11 Aug

Adapting Your Brand Strategy to Stay Relevant

What’s your Purpose? How brands must adapt to our current ecosystem.

Nobody would have thought how our lives would change as we were stepping in 2020. New goals and aspirations were soon hit with a new reality called COVID-19. As COVID evolved into a global pandemic over the last five months, it required an immediate reaction from large and small businesses.

Along with this, the U.S is also coping with age-old racism and inequality issues that sparked protests and social movements around the globe. The current environment has had an enormous impact on both consumers and brands. The stay at home orders call for support for minority-owned businesses,  shifts in demand for certain products, supply chain challenges, and distribution channels difficulties have caused a radical change in buying behaviors and forced customers to shop in new ways.

The current socio-economic instability has put an immense focus on all brand actions. Consumers now have higher expectations for brands to be responsible for answering essential questions about societal, economic, and environmental progress. Companies can no longer use their old business model of merely providing a product or service.

Companies must reassess their business model, business objectives, and value proposition to survive in this new reality. We have provided some essential tips to help you navigate your brand.

1) Remember that all eyes are on you

Consumers are watching brand commitments and brand responses concerning COVID-19 and social justice movements.  If they fail to act, they could face boycotting, which can have long-lasting effects on business.

2) Reassess your Purpose

Millennials want their brands to align with their values and want to see upper management use their platform to address critical social issues. We saw the importance of brands taking purposeful action in the early stages of COVID-19’s impact.

For example, Nike started a hashtag campaign with #playinside and #playfortheworld. This campaign encouraged athletes to inspire people to train or play at home in efforts to flatten the curve. The message tapped into human emotions and provided hope while maintaining their brand identity.  

In light of the black lives matter movement, Sephora signed a 15% Pledge and committed to devoting 15% of its shelf space to products from black-owned businesses.

3) Meet consumer needs

The effects of the global pandemic have caused human requirements to fall back to the very basic needs of survival. Around the world, there is more demand for food, personal safety, and health. We are witnessing corporations closely monitor the needs of consumers and employees to take action promptly. Companies are transitioning their businesses digitally, providing various no contact delivery and pick up options. People will most likely continue shopping online, and businesses need to provide them with the best customer experience.

4) Be prepared for consumption changes

Back in March, we all had to press the reset button to make us revamp our lives. If and when we resurface from this pandemic and go back to somewhat normalcy, we will again experience different buying patterns. The ongoing momentum will cause people to shop ethically, and brands will have to make efforts to stay relevant.

5) Businesses must take immediate and thoughtful action

One of the biggest takeaways from this situation is how quickly businesses can innovate and contribute to societal needs. Consumers will continue to expect quick and thoughtful actions going forward. The importance of brands in responding to customer concerns and needs during a global crisis is important to maintain brand loyalty.

Going forward, consumers will align their purchases and brand loyalties with their values. For small businesses, your time is now! You have a golden opportunity to gain attention and convince new customers of your value. Many small brands are finding themselves in a stronger position to compete and prevail against larger rival companies. The future of all brands will require them to have a purpose but meaningful responses and follow-through actions.

23 Jul

Working from Home – 5 Tips from a Millennial

I’ve always been blessed. When my mom immigrated to the United States, I was 7. She went from working 40+ hours as a doctor to being a stay at home mom. If you know any doctors, you know they can’t stay still for long. So she began doing telemedicine; this was before we even knew what telemedicine was. She did online consultations via skype all over the world and helped countless people, all while being home.

So since I was little, the 9-5 work-life never appealed to me, and I had a role model that showed me it was possible to work from home and to provide for your family while being productive and happy.

Fast forward to my high school years, I started my first business when I was 16, a tutoring service, and yes, I worked from home. The second business, marketing company, and yes, I worked from home. The only time working from home wasn’t an option was when I had to conform to my business partner’s military mindset of a 9-5, sit in the office, to be considered like you’re working.

Now working from home isn’t for everybody, some people require a structure that they can’t give themselves, and let’s be real when you’re at home distractions are everywhere. Netflix, food, pets, kids, significant others are all distractions that can cause working from home to be extremely unproductive.

Here are my tops tips on how I stay productive while working from home:

1) Set a schedule

This sounds pretty simple but it’s a crucial step in making sure you’re productive. But here is the trick, don’t set a schedule that is a 9-5 schedule.

