We all know e-commerce is taking over brick-and-mortar shops so it’s no surprise that more than half of shoppers do their shopping online. Many retail outlets have even closed up and are left vacant now because of store closures, even those big money builder businesses like Macy’s can’t keep up with the online world!
In the past two years about 10,000 stores have closed leading an estimation of 20 to 25 percent of malls to close within the next five years. Retail outlets have needed to step up their game to get consumers back in their stores. But how exactly are they doing this? And is this possible as more and more consumers are getting sucked into the online markets?
The main way to bring traffic back into stores is to make it an experience. The upcoming generations (Millennials and Gen Z) aren’t going into retail shops because they have something in mind that they NEED to buy. They know better and are fluent in making quick online purchases. These newcomers want an experience, something to share with friends IRL (in real life) as well as on social media. Brick-and-mortar retail industries need to incorporate interactive experiences to drag consumers back into them, and to hopefully make a purchase.
How to Make it An Experience
Create In-Store Events
In-store sales can be boosted by promoting in-store events. Retail stores should be creative with this and even create an event that may not even be interrelated with what they sell, but just drives traffic into their stores. Shopping malls and outlets have started to hold events with bands playing on certain days of the week, or yoga sessions as entertainment. This gets traffic to the whole outlet instead of specific stores, leading consumers to end up wandering around to shop the various stores that they do have.
Here’s some events we were able to promote our clients retail shopping outlets here at Image Marketing Consultants:
- Our “Vino and Vinyasa” event at Plaza at Harmon Meadows. Those who purchased tickets were able to participate in a yoga event sponsored on the green lawn and enjoy a free glass of wine afterwards. People who signed up were able to come and relax and unwind before taking a peek around the retail stores they offer.
Picking the right public relations agency in Connecticut can improve your website rankings just as much as using SEO. Public Relations is a powerful resource that more marketers and top companies are starting to take advantage of. They aim to inform the public about your business by providing free media coverage instead of paid ads and build consumers trust within your company. This brings more consumers to your website while building your brand image.
What a CT Public Relations Specialists can do for you:
Create a positive brand image
Agencies in Connecticut that specialize in public relations will help your business keep a clean status. If something were to go wrong, a public relations agency can help rebuild your company’s trust. In example, a company may experience negative online reviews. This degrades your company and will have customers rethinking if they actually want to go to you for your services, or your competitors. Public relations specialists will rebuild your company in various ways with media coverage for you to rebuild trust in customers.
You’ve probably seen many marketing campaigns from huge corporations, like Nike, fail miserably with the negative message consumers can take from it. This is where public relations comes in, to create a strategic plan to fix this blunder.
Image Marketing Consultants, located in Plantsville, CT, is able to get various clients on news channel segments. This way, we highlight the strengths of our clients and get consumers talking about them in a positive light.
Assist in Event Promotion
Is your company planning an event, or store opening that needs to get the public’s attention? Public relations agencies will come up with various ways to promote this event whether it is through social media, press releases, news segments and more.
Image Marketing Consultants has planned multiple events for companies in Connecticut to gain a wide range of attention and assist in the detailed plannings. Image has helped openings for companies like Vesta and Planet Fitness. Image Marketing incorporates unique details like food trucks and giveaways that are attractive for consumers to show up and support recognition for a new store opening.
Craft press releases
Press releases can be distributed through various websites and social media pages. This gains exposure to your company and more consumers will click on the link for this page, leading them to your main site. Press releases give you free media coverage for a big store event about to take place, or any changes happening within your company, and pitch a news story that will be widely distributed. These can be used on top of Facebook ads or any other social media advertisements to gain a wider range of publicity.
Blogs are an added bonus to your website to significantly improve your website rankings. Public relations specialists can write and create blogs for your site through internal or external sites. While this seems like it wouldn’t have a direct impact to promote your company, the keywords used in the blog can can have a direct link to your rankings, which is similar to the use of SEO.
How you can use PR in CT to achieve your goals:
Search for a public relations or marketing agency in Connecticut that can help achieve the goals you have in mind. There are many small agencies around. It is beneficial to find one that can specialize in your niche. Image Marketing Consultants can cater towards multiple types of companies, but specializes in large and small retail outlets.
