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5 ‌Critical‌ ‌Marketing‌ ‌Strategies‌ ‌for‌ ‌Product‌ ‌Promotions‌

May
29, 2021

5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Whether you own a small or large company, effective marketing is critical for product promotions. Apart from creating brand awareness and loyalty, communicating the benefits of your products, both new and old, should take up the bulk of your marketing strategy. Here’s how to create product promotions that sell.Product promotion and marketing strategyWhat exactly is effective marketing for products?If your product promotions make an impact, your customers should understand what differentiates your product from the competition’s, know the features of the product that make it useful to them, understand how the product benefits them and feel more brand loyalty.Ultimately, the best way to promote products is to adjust your marketing strategy to your target market. What channels do they frequent? What does their behavior look like online? Once you have the research down, promote across multiple channels and cross-promote to ensure cohesive and consistent messaging.Related: Push Your Product, Not the PromotionMarketing strategies for product promotionInfluencer marketingInfluencer marketing uses endorsements from online personalities to spread awareness about your product or brand. It’s successful because it allows you to reach specific niches in which the influencer is considered a trusted expert. The influencer is already engaged with the audience you’re aiming to reach, so he or she is more likely to be open to your product promotions. For example, Tom’s of Maine wanted to increase brand and product awareness for their all-natural products. They used influencer marketing, targeting micro-influencers to spread awareness across all platforms. Micro-influencers encouraged their followers to share about the brand, which snowballed into reaching 4.4 million potential customers.With influencer marketing, you’ll need to research which influencers are within your budget and have access to your target market. You should vet them to ensure that they have engagement on their social media, checking that their content aligns with your brand. Audience size isn’t all that matters — sometimes a smaller audience means stronger engagement. Once you find an influencer, set a budget and reach out to them via direct message or look for a business inquiries email in their bio. Be sure to set forth clear, organized goals for the best results.Run a contest on social mediaGiveaways are a simple and fun way to make your new product exciting for your customers. Giveaways are especially effective on Facebook: On average, contests bring in 34 percent of new customers. Whether you choose to run the contest on Facebook or another platform, you should advertise it across all of your social media as well as on your website, blog and email newsletters. This will drive traffic for you.For the contest itself, set parameters to gain further reach. Entries should include follows, likes, comments and tagging friends.Related: 28 High-ROI Ideas for Promoting Your Product on FacebookOffer a preview to loyal customersYour most loyal customers are most likely to purchase your new product, but they’re also most likely to share it with their friends. Offer them a preview of your new product by having a launch event (in person or virtual), a demo or tour, or by sending them free product in exchange for feedback. Americans actually value word of mouth over social-media recommendations by 41 percent, so this is an extremely effective way to promote a product.Email marketingNote that 76 percent of email subscribers report making purchases because of a marketing email, and the ROI for marketing emails can be as high as 4,400 percent. Take advantage of your existing email list and use it for product promotion. Build up anticipation with a campaign leading up to launch day or make it a primary focus of a newsletter.Related: How Many Email Marketing Campaigns Should I Send a Month?Use Google My BusinessIf you have a Google Business profile, you should be utilizing Google My Business to control what people see when they google you by promoting your product. In the GMB dashboard, select the “Posts” tab. From here, you can create a “What’s New” post to advertise your product. These expire every seven days, so be sure to time it around your product launch or repost it again once it’s expired. Separately, you can also share an “Offer” from the Posts tab and set a timeline so you don’t have to worry about taking the ad down. This is an excellent way to advertise introductory offers.To get the most from your GMB profile, add posts, photos, products and services, and FAQs. A completely filled-in profile shows your customers that you’re a legitimate business and helps to optimize your profile. Product promotion is a key part of your marketing strategy. When done properly, across multiple channels with cohesive messaging, you’ll see large returns. Don’t stick to just one marketing strategy — implement several, be consistent, and the results will follow. 

