Category: Expert Tips


How to Give a Behind-the-Scenes Peek at Your Company Without Spilling the Secret Sauce

ChicExecs Co-Founder/Co-President Kailynn Bowling shares her best practices for behind-the-scenes content and why it matters.

She explains that behind-the-scenes content is valuable to brands because it humanizes your company.

“Instead of pretending to be a high-and-mighty, perfect brand, you embrace your innate humanity to connect with customers in a way that’s real but still professional.”

Read the full Inc. article here.

The Importance and Benefits of Influencer Marketing

The Benefits of Influencer Marketing

Whether you’re looking to implement a new social media strategy or produce a content-driven campaign, influencer marketing is a hot trend brands are embracing to grow their businesses. Marketing statistics show that not only do 49 percent of consumers depend on influencer recommendations, but 40 percent had purchased something after seeing it on Twitter, YouTube or Instagram. Let’s go over some of the basic concepts of influencer marketing and how they can benefit your business.

What are Influencers?

Sought-after celebrity endorsements are becoming a marketing tool of the past. People want someone they can relate to and an influencer inspires more authenticity. They bring with them a specific group of followers based around a niche, which makes them ideal for brand storytelling. When an influencer shows off a brand in their post, it sends a message of trust. Because there’s already a bond established between a follower and an influencer, or a blogger, they’re more inclined to see your brand or product as credible. 

Bonuses to using influencer marketing:

  • Boost more traffic to visit your website
  • Increase sales
  • Build brand accountability to a new audience

What is storytelling?

Referring to brand storytelling, think of it as the narrative of your brand. You’re doing more than supplying facts. You’re trying to set the tone and capture emotion. The message is more than “buy my product.” You’re telling the audience why your brand matters and exists.

Find Influencers Who Fit Your Product

The key to successful storytelling is finding an influencer who best represents your brand. Followers need to make the connection between your product and the influencer. You want them to visualize how your brand simplifies their needs and makes their life better.

Benefits of Using Influencers

With influencer marketing, you’re reaching your target audience immediately. You’re also getting great brand exposure reaching a large audience with one post. Depending upon the influencer you choose, some have 10,000 followers while others have over 100,000. 

Another advantage is the user-generated content available. Influencers tend to publish stunning lifestyle photos to their Instagram feeds to keep their followers engaged. You now have access to these same photos to repost to your marketing social media accounts.

In addition to bringing you photos, tagging your brand on social media and inspiring their followers to be your potential customers, you’re getting a thorough, positive review of your product instead of taking a gamble on a random testimonial to be posted to your own social media feed or website.

Visit this topic on our YouTube Channel to learn more!

Contact us to see how we can increase your brand awareness and ultimately drive sales with influencer marketing.

 

How to Create Lasting Business Relationships

ChicExecs VP of Public Relations and Digital Media Kristen Wessel shares how to create better relationships with vendors, customers, competitors and more — no matter where they are in the world.

She explains that no matter how great your product or team is, the success of your business revolves around good relationships.

“Although we’re buttoned up and professional at work, we still want to connect with other people. That’s why business relationships are everything.”

Read her full Forbes article here.

 

Building a Solid Retail Strategy: 5 Questions to Ask

How to Build a Retail Strategy

Whether your product is ready to enter the marketplace or your brand wants to expand its sales beyond an e-commerce site, chances are you’ve been asked, “What’s your retail strategy?” 

If you’re new to this process of product placement, it’s not something you want to attempt alone. To introduce you to the basics of retail strategy, we’re here to answer your questions about what it entails. 

What is a Retail Strategy?

At ChicExecs, the Retail Strategy department focuses on finding retail placement for brands. This could be online, in a brick and mortar store or with a drop shipping business, meaning the retailer purchases the item from a third party and has it shipped directly to the customer. Finding ideal placement for a brand means building a partnership and listening to that company’s end goals. 

Which Channels Should My Product Be In?

Along with curating these partnerships, there’s the understanding that each brand has its individual needs based on its goals. While some businesses are looking for drop shipping, others are looking for presence in high-end stores. It’s the job of the Retail Strategy team to help each business map out their goals so they know they’re finding the best channel to meet their needs.

What Is the Importance of Retail Strategy?

The short answer: visibility is everything to your brand.  While this presence includes social media, brand awareness and influencer campaigns, having your product placed where consumers shop also creates appeal. Not only does retail strategy help those brands that are expanding, they can evaluate which products are best-sellers.

How Do You Stay Above the Competition?

