Digital Branding

How to Instil Your Brand With Remote Teams

Guest post by Gemma Church 

Flexible working is a wonderful thing. Research reveals it gives staff a better work/life balance and attracts the best talent into your business – but how can you ensure your company culture is retained when your staff are scattered to the four winds?

It’s not an easy task – but it is a necessary one as 75% of the US labour force is predicted to be remote by 2020.

Company culture is also a vital component for any successful business. It will provide your staff with a great employee experience and this directly affects your bottom line – as the below graph from Great Place to Work demonstrates. It is also one of the top job benefits for employees and helps you to retain your staff.

So, how can you create and maintain a company culture when some or all of your workforce use flexible working practices?

  1. Find the right tools for your staff

Every employee is an individual and it’s important to match different preferred ways of working with the right tools to foster communication and collaboration. For example, you could use Slack for text communications, Zoom for voice and video chat and, if you have a particularly valuable employee, you could even fork out for a robot virtual presence.

Whatever you decide, make sure you offer a range of solutions and attempt to combine both your digital and social tools to encourage camaraderie. You don’t have to be in the same room to socialize and make sure you encourage your staff to communicate on a range of topics.

But make it clear to your staff that they need to be available on these communication channels when they are working. Just because they’re working remotely does not mean they can go AWOL.

  1. Organise incentivized meetups

Face-to-face meetings are a rarity (or, sometimes, an impossibility) for remote teams. However, you should try to organize at least one group meeting each year.

You could also informally base your business out of a coworking space, which provides your staff with the flexibility to use such a space as and when you need it. Lucas Seyhun, founder of centrally located co-working space in NYC The Farm, said: “Our space attracts many different flexible workers. Some remote workers use our space nearly every day because they want to escape the home office. Others will simply book a meeting room for a couple of hours on an ad hoc basis. We also have corporates that regularly book dedicated offices. That’s the beauty of coworking – it matches the flexibility of remote work perfectly.”

As Lucas mentioned, many big businesses are now embracing coworking spaces for their remote workers. It allows such companies to connect, collaborate and innovate with the startup space.

Some businesses find coworking is a better option altogether. For example, the company behind WordPress, called Automattic, recently closed its San Francisco main office because its staff were finding different places and means to work.

You could also consider creating “work buddies” where a small number of nearby staff members could meet up regularly for a chat or a more formal meeting. Again, coworking spaces provide the perfect backdrop for such meetups.

  1. Reinforce your values

You must be clear on your company’s mission and communicate that message with every single member of your staff. Do this regularly to keep your staff focused on your goals.

There are many ways you can reach out with your company’s mission. You could use your internal communication tools to demonstrate how your work impacts your customers to keep your staff on point, for example. Videos and images are also impactful ways to achieve this and will keep remote staff focused on what’s important.

You can also demonstrate your values and show your presence with local community sponsorship. This tip comes from web app automation company Zapier, whose workforce is 100% remote. The company has sponsored developer meetups, startup weekends and donated its time to non-profit organizations. And if someone on in their workforce wants to do something similar in their city, they’ll sponsor it.

“By doing this, team members feel more like there is a local presence in their hometown,” according to Zapier.

In essence, it is important to offer your remote teams a variety of ways to communicate, collaborate and encourage your corporate values. This will help you create and build your company culture, no matter where your staff are.

About the author

Gemma Church is “the freelance writer who gets tech”. She’s a specialist freelance science writer, journalist, and blogger. Her USP is that she’s worked in the science and technology sectors she writes about, bringing a unique level of understanding and experience most writers cannot offer.

Digital Branding

Wikigains Shows 10 Ways To Use Vouchers To Encourage Repeat Business and Build a Brand

Today customers have more options online than they had ten years ago. According to WikiGains, customers’ buying pattern has changed from purchasing at their preferred physical store to visiting different online stores, comparing prices, searching for deals and discounts before adding a product to a virtual shopping cart. As a result, every online merchant, at some time or the other will be faced with the decision of offering deals, coupons, and discounts.

While offering good deals frequently can encourage repeat business and drive customer loyalty, using them haphazardly can harm your brand image. Here are 10 effective ways you can use to drive customer loyalty, conversions and acquisitions.

1. Weekly or monthly discounts

These are traditional ways to offer discounts and they are often used at the end of a week or month to meet specific business goals.

2. Cart abandonment email

A study showed that nearly 70% of online customers abandon their carts for some reason or the other. Sending a tactically-crafted abandoned cart email can encourage people to come back and complete their checkout. There are many sites like Shopify and Klaviyo that offer easy to customize abandoned cart emails.

