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7 01, 2011

Branded or Not? Does Yours Need A Makeover?

By |2017-03-03T12:07:11-05:00January 7th, 2011|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |2 Comments

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Michael Jackson

Will we ever forget the white glove?

When do you decide that your branding needs to change? I’ve actually been thinking about this for myself but don’t have an answer. Maybe I should look to Starbucks for the answer. They have just changed their logo. By the way, their logo hasn’t been changed since they went public in 1979. Does everyone know the Starbucks logo? Maybe a better question, will everyone know the logo in 50 years? Okay maybe that’s a ridiculous question but I think a good one.

According to the CEO of Starbucks,  Howard Shultz, “Even though we have been and always will be a coffee company and retailer, it’s possible we’ll have other products with our name on it and no coffee in it. We’re not going to put our name on things that dilute the quality of Starbucks.” These are the kinds of things that make the “branding” community crazy. I like the old brand; did they ask customers if they should change their “brand?” It doesn’t appear that they discussed the logo change with their customers.

Starbucks is building now for the future. Smart.

What do you think about this?

How do you know when to change your logo or your branding? Will we ever forget the Michael Jackson “white glove?” Check out this link to Rick Bacus and the Michael Jackson brand.

Pepsi promotes the pronunciation “Pesi” in Spain and has a Pesi website  about pronunciation which reflects in a  humorous way how people from Argentina pronounce English words in a different way, e.g. “Rocanroll”, “Daunlos”. That’s a change in their brand.

What about your brand, how do you know what people think about it? Best shot, ask them. Does your web site  reflect who you really are?

What about the BP brand? It has the distinct value of losing all of it’s brand power in one year. The only comparable brand loss was AIG. The best thing you can do is continually build your brand equity so people will remember you. Did you know anything about either of them until all the bad publicity? Did they forget to do their “branding” homework?

Who can help you build the equity? Your customers can. It’s easy these days; that’s one of the things that  Facebook can do for your business.

Building your brand means “being out there” so people know who you are.

By the way, do you know who you are?Are you using the talent that you have or are you trying to put a square peg in a round hole? This is the question faced by many entrepreneurs; how do I be me and make a living? Can I make a living being me?

Can you imagine spending 20 years doing something your really hate? Lots of people do.

Start by asking yourself, how much do I love my business? How do I make this business me so I can enjoy my life in my business?

Is my personal brand reflected in my business or am I trying to be something or someone I’m not?

Not exactly sure what type of branding you project, ask your friends and business associates what they see.  This question will get you amazing answers; answers that I think you can take to the bank. Maybe you are being you or maybe you’ve been thinking about being you.

What makes me or my business unique, do I like that person or that brand? These questions aren’t that difficult, we all know the answers. The secret is taking action. Taking action is what will fuel your mind, your heart and your business. Ask yourself, what do I have to do to take action? Why aren’t I taking action, what frightens me? Am I worried about what people will think if I am really me?

Need help getting some new answers? Great article on Marketing Profs about branding.

Join me on January 2oth from 8:30-11:30 AM at Professor Java’s Coffee Sanctuary, 217 Wolf Road, Albany, New York for three hours of Brand Building for yourself or your business. Please call me or email me to register for the course. The cost is $30.00 and includes breakfast! Hope you can join me, I guarantee it will be fun and informative.

Why not build your brand on” you?” Who could be better?

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4 09, 2010

Selling Your Brand Down the River

By |2017-03-03T12:07:13-05:00September 4th, 2010|Categories: Blog, Building a Brand|Tags: , , , , , , |0 Comments

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We worry so much about our store branding, our product branding; what about our personal branding?

What is it that successful companies have figured out—McDonalds, Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts? You might answer good marketing but more specifically it’s about their brand. Branding used to be just for products, not any more. Branding is a combination of intangible and intangible characteristics and sets you apart from others. Whether you define it or not, you have a brand. Branding is your reputation; it’s what sets you apart and the value you bring to the situation. As my mom said, all you have is your reputation.You’re not defined by your job title or your job description you are defined by the value of your reputation.

AS the CEO of your own company, what you stand for is as important as what you sell. When there is a ‘disconnect’ between who you say you are and what you do, it makes people untrustworthy.  Consider Tiger Woods and how he has been portrayed in the media. Over the years his agency has worked hard to portray him as a serious, focused golfer and family man. Although this may be true, the last few months have made us question his previous branding. Not that Tiger wanted to portray the other part of his life but because it’s so different than our original perception, we begin to question everything he does. When he came out and discussed his personal life the gamut of feelings were disgust and sadness. In my mind there was no reason for him to discuss his personal life. He is considered one of the finest golfers in the world; this has nothing to do with his personal life.To stand the test of time, a brand must be built from the inside out, not the outside in. Unfortunately his brand is ‘performance based’ and he is only as good as his last performance or his last win. His private life was his private life until he made it public.For the most part his brand was build on an authenticity, a hard working focused golfer.

We all have a brand. Paris Hilton’s brand was one of beautiful, fun loving, well spoken and a young woman living her life. Recently she was arrested for drug possession which changes the nature of how she is viewed.

I don’t think many of us think too much about our brands but we should. This is why your social media profile and behavior should reflect who you are. It is foolish to post anything that is not flattering to you on your social medial platform. We are all entitled to fun and a few drinks now and then but having to be driven home or forgetting your keys because you were drinking certainly takes a way from your creditability and ultimately the credibility of your business.

Okay three things to think about when building your brand:

Clarity, who are you, what you do and why it does it matter? Here we are again, building differentiation and your competitive advantage. If you know what makes you different it helps you determining a market strategy. I think you can have lots of customers you just can’t have all of them. But if you’re clear on who you are, you will get your share.

Consistency, can you be counted on to act the same way no matter what the situation? I had a boss once who was fine until about the third week of every month when the inventory was due. She became nasty, angry and just awful to be around.When the monthly figures were unveiled, her job was on the line.

The last is character. This is what makes you. This is your personality, your sense of humor your excitement for life. This is what brings you to life and make people want to connect to you. This is your gift and your “personal flair.”I know people say Lisbeth you move so fast, you have so much energy and enthusiasm; these are considered my gifts. On the other side is the Lisbeth who gets bored easily, worn out with not enough sleep and is short tempered. The better you know yourself the better you will be at connecting to your “special customers and friends.”

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