Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Business Pitching Schedule

22 Aug 2013:
Group 5 - Siddhant, Daniel, Ryan, Nicholas.
Group 2 - Qadirah, Rachel, Kabir, Joshua.
Group 3 - Francis, Cheston, Justyn, Kenneth.

 29 Aug 2013:
Group 4 - Renjie, Pides, Yee Cher, Oliver.
Group 1 - Beatrys, Lois, Guan Qun, Christopher.

Friday, 2 August 2013

Finalised I&E Report

This is our Finalised I&E Report

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Deadlines for submission of work

Please be mindful of the following deadlines for the submission of work:

Week 5 (2 Aug, 2359hrs)- Business Feasibility Plan
Week 7 (16 Aug, 2359hrs)- Video Commercial
Week 8 (23 Aug, 2359hrs)- Presentation Slides

Business Pitch

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Business Plan

My Business Plan: I want to make a stationery company that is economical, environmentally friendly, fun and easy to write and use.

Business Legal Structure: Partnership
Business type: Retail
Location: Stationery stores; eg; Popular
Market: Singapore and hopefully, once company is recognized in the market, around the world.

Mission Statement:

5 words to describe my business:
Quality service, trendy, modern, affordable, colourful.
Ideal image from customer's P.O.V:
Quality guaranteed, trendy, modern, reasonable price, useful
Ideal image from management or employee's P.O.V:
Fun, reasonable profits, freedom

Business Plan

Business Description: A Café for LAN gaming that provides customers with the best gaming experience by giving customers an extensive range of computer games, console games and vintage games to choose from. The computers we provide for the customers' usage are custom built to be extremely powerful, so that you play games with the highest resolution and with no lag. The Café provides high quality drinks and snacks. You can also host gaming events at our LAN Gaming Café and the host can decide on the ambience that he/she wants during the event (Meaning: We will customize the LAN Gaming Café according to the customer's request).

Business legal structure: Sole proprietor

Business type: LAN Gaming Café

Location: Scape

Market: Gamers

5 Words To Describe My Business:
- Irresistible
- Exciting
- Awesome
- Fun
- Affordable

3 Words To Describe The Company's Ideal Image From A Customer's Point-of-view:
- Top Quality Service
- Best Gaming Experience Ever
- Affordable prices

3 Words To Describe The Company's Idea Image From A Management And Employee Point-of-view
- Freedom
- Friendly
- Fair (not bias)

Business Plan

BUSINESS DESCRIPTION :Selling Fast-Food with BACON.Also selling drinks and Bubble tea.

Business legal structure : Partnership
 Business type : Food and refreshment.
 Location : Shopping malls
Market : Singapore (Will expand if it is successful)

5 words to describe my business:
Good service

3 words from a customers point of view:
Good quality

3 words from an employees point of view
Fun Job
Something New

Business Plan

Business description: We create clothes of all styles and create new trends with them. Some people may find the typical styles too boring and go for mix and matched styles that are trendy and new. We will take in ideas and feedback from customers to create more new styles and trends.

Business Legal Structure: Partnership

Business Type: Retail

Location: Shopping malls

Market: International

Words that describe the business: Good service, good advice, trendy, modern, comfortable, quality, affordable

Ideal image from customer's P.O.V.: Efficient service, quality and comfortable clothes at affordable prices, trendy styles

Ideal image from management or employee's P.O.V.: Fun/likable job, fair (not biased), free (to give feedback)

Business Plan (Ryan, Siddhant, Daniel and Nicholas)

Business Plan

Business description : A gaming lan that provides customers with the best gaming experience by giving customers an extensive range of computer games, console games to choose from. The computers we provide for the customers' usage are custom built to be extremely powerful, so that you play games with the highest resolution and with no lag and it has a bubble tea shop so you can order bubble tea in the middle of the game or if you are winning the game but you are hungry you can order food with a click of a button.

Business legal structure: Limited Partnership

Business type: Service, food and drinks
Location : Shopping malls
Market : Singapore (expand if successful)


Business: Innovative, Good Value.

Customer: Creative, High-Tech.

Management: Fun, distressful, United.

