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Digital Branding

Should Your Business Start a Branded Podcast?

You’ve probably listened to some of the popular business-sponsored podcasts out there. Filled with valuable tips and insights, you might even give their company a try when in need of their products or services. But is creating a podcast worth the time and effort? Will it pay off in additional revenue for your company?

 

Edison Research released The Infinite Dial report, indicating around 78% of Americans are familiar with podcasting. The number represents a 10 million person increase in a short twelve-month window. Approximately 57% say they’ve listened to a podcast recently.

Benefits of a Branded Podcast

You’ll discover many benefits to starting a branded podcast and tying it into your business. You’ve likely heard a similar model on local radio stations on your AM dial. A garden center starts a show on Saturday mornings and answers questions about the best plants for the area. A real estate agent answers questions about buying and selling real estate.

 

Some of the benefits of a branded podcast include:

 

  • Greater name recognition
  • Free advertising
  • Establishing yourself as an authority in your industry
  • Reaching new listeners you otherwise wouldn’t have reached
  • Engaging your current audience

 

Ready to dip your toes into the water of a broad listening audience? Here are some things to keep in mind as you create your branded podcast for your business.

1. Choose a Topic

First, you must select a topic related to your industry. You don’t want the focus to be too narrow or too broad. For example, if you run a plumbing company, you don’t want to choose a narrow subject like PVC pipe, but you also don’t want to choose water. Instead, you might go with an issue such as solving home plumbing problems.

 

See what other podcasts cover similar issues and find a unique angle for your show. What do you want to be known for? Whatever your specializations and areas of expertise, you can likely turn your knowledge into a show.

2. Invest in Equipment

Unless you want your show to sound like you recorded it in your mother’s basement, you need a few pieces of equipment. Find a small space where the sound doesn’t reverberate, such as an enclosed office or small utility room. Add coverings on the floors and walls to reduce the echo.

 

Acoustic panels can limit reverberation, and noise absorption materials improve overall sound quality and reduce background noise. You can take almost any space and boost the sound quality by 50% or more with the right mix of materials.

 

You’ll also need a high-quality microphone. There are numerous ones on the market. Choose the one you feel comfortable with, read reviews carefully and make the investment in something you can use long-term for your podcast.

3. Collect Great Stories

The last thing you want is a boring podcast. If you solely rely on callers, you may have a show where no one phones in. If you just share facts, people will quickly grow disinterested. Instead, think about stories that illustrate your main points for each show.

 

The plumbing company might share a particularly complex problem one of its customers faced. They’d explain the age of the home, the issue they dealt with and how they solved it. After sharing the story, the audience is ready to hear tips to solve their problems.

4. Research Your Audience

Your ideal audience is the same people who buy your product or services. Do some market research on them to see what their greatest needs might be. Once you fully understand their pain points, you can address them in your podcasts.

 

After you’ve gained a few listeners, you can survey them to find out what topics they want you to cover. Send out a survey and allow room for customized feedback. You’ll learn a lot by tapping into your audience.

5. Market Your Show

According to Podcast Insights, there are around two million podcasts. The number varies from year to year, but you have a ton of competition. People can choose to spend their time listening to any show they desire. Why should they listen to yours?

 

You must market your podcast. Announce it on social media, list it on podcast repositories, make sure it’s in enough formats to attract a wide audience. On your show, ask people to tell others about you. Building your audience won’t happen overnight, but you’ll start gaining momentum if you offer consistent quality.

6. Don’t Spam Your Listeners

When you think of a branded podcast, you might think you should mention your show as often as possible. Unfortunately, too much self-promotion is a real turn-off to listeners and may have the opposite effect of them feeling spammed.

 

Instead, keep your mentions of your business light. You can announce who you are and your company when you introduce yourself. It’s okay to share personal experiences throughout the show but word it generically.

 

For example, you might say, “We once had a customer who needed pipes run for a new build, but no one could get into the house due to a huge snake we were all scared of.” Such wording indicates you have experience and you own a business but isn’t as spammy as saying, “ABC Plumbing once had a customer…”

 

It is also appropriate to mention your company at the end of your podcast and let listeners know you’re there for all their needs in your industry. People don’t mind you doing some light advertising.