3. Special holiday or season deals

While Cyber Monday, Black Friday, and other holiday seasons are big occasions to offer attractive discounts, you can use other opportunities throughout the year like the onset of winter, summer or autumn to share appropriate discounts and offers.

4. Prelaunch coupons

Your business may be in the prelaunch stage or you have just launched a new product. The pre-launch offers enable you to create a sense of inquisitiveness among customers regarding the product. They help in driving more traffic and turning new customers into loyal ones.

5. Minimum value to get discount

In coupons sites like Wikigains, you can find deals that require customers to spend a minimum value to get a discount. This is a good tactic to encourage customers to spend more.

6. Special discount for sharing on social media

When you start a new online store, the biggest challenge is to reach out to more people and attract customers. So, offering an incentive on every Like on Facebook or sharing on other social media platforms can be a good way to raise the visibility of your brand.

7. Refer-a-friend

The referral programs work even today because people tend to rely on a brand if it is referred by a friend or relative. Wikigains says you can use this to your advantage and encourage more referrals by offering a good discount to both – the person referring and the one being referred.

8. Welcome discount for new customers.

This is a ‘feel good offer’ that gives first-time customers a positive experience with your brand. They are likely to remember you, refer friends, and even come back again to convert into a paying customer.   

9. Create an email or subscription offer

Building an email list is extremely important for the success of online retailers. When you offer a coupon or discount in exchange for a visitor’s email address, it increases your chances of conversion. This is a win-win situation where the visitor receives a good discount and you get their email address. This can be used to create customer loyalty, build a solid relationship, or send promotional materials to them in the future.

10. Special incentives to influential people

Offering discounts to famous bloggers or celebrities that have a huge fan following can be an effective way to promote your brand. So, if a blogger writes positively about your products or a celebrity talks about your excellent service, your brand value increases tremendously.    

Wikigains.com is a voucher site that has been operating in the UK since 2012. Alex Papaconstantinou, the founder of Wikigains, and his team, have accumulated a wealth of experience in the industry as they have seen it through several ups and downs in the last few years.

Digital Branding

Crafting the Customer Journey

With the overwhelming number of online pop-ups, the “suggested” pages and events that flow through Facebook, and the autoplay video ads that start scrolling on every other website, customers are becoming more and more immune to online marketing.  At the heart of this, is not only the number of ads and extent of marketing exposure that online users are subject to, but also the generalization of it: the ad I see is the same as what you and thousands of others see, and yet, we are different people and need different things.

Introducing the customer journey.

The concept of the customer journey is to create a customised experience for the online user. Employing various site embedded in online data collection tools and specific digital marketing techniques, brands can gather data about a customer’s experience or interaction on a site or within a specific marketing campaign. These segments of information can be pieced together to target perceived personalities, and create a personalized customer journey. The end result is being able to offer a customized digital marketing exposé for the customer, which is targeted specifically to them, maximizing their online experience.

And one of the most pivotal components of this customer journey is content. Online users and customers are looking to have access to the content that they want to see and want to read.  Sometimes this is content relative to information about a business’s product or service; other times, online users are looking to educate themselves, become informed, and learn something new. And all the time, individuals are looking to be drawn in, have something that catches their attention and gain valuable insight into something they care about. As a business, creating a fruitful customer journey is about doing all of that. This is achieved by feeding into the customer the new content that you know they need, which can continue to help their journey, and build your business.  The crux of this sequence? Quality content that targets a market, customizes an experience,and builds a connection.

Online content is becoming one of the most influential and accessible ways to reach new customers and meet your ideal audience.  This only happens when it is done right and when it is done so that the customer feels as if what is available to them to access is a product or service that is created for them specifically – not simply generic content being thrown out to the entire market of online viewers.

Crafting that ideal content requires skill, persistence, and patience. It requires an understanding of marketing and human psychology and an understanding of how users respond in an online climate.  And it doesn’t require you to do it alone.

We don’t want you to do it alone: we want to help you build an exceptional business by helping you craft quality online content.  Reliable companies like Article-Writing.co can build you success from the inside out. And you’ll love what you get in return.

Well designed offices are part of your brand
Local Branding

Why Your Office Design Is Extremely Important for Branding

Well designed offices are part of your brand

If you want your business to become recognizable, engaging, and unique, then know that you need branding for that. You see, the number one, most critical way to promote every business is branding. You cannot just sit there in an office and work on your laptop, in fact, you’ve got to take measures to reach out to people yourself or use tactics to attract the customers, and for this, you need to do some extraordinary branding for your business.

