Creating a successful brand means establishing your company’s name and reputation and getting consumers to relate to your values, products and services. Done in the right way, this can transform the fortunes of your business, attracting new customers and keeping existing ones loyal over the long term. While it isn’t something you can do overnight, …
Would you like to showcase your works and be prestigious? Would you like to get employed effortlessly even if you are a new graduate? Provided that this is true, then take after our tips today!
Presenting the Latest Trends in Web Design
We committed errors. Flash are not in nowadays. Online sitebuilder from various web hosting providers won’t give you great locales. It’s a great opportunity to grasp new designs for sites. Responsive designs are much excessively helpful all together for your site to look great on portable workstations, desktops, cell phones and tablets.
5 Best WordPress Portfolio Themes
- Bigbang – fully responsive theme and ability to photostream from Instagram, Flickr, Dribbble, and Pinterest
- Synergie – a powerful WordPress theme that can be use for everything. With a really innovative system, the homepage can be modified to really fit your need. You can turn on/off any of the 5 modules and stack the the way you want in 10 seconds.
- SCRN – a single responsive portfolio wordpress template. Perfect to promote your work or your business. Is compatible with all modern mobile devices. Other than the minimalistic single page design, it also has a blog.
- Mineral – a modern, clean and fully responsive WordPress theme. The theme implements parallax effects in different elements and sections, such as; content slider background image, full-width sections background images, services boxes animations, testimonials animations.
- Boom – a fully responsive WordPress theme providing the ideal scenario in which visitors can experience the website in any device, any browser and any screen resolution
Want to see more portfolio WordPress templates? Feel free to click here for other WordPress portfolio themes.
What is the Next Step?
Do you believe that the general shift toward mobile makes it more important than ever to ensure employers to view your online portfolio on whichever device they are using? You should try a Responsive WordPress theme (RWD). RWD provides a customized viewing experience for different browser platforms, i.e making sure your website does not suck when viewed on other devices especially on mobile phones and tablets.
- Buy a hosting account if you do not already have one (about $ 10/month)
- Buy and download a gorgeous theme of your choice from above (less than $ 60, one time)
- Install WordPress on your hosting account (use QuickInstall if using Hostgator as hosting)
- Upload the theme to your WordPress site
- Configure your site and upload your design, photos, videos, work, etc.
Now that you have been revealed with the most cost-effective option to make a good-looking website, what hosting do you use for this beautiful portfolio site of yours? Our recommendation is Hostgator for hosting your WordPress site(s). You can try Hostgator for $ 0.01 only and use the coupon code WEBSITELAUNCH. You can also save 25% from your first bill using coupon code WEBTEMPLATE.
The steps may sound complicated but it is really straightforward. You should be able to show off your online portfolio in about 4 hours. If by any chance you have any query or problem with setting up your site, feel free contact your friendly hosting support to give you a helping hand.
Do you want to create your own website to organize a contest or competition? Here is a simple and clear step-by-step explanation on how you too can make your own stunning contest website in the shortest time possible. You can own a gorgeous website of a contest in just a few hours, and at a price you can afford. Here are four steps to make before you can have your own website.
STEP 1: Get a Domain Name
First you need to get a domain name for your contest. If you want to look professional, you need to have your own domain name for the contest or campaign. A competition or giveaway that is hosted on a unique domain will look more legitimate than the ones hosted on a free hosting or blog. If you already registered your name or do not want to be one your own domain name, you can skip to Step 2.
A domain name is like the signboard outside of a restaurant. It should be a name people can remember easily. It may include your brand and the name of the contest.
Click here to search for a domain name.
STEP 2: Get a Website Hosting
You also need a website hosting for hosting the pages for your contest. This is like the space or shop unit that your rent to open the restaurant.
There are many kinds of web hosting space that you can rent depending on your needs and the scale of your website. Webhostingcomparison.org is a good place to learn about the various kinds of web host service available. If you are building your first website, we will assume you either want to use a simple site builder or to get a multi domain shared hosting to create a more robust website.