You know what your business does, but ask yourself these questions to find the perfect agency for you:
- Can the agency cater towards my company’s needs?
- Do they specialize in my company’s market?
- If so, can they understand and grasp my company’s tone to build a CT public relations strategy specialized to my brand?
Stick to more than one strategy to build brand awareness and attract more consumers to your website. If you’re looking for a public relations agency in Connecticut, contact us today to see our approach to build brand awareness for your company with our unique and creative services.
Connecticut Entrepreneur Helps Los Angeles Homeless Have Access to Clean Clothes
Robert Landino helps launch a new service called The Laundry Truck LA
North Haven, CT – Homeless people across the Los Angeles region can finally have access to clean clothing. The Laundry Truck LA, a free mobile laundry service for homeless individuals, was co-created in 2017 by Connecticut businessman Robert Landino, along with Dolan Clothing founder Jodie Dolan, and it is now helping out people in need on the streets of Los Angeles.
Mr. Landino is the CEO of Center Earth and former CEO of Centerplan, two real estate acquisition, construction and investment firms in Connecticut that have been instrumental in successful urban renewal projects in the state. He is a former member of the Connecticut House of Representatives and was honored by the New Haven Chamber of Commerce in 2014 as its business person of the year. He has been working with Ms. Dolan on this notable humanitarian effort for the last two years by providing mentorship and funding.
“We are thrilled to see The Laundry Truck helping so many people in Los Angeles,” Mr Landino said. “Access to clean clothing is a fundamental component of living a healthy life. It is also a key factor in self-esteem, mental health, and social acceptance. It is our goal to help disadvantaged men, women and children in the nation’s second largest city gain access to clean clothing. It’s something many of us take for granted–and something many others lack.”
The Laundry Truck, equipped with several washers and dryers, launched its Saturday Wash Day services last month, and that will soon expand to three to five days per week at various locations around the city.
In addition to mentorship and funding from Mr. Landino, The Laundry Truck LA , which is a nonprofit organization, also recently received a $30,000 grant from Clorox, along with cleaning products.
About the Laundry Truck LA:
The Laundry Truck LA is a free mobile laundry service that provides many families, men, women, and children experiencing homeless in the downtown and greater LA area with clean clothes. For more information, please visit https://www.thelaundrytruckla.com/
By Faryn Malley
With summer quickly approaching, you’ll want to be up-to-speed on the season’s newest fashion trends. Everyone wants to dress the best, and what better way to feel great about your outfit than incorporating the summer’s biggest trends into your look? Some of the top summer trends we’ll see in 2019 are neon fabrics, animal (and floral) print, fringe (bring on 60’s-chic!), and biker shorts. This summer’s trends are even being combined; think neon biker shorts, floral with fringe, and neon animal print.
The hottest fashion trends are commonly promoted by social media influencers that people admire and look up to for style advice. Why? They’re relatable people who come off as polished with their lives in order. They might even remind us of ourselves a little!
So many people desperately want to dress like celebrities but also fit in with the realness of social media influencers. Trends tend to follow the “trickle-down movement”, meaning that the new styles presented by high fashion brands trickle down to influencers and celebrities to promote before everyday shoppers see them and consider buying into them.
Here are some common summer trends for 2019!
Bright tones of pink, green, orange, yellow, and blue have been seen on the runway recently and are predicted to hit the market this summer. Designer brands such as Gucci, Versace, Moschino, and Armani presented many bright outfits during Fashion Week. This trend is already being advertised in common stores like Express, H&M, Urban Outfitters, and more. Neon has gone in and out of style for numerous decades but is growing more popular this year. How to wear it: Stand out with an all-neon-pink outfit to a concert, or try something more toned down like a simple pair of bright green earrings to spice up your look.
Yes, you read that right! Cheetah, snakeskin, zebra. All of your favorite animal prints are back for summer 2019. This time it’s more than just a zebra striped pillow for the couch. Be on the lookout for cheetah print maxi skirts, snakeskin pants, animal print scrunchies (and even jumpsuits). It’s time for statement pieces and chic style. How to wear it: Pair a denim jacket with a leopard print maxi to play off a cool shopping look, or wrap your ponytail with a cheetah print scrunchie. Meow!