Business Plan

Business description : we make trendy shoes that are both comfortable and fashionable

Business type: footwear
Production Location : factory in Malaysia 
Selling Location : Shopping malls 
Market : teens
Words that describe the business : #trendy #stylish #comfortable #modern #specially for you 

Business Plan

business description: a high-class diner and a rest stop which can be located at every corner. Food and drinks are sold here. This diner donates 30% of their earned money to charity. Mainly targets working adults or students who are tired and looking for a place to rest.

business legal: partnership

business type: service, food, donation

location: in every shopping centre in singapore, exits of mrt station

market: local, but expand to nearby countries if possible

5 words to describe the business: 
-good service
-easy to manage

3 words to describe the company's ideal image from a customer's point-of-view:

3 words to describe the company's ideal image from a management and employee point-of-view:

Business Plan

Business description :Selling sports equipment (soccer boots,racket,basketball shoes), shirts that the customers can customize the shirt design (only related to sports) People may think that this is very common nowadays to customize the shirt design but our business also allows the customization of the sports equipment.

Business legal structure: Solo proprietor 

Business typeLeisure, Sports
Location : Shopping malls

Market : Singapore (will expand if successful)

Mission Statement:

5 words to describe your business:

  • Creative
  • Trendy
  • Fashionable
  • Attractive
  • Service

3 words to describe the company's ideal image from a customer's point
  • Fashionable
  • Unique
  • Cool
3 words to describe the company's ideal image from a management and employee point of view
  • Profitable
  • Effective
  • Successful

Business Plan

Business description : We Serve Best Baked Treats Products Such as Buns Cakes Cupcakes Brownies and Donuts! The "Secret Ingredient" is because our customers can customise their dishes. So if they do not want sugar we wont put sugar in their dishes and we do not charge delivery cost, so f you were catering for a event and you ordered from us, you will not need to pay extra delivery charges.Business legal structure: PartnershipBusiness type: food and beverages- With ServiceLocation : Shopping mallsMarket : Singapore (Will expand if it is successfulMISSION STATEMENT:5 words to describe the business:-Innovative-Creative-Attractive-Functioning-Amazing3 words to describe the companies ideal image from a customers point of view-Good Service-Variety-Enjoyable3 words to describe the companies ideal image from a management and employee point of view-Non- Biast-Fun-Original

Business Plan

Business description: We sell mainly cooked meat - e.g. Beef, Steak, Lamb & Pork-chops and we will improve on our meat according to how customers give feedback. We will also allow customized meat for special events e.g. Birthdays. We will also sell raw meat to customers for them to cook at home.
Business legal structure: Partnership
Business type: Food & Beverages
Location: Shopping Malls
Market: Singapore - Expand to Global if possible
Words that describe the business: Quality meat, Swift service, Comfortable, Modern, Affordable, Customizable
Ideal image from customer's P.O.V: Tasty meat, Comfortable restaurant, Serve food quickly
Ideal image from management or employee's P.O.V: Easy restaurant to manage, Fun job

Business Plan

Business description : We make the best coffee such that people may even give up on Starbucks and go for our coffee. Of course there would be different types of coffee (i.e cappuccino, mocha etc). It would 

Business legal structure: Partnership

Business type: Service, food and drinks
Location : Shopping malls
Market : Singapore (expand if successful)

Business Plan (Beatrys, Lois, Christopher, Guan Qun)

Business Plan

Business description : We make the newest, trendiest and feasible tiles made to your wishes and are of quality even though it is cheap. There would be different kinds of tiles for different places in the home such as tiles for kitchen, laundry, entryway, living flooring and much much more as places such as the laundry would be usually wet and slippery so tiles for that place would need to have anti-slip to prevent accidents. 

