Thursday, August 09, 2007

Branding Versus Search Engine Optimization

Branding versus search engine optimization is a marketing dilemma that larger companies will need to come to grips with on the Internet. Often companies will need to decide whether to promote their own brand name as their main keyword phrase or optimize for a more generic keyword phrase. For instance, one search engine report states that 1.3 million visitors per month search for the term "Best Buy." This same report states that the term "electronics" is searched for by 1.1 visitors per month. The obvious choice in this scenario is for Best Buy to optimize for their own brand name first and the word "electronics" second.But take a competitor such as Fry's Electronics. Approximately 95,000 visitors search for the term "Fry's" every month, far short of those who search for "electronics". Does this mean Fry's Electronics (a partner with should optimize for "electronics" first and Fry's (and/or second?Currently, a search on Google for "electronics" will show that Best Buy does not show up in the first two pages. Fry's ( is on the second page. But let's take a further look to see who is in the number 1 position: Sony. Sony, with 450,000 searches per month for the word "sony", has managed to grab the number one spot for its brand name and the generic name "electronics". A search of the Sony homepage source code will reveal that this page is optimized for both words, "Sony" and "electronics." By optimizing for both words Sony has nabbed a lot of traffic neglected by Best Buy and perhaps even exceeds Best Buys traffic in doing this.Another issue in branding is trademark infringement. Courts have upheld that websites using another company's branded name in its metatags is engaging in trademark infringement. For instance, a site about cats would be infringing if it put the name Best Buy in its metatags in hopes of gaining traffic from this trademarked word. Large companies have to protect themselves from others stealing traffic that is rightfully theirs. These companies cannot however protect a generic term such as "electronics" as that is fair game for all electronics companies.So, in order to create the largest return on investment, large companies need to optimize their websites both for their own brand names and for the generic, high-traffic keywords and keyword phrases relevant to their sites. Otherwise, they are letting tons of online business just slip away.

Branding that Sells

Selling at a given perspective can be viewed as tedious and meticulous. If you include the overall process, that will make the subject a little complex.Selling, according to a poem, is everyone’s business. Selling is knowing who’s your competition, market and what is important. It is knowing your service, idea, product and your market needs. It is knowing what are accepted and what are not. Selling is knowing how to treat and be treated. In a nutshell, selling is knowing – knowing the line of work of selling.Successful brokers and agents are saying that when they have assimilated data successfully, chances are they are going to bag a purchase. Salesmen are saying that if they have already determined the needs, objectives and goals of the potential client, there is no need to sell, they will just come. Businessmen, on the other hand, are saying that if there is already a mutual feeling of trust and confidence it will be easier to sell. One of the striking strategies in selling is by branding. Coke, Revlon, Adidas and the rest of the widely-popular brands became bearably popular by reason of branding. Branding, so to speak, is image building. It imbibes a certain stigma in connection to the thing it is associated with. Though the widely used kind of branding is done with products, branding can also be done to services like in legal services that a lawyer is offering. Also, it is applicable to persons especially celebrities and politicians. Branding is oftentimes widespread during the building up stage of a star and for politicians, in times of election.Almost all large companies are using branding in order to solicit familiarity and brand retention. This is the reason why companies at the middle stratum are thinking that it involves large amount of money in order to make branding possible. This is not always the case. Branding can be made by using promotional materials like printed T-shirt, key, tags, mugs, pens, bags, CD holders, badge holders, calendars, clocks, caps, balloons and other promotional specialties. This is what we call image branding along with direct sales approach.A brilliant selling investment need not be expensive. It just needs a dash of imagination, creativity and a slice of resources. The goal is to make the consumers think about the product to make him forget the rest of the products being marketed. Try this type of strategy and be the living witness of its impressive results!
About the Author
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Are you placing your email address and URL onall correspondence?Many people forget to add this to importantmailings and even their business cards.Today, most people prefer to email messages thanmake phone calls, so it is very important to haveyour email address on all letters, invoices andbusiness cards.Make sure your URL (web address) is on everythingthat you send out. Keep "branding" your business.Keep that URL out where it can be seen.It's not enough to have your phone number and faxnumber on your business cards or letterheads. Addyour email address and URL if you have one.It's important also to have a signature on all emails that go out. There is a cool free "signature writing"service at: it out.Don't be left behind. Promote and brand your businessevery chance you get. It's the professional thing to do.Some say it takes up to nine times for people to see yourname before they will do business with you. If that istrue, then it's very important to have your name andemail address out there.Try to encourage email exchanges. The more emails you havegoing back and forth, the more credibility you will buildin your potential clien't head.Offer something free. Make people email you for information.This way you are opening the door to email correspondencewithout spamming. Your goal should be to have the personemail you first asking for information or just a simplequestion. Once the ball starts rolling, your various emailexchanges can easily turn into sales.It's important to have a pop account or an account thatreflects your company or website.Using generic or really puts a damperon your look and makes you appear unprofessional. Plus, when you email a person with your own private "branded" email address, you are actually advertising your company just by the mere action of sending a sounds better than joe@aol.comOr is much better than't it?Brand yourself. Brand your business. Do it today.
About the Author
Tom Falco is moderator of "The Swap-O-Rama" List where youcan swap anything from ezine ads to hotel rooms and more!For info, visit: to subscribe mailto:TheSwap-o-rama-subscribe@yahoogroups.comAlso "American Pop Trivia List" visit:

