Archive for the ‘Corporate Communications’ Category

Experts Expect Smartphones to Overtake Personal Computers in 2012

Smartphones are steadily becoming commonplace devices for everyone from professionals to busy moms. Users of these devices now instinctively turn to their phones for tasks that previously they would only have accomplished on a computer, over the phone or in person. These tasks include surfing the Web, obtaining driving directions, connecting via social media, and even shopping.

In the United States, 87.4 million people own smartphones. And, in 2012, smartphone sales are expected to top sales of personal computers. As smartphones allow people to connect with businesses in new and exciting ways, businesses in turn need to become savvier about going mobile.

For example, a small home health care provider recently utilized smartphones to expand to 400 patients across four major counties  in Utah. Its employees previously struggled to keep up with all the paperwork and regulatory requirements, so the company decided to go completely mobile, equipping its entire staff with Microsoft Windows Phones. This allowed the staff to visit patients and instantly update their condition and treatments.

For small businesses, embracing the smartphone age is becoming crucial for success. Here are some easy ways small businesses can go mobile in 2012:

  • Invest in smartphones – Transitioning from a flip phone to a smartphone makes it much easier to run a business on the go. Providing easy access to email, calendar information and the Internet, smartphones increase productivity and can provide peace of mind while out of the office. Today, smartphones are more affordable than in the past, so now is a perfect time to take advantage of their capabilities.
  • Consider industry-specific devices – Numerous mobile technologies, from smartphone applications to tablets, have been created with specific industries in mind. For example, rugged tablets that can withstand the elements are available for those in the construction industry and tablets created for the health care industry can be sterilized between patient visits to avoid contamination.
  • Make websites mobile-compatible – In an era in which most consumers first go to the Internet to find local service providers, it’s crucial that small businesses have a polished and informative online presence that’s friendly for mobile consumption. Even for business owners who aren’t tech-savvy, starting a website is feasible. A quick Internet search will reveal numerous free or low-cost website templates. You might also choose to work with a Web developer to ensure your business’s website is smartphone-friendly.
  • Get social – Popular social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter make it simple to connect with customers in a casual, but also personal, manner and also embrace the mobile population that frequents these sites on smartphones. Consider leveraging one or more of these platforms to further establish your business’s online presence and create positive buzz around new offerings and special deals and promotions.
Provided by: ARA

Defining Your Corporate Identity

Your corporate identity impacts all aspects of your business and plays a vital role in your customer’s overall experience with your organization. Having a strong consistent identity throughout your communication and marketing efforts is the first step to building your organization and a solid image. Many corporations accomplish this with the help of outside branding and corporate identity consultants, or specialists. These specialists ensure that the company is acting in a way which is consistent with its corporate identity, keeping the company’s position in the market strong.

A brand or corporate identity, serves to create associations and expectations among products made by a producer. A brand often includes an explicit logo design, font and typography structure, color schemes and symbols which can be used across all marketing materials. This corporate identity system shows the difference between the conceptual and technical borders of a sign as the identity, and an organized system of signs and visual structures. The creation of an identity program is beyond the design of simple signs. Corporate identity involves a company’s logo and design strategy, and is merely a component of an overall brand strategy. When all of these components come together, a memorable brand is created. If you have ever purchased something after seeing a commercial for it on television or after seeing a print ad for the product, than you already know just how effective this strategy can be.

Brand identity is a basic requirement for any company, product or service to launch itself into the branding roadmap. Every company should have a basic but well-researched brand portfolio that describes what the brand is and what it stands for. This model is based on the idea that brand identity is managed. Positive brand image that ensures a competitive advantage is build up when conveying brand identity to consumers efficiently and employing particular strategies of positioning. This identity is the most outward expression of the brand. It serves to distinguish your brand from its rivals while affirming market position.

Who do you want to be as a corporation. What values do you want your corporation to adopt and promote. When people think of your corporation, what would you like their first thoughts to be. When you are developing your corporate identity, these are some of the initial things that you should be thinking about. Your competition is working hard to develop their own unique branding and marketing strategy, which is why it only makes sense to work twice as hard to develop yours.

Spammers Fined

A California Superior Court recently awarded $7,000 in damages to an individual who received unsolicited and misleading commercial email. It is believed this is the first time a court has awarded damages to an individual for spamming. Many are aware of the Federal CAN-SPAM act which forbids spamming, but only ISPs or the government may sue for violations. California has similar legislation; however, individuals may sue for damages. The California law provides for damages of $1,000 for each serving of spam, even if the recipient didn’t accept any of the offers and lost no money.

This ruling underscores the need for email marketers to be sure to send emails that meet the following criteria:

  • To only those who have opted-in
  • The email has a properly identified “from” line
  • Your organization’s name and address are included in the email
  • You have an unsubscribe link easily seen by the recipient

Email is an excellent tool to communicate with your audience. It can be an excellent medium to build your brand, your products and your company. However, if abused or misused, the consequences can be significant.