Is your business sending the right message to customers? Take a few tips from the Alton, Illinois and Searcy, Arkansas-based businesses featured in seasons three and four of Deluxe’s Small Business Revolution. Each business owner asked themselves the following five questions and made changes to their logos, websites and marketing plans so that their businesses were making a powerful impression.
1. Consumers judge businesses in seconds: Is your business making the right first impression?
Today’s Beauty, which sells hair care products, cosmetics, wigs and more, understands the value of first impressions. Operated by Benjamin Golley, his sister Angela Grubb and his son Jordan Golley, Today’s Beauty makes customers feel like family. But, the beauty supply store didn’t have a logo, and the storefront didn’t reflect the friendly atmosphere on the inside:
The new logo for Today’s Beauty (immediately above) is elegant and bright. It looks good not only on the front of the store but also on the shop's social media channels, print marketing, retail packaging and T-shirts. The brand balances professionalism and warmth:
2. How do you compare to the competition?
It’s important to keep an eye on your competition. Are they offering more services than your business? Lower prices? Lighthouse Sounds, owned by friends Jay “Hart” Stanley and Alex St. Cin, needed to better position itself as a professional, quality recording studio in order to compete with bigger studios in nearby St. Louis. To assist with that repositioning, the friends relocated their studio into a larger space. In order to fill the new space, Lighthouse Sounds needed to attract more clients. They started with a new professional logo featured on their new streamlined website.
The logo highlights the studio’s relaxed vibe, their employees’ expertise and individual attention that clients may not receive at a larger recording studio. Here it is on the studio's website:
3. Does your brand tell customers what you do?
El Mercado is a family-operated Mexican grocery store, selling everything from specialty meats to fresh baked goods. But passersby wouldn't have known that by looking at their signage. According to co-owner Catrina Mendoza, people often mistook the store for a restaurant. What's more, the barebones sign they initially had on their storefront wasn't something that anyone would drive by and notice.
Catrina and her husband Jose Mendoza were looking to introduce their offerings to people outside of their predominately hispanic customer base. To do that, they rebranded, making sure to be clear about who they were and what customers could expect from their shop.
Their new logo clearly identifies what's available at the store: groceries, meats and baked goods.
The Mendozas also had a website designed that explains El Mercado's history and background on Mexican grocery stores — or mercados — for people who aren't familiar with the store's cultural origins.
Lovett's Soul Food is a family business run by Merry Lovett and her son, Brad Chavours. Early in 2018, Lovett's didn’t have a website, making it difficult for customers to discover the restaurant. Lovett’s needed a new website that included crucial ingredients for success, including its business hours, address and menus as well as details about catering. The new website encourages customers to visit the restaurant or contact the staff for more details. Along with a new, delicious-looking website, Lovett’s Soul Food also printed menus for the restaurant and to-go menus.
Professional, high-quality printing speaks to the quality of your food. Both the new website and the menus entice visitors to sample their mouthwatering dishes.
4. Does your brand tell customers why you’re special?
There are a lot of special things about Morrison’s Irish Pub. Lisa and Mary Morrison, and Mary’s daughter, Katey VanKirk, serve authentic Irish dishes, including importing Irish bacon and butter. But one of their most unique offerings is their whiskey selection. You’d never know it when looking at their old website, but they had more than 60 different Irish whiskeys on hand. Don’t hide your whiskey!
Morrison’s Irish Pub’s new website includes a page dedicated to the pub's expansive whiskey selection and expertise, which is something the competition doesn’t have:
Like Morrison's, Whilma’s Filipino Restaurant wasn’t showcasing its greatest asset — chef Whilma. But, it was clear from the start that Whilma herself was the heart of the business’s brand. The warmth and authenticity that she brought to the dining experience was what really set the restaurant apart from competitors. But with a generic logo that simply read “Filipino Restaurant,” the family-run business was missing out on an opportunity to attract new customers.
5. Is your branding consistent?
Mark McMurray took over Rodney’s Bait & Tackle in 2003 and changed the name to Bluff City Outdoors. As a result, there were a variety of difficult logos for the bait and tackle shop floating around the internet, including on the store's website, and even the signs outside of the store. It was confusing for customers who didn’t know if they were looking at the website for the correct business.
Bluff City Outdoors got a great new logo that catches customers’ eyes, and it’s featured consistently on the website, storefront and all social media channels.
It lets customers know that Bluff City Outdoors is a professional, established retail store they can trust to do business with. From beauty and bait to spirits, sound and soul food, no matter what business you’re in, it’s important to make a powerful impression on your customers.
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