The Purple Tie Show Episode 90

The Purple Tie Show combines business, marketing, and technology.

In our rambling first segment, we talk about using other advertisements to encourage your own. That doesn’t mean blatantly copying, but what we actually mean for you to do is take inspiration from other advertisers and use them to create something unique of your own. In the process of making that point we talk about Volcano and Dante’s Peak (two of my all time favorite guilty pleasures).

Next, we talk about modular shoes. This started life as a Kickstarter called Shooz. They’ve changed their company name and the name of their product. You can find them on their Shopify page (https://one-footwear.myshopify.com/). It’s a really cool concept, in my opinion. You get separate tops and soles. Then you can mix and match to make a “custom” shoe. Things like this has lead to our next topic of conversation, the downfall of Payless Shoes. Payless is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and closing 400+ stores in 2017. Now, this isn’t news to any parent who’s had to buy shoes in the past 10 years, but Payless is notorious for doubling and tripling shoe prices in order to sell a 2nd pair at “half price.” You can’t sustain that business model forever, and this is the inevitable result of that.

Lastly, we talk about Verizon losing 400,000+ users before starting their Unlimited Data plan. Competition from T-Mobile (in the form of their Binge On plan) almost literally tore customers from Verizon’s claws, giving them something they hadn’t had in a while: no fear. No fear of going over their data, text messages, or minutes (yes, that used to be a thing). And Verizon realized what it had to do a little too late. But they’re fighting back now, and honestly, they’re winning on many fronts. But it just goes to show you that if you don’t adapt your competition will always find a way to overshadow you.

Check The Purple Tie: Inspiring Success on Facebook or Twitter for all your digital marketing, online advertising, and web design!

Listen to the episode!

By | 2017-05-02T14:52:57+00:00 April 25th, 2017|podcast, Post|Comments Off on The Purple Tie Show Episode 90

The Purple Tie Show Episode 89

The Purple Tie Show combines business, marketing, and technology.

This episode is very Apple and Mac-Centric. We talk about a lot of their products and how they’re losing ground in the computing world. If you don’t want to hear a LOT of stuff about Apple, then I implore you to move along.

With that disclaimer out of the way, here’s what we talk about this week!

Apple’s MacBook Pro has lost a lot of ground recently. People complained when they took away all of the ports and replaced it with a USB-C port, but they kept using it. They complained about the “touch bar” and how expensive it is, but they kept buying it. But when the price went up, that’s when people started to question what Apple was actually doing. Were they actually making improvements to the products? Why did I have to buy this stupid dongle to do ANYTHING ELSE with my MacBook Pro? That dissatisfaction manifested in an interesting way. For the first time in 7 years, the MacBook Pro dropped from 1st to 5th on nearly every list of Top 10 Laptops compiled by Laptop Mag.

Interestingly enough, Apple also announced a sort of apology to the Mac Pro fan base. If you didn’t know, the Mac Pro is Apple’s desktop. That’s right, a desktop computer. It’s difficult to explain what it looks like. So, just imagine a small, round, chrome garbage can with the lid closed. That’s an apt description. I wish I’d thought of this while we were recording! Anyway, Apple says to skip it, for now. They’re reworking the entire thing and releasing an update next year. But that’s the rub. They haven’t updated the Mac Pro line in nearly 5 years already. It’s still running hardware that was top of the line in 2013. That’s terrible. In 2013, people were still using Windows 7 because Windows 8 was so bad. In fact, Windows 8.1 hadn’t even been released yet. And now we’ve got an entirely new version of Windows kicking around. It’s ridiculous.

We also berated the iPad 5th gen for being an older, slower knock off of an older, slower version of the iPad. Namely the iPad Air 2. Or the iPad 4th gen. I can’t remember.

EDIT: Here’s the link I was trying to find earlier about the iPad 5. Come to find out, we were giving Apple too much credit. They’re saying that the screen is the exact same as the original iPad Air model. That means that the screen is no less than 4 years old. Jeez, Apple! Come on!

And last, but not least. Edible, bottleless water. Ooho is making these packets of water that have no packaging. The water is incased in an algae based pocket that is edible and biodegradable. It’s weird. It’s cool. It may be the future. But then again, it has its own hurdles.

Check The Purple Tie: Inspiring Success on Facebook or Twitter for all your digital marketing, online advertising, and web design!

Listen to the episode!

By | 2017-05-02T14:52:57+00:00 April 18th, 2017|podcast, Post|Comments Off on The Purple Tie Show Episode 89

The Purple Tie Show Episode 88

The Purple Tie Show combines business, marketing, and technology.

Crayola has retired Dandelion from the 24 count box of Crayola Crayons. The company is giving the color a 4 week retirement, and it will let the internet choose which hue of blue goes in place of the original light yellow. The internet also gets to choose the name of the color. I personally think this is a bad idea for the company. On the other hand, I’d love to see a list of submitted names.

The second topic of the day finds us rambling a bit. But let’s start off with what we actually talk about. If you’ve ever ordered business cards or postcards or brochures from a local print company, chances are they’ve offered to do the design work for free if you place your print order through them. There are a few reasons for this, as we’ll get into in the podcast, but for the customer, I think it’s a raw deal. We also end up talking about “Millenials React To Paper Mail,” which is a marketing scheme cooked up the the USPS (I can’t find the link, at the moment. But when I do I’ll update the description.). And we talk about mail delivery people getting bitten more because of Amazon. And speaking of Amazon?

Amazon Cash is now a thing where you can go into your local CVS (or other stores as the service is rolled out further) where you can transfer physical cash into your Amazon account as credit. I personally feel super shady doing this, but Robert makes a good point. Some people just plain don’t have a credit/debit card. So Amazon has been off limits to them until now. So, for those people, enjoy window shopping on Amazon like I do. I’ve got SO MUCH on my wish list that will never be purchased. It’s a problem. Seriously.

And our last topic of the week is Facebook Live Audio, the audio-only followup to last years Facebook Live Video. The article Robert read about the new service said that “now everyone can have a podcast!” While that’s true, Facebook Live Audio will not be the one to usher in the age of the podcast. I don’t see the Live Audio service being as useful as the Live Video, and if it’s used at all for regular users, it will be short lived. I’m not sure what Facebook was trying to accomplish with this, but they aren’t succeeding. Now, if you want to see what Facebook taking down competitors looks like, check out how they’ve changed Messenger. It’s a clear Snapchat clone now. Except your chats aren’t anonymous, nor are they deleted after a time. But hey, silly face filters!

Check The Purple Tie: Inspiring Success on Facebook or Twitter for all your digital marketing, online advertising, and web design!

Listen to the episode!

By | 2017-05-02T14:52:57+00:00 April 11th, 2017|podcast, Post|Comments Off on The Purple Tie Show Episode 88

7 Deadly Sins of Web Design

I am going to be brutally honest here, readers. Culturally speaking, the United States doesn’t see art-related careers as an important skill set.  At worst things like designing graphics and building websites are publicly viewed a useless talent that leads to little hope for a career prospect and at best it is treated as a quaint hobby that anybody can do with a bit of hard work and no formal training.

Too often I have seen business owners and students with very little aesthetic know how, try their hand at designing a website only to have abandoned their project halfway through or worse, created one of the most outdated and worst looking websites known to the internