Branding: A Brand Is More Than a Logo

What is Branding?

Let’s face it, brands are everywhere. A brand is how we identify products, services, people, places and religions. Everything can be “branded,” however, a brand is more than just a logo or identity; it represents a symbolic construct created within the minds of people that consists of all the information, expectations and personality associated with a company, product or service. It can symbolize confidence, passion, belonging, or a set of unique values. A brand is an experience.

Branding has been around for more than 5,000 years. Historically, branding was used as a way for farmers to stamp their livestock, a way of saying, “that’s mine.” By the 20th century, it had evolved into more than just a way for farmers to mark their property; the industrial revolution introduced mass-produced goods and the need for companies to sell their products to a wider market. By applying branding to packaged goods, the manufacturers could increase the consumer’s familiarity with their products in an effort to build trust and loyalty. Campbell Soup, Juicy Fruit Gum and Quaker Oats were among the first products to be ‘branded.’

In the 1900′s, companies adopted slogans, mascots and jingles that began to appear on radio and television. Marketers soon began to recognize the way in which consumers were developing relationships with brands in a social and psychological sense, and over time learned to develop their brand’s identity and personality traits; such as youthfulness, luxury or fun. Branding became more personal. This evolved into the practice we now know as “branding” today, where the consumers buy “the brand” instead of the product. This trend continued to the 1980s, and is often quantified in concepts such as brand value and brand equity.

In today’s modern digital age, the Internet and social media have had major impacts on branding in a very short time. Brands are now more connected to consumers than ever before across numerous “touch points”-websites, blogs, social media, videos, television, magazines, mobile phones, applications, games, events and even art installations are all common channels where brands are engaging consumers. Unlike 20th century practices where consumers were passive receivers of messages, today’s successful branding campaigns involve multidimensional, two-way communication where consumers participate, share, and interact with a brand. Branding has become a physical, social and psychological experience.

The “brand experience” is the concept that a company’s identity and design evoke certain sensations, feelings and cognitions for the consumer. Several dimensions can distinguish the brand experience: sensory, affective, intellectual, and behavioral. Such stimuli appear as part of a brand’s design and identity, packaging, communications, and environments. Prime examples of some of the most experiential brands are Victoria’s Secret, Apple and Starbucks. Not only is branding about the individual’s awareness of the brand, but the experience the brand brings to the individual; the prospect that the individual moves from awareness of the product to consideration, to loyalty, to advocate. Hewlett Packard CEO, Meg Whitman, says, “When people use your brand as a verb, that’s remarkable.” For example, “Google it,” “Skype date?” or “Photoshop that picture!”

A strong brand is a critical marketing asset, as important to your business as the product itself. In our rapidly changing and increasingly complex world, technology and human interaction are intersecting in new ways, creating an experience economy where trust, conversation and brand portability are crucial to remaining relevant. Big will no longer beat the small. It will be the fast beating the slow.

Taking A Look At ROI In Digital Marketing Compared To Traditional Forms Of Marketing

To any businessperson, the return on investment (ROI) is of great importance. We can define ROI as the profit you get after making an investment. You can also call it the cost that you save because of making an investment.Digital marketingDigital marketing is made up of different areas: email marketing, SEO, social media marketing, content marketing, just to mention a few. Compared to the traditional way of marketing where you need to spend millions for you to reach your target market, digital marketing is highly cost effective. You can use it regardless of whether you are running a small one-person local business or a large corporation.All you need to do is set up your campaign depending on your budget. The marketing strategy also gives you the benefit of running A/B split tests that help you settle on the most effective marketing strategy that saves you a lot of money.It’s also easy to make adjustments in digital marketing. If you have noticed that a certain Ad isn’t doing as well as would like it to, you only need to make a few tweaks and you are good to go. It’s a completely different issue with traditional marketing. With the traditional form of marketing, the process is long, time-consuming, and often expensive. For example, if you have made a mistake in a magazine, you have to ask the editorial team to make another Ad. You also have to wait for another magazine publication to see the changes.There are plenty of online tools you can use to measure your digital marketing success. For example, when you use paid online Ads, you can easily track the number of people that click on them. You can also tell those that buy your products. You can also track your traditional marketing technique but it’s going to take time and is often inaccurate. For example, how can you accurately tell the exact number of people that watch your television Ad?Finally, it’s easy to accurately target your audience with digital marketing. You can target your audience depending on the location, age, sex, and other parameters. This is something that is almost impossible with the traditional marketing techniques.ROI on digital marketing vs. traditional marketingDue to the ability to specifically target your ideal customers, digital marketing gives you a better ROI. This is because you spend an amount that is enough to reach the people you are interested in. While this is the case, you should note that the ROI increases as you increase and master your connections.VerdictWhile digital marketing has a high ROI than the traditional method of marketing, you have no reason to ditch the traditional marketing techniques as they have been proven to be highly effective in certain industries. All you need to do find the right channel that reaches out to as many of your target market as possible. You should remember that the future of marketing is digital; therefore, you should invest heavily in it.

Fitness Tips – Try Walking With Poles

There is regular exercise and then there is exercise by taking a walk. Fitness walking is not simply forcing yourself to exercise but is a type of walking whereby the person uses poles that are very similar in nature to ski poles. This type of exercise is sometimes referred to as Nordic training. Competitive Nordic skiers who practiced by training on dry land first did this type of exercise. It has been used for decades now.

Nordic training is a very basic form of walking that can be done by practically anyone in any type of climate. The upper body in particular becomes well conditioned in much the same way that it does when an individual is involved in Nordic skiing.

This kind of exercise can provide a full body workout and burns more calories than training minus the poles. For example, fitness training involves more energy consumption than regular walking. It is in the area of 46 percent. Upper body muscle endurance can be increased by 38 percent using the poles in a matter of 12 weeks.

The fact that more muscles are engaged in Nordic training is why more calories can be burned. The chest, shoulders, abdominal muscles, biceps, triceps and all other core muscles are put to the test when the exercise is done.

Fitness exercise has some advantages over walking without poles. These include:

· An increase in endurance and strength in the upper body as well as all core muscles
· A tremendous increase in heart rate
· An easier time when climbing hills
· More calories are burned at a faster pace
· Balance and stability are improved thanks to the use of the poles
· There is density preserving stress that takes place to the bones
· Ankle joints, knees and hips do not suffer as much weight on them

It is important than you buy poles that are appropriate for your height and body frame. Poles that are not the correct length can give rise to pain and discomfort in the knees, back and hips. Incorrect sized poles can also reduce the effectiveness of using poles in the first place.