To decide on which web hosting to use, you will need to ask yourself, “what are my requirements?”.
|Choose a Site Builder if…||Choose a Multi Domain Shared Hosting if…|
|Site Builder Hosting Suggestions||Multi-Domain Hosting Suggestions|
|Try site builders such as Weebly or Wix
|We recommend you get a cPanel web hosting at Hostgator because we have been using them for over 8 years with no problem. They also have a very helpful support team.
STEP 3: Build and Customize Your Website
The next step is to build your website.
If you go with the multi domain hosting path above, the best platform to use to create your website is WordPress. With WordPress, you can easily install it using one-click installer like Fantastico and QuickInstall that can be found in your cPanel. WordPress also have huge selection of themes and plugins that you can choose from to minimize coding your site manually.
If you choose the multi domain hosting method instead of using Weebly or Wix, you have the flexibillity to customize your website. If you want stunning themes, you can go to Themeforest. Here are some of the gorgeous themes suitable for contest websites:
- Mingle – an amazing WordPress theme and it’s BuddyPress ready!
- Aqua – a Premium, Responsive, HTML5/CSS3 WordPress theme that features a clean and slick design that is suitable for a wide variety of websites.
- Pinpoint – the next generation of WordPress themes.
Create the Pages for Your Site
Next, you want to create the pages for your contest or giveaway website. Some of the common pages you may want to add are:
- About the contest
- About the prizes
- Terms and Conditions
- How to enter/win
- Contest page (see next section below on how to create the contest)
STEP 4: Build Your Contest Using Gleam
Now, when it comes to creating contest, the most sensible solution is to use a contest app such as Gleam, Woobox or Rafflecopter. We prefer Gleam instead of the others because it has the most features and highly customizable.
To be honest, there are many things to consider when creating a competition, contest or giveaway for your brand. There are any factors such as:
- Building email lists
- How to engage the userbase
- How to verify entries and frauds
- How to restrict by country
- How to integrate with social media such as Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram etc.
- Picking of winners
Good news! Gleam provides an easy way to create contests for free. They also allow a seamless experience across devices & platforms that not only looks great, but allows you to syndicate your contest in a way that fits the image of your brand perfectly.
To create a competition or contest you will first need to add a site at Gleam. Each site has access to individual instances of their apps, you can also use the left menu to switch between sites.
Multiple sites have the following advantages: You can keep your data separated, ensure your campaigns are branded from that site & also allows you to have site specific integrations.
How to create a new competition:
- Navigate to the site you want to use
- Click on the competitions tab in the left navigation
- Click on the New Competition button on the top right
Inserting the Contest into Your Website
You can view more detailed instructions in the add to a page installation guide.
Brand value – everyone wants it, however, only few are able to achieve it. The subject of “brand value” holds a significant position amongst marketers, executives, and entrepreneurs. Let’s discuss what makes a brand unique, and how it is evaluated.
Brand makes your business unique. It sets the company apart and has the ability to position the business on the top in their specific industry. Sometimes, a brand is the company’s most valuable assets. In fact, many companies are often referred to by the name used in their brand – and they become one and the same. A strong brand identity drives customer loyalty, for the simple fact that once a customer uses your services and has a positive experience, your brand will bring them back.
Everyone knows the most powerful brands just by glancing their logos: Apple, Google, Facebook, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Disney, McDonald’s and Coca Cola are just a few. A brand can be any name, symbol, word, sentence, or logo that is used to distinguish the product from other similar products available on the market.
However, there is more to it than just a nifty logo and a catchy name. Everything you do within your business adds to your brand equity – the choices you make in product design, the quality of service that customers receive, the handling of customer complaints and any other services that your company offers – all of these things can add to credence to your brand equity.
What is Brand Equity (Value)?
Well, brand equity can be best defined as the phrase that is used inside the industry of marketing that defines the significance of having a well-established and recognized brand name, based on the concept that the owner of the brand is capable of generating more profits from products registered under that brand name over those products of a not so popular name. This justification is based on the perspective of many customers that a product which has a well-known name is much better compared to those products from a less popular brand name.
The main principle behind brand equity is the relationship between a consumer and the company selling the products/services. If the customer prefers a specific brand over the other, it is mainly because of his or her perception of the brand and its value regardless of the price tags on the product.
