All posts by glintadv

Establishing a Company Voice

Speak Your Company VoiceThere are about 1.7 billion websites on the internet. That is about 1.7 billion businesses that are constantly talking online. However, only about 200 million of those websites are active and many of them are saying the same thing in the same way. That’s why it is so important that companies establish a unique voice and utilize every resource that they can to shout it from the rooftops.

One of the best resources for companies to gain an advantage over the competition is the use of a company voice. This is a term that seems to get thrown around a lot, yet many companies do not fully understand what it means, how to identify one, or how to build their own.

More Than Just Words
A company voice obviously involves the words that are said, but it is so much more than that. The tone of what is said is arguably just as important as the words themselves. Although the words are what delivers the message, the tone is what is used to establish intent and set a company apart from its competitors.

In fact, it was first established by Albert Mehrabian in 1967 that the words that are being said are actually a significantly small portion of communication. He proposed that the act of communication was comprised of three distinct parts: the words being spoken, the tone of the words, and the body language accompanying it. In his system, the words spoken accounted for only 7 percent of meaning, while tone accounted for 30 percent, and the remaining 55 percent was body language.

While this is not a perfect comparison for business today, considering the internet did not exist in 1967, it is still a relatively accurate model of communication. Taking this model into account, trying to base a company voice strictly off of words is not going to get you anywhere. It takes so much more than that, which is why so many companies fail to develop a signature voice.

Identifying a Company Voice
There are many professionals who are likely reading this right now and thinking that it does not apply to them. That might be entirely true, but there is a better chance that your company does not have the voice that you think it does. Here is a great test to figure out whether your company has its own distinct voice or not.

If you go on to your website or social media accounts and cover up the logo of the page and posts, you should be able to show these to someone familiar with the company, and they should immediately be able to tell what company these belong to based on the voice of the content. If they struggle to figure it out or are not able to identify it at all, then there is a good chance that your company is lacking the voice that you thought it had.

Almost just as bad as not having a company voice is having multiple, often conflicting, company voices. This can occur when the company voice is being portrayed by various employees and takes on their own voice rather than the overall company’s. For example, if the tone of the content that can be found on the company website dramatically varies from the tone of content that can be found on its social pages, there is a good chance that the company voice is really just the voices of various employees. This will once again make it hard for people to identify your company based on the voice of the content since there will be no consistency throughout the company’s various online channels.

Finding Yourself
There is a common cliche that you have to learn to love yourself before you can learn to let others love you. Well, a similar thing can be said for the world of business and finding a company voice. There is no way that a company can share a voice with the public if they do not first sit down amongst themselves, and figure out exactly what their voice is.

This process starts with an internal reflection of what makes your company unique and embracing that fact to establish a company voice. This goes far beyond how your company’s products are different from your competitor’s products. It should include things like what is different about the office culture that you have created at your company, how your employees are unique, and how your business practices set you apart. All of these things are part of who your company is and should, therefore, be an integral part of your company’s voice.

When completing this evaluation of your company, it is important to come away with things that are not cliche. After all, this is not someone interviewing for a job, it is a company attempting to establish its unique voice. So it is wise to try and stay away from typical descriptors such as honest, dependable, cutting edge, and revolutionary. Ironically, using these words is anything but cutting edge, since a large portion of businesses will integrate this as part of their voice.

Once your company has completed this exercise and has come away with several important indicators of what makes you unique, it is essential that you write these down and keep them handy for future use. After all, in most companies, the communications will be handled by a designated communications worker, which is likely to see some turnover throughout the years.

As new employees or multiple employees become tasked with handling certain sections of corporate communication, they need to have the tools necessary to be able to display a consistent voice across all platforms. So by having a physical, or rather digital, copy of this voice style guide, these employees can work to make sure that what they are writing up falls in line with the company voice.

Shout It From the RooftopsShare Your Company Voice Everywhere
Once a company has a concrete idea of what they want their voice to be, it is time to start shouting it from the rooftops so that the public can be introduced to their new voice. Companies should then begin including this voice in everything — the about page on their website, product descriptions, email subscription confirmation messages, voicemail greetings, face to face communication, and more.

