by Lyn Lomasi; Owner & Ordained Shaman at Intent-sive Nature & Brand Shamans Content Community
Website domain authority can be one of the most important ways to measure success in your online business. As a website domain owner, it's important to stay informed on the most current ways to keep it in front of the most people at all times. Part of that involves using measurement tools to see what your website looks like to outside sources that may be used to find you. Therefore, you may be wondering what is my domain authority? Learn how to find your domain authority, learn what is domain authority and page authority, what is a good domain authority, and more.
What Is Domain Authority?
Ranking on or near the first page with the biggest search engines is essential to getting your website seen. Domain authority is a score developed by Moz that measures your ability to rank on the search engine result pages (SERPs). This score ranged from 1 to 100, with 100 being the best score possible and 1 being the lowest.
How To Check Domain Authority And How DA Works
To check domain authority, you'll need to use a domain rating checker. The Moz Link Explorer is the best place to find your domain authority or the page authority of any given page on your website. Many online marketing platforms and SEO tools will quote your website’s domain authority. This useful tool will provide the domain authority ranking, which will be a number between 1 and 100.
New websites always begin with a DA score of 1. As a website gains high-quality backlinks to it over time, this score will gradually increase. Keep in mind that because it’s figured on a logarithmic scale, it’s much easier to get to 10 than it is to 20, and so on. In order to track your progress, you’ll want to check domain authority history and use a domain rating checker periodically to check and log your current score.
What's A Good DA Score?
What is a good domain authority? A “good” DA score for a website is one that is higher than that website’s competitors in search. It all depends on what the website you’re trying to rank is about. In some niches, a 20 or 30 is a good score if your competitors in search rank below 20. Other niches will require that you have a DA of over 70 to even have a good chance to appear on the first page of Google.
Domain authority is a predictive metric. It should be used to compare competing websites or tracking the ranking of a certain site over time. It’s not an absolute metric. Also, while DA is not an official metric used by Google itself, it is recognized as a benchmark that other SEO tools refer to all the time.
DA VS. Page Authority
What is domain authority and page authority and how do each of these relate to each other? Page authority looks at the ranking strength of individual pages on a website. It’s ranked the same way, but compares individual pages in search results instead. So, you could have a website with a low DA but have individual pages with much higher PA (page authority).
How Can I Influence My DA?
Because DA is an approximation based on many different factors that Google uses in ranking websites, it’s difficult to influence it directly. As a general rule, you should focus on building high-quality backlinks. Track and log your domain authority ranking often. Then, check domain authority history periodically to see how you're doing. This will help you find patterns in what is increasing your score.
Why Did My Domain Authority Change?
There could be many reasons your DA would change, some of which are out of your control. The first and most common reason for it to change is that Moz recently crawled more or fewer domains that were linking back to your domain. It can change based on the number of links, as well as the quality of said backlinks. The DA also may have changed because of a higher authority domain having its score raised or reduced. This can change the ranking of other indexed domains in the category, including yours.
How To Improve My Domain Authority
The easiest way to improve your domain authority is to create content that people want to link to. Also, making sure backlinks use keyword rich anchor text is important. Keeping track of your link profile and disallowing poor quality links with Google’s Disavow Tool also helps. DA is not something you can change overnight, so you have to continue to work on it.
In short, your domain authority ranking will tell you where you are in relation to competitors. Tracking it frequently will help you learn how much you are improving or of your score drops. To search for your domain authority score, use a domain checker, such as Moz Link Explorer. Improve your score by gaining quality backlinks from reputable sources.
Need help with proper SEO for search and/or increasing DA or PA? Hire Us!
It's Just You and Your Brand Tonight
by Phoenix Desertsong, Content Revival
At the end of the day, it’s just you and your brand. You and your brand sleep in the same bed at night, whether it’s been a great day, a mediocre one, or a really, really bad one. You gotta take it home with you. In fact, you are your brand.
When you look in the mirror, you should see a reflection of your brand. The brand you create should be a direct extension of you and reflect your values and standards. If these aren't the case then you and your brand need to have a talk.
But my brand isn’t me, it’s just what I do, right?
Well, what you do is you. If you build a brand, even if it’s not your “personal brand,” it still is personal. But, both brands should be personal to you. They are interconnected, whether you realize it or not.
In fact, as you build your business brand, you are also building your personal brand. In our social media-driven world, it's more important than ever for leaders of a brand to build their own personal brands to give a face to the business brands. People today demand more personality and humanity from brands. So, your own self reflects on your business and vice versa, even if you don't want it to.
Really, all a brand is at the end of it all is the idea that other people have of you in their minds. It’s what your business represents. So, you should be able to stand behind what you want your brand to be one hundred percent.
If you feel that you and your business brand are separate entities, you will find it slip away from you. That's true with your personal brand, too For some people, it's really one in the same, but both are still connected.
Even if you're building a business you later plan to sell, you need to stay connected and in tune with both your business and personal brand. Otherwise, one or both are going to get away from you and rebuilding either one the way you want it to be may become out of reach. If it’s a good one, someone will be happy to take it over for you.
