Stubbie holders can be personalized or can be customized according to one’s taste and preference. You can put colorful designs to make it alive or add lovely details to it. You can even print your name on it. You can add sweet messages or quotes to your holder. In this manner, you can determine which holder belongs to you, especially if there are other holders being displayed. The benefit you can get from the creation of these holders can be found on the demands associated with these promotional items. The opportunities created from these holders are widely available to any business who wants to increase the chance for generating sales. There a lot of advantages that a business owner can get with these holders aside from the fact that it can be of greater help in marketing the business and increase the number of consumers patronizing the product.
An online site is now an important promotion and sales campaign for most businesses, which is why web design tutorials are so important. In some cases, the web page is the entire business. People that have enough money to acquire the assistance of a specialist web developer can do this and have that hired help work out the nitty-gritty while they simply provide a check list of their needs. Those who do not have the funds to employ an expert can easily check online for lessons on how to make a web page. There are numerous sources on the internet which provide step by step instructions from the fundamentals up to the more advanced smart how-to’s. Listed below are just some of the websites offering free courses on web design:
webdesign.org – This great site can also be known as the Web Design Library. It offers an ever-growing supply of resources on almost everything related to web design. You can find sections on the basics of web design, along with the more advanced components which you can use to generate a more professional-looking website. There are courses on Photoshop, Flash, HTML, 3D Graphics and CSS, etc. It also provides information about development and site repairs and maintenance. You can also get reviews on essential products in addition to interviews with assorted headliners in the area of web design.
designyourownweb.com – This website is recommended for you if you are a visual learner. You will find free web design video lessons on how to make a website, and also on how to use Nvu, a free website design editor, as well as Gimp, a cost-free graphics design manager. The training videos do consist of huge file sizes and call for a high speed broadband connection, but people employing a dial-up connection may use the step by step guidelines also available.
There are several other great web sites providing free courses, such as webdesignfromscratch.com and 2createawebsite.com. Since lessons can be obtained for free, the total newbie just has to choose one that best suits their learning style or perhaps the one who works toward creating the web site he or she has in mind. Additional lessons can be found as the starter grows in knowledge and in skill level.
Promotional stubbie holders gained popularity in the world of marketing. Many businesses have started to realize the different benefits they can acquire in using these products to promote their business. Before, these holders are only seen in pubs and bars because people use this as a way of prolonging the coldness of various drinks such as beers, wines and sodas. But it is commonly used nowadays for promotional purposes and it has served well its ability to market a business effectively. In a competitive market, it is important to choose efficient and attractive promotional items that will allow you to find new and potential customers fast. By letting these items promote your business, you will be able to expand your marketing reach and will allow you to build your brand. Stubbie holders can be advantageous in a way that it can help your business achieve its goal of obtaining more customers. And with more customers, you will be able to generate more sales.
If you’ve never really done much advertising and relied mostly on networking and word-of-mouth, how can you figure out where to start?
The first thing you must do is calculate your minimum and maximum allowable ad budgets:
- Step 1: Take 10 percent and 12 percent of your projected annual gross sales and multiply each by the markup made on your average transaction. In this first step, it’s important to remember that we’re talking about gross markup here, not margin. Markup is gross profit above cost, expressed as a percentage of cost. Margin is gross profit expressed as a percentage of the selling price. Sell an item for $150 when it only costs you $100, and your markup is 50 percent.
Your margin, however, is only 33.3 percent. This is because the same $50 gross profit represents 50 percent of your cost (markup,) but only 33.3 percent of the selling price (margin.) Most retail stores in America (carpet, jewelry and so on) operate on an average markup of approximately 100 percent, some operate on as little as 50 percent markup and others add as much as 200. More expensive items, such as cars, recreational vehicles and houses, typically carry a markup of only 10 to 15 percent.
- Step 2: Deduct your annual cost of occupancy (rent) from the adjusted 10 percent of sales number and the adjusted 12 percent number.
- Step 3: The remaining balances represent your minimum and maximum allowable ad budgets for the year. At this point in the calculation, you may learn that you’ve already spent your ad budget on expensive rent, or you might also learn that you should be doing a lot more advertising than you had previously suspected.
