WOW Branding

Opinionated Blog


We'd love to tell you that branding is all about pretty design but we'd be lying. It takes balls to define your leadership, clarity and focus, and you'll need even bigger balls to execute on it. The branding process can reveal a bunch of ugliness as well as brilliance. Yes, branding hurts. Are you brave enough?  Get a regular shot of qualified comments, opinions, recommendations, tools, and ideas regarding branding and leadership. To inspire and provide food for thought.  Welcome to our blog!


How Architects can use social media to manage and build their brand online

By:  Dann Ilicic

Taking the fear out of using social media in 4 easy steps


Using social media for your firm does not have to be scary - even if you’re over 40. And yes, there are some very practical ways to engage with the social network without ever having to give a status update or sharing what you had for breakfast. If that’s your impression of the social network, then pay close attention. I think you’ll be surprised at what is possible.


There are 4 stages of online brand management using social media that firms can choose to employ. Each successive stage requires a higher level of commitment and with each level comes greater rewards. We will be hosting a free webinar on this topic with more details and Q&A on March 3rd at 11am but for now, here is a brief overview of the 4 stages.


STAGE 1 - JUST LISTENING

At the very least, you should be aware of what is being said about your firm, your projects, your clients, your industry, your staff and even what your competitors are saying/doing. By setting up a Smart Listening Center for your firm, you’ll essentially have your own private news channel that monitors and alerts you to what’s most relevant.


STAGE 2 - SIMPLY REPUBLISH

With all that great information coming in to your Smart Listening Center, it would be a shame to keep it all bottled up. The easiest way to start building your online presence is to participate and the easiest way to participate is to repost or republish the content from your Smart Listening Center on your social channels - primarily Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus.


STAGE 3 - ADD YOUR VOICE

Once you’ve got the hang of republishing, you can take it up a notch by adding your own comments to what you’ve republished. Be bold. Have a point of view. Make a recommendation. Add comments to other people’s blogs, answer people’s questions and join conversations. Its a great way to build your credibility, authority and trust. Your opinion matters. Speak.


STAGE 4 - CREATE CONTENT - BE AN EXPERT By writing original content and publishing it on your blog, newsletter, industry publications and social network, not only are you constantly building your credibility, authority and trust, you are also dramatically improving the  search engine optimization (SEO) for your firm’s website. Encourage others to share your prose, images and knowledge. The leverage is amazing.



If you’re interested in learning more about these 4 stages and the online tools that are available to make it all easy and affordable, register for our FREE webinar on March 3rd - 11am PST or call us. We’re happy to help. Read Full Article >>

Why most AEC websites suffer from stale content, lack of differentiation and fail to perform the most basic business development function.

By:  Dann Ilicic

After looking at 100’s (maybe 1000’s) of websites in the AEC space, the vast majority of them start to blend together in an undifferentiated pool of sameness. It’s not so much a design problem as it is a strategy problem. If it is not clear what makes your firm different and better and why a potential new client, employee or partner should choose you, then a fancy web design is not going to solve your problem - you need a proper strategy.

The key thing to remember is that your site is NOT built for you - it is built for your ideal visitors.

Ask yourself these 8 basic strategic questions about your site: Read Full Article >>

The 3 basics of brave brands

By:  Andrea Shillington

Ethical Bean - Bold BrandingWhether you’re an entrepreneur working on your next big idea or the leader of a well established company, in today’s world of choice, I’m sure, at some point you’ve contemplated how to stand out. Now, we are not just talking about how to be better at this, or best at that; we are talking about boldly going where no brand, in your industry, has gone before.

We boil it down to three simple basics:
1. Start with a genuine purpose (other than to just make money).
2. Get specific about who will buy (even more specific than that).
3. Be truthful, courageous and consistent when you go to market- loose the hyperbole and marketing speak. Read Full Article >>

Delivery is more important than branding - it IS your brand!

By:  Dann Ilicic

I just had one of those great customer experiences that are worthy of a blog post. The interesting part is that I actually never spoke to a live person at any point and I am still blown away.

I bought a pair of soccer cleats for my ever growing 10yr old son from SoccerPro, an online retailer based in Missouri. The prices were fair and the site was easy to use but that's not what compelled me to write this. This company is full of personality and it is clear to me that they have made a decision to make every possible interaction surprisingly great.

I'm always grateful to get acknowledgement that my order was received and shipped, but check out this order confirmation excerpt: Read Full Article >>