12 Tips Of Holiday Marketing

Here's our gift of holiday marketing tips for small businesses!

Blink, and the holiday season is almost upon us! But did you know the holiday marketing season is already here? Which begs the question: are you ready? Despite inflation, this holiday season could likely experience record-high spending. We want to help you prepare your business by offering our top 12 holiday marketing tips.


12 Holiday Marketing Tips

Now, you might be wondering why 12 tips. Why not 5 or 10? Well, there are 12 days of Christmas. Jesus had 12 disciples. There are 12 months in a year. And you probably need to prepare for what could be your busiest month of sales, which also happens to be during the 12th month of the year. Plus, we’re fans of the number 12. So without further ado, here are our 12 holiday marketing tips:

A laptop, mug, and book on a desk. The workplace is set up for a person to use holiday marketing tips for their business this season.
Use our top holiday marketing tips this season to prepare your business for the holidays!

1. Be Honest with Buyers

It goes without saying that you should be honest with your customers. And now more than ever, people crave authenticity in this highly commercialized season we refer to as “the holidays.” Maybe you’re struggling to offer a certain service or product due to supply issues. Tell your customers upfront. Or perhaps you’ve had to make significant changes to your business due to economic pressures. Either way, communicating the truth will establish your business’s credibility and build trustworthiness with customers.

Source: Rio SEO

2. Connect with Customers Using Holiday Cards

The holidays are overstuffed with commercialism, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a meaningful way to connect with them. A handwritten and/or photo card creates connection with customers and offers a glimpse of the person behind the business. Or, you could always send a digital holiday card that could be the start of a marketing campaign. Whichever way you do it, don’t miss out on this chance to connect with your customers.

Source: NetSuite

3. Develop Discounts During Inflation

Most consumers expect their holiday shopping to be affected by inflation this year. This creates a great opportunity for business owners to highlight deals, discounts, and special sales. Shoppers will be looking for new, creative ways to save money. With everyone feeling the impact of trying financial times, there’s no better time to offer holiday deals for frugal spenders.

Sources: Numerator, Nextdoor for Business

4. Excite Your Early Shoppers

We’re in the final quarter of the year. Some of your customers might have already FINISHED their holiday shopping! But that’s no reason to panic. According to eMarketer, 40% of shoppers plan to start their holiday spending during these last two months of the year. Gone are the days of most shopping happening in the few days leading up to the Christmas holiday. Reward the shoppers who are prepared to spend early and start marketing your holiday deals and specials now!

Sources: eMarketer, Outbrain

5. Get Your Gift Cards Ready

Unfortunately, since the outbreak of Covid-19, many businesses have struggled to keep up with high demand and supply chain issues. Now is the perfect time to get your gift cards ready. Not only do they make great gifts for business partners or faraway friends and family, but the numbers are also in your favor: last holiday season saw a 27% increase in gift cards.

Sources: Cardlytics, Nextdoor for Business

6. Keep Your Customers Top of Mind

For many people, the holiday season is not so much the “most wonderful time of the year,” but rather the most stressful time of the year. All of us can recall a time when we weren’t treated with respect by a business. Or, maybe we had a terrible experience, but the business had no solutions to offer. Sometimes it’s easy to forget what it’s like to be the customer. So as you make your marketing plans for the holiday season, make sure you’re keeping your customers in the front of your mind when making decisions.

Source: WP Swings

7. Mobilize Your Site for Mobile Users

More people are shopping on their smartphones and tablets today, and you want your digital presence ready for the season, too. Whether you’re B2B or B2C, your site visitors want to have a pleasant online experience. Why is this so important? It will keep them on your site longer, AND make them more likely to purchase if it’s easy. Optimizing your site for mobile will enable your page to load faster and could play a big role in increasing your sales, especially with increased web traffic around the holidays.

