Thursday, 18 December 2014

Ebineezer Says Businesses Should Celebrate the Spirit of Christmas All Year Round

Ebeneezer celebrates Christmas all year round 
Written by Robyn T. Braley

The saying never gets old. Christmas is a time for giving. It’s a time for recognizing the needs of others and responding in meaningful ways.

I am truly blest to do business in Canada. I work with clients who have a passion for what they do. Giving back to the community is a key part of their business strategies.
Many do not limit giving to the Christmas season. As Ebineezer Scrooge famously said, “I will honor Christmas in my heart and try to keep it all year round.”

Doing the Right Thing
Canadians have a rich history of giving. Why do they give? For the most part, they give because it is the right thing to do, not because of societal pressure or a sense of guilt. They don’t give because they have to. They give because they can!

Helping others in their time of greatest need is in our DNA. In early days, neighbors living in sod huts helped their neighbors survive in -40° winter storms on the wind swept prairies. People stranded in remote fishing villages in the out ports of Newfoundland survived tough times by helping each other. 

Monday, 8 December 2014

10 Tips For What Not to Do at the Company Party

Throwing up at the feet of the VP will be remembered!

We are heavy into company Christmas party season. For some, whose office party was in early November, these tips may have come too late. But, for others, career saving behavior tips may be found below.

I’m not sure why, but some people save their worst behavior for company celebrations. Their goal may be to be the life of the party, but they end up being butt of everyone’s joke. You don’t want to be the punchline of the holiday season.

The Christmas party is often worse than the company barbecue. The mixture of mistletoe, eggnog, alcohol and good cheer often combine to take people across the line of appropriate behavior into the land of too far gone. And, I mean really far gone as in fired.

Launched into Infamy
Bad behavior will be photographed and uploaded within seconds to Facebook, Pintrest, or YouTube for the world to see. It will stay there forever! You just have to google poor party behavior pictures to see prime examples.

How you behave, and the impression you make, will affect your career prospects. Trust me, throwing up at the feet of the Vice President will be remembered.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Why LinkedIn is a Pillar for B2B Relationship Building; 11 Content Tips

Braley explains why LinkedIn is Important
Written by Robyn T. Braley

LinkedIn has become one of the most powerful social media tools for business to business (B2B) selling. It is ideal for professionals wanting to grow their personal brand and to build meaningful relationships.

A recent conversation with a client pretty much summed up why LinkedIn has soared to the top of marketing must-haves. He observed, “When one of our sales people cold-calls a prospective client or replies to an email inquiry, before the process goes to the next step, the first place both parties go to gather background information is LinkedIn.”

“Relationship-driven marketing is what makes the B2B world go round,” he noted. “Potential customers often check out the LinkedIn profiles of our team before they go to our company website!”

He concluded, “By the time they meet face-to-face, both have learned a lot about each other.” The conversation was in the context of our meeting to start developing consistent and branded LinkedIn profiles for each of his sales and executive teams.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Defining goals? Think as if there is no box! An introduction to Creative Problem Solving.

Shake Loose Great Ideas That Will Change Your Future

Before reading this, you may want to quick scan my other posts in this series.

Think as if There is no Box
So, here we are! The big day has arrived. The team has checked into the hotel and the meeting room is prepared.

You want to find new ways to solve tired old problems! Your greatest hope is to come out of the two day goal setting session with ideas that will change the course of your company. The goal is to shake loose world changing ideas.

I’ve used our method for various business and not-for-profit clients. I have also adapted it for use with focus groups with great success. 

  • Finding golden nuggets
  • Amazing creative solutions
  • Creative linking, transference
  • Ideas become “unstuck”
  • Jolting normal patterns of thinking

What am I talking about? I was introduced to Creative Problem Solving while teaching drama at a high needs Junior High School years ago. If you could cope with the daily challenges, it was a fun place to teach. As one teacher said, “I loved teaching there because the kids had “spunk! You never knew what was going to happen next!”

Thursday, 12 June 2014

10 Reason Why Video Production Makes Sense. Its about the Brand

Robyn Braley in action producing a Unimark Creative Video
Lights, Camera, Action

Written by Robyn T. Braley
News flash! Video is a highly effective way to tell your story because it provides the next best thing to being there. You can look potential customers in the eye and speak directly to them. Robyn draws from his experience producing videos for Unimark Creative clients.

