A LOGO DESIGN MUST BETTER BE AS GOOD AS THE BRAND ITSELF

Imagine an apple with an eaten bite. What does your mind tell you?

Apple, of course!

Not the fruit but the California-based tech company. Nothing can beat the force of strong identification with the most simple and impactful logo design. Be it Nike’s swoosh or the Starbucks mermaid — millions are spent on building that one symbol of representation.  This begs the question – why is a logo so important to brand-building?

The straight answer is — the returns on investment (RoI) in this case cannot be calculated in terms of just revenue. The market response, especially from consumers who yet haven’t begun to do not use your product – is also an important determinant of the success of a logo design. Think Twitter’s blue bird; MacDonald’s yellow, slightly curved M; Coca Cola’s red and white theme – all are icons synonymous with the brand.

Essentially in corporate terms, a logo is an intangible business asset. It is thus very important that you choose an apt visual that rings in the right brand chemistry. The first impression, even prior to using your product is the customer’s contact with your logo. The brand’s integrity, values, proposition, dreams, and story — everything about your brand must therefore be concentrated around this one logo. In essence, it’s an art of communication, sans words.

Stand Apart

A smiling Italian looking chef, carrying a pizza on a tray is done to death. If you are a pizza place, don’t play safe. Choose not to follow the herd, be courageous, and be unique in order to cut through the clutter. A bear in the jungle does not directly connect to an investment advisory. A case in point – Bear Creek Capital. It does a tremendous job with a traditional logo. Midnight Pizza’s logo – inspired by the image of a howling wolf at dusk fall does the trick. We all suffer hunger pangs in the dead of the night!

Study your competition. Avoid overlapping design with feel. “When a lot of research and details go in knowing the competitors, it will be reflected in the way you create your logo,” says Michael Crawford in a thought piece for Design Hill, an ezine for graphic designers.

A Badge of Existence 

As one design wag puts it, “A logo doesn’t sell (directly), it identifies.” Once a customer has interacted with your brand, through a website, on social media or during an impulse purchase, he/she will feel compelled to look at your logo.

The consumer will identify with the representation, if not overnight, at least gradually and the purpose is served. The design may not be in your face or loud. But it must still say all that it has to. It must be meaningful to the customer, and nothing complex would work. It must have an image that the consumer can pick on and take home.

“Logos help to create a unique identity for your brand.” Mirko Disidoro, a logo designer in First Impressions Last: The Importance of a Memorable Brand Logo, that appeared in Twago, an online job portal for freelancers. The colours, shape, font and everything else must talk your brand attributes.

Hot tip: A logo doesn’t have to be super direct. So if you are a chain of restaurants, you may not necessarily have a food item in your logo design.

Now let’s figure why logo design is important.

Of First Impressions!

The aesthetics cannot be compromised as it’s your ticket to the consumer’s heart. In the consumer world of shortening attention spans, a brand has a tiny fraction of time – barely two seconds to grab your customer’s attention. A strong logo can do it, provided it intrigues. A good design will create immediate interest.

A study done by the Helsinki Institute for Information Technology discovered that the first affirmative encounter with a brand goes a long way in cementing the relationship. Later, they would redeem all fault lines also.

Tweaking with the product price, as a change strategy can have dangerous fall-outs. But done carefully, a logo overhaul can be a very promising strategy to re-vitalise a brand, around which consumer interest has begun to wane, for whatever reason.

Professional But Consumer-Friendly Vibe

The logo should proclaim, “I am business” or “we are here to help.” The proclamation should ring true and register. , should also be registered. Take for instance The General Electronics logo. Since 1892 it has not changed. It has GE written in an ornate font, with curved ends. The no-fuss, no-frills brand that GE is, is reflected in this logo. The metaphor, created with the base of Art Nouveau motifs, draws a parallel with the spinning of a washing machine’s drums. Till date, a washing machine is the brand’s biggest revenue grosser. The point is driven home by Alexander Lewin, in his article.

Quality, reliability and trust — if these three factors are conveyed in your logo, the battle is won. Consumers like to associate with brands that come armed with a compelling logo design.

A Sense of Belongingness

Customers will whole-heartedly use a brand’s merchandise if it conveys purpose and usefulness through its logo. Logo-embossed branded stickers, T- shirts, jackets – will all find easy takers to further promote your brand. The consumer will proudly brandish your merchandise. A Harley Davidson jacket, a refrigerator sticker bearing an Apple logo – you will find them on cars, books, almost everywhere. BMW does not sell clothes, but there is a loyal set of customers who love flaunting their six pack body in a T-shirt with BMW logo.  This is promotion without actually being in the promotional zone.

A final tip – there may be a hundred logos that inspire you, creating an instant urge to imitate. But don’t do it, warns Gaurav Tiwari in Logo Design : Golden Rules to Create Logos That Grab Attention. Seek truth, salience and farsightedness. Build a design that defines your brand and no one else. Its pat you.

Finally, choose a logo design company in India that not just has a deep sense of aesthetics, but also the vision to do your BrandSpeak.

This Content Taken From Litmusbranding.com

 

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14 BEST WOOCOMMERCE PLUGINS FOR YOUR STORE

Can you beat that! ……Three million and still counting ……. To be precise, 2,241,106 websites assembled on the WooCommerce plugin for WordPress. As opposed to even the abundantly-increasing, Shopify’s number, 369,625. Hands down, WooCommerce’s figures are the highest and that too with a bang! as compared to any standalone plugin. Figures are super awesome for a fairly young business entity. It took off on 27th April 2011 as WordPress introduced it as a plugin crafted specifically for small, large and medium ecommerce businesses.

The reason for massive use and instant liking of this plugin lies in its easy implementation and adaptability that makes it tailor-made for customer use. Other factors for its huge popularity are fluidity and free base product established on WordPress, the open source ecommerce program that has it all.