Sources: PageFly, Think With Google

8. Review Prior Year Results

When in doubt of where to start with your holiday marketing plan, look at how your business performed during last year’s holiday season. Whether you want to do a deep dive into Google Analytics, consider former successful (or failed) marketing campaigns, or repeat small changes that unexpectedly increased sales, historical information often offers a wealth of information.

Source: NetSuite

9. Send Fewer Emails to Keep Subscribers

How many times have you unsubscribed from businesses that seemed like they had nothing better to do than spam your email inbox? Now email marketing is a valuable, tried and true marketing method. But especially around the holidays, consumers receive countless emails. Even multiple per day from the same company! Give your email subscribers the gift of limited emails this holiday season.

Source: Ignite Visibility

10. Stick to Social Media Marketing

Social media is an ideal marketing channel to use year-round, and there’s no exception to that fact this holiday season. Nearly three quarters of global marketers utilize social media marketing, and you should too. In addition to paid advertising, posting giveaways or contests on social media is a great way to capture organic leads during the holidays.

Sources: HubSpot, Ignite Visibility

11. Utilize User Reviews

Now more than ever, businesses need to offer proof that their product or service is, indeed, worth it. And while there are many ways to approach that, user reviews act as a great proof of concept. Whether you’re highlighting 5-star reviews on your website, showcasing well-known customers, or filming a moving testimonial, the holiday season is the time to emphasize positive user reviews.

Source: WP Swings

12. Winterize Your Web Presence

It’s not just our homes, vehicles, or boats that need winterizing in Wisconsin (or anywhere north, for that matter). Don’t neglect your online marketing presence. Updating your Facebook cover photo, using a catchy blog post title (we think ours is pretty good!), or giving your website a festive look will get your customers in the holiday spirit while also demonstrating your business’s attention to detail and ability to stay current.

Source: WP Swings


There are so many ways you can maximize your marketing for the holiday season! We hope these holiday marketing tips will help your business succeed and sell during the holidays. Whether you’re gearing up for a busy shopping time or just need help with your marketing, contact Paragon Marketing Group for all your seasonal and non-seasonal marketing needs.

3 Reasons You Should Update Your Video Marketing

Two men shooting a video marketing ad

When it comes to video marketing, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. There are so many places consumers view video today – billboards, social media, websites, TV, search engines, apps. Plus, people are no longer watching video just on their TVs or computers. Now it’s convenient to watch on smartphones, tablets, and even e-readers. Which is all the more reason it’s important to update your video marketing for your business.


Why Should You Update Your Video Marketing?

Here are three reasons you should update your video marketing now:

1. Your Aesthetics & Content Need A Refresh

Retro TV, VCR, and soda cans displaying old video marketing
Retro TV, VCR, and soda cans

Now if your video marketing hasn’t changed since the 1990s, you don’t need us to tell you they desperately need an update. But it’s not the 2000s or even 2010s anymore either, The Internet is constantly changing, and so should your online presence, video included. Are the people, the styles, the objects, or the technology in your videos outdated? A good way to find out is to put yourself in the following fictional scenario: If you were to approach a potential customer in person wearing the same style, showing the same objects, and using the same technology in your videos, would that customer be more focused on your appearance or your message?

Perhaps it’s not the tangible items that need to change in your video marketing. Is data or information in your video current? Today’s consumers are highly intelligent. With new information readily available online, having updated, accurate information in your video marketing is vital if you want customers to take your business seriously.

Source: NG Production Films

2. Your Customer Base Has Expanded

It’s certainly good news when your customer base is expanding. But with growth comes change. Remember when we mentioned there are so many ways for people to consume video today? That means your video marketing net should widen to capture more demographics and types of people. While every business has its target demographic, limiting your video marketing to attract a narrow set of people increases your potential to lose sales and customers.

A large part of online video consumption comes from newer social media platforms. TikTok didn’t exist until 2016. Stories and Reels are newer options to share video on Facebook and Instagram. And let’s not forget about LinkedIn. As of 2019, LinkedIn is the most trusted social platform for credible content. Yet only about 1% of users shared posts then! Consider that a huge opportunity to establish your business as a trusted authority in your industry using video content.

