Every year, Zappos sends out a thick “idea” book for free to clients – the company features write-ups from each employee summing up why they love working for Zappos, said Patrick Allmond of Focus Digital Marketing Agency in his session, “Your 24/7 Presence: Hot Digital and Mobile Branding Ideas.” Allmond’s point was that Zappos has a very clear vision of its brand and company personality, and communicates those very effectively. Allmond, who orders the book every year, associates a strong company culture with the Zappos logo. “Similarly, when I see the Apple logo, I think of expensive tech products, but ones that will be very easy to use,” he said.
Getting your company noticed online involves three steps: setting up your company brand; building its visual components; and then using those components effectively on social media to stay in contact with clients and attract prospects. “Done is better than perfect,” said Allmond, who advised attendees not to get caught up in creating the “perfect” logo or tagline. “By breaking the process down into steps, you’ll be surprised how much you can accomplish.”
Allmond explained that an effective brand is visual. “Your logo, colors, fonts, font sizes, taglines, and even the music that you play in videos and podcasts should all be consistent and reflect your brand,” he said. Coming up short on developing a unique logo? Allmond pointed to Logospire.com for a scrollable list of logo ideas. For an easy-to-use design site, Allmond suggested checking out Canva, a basic design tool. “It comes with predefined templates for the digital world, so you can easily build attractive Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram posts, for example, that reflect your brand,” he said. Or, check out 99Designs.com, an affordable site where you can connect with graphic designers for help in developing a logo and brand assets.
Second, define what experience your company sells. “Stop thinking of yourself as a promotional products seller,” Allmond said. “So many other companies can say the same thing. What do you actually do? Help your clients brand themselves better? Inspire your clients’ prospects to do business with them? Logoed items are a byproduct of what you offer your clients. Think of a tagline that really describes how you bring value to them.”
When you’re ready to get online, Allmond recommended this goal: Become the most educational company in your niche. “Give people a reason to come to your site even if they’re not in the buying mindset,” he said. That includes regularly posting articles, videos and podcasts about products, services, your employees or business partners, and industry trends. “Suppliers also create product videos that you can add to your site for educational purposes,” he said.
Going back to his Zappos example, Allmond said, “Think about the story that makes your company unique. Did you struggle when you started? Do your employees have unique stories? Tell those stories. People will love your brand.”