What is Branding and Why is it Vital for my Business?

October 27th, 2015
logos matter
The term “branding” gets thrown around a lot in today’s business world, but rarely do we stop to consider what that really means. As technology improves and brings the expense of high-quality advertising materials lower, both large and small businesses are recognizing the value of differentiating oneself with a recognizable brand. Here are the most essential elements of what makes your business come together in an unforgettable way.
  1. Design  Color, type, and other design elements are all part of what your colleagues, customers, and competitors will recognize as belonging to you. Selecting a color scheme and creating a logo that reflects the ideas you want to put forward through your business matters just as much — if not more — than your mission statement. Good design can be the difference between being seen as professional and dependable or being seen as the type of business that just throws something together at the last minute. With persistence and repetition, you can instill your colors and other design elements into the customer’s mind so that they will associate them positively with your business.
  2. Voice Words, even though they might not be the very first thing the customer sees, play deeply into how your brand is conveyed in public. The term voice refers to the general attitude and expression that you take on when you write in your ads, on your blog, on your website, in your catalogs, or anywhere else verbal communication happens. How do you want your company’s voice to sound? Clever? Authoritative? Playful? Sincere? Your voice makes up a large part of how your brand is understood, and trickles down even to the way your team treats customers.
  3. Consistency: Just like the root of the word relates to branding cattle, you have a literal brand that you can use on all of your business and marketing materials. You can think of your logo as the most literal, physical part of your brand, and it should be present in any stationery, signage, or graphics that you promote on behalf of your business. And this doesn’t just apply to “hard copies.” You also should make sure your logo appears on any social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and definitely LinkedIn. That way, your customers can tell what the “real you” looks like. You should also be using the same colors, design elements, and voice across all these different platforms.
All of these ideas come together to form your “brand” — the way your business is recognized and understood by the rest of the world. And there are some businesses dedicated to helping you keep visual consistency when it comes to this brand. Vinyl graphic wraps for vehicles, windows, and walls can make a big impression on the customers who see them, and we at eGenoa are happy to consult with you on how to make your business’ branding as consistent as possible.

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How to Tell That It’s Time to Rebrand

October 16th, 2015

rebranding

Change can be scary for businesses, especially if your brand has looked a certain way since its inception. Technologies, clientele, and all other types of elements inevitably change, though, and sticking with the same old look can make you look like a dinosaur to your customers. Worse even: to your potential customers.

Big businesses from Pepsi to Apple have successfully changed looks, slogans, and other elements of their public appearances to great acclaim. There’s no shame in changing up your game. And here are signs that the time has come to do just that:

Your business is not flourishing

You truly had a great idea for branding your business at first. Your best friend drew you a logo that you stamped all over your business cards and newspaper ads. Your uncle, a retired English teacher, helped you come up with a genius name that seemed to tie your missions, products, and services all together. Your cousin helped you pick the right colors for the sign out front. Even if you have been making enough money to get by since then, you may be at a point where you’re just no longer growing and not drawing in new customers.

People don’t get what it is you do

What does your logo mean? What does your name mean? What does your business do? Does it take more than a minute to explain to someone? Do they still not get it? It’s time to start over and look at what you offer customers from a brand new direction.

You need to distance yourself from your current brand

Stuff happens, and even the best companies experience scandals. Maybe a rogue employee conducted inappropriate personal business using company e-mail or letterhead, splashing your logo all over the local news. On the other hand, the distance may be necessary because of something totally outside of your business. There’s always a possibility that something about your colors, your slogan, or even your businesses’ name could remind people of a political scandal or public catastrophe. Some tweaks to your brand can create a fresh image for you so you can focus on conducting business and not doing damage control.

You want to expand your business

If you are moving from being a small wine bar to a full gourmet restaurant, you’ll probably want everyone to know about it. Reflecting that growth in your branding is one of the best ways to make that happen.

Rebranding is a big project, but help is at hand! The graphics professionals at eGenoa are available to answer any branding-related questions, and to help you get the right signage and marketing collateral to tell the world all about the new you.

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Caring for Your Vinyl Graphics

October 6th, 2015

caring for vinyl graphicsSo you have your brand-new graphic wrap on your car. As you drive out of the parking lot, you look forward to showing off your vehicle wrap to thousands of potential customers out on the highways and in cities.

After a little while, however, dust collects and makes the colors look shabby. Mud happens. Maybe even a few bird droppings happen. Your vibrant new vehicle wrap doesn’t seem quite as exciting anymore.