So, should my brand and I have a sit-down and chat?
If you feel that you and your brand are out of sync, then you are out of sync yourself. No matter the reason, you do need to step back and refocus. What are you all about? How can your brand become an extension of what causes and ideas are near and dear to you?
By asking yourself these questions, you’ll build a much stronger brand. You'll also become a much better person, by staying true to what you are and letting your brand become a vehicle for those things. While staying true to yourself sounds cliche, people don’t really follow that advice.
It’s even more rare that a brand is truly used as a vehicle of self-expression and to further ideas and causes. Yes, it happens. A lot of those brands are wildly successful, because they are authentic. People like authenticity, and people love when you take that authenticity far as you can possibly take it.
Those who are willing to make major sacrifices for their brands are the true Brand Heroes. Doubters will eat their words when they see your success if you never stop moving and taking your brand with you. Your brands, no matter how many you have, are like your vehicle. Built, driven, and maintained correctly, they can reliably put you on cruise control to whatever your destination might be
Remember, you are your brand. Have that conversation with yourself. Know that you and your brand are one in the same. Never give up on your brand and never give up on yourself. Only then will you and your brand truly be in tune and become a force for good and whatever change you want to make in the world.
~ Phoenix <3
Want to become a Brand Hero? But, not sure where or how to start? Contact the branding experts at Brand Shamans and we’ll show you how!
Knowing What You Need to Stop Doing with Your Brand is Important As What You Are Doing
by Phoenix Desertsong, Small Business Consultant
It's always a good idea to try new things. But, as many successful people have found over the years, what you stop doing can be just as important as what you are doing. Wasting time and effort on things that don't better you or give you any benefit is something successful people have learned not to do.
One of the main lessons of an excellent book I read called “Good to Great” made this point very well: knowing what you need to stop doing is just as important as what you’re doing or should be doing. When good companies rose to be great companies, they often decided to stop doing things they’d been doing. Sometimes these things were actually a major part of their business, and some were even still profitable.
But, wait, why would you stop doing something profitable? That’s because the leaders of these companies identified an area where they could be the BEST, not just third-best or second-best. Just because it’s technically productive, you could be doing MORE. You know how they say, work smarter, not harder. This is exactly what these great companies did.
For example, Walgreens once had a food service division, a fairly profitable one at that. But when Cork Walgreen took over the business, he eliminated it, deciding instead to focus entirely on making their pharmacies the best “corner drug stores” in the world. Of course, this worked out well. While CVS is now the number one in the US, Walgreens along with Boots Alliance in Europe has done just fine.
Another company that did very well even by eliminating a major part of their business was the steel company NUCOR. For years they went head to head with Bethlehem Steel, but finally, the decision was made to scrap (no pun intended) their more conventional mill model. Instead, they decided to go to the mini-mill concept, to reduce costs while still creating high-quality products. That model worked for them quite well, and they are very much still around.
Focus On What Your Brand Does BEST!
I’ve written before about how the greatest companies often have a “hedgehog concept” - meaning you focus on what you’re best at while ignoring everything else. When it comes to starting a great business, you need to find what market you serve the very best and focus entirely on that. Of course, you also need to be adaptable and identify what ways you need to change your strategy as the market changes and shifts.
Of course, identifying the processes you do that don’t serve you well and eliminating them first is a good thing to do too. Are you spending too much time on one or more social platforms that don’t provide you any positive value? Are you promoting products and services that never sell? That seems easy enough to do, but sometimes, out of habit, we keep doing certain things that no longer help us or are no longer worth our return on investments. The hard part is letting go of things that make us money, but not enough to be worth our investment of time and resources. That time and those resources could be better served by focusing on a more narrow focus.
Yes, sometimes drastically shifting your business model is hard to do. It doesn’t always work. But, if you’re in a position where your business isn’t growing or growing too slowly to be sustainable, sometimes it’s worth taking the chances. Your time is the most valuable resource, and you can’t be wasting it on things that don’t have an appreciable, sustainable positive effect for your brand.
If You’re Already Successful, Why Not Just Keep Doing It?
If your brand is already doing well, does this advice even apply? Yes, it does. You’d be surprised how even the most SUCCESSFUL companies are constantly finding better and more efficient ways to do things. That doesn't mean drastic cost cutting measures or payroll cuts. In fact, the BEST thing to do is simply look at how shifting your business model could help you keep jobs.
After all, reassinging talent within the same company is a lot better for company morale. Plus, it’s much cheaper in time and resources to retrain existing employees than on-boarding brand new ones; obviously, some won’t work out,. In cases where great companies drastically shifted their business models, they've tried to get as many of their existing people on-board, as possible.
On that note, you need to be sure that anyone you work with, whether they be suppliers, your existing client, or your own employees are on board with what you’re doing. If you need to do something to make your company better, and you have people not on board, it may be time to part ways. The good of your company and brand depend on being adaptable. “Good to Great” called it making sure the right people are on the bus. That’s a good analogy.