Creating new websites or setting up a new ecommerce store, whatever it is, best WooCommerce plugins are available for all to use. For the businessman, WooCommerce is ideal as it puts you in complete charge of your online store. Developers benefit too, as they can have extensions and these flawlessly gel with WordPress.

These days, hundreds of extensions for WooCommerce are in the market to add maximum tasks with compatibility to the principal software. Additionally, there is help for all kinds of ecommerce functions, such as marketing, listing the shipping FAQs and also time conservation while getting your sales tax numbers right.

Take your pick from these chosen best WooCommerce plugins and extensions. Make your WooCommerce store the workable best, the list below will help you in taking the plunge.

  1. YITH WooCommerce Wishlist

The YITH WooCommerce Wishlist is one of the most powerful tools for an ecommerce outlet. WooCommerce helps you add a Wishlist option to your online outlet. The shopper can quickly make a note of the selected product with a click of a button with the Wishlist component, which can be highlighted as one of the best WooCommerce plugins available. It not only enhances your sale via organised shopping, it also makes the options conveniently sharable. They create a Wishlist and pass on to their friends and acquaintances without a fuss. This will also be indirect publicity for the shop’s best products and in turn your venture. Click here to know how the YITH WooCommerce Wishlist works.

  1. Option Monster

The strongest conversion software in today’s scenarios is the Option Monster. The website visitors can easily be converted to subscribers and shoot up the numbers of email listings. What makes Option Monster, one of the best WooCommerce plugins is a component called Exit-intent. Its savvy technology looking over visitor behaviour before popping the right campaign at the right time in front of their eyes, just as they are about to leave the website. In many cases, this curbs the tendency of cart abandonment.

“If you’re serious about growing your email list and boosting sales, then you need this conversion optimization toolkit, states the author of a Wpbegineer article, 21+ Best Free WooCommerce Plugins for Your Store (2019). Wpbegineer is a WordPress resource site for newbies. This is the best WooCommerce filter plugin, which selects the stream of buyers for your further use.

  1. YITH WooCommerce Ajax Search

Search tabs are one of the crucial features for a website setup. For all ecommerce stores this is a fundamental feature since buyers usually search their requirements rather than hunt down from the entire product catalogue. The YTH WooCommerce Ajax Search is easy to apply and position as well. It is the best WooCommerce search plugin, to know more click your way ahead.

  1. WooCommerce Product Gift Wrap and Ultimate Gift Card plugin

The WooCommerce product gift wrap plugin adds an option to the settings, whereby you can add a message to your gift. The cost of the wrap will get added to the final cost of the product. A Gift Card plugin will allow the customer choose a gift card for their loved ones. The seller can offer various amounts and categories within this plugin. As the customer purchases any gift card, the dedicated amount will be billed in the final purchase. One can also send the gift card as per the date assigned by the customer. Effective, easy and thoughtful, these two are among the best WooCommerce plugins available.

  1. YITH WooCommerce Compare

The name is self-explanatory. The YITH WooCommerce Compare enables the consumer to compare two and more WooCommerce items at a time. The seller can decide which product fields the consumer can see while they are comparing your product with your competitor. This speciality makes YITH WooCommerce Compare one of the best WooCommerce plugin options. Please click to view other information. It is the best WooCommerce filter plugin.

  1. WooCommerce PDF Invoices and WooCommerce PDF Vouchers

The WooCommerce PDF Invoices plugin can speedily initiate automated PDF invoices. In the next step it is attached to the email type of your choice. It works well with Google Drive, Drop Box, Egnyte and One Drive. Similarly, the WooCommerce PDF Vouchers plugin helps your ecommerce website generate special PDF vouchers, discount coupons with codes and more. For the seller the PDF voucher has easy drag and drop options, selection of suitable products, export reports and a secure and methodical procedure to generate vouchers.

  1. Woo Commerce Advanced Bulk Edit

WooCommerce Advanced Bulk Edit works behind-the-scenes. It provides support to the crucial backend functions, it helps you create new products, delete and even duplicate. This plugin has 44 built in applications which can be searched and edited as well. It largely serves the stock management function. The edit and search options are very powerful, one can easily track a bunch of products based on size, price and other variants. Other product fields included would be quantity, market price, regular price, SKU, weight and so on. One of the best WooCommerce search plugin variable.

  1. MailChimp for WooCommerce

MailChimp is the most accepted email marketing solution in the business. MailChimp official plugin extension for WooCommerce which amalgamates the email marketing zone into your ecommerce website. Once installed and activated on your WooCommerce website, it extracts purchase information of your customers based on which you can send relevant email to your audience. For more details please read this piece.

  1. Woo Commerce Order Tracker

Customers can easily track their orders after the online purchase procedure. It is a smart way to communicate transparently with your customer. Third party integration such as FedEx and Canada Post is available and more are expected in near future. The merchant can also enable email notifications so that the customer is updated with the where abouts of the product during delivery. Various types of templates with various arrangements are available as to this regard, where a merchant can choose the best suitable one. This is the best WooCommerce plugins since you can create a bespoke version for your website. This is also the best shipping plugin for WooCommerce.

  1. Woo Commerce Multistep Checkout Wizard

As per Baymard Institute, 27% of buyers leave their carts halfway through because of a tedious and confusing checkout process. WooCommerce Multistep Checkout Wizard helps the seller build a checkout wizard as one can divide the default WooCommerce checkout page into parts. Thus, making it easy for the consumer to sail through it. The seller can pick layout style, horizontal or vertical.

  1. YITH WooCommerce Quick View

Quick view is one of the smartest features, it helps the customer have a quick look at the product they like. A small window will appear on the page, buyer can check the details and continue. The customer is not expected to compulsorily go to a new page or move down to check the details. The sale exercise is still in line, there is no break. Check out the description here.

