6 Easy Ways to Turn Customers Into Brand Fanatics (Infographic)

June 17, 2014

This appeared in a post by Laura Montini on Inc.’s blog. Please click here to see th posting and a full size version of the infographic.

“Growing a fanatical following isn’t something only Apple can achieve. You’re probably already doing a lot to earn your customers’ love and affection without even thinking about it — for example, incorporating great design into all of your products. But you might also want to start going out of your way to let them know that the feeling is mutual. Send them emails. Make them laugh. Keep them informed. In this infographic created by Column Five on behalf of customer engagement company Get Satisfaction, you’ll pick up some more tips for building customer loyalty.”



Does an Entrepreneur Have a Personal Brand?

October 17, 2013

The following article was submitted to our group by the author, Robert M. Donnelly:

Every successful entrepreneur has become woven into the brand that they created. Steve Jobs was Apple, and Apple was Jobs. Who can think of Amazon and not Jeff Bezos? Starbuck’s and Schultz, Dell and Dell, Ralph Lauren and Polo, Hilfiger and Hilfiger, and on and on.

This natural identification process is part of the entrepreneurial experience. It’s the founder’s inculcated relationship with the brand that they create. We are all unique and the ideas for solutions to problems are our unique value proposition.

Martha Stewart was the pioneer of the concept of the “living brand”. Ralph Lauren went looking for the clothing styles that he recalled from his youth, but could not find, so he created them. His vision was to create a brand that people would identify with wealth and everything associated therewith. He selected Polo as the game of the rich and created a now $7.7 Billion dollar global brand with the “Polo Player” logo.

He has gone on to expand the brand to encompass almost every other sport of the wealthy, and added derivations of the Lauren name to a variety of other clothing brands, household products, women’s wear, glasses, and innumerable other variations thereof.

This fusion between the brand and the entrepreneurial creator of the brand typically takes on average about ten years. This period is called the embryonic phase and is much akin to our own evolution from birth to preadolescence wherein the founder is consumed with developing the concept for their solution. Ralph Lauren, for example, grew up in the Bronx, and at 16 started working part-time selling ties, and began developing the style and vision for the brand we now know as Polo. Ten years later in 1967 he launched the brand with a $50,000 loan. And in 1997 he took the brand public.

Steve Jobs did basically the same thing working out of a garage in California with his partner Steve Wozniak developing the first personal computer. The Apple brand name came from the apple orchard close to where they lived. Launched in 1975, Jobs spent the first ten (embryonic) years developing a market for the brand and in 1985 the company entered the growth phase and the rest is history.

Whether it’s Bill Gates with Microsoft, Bezos with Amazon, Jobs with Apple, Lauren with Polo, and many others, the fusion between the entrepreneur and their brand takes about the same amount of time. If successful, the customer also forms an emotional bond with the brand. The ultimate goal for any entrepreneur is for the customer to exclaim “I love it” about their brand. “I love my iPhone” or “I love Amazon” are the magic words.

Three points I suggest for any entrepreneur to establish their personal brand that eventually becomes the brand for their business are:

1.You have to have a passion for yourself and what you believe can be.
2.You must stay focused on your passion and not be distracted.
3. You cannot do it alone. You will need help from others with complementary skills.

Bob Donnelly is an author, educator, and brand builder – both business and personal. His new book Personal Brand Building for life is available on Amazon.(www.robertmdonnelly.me)

Daily Double: The Most Valuable Sales Advice I Ever Received, and How to Keep a Project On Track (Without Compromising Your Brand)

October 10, 2013

Here a a couple of blogs from Carol Roth’s Business Unplogged blog site.

The Most Valuable Sales Advice I Ever Received

Posted: 12 Sep 2013 04:00 AM PDT

When I started my sales career, it was an uphill battle. I struggled with pretty much every aspect of the job, but in particular, I had a hard time figuring out what price to quote to a prospect and how to overcome price objections.  This left me in a no-win situation. When I lost a […]


How to Keep a Project On Track (Without Compromising Your Brand)

Posted: 10 Sep 2013 07:00 AM PDT

Launching an online project, marketing campaign, or new product/service can be a thrilling time – but a quick rush to reach customers can leave many loose ends if things begin to break down during the process. While the project may get launched, it may leave a tarnished perception of a brand if corners were cut. […]

Personal Brand Planning for life

July 11, 2013

A new book by Professor Robert M. Donnelly

We all know that we should plan better for our businesses and our lives. This is even more important now as technology is rapidly changing the nature of work, and in so doing eliminating traditional career paths. Current job statistics indicate that more and more college graduates are working at jobs that do not utilize their education, and the rate at which Apps are evolving for every imaginable task this trend will continue.

