This 4/20, Brand Iron is Proud to Introduce Cannabisdecks.com

The legal cannabis market was worth an estimated $7.2 billion in 2016. It is projected to grow at a compound annual rate of 17% and reach a $50 billion valuation within the next decade. Adult recreational sales are estimated to jump from $2.6 billion in 2016 to $11.2 billion by 2020, by which time the industry as a whole is projected to create more jobs than manufacturing.

We think it’s safe to say that the cannabis industry is booming. There is incredible incentive for investors to get in on the action, and those who do are enjoying returns unrivaled in most any other industry.

It is important now, more than ever, for legal cannabis growers, processors, manufacturers, dispensaries and business operators to differentiate themselves in a crowded market. Enter cannabisdecks.com, Brand Iron’s new addition to our service platform that aims to educate industry leaders on the importance of telling their story the right and professional way.

And telling a compelling story is important – in fact, it’s crucial, and it’s what separates Brand Iron’s presentation decks from others of the like. Over the years, Brand Iron has developed over 100 Capital Raise, Management and Analyst Decks that have helped companies raise over 2 billion dollars, allowed 20 businesses to get acquired and 6 to go public. These powerful presentation tools are perfect for startups, emerging companies who want to raise growth capital, alternative investment companies, companies looking to get acquired or go public, and especially organizations in the flourishing legal cannabis industry.

“High powered, successful investors have some common habits: They ask questions, a LOT of questions. As it relates to cannabis as a newer industry, the education section of these presentations often needs to be longer than in other industries. A professional Capital Raise Deck facilitates control of the room. It educates. It covers proforma projections. It drives the discussion and ultimately enhances the outcome which is either raising capital, getting acquired or going public.”
-Michael Doyle, Brand Iron CEO

The cannabis industry is here and growing. Business-savvy investors are looking to get involved in this veritable gold rush, but they want to invest in a professional brand they understand and believe in. With presentations like those created by Brand Iron, you can tell your organization’s story the right way. Check out cannabisdecks.com to learn how.

To find out more about how Brand Iron can help you Achieve your Anything, visit www.brandiron.net or get in touch @ 303-534-1901.

If #nuggsforcarter can do it, so can Your Social Media Platform

It’s official: Brand Iron has hopped aboard the #nuggsforcarter bandwagon. In doing so, we’ve joined the likes of Google, Microsoft, Amazon and T-mobile, to name a few, all of whom are doing their part to help a teenager achieve his dream.

Who is the teenager? Well, his name is Carter. What’s his dream? A whole lot of free chicken nuggets.

Hey, some of us dream simpler than others.

Last week, Carter tweeted at his favorite nugget vendor:

 

 

 

 

Surely, a joke from a high school kid who just loves his chicken nuggets. However, we would call the sequence of events that followed serendipitous to say the least.

Event #1: the fast food chain does the math, discovers they would have to give out around 7000 nuggs to a hungry high schooler, and replies in kind, setting the bar nearly 6 times higher than the all-time retweet record.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Event #2: Carter bravely accepts the challenge.

 

 

Event #3: the #nuggsforcarter campaign is born. Within the first five days, it receives 2.6 million retweets from some fairly recognizable names.

Event #4: #nuggsforcarter is still trending, and Wendy’s is getting anxious.

 

 

 

 

This all begs the question: how did chicken nuggets ignite what could tun into the biggest twitter reaction ever? What compelled some of the world’s biggest corporations (not to mention, as of April 10th, 2.27 million others) to retweet and even offer incentives to a random teenager with an insatiability for fast food? Welcome to the mystery of the internet, everybody. One thing we know for sure, though, is that phenomenons like this are uniquely possible through the power of social media. Something about this young man’s desire for Wendy’s chicken nuggets, his brazen approach, and Wendy’s surely insurmountable challenge, inspired a virtual uprising – and the retweets keep rolling in.

Whether Carter gets to 18 million retweets or not, this is just another example of how far your message can spread if you strike that perfect nerve on the Web. Don’t neglect your organization’s social media presence, and you’ll be sure to reap the rewards.