3. Your Videos Are Getting Lost in the Shuffle

Have you heard of the term “ad fatigue”? Elevato describes it as “a phenomenon that occurs when an audience becomes desensitized to an ad set causing ad efficiency to decrease.” In simpler terms, people are tired of seeing ads. This reinforces our earlier point: video is everywhere. But as a business who wants to stand out in the crowd rather than get lost in the shuffle, your video ads need to be different. How? By telling a story. Stop selling! People have been telling stories since the beginning of time. Your video marketing might have current content and subject matter, but if you’re trying to sell rather tell, you probably need to update your videos.

Another element that can impact your videos’ reach relates to branding. Video marketing is a great way to reinforce your brand using your logo, brand colors, and even tone. Does your company have a mission? Make sure every video you put out there reflects it. Does your company sell a humorous product? Or is your company a non-profit with a serious mission? Whatever tone your business adopts, be sure to create video content that aligns with your company’s vision.

Source: The Social Shake-Up


If there’s one takeaway here, it’s that video isn’t going anywhere. We encourage you to review your video marketing and ask yourself the following questions: Is the subject matter or information out of date? Are your videos failing to capture more demographics? Do your videos reflect your company’s mission and vision? Is your brand obvious in your videos?

Before we became the full-marketing agency you know as Paragon Marketing Group today, we were formerly a video production company. And with that experiences comes a world of knowledge that we are passionate about sharing with other businesses, just like yours. If you’re ready to update your video marketing, contact us today!

It’s Time To Plan Your Marketing For 2023

A marketer pointing to a graph on his computer to demonstrate why it's important to plan your marketing for 2023.

We’re still a few months from the new year, but that doesn’t mean your marketing shouldn’t be prepared. It’s time to plan your marketing for 2023. Aside from inflation and economic changes impacting businesses nationwide, technological advances and new, emerging trends in marketing mean it’s even more important to start planning your marketing for the upcoming year.

As a full-service marketing group, we believe it’s important that your marketing attract new clients while retaining your current customers. Here are three reasons why it’s time to plan your marketing for 2023:


1. Marketing Trends Are Always Changing . . . And So Should You

Between a global pandemic and constant advancements in technology, it isn’t surprising that advertising trends are changing. While we believe in celebrating your milestones, the marketing machine is constantly evolving, which means your marketing strategies should, too. Whether you need help with your website or a social channel, it’s time to map out marketing strategies for 2023.

Constantly evolving marketing trends means it's time to change and plan your marketing for 2023.
Constantly evolving marketing trends means it’s time to change and plan your marketing for 2023.

2. New Consumers’ Habits Requires A Mobile-First Mindset

While the pandemic might have slowed in-person business for many consumers, those same consumers not only continue to spend more time online, but they also use their mobile devices to shop, search for businesses, and view websites on their mobile devices. And with this move here to stay, businesses need to ensure their websites are responsive, consider increasing their mobile advertising budget, and make decisions with a mobile-first mindset to continue to attract today’s consumers.

Plan your marketing for 2023 with a mobile-first mindset as more consumers continue to search and shop on their mobile devices.
Plan your marketing for 2023 with a mobile-first mindset as more consumers continue to search and shop on their mobile devices.

Source: FinancesOnline


3. Marketing Experts Could Give You The Upper Hand

Many people are overwhelmed by the prospect of trying to design their own website, get their business in all the proper listings, and post regularly to multiple social channels in addition to all the other marketing avenues they could be utilizing. What often helps a business stand out from the crowd is bringing in a third-party expert. Why? Because marketing firms stay up-to-date on the latest trends and specialize in providing marketing services for businesses big or small. They can even manage your marketing completely if you rather focus on running your business. Whether you need an outside opinion or guidance, firms like Paragon Marketing Group can provide the necessary expertise you need.