Every great business and brand starts with one, but it’s the team that wins out in the end. Having the right people and the right branding strategy is what will turn your business from a good one to a great one.
So, find the things that you need to stop doing, and find the one thing that you’re best at. Then, find a way to do it that’s both measurable and profitable. You’ll find you suddenly have a lot more time at doing what you do best.
Looking for a partner in growing your brand and taking it to the next level? Check out our Brand Healing branding consultation packages.
by Phoenix Desertsong, Social Media Expert
Social media can be a great tool for building a community around your business. But, no matter what channels your target audience prefers, you must build a community so strong that it just requires a little watering here and there. It’s gotta be sort of like a Chia pet - a Chia Community, if you will.
You may have that community on Twitter, or LinkedIn, or Facebook, or Instagram, or somewhere like on a Discord chat server. It may be across multiple channels. But, wherever you start getting people to interact, whether it's actively commenting and sharing, or even just passive likes and clicks, that's where you should focus. And, that's different for everyone.
So, how do you build a Chia Community online?
It’s actually a lot more straightforward than you might think. It’s not EASY, per se. But, here’s the key: you need cheerleaders. By cheerleaders, I mean members of your community that are active on a regular basis.
Whatever platforms they may be on, those are your cheerleaders. They are the ones that make your stuff visible. Feed them, nurture them, and keep them around as long as you can.
Of course, you want to post on a regular basis. Whenever that is, be consistent. Even if it’s just once a week. But, once a day Monday through Friday seems to work the best. Really, watch for the days that your audience is most active. Then, focus on posting at those times, even if those times are on the weekends. You can always schedule posts. Then, be sure you respond to comments and thank people for their shares.
Is it really all that easy? Well, that part of it is easy enough. But first you have to actually get those cheerleaders AND find the content that speaks most to your audience. That takes a lot of trial and error.
There is NO “one-size-fits-all” solution for building a Chia Community. You can certainly get ideas from other successful communities. But, it all comes down to what works for you.
Also, what works on one platform may not work on another and vice versa. If you have to chart it all out, by all means, do so. My best suggestion is to focus on the channels that get you the most exposure and trickle stuff out to the others that don’t.
What channels do you find work the best for you when it comes to networking? Where will you build your Chia Community?
Need help building your Chia Community? Let us help point you in the right direction!
How a Major Grocery Chain Uses Ingredient Branding with Private Label Brands as a Powerful Marketing Strategy
by R.A. Rowell; Major Kroger Fan
Living in Colorado, I regularly shop at various Kroger supermarkets such as City Market, King Soopers, and Kroger itself. So, I’ve become quite familiar with the Kroger generic brand and their long list of private label brands. As the second largest retailer and largest grocery chain in the United States, Kroger has become an expert at building many different brands. In particular, Kroger have replaced many products that previously had their generic Kroger brand with one of their private label brands.
Of course, you don’t have to be a grocery store to use ingredient branding for your products. For example, car manufacturer Dodge does a similar thing by branding their Hemi line of truck engines. But, Kroger is perhaps the master of creating private label ingredient brands. Here are just a few of the Kroger private label branded products that my family and I enjoy.
Check This Out / PSST!
One of the best value brands that Kroger chain stores carry is Check This Out household items, also known as PSST! While I’ve never been impressed with their diapers, household essentials such as bathroom tissue and trash bags are an acceptable option if you’re short on cash. These items tend to be a better value than the dollar store equivalents with a cost of roughly a dollar or less.
What I like a lot about the Check This Out brand is how direct the name is. With the little owl saying PSST to you as you glance by the shelf, you feel like you’re being let in on a little secret. Indeed, there are certainly some PSST deals to be had at Kroger stores.
Comforts For Baby
One of my favorite baby diaper brands is actually Comforts for Baby. The price is significantly lower than the name brands like Pampers and Huggies and they have actually held up better for my babies and toddlers than the big name brands. Comforts for Baby also has baby formula that two of my babies tolerated better than the national brands. They also have a wide array of other baby care products such as infant gas drops and sippy cups for a good price.
What I especially like about Comforts for Baby branded products is the direct message of the name brand. These are products that can offer my babies comfort. From my experience, Comforts for Baby products actually do, and I’m happy to go out of my way to a Kroger store to buy them when I need them.
Good to Dough
One of Kroger’s newer private label brands, Good to Dough is the Kroger store brand for loaves of bread, hamburger rolls, and hot dog rolls. It rolled out (pun not intended) in May 2018. While it definitely is one of the cornier names for a private label brand, it is actually accurate to the brand’s mission.
The concept behind Good to Dough bread is that it’s actually vegan-friendly and contains no high-fructose corn syrup. That’s not the case with most bread products at the dollar price-point. The bread isn’t gourmet, of course, but it’s more than sufficient for making some toast or a quick sandwich. I actually prefer it to a lot of the name brand breads. The no corn syrup is definitely a plus for health, too.
