3 Common Branding Mistakes And How To Avoid Them

Branding Mistakes

One of the most exciting parts of starting a new business venture is building a brand. Defining who you are as a company and how you’re going to move forward in the marketplace is an essential part of launching a new business.

But there are definitely some opportunities to stumble along the way. Here are 3 common branding mistakes and how to avoid them:

 

Not Defining Your Audience

In order to create an effective branding strategy, you need to have a clear idea of who you’re marketing to. If you don’t have a firm definition of who your target customer is, the problems they struggle with, and how your product and service can solve those problems, your marketing and branding is likely to miss the mark.

Clearly defining your audience by creating an ideal customer avatar allows you to get really specific on who you’re marketing to and then develop all of your marketing and branding strategy around that key demographic.

When creating your ideal customer avatar, get as specific as possible. Name your avatar and fill in as many details as you can about their wants, needs, goals, and problems.

So, for example, let’s say you owned an e-commerce business that sold children’s clothing and your target demographic is mothers with children between the ages of 2 and 7. Your ideal customer avatar might read:

Marisa, Age 37

Marisa is a 37-year-old working mother with two daughters, ages 3 and 5. She wants to outfit her children in stylish attire, but doesn’t want to spend a lot of money on clothes the girls will grow out of in a year. She struggles to find the balance between high-quality, stylish, and affordable clothing.

Between her busy work schedule and taking care of her family, Marisa has little time to shop, so she prefers to do all of her shopping online. But because she’s never sure about the fit, she’ll only shop at places that offer quick, easy, and free returns.

When you have an ideal customer avatar that specific and that’s aligned with the core of your target demographic, you can create hyper-targeted messaging that hits on your audience’s core wants and needs. It also will make your marketing messaging feel highly personalised; when your target consumer reads your messaging, their first thought will be “I feel like they’re speaking to me!”

 

Choosing The Wrong Colour Palette

Another big branding mistake that many new companies make is choosing the wrong colour palette. The colours you choose speak volumes about your brand, and different colours will connect in different ways with different audiences.

For example, if you’re a real estate consultancy, you want your potential clients to know that you’re a trustworthy business that takes their work seriously. But if you choose pink, neon yellow, and orange as your brand colour palette, you’ll appear juvenile and not inspire the kind of confidence you’re looking for.

Think of who you are as a brand and how you want your audience to view you, then choose colours that align with that vision.

 

Not Creating A Brand Guide

The number one most important brand material you have in your business is your brand guide. Your brand guide is the DNA of your company; it outlines who you are, what you stand for, what you want to say, and how you want to say it. Your brand guide is the driving force behind everything you do in your business and is the best and easiest way to get your entire team on the same page about how you do business.

But unfortunately, creating a brand guide often gets put on the backburner while new business owners focus on other tasks necessary to get their brands off the ground.

But while it may seem like you’re saving time by not creating a brand guide, it’s one of the biggest mistakes you can make in your business. If you don’t have a thorough brand guide from the start, you’re likely to face inconsistencies in your brand. If you and your team aren’t clear on who you are as a brand, how can you build your business in alignment with your brand identity? Having a brand guide takes all the guesswork out of the branding process and gives your company a clear direction in which to grow.

Do yourself a favour: create a brand guide.

There are plenty of opportunities to make mistakes when you’re launching a brand, but now that you know how to avoid them, your brand doesn’t have to fall victim to these common mistakes.

 

How Can We Help?

At Rogue Print and Mail, our design team have been assisting businesses with creating Style and Brand guides for many years.  Our proven track record of delivering the highest quality graphic design and print services to professionals speaks for itself. With fast turnaround times, industry specific templates and design ideas and expertise in the power of colours that will best promote your branding, Rogue Print and Mail is the preferred design and print partner for many hundreds of professionals across Australia.  

I sincerely hope that you found this information valuable.  For advice on effective branding, design and cross media marketing, please don’t hesitate to call me on 1300 65 85 00 or email me at paul.stenhouse@rogueprintandmail.com.au  to arrange an obligation free 10 minute discussion with a member of our expert team.

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5 Pieces Of Copy Every Brand Needs

slamdot-copywriting-screenWhen you’re launching a brand, there are a few copy essentials that you’ll need to get started on the right foot. Here are 5 pieces of copy every brand needs to be successful:

 

Mission Statement

The first piece of copy you’ll need when launching a brand is a mission statement. Your mission statement is the lifeblood of your company; it informs your employees, customers, and clients of who you are as a brand and, more importantly, what you stand for. It will ultimately help guide the decisions you make as your company grows – when considering a potential strategy, you’ll need to evaluate “is this in line with our mission?”

