The Importance of Good Branding
15th January 2019
One of the most common responses from small business owners, when branding is mentioned, is something along the lines of "isn’t that something that big corporate businesses do?". The truth is that while you may not be aware of it if you are in business on your own account, you are already a brand.
From shops and service providers to car mechanics, professional practitioners and everything in between, they are all being perceived as 'a brand' by their customers. One of the first steps in establishing good branding is to become aware of how it relates to what your business does and just as importantly, how it relates to your customers.
So what is branding then?
Branding is everything from the façade in front of your shop to how your business stationery is presented, but that is only a scratch on the surface because branding runs much, much deeper. As already mentioned, branding has a lot to do with how people perceive your business when they come into contact with it. If contact is made through your employees, for example, how they treat the customer, how they are dressed, and how successful they are in providing your client's perceived solution, all project branding.
The worrying thing is that if your business is unaware of how branding is projected it could easily be working against you rather than for you. This is about something that
is often termed as “brand awareness” and it isn’t just something that is relevant to big companies or household name products either. Whether you do actually provide a product of your own or render local services, branding is occurring and your customers will be recognising it even if you are not. According to business leaders Forbes 64% of consumers trust brands that they perceive as sharing their own values. This is what brand awareness is all about and unless you recognise it your business is likely to be losing out on a huge amount of positive benefits.
To brand or not to brand
The most logical place to start with your businesses branding strategy is by deciding whether your business is going to 'be' your brand or conversely, you will be providing a branded service or product. If you operate a petrol station, for example, your branding and its perception are already rooted in the corporate identity of the company whose fuel you supply. Businesses that provide a specific form of the process such as power cleaning or tiling might consider branding with that in mind or alternatively a business may choose to 'be the brand'.
Being the brand
Once again, before we get into branding as a business rather than a product or service, it is worth reiterating that this type of brand approach isn’t just the domain of massive corporate business. While industry giants such as Goldman Sachs, Google, and Microsoft are just a few of the big names that may spring to mind where self-branding is concerned, it is a practice that has huge potential for small businesses too. From local shops and service providers to start-ups and e-commerce businesses, establishing yourself as the brand can provide a huge range of benefits that you may not have already recognised.
How branding works
The bottom line is that branding works at many levels and that is just one of the good reasons why it is essential that your business gets it right. Along with working towards positive customer perception, branding is where recognition of your business actually begins in the minds of your customers. That may be through an eye-catching shop sign, a professional looking advertising campaign, a creatively signed company vehicle, or anything else that bears the name and logo of your business. One of the key factors of branding is that when you get it right it will work and continue to work at many different levels.
Logos Branding and recognition
Branding produces recognition of your business with your potential customers allowing them to identify you as a solution to a specific need. With this in mind, the logo that you choose for your business is going to carry a great deal of weight and responsibility. Creating something that is both striking and relevant is crucial to success because your goal should be to make it stick in people’s minds.
Logos Branding and recognition
Branding produces recognition of your business with your potential customers allowing them to identify you as a solution to a specific need. With this in mind, the logo that you choose for your business is going to carry a great deal of weight and responsibility. Creating something that is both striking and relevant is crucial to success because your goal should be to make it stick in people’s minds. Unless you already have the global reach of Goldman Sachs or Google, you may not yet be ready to use a logo that doesn’t sum up what your business is about. Considering your products or services when designing a logo is, therefore highly important to your success. If you sell fishing tackle, for example, you are likely to consider a fish somewhere in your logo design while a bookshop my use the image of a book.
In the final analysis, however, done correctly, your branding has a massive potential to improve recognition of your business. While a picture may indeed paint a thousand words about who you are and what you do, a few well-chosen ones as part of your logo design will do it so much better. Before any business owner even arrives at the logo design phase they ought to have at least some idea of what they want their business to be associated with.
Creating trust through branding
Whether we like the idea or not, people still tend to judge the book by the cover and that includes how your potential clients perceive your business. This one fact alone should be enough to convince any discerning business owner that first impressions really do count. Presenting a professional looking brand that runs consistently through every perceivable aspect of your business is one of the quickest ways to garner trust.
It is an inescapable fact that for many of your potential customers, their first contact with your business is likely to be through some kind of visual medium.
