Dot NYC – New Competitive Domain As An Element of Strong Branding

Someone has already called the most popular domain “dot com” boring. Well, why?

Today it was officially announced that the City of New York has been approved for its own geographic top-level domain – .nyc – which will allow New Yorkers and visitors to easily find local businesses, services and information online. A .nyc address will show that a business or individual is located in New York City and identify products and organizations serving the New York City community. The City of New York is one of the first cities in the world to be granted a geographic top-level domain by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the nonprofit private organization responsible for overseeing the distribution of IP addresses and domain names. The approval of .nyc comes as ICANN expands the number of generic top-level domains beyond extensions like .com, .org and .edu.

BPO Group USA

New domain, .nyc

It looks like “dot nyc” will be competitive and desirable because it plays at the area of branding, branding of one of the most glamorous and dreamed-about cities in the world, New York. “Having our own unique, top-level domain…our small businesses will now be able to identify themselves as connected to New York City, one of the world’s strongest and most prestigious brands,” – emphasized Mayor Bloomberg.

New York City. Photo courtesy of Natalie Burlutskaya

Should you wish to register for a .nyc domain, you need to know these rules:

  1. registrants will have to have a primary place of residence in the City of New York with a physical address or a “bona fide presence” in the City of New York, meaning regularly performing lawful activities within the city and maintaining an office or other facility in the city;
  2. small businesses would also be able to use a .nyc domain to allow customers to know where they are located in order to better build their online identity;
  3. registration for .nyc addresses will open in late 2013 and fees are to be determined. Additional information is available at www.mydotnyc.com.

Commissioner Walsh pointed out that “small businesses benefit from a strong online presence, and the .nyc domain will give New York City’s small businesses an extra boost by making them more accessible and allowing them to build off the NYC brand”.

How did NYC obtain its own domain? The City of New York is working with a selected registry vendor, Neustar, who is covering all of the City’s costs associated with obtaining the top-level domain, which includes a $185,000 application fee and all technology services and marketing expenses associated with the top-level domain. In March 2012, the City of New York applied to ICANN for control over the administration and management of the .nyc domain, and in May 2013, ICANN announced its decision.

 

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Branding in the Art World: the Armory Show

The art world, enigmatic and mysterious, still purports to be a business. If your artworks do not sell you are out of the game. Galleries and art fairs, while providing a great playground for demonstrating their artworks to the visitors, still need to be appealing to their hearts to convert spectators to admirers and collectors, aka buyers.

BPO Group USA at the Armory Show 2013

Image courtesy guestofaguest.com

It means that a gallery or an art fair itself has to be a brand, reliable and trustworthy, to attract buyers. And even big and famous enterprises have to rethink their marketing strategies and make updates to a brand. One of the best examples of such rebranding is the Armory Show, which opened its doors last week on the Manhattan Piers 92 and 94.

Founded in 1994 by four dealers  as the Gramercy International Art Fair, this show became the largest in New York and one of the most important fairs in the international art market.  The name is the homage to the legendary 1913 exhibition, which, for the first time then, showcased works by avant-garde European artists along with their American counterparts. Throughout its years, the Armory Show was presenting such legendary names as Picasso and Pollock as well as the most cutting edge artists of a younger generation.

Thus the Armory Show became the leading Contemporary and Modern Art Fair in the world. Its mission is to showcase under one roof (literally, two) the most important artworks of the 20th and 21st centuries providing the access to a selection of the world’s leading galleries. Besides, it offers exceptional program of art events and exhibitions throughout New York during the celebrated Armory Arts Week.

For more a decade, the Armory Show has been a queen of art events in Manhattan. It attracted top galleries, collectors, and artists by providing them with the annual opportunity to check out emerging trends and new artworks.

the armory show 2013

Photo courtesy TheArmoryShow.com

The scene has changed over the past four-five years. There were several factors having influenced the dominance of the Armory Show: the economic situation, some major galleries dropping out of the show, proliferation of other shows worldwide. Besides, the local start up of Frieze Art Fair in 2012 brought extra competition. All these factors have been challenging the Armory Show to reinvent itself. The Armory Show was criticized for being “too corporate, too big, or too much one booth after another,” as described by Noah Horowitz, executive director of The Armory Show. So in other words, to be more competitive and successful, the Armory Show has to face a sort of an image problem and rebrand itself.

How is the Armory Show doing it? The following key steps have been made in this direction:

  • the concept of the show has been rethought: the new fair became more gallery-driven, with more single booths. Entering the piers you feel like strolling along the city streets full of attractive art spots;
  • the idea of visual merchandising has been changed: a Solo and Special Projects Program  showcased single themes and artists. It makes the participating galleries focusing on the most representing while most distinctive art pieces. And as a result, the viewers get more clear impression and vision;
  • also a new branding program for the Show was created by one of the Show’s commissioned artists, Liz Magic Laser. The challenge is to update everything from the show concept to its merchandising materials such as T-shirts and totes;
  • there was still a challenge to keep the Armory Show distinctive from other contemporary rivals, and the answer was to emphasize its American roots. Visually it was powerfully done via placing a huge American flag on the entire end wall of the long rectangular fair’s space. It became a stylish focal point of the room.
BPO Group USA analyses rebranding of the Armory Show

