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Posted 22 May 2019

5 Advantages Of Having A Professionally Designed Website

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Skimp Or Splurge? Should You Hire A Graphic Designer For Your Website?

When building your business smarter, faster, cheaper every dollar counts. But sometimes you HAVE to invest in yourself because the payout and potential is much more than the initial investment.

What about your website? Perhaps it is your 1st website, 10th website, or you are re-doing your website that looks more like 1997 than 2010. Awesome.

How do you go about it? Do you purchase a template? Create a custom site? Design it yourself?

I’ve created several websites and based on my experience hiring a graphic designer can be one of the most beneficial investments you can make. Here is why:

5 Reasons You Should Splurge On A Graphic Designer For Your Website

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1. First Impressions Matter: If you want to look professional when people find you through Google, Facebook, Twitter and other sources of traffic, good design gives you a massive edge. You wouldn’t invite people into your home and not have any furniture would you (unless you would…in that case you are weird).

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2. Clients Comparing Websites: If clients and customers are browsing between you and competitors, which many are, your design matters. Shoppers are ADD. Think about the last time you compared companies. Would the simply, dynamically designed site win your sale compared to the site from 1998 with a little construction guy digging?

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3. PR: We entrepreneurs know that media (online and offline) can be huge for growing your business. When journalists come to your website (and spend a SPLIT SECOND on it), do they see something that is easy-to-navigate and professional? Or do they see a mess?

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4. Personality: Your shining personality can be brought out by a good graphic designer and reflect in your site. Remember, people want to do business with people and not just faceless companies.

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5. Stick Out: Good design allows you to separate from the pack, which is ALWAYS a good thing. Fitting in is so high school.

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Posted 21 May 2019

10 Benefits Of A Website For A Small Business

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In this day and age where digital technology and the Internet has influenced how we live and work, it is shocking to know that very few small business owners have a website.

It is hard to believe that only 46% of small businesses have a website. This statistic is confounding when you realize people spend 6 hours a day on the Internet.

Based on 2014 survey results, 41% of small business owners reported they don’t think they need a website. What that means is they probably don’t know the benefits of having a website for their small business.

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1. Improve Business Credibility.

A simple way to view a website is that it is your online business address. This is where your customers, clients and associates go to find you on the Internet.

The Home page identifies your branded value proposition, the About Us page tells visitors all about your business and the Contact Us page informs everyone how to get in touch with you.

It legitimizes your business and improves your credibility. It gives your business an identity and is virtual proof that it exists.

Don’t be mislead into thinking a company page in Facebook is enough to build your credibility. A 2015 survey showed that 84% of consumers believe that having a website makes your business more credible than just a social media page.

Having a website means you have your own domain. In the same survey, 65% of respondents regard a company-branded e-mail as more credible than a generic one.

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2. Build Your Business.

Before broadband technology became widespread in 2004, websites were used primarily for marketing and informational purposes. A website functioned more like a brochure; you put one up to stay ahead of the competition. But there wasn’t much thought and purpose behind the content.

With the growth of the Internet, the influence of social media and the popularity of mobile devices, the website has become a crucial tool to build your business.

  • Share Your Story – According to Nobel Prize winning psychiatrist Daniel Kahneman, consumers patronize brands they can align their values with.

A website is a great way to share your story; tell your audience why you started this business, your goals and what you hope to accomplish with it.

  • Get Clients – It’s not enough to have a rock star online profile. 36% of clients prefer to deal with businesses that have websites. By contrast, only 21% will work with businesses without websites.

A website gives you the platform to highlight your experience and expertise.

  • Find Your Team – Are you looking for people to help you run your business?

Set up a Career page in your website where prospective candidates can fill out an application form and attach their resume.

Post your job requirement in social media and link it back to your website. You should have a good number of candidates in no time!

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3. Enhance Your Online Presence.

Here’s a statistical fact that will blow your mind:

Of the 7.4 Billion people in this world, 3.5 Billion people or 47% are online every day. They are searching for information, sharing on social media or shopping on e-commerce websites.

