Four Easy Steps to Pick the Colors for your Brand

When you see something for the first time, you form an opinion about it in just a matter of seconds, but how much of that first impression is based on color alone? According to Colorcom, colors account for 85% of the reason why someone will decide to purchase a product. Marketers take color psychology seriously; they know as soon a customer walks into a store, they will form a positive or negative opinion about their retail environment within the first 90 seconds.

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It is no coincidence most in-store sale signs are red. According to a University of Rochester study published in the journal, Emotion, when humans see red, their reactions become faster and more forceful. For marketers, this information is useful. It means when people see red sale signs they are more likely to make impulse purchases and spend more money than they intended to.

Other studies also support the theory that colors can be used to influence purchasing decisions. According to the study “Exciting red and competent blue,” when customers see a logo or package, the color activates relevant associations, which influence the perception of the brand’s personality. The color blue, for example, is linked to qualities such as competence, intelligence, communication, trust, efficiency, duty, and logic. This is why we often see blue in the logos of banks, financial institutions, and healthcare centers. The perceived competence of a brand can be positively affected by the presence of the color blue in their name and logo.

Colors are important in every single aspect of the buyers’ cycle, from packaging to signage. According to Colorcom, the presence of color helps us process and store images more efficiently than colorless scenes. Whether it’s a permanent sign affixed to your building or a banner to announce a special promotion, spending a few extra dollars for color printing makes good sense.

How to pick the colors for your brand?

Step #1

The first step to determine the best color to use for your brand is to start by thinking about your target audience. Research from Shopify reports women respond favorably to the colors blue, green and purple, while disliking brown, grey and orange. Men also responded well to the colors blue, green but not the color purple. They preferred black and reacted negatively to browns and oranges. Knowing the type of preferences your audience has will help you narrow down your color options.

Step #2

Once you determine the audience you are targeting and their preferences, think about what type of message you want to communicate. This will depend on the type of products and services you offer. For example, if you are in the cleaning service industry, you will want to use colors associated with purity, simplicity, hygiene, and clarity. In this case, white would be a good choice.

Step #3

Consider all the different options you have when it comes to colors and try to pick no more than two colors for your brand. Although many logos in the marketplace use more than one color, our sample of the 4show study found that most well-known brand logos only consist of single color or one dominant color with a smaller accent color.

Step #4

Use this guide by Marketo explaining shade by shade how colors can affect your business:

  • Black is employed by those who wish to communicate classic sophistication and is often associated with expensive or upscale brands.
  • Blue is likely the most popular choice for brand colors, and is considered dependable, trustworthy, secure and responsible.
  • Brown is thought to be earthlike, natural and durable. The color speaks of simplicity and strength.
  • Green is synonymous with calm, freshness and health. Lighter shades communicate serenity, while darker greens are associated with affluence.
  • Orange is a color full of life and excitement. It communicates fun, exuberance, playfulness and vitality.
  • Red invokes a passionate response and is aggressive, attention-getting, energetic and provocative.
  • Purple is elegant, rich, sophisticated and is associated with royalty, nostalgia, spirituality and mystery.
  • White represents cleanliness and purity, making it a popular choice among healthcare and child-related businesses and organizations.
  • Yellow invokes sunny feelings of hope and optimism. Its brightness catches the eye and stimulates creativity and energy.

Need help developing your logo or designing the identity materials to strengthen your brand’s identity? Rely on the experts at Allegra Marketing. Contact your local Allegra Marketing Print Mail location for all your design and printing needs.

How to Wow Your Best Customers

This year Allegra sponsored a marketing webinar series featuring branding specialist Carla Johnson. In each session, Carla has discussed the different stages of the customer journey and how to reach the customer where they are at in their journey. Marketing Webinar Image

In the first webinar Impact Branding: Find and Amplify Your Brand’s Uniqueness,” she discussed ways to build your branding to attract prospects in the awareness stage and provided tips on how to convert those in the consideration stage into customers.

In the second webinar, Chemical Attraction: Transform Lukewarm Leads into Loyal Customers,” Carla discussed how to engage those prospects in the purchase stage and create exceptional customer relationships.

In the third and final Allegra webinar for 2019, Behind the Curtain: Inside Tips to Wow Your Best Customers,” Carla focused on the retention and advocacy stages of the customers’ journey and provides insightful tips to wow your existing customers and encourage them to become brand advocates.

Customer service should be a priority for every business but being able to deliver beyond that is what helps gain loyal customers and set your business apart from your competitors. The approach suggested in this webinar recommends understanding what it takes to make and keep those long-lasting relationships.

The most successful customer relationships start with successful employee relationships. This is why it’s essential to pay close attention to the people in your company and those you hire because they will ultimately be the ones who will represent your brand.

