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Summer Vacation

Published June 2, 2016 by Mayrbear's Lair

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The thing I love most about going on vacation is that I get to leave behind any kind of schedule. My entire life is scheduled from morning to night, and when I’m on vacation, there is no schedule. – Kelly Clarkson

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Business Tools for Fathers Day

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Summer Break

Published May 31, 2016 by Mayrbear's Lair

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We are on summer break and will return with new posts in the fall. Until then … keep working on your organizational and leadership skills!

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Laughter is an instant vacation. – Milton Berle

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grad and dad gifts

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New Technologies and Social Change (Conclusion)

Published May 26, 2016 by Mayrbear's Lair

consumer-electronics

In today’s post, we continue our discussion on how new technical systems can assist in stimulating a business. When I began my career in the music industry, a new technical system was introduced to us at Capitol Records. At that time, the support staff which included paralegals and administrative assistants, were introduced to an upgraded technology. Prior to this change, traditional electronic typewriters were the standard issue at the time. However, for those of us in Business Affairs and the Legal Department, due to the enormous size of the contractual documents we produced, those plug-in typewriters were replaced with word processing machines. This change was made so that more information could  be stored to manage the large legal documents we produced. Most staff members affected, like me, became excited at the prospect of the new technology and welcomed the change. The new system allowed staff members to produce and save lengthy document templates in an electronic format. In addition, errors and corrections could be made on a terminal monitor, rather than relying on a flawed auto-correct button and ribbons the typewriters provided that involved a more primitive white out method. The new technology meant that mistakes could be corrected on a terminal screen alleviating the need to print a document before it was complete thereby saving time and production costs. Up until that point, large documents were typed out manually. Corrections were generated on documents that sometimes left unattractive blemishes and marks from the white-out methods employed.

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Other staff members were fearful and not as eager to embrace the new technology as it meant they were required to learn and train on a new system. This was frightening to many of the old timers who were reluctant to change. The more enthusiastic personnel who were not technology challenged, however, embraced the material change and welcomed the opportunity to learn a new organizational procedure. Once the learning curve phase was complete staff members were transformed into motivated individuals whose enthusiasm helped them become more effective and productive in the workplace.

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For all those who shy away from change, Howard Means (2001) reminds us that before the internet there was Arpanet. Word processors can be traced back through laptops and desktops to the 30 ton ENLAC (electronic numerical integrator and computer). Cars were preceded by steam powered tricycles and trains by wind propelled land ships (p. 17).  Digital technologies are an important tool in today’s world. As the economy continues to evolve, businesses will and should seek innovative solutions to enhance and develop their organizations.

Well that’s it for this week. We will be off for a while to enjoy the summer break. In the meantime, keep working on your self-management skills and stay safe!

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Information technology and business are becoming inextricably interwoven. I don’t think anybody can talk meaningfully about one without talking about the other.

Bill Gates

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References:

Means, H. (2001). Money and power: The history of business (p. 17). New York, NY: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.

THEMED MESSAGES

Published May 19, 2016 by Mayrbear's Lair

Marketing Message

A marketer’s goal is to get a powerful message out to their target audience.  Kennedy (2011) suggests the best ads are built with the most persuasive, compelling, intriguing, fascinating message possible. To construct a super powered marketing message advertisers must assess everything and everyone they are up against that are presenting similar messages because their intent is to deliver a message that outmaneuvers all others and puts them in a category of uniqueness (Kennedy, 2011).  The strategy that helps marketers achieve these outcomes is doing their homework to come up with a unique selling proposition (USP) justifying their message against the competition. Incorporating a USP into the message theme of an advertising campaign will help the brand stand out above the others and is more likely to remain a fixture in the memories of consumers.

The person draws attention of clients

Before marketers can start to build a tactical business case for content marketing they have to begin with the concept of innovation.  Baack and Clow (2012) explain that message themes are developed into a campaign to transmit key ideas in marketing strategies. The use of recurring themes helps make the brand stand out more and is more effective at remaining in consumer memories. The message can incorporate different kinds of strategies that target (a) cognitive, (b) affective, or (c) conative responses to make their ads more appealing (Baack & Clow, 2012). For example, back in the 1990s, the Taster’s Choice Coffee Company created a series of ads that became both popular and memorable (Commercial, 1991). The ad conveyed a simple recurring theme in their message that conveyed that life seemed much better sharing a cup of Taster’s Choice coffee with someone special.