Invest in Your Podcast

Podcasting isn’t a fast way to build leads, but it is a steady method that adds to your authority in the field. Anything you invest in your efforts today pays off in the future. You may want to consult with experts on podcasting, hire someone to do editing and market more than you initially intended. A little effort on the front-end pays off in a bigger audience on the back-end.

 

 

 

Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. She was the creative director at a digital marketing agency before becoming a full-time freelance designer. Eleanor lives in Philly with her husband and pup, Bear.

 

 

SaaS Branding

How to Get More Customers

Every business needs a constant stream of customers. Without plenty of satisfied customers, you won’t have a business, regardless of how well everything else in your business works. 

If you don’t attract enough customers after you launch your business, then your business will flounder, failing to flourish. And if your volume of your customers drops after you’ve established your business, then your business might close when revenues drop below operating costs. 

While the value of getting plenty of customers is obvious to every business, many businesses often lose sight of this goal, distracted by internal business concerns.

Small business owners, in particular, are more likely to lose track of the value of growing their customer list because they are often overwhelmed by so many other aspects of business tugging at their attention.  

Fortunately, customer acquisition is not complex, and here are three simple strategies to ensure your business always has more than enough customers to thrive:

Get Direct Leads 

If you are a contractor, for example, you can pre-buy business leads from a contractor locator service like Networx. Networx leads are available in real time. As soon as they secure a qualified lead, they will then pass the job to you as one of their qualified affiliate contractors. You won’t have to go through endless negotiations with the customer to win the contract.

Improve Conversions 

When your business attracts targeted leads, then your sales will soar. If a high volume of traffic doesn’t trigger a large spike in sales, then review your customer conversion process.  

If you’re not sure how to gauge customer conversion rates, then hire a business consultant who can figure out a better mechanism, strategy, technique, or policy to turn prospects into customers. 

Consider Rebranding

If your business once had a lot of customers but now struggles to attract enough interest in its products or services, your branding may be archaic, no longer relevant.

That could happen for many possible reasons:

  • corporate reputation issues,
  • change in market conditions,
  • a surge of fierce new competitors who are offering better quality products or services at a lower cost, or
  • change in the needs or wants of your target audience.  

If you suspect that you’ve lost your market share because your brand has lost some of its appeal, then consider rebranding.

Rebranding isn’t as simple as designing a new logo, coming up with a snappier slogan, or building a trendier website. Rebranding goes deeper. It’s a sea change. Rebranding goes beyond a new look and feel. It reflects your company’s new approach to market conditions. 

You can decide exactly how to rebrand by monitoring audience preferences to understand what change in direction to make.  

Upgrade Customer Service  

There’s no point in spending time and energy acquiring new customers if you lose existing customers at a steady rate. It’s not enough to just acquire new customers, you also need return business from loyal customers.

Since the cost of acquiring a new customer is so high, you are wasting money if you have no strategies in place to build customer loyalty. Your revenues will take a hit if you don’t address the issue of a high turnover in customers.

You can improve customer service by reviewing customer touchpoints. 

Make a list of things to test and tweak:

  • enhance customer interactions,
  • update dysfunctional customer service policies, or
  • get your staff more engaged in customer satisfaction. 

If you don’t have a clue about the quality of your customer service, ask your customers directly. Use survey tools to get customer feedback. 

Troubleshoot Your Customer Acquisition Process

If your business is not doing well, troubleshoot why you don’t have enough customers. Review how you acquire customers and try new marketing strategies to get customers.

Digital Branding

Make Your Brand Stand Out As You Get Back to Work Post-Pandemic in 2021

2021 is going to be a good year for business. People are going back to work, all businesses can be open in some fashion, and people are starting to operate like “normal” once again. A lot of changes were made to help businesses stay afloat in 2020, and while some of these are no longer necessary, they have helped businesses develop a healthy set of protocols.

More In-Person Meetings

Some people love to meet in person. Getting your team back together and meeting with clients in real life is a great way to make your brand stand out. These connections are invaluable for your business going forward. It doesn’t mean you have to get rid of virtual meetings, just that you can now offer both. Training sessions, team building, and more can all happen in-person in some places now, and if your team is willing, then go for it.