You Can (and Should) Wash Your Vinyl Graphic Wraps

Fortunately, vinyl is an extremely easy-to-clean substance, and you can take some very simple action to make your vehicle graphics look as bright as the day they were applied to your car. In fact, in addition to making your car look much snazzier, a good cleaning job can make your graphics last longer. UV rays from the sun are the biggest threat to your wraps’ endurance, and particles from car exhaust, smog, and other pollutants can weaken your wrap’s resistance to the sun.

Soap it up — but carefully!

Some people cast fate to the wind and bring their wrapped cars through car washes. This is not recommended, because it could scratch the finish or even contribute to peeling edges.

Instead, give the car a good hand-wash, using the least scratchy or abrasive sponges and towels you can find. Don’t scrub the wrap like you would scrub a dirty dish. Gentleness is key!

Rinse Right

Blasting the vehicle with a stream of high-pressured water is NOT a good idea. When you do rinse, use as low pressure of water as you can and keep that water cool to avoid over-heating portions of the vinyl. Just like when you are scrubbing, avoid the edges of the wrap.

Dry with Care

Use a chamois over a terry cloth towel to avoid agitating the finish too much.

Protect Your Wrap with a Coat of Wax

When appropriate, a coat of wax can be a great protectant against the sun’s damaging UV rays. Think of it as “sunscreen” for your graphics. Once you’ve carefully washed your vehicle, you can apply a petroleum free wax to the car. It is very important the car is clean first, otherwise you’ll be sealing in dirt and pollutants that could damage the vinyl.

If you have a matte graphic wrap, however, beware of waxing!

If you choose to wax, you could create glossy spots on the finish, and totally defeat the purpose.

Contact the 3M Certified professional team at eGenoa if you have more questions about the care and keeping of your vinyl graphics, wall wraps and vehicle wraps. We’re happy to help guide you in prolonging the life of your graphics.

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Guerrilla Marketing with Signs and Graphics

September 29th, 2015

guerrilla_marketingGuerrilla marketing is a term that’s used to refer to surprising and unusual ways of bringing attention to your business. It can come in all different forms, including viral videos and street campaigns that make passersby do double takes. While a lot of viral marketing takes place online, the streets are still the target of good guerrilla marketing, and can benefit from creative graphics and signs.

Companies with big budgets have taken up the normally budget-friendly manner of marketing in big, expensive ways. Nike created a giant soccer ball, and then made it look as if it were crashed into the side of a building.

crashed nike ball

You don’t have to stage something that out there — or expensive! — to get people to give you and your business a second look. Here are a few inexpensive ways to get attention from

Chalkboard A-Frame Signs

As one of the least expensive options, chalkboard signs end up being some of the most memorable signs of all. You can personalize messages, change them whenever you’d like and add artistic flair in a simple, easy way. As an added bonus, your sign is likely to be captured by someone’s camera phone and put on social media by someone who lives locally. When the poster’s local friends see your clever chalkboard sign on Facebook or Instagram, they’re more likely to keep an eye out for your business when they’re traveling in your neck of the woods.

Instagram This Sign

Outdoor Signs in Unexpected Places

Make sure that your message is visible and remember a few key elements when you’re planning the design and where to put your outdoor signs. The things that we see on the street or at work day after day can be slightly modified to make potential customers look at them in a brand new way. For example, Folger’s Coffee used graphics that looked like full coffee cups to cover manhole covers so that when steam came out of the ground, it would look like a hot cup of java.

Folger's Guerrilla Marketing

Exciting Vehicle Graphics

With the amount that we tout vehicle wraps, we might sound like a broken record, but vehicle graphics really can function as guerrilla marketing if done correctly. Consider the Oscar Mayer Wiener Mobile: it is instantly recognizable and gets people excited whenever it is in town. If you don’t have the budget to modify the actual bodywork of your car, a creative graphic wrap can do the trick to draw attention and make the most of the inevitable thousands of impressions you’ll make.

wiener mobile

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eGenoa Gives the Wicked Shamrock a New Look with Firestone Wraps

September 22nd, 2015

Wicked Shamrock

To celebrate and support the growing craft beer industry in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara County, eGenoa has teamed up with Firestone Walker Brewing Company to provide some new flair for The Wicked Shamrock.

Based in Paso Robles, CA, Firestone has been around since 1996 and has grown into one of the area’s most popular breweries. Currently, it has two taprooms on California’s Central Coast, the “Barrelworks” taproom that makes small batches of barrel-aged sour beer, partnerships with international breweries, and distribution to many other states in the US.

eGenoa has partnered with Firestone Walker on multiple occasions in the past to create vehicle wraps for trucks and trailers, as well as other projects.

The Wicked Shamrock is a bar located in Lompoc, California, a town that is a short drive from the 101 freeway and a part of the up and coming craft beer, small winery, and artisan food culture in the area. The bar heavily features craft beer with a whopping total of 42 taps.

