Why Company Executives and Entrepreneurs Must Leverage Brand Identity

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Leveraging Brand Identity

Leveraging brand identity is important for all companies, large and small. Consider some of the all time masters of brand marketing, such as Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Kodak, and instantly we can envision the company spirit instead of just a single product. In order to better understand how to leverage the power of brand marketing, a business professional or owner first needs to understand the concept behind brand, brand marketing and brand identity.

What is a brand?

Put in the simplest of terms, a brand is a set of associations that a consumer links to a product or company name that help them to understand what the brand or company means to them. Strong brands are hard to compete with. Weak brands rarely exist or endure.

Although the term can be confusing for many people, remember that the consumer does not really think in terms of differentiating product from brand. Therefore, if a corporate brand is strong, they assume the company’s products are also.

What is Brand Marketing?

Brand marketing is when a company advertises or promotes a brand name or logo rather than just a specific product. The company’s marketing angle is to win the hearts and minds of the consumer completely, allowing them to infuse the client with brand loyalty no matter what product the company is selling.

For example, many people will not purchase an electronic product if it is not a Sony. The company, Sony, one of the most powerful brands in history, has brand marketed the company to supersede mere product lines.

How can a small business owner or manager incorporate brand marketing solutions? Regardless of the industry competition level (local, national or international), there are a few simple rules that must be followed to achieve effective marketing. The same is true for startups. Below are aspects of marketing startups should get right.

  1. Corporate Identity

Corporate identity is a company’s visual presence that may include a company website, corporate logo, brochures and any other materials developed to expose the company to the target customer. Do not confuse corporate identity with brand identity (which is discussed below). However, corporate identity does reflect upon a company’s brand identity.

Corporate identity solutions: Think carefully about every logo, insignia, tagline and image chosen to represent the company. Choose strong items that visually represent the company well and conjure a positive image in the consumers mind. The easier the business name, URL or logo is to remember, the easier time a business owner will have branding the desired corporate identity to the overall company image.

  1. Brand Identity – The Soul of a Company

Brand identity is the whole kit and caboodle. It includes not only everything mentioned above regarding corporate identity but also customer service reputation, the quality of products or services, presentation, benefits and after sale service, and perceived value. In essence, brand identity is the soul of a company and is crucial to successful brand marketing.Brand identity

Brand identity solutions: Give the company a complete check-up. How is it doing? In order to effectively market the brand of a company, ensure that the marketing finds consumer praising services because of exceptional service and high quality products. As required, add features and benefits that will aid in brand marketing. Just keep in mind that changes must be real and implemented through to the consumer level. Failure to do this will result in negative brand identity and this is very hard to shake.

  1. The Company’s Brand Image

Brand image is the how the market or consumer perceives brand identity. This may be in line with corporate expectations or it could be totally different. This is a great way to gauge the effectiveness of both corporate and brand identity.

If the consumer is not viewing the company in the anticipated way, then changes need to be made – and fast! It is an ongoing battle that never, ever ends. A marketing executive or small business entrepreneur must work diligently day in and day out to ensure brand identity and brand image are in sync.

Brand image solutions: Does the company have a strong brand identity? Do you have a specific brand strategy? Are employees aware of it and are they acting and exceptional ambassadors for the company? Is management aware of customer perception of the company brand? If the answers are unknown or in question, the company and its managers need to collaborate with a reputable marketing agency that will work on strengthening brand identity to achieve success in brand marketing.

Myopia: Definition, Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

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Myopia is the most common type of refractive errors worldwide. Also, the cause for which most patients visit eye care doctors is myopia. It is the most common cause of wearing glasses, contact lenses and refractive (laser) surgeries.

We will help you to understand more about Myopia in simple words.

Myopia is a refractive error that existed in people eyes before anyone call it “myopia” or “nearsightedness”. I want you to understand that “myopia” and “nearsightedness” are just terms given to an existed eye condition. So, don’t be stuck with the explanation of the terms when trying to understand the definition and meaning of myopia. It is better to understand the condition as the first scientists who discovered it rather than trying to define “myopia” as it is a linguistic term.

How did scientists discover myopia?

Scientists found that some people don’t see as clear as normal people.

