Growth and Development of International Law

International law in an area that has been of great importance in recent times as it regulates the relations of States, IGO’s, NGO’s and individual persons in their dealings with one another. International law as it is seen in modern times has gone through several developmental states to achieve its present status. There have been several modifications in the scope and subjects of international law as time passes by.This article divides the growth and development of international law into four main phases. The first phase starts with the peace agreements that was made in Europe after the thirty years war, followed by the second phase with begins after the first Word War and then the third phase which begins after the Second World War and finally the last phase which refers to the aftermath of the Second World War till date. The last part of the article looks at the future of international law and it does this by situating the future of international law in the question as to whether international law is dying or not.Key Words
International relations
United Nations

IntroductionThe interaction among countries is regulated by international laws and customs and it is for this reason that international law serves a great purpose as far as the international interaction among states is concerned. No country can leave in isolation without depending on other countries for raw materials, national resources, and technological know-how among others and hence there is the inevitable need for countries to depend on one another for survival. This interaction and to a large extent trade relations among member countries, therefore, needs to be guided by some laws which will help to ensure that such interactions are on a peaceful basis with without chaos or possible violence in the international system and hence its essence in contemporary times. Laws that governs relations among states, IGO’s, NGO’s and individual has developed from one stage to the other with significant improvements and changes in their scope and applicability.Definition of international law
International law was first developed to govern the relations among sovereign countries and as such it was referred to as The Law of Nations. That is to say that a set of rules and regulations meant to regulate the relations among sovereign and civilized states with their dealings and activities among themselves.
This is a narrow definition and viewed by scholars as the traditional definition of international law. Obviously, there are a lot of grey hairs in this definition of international law as it is difficult to determine which state is civilized and which state is not and more importantly, the scope and subjects of international law have in modern times widened to govern the relations of not only sovereign states but that of Non-Governmental Organizations, International Governmental Organizations, and even individual persons as well.With the proliferation of Non-Governmental organizations (NGO’s) most probably after the WWII as well as the business transactions, agreements and contract among persons, the scope, and definition of international law have widened to cover, NGO’s and even persons as well. In modern times it is defined as a body of rules and principles that govern the relations among States, International Governmental Organizations (IGO’s), NGO’s as well as individual persons in the relations among each other (Egede & Sutch, 2013). This definition of international law is mostly referred to as the modern definition as it expands the scope and focus of international law.Growth and development of international law
The expansion and development of international law can be divided into four main phases:The first Phase
The first and perhaps most important phase in the development and expansion of international law began with the Peace of Westphalia which was a peace treaty signed to end the thirty years war that was fought in Europe from 1618-1648. The main participants in that treaty were France and Sweden on one side with their opponents Spain and the Holy Roman Empire on the other side. By the terms of the treaty, each state was to be recognized as sovereign and independent of the Holy Roman Empire making the Holy Roman emperor virtually powerless which subsequently led to the collapse of the Roman Empire.This event is very important as far the development of international law is concerned as it is seen as the beginning of the concept of sovereignty and independence of states in international law. The treaty conferred sovereignty of all participating states which should be given full recognition by the other members and this concept has remained and perhaps been modified until present times. The Sovereignty and independence of states is a very important concept in contemporary international relations as it entitles each state to be responsible for their internal affairs which should not be infringed upon by other states. By, implication, therefore, it meant that member States are to acknowledge the territorial boundaries of others and not interfere in the affairs of other members in any way.Also since the thirty years war, which was fought in Europe at that time was both a religious and political war, it was, therefore, important to acknowledge the religious and political freedom of individual as it became obvious that, if individuals are oppressed religiously or politically they will always revolt. The peace treaty which ended the thirty years war thus made provision for such concepts as freedom of association and religion which have also been an important concept in recent international humanitarian laws. Thus, concepts such as freedom of association and religion which form the basic backbone of most humanitarian laws could all the traced back to this peace treaty.However, the problem that was unsolved by the peace agreement was that the peace agreements reached failed to establish an institution that is expected to be responsible for ensuring that these agreements reached among nation were to be followed without any breach so eventually most of the agreements reached was breached which subsequently lead to Word War 1 and subsequently leading to the second developmental phase.Second phase