Pet Pride & Luvsome
For our dogs, we’ve been buying the Pet Pride dog food and Luvsome gourmet dog food for years. As many other major dog food brands keep experiencing recalls, I have not seen this happen with the Kroger private label dog foods. In my experience, my dogs have been healthier eating this food than the more common brands. It is not the cheapest dog food, but it is very affordable and well-worth it at the price point.
For our cats we buy the Pet Pride and Luvsome cat foods and use the Pet Pride cat litter. The Luvsome litter is good, too. But, but the Pet Pride does the job well enough at a lower price point.
I like these brands because buying Pet Pride makes you feel like you’re actually taking Pride in your Pet and Luvsome is the brand you buy when you want to give them a bit of extra love. This sounds corny, but these ideas really do get into your head when you buy these products on a regular basis.
Simple Truth & Simple Truth Organic
Kroger has been making it a point over recent years to dedicate more and more time to natural and organic foods. By reducing unnecessary ingredients and using organic and non-GMO (genetically modified) ingredients when possible, Simple Truth and Simple Truth Organic foods have become some of my favorites to buy.
The price point of Simple Truth products is usually similar to other natural and organic food brands, but the price is lower enough and the quality good enough that it is worth the small savings. They also offer some snack foods, such as gluten-free crackers, that other brands don’t even offer, at least at as low of a price point.
What’s So Special About These Private Label Brands?
Kroger has become one of the best private label manufacturers by carefully crafting their branding directly to the purpose of the product that it’s branding. These aren’t just your ordinary store brands. Each of these brands exist for a specific purpose that shoppers can easily buy into. That’s the power of ingredient branding: turning everyday items into products that clearly add value to your life.
By using this ingredient branding, Kroger has been able to upsell their own products with private labeling and eye-catching packaging. This branding strategy gives shoppers an additional emotional incentive to pinching a few pennies for a product comparable to, and in my experience even superior to, many of their national brand name counterparts.
How Can You Apply Ingredient Branding to Your Own Business?
With ingredient branding, you’re giving a label to a product or service that is complementary and consistent with your main brand. But, that product is also a key ingredient to your brand’s success. For example, say you have a software-as-a-service (SaaS) package as your main offering. Then, say you particular premium upgrade in your that adds a lot of value. It’s a lot easier to upsell that upgrade as its own brand.
Really, ingredient branding allows you to brand components and features of your products and services that set you apart from your competition. How does branding these ingredients to your success help them become more marketable? People can get a quick mental and emotional attachment with the branding message before you even explain all the benefits of purchasing that particular brand.
Kroger has really mastered ingredient marketing in the grocery sector. It’s a branding tactic that’s used in many different industries. But, there may be a chance for your business to find your own ingredients to brand.
If you’re looking to take advantage of ingredient branding as part of your brand building strategy, contact one of the Brand Shamans today!
** The author of this post was in no way compensated by Kroger or any of its subsidiaries in any way for this post. The opinions of this author are entirely his own.
How Do I Become a Brand Hero?
by Phoenix Desertsong, Personal Branding Expert
When most people start a company these days, they know branding is one of the keys of success. But, a brand goes far deeper than your logo, how your website looks, and how you present your product or service. What separates the brand zeroes from the Brand Heroes in the end is passion and the ability to connect on an emotional (and even spiritual level) with their intended audiences.
So, how do you become a Brand Hero? Here’s the number one tip...
It’s Not All About the Money!
Too often, it seems like money is the end goal when someone creates a brand. No matter what the stated objective in a business plan may be, the end result is what’s my cut in all of this? But, building your brand shouldn’t ever be just about your bottom line.
Still, it seems to be the hope of many budding entrepreneurs out there to build a fairly successful business, then sell their growing company to someone with a pile of money, and move onto new ventures. Sure, there’s nothing wrong with building a company and selling it. But, what’s the true motivation behind it? And, should you really sell your brand to someone else just for money?
That’s the million - or even billion - dollar question isn’t it?
The number one reason 90 percent - or more - of startups fail isn’t what you think. It isn’t lack of business knowledge or a lack of a proper business plan. Yes, that knowledge is helpful. But most successes aren’t as planned as the “experts” would have you believe. The reason that many fail is actually much more basic. A lot of those people that build brands are just trying to become rich and/or famous.
Guess what? Everybody tries that. Yeah, some succeed. But the reason those people succeed is because they weren’t in it for the money. Sure, money may have changed their motivations later on. Sure, someone may offer life-changing money in exchange for their product or business. But still, the initial success is because there was a purpose, a passion, behind creating the brand.
Well, passion isn’t enough some say. But you’d be surprised at how little of a plan some aspiring entrepreneurs have. They either enter the market at the right time, are doing something completely different from everyone else, or do something that others are failing miserably at. Let’s look at how these Brand Heroes figure out how and when to jump on their opportunities.
How Do I Get in the Market at the Right Time?
There isn’t a magical answer to this question. It really is partly luck. You can do some research and see if a particular niche is trending. Yes, you can jump on the bandwagon and just try to get int there and do it better than everyone else. Sometimes, this works. But the thing is, when you jump on a bandwagon, you’re competing with a whole bunch of other wannabes. So, the trick is to get into the market before everyone else has figured it out.
