HNTRISM

Un_Standard launches HNTRISM

Un_Standard has had the utmost pleasure in building a brand from the ground up called HNTRISM, a media platform dedicated to discovering emerging and niche brands from around the world. HNTRISM Magazine features articles about fashioninteriors, grooming, culture, and beauty. The platform also features. three digital boutiques. Berchard’s Fine Living spotlights the best of home interiors and home entertaining. Asbury Apothecary features skincare and fragrance. And finally, FOUR/POINT/EIGHT showcases men’s and women’s fashions and accessories.

Affiliate partners include such notable brands as Malin+Goetz, Design Within Reach, Wallpaper Magazine, Berlin’s VooStore, L.A based boutique Ron Herman, N.Y. based boutique Blue + Cream and Charleston’s Hampden Clothing.

Future developments for the platform include the launch of a visual media platform, an app developed in conjunction with tech firm delaPlex, and advances in tech-enabled shopping. HNTRISM plans on launching a series of brand-immersive pop-up shops

Time For A Marketing Makeover

There comes a point in any marketing campaign when it is time for a marketing makeover. It keeps things fresh and gets the attention of those that you want to (when done properly). One of the easiest places to start with your marketing makeover is with your online presence. If you need to spruce up your marketing, then creating a compelling web presence is a good place to start.

When refreshing your online presence, it is important to carefully think about your content. Plan ahead and make sure that your presence is cohesive. Create content that is relevant to your small business. Choose about ten topics that you think will be relevant to your readers (and customers) and create content around those topics. Set up a calendar so that you update your content on a regular basis. And stick to it (believe me, we can be guilty of not sticking to our editorial calendar).

WordPress is a fantastic way to manage your small business presence online. It’s intuitive, it’s popular and there are millions of options for how you can customize it. And better yet, WordPress is pretty SEO friendly. There are a host of plugins for WordPress that can help boost your SEO.

WordPress SEO

WordPress SEO – this is a really handy resource when it comes to reminding you to include all of the things that you need for better SEO when you write your articles. Having this plugin really helps you be smarter with SEO on your site.

Contextual Related Posts

Contextual Related Posts – this is another handy plugin that adds links to related posts that you have written at the end of your articles. This gives readers the opportunity to click through your website instead of going off somewhere else.

Also, when you’re creating content, it’s important to listen to what is going on around you in order to stay relevant. When you listen, you’ll find out what is going on and you’ll be able to keep up with the paces of your industry. There are some great resources online where you can gather this intelligence. Twitter is a great place to start. Create lists to see what is going on in your industry and to keep tabs on your competition. Google Alerts are another great place to gather intelligence. Create alerts relevant for your industry for writers who frequently write about your category.

Some other great resources to use are Alltop, which compiles the content of some of the most influential people within your industry. Quora is another great place to hang out to gather intelligence. Here you can understand what sorts of questions are being asked within your industry. This might shed some light on an opportunity to take advantage of with your name on it.

The importance of visual identity in branding for small businesses

Branding for small businesses tips rule number one

Often times a company’s brand is mistaken for its visual identity when developing branding for small businesses. A brand is much more than just a company logo. But that’s not to say that the visual identity of a company is not important. The visual identity is what communicates the brand to the consumer. No one has doubted the power of imagery.
Cave dwellers figured out that they could communicate through symbols by drawing on cave walls. And us humans have been using symbols as a method of communication ever since.

Of course, the logo is one part of the visual identity in branding for small businesses. It is important that there is consistency in the application of that logo, along with the appropriate typefaces, colors and language, as to firmly implant the vision, mission and values of a brand in the mind of consumers. Inconsistent messages are confusing. And when we are bombarded with thousands of messages in any given day, it is critical that potential consumers aren’t confused by the messages are sending out. Customers have an overabundance of choice in today’s world and can easily take their business to a competitor. Lost customers equals loss of revenue. Not good.

A visual identity forms the foundation for customer relations

A well-designed and consistent visual identity forms the foundation for building relationships with your customers. It gives your staff a clear understanding of what the business stands for and works as a way to build allegiance to your company rather than pursuing individual goals. It acts as a way to attract a higher quality candidate in the recruitment process. Professionals want to join a company with clearly communicated values that reflect their own personal values.

Is your visual identity accurately reflecting the true essence of your organization? Often times in branding for small businesses, it is important to go through a brand refresh in order to update existing brand to reflect an evolved business strategy. Just like that wallpaper that seemed like a good idea at the time twenty years ago, a brand needs to be evaluated periodically in order to remain competitive in the market.
So don’t be afraid of the visual identity. Make sure that it properly reflects the true essence of your company, and the cost that comes with establishing the identity will pay for itself exponentially in the long run.

Un_Standard can help you plan a branding for small businesses strategy and create a robust visual identity to match your robust business idea. Contact us today for a free initial consultation with no obligation.

Small Business Website Design Tips: Avoid The Deadly Sins

As a small business, it is critical to make a good first impression. And your website is often times the first place where your customers and potential customers will go for information about you and your company. You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. It’s critical that when customers arrive on the frontpage of your website, that they instantly understand who you are and what your business does. And if you neglect your frontpage, then you’re potentially losing customers.
Here are a few basic small business website design tips that every small business needs to double check against. Is your small business website committing any of these deadly sins?