Your mission statement should be relatively short, but should be inspiring and generate a sense of commitment to your company’s purpose from your team and a sense of alignment with your potential customers and clients. Your mission statement should outline your corporate purpose and belief system and the actions you plan to take as a company to support that purpose and belief.

 

Brand Guide

Once you’ve locked in your mission statement, you’ll want to build a brand guide. A brand guide is an absolute must for any business: it’s what outlines all the details of your branding strategy, guides your entire team on how to create a business that’s true to your brand vision, and establishes guidelines for the do’s and don’ts of your brand that your team can refer back to for years to come.

Your brand guide will vary depending on your business model, but all brand guides should include:

  • Your Mission Statement
  • Your Audience Profile (AKA Your Ideal Customer Avatar)
  • Corporate Policies and Procedures
  • Guidelines For Design
  • Guidelines For Copy

Once you have the basics, you can add any additional information you feel is essential for your team, like organizational charts or analytics best practices.

 

About Page

Once you’ve defined your brand, it’s time to tell your audience about it. And the place to do that is on your about page.

The about page is where your customers are likely to head first when they want to know about your brand, which is why it’s imperative you make sure it’s well-written, engaging, and accurately depicts who you are as a brand.

When writing your about page, you’ll want to keep it concise while also giving your audience the information they need to get a sense of your brand. You can include your mission statement, your corporate history, as well as how you plan to serve your customers. The key to a great about page is to write it in a way that inspires your audience to want to work with you; make your copy engaging and connect on an emotional level.

 

FAQs

Chances are, your customers are going to have questions about your brand. And many of those questions are likely to be similar. By adding an FAQ section to your website, you’ll save yourself a ton of time answering customer inquiries, and you’ll also illustrate your customer you can anticipate their needs and answer their questions before they ask.

In your FAQ section, you’ll obviously want to highlight any questions that you frequently receive from your customers, but you can also include any questions you’d like them to know the answer to. So, if you wanted a way to get out the information that your new line of products is cruelty-free, you could put the question “Are your products cruelty-free?” on your FAQ page – even if it’s not a question you frequently field from customers.

 

Welcome Email

Another hugely important piece of copy you need for your business is a welcome email. Because you know how important it is to build an email list, you’ve already created an opt-in area on your website where people can sign up to receive your emails (and if you haven’t, do it!). The first email you send – the welcome email – is one of the most important communications you’ll have with your audience.

The welcome email that a customer gets when they opt-in to your email list is really their first initiation into your brand family. If you make them feel welcome, appreciated, and valued, they’re likely to want to continue to do business with you. If you send an impersonal stock email – or worse, nothing at all – they’re likely to feel overlooked and unimportant, which will have them taking their business elsewhere.

Draft up a warm, inviting welcome email to send out to every person on your list. If possible, send a special bonus like a coupon or a free ebook to thank them for joining. By building that warm sentiment from the first email, you’re greatly increasing your chances for future success with that customer.
How Can We Help?

At Rogue Print and Mail, our design team have been assisting businesses with creating Style and Brand guides for many years.  Our proven track record of delivering the highest quality graphic design and print services to professionals speaks for itself. With fast turnaround times, industry specific templates and design ideas, and expertise is the power of colours that will best promote your branding, Rogue Print and Mail is the preferred design and print partner for many hundreds of professionals across Australia.  

I sincerely hope that you found this information valuable.  For advice on effective branding, design and cross media marketing, please don’t hesitate to call me on 1300 65 85 00 or email me at paul.stenhouse@rogueprintandmail.com.au  to arrange an obligation free 10 minute discussion with a member of our expert team.

How To Incorporate Training If You Have A Small Team

team-building-rimini2Training is an absolutely critical part of any business. Getting new hires up to speed not only ensures that your business continues to run smoothly, it also makes sure that you retain top talent by giving them the tools that they need to be successful.

But finding the time, energy and resources for training can be difficult – especially when you have a small team. But having a lean team is no excuse to skimp on training. You just need to get creative.

Here are some tips on how to incorporate training if you have a small team:

 

Create Virtual Training Sessions

One easy way to make sure that everyone on your small team gets trained without having to stop the day to day operations of your business is to create virtual training sessions.

The benefits of creating a virtual training in the form of videos or online course material are huge for a smaller team. First of all, you or your corporate trainer only have to perform the training once when you film. Once you have the content filmed, edited and online, you can direct any new team members to your virtual training without taking time out of your day to physically train them.

