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Showing posts from November, 2018

How to Use Your Competition for Strategic Expansion

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In 2006, Aviva Weiss was struggling to help her daughter cope with a sensory-processing disorder.
As an occupational therapist who worked with children on the autism spectrum, Weiss knew how overwhelming life could be for families like hers. When she ordered her daughter a weighted vest (an item that helps overstimulated children stay focused), she was horrified when it arrived. "It was super ugly," she said. "I thought, 'there's no reason that special-needs products should make kids stand out even more.'"
Weiss sensed a market opportunity and seized it, founding Fun and Function to create more attractive versions of existing products like chewable necklaces, noise-reduction headphones, or clothing that soothes children with sensory issues. Items were showcased in the company's catalog, which was designed to put parents at ease, cutting through technical jargon to connect with families on a more authentic level.
By 2010, the company had grown seve…

The Ideal Length for Tweets, Facebook Posts, and More

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You've taken the time to collect your thoughts. You've carefully outlined your ideas, your theme, and the overall tone you'd like to communicate. Wouldn't it be nice if people actually read it?
Better make it quick!
Generation Z, born after 1996, is already emerging from the shadow of millennials. Making up a quarter of the U.S. population, they will account for 40 percent of all consumers by 2020. Gen Z processes content faster than other generation, especially considering most can sort through piles of information using four screens simultaneously.
Although their options seem limitless, their time is finite. Gen Z consumers have an average browsing attention span of eight seconds (as compared to twelve seconds for millennials).
Make Every Word Count
As lead time decreases, efficiency must increase.
How do you evaluate the "right" speed for sharing? Research has answers! Here are some research-based guidelines on the ideal length for Tweets, Facebook and blog…

Streamline Your Next Project with Print-Ready Proofs

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Ever rushed out the door only to trip on your shoes in the entryway? Or made a hasty stop at the intersection and found yourself in a costly fender bender?
Accidents happen when we hurry, and that's true in both life and work. In project management, sometimes we fail to allow adequate time for extra details or unexpected delays. As you draw closer to a deadline, errors are made and important details are overlooked.
Print-Ready Success
Do you want to be proud of your next print project with a smooth transition from design to print?
Here is a handy preflight checklist to help you eliminate panic or costly mistakes when a deadline is near.
Thoroughly proof your document for typographical, punctuation, margin, or grammatical errors. Have one or two other people proof as well. Mistakes are easy to miss but embarrassing to everyone. To slow yourself down, trying reading your document out loud or read your text backward.
Embed your fonts and designs. There's nothing worse than pouring ov…

Small Businesses Have a Big Reach

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A tiny, Ohio-based Vita-Mix corporation has been grinding and blending for 70 years.
Known for its high-powered, durable blending machines, "Vita-Mix" was coined with an emphasis on "vita," meaning "life." The company was born in 1921 when founder William Barnard, after helping a friend through a significant illness, realized the tremendous impact whole-food nutrition had on health. Simple Vitamix products evolved to industrial strength mixers that could puree raw foods, blend hot soup, grind grain, or knead bread dough.
Vitamix rarely sold products internationally before the late 1990s. But as sales slowed in the U.S., the third generation of Barnard family owners decided to go global. After hiring international sales manager James Smith, exports soared to 20 percent of yearly profits, growing hundreds of new jobs in the outskirts of Cleveland. "Exporting is the salvation of our standard of living and the security of our workers," said Smith.…

Grow Your Business Through Successful Staffing

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Todd Fishman and Hunter Brooks were childhood friends who attended the University of Washington before heading to corporate Manhattan for several years. The friends reconnected in New York, bonding over their love of great salad.
Yes, young men eating salad.
Salads are so trendy that in Manhattan the lines for gourmet salad bars stretch around the block. While waiting in one of these lines, the friends had their "Aha" moment. They looked at each other and said, "This would be killer in Seattle!"
A Quickly Budding Dream
Enter Evergreens healthy food chain, co-founded with their associate Ryan Suddendorf in 2013.
Over five years, Evergreens has seen 200% revenue growth each year, with six stores in Seattle and a projected 11 more by 2019. Evergreens caters and offers salads, wraps, and grain bowls while keeping food fun with names like "Dice-Dice Baby," the "Cobbsby Show," and an Asian mix called "Pear-ly Legal."
While entertaining, Evergre…