Business legal structure: Limited Partnership (LP)

Business type: Flooring
Location : Shopping malls and International Furniture Centre (IFC)
Market : Singapore ( Will expand to other countries if successful )


Business: Cheap, Quality, Innovative

Customer: Creative, Beautiful, Elegant 

Management / Employees: Fun, Not stressful, United

Business feasibilty plan (Joshua , Rachel, Qadirah,Kabir)

Business description : A cat cafe where people can drink while interacting with cats in the cafe and play with them .This is for people who cannot own cats themselves or wish to play with more cats.At the same time we are a cafe who sells donuts and pastries :D

Business legal structure: Sole proprietor

Business type: Service, food

Location : In shopping malls

Market : Local (Singapore)

Words that describe the business: Happiness , cleanliness , cosy , cute , comfy , good service

From the customers point of view: Cats are happiness , A hang out place for all , Relaxation time , a place to play and relax

Ideal image from an employee and management point of view : A clean safe environment for cats and cafe visitors to relax.

(photo retrieved from :

Business Plan

Business description : We would set up a website where the customers can access it and design their own sports shoes by customizing it.The people who wants to customize their own shoe can choose the colors or the material of the shoes or the types of sport shoes for example soccer shoes,basketball shoes or running shoes.They can show us the model of the sports shoes that they designed and we would make it for them and we would send the shoes by mail or they can come to collect the shoes at our store.

Business legal Structure : I think I would got for a partnership because the work would be easier to complete and faster to do and more people means the workload is lesser.

Business type : Sports

Location : Shopping malls

Market : I would target a local market first but if the company gets more successful I might consider an international market.

Mission Statement:

5 words to describe the business:

3 words to describe the company's ideal image from a customer's point-of-view:

3 words to describe the company's ideal image from a management and employee point-of-view:

Friday, 15 February 2013

Business Plan

Business description : I would hold a computer service shop for people to bring in their MacBooks and Mac's for repair. I would offer them a better quality of service with subsidized fees with a financial installment plan for those who are unable to pay the fee at once. Also, with every successful repair I would give the customer a free one year service plan to come to my shop for their Mac Repairs.

Business legal Structure : I would go for a sole proprietorship first and once my business starts to get successful then I might go for a partnership to earn more revenue and get more funding

Business type : Service, Computers

Location : My House, then when business get successful expand to service centres

Market : Local first and then offer to go international if business is a success

5 words that describe my company

5 words that customers would find my company

Management and Employe's view
Great Place to work in
A place where we fun serving customers
A place where we can repair things while learning new things about technology.

Business Plan

Business description : 
A humanities library and shop where customers can read and listen to various history and geography recordings. There will be beanbags and sofas around the shop so the customers can relax while they enjoy the reading. If the customers are interested to purchase a copy of the book, ebook, audio recording or video, they can go to the customer service booth and purchase a copy.

Business legal Structure : 
I would choose partnership because I think it is better to work in a group to support the business.

Business type :
History, Educational

Location : 
Clementi mall 

Market : 

Business Mission Statement 

Business : 
- History and Geography
- Cafe
- Library
- The place to relax and learn
- Quiet learning environment for studying

Company's ideal image from a customer's point of view :
- Place to hang out when studying.
- Humanities reading materials
- History and Geography

From the Management and employee's point of view
- A high class place to work in.
- Easy and fun to work in
- Friendly employers and staff

Thursday, 24 January 2013

slogans, tagline, product

company : shoes4u
product : shoes
slogan : walk a mile in our shoes
tagline : one pair for life

Company Name, Tagline, Products

Beatrys (1)

Company Name: Jet lag
Products: Keychains, Earrings, Necklaces and Hairbands.
Tagline: Around you anywhere, anytime.


Qadirah (3)

Company Name: Trendify
Products: Clothes, shoes, accessories
Tagline: Trends that will never end.

Slogan, Tagline and Products

Company: Tiles®
Slogan: Tiles made just for you
Products: Tiles for home use.
Tagline: New everlasting tiles of quality

Slogan, products and tagline

If I could be an entrepreneur, I would like to be in the gaming industry.

Name of company: MindGear

Product: A device that enables its user to play MMORPG games in a virtual reality. Virtual Reality Massively Multi-player Online Role-playing Games (VRMMORPG) are also made and sold by us.