This number is expected to grow as the world becomes increasingly dependent on mobile technology to search the Internet. Today there are an estimated 2.3 Billion smartphones worldwide. But in 2020, the total number of smartphones is expected to hit 6.1 Billion.

If your small business does not have a website, you will be undermining its ability to generate income. And not just any website; but a mobile responsive website, one that can be accessed by mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Statistically, 65% of online traffic comes from mobile devices.

A mobile responsive website will help you capitalize on the opportunities available on the Internet through the following ways:

  • Improve Search Rankings – By optimizing your web pages, it will be easier for people to find your content.
  • Distribute Content – Create relevant, unique and usable content and distribute them through different channels such as social media and blog sites. People who love your content would want to know more about you and visit your website.
  • Open 24/7 – Unlike a brick- and- mortar business that operates 9- to- 5, a website never closes shop. It is open 24/7, even on holidays.
  • Introduce Business Flexibility – If you don’t want to miss out on opportunities, outsource customer service and have your agents manage all concerns and inquiries via chat or e-mail support at your website.
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4. Build a Strong Relationship with Your Market.

A business by definition is a living, breathing entity. Loyalty is achieved when customers know they are dealing with a company that understands their needs and not just a company that wants to profit.

  • Let the Market Know “Who You Are”. Outside the Home and About Us pages, you can set up a blog page where you can share your thoughts and ideas with your audience.
  • Address the Needs of Your Market. Invite your audience to engage you by encouraging them to post comments on your blogs. Embed survey forms and ask your audience to participate and convey their needs.
  • Educate the Market of Your Business. Utilize the 80-20 Rule; 80% of your content should be usable or relevant to the needs of your audience while 20% should educate them about your business.
  • Improve Customer Service. In addition to e-mail, social media, mobile and landline, install chat support as the 5th avenue for customer service. This will give your end-users more options to relay concerns and inquiries.
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5. Efficient Way to Promote Your Business.

If you are still using traditional forms of marketing, you are wasting valuable resources, time and money. Traditional forms include press releases, print ads, flyers and distribution Point- of- Purchase materials.

While still popular, traditional methods cost more money and cover less ground. It is also unsustainable; flyers, posters, print ads and press releases usually end up in the trash can.

Online marketing is faster, more efficient and inexpensive. There are many tools and techniques that you can use for online marketing but without a website, these strategies will fall short.

Think of the website as the sun with these online marketing tools as the planets revolving around it. Your online marketing efforts will create inbound avenues to a specified destination place which is your website.

Among the most popular online marketing tools that you can use to create inbound traffic to your website:

  • Social Media – Of the 3.5 Billion people online every day, 2.34 Billion or 67% are on social media.
  • Blogging – Companies that blogged 16 times a month received 4.5 times more leads than those that blogged 0-4 posts per month.
  • E-mail Marketing – E-mail marketing is 40 times more effective in acquiring customers than Facebook.
  • Use Videos – Embed a video on your Home page. A video can deliver your messaging content faster and more efficiently than text. Video on a landing page can increase conversion rates by 80%.

Finally, online marketing is a sustainable process. Your content will not go to waste. You can easily update it and reuse after a few months.

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6. Boost Your Reputation as an Authority.

If your business is in a competitive industry, a website will give you the forum to boost your reputation as an authority figure.

  • Blogging –  There’s one reason why blogging is the cornerstone of the content marketing process: It works! Here are 3 key statistics on the benefits of blogging:
  • Websites with a blog have 434% more indexed pages.
  • 47% of buyers read 3 to 5 blogs before engaging a sales rep.
  • 61% of consumers report a blog influenced their decision to buy.
  • Podcast – Set up a podcast in your website, distribute the schedule via Twitter, Facebook and invite experts to discuss topics that interest your audience. 21% more people listened to podcasts in 2016 compared to 2015.
  • Seminars – Conduct seminars on your website. This is a great way to share your knowledge with your market. Encourage your audience to actively engage during the seminar.
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7. Create a Tool for Sales Generation.

