A good tech-savvy digital marketing company will make you the best looking and working online store out there. They shall ensure (hopefully) that your online store is line with your present business, that is, it has the same logo, a theme similar to your existing website (or if you do not have one, one that reflects your branding strategies so far). That is all good however for you to be truly successful there are some questions which you will have to ponder over. What are these questions? This is something that an excellent digital marketing agency will tell you. A good one will help you set up a storefront, an excellent agency will help you start a viable business.
First-off, if you are reading this, congratulations! You are thinking of venturing into a market whose potential is growing every day. However with very little barriers to entry, the competition is stiff. So there are two main things you need to decide on before you set up an online store.
The first is the development of an e-business plan. You will say that you already have a business plan in place, and all you need is a website. I will have to rudely say that you do not understand what an e-business plan is. An e-business plan involves having an awareness and understanding of what it means to do business online, how it will differ from your day-to-day existing strategy and having an inventive strategy that helps you compete.
Just saying that you need an e-commerce business plan is really vague so let s break it up into achievable tasks.
What is different about you?
No matter where you conduct business, you have to ask yourself what are you offering your customer, what is different about you or how are you doing something better than what the others are offering. You have to find out what sets you apart from the lot.
For example, let us take the example of GatorPack. It sells shipping supplies like so many people out there. However what it does different is that there are just three options on the front page and you simply choose one and pay for it. No digging about the website, no about us or fluff, just down to business. It may not work for a newcomer but it works for many who just want an extremely fast and simple process.
Think of it this way. All online businesses are like shops adjacent to each other. So you really need to stand out.
What is the competition?
Not everyone can come up with something unique and out of this world and not everyone has to. You just have to find your competitors weakness and somehow ensure that you do it better. So before getting an online store made, scope out the competition and make sure you also tell your chosen digital marketing agency about the competition.
For example, up until now the main point of online retail stores was fixed selling prices which was convenient for many but there are some who like to bargain. And thus to cater them, some online mobile retailers came up with a unique bidding option that allows each individual customer to bargain by quoting their price. It is simple things like these that can give you the edge you were looking for.
And do not worry you do not have to go it all the way alone. Do this basic homework and then scope out a digital marketing agency that will help your further polish your e-commerce plan.
A website is a 24/7 sales force. It will always speak of your business in a positive way, day in day out. There is no such employee in this world. Many small businesses reluctantly develop or get developed their first website. But once they do get a good website up and running they are soon converted. A website is one of the most effective and yet cheapest promotional tools.
Building a website is a great first step, but just like a store front it needs to maintained, and once in a while it needs a fresh coat of paint. Building a website is not enough. You need to maintain it and update it now and then.
Many ask that why should you update your website? Well to make it sufficiently clear we shall break the reasons down.
What looks good, Appeals!
A website is the first impression of your business for many. If your website has a banner saying “Summer Sale 2008”, it does not bring back fond memories of time travel and the movie “Back to the Future” but look plain unprofessional. This is an extreme case.
Designs do become outdated no matter how good. One example is flash. It was all the rage a few years ago, now you never see it. Also if your website has had no recent blogs etc, it becomes apparently clear that it is not something that the business spends its time on and as we said it is the first impression of your business for many. Do you really want customers to see that the last update was last year and give the feel of a shop that is full of cobwebs?
Technique and Coding
New browsers and operating systems used to be a huge event. Nowadays the speed of progress is so fast that it is hard to keep track of what changes come when. You have to ensure that your website is compatible with these changes. It is important that your website’s code (HTML and CSS) is still valid.
Also with each new update comes greater efficiency. For example if your website was built a few years back and has not been updated since then, there are good chances it has a lot of unnecessary HTML code which is making it load slower, and in turn possibly affecting its Google ranking.
New marketing techniques
Call to action techniques often change over time. Those vibrating Windows 97 style dialogue boxes no longer work. Actually, they were plain irritating even back in the day and still are!
If your website is not updated then you are missing out on the new effective techniques that are being used.