  1. Woo commerce dynamic pricing & discounts

As a smart seller you can test the waters with different pricing options under WooCommerce dynamic pricing. You will know what price brings out the best bargain for the customer and also suits your business pocket. So, one can set up loyalty pricing and member pricing, promotional and discount pricing and more.

  1. WooCommerce Collections

This plugin aids the seller to integrate and create collections as per consumer preferences after a peep into the customer’s searches. Thus, it helps the merchant to understand the customer needs in a clearer and better form and work it out accordingly.

 WooCommerce Social Login

The WooCommerce Social Login is a catalyst to help the seller curate a fuss free registration process. With a click this domain connects to Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo and so on. The check-out process is super simple as the customer has to just login through their social account. The registration is simple as well because once the customer chooses the social media option of their liking, existing information is used for registration. Great relief for the buyer leading no cart abandonment due to lengthy processing. A win win situation for both parties.

This seems like an exhaustive list down…but it is not! ……. For instance, there are more check out addons available here. These are the most popular and in demand features enlisted here for you to choose the most compatible ones for your ecommerce website.

 

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HOW PACKAGING INFLUENCES CONSUMER BEHAVIOR TO GENERATE MORE ROI

They say the first impression is often the last impression. This is certainly true with product packaging. You cannot judge of the exact quality of the contents from its packaging but there is no denying that you can still get a fairly good idea of it. That’s what makes it a very powerful branding tool. Attractive packaging design will draw consumer’s interest at the Point of Sale (POS) and he/she will feel inspired to buy it.

The Color Connection

#Yojoki, a Japanese tea company is a fitting case in point. Their teabags come packed in an intricately-painted paper box, which is very Zen-like. The floral patterns are very minimalistic, like the Japanese Haikus and immediately evoke feelings of relaxation.

The whole concept looks elegant, and is not just a wrap but a value-add to the brand perception of a hi-end tea.

The same effect can be seen in the packaging of premium bean-to-bar chocolate brand #ManosdeCacao. Mexico-based agency Anagrama combined handmade textures with a vibrant colour palette and clean layouts to give a sophisticated look and feel to the brand, besides “evoking an appropriately organic undertone,” observes Jane Porter, a guest writer for Entrepreneur.

Image source: Heydesign.com

“Small companies may lack the marketing dollars and visibility of larger brands, but they can still stand out on the shelf by thinking outside the box—literally,” she says.

An important aspect to remember is that the elements of brand identity, graphics and color palette should remain uniform and consistent for strong recall. For instance, the moment you spot a red with a white swirl, you know its Coca Cola. Likewise, colour purple is instantly associated with Brand Cadbury. These brand-specific elements are what differentiate one product from another.

They all convey a subliminal message that is instantly recognizable for the target customer. Indeed, the use of a particular colour, should be driven by a marketing logic. For instance, bright colors attract children and neutral shades draw luxury buyers. Colour green or blue are a hot favorite with the health and wellness industry.

Brand Positioning 

Image Source: Instagram

#FatBastard doesn’t really come across as the name of a fancy French wine. Yet it was strategically used with a cool packaging design to appear provocative to the American consumer and the gambit paid off with the result that today it captures 10 percent of the French wine market in the U.S.

 

Image Source: Subpop.com

Likewise music company Sub Pop Records got Jonatha n Daly, a fine artist to create an album cover for comedian Eugene Mirman that simply stood out in the clutter, which broke all records and became sort of embolic for the Indie music market.

Packaging in fact is the easiest way to stand out in a crowd, before making a differentiated offering, launching a new product or making a different kind of a marketing stir. It creates an instance bond with the consumer and clearly communicates the brand positioning. Done consistently, it establishes the identity of an iconic brand.

“Positioning is primarily about being able to maintain a consistent perception and image for the brand in the hearts and minds of the consumer,” writes a blogger for Johns Byrne, an agency that specializes in packaging design.

Packaging Clever Messaging

You may wonder what does a toothpaste brand have to do a pizza brand? Advertising Agency Y&R once designed Colgate-branded boxes for late night pizza deliveries for Colgate Max Night to remind customers to brush their teeth after tucking in the pizza. Did the message go home? It sure did.

Image Source: Adsoftheworld.com

Conveying Product Process

Packaging can also be used to convey a very quality-conscious process used in making an end product. A third-generation family enterprise Hardy specializes in smoked salmon. Their packaging is designed to convey how the smoking process is slow and deliberate. It cannot be rushed, or the product won’t taste the same. The design conveys how from salting to smoking, each stage of the process is executed to perfection, leading to the idea of Hardy ‘Smoked Masterpieces’ as the brand’s tagline.

Image Source: Theinspirationgrid.com 

Perceived Value of the product

Pricing can also be deftly used to convey the transactional value of a product, whether its premium or mass. “Your design should be aligned with your price positioning: it should tell the consumer what the product is worth,” says a blogger for Ninja outreach, citing the case of an expensive wine bottle, where price tagging is all that one has to do to convey brand premium-ness, essentially because “Perceived value is what consumers think the product is worth to them.”

As a concept ‘perceived value’ has a lot of meaning in the luxury selling, which is all about making the customer feel ‘rich’ and good about their purchases, and stir up a huge “emotional surplus” in them, after the purchase is made.

Conveying Excitement

According to a report conducted by the American Psychological Association, a first impression is formed within 39 milliseconds of a brand encounter. This could be the reason why one of the world’s best brands, .#Apple works so hard on developing striking “unboxing” experiences, say earmarking a space at the physical store where customers can rejoice in the unwrapping of a newly-bought product. Imagine one of them feeling so excited as to later post a YouTube video on the “unboxing” experience. Believe it or not, the frequency of posting such videos, with “unboxing” in their titles has gone up by almost 871% in recent years.

