brand

How To Successfully Create A Brand

brand

Brand is a buzzword that constantly resides at the tip of marketers and business’s tongues, and has quickly become an essential for any company wishing to achieve continued success. With the definition of branding varying from company to company, businesses looking to develop their brand should be aware that it is largely a personal concept that is likely to change as the company grows.

Mature companies that have existed for decades have continually worked at building their brand so that it looks like a subtle evolution of products and services rather than a sudden change, which has meant that branding has evolved to become a driving force behind many aspects of, and changes within, a business.

Even the smallest of businesses should transform their products, company, and services by creating a complete brand that is attractive to potential and existing customers. When focusing on brand creation, businesses should be aware of the following to ensure that a long lasting, successful brand is created.

Branding Takes Time

Don’t expect your brand to develop and complete overnight. In fact, businesses should expect it to take years to perfect the branding formula that suits your business and attracts the correct customers. The larger multi-national companies that have apparently flawless brands have spent years developing and changing and many do still continue to find faults.

It Will Constantly Grow   

You shouldn’t expect for your branding to be instant or to ever really be complete. A brand should constantly be growing and developing as you introduce changes to the way your business runs and the products you provide. Although your brand is constantly growing, you shouldn’t be making huge overhauls on a weekly or monthly basis. Instead, you should be making minor tweaks in appropriate areas to ensure that your branding appears faultless and professional.

Always Do Market Research

From the development of other areas in your business, you will already be aware of the benefits of conducting market and industry research, and this is still an important step when focusing on brand creation. By looking at how other competitive businesses brand themselves, and how customers and target audiences react to brands, you can develop a personalised branding that is exclusive to your company and received well by individuals.

Be Creative

The point of completing marketing and industry research is to discover what works and what people like, not to find successful brands and copy them. Although it can be incredibly useful for a small or young companies to model themselves on larger businesses and brands, eventually the brand created should be able to stand alone and become an ‘original’ branding idea.

Creativity is an essential for companies wanting to create a brand that withstands time and helps them stand out from their competitor and progress toward being industry leaders. An original idea or concept can help boost your business from offering standard supplies to becoming well sought-after.

It’s Worth the Money

There should be no doubt that brand development is worth the money, as successful creation of a brand will mean that your business sees a significant increase in profit and if done properly, revenue should continue to rise as the brand evolve.

Treat it Like its Forever…

…despite the fact that it’s probably not. You should approach your brand conception like you will never change it. This is purely so that your company creates the best brand possible; rather that skipping important parts with the excuse that it’s likely to change, and therefore delivering an incomplete profile for the company.

 

Beth Stubbings is aware of the importance of a strong brand for a business. She would recommend New Business to small business owners and entrepreneurs who are looking for more help and advice on brand creation and other areas of business management.

ht_mastectomy_full_tk

5 Useful Things To Do With Photos

I have literally hundreds of photos stored on my phone and I’m sure many other people do.  It’s so easy to take a photo these days as we tend to have our mobile phones on us anyway.  Also, the quality of mobile phone cameras has come on in leaps and bounds in recent years so not only are we taking more pictures but we are getting better quality pictures too.  But what should we do with all these pictures?  I might share some of the better ones on social media but after that they just stay on my phone.  This seems like such a waste as many of them are pictures of things I love, such as family and friends or favorite views.  So what should we do with all our photos?

Make Them In To Greetings Cards

 If you’ve got pictures of you, your children or family you could have them made up into cards.

For a professional finish have them printed through a company.  For individual cards such as personalized birthday or valentines cards try moonpig.com.  For batches of cards such as thank you cards or invitations, Moonpig have a great new website paper-shaker.com.

For a more creative finish, if you’ve got more time to spare, have a go at making your own.  You can really let your imagination run wild here and make them as simple or as ornate as you like depending on your style and time available.  Take a look at these ideas.

 Home Made Greetings  Another Home Made Effort

Make Gift Tags

On a similar theme to greetings cards, you can make homemade gift tags.  Just print out your chosen photo and stick it to a piece of card.  Then just punch a hole at one end and thread it with ribbon.  If you’re really cordinated you can match the color of the card and ribbon that you use to the color of the gift wrap.