A website can also be an active and passive tool for generating income because it is the termination or exit point in the sales funnel.

It is very difficult to convert sales in social media. There are no available mechanisms to complete the transaction on- the- spot. An e-commerce website for example, has a checkout counter where goods and services can be paid for right away.

It can also be a good source for passive income via PPC or Pay- Per- Click advertising. Advertisers will pay you every time a user clicks through their ad in your website.

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8. Showcase Your Work.

Here’s a valuable tip for those who want a clear advantage in the job market:

Open a personal website and include a page that showcases your body of work.

That is one valuable tip that Hiring Managers all over the country wish job applicants knew. The same can be said for small business owners. A website will give you the venue to present samples of your work.

If you’re offering interior design services, content writing, professional web design services and other types of work that can be made visual, a portfolio page will encourage more clients to try you out.

If you want to increase the impact of your portfolio page, include 5 or more client testimonies. You can put the client testimonies in the Home page which is where users land after clicking unto your link or the Services page.

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9. Keep Track of Your Business in Real Time.

One of the most significant benefits of having a website for a small business is that you can keep track of its performance in real time through the use of analytics.

Analytics will provide you valuable data on how your business has been moving within a period of time. Key indicators of business performance include the following metrics:

  • Number of visitors going to your website.
  • Number of “unique visitors” or those who visit your website only once.
  • Page views or impressions tell how many times a page has been read or visited. This will give you an idea on which type of content visitors find interesting.
  • Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who leave your website without exploring past the page they landed on.
  • Average time on site will show how long visitors view your content. The longer the average time on site, the better for your website.
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10. Professionalize Your Brand.

Many small business owners make the mistake of not working on their brand until they gain traction.

You have to start working on your brand before launching your business. The brand gives your business its identity and makes it easier for customers and clients to understand what it is all about.

The website is the most effective and efficient way to build and professionalize your brand:

  • It places your branded value proposition front and center in the Home page.
  • Website optimization techniques can help Internet users find your brand.
  • It can be distributed seamlessly through various online channels.
  • A professionally made website shows you are serious about your business.

If you want an effective website or one that can help you take your business to another level, you have to be prepared to invest in one. In a survey of small business owners, 19% identified cost as another reason for foregoing a website.

A website is not an expense. It is an investment because you should expect a return on your money within a period of time.

For your investment to pay out, you have to make sure your website is professionally designed, fully functioning with fast download speed and packed with great content.

Do not penny- pinch and try to do a website on your own despite the availability of free templates. Your best option would always be to hire a professional web designer who has the experience and training to build a functional yet aesthetically beautiful website.

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Posted 20 May 2019

9 Ways Your Outdated Website Is Hurting Business (BAD)

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Think about your own experience.

When you land on an outdated website that looks ugly, old or neglected…

You assume some things.

About the company behind the website. And most of your assumptions are not good.

You may think to yourself:

“Business must be slow for these people. It doesn’t look like they’ve touched their site in 5 years.”

or…

“Why, why, WHY do I have to pinch my phone to zoom in on this website?”

or…

“I wonder if this company is even still in business.”

Then you think… “oh well” before hitting the BACK button.

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Is that about right?

In this article, we’re going to discuss the dangers of using an outdated website to represent your company.

And how your current website may be hurting your reputation and driving business straight to your competitors.

Research shows:

That it takes just 1/20th of a second for site visitors to form a first impression about your business.

And once that first impression is seared into their minds, they will either stay and explore what you have to offer, or they will leave and find someone else. It happens very fast.

Below are 9 unintended consequences of using an outdated website.

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1. PEOPLE MAY THINK YOU JUST DON’T CARE

I get it.

It’s been a while since your website was built.

Maybe you got a new website designed real cheap, or you hired an web designer that went out of business or you got roped in to a contract with YP or Hibu.

Or… maybe it’s just been a long time since your website was last updated.

