7 Reasons Why Branding Matters

Despite what you might think, branding isn’t reserved just for Apple, Google, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, and and it’s not just your logo or mission statement. Branding is important for your company. It defines who you are and what do you do; how you see yourself and how do you want to be seen; where do you want to be and how will you get there; and what makes your business unique out of all the others. Branding requires your attention since it can also increase the value of your company, help you grow, make it easier to connect with customers and determine your success. If you’re still unconvinced, here are seven reasons why branding matters in business.

1. Makes Companies Relatable

When people first heard Apple’s “Think Different” ads they were immediately able to identify themselves with the brand because they shared that vision. Even if most people at the time didn’t own an iMac, or didn’t want one for that matter, they could still relate to the brand message. Since a company is something artificial and distant, branding brings it closer to people, shapes their opinion and how they perceive it.

2. Delivers a United Message

Branding connects all aspects of a company. For example, a creative professionals from Studio X achieve this by developing brand strategies that combine physical features (interior and graphic design) with virtual architecture (web design and development). This consistent presence delivers a united message across all channels of communication. Everyone involved with your company, from clients to partners, will have a clear understanding of what your business represents.

3. Supports Marketing Efforts

Marketing plays an important role in building your brand. It allows you to gain visibility with key demographics and creates brand awareness. As your brand awareness grows, marketing can rely on that recognition to support its own efforts. This mutual dependency between branding and marketing will allow your business to grow. Once you start dominating one specific market, the reputation of your brand will make it easier to market yourself to target a completely different audience.

4. Drives a Premium Price Point

Brand awareness can increase the value of the products or services you sell. As people start associating your brand with quality and it starts trending, what you sell becomes more desirable to your audience. This allows you to increase the price of your products. Quality brands are able to put a price on their brand name because people are willing to pay extra to be associated with it. That’s one of the main reasons why Starbucks coffee is more expensive than regular java at your local coffee shop.

5. Encourages Employee Endorsement

A company can improve the extent of its reach if it encourages employee endorsement. Branding helps with this since employees will tend to be more productive and promote the company when speaking to others. By feeling the value of your brand, they associate themselves with its message. This makes them more likely to endorse a positive experience about your brand, and can even turn employees into brand ambassadors that regularly share the company message at their own free will.

6. Creates Trust Among Customers

A strong brand is centered around its customers. When you have your customers (and their desires) in mind first, and profit second, it creates trust among them and marks you as a professional. As customers perceive a company’s intentions as sincere, authentic and transparent, they will transfer those feelings to the products or services you offer. They will believe that what you offer has enough power to improve their lives, and that justifies their decision to buy from you, instead of the competition.

7. Builds a Loyal Customer Base

Branding can inspire loyalty among your customers. After they convert from prospects, customers will ultimately shape their future feeling towards your brand through their experience. If you do introduce the feelings of trust, they are far more likely to make a purchase again.

Not only that, but great branding values customer loyalty and will look to reward it. In turn, your loyal customers will want to repay for your care by promoting your brand. They will become brand ambassadors and will spread a good word about your company, even remaining loyal during bad times.

Tracey Clayton is a working mom of three girls, passionate about traveling, marketing and everything tech related. Her motto is: “Live the life you love; love the life you live.”

Consider These Digital Marketing Tips for Online Success

Research has shown that over 70% of Americans buy products online in a period of one month. With Internet you can check out various products and services online and decide what is best for you even though you will buy the products at a physical shop near your home. If you are a business person, you have to strategically plan how to market your products and services on the digital platform. This has proven to be a challenge for some brands, but that does not mean there is no way to make it work for you and your business. Here are some tips that will ensure your online venture is successful.

Establish your website blog

A blog helps you to connect with your target audience and you can post your blogs across social media networks in order to attract attention to your website. You can make use of certain keywords to help advance your SEO hence more people will be in a position to click your site because it moves higher in the Google search results. When you write a blog post, you are able to connect with other bloggers and thus gain more brilliant ideas on digital marketing. On the website, displaying USPs and explaining how it functions can convert your website visitors into customers because they are able to know how your business brochures and the products can reach them.

