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Butler Web and Design: BRANDING BASICS

aBout Butler

“We Make It Simple!”

That’s our motto. We believe that brandi ng and online marketing for your business should be easy. When looking for a company to help you brand or market your business online, you’ll find that many companies give a long, confusing, and complicated explanation as to all the work they’ll do for you. They do this for two reasons: 1) to make it seem like no one can do it except for them, and 2) to justify their outrageous cost!

Don’t be fooled. Branding and online marketing isn’t as confusing or expensive as some companies would like you to believe it is. Butler Web & Design is your one-stopshop for all of your design or web development needs.

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Butler Web and Design: BRANDING BASICS

Butler Web and Design Specializes in 3 main areas:

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Butler Web and Design: BRANDING BASICS

aBout tHe autHor Sean

taMBagaHan

Sean lives in Clovis, CA with his beautiful wife, Candace, and 2 boys, Jet and Chase. He is the Operations Manager for Butler Web and Design, which includes several hats to be worn: sales, support, design, vision, strategy, implementation, management‌You could say he’s a little busy from 9-5, but not too busy to help educate small-medium sized businesses and entrepreneurs regarding branding. He has a heart for small businesses, and is always trying to find or create helpful resources for them regarding branding and online marketing.

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Butler Web and Design: BRANDING BASICS

taBle of contentS introDuction: Butler’S noteS

Section one:

colorS anD logo /10

Section tWo:

BuSineSS carDS anD BrocHureS /14

Section tHree:

a SucceSSful WeBSite /18

Section four:

SearcH engine oPtiMiZation /22

Section fiVe:

Social MeDia PreSence /26

Section Six:

PreSenting YourSelf aS a ProfeSSional / 31

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Butler Web and Design: BRANDING BASICS

introDuction

So you’ve started your business – congratulations! Now what? Just like building a house, before starting the structure of your business you want to lay a good foundation or you could be in jeopardy of it collapsing. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), “About half of all new establishments survive five years or more and about one-third survive 10 years or more.” Or to put it negatively, most small businesses don’t make it past 10 years.

Now What?

Now don’t get discouraged, you don’t have to be a statistic. There are always reasons why businesses fail, just as there are reasons businesses succeed. Knowing how to distinguish the failures from the successes could be the determining factor of whether or not your business will thrive during its startup period.

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Butler Web and Design: BRANDING BASICS

According to an article by Patricia Schaefer from Business Know-How, one of the pitfalls of business failure is lack of planning. She observed that “Many small businesses fail because of fundamental shortcomings in their business planning”. Some of the missing components she noted that business failures neglect included a lack of marketing, advertising, and promotional activities, and having no website. Before you put the cart before the carriage, you want to make sure you take care of some preliminary tasks. One of the most overlooked pieces of the business planning puzzle is branding.

What is Branding? According to The American Marketing Association (AMA), a brand is a “name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of them intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of other sellers.” In other words, your brand is the image of your business. It’s how people remember you. It’s what comes to mind when people hear your company name.

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Butler Web and Design: BRANDING BASICS

Branding Influencers The cool part is that you are in control of it. You set the image of what people think about your company – whether you intend to or not. The companies with the best brands are intentional about it. Having a good brand doesn’t just happen – and it’s not just about being good at what you do. Building your brand includes basically everything you do in your company, such as: • The design of your logo, brochures, business cards, and other marketing materials • The design and layout of your website • The dress code (or lack thereof) in your business • The consistency of your customer’s experience when doing business with you • Quality of products or services offered.

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Butler Web and Design: BRANDING BASICS

All of these things are influencers that affect your company’s brand. Influencers that affect your brand are constantly changing. For example, 20 years ago having a website had pretty much no effect on your company’s brand. Today, however, not having a professional, well-laid-out website is often the difference of getting or losing new customers. Newer influencers that affect your brand include things like Search Engine Optimization, social media presence, sharable web-content and educational resources.

The bottom line is that you have to stay up to date with the latest influencers that affect your brand, and capitalize on them early on. In this e-book, we’ll cover six influencers you should think about regarding your company’s brand.

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Butler Web and Design: BRANDING BASICS

Section one:

colorS anD logo

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Butler Web and Design: BRANDING BASICS

Section one: colorS anD logo When selecting the colors and logo of your company, it’s not about just picking what you like - even though that’s important because you want your business to be an extension of you (to some extent). However, when thinking about the colors and logo for your business, ask questions like: “Does this color or logo bring familiarity to my industry?” “Does my logo fit the atmosphere I want to create?” (If you want to portray a fun atmosphere, you may want to include round, bubbly shapes with cursive or stylized fonts. If you want to portray a more professional/ business-type atmosphere then you may want neutral colors with serif-type font.) “Do these colors resonate with the targeted demographic I’m trying to reach?” Look at different logos in your industry and point out elements you like, and elements you dislike.