Consider hiring a marketing firm, like Paragon Marketing Group, to help you in the year as you plan for marketing in 2023.
Consider hiring a marketing firm, like Paragon Marketing Group, to help you in the year as you plan for marketing in 2023.

Source: Paragon Marketing Group


Marketing trends will continue to change, so it’s vital that your business embrace the future. Whether you choose to hire a marketing firm for outside expertise, mobilize your website to create a better online experience for your mobile users, or map out a marketing strategy to prepare for the new year, now is the time to plan your marketing for 2023.

Why Marketing Your Startup Business Matters

If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve started a business, or maybe you’ve been a small business owner for the last couple years. And you know better than anyone that starting, much less marketing your startup business, is no easy task. You can’t just perform one simple task. Owning a business means wearing a lot of hats, juggling a lot of balls, and maybe coming up with a better metaphor to express the challenges a small business owner faces.

Sometimes the to-do list of a startup business owner is so long, marketing might not seem all that important. With everything else you’re supposed to manage, could marketing your startup really make that much of a difference?

At Paragon Marketing Group, we’re passionate about marketing, so of course we could share many reasons why we believe marketing is a key ingredient to your startup’s success. But don’t take our word for it – the numbers speak for themselves.


Millions of Small Businesses Are Vying for Consumers’ Attention

As of 2020, there were 31.7 million small businesses in the United States (Over 1 million were startups between 2019 and 2020 alone!) And guess what? Every one of those 31.7 million businesses want a slice of the customer pie. If you don’t want your startup business to get lost in the shuffle of 30 million other businesses, there’s something key you can do to build your brand and reach those potential customers with whom you want to share your message, service, or product. Come on, you know where we’re going with this. Let’s say it together: “Marketing!”

Number of Startup Businesses Started, 1997-2017
Marketing your startup business can be challenging in today’s incredibly competitive market with millions of new businesses starting every year.

Source: U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy


Digital Marketing Is the Primary Mode of Communication between Small Businesses and Their Customers

In a survey of over 1,000 small business owners, results clearly indicated the top two modes of communication between businesses and their customers were email at 71.8% and Facebook at 60.8%. What does that mean? If you want to communicate with your customers, utilizing digital marketing channels could significantly boost the number of potential customers your business could reach. If you’re just getting started, now is the perfect time to start marketing for your startup!

Email and Facebook marketing lead the way for marketing channels employed by small businesses.
Employing digital marketing channels, such as email and Facebook marketing, could help with marketing your startup.

Source: Campaign Monitor


Marketing Your Startup Business Creates Authenticity in a Increasingly Distrusting World

According to a Havas Group report in 2021, almost 70% of consumers do not trust advertisements they see. Even worse? Those same consumers distrust 71% of brands. So where does authenticity fit in? Businesses without an established brand, say little or no social media profiles, lack of a website, minimal or no advertising, no testimonials – nothing to point to your business’s legitimacy means that your business is hard to trust. In other words, how can customers believe your startup business can solve their problem or provide a solution when your marketing is nonexistent? The short answer: building trust with consumers starts with marketing.

Marketing helps create authenticity in today's world.
Marketing your startup can provide authenticity in an increasingly distrustful world.

Sources: Entrepreneur, MarketingDive, Havas Group

Okay, if you didn’t know before, we’re certain you understand now: marketing is essential for your startup. But let’s face it, it’s really hard to not get overwhelmed by the long marketing to-do lists. There’s web design, and print marketing, and social media, and graphic design, and PPC, and SEO, and wait, what do all these acronyms mean, and how do you learn and execute all these marketing channels AND run your business . . . ?

That’s where we come in. As a small business, we understand the challenges that small business owners face, especially when you’re first starting out. Whether you’re trying to stand out in a crowded market, unsure of how to connect with your target customers, or want to establish a trusted brand, we’d love to answer your questions about taking your startup marketing to the next level.

Marketing Phobia: It’s A Real Thing!

Marketing Phobia: it's a real thing!