Virtual training sessions are also more easily fit into the busy schedules of your team members. By breaking your virtual training sessions into different modules (for example, one video module on company policies, one video module on social media best practices, etc), you give your team the ability to fit training sessions around their daily schedule instead of having to sit in a live training for hours or days on end. This ensures that your business continues to operate smoothly and gives your team the ability to get trained without it interfering with their daily work flow.

 

Have On-The-Fly Training Sessions

When you have a small team, you have more flexibility, and on-the-fly training sessions can be an effective way to get your team trained as new things pop up in your business.

Using a new software? Call your team into your office when you get it up and running so they can demo it with you. Thinking about investing in a new social media tool? Have your team sit in on the conference call while their sales rep explains the functionality and how to use it. Have a new design procedure? Have your team sit in on your meeting with your lead designer so they get all the details at the same time.

Having a smaller team means there’s less logistics to coordinate when it comes to training, and including your team in real time training sessions is one of the benefits of having a leaner company.

 

Print In Depth Training Manuals

There’s going to come a time in your business, especially if you’re a leaner team, that you’re so busy that you and your more senior employees just can’t take the time out to train your newer employees. But that doesn’t mean that they don’t need to get caught up to speed; effective training is critical in setting your new team members up for success. That’s where training manuals come in.

Printing in depth training manuals can act as a stand in when you can’t spare any live team members to train your new hires. Include as much information as you can about your business, how it’s run and what’s expected from each team member. Give each new team member a training manual and give them direction on how to work their way through it and essentially train themselves. Schedule a time at the end of the day that you can go over any questions that come up.

 

How Can We Help?

At Rogue Print and Mail, our proven track record of delivering the highest quality graphic design and print services to professionals speaks for itself. With fast turnaround times, industry specific templates and designs, an online portal available for any groups that wish to work with us to be able to store and manipulate their templates, and an in-house team to guide you in all of your branding, design and printing needs, Rogue Print and Mail is the preferred design and print partner for many hundreds of professionals across Australia.  

I sincerely hope that you found this information valuable.  For advice on effective branding, design and cross media marketing, please don’t hesitate to call me on 1300 65 85 00 or email me at paul.stenhouse@rogueprintandmail.com.au  to arrange an obligation free 10 minute discussion with a member of our expert team.

The DOs and DON’Ts of Engaging Training

hiccupps-a-cross-tick-iy6imb-clipartTraining is a critical part of any business, and effective and engaging training can be the key to retaining top talent. But training that falls flat and bores your new employees or doesn’t engage them will have them second guessing their decision to join your company.

Here are the Do’s and Don’ts of engaging training to ensure that you’re onboarding gets your new hires excited to be a part of your team:

 

DO Make it Interactive

If you want to keep your team engaged, insert opportunities for interactivity into your training. Encouraging interactivity will keep your employees from getting bored or overwhelmed with the materials.

Look at your current training plan, and identify places of the training where you can loop in your new hires. Have them do writing exercises or team building activities and make sure to ask them questions along the way to encourage participation.

 

DON’T Talk At Your Team

The quickest way to lose employee engagement during training is to do nothing but talk at them for hours on end. For most people, lectures are an ineffective teaching method and your team will likely tune you out shortly after you begin your presentation and all of your training content will be lost.

 

DO Print Materials

For every training, you should have a number of printed materials for your team. These can be printouts of your presentation with space to talk notes, supplemental materials for them to read more thoroughly at home or worksheets/quizzes for them to fill out after the training wraps up.

Print materials (especially ones that involve writing exercises) can help your team to retain the information from your training and keep them more engaged during and after.

 

DON’T Overwhelm Your Team With Too Much Collateral

While having print collateral to pass out to your team is a training DO, giving them so many materials that they feel completely overwhelmed and shut down is a training DON’T. Overwhelming your team with too many papers, booklets, training guides, presentation print outs and additional collateral can make it difficult for them to absorb and retain the knowledge in each.

All training sessions are different and require a different amount of materials in order to be effective, so you’ll have to use your discretion to determine how much is too much, but a good rule of thumb is to give your team one to two core pieces of printed collateral to tackle DURING the training and one to two pieces of printed collateral to tackle AFTER the training.

 

DO Divide Your Training Into Manageable Sections

One of the keys to keeping your employees engaged during the training process is to break it down into manageable pieces. You’ll notice that the longer you make your trainings, the less engages your employees will be as you move through it. People tend to have short attention spans, and sitting through an 8 hour training can feel overwhelming and unmanageable.