Grungy

Fun

Sharp edges with Off centered bold curves and text with curvy tattered texture. shapes and fonts.

Professional Simple shapes with serif-type font.

Trendy Curved shapes mixed with straight, sans serif-type font.

Retail Mixed serif with sans serif-type fonts with rounded shapes and gradients.

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Butler Web and Design: BRANDING BASICS

Section one: colorS anD logo For more on choosing the right colors for your business, read an article on Inc. com from Eric Markowitz titled “How to Choose the Right Colors for Your Brand�. John Williams from Entrepreneur.com wrote a helpful article explaining our perception of different colors. Below is a synopsis of his explanation of what we tend to think when we see different colors.

aggressive, energetic, provocative, passion, danger

energy, youthfulness, fun, excitement

mystery, sophistication, spirituality, royalty

health, freshness, serenity

trustworthy, dependable, responsible, secure

optimism, positivity, light, warmth

dirty, grungy

serious, bold, powerful, classic

gregarious, sociable, childlike

simplicity, cleanliness, purity

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Butler Web and Design: BRANDING BASICS

Section one: colorS anD logo Every color, however, has different shades and tones which often times adjust our perception. For example, though green typically signifies health, freshness, and serenity, deeper greens are associated with wealth or prestige while light greens are calming.

The point is to not whimsically pick your business colors and logo. Put thought into it, as this will be the basis of your brand. Everything else you create for your business follows your logo and colors.

tHe BaSic

color WHeel

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Butler Web and Design: BRANDING BASICS

Section tWo:

BuSineSS carDS anD BrocHureS

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Butler Web and Design: BRANDING BASICS

Section tWo: BuSineSS carDS anD BrocHureS Imagine, for a moment, that you are in a conversation with someone and you end up talking about your business. Your listener is fascinated with your knowledge of your industry, and they ask you for your card, or a brochure. You typically have three responses to choose from at this point: I. Stammer around until you find a blank piece of paper and a pen to write your name, number and email address II. Hand them something that looks like you created in Microsoft Word late one night III. Hand them a professional looking business card or brochure that resembles your brand (incorporating the logo and colors that you have carefully predetermined would represent your business) Which response do you think would leave your listener with the impression that you are serious about what you do? Obviously the third response would set you apart as a professional. It doesn’t matter how good you are at what you do if you don’t present yourself as a professional, because people who don’t know you personally will not give you the opportunity to prove it to them.

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Butler Web and Design: BRANDING BASICS

Section tWo: BuSineSS carDS anD BrocHureS How should your marketing materials look? It depends on your logo and colors, and how you want to present your brand. For an upscale, professional look, less is more. Blank space leaves the impression of professionalism. For a more fun look, incorporate different elements and shapes, with off-centered or tilted affects to your logo and/or different graphics. Visit our design portfolio and our printing page for examples of different types of cards and brochures. Visit our website at www.butlerwebanddesign.com for examples in our design portfolio.

Professional Business Cards

Fun looking Business Cards

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Butler Web and Design: BRANDING BASICS

Section tWo: BuSineSS carDS anD BrocHureS What about your brochures? Keep in mind that the purpose of a brochure is not to inform people about everything you think they should know about your industry, products or services. A brochure is to give people a taste of your brand, and tune them into the radio station they listen to – WIIFM (What’s In It For Me). The design of your brochure should follow the branding you predetermined (based on your logo and colors) and have enough information to leave its viewers wanting more. A brochure isn’t meant to sell products and services; it’s meant to sell your brand. Don’t give away all the goodies in your brochure; make sure your prospects have a reason to contact you.

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Section tHree:

a SucceSSful WeBSite

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Butler Web and Design: BRANDING BASICS

Section tHree: a SucceSSful WeBSite We have written on the subject, “What is a Successful Website”, in length in the past. In short, a successful website is one that accomplishes a specific purpose. What purpose? That’s for you to decide. Do you want to sell products online? Do you want people to leave their information (lead generation)? Do you want to provide information to your current customers? The purpose of your website can only be determined by you, and it must be determined before even thinking about how it should be designed, because the design of your website should be based on the purpose you want it to fulfill. Here’s a simple step-by-step process that you can follow when shopping for a website: I. Define your purpose (what you want your website to do for you) II. Look at your competition and write down what you like, and what you dislike III. Create a site map (how many pages you know you need at the bare minimum, and what you expect visitors to do on those pages). IV. Research web development companies to see what industry standard rates are for your specific needs (for great tips on how to find the right web developer, read the article here) V. Choose a web developer that you feel comfortable with

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Butler Web and Design: BRANDING BASICS

