Irrespective of the fact that how long you have been in a business, every business has a definite image. With the consumers or buyers every company is identifiable with a certain image. Generally it is assumed that once an image is made it cannot be altered. But that’s not how it works. In fact, it is necessary for brands to keep revamping their image so as to attract new audience or provide a new definition to their businesses. Opting for an image makeover is not that difficult. All you require are few easy tweaks and your brand will be ready with a new image.

small business rebranding

Image Audit

How about an image audit? In order to figure out what changes should be introduced, you first must know where you stand. For this reason it is important that you take a thorough look at your current branding status. Adopt the customers’ perspective as it will help you better in understanding how the consumers are looking at the brand. Compare your image with your contemporaries/competitors; you will get a fair picture on how your brand is faring presently. For current updates consider the successful brands in your industry. Reviewing their logos or website design as well as marketing campaigns will help you to find out what is missing in your brand.

Mobilize Your Strategy

If your website was created ignoring the handheld devices, then you are definitely lagging behind your competitors. In order to increase revenues you will have to keep pace with the latest developments in the website design techniques. Web technology had a serious impact on website designing. Consequently, new techniques like responsive web design and local SEO searches have become popular. If you are optimizing for local searches it is vital to keep your contact information and address updated so that the customers can find you when they are searching for the kind of services that you offer.

Rediscover Your Colors

For branding the data driven designs have become essential. Businesses are increasingly using the proven ideas in order to engage the audiences. The marketers have gradually found out that both color and content placement play crucial roles. However, you need not spend huge amounts of money to achieve this effect. You can opt for using colors that reflect your image. For instance, if you are associated with the hospitality industry, subtle colors will be more suitable.

Pay Attention to Your Customers

Listen what your customers have to say. Opting for a makeover process is easy if you take the proper details into account. Let the analytics guide you properly. Take note of the sources from which the customers are pouring in. in addition take note of the keywords as well and blend them with your organic searches. Once you have introduced these changes, there will be a better baseline for comparing with your competitors. You can ask your customers to participate in the voluntary surveys to understand their thoughts better.

Take Part in Local Events

Besides your online efforts, it is equally important to involve in certain hands on marketing. In this regard, why not participate in some local events? You can sponsor local charities or networking to attract attention. If you can strike a note with the local community then your customers can promote you through word of mouth. Otherwise, chances are that they take to social media platforms to provide a positive feedback about your brand.

Consistency is the Key

For expanding your customer base remember not to lose out on your present customers. Look at Starbucks. Although they are rebranding consistently but they make only little tweaks to their logos. Their marketing techniques undergo minute changes. In case you have already garnered a consistent and loyal customer base, it would be better to avoid major rebranding programs. On the contrary, you can work with your present logo for better and newer marketing strategies.

Be Drastic for a Complete Change

If you are planning a completely new customer base then forget everything that was history. The trick here is to begin from a scratch – rename yourself with a new logo, a new identity.

Never think that you are the only business that is going through changes. Rebranding is a major force that is applied to ensure that a company’s image is revamped and it garners better visibility and newer customer base.

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Consumer behaviour has changed drastically since the rise of handheld devices as a medium for interaction. As a result, the brands are shifting their methods of advertising in order to reach out to their target audience. According to a report on Shop.org 55% of consumers were reportedly originated from smartphones. These numbers display how there has been a distinct shift towards mobile devices as compared to laptops or desktops. In an era when consumers are spending big money on their mobile devices, online marketers cannot afford to overlook this trend. But unfortunately, most of the small businesses still do not realize how important the mobile apps are to tap the potential consumers.

mobile apps for small businesses

Can a mobile app help you?

While it is true that a mobile app is especially helpful for a small or local business, it is important to ask yourself whether you actually need an app. Mobile apps can work wonders for most of the small businesses. However, these are not necessary for everyone. If your business requires you to reach out to your customers 24X7 or you can offer a productive experience for your brand, you definitely need an app. Even if you require reaching out to the customers round the clock, will it benefit your business? It is important that you have clear business goals before developing an app for your business. It will help to ensure that your expectations from the app are not unrealistic.

Mobile marketing vs. others

On an average, it has been estimated that users have 26 apps installed on their smart phones. Does this ring a bell? It means that you will have to compete with 26 apps in order to grab the attention of the customers. But this competition sounds easier when compared to the websites. There you have competition from millions of websites.

Mobile marketing over social media

There are many small businesses that are still getting used to social media. Managing social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter requires experts. For small businesses it might not be always possible to acquire dedicated resources to manage such platforms. Moreover, when users are on social media, they are not merely looking for making a purchase. There are various reasons why they are on social media. In this regard, your profile will have to compete directly with numerous things that your target audience might find more interesting.

However, if you are developing mobile apps reaching your audience becomes easier. You are visible to your customers at all times. Moreover, you would not need additional resources to ensure customer engagement.

