Building A Unique Brand Identity

What is a brand?A brand is a name, term, symbol, design or a combination of these used by an organisation to identify it or its products as unique from others. It acts as an identity and signal, communicating many messages to the market.Therefore, brand identity is its ‘personality’ in context of your target market. In other words, it’s a brand’s characteristics as sees by the market. Every business has one, although some are more subtle and others are very in-your-face.It’s very important for a brand’s success to have a solid, well supported identity as it allows the target market to relate to it. People are emotional beings and this comes across in their buyer behaviour, so therefore, if a business wants their product to appeal to a certain customer, the identity of the brand must offer a relevant characteristic that is pleasing and favourable to them.For example, popular cola soft drinks run intensive branding campaigns with their product on the beach with people enjoying summer, with the intention that their brand will become associated with ‘fun times’ and ‘enjoyable experiences with friends’. This trait, which is an element of brand identity, means that customers will recognise a relatable characteristic, and associate their happy emotions with a product that naturally lends itself to that situation.Five Dimensions Of Brand PersonalityResearch into the marketing and psychological aspects of branding date back to the 60s, 70s and 80s, and identify five main brand personality traits, known as ‘The Big Five’, which encapsulate the main categories of identity.How a consumer interprets all brand messaging is how a brand identity is defined, and the definition tends to focus on one of the following traits.(1) SincerityDown-to-earth, genuine, honest, and comfortable.(2) ExcitementExhilaration, adrenaline, fun, stimulating and sporting.(3) CompetenceReliable, trustworthy, successful and intelligent.(4) SophisticationUpper class, cultured, charming and posh.(5) RuggednessOutdoorsy, tough and strong.Regardless of which category, a brand identity can significantly impact a customer’s interaction and emotional connection with a specific product or organisation.How To Develop A Brand IdentityAn identity of a business, a product or brand functions very similarly to that of a person. When you think of a person, you can list off all of the qualities they have that come across to you when you interact with them. For example, witty, smart, fun, outgoing, frustrating, and so on. These qualities can be both negative and positive, and the way you were able to come to the conclusion of these adjectives lies in how you’ve interpreted the signals they projected through their actions. For example, you would label someone as fun, because they shared an experience with you that you enjoyed, or label someone as frustrating because they were difficult to get along with.It works the same with a brand. The best way to establish, uncover and promote a brand identity is to begin describing the traits and characteristics that come to mind. Then you (as the owner of that brand) must leverage messages and actions which act as signals to the target consumers to allow them to discover and interpret those characteristics and relate your brand to those traits.Branding ElementsBranding elements are the physical identifiers of a brand, such as design, images, colours, font, name, shaping, spacing and so on. Consistency is key here: once you establish your traits, as discussed above, the way your brand physically exists must be consistent with the characteristics you wish to portray.For example, if you want a sporty, exciting brand, you may lean towards brighter colours, modern fonts and trendy logos, as opposed to, say, a conservative fashion brand which may choose a more formal name, a cleaner font, a more conservative colour palette, etc.Customers are very intuitive, and therefore, brand identity and the associated branding elements must be planned very carefully to ensure that they both sync in such a way that the correct messages are being successfully and easily interpreted by the market.Using A VoiceA ‘voice’ in this branding context refers to the entire suite of communication tools used to promote the brand identity and elements, above, to the market. Basically, it’s how you speak and interact with your audience and how they relate to this.This can be the colouring, layout and words used on a website, the music and sound on a radio commercial, or the images featured on a print advert.Again, consistency is very important here. It’s very essential that the voice matches the characteristics and traits originally established for the brand, so that the audience isn’t the victim of mixed or conflicting messages.Write A Branding Guidelines DocumentA ‘branding guidelines’ is a document where all of the branding elements, identity and voice are clearly written out in detail. It provides the ‘go-to’ guide regarding everything about a brand, from design, exact colours, tone, images, sizing, backgrounds, tag lines and correct use.As mentioned above, for a successful brand and strong identity, consistency is paramount so that the audiences are not receiving mixed messages or incorrect signals. The market is already cluttered with noise, and so it’s very important that a business sharpens their message to be so specific that when a customer interacts, they interpret the message positively and correctly.A branding guidelines document ensures that all of the branding is used correctly so that the entire marketing effort is heading in one, uniform direction effectively. Making this document easily accessible internally within a business ensures that everyone working on promoting the brand is doing so in the correct manner.Every business has, or should have, a distinct and unique identity which makes it appealing to their customers, and it lies in a solid branding program to ensuring your brand’s personality stands out from the crowd.

