Dateline: 05 January 2011
AxSA Factoid of the Week
As we ring in another year, nearly half of the world's population is doing so in free democratic countries. In fact, of the top six nations on the planet, all but one of them is a democracy. That lone exception is the People's Republic of China, where 20 percent of the world's population lives.
News & Commentary
Why Can’t K-Mart Be Successful While Target and Wal-Mart Thrive?
Harvard Business Review
What drives some companies to succeed while others languish? Successful companies develop a system of a few truly unique capabilities that help them create differentiated value for their chosen customers…Read More
How AHA! Really Happens
People need to turn off their analytical right brain and turn on their creative right brain to produce new ideas…Read More
Path Clears for Deep-Water Drilling
Wall Street Journal
According to the Obama administration, drilling could resume in the Gulf of Mexico within weeks…Read More
Future Shock? Welcome to the New Middle Ages
Author Parag Khanna says the new world order is shaping up to be neo-medieval…Read More
When Money Dies
by Adam Fergusson
When Money Dies is the classic history of what happens when a nation’s currency depreciates beyond recovery. In 1923, with its currency effectively worthless (the exchange rate in December of that year was one dollar to 4,200,000,000,000 marks), the German republic was all but reduced to a barter economy. Expensive cigars, artworks, and jewels were routinely exchanged for staples such as bread; a cinema ticket could be bought for a lump of coal; and a bottle of paraffin for a silk shirt. People watched helplessly as their life savings disappeared and their loved ones starved. Germany’s finances descended into chaos, with severe social unrest in its wake...Read More
Perspectives from the Corner Office
Dave Roberts of Mondo Graphics
Subject: Brand development
AxSA: Why is it important for even small companies to develop a solid branding strategy?
Roberts: Small companies need to focus on branding for the same reason that large companies focus on branding.
Branding helps the customer feel that they are getting a lot for their money. High end branding will result in the customer paying a premium price for the product or service. Mid-to-low end branding will result in the client feeling as if they are getting a good deal.
Branding is your identity and can make your customers feel comfortable or uncomfortable... familiar or unfamiliar. If you are a small business… your customers will see your brand and associate it with something that is familiar to them…. most likely another brand with a similar brand identity. You want to make sure they associate your company with something that supports the values that you represent.
You can give your customers a feeling of confidence and familiarity by using your brand to create this association. If you use a font or a color scheme that is similar to your competition… you will be accepted as part of the group. If you create a brand that deviates from the norm… you will be setting yourself apart as a leader and a creative thinker and/or a risk-taker.
Your brand will also be interpreted by your customers as being either expensive or inexpensive. Your brand needs to be consistent with the price tags on your products or services.
Let's evaluate some popular brands.
Walmart has created a brand that is very informal, very simple, and very much like a warehouse. Their brand supports their claim that they are selling you products for a deeply discounted price. Their logo has a basic… inexpensive font and also a basic color and a basic shape.
A company like Calvin Klein has created a brand that seems very expensive and supports the price tags that are on their clothing items. If we evaluate their logo… they have chosen a very expensive looking font. If you go to their current website… fonts play a very important part in their brand. Calvin Klein also uses very high quality fonts on his undergarments and on many of his other clothing items as well. His color scheme is white and black and very minimalist… very similar to what you would find in a high end apartment or house.
If you start a clothing store and use a similar font and color scheme… your customers will associate you with the Calvin Klein brand. If you use a high quality font that is different, new, and unique… you will create your own unique brand but give your customers a feeling of confidence because the font you have chosen will be recognized as high quality.
Your company brand needs to support the prices you are charging and the image you are trying to convey. Your brand will be the first impression your clients have of your company and will be the easiest thing for them to remember.