Eventually, the peace agreements hat were reached was not able to maintain the everlasting peace in Europe as expected and as such between 1914 to 1918, there was World War 1. In 1919, the treaty of Versailles was reached between Germany and its allies on one side and Great Britain and it’s allied on the other side to bring an end to the World War one. At the treaty of Versailles, a proposal was made to create an independent organization to ensure that the agreements made in the treaty are held up in high esteem by all members and this subsequently lead to the creation of the League of Nations in 1920. An important point to note here is that with the creation of the League of Nations, international laws and standards were agreed by member countries as to how the League of Nations should function which is a shift from international law governing the relations among states alone as it seen in the traditional notion to governing the function and relation of an International Organization which in this case is the League of Nations.Under this treaty, Germany was made to give full recognition and unconditional sovereignty to Belgium, Poland, Czechoslovakia (currently referred to as the Czech Republic and Slovakia), and Austria. The functions, scope, and operations of the League of Nations was governed by rules and regulations agreed upon by member states. The league of Nation could not maintain world peace as expected with could be attributed to several reasons of which the refusal of a powerful country like the United State of America to join could not be ruled out. The refusal of USA to join the League, in fact, rendered the League powerless leading to its collapse and subsequently resulting to World War II fought from 1939-1945.Third phase
With the failure of the League of Nations to maintain world peace and subsequently leading to World War II, which was partly due to the fact the Germany was not satisfied with most of the provisions of the treaty of Versailles as Germany was of the view that the treaty was not fair to them and that all effort were intentionally made by that treaty to render Germany powerless and weak (Boemeke, & Feldman, 1998). The Paris peace treaty was therefore signed on the 10th of October in 1949 to bring an end to the Second World War which had led to the destruction of thousands of life, property and materials all over the World. The United Nation was afterward created as an International Governmental Organization to maintain world peace and ensure peaceful coexistence among member countries.An important point to note is that in this phase as well the scope of international laws has moved from governing the relations between Sovereign states to regulating the conduct and behavior of an International Governmental Organization. It is also important to note that from this phase, with the collapse or failure of the League of Nations, it become important to find out why the League could not perform as expected and several factors were discovered as the reasons for the Leagues failure however, it became obvious that the refusal to get on board powerful countries like the United States was an obvious factor which had a great blow on the powers and function of the League and subsequently leading to its failure.Also, it was realized that taking decisions quickly on matters of great concern in the League was difficult due to the fact that all members had equal votes in the League and because of different interest by different states it was difficult to reach consensus on an issue that needed immediate actions. It was for these reasons that with its creation, efforts were made to get all powerful countries on board and also the permanent five members of the Security council was created so that these permanent five members could take quick decisions on matters of immediate concerns that needed immediate actions.Again there was the need to ensure some sought of fairness in dealing with all members in the making of treaties or laws to govern the activities of member states as it was realized that Germany discontentment of the Versailles treaty was also key factor that prompted Germany to revolt as all efforts to seek for reforms in the Versailles treaty was not successful which eventually led to the Second World War. In this regard, during the process of treaty making, conscious efforts are made to ensure that all countries have their national interest featured in one way or the other so that no State will feel been cheated or will have the feeling that their interest has been sabotaged in any way. All these developments have helped shaped and expand its scope in present times.The fourth stage
The last developmental stage is the period after World War two until the present day. After WWII, the world witnessed a drastic increase in the number of NGOs springing up on a daily basis both locally and internationally. The activities and operations of these NGO’s especially the international ones are also to a large extent are governed by International law. These NGO’s operate within the larger framework of international and ensures that their activities do not infringe on any international law for that matter. NGO’s possesses legal personality and as such they have the right to sue and sued at an international court which therefore implies that if their activities in any way breach any international law, they are liable for their offense and will be held accountable in that regard.Furthermore, after WWII, the world also witnessed business transactions not between states alone but also between individuals of different nations and as such there was also the need to come out with international laws that will govern such relations between people as well. It is in this regard that a branch of international law called private international law came into being. Thus the need to get standard rules and regulations to govern the relations of individuals from different countries as they trade among themselves on the international level led to the emergence and development of private international law. Different states have their own laws that regulate trade activities and business in the domestic level and this has the possibility of resulting to misunderstandings between business partners as to which state laws should be applied in situations of disputes and hence the essence of private international law.The point to note here, therefore, is that the scope and function of international law in the fourth stage which refers to the aftermath of the WWII till present day has widened. International law not only regulates the behavior, relations, and affairs of sovereign states, IGO’s, NGOs but it also regulates the relations between private persons as well. Day in and day out, there is always an improvement in both private and public international law so as to help maintain the relations of all the subject of international law in a peaceful and cordial manner.The future of international law