Going to The Office or Not

Maybe pre-pandemic you were against remote working. But when 2020 hit you realized the only way to get work done was to allow people to work from home. Seeing how well it worked, you can offer your staff options. Flexible options are a great way to help your brand stand out. You no longer need to be so strict about only working in the office if people are getting the work done at home. But, for those who miss the spontaneous collaboration and impromptu meetings, getting back to the office is vital.

In-Person Interviews

Virtual interviews worked well when needed, but going back to in-person interviews can help your brand stand out. For people who like to interact in real life, get a feel for the office, and get a sense of the job, in-person interviews are valuable.

Flexible Options

It’s important to be mindful of other people’s needs. Your brand can stand out if you offer different options to your clients. Maybe you are used to meeting at coffee shops or in the office. If a client would prefer an outdoor meeting because they feel more comfortable, it’s a good thing to offer that as well. Additionally, we all know that Zoom and other video meetings were very popular in 2020. It might be a good idea to offer this as an option to your clients who are slowly getting out again and aren’t yet comfortable meeting face-to-face.

COVID Precautions

People want to know what precautions you are taking. What does your office cleaning schedule look like? How will you handle employees who are sick? Will you require masks or social distancing? Do you clean in between clients? All of these policies may be relaxed now, but it doesn’t mean that they completely go away. Communicating to your staff and customers what you’re doing will help create buyer confidence in you and your services and products. Be transparent when necessary and share what you can.

HR Policies

Having clear policies can help your brand stand out. When you can be transparent about things like credit checks and a background check for job opportunities within your company it creates trust from the start. While some of this is internal, there are external facing HR policies that can give people a good impression of your company. Often applicants never hear back if they aren’t selected for a job. This is one area that can be improved upon. Post-pandemic policies can also include being upfront about whether a job can be remote or if it must be in the office. Many people love the flexibility of working from home, so a good policy on that would be very helpful.

Social Media

We all know that social media is great for your brand. Make sure you are using the right platforms and that you are connecting in real ways. Videos, podcasts, and even photos all help create engaging content for your followers. Treat all of them as people in your pipeline. Your social media should serve your vision and your brand values. But remember it’s a tool to help you gain more business and build trust around the products you create. Your brand will stand out if you share how you’re moving forward from the pandemic in 2021.

Accounting flexjob
Digital Branding

Master Data Management Will Help Your Business Grow

Data is becoming one of the most valuable resources in the world. People say that it is the new oil, but this is more theoretical than it is literal. The worth of the world’s data is in the billions. While most of the data out there is owned by large companies, this will likely change. Data is like a new currency. Information helps businesses learn about their target marketing demographics, innovate their business model, and pivot by revealing new directions to go in. Since it is so valuable and useful, master data management is integral not just to have a successful tech business but to understand the economy of the future.

What is Master Data?

Master data is the narrowed down version of all your data. It is what you use to analyze numbers and information with software systems. That’s why it’s important to both store the data carefully and understand how it will be useful to you. With such large numbers of data, it requires a lot of time and energy to make the most out of the information available to a particular entity. Entire business models are based on master data. It can inform the marketing and business trajectory. Not only is it extremely useful, it can be sold for large swaths of money.

Different Forms of Data

In order to use data to its fullest advantage, you need to understand it. This is why knowing about the six forms of data you can utilize. First is unstructured data, which comes from the internet such as emails, online articles, PDF files, and other forms of digital information. It is, of course, unstructured, but the ways people use unstructured data will multiple over the years.

Transactional data refers to a company’s transactions that can either be monetary or non-monetary. Of course the obvious forms of transactional data are invoices, sales, deliveries, and other transactions. It is a unit-level data that can be very informative in operations.

Metadata is data about data. It gives all the information related to the piece of data, the link, where it is stored, and more. While metadata comes in a lot of forms like reports, documents, columns in databases, log files, and configurations, it is sometimes extraneous material but sometimes it is very useful.

Hierarchical data stores how different sets of data relate to each other. It can be stored in an accounting system or as company organizational structures and product lines. Sometimes called “super master data management,” it’s pivotal to understand and discover new relationships.

Finally, reference data, also known as external data, is information that exists outside the company. It can be shared across transactional objects like countries, currencies, and time zones. This information can be paramount in marketing and other business decisions.