Everything in your business can be used for branding, your employees, their behavior, and even your the design of your office. Yes, you read it right, your office design is, in fact, extremely crucial for branding. In fact, the design of your office and the overall environment can make or break your business and brand.

Now, if you are someone who yet has some doubts about the fact that your office matters a lot when it comes to branding, then you’ve got to stick to this article a little longer because today we are going to present a few reasons why you need to improve the interior and the environment of your workplace.

High tech office equipment

The market and the modern business, both are changing

Previously there was no concept of good looking office design, and the offices weren’t that modern too because the work wasn’t that modern as less technology was in play. Right now, everything has changed, the work has changed, the market has changed, and more technology is being used in the workplaces than it ever was. Now all of this obviously calls for a new and modern workplace.

Google, Facebook, and many other such companies have some outstanding offices with play areas and even farms inside because they believe that these things matter a lot when it comes to the improvement of the employees work performance. These companies took their office designs to a whole another level because these believe that socializing and working together can make a business more successful and productive.

Productive workplace

Your Office Speaks For Your Business

Just as mentioned in the JasonL ergonomic guide, an ergonomic workplace can add a lot to your business, and it is one of the major factors that can attract more and more customers towards you. As a whole structured organization, the interior of your office says a lot about who you are, how to do your work and what do you stand for.

Great offices make great first impressions

It’s just like a first impression, a client comes to meet you, and the first thing that he will notice is the design of your office which will put an impression on him about you now we all know the fact that one cannot risk his first impression as it is known to be the last. In a nutshell, the design of your office defines who you are, and you cannot mess up with that definition of yours which means you’ve got to invest a bit in the design and structure of your workplace.

Your team sells your brand

Your chairs, your teacups, your desks, and even your wallpaper is going to add a lot to your brand impression, but know that you need to create a productive and creative environment not just for the sake of branding, A welcoming office environment, this can help improve the performance of your team members.

By maintaining a proper office image, online image, and offline image you will be able to convey your message in a more efficient way, and you will end up earning the trust of more clients, customers, and partners.

Office team socializes together

Infuse Life Into Your Workplace

Almost all the adults spend a third of their life in their workplaces, and this means that their workplace should be comfortable and vibrant for them so that they can bring productivity in their work. Building a modern and a good office interior is just like an investment that won’t go to waste for sure.

This investment will not only help you in branding your business in fact, it will bring positivity in your workplace, your team will work more efficiently, and you will start feeling a sense of happiness all around. You see a tensed and a strict office environment or a poor office interior will not give your productive and creative results so it’s better to invest in the design of your office and we assure you that your business will start growing on a whole another level.

Local Branding

How To Hire The Perfect Candidate

The U.S. unemployment rate has plummeted to right around 4 percent in recent weeks. And while that’s great news for the economy, it’s definitely not ideal if you’re trying to find the perfect candidate to fill a job at your company.

Whether you’re looking for someone to serve as a receptionist and greet visitors at the entrance to your office or you’re in search of a CEO with the right personality traits to be the face of your company, you’re likely finding it more difficult than ever to fill open jobs.

If you need a hand, here are some tips that will help you track down the perfect candidate for any position.

Create a Detailed Job Listing

The first thing you’ll need to do when trying to fill a position at your company is to create a job listing and post it on job sites. This job listing should serve two purposes:

  1. It should clearly outline the skills you want the perfect candidate to possess
  2. It should give all candidates a rundown on what your company is all about and what you have to offer to those seeking a job

This job listing should be as detailed as it can possibly be so that you only attract the right candidates for the position.

If you want candidates to have X amount of years working in your specific industry, you should include that. If you want them to have X amount of years of college education, you should include that, too. You should lay out exactly who you want your ideal candidate to be.

Additionally, you should provide interested candidates with what you’ll be looking for from the person who earns the job. You don’t want there to be any confusion in the future about what the job entails.

Avoid Setting Up Standard Job Interviews

Is there anything more boring than sitting down with a candidate and asking them a bunch of stock questions about their education and work experience? They’ll likely provide you with the same answers over and over again. It won’t give you a chance to find your perfect candidate if you take this approach.

Instead of going the standard route, how about taking a more creative approach to the interview process? You can:

  • Provide the best candidates for a job with a tour of your office or facility and ask them questions along the way
  • Invite the best candidates to lunch or dinner and pick their brains as you enjoy a meal together
  • Take a walk around the block and see how the best candidates interact with the outside world to give you a better idea of what kind of people they really are

While you will obviously need to get down to business at some point and ask the perfect candidates questions about themselves, that doesn’t mean it has to be done in your average interview setting. It also doesn’t mean you have to ask the same old interview questions.