This trend will always remain a classic and most likely never go out of style. You can’t go wrong with a flowy floral dress on a warm summer day. This elegant trend has reached women’s (and even men’s) fashion lines. Guys don’t need to wear plain colored suits anymore; throw on a floral printed shirt or tie under your suit this summer. Women can purchase floral blouses, jumpsuits, handbags, and even jewelry. How to wear it: Wear a floor-length floral dress to your next summer wedding and tone it down by pairing it with a chunky statement necklace and solid-color sandals.
This summer trend was worn by many attendees of Coachella ‘19, the kick-off to summer event of the year. Instagram was flooded with outfit posts from the trendy weekend showing the crazy outfits people flaunted. Fringe was already a big hit for spring 2019 and will definitely continue into the summer, seen on bags, skirts, and tops. How to wear it: Look for short sleeved tops with dainty fringe at the sleeves, or rock a suede mini skirt with fringed hems at an outdoor summer festival paired with a plain tee tucked in.
These shorts aren’t just for cyclists anymore; now they’re a fashion statement that can be worn as a sporty or even fancy look. Kylie Jenner, a well-known celebrity and influencer, has posted her outfits featuring neon biker shorts, creating a rise in the popularity of this summer’s trend. What used to be just worn for athletic comfort has transformed onto the runway and into popular malls and online stores. How to wear it: Pair biker shorts with a tee shirt for a walk on the trail or add a blazer, necklace and sandals for a dressed up lunch on the town.
Shopping Ethically and Locally-Sourced
All of these trends can be found in thrift stores and on sustainable clothing websites. Shopping at thrift stores will not only save you money but it helps to save the environment by reusing textiles. By recycling fashion, you’re helping to decrease textile production and waste: the second largest polluter after oil. Purchasing sustainable clothing may be a bit pricier, but your clothes will last longer and have a positive impact on our environment.
It’s time to step out of your comfort zone this summer! Whether you sport your first neon outfit or repurpose thrift shop items into a new, classy style, we encourage you to get creative and step out of the box this year. Buy that pair of shoes you’ve been eyeing on Instagram; they most likely fit into one of these popular 2019 summer trends! Look to influencers for fashion advice, but stay true to you and make that outfit your own. Be confident in the style you choose to wear this summer. That’s how you’ll stand out!
Using celebrities to promote products is no new concept. The rise of Instagram has taken this a step up with the new trend of “influencers“. Influencers on Instagram have tons of followers and promote brands and products for a price to gain more exposure to your company. Social media influencer marketing is on the rise and is changing how we approach marketing. These don’t have to be celebrities; they can be any Instagram user with a good social media standing and a high following. Consumers are starting to trust these brand figures to help determine their purchases. As Forbes puts it, “They [consumers] are no longer convinced by what a brand says about its products; instead, they form their own opinions through information they get from different online and offline platforms.” They can portray your company in a positive light to attract more consumers towards your company.
Importance of Social Media Influencers
Influencers are the new wave of marketing. Your business should always be on top of the latest marketing trends, which are always quickly evolving. Since there are so many companies and start-up businesses out there, it can be harder to reach consumers that are interested in your products and services. Social media influencers give additional exposure to your company towards your target market. Your company can benefit from them highlighting your brand to make it shine in growth.
Who to Choose to Promote Your Brand
There are different levels of social media influencers to determine the best fit for what your company may need for promotion. While celebrities can be used, micro-influencers are more beneficial for smaller businesses. They have a small follower ratio (10,000 – 200,000) and can be created for the type of niche your business fits into. If your company sells apparel, you should be finding fashion blogger influencers with similar style. They will already have an established loyal follower base that trust their opinions on fashion products.
It is important that the influencers do not have any negative feed. This can end up becoming harmful for your company if you choose to contact an influencer that can have a negative reflection on your company.
Be on the lookout for fake followers. Instagrammers can purchase fake followers to boost their following ratio and make it seem like they are more popular than they actually are. Go through their list of followers to know that the influencer has real people.