My Daily Schedule:

6am – Get Up

6:15-7:15 – Read (Or listen to your favorite podcast, audiobook, or even a youtube video)

7:15 – 8:00 – Walk my dog, pet my cat, make some coffee ☕

8:00 – 10:00 – Work (This is my most productive time and I like to work in 2 hr intervals)

10:00 – 11:00 – Workout

11:00-11:30 – Make Breakfast ( This takes me some time lol, I make elaborate bowls)

11:30 -12:30 – Eat and watch my current show

12:30-2:30 – Work

3:00 – 3:30 – Go for a walk or meditate

3:30 – 5:30 – Work – finish up any emails, set up calls, work on any side items I’m working on, follow up with my employees.

5:30 -7:30 – Family/Dinner Time

7:30 – 8:30 – Go for a walk with my mom

8:30 – 10 – Side Hustle Time ( Whether I’m creating blogs, designs for my store, or a new project)

10:00 – 10:30 – Chill, watch a show, go to bed.

Now, this schedule works for me because I’m more productive in small intervals, and I recharge in between those working sessions. And this schedule changes if I have calls, meetings, or an event. Also, if I’m on a creative roll, I sometimes won’t take a break for 4-5 hrs unless it’s to grab a tea or coffee.

Design a schedule for yourself that gives you a good balance between working and doing the things you love. This increase the production of serotonin and improves your mood and productivity.

2) Create a workspace that best fits your needs

Where you do your work is just as important as when and how you work. If there are distractions around, or you are in a chaotic environment, the work you do may reflect your distractions. Set aside a space in your home that you will just be doing work. When you get to that space, only do work and try to avoid other tasks. That way, when you get to that area, you are in a working mindset and can focus on just work. 

If possible, try and make this space away from places where you usually relax in your home. This will keep work and home life separate so that when you are relaxing, you aren’t thinking about work, and vice versa. On a similar note, do your best not to multitask with other activities while working. Keep non-work tasks away from your workspace to avoid distractions.

When setting up your space, make it personalized to your needs! Create spaces for miscellaneous papers and notes, pens and pencils, and anything else you many need. Create somewhere well lit with natural lighting. Try not to over-decorate and overcrowd your space. Try and keep snacks away from your desk to avoid distractions. But keep water to stay hydrated!

3) Take productive breaks

Knowing when to take a break plays a crucial role in staying on task. What you do on your break can also change how productive you are during work time. For example, if you play a game on your phone or watch TV during a break, you are less likely to return to work on time and less likely to return to work very motivated. However, if during your break, you take a walk outside or play with a pet when you return to action, you are likely to feel very refreshed and ready to work. 

What you do on your break is only part of the importance of actually taking a break. Knowing when to take a break is extremely important to the timing of your day. You can schedule out an amount of time to take a break, however, scheduling when your actual break maybe is not ideal. If you are in a groove of working, and a scheduled break is coming up, you are not maximizing your work time.

A good time to know when you need a break is if you find yourself sitting at your workspace, clicking between tasks, and not accomplishing anything. This would be an excellent time to go for a walk or take a small break to encourage your mind and body to re-engage.

4) Reward yourself

Rewarding yourself may seem simple, but it can go a long way in staying productive. Rewarding yourself is different for everyone; for example, I’ll reward myself by going for a walk, cooking my favorite meal, or watching a show. This is unique to you and what you enjoy. Incentivizing productivity with things you love is a great way to help increase efficiency.  

Some ways rewards may look:

  • Treat yourself to a special desert after a hard day of work. 
  • Watch that movie you have always wanted to see in between some frustrating tasks in the day
  • Go on a special trip once you finish a long project or sign a new client
  • Have a sweet treat every 2-3 hours of productive work – my favorite is a homemade granola bar. Healthy and delicious 😊

5) Good and Healthy Sleep Schedule

Sleeping is so important when you work hard all day. However, getting enough sleep can be just as important as when you sleep. If you are sleeping 4 hours at night and then taking a 4-hour nap, you may be getting 8 hours, but that schedule may be throwing off your productivity. Sleeping for extended amounts of time in the day may make you more tired than not napping at all. In your planned schedule, try and create 8+ hours as designated sleep time, ensuring you account for those nights you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. 

Final Thoughts

Working from home can be tough, but it is also a great way to do things we never thought we would have the time to do! Working from home allows you to take time for yourself and take a step back from the busy world we used to live in. Staying productive while working and relaxing when we need is a great thing that we must learn to love.

This is not the end of growing in our careers, jobs, or businesses; instead, it is just the beginning. Growing just looks a little different nowadays!

