Franchise Business Tips

25 Business Cards Your Customers Will Keep

You’ve heard it before: “Business cards are a thing of the past.”

 

But the truth is, people are still successfully using business cards to sell, market and connect with customers and prospects. Each month we print and ship hundreds of business cards, and some are extremely creative and eye-catching.

 

The key to a good business card is creating something that sends the right message about you and your brand. Don’t just think of a business card as a means to deliver your contact information. A business card is like any other piece of marketing collateral — it conveys a brand message and helps the recipient draw conclusions about your brand.

 

A while ago we had a new client come to us wanting to create business cards in the shape of waffles, because that was their product. So we designed and produced a textured, square card that resembled a waffle, except for the delicious smell.

 

We see a lot of creative business cards like this. We also see sleek, simple and elegant designs that are just as effective.

 

Keep in mind that your business card should represent the culture of your business or brand.

 

To help get your creative juices flowing, and open your mind to the many business card possibilities, we’ve compiled a gallery 25 imaginative business cards. To view where each card originated visit the links here.

 

To work with us on your next business card project, please get in touch via the contact form below.

 

 

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5 Print projects to increase foot traffic in your store

If you have a storefront your main goal should be increasing foot traffic in your store, and one of the best ways to do that is through appealing signage and print collateral that will entice people to stop in.

Here are some effective and often overlooked print projects that can increase visitors in your store:

Take to the skies

Many times businesses fly balloons outside their stores to attract customers. Why? Because they’re inexpensive eye-catching.

You can use a printer to take this tactic to the next level. Customize the balloons with your company logo, or print information about an in-store promotion that you’re putting on. Simply having printed balloons could be enough to make people come a little closer, just to see what’s going on.

Wave them in

Branded flags and banners are another great attention grabber. They are especially useful if your store is located in a crowded strip mall.

Flags are not the most effective for foot traffic because most of the time people fail to look up while they’re shopping, which is why banners are a recommended method for guiding shoppers to your store.

Roll out the welcome mat

Most businesses don’t realize how much advertising space they’re standing on. Consdier adding stickered vinyl arrows or footprints on the sidewalk to direct them to your storefront. Tactics like this not only create a path for your shoppers, but it turns a visit to your store into an experience.

You may even want to place adhesive vinyl in your parking lot to convey a marketing message.

Window display

You can try the techniques from above, but if your windows are bare then it might undo all your hard work.

Full color posters or stickers should adorn your storefront windows. Don’t put images of your products on them when your customers can see those inside. Instead use this space to tell a story about your products. Show patrons how your products will benefit their lives.

Don’t forget the parking lot

The parking lot outside your storefront has some serious potential that you may not realize. Posting signs on the light posts or on the side of your building can be helpful in reminding patrons why they should come again.

Print these signs in full color, and don’t make them a sales pitch. Simple messages work best, like “Are you ready for Fall?” accompanied by your logo. This will stick with your customers, and they’ll know where to go for their fall supplies.

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The Art and Science of Content Marketing [Infographic]

Good content marketing requires both the creative and logical side of your brain. Small business owners and marketers must constantly consider what kind of content will evoke emotional responses to products and services, while also providing helpful and relevant information.

 

Creating this kind of content requires jumping into the shoes of your audience and buyers. Consider what they’ll feel when they consumer your content. Will this information stand out, does it tell the right story? Is it innovative and strategic? Will it contribute to lead and revenue generation?

 

We invite you to look through this great infographic from our friends at Kapost and Salesforce to give you a better idea of how to achieve a balance between art and science in you marketing content.

 

 

the art and science of content marketing Infographic

If you could use help with your franchise’s content marketing, we’d love to offer our support. Divvy specialized in creating content for all sorts of businesses, small and large.

 

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9 Tips to Help You Build Better Buyer Personas

Understanding customers can be the most difficult job for any business owner. Whether small or large, all businesses must dedicate time, effort and money to figuring out what drives their customers to engage and make purchases.

 

To help you navigate this often tedious process, try building buyer personas. Buyer personas are carefully planned and researched models of your existing customer base. Large companies can afford to spend millions of marketing dollars researching the attributes of their customer, but most businesses need to learn to do that themselves, which is why we’re offering this nine step guide to building buyer personas for your business.

Gender

As obvious as it sounds, you need to know whether your products appeal more to men or women. Are more women buying your product than men? Are they buying it for themselves, or for their spouses? Even if your product doesn’t naturally assign itself to a particular gender, you may find buying trends that are gender specific, helping your figure out a better way to market your product or service.

Age

Age is a relatively easy statistic to collect, and it’s also one of the most useful pieces of data. With age you can assume what types of values your audience identifies with, what channels they’ll be using to communicate, as well as average income and spending trends. If your product is targeted at teenagers, you’ll want to be sure you’re using digital and mobile advertising tools to reach them. If you’re selling something like hearing aids, and you know the people buying those hearing aids are elderly, advertising through the newspaper or television may be more effective for you.

Profession

Discovering a common profession among your customers is valuable. If you were a hardware store and the majority of your customers were construction workers, you would want to market to them differently than an average person buying tools for a weekend project. Professional users are looking for the best tools, while the laymen is most likely looking for the cheapest deal.

Financial situation

Understanding your target audience’s financial situation can be extremely helpful. This does not mean you need to know what your target buyer has in their checking account, but rather how much they are willing to spend. This statistic can help you drive pricing and advertising.

Purpose

Your product is the core of your marketing, so it is crucial that you understand what your customers use your product for so you can market the purpose to them. Some products have a clearly defined purpose, like shampoo, but if you sell fabric that could have multiple applications, you need to find out what your customer does with that product after they make the purchase.

Education

Understanding the education level of your ideal buyers will drive the way you market your product to them. People with more education process information differently. For instance, if you’re selling a technical software to customers with a high level of education, utilizing statistics and even jargon in your marketing message may be a good idea. If you customers tend to be less educated reviews and testimonials may work better than data in persuading them to buy.

Free time

You cannot know your buyer persona too well. Knowing their hobbies, interests, and how they spend their free time can help you integrate your product into their life.

Buying decision

To understand this attribute you need to know what influences your buyers to make a purchase. Is it the price, features, resell value? The reason your customers pay for your products is essential to create effective marketing.

Shopping habits

One last helpful bit of information is what other purchases your target customer makes. This lets you know what else they are looking for, and gives you an opportunity to fill or supplement that need.

Collecting the right kind of customer data can drastically improve your marketing and your products. If you could use help with marketing, whether it’s print, social media, digital or strategy, Divvy by Alexander’s can help. Let us know.

 

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Marketing a Franchise in Your Local Market

One of the benefits of buying a franchise is the inheritance of a strong, established brand with marketing support from an experienced corporate office. But even with the support from a franchise brand, marketing efforts that prove successful in one region or location may not work in another—which means customization and localization are extremely important.

At Divvy, we regularly consult with franchisors about providing franchisees with strongly branded marketing materials and tools, while also allowing for local customization. In many ways, corporate can and should provide a tool box, and maybe even a framework for a franchisees’ marketing, but the franchisee will find better success when they follow these marketing guidelines to help shape their own local franchise marketing:

1. Know your local market

Knowing your local market will allow you to communicate your message to them better. Say your franchise sells frozen yogurt and you’re located in a college town. You’re likely to find success through social media and mobile advertising.

If you’re running that same franchise in an old historic neighborhood with an older demographic, for example, you’ll want to test the effectiveness of print and other more traditional marketing efforts.

2. Build relationships with other local businesses and franchises

This may seem like an odd piece of advice, but other business owners have been in your shoes, trying to market and build their business within the same local area. Connecting with them on a personal basis can only bring you more valuable insight into your local market.

Your competitors may not be too keen on divulging demographic information, but other franchises or businesses in your area might be willing to shed some light on the marketing hurdles you face. Of course, knocking on doors to get a hold of the franchise owner may not work, but tapping into groups through LinkedIn or the Franchise Business Network [link to FBN Utah site] can help you reach the right people.

3. Track your efforts

You cannot measure the success of your efforts, or improve your marketing, if you don’t meticulously track your marketing efforts.

Something as simple as recording the time of day you post social content can shed light on the reach and effectiveness of your posts. If you’re making calls, record the time of day, amount of time spent on the phone, etc.

Once you’ve collected a significant amount of data, sit down with your team to discuss the information and look for behavioral trends or indicators that can help you adjust your messaging and delivery tactics.

If you could use help delivering customizable marketing collateral and tools to your franchises or business locations, please contact us. We can help.

 

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Trade Show Booth Etiquette Tips

One of Divvy and Alexander’s most popular products is the disposable trade show booth solution. Whether you’re a franchisor, franchisee or a small business vendor, you’re probably attending a few trade shows each year, which can get pretty expensive. If you’re going to spend the money on flights and registration fees, we figure you might as well make the most of your time at that convention or show—-this includes highlighting an affordable yet impressive booth. To make sure your booth is extraordinary and effective, click here.