Of course, the company must strive hard to earn and maintain the consumer’s loyalty for their brand. To establish a brand value, the company must earn name recognition for its product, encourage the customer to actually try their product/service and convince them that their product is acceptable. Only after that the company can expect to secure a few preferences for their brands.
Having solid brand equity not only increases the profits and revenues for the company but it lower costs as well. the companies that already have an established brand equity are likely to spend less on marketing since the existing as well as potential consumers are already aware of their product. They don’t have to go into the hassle of educating the general public about their company and its products/services. Having brand equity also helps the company expand into different product lines. Since the customer is already following the brand, they are more likely to try any new product that is created by them.
Whether through a quality product line, excellent consumer service, and/or exceptional marketing techniques used by the company – having a strong brand equity symbolizes that the company has gained enough recognition and respect from their consumers that guarantees they will spend more on products created by that brand.
The Benefits of Brand Value
Simply put, “brand equity” is the construct which is specifically designed to replicate the actual value which the brand name is holding for products and services which it accompanies. Measuring brand equity has been considered important mainly for the reason that brands are regarded to be powerful influencers of crucial business results like market share and sales.
“Branded products invariably command a higher price than so-called ‘store brands’ or ‘generic’ – even when the product itself is a commodity such as sugar. In these cases, the higher price is due almost entirely to the power of the brand.”
Here is a list of the advantages of brand equity that were identified by Kevin Keller, a professor from Dartmouth College:
- Be perceived variably and then produce varied interpretations of the product performance
- Enjoy better loyalty as well as be less prone to competitive advertising actions
- Command bigger margins and gain more unyielding responses to cost hikes and flexible responses to price drops
- Obtain better support and trade cooperation
- Boost the effectiveness of marketing communication
- Backing brand extensions
- Produce licensing opportunities
Just like other constructs, brand value has been defined and gauged in different ways. It’s sometimes understood from the viewpoint of perceptible financial assets of a company. On the other hand, from the marketing research outlook, it is usually viewed conceptually, as the framework to understand the effectiveness of emotional and intellectual associations that customers do have with branded services and products.
Contrary to outright dollar valuations, which underscore the direct financial perspective, the marketing researchers are looking to gauge and then understand the brand value for strategic planning and positioning.
Brand Equity Modeling and Brand Value Measurement
Brand equity has been defined and measured in numerous ways. However, the measurement process is not as simple as counting the number of individuals who recognize a certain brand name or symbol. It can also not be assumed by the fact that if the brand is popular, it holds strong brand equity. In fact, the most powerful brands can effortlessly be weakened by any wrong steps taken by the company or faulty product.
As a matter of fact, most research agencies worked and developed their own brand value model which is implemented in collaboration with the end-user researchers. Professor Kevin Keller said:
“Although the details of various approaches to conceptualize brand value differ, they tend to share a general core: All definitions usually either explicitly or implicitly depend on brad knowledge structures within the minds of customers both organizations and individuals as the foundation or source of brand value.”
Researchers explain and gauge brand equity when it comes to knowledge that consumers have about a specific brand. Different published brand value models and measurements were available up to date. Remarkably, measuring brand value might be just a single piece of a more complete brand research program. Also, a brand research program of an organization might be just a single facet of a bigger research & insights program.
Brand Value Model:
- Brand Awareness (strength of brand in consumer’s memory)
- Breadth (likeliness of recognition and recall of the brand)
- Depth (mindfulness of the brand under various purchase or consumption scenarios)
- “Lower” order brand associations (perceptions of benefits and attributes):
- “Higher” order brand associations (judgments, responses and feelings):
– Brand Performance – characteristics and features, reliability, serviceability and durability, effectiveness, empathy and efficiency, style and design, price.
– Brand Imagery – user profile, purchase circumstances, usage situations, values and personality, history and heritage.
– Brand Judgments – brand quality, brand credibility, brand consideration, brand superiority.
– Brand Feelings – warmth, fun, excitement, security, social approval, self-respect.