Now let’s calculate an ad budget. Assume that your business is projected to do $1 million in sales this year, you have a profit margin of 48 percent, and your rent is $36,000 per year. The first thing to do is calculate 10 percent of sales and 12 percent of sales ($100,000 and $120,000, respectively).
Second, we must convert your 48 percent profit margin into markup, because markup is what we’ve got to have to make this formula work. Most business owners know their margin by heart, but never their markup.
To make the conversion from margin to markup, simply divide gross profits by cost. Dividing $480,000 (gross profits) by $520,000 (hard cost) shows us that a 48 percent margin represents a markup of 92.3 percent. Bingo.
Now we multiply $100,000 times 92.3 percent to see that our adjusted low budget for total cost of exposure is $92,300. Likewise, we multiply $120,000 times 92.3 percent to get an adjusted high budget for total cost of exposure of $110,760.
From each of these two budgets, we must now deduct our $36,000 rent. This leaves us with a correctly calculated ad budget that ranges from $56,300 on the low side to a maximum of $74,760 on the high side.
Most advertising salespeople will tell you that “5 to 7 percent of gross sales” is the correct amount to budget for advertising, but don’t you believe it. It simply isn’t possible to designate a percentage of gross sales for advertising without taking into consideration the markup on your average sale and your rent.
Yes, expensive rent for a high-visibility location is often the best advertising your money can buy, since a business with a good sign in a high-visibility location will need to advertise significantly less than a similar business in an affordable location.
To prove this, just look at the example above and change the rent to $75,000 per year. In this case, the ad budget would range from $17,300 to $35,760, representing just 1.7 to 3.5 percent of sales.
The formula you’ve just learned is the only one that reconciles your ad budget with your rent as well as the profitability of your average sale. Use it!
Most business signs are invisible and utterly useless. They’re well-proportioned, carefully balanced, tastefully drawn and perfectly color-coordinated. In other words, utterly predictable and effectively invisible.
The five most common mistakes made in business-sign design are:
- Attempting to be understated or elegant.
- Attempting to “fit,” or blend into, the surrounding environment.
- Including too much information.
- Placing the sign too high. (The eyes of drivers tend to stay focused at windshield height. Low signs are better in town. Tall signs are better on freeways where they’ll be read–at windshield height–from great distances.)
Great signs are always the most interesting piece of scenery in their vicinity. This is why they’re noticed even when people aren’t looking for them.
Would you like to have such a sign? Believe it or not, it’s possible–not cheap or easy, but possible.
Consider the sprawling white letters stretched across a hillside in Southern California: HOLLYWOOD, a landmark known around the world. Did you know that sign was originally erected by a real-estate developer to identify his remote suburban subdivision, Hollywoodland?
Not all business signs will become famous landmarks, but it doesn’t hurt to keep these common denominators of business signs that do become landmarks in mind:
- They’re dramatic. This can be due to the fact that they’re:
- Grossly oversized
- Strangely placed
- They’re different. They contrast sharply with their surroundings due to:
- Color. For example, snow-white Hollywood letters against a hillside of dark brown and green.
- Installation. The famous Hollywood sign isn’t on a pole or a board. Its individual letters sit directly on the ground.
- Context. There’s nothing immediately around it to distract from it. Or if there is something important nearby, it’s incorporated into the sign itself.
- There’s something “wrong” with it. Ever notice how the Hollywood letters aren’t level, but rise and fall with the terrain? This makes it far more memorable.
I doubt if the builder of the Hollywood sign did these brilliant things intentionally. But they worked, even if some of them were accidental. Do you have the courage and determination to repeat on purpose the things he did right by accident? If you do, the public will soon be using your sign as a reference point when giving directions.
Not all ads are created equal. Just because a certain pitch worked for one business, doesn’t mean it’ll work for yours. How to choose?
The key to choosing a good advertisement begins with deciding what you want your ad to highlight. Are you trying to sell a specific product or are you trying to sell your business as a whole through your brand image? To answer that, you need to understand what the four main types of advertisements are:
- Category-specific ads are written broadly enough to fit every advertiser in a category. A transparent fabric of smoothly woven cliches, a category-specific ad is a generalized template into which one merely inserts a store name and address. All you have to do is fill in the blanks. Ads that fit everyone don’t work very well for anyone. These were once called institutional ads. Don’t use them.
