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Why your Marketing efforts are incomplete without a good Brand Identity

brand-identity

Think of Apple, Facebook, Google, McDonalds, Lamborghini, TATA, Amazon, other than the fact that they’re some of the biggest companies around, what do all of them have in common?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know that these are some of the most influential brands. Of course the products and services they provide are widely proclaimed but what’s more celebrated is the brand identity.

Let us discuss in detail the concept of Brand Identity in an effort to understand what it really means; its relevance for businesses and why is it so crucial to marketing efforts?

 
ORIGINS

The origins of the word ‘BRAND’ are fascinating, considering its widespread modern day usage. The word “brand” is derived from “brandr” which is Old Norse for “to burn”.

It was the physical (not to forget brutal) act of using a hot iron or wooden tool to mark farmers’ cattle and livestock. This was the prevalent way of identification of ownership.

 
What is BRAND IDENTITY?

corporate-identity

‘And remember, your brand is not what you say it is, it’s what THEY say it is.’

A company’s brand identity is the way it communicates with consumers, the way in which it would like the consumers to perceive the organization.

It can be looked upon as a way of self-expression but on an organizational level. Think of it like the emoticons (emojis) you use whilst texting, which serve the purpose of expressing some of your rather complex thoughts and emotions, better than words. One can term it as corporate identity.

 
What does BRAND IDENTITY constitute?

There’s a lot going on behind the outer frame of Brand Identity. It may seem unfair but people connect with what they see.

Brand Identity will be something that would represent your brand with people, and when people are looking at you, you might want to look glamorous and this little trick does wonders on human psychology. These are 2 types of components that will explain the message and the medium:

A] Tangible Components:
1. Name / Logo
2. Tone
3. Tagline
4. Typeface
5. Marketing / Advertising Apparatus

B] Intangible Components:
1. Ideology
2. Values
3. Relationship and Trust
4. Motives


What are its uses?

‘A brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product, service, or company.’
Brand identity can:

1. Distinguish you from the competition.

2. Improve Brand Awareness, Brand Loyalty and Trust.

3. Establish synergy throughout all communication methods.

4. Motivate your employers.

5. Reach out to potential consumers and convert them into buyers.

6. Give a boost to Brand Credibility.

7. It can form to an emotional bond with the audience.

 
It’s relevance to Marketing strategy.

‘Brand Identity is to Marketing; what a sail is to a ship.’

A Brand is a living representation of all that the organization stands for. It is far more than just a logo design or an entire effort of stationery design.

1. It lives and evolves, it is emotions and ideas, and it is what people associate with.

2. It is the process of forging an identity that is bound to resonate with people.

3. This identity reinforces an emotional connect, which provides an inherent advantage to your brand.

4. Numerous studies assert that even in a negative economy people pay more for brands that they identify with.

The objectives of the Sales and Marketing functions are to sell more and generate revenue. So how does Branding complement these functions?


Functions of Branding:

1. It is easier to sell if you have strong branding in place.

2. All the Marketing Apparatus comes from your Branding Strategy. The logo, tagline, advertising copies, brochures and pamphlets, stationery, cards, digital media, etc. are all a result of your Branding strategy. For example, having a creative logo will engage consumers.

3. Strong Branding = Identification of touch points where you can increase consumer trust and loyalty.

4. Synergy between these departments leads to well-organized and highly effective organisational functions.

What does Brand Image mean for you. How would you enhance it’s identity?

30 September, 2016

5 Tips to get the best results out of a Freelancer

hire a freelancer

A lot of employers shy away from online outsourcing as they find the task daunting. Because they probably fail to understand how to make the system work for their convenience. This article aims at making things easy for every business professional and making the task of hiring freelancers online seem like a cake walk.

Employers stand to benefit as much, if not more, from such a phenomenon. More number of employers and businesses are now looking at an ‘on-demand’ workforce as being an integral part of the business and look forward to hire freelancers.

Questions like ‘whether to work with freelancers’ are but extinct and are replaced by the likes of ‘how best to work with freelancers’. Such is the intention of this article; to enumerate the ways in which one can get the most out of a freelancer. Here are 5 tips on how you can make the best of freelancers that are available to work online.


1. SELECTING THE RIGHT FREELANCER

Before hiring a freelancer, it is the responsibility of the buyer to carry out some background research whilst shortlisting potential candidates for the task.