To keep your team engaged, break down your training into smaller, more manageable modules, and make sure to give them breaks in between subjects. So, for example, if you were doing a day of training on social media, you might break it into a morning session to cover social media platforms, an early afternoon session to cover corporate policies and procedures and a late afternoon session to cover general social media do’s and don’ts with a few breaks scattered between. Structuring your training in this way will help you keep your employees attention.

 

DON’T Try To Power Through Everything At Once

There’s no need to power through everything you might need to train your new hires on in one sitting. Spread your training out over the course of days or weeks to avoid burning out your new hires and lessening their enthusiasm about their new role and company.

 

How Can We Help?

At Rogue Print and Mail, our proven track record of delivering the highest quality graphic design and print services to professionals speaks for itself. With fast turnaround times, industry specific templates and designs, an online portal available for any groups that wish to work with us to be able to store and manipulate their templates, and an in-house team to guide you in all of your branding, design and printing needs, Rogue Print and Mail is the preferred design and print partner for many hundreds of professionals across Australia.  

I sincerely hope that you found this information valuable.  For advice on effective branding, design and cross media marketing, please don’t hesitate to call me on 1300 65 85 00 or email me at paul.stenhouse@rogueprintandmail.com.au  to arrange an obligation free 10 minute discussion with a member of our expert team.

 

4 Training Mistakes To Avoid

training mistakes imageBringing a new team member or independent contractor on board is exciting and can have a huge impact on your business. But their success hinges on the right training. In order to get the most out of your people, you need to give them the tools they need to succeed in the form of a well designed training program.

But not all training is created equal. Here are 4 training mistakes you definitely want to avoid if you want your new hires to be successful:
Not Giving Enough Training

One of the biggest training mistakes you can make is not investing enough time, energy and resources into training your new team member and getting them up to speed. Hiring someone (whether as a full-time team member or as an independent contractor) is a big investment, and not giving that person everything that they need to be successful in their new role is essentially wasting that investment. Even if you hired the most talented and competent person in the world, they’re going to need guidance to get up to speed on the company and everything that’s expected of them in this role.

Create an on-boarding and training plan for your new team members, and then make sure that you or a team member are available to follow through with it and actually train the person. Day 1 on the job should consist of on-boarding, HR and getting them up to speed with the way things run in your company (like who to go to with IT concerns or how to submit time-sheets or invoices), with the following days and weeks devoted to getting them trained on systems and job functions.

Every company is different, but if you want to get the most out of your new hires you should plan to spend at least a week of intensive on the job training followed by additional touch-bases and stand alone training over the course of the first few months.
Micromanaging

While you certainly want to avoid not giving your team enough training, you also want to avoid going overboard and crossing the line between “training” and “micromanaging”.

It can be tempting to constantly check in on your new hire and ask them to tell you how they’re doing things to make sure they’re putting their training into action. But once your new hire has gone through your training process, you need to give them the space to get things done and actually implement the training. The vast majority of people don’t like to be micromanaged, and constantly hovering over your new hire can give them the impression that you don’t trust them to get the job done.
Not Setting Proper Expectations

It’s also important to set proper expectations for the training process and the beginning stages of the work relationship. Your new employee or contractor is absorbing a lot of information during training, and they need to know how they should implement that information, what priorities are and what you expect them to accomplish.

Set clear expectations during the training process and then set a time to touch base to follow up on progress (usually 60 – 90 days is a fair amount of time).
Not Checking In On Skill Level

A big mistake that a lot of people make in training people is assuming they have certain skills. For example, let’s say you hired a new graphic design partner, and you need them to design print marketing pieces for you in a specific program you use company wide. Assuming that they’re proficient in that program and not checking in on their skill level as it pertains to what you need is a huge training no-no.

Just because someone has a general set of skills (like graphic design or copywriting) doesn’t mean that they necessarily will have proficiency in every program you use or the right skills for every type of project you need completed.

For every program or project you train on, check in with your new hire on their skill level and proficiency. If they don’t have the right skill set, you may need to invest in additional training, assign that specific project to another team member or find an alternative program that will work with their existing skills.
About Us

At Rogue Print and Mail, our proven track record of delivering the highest quality graphic design and print services to professionals speaks for itself. With fast turnaround times, industry specific templates and designs, an online portal available for any groups that wish to work with us to be able to store and manipulate their templates and an in-house team to guide you in all of your branding, design and printing needs, Rogue Print and Mail is the preferred design and print partner for many hundreds of professionals across Australia.

