Boost your brand

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7 ways to show off your fresh new branding.

Congrats! You’ve refreshed/redesigned/reimagined your logo. (And hopefully you checked out our Loco for Logo’s post before you did!) Now that you have that snazzy new emblem of your business, you want to show it off, right? Here’s some ideas for how to do just that—online and off.

  1. Social media

    Your Facebook, your Twitter, your Instagram—these should be the first places you display your new and improved logo to the masses. Anywhere your business is represented (so don’t forget about LinkedIn, YouTube, Digg or Reddit either), you want to put your new logo out there. Each social media site has rules about the size of your image file, so be sure you follow those parameters.

  2. Your website

    Another important space to be putting your new logo front and center is going to be your company’s website. If you aren’t already doing so, your new logo can be used instead of the typical home button on your site.

  3. Emails

    Include your logo at the top of the body copy of any emails sent by your company. Another idea is to have it as part of your signature at the end of your emails.

  4. Presentations

    Doing a PowerPoint for a client or even for your own employees? Every slide is an opportunity to reinforce your branding by including your new logo.

  5. Other tech tidbits

    Ever notice the tiny logo’s that show up to the left of the browser’s address field? Those are called favicons, and it’s another place you can display your new fancy logo. Or use it as your gravatar (aka globally recognized avatars) when you comment on blogs.

  6. Business cards, etc.

    Perhaps the most obvious offline use of your logo is on your company’s business cards, as well as any stationary, mailing labels and other business-related paper forms.

  7. Swag

    An excellent way to promote your business, and utilize your updated logo, is through company-branded swag. From water bottles, to T-shirts, tote bags to coffee cups, put your business out there with your logo prominently displayed.

All the cool kids use Squarespace

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Why we think your website should be built on Squarespace.

For some, the idea of building a website is scary and off-putting. But it doesn’t have to be. And one way to ensure that your website building experience doesn’t leave you terrorized is by using Squarespace. It’s so super user-friendly that we even tell our clients that they can manage content updates themselves. Here’s more about why we recommend the platform for your next web makeover.

  1. Sometimes more is simply more.

    Squarespace isn’t going to give you all the themes that say, Wordpress, will. But that’s ok in our eyes. After all, it can be harder to find what you love when your choices seem limitless. Plus, the options you will find on Squarespace are very flexible and simple to personalize.

  2. Who doesn’t love easy?

    Just about anyone can handle the user interface on Squarespace, no fancy coding knowledge is required.

  3. Plays well with others.

    Another plus in the Squarespace column is that it works well on a variety of platforms and devices. Whether your site is being viewed on a mobile device or a desktop, everything looks perfect.

  4. Allows you to be social.

    While there are platforms that allow you to link to the various social sites, Squarespace has customized widgets, which let you create links to your social presence that feel like a part of your site.

  5. Keepin’ it secure.

    Security may not be the first thing that comes to your mind with your website redesign, but it’s just one more thing that Squarespace handles for you. All of their apps, widgets, etc. are controlled by them, meaning there’s no chance for someone to sneak in via some loophole.

Do grammarians take things too far?

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Yes, there are languages rules, but sometimes grammar purity doesn’t know when to stop.

It may not have felt this way in your 10th grade English class, but our language is ever shifting. Things that used to be deemed “wrong” for decades can be decreed allowable by the powers that be. For instance, the Associated Press (AP) Stylebook long had a rule that you should only use “more than” when talking about numbers instead of “over.” Then in 2014, at the annual American Copy Editors Society meeting, the new style changes included one that said more than and over were both acceptable.

Who makes the rules?

What does this mean for you, floating out there in the grammar galaxy? To start with, anyone involved in writing for their job probably follows a style guide—where the publication or group has decided how they feel about certain, more arbitrary rules of grammar and punctuation (and if you need help crafting one, we’re here for you—check this out). You also can opt to follow the rules established by another group, such as the aforementioned AP or, the other bastion of writing rules, the Chicago Manual of Style. Finally, there’s always the dictionary if you have an unresolved question about a word’s usage.

Change happens.

So that’s a bit about where the rules come from. Now, let’s discuss how those rules change. Back to 10th grade English class for a moment. Odds are you read a wee bit of Shakespeare in high school. While the Bard probably tweaked his language a bit, for the most part, that was how people “talked” in the 1600s. Yet we aren’t thee-ing and thou-ing today. What happened? Change, my friend, change. Language evolves, sometimes quickly (who could have ever imagined “googling” in 1990?), and other times more slowly (i.e. more than vs. over).

Break rules.