Collaborate with same customer-based businesses

Small business entrepreneurs should partner with similar customer-based businesses but ensure that those you partner with are not your competitors. Partner up with another business that is complementary to yours rather than a competitor who might steal your clients. For example, a mason and an electrician. Write about the value given to customers by your partners and give reasons why you support those values. Make a point of sharing this with various companies and ask them to enlighten their audience on this information. Consider establishing a deal with your partners on customer referral and when customers visit your partners businesses, they learn about your business even if it is by word of mouth. By doing this, both of the businesses will be at an advantage.

Sell your business on social media

It is important to share your values, ideas on improving your business, ways your customers can acquire your products on social media because so many people are on social media and this creates a great platform for your marketing. Some of the social media platforms that you should target include; Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. On Instagram for example, consider using Instagram stories or hashtags to promote your products. The stories appear on the Instagram home page hence making it easier for your audience to spot them. Twitter and Facebook live chats will enable you to engage with your targeted audience. Through these chats you can be in a position to understand your customers and get their opinion on your products moreover you will be able to grow your business.

Pay attention to your local customers

Let us understand this with an example. If you are a real estate entrepreneur, consider offering home renovation finance to your customers. They are more likely to accept your services if you fulfill their more than one needs. See how other businesses are doing in your local market and ensure that you give the best services or products to your local customers. You can also give back to the local community by sponsoring sports teams etc. Those that benefit will mention you when they are discussing issues with their friends hence more customers are channeled to you.

Come up with a logo

In digital marketing, a logo is fundamental because it usually passes crucial information to your target audience. Make sure your logo is eye catching with proper graphics and a few words on both print and digital. Your logo should essentially explain what your business entails. It can pass a message of your values, your brand promises, your mission and your professionalism. Your logo talks a lot about your business so you should pay special attention to making one that is worth it. Work with a skilled graphic designer to come up with a logo that best suits your business.

Obtain your customers Email Addresses

Almost all adults in the United States of America have Email Addresses and this tells you that you can reach a large number of them using Email. This will enable you to pass all necessary information to your customers with no hitches whatsoever and create a connection between you and your customers. All that you will require is Internet to convey your important messages including changes in your services and products, bonuses or offers and your general business developments. On your website develop a form where your customers can fill in their names and email addresses.

Use information graphics as well as animated videos

Make your service page interactive and showcase how your product is beneficial. For instance, if you check Ford’s newly launched SUV, it has a 360-degree interactive graphics tour. These graphics not only attracts viewers to spend more time on your service page but also increases your conversion rate.

Having an informative funny animated video can also boost your business. Take time to create interesting videos for your audience. People will share your videos on social media and this will reach a lot of people. The videos attract more viewers and this may help simplify a complex business. For kids stuff for example you should focus on advertising your business using animated videos. All kids are lovers of animations.

Provide relevant information to other bloggers

Always be keen to provide useful information to any kind of visitors on your site. If influencers and journalists log into your site and they are able to get meaningful information, then it is to your advantage because they may mention you in their blogs too. This way you gain popularity among so many people.

Digital marketing is very important for any business to grow and gain trust from its customers. Pay proper attention to providing quality information on the Internet in order to benefit from digital marketing. Digital marketing is cheaper compared to other forms of marketing because it doesn’t require a lot of resources. All you need is a computer and Internet! All business marketers should opt to go digital on their marketing techniques in order to achieve the best out of the business.

5 Key Areas That You Should Always Look To Outsource

In business, everyone will always have their own way of doing things. Some prefer to micromanage, others want to take a step back, and some will prefer to only keep their toes in what’s going on. And whatever works out for each business the best, is often the greatest solution for them. However, from here, there’s also the great debate of working out where you sit when it comes to the idea of hiring in-house or outsourcing. Both options come with their ups and downs, but when you look at outsourcing, it’s hard not to be impressed by the benefits. Because when you outsource a certain function or area of the business, you’re going to save yourself time and money. And the best part is that you’ve got experts working on it, so you know that it’s going to be done properly. So let’s take a look at the five key areas you should consider outsourcing.

Customer Service

First of all, you have your customer service. And this is always the first thing to think about outsourcing. But we’re not just talking about sending it off to some company that can just take it off of your hands. Instead, you need a dedicated company that is going to be able to do a much better job than you can. Because keeping your customers happy should be at the core of everything that you do. So you need a service that will be able to talk to your customers from all angles and really ensure that their needs are met and queries are taken care of.

