How To Distinguish Your Brand From Competitors

How To Distinguish Your Brand From Competitors

No matter how innovative, effective or successful your brand, you will always have competitors. Original concepts rarely exist—if you believe something is a great idea, chances are someone else thought of the same thing.

In a competitive market, what often sets your company apart is not the quality of the product or service, but the quality of the branding.

Branding creates the emotional experience for users interacting with your company. Effective brand strategy can generate new leads, increase sales and strengthen customer loyalty.

So how do you differentiate your brand in a fast-paced and ever-evolving digital marketplace? Here are five tips to get you started.

  1. Find your niche. The more specific you can be in defining your target audience, the higher chance you will have of distinguishing your brand. Today’s consumers, particularly millennials, prefer brands that feel personal and customized. Narrowing your focus will help you market more effectively and effectively.
  2. Implement strategic campaigns. Instead of paying for generic, catch-all advertising, design your marketing efforts around strategic campaigns. Research audience trends and build your campaign around a particular demographic and value proposition.
  3. Appeal to values. Consumers are more likely to be emotionally moved (and consequently financially moved) by brands that appeal to their values. Find out what your audience values—such as security, ease, or status—and design your brand around those concepts.
  4. Engage with your audience. In today’s digital world, consumers are more likely to interact with brands that are personal and responsive. Your brand’s online platforms, such as your website and social media accounts, should be friendly, helpful and actively engaging with your customer base.
  5. Don’t skimp on design. Users will leave a website within a few seconds if the site doesn’t appear credible, useful and easy to navigate. Website design, photography and videography are not areas to cut corners if you’re looking to differentiate your brand. One poorly designed web page or sub-par photograph could make or break your brand image.

ATX Web Designs offers digital brand consulting and strategy services. Contact us for more information.

3 Branding Tips for Solopreneurs

3 Branding Tips for Solopreneurs

Solopreneurs—or entrepreneurs who run a business on their own—are on the rise in the United States, numbering more than 40 million. Whether by choice or by necessity, solopreneurs wear every hat in their company, from CEO to accountant to customer service representative.

As busy people who are often operating on a tight budget, solopreneurs and small business owners sometimes overlook the importance of marketing their product or service. There is a common misconception that marketing requires a large financial investment, so many solopreneurs see strong branding as a luxury rather than a necessity.

Regardless of the size of your business or ad budget, you can build a brand of your own. You may not be a Coca Cola but you can still think about your message and how you want people to remember your service or product.

Here are three branding tips for solopreneurs that won’t break the bank.

  1. Create an emotional experience. Branding has largely to do with the type of emotional experience you create for customers and potential customers. How do you want your audience to feel? Safe? Excited? Elite? Entertained? Use this emotional experience to determine everything from the look and feel of your logo to the tone you use on your website and social media posts.
  2. Make it personal. Two advantages solopreneurs and small businesses have over larger competitors are personality and personalized attention. By making personal connections with customers and giving your digital content a strong personality, you can develop a strong brand that users are eager to follow and engage. Be sure to reinforce your brand personality across multiple platforms (such as website, social media and printed materials).
  3. Use keywords.. What terms or words perk your audience’s attention? What phrases do potential customers use to search the internet for the type of product or service you offer? By honing in on keywords you can achieve a better search engine ranking and more effectively engage your target audience.

You may not have a $250,00 ad budget, but as a solopreneur, you can still work on building organic traffic and generating attention for your brand. This, in turn, will lead to more leads, sales and brand loyalty.

Three Common Marketing Mistakes Franchises Make

Three Common Marketing Mistakes Franchises Make

Franchises are a popular business structure that face a unique challenge when it comes to marketing. To be successful, franchisors need to support the independence of their individual franchisees while also maintaining a consistent brand image.

There are three common marketing mistakes that franchise owners make, and they all  relate to the way independent franchisees present themselves online.
Here are the pitfalls to avoid when developing marketing strategies for your franchise:

  1. Inconsistent franchisee sites and domain names. Inconsistencies between the corporate franchise website and franchisee landing pages create confusion for users and reduce brand visibility and credibility. It is important for franchises to remain consistent in how they present franchisee web pages. These pages should either all be hosted under the main corporate website, or they should have independent domain names. Your franchise brand could lose potential sales if users get a different experience on your corporate website than they do on franchisee websites.
  2. Failure to utilize SEO. It is important for brand consistency and visibility that each franchise location ranks on the first page of Google and other search engine results. This allows for backlinks and means rankings will be boosted for any new franchisee. However, it is critical not to duplicate content on independent franchisee websites. This could cause your company to be penalized by Google.
  3. Social media accounts lack uniformity. Social media management can be challenging for franchises. Since platforms like Facebook and Instagram are so personal, each franchisee account will likely vary in voice, tone, aesthetic, and posting frequency. Franchises should control social media at the corporate level or create a social-media-specific brand and style guide for franchisees.