- Brand Equity Measurement
- Brand Awareness (Brand recognition, Unaided recall, Aided recall)
- Brand Image (Free association, Interview, Means-ends chain analysis, Projective techniques, Zaltman Tech., Aaker Scale, Ethnography or Observ, Fournier BRQ scale)
- Comparative Approaches (Brand based comparative approaches, Marketing based comparative approaches, Conjoint comparative approaches)
- Holistic Methods (Valuation approach, Residual approach)
Experts usually agree that the best way to measure the brand equity depends on its specific industry or company. In some cases, the brand equity can be analyzed by looking at the customer’s preference for the product while other cases require a careful study of customer’s satisfaction or market share of the company.
Most Powerful Brands in 2016
Embed this infographic on your website:
It should come as no surprise that Apple tops the Forbes 2016 list. Recognizable products, a strong product portfolio and the ability to have people lining up for hours on product launch day. Despite strong competition they are responsible for almost half of the mobile phones sold in the US. The tech giant Apple is the most valuable brand of 2016. Having a value of $ 154.1billion, this is the sixth year Apple has dominated the rankings.
Google is now number 2, passing Microsoft and it isn’t difficult to understand why. The name Google has become synonymous with any internet search, if you don’t know something your friend will advise you to Google it. After Microsoft come Coca-Cola and Facebook.
Facebook is a prime example of something that started small, aimed at kids in one college as a beta test and grew into a behemoth. They constantly update their platform on the back of customer feedback and sometimes it might take longer than the customers want but they keep them in the loop that change is coming. People threaten to delete their accounts all the time, but they just keep coming back for more. Almost two billion of them!
On the other hand, according to brandfinance.com, which ranks the company’s based on their product quality, familiarity, promotion, customer loyalty, marketing tactics, staff satisfaction, and reputation – Disney is the most powerful brand of 2016. Having a brand value of $ 31.7 billion, the company has acquired the number one position due to its long and established history. It has also acquired many prominent companies recently. These include purchasing ESPN Inc, Star Wars, Pixar, and the Muppets and the Marvel.
The Danish Lego Company which was dominating the charts in 2015, shifted to #2 positions as a result of several controversies that were circulating about the company in the past year. The quality of their products remains the same but other factors contributed to their downfall.
Last year the toy company whose products are loved and cherished by kids of all ages was fined by German officials for preventing retailers from discounting its products. It was also a part of the censorship issue where it prevented a Chinese artist from using Lego in his work. Yet, the brand remains powerful and a part of every child’s toy box. L’Oreal with a brand value of $ 14.9 billion sits on the third position while PwC auditing company holds the court on the fourth. The consulting firm McKinsey is ranked on the fifth position while the 40 year old brand “Nike” is still going strong on the sixth position.
The recent reports that incorporated 100 brands from 16 countries serves to remind us how valuable and powerful a strong brand can be and really is.
Every market is cluttered, so by doing your research before you jump in head first you will be better placed to grow your brand identity.
If you’re starting fresh you are in a better position than most, because you can look at the market you are moving into and find what is missing to really carve out an identity for your business, give it a personality that is likely to attract customers and see them coming back for more.
Who is your target market? The face of your company should reflect them, a customer should be able to look at that and say, yes!
We’ve watched many iconic brands slip away in recent years and the same can be said for most of them: they completely lost sight of their identity. They knew who they wanted to target they just didn’t understand what it would take to make their target realise they were the brand for them.
Look at your brand preferences and look at your business, or your potential business. What can you do to build a brand as solid as that?
- Make it relatable, tell your customers a story – the story of how your business came to be, how you started out, and sell them on you.
- Deliver first class customer service, employ people who are willing to go the extra mile.
- Offer high quality products at fair prices.
There are a lot of people trying to say that brands are dying out because with the emergence of the internet customers have more options and far more information available to them. I would suggest there are brands that will never go away because they have the ability to adapt to the changes and movements in their industries. They take the time to understand what their customers want and need and they don’t waste time in putting it into action.
If you want to build a successful brand then you will take heed of the big names that have gone down the drain and adopt a more pro-active approach to running your business.
The post Brand Value & the Most Powerful Brands 2016 (with Infographic) appeared first on Web Hosting Geeks' Blog.