Nothing is too small to fall in line with the company voice, since anything that does not match up with this established voice can be confusing to customers. If you need help establishing your voice and aligning it with your brand, Glint is here to help. For more information, email us at agency@glintadv.com or give us a call at 817-616-0320.

How An Office Pet Can Improve Your Business

Lizard_Lady

When coming home from a hard day at work, for many people, a dog, cat, or other pet is one of the first things waiting to greet them. If you were to ask many pet owners why they go through the effort and expense of maintaining a pet, you’re generally going to get a similar set of answers, talking about how the animal provides unconditional love and companionship. For many people, simply relaxing at home with their pet makes them feel more relaxed, and helps make a house a home for them.

Now, imagine bringing some of those benefits to work with you every day. Chances are you’ve probably heard of animals like service dogs that provide physical and emotional support to people with various issues. The advent of office pets, or programs that allow people to bring their pets to work from home, try to translate some of these benefits into a workforce setting. Here are some of the benefits you stand to get from doing this, and how to find the right office pet match.

Why Use An Office Pet?
Perhaps the most substantial reason why you may want to consider implementing a pet policy or office pet is one of the biggest reasons people love having a pet at home: for relieving stress. Studies have shown that office pets can help relieve stress and anxiety in workplace settings, which, in turn, can create a more relaxed working environment and help improve productivity. Office pets have been associated with other benefits including lower blood pressure and reduction in symptoms of depression.

In the same vein, an office pet can also provide a great way for members of the team to bond. Having something in the office to break tension can help get your team members comfortable with each other, especially in a newer business. Having a pet can also foster a sense of morale within a company.

Another benefit that’s worth mentioning is work-life balance, and how office pets factor into that. Many people are placing a higher premium on the amount of time they spend in “work mode” and the time they spend at home. In some cases, you may not be able to offer perks like telecommunication as a part of your business, but you can make your workspace feel more like home with an office pet. The natural attention and care that pets require can also provide a practical break from various tasks.

In some cases, if employees can bring pets to work, it may tie in well with other employee initiatives. For example, many people wish they could have a gym at work, when that’s not possible, taking time to walk the office dog could help them get a little exercise and enjoy the pet’s company at the same time.

Managing The Downsides
With this said, as many benefits as there are, there are going to be some inherent drawbacks to implementing a pet policy or getting an office pet. For one thing, there are going to be certain environments, like food service, where having an animal around simply cannot work, no matter how well-trained the animal is.

However, even if your office is suitable for pets, there may be potential bumps in the road. For example, if you have an existing set of employees, you need to realize that not everyone is going to be an animal lover, and for some, it may be flat-out disruptive. This is why it’s essential to make sure that you take the time to inform all relevant employees of the possibility before it goes into practice. Some people may have pet phobias or allergies that make certain types of pets a poor fit for the office. This can be even more difficult to manage if you’re a business that has regular clients, customers, or visitors. Even if your employees are okay with animals, these people may not be, and the last thing you want to do is lose a sale or client over the office pet. Creating pet-free-zones may be a way to create balance here.

Along with this, there are also practical concerns that come with having an animal in the office. Naturally, there’s going to be some employee who’s tasked with feeding the animal, cleaning it, and taking it to use the bathroom, if needed. This represents a minor loss of productivity you need to account for. Another thing to consider is the fact that you don’t want the pet to be too distracting; thus, you may want to work with HR to put some limitations on the policy. This is especially important if multiple people may consider bringing their pets to work. If the pets don’t get along, it turns a relaxing workplace into a tense one.

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Choosing The Right Office Pet
With these benefits and issues to consider, what makes the best office pet possible? The proper answer here is what is the best fit for your office. For example, many people may love the idea of having a dog at work due to their natural capacity for affection and playfulness. However, there are many different breeds of dog with different temperaments so you may want to look for one that isn’t overly energetic for those times when your staff need to focus. By comparison, a cat doesn’t need as much attention, though they have a natural curiosity that you want to make sure doesn’t have them creeping into your pet-free zones.

In some cases, for offices on the fence about pet policies, you may want to work your way up to something like a cat or dog, and start with a fish or reptile. The benefits with these are that they are naturally quiet and constrained to one area, but the drawback is that they may require a lot of maintenance to keep healthy.