Improve Your Business

There are countless ways for you to improve your business with data. Not only will you be able to market your business better, you could change your whole company trajectory. You can sell data to other companies and make a lot of money. You will learn about your customers and new target demographics you can advertise to them. Since it is so versatile, there is no wonder why data will become one of the most valuable and sought-after resources.

Data in the Future

It is just the beginning of data’s explosion. It is now the basis of social media and tech companies who have become some of the largest businesses in the world. Smaller companies will get into this game as well. It doesn’t matter what your business is, the odds are it exists primarily online to market itself and promote its products or services.

Information that improves these structures will be sold for billions of dollars around the world. Of course there are ethical issues. Most people don’t read the terms and conditions found on social media and other websites. Their data is harvested and sold to others who will use it for their own gain. It is going to be an issue of debate for years to come, but it is just getting started. Businesses everywhere want a piece of the money that can be made with data. 

Ryan Beitler is a writer, journalist, and blogger who has written about tech for various publications.

Digital Branding

Effect of a Good Chief Marketing Officer on Your Business

If you’re looking to hire a chief marketing officer (CMO), you probably have scanned a lot, even the occasional project manager resume; a short perspective on what you’re looking for, right? It might be frustrating and makes you want to hire anyone. But if your choice of CMO doesn’t work out, it might affect your business negatively.

Taking out information from a perfect marketing officer resume, here are a few things that a good CMO can do for your business.

A CMO does good market research and data interpretation.

Corporate Finance Institute said that a CMO does research which means gathering important information about your company’s target market. One example is what your target customer thinks about your product. Another is if the competition is meeting the needs of the customer better than your company.

The CMO gathers this data using multiple ways, like surveys and focus group discussions. The CMO will then put together the data, interpret the results, and present it to the company executives. A good CMO will be good at putting together this information and make it understandable. Without this data, your company will be blind as to whether your products are doing well.

A CMO develops a good marketing plan.

A CMO’s main mission is to make sure the company grows and that sales and revenue increase. To do that, the CMO comes up with a complete and very detailed marketing plan. One part of the marketing plan will increase your target customers’ recognition of your brand. Another part is ways that will help you get advantages over your competition.

Without good CMOs and comprehensive marketing plans, it will be hard for your company to know what to do. That marketing plan will dictate how you will brand your products, advertise them, and so on. It will be hard to make money without a plan. It’s a given, but be sure to check out your candidate’s skills regarding this in their chief marketing officer resume.

A CMO connects the corporation with the customer.

Sometimes, companies do not know anything about their customers. They are more focused on making their products better but unless your company connects with your customer, you will not succeed. The CMO is the one who can help with customer focus in your company and stays updated about customer preferences.

The CMO must also be technologically savvy since he or she deals with marketing. With social media and the Internet use very high these days, more data is available to be interpreted, including user experiences when using your company website or app. CMOs understand that customers must always be happy when transacting with your company in whatever way. Otherwise, they will leave and look for similar services elsewhere.

While there have been changes in the hiring process, it is still best to check each applicant’s resume. From there, you can choose the best candidate for your chief marketing officer. Remember not to hire just anybody, as the CMO will seriously impact your business.

Local Branding

Is Your Business Set For Success?

Is your business in a ready-set-go zone? Are you primed for unlimited and unstoppable success? Whether you’re a first-time entrepreneur or seasoned small business owner, you’ll want to prepare to make sure you are set for success. 

To guarantee your business success, keep these 3 tips in mind.

  1. Get Ready for Action

We are working in new ways, in new offices, and in new workspaces. For many entrepreneurs, the shift to working from home is opening up new ideas. This is the time to create a dream workplace that is ready for action. 

But, let’s face it. You might be juggling a budget with the visions of luxury desks, chairs, and options. If you’re working from home and want to have a whole new reality, consider upgrading your office furniture.

Working off the kitchen table, checking emails from the couch, and Zooming from the crawl space under the porch is just not going to cut it. To be thoroughly ready for action, invest in yourself, your work, and your future.

The best part is, a lot of today’s office furnishings are more affordable, sleeker design, and more ergonomic than you’ve ever experienced.

  1. Get Set For Growth

With your home office ready for action, it’s time to look out and about. What kind of media coverage are you getting? Are you all set to get the most positive publicity and media coverage

Many entrepreneurs are so focused on the spreadsheets, project plans, and design details, they forget to look up and out. You don’t want to make that mistake. Instead of waiting for publicity and media to come to you, make a strategic media plan. Use your creativity to connect with reporters, do guest blogs, and offer radio interviews.