The future of international law can be analyzed from two different perspectives and in order to be able to give a detailed account of these perspectives, we will ask the question “Is international law dying? The first perspective on the future of international law is the school of thought that believes that international law is dying and the reasons that this school advances to support their arguments are:Firstly, this school of thought argues that the current world order is in flux: The United State of America, for example, is been at war continuous since the beginning of the twenty-first century and in most cases the reasons advanced by the United State of America to support such war is the belief that such wars are in their national interest or when the USA feel that their National interest is threatened or is at stake if such wars are not carried out. A typical instance, in this case, is the USA invasion of Iraq in 2003 even when the USA was not granted the rectification to go-ahead to embark on that war. There is probably little chance that the state of continuous war will end anytime soon and that the world has to kind of adjust to the notion that there is always the possibility of the occurrence of war. The consequence of the possibility of the occurrence of such constant war between states in international law is that Military solutions in setting dispute will be given much priority than diplomatic means of settling a dispute which is not what international law advocates for.Also, the European powers that were one of the strongest world’s nations have now come together to form the European Union to maintain some influence on the state of the world by way of increasing economic integration and strengthening corporation among member states and to a large extent protect the interest of Europe. One cannot predict the ideas of what Russia wants or what it intends to become in the near future. Tracing the relation between Russia and the USA back to the Cold War era where there was a great tension between these two countries and Russia eventually collapse leaving the USA to be the Worlds super power. Some years later, however, there was a much more peaceful corporation between the USA and Russia who was more or less like allies but in recent times, that corporation is no more but rather a kind of antagonistic relation between the two countries. The future intention of Russia in this sense is unpredictable. Is it going to be Russia and Europe or Russia has the intentions of rising up again against the United State in the future?A country like the Peoples Republic of China which in recent times has emerged as a strong economic power in the world also might have its intentions as far as becoming the world’s superpower is concerned. Would china be rising up to contest the USA in becoming the World’s super power? What do countries like The People’s Republic of China, India and Russia want to become or achieve in the near future especially with regards to the current state of USA as the world’s superpower is not certain. The Middle East is in a constant state of turmoil which is not likely to end in anytime soon.A critical observation of all these events and occurrence happing in the world proves that the system of the world that international law sought to create after world war two is not what is been seen in modern terms and as such this school of thought argues that international law is dying because the systems that it is based on are gradually fading away.Secondly, international law is primarily based on western ideas. It was based on Western principles and ideas. Sources of international law have primarily been western in nature. For example, when we talk about customary international law, we are actually referring to customs that happened in the West and not what happened in Asia, Africa or other parts of the world. Again when we talk about general principles, we are talking about the general principles of the West and not that of any other countries outside the West. So basically international law was based on Western legal traditions however in the current world of one hundred and ninety-two (192) countries, the relevance and influence of Western ideas and beliefs on which international law is built on is to a large extent of no influence anymore and as such international law is dying because the basis of its foundation is dying.Also, the Sate which previously used to be an important institution as far as international law is concerned is primarily fading off. That is to say that the state used to be the main actor in international laws but increasingly becoming less important as its role as gradually fading off. For example, the attack on the USA on 11th September 2001 was carried by a non-state entity, a group called Al-Qaida to be specific. Al-Qaida operates across state borders and as such one cannot empathically point to one state has been responsible for harboring such groups. After the incident on 11th September 2001 for instance, the foreign policy of USA changed from placing emphasis on State oriented policies to a more individual or groups oriented policies to the extent that a huge sum of money was placed on the head of Usama bin Laden to be given to any person or individual who could provide intelligence on the whereabouts of Usama bin Laden. Bin Laden was in fact placed on the ten most wanted fugitive list of the United States.The above-stated points and others perhaps are the reasons been advanced by some scholars that international law is dying.The second school of thought argues that international law is not dying but rather is becoming much stronger than it even used to be.Firstly, this school of thought argues that European countries, for instance, has over the centuries been at constant war with one another but in recent times, a great harmony exists between European countries to the extent that the Europeans countries have come together to form a Union governed by International laws. Despite the fact that the European countries are facing some problems with single currency: Euro, countries are willing to even give part of their sovereignty away so as to be part of the European Union. The point here is that this corporation between several countries in Europe will probably have not been possible some centuries back. Before the introduction and acceptance of international law in Europe, the continent was in turmoil to which one could hardly think of getting a possible