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The recurring theme that communicated their message was constructed in the form of a series of short dramatic scenes like a mini soap opera. Each time the couple would appear in different circumstances while viewers watched their relationship develop. The action was centered around the theme of a man a woman sharing a cup of coffee. Each time viewers tuned in to a new ad, they would witness the unique circumstances which brought them together, eager to see how the relationship progressed. This advertising strategy was innovative at the time and the ad campaign became a phenomenon in the history of television commercials. The strategy was met with great success because the target audience was focused on people hooked to popular soap opera style shows then, like Dallas and All My Children. Consumers anxiously anticipated the next commercial to find out the plot development between the couple featured in the ads. Not only did sales boom, the Taster’s Choice brand became a part of pop culture during that time as millions of viewers eagerly awaited each new episode to watch the couple’s blossoming relationship unfold. It was considered one of the most effective marketing campaigns on television at that era because of the emotional chord it struck with viewers. The soap opera message theme that delivered their message in that campaign was the bait that kept luring viewers, putting Taster’s Choice in the memories of many for a long time. I still remember them!

Well, that’s a wrap for this week! Thanks for tuning in! Until next time … keep working on your management skills!

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There is probably a perverse pride in my administration … that we were going to do the right thing, even if short-term it was unpopular. And I think anybody who’s occupied this office has to remember that success is determined by an intersection in policy and politics and that you can’t be neglecting of marketing and P.R. and public opinion.

Barack Obama

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References:

Baack, D., & Clow, K. (2012). Integrated advertising, promotion, and marketing communications (Fifth ed.). Upper Saddle River, NY: Pearson Education, Inc.

1991 Taster’s Choice Coffee Commercial (1991). [Motion Picture]. USA.

Kennedy, D. (2011). The ultimate marketing plan: Target your audience (Fourth ed.). Avon, MA, USA: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.

Managing Customer Relationships

Published May 17, 2016 by Mayrbear's Lair

 

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Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a strategic approach that marketers implement to manage customer interactions in an organized fashion. Buttle and Maklan (2009) describe CRM as a disciplined practice developed in organizational management to build and maintain profitable consumer relationships. CRM programs manage all aspects of interaction a consumer has with a company, which includes prospecting, sales, and service (Buttle & Maklan, 2009). In short, CRM methodologies are designed to provide insight in company/client relationships to help improve them. One way of doing this is showing appreciation to clients and making them feel valued. For example, a mortgage and loan broker will send out a thank you gift to a borrower that just closed on a loan to help show appreciation for their business. This maneuver is effective in building a relationship with the client that can help encourage repeat business and new referrals. Customers that feel special and have a positive experience with an organization tend to remain loyal to the brand.

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There are many steps involved in the planning and implementation of an effective CRM program. Baack and Clow (2012) explain that the objective of relationship marketing is to understand how consumers behave and what they want. By establishing direct communication through methods that include (a) surveys, (b) gifts, (c) promotions, and (d) service lines, companies can establish more personal relationships with their clientele through this interaction and the data they collect (Baack & Clow, 2012). Corporate advertisers implement various methods of CRM strategies, all of them however, begin with strong database and information collection systems. Up to date databases help identify and segment a target audience. Database systems that record consumer interaction including: (a) details about their sales experience, (b) personal interests, (c) family interests, and (d) other relevant data to help identify personal habits and behavior, are used to build intimate relationships with clients to make them feel special so that in turn they will offer their loyalty. The data gathered also reveals other significant data such as how many times they make purchases, visit stores, websites and other social media outlets. All of this information is assessed to help marketers determine whether to rekindle old inactive relationships or release them to make room for other more substantial leads.