With a small investment in your media plan, you can gain a big leap forward in growing your business.

  1. Get In The Go-Zone

Home office set, check. Media coverage plan, check. Hey, you’re doing great. But don’t stop now.

There are many ways to make sure you’re in the ‘go-zone’ for unstoppable success. Among the top three most important priorities, you’ll want to lock down your dream team, invest in your energy, and find a healthy balance. 

Do this, and you’ll be ready for fast success and ongoing growth.

Hire the Best Team

As an entrepreneur, it’s vital to have the best team of creative experts at your side. You want to have people who have skills, strengths and insights that you don’t. This is not always easy, especially if you are used to being a solo hero.

As you’re hiring your team, look for people who you enjoy working with. Strike a balance. Look for people you enjoy being around – as you’ll be working together for long hours, possibly weekends and holidays. 

Also, look for people who will give you candid, honest feedback. You may not always agree on the points, but you do need to have open conversations to be truly collaborative.

Revive Your Energy

Yes, it’s true. The best entrepreneurs know how to refresh their energy, stay enthusiastic, and persist when other people give up. How do they do this? 

Many people rely on classic methods such as exercise, meditation, and getting out in nature. There is no single right way to revive your energy. Yet, there are many ways to explore so you can find the best things that work for you. 

One popular method for staying energized is called forest bathing. This ancient Japanese technique encourages people to spend time amongst tall trees such as Redwoods. In the presence of trees, it’s easier to find a feeling of balance, calm, and ease. 

If you are near a forest, grove, or natural park, you can try out this technique on your own. Track your personal experience to determine if this helps you feel creative, alert, and ready to go.

Balance Work and Play

While many professionals are married to their work, medical experts advise balance. Finding a balance between work and play can be the key to unlock more creativity, health, and ongoing success. 

If you notice that you’re living on your office couch, take stock. Having a social life, connecting with family and friends, and finding your personal balance is what makes work-and-life truly work. 

Wrapping Up

Set up your business for success. Invest in your workspace. Make a media plan. Get in the healthy zone for ongoing success. With a little effort, you’ll reap the benefits of being proactive.

Digital Branding

Improving Your Small Business Status

The year 2020 took a toll on businesses across the states. With vaccines already administered to a good portion of the population and more on the way, states are removing most of the COVID-19 restrictions. This is fantastic news for small business owners. Listed below are a few tips to set you up for an exceptional year in growth. 

Know the Competition

It’s advantageous to know what products and services the competition offers. Thankfully, there are several ways to gain this valuable information. Visit their website and read the story of their humble beginnings and long-term goals. Check for discounts and benefits for using their business and read over their reviews to see what customers like about them and areas where they may need improvement. Once you gather the information you can use it as selling points and guidelines. 

Reviews, Testimonials

Technology is paving the way for the development of more small businesses. However, there are a few drawbacks. Most adults use some type of electronic device whether it’s a cell phone, tablet, or computer, daily. If your service or product is less than satisfactory, people will instantly go on social media and write a bad review. If you perform well or clients enjoy the products, the same happens, only sending positive feedback that benefits you. Encourage customers pleased with the company to visit your website and give either testimonials or post a positive review.

Outsourcing

Unlike large corporations where they have staff in place to handle everything from customer service to payroll, small businesses often have a skinny staff of intelligent and reliable people that wear many hats. One way to gain time better used for marketing is outsourcing. 

Outsourcing puts the responsibility of a service in the hands of a third party. Today more small business owners are using companies for payroll, accounting, and IT management. E-commerce businesses are also using 3PL consulting companies to lower costs and improve logistics management. 

Social Media

Social media is not new to marketing for small business owners. All too often they misuse it. Instead of maintaining fresh content, many simply set up a presence for the business and then walk away. Social media is essential to reaching a large audience any time day or night. If any changes occur in the business such as the introduction of a new service or product, or you change your address, make sure you add that information to your social media page. It’s also essential to have valuable content on your website so that when potential customers visit they make a sale. 

