Category: Personal Branding

Legal BrandingPersonal Branding

How to Build a Brand Your Mom Will Be Proud Of

Small business owners create their brands in a variety of ways. Pride is a thread that connects most of those efforts, however. Most people don’t want to feel ashamed of their businesses. They want them to get attention for all the right reasons. Here are some practical, effective ways to create a brand that you’ll love to mention when someone asks, “So, what do you do?”

Offer High-Quality Products

Providing high-quality products to your customers might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how many brands prefer to merely get their products into customers’ hands. Representatives from those enterprises only think about the initial purchase — not repeat buyers. They don’t care if the items fall apart or stop working outside the time frame for returns. 

In a 2019 survey, 85% of respondents agreed that quality was a deal-breaker or deciding factor in their purchases. Make the quality of your products so evident that people can immediately see, feel or perceive it in other ways. 

Speak to quality in your product descriptions, too. You might say, “Our team of engineers worked for five years to design a tent that’s durable, simple to pitch and pack and reliable in any weather. If you’re dissatisfied for any reason, we want to make things right.”

Treat Your Employees Well

Workers collectively make up the backbone of the most successful brands. When workers love their employers, they’re more likely to be eager brand ambassadors. However, if employees get mistreated — or perceive they do — the ramifications could affect your whole operation. Most consumers don’t like the idea of supporting companies that don’t value their employees.

Consider if a customer walks into a store and notices that most workers are grumpy or bored. The matter could worsen if the workforce becomes so disgruntled that outspoken members take their complaints to social media or the press. Some employees may even strike. 

You can prevent unhappy employees from ruining your company’s reputation, however. Get to the heart of what’s wrong by showing a willingness to listen and take them seriously. Don’t make promises you can’t keep, but show you’re committed to implementing improvements. Think about having a formal process for gathering feedback. Consider letting people provide input anonymously if preferred. 

Investigate Custom Packaging Options

A well-crafted brand immediately stands out from the competition. Customized packaging can help you achieve that goal. An eye-catching box makes people get excited whenever they see it. You can design boxes with bright colors, creative fonts, quotes or even graphics. All of those things help to strengthen your identity. 

You can also put thoughtful details into the box, such as a strip a recipient can pull to open the package, letting them avoid struggling with scissors. The lid of the box might have tabs that slot into the bottom section, helping people easily open and close the packaging. 

Another nice thing about custom packaging is that people are more likely to reuse it. An appealing, branded box that a person got after ordering from an e-commerce site could get repurposed as a container for anything ranging from office supplies to snack-size packs of trail mix. 

Provide Consistency

Whether you operate a neighborhood deli, a furniture store or a web design company, customers want to feel they’ll get the same outstanding brand experience no matter how many times they visit. Begin by thinking about what aspects shape how people see your company. Perhaps your top-notch customer service or inviting in-store atmosphere. Maybe people appreciate your witty brand voice or your well-designed, mobile-friendly website. 

Think about the things in your power that maintain those factors. You might need to invest in more staff training. An in-house style guide can also remove uncertainty about matters like color schemes, word choices and punctuation preferences. 

Regardless of  which individual approaches you take, ensure that everything looks similar across all platforms and ways people access your business. Consumers notice that attention to detail. It helps them know what to expect when dealing with you. 

Respond to Customer Issues

The customer experience occasionally becomes tarnished, even at companies well-known for their amazing brands. It’s your responsibility to be available when people want to reach out after things go wrong.

Maybe someone feels upset due to an inefficient cashier. Perhaps they opened the box from an online order and discovered the product inside was something other than what they purchased. 

Ignoring these problems will not make them go away and is likely to make them worse. Show customers that their concerns matter to you and that you want to fix the issues. Waiting too long to answer them gives the impression that customers are not your priority, and you don’t care about earning or keeping their loyalty. 

Choose Causes to Support

Aligning your business with causes that matter to you and your workers could positively impact profits and how many new customers you gain. A 2018 survey found that charitable giving affects 73% of Americans’ purchase decisions. The same study revealed that 65% of those polled believe companies have a responsibility to give back. 

Strive for authenticity when picking what matters most to you. Try to select causes that relate to your business. If the company sells water filtration products, you might support a charity that brings clean water to disadvantaged areas. 

Talk to your employees about how they could get involved with causes, too. Some might participate in a fundraiser or a community clean-up day, for example. They’ll like knowing that their contributions span beyond your business. 

Admit to Your Mistakes

No one’s perfect, and that reality will inevitably manifest in your business. Maybe you’ll make a blunder that causes some customers to leave. Perhaps you’ll cling too tightly to a plan despite overwhelming evidence of its failure.

Owning up to your mistakes isn’t fun, but it’s a crucial part of being an effective and admired leader. Learn from your errors, too. Dig into what caused them, and figure out proactive prevention measures.

Decide how to communicate with outside external parties. Should you publish a press release, or might it work better to post a YouTube video? The right format varies depending on the severity of the issue and what you want — or need — to convey.

Building Blocks for Your Brand

These actions are not the only ones that make up a fabulous brand that people praise. However, they’ll get you off to a good start in earning positive recognition and customer satisfaction.

Lexie is a branding enthusiast and web designer. She loves checking out local flea markets and taking her Goldendoodle on hikes. Follow her on Twitter @lexieludesigner and check out her design blog, Design Roast.

Digital BrandingPersonal Branding

How Ad Agencies Adapted to the COVID-19 World

Over the years, advertising agencies have generally figured out what works best for their industry, and have done a good job in structuring their business procedure around that concept. With the current COVID-19 pandemic that is impacting businesses and consumers worldwide, ad agencies are being forced to adapt in order to keep up with the changing workplace environment. Where before the outbreak agencies could rely on a large team coming together and accomplishing tasks – such as writing and filming a new television commercial – many ad agencies now are being forced to adapt to a workforce that is unable to congregate in a single location for such a job.

Remote operation is something that works to a different extent depending on the industry that a company is in. In some cases, an employee can easily transfer their work from an office environment to the home office. Other jobs, such as a good number of ad agency positions, could struggle with having to stop working in groups that share office space and collaborative meetings. 

Without the typical team atmosphere created by people working together sharing the same space, ad agencies have come to rely on cloud integration services to keep operating during the pandemic. Cloud integration software makes it easier for teams to work together virtually, even when they are physically apart. Document sharing, video conferencing, and other collaboration tools are just a few of the ways in which teams that are working apart are able to still work together in order to accomplish their goals.

As an example of how some ad agencies have adapted to the unique challenges that they are presented with by the COVID-19 virus pandemic, agencies have been forced to get creative in how they go about creating the various new commercials and advertisements that their clients need them to produce. Since they are currently unable to use their usual methods of putting together a team of people that can shoot the footage necessary for a typical television commercial, agencies are instead having to fall back on previously recorded footage they have in the archives from previous recording sessions that took place before the outbreak. This previous footage must be reworked and reedited in order to put together a coherent message that is both accurate and relevant to the current time.

However, while there have clearly been many varied and significant changes in the workings of the professional world as a result of COVID-19, there are also more subtle changes that have taken place as a direct result of the impact that the pandemic has had on people’s individual lives. With so many people staying at home instead of going to work, the amount of digital content being consumed by individuals on a given day has dramatically increased. 

Should this trend continue in the future, this may spark a shift in the goals and plans of an advertising agency’s typical client. Where they might have once wanted a television commercial, they may now want to have a series of short clips that could be used for internet ads or videos that can be promoted through online platforms in order to reach their customers where they are spending their time. At the end of the day, ad agencies are being forced to adapt to a changing business climate, facing new challenges and reaching for new goals as a result.

Personal Branding

5 Branding Tips for Architectural Firms

Branding is how you portray your business. Every organization should keep branding in mind, including architectural firms. Your brand should let people know the tone of your company, and it will help establish a clear identity. However, you may not know how to brand your architectural firm properly. Here are five branding tips for architectural firms.

1. Show Your Work

The best way to explain your brand is to show people what you do. Do you focus on one particular niche, or do you tackle all sorts of projects? Showcase plenty of cool pictures of both finished projects and projects under construction. You may even consider getting a professional photographer to make your work look as striking as possible. Put the pictures on your website, on social media, and on your different promotional communications. This will also show people exactly what your firm can do for clients.

