The era of marketing and selling FEATURES is dead. Since leaving the Industrial Revolution behind and welcoming in the Internet Revolution, “features” have become a COMMODITY. We don’t need you to give me the features any longer… I can find them out on my own.

And even BENEFITS are not cutting it as much any longer. They are great… but similar to features, everyone has them and talks about them. What I need from you is to help me understand HOW what you have is going to MAKE ME FEEL after purchasing and using your product or service.

Will it make me feel more…


  • Powerful
  • Beautiful
  • Knowledgeable
  • Confident
  • Capable
  • Intelligent
  • Productive
  • Safe and Secure
  • Any other feeling… insert here


If I can’t see how purchasing and using your product will help me feel (pick one or more from the list), why would I buy it? Why would I purchase something based on your FEATURES if I can’t see how it will “transform” me into something I want to become?

When someone asks you the famous question, “Why did you buy it?” do you immediately recite all the amazing features the product has, as if you were reading the detailed description listed on the side of the box? Of course you don’t… you tell them how it is going to transform, change, or improve your life. You want them to know why this is such an important product in your life and how it is going to do something amazing for you… or your company.

By the way, if you are thinking this is simply for consumer purchases you are missing the point… this is as much (or more) for businesses that sell to other businesses. We sell to people, not companies…

Some might also think this is the same as selling the BENEFITS of our product or service… it’s not. There are most certainly benefits to your product or service but this is different… it is about “personalizing the benefit” to the person so they see how it personally can impact their life.

Take a very simple example… something as mundane as a power drill. We could sell all the FEATURES of our “black drill” including its speed, construction, battery life, etc. This makes it a commodity and I can shop these around the internet quickly and find the drill with the same features at the best price. Or I can sell the BENEFITS of the “red drill” and say it will make the job go easier, smoother, faster, and make me more efficient. These are certainly more important, but they aren’t personalized. Or I can help you understand how buying the “green drill” will MAKE YOU FEEL when you use it… more in control of being able to do any job you ever imagined around the house and our spouse will think you rock, a more powerful person because you can now tackle any job, more prestigious because you own the most advanced drill on the market, smarter because you didn’t buy the cheap stuff but went for the real quality product. See the difference… which drill would you buy? The green drill…



The Importance of Logo Designs in Brand Identity

Remember Nike’s swoosh? One look at that ‘tick mark’ style logo gets the entire sports product line to flash through your mind, doesn’t it? Or the golden double arches of the McDonalds logo? Even a fleeting view of that gigantic ‘M’ from a distance brings the promise of yummy cheeseburgers and fries to your mind! THIS is the power of a logo. A simple shape – nothing much – is able to achieve so much. This is how a logo can influence brand identity. If you are running a business and have strong ambitions for the future, perhaps the time has come to invest efforts and money in creating the right logo to show your face to the world. Here are a few reasons why you need one. (This article borrows reference of Nike for better understanding.)


Just like Nike’s swoosh, your logo will, one day, become everything a consumer needs to identify your brand, its business, its people, its products, and the like. This is why you need it to be perfect (not necessarily minimalistic). Logos immediately make or break consumer confidence. Establishing your identity as a provider of top quality products/services will require a carefully crafted logo that speaks volumes about your brand.


Familiarity of a brand tends to draw-in the consumers, and prevents them from having second thoughts. Of course, a lot depends on the quality of the products you sell, but until then, the logo is in charge. Among a hoard of unfamiliar brands, the Nike swoosh is guaranteed to out, and the consumer will pick it up, no questions asked. It only goes to show how important brand familiarity is, which can be ultimately achieved through creating an effective logo.


Effective marketing sorts things out to a very large extent and the logo plays a very important role. Taking Nike’s example yet again, you will notice the logo standing out everywhere in marketing strategies – so much so that even the name of the brand is placed away from the line of vision. All focus is on the logo. This is what actually helps to create a brand identity. Let people know that your logo is YOU, and do it creatively.