When you run a business, you have to market yourself. Period! But many businesses do not do this continually. Why? Marketing Phobia! Some may say that it’s not a real thing but it is actually true. Throughout the course of every year, we run into people all the time that are scared to market their organization. It may sound silly, however there are some important reasons for it.

1. The business owner just doesn’t know where to start.

Getting started can be overwhelming. A well constructed marketing plan can relieve this anxiety and put your business on a clear path for success. Some first steps: Define where you want to go with your business, identify who your target audience is, and determine a proper budget for your business. This is critical knowledge for you to have as you decide on how to construct your plan.

2. Misconception on cost.

Business owners create in their own minds some pretty grandiose price tags when it comes to marketing. When in reality, they may be way off. This happens many times because they hear what X person is spending or what Y company spent. But that’s not you or your business. The cost of what your company would need to spend to reach your goals could be a fraction of what someone else paid. Marketing towards your goals and your desired results can paint an accurate picture of what your true costs will be and not a figure from someone else’s experience.

3. Fear of success.

Yes, that’s right, the fear of success. Many business owners actually do not market their business because they fear they may gain too much business. Understandably, this one can keep a business owner up at night. However, you have to put your name out there and keep it foremost in people’s minds, so they know you exist and can call upon you whenever they need you. It can definitely bring in more business, but if you have a well constructed plan on how to handle the growth without sacrificing your quality and customer service, you can face this fear!

4. You may have had bad experiences with marketing companies in the past.

This one is big, whether it was a personal experience or one you heard from a third party. Unfortunately, the reality is, there are some marketing firms out there that are less than stellar. We’ve seen, however, there are a lot more that are really good at what they do and are worth every penny invested. The key to overcoming this issue is to do your homework as an owner. Get references, talk with the team who will be working with you, understand what they can do for you, and look for a team who holds transparency and accountability at the center of your relationship.

Anyone can overcome marketing phobia. It takes having that satisfying relationship with the right marketing company to help you get past your fears. If you find a marketing company that will partner with you throughout your journey of growth, we promise you’ll be glad you made the investment.

Benefits Of Email Marketing For Small Businesses

email marketing for small businesses.

Email is a tool most people use everyday. Email marketing is a cost effective solution to directly communicate with your customers, especially for small businesses. Whether it be a monthly newsletter, “Happy Birthday” message or seasonal specials, sending emails to your clients or prospects can be a great way to increase brand awareness and help drive sales. Here are five benefits of email marketing for small businesses:

  1. Increased Awareness

    Email marketing is an easy way to stay in front of your target audience. Send them messages to stay on top of their mind. Be consistent for the best results. If your email marketing schedule is inconsistent, people might not remember your business and will be less likely to open the message. Keep your messages fun and relevant for best results.

  2. Consistent Communication

    Like mentioned above, it’s important to send out your messages consistently. Whether it’s once or twice a month or quarterly, make sure you have a plan. You don’t want to send too many emails and appear annoying but you also want to stay in front of them. Sending out an email once or twice a year is not going to be an effective solution for your marketing plan.

  3. Increased Website Traffic

    It’s important to have strong call to actions in your emails. Often times, an important call to action would be sending recipients to your website. This needs to be done strategically. You can’t just send them to your home page. Which page is going to have the most relevant information? It could be a service page, a product page, or the contact page. Send them to a page where they would be expecting to go based off the information in the email and a page that will give them necessary information to increase conversions.

  4. Build Credibility

    People are more likely to open a message from a sender they know. Make sure subject lines are relevant so the recipients can see who you are and how you can help them. You don’t want your messages to look like spam. Know your readers and make sure your content is relevant to the people receiving the message. All of these things build credibility for your business and can help increase sales through your email marketing. Get people to trust your business.

  5. Cost Effective Option

    The benefits of email marketing can be more cost effective than other marketing efforts. For an even more cost effective solution, collect emails from your customers and potential customers to build an email list so you don’t need to purchase a list. This will lead to best results and ROI as you’ve already established credibility and a relationship with these recipients.