Section tHree: a SucceSSful WeBSite How should your website look? Obviously, just like everything else you do, it should follow your brand. Aside from that, you want to make sure that your website is developed around visitors. Collis, from psd.tutsplus.com wrote a helpful article where he laid out 9 essential principles for good web design. Read his article for a full explanation, but here is a synopsis of his points, which we would agree with: I. Precedence (guiding the eye) – You need to control your visitors eyes and guide them where you want to on your site. Things that help guide our eyes include: position, color, contrast, size, special design elements (arrows, circled items, etc.). II. Spacing – it’s important to not have everything crammed together where your eyes are overwhelmed, and it’s also important to not have things too spaced apart where your eyes get lost. III. Navigation – it’s not only your job to guide your visitors eyes on each page, it’s also your job to guide your visitors to each page they should visit. Your visitors should not be confused as to where they need to go on your site to find what they want. They should also not be confused as to where they currently are on your site, and how to navigate back to other pages. IV. Design to Build – just because something looks cool, it doesn’t mean it’s going to be functional or practical as a website. It’s important to know if your design can actually be done, and if it will be able to achieve the purpose you want it to.

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Butler Web and Design: BRANDING BASICS

Section tHree: a SucceSSful WeBSite V. Typography – typography is the art and technique of arranging type (or text). It includes the font style and size, font color, line spacing, etc. VI. Usability – A website is only as good as the user’s experience. You want to make sure that your website is user-friendly, and adheres to standard practices. Even though you want your site to be unique, there are certain things people expect from every website, and you don’t want to confuse them. For example, having a menu bar is one of the most basic elements of navigation design, and most people orientate themselves on websites based on the menu bar. As another example, if text has an underline, you typically expect it to be a link – having underlined text without linking somewhere isn’t good usability practice. VII. Alignment – this simply means consistency with the way things are aligned on each page of your site. This doesn’t mean that your website content has to be in a straight line. VIII. Clarity – keeping your design looking sharp. IX. Consistency – this means that everything needs to match on your website. Your menu bar and footer, your headers, your paragraph structure, your link design… it all needs to be consistent so that your visitors are not confused from one page to the next.

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Butler Web and Design: BRANDING BASICS

Section four:

SearcH engine oPtiMiZation (Seo)

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Butler Web and Design: BRANDING BASICS

Section four: SearcH engine oPtiMiZation It’s important to be found when someone does a search for things relevant to your business. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a service that many web developers offer their clients in order to give them better rankings on search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. There is much to be said about SEO, and much has been written about what it is and how it works. Two must-read articles that give short, to-the-point explanations of SEO best practices can be found on Butler Web and Design’s Resource Page. Here are links to the articles: The SEO Myth The Magic SEO Button Fallacy

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Butler Web and Design: BRANDING BASICS

Section four: SearcH engine oPtiMiZation In short, search engines are built for searchers, not websites. Imagine if you went to Google to do a search for “go green products in Clovis California” and you got a bunch of results of Go-Green companies who weren’t located in Clovis California, and they didn’t have good content that you were looking for, but they were able to manipulate their site to get the top position. Now imagine if this were to happen every time you did a search on Google. It wouldn’t be very long before you realized that Google wasn’t a trusted source to give you relevant content, and you would start using a different search engine.

Google doesn’t want that to happen. That’s why it’s in their best interest to make sure that you, as a searcher, are finding the content that you want to see, when you want to see it. They are good at what they do, and they’re always changing to make sure that searchers are happy with their search results. That’s why it’s important to design your website for the searchers – not the search engines.

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Butler Web and Design: BRANDING BASICS

Section four: SearcH engine oPtiMiZation The most important part of SEO is creating lots of good, relevant content, and hiring a good web developer that can give you a unique design, with a good layout for your content. In an article I wrote titled “SEO Checklist�, which can be found on the Butler Resource Center, I laid out a simple 6-step process to get started with SEO. The steps included: I.

Getting a website

II. Indexing it in search engines III. Creating content for your site IV. Listing it in Google Places V. Promoting it to friends, family and current customers VI. Getting active in Social Media Many of these points are discussed in this e-book, but for more info read the SEO Checklist article.

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Butler Web and Design: BRANDING BASICS

Section fiVe:

Social MeDia PreSence

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Butler Web and Design: BRANDING BASICS

Section fiVe: Social MeDia PreSence Before creating social media sites for your business, ask yourself if you are prepared to commit to keeping them active. Sometimes it can be counterproductive to have a blog that you never use. Therefore it may be better to not have a blog, or a Facebook page, or Twitter account, if you don’t plan on being consistent in using them.

Having a social media presence for your business is important for branding for two reasons: I. It allows you the opportunity to shape the perception of your brand to a wider audience online, without the need for people to see your establishment or physical marketing materials. II. It gives your brand greater reach to potential customers by increasing your search engine rankings. Social media is the number one activity with the most time spent online; therefore Search Engines have incorporated social media presence into their algorithm.

