Identifying Your Brand

Brand Identity- many business owners talk about this but don’t know where to begin. This is one of those things that get pushed to the back-burner behind client work and other priorities. Staying consistent and true to your identity across every business platform creates a strong brand that will prosper over your competitors.

Why is consistency so important?  Well, it avoids confusion. If you handed a consumer your business card with Logo A and then he or she decide to look at your website and saw Logo B, they might think they are in the wrong place.  Also, people trust things that they recognize. People choose brands that they are familiar with because they appear known, established, and therefore trustworthy.

Consistent brand identity gets everything working together so your social media, website, ads, employees and materials reinforce, strengthen and amplify one another – so the sum is greater than the parts.  Only then will consumers experience a unified, consistent, and powerful sense of your brand far beyond the actual dollars you spend.

Your brand identity is being added to, molded, and stretched without anyone giving it much thought. Businesses have little cohesiveness in their image mainly because they try new things too often. You may be tired of seeing the same colors and layouts, but your current and potential customers may just be starting to grasp your distinctive identity. Keep with it and the payoff will appear.

Someone needs to be ensuring that your identity is consistent from one piece to the next and from one media to another. Your end product will strategically reinforce your message and desired public image, both visually and contextually. So, what does your brand stand for?

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‘Tis the Season to be Mobile Shopping

Retailers be warned; there are consequences you will face if you don’t offer customers a mobile app to use. This isn’t surprising, as smartphone users have already said that a bad mobile experience makes them less likely to engage with a company.

Fifty-seven percent of consumers plan to make a purchase via mobile this holiday season.  Mobile visitors convert to purchases twice as much as desktop web visitors.  Just another reminder that consumers are looking toward mobile for shopping, and if you create an easy and fun experience for them via smartphones and tablets, it can mean a big lift in purchases and revenue.

If you are not convinced that moving mobile is the way to go for your business, ponder this: Sixty-five percent of mobile users said they used their mobile device to find a business to make an in-store purchase. If you are not easily findable via mobile device, you are losing potential sales. So even if consumers are not purchasing from you on their mobile, they still look to their mobile device for researching products, redeeming coupons and assisting in holiday gift purchases. Optimizing your mobile website or having an app is crucial to bringing in those sales.

Competition is to be fierce this year among retailers- spending is predicted to be increasing from last year. If you want to be at least even on the playing field, mobile is where you need to be. Purchasing from the palm of your hand is in- is your company keeping up?

 

‘Fall’ Into the Hudson Valley

Coppery colors, a cool autumn breeze, infinite activities, family and friends enjoying themselves; there’s no need to imagine a place like this. The beauty of the Hudson Valley is upon us. And, for you city-dwellers, the Hudson Valley is close yet far enough away to escape.

I was not surprised when I read that the Hudson Valley is one of the top ten most visited places in the U.S.  Everyone’s vacation desires can be fulfilled here. That’s why I adore this region. The Hudson Valley provides activities for the adventurous: hiking, biking, camping, horseback riding, tubing, kayaking, white-water rafting, skiing, fishing and more. There are also more relaxing things to do like wine tasting, shopping, and antiquing. This time of year there are a lot of family activities like apple and pumpkin picking, fairs and festivals. And how could you forget the Walkway over the Hudson! It’s the longest pedestrian bridge in the world and you’ll be in the heart of fabulous fall flora above the Hudson River as you watch the passing boats beneath.

My personal favorite thing about the Hudson Valley is the dining. This region is a foodies dream come true. The Hudson Valley is filled with healthy, fresh farm-to-table restaurants. We even have the world-famous Culinary Institute of America right in our backyard! Options are endless.

When it comes down to it, a weekend outing won’t be enough to see everything in the Hudson Valley, but it’s a good justification to come back again and again. I truly feel lucky to have un-covered the majestic Hudson Valley and still awe at the Catskill Mountain and Hudson River views.

Gender Targeting for Facebook Ads

Advertisers are far more likely to target by age and location than by gender but new studies are showing that gender targeting for Facebook ads will get you more bang for your buck.

Facebook, the largest social networking tool in the world, is dominated by women. But, more companies are spending the majority of their ad money specifically on men. How come?

Men click on ads more often- 60% of them to be exact. While only 40% of women click. Due to this higher ‘clicking’ men are less expensive to target. The average cost per thousand ads is only sixteen cents for men; women cost twenty cents.

Men deliver better exposure rates and click through rates than women and it increases their value for marketers. Don’t get me wrong, women are worth spending money on too! They LOVE interacting with brands on Facebook, your ads just have to be more relevant and eye catching.

The evidence comes from how and why men and women use Facebook. Women use it for maintaining existing relationships and usually have an agenda. Men look for making new relationships and have a shorter attention span thus leading them to be distracted by relevant advertisements. You can reach more of a unique audience when targeting men.

 

If you are a brand or company that serves men and women, general advertising is not the route to take when it comes to Facebook. Gender targeting is a lot more effective and will boost ROI.  Use different colors, text and images to obtain the attention of a particular gender.

While it is clever to spend a more money reaching men with Facebook ads, don’t forget about the other 58% of Facebook users!