Did You Know… Over Half of Young Consumers Are Attracted to Stores Based on Their Signage?

A beautiful sign seems a little gimmicky; it’s nice, but the real purpose of a sign is to tell people what your business does. Even if attractive signage brings in a couple more customers, does its expense justify the cost?

A study of over 63,000 consumers conducted by The Signage Foundation shows that signs can drastically affect the number of people who visit a store, how they judge a brand and ultimately how much they purchase.

Does Signage Matter? Stats Show it Can Seriously Affect Sales

Originally published on Docstoc Articles

e7d8639f-43fd-486e-a058-754fde096234

Quality

The survey showed that on average, 29% of people are drawn to stores based on sign quality.

If you break the numbers down by age, people between 18-24 years old are 3 times more likely than other age groups to make a quality assumption based on signage. Over half of all young people are attracted to stores based on its sign.

Many hypothesize that this age discrepancy is due to the impressionable nature of young consumers, who are less experienced at shopping around. Young customers are more likely to use simple visual cues to guide their shopping rather than experience, personal research and rational judgment.

Sign quality also affected people differently by region, the most sensitive region to sign quality being the West.

If you target audiences in any of these demographics, you’d be wise to spend time understanding and implementing desirable aesthetics in your signs, branding and user experience.

Clarity

Nearly half of respondents—49.7%—said they had driven past or failed to find a business due to unclear signage. Unclear signage refers to small, awkwardly placed or somewhat illegible signs.

 The three age groups most likely to pass over a business whose sign they couldn’t read were the youngest and eldest: 18-24, 25-34, and 65+.

Don’t risk losing half your customers to something so easily adjustable—make sure your signage is always well placed and easy to read from all angles of the road.

Signs vs. Other Media

Signage doesn’t only apply to retail stores; advertising through both indoor and outdoor signs still ranks as one of the most effective mediums in the world. When it comes to learning about a product, brand or business, people indicated that signs are the most significant media source second only to television ads.

Here is the full list of media, ranked by its usefulness in discovering or sparking interest in a product:

  1. TV ads
  2. Indoor signage (i.e. magazine ads)
  3. Outdoor signage
  4. Radio ads
  5. Internet ads
  6. Newspaper ads

Attractive signage is critical for any business that plans to advertise its presence to anyone. Give us a call to find out how PIP Triad can help you get started with yours!!

Advertisements

What About RE-Branding?

Now that we’ve discussed the importance of branding verses broadcasting your company and hopefully reflected the impact a strong brand can have on your company, we don’t want to leave out those who feel its time to REbrand their business.

Whether you’re initial attempts didn’t gain what you hoped, new ownership or management has moved in or new products or services being offered, for some businesses it’s a great idea!

And a great way to start the rebranding process is with the simple but highly effective marketing tools you should already be using regularly… Social Media.

And, with the right preparation, it’s possible to manage your social media rebranding efforts without losing a significant number of subscribers along the way.

Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 4.24.20 PM

How to Effectively Rebrand Your Social Media Profiles

Should you rebrand your social media?

Before we review the process of rebranding your social media profiles, consider whether a rebranding is truly right for your company. According to Luke Brassinga of Likeable Brands, “True rebranding involves updating a company’s goals, message and culture.” If you’re only conducting a rebrand because you like the sound of a new name better, your end results may not be worth the extra effort and potential for losses involved in the rebranding process.

 

As a result, rebranding is best suited for companies that are:

  • Changing their overall structure (perhaps as the result of a merger or acquisition).
  • Substantially diversifying their product offerings (to the point where the existing identity is no longer applicable).
  • Addressing business aspects that are outdated or failed.

If you’re approaching the rebranding process for one of these reasons, then here’s what you need to do to rebrand your social media profiles.

Step #1: Do Your Due Diligence

To avoid similar missteps that may tarnish your brand’s reputation, carry out the following tasks before even hinting to your audience about the potential for a rebranding:

  • Secure the .com version of your new brand name’s URL.
  • Make sure that the Twitter handle you want associated with your new brand is still available.
  • Run focus groups with existing customers to uncover any hidden issueswith your proposed rebranding.

Be sure you take the time to carry out this research before you roll out your full rebranding campaign. This will prevent (or at least minimize) the potential for gaffes that could derail your future marketing efforts.

