Smart Art

The Microsoft Office Suite comes with predesigned graphics and diagrams called SmartArt. SmartArt graphics are organized in categories such as List, Process, Cycle and Hierarchy. They are useful for displaying relationships between objects, presenting sequential steps in a process, showing organizational hierarchy, and displaying blocks of information. Many users find SmartArt provides a more interesting way to display bulleted lists.

The SmartArt Tools Format tab includes design options for the SmartArt Graphic. This tab displays commands that allow you to change individual shapes within the graphic, apply predesigned shape styles, and change the shape color. Some of the options in the SmartArt Tools Format tab require you to select individual shapes within the SmartArt graphic.  For more small business productivity tips check out the book Small Small Business Guide to Software 

The Brands Have It

What is brand? I’m reminded of scenes from one of my favorite American movies, Red River; namely, the branding of cattle in preparation for a historic cattle drive along the old Chisholm Trail. Brands were visual symbols of ownership. They depicted in graphic geometric shapes and/or letters the names of the various ranches: The Circle R, The Flying P, and The Two Rivers are examples. The brand message to all who saw it said, “This is mine, and it is separate from the rest of the herd.”

The most successful and durable brands like Coca-Cola, Walt Disney, Ford, and Budweiser create a special relationship between the company providing the product and the customer—indeed, the brand becomes the product in the mind of the customer.

“Brand Bonding” results in the customer experiencing a feeling of ownership. Recent television and print commercial scripts have the actors saying, “that’s my CVS,” “my Sprint,” my Tide.” After multiple repetitions and images of people just like us embracing a product, an almost subliminal message becomes imprinted and oftentimes drives the sales decision.   Are you ready to get started in branding your small business? Check out the book “Small Business Guide to Marketing Basics

Rule of Thumb for Small Business