Emphasizing the show’s American roots. Photo by BPO Group USA

BPO Group USA at the Armory Show 2013

A gallery booth look. The Armory Show. Photo by BPO Group USA

BPO Group USA analysis the visual impact at the Armory Show

Clean design of the booth makes a clear presentation. Photo by BPO Group USA

It is too early to analyze the financial outcome of this year’s show as well as the connoisseurs’ reviews. But being a part of the admiring crowd we heard chats and whispers saying that the “refreshed” show impressed the visitors. People noticed the difference (aka “rebranding”) and took it positively. We will be following up the further updates to a brand and promotional strategies of one of the most impactful art shows in the world.

BPO Group USA analyzes the Armory Show merchandising

The Armory Show T-Shirt as a part of rebranding program executed by Liz Magic Laser. Photo Courtesy de.phaldon.com

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Brand Yourself on the Web

www

Image courtesy support.mediacore.com

Today it is hard to imagine any brand without its own website. The internet became the easiest source of information. We are [re]searching everything and everywhere using all possible devices starting with our own smart phones.

Do you have a website? Is your brand professionally represented online?

Before you start doing any action from scratch – by yourself or with a professional assistance – think twice of your URL selection and promotion. At BPO Group USA we are happy to consult you at any phase of your branding, business promotion, and your website design. We want to share the following tips with you - before you start your marketing campaign.

DOs

  • Use your brand name as your domain name: in other words, use YourBrandName.com whenever possible
  • Use dot.com whenever possible, or at least dot.net; if YourBrandName dot com or YourBrandName dot net have been already taken it make sense to think of a different brand name – you cannot confuse your consumers with a lot of names everywhere representing your business
  • If your brand name consists of several words, capitalize each letter of each word to help each word stand out and make your brand name easy to read: for example, BPOGroupUSA.com => BPO Group USA dot com
  • When running an integrated media campaign use the URL with your selling line, or slogan: YourSlogan.com

Easy DON’Ts:

  • Avoid hyphens and slashes
  • Do not use words with apostrophes
  • Do not create domain names which are your product or category names, they should be used as supplements.

For more tips and tricks please contact BPO Group USA:
info@BPOGroupUSA.com

 

 

 

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Your Website is Your Face

What people do nowadays to find out more about you and your business? Correct, they go to your website. Your website is your face and your signature, sometimes literally.

How much information do you have to provide on your website? Depends on your purpose, vision, taste, sense of style, and budget. But smartly designed websites will give the viewers an opportunity to see immediately what they are looking for.

And here comes the leader of today’s launches and the most shared links – the website of Hillary Clinton, the Secretary of State, having resigned from her position recently. Her face, her name, her contacts – that’s what you find on her website. That’s what you want if you need Hillary. That’s what you want to make sure this is she. That’s what you need  if  you have to contact her. And this is what we call “smart approach”. Just. One. Page.

Brilliant.

Clinton's website, the only page.

The image from Hillary Clinton’s website

Source: www.HillaryClintonOffice.com

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Holidays: Window Merchandising

Every year and every holiday season all stores on the planet try to strike the pedestrians with their outstanding window displays and convert passers-by into their own consumers. The power of right merchandising is in making you want to look closer at the goods and, at the end, purchase them.

Window merchandising

A window at Tiffany’s. Photo by BPO Group USA.

Stores also get more public attention and awareness if their windows are featured in different kinds of contests and media. In New York in 2012 DDI Magazine named Bergdorf Goodman as the Platinum Award winner in the annual Winning Windows Manhattan holiday retail window competition. Anthropologie Rockefeller Center took home the second-place Gold Award, and both the Ralph Lauren Women’s and Ralph Lauren Baby stores were honored with the third-place Silver Award.

The criteria to win the contest are the following: the spirit of the season, creativity of the display, and its technical execution.

WIndow merchandising

One of the store windows at Pier 17. Photo by BPO Group USA.

It is important to note that with the help of its window merchandising a store can also communicate its social position. For example, Anthropologie is an eco-conscious retailer, and it uses recycled paper, bottles and other previously used materials for creating its unforgettable window scenes. This holiday season you can see snow forests and wild animals “inhabiting” the Anthropologie windows, all hand-made of recycled materials. There are mysterious owls, huge polar bears, cute deer, and of course beautiful dresses inviting you to come in and enjoy the whole in-store experience.

Merchandising

One of the Anthropologie’s windows. Photo by BPO Group USA.

All this beautiful stuff is done with the clear commercial purpose: this is a part of sales strategy to attract your attention and make you buy the goods. The right merchandising leads to more attention, increases awareness, makes one get inside the store with curiosity and interest, and finally helps the businessmen increase their profit.

 

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Entrepreneurship: Right Execution of Smart Business Idea

Great ideas are the most valuable goods on the market. Having at least one smart business idea means fifty percent of success in many cases. And here is an example: “Two Tablespoons”.