Today, we’re gonna face some hard truths.

When your website looks ignored, is outdated or is just plain old, it sends a message to your visitors.

It says…

You just don’t care about the things your customers really want.

Potential customers are looking to you for solutions to their problems.

Most people immediately go to the web to search for companies that can help. When you neglect something as important as your website, your visitors may be thinking that you neglect other areas of your business.

And that you don’t care enough to be someone they want to do business with.

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2. THE QUALITY OF GOODS OR SERVICES IS QUESTIONABLE

Cold prospects don’t have much to go on before deciding whether or not to take the next step.

The next step might be a phone call, appointment request, job application, request for quote or online purchase.

They use your website to judge you, your company and your products before deciding whether or not they want to take a chance on you.

When it’s apparent that it has been years since you invested any resources in your website…

It is also assumed that your company probably doesn’t invest much in the people, processes or systems required to deliver a quality product.

Although these assumptions may not in fact be true…

They will shape the perception of value and quality you offer.

And if prospects don’t “feel good” about your company’s quality, they are not going to trust you with their business.

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3. YOUR CREDIBILITY IS DIMINISHED

The truth may be.

That you have the most qualified, most experienced, most trustworthy team in the nation in your area of expertise.

But if you are interested in earning new business…

…and your current website just isn’t up to snuff.

It may be best to avoid sending new people you meet to the website.

Because once they get there, your credibility may take a nose-dive.

If your website is light on content, includes errors or outdated information, your company’s perceived competence my suffer as well.

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4. YOU DON’T LOOK LIKE YOU’RE “WITH IT”

People want to buy from companies that know how to deliver the goods in the best way possible.

A higher value is place on companies that are professional, forward-moving, cutting-edge and stay in tune with the latest developments in their industry.

The problem is.

If you are such a company, but your website is not – there’s a huge disconnect.

Your prospects will assume you are out of touch with advancements in your industry, and there are others more qualified than you to solve their problems.

In the absence of some other form of validation, your website will fall far short in convincing prospects that you are the most qualified for the job.

Website home page with almost ZERO content

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5. YOU MAKE YOUR COMPETITION LOOK GREAT

When a visitor lands on your website…

…and leaves because the information you offered did not establish you as a trustworthy or credible source for their needs.

Where do you think they are going next?

Most likely – they are going back to Google to find one of your competitors’ websites.

And.

If their website looks better, informs better and establishes trust faster…

You just lost a potential deal (and lifelong customer) to your competitor.

Go ahead and size up the competition.

If their website gives more information in a cleaner, easier-to-use format… and answers the most common questions searchers are looking for.

They are currently beating you on the web.

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6. OUTDATED WEBSITES ARE EMBARRASSING

Have you ever said anything like this?

“Don’t look at our current website, we’ll be launching a new one soon.”

If you have, chances are you’ve said it over and over. And you know how bad the old one is.

If you haven’t, and your website truly is cause for embarrassment…

You may be out of touch.

And your employees likely cringe every time someone asks them for your web address.

Not because it embarrasses them, but because they don’t want the company to look as bad as the website makes the company look.

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7. IT’S HURTING CUSTOMER SERVICE & MORALE

Outdated website information leaves your visitors confused….

…and your employees frustrated.

Especially information relating to your address, phone numbers, team members, services, products, etc.

Your website should be a reliable, current source of information and resources to serve customers.

But it also can serve employees in a big way.

When your website still lists former employees (or takes months to add new ones), that’s bad.

It could affect morale by making team members feel undervalued and unappreciated.

Additionally, when customers request expired or outdated coupons, products, discounts, services or other things listed on your website.

It creates a bad customer experience.

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8. YOUR GOOGLE RANKINGS ARE DROPPING

Google is always working to improve the quality of its search results.

Their goal is to deliver a list of the best websites or resources to each and every searcher every time.

And they are always updating and refining their algorithm to improve the quality of search results.

