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What Makes Your Best Brand?

What Makes Your Best Brand?
We’ve talked about how to get started defining your message and tone of voice to build you brand, whether your business is small or large. As a business owner, you need to define your brand, because if you do not, your customers will define it for themselves. You should be the one driving the decisions that go into your brand and your business.

So what’s next?

Another important piece of your branding is your logo. Logos, with or without text or the name of the business, can convey a lasting and strong impression to potential customers. As with your message, keep it simple, and make sure it reflects the image and tone you wish to use.

For example, using a heavy font, such as a bold Arial, can give more weight to the feel than something like Times New Roman, which can convey a softer, classic feel. Choosing upper case, lower case or a mix can also affect the tone of your logo.

Not all logos need or include text. A simple image could represent your company and reflect your message. An example of this kind of logo is Shell Gasoline. In earlier versions, the logo included the name of the company, but today it has been reduced to the shell image alone. When we see this image, we immediately know it’s a gas station, which shows how well branded the image has become. Volkswagen is another—it is simply the initials VW, but we all know who the logo belongs to and what the initials stand for. It does not need to spell out the whole word.

One of the last things to consider is color. What color or colors are incorporated in your company brand? Colors often have associations to things in nature, such as red standing in for a frame and blue for sky. Color can drastically affect our perception of the things around us, and you want to make sure the colors you have chosen reflect you.

Once you have defined the brand message in your logo, you will want to make sure that you are consistent in using it in your website. Images, fonts and colors will leave a deep impression of who you are and your brand message to the visitors of your website. If you aren’t creative or lack a designer within your company, you can always hire a graphic designer or web designer to create the visuals for your logo and website as long as you have worked out your message and tone.
#pspinc #branding #blog

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5 Quick Tips To Define Your Brand

5 Quick Tips To Define Your ...
In our last post, we covered getting started building your brand. Today, we’ll go over some tips to help you figure out where to start and what your message will be. This is an important element of your branding, and will help guide you as you work on your brand and create your website content as you establish your tone. This can help you refine your site’s messaging and organically incorporate keywords into your content—this is key to a successful site with more than just a shiny facade, as well as a successful branding effort.

1) What are the characteristics of your business?
Who do you want to be as a business? Defining the characteristics of your business will give you bullet points to determine how you want to be perceived.

2) What tone of voice do you want to project?
Once you’ve established your characteristics, it’s time to move on to what you want people to think of you. The tone of voice you take can appeal to different audiences. How do you want to say what you have to say?

3) When and where do you want to be heard or seen?
Messages can be received in different settings, and you want your message to show up at the right time and in the right place. For example, if you are a wedding coordinator, you would want to be easily noticed by recently engaged couples, and project an image of yourself as an expert with lots of ideas.

4) Define your message.
How can you define your message to achieve your business’s goals? Put yourself in the mindset of a potential customer and see what makes your message clear and meaningful. Sometimes hiring a professional marketer can help with this step if you get stuck or need help refining your phrasing.

5) Review results
Once your brand and message are defined, make sure to incorporate it into your web and social media presence. You will want to reiterate your message over and over so that it becomes what people associate with your company or product. It’s important to review your message and track its performance to make sure that the tone you’ve taken and the message you’re spreading are returning results. If it does not, then it’s time to re-evaluate, refine your message and update your content.

While building your brand and spreading it to the audience outside of your business is important, make sure that you also reflect your message to your own staff. If your team does not communicate within the standards of your brand, message and tone of voice, it might come off as disingenuous or inconsistent with your company’s projected image. This could mean updating customer service scripts and your mission statement, along with routine training to make sure your team shares and expresses the values put forth by your brand. Without these small changes, you will not be able to build and deliver on the message of your brand, online or off.
#pspinc #branding #blog

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How Do You Get Started With Branding Your Business

How Do You Get Started With ...
Branding permeates the world we live in. You hear a company or product name, such as Ford or Toyota, and an associated phrase or feeling comes to mind. Ford has built a reputation around “Built Ford Tough” and Toyota may call to mind “Let’s Go Places.” Other names, such as Porsche, bring to mind things like sleek design and fast cars.

No matter what the company or product, there is a first and lasting impression to be made, and it becomes the first thing that people think of when they hear the name. This is branding. Many people try to come up with a memorable tag line for their company, but a brand does not have to involve a tag line. A brand is the image and perception every business and organization projects.

How do you build a brand?

Big companies can spend millions building their brand and message. Even if you don’t have a big company budget, you can always start building your brand and crafting your company’s perception.

One of the most important parts of building or maintaining your brand is having a consistent message, so the first thing you’ll need to do is define that message.

A brand message can be a simple phrase. For example, PSPinc provides a set of online business tool and services, so we updated our site with the message, “Your business, online — Running a business can be challenging and there ’s little time to plan for the future. PSPinc makes it easy for businesses like yours to get online and be successful.” So our message shows that we are building our brand around serving businesses online services.

Once you have defined your message, you will need to set the tone of your message to reinforce the image you wish to project.