Tagline: Gaming Revolutionized

Slogan, Tagline, Products

Company name : Sweet Java
Slogan : The only thing worth waking for
Tagline  : We create the coffee, others sell
Product : Coffee

Slogan,Tagline, Products

Company name: Gamerz4eva
Slogan: Taking gaming to a whole new level
Products: Games and consoles
Tagline: Prepped for long lasting fun and entertainment

Slogan, Tagline and Products

Company Name: Woo Hoo
Slogan: bo0 ya 
Products: shirts
Tagline: The one and only shirt you will need

Slogan, Tagline and Products

Company Name:Fruits Kingdom
Slogan:Quality fruits,we have!
Products:Common types of fruits
Tagline:Eating fruits have never felt the same.

Slogan, Tagline and Products

Company Name : Scribble
Products: iOS Apps
Tagline: Your Apps Scribbled!

Slogan, Tagline and Products

My company name: Bakers'Inn Slogan: Best Baked Treats Products:Buns, Cakes, Cupcakes, Brownies, Donuts Tagline: All Baked Treats Here

Slogan, products, tagline

Company Name : Treats & Beans
Slogan: Always providing the best quality
Products: Different types of coffees, sweets, candies
Tagline: Bean Me Up!

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Slogan, products & tagline

Company name: Kuat Drive Yards
Slogan: Ships prepped' for combat!
Products: Capital Ships
Tagline: Who called in the fleet?

Tuesday, 22 January 2013


My business: Static Studios
Slogan: Attracting fun, repelling boredom. 
Products : Games (computer and console)
Tagline : Statically epic

Slogan, products and tagline

Name of company:The Baked Bacon™ Company slogan:Because bacon is always the answer. Products:Burgers Tagline:The answer to all your hunger pangs.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

I&E Week 2 Assignment

I&E Week 2 Assignment

n  If you want to be an entrepreneur in the future, what kind of business / industry would you want to be in?
n  Create a name and tagline for your company. (Try
n  Post should include i) your names, ii) the company name, iii) the product and iv) tagline.
n  Due Date: day before next lesson.

Note:  Please label your post as "Tagline"

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Slogan, products and tagline

name of company: Beginnings
slogan of company: it starts with you
products i would sell: eco friendly products ( such as lights)
tagline: lighting up your days

Slogan, Products and Tagline

If I had my own company this is what it would be like

Name of Company- UP
Slogan of Company- Think out of the box
Products I would sell- Computers and Accessories
Tagline- 'Performance and Design, the all new (computer name)'

Friday, 18 January 2013

Slogan, Products and Tagline

1) If you could build your own company, what would be its name?
- "Ago"

2) What would be your company slogan?
- My company slogan would be "Relive the past"

3) What would be the products you sell?
- I would sell books , documentary videos and e-books related to history.

4) What would be the tagline of the products?
- The tagline would be "Alive to you"

Slogan, Products and Tagline

If you could build your own company, what would be its name?
Its Name would be called : W.O.W
World of Weirdness

What would be your company slogan?
Where weird things happen

What would be the products you sell?
I would sell things like props for magicians and jokers/people who prank

What would be the tagline of the products?
Whats life without FUN

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Branding (McDonalds)

When I think of McDonalds I think of their fillet-o-fish and twister fries but at the same time I have to keep reminding myself that it's very oily and fried.

Branding (Puma)

Whenever I think of the logo of Puma, I will always think of a fierce puma running around and comfortable footwear.

Branding (converse)

When i think of converse i think of comfortable , fashionable canvas casual shoes

branding (KFC)

when i think of KFC i think of their fried chicken, but at the same time they are junk food and oily

Branding (logitech)

When I think of logitech, I will think of mices, webcams and headsets. They also provide very good gaming mouse and headsets. Their keyboard is very good.

Branding (Amazon)

When I think of Amazon, I think of the Kindle e-book reader and the Kindle Fire tablet computer and them as a major provider of cloud computing services.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Branding (Levi's)

Whenever I see Levis Jeans or the logo of Levis, I always think of the durability, comfort and the trust that I have in the jeans and the company due to its comfort and durability.


When I thing of the LEGO brand, i think of all the countless creations that I could create and the cool designs for what they have. I also think of how creative the designers are to be able to make up the design comprising hundreds of parts from scratch.