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The experience a consumer has with a company will determine whether that brand becomes a favorite or is abandoned. Kumar and Reinartz (2012) purport that strategic CRM approaches have become more popular in recent years because the field has changed for many reasons, including advances in marketplace technology. CRM programs provide insights into past, current, and future trends that continue to influence consumer behavior. In addition, CRM strategies help develop better relationships with existing profitable consumers, locate and entice new ones that will be profitable, and implement effective strategies to maintain them while terminating relationships that cause profit loss (Kumar & Reinartz, 2012). The concept of customer value is critical to CRM programs. For example, I made an online purchase with the Jockey Company and to entice me as a first time consumer, they offered a twenty dollar discount to try one of their new innovative and custom designed products. The custom design factor made it a more personal experience. As a result of the positive experience, I gave them permission to send email alerts on other special values and sales items. Furthermore, every time I visit their website to view new offers, I am personally welcomed. Plus, my payment information is already stored for quick checkout. The experience with the Jockey Corporation was fun, personal and unique. From my perspective, doing business with the Jockey brand was more pleasant because of the effective CRM strategies they incorporated. It was the personal touch that made me feel valued as a consumer and in doing so, they earned my loyalty.

Well, that’s it for today! Until next time … keep working on your management skills!

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The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.

Peter Drucker

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For more information on Media Magic’s digital publications, or to purchase any of our Business Life audio book titles, please visit amazon.com’s new feature called “Author Central” to view:

 Mayr’s Author’s Page

References:

Baack, D., & Clow, K. (2012). Integrated advertising, promotion, and marketing communications (Fifth ed.). Upper Saddle River, NY: Pearson Education, Inc.

Buttle, F., & Maklan, S. (2009). Customer relationship management. Burlington, MA: Elsevier Ltd.

Kumar, V., & Reinartz, W. (2012). Customer relationship management (second ed.). Atlanta: Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Developing an Entrepreneurial Climate and Culture

Published April 21, 2016 by Mayrbear's Lair

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On Tuesday we began a discussion on the environment of an entrepreneurial arena, today we continue our analysis with a focus on climate and culture. One thing many experts will agree on, is that an entrepreneurial climate must adhere to innovation and change. For example, the culture of virtual organizations has really taken off which has transformed the modern work place. Virtual mediums enable leaders to accept, expect, and encourage innovations that include the staff in the co-creation process, make adjustments and adaptations based on user feedback, and coalesce from remote locations. Badal (2013) postulates that to create a successful environment, leaders should be: (a) driven; (b) display effective communication skills; (c) are able to motivate and inspire others; (d) can identify strengths and weaknesses in themselves as well as others; and (e) turn challenges into opportunities (Badal, 2013). For instance, one way to evolve an organization, may be to create an entrepreneurial climate that implements a daily ritual which includes various strategies that focus on the health and well-being of staff members. Effective leaders recognize the importance of focused intentions and attention on matters such as how self-disciplinary actions can help employees achieve and maintain effectiveness in their positions; especially in the early stages where a venture consists of very few individuals to help motivate each other. This disciplinary component is one way to nurture an individual’s confidence, as well as develop their stamina which can in turn, help drive their internal engines to achieve successful outcomes.

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Culture

Hisrch and Kearney (2012) describe corporate entrepreneurs as mavericks and innovators. They are pioneers that spark new enterprises, products, and services by developing, growing and designing a culture which incorporates strategies, structure and policies to support their ventures (Hisrich & Kearney, 2012). When creating an entrepreneurial culture, successful leaders will assess the following components: (a) the technologies available required to operate effectively;  (b) the fluctuation in cost of goods, exchange rates, interest rates, tax incentives and a price for services; (c) marketplace competition; (d) labor force requirements; (e) resource availability; (f) who the target market and customers are; (g) an understanding of law, restrictions and regulations for operation; (h) and the global environment that includes real-time communication, productivity, distributors, suppliers and other strategic alliances (Morris, Kuratko, & Covin, 2011).  Although an operation may begin as a small entity, the creative culture the leaders nurture is key to achieving their goals.

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What our research this week revealed, is that without analysis and support in their venture, entrepreneurs tend to give up and quit. Furthermore, visionary leaders that recognize talented corporate entrepreneurs are in a better position to help their firm benefit more by facilitating a platform which nurtures employee creativity by including new innovations as well as a comprehensive business plan to optimize their chances of success while managing internal politics effectively (Hisrich & Kearney, 2012).  In other words, our analysis of the culture, climate and environment within an entrepreneurial organization, proved to be essential components in the development of successful business establishments.