Sunday, August 05, 2007


Often the more a thing is discussed the less it is understood. Words have a point of diminishing return. That point is crossed when the effort to be clear and precise counts every tree standing, but misses the proverbial forest. Such is the case with branding.

Because the idea of branding is all the rage, people are tempted to think that it is a new idea. It is not. It’s roots reach back into history.

The Old West
Let’s go back to the Old West where brands were burned into the hind quarters of cattle. The thing branded was the cow, the product produced by the ranching endeavor. The brand itself was the twisted iron logo on the end of the rod that left its image or mark on the hide of the cow. Cows were roped, tied and branded in order to identify them, should they be stolen. The brand was a mark of identity, as it is in the corporate world.

Some ranchers also used their logo as a welcome sign wrought in iron over the gates of the corral or over the road leading to the rancher’s home. Again, the brand identified the ranch. Some ranchers even got their cowhands belt buckles with the ranch logo to identify them as employees. And over time logoed merchandise began to pop up on boots, hats, shirts, etc.

The brand is essentially a mark of identity. It identifies the ranch or company, and has come to represent or suggest the values and character of the company, and of its leaders. The brand is associated with the character of the company, as well as its products.

The early history of branding was always personal. Where does the ranch or company get the values and character that are associated with it? From its owners and leaders, and from their business practices.

Branding as we know it today is the art of instilling and communicating the values and character of a company or organization through association with its logo. Psychology calls it symbolic association, and finds it to be foundational to the learning process. Symbolic association has deep roots in human experience and in history.

Fish, Cross & Swastika
We find that branding as a practice began very early in history. The sign of the fish and the cross were symbols used by the early Christians. Over time they became Christian brands.

The Roman Emperor Constantine had a vision of a red cross in the sky before the battle of Saxa Rubra, October 28, 312, near Rome. He put that red cross on his shields and flags, branding the Holy Roman Empire for centuries.

On August 7, 1920, at the Salzburg Congress, a red flag bearing the Swastika became the official emblem of the Nazi Party, as Hitler branded the Third Reich. While our emotional reaction to the Swastika is usually negative, both the fact and the intensity of our response to it points to the power of branding. Most people probably have an emotional reaction to the examples above. That emotional reaction is the aim of branding.

It must be recognized that a branding effort does not always turn out the way the campaign intends. The cross was intended to be a symbol of derision, but became a symbol of grace and mercy. The Swastika was intended to be a symbol of the triumph of the Arian race, but has become a symbol of evil. In both cases branding was achieved, but not in the way intended.

Of course, companies want the emotional association to their brand to be positive—even to generate an urge to splurge, or trust sufficient to sustain a transaction. But regardless of one’s personal reaction to a symbol, the fundamental mechanics of branding involve soliciting an emotional response to a symbol.

There are two fundamental elements in the branding process. The first pertains to the symbol, the second to the association.

The Symbol
The symbol itself must be familiar. The more the symbol or logo is seen, the more familiar it becomes. The most successful branding campaigns will have a lot of sustained media coverage and use a variety of advertising mediums. This does not mean that smaller campaigns cannot be successful, only that their success will be smaller. Familiarity is primarily a function of exposure.

The Association
Secondly, the emotional content of the association also needs to be familiar. Of course it is true that new desires and/or emotional content can be created. But the effort is both time consuming and risky. The result might be other than the desired effect.