HR

When it comes to HR, there’s often a lot that you need to cover off. And it can be overwhelming. There are a lot of rules and regulations that you need to, and making mistakes is not something that any of us wants to do. But when you outsource to a specialist company, you don’t have to worry about it. You know that the team will be taking care of everything, keeping you legal, and ensure that your staff are looked after.

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IT

When you’re busy, you do not want to be dealing with computer issues. So this is where IT support comes in. By hiring the right support company, you don’t have to worry about downtime or having to deal with issues yourself. It will all be taken care of for you.

Finance

Next, you’ve got finance. And this one can be debatable, but unless you want to bring a full team in to take care of things, outsourcing your finance department could be what you need. After all, you need to keep your eye on the prize, so things need to be taken care of expertly.

Sales

And finally, you’ve also got your sales department too. If you know that you’re not great at making sales, and you really don’t have the time to take this on, then bringing in a specialist sales or business development company will not only save you time, but it will be in the best interest of your business.

SME’s Can Bolster Profits By Following This Simple Advice

Let me guess; I bet that someone in your firm has asked you recently what needs to be done to boost profits in the next quarter? Well, this comes as no surprise because it is a question that is asked over and over again throughout the world. After all, profit is the bottom line for SMEs and any business worth its salt will be looking at ways to maximize this, something that you can find out more about in the post below.

Cut costs not quality

The first method that can be used to bolster profits in an SME is to look at where costs can be cut. Although, this can sometimes be seen as a controversial project. The reason for this is that many people worry that reduced cost means a more inferior service or product will be shipped to the customer, something that can negatively affect profits.

However, there are ways in which costs can be cut that do not affect quality. In particular, negotiating a better deal with your supplier can help you cut production costs, but still, supply the same quality you customers have become used to.

Also, monitoring productivity and efficiency can help cost be cut because less time and effort are my being frittered away on unnecessary tasks. Something that means the more can be done in the same amount of time, which ultimately reduces the cost of each item that is created and increasing the profit you can make on each unit.

Sort efficiency issues to save time and money.

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Generate more leads

Next, a popular way of bolstering profits in SME’s is by generating more leads. Leads are potential customers with a real possibility of converting into a sales, and the more you have of them, the better. This is because the more leads you have on your books, the more sales you can close and the more profits you will make.

Digital marketing tactics are often used to create more leads for SMEs. In particular, the notion of the sales and marketing funnel is used to demonstrate the different stages of interesting, engaging, and selling to a customer.

Of course, there are simple digital marketing strategies that can be completed by non-specialists, like opening social media accounts. However, the most effective ones are usually completed by people like Mike Khorev that are professional within the sector. This reason for this is because they have the knowledge and expertise to know exactly which areas in your business need boosting to generate those valuable additional leads.

Repeat sales are still sales

Lastly, while a lot of effort can go into generating new leads, it is also crucial for SMEs to remember that the previous customers are a good source of sales as well.

In fact, with customers that have already bought from you, there is an already have established link, as well as a positive expensive to build on. With this in mind, don’t forget to send out new product details to those already on your books and to tempt them with special offers and discounts, as it can be a fantastic way in which you can boost your SMEs’ profits.

3 Signs You Desperately Need Help With Your Business

Regardless of what kind of experience you have in the world of business, there will be times when you need a little outside assistance. There is no shame in this – it’s just part and parcel of the process of building an empire. But it is important to be able to recognise when you need help, and to have the strength of resolve to ask for that help at the right time, and from the right people. These in themselves are surprisingly tricky things to get right, and can take as much practice and devotion as any other aspect of business. The first step, of course, is to recognise when you need help in the first place.

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You Are Spending Too Much Time On Non-Essential Tasks

If you find that you are routinely spending a lot of your day to day time on non-essential tasks, then it might be worth getting someone to help you with those tasks. By non-essential here, we don’t mean that they are not important for the running of your business, but that they do not directly involve your service, or your relationship to your customer. For example, you might be running a law firm, in which case you want to spend as much time as possible actually helping your clients. In this case, you will probably want to outsource your marketing, as marketing for law firms can take up a lot of time and energy – which you could be spending on your clients.

