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The Importance of Good Branding

21 Feb

When we think of “branding” we think that a brand is the design, sign, words, or a combination of these, employed in creating an image that identifies you / your product or service.  It will differentiate you from your competitors. It’s that which is brought to mind when a company name / product is mentioned or thought of and likewise It’s what you will use to identify your services / products uniquely.

However, your brand is not just the logo on the bottom of your email, it is your full on image and consequentially how you are perceived by others and the message that your business spreads.

So, to make life easier for yourself (and your target audience) it is essential that you keep the brand simple and clear. This is paramount, whoever you are; a sole trader, a singer, an event organiser, a web designer or even an accountant. The consistency of a brand is what delivers your key messaging, allows buyers to warm to you and encourages loyalty. By keeping your branding consistent you are building up trust with your target audience.

The main piece of advice Rocoja would give you is keep your brand colours the same throughout all marketing; you want someone to see a flyer or poster advertising your band, shop or business and recognise that it is your business as it is consistent. This should even carry through to your logo.

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The same goes for a visitor to your website following your link through to a social media platform, the brand, message, colours and logo need to follow through from your website to your social media presence.

A good brand should not over promise (don’t over complicate it) and should match the business it is representing. For example, if you are an accountant don’t have a cartoon style dog as your logo as this will confuse your ‘professional’ message that you want your target audience to see. Likewise, a singer /performer should really steer clear of “slang terms” and imagery as these go in and out of fashion extremely quickly.

Good branding not only needs to be relevant to your business but it needs to be relevant to your target audience too, if you sell bargain handbags at the market then an over the top foil business card with embossed writing will not fit with what you do; the same if you are a top class singer, you wouldn’t want a boring grey business card that just lists your information. A good brand will relate to you and your business, while being attractive to your target audience.

Get this right in the first place and your message will be carried out for you, thanks to your target audience trusting your branding.

The potential from the right image is great, if you know how to maximize it…

Rocoja knows how to!

Contact us for some advice info@Rocoja.co.uk

We are to help.

                          

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New Year = Time for a revamp!

29 Dec

Your New Year Business Resolution – 5 things to do in 2016

How was 2015 for you and your small business?

January heralds a new start to a new year and that means it is an opportunity to do something to revamp your small business.

Here are 5 things you could do that on the back of what you have achieved in 2015 could bring some benefits in 2016

Update your website

Your website is your window to the world.  Giving your website an update is essential every new year. Making sure your 2016 products, services and prices are up to date is vital.  Changing a few images and bringing some freshness into the website really can make a difference. Then updating the content and ensuring your keywords are in place and just having fresh copy really lift your website and allow your business to lift off further from where you left it in 2015.

Revamp your Social Media

Along with your website your social media is important. Many companies forget that their social media also needs refreshing; a fresh image and some fresh wording describing your business just add some polish.  In 2016 make a concerted effort to use social media more, maybe spend a little time reading up and then putting an effective social media plan in place.

Re Brand

Your brand defines you. If your small business has been around while or even if it has only been operating a short time taking a look at your brand in line with your updated website (see point 5) and making a concerted effort to use social media more really is worthwhile.  A re-branding sounds hard work and sounds painful but having the right brand that conveys the right message about your business could just mean the difference between growing or standing still in 2016.

Plan your year ahead

Failing to plan is planning to fail and a new year is the perfect time to plan the next 12 months for your small business.  Whether you are a one man band or a small team, putting your goals, objectives and milestones down in writing in a formal plan gives your small business direction that is measurable. With a well-planned year and regular updates to the plan throughout the year your business is under control for the next 12 months the right strategic decisions can be made.

Get advice from someone outside your business

For many small businesses hiring a consultant seems like a crazy idea because the money can be spent better elsewhere. Yes this is true but there are plenty of people and organisations such as friends, accountants, chambers of commerce and banks who will give you valuable business advice on a variety of topics that can truly help your business for little or no charge. Nearly everyone knows someone that may be a specialist in marketing, social media, websites, planning or even trading overseas – take a look at your circle of friends, family and business associates and ask someone if they can help you. If you don’t ask you don’t get and you will be amazed at how many people will want to see you a success and who would feel proud to help you be that success.

2016 is going to be an awesome year ahead, these 5 simple tips could make it even more awesome and most of them will cost every little and each will bring outstanding returns on your investment.

We are here specifically for new and fledgling businesses, charities, performers and individuals who need to be in the midst of the Social Media buzz.

                          

Rocoja

Small Business – Know your worth!

27 Oct

As small business owners, we all know the dream probably began with the tiniest spark – This spark is something you’ve carefully kindled into a flame; which we hope one day will be the roaring fire fuelling your future.

No one starts up a business with the intent of giving free hand-outs. But then again we all know that sometimes, this is exactly what happens.

