Archive for February 2011
When you frame a company or business house, it is the logo design which you give a lot of importance.
The reason is simple the logo you are going to keep for your life time will establish your brand image.
It not only represents the credibility of the company but also portrays what the company stands for.
The objective of a successful logo is to enter the minds of consumers and leave a mark on their mind. It should be such that people get to know about the philosophy behind the formation of products.
This is the reason companies and enterprises are spending thousands of dollars on getting an appropriate and reliable logo designed.
The biggest difference between custom logo and pre-made logo is that custom logo is original and unique which is made according to specific needs of the business owner.
The designers begin their work of crafting a customized logo once they discuss about the culture, services and philosophy of the company. After this designer discusses about the owners personal choice of colors, design, styles, fonts and layouts. Once these issues are decided only then designers initiate the logo designing project.
Pre-made logos are also very much in fashion. Just go to any site which sells them. Select one according to your needs, business and functionality and just order one which suits your requirement. It is as simple and fast.
These logos are made in advance keeping the various industries and businesses in mind. If you are a business owner and don’t have much time you can order a pre-made logo for your business.
Thus we infer that custom logo and its counterpart pre-made logo both can do well for your business. If you are running short of time then opt for pre-made logo. The custom one is a bit expensive because the designer has a limited time frame to accomplish this task. On the other hand pre-made logos are not that expensive as custom logos.
TIP 1: Know Your Audience! This should be the ‘number one’ item on your list. Who is your customer? It is the key that all other tips shown below are based.
Do your homework and find out whom you are selling to. Is it a woman, 35+ age that likes to garden OR a man, 55+ that is a do-it-yourselfer? Knowing your core audience will make all other package design decisions easier.
TIP 2: Are Benefits Prominently Displayed? Many people focus on features to show how easy the product is to use or how good it tastes. Instead, focus on what it does for the customer. That’s where your real selling power lies.
TIP 3: Consider Multiple Designs. Don’t get stuck on one design. Look at a few designs, print them out and set them next to each other. What stands out? What catches your eye first? Get your family and friends involved – they are consumers too. The bottom line is don’t think that because you like it, your customer will too. Test, test, test.
TIP 4: Consider Your Price Point. The cost of your product should influence your packaging design. Don’t over design for a low price point product. Over design could mean higher packaging costs than necessary.
TIP 5: Consider The Competition. Did you do your due diligence and look at where your package will be displayed? Who’s package will set next to it? Is yours a small box and your competition is a large box with multiple pieces? Will you have a series of products? How will those be displayed next to each other? Take the time to shop the stores you would like to see your product in and learn what the competition is doing. Knowing the competition will help you rise above it.
TIP 6: How Unique Is Your Product? Will an interactive package help or hurt my chances in the aisle? Your package may be too unique or unusual that stores don’t like to display it because it doesn’t stand correctly, it can’t be stocked easily, etc. Consider how the store gets your product onto the shelf. Making it easier for them could translate into better sales for you.
TIP 7: Bag Or Box – Plastic Or Paper. What to put your package in – that is the question. This question is usually driven by price. It’s a balance to package your product to its best advantage without adding too much to the cost.
TIP 8: Family Appearance. Do you have more than 1 product? If so, your brand should be consistent across all. A consistent brand look will help you command more attention in the aisle. More than 1 product gives you additional billboard space and creates an attention grabbing visual area. More attention equals more sales.
TIP 9: Consider Shopper Experience - How will the shopper interact with your product? Can they touch it? Is your product completely sealed? Is the store willing or encouraged to display one of your products out of the package? If not, and your product’s selling point is a tactile feature, a die cut window would be appropriate.
TIP 10: Think Of Your Package As A Shelf Billboard. – Make sure you have enough room on your package to show its benefits. If your product is larger than a loaf of bread then good chances are you will have plenty of room to display features and benefits. But if your product is small, including an area like a header will give you room to add selling copy and/or photos.
TIP 11: Are You Starting A Brand? A good package design will plan for the future. Not only will multiple products make a more attractive offering to a store but they will also command more attention in the aisle assuming your brand is consistent.
TIP 12: Make It POP! Consider a color that will help your product get noticed. That could work into your brand as well. Many companies dominate a color to help them stand out and create their brand. Take a look next time you are in the hardware store. What color are the tools? Does the package match the tool? Once you’ve established a color, your competitors will have a hard time using it since it will look too much like your brand. That command of color takes time, but planning for it is the key.
TIP 13: Use Only The Words You Need To! That means, keep your copy succinct and to the point. Think of your text on your package like a Google adword Ad – Make the copy say the most with the least. Consider photos or illustrations to describe your product or how to use your product. A good picture is worth a thousand words.
TIP 14: Quality Printing Is Important. Take your design to a quality printer of packages. Don’t go to the corner printer unless you know they have experience printing packages. Just like package designers, there are printers that specialize as well. The quality of the printing will be a reflection of the quality of your product.
TIP 15: Perception, Perception, Perception! – It’s All About Perception. In the aisle, you only have 4 seconds to catch the shopper’s attention and convey the benefits of your product over the competition. In that short time, a shopper makes a decision about your product based on perception derived from what is presented – your package. All the tips listed above come into play when designing your package. Consider them wisely, but consider them all.
If you are not sure where to start, consider using a professional. You are in business and you need to invest wisely. Packaging is your first interaction with a customer – put your best foot forward.
Having a logo design is one of the most important things to be considered while setting up a business. To give it a perfect touch for portraying your business ideals and concept, it should have all the right ingredients from a perfect design to color scheme to an ideal concept.
Business logos are meant to represent business companies or organization by fostering recognition in customers with their unique style and the message they convey.
Business logos can be called design patterns specially created to represent a business. It might be a computer logo, a decorator’s logo or a music logo representing the industry and the profession.
They can be regard as the visual illustration of a business that represents a company on public as well as corporate front and ensure a professional and serious image. A Brand image is considered a sure way to boost you business and make it succeed.
Business logos serve a very important and crucial purpose for any organization or setup. They actually help a business grow from the scratch if the logo is chosen carefully and thoughtfully keeping the business image in mind.
Business logos are considered very important as they are used in all business dealings and represent a company wherever they are used, such as websites, letterheads, cards, envelopes, brochures and any other advertising campaign that brigs more clients.
It is a fact that only industries that use proper business logos have made it to the top by selling their products and services to the best of customers.
It is important to understand the significance of a strong and descriptive logo to represent a business. The best business logo would be one that combines the right colors, the right image, and font as well as portrays your business ethics and uniquely represents it to the world bringing you success and glory in the business market.
A business logo is not just a logo that can be used to promote your business. It is also a brand name that helps your company achieve success by giving its best services to the customers. This business logo or brand becomes the embodiment of a business organization thus, acting as a silent representative and attracting a larger clientèle.
Keeping this in mind, it is important that your logo suit your company business. If your business is related to a particular profession in a specific industry, the logo should match up to that industry or profession. This will help in instant recognition of your company. Use your knowledge and insight of your business as well as your goals to select the best logo for your business.
Along with logo, a tagline or a catchphrase is very helpful to give insight into your business. The best business logo would be one that not only comprises of these above mentioned qualities but incorporates them making your business logo unique, memorable and attractive. This is a sure way to boost your business.
Another very important thing regarding your business logo is that it should only represent your business. It means that only you should hold the copyright for your logo.
If one logo is used by more than one business, it loses credibility and people begin to doubt it as some fraud company. Thus, copyright issues are very crucial and should be discussed with the logo design firm before your buy a pre-made logo, a logo template or order a custom logo to ensure that your logo remains unique and one of its kind.
We are living in the age where everybody is running a rat race; they are busy in their hectic schedule so much so they don’t find any time to say “hy” to their fellows.
That’s true! Nobody wants to waste their time on non-profitable things; they want quick results from quick efforts.
In other words, people’s perception is switching from, “tell me” to “show me”.