2. Highlight the Talent

An architectural firm is all about the architects doing the work. You need to inform people about the architects. Let people know if they earned their architectural degree from a prestigious university. You should also talk about their experience and even aspects of their personal lives. People like to know something about the people who will be doing the work. Plus, these are the people who are the face of the company. Make sure all bios follow the tone of your brand.

3. Visit Appropriate Trade Shows

Trade shows are places for people to come together to talk business. It’s a place to make connections, and it’s a way to spread your brand. Use exceptional visuals with your logo, company colors, and examples of your work. You also want to wear merchandise with your logo on it as well. When you talk to someone who might need your services, give them our business card. You may even ask for their card.

4. Write a Blog

The different architects in the firm should take turns writing blogs on different topics related to architecture. The blogs should cover new topics or attack common topics with a new perspective. The articles should also be easy to skim. You can do this by using headers, bullet points, and short paragraphs. Be consistent and put the blog out once a week. These blogs will help establish your firm as experts in architecture. People who read your blogs will remember the firm when they need your services, especially if the blogs were well-written and informative.

5. Consider Your Audience

While branding your customer, you need to consider your audience. First, think about who your customer is. What demographics are you targeting? What would appeal to your customer? What will get their attention? What will make them want to buy? Base your branding strategy with these things in mind, and you will set yourself up for success.

Your company has a personality. You need to breathe life into this personality. Make sure it shows in every aspect of your marketing from your logo, your signage in your store, and your digital presence. When you establish your brand, people will know you and know what to expect from you.

Legal BrandingPersonal Branding

Estimate Templates for Smaller Businesses

Flowers are invariably in high demand. Survey says that flower stores are expanding exponentially in the country. Not only flower shops but with it the number of designing houses are also thriving. People are more interested in beautifying spaces. So, industries with aesthetic sensibilities are on a high rise. Every little thing that is associated with your business represents your firm. To maintain its reputation the company however small it may be, needs to look professional. So, the firm should oversee all the business aspects in a methodical manner. When you send an estimate to a prospective client that too represents you. The design of the estimate and the logo will count to a conscious consumer. No matter how creative and inspirational, you approach to life is, when it comes to business it is always required to keep a level head and composed output. So, let us discuss now how one can improve the estimated requirements of a smaller business. 

What is estimate template?

Estimates are formal documents that are required to be approved by both parties when they are in business jointly. Suppose, you want to buy sunflowers in bulk from a dealer and you agreed on a price. You need supplies in multiple locations for several outlets of yours and you want them to be delivered at a specific time. You may have a very good bond with this vendor and you trust him fully. But you need to have a document written in black and white. So, the bargain remains clear between both parties. This designing of estimate might turn out to be a hectic job. So, instead, you can visit aynax.com free online estimate template.  Here you can browse through a different type of archetype of estimate templates. 

Why is it helpful?

A business template takes time to formulate. With each changing deal of trade, the templates need to alter. So, to create all these different templates can be quite a hassle. Instead, you can browse through the online prototypes and get the job done. There is a customization option that will allow you to design the estimate template in your own unique way. The process is easy and straightforward. This form of templates will definitely make your business look sharper and give it a skilled touch. 

Why does the presentation matter?

This is an age of show and tell. People put a lot of energy and effort to make their products and services look aesthetically presentable and beautiful. If you run a business that deals with flowers and design, it is more so important for you to be careful about every single detail. Customers that come to you are most definitely interested in design values. So, your presentation should matter. The documents that you provide should matter to you as it is a part of your design. 

Why is an estimate important for the client?

An estimated statement is a legal paper that holds real value. It is valuable to you as well as to the client. Maybe a team of event management buys flowers for an event. They will need all the legal papers to be submitted to the individual who employed them to do the task. If they can’t produce records, it is going to cause them troubles. If you can’t provide them with official documents nobody is going to do any sort of business with you. And if the estimate you furnish is amateurish then also people are going to avoid your shop; regardless of the quality of your delivery of product or services. 

In the end, it can be said that instead of investing in expensive software to construct your own estimate, you can take the full benefit of the free services provided online.

