The terms “Flogging a dead horse” and “Success is only just around the corner” spring to mind when talking about this concept, articulated by Eric Ries in his New York bestseller “The Lean Startup”.
In your business as well as your everyday life, how do you know when to “give up”? Or, if you do change direction or quit, were you JUST about to make that breakthrough or success you worked so hard for? What if you are achieving moderate success and therefore if you quit it would prove embarrassing or would lose you the moderate income you are used to. What if, on the surface, you are highly successful, but actually you are unhappy, stressed and working 60 hours per week just to keep the ‘success’ going.
When do you Pivot? And when do you Persevere?
What does it mean to pivot? To pivot is to change direction, drop something that isn’t working, and take one area or your whole business in a different direction. Most of the time you would take some of the past version with you. Sometimes you lose the past version altogether.
A great example is a tech company started by Dan Carroll, a well-known name in silicon valley, in 2007. In it’s original form it was called “kaChing” and was a online “fantasy league” for amateur investors, designed to spot good investors. They built a sophisticated system, but customers found the concept confusing and didn’t buy in. The team decided they couldn’t persevere as it existed and decided to celebrate what had been achieved up to this date, but make a pivot. They abandoned the gaming concept and instead focused on creating a platform for amateur investors. On the surface, the pivot seemed quite dramatic, a new company name, new branding and discarding a lot of the system that they had built, but underneath a surprising amount stayed the same. What worked in the system became the core that everything new was built around. The company (now called Wealthfront) is now a leader in the field.
If the team hadn’t had started in the first place they would never have had the knowledge and core system that they then built upon.
Another example in The Lean Startup is the online Voters platform Votizen. It took 4 huge pivots to drag it to the success that founder and CEO David Binetti had visioned, each pivot building on the previous versions successes.
The interesting fact is that, every time he decided to pivot, it took less time than his last pivot. Of the 4 major pivots, the first took 12 months, the second six months, the third took four months and the last pivot took only a month to put into place.
This can be attributed to 2 things. Firstly, the structure and business allowed for a pivot and adapted easier each time. Each change built upon the things that were great about the business and discarded the things that didn’t work. With each pivot there was less to discard and more opportunity to build on what worked.
The second observation is that, the decisions became easier to make, as the decision to pivot had been made previously. The team even brought the ‘pivot or persevere’ concept into their strategic meetings, something that Eric Reis recommends that every business do.
The dictionary’s definition of perseverance is “doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success”.
A client of mine regularly pivots in her business and on reflection feels that she may have recently made too many. She feels compelled to pivot as she is haunted by the alternative of persevering.
Her dad had a 30-year career working for the same company, with the promise of becoming the first person ever to go from being the apprentice to a director in the 100 year history of the company. After years of blood sweat and tears his final promotion was due. He prepared to become director and enjoy has last years with the company before retiring. The board of directors then decided to promote the boss’s son instead. His hopes, as well as his pride was completely crushed and my client is haunted by the memory of the only time she’d ever seen him break down in tears.
Years of persevering did not bring him to where he wanted to be and the worst thing was that he had no control over the future he’d planned for himself.
What happened to him didn’t have to force him to make a pivot in his life; he could have continued to work for that company. Maybe he might have eventually got the directors role that he was promised. But the pivot he made took his life in a better direction than he could ever have imagined.
An entrepreneur approached him to work as partners. With his engineering background and keen project management skills they start a competing firm. I’m sure you will agree that someone that has been an employee for 30 years starting a business of his own is completely daunting, but he partnered up with the right person. He pivoted at completely the right time, not through choice but nevertheless formed part of the team that, after a couple of pivots of their own, built a company that now turns over in excess of £2million per year. He now has the directorship that he wanted and even better, is working hard for his own company, not someone else’s.
The unplanned pivot was the best thing that could have happened to him. How did this happen? Because his new partner heard that he hadn’t got a promotion and saw it as a perfect time to approach him. This is a perfect example of taking what is good from the previous version and leaving behind what didn’t work, which in his case was the company itself!
How does this translate into our personal success? I’d like you to take these 2 steps, in your personal or business life if you like. Take 10 minutes to think about your answers, write them down and build your findings into your plan for success. Just by being aware, will set your subconscious mind the task of resolving any issues holding you back.
1. Are you a pivot-er or a persevere-er?
Take a moment to think about some pivots and perseverance’s that have led you closer to success, or away from success. Think about how you could have changes your thinking to get a better outcome.
[A classic perseverance is staying in a marriage for too long, out of fear that you will be more unhappy out of it that you are miserable in it!]
I’d like you to think about your life or business, what’s holding you back from that next step of success. What is stopping you? Is it your thinking? What’s the ‘barrier’? Did something spring into your mind while reading this article? That’s probably what your unconscious mind needs to be analysed further.
