Archive for the ‘Branding Essentials’ Category
Why did you start your business?
“Out of a love for creativity & providing services that net results,” notes Omaha Marketer Susan Stern on why she launched her own business. Susan brings to the table more than a decade combined in network/affiliate TV/Radio News as a reporter/producer/anchor. She offers in-depth experience in corporate copywriting, event planning, web content and video production. Susan Stern has tangled in all aspects of broadcasting, from news to commercial. She knows public relations, SEO, on and offline marketing, website design & more.
What makes you different than other similar businesses in your community?
Omaha Marketer Susan Stern, who manages accounts herself, offers a myriad of on and offline services keeping costs affordable for small and medium-sized businesses. Stern PR constantly expands service offerings based on customer need, an evolving internet industry combined with a commitment by Susan Stern to educate herself on new techniques involving graphic design, website design, photography, videography, search engine marketing and more. Quality work, creativity & affordable prices - are Stern PR commitments and client valued. Several commercial customers turn to Susan Stern to handle their own – family-related event planning including postcard/online invitations, photography, video montages and slide shows.
What do you like most about your community?
Based on a vibrant Omaha business community, Stern PR understands that there are countless opportunities to manage accounts within the Omaha metro-area. For one, new companies constantly emerge, and/or, existing ones seek effective internet marketing strategies. Many family-owned companies choose Stern PR because clients deal directly with Susan Stern, rather than a handful of individuals within a large organization. ”I handle tasks myself. My clients appreciate the personalized service that I offer. I’ll do whatever it takes to get the job done right!” A one person firm translates into affordability.
To learn how Stern PR can catapult your business to new levels, contact Susan Stern today! 402-212-7489
(Omaha, NE) — Omaha-area businesses hoping to expand their marketing mix should jump onboard – rather, jump online – with a custom-made video commercial & SEO submission by Stern PR™. Video SEO is an under-utilized marketing strategy capable of leapfrogging your company ahead of your competitors. Most companies remain completely unaware of the power of internet video marketing SEO. In fact, in 2009, Stern PR™ discovered this powerful tool - ahead of the masses. “My advice to most business owners is to hire me to produce a quality web video commercial, as well as handle the search engine optimization.”
Industry analysts predict that the web video market will grow exponentially in 2010 – as more Americans, an estimated 60%, use search engines before purchasing a product or service. Here in Omaha, Marketer Susan Stern of www.sternpr4less.com - helps businesses reach sales goals via search engine optimization of quality video spots on the airwaves well beyond youtube.com. Notes Susan, “My Omaha clients come to me for high quality creative videos & SEO – minus the high price tag.”
The internet marketing video Stern PR™ produces is sent out in mass to countless video sites utilizing keywords and tags.”So, when someone does a Google search for your product or service, your video ranks high.
Stern PR’s™ signature-style Omaha video production – which she custom tailors to your business – may be embedded on your website or blog. No website? Stern PR will produce a simple, no nonsense landing page for your Omaha business, complete with a lead generator/contact form. See www.home1roofing.com or www.mrgranite.biz
Contact Omaha Marketer Susan Stern, 402-212-7489. Contact Susan Stern Now!
Stern PR’s™ Latest Video. Client: All Clear Windows – Omaha
By Susan L. Stern
Q. Does someone who runs a small business need a logo?
A. Branding is fundamental whether you run a large, medium or small organization, including a home-based business. You need to differentiate yourself from your competitor. For that reason, without question, you need to have a brand identity! Of course, a logo plays a vital role – in creating a unique brand identity for your business. Additionally, a business logo makes you recognizable to customers. The goal is…for instant recognition of your business, name-branding, building & maintenance.
Q. How soon should a new business start using a logo?
A. Technically, you should secure a professionally designed logo - before you start your business. However, it can be done backasswords, although it’s not recommended. For those who’ve already launched their business with a half-baked logo, the time is now to hire a professional designer, or your make-shift logo and the image it represents may deter potential customers from doing business with you.