Get as creative as you can with your questions and really get to know candidates before you narrow down your search. You will be doing yourself and your company a favor by going all out with your interview questions.

Place Candidates Into Real-World Scenarios

In addition to asking job candidates questions about themselves and their work experience, you should also try and put them into real-world scenarios and ask them how they would react to certain situations if they were hired by your company.

Role-playing is a great way to find out more about a person who has applied for a job. For example, if you’re trying to hire someone to be a magazine editor, you might ask them something like:

  • “You just got a big scoop from an anonymous source. The source told you that a famous celebrity is pregnant and ready to give birth any day. One of your coworkers tells you that you should write a story about it immediately and publish it on the magazine’s website. What do you do?”

The candidate won’t actually have to sit down at the computer and decide whether or not to write the story. But their answer will tell you a lot about what you can expect from them if and when they start working for you.

Give Candidates Optional Homework

There are more and more companies who are keeping the interview process open long after the actual interview ends.

If you really want to find out what a candidate is made of, send them home with a homework assignment and ask them to send it to you when they’re finished.

This will show how committed candidates are to a job, as many people will opt against doing additional work after an interview. These are the kinds of people you probably don’t want working at your company in the first place.

Ask Colleagues for Second Opinions

Once you have done all of your interviews and sifted through the choices you have, it will be time to narrow down your search.

Usually, there will be a handful of people who will stand out to you. Whether you liked the answers they gave during their interviews or they blew you away with the response they gave to your hypothetical workplace scenario, you’ll have a few favorites.

At that point, you should ask your colleagues to share their thoughts on specific candidates. You shouldn’t be trying to find the perfect candidate alone. Instead, you should trust those who work with you to lend a hand.

Sit down with a few colleagues and tell them about the best candidates. You might even want to bring those candidates in for second and third interviews with others in your company.

Your colleagues will be able to pick up on certain things you might have missed. It will be well worth your time to include them in the decision when searching for a perfect candidate.

Make Diversity a Priority in Your Hiring Practices

While you shouldn’t hire candidates based solely on gender or race, you do want to keep diversity in mind when trying to find the perfect candidate. You want to have people of all backgrounds working in your office or facility to make it the best it can be.

Diversity should be something you strive for, and it should also be something that is discussed at the highest levels of your company.

Always Check References Provided by Candidates

All employers ask candidates to include references when applying for a job. The majority of them then follow through and use those references during the hiring process.

But it’s kind of surprising to hear that not all employers check references. References can be an invaluable resource for companies hiring new employees.

Before you offer a job to someone who seems like the perfect candidate, you should call at least one of their professional references and ask questions like:

  • What was it like working with this person?
  • What did they bring to the job when you worked with them?
  • Did you have a pleasant experience working alongside them?
  • How did they improve your company’s culture?
  • Would you recommend them to another company looking to hire the perfect candidate for a job?

The answers you get when checking a person’s references will tell you just about everything you need to know about them. If the references hesitate to give a person a glowing review, you probably have a cause for concern.

Trust Your Gut Before Offering Someone a Job

There are going to be times when you interview someone and they look and sound like the perfect candidate.

They have the right education to do the job you need them to do. They have plenty of experience in your field. They might even have great references from their past employers.

Yet, for whatever reason, you still have this nagging suspicion that they just wouldn’t be the right person for the job.

While you obviously don’t want to overthink your decision and spend weeks and weeks trying to make it, you also don’t want to ignore any gut feelings you might have.

If you think someone might not be right for a position at the end of the interview process, try your best to confirm your suspicions. Go back and interview another reference or use social media to see what you can find about a candidate.

In 2018, there are so many ways that you can do extensive background checks on people to see if they’re definitely the best fit for a job. Use everything you have at your disposal to decide if you’ve found the perfect candidate.

And if you’re not convinced that’s the case, then keep looking until you find someone who is perfect for the position.

About the author:

Friddy Hoegener is the Co-Founder of SCOPE Recruiting a boutique Supply Chain, Operations, and Executive recruiting firm. Friddy holds a Master of Social Entrepreneurship from HULT international business school in London, UK. He started his career in Supply Chain Management with ABB Germany before moving to the United States where he worked for Thomas and Betts as well as Kohler where he left a successful career in the supply chain to join the recruiting world. Today, Friddy and his team utilize their networks and knowledge to match some of the best supply chain and operations talent with exciting opportunities from Start-ups to Fortune500 companies.