Well, that’s it for this week! Until next time … have fun exploring your entrepreneurial options!

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“What happens when people open their hearts? They get better.” ― Haruki Murakami

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For more information on Media Magic’s digital publications, or to purchase any of our Business Life audio book titles, please visit amazon.com’s new feature called “Author Central” to view:

 Mayr’s Author’s Page

 

References:

Badal, S. (2013). Building corporate entrepreneurship is hard work. Retrieved February 13, 2013, from Gallup Business Journal: http://businessjournal.gallup.com/content/157604/building-corporate-entrepreneurship-hard-work.aspx

Hisrich, R., & Kearney, C. (2012). Corporate entrepreneurship: How to create a thriving entrepreneurial spirit throughout your company. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Publishing.

Morris, M., Kuratko, D., & Covin, J. (2011). Corporate entrepreneurship and innovation (3rd ed.). Mason, OH: South-Western College Publishing.

 

Creating an Entrepreneurial Climate

Published April 19, 2016 by Mayrbear's Lair

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This week we analyze the development of an entrepreneurial arena with focus on culture, climate, and environment as integral components of the process.  We will examine elements that assist to create an effective entrepreneurial environment and determine whether those factors support a viable venture.  We will also take into consideration, the climate entrepreneurs establish and the position new innovations and technologies play to encourage the development of an entrepreneurial atmosphere.  In addition, we will look at the strategies, as well as the structure, and the policies that support entrepreneurial ventures and their strategic alliances. We will also critically assess how these components affect the organizational experience, and look at how without thorough planning and the establishment of a solid support system, entrepreneurs face many challenges that can encourage them to give up and quit. Our research work will also reveal how the most successful entrepreneurs: (a) assess their strengths and weaknesses; (b) embrace an arena that supports trial and error; and (c) exhibit an ability to make adjustments and learn from any miscalculations and reveal why this setting will most likely enable entrepreneurs to thrive in their venture.

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We are in the midst of a global entrepreneurial revolution in every nation, industry and market.  According to Morris, et al. (2011) startups are at an all-time high with new products and services also at record levels in most industries (Morris, Kuratko, & Covin, 2011).  In the meantime many of these new startups fail as quickly as they emerge.  In order for a venture to have the best chance of survival experts concur that an analysis of the culture, climate and environment of an entrepreneurial organization is required in creating a successful establishment.

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Environment

To create a successful entrepreneurial environment an individual needs to identify opportunities and generate new growth (Hisrich & Kearney, 2012).  An analysis of the following components can help ascertain whether a venture is worth considering: (a) the technology incorporated; (b) the ability to nurture new ideas; (c) the establishment of systems and strategies to cope with failure; (d) the determination, accessibility and availability of resources; and (e) the channels available that support management.  For example, challenges from high unemployment rates, can spark new ideas for innovative employment solutions. A joblessness condition may present an opportunity for someone with an entrepreneurial spirit and experience in administration to step in and provide specialty services specifically targeted to support corporate executives and businesses. To create a constructive entrepreneurial environment, however, the individual is encouraged to conduct a critical organizational assessment to help foster solutions and harness support, which includes their having access to additional resources. In the meantime, armed with a positive attitude, entrepreneurs will continue to grow because of their ability to embrace an openness which incorporates new innovative ideas with technologies that encourage creativity in addition to their support from cohesive plans and strategies.

Well, that’s it for this time! On Thursday we will conclude this discussion. Until then … keep working on your leadership skills!

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The most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or hostile universe.

Albert Einstein

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References:

Hisrich, R., & Kearney, C. (2012). Corporate entrepreneurship: How to create a thriving entrepreneurial spirit throughout your company. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Publishing.

Morris, M., Kuratko, D., & Covin, J. (2011). Corporate entrepreneurship and innovation (3rd ed.). Mason, OH: South-Western College Publishing.