Step #2: Understand Social Network Limitations

As you prepare for rebranding, there are some limitations that restrict your ability to change profile information. While these restrictions shouldn’t affect your ultimate ability to rebrand your social media profiles, you’ll want to account for them before you begin undertaking the change process.

Facebook—currently, Facebook does not allow page owners to change the names of their pages once they’ve accrued 200 likes, in order to prevent the buying and selling of Facebook fans.

While the recommended solution is to simply create a new page and encourage existing followers to like your new page, some users have reported reaching contacts within Facebook’s customer support system who have changed brand names manually in legitimate rebranding scenarios.

Your results may vary, but be aware that asking fans to like a new page will result in fan losses.

Twitter—changing your username and profile information within Twitter is quite easy. You log into your profile and navigate to the Settings area. Your first step will be tochange the current username listed in your account to your desired handle (assuming it’s available) and click Save changes. Next, navigate to your Profile section to update your Twitter image, name, bio and URL. Making these changes will disseminate your rebranded information across your profile automatically.

 

You’ll still want to conduct an outreach campaign to educate followers on why these changes have occurred and what your new brand represents.

 

YouTube—while YouTube doesn’t allow users to change their registered usernames, it is possible to create vanity URLs that effectively “mask” an old channel’s content to display at a rebranded URL.

LinkedIn—finally, while there are no issues changing your personal LinkedIn profile, the rebranding process becomes more complicated when it comes to LinkedIn Groups and Company Pages. As of now, Group identities can only be changed five times, though this restriction applies to both changing your Group name and Group logo. To prevent complications, have your Group logo ready to go before changing your Group name in order to minimize the number of changes needed in the rebranding process. In addition, LinkedIn Company pages can only be changed by contacting the LinkedIn Help Center directly.

You’ll need to provide details on the reason behind the change, as well as confirm that you own both the current account and new branded identity. Once this process is completed, you’ll also want to go through your updated page to ensure that any references to your old identity are removed.

Step #3: Communicate Clearly to Your Customers

Besides managing these technical concerns, customer communications should remain a top priority throughout the rebranding process.

Make sure that all of the following elements play a part in your communications strategy:

  • Create a video explaining the reasoning behind your rebranding—knowing why a company is changing its image may make the transition easier to swallow for some customers.
  • Make it very clear what is and is not changing—Netflix failed to immediately announce that it was changing not just its image, but the login process required to request videos as well, and the public outcry was swift. Avoid this mistake andconfirm up front what the transition means for your customers.
  • Communicate using as many formats as possible—informed customers are happier customers, so publish communications regarding your rebranding on your blog, your social media profiles, your email newsletter and any other web property your customers frequent.


Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 4.30.42 PM

Don’t expect that your customers will be on board with your rebranding process initially. Most people are naturally resistant to change and will view your transition with everything from fear to skepticism to anger.

However, by clearly communicating from the get-go, you’ll ensure the process is carried out in the appropriate order and you’ll minimize the impact of lost customers and goodwill as you rebrand your image.

www.socialmediaexaminer.com

Do You Know… The Difference Between Branding & Broadcasting?

As more of us realize the importance of personal branding, a trend is developing: we are confusing “branding” with blatant self-promotion–or “broadcasting”…

a765841eed2bdb2475c10d5ebe913999

Mark Babbitt, the CEO and Founder of YouTern, is a serial entrepreneur and mentor and a passionate supporter of Gen Y talent. Mark contributes to 12Most.com, Glassdoor and Business Insider. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Mashable, Forbes and Under30CEO regarding internships, higher education’s role in preparing emerging talent for the workforce and career development. Recently, Mark was honored to be named to GenJuice’s list of “Top 100 Most Desirable Mentors”.

Mark has outlined a simple tool to review your company’s balance between branding and broadcasting. Take a few minutes to saok in his advice and answer his short survey to find out which path you’re on…

Are You Branding? Or Broadcasting?

Granted, I’m making the assumption that through our personal branding we want to show we are collaborative, friendly, giving and… well, likable. Of course there are no absolutes. Some may be interested in showing they can be great salespeople, the best MLMer or maybe they are capable of growing their Klout score and their number of friends/followers quickly.

This advice is not for them.