14 Jul

Burnout & 5 Ways to Prevent It

Let’s face it- if you’re an artist, a hard worker, professional, all, or none of those, you’ve experienced stress in your life. Chances are you weren’t prepared for the ultimate stressor and challenge in everyone’s lives- coronavirus. But that’s okay because you kept your distance, you quarantined, washed your hands, and wore your mask. But why are you still so stressed and overwhelmed?

Thank burnout- according to the HelpGuide, burnout is “a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands.” If you haven’t felt this before, consider yourself lucky- if you’re feeling it now, for the first time, or have felt this for a long time, don’t worry because there are ways to reduce burnout and prevent it in the first place.

Here’s a list of five different ways you can help to prevent burnout so you can cope and live a better life.

1. Learn How to Manage Your Stress

Stress is a normal and healthy part of life. Everyone experiences it, but when it comes at a detriment to you and your health, that’s when you need to find coping mechanisms to help handle and manage your stress. There are a wide variety of coping mechanisms, from breathing exercises to gardening, or even journaling; it’s best to try a couple out and see what works for you. Take some time out of your daily routine to use your newly found coping skills and start or finish your day with more peace than you had previously.

2. Exercise

If you’re like me, then this is the last way you’ll want to try and prevent burnout, but it genuinely will help. Exercise is good for the body and mind alike, and many people use it to relieve stress and relax. It doesn’t have to be a hardcore workout either- you can do yoga, pilates, or if you’re feeling a little feisty, you can do HIIT workouts as well. Whatever you find interesting, whether that involves weights and yoga mats or even just a walk around the lake. Your brain and body will thank you for it later.

3. Set Aside A “Tech-Free” Time

If you have a smartphone, chances are you have social media, and better yet, you’ve seen the news, and it isn’t pretty. It’s so easy to get engulfed by social media, especially when it comes to current events, but it’s important to give yourself time to breathe, time to think, and time to enjoy yourself, away from your phone. Try starting small, give yourself 5-10 minutes away from your phone and do something else: read a book, draw, paint, whatever you find relaxing. Try upping the amount of time for yourself every day; it doesn’t have to go on for hours, but if you can set aside at least thirty minutes to an hour every day for yourself, away from social media, away from the news, your stress will be reduced tenfold.

4. Don’t Be Afraid to Say No

While it can be tempting to take on every possible task you can, it’s just not humanly possible to do it all. We all want to please everyone by saying yes to every minuscule task, but it’s important to know your limits and not stretch yourself too thin. If you can’t make that tight deadline, then just say so. People will be more appreciative that you were honest than they would be if you sent in poor work. Try to set yourself up for more quality work, rather than quantity. Just because you can work on ten projects at once, doesn’t mean you should. Learn your limits, and make sure others know too so you can do your best work and avoid any unnecessary stress.

5. Sleep!

I saved the best way to prevent burnout for last- sweet, glorious slumber. It’s so important to get a full night of sleep, yet it’s easily one of the most commonly neglected human necessities. While doctors often say you need at least eight hours of sleep, everyone is different- try to find the right amount of sleep for you, and stick to it like glue.

Set a sleeping schedule that you can loyally follow, and do your best not to miss it. Avoid spending all-nighters working, because your work isn’t going to get better overnight. Put the pencil/mouse/etc down and get some rest. It’ll still be there in the morning for you to work on, and having a fresh set of eyes will make all the difference in your performance and quality.

30 Jun

Online Clothing Stores Thriving Through Pandemic

As you probably already know, this is a crazy time for the world, a global pandemic, online education, and a crashing economy. Not only are small businesses suffering, but large companies such as Sears, RadioShack, and J. Crew are in danger of going bankrupt. 

These businesses are not well known for eCommerce and did not have time amid the crisis to successfully gain an online shopping following. By marketing their online stores, companies like Lulu’s, Nasty Gal, Fashion Nova, and Fabletics have maintained consistent business even through the pandemic. Since these companies do not pay for retail sales employees or store space, they can spend more money on marketing and advertisements online.

Increased internet use from the COVID-19 crisis is drawing people to see more ads online on a day to day basis.

These online clothing brands have created an easy way to find what you need by filters and categories, making shopping in person seem like less of a hassle. Websites may include tabs of looks that the company has put together, acting like a mannequin in a store would. 

Then right from that page, you can click on links attached and “shop the look.” Customer reviews may be available for those who may be uncomfortable shopping for clothes online because of inconsistencies in size or material. 

Previous customers can review a product and explain how it worked for them in their experience so that future customers can gauge their purchases.

Customers also may be provided within-site chat options. Instant chat systems on clothing websites can be useful to ask online associates quick questions online. This prevents the work of emailing or calling the corporate company and can give easy answers there and then.