3 Growth Strategies Small Businesses Can Learn From Google

May
29, 2021

5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

When it comes to running a small business, you have to do much of the legwork yourself. For better or worse, you are the master of your fate, and the success of your organization lives and dies depending your ability to make strategic growth decisions.You may own a small business now, but planning for long-term growth means considering the possibility that you will not always be a small business. With the correct planning and execution, the entrepreneurial seed you plant today could grow into the multinational conglomerate of tomorrow. To plan for successful growth on that scale, it helps to look to the shoulders of other giants who began as small businesses.One especially ubiquitous small-business-turned-next-generation superstar is Google. Combined with its parent company, Alphabet, Google is worth an estimated $1 trillion. The company is so influential that the term “Google” is now a verb in the dictionary.If you’re a small business owner looking to emulate the success of Google and other major growth-oriented companies, the following three tips will help your business replicate the Google playbook to achieve growth, attract investment and foster organizational success. Related: Learn These 10 Essential Growth Skills1. Differentiate, differentiate, differentiateBefore you can sail off into the sunset with a small business idea that will net you millions, you need an idea. But not just any idea. It would help if you had a business model that stands out from competitors for offering something others are not.Think about Google. It’s certainly not the only search algorithm out there. Other big names in the industry include Bing, Yahoo!, Ecosia, Ask, and many others. At the same time, none of these companies do what Google does nearly as well. That’s because Google differentiates itself with a search algorithm that is constantly learning, evolving and growing. Its goal is simple: to provide users with the absolute best results instead of the most results.Google’s playbook is about quality, not quantity. As such, they become rewarded for their attention to a market need that improves lives and solves problems for billions of people every single day.Like Google, your product (and the very nature of your business) does not have to be entirely new. What’s important is that you develop an aspect of your business that is new. Instead of simply replicating previously successful businesses, create elements of a new model that will anticipate a market need that does not currently exist. If you can do this, you’ll be on the path toward steady growth in no time. Related: Use These Growth Strategies to Build a 6-Figure Business2. Expand into new areasGoogle’s parent company, Alphabet, is spread across a variety of industries and owns some surprisingly big names: YouTube, the GPS app Waze, the exercising wearable textile brand Fitbit and more.The aforementioned is an integral part of any business playbook model. As an entrepreneur, it’s important not to put all of your eggs in one basket. If your small business revolves around a single product, business model or selling strategy, what will you do when the market need for that product, model or process stagnates?Unfortunately, this is how many businesses fail. Startups that receive angel investment with hopes of turning their idea into a budding national company often flounder after spending all of their funds on a single, unattractive business model. Instead of relying on one vision or strategy, consider diversifying your business and solving a host of needs for your specific audience.Google isn’t the only player that knows the value of expanding. Amazon began as a bookselling outlet, and Uber was not always a food-delivery service. Elon Musk started as the creator of PayPal — now his space exploration company has its sights set on Mars.When it comes to running a small business, no dream of expansion is too big. In truth, expanding when the time is right is quite possibly the best thing you can do for yourself and your business. Related: 4 Mindset and Growth Strategies to Help You Grow Your Business Revenue3. Excel at your market nicheGoogle knows that diversification and expansion are essential. Still, it never loses sight of its actual value as a business: providing top-notch search results for countless people every day.The point of expansion and diversification is to safeguard yourself against the potential of an idea that does not pan out. However, once you’ve found an idea that does work and you connect with an audience that wants more of it, it’s essential to hone in your niche and become a top market player.Becoming the best at what you do takes time, practice, investment and innovation. It’s probably the most rigid tip to replicate, and it’s not a “get rich quick” scheme. Simultaneously, if you pay attention to your craft, focus on building your business and create a business model that genuinely excels, you’ll set yourself up for positive growth in both the short and long term.The biggest takeaway for entrepreneurs itching to replicate the growth strategies of Google is simple: Growth is all about learning. The more you study the growth patterns and systems of market giants like Google, the more prepared you will be when your business is ready for its next growth spurt. By differentiating your business model, expanding into new markets and excelling at the services and goods you provide, your business seed will grow wonderfully — and profitably.

