Pandemic proof your business advertising image

Pandemic Proof Your Business

Pandemic Proof Your Business

Avatar for Kelly Pierduta

Danielle Pierduta

Pandemic proof your business advertising image

Because of this pandemic, the world has been thrust into unprecedented times as the world arms itself in the fight against a new enemy, the Coronavirus (Covid-19). The threat to life, particularly those that fall into the ‘vulnerable’ categories is especially frightening. Not to mention the uncertainty around the virus itself, what this will do to our society, the economy, and how long this will go on for.

It’s important to remember that we are all in this fight together, a fight not only for ‘life’ but the fight to keep our businesses alive. These times may have given you some flexibility of your resources and while you carefully consider how to use this time, a key question to ask is how can your business model be changed and adapted to thrive what will be our ‘new normal’.

 

A new ‘Disaster Recovery’

We talk about disaster proofing in terms of IT and the importance of preserving our customer reputation. We also associate this phrase with ‘acts of God’ and natural disasters in order to protect our business in a physical sense. Pandemics, however, bring an entirely different set of difficulties such as social-distancing, self-isolation, even entire country lockdowns! If you rely on word of mouth, passing trade, physical footfall, or perform your services in person this sort of enforcement could be detrimental to your business. Adapting your business model even slightly to allow for such events can not only give you peace of mind should this type of event reoccur but also expand your customer base and opportunities in the meantime.

The importance of online advertising during this pandemic

In this situation, it is fundamentally important that you have an online presence. The majority already will of course but if you are a small business that provides its services in person there is a chance you may not. At the very least you should have a means of advertising online, even if this is just through a social media page such as Facebook for example. If you fall into this category, then now is the time to get yourself online and if you are a little unsure how to do it there is lots of guidance out there to help you.

Ideally and in most cases, you will already have your own website, your very own shop window on the world wide web. Regardless of Covid-19, it is a crucial step that your website stands out, makes a great first impression, and compels visitors to shop with you. Maybe making some improvements is something that has been on the to-do list for some time? Take advantage of this moment and ensure your site is up to date, has good quality images, maybe even develop it further with some more pages or an FAQ section to add value for your customers. Taking the pandemic into consideration you can (hopefully) expect more traffic, is your website adequate enough to cope with the demand and does your business have online shopping capabilities? If not, then this is a function you can add and utilise fairly quickly. Although it may not be easy running with a reduced workforce maybe and the restrictions of social distancing to contend with, it will allow your business to continue trading in some capacity throughout lockdown.

If you already have all of this in place then at the very least you can expect more competition as others jump online, how can you increase your appeal, so consumers choose you over others? This could be as simple as a discount code for a percentage reduction at checkout, free delivery or maybe even some samples or freebies thrown in, these can be great incentives so long as it remains cost-effective.

 

eCommerce

If you are selling products and have online shopping capabilities then it is crucial that you also have a good, reliable delivery service. No matter how impressive your website is, how fast you react to orders or the incentives you offer, it can all be for nothing if the lasting impression for the customer is a poor delivery service. Look at your turnaround from packing to delivery, are good received as intended and undamaged, are customers happy with the speed of this process. If not, you can always change who you courier with to ensure your customers are happy and will return for future purchases.

Alternatively, your business may offer a service rather than a product(s) and although this can be slightly more challenging in this scenario, it is not something that you cannot work around completely. If your business would normally offer a service in person such as a Personal Trainer, for example, there is no reason why you cannot adapt and overcome by utilising the available technology. Why not conduct meetings over the phone or virtually through the likes of Skype or Zoom? You could pre-record sessions and email to consumers or even take advantage of live streams provided by social media platforms. There are plenty of options to help you reach your customers remotely and this is something that you can continue to utilise after lockdown which may help reduce your expenses.

 

Share Your Knowledge

If your business requires you to deliver your service to your customers in person such as a barber/hairdresser, beauty therapist, makeup artist, gardener, etc then, without doubt, your business will be hit the hardest as you simply won’t be able to continue working even with the help of what technology has to offer. However, despite not being able to utilise your skills you can still share your knowledge and help your customers during this pandemic. If you are present and helpful during such a difficult time, then you will be in the minds of those you helped when life regains a sense of normality. Why not record some videos showing people how to achieve different hairstyles, what products you use or recommend, or maybe offer parents guidance on how to trim their children’s hair during the lockdown.

 

Content Is King

Developing more content is never a bad idea, not to mention the widely held belief that you more you give away and share for free the more likely people are to connect with you and turn into paying customers. Working on more content is something that you have likely thought is a great idea but your busy day to day life has meant it never got to the top of your list of priorities. Take advantage, make the most of lockdown and create a library of content, write an ebook, make a series of videos, do a podcast, blog, vlog, whatever you want to create, share and help grow your audience.