Also with each new update comes a greater focus on effective information collection. Sales information is very important in creating effective sales campaign. Recent updates in the years have really focused on this. Some of the best features you get these days include conversion tracking, user recordings and heat mapping. If you are using an old website you might not have all of these.
Many small businesses get their first website developed via freelancers or do it on their own, thus regular update is a challenge. But in this day and age, regular updates are a necessity. The best bet would be to get a digital marketing agency that works in close collaboration with you and updates the website whenever necessary. This will of course cost you, but the benefits are worth it; no one likes a derelict shop and that’s what an ignored website is.
Long time ago was the era of big cars, Chevrolet’s with half a street’s sprawling length, and now we love our hatch-backs. Then came the time of the big box supermarkets, We loved these supermarkets. Some of them are so big it seems they never end and you never seem to have walked it all, ever. These supermarkets have everything under one gigantic roof and shelves to match. From a toothbrush to a motorbike, you can buy it all here. And with the advent of the supermarkets came the downfall of the mom and pop stores; or at least so we thought. Mom and Pop stores have survived and even prospered. And now these Mom and Pop stores can prosper more than ever for we have fallen out of love with the big supermarkets.
And it is not just stores. Small boutique hotels and family owned bed and breakfasts are stealing customers from the big fish. Why is that? The fact is simple. While the big competitors can provide good service, they often fail to provide a personal touch. The personalized and a completely unique experience is something that an owner owned enterprise can easily offer. Starbucks may be great, but it cannot match the level of “personal” touch that my local coffee shop gives me. The owner knows me, I know him. There is no receipt. I even have tab there.
These small businesses have a brand lying around that they do not know of. People are daily searching for “small” businesses where they can feel comfortable. This phenomena is gaining so much traction that Wal-Mart has actually announced plans to scale down the size of their establishments.
Small businesses are in an extremely advantageous position. For most of these small businesses there clientele are the customers who have somehow passed the shop or are situated in the nearby neighborhood. Small businesses need to tap the power of social media to increase clientele.
First of all they could begin with the basics and create a Facebook page and advertise in their establishment. This allows more people to check in and tag your page. This works even better than the traditional word of mouth. Second would be to connect with your customers on Twitter and get a little more banter with you and them. Some of your customers may be the kind who prefer to keep their talking online. Not everybody in this day and age is comfortable walking up to the owner and strike a conversation.
Social media can really help to get your business name out there. You can even make additional sales through it. Facebook has brought out its marketplace feature and it is quite effective. However many small business owners find it too complicated. But complication is not a problem. Big corporates roll out their social media strategies via the help of professional marketing firms. To help small businesses new boutique digital marketing agencies have emerged which offer a personal and budget friendly service to those who are planning their business’s first venture into the digital world. A good digital marketing agency will be able to help you get a whole branding process going. Do it on your own, or get help but capitalize on the love for small and get going.
The contacts in the Android and many other operating systems were for a long time referred to as a business card. Business cards are thought to be going extinct as the world goes increasingly digital but that is far from true. The business card is something whose value is not appreciated fully, and those who do know its importance are not going to give up on it anytime soon.
The business card holds a lot of sway in the corporate world. And it is not just the formal corporate world where the business card matters. It matters almost everywhere and we shall talk about reasons why should be always carrying well-made business cards:
1. Swapping phone numbers and email is unprofessional
Networking is about making connections; connections are only credible if they are genuine. Sending contact information via email or text on the spot is convenient but it is an impersonal way of doing things. A business card first of all is tangible. Tangible things are more easily remembered. There is a good chance of a person coming across a business card in their wallet after a meeting than they are of coming across the email you sent them. Also exchanging business cards is something you do after a conversation and sometimes the business cards lead to even more conversations and this is how real relationships begin. Simply typing into your phone does not create a “memory” for this act has become routine and insignificant.
2. Business cards are very effective marketing tools
If you are giving them to your employees these tend to be distributed a lot. Having a formal business card in today’s world has become quite rare, and thus more appreciated. A business card is now considered something that only important people carry. So these do make people feel important and they are more inclined to distribute them to people they want to impress. How does this benefit you? Well if your employees want to impress someone, chances are they do matter and it is good for you that such people learn of your presence. This is the cheapest way of advertising and yet effective.