Your Sales Are Dropping For No Apparent Reason

One of the most distressing things which can happen in business is when your sales are declining and you can’t even tell why. When this happens, it often has a way of causing a significant amount of despair, and it can be one of the quickest ways for entrepreneurs to become disillusioned with their own organizations. If this starts happening to your business, the first step is to consider getting a consultant on board. It might be that their expertise – or just the fact of having an extra pair of eyes – will help you to identify the inherent problems in your business. You can then face those problems head-on, and so get your business back on track in good time.

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You Have Had An Influx Of Customers

Or, it could be the exact opposite situation: having many customers come to you all at once. Whether it is the result of good marketing, or just chance, having a sudden influx of customers is good news, but also a potentially very stressful time for you and your business. If this happens, one of your main objectives will be to bring some people on board to help you patiently and politely deal with those extra customers. You really want to get this right – succeeding at a time like this is a sure sign of a business that will stay around for a long time yet.

Getting help with your business is often the most sensible approach to take, and there is real value in learning when to do so, and when you can cope on your own.

10 Non-Verbal Gestures and Movements That Can Make or Break a Sale

There’s the old saying that first impressions are everything. But have you ever thought that what you don’t say to people is as important as what you do say? Verbal gestures can convey a number of different things—some good, some bad—that become important to relationships with new or returning clients.

The handshake, of course, is something that might come to mind for many people. Firm, but not too firm, direct, and with an eye gaze—all help to convey confidence and positivity. In fact, most of the little gestures that matter are so small that they become a problem when they’re missing: When they’re performed as we expect, we don’t even notice they’re there. That includes slouching or even directing your gaze away from the person that’s talking or that’s your prospect. All convey disinterest and lack of respect.

Need a refresher course on non-verbals? Use this graphic.

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Stop Cutting Costs! Increase Your Income Instead

When profit margins are slim, most businesses decide the best course of action is to cut costs. They limit their expenditure, trim their budget, and try to spend less and less. However, this isn’t always the best option. Instead, you should focus on increasing your income instead. How can you do this? Just look at these three ideas for inspiration:

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Make As Much Money From Advertising As Possible

Advertising revenue is one of the best secondary sources of income for business. It helps keep your income ticking over, and can present huge profits come to the end of the year. The key is ensuring you make as much money from adverts as possible. How? By monetizing as much as you can. Get ads on your website, ads on your mobile app, you should even have a separate blog site and get ads on that too! One brilliant idea is to start a YouTube channel and monetize it. You can earn some serious revenue through YouTube, and it will dramatically increase your income. Plus, there’s the added benefit of helping reel in new customers and broaden your appeal with a YouTube channel too. The bottom line is that you must take advantage of ad revenue and use it to boost your income in any way possible.

Sell Gift Cards

Gift cards are a brilliant way you can boost your income without having to come up with a crazy new product idea. With a gift card, someone can spend money and get a car that they can only use with your business. Most people buy these for friends and family as a present on birthday or Christmas. They’re convenient, and benefit you in that you have one extra thing to sell and gain money from. It’s easy to get gift cards printing done and have some cards that look great and follow your business design ethos. Also, gift cards are brilliant for bringing new customers to your store too. A loyal customer might buy their friend a gift card, meaning they have to buy things to spend the money, a real win-win for you.

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Start Selling ‘Add-Ons.’

A great way to boost your income is by selling add-ons along with your main products. What this refers to are any additional things that can be sold to go with your main products. For example, phone companies sell smartphones, then they have loads of accessories like cases, headphones, chargers, etc. Look at your product and figure out what things you can sell to compliment them and provide something more for the customer. That’s the key with these items, they need to enhance someone’s purchase. A customer needs to feel like their main purchase is made better by getting an add-on as well. The good thing is, these items are usually much cheaper than your main products, which helps entice customers while keeping your income ticking over.

Focus on improving your income, and you’ll see larger profit margins without having to make sacrifices and cutting your budget.

If you’re looking for advice on how you can boost your personal income, then we’ve written a guide on that for you to enjoy too!