The more successful method for creating a symbolic association employs well-established and widely valued characteristics, like love, honor, truth, freedom, etc. Successful branding campaigns establish symbolic associations between their products and/or company and such noble characteristics. What is noble inspires people, and what inspires is remembered and discussed. It creates buzz. And buzz is branding’s engine.

To discuss the art of branding apart from these foundational elements is to miss the forest for the trees. However, branding is more than a mere advertising campaign can accomplish because the symbolic association that needs to be made for the branding to be successful involves the core values and character traits of the company— its leaders and its business practices.

Prior to branding, core values, character issues and company policies need to be determined, developed and deployed within the company. Because the process of branding reveals the values, character and policies of the company, those things need to be right, and be in place before they can be successfully revealed.

Premature Branding
A premature revelation of these things can be disastrous to the intention of the branding campaign. To be branded as hypocritical and shallow is worse than no branding at all. Again, branding occurs when an emotional response—any emotional response— is associated with a company symbol. The art of branding is to solicit the right emotional response.

So, what can be done to promote a brand? Begin by working to establish core values and character within and throughout the company. To be successfully branded is to be known widely for who you are. You want a great branding campaign? Be a great company. Aspire to the values and character traits of greatness and nobility. Herein lies the key to branding success.

©2003 Phillip A. Ross

About the Author

Phillip A. Ross, entrepreneur, freelance writer and owner of Business Specialties (, lives in Marietta, Ohio, and provides identity products and promotional services to position companies and organization for substantial success.


Are you placing your email address and URL on
all correspondence?

Many people forget to add this to important
mailings and even their business cards.

Today, most people prefer to email messages than
make phone calls, so it is very important to have
your email address on all letters, invoices and
business cards.

Make sure your URL (web address) is on everything
that you send out. Keep "branding" your business.
Keep that URL out where it can be seen.

It's not enough to have your phone number and fax
number on your business cards or letterheads. Add
your email address and URL if you have one.

It's important also to have a signature on all
emails that go out. There
is a cool free "signature writing"
service at:
check it out.

Don't be left behind. Promote and brand your business
every chance you get. It's the professional thing to do.

Some say it takes up to nine times for people to see your
name before they will do business with you. If that is
true, then it's very important to have your name and
email address out there.

Try to encourage email exchanges. The more emails you have
going back and forth, the more credibility you will build
in your potential clien't head.

Offer something free. Make people email you for information.
This way you are opening the door to email correspondence
without spamming. Your goal should be to have the person
email you first asking for information or just a simple
question. Once the ball starts rolling, your various email
exchanges can easily turn into sales.

It's important to have a pop account or an account that
reflects your company or website.

Using generic or really puts a damper
on your look and makes you appear unprofessional. Plus,
when you email
a person with your own private "branded"
email address, you are actually
advertising your company
just by the mere action of sending a message. sounds better than
Or is much better than
Isn't it?

Brand yourself. Brand your business. Do it today.

About the Author

Tom Falco is moderator of "The Swap-O-Rama" List where you
can swap anything from ezine ads to hotel rooms and more!
For info, visit:
or to subscribe
Also "American Pop Trivia List" visit:

Friday, August 03, 2007

About Branding

Branding, type-establishment, character-determination, name it whatever you like, we are practicing it all the time. Admitted, in business the skill of developing a rapid insight could be invaluable. Imagine how great it would be if we would all develop the ability to make a snapshot of every job-applicant, in order to see where his/her strengths and weaknesses were? Well, the positive side, according to the lecture I received today is, that we already do that - unconsciously. We "brand" people the moment we see them. However, the negative side remains that we don't always execute the branding process in the right way. It is this very branding - this first moment snapshot - that guides our approach toward another person. It is branding that makes us extra open to some and overly defensive toward others. There are some people that we just can't stand, no matter what they do... and others that just can't go wrong with us, no matter how often we will receive warnings from third parties! As I also learned tonight, we tend to ignore those warnings, and sometimes even their realization, because we don't like to admit to ourselves that our first impression was wrong?

Another funny thing I observed tonight is, that people will easily tell you, when asked, that they prefer to hire employees that are their opposites, "so that performance gaps can be filled." This, as we all know by now, is just an idealistic dream, a song that we know by heart and therefore sing so well; yet don't understand the words of. For in reality, it has been proven time and again that no one really goes for diversity, because we have an inborn tendency to stick with whatever is familiar to us, and that is...right!... the person with most of the characteristics we know best: the ones we own ourselves!