solution to it but now the region has experienced constant peace and corporation over the years.Also, a powerful country like the United State of America which is the world’s superpower and with a strong military and army which they could use to wage war on any country is not probably able to do so because it is constrained by some international customs and conventions. An instance is when the United States went to the Security Council to seek a resolution so as to enable it to go to war in Iraq in 2003 which to a large extent the USA in previous time will not have done. The argument here is that before the introduction of such laws and conventions, the United States as powerful as, will wage war on a country without going to any IGO to seek a resolution before it could that.Although the USA was refused that resolution, it still went ahead to invade Iraq in 2003, whenever scholars accuse the USA of breaching international norms and conventions, the USA almost always comes out to defend their stands of not breaching any laws but their actions were informed by the threat on their National interest and probably their intelligence was wrong. Thus, international customs restricts countries in their behavior or relations with other countries in modern times which were not the case some years back. Additionally this school of thought argues that at the initial stages of the introduction and development of international laws, strong countries like USA and Russia during the cold war era will either openly or secretly support a rebel group to overthrow a democratically elected government in order to get such countries to practice their ideologies, however, in recent times, such countries cannot act in this manner anymore as it will be seen as a breach of international accepted standards of state behavior and the whole World will frown on such acts.Furthermore, the economic corporation in recent times is higher than ever. International rules and regulations that govern and regulates trade among countries are much stronger than it is used to be. For example, a treaty called the Convention on Contract for the International Sale of Goods (CISG) signed in 1980 which is the treaty that governs that worldwide sale of goods and has created a legal infrastructure that supports the global economy (Lookofsky, & Bernstein, 2002). Thus, commerce has increased in a much more peaceful and corporative manner with the presence of international laws. Free trade is seen by many as the best and most effective way of trade and in recent times, one can argue that with institutions like the World Trade Organization (WTO) among others, there is an increase in free trade than before.Additionally, international law is flexible and its flexibility, therefore, implies that it can adapt to cover the changing circumstances and occurrences in the world. That is to say that if there are certain events or some specific new developments in the interaction among states and other subjects of international law that are not covered by international conventions and agreements but it has become necessary to have rules and regulations to cater for those areas, then its scope of will expand to cover those areas. Treaties could be reached between countries to cater for certain aspects that previous treaties could not cover. For example International Commercial Terms (INCOTERMS) were first introduced in 1936 by International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) to govern the responsibilities of sellers and buyers in international contracts of sale however due to new developments and changes in trade that occurs as times passes by, INCOTERMS have been revised in 1953, 1967, 1976, 1980, and 1990, 2000 and currently in the year 2010.Finally, the argument that the state is dying or fading away is also a fraud because the state is not dying and cannot fade away. The institution of the Nation or the State is the principal means of governance around the world and there is no indication that the State is going to end anytime soon. The states continue to be the major player in the international system and its role is still important as far as international law is concerned.Conclusion
In conclusion, therefore, one can argue that international law is of great importance as far as interaction on the international level is concerned as it governs and regulates the behavior of sovereign states, inter-Governmental Organizations, NGO’s and individual persons in the process of dealing with one another. Its development has gone through a number of stages as it is currently seen in modern times and to a large extent, international law is becoming much stronger than it used to be at its initial stage of introduction. This is evident in numerous instances as all States, IGO’s, NGO’s and persons give recognition to the existence of such international law and conventions which they try not to breach.

Brand Creation and Criteria for Development

1.0 What is a brand?Brands can be defined in two ways. Firstly, a brand can be an identification or a mark that differentiates one business from another (through a name or a logo, for example). Secondly, a brand symbolises how people think about your business.Building a brand helps customers in their decision-making, creating a perceived knowledge of what they are going to buy – before they buy it. Brands are based on three related criteria.Confidence in a business, product or service doing exactly what the customer already believes it will do. For example, a 24-hour convenience store brand can be based on customers’ confidence that it will be open, whatever the time of day or night.The emotional response of the customer to purchasing a product or service. For example, a clothing retailer can create a brand based around making its customers feel good about what they wear, how they look, how good they feel about buying clothes from that shop and what it says about them to their peers.( Josephine Collins,(March 2008)A brand builds a unique personality for a business, and therefore attracts a defined type of customer.Most importantly, branding is based on consistently rewarding the confidence and delivering the expected emotional response. For example, a domestic cleaning company can build its brand successfully if customers’ homes are always thoroughly cleaned, the owners believe that they are using the best cleaning company and feel good about returning to their newly cleaned homes. Your brand can cover your business as a whole or separate products and services. (Josephine Collins,(March 2008)When starting your own business, one of your most important concerns is to develop your company’s face to the world. This is your brand. It is the company’s name, how that name is visually expressed through a logo, and how that name and logo extend throughout an organization’s communications. A brand is also how the company is perceived by its customers – the associations and inherent value they place on your business.A brand is also a kind of promise. It is a set of fundamental principles as understood by anyone who comes into contact with a company. A brand is an organization’s “reason for being”; it is how that reason.