2. Write down 2 things that are holding you back you right now and then ask yourself the question – Pivot or Persevere?
What we can take from this silicon valley concept:
1. If we want to do something, we need to make a start. Imperfect action will teach you more than no action ever will.
2. It’s not a failure if we have strategically decided to pivot! Start making the changes needed and each time it will be less painful and achieve more in less time.
3. Its ok to pivot and its equally ok to persevere, we just need to know our reasons for doing so.
The ‘About Us’ page is a vital part of any website. It is actually one of the most visited pages of any and every website. Think about it – if you want to find out about a company, organisation or individual, it is probably the first page you look on their website. Therefore, one of the first impressions you can make on a potential consumer is from your ‘About Us’ page. Fortunately, this is good news for everyone, especially because it is one of the best pages on your website for you to truly personalise and get creative with.
We have all seen good ‘About Us’ pages, and we’ve all seen bad ones equally. Therefore, the initial question here is:
What actually makes a good ‘About Us’ page?
Firstly, we definitely believe it should be memorable.
The ‘About Us’ pages that we all remember are the ones that truly stood out to us: perhaps the page was funny, entertaining, used a lot of good imagery, or anything else that made it memorable. Whatever it is, find the unique points of your business and let it shine creatively in your ‘About Us’. Depending on your business’ style, you can make it work to create an ‘About Us’ page that stands out against other businesses in your field.
Also, bear in mind that your consumers will appreciate a company that doesn’t take itself too seriously. If you show a little humour, and uniqueness, through your ‘About Us’, then it reveals a quirky side to your business that will appeal.
Personalise Your Page
The second thing to remember when you’re creating a good and effective ‘About Us’ page is to personalise it enough, to suit you and your business. It should contain information that would relate to your users and consumers. Personalisation will also help to show the humane side behind your business and brand; depending on how much information you are prepared to share.
However, if you believe that you are a business that doesn’t want to reveal any personal information about you, or the people behind the company, then there is still a way to personalise your brand through your ‘About Us’. Think like a worldwide brand, and reveal the intricate details about your company: for example, show how your business came to be, and reveal other interesting snippets that only your true fans would care to learn.
Tell Your Story
If your business has a particularly interesting, or unusual, back story relating to how it came about, then that would also be a fun way to make the most of your ‘About Us’ page alone. Reveal your story – the how, why, and what your business ultimately stands for. This is particularly effective if you have a brand message for your consumers, or believe that your company personally has something to offer that differs from the rest of the market.
Although, always keep to the fact that your ‘About Us’ page shouldn’t be too lengthy. You don’t want to overload your consumers with too much information, or, indeed, bore them off the page. You want to keep your page eye-catching and interesting. It is advisable to break up any large bodies of text or information with fun images, or a particularly pleasing colour scheme.
Create a Business Timeline
Another fun way to reveal all about your business, which won’t be too wordy or uninteresting, is through an interactive timeline. This is also a good way to easily showcase significant times that your business expanded, and highlights for your company. It keeps the tone positive, and focuses on how successful your business has become over the timeline.
Also, if you make it interactive, you can allow your users to click through to read more about the milestones that they find interesting. This will then entice them to read more and spend more time with your website and company.
Be Clear and Concise
Asides from inserting fun and your own uniqueness into your ‘About Us’ page, you must remember that the main point of the page is to explain who you are. The page must, most of all, be informative and clear. The ‘About Us’ page should explain succinctly what your company does, and what the goal is, but in a fun and relatable manner. Don’t overdo it with the explanation, however – the best ‘About Us’ pages are concise and simple, making it easy for the audience to understand your business and your intentions.
Another solid way to inform your consumers helpfully is through using a few testimonials. Ask your previous clients for these and feedback – and remember to assign their names and authority to the quotes. Testimonials will make your company look more legitimate and successful, as well as quietly boasting about the strength of your consumer base.
A Cup of Jo
The People Behind Your Business
If your company wants to be more friendly and relatable, then you may not necessarily want to focus on your business and goals. In that case, it may be more appealing to focus your ‘About Us’ page on you and your staff members. Especially if you have a small team, focusing on your staff can be a very effective way to appeal to your consumers, as they can see the people working behind your business.
You don’t have to include a lot of information about anyone in particular, and certainly not any really personal details. However, if you get the staff members to write short paragraphs about themselves, revealing a quirky snippet about themselves or what they do in the team, then this will be enough information.
It is also essential to use photos for every staff member, and make the images look fun and unique, in order to truly reflect the feel and personality of the company. Interesting images compliment any ‘About Us’ page.