Just type in “iPhone unboxing,” and up will get at least a half million hits!

Finally, let’s not forget that packaging is all about working the consumer cognitives through design. The more you understand your consumer, the better your packaging will be.

All Right Reserved By Litmus Branding.

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8 POWERFUL GLOBAL BRANDING STRATEGIES TO EMERGE AS AN INTERNATIONAL BRAND

Austrian company #Red Bull does such a great job with global branding that many Americans assume it’s a local brand and no one can fault that.

Ditto can be said about #Airbnb, founded in 2008 in San Francisco, California. Today #Airb is the world’s fastest-expanding marketplace with a live directory listing of 1,500,000+ shared properties in 34,000+ cities and growing, worldwide.

Guess, what’s responsible for this wild fire growth of #Airb – Social media.

Another case-in-point – #DunkinDonuts. The brand boasts of over outside of the U.S. not just on the strength of its lip-smashingly good menu but also the creative way in which it has bent backwards to satisfy the sweet palate of its global customers.

Likewise, #Rezdy is an Australian-based marketplace that makes online hotel booking easy and simple for tourists and agents, across the world. Click on the screenshot to check out this fun video on Rezdy’s homepage: https://vimeo.com/45680094.

This begs the question – Is a marketing strategy really necessary for your global expansion plan? A campaign that is very effective in India, will the same communication also work for the US audience?

The answer is a resounding YES. This blog examines why it’s important to create a global marketing strategy for your business, no matter what size it is and what are the advantages of doing so. But first let’s agree on what is a #globalbrand.

A #globalbrand is a brand with a consistent identity across markets. This identity can be in the form of a name, a logo, a tagline, or a combination of all these identity attributes that differentiates it from competitors. Think Apple. Think Google, Coca-Cola or IBM. Once a universal identity is made, the rest comes easy. There is social media to make it viral and popular among discerning consumers, in any nook or corner of the world.

Nowadays, social media interactions allow consumers to shape a brand fast (and take it global) by their matter of opinions and demand for the product, leaving you with less and less control over how your brand transcends borders.”Borders are collapsing,” declared Julia Neznanova, the founder of Hakka Labs, a content platform for data scientists and engineers to a gathering in New York City, recently.

Benefits of Global Branding
There are numerous advantages to putting your well-loved domestic brand on the global market, such as:

  • Economies of scale in in terms of both production &distribution
  • Lower marketing costs
  • Laying the groundwork for future extensions worldwide
  • Consistent brand imagery across the globe
  • Quick to market innovations
  • The opportunity to pre-empt local competition and knock you out of other lucrative markets
  • Increasing international media reach with the internet as an enabler
  • Increases exposure to a popular brand with increased movement of consumers across geographic borders

How to Build a Corporate Brand

There is no foolproof formula, but there are certain time-tested strategies that have worked for certain companies in the past. Distribution – how to reach the audience – obviously poses the biggest challenge. Here brands can help themselves by commissioning a thorough research with a local partner on the target consumer’s geography, age, hobbies, and other demographics for the correct brand positioning.

A case in point is that of Starbucks. With some 20,000 stores in 63 countries, the world’s most popular coffee maker has spread its reach from Brazil to China, even in countries like India, where an average consumer was conventionally a tea drinker.

The magic lay in serving the global tea brand with a twist of the local flavor. Exactly the strategy adopted by McDonald, Burger King and so many others. Without losing brand consistency, they made global, local, i.e. glocal.

Thanks to the widespread use of the latest technology tools and the internet, consumers around the world now have an almost equal access to the same ideas, aspirations and lifestyle changes, effectively converting into global consumer trends and demands.

This presents immense growth opportunities to businesses looking to take their successful brands to markets abroad. But the biggest challenge lies in understanding the cultural nuances and its impact on media consuming habits across regional markets.Here is how to get started:

  1. Understand Customer Behavior 

Kahn In her book, Global Brand Power (Wharton Digital Press, 2013), cites Walmart’s mistake in choosing sites in China that fell close to business parks where consumers go for work not pleasure. What a massive blunder! The company should have chosen residential sites. “It’s astonishing how many retailers haven’t made it because they haven’t studied how consumers shop,” wrote the author.

  1. Build a Strong, Consistent Brand Culture

Even if you are going to market to a global audience, put in place brand guidelines that would consistently apply to all locations, so there is no dilution in your brand equity. Historically brands that do well in other markets do so, on the strength of their own, strong intrinsic culture. Think #Louis Vuitton. Think #Rolls-Royce. They are not just talking visuals. They talk strong brand attributes. “Your brand identity projects your personality your culture and determines customers’ perception of who you are. It defines your value proposition and has the power to turn occasional browsers into lifelong loyalists,” writes one expert.

  1. Go Borderless With Your Communication

With the glut of digital platforms now available at the strike of a mouse, it is no longer possible for brands to adopt different brand strategies for different countries. They are thus compelled to have a more universal approach.

“Marketers need to rethink the term “glocal”, explains Publicis Modem’s Tony Effik to MarketingWeek. Theodore Levitt’s “think global, act local” slogan doesn’t work in a digital age in the same way,” he argues. “The way we do global campaigns had to change because digital doesn’t respect borders, particularly now with social media. What we’re finding is that as content moves across borders, brand stories are crossing over internationally,” he said.

  1. Be An Insider, as well as, An Outsider

Cultural mores and practices vary dramatically from market to market. In South Korea, new mothers rest at home for at least 100 days after giving birth. In China, the grandparents move in with the young parents for at least the first three years, while in some European countries parents won’t wash their child’s hair if he/she has caught a cold. Marketers selling to these set of consumers must know their cultural practices or they won’t be able to sell so effectively, writes the author of Branding Strategy Insider. Review your strategy both from the inside-out for a successful launch.