Then, scientists looked for the cause that makes these people see blurred images. They found that the eyes of people having myopia don’t focus the images of objects on the retina (like normal people eyes do), but somewhere in front of the retina and this makes far objects look blurry to them.

The scientists looked up the dictionary to find one term which could fully and clearly describe this condition, they found the term “myopia”. Actually “myopia” is a Greek term still used until nowadays. Myopia is also known by the public as “nearsightedness”. Nearsightedness doesn’t imply the condition as it is really is. It is true that people with myopia suffers more at far distance vision, but this doesn’t mean that they have no problems at near vision.

That’s why I always confirm that we shouldn’t be stuck with the terms’ explanations to understand the conditions as we are not going to define one on a linguistic basis.

So, normal people eyes focus the images on the retina, while myopic eyes focus images in front of the retina.

The further the images are focused in front of your retina, the more amount of myopia you have.

What are myopia Causes?

To explain the causes of myopia very simply, let us talk more about the eye and the mechanism of focusing images in the eye.

The eye is having the shape of the ball and the retina (where the images are supposed to be focused on) lies on the back of this ball. The other eye structures are required to focus images on the retina in order to see clearly. This mission is done basically by two structures which are the cornea and the lens of the eye.

These two structures have the ability (power) to focus images of objects.

In the normal eye, the distance from the front of the eye ( the cornea) to the retina is 24 mm. The sum of the powers of the cornea and the lens is 62 Dioptre ( unit of lens powers).

So, 62 Dioptre power focuses images on 24 mm distance, but if the power of the cornea and lens is more than 62 D, this means that the focus of the images will be in front of the retina at ( 22 mm distance, for example, or less instead of 24 mm) and this will make you see blurred images.

On the other hand, if the power of the cornea and lens is normal (62 D), but the distance from the eye’s front to the retina is more than 24 mm (26 mm or more for example), this means that the focus of the images will be in front of the retina ( at 24 mm as power is 62 D).

So shortly, the myopia causes are:

1- High power of the eye’s optical system ( cornea or lens or both two).

2- The eye length is longer than normal, that’s they have a longer distance from the front of the eye ( the cornea) to the back of the eye ( the retina).

Now, the questions are what are the causes that make the myopic eyes are more powerful than normal eyes? And also what are the causes that make the myopic eyes longer than normal eyes?

The answers of these questions are still not clear and no research or study found out the specific cause yet, but  scientists believe that there are factors that contribute to myopia development which are :

1- Genetic factors: including ethnicity and family inheritance.

2- Environmental factors.

3- Excessive near work: many eye care experts think that excessive near work has a role in the development of myopia and its increase. Although, no study restricted with research methodology conditions has proved this yet.

Myopia Symptoms

Myopia symptoms manifested as either blurred vision or eye fatigue. These symptoms, as well as photophobia produced by the dilated pupil are usually secondary to the difficulties at the far distance vision.

Also, The blur when reading results when the print is held at a reading distance that is farther than the patient’s far point.

The patient must hold or move the reading material closer to secure clarity.

Reading, while uncorrected, at this near point may lead to eye fatigue and photophobia.

Myopia Cure

From my clinic experience, many questions are asked by patients after diagnosing them “or their children” with myopia. The most common question is “what is myopia cure?”. This question is asked spontaneously and unconsciously.

It is very normal that the person is looking for “a cure” that heals his condition and nothing wrong with that. But, guess what? If the patient is not going to consider eyeglasses or reusable and comfortable contact lenses as “myopia cure”, then the answer to his question is “No sir, there is no “cure” for myopia.

To go deep in the patient questioning, some patients ask the question in other forms which is “Will glasses cure my myopia?”

To answer this question, doctors and specialists think in a scientific manner. For glasses to cure myopia, it must remove the causes of that myopia. As we talked above, the causes of myopia include abnormal cornea or lens curvature and increased eye length than normal. Glasses have nothing to do with the curvature of the cornea or lens and don’t shorten your eye length. So, glasses don’t remove the cause of myopia and surely will not remove or “cure” myopia.

Even laser eye surgery doesn’t remove the cause of myopia. The laser eye surgery works only on the cornea, while the cause may be the lens of the eye or the eye length. Even if the cause is only the cornea, the laser eye surgery must do two things to be considered as “myopia cure”. The first thing is to correct the curvature of the cornea, and that what does it do?. The second thing is to stop any future abnormal change in the corneal curvature. And this is what it couldn’t do.