4 Powerful Brand Secrets I Learned Working With Disney

May
29, 2021

5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

My name is Devan Leos. I started working with Disney in 2010 when I was just a child. In 2013, I got signed on to work for a large production, which allowed me to work with the marketing, PR and executive divisions of Disney. While doing so, I learned some precious lessons that would change my life in business forever.1. Complete brand awarenessWhile this seems like a no-brainer for any business or brand, sometimes it isn’t. Disney is extremely conscious of its brand. It knows what type of people they are looking to target. It knows the exact audience it has, which includes age groups and gender groups. It knows what kind of audience it will entertain, and it knows exactly what type of brand it has.Sometimes many businesses and brands get lost in the marketing element, not knowing who will respond to their product or who their audience is. But that leads us to our next point.2. Expertly-branded and crafted marketing and PR campaignsWith complete brand awareness comes the knowledge of what your clients might expect from you. For instance, you will probably never see Disney advertising with adult film celebrities because its audience is primarily kids and teenagers. If we take a closer look, Disney is constantly working with various charities, education programs and the like, which coincides with the family-friendly brand it has established.When it comes to its movies or shows, Disney finds clever ways to engage family audiences with its content, having themes that are not inappropriate but serious. Soul is an excellent example because the film deals with life, death and existential themes. However, it is still geared towards a family-friendly audience.If you’re trying to establish a brand for all ages, or targeted ages, it is imperative to know what relation your customers/audience will have with the type of PR or marketing strategies you use.Related: 10 Walt Disney Quotes That Could Boost Your Small Business3. Militant reputation managementYour brand’s reputation is your lifeforce. If your brand gets a bad reputation for any reason, it can mean plummeting numbers, or even worse, the death of your brand. This is why Disney employs militant reputation management.During my time with Disney, I was able to see the inner workings and truly awe-inspiring levels of serious care put into all the divisions of Disney. The brand does not play games. Disney’s team constantly monitors the media, social media, online forums and any source of information regarding their brand (emails, comments, letters.) They figure out what issues people might have before people even have them. Diney’s employees (including talent) are thoroughly screened and monitored. Talent is given strict instructions regarding their online presence, as well as other employees.As someone who is trying to have a strong brand, you must make sure everything you do and say is professional and in line with what your brand stands for. When working with others, you must be aware that how they operate and what they are doing affects your brand. The best way to control fire is to prevent it from ever happening, so hyper-awareness regarding your brand is vital.Related: Why Branding is Even More Relevant To Businesses Today?4. Multi-market brandingDisney is the master of having its brand everywhere. Theme parks, movies, TV shows, toys, books, music, the list goes on — you name a market, and Disney is probably in there somewhere.Let’s say you operate a fitness brand. All the essential fitness stuff make sense: bottles, protein mixes, gym stuff, etc. However, getting creative with products you can stamp your brand on is key. Get creative with your brand, utilize brand awareness and find creative ways to brand things in markets that go beyond the tradition. But don’t just slap a logo on a bunch of random stuff. Instead, figure out things that could be used by your brand’s audience that fall outside of the traditional cradle that your brand exists in.Disney helped me understand that details are everything. Whether you’re starting or assisting a brand, the strength lies within the details. Many businesses do not know or do not care about the most delicate details and bits of information regarding their brands. Sitting down and thinking about all of your brand’s facets will seriously improve your brand’s authority. Get creative, and do not be afraid to innovate. Trial and error will always prove to be one of the most effective methods to achieve success, but modeling your brand principles after a power brand like Disney will undoubtedly help.Related: Why Your Brand Plan Is More Important Than Your Business Plan

Drop Shipping or White Labeling: Which Is Right For You?