With the market flooded with counterfeit products and cheap fakes, your brand’s logo will serve as an instant recognition factor. Consider the Nike swoosh example again – the design is actually imprinted on all our minds! And since most of us remember its every curve and line, we can quite easily spot when something about it is not right. Through extensive promotions, you too can ensure your logo becomes instantly recognizable to your customers, giving them a promise of authenticity in a sea of fakes.


The Strategic Plan For Your Brand

Solopreneurs and small business owners rise and fall on the marketplace perception of their brand, also known as one’s professional reputation. For that reason, the brand merits ongoing monitoring, enhancement and promotion as a component of strategies designed to support new business acquisition and encourage repeat business. The objective is to build and maintain a good client list. A useful way to review and evaluate your brand is with what many experts consider the gold standard of strategic planning, the SWOT Analysis.

SWOT is the acronym of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Every 18 – 24 months, self-employed professionals will benefit from examining the viability of their brand, to better understand what actions enhance the brand and what might weaken it. Conduct a SWOT Analysis and use what you discover as the foundation of a strategic plan for your brand.

Strengths: expertise, competitive advantages, A-list clients, referral sources, strategic partnerships, educational or professional credentials, financial resources, influential relationships. They are internally generated and within your control. Potential actions include:


  • Leveraging resources to upgrade the types of clients you work with
  • Increasing sales or billable hours by a certain percentage
  • Developing a strategy to obtain more repeat business
  • Developing a strategy that would persuade clients to hire you for more lucrative projects

Weaknesses: whatever challenges your brand. Competitors, ineffective marketing, poor customer service, weak perceived value of your products and services. These are internal and within your control. Potential actions include:



  • Determining which inadequacies have the most negative impact on revenues
  • Identifying gaps that can be quickly or inexpensively remedied
  • Understanding how to minimize liabilities—which business practices can you modify, professional credentials you can earn, relationships you can cultivate?

Opportunities: conditions that favor the attainment of goals. These are external and beyond your control, yet you may be able to retool and benefit from their presence. Good information about business conditions in your marketplace helps business owners to evaluate and envision the potential of short-term and long-term benefits and learn how to get the pay-off. Consider the following:



  • What new developments can you leverage to bring money and prestige to your venture?
  • Do you see ROI in offering new products or services?
  • Are there good clients you might successfully sign or lapsed clients who, with outreach, could be willing to reactivate?
  • Is there a niche market you can successfully enter?

Don’t Think You Need to Brand Your School? Think Again

As the end of the year approaches, we get more inquiries about how to print a calendar. Calendars are a popular marketing tool, so many businesses will print a calendar for the holiday season, for a few good reasons.

Branded calendars make an excellent marketing tool and often a business will print these and hand out to clients as end-of-the-year thank you gifts, and it works because;


  • Everybody uses calendars
  • The sooner someone gets something for free, the sooner they will use it.
  • Make a great tool for brand awareness as it keeps your brand in front of your client all the time.

While you might think to go the DIY route, having your product manufactured by the professionals will result in a high-quality end result that will do your business proud and actually work out cheaper per piece. Keep these pointers in mind:


1.) The design should uniform and in-line with your brand

You want the calendar to serve as more than just a tool to track dates but also to be something that will show off your business and brand in the best light possible.

Choose typography, images, colour and layout that communicates and connects in a visual way with your business. For instance, if your business is a top echelon interior designer, you are not going to choose gaudy colours and cartoon images and fat childlike typography. You would choose muted, elegant colours, clean and elegant fonts and high-resolution images that showcase some of your work.

2.) A template design might do the trick

Finding a template online that is exactly what you are looking for, or at least, goes a good long way towards your envisioned design, is super easy. Using a template also eliminates printing challenges such as incorrect alignment and bleed and trim lines. Even if you give the final design work to a professional, playing around with a few templates will get your creative uses going.

