The Best Advice On Branding

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Branding 101

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Loving Landscaping: Improve the Appeal of Your Home With the Experts

landscaping services

landscaping servicesIt is amazing how a little creativity and imaginative use of spaces can transform a simple yard into a wonderful garden. This can be made even more impressive by strategically using the pool, flower pots, shrubs, pebbles, lighting and other elements to maximise the effect.

According to oakleighmanor.com, top designers who specialise in landscaping can help homeowners improve the visual appeal of their gardens without compromising other areas. Through their blend of talent and experience, they can help you improve the image of your homes dramatically.

Customised According to Personal Preferences

They work in liaison with the owners to know their individual tastes and interests. With exciting ideas and durable materials, they are able to come up with an inspiring creation. They will coordinate with you in choosing the right plants, wood, materials and stoneware.

Study the Surroundings Prior to the Project

Most leading designers specialise in custom designed installations. First, they spend time looking at the space available and try to make each garden as unique as possible. This survey helps them come up with ideas suitable for what they have to work on. They know that all spaces are different, and so are the requirements of each home and its owner.

Exclusive, Well-Detailed Designs

Depending on your lifestyle, personal preferences and budget, they will conceptualise a plan exclusively for you. The package usually includes a colour rendering of the plan and a list of plants and other accessories with photos. If necessary, the services will also include elevations, sketches of scaled details and the position of all the plants and other garden accessories.

After the plan has been finalised, the team will work with each element efficiently. They are experts not only at envisioning the perfect garden for you, but also at transforming this vision into a reality. Some also provide excellent maintenance services.

Wonga Falls Foul of ASA Again

Wonga

WongaOn October 8 2014, advertising watchdog the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) banned a television advertisement for Wonga, the UK’s largest payday lender, after it failed to disclose the representative APR (RAPR) in the advert.

Scott Robert, a reliable compliance consultant in the UK, shares additional details about the decision.

As with many recent complaints about payday loan advertising, the ASA was contacted by consumer advice organisation Citizens Advice (CitA). CitA said that it believed that the statement in the advert that it was possible to save money by paying back the loan early constituted an incentive to take out the loan. The RAPR is required to be disclosed in promotional material when one or more of a number of criteria are met, such as when the promotion contains other financial information, or when the promotion contains an incentive to apply for credit.

Wonga countered by saying that it had merely provided a brief, factual description of something that was a standard feature of all forms of credit, and that this did not constitute an incentive.

In its judgement, the ASA said it considered that anything which suggested a customer might need to repay less than the headline cost of borrowing constituted an incentive, and hence that the requirement to include the RAPR had been triggered. The watchdog added that prior to the use of the phrase “save money”, the words “at Wonga” had appeared in the previous sentence, and suggested that viewers might have understood the savings to be something not available with the lender’s competitors.

The ASA ordered that the advert is not broadcast again in its current form, but it seems unlikely that this would have occurred anyway. The advert made prominent use of one of Wonga’s elderly ‘puppet’ characters, but in July 2014 it was announced that the firm would not be using these characters in future advertising for fear of inadvertently attracting children.

The ASA did find in Wonga’s favour however on the other part of CitA’s complaint. The consumer body objected to the use of the words “financial quandary” to describe the situation of the imaginary customer shown in the advert. It was suggested that this wording could imply that payday loans were suitable for non-essential expenditure.

In finding in Wonga’s favour, the ASA said that the use of the word “quandary”, coupled with the visible anxiety shown by the man in the advert, suggested that the loan was being considered for the right reasons. It also noted that the advert showed the man calculating the costs of repairs to his car.

The ruling came six days after Wonga reached an agreement with the financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority, which will see it write off a significant number of loans, on the grounds that the customers concerned would not have received loans under the lender’s new affordability assessment criteria.

The latest ASA judgement is the fifth time the ASA has upheld or partially upheld a complaint about Wonga’s promotional material. Other decisions have concerned inappropriately light hearted advertising content, such as use of jaunty songs; encouraging customers to disregard the RPAR shown; and misleadingly implying that loans up to £1000 are generally available (only existing Wonga customers can borrow more than £400 at any one time).

 

Note: The information shown in this article was correct at the time of publication.  Articles are not routinely reviewed and as such are not updated.  Please be aware the facts, circumstances or legal position may change after publication of the article.

 

Bee Pollen – The Perfect Energy Booster and Mood Enhancer

bee pollen

bee pollenBee pollen is something a lot more people are recognizing as a super food. Indeed, research has shown that something so small contains as many as 96 nutrients—each of which is a nutrient that humans need to sustain life.

