Category Archives: Marketing

The Meaning of Colors in Your Small Business Logo

When designing a logo for a small business one of the first things that needs to be discussed is the color scheme of the logo and the rest of the business’ brand.  Colors are psychologically ingrained in us to mean different things and cause different emotional responses. Colors are powerful elements in any design. Different colors trigger a variety of feelings in those viewing it and it’s important that you understand the natural response that different colors cause in consumers when you’re deciding on what colors you’d like in your business.


Meanings: Alert!, Aggressive, Danger, Love, Passion,  Action/Adventure, Drive, Energy, Excitement, Blood and Strength

Red is an intense color for humans. It causes passionate emotional responses spanning both sides of the spectrum (from alert and danger to passion and love.) It’s an exciting and dangerous color that attracts attention and raises blood pressure and can also cause us to get hungry.

Examples of Use in Logos: Coca-Cola, Red Bull, McDonald’s, Shell Gas Stations


Meanings: Femininity, Appreciation, Gentle, Delicate, Gratitude, Innocence, Floral, Girly, Romantic, Tranquil and Soft.

Pink is a feminine color that triggers feelings of innocence and delicateness. Stirring up thoughts of soft things like cotton candy and bubble gum, pink is commonly used for “girly” or feminine products and services and also is closely related with the cause of breast cancer awareness.

Examples of Use in Logos: Barbie, Victoria Secret


Meanings: Authority, Security, Confidence, Loyalty, Power, Dignity, Established, Calm, Success, and Trust.

Blue creates feelings of security and authority (such as with Police and Security services). Possibly the most popular color in corporate logo design. Blue is used in a number of Fortune 500 companies as well as law enforcement and other Governmental organizations.

Examples of Use in Logos: IBM, ADT Security, Ford, HP, Wal-Mart, GE

Meanings: Affordable, Creative, Youthful, Fun, Jovial, Enthusiastic, Lighthearted, and High-Spirited

Being a mix of red and yellow, Orange can encompass elements of both of those colors. It is not as intense as red but still attracts attention and is commonly found in logos meant to convey playfulness and other happy emotions.

Examples of Use in Logos: Amazon, Nickelodeon, JBL Speakers, ING Banking, Harley Davidson

Green logo

Meanings: Nature, Renewal, Crisp, Fresh, Environmental, Health, Money,  Harmony, Healing, Inexperience, and Tranquility.

Green is a soothing color that conveys feelings of nature and tranquility. While being a symbol for renewal and life it can also represent inexperience and jealousy. These days green is used quite a bit by companies wishing to show themselves to be eco-friendly.

Examples of Use in Logos: Animal Planet, Starbucks, Whole Foods, John Deere

yellow logo

Meanings: Cheerful, Positivity, Warmth, Sunshine, Cowardice, Curiosity, Happiness, Joy, Caution,  and Playful

This bright and highly visible color can send some conflicting messages. While conveying feelings of warmth and positivity, yellow can also represent cowardice and caution for the viewer. Yellow is most often used to convey playfulness and to draw attention.

Examples of Use in Logos: McDonald’s, Subway, Shell Gasoline, Best Buy

Purple logo

Meanings: Fantasy, Regal, Justice, Royalty, Spirituality, Ceremony, Expensive, Mystery, Nobility and Sophistication

Purple can be found in many logos from companies wishing to convey luxury or mystery. Hotel chains, musicians, and religious products and services often employ the use of purple because of it’s ability to trigger feelings of nobility, sophistication, and ceremony.

Examples of Use in Logos: Yahoo, Hallmark, Cadbury

Brown logo

Meaning: Earth, Nature, Calm, Depth, Woodsy, Rough, Simplicity, Rich, and Serious.

Often used in construction related products, Brown conveys feelings of woodsy roughness. Brown is an earthy and natural toned color that conveys feelings of simplicity and seriousness while being natural and earthy. Any product or company involving wood or nature typically employs the use of brown.

Examples of Use in Logos: UPS, Timbertech Decking, Coach, Louis Vitton

black logo

Meaning: Formal, Bold, Authority, Tradition, Classic, Distinctive, Secrecy, Conservative, and Serious.

A lot of companies use black in their logo design for its boldness and simplicity. Black is devoid of color and it conveys feelings of authority and formality but can also imply secrecy . A classic choice that corporations and other traditional companies use possibly more than any other color.