This may be seeing your professionally liveried company vehicle out on the road or noticing your eye-catching advertisement in a local magazine. As already pointed out, branding works continually and the more exposure your brand can get the better it will work for your business.
The more often a relevant brand is seen by someone, the more trust it is likely to build. One of the biggest misconceptions among small businesses about branding and advertising is that it ought to provide instant results that are measured in increased sales. While this does happen and some advertising campaigns bring in those all-important sales, branding through your advertising efforts will be working at a whole other level in terms of building familiarity and trust.
Supporting your advertising with branding
When you put your branding strategy together and you start to join up the dots so to speak, all of your advertising will benefit from being related to your brand. It is easy to see that something of a two-way street is occurring. This happens because while your advertising supports your brand/logo it will also be working the other way around too with your brand adding credibility and customer recognition to your advertising.
Considering that shop front signage and company
vehicles provide on-going static and mobile advertising, both of these are areas where your branding will be continually at work for your business. By the time you have added business cards, stationery, and other hard print copy into the mix, you will be marketing your business and brand almost by default. This is why businesses that are formulating their branding strategies should be prepared to take both a long and short-term view concerning ROI.
Branding and advertising are strongly linked and you can see some convincing statistics here. If you think that some of the traditional tried and tested ideas for getting your brand “out there” have had their day you may benefit from a rethink. Business giveaways in the form of free glossy brochures, pens, coasters, and coffee mugs are still as popular as ever and not without good reason. They are a relatively cost-effective way of increasing and maintaining your brand awareness. It is all about exposure and the more you are able to expose potential clients to your brand the more effective your brand awareness will be.
Creating a cohesive workforce and adding value to your business through branding
There is plenty that you can do to turn ordinary employees into real assets for your business and one way is by giving them a goal rather than just a job. When your brand represents quality service and outstanding customer care, your employees are far more likely to feel a part of your overall business strategy. When they grasp the idea that everyone is moving in the same direction, they will be more inclined to welcome the logo in terms of corporate workwear and also take their own sense of pride from being a part of your brand.
A well-recognised and respected brand is the obvious goal of your strategy and while, if done correctly, branding will achieve what this entire article as discussed, it will provide another benefit that may come as something of a surprise. Ultimately, branding will add value to your business. Whether you were to consider selling in the future or attracting funding for expansion, adding value through branding will put you in a much better position to take advantage of either of them.
Working with the branding experts
Now that you recognise how crucial correct branding is to the success of your business you will need to talk to the expert branding team here at Daxi. From graphic design and logo creation to social media management and website content, we are the number one choice of businesses all across Cyprus and beyond. Whether you need to create a logo and brand from scratch or you require hard copy brochures, leaflets, or flyers, our team can provide all of them at highly competitive prices.
Natalie Reed (HND in business and marketing) is the CEO of Daxi Group and she established the well recognise Daxi brand over nine years ago. Recognition of this well-known brand should tell you that Daxi has the branding and marketing expertise that your business needs. Call us now on 00 357 23040940, contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit us online at www.thedaxigroup.com.
Why Every Business Should Have a Marketing Budget
7th December 2018
When you consider that even the most successful global businesses with household names spend huge amounts on marketing despite being so well known, it seems incredulous that so many smaller businesses don’t even have a budget for it! If you think that odd, perhaps you should further consider that many such businesses use marketing as a 'knee-jerk' reaction in response to quiet periods in the hope of gaining those all-important new customers.
Perhaps your business is in the fortunate and enviable position of having enough customers already and you don’t see any benefit in marketing. Maybe you are already rushed off your feet and the idea of dealing with more work doesn’t appeal to you. If any of that sounds like you, it may be prudent to read on because there are plenty of sound reasons why any business needs a regular marketing budget.
Two types of business
More than ever before, the modern business environment is showing itself to be a highly demanding and competitive one in which to operate. One useful way to view a business is that it functions as an identity in its own right and that it is subject to certain natural and logical laws. Just as human beings are designed to move and go forward, so are businesses. In fact, it could be said that there are only really two types of businesses; those that are moving forward (growing) and those that are shrinking. The hard truth is that there is no such thing as a business that stands still, it is either expanding or eventually it will shrink towards extinction.