According to Gallup’s State of the American Workforce Report, companies with engaged employees outperform those without by up to 202%. To engage your existing employees Carla suggests these three ideas:

#1 Education:

Teach your employees about the customer journey and how their interactions at each one of these stages will shape the foundations of the customer experience. Make sure they focus on building long term customer relationships rather than short term transactions and provide them the necessary tools to help create fantastic experiences that will keep your customers coming back.

#2 Empowerment:

Empowering your employees means giving each one of your employees the authority and autonomy to make decisions about specific organizational tasks. By doing this, you will help encourage stronger job performance and job satisfaction.

Here are five ways you can empower your employees:

  • Hand out responsibilities
  • Make guidelines and best practices clear
  • Encourage communication
  • Offer individual and peer coaching
  • Allow opportunities for growth

#3 Activation

Employee activation is about encouraging employees to organically create and share content about topics they are interested in. Making sure the people who work for you feel appreciated and valued can help your company in return. If you make your employees feel valued, they will feel inspired and will help promote the company in return.

To get started implementing these ideas at your company follow these simple guidelines:

  • Evaluate the customer journey and asses what things are currently in place to ensure excellent customer relationships at your company.
  • Prioritize the places where this experience may need more attention.
  • Commit to delivering exceptional experiences and continuously improve how you educate, empower, and activate your customers.

If you are looking for more ideas to help improve your employee relationships, Allegra can help. Contact us to learn and ask about our promotional gifts for appreciation, personalized brochures and training manuals, or the recognition awards and certificates we offer. To listen to the full recording of this webinar series visit: https://allegrawebinars.com/

With 5 Seconds to Get My Attention, it’s Time to Get Creative

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With just five seconds — or less — to catch a prospect’s interest, you must first get them to notice you. One of the best ways to accomplish this is through the use of eye-catching creative design and clear, concise text.
How do you get there? Try following some best practices for good “creative”:

Focus on the benefits.
Stick to customer benefits in your copy rather than your product’s features. For example, the weight and dimensions of a power drill are far less meaningful than saying it fits securely in your hand with a comfortable grip.

Add contrast to add interest.
Headlines, subheads and quotations will add visual emphasis and draw the reader to your most important information. Add visual contrast by leaving white space and varying the size of graphic elements. For example, two photos of dramatically different sizes on a page are more appealing than two photos of equal size. The “weight” difference also communicates which elements are more important.


Project the right image.

Use consistent typefaces and colors to create an easily identifiable “look” that distinguishes you from your competition. For example, you may want your audience to perceive your company as professional, friendly, corporate, dynamic or cost-conscious. The design you create reinforces these qualities and elicits the appropriate emotional response.

Never forget strategy.
Creative is designed to get results. And you can’t get results without strategy. Here’s how to motivate the desired action:
• Use a targeted list for your direct marketing to avoid waste and reach those most apt to buy.
• Create a sense of urgency. (Example: limited-time offer)
• Use incentives, like cash-back or free additional services.
• Include a clear call to action. Your prospects can’t respond if you don’t tell them what you want them to do or how they should do it. (Examples: Download a white paper, register for an event, make a donation, visit our website or contact us today.)
Talk to us about your creative challenges! Allegra can help.

4 Ways e-Commerce Sites Bring Better Brand Control and Consistency

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No matter how careful your organization may be, there’s always a chance for brand inconsistencies to creep into your marketing communications over time as your business evolves or your staff changes. In fact, your organization may be especially vulnerable if:

  • You operate several locations
  • Your marketing materials are accessed by multiple people
  • Your printed materials require frequent updates

Even the smallest breaches in brand consistency, such as differing colors or fonts, competing messaging or confusing wording, can do some major damage. According to a survey by Demand Metric Research Plus, 71% of marketers and brand managers said that brand inconsistencies result in market confusion, 56% said they result in harm to your credibility and 30 percent said they make it harder to compete.

So, the question is, how can businesses, organizations and nonprofits protect themselves from harmful brand inconsistencies? Marketers looking for a better way to manage their brand assets might consider a web-to-print solution (W2P) also known as an online order and print fulfillment system.

Here are four ways e-commerce sites can offer a competitive edge and streamline your organization’s marketing dollars:

  1. Centralize control.
    When brand standards are controlled through an e-commerce website, you can greatly increase the consistency and accuracy of your marketing and sales materials by having your most current versions of documents available to all who need access.
  2. Increase impact.
    Cut turnaround time while you empower multiple users to reach your company’s communications goals. Your marketing gets more relevant when you can easily localize your content for powerful, personalized messaging.
  3. Monitor spending.
    With a system in place, you can track both usage and purchases across employees and offices. This information can be used for further marketing and sales efforts as you determine what’s being used and where you can trim expenses.
  4. Improve efficiency. 
    By consolidating your organization’s communications resources, you can leverage your buying power while avoiding the “one off” spending that often occurs in regional offices or with remote employees.

