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Company Brand: Do you have One?

Organics Admin
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Organics Admin

COO at Aladay LLC
Organic Farmer, Property Preservation Specialist and Custom Glass & Wood Worker. Blogger extraordinaire...
Organics Admin
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Latest posts by Organics Admin (see all)

Logo for Aladay LLC and Aladay Organic farms

 

 

Let’s talk about your company’s brand. Do you have a brand? Yes you do, whether you know it or not, your company does have a brand. Your company’s brand is basically what your company is about.

Do you know what the term “brand” means? Well then perhaps the first thing we need to understand is what everyone refers to in business as a “brand”.

 

 

Brand is the “name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s product distinct from those of other sellers”[1] Initially, Branding was adopted to differentiate one person’s cattle from another’s by means of a distinctive symbol burned into the animal’s skin with a hot iron stamp, and was subsequently used in businessmarketing and advertising. A modern example of a brand is Coca Cola which belongs to the Coca-Cola Company.

So now how do you create a brand for your company?  When branding your company you market your company’s reputation. Do you provide the best kettle corn in the western hemisphere? Provide the highest quality cleaning service in the janitorial industry? Do you have the best BBQ sauce in the west? Or perhaps your company makes the richest fudge in the universe. All of these business qualities make your brand, they help establish your reputation.

Along with your company brand there comes name recognition. We all know that “Things go better with Coke” or “You deserve a break today”  or “Just Do It” were catch phrases to get your attention to buy a product. These phrases just didn’t jump into the TV sets across America. Corporate advertising agencies had crews sitting around board rooms brainstorming ideas.

Brainstorming is a technique that stretches across many forms of business. Architects and Engineers do this when they collaborate on projects. Auto manufactures do this when working on car designs. To keep your brand fresh and your business moving in a positive direction it is always good to brainstorm ideas. Our company does this at least once a year. While in the corporate world this is done in board rooms, you can brainstorm your business in more relaxed atmospheres than a stuffy ‘ole office. We have had consultations at coffee clubs, at lunches in the park, sometimes the most productive business ideas come from the most unlikely meetings. So what exactly is “brainstorming?

Brainstorming  is a group or individual creativity technique by which efforts are made to find a conclusion for a specific problem by gathering a list of ideas 

This can be you and your business partner or you and your close friends or family members. Brainstorming can be fun, a simple exercise in brainstorming…sit three of your friends at the same table and ask them all to give you ideas as you want to make a new product/offer a new service…go around the table two, three times if you want. As each person offers an idea write it down.

OK now that we’ve gone around the table three times, you now have a list of 12 ideas. Are they all going to be practical? Probably not, now you start to eliminate the ridiculous, too risky, unrealistic, and economically unfeasible and continue to narrow your options until you have one or two reasonable ideas to work with. Now apply this technique to developing your company’s brand.

Remember this is what your company is publicly, do not brand yourself as an advocate and not advocate, if you brand yourself as an educator, offer education in your industry. If you wish to provide the best service then provide service that is difficult to improve on and service that will make your customers and clients return to receive your service with a smile on their face.

Keeping in mind your company’s brand becomes what your company is about, your company’s “style” if you will. People need to relate value with your company’s brand. So you will need to stay abreast of your competition and updates in the industry you’re involved in. Always continue learning, no industry stays the same. Industries are always changing thus the need for education. Stay fresh; this will help your company move above the break even line into the profitable area.

If you would like tips on brainstorming can help your company or more information how to brand your company contact us via our consultation email address at consultationservice@aladayllc.com

 

Until Next Time

Happy Gardening

Mandated Requirements in the PPI: The Little Man’s Thoughts….

Organics Admin
Follow Me!!

Organics Admin

COO at Aladay LLC
Organic Farmer, Property Preservation Specialist and Custom Glass & Wood Worker. Blogger extraordinaire...
Organics Admin
Follow Me!!

Latest posts by Organics Admin (see all)

led-zeppelin-ivAs the smell of freshly ground Sumatra Mandling permeated and the morning fog in my head I listened as the morning breeze gently rustled the leaves of the Aspens in Laci’s Rose garden bringing the oh so slight teasing promise of a break in the heat we’ve been experiencing, I couldn’t  help wonder what new adventure this crazy Property Preservation Industry I work in will bring in the upcoming months.