Digital BrandingPersonal Branding

How to Know the Ideal Word Count for Ranking High in a Search Result?

Content is at the center of SEO and is all powerful in driving the campaign towards success. Content connects the brand with the audience and must be of good quality. It generates interest among the targeted audience by being relevant and useful while helping the audiences gain some value from it. Another vital factor to consider when creating content is its length. What should be the ideal length of content or copy that helps to rank in the first place? Is there any optimum word count to achieve the goal? These are questions that every SEO consultant faces when advising clients about the need to enhance the pages with better content. Often, the content length acquires more importance over other considerations like the detail it needs to contain and the audience for whom it is meant.

The notion that longer content ranks better prevails in the SEO circles because there is a feeling that more words demonstrate authoritativeness to search engines and dramatically improves ranking. However, there is yet no firm data available to support the point, and it is more of a myth. But then why is there a general feeling that longer copy can push up the ranking of pages?

Misinterpreted studies

Numerous studies have been conducted to understand the relation between the copy length or word count and ranking. One such study by Baclinko in April 2020 showed that 1447 word was the average copy length for the results that appear on the first page of Google search result. Most people conclude that it is the ideal content length, whereas the result shows the correlation between content length and ranking. The study establishes the correlation only and not the cause.

What is the best copy length (word count) for SEO?

Many factors influence the ideal length of copy or word count, and all these cannot get linked to ranking. The length of the copy must please humans and not search bots. It must be long as needed to help the user achieve their goals on the page – whether providing an in-depth explanation of a topic or subject, quickly identifying an answer to a question, or simply demonstrating the product specifications. The need for users and how to satisfy it should be the top priority when creating content instead of focusing on the word count.

Is there any ideal word count?

You would still like to know what would be the best word count to excel with SEO. There is no fixed answer to this because it depends on what you want to achieve with the content for satisfying the needs of the target audience. The goal should be to fulfill the searcher’s query because search engines rank pages according to the content’s ability to resonate with the audience by meeting their expectations.  Never does Google consider the content length for ranking but instead emphasize its ability to satisfy the user query. The quality of content and how well it answers the user query is critical for search engines in determining the ranking. Never is the content length of any consideration to determine the content quality. Moreover, there is no reason to draw a comparison with the top-ranking pages and consider it to the ideal for earning the top rank.

The issue of correlation and causation

When trying to understand word count, most people cannot differentiate between correlation and causation that drives them in the wrong direction. When you look at the top 5 results on the SERP for any specific search term, you might surmise that replicating the copy length of that content could help you to earn similar ranks. But this is not the case because besides word count that Google considers many other factors for ranking pages. Word count might only be an indirect factor for ranking. The chances are that longer content is more link-worthy because it is more shareable, as revealed in a Hub Spot study in 2015. Longer pages might contain more comprehensive answers that pushed up the ranking. The correlation is more important than causation. Trying to conclude that content length alone influences ranking is a mistake.

What should be the copy length?

It will be wrong to believe that longer content performs well always and, therefore, the best.  The focus must be on creating content that is factually correct, comprehensive, and written, as mentioned in Google’s starter guides. Do not make the mistake of equating comprehensive with long content. Aim for including everything in the content to make it complete without restricting its length, but avoiding making it too long can dilute it or make users lose their patience. Provide exhaustive information that the user wants to know, and the type of query determines how long the answer should be. Searches for historical or scientific knowledge would lead to longer content than searches for the best sports shoes near me. 

Factors that influence the content length

Do not have any preconceived notion about content length and try to understand the ideal word count for content. Consider what will help to rank well, focus on the purpose of the page, user intent, and conversion, which will automatically calibrate the content length or word count.

The purpose of a page – How well a page ranks depends on how well you know the purpose for which you are creating the page. Do you want to create an informational page or want the page to act like a signpost that leads visitors to another page? Is it a transactional page? The purpose will determine how much copy would suffice. 

User intent – Knowing what the user wants is the best way to figure out what content length would be appropriate. Once you know what the user wants from the landing page, you can make it comprehensive enough to meet those needs instead of making it long just for its sake. 

Conversion – Since the content should help users complete an action or facilitate the conversion, the content length must suit the user’s needs.  