 

Have Them Printed as Wall Art

If you have great photos of family and friends or stunning views on your phone then don’t let them go to waste.  Use them to decorate your home.  Anything from putting them into frames on a shelf or mantelpiece to having them printed into posters or canvases and hanging them on the wall.  Have a look at these handy tips for hanging art on your walls.  rentaldecorating.com/0505walls/arrangingpictures.htm  If you want something a bit different and your phone or camera has a panoramic print function, then try hanging a panoramic print in your home.  These look great above beds, sofas or mantelpieces.  You can get panoramic canvases or just a large canvas print printed at printpanoramics.co.uk

Make a Memory Book

If you have lots of different photos of the same thing such as a holiday or children or family then a memory book is a fun way to collect them together and can even make a lovely gift.  You just need an empty photo album or notebook then you can print out your photos and stick them in.  You can add notes to your pictures or add other things in too like tickets or other souvenirs.

Memory Book

(Source: wendolonia.com/blog/2012/10/03/homemade-smash-book-update)

 

Put Your Best Pictures in a Locket or on Personalized Photo Jewellery

Lockets might be a bit old fashioned but it’s still a lovely idea.  Choosing one or two of your favorite family pictures and inserting them into a locket on a pendant means you can keep your special pictures close.  There are so many different lockets to choose from including non-traditional designs if you want something a bit more up to date.  Another idea similar, to lockets is personalized photo jewellery.  There are many website that offer this service in a range of styles from photos set in resin to photos engraved onto metal.

 

Shelly is a content artist for a local company dealing in web design and creative expression. In her spare time she enjoys photography and creating mini works of art out of her images and any scrap materials she can find.

coachella-tent-crowd

Summer Music Festival Survival Guide

coachella-tent-crowd

As the weather heats up, so does the summer music scene. Does your summer vacation include attending big music festivals like Coachella, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, or Sasquatch? Whether you are planning for the huge annual fests or a smaller, independent music set weekend, summer music festivals can easily become overwhelming. This year, prepare yourself for the multi-day festival of your choice with this helpful summer music fest survivor guide.

1. Know Where You’re Going to Bunk Down

We all have those friends who are capable of sleeping anywhere, be it under a rock or in a rocking hotel suite. They never plan their sleeping arrangements, and it seems to work out alright, but for those of us not willing to risk bedding down with bedbugs, it is wiser to establish some basic sleeping and living arrangements before heading to the music stage. For many, summer festivals are about the campsites. If camping sounds perfect for you, just be sure to arrange a campsite beforehand. Strategize your camp site location for easy access to the venue stages, and, if you can, the hot showers. For anyone looking for a little calm after spending ten hours standing in a sea of people, motels and hotels are a great option. You won’t be the only one checking in, so be sure to reserve your room well in advance (before the “No Vacancy” signs pop up).

2. Know What to Pack

Unless you are backpacking or hitchhiking to the festival, it is better to have too much stuff than not enough. Even if you are heading towards the desert, pack your rain gear and mosquito repellent along with the highest proof sunscreen you can get your hands on. If you are camping, grab your grill and pack the cooler with plenty of food and enough ice to last longer than you expect to be gone. If you plan on bringing a camera or carrying your phone around with you, it can be helpful to take along a small day pack, or wear cargo shorts with plenty of pockets to keep your hands free. Most importantly, stock up on bottles of water, which can be expensive and hard to find at the festival.

3. Know When to Get There

If at all possible, plan on arriving early. Whether it is hours early or a few days before the event begins, showing up to the music festival early will help you snag that perfect campsite and give you time to set up a personal seating zone well before the madness of the crowd descends.

4. Know the Festival Schedule Like the Back of Your Hand

Summer music festivals generally will have several stages featuring different artists at the same time. Plan out your ideal music schedule before the festival begins. You don’t want to miss your favorite band because you were out getting lunch. Of course, what’s on paper is never guaranteed, so be sure to routinely check for updates and schedule changes, such as sudden band delays or cancellations, on the internet or at the festival’s main tent location.

Summer music festivals can be one of the most enjoyable experiences of your summer. However, it is easy to become overwhelmed at these events if you fail to prepare yourself. To keep yourself healthy and happy, remember these four important tips and have a blast rocking out.

Author Bio:

To help her visit, and camp at, a series of music festivals across the country this summer, Alanna Marquez found a great used truck from Dickinson Auto Sales in her native Houston, Texas.

graffiti

7 Reasons Graffiti Can Save A City

Street

Image by:  Alex E. Proimos

Street art is a subject that divides opinion. Some people think it’s of great cultural value and adds life, color and vibrancy to a city. Others believe it’s just wanton vandalism that has no place in a civilised society.