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Butler Web and Design: BRANDING BASICS

Section fiVe: Social MeDia PreSence Why have multiple Social Media Accounts? Every social media site offers a different user experience, and therefore creates a different type of social media culture and may attract different types of users. Some of the different types of social media categories include: • Social Networks: this is a very casual form of social media typically used for connecting with friends, peers, or people with similar interests and backgrounds. Facebook and LinkedIn are examples of Social Networks. • Media Sharing: this type of social media is used for sharing different forms of media, and talking about them. Youtube and Flickr are examples of Media Sharing.

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Butler Web and Design: BRANDING BASICS

Section fiVe: Social MeDia PreSence Pinterest is another form of media sharing, even though it stands alone as a very different type of social media – almost in a class of its own. Here’s a simple rule for marketing your business with Pinterest: do not use it as a tool for self-promotion; rather, use Pinterest to showcase the lifestyle that your brand promotes. • Forums and Blogs: this allows members to hold conversations about relevant topics regarding specific subjects. As a business, you may want to consider joining in on the discussions happening on forums and blogs to share your thoughts, ideas and insights. This gives you the platform to share your expertise with people who are interested in the things your business deals with. • Microblogging: this is designed to share quick thoughts and insights in short-form, and push them out to people or groups who subscribe to receive your updates. Twitter is an example of microblogging.

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Butler Web and Design: BRANDING BASICS

Section fiVe: Social MeDia PreSence The most basic and fundamental social media site to have for your business is Facebook.

When creating a Facebook page, it’s important to know the difference between a page and a profile. A Profile is for personal use to connect, chat, and share things with people you know. A Page is for business use to engage with your customers, clients, followers, and prospects, promote your brand, and present information regarding your industry. There are also different types of pages depending on what type of business you have. Visit the Facebook “Create a Page” wizard for help.

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Butler Web and Design: BRANDING BASICS

Section Six:

PreSenting YourSelf aS a ProfeSSional

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Butler Web and Design: BRANDING BASICS

Section Six: PreSenting YourSelf aS a

ProfeSSional

The Sleazy Salesman Approach People are more and more opposed to the typical sleazy salesman approach. This approach incorporates a lot of smoke screens, double talk, and unethical sales tactics. The sleazy salesman approach also incorporates a lot of pitching, and “look at how great my company is” ads. Sleazy salesmen always want to take, and don’t really care about giving. It’s obvious that you are working with a sleazy salesman when all they care about is making a sale, and not about making sure you make an educated purchase. When you incorporate sleazy salesman tactics in your business, even if it’s just a single salesman doing it and not you, it gives a negative impression on your brand. People will start to perceive your company as one they can’t really trust in your industry.

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Butler Web and Design: BRANDING BASICS

Section Six: PreSenting YourSelf aS a

ProfeSSional

The Professional Approach On the contrary, when people do business with a professional company, they leave feeling satisfied – like they could do business with you again; and they wouldn’t mind encouraging their friends and family to do the same. A professional is someone who cares about people more than they care about money. A professional understands that if you take care of people, then they take care of you. A professional makes sure that before a person makes the decision to do business with them, they know exactly what they are committing to and they are not left with more questions than when they started.

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Butler Web and Design: BRANDING BASICS

Section Six: PreSenting YourSelf aS a

ProfeSSional

How do you present yourself as a professional? Aside from honesty and ethical business practices, a huge part of professionalism includes offering resources and educational information about your industry, products, or services. Write articles and blogs. Answer 10 or 20 of the most frequently asked questions about your industry (this could become your FAQ’s page on your website) and post them to your social media sites. Create content and resources that educate people about your industry, not just about what you do. Make a resource page on your site and offer them for free as educational materials to anyone who visits.

When you create your resources, it’s important to make sure people know that you can help them with whatever issues you discuss, but don’t inundate your materials with ads and promotions – people will get the idea that all you want to do is make money off of them, rather than help them.

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Section six: Presenting Yourself as a

ProFessional

It’s crucial to your company’s brand to leave people with the understanding that

you are in the people business. People don’t really care how much you know, until they know how much you care. When they see your company as a trusted source in your industry, your brand will be the first that comes to their mind when they need your services.

As you can see, building your company is really about building your brand. Use

these best practices to develop your brand into one that people know and trust. For more resources, tips and educational materials visit the resource center at Butler Web and Design: http://butlerwebanddesign.com/resources.html. About the Author:

Sean Tambagahan is the Operations Manager for Butler Web and Design.

See his bio here.


Butler Web & Design P. (559) 797-3414 F. (559) 323-9151 1505 Tollhouse Rd. STE. A Clovis, CA 93611

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Branding Basics  

Butler Web & Design - Branding Basics E-Book