May
29, 2021

5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

With the fast-growing trend of starting businesses from home, there are two business models that get mentioned all the time: drop shipping and white labeling. Both harness the power of the internet and can be run from a laptop, but is one better than the other when it comes to passive income?Pros and cons of drop shippingDrop shipping can be very hands off. This is when you create a website and list products from other brands. You don’t own the products on your website, nor buy them in batches. You become an authorized dealer for the brands that make the product you want to sell, and when you make a sale you turn around and place the order with the brand/manufacturer. They in turn ship the product to your customer and charge you the dealer price. And since you were paid full retail from the customer, you make a profit.ProsAlmost zero financial risk: You can sell products without having invested your own money until after a customer has paid you for it, so the financial risk is very low.Hands-off: You don’t have to store the products in a warehouse and have overhead costs associated to storage facilities and staffing. You literally never have to touch a product.No prior product knowledge required: This may be surprising, but you really don’t need to be an expert of the product you sell from day one. Obviously you should become an expert and learn as much as you can, but you can get started with very little knowledge of the niche.ConsCompetitive: Since it’s so easy to get started with no upfront capital, the barrier to entry is extremely low so it’s a competitive space if you choose to sell products in popular niches.No control over the supply chain: Since you rely on the manufacturers to ship the products you’re selling, when they run out of stock you run out of stock. This can cause your sales to stop overnight and there’s nothing you can do about it.Low margins: The manufacturer decides the margins the reseller makes and it’s often non-negotiable. Gross margins are usually around 30%, but if you sell heavy items that require freight shipping, that 30% can be as low as 10%. There are some other payment processing fees too, so 10% is not unusual when all costs are factored in.Related: 6 Steps to Building a Successful Online Drop Shipping BusinessPros and cons of white labelingWhite labeling is similar is some ways. Also known as private labeling, you reach out to a factory that produces what you want to sell and you place a minimum order of units of the product. The factory will put your branding on it and ship it to you. Then it’s up to you to sell those units, whether through a website, a physical store or both.ProsGood margins: Since you are no longer the middleman, you buy directly from the factory so your margins are much better. You can expect anywhere between 50% – 80% profit when you sell full retail price.Use drop shippers to sell your product: Since you are a brand with your own product, not only will you sell to the customer directly, you can leverage the drop shippers to sell more of your products for you.ConsUpfront financial investment: Unlike drop shipping, you need to source and order a quantity of the product and have it shipped to a warehouse or fulfillment center. So you have to foot the bill for the order, ship (often from China) and pay for storage. If you don’t have your own warehouse, you can use a 3PL (third-party logistics) company that will receive your containers, store them and ship to your customers when you get orders. The 3PL will charge you for the storage and handling.Knowledge of the niche: Before spending tens of thousands of dollars on a product, you should know the product and market very well. If you don’t, you could find yourself with a lot of product that is not sellable.Related: A Brief Guide To Ace Order Fulfillment For Your E-Commerce BusinessWhich business model is for you?Both have their benefits and challenges, but how do you choose which to start?If you are already involved in a specific market and know how to improve on an existing product, you can start a white-label brand. Of course, you have to have the cash to get started. If you are looking to earn some extra cash each month without too much of an upfront investment, then drop shipping is a great method for you.Both drop shipping and white labeling can be somewhat passive. White labeling has the additional logistics to be on top of so it’s a little more hands-on, but you don’t need to see or touch the product if you use a 3PL.From my experience in ecommerce, I normally recommend starting with a drop ship store selling a product that you know, and when you have understood the market and what all the brands are selling, you can transition into white labeling your own product in that same market.By starting with selling other brand’s products, you get great insight into what customers really want. You can then go and get it, put your brand on it and make better margins. Eventually, you will have yourself an established ecommerce business with lots of traffic.Related: Reinventing Last-Mile Deliveries: How the Pandemic Has Changed the Rules Of the Game