Examples of Use in Logos: Nike, Goodyear, Ferrari, Adidas, Caterpillar, Microsoft

Grey Logo

Meaning: Stability, Practicality, Somber, Respect, Corporate Mentality, Dullness, Humility, Authority, and Moody

Grey is used as an element in logos often because it is considered neutral and goes well with most colors. It has a cool element that will accentuate whichever color its used with. Also used for products related to steel, chrome and metal such as automobile companies.

Examples of Use in Logos: Dell, GM, WordPress

White Logo

Meaning: Purity, Simplicity, Refined, Cleanliness, Truth, Innocence, Peace, and Sterile

White has always represented purity and peace. Another shade found in logos a lot as an element working with other colors. Also can be used as negative space or reversed text.

Examples of Use in Logos: Puma, Volkswagon, Swarovski, Harley Davidson

Additional Note about Logo Design: No matter which color you use in your logo. It should be designed in a way that can be use as an all white or all black vector image. This is important for times when you want to place your logo on material outside your own such as in sponsorship or other branding situations where you are giving your logo to somebody else to use. (See example below)

3 DVX Marketing Logos

It’s important to understand the meaning of colors when designing a logo for your small business. Combinations of these colors also can produce different meanings and feelings and thinking about those concepts will help you create a logo that is in-line with your company message, goals, and objectives.

Show Me Your Logos! Did you create your company logo using any of the above color concepts or did you employ your own strategy? Please show me your logo in a comment and share your strategy for the design. Long live the small business owner.

How to Survive in Tough Economic Times – Small Business Winning


Not sure if you’ve heard, but the economy isn’t doing so good these days (a newsflash I know) and now more than ever it’s important for small business owners to manage their costs as efficiently as possible. Unfortunately for small businesses across the country, the budget for marketing efforts are (sadly) one of the first things to get cut in a down economy. But I’m here to tell you that not only should your marketing efforts not be lessened in a time of economic downturn, they should be increased!

But how do I increase marketing when my business is earning less money?

When times get tough, it’s important to be resourceful if you want to survive. The way that you increase your marketing efforts without increasing your costs is to start shifting from traditional marketing methods such as TV, radio ads and print advertising and begin focusing on more affordable (but possibly more time-consuming) electronic marketing methods such as general online, local, social, and viral marketing. In this day and age there are so many things that you can do to advertise or bring attention to your business for low to no-cost.

If there was ever a time to be experimental with your marketing, even if it means spending a little time learning  some new tricks, now is that time. Please take advantage of these articles below for a few ways on how you can tap into the global internet market of over 2 billion users.

General Internet Marketing

4 Things You Should Do For Your Business Right Now

8 Things Your Small Business Website Must Have

Small Business SEO Basics

Local Marketing

Why Local Listings are Crucial to Your Small Business

How to Get Positive Reviews Online For Your Small Business

[INFOGRAPHIC] The Importance of Local Listings for Small Business

Social Marketing

The 4 Social Networks Your Business Should Be On 

It’s your turn – Got any posts that could help small business owners market their businesses for low to no-cost? Post them in a comment and I’ll add them to the list.

7 Elements of a Killer Business Blog

Blogging has become one of the most effective ways for small businesses to connect with their customers online, spread their company message, and build trust and credibility with their consumers. Blogs a great way to retain and energize your customers and they’re also an effective way to interact with customers and drive website traffic. Blogging can increase your sales, leads, and optimization online but if you want to maximize the success of your business blog. It’s important that you implement these 7 crucial elements of a killer business blog.

1. Consistency (Schedule) – Keeping up with a consistent schedule of posting will probably be the biggest challenge for most beginning bloggers. It’s important that you post on a set schedule (once a week minimum) so customers can rely on getting information from you in a consistent way. A consistent stream of articles will encourage more people to read and subscribe to your blog.

2. Design – Staying on the topic of consistency, you want to make sure that the design of your blog meshes with the color and design of you company’s logos and website. The layout doesn’t have to match your website exactly, but the color scheme should be correct and all logos and branding should match. You also want to make sure your design is professional and eye-grabbing. Remember, you’re one of millions of blogs out there and you want to do what you can to stand out while still appearing credible.

3. RSS Subscribe Button – When people want to be notified every time your blog has a new post, or if they want to include a feed from your blog in their “reader” program, they need to subscribe to your RSS feed. You want to make it as easy as possible for readers to do this so make sure that your blog has a prominent RSS feed button somewhere on the front page. If your blog is missing that orange RSS Feed button it’s not going to be as successful at gaining subscribers as it should be. This is important.

