Brand Building to Boost Business

A brand, such as Starbucks or Apple, is much more than just a name. Branding encompasses all the thoughts, feelings and emotions people experience when they hear the words “Starbucks” or “Apple.”

Your brand represents the commitment you make to your customers through your product or service. Is your business trendy or classic? Who is your target audience? What is your mission?

Building a brand requires careful thought and consideration. Use these guidelines to create a brand that’s unique, memorable and appealing.

Seven Tips for Creating a Vivid and Memorable Brand

• Figure out who your target audience is. Learn more about their wants, needs and shopping habits by talking to them and following relevant social media accounts.

• Develop a positioning statement. You’ll be tempted to include everything but the kitchen sink, but communicating too much ultimately communicates nothing at all. Stay focused and craft one or two lines that sum up why your business matters.

• Choose a business name, which isn’t as easy as it sounds. If the name is too on-the-nose, it could be awkward if you plan to expand your offerings down the road. You also have to consider logos, website domains and trademark registrations.

• Once you have a name, it’s time to work on fonts and colors. Unless you have a specific reason for choosing something a little more complex, stick with clean and simple fonts.

• Choose a palette based on the  psychology of colors, but make sure you consider how it looks in black and white and against different backgrounds.

• What would a brand be without a logo? In addition to the design elements, check to make sure it’s scale-able across a range of sizes.

• Write a short but punchy slogan that immediately paints a picture. A slogan is a great way to maintain consistency, but you can certainly adapt it over time as you refine your marketing efforts and strategies.

Now that you’ve created a polished and powerful brand, start applying it across all phases and segments of your business. Don’t forget that consistency is key.

California Fulfillment Services: The Solution for All Your Order Processing Needs

Looking for a California fulfillment services company that will help maintain the integrity of your brand? Contact us to find out why Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics will provide the consistent service your customers expect.

How to Reach Customers Now During the COVID-19 Crisis

How to Reach Out to Customers in the COVID-19 Crisis

With shut downs, shipping delays, and customers sitting at home, there’s never been a better time to keep you name in front of anxious buyers using an e-newsletter.

The COVID-19 epidemic is of unprecedented proportion. Many people have never experienced a work stoppage or for that matter a quarantine. While customers wait for orders that may be delayed due to shipping issues or supply chain problems, email is the best way to soothe worries and keep customers loyal to your business.

Here are some tips to take to heart with how to communicate with customers during these unusual times.

1. Be honest of what is going on with your business. If there are delays due to supply chain issues – share the challenges in a positive manner.

2. Accept and acknowledge the uncertainty of the situation. Be real, people truly want to connect with you during this crisis.

3. Express gratitude and appreciation for orders and for those that will wait to receive their goods due to unforeseen delays.

4. Keep a regular connection with your client-base. Specifically, contact during this uncertain period should be several times a week or once or twice a month.

If you need help setting up an e-newsletter we have expert providers that are ready to set up an account at iContact for you, load your list, and even customize our own mobile-friendly reusable HTML e-newsletter template. Just let us know and we will put you in contact with one of our experts or get you started fast.

For Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics clients, our provider has created a special mobile-friendly template for newsletters that can be updated with your logo and content. Ask us for more information about this concierge-level e-newsletter program including setup, implementation, content creation, and scheduling. Pricing is customized based on your need.

http://medallionenterprises.com/newsletters/medallion-sample-template.html

For do-it-yourselfers, an iContact account provides access to easy to use templates. You can enter in your own e-newsletter information and set up your own e-newsletter issues to send on your own schedule.

Our team or our experts can work with you directly to assist with your needs. Just give us a call and let us know that you would like to reach out to your clients by email – fast!