However many would argue that all forms of advertising pale in front of search engine optimization. Paid forms of advertising are no doubt great at attracting leads but seasoned business will argue and prove and when such advertising methods are like a candle in front of the sun when compared to the effectiveness of an in-person meeting which is concluded with a handshake and exchange of business cards. Business cards may not help you sell a shoe to one lone customer over the internet but they will help you a lot when you go to your supplier to negotiate better rates.
Plus what many people forget is that networking is a continuous process. You can meet a potential lead or contact any time, be it at the airport lounge, industry conferences or happy hour. Arming yourself with a business card ensures that you never miss an opportunity to make an impression and create a valuable business connection in one go.
3. A business card shows that you are prepared
Smartphone batteries are notorious for dying. And once that happens even the savviest of business people can be seen scrambling, writing contact information on cocktail napkins on scraps of paper. That never looks professional.
A business card gives the impression of being prepared and impressions count for a lot. Who would you do business with, someone hunting for scrap of paper or someone who has a business card ready with them?
So for many years to come it is a surety that conversations will be ending with an exchange of business cards.
We humans are psychologically hardwired to be attracted to colors. Visual stimuli is one of the most powerful messaging techniques that allow the viewer to give meaning to what it is in front of is eyes. Each color has its own connotations and this makes each color convey a different meaning altogether. But what purpose does it serve in logo design? The answer to that question is very simple yet quite intriguing. A simple thing such as a certain color can make the viewer get an altogether different message from your logo altogether. The color tends to represent what your business is all about and above all it signifies your mission, vision and what values you are trying to portray. Most companies opt for a two to three color based theme for their logos, single color logos are quite rare and even if they exist, the single color has different shades in the same logo.
We have learned to associate meanings with each color due to millions of years of evolving as creatures that instinctively live through data gathered through our senses out which we are the mostly inclined to rely on visual information. An in depth understanding of color psychology can put you into a better position to design a logo. As a creative professional you have the liberty to choose from a wide array of colors and play with their shades and give different nuances to each one. Lets delve into the world of colors and see for ourselves what each one has in store for us as its identity:
White: A symbol of purity and sophistication since time immemorial, it portrays surrealism, calmness and cleanliness. But if your logo happens to be white it needs to be portrayed against a colored background, this can be quite tricky as you have to make sure that your symbolic appeal of sophistication is put against a background that also makes it meaning remain the same even if now it is accentuated a bit. The focus should be on the white.
Red: Red symbolizes aggression, power, danger and above all passion. Red is known to be an appetite stimulant and that’s probably the reason it is part of the logos of a wide variety of food related business. Using red can make your business look to have a go getter approach and a dynamic outlook.
Orange: Well, this one has limited usage as it symbolizes the word “innovate” and is most often used by tech companies to identify their logo with their free minded and forward thinking approach.
Green: This one has been clichéd into being a color which is associated nature and organic materials. It signifies a company’s connection to the environment and Mother Nature. Green in recent times has also been associated with monetary and financial connotations.
Blue: Blue makes it easier to convey professionalism and serious mindedness. If a company wants to portray itself as a organization that values integrity and authority, then blue is the color it should go with.Black: We have been fascinated by this color since forever. It is one of the most mysterious of colors as it can signify loneliness and gloominess on one hand and Power on the other hand. This color is one of the first preferences of artists when designing something and as the primary base color for outlines and demarcations; it carries a lot of significance. Use it sparingly.
Purple: This one is reserved for the show of royalty and wealth. In older times, it was the prime color of the church in Europe and that has made it signify dignity and more importantly wisdom.
One of the most important things to keep in mind when thinking of colors for logos are their cultural implications which should be carefully taken care of in this globally connected world where white is color of mourning in South Asian countries and red is considered to be rewarding and a harbinger of luck in China. In the end it boils down to the designer who has to make the choice on the color with which the logo would be created. We hope this will help in understanding how to define colors for your logo and assist you in designing great logos for your business.
