How many times have you liked a post by a company or a brand you follow, commented on it, or asked a question – and received no reply? I have, many many times. And I don’t like it. In today’s world, where it’s very hard to keep someone’s attention for more than a couple of seconds, we should appreciate fans and friends who actually take the time to engage with us, showing us that they appreciate the post, or are interested to find out more about it. That’s why next time when someone comments on your post, take the time to say thank you and respond back. Continue reading
Hola, we hope you had a fabulous Easter! We’re back on our blog after a short break, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t been busy! We spent the month of February renovating our office, which got devastated during hurricane Odile, and we’re quite pleased how the works are turning out. Our thinking hammocks are back, and we now have two new cool spaces for brainstormings and gatherings, which is super nice. I’m sure we’ll be using them with pleasure and create some fantastic ideas around them. There are some details still missing, but I think that design is a never-ending process in general; there is just always something that you can still improve on, add on. Then March was marked with this happy event, and gatherings with family and friends which visited us all the way from Slovenia, Serbia, Australia, Canada, US, mainland Mexico and Baja.
We have a couple of very exciting projects at the LA76 office currently, about which I will write more once they are launched, but here I will mention a re-branding of a hair & make up company, with new corporate visual identity and a responsive website, a communications strategy for a financial consulting company, exciting new marketing strategy for a book launch, social media contest for a restaurant, vacation / real estate photography of a stunning beachfront home, a collaboration with a new Slovenian magazine, and more.
We’ve also decided to explore more of our beautiful Baja. This Easter we hiked one of the hills near Todos Santos, only to discover a location of the antique port, a home of sea lions and a new favorite picnic spot. It was spectacular, and we’re already planning new adventures.
What are you up to lately? Share with us in the comments below.
Branding is one of the most important aspects of any business, and it is equally important for large or small businesses, retail or B2B. In addition to branding, an effective brand strategy will give you a major edge in increasingly competitive markets.
And while branding is an immense topic we certainly can’t explain in just one blog post, it is important for your small business to have a brand. If you don’t know where to start or what to do, start from the beginning. Here is what we recommend.
Simply put, your brand is your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from your competitors’. Your brand stands for who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be.
3 Foundations of Brand Building for Your Small Business:
1. Get a great logo
The foundation of your brand is your logo. They’re the shorthand — the visual cue — used to communicate a brand’s culture, behavior, and values. Logos are instantly recognizable, and can provide the base upon which a brand can be built. Place your logo everywhere. Your website, business cards, email signature, packaging, company car, newsletters and other promotional materials should integrate your logo and communicate your brand.
2. Get a website
About 48 percent of people have cited a website’s design as being the number one factor when judging whether a site is credible or not, and an overwhelming 94 percent of people have cited a website’s design as being the reason they mistrusted or rejected a site. If you don’t nail this most basic form of design and aesthetics, you’re not going to communicate efficiently. More importantly, you won’t be trusted.
If you are just starting out and thinking whether you should even have a website, the answer is yes, absolutely! Today a website is like an ID of a business, and not having a website can cause a mistrust of your prospect customers or clients. Your website can be simple, but make sure it is nicely designed, functional, effective in what you want to achieve, and that is promotes your brand.
3. Have an engaging social media presence
Today, brand presence on social media has become a marketing imperative. It allows brands to showcase their expertise, cement their place in communities as industry experts, do valuable market research, network with others, and show off what the brand is about. If a logo can be considered a brand’s face, social media is its voice. It allows brands to engage with followers and supporters, and personify the business.
And while the abundance of social media channels might feel overwhelming for a small business, especially when starting up, it is important to define at least one social media channel most used by your target audience, and engage there.
A strong social media presence has tangible results, too. In fact, it has a 100 percent higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing tactics. About 72 percent of marketers have also said that social media has helped them close deals, and another 45 percent of people have reported making new partnerships through social media.
Another benefit of using social media is that if you do decide to do any marketing there, it will be much less expensive than traditional print, radio or TV ads.
“If a logo can be considered a brand’s face, social media is its voice.”
Other branding tips for your small business:
- Write down your brand messaging. What are the key messages you want to communicate about your brand? If you have employees, they should be aware of your brand attributes.
- Integrate your brand. Branding extends to every aspect of your business – how you answer your phones, what you or your salespeople wear on sales calls, your e-mail signature, everything.
- Create a “voice” for your company that reflects your brand. This voice should be applied to all written communication and incorporated in the visual imagery of all materials, online and off. Is your brand friendly? Be conversational. Is it ritzy? Be more formal.
- Develop a tagline. Write a memorable, meaningful and concise statement that captures the essence of your brand.
- Design templates and create brand standards for your marketing materials. Use the same color scheme, logo placement, look and feel throughout.
- Be true to your brand. Customers won’t return to you, or refer you to someone else, if you don’t deliver on your brand promise.
- Be consistent. Consistency involves all of the above and is the most important thing for your brand and your business. If you can’t do this, your attempts at establishing a brand will fail.
