Sales and marketing can feel like a never ending marathon — as soon as you reach the finish line with one lead, there’s another sale to close. Even when all your hard work results in new sales, many businesses fumble when they pass the baton to engaging and welcoming the new client. The lack of a solid onboarding strategy can result in a rocky start to your relationship with clients, increased requests for refunds and decreased confidence in your business.
If brand is more than a logo, why are most brand books little more than a style guide? A style guide isn’t going to empower your employees to deliver on your brand’s promise, guard your brand’s differentiators, or make everyday decisions in line with your brand strategy.
It’s been quite a year! Now that the champagne has been popped, gone flat and you’ve had time to recover, take a look at our most widely read local stories from 2015:
The process of identifying a problem and building a system for the solution doesn’t have to be difficult, time consuming or expensive — but it does require your attention. The good news is that you don’t have to do it alone.
Every well-meaning small business owner is capable of inflicting wounds that stifle drive, trust, employee engagement and motivation. Maybe not as blatantly as calling out incompetence, but neglect and disrespect through lack of communication de-motivates too. Worst of all, we don’t even know we are doing it.
It’s no secret Starbucks’ holiday cuptroversy has created a lot of extra buzz for them this season. By removing the ‘“symbols of the season,” the coffee giant is being accused of going overboard to be politically correct. This new, bold design ignited an overblown conspiracy theory that got the internet chattering. But instead of mourning the loss of kitschy graphics, we are applauding Starbucks on their brand’s success.
One year ago, the husband-and-wife team of Roshaun and Maritza Davis opened their Display: California pop-up retail store, selling holiday gifts from about 30 artists in the Sacramento area. They called it, “The HollaDays.” The “HollaDays” are back at the shop’s location on 34th Street and Broadway in Sacramento’s Oak Park neighborhood. But Display isn’t simply a seasonal gift shop.
Sometimes, a real no-brainer, problem-solver of a product can crash and burn spectacularly upon entering the market. This isn’t limited to the Pepsi Clears of the world, where sheer ridiculousness doomed the idea from the start: According to Nielsen data, 85 percent of new consumer packaged goods will fail within two years. Marketing snafus, bad luck and timing aside, pitfalls in the process of product design are often to blame. Catching oneself before blundering into them takes a conscious effort, as several local designers and makers illustrate.
The words “brand” and “branding” are so often used interchangeably with “marketing” and “logo” that it’s easy to feel befuddled by the difference. So, what’s the actual difference between your brand, your marketing and your logo?
Of course we care about our clients, but are they feelin’ it? You may think you are doing a great job of appreciating clients, but consider this disconnect: According to a Harvard Management Update generated by Bain and Co., 80 percent of companies believe they deliver a superior customer experience, but only 8 percent of their customers agree. Obviously, it’s time to consider some appreciation tactics.
In the coming months, Chris Johnson will ask a lot of his employees, whose average age is just 24 years old. He expects to do $30 million in retail sales this third year of manufacturing, recently signed a powerful licensing deal with Disney’s Marvel, and plans to expand from the four products currently on shelves to more than 100 next year. But Johnson’s hiring strategy emphasizes passion over experience, something he says his team has in spades.
According to Fast Company, as ad blocking software becomes more ubiquitous (consider Apple’s new iOS 9, which supports ad blocking applications), the entire ecosystem of small publishers and bloggers is threatened by an inability to adequately fund their sites
Community involvement is key to a smart marketing strategy. One of the best ways to make an impact with your business is to first make an impact in your community. Not only does your business generate valuable philanthropic karma points, but you will be more likely to distinguish yourself from competitors, boost customer loyalty and have a happier workplace.
An engaging, on-point, 30-second spot can be a thing of beauty. But a good advertising and marketing strategy has two engines: awareness and relationship-building, and the driver of those engines is public relations.
Matthew and Arlette Woods were professionally unhappy and unfulfilled. One night, they both came home worn out from yet another long work day, and a seemingly innocuous comment sparked a decision that changed everything.
We sat down recently with CEO Lisa Rowland Basher, the fifth generation of her family to run the company, to learn a little bit about the Jelly Belly philosophy of sustaining a family business.
This strip between 14th and 15th street not long ago was a dead zone. Now it’s filled with bars and restaurants. Still, many worry that Sacramento could be roaring into a restaurant glut that could put pressure on current restaurants and those arriving soon.
For many years, I have been making furniture that I sell to friends and family, and at local fairs and boutiques. It has become so successful that I’d like to work toward officially starting my own business. I know there are many ways I could set up my company; how do I know what will be best for me?
This type of belt is popular overseas, not so much in the U.S. But for the past few years, Brig Taylor and his wife, Michelle, have been on a mission to make hole-less ratchet belts the go-to accessory for American waistlines.
Yoga instructors keep so many of us fit, grounded, mindful, focused and from going postal. Which is why I decided to put my professional talents to work on a market research project for yogapreneurs. The notion was solidified over coffee with one of my favorite yogis who agreed that what yogapreneurs need is what they can’t afford: the strategy and market insights to support their passion-fueled careers.