Branding (McDonald's)

When i see the logo of McDonald's, I think of french fries, burgers, chicken nuggets and I also I think of junk food.

Branding (Adidas)

When I see the Adidas logo,I would think of their comfortable running sports shoes and athletes and football clubs that are sponsored by Adidas.

Branding (Converse)

When I see Converse, I think of shoes (sneakers, high-cut sneakers), bags, accessories (shoelaces, pencil cases), clothes (hoodies, T-shirts), comfort, design and style.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Branding (Apple)

When I see the Apple logo, Macbooks, iMacs, iPhones, iPods and iPads come to my mind.

Brand of interest: Ikea

When I see IKEA, I think of cheap, cool, long lasting furniture that you can build yourself. And I also think of Hotdogs :)

Branding (Wargaming)

When I see the Wargaming logo, I think of their awesome MMO games and people playing it very competitively.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Branding (Canon)

When I see the Canon logo , it reminds me of cameras , photography , smiling people and Media club .

Branding (LEGO)

Whenever I see a Lego sign, or simply the word "Lego", I imagine children in their own paradise and letting their imaginations go wild.

Branding (Nike)

When I see the nike tick sign. i think of their slogan "Just Do It", Good quality sports shoes and shoes that look very cool and professional.

Branding (Nike)

The things that comes to my mind when i see the brand Nike is the their Slogan "Just Do It", the durable sport shoes, sportswear and the necessities of the different sports

My brand of interest

VALVe is a company that creates games. So when the name VALVe appears, I imagine the fact that the company is bursting with ideas.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Good Article on Branding

Hi Everyone,

For your reading pleasure =)

Secrets of the 10 Most-Trusted Brands

submit to reddit
Branding's Big GunsThere's no better way to dissect the how-tos of branding than to dig deep into the companies everybody knows and trusts. To accomplish this,Entrepreneur teamed with The Values Institute at DGWB, a Santa Ana, Calif.-based think tank that focuses on brand relationships, on a consumer survey that explored the reasons some brands manage to stay on top.
What became clear: Though they may not have the biggest sales or market share in their categories, today's most trustworthy brands have created relationships with consumers through experiences that trigger a visceral response.
"We're seeing more of an emphasis on brands building emotional relationships with consumers because it's powerful and it works," says branding consultant Jim Stengel, former global marketing officer of Procter & Gamble and author of Grow: How Ideals Power Growth and Profit at the World's Greatest Companies. "When you do it, you have a much stronger affinity, a much stronger business, much stronger growth and much stronger results.
"When we looked at brands [at P&G] that had a very, very strong emotional benefit vs. our competition," Stengel adds, "our shares were much, much higher. And the margin of growth vs. our competitor was much higher than those that had just a functional superiority."
Here, a look at the tactics used by America's most trustworthy brands to connect with consumers--and ways you can put them to work for your business.
Photo courtesy of Amazon

1. Get personal: Amazon

The online retailer of, well, just about everything, ran away with the list, posting the highest scores not just in overall brand trust but in every individual trust value.
That's no surprise to Brad VanAuken, chief brand strategist for The Blake Project consultancy. He says Amazon's exceptional product accessibility, functionality and customer experience all converge to create a strong brand that consumers trust.
"With millions of products, 24/7 access, superior search and browse technology, user reviews and many other sources of in-depth product information, offers a superior purchase experience," VanAuken says.
He adds that the brand--with its low prices and free shipping on orders over a minimum total--is seen as offering value, while its one-click ordering and quick-shipping options help shoppers save time. Consumers also rely on Amazon to have all the products they're looking for, thanks to partnerships with other selling channels such as Partner Count merchandise.
While such a vast array of offerings could be perceived as impersonal, VanAuken says Amazon does an exemplary job of fostering relationships with consumers by helping them make decisions through recommendations of items based on past purchases, user reviews and ratings and suggested complementary purchases. Consumers also have many options for forging a personal bond with the brand, including user profiles, reviews and ratings, wish lists and Listmania lists for recommending favorite products.
"[Coca-Cola has] a deep and healthy respect for their past and for the people who have gone before them. They never forget why they started and where they came from, which means a lot to consumers." --Jim Stengel, branding consultant
Photo courtesy of Coca-Cola