ERP Solutions Experts Enter Mile High Territory with New Look and Brand Package

When Brand Iron set out to design a new logo package and website for Colorado-based Mile High Solutions, our goal was to showcase their unique and in-depth expertise in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions.

Mile High Solutions advertises a versatile business methodology for its customers consisting of business health checks, solution analysis and design, system deployment, Microsoft 365 platform services and ongoing projects and support – the whole package that separates them from others in their field.

And it’s true, MHS’ business solution architecture can compete with or exceed that of the biggest firms in the industry. Now, they have the brand to prove it.

Mile High Solutions’ relationship-driven philosophy was an important factor in their re-brand, and we made sure their website advertised a “customer focus for life” ideology that touts MHS as an extension of their customers’ businesses, and a partner in all their endeavors. For MHS, this is the only way to truly cultivate trust and long-term partnerships with their customers, and for us, that mentality is their real elevating factor.

Thanks to Mile High Solutions for making our work gratifying. Want to learn more about our integrative branding process? Visit our website to find out how to get started Achieving your Anything.

7 Mistakes to Avoid when Branding Capital Raise/Pitch Decks

Avoid these preparation, delivery, and branding pitfalls when you decide to leverage a capital raise/pitch deck.

Capital raise/pitch decks are powerful tools that can help organizations accelerate their brand, ignite growth and improve results. They help startups and emerging companies who want to raise growth capital, alternative investment shops like Real Estate, Private Equity, Venture Capital, etc., and businesses looking to get acquired or go public.

At Brand Iron, we offer these presentations as an exclusive service, so it goes without saying we’ve seen a ton of them over the years. One thing we’ve noticed is that most companies view the branding and marketing of their capital raise/pitch decks as secondary to the investment opportunities themselves. They consider the actual model and numbers as the ultimate priority – and we’re not saying that’s not the right outlook, because it is. However, with the majority of focus placed on the numbers, they make various mistakes when it comes to the presentation’s branding and how it is put together and delivered, and this can detract from desired outcomes.

Let’s take a look at some mistakes companies make while preparing, delivering, or branding pitch/capital raise presentations:

  1. Content overload – We’ve seen decks pushing 100 slides. No matter how in-depth you think you should go, the most important thing to figure out is how to effectively package a nice, tight message.
  2. Presenting on spreadsheets – Yes, you have to create a financial picture. But spreadsheets aren’t conducive to telling your audience who you are.
  3. Not telling a story – Many presentations just contain facts and content, but they don’t effectively tell your company’s story, and it’s the story that your audience really needs to hear.
  4. Not having an outline/agenda – If you don’t have a tight and organized outline/agenda, it’s too easy to get off track while creating your presentation and lose your audience while delivering it.
  5. Reading your pitch/presentation – A good story that people can buy into has to be told from the heart with passion and conviction, not from reading your presentation word-for-word. This is the only way your audience will believe in you and your pitch.
  6. Getting off point – We’ve experienced and witnessed many pitches and presentations where a simple question throws the presenter off and sets them down a path unknown. As a presenter, you have to control the room and make sure to maintain your messaging.
  7. Not making the presentation engaging – We’ve all seen pitches and presentations of various sorts that lack that “wow” factor, either visually or content-wise. It is especially important in capital raise/pitch decks that your product isn’t bland, because that’s the easiest way to lose your audience’s interest in not just the presentation itself, but the story it is telling.

When it comes time to utilize a powerful capital raise/pitch presentation, it is crucial that it comes off as not only highly professional and informative, but also that it is proficiently branded. This can help tremendously in getting you get the interest you need to achieve your business goals.

Want to see how it’s done? Don’t forget to visit capraisedeck.com or give us a call @ 303-534-1901.

Brand Iron’s 15 Ways to Improve Your Brand

It’s Brand Iron’s 15-year anniversary (man, we’re old), and we’ve learned a lot over the years. Here are 15 ways we’ve approached our own brand and the brands of our clients:

Revenue – Because, of course. We aren’t trying to sound superficial here, but there’s a reason “driving revenue” is plastered in our tagline. At the end of the day, your livelihood depends on it. Keep your marketing strategies fresh and contemporary, take care of your brand, and continue to care deeply about your customers, and that’ll go a long way toward keeping the business coming and the cash flowing.

