Posts

The Importance of Colors to your Brand

If you care enough about your business to be here reading this blog, you likely have a logo, and maybe even a brand color palette. It’s often a temptation as a business owner to choose colors that go with your personality, or that match your personal preference, but colors can convey so much and it’s really important that you choose the right ones to deliver your brand message.

Here are some things you may not have realized about the importance of colors to your brand:

Color really and truly makes a difference. In a study titled “The Impact of Color on Marketing,” researchers found that consumers often made quick judgments about products based on color alone, depending on the product. Up to 90% of consumers had done this at some point in their lives. That’s an unbelievable number.

Additionally, consumers have preconceived notions of what certain colors “mean”.  Here are some of the current brand colors, their meanings, and what brands use them:

Tiffany Blue

This one’s so specific and was used so well, that the shade is now named after the brand, Tiffany & Co. Shades of aqua generally indicate luxury and are geared more often to female customers.

 

Green

Green generally indicates environmentally friendly companies or products that are good for health or wealth. Companies that use green include John Deere, Subway (whose slogan is “Eat Fresh”), and Animal Planet.

 

Yellow

Yellow generally indicates value.  McDonald’s, Best Buy, and DHL are companies that have predominately yellow branding. It could also indicate youth or fun, like Ferrari and Snapchat.

 

Red

This one’s tricky.  It has a variety of meanings, but generally, companies that use red want to be seen as classic staples such as Coca-Cola, Target, and Netflix. It can also be used to portray power and emotions, like Tesla and Red Bull.

 

Pink

In the past, pink was used to convey products that would attract a female demographic, like the logos of Barbie and Victoria’s Secret.   In recent years though, the color has experienced a lot of revitalization with millennial crowds and now is used for a lot of tech-friendly companies, such as Lyft, LG, and T-Mobile.

 

Blue

Blue has long been the favorite of technology companies and the wellness industry. Depending on the shade of blue, it can convey knowledge, stability, health, and trust. If you take one look at the apps on your phone, you’ll probably have instant confirmation of this.  PayPal, AT&T, Waze, and Blue Cross all use blue.

 

Black

Black often conveys an edgier vibe.  This may be used by companies that want to break free from the norm, or by rock bands.  It’s also popularly used by a lot of fitness brands as well as by upscale restaurants. Some popular black logos are for Louis Vuitton, Apple, Adidas, and Daniel’s Broiler.

 

Orange

Orange may be the most versatile of all the colors.  Originally used to target men, it can also be used by brands that want to portray creativity and fun.  Brands that use orange are Home Depot, Harley Davidson, Fanta, Nickelodeon, and Blogger.

 

Certain color palettes have science that backs them up:

There are scientific studies that indicate that certain color combinations elicit physiological responses in the body.  Other color patterns are also extremely easy to see.  There’s a reason that most caution signs are black words on a dark yellow background.  Initially, this was done because it’s the easiest color combination for us to read, but as people began to expect that color combination for street signs and caution messages, it took on a different meaning.  You definitely don’t want to use this color combination unless it’s an urgent message or a matter of extreme importance.

Take some time to think about your brand colors and consider what image and purpose you want to portray for your business.

How to make Website, Social Media, and Brick-and-Mortar work together

Here at Komaya, we strongly promote holistic living, balance, and synchronicity. These approaches to a happy and stress-managed life are well adapted from your personal life to your business career. It’s safe to say that when all the moving parts are optimized and working as they should, then the machine will run smoothly. But, what if we also managed to have all those working parts complement each other and elevate the machine as a whole? That’s what we are going to achieve here. Let’s buckle up and synergize our business by making our website, social media, and brick-and-mortar store work in tandem.

How can I make my Website, Social Media, and Brick-and-Mortar work together?

Continuity

Continuity is probably the easiest factor to achieve from the beginning, and the most fun to plan. It’s the first thing that customers subconsciously recognize when visiting all of your active platforms. What I mean by this, is that all your platforms need to use similar design elements and resemble each other.

Whether a customer walks into your store, visits your website, or is browsing your Instagram, they need to know that they are in the right place.

It’s always bad business practice if the customer is second guessing if they are looking at the right company. A simple way to achieve this is to choose your company’s signature colors. Make sure that the combination makes sense for your product or service and that you aren’t randomly selecting things you feel look good together. Blue may be your favorite color, but this is about your brand and not your personality. Be sure to consider that there are certain colors that make sense for certain concepts, that already trigger recognition with customers. For example, green is often used to symbolize something healthy or environmentally friendly. After you’ve selected the perfect colors, find their Pantone color match. Doing so ensures that each color has a specific code attached to it, and you’ll always be able to match your exact colors in the future, regardless of who you end up working with on your graphics or brand. Be sure to use the same decision-making process when it comes to shapes or motifs, and of course, your logo!!