4. Social Media Info – There should be clear and easily navigated buttons that let users follow, like, bookmark or friend your company on their favorite social network site. Make these buttons appear on your front page and encourage customers to connect with you on social sites they use. This way they can stay updated with your company blog using the social network site they’re most comfortable with.

5. Social Share Buttons – One of the best ways to get more views for your blog and build an online following is by having social share buttons at the bottom or top of each post that allow the reader to share your articles on the social site of their choosing with just one click. (See the buttons at the bottom of this post marked “Tweet” and “Share”)

6. Authors – You want to put a face behind the content you’re providing. Build professional online profiles of your contributing authors (even if it’s just one) and put it on it’s own page within your blog. (The “about” page is usually the best place for this)

7. Optimize Your Posts – Another important part of business blogging is making sure that your articles are optimized for search. This means that they are full of relevant keywords and properly tagged in the “tags” section of your blogging program.

It’s Your Turn – Do you have any other key elements of a company blog that should be added to this list? Leave us a comment or contact us with your key element to a successful business blog and we’ll post it in a follow-up blog.

[INFOGRAPHIC] The Importance of Local Listings for Small Business

To build on a previous post of mine Why Local Listings are Crucial for Small Businesses, I thought I’d compile a few pertinent statistics from surveys like the Brightlocal Local Consumer Review Survey into a nifty little infographic. The numbers that grabbed my attention were:

• 7 out of 10 online consumers trust reviews that they read on sites like Yelp, Google, and Yahoo Local

• 69% of online consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation

Feel free to use this infographic on your blogs and pages, I’m going to try to do more of these as I think up statistical groups that apply to small business marketing. If you have any ideas about infographics you’d like to see, leave it for me in a comment. Thanks for looking.

Importance of Local Listings Infographic - Small Business

How to Get Positive Reviews Online For Your Small Business

Local listing sites like Google Places, Yelp, and Yahoo Local have become the new way people find what they’re looking for in their area. The power of reviews on these sites has become increasingly important for driving new customers and smart business owners are figuring out numerous ways to encourage more positive reviews on these very influential sites. To learn more about the importance of local listings, check out my post Why Local Listings are Crucial for Your Small Business.

If you want to start getting more positive reviews for your small business online, start with this list of easy-to-do tasks:

1. Provide Stellar Service – Yes, it’s a no-brainer of sorts, but the first and best way to get positive reviews on any of these sites is to make sure you are providing the best and most memorable customer experience possible to each and every one of your customers. You can do all the other things on this list and it won’t get you any reviews if you don’t give your customers something good to talk about.

2. Ask for Reviews – Ok, so some of these sites actually discourage you from asking your customers for reviews outright. That being said, since all of them don’t have this policy, I feel the best practice is to simply ask for a “review online.” Always ask at the end of your business transaction and don’t ask for a positive review, just a review online. This way you’re encouraging folks to leave you a review on any of these sites they happen to use without influencing them to review your business one way or another.

3. Post Signage in Your Business – Imagine a tech-savvy customer of a small business who just finished having a wonderful buyer experience at your business (hopefully due to that stellar service we talked about earlier.) While they’re paying at the register, the customer sees a snazzy and colorful sign on the counter that says “Please review us on Yelp!” Do you think they would be more likely to give you a review? I think so too, so get some signage posted ASAP.

4. Put Links on Your Website – Another obvious but often-missed tactic that can drive online reviews is to post links or banners on your company website saying “Please Review Us Here”. It also serves as a good point of direction for your customers If somebody wants to leave a review but doesn’t know where to go you can simply direct them to the banner on your website which clicks through to the site of your choosing.

Do you know any other ways to get positive online reviews? Leave us a comment with your ideas and we probably will use them in a post (giving you full credit of course.)

Please read my other articles related to Local Listing Management:

Why Local Listings are Crucial for Your Small Business

4 Things You Should Do For Your Business Right Now

The Art of Starting Today: How to Shun Complacency and Get Things Done

It’s common to reach a point as a small business owner where you know you have to do something to improve your marketing. You realize that your logo needs to be redone. You feel like your website looks like one of those homemade websites (because you made it at home). Your business cards have a different color scheme or design than your logo and it doesn’t even have your website address on them and don’t even start on your advertising efforts that you haven’t paid attention to in months or the thousand other things you’ve thought about but just didn’t have the motivation for.

Why aren’t I Motivated?

Maybe you don’t really “get” why these things are important. It feels like there’s always something that could be done, but hey, you’re not going out of business. So you don’t need to do those things today, right? Ab-so-frickin-lutely WRONG!

