Business 101: Narrowing Your Brand’s Focus

Published on Jun 30, 2009   //  Business Topics

While driving yesterday, my brother pointed out a new Acura TL and asked me what I thought of it. I said that while I don’t really like the styling of the newest model, I do appreciate what Acura is doing by trying to differentiate the higher-end luxury sedan from its less expensive TSX stablemate. This conversation led to what the Acura brand is trying to represent and how it differs from some of its competitors in the marketplace.

My brother mentioned that most sedans in the Mercedes-Benz lineup look very similar and I said that’s because Mercedes has already firmly established what its brand represents. Even though they have less expensive offerings today, the Mercedes brand is still one of prestige and luxury. That distinctive three-pronged emblem immediately tells you that this is a luxurious vehicle. While not quite there just yet, I feel that the Lexus marque has also achieved a similar level of prestige. You see that “L” logo and you know you have a premium vehicle.

With Acura, the branding isn’t quite so clear. For a while, Acura (which is owned by Honda) was trying to brand itself as a performance-minded premium brand. It was from there that we saw vehicles like the NSX supercar and the Integra sports coupe. These were certainly higher up than their Honda counterparts, but they didn’t immediately speak to being a prestigious premium brand. All the while, Acura was also being marketed as a premium brand through its luxury sedans. The branding got confused.

So today, what we see with Acura is a brand that is at once trying to offer reasonably priced performance and a sense of being upper-class. To give the public a clearer image of what it is trying to achieve, it may have been better to focus on one aspect or the other, like how Lexus did. Lexus certainly has some performance-oriented vehicles, like the IS-F, but the first priority has always been to develop itself into a premium brand and I think it has achieved this.

In working on your company’s brand, you should spend some time to narrow that focus and know exactly how you want your customers and potential customers to view you. What are you selling? What does your brand represent?

Google Analytics Seminars for Success

Published on Jun 30, 2009   //  Events

Our Google endorsed Google Analytics Seminars for Success will show you how to use Google Analytics to optimize online marketing, improve website performance and increase conversions.

Learn how to get the most out of your reports, right through to best practices, new enterprise features and advanced implementations.

• Understand the fundamentals of Google Analytics
• Measure, compare and evaluate marketing campaigns
• Identify opportunities for website improvement
• Best-practices and real-world applications

This is your chance to attend comprehensive two-day training officially endorsed by Google.

When is the event happening?
Tuesday, July 7, 2009 9:30 AM – July 8,2009 5:00 PM

Where is it happening?
Grant MacEwan College City Center Campus – 10910 104 Ave NW – Edmonton

To register for this event you need to register here.

Web Development: Understanding GET and POST

Published on Jun 30, 2009   //  Web Development

Web Development

Before we can get right into working with Ajax, we need to understand some concepts. When we’re talking about sending and retrieving data from the server, we’re talking about HTTP requests. HTTP requests is an important part of the web, it allows us to exchange data with external or internal hosts.

There are two distinct types of HTTP requests that you need to know: GET and POST. While they may seem similar, they both have their specific uses, and being able to decide which is use is important.

GET requests essentially just request a file from a server. However, it is also possible to pass parameters and values along with the request. If you’ve ever noticed question marks and ampersands in a URL, then you’ve noticed a GET request. GET requests use the URL to pass those parameters and values to the server. This makes GET requests an insecure method of sending the server data. However, since not all data needs to be secure, GET requests are still useful. Take a search query, for example. A search query is not something that needs to be transmitted in a secure way (compared to a password, which should always use a secure method), so a GET request will do perfectly.

POST requests essentially send data to the server. Unlike GET requests, POST requests are secure because they don’t use the URL to transmit the data. POST requests also transmit a URL, just like GET requests. As well, just like GET requests again, it is possible to receive data back from the server with a POST request. Because POST requests send their parameters and values in a secure way, it is more suitable for transmitting passwords and personal details (from a form or otherwise) than GET requests are.

Another difference between GET and POST requests is that GET requests are, by default, cached by browsers, while POST requests are not cached by browsers. This is because POST requests can contain sensitive data, as well submitting the POST data more than once could have negative side effects with poorly programmed websites.

Now that you’re aware of the differences between GET and POST HTTP requests, we’ll be able to begin with the basics of Ajax next week.

Great Gadgets: Griffin PowerDuo Reserve

Published on Jun 29, 2009   //  Gadgets


Whether you are traveling for business or pleasure, the last thing that you want to see happen is your iPod or iPhone run out of battery. This leaves you without possibly your primary source of entertainment, Internet access, and communication. It’s not always feasible to find an available wall outlet and sit there for hours on end as you wait for your iPhone to get some more juice.

This is where the creative minds at Griffin Technology come into play, providing us with the PowerDuo Reserve. This product is really comprised of three separate but related components, all of which will come in handy during your travels.

First, there is a PowerBlock that can transform any available AC wall outlet into a powered USB port. This way, you can charge anything that would normally get its power through a USB port, like certain digital cameras, media players, and cell phones. Second, there is the PowerJolt that transforms your car’s 12V outlet (the cigarette jack) into a powered USB port. If you’re going on an extended road trip, this means that you can keep your USB devices fully charged while on the go.

The third and possibly most important component is the portable power pack that gives the PowerDuo Reserve its name. This reserve battery attaches magnetically to either the wall outlet-based PowerBlock or the 12V outlet-based PowerJolt, charging its internal battery while still allowing access to the USB outlet for other devices. This reserve battery can then be detached and attached to your iPhone or iPod, giving it a bump in power as needed.

The Griffin PowerDuo Reserve is currently listed at US$59.99.

Weekend Projects: Site Reviews

Published on Jun 27, 2009   //  Weekend Projects

Weekend Project

Last week we went through and added a backup MX record so that we would ensure emails would not be lost.This week our goals it receive feedback and traffic to our site. There are a lot of webmaster forums that allow you to join and submit your site for review.

This weeks project is to submit your site for review to at least 3 forums. The more you do the more traffic and input you will get on your site design. To get you started here is 3 forums that provide good feedback…


If you find anymore that you think are work sharing please post them in the comments.

Friday Funny

Published on Jun 26, 2009   //  Cartoon

A cartoon created by artist Darren S. Fitzgerald.


If you have an idea for a future comic or would like to submit your own BlueFur cartoon let us know in a comment.

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