We hope that you have enjoyed our examples, and ideas for how to create a good ‘About Us’ page. Check out your own page – do you feel inspired to make the little changes that make it really stand out?
All ‘About Us’ pages are different, and they should be designed to suit your business’ personality! There are no strict rules, just remember to spend time and don’t ignore the importance of this page.
We Can Help!
If you need help with creating an effective ‘About Us’ page, or any other part of your website, then Bright Yellow Creative can help! Contact us today to find out how we can make your website really stand out, and drive traffic; increasing your consumer base significantly.
We also offer bespoke services that will improve the content and the quality on your website, or social media. Simply check out our services here, as well as our quality price packages here!
Visual social media, and visual content within social media, has become more important than ever. There are social media channels, such as Instagram or Pinterest, which are solely designed for image or video sharing and connecting with people through visual media. However, even regular social media channels, such as Facebook and Twitter, have begun putting more and more emphasis on images and visual content as a way to connect with other users.
One of the main ways to utilise and make the most of images on your social media profiles has always been through your profile picture. On every social media channel, this is definitely the most important image, whether on a personal profile or a business page. For businesses, this is the place you attach your company logo, as it’s the first thing that users see of your profile. Your profile picture, for company or personal use, is always attached to your comments and content on any social media channel.
However, there are restraints on your profile picture. Mainly, your profile picture is only capable of revealing a small image connotation of your business’ or personal page. This means that you aren’t able to show as much creativity, or reveal as much information, through your profile picture alone.
Therefore, ever since Facebook developed their Cover Photo, the majority of the other social media channels have followed suit; allowing you to show a large header picture on your separate profiles. As these header images, or cover photos, are the largest image on your profile, this gives you more freedom to reflect your personal profile, or your business page, in a creative way. A header image also gives you a better, and bigger, opportunity to showcase your business or brand through this social media, and reveal more information to your consumers or potential new customers.
At this present time, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube are the main social media platforms that utilise a header image capability on their pages and profiles. Additionally, LinkedIn has recently started looking into cover image possibilities – allowing their Premium Members (paying members) to add a background photo onto their profiles. LinkedIn states that they will begin rolling this out to non-paying members once they have ensured that it functions correctly (although it will probably be a while, as they will undoubtedly use their cover image as an incentive to become Premium).
The fact that header images now play such a vital role in every main social media platform’s profiles shows how important it is to make the best use of your header image, whether business or personal page. For business purposes, your cover image can be used to convey the message of your brand in more depth, or even to advertise an important feature of your company.
It is also now possible to put a significant amount of text, and create a call to action through your cover image on these social media platforms. This means that there is even more potential to advertise your business through your social media profiles.
Allow us to give you 5 creative examples for how you can make the most of your social media header image or cover photo, in order to enhance and advertise your business!
1. Showcase Your Products Creatively
The most important part of creating a good header image is to focus on the visual aspect. Although your business can now advertise using words and calls to action, one of the most effective ways to showcase your business is through creatively representing your products or services. Take a look at these brands for fun examples:
2. Enhance Your Header Through Your Profile Picture
This is perhaps easier on Facebook, over the other social media channels, and it was more widely used when Facebook first developed their cover images. Although, it is still a fun feature that you can take advantage of. Many brands, and personal profiles, have created funny images through this, and it is still something to look into for your brand’s Facebook profile.
3. Promote New Products, Services or Events
If you have a new product, service or event to advertise, then it’s obvious that you can effectively showcase this through your header image. The image is the biggest on all social media profiles, meaning you have more space to advertise the new product or event, utilising calls to action as well as inviting imagery of the product.
4. Straightforward Call to Action
In a similar way to promoting a new product or event, a straightforward call to action is always a useful and effective way to use your social media header image. Invite your consumers to contact you in some way, or visit your website, or join you on another social media platform. If you utilise them on your website and for your general online presence, then why not use them for your cover image in the same way?
5. Seasonal Celebrations or Promotions
One way of making sure you keep your header image fresh and up to date is through using it to celebrate the changing seasons. With themed headers, your business will look current and on trend. Also, you could utilise the seasons to create seasonal promotions or deals, and advertise this through your cover photo. The only problem with this is you must remember to keep an eye on your header image, and remember that you need to change it at least four times a year – when the seasons change!
Ultimately, just have fun with your cover photos or header images!
Remember that it can be a crucial place to advertise or showcase your business and brand image. Visual social media and marketing is more valued than ever, and all social media users will pay attention to the main header image featured on your profile.
Mainly, however you want to represent your business or personal profile with your cover image, just make sure you utilise it in some way. The majority of business and personal accounts have a header image for all of the social media platforms that use the cover photo function, so it is important that you don’t forget about the header when you create your accounts!
