A Brand New Recipe For Branding

In a recent article, I told the story of when I was a young whippersnapper, attaining classes at what was then and still is called "one of the more famous hotel schools in North America", the marketing professor gave us an interesting, but quite challenging assignment.

We were to find a hospitality business that marketed itself by using the participation of the owner as part of the "distinctiveness" of the business. At the time, this seemed like a most difficult assignment, because in those days, it seemed that not too many people really stood out in this field. At least that what it seemed like to me in my youth. Or maybe it was just that they did not want to either make a fool of themselves. There seemed little need to drive the world to their door. I chose a very different restaurant enclosed within an old 19th century Mansion in this very cosmopolitan city. It was called Julie's Mansion and was owned and operated by a very eccentric, but wonderful showman who knew that he had to differentiate his restaurant from all the rest. He knew that the best way to do that – after the assumption of great food, entertainment and service – was to turn himself into the "brand."

My job, as a young hospitality student, was to watch him carefully and learn as much as I could. One Saturday night I showed up and Julie was trying to 'insert' himself into the home team's pro hockey uniform. It was immediately obvious that Julie had never played hockey. To see a middle-aged man struggling to get into and then have to have me extricate him from the jersey, equipment, elbow pads et al, was hilarious for a young guy like me, who had been on skates and playing the game since age four. He certainly was not afraid to make a fool of himself. When I showed up that night, he had less than no idea what piece of equipment went where, and was struggling with the shin guards. He had got himself all tangled up with what he thought were hip guards, when in fact they were shoulder pads, worn over the shoulders. It was indeed the first time I had ever seen a 'player' wearing shoulder pads, stretched around his butt.

I helped him get 'dressed'. Next came the taping of the hockey stick. This was really hilarious, watching this fellow trying to figure out the right way to tape a hockey stick without making a mess of it and looking foolish to his customers. He had a special plan for that stick.

I taped his stick and now he was ready. He had on his uniform, equipment and helmet, borrowed from one of the local NHL players who were a frequent guest at the mansion. Now, he actually looked like a real NHL hockey player … in black and white running shoes, sans skates!

Then Julie 'flew through' the different alcoves and floors of the restaurant with a big ball of foodservice aluminum foil as his 'puck'. He stick-handled in and out and between tables, took shots with the aluminum ball off the walls, cross-checked his own waiters trying to serve tables, all the while yelling cheers and the phrase made famous' round the world, by Foster Hewitt : "he shoots …. he scores!" All this, at the top of his lungs. Then he had planned for a horn to sound loudly indicating that the 'period of play' in his imaginary 'game' was over. It was now time to go to the dressing room. In a flash, just like an on-stage magician, he quickly disappeared into thin air, hidden in his office.

My face was covered in tears. I could not stop laughing! The restaurant was in an uproar. Guests were laughing so hard … one guy literally fell off his chair. The waiters were laughing, the guests were laughing, I was laughing and all the while Julie was having a ball too. Here was a restaurateur who made his work fun.

I had not met one of these types before. I really liked and respected this fellow. But I figured then, and still today, that anyone who had that much fun … and made that much money … must know something the others did not. And he did. He became his own brand. 'Distinctive. 'Differentiated. 'There is attractive to people who are sick of seeing the same old, same old every day. People are attracted to differences not similarities. Take a look at what you can do with yours. It's right under your own nose.

© Copyright, Roy W. MacNaughton, 2006

Construction Logo – Are Low Costing Logos Too Good To Be True?

There are quite a few design firms on the internet which are claiming that they can design a professional looking construction logo for $ 200 or less. For many people, this would sound like a scam. Most are used to paying at least 5 times that amount to have a logo custom designed for them by a professional.

Is this claim for real or is this just a scam by designers who provide substandard designs to unsuspecting customers for a quick buck?

The Real Deal

The truth is there are professional designers who provide excellent designs for very low prices. However, there are those who unfortunately provide substandard designs for the same price. So the trick is to find those who are the real deal. We will touch on that later in the article.

How Can They Provide Design At Such Low Prices?

As the old saying goes 'Time Is Money'. What these designers have done is simply make the whole process – from start to end – much shorter. What they have done is save time on research and information gathering. There are no one hour phone calls to the clients to find out in-depth information about the company. And unlike design packages which cost $ 5000, those which cost $ 200 or less do not come with a logo manual once the project is completed.

Why Did They Do This?

It is a fundamental matter of demand and supply. Because of the growth of ecommerce, the market for quality logos minus a branding campaign grows along with it. Merchants of online stores wanted well designed and unique logos for their store at an affordable price.

Will The Design Quality Suffer?