Cross Promotion

Not everyone engages with your business in the same way. Some may find you on the internet first, others may wander into your store one sunny day. In whichever manner this first interaction is made, take the opportunity to show some of your other channels some love. If the customer comes into the store, hand them a business card and encourage them to post pictures on social media and tag you in them. (Hint: maybe provide an Insta-worthy scene just beckoning for the perfect selfie!)

If your customer sees your website first, provide pictures of the store and your products or representations of your service. If you sell items on your site, offer in-store pickup as an alternative to shipping so that the customer can save some money while you drive traffic back to your brick-and-mortar.

You should consider using consistent images across your website, social media channels, and in your storefront. You can also include a social media share button on each of these pictures.

Even if a potential customer doesn’t want to buy an item, they may think it’s cool enough to share it with their friends. Social media share-buttons have been a successful trend for many businesses and increase your marketing reach without you having to spend a dime.

Social Media cross-promotion can, unfortunately, be a little more complex, but fortunately– there’s an app for that! Most social media sites have been around long enough that they link with other platforms. You may have a Facebook page that will automatically share posts to Instagram and Twitter. It may be really tempting for you to set things to automatically post in this way, but unfortunately, it’s not the most professional way to do it. Many of these sites have different configurations. For example, Facebook has an unlimited character limit while Twitter caps you at 280 characters. Instagram’s preferred photo size is larger than that of Facebook So, what ends up happening is that your posts and pictures can be cut off, which is not good for anyone.

Our suggestion is to use a 3rd party coordinator. Many of them are free for the first couple of accounts added, and some charge a fee– but it’s well worth it for the convenience and scheduling across many platforms. They can even post to your Yelp account, LinkedIn, or your website. You can check out the popular sites: HootSuite, Sprout, Buffer, or Social Report. These coordinating websites allow you to predesign and schedule posts across all your channels but they do them separately in order to utilize the best metrics or Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for each. Another benefit to using these platforms is that you can work on multiple posts at a time, so you can take care of a few days and then not touch it, giving you plenty of time to focus elsewhere. This allows you to not fall into a social-media rabbit hole and keeps you focused on all your areas of business in a balanced and holistic manner.

Universal Change and Maintenance

Lastly, it is important that whatever information, promotion, or event you want customers to know about is available everywhere. When you decide to run a sale, for instance, you don’t just put a “Sale” sign out in front of your store. Only people walking by would know about it! There is a process that needs to be built up across all platforms working together. First, the sign goes out in front of the store, and you mark your prices down both in-store and online. Next, you might create a banner for your website that promotes the sale and make it shareable. Take a picture of the sale sign or create a fun and complementary graphic for your social media linking people back your website, and so on. It is important to always add and remove information together because the worst thing that we can do is confuse our customers. Our purpose is to make things as easy and accessible as possible.

You now have the tools to make your business channels more productive than ever. Go forth and see how much smoother your machine will operate.

Four Time-Saving Tips for Marketing your Business

Marketing is a vital component to your business — an opportunity to have increased engagement with your audience, drive additional traffic to your website, and even increase your sales volume — ideally with the investment of a few minutes and a couple of well-phrased tweets. And yet, marketing can waste considerable amounts of your time when it is attempted without a clear goal or a focused purpose.  Accordingly, here are four time-saving tips to make your social media accounts work better for you.

Create Your Content in Advance

Stopping throughout the day to write Facebook posts or to push other social media content not only takes time, but it also takes you away from the important business of the day.  Researchers have found that it can take your brain as long as half an hour to return attention to the original task, and these thirty-minute breaks will compound every time you stop to post an update.  Solve this problem by drafting all of your updates at the beginning of the week — or even the beginning of the month.  You can always add tweaks to address with real-time developments that need to be referenced, but most of your updates should be ready to go ahead of time.

Limit Yourself to Only Two or Three Platforms

As the Pareto principle dictates, 80% of all results come from 20% of your efforts.  This applies to managing your social media as well.  You may be using a variety of social media platforms to push your business content, but the majority of their value is more than likely coming from only a minority of them.  Use Google Analytics (or whatever data analytics might be built into your platforms) to determine which ones are giving you the most engagement, and then focus your efforts on those platforms.

Repurpose Existing Content

Blog posts, Facebook updates, and LinkedIn articles can provide value beyond the first time you share them.  You may need to think a little creatively to bring a new focus to old material, but it isn’t that difficult.  The first share can simply offer the title of the piece; the second, share a catchy quote of a paragraph from the body of the work; the third, ask a relevant business question that is answered by the content.  Using your posts strategically in this fashion saves time and allows you to share the same idea with your audience multiple times, generating more substantial impact.

Measure Only What Matters

Now that social media is such an active presence in our daily lives, the individual platforms themselves offer tons of insights and statistics concerning each and every one of your posts.  Not all of these will be useful, however, so you should be sure to track the ones that actually impact your business.  For example, repeat visits, conversion rates, and total interactions can be infinitely more valuable than your number of followers, total site visits, or even the number of times your posts have been shared.  You should also be aware of your customers’ loyalty and their total lifetime value to your business.