( Josephine Collins (March 2008)is expressed through the various communications to its key audiences, including customers, shareholders, employees, and analysts. A brand should also represent the desired attributes of a company’s products, services, and initiatives.Apple’s brand is a great example. The Apple logo is clean, elegant, and easily implemented. Notice that the company has altered the use of the apple logo from rainbow-striped to monochromatic. In this way they keep their brand and signal in a new era for their expansive enterprise. Think about how you’ve seen the brand in advertising, trade shows, packaging, product design, and so on. It’s distinctive and it all adds up to a particular promise. The Apple brand stands for quality of design and ease of use.Brand is a big buzzword in today’s market, but what exactly does it mean? Simply defined, is the brand essence and purpose of what your business stands in the minds of your customers, that they thought what they purchase, both tangible (physical) and intangible (subtleties and feelings ).For example, Nike products provides sports physical. Nike also “selling” speed, fitness, strength, and style.The brand is not accident, you should deliberately Show&Tell the public what you want them to know and remember about your business unique.Branding is the action of transferring the brand to target market and create emotional tie to your unique product or service. Branding attract, satisfy and retains customers. Nike work through their consistent visual, logos and slogans determined using well-known athletes as spokespeople for the transfer of non-tangible of their brand.The brand is important because it solves a problem for consumers. The brand helps them to choose that product or service quality, safety, or function cannot be complete until after the purchase is made is identified. Branding builds trust although cannot remove some risk, especially when doing business with big corporations located outside a local geographic area (credit card companies, broker, online shopping).Without brand name, products and services easily be compared with each other, any financial institution, insurance representative mix, chocolate bar, coffee, beans, and athletic shoes will be indistinguishable from another, even if in reality a big difference in quality, price, taste, and service can exist.The Logic behind branding is very simple: If your target market is familiar with your brand and good imagination, they more likely to purchase products and services. But consumers do not know what your business is all about unless you tell them!Is your company branded? If a distinct graphic, slogan, or feeling doesn’t emerge when buyers hear or see your company name, the brand of your business has yet to be defined and developed. Customers must clearly understand and agree with the nature, character and purpose of your product or service before they’ll buy it. And how they know if you don’t inform them? Hire a professional graphic designer, copywriter, advertising agency to help create and promote your brand of.It’s never too late to embark on your own branding campaign, regardless of size and age of your business. Creating a successful brand takes deliberate thought and execution, but the sooner you start, the faster the results you see on your bottom line. Here’s how to start:* Who you are defines what you offer, your method of business, their audiences, and why customers should believe in your products and services is placed.* The transfer decision and its recognition of all other companies with strong reference image, logo, typeface, colors, slogan, jingle, theme, or tagline. For best results, work with professional skill in graphic design and copywriting.* Commit to consistently carry your brand through every aspect of your business- stationery, marketing materials, advertising, signage, product packaging, customer service, etc.Invest in your brand is investing in the success of your company. Clearly know that you are and what you offer, then loudly and consistently portray the image with your target market. Brand of your business is a powerful asset, and therefore maximize its value!In fact, a brand is mental real estate’. It’s a set of expectations a company instills in its customers and prospects, as well as its employees, suppliers and competition. Further, it’s a service/product or concept that’s easily distinguishable from others. Most important, a brand should enhance how you communicate with customers. I believe that successful branding begins with the recognition that everything a company does/says must drive profits and increase value for the customer. Sounds easy. But what is the true value of branding initiatives (i.e., your ROI), and why invest time and money this seemingly non-revenue-generating activity? In truth, there are many rational reasons, including:Market Differentiation (competitive advantage)Customer buying preference (retain a positive impression)Supports the highest possible tolerance to price (perceived value)Increased cross-sales opportunities (better profit margins)Better awareness and recognition (leadership in the market)Investor confidence (plus employees and external alliances), etc.Without question, successful branding initiatives can have immense payback and add genuine value to your company, whether new or well-established. However, your brand’s success depends on an implementation strategy comprising four essential must’ principals. It must be a genuine reflection on your core strengths-values-management commitments and align with your customers’ values.Your brand must also identify a unique position that clearly differentiates you from competitors. It must carry through every aspect of an organization, meaning you must articulate your brand identity into a series of actions, beliefs and tools. Finally, and perhaps most important, it must be consistent over time.In every brand development process, we employ four distinct elements, each weighted equally. First, the Value Proposition; it defines the uniqueness you provide to customers. Brand Character Definition and Expression follows; the character of your brand must make sense to your most important customers (While your logo is part of your branding, other important elements include corporate identity, company boilerplate, and collateral materials such as brochures, ad templates, website identity, etc.) Next, Positioning Statements must express your place in the market to help suppliers, investors, customers and competitors understand your intent; these concepts often form a mission statement or a byline tagged to your company logo. And lastly, Key Messages must consistently communicate your chosen information; these must promote the brand intent and be consistently employed by the entire team.Looking further, brand launch must comprise a continuous monitoring process to measure value over time to ensure maximum impact and benefit is being derived. This stage may also include press releases, promotional programs, presentation and memorable methods of reaching the marketplace.It’s accurate to conclude that your brand gives your company identity, character, presence in the market and, yes, even respect. There is substantial evidence that this structured process works, in both the short and long view. A brand grows successfully by leaving a lasting mental picture a positive mark upon everyone inside and outside your company. A true value picture like none other. As Rodney blurted out on stage at Dangerfields’ that night years ago,” Why am I sweating, I’ve got the job it’s my Club”.Look after your club’; the benefits of a professionally developed and well managed brand could astound you.1.1 Do I need a brand?Every business has already got a brand, even if it doesn’t treat it as one. Your customers (and potential customers) already have a perception of what your business means to them. Building a brand just means communicating your message to them more effectively so they immediately associate your business with their requirements. Brands can help increase turnover by encouraging customer loyalty and are particularly useful if you are in a fast-moving sector. If your business’s environment changes rapidly, a brand provides reassurance to customers and encourages their loyalty.If you operate in a crowded marketplace a brand can help you stand out. For example,there are many kinds of adhesive tape, but there is only one Sellotape. If you have no other points of difference and when customers are confronted with a wide choice of comparable suppliers, they will always choose the brand they feel will suit them best. Your suitability for a customer is portrayed through your brand.Moreover, if you want to add value to your business a successful brand can make businesses more attractive to potential buyers or franchisees.1.2 Branding a Start upFor start-up and small businesses, branding often takes a backseat to all of the other considerations – such as funding and product development. This is unfortunate, for a company’s brand can be vital to its success. Dollar for dollar, it is as important and needed as any other start-up activity.Recently, a software management company, temporarily named TallyUp, invested in a branding assignment. Its flagship product, a software suite that tracks and runs bonus incentive plans, needed a clear identity and platform to appeal to its target audience – primarily financial executives. The name TallyUp, while somewhat descriptive, didn’t capture the appropriate and required level of sophistication to attract the desired clientele. TallyUp retained a branding consulting company; they recommended the name Callidus, which is Latin for expert and skillful to effectively and in an instant communicate their position. While both names communicate a similar concept, the new one works on a completely different level. Callidus better suits the ideal position of the company.Serial entrepreneurs have a great deal of wisdom to share about branding and positioning. You can gather additional useful advice on the challenge of brand development from someone like Thomas Burns, whose story is covered in our article, Building a Credible Brand for Your Small Business.If you’re concerned about the cost of brand development, take heart. While it’s easy to spend a lot to create a brand, you don’t have to. Read our article, How Much Does a Brand Cost? to understand the price range of brand development.1.3 Creating a BrandOnce you have worked out your core competencies, brand values, perceived quality and brand stretch, you can communicate them to your customers. Build the message into everything your customer or potential customer sees and hears before they have any direct contact with your business. Make sure your company literature reflects your brand values. If necessary, redesign your logo and company stationery so it provides an immediate visual link to your brand values. (Kenneth A. Fox,Nov-Dec 2002)For example, if speed is a brand value, add an indication of movement into your company’s designs.Reconsider any advertising you may do. Is it in places that reflect your brand values?Does the copy reflect your brand values?Make sure your staff understand the brand values and believe in them. Your staff’s attitude and behaviour will influence the success of your brand more than any promotional activity. Remember that if you make strong customer service a brand value, the brand is damaged if one customer feels that whoever they are talking to doesn’t care about service. Review your systems and make sure every point of contact that a customer or potential customer has reflects your brand values. For example, if being friendly is one of your brand values, make sure anyone who answers the telephone or has direct contact with customers is friendly. (Kenneth A. Fox,Nov-Dec 2002)1.4 How Much Does a Brand Cost?How much you can expect to pay for the creation of your brand is the $64,000 question. The answer is that the fee doesn’t have to be astronomical, but it can be depending on who you decide to do business with.Creating a brand is often a classic case of getting what you pay for. Your cousin may create a name and commensurate logo (without applications like letterhead, signage and packaging) for $500, or you can pay an international identity and branding company $100,000. In theory, that $100,000 should by you higher quality images and plenty of targeted branding theory, but that isn’t always the case. (Kenneth A. Fox,Nov-Dec 2002)Our recommendation