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Category Archives: Social Media

The 4 W’s and an H of an Elevator Pitch

One way to ensure your employees know how to communicate your company’s message is to develop an elevator pitch. An elevator pitch is an effective way to share your company’s capabilities and unique differentiator.

What?

A simple and quick summary of what your company does and what sets you apart from your competition. With only a few sentences, your employees can paint a vibrant picture in the listener’s head of what your organization does and how you build successful relationships with your customers, community, etc. This statement gives your employees more to say than “we manufacture plastic parts.”

Who?

All employees. Everyone in your organization should understand and be able to communicate what your company does and its unique value proposition.

Why?

An elevator pitch creates a consistent message across the organization. Your employees are true ambassadors of your brand. When asked “what does your company do?” your defined elevator pitch should be consistent. Without a strong message, an interaction can be a missed opportunity.

Where?

An elevator pitch was designed to be recited in a short period of time, like an elevator ride. However, there are numerous other instances when an elevator pitch is beneficial, such as:

  • Sales calls
  • Industry events
  • Networking events
  • Family functions
  • Community events

How?

Start by creating awareness. Then provide the tools. It’s very important to ensure organizational buy-in. Start by asking your employees “what does your company do?” This can reveal if there is a disconnect and how to combat it. Once the disconnect is understood, it’s time to remove it by crafting a tailored elevator pitch that is easy for everyone in your organization to remember.

 Ensuring your organization is being conveyed with a consistent message is very important for a successful brand. Gather your team and make sure you’re all on the same page with a straightforward, simple elevator pitch.

In the Eyes of the Federal Brand Investigators

The Federal Brand Investigators (FBI) are a true force in the world of marketing, and their jurisdiction encompasses anything and everything that has to do with your brand. Below are a few scenarios when the FBI should be called upon.

Brand Colors

Your logo is the face of your brand. The colors need to be specific and cannot be changed – it keeps your brand consistent and recognizable. Just because an employee’s favorite color is red does not grant them permission to change the original blue logo to red. According to the FBI, that’s against the law. Simply put, a logo shouldn’t be tarnished. However, there are exceptions to this law. A color change for a logo is appropriate, for example, during special events or holidays such as Breast Cancer Awareness Month or Independence Day.

Social Media

One of your employees enjoys working for your company, so he decides to changes his profile picture to the company logo. It’s great your team member is taking pride in their work, but this is a major offense in the eyes of the FBI. The problem? Anything posted on their social media page is now a direct reflection of your brand. There is no supervision and this employee has the potential to create a very poor perception of your company.

Logo Quality

An employee takes a screen grab of the company’s logo on the website and tries to use this low-resolution logo in marketing materials. This is a chargeable offense per the Federal Brand Investigators. People put in tireless hours to make a perfect logo. Never let anyone tarnish your image by using a low-quality version of your logo. Your logo doesn’t need to be available for the entire company, but it should be accessible for marketing materials.

Elevator Pitch

A brand goes beyond a logo; a brand is communicated through messaging too. Keeping a consistent message of who the company is and what it does with an elevator pitch is an asset in ensuring a consistent brand. Let’s say an employee is out to dinner and happens to be sporting a t-shirt with your organization’s logo plastered on the front. Yes, it’s great brand exposure, but what if that employee doesn’t know how to accurately describe what the company does? Employees are always representing the company during and after hours. If they aren’t sure how to explain to a customer/neighbor/vendor exactly what your organization does that can be detrimental to your brand. An elevator pitch helps to build the personality and value behind a brand that customers learn to recognize and trust.

Don’t be afraid to dispatch the Federal Brand Investigators to make sure all employees are abiding by the rules. Implementing a Brand Standards Guide permits employees to know what variations of the logo, typeface, and colors are acceptable. The Brand Standards Guide plays the ultimate Federal Brand Investigators role, and should be enforced throughout the organization.

Social Media for B2B Companies: Is It Worth It?

One of the most commonly asked questions Vive receives is: “Why do B2B manufacturing companies need social media?” There is no doubt that leveraging social media in this environment encounters challenges, but it is all about strategy and ensuring your brand image and message positively reflects your organization. With the proper plan and execution, social media can unquestionably boost morale as well as increases external interactions and brand awareness.

Get Noticed. Stay Noticed.

smblogThere’s no denying that a vast majority of our population utilizes some form of social media, whether it’s Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or YouTube – so why wouldn’t your company want to optimize these channels to promote capabilities, services, and your internal culture? When curiosity arises from those unfamiliar with your organization, typically the second place people visit (following the website) is the company’s social media. If a company doesn’t have relevant, timely posts that people are interacting with, a company may be missing out on a huge opportunity to make a positive impression. It’s critical to build and maintain an online presence and most importantly, create multiple channels to connect with your potential customers, suppliers, or future talent.

Attract Talent. Retain Talent.

Another significant benefit of social media is it attracts prospective employees. If an interested candidate is uncertain he/she would be a good fit for an organization, that candidate can access your social media platforms to formulate an initial opinion and study the organization. One of the best ways to showcase a company’s personality and expertise is by sharing relevant articles, blogs, photos, videos, etc.

Building a strong culture with a team of dedicated internal ambassadors is influential to the success of an organization. Implementing a social media strategy can only enhance this initiative. Highlighting company outings, employee achievements/milestones, and organic moments can offer an insiders perspective of your company.

So, is social media worth it? If providing an effective channel to capture the attention of new customers, suppliers, and talent is important to you, then yes, it is.

