Category :New Blog
FREE isn’t a word we often associate with marketing. In fact, while creating your marketing plan and/or strategy it’s difficult to decide how to spend your budget and what the best use of the dollars will be. There are however some FREE resources out there that are surprisingly useful and can make a big difference when it comes to research, performance, and tracking results for your marketing tactics. If you’re not taking advantage of these tools, you should be. Here are a few we’re hot on lately:
1. Google Analytics – duh. If you aren’t using this one, you’re missing a huge opportunity to see how people are interacting with your website, where they are coming from, and where your missing opportunities may be
2. Marketing Grader – a tool that gives you a full report on how your website is doing SEO (Search Engine Optimization) wise, and how you rank against your competitors
3. SimilarWeb – website traffic insights for any website
4. Broken Link Checker – a quick way to find out whether your website has any dead links that may be turning customers away
5. GTmetrix – uses Google Page Speed and Yahoo! YSlow to grade your site’s performance and provides actionable recommendations to fix these issues
Reuters- “Branding agency recognizes top brand champions in business, politics, sports and entertainment”
Bloomberg Businessweek- ”Brand Iron Launches ‘Brand Champion 100′ List”
Business Review USA
Denver Business Journal
General, New Blog
Bloomberg Businessweek brand champion brand champion 100 Brand Iron Denver Business Journal PR Newswire Reuters The Street
From the desk of Michael Doyle:
If you hadn’t noticed campaign season is kicking in, which means it’s time for political advertising and marketing to get started. It is fascinating to pay attention and observe how candidates “brand and package” themselves. In many cases, the branding and packaging efforts are lack luster. Politicians produce contradictory and convoluted messages that are lost in translation when they attempt to convey them to the average voter. However, one candidate has taken a different approach. Herman Cain had been branding himself brilliantly, until his recent sexual harassment accusation, and has jumped from an obscure fringe candidate to a GOP front runner because of his efforts. In this blog, we will not focus on his recent sex scandal and instead focus on the power of his simplified message and brand prior to the accusation.
With a crowded field of GOP presidential candidates, the only way to get noticed is to come up with something different, unique and easy for voters to put their arms around. Step up a former businessman who understands the power of branding and packaging. Yes, he probably learned a trick or two from his pizza days, but the old “KISS” adage sure applies here, “Keep It Simple Stupid”. Cain and his team came up with this simple and easy-to-understand 9-9-9 Tax Plan to jump start our economy.
The 9-9-9 plan, since its debut, has generated significant buzz. Every other GOP candidate and President Obama are all talking about his simple tax plan. So much talk and notoriety in fact that Cain has vaulted himself from the fringe to the front of the class.
A common criticism of this plan is that running the country isn’t like running a pizza company. But the thing that Cain understands that all the other candidates don’t is that it takes effective branding and packaging to succeed in today’s challenging business and political environment. Those that are able to clearly and concisely communicate why they or their plan is different, unique and better, will appeal to those looking for an answer. Despite your political views, Herman Cain is setting precedent for all politicians to place high emphasis on how they brand and package their message so that people can clearly grasp it and make decisions based on it.
- Michael Doyle
It’s true, for a relatively cheap investment anyone can “design” with the same tools as a professional designer. However, there are countless reasons why you should work with a professional designer, such as; quality, dependability, and experience. Designers seem to be a dime a dozen, but there are a few qualities that set good designers apart from the herd.
- Passion – This is the real weapon of a good designer, it cannot be imitated. A real designer is passionate about his/her craft; it is not just a job or a career but a lifestyle. Regardless of what you might say, first and foremost a graphic designer is an artist. Artistic intuition cannot be taught, passion cannot be taught; you either have it or you don’t and that is why not everyone can be a designer. Brand Iron is proud to have a passionate design staff that creates passionate work day-in and day-out for our clients.
- Don’t just re-design, but re-align – You may have heard this in the past, “it’s outdated, your website needs to be re-designed.” There is more to it. Not only does it need to be redesigned, but realigned with the brand. Good design transcends technology, trends and must be aligned with your brand; something that I’m sure you’re neighbor’s 9th grader probably is not capable of.
- Evolve – A lot of designers think that they get a degree and they’re set for the rest of their lives. Sorry to break it to you but it doesn’t work like that; the design industry is constantly evolving, the technology is constantly changing and in order to create successful design a designer must be constantly evolve with the industry. A degree is a good start, but it takes continuous research and learning, determination, attention to detail and hard work to be a successful designer.
As a business owner you should not expect anything less than what was mentioned above, and if you are, you are literally gambling with your livelihood. Perception is everything, and your brand needs to be perceived as the best. Quality branding is what Brand Iron does best; we forge brands and drive revenue.
Written by Andrew Hoffman
Denver’s Commercial Real Estate Market –
Better than You Might Think
by Eric Nesbitt, President and CEO, The Nesbitt Group
Despite the uncertainty and unpredictability of the national economy, Denver’s commercial real estate market continues to remain steady, particularly in the office and industrial sectors. Although many local large companies are holding off on major real estate decisions, Denver’s commercial real estate market continues to perform well compared to other markets in the country, where vacancies are higher and rents are decreasing.
Denver office and industrial properties continued to positive absorption of vacant space in the third quarter, while retail space such as shopping centers and malls had negative absorption. Retail space is more consumer-oriented than other commercial property types and, therefore, more affected by the economy and consumer problems such as housing foreclosures. However, Colorado’s improving housing market should benefit the retail sector. The state’s foreclosure rate has shown significant improvement this year, and many analysts believe the Denver-area housing market is ahead of the national cycle for recovery.
Overall, vacancy rates increased for office, industrial and retail properties, but despite this softening, average rental rates increased for all three property types. Metro Denver office space saw its total vacancy rate, including sublease space, increase to 15% in the third quarter. However, average asking office rental rates inched up to $20.99 per sq. ft. per year in the third quarter from roughly $20.60 from the same period last year. On the industrial side, total third-quarter vacancy increased to 7.4%, which is still relatively healthy. Average asking rates also increased to $6.41per square foot from $6.00 per sq. ft. for the same quarter last year. Finally, the total retail vacancy rate continued to increase in the third quarter to 7.5%, but the average asking lease rate still rose to $18.04 per square foot per year from nearly $16.00 for the same period last year.
What does this all mean for you and your business? Despite a slumping economy, companies seeking to lease office or industrial may be surprised that landlords are unwilling to do “screaming deals” to get tenants in their buildings. At least for the time being, rental rates remain stable or continue to rise, and commercial landlords have not been overly impacted by the economic slowdown. Of course, this may change in the next few months or as we head in to the New Year.
For more information on The Nesbitt Group, please click here.
The days of the Pony Express are long gone, and Brand Iron decided to get up with the times. Now instead of the Bi-monthly newsletter sent to your mailboxes, you will be able to keep up with us through our freshly-prepared blog.