But aside from wowing your crowd with creativity and clear messaging, you also need to present yourself well at a trade show. Your booth may attract people to your space, but you’re in charge of verbally communicating your message and closing in on leads. We’d like to share some tips in conjunction with this great infographic about trade show booth etiquette.

1. Appearance

Of course you plan on showering and ditching the flip flops when you’re on the convention floor, but planning your appearance ahead of time is crucial. You don’t want to be the guy who forgot to pack his razor, leaving you unshaven and less approachable, do you? Take a few minutes as you pack to plan your outfit and double check that you have all the hygiene and grooming items you need to present your best self to potential clients.

2. Make sure you and your staff know your brand

Hold a planning meeting the morning you and your co-workers are presenting. Make sure you and every other person on your team has a steady grasp on branding and the product or service you’re trying to sell. Make sure everyone’s message is consistent.

3. Engage people

Maintain eye contact, be confident, and exhibit enthusiasm. You want to be sure that your body language is helping your accomplish your goals. Even small things like folding your arms in front of you can prevent people from approaching you in your booth.

4. Avoid Distractions

You may have a lull in booth visitors but don’t slack off and start talking on your cell phone or with co-workers. Give off an inviting vibe at all times so that people won’t walk right past your trade show booth.

If you could use some help preparing for your next trade show, we’d love to help. We can design, print and ship your booth and any other collateral you may need.

3 Reasons your Franchise Needs More than Digital Marketing

Technology has drastically improved the way we run our businesses, allowing us to utilize digital marketing techniques, social media and other quick and innovative tools to help drive sales. But despite its success, digital marketing can’t replace important, time-tested processes of marketing. Too often people think paperless approaches will simplify and streamline their work, but we’ve found that paper and traditional marketing techniques still provide unmatched value. Here’s why:

1. Traditional marketing forces your team to dig deep

If you’re doing digital marketing the right way, you’re collecting and analyzing data, you’re planning in advance, and you’re executing according to a well devised plan. But, all too often we see companies and clients applying digital marketing techniques without any of the work required to ensure success. You can’t expect to begin posting on social media and automatically see sales rise. It doesn’t work that way for most. You can’t expect to outsource SEO and see your search rankings improve drastically. Encourage your team to work on paper, to brainstorm approaches and tactics that aren’t easily implemented. This doesn’t mean abandoning all digital approaches, but rather, take the traditional route to improve and expand your marketing process.

2. Paper is still the best tool for some jobs

Think about this–paper can’t break, run out of batteries, experience security breaches or have to be updated or upgraded. Whether we’re talking about marketing strategy reports or direct mail campaigns, don’t write paper off before you’ve weighed the value it can provide to your marketing.

3. Your target audience may not be invested in digital media

We recently worked with a client who wanted to launch a large-scale social media and digital marketing campaign. As we discussed the project in-depth, data showed us that their target market consists of women in and older age demographic, many of which aren’t active social media or Internet users. Immediately we knew that a digital marketing campaign wouldn’t render the results this client was looking for. This client needed a combination of digital and print marketing tactics to reach their goals. Be sure to gather data about your target market’s digital media usage and everyday behaviors. You may find that printed marketing pieces like mailers or magazine ads are still the most impactful way to reach your desired audience.

Divvy specializes in print and digital marketing support. For more information about our print automation services, or social media content management, please contact us. We’d love to help you create the right approach for your business.

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7 reasons to join a business networking group

In the cold winters in the Antarctic, penguins will huddle together in large groups of up to 5,000 to share body heat and keep each other alive.  Those that get separated from the group in the extreme cold can freeze and die if conditions are bad enough. By unifying and working together they are better off than if they try to fend for themselves.

Owning and operating a business is like being a penguin the Antarctic. A business owner can choose to be completely independent from those around him, or he can choose to be part of the community he’s involved with and succeed together with the other businesses around him.

When you join a business networking group you’re unifying with other penguins—it allows you an opportunity to join forces with like-minded individuals who are seeking the same goals you are. In this case though, it’s creating a successful business venture rather than freezing.

Groups come in all shapes and sizes. You can find one that fits with what you need, whether a business organization, a professionals association, a community service club or a contact network. Here are the top reasons to join one:

1. Stay on the cutting edge of your field.

Networking group meetings often involve trainings, presentations or lectures from experts about specific aspects of your field. Seeing and hearing about them in a setting with other professionals will give you the opportunity to learn about changes and trends before it’s too late. By asking questions and understanding the new developments that arise in your industry, you’ll receive an informal type of continuing education to help your business thrive.

