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Does your website work on Mobile?

Does your website work on Mobile?

If the above picture looks like your website, you need to read this! If your website does not work on mobile, it does not work!

  • 56% of all consumer internet traffic is now from mobile devices
  • Mobile traffic is growing at a rate of 53% each year
  • E-commerce sales will reach 500 Billion by year 2018
  • Mobile retail sales have increased 25% year over year
  • 81% of top search engine results are mobile friendly
  • 48% of consumers start their buying process at a search engine
  • 33% of consumers start their buying process at a branded website
  • 72% of consumers want mobile friendly websites
  • 62% of millennials feel that online content drives their loyalty to a brand

The statistics don’t lie. If you are a retail or manufacturing B2C business in 2017 and you do not have a mobile friendly website, you are losing. In order to win the the smart-phone era your retail website must be mobile friendly, if not mobile targeted. The fact is your customers are now finding and judging your business more than ever based on your internet presence. If you have an old and outdated or non mobile friendly website almost 3/4 of your potential business is being lost to a competitor who has a better web presence.

Now lets talk about your brand. It is proven that your brand strength now impacts your search results and your customers engagement and loyalty to your business. If you are using a shared ecommerce platform or a 3rd party selling platform, you are not building your brand, you are paying to build someone else’s, possibly your competitor in the future. If your website does not strongly represent your brand and engage users with it, you are once again, statistically losing money.

The cold hard fact is, you are losing $$$ and negatively impacting your brand by not being mobile friendly. You get what you pay for.

This day in age, up to 50% of your business can be driven by your internet presence. If you are not investing in ecommerce and branding at the same or greater level than you are in your retail brick and mortar, you are making a mistake. Would your brick and mortar store have a good retail presence if you spent only 100 bucks a month on rent? The answer is no, unless you are renting space in Siberia where no customers will ever find you anyway. Think long and hard about where you want your business to be in the next 3-5 years and how your brand and technology will impact your business, then ask yourself what area of your business you should invest in?

Need to find out if your website is mobile friendly or not? Google has a tool for it here: https://search.google.com/search-console/mobile-friendly

Here is an example of a website by another company that is not mobile friendly:

Look familiar? Contact XLEcommerce. We are here to help you!

For comparison here is an example of an XLEcommerce mobile friendly website in Google’s mobile friendly test:

Statistics from:

www.smartinsights.com

www.internetretailer.com

searchengineland.com

searchenginewatch.com

Buying a Website is Like Buying a Car and Going Racing

Buying a Website is Like Buying a Car and Going Racing

Buying a Website is Like Buying a Car and Going Racing, well, kind of….

Many customers we speak with are looking to work with a website provider of some sort, but they really don’t know what they need. This is where the car analogy comes in. Think of your website researching and planning process like shopping for a car.

Lets say, rather than running a business, you run an auto racing team. When you first form that team, you need to select a car to race with. Sounds easy right? There is more to it. There are multiple types and levels of car racing. First we need to choose something to compete in that fits our goals and budget.

The high-school kid just starting out may take his Ford Focus, slap a wing on the back himself and roll on down to the local drag strip on Friday nights.

On the opposite end of the spectrum is your Formula One (F1) race team. This team of hardened racing professionals will select a custom built one-off race car made of carbon fiber and unobtanium. It is incredibly expensive not only to buy the car, but the cost to maintain your car and team, hire top drivers, and compete at the top world level is astronomical.

In between these two levels is a whole range of car types and racing leagues which fit almost any level of competition and budget.

In the world of e-commerce, think of the guy with no business plan starting out of his garage as the Friday Night Ford Focus. Amazon.com is the Formula One Racing Team.

Friday Night Ford Focus went online and slapped a few products on his facebook page, bought a 1.99 godaddy page, and is throwing a few bucks against the wall hoping for fame and glory. We hope it works out, and you have to start somewhere. In the world of race cars, he doesn’t stand a chance though.

The Formula One Racing team is bleeding money out of its ears. They are spending millions of dollars. They are looking for every conceivable edge. They are hiring the best and the brightest in their industry to come work for them at top pay levels. They have purchased the best available technology and continually modify it for better performance. They will probably make it onto ESPN and go down in the record books.