Once you have ascertained that you want your business to grow and become more profitable your next logical question is bound to be one concerning where all the extra business is going to come from. Even if you have plenty of customers already and you don’t want to increase the size of your business, marketing will work for you in sustaining and maintaining it in an ever-changing marketplace. Business costs will rise out of your control and some customers will move away or simply choose to take their money elsewhere. Through correct marketing, you can replace poor payers and non-profitable customers with those who will bring in the all-important cash flow that your business needs if it is to survive.
Why you need to budget
Simply throwing your hard earned cash at hard-copy advertising, online marketing and social media campaigns without doing some serious planning is likely to get you nowhere fast other than into the red at the bank. Assessing the needs of your business, identifying who your customers are, and considering your marketing goals in terms of ROI are all important factors. This is why you need concise and detailed information about your business and a well-planned marketing strategy. While we may well be accused of stating the obvious, all of this takes some time and in business, time costs money so even the planning stage should be a factor in your overall marketing budget.
Doing the groundwork
While the ultimate goal of your marketing efforts is to increase sales through procuring new customers (or even enticing some old ones back), getting it right the first time around isn’t always going to be feasible. Before you smartly put your chequebook back into the draw of your office desk, however, there is a bit more to it than that. If your marketing is to be successful, you will need data and the more data you have, the clearer the picture will be. From discovering who your potential customers are and how to reach them to identifying which marketing methods work best for your business and why all these factors can shape a successful marketing campaign.
Being strategic in creating your marketing budgets
One of the side effects of creating a specific strategy and budget for your business marketing is that it will encourage you to assess your business finances more closely. By cutting out last minute marketing campaigns and ruling out those knee-jerk reaction advertising habits, you will be able to initiate a smoother and more scalable approach to your marketing strategy. The natural progression of this more focused approach in marketing budgets is that your business will be much better placed to monitor cost against results. It is also a great tool for preventing unscheduled advertisement costs in situations where media companies just “drop by” with an attractive campaign offer.
Increasingly finite measurements
From hard copy to online ads and social media campaigns, an accurate and controlled advertising budget will provide as much detailed information about budgeting as you want. The irony is that if you don’t allocate a marketing budget to start with, you won’t be able to create any of the data that is so crucial to measuring your success in terms of getting the most bang for your buck (as they say). Without some kind of budget for your marketing, you may have well have been throwing your money at the wall because even if you actually already make sporadic spends on your advertising, unless you can measure them you will never discover what works best.
Enabling scalability through your marketing budget
If you want to be more successful in business there is only one logical answer and that is continued and scalable growth. To understand why scalability is so important to your marketing budget it is useful to consider cash flow. While you would consider business growth to be the prime aim of any company or self-employed individual there can often be one very common fly in the ointment and it is called cash flow.
Many new and highly successful businesses often find themselves literally running out of cash! As a business owner, you will already be well aware that cash is the lifeblood of any business and if it runs out you are likely to find yourself in serious financial trouble. Even companies with warehouses full of stock or a book full of product orders have found themselves running out of cash. Businesses that have unwearyingly fallen into this negative cash flow trap often find themselves 'overtrading' or having more business than they are able to service within their available budgets. Setting a marketing budget that ties into both the projected flow of cash into your business and considers scalable and managed growth are, therefore, important factors to consider from the outset.
Testing, testing, and yet more testing
We would love to be able to tell you that if you put the right advert on the right page and use a specific set of prompts your phone will be ringing off the hook from day one of your marketing campaign going live. In the real world, however, that doesn’t often happen and there are a few logical reasons why that is.
You may be surprised to learn that no matter how well you think you know your business, there is, however, a bunch of people out there who know it even better than you do. These people are your existing and potential customers and if you listen to them they will be more than happy to put you right! While you may be an expert at what you do whether that be serving up delicious food or keeping peoples cars on the road, how your customers perceive your business is another matter entirely.
Bearing the above points about your customers and their relationship with your business in mind it figures that you need to get that all-important feedback from them so that you can apply it to your marketing. If you want to ensure that your marketing works to its maximum potential you should accept at the outset that you will need to budget an initial amount of your resources to testing the market. Discovering what works best for you early on will save you big on your marketing budget further down the road.