10 Different Strategies to Consider When Growing Your Small Business

If you buy something through our links, we may earn money from our affiliate partners. Learn more.From improving SEO to outsourcing, there are plenty of strategies you can use to grow a business. But which ones are right for your company? Here, members of the online small business community share their top tips. Go through the options and choose the strategies that are most relevant to your team and your operations.Find the Best Credit Cards for Your Small BusinessMoney is an essential element of growing a small business. So credit cards can be a lifeline for many. And they can even help you build up credit in the early days. In this Acuity post, Kenji Kuramoto lists some of the best options for startups.Use These Hacks for a Successful Product LaunchLaunching a new product can be an effective way to grow your business. But not all launches are successful. So how can you prepare for this activity? Molly Stovold shares some helpful tips in this Process Street post.Consider Going InternationalOne of the best ways to expand a small business is to enter new physical markets. But it’s not for everyone. And it can be even more complicated during times of uncertainty. In this Sales Hacker post, Jake Rheude dives into the pros and cons.Start Outsourcing in Your BusinessAt some point while growing a small business, it becomes difficult to do everything on your own. If you want to grow further in 2021, it may be time to outsource. Rishi Khanna explores the concept in this Borderless Mind post. And members of the BizSugar community chimed in here.Keep Your Supply Chain Running SmoothlyA quality supply chain can help your operations run smoothly as your business grows. But issues tend to come up from time to time. So how can you keep things functioning as intended? Ivan Widjaya dives into the subject in this Funding Note post.Leverage Trending TikTok Content to Grow Your BusinessTikTok has grown exponentially in the past couple years. So leveraging this content for your business may help your brand experience a similar surge. If you’re looking to leverage this trending content, read this Social Media Examiner post by Michael Stelzner.Consider Adding a Statutory AgentAs your business grows, you might register it as an LLC or corporation. And a statutory agent may come in handy as you consider various legal implications. In this CorpNet post, Nellie Akalp goes over this concept and how it may impact businesses of various sizes.Improve Your SEO in 2021SEO is an important element of any online marketing plan. But the concepts affecting this strategy are always changing. Learn how to improve your efforts in 2021 in this THGM post by David Leonhardt. Then see what BizSugar members had to say about the post here.Build Your Social Media Strategy for 2021Social media has been an essential element of many small business marketing strategies for years. But if you haven’t updated your tactics in a few years, it may be time to rethink some things. Christian Zilles shares tips in this Social Media HQ post.Boost Your Productivity at WorkGrowing your business starts with improving personal productivity. Some entrepreneurs and professionals struggle to get things done from day to day. But the tips in this Startup Professionals Musings post by Martin Zwilling may help.If you’d like to suggest your favorite small business content to be considered for an upcoming community roundup, please send your news tips to: sbtips@gmail.com.Image: Depositphotos

This New Smart Sprinkler 'Prints' Water &#8212 and Investors Are Noticing

Positioned to disrupt a $6B industry, Irrigreen revolutionizes irrigation.

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May
29, 2021

4 min read

Disclosure: Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, Entrepreneur may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners.

Maintaining landscaping in the face of droughts has gotten more difficult for homeowners, especially those in heavy-hit areas like California. About 60,000 gallons of water are wasted on outdoor use per home due to issues like inefficient, overlapping sprinkler systems, and in high water cost areas those homeowners spend between $600-$1,200 a year on wasted water. That spells bad news for drought-ridden areas and homeowner’s wallets.But as technology gets smarter, so do options for watering a lawn. Irrigreen is the smart, digital sprinkler system that cuts water usage and water bills up to 50 percent. As homeowners look for a way around waste and high water usage, Irrigreen offers them a system that could disrupt the $6 billion landscaping industry with a smart, thriftier way to keep landscaping lush and water bills low.Investors took notice as this green company made a splash on the smart home tech market. Silicon Valley investors have put up $4.9 million already. With more than 340 installations since launch plus six issued patents, Irrigreen is looking to expand with backing from sharp-eyed tech investors.How does it work?Everything in the Irrigreen system is about reducing, including the parts it takes to set up the sprinkler system. What would typically require 30-40 mechanical sprinklers takes only five digital sprinkler heads in the Irrigreen system. There’s also less digging and piping when setting up the system, which protects your lawn and other plantings. Irrigreen requires only 250 feet of pipe versus 1,500 generally used for mechanical sprinkler systems. There are no valves and only two wires needed, simplifying the design of the system and lowering maintenance cost and headaches. So how is this minimalist system dominating complex mechanical systems? Smart tech that teaches the sprinkler heads exactly where water is needed and when. Thanks to the patent-protected Irrigreen software, a wireless digital controller and phone app work together to map the exact zones of the property. The sprinkler heads use this mapping information to “print” water on the yard, not unlike an inkjet printer. Water is distributed where it is needed and nowhere else, saving water but also giving way to lush green plants without wet spots and dry spots that haunt traditional systems. Even better, the wireless outdoor controller also tracks live weather data, so it doesn’t water the lawn when there is rain and keeps your landscape green during hot spells.The minds behind innovation.Irrigreen’s blossoming success is in no small part due to the founders’ extensive experience in engineering and business. CEO Shane Dyer and CTO Gary Klinefelter joined together to solve the problems behind wasted water in traditional sprinkler systems.Their partnership was built on their shared 40 patents and years of business leadership experience—including a number of successful startup exits amounting to $325 million. Klinefelter alone has over 35 patents in inkjet printing, which serves as the base for the tech behind Irrigreen’s water “printing.” Half the water. One-third of the labor needed to install this minimalist system. Slashed utility bills. Irrigreen is a company that believes less is more—except when it comes to returns. With its eye on the massive $6 billion landscaping industry ripe for a new way of doing things, Irrigreen is poised to bring greener, more innovative tech to businesses and homeowners looking for solutions that could save 19 trillion gallons from waste in US lawns.Intrigued investors can get in on the action for a minimum investment of $150. Entrepreneur Media Inc may receive monetary compensation by the issuer, or its agency, for publicizing the offering of the issuer’s securities. Entrepreneur and the issuer of this offering make no promises, representations, warranties or guarantees that any of the services will result in a profit or will not result in a loss.