If you are reading this, you likely fall somewhere in between these two extremes. You either have a solid business already which you are looking to expand, or you have a business/marketing plan you spent some time putting together and you are ready to implement it. Now you just need the right ecommerce “engine” that will allow you to compete at your level and budget, so you can someday move up on the ladder. You are researching and learning as much as you can, but you still don’t know exactly what to do, and that is OK.

Everyone wants a race car. Everyone wants to be the next Amazon.com, Ebay, Best Buy, or Cabelas. They want flashy features. They want custom lightweight parts and powerful engines. But most, when presented with the price to build a custom race car, along with the accompanying costs of a pit crew, professional driver, fresh sets of tires, racing fuel, and semi truck to haul it all around in, balk at the cost. Not to mention the marketing team required to get the fans to cheer for you and make your sponsors happy. If you are getting squeamish and gripping your wallet tighter after reading this, you may have to rethink your plan of attack.

You don’t have to race at the highest level to be a winner. There is plenty of lower level cherry picking to be had for an enterprising ecommerce entrepreneur or race car driver. You can have lots of fun and great competition driving a Spec Miata race car around the track, at a price a normal human being can afford. Maybe you will win some prize money and then can afford to jump into the Corvette class, or Baha offroad trucks, or whatever.

The key to success in your “racing” is to select the vehicle you can afford to purchase or build, something you can maintain yourself or afford to pay someone to maintain, and something you can drive yourself or afford to pay someone to drive for you. If you blow your wad on the car and forget about the oil changes and tires, you aren’t going to perform very well on Sunday. You will probably go home a loser. However, if you plan properly, select the right vehicle, budget for the whole year, and spend time tuning and practicing, its more than likely you will finish at the top of the pack and just might win a championship. As they say, winning on Sunday, means selling on Monday.

E-Commerce Conversion Rate – 10 Cheap & Easy Ways to Improve

E-Commerce Conversion Rate – 10 Cheap & Easy Ways to Improve

10 Cheap and Easy Ways to Improve Your Website’s E-Commerce Conversion Rate

Odds are, if you are reading this, you don’t have hundreds of thousands of dollars to invest in e-commerce conversion rate optimization for your website. Heat maps, eye tracking, focus groups, A/B testing, and a dedicated team of marketing analysts and UI/UX designers may be a bit out of your league. That’s OK, there are some simple things you can do which can make a big difference in your bottom line.

  1. Make your landing pages look good: Trust is a big part of conversion. In order for your online customers to feel confident purchasing from you online, you need to have a trustworthy landing page. Get rid of anything out of date or unprofessional. You all know what we mean: that big red/bold/Arial text you typed on your home page, those flashing animated yellow gifs, the low quality photograph of your dog. Follow the example of the top e-commerce retailers, and make your landing pages look like a business your customer can have confidence in. Build your brand trust!
  2. Use calls to action: Make it easy for your buyers to know where to click to get to where they need to go. Think of the banners on your website as greeters in your store. Make your graphics say, “welcome to our store, let me help you, follow me” without actually saying it. “Shop Now”, “Learn More”, and “Click Here” buttons do actually work, use them but don’t overuse them. Once again, if your web page is full of flashing yellow “click here” animated gifs….refer to number 1.
  3. Streamline your navigation: Think of your website like your brick and mortar store. You wouldn’t let your customers walk through your back room, right? Make sure you have organized “aisles” and “departments” on your website that customers can easily surf through.
  4. Add unique expert content: Great unique content is not only good for SEO and getting people to your site, once they are there it helps build trust. Brand trust has a great effect on conversion. People will buy from your company because they like your company. A great way for people to get to know your business is to tell them stories about your passions, products, and experiences. When your prospective customer sees you as an expert, they will be more confident clicking the buy now button.
  5. Cut down your product list: Believe it or not, sometimes more products on your website can actually deter conversions. If you give the customer too many options, they may not be able to make up their minds. Think about turning off your low margin/low volume products.
  6. Remove barriers from checkout: Get the bare minimum amount of information you need to complete the sale from the customer, and nothing more. You can always seek additional information and follow after the sale is complete. Customers don’t want to jump through hoops to get the sales process moving, so if your fraud protection settings are too high or you have too many check boxes for newsletters or add on items in your checkout process, you could be losing out on sales.
  7. Use product reviews: Product reviews are a huge part of getting the customer to click the add to cart button. If your products have no reviews, your customer may not buy. It is OK to write your own product reviews, as long as you are up front about it. Encourage your customers to write reviews for you by giving them an incentive to do so. Have you thought about creating your own video reviews?
  8. Make returns easy: We all know returns are a hassle, and no one likes them. Not you, not the customer. New customers always have the question of “what if my order isn’t right?” Don’t give your customers a reason to not buy from you. Outline a clear return policy that makes things easy for your customer if things go wrong. They will feel more confident that if the worst case scenario happens with their order, you will back it up.
  9. Give simple shipping options: Most retailers are afraid to loose money on shipping costs. Often to combat this they show every shipping option under the sun. Customers want simple, so give them just a few options at checkout. Usually you will win some and lose some when using flat rate shipping. Remember, you can always adjust your shipping rates as you go after you gain a true knowledge of what your actual shipping costs are.
  10. Answer your phone: This is the #1 way to increase the e-commerce conversion rate of your website, and something most do not factor in calculating their online conversion rates. Many times first time visitors to your website will pick up the phone to call you. This is where you can beat out the big box stores. Make sure to provide a phone number on your website. Talk to your customers on the phone, maybe even take their order over the phone the first time, then you can turn them into an online buyer after they trust you!