Being Completely Different
Obviously, being completely different at something is a bit difficult to do. But if you are doing something no one else is doing, and it’s something that people actually look for, then you have a chance of creating your own niche. Creating your own market is always better than trying to do what everyone else is trying to do. But inventing something new is hard. Still, it can be rewarding, especially if you get people who buy into your vision and stick with it until you’re successful.
Do Something Others Fail Miserably At...
Speaking of trying, there are plenty of things out there that are being done, but not necessarily well. If you’re experiencing a certain service or product that’s out there but that people aren’t happy with, then innovate! Turns out that most successful people took something existing and innovated on it, but it’s the innovation that’s remembered and becomes the real big success. So, yeah, you don’t even have to invent something to be successful. You just have to not suck at it. That’s probably the hardest thing to do of all, but it’s also how you can find an existing market that is hungry for something better. And, innovation is sometimes just as good as inventing something.
So, if you want ot build a company for the sole purpose of selling it later, well… that’s not how I’d recommend doing it. But you can! If you build something awesome that people want to buy, I suggest giving them a cut, but never, ever give up your baby’s ownership rights. Sure, someone may be able to run it better than you, or so you think. Staying in control of what you create and putting your heart and soul into it is what makes a true Brand Hero.
Do you have what it takes to be a Brand Hero? You’ll never know unless you put your best foot forward, chase your dreams, and never give up no matter what anyone else does or says. My best advice is to never lose control of your brand. It should be as much a part of you as your arm and leg. While I know plenty of people will disagree with me, this is what I believe. I’m going to always stick to it. After all, if someone wants to buy my company for millions of dollars, who knows what I could built it into myself?
Share your success with others, sure. Let others buy in, sure. But never lose hold of the reins to your chariot. It may be just a rickety cart right now, but you just never know how you’ll build it up to become an impressive vehicle for your hopes and dreams. Be a Brand Hero, stand out, and build something awesome!
Want to become a Brand Hero? But, not sure where or how to start? Hire the Brand Shamans and we’ll show you how!
Branding Hacks: Using Gamification to Give People a Positive Impression of Your Brand
by R.A. Rowell; Lover of Well Crafted Gamification
If you want to learn some branding hacks, just watch what cereal companies and toy companies do when they market to kids. One of the ways that they can get kids hooked on products is through online games. Gamification is a very strong method of brand building. While branded games have been around for decades, online games are so easy to access nowadays that they’ve become invaluable in marketing products to kids.
The idea of fan clubs has been around for centuries. But, with online gaming, brands have taken them to a brand new level. It used to be the work of television commercials to make kids feel like they can’t live without a certain cereal, candy, or toy. But now, commercials can instead get kids to ask their parents to visit a brand’s web site and sign up to play some free games. Then, kids invite their friends to play, too.
Many of these online gaming fan clubs also allow kids to chat with their friends and even make new friends through their gaming platform. In fact, some of these brand fan clubs are so successful that paid memberships are sometimes even available. This is cheap advertising for brands and it gets a lot of exposure to young, pliable minds who can become loyal brand customers and advocates for life. Brands can even make a little extra money through this loyalty.
But, this sort of gamification isn’t just for marketing to kids. Really, any brands can create fun destinations for people of all ages. Making your brand synonymous with recreation can make it come alive in ways you may not have ever imagined. It’s possible to make just about any brand website be colorful and animated without being too cartoonish or overwhelming. Then, create content that people from anywhere will flock to and enjoy.
The same sort of “herd mentality” that cereal, candy, and toy brands have used to build brand loyalty in kids can work with just about anything. It’s actually a bit surprising that more brands, especially those that deal with ecommerce, haven’t gotten more creative in making their own online gaming experiences. However, many brands have created “members-only” areas like fan clubs with exclusive content. Amazon did this with Prime, offering a vast array of entertainment in addition to many other benefits such as two day shipping, all for a low monthly fee. But, it’s possible to go much further.
Basically, you don’t want your site to just be where someone goes to learn more about a product or buy something. You want your brand to have loyal fans that come back often to consume new content, play games, or both. Your brand should become a destination that people get excited about. Obviously, you want to tie the experience to your brands and services, too, but in a fun and creative way that doesn’t feel like you’re hard-selling to people.
Want to become a Brand Hero? But, not sure where or how to start? Hire the branding experts with Brand Shamans and we’ll show you how!
by R.A. Rowell; Personal Branding Professional
Naming your brand is like naming a child. That brand name is how people will refer to what you do and sell. As your brand grows up, you want it to be a name to be proud of. You want to pick a brand name that will be linked with success, profitability, or hopefully both.
Your brand name is more important than any other part of branding. It's even more important than your actual products and services. A brand name is how the public recognizes you or your business. It’s what sets you apart from anyone else.
What’s in a Brand Name?