  1. Develop Both a Micro and a Macro Perspective

Even search giant #Google didn’t foresee the exponential growth of the internet and has eventually lost the race to home-grown competitor Baidu. #Flipkart is giving #Amazon a run for its money in India, while #Ola is giving a tough match to #Uber.  #Google is now applying the China lesson to India with the recent launch of its Android operating system and apps (#YouTube) for countries with slow browsing speeds.

  1. Know Local Cultural Nuances Like the Back of Your Hand

The #Parintins Folklore Festival is one of Brazil’s big ticket annual events. It pits two local teams, blue and red in an interesting completion – re-telling folk stories in vibrant carnival-style format, featuring dancing, singing and parade floats. The festival is so popular, and the competition so fierce, that the main sponsor, #Coca-Cola, specially produces red and blue colored cans for the event and goes laughing all the way to the bank.

  1. Know What Your Brand Translates Into

Once, a French cheese brand #Kiri had to change its name to Kibi in Iran because the name connotes “rotten” in the local language and going with that name would have spelled a disaster for the popular cheese brand.

  1. Leverage Technology

In today’s time and age, can any brand last without an aggressive use of technology? Unilever for instance has tied up with Percolate, a company specializing in marketing software to support the FMCG giant’s global brand management practices. Most other companies use other kinds of Customer Relationship Management (CRM), identity, licensing and activation systems — licensed or picked off-the-shelf — to drive their marketing efforts and achieve global scalability.

 

 

All Rights Reserved By Litmus Branding.

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13 REASONS FOR CHOOSING MAGENTO FOR YOUR ECOMMERCE STORE

Today as you read this, recent figures state that above 1 million sites are being designed on Magento. It covers but not limited to, sites for business, shopping, technology and automobiles. In other words, over 9,000 websites use Magento, according to a recent article published by an IT company, Elsner Technologies Pvt Ltd. What’s more, prominent Fortune 500 companies such as Harpers Bazar, Olympus, Fiji Water and Nike use Magento as their Content Management System.

The reasons are not difficult to guess. In this blog, we will enumerate a few Magento benefits to make it more credible:

  1. Why Choose Magento for Sales?

Magneto has been conceptualised and created specifically for the sales department. This is one of the most unique Magento benefits. Unique because in other Content Management Systems (CMS) the ecommerce function is just an add-on. Magento makes this feature so user-friendly; it often leads to increased conversions and sales.

Indeed the segmented make of Magento enables sellers to identify customers with one click, and access their cart and buying history. This makes it easy for site mangers to push highly customised content through this platform to target users. Even the promotional content – the advertisements – on your website can also be tailor-made, along with custom coupons. Making a compelling argument in support, why use Magento.

The software also has an in-built provision to let customers make product recommendations, upsells particular items on the check out or the product page. Magneto pitching in as a member of the sales team enables the seller to suggest related products to the consumers. This clearly fills in one of the important reasons for Magento’s booming popularity. This clearly fills in one of the important spots explaining why choose Magento for ecommerce plus sale.

  1. Highly Modular; Gives Full Control

Designed on Zend Framework, it’s possible for developers to expand and extend the platform to other product categories.  In the expansion process, it works in tandem with the requirements of each and every merchant. Authorising third party amalgamations, Magento gives an online shop extended space for mergers. In this way, Magento benefits business owners of all kinds, each offering something unique. Stores can customize its features as per their portfolio. Third party integrations come inclusive of major web applications and most importantly, the payment gateways. Various themes are available for the seller to pick and choose from. The templates can be customized keeping in mind the target customer and the brand itself.

  1. Extensions and Functionality

The extensions come in the form of phone apps that are small code pieces that can easily be added to Magento. These codes empower it to something out of the box. Some of the popular Magento extensions are ‘one page check out’, display options like a grid and list view with default functionality. Some of these extensions are for free and some payable. A retailer can always find something which fits in with his earmarked budget. Magento extensions, are key to Magento benefits as it gives a lot of flexibility and choice to the developer and the retail brand. Again, confirming the reason as to why choose Magento for ecommerce. In order to make the most effective use of the retail website and develop it whichever way you want.

  1. Open Source

The site owners and developers have access to the source code, resulting in complete freedom and flexibility. They can transform the functions of their site as per their requirements to create whatever they envision, provided they have the technical skills for it. In business language however this means that developers can supervise and control stuff like –how the information is being processed in the retailer’s site, how it displays it and so on. With Magento retailers have hundred percent control on design and logic flow on each page. One of the Magento benefits for experienced coders is that open source platforms are free, so they need only some extra server space and time to build this site.

  1. Scalable

Magento is highly scalable, meaning with the right hardware and configuration; it can support both small and big enterprises. For instance, if a retailer’s site suddenly experiences increased traffic, he or she can easily add more back up servers on Magento. Other platforms may not be able to take that kind of pressure so easily. This could lead to site crashing, slow page loading and loss of business.  The scale is another addition in the list of Magento benefits. Since it will handle growth and volume successfully.

  1. Specialized for e-commerce

Magento has been in-built capability for ecommerce. Unlike Word Press, where you have to additionally install BigCommerce capability, Magento is exclusively used for B2B and B2C shipping. Kamlesh.R in his write up, Magento Vs Others: Way to Choose Right E-commerce Platform for your Online Retail Website lists down big global brands that have thrived on Mgento:

  • Hermès of Paris in 27 countries
  • Nescafe in 62 countries
  • Dyson in 15 countries
  • Special T by Nestle in 10 countries
  • Guthy | Renker 8 brands in 9 countries
  • Vans in 10 countries
  • Kipling in 9 countries
  • Eastpark in 13 countries
  • 7FAM in 17 countries

Thus withstanding, why choose Magento for ecommerce.

