Red Zebra Business Centre -Management Memos
July, 2007. Make Measurably More In Your Business!

July this year marks 22 Years of Service to Small and Medium Business!


My Red Zebra

The all-new Red Zebra website launched last month to a chorus of favourable comments and observations.

3 Key Service Areas

The three key activities - which can be summarised as managing the financial parts of the business, driving the marketing effort, and staff planning & recruiting - are now easily recognised and accessed.

3 Delivery Methods

Access the services three ways - one for small and medium businesses, one for enterprises that need on-line services, and one for larger organisations.

3 New Features

  • New graphic design capacity for advertising, signage, and visual merchandising
  • New book-keeping & systems capacity for simplifying and improving accounting systems, and
  • New customer relationship software capacity to maximise the vale of each and every customer.

Visit the new website now!!

Remember to
see the Library

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Marketing is a mix of many things, that’s why we often hear about ‘the marketing mix’! Whatever else is in the marketing mix - and there is a whole heap in there - branding is one of the very powerful elements. Whether you plan it or not, you will get branded. It’s best to do it first, and do it well.  Then keep on protecting it.

Branding makes your business easily recognizable and unique. It puts up in lights the values you apply in your business. The brand image represents you at a glance. Your brand distils the message you want to carry to buyers in a single snapshot of your company.

Build Your Brand

Visual images provide the most recognisable and unique of single snapshots, and the most important image is your logo. It carries the message of your brand graphically. A logo is effective when it enables consumers to identify your business on sight. It helps create the "look and feel" of what you’re doing. Many people confuse “brand” with “logo”. The logo is only one image, and many great logos are let down by what surrounds them. For instance, a quality manufacturer with a very smart logo, but who uses poor quality packaging, is sending very confusing messages.  It always works out badly.

Similarly, a retailer who has great looking store, but employs staff who are just not interested in customers, simply shows that he or she is more interested in image than substance. Customers can read that very well, and stay away!

Only when you’re sure all the other things about your business that people see, really do support your brand image, can you think about a logo.  It is a graphical representation of your business, and ties together all the other elements of your brand. Remember, your logo should appear wherever possible

Even if you have a small budget, it is best to use a professional to work with you in designing your logo. Using a home-made logo or one created with clip art can make your business look unprofessional. It looks as bad as untidy premises or careless staff! The Red Zebra team has created a great many brands over time, and good graphic design is at the heart of it.

Protect your Brand

Effective branding carries the message of your business succinctly and consistently wherever consumers encounter you.  So, after you have spent a lot of time and money creating your brand, it is just plain common sense to look after it. Follow these five simple steps.

  1. Make your logo synonymous with your business - have it appear wherever possible, and always in  the same presentation.

  2. Be consistent. Many think it’s right to keep the logo with the same colour, but completely overlook keeping the slogan and advertising tag lines consistent. Make sure the message is itself always consistent. If you have a theme tune, don’t run ads without it.

  3. Maintain the values. Some operators tackle the ‘value for money market’, or the economy end of things. Nothing wrong with that if you do it well. Others pursue the premium end of town. Likewise, that’s fine if you do it well. But you can’t be effective if you try to establish a ‘quality’ brand, run lots of high quality ads, then slip in a campaign based on ‘price offs’.  Value is destroyed in minutes that takes years to recover!

  4. Advertise your own brand. Co-op advertising is a great way to leverage the synergy between suppliers and retailers. When you do that, remember the effect on your brand. Co-op can shift product, but it does not build brands. Always complement your co-op advertising with your own brand advertising. Feel free to click the link below to talk to us about this important aspect of your advertising. Remember, just as branding is more than a logo, so marketing is more than just advertising.

  5. Keep your brand visible - always! The more you reinforce your brand identity, the more memorable it becomes. Market your business with advertising, using your logo and slogan. Get your brand out there whenever possible -- on your company vehicles, on each page of your web site, and on the products themselves.

Building and protecting your brand is a fundamental aspect of sound business, and it requires skill and experience to get it right. Make sure you have access to the right experience.

Your brand is too valuable to treat roughly.

 If you'd like to find out more, talk to us, or ask us a question here! Remember, there's no charge or obligation, and you get a whole hour's consultation free. This same offer also applies in New Zealand.