Coke is a good example of this. Diet Coke and Coke Zero are very similar products and are good for those avoiding sugar, yet Diet Coke emphasizes the “diet” part of the product reputation and Coke Zero tries to project a more “cool” and “masculine” impression. The differences in message and perception can appeal to different market segments and persuade different audiences to make a purchase.

It’s important to have a message, but it’s also important to set a proper tone and perception of that message for a successful brand. Carrying this over into your online content is key, as this can help define your brand as well as persuade potential clients to contact you or make a purchase.
#pspinc #branding #blog

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IOT Solutions Coming Soon To Your Home And Office

IOT Solutions Coming Soon To ...
What IOT technologies and devices will you be seeing on the market, and possibly be adopting yourself for your home or office? What creative solutions are being tested and marketed by the leaders in the tech industry?

Every January, these questions and more are answered in Las Vegas at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), a trade show put on by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA). CES is a showcase for the latest and greatest technology products and services. Many companies use the show to announce and demonstrate their upcoming products and concepts.

IOT advances are being made in many different areas of home and business technology. Here are a few examples from CES 2016. Do you think you'll adopt any of these new products? How do you think this technology could address problems your clients come to you to solve?

#pspinc #dreamersi #IoT #blog

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Amazon: An IoT Case Study, Part 2

Amazon: An IoT Case Study, P...
In the last post, we talked about Amazon’s use of Internet of Things (IoT) technology and devices to grow their reach and serve their huge customer base. For many reasons, Amazon’s strength is in their customer data.

According to a report from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, there were approximately 54 million Amazon Prime members as of early 2016. The study concludes that Amazon Prime members make up about 47% of the people who shop on the site.

Aside from their customer data, Amazon also has extensive knowledge and information on shipping, warehousing, advertising, etc. Companies like Google can do things like track online behavior and collect data well, but Amazon has set itself apart in that they already have a platform to sell the things they advertise directly to the consumer. Their network is worth all that much more.

How can this help in the future? With Amazon’s know-how and smart IoT strategy, the company has many options in terms of future growth.

To begin with, Amazon has already made inroads into the shipping business, sometimes using their own planes to ship products between high traffic areas instead of using courier services. They also utilize robots in their warehouses and with their warehousing knowledge could integrate things like that to things like connected cars. Tying these technologies together with their customer data could allow for things to operate even more seamlessly in the future, such as being subscribed to blood glucose test strip refills with the touch of a button when ordering a glucose monitor. The possibilities are nearly endless.

For small businesses, the first step they need to take as they wade into IoT is to identify what IoT ecosystem they are in and find how and with whom to create partnerships with. An effective IoT strategy could be the key to long-term survival going forward for many companies in this day and age.
#pspinc #dreamersi #IoT #blog

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Amazon: An IoT Case Study, Part 1

Amazon: An IoT Case Study, P...
When we think about the Internet of Things (IoT), the first thing that come to mind are usually smart devices, such as smartwatches, but IoT has multiple ecosystems in which it can operate, including Smart Cities, eHealthcare, et al. In order to be successful in IoT, it’s important to think of in terms of ecosystems and partnerships.

From selling books online to the economic powerhouse it is now, Amazon’s growth is undeniable. Amazon started as on online bookstore, but they were very smart about integrating their infrastructure and customer outreach making their expansion to selling other products smoother. The company’s unique IoT strategy has supported their continued expansion.

When Amazon started developing their own devices, integration into their vast web of operations went smoothly because they were already taking a big picture look at where their technology was and where they wanted it to go.

For example, take Amazon’s hands-free speaker with the Alexa Voice Service. Amazon has made it so you can ask things like the weather and it will answer, but there is only so much you can ask Alexa to do. But through partnerships with outside companies that already provide services, you can ask Amazon’s Alexa to request an Uber driver or to adjust your Philips Hue light bulb.

Another device is the Amazon Dash. It’s a simple push button that allows you to order goods literally with “the push of a button.” Each Dash device corresponds to an item, such as Tide laundry detergent or Bounty paper towels, and companies partner with Amazon to have their logo put on the device, linked to a product, and made available online for people to order.

In these arrangements, Amazon is the middleman. They benefit when companies use their site and technology to sell and distribute their products, and partnered companies benefit from their access to Amazon’s enormous customer base.

Businesses such as Amazon can only accomplish so much by making their own devices. By focusing on providing the service that connects others’ devices to consumers, Amazon and others are becoming Network Orchestrators that can benefit from the arrangement even more than their suppliers.
#pspinc #dreamersi #IoT #blog

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Solve Bigger Business Problems With IoT Technology

Solve Bigger Business Problem...
Once you have identified a local issue and thought through the process of integrating an Internet of Things (IoT) strategy as a solution, it’s easier to implement a similar chain of ideas to bigger and wider-ranging issues.

Public transportation is something many people have issues with, and an easy example of a field where IoT can be put to use in solving common use issues. The Washington Metro Area Transit Authority (WMATA) in Washington, DC has opened up their tracking data for free to encourage people to use it in order to develop new applications and solutions for the web and mobile devices.