Of these,13 handles currently serve beer made by Firestone Walker. Bar owner, Ben, and the manager, Chris, have promised to reserve 9-10 handles for Firestone at all times.

The Wicked Shamrock Beer Board

With this strong connection between these two businesses and eGenoa, it was only natural that eGenoa work with Firestone Walker to dress up The Wicked Shamrock with branded graphic wraps. Heavily featured in these graphics is the popular 805 Blonde Ale, named for the area code that both Firestone Walker and The Wicked Shamrock share.

Our 3M Certified team installed vinyl wraps onto the bar where patrons enjoy their local brews. They also decked out the well-loved pool tables with photo graphics featuring 805 beer and celebrating the Central Coast lifestyle. Both the Firestone team and the owner and manager of The Wicked Shamrock were impressed by the smooth installation and high definition graphics.

Wicked Shamrock Bar Wrap

 

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Marketing on the Go with Portable Displays

September 15th, 2015

portable displays

A big tradeshow calls for major displays, which often need to be shipped off months ahead of time. But what about the smaller-scale events, like street festivals, chamber of commerce mixers, and other local events, that can still generate leads? You can create an A+ display that will make your business look brilliant without having to lug around tons of equipment.

Here are four effective portable display products for when you have to make a quick (but memorable) impression:

1) Banners with Retractable Stands

As technology advances, more and more banners have the capability for set-up and teardowns that take place in the blink of an eye. These stands, displaying durable vinyl graphics, are not only large enough to get attention when necessary, but also retract to a manageable size for transport. A stand that reaches 79” in height can be as light as 6 lbs., and fit easily into a nylon portable display bag.

2) Tabletop Displays

Tabletop displays are exactly what they sound like, and have an average size of about 52” x 67” x 14”. Able to be as colorful and well lit as their larger compatriots, they are much more compact and are made of lightweight aluminum. That makes them much more compliant when you need to carry them to your car and back.

3) Changeable A-Frame Signs

These inexpensive, low-level signs are perfect for a variety of different purposes. While they look great outside your brick-and-mortar business, they also travel well. Even better, a single a-frame sign can have many different messages installed within them. This enables you to select the message you most desire to share with a particular audience and convey it quickly and efficiently.

4) Inflatable Visual Aids

Few tools are as effective in catching the eye and inspiring a sense of fun as inflatables. These portable displays define flexibility, deflating to an easily moveable size when not in use and then blowing up large enough to be non-ignorable when the moment is right. An inflatable item can let someone far across the street know what kind of product you sell, and yet only take up a little bit of space in your vehicle’s trunk.

With a portfolio of portables such as retractable banners, tabletop displays, a-frames, and inflatables, you can be ready for any last-minute marketing opportunities that come your way. And of course, the pros at eGenoa are always happy to help you find the right display for your needs.

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Graphic Wrap Removal: Easy with 3M Certified Professionals

September 9th, 2015

egenoa wrap removalIt’s been proven over and over again that getting a graphic wrap for your car will help your bottom line. Just by going about your daily business of driving around town and parking in front of your home and business can get make between 30,000-70,000 impressions on potential customers per day.

Getting your entire car covered with a vinyl graphic wrap can seem like a major commitment. You may be wondering what you will do if the name or logo for your business changes or if you feel like getting a new car to replace the one that you currently have.

So, are you married to your vehicle wrap for life?

Short answer: NO! You have the freedom to change your mind about what goes onto your vehicle. In fact, choosing a graphic wrap can even help preserve the value of your car, all the while getting the most bang for your marketing budget possible.

3M certified work helps you to keeps your options open.

If you get your vinyl wraps installed and removed by a place that is 3M certified (like we are), you can have confidence that both procedures will go well. A worldwide network guarantees the wrap, so you can trust that there won’t be any air bubbles or seams that show. 3M certified professionals design graphic wraps in a way that allows them to be applied without sticky primers and permanent adhesives. Instead, the vinyl itself is applied and removed using heat.

This means, when the graphic wrap is removed, no damaging adhesive will be left behind. This is especially true when technicians that are a part of the 3M network remove these wraps. Which leads to the next high point…

Your graphic wrap can help improve your car’s resale value.

Think about it: a vinyl cover will be wrapped (not glued) around the body of your car. This means the paint job underneath is protected from the elements by the wrap itself. Having a shinier paint job will help your vehicle’s resale value if you ever do decide to have the vehicle wrap removed.

So if you have been putting off getting a graphic wrap because you are worried about permanent damage to your car, fear not. Using a 3M certified company do the work for you can offer more freedom and possibilities. Feel free to ask us any questions you may have about the effects of graphic wrapping.

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