I think, a smart marketer always think from a target market’s perspective, he will wear their shoes to get what they actually want from them. This is why; contemporary marketers are adjusting to the new, “show me” attitude.
Advertisements either print or commercial are no longer hot favorite of the marketers. Though they have their own importance but logos have taken the world over with their tremendous results. As indicated earlier, people want a show me attitude which is efficaciously attained by these corporate identities.
A corporate brand mark is something that shows the world what a company is all about in less than a second. I think; this is the reason why those businesses which weren’t interested in marketing their companies have stepped into designing their brand mark.
Even a funeral parlor has its proudly owned funeral home logos which is doing great for these mortuaries these days. There was a time when nobody knew about these mortuaries due to the lesser exposure but things have been changed.
Now, you know how much these brand marks helps a business to grow. I was talking in general till now. I can also show you a corporate identity that has worked so far very well for a home office. Yes! I am talking about the same lead UK government department which deals with immigrations, passports, crime, policy, police and counter terrorism.
There is nothing out of the blue in this corporate brand mark, they have just incorporated an icon or you can say an emblem which depicts the whole concept along with the text,” Home Office”. There is a tagline as well to show what the agency is all about that is,” Building a safe, just and tolerant society” in the home office logo.
This shows how even non-commercial and non-profit organizations are concerned about their brand marks.
Competition isn’t the only reason why companies are heading towards designing corporate identities. Whether there is a competitor or not, one has to implant his company’s identity on the minds of the target audience.
People have realized the profound importance of corporate brand marks whether they are non-profit or profit organization because it will only proved to be fruitful for their business. One can safely assume that there are no negative impacts of a business brand marks provided that it has been culminated by the expert hands.
They have also realized that people don’t have time; therefore, there should be something which provides a greater exposure to your business in no time. I think this is why; a logo is on the top!
Shakespeare once wrote “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet” and technically he was correct.
However, if I have 2 types of similar products and I name one Stink Rose and I name the other the Red Passion Rose, the second bush will sell quicker and for more money.
There’s even a strong chance people will say the first rose had an unpleasant scent.
The Bard was correct that titles can’t change the physical characteristics of an object, but they can cause major perceptional changes.
The right brand or title can fire up the imagination, stir up interest, and increase the value of a product. The wrong name can slow down sales and even discourage buyers from purchasing the product.
Product labeling takes on new importance on the web. Search engines look for pages and websites using titles and keywords as markers. Some gurus will recommend heavy keyword usage for product names, however if the brand is cluttered and meaningless, buyers are not impressed. A web customer may search several sites, if the name is catchy they are more likely to return to the site and purchase your product. A product name that is a long list of SEO words will probably turn off buyers and may cause you to overuse keywords, which will hurt your page ratings.
A name should be memorable, but names that are too clever can also backfire. If a name is chosen because of its ethnic or personal meaning, customers may not understand the connection. If the brand is difficult to pronounce, it might also be difficult to market. On the other hand, if the ethnic name is connected with the purpose or use of the product, the brand may be perfect.
Watch out for accidental meanings. Words and images may be interpreted in many different ways. A cute name might suggest a violent, political, or racy idea you did not intend. A logo may be designed to incorporate several images but when it’s all put together, the image may hold a hidden surprise.
It’s a good idea to run your titles and brands past a couple people. When we are too close to an idea or concept, we often miss obvious mistakes. Professional writers and artists can help you find the right product names and logos, but don’t forget that you know your product line best. If you hire a professional to work with you, make sure the product names they select reflect your company’s purpose and mission.
Let your customers know the rose bush has a sweet scent just by the product name.
Promotional products can be great tools for creating name recognition and good will of your brands among your customers and prospects.
If a particular promotional product is a giveaway at an exhibition or conference, as a hand out to children on their educational visits or an in-store freebie, it is a great approach to use these promotional items to advertise your company name at lower costs.
Giving out something for nothing is an excellent way for your business to get your target audience’s attention and this is what many businesses are doing these days to boost their sales.