Google Says Going Mobile is Key to Your Business Growth

Mobile trends aren't like other web trends – because while other trends come and go, mobile is apparently here to stay. So if your business has not yet gone mobile, it's almost as if you have no online presence at all. That's because consumers, clients and everyday users are switching from the big personal computer (PC) monitors to the small screens of convenient smartphones and the versatile tablets – and the numbers bear that out. • By the end of 2012, reported Forbes, mobile devices were poised to outsell personal computers by a 2:1 margin • International Data Corp researchers expect the number of consumers accessing the Internet through PCs to drop from 240 million in 2012 to 225 million by 2016. • Even the more portable laptop computer is not immune: tablets will outsell laptop computers by a 6:1 margin by 2017, according to market researcher NPD. • Over the past two years, notes Google, smartphone adoption in the United States grew from 36 percent to 61 percent. Mobile technology is even overtaking radio and television for entertainment. And the reason for this evolution is not hard to determine: smartphones and tablets accommodate today's on-the-go lifestyle. With Wi-Fi connections and data plans fueling usage, it's now possible to access the Internet virtually anywhere. The Mobile Trends Noted by Google Include These Arresting Statistics: • 94 percent of smartphone users search for location information; • 48 percent called a store; and • 85 percent of mobile search-triggered calls to stores happened within 5 hours of the initial search The biggest names in search engines have acknowledged mobile trends. Google and Bing, for example, "will index mobile content in a different manner than regular search," says e2ideas. "Search engines will serve up mobile optimized websites first over non-mobile sites when a mobile user does a search on a smartphone." No Longer a Novelty – Mobile Optimized Websites Are a Necessity This development is especially important when considering usage on Google, the undisputed leader in search engines. Today, websites that lack a mobile responsive design are going to be at a disadvantage in Google search results – and if your site doesn't make the first page of Google search results, it might as well not exist at all. The good news is that mobile searches are still relatively new – so "people who are first to market have a significant advantage," as e2ideas notes. Retailers are using mobile to their advantage – installing QR codes on shelves to encourage device-holders to scan and find information on the product; creating apps that link to special offers or deals accessed by phone or tablet; and creating virtual coupons good for on-the-spot discounts. Making Mobile Work for Your Own Customers The mobile web has altered the way your business gets discovered and accessed. While a robust, client-focused website is still a must-have, the way that site is designed and programmed for mobile use will make all the difference to your customers. The conventional PC optimized website, optimized for up to a 19-inch viewing screen, are too complicated for mobile use. The image- and text-heavy pages of a PC website are often slow to load on a smartphone, and once all the data transfers to a 4-inch screen, objects look cluttered and hard to navigate. Google reports these very interesting comments from a recent survey: • 57 percent of users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site; and • 40 percent have turned to a competitor’s site after a bad mobile experience Catching the Wave with Mobile Trends Creating a mobile presence from your traditional website presents some challenges. You need to take a step back and view your business and its message the way your customers would. What do they want to know most at the moment they pull out their smartphone? Are they just getting acquainted with your business, or are they ready to consider a purchase? Knowing your customers' buying habits are key to designing a mobile presence that they'll enjoy using. When it comes to the nuts and bolts of mobile sites, you typically have several options, but many businesses find the most success with these three choices: • A responsive design website changes the way it looks and navigates depending on the device. For instance, it will hide some content on a tiny smartphone, but show it on a larger tablet. • A native mobile app developed specifically for a device and is downloaded from app stores like iTunes and Google Play. • Using a DudaMobile automatically created mobile website done with the click of a mouse and a fast installation of a small snippet of code. Getting the Word Out Once you have taken your business mobile, let your customers in on the good news. Use your Facebook, Twitter or other social pages to announce the change; send email to your customers and prospects, and reach out to trade organizations and industry publications to get users interested in your site.

Mobile trends aren’t like other web trends – because while other trends come and go, mobile is apparently here to stay. So if your business has not yet gone mobile, it’s almost as if you have no online presence at all. That’s because consumers, clients and everyday users are switching from the big personal computer (PC) monitors to the small screens of convenient smartphones and the versatile tablets – and the numbers bear that out.

• By the end of 2012, reported Forbes, mobile devices were poised to outsell personal computers by a 2:1 margin

• International Data Corp researchers expect the number of consumers accessing the Internet through PCs to drop from 240 million in 2012 to 225 million by 2016.

• Even the more portable laptop computer is not immune: tablets will outsell laptop computers by a 6:1 margin by 2017, according to market researcher NPD.

• Over the past two years, notes Google, smartphone adoption in the United States grew from 36 percent to 61 percent.

Mobile technology is even overtaking radio and television for entertainment. And the reason for this evolution is not hard to determine: smartphones and tablets accommodate today’s on-the-go lifestyle. With Wi-Fi connections and data plans fueling usage, it’s now possible to access the Internet virtually anywhere.

The Mobile Trends Noted by Google Include These Arresting Statistics:

• 94 percent of smartphone users search for location information;

• 48 percent called a store; and

• 85 percent of mobile search-triggered calls to stores happened within 5 hours of the initial search

The biggest names in search engines have acknowledged mobile trends. Google and Bing, for example, “will index mobile content in a different manner than regular search,” says e2ideas. “Search engines will serve up mobile optimized websites first over non-mobile sites when a mobile user does a search on a smartphone.”