  1. Safer, more secure upgrades and payment processing

It comes with secured authorization, SSL certificate. A secured authorization, SSL certificate has been obtained as a precaution. One of the exclusive Magento benefits, is that it’s difficult to hack. Other platforms, such as Word Press and Core PHP are less secure in comparison. In contrast, the Magento web development is safe for the consumer and the seller alike.

  1. SEO-Optimized

Another valid reason as to why use Magento is, that it has in-built SEO feature. By default, it generates results that are search engine optimized. The loading speed of any ecommerce store with Magento is super-fast. Why choose Magento here apart from the speed is that pages look good as well. The superb quality being the reason.

  1. Mobile-friendly

Phone shopping has become extremely common today. Supporting the whole lot of There are numerous extensions available for making Magento mobile-friendly. What’s more, the mobile displays come pixel perfect. A quick loading web page directly implies, why use Magneto. Looking at this feature in the bigger picture, Magneto benefits the sales and business revenues.

In the final run, it also implies a highly customer-centric shopping experience with a built-in user-friendly flow.

  1. Multi-lingual and multi-currency

This one of its kind Magento benefits emphasises as to why use Magento. As a global platform it has added many languages to itself. Consequently, it supports multi-currency transactions, which is not a small benefit. Holding a major market share in ecommerce, as it is used by retailers across the world. It stands proved why use Magento for ecommerce.

  1. Powerful e-commerce management framework

A fully functional ecommerce is possible without appending other ecommerce extensions/plug ins or modules. Easy customization from a developer’s point of view is one of the important Magneto benefits to talk about. A single admin option takes care of product category, product creation, tags and SEO management.

Acquaint Softtech, a web development and designing house mentions in its article, 5 Best Ecommerce Framework For E-store Development 2019 that Magneto is a PHP-based framework that depends on MVC. MVC stands for Model View Controller, a tool responsible for security management. The simplicity of management explains, why choose Magneto for ecommerce.

  1. Brilliant Catalog-Management

Easy Catalog-Management with simple import and export features, wherein all products can be assigned a unique SKU makes it easy for the developer to exclusively manage a product. Different products are ‘shoppable’ or downloadable. Choices like group products, configurable products etc., is also possible.

Bambora, a web development agency states in Magento Vs. Shopify: Which Platform is Better for ecommerce?, that Magento benefits built in, advanced upselling and wish listing. In Shopify these options are available as paid versions.

  1. Supportive Community

Last but not the least, the Magento community comprising of users, developers and service providers is huge and very resourceful in providing technical support to new users. The more experienced among them are always willing to troubleshoot. This could be a time saver for a new user. Best of all, Magento is free and self-hosted, and so are its many extensions. This offers the in-tune users a cost-free experience and overcome several roadblocks on their way to developing their first e-commerce site.

Apart from the above-mentioned Magento benefits including flexibility, scale, cost effectiveness there is more factual evidence. Below are a few figures that will make you practically understand, why choose Magento over other options. As published by Briteskies, a company that specialises in designs, e-commerce and integration services. Magento is currently being:

  • Used by 240,000+ businesses worldwide (including Vizio, Rosetta Stone, Saraiva, Athlete’s Foot, Ford, Cardinal Health, and many more).
  • The top eCommerce platform used for responsive design – 34% Alexa 1 million.
  • The first choice for 1 of every 4 online merchant sites.

 

Blog Taken Form Litmus Branding — All Rights Reserved By Litmus Branding.

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#CREATIVITY IN A WORKPLACE – WHY AND HOW?

#Apple is considered to be synonymous with #creativity. With its “Think Different” ideology, it has nudged others, including its competitors, to do the same. While the #Apple logo oozes #creativity, its actions too are in sync with its #creativity ideology.

#Apple’s belief in #creativity has reached such proportions that it has topped the list of “Most Innovative Companies” published by #Boston Consulting Group 11 years in a row! #Apple is known more for its innovation and design than for its technology.

Another inspiring case is that of #Google. By inviting speakers ranging from authors to musicians like #Lady Gaga, #Google Talks exhibits that it has realized the importance of #creativity in workplace. These speakers are not from the technology field, nor do they know what is #Google currently working on. But they have a clear aim in mind – instill the spark of #creativity in the team’s mind, thus encouraging them to think differently.

Even #IMB, which is considered as one of the most conventional and traditional company, sees merit in brainstorming and also knows the advantages of #creativity in a business environment. The company hosts jam events for its employees, where they are encouraged to present their creative ideas. #IBM’s belief in the such sessions is so strong that it once conducted a mega-brainstorming session for over 150,000 people across 100 countries.

Bozeman, MT based pet product maker #West Paw encourages all its employees to participate in designing prototypes for its new products. Under its Ambassador Program, every year for a period of three months 3Ziba sends its employees to different ‘tribes’ (teams) to understand specialties of all the team members. They get to experience different kind of work and new skills. They believe that diversity brings in a different perspective. This enables the team to understand the various elements of the business in a better way.   

Steve Jobs once said “#Creativity is just connecting things, this is mostly right. However, If I had to iterate on this (as many designers are known to), I would say that ‘#Creativity is connecting the ‘right’ things’”.

Today’s organisations value the importance of collaboration and understand the importance of #creativity at a workplace.  While there are those business owners and managers who offer ‘thinking out of the box’. For some it is mere lip service, it still remains as a popular fact of life. For the rest, ‘thinking out of the box’ is one of the basic reasons for their success.

However, understanding this fact and fostering it are two different things.

Value of #creativity in workplace from Award Winning Companies

  • If #creativity is fostered, employees feel that their voices are heard and not silenced under the guise of policy or management. Infact, increased freedom and empowerment increases employee confidence and morale greatly.
  • The sense of safety and well-being in employees improves.
  • Cohesion in teams improves morale, making the culture more fun, happy and relaxed for employees.
  • #Creativity fosters the spirit to seek multiple options, in the employee’s mind and encourages them to search for better business solutions.
  • Successful cultures result in successful businesses. In order to flourish, it also requires creative evolution that grows with the business. With #creativity in its culture, no business will fail.
  • No sooner the brain starts to think outside the box, the possibilities are limitless.