Four Reasons Great Promotional Products Work

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Branded products are everywhere: featured in movies, professional sports, and even on your favorite jacket or thumb drive.
These products bring pleasure and familiarity while sending a message of brand support to friends and casual observers. And these ideas carry substantial weight.
Another Washington First
The first known example of distributing promotional products was in 1789.
Commemorative buttons, created to celebrate George Washington's inauguration, featured a crisp, stamped profile of Washington and the Latin phrase "Pater Patriæ," meaning "Father of his Country."
Sported by patriotic Americans, the buttons celebrated American democracy and support for the first president. The passion behind this message continues to live on: in February of 2018, one of the inaugural buttons was auctioned for $225,000!
The Gift That Keeps On Giving
Washington's buttons fueled momentum, and your customers are wired to respond to promotional products too.
Eight out of 10 …

Reel in Prospects by Adding Print to Your Content Marketing

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Researchers estimate that in 1984 a person saw an average of 2,000 ads per day.
By 2014, they saw about 5,000. With the explosion in spam and social media ads, that number increases daily. But consumers are fed up with in-your-face advertising that seems disruptive or manipulative. Instead, they're attracted to authenticity and friendliness in a brand.
How can you build that kind of culture in your business?
It's All About Content
Narratives and content marketing can bring fresh life to your marketing mix!
Content marketing is a strategic approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience. It shifts your team away from a "message" focus to a more optimal "people focus," building trust and driving more profitable consumer action.
Content marketing generates stronger leads, increases sales, and enhances customer loyalty. Consider these facts:

77% of internet users read blogs
Sm…

Leaving a Legacy with Your Small Business

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In the 1950s, a young boy named John was enthralled by every chance to visit his best friend.
This family owned a soda pop bottling plant, which sparked a lifelong love for exotic flavors in John Nese. Years later, Nese brought soda to his family's Italian grocery store in Los Angeles, known today for its 600 soda and beer flavors from around the world.
The variety wasn't always this broad. Nese said the change came 20 years ago when independent grocers were being squeezed out by chains. One soda dealer offered a profit of $30 a pallet if Nese would streamline shelves and eliminate variety. Nese wouldn't bite:
"Nuts to that," he said. "A light bulb went off (and I said), 'You know, John, you should be happy you own your shelf space, and Pepsi doesn't, and you can sell anything you want.' So I went out and found 25 brands of little sodas."
Nese says this "freedom of choice" philosophy defines his family and his business, and custom…

Use Great Body Language to Speak with Success

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Ramona Smith, a 31-year-old Houston teacher, has faced many challenges, including coaxing her son through cancer and struggling through a divorce.
But Smith believes life is about more than what knocks you down, it's about the lifelines people offer to help you back up.
One of Smith's lifelines was the mentorship she found in Toastmasters, a non-profit educational organization that teaches public speaking and leadership. In her 2018 speech, "Still Standing," Smith posed as a fighter on stage and talked about surviving round after round with life but bouncing back again. Her accomplishments include dropping out of college four times (before graduating at the top of her class) and, most recently, being crowned the Toastmasters World Champion of Public Speaking in Chicago. 
Smith outlasted 30,000 other competitors over six months of competition before being named the champion in August. Her success comes not only from her will to fight but from one speaking technique

Adding More Marketing Channels—5 Easy Ways to Make it Work for You.

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Cross-channel marketing doesn’t have to be hard.  It just has to be strategic. 
For consumers, it is not enough to interact with a single channel anymore. Whether it’s for business or personal, they want to use multiple channels like direct mail, email, and social media to investigate, research, compare, and check in with others before making a final purchase. 
In fact, one retail marketing survey finds that consumers using two or more media channels to connect with brands are the most satisfied shoppers.1 While most marketers see “every channel, everywhere” as the ultimate goal of a broader multichannel marketing program, their ability to actually implement such programs is restricted by time, expertise, and marketing budgets. Fortunately, there are a few easy steps you can take to create highly effective multichannel campaigns regardless of your level of resources. 
1. Work backwards. Don’t start with a list of all of the channels you want to include. Start with the end result you want to…