Legal Branding

Auto Insurance As A Part of Everyday Life

If you live in the United States of America, chances are that auto insurance is part of everyday life, at least for car owners. Driving a car is a privilege which comes with some sorts of responsibilities in the form of auto insurance policies.

Proof of insurance is basically an indicator that you are willing to take responsibility for your driving and you care about other drivers’ safety and welfare. Most states in the country make auto insurance compulsory; similar to a driver license; you must be an auto insurance policyholder to be considered the legal driver.

There are, however, several states where auto insurance is not state-mandated requirements including New Hampshire, Wisconsin, and California. 

New Hampshire

Since 2010, residents of New Hampshire are no longer required to purchase auto insurance. This regulation applies to any driver who has not been involved in a road accident, convicted of DWI (driving while intoxicated), or convicted of any serious traffic violation.

However, if you are involved in any road accident, you have to be responsible for covering damages both for bodily or property injuries. If you cannot fulfill this responsibility, the state will probably revoke your driver license. In other words, your responsibility is required only in the event of an accident; you do not have to pay a premium fee, but you need to cover all the damages for the injured party when required.

Viking insurance company of Wisconsin 

There is no compulsory law requiring drivers to purchase auto insurance in Wisconsin, but the state does require you to prove responsibility is some other ways.

You can do this by placing a cash deposit of $60,000 with the WisDOT (Wisconsin Department of Transportation) as liability insurance for vehicles or filing a bond with the department. If in any case, a police officer stops you while you are driving, the officer will check to determine if you have any of those. 

California

California has similar regulations to those of Wisconsin. Drivers can prove their responsibility not by purchasing insurance but simply covering for damages in which case they are at fault in road accidents. The compensation can reach up to $30,000 for injury or death in a single accident.

For property damage, the compensation can reach up to $5,000. Since you do not have to purchase insurance, you should place a deposit of $35,000 or file a bond of that amount with California Department of Motor Vehicles.

Although insurance is indeed not compulsory in some states, drivers are still required to be responsible and prove it by covering damages of the injured party in the event of accidents. Proof of financial responsibility can be done by placing deposit or filing bond with the state.

Protect your brand
Digital Branding

How To Use Digital Asset Management To Protect Your Brand

Protect your brand

Before getting started with the details of what digital asset management is and how it works, let’s first talk about the protection of a brand name and how important brands and trademarks are. Consumers just love brands, as a brand means something in a busy world when customers have limited time to make their purchase decisions. Finding – and sticking – with brands takes away the frustration of searching and the risk of buying an inferior product or service.

This behaviour is something we all need to pay attention to. As business owners, we have to make sure that we are doing all we can to protect our brand names because sooner or later we all realize that the backbone of our company is our trademark and our brand name.

Digital brand assess

What Can I Do To Protect My Brand?

As a business owner, we are pretty sure that you know how you have to take care of your company, the importance of delivering quality products and services to your customers, and how you have to protect your brand from any legal and copyright issues. Today’s technology makes it possible for you to share your brand assets and protect your brand by storing all your digital assets (images, videos, documents and metadata) in one central digital library. This technology is called Digital Asset Management (DAM) and this is how it helps in the protection of your brand.

What Is DAM?

DAM or Digital Asset Management is more of a business process that helps companies manage their workflows, digital rights, and permissions. This process also helps in storing, organizing, and controlling the rich media that includes multimedia content, videos, animations, pictures, and music, etc. It basically is an infrastructure that allows you to manage and control all of your digital assets. Moreover, DAM makes it easy for you to identify, analyze, locate, and then retrieve your assets.

Protect your assets

How DAM Helps In Supporting Brand Identity

How exactly does the digital asset management system help in the protection of the brand?

DAM helps marketers and business owners manage multiple assets all at the same time. Even a small business has thousands of assets to be managed for different social media platforms, partner and agency use, e-commerce and that can be a huge hassle if it’s done without any software or any process like the DAM. For example, DAM helps when your communications team needs approved images to put on social media, with files optimized so they are in the right format. Your PR agency needs to find archive video of a 10-year-old product for an upcoming article, they can search the metadata and quickly find the video they need.

With DAM, all of the distribution, archiving, and rights management is done with complete ease because you get better and improved visibility and control of your assets. DAM increases speed to market and makes sure that the right people will get the right image at the right time.

The information about your assets and their transfers are always safe, and they cannot be misused since you can schedule assets to expire on a specific date. If you need to update a file in the DAM platform, every link to that file will automatically be updated. This ensures brand control that all the values and visual integrity of a brand are retained.