is that emerging companies look for an in-between solution. Look for a company that is experienced in branding small or start-up businesses, and that understands your timing and budget constraints. Reputable firms charge anywhere from $25,000 to $40,000 for a name and logo. You should be thrilled with the product and get terrific results from a firm in this range. (Michael Long et al,June 2007)Before choosing a branding, naming or identity company, scrutinize its portfolio to make sure their style matches your tastes. Also, don’t hesitate to ask for references-they should be proud to provide them. Call a couple of the references and find out whether they liked working with the firm.Finally, remember that branding is a serious, long-term investment. If you’re going after or have received outside financing, it should be a line item in your budget. Building a brand is a core business activity, as important as leasing office space, recruiting the right people and developing your product or service. (Michael Long et al,June 2007)1.5 Finding the Right Branding CompanyCompanies that create branding and identity are often difficult to distinguish from graphic design firms, but how they go about creating your brand may be much different. There are several important steps to select the right company to help you to brand your new business.First, ask your contacts which companies they know that specialize in branding. Conduct Internet searches for “naming” and “corporate identity” and “branding.” Think extensively about what types of names and logos appeal to you. Research the firms that created the brands that you most admire. Be aware of the firms’ creative styles. Choose a company witha track record for unique and original names, not one that has a history of creating coined names. However, don’t go with a highly creative firm if your constituency is very conservative and traditional. (Michael Long et al,June 2007)Contact a handful of companies and take note of how quickly they get back to you. Do they seem motivated or preoccupied? Is the person who returns your call a partner or a sales representative? Meet with a few different companies and trust the chemistry. If it’s there you will know it; if it’s not, keep looking. Make sure that the person with whom you initially meet? usually a partner or owner – will do, or at least direct, the work. That way they will be personally motivated to produce results for you. (Michael Long et al,June 2007)Ask each company about its process. How forthcoming are they? Are the representatives willing to talk about their procedures and the steps that they’ll take to create your brand? Make sure you talk about money; they may ask you if you have a projected budget for this project. It’s acceptable for them to ask, but it’s also okay for you to hear first how much it will cost, without disclosing your budget. How quickly do they get back to you with a written proposal? If you agree on Tuesday to work with them and you haven’t heard from them by the end of the week, this might not be a good sign. Again, be smart and go with your instincts.2.0 Top Branding MistakesBranding, a commonly used term throughout the business world, essentially means to create an identifiable entity that makes a promise of value. It means that you have created a consciousness, an image, an awareness of your business. It is your company’s personality. Numerous businesses try, but many fail at creating a successful brand. For more on the definition of a brand, read What Is a Brand?Here are 10 of the most common mistakes:1. Not thinking analytically. Too many companies think of branding as marketing or as having a catch phrase or a logo. It is more than simply vying for attention. A brand warrants attention on a consistent basis, represents something that your audience wants but does not get from your competitors. For example, it could be providing the best customer service in your industry – not just through your tagline or logo – by actually providing the best customer service in your industry.2. Not maintaining your brand. Too often, in a shaky economy, businesses are quick to change or alter their identity. Too much of this confuses your steady customers. For guidance, think of big brands – Nike, for instance, has used “Just Do It” as a logo for years. One rule of thumb is that when you have become tired of your logo, tagline, and branding efforts, that’s when they begin to sink in with customers.3. Trying to appease everyone. You will never be able to brand yourself in such a way that everyone will like you. Typically the best you can do is to focus on the niche market for your product.4. Not knowing who you really are. If you are not the fastest overnight delivery service in the world, do not profess to be. Too many business owners think that they are providing something that they don’t. Know your strengths and weaknesses through honest analyses of what you do best.5. Not fully committing to branding. Often business owners let the marketing and advertising department handle such things as “branding,” while they work on sales and other important parts of the business. But sales and branding are tied together as integral aspects of your business. Many Fortune 500 companies are where they are today because smart branding made them household names.6. Not sharing the joke. If only the people in your office get a joke, it is not going to play to a large audience. The same holds true for branding. If your campaign is created for you and not “them,” your brand will not succeed.7. Not having a dedicated marketing plan. Many companies come up with ideas to market themselves and establish a brand identity but have neither the resources nor a plan as to how they will reach their audience. You must have a well-thought out marketing plan in place before your branding strategy will work. For help putting together a marketing plan, see How to Build a Sound Marketing Plan for Your Business.8. Using too much jargon. Business-to-business-based companies are most guilty of piling on the jargon. From benchmark to strategic partnering to value added, jargon does not benefit branding. If anything, it muddles your message.9. Trying too hard to be different. Being different for the sake of being different is not branding. Yes, you will be noticed, but not necessarily in a way that increases sales.10. Not knowing when you have got them. Companies that have succeeded in branding need to know when to stop establishing their brand and when to maintain that which they have established. Monitor the results of your