In 2016 alone – Google announced 10 major updates to their ranking algorithm.

A couple big ranking factors that affect old websites:

NUMBER ONE – non mobile-friendly websites are penalized with lower rankings

NUMBER TWO – freshly updated website content helps boost Google rankings

In addition to that,

There are over 200 more ranking factors that go into Google search results.

Websites that remain current are typically rewarded with higher rankings.

While websites that do not remain current typically see their rankings (and traffic) fall over time.

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9. IT LOOKS LIKE YOU’RE OUT OF BUSINESS

We’ve saved the worst for last.

It’s been said…

“Your outdated website is like putting a ‘Closed for Business’ sign in your window.”

That’s awful. But true.

When you land on a website that has’t been touched in years, it makes you question whether or not the company is still alive.

This can literally turn customers away and cost you thousands of dollars in business.

SO, THERE YOU HAVE IT

We’ve looked at 9 ways your old, outdated website may be hurting business. There are other hidden costs as well like sales inefficiencies, slow website speeds, poor user experience, security vulnerabilities and others that add up to multiple missed opportunities to earn more business.

If you’re wondering…

HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE AN OUTDATED WEBSITE?

Here are a few things to look for. If you are using any of the following, it’s time to build a new website:

Outdated Website Design Factors

  • Website uses Flash
  • Non-mobile friendly
  • Gaudy backgrounds
  • Blinking, annoying text
  • Unnecessary page clutter
  • Auto-play videos
  • Background music
  • Misaligned images
  • Small font sizes
  • Too many font colors
  • Fancy or hard-to-read fonts
  • Inconsistent font types
  • Huge uncompressed image files
  • Excessive image borders
  • Slideshows with 25 images
  • Lady with headset stock photo
  • Suits shaking hands stock photo

Outdated Website Content Factors

  • Low word counts on key pages
  • Long paragraphs of text
  • Excessive keyword stuffing
  • No recent samples of work
  • Incorrect phone numbers
  • Services or products no longer offered
  • Former employees still listed
  • New employees not listed
  • Excessive use of stock photography
  • Outdated images of offices, products
  • Common questions not answered
  • Expired coupons or specials
  • Old or neglected blog/news section
  • Broken links to or from website
  • Broken images or logo
  • Pixelated or blurry images
  • No way to update easily

With the availability of dozens of online website building tools, it’s easier than ever to have a professional online presence. We are partial to WordPress for small business websites. But you can also consider other DIY platforms to update your website.

If you need help and just don’t want to mess with it, we’d be glad to help you with a turnkey website solutions that is specifically designed to get more traffic and customers online.

Ask about a new website design from DUBUB Marketing Agency.

ONE MORE THING…

ACTUALLY TWO  

Hit the SHARE button and fire away.

And leave us a COMMENT below. Thanks!

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Posted 15 May 2019

Why Good Design Is More Important Than Ever For Your Business

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As we enter into a new golden age of design, good design has never been more important to the success of a business. Consumer awareness of good design is at an all-time high, thanks to companies like AppleTarget, and Starbucks, who make design a top priority.

The most successful companies know there are compelling reasons to prioritize design to improve the odds of success. Good design creates meaningful first impressions, helps you differentiate yourself from your competitors, can solve problems, and boosts brand awareness and the bottom line.

Why should your startup or small business invest in quality design? Let us count the ways…

A Missouri University of Science and Technology study used eye-tracking to determine that website visitors needed a mere 180 ms to form a first impression.

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First impressions matter

People have a very short attention span. In fact, according to a Princeton University study, snap judgments count. The study found after seeing a face for only 1/10th of a second people formed opinions about that person. Judgments were made on attractiveness, likability, and trustworthiness, and prolonged exposure to that face just reinforced the initial impression.

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The same goes for websites. Three studies found that a mere 50 milliseconds were all people needed to form an opinion about a website. Google performed similar testing and found an even slimmer margin: a speedy 17 to 50 milliseconds were all people needed to decide how they felt about a website.