Many items fall into the broad category of promotional products. These items might include bottle openers, letter openers, laser pointers, notepads, memo holders, photo frames, alarm clocks, mirrors, cufflinks, make up kits, manicure sets, jewellery boxes, business bags, travel bags, clocks, flasks,gift sets, briefcases, wine sets,
puzzles, mobile phone holders, credit card holders, corporate printed trays, torches, document bags, paperweights, glassware, paper clip holders, eco friendly items, fitness sets, passport covers, personal fans, ties, work wears, mints, USB hub clocks, phone charges, games, watches, calculators, barbeque sets, picnic baskets, pencil sharpeners, fineliners, fountain pens, rollerballs, erasers, express promotional items and many more. Almost every promotional item contains the name of your company, logo and message for maximum effect.
These items are distributed either at conferences, exhibitions, and tradeshows or are given away as gifts, as employee incentives or rewards and as business gifts.
The main purpose of distributing promotional products among your prospects is that you want your company name and message in front of them for a long period of time and these promotional items are simple, inexpensive and cost-effective at the same time. Promotional products are popular among all types of industries ranging form IT, Healthcare, Pharmacutecal to government and academic.
Promotional products and printed promotional items have positive impact for almost every business if used correctly. Promotional products are marketing tools and these items increase company recognition, make a favorable impression of your brand, offer flexibility, can be distributed among any audience ranging from children and teenagers to employees, dealers, businessmen and vendors and increase response rates.
Promotional merchandises is also cost-effective especially when a business purchases them in bulk from promotional products distributors. As compared to other methods of advertising where you have to spend thousand of pounds to advertise your company, think of giving away a toothbrush to one of your prospects, so if a customer uses it every morning, this toothbrush would provide a reinforcement of your brand on a regular basis.
There are some points which you need to consider while using promotional products to advertise your brand. A promotional product campaign must be carefully planned to achieve maximum results in a short period of time. You might be planning to giveaway some specific promotional items on some specific event, always make sure that you have enough time to get them produced.
Try to use a product which allows more imprinting onto it and fits your business requirements at the same time. You should be very careful in choosing the message which you want to be printed onto your selected promotional item as this would be the only thing your target audience will see when they use this product.
You should imprint a concise message aiming to target different groups of audience and it must carry the main information about your business in one or two lines.
The research is in… here are the top 10 uses for promotional items according to the Promotional Products Association International.
- Customer Goodwill and Retention
- Employee Relations and Events
- Brand Awareness
- Public Relations
- New Customer/Account Generation
- Employee Service Awards
- Not-For-Profit Programs
- Internal Promotions
- New Product and Service Introduction
Inform, remind and persuade
Since tradeshows are so important for introducing new products and establishing brand recognition I wanted to talk about the impact promotional items can have in this arena.
According to a 2004 study titled, ‘The Effectiveness of Promotional items in Tradeshow Setting’ conducted by researchers at Georgia Southern University, promotional items that were perceived to have greater value generated more sales leads than products of lower value. Here is some more data related to this topic:
- By including a promo item with a pre-show mailing you can increase the likelihood of an attendee stopping by your booth
- 76% of attendees had a favorable attitude toward any company that gave them a branded promo product
- Just over 70% of tradeshow attendees who received a promotional product remembered the name of the company that gave it away
So who are the top 10 buyers of these ad specialty items?
Chances are your competition uses these promo items in their advertising campaigns.
- Real Estate
- Professionals: Lawyers, Doctors, CPAs, etc.
- Restaurants and Bars
- Professional and Trade Associations
- E-commerce sites
Sales by product category
Wearables, writing instruments, bags and drinkware items are the most popular advertising specialty products among business professionals. The reason is simple: These items are considered to have value in the recipient’s eyes because they can be used every day. Other product categories include:
- Desk/Office/Business Accessories
- Recognition Awards/Jewelry
- Sporting Goods
- Magnets, textiles and housewares
- Food, electronics and clocks
Promotional items are one of the top ways businesses across the globe can sell their products to others. Businesses will find hundreds of different items that can be engraved with their businesses name, phone number, web site, and any other information that you would like to have as well.