Most online service marketplaces and freelance websites maintain a robust rating system that evaluates profiles on various criteria.

The following parameters are good indicators of a freelancers’ potential :-

a) LEVELS

A higher rank means more experience and exposure under the belt. So always prefer the Sellers with higher Level, that being said doesn’t mean Sellers on lower Levels aren’t competitive enough. Levels only define a proven experience of freelancers.

b) REVIEWS

Reviews from previous buyers are a sure shot sign of the freelancers’ skills. They indicate reliability, so make sure to meticulously go through the reviews.

c) RESPONSE

Note how early and often a freelancer responds to queries and requests. Remember early bird gets the worm. It is a good yardstick with which to measure their enthusiasm towards work. A high response rate means the Seller is really quick in replying and probably won’t keep the buyer on hold for every query asked.

d) PUNCTUALITY

Time is money, especially in freelancing. Notice if they respect deadlines. Prompt deliveries are always preferred to delays. So a high Punctuality rating clearly means, that chances are high that you will receive your work done exactly on time or maybe before.


2. KNOW WHAT YOU WANT. BE VERY ACCURATE

It is vital that a buyer be fully aware of their requirements and expectations.

It would be wise to invest certain time and effort into preparing a project brief to define the tasks, scopes and objectives of the undertaking and explain them.

This provides clarity to both parties and paves the way for a smooth collaborative experience.


3. BE QUICK AND CLEAR IN COMMUNICATION

Clear and effective two way communication is a prerequisite to any activity which involves two or more individuals.

It lays the foundation of the project and sets the tone and pace of the project.

Clarity is of the essence. It is also a two way street. The buyer must be sure of what they need and the seller in turn must be honest about deliveries.

For example – When hiring a web designer, it is necessary that the buyer understands all relevant details about the technology required to create a website or the scope of work needed.


4. PROVIDE REFERENCE FILE OR LINK WHENEVER POSSIBLE

A freelancer may not be a mind reader, but a buyer can always show the seller what’s there in their minds. A reference file or link does the trick to bridge this. It saves lots of potential modifications required for the project and saves time of both the parties ultimately leading to a good experience and a successful freelance experience.

For example – If as a buyer you need stationery design for your company from a designer. It would be wiser to supply some reference files to the seller rather than hoping the designers to come up with something as per your expectations.


5. TELL THEM ABOUT YOUR DEADLINES IN ADVANCE

It is imperative that any deadlines the buyer has to adhere to, be communicated to the freelancer.

Only after the approval and affirmation of the seller, must the task be considered as concluded on part of the buyer.

For example – When availing the services of a freelance writer for writing a blog or an article, mention the stipulated time of completion you have in mind. It will enable the writer to plan their work accordingly.

 

What would you do to get the best results from a freelancer?

10 September, 2016

Startups that made it big by Outsourcing

photo editing online

Why outsourcing is the new in-housing.

The experienced ones claim that one of the biggest mistakes made by new age entrepreneurs is, “trying to do everything by themselves”. The following article just briefly gives you some pointed insight about Growth Hacking if you avoid just this one mistake.

In an intensely competitive market, start-ups are fighting the odds each day to survive and stay afloat. Start-ups have to come up with innovative products or services, that have the potential to disrupt the current way of things, whilst working on shoestring budgets and limited resources. How must one then conjure, quality products or services without compromising on quality and yet making fiscal sense?

Add to this the rising costs of infrastructure, raw materials, manpower, energy, logistics and a race against the clock to hit the markets before rivals do and it seems like a herculean task.

Yet we see innumerable companies making it big on a daily basis. Curious much?

This is where outsourcing comes into the, oft cluttered, picture.

 

What is Outsourcing?

Outsourcing is de-cluttering, the logical solution to most issues faced by modern-day companies.
It is the process of handing over certain business functions to other vendors who are professionals in respective fields, on freelancing sites like Croogster, Upwork, Fiverr, Elance, Freelancer, etc. Online service marketplaces like these have become an indispensable means to an end for start-ups and for people looking for freelance online jobs.

 

Why?

1. The obvious cost advantage. Duh!
A ton of money is saved when the required job gets done at a lower cost while maintaining efficiency.

2. When you hire a freelance professional for tasks like article writing, creative logo design, photo editing online, video editing, etc. you free up your resources, which allows you to redeploy manpower and concentrate on core competencies of your business.