Getting serious about your marketing budget
Whatever type of business you operate there are plenty of new customers out there that have no idea that you even exist. By applying some of the above principles to an on-going budget, you can start to connect with the people who are right for your business and its products or services. Applying a specific part of your businesses budget to a consistent marketing strategy over a designated time is the first step towards successful business promotion. In the end, marketing is an investment in your business in much the same way you would buy machinery or invest in more staff, so don’t get left behind and start your marketing budget strategy today.
Seeking expert help with your marketing budget
Here at The Daxi Group, we have a huge amount of marketing experience; in fact, our CEO Natalie Reed (HND in business and marketing) has been proving how successful marketing budgets can be for over nine years now. If you want to take advantage of The Daxi Group’s expertise in creating and managing marketing budgets you should call us right now on 00357 23040940, email us at email@example.com, or visit us online at www.thedaxigroup.com for more information.
The Prestigious 2018 Daxi Business Awards
1st November 2018
If you own a business in the Famagusta or Larnaca district you should seriously consider attending the 2018 Daxi Business Awards on Friday, February the eighth. The event that has been a key feature of the regions business calendar since 2011 has continued to grow in terms of both support from the business community and those who make use of their products and services.
A fabulous night out
If you thought that this high profile event was nothing more than a business get-together you would be dead wrong because it provides attendees with everything that you would expect from a fabulous night out. Fine food and drink, top-flight entertainment, music and dancing, and the award ceremony itself provide everyone with an excellent value-for-money evening and it is all in the name of a great cause; your own business community!
The Daxi Awards process
The event and the businesses that continue to faithfully support it sponsor 10 distinct business and community-based awards to companies or individuals in the Famagusta and Larnaca districts including:
Best Newcomer Award
Commitment To Tourism Award
Investment In People Award
Outstanding Customer Service Award
Heart Of Gold Award
Outstanding Achievement Award
Service Provider Of The Year Award
Lifetime Achievement Award
Outstanding Contribution To The Community Award
During the nomination period, anyone can put forward a business that they feel has fulfilled the criteria suggested by one of the above award categories. Once any company has been nominated to a category it is then in the award process to be considered. Once a category has 12 individual businesses it is then closed to any further nominations.
Sponsorship of the Daxi Awards
Each award category is sponsored by a business in the Famagusta or Larnaca districts to a predefined cash award amount and, of course, the coveted Daxi award itself. Many previous award winners have made the most of this unique opportunity that has provided them with a means to give something back. In doing so they have been able to make a tangible contribution to the very system that recognisers their own efforts and the value of their business in the local community.
About Daxi Award winners
Nominations for businesses of all types and sizes from one-man operations to large Cyprus companies are invited for the Daxi Awards.
With specific awards for tourism and the much-coveted Heart of Gold Award, there is a category for any organisation or even an individual that has contributed towards making a difference just by being a part of your community. From supermarkets and shops to property developers and animal charities, the Daxi Awards strive to recognise the outstanding contribution that each one makes.
Why the Daxi Awards event is so important to your business
If you need any convincing that the Daxi Awards event is important to your Famagusta or Larnaca based business you should take a look at our video of the 2016 event on the Daxi Website. Whatever type of business you operate in this community you should seriously consider attending this year’s event. Held at the Zappeion Palace Reception Hall in Deryneia from 6.00pm onwards on Friday, February 8th of 2019, it looks set to be the biggest ever Daxi Awards evening to date.
One of the main things that drive business owners is a passion for excellence. Whether that is realised in the quality of the product or the outstanding levels of customer service they provide, it all boils down to the same thing. The Daxi Awards is one of the primary ways that the community your business is serving is able to express its appreciation and recognition of your efforts.
Businesses from that community that you are serving will be at the awards evening and your business also deserves to be recognised, and it can be, simply by attending on the night. By being seen at the awards, your business will be making an unspoken statement concerning its commitment and involvement in the local community. Furthermore, you will also get to have a brilliant night out and maybe even do a little business networking into the bargain.
Who is invited to the Daxi Awards Evening?
The Daxi Awards is “the” business event in Southeast Cyprus and it is a real red carpet affair. In fact, it could well be Cyprus’s answer to the business version of the Oscars. While the event is a highly prestigious one that commands a strict formal dress code (evening wear for ladies and a shirt and tie to a tuxedo for the guys) anyone can attend. Yes, you read it right; anyone is welcome provided that they purchase tickets in advance.