2. Find people who can support you.

Being in a business organization instantly creates a sense of comradery that can lend itself well to finding people who are willing to help you with things you can’t do yourself.

3. Have customers sent your way.

When those who you’ve met and networked with come in contact with someone who is looking for a product you deliver, they’re more likely to recommend you because they have a personal relationship with you, which gives you a leg up on your competition.

4. Credibility.

Being involved in your industry will give you credibility with your customers, partners, investors and suppliers. If they know you are dedicated enough to your craft or industry to get involved outside of your own venture, they’ll be able to detect your ability to innovate and grow with them as a client.

5. Membership benefits.

Oftentimes those involved in a business group will offer discounts, coupons, swag or other perks to members of the group as a way to unify and foster good relationships within the organization.

6. Exposure for your company through sponsorship.

Networking groups are often looking for sponsors to support and maintain the group. In return they offer exposure for the brand before, during and after the event. Using these events to show off your brand to thought leaders will spread your brand message farther than you could do on your own. For example, Divvy sponsors a local Franchise Business Network. Not only does this allow our team to meet people in the industry, all event information comes from our reps, and all signage includes our logo, exposing us to a more targeted audience.

7. Contribute to industry/community.

Those involved in business networking groups are often those who are making a difference in their industry. They are thought leaders who look for solutions and ways to improve what already exists. Being involved with that will give you an opportunity to make a difference and give back to your community.

In whatever organization you may join, remember that it’s called networking because it’s work. Talk to others, join the conversation and spread your brand message to others to really get the most out of your membership. To join into our network, send us a message and we’ll be happy to start a conversation.

 

Franchise event printing and signage

Have you ever hosted a conference or annual meeting for your franchisees? Have you attended a franchise conference as a franchisor?

No doubt the answer to one or both of those questions is yes. And no doubt, as soon as you committed to the conference, your mind turned to what to do about your exhibit booth.

At that moment everything from the booth design and décor to what promotional items to hand out, and even how to market to conference attendees, began racing through your mind.

We know. We’ve been there, and we’ve done that.

The good news is the team at Divvy by Alexander’s has exhibited at so many International Franchise Association conferences (not to mention all the other conferences and trade shows we support working in tandem with our clients), that we’ve pinned down just what needs to be done, and when.

The rest of the good news is that our team can pretty much produce in-house anything you might need for an event. Everything from booth design and production to signs and banners, fliers, brochures, table tents and x-stands are in our bailiwick.
You can check out our disposable, easy to set-up (and even easier to walk-away-from) trade show exhibition solution: the Booth-in-a-Box.

As a seasoned franchise supplier and with print industry roots that go back to 1979, we can handle any event large format sign items right from our 45,000 square foot print and marketing production and fulfillment facility in Lindon, Utah.

We can also help you with promotional giveaways like printed notebooks, logoed pens and other conference swag.

And, using our cross-media marketing campaign software, we can help you plan and implement a pre-, during and post-show campaign to reach out to other conference attendees and encourage them to visit your booth and/or be entered into a giveaway. These event campaigns utilize direct mail, email, text messaging and even social media to help you be top-of-mind at the conference.

So, whatever your trade show or event print and marketing needs are, the Divvy by Alexander’s team can help make it happen.

If you’ve got an event coming up and would like to talk about trade show event and support solutions, please contact us.

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Why your franchise needs a marketing plan

You may receive marketing support from the corporate franchise marketing team, but having your own marketing plan for your franchise location is a key factor in your success.

Most successful businesses have a clear idea of customer demographics, products, services and pricing. As a franchisee, much of this knowledge may drive your everyday business interactions and tasks. But do you have key information mapped out and written down to help you and your team stay on track? That’s where a marketing plan can help.

An effective marketing plan includes background information on your business and your customers. In fact, market research should drive your entire plan, providing you with relevant data that will help you solve marketing problems and grow your business in ways that you hadn’t seen or anticipated.

There are a number of ways to conduct market research, whether it’s online surveys, focus groups, or online analytics. Consider which options will provide the most insight to help you drive your franchise marketing.

Once you have gathered the necessary information about your target audience you should meet with you team to organize and strategize. There are countless marketing plan templates online to help you organize your thoughts on paper.

Just be sure that your franchise marketing plan reflects the big picture, charts success, tracks costs, measures value, and becomes a living document that you can build on.

If you need help with your marketing plan, or could use any marketing support, please let us know. We’d be happy to help.