No Longer a Novelty – Mobile Optimized Websites Are a Necessity

This development is especially important when considering usage on Google, the undisputed leader in search engines. Today, websites that lack a mobile responsive design are going to be at a disadvantage in Google search results – and if your site doesn’t make the first page of Google search results, it might as well not exist at all.

The good news is that mobile searches are still relatively new – so “people who are first to market have a significant advantage,” as e2ideas notes.

Retailers are using mobile to their advantage – installing QR codes on shelves to encourage device-holders to scan and find information on the product; creating apps that link to special offers or deals accessed by phone or tablet; and creating virtual coupons good for on-the-spot discounts.

Making Mobile Work for Your Own Customers

The mobile web has altered the way your business gets discovered and accessed. While a robust, client-focused website is still a must-have, the way that site is designed and programmed for mobile use will make all the difference to your customers.

The conventional PC optimized website, optimized for up to a 19-inch viewing screen, are too complicated for mobile use. The image- and text-heavy pages of a PC website are often slow to load on a smartphone, and once all the data transfers to a 4-inch screen, objects look cluttered and hard to navigate.

Google reports these very interesting comments from a recent survey:

• 57 percent of users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site; and

• 40 percent have turned to a competitor’s site after a bad mobile experience

Catching the Wave with Mobile Trends

Creating a mobile presence from your traditional website presents some challenges. You need to take a step back and view your business and its message the way your customers would. What do they want to know most at the moment they pull out their smartphone? Are they just getting acquainted with your business, or are they ready to consider a purchase?

Knowing your customers’ buying habits are key to designing a mobile presence that they’ll enjoy using.

When it comes to the nuts and bolts of mobile sites, you typically have several options, but many businesses find the most success with these three choices:

• A responsive design website changes the way it looks and navigates depending on the device. For instance, it will hide some content on a tiny smartphone, but show it on a larger tablet.

• A native mobile app developed specifically for a device and is downloaded from app stores like iTunes and Google Play.

• Using a DudaMobile automatically created mobile website done with the click of a mouse and a fast installation of a small snippet of code.

Getting the Word Out

Once you have taken your business mobile, let your customers in on the good news. Use your Facebook, Twitter or other social pages to announce the change; send email to your customers and prospects, and reach out to trade organizations and industry publications to get users interested in your site.

How to Get Customer Reviews

How to Get Customer Reviews

Third-party validation, in the form of customer reviews, can carry a persuasive power that advertising and marketing simply cannot match. According to the marketing site HubSpot, 52 percent of surveyed consumers say positive reviews make them more likely to consider a business (as compared to 28 percent who consider only location and price).

Obtaining customer reviews can be part of your overall web marketing strategy. Fortunately, the reach of the Internet opens up lots of opportunity to connect with your customers.

Engaging Customers for Reviews

Ask nicely. There’s nothing wrong with contacting your best customers and simply asking them to write their impression of your business. Ask them to describe their success stories, or detail how a problem got solved, with the help of your business. But by the same token…

Don’t overdo it. Aggressively soliciting for reviews compromises your credibility and can even make you look a little desperate.

Interview them. Some customers may hesitate to submit reviews or testimonials because they’re not confident in their writing ability. If you suspect this, ask if you may interview your customer. Ask him to speak off the cuff while you take the notes. Then, after the customer has approved the text, you may edit it into a review.

Post some reviews yourself. Not reviews of your own company, of course — but you can review related businesses. Identifying yourself as a business owner yourself can position you as an engaged member of the community and remind people about your company.

Hold a contest. You don’t want to offer free services or other giveaways for reviews– that suggests compensation in exchange for endorsement, which is unethical. But you can create a grand prize drawing for all customers and prospects, with no strings attached. The more happy customers and prospects you generate, the better the chances for customer reviews later.

Thank them. In any interactive forum, whether Facebook comments or a website’s testimonial page, include your own responses and thanks for reviews — even the less-than-glowing ones.

Response Tactics and Media

Go to video.  If you have the time and resources, a short video to post on YouTube, Vimeo or your own site adds sound, movement and engagement to the typical customer testimonial. You can…

Create a call to action. An usual CTA — “Tell us what you think” or “Let’s hear your story” can inspire web visitors to create a review or testimonial. You can include your CTA on blog entries or in your social media pages to accompany relevant articles.

Open up your social media pages to comments.  Facebook comments, Twitter tweets and LinkedIn recommendations can all work in your company’s favor.