Advertising Your Office Pet
As you can see, taking the time to put together a pet program or allowing employees to bring their own pets can reap dividends, so long as you take the essential preparatory steps. One of the biggest reasons that you want to do this is not just for the sake of your current employees, but for your future employees as well. More and more prospective employees are looking at not only factors like the wages you give out or your prominence in your industry, but the other smaller perks that you have to offer. Having an office pet or pet program can make your company stand out to that excellent candidate who happens to be an animal lover.

Glint Advertising can help you put some of your most unique areas of strength, like pet days, in front of job candidates and prospects. Reach out to us at info@glintadv.com or call us at 817-616-0320 for a consultation today.

The Evolution of Consumer Purchase Behavior

Shopping_Behaviors

Way back in the year 2010, smartphones had only just started gaining popularity, and the first tablets were being unveiled. The stores that were scattered all across the country were regularly filled with motivated shoppers looking to spend some of their hard earned money. Nowadays, this is a sight that is usually only seen during special events like Black Friday with more and more purchases being made without ever stepping foot inside of a retail store.

While this is not necessarily a bad thing, it is worth taking a look at how consumer purchase behavior has shifted over the last decade.

How Consumers Found Companies a Decade Ago
There were a couple of valuable marketing insights known as the first moment of truth and the second moment of truth. These terms were first coined by P&G almost 15 years ago and were groundbreaking concepts when they first emerged. They referred to the process in which a consumer forms opinions regarding which companies they will develop loyalty towards.

In the world of business, brand loyalty is everything and accounts for an average of 65% of the business that a company gets. Therefore, if a company is not able to develop a close enough link to its customers, then its amount of repeat business will sharply decline.

This first moment of truth occurred when a consumer first encounters a product on a store shelf. They would use their senses to analyze the product and then decide whether or not to purchase it. Once they purchased it and brought it home, they would arrive at the second moment of truth which was determined when the consumer used the product and evaluated its effectiveness.

These two moments of truth would combine to form an opinion of the product, and therefore the brand, in the mind of the consumer. They would then use this opinion to judge whether or not they would continue to use the company’s products or not. With the rise of digital technology, these moments of truth no longer exist in this order.

How Consumers Find Companies Today
Although the first and second moments of truth are still more or less relevant, there is now a moment that occurs before either of those begins. It is what Google deemed the zero moment of truth. Instead of the first experience that a consumer has with a product being when they engage with it in a store, it now starts by looking at a screen.

Mobile Shopping on Phone

It is estimated that about 81% of all purchases begin with the consumer doing an online search, which is the zero moment of truth. This means that consumers are researching a product before the retailer even knows they are in the market for it, and they have to evaluate it on a picture and information alone. However, convincing a consumer to consider a product based off of only a picture and some basic information is only a small part of the challenge. The bigger struggle is getting the consumer to engage further with the product your company is offering.

When a consumer does an online search, they are using keywords to try and come up with the results that best relate to what they are interested in. The search engine results page is then presented to them with a list of different companies. If someone’s company is near the bottom of that first page of results, or on another page entirely, then it is very unlikely that it will be considered by the consumer. So even before a company has to worry about winning over the loyalty of a consumer, they have to worry about getting in front of a consumer.

How Consumers Decide Which Company to Choose
As previously mentioned, the end goal of a company is to get the consumer to form loyalty to their brand. A significant component of developing loyalty is being able to trust the company. If a consumer feels like they cannot trust a company in any way, then chances are that they will never have loyalty towards them.

Trust is something that exists on a multitude of levels, so much so that even most consumers do not fully understand how they decide whether or not to trust a company. When it comes to doing anything that is at all risky, such as deciding which company to give their business to, consumers tend to rely more on their intuition than anything else. This can make it tricky for companies to figure out how to best display their website, products, and overall company image.

That does not mean that all hope is lost when it comes to knowing how to develop trust between the company and its consumers. It just means that it will likely require a bit of trial and error. Companies should be putting effort into the obvious factors, such as website security certification and detailed return policies, but they should also be paying attention to less obvious factors as well.