Take note. If you’re budget is tight, spare the money to invest in a logo early on, and then add branding items as you build. Word of advice. Don’t buy logo-creation software – to do-it-yourself. Besides looking unremarkably chincy, you’ll end up with a logo in limited formats. So, you’ll see pixels when you try to stretch it to a banner size, for instance.
Q. What are some design considerations Stern PR keeps in mind while creating a logo?
A. Stern PR uses the KISS formula (Keep It Simple Stupid) as a first consideration – in logo design. In addition, it should portray the right message of your business with iconic representation. Fonts and colors should be easily recognizable. Your logo should look great in black and white too.
Q. What format should my logo be in?
A. Vector based images, made up of a set of mathematical equations (format file extensions including EPS, AI, SWF (flash animation) should be the starting point of any logo design process. A vector image can be scaled, re-sized and rotated without loss of quality. So, your logo will not pixelate or appear fuzzy on an outdoor banner for example. Vector file formats are as follows: EPS, AI, JPG, PNG and GIF.
Q. What other formats should I get?
A. Beside EPS format of your logo, your designer should provide you with pixel (raster) based versions of your logo including JPG, PNG, GIF. Of all three, PNG and GIF are ideal for logos, offering solid, contiguous colours without ringing, boxing or blurring. Plus, both formats support saving your logo with a transparent background, which is required for your logo to appear on a colored website background – without a white box. JPG’s are primarily used for photographs.
Here are the recommended formats and versions – that your logo designer should supply you:
– A greyscale (halftone) logo version.
– A Black and White Linear version – best for fax cover sheets, low resolution
– An EPS Version
– A GIF or PNG Version
– Your Logo in PDF
Learn more about how up-and-coming Omaha graphic designer Susan Stern can create an affordable logo for your company. Click Here…
Update: Over the past year 2009-2010, Stern PR™ has found several online printers with great prices, great products & excellent customer service. Namely, www.smartpress.com, www.123print.com, www.overnightprints.com among several others.
(Omaha, NE) — This marketing practitioner is – FED UP - with low-quality, promise-me-the-world online printers who guarantee delivery, but don’t deliver on time nor produce quality product. Those who tack on unneccessary “art” fees. Printers who don’t proof. Ug. Standard stuff. Some online printers – shall suffice. But for the bulky promotional stuff – I go local, local, local.
THE WORST: Full Color America, Check Inn Company of America, LLC., Printing error on bizcards due to failure on their part to properly communicate regarding Proof 2. Reprinted 500 cards incorrectly in November 2008. A total of 1,000 incorrect cards. I placed a stern order re-do request in January 2009. The manager David York claimed he would reprint the product, but he never did. Con job? Maybe. fullcoloramerica.com a.k.a., Check Inn Company of America – no good!
AVERAGE PRINTER: - vistaprint.com - No proofing for any of their products via printing dept. I sent them a high-quality CMYK colored vector graphic bizcard, yet they produced different colors. The bizcards had a white trim cut – that was not cool, nor my fault. Magnets – cheap and off-color. The pen I ordered was a mess, with logo layer mushed into the phone number. UPDATE: However, I ordered labels with my logo on it, and they arrived on-time and the colors turned out perfectly. I may give this low-cost printer another try especially for a client with an extremely small budget. On the plus side, depending on how you view it, expect loads of email offers. 2009 UPDATE: vistaprint.com redeemed itself on several occasions, printing great quality postcard mailers & 3-fold brochures at low prices. If you ask customer service via telephone, you can negotiate discount rates, as I successfully did on several occasions. There is alot of wiggle room on prices.