By having a catchy name, people will immediately recognize your brand. Picking a good brand name allows customers or clients to be able to connect with your business on an emotional level. How you choose your name is actually fairly open. Some might say that your brand name should have something directly to do with your product or service. But you can also choose a name based on how it makes people feel or how memorable it is.
Whatever name you pick, you want it to be unique. You don’t want a name that’s too similar to another well-known brand. That may confuse people. Confusing people is definitely not a good way to do business.
What you want to do is have a brand name people remember and that people instantly recognize. This is extremely important in advertising. It’s also important to building brand loyalty. If you have too generic a name, say “Bob’s Hobby Shop,” that won't get people very excited. It might work in a small town, perhaps. But, in today’s global economy, if you’re looking to expand your business beyond your local downtown, you need a brand name that's a lot catchier.
How Does a Good Brand Name Build Loyalty?
A good brand name will stick in consumers’ minds as an entity. You want your brand to be thought of as a real, tangible thing with its own spirit, values, and purpose. People can become extremely loyal to a brand. Just look at Coke. They are probably the best out there at brand building. The Coke brand is so well-known and easily recognized that they can cross-brand and put their name on just about anything. If you choose a highly marketable name and build your brand well enough, you can put your brand name on just about anything, too.
Brand recognition also creates more loyal customers, as they come to think of your brand as they would a friend. More loyal customers mean higher revenues, and more importantly, more repeat business. For any business, repeat customers means your brand is doing well. It’s been found that it takes five times as much money (or more in some industries) to gain a new customer than retaining an existing customer. That’s why brand loyalty is so important; you don’t have to work as hard to keep the cash flowing.
Choose the right brand name and you'll succeed. Even rebrand and pick a new brand name if you have to. Getting the brand name right is the most important thing you will ever do in your business.
Want to become a Brand Hero? But, not sure where or how to start? Hire the Brand Shamans and we’ll show you how!
by R.A. Rowell; Branding Professional
Personal branding has become more important than ever. It matters in job hunting, freelancing, and building any sort of business – even a side-hustle! On the flip side, business brands are becoming more and more like people all the time. The social media accounts of brands you love – and brands you love to hate – have become their own personalities.
Sure, you still have celebrity endorsements. But, more and more, people want to connect with people who are directly connected to a brand. Giving faces and voices to the people that build the brand from within real people who are completely invested in what your brand stands for, makes your business more human than ever..
The power of interviews has long been known for building personal brands. Yet, many business brands – and even some people with successful personal brands – don't realize realize the true brand building value of doing an interview. Not only is it essentially free exposure, but you put a face to your brand, which is invaluable in our socially super-charged world.
If you're trying to build your personal brand, building your reputation, and marketing your skills, doing an interview with a venue that has a decent audience can be invaluable. There are many kinds of interviews. They can be done on audio podcasts, in YouTube Videos or Facebook Live chats, or in text form on blogs. Whichever type works best for you is fine. They all are effective in their respective ways.
What an interview does is to bring new dimensions to your brand, both your own personal brand (as an author or designer, for example) and your business brand. Obviously, you want to find an interviewer that asks the right questions. But, even interviews with more general questions are fine, as long as you have good and engaging answers to give.
You may not think you're great at giving an interview, but you're probably better than you think. After all, the whole point of an interview is to put you on the spot. You're going to get some unexpected questions and how you answer them can go a long way towards giving people a good impression.
So, the best thing about doing an interview? You don't really have to do the research. That's all on the interviewer to do. You just have to answer some questions. Being prepared is good, knowing the interviewer and all that. But your main job is to just be you and answer questions as honestly as you can – within reason, of course. The smarter your answers, the better you and your brand will look, of course.
Think of an interview as a conversation about your brand. Try not to stress about what questions are going to be asked. The whole idea is to come out from behind your brand and put yourself out there. That can be very difficult to do. But the rewards are well worth it. Not only do you get yourself and your brand out in front of new people, but you also bring personality to your brand and give it a face. People like to relate to people, and the more your brand becomes like a person, the more people will want to interact with it.
So, if you have a chance to do an interview, don't delay. The sooner you do it, the sooner you give you personal brand - and the brands of your related businesses - a new chance to grow!
Want to become a Brand Hero? But, not sure where or how to start? Hire the Brand Shamans and we’ll show you how!
You Can Observe a Lot By Watching Your Brand Engagement (And Your Competitors, Too!)
by R.A. Rowell; Content Creator Coach
"You can observe a lot just by watching." - Yogi Berra
Oh, Yogi, of course, you can observe a lot just by watching!
The great Yogi Berra was an amazing baseball player and later a very good team manager and coach. He's also famous for saying a lot of things. Many of them, often known as "Yogi-isms" seem odd at face value, and many of which seem obvious. However, sometimes if you really think about these "Yogi-isms" you realize that there's more to it.
Observing Means Paying Attention to the Right Things
What Yogi Berra meant is that you can learn a lot from observations if you pay attention to the right things. In baseball, as well as football and other sports, there are little things to watch for to give you a competitive advantage. You may have heard of "stealing signs." Indeed, cracking the code to your opponent's coaching signals certainly helps. It's a big deal in American football, too.