Sealing the Deal with Influencers
How do you get the influencer to actually promote your products? Make sure your Instagram is in good standing by not having a bad feed (because bad publicity goes both ways). You should set up a loyal connection between your brand and the influencer. Start by following them and engaging with their posts. After building a relationship, send the influencer a direct message expressing your interest in their posts and appreciation for their opinions via social media.
Different Ways They Can Promote
You are not limited to influencers only posting an image selected off of your own Instagram feed. Think outside of the box to gain the most exposure for your company. Send them a package with a free product of yours and ask them to post a picture of what you sent with a positive review. Having the influencer take a video for their story is a great tool to use. Consumers are curious and like to see the behind the scenes of people they hold in high standings.
Stay on top of the trends this year and find social media influencers to positively influence your brand. Connect with Image Marketing Consultants if you are looking for social media marketing that have effective results. Image is everything and we can help your brand shine.
Isn’t it fascinating to watch our shopping habits change year after year? It’s easier than ever to get what you want, fast. Buying gifts in-store is pretty different than it was ten years ago. You can research stores with the best deal on a pricey item you’re looking to buy your dad. Use your go-to coupon app to see which discount you can apply to it. Purchase it online and pick it up on your way home from work—all in the same day (if not hour)!
The International Council of Shopping Centers (known as ICSC) has collected data from the busy Thanksgiving-to-Christmas period in 2018 to record new trends and growing statistics, categorized widely by age. We’re here to break down the numbers for you.
We’re Shopping Differently:
It’s obvious that nearly everyone that shopped for holiday gifts made a purchase in a physical store this year (87% to be exact). More than half of all shoppers purchased online for some of their gifts. And they love being able to “buy online and pick up in-store” later that day—something that 37% of all shoppers took advantage of. You avoid the cost of shipping and get your goods the same day (and there’s no worrying if it will get lost in the delivery process).
We Still Love Shopping In-Store:
The #1 reason: we can see the item in-person. Why else? We get the item immediately; can use exclusive in-store discounts; we avoid shipping costs; and we can cross a few gifts off our list all in one stop.
We Increased Our Budgets:
Consumers reported that they spent more on holiday gifts this year than last year. Why? Number one, they’re increasing the number of people they’re shopping for. No longer single like you were last year? That means you’re buying presents for your significant other, and maybe their family, too. Number two, the items are just more expensive, especially if you’re upping your gift-giving game and spoiling your family with the newest tech or pricey designer clothes. And number three, when we see an item on sale, naturally we have to get one for ourselves too, right?
How Much We Spent:
The research team at ICSC looked at this in terms of how much Millennials (currently aged 23-38), Gen Xers (aged 39-53), and Baby Boomers (aged 54-74) spent, on average. Gen Xers spent the most out of the three groups, with an average spend of $1,119 to get their holiday shopping done. Next were Millennials (whose bills averaged $1,053), followed by Boomers (with an average of $1,038).
Where We Shopped:
Discount stores like Walmart and Target take the cake, as 71% of all shoppers made a purchase at this type of store. It’s easy to see why: these retailers tend to sell everything under the sun, for a good price. And as we learned earlier, when you have a longer list of people to buy for, you’ll naturally be on the hunt for bargains. Secondly, we like to shop at department stores like Macy’s and Kohl’s, where we can get an Instant Pot for our mother-in-law and Nikes for our brother, all in one stop. Runner-ups included dollar stores (where 24% of people shopped), electronic stores, off-price retailers like TJ Maxx or Nordstrom Rack, and sporting goods stores. Once in these stores, 73% of shoppers used a mobile device as a resource to compare prices, look for coupons, and check inventory, compared to the 66% of people who used one in 2017.
What We’re Gifting:
ICSC reported that 68% of all shoppers purchased a gift card over the holidays, making it the most popular gift category in 2018. Baby boomers purchased the most expensive gift cards, averaging out to $123 per gift card. Next up: apparel and shoes (which half of all shoppers bought), then toys and games at 46%. Finally, about a third of all shoppers purchased accessories and cosmetics, and foodie gifts like chocolates or pre-packaged food baskets. Do these items add up to what was on your shopping list?