Professor Donnelly has developed an invaluable and easy to use new book designed to help anyone determine their internal skill set and persona so that they can market themselves more effectively if looking for a job, or start their own businesses, doing what they are best at and enjoy. It’s a fact that those who are doing what they have a natural ability to do well are more successful and happier in their careers than those who are not.

This book may just be the best investment of $8.00 for the E book that anyone can make in their careers. The E book and soft cover version are available on Amazon, and Professor Donnelly can be reached for advice on his website: www.robertmdonnelly.me

Robert Donnelly has been teaching In graduate business programs for over 20 years. He has developed and delivered executive briefings and seminars both domestically and internationally for BUSINESS WEEK magazine and others and was featured in USA TODAY for
his work with the Inc. magazine 500.

The 7 best photos to post on Facebook; Excuses bosses never want to hear

July 11, 2013

These articles were posted by Ragan Communications:

The 7 best photos to post on Facebook SOCIAL MEDIA
The 7 best photos to post on Facebook

Images are everything. Well, they do tend to attract eyeballs to your brand’s feed. There are ways to go about it, though, without constantly posting cute kitty pictures—but if you must …
 Excuses bosses never want to hear INTERNAL
Excuses bosses never want to hear

The phrase “that’s not my job” is toxic in a workplace. Here’s how to respond to it—and similar phrases—if someone throws it at you.

Setting up a social media calendar: Why and how

June 24, 2013

From Ragan Communications:

Setting up a social media calendar: Why and how SOCIAL MEDIA
Setting up a social media calendar: Why and how

Pegging your posts to annual holidays or seasonal events provides relevance and can help keep your audience engaged—and prompt them to share your content.

A social media calendar helps you to plan topics and initiatives by week and by month. It provides a foundation to develop Facebook posts, blogs, and tweets by evaluating the social media landscape as it pertains to your business or brand. It helps you to integrate all your efforts into one visual document to make sure that you have a holistic approach to social media.

Here’s the steps outlined in the article to establish a social media calendar:

1. Understand your target audience intimately.

2. Visually map up your brand’s interests.

3. Fill in your brand’s social calendar.

4. Build excitement. 

5. Be in sync.

8 Facebook Don’ts for Business

March 22, 2013

Some good advice from an article posted b Carol Roth on Business Unplugged: The article was written by Shanna Mallon. Below are some of the highlights, but please read the article for details.

Looking for better engagement on your Facebook fan page? Feeling a little unsure of what else to try? Before you launch any new campaigns, take a look at this list—eight major Facebook don’ts for business. To get the most out of your Facebook involvement, here’s what to avoid:

1. DON’T use a profile page instead of a fan page.

2. DON’T leave information blank.

3. DON’T overly self-promote.

4. DON’T just post when you feel like it.

5. DON’T neglect to get your fans talking.

6. DON’T try to be something you’re not. 

7. DON’T expect something for nothing. 

8. DON’T forget to track performance.

If you’re not sure how to effectively engage your customers using social media, we can help! Just contact us at info@parriottassociates.com.

You my also wish to  check out the slides for a presentation titled  “Engaging Your Customers, and Their Friends, Through Social Media and the Internet Learn how to use Internet based tools to interact with your customers effectively, and get them to tell their friends about your business. Don’t make Internet marketing mistakes that will actually harm your online presence rather than help build business; Presented Sept. 14, 2012.

Click here for additional articles on social media.

New Member: Professor Robert Donnelly

March 11, 2013

Please welcome our new member:

Robert M. Donnelly, Professor of Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Saint Peter’s University, author or Personal Branding for Life. Below is a description of the book from Amazon.com

Personal Brand Planning for Life is not a typical book on branding. It takes you well beyond the definition of branding and marketing yourself. This book will walk you through the process of accessing your own aptitude to understand what your strengths and desires really are. It shows you how to take this understanding and develop a brand from it. Many books on branding stop here. Personal Brand Planning for Life digs much deeper by showing you how to package your brand into small manageable pieces that become your product. It goes on further to provide you the tools to create the web presence to communicate your brand and value to your specific audience through an easy-to-follow marketing strategy.