Stay Safe

Yes, this virus is a threat to life, has caused many to lose loved ones before their time, triggered worldwide fear, and brought unprecedented disruption to daily life. It is vital we abide by the government’s advice to try and minimise this disaster as much as we possibly can, however, we still want our businesses and livelihoods to remain when this does come to an end. This is time we will (hopefully) never have again, do the admin you never get around to, put in place the simpler processes that have been too time-consuming to initiate, improve your website, develop your content, do whatever you can to turn this negative into a positive and ensure your business not only survives but thrives.

Brand identity to make you shine

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Brand colour palette blog feature image

How To Choose Your Brand Colour Palette

How To Choose Your Brand Colour Palette

Avatar for Kelly Pierduta

Danielle Pierduta

Brand colour palette blog feature image

Congratulations! You have decided to create your own company, whilst developing your product/service, differentiating yourself from your direct competition, coming up with a company name and dealing with all the admin and legalities that come with it. Choosing a brand colour palette may appear to be a simple and uncomplicated task, you just go with a colour you like, right?! Wrong. The psychology of colours and their influence on customers, particularly when it comes to marketing has been extensively researched.

The consensus is that that colours not only account for 93% of buyer focus when they are purchasing a product** but it also enhances brand recognition by 80%*.

Consumers notice colour before any clever slogans or taglines as they communicate with us on a personal and emotional level making them more effective at persuasion. Colours also evoke certain feelings and emotions as our brains subconsciously associate the two.

Taking some time to understand colour psychology rather than just picking your personal favourite can pave the way for clever marketing and increased sales.

3 Factors to consider for your brand colour palette

To assist you in choosing an appropriate colour for your business, you need to reflect on the following factors;

  1. Your products or service – You want to choose a colour that fits with what you are providing for example, brown would not necessarily be a good choice if you are trying to sell pre-prepared salads or nappies.
  2. The emotion you want your target market to have and associate with your product – For example, you would want to choose a relaxing colour for a brand marketing sleeping aids or bright and energetic colours for a pre-workout.
  3. Your brand personality – Think about how you want to communicate and connect with your customers? For example, do you want to come across as authoritative, friendly, professional or humorous and what colour would your chosen personality correlate with?

All of these three things may align in a base colour and maybe one or more supporting colours. Of course, a basic understanding of colour psychology and the differing traits that are commonly associated with each colour would also be helpful. Here we have each one along with some brand examples.

The Psychology behind colour

White

Symbolises clean, pure and safe. A colour that is rarely associated with negative feelings. However, the use of white denotes that you will require the use of at least one other colour in order for it to be properly visible.

Grey

Symbolises practicality & solidarity. It can be associated with old age and too much with feelings of nothingness and depression.

Black

Symbolises sleek, powerful, associated with authority, stability, and strength. Often a symbol of intelligence and frequently used in high-end or luxurious products. Too much can be overwhelming.

Red

Creates a sense of urgency and encourages appetite, hence why it is often used by retailers during sales and utilised by fast-food chains. It physically stimulates the body, raises blood pressure and heart rate and so is also associated with energy, excitement, and passion.

Yellow

Symbolises joy, hope, happiness and positivity. It is attention grabbing and also associated with wisdom and enlightenment.

Pink

Symbolises delicate, love, romance, femininity, sweetness.

Green

Often associated with health, tranquillity, freshness and nature. Is frequently used to promote environmental issues. Traditionally it is also associated with money, wealth, banking, ambition, greed and jealously.

Orange

Combines the energy of red and the happiness of yellow. Enthusiasm, creativity, determination, attraction and encouragement. Too much can come across as aggressive and trigger a sense of caution.

Purple

Soothing and calming. Is commonly associated with royalty, wisdom, and respect. It is frequently used to promote beauty and anti-aging products and target an older demographic.

Blue

Symbolises peace, water, promotes a sense of trust, reliability and security, stimulates productivity and frequently associated with masculinity.

Brown

Stimulates the appetite and feelings of wholesomeness, stability, and peace. Represents simplicity, friendliness, dependability, and health.

Multicoloured

Frequently used to demonstrate versatility, openness, and creativity with a sense of fun and playfulness.

Summary

When you consciously select the right colour to match the services or products on offer, one that simultaneously appeals to the correct target audience and aligns with your brand persona. You are harnessing the psychology of colour in your business, an enormously powerful tool that should form the basis of a successful marketing operation.

