Are You Really Thinking About Your Brand?

Branding is the process of differentiating your company from all other companies in the industry. Branding takes into account the "look and feel" of your office, you and your staff, your materials, and every other detail that gives your customers clues as to who you are and what you value. The following are strategies that go into building your own solid brand so your existing customers, as as well as prospective ones, are attracted and loyal to you and your brand.

Is your company unique and special? Everyone believes that they are members of a truly unique company or organization, but how do you convey that to your existing customers and to potential new customers?

Branding is an opportunity to create a name, term, symbol, or design that identifies and defines your company and will differentiate your company from all others.

The American Marketing Association defines a brand as a "name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of them intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of other sellers." But branding is actually more than that. It's everything you do to attract and maintain customers. Branding is a way of appealing emotionally to and attracting the type of customer you want, and one who chooses you over your competition. Your brand is who you are, what you do, and your leading attribute in the eyes of your preferred target market.

Branding is more critical than marketing or sales. Branding involves influencing and changing the way people think. Branding appeals to desire and touches emotions. The goal is to emotionally predispose potential customers into entering into a relationship with you because they believe you are the best choice for them.

With more information at their fingertips, today's consumers are too sophisticated and skeptical to be "sold." They want to arrive at their own decision on their own terms. Branding helps them get there. Branding "pre-sells" your expertise, or you, before the customers even meet you.

Just as successful companies have a mission statement that serves as motivation to the staff and a guarantee to the customers, a brand is your opportunity to declare your promise to your customers about the outstanding service that you will provide them.

Here are several tips to think about:
  • Be sure your customers know the things that make you unique, such as advanced engineering support, manufacturing capability or local inventory.
  • Tell your customers what you offer that most of your competitors don't.
  • Do things differently to standout.
  • Clearly convey your uniqueness and differentiation in your marketing tools.
  • Specialize.
  • Be where your prospective customers are by having offices in various parts of the territory or region where your preferred customers are located.
  • Build rapport and trust with every customer.
  • Stay in contact with your customers throughout the year. Send them a company newsletter, new product announcements, press releases, maybe even birthday cards!

Discoverability is the New Marketing

If you have a website, you have probably heard about SEO. Broadly speaking, SEO refers to the way you market yourself or your company on the Internet so that you show up high in search results for either your name, the name of your company, or keywords describing your expertise (e.g., control systems in Baltimore). Most keywords will be picked up from content on your website. In fact, much of SEO strategy centers on content marketing and maximizing the effectiveness of your website.

Establishing an Online Presence Strategy

More than ever before, companies need to focus on their online presence. Today's Internet offers a great many choices for you to become involved in the digital world. But you need to develop a strategy that will guide you in this endeavor. Your goals and objectives should be clear.

Will social media be a component of your online marketing strategy? Are you thinking about it just to gather leads? Do you want to gain broader national or regional exposure? Are you building an online presence to polish your reputation? How much time are you prepared to spend on your online presence? Do you have staff that can help you implement your online marketing strategy? How much are you budgeting for a your online marketing effort?

GCS Partners with CMS4i for Online Presence

Global Chem-Feed Solutions (GCS) designs and fabricates custom; skid mounted Chemical Dosing Systems for a wide variety of applications. CMS4i was selected to redesign their web site to include mobile and a more modern design.

After the job was done, this is what GCS had to say:

"CMS4i has provided GCS reliable design and hosting for years. They have understood our needs, been patient with our process and both prompt and flexible in responses. CMS4i has advised us towards improved services that have made my work simpler and more adaptive to our ongoing needs. It's been a pleasure to work with Steve and his team, right from the start."

Social Media is Not a Passing Fad

What is social media? According to Wikipedia, “social media includes web-based and mobile-based technologies which are used to turn communication into interactive dialogue among organizations, communities, and individuals.”

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines social media as “forms of electronic communication through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content.”

Social media consists of websites or mobile apps that facilitate the creation and exchange of user-generated content. Examples include: a picture on Flickr, a video on YouTube, a blog post, or a status update on Facebook or Twitter. Social media’s defining characteristic is that it encourages two-way communication, or in other words, conversation.

ROTEX Controls Chooses CMS4i for New Web Site

ROTEX Controls, the USA sales, service and support arm for an overseas manufacturer of valve actuators, solenoid valves and limit switches has a new, easy to navigate and mobile friendly site thanks to CMS4i.

As a manufacturer of these industrial items, its important this site is design so that finding information is easy and fast. The ROTEX layout and tabbed menuing system assures easy access to all the product information.

Blogs: Your Social Media Hub

Blogs are short for “web logs,” defined by Wikipedia as “a website where entries are writ- ten in chronological order and commonly displayed in reverse chronological order.”

In its simplest form, a blog is an online diary. Blogs are highly personal in nature and design. All of the blogs together with the links connecting them are referred to as the “blogosphere.” Creating a blog gives you a chance to build something that is a unique reflection of you or your company.

Organizations and commercial companies often have a blog associated with their website to highlight new products or services, while individuals tell stories and offer opinions.