These brands are focused on the target market of young females. By advertising on high traffic social media such as Instagram, these companies draw in customers by using exclusive deals or sales that claim to be available for a limited time. Customers in this target market may also advertise their brands on other platforms without the company, even asking. 

For example, it is popular to post hauls from online clothing stores on YouTube, promoting the brand without them having to do anything.

Through this time, online clothing brands have been tactically making free-shipping deals, creating giveaways, and creating flash sales on their products. Enticing shoppers in this way creates a reliable sales funnel for the company. When everyone feels they need to treat themselves, buying clothes online is a safe and easy way to brighten up anyone’s day in quarantine.

23 Jun

Gym Closures Spark Creativity Amid Covid-19 Pandemic

Businesses have been feeling the impact of pandemic closures worldwide, requiring them to be creative to continue to have a stream of income.

Restaurants turned to delivery services and carry-out food. Retail stores have heavily relied on online shopping. However, gyms and fitness studios faced a new challenge: how can a business that relies solely on in-person interaction still bring in money during a time when no in-person interaction is allowed? 

Many places rose to the occasion with imaginative solutions that not only helped them bring in revenue but also helped their members stay active. 

As a frequent gym-goer myself, the closure was something I was dreading. I often use the gym as my main form of stress relief, and I wasn’t sure how to cope without it. Like the gym owners, I had to find new inventive ways to stay active. 

I made the switch to outdoor workouts and increased cardio due to my lack of equipment. I found myself going on more runs, walks, and bike rides. I even decided to try out Chloe Ting’s, a fitness YouTuber, two-week shred challenge, which is made up of a series of videos designed to get you in shape. This challenge has become especially popular during quarantine, where participants share their progress on apps such as Tik Tok and Instagram. 

Slowly, states are beginning to open their gyms backup, Florida is one of the states that have already taken that step. 

However, going back to a gym might be frightening to those who are immunocompromised or have someone who is at home thankfully, if quarantine has taught us anything it is how to adjust to a new normal.

Here are our top 4 tips on how gyms can adapt to the new normal:

#1 Rent out your equipment to members

As dumbbells and resistance bands began to fly off the shelves of Target at the beginning of quarantine, Unite Fitness in Philadelphia chose to rent out their equipment. They rented out all the weights and bands they owned. This switch was mutually beneficial for them financially and their members who couldn’t access equipment. 

Many other smaller studios have followed in suit with different rental options. Even spin studios have taken to renting out their bikes so members can participate in virtual spin classes. This is a great option to help you continue to bring in revenue, especially if you’re in a state when there are still closures.

#2 – Host virtual workouts on social media platforms

Other nationwide gym chains have turned to the internet to host virtual workouts for members. Planet Fitness, Orangetheory, Crunch, L.A. Fitness, and Pure Barre are just a few offering them. Unfortunately, many of these gyms had to go over a month without charging members, so how does the gym benefit from free virtual workouts? They gain social currency.

While some gyms have their own platform to host their online workouts such as CrunchTV or Pure Barre On Demand, many have also held Instagram and Facebook Live fitness classes available to the public. These sessions often lead to an increase of likes and follows on their page, as well as exposure to a new audience.

#3 – Offer both in-person and virtual personal training

Many gyms and trainers have begun to offer virtual personal training. This is a good option for not only states who continue to experience closures but also for clients who don’t feel comfortable heading to the gym. 

My mom has recently started working out with a personal trainer online. Even though this is typically unconventional, she has enjoyed this approach to staying active.

#4 – Make safety features and sanitary items prominent to members

As excited I was to be back at Crunch the first day they opened, I was a little hesitant to be around that many people amid a global pandemic. Luckily, they have implemented new safety precautions, such as providing members with a bottle of antibacterial spray, requiring individuals to bring workout towels, increased sanitation stations, and 6-feet distance between equipment. 

They also had large signs promoting social distancing and employees, ensuring members are following policy. All of these steps help make members feel more comfortable with attending the gym. It also limits the spread of Covid-19.

05 May

How is your Marketing Strategy Going to Change After COVID-19?

Two months ago, the world was in a different place.⁣ Coronavirus is, by far, one of the biggest challenges this generation has faced, and its impacts will last in the years to come. Social distancing and remote work are the only solutions that can help people stay safe. In short, COVID-19 has people staying home, which has altered consumer buying patterns.

So, how should marketers be handling this?