The results show that both visual complexity and prototypicality play crucial roles in the process of forming an aesthetic judgment. It happens within incredibly short time frames between 17 and 50 milliseconds. By comparison, the average blink of an eye takes 100 to 400 milliseconds.

When people first encounter a website or marketing campaign a number of questions go through their minds:

  • Who is this?
  • Is it trustworthy?
  • Is it credible?
  • Is it professional?
  • Am I in the right place?
  • Does this have what I want?

Think about what kind of first impression you want your customers to have. If you want to appear reliable and trustworthy, make sure your website design is cleanly laid out and uncluttered. Want to seem fun and exciting? Look into bold color choices and use imagery that has energy. Informative and useful? Put content up front and make it easy for people to navigate and find.

Effective design can go a long way in making sure your customers’ first impression is a good one.

An example of how Apple uses the principle of design consistency to good use.

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Attractive design helps you stand out

Marketing studies show that the average American is exposed to around 5,000 advertisements and brands per day. Out of that veritable flood, they found only 12 made enough of an impact to leave an impression. You can help your business be one of those twelve through effective, attractive design.

Often when consumers are faced with a decision between things with similar features or benefits, they go with the one that they either recognize or that has a more pleasing design. Smashing Magazine’s Steven Bradley explained it well:

Human beings have an attractiveness bias; we perceive beautiful things as being better, regardless of whether they actually are better. All else being equal, we prefer beautiful things, and we believe beautiful things function better. As in nature, function can follow form.

A List Apart’s Stephen Anderson demonstrates this attractiveness bias well with a simple button example:

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Cognitively speaking, both of these are obviously buttons. Neither button is ‘wrong’ as in our previous example. However, research into attention, persuasion, choice, happiness, learning, and other similar topics suggests that the more attractive button is likely to be more usable by most people.

Use well-established design principles when creating brand assets, websites, or anything else that your customers see. Creating attractive experiences will go a long way to help your business stand out.

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Good design solves problems (yours and your customers’)

How something looks is important, but addressing your customer’s problems is one of the most effective ways to leverage good design.

A good way for you to figure out what these problems are and how to address them is to use a technique known as “The 5 Whys”.

Toyota founder Sakichi Toyoda created the “5 Whys” technique to uncover issues with his company’s manufacturing process.

Created by Toyota founder Sakichi Toyoda as a way to uncover technical issues with his company’s manufacturing process, the 5 whys are a simple but effective process. First, you state the problem. Then you ask yourself “why?” five times.

Let’s look at an example.

Problem: Customers don’t understand why our product is better than our competitors.

1. Why? Because people think both products have the same feature set and functionality.

2. Why? Because our marketing concentrates more on building brand awareness and less on product awareness.

3. Why? Because our website doesn’t clearly state what our product does and what value it provides.

4. Why? Because our competitor does a better job of educating consumers on how to use their product effectively.

5. Why? Because we don’t know how to speak to our product’s target audience in a clear and effective way.

You can ask more than five questions, but five questions can typically help you work out what problems you need to focus on.

Another important part of solving problems through good design is having success metrics so you know when a solution is actually working. This can take many forms. Pure numbers (more conversions, more sign ups, more people clicking), higher customer satisfaction, or fewer calls or support tickets are just a few examples.

Whatever “whys” you decide to tackle and how you measure your success, addressing internal or external problems through good design can go a long way to improve your reputation and reach.

report by Motiv Strategies and the Design Management Institute examined how Apple, Starbucks, Target, and other top companies turned good design into 211 percent growth between 2005 to 2016.

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Good design helps boost your business

Here’s something to be wary of: badly designed websites are often not read, trusted or visited for any length of time. That means that more than ever, design is playing a crucial role in making sure your business attracts and retains a customer base. John Maeda, design partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, says:

Top companies are leading with design. Others that aren’t willing to invest in design because they think it can’t be measured or tied to ROI will fall behind. Business as usual is no longer good enough. Mature industries that have focused on more, better and faster now need to adjust their thinking to include design as a key value differentiator.