The above two paragraphs might be a key answer to many other patients questions coming in the same area of the cure or treatment of myopia and other refractive errors. Think of the answer to any questions in your mind about “myopia cure” by the same ideas mentioned in the above two paragraphs, and surely you will get the convincing answer.

Myopia Treatment

So until nowadays, we don’t have any cure for myopia. We just have “myopia treatment”. There are many alternatives for the treatment of myopia which are :

1- Eyeglasses: your optometrist or ophthalmologist will prescribe you eyeglasses to correct your myopia, with the specific number of lens power. This power of the lens will move the image in your eye from in front of your retina back to your retina. This will enable you to see clearly as normal people do. 

2- Contact lenses: have the same idea as the spectacle lenses. Contact lenses correct your myopia by resting on your cornea. Contact lenses are more preferable and have many advantages over wearing glasses such as:

a- Cosmetic reasons: Not everyone can get used to wearing glasses and how they look when wearing ones. On the other hand, wearing contact lenses are perfect for people who want to subtly enhance the color of their eyes.

FreshLook Colorblends contact lenses are perfect for the contact lens wearer looking to subtly enhance their eye color.

b- Advantages from optical reasons: The quality of images reach the retina is better in contact lenses than in glasses specially in high myopic people ( over 6 Dioptres of myopia).

3- Orthokeratology: This is an alternative way of correcting myopia by rigid contact lenses, but with a different idea. The idea here is to wear specially designed rigid contact lenses while you are sleeping and these contact lenses will work on reducing the power of your cornea by changing its curvature all overnight. When you wake up in the morning, immediately remove the lenses and you will see things better.

4- Surgery to correct the refractive errors: This alternative treatment is allowing you in having clear vision without the need of wearing contact lenses or glasses. The most commonly used procedures nowadays are:

a- PRK (photorefractive keratectomy): this procedure consists of reshaping the cornea by the surgeon, by applying the laser directly on the cornea’s surface. This corneal reshaping is reducing the cornea’s power and is making the light rays of images focusing on the retina.

b- Lasik: This procedure consists of making a flap by the surgeon in the outer cornea and applying the laser pulses on the middle tissues of the cornea to correyopia.

c- ICL (implantable Collamer lens): This procedure is new and invented as a good solution for those who don’t fit the requirements of Laser surgery. A Collamer lens that is implanted is correcting your eye myopia in this procedure.

8 Steps for Solving Problems

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This is a repost of a previous article from the author, speaker Barry Gottlieb

One of my favourite mentors, Brian Tracy, created eight steps for solving problems. Here they are in simple terms:

  • Step One… Start with a positive attitude. It is really important to approach any situation with the confident expectation that you will find the best possible solution if there is there is some problem. Control your attitude, stay calm and relaxed. In doing so, you clear your mind for possible solutions.
  • Step Two… Change your negative way of communication to positive. Use words like “situation” or “challenge”, instead of “problem”. These words are more neutral and they keep your mindset from being negative. “You rise to the challenge.”
  • Step Three… Try to define the situation, by writing it as much clear as you can. Always think on paper! Focus on what the situation really is. Be sure to ask,  “Is this really the challenge, or is it something else?”
  • Step Four… Ask, “What are the reasons that caused this situation?” If you fail to do this step, there is a good chance you will have to go back in solving it again.
  • Step Five… Write down all the possible ways of solving the situation. Remember, the rewards in life are for finding the solutions, not for complaining about the problems. Write as many solutions as possible; the quantity can often show you the quality of the solution you have chosen. Keep in mind that doing nothing may be a good solution.
  • Step Six… Make the best decision! Teddy Roosevelt once said,

    “The best decision is the right decision. The next best decision is the wrong decision. The worst decision is no decision.”

  • Step Seven… Be sure someone is given ownership and responsibility to execute the chosen decision. Be sure to include a finish date for starting and for completing the task.
  • Step Eight… Observe the decision. Determine how and when the task will be measured. Remember to inspect what you expect. Be flexible! You may have to find other solutions and establish new means.

Remember… Every day is a gift, and the quality of your life is your gift to yourself.

Favorite Types of Twitter Users

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We  “love our Twitter” for many reasons.