How do you tell if you’re branding or broadcasting? Answer these true or false questions:

  1. I talk about the work of others as much or more as I do mine | True or False
  2. I invite others to get to know me, without falling into the TMI trap | True or False
  3. I publicly congratulate others for accolades received and milestones achieved | True or False
  4. When I post a blog, I publicize the link less than 6 times that same day | True or False
  5. I routinely comment on blogs written by friends and followers | True or False
  6. I almost always respond to comments to my blogs–and thank others for their retweets, likes, and shares | True or False
  7. I often introduce new contacts to those within my personal network | True or False
  8. I frequently extend digital relationships into phone calls or face-to-face conversations | True or False
  9. I refuse to use auto-responders; I prefer my communication to be personal | True or False
  10. I often assist or mentor those within my sphere of influence | True or False

How did you do?

How many of the 10 questions were answered with a sincere “True” answer?

  • If you answered “True” to 8 or more: congratulations, you are consistently—and effectively—branding!
  • If you answered True to 6 – 7 of the questions: you are branding more than broadcasting (but there is room for improvement!).
  • If you answered just 3 – 5 of the questions with “True” you are in danger of being perceived as an insincere member of #teamfollowback… and must engage far more to be considered an effective personal brand.
  • 2 or less True answers–well, like I said earlier… this advice isn’t for you.

Take a look at your branding efforts. Are you mostly self-promoting—broadcasting to anyone who will listen—or are you developing a sincere, engaging personal brand?

Did You Know… There ARE Ways to Follow Up Without Being Annoying?

The fear is understandable. No one wants to be annoying or bothersome to a professional contact, especially when you want a job, meeting, sales dollars, or something else very important from that person.

Reality is, the average person can get a few hundred emails a day. That makes it pretty tough to respond to all of them, and things naturally fall to the bottom of the list. If you don’t get a response, it doesn’t mean that someone’s ignoring you — it just may mean that he or she is too busy.

Should you follow up? Absolutely. In fact, it’s your job. And how often should you do so?

One philosophy is: As many times as it takes. The important thing is to do it the right way. Or, as some may call it, to be “pleasantly persistent.”

Here are a few tips on how to (nicely) follow up with that hiring manager, sales lead, or VIP—and get the answer you’re looking for…

Originally published on Mashable.com. Photo by Andreas Overland.

5 Ways to Follow Up Without Being Annoying

thank-you-note

Rule 1: Be Overly Polite and Humble

That seems obvious enough, but a lot of people take it personally when they don’t hear back from someone right away. Resist the urge to get upset or mad, and never take your feelings out in an email, saying something like, “You haven’t responded yet,” or “You ignored my first email.” Just maintain an extremely polite tone throughout the entire email thread. Showing that you’re friendly and that you understand how busy your contact is is a good way to keep him or her interested (and not mad).

Rule 2: Persistent Doesn’t Mean Every Day

Sending a follow-up email every day doesn’t show you have gumption or passion, it shows you don’t respect a person’s time. The general rule of thumb is to give at least a week before following up. Any sooner, and it might come off as pushy; let too much time pass, and you risk the other person not having any clue who you are. I typically start off with an email every week, and then switch to every couple of weeks.

Rule 3: Directly Ask if You Should Stop Reaching Out

If you’ve followed up a few times and still haven’t heard back, it’s worth directly asking if you should stop following up. After all, you don’t want to waste your time, either. I’ll sometimes say, “I know how busy you are and completely understand if you just haven’t had the time to reach back out. But I don’t want to bombard you with emails if you’re not interested. Just let me know if you’d prefer I stop following up.” Most people respect honesty and don’t want to waste someone’s time, and they’ll at least let you know one way or another.

Rule 4: Stand Out in a Good Way

I once had someone trying to sell me something that I was remotely interested in but that was nowhere near the top of my priority list. Every week, he’d send me a new email quickly re-explaining what he sold—as well as a suggestion for good pizza to try around the city. Why? He had seen a blog post where I mentioned I’d eat pizza 24/7 if I could, and cleverly worked that into his follow-up. It made him stand out in a good way, and as a result, we eventually had a call.

The lesson: If done well, a little creativity in your follow up can go a long way. If you’re following up about a job, try Alexandra Franzen’s tips for giving the hiring manager something he or she can’t resist.

Rule 5: Change it Up

If you’re not connecting with someone, try changing it up. In other words, don’t send the exact same email at the same time of day on the same day of week. Getting people to respond can sometimes just come down to catching them at the right time. If you always follow up in the morning, maybe try later in the day a few times.

