Why should customers trust you?

When it comes to marketing a business, there are many different “proofs” that must be taken into account. Celebrity endorsements can work for brands with pockets deep enough to pay for celebrity endorsements. But for those smaller businesses that are operating on limited funds, there are similar proofs that can be done on a smaller scale. If you can prove why customers should trust you as opposed to your competition, then you stand to have a competitive edge.

Proof of the business concept

When answering the question why customers should trust you, you must have a business concept that is trusted. Often times we take for granted the underlying concepts that drive our business. For example, in running a coaching service, coaches will often times jump past the concept of coaching to selling their particular programs. When doing this, the coach has neglected the fact that the customer hasn’t necessarily bought in to the concept of coaching. Financial advisors can tout the fact that a single advisor to handle all of their customers needs, when the customer hasn’t been convinced that having a single advisor is necessary. It is important to make sure that the business concept is trusted before you can expect to gain trust for your business.

Proof of the relevance to the customer

And just because a customer accepts the fact that having a single financial advisor or a business coach is a valid and trusted concept doesn’t guarantee that the customer will think that the concepts are relevant to them. Essentially, customers need to be shown “what’s in it for me”. Putting the business concept into context for the customer will show exactly how the concept will work for the customer. The customer may accept that having a single financial advisor or a business coach would work for some people, but not necessarily for them. Proof of business concept is where it starts, but it needs to be tied to proof of relevance to the customer in order to answer the question of why should customers trust you.

Proof of the promise of how your solution will work

Once you have established proof of business concept and tied it in to proof of relevance to the customer, the next hurdle is to show how your solution will work in the context of the customer. You may have established proof concept and proof of relevance, but unless the customer can see some insight into how your solution will work to meet their needs, you won’t completely answer the question of why customers should trust you. And the best way to go about this is to show it and not just tell your customers about it. Testimonials can be a useful tool to build proof. Free trials are another way to prove this concept to your customers. Nothing works quite like having the customer experience the benefits of your product of service first hand.

Proof of your superiority

We all know that shopping around is the way that most people shop. You would never dream of buying the first car, the first house or the first high-ticket item without looking around at your other options. Shopping around is a natural part of any purchase decision. And knowing who your are competing with and what sets your business apart from the competition will be critical in showing how your business meets the needs of your customers better than that of the competition. We live in a consumer-focused world. Customers have many options at hand. And knowing how you are different, special, unique is a necessary part in answering the question why customers should trust you and your business.

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.

First impressions count

Like It Or Not, First Impressions Count

Short attention span…

Like it or not, first impressions count

As a society, our attention span is getting shorter and shorter. Mastering Twitter is an art form, because you need to be able to convey a complete thought in 140 characters or less. Google Adwords is even shorter.  You need to be able to clearly communicate an offer, give an inventive to click through and pay it off in an even shorter space. So take this in to consideration when you deal with your customers. First impressions count.

Our brains are accustomed to filling in the blanks at record speed. We try and complete as much of a profile as possible when we meet new people and when we experience new brands. Take for example Facebook. Scour through a random selection of listings. It’s probably very easy to categorize people by the image that they’ve selected as their profile image. It’s pretty easy to figure out who is an aspiring photographer, a drunken sports fan, or just a flat out lush.

We make decisions about brands all the time. In fact, that’s what a well-crafted brand is supposed to do. It might be easy to gloss over the details thinking that they’re inconsequential. But just like those Facebook profiles, customers are “filling in the blanks” about the kind of company that you are.

So needless to say, it’s important to give a damn about the details. Websites are often the first experience that a potential customer has with a brand. Nobody will care about your website unless you do. That means that it is crucial to think long and hard about how you want to be perceived as a company. It’s important to get it right from the get go.

As a business, it is important to really understand why you started that business in the first place. You probably needed to convince your loved ones about the rational thought behind quitting your perfectly stable job to venture out into the unknown. And this explanation is going to come in handy to give to your customers. Why are you in business, and what’s in it for me? The companies that truly excel are the ones that understand what they’re doing and why they’re doing it.

Get this right from the start, get it ingrained into every facet of the company, and clearly communicate the reason for your existence on your website (and every other piece of communications that your company has), and you’ll have an advantage over countless other companies out there that haven’t figured out the details.

From Catwalk to Sidewalk: Burberry’s Concept of Fast Fashion

From catwalk to sidewalk

Burberry goes the way of fast fashion, a la H&M? Fear not fashionistas! Burberry isn’t planning on competing with Primark any time soon, but they’ve cleverly upped their game in regards to getting their product into the hands of those that want to buy. Call it a “catwalk to sidewalk” strategy.

Burberry is to embrace its own concept of ‘”fast fashion” by allowing consumers to buy items from its next collection online and in-store ahead of traditional drop dates. For the first time, consumers will be able to purchase Burberry’s garments from the autumn-winter collection directly through a campaign gallery and short films on their website to instantly move their garments from catwalk to sidewalk. The campaign will also run across digital platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram and Pinterest.

Runway to reality

The news follows the launch of the brand’s catwalk to sidewalk strategy called ‘Runway to Reality’, which allows VIP consumers to buy items from its runway collections immediately, via an iPad app. The brilliance of this strategy is that it eliminates the lag time that fast fashion retailers such as Primark and H&M were able to exploit. Previously, a high end designer would show their collection in any of the fashion capitals well ahead of the date that any of the items would end up in retail stores. This lag time allowed the fast fashion bunch to copy the designs, put them into mass production and get them into their stores, often times in advance of the originals. Spanish retailers Mango and Zara were notorious for their extremely quick production times that allowed them to released their knocked off versions of the high end designers before the high end designers had a chance to release their designs to the public. Burberry is a very smart company, and was obviously aware that the  fast fashion retailers were copying their creations. So what better way to avoid that than to make the originals available for sale at the moment that they are revealed to the public?

Now, if Burberry can address the catwalk to sidewalk dilemma, then hopefully next on their agenda would be to address the issue of sustainability in the fashion world by reducing the amount of pollution that their industry generates during the production process.