But whatever your opinion, the increasing popularity of urban art – in particular phenomenally successful See No Evil urban art project in Bristol – means it’s safe to say this is an art form that isn’t going away any time soon.

And while the word art generally evokes ideas of stuffiness and elitism, with street art this couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s accessible to everyone.

Here are a few good reasons why street art should be embraced as something really quite unique and special, and how it makes a positive contribution to- and how it can even save – a city.

Demystifying The Street Art Myth

It’s crucial to make the distinction between street art and general graffiti or tagging. A lot of people (usually those are casually and instantly dismissive of its very mention) don’t understand it because they don’t want to understand it.

We’re not talking late night dawdlings of the ‘Shaz was here 2011’ variety.  We’re talking about carefully planned and professionally executed pieces of art.

Like any artist dedicated to perfecting their craft, urban street artists have honed their skills and craft for many years, which is why they’re so good at it. I defy anyone to look at any piece at the See No Evil exhibition and say it has no artistic merit.

Good For Local Economies  

In the case of See No Evil, it attracted not only hundreds of world-renowned artists but also thousands of people from all over the world. It was literally a global phenomenon.

It focused positive public attention on Bristol and brought a lot of money to the area. We’re not talking about some tiny exhibition that drew in ten people; this was a massive international event that drew in thousands like a tractor beam.

Inspires Creativity 

As with any art, being exposed to it might well encourage you to take it up yourself. It may just be the spark you needed from contemplating it to actually doing it.  And if this there’s anything this world needs now more than ever to counter the endless soundbites of doom, gloom and unabating economic negativity, its inspiration, originality and creativity.

Reduces Crime

It’s a fact that during the preceding and subsequent weeks of the See No Evil project, the crime rate plummeted – and that has to be a good thing. Who needs Avon and Somerset’s finest when you’ve got fantastic art to stimulate the mind and prevent a hoodie from nicking an old lady’s last fiver?

World Domination!

Not that it achieved complete global, Bond-villain style world domination but the eyes of the country and the world were focused on the event. It was a place where something special and significant was happening and everyone was hungry to know about it (even if they hated it).

Livens A Dull Environment   

There’s no denying that the stretch of road in Bristol’s Nelson Street was a drab and soulless thoroughfare before its new incarnation as a focal point for artistic talent and street art. Office blocks, police station, youth center and restaurants were grey and uninspired before the spray cans arrived to reinvigorate the place and give it a whole new lease of colorful, exuberant life.

Puts A City On The Map

Bristol is famous for quite a few things – its historic docks, Brunel’s SS Great Britain and Suspension Bridge, Banksy, Wallace and Gromit, the West Country accent. Now it can add being a top world venue for street art to that list

What’s more, the increasing popularity of urban art and its exponents, such as Banksy and Inkie, means their works are in demand and their prints are flying off the shelves. They’re now in a position where they could give the more purportedly serious artists a lesson or two in how to sell art.

Do you think the proliferation of street art is a good or bad thing for a city?

 

Author Byline: Elise Leveque is a bubbly French freelance translator with an irrepressible enthusiasm for all things social media. She also has a passion for controversial art and loves the subversiveness and social relevance of contemporary street art. She regularly blogs for Art Gallery.

kindle

Why Books Will Always Be Better Than Kindles

Image by: Ian Wilson

It’s impossible to keep up with technology. Every month, ever week, practically every day ushers in a new gizmo or gadget that immediately makes last week’s innovation dated and passé. The goal posts are always moving.

But surely there has to a line that’s drawn when technology goes too far –  a point when it tries to supercede everything before it that it becomes irrelevant, pointless and unnecessary. Should technology try to go one better just because it can?

The kindle is a perfect example. Books have existed for hundreds of years and done very well, thank you. If you want the latest Stephen King or a back-issue of Bukowski all you have to do is pop to your nearest bookshop and the tome of choice is yours.

Not anymore. Now you can use the miracles of modern technology to read from a book that really isn’t a book. You can recreate the experience of reading a book without actually picking one up. Which, to my mind, begs the question – why bother? Why not stick to the real thing?

It’s not that I’m a technophobe or Luddite; it’s just that technology should have a place, a purpose, a function, but Kindle’s are trying to reinvent the wheel.

