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Branding Your Business
Tools For Your Business

Sandy Scott knows that some of her potential customers may be uneasy to talk to her about their needs. As a Legal Shield associate, one of the topics she discusses is a will.

“A will is something people don’t like to talk about often times,” she said.

To put their mind at ease, Scott came up with a creative idea. At a couple of trade events where she had a booth, she handed out flyers that had a tea bag stapled to them. The flyer compared a will with the notion of writing a “love letter” by thinking about loved ones ahead of time.

“I try to put people at ease from the get-go (with the tea bag) — sit back and relax and think about writing love letters to a loved one, because that’s what the will is really doing,” she said. read more »

Tools For Your Business

While the use of social media by companies has become mainstream, a big number of those businesses post things off the cuff, with no real vision or strategy. Some lack a policy despite having had employee misuse and disciplinary action issues (including about half of 120 employers surveyed last year by the Proskauer International Labor & Employment Group).

A social media policy doesn’t need to be extensive or long, but it makes sense to have for any organization, for-profit or not, that wants to minimize its risks, set expectations for employees and implement a strategy with a vision in mind. read more »

Tools For Your Business

Penny McLaughlin collection of promotional itemsPenny McLaughlin likes to say that when other people go right, she usually goes left. McLaughlin, who owns Penny’s Team real estate firm based in Poulsbo, has been in business for 25 years. For 20 of those years, she has built an extensive list of creative marketing touches designed to help her company stand out.

Her collection of promotional items includes magnetized kitchen conversion charts and magnetized wine and food pairing lists, lip balm, calculators, mini lawnchair-style cellphone holders, reusable shopping bags and keychain flashlights, among other things read more »


Everybody's American CookhouseWhen Barbara Meyers was getting ready for the opening of Everybody’s American Cookhouse, a new Port Orchard restaurant she owns with her husband, she wanted something catchy for the outdoor sign. The inside of the restaurant is decorated with a variety of artwork, so the couple decided to make the outside an extension — they asked one of the featured artists, George Kenny, to make it. read more »

Branding Your Business

In today’s fast-changing multimedia world, it goes without saying that the rules of the marketing game have changed. Consumers are not so much interested in being talked to through television or print ads as they are interested in interacting with businesses they patronize — and with each other.

Traditional advertising still has its place and word of mouth is king, but where some businesses are missing the boat is in realizing if they don’t have a solid presence online, their customers will create a brand for them, whether those businesses like it or not. And it may not always be a positive one, or one that aligns with their vision. read more »

Branding Your Business

Four times each year, 30 aspiring entrepreneurs in the Washington Community Alliance for Self Help (CASH) program set out to learn the basics so they can fulfill their dreams to start their own businesses.

They come from every corner of Kitsap County for the eight-weeks of intense business training. Many come from WorkSource to take advantage of the Self Employment Assistance Program (SEAP) that lets them continue to collect unemployment benefits and not have to look for work while they develop their business. read more »

Branding Your Business

Ed Aro BeforeGig Harbor realtor Ed Aro has been in business for a long time and has built a well-established business. In 2010, he was ready to rebrand his business to both create a more consistent and a more professional look.

“Being in real estate, his brand speaks for him and if things aren’t professionally done, it will affect his sales,” said Kathleen Simpson, a Port Orchard CPA who is Ed Aro Realty’s business adviser. read more »

Branding Your Business

As a small business, you can’t afford to make big mistakes when it comes to your brand. Fortunately, there are plenty of lessons to learn from corporations with multimillion-dollar marketing allowances. Giants like Coca Cola, Apple and Colgate have proved that despite generous budgets — and the implied savvy that comes with them — nobody’s immune to flops.

Take names, for example. Netflix gets the flag for one of last year’s major marketing blunders. The online-based movie-rental and streaming pioneer decided to split its business into two, separating its streaming service and calling it Qwikster. read more »

Branding Your Business

Every business needs a memorable, top of category brand name. When your customer and prospects think of a business, you want them to think of you first. Some call this TOMA — top of mind awareness, so when someone thinks of floor covering, for example, your company name — your brand name — pops up in their mind.

Category leaders, from car repair to insurance agents, generally are the most successful businesses. More people remember their name and they ‘win’ in the battle for share of market. read more »

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