BPO Group USA about entrepreneurship

Two Tablespoons

New York City is a place with probably the most eateries per person in the world! Literally, you can try here every cuisine of the world. Imagine the competition among those who want to be successful in the restaurant field.

How to make your spot stand out? The right answer can be “Make it hot!”  At one of the city’s holiday markets we came across the pavilion, among all others, which offers you to try something seasonal. Traditionally, you would expect a trivial cup of coffee… but this is not the case with “Two Tablespoons”: here you get a cup of hot borsht!

Smart business idea

A cup of hot Borsht

You can also have Lentil Soup, Quinoa Salad, and herbal tea. The design of the booth is efficiently sending you the message about healthy home made meals commonly and fairly called “comfort food”.

Why is it a success? Branding is important as usually. There are several aspects which this small team of cooks=businessmen have successfully implemented:

1. The concept is interesting: this is like a coffee shop but with a twist!
2. The message is clear: the menu consists of just 4-5 items of healthy food
3. The design of the booth corresponds with the purpose: the chalked menu on the black board sends you the signal about something natural, organic and simple even if it would not say “vegan”
4. The food is delicious and exactly what you need on chilly winter days!

With this example of tasty & tasteful branding of the attractive business idea we would like to say that the great idea is a lot, and its smart execution is another 50% of success.Good luck, “Two Tablespoons”, and happy holidays!

BPO Group USA finds smart business ideas at the city holiday markets

BPO Group USA finds smart business ideas at the city holiday markets: Two Tablespoons.

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Why do you need Merchandising?

Often, the term Merchandising is taken as strictly commercial and relevant to the huge retail monsters only.
In reality, Merchandising should be interpreted in a much broader way. Merchandising is an array of actions and practices contributing to presenting the product in a right way to attract the customer. The final goal of right merchandising is to increase your sales volume.

One of the aspects of merchandising is making a right selection of those goods which are going to be displayed “on shelves” – whether it’s a real retail shelf or your online store. Or even just your website representing your Brand.

BPO Group USA conducts Creative Workshops with designers and artists to introduce the outside the box thinking regarding selecting and demonstrating certain pieces of their cherished creations. Not any creative being can be critical to his own works to make a right selection to catch the audience.

One of the examples is BPO Group USA’s work with the gifted family of jewelry & accessory designers. They are extremely talented people creating unusual and even quirky items. To represent their huge collection of beautiful pieces we had to review them all, then group them, and after all identify those key pieces which really represent their brand.

At BPO Group USA’s Creative Workshop devoted to Merchandising

Besides, BPO Group USA’s recommendation was to inject some contemporary style accessories to their mostly ethnic and very bohemian collection.

BPO Group USA conducted Creative Workshop with the Jewelry designer

At BPO Group USA’s Creative Workshop with the Jewelry & Accessory Designers devoted to Merchandising

BPO Group USA's Creative Workshop with the Jewelry & Accessory designers devoted to Merchandising

At BPO Group USA’s Creative Workshop devoted to Merchandising

All this work can be described as a part of Branding. As a next step, these businessmen will have to create a website and produce materials to represent their brand. But even at this point, after our Creative Workshop devoted to merchandising, they have already got the idea of focusing on the certain styles and items which make these designers stand out and help them build awareness.

 

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BPO Group USA’s Presentation to the Guild of Realtors

The right branding is important not only for goods. It is absolutely crucial for your company as well, especially if your company provides services such as brokerage, coaching, tutoring, consulting, advising, design services, to name a few.

Right positioning and positive company image build trust which is the most important component  for building loyalty among your consumers, as well as the way to attract new customers.

In August 2012 BPO Group USA was invited to Russia to lead at the business conference of Russian Guild of Realtors. The roundtable meeting took place in the Urals region famous for its industrial and business activities worldwide and its strong influence on the Russian economy.

BPO Group USA's Consulting

BPO Group USA’s consultant with the representatives of Russian Guild of Realtors.

BPO Group USA spoke out in front of great professionals with many years of experience in the real estate field.

BPO Group USA's consulting session

BPO Group USA spoke out in front of great professionals with many years of experience in the real estate field.

We emphasized the urge of the right company branding as well as smart online presence. For such organizations as Russian Guild of Realtors it is critical to utilize all contemporary ways of communications with the clients.

BPO Group USA was given a very warm reception. We are looking forward to collaborating with the Guild.

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The Importance of Branding

Having a great product do you think you are having a brand? In some cases – not at all.

We’ll explain why.

For example, you are a fashion designer. You have made a collection of dresses. All of them are nice and beautiful, and got appraisal from your friends. But so what? To sell them you have to inform your potential consumers that you do exist, create beautiful dresses, follow trends, and do not compromise on quality. How to do it?

You need a right “wrap” for your dress. You need to create a brand out of your product.
Consider analyzing your costs and profit estimation, and set your tasks on branding. Create your name and label. Think about your price point and portrait your target audience. Then some important next steps should be made to promote your brand.

…Seems complicated? Well, it is not really so. You just need to articulate the vision and develop the structural approach. We can do it together with you via our creative workshops! To learn more please contact BPO Group USA.

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