Customer Engagement

Whether you own a spa service, bakery or flower services, your customers require to reach you. With a help desk feature in your app, it helps to communicate with your customers better. For example, if you want to place an order to a local bakery, its mobile app can save you the hazard of commuting to the shop. Customers prefer such a kind of engagement.

Mobile apps are better than email marketing

Email marketing is an old concept that works well for most of the businesses. However, even if people subscribe to your list there are no guarantees that they will have a look at your mail. Mobile app, on the other hand, has ‘push notification.’ Through this, the users are notified when some new activity takes place within the app. For small businesses, it is a direct way of communicating with their audience about the latest updates related to their products and services.

Developing mobile apps

Many small businesses avoid developing apps for their businesses because of the cost. It is a fact that mobile app development is an expensive affair but getting into unnecessary details can help you reduce the cost. It can be used further to make money by applying strategic app monetizing plans. You can earn money from your apps with the help of ads too.

Finally, all you need to get a mobile app is smart planning and creative ideas. It is time to walk away from the usual Google ads and explore something that will engage your audience better. If you are sure about your business goals, no small business owner can go wrong with the mobile app development.

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HTML or Hypertext Markup Language is in use for standard website design for a long time. It is powerful language fro programming that acts as the building block of all the webpages. It is applied for creating the structure code, content and design of the website. The CMS is a platform that uses HTML as well but it more automated and streamlined so that it can be used to create and edit websites. The CMS further provides the users with an interface where the content can be easily created, edited and published. Both are quite different methods. As far as small business websites are concerned, they should choose carefully between the two methods before designing their websites.

There are several factors that you should know before opting between the two. Here’s a look at those aspects –

HTML or CMS

Simplifying the process

If time is a factor for you then there might not be adequate time for you to choose a web design company for your small website. Designing and development also demand considerable time. You need a process that would require less time but the results will be impressive. With platforms like WordPress or Joomla it might just take you minutes to build the website. Once the website is created rich media content like videos, images and texts are added along with dynamic widgets. If the latter has connections with other networks then there might be an increased interaction with the website.

Websites built with CMS can also skip the tiresome part of installation as far as hosting details are concerned. There are one second installation packages present in the CMS. Moreover, a platform like WordPress is a well known blogging platform. This feature can be utilized by the small businesses while strategizing their marketing plan.

However, HTML coding requires some effort from the designers as there are no add buttons for inserting the media. On the contrary everything has to be inserted with the help of HTML codes. Inspite of the fact that HTML has support on all the web servers, everything needs to be coded so as to arrange the media in the right directories and upload the website into the server.

Hence, in regard to simple processes, CMS scores over HTML.

Customizing your needs

Sometimes websites are customized so that they can be molded for various purposes. In that regard, one should have total control over the site so that it can be customized properly. If you have a CMS website, it is not possible to interact directly with the web server as CMS acts as a mediator. As a result there will be limited options for customization. Although there are some great plug-ins available for WordPress but content management system might not be a preferable choice when it comes to designing a business website. If you are looking forward to add graphics, media, etc all by yourself then CMS will prove helpful with its supportive features like JS and CSS. However, if you are planning to customize the site on a broader level then HTML coding is preferable, CMS website for small businesses should not face any trouble with customization or updates.

Search Engine Optimization

You have been suggested umpteenth times about the benefits of SEO. While developing a website, focusing on the ways to optimize it is a must. Keeping this requirement in mind the CMS offer a wide range of plug-ins that can take care of your SEO requirements. Whether it is for a small business website design or for enterprises, SEO cannot be overlooked. While CMS does its bit in providing the tools for optimizing your website but hard codes allows you to explore wider possibilities for search engine optimization. This is only possible through HTML.

Installation hazards

While HTML has its share of advantages, so does CMS. With the latter any business can launch its website in minutes. For the server side installation all that is required is copying the installation package to the new website directory. Once the user does this, the rest of the process is taken care of by CMS. The popular platforms like Joomla, WordPress and Drupal can even host the sites. For a small business website design, CMS is perfect as they can immediately start adding content to their sites once the CMS is installed.

For HTML, no coding is required for installation. However, graphics, webpages and images must be created and organized in the server’s web directory. This process is time consuming and you also need expert professional to achieve this end.

There are enough reasons for the web developers to support both HTML and CMS. However, when it comes to the small businesses, CMS seems to be a better solution as it is a cost effective solution.

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Logos communicate visually. It is through them that a business defines their image, mission and voice as far as their services and products are concerned. This is the first step towards creating a branding. In this regard, it is essential to create a corporate logo that communicates about the products and services properly to the users. Designing a corporate logo is an internal process until the logo is promoted to the external world. Although there are other components that create a branding process but the logo is indispensable from the identity of your company. It is one of the simplest and quickest ways in which the consumers can identify you. In fact, a logo often creates a huge impact on the consumers. This fact was evident when Airbnb altered their logo. There was a huge uproar across social media platforms where the consumers clearly rejected the new logo.