Speaking of best-sellers, you want to make sure your product lands in the retail space of your dreams to become one. Just like applying for a job where you need to stand out among the other applicants, your brand must do the same against its competitors in order to reach shelves. When you’re trying to stand out, your visibility becomes important. Here are some other helpful tips that give you a competitive edge. 

  • Show the retail buyer that you have a cohesive strategy
  • Organize your marketing materials. Your samples should tell a story about your brand and speak to your authenticity. 
  • If your brand has PR or influencers, make it known to the buyer. That retailer could be choosing between your product and a competitor’s at the same price point. Knowing yours has significant PR while the competing brand does not could win your product a spot on the shelf.

Can You Align Yourself with Those Who Have Buyer Relationships?

With many moving parts to retail strategy, your brand requires an expert. You want to establish a partnership with someone who can guide you through the process and already has buyer relationships. 

 

Visit this topic on our YouTube Channel to learn more!

Contact us today to get your product placed in stores.

Top 10 Tips for Optimal Product Placement in Stores

Top 10 Retail Product Placement Tips

Building your brand towards product placement in stores is what you’re striving for. However, there’s a few extra steps along the way to get your product on shelves and successfully purchased. Here are some of our expert tips to get you the retail product placement of your dreams.

 

1. Have a Clear Point of Difference

What makes your brand unique? Review your competitors and have a clear point of difference (POD) that differentiates your brand. You want to stand out from the competition.

2. Price Your Product Competitively 

Your pricing should be based on your POD. Does your product have a clear added value to it? 

Adding or subtracting a few dollars based on your market could make a big difference. Review the price points of your competitors as well. 

3. Create impactful packaging and displays

You have less than one second to “grab” the consumer and make them understand your product and feel the need to purchase it. Hiring a firm is highly recommended if it’s not a talent you possess in-house.

4. Hire a Professional Photographer

For high quality, high resolution pictures that match your brand, invest in professional photography. Especially with lifestyle photos, these images are used for your lookbook and catalog and must show the value of your brand. Because first impressions are everything, this is how a retailer or consumer is going to view your product.

5. Fine Tune Your Brand, Tagline and Mission Statement 

Focusing on these items are important to your retail product placement. You want to make the consumers and retailer you target fit in line with your brand. Fine tuning your brand not only attracts customers but helps you get placed in the appropriate retailers for your target audience.

6. Be Active But Not Annoying on Social Media

You want to make sure you’re engaging with consumers and providing interesting and authentic content to attract followers. Be careful though, you don’t want to overwhelm your audience and lose their interest. Hire a professional company, if necessary!

7. Hire a Reputable PR Firm Like Us!

Consumer awareness is crucial for any brand’s development. Getting PR is your resume to the world. It helps you become a household name and sets your brand apart from others. Leave this task to the professionals who are experts at building connections and know how to get you message out there in a clear and concise way that encompasses your brand in the best way possible.

8. Identify and Engage Your Category Buyer

Send product information, recent press features and any relevant influencer posts for your products. Buyers often need repeat impressions of a brand before they will place a purchase order. Don’t get discouraged. Keep sending them relevant information and push for an in-person meeting to review your brand.

9. Read and Re-Read Your Vendor Guidelines

Once you get that purchase order, you need to make sure you’re shipping correctly, and your boxes are going to the right place for example. Rereading and understanding your vendor guidelines helps prevent charge-backs and returns that can cut into any profit you make.

10. Focus on Sell-Through

Buyers are taking a risk putting your new product on their shelves. They need to know that your product won’t remain there for long and end up as a consumer purchase. Use marketing opportunities available through the retailer as well as your own social media and PR to move product off the shelves. Initial placement is often-times the easiest part – the sell-through and subsequent re-orders are difficult. Make sure you focus on moving your product, not just getting it on the shelf!

 

Visit this topic on our YouTube Channel to learn more!

Contact us today to get your product placed in stores.

Turning Instagrammable Moments into Retail Sales

ChicExecs Director of Channel Management Nichole Evans shares the ways Instagram can benefit your brand and how to see a return on your Instagram marketing efforts.

“You put a lot of work into your brand. Move more product by creating unforgettable, Instagram-worthy moments. Turn fun customer moments into sales for a true win-win.”

Read the full article here.

How to Keep Employees Engaged

ChicExecs Senior Director of PR & Operations, Kristen Wessel shares the ways you can encourage a motivating work environment from team outings to in-office activities.

“By providing employees with a special treat, they’re not only happy to be acknowledged and rewarded, but also get a nice boost of energy from an afternoon crash,” she explains referring to one idea, surprising your team with a food truck coming to the office.