Since man began understanding things, he has been mired in his endless endeavor to make them simpler. Easy enough to be comprehended by anyone. The school of minimalism in logo design inspiration is not new, with its dignified proponents being found in every professional field of the world. Every artist, painter, sculptor or designer thrives on the concept of expressive conservatism. When things which are unfathomable, retreat onto a shortened version of their previous self, obtaining a new entity altogether, the results are always spectacular to see.
Edvard Munch expressing the depressive mood of the dusky evening, an embodiment of the seamless transition of day into night in his painting “The Scream”, was an example of minimalism, of how whole scenes can acquire a voice, by leaving out distractions. Galileo peering out into the abyss of the universe, simplifying the notion of how heavenly bodies move, putting to rest the confusion man faced while comprehending the vastness of space. It was an act in simplicity, a perfection of focusing on only what is important, reducing the visual noise, the blackness of space posed. Minimalism isn’t just about keeping it simple, Its not that easy. It has its own complexity, leaving things out is even more difficult than adding things up, with the emphasis being on what the reduction would help highlight. Its not different when it comes to logos. The best ones are intricately minimal, toned down to make them reflect what the business does. Logo, simply speaking, is a design that should suffice for all the things that a company is made up of, Visions, structure, ideology, core values, USP, focus and the impression it wants to build are the components of a logo. Accomplishing that is an art of its own. Here are some of the reasons why minimalism in logo design inspiration, should the effective policy behind every corporate logo design process in 2016.
Logos as a portal into the company:
Spilling everything at the first meeting, invariably translates into lost interest. Something has to be held back, a trigger has to be implanted subliminally which would inspire the viewer into the action of learning more. A logo should be a small window, a sneak peek into your mode of operations as a business unit. It should serve as a transparent facade, just about hiding what goes on beneath, but showing enough to generate interest. A logo should be more akin to the modern day “Selfie” concept, where no pose or artificial element is required, just a simple focus on whats there at that very moment.
A process of owning it:
It shows in your logo how much interest went into its design. Kleenex, the quintessential leader in paper based cleaning product had their logo match their ideology and products ingeniously, the ongoing connective words signifying the “Swipe”, a function of nearly all of its products. Its ideology was so dear when it came to representation that an altogether new font was created just to accommodate the artist’s idea of a continued swipe. The most identical font available that comes close to matching the font used is Montauk Pro Bold Font.
Mind it when splashing it:
Our mind is wired to react to selective attention. Too much and its too burdensome on the brain, it loses its focus and redirects itself to something more visually less demanding. In a poll by Playtime booth, blue came out on top, as the most favorite color of people, daylight second and then followed purple. Just remember, logos are used almost everywhere by brands, their color, whatever you are meaning it to signify should be a consistent one, keeping in mind all the places that logo could have an impact on. One prominent example is of the Logistics brand UPS, a brown predominates their logo meant to symbolize soil and logistical prowess.
Adequate trends shouldn’t serve as a palette where you choose a color for your logo, think of every aspect, in every context before zeroing in a color.
The worst impression a logo can give is of being “Stopped”, it symbolizes that your company doesn’t have anything else left to tell or sell and it gives off a vibe that the effort gone into finding logo design inspiration wasn’t up to the mark.. Evolution is an inbuilt mechanism of nature, without it, nothing survives. Adaptability must be one of the core competencies of a logo.
When adding a new acquisition into your business, instead of adding a circle, a circle must be reduced onto your logo. In the reduction of boundaries are new territories included.
“When the Prototype of Ipod was shown to Steve Jobs, He viewed it and told them to reduce its size even more. The Engineers told him that it was the most compact size possible and no further space was left where the size could be toned down. Steve threw the Ipod into an aquarium that was nearby, then pointed to the bubbles that were coming out of the Ipod as it lay at the bottom of the Aquarium, saying that there is space in there to make it even smaller. “
There’s always space to tone things down, all you need is imagination mixed with cleverness to figure out where the bubbles in your logo might be hiding and your logo design inspiration will truly be embodied.