3.) Images – size matters

Because of their size, this is especially important for poster calendars but also follows for other calendar formats as well. Low-quality images will often appear blurry or pixelated when printed. Professional printing services are capable of creating photo-quality prints, but you might not be able to make the most of it when you use low-quality images. When possible try to use only high-quality, uncompressed image file formats or vector images as recommended by your printing service.

Often calendars, such as wall mounted calendars, will require large images and it is crucial to use high-resolution images to avoid ending up with images that are pixelated, blurry and simply looks ‘yuck’. Using good quality uncompressed images file formats or vector images will do the trick. Whether your calendars are large or small tented calendars, the image quality will convey the subliminal message that your business is a quality business as well.

Also, keep in mind that most monitors use an RGB colour model while most printers use CMYK. This is automatically accounted for when you print. However, if your monitor isn’t calibrated properly, the colours you see on your screen might not match what finally comes out on print. Another reason to let the professionals do what they do best.


How Zuckerberg Has Undermined Trust In The Facebook Brand

In 2018 Mark Zuckerberg showed the world how a steady stream of blunders and insensitivity to consumers’ concerns over privacy and fake news has tragically damaged trust in the Facebook brand. The Facebook founder and CEO essentially traded a core value, privacy, for profits. His performance last year provides a classic case study for all companies on how to manage brand risk, or at least what not to do.

Facebook’s new mission statement says it seeks “to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together”. A brand is basically a promise designed to create a trustful bond with customers. Facebook users provide personal data with the expectation and trust that Facebook’s promise to build this community would be delivered with full privacy protection. However, Zuckerberg’s actions in 2018 have created a perception that he has chosen profits over people, a misalignment negatively viewed by the public that is tarnishing Facebook’s brand reputation.

In general, the brand risks from social media firms like Facebook have become more disconcerting, as users all over the world have become aware of the cyber security issues and how easily their private data can be exposed. The 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer found that trust in social media is only 41% globally. With this declining trust, consumers have become intent on wanting brands to pressure social media platforms to more effectively:

• Safeguard personal data – 71%
• Curb the spread of fake news – 70%
• Shield them from offensive content – 68%

The deceitful performance of Zuckerberg last year has undermined trust in Facebook and reminded many of his arrogant behavior portrayed in the movie “The Social Network”. It started early last year when it was revealed that a third party had gained access to the personal data of 87 million Facebook users in 2015, but the company did little to address this. It seemed there was a privacy or fake news scandal every month in 2018. A few highlights:

• March – the world learned that Facebook exposed private data from 50 million users to an academic researcher who sold it to the analytical firm, Cambridge Analytica. Upsetting consumers more was the fact that this data was used in Trump’s Presidential advertising campaign.

• April – appearing before Congress, Zuckerberg tried to convince the world that Facebook “doesn’t sell data” to advertisers, stating this 8 times in a condescending way. This may be technically true, but the public didn’t buy it in light of the sad reality of these data breaches.


Strange Stuff/What Is Life?

Life is the ultimate business transaction when you really think about it. When we do consciously think and ponder, it is all a combination of thinking, action, then branding what it all is and then selling it to ourselves and others. A big combination of paying and benefitting happen here also. It is business in a giant and realistic sense from the top (God and the universe) down to us (the people, beings, and the rest of it). Sure, I could make it more complicated and “unrealistic”. Indeed, though, what would be the point? I mean psychologists, professional therapists and all of the medical doctors made it arcane and complicated seeming enough with all the terminology alone.

So, I am here to answer a simple question like “what is life?” and talk about the stuff of life in the only way I know how, and that is simply, reasonably and realistically without puffing myself up too much, and screaming throughout the paragraphs “Eureka, this is it, and this ties things up” without causing more fearful and complex questions to arise about what I am saying about the simple fact that life is the ultimate business transaction there is in reality, and everything else is just silly theory that should be ignored other than the business of life itself, right down to “being great”. In short, I am saying live life the best you can, and disregard envy and what others have in it, and live your life like an honest business that needs your greatest attention to its details in reality.

