Designing a Logo

aid99196-728px-design-a-logo-step-9As a business owner, one of the most important decisions when branding your company is to create the right logo design. Whether you design it yourself or hire someone else to, it’s important that you consider some key factors when creating your design. You want to be sure that your logo not only looks good, but also conveys the right message and gives customers insight into what your business does.

While you may have great taste, logos aren’t just about looking good. You must keep customers as well as competitors in mind when creating your design. For example, if you own a landscaping company, chances are you probably don’t want to add another logo out there that features grass clip art and a name in orange. You want to design something that sticks out from the crowd but still shows customers what it is you do.

Here are some great questions to consider before you start your design process:

1. Who are you? What is your business’ mission, vision and purpose?

2. What makes you stand out? What separates you from your competition?

3. Who is your target audience? Where is your target audience located?

4. What do you do? What products and services are you delivering

Once you have answered these questions, simplify your answers. For example, if you offer lawn mowing, tree trimming, weed prevention, etc., you can simplify this to lawn care services. Be sure to take the most important elements and focus on those. Logos are small and need to be able to convey a general understanding in a simple format. Having too many elements and busy design can overwhelm customers, often leading them to your competition.

Get feedback from your friends and family or even outsiders. Coming up with multiple design options and asking for others opinions is a great way to get an idea of how customers will respond. It’s best to think from the customers’ point of view to get a better understanding of what will work best for your business.

Something else you may want to consider is color studies. There is a large amount of research that has been conducted on how certain colors influence people’s reactions. If you consider some of the most popular fast food restaurants you’ll notice many of their logos have red and yellow in them because these colors are known to cause hunger and a sense of energy and happiness. A simple web search can give you an idea of what colors are best for the message you are trying to convey.

Be sure to consider the factors we talked about when creating your logo. Remember to keep it simple and clear and you’ll be on your way to a great design!

Why Writing a Great Creative Brief Is So Important When Hiring a Videographer

Interested in putting the power of video to work on behalf of your business or organization? You’re definitely not alone. Video has become one of the most powerful tools available, particularly for use online. YouTube has grown to become the second largest search engine in the world, and it only serves up video content. Videos are used everywhere online, from Facebook to blog posts, too. That makes it an ideal solution for your marketing and educational needs. However, before you jump right in, it is crucial that you know how to write a creative brief prior to hiring a videographer.

How to Write a Great Creative Brief for a Videographer

If you’ll be hiring a videographer, you need to ensure that you are able to accurately convey your goals. This is done with what’s called a “creative brief”. Really, it’s nothing more than a short synopsis of the video, your goals and objectives. Let’s touch on the most important elements.

• Background- In this section, you’ll detail the “bigger picture”, including challenges that you might be facing in the market, upcoming events or occurrences with your business that bear on the video and the like. Think of this as the introduction.

• Objective- This is where you detail what you want the video to achieve. For instance, you might want the video to educate your audience on how to use your product. On the other hand, you might want them to buy your new product or hire your services. Keep this statement concise and direct.

• Audience- The videographer will need to know who your audience is. In this section, you’ll need to explain who they are, where they live in the GTA, how your business communicates with them and any other crucial information to ensure that the video strikes the right tone for your target demographic.

• Focus- In this section, you’ll explain what the most important element of the video will be. Is it the product? Perhaps it’s an emotional connection. Maybe it’s a problem that your organization can solve for your audience. You should also explain the most crucial visual element you want to get across to your audience. Is your product 100% organic? Are your service people nationally licensed? Keep your focus simple, but accurate.

• Reasons- Here, you’ll need to explain the reasons that your customers should buy from you. These should be both intellectual and emotional. For instance, perhaps your product does not create pollution, or maybe it’s priced lower than competitors. These are reasons that consumers should believe what is being explained within the video, and are important to your audience.

• Insight and Help- In this section, include anything that might be of additional use when creating the video, from industry research you’ve conducted to thoughts about the production.

• Schedule- Be specific here about when you need the video created, and exactly what you need in terms of deliverables.

In Conclusion- There you have it – a rough outline of how to draft a creative brief when hiring a videographer. By getting off on the right foot, you’ll create a compelling, high-quality video that achieves your goals.

5 Reasons It Makes Sense to Hire Out Your Health Care Advertising

The modern-day medical field has certainly come a long way from the days of the buggy and cart and doctors conducting home visits. With the advances in technology and the surge in the population, it has become crucial to a business to engage in health care advertising to stay relevant and successful. Unfortunately, it can be quite difficult for a health professional to stay on top of both his medical practice as well as the marketing realm of his business. Thankfully, there are some great marketing firms that specialize in health care branding. When you evaluate the reasons for hiring a professional company, you realize that it can be easier to outsource.

Time

The old expression, “Time is money, and money is time,” still holds true in today’s fast-paced world. A successful marketing campaign requires both experience, connections and most importantly, time. From mailers, to social media, to online ads, you have to dedicate a significant amount of resources to building a successful brand. Most medical professionals are focused on patient care and have little time to devote to advertising. A company who is dedicated to marketing is generally able to spend the time required.

Experience

The key to successful health care advertising is understanding which message, in which specific format, will make the biggest impact. This requires the identification of the type of person most likely to engage in a particular business. In the medical field, this person is known as the “best patient.” All of these identification methods require experience. Hiring a marketing company is a savvy move, particularly if you lack the knowledge and experience that can accompany a few years in the realm of advertising.