Small Business website design tips number one: make sure that all of your links are working correctly

Have you ever been on a website and clicked on a link only to be taken to the dreaded 404 error page? If a company can’t be bothered to check to see if their website is functioning properly, then it’s probable that they pay the same sort of attention to their customer service, products or user experience. At least, these are the signals that broken links are sending out to potential customers, sending them off to more reputable businesses (i.e. your competition).

Small Business website design tips number two: make sure your contact information is clearly accessible on the home page

A recent survey indicated that over 75% of small businesses don’t have an email link on their homepage. And nearly three-fifths don’t have a telephone number. Customers like having options on how to contact particular companies, so make sure that this information is easy to access. If you’re asking your customers to dig around for ways to get in touch with you, then they’re going to give up and take their business elsewhere.

Small Business website design tips number three: make sure that the images on your home page actually represent what your business does

If you are in the business of paper products, then it’s probably not a good idea to have images of butterflies or family portraits on your home page. As basic as this seems, you’d be surprised how many small businesses elect to put up irrelevant images on their websites. Confused customers can immediately think that this website isn’t what they were looking for and head to the next search entry, immediately taking their potential sale with them.

And also, think twice before you make the images on your homepage do things like shake or spin or play music. They may grab someones attention, but they have a tendency to annoy and irritate, sending those customers away just a quickly as they came.

Small business website design tips number four: be sure to include social media links

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past ten years, you would know that social media can be an extremely powerful way to promote your business. So make sure that you include links to your social media sites on your home page, as well as with your blog articles. It’s a great way to get your name out there, regardless of what you do.

Studies Prove Uncluttered Websites Perform Better

New research from SAY Media and IPG have shown that an ad placed on uncluttered websites without overloading the senses of the user are more useful, trusted and effective. This bit of research also indicates that if multiple adverts are placed on simple, uncluttered websites, they also perform better. Shocking revelation, isn’t it? We’ve been taught time and time again that in order to get your message across, the message must be simple, clear and concise. When decorating, we’ve been taught to simplify the amount of objects in a room so that the eye can focus upon said objects rather than darting about in a confused state. So it comes as no surprise that a simple, clean website with an advert allows the viewer to actually notice the advert, and quite possibly react.

We live in a “short attention span” world, where we are constantly bombarded with messages and want to find the information that we are seeking in as quick and easily a manner as possible. According to comScore, the average time spent on a web page is steadily decreasing, with the average user spending just 40 seconds on a single page.  By using a combination of eye-tracking technology and survey research, the study found that viewers spend twice as long with ads on clean pages that feature ads from just one brand. Uncluttered websites also have higher ad recall.

Ads on uncluttered websites have higher performance rates

Some findings from the research are that uncluttered websites and clean pages enhance site perception as well as ad perception. Those sites that were clean and easy to navigate were perceived as being more useful and trustworthy than similar cluttered sites. Ads that appear on clean sites are also always seen, according to eye-tracking data. Less clutter also means higher recall.

So let this be a lesson to all of you webmasters and advertisers out there. Don’t try to cram too many adverts/messages/objects/etc. into your layouts. Less really does seem to be more.

 

Global Creativity Gap and The State of Creativity

The Global Creativity Gap

Adobe released another study, called “State Of Create”, that reveals a global creativity gap exists in the worlds top five global economies (US, Japan, UK, Germany and France). We here at Un_Standard love these types of surveys, because they provide a fascinating glimpse into how we perceive creativity and how we as individuals are living up to our creative potential. This bit of research found that 80% of people feel that unlocking creativity is critical to the economic growth of their city/region/country, and 2/3 feel creativity is valuable to society. In contrast, only 25% feel that they are living up to their own creative potential. A true global creativity gap indeed.

Interviews conducted across the five countries revealed surprising attitudes and beliefs about creativity, providing new insight into the role of creativity in business, education and society.

The study found that there is a major global creativity gap in the workplace, 75% feel that they are under increased pressure to be productive rather than creative. “Don’t think, just do”. This is in stark contrast to the fact that respondents are increasingly expected to think creatively on the job.

And ways to deal with the global creativity gap

Over half of the respondents felt that creativity is being stifled by the educational system, and many feel that creativity is being taken for granted. This is most notable in the US, where 70% felt that creativity is being taken for granted. “One of the myths of creativity is that very few people are really creative,” said Sir Ken Robinson, Ph.D., an internationally recognized leader in the development of education, creativity and innovation. “The truth is that everyone has great capacities but not everyone develops them. One of the problems is that too often our educational systems don’t enable students to develop their natural creative powers. Instead, they promote uniformity and standardization. The result is that we’re draining people of their creative possibilities and, as this study reveals, producing a workforce that’s conditioned to prioritize conformity over creativity.”

So who ranked as the most creative in this global creativity gap survey? Japan tops the list, with the US in second place. Ironically, the Japanese largely don’t see themselves as being creative. Tokyo ranked as the most creative city, with New York coming in at second.

The study in its entirety can be found on the Adobe website.