After all since the first of the year our beloved Property Preservation industry has had so many insane “new” mandated requirements from being ordered to place tracking software on personal cell phones to being told should one decide to send a text message about a job to an employee they may face possible prosecution for revealing “trade secrets” in over the top egregious contract clauses. In addition there has been a company issue fraud policy that actually reads as if making the agreement with the policy said company had  unprecedented police powers over ones business and personal life. Now call me a conspiracy theorist but to me at least, in my interpretation of all this…well the phrase “Image Repair” comes to mind. I say that because everything that has been done, every new “mandatory requirement” has been issued to correct a fault or over site by some desk jockey in the PPI.  Sorry, but don’t you think that is just a little over the top for any of the company’s  in the PPI to mandate any Independent Contractor do all in the name of attempting “Image Repair”.  In addition to all the “harmless new mandated requirements” that demonstrate “direction and control” that the Independent Contractors have just accepted as part of the business because they are so afraid of waking up and having to find a new line of work if they say no, we have had a barrage of media press that many feel has bashed the Contractors and given ALL of them a “bad name” and shown them in a bad light.

So While I was enjoy the acidic sweet smell of my morning coffee filling my nostrils and jarring the brainwaves into motion the Little Man running around the canyons of my mind started screaming  questions, these questions started echoing through the canyons of my mind. How come no one has spoken for the Contractors? How come the Contractors are not screaming? Where are these organizations that claim to represent everyone in the Property Preservation Industry? Why haven’t these organizations put a stop to some of this madness??  The Little Man continued, wouldn’t that be advocating for the Contractors that are the backbone of the Property Preservation Industry?

Could it be that the organizations that claim to be part of the solution are actually part of the problem? I don’t know. Is it possible that said organizations have helped create some of the policies that have recently been mandated? I don’t know. So many questions ….so many questions.

What has puzzled me the most is that when opportunities for the Independent Contractors to make a stand come, very few are willing to join forces, if you will, and make a statement by representing themselves. A recent article in the Huffington Post (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/29/safeguard-properties-complaints_n_3165191.html) is a prime example of what I’m talking about. Here the vendors that have organized on sites like LinkedIn (National Property Preservation Consortium Group, 225 members), Facebook, (Property Preservation Company’s Information Exchange,  500+members), Preservation Talk.com with 1,552 members. Over two thousand members and how many of them commented on behalf of the Contractors or even represented their company in the comment section after this article that so many claimed “It makes us look bad”… You can count the number on one hand.

I find that rather disturbing that so many Contractors would be silent on the issue of being a respectable Contractor providing quality service in the PPI. Not only have many Contractors in the industry expressed to me how they feel this article has shined a very negative light on all of the Contractors of the industry, but so did the folks commenting in the comments section on the article. Let them tell it Property Preservation Contractors are all a bunch of scoundrels that should be run out of town and tarred and feathered!!! One would think with the obnoxious amount of complaining that runs through the a fore mentioned sites on a daily bases that the Contractors would be screaming ENOUGH!!!!!!!!!!!!! STOP ALREADY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!… But we don’t even hear a whisper from them? Why? What has them so terrified to come together? Why are they afraid to show the other side a united front can be made by them? A united front in order to improve the conditions of the Property Preservation Industry?

When this thought came screaming through those same canyons of my mind the Little Man running around up there froze….then he asked me…Do you think that these Contractors are aware that there was a time when there was a mass of overworked underpaid, physically and mentally abused, often beaten into submission, threatened at gunpoint, with some even losing their lives (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homestead_Strike), Behind the actions of Carnegie? Do you think the Contractors know this, the Little Man asked? Do you think they even understand that by not saying anything on their behalf they are in fact endorsing everything done and said?

The Little Man shaking his head started to walk away and suddenly stopped and asked… Do you think the Contractors understand the impact that John D. Rockefeller (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_Oil) had on reinforcing the Sherman Antitrust Act

Do you think the Contractors understand that those before them, just like those that have died in wars,  have fought for principle that will be all for naught should they continue on this road of silence? Is it possible the silence is because many Contractors don’t feel that the job market will sustain them if they say no and get out? Or perhaps so many of the Contractors feel helpless that no organization claiming to represent them has taken a position against any of the issues in the industry that have systematically stripped the spirit of the Independent Contractors rules and made them feel like they are employees. The Little Man seemed confused and spinning in circles while rambling a loud, trying to calm him I responded softly, I have no answer for that question either I told him

What I do know, until the Contractors start talking to each other, start formulating some sort of organized front that these issues will continue to get worse. As I look at some of the new “pricing” that Contractors are told they HAVE to accept, as a consultant I naturally start categorizing and break services down I find that the Contractors are not even working for the Federal Minimum Wage.  Which wold lead one to believe that there are serious violations going on somewhere of the Davis Bacon Act or even the Service Contract Act.

Now the Little Man dumbfounded was seriously shaking his head….so many questions he mumbled….

As Little Man started to skip off into the recesses of my mind he suddenly paused for a second before he disappeared over his shoulder he said…

Perhaps, you should ask them….

 

Until Next Time..

Have a Good day and Let’s be safe out there…

 

Image courtesy Led Zepplin’s fourth album cover