So as Sia and Sean Paul so aptly put it “it’s Friday night and the Daxi’s on so do your hair and put your make up on” for a fabulous night of top-flight entertainment, delicious food, and a chance to support those who work so hard in your community. Tickets can be ordered for groups too with specific tables set aside for them. Natalie and her team extend the warmest of welcomes to anyone who wishes to support this unique biennial event and share in supporting the businesses that work so hard in our communities on all of our behalf’s.
The biggest Daxi Awards ever
The popularity of the Daxi Awards has grown steadily over the years and nominations are filling up fast. You can see which businesses, organisations and individuals (where appropriate) have been nominated on our website at www.thedaxigroup.com/daxi-business-awards.
With live television streaming by City Channel TV at this year’s event and other media coverage anticipated too, tickets are likely to go fast. So call us now on 23 040 940, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call into our office in Pernera.
Why Print Advertising in Cyprus Continues to Leave the Online Alternative Standing
31st October 2018
If you are in any doubt as to whether print advertising in Cyprus is giving online advertising a run for its money you should consider the following. Anyone who regularly reads printed materials, especially glossy magazines will usually have more than a couple scattered around on their bedside cabinets, bookshelves, or coffee tables. In fact, you will usually find them anywhere that otherwise busy people are likely to spend their time relaxing when they finally have nothing else left on their to-do lists.
Print advertising in Cyprus is alive and well
Ask anyone who spends an extended period of time in Cyprus how they receive news of the special offers that most of the major food and retail outlets publicise and you might be surprised at the answer. There isn’t a week goes by when everyone from the local bouncy castle hire company to the supermarket giant Lidl actually pays someone to drop a glossy brochure into virtually every mailbox on the island. Don’t imagine for a second that this creatively produced medium is immediately transferred to the trash because you would be dead wrong. Most thrifty homeowners pay specific attention to these promotions and even leave them handy as a reminder of how to prioritise their next shopping trip.
Not just a local advertising phenomenon
So if you are not surprised already to discover just how popular and effective print advertising in Cyprus can be, perhaps you will be when you discover that it isn’t just a local phenomenon. According to the American news giant New York Magazine, they experienced a staggering 65% increase in single sales copy during the period ending 2016. There are a number of reasons why hard copy print media advertising continues to thrive globally in the digital age and while Cyprus is no exception, it is especially suited to print.
Benefiting from the local factor
We have often heard it said that “seeing is believing”, and there is little doubt that whatever type of advertising media your business chooses, the trust will play a vital role in its success. One of the key factors that make a print copy so effective in a local context is that consumers are able to immediately relate to a real physical location that matches what they are seeing. They have more time to internalise this connection while relaxing and reading a hard copy than they would when they scroll through social media while standing on a packed bus or sitting in a crowded coffee shop. There is no doubt that local businesses using print media to promote their products and services are likely to achieve some of the highest ROI (return on investment) per advertising euros spent.
Why readers continue to respond so well to print advertising
Contrary to what many pundits prophesied around a decade ago, consumers still continue to soak up print copy advertising in Cyprus and virtually every other developed country. There are a number of reasons why this tried and tested method has not only survived but continued to flourish in the digital age. From the touchy-feely factor and visual stimulation to how we absorb information, they are all contributing factors to why this medium continues to produce the results that advertisers need to make a success of their business efforts. So if you want to get the most out of your advertising euros read on and gain some insight as to why print advertising in Cyprus works so well.
Scientific American claims that readers of hard copy retain more information from what they read than those viewing the same material on digital devices such as eReaders, tablets, cell phones, and laptops. They report that over 100 such studies all allude to the same conclusion; that we somehow “switch” reading modes when using a screen device to read.
In the mood for reading
There is also much to be said concerning our differing attitudes and mental states when using digital devices and reading the hard copy. Next time you have the opportunity to relax by the pool, on the beach, or in any outdoor area on a warm day, take a look around and you are certain to notice that the majority of readers have real books or magazines. In fact, according to The Guardian, eBooks and digital magazines still only account for a small percentage of our total reading purchases. It also appears that when we prepare to read a book, magazine, or even a newspaper, we have already told ourselves that we are going to focus on doing just that and nothing else. In doing so, we are then far more relaxed and, therefore, focused on the material.