Bee pollen is rich in proteins, amino acids, vitamins, and many other nutrients that are vital for a healthy life. Among a host of other benefits, bee pollen primarily acts as a perfect energy booster and a mood enhancer, which is why it is found in a growing number of supplements that aim to help with the same.

Energy Booster

Studies show that bee pollens contain as much as 40% proteins. That is more protein content that in any of the meat sources consumed by humans. What’s more, the stuff has been demonstrated to contain more amino acids than beef, cheese, and eggs of equal weight. In addition, around half the proteins that this pollen contains is in the form of free amino acids that the human body can use readily as a source of energy.

Further, bee pollen is also a good source of carbohydrates, particularly the simple and easy to digest kind. Not to mention the fact that this source is abundant in B vitamins, including folic acid and a host of other vitamins that boost metabolism—something that helps make energy available more quickly.

By consuming bee pollen, you are sure to boost your energy levels. This is perhaps the biggest reason why this source is commonly used as a supplement by athletes.

Mood Enhancer

Bee pollen is a complete food for mankind because it contains every nutrient that the human body needs. It contains amino acids, vitamins, and essential fatty acids that, when taken together, act as mood enhancers. As an agent that betters the mood, the bee pollen is your perfect pill for busting high stress levels. Those with undue mood swings can certainly stabilize the wild oscillations with this supplement.

For bee pollen supplements to truly boost your energy levels and uplift your mood, it must be consumed at mealtime, preferably along with fruits to reinforce the activity of the pollen in the physiology. Take a teaspoonful everyday and find a vitalized and happier you in no time!

OEM and Aftermarket Weigh-In

oem parts

oem partsOEM stands for original equipment manufacturer. In the case of automobiles, OEM refers to spare car parts made by the same manufacturer that produced the original part. In contrast, aftermarket parts are non-OEM, which refer to parts made by other manufacturers. Salvaged and refurbished parts come under the category of aftermarket.

For most car owners, OEM parts are the safest route to take, while power users and those who want to save go for aftermarket parts. A brief comparison between the two is as follows:

On OEM:

  • These are genuine components, similar to the original part used in the car. Hence, they are an exact match and are best to replace the original damaged components. There are no additional considerations involved, as they are exactly the same.
  • The selection is also simple, to the point, and specific. There is no need to browse for several parts, with varying degrees of quality or function. OEM parts replace precisely the component they mean to replace, which will work the same as the old part.
  • Some countries have laws requiring owners to use OEM-only parts. Several car manufacturers, such as Honda, prefer OEM Honda parts Perth and other city dealers provide.

On aftermarket:

  • Aftermarket parts are cheaper, though the price difference varies by maker.
  • Manufacturers of aftermarket parts tweak the performance of the component. Racecar enthusiasts commonly prefer aftermarket parts to increase performance in several areas where OEM parts naturally limit for safety reasons.
  • Increased availability. Car dealers to hardware stores sell aftermarket parts.
  • Wider variety. There are a huge number of aftermarket parts, each with their own performance statistic or function.

In summary, choose OEM if you want a hassle-free replacement, but choose aftermarket to tweak performance and save money. This is ultimately up to your preference.

Economical Mattress Buying for Beginners

Mattress

MattressThe right mattress plays a very important role in your life. It lets you sleep peacefully through the night, it brings out a rejuvenated you the next morning and yes, it does make your love life better! Perhaps for these reasons, people do not mind the effort and time spent on buying a good quality mattress, whether from retailers or wholesale mattress distributors.

The only catch is that good quality mattresses do not come cheap. In fact, if you go for branded ones, you are likely to spend a few thousand dollars more. Add to this the fact that experts warn against buying cheap mattresses that can ruin everything from sleep, to romance, to your posture, and even your personality.

No need to bleed your bank account dry. Here is how to buy one while being economical.

Look for Discounts

When on a tight budget, your best bet is to keep your eyes open for mattress sales and discounts. Use the Internet to find a few offers in your area. Once you find what you are looking for and end up at an actual mattress shop, proceed with the next step.