The designs that these designers provide are of good quality. The designers may not have research the company in extreme detail before progressing with the design but any information provided is used to good effect. Designs are clean, in some cases very detail and look professional.

What Are The Signs Of Good Design Firms?

The more reputable design firms, more often than not, offer unlimited revisions. This is to ensure customers get what they want. However, in the event that they do not, many firms offer no-strings-attached money back guarantees. Money back guarantees are like a safety net so ensure that you pick a design firm which clearly states this in their design package.

What You Should Expect?

Do not be surprised to view your first concepts in less than 3 business days. Most these designers have been in the business for at least a decade and understand different industry design requirement. and can therefore conjure a viable design within that time mentioned. Expect to view at least 2 original concepts. When the project is completed, ensure you also get your logo in a vector format which will enable you to use your logo for printing purposes as well.

The Basics Of Stock Market Investing

Investing money on businesses and other fields that will allow you to gain good amounts of profit is a really good idea if you want to become financially stable and independent in the near future. Aside from building your own business, you can also give investing on stocks a shot. Now, this may sound scary at first glance but once you get the rewards of your efforts, you will certainly be drawn in. If you are an absolute newbie in this field, you can try to have a look at different sites on the web such as Stock Market Investing Today that will teach you the basics. To give you a good jumpstart, I will be discussing some of the most important basics of investing in stocks in this article.

Stock market investing involves the concept of share or stock. When you purchase stocks, you will be getting a share or quantum of ownership in a company. This is the most basic idea. To be able to raise a capital, a company needs to have itself listed in the stock market after it gets to sell ownership in the form of different small shares that amount to millions. When you purchase a stock, you immediately become a share holder of the company, who in turn owns a share in that company. Shares of a company are sold in the primary market in the form of IPO or Initial Public Offering. Once these shares are bought, they can be sold in the secondary market, which is referred to as the stock exchange, later on.

Now, the big question is "How do you make money from investing on stocks?" You earn from this endeavor by purchasing a share at a low price and keeping it under your wing until its value increases in the secondary market. When this happens, you can then sell it base on its current value. In other words, you need to buy something cheap and sell it as high of a price as possible. The next thing you need to know about is choosing the right stocks to purchase. When you take a look at the different stocks available in the market, you need to choose ones that have a huge potential to grow in terms of value later on. Choosing the right stocks is the most important factor that will help you with investing. That's all there is to it.

Most Popular Sports Around The World

All types of sports are popular globally, but what sports can we call THE most popular in the world? Some of the answers may surprise you.

It’s no surprise that football, or what Americans call “soccer” is the world’s most popular sport to play and to watch. An estimated 3.5 billion people either watch or play football. The World Cup is the global championship of the sport and this tournament is played every four years. The World Cup itself is one of the highest rated sports on television, with many countries tuning in en masse to watch their country’s team play. Football is popular in all of the UK, Europe, Asia as well as South America. However, with so many other sports being popular, the Unites States still lags behind in their interest in “soccer”.

Next, we have cricket. This sport which consists of a bat and a ball, has been around for hundreds of years and originated in England. The sport is popular in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, some African countries, some Caribbean countries and it is the most popular sport in the countries of India and Pakistan. An estimated 3 billion people watch or play cricket each year.

The next most popular sport is a sure surprise, and that is field hockey, with an estimated 2 billion players or watchers, mostly in Asian countries, European countries, Australia and around Africa. This sport tends to be played in high schools in the United States, usually by girls only.

Coming up next is tennis. Not so surprising, but there are an estimated 1 billion players and watchers of tennis around the world. Tennis tends to be popular in richer countries, including the United States, Asian countries, Australia and Europe. There are four main tournaments in tennis, called “Grand Slams” at which players from many countries play. The first is the Australian Open, then the French Open, Wimbledon and then the US Open in late August. The Grand Slam tournaments tend to get the most attention during the tennis season.

Next we have volleyball. Yet another surprise, with an estimated 900 million viewers or players around the world. Volleyball is popular in the United States, where the sport originated, as well as in Brazil, all over Europe, Russia, China and Japan. Volleyball is a popular high school sport in many countries due to it’s team centered play and lack of specialized equipment requirements.

Also popular is table tennis, otherwise known as Ping Pong. This is another surprisingly popular sport around the world, with an estimated 900 million watchers or players. Table tennis originated in England as an after dinner activity for Victorians in the late 19th century. Table tennis as a competitive sport is popular in many countries but is especially popular in China, Korea and Singapore.

After these sports, we have a triumvirate of more mainstream American sports including baseball, golf, American football and basketball, with each sport attracting between 400 and 500 million players or watchers worldwide.