3 Simple Ways to Create Brand Omnipresence and Dominate Your Market

Duplicate your branding efforts without duplicating your time.

May
29, 2021

4 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The internet and social media have created incredible opportunities for business leaders to dominate in their respective industries. But while most entrepreneurs are searching for the “one thing” that will lead to exponential growth, many fail to realize what they’re seeking is right in front of them.While there are billions of internet and social media consumers today, there’s an equal amount of digital noise. Whenever a consumer logs on, they’re targeted for their attention, resources, and energy. If you want to separate yourself and your business from the noise, you’ll need to create an omnipresent brand that shows up powerfully. The good news is that there’s a clear path to creating brand omnipresence.Want to dominate your market and be seen as trustworthy to cold consumers? Here are three strategies you should consider incorporating into your growth efforts to build a legacy business.Related: 3 Steps to Omnipresence1. Develop a CEO mindset and let your energy do the brandingToo often, entrepreneurs get caught up in the nitty-gritty of business building. They wear the hat of every position in their business.  If you want to scale, you’ll need to duplicate your impact without taking up more of your time. Elite entrepreneurs scale their business by outsourcing, hiring out, and developing the mindset of a CEO. They understand that they have to scale beyond doing everything. A CEO’s role is to focus your time and energy on the strategic vision that leads to long-term growth. Don’t get lost in the day-to-day business. Your vibe speaks to consumers before you ever open your mouth or release a piece of content. When you’ve developed and are implementing a CEO mindset, cold consumers feel it and want to do business with you. They are drawn to that energy. 2. Have prospects salivating over the client-level content you publishWe live in a time when too many entrepreneurs think they’ll get sales by demanding them through organic social media posting and ads. It’s just not the case. Consumers are skeptical these days and need more nurturing before they feel comfortable investing their time and resources. One of the best ways to nurture prospects is through content and the effectiveness of content marketing. You can create client-level content — the kind of content that clients will pay for while making them hungry for what you have behind the paywall. There are more than enough entrepreneurs sharing rags-to-riches stories and a never-ending marketing funnel about their story. The way to stand out and dominate your industry is by offering content that feels client-level.When you create high-quality and free “how-to” content, it gets shared, shows prospects you know what you’re talking about, and it’s one of the best ways to leverage organic marketing. When you give your consumers quality content upfront, they’ll want the next steps, and they’ll pay for your products and services.Related: 3 Ways Co-Marketing Can Help Your Small Business Grow3. Show up powerfully everywhere your ideal consumers are It might seem like common sense, but you have to show up where your ideal prospects are. Too much marketing on the internet is simply “thought leaders” throwing things at the wall. They are publishing content on the wrong social media networks, using written content when their ideal customers prefer video and showing up in consumers’ inboxes with sales messages before they’ve nurtured them. Showing up powerfully happens with clarity and a plan. You know who your ideal customer is, what they’re looking for and where they’re seeking it. You then meet them where they are with your solution. Brand omnipresence means just that — you’re present, and you show up constantly with great value for consumers. You dominate your market when you do what others aren’t willing to do, and showing up where your ideal targets frequent is a very effective strategy.The growth and revenue increases that you’re seeking are within your grasp when you add brand omnipresence strategies to your business. Show up, demonstrate your expertise through good content, and present as the strong CEO of your company. Nothing is stopping you from growing and dominating your market if you’re willing to put in the work.Related: 10 Marketing Strategies to Fuel Your Business Growth

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All of the Backup and Cloud Storage You'll Ever Need at an Unbeatable Price

Degoo’s Premium Mega Plan is just $130 today.