Do not underestimate the importance of staying connected to your audience and marketing your business using social media!

Four Quick Tips About Emerging Technology

We live in an incredible age where scientific advancement is progressing with leaps and bounds heretofore unseen in the history of humanity. As new technologies are developed daily, old ones are falling by the wayside. All of this change amounts to a very real and influential force in the way that individual companies and even entire industries do business. The key is to know what the march of technological innovation means for your business. Here are some helpful ways to think through interacting with emerging technology as an entrepreneur.

Know What’s Out There

If you are a really busy business owner, it can be easy to be so focused on what you’re doing (which is, after all, working just fine) that you don’t pay attention to ways that new technology can improve your workflow or business model. Look up from your own business every once in a while, and pay attention to what’s going on in the industry around you. If your industry has a trade magazine (or a few), subscribe to them. Follow leading bloggers who are active in your field. Coming across an idea in one of these forums can plant a seed in your head that you can at least begin to consider as you think about how to improve your business.

Don’t Get Tunnel Vision

While focusing on your industry is a good start, it can be useful to pay attention to emerging technology in other business that only relate loosely (if at all) to yours. How many times have you heard something called “the Uber of” this or “the Netflix of” that?  Some of the biggest entrepreneurial breakthroughs have occurred when one bold soul looked at an idea in a different industry and said, “Hey, I bet that would work in my space too!”

Use New Tech Efficiently, not Obsessively

It can be easy to become consumed with every new technology that has anything resembling even a tangential connection to your industry. Energy spent trying to keep up with the latest trends, is energy that could be spent growing your business in other ways. That’s not to say that seeking out new technological advances that could help your business is always bad. You just need to be selective and intentional with the attention you pay to the subject, and precise and calculated with how you implement new ideas.

The Early Bird Gets the Worm, but the Second Mouse Gets the Cheese

Being the first of your competitors to embrace a new technological breakthrough can give you a competitive advantage, but that advantage doesn’t come without any risk. Think back to the days of the Blu-ray vs HD-DVD battle. HD-DVD actually hit the market first. If you had thrown all of your eggs into that basket, you’d be pretty disappointed in the way that battle turned out, with Blu-ray winning out in the long run. Every technological advancement has a chance of failing, and at the blinding pace of innovation and corresponding obsolescence, has a chance to be surpassed just as quickly as it appeared.

By keeping your finger on the pulse of technology that relates to your industry AND knowing how to use it effectively, you can separate yourself from the competition.

Key Apps for Marketing that Every Business Needs to Know

The fundamentals of marketing remain the same as they always have been, but the new strategies and platforms are evolving that allow consumers to interact with brands on channels that simply did not exist a few years ago. It goes without saying that, when advertisements are ubiquitous, all content must be of the highest caliber. Accordingly, businesses need to be vigilant, agile, and sophisticated where marketing trends are concerned. Here are some key offerings that can help your business keep up on the marketing front and stay connected with your team, clients, and prospects.

Buffer

In addition to the quality of content, it can also be important to control the timing of that content’s release. Buffer can help with this, as it allows you to choose when your content will be posted on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, each of which can be done at different times. It also allows you to caption your posts ahead of time and then update them later, as necessary.

Slack

No matter what you are planning or presenting, teamwork is an important component of any operation. Slack puts all of your tools in one place, allowing all team members to access everything — even if they are working at different times or in different locations. Slack’s growing ecosystem of third party apps, such as Google Drive, helps integrate more and more routine workflows into the team’s channels.

UberConference

While some team members certainly prefer to work alone, some video-conferencing will always be inevitable. Many of these calls require complicated dial-in sequences, and they ultimately get lost in chatter where half the callers are trying to figure out who is speaking instead of paying attention. UberConference solves these problems. It requires no pin number to join a conference, and easy to view profiles indicate who is speaking at any given moment.

Accompany

While most tasks can be performed through automation and the internet, there is still a need for face to face meetings with clients and investors from time to time. There is a great deal of research that is required to make these meetings successful, and Accompany is there to complete that work for you. It will give you executive briefings, including a breakdown of what the person does, the latest news and financial data for the company, the person’s posts on social media, and prompts to jog your memory based on your most recent email exchange. In short, it does the hours of review automatically so that you can be ready to go in a few minutes.

MailChimp

A direct email marketing campaign is still a valuable marketing tool, but no one has the time to sit all day sending emails and determining the benefits received from each transmission. This is especially true with MailChimp. Although it has been around for some time, it is the world’s largest marketing automation program, and it allows you to manage your email campaigns entirely from your cell phone. You can monitor campaigns, edit subscriber profiles, run multivariate reports, and even use your data to understand how your marketing impacts your bottom line — all from the palm of your hand.