 

The Branson Philosophy

Published April 14, 2016 by Mayrbear's Lair

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Sir Richard Branson is an exemplary illustration of an entrepreneur and an esteemed business leader. He is also a humanitarian that is proactive in politics. His innovative and groundbreaking ventures demonstrate a fearless maverick style that supports risk taking. His many successful achievements include founding the Virgin Group Company with branches that extend into the media; airlines and rail; wine and mobile phone services; and a trustee of several charities including the Virgin Healthcare Foundation and Virgin Unite. In December of 1999, The Queen of England honored him with a knighthood for his services to entrepreneurship. Not afraid of adventure or failure, this internationally renowned explorer has been involved in numerous world record breaking attempts, including the first hot-air balloon to cross the Atlantic. Consistent with his lively ambitious and expansionist attitude, Sir Richard’s latest enterprise is Virgin Galactic, a space tourism company that will take passengers into suborbital space (Entrepreneur, adventurer and businessman Richard Branson challenges financial profesionals to have a ‘planetary point of view’, 2006).

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Virgin Galactic

Branson is also one of the most respected entrepreneurs in the world. His philosophy, “Oh, screw it, let’s do it” (Branson, 2011, p. 14), drives his ambitious spirit as the locomotive to his success. He recommends four simple principles that can help us achieve higher levels of success:

  1.  Live in the moment – In the world of business, quick decisive actions can have big pay offs.
  2.  Have fun – Chances for success is much greater when you do what you love and are joyful doing it.
  3. Give back – Show good stewardship and help others even if it is minimal and do so with gratitude and appreciation.
  4. Never give up – The word defeat is anathema in any endeavor (What I learned about entrepreneurship from Richard Branson, 2011).

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The Branson Centre

He also opened the Branson Centre, a facility in the Caribbean committed to developing entrepreneurship. The Centre offers a mentorship program to help budding entrepreneurs with networking and exposure, and also assists with the coaching and financing aspects of their needs. Jamaicans lacked technical support, adhered to a complicated tax structure, and were in need of additional capital. The Centre offers an arena that helped them launch new entrepreneurial businesses to stimulate job creation and provide opportunities for the locals in the region as well as improve their communities and fuel their economy (Branson Centre, 2011).

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To sum up, Branson’s humanitarian endeavors and his concerns for environmental impact are inspirational leadership qualities in an entrepreneur. For example, another one of his companies is called Seascape Caribbean. It is focused on the restoration of the coral reefs in the coastal region and another, Leanne Talbot of Island Cycle, is dedicated to recycling waste into usable products (Branson Centre, 2011). Sir Richard’s innovative ideas and contributions help enable economic freedom for the employers of the future that support the creation of new jobs. In conclusion, as the founder of many successful business ventures that continue to create opportunities with environmental consciousness, Sir Richard Branson still remains relevant as one of the most commendable visionary entrepreneurs and humanitarians of the modern era.

Well that’s it for this week … until next time … keep honing your management skills!

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“We think so often that we are helpless, but we’re not. We always have the power of our minds… Claim and consciously use your power.” ― Louise L. Hay

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References

Entrepreneur, adventurer and businessman Richard Branson challenges financial profesionals to have a ‘planetary point of view’. (2006, October 15). Retrieved February 14, 2013, from ProQuest: http://search.proquest.com.proxy-library.ashford.edu/docview/447141732?accountid=32521

Branson Centre. (2011, September 13). Retrieved February 14, 2013, from ProQuest Central: http://search.proquest.com.proxy-library.ashford.edu/docview/888611281?accountid=32521

What I learned about entrepreneurship from Richard Branson. (2011, November 22). Retrieved February 14, 2013, from ProQuest Central: http://search.proquest.com.proxy-library.ashford.edu/docview/1030937503?accountid=32521

Branson, R. (2011). Losing my virginity: How I survived, had fun, and made a fortune doing business my way (Updated ed., p. 14). London, UK: Crown Publishing Group.

Building a Brand Name

Published April 7, 2016 by Mayrbear's Lair

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Many people are often confused by the term brand and the differences that constitute a brand and a brand name. While a corporate image or brand summarizes what a company stands for, the brand name, on the other hand, consists of the company name and the symbols that are incorporated into their goods and services designed to clearly communicate what an organization stands for. Baack and Clow (2012) explain that a company’s logo identifies brand names and embodies the symbols that distinguish the company, its products, and their services.  A logo therefore, represents the emblem that adds an additional aspect to a corporation’s image that supports the organization’s name and mission (Baack & Clow, 2012). For example, because the mind processes images faster than it does words, logo identification occurs in the following two ways: (a) a memory recall or recognition of the logo and (b) an emotional recall of that individual’s experience with the company.  Nike’s swoosh logo for instance, is merely the graphic representation of the company symbol that together with the brand name evokes various emotions, memories, and ideas.