The Big Question; Why
Now that I have stated the obvious, let’s get down to the basics. Why does video make such good sense as a marketing tool?

I'm glad you asked. There are hundreds of great 'how-to' videos and blogs. They teach script writing, performance, and lighting. Some tell how to create effective backdrops. Others provide useful audio and video recording tips. 

Some have great information - but are poorly produced. Admit it. You've seen them! 

However, what few fail to address is 'why' you should go to all of the trouble. And, whether you are producing video's with a high end production company or with your Ipad, a quality product requires careful thought. 

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Make Principles and Values the Foundation of Your Brand. Two Examples Have Stood The Test of Time

William J. McDonald

Refining Principles and Values Into Simple Language

Written by Robyn T. Braley

Ideas to help you move your business to new levels of success.

Have you written a set of principles and values that can be shared with your team? It doesn't have to brain science. In fact, there are powerful examples that have stood the test of time.

So, what exactly are your values and principles? They are guidelines for how to act, to conduct business, to treat customers and live out your mission. They are what drives your business and defines who you are.

Sometimes we over think what should be an easy explanation of why we do what we do. We complicate describing what we want to be known for. There are excellent examples of principles that were written decades ago and have stood the test of time.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Goal Setting; Choosing the RIGHT Location

Right location; more important than you think

Part 4 of 6: Finding A Place Where Anything Can Happen

Written by Robyn T. Braley

Ideas to help you move your business to new levels of success.

In this post I focus on the importance of selecting a location where anything can happen. I include tips for small businesses and Bootstrappers.
Part 1; Why Goal Setting; Part 2; Leaders Role Part 3; Drafting The Winning Team Part 4; A Location Where Anything Can Happen Part 5; Formula for Success Team Part 6; Implementing the Plan  
Where Creativity Begins
I used to be a High School Drama teacher. How my career led from there to full time music to broadcasting to founding Unimark Creative in 1994 is another story.

My University studies were in the British philosophy of developmental drama rather than theater arts. It was an exciting time in Calgary when Kieth Johnstone, the improvisation innovator, developed the Theatre Sports concept. Keith took the concept to the world.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Top Golden Quotes by Canadian Winter Olympic Athletes; Sport, Business and Life

Golden Team Canada Quotes; Sports, Business and Life
Whether it's the summer or winter Olympic games, Canadian athletes provide inspirational moments that last a lifetime.

Written by Robyn T. Braley

The Brandit blog is about branding. Branding is driven by inspiration. There is a reason why elite athletes become inspirational keynote speakers. They’ve made life sacrifices in order to accomplish great things. In this post I include humorous and motivational tweets about Team Canada at the Winter Olympics in 2014. If you tweet, follow me and I promise to reciprocate.

I admit it. I’m hooked. I didn’t plan it that way, it’s just the way things turned out. Now, it’s a dependency. I can’t stop. I’ve become an unrepentant tweeter. During the Olympics I ramped it up a notch.

I’m an early riser and am often into the office by 5:30. I have a small flat screen TV to track news when we have media events happening. The opportunity was there for me to to tweet moments of brilliance and astute observations throughout the Olympics. Well, brilliant in my mind.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Part 3 of 6: Goals Setting; Best Tips for Drafting A Winning Team

Chose The Right People for Goal Setting Success

Goal Setting Ideas to help you move your business to new levels of success.

Written by Robyn T. Braley

Part 1; Why Goal Setting; Part 2; Leaders Role Part 3; Drafting The Winning Team Part 4; A Location Where Anything Can Happen Part 5; Formula for Success Team Part 6; Implementing the Plan
Goal setting directly impacts branding, brand building and brand loyalty. A strong team will bring focus and creative synergy to the process.

It’s All About Team
When I organize goal setting sessions, I try to bring together a cross section of ages, genders, opinions and experiences. Ideally people who have good ideas, can communicate them well, and are comfortable participating in positive free flow discussions will be in the majority.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Trade Show Selling; 10 Practical Tips for Achieving Your Goals

Trade Show Selling Strategies

Tips for Success! 

