Brand Makeovers: Rebranding vs. Brand Refresh

Charene Creative is in the process of helping several companies rebrand their corporate identities. I’ve advised each about the do’s and don’ts of changing, or refreshing a brand image, so I thought I would share those recommendations.

To start, let me clear up what truly makes a brand. A brand is the sum total of what people see and feel about us when they see your corporate image. This includes online and offline marketing materials, and every interaction they have with you, even the tiniest details count.

Rebranding involves changing the public’s perception of your company, product or service. If your brand still connects with people, don’t change it just for the sake of change. You might really upset your customer base and end up with more bad publicity than good.

One of the companies I am working with has been around for 35 years and I recommended they do a brand refresh instead of a total rebrand. In their case, the current brand has a positive equity (solid reputation) in the mind of their customer. I felt strongly they should not lose that value by completely changing their brand. Instead, there will be a recognizable transition between the old branding and the new.

If people love you and know who you are, you don’t want to throw that out and start completely over. Below are six reasons why you might want to consider rebranding:

Your brand has gone through fundamental organizational changes. Mergers, acquisitions, new products or services, a focus on new target audiences or expansion into new markets are all good reasons to look at rebranding a company.
Your brand is confusing to people or it isn’t connecting with your target market. If prospective customers can’t recall your […]

By |June 30th, 2014|Categories: Advertising & Design|Tags: |0 Comments

Loosing Valuable Customers with Outdated Web Design

This week I was researching potential customers online by visiting their website and was pretty shocked by what I found. Many of the sites looked outdated simply because they have not kept up with new technologies to optimize their website for mobile and tablet devices.

I was surprised to find sound and video that began to play automatically which takes a lot of time to load and can irritate your customers. Unless you’re in the entertainment business, please don’t include music on your site and never let it begin playing automatically. Users should always be given the option to click on a “play” button and choose to play the media on your site.

It’s always important to look for ways to make your website more dynamic and engaging, but be careful not to provoke a negative reaction. If your website causes browser issues on different devices, a visitor will immediately close the website and probably never return again.

More and more people are searching for businesses using mobile devices and if your website is not responsive, you’re driving away customers! The Google Developers section specifically recommends building smartphone-optimized websites using responsive web design. Read more on responsive web design by clicking here.

Many of the companies on my list did not include a web address so I simply searched their business name. I was horrified by how many of the businesses had no website or appeared several listings down on the page. Your website should be the number one search result when you type in your business name!

I also found lots of outdated content including copyright and contact information. Search engines track content on your website including changes and updates. If you never update information, you risk being […]

Maximize Your Trade Show ROI

Trade shows are very different than any other sales or advertising tool and depending on the audience, can be an important lead generation or brand awareness opportunity. However, trade shows can be expensive and very labor intensive if you don’t do your homework ahead of time.

In order to get as much value from the event as possible, below are a few tips for maximizing your return-on-investment:

 Know your target audience and pick the right event that fits your industry. Ask to see the show’s demographics before you commit as an exhibitor or do some research and attend the show a year before you intend to display.
Set specific and realistic goals. If you are interested in winning new customers than your show budget and activities will be very different than if you want to raise brand awareness or introduce a new product or service.
Promote your business before the show and let all your customers know about the event. Some possible ways to do this would be through social media, email, and print all which will increase your chances of a successful show.
Make sure your booth is presentable and inviting so people want to come in and see what you are offering. All show graphics and banners should look professional and creative to reflect the professionalism of your organization.
Create a show special or contest to attract customers to come to the show such as coupon for services or a raffle item. Collecting business cards from attendees to win one of several prizes is a great way to build your email list, but make sure they understand you may send them company updates and promotions.
Connect with people and have conversations. There is nothing wrong with approaching people at […]

SEO that kicks ass!

Last week we wrote about responsive web design explaining what it is and why it’s critical for the user experience. This week we want to focus on why responsive design is SO critical for search engine optimization (SEO).

With so many people using smartphones to surf the internet, browse social media, check emails and shop online, it’s pretty clear how important it is that your website be mobile friendly! Responsive websites can handle all types of user devices but one of the most important reasons why you should update your site is for SEO and here’s why.

Google favors mobile-optimized websites and this is especially true when it comes to local searches on mobile devices. Considering that Google is the most popular search engine in the world and their algorithms favor mobile optimized sites, everyone should take notice!

The reason Google prefers responsive web design is that it only requires one URL and the same HTML across all devices. The trend for many businesses in recent years was to have both a mobile site and desktop site. Unfortunately, two different sites means two different URLs and HTML for each site which means Google must crawl and index multiple versions of the same exact site.

A responsive site also makes it much easier for users to share, engage and interact with the content on that one site as compared to a site that has different pages for mobile and desktop users. A responsive website allows you to focus all your SEO efforts on one site.

Bounce rate is a major factor in Google’s user-friendly rankings. Think about if someone shared a desktop site through social media and one of their connections viewed that desktop site on their smartphone? That viewer […]

What is responsive web design and why is it important?

Pretend you are your customer and open your website on a smartphone or tablet. How does it look? Is it easy to navigate and read information or must you zoom in and out to read portions of the web page?

Resizing a website to read different sections can be a frustrating experience. Especially trying to use small buttons that were designed for a mouse rather than for a finger on a touchscreen!

A poor mobile experience like this can turn a prospective customer away and make them wonder how you manage other parts of your business if you can’t get your website right.

It’s pretty clear that consumers are increasingly using mobile devices to shop and compare. Responsive web design provides a consistent cross-device experience for users in the ever-changing landscape of browsers and screen sizes.

So what is responsive web design? Simply, responsive web design allows the creation of a website that reformats its contents or responds to whatever device it’s being viewed on. A responsive website uses a flexible and fluid layout that adapts to almost any screen size ensuring that the user experience is always optimized.

Google has made it clear that it prefers responsive design because it keeps your desktop and mobile content on a single URL which is easier for your users to interact with, share and link to. If SEO is an important part of your business, responsive web design is critical!

If it has been more than 2 years since your website was designed, it’s probably time for a makeover. WordPress is a fabulous Content Management System that empowers you to make changes to a sites content quickly and easily while being fully responsive. Give us a call at (330) 524-5001 and let […]

By |May 2nd, 2014|Categories: Advertising & Design|Tags: |0 Comments