2. Sell happiness: Coca-Cola

Ice-cold Sunshine. The Pause That Refreshes. Life Tastes Good. Since its inception, the promise of the world's largest beverage-maker has been to delight consumers. "Everything they do is inspired by this idea of, How do we promote, develop and create happiness?" author Stengel says. Coca-Cola pushes this message across all points of customer contact, from Facebook to its custom vending machines, which allow consumers to concoct their favorite combinations of flavors. "They take the ideas of spontaneity and delight and infuse [them] into everything," Stengel says.
Putting aside the '80s branding debacle that was New Coke, Stengel adds that the company backs up its focus on happiness with a consistently strong corporate identity based on longevity and heritage. "They have a deep and healthy respect for their past and for the people who have gone before them," he says. "They never forget why they started and where they came from, which means a lot to consumers."
That trust is evident among respondents to our survey, who did not give Coca-Cola a single negative remark.
Photo courtesy of FedEx

3. Live up to your promise: FedEx

With a straightforward passion for the task at hand, FedEx has created a strong corporate identity. Not surprisingly, the company received its strongest ratings in ability, specifically for being able to achieve what it promises and for the efficiency of its operations.
In addition to providing what is seen as a reliable service, the brand has engendered trust through initiatives such as its "We Understand" campaign, says Kari Blanchard, senior director of strategy in the New York office of FutureBrand. "They've elevated the brand by recognizing that it's not just about the logistics of moving packages and boxes," Blanchard says. "They appreciate that it's people's treasures, livelihoods and futures, and that the contents of those packages mean a lot to people."
To further deliver that message, FedEx engages with consumers through its personalized rewards program and by interacting on social media channels. "When you've already nailed attributes like trustworthiness and reliability--things that are essential to the business but don't exactly make you fall in love with a brand--that's where thinking of your customer as a person and not just a number becomes crucial," Blanchard says.
Apple uses its retail outlets to show, not tell, consumers its brand philosophy.
Photo courtesy of Apple

4. Keep it cool (and fun): Apple

What other company has the public and the press waiting breathlessly for each new product release? The bottom line is whatever that new Apple product is, consumers trust that it will be smart and sleek and that it will improve the way they communicate, work or spend their leisure time. What's more, they'll enjoy the experience of making the purchase.
While Apple has always been about creativity and expression, the brand has kicked up the emotional quotient by creating retail stores that foster a sense of collaboration and transparency between customers and sales staff. "They hire empathetic people, and they don't measure their sales associates on sales," Stengel says. He calls Apple's approach to its stores "the best retail endeavor in history. They really want people to come in and be inspired, build confidence and really feel better about themselves from the experience they had in the store."
Apple uses its retail outlets to show, not tell, consumers its brand philosophy, from the large tables, open spaces and walls of windows to its well-trained associates (Apple's biggest brand advocates), who are armed with handheld checkout scanners that enable shoppers to make purchases without having to stand in line.
Some sour bits: The brand got lower than average scores for a sense of connection to Apple's corporate side, as well as for the perception that the company doesn't value customers' business or reward them for their loyalty. Those sentiments may simply be the result of Apple focusing on its core functions.
"Steve Jobs just thought about what was right for the brand and the consumer," Stengel says. "That focus is part of the reason they've done such a good job of creating new categories and products that continue to distance themselves from their competitors."
Photo courtesy of Stephen Allen