Buying the Mattress

You will face many choices upon arrival: several makes, models, and sizes. People tend to look at the prices first and opt for the cheapest one available, but this is bad decision-making as a poor mattress can cost you much higher long-term. Disregard cost in the meantime and make a mental checklist:

• Consider your body type, then choose the consistency of the mattress as needed (if it’s firm or soft); wholesale mattress distributors advise people to buy a firm mattress if you sleep on your back, and a soft one if you sleep on your side
• The space of your bedroom
• Test the mattress if possible, such as lying or sitting on it
• Warranty
• Materials used; make sure that the manufacturers did not use any toxic ones

The Price Factor

After testing the mattress for its comfort, consider the price. Yes, you are at a discount shop and can save money, but do not go overboard in terms of savings by compromising mattress quality.

There is a huge difference between being practical and a cheapskate. Do not be the latter: be economical, not downright cheap!

Secrets to a Remarkable Product Launch: Giveaway Ideas to End Your Event with a Bang

Give Aways

Give AwaysSetting goals, creating a unique marketing strategy, and studying the competition.

Launching a new product is never easy, especially in a competitive marketplace. No matter how great your new product is, it will not speak for itself. You have to get the word out and organize a memorable product launch. You may not know this, but the secret to a successful business launch may lie on its giveaways.

Industry expert Personalized Coins suggests coming up with interesting ideas for your promotion. If you have already decided on what you want to offer, all you have to do is make your event worth remembering.

Personalized Coins to Build Strong Impression

Bakeshops get great response when they provide free cookies or sandwiches. But, not all businesses can easily offer free goods, discounts or gift certificates. As such, giving away promo items is a good strategy. Your promo item should be unique. Otherwise, your target consumers will just toss it away.

One unique item to give away is a personalized coin. It can help you attract new customers and create a great first impression. Everywhere they go, they will remember your brand whenever they search for coins in their wallets.

Planners to Increase Repeat Customers

Give away planners or desk calendars, as your target market can use them every day. These items are not only useful, but also have the power to remind them of your business. People can overlook an important schedule, but your gift will keep your business in their mind. They are more likely to search or buy your products and services when they see your brand name on every page.

Key Chains to Increase Traffic to Your Site

It’s best to include your web address and contact number along with your logo, if you’re planning to give away key chains. This is a quick way to remind people of your website and new products. Key chains can drive more people to your website and are a great addition to your marketing efforts.

Your goal is to get your potential customers think of your business; keep in mind that promotional products can make a huge difference to your ROI.

3 Ways to Optimize Web Content Using Social Media

social media

social mediaSocial media plays a crucial role in creating more exposure for your web content. New social-sharing tools and insights will help you identify the needs of the users and optimize your web content.

1. Include social-sharing buttons on the site.

People love to share content, especially if it’s engaging. When there are social sharing buttons on the site, you are giving the audience an easy, hassle-free way of sharing the content to their network. According to The Perceptum Group, this does not only promote your brand, it also signals that you have brought a visitor into a decision and engage with you, a great opportunity to transform that visitor into a loyal client.

Recent statistics suggest that websites that have social sharing buttons create more buzz in popular social sites, such as Twitter, Facebook and Google+. If you think integrating social sharing buttons is an effective way to improve content, consider the new set of tools that allow you to have different sharing buttons for social networking sites.

2. Reinforce online presence on popular social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter.

Examine what topics or content types are shared most in social networking sites. With a clear understanding of the users’ sharing behaviors and decisions, you can be strategic in adjusting your marketing efforts in these platforms.

3. Integrate hashtags in content titles.

If you want your content to be exposed to a wider audience, experts recommend using hashtags. According to a research done by Twitter itself, there is a significant boost in audience engagement when hashtags are used. Integrate hashtags in your content so you can keep track of ongoing conversations of users, get real time feedback, and continually invite them to participate in discussions. If your hashtag becomes viral and places a spot on the list of worldwide trends, it’s not just an indication that you have successfully engaged users, but it will create more opportunities to draw an even larger audience to your content and website.

Make the most of the new social sharing tools and features to improve your web content. You may want to partner with expert SEOs and content marketers for your digital marketing strategies.

Teeth Care the Right Way: Getting the Right Dental Services

dental care

dental careTo look for a suitable local dentist, familiarise yourself first with the different fields of specialisation in dentistry. This would help you determine the right dentist you should approach for your problem. Other than widening your knowledge regarding the different fields, you also need to consider other factors to help you make the right choice.

Dentistry experts from bromleydentalpractice.co.uk recommend reviewing the following information to help you choose:

Practice

You need to know how long the dentist has been in the practice. Experience is one indication of the quality of work a dentist can provide. Ask him about his background and the type of procedures he had done to patients.