I sincerely hope you found this information valuable. For advice on effective branding, design and cross media marketing, please don’t hesitate to call me on 1300 65 85 00 or email me at paul.stenhouse@rogueprintandmail.com.au to arrange an obligation free 10 minute discussion with a member of our expert team.

5 Habits Of Highly Successful Business Owners

Keys to Success ImageIt goes without saying that you want your company to succeed. And as a business owner, a large part of that success depends on you. So what can you do to be more successful?

Here are 5 habits of highly successful business owners and how you can start to implement them in your business:

 

They Wake Up Early

One thing that nearly all successful business owners have in common is the fact that they get up early in the morning. Getting up earlier in the morning has a multitude of benefits: you’ll feel less rushed in the morning, you have more productive time during the day and you have extra time for personal pursuits, like exercise or meditation.

Make it a goal to get up one hour earlier each day. Use that hour to do something that you enjoy and that will set you up for a successful day, like going for a run, writing in a journal or setting your priorities for the day.

 

They Plan Their Day In Advance

Speaking of setting priorities for the day, another thing that successful business owners have in common is they plan their day in advance. Throughout the day, there are so many things that aim to grab your attention as a business owner, and as such it’s easy to get off track and lose sight of your ultimate goals and objectives. But by planning your day in advance (and sticking to your schedule), you accomplish the things that are most important to your business and it’s overall success.

Take 30 minutes the night before or morning of your work day and write down the flow of your day: the projects you want to work on, calls you need to make, leads you need to follow up on. Then, prioritize them so that they most important projects get tackled first. You’ll also want to plan in some “cushion time” to handle any of those attention-grabbing tasks that pop up during the day.

 

They Limit  Email and Meeting Time

Two of the biggest time drains in any business owner’s day are cleverly disguised as essential parts of a functioning business: emails and meetings. While they’re necessary (you can’t entirely eliminate emails or meetings from your schedule), it’s easy for them to take way more time then they need to. A busy business owner could easily spend an entire day responding to messages in their inbox peppered in with a few meetings. While this may feel productive, it actually blocks you from being truly productive in your business.

Successful business owners limit the amount of time they spend per day responding to emails or attending meetings. For emails, schedule two times per day where you read and respond to emails – once in the morning and once mid-afternoon is an effective schedule. Then, for the rest of the day, don’t look at or engage with your inbox. If you’re worried about client messages not getting responded to or your team feelings neglected, let them know your new schedule and when they can expect responses to their messages.

When it comes to limiting meetings, it’s all a question of necessity. When scheduling a meeting, ask yourself “is this meeting 100% necessary? What is my desired outcome, and is there any other way to get that desired outcome?” For many meetings, you can get your desired outcome by simply sending a few emails.

 

They Read

One of the keys to success in business (and in life) is to read. Reading not only exposes you to new information, it can also expand your way of thinking and help you approach your business in a new way.

While it goes without saying that you should read books about your industry, you don’t want to limit your reading to that category. Read books that inspire and challenge you; the insights that you’ll get from those books, whether they’re business related or not, will have a huge impact on you and your success as a business owner.

 

They Focus On Their Health and Well-being

One mistake that many business owners make is being hyper-focused on their business. While dedication is admirable, your dedication to your business can’t come at the expense of yourself or your well-being. Think of it like flying on a plane: if the plane is going down, you need to put on YOUR oxygen mask before you can help anyone else with theirs. It’s the same thing in business – you need to take care of YOURSELF before you can effectively take care of your business. Because if you’re completely overwhelmed and burned out, you’re not going to be able to provide the service and leadership that your team and customers need and deserve.

Make the time to exercise and eat well. Get plenty of sleep. Recognize when you’re approaching burnout and take a day off. While it might seem self-indulgent, taking care of yourself is actually a good thing for your business.

 

About Us

At Rogue Print and Mail, our proven track record of delivering the highest quality graphic design and print services to real estate professionals speaks for itself. With fast turnaround times, industry specific templates and designs, an online portal available for any groups that wish to work with us to be able to store and manipulate their templates and an in-house team to guide you in all of your branding, design and printing needs, Rogue Print and Mail is the preferred design and print partner for many hundreds of real estate professionals across Australia.

I sincerely hope you found this information valuable. For advice on effective branding, design and cross media marketing, please don’t hesitate to call me on 1300 65 85 00 or email me at paul.stenhouse@rogueprintandmail.com.au to arrange an obligation free 10 minute discussion with a member of our expert team.