Small Dog Creative

    Four Reasons that Branding is Important For Small Businesses

    Many small business owners may not think much about branding. They may simply start a business and go on their way. Some people don’t even name their business before they start looking for clients. Some businesses are so small that they never even get a catchy logo or slogan....

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    2 Common Mistakes To Avoid With Small Business Branding

    Aside from a viable business plan and adequate finances lined up to sustain early business growth, one of most important elements of your new business that can shape the future of your success is your small business' branding....

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    Small Business Branding: A Foundational Key To Success

    One of the most important components of a successful small business is an effective small business branding strategy. Yet, precious few small business owners consider it at the outset. Maybe that's why so many startups fail within the first three years....

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    Is Personal Branding Dead?

    The End of an Era?...

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    The Perils of Social Media - McDonald's Twitter Campaign Backfires

     Social media doesn't always work in your favor. McDonalds learned a harsh lesson on Twitter recently......

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    Websites Then & Now: Mac

    Ready for a flash back? Our Then & Now series takes a look at how far we have really come. We check out websites from the past and their current designs. Take the opportunity to compare your site to our examples... is it more then than now? This week we are checking out a company that sets the bar pretty high for design... Apple. But, as nice and glossy as their site looks now, it didn't always look that way. They have come along way from this screen shot that was taken in 1998 (that's 13 years ago). I'm sure it was pretty high tech at the time, but now it's pretty elementary in comparison to what we are used to seeing. Check out this one from January 2011... Much cleaner, sleeker and... yes wider, than it's predecessor.  Mac has always had a clean site, but the new one uses space smarter, and incorporates texture into the design. Mac was also still sporting it's old rainbow logo at the time of the old screen shot, now color is reserved for their products. If you visit the Mac site frequently you will also notice, that they change out their homepage at least daily, some times more often. Check out their site today....

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    Are You Guilty of Website Neglect?

    You wouldn’t let the sign fall off your building, or keep last month’s sale sign in the front window. So don’t neglect your online storefront either. Your website, just like every other part of your business, needs attention and up-keep to stay up-to-date and to keep bringing customers in the door. You may be guilty of website neglect if you can answer NO to any of the following questions:...

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    I Hate Bland Corporate Email Addresses!

    I hate bland corporate email addresses... You've seen them info@, billing@, customerservice@ email addresses. They are impersonal and they bore me to tears. I don't know about you, but when I'm writing to, I don't feel like I am actually reaching a real person, and I have no confidence that my email will be answered or even read. I think we could do with a little more creativity in this department. How about theteam@, or awesomeservice@, or weloveyourmoney@, or answers@, or wecare@... Anything would be better than the same old email addresses. It would bring a smile to your customer's face and confidence that their question, issue, or problem might actually get solved. So next time you are coming up with your next generic email address, please take 5 minutes and come up with an address worth emailing to. P.s. If you are still using an earthlink, gmail, aol, or anything but your domain as your business email address you need to switch immediately! Give us a call and we'll get you setup with a proper business email account....

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    Why Your Marketing Should Offend Someone

    Too many small businesses play it safe with their marketing and branding. Branding themselves in the comfortable neutral instead of taking a risk. If people do not have a strong reaction to your brand and marketing than you are committing the worst marketing sin... Being unmemorable. Whether positive or negative strong messages leave us interested in what is being sold, and playing it safe by marketing to everyone usually means boring messages with little results.  So step outside of your safe zone on your next campaign, and go bold. You won't please everyone but you will stand out from the crowd, and be remembered....

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    Is Your Business Like a Buffet?

    Many new businesses start by offering as many products or services as they can. Freelancers and contractors are particularly guilty of this. It is tempting, it might seem obvious that the more services and products you can provide the more customers you can bring in. But if I have learned anything from marketing it is that 'common-sense' can often take you down the wrong path. You might think that giving your customers as many options as possible will bring the most customers in the door. But in reality, it doesn't....

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    A Tale of Two Coffees

    So I sat down to my desk for the first time after a few days vacation and started reading my email. I took a big sip of my morning coffee and was horrified at the taste. I had grabbed the cup I left on my desk from before I left. The cups were identical thermal mugs so I had no warning that what I was about to drink was more than a few days old. This got me thinking about reprints. Yep, everything in my world leads back to marketing. There is reprinting a brochure because you underestimated the demand; and then there is reprinting a brochure years later with a few updates because you don't want to pay for a redesign. The former is a good problem to have, but the later is like serving your customers week-old coffee... it is going to leave a bad taste in their mouth. They might not spit it out immediately, but they will recognize that something isn't quite right about it....

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