Easy asset access

Why Use DAM

These are a few fundamental advantages of using DAM for your brand. The best part about digital asset management is that it is easy to use and you will understand it quickly. DAM systems can integrate with the other systems that you use today, like your CMS and CRM so they all work seamlessly.

If you genuinely want to take your business to the heights of success, then you have to invest in a DAM system and protect and grow your brand.

Digital Branding

Business Process Automation and It’s Importance

Today, when there is an ever growing and vast competition, businesses (especially the small ones) come and go. That’s why every business owner is reluctant to invest time and money in something that is not absolutely necessary or undoubtedly sure it will pay off. One of the biggest talks in a past few years was about business process automation and whether it’s worth trying.

Like in every automation process, the goal of BPA is to bring simplicity to the workflow. Even the most sophisticated process has a number of complex steps that seem pretty useless at the same time. Unfortunately, even the most unessential steps need to be done, and that is where BPA comes in. It is an innovative and hands-free approach that makes a systematization of the business processes that are critical, increasing your employee’s efficiency and thus reducing cost and saving money. That’s why professionals from Picnet IT Services with more than 15 years of experience have embraced it so quickly, aware that it will help them to continue providing real stability and strategic growth they’re known for. The benefits of BPA go far beyond the saving the time and the effort of your staff, but this is still the most valuable benefit that allows other to emerge. Let’s see how shall we?

Chinese whispers

There is nothing that can destroy a business so quickly as a lack of communication. And we’re not talking about employees holding grudges and not speaking to one another, but rather about very complex channels of communication that feel like a game of Chinese whispers. If the business is a kind of game, it certainly shouldn’t be a funny one where the laugh is on you. And this is precisely what happens. Let’s say you have a very simple task at hand – to make an add for some upcoming event. There are design and information – time, date, and location.  So, your marketing manager receives an email with information for his approval. But right after he begins to scroll down he begins to realize it’s actually an email chain where who knows how many people have made their suggestions, revisions, and edits. Naturally, he can’t make sense of it all and inevitably some of the information ends up completely wrong.  The worst thing is that no one knows where the error has occurred along the way, which makes it quite probable it will happen again. Although it seems absurd, it’s a reality in modern business – communication breakdown can prevent the execution of the simple tasks, without anyone who’ll take accountability.

An unforeseen typo

The example above clearly shows us that a large number of errors in document processing are actually user-generated. When you have to input your data manually you can make mistakes as easily as you can make a typo, but consequences can be much greater. But if you employ business process automation you can forget about manual data entry. The moment the document is in the system all the information is transferred to a digital database automatically, which provides 100 % accurate data management and indexing. So, besides saving countless hours, it is like having your personal business Grammarly which eliminates all typing mistakes that can otherwise bring some hefty fines.

On hold

Of course, avoiding user-generated error is not the only reason to employ BPA.  By letting machines do all the perpetual tasks you’re not only eliminating the chance of human error, but you’re also simplifying the lives of your employees in general. Let’s go back to our example to see what has been happening with the design aspect of the add.  After the designer has completed his work, he needs to send an image via email for approval (déjà vu, anyone?) and he needs to mark his task done on a spreadsheet that probably no one looks at. After our unfortunate marketing manager approves it he needs to pass it on to the web technician who will, in the end, upload it to the site. All these manual steps require a lot of pushing for each item, which makes it feel like you’ve put on hold only to wait for an information you’ve already known about.  The only process here that needs to be done by a human is the design itself, and the quality can suffer under the weight of numerous notifications and approvals. By routing digital files or sending out email updates, BPA will noticeably reduce the time it takes for an employee to complete his daily tasks, allowing him to concentrate on important decisions in his field and thus boost his productivity.

Your personal rulebook

As we’ve said it in the beginning, business is a kind of game, but a game with high stakes where the winner literally takes it all. That’s why you need to have operational stability, and that is precisely what BPA implements in your daily processes. It is like having the rigid rulebook of the game set by yourself, making sure not a single document is misplaced or a single step missed. You can look at it as a form of legal cheating which allows your employees to perform their tasks easily and making the game constant, dependable, and accurate.

Endgame – the conclusion

At the very end, there is always a customer. He’s the last link in your Chinese whispers and he’s not in for a laugh. BPA creates a consistency that ensures customers will receive the same level of care with every interaction. With all their specific account information ready to be pulled from the digital database any second the business of your company becomes far more user-friendly. Paper-based file management is removed, employee efficiency is increased, and top-notch service is guaranteed.