The big differentiator for this book is that it’s developed by a 20 year professor of entrepreneurship who shows you how to monetize your brand and turn it into an income flow. If you’re a branding beginner or even a seasoned pro, this book has plenty to offer. This book is your instruction manual on how to build a brand, manage it, market it and turn it into a stream of income. Donnelly stays true to his own brand, “The Career Planning Doctor,” by diagnosing today’s biggest career challenges and prescribing a remedy you can take all the way to the bank.


How to Launch a Successful Brand Ambassador Initiative

January 18, 2013

Below are excerpts form an article posted by Young Entrepreneur. For more details, please read the full article.

Marketing a startup or a young brand is a lot like starting a fashion trend in high school. In lieu of a giant fashion budget — or, in the case of startups, an advertising budget — you need to rely on your own creativity to get attention.

One creative way to build buzz on the cheap? Consider tapping the help of brand ambassadors — that is, customers who voluntarily promote your brand by speaking/writing/tweeting publicly about how much they love your products or services. These model consumers of your product, service or brand in general, ideally embody the ethos of your company and match your target demographic. What’s more, they are real users and they really think you’re doing great things so they are not shy about promoting you to their friends, family and colleagues.

But how do you find these fabled creatures?

1. Create a lifestyle.
When embarking on a brand ambassador initiative it’s critical to realize that your brand needs to be seen as a lifestyle, not a product manufacturer. Starbucks does not simply sell coffee. It sells an image and a lifestyle. And Starbucks fans love to discuss, Tweet and Instagram their lattes…The only way to attract brand ambassadors who will genuinely want to endorse you is by making them feel like they’re part of your brand’s mission.  […read more]

2. Outline a plan.
Before you start choosing your ambassadors, thoroughly strategize your ambassador initiative. Address the following questions prior to launching your program: […read more]

3. Check out other programs.
For a little inspiration on how to structure your brand ambassador campaign, here are two inspired examples to consider in your quest for brand ambassadors: […read more]

4. Choose and invite.
With a plan and structure in place, you can begin to select ambassadors. Choose socially active consumers from among your follower base. Focus on those who are already saying positive things about you without prompting — they are the “low hanging fruit” who are willing to promote you without the expectation of reward. […read more]

Do you have loyal brand ambassadors? How did you get them in this role? Let us know!

9 essential legal issues brands should know

January 3, 2013

This article from Ragan Communications provides some excellent advise and guidance to protect your brand and intellectual property. Below i a list of the topics covered. Please read the full article for details, and consult your attorney for legal advise.

You must protect your brand—and yourself—on multiple fronts related to patent, trademark, and copyright. Here’s the rundown.

When establishing your branding and ensuring the protection of your brand, you inevitably deal with legal issues. When you do, keep three key points in mind.

First, your brand is best protected when you comprehensively cover all your bases: copyright, patent registration, and trademarking of your name and symbols. Don’t just focus on one or two; you need to take care of all three.

Second, you need to aggressively protect your patents and copyrights; be thorough with contracts, ensure secrecy, and keep on top of legal filings.

Third, move quickly, because your competition is just around the corner; if you have something to protect, register it as soon as possible.

Protecting your product or business brand is not something that should be taken lightly or ignored.

Protecting your patents

Patents can cover any sort of physical product or invention, development process, or piece of software technology. Though patents do not properly qualify as part of an IP and trademark/branding framework, they are related.

Make sure you adhere to the following three tips.

1. Maintain trade secrecy.

2. Enforce formal ownership agreements for IP.

3. Patent your inventions and IP as soon as possible.

Trademark registration

Trademark protection is the core of an effective branding protection strategy; it is what covers all of your business specific logos, trademarks, and words or phrases.

Adhere to the following four guidelines:

1. Do a clearance search.

2. File a trademark application and protect your brands.

3. Cover all your brand bases.

4. Establish a clear IP licensing protocol.

Legal issues of copyright and brand identity

Copyright can’t be ignored if we’re talking about legally protecting brand identity; it is going to represent to the world what a very large part of what your business is about. Although many people think of copyright as being something that belongs more to musicians and book authors, its impact on your business brand has the potential to be just as important.

1. Mark your ownership officially and unofficially.

2. Clearly define copyright ownership.

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