Archive for April, 2011

Create-A-Card Marks 25 Years

Posted on April 29, 2011

Arthur Messina earned his degree in Food and Business in 1984 and worked for the Marriot Corporation right out of college. After working as a manager there for two years, he realized the industry was not for him.

“It felt impersonal,” he recalls. “You become more of a number in a big corporation like that, and you weren’t respected for your knowledge.” Messina, who is certainly respected as an invaluable source of industry know-how among his peers, clients, and competitors, says he was more interested in the business aspect of his degree. He had a passion for photography and decided to turn it into a business idea: photo business cards.

Thus, Create-A-Card, Inc. was born. The limousine industry was a natural fi t because owners needed a way to show their vehicles to the public.

One of Messina’s fi rst clients was a company down the street from his house. “We took the car to a park and shot some photos, and that was one of the first samples I had,” he says. The business took off, and as many industry members know, has expanded into a full-service marketing provider, helping operators with anything from brochures and fl iers to social media to website and logo design. Whether the client is a newcomer to the industry or a 30-plus year veteran, Create-A-Card, Inc. makes sure to help them communicate messages well.

CAC 25th Anniversary to read the full story.

Branding Secrets…

Posted on April 27, 2011

Your brand reflects the personality of your company and promises customers high value for the money they exchange for your goods or services.

Branding, however, is not easy and companies often make these 7 mistakes:

1. They try to be all things to all people. It is better to just focus on meeting the needs and exceeding the expectations of your target market.

2. Branding is not instantaneous. You have to think long, not short-term. A brand has to mature over time to be effective. Instant branding measures confuse customers and lose market share.

3. Branding should have a long-term perspective. Don’t limit your brand to what you are only doing now. Keep the possibility open for new technologies to completely upgrade your current best practices.

4. Even if your product is approximately the same thing, your brand should have something unique. Coca Cola and Pepsi are both similar looking and tasting sugared drinks, but they have been branded in completely different ways, resulting in consumers actually arguing about which is better.

5. While differentiation is important, it should not be overdone. The consumer should still feel a sense of familiarity with the product. For instance, Dell computers are designed in a slightly different way from other computers, but consumers are not bewildered by the customized configurations of Dell because they are similar enough to other computers to make them feel comfortable.

6. When your brand is attacked, you should defend it. Ignoring negative press will not make it go away. In fact, the rumors might even get worse. Brand reputation management will save your brand from collapsing under the weight of spurious competitors allegations.

7. Focus your brand on quality, rather than pricing. The Mac computers cost twice as much as PCs, but they also offer a lot more value, especially for those who do graphic design or online marketing. So, is it really expensive, or just different in a good way?

What are some of the branding mistakes your company makes?