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The design of the logo is a significant feature because in many cases, the company’s brand name will include a number of products under one family name.  The Apple Corporation, for example, provides many quality electronic products for consumers, including computers, smartphones, music devices, and tablets.  Their corporate brand name is one of the most recognizable symbols in the global marketplace because they continue to deliver innovative quality products and keep their promises.  In fact, consumers are so passionate and loyal about their merchandise, they are sought after in an unparalleled fashion witnessed by the long lines at Apple outlets stores each time a new product is launched.  In short, a company’s brand name represents the company’s image and is designed to support a positive reputation by keeping the promises they make to their shareholders.  Virgin Airlines for instance, provided quality service but was supported and backed by the stellar reputation of the Virgin brand name. This is one of the most effective ways to launch a new product or company.  An established giant like Virgin or Apple can provide many components to help a new offshoot achieve success.  This is one way brand names and corporate images support each other.

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Brand names represent the symbols assigned to goods or services that in turn help shape and define a corporate image.  Fombrun (1996) reminds us that the world has grown to worship greatness.  People in modern society value aptitude, celebrate talent, exalt brilliance, and revere genius.  Contemporary athletes, for instance, that compete in the Olympic Games are not paid a salary.  For them, receiving a medal is a far more valuable asset due to one significant tenet: a reputation as a top performer.  This provides the foundation that helps them develop an image they can use to build their brand name.  The rise of mass marketing makes it possible to achieve greater levels of prestige and wealth whether as an athlete, politician, artist, or organization, because the competition for a stellar reputation is fierce.  Many people in fact, wallow in the radiance of their heroes and often elevate them to near mythological status expecting perfection in return (Fombrun, 1996).  A majority have the same expectations of the companies they support, the products they purchase, and often assign corporations similar iconic positions.  Not only are people shaped and influenced by a company’s decisions and innovations, they are content to support these giants on their high altars of fame.  The findings of this research conclude that there are many components that differentiate a corporate image from a corporate brand name.  The keys to building an effective positive corporate image include a clear communication of: (a) the benefits a company’s goods and services they provide, (b) a mission that is part of their corporate message, and (c) keeping their promises.  The combination of these components help effectively communicate what the company represents that helps shape the attitude of their shareholders which in turn motivates them to offer their loyalty and support.

Well’ that’s a wrap for this week. Until next time … keep working on your management skills!

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“What happens when people open their hearts? They get better.” ― Haruki Murakami

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Accelerated Learning Ebooks Aug 2015 3

For more information on Media Magic’s digital publications, or to purchase any of our Business Life audio book titles, please visit amazon.com’s new feature called “Author Central” to view:

 Mayr’s Author’s Page

References

Baack, D., & Clow, K. (2012). Integrated advertising, promotion, and marketing communications (Fifth ed.). Upper Saddle River, NY: Pearson Education, Inc.

Fombrun, C. (1996). Reputation: Realizing value from the corporate image. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Review Press.

Hatch, M., & Schultz, M. (2008). Taking brand initiative. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishing.

Ross, M. (2010). Branding basics for small business: How to create an irresistible brand on any budget. Bedford, IN, USA: NorLightsPress.com.

Vincent, L. (2012). Brand real: How smart companies live their brand promise and inspire fierce customer loyalty. New York, NY: AMACOM.

 

 

Building a Brand

Published April 5, 2016 by Mayrbear's Lair

bloody-awful-british-airways

This week’s posts are centered on building a brand image. There are many components that define a corporate image to help it stand apart from a corporate brand name.  For example, in the past, many international travelers jokingly referred to the BA acronym of British Airways to mean Bloody Awful.  This was a reflection of the negative corporate image they developed due to the onslaught of consumer complaints that surfaced with respect to the incompetent manner in which the airlines operated and treated their customers. Our research provides a brief analysis on the topics of corporate images, their brand names, and the significant components that differentiate them.  In addition, our study will disclose how they are related and provide further examples to help illustrate these concepts.  The findings of our research concluded that even though brands names are assigned to goods or services, there are many components that make them stand apart from a corporate image and that ultimately, the unification of these two components, serve to effectively communicate what the company represents to help shape the attitude of their shareholders.

