Sixty-seven percent of small business owners expect to see some sort of increase in business in 2014, according to a survey by Sensis digital advertising. Strategic, focused branding plays a vital role in growth, so make sure you understand the signs of poor branding practices and establish a logical and appropriate counterattack.
Sign 1: Skewed Goals
Ask yourself this simple question: What are your goals? If any of them are intangible or vague, such as “earn more income” or “pay off XYZ,” you may be suffering from a lack of brand vision. Take the time to goal-set . Goals need to be time-bound, so any brand vision should be grounded by a timeline. Furthermore, the goal must directly relate to the company, be realistically attainable and be measurable in smaller pieces.
Sign 2: Social Media Flatline
According to Social Media Today, 90 percent of companies use social media, and 74 percent perceive social media as equally or more important than in-person networking. Using social media, however, is not a small commitment you engage in halfway. Proper branding through social media requires multiple angles, such as networking, lead generating, writing and content development. If a company is not incorporating all these angles, then your social media channels simply may not be in line with your branding.
Social media requires a strategic use and growth plan to keep the brand relevant and in the minds of consumers. It is not a throwaway strategy, but the public face of the company. If you suspect you are guilty of the former, hire a social media strategist to help you develop and implement specific goals that support your branding efforts.
Sign 3: Is Your Brand Made Clear in a Single Sentence?
A single sentence can not always explain a brand entirely, but it should certainly encapsulate it. Too many brands are attempting to illogically expand their market without making direct connections. TalentZoo recalls the famous Bic brand, the pen company. They added razors and lighters to their line-up, only to then add underwear to the list. The last concept failed, unsurprisingly. It was too far off from the brand’s image.
When expanding, do it logically. Can the brand be summed up with one cohesive thought, and are the products or services lining up under that umbrella of sensibility?
Sign 4: Your Brand Has No Physical Presence
If your brand lacks a physical aspect of any kind, it is time to change things up. Even full digital stores need a physical embodiment of that branding. Get business cards and any other marketing collateral that makes sense for your business. Include these items in correspondence and product shipments and hand them out at networking events.
Sign 5: No Unified Color Palette
MotoCMS offers a unique tutorial on managing color for a website. The company believes that few colors really match up in a meaningful way or are considered aesthetic “friends.” Designers need to isolate color friends and use them on a consistent basis with the branding. Web design is enchanted by color, and if a brand cannot answer what its dominant color is, and have it visible in nearly all aspects of its design, it is losing a branding opportunity.
Web Project Manager
LEXINGTON, Ky. – In anticipation of the many business opportunities that could stem from the construction of a new federal prison in Roxana, the Kentucky Small Business Development Center, in partnership with Letcher County Fiscal Court, is sponsoring When Opportunity Knocks, a luncheon and resource fair from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. EDT June 22 at the Pine Mountain Grill in Whitesburg.
During lunch, local business owners will share how they answered the knock of opportunity and found success. The event is free and seating is limited; preregistration is required. Reservations can be made online at http://tinyurl.com/j9rdjtf .
At the event, organizers will discuss a three-part series of training events. Series topics will include general business and government contracting. The first event will take place 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 12 at the Whitesburg campus of Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College. Training will also take place at 6 p.m. July 26 and August 9. Prior to each training event, a resource fair will begin at 4 p.m.
For more information, visit http://www.ksbdc.org/moving-forward-letcher-county or email Shawn Rogers at firstname.lastname@example.org .
KSBDC, part of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, is a network of 13 offices located throughout the state. The center helps existing and start-up businesses succeed by offering high quality, in-depth and hands-on services. KSBDC is a partner program with the U.S. Small Business Administration. For more information on KSBDC services, visit their website, http://www.ksbdc.org/ .