While we have all been told as kids not to judge a book by its cover, that is exactly what many consumers are doing. They took a look at a company’s website for a few seconds and might read a couple of lines of text but are mostly just taking in the aesthetics of it before clicking away. So while having descriptive company and product information is important, the font type, background color, and images used tend to be even more critical.

The Consumerism Power Shift
A decade ago, companies had a much stronger influence over whether or not consumers bought their products and services. Simply plastering their name and image everywhere was usually enough to get a lot of sales. However, in the age of digital technology, that power dynamic has shifted, and it is now in the hands of consumers. Showing up with a decent product is no longer enough to win over the hearts of consumers.

Companies now have to be active about engaging with consumers and finding out what it is that they want to see in a company and product. They should then do their best to reflect those desires in their operations. Consumers are also becoming more able to assess whether or not a company cares about its customers or what it is doing. Therefore, a company cannot be trying to fake passion because consumers will see right through that.

Overcoming this may require making changes to a company’s staff, culture, and brand that can be reinforced by the majority of employees portraying passion around what they do. When an employee is miserable at their job, then it is bound to show up in the work they do. Once that work is put out into a product for consumers to see, they will be able to sense that lack of passion, and it will hurt a company’s chances of getting the sale. So in many ways, earning the business of consumers starts with developing a healthy workplace where employees are happy and have a passion for what they do.

The world of consumerism is an ever-changing one, and just like it has changed over the last decade, it will continue to do so in years to come. If you have questions or need help positioning your product or business, please contact Glint by emailing us at agency@glintadv.com or better yet, give us a call at 817-616-0320.

Do You Have A Stepping Stone Business?

Woman Stepping Stones to Advancing Career.

The stepping stone business concept is a foundational structure developed within Glint. A broad view of our concept may be rife with misconceptions and conflicting viewpoints. Depending on who you ask, being a stepping stone business is either a terrible situation or an essential part of the growth of millions of employees nationwide. This can be a difficult divide to fathom, at first. However, we are here to help clear the air about stepping stone businesses, their role in the modern job marketplace, and help you determine if you have one.

What Is a Stepping Stone Business?
Perhaps part of the reason people are so confused about a stepping stone business concept is they’re not sure whether it is a positive or negative. This is also something that may not be instantly recognizable when it comes to the employees or even the leadership team at these companies. However, it is vital they understand the role of the business and their responsibility for developing the skills of those around them. The easiest way to define a stepping stone company is any business that has a relatively high turnover of employees and generally doesn’t retain the majority of its staff for a period longer than two years.

At first glance, when a business discovers that it is a stepping stone company, it may seem like a flat negative. However, this is far from the case. In order to explain the potential benefits of being a stepping stone business, though, we need to first get into the nuts and bolts of what causes a business to become a stepping stone company.

What Causes a Stepping Stone Business?
There could be many reasons that your company experiences a high turnover rate of employees. In some cases, it boils down to compensation, like lower wages or a weaker benefits package compared to other companies in the field. However, in other cases, it’s not a problem with your company, but a trait within the people that you are hiring.

For example, some businesses are inherently stepping stone companies by virtue of their niche. Any company that hires a lot of entry-level employees or people working for minimum wage will naturally get a lot of turnover. These include jobs like retail stores or restaurants, where you can see a change in employees on a nearly monthly basis.

When we start moving outside of those niches, the reason why employees may turnover a lot at a company may not be due to the workload or them not enjoying working for you. Work world veterans may remember the time where the paradigm was that a person should settle down at a company for the bulk of their career, and would be well compensated for their loyalty. The mentality of many employees has changed, and they have statistics on their side. Recent research has indicated that employees who change jobs every year or two tend to make a lot more money throughout their life than the traditional “company man.” This change in mentality is shaping employment trends across a variety of industries, as employees look to move simply to increase their earning power.

Embracing a Stepping Stone Role
At first glance, it may come across as frustrating to be in this role, to be developing talent only to lose it. However, being a stepping stone company is not a negative by any stretch of the imagination. By leaning into this role, you can still establish your business as a desirable place to work, even if you are only retaining that talent for a few years. The fact of the matter is that many young professionals entering the workforce want an environment to develop their skills and prepare them for a career job. A strong stepping stone company offers a symbiotic benefit for both parties in this regard.

