Have you ever run a search in Google for your company’s name or a product and noticed that a competitor has usurped your number one spot? If you have, you’re not alone. Many companies have fallen from their cushy top spots only to be replaced by a copycat website who spells their name just differently enough to avoid a lawsuit or a website which uses keywords related to your business, but have no relation to their own. These types of competitive practices are downright dirty and can be frustrating to deal with.

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Today’s post comes from Webs’ resident social expert, Social Media Manager Irina Kabigting.

Social media channels have the power to make or break your brand. When creating your a social media strategy for your brand, it is important to take the time to figure out how your brand elements and attributes translate into the social world and what you can do to protect them.

How to Elevate Your Brand on Social Channels

1. Be Active Where It Matters. Nichesocial media channels are popping up all the time and while new portals may seem appealing, it is important to have an active presence where majority of your customers like to hang out.

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Today’s article is a guest post from Webs’ Head of Marketing, Rochelle Sanchirico.

We’re right in the middle of what will likely be a multi-year house renovation, so I spend a lot of time looking for and at small business reviews.  As someone who has worked in the digital marketing space for a long time, I know that online reviews have tremendous power–to do both good and evil.  While some of your more savvy customers and potential customers may know to apply a healthy amount of skepticism to the things that they read online, others may not have the same level of understanding.  How can you make sure that the online reviews and discussions of your company are consistent with the brand that you’ve worked so hard to create over time?

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Last week we talked about how some brands will base their brand values on the ideals of their founder or a prominent figure in their company. Often, one of those ideals is the importance of doing good in the world outside of your industry.

Have you ever been trying to decide between two competing products and found yourself looking for a tie-breaker? At least for me, that tie-breaker has sometimes been a brand’s emphasis on corporate citizenship. I was recently deciding whether to buy a pair of shoes from a local big-box store or to order a pair of Toms. All other factors of comfort and style being equal, I ultimately decided to pay a few dollars more and go with the Toms because I am aware of their philanthropic pursuit to give shoes to kids in need. That’s a very specific example, but we make decisions like this all the time — consciously or unconsciously — when we chose to which brands we will be loyal. We have a sense that some brands share our values, and therefore we choose to support those companies instead of the alternative, even when there is a notable difference in price.

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Today we have an exciting guest post from Sarah Henderson about maintaining brand consistency throughout your online marketing efforts. 

The rise of digital marketing has made cultivating an effective brand image more important to businesses than ever before. Whether you are funneling content across social media outlets or participating in PPC advertising, online marketing puts you face to face with expansive pools of potential clients, making it essential to deliver a consistently positive impression. In order to tap into the full potential of your campaign, consider these five steps for ensuring your brand image is supported by your marketing, while your marketing supports your brand.

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Now that we’ve talked about what a small business brand is — and is not – you know how important it is to have a set of values and attributes for your brand in order to create the right associations for potential customers to make about your business.

But what if you’re not sure what you want those values and associations to be? If you’re feeling a little lost when searching for inspiration with which to create your small business brand, you might want to try looking a little closer to home.

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In last week’s introduction to small business branding, we talked about the six criteria on which the strength of a brand can be measured; recognition, consistency, emotion, uniqueness, adaptability, and management.

Today we’re going to focus on the importance of consistency. This is a topic that was covered very thoroughly in a great post by our friends at Vistaprint on the Microbusiness Perspectives blog. Writer/Editor Robbie Vogel outlined four key reasons why your brand identity must remain consistent in order to achieve the best results for your business:
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People sure do throw around the term “brand” a lot these days. They often use it interchangeably to describe a business’s logo, or the business itself. But branding is so much more than either of these things.

Your small business’ brand is made up of a lot of different elements that the public comes to associate closely with your company. These brand elements can include things like your name, your logo, your slogan, your company colors (Tiffany’s aqua blue), a certain sound (think NBC’s chimes), a tone of voice (LivingSocial’s signature snark), or even a smell (walk by a Subway restaurant and you know it). Branding is the process through which you make decisions about your brand elements and take steps to link them to your business in your audience’s mind.

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