The idea that design is fiscally beneficial has been proven time and again. In 2005, a group called The Design Council studied 63 portfolios of companies that traded on the FTSE (Financial Times Stock Exchange) over a ten year period. Companies that put an emphasis on design outperformed the FTSE 100 index by 200%.

It’s becoming more difficult to get the attention of consumers when they are overwhelmed with choice. Tellingly, Adobe’s 2015 report on the State of Content emphasizes that with 15 minutes to consume content, 66% would prefer to view something beautifully designed vs. simple and plain.

Want to stand out as a brand worth noticing? Beautiful and thoughtful design is the way to do it.

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Design connects you to your customers

Great designs use color, layout, and smart font choice to connect to their consumer in meaningful, emotionally driven ways. Incorporating impactful, memorable, and emotional connection in the visual display of your brand is the best way to show the world who you are and what your brand stands for.

Your designs should support the principles you have built your company around, and strive to reach your customers’ hearts (rather than their wallets).

Create valuable, sustainable customer relationships by building your brand’s visual identity on the foundation of emotional connection. There’s no better way to secure consumer loyalty than by connecting you through your shared values, and a great design is the most effective way to illustrate them.

Ready to take the next step? Give me a call at (877) 636-7739 Extension 100

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Posted 9 May 2019

Why Branding Is Important For Your Business

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Decades ago, branding was defined as a name, slogan, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of these elements, that distinguish one company, product, or service from another. Today, branding is more complex and even more important. 

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What Should a Brand Do?

Branding is not just about getting your target market to select you over the competition. It’s also about getting your prospects to see you as the sole provider of a solution to their problem or need. In its essence, branding is a problem-solver. A good brand will:  

  • Clearly deliver a message
  • Confirm the brand’s credibility in the marketplace
  • Emotionally connect target prospects with a product or service
  • Motivate the buyer to make a purchase
  • Create user loyalty
Why Branding Is Important For Your Business 40

Branding and Understanding Your Customer

To succeed in branding, you must understand the needs and wants of your customers and prospects. You can achieve this by integrating your brand strategies throughout your company at every point of public contact.

Think of branding as though your company or organization were a living, breathing person. Imagine this person explaining who they are, why they’re valuable, and what they specifically have to offer.

As consumers begin to identify with you, your brand will live in the hearts and minds of customers, clients, and prospects, and they’ll connect on an emotional level.  

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The Importance of Branding and the 3 Key Questions

Your brand is the source of a promise to your consumer. If you’re billing yourself as the manufacturer of the longest-lasting light bulb, your brand has to live up to that.

It’s important to spend time researching, defining, and building your brand.

In developing a strategic marketing plan, your brand serves as a guide to understanding the purpose of your key business objectives and enables you to align the plan with those objectives. Branding doesn’t just count during the time before the purchase—the brand experience has to last to create customer loyalty. You can create that by answering these three questions:

  1. Did the product or service perform as expected?
  2. Was the quality as good as promised or better?
  3. Was the entire customer experience positive?

If you can get positive answers to these three questions, you’ve created a loyal customer.

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Beyond Loyal Customers

Branding not only creates loyal customers, but it also creates loyal employees. A quality brand gives people something to believe in and something to stand behind. It helps employees understand the purpose of the organization they work for. They feel like they’re a part of something significant and not just a cog in a wheel.  

A Basic Checklist to Evaluate Your Brand

How do you know if your brand is strong enough to give you the internal and external value that you need? Start by asking yourself the following:

  • Does the brand relate to my target audience? Will they instantly “get it” without too much thought? 
  • Does the brand share the uniqueness of what I am offering and why it’s important?  
  • Does the brand reflect the promise made to my target audience and hold value for my internal audience?  
  • Does the brand reflect the values that I want to represent to my customers?  

Let these questions serve as a guideline in the development of your brand. If you’re not sure about the answers then you may want to revamp your branding efforts.

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