Renters Insurance and How it Works

Renters Insurance is available for people who are renting an apartment or house. The insurance is intended to replace the renter’s property should it get damaged or stolen. This is because the owners insurance will only cover the property and house. Some managers or property owners require a renter to have insurance when living in their apartment or house.There are different types of renters insurance in this state. Depending on what the renters needs are on which one to purchase. The insurance company will go over the different policies they have and their cost. Regardless of which one you select all policies have a dollar amount they are limited to.This is the maximum amount that the renter can receive from the policy, regardless of what the actually loss amount is. To ensure that all your valuables are covered a policy with a large dollar amount is suggested. There will be a deductible that must be paid before the policy will be paid out.A deductible is the amount you pay out of pocket before the company will pay your claim. Generally if a policy for $25,000 is taken you will pay $250 deductible. Sometimes theft requires more of a deductible. So check to see which deductible fits in your budget.There are 3 type of coverage available, personal property, loss of use and personal liability. The first one, personal property is just that. It pays to replace or fix your personal property. There is a limit on the amount of monetary amount that you will receive.Loss of use is next, this pays for additional living expenses. If you have to move because of the loss of the property then this will pay you to stay elsewhere. The last one is personal liability. This protects you if someone is injured while in your home. This will also cover your legal costs.Of course there is a limit on the amount that it will pay out but in general it will take care of your needs. Renters policies pay the actual cash value rather then what you paid for the item. The insurance company will subtract normal wear and tear and depreciation for how old the property is.For an extra charge a person can purchase replacement cost coverage. This pay the full amount of what it takes to replace the property. While this can be expensive it is worth it to protect your property and yourself in an emergency.

Principles of Home Decorating

There are two segments to budgeting your home decorating or redecorating project. It should make no difference what a decorating expert tells you your bottom line minimum cost should be, because you and you alone know what you financial situation is, and what you can comfortably spend on the decorating. Once you have decided on the budget for the project, make sure that it is the final figure for the ENTIRE plan. Set your budget accordingly, determine when, where and how your going to spend the pre-calculated budget, prioritize, allocate the most money on what area is the most important to you.Tips on Calculating the BudgetNow that you have your budget in place you can begin working on the when, where and how to accomplish your goals.Shop at the big box discount stores, they can surprise you with some of the up to date and stylish items they have on their shelves, try flea markets or online auctions, many high quality products can be found once you develop an eye for value.Do your home decorating in phases, be realistic, some issues can never be overcome, don’t put good money into bad. Don’t bite off more than you can chew, you may end up blowing your entire budget on one segment of the project.If your decorating for the sale of your home or your renting while saving to buy a home, try to keep it simple, look to decorate with items that you can remove and take with you to your new place, use wall decorations such as sconces, art work, or framed pictures, use area rugs instead of wall to wall carpets, tile or laminate, try a free standing wall unit instead of built-ins.Don’t try to fool yourself, only spend what you can afford, make sure your budget is written in stone, and if you hire a decorator, don’t allow yourself to be pressured into spending big bucks on items such as fancy, over the top widow treatments when you can find attractive and a lot less expensive, curtains or verticals at a home improvement store, while staying with in budget, after all this is your goal. Keep in mind that when you calculated your budget it was on the total home decorating scheme, so decide how you want to spend the budget, all at once or over a period of time, if it’s over a period of time decide what that time frame will be, develop a work sheet and keep your budget at the forefront.Stay current on retail prices, get the biggest bang for your buck, don’t loose sight that you have numerous options when looking to buy items for your home decorating, such as consignment shops, estate sales, online offline auctions, flea markets, online offline classified ads, etc., but remember to do your home work and stay up on current prices so you don’t over pay.One last thing I’d like to draw attention to, there is a huge difference between decorating and remodeling, and the expense can be just as large. Remodeling such as tearing out walls entails some serious labor cost, while redecorating, such as window treatments can be done by the average home owner.