A longer copy is welcome in many cases, but not the only reason the page ranks well. Aiming to meet user needs is the best way to arrive at the correct word count.

Digital BrandingPersonal Branding

Marketing Your Start-Up

Once you’ve decided to take the plunge and throw yourself into starting your own business, getting media attention is a fairly big hurdle to overcome. Being new to the market you have to establish credibility and become visible to the media. Exposure is how you gain publicity and a reputation.

Coverage

When you are confident that your branding, company message and content is clear and concise, it’s time to get your message heard. The point of using media is to communicate who you are and what your values are. There are a few different ways to achieve that goal. Utilizing SEO copywriting services will help your business be seen when people are searching the internet for services they are looking to give their business to.  

The biggest reason startups fail is because of the lack of exposure. It lends to reason being successful will be difficult if no one knows who you are or what you can do. Start by telling people what makes your product or service unique. Get the backing of those who are happy with your product; happy customers can’t wait to tell anyone who will listen to why they are so satisfied. Word of mouth advertising is invaluable because it’s organic and people trust other people who’ve had positive experiences. 

Pay attention to social media. Notice who gets the most attention and align yourself with them. Engage their posts and make your presence known. If these influencers feel confident about who you are or what your business promotes, they will happily post about what you have to offer. Keep in mind, influencing others on social media directly reflects on the one promoting it; if they stand behind a business that is less than worthy of their attention, they will lose credibility.

Platform

Knowing how big of a role social media plays in marketing, you have to be sure you tailor your content to line up with where you are trying to gain exposure. Promoting your business on social media is not a one size fits all. Meaning, you can’t post the same content on every platform you use, you have to tailor the posts to align with the outlet you are using. For example, knowing if the outlet you are using is driven by graphics as opposed to written content, your contribution should be in the format that coincides with the site’s norms; otherwise, it will not be effective. 

Think about why social media is so popular. Is it because of the hard sale or the stories that evoke emotion and sentiment? Don’t be afraid to appeal to human nature. Everyone wants to experience something that makes them feel good; tug at the heartstrings and win your audience over with sentiment and forego the hard sale. 

You have a story to tell, don’t be afraid to tell it. Let people learn who you are through your experiences and show them how you are making a difference. Once you get people interested in your stories, they will actively seek out more. They will want to learn more about you, your company and the impact you’re making. Once you’ve established rapport and interest, then you can safely sell.

Educate and Compete

Why not take advantage of a captive audience by also educating your targeted audience on what you bring to the table? Knowledge is powerful if used correctly. Don’t discount the appeal of engagement. Hold competitions that appeal to your target and solicit involvement. Not only are you gaining more exposure, but potential customers. 

Marketing is as effective as the product or service you are offering. In order to be successful, you need both to be good.

Digital BrandingLegal BrandingPersonal Branding

Everything You Need to Know about Online Brands’ Path to Profitability

There is a common mistake the vast majority of brands make today — they acquire the funds but have no plan for profitability.

When you start a small business website, you should know that following the practices that most other entrepreneurs follow actually leaves you with a narrow window of success. Operating deep in the red and using that as a sacrifice for quick growth is one of the bigger reasons why many new businesses fail.

If you’d like to know what you need to do to become a profitable business in a reasonable amount of time, keep reading.

Place your focus on margins

Getting to figure out the way to profitability fast begins with knowing the cost variables on an income statement and how you can have them tweaked.

These variables include manufacturing, transportation, employee salaries, office rent, shipping, and marketing. Do know that the most expensive variable for digital brands is usually marketing.

When looking at each unit sold, as a brand, you should find out the total cost of operations and production and compare that figure to what is left. For example, if a brand spends $100 to produce a watch and sells it for $300, its gross profit per product would be $200 and the product margin would amount to 66%.

In order to build a sustainable business, the unit economics on day one should be positive. This is the revenue and cost per item sold. As companies scale, margins usually increase and can vary widely depending on the product type.

For example, apparel brands see margins between 40 and 60 percent. Hence, they need to structure themselves differently than companies selling accessories or prestige beauty where margins can top 80 percent.