But in case we, as potential leaders, really want to establish an ideal work-environment with the necessary diversity in characteristics, backgrounds, and qualities; how can we, make a mental snapshot to be sure that we're hiring the right people given our current team of workers? Well, easy: if you know what you have, you also know what you lack, and ? therefore - need to find. If you know about yourself, for instance, that you are a fast-paced, goal-oriented decision-maker (let's call this type 1), you want to get an analytical and stabilizing element to balance your team. People with persuasive tendencies (type 2) usually don't mind showing their emotions, while the type 1 individuals ? the ones with controlling personalities - will hide their feelings and just go for the job? fast! People with stabilizing skills (type 3) will seek to solve interpersonal problems. The ones with analytical skills (type 4) will review and re-review the process endlessly before shooting it to execution. Interestingly, most people have 2 types represented within them: a dominant and an underlying type. The dominant one is the one you represent, while the underlying one determines how you get your results.

It's an interesting skill for leaders to look into. And an eye opener for people who thought they knew themselves for decades. However, a word of caution is in place here, no matter what personality test you take, remember that these are mere snapshots that are subject to change through time and in different situations: one can, for instance, predominantly be a controller at work, yet more of a persuader in the private domains of life.

Branding people on basis of a first impression is therefore never a good idea, even though it's hardly preventable. The only thing we can do, now that we are aware of this tendency within us, is to keep an open mind for 2nd, 3rd, 4th and even 5th impressions. Sounds reasonable? I thought so too!

*Winning* With Branding

If I were to ask you what K.D. was, you would undoubtedly
know it is a short form associated with Kraft Dinner. There
probably aren't many people who have not heard of "Kraft
Dinner" or who have not eaten it at one point in their life. In
fact, if I was to ask you to take a look in your cupboard now,
chances are, the majority of you would even have a box of
it in there!

If asked you who Eminem was, the chances are, you would
know who he was too. You may NOT exactly like him or his
music, but the fact is, you still know WHO he his. There's no
possible way you could miss hearing about him, as he is the
most talked about "BAD Boy Rapper" currently in the music
industry today.

Now, I am certainly not going to tell you to go out and break
the law to make yourself famous online. Because you want
to be able to actually spend all YOUR hard earned money!
Although branding yourself *effectively* consists of a lot of
work, it isn't worth that kind of fame. If you apply the correct
techniques it will not seem like much "work" at all! Now that
we have that covered I'm going to tell you, what has worked
for ME.

When I first became a publisher - I was "widely known" for
my "tell it like it is - attitude". In fact, if you were to go to my
site and read all the
testimonials, that's exactly what you would read. My fellow
publishers loved the fact that I had the "guts" to tell people
what I really thought and because they liked my demeanor,
they would send me "referred subscribers" on a regular

Most people are familiar with me because I co-authored a
best selling ebook with Jimmy D. Brown, (Ezine Resource
Guide). But despite that there were a lot of people who still
had NO idea who I was. So, I began writing a lot of articles
on a VERY controversial subject - "SPAM", which in turn,
gave me the opportunity of becoming a "Featured Writer"
for one of the internet's most "prominent" ezines - DEMC.

If you want to WIN with Branding, this is what YOU need to do:

1.) Give people ONE thing that they can associate YOUR
name with. And as an eg., the VERY first thing that people
see in my signature file is - Laurie Rogers is the Co-Author
of Ezine Resource Guide. Hundreds, if NOT thousands of
people own that book, so when people read it, they know
right off the bat, WHO I AM.

2.) Don't be afraid to step outside YOUR comfort zone at
times to get "KNOWN". Write about popular topics, BUT
use a different approach than other people do. Compare
topics to applicable scenarios that you see in "real life",
just as I did above with "Kraft Dinner and Eminem". Make
your article one to REMEMBER!

3.) Express YOUR TRUE feelings to your audience and be
YOURSELF, you will get more referrals and RESPECT for
it in the long run.

3.) Be CONSISTENT! Just as it does with everything else,
being consistent PAYS OFF in the long run. This is exactly
where people FAIL because they are NOT consistent with
their efforts. They don't advertise on a regular basis, which
means LESS sales - Branding works the exact same way,
the more promotion you do, the more recognition you will

By using the techniques above, YOU can easily WIN with
BRANDING - I guarantee it.

Laurie Rogers is the co-author of the Ezine Resource Guide. She is also the owner of 3
SUCCESSFUL businesses, including Optin Frenzy - a paid
list building service Laurie is also
a feature writer for DEMC eMagazine

Wednesday, August 01, 2007