Monday, August 26, 2013

Before You Waste Money on a Truck Wrap, Read This!

By Vin Ferrer / Social Media Strategist, NJ Marketing Agency, Graphic D-Signs, Inc.

All it takes is a quick 5-minute drive through town and you're bound to see it.

A company truck, cruising amidst locals and commuters—usually with a ridiculous or bland advertisement—is quite literally your brand on wheels. Unfortunately, this effective means of mobile marketing is often reduced to a 5-ton waste, mostly because of poor execution.

Small businesses stand to reap the most from these in-area beacons of their brand, yet more often than not, poor execution of a truck wrap gets them negative impressions.

The problem is this: consumers make judgments on the quality of your business when they see your company trucks, cars, or other vehicles. An old and busted Buick with your logo suggests an old and busted company. Conversely, a slick looking truck wrap on a newer, well-kept model emits an aura of being a well put together business that’s going places. Proper fleet branding can land you new leads, notoriety, and in turn, new business opportunities.

One of the more expensive facets of marketing and operations, the company fleet may seem like the place to err on the side of saving. The less appealing model may seem like the proper choice because of the smaller price tag. However, business owners should consider this: the amount of money you are going to save on gas is the amount of money you are going to lose on marketing.

The clients we’ve worked with on fleet branding and truck wrap design have always experienced a noticeable growth in sales. Since consumers are always on the lookout for the next big thing, a stylish truck wrap with your brand’s integration is something that can garner immediate attention once it hits the roads.

truck wrap advertising, truck wrap design example
Our Award-winning truck wrap for Timo's Air Conditioning and Heating (Palm Springs, CA)

<a href='portfolio-vehicle-advertising' target='_parent'>View Gallery</a>
Prestige Plumbing, Heating & Cooling (North Aurora, IL)

<a href='portfolio-vehicle-advertising' target='_parent'>View Gallery</a>
At Your Service Heating & Air (Spartanburg, SC)

If your worried about the cost-effectiveness of your fleet branding efforts, consider the tremendous ROI that some of our clients have experienced. An increase of over 800 percent in leads is nothing to shake a stick at, as one of our HVAC clients enjoyed soon after implementing our design. 

Not to mention the long-term marketing value this facet of marketing allows, take a moment to recognize the potential available. You have a chance to turn heads on a daily basis with your fleet branding.

Immediate differentiation, top-of-mind awareness, and positive impressions are always the result when effective truck wrap design is employed. If your progress has stalled, it just might be the key to kick-starting your success.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Imitation: the Sincerest Form of Intellectual Property Theft

By Vin Ferrer / Social Media Strategist, NJ Marketing Agency, Graphic D-Signs, Inc.

You see it everywhere: at the supermarket, in the media, and especially in business.


Allegedly the sincerest form of flattery, imitation is better defined in business terms as the polar opposite of innovation and the definitive deal-breaker for attracting prospects.

When it comes to the look and feel of a brand’s image – the entire point is differentiation.  In this age of sensory overload, your brand needs to stand out and stick in the minds of your target consumers. You want to ensure that you are the clear and decisive favorite, the industry standard, and the emerging legend. Our society’s insatiable need for top ten lists, best-in-show awards, and unforgettable experiences is a testament to how important this really is.

Original v. Conventional

No one wants to pay for an average or ordinary service. In fact, consumers will go out of their way to inform others against falling into the same trap in the event they do. So your brand must rise above.

That means innovation, novelty, and newness. The best way to do this is through your brand’s image. It’s the first interaction any potential consumer is going to have with your product or service, and it needs to be on point.

Take a moment and recognize the brands you know and love. In most every case, your affinity for each brand started with a promise made by their image—a logo, website design, or themed advertisement. It captivated you, impressed you, or maybe even peaked your interest. The bottom line: it promised a quality experience to follow, and it got you hooked.

The Road Less Traveled

When it comes to your brand’s image, the only thing that mimicking an already thriving company’s image accomplishes is setback. People always try to duplicate a proven method, but a petty copy/paste job for your brand’s image is more like shooting yourself in the foot. Using a replication of an already existing image for your own business communicates dishonesty, artificialness, and inferiority.