Whether it happens in a corporate conference room or in a startup client’s office, at some point in your career, whether it’s as a designer, social media manager or marketing expert, someone is going to ignore your suggestions and ideas and say, “here’s a site I like. I want one designed just like this!” Your bruised ego is one thing, but knowing where to draw the line between inspiration and theft is another. Relaying that to a client or boss can be even tougher.
There are times we need to just give in to clients and bosses—it is a service industry/job, after all. As an old teacher once said to me:
“If you’re a marketing designer, you will have to follow instructions and inane wishes of clients and bosses. If you want to do your own thing, be an artist and paint pictures.”
It sticks in my mind because at the time he was strangling me while other students tried to pry his hands from my throat. My arguments about creativity and self-respect were naive… and aggravating, judging by the teacher’s attempt to murder me. I’ve since learned my lesson while enjoying breathing freely.
Your Duty to the Client
As a professional hired to build on a company’s brand, it’s up to you to not just be a pair of hands that knows how to do “that internet stuff” and build and promote a business and their website, but to also know how that branding will affect the client in the market and among a customer base. When faced with a request to copy another creative’s work, line for line, button for button and color for color and word for word, you have to consider the ramifications for your career and for the client or company.
A website that takes all its “inspiration” from another design is totally heinous to a creative, but it happens more often then we’d care to admit. Companies like to jump on bandwagons and an idea that’s been tested and succeeds is a magnet for those who fear risk. As creatives, we love risk and we live to dare, so it is hard for us to understand. As professional business people, we need to understand the fear a client feels and how to guide them past it to success. Design is a message—it should be pointed, effective and unique. It should also make us feel good about the job we do and love and knowing we left the client in a better place.
But if a client wants you to take “inspiration” from an existing, successful website, the first question you must address is: Will the design of the example site fit the demographics and purpose of the client’s business? If it’s way off target, you need to express those concerns to your client. If the answer is, “I don’t care” or “just do it, web monkey,” then you have a good idea of the client’s ethics… or understanding of business.
The next question is: Will there be any brand damage by using the design? Again, as a professional, it’s part of your service to protect the client’s reputation. It takes a gentle but firm demeanor to explain why using a knockoff of the Coca-Cola website is not a good idea for a funeral home (“Coke Adds Life” is their motto. It’s doubtful a funeral home wants the same motto… one would hope!). If targeted consumers see the brand’s website as a spoof of the original design, they won’t take the company seriously. If word spreads on social media, huge embarrassment will ensue and chances are, your name and reputation as the one who did the branding/marketing will get thrown under the bus. Oh, look, the 3:10 express to Endofcareersville is right on time.
Let’s say the client is really excited and determined about the idea of the funeral home having the same branding as Coke. There is only one final question for the client: Are there legal ramifications to using the same design and branding? Are any copyrights or trademarks being infringed upon? The company could get a cease-and-desist order, which would shut down the website and any collateral materials. You might very well be blamed for the whole ordeal. If the client’s answer to the legal question is “Eh, I think it’s fine,” you know there will be trouble ahead.
If you’re ordered to “take inspiration” from another design/brand and all the outs described above haven’t worked, refer to this handy list of subtle acts of nonviolent resistance:
- In meetings, dress as a thief character from the 1920s by wearing a mask, striped shirt, black pants and flat cap and carry a bag marked “loot.”
- Cry and ask for God’s forgiveness every time you say the word “inspiration” while meeting about the site.
- Ask for an extra fee to keep your mouth shut about the “inspiration.” Wink every time you say, “inspiration.”
- Make sure your contract indemnifies you from lawsuits. Save all correspondence that show you argued about the direction the client is taking.
- Demand that you be referred to by a pseudonym such as “John Smith” in all correspondence so you can go under the radar once the site goes live.
- In every discussion about the project, end it with questions about the plans to avoid litigation.
These acts of protest should make your point clear: crime never pays… and clients in prison also hardly ever pay a freelancer.
