Nextphase Strategy Blog



Branding Your Company

“Life is a journey – not a destination” is a phrase we often use. Branding your company is a journey too, but it does have a destination – the success and recognition of your product or service. The time and energy you use to plan your branding journey will serve you well in celebrating the launch of your business, and for many years to come.

The first step in this journey is of course “the name”. In the hypercompetitive world we’re in today, your company and your domain name are key elements in driving consumer traffic your way. Communicating something about your business in your name will likely help reach your target audience faster. However, whether your name is straightforward or metaphorical, it should project a strong image and evoke a sense of authenticity to the customer.

When you get your “name list” down to a few really good ones, try them out on friends or colleagues in your target audience. Pay close attention to their comments and opinions – are you getting your message across? Ask what their impressions of the business would be with each different name. Now, try not to ruin your friendship by making them choose from dozens of options, get your list down to a special three or four names. A good bottle of wine or a lunch date would be a nice exchange for the time and knowledge that they are giving you.

Once you have your name your can carry on with the rest of the steps on your branding and marketing journey. Think about what colours you’d like to use in your logo and how they will help project your image. Do you need a “positioning”, or “tag” line? A memorable tag line can speak volumes about your product or service: ‘Comfort Shoes Inc.”, walk more than a mile in our shoes. On the legal end, make sure to register and licence your company, learn how to protect your name and trademark etc.

Of course all of the above can be done most effectively with the help of a branding and marketing company such as NextPhase Strategy. It’s our business and we can provide the guidance you need on your journey to success. Ultimately, you want your business name to convey the message to your customer that they are in good hands and that your company will get the job done well. 





5 Tips on How to Write for the Web

Writing for the Internet isn’t rocket science. But some do achieve better results than others. Give the following 5 useful rules a try-- you will notice an improvement.

1. Create keyword-rich content.

Load your writing with keywords for maximum impact. This will optimize ‘searchability’, thus increasing site traffic.

2. Less is better.

Keep each sentence to one line. If your sentences get too long, people will get tired of reading and drift away. They should sound quite conversational.

3. Use headlines.

Headlines break up convoluted paragraphs and make your writing more readable. They also let readers choose which topics they want to read about.

4. Include hyperlinks.

Links engage readers and make it easier for them to check out related information. Your writing becomes more dynamic and less like a textbook.

5. Avoid jargon.

Use plain English and make sure that anyone, not just experts from certain fields, can understand your writing. Keep it simple and concise.





What Colour is Your Business?

Regardless of our culture, gender, or age, we can’t help but be drawn in by the colours surrounding us. Indeed, colours are everywhere, all the time, and they are one of the first elements our brains process when we notice something. Colours are so powerful that they stimulate our nervous system and evoke physiological and emotional states.

Of course, our unique experiences influence how we perceive colours as individuals. This is why the same colour can often mean different things to different people. For example, writing one’s name in red ink may mean nothing to a Norwegian, but it is condemned by a Korean as red is linked to death. So, it should come as no surprise that colour can be part of your marketing strategy to influence your customers’ purchase decisions.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common colours in business and how they are interpreted in North American culture.

  • Red

o   Commands attention
o   Stimulates senses
o   Symbolises energy, excitement and passion
o   Encourages action; thus, a selling colour

  • Yellow

o   Represents cheerfulness and playfulness
o   Uplifts people’s moods
o   Stimulates mental activity
o   A fun, happy colour

  • Green

o   Creates a sense of calm
o   Associated with nature, environment, vitality, and health
o   Soothing on the eye
o   Colour of money 

  • Blue

o   Most popular colour in business and in general
o   Implies loyalty, trust, and conservatism
o   Reduces tension and fear
o   A reliable, responsible colour

  • Black

o   Suggests authority, boldness, and stability
o   A classic, luxurious feel
o   The ultimate power colour
o   Can add seriousness or weight to a brand

  • White

o   Colour of new beginnings
o   Symbolizes simplicity and organization
o   Associated with innocence and peace
o   Adds purity and transparency to a brand

Now, take a look at the colours used in your business’s brand assets: your logo, brochures, business cards, office, website, and so on.  And remember to take into account your target market. Are your colours painting the picture you want reflected in your marketplace? 





B2B vs. B2C Marketing: What's the Difference?

Broadly speaking, both B2B and B2C marketing involve selling a product or service to a customer. However, there are fundamental differences between these two types of marketing.

Put simply, B2B marketing is brain-driven, while B2C marketing is heart-driven. In other words, B2B marketing makes use of logic, whereas B2C marketing makes use of emotions. Let’s delve a little deeper into what distinguishes one from the other.

B2B Marketing:

·      Centered around relationships
·      Smaller, more focused audience
·      Lower customer turnover rate
·      Educational, awareness-building work to turn prospects into clients
·      High cost of sales
·      Logical purchase process driven by business value
·      Longer sales cycle

B2C Marketing:

·      Centered around products/transactions
·      Larger, broader audience
·      Higher customer turnover rate
·      Aggressive promotional work to turn shoppers into buyers
·      Wide range of cost of sales
·      Emotional purchase process driven by benefits and desires
·      Shorter sales cycle 

The most effective marketing occurs when you understand what your specific market requires to make a purchase decision. What are your thoughts on the key differences between B2B and B2C marketing? Share your comments below.