Consider hiring a business coach

At this stage, it would be great if you could hire a professional business coach. Sometimes you really need a business mentor you can trust and turn to for advice. It is important to have support coming from a great coach.

This will give you some space to work out challenges that are slowing your confidence down. It is really important in situations where you have to deal with crises or conflicts.

On top of that, a good coach will help you see the forest, not the trees. In other words, a good business coach will always have an objective point of view and the ability to quickly identify problem areas that you couldn’t see.

A good coach will also be able to offer solutions or strategies you might have not considered or push you out of your comfort zone so that you can take your business to the next level.

Finally, experienced coaches are good at helping you triage risks and decide which challenges are worth fighting today and which ones are not worth worrying about until later.

If you are new to the world of business, you should definitely consider having this kind of support along your side.

Do not overspend on marketing

It is easy to get lost when spending on customer acquisition. To be precise, many spend too much on Facebook ads, paid search results, and promoted posts. Unfortunately, that kind of behavior tends to eat up a huge part of the product margin.

As a business owner, you shouldn’t scale unless you are quite confident that you will continue to attract customers without spending irrational amounts on advertising.

Some companies ended in hot waters when it comes to their finances. Various subscription-based services faced this problem when old customers started dropping out, finding new customers became harder to acquire.

So, if you are yet to hit the main growth phase, be very disciplined. Projections for future profitability can be distorted by an unexpected competitor entering the market or by a tweak to an Instagram or Facebook algorithm that raises advertising costs.

Try your best to find a customer acquisition model where you are positive on the first order. That may be difficult, but it is a safe way to play things out.

Your plan should begin with digital ads on Facebook, Instagram, and Google. It is easy to experiment with different messages and formats to figure out what works. Once you build a strong community, the ad game becomes easy.

Reduce the number of failed payments

Unfortunate things happen. A customer can have their credit card stolen, their bank can decline a payment due to a network error or exceeded limit. 

However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try to reduce the churn. You should focus not only on voluntary churn but on involuntary churn as well. This happens when a customer doesn’t intend to stop using your services and wiring money to your business.

Start tracking involuntary churn and get a sense of your overall monthly churn. This will allow you to determine what portion of it is involuntary and how you should start the failed payment recovery process.

See how many of your customers canceled their subscriptions and see how many stopped paying due to credit card declines.

To find out even more, take a look at their decline codes. This way you can isolate whether the primary issue is:

  • Expired card
  • Outdated billing info
  • Spendy customers who exceeded the card limits
  • Something else

The more data you gather, the better your results will be when it comes to reducing this type of churn.

Take good care of your supply chain

Do not get surprised by unexpected surges in purchases. If you have your own production line, be careful not to underestimate the need for your products.

When there is a spike in demand, it is time to profit. However, if you fail to handle all purchase orders, you might get the whole positive trend to backfire.

So, try to be as flexible as possible. Stock up on your products and keep an eye on the statistics. Be prepared in case a spike in demand occurs.

Try to have the best possible control over the supply chain. This will also contribute to the speed of scaling, which enables your company to meet demand and ensure that all customers are happy.

Do your best to react to demand in real-time and control costs. If you manage to do that, you will only contribute to profitability.

Final thoughts

The journey to profitability is unique for every entrepreneur. As the person in charge, you have to balance your investments in growth with efforts to generate cash flow.

However, it all boils down to one basic thing — the quality of your product or service. A product that makes sense and proves to be useful is generally a guarantee for a bright future.

Digital BrandingLegal BrandingPersonal Branding

5 Effective Offline Marketing Strategies You Can Use Today

If there’s one thing that’s certain, it’s that we live in unprecedented times. In no other era of human history have people’s lives been changed so fundamentally by technology. At the same time, in no other era have we been so enamored by the past. According to Business Matters, nostalgia marketing has become more popular than ever, with more and more brands turning to retro iconography and techniques in order to capture the interest of a highly online market.

Looking for ways to mobilize that thirst for nostalgia? Check out these effective offline marketing techniques for ideas on how to stand out in a digital world.

