Why Brands Matter to Customers

Why Brands Matter to Customers

At first glance, branding can seem like no more than a fancy buzzword in the marketing industry. Ask an average joe about branding, and they might tell you it’s just logos, slogans, and mascots, that sort of thing. It’s an easy to mistake to make, but it’s simply not true. Brands will always be more than your advertising or marketing — it’s everything your customers think and feel about your company, everything they associate it with. In other words, it’s an intangible. So why does it matter to customers? Brands make it easier for customers to make decisions. Picture this: you’ve just got home from a long day at work. You’re tired, exhausted, and starving, so you decide to order a pizza. Then you pull out your phone and do a quick Google search to find pizza places nearby — say you’re new to the area — and scroll through a list of five different pizza joints. How do you choose? More often than not, customers are going to choose a brand they’ve enjoyed in the past. They’re choosing a name they recognize and trust. The key is establishing a brand that encourages people to try your food before turning them into loyal customers. Brands allow customers to build positive associations. Believe it or not, people develop a history with different brands. If they like a product, they’re more likely to buy it again and again, and over time, that can create very strong positive associations. For example, someone might associate Slurpees with warm, carefree summer days more so than any old slushee. To continue the pizza example, someone...
Why Is Web Design So Important?

Why Is Web Design So Important?

For many businesses, the look and feel of their website might not seem like a big priority. After all, if the website works, lists contact info, and allows users to place online orders, isn’t that enough? This “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach may seem like common sense, but it’s dramatically understating the importance of web design. Web design is your first impression on the internet. It’s your handshake, your greeting, and the coat of paint on your storefront. It will determine how long visitors stay on your site, and whether they give you a call or look for a competitor’s website. With that in mind, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of why web design matters: First impressions are even more important online. As the old saying goes, “you only get one first impression.” On the internet, you get about 10 to 20 seconds to make that impression. In those 20 seconds, are you going to showcase eye-catching graphics, snappy copy, and an easy-to-navigate website, or turn them away with an eyesore? Within that short time span, visitors are going to decide whether they want to stay on your website (leading to an inquiry or a purchase) or go elsewhere. Web design is about making your website aesthetically pleasing and easy-to-use, which means your impression will be a good one. Web design makes your initial investment worth it. Sure, you can save a buck by contracting a site builder who doesn’t have any experience with web design. But if you aren’t getting leads or additional business from your site, then why bother? Web design ensures that your...
3 Thoughts to Help You Choose the Right Social Media Channels for Your Business

3 Thoughts to Help You Choose the Right Social Media Channels for Your Business

The power of social media marketing is undeniable. Billions of people log in to social media across the globe every day, including thousands or even millions in your community. As such, social media grants businesses of any size a unique opportunity to broadcast a message to a wide audience. There’s only one problem: there are countless other businesses vying for the attention of your audience. Additionally, there’s only so much time in the day. Whether you’re managing your social media yourself or letting the experts at an ad agency do the work, there will always be a limit to the time and energy put into your online presence. With that in mind, it’s vital that you select the right social media platforms for maximum effect. By selecting only one or a handful of social media platforms, you can achieve greater results than trying to spread yourself too thin across many platforms. If you’re having trouble picking the right platforms or don’t know where to start, consider these questions: What am I trying to achieve with social media? Before starting any social media marketing campaigns, you should clearly define your goals. This includes determining how to measure your success. These can always change and evolve as time passes, but a goal for the present will help guide your efforts. Additionally, certain social media platforms are best for different goals. If you’re trying to engage with other businesses and build a professional reputation, LinkedIn may be a good option. If you’re trying to establish brand awareness and position yourself as a hip company, Tumblr or Instagram might be better choices. What...
4 Ways to Attract Talent to Your Business

4 Ways to Attract Talent to Your Business

Google, Apple, Ikea, and Quicken Loans…what do all of these businesses have in common? They’re all nationally recognized as some of the best places to work, as ranked by Business Insider and Fortune. If you’ve been wondering how to strategize to attract talent to your company, it’s prudent to examine how these companies manage to earn their reputation as incredible employers. By studying their business practices and ethos’, we can glean insights into how other businesses can draw talent. Sure, the vast majority of businesses can’t do everything these heavy-weights can, but the lessons are pertinent nonetheless. Re-examine your branding. We talk a lot about branding, and with good reason. In a nutshell, branding is how people view your business — which is everything in the world of marketing, advertising, and recruiting. Branding is the anchor to your marketing and advertising efforts, but also dramatically influences your success in recruiting. People like working at businesses with strong brands. If you ask people about their dream employers, they’ll tell you they want to work for the companies that are the best, the most famous, or the most hip. In short, by giving your branding a tune-up, you can increase your odds of drawing in excellent talent. Establish a positive company culture. No one is a better spokesperson for your company than your employees. If your employees rave about working for your company in their time off, talent will come to you, saving you the time and effort of recruitment. Building positive company culture isn’t easy, but it’s well worth the energy. Work to make employees feel valued and respected, no...
How to Inspire Brand Loyalty at Your Restaurant

How to Inspire Brand Loyalty at Your Restaurant

Stop and think about a few restaurants in a similar niche, say, Burger King and McDonald’s, or Chipotle and Pancheros. Now ask a room full of people which of these is their favorite, and you’ll likely start a very heated debate over favorite foods! You might not think of McDonald’s as the type of brand to inspire loyalty, but you can find plenty of customers who swear by their fries. Similarly, Chipotle adherents will insist upon the superiority of their burrito bowls over Pancheros or Qdoba. For the savvy restaurant owner, this begs an important question: how can I inspire that kind of loyalty in my customers? We’re here to take a look at some simple steps restaurants can take to build brand loyalty and turn guests into regulars. Encourage feedback. Don’t just ask for feedback — ask for feedback with a promise for free food if they complete a short survey. Make the process as easy and quick as possible to encourage participation. In doing so, you can learn about things that your customers would like to see changed or what can be done better at your restaurant. Use customer reward or membership programs. If you’re a bar or sell alcohol, you can sell mugs that customers can use at your location for cheaper drinks. Alternatively, you could establish a membership program that gives customers access to special events or deals. Maybe Thursdays are half-off appetizers for members, or they can get a free drink with any meal on Fridays. Use social media to build brand visibility outside of your establishment. Unfortunately, even your biggest fans can’t be...
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