Just by watching the social media pages, blogs, and other public channels of companies who are in a related field as you, or even your direct competition, you can learn a lot. Seeing how people engage with other brands can tell you what they might be doing right. In fact, you can also see what's not working, too, which is just as important. This is called competitor research. You can then adapt some of these things that are working for them to attract the same sort of brand engagement.
Beyond just taking cues from your competition, you can learn a lot by observing your own brand engagement, as well. You can glean valuable insights into what you may or may not be doing correctly just by how people interact with you (or don't). If people aren't interacting, you may want to consider how to increase brand engagement. The best question to ask yourself is "how can I offer more value?"
Watching Your Own Brand Engagement Closely Can Give You Clues About What to Do Next
Watching how people interact with your brand should give you an idea if something should work or not work. Obviously, if something you post on your blog or website is getting more views than usual or more likes on social media, then you're doing something right.
Also, it also doesn't hurt to hint at things that you're trying. It's a sort of passive market research. Social media, in particular, is a great place to test out ideas before you commit to them. But, what if your brand is consistently getting no real engagement? What is there to watch, then?
You just have to watch the right things. If your website and/or blog is getting page views, that's something. If people are liking your page, that's something. Engagement isn't always super obvious. But, it's watching the less obvious things that can give you the most important information.
For example, say you have a blog post that consistently gets views when you share it on social media. You may also have a post that gets a lot of search traffic on its own. Obviously, people are attracted to that post. Creating social media content around that post, taking quotes from it, and making attractive images out of them, is one strategy. Sometimes, you can just reshare popular content that doesn't compete with your brand, but complements your brand's values. Use a variety of strategies to attract engagement to your website and social media. Then, focus on the ones that bring the most engagement, and of course, any that bring you sales and new customers.
The knowledge and insights you need to take your brand in the right direction are likely there already for you to see. You just have to take a step back and observe. Sometimes, it's what's not being done by others, or done as well as you could do it, that you end up seeing.
The key to increase your brand engagement and jump-start your business may even already be right in front of you! Need help with creating engaging content or doing competitor research? Hire the social media, content marketing, and branding specialists at Brand Shamans and we’ll show you how!
Don't Be the Brand Who Did Too Much: Branding Mistakes That Can Seriously Hurt Your Brand
by R.A. Rowell, Branding Professional
Remember the time that Harley Davidson tried their hand at making bike soap? Yeah, that didn't go over so well.
It is very possible for a brand to do too much. Whether it's a personal brand, a company brand, or any kind of brand, people come to expect a certain image. A brand is meant to encapsulate the ideas, concepts, and values your brand stands for. When you step outside those bounds, your brand can take a serious hit.
Which branding mistakes can seriously hurt your brand?
Most Branding Mistakes Won't Kill Your Business, But the Worst Branding Mistake is to Fail to Be Consistent With Your Brand
While most mistakes will not destroy your brand, you do have to be careful. Whatever you do with your brand, you have to be consistent. If your brand goes and does something out of character, it's going to have a negative impact across your whole brand.
Yes, you can recover. Harley Davidson did, after making a lot of their hardcore fan base mad. And the product is still out there, but they no longer focus on it. So, you can backtrack and be fine. However, don't be the brand who did too much.
One thing that some brands do is try and take advantage of trends. While it's great if you do it right, plenty of brands make some weird choices. But usually, it's one ad campaign or one bad product launch, and you can go back to your brand's strengths and be fine.
But, then, brands take some really huge risks that don't make a lot of sense.
Taking Risks with Your Brand Purely to Take a Risk is Not So Bright
Take, for example, the "crunchless" Doritos for ladies. I'm not sure where that idea came from. Not only was it strange, but the way that they launched was actually kind of offensive. So what, chips are messy? Frito-Lay made a major branding mistake with that.
They actually had an interesting idea, but they launched it very badly, and it came off as sexist. Also, "crunchless" chips is NOT something you would associate with DORITOS. It was just a really bad mistake. But, you know what? They're a huge brand. They took a risk, but they bounced back.
Most brands, though, can't bounce back from a PR disaster like that. That sort of mistake can actually ruin a brand.
However, sometimes you still have to take risks with your brand, as long as that risk makes sense.
Do Everything You Can with Your Brand... Within Reason
I'd like to draw on a "brilliant" quote from Ashleigh Brilliant: "Not being able to do everything is no excuse for not doing everything you can "
While Ashleigh was not specifically talking about branding in this case, like people, brands can find themselves not doing as much as they can. As long as you are taking your brand in a positive direction, building on your brand's values, it's OK to take risks here and there. But never assume that you can survive taking massive risks that go against what your brand stands for.
So what if you don't want to ruin your brand? Create another brand. Yes, it's actually OK to create spin-off brands. Companies do it all the time, and sometimes the spin-offs even surpass the mothership brand.
Also, if the brand fails, the backlash is not going to be ANYWHERE near as bad as it could be. Sure, people may know your brand was associated with it. But people tend to forget the missteps by a lesser-established brand.