Results – They’re all that matter. It’s easy to get bogged down in day-to-day business tactics, but it’s hard (and necessary) to constantly be evaluating whether they contribute to some kind of overarching strategy for your brand – after all, without strategy, there are no results. And without results…well, you know the rest.

Revolutionize – Improve. Innovate. Make something yours. In a business world saturated with redundancy and stale, overused ideas, how will you make your brand stand out? What will you do that will turn people’s heads and make them rethink how it’s done? Think outside the box. Do things differently. Be unique. Pick your favorite cliche, and go with it.

Refine – Never stop working to make yourself and your brand better. Even if you think you’re doing it all, we promise, you’re not. There is always something you can do, whether it’s updating your collateral, enhancing your website, or tweaking the way you pitch to prospects, to keep things fresh.

Reposition – Sometimes, you just gotta pivot. You should constantly be evaluating where your brand sits, stands, or lays in your given landscape, and never hesitate to make changes. It’s this flexibility that will always keep you one step ahead of the pack, and your brand one peg above the rest.

Revise – There’s a reason it’s called new and improved. Your mentality should always be fluid, and you should never be afraid to revisit something with the end goal of improving your brand message in the short or long-term.

Recharge – Sometimes, you just need a break. Don’t be afraid to take a step back, inhale deeply, and think about something else for a bit. Your brand lives and breaths off the hard work of humans, and humans get tired every once in awhile. Go on a hike. Get some coffee. Pet a puppy. Make like a battery and recharge, then come back to your brand with a fresh perspective.

Recount – When it comes to your brand’s performance, always look back fondly on the good times, because every good flow comes with a couple ebbs. Also, always recount. Literally. Always count more than once. No one wants to be the guy/gal who prints one too few copies of that sales presentation, or who finds themselves one slice of cake short at the office birthday party.

Refresh – You know that feeling you get after getting up from a really great night’s sleep? Us neither. But we really try to harness that sensation at work. Take care of yourself and your staff so that you can provide your brand the attention it needs when you get to work.

Recover – How you recuperate from brand lulls are what can separate you from the rest. A resilient style of dealing with occasional failures leads to a resilient brand.

Revive – Every once in awhile, your brand just needs a little energy injection. Give it a boost by thinking about your business offerings in new ways, distributing them differently, redefining your target audience, etc.

Recycle – It’s not only good for the environment, but it’s good for your brand. Whether it’s to save time, money or both, it can be to your benefit to turn old ideas into new ones.

Relinquish – As important as knowing when something is needed, knowing when to let go can be the launchpad for fresh concepts and a boost for your overall brand. Ideas don’t always work, and when they don’t, you’re better off retiring them and starting from square one.

Remix – Take some old ideas, take some new. Use what’s worked for your brand in the past, and then try what’s unknown. Mix and match, because that can be the quickest way to find what works for your unique brand.

Refocus – Brands have a tone, voice and texture that are all part of the customer’s experience. Over a period of time, it’s easy to let your brand stray from its established persona. It’s important to take time to hone in on what has been successful over time and make sure that’s the path you continue down.

We feel incredibly fortunate to do what we do, and even luckier that we’ve gotten to do it for 15 years. Part of our secret is to always keep focused on what’s really important and to remember who we’re really doing this for – our clients. Here’s to the next 15 years and the opportunity to help you achieve your anything!

7 Technology Savvy Ways to Generate Business Leads

Companies are always on the lookout for the most effective ways to generate solid leads for their business. With the advent of technology in virtually all business sectors, some formerly “speculative” methods and tools are becoming the new tried-and-true.

The question we must ask ourselves is this: are we effectively harnessing technology to help produce leads, ignite business and grow revenue? Let’s take a look at some contemporary marketing strategies that can substantially increase your business agility, and the technology tools that make them possible.