A better digital structure will create more brand value, visibility and credibility, and will ultimately help your franchisees increase sales and retain customers. ATX Web Designs is skilled and experienced at helping franchises create consistent brands, rank highly on search engines, and improve sales through cohesive marketing efforts. Visit our franchise page to learn more.

 

5 Web Design Myths … Busted

5 Web Design Myths … Busted

Your website is likely the first place consumers encounter your brand, and the design not only conveys information about your products and services, but also speaks to your values, style, and relevance. 

In an article published by Inc., ATX The Brand Founder Daniel Griggs responded to five common website design myths and shared the reality behind good web design. 

Myth 1. Your website can’t serve multiple audiences
There may be gaps in technological knowledge and aesthetic taste, but that doesn’t mean your website design can’t appeal to multiple demographics. Work smarter, not harder, to engage with each of your target audiences by finding the areas where their preferences overlap. For example, the baby boomer and millennial generations may both prefer large font and less cluttered design. 

Myth 2. Content is content

Not all content is created equal. The average website visitor will leave a page after 10 to 20 seconds if they are unable to access the information they need, so your site should convey your main message as quickly and simply as possible. Be as bold and blatant as you can about answering the three W’s—Who are you? What do you do? Why should a user do business with you? If your website has a high bounce rate, this could be an indicator that you are not keeping it simple enough. 

Myth 3. You need to tell your whole story on your homepage

Your users’ first interaction with your website should make them feel like it was designed for them. Avoid overwhelming site visitors with details about every facet of your product or service and instead create clear calls to action that help specific audiences quickly and easily navigate to the content they need. 

Myth 4: A well-designed desktop version is good enough

A well-designed desktop version of your website is important, but research shows that the mobile version is crucial. The Pew Research Center reports that 28 percent of millennials are smartphone-only internet users, meaning that nearly one third of the country’s largest consumer demographic will be viewing your website solely on their phones. 

Myth 5: You don’t need a website audit 

Quality website and mobile app design requires a professional set of eyes. A website audit is a comprehensive review of your design and content that will help determine whether you are reaching your target audiences in the most efficient and effective way possible. A full audit will help expose weak spots and improve the usability of your website and mobile app to ensure you are reaching the greatest amount of people in the most effective way. This will help conversion, which means more leads. 

5 Web Design Myths … Busted

5 Web Design Myths … Busted

Your website is likely the first place consumers encounter your brand, and the design not only conveys information about your products and services, but also speaks to your values, style, and relevance. 

In an article published by Inc., ATX The Brand Founder Daniel Griggs responded to five common website design myths and shared the reality behind good web design. 

Myth 1. Your website can’t serve multiple audiences
There may be gaps in technological knowledge and aesthetic taste, but that doesn’t mean your website design can’t appeal to multiple demographics. Work smarter, not harder, to engage with each of your target audiences by finding the areas where their preferences overlap. For example, the baby boomer and millennial generations may both prefer large font and less cluttered design. 

Myth 2. Content is content

Not all content is created equal. The average website visitor will leave a page after 10 to 20 seconds if they are unable to access the information they need, so your site should convey your main message as quickly and simply as possible. Be as bold and blatant as you can about answering the three W’s—Who are you? What do you do? Why should a user do business with you? If your website has a high bounce rate, this could be an indicator that you are not keeping it simple enough. 

Myth 3. You need to tell your whole story on your homepage

Your users’ first interaction with your website should make them feel like it was designed for them. Avoid overwhelming site visitors with details about every facet of your product or service and instead create clear calls to action that help specific audiences quickly and easily navigate to the content they need. 

Myth 4: A well-designed desktop version is good enough

A well-designed desktop version of your website is important, but research shows that the mobile version is crucial. The Pew Research Center reports that 28 percent of millennials are smartphone-only internet users, meaning that nearly one third of the country’s largest consumer demographic will be viewing your website solely on their phones. 

Myth 5: You don’t need a website audit 

Quality website and mobile app design requires a professional set of eyes. A website audit is a comprehensive review of your design and content that will help determine whether you are reaching your target audiences in the most efficient and effective way possible. A full audit will help expose weak spots and improve the usability of your website and mobile app to ensure you are reaching the greatest amount of people in the most effective way. This will help conversion, which means more leads.