As I write, I remember my Dad’s variation on the Cassius Clay/Muhammad Ali poem about flying like a butterfly and stinging like a bee, and it went like this:


“Fly like a butterfly
Sting like a bee 

I do not play!”


Instead of:



“Fly like a butterfly
Sting like a bee 

Rumble, young man rumble!”


Sure, my Dad Joseph Clayton looked physically like Cassius Clay/Muhammad Ali, but that is not the point of this anecdote in this article. The word “rumble” was an alternate term to the word “bumble”, so my Dad changed it to emphasize the stinging part that does not play, that is the point I am making and he was making, you cannot “bumble” and play and make it, you have to sting, genuinely do your thing and make it. That is the business.


How to Construct Your Brand

Branding is one of the most vital components of any commercial enterprise, large or small, retail or b2b. A powerful brand method gives you a significant advantage in increasingly more aggressive markets. However what precisely does “branding” mean? How does it have an effect on a small business like yours?

Basically, your brand is your promise to your buyer or client. It tells them what they can anticipate out of your products and services, and it differentiates your product/service offerings from your competition. Your logo is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people believe you to be.

Are you the innovative loner in your industry? Or the experienced, reliable one? Is your product the overly-priced, top quality option, or the under-priced, high-quality choice? You can’t be each, and you can’t be all things to all everyone. Who you are should be determined by what your primary customers need are and what they need you to be.

The bedrock of your brand is your logo. Your website, packaging, and promotional products - all of which must incorporate your logo - speak to your brand.

Brand strategy & equity

Your brand strategy is how, what, where, when and to whom you propose to communicate and delivering on your brand messages. Where you promote is part of your brand strategy. Your distribution channels also are a part of your brand strategy. And what you communicate, both visually and verbally are a part of your brand strategy, as well.

Consistent, strategic branding leads to a firm brand equity, thus, the value created to your employer’s services or products that allows you to charge extra for your brand than what similar, unbranded products would command. The most apparent example of that is Pepsi vs. an unknown brand of soda. Due to the fact, Pepsi has constructed a powerful logo brand equity, it can charge more for its product - and customers will pay that better charge.

The delivered value inherent to brand equity traditionally comes in the form of perceived personal attachment. As an example, Addidas affiliates its merchandise with superstar athletes, in the hopes that customers will switch their emotional attachment from the athlete to the product. For Addidas, it’s now not just the shoe’s characteristics that promote the shoe.


Save Money on Vehicle Branding

Vehicle wraps are a great way to advertise. Company vehicles essentially become mobile billboards driving around their target local market.

But they’re expensive!

To fully wrap an average sized car the cost is over $1500 per vehicle. And that can add up if you have more than one or two trucks in your fleet.

What exactly is a full vehicle wrap?

A full vehicle wrap does exactly what you it says. It fully wraps your vehicle in vinyl. But not just any vinyl… a technologically-advanced vinyl wrap material that can stretch and conform around every contour and every curve of your car or truck. This Avery Supreme Wrap vinyl is EXPENSIVE.

Additionally, a full vehicle wrap also requires a professional to apply it. It’s not a project you can simply watch a video and teach yourself… It’s a skill that requires practice, patience, knowledge and the right tools.

What if there was a way to get the same advertising impact for much less money?

Well, there is!

You can get the same advertising impact with a vehicle branding!

Think about it. Modern day cars no longer rust like they used to… so they last for years. And today’s clear coats protect the paint from fading long after you’ve leased something new.

What’s my point?

Why cover the body of the vehicle if you don’t need to? Unless the car or truck is pastel pink and you’re company’s target market is burly men, keep the car the color it is. Any skilled graphic designer can incorporate the color of the vehicle into the design.

What is vehicle branding?

Vehicle Branding can be accomplished by strategically placing large decals on the vehicle along with rear window decals and die-cut lettering… and it achieve the same results – all at a fraction of the price. It costs less for two reasons: 1) The outdoor vinyl required to create these types of decals costs much less money, and 2) you can easily apply them yourself!