Brand building takes time, work and dedication. But, if you want to build your brand, and be successful at it, you need to take action. You need to make sure your company is always in sight, and interact with people once it catches their eye. Though it can take time to build up a small business’s brand, it’s something that has to be done.
Brand Building for Small Business, Case Study: Acapulco Chairs Baja
LA76 Strategic Design team has been approached by Acapulco Chairs Baja, a small business based in Los Cabos, a start-up who had the desire and vision of creating a brand, which would help promote the icon of Mexican design, Acapulco chair, and deliver it to its customers worldwide. As a start-up they didn’t have a large budget to begin with, but they knew that having a brand presence was crucial to developing their business. We developed a logo for them and a simple website with the main feature: online store.
Because of the complexity of shipping items from Baja California Sur across the borders of Mexico (because we are a border state with US, we have different rules and laws that concern shipping items across the border, which involve dealing with customs for each single shipping), we decided to use a young Mexico based shopping platform Kichink, which enables secure shopping and payments, and shipping with DHL, and takes much of the company’s burden of dealing with shipping and customs.
The website also features a blog, where they feature homes and decor ideas with Acapuco chairs.
Because of the size of the business, the owners didn’t want to heavily engage in many social media platforms, but have chosen to be present on Facebook and Instagram, which allows them to share photographs and engage with their public.
Phase 1 of this project is now completed, and we have begun planning Phase 2, which will involve a newsletter, packaging and some other items.
If you have any question about building a brand or regarding promoting your small business, please send us an email to info@LA76.com. We’d be glad to help!
At LA76 Strategic Design we are looking for a Social Media Intern!
LA76 Strategic Design is a public relations, social media and marketing studio based in Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, Mexico. We are working with various clients and are looking for a social media & marketing intern, with the possibility to become a social media & marketing assistant. An intern will assist in the team’s initiatives with new media on various social media platforms, blog, conduct research, assist in tracking statistics, help with generating new ideas. He or she will participate in the team’s project planning and is encouraged to have lots of his/her own initiative and creativity for social media engagement.
The ideal candidate is bilingual (English and Spanish), entrepreneurial, communicative, passionate about social media and with analytical skills, creative, outgoing and comfortable in taking initiative in a fast-paced environment. You should have attention to details and deadlines.
You’ll learn how a marketing agency works, how to successfully manage an online community, and the ins and outs of social media marketing.
Do you have what it takes? Here is what we’re looking for:
• You’re between 15-22 years old
• You love social media and are familiar with different social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn, blogs, etc.)
• You’re digital-savvy
• You’re creative
• You’re a strong writer and love grammar
• You’re a resourceful problem solver
Job location & specification:
This position is part time. You will be working from home, with occasional meetings with the project leader. In the beginning we estimate we will be needing you 1 hour per day (5 hours per week), which might increase through time, and is based on your efficiency, initiative and ability. At the completion of the 1-month intern position, an assistant position may await the intern who shows his/her skills, desire and efficiency in thriving in the social media world.
Deadline & application:
If you are a self-motivated individual with a desire to learn everything about social media, SEO, and social media analytics, please send your resume to info@LA76.com no later than midnight of July 1st, 2014.
We look forward to working with you!
Facebook and Twitter might be the most commonly used social media platforms, but when it comes to professional networking, LinkedIn is the uncontested champion. The site’s more than 260 million members tend to leave the funny cat videos and goofy eCards to other, more informal sites, preferring to focus on expanding their professional networks and building their brands.
In fact, a 2013 survey by the Wall Street Journal found that over forty percent of small businesses regard LinkedIn as having the most potential for helping their business grow. And a study conducted in 2012 by the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth’s Center for Marketing Research, found that 81% of Inc. 500 companies used LinkedIn for social media, as compared to 74% and 64% for Facebook and Twitter, respectively.
Clearly, LinkedIn has plenty of opportunities available, and no matter how many connections you already have, it’s easier than you might think to grow your network.
One of the easiest ways to stand out on LinkedIn is simply to be active. Nearly half of the site’s members spend two hours or fewer on the site each week. So simply interacting with other users is a great way to let them know that you’re invested in the site and ready to connect. Sending at least one invitation to connect each day takes only a moment, but can have a big impact, provided you reach out to someone who’s likely to share your interest in building a professional relationship. (And your invitation is in the proper format.)
Sharing useful, high-quality content is another way to encourage interactions. LinkedIn began opening its content publishing platform, formerly limited to experts known as Influencers, to all users in early 2014. Publishing original content—including presentations, images, articles, etc.—is a fantastic opportunity to build your authority and interact with your audience.
Making the most of LinkedIn connections for your business doesn’t have to be a chore. By taking the time to review your options, seek out those likely to be interested in, and benefit from, a new relationship, taking advantage of tools like groups and content publishing, and staying active in discussions, you can start to expand your professional network and grow your business.
Information and Infographic via WhoIsHostingThis.