It’s  A Physical Thing

You just can’t beat the physical sensation of reading a paperback. Holding it, flicking through it, the physical manifestation of the pages and the smell of the ink. And I used the word sensation deliberately – to me it is a sensual experience. The pleasure of the pages in your hand.

Memories

For many people books have a long association with memory. A book you read when you were young, when you broke up, when you made up, when you were going through a good time or bad time, when you were on a particular holiday. Whatever the connection, a book can be a very personal, private, emotional thing. It’s not just an object; it’s a window to the past, a physical link to times, places and circumstances.

Personal Touch

Despite the proliferation of technological advances, the cumulative effect seems to be that it increasingly detracts for a more intimate, personal experience. Holding a piece of plastic can never compete to holding a book. A piece of plastic is so cold, detached and impersonal; a book is none of those things.

A Book Doesn’t Need a Battery

The latest Jilly Cooper won’t require four AA batteries no matter how many times you read it. So Kindles brag about one month battery life. So what? A physical book will last a lifetime without ever needing a charger.

Bookshelf Aesthetics

No matter how much the advertisers boast about how many hundreds or thousands of books a Kindle can hold, there is nothing that can replicate the look, the feel, the comforting warmth a good bookshelf can evoke. A bookshelf is a representation of a personal reading history, a reminder of recollections, of moments, of years.

Not An Authentic Experience  

Consider the following, designed by advertisers to tantalize you in to buying one: the screens “look and read just like real paper” and “have no glare”, it replicates the “characteristics of ink to appear clear and sharp”, “15% faster page turns”, and – perhaps most ridiculously of all – “you can read in any position”.  It all begs the question: why not get the real thing? Books give you all those things as an authentic experience, not a technological, gimmicky one.

To me, it doesn’t matter how they try and sell it in any commercial, lights, bells, whistles and any amount of techno-hyperbole, there’s nothing more reassuring and comforting than a paperback.

Do you think that Kindles are the future of reading or a passing fad? 

 

Author Byline: Gavin Harvey is a self-confessed fitness fanatic whose serious case of itchy feet has taken him all over the world. Now he prefers a quieter life watching classic movies and reading a good book. He blogs regularly for Litecraft Commercial.

Charity

5 Creative Ways to Give Back to the Community

In tough economic times, people that enjoy giving back and helping others may be at a loss for ideas about how to complete this task. Donating money may be out of the question, but donating time, effort, or even small items is not. Every community is in need of help from those that reside in it, and there are more than a few simple ways to give this help.

Start small and donate time

From something as simple as offering to help out with cleaning up a park or volunteering at an animal shelter, this time will not be wasted. Many communities list public volunteer events on websites, at city hall, or in places visited by many residents. Donating time is an ideal way to get involved in the community’s best interests without requiring any physical object or gift.

Repurpose your belongings

Everyone has things that they do not need or want anymore, but the items may not have reached the end of their life. By sorting through personal possessions like books, clothes, toys and housewares, it is possible to separate items into two categories: keep and donate. With a little research, finding new homes for unwanted items is easy. Places like Goodwill and homeless shelters can always use donations of clothes and household goods, and daycares, doctor’s offices and even schools may be able to use old toys and books.

Begin a food or clothing drive

Renting a small to medium sized storage unit, and then publicizing the desire to fill it with something in a month can inspire others to join the cause. Many storage locations, when learning what the intended use for the unit will be, may even decide to donate the space free of charge for the duration of the drive. Even a small storage unit has room to contain a great deal of items, which will help many that need it.

Collect spare change for a certain period of time, and then donate it

Whether waiting until the collection reaches a certain amount, or a set time period elapses, this is a simple, almost nonchalant way to help others. By choosing the recipient of this money, you as a donor will have the satisfaction of knowing exactly where the funds will go.

Adopt a pet

Many people forget that animals are members of the community, too. The fact that a lot of people cannot afford proper care for their pets may mean overcrowding at local shelters, and rather than buying a puppy or kitten, saving one will help even more. The internet is a great place to find these adoptable animals, and taking one in will not only help the animal and ensure its survival – but serve as a comfort to the adopting family, too.

Giving back to the community does not have to be complicated or carefully planned out. As long as the actions provide some sort of relief or help to someone in need, a difference has been made – and that is what is most important.

Image by vastateparksstaff and licensed through Creative Commons.

Paul Benjamin is a District Manager at EZ Storage – View Site for more information on unit sizes and availability for Self Storage Montgomery, PA or to find the location nearest you.