The retail world is a busy, profitable, and ever-changing industry, especially from Thanksgiving to Christmas. When do you plan to wrap up your list this year? 47% of people started shopping before Thanksgiving in 2018. So if your “nice” list is growing this year, it might be wise to start buying now; Black Friday will be here before we know it.
Companies rebrand to keep up with current trends and modernize their business. Rebranding can be a great way to generate buzz for your company.. if it’s done the right way. A logo is essential for any business because it defines your brand and shows some personality. Your consumers recognize your brand and what you’re all about from your logo. If you’re thinking about rebranding and launching a new logo, there are steps to be taken to avoid customer confusion. We’re all used to seeing McDonald’s golden arches, Nike’s swoosh and Target’s red bullseye. Imagine how odd it would be if these widely known brands launched a new logo with no warning. Here are some pointers for rebranding (the right way).
Know Your Company’s Purpose
First, understanding your company from the core is essential. Become fully aware of your company’s tone and style. How do you want your brand to be displayed to consumers? Image Marketing Consultants’ brand is professional, bold and a little feminine. We’re an all-women agency, after all. Plan how you want your business to retain customers and attract new ones. Will you have a fun and playful tone, or be more serious? If you’re creating a new logo, you want this to imitate the brand’s visual tone and personality.
Who Is Your Audience?
It’s important to know your audience to find out how to appeal to them. Carefully come up with a list of your audience’s attributes. They should align with your company’s tone. If your brand appeals to a younger generation, having a bland and serious logo will lead this market to become disengaged. Try to find out what will engage your audience versus what will detract them from your brand.
Take it Slow
Hype up your customers before the relaunch! Launching your new look all at once will confuse customers. What we recommend is the trickle effect. Slowly introduce your company’s new vision. Drop subtle hints that your company is changing certain aspects. For example, slowly introduce your logo’s new color scheme into some of the content you’re sharing. Speak out about some logos you’re loving lately. Drop hints without overwhelming your audience; they’ve already become familiar with your current look.
Make a list of all the materials that need to be changed to correlate with the new brand image. Everything from your business cards to sign out front will need to be updated. Ensure all team members are on board with the rebranding process and keep the launch date a secret!
The best way to prepare for a relaunch is over social media. About 77% of the US population has a social media account, so it’s no doubt using a social platform generates hype. Posting photos on Facebook and Instagram will allow consumers to comment and think about your company’s image.
Get the media involved. More people will see how you have changed your image and won’t get confused in the process. Have a local writer do a piece to announce that you’re changing your look. You want to get your new logo as much press as possible for people to see and become familiar with. Maybe even throw in an Instagram story with a poll after the launch to see how consumers like your rebranding.
If you’re looking to rebrand, contact Image Marketing Consultants. Our graphic design team can work with you to create a new look that’s on par with what your company is all about. We’ll help with the rebranding process from start to finish– we’ll even alert the press! Connect with us today to learn more about our services for you to get the best experience out of your relaunch.
Now that the new year is here, you’re more inclined to see advertisements attributed to changing your diet and working out. While a good amount of people set these as their New Year’s resolutions, they often jump in too quickly and easily fall out within a couple of months. Starting off small can lead you to success in the New Year. This applies to your business as well. Here are a few attainable (and out of the box) New Year’s resolutions to help get you started:
Learn Something New
Instead of being unrealistic with workout resolutions, try exercising your brain power. Becoming trapped in the same tedious routine can make your work seem monotonous after time. Learning one new thing can prevent this repetitive cycle. Constant stimulation is even proven to be beneficial for brain growth! This resolution gives you the excuse to follow your dreams and pick up that one hobby or language you’ve been wanting to learn. Listening to Podcasts or taking an online course can help you start to expand your your knowledge and become an even more valuable team member.
Our Digital Marketing Coordinator, Amanda, has a goal to develop more skills around SEO as it continues to prove its value in the marketing industry. She wants to be able to use this additional knowledge to better assist our clients’ digital presence.