What to Know About Marketing

What to know about marketing.

“Marketing” is a big, broad umbrella term that we’ve all heard, but what is marketing really all about and how can it benefit your business? Chances are you’re using a bunch of marketing techniques without realizing it!
Marketing, as a general meaning, is “the total of activities involved in the transfer of goods from the producer or seller to the consumer or buyer, including advertising, shipping, storing, and selling.” (Dictionary.com) This means that, yes, marketing is just the simple act of selling your product or services, but there is a lot more that can be done to promote and advertise your business.

Digital Marketing

This is probably the most important form of marketing, especially in the modern, digital age. Digital marketing includes:

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Check out our blog about it here
  • Social Media posts and outreach. Check out our blog for tips and tricks on how to use it
  • Video marketing. Here’s a master list of all the different ways to incorporate video into your online marketing
  • Email and text message marketing. This is great to use when promoting an event or new product

There’s so much that goes into digital marketing, the possibilities are endless! If you’re not sure where to start with marketing, online is the place to begin. It’s a great way to not only promote your products and services, but it’s a great way to communicate directly with your customers.

Unique, High-Quality Service

While this one may seem obvious, the quality of your product is a great way to sell to customers and it’s the best way to stand out from competitors! Marketing your product becomes a lot easier if you and your customers understand the high quality value of it. Further, this extends to the unique face of your business. Not only do you want people to benefit from your services, but they want to get to know the unique personality of you.

Targeting Customers

This is another important aspect to understand about marketing. The best way to market your business, no matter the platform or medium, is to know who you’re selling your products to. Using Facebook or Instagram business account allows you to track the demographics of your consumers. Once you have those findings, take a look back at your posts and see which ones they interact with most, or if you’re just getting started, play around with a couple of different marketing techniques (email, social media, video, etc.) and see which one attracts the most people and go from there!

Branding

The face of your business is the first thing people see! From language to video style to the colors used in your logo, they should all be coherent and work together. This is a great marketing strategy because your consumers will become familiar with your work and find a sense of comfort when they see your posts, leading them to wanting to see your content more and more. Check out our blog on branding to get a more in depth idea of what it is.

 

Marketing can be intimidating, especially when you’re starting out, but these are great places to dip your toes into. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be diving into the world of marketing in no time. Make sure to check out our linked blog posts to help you on your journey!

Benefits of Email Marketing For Small Businesses

email marketing for small businesses.

Email is a tool most people use everyday. Email marketing is a cost effective solution to directly communicate with your customers, especially for small businesses. Whether it be a monthly newsletter, “Happy Birthday” message or seasonal specials, sending emails to your clients can be a great way to increase brand awareness and help drive sales. Here are five benefits of email marketing for small businesses:

  1. Increased Awareness

    Email marketing is an easy way to stay in front of your target audience. Send them messages to stay on top of their mind. Be consistent for the best results. If your email marketing schedule is inconsistent, people might not remember your business and will be less likely to open the message. Keep your messages fun and relevant for best results.

  2. Consistent Communication

    Like mentioned in the above point, it’s important to send out your messages consistently. Whether it’s once or twice a month or quarterly, make sure you have a plan. You don’t want to bombard people with emails all the time but you also want to stay in front of them. Sending out an email once a year is not going to be an effective solution for your marketing plan.

  3. Increased Website Traffic

    It’s important to have strong call to actions in your emails. Often times, an important call to action would be sending recipients to your website. This needs to be done strategically. You can’t always send them to your home page. Which page is going to have the most relevant information? It could be a service page, a product page, or the contact page. Send them to a page where they would be expecting to go based off the information in the email and a page that will give them necessary information to increase conversions.

  4. Build Credibility

    People are more likely to open a message from a sender they know. Make sure subject lines are relevant so the recipients can see who you are and how you can help them. You don’t want your messages to look like spam. Know your readers and make sure your content is relevant to the people receiving the message. All of these things build credibility for your business and can help increase sales through your email marketing. Get people to trust your business.