Want better control over the consistency of your brand? Contact your local Allegra Marketing Print Mail to learn more about how a convenient and user-friendly web-to-print solution can better equip you to streamline the ordering and management of your marketing and business materials.

Rethinking Signage: 3 Ways to Go Beyond the Banner

Large signs and graphics make a lasting impression on your audience. Whether indoors or out, there are plenty of trendy options to spice up your signage. Here are a few of our favorite ways to say hello to a new, fresh look that will capture your audience’s attention.

  1. Walk it out
    Make the most of every square foot of informational, promotional or decorative space in your facility. The latest solutions in graphics prove that you’re no longer limited to walls, windows and doors; you can now take advantage of graphics for floor surfaces and even printed ceiling tiles.
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  2. Look outside
    Perforated window graphics are a creative way to share your message. A creative twist on an old favorite, perforated graphics present a promotional message when viewed from one side (such as the outside of a door or window) and a clear view when seen from the other (often the inside of a vehicle or building). One-way vinyl graphics replicating frosted glass or displaying a design or scene also add an attractive element of privacy to office or conference room windows.
  3. Get mobile
    Whether they’re on a car, van or trailer, vehicle graphics and decals are some of the most economical ways to deliver promotional messages. Simply parking your vehicle is a marketing tactic! Smaller businesses or organizations without a permanent vehicle or fleet for deliveries or service calls can benefit from repositionable graphics. These are an ideal way to put your marketing in motion and are easily removed and replaced.

From custom design to installation, talk to the signage professionals at your local Allegra Marketing Print Mail about how to make a greater impact with creative sign solutions.

3 Creative Ways to Add Value to Your Signage

Thanks to advancements in large format printing, creative signage solutions are more affordable than ever. Here are three trendy ways you can spice up your company’s space with eye-catching signs and large graphics:

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  1. Go Green
    In many sectors, industry standards dictate certain environmental regulations about waste and materials. Environmentally friendly inks and materials can help you meet your standards and reduce your overall waste. Also, according to Nielsen, two out of three consumers are willing to pay more for products and services that come from companies committed to making a positive social environmental impact. Win-win!
  2. Explore New Surfaces
    Digital printing technology makes it possible to print on – or affix to – nearly any surface for a custom look that fits your brand’s standards in look and feel. Consider a mural for your lobby, floor graphics or even wraps around pillars and posts. A simple change can transform your work space from average to inspiring.
  3. Add Texture
    When it comes to signage that travels with you to trade shows or events, textured backdrops and graphical drapes are two sure bets that can draw foot traffic to your booth. They can even help define a space for your product demos on a busy trade show floor.

Talk to the sign pros at your local Allegra Marketing Print Mail to learn more about your signage options and how they can fit into your budget.

Tips for Conducting an Informative Brand Audit

Performing a brand audit enables you to evaluate what your current marketing and communications strategies are (or are not) saying about your brand and provides a qualitative assessment of your brand identity’s overall strength and consistency.

Tips for Conducting an Informative Brand Audit

Marketers surveyed by Demand Metric Research Plus said branding inconsistencies result in market confusion (71 percent), damage credibility (56 percent) and make it harder to compete (30 percent).

Brand audits provide the proper intel needed to set a blueprint for the future. Here are some tips for conducting a brand audit that is both informative and focused:

Know your standards. A well-defined set of brand guidelines is crucial for maintaining a cohesive brand identity. When reviewing print and online branding materials, keep a checklist to evaluate proper logo usage, preferred fonts and other stylistic requirements.

Read for tone and messaging. Make sure the verbiage used in your brand communications is up to date and properly reflects the overall direction of the brand.

Prioritize your revisions. As you conduct the audit, be sure to note any branding inconsistencies. Prioritize corrections before creating new pieces.

Embrace technology. Centralizing control with an online ordering system prevents satellite offices from going “rogue” with unapproved materials, ensures proper branding, and saves time and money. For businesses or organizations with multiple locations, a web-to-print or online ordering system is an easy way to oversee adherence to brand standards.

Keep it seamless across all channels. Integrated, multi-channel marketing campaigns are most successful when a brand’s print and digital identity are consistent with one another. Websites, email templates and social properties should always reflect your offline branding, and vice versa with printed brand materials.

Need help conducting your branding audit to ensure your marketing materials are aligned with your brand standards? Contact your local Allegra Marketing Print Mail today.