People say that business is all about relationships, but the truth is that business is really all about communication. Communication is key to virtually every aspect of business—from acquiring and retaining customers to improving employee engagement and performance. At the most fundamental level, business can’t happen without communication. This is even more true in the era of globalisation. As geographic borders become porous and the world flattens, effective communication with customers, employees, partners, suppliers, and other stakeholders across the globe becomes essential to successfully running a company.
The importance of consistency in business seems so basic as to not need discussion. Yet many companies, especially smaller ones, operate in a day-by-day, case-by-case fashion that is disorganised, undisciplined and certainly inefficient.
The frenetic, never-enough people/time/money reality of small business can make us feel like we’re chasing it down rather than leading it along, but if we get in front of it with consistent standards and practices (ideally working hand-in-hand with a strong set of values), every aspect of the business benefits.
Packaging plays an important role as a medium in the marketing mix, in promotion campaigns, as a pricing criterion, in defining the character of new products, as a setter of trends and as an instrument to create brand identity and shelf impact in all product groups.
The findings of our recent survey about this subject present new arguments and evidence confirming a central conviction held by the packaging industry: that the shopper appreciates and in fact explicitly wants to receive stimulation for the buying decision he is making when standing in front of the supermarket shelf, often even preferring this to other forms of communication. He is keen to be informed and inspired, tempted and pampered by surprising and persuasive functions, emotions and sensual impressions.
Brand names, logos, and slogans are integral parts of any company’s marketing message. All have the same aim: to make consumers react positively to a product or a business. Our research shows, however, that many slogans backfire—for example, causing consumers to spend money when they’re told they can save, or vice versa.
In five studies of several hundred undergraduates each, in which computers were used to simulate shopping behaviour, we found that consumers typically follow the prompt of a brand name or a logo.
Marketers surpass consumers in their daily use of e-mail, texting and social platforms. A whopping 93 percent of marketers have made a purchase as a direct result of an e-mail marketing message, while only 49 percent of online consumers have done so.
What is the significance of this? The differences point to a fundamental fact about marketing: Your perspective may be skewed if you make assumptions about customers based on your own behaviour, rather than that of the people you want to reach. If you are operating on a different wavelength than your customers, your marketing will seem like it’s from Mars–and will not resonate with its intended audience.
Let’s take a look at some adages that can help you gain real insight into your customer base.
In today’s image-conscious society, everything is judged first by how it looks. Rebranding has become the “cure du jour” for everything from sluggish sales to increased competition and outdated products. So how well do these makeovers work?
It depends. There are times when rebranding is crucial, and times when it’s nothing short of perilous. Remember, branding should be a reflection of your company, not just a projection of what you want it to be. You must ensure that the customer experience equals the expectation, or no amount of image revamping will work, at least in the long run. Before you rebrand, there really does need to be something different about your business, product or service; unless, of course, your image never accurately reflected your company to begin with.
According to a recent study, 58% of business presentations are deemed to be too long, uninteresting and lacking relevant information.
Here are 21 ways to make certain that your presentations hold your audience’s interest and help them make the decision you want them to make.
- Build a story. Presentations are boring when they present scads of information without any context or meaning. Instead, tell a story, with the audience as the main characters (and, specifically, the heroes).
- Keep it relevant. Audiences only pay attention to stories and ideas that are immediately relevant. Consider what decision you want them to make, then build an appropriate case.
So you want your website to make you look big. More power to you. But the business experts I talked to recently say small is cool with customers, too.
Small businesses, they say, have a personality, flavour and sensibility that big businesses can’t match. And when it comes to what you put on your website, they urge: Don’t be afraid to tout your smallness. Small businesses can have more fun with their sites. A small-business site needs to include something that reflects the creativity and personality of its owner.
As a general concept, research is the process of gathering information to learn about something that is not fully known. Nearly everyone engages in some form of research.
From the highly trained geologist investigating newly discovered earthquake faults, to the author of best selling spy novels gaining insight into new surveillance techniques, to the model train hobbyist spending hours hunting down the manufacturer of an old electric engine, each is driven by the quest for information.
These days it is rare to find a business niche that is not already over saturated, however you don’t need to come up with a new concept to be different. Little tweaks here and there can make you stand out from the crowd and give you a great chance to be successful from the first day.
Shout about your USP (unique selling point) from day one
This may sound obvious but all too often I see and hear about new businesses starting up and unless I really delve into their website I don’t actually know what makes them different, what sets them apart from the competition. Use all your PR channels to shout from the roof tops about your USP(s).
We’ve all witnessed it – the seemingly overnight success of some startups that begs the question “what am I doing wrong here?” Is it the idea? The timing? The commitment? Why do some companies transform into breakout brands, while others struggle along?
In my 25 plus years of working with entrepreneurs and startups, I’ve noticed three similarities between the companies that skyrocket vs. the ones that sputter out. Here are three ingredients that will fortify your brand for immediate growth.
Operational margins are narrowing; leaving business owners constantly looking for ways to reduce business running costs and increase profits.
Here are simple things you should do to reduce your business expenses and increase revenue without affecting productivity or quality.
Review Standard Operating Procedures
If a business has been in operation for several years, it is possible that some standard operating procedures have become obsolete or less efficient. It is important to re-evaluate operational processes from the bottom to the top, and make changes like trimming unnecessary steps that were needed before but are not anymore, or making new changes to labour functions.