Need more help optimizing your e-commerce website for conversion, contact us at http://www.cloudcommerce.org/about/#contact

 

Ecommerce Website…How Much?

Ecommerce Website…How Much?

Ecommerce Website…How much Should I Spend?

A loaded question with a variable answer: it depends.

Business owners discussing ecommerce website with consultantWe receive many calls and emails from owners of businesses large and small asking: “How much should I invest in my ecommerce website?” Our usual answer to this question is with another question: “That depends, what is your budget?”

Sometimes the non-tech savvy buyer thinks our sales engineer is just trying to get a number they can work over the customer for, that is not the case at all.  It really does depend on many variables. Our team is here to help your business.

For the most part, we look at your solution in terms ROI (Return on Investment) by meeting business goals instead of price. Of course one of those business goals is usually to make money. Many businesses have other measurable business goals as well, such as increased market share, improved brand recognition, lowered expenses, etc. In order for our team to determine what will give you the best ROI, they need to know what your investment level is. Let’s work through two examples to illustrate this:

Example 1: Bob’s Start Up

Bob gives us a call and lets us know that he has just opened a small store in a medium density commercial area with limited traffic. Rent is cheap and it’s a great place to start for him. He wants an ecommerce website but doesn’t know where to start.

Bob answers our budget question with the usual, I don’t know…you tell me what it should be. So we answer with our usual question, what are your business goals. Bob again says, I don’t know, you tell me, what is everyone else doing?

This tells us right away, that Bob needs a lot of help. That’s OK, that is what we are here for. We have some great, entry level, ecommerce packages that we can slide Bob right into and get him up and running quickly. With any luck he will be happily selling on into the future, and that does happen.

But what Bob should really do right now is also invest in a little bit of business consulting and allow us to work with him to develop a marketing plan and projections based on his business goals. Spending a few hundred to a few thousand up front can save a business tens of thousands in the long run. We keep it simple for Bob, we touch on a few advanced metrics, but focus on initially steering his new business in the right direction without over complicating things. Knowledge and training going in can help a business owner avoid costly pitfalls.

Now that Bob has a marketing plan and business objectives, can we tell Bob what his budget for his website, online marketing should be, and what ecommerce website solution he needs to get the best ROI for his business. Based on his projections we determine a good goal is to supplement his limited in-store inventory with a larger selection online, drive store traffic, increase special orders, and add 50,000 per year in store sales. Initially we would tell Bob that his budget needs to be about 10% of his goal as a starting point, or 5,000 dollars per year for his e-commerce platform; to save money he can do his marketing himself by hands on SEO, event marketing, word of mouth, and setting up a computer on his sales counter for customers to browse in-store.