The benefit for the employees is easy to figure out, a chance to learn in their field and increase their earning potential for the future, but how exactly does the stepping stone business benefit from this? A lot of this is offering perks outside of a higher salary that employees can use as benefits while they are at your company. One such example of this is flex time during the day for employees to adjust their environment as needed to complete tasks on-time and meet companies standards of quality. After all, everyone is unique and may require different work structures in order to succeed. Along with their workload for you, they can also work to improve vital skills for advancing their careers quickly.

Another option that you can pursue is to make education reimbursement funds available to your employees. Many employees who are serious about “job hopping” understand that it may sometimes take additional education or professional development to get there. By working at a place that allows them to have a portion of their education expenses reimbursed, there is a natural motivation to sign on and work well for the duration of those courses.

Note that being a stepping stone company is not limited to small businesses. Larger companies with national or international presences can also offer the perk of relocation. Many younger skilled employees have a natural inclination to travel, and by offering relocation, this is a natural way to set up your company as a premier destination. There are more practical benefits to relocation for an employee. In some cases, an employee may want to work with you to learn, but doesn’t want to be tied down to a specific location. While there is a significant cost associated with relocation, it can do a lot to set you apart from other stepping stone companies.

Leveraging The Benefits Of Being A Stepping Stone Company
In summation, when it comes to leveraging the benefits of a stepping stone company, it helps to put yourself in the mind of an employee. Most of the well-paying jobs in major companies across a wide variety of industries require experience and distinguished performance to get hired. Working at a stepping stone company, with different responsibilities and pace, can provide exactly the experience the employee needs. They may not get all the benefits and pay they want at the time, but they are increasing the chances of getting it later. Also, showing a solid commitment of two years on a resume sends across a strong message to future employers.

In some cases, strong performance at a stepping stone company can also be its own reward. For example, internal advancement is always a possibility for proven employees. Even if they choose to move on, they can still carry some benefits to their new jobs, like working relationships and networking with leaders and coworkers. Generally, stepping stone companies are more likely to offer this than their larger counterparts. Larger, corporate structures, often have a ceiling for growth that requires the person above you to either retire or change jobs for you to continue climbing the corporate ladder.

The right stepping stone business can also surprise you with retention shifts where people don’t want to leave. Additional benefits come from a strong established reputation within your industry where employment is sought after and the business creates an option of growing from a stepping stone to a mountain within their industry.

Have questions or want some help establishing your companies brand culture and perception? Give us a call at 817-616-0320, click here, or leave us a comment below.

How to Create an Employee Spotlight for Your Marketing

When it comes to advertising, one of the most common complaints customers have is that marketing campaigns and materials aren’t personal enough. The ultimate goal of marketing is to entice a customer to make a purchase or some other form of conversion. However, no customer wants to feel like they are being treated like a statistic rather than a human being, which can happen with poor marketing campaigns.

Even if we remove the emotional aspect, there is a potent argument for implementing a human element in marketing. Different demographics of potential customers all have different needs and concerns when it comes to what business they choose to patronize. Successful marketing shows that you are thinking of the people and also thinking about the issues. This approach adds a layer of authority to your product or service.

With all of this said, there are a lot of different elements that you can employ to build a personal connection. Perhaps one of the strongest, though, is using a person.

An employee profile or spotlight is a compelling piece of marketing that uses a single person’s accomplishments, personality, or background to help establish credibility for the business. However, there are some best practices you need to implement to use this effectively. Here are some that you need to consider.

Who Should Consider an Employee Spotlight for Marketing
You’ve probably seen some examples of employee marketing, although chances are it’s not about a typical employee. Major companies use CEO branding in one way, shape, or form, whether it’s traditional marketing, like a commercial that tells the story of how their CEO got to their position, or a digital tactic, like using social media to share an article relevant to their audience.

Some companies even take this to the next level by writing an interview article with a CEO as a form of thought marketing. However, don’t make the mistake of thinking this is the only option you have out there.