The QR Code Train Has Left the Station

qr-code-image

It seems like the trend of the QR code died just as quickly as it started. QR code stands for Quick Response Code, however there isn’t much that is quick about it. Let’s go back to where it all started, Japan. The QR code is a two-dimensional barcode that was first designed for the automotive industry in 1994. But around six years ago they made a huge comeback and you could find them anywhere – t-shirts, books, posters – it’s a never ending list. In hindsight, you scan the barcode with an app on your smartphone and it leads you to information. In theory, this sounds like a great idea, but the aesthetics and usability seem to disagree.

Technological advancement has been a real downfall for the QR code. In order to use a QR code you would need some type of application that has the ability to read the code. Since cell phones don’t come with this application it adds extra steps for the user – go to the App Store, download the app, and then use it. In most cases it’s quicker just to type in the URL directly. Also, some QR codes send users to non-mobile optimized sites which is very counterproductive. Since QR codes made their big leap around 2010, many links have expired. An expired link just leaves you with a big ugly code on your packaging that doesn’t even work.

Many people aren’t aware of what a QR code is and what it does. Although it doesn’t seem like a daunting task to take a picture of a code and let the app take you to the website, if someone were to attempt and fail, that could be the end of their use of QR codes. According to an article by Smashbrand.com, only 15% of smartphone users know how to use a QR scanner. This doesn’t necessarily mean they are using the scanner, just that they know how to use it. The odds are not in good favor.

With QR codes you never really know where you’re going until you get there; that poses a big security problem. As the mobile market begins to pass the computer market there is much more access for hackers. It’s a scary reality because you never know where codes take you, and by scanning a malicious code, you could be putting your personal information at risk without even knowing. Typing in a URL or clicking a direct link, you can see where it’s taking you, and if something doesn’t look right, simply don’t click on it. With QR codes, however, you could be going someplace you never wanted to.

QR codes are a thing of the past and they need to stay there. Unless mobile devices are released with an integrated scanner, a new look, and better security features, the QR code train has left the station and is a one way ticket that is not coming back.

Top 5 Reasons You Should Be Blogging

The benefits of blogging go far and beyond what a single blog post can explain. It is, without a doubt, a worthwhile venture that can lead you and your company to new heights. Below you’ll find five tips to get the juices flowing and give you ammunition for backing up your desire for a company blog.

Boost Traffic

An immediate benefit for the creation of a company blog is the increase in traffic to your website. If you host your blog via an external platform such as WordPress, be sure to have several ways for readers to link back to your website. The blog header is a great place to mimic the style of your homepage, with clickable buttons that drive traffic back to your company site. You can also nudge people to your site via clever calls-to-action within paragraphs and at the end of each post.

However, a sure-fire way of driving traffic to your site is to actually host the blog on a landing page within your website. Readers already have easy access to your other core messages and will be drawn to become more informed about your company’s capabilities and differentiators. Keep in mind that each blog post you create is yet another page that is indexed within Google, which allows for an increased opportunity to show up on the first page of a Google search.

Become a Thought Leader

With each post written you further establish your niche and position yourself as a thought leader in your industry. When posts are filled with reliable and insightful information, readers will frequent your blog in search of more answers to their burning questions. Once your knowledge and expertise is firmly established in the minds of your audience, the chance of converting prospects to customers is greater.

Create a Back-and-Forth

Blogs, much like social media, are an essential tool for becoming more connected to your audience. By their nature, websites are a one-way communication channel. Blogs allow for the opportunity to actively engage in a dialogue with customers and others in the manufacturing world.

Cultivate Content

To appear more often in top pages, blogs should consist of original, relevant content that incorporates key words unique to your business. As stated above, each blog post is catalogued as a separate page in search engines, such as Google. Search engines are becoming smarter by the minute and can decipher between quality content and promotional “mumbo jumbo.” Blog posts can also be recycled; it is vital to take advantage of different social media channels by posting the link to your blog multiple times throughout a three or four week span, each time using different, intriguing title lines to entice readers to click.

Build Brand Awareness

Finally, a company blog is an excellent way to increase brand awareness! The more a prospective customer reads your content, the more they’ll associate your brand with expertise and quality. Although the time commitment needed to maintain a quality blog is a factor to consider, the benefits far outweigh the costs. Just remember: repurpose your content and position yourself as an expert in the industry. The possibilities are endless!

Walking the Talk at MAPP Benchmarking and Best Practices Conference

On October 15-17, 2014, an estimated 450 plastic professionals will descend on Indianapolis to attend the MAPP Benchmarking and Best Practices Conference. This must-attend event is where attendees will learn best practices, strategies, and tactics to further their plastics manufacturing businesses.

For Vive, this is our time to walk the talk and participate in this leading industry event to:

  • Increase brand awareness
  • Communicate our offering and what stands us apart from other marketers
  • Network with the industry
  • Introduce ourselves to our target market
  • Foster current relationships with clients.

Just like other marketing initiatives, sponsoring/exhibiting at a tradeshow is not something you do “just because.” Tradeshows are a key marketing strategy that supports brand management and business growth. To get the most of your tradeshow participation, a good plan is needed. earth map . Identify your objectives and goals. Then, be sure your pre-show, onsite, and post-show activities helps to achieve them. For example, brand awareness is a main objective of Vive at the MAPP Benchmarking and Best Practices Conference because of our recent rebrand that included a new name, logo and website. Our booth experience is planned to be a memorable and engaging experience.

Visit us in Booth 33 at the MAPP Conference to learn more on tradeshow strategy, watch for show updates on our Facebook and Twitter accounts and look for a follow-up blog on our show experience.