While maximum productivity is obtained in a business by building certain level of built-in routine, this in no way is an excuse for not fostering creative fun at work. Tech giant Hewlett-Packard, has roped in Trey McIntyre Project, a dance troupe to perform and then interact with the HP employees, as per CNN business. Peter Drucker once said “The business enterprise has two—and only two—basic functions: marketing and innovation.” So where does #creativity come into this? It is right there, when you get rid of all the bells and whistles, ‘innovation is the real #creativity.’

Innovation enables organizations to survive by providing agility and flexibility. The question now is, how can one increase innovation in an organization?  

Ideas to extract advantages of #creativity in business by nurturing creative thinking at an individual employee level and also across the organization.

  • Inculcate a culture of continuous learning. If the creative levels are not refilled continuously, the pool will dry out. Organisations must encourage its employees to search for newer ways of doing their work, search for new information and knowledge on a continuous basis.
  • Develop a habit of encouraging multiple options and never be happy with just one.
  • Don’t reach conclusions immediately. Discuss ideas.
  • Encourage smaller groups to engage in creative thinking, during lunch breaks or on weekly / monthly basis.
  • Help employees stationed at one place for a longer period, due to their nature of work to meet employees.
  • Take breaks at regular intervals. Human brain is one of the most active organs. Just like machine parts, brain too needs some off time too. Thus, avoiding breakdowns. This will boost productivity, energy levels and foster #creativity.
  • Work on the culture. Various studies indicate that the environment that is most conducive to #creativity is where fun, playfulness, humor and spontaneity thrive.

 

Through this piece, I would like to tell you the story of a small organization, our organization! I personally believe that the work atmosphere should be such that employees feel empowered and liberated all the time. While there are certain conditions that hold us back, but wherever possible, we try and let the employees take a call on issues that trouble them. We at Litmus, realize the importance of #creativity in workplace. We have still not reached our destination. We are sincerely trying to walk towards that direction. As an organization we are growing in number, expanding our scale, launching new projects, conducting various experiments. The set of our satisfied clients is increasing steadily and so is their business. All these are signs, that we are on the right track and the destination is getting nearer each day.

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SIMPLICITY…. IS IT REALLY THAT SIMPLE?

Learn everything about Making it #DesignSimple.

‘Simple’, in the context of design, does it really exist? Or is it merely a mind concept? “Design is so simple. That’s why it is so complicated” once said the legendary Paul Rand, American graphic designer and art director.

This brings us to the question – what does ‘Simple’ mean in the language of design? When designers use the word ‘simple’, they mean something insanely easy to use or is pleasing or easy on the eye.

It could be anything, a corporate identity or a dress design. To elaborate what Paul Rand stated, creating simplicity is a complex process. As a designer, I believe simplicity is the peak for design creativity. My contemporaries collectively agree and propagate ‘this’ idea of simple.

The significance of this discussion rests on the fact the word ‘simple’ is used in the presence of investors and colleagues. They wouldn’t know exactly what it implies in the context of the customer or user experience.

This again brings us to the starting point of our discussion – What does ‘simple’ stand for exactly?

Let’s, crack the code then!

You ask any designer who uses an iPhone and he/she will throw it up as a classic example of simplicity. Here we are relating to #DesignSimple, catering to the simplicity in design of a product or system. I disagree to this point of view.  The functions which iPhone handles, say audio, visual and connectivity as a unit on a cloud, in my opinion is not that simple. It’s not #DesignSimple for sure. Taking into account the usage as well, it is a constant learning experience. If used in this context the term is only a tag.

Getting closer to the other aspect here, the performance of product implies user experience. Now, something has to look pretty and also serve its function. Connecting to another Paul Rand quote here, “Simplicity is not the goal. It is the by-product of a good idea and modest expectations.” For instance, if we talk about #Google, the worldwide user-friendly interface. No submit or enter button, no feeling lucky or no advertisements. Nonetheless the web application behind this interface is definitely not simple. This we can safely term as ‘good simplicity’.

‘Good Simplicity’ restricts the user input and increase its value. In the input side of the #Googlesearchbar you type a few characters and you get a list of the most relevant output in good number. In #Twitter you enter around 140 characters on the handle and is received by all the people who care to know about that subject.

#iPadNano is the most apt example for less is more, for me. Though it is not in the market anymore. Nano used the fundamental shapes – one circle and two rectangles. Only a logo of #Apple adorns the player and a wheel for user interface. The idea here is to extract the relevant and create more with less. An intelligent design with a smart approach. As a designer your goal is to incorporate the vital inputs and play with the white space to create a #DesignSimple product. The challenge here is, if an important feature looks crappy, your job is to make it look good. “Creating simplicity is, as it turns out, pretty complex.” confirms Dan Saffer, a designer who often gives talks on this subject.

Quoting Michelangelo, sculptor, painter, architect, poet and most importantly a prominent developer of Western art: “What one takes most pains to do, should look as if it had been thrown off quickly, almost without effort. Take infinite pains to make something that looks effortless.” Holding on to this piece of advice from this artist who has been labelled as ‘greatest artist of his lifetime’, by fellow legends.

How do we go about following this advice? First, you have to be acquainted with the uses of the product. As per, Emanuele Milella Daily who writes design news, inspiration and deals for Prototypr. “Knowing the product’s value and the user’s needs is the first and most important step before knowing what and whom to focus on.”

Understanding how a system operates would serve the basic purpose, suggests Jurgen Appelo in his popular blog for NOOP.NL, that has been running since 2008. He should know. He has been counted as a successful entrepreneur in the list of Top 50 leadership experts by Inc.com and has appeared on #TEDTalk.