3.  It goes without saying that when you outsource functions like digital marketing, SEO, content writing, etc. it negates the need for additional office space, resources and energy that goes in maintaining manpower.

4. By using reliable and trustworthy online service marketplaces like croogster.com the need for an excruciatingly lengthy hiring and recruitment process can be done away with.

5. There is a time zone advantage as well when offshore outsourcing is involved.

 

Here’s a short list of some successful Indian startups that built their businesses with outsourcing:

1. MyNoticePeriod outsourced all of their business operations like hiring, registration, patenting, freelance programming, etc. to Indian companies and thereby saved time and effort.

2. Pretty Secrets sells most of its products and wares on Indian sites thereby strengthening the symbiotics between the Indian entrepreneurial ecosystems.

3. Appointy uses the services of a Ukraine based startup, SupportYourApp to outsource customer support and business research

4. Whatfix uses the expertise of Freshdesk, a customer management software developer.

5. Zivame, the online lingerie giant used the services of Bangalore based telephony provider Exotel for setting up a virtual call centre. They also used Ecom Express as their third-party logistics provider.

 

The list goes on and on for various successful and potential startups who continuously look to get quality work done from experts and thereby growth hack their way out of the whole process and this is exactly what you could take as a lesson from the above examples

12 July, 2016

Croogster 101 – Hire a professional Freelancer at just Rs. 299

hire a freelancer

Croogster 101 – Hire a professional Freelancer at just Rs. 299

There’s a chance you’ve heard the term ‘Croog’ being used, if you are familiar with the start-up ecosystem. If you haven’t, you’re in luck, read on.

‘Croog’ is a term used to describe any service listed by a freelance professional on Croogster. An individual or organization can purchase these services from professionals offering them, which therefore makes it a marketplace for hiring experts.

Thus being able to offer your skills and talents online, to create opportunities for a stable source of income, is known as ‘Crooging’. All people who involve utilize, provide and partake in said activity are ‘Croogsters’.

Out of the innumerable freelance websites out there, Croogster stands out from the bunch, for a number of reasons. The sheer number of websites that host freelancers is overwhelming.

Each of them has a multitude of professionals selling the same service making them monotonous.

It is a tiresome and tedious task to sort out the talented ones from the crowd.

With suspicious reviews and recommendations becoming standard practice to boost ones visibility and ratings, one cannot feel entirely comfortable. These factors contribute to drive traffic away from these sites.

This is where Croogster rises to the occasion. It is gaining popularity owing to its fresh approach towards freelancing.

What makes ‘Croogster’ different?

 

1. The blessing of 299:
Out of all plus points, foremost is the policy of fixed pricing. Croogster’s unique selling proposition is its obvious cost benefit. You can hire someone for video editing, a professional for web design, experts for social media marketing, specialists for online graphic design services or a personalized gift maker, to have support of an expert at an unbelievably reasonable Rs. 299

Let’s put that in perspective, a movie ticket on a weekend costs more than that, and we’re not even factoring in the popcorn.

 

2. Only hand-picked freelancers:
The most important aspect in its list of pros is the fact that, Croogster has only hand-picked freelancers who are personally curated and go through a strict quality check before being allowed to offer their services on the site. This ensures a certain standard of quality that is lacking from most freelancing websites.

 

3. Full access to all the experts:
Croogster having a familiar e-commerce interface, allows complete browsing access to all the available talent on the platform without having to pay extra for more visibility or to have access to top talents unlike the practices of major freelance giants.

 

4. No more waiting for Bids:
The platform’s service-as-a-product approach simplifies the process of hiring and allows freelancers to package their offerings and exhibit them as products. This considerably reduces the waiting time of buyers for hiring as they can have a one-click-checkout for ready to start services instead of waiting for bids to arrive and then negotiate a project eventually wasting the time.

 

5. Variety of services:
With over 50 plus different types of services in varied categories, the list of tasks that can be accomplished on the website is exhausting. It is, quite literally a one stop shop for all your outsourcing needs with freelancers working on a per project basis instead of taking up projects on a per-hour-basis which causes a lot of individuals to hesitate. There are even services like homework help. How about that?

