising gratitude generates a cycle of good relationships by promoting others to do generous work. Giving $41.3 billion away is how Gates expresses his gratitude.

6. Jeff Bezos – Patience

“Put the customer first. Invent. And be patient.”

Sticking to a long term vision and having patience while you build your dream is important for success. Having patience can help you stay in the present moment, and consider the big picture. If you look at Bezos’ journey, you’ll notice Amazon has been around for 26 years, but it feels like it’s been in business for 7 or 10 years, which shows how patient the multibillionaire has been in building his company.

Patience allowed Bezos to build Amazon from a suburban Seattle garage company to a multinational conglomerate. Bezos says, stay focused on long-term to be patient. 

7. Steve Jobs – Leadership

“My job is not to be easy on people. My job is to make them better.”

Leadership is the most important trait of a successful entrepreneur. When you’re at the helm of an organization, people look up to you for inspiration and effective influential decision making. The ability to influence others will help you get the best out of the people. 

Jobs has been arguably the most influential corporate leader in the last century which allowed him to build Apple from scratch. Developing leadership skills will also help you impact people and touch their lives. ‘No excuses’ is the way forward to be an effective leader.

Which piece of advice from the 7 entrepreneurs above resonated most with you & why? Share your thoughts with us below!

RELATED TOPICS:CHARACTERISTICS OF SUCCESSENTREPRENEURIAL TRAITSHOW TO BECOME AN ENTREPRENEURHOW TO SUCCEEDJEFF BEZOSLEADERSHIPSTEVE JOBSSUCCESS ADVICESUCCESS TRAITSSUCCESSFUL LIFEDON’T MISSThe One Mindset You Need to Focus on to Thrive in Times of Uncertainty

Madhur Kushwah

Madhur Kushwah is a certified content marketer. Currently, he writes for a leading ed-tech company and Marketing Hashtags. Connect with him @madhur_kushwah!


How To Utilize Data To Inform Your Sales Process

The Four Ways That Data Can Be Utilized To Inform Your Sales Process

By Dave Mattson | August 28, 2020


For as long as there have been salespeople, there has been data to analyze about the process they use to bring in business. The only issue has been how effective leaders are at drawing conclusions from that data.

All too often, companies don’t make effective use of the information available to them from their sales teams. They fail to generate the most relevant data points… or they focus on information that is familiar to them but less than meaningful. These common mistakes result in, among other things, the dreaded “garbage in, garbage out” sales forecast. So: How can you as a sales leader use data to support both the organization and the sales team? Here are four questions that will help you to do just that.

Question One: Do you have a sales process? This may sound like an obvious requirement, but most organizations we work with do not have a sales process! If you start breaking down data without a systematic process in place for generating sales, the data you come up with isn’t going to do you a lot of good. Note that a sales process gives people the steps they need to follow, from start to finish, to create revenue for your organization. Every company has a slightly different process; you can think of the data generated by the various steps of your sales process as being like an MRI. When it’s done properly, that kind of comprehensive scan is going to tell you what you need to know about the internal workings of your sales team. But to be useful, the analysis must line up with a functioning sales process!

Question Two: Have you identified your expectations? What are your expectations for each of the phases of your sales process? Break the process into its constituent parts: lead development, also known as prospecting; qualification; and then fulfillment and servicing the account. These three phases can also be understood, in the enterprise world, as landexpand, and renew. So. What are the specific outcomes you want to see within each of those three areas? What are the behaviors that make those outcomes possible? What are the departmental benchmarks – meaning what are your time-bound goals for behaviors that will land new business, expand existing business, and renew relationships with your best customers? Once you know that, you can break it down. What are the team benchmarks? What are the individual benchmarks? Set specific expectations. Hopefully, you’ve overlaid some competitive information, and you are meeting or exceeding the relevant industry benchmarks as you work with your team to identify the right goals. Once you have set the expectations, you will have something to compare the relevant real-world data to. (See Question Three.)

Question Three: Are you measuring the right stuff? Get meaningful data. Specifically, make sure you are getting data that connects to a specific step of your sales process. Make sure you are using your CRM system as a source of actionable business intelligence… not as a demonstration of compliance on the part of your salespeople. Make sure you are tracking leading indicators (activities that predictably generate revenue, such as having an initial voice-to-voice conversation with a decision maker) not just lagging indicators (activities that connect to revenue that has already been generated, such as filing a signed contract). Often, leaders spend too much time on lagging indicators and not enough in leading indicators. Identify the leading indicators that spotlight the effectiveness of a particular step of your sales process (such as the number of times a salesperson begins a discussion about the budget). Use that data to strategize improvement. What specific tools, resources, and behaviors will help everyone ensure the needle is moving in the right direction? How will you share the data in a way that inspires salespeople to monitor – and control – their own behavior?

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Question Four: Are you looking at a problem… or a symptom? This is perhaps the most important question of all. Is the data you’re examining pointing you toward an actual problem, or is it identifying the inevitable result of some underlying issue that you haven’t yet addressed? Sometimes, what seems obvious about a sales team’s needs isn’t obvious at all. Let me give you an example: Often, companies will look at their presentation-to-close ratio, realize that it’s low, and then self-diagnose based on that. They’ll say to themselves, “Okay, we need some help; we need to get better at delivering our presentations.” They think that’s the right response to what the data is telling them. But time after time, we find that’s not the problem.  When we do some digging, what we generally uncover is that they have a poor qualification process. The majority of those people they’re presenting to, they shouldn’t have been presenting to in the first place. They had no opportunity to win. Remember: There is a time to step back and get some help in assessing what the data is really telling you.

New technologies in CRM, in artificial intelligence, voice intelligence, and in any number of other areas are giving us all access to much deeper analyses than we could have made just a few years ago. As sales leaders, we can get the right data up on the dashboard… we can use that data intelligently… and as a result of what we learn, we can do a better and better job of leading our teams and our organizations in the direction they need to go. That starts with asking ourselves the four questions I’ve shared here – so we can avoid the all-too-common mistake of trying to land the plane without an instrument panel!

Interested in learning more about how you can utilize technology and data to inform your organization’s sales process? Learn why Sandler partnered with Gong to bring a measurable, data-driven approach to sales learning programs.