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May
29, 2021

2 min read

Disclosure: Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, Entrepreneur may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners.

Everybody, as well as every business, has a wealth of vital personal information stored on their devices. From financial data to sentimental photos or videos, to crucial spreadsheets and client information, your digital data is precious. Losing it would be catastrophic, which is why you have to invest in high-quality backup to ensure your data is always safe. With the Degoo Premium Mega Backup Plan, you’ll have a seamless solution to keep your information safe for life.You’re juggling huge amounts of data, so Degoo gives you a huge amount of premium backup. 15TB to be exact. This AI-based cloud storage platform offers a huge amount of supremely secured backup space and an effortlessly simple system to help you manage and share files quickly. Degoo supports high speed transfers from a database that offers more backup space than Dropbox, OneDrive, and Google Drive combined and allows you to send files easily via email or link.Degoo offers ultra-secure 256-bit AES encryption and performs backups to all of your synced devices whenever you’d like. You can replicate your backup as you perform it, giving you extra peace of mind, and keep your backup automatically up-to-date, thanks to automatic file change detection. Once you’ve stored your info, you can easily re-experience and share your best moments across your phone, tablet, and web browser.TechRadar calls Degoo “Snappy, simple backup with an emphasis on photos,” while G2 has given it 4/5 stars. You’ll be supremely pleased with it too, especially since it’s on sale for a limited time at special Memorial Day pricing.Lifetime access to 15TB of premium cloud backup would normally run you thousands. However, this limited-time Memorial Day offer can get you the Degoo Premium Mega Backup Plan for just $129.99.Prices subject to change.

Why Your Brand Should Address Hot-Button Issues

Sometimes it makes good business sense to take a stand on sensitive topics.

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Brand Renegades

Discover how two entrepreneurs used unconventional business strategies to turn their startup into a multimillion-dollar company.

May
29, 2021

2 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

In the days of yesteryear, crisis communications pros and marketers wouldn’t touch divisive issues like racial equality. Today, Coca-Cola proudly displays the ways it is tackling racial equity on its homepage as the lead item. Its website features menu headings entitled “Sustainable Business” and “Better Shared Future.” So what’s changed from the days when corporations were silent on almost everything, to a time where big business is tripping over itself to have an opinion?We have. And sophisticated institutions have been watching and learning.  Related: The Millennial Takeover: How the Generation is Shaking up the WorkplaceAs millennials and Gen Zers get older and have a growing share of the purchasing power, these individuals are increasingly evaluating brands. Buying and using a product says something about us as consumers and human beings. And we don’t want to be on the wrong side of issues.Today’s consumers are looking to do business with brands they believe in or share their same values. There was research published by Kantar Consulting Group that showed that brands with “a high sense of purpose have brand valuation increase of 175 percent over the past 12 years, compared to the media growth rate of 86 percent and 70 percent for brands with low sense of purpose.” In short, it makes better financial sense for brands to own a side. You’ll win with some, but lose with others. The calculus is that those who you win will remain more loyal customers. Those you lose, however, may never become converts.Related: When Brands Advocate Social Causes, Authenticity Is KeyWhen I counsel clients about issuing statements or messages to the public, we often discuss these messages as reflections of corporate ethos or values. Brands like the aforementioned Coca-Cola need to show consumers today where they stand. That’s because consumers in this generation want to know if they are “for you” or “against you.” They want to know their dollars are going to support something bigger. This is a good thing for society. For the time being, companies are taking stands on hot button issues — and these messages will only proliferate for months and years to come.Related: How Should You Be Talking With Employees About Racism?

Your Brand's Personality is the Secret for Success, But You're Probably Ignoring It

Consider systematic changes in organizational behavior that promote and enhance client experience.