A Client’s Duty to Branding/Marketing
I’ve never heard of a person refusing to be put under during an operation so he/she could tell the surgeon how to operate or, for that matter, tell a portrait painter what colors to use and brush strokes to be taken. Using professional designers, branding experts and marketers is hiring people with experience and knowledge. Like a surgeon, they know what needs to be cut out, stitched up or augmented. Like a painter, they know how to make you look your best.
There are a million ideas to be thought up and just as many solutions for your business branding. Listen to unique, standout ideas from the professionals you hire and employ. They want you to succeed because every win is success for them as well. A growing business means a growing client for more work!
Images ©GL Stock Images
Your brand is your personality. It’s how others see your company as a person — someone with whom a consumer can identify, and think of as a friend. As with life, your brand will be stalked by those who take that friendship for the identity to a weird, creepy level.
The rule for every dinner table, cocktail party, office, Facebook post, tweet, or Google+ post, lest your followers become a minus, should be; “no sexual, political, religious, or money discussions allowed.” There are other things people like to hear. Unfortunately, brand loyalty often falls upon consumers knowing the company brand stance on all of the taboo subjects that have nothing to do with how clean your dishes can be, or how less delicious your greasy hamburger would be if the brand didn’t meet your own ideals. Often a brand is called out to state an opinion, and sometimes someone at the top just can’t keep their mouth shut.
My Company — MY RULES!
Freedom of speech you say? True. It’s often followed by the freedom to buy another brand.
Recently, and it’s hard to keep track as brand blunders happen almost every day, the CEO of Barilla Pasta made a statement that caused the LGBT community and straight supporters to blast the company via every social media channel for his views and how it effected his business decisions.
BANG! Not defensible, somewhat like the spin on a similar statement from the president of Chik-Fil-A, where it was argued that it was his personal opinion, did not reflect business practices, and appropriate apologies were issued. The Barilla statement targeted a group, stated the brand belief, which brought the business into the incident, and made it sound like a commitment for which no apology was ever necessary, or deserved. Perhaps this is why the follow up apologies are rarely, if ever, accepted by consumers. It’s time that wipes memories clean!
Even just a foolish trip on Twitter, or using the wrong hashtag at the wrong time can be a disaster. Plenty of top corporations have had to do damage control after an innocent slip up, or moronic social media employee posted the wrong tweet because he/she thought they were on their own Twitter account. Yikes! Protecting one’s brand is a 24/7 job for not just outgoing social media, but also for inbound reactions.
Brand Building Changes
Brands used to build loyalty sheerly upon the friendly, and popular feeling people got from using the product, based mostly on brilliant commercials, pushing a brand image. Who would want more?
In the modern, corporate world, donations are made, sometimes for tax reasons, but other times for philanthropic reasons. It is the recipient(s) of those charitable donations that can cause a brand bump if your base of consumer support doesn’t agree with the work of those charities. THAT has forced some very brave, and risky brand stance. Why are corporations starting to weigh in on hot issues, such as support of the LGBT community?
“Businesses see more reward than risk in communicating their acceptance toward LGBT people. Companies that come out against DOMA want to reflect contemporary market attitudes,” says Bob Witeck, president of Witeck Communications, which advises corporations on LGBT issues.
In her article, “Those Who Stand for Nothing Fall for Anything,” Tara Hunt writes:
You can smell a brand who is following a formula or just follows advice and ‘best practice’ guidelines. Their voice is forced and weak. They won’t take a position. They are afraid of what others think. They define themselves by what they ARE NOT, but refuse to own who they ARE.
The easiest explanation for such risks to one’s brand, is that no business can live within a self-controlled bubble anymore. Social context has now become the key to consumer brand loyalty. The current backlash of economics and politics, at least in the perception of consumers, make them want more control over large corporate entities. Don’t support MY beliefs? I’ll feel my power by not buying your product. It’s a self-affirmation for a society that feels more, and more helpless, and feel the companies that depend on consumer dollar power, can be bent to meet yet another step in the evolution of brand building — consumer political, and social opinions.
There are also those who smell a conspiracy. Corporate support can wield a lot of power, and contributions do buy power. Of course, when it comes to brand awareness, some people believe store brands are just as good as name brands, but save money, and their eyes and ears are closed to any opinions, good or bad. Money does talk!
Top image ©GL Stock Images