Make the Main Thing the Main Thing

Written by Robyn T. Braley

The energy, passion and excitement of  a great trade show make the medium a unique selling experience. They can be hot, cold, humid, dry and everything in between. 

Some are loud while others are quiet. They can be a frenzy of selling and networking or … the alternative! Just the thought of empty aisles sends shivers of dread running up and down the spines of trade show veterans.
Trade show selling can be fun. Exhausting, but fun! My clients have exhibited in Louisville, Moscow, Las Vegas, Chicago, Calgary, Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, and points in between. Whether the show is large or small, the basic sales strategies are the same.

Goal Setting
Success begins by setting realistic goals. We say ‘realistic’ because every show is different and requires a thorough assessment. Goals may include;
  1. Communicating brand relevance and meaning 
  2. Positioning your company with the competition
  3. Shaping market attitudes and opinions about your brand
  4. Scouting the competition
  5. Profiling or demonstrating a product or service

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

What Role do Leaders Play in Company Goal Setting?

Checking Out Leader's Roles 

Goal setting will play a key role in growing a business. 

Written by Robyn T. Braley

Part 1; Why Goal Setting, Part 2; The Leaders Role in Goal Setting, Choosing the Team Part 3; The Right Location for Goal Setting Part 4; Formula for Goal Setting Productivity Part 5; Action Plan 

Achieving Your Goals

In this post I focus on the role of leadership in building your brand through Goal Setting. When the economy is topsy turvey setting goals as a team will help bring focus and resolve. Identifying goals and implementing a plan to achieve them will equip your small business to hold steady in turbulent times.

Leaders Have to Be There
Believe it or not, I have known owners who chose not to participate in their own goal setting process. They said, “Let me know when you have something to show me.” 

By not participating, they removed themselves from the context in which the content - or goals – was created. Not participating set their company and them up, as the leader, for failure.  

Friday, 7 February 2014

It's All About The Story; How Media Convergence Can Do Good Works

Traditional and New Media Convergence
Graph created by Unimark Creative 

It’s All About The Story

Written by Robyn T. Braley

Clients periodically ask how new media and traditional media can work together. I wrote this article about two successful Rotary media events that I managed which demonstrate the principle. It was published in the February edition of the Rotary District 5360 newsletter.   

A few days before the Super Bowl some of the scheduled TV commercials showed up on YouTube. During the television broadcast, advertisers paid $3.5 million to access the record setting audience of more than 111 million viewers. Two hours after the game I received a link through LinkedIn taking me to the entire collection. 

We are officially into the age of media convergence. Actually, we've been there for a number of years. Traditional media, online media and social media have intersected in ways we couldn't have imagined even five years ago.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Part 1 of 5: Why Goal Setting Is Important for Small Businesses

Note to self! Why is goal setting important?

Ideas to help you move your business to new levels of success. 

Written by Robyn T. Braley

Part 1; Why Goal Setting, Part 2; The Leaders Role in Goal Setting, Choosing the Team Part 3; The Right Location for Goal Setting Part 4; Formula for Goal Setting Productivity Part 5; Planning to Achieve Your Goals
2014 promises an economic surge in Canada. Identifying goals and implementing a plan to achieve them will equip your small business to maximize new opportunities. In this post I focus on why goal setting is an important element of brand-building.   
January is traditionally a time for reviewing the past, analyzing the present, and anticipating what will come in the months ahead. We usually come up with a list of goals and abandon them by March. But, hope alone will not make your business dreams real.
Dreamer To Achiever
A clear set of goals brings focus and purpose. They transform you from being a dreamer to an achiever. Goals and a plan to achieve them keep you and your team from being distracted.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Effective Websites; Realizing Online Potential

NUSTADIA Recreation; LCI Sports Centre

Part 1 of 2; Building Your Online Brand

Written by Robyn T. Braley 

I recently spoke to a group of business leaders who asked the question, “What makes an effective website?” Regardless of how new, powerful, dynamic or successful your website is, you will soon be contacted by an “expert” who will tell you it sucks. What is fact and what is fiction? 

A few weeks ago a client told me how frustrated he was with the number of email and telephone contacts he receives from people who speak an unfamiliar language. I call it webschpeak. He had no idea what they were saying. Mind you, he has a distinct Newfoundland twist to his words. I suspect they didn’t understand him either.