Other partners include: Kentucky Small Business Development Centers at Pikeville and Ashland, Southeast Small Business Development Center, Small Business Administration, Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College, Kentucky Procurement Technical Assistance Center, Southeast Kentucky Economic Development, Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation, Mountain Association for Community Economic Development, Kentucky Innovation Network – Pikeville , Kentucky River Area Development District, Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program, Federation of Appalachian Housing Enterprises Inc. and Kentucky Finance and Administration Cabinet – Minority and Women Business Enterprise Certification.
LEXINGTON, Ky., (May 3, 2016) - Kentucky’s finest small businesses and the small-business community were celebrated in the Capitol Rotunda in Frankfort during Kentucky Celebrates Small Business, an awards ceremony presented by the Kentucky Small Business Development Center and the Kentucky District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration May 3.
Gov. Matt Bevin opened the awards ceremony by signing a proclamation recognizing National Small Business Week in the state.
"The vibrant entrepreneurial spirit in the commonwealth is a fundamental force driving Kentucky's economy and creating valuable jobs for our communities," Bevin said. "I understand, from personal experience, the sacrifice it takes for small business owners to survive. Every day they strive anew to secure a better life for their customers, their employees, their families and themselves. I am grateful to these men and women across Kentucky for taking the risk necessary to succeed."
WLEX-18 chief meteorologist Bill Meck served as emcee, along with his wife, Connie, whose small business, Sign Language Network of Kentucky, provided sign language interpretation for the event.
The Kentucky Small Business Development Center presented Kentucky Pacesetter awards to six businesses. Winners were chosen based on how they are changing Kentucky’s economic landscape by introducing innovative products, increasing sales and/or production, boosting employment and serving their communities.
This year’s outstanding Kentucky Pacesetters are D&D Shoe Company, Mayfield; Ingram Brothers, LLC, Morgantown; JSB Industrial Solutions, Inc., Tollesboro; Maynard Studios, Inc., Lawrenceburg; Trunnell’s Farm Market & Family Fun Acre, Utica; Flavorman and Distilled Spirits Epicenter, Louisville.
“We owe so much to the small businesses across the commonwealth that make our economy strong and diverse. It is a pleasure to recognize them and say thank you,” said Becky Naugle, KSBDC state director.
Each year, the U.S. Small Business Administration recognizes outstanding small businesses and entrepreneurs with awards across the country. The Small Business Person of the Year winner from each state will be acknowledged at both regional and national levels.
The 2016 Kentucky Small Business Administration award winners are:
Kentucky Small Business Person of the Year: David Dafoe, founder and CEO of Flavorman and Distilled Spirits Epicenter, Louisville
Kentucky Southeast Region 8(a) Graduate of the Year: Kathy Mills, president and CEO of Strategic Communications, Louisville
Kentucky Financial Services Advocate of the Year: Bill Fensterer, president and CEO of Capital Access Corporation, Louisville
Kentucky Minority-Owned Small Business of the Year: Harsha Wijesiri, president of Integrated Engineering, LLC, Lexington
Kentucky Veteran-Owned Small Business of the Year: Scott Matheny, president of Semper Tek, Lexington
Kentucky Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year: Desiree Sloan Harmon, founder and owner of Club Fit Studio, LLC, Paintsville
“The creative genius that drives our commonwealth forward lives in the minds of our entrepreneurs. This year we are honoring entrepreneurs from the far corners of Kentucky. We are deeply grateful for what they have done to sustain the economic vitality of large and small communities,” said Ralph Ross, district director of the Kentucky office of the U.S. Small Business Administration. “We are also grateful for our local, state and federal partners who work with us to help these entrepreneurs along their way.”
The Kentucky Small Business Development Center, part of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, is a network of 13 offices located throughout the state. The center helps existing and start-up businesses succeed by offering high quality, in-depth and hands-on services. KSBDC is a partner program with the U.S. Small Business Administration. More information on KSBDC services can be found on their website, http://www.ksbdc.org/ .
Writer: Roberta Meisel, 859-257-0104
UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, through its land-grant mission, reaches across the commonwealth with teaching, research and extension to enhance the lives of Kentuckians.