5. Design an experience: Target

It's easy to forget that Target is a discount store. With its sleek, stylish ad campaigns and collaborations with high-end designers who create limited-edition merchandise that sends fashionistas into a frenzy, Target's public face often belies its mass-merchant status.
Further distinguishing it from its superstore brethren, Target consistently delivers an exceptional retail experience--from store design to merchandise selection to price and customer service.
"Target makes a real effort to provide an enjoyable shopper experience, but you still get quality merchandise at a good price," says branding consultant Rob Frankel. "As part of their brand persona, they make an effort to be warm and human, and that resonates with people and drives them to embrace it."
Thanks to easy-to-maneuver layouts and a consistent design, Target's retail outlets are easy and intuitive places to shop, giving customers confidence they will be able to find what they want, even on a vast selling floor. "It's not only more pleasant than their competitors; people actually enjoy being there," Frankel says.
Target customers also appreciate the brand's ability to design attractive yet affordable merchandise--most notably, an ever-changing array of trendy clothing and home accessories. "Target says [it's] going to give you a decent alternative that can hold up against more expensive fashion brands," Frankel says.
Customer service is friendly and consistent, as several survey respondents noted, from the way "cashiers look for people in line and direct them to a less crowded line," to the perceptions that "they always have enough employees in the store at one time" and that "their customers are considered guests."
Frankel says businesses should recognize that providing a warm, human experience will foster the kind of trust that lets them command higher margins, drive traffic and enjoy better brand perception than their competitors. "No matter what you sell, if you don't give people a reason to go, they're not going to figure it out by themselves, because price alone just doesn't do it," he says.
"Once you have developed a unique and compelling value proposition for your brand, repeat it again and again."
--Brad VanAuken, The Blake Project
Photo courtesy of Ford

6. Stay consistent: Ford

In an era when the only thing that seems certain is change, Ford's consistent branding has established the company as a beacon of reliability.
The Blake Project's VanAuken points out that from its simple, one-syllable name to its iconic logo and emphasis on founding father Henry Ford, the company's brand identity stands the test of time.
"Everyone knows and admires the Ford story," he says. "Of the three Detroit-based automakers, Ford has the most consistent brand, product strategy and execution."
Ford also listens to and acts on its customers' needs, VanAuken adds, noting that CEO Alan Mulally is actively involved in interacting with customers through social media.
Those attributes forge a strong connection: The brand ranked high for stability and dependability, and respondents gave it the strongest average ratings for concern, specifically for behaving responsibly and caring about the well-being of employees and customers. Several respondents cited Ford's refusal to take government bailout money as evidence of the company's integrity.
VanAuken emphasizes that consistency needs to reach all corners of any business. "Changing the logo, tag line and messaging on a frequent basis will ensure that nothing about your brand sticks in your intended customers' heads," he says. "Once you have developed a unique and compelling value proposition for your brand, repeat it again and again."
Photo courtesy of Nike

7. Can-do attitude: Nike

On its website, Nike declares its mission to "bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world," adding, "If you have a body, you are an athlete."
It's that aspirational message and mainstream appeal that connects the athletic apparel company to consumers worldwide, according to branding consultant Kevin Lane Keller, professor of marketing at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. "Nike's always been extremely customer-focused, with a broad access point that makes the brand relevant to elite athletes as well as the everyday person," Keller says. "It's about self-empowerment and being your best, and the brand really does invite everyone to 'Just Do It.'"
Nike's constant product development, including introducing technologies such as Nike Air cushioning and Dri-Fit fabrics, is one of its biggest strengths, according to Keller, who says that consumers tend to equate innovation with expertise.
"When you're innovative, consumers are more trusting, because they think you really know what you're doing," he says. "Nike's first product was just the first step on this journey that's allowed them to completely transcend their roots as a quality running shoe to be everything athletic, all over the world, in all kinds of sports."
Keller says Nike gains trust points because celebrated co-founder Phil Knight is still involved with operations, a fact noted by one survey respondent who claimed to be "confident that [Knight's] company would always behave responsibly."
Notes Keller, "When the founder is still there, people respect the brand in a way that doesn't happen when the reins have been handed down over and over. Having his voice and persona still associated with the company keeps it closely connected to the consumer."
Creating connections through coffee: A Washington, D.C., Starbucks.
Creating connections through coffee: A Washington, D.C., Starbucks.
Photo courtesy of Starbucks/Andrew Gammarco