  • Goal 1: Increase online and in-store sales by $50,000 per year
  • Goal 2: Supplement limited brick and mortar inventory with special order availability

A two year Gold Level CloudCommerce ecommerce package is a great fit for Bob’s business, along with a little extra consulting, marketing help, and one on one training time.

  • Total Investment: $9,276
  • Initial Return: $100,000
  • Long Term Return: $150,000
  • Brand Reach: 300,000 people
  • Total ROI: 250,000 Dollars
  • Total Marketing Spend per Dollar: 4 cents

Example 2: Linda’s Two Location Medium Box Brick and Mortar

Linda requests a meeting in our office and flies in to visit us. She has been in business for quite some time, and ready to take the business from a profitable medium size two location box store and spread its wings online with a national reach. She is still a “small business” though, we are not talking multi million dollar budgets with the likes of top big box players.

1524720_684389701582321_241546124_nShe has been down this road before and has prepared an RFP (Request for Proposal) according to the following business goals:

  • Goal 1: Initial first year sales goal of 500,000 based on a variable of 5% of current in store sales
  • Goal 2: Increase online sales by 20% year over year for the next 5 years.

Based on that we recommend she budgeted $50,000 per year for her ecommerce website and professional services. Driving the sales growth will require a $50,000 per year digital advertising budget, spread across SEO, Social Media, Paid (PPC/PPM), and Email Newsletters. She will support this with POS marketing in store and current event marketing that is already in place.

Her 500,000 dollar investment in ecommerce and marketing over the next five years is roughly 13% of her projected sales and will yield her over 3.7 Million in revenue.

At an average sale of 150 dollars, this means that she has attracted close to 30,000 additional customers during that time period whom she can re-market to. If each of those customers has a CLV (Customer Lifetime Value) of $450 (on average she can get each customer to come back three times) that is an additional 13 Million in future revenue for the lifetime of her business. Further, the platform and marketing she has put her brand in front of 15 Million people over that time.

So by following the RFP budget based on solid projections we have the following proposal for Linda:

  • Total Investment: $500,000
  • Initial Return: $3,700,000
  • Long Term Return: $13,000,000
  • Brand Reach: 15,000,000 people
  • Total ROI: 16.7 Million Dollars
  • Total Marketing Spend per Dollar: 3 cents

Based on this information we would suggest using our CloudCommerce Enterprise Level ecommerce website package as a starting point and invest in additional integrations and customization to automate processes and meet business goals. We would also suggest heavy investment in content development and optimization, merchandising, and A/B testing. To back all of this up, our engineers would put together additional dedicated servers with a CDN (Content Delivery Network).

Summary

You can see that having a strong plan and a larger budget can lower your marketing spend per dollar and increase your ROI.

Bob, as a startup guy, does pretty well. His spend per dollar for e-commerce sales is less than than the costs of selling on eBay or Amazon. Even if he makes some newbie mistakes and misses his goals by 50% he is still OK and in a safe zone of return. His investment in consulting has paid off by going into his new business with a tactical plan of attack. His choice of a managed package has freed his time to focus on meeting new customers.

Linda has knocked it out of the park and now has a solid foundation in ecommerce on which to build on. If she keeps up her hard work and continues to invest in the future, her long term results will be exponential.

Of course, both of these are just hypothetical examples. Your investment in your ecommerce website is truly what you make of it. Your mileage per dollar will vary. We consistently see that those that spend the time working with our team the most in training, merchandising, SEO, and content development do better than those that sit back and expect their new plant to grow without watering it. There are no big secrets, building a new business or expanding your existing business takes hard work. We are here to work alongside you to meet your goals!

Click here to learn more or schedule a demonstration/consultation.

Ten Benefits of Search Engine Optimization in our Modern, Connected World

In this age of social media, you probably have heard that “pushing for content” is the greatest way to attract customers to your business. Everyone is focused on getting the most number of shares, the highest number of engagement, the “top post” that will spike to going viral.

Yet computers and patterns of techniques still drive the backbone of the internet. Facebook uses specific methods of identifying good content that might be relevant on someone’s news feed. Google uses someone’s personal search history to identify both geographic and tailored results, but even these depend on semantics. In fact, as more content, more stores, and more websites pop up, the greater need our world will have on sorting this vast information in a form that computers can understand.