The variety of products can be modified to the services your company provides, and are also great to use as gifts at company parties or other special events.
Promotional products work because everyone loves something for free. You can assure that customers far and wide will take advantage of the freebie you are offering. Hats, ink pens, matches, mouse pads, mugs, t-shirts, duffel bags, wall clocks, water bottles, throws, notebooks, flash drives-the possibilities are neverending for items that can be customized for your company.
Another great thing about promotional products is that they are cheap. Since the items are ordered in bulk, you will front a tiny cost per item. There are hundreds of different web sites if you want to order your products online, and this is an easy way to compare prices to find the smallest prices for your needs.
Promotional items can be used as incentive gifts for employees, at business parties, and special events. As individuals take the products you are providing, this is helping to spread the word about your company as they use the products and even supply them to their friends and family.
This is one of the best, and most affordable ways to get mass marketing for your business. Many businesses even offer free samples so that you can try before you buy. If you are looking for a superb way to spread the word about your business, or a way to honor your employees, try promotional products.
Yesterday I was watching “The Millionaire Matchmaker” with Patti Stanger on TV.
After she finished her mixer and the millionaires picked their dates, she organized a mini seminar for the unlucky ones who didn’t find their match this time.
She explained how you need to have your 5 non-negotiables so you will have your goals in mind and know exactly the kind of person you are looking to spend the rest of your life with. According to Patti Stanger you won’t win the dating game if you ware just expecting to find the right match one day.
As I was listening to her, I realized that this is very similar to what I teach to my clients when I ask them to select their ideal customers.
If you say yes to everybody chances are that some times you will accept clients who are not your target market or you won’t get the best result or you will work with people who are not committed enough to their own business and you will be miserable working with them.
Accepting a client just because you need the money is not enough. When you decide to work with a client you should be sure in advance that you will enjoy working with that person, you will be on the same page and you will be both committed and accountable. Then you will have a business doing what you love.
Here are my 5 non-negotiables with clients:
1. Punctuality – I want to work with clients who attend sessions at the time we agreed on. If someone asks to reschedule often this means that they are not committed to work on their business in order to improve it or learn new strategies.
2. Commitment – I do not want to work with clients who always find excuses and never do their assignments between sessions or have no intention to improve their businesses. Those are the ones who, after numbers of sessions and months of time, are still at the same place, because they never take action and always complain that they are too busy.
That are often the same people who struggle to find clients and make money. They are busy with non important things and spend their days and weeks moving without purpose.
3. Coachability – If a client comes to you for your expertise and knowledge, but each time you suggest a strategy he or she says “oh not this won’t work for me or my business, my business is too specific” you cannot help them against their will. They have a problem, you can provide The Solution, but not without their consent.
If you realize quickly that the client doesn’t listen to your advice, and always goes back to his or her routine, don’t waste more of your time. This person will never have positive results and will blame your strategies.
4. Determination to Succeed – I often realized that I am more motivated for my client’s business to succeed than they are, and sometimes doing consulting and coaching is more like baby-sitting solo-entrepreneurs. There are some people who need to be taken by the hand and then you wind up doing all the steps for them.
I spoke numbers of time with colleagues, consultants and coaches and they told me that with some clients they have the same feeling. Before I used to be very patient and accept everything from clients, but I learned the power of saying no in order to fire that kind of client.
I know how to recognize them from day one, so I don’t have to work with people that don’t want to improve any longer. Through my non-negotiables I have earned more happiness and my clients more success!
Last but not least -
5. Payment in Advance- If you are selling your knowledge, your expertise or services make sure to get paid in advance so first you know that the client is interested in your services and is not just leading you on.
Many clients relate how many problems they have getting paid. They do the work and have to wait for weeks or months for the clients to show the money, because people come up with excuses. In the end if you don’t get paid up front, you often never see the money.