Use email or e-newsletters. A well-designed HTML email or e-newsletter can be as attractive as a banner ad. Select a “customer of the month” and interview him or her. The customer will be flattered, and you may net some fine testimonial verbiage.

Add a “testimonial” sub page to your website. Once you have collected a handful of usable reviews, display them in a dedicated sub page. Visitors who read them may be prompted to add their own reviews. Make it easy for them to do so with a link to a submission page.

Dealing with Negative Reviews

Whether they’re on Yelp or through your own Facebook page, negative reviews are one of the risks of opening your website and social media to public comment.  When such reviews appear, it’s your opportunity to demonstrate your commitment to customer satisfaction.

First, assess the content of the review. Is it tied to customer service, or a product issue? Or is it something beyond your control, such as a weather event that delayed a delivery? Ask your sales reps or service people about the validity of negative reviews. If you recognize a legitimate problem (and not just a “troll”), you can use respond in kind.

Thank the customer for her feedback. Acknowledge her dissatisfaction and, as appropriate, describe the steps you’ll take to rectify the problem.

After all, even a dissatisfied customer isn’t necessarily a lost one. Even a very angry customer may remain a loyal one after you show that you care about his satisfaction. And doing so in a public forum gives other customers and visitors confidence that they can expect the same considerations.

How Can You Compete Against Amazon in 2020?

Yes, when it comes to ecommerce, Amazon is the proverbial elephant in the room. Ignoring the online giant isn’t going to make it disappear, so the only business you have control over is your own. Do you wave the white flag or dig in and fight?

The good news is that, with a little creativity and skillful marketing, you can successfully compete against Amazon. Incorporate these valuable tips to reinvigorate your digital storefront and your ecommerce fulfillment services will be running on all cylinders in 2020.

1. Refine Your Focus

Amazon’s blessing and curse is that it wants to be all things to all people. As a small- or mid-sized online business, you have the flexibility to find your company’s specific niche and learn that segment inside and out. Once you’re established as an authority, you’ll become the go-to source for your product offering.

2. Leverage Content Marketing and Social Media

Amazon is a faceless behemoth and they do nothing to counteract that image. Use content marketing and social media to personalize your company and forge a connection with customers. Start a blog, share interesting stories and articles, run a contest, post pictures and videos. Be sure to track results and fine-tune your strategy based on what’s working and what isn’t.

3. Optimize Customer Experience

Can you even remember the last time Amazon made any changes to their website? Product pages are busy, clunky and boring, regardless of the device. A sleek, streamlined, user-friendly interface that’s consistent across all platforms and devices goes a long way toward making your company stand out. By the way, if you haven’t optimized for mobile traffic yet, what are you waiting for?

4. Don’t Fall Into the Price Trap

Some retailers make the mistake of lowering prices as a knee-jerk response to competition. Almost no one has the same economies of scale found at Amazon, so slashing prices is a losing proposition. Memberships, limited-quantity items and customization are just a few ways you can make shopping your storefront feel exclusive, which is a more effective way of differentiating yourself.

5. Offer Rewards and Loyalty Programs

Did you know that, until Apple Pay finally edged it out in late 2019, Starbucks had the most widely-used mobile payment app? Part of the reason is because users earn points toward free Starbucks food and beverages. Programs that offer discount codes, special offers and similar perks to frequent shoppers or members are a reliable way to build loyalty and encourage repeat sales.

6. Create a Subscription Service

According to a study by top management consulting firm Bain & Company in conjunction with Harvard Business School, just a five percent increase in customer retention can boost profits anywhere from 25 to 95 percent. A subscription service is easy to implement and brings in steady revenue while reducing costs. As a bonus, repeat customers are more likely to make referrals.

7. Provide Top-Level Shipping and Delivery

Thanks to Amazon Prime, online shoppers expect prompt, free shipping and convenient delivery. While it may not be feasible for you to offer 100 percent free shipping, you should provide at least some type of option, such as free delivery for a minimum total purchase. Tracking details and a no-fuss return policy should also be included in your shipping and delivery program.

Medallion: Ecommerce Fulfillment Services for Today and the Future

Are you looking for ecommerce fulfillment services that will grow along with your business? Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics offers a full range of services that are flexible enough to scale according to your needs.

Contact us to learn more, including information about our Amazon replenishment warehousing service. We now have a warehouse in Boston, Massachusetts in addition to our Los Angeles, California location to serve your need for fast delivery nationwide.