The death of Search Engine Optimization is greatly exaggerated. While the old method of “just backlinks” and pure keyword-based optimization is long gone, search engine optimizers have survived a seismic shift in the complex way that the internet sorts itself. Here are ten ways in which optimizing your website can still benefit you today, which also illustrates just how complex and encompassing this field has become.

  1. Audience. In a social world, trends are increasingly defined by the masses, and often, knowing just who to target is extremely difficult. Through keyword research, social trends, shopping statistics, we can help you find the right products and content your business should be selling. Words go in and out of style, but research will always hold its value.
  2. Ideas. Brainstorming can be a chore, especially when you are jump-starting a new business or trying to add to an already existing portfolio. Yet with an SEO advisor, analysis reports and tools can give you insights into what has worked well so far in the world. This can even tap into your competition, allowing you to see how others have fared and provide you with a branch of generating new ideas.
  3. Organization. Spammy pages are scattered, cluttered, and not well organized. They use improper page layouts, untagged images, and promote chaos in an already chaotic online world. Optimizers ensure that your pages and products are organized, with the proper mark-up that both humans and computers can understand. How do your pages connect to other related pages? Do they convey a natural flow of information? We consider this and many other minor factors when ranking.
  4. Go local. With local targeting through keywords, directories, trends, it’s easy to know what your geographic target is looking for. The rise of smartphones means that more than ever, people are searching in their area for products.
  5. Strength. The internet has given rise to many forms of content and forms of sales. Contests, types of promotions, webinars, animated videos and guides, monthly product magazines, different forms of catalogs… It can be overwhelming to choose. Keywords alone don’t cut it for good SEO, we must have insights into more detailed specifics that engage your brand in a strong way. The stronger your engagement, the greater importance you’ll be on the internet.
  6. Authority. Generating backlinks is no longer as easy as asking someone to place a link to your business on their site. Authority is gained by the right shared content, well-written reviews from customers, and curated information.
  7. Universality. SEO ensures that your website is usable not just on tablets or desktop computers, but also on any other smart appliance. Like it or not, the internet of things trend has taken off, and over time there will be opportunities to showcase your business on other forms of technology. It’s also important that people with diverse backgrounds can access your website.
  8. Speed. Believe it or not, Google factors in page load times when it ranks your site. Where and how can we improve your page efficiency?
  9. Submissions. While Google is still the #1 search engine, people are also using other websites for searching. Each engine has their own unique way they crawl the web, and knowing how to work with the big guys will place you in good territory with the internet.
  10. Efficiency. As a business owner, your job is to focus on the business and sales. Through search engine optimization, your efficiency can grow without much overhead from your company. Optimizers work with and for you, not against you to create the best e-commerce experience you can have in today’s age.
Creating An Effective Logo

Creating An Effective Logo

Every company needs an effective logo to represent their branding and provide consumers an easily recognizable graphic representation of the company and it’s core values. Logo’s can become the public face of a business and in examples of extremely effective logo design, can even replace the brand name as the most ubiquitous aspect of a company (see the Nike “Swoosh” or McDonald’s “Golden Arches”). Creating and implementing an effective logo is an essential step in the evolution of any successful retailer.

What is the purpose of a logo?

Logos are an aspect of a company’s branding, they’re used as the graphical representation of a company’s values and goals. Logos are used to identify a particular entity in a sea of competitors, and help to inspire loyalty, trust and admiration among consumers. An effective logo design will help to convey not only what a company does, but what it stands for. Although logos are not generally created to be a salable commodity, it’s not unheard for a great logo to become just that (again, see the Nike “Swoosh”).

What elements make up a good logo?

Generally it’s accepted that there are 5 basic principles that every logo should encompass:

  1. Simple
  2. Memorable
  3. Timeless
  4. Versatile
  5. Appropriate

Simple: Often logos need to communicate both effectively and quickly. Logos need to be as easily recognized by someone speeding by a billboard at 70mph, as they would be by someone watching a 30 second commercial on tv. The key to speedy recognition is simplicity of design; the fewer elements, the easier it is for the viewer to distinguish what he or she is looking at.