  5. Cost Effective Option

    Email marketing offers more cost-effective benefits than direct mail, making this a great strategy for small businesses. With email marketing being a digital platform, you don’t need to worry about printing costs or postage. For an even more cost effective solution, collect emails from your customers and potential customers to build an email list so you don’t need to purchase a list. This will lead to best results and ROI as you’ve already established credibility and a relationship with these recipients.

7 essentials to brand awareness

brand awareness.

Recently Paragon has taken on a new effort of working with non-profits to help them grow. We feel it is very important and the more we give the more we receive.

While visiting these non-profits it is amazing how many of them have no brand guidelines. Now, this is not only for nonprofits, but with small businesses, as well. What is a brand guideline you ask? A brand guideline is how people view your company or non-profit. It is how they recognize it is you. Brand guidelines are a roadmap to automatic recognition of who you are.

 

Here’s what should be included in your brand guidelines.

  1. Your history, vision and your top values for your organization.
  2. Your mission statement including what we call “tone of voice” requirements. Yes, the tone of voice is important and must be spelled out as to what can and can not be said and how!
  3. Color palette is essential. Typically your logo will decide this for you but if you have a two color logo then add a couple of colors that you feel go well with it and stick to them.
  4. Where and how your logo can be used is one of the most important things that you will spell out. Can it be used on certain types of materials and on the website? How much white space around your logo? Can it be combined with any other logo? Does it always have to be color or can you do black and white? What sizes are allowed to be used? All very important.
  5. What fonts are people allowed to use is another one that needs to be thought of. There are literally thousands of fonts out there so do not leave it to chance. A good rule of thumb is having 1-3 options of fonts.
  6. What type of photos can be used with your logo? Not only the style but will you require special lenses, lighting. Maybe with your brand, you only want black and white with people in it.
  7. Please provide examples of the following: a business card, letterhead, brochure or pamphlet. Maybe provide a picture of proper use and unproper use of your logo.

Now, none of this matters if nobody knows about it.  Then you are not really creating a brand. Every time you send out your logo to anybody include these guidelines. If they don’t understand them then ask for a proof prior to print or publication. You must know where your logo is and how it is being represented at all times!

 

7 essentials to brand awareness

brand awareness.

Recently Paragon has taken on a new effort of working with non-profits to help them grow. We feel it is very important and the more we give the more we receive.

While visiting these non-profits it is amazing how many of them have no brand guidelines. Now, this is not only for nonprofits, but with small businesses, as well. What is a brand guideline you ask? A brand guideline is how people view your company or non-profit. It is how they recognize it is you. Brand guidelines are a roadmap to automatic recognition of who you are.

 

Here’s what should be included in your brand guidelines.

  1. Your history, vision and your top values for your organization.
  2. Your mission statement including what we call “tone of voice” requirements. Yes, the tone of voice is important and must be spelled out as to what can and can not be said and how!
  3. Color palette is essential. Typically your logo will decide this for you but if you have a two color logo then add a couple of colors that you feel go well with it and stick to them.
  4. Where and how your logo can be used is one of the most important things that you will spell out. Can it be used on certain types of materials and on the website? How much white space around your logo? Can it be combined with any other logo? Does it always have to be color or can you do black and white? What sizes are allowed to be used? All very important.
  5. What fonts are people allowed to use is another one that needs to be thought of. There are literally thousands of fonts out there so do not leave it to chance. A good rule of thumb is having 1-3 options of fonts.
  6. What type of photos can be used with your logo? Not only the style but will you require special lenses, lighting. Maybe with your brand, you only want black and white with people in it.
  7. Please provide examples of the following: a business card, letterhead, brochure or pamphlet. Maybe provide a picture of proper use and unproper use of your logo.

Now, none of this matters if nobody knows about it.  Then you are not really creating a brand. Every time you send out your logo to anybody include these guidelines. If they don’t understand them then ask for a proof prior to print or publication. You must know where your logo is and how it is being represented at all times!