 

6. Guarantee for Orders:
Once you are selected to start selling your services on Croogster as a freelancer, you are given a guarantee to receive orders and projects from clients. This gives freelancers a reliable stage to look out for projects and makes it a platform to find work consistently on a long term basis. This is the best feature as it saves the Sellers a lot of time that is wasted in job hunting.

 

7. Payment security:
The payments are completely secured and work on an escrow principle which means buyers payment are safe with Croogster until they receive their delivery as promised, this inspires confidence in sellers as well as buyers. Payment security is a priority to help Sellers out in getting paid for the hard work they put in. It offers ease of access and makes the whole experience of hiring a freelancer satisfying. 

 

What kind of freelancer would you need to grow your Business?

5 July, 2016

8 Little Known Ways You Can Use To Grow Your Online Business

freelance websites

Promoting your website online can be frustrating if you are new to the practice. Marketing your business smartly, doesn’t mean you need an expensive marketer’s army but you sure do need to know how the technology affects, interacts and interfaces with your customers and helps you turn them into meaningful leads. This is fondly called Growth Hacking!

Here are some lesser known tips and tools that do not get readily revealed or used. 8 Hacks, which could make all the difference.

 

1. Aesthetics + Information + Functionality:

The 3 ingredients you need to make yourself an online sensation is making your Website look simple yet beautiful. Visual is always the first impression. Back the visual appeal by having high quality content, aim at actually helping people with your high quality original content and the last part is make the technology robust and strong so that the users don’t get stuck anywhere.

 

2. Never Ignore Email Marketing

Reach out to the inbox of all your current and potential clients. Drip emails and newsletters with tools like MailchimpAweber , Wix Newsletters take the boring out of emails. Beautifully designed and scheduled newsletters work wonders. It’s a good way to update your audience about the new improvements and offers for them. These tools also help you track if your mails were opened, clicked or just deleted

 

3. Instagram and Hashtag

Even if you’re not a know-it-all tech entrepreneur, yet you want to extract out maximum benefit from Social Media. Don’t be present on each and every platform, make your mark wherever you are. If you’re an Ecommerce that would like to sell products. For example – You sell Fashion Apparels, use Instagram very actively, post pictures of your beautiful clothing range. #Hashtag the images you post. Follow back the people who follow you. Instagram is known to provide amazing number of early customers. I am sure it will help you.

 

4. Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools

So once you have a Google Analytics and Webmaster accounts set-up. Start using them, understand the insights that Google offers through these powerful tools and you will see what you are doing right and what can be improved. Decrease your page load time (Yes! even half a second matters) talk to your coding guy – keep the images, code structure, compression (use gzip) and caching in place. The faster your site loads, the better the conversion and better the search rankings. Use Tools like Pingdom for the analysis.

 

5. Ask Media to Help

Get in touch with journalists who write Blogs about products and companies in your space. Ask them as a favour to review your product. If your product is tangible give it to them for free and request for positive reviews. Try to get featured in respected media websites. This positively increases your recognition and also makes your target audience take you seriously.

 

6. Linkedin

Now you will be all like, “Oh we know Linkedin. Tell us something new” But I am asking you to use Linkedin better. If you’re into a B2B space. Make as many connections as possible, continuously send invites to people. Message people one-on-one, personalize your message and tell them about your offering. You will be surprised to see the traffic your connections will bring to your website. It helps you to reach out to thousands and your one post will be viewed by thousands of people. Instant Lead !!

 

7. Freelance Help

Do not waste your money on having full time employees, rather outsource majority of your work to freelancers. It not only saves you a fixed cost but also provides you flexibility of spending. You will be surprised by the increase in productivity Freelancers bring. But do remember do not spend a lot in hiring freelancers. To make sure that you hire expert freelancers, who deliver on time and also charge less. You can use freelance websites to get this done

 

8. If Nothing Works !!

Business growth depends upon the strength of your USP – Unique Selling Proposition. What do you have that no one else has? In case you don’t have something so unique, don’t worry. There is something called as ‘Starbust’ which means anything attractive that gets your attention, it could be a controversial news, a pretty face or a popular celebrity. If even that doesn’t work give free samples to your customers just try giving them for FREE. If that doesn’t work either. You might want to try doing a trade-off with other sites to exchange links.

 

If all the above fail, still don’t lose confidence. You need to sit down, breathe and think about every step, look at your market and rethink about every step

 

 

 

 

6 May, 2016
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