Memorable: Of equal importance to the logo being recognized, is the logo’s ability to leave a lasting impression on the viewer. The goal of an effective logo is to create a relationship between a symbol and what it symbolizes, to accomplish this task it must be easily remembered. An effective logo will be easily remembered so that the consumer can easily recognize the symbol of a company and what that company stands for.

Timelessness: In order for a logo to remain memorable it also must remain unchanged. Logos need to be created in such away that allows them to remain relevant even with changes in design aesthetics and popular preferences. Updates are appropriate from time to time, but the general feel of a logo should be created in such a way as to allow for changes in taste without compromising the logos integrity.

Versatile: Logos need to be able to function across a variety of different media and applications. For instance an ideal logo would look good on a website header, plastered on a billboard, or stitched into a company t-shirt. An effective logo should look as good in black and white as it does in color. Ideally logos should be created in vector graphics format. Vector graphics scale to any size and can be enlarged or shrunk to fit any application without a loss of quality.

Appropriate: The effective logo needs to take into account the audience it is hoping to capture and be appropriately designed with the intended viewers in mind. This isn’t to say that every logo for a gun store needs to have a firearm in the design, however if you’re intended audience is the recreational hunter you may want to include camouflage or a deer, where as a company going after tactical sales may want to include carbon fiber or soldier silhouette in the design.

What does good logo design cost?

The cost of logo design can vary greatly depending on the needs of client. How many logo concepts need to be presented? How many rounds of revisions are included in the design quote? What type of finished files are required, .pdf, .eps, .png, .jpg? Large companies have spent millions of dollars on logo design and implementation. OBN offers logo design packages starting at $499 that include multiple design concepts, one round of revisions, and final image outputs in several formats including scalable vector graphics.

 

Outdoor Business Network Adds New Supplier

Outdoor Business Network Adds New Supplier

We here at OBN are proud to welcome our newest supplier to our system.  We have completed the integration with their ERP and warehouse management system, so retailers using our eCommerce platform now have the ability to get updated product information, inventory status, order status, as well as utilize our One-Click-to-Ship feature.

moteng

 

Moteng is familiar with online fulfillment and drop shipping.  They even have a program dedicated to it.  If you are a current Moteng customer, or an outdoor retailer looking to expand its offerings, it is worth a look.   Moteng’s product section includes knives & tools, public safety equipment, lights, apparel, outdoor equipment, kitchen cutlery, and more.  To find out more about our new integration, give us a call at 1-800-699-0820 ext. 1, one of our team members would be glad to answer your questions.

More about Moteng:

Moteng was founded in 1980 in Los Angeles as a supplier of knives and imported African artifacts. Fine wall hangings hand woven by the Moteng Mountain tribesman in the Kingdom of Lesotho gave the company its name.

Moteng has continually enhanced both its products and services. Our website has been rated as having the most information and easiest to use by our customers.

In 1987 the company relocated to San Diego, California. In 2011 the company moved it’s warehouse into it’s present location in Phoenix, Arizona. In 2011, Black Orchid Equity, LLC, a private equity firm, purchased Moteng NA, LLC and gave the company capital to operate and grow in the space for another 30 years.

Thanks to the incredible support of our very loyal customers and vendors, Moteng has grown to become one of the leading wholesale distributors and drop-shippers in our industry. Moteng now offers over 100,000 items from over 250 best selling brands.
Look through our product range or contact us for a catalog. We look forward to doing business with you soon
Call Us Today!

Call Us Today!

The team at OBN has made a concerted effort to contact each of our clients individually. Much like ourselves, we find our customers are busy running the day to day tasks. The reason for these courtesy calls is just that. Our first goal is to be sure you have all of your questions answered and possible assist you with any tasks that you have been meaning to get to. The second and possibly larger reason for us calling on you all is that we very much want to be sure that you are all aware of our marketing capabilities. From some simple Online Marketing Campaign to full on marketing management, the power of a well structured can drastically change the livelihood of your business.