Optional Procedures

Before you commit yourself to a dentist, make inquiries regarding possible optional procedures that would solve your dental problem. Consult a general dentist first, as he is licensed to diagnose dental issues and oral conditions, develop treatment plans and provide certain treatments. In case you need a complex treatment, he can refer you to a more specialised dental practitioner.

Location

The nearer you are to the clinic, the more frequent the visits will be. It is also easier to schedule your dental appointments due to the reduced travel time. This means you will have a chance to monitor your oral health better.

Before and After

In cases where you need a dental cosmetic procedure, ask for before and after pictures of the procedures the dentist has performed before. This would give you an idea on what to expect after the operation.

See if the dental team is friendly and courteous. The same also goes for the environment the clinic has. As much as possible, go for a dentist who makes you feel comfortable even if it is just your first visit. So, make sure you drop by the clinic first before you make your final decision.

Infertility and Anxiety: Coping with Your Inability to Conceive

coping with anxiety of infertility

coping with anxiety of infertilityAccording to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), anxiety is the leading mental illness in the US, affecting 18% (40 million) of the population. A percentage of this represents women who can’t conceive. Infertility causes a rollercoaster of emotions among couples, which puts their relationship at risk. If you’re among them, it’s not too late to cope. Here’s what you can do:

Stop the Blame Game

It’s normal to feel strong emotions, but there’s no need to blame and punish yourself. Drowning yourself in negative thoughts will make the situation worse. Seek help before you fall into a deeper state of depression. Talk to your partner about managing the situation.

Stop Isolating Yourself

Dr. Saunders Obstetrics and Gynecology and other OBGYNs in the US noted that about 10% of married couples experience primary (inability to bear a child) or secondary (inability to conceive after the birth of one or more children) infertility. It’s a problem among women around the world, so don’t think that you’re alone. Find people who can understand your pain and talk about your feelings with those who need the same kind of support or are willing to lend theirs.

Stop the Tough Act

Humans have emotions, so it’s best to let them out. Don’t keep everything in and then implode. If you feel angry and frustrated, feel free to cry and scream, throw a pillow, or hit a punching bag. Afterwards, take a deep breath. You’ll feel a little better after releasing a load of emotions, making it easier to build more energy to cope with daily stress.

Stop Worrying and Start Reading

If you’re aware of the problem, don’t sit there and wait for a miracle to happen. Educate yourself about infertility and fertility concerns. Know the possibilities and solutions to have a better idea of what your doctor is talking about. Experts say that the more you understand the situation, the more you’ll make informed choices.

Don’t let infertility ruin your relationship. Through patience and medical intervention, you’ll eventually bear your own child. All you need is to stay positive and keep doing what you can to make light of every situation.

3 Factors to Focus on to Extend the Life of your Home AC Unit

lifespan AC

lifespan ACFor homes that constantly suffer through cruel summers and scorching temperatures, letting go of an air conditioning system is an eventual reality.
Several factors determine if your AC unit lives longer or not. The following is a brief discussion on some of the more important ones. Hopefully, knowing these factors can help with adjusting your usage and extend the life of your unit beyond the prescribed years.

Energy Usage

If your electricity bill goes up for no discernible reason, especially during the height of the summer months, it may be a sign your AC system is having a hard time. As an air conditioner wears down, it uses more electricity, and ends up being a heavier burden on your wallet.

Another factor that may affect your unit’s energy efficiency is its seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER). As of 2006, the US requires residential AC systems manufactured after 2005 to have at least a SEER rating of 13. The higher the rating, the more energy-efficient a unit is on a seasonal basis.

Equipment Age

A well-maintained AC unit can last for about 15 years, but can start losing efficiency upon reaching the 10-year mark. Recent changes and updates in cooling technology and energy efficiency standards of the federal government have produced significantly more efficient units. This means it makes more sense today to replace an old unit rather than repair it.

Replacements are the better investment; you are repaid through lower electricity bills. As Kennedy Air Conditioning puts it, keeping cool and saving money on both a new heating/air conditioning system and energy use is easy.

Humidity Control

High indoor moisture levels may not only indicate potential mold growth, it may also mean your AC unit is nearing the end of its life. Indoor humidity can especially get out of control when your AC unit starts showing its age.

An AC unit too big for a home cools the interiors too fast, which means it has less time to reduce humidity during the running cycle. An oversized unit, coupled with poor ductwork and inadequate air circulation, could leave your home hot and steamy even if the AC unit is running.

Knowing the right way to operate your equipment and the factors that affect its efficiency can help you adjust usage accordingly and extend the life of an AC unit.