In 2010, after acquiring VeriSign, internet security giant Symantec introduced its now ubiquitous logo with the black checkmark and yellow circle. The total cost of rebranding, logo included: $1.28B. The cost of the Google logo, designed in 1998 using a free graphical editor: $0. And yet, even with the massive difference in cost between them, they can both be considered examples of effective logo design. Money can buy you a slick image, but it isn’t the only ingredient, or even the most important.
It would be a bold move to decide that, after years of speaking a certain way, wearing a certain type of clothing and keeping a certain type of company, today is the day everything changes—today is the day everything people knew about you will become obsolete. If you’re a brand, however, it’s not that hard to imagine. Rebranding happens for all kinds of reasons, with all kinds of results. The important thing is to understand the value of strong branding today and to recognize when it’s time to hit the reset button.
Let’s face it: the web is overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with poorly written content, junky websites and… yes, advertisement.
With their competitive rush and marketing aspirations flying high, businesses often fall into the so-called black hole of inefficient online strategies.. Then the reality checks in and crashes their poorly built sailing boat of high aspirations against the rocky shores of Internet Marketing.
There are several inherent issues with certain online marketing strategies widely utilized today that lead to these boat wrecks:
*** While Internet and Social Media Marketing is a great way to create not only awareness about a business but also spark discussions and even debates on a subject of interest for the audience, there are many industries where strict regulations simply prohibit them from using the Internet for marketing their product or service. These highly regulated industries mostly fall into the realm of financial services and health care.
*** A social media platform to the core, Facebook has been keen on revamping its image in the on-line marketing world in the last several years. Through introduction of share and like capabilities, business pages and sophisticated advertisement management system, Facebook has indeed positioned itself as one of the leaders in Digital Marketing.
Often-times, however, Facebook is still viewed as a useless platform for business marketing by some, and our experience shows that this opinion mostly forms as a result of not understanding the Facebook sales funnel (which we portrayed in the image below as a lovely calla flower) and the general Facebook marketing principles.
*** Chances are, your business is not Starbucks. But if you were to think of the Starbucks marketing strategy, what would you think it actually sells?
The answer that is just asking to come out is “coffee”, isn’t it? But sit back for a minute and think about this: If you are one of the people who loves coming to Starbucks to slowly sip your cup of coffee in the morning, what are you actually coming there for? Is it the cup of coffee itself, or is it the atmosphere and a circle of familiar faces, or is it the cheer that you are greeted with as you approach the cash register, or is it the “you” moment when you simply enjoy your own solitary company?
*** Today, the first step in anyone’s buying quest is without a question visiting the Internet, and the first thing that they are looking for is information. The Internet offers a lot of opportunities for research and education about the products and/or services and the companies that are offering them, and this “research” phase is an inevitable step in the whole buying process.
From the perspective of a business owner, this means one thing: if you want those visitors to your website to stay and ultimately become actual clients, you need not only to understand their needs and demonstrate how your product/service will solve them, but also have a very strong understanding of and cater to each step within their buying cycle.
There is always a path that leads to conversion, and it is your website’s job to make that path clear and each step along it desirable.
By the standards of today’s high-octane competition for web traffic, a time- and soul-consuming endeavour, the online environment of only years ago seems relatively tame. Now that everyone and their grandmother operates a website, the drive to stand out has never been more intense. But too many sites start out with a distinct disadvantage because of poor SEO practices that were part of the website design and development process, sometimes completely unbeknownst to the site’s owner.