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May
29, 2021

6 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

A company’s success can rise or fall depending upon the validity of the thing giving rise to its existence. This is an unquestionable reality in business, in which to succeed over time is dependent upon the product being appropriately vetted, proven, determined to be reliable and fulfilling a need within a given market. But then a question arises: Is the secret to a successful business the actual product, the perceived value of it, or a combination of the two?The mistakeA great product or service is a vital business fundamental, so it is understandable why so many entrepreneurs and companies place a significant amount of focus on developing a strong product or service. If you have been in business long enough, you undoubtedly have heard companies say, “We are going to beat our competitors by having the best product.” But it ultimately begs the question as to why many businesses fail or find themselves in the land of mediocrity. Turns out, this narrative is not a competitive advantage and puts a company’s hope falsely in the wrong perspective.In 2011, after quitting our jobs, my father and I started a firm in the spare bedroom of my parents’ house. Our competitors were grossing millions in annual revenue while the two of us were not sure when we would see the first dollar. However, we were experts in the industry, and we had enough connections to stir up some interest. We knew more about our industry and the services we provided than our multimillion-dollar competitors. But as we sought business in the months to follow, we realized we needed something more to be successful.Our strategic objective was to develop and put personality into our brand. Though the objective was simple, the action took time. From the onset, we began acquiring clients from our long-standing competitors because we were able to effectively communicate a feeling and an experience. Essentially, we were able to create a client-based perception that the goliaths commanding the market had long ago forgotten.Related: How to Build a Brand That Contributes to a Greater CauseBrand personalityAs entrepreneurs, our products and services are the backbone and take priority. But are we setting ourselves up for exponential and sustainable growth? Consider the most important question every business owner should routinely evaluate: How do my clients and customers view our brand? If the answer to that question is — for lack of a better term — boring, then you have work to do.Consider a companywide focus on brand personality. Brand personality is the creation of a company persona that transcends the services or products sold. This is the difference between companies that make it and those that fail. Sure, some companies just have bad products or provide a lousy service, but those businesses are irrelevant to this discussion. The assumption is you have a solid product or an expert service team, but you cannot get to the land of sustainable and exponential growth.Here are the steps you should take to get properly develop your brand’s personality:Humanize your brand – When it comes to marketing your brand, put your people in front of your static logos and service descriptions. Whether buying a product or service, customers and clients want to do business with people, not companies. They want a face, a name and a smile.Fun over IQ – Professional companies have a problem with assuming the best hire is the person with the best resume or the highest GPA. While this is not discounting the value of those metrics overall, the emphasis should be on personality and the right fit between the company’s persona and the individual being evaluated. Do not hire boring people. Personality comes first as it is usually the first thing customers and clients experience.Sell the experience over the product or service – We all have competitors. In most cases, those competitors have very similar services. What are you doing to be different in the eyes of those you seek business from? What value are you providing? Business is tough, difficult and challenging — if you are not prepared and thinking ahead, you will be forgotten in a very competitive market. A market has complete control over the businesses they chose to buy from. Ultimately, success comes in selling something other than what people are buying. Yes, that is counterintuitive, and the purpose is to rethink how we market ourselves. Sell the value of a partnership, not a deliverable. Sell an experience, a relationship, a trusted provider — not a one-time transaction.Related: The 4 Key Differences Between Thought Leadership and Content MarketingLess on product and more on experienceIn three short years, we amassed one million in cash without hiring an employee and we began conducting interviews to answer the question: Why are our clients are choosing a two-person firm versus our nationally-recognized competitors? The common answer was simple — they enjoyed the banter, the relationship and working with enjoyable people.As you think about how your company can differentiate itself from competitors, think less about the actual product or service and think more about your brand personality. Continually consider whether your company is doing enough to not be boring. Create a following and consider being known for something other than what you sell. If you hire correctly, then the best place to find brand personality is in the people you hire.A company with a great brand personality often advertises the experiences they provide versus the products they sell. Think about which companies you know and trust. In many cases, you are not entirely sure what they are selling in a given commercial, but because of the fun factor, you do not even care.We know there is a fine line between success and failure in business. Focus more on your perceived value versus the functionality of any given product or service.Related: Why Branding is Even More Relevant to Businesses Today