When I started my 1st business in France I made this mistake and learned my lesson the hard way. That’s why when I started my second business I made sure to charge my fees up front. Plus a client who pays in advance is usually more committed and once again appreciates your work and working with you, and you will get better results.
What are you 5 non-negotiables?
Think about it very precisely. Make your list, interview your potential clients to make sure they are the right fit for you and your business. And if they don’t match your 5 criteria, as Patti Stanger said, and I do too, don’t waste your time, you may regret it big time, and won’t be happy in your business.
Why waste money while you could work with somebody much more motivated and rewarding who will really appreciate your work and will refer you like minded people?
The similitude with dating works again: you want to date somebody you would love to spend the rest of your life with, and you want to work with clients you love working with, so they will be loyal clients and you will keep them for life too. In both cases, your future is based on a real and strong relationship.
The following business strategies for small business will help you grow your business, get more clients, retain your current clients and make you more sales.
First of all business owners need to understand that any business strategy needs to be implemented to be of any value. Knowing what to do and how to do it means nothing if you don’t put it into action.
Here a some simple business strategies for small business that will help you if you implement them.Database Marketing.
Database Marketing is a business strategy that most small businesses do not use to its potential.
It is a simple strategy that involves creating a Database of all your current clients and prospects. Enter their names and contact details in to a program, management system or even a Xcel Spreadsheet.
Group the Database in to Categories relevant to your industry. Categorize by geographical location, age, sex, previous purchase history, product needs or whatever category suits your business.
Once you have your Database categorized, you can then begin regular communication with your clients and prospects. Your communication should always be providing value to them. Deliver quality information that is of interest to the category you are addressing.
The information can be hints, tips and strategies or you can even discuss a new product giving an independent review of its benefits and setbacks. Always be sure to inform them how the product will be of value to them either personally or to their business.
Give your Database Special Offers that apply only to them. Make them feel special that they are your quality or Premium Client. Have a special link in the communication so that you can track and measure the success of your campaigns.
Time your communication to an average of one every 10 days or so. This will keep your business in their minds. You should be the first one they think of when they need your product or service.
Making use of your current list of clients and prospects will help improve your conversions from Prospect to Client. It will also help improve your client retention.
Internet Stats show that an average of 7 contacts with your Database will result in a conversion to Prospect or Lead.
Asking your Clients and Prospects for a referral is definitely a business strategy that brings great results for small business.
This strategy is reliant on you providing the best quality service, best quality products and outstanding customer service to your clients.
Showing your clients that you are the best in what you do will have them raving about your service and products to their family and friends. Now that you have satisfied clients, you need to ask the question. “Who else do you know that will benefit from our service?” Let them know that your business succeeds because of referrals from current clients.
You can offer incentives to your clients for every referral they make that becomes a new client. Consider a small gift of value, a free treatment or discount on a treatment. Send a Thank You card, free movie tickets or what ever you feel comfortable with.
Let all new clients know that your business has a referral system and they you expect at least three referrals from them if they are happy with your products and services. Every new client bringing in 3 new referrals will grow your business if you are the best at what you do.
This business strategy is the way of the future for small business going in to 2011. Consumers have certainly changed their behaviour in how they look for local services and products.
Historically, consumers went to the Yellow Pages, Newspaper Ads, Radio Ads and so on. Today, 85% of consumers search on the internet for a local service and products. If you fail to market your small business online you are going to miss a huge portion of market share that could be yours.
Your Website needs to be simple and it needs to be able to get your visitors to do what you want them to do. You have around 7 seconds to keep your visitor interested and to stay on your site. The content on your site needs to be good enough to show them you have integrity, you provide value and that you are the one they should be doing business with.
Big Flash Websites don’t really do much for your business. You need to have a website that is designed from a Marketing perspective to achieve the best results.
Once you have your Business Marketing Website, you need to have that Website on the Front Page of Google under the search phrases that are relevant to your industry. It is vital to be on the Front Page because that is where your prospects are looking. Rarely do people look beyond the first page and a large majority never go past Page three.