Let’s start with the example of a medical group. The group may have several different doctors on board, with a clear business goal of serving as many patients as possible. However, if you were to flip things to the patient’s perspective, the goal becomes to find a practice with traits like:

  • Experience in the field;
  • A caring bedside manner;
  • An efficiently run office;
  • Compliance with all medical standards;
  • Coverage by their insurance.

In a way, the doctor (and their skills) is the product, which makes a medical group the perfect fit for an employee profile. By focusing on a specific doctor at the practice in their marketing and branding, the practice can take their experiences and accomplishments and co-brand it with the practice itself. In addition, marketing can answer some of the critical questions that any prospective patient might have, like how experienced the doctors are, and so on.

Medical groups are far from the only business models that benefit from this type of marketing. To illustrate this point, take a look at an advertisement for real estate in your area when you get a chance. The most prominent things you will see in the ads are the for-sale properties and the agents. Again, this is because consumers place a premium on trustworthy and skilled agents when deciding whom to partner with when selling their home or buying one. Other business fields also operate under the same principle, some of which include:

  • Law firms;
  • Wealth management firms;
  • Tax professionals;
  • Sports management.

In general, the profiled employee is someone prominent. However, there are other options here. For example, some companies in niches with bad press may want to project a positive image of themselves through marketing. By profiling an employee who may be lower on the chain of command, they have the chance to portray their company as a good place to work and buy from.

A company specializing in making furniture may share a profile of someone working in their factory, showing things like the fact they are well-paid, have a future with the company, and are happy with their job. Every employee has an impact on your company’s brand identity Crafting a spotlight lets you take control of it.

Crafting an Effective Employee Spotlight
At this point, we can move on from the theory behind employee spotlights to the mechanics of creating one. There are four main steps that your marketing team will need to consider, and they are as follows.

Choosing a Purpose
We’ve been talking about the different reasons why a company may opt to market themselves with an employee spotlight, but which of those reasons applies to your situation? For example, is your goal to grow credibility with your audience because you are new, or are you a larger company that wants to maintain a positive connection with long-time customers? Knowing this will affect the tone and format of your spotlight.

Choosing an Employee
In some instances, like in law firms, selecting the employee to feature is a no-brainer. In other cases, though, you may need to choose from a pool of handpicked employees, and you want to select wisely.

While you can’t possibly forecast the future, ideally, you want someone committed to the company for the long haul and has an established social media presence they are willing to maintain. The reason for the latter is that if people see your marketing materials, want to look up the person, and have difficulty finding them, it can cast a negative image on the business.

Crafting a Narrative
Creating a narrative is essentially the culmination of everything we’ve talked about until this point. What is the customer dilemma you are trying to solve? How does your product or service solve it? What are your company’s brand values?

The narrative is how you weave all this together in your advertising. Going back to our doctor example, you may provide a bulleted list showing how long the doctor has been practicing medicine, as well as a list of relevant awards. This approach instantly solves the customer’s concern of finding a doctor who is credible in their field.

Creating the Materials
One final thing you need to decide on is the method you will use to present your employee spotlight. For example, a digital ad can be relatively inexpensive and may attract a decent amount of traffic, but communicating your narrative in a limited space may prove difficult unless you plan with this in mind.

Whether using traditional marketing like a commercial or radio ad or content marketing through an article or podcast, you want to know the formats your audience is likely to use to ensure your spotlight has the maximum relevant reach.

Getting Outside Help With Your Employee Spotlight
By taking the time to use an employee or employees as part of your marketing campaign, it may be tempting to try and put other elements of said campaign in-house as well. For example, maybe you think that you can have someone in your company write up the copy or design the visual materials for your marketing as opposed to using outside help. On paper, some companies do this to save money, but that’s not always worth it.
All the tips we mentioned that go into crafting a strong employee spotlight are best accomplished when working with a skilled set of marketing professionals. Depending on the size of your business, you may not have the expertise or means to reach that level with your existing staff. The good news is that you can still make this happen with the knowledge of a skilled marketing agency. Experience and knowledge is what makes Glint Advertising a perfect match for your marketing. We can help you create an employee profile that mirrors your business objectives while establishing a personal connection. Reach out to us for a strategy session today.