- Franchise ads build the master brand.
The hope of every franchisee is that the ads provided by the franchisor will generate enough brand attraction to pull customers into their store. Due to the fact that a franchisor can afford to create a higher quality of ad campaign than the typical local merchant, this strategy often succeeds.
- Product-specific ads benefit every retailer who sells the product, but they aren’t really about the retailer at all; they’re only about the product. Product-specific ads almost always make good advertisements. The only problem small business owners run into is when they’re selling another manufacturer’s product and are offered co-op advertising.
- Store-specific ads are the foundation of local branding, but to write them requires intimate, detailed research on the part of an expert ad writer. Rarely will a good, store-specific ad fit another advertiser in the same category. Store-specific ads are also guaranteed to make good advertising and I highly recommend them.
Now that you understand the four main types of ads, you need to choose the one that’ll work for you–not the one that worked for ABC Company down the road. The story you’re about to read is a a true tale.
You’ll see why the type of ad you choose can totally change the way your customers perceive you–and also why the same ad probably won’t work for someone else. The name of the store, the town and the vegetable have been changed to protect the innocent:
Heisenberg’s Jewelers had been in the same building on Main Street in Cabbage Valley for 105 years. A facelift seven years earlier had given the store white carpet, walnut paneling and a huge chandelier in a high, domed ceiling.
Heisenberg’s was the Sistine Chapel of jewelry stores. Not a problem, except that Cabbage Valley is a little farming community of about 45,000 people. Even the wealthiest of Cabbage Valley’s farmers felt they weren’t dressed well enough to enter that store. Heisenberg’s was truly an intimidating place.
“You need to understand who our customer is,” said the owner. She’s a 40 year-old female. Upscale. Very upscale. Well-dressed. Always buys the best. That’s our customer. That’s who you need to target.”
This was in mid-October. They were trying to get help saving their Christmas sales season, because if they had another season as bad as the previous six, they were going to have to close their doors in January.
“Let’s get something straight. There’s no handle that can be cranked that will spit out 40 year-old rich women. You’ll need ads that appeal to men or you’re going to have to find another way to make a living.”
This is the radio ad that saved Heisenberg’s:
“Ladies, many of you will be fortunate enough this Christmas to find a small, but beautifully wrapped package under your tree bearing a simple gold seal that says ‘Heisenberg’s.’ Now you and I both know there’s jewelry in the box. But the thing you need to know is this: The man who put it there for you is trying desperately to tell you that you are more precious than diamonds, more valuable than gold, and very, very special.
You see, he could have gone to a department store and bought department store jewelry, or picked up something at the mall like all the other husbands. But the men who come to Heisenberg’s aren’t trying to get off cheap or easy. Men who come to Heisenberg’s believe their wives deserve the best. And whether they spend $99 or $9,900, the message is the same: Men who come to Heisenberg’s are still very much in love. We just thought you should know.”
That radio ad was delivered slowly and thoughtfully with style and grace. No hurry. No street address. No store hours. No phone number. We simply told listeners what they already knew about Heisenberg’s, but made them feel differently about it. What we said in essence was, “If your husband voluntarily came to this scarily expensive store, he must really be in love with you.” It worked like magic.
Throughout the month of December, men wedged themselves into Heisenberg’s, waved stacks of cash at the register and shouted, “I don’t care what you put in the box, but make sure it’s got that damn gold sticker.” Heisenberg’s made a blistering fortune that year and reversed their downward trend.
Like every great store-specific ad, the Heisenberg’s gold seal campaign would never have worked if Heisenberg’s hadn’t already had the reputation of being extremely intimidating and expensive. That same ad could just as easily have been delivered by newspaper, direct mail or television and it would have worked just as well. It was the message, not the media, that delivered the miracle.
So in summary, remember the four main types of ads:
- Category-specific “institutional” ads are a waste of money
- Franchise ads are for team players who want to help build a strong collective brand
- Product-specific ads are for special promotions
- Store-specific ads are for local branding
What kind of ads are you running?