How to Get the Domain You Want With These, The Five Secret Words

Choosing the right domain name is one of the most important things you can do to insure your success on the internet. But sometimes you just can’t get the exact domain name that you want. Early in internet history, forward thinking individuals saw the potential in the domain name market and bought up huge blocks of domain names to resell later at a profit. Some of those names have sold for thousands of dollars! However, with all the alternatives available today you’re sure to find the right combination to make your domain memorable and recognizable.

As of 2006 there were 50 million .com domains registered. 100% of 2 and 3 letter combinations were taken as well as 80% of 4 letter but only 8% of 5 letter combinations. This bodes well for your domain name if you would like to name it after your business or the product or service you sell.

You can use alternative extensions but if you are working out of Canada you really should go for extension. Creativity is the key to getting the name you really want. Let’s say that your business is called Jeff’s Bakery but is already taken. You can try jbakery, jeffbakes, jeffs-bakery, or another variation.

If all of those are taken you can always try using your logo or company slogan. Jeff’s Bakery might have the slogan “we bake the sun up” so you could go for, or even Be creative but keep it as short and memorable as possible. You could try, or even

You could also backorder your name. Backordering is like reserving a book at the library; when the patron is done with it-or if they fail to renew the domain-you’ll be first in line to claim that domain. Even if you are tenth in line, you’ll have a good chance of getting the domain name you want. Backordering is often successful because internet businesses fail, people lose interest in their domains, they no longer make that product or offer that particular service or maybe they just can’t afford a renewal fee. When they lose the domain, you’ll be ready to snap it up!

You can also check the domain auctions that operate like any other auction. You can see which names are available, choose the variations you would like to have and try to win the auction with a high bid.

If the exact domain name you want doesn’t appear to be available there are several ways you can get a domain name that is descriptive, recognizable and memorable. It just takes a little creativity and some patience.

Buying Expired Domain Names and How to Ensure You Get the Domain Names You Want



Of course as the web got more popular and more people began to see the value of good domain names things began to get a little harder.

Expired Domain name Companies

In this discussion I will be mainly concentrating on the .com TLD as this is the biggest and by far the most valuable extension available. As we speak the total number of registered .coms has crossed the 70m mark and so you can imagine, finding a good quality generic domain name can be a slow and painful process.

All 3 and 4 letter combinations (that includes numbers) have gone and the majority of English dictionary words to. This is why you should consider the world of drop catching expired domain names.

I still believe that there is hope and if you are armed with the right knowledge and time you can still pick up expired domain names that in my opinion are grossly undervalued.

The allocation of .com domains are controlled by a body called ICCAN, (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) formed in 1998 as a not-for-profit organization with contributing members from all over the world. The duty of organizing the release of the domain names was handed to Verisign, a company that has become very rich on the back of its contract with ICANN.

The process of domain name registration changed dramatically with the introduction of drop catching companies that help you acquire expired domain names but more about that later.

Lets look at the basic process involved with registering a domain name.

Registering a domain name

A person as the right to register a domain name for a time period ranging from 1 -10 years. If the domain name is not renewed by the required date it then enters the position known as the grace period. The original owner still has the chance to re-register the domain but must do so within a set time period. During this time the domain name is still unavailable to register.

If the domain name is not re-registered in the allotted time it is made available to the general public and becomes one of the many expired domain names in a process now known as the drop.

Drop Companies

It is very unlikely that even if you knew when a expired domain was about to drop that you would get it by simply trying to register it. There are several companies that specialize in this field and can afford to implement sophistication drop catching software to help in the process, they even have contracts with registrars such as Network Solutions to allow first choice of all available expired domain names.

The most popular companies in the field are: Pool, Snapnames and eNom and I would advise you to set up an account with all three of them to ensure you have a better chance of getting the domain you desire. All the above companies allow you to backorder any and as many of the currently registered domain names and this service is totally free.