Projection Mapping

One of the best ways to maximize technology in your marketing in the real world is through projection mapping. Business.com describes projection mapping as a highly innovative marketing tool that makes use of digital projections on real objects to create distinctive, kinetic advertisements. While it does need significant prep time and can be costly— an average of USD$ 10,000 per minute of projection— the overall effect is attention grabbing and memorable. Projection mapping can engage a wider audience and increase social reach by cutting through the noise and demanding attention.

Direct Mail

Direct mail is perhaps one of the less flashy but more effective marketing techniques that companies like to fall back upon. They do so with good reason — direct mail has an incredibly high ROI, and can cost less per lead than many other marketing techniques. It doesn’t always have to be boring catalogs or paper coupons, either. An article by Triadex Services on direct mail found that plastic postcard materials are 3-5 times more effective than typical paper postcards, improving an already impressive ROI.

Guerilla Marketing

Guerilla marketing has seen a surge in popularity over the last decade, and it’s not hard to see why. SmallBusiness took a look at three small businesses from the UK that employed guerilla marketing techniques such as a double-decker bus turned cocktail bar and a rap song and found that these campaigns were crucial in raising brand profiles. By employing unconventional techniques and creative strategies, companies are able to get greater responses and engagement than through standard, “traditional” campaigns.

Print Marketing

With the rise of smartphone use and the popularity of digital marketing techniques, you’d be forgiven if you thought that print marketing was dead. The reality is far from this, however, and print is definitely here to stay. All Business reports that 56% of all consumers actually trust print materials more than any other advertising method, even email marketing. While print can be costly and hard to update in a fast-paced world, it can still be an effective part of your marketing strategy, especially when used to complement your online efforts.

Business Cards

Finally, one of the best offline marketing strategies you can use boils down to one thing: the humble business card. While many may take business cards for granted, they are especially useful in a B2B context. Referrals and network-building are an essential aspect of any business, and one of the best ways to do that is through distributing your business cards. BNI founder Ivan Misner has written a piece on the importance of the business card and the most effective opportunities for sharing them.

Once you’ve captured the interest of your customers, then you can start work on keeping them. For more tips on building a stronger, more personal connection with your existing customer base, check out our article on ‘Why Retention Marketing Is the Ultimate Growth Strategy’.

Personal Branding

Why Product Branding Matters to Your Business

If you’re a small or medium business owner, you probably know the importance of branding. Long before customers know what you’re selling, they’ll probably hear your company’s name, see your logo or check out your website. And long after they’ve shopped with you, your logo and branding will keep your company on their minds.

Product branding — the logos, packaging, and package design for individual products or product lines — is often distinct from your business’s branding. This is especially true with the more products and product lines your business offers. This product branding, which is often the first impression a customer gets of your overall company, matters just as much as business branding.

Below, we’ll cover why product branding is so important and offer tips on how to improve it.

Branding Can Encourage Product Recognition

One of the biggest benefits of strong product branding is that it makes your goods both easy to spot in a storefront and easy to remember. Distinctive packaging, over time, helps you build product recognition — which can assist your business in securing sales and new customers.

Word-of-mouth recommendations remain extremely influential, with 83% of consumers saying they trust recommendations from family and friends more than any form of advertising. Your customers can only recommend your products to their acquaintances and relatives if they remember the name and look of them. Strong, distinctive product branding is especially important for this reason — it’s what makes your merchandise easy to remember.

Branding Can Build Credibility

Sleek and professional package branding is a key part of building credibility with your audience. 

While your packaging may seem like it shouldn’t count as much as the quality of the product you’re selling, research shows that consumers put a lot of stake into a product’s appearance. Most Americans say product packaging design influences their purchasing decisions, according to survey data from Ipsos. The younger and more educated someone is, the more likely they are to say that they consider packaging in buying decisions.

Packaging and branding probably aren’t the only factors customers consider. Most customers will also consult reviews and field recommendations from family and friends. However, there is a good chance that your branding will be the first thing to draw consumer impressions. The mental effect of packaging goes beyond credibility. According to the same Ipsos survey, 69% of Americans believe that products packaged in cardboard or paper rather than plastic are more likely to feel “artisanal” or “handcrafted.” 

If you’re trying to appeal to an audience by creating an intimate or crafty feel, opting for plastic packaging could cause your overall brand messaging to fall a little flat. Professional product branding is also helpful in developing retail relationships, which are essential if you plan on relying on big box stores to sell a significant number of your products.