First of all, the reason you feel like you need to improve your marketing, is because you do! The problem is, for whatever reason, you don’t want to start what feels like is going to be a long process today. The major problem with that way of thinking is if you don’t start today it will get perpetually put off until tomorrow, which means it will never get done. The trick is just getting started on tasks that you don’t want to do.

A Real Trick

Well I’m here to tell you that 50% of getting those little tasks done is just starting on them. Starting is quite often the hardest part of a journey. Once you’ve gotten started on a task, such as upgrading your website, it has a way of building on itself and motivating the person doing it. Make it up in your mind that you are just going to start today. You’re not necessarily going to finish the task but at least decide that you are going to get the ball rolling today. Make a list of the things you need to do and start taking them on one at a time. Each item might break down into several smaller tasks, make another list for those and start knocking them out. The point is to make the decision that you are not going to waste another day just knowing you need to improve your marketing, you’re going to start today. 

The magic of “starting today”

The real magic trick for motivation like this is to make up your mind to take on each task one at a time. Get excited about new and fresh ideas and lay out tasks to turn those ideas into action. Know that if you don’t ever take on these seemingly small tasks, they will never get done. Try not to look at the tasks as a great big group of things, instead just make a list and take them on one thing at a time. Try not to set goals that are larger than needed. Lay out tasks for one day at a time. Remember, starting today really is the key. Once the ball gets rolling on these various goals it will become easier to motivate yourself to finish them.

Overcoming Barriers

There’s always a reason not to do something if you look for it. We are good at setting up barriers for ourselves for things we really don’t want to do. We say “that won’t really help” or “it’s not worth it” but we know it will. Solidify in your mind the idea that you will not let barriers be the reason you don’t start something. Understand that this is a natural human reaction and let those negative thoughts come and go. Do not let barriers take you out of the mind-set that you are going to start today on improving your business. If it doesn’t work, so be it, but its better to try something with a noble cause and fail than to never have tried at all.

Read material on avoiding procrastination, such as this article: 11 Practical Ways to Avoid Procrastination

Breaking out of your routine and taking on new tasks can be challenging, but for small business owners it is an absolute must. After all, if you would’ve never opened your business in the first place, where would you be now? It was the act of starting today that got your company going and it will be the art of starting today that will advance your business onto the next thing it needs to stay relevant and profitable. Shun complacency! Make a list of things you can do to improve your marketing and start today.

Market Your Small Business Like an Octopus

It’s not uncommon for a client to ask me “What is the one thing we can do to improve our marketing right now?”  I always make sure I’ve got a good ten minutes to go into the inevitable discussion that will come from my answer to this question. Because the answer is: there is no one thing. You’re not going to shoot a commercial, put it on local cable, and your good. You’re not going to offer one or two new promotions, and you’re set. Nope, doesn’t work like that, and trying to figure out that one thing you need to do is the wrong way to think about your company’s marketing plan.

You Must Be Like An Octopus

When you look for that one big knockout punch to market your company, you’re thinking like a human being, with only two arms. But if you want to develop a successful marketing plan, you need to think more like an octopus, having many arms out into the marketplace sweeping around for food (or customers). A successful marketing campaign is not led by any single effort but is, in fact, an accumulation of many different marketing efforts all coming back to one thing, your business, or the mouth of the octopus.

Because there is no one thing that is going to make all the difference in marketing your small business, you should develop a plan that lays out multiple things that your company is going to do to market itself. A successful marketing campaign does not have a single flagship item for which all the other items play second fiddle to. A successful marketing plan lays out a group of efforts that essentially bring the octopus food back to the mouth of the octopus (or customers to your business.)

Small Business Owner Mentality

Small Business owners are entrepreneurs, and successful entrepreneurs are typically very talented jugglers. They can often be master-jugglers of the highest sort in-fact and what they juggle is the thousands of different moving parts that go into making their company operate and profit. These people are great at focusing on a single issue, making a quick decision, and moving onto the next issue with equal focus. It’s a very efficient way to be. But it can make for a lack of creativity when it comes to developing an effective marketing plan. Be sure that you’re marketing plan is a group of efforts and you’re not gambling your entire budget on any one thing. It’s a culmunation of a bunch of different things that are going to help your business generate more leads, retain more customers, and gain more new clients.

How to Get Your Company Written About in Newspapers and Magazines

Getting a placement in a major publication can be a terrific way to drive more customers to your business. Being written about in a newspaper or magazine is a great way to get your company positive exposure through media outlets. It’s for this reason that getting your business written about should definitely be a part of your business’s overall marketing strategy. Here are specific instructions on how you can get your business written about in magazines and newspapers.