Buses and trains have schedules to follow, but in practice, these times are rarely exact, and commuters are frustrated when they don’t know what time their bus or train will be arriving. Using system data, such as the transit information from the WMATA, a developer can create an app that lets commuters track when the next ride will actually arrive and time their commute accordingly.

In fact, there are apps that are doing this in many major metropolitan areas, such as Seattle’s OneBusAway, that provide live transit updates for commuters, helping to reduce or eliminate frustration related to not knowing when to expect the next bus.

What about national concerns, such as school busses? Similar to tracking the public transportation systems, students and parents can benefit from being able to track when their school bus is coming. Apps developed to take advantage of IoT tech can allow buses to be tracked using an on-board cell phone to transmit the bus’ GPS location and send updates to the students, families, and the school.

If you widen your view far enough, you’ll find ways IoT can change entire industries or solve universal issues, allowing your business to tap into a new market where there is money yet to be made.

IoT has the potential to improve simple things, like bunching up of teams on a golf course, as well as more wide-ranging and critical issues yet to be defined and solved.

The key is to find a real issue, something you can solve and that people would benefit from. Once that is identified, the devices used for these applications do not necessarily need to be complicated, and in many cases, can simply take advantage of existing devices or minimal modifications.

As IoT devices and sensors become more sophisticated and affordable, there will be less of a need for companies to develop their own devices, leaving time and resources to focus on the rest of the implementation.
#pspinc #dreamersi #IoT #blog

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Exploring IoT Solutions For Your Business

Exploring IoT Solutions For Yo...
Now that we’ve covered what the Internet of Things (IoT) is and the rapid growth of this burgeoning section of the technology market, how can your company use IoT to serve your customers and grow your business?

Anticipating the growth of the IoT market as speculated in market forecasts, it appears as though this relatively new tech will infiltrate anything and everything around us. There is undoubtedly potential for businesses to take advantage of this, but it can be hard to find a place to start. This is a challenge many companies and entrepreneurs face.

Eric Hoffman from Eastbanc Technologies was one of the speakers at the Internet of Things Expo in New York. He raised real-life examples, including those of his company, to show one way to monetize IoT.

Hoffman said the easiest place to start is to find ways IoT can make things easier locally. For him, this started with playing squash.

The problem he wanted to fix was how squash players around him seemed to want to play at odd times of the day (i.e., very early in the morning) but it’s difficult to find courts and gyms open during those hours.

So how could IoT help in this situation?

Eastbanc Technologies developed a system where members can reserve time slots, enter the gym, open the lock, turn the lights on, play and leave with the facility secured without needing to interact with a receptionist or have facility monitor on site to gain access to the court during off hours.

Locks that can identify a member and confirm that they have reserved a court, lights that can register that people are present and turn on or off accordingly, even an optional video camera so players can see their match afterwards – all are examples of IoT in action.

What are some problems either you or your customers experience that could be solved with an IoT solution?
#pspinc #dreamersi #IoT #blog

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Advancing Technology Fosters Internet Of Things Opportunities

Advancing Technology Fosters I...
IoT is not a new concept, although you may have just started to hear about it with the release of swanky new smart devices to the consumer market. With advancing technology and the Internet it’s only a matter of time before everything is connected. Even the conservative projections seem to indicate it as the next big thing – whatever your work or business may entail, it will be beneficial to start learning more about where IoT may take us.

The dropping costs of sensors and technological parts are driving the rise in IoT devices. The lowering costs and expanding range of products are what makes these new items more accessible to consumers. According to BI Intelligence, 34 billion devices will be connected to the Internet by 2020 (up from 10 billion in 2015).

The growing device network is continually expanding into new areas and will cover a wide range of fields, referred to as IoT “Ecosystems”. These can range from Smart Devices (like Smart Thermostats and Smart Bathroom Scales) that will integrate with your day-to-day life, to things on a much bigger scale. Smart Cities can help reduce waste or find ways for us to consume energy more efficiently. EHealthcare and Smart Manufacturing are also examples of these ecosystems.

As IoT technologies become more prevalent, companies will need to figure out how to manage and interpret all of the data that will be pouring in. Bi Intelligence estimates that businesses will spend about $6 Trillion on IoT solutions by 2020. Having an IoT solution is going to be essential in many ways including finding ways to increase productivity and cutting costs to compete.
#pspinc #dreamersi #IoT #blog

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Happy Birthday, PSPinc!

Happy Birthday, PSPinc!
Today marks 29 years since PSPinc's founding on July 7th, 1987 by Ken Uchikura in his apartment on Mercer Island. As we begin our 30th year in business, we reflect on how much has changed in the computer industry.

PSPinc began with localizing software for distribution in the Japanese market, and transitioned to internet services in the mid 1990s, bringing our first server online in 1996. Since then, we've grown into a team of 50 software developers, web designers, customer service representatives and support technicians to keep up with the ever-changing needs of the 40,000 companies around the world that trust us for their websites, email and online services.

We want to thank all of you that have made the last 29 years a success for PSPinc, and invite you to join us in making the 30th even better. Thank you!
#pspinc #dreamersi #blog

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