If you have read any of my past Blogs you will know that OBN believes in the power of marketing. We can custom tailor your marketing solution to meet your budget. The process is really quite painless and the rewards that can be reaped are well worth the effort. While we will continue to reach out to all of you I urge you to get in touch with us too. There is no task to small to help you with and the knowledge that we have to share with you can literally be the difference in making or breaking your business.

As always call us at: 1-800-699-0820 ext 814 for sales/marketing and ext 2 for support.

header

Creating An Effective Logo

Creating An Effective Logo

Every company needs an effective logo to represent their branding and provide consumers an easily recognizable graphic representation of the company and it’s core values. Logo’s can become the public face of a business and in examples of extremely effective logo design, can even replace the brand name as the most ubiquitous aspect of a company (see the Nike “Swoosh” or McDonald’s “Golden Arches”). Creating and implementing an effective logo is an essential step in the evolution of any successful retailer.

What is the purpose of a logo?

Logos are an aspect of a company’s branding, they’re used as the graphical representation of a company’s values and goals. Logos are used to identify a particular entity in a sea of competitors, and help to inspire loyalty, trust and admiration among consumers. An effective logo design will help to convey not only what a company does, but what it stands for. Although logos are not generally created to be a salable commodity, it’s not unheard for a great logo to become just that (again, see the Nike “Swoosh”).

What elements make up a good logo?

Generally it’s accepted that there are 5 basic principles that every logo should encompass:

  1. Simple
  2. Memorable
  3. Timeless
  4. Versatile
  5. Appropriate

Simple: Often logos need to communicate both effectively and quickly. Logos need to be as easily recognized by someone speeding by a billboard at 70mph, as they would be by someone watching a 30 second commercial on tv. The key to speedy recognition is simplicity of design; the fewer elements, the easier it is for the viewer to distinguish what he or she is looking at.

Memorable: Of equal importance to the logo being recognized, is the logo’s ability to leave a lasting impression on the viewer. The goal of an effective logo is to create a relationship between a symbol and what it symbolizes, to accomplish this task it must be easily remembered. An effective logo will be easily remembered so that the consumer can easily recognize the symbol of a company and what that company stands for.

Timelessness: In order for a logo to remain memorable it also must remain unchanged. Logos need to be created in such away that allows them to remain relevant even with changes in design aesthetics and popular preferences. Updates are appropriate from time to time, but the general feel of a logo should be created in such a way as to allow for changes in taste without compromising the logos integrity.

Versatile: Logos need to be able to function across a variety of different media and applications. For instance an ideal logo would look good on a website header, plastered on a billboard, or stitched into a company t-shirt. An effective logo should look as good in black and white as it does in color. Ideally logos should be created in vector graphics format. Vector graphics scale to any size and can be enlarged or shrunk to fit any application without a loss of quality.

Appropriate: The effective logo needs to take into account the audience it is hoping to capture and be appropriately designed with the intended viewers in mind. This isn’t to say that every logo for a gun store needs to have a firearm in the design, however if you’re intended audience is the recreational hunter you may want to include camouflage or a deer, where as a company going after tactical sales may want to include carbon fiber or soldier silhouette in the design.

What does good logo design cost?

The cost of logo design can vary greatly depending on the needs of client. How many logo concepts need to be presented? How many rounds of revisions are included in the design quote? What type of finished files are required, .pdf, .eps, .png, .jpg? Large companies have spent millions of dollars on logo design and implementation. OBN offers logo design packages starting at $499 that include multiple design concepts, one round of revisions, and final image outputs in several formats including scalable vector graphics.

 

Return on Investment

Return on Investment

Investing is one of the most important aspects companies have to deal with on a regular basis. Companies have to figure out when to spend while also looking at what to spend it on that. Now an investment doesn’t necessarily mean money, but can also be the time, or effort put towards a particular thing. However companies are main objective is to make money while turning a consistent profit. But have you ever wonder if the investment your company has made actually turns a profit? There’s a way to do it, it’s called Return on Investment (ROI); which is a performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment or to compare the efficiency of a number of different investments.

indexIt is crucial for companies to check their Return on Investment wherever they designate any kind of investment. You want to make sure you are turning a profit on your investments ROI can be used to help narrow down where a company is or is not making a return on their investment.