Author Bio:

Ian

Aside from primary area of interest and expertise in e-marketing, Ian could be tagged also as a passionate sports fan, nature, and photography enthusiast, always trying to keep up to date with tech innovations and development.

Digital Branding

Why Your Brand Needs SEO in 2018

SEO has got something of a bad rap in some corners in recent years. This is a wholly undeserved state of affairs. Search engine optimization is an essential aspect of contemporary web design. In a world where everyone is online all the time, and when we think of everything we need as being just a web search away, it is clearly important for any website that wants to generate significant traffic to be listed prominently in results.

But how can website owners control where they appear in Google search results? Well, it turns out that website owners actually have a lot of control over this. As you would expect, some of the metrics that Googles uses to determine results rankings are based upon organic measures. Organic measures are things like the number of other websites that link to yours; these links will happen naturally as your website grows.

How Can It Help my Brand?

SEO is more than just a tool for websites. It is also a vital resource for businesses who are looking to promote their brand. SEO is one of the most effective marketing methods out there, offering a fantastic ROI, and a guarantee of a dramatic increase in brand awareness. The more traffic that you are able to bring to your websites, the more people will become exposed to your brand and business.

If you want your brand to take over the marketplace, exposure is the key. The more consumers are exposed to your brand, the more they will think of you. It doesn’t matter what context they encounter your business in – all except the most catastrophically bad press will ultimately bounce off most businesses.

Traffic is the Lifeblood of Website

There are many different metrics that you can use to measure how healthy a website is, but the amount of traffic that it is generating is usually the best indicator. From the perspective of a business looking to maximize exposure to their brand, being able to maximize the flow of traffic to particular websites and web pages is important. This allows you to expose as many people as possible to the media and content of your choosing.

Traditionally, the way that businesses have exposed as many consumers as possible to their brand has been to aim for saturation with their advertising. Saturation involves simply putting adverts out as far and wide as possible so that as many people see it as possible. Even if the advert is only successful in enticing a small percentage of people into buying a product or using a particular service, the sheer number of people will translate into tangible profits.

Is It Difficult?

SEO is often thought of as “difficult”. This is because most SEO used to involve manipulating Google. Google now offers guidance on what it considers to be white-hat – or approved – SEO techniques. As a result, there are now professional businesses who will help you with your SEO marketing, such as this Search Engine Optimisation West Midlands business.

Search engine optimization is a very valuable tool for increasing awareness of your brand and spending time and money on SEO is all but guaranteed to provide excellent ROI.

Digital Branding

Please Stop Confusing Customers With Your Pricing

It is a criminal offence for traders to deliberately make misleading price claims about their goods or services and against the letter of the law to make prices confusing to the consumer.

For example, ‘was £120, now £99.99’ is deceiving if the goods or services have never been presented at the higher price. It is also misleading/confusing if a trader fails to show ‘hidden extras’, or to make it clear when a price is conditional on, say, another purchase.

The Competition Markets Authority have stated that some unit prices and particularly promotions have the worrying potential to mislead customers  – and could even be a breach of consumer law.  This came after a complaint from consumer group Which? who raised concerns ‘about confusing and misleading promotions and a lack of easily comparable prices’.

Some retailers are guilty of increasing the price of products prior to the start of a volume promotion and promotions such as ‘was/now’ offers, where a product is on sale at a discounted price for longer than the higher price was applied, is considered to be deliberately misleading consumers.

Supermarkets (the main culprits) could now face legal proceedings for confusing customers with non-transparent multi-buys, “deceptive” shrinking products and baffling discounts, the CMA has announced.  Supermarkets are now under surveillance to revise their current pricing practices or face being taken to court, with all the ensuing adverse publicity that will involve.

The CMA has called for new guidelines to be issued to supermarkets and has published its own ‘at a glance’ guide to help consumers.  However, the complaints still keep coming into the Retail Ombudsman  – and the current rules are only guidelines, not hard and fast legal obligations.

So, consumers are still likely to get angry about any attempt to pull the wool over their eyes.

Currently, around 40% of grocery spending is on items on promotion – and (good news) the vast majority of these are above board, says the CMA.  However, there is definitely a lack of regulation in this area and the CMA states that consumers should never be misled or confused about how much (or how little) they are getting for their money.

It stated that ‘unit pricing’ allowing comparisons between products needed to be made more clear-cut.  As an example, some similar products in supermarkets were priced per 100ml and others per 100g, making it impossible to make a price comparison.  Is this artful deception on behalf of the supermarkets?  Surely they should make it less complicated for the shopper to compare like for like?

