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2018 Diaries

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Four ways to improve your brand equity

Four ways to improve your brand equity

Branding is a key factor in attracting new business. It helps if prospective clients or bid reviewers know who you are or have seen your company’s “face.”

Moreover, your branding has to be dynamic, changing with the times, catching the changing winds of technology and the impulsive drift of consumer trends. In this age of disruption, even established brands are affected by market volatility.

In addition, branding can help you scale up your business beyond the traditional B2C or B2B markets. If your business is responding to a government RFP, you may be able to post professional proposals with a service like BidSync. It certainly helps to have name recognition as well.

Now that it’s clear how important branding is to your bottom line, what can you do to build your brand and increase your sales?

Here are five suggestions:

1. Develop a reputation for customer service.

In an uncertain age, consumers are looking for reassurance. Every day they are bombarded by countless advertising messages. As far back as September 17th, 2006 Walker Smith on CBS News pointed out how we went from being exposed to 500 ads per day in the 1970s to more than 5,000 per day. “It seems like the goal of most marketers and advertisers nowadays are to cover every blank space with some kind of brand logo or a promotion or an advertisement,” he said.

With all this marketing noise, the consumer relies on testimonials to figure out the difference between one company and another. It’s even better if the recommendation comes from someone they know.
Advertising is no longer the primary way most people make a buying decision. It’s usually testimonials or personal endorsements. These are generated through excellent customer service.

In fact, customer service may even trump the quality of product or service. This is because manufacturers and service providers have only a slight difference in quality. Would you rather fly Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways, or Turkish Airlines? The distinguishing factors can be subtle, but customer service is easily identifiable.

2. Describe your value.

Although you may attract a customer through word-of-mouth advertising, you will keep him or her through value. If the value is far below the customer’s expectations, they will not become repeat buyers. Considering the high cost of winning over a customer, there is little profit in the first sale. A business only becomes profitable after repeat sales.

However, you can’t just hope to provide value and hope the customer recognizes it; you also have to talk about it in your advertising. In other words, your customers aren’t going to make a list of benefits they derived from the features of your product. It’s up to you to point these out in your marketing messages.

3. Develop an origin story about your business.

How do you get customers to know, like, and trust you? You develop a story about your roots. Stories engage and capture interest.

For instance, Carl’s Jr, the hamburger restaurant chain, has an interesting story that humanizes the corporation.

In 1941 young Carl N. Karcher and his wife Margaret from Los Angeles borrowed $311 on their major asset, a Plymouth automobile, and with an additional $15 from their savings account. They bought a hot dog cart. One cart became four carts, and by 1946 Carl’s Drive-in Barbecue opened up and served hamburgers.

People are interested in people, not companies. They often buy because they like the story of the person that founded the brand. While, of course, that’s not the only factor, it’s still an important consideration when people are making a buying decision.

4. Your brand is never established.

Coca-Cola was founded on January 29, 1892. By this time, you would think everyone in the world would be able to recognize the brand, but despite its business longevity, Coca-Cola continues to advertise widely across the world. Your brand can fade away quickly if you don’t consistently remind people…If it’s out of sight, it’s out of mind.

5. Create an online presence.

You need an online business even if your business has nothing to do with e-commerce. Today, the first thing people do when they find out about a new brand is to Google for brand reputation online.

Here are some ways to build your brand online:

  • Build a comprehensive website that tells people everything you want them to know about your company.
  • Stay in touch with customers by persuading them to sign up for your newsletter. Each newsletter you send out should offer value. This might be in the form of useful information or coupons.
  • Host a podcast.
  • Develop a Facebook Fan page and launch a Facebook Group.
  • Hire a reputation management company to keep an eye on your online reputation and refute any negative comments made by disgruntled customers or rivals out to tarnish your reputation.

Your Business Is Your Brand

What is a brand? It’s perception. The way you build your business is by engineering a positive perception of it. People want to buy from an organization they feel they know, like, and trust, and this positive perception begins by creating a positive impression and developing a good reputation.

Image source: Jared Erondu