Friday, October 22, 2010

How to Refresh Your Business Image in 5 Easy Steps

As I drove around my small northern California town this week, I noticed a lot of "Going Out of Business" signs. Unfortunately, this is the norm for many local, small businesses based on the U.S. economy. It's sad to see long-time businesses closing their doors.

What is really happening and why are these businesses closing up shop? Could they have saved their business? Was their marketing non-existent? Obviously, it comes down to dollars and cents. However, marketing is an integral part of any business - small, medium or large. But what does it take to shape things up on the business-front? Do what any celeb does who has taken a nose-dive in the public eye - re-invent yourself!

If you teeter on the edge of closing up shop, check out these five marketing steps and see where you stand. Could you do something different with your marketing strategies? Is it time to bite the marketing bullet and embrace change?

Last year, I helped one of my clients, a local tax & financial consultant, basically re-invent her business image. This marketing overhaul included working with a web designer to create a new company name, logo/slogan and brand-spanking new website. As the copywriter, I wrote strong, cohesive copy that tied back to her new branding.

What did she learn from "refreshing" her business image? After twenty plus years as a local tax & financial consultant, she wants to remain competitive in the local market and attract new clients/bring in new business. She realized her old name and slogan weren't working - it was time to spruce up and super-charge her image - and it's definitely working.

If your business teeters on the edge of closing up shop, check out these five easy marketing steps and see where your business stands.

1. Don't create a cryptic-sounding company name and slogan. If YOU read your slogan back to yourself and can't understand it, then it's definitely time to go back to the drawing board. If you have no idea what your company or slogan means, then how do you expect customers to understand what you're all about? What worked 30 years ago probably won't work in 2010. However, "don't fix what's not broken either" - if your slogan is what really makes your business, don't change just for change sake.

2. Apply the "KISS" rule to your marketing messages - whether it's an ad or tweet. Keep it short & simple.

3. Make your message sound believable and forget the hype - when you send out email campaigns, leave out the spam-sounding headlines. Don't make promises you can't keep and don't go overboard with the wording - goes back to the above "KISS" rule. Steer clear of confusing language and use easy-to-read bullet points and attractive graphics in your emails.

4. Be creative. Make your company look enticing & sound attractive - whether it's your store front window or marketing brochures. Would you shop at a store that promises quality merchandise but the brochure includes unappealing, washed-out photos of that same merchandise? I know I wouldn't shop there!

5. If your message sounds boring and uninteresting, forget holding customers' and clients' attention for long. As a copywriter, this is where I suggest descriptive words come into play. As a consumer, I'm more apt to check out a day spa that paints me a picture of "picturesque, meandering forested paths while sipping Earl Grey tea" as opposed to "kick back & check out our cool day spa in the mountains." Also, what you write in your marketing messages isn't about what YOU like or want - it's what interests your customers and what appeals to them.

It's time to get inside customers' and clients' heads - think about how to describe, promote and market your features, amenities, products and services that will keep you on the map - literally! With online marketing, it makes it SO easy to have a strong marketing presence between websites and social media. Use these tools to your advantage and don't let technology pass you by! It could be a matter of saving your business!


No comments:

Post a Comment

Therese Pope, Copywriter/Content Developer & Digital Buzz-icist

Content Writing & Marketing Tips ** Online Buzz Branding

** Digital & Social Media Strategies