We need to adjust to the new normal! To survive the negative sentiment and economic slowdown: resilience, innovation, agility, and empathy should be a marketers’ key tools. As consumers’ lifestyles are adapting to staying at home, marketers must proactively reach out to them where they are.

1. Anticipate Consumer Needs

It is important to identify individual consumer needs and address them accordingly.

2. Leverage Technology

Meeting customer needs has been a challenge and we must think the best way to serve your customers the best possible way with limited resources and social distancing constraints. With the help of eCommerce solutions, businesses can fulfill customer needs in a timely manner. 

3. Digital World Presence

As people are staying at home, they are spending more time either on streaming platforms, social media, or online shopping. Businesses must be active on their social media and create new strategies for online shopping or in-store pickup  

4. Focus on Customer Experience  

In worrying times like these, brands must help customers, by providing them with the means to cope with the ongoing situation by providing the right information, and going beyond to help customers. Being empathetic and prioritizing customer experience will help your brand stand out.

No one can predict what’s next in this global pandemic and when it will end. But, to survive, businesses must adapt to the new normal. We have come up with a COVID-19 Marketing Strategy Checklist to help businesses help transition their marketing strategy according to the current situation.

⁣1. Emails: Keep your customers informed. They must be kept in the loop on your efforts and any vital information they might need e.g. change in working hours ⁣

⁣2. Social Media: This is one of the fastest ways to keep your customers up-to-date with the information they need. This is a great medium to maintain your customer engagement.⁣

3⁣. Paid Media: Running ads dedicated to helpful resources to help your customers would be better than pushing your products and sales at this time. You do not want to make your business come off as opportunistic in a time where people are worried. ⁣

⁣4. Event Updates: If you had any business-related events, it was likely postponed or canceled. Send regular email updates, post information to your social media accounts, and update any event listings you had on third party websites, like Eventbrite.⁣

⁣Leveraging platforms like social media and email marketing can help keep your business in the minds of the customer while providing them with useful information that helps them get through these difficult times.⁣

05 Feb

Introduction to Branding Bosses

Entrepreneurs are a rare breed of dedicated and ambitious individuals. Each possessing certain characteristics that make them successful. However, one thing that is consistent with each new venture is the marketing strategies that are needed to be able to succeed as a startup.

Our passion is to help entrepreneurs implement innovative marketing strategies that not only make their brand stand out from the crowd but a brand that excites and ignites their followers and customers to act.  

When the idea for our company arose, we wanted to put research and technology at the core of what we offer. From high tech AI solutions to Facebook Chat Bots, and Text Message Marketing, we have unique solutions that fit for the high tech world that we are living in.

However, at Branding Bosses, we aren’t just about technology. We are also about people and real connections that matter. We offer content that captures the attention, videos that stir up emotions and create brands that stand out from the competition.

Our CEO and Founder, Nadia Kaminskaya, has worked in the Tampa Bay startup community for almost nine years and her passions are what created Branding Bosses.

CEO Backstory: 

Nadia always had an entrepreneurial mindset. At the age of 16, she started her first business with provided tutoring services. She immediately realized how difficult it was to navigate the world of business, especially being a young entrepreneur. Nadia lacked the funds to pay a third party company to do her marketing, so she took matters into her own hands and figured out how to expose her brand into the world successfully. 

It was frustrating at first, but as any true entrepreneur knows, there is always a positive in any situation. Opportunities are everywhere, you just need the patience and the drive to discover them. 

Once she became successful in marketing her own company, she began reaching out to startups who needed assistance with web design and brand development. She offered her skills to other small businesses that had been in the same position she was.  

Since then, Nadia has become a serial entrepreneur. With over five companies that she has founded and run successfully,  she is passionate about the Tampa Bay startup community and she is a part of helping Tampa become the next hub for investors and entrepreneurs.

Why Now?

Tampa’s entrepreneurial ecosystem has been growing into a significant hub for entrepreneurs and investors to create innovative ideas. Key demographics point that Tampa Bay is approaching the highest performing areas in the country in terms of startup activity. Universities are investing significantly in their entrepreneurship programs for students of all backgrounds and are creating various support organizations.  The climate, strategic location and the low cost of living have led to various business opportunities for many entrepreneurs. 

Why Us?

Branding Bosses acknowledges these increasing business opportunities, therefore, we have found a creative solution to help these businesses to flourish by creating a strong brand for their company. We offer a wide variety of digital solutions that will help you expand your brand and achieve your business goals.

Our services include:

If you want to explore these services or understand your current digital marketing efforts, connect with us! We provide a free discovery call to discuss which of these services would be the right fit for your business model.