Improved brand awareness and trust
It is an inescapable fact of life that before you can expect anyone to purchase your products or services there needs to be a certain element of trust. Hard print advertising in Cyprus is one highly potent way to develop this trust. Business experts will tell you that branding is crucial because that is exactly where the trust we are describing is so often placed. It is no surprise that many small business owners continue to think that they are somehow the exception to branding. The bottom line is, however, that if your business in Cyprus has a name (even if you use your own), a sign over the door, or it is located in premises that people drive/walk past; you are already a brand.
Something tangible and long-lasting
One of the biggest advantages that hard copy print advertising in Cyprus has over its digital counterpart is that it has a tangible and physical presence. People tend to keep magazines and brochures for future reference and often pick them up when searching for something they may remember seeing. They also get passed on to friends and family and your advertising is seen by a new set of readers. People are sensory creatures by nature and this draws them to the attractive aspect of magazines and pamphlets along with the touchy-feely aspect of hard copy.
Why your Cyprus business can’t afford to not use print copy advertising
Whatever type of business or organisation you operate in Cyprus you will already appreciate how important it is to get your message out there. Print copy advertising in Cyprus is already working for your competitors so isn’t it about time you discovered how it can work for you too?
New York Magazine
Why Every Business Website Needs a Blog?
28th September 2018
OK, so you have set up your website to promote your goods or services and it looks good and everything works great, but you aren’t getting many visitors. Meanwhile, you are being bombarded with offers of paid traffic from Facebook and Google but you are already wondering if your marketing budget might be better spent elsewhere? Well, keep your chequebook in the office drawer because a blog is a far more cost-effective method of bringing visitors to your business website.
A bit about blogs
Unless you have been living in a cave (and running your business from there) you are certain to have heard about blogs and blogging. It all sounds really professional, however, and something that only expert writers (bloggers) and celebrities with huge audiences might do. Well not quite, because as many businesses are finding out, anyone can operate a blog and there are those who consider it an essential component in any online marketing strategy.
In its simplest terms, a blog is a website that is used to post informative and interesting articles, news about your business, and encourage interaction with those who read them. A business blog should be aimed at providing content that is likely to be of interest to potential customers. That doesn’t mean it needs to be loaded with sales material or information that appertains directly to your business. Rather, it should address issues or answer questions around topics that are related to the business and present your business as an authority on such topics.
So why is a blog good for your business?
The internet and Google in particular love content, content that is relevant, interesting, and reeks of authority; in fact, statistics confirm that websites with blogs tend to have a staggering 434% more of their pages indexed by the search engines! Well written and interesting blog posts are far more likely to rank on the first pages of the search results than the product list pages of your website. The truth is that you want visitors to see your business website and your blog is the way to get them there. Interesting and informative articles on your business blog that have links back to your website will deliver those visitors right into your lap.
Blogs rank higher in the search results pages (SERPs)
Because the search engines love content and your blog is being regularly updated it is likely to rank much higher for search. Google, in particular, loves the internet to be connected through links from one site to another. Blogs that consistently update with interesting content will find other authority sites linking to them and this too is a recipe for an upwards journey through the search results pages. It is worth bearing in mind that companies utilising blogging as part of their internet marketing strategy are reported to receive 97% more inbound links than those that don’t.
Increased brand awareness and customer relationships
As your blog attracts more readers it will increase the awareness of your business as a brand and you as an industry authority. One of the really important roles that a blog has is the creation of relationships between the business and the customers.
Through updates, news about your business and welcoming an exchange through comments on your blog posts, your potential and existing customers will feel involved.
Putting it about
Astute business owners know that social media is a valuable tool for keeping in touch with their customers and potential clients. Your blog posts can be added as links on all the social media platforms at the push of a button every time you publish something fresh. You can even re-post in the same way using simple easy to work programs called plugins. Doing your blogging this way will give your business a double whammy of a new article and fresh postings to all your social media followers in one click of the mouse.
Daxi Creative is expert in all aspects of blog creation and article writing. We also provide eBooks, reports, website content, official marketing e-mails, letters, proposals, and much more. Call us now on 23 040 940 and discover the difference that we can make to your internet marketing efforts.