Business Card

Perhaps it was easy to do the occasional favour for a friend back in the beginning, during those first steps when it was important to test the waters or when assessing the success of your ideas meant bringing them to life on a smaller scale; but as time moves on and the ideas grow, expand and become real – your time is much more precious.

The business is not just a small spark any more, it’s a lifestyle choice you live…..

It’s critical at this point, to put a value on your time, effort and skills.

Rome certainly wasn’t built in a day and neither was your empire. Equally, without support and carefully developed partnerships, the Romans would have fallen at the first hurdle.

In our digital world of instant contact, internet reviews and expedited delivery across the globe it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact moment that you make the step from ‘start-up’ to becoming a fully-fledged business. Much of that transition depends on the confidence you have in yourself and in your finished product.

Working with other small businesses can bring a sense of connection and support and establishing partnerships early on in the lifetime of a business can be incredibly rewarding.  It can seem like a good idea, once given the chance to offer your services to another business, to offer a heavily discounted rate; thereby, almost certainly guaranteeing a glowing review and endorsement of your product or service. However, just as quickly – the credibility of your work can come under the microscope. Questions can arise about shortcoming in your own sense of worth and the worth of the business.

Instead, offering your services at a price you would expect to pay for them, will ensure that there is a mutual understanding and respect. There aren’t many honest, hard-working business owners who don’t understand the difficulty of becoming and being a successful entity and therefore will accept your terms and pricing for the value that they stand for.

Remembering the ethos of being a good business owner is important when it comes to putting a price on what you do and what you hope your business will grow into.

At a certain point, these are no longer favours for a friend, and you aren’t in training any more; you are a BUSINESS providing a quality service / product & need to behave that way.

Respect for growing small-businesses is rich in our everyday lives, not just from others who have started and are starting out just as you are, but also from those consumers who are making informed choices about the people they seek out. Confidence in your product is always going to be your first tool in marketing and to undersell, even to another business can be detrimental to your business health.

Seek out other business possibilities, work out where you can both benefit from the support of one another.

www.Rocoja.co.uk

Do I need Social Media? Click here

                          

Cyber Bullying – A change of demographic – gone away or did it just get OLDER?

20 Aug

After a few days of witnessing an eye watering display of online bullying, I felt the need to write a paragraph or two in support of other small businesses who may be suffering this new phenomenon.

Bullying statistics have shown that cyberbullying is a serious problem among teens and can take many forms.

Below are the most common complained about forms of cyberbullying (by adolescents)

  • Sending mean messages or threats to a person’s email account or cell phone
  • Spreading rumours online or through texts
  • Posting hurtful or threatening messages on social networking sites or web pages
  • Pretending to be someone else online to hurt another person
  • Taking unflattering pictures of a person and spreading them through cell phones or the Internet

It has been proven to lead to anxiety, depression, and even suicide as, sadly once things are circulated on the Internet, they may never disappear, resurfacing at later times to renew the pain of cyber bullying.

Many Cyber bullies admit to feeling superior and even worse, some do not even realise what they are doing is harmful or hurtful. They may not think about the effects their behaviour has.

The worst effect has been shown to be suicide amongst teens / children who have been victim to this behaviour.

So why is Rocoja posting about Cyberbullying?

I have witnessed over 2 days this week one of the worst cases of cyberbullying I have ever seen. If it had been children or young adults on Twitter for all to see, it would’ve been easy to deal with. A quick phone call to the police and a quick “report” to Twitter & hopefully Job-done. BUT this was instigated & whipped to fever pitch by a group of supposedly “professional” adults.

My involvement? Why did I see it…? I have helped a small business this month, I have set up a Twitter account for them & they proudly have a whole 50 followers (achieved in 2 weeks).

However let’s be clear, this is not a thriving conglomerate, contributing to world collapse. This is a small business in a niche industry starting out on Social Media.

On Wednesday, out of no-where, a group of professionals in the same business arena as the SME began to take screenshots of their new website, picking at grammar & wording.

They began to post it on Twitter with quotes such as

“You Are NOT regulated” – Which is correct & the business never purported to be.

“Young Director – Rolls eyes” – How is age relevant?

“This company is enticing people to them” – Well yes, that’s what all companies do.

“Are they even legal, Shouldn’t they be authorised or something” – ????

“Dick Turpin Outfit” – ???

“Shut down now” -????

“Post your qualifications” -???

All of which is designed to engender mistrust & angst.

I responded (to help the company out, as I was appalled) maintaining a pleasant and professional manner, asking the obviously concerned writers to contact the company Director to discuss any issues – I also asked for advice on what exactly the perpetrators had an issue with. Which was declined.

