changing my company logo

When’s The Best Time To Change My Company Logo?

Gee Ranasinha Marketing

Perhaps it’s something in the air. Or sunspots. Or climate change. Something akin to how birds instinctively know when to fly South for the winter, or when hedgehogs decide to hibernate. Or maybe how baby turtles know to head towards to sea as soon as they hatch. It’s like an unconscious calling that emerges from the deepest, darkest recesses of a company owner’s psyche, usually after about 4 or 5 years: Someone thinks that it’s time to redesign the company logo. The suggestion usually comes either from the boss, or the Marketing Director – especially if the latter has recently joined the company. It’s often that case that one of the first things a new marketing person does is change/update the company logo. Maybe it’s because it’s one of the most “visible” changes that can be made and realized in a short space of time. I’m more inclined to think it’s more about personal ego. For anyone thinking about it, allow me save you the time and money: Don’t bother changing your logo. Customers aren’t suddenly going to take notice of your business value offering because you’ve now got a shiny new ID. Nor will a customer walk away from …

Roger McNamee Presentation

“Google & Microsoft Are History” Video

Gee Ranasinha Advertising, Communications, Marketing, Technology

I like to think that I’ve watched enough video presentations given by self-proclaimed tech gurus predicting the “Next Big Thing” to be able to smell the bovine excrement from 100 paces. It’s usually the same people that crop-up over and over again, prophesising that “..the way that we do (whatever) is dead!  This new thing that’s coming along is going to sweep everything else away in a blink of an eye!” You know the sort. However, I really can’t argue with the points made in a presentation that I recently found from Roger McNamee, MD and one of the founders of venture capital company Elevation Partners (who clearly need to get someone to redesign and update their website. Not only is the footer out of date, but the site uses Flash. Flash? Really ?). McNamee’s been investing in tech companies for nearly 30 years, including names such as Facebook, Forbes and Yelp, so in my book here’s a guy who probably knows what he’s talking about in terms of the trends taking over the tech world. I would love you to watch the whole video of his presentation. However the video’s been taken down, and a brief Google search (yes, …

Middlemen Are An Endangered Species

Middlemen Are An Endangered Species

Gee Ranasinha Business

Back in 1995, I landed a job at a London-based systems integrations company that sold their wares into – amongst others – the printing industry. It was a transitory time, from both a technical as well as a commercial perspective. The publishing industry was coming to terms with – for example – no longer being able to charge £70 (about $110) for printing out a “proof” of a magazine page for an advertising agency or publishing company. It was also to be the beginning of the end for the newspaper advertising “Gate Keepers.” These were a group of perhaps five premedia companies that, together, pretty much had the monopoly on preparing and sending ads to the major UK newspaper publishers. Their rationale was that preparing files for newspaper printing needed specialist knowledge – their knowledge. This was back in the day when preparing a PDF file that was fit for the printing press was a lot more complex than it is today. It was before the time of industry standards such as PDF/X-1a, for example. If your company wanted to run an ad in any of the major UK newspapers, the file could only be sent to the publisher via …

QR code movie

QR Codes Aren’t Just For Print

Gee Ranasinha Marketing

You probably already know about QR codes. You can’t really escape them from at the moment – they seem to be everywhere. QR Codes are those square 2D barcodes (right) that were invented by Toyota in 1994, that the Japanese have been using for about the past fifteen years. However, because mobile technology in Europe and the US has only recently caught-up, QR codes seem to be enjoying something of a revival lately. Listen to most US-based marketers and you’d be forgiven for thinking that they’ve just invented the things. Printing companies are one of the biggest fans of QR codes – and it’s no wonder. QR codes not only bridge the communications gap between ink-on-paper (or maybe that should be “toner-and-substrate”) and the internet. Their current “flavor of the month” status is helping to make print relevant again in a world where marketers are increasingly spoiled for choice in finding the most relevant communication medium for their target audience. Unfortunately the vast majority of QR code-based campaigns are painfully ineffective, since it often seems to me that the the thinking behind them didn’t really progress much further than “Hey, let’s use a QR code to get people to our …