Our agency has experienced a number of instances in which other companies appeared to have near carbon copies of logos, images, and designs we worked hard to create for our clients. While small business owners may not be aware of the shortcuts a hired designer took to create their brand’s image, such will not excuse them from potentially being brought in to a costly trademark infringement case.
Our interconnected world and the competitive nature of consumers and businesses alike do everything to ensure that falsities in the public eye are realized and dealt with accordingly. Businesses need to recognize the expensive legal implications that exist when intellectual property is sampled or stolen.

Moreover, it puts a serious blow to your brand’s integrity, which in many cases can be fatal.

A Much Needed New Path

Repeatedly seeing the spitting image of the work we do for our clients is off-putting, but assuring. We are continually working to raise the bar for our craft and quality, and there’s bound to be some competitors who overstep the boundaries of flattery when they see spectacular design.

Public relation faux pas can be addressed. Unhappy customers can be appeased. But a lackluster brand image is something that requires much more legwork. Now more than ever, businesses must compete strenuously to gain, engage, and maintain their target market’s attention. Any inkling of averageness only makes it easier for consumers to remove your brand from the equation.

Thankfully admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery. Investing in your brand’s identity, image, and upkeep is critical to realizing the breadth of your potential. 

Due to pending litigation, we are not able to provide examples of our work being sampled.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Socially Acceptable: Social Media Strategy Crucial for Small Businesses

By Vin Ferrer / Social Media Strategist, NJ Marketing Agency, Graphic D-Signs, Inc.

It’s no secret that social media is the next big thing for small businesses, and for good reason.

More people are heading online to get their news. More people are searching online before making in-store purchases. And more people are connecting online with the ideas, stories, and brands they love – instantly.

Social media is the cohesive bond that seems to tie all this activity together. Every experience – personal, professional, and even paranormal—can now be shared with the world, for better or for worse, through social media.

Consider the facts: One of every seven seconds online is spent on Facebook (MediaBistro). Over one-fifth of the world’s Internet population actively uses Twitter (Yahoo!). And social media produces double the marketing leads of trade shows, telemarketing, direct mail, or PPC (Hubspot).

For businesses everywhere, social media means a seemingly limitless degree of insight into consumer behavior and feedback. It also means a new avenue to help them meet their major business goals. But particularly for small businesses, it means a huge chance to level the playing field with their corporate competition. Small businesses can now discover new audiences across the world, acquire the best talent available, more aptly calculate the effectiveness of campaigns, and quickly hear their customers’ biggest concerns. This can all be done through social media.

The main obstacle against them is time. The social media industry is as fast-paced as any, driven by the latest tech and biggest venture capital firms. For the average small business owner, keeping up with the latest updates, platforms and demands of social is a daunting task.

Most see it as a space that they simply need to fill. Yet, the cost-effective opportunity available through social is a beast onto itself that should not be left in the corner.

At GDS, we can help you fully leverage your social media presence in the easiest way possible for your small business. We have the top caliber strategies, the latest industry insights, and the creative capabilities to maximize your social media presence and truly make it work for you. Our cutting-edge services will integrate your desired business goals with thoughtful tactics and best practice to ensure that your brand stays relevant. Moreover, our masterful creative storytellers will make sure that your brand’s message shines through and reaches the proper audiences.

We can ensure your brand appears on the appropriate social media channels and is armed with a winning content marketing strategy, integrated email newsletter campaign, dynamic editorial calendar, and comprehensive metric analysis. We offer full management of your social media channels and brand campaign, so you can spend time on the things that matter most.

There’s no better way to reach your consumers than through a device they keep in-hand and at the ready. Our strategies and content creation encompass the increasing emphasis on mobile tech, as industry sources predict smartphone sales in 2013 to exceed 1 billion. Likewise, we go to great measure to stay at the forefront of the latest innovations by creating organic strategies that adapt as well as impress.

To learn why Graphic D-Signs should be your no-brainer choice for social media design, management, and strategy, view our full list of social media services.