4 Ways e-Commerce Sites Bring Better Brand Control and Consistency

E-commerce

No matter how careful your organization may be, there’s always a chance for brand inconsistencies to creep into your marketing communications over time as your business evolves or your staff changes. In fact, your organization may be especially vulnerable if:

  • You operate several locations
  • Your marketing materials are accessed by multiple people
  • Your printed materials require frequent updates

Even the smallest breaches in brand consistency, such as differing colors or fonts, competing messaging or confusing wording, can do some major damage. According to a survey by Demand Metric Research Plus, 71% of marketers and brand managers said that brand inconsistencies result in market confusion, 56% said they result in harm to your credibility and 30 percent said they make it harder to compete.

So, the question is, how can businesses, organizations and nonprofits protect themselves from harmful brand inconsistencies? Marketers looking for a better way to manage their brand assets might consider a web-to-print solution (W2P) also known as an online order and print fulfillment system.

Here are four ways e-commerce sites can offer a competitive edge and streamline your organization’s marketing dollars:

  1. Centralize control.
    When brand standards are controlled through an e-commerce website, you can greatly increase the consistency and accuracy of your marketing and sales materials by having your most current versions of documents available to all who need access.
  2. Increase impact.
    Cut turnaround time while you empower multiple users to reach your company’s communications goals. Your marketing gets more relevant when you can easily localize your content for powerful, personalized messaging.
  3. Monitor spending.
    With a system in place, you can track both usage and purchases across employees and offices. This information can be used for further marketing and sales efforts as you determine what’s being used and where you can trim expenses.
  4. Improve efficiency. 
    By consolidating your organization’s communications resources, you can leverage your buying power while avoiding the “one off” spending that often occurs in regional offices or with remote employees.

Want better control over the consistency of your brand? Contact your local Allegra Marketing Print Mail to learn more about how a convenient and user-friendly web-to-print solution can better equip you to streamline the ordering and management of your marketing and business materials.

4 Ways to Improve Customer Retention

The Harvard Business Review suggests that it is anywhere between five to 25 times more expensive to acquire new customers than retain them depending on the industry. Here are a few considerations as you develop what works best for your company’s retention strategy:

Customer Retention

  1. Keep VIP customers happy.
    Track the buying patterns of your best customers and reach out with personal communication if they lapse. A dormant accounts survey may be the first step to determine the why behind their absence: needs have changed, moved their business to a competitor or there’s some level of dissatisfaction that should be addressed.
  2. Start a rewards program.
    According to a Bond Brand Loyalty Inc. report, 76 percent of shoppers think that loyalty programs are key to their relationships with businesses.Small businesses can use customer loyalty programs to reward customers who regularly buy products and/or services to incentivize repeat sales.
  3. Give special offers.
    Customer appreciation strategies go a long way when it comes to customer retention. From branded gifts and personal notes to promotional giveaways and birthday cards, regular customer appreciation activities are tangible ways for your company to show appreciation that can generate positive sentiment and measurable brand loyalty.
  4. Don’t forget the follow up.
    According to DMNews, 53 percent of consumers feel that it’s important for businesses to recognize them as the same person across all channels and devices. Engaged customers are likely to remain long-term customers, so gear your small business’ blog content, emails and other communications with customers in personal ways that keep their attention.

Interested in bolstering your customer retention strategies and driving brand loyalty? Contact your local Allegra Marketing Print Mail today.

Tips for Conducting an Informative Brand Audit

Performing a brand audit enables you to evaluate what your current marketing and communications strategies are (or are not) saying about your brand and provides a qualitative assessment of your brand identity’s overall strength and consistency.

Marketers surveyed by Demand Metric Research Plus said branding inconsistencies result in market confusion (71 percent), damage credibility (56 percent) and make it harder to compete (30 percent).

Brand audits provide the proper intel needed to set a blueprint for the future. Here are some tips for conducting a brand audit that is both informative and focused:

Know your standards. A well-defined set of brand guidelines is crucial for maintaining a cohesive brand identity. When reviewing print and online branding materials, keep a checklist to evaluate proper logo usage, preferred fonts and other stylistic requirements.

Read for tone and messaging. Make sure the verbiage used in your brand communications is up to date and properly reflects the overall direction of the brand.

Prioritize your revisions. As you conduct the audit, be sure to note any branding inconsistencies. Prioritize corrections before creating new pieces.

Embrace technology. Centralizing control with an online ordering system prevents satellite offices from going “rogue” with unapproved materials, ensures proper branding, and saves time and money. For businesses or organizations with multiple locations, a web-to-print or online ordering system is an easy way to oversee adherence to brand standards.

Keep it seamless across all channels. Integrated, multi-channel marketing campaigns are most successful when a brand’s print and digital identity are consistent with one another. Websites, email templates and social properties should always reflect your offline branding, and vice versa with printed brand materials.

Need help conducting your branding audit to ensure your marketing materials are aligned with your brand standards? Contact your local Allegra Marketing Print Mail today.

5 Marketing Books to Add to Your Reading List

Whether you’re looking to establish a new content strategy, spice up your branding, earn new customers or simply find some inspiration, there’s no shortage of expertise on the shelf. Here are five of our favorite books:
Five Books for Your Reading List

The One Hour Content Plan: The Solopreneur’s Guide to a Year’s Worth of Blog Post Ideas in 60 Minutes and Creating Content That Hooks and Sells: Looking to populate your blog or website with original content that stands out? This is a must-read to create a solid content foundation that highlights the products or services your brand offers.

Designing Brand Identity: An Essential Guide for the Whole Branding Team: If you’ve ever felt like your brand could use a refresh but you’re not sure where to begin, pick up this book. You’ll glean leadership lessons for your whole team with takeaways that will enhance your brand for years to come.

Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing and Advertising: Ryan Holiday takes lessons from Facebook, Dropbox, Airbnb and Twitter for his guide to replacing stale marketing lessons with tools that are testable, trackable and scalable.

The 1-Page Marketing Plan: Get New Customers, Make More Money and Stand Out from the Crowd: More than 500 readers have given this book a five-star review for its strategies to start following a reliable, brief plan for rapid business growth. It’s easy to see why.

Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade: Social psychologist Robert Cialdini digs deep into effective persuasion. This is a great tool for communicators looking to bring an edge to their strategies and grab attention in powerful ways.

Contact your local Allegra Marketing Print Mail today for help in planning, designing, executing your marketing campaigns so you get the best return on your investment.