1) Customer Relationship Management Systems (CRM)

Make sure you are utilizing a CRM system to improve your relationship with existing customers, find new prospective customers, and win back former customers. CRM systems allow you to house and manage your contacts and effectively view and manage your pipeline, ensuring improved customer relations, better external and internal communication, and an in-depth understanding of your customers’ needs and behavior.

Tools: SalesForce, Act, Insightly

2) Email Distribution Software

Email distribution tools allow you to send out marketing emails in “blast” fashion, i.e. a whole lot at a time, from an address associated with your company. The software then provides analytics and immediate notifications of who bites the lure and when, allowing you to jump faster on qualified leads and up your conversion rates. These tools are great for narrowing and categorizing your targeted audiences, tracking and optimizing your distribution methods, and improving communication with your customers.

Tools: Constant Contact, Campaign Monitor

3) Marketing Automation Software

CRM and email mass distribution software are only the beginning. Marketing Automation integrates it all into one streamlined system that helps you manage and schedule complex digital marketing campaigns. Lead generation, nurturing and scoring, targeted audience segmentation, scheduled social media campaigns, customer lifecycle marketing, cross-selling and up-selling, customer retention, and marketing ROI measurement are all benefits of utilizing this behemoth of marketing technology.

Tools: Pardot, Eloqua, Sharp Spring

4) Webinars

Putting on a webinar is a great way to showcase a skill or topic and educate your audience about a particular subject. You can use this tool to help qualify a prospect and turn them into a true, bonafide lead.

Tools: Google + Hangouts, Webinars OnAir, Skype, GoToWebinar

5) Online Surveys

Using a survey is a great way to connect to both customers and prospects alike. By targeting your surveys toward specific audiences, you can even help convert prospects into leads.

Tools: Survey Monkey, ZOHO, Survey Gizmo

6) Commercial Social Networking

Just about everyone understands the importance of social networking these days. This is just another way to beef up your networking database and connect with influential people and targeted markets.

Tools: LinkedIn, AngelList, Beyond

7) Database Development

Using a database development tool to locate targets and get their information added to your database is crucial and a great way to connect to your desired prospects.

Tools: InfoUSA, NetProspex, AggData

At Brand Iron, we think it’s critical to figure out what you are trying to accomplish with your marketing activities and then take a detailed look at the best technology tools that can help get you there. Map out when and how you are going to use these tools, then get going. It’s never too soon to start generating more leads and driving revenue.

CRS Rebrands to Promote a Fresh, Bold and Community-oriented Approach to Insurance Brokering

Brand Iron teamed up with the local insurance brokerage to craft a new brand, website, and bold exterior signage that sell their relationship-driven services.

For the past six months, Brand Iron has been working with CRS Insurance on a total re-brand. As our team started learning all about the local insurance brokerage, what stuck out most was how much they care about celebrating their community. Through dedicating time and resources to charities and other philanthropic endeavours involving children, shelter and second chances, they say many of their favorite corporate memories revolve around time spent inside their community and outside their office.

This was a sizeable factor to consider when the re-brand began. A lot of businesses dictate the importance of being active in their communities, but it was immediately apparent that CRS walks the walk.

Of course, from time to time, you gotta get down to business, too. We started by matching the symbol of CRS, their new logo, with the company’s emerging bold and “active” business identity in an attempt to make it more recognizable within their field.

We followed suit with their new website, sticking with strong colors and impactful typefaces, and making sure potential customers are drawn to a visual and intellectual message.

Finally, we developed signage that is currently on display at CRS’ Denver office and proudly displays a new era for the company and its identity.

“Everyone here at CRS is really excited about our new brand.  The infusion of color and simplicity really stands out compared to our old logo and the majority of our peers.  Brand Iron was thorough in their research of our company, our processes, our industry, and our competitors when creating our color scheme, logo, and website.  Their input was instrumental in helping us clarify the message that we put out into the world; how we are different and why that is important.”
– Eric Johnson, CRS Insurance

CRS earns its livelihood by working to alleviate the pain that keeps businesses from reaching peak profitability and efficiency. This level of care toward their clients, partners and colleagues was apparent throughout the re-brand process.  We are eager to watch CRS move forward anew in an exciting and invigorating market.