Now, we like grammar rules, and we love a style guide. But they aren’t the same thing. A style guide offers the rules that you create for your business or publication or whatever. They can be changed. But even something that is deemed grammatically incorrect—Her is hungry—is only wrong because that is not the common way the majority of us have decided to use our language. Tomorrow, people could wake up and start saying “Her is” and in a few years or decades that could be the new “rule.” 

Even that which is currently deemed ungrammatical is subject to change over time. No one is going to hunt you down if you split your infinitive or end a sentence with a preposition. Sure, your grandmother may frown at you, but she doesn’t make the rules, and neither do you.

5 Easy Steps to a Killer Newsletter

Believe it or not, emailed newsletters are the most reliable way to communicate.

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Newsletters are not dead. In fact, the tales of their demise have been grossly oversold. What does that mean for your company? It means that it’s time to strap on your thinking cap and start crafting a newsletter. We show you how in five easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy little steps. 

  1. Think About Design. Your newsletter needs to look good, no matter what device someone is reading it on. And it needs to be skimmable—think bullets, headers and short paragraphs.

  2. Nail the Subject Line. This is what will (or won’t) grab readers attention. Do it right and they open your newsletter. Get it wrong, and you are consigned to the trash bin.

  3. Now’s the Time for Content. After you have perfected your design and crafted a killer subject, time to focus on crafting content that backs that all up. Listen to reader feedback to tweak things and improve along the way.

  4. Test. Test. Test. Have a question about how your newsletter is doing? Do a survey that asks readers. Send out A and B versions and see which does better. Test subject lines on Twitter to see what garners the most eyes. And then test some more.

  5. Grow Your Email List. Finally, be proactive about signing up new readers. Use social media, partner with another business, whatever it takes to promote your newsletter. And above all, keep it super simple to sign folks up. 

Notice how we haven’t mentioned the best day or time to send your newsletter? There’s a reason for that. Others have tested this (again with the testing) and the open rates really don’t fluctuate that much. So, send it on Monday at 6 a.m. or Friday at 5 p.m.—the time only matters when you think about your goal. If you have something that requires action, such as a survey or a super long article, hitting your subscribers during their morning commute isn’t going to be your most effective time. But the great thing about emailed newsletters is people will read them, if they find them interesting, long after they have arrived in their in boxes.

Demographic changes are afoot; will you be ready?

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The next generation is coming, and Gen Z is going to be bigger than the last.

Each new generation seems like it receives its own share of grief. Gen X’ers were described as lazy, baby boomers seen as taking prosperity for granted and the millennials are rude and entitled. What’s more, each group seems to think the one that is coming after them is the worst. Soon it will be millennials turn to bash the up-and-coming Gen Z. But just as the millennials outnumbered Xers, the numbers for Gen Z are in, and millennials are about to be pushed out of the top spot.

A look at the numbers

According to Bloomberg News, by 2019 those born after 2001 (aka Gen Z) will total 7.7 billion. That figure amounts to 32 percent of the global population, versus millennials 31.5 percent.

 Of course, nothing is set in stone when it comes to the generations, and different researchers use different dates to divide them up. For instance, Pew says millennials are those born between 1981 and 1996, while the historians William Strauss and Neil Howe who first used the term millennials use the dates 1982 to 2004.

The big differences

Other than age, what will be the big differences between Gen Z and millennials, particularly in terms of what matters to advertisers and their ilk? So far, the major personality shift seems to be from self-centeredness to self-awareness. Millennials are often viewed as entitled and dissatisfied, particularly at work. The reality for millennials is they do rank slightly higher in terms of wanting to work for themselves, but the wave of office perks they seem to enjoy are more the result of companies getting creative to trying to foster stronger work cultures.

 Gen Z already has its own list of generational traits, from how they feel about technology to their desire for more privacy. Some of these stereotypes are grounded in reality. For instance, Gen Z is the first generation to grow up in a completely digital world, making electronics a necessity, not a luxury, to them.

 They also understand better the permanence of any information posted online. As a result, they are more focused on controlling their personal details, guarding their privacy and shying away from Facebook because it doesn’t allow them the control they want.

Appealing to Gen Z

What does this all mean for brands or marketers? A mobile presence is key to the hearts of Gen Z. Google did a deep dive into this new generation and found that they got their first mobile phone younger than millennials did—either in elementary or middle school. They are truly digital natives and use their smartphones more than any other generation. To appeal to them, marketing efforts have to start with mobile, instead of ending there.

Other things to consider with this group is they want to know the benefit of your product or service, and they don’t want you to waste their time. Be prepared to get to the point and explain how your product will help them achieve what they want.

 Each new generation is a new challenge for brands to tackle. Is yours ready to take on Gen Z?