GOOD BUT PRICEY: nationalpen.com - This online printer redeemed itself after making a few mistakes with my order, but the company made good later. My first complaint is that they failed to pass on artwork to the Printing Dept. for several days after the order was placed. Their excuse - ”we don’t guarantee a delivery date.” Yet their website claims delivery will occur within 7-10 days. Then, via email they stated 15 days. Inconsistency. I encountered poor “customer service.” I received unprofessional, snide/rude comments via email. I CANCELLED THE ORDER. Of course, I sent them a note…reminding them that they need to improve their public relations skills, & remove extraneous “art work charges for graphic design that I provided them, and refrain from making promises – that they can’t keep. Update - Despite cancelling the entire order – they sent/billed me 150 pens. That I did not authorize. However, I ended up needing them for a client’s business fair. Everything worked out. The pens turned out GREAT. I may reconsider doing more business w/National Pen due to its ease of uploading art work online, provided that I place the order weeks in advance of deadline. Jan. ’09 Update: They periodically send me free pens with my logo on it – without charge. Impressive. I may give them another chance, especially after talking to others who have had “a lot of luck” with nationalpen.com. Advice: order earlier than your deadline, to make certain delivery is per client specifications. April ’09 Update: nationalpen.com periodically sends me free merchandise with my company logo on it including a metal key chain & several pens. Wow! Nice customer relations. Yes, I may do business with nationalpen.com again. February 2010 Update: Customer service communicated well with me when I placed an extensive order. However, they attached several unnecessary “art set up fees” which made zero sense since I created my designs -ready for print. Secondly, prices seemed high and it took several days of communicating back-and-forth combined with firmness on my part – to get the order placed. Thirdly, they kept sending me an invoice for product that was paid-in-full. So, I wasted valuable time sorting it all out.
GREAT SO FAR: PSPrint.com. They actually called to alert me to a low-resolution logo. EXCELLENT Customer Service! Standard stuff that most online printers - don’t bother to do, namely the sometimes mediocre printer - vistaprint.com. Another positive review is 123print.com. Decent bizcard product - a low price. Problem – their high-end bizcard w/ UV coating is thin and not premium, as claimed . Yet, they deliver product – on time. However, there are no weekend deliveries. So an order on Wed. may not arrive ’til Monday.
GREAT – International Minute Press @ 76th & Cass- a local printer in Omaha. A salesman friend of mine referred this company to me based on a contact made at a tips group in Omaha. Despite my tight deadline obstacle, IMP came through great. On two occasions, I ordered several hundred ice scrapers & pens. The owner, Tom, took his time to communicate with me, sending me prompt email quotes, as well as offering me imput on the quality of the product I ordered. I shall return to International Minute Press.
USE ONLY IN A PINCH. Fed Ex Kinkos. Horrible initially – No Printing Proofing. Yet Excellent Re-Do Efforts - U must see the proofs yourself! Email or fax proofs generally DO NOT DO, from my experience. Namely, 140th and West Center Road, Omaha, NE Fed Ex (Kinkos - name dropped - buyout transition.) On several occasions, I experienced no printer proofing – on their end including Misaligned copy. But, on a POSITIVE NOTE, at the drop of a hat, they’ll reprint 4 free the documents that they goofed up. However, u must schlep over there & dictate fixes. Price tends to be higher than most local & online printers. UPDATE: If you’re pinched for time, FED EX is an ideal local printer. If you are printing for a school or other non-profit, even if you don’t have an account, you can negotiate an inexpensive price. UPDATE: FED EX has redeemed itself after continued use by me. I purchased an oversized photograph print, and while it was 2 times more expensive compared to an online printer that I use, the turn-around time was near immediate unlike the online printer which would take a week to ship.
Summary: Oh my goodness. The hassles. The headaches. The stress 4 me. Sooner or later – I will find the best printer/printers 4 – my clients.Keeping them happy with high quality product- my top goals, as is saving clients money!
May 2010 Update: By far, www.smartpress.com out of Minnesota is one of my favorite printers. The firm offers a designer’s discount, and high quality oversized postcard mailers at a significantly reduced rate compared to other printers. I am completely impressed. In fact, the staff there even initiated a conference call with me to discuss a quote, to express their appreciation of my business, and to explain how their system runs. WOW! Very professional.
Editor’s Note: The Headline, “Problematic Printers – A P.R. Practitioner’s Predicament is an alliteration. Webster’s Defined: the repetition of usually initial consonant sounds in two or more neighboring words or syllables.