three monitors with currency signs

The Death of “Three Screens”: Content Has No Limits

Gee Ranasinha Marketing

Not so long ago, many marketers used to talk about the notion of “three screen” communication. Essentially, the concept was recognizing and adapting marketing collateral to follow the “Three Screens” of Computer, Television and Mobile. The thought processes were along the lines that, even though convergence continues to move forward, each “screen” has a unique and specific role in media consumption. More than that, the Three Screens needed to work together to help create a cohesive experience – customers have certain “consistency of message” expectations that needed to be met. When Screens Were Screens Let me give you an example. Supposing you wanted to watch a TV show, but you couldn’t get in front of a television at the time it was due to be broadcast. What you used to do was set the video recorder and record the show, watching it at a time that was more convenient for you. Today, TV shows continue to be scheduled on a set day and time. However, now they can be viewed in a variety of places. Not just on the internet via YouTube or on the TV station’s own “catch-up” website. But via your SlingBox, or on your cellphone or tablet. …

non-trustworthy-looking person

Maintaining Credibility In The Eyes Of Your Customer

Gee Ranasinha Communications, Sales

Imagine that you’re in a sales situation with a potential client. The deal could be highly lucrative. Things are going well – you’ve done your research, they like your offering…but they also like the offering of one of your biggest competitors. From your perspective, it’s anyone’s guess as to who’s going to get the deal. Then something happens. The prospective customer shows your pricing proposal to the other company – or forwards them one of your emails, asking them for their take on it. What just happened? You lost the sale. For whatever reason your credibility, in the eyes of your customer, has been compromised. For all intents and purposes you’re no longer in the running. Of course you’re never going to hear that from your customer directly: they’ll continue to go through the motions of the sales process right up until they make the purchase – with the other company. There are 1001 reasons why you may lose the credibility of your customers. Maybe it’s the overly-pushy salesperson who needs to be the center of attention, dominate the conversation, or make it abundantly clear that they’ve been there and done that and (in the words of Stevie Wonder) you …

crushed cans of Spam

Stop Spamming Your Customers

Gee Ranasinha Communications

You may not be trying to sell me little blue pills, a sure-fire way to get my website on the first page of Google search results, or the opportunity to ‘rest’ $15m in my bank account. But you’re as bad. I define spam as unsolicited messages. Communication that is forced onto me, that I haven’t asked for. Spam exists in various forms. Apart from all those email messages that we all receive, there are spam messages that come into the comments section of this blog. There are spam SMS messages that I receive from my cellphone provider. I even get spam messages to my Twitter account. You probably hate spammers too. In which case why do you choose to adopt similar techniques when communicating with your customers? Why do you automatically add every customer and sales prospect that you’ve ever known to receive your online communication? Why do you send your email communication from a “no-reply” email address? Why do you blast the same message – verbatim – across all of your social media channels?  Don’t you realize that your intended audience ends-up getting the exact same message – but from 20 different places? Why are you mixing personal messages with …

How Safe Is Cloud Computing

How Safe Is Cloud Computing? As Safe As Air Travel

Gee Ranasinha Technology, Website

Today it seems that everyone’s talking about computing in “The Cloud.” The concept is simple: Rather than buy a load of hardware and/or software and have it all sitting in your offices waiting to go wrong, blow up or become obsolete, you work and store your files with an online service that handles all that icky technical stuff for you. Our own Qarto translation management portal is an example of a cloud-based system – also known as Software As A Service which, of course, inevitably gets abbreviated to “SaaS.”  Other examples are email systems such as Google Mail and Hotmail, online storage services such as Dropbox and Box, or office applications such as SugarCRM or Zoho. Even Microsoft have jumped on the cloud computing bandwagon, which isn’t such as surprise since cloud-based services generated over $68 billion last year and is forecast to hit around $150 billion by 2014. However, just lately cloud-based services have been taking a bit of a beating. Sony’s PlayStation Network got hacked and was offline for the best part of six weeks. On April 21st Amazon’s EC2 cloud-based platform fell over which, since many tech sites use EC2, had the knock-on effect of taking down services …

customers to know your story

It’s not WHAT you sell, it’s WHY you sell

Gee Ranasinha Business

Do your clients ‘get’ what you do? I don’t mean if they know what you sell. I’m guessing that they know that already. If they didn’t they wouldn’t be customers, right? I’m not talking about whatever product or service your business sells. I’m talking about the reasons why they should buy from you, as opposed to the hundreds or thousands of others who, in their eyes, offer something similar to what you do. What I mean is: do your customers know your story? The reason why you’re in business? Oh, and by the way the reason as to why you’re in business is not to make a profit. Making a profit is simply a result of why you’re in business (well, hopefully at least). When I say ‘why’, I mean the passion, cause or belief that caused the creation of your organization in the first place. Let me give you an example. We launched KEXINO because we feel that companies and organizations of all sizes – from “mumpreneurs” to SMEs – should have access to next-generation marketing resources in the same way that the big guns do. Why? Because, increasingly, customers expect a certain experience when they interact with a …