Brand identity to make you shine

We pride ourselves on providing an efficient and transparent service. When you submit an enquiry we will call you within 24 hours to learn more about your idea and to ask any questions we may have to provide you with an accurate quote.

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Do I need brand guidelines blog feature image

Do I Really Need Brand Guidelines?

Do I Really Need Brand Guidelines?

Avatar for Kelly Pierduta

Danielle Pierduta

Do I need brand guidelines blog feature image

What are brand guidelines?

Your brand guidelines document all of your brand assets and how they should be re-created. Similar to an instruction manual, it can ensure that your branding is applied accurately and consistently, aiding your employees and particularly valuable to anyone outside of your organisation you may outsource your marketing to.

What is included?

Your brand mission statement – This will summarise your target audience, the product/service you are providing and how you differentiate from your direct competitors. This forms the foundation of which you have built your branding upon.

Colour palette – These are the colours included within your branding and more specifically their RGB, CMYK and HEX colour codes.

Logo design – How your logo should be displayed such as its placement, colours and size. You can alternatively include examples of how it should not be displayed by using different backgrounds and formats

Brand Imagery – Your chosen style of photography, how you would use stock imagery, along with any animations, graphics, icons or hand-drawn visuals.

Your brand voice – This is how you choose to communicate and ultimately connect with your consumers. Whether this be funny and friendly or take on a more professional, authoritative tone.

Typography – Any font that is encompassed within your logo and written communications, the chosen style, size, heading weights and any rules that apply such as the use of italic, underlining, highlighting, shadows etc

Copy Guidelines – An example can ensure that any copy written is on-brand and covers materials such as blogs, campaigns, social media posts, video scripts, packaging and any offline advertising.

I know all of this, why do I need to officially document it in ‘brand guidelines?’

Of course, all of these details will have been previously decided upon and worked to. This accompanied by the fact that creating brand guidelines can be an incredibly time-consuming task may leave you questioning whether it is really necessary. Here we explain several reasons as to why making this effort is worth it and how it can be beneficial to your brand.

Professionalism – Brand guidelines encompass your personality, clarifies exactly what your business stands for and helps set customer expectations. All of this helps to create a strong brand identity and with this comes a sense of professionalism. For example; if you were a funeral directors you would want to come across as professional and respectful. If you then outsourced some advertising such as a leaflet with no brand guidelines and consequently no guidance on your preferred style of brand voice this could be a recipe for disaster! In addition to this, having the reproduction of any of your branding assets officially documented shows how much importance and value you place on your business and visual branding which helps to support why consumers should expect a professional experience whenever they deal with you.

Consistency – Each time a potential customer receives some marketing material, sees your advertisements, visits your website they subconsciously form a perception of your company. If you present an inconsistent image of your company, the font, logo placement, colours differ slightly each time it is not going to look very good and instead come across as rather incompetent. As the saying goes, consistency is key and brand guidelines will help you to present and maintain a coherent image.

Aids brand recognition – By having set rules and restrictions when it comes to your company branding you can ensure you provide a consistent brand identity. Colour in particular can be extremely difficult to replicate exactly and as detailed in our ebook (Ebook link) brand colours improve recognition by 80%*. Brand guidelines ensure that every aspect of your image, not just colour, is exactly as you want it to be. This helps you brand in becoming recognisable and also communicates that your brand takes pride in the details.

They are useful for employees and outside suppliers – Brand guidelines can be very practical and distributed to employees, this helps in ensuring they fully understand the brand and can therefore represent it in the correct way. It can also help avoid confusion and provide new recruits with a point of reference rather than taking up the valuable time of others.

Outlines rules and sets standards – As discussed you brand guidelines not just include your logo design and colours, they also contain specific rules and standards. It contains details such as format variations, spacing and how to display imagery on differing backgrounds, helping to achieve clear attention to detail and precision.

Keeps focus – If you intend on future growth such as developing new products or extending your services, a brand can quickly become confused when it comes to its new packaging or marketing strategy. Having clear and concise brand guidelines to refer to means you have the tools to quickly and effectively maintain consistency. This will avoid you slowly losing your brand identity at a time of growth when ideally it will be at its strongest.

Value – You cannot put a price on the creation and development of your brand. As Steve Forbes once said, “your brand is the single most important investment you can make in your business”. Therefore, to have a set of guidelines specifically for your brand seems a bit of a no brainer, especially given all of the benefits detailed above. If you value your business and are wholly committed to your brand, then brand guidelines are truly invaluable

Brand identity to make you shine

Get in touch with our dedicated and responsive design team at Accentuate, who are happy to assist you in creating a brand that represents the core meaning and value behind your business.

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