Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category

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

Tuesday, 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.

Back to Top

How to Tell That It’s Time to Rebrand

Friday, 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.

Back to Top

Guerrilla Marketing with Signs and Graphics

Tuesday, 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

Back to Top

Marketing on the Go with Portable Displays

Tuesday, 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.

Back to Top

How Business Owners Can Use Pinterest for Marketing Ideas

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

Pinterest for business marketing ideas

You may think of Pinterest as a place where your aunt can find casserole recipes or your sister-in-law can post pictures of her knitting projects, but there is much, much more to it than that.

Business owners are increasingly seeing the power of Pinterest to inspire eye-catching marketing ideas. Designers, major companies, artists, and small businesses from all different backgrounds use Pinterest to show off their own graphics as well as others’ ad campaigns, signs, and logos.

Getting Started with Pinterest

Pinterest is a system of “pins” and “boards” where businesses and everyday people can share images and organize ideas. You can choose either to open an individual account or a business account. If you are just looking for some good ideas to get inspired (and maybe want to check out those casserole recipes later), an individual account is probably your best bet. If you are looking to use another free resource to attract clients, however, joining as a business is a must.

Follow Pinterest Boards Relevant to Your Business

Any large company worth the bandwith will have a Pinterest account, and smaller companies are jumping on the bandwagon as well. Following businesses in your industry can be as easy as searching for those businesses by name on Pinterest. For instance, as 3M Certified installers, we follow the 3M company’s Pinterest board for examples of graphic installations in our network.

Keep an eye out for the red “P” logo on websites you frequent. That way, all you have to do is click that icon to follow the company’s page, giving you a straightforward way to see what everyone is up to. Checking out a rival food truck’s menu boards on Pinterest might give you a great idea to bring more customers to your window next Saturday afternoon.

Finding Graphics Ideas for Your Next Project on Pinterest

Let’s use the example of vehicle wraps to talk about how to find ideas on Pinterest. Once you have explored different boards from designers, competitors, and other companies, you can also use the search bar to find Pins the same way you would use Google search to find websites. Type “vehicle wrap” or “vehicle graphic” into the search bar, and then narrow it down by adding your industry. “Vehicle wrap restaurant” or “vehicle wrap exterminator” will bring up different vehicles for you to browse. Pinterest even separates each word of the search term, so if you find that one word is limiting the results, all you have to do is press the little “x” next to it and it’ll be gone.

While you’re at it, of course, remember to follow eGenoa on Pinterest to see stunning graphic wraps, guerrilla marketing campaigns, and a lot more.

Back to Top