Unwanted Impact

If you thought that logos only have a positive impact, think again. Airbnb is not the only instance when the consumers have reacted negatively towards a new logo. There was a lot of media buzz when Yahoo changed its logo. Similar reactions were noted for GAP as well. These instances show how much impact your corporate logo can create on public opinion. Look at IBM’s logo. It spelt a positive reaction from people. It is simple in its approach and devoid of artistic styles. The type of logo also depends on the business you are involved in. if you are from the entertainment industry, your logo should be somewhat innovative. The logo of Walt Disney Pictures is clearly different from that of IBM or Accenture. The fonts and the style in which it is written are more artistic. There are certain tips for desiging an effective logo. Following such tips can help the company to avoid any unwanted impact caused by logos.

logo difference

Elements Matter

The different types of logos bring us to the several components that are used to create it. A professional logo designer would know how important it is to consider the typography, colors and symbols. This is where the role of a graphic designer is vital. He or she must know what fonts, colors and symbols to combine in order to create a logo that will definitely create an impact for the business. If you are hiring a logo design company it is vital to check out how far they had been successful in creating impressive logos. That’s why experts recommend the perusal of portfolios before hiring such services.

logo elements

Size and Impact are Not Related

A bigger logo does not guarantee better impact. There are several advertisers who mistake the fact that a bigger insignia will help them to garner positive response from the masses. Although size does play role in attracting the attention of the customers but it does not create an impact. Hence, it is necessary to stick to a proportionate size to convey what your company stands for. The insignia must be proportionate while being placed on a leaflet or any other page layout where it is important to be included.

logo typography

Role of Graphic Designers

While discussing the various elements that are necessary to design business logos, the role of graphic designers cannot be overlooked. Whether it is Apple or Tropicana, it is the graphic designers who were instrumental in creating a logo that would communicate a message about the brand. Besides identity and branding, logo is also a vital component in marketing a brand. It is these professionals who can combine the right symbols, colors and fonts to design a correct logo. While a lot of focus has been on colors and typography, symbols play an equally important role in logo design. It is expected from a logo design company that it will deliver a design that will create a positive impact for the business.

logo designers

It is impossible to underestimate the significance of logos for representing a company. In fact, it is a powerful symbol that helps in establishing the identity of a company.

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Brand and identity are developed by a business so that it can distinguish itself from its competitors. Although they sound similar and certainly share some similarities but they are not identical. At the onset it will be helpful to mention that corporate brand and corporate identity are two different things. It is vital for businesses to comprehend how these can be applied separately to ensure success by getting their message across to the customers.

Let’s take a look at the two concepts separately –

Branding vs identity

Corporate Identity

An identity refers to the internal factors that display how the business is being run, its ethics, culture, work environment, organization and how it integrates itself into the business arena. These aspects build up the corporate identity of a business. Every company has certain distinguishing characteristics that set it apart from the rest. Additionally, the aim and quality of the product is also a part of its identity. The focus might also be on its uniqueness and exclusivity of the product or services it offers. An identity of a company is represented by its logo or a picture. For instance, Target uses a big red bull’s eye and Pepsi is represented with the alphabet ‘p’. Over the years these brands have managed to create an identity with these symbols.

Corporate Branding

This explains how people feel about the company. How far consumers can trust the company is dependent on branding. It constitutes of the external factors that are influenced by the corporate identity. At times businesses might attempt to enhance its image by altering its identity so that the general perception about its branding undergoes changes as well. For instance, consumers’ views about the brand can make visible changes to its identity elements like logo. In the past when GAP tried to experiment with a new logo there were severe criticisms against the new one. So much so that the company was compelled to resort back to the older logo. There are several such instances where changing the logo had affected the general perception about the brand. Once the consumers put their confidence in a particular logo or brand, it might become difficult to alter it.

Can Branding and Identity Work Together?

Of course they do. Brands earn a reputation when the company offers a quality product or service at a reasonable price. Only when backed by quality products or services, the widespread changes in the corporate identity might be accepted by the masses. Therefore, it is only through the emotional reaction of the consumers that you can strategize to improve your branding. In this regard, both identity and branding work hand in hand.

How do They Differ?

When you are trying to establish a firm footing in the market, you will surely be looking forward to play long innings. It is important to strive for longevity in a world where consumers change their minds on drop of a hat. If there is one thing that the companies do not want for their customers is confusion. The main purpose is to drive traffic in the right direction. The main difference lies in the kind of professionals that you deal with while working on branding and identity. As far as the latter is concerned, it involves the visual aspect of the company. This is where the graphic designers come in. Besides them, the web designers play a key role in developing websites. Their main aim is to focus on the colors, fonts, banners and every element that goes into the making of the website.

On the other hand, the branding part is taken care by the internet marketing department. Moreover, it is always an ongoing process as long as the company is evolving and growing. With this method processes are crafted and communicated so as to help the people to form positive impression about products and services.

Corporate branding and identity are interrelated. Both the elements must work in sync to provide the required boost to the business.

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