Brand Iron Introduces Capraisedeck.com

With a new website highlighting powerful presentation tools for raising capital, getting acquired or going public, Brand Iron exposes a lesser known sector of its business-backed brand strategy and services.

Over the years, Brand Iron has developed over 100 presentation decks that have helped companies raise over 2 billion dollars, allowed 20 companies get acquired and 6 to go public.

If anyone truly understands the impact and value of these results, it’s our clients. Stemming from their success, Brand Iron is proud to announce the introduction of Capraisedeck.com to its service platform. The new site highlights some lesser known but extremely valuable services that we provide our clients: Investor Raise Decks and Management & Analyst Presentations.

These powerful tools are perfect for startups, emerging companies who want to raise growth capital, alternative investment companies like Real Estate, Private Equity, Venture Capital, etc., or companies looking to get acquired or go public.

Our expertise with capital raise presentations all started when Brand Iron CEO Michael Doyle sold his first company:

“It was during the ‘dot com’ days, and I subsequently became the [company’s] National Brand Director. One of my main roles while running the dot com’s brand was to develop presentations for both Wall Street executives and analysts in support of the company’s IPO. I learned a lot about how to package your story, communicate both your key differentiators and value points, and highlight your organization’s key features and benefits.”

  
Telling your story in the right way is the key to success. Find out how we can help you Achieve your Anything with Brand Iron by visiting Capraisedeck.com and Brandiron.net or calling us @ 303-534-1901.

Brand Iron Partners with ZUUS Dynamic Scheduling to Help Empower Service Managers and Enhance Customer Experience

When ZUUS Dynamic Scheduling developed their proprietary and innovative employee scheduling software, their grand intent was to empower restaurant and retail managers to make sure their customers never have to wait too long for the best possible service. The foodie, shopper and overall line-lamenting side of the Brand Iron staff quite liked that idea, but more importantly, so did the brand development side. So, when we partnered with ZUUS to develop a new look and website, we thought it important to tag that concept right on the homepage.

And it’s true – At ZUUS, service industry customers do come first, and this is possible via an expansive and user-friendly scheduling platform that boasts five differentiating features to help managers capitalize on efficient and real-time staff scheduling and make sure the appropriate staff  are at the appropriate places at the right times.

We also helped ZUUS devise headlines, copy and overall messaging for their new site that relates to industry professionals and clearly communicate what ZUUS Dynamic Scheduling is really all about.

A native of Australia who opened for business in the United States in 2014, ZUUS is one of our truly national clients. Their main vertical markets are restaurants and quick service, and we in Denver know how robust and competitive the current food scene is. With their new look, we think this is the perfect place for them to call (2nd) home and a great home base for deployment of their game-changing business tool.

Along with the new site, we also embarked on a video production project that combines unique animations and screen capture to illustrate ZUUS’ extensive functional suite. Stay on the lookout for the official releases soon.

 

2017 is the Year for Renewed Business Optimism

With a new Administration in the White House, small businesses are brimming with confidence for the future.

For small businesses around the country, confidence and optimism for the future are soaring, as indicated this past December by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), America’s leading small business association.

The NFIB released an index derived from 619 small-business owners’ responses to a survey about plans, expectations, and trends for future business growth and opportunity. The index rose 7.4 points in December, representing the highest monthly gain since July of 1980.

This monumental increase indicates business owners’ overall expectations for better business conditions and their harboring of more upbeat views about the outlook for sales and the economy.

The share of business owners who say now is a good time to expand is three times the average of the current expansion, according to survey results. More companies also said they plan to increase investment and keep hiring, which reflects hopefulness surrounding the new Administration’s plans of spurring the economy.

The NFIB index and how small businesses are feeling about their economic futures are found in this chart:

Politics aside, businesses are excited about how the Donald Trump presidency will boost economy and the future of business in 2017. They are preparing for a breakout, ready to take risks and make investments. Here’s to a strong year for your business: creating jobs, supporting your favorite charity and generally putting more money in everyone’s pockets.