I have been able to meet so many amazing people and have made so many actionable connections and relationships on Twitter. The biggest learning curve about the social media’s are the etiquette and protocol and respecting how everyone chooses to use them. It can be quite overwhelming.

Some people have described social networking as being at a “huge party”, where you work the room to make some warm connections. I like that. For me, it reminds me of when I was a kid at the park. Like a  “playground” with a lot of kids, where you have to show up regularly to get to know other kids who will, hopefully pick you to play with! You get picked because your fun, good at something, or part of a group.

The thing that makes life and social media so interesting is how many different types of people there are and how we can choose our approach to who we want to friend or follow.

So, here are my five favorite types of Twitter users..

1) The Tweet-heart-motivates and inspires me
2) “The Tweet-osopher-gets me to think
3) “The Tweet-dian-offbeat sense of humor that makes me laugh out loud
4) “The  Real Deal Online Marketer”–who cares first and sells me later
5) “The Re-Tweeter”–who really cares about what you are doing

Here is a really great post from JD Rucker from Soshable.com, that I know you will enjoy and relate to. The 15 Most Annoying Types of Twitter Users. We see them daily. The great news is I don’t have to friend or follow them, but can wish them well!

What are your favorite types of Twitter users? Do share!!

What Are Your Intangibles?

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”Harness all that you have done and learned to add value to your personal brand”

What colleagues and customers value are well-rounded people who bring many “intangibles” to the job and table.

“Intangible assets are defined as identifiable non-monetary assets that cannot be seen, touched or physically measured, which are created through time and/or effort”. 

– Lumen – Boundless Accounting

Some examples might be cooperative,  good judgement, or dependability. Some categories for you to look at for uncovering yours are planning, organization, intelligence, initiative and leadership.

The person who brings the most diverse abilities, experience and qualities to the game will usually win the job or customer. Be ready and willing to cover the floor, front desk, deliver after hours, or stay late to get the job done! Exceptional is now expected, unexpected is what will get you remembered!

All those odd jobs, low jobs and high profile jobs that you have had,  make up all that you are and the skills you have.  The pizza you delivered, the food you served, babysitting, camp counselor, working for your Dad during the summer, delivering newspapers, you get the idea. Those skills you developed and accrued can translate to many work situations and cross needs. Are you a problem solver, organizer, people person, leader, work well alone, go to person? Look back and think about what you gained and how you benefited from all your jobs and what “intangibles’ they added.

Don’t wait to be asked to step up. Step up, be proactive find the need, see the need and fill it. You will be noticed and remembered you for it and it strengthens your reputation and loyalty! The intangibles are not qualities you can easily show in a resume, but you can talk about them in an interview. So, uncover, celebrate and brag just a little!

Your Story Instead of an Elevator Pitch!

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How do you grab someones attention if you only have 30 or 60 seconds or less?

How do you get noticed in social media, email or blogging?

  • Is it a great logo and slogan?
  • It is a great take on a hot subject?
  • Is it something you say that’s clever and funny?

NOT really.

We talk a lot about the  “elevator pitch”: that 30 seconds you have to connect with someone so that they remember you. What can you say that can have that kind of impact, that hasn’t already been heard by someone else many times?

I have created a Profile / BIO, that helps me to introduce myself to people who may have not heard about me, about my work and who I am. It is my professional way of  “getting personal”.

It opens with a  story line:
“I transitioned from a very secure, stable life and career in Southeast Florida and came to a new situation and new adventure in Southwest Florida in August 2006. I launched Train with Shane in February 2007, after an unexpected series of professional events occurred. It was the right time and right decision”

There is a BIG difference between telling people who you are instead of what you do! When you tell your story, it will naturally allow people to relate and find commonality in your experiences. The what you do and sale comes later.

Engage me by sharing your personal story about who you are. If I relate, I will naturally  ask you about what you do.  The relationship and commonality creates the potential for the relationship and sale.  Work on connecting, relating and engaging by being authentic.

I wanted to share this story script with you from Chris Brogan, author of the New York Times Best Seller, Trust Agents. Chris Brogan’s story script. This is a great blueprint for creating your story-line, or script, so that when you meet people, you will have the best chance of being remembered. Relating first, sale or referral  (maybe) comes later.