It’s that time of year when we all make resolutions for the coming year. Many of us vow to get to the gym, eat right, maybe finally quit smoking – all to be healthier and have a better self-image. But what about the health and image of your company’s brand? The New Year is a great time to evaluate your brand honestly and give it a makeover for 2012.
Here are some tips to freshen up your brand:
- Research : Study your competition – take a close look at your closest competitors in your field. What are they doing well? What are they communicating that you aren’t? What are their key messages? How do they market themselves? How can you better compete? Take notes and keep track in an excel spreadsheet so you can compare easily.
- Question: Create a questionnaire for your clients and partners – Ask your clients and past clients what they think of your business, services, products and customer support? What do vendors and partners think of you and your business? What do your employees think? What may be the most telling and hardest to hear – what do prospects that didn’t choose your business think? *Tip: Use Survey Monkey to create a free questionnaire that can be easily emailed out to recipients. Follow up with phone calls to get more detail.
- Identify: Define your audiences and key messages. Take a close look at what your company is saying to its audiences. Look critically at your website and all collateral materials. Are you speaking with one, clear voice or sending mixed messages? It might be time to update your messaging or re-fresh it if new services or target markets have been added. *Tip: Have several key employees review it and compare findings. If you don’t have enough personnel, ask friends or relatives to review.
- Clarify: Define what your key services are. If you set the net too wide you could be confusing clients. Focusing in on your strengths and proven track record in key areas will provide a clear, concise explanation of your services.
- Announce: The public won’t know about your brand refresh if you don’t tell them. Submit press releases, conduct media relations, update your blog and email clients to announce your new site, messaging and direction.
The best part of your brand makeover?
Current clients will affirm they made the right choice choosing you and past clients could take a second look at your refreshed company. Your business will undoubtedly benefit from increased awareness among prospective customers and opinion leaders. A brand that tightly communicates your unique offerings and conveys your company’s personality in an honest and appealing way will help you to land the business with the right types of customers.
This year put a refreshed brand at the top of your New Year’s resolutions. It might just be easier to stick to than that new diet or savings plan.
Leave us a comment about your plans for refreshing your brand in 2012.
This post was contributed by Lexy Haynes, Clearpoint Senior Account Executive.
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Is it just us or did the holidays come extra fast this year? Clearpoint hosted our annual holiday party for employees and family on Friday, December 10th. We look forward to this event all year, since it’s such a great opportunity to catch up with our co-workers and their families. We had delicious food too, everything from Bulgarian to Japanese, to Italian, and German. It was all so good and we’re still enjoying the leftovers.
We had three new additions to the Clearpoint family this year: babies Davey, Cameron and Philip! Counting these “newbies,” we had seven children at the party. They all received a special gift from Clearpoint Agency to entertain them while the adults played “White Elephant.” After much debate over East versus West Coast rules, the game got underway and there was plenty of gift stealing. The game was great fun, even for those who ended up with less than stellar gifts! We are already looking forward to revenge, ahem, we mean, a repeat game next year.
Between happy children, fun games, and delicious food, we were very grateful to celebrate another great year with the Clearpoint team. We’d like to wish all of our friends and clients a wonderful holiday filled with love and laughter!
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The Clearpoint staff and Valerie Chereskin pose with their food donations for the holidays.
It’s that time of year, when business people everywhere start thumbing through catalogues to select the gifts for their clients. We’d like to suggest you use corporate giving as an opportunity to share your business values and culture. By thinking creatively, you can give gifts to your clients in ways that make a much bigger impact than goodie baskets.
Creative corporate gifts can come in all forms, but we’d like to focus on charitable giving. There are many reasons to incorporate charitable support into your corporate gift giving program:
- Help nonprofit organizations and people in need within the community you do business in
- Improve the reputation and perception of your company
- Get greater exposure for your company, products or services
- Share corporate messaging, values and culture
- Increase networking or leads opportunities
- Receive tax benefits
Clearpoint is a great example. Several years ago, we decided a better use of Clearpoint’s resources would be to support the community while showing appreciation to our clients during the holidays. Instead of giving large and expensive treat baskets to clients, we opt for cards and small boxes of candy as gifts, and use the rest of our gift-giving budget to donate to a charity in all of our clients’ names. We feel good about the change, and clients appreciate it too. Oftentimes, we buy the candy from a local small business or, as is the case this year, from local high school band students. This year, Clearpoint’s holiday giving is: 1) giving delicious treats to our clients, 2) donating to a charity, and 3) supporting a local high school – it’s the trifecta of gift giving!
Charitable giving is such a great opportunity to demonstrate your company’s dedication to a cause or community, and can be a powerful way to create awareness and good will for your organization with external audiences. Your internal audiences will appreciate it too. Supporting a charity is much more motivating for employees than boxes of client gifts that don’t relate to them.
Charitable giving also has its benefits to your tax return. Whether you donate money, products, or services, there is a good chance that a charitable gift can be a corporate write off. Just remember to check with your tax advisor if a gift will qualify as a deduction. A good rule of thumb is to work with nonprofits with the 501(c)(3) designation.
When choosing a charity, look for a cause that matches your corporate culture. If your employees really care about the environment, support an environmentally-conscious charity (Like Clearpoint’s lagoon support). Or match your services to your cause. If you sell sporting equipment, support your local little league team. These small steps go a long way toward expressing who you are as a company.
To get you started, check out our examples: in years past, Clearpoint has supported the San Diego Food Bank, the American Heart Association (AHA), CARE, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). In addition, Charity Navigator is a good website to find a charity, and Wikipedia has a very inclusive list. Good luck, we look forward to seeing more businesses support charitable causes this season and throughout the year!
This post was contributed by Lexy Haynes, Clearpoint Agency Senior Account Executive.
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