So what's the major take-away here? Make sure that you allow your brand to grow – and occasionally make mistakes – as long as your brand's mission is always clear in view. Advance the concepts, ideas, and values your brand has established.
When Should You Create a Spin-Off Brand to Lessen the Damage from Branding Mistakes?
If you really want to create a new direction, build a new brand. It's more work, but the worst that can happen is that brand fails badly and goes away. More likely, you'll create a new brand that brings in a completely different dimension to your business.
Even though brands can appear completely separate to the general public, many companies own several different brands. Some bigger companies own dozens, or even hundreds, of brands. Why? Because if one brand fails, your business still has all those other brands to fall back on.
What if Harley created a new brand for their bike wash products? They could have saved themselves both PR headaches and lost sales. Yeah, Harley-Davidson would have been in the fine print in the commercials and on the bottles. But very few people actually read that. The PR impact may have been completely different. But the decision to use the brand to sell the product did NOT fit and the public responded by backing away from the brand.
And if Frito-Lay had introduced the "Ladychip" as a separate brand entirely, yeah, it would have been slammed. But the new Doritos Blaze chips, which are actually quite good, saved them this time. The Ladychip ad campaign could have ruined the Doritos brand entirely had they not introduced that other on-brand product (And Tyrion Lannister of Game of Thrones, weird as that Super Bowl ad was, didn't hurt.)
So Frito-Lay even knew they were taking a huge risk and took off some of the heat by releasing a solid product around the same time. PepsiCo also introduced a new Mountain Dew drink at the same time with a partnering ad with Morgan Freeman. Not sure how well that went over – it's not selling at my local supermarket, but the Blaze chips are!
Don't Be the Brand Who Did Too Much
The great news is, like Frito-Lay showed, you can bounce back by having a fallback plan whenever you take a risk. Always seek to build your brand, but don't be the brand who did too much.
Harley took a hit and Doritos took an even bigger one. Doritos just had a better comeback.
Don't make the same mistake. But if you do make a branding mistake, make sure it's a "good" mistake. Make sure it fits your brand's overall plan. Otherwise, you will cause some head-scratching and, potentially, lose valuable business.
Not sure if your brand is not doing enough or may even be trying to do too much? Let us know in the comments below!
How to Grow Your Brand: Don't Be Afraid to Take That Next Step With Your Business
by R.A. Rowell; Branding Professional
Don’t be afraid to take that next step with your business and your brand. Step forward confidently and you will find yourself one step closer to success.
If you're looking for how to grow your brand, here's one simple piece of advice. Don’t be afraid to take that next step you’re not sure if you can take. Sometimes, we’re scared of taking that next step in life, because we’re worried it may be the wrong one. This happens all the time when building your brand, too.
It can be too easy to become complacent and simply be "okay" with how things are. Both in life and with your brand, staying put is not the best way to go. You and your brand must grow together to sustain your march toward success and to set up for future growth and success.
What is the Next Step You Want to Take?
Is there something you could be doing with your brand building, but haven't due to fear of failure? Most steps we could make we simply don't because we feel it isn't worth the risk to do something new. Still, most missteps are only going to cost you a little time and perhaps a little money. More often than that, making mistakes don't cost you anything you will miss in the long term just for having tried. The potential price of failure usually is worth the lessons we learn from what didn’t end up working.
Sometimes, we overestimate risks because there are so many unknowns when it comes to possibilities. So, we have to always assume some risks when building a brand or business. But, when you really think about it, that new thing could change both you and your brand for the better.
Failure With Your Next Step Often Means Growing From the Experience
What if that next step fails? Chances are you'll recover from your venture without much real loss and have learned from the experience. A negative experience with your brand is just like a negative experience in your own life. Often you and your brand are both so interconnected that you'll feel the sting of failure twice.
But, you then should work twice as hard to make another new step. Don’t retreat out of fear of the potential of success is worth it. If you do fail, you and your brand should both recover in time having become better for the experience. After all, what is success worth if it's easy when you fail?
But, what if your next step succeeds and brings a new dimension to your brand? At the very least, if it doesn't fail, that step could at least give you a sense of accomplishment. Continuing to evolve keeps you and your brand on track.
Always Moving Forward is the Key to Creating Success
Really, if it won't hurt you and your brand seriously, there is no reason not to try it. Yes, the best laid plans can backfire. But, as long as you understand the real impacts of risk versus potential rewards, you should be able to overcome your fears of making new steps forward.
If the next step is a big one that could go seriously wrong, but you are sure it is the way you want to go, then just make that step. The worst thing you can do is stay put. Not doing something can hurt more than anything else. You won't learn anything and you’ll have nothing to gain.
Fear should be seen as simply a need to ensure yourself that you know what's best in growing both yourself and your brand. Still, don't let it stop you, even if seems there is so much to lose. As long as that next step is made with growth and prosperity in mind, you should be sure to make it a good one!
Want to become a Brand Hero? But, not sure where or how to start? Hire the Brand Shamans and we’ll show you how!
Brand Healing Journal