Overall on Wednesday there were over 120 Tweets naming the small business & adding in phrases designed to engender mistrust from anyone who could see this.

Also the 6-7 Tweeters were copying in the regulatory body for their profession & were even saying things like “SME X is being investigated” etc. etc.

Overall, Wednesday was a very sad day….. But it finished & I went to bed after my physio session feeling exhausted just from re-reading the whole thing, in case there was anything the SME could’ve done differently..

This morning, I popped on my computer, but I am faced with more abuse… some of which is aimed at ME personally.

Somehow these “professionals” have found my personal Linked in profile & felt they have a right to name me & post my profile online again with tweets worded to engender mistrust.

Gems such as

“Bless her – she’s earned her money today” – Condescending & very wrong.

“I’ve trawled LinkedIn & I can see her Flower name & Football expertise????” – Condescending & rude.

“This “lovely” looks after their Twitter” (and Posted my personal profile) – Totally uncalled for.

“Where does she stand on this – is she Dupe or Accomplice” – To what?????

Now I’m a big brave girl, I’ve been through the wars (Not a story I share so don’t ask) and no one scares me. However rudeness and people being unsupportive & downright bullying makes my blood boil.

Again the regulatory body for their profession was copied in on the tweets aimed at “Twitter shaming” & cyber-bullying me personally.  Again the inference was the SME & myself are now under some sort of investigation thanks to these Superhero Twitter Battle-forces of good & righteousness……

So, me being me, I meet this head on & picked up the telephone – something these “professionals” seem to be unable to do as all the keyboard warrioring has obviously affected that ability!

I call their regulatory body & speak to the department running their Twitter.

I speak immediately to a very professional lady.

SHOCK – NO this body of true professionals HAS NOT engaged with any of the Super-Hero Battle Forces & indeed has been watching these events in a very saddened state as their industry already has an awful reputation & to see so called professionals rip into a SME without a thought of a kind word of advice or helping hand has just underlined everything that’s wrong with it.

She also stated that at NO point in the 2 days of Tweets have they replied, mentioned, engaged at all with any of it – as it is so unprofessional & indeed the naming & mickey taking of my personal details was a very low low!

This regulatory body cannot stop being tagged in Tweets but has assured me they have taken a very dim view of what’s been happening & if I wanted to take it further, they have taken copies of the whole engagement.

As I stated when this started (on behalf of the SME) the gang of 6-7 could have contacted the governing body & raised a complaint if they had real misgivings, or they could have issued advice to a new business on social media, helpfully assisting the UK economy by amending grammar & wording instead of completely trashing their industry by belittling not only a new business but a disabled woman who runs a charity from her home.

I deliberately haven’t mentioned any of the people involved as

  1. It’s so low & unprofessional I cannot bring myself to do it.
  2. I’m doing a massive Charity event in 3 weeks for the Armed Forces and I know some of the Twitter Super-Hero gang were ex-military & I am sure my friends in the forces would be very vocal if they think I’ve been upset.
  3. At least 2 of the perpetrators were women & I am so very upset by this fact alone, as we need more women in senior positions in industry & business. BUT all the while some ladies feel the only way they can look better is by taking the micky out of another female’s name I despair that we will ever be treated as anything more than a joke in the workplace.

Bullying is never right – not at home, not at school & most definitely not online.

Just because the screen offers you protection from being seen, it doesn’t give you carte blanche to trawl and troll.

Its also extremely worrying that the bunch I have jokingly labelled the “Super-Hero Twitter Battle Force” are actually Tweeting  (and I quote verbatim) “This is the future. A small band of Twitter vigilantes taking down unregulated scammers”.

It would also appear from that, they have appointed themselves judge, jury & executioners on small businesses encroaching on their “twitter turf”. I know this not only from my own rather horrible experience, but because a very quick peek into their timelines shows myriads of such viciously worded tweets – all judging & lambasting other businesses & individuals.

Such gems as (again all verbatim) – “If I get a sidearm & licence to kill, I’m in!”; “implies the possibility of competition. I feel no such insecurity”; “Quiet in the cheap seats. The Royal Air Force has it covered old man”; we are “The Terminators!” &  “He does exist. This is the man 👍🏽👍🏽” (the last one is particularly businesslike as it accompanies a picture of portly naked gentleman, which Im assuming the 5 people in the Twitter gangare inferring is the owner of the small business they are annihilating online for sport.

This experience has worried me that far from addressing the issues of online bullies, we have just pushed it further up the age range / business ladder.

Prove me wrong?

Next time you see a small business starting out and you are not happy with something they say or do & you are up the ladder further than them, don’t kick them off – reach down & help them.

Hand_Up2

Can you? Are you that person?

For any more help / advice  or Small Business Tips & Trick

Please contact us

Info@Rocoja.co.uk 

Karin

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