Your should blog because you want to share important information with your community. Your have knowledge and expertise and want to be an authoritative voice in the blogosphere. You want to guide your customers to other quality sources of information of products or services in your field. You want to educate and engage customers. You want to be the authoritative voice.

Blogs offer two key advantages over some other types of social media. First, they rank high in search engine result pages. Recently, Google made changes to its search algorithms that have an even more positive effect on blogs. Google’s Panda update looks at the quality of the content and penalizes the exploitation of keywords. So if a marketing consultant has encouraged you to put a large number of keywords on your website without real content to back them up, you may find your site drops in search engine rankings. Google’s Penguin update looks for unnatural links. But if you link to other credible sources, you’ll come out ahead. Now more than ever, a blog allows you to post updated content that appeals to the search engines.

Beacon Facility Group Launches with CMS4i

Beacon Facility Group, a Baltimore/Washington/Philadelphia based property management company selected CMS4i as their Web vendor.

"From vision to concept to implementation, the team at CMS4I was efficient and effective with the design of our web site. Taking the time to fully understand our business and designing the site around the needs of our clients truly distinguished CMS4I from the other companies we interviewed. We are thrilled with the final product and as importantly, the value their team presented to us."

Tips for Effective YouTube Content

  1. Make it relevant. Be sure to stick to issues that you know customers are concerned about or that are instructive about your company.
  2. Don’t use YouTube videos to replace important text but to enhance it. Some people learn best watching a video; others don’t. So if you are communicating important information about your company or want customers to take some action as a result of seeing the video, be sure to include this information as text content somewhere on your website or your companies web page.
  3. Be mindful of length. If the video is a presentation or an in-depth how-to, you can include the entire talk. But if the content is tips for customers on selecting a product, it’s best to keep the video to fewer than three minutes.
  4. Tags should be clear and concise. Remember, people will likely find your videos through a keyword search, so make sure you have used tags that are simply and explicitly related to the content. Use a title that is clear and concise.
  5. Use your editing software to add your companies logo or other brand identity during the opening and closing credits or on every screen.
Video Tips
  1. Beware of any background noise. Examples include air conditioners, loud computer humming, road noise, and walking noises. Close doors if possible to avoid excess noise .
  2. Avoid stripes and other detailed patterns on clothes. Complicated backgrounds are difficult to reproduce on cameras that have fewer pixels per inch.
  3. Make a teleprompter. If you’ve created a script in advance, you can make it a PowerPoint file and use it as a teleprompter (out of sight, of course) during filming.
  4. Talk slowly and speak clearly. People often talk faster on camera. If you are a fast talker anyway, practice speaking more slowly. Thirty seconds of video should contain 65 to 78 words; 60 seconds should have 130 to 155 words.

Control Equipment Company Gets Current with Great New Look and Improved SEO

Control Equipment Company (CEC) is a long time client of CMS4i. Their former site needed an upgrade to benefit from a CSS/XHTML layout and better search engine optimization. They asked CMS4i to provide them with a streamlined development process on an aggressive time-frame.

In a few short weeks CMS4i worked out the design with CEC and then "dropped" it on top of the existing product, vendor and capability database. With a few adjustments here and a few tweaks there, the new site was launched in record time.

Some nice comments by CEC:

"The development of our website was done quickly and professionally. Steve, Greg and their team are a pleasure to work with and will continue to be our web site development resource."

YouTube: Broadcast Your Company

YouTube is the Internet’s leading video streaming service. Millions of videos are hosted on YouTube, with more being added every day; these videos can range from having tens to hundreds of millions of views. Furthermore, YouTube is the number 2 search engine on the Web. More than 800 million users watch more than four billion hours of video each month on YouTube. Traffic from mobile devices tripled in 2011. It is the third most visited website in both the United States and worldwide.

Flow-Tech Knows it Pays to Use the Process Industry's Leading Web Developer

Flow-Tech, a Hunt Valley, MD industrial Rep company selected CMS4i because of their market understanding and experience in process control.

CMS4i won out in a last minute, "Hail Mary", bid for the job because Flow-Tech saw the value a CMS4i site delivers. Most importantly, unlimited pages, having a true content management system at their disposal, and that CMS4i's background would save time and effort in launching the new site.

Check out the testimonial by Flow-Tech's President:

"We originally chose a well-known, local website company, thinking their experience would expedite our new site's development. Turned out they knew little about our industry and we never had the time to educate them. CMS4i approached us mid-project and convinced us to cut our losses and go with them. We did and it was a great move.

With their background in industrial controls and automation, CMS4i knew exactly how things should be organized and presented. In just a few weeks we had a beautifully designed, well-organized and intelligently structured site. Just about everything was in place. All we had to do was review and make a few small changes. Aside from their industry knowledge, the CMS4i team were very cooperative, eager to make us happy and priced very competitively.

I strongly endorse Greg, Steve and their team for any web development job, particularly if you're in the industrial market."

Branding Strategies

Using social media is one of the major ways that physicians can brand themselves. Brands used to be mainly about things—mostly consumer products—or corporations. Branding, according to, can be defined as the marketing practice of creating a name, symbol, or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products.