Study the product or system and pick the essentials. Scrap the rest. A fine balance has to be achieved. Factually, as a designer it would be a task to know the absolute functioning. Here we bring in clarity, know what you have to, ‘crystal clear’. In the end, your design chops will generate simple out of complex. Make it #DesignSimple.

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DO I NEED TO HIRE A PROFESSIONAL #BRANDINGAGENCY?

“The three most important words in differentiating your brand: focus, focus and focus” said Marty Neumeier. The statement comes from a credible authority – an American author and public speaker on everything related to branding, design, innovation, and creativity.

Consider how a thirty-second ad campaign, “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” by Wieden+Kennedy created nineteen years ago gave Old Spice the platform to present itself as the Numero Uno male grooming brand. The message got carried across – loud and clear through every video, commercial, tagline, Facebook update, tweet, and a brand (Old Spice) was born.

Another iconic brand like #CocaCola works round the clock to maintain its formidable brand identity. There came a time, when #CocaCola profits and market share fell substantially below #Pepsi’s, demanding an extensive and elaborate rebranding exercise. The gambit paid out, and today #Coca Cola has cornered 42% of the soft drink market, with #Pepsi lagging behind at 30%, claims SurveyMonkey.com.

How did it happen?

With the help of a #ProfessionalBrandingAgency. Period. The process of putting across the story of your brand or company requires the right skills and talent. And doing it constantly – forever is not a mean feat. Forever? As a company grows, the business goes, and along with it, the need grows for the market to know about your new offerings. A constant reminder of what your business is about. This need is more acute in the case of start-ups, where you have absolutely no legacy and you are building a brand from the scratch.

Businesses and brands that are able to outsmart competition know the value of well-planned and well-placed branding strategies. A mobile app or a good-looking website are just a scratch on the surface, there is much more effort that goes into it.

A #professionalbrandingexercise aims to let a customer know that he or she is very important to the brand. And why not? If you are in the business it’s because of your customer. A good brand custodian will delve deep in understanding the true articulated or unarticulated needs of your customer. He or she will then create and test the proposed branding strategies and if they work, communicate it to the world. To bet, the entire process is much more complicated than it appears.

How? Wait, we will figure out

After studying your business verticals, a brand agency will figure out who can it put in charge of your business, branding strategy, digital/design and communication. Simply put, it will have a brand consultant, advisor or a planner in place over your account.

Imagine a #DesignAgency and a #BrandConsultancy working as a team for you. Would that be better, or should you have them work independent of each other? What would make more sense for you? A start-to-finish model or difference service providers, supervised by your brand manager?

A single agency model might work better if your business domains are interlinked and together strike the right balance. A stand-alone good #DesignAgency could deliver the goods, but for a well-articulated and well-researched brand exercise, we would recommend a #BrandingAgency that does all.

“Any decent design agency should possess some degree of strategic thinking, this will usually underpin their design ethos and rationale,” says John Taylor, a creative director with London-headquartered Better Brand Agency. Of course, eventually your strategic needs may go well beyond that. Hiring a #BrandingAgency is therefore a smart decision for any company.

Experts contend that branding is layered, sculpted, tested, and a reflection of what your customer needs from you — not what you need from your customer. The right branding professionals will be able to hone in on what you need to convey to the general public in order to garner their trust,” As Marla Tabaka of Inc. argues, “Customers don’t remain loyal to a brand just because your product or service meets their needs. They want more than that.” What this “something extra’ is your #BrandingAgency should be able to help you identify without a hassle.

“The whole reason behind building a brand is to take your business to the next level and have people know what you are about and what you can offer them,” says an expert at hubspot.

A convincing branding will talk about the complete eco system of the company. But before that, as a business, you need to ask yourself:

  • What is the purpose of my business other than making money?
  • What is my company’s mission, vision and core values?
  • Who is my target audience? Why should they trust me?
  • What is my brand’s optimal market position?
  • What is the value-add that my brand is making to my customer’s life?
  • What is my brand essentially about?

Branding defines your company at its most fundamental level and you will understand this better by answering these questions. A #BrandingAgency will then extract its brief from your answers and make the process of branding your business easy.

An outsider’s take

Brands with a unique vision always look for a sounding board which would provide it with genuine inputs. A branding agency can easily fill that vacuum. In its professional capacity it will bounce back the right ideas avoiding any ego-boosting trips, which should be good for your brand. Your marketing head can trust their advice on face value.

Tried and tested

Pick a #BrandingAgency with a solid track record. That has worked with other established brands and also in other industries. You definitely need to bank upon experience.  The experience it has gained with different brands at various points in their journey will be a value-add to your brand. Before hiring a marketing or branding agency, you will need to do your homework. “Finding out the success rate a marketing company has had with other businesses is essential and will help you make the right decision about which one to hire with ease,” says an expert at Emotive Brand, a San Francisco-based brand strategy firm.

A holistic picture

A #BrandingAgency would be in a position to see your brand as it stands in the market. It will know where you fit it into the bigger picture. Taking into consideration all the big and small aspects, it would then be able to craft a unique identity for your brand.

Sustainable brand management

This is a one-time investment worth making only if you are looking at making a long-term relationship with your #BrandingAgency. It must not be a pre-launch or rebranding engagement. You must be able to rely on your #BrandingAgency at the later stages of your growth as a brand, as well.

A creatively infused, strategic, and flexible branding process can only be achieved with the help of a good #BrandingAgency. So, do your research well and ask for referrals in order to zero in on the right-fit agency. After that, set realistic targets for what you exactly want from your #BrandingAgency. Later, measure your expectations against the delivered outcomes, periodically during review meetings.

 

Data Taken Form Litmus Branding All Right Reserved By Litmus Branding.

 

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