Generally, retailers do take compliance seriously but the CMA has called for supermarkets to end the practice of running “was/now” promotions, where the discounted price is advertised as a promotion for longer than the higher price, was employed.

The CMA also wants the Government to introduce new standards about “unit prices”, which indicate to shoppers what the price of a single item is in a multi-pack so they can compare prices more easily and decide whether it really is cheaper to buy the multi-pack.

According to new research from Which? almost 3/4 of consumers believe supermarkets are trying to confuse them by using misleading pricing practices – and shoppers are very unhappy about the following:

  • Poorly labeled products
  • Prices small and hard to read
  • Inconsistent pricing.

The greatest confusion occurs with fruit and vegetables sold loose or in packs but it extends to other products sold in cans, jars and bottles.

Which? has called for a change in the law requiring retailers to clearly display the price of items per unit, so that shoppers can easily compare the value of similar products. The unit price is the price by weight or volume that allows shoppers to compare the true cost of products, even if they come in different sized packaging.

As an example, if a 500ml jar of mayonnaise costs £1.05 and a 750ml jar is £1.47, a clear unit price would show you straight away which jar gives you the most mayonnaise for your money. In this case, the 500ml jar is 21p per 100ml and the 750ml jar is 19.6p per 100 ml. The current confusion caused by inconsistent pricing means shoppers don’t always get the best deal

Most shoppers usually assume that items sold loose would be cheaper but this is not necessarily the case – for example a Sainsbury’s pack of four baking potatoes is currently being sold at 70p, while the supermarket also sells them loose at £1.00 per kg.

It is also confusing for shoppers when the prices for different brands of comparable products are measured differently – one price may be displayed in ml and the other in grams.  The regulators have called for consistency in weights and measures for comparable products.

Which? executive director Richard Lloyd has said:

“With household budgets squeezed and rising food costs among the top worries for consumers, it’s all the more important that stores make it as easy as possible for people to spot the best value products. All food and drink should be clearly and consistently priced by weight or volume across all stores, including products which are on special offer.”

 

Morrisons has subsequently announced a promise to make unit prices consistent among similar products and to make the print on shelf labels larger and more visible.

Sainsbury’s has also announced that it will be trialling a new label format, which will include clearer unit pricing, to assist customers to identify the best deals.

Non-Food Pricing

When selling to the general public, all pricing information must be clearly legible, unambiguous, easily identifiable, in sterling, and inclusive of VAT and any additional taxes.

Pricing information must be shown close to the product, or in the case of, for example, online or mail order sales and advertisements, close to a picture or written description of the product.

Prices can be shown:

  • On goods themselves
  • On a ticket or notice adjacent to the goods
  • Grouped together with other prices on a list or in a catalogue in close proximity to the goods. If counter catalogues are used there should be enough copies for customers to refer to

Pricing information should be clearly available to consumers without them having to ask for assistance in order to see it.

Legibility refers to a consumer with normal sight. Traders must also comply with the Equality Act 2010 and take account of the special needs of the elderly and disabled groups.

Promotions

Promotional offers should be unit-priced to reflect the single standard product.

Retailers may give additional information if they wish (for example, the ‘reduced unit price if purchasing a multi-buy’ offer may be shown) as long as it is clear to which products it relates.

Limited period promotions (such as 10% extra free) that relate to individual products may retain the unit price of the standard product for the period of the offer. Retailers may give additional information if they wish – for example, they may show the unit prices of both the standard and promotional products but they must be crystal clear to which products they relate.

Make sure your prices are also ethical

The Institute of Business Ethics has suggested that companies issue statements of ethical practice in regard to their dealings with customers – and this will cover pricing too.

The statement should incorporate a declaration about what circumstances will make your company increase their prices and by how much, how prices should be conveyed to the consumer and the company’s allegiance to all applicable pricing laws. The ethical pricing statement will need to be kept up to date to ensure all fresh guidelines are adhered to.

It really doesn’t make any sense to confuse your customers with your pricing. Eventually, they will get wise to what you are (deliberately or otherwise) trying to do and will vote with their feet by taking their business elsewhere.

Indeed, Clive Black, an analyst at Shore Capital, said the complaint from Which? about confusing pricing had come too late as many shoppers have already abandoned the big 4 supermarkets in favour of discounters Aldi and Lidl.

It will always be sensible to price transparently because consumers are becoming increasingly savvy when it comes to comparing prices – and it might just be that what you are doing, at best, is at variance with the letter of the law – or could even be downright illegal.  Do not take that risk.

 

This article has originally appeared on Black Curve’s Blog.