If you would like Bright Yellow Creative to help you optimise your social media profiles through your header image, or any other part of the profile, then contact us today!
We know exactly how to make social media work for your business, so take a look at our social media services here and our excellent price packages breakdown here! Represent your brand effectively through social media now!
Some blame the internet for the widespread usage of brand names used in our everyday language. However, the usage of brand names as everyday terms, verbs and nouns is nothing new. There are a lot of brands that we all use in everyday conversation without thinking about it, or perhaps without even realising it’s a brand.
The fact that so many brands can go basically unnoticed in our modern language and accepted lexicon definitely signifies how powerful they have become. However, it is uncertain whether a brand name becoming an everyday term is a good or bad thing.
Many claim that obviously it is the utmost praise for that brand, as it has now become a representative and synonymous for that particular product. However, there are certainly downsides, especially when you consider that colloquialising brand names causes the brand to lose its whole identity.
Benefits of Verbalising Brands
There is no disputing the fact that brands still aspire to become a common term, verb or noun. For example, many online websites, services and social media crave the Google effect, aiming mainly to become verbalised in that way.
One well-known example of an online branded service that certainly aspired to the Google effect is rival search engine Bing. Microsoft brought out Bing in 2009, and started attempting to gain the success and notoriety of Google. Google has become synonymous with online search engines, and is the biggest used.
Bing was launched with the intention to become a verb in the way that Google has. Microsoft CEO and Bing creator, Steve Ballmer, claimed they named Bing as such because it is an easy term to use for searching. He claimed that people would naturally say “Bing it”, in the same way of the common “Google it”. Microsoft launched a whole advertising and marketing campaign revolving around the term, and trying to get it colloquialised. Well… we all know how well that turned out.
However, Bing’s attempt does signify the majority of brand aspirations towards verbalising their brand, or having their brand become a noun. Simply because the branded product or service would gain more recognition from becoming an everyday term. Also, what greater public acknowledgement than for your brand to become synonymous with that particular product or service?
We did our own “Bing it On”… Sorry Bing.
Cons of Brand Colloquialisation
Although we praise the verbalisation of brand names as everyday terms, and can see the positives in a Google effect, there are no denying the cons. Also, is it really all that good for a brand to become synonymous with a product or service?
If you think of many of the brands that have become common nouns, the majority of people forget that the term is an actual branded name. Becoming a noun or verb does force the brand into losing their individual brand identity, which they must have worked so hard to create initially. This means that their brand ultimately loses all meaning and becomes generalised.
Consequently, the most disappointing result of brands becoming generalised is that the majority of people don’t actually use the brand they are claiming to use. If we think of the Sellotape example: how many of us are simply purchasing the cheaper alternate sticky tape, but still calling it Sellotape?
A few examples of brands that have become common nouns are: Hoover, Chapstick, Tupperware and Post-Its. In the office, we are all agreed that, despite using these terms frequently, we don’t necessarily use those specific products. However, does this really impact negatively on their success all that much?
Also, there are many brands that are commonly used in households, that haven’t become nouns or verbalised at all. It is inexplicable to understand how certain products and services become colloquial terms, while others don’t, but achieve similar success.
If you consider the term Hoover – it is widely used as a term for vacuuming, whereas the success of alternate vacuuming products has signified that many actually no longer use the Hoover. Conversely, the creator of Dyson, James Dyson, has stated several times that his main goal and ambition is to get Dyson verbalised. Dyson has certainly become a massively successful brand of vacuums, although many are using his product and still calling it Hoovering.
Brand Power and Future Aspiration
Considering that the goal for many widely known brands is to become verbalised or a noun does suggest that the pros for becoming a colloquialised brand far outweighs the cons. Also, the brands that have become everyday terms are the most successful, and have gained that success previously, whether people are currently using them in conversation without buying the products, or not. They are still widespread, renowned, and commonly acknowledged.
The notoriety of these brands makes them known all around the world, despite language barriers, which certainly emphasises the power of brands. No matter your stance on whether colloquialising brands is a good or bad thing, there is no denying that the ability to connect languages and countries is highly powerful. Branding is simply one of the most renowned and powerful advertising and marketing tools of all time.
Here at Bright Yellow Creative, we have been working out the brand names that we use in our everyday language. The realisations are definitely surprising! There are so many brand names that we use so commonly, it is strange to remember that they actually only should connote to that one brand. Try and think of brand names that you use in regular conversations – there are more than you first think!
While you’re thinking of your favourite, well-known brands, take a look at our article about logos here, and how important they are in creating and enforcing a brand!
Bright Yellow Creative are pros at all things branding, and digital marketing. Check out our services here for how we can create a bespoke brand identity for your business!