How you brand your product is also how you make it stand out against competitors. It also plays a role in developing a relationship with your audience. At some point, your product will probably be placed in direct comparison with similar ones — whether on a physical shelf or digital storefront. Strong, professional packaging gives customers a reason to take a look at your offerings rather than your competitors’ goods.

Branding Helps Customers Tell Products Apart

Product branding can also help you differentiate similar products in the same line. 

For example, a food and beverage company may sell two versions of the same product with some key differences — a standard bag of chips and one with reduced fat and salt. Subtle branding differences — like using words or phrases like “light” or “low fat,” coupled with a modified color palette and product imagery — can go a long way in helping customers tell the difference between items.

These differences typically aren’t major — most brands want to keep their overall product look unified — but they can show customers that they have options available. The right package branding decisions will help consumers make the right choice, reducing the risk of them going home with a version that doesn’t meet their personal preferences.

Building an Effective Product Branding Strategy

Product branding is often the first element of your company a customer will see. As a result, strong product branding is critical if you want to attract and retain loyal buyers.

If you want to build an effective product branding strategy, remember the benefits it can provide. When creating your product’s appearance, you want to balance professionalism — which makes your goods more credible to consumers — against distinctiveness, which will help shoppers pick your brand out and remember your business. 

You’ll also want to consider the different products and product lines you offer. If a handful of your goods are distinguishable by small but notable differences, your product branding can signal these variations. Even small changes in product packaging can help customers find the version that best fits their needs.

Lexie is a branding enthusiast and web designer. She loves checking out local flea markets and taking her Goldendoodle on hikes. Follow her on Twitter @lexieludesigner and check out her design blog, Design Roast.

Digital BrandingPersonal Branding

Digital Marketing Essentials for the Medical Community

Technology has transformed different sectors of the economy including the medical sector. The internet has proved to be a critical tool in the marketing world.

Just like any other sector, the medical community has taken advantage of the internet to market their services. According to a study conducted by Google, search engines drive users to medical facility websites three tines compared to other sources. The study also revealed that 44% of patients who search for information via their mobile devices end up booking appointments.

If you are looking to increase your presence online and reach many patients, then consider the following digital marketing essentials:

1. A simple website

Your website is an important element in your digital marketing strategy. It serves as your virtual office. As such, you should ensure that it is designed in a way that makes it easy for users to navigate. This is because not all of your patients may be well versed in technology and the internet.

When people visit your website, they are looking for specific information. You should, therefore make it easy for them to navigate and find whatever information they are looking for – in the shortest time possible.

2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search Engine Optimization is one of the best digital marketing strategies. If you are serious about your online business, then you need to employ the SEO technique.

The search engine optimization strategy ensures that your website is ranked on the first page of popular search engines. Another advantage of search engine optimization is the ability to focus on a specific category of audience.

That means you are able to create certain keywords that target certain patients in your area. For example, SEO can help bring attention to hydrogen peroxide IV oxygen therapy for those who could benefit from its medicinal potential.

3. Email marketing

Email marketing is another great component of the digital marketing strategy of medical professionals. Despite the fact that social media marketing appears to overshadow the use of emails, the truth is that email marketing is still effective. However, its effectiveness depends on how the strategy is being implemented.

Ensure that you segment and personalize emails to reflect the needs and interests of your patients. You cannot send similar emails to your existing and potential clients. In other words, your emails should be tailored to the needs of every client.

4. Social Media Marketing (SMM)

Social media has taken the world by a storm. It is estimated that there are almost 3 billion active social media accounts today. That tells you how much social media is influential in the modern world.

One area that has significantly been boosted by social media is marketing. Most companies have invested in social media marketing – because of its effectiveness. As a medical practitioner, you are able to reach a larger audience within a short time compared to other sources.

5. Content marketing

Content marketing is all about creating content that’s relevant to your audience. It is a marketing strategy that’s almost similar to search engine optimization.

When using a content marketing strategy, you generate content that will attract and drive traffic back to your website. In other words, content marketing guides you in producing content that’s engaging and relevant to your niche.