Remember: If someone does ask you to stop following up, stop following up. But until you hear that, it’s your responsibility to keep trying.

 

Do You Know… How to Bridge the Gap Between Online & Offline Marketing?

There is no brick-and-mortar. There is no ecommerce. Integrated campaigns have been on the rise in recent years and while some businesses may identify as online or offline, when it comes to marketing, it’s likely their methods run cross-platform.

The bridge is social media, says Matt Siltala, president of Avalaunch Media.

While it’s most natural for an ecommerce company to promote via social media, and an offline store to market at local events or through direct mail, more often than not the lines are blurred.

Maria Fernandez Guajardo, vice president at RetailNext, notes that 89% of consumers would sign up for mobile messages if they were personalized, citing a 2013 study by Vibes.

In-store promotions no longer need to be planned in advance, but can be triggered in reaction to uncharacteristically low traffic and notify customers via social media, an app or email.

“Today, with real-time monitoring and alerts, in-store analytics can make marketing and management aware of low traffic stores immediately,” says Fernandez Guajardo. “And with social media and mobile access to information right at the shoppers’ fingertips, a marketing campaign can be triggered instantly.”

Mashable took a look at how brands bridge online and offline presence and what small businesses can learn from these examples…

(Originally published on Mashable.com by Dani Fankhauser, March 12, 2014)

bridge-online-offline-marketing

Ecommerce and offline promotion

Ordering an article of clothing online, with no sense to the feel of fabric or quality of stitching, is daunting — and no less when it’s a high-priced item such as a suit. Indochino sells custom-tailored suits to men online and offers a program called Traveling Tailor so customers are able to get measurements taken, experience fabrics and discuss other customizations with a professional. Similarly, Blurb, which prints self-published books on quality materials, has done a pop-up shop along with training workshops and events — something sure to introduce new prospects to its service and provide first-hand experience with a product with qualities difficult to portray online.

Storefront is a company which pairs desirable retail spaces with brands, often ecommerce, looking for a temporary solution to market goods in real life. It’s been used by Zipcar, artisan chocolate company Cocotutti and StoreEnvy, to name a few.

Even though Zipcar didn’t use its physical presence to hock a physical good, it offered a deal to consumers who visited the pop-up, which provides a clear conversion rate to measure the ROI of the promotion.

In each of these examples, marketing promotions that took place in real life either provided a high-touch interaction with the product or an opportunity to build a relationship with the consumer.

Brick and mortar, and online promotion

A picture is worth a thousand words — and one barbershop found a simple blog to be just the thing to get the word out about its classic services. Danburry Barber, located in Provo, Utah, posts photos daily of clients and garnered press attention both locally and beyond. Similarly, barber Clark Walker used Instagram for personal branding which helped him land a job at Fellow Barber in NYC.

Diet Coke launched a campaign, The Heart Truth, to raise awareness for heart health for women, with the hashtag #showyourheart prominently featured on packaging. Responses on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag were entered into a contest.

The importance of using physical goods to point to a digital presence is summed up as such: “If you’re handing someone a printed surface of any kind and there’s no website address attached to it, what are you thinking?” writes Chris Brogan.

But similarly, making a digital record of your offline presence, as Danburry Barber illustrated, serves to bridge customers back.

Campaigns that span online and off

Movember promoted heavily with an online campaign but also threw seven galas across the country. Videos from the parties were then embedded in email promotions. Movable Ink, which was behind the strategy, noted its client increased mobile app downloads by 300%, generated huge social buzz and the result was the brand’s best year ever in terms of “reactivation” (50%) — getting “Mo Bros” to become repeat supporters.

For Coolhaus, an ice cream company most known for its food truck for hire for parties in five cities, also sells its product online, at Whole Foods and flagship locations in L.A. Recently, the brand created a custom ice cream sandwich called the “Killer Combo” to celebrate the TV show Dexter in its final season. The treat was free and lured customers to stores around the country as well as Coolhaus’ website. On top of promotions, the brand boasts an active Instagram presence filled with food porn smartly relevant to current events.

Social media offers a stellar feedback loop for marketing campaigns. Each IRL event should be a trigger for social media posts by both the brand and consumers, and the resulting social media posts can advertise for the next event. Creating a hub, either on your own website, a social media page or RebelMouse, can keep all users in the loop.