Research

The means of determining the demographic most likely to respond to a particular health facility requires a good amount of research. The collection of this data is often a time-consuming and difficult process. Not only is pure data needed, but also research is required to understand how the best patient reacts to certain methods of advertising. Unless you have the tools available to conduct the necessary research, you will most likely have a misguided and unfocused advertising campaign.

Tools

To procure the correct data to conduct research, you must possess the necessary equipment. The seasoned marketing firms have advanced technology to aid in the process of gathering research. Software programs geared specifically toward health care advertising aid not only in research, but can also give guidance as to which methods of advertising works best for a specific demographic. This equipment alone would be a significant cost that most private businesses could not expend.

Social Media

The Internet has, of course, revolutionized the economy, including the way in which advertising firms market their products. With people able to check online reviews, see online ads and communicate via social media, many doctors and hospitals are now seeking to create a visible online presence. This is a smart move, as statistics now show that a large percentage of the population search for health care professionals online. Outsourcing your branding to a reputable marketing firm that understands the value of social media can broaden your audience.

3 Types of Point of Purchase Display Units

With such a variety of point of purchase (POP) displays available to the retailer it can be difficult to identify the most appropriate choice. Popular options include counter displays, literature displays, brochure holders, pallet displays and floor displays. Also, many of the display choices are split between the temporary and permanent units. Here are three of the major types of point of purchase display units:

Temporary

Most of the temporary displays used in the stores are intended to last for one or two months and manufactured in a low-cost material, such as corrugated cardboard. The temporary displays are great for market testing, seasonal products, or product introductions. But, it is best to avoid using these displays for higher-ticket items because they aren’t the strongest option out there. The use of screen-printed graphics or similar is very cost-effective and having the displays shipped semi-constructed can help to save a lot of time and effort. Plus, the cardboard material is perfect to recycle in the future once it is no longer needed.

Semi-permanent

The semi-permanent display is practical for the retailer that wants something a little sturdier and can last for a period of up to one year. This type of display unit is made in a variety of materials, such as wood, metal, glass, durable cardboard, co-polyester and acrylic. Most of these displays can feature a brand identifier or logo printed on the outside. Sometimes, this display can have a dual purpose and accept more than one type of product, which helps to save costs and takes up less space in store. Plus, the high-quality build of the semi-permanent display means it is fit to accept all types of products, including the high ticket items.

Permanent

The permanent display is built to last for three or more years and the type of unit with the highest maintenance and upfront costs. Many of these units are built to appear much like a kiosk or a separate area within a large store. This display unit is a lot less common in the retail environment, but when used, it is often placed near the checkout or elsewhere in store that may seem appropriate. In view of the high costs, these display units are built with the best quality materials like wood, metal, plastic and glass. Also, because of the higher upfront costs it is important to carefully choose the right size and shape of the display to make sure it fully complements the store layout.

How To Promote Your Business In Today’s Economy

Marketing a business is undoubtedly one of the most daunting tasks for any new entrepreneur. It’s one thing is to establish a business, but it is another thing to promote it. There are so many businesses, created by passionate people, that eventually collapse due to one reason – a lack of sales.

The purpose of any business is to sell something; either tangible or intangible. Tangible products are your tradition retail type of stores. Intangible products tend to be more service oriented. It is possible to have a combination business (such as painting; carpet installers, etc.). However, every entrepreneur is faced with the same problem of making their business known to the public in order to attract as many customers as possible.

There are many ways of promoting a business. The way you promote your business will basically depend on the type of industry your business belongs to. What works perfectly well for one business may not work for another type of business. Therefore, discretion is advised in adopting any of the steps listed below in promoting your own business:

1. Create a Website: Setting up a website is the surest way to make your business known by your potential customers. The first thing people do when trying to find out about your company is to search for it on Google. Your website has a way of creating a particular perception about your business. The more professional your website looks, the more professional your business will be perceived. The logical corollary is that you should link your social media channels back to your website.

It is not enough to just create a website, it is vitally important that you optimize your website by submitting it to major search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. This will enable your website to come up on those search engines whenever potential customers are searching for a product or service you offer.

2. Local Advertising: A business needs to be advertised to the people in the immediate area. A business owner may choose to advertise using billboards, posters, handbills, or any other affordable form of advertising. A company with a good budget may advertise with local newspapers, magazines, television and radio stations to attract a very large audience. Of course, this depends on the type of business you are in. An online only business might not want to try advertising on some of these outlets.

3. Conduct Social Media Campaigns: Advertising via social media is the cheapest and easiest way to reach out to your customers. Using Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. is free or relatively cheap. You have the ability to reach a larger audience than you could reach with local advertising.

There are over one billion active users on social media. Tapping into this huge resource will give you a greater chance of connecting with more people and introducing your business to them.

4. Email Marketing: Another good way of taking your business directly to your customers is by sending emails to your current or past customers anytime you have a new product. This is not a difficult task. You can do this by requesting for email addresses on your website or invoices. You can encourage your website visitors to give you their email address in exchange for a gift available for instant download to their email inbox.

5. Send another offer to customers immediately after a purchase: When a customer buys from you, introduce them to another product/service you offer. This is a great way of marketing your products to customers. Customers who buy your products have proven that they are able to pay for your products/services and that they have a level of trust with you. You should seize the opportunity to introduce other items or services you offer to them. Even though they may not buy right then, at least they know you are offering that service or item as well.