8. Forge connections: Starbucks

After suffering a slump a few years back, the world's leading specialty coffee retailer has perked up its business and its brand by getting back to its original promise of bringing people together. "Starbucks has gotten much more in touch with the reason they're here, and that's to help create connections," author Stengel says.
From the free Wi-Fi to the in-store music to the large tables with room for groups and meetings, the company's stores are designed to help customers interact. "Go into any Starbucks, and business is happening and people are sharing, and the company understands that," Stengel says. "Everything in there is about connection, discovery, inspiration and creation."
Startups would do well to note the company's innovative approach, which has enabled it to set the agenda in a category that has been around for centuries. "They carved out this dynamic niche with their brand and became very successful, and there's still nobody else like them," Stengel says.
The key, he says, is to thoroughly understand category norms and competitors' strategies, and determine how to direct those toward your advantage. "If you're an entrepreneur entering a category, maybe you can't set the agenda, but if you can redirect that agenda, that's how you win," he says. "If you're going to enter a category and be a 'me too,' don't bother."
Southwest Airlines
Although its operations and corporate culture are idiosyncratic, those differences support Southwest's central function.
Photo courtesy of Southwest Airlines

9. Serve up the quirky: Southwest Airlines

This low-cost carrier has consistently set its own route in the airline industry, creating a distinct personality through everything from open passenger seating to flight attendants who sing the safety demonstrations.
"Southwest has always been a very independent brand that's quick to break the norms of the airline industry," says Tim Calkins, clinical professor of marketing at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management. "From the seating assignments to the fact that it doesn't list in many of the big online reservation systems, it has always prided itself on being very different."
Calkins says much of Southwest's brand success comes from the fact that although its operations and corporate culture are idiosyncratic, those differences support the company's central function.
"Southwest has a fun, energetic corporate culture that's unique in the airline industry, but at the core they are a very proficient operation that gets travelers from point to point in an efficient, affordable manner," he says.
While the airline received low ratings for not sharing information on decision-making, those protective measures may be among the reasons it continues to thrive. Several of the big carriers have tried to follow Southwest's model with low-cost subsidiaries (think Delta's Song and United's Ted), but none have been able to maintain them.
"You can see what [Southwest] does--they fly one kind of airplane, they don't charge for baggage and they have friendly employees--so you'd think someone could replicate that, but they can't," Calkins says. "The magic of Southwest is that even though the brand has many unique elements, all of the different pieces work together to serve its customers in a unique way."
Photo courtesy of Nordstrom

10. Focus on the customer: Nordstrom

When mythic stories circulate about your company's awesome customer service, you know you're doing something right. That's the hallmark of this upscale department store, which is rumored to have once graciously accepted the return of a set of tires, even though the store has never sold tires.
"Nordstrom is all about the power of delivering exceptional customer service that goes above and beyond a typical service experience," Northwestern's Calkins says.
Nordstrom scored strongly among respondents for concern for the customer, as well as for the quality of the products in its nearly 230 stores. Attentive service--which includes a liberal return policy, e-mailing digital photos of new items to regular customers and sending thank-you notes after purchases--frees the Seattle-based retailer from having to focus on competitive pricing, which helps keeps profit margins higher.
"They don't pretend to have the lowest prices, but they don't have to," Calkins says. "When people go there they know they may pay a little more, but the service is so good that it makes it worthwhile."
Respondents criticized Nordstrom for not providing consumers with much information about its corporate decision-making policies, but Calkins contends that when building a brand identity, it's OK for your proposition to focus on one principal element, as long as you do it right.
"What makes this brand tick is the service experience, not the approach," he says. "Nordstrom has never focused on its company or its people; all of that positive energy is directed at the customer and the retail experience, and it's the secret to their success."
Cincinnati-based Paula Andruss has written for USA TodayWoman's Day and numerous marketing publications.
About the survey:The Values Institute, which conducted the study, identified five values that influence trust in a brand: ability (company performance); concern (care for consumers, employees and community); connection (sharing consumers' values); consistency (dependability of products/services); and sincerity (openness and honesty).
A total of 1,220 U.S. consumers were asked to rate each trust value on a five-point scale, from "very unimportant" to "very important." Additionally, five consumer perceptions were measured for each value; these included statements such as "They respond to feedback about their products and services," and "They value my business and reward me for the loyalty." Each respondent rated two randomly selected brands; those who felt strongly were also asked to provide individual comments. The result is the "Trust Index," a composite score that indicates the level of trust respondents had with each individual brand in relation to the other studied brands.
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