branding campaign. If your small business is a local household word, you can spend more time maintaining your professional image.2.1 First Steps for developing a brandBefore you develop your brand identity, you have to assess your business, how it operates and the messages that you want to – and are able to – deliver consistently to your customers. You must be realistic right from the start. There are five key areas to consider.1. Work out your business, product or service’s core competencies. These are what you achieve for your customer, not necessarily what you do. For example, a good wine shop’s core competence is selling wine that its customers enjoy – not just selling wine.2. Assess who your existing and potential customers are and find out what they like and what they don’t. For example, if they are driven by competitive pricing, there is little point in you presenting yourself as a premium-price supplier of the same products offered by your competitors.3. Find out how your customers and your employees feel about your business. Reliable? Caring? Cheap? Expensive? Luxurious? No-frills? Later in the process, these emotional responses (brand values) will form the basis of your brand message.4. Define how favourably your business is viewed by customers and potential customers – this is your perceived quality. Do they trust your business, product or service? Do they know exactly what it does for them? What do they think of when your brand is mentioned to them? Low perceived quality will restrict or damage your business. High perceived quality gives you a platform to grow. (Stephen M. Wigley, et al,July 2005)5. Consider how far you can develop your business with its current customer perception without moving away from your core competencies. The amount you can change your offer is your brand stretch. For example, a shop known for selling fresh sandwiches could also consider selling homemade cakes and biscuits without going outside its core competencies. But selling frozen ready meals too may stretch its brand too far. (Stephen M. Wigley, et al,July 2005)2.2 Managing the BrandA brand will not work instantly – it will develop strength over time as long as your business consistently communicates and delivers your brand values to customers. Keep all your staff involved in your brand and your business. As your staff will be responsible for delivering the brand, they all need to feel a part of it and believe in it. Discuss your brand values regularly with your staff so they are clear about them.(R.E. Rios et al,Jan 2009)Encourage them to offer suggestions to improve your systems so the brand values can be more easily delivered. Monitor your customers’ response to the brand regularly and continually review how your brand values are communicated to them. Get regular feedback from friendly customers and find out if what your business is doing for them matches the expectation your brand creates. Ask dissatisfied customers or former customers too – you learn useful lessons about your brand through honest criticism. (R.E. Rios et al,Jan 2009)Regularly review your products, services and systems to make sure they efficiently back up your brand message. For example, if freshness is one of your brand values, are there ways you can deliver the product even more quickly?Once the brand is developed within your own business and your existing customers, you can use it to attract new customers. Use your core competencies to show the benefits of your business to potential customers. Show what your business can do for them, not just what you do. Make sure every communication with potential customers is also consistent with your brand values. Advertisements and sales literature to potential customers must be visually and emotionally consistent with what you provide to existing customers.2.3 Extending the BrandA successful brand can offer opportunities for a business to grow. However, if you are introducing new products or services, you must make sure they are consistent with your existing brand values.Stretching a brand too far reduces its strength and can damage it. If you are introducing new products or services, consider carefully if they fit with your core competencies and brand values. If they do, brand them in the same way as your existing products and services so they benefit from your existing branding. If they don’t, you should consider branding them separately.If your new products or services remain within your core competencies but not your brand values, you can consider a diffusion brand. A diffusion brand is a different message with its own identity tied to your existing brand. For example, an insurance company’s core competence is getting things put right after they go wrong. If it introduces a new service that repairs items rather than pays for their replacement, it should be a diffusion brand: the Fixit Service from XYZ Insurance.Remember that any problems with a diffusion brand will also damage your main brand, so treat the diffusion brand with similar care. If your new products or services fit neither your core competencies nor your brand values, you must brand them separately.2.4 How Long Will My Brand Last?Your brand should last as long as you want it to. Barring unforeseen circumstances, such as the sale of your company, a change in leadership, or a major shift in your audience or product offering, your brand is the most important and permanent manifestation of your company and its values. It used to be conventional wisdom that your brand should last 20 years. In the information age, that seems like a long time – and it is. (Tim Ambler et al,July 1996)Your brand might not last that long because your company might change into something else in months, not years. Still, you shouldn’t plan on changing your brand with any regularity. It takes discipline and vigilance to build and maintain a brand. You want it to work for you in the long haul. In time, it will assume a life of its own that transcends the company itself.3.0 ConclusionsHaving consider all the above mention results if a company wants to stand out in his field and make a distinction between themselves and their competitor there is no cast of shadow that they need a branding to explain an unusual line of business through which earn above average return other wise if they don’t have a dedicated marketing plan they have to lose the market.As you learned you must have a well-thought out marketing plan in place before your branding strategy will work. As a result we found that branding is one of the undeniable segments of our business.