Develop Your “Story”

The first thing you need is to figure out what part of your business is “newsworthy”. Simply existing as a business isn’t typically enough to get your business written about. You need to have a story. Maybe you do something for the environment, or perhaps one of your services is innovative and unlike something that’s been done before, or maybe you’re giving away something for free. Whatever it is, figure out how to make it into a story that you can pitch to newspapers and magazines.

Build a Media Package

Your business is never too small or too young to have a media package. So develop yours and send it off to your local newspapers, TV and radio stations. A media package contains all the important material about your company including your location, the nature of your business, and names and biographical information of company officers. You can either hire a PR firm to prepare and send this off for you or you can develop the package yourself.

Use “Guerilla” Style Marketing

Sometimes we need to use some non-traditional methods to get the attention of the media. While not all of these tactics work all the time, they can be a great way to get exposure for your brand if you can manage to generate something newsworthy. Publicity stunts are one form of this style of marketing. Viral videos such as spoofs of commercials or other popular videos are another type of guerilla marketing. Think outside the box and do some research on publicity stunts because while these techniques can be very effective they can also be very risky if not handled correctly (see Kanye West’s storming of the stage of the Grammys during Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech.)

Follow Up and Try Again

If you sent a media package out, perhaps you could give a friendly call or email to the person(s) that you sent it to and just check to see if they received it and if they’re planning on running a story. If not, you can ask what sort of content they’re looking for and what would make a better story the next time around.

There’s no one-size-fits-all formula for receiving media exposure, but with hard work and persistence it can be a very effective way of receiving the positive attention for your company that helps build your business and brand awareness.

Do you have more ideas on how to get media exposure? Leave us a comment or email me at darren.dvx[at]gmail[dot]com

4 Things You Should Do For Your Business Right Now

The world of the small business owner is vast and complex at times. Some businesses require more marketing expertise than others, some require more tech knowledge than others. But there are some very basic things that I believe every small business owner should do and I am always surprised when I find out that owners either don’t know about one (or all) of these things, think they’re a waste of time, or just feel they don’t have the time in their busy small biz schedule to take on these tasks.

Well, this is the new era of small business marketing. In this era, the right online marketing campaign can have your phone ringing more than you ever would’ve imagined. While some of you may think I’m stating the obvious on this list, you’d be surprised how many business owners haven’t taken advantage of these very easy (and FREE) marketing efforts. So if you find yourself sitting around thinking “What can I do for my business today?” refer to this list of 4 small but crucial things that you can and should do today, and do them!

1. Claim Your Business Online – If you haven’t learned about the value of local listings on sites like Google Places, Yahoo Local, and Yelp, it’s time you educated yourself! (I recommend my post on Why Local Listings are Crucial for Your Small Business.)

In today’s marketplace, consumers are looking to the internet more and more when deciding which services and products they are going to buy. It is for this reason that you must claim your business on these various sites. After you claim your business, make sure that all your business information is correct and provide as much information as possible. A well developed listing complete with your website, photos, hours of operations, and a description goes a long way in instilling confidence in your potential customers. It also improves your company’s SEO, SERP, and overall credibility.

I recommend visiting and use their site to list (or claim) your company on a number of these local listing sites or have your tech-person do it.

2. Make a Facebook Page – If you haven’t made a Facebook page (not a profile) for your small business you should definitely go make one and develop a strategy for making regular “status updates” for it. Research ways to utilize Facebook to connect with your customers, spread your company message, and improve your online position. There is an abundance of material on the internet on how businesses can benefit from a Facebook page.

3. Add your business to Foursquare –If you don’t know, Foursquare is essentially an online social game where people gain points, badges, and other rewards for “checking in” at various locations and there’s a few ways that small businesses can use Foursquare by rewarding folks who check in at their business. For instance, the title of “mayor” is given to users who check in at a location the most. Your business can offer special discounts directly on Foursquare for the “mayor” of your location, motivating people to compete for “mayor” by checking in at your business more.

4. Make Social Network “Signage” for your business – Now that you’ve put your business on these various social sites, tell your customers about it! One of the first things you can do is print up promotional signage to display around your business. Signs with graphics that say “Like us on Facebook” “Check In here on Foursquare!” with the site’s logo on it (Foursquare actually has a section on their site with graphics you can print out for this exact purpose.) This not only invites your customers to connect with you on social networks they’re already using, it also shows consumers that you are connected to the same networks that they are, and this helps build familiarity and customer loyalty.

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