Customer Retention

It’s not enough to make a sale. What gives your company the upper edge is customer loyalty. Think about it. You can bring in all the new business you want but if they make one sale and are done, you’ll never increase your bottom line. Loyal customers will offer your name to anyone they know. This creates additional sales without the need for a monetary investment. Over time, as your loyal base expands, your need for marketing recedes. Customers aren’t really hard to please. They just want to feel important. Discounts on services and products after a set number purchased, and monthly newsletters giving them a pre-introduction to upcoming promotions, are some ways to achieve it. Some businesses give their customers money for referrals. 

 Face-to-Face

Connecting a business with a person transforms your business from a name to a member of the community. Face-to-face meetings with locals is important. Sponsor a little league team and attend a few games. Host a summer music festival or set up a booth at the local fair. The point is to get customers familiar with you personally. 

Small businesses took a hard hit in 2020 caused by the pandemic. The new year brings much promise for improved earnings. 

Uncategorized

Understanding an SPV Fund: How Do They Help Your Biz?

Nowadays, if you are in business, you need to know everything that will benefit it in one way or the other. This article will learn about SPV (Special Purpose Vehicle) fund and how they help your biz. The whole thing might seem complicated if you have never worked in the financial field. You also might not be sure of how to make the best of SPVs.Read through the article, and you will know everything about the Special Purpose Vehicle fund.

What is an SPV?

With a particular purpose vehicle, you can take risk projects like investments and acquisitions. An SPV serves as a separate legal entity that you create with the parent company.

In the US, for instance, it works as a private limited company. An SPV has its assets, balance sheets, and liabilities. Once you create an SPV, it will operate as a separate company.

Why would your business need an SPV fund?

SPVs come with their risks, just like any other trade. To avoid some of the risks from happening, you have to be as honest as possible with your balance sheet statements. Here are some of the reasons your business might need an SPV fund.

1. To reduce risks

Managing a business means you know how to handle the risks that come with the business. For instance, your creditors might find loopholes to take your business assets. If you have an SPV, it will operate as a separate company, which means your bad debts won’t affect it.

However, even as you cushion your business from risks, you must be candid with your SPV statements. Unless you do that, since it is also a company, it might cross the legal line. Your SPV might then get sued and collapse due to implications related to dishonesty.

2. Protection from bankruptcy

Your parent business may have other branches in different locations. Since they all operate as a single company, bankruptcy can cripple them if it strikes. To prevent that from happening, you should consider having an SPV.

A particular purpose vehicle keeps your business safe financially. The SPV runs as a separate entity. That means it will keep running even if some parts of your company are financially down. You will still be able to raise money to support and stabilize the parent business.

3. To expand your business

Every entrepreneur wants to expand their business at some point. If your company is doing well, the best you can do is expand the market to increase profits. However, such operations come with a range of risks that might affect your entire company.

To keep your company safe from the financial implications of expanding it, you will need to come up with an SPV. That way, even if the company fails in its operation, most of your assets will still be intact. You will still be able to run your business as you find better ways to expand your company in the future.

4. To enable investment

Did you know that you can create SPVs to secure loans? If you are short of funds to increase your investments, you might want to consider SPV funds. With the help of an expert, you can create special purpose vehicles to enhance inventory.

If you qualify for enough loans, you can start other branches to gain a strong market presence. Note that your financial expert will show you how to secure a loan with an SPV. Even if you manage to get the funds, you must repay your loan based on the terms stated in the contract. Unless you do that, your SPV might face legal action.

Closing thoughts

You are free to close the SPV at any time. But once you do that, your company will take back its assets, and they will be susceptible to risks. Also, closing the SPV will affect the balance sheet of your parent company.

If you are a less seasoned investor, you need to learn first and invest in the right company. Besides, know all the risks associated with opening an SPV and how to overcome them. Once you have decided that an SPV is the best option, seek help from an experienced individual. They will help you develop one at affordable rates and without putting your parent company at risk.

Would you like experts to help you with further understanding of SPVs? Then, contact us today, and we will ease the tension for you.

SaaS Branding

5 Subscription Services and Why They’re So Successful

These days you can get a subscription service for just about anything. But, not all of them stand the test of time or are worth the consumer’s money, and they’re quick to realize it. There are, however, many that are not only successful, but they’re also positively exploding. Let’s take a look at what they are and why they’re doing so well. 