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Corporate Image

One of the most significant components of a corporate image is that it communicates the benefits of a company’s goods and services that appeal to consumer emotions.  Ross (2010) explains that a corporate image should represent the following three components: (a) the company’s story, (b) their core purpose, and (c) the promises they make to consumers.  In short, a corporate image reflects the organization’s reputation that will ultimately live on in the memories of consumers.  To put it another way, a corporate image is what consumers say about a company, not about what a company says about themselves.  In addition, a corporate image can help shape and influence the decisions consumers make and the actions they take (Ross, 2010).  For instance, when many individuals think of a company like Denny’s, images immediately flood their head including tasty food, a welcoming atmosphere, and heartwarming family gatherings.  These images reflect positive experiences with the restaurant chain.  Positive emotions translate to feelings of joy and comfort which in turn produces loyal consumers.  Successful companies like Denny’s, Honda, and Nike provide excellent illustrations of companies that have established strong corporate images.  In fact, they have experienced unprecedented success because they all incorporate a mission as part of their corporate image.  These identify what the company stands for and are usually revealed in the tag lines of their ads to support the company image or brand.

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Simply explained, a corporate image summarizes what the company stands for and the feelings they emote from their customers.  In addition, Vincent (2012) purports that equally important to a company’s image or brand, is that they keep the promises they make and deliver a powerful experience (Vincent, 2012).  For example, when people think of the Disney Company, many images and feelings are evoked depending on a person’s experience with the company or their family offshoots, like the Disney theme parks, or the many Disney movies that may have had a profound impact on them.  This is yet another example of how a memorable experience with an organization can influence consumer emotions in both positive and negative ways.  What an individual feels after their experience interacting with a company, whether happy, more confident, or embarrassment and defeat, are all components that help shape a company’s corporate image.  Companies that display consistent behavior, communicate clear messages, and keep their promises, can guide investments and grow substantially regardless of budget constraints or time crunches whether they are a startup, a nonprofit, or a big conglomerate like a Nike or Disney.

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The negative feelings many people had about British Airlines, for instance, mentioned at the beginning of this post, presents another excellent case of the impact a tarnished corporate image can have on an organization as well as create new opportunities.  For example, this situational challenge in the airline industry was the catalyst that motivated The Virgin Company’s entrepreneurial giant, Richard Branson, to take action.  Out of frustration from his own travel experiences and banking on the stellar corporate image of the Virgin brand, Branson developed an offshoot company and launched Virgin Airlines.  He was able to recognize a problem that existed that many airlines did not want to address at the time: quality service.

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Driven by fierce determination to tackle these issues, Virgin Airlines went on to become a huge success in the aviation industry.  In the meantime, Hatch and Schultz (2008) explain that British Airways used the negative publicity as incentive to make changes and by the 1990s, BA’s conditions improved significantly.  With the strategic help of marketing experts they were able to change those negative perceptions to reposition BA and turn their reputation around.  One of the strategies incorporated to achieve this goal was the development of a new tagline that focused on positive concepts that professed the company had become “the world’s favorite airline.”  Emphasizing the word favorite helped them devise a new corporate image and created a symbol that attracted consumers which helped put BA back in a dominant position in their industry (Hatch & Schultz, 2008).  By developing a new strategy BA was effectively able to communicate a new attitude that won back trust from consumers.

That’s it for today’s discussion. On Thursday’s post we will take a closer look at building a brand name. Until then … keep enhancing your leadership skills!

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“Each one has to find his peace from within.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

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2 organizational management business skills publications nov 2014

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References:

 

Hatch, M., & Schultz, M. (2008). Taking brand initiative. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishing.

Ross, M. (2010). Branding basics for small business: How to create an irresistible brand on any budget. Bedford, IN, USA: NorLightsPress.com.

Vincent, L. (2012). Brand real: How smart companies live the