Branding your business

What is branding you say? It is the look and feel of your company. It is what sets you apart from your competition.

For example, MyFotobox a photo booth company that brings a photo booth and funny props to events, has decided to brand their identity as “quirky.”

After thinking about what they do and how they are received they decided photo booths are quirky so their tag line became “we bring the quirky.”

The idea has developed and so has their website. Once they  they have embraced their quirkiness they took it to the next level. The font they have chosen for their logo and other images is certainly quirky. Of course they want to also be known as classy, reliable, affordable, fun, and a good purchase so they have taken care to formulate a brand identity that is also those things.

If you look at their website at myfotobox.org you will see a background of pictures made up like a scrapbook. Well, that is supposed to look that way, it is their way of showing something about their business, that they do scrapbooks and that people make funny quirky moved in their photo booth. It is also a way of reaching out to their viewers and showing what people do in photo booths.

Their colors are green, blue, pink, which go well with the pictures and props, but also give a fun, quirky, but classy vibe about their business. Combined with the testimonials page, their image as a reliable company is set in place.

Branding is fun! It requires thinking about what your business does and how you want to do more like that. So, if your business is a fun place for people to be, go with that. But do remember not everyone is on board right away so you need a way of educating outsiders to your brand without turning them away.

I find this can be done in several ways, testimonials are one, using conservative fonts and conventional web design layouts are another. All in conjunction give the impression that your company produces a product people want and can rely on.


Your Website is Your Success Barometer

Posted on June 5, 2012by 

Website analytics through Adwords, Yelp, your associated blog, and your host are ways to tell how many people are visiting your site and where they click. These are important aspects to look at when developing your site content, ads, and keywords.

Search engine optimization is critical to getting a steady flow of clicks without having to spend a bunch of money on marketing. However, getting noticed by the search engine can be somewhat costly to begin with. This is because agencies contact businesses promising to help them land at the top of the page on relevant searches for a mere zillion dollars a month.

I refused to pay this because SEO, while complicated, is a logical process that I want to have my own experience with perfecting. There are standard things marketeers do to make your site come to the top of searches. I know those things and do not need to pay for someone else to do it. However, I am in the process of learning how to optimize content so that it is easily recognized, trusted and therefore indexed appropriately by search engines. So far my SEO is not as successful as some of the other big sites. I aim to figure out how and why!

This means that there is some trial and error and a lot of waiting to see if a new implementation has worked.

Currently, when I search for MyFotobox, Milwaukee, myfotobox.org shows at the top of the page. This happened only when I linked to and from huge conglomerate sites like Yelpand Wedding Wire and their affiliate sites.

However, when I search for “photo booth rental Milwaukee” I’m not on the first nineteen pages, at least.

That is my current challenge. So, I am improving the links to and fro other relevant sites so that myfotobox.org is categorized appropriately. Also, I am always improving the keywords in the html meta tags. As well as I want to make sure the content and design is attractive to people who find me on weddingwire.com. Lastly, if there are keywords and hierarchical layouts that would help me better optimize the code, I will find them!

These are the basic things that improve or shall I say make search engine optimization. Stay tuned while I figure some things out and post what I find!


Step 3 – Naming your business

So, you’ve got a business model, maybe even color ideas and loads of plans for marketing your business. Now you’ve got to name your business. Or maybe you already have a name in mind. If you do, check out the list below to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything.

If you are still searching for a good name, use Google to find out what your competition is naming similar companies in your market area.

You may want to improve on one of those names. Of course you want to keep yours different enough not to confuse customers. For example: ephotobox vs eshutterbox for photo booth company names.

There are a few things to keep in mind when naming your company:

  1. Your name should be easily typed into a url so that clients can easily remember your web address. If it is too long, try to think of a logical way to shorten it–or another name.
  2. There needs to be a web address associated with the name of your business so check to see if it is available before you settle on a name.
  3. Also, check the business listings with your City Hall to ensure no one else has the same name.
  4. For each name idea you have, picture what it would look like in your colors and style. Ask yourself whether it gives the correct image of your company. If not make minor changes until it does. For example: ephotobox can be iphotobox or efotobox or ifotobox etc.
  5. Once you’ve got your perfect company name, IMEDIATELY purchase a domain name and get an email account. You’ll also probably want a PayPal account. Act fast. You are competing with people from all over your country when it comes to domain and email accounts.

Good luck and stay tuned for more start-up advice and steps.


Now that you have your business model you need your business Design

Posted on February 25, 2011by 

Design is the way information flows. The “design of something” is an all encompassing expression that refers to color, layout, images, fonts, patterns, content, editing, and even your business model and infrastructure. For example, if you are running a punk rock cafe and your business model entails the delivery of that niche groove to your local customers, then your shop design, business cards, customer service, and menu selections should all work together to deliver that image through the colours, jive, design elements, music and flavour of customer service your patrons experience when they enter your cafe. It should pop with punk rock cafe attitude! Design is about the total image. It is very contextual and is one of the most important elements of your business.

Whether you are looking for good technical documentation, menu designs or marketing material, a design that is intuitive and easy to follow makes a world of difference to your customers.

Think about Google. “Simplicity” and “ease of use” comes to mind. Compare Google with Yahoo and you can see the difference. The front page of Yahoo is loaded with content. While each have their own strengths, Google having more, they are quite different in their approaches. Which do you think has the more useable design? Google does. Simplicity is simply sexy and people LIKE sexy!

A few key components of good design are:
Customer based
Easy to use and intuitive interface
Accessibility
Up-to-date
Consistent
Less clicks
Minimal
Non-redundant

 


Figuring out how to market your company

Figuring out what to market is akin to figuring out what your company is good at. To get started to should ask yourself:

What do we do different than our competition?

What keeps our customers returning for our services?

How do we plan to serve our customers better in the future?

What are the founding ideas that our company is built upon and are those still in operation today? If so, which ones?

Why do people seek us out?

How do people find us and why that way?

Once you have answers to these and are sure you have all of the questions answered you need, then the next task is a matter of analysis. You should find similarities among the answers to come up with three strong points about the company. Those are what you should market.


Now that you have your business model you need your business Design

Design is the way information flows. The “design of something” is an all encompassing expression that refers to color, layout, images, fonts, patterns, content, editing, and even your business model and infrastructure. For example, if you are running a punk rock cafe and your business model entails the delivery of that niche groove to your local customers, then your shop design, business cards, customer service, and menu selections should all work together to deliver that image through the colours, jive, design elements, music and flavour of customer service your patrons experience when they enter your cafe. It should pop with punk rock cafe attitude! Design is about the total image. It is very contextual and is one of the most important elements of your business.

Whether you are looking for good technical documentation, menu designs or marketing material, a design that is intuitive and easy to follow makes a world of difference to your customers.

Think about Google. “Simplicity” and “ease of use” comes to mind. Compare Google with Yahoo and you can see the difference. The front page of Yahoo is loaded with content. While each have their own strengths, Google having more, they are quite different in their approaches. Which do you think has the more useable design? Google does. Simplicity is simply sexy and people LIKE sexy!

A few key components of good design are:
Customer based
Easy to use and intuitive interface
Accessibility
Up-to-date
Consistent
Less clicks
Minimal
Non-redundant


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