You will find that they can supply you with a list of pre-release and pending delete names and this can run into the thousands.

This is where the money is, consider this expired domain names list like a gold mine, all you have to do is dig out the nuggets and hope nobody else has spotted them. Of course you will find that you are not the only one to have spotted these little gems and so the domain is often placed into a closed auction and sold to the highest bidder.

These are closed auctions so you must do your homework and get your bid in before the drop or you will not get the chance to bid in the auction for that domain.

You should find that the price you pay in these auctions is significantly cheaper than dedicated auction sites such as Sedo and Afternic. The art of course is knowing the worth of expiring domain names before the auction starts and stick to your target. Many people get carried away in this situation and let the process become personal, this is a big mistake and only leads to over inflated prices. Set your budget and stick to it.

So remember, if you have your heart set on a particular domain name or want to get into the domain name acquisition business you must involve the big expired domain names drop catchers in your plan or you could be watching your dream name disappear for another 1-10 years. Trying to manually capture good quality domain names is near on impossible these days so be warned.

Also if you are interested in a particular expiring domain name it might pay to check which registrar the domain is with as they may have their own agreements with different companies in terms of expired domain names, drop catching, for instance, Network Solutions has an agreement with Snapnames for all its domains and Godaddy has setup its own drop service.

Isn’t it a pain when you cannot find the domain name you really want? It’s likely that you can find it; it’s just that someone else has already been there. All is not lost though, and even if you can’t quite get the exact one you’d like, there are a couple of options to consider.

1. First, if you’re really desperate to get the exact one you want, try and find out who the current owner is by doing a search at Your chances may not be 100%, but nonetheless, it’s worth a try. The domain owner may not have registered a whois “guard”, and will therefore have their contact details displayed for the public at large to see. Often times it is wise to use the guard for privacy matters, but not everyone does. If you can see who owns the name, you may be able to get them to sell it to you. But beware; depending upon the domain’s popularity, there could be a very high price tag on it.

2. Can you settle for something close? For whatever reasons, if it’s a no-go for you to get the exact name you’d like, if it’s more that one word, consider hyphenating the name, or possibly trying a dot biz, org, net, or similar. This may not be as efficient as the original domain name, but it may be the only option you have.

3. Choose and register a domain that’s more in the generic format of what you want, what you niche is. Then you can simply add an extension to it to look like I would strongly recommend that you try and contact the site owner of the original domain name, with your intentions, as it may be that they’ve spent a lot of money running campaigns for page ranking and traffic for the exact domain you had in mind. If this is the case, then again, you’ll have to modify it slightly.



How To Clean and Maintain PVC Windows, Doors And Conservatories

Although the grained foiled finishes are available on the interior as well, customers would generally opt for white UPVC interiors as they are easier to clean and give a much cleaner feel to the home.

The foils can come in a few finishes such as Oak, Mahogany, Rosewood and now in bespoke colours which are new to the market. Colours ranging from Irish oak, rustic cherry and even various shades of grey, reds and blues.

Depending on which sort of finish the customer chooses there will be a different way that you should treat the window frame when cleaning. But the maintenance of the product concerning functioning parts and general rules will stay the same no matter what PVC products are fitted.

The age of the windows may affect the aesthetics also, as customers were having PVC fitted up to 18 years ago. The PVC part of the window and door should still be able to be brought back as good as near to new as possible with the right products.

Although there are a few tips on bringing old windows back to life, it’s important to realise that the performance of the glass wont be anywhere near as effective as the new heat efficient windows and doors being fitted at the moment. There is also the problem of malfunctions on working parts such as handles and locking systems that need maintaining on at least 3 to 6 month periods to provide you with less problems.

General cleaning.

First open the windows and you will see a channel revealed where the hinges and locking keeps sit. Use a small brush and loosen the dirt, then take a vacuum cleaner to suck out the loose dirt.