Read the full article here.

 

The Best Photo Editing Apps

The Best Editing Apps for Photos

Every year the cameras in our phones get better and better. Nonetheless, you may still feel the need to edit photos for Instagram. If the amateur photographer in you isn’t feeling like a pro just yet it might be time to invest in a photo editing app. These days anyone and everyone has a phone with a decent camera and knows how to use basic filters so it’s important that your photos stand out. Check out some of these top photo editing apps to help you create stunning photos and get your social media accounts the attention they deserve.

Afterlight 2

Filter fans will rejoice over this app. Choose from an extensive library of filters or use the lighting and color correction tools for precise hues. If you’ve ever used version 1.0, you might notice some changes. Afterlight 2 is a complete overhaul of the original, completely redesigned and redeveloped.

Key Aspects:

  • Create your own filters
  • Zoom while editing
  • Frame your photos with any color or background image
  • Curve tool lets you adjust brightness, color, contrast and shadows
  • Selective tools for hue, saturation and lightness (HSL)
  • Tools for textures and effects

Price: $2.99

iOS & Android app available? Afterlight 2 is available for iOS but only the original version of Afterlight is free to install right now for Android. 

VSCO

With this app, not only do you get editing tools, you can access a whole community of photographers with a membership. The yearly membership also provides some extra photo and video editing tools along with bonus tips, tricks and tutorials. If you’re wondering what VSCO stands for, it’s an abbreviation for Visual Supply Company. 

Key Aspects: 

  • Edit with 10 presets
  • Contrast, saturation and grain tools included
  • Free content to explore photography

With Membership:

  • Edit with 130+ presets
  • Presets for vintage film looks by Kodak, Agfa, and Ilford 
  • Border and HSL tools
  • Video editing tools
  • Weekly photo challenges
  • Bonus member content

Price: Free for basic app, $20/year for membership

iOS & Android app available? Available for both

Lightroom

The makers of Adobe Photoshop made sure you had an app for that well-known desktop program. You can capture and edit photos with this program. The range of Lightroom features depends upon how much you want to pay. While the basic app is free, you can pay extra for additional editing, organizing and storage features or choose an Adobe Lightroom Creative Cloud Plan to work with photos across your devices.

Key Features:

  • Take photos in raw format
  • HDR mode to capture brightest and darkest images
  • Five presets allow you to see the effects as you take a photo
  • Edits range from simple one-tap presets to advanced adjustments and corrections
  • Edit color, exposure, tone, and contrast with the tone curve
  • Copy and apply favorite edits across photos
  • Rate and flag photos

Premium Features:

  • Selectively adjust any part of a photo
  • Auto-tag photos
  • Back up original photos on the Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Import and synchronize photos to Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Access to Lightroom web galleries 

Price: Free for basic app, $4.99 for premium features, Adobe Creative Cloud Plans range from $9.99 to $19.99.

iOS & Android app available? Available for both

Colourtone

Using the Colourtone app is the easiest way to apply professional quality filters to your photos and videos. Created by a professional photographer, choose from a variety of preset collections and adjustment settings to selectively edit photos and videos. There’s also an in-app camera that pre-applies the filters.

Key Features:

  • Twelve different adjustment settings 
  • Built-in gallery for the import of photos and videos
  • Reset button to revert to the original image
  • Compare button to see before and after filter effects

Price: Free for basic app. Collection prices range from $0.99 to $3.99

iOS & Android app available? Available for both

Facetune

Known as the original selfie editor, make this your go-to app to retouch and add some artistry to your selfies and portraits. From crooked smiles to skin blemishes and bad hair days, this app has the tools to improve your appearance while applying enhancements to photos overall.

Key Features:

  • Perfect smiles
  • Beautify Skin
  • Enhance eyes or correct red eye
  • Edit hair
  • Reshape facial structure
  • Add makeup
  • Light editing
  • Blur backgrounds
  • Create mirrored image
  • Add textures and custom frames

Price: $3.99

iOS & Android app available? Available for both

 

Got an Unexpected Reporter Call? 12 Ways to Handle a Surprise Press Interview

ChicExecs Senior Director of PR & Operations Kristen Wessel shares her best advice for professionals who find themselves surprised by and unprepared for a reporter’s questions. Nobody likes to be caught off guard, so it’s best to have a plan for these kinds of situations.

“Don’t be defensive if they start asking questions. Be friendly and thoughtful but don’t give too much away.”

Read the full Forbes article here.