Be More Organized
Can’t find that number you wrote down a while back that you swore to yourself you would remember? It can be easy to fall out of organization, especially when there’s a million other tasks to be completed. Avoiding simple routines can start to become a routine in itself. Create a checklist every day to keep you on track and feel more productive. Carry around a journal to make this easier and write additional notes that you need to remember throughout the day. Follow a routine to keep you on track with your to-do list by making a general guideline for your day. This will allow you to automatically complete the tasks right away instead of procrastinating and waiting. Put that essential phone number you had to quickly jot down in a designated place right away. This will ensure that you will be able to locate it when you need it.
Take More Risks
Taking risks can often lead to a variety of successes. This may seem contradictory because the idea of risk can sometimes be related to the fear of failing. Failure is essential for growth- both personally and professionally. Uncertainty is always there, but overcoming your fear of failure will give you a confidence boost. With great risk comes great opportunities, which can help you to build your company or career into a bigger picture.
Image Marketing Consultants creates goals year-long to achieve greater growth within the company, with clients, and as professionals in the field. If you’re looking for your company to have a higher brand image and online presence, connect with us today!
We all make mistakes on social media. But how does that affect the growth of your brand? There are certain social media posts that might not do what you want them to. The last thing that you want your brand to be doing is pushing followers away!
Here are some social media ‘manners’ that are safe to follow:
- When you make a new post, make sure that you don’t overuse your hashtags. While your post might be found from clicking on a hashtag, you don’t want to annoy your followers. A simple rule of thumb is picking the top theme of your post, then putting a few hashtags after. If you are posting a picture your office, pick the top hashtags that are trending. Try looking on Hash Tracking to see what is trending.
- Don’t beg people to follow you. If you reach out to someone that liked your post and not your page, you can say, “Thanks for the like on my post, have you seen some of our other great content?” and lead them in a good direction. Don’t say, “Thank you for the like, follow my pages @—–.” It is an easy way to lose people. You can even answer questions that they have for you, or check out what they have are up to as well.
- Posting the same post on all social media platforms. People may follow you on your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and they want to see different types of posts. While double posting is sometimes okay, try to come up with creative and new content for each social media outlet. Double posting is seen as an easy way out of coming up with more posts.
- While we had a blog on what posts work for your business, there is something to think of; overdoing the posts that work. If you are constantly posting the same thing, your followers will get bored. So it is great to find a variety of posts that will work for your business.
Videos are quickly becoming one of the best ways to keep your followers interested and engaged in your content on Instagram. We’re here to tell you it’s simple to keep up with the growing trend when you use canva.com. If you’re not familiar with the term, GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Format. It’s essentially images that move. You might be wondering what’s the difference between a video and a gif? Well animated GIFs and videos are the same concept, but they differ in implementation. GIF started out as a normal image, and the animation was tacked on later. An animated GIF is a series of frames. Also, no sound. A video, on the other hand, can use a large variety of formats with sound. Some video formats show only the pixels that have changed from frame to frame.
GIF videos are fun, interactive, and allow you to say a bit more to your audience online with just one post. You can choose to make an illustration look animated or make your GIF more text based! It’s up to you to decide how customized your post will be. Get creative with it!
“Sports Illustrated, People Magazine, and TIME have seen almost 90 to 100 percent increases in their video output from May 2016 to May 2017. When Instagram first launched video, there was a 15 second time limit. Now, Instagram videos can be as long as 60 seconds, giving publishers more time to make an impact.”
If you have a Canva For Work account, you can choose to download your design as an animated GIF or movie. Keep reading to find out how you can make your first GIF for Instagram just like the pros.
Step 1: Select the social post format you’d prefer. In this case it’s Instagram!
Step 3: Resize it to the size you’d prefer.
Step 4: A GIF is made up of multiple different layers. Click on the “elements” option – and then you can drag the corners of whatever shape you choose to resize it! You can also change the shapes color.
Step 5: Click on “text” next and play around with the various options. Remember to use the same font if you want your GIF to be consistent.
Step 6: When your graphic is done, click on download and make sure to select Animated GIF/Movie. This will convert your images from flat and static to an image that’s moving.
It’s important to preview your GIF to make sure it’s working to your liking. Download and get ready to convert your file for Instagram!
It’s simple with an app called GifLab. Click on GIF for Instagram once you’ve opened the app and select save and share on Instagram. It’s really that easy.