Beauty and Grooming Subscriptions

If you’re into beauty products, you may not be into actually shopping in-store for these items. Whether you’ve been matched so off-color that you walked out looking like a clown, or you just can’t stomach the strong perfume smells of these types of stores, services like Ipsy or Birchbox are godsent. If you’re more particular about your products like you only use vegan cruelty-free – you guessed it, there’s a box for that. These types of services have even upped their game in some instances and branched out to include health & wellness, apparel, and home decor in their subscriptions like FabFitFun. With a reasonable sign-on price and often promotions for first-time subscribers, these brands’ sales are soaring. Bonus, they all make cancellation a breeze. 

Coffee and Drink Subscriptions 

Maybe you’re the type that wants the perfect pour over coffee every time. Or you need your coffee to be of a single origin. There are subscriptions for that. If you’re a wannabe wine aficionado, there are subscriptions that not only introduce you but educate you on what you’re drinking. Once you figure out your favorites, your subscriptions can be easily tailored to your interests. There are even subscriptions for single-serve bottles of wine, as the subscription Usual. You can customize your monthly shipments from as little as six bottles to as many as 24. One such subscription that’s a splurge but so worth it is the Fat Cork. At $199 a month, the party never stops with a quarterly shipment of Champagne.

Book Subscriptions

Even though a book to read the next day is just a click away nowadays, or the fact that you can read so much of what you want for free online anyway, book subscriptions not only exist, but they’re thriving. If you wish to go the route of The Book of the Month or you’re shopping for children who can’t even read yet, there are subscriptions for them. Books are an appealing subscription for so many people because it does the filtering for you. You tell these subscriptions what interests you and what doesn’t, then voila! You get arrivals that keep you well-read, have things to contribute conversationally, and it’s all worry-free—saving you even more time to curl up with a good book. 

Toy & Game Subscriptions

Maybe you picked up a puzzle addiction during a lockdown or perhaps you just want to make sure your children are getting more time away from their screens, especially since they’ve been schooling virtually all year. Either way, there are subscriptions for those too. The best part is, like most things nowadays, they’re so easy to customize. You can control if the child’s subscription will be more Montessori style or if you want them building things from kits. As far as your more adult toys, you can customize that too. And if you’re looking for a subscription to actual “adult” toys from an adult toy store, those exist too. These are successful for a myriad of reasons, the least of which isn’t the fact that even though we’re all constantly connected to technology, it feels rewarded to be offline and just enjoy games as we did in our youth.

Food Subscriptions

Everyone’s a foodie these days, am I right? Seriously, joking aside – what’s the one thing that brings us all together? The love of food! Not only do food subscriptions make a fabulous gift for nearly every adult in your life, but they’re an excellent present for yourself as well. You can literally get any type of food subscription too. Whether you’re shopping for someone who eats Whole Foods Plant-Based to a straight-up monthly cheese box for yourself (no judgment here), they exist. This market exploded and will continue to do so because, let’s face it, we all need it, and the more options, the better. Having it delivered straight to your door? The best.

Legal Branding

How to List Products on Amazon Without a GTIN or UPC?

A Global Trade Identification Number is required for any products sold on Amazon (GTIN). You must apply for a GTIN Exemption if your product does not have one. But don’t worry; it’s not as challenging as it appears. If your product does not have a UPC, EAN, ISBN, or UPC code, you must apply for a GTIN exemption under a specified product category. Let’s have a look at what a GTIN Exemption is. Also, visit olifantdigital.com to get more information or professional Amazon help.

What is GTIN?

A Global Trade Identification Number (GTIN), commonly known as Product ID, is a unique number assigned to each product sold on Amazon, as previously stated. This can be found as a barcode label on a product’s packaging. The GTIN, or Global Trade Item Number, is a unique string of numbers that identifies particular products beneath the barcode but is not the barcode itself.

 

Types of GTINs 

UPC: A Universal Product Code, also known as GTIN-12, is a unique 12-digit numerical product identifier under a barcode that is most commonly used in the United States and Canada. These can be found on almost all tangible things in retailers. As a result, it is the most widely used barcode type on the planet.

EAN: A European Article Number (EAN) is a unique identifier for products sold in the European marketplace. The EAN, commonly known as GTIN-13, is a barcodeThe EAN, also known as GTIN-13, is a 13-digit numerical product identifier that appears under a barcode.

JAN: A Japanese Article Number is similar to an EAN in that it is only used for products sold in Japan’s marketplace.

ISBN: ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number, and it is a unique identifier for books. There are 10 or 13 digits in an International Standard Book Number. The number was chosen by the date of publication.

GTIN-14: It relates to the container codes.

 

UPCs and Barcodes

While UPCs are the most prevalent sort of GTIN used for Amazon.com sales, they are not required for every product sold. However, it is contingent on elements such as the brand and category in which you wish to sell. If you sell a private-label or handmade product, you may be qualified for a GTIN exemption. This exception would mean that the product would not require a UPC for listing on amazon.

All listed products must have a GS1 (Global Standards 1) registered barcode if they do not have a GTIN exemption. GS1 is a non-profit organization that creates and maintains international business communication standards. The only legitimate way to purchase a UPC for use on Amazon is through GS1. When using FBA, your product packaging must have an associated UPC number, an Amazon barcode, or an FNSKU (Fulfillment Network Stock Keeping Unit). This FNSKU is an Amazon-specific code that keeps track of your inventory. You can also check the amazon PPC guide to have complete insight into the significant information.

 

GTIN Exemption

There is already a list of brands that require a GTIN to be listed on Amazon.com. GTIN exemptions are not available for these brands since they utilize a GS1 authorized barcode on their products. If a product does not have a GTIN and fits within one of these brands, it will be “suppressed.” You can apply for a GTIN exemption if you meet the following criteria:

  • You want to sell products for which the brand, maker, or publisher does not issue a GTIN.
  • You are the maker, brand, or publisher of a product that you want to sell but don’t have barcodes for.
  • You wish to sell product parts that don’t have a GTIN, such as automobile parts or product accessories.
  • You want to sell a bundled pack that contains multiple products.

 

Requesting a GTIN Exemption

To be eligible for an exemption, you must meet certain criteria. It’s a lot easier to register a GS1 account and receive barcodes here than it is to claim you need a GTIN exemption. Obtaining GTINs is the simplest solution in the long run. Check to see if your product is listed in Amazon’s massive catalog to discover whether you qualify for a GTIN exemption. Even if the same product is sold by numerous sellers or companies, it’s common for everything to be linked to a single listing. The barcode is what makes this relationship possible. Your products don’t appear in Amazon’s catalog and/or you don’t have barcodes, thus you’re exempt.

If an existing product matches yours, your offer can be added on the detail page of that product without the need for a GTIN. The product should appear in the manage inventory area on the “Seller Dashboard” within a few minutes. If your product doesn’t match, you’ll need to apply for a GTIN exemption before it can be added. You’ll need the following if you’re a brand owner, manufacturer, or publisher: The product’s name and 2-9 photos of the product against a white backdrop, taken from two different angles, including the product’s box.

 

Guidelines

  1. The brand name supplied on the application must match the brand name on the goods and/or packaging exactly.
  2. Images of the item and packaging must be taken in the actual world. When photographing the product, they must show it being held in hand or placed on a table.
  3. The product branding must be affixed to the container or the product itself in a permanent manner.
  4. There should be no certified GS1 barcode anywhere on the goods and/or packaging, as this would eliminate the need for GTIN Exemption.
  5. You can always re-apply if you mistakenly used the wrong brand name or category when applying for the GTIN exemption.
  6. Listing under a new brand or in a new category necessitates the submission of a new application each time. . In a single application, you can request GTIN exemption for up to 10 different brand names/category combinations.

 

Resellers’ Requirements

If you’re reselling products, you’ll need a letter from the brand’s owner written in the local language of the market and contains the following information: Name and contact information of the addresser or writer of the letter

  • Your address, phone number, and email or website address
  • Reasonable reasons why the product requires a GTIN exemption After that, go to Seller Central and click the following link — Request a GTIN exemption.
  • Select “Select” and search for a category that applies to your goods.
  • Then, “verify your eligibility.” If it comes back as “ineligible,” a GTIN will be required.
  • “Check for eligibility” is the next step. If it comes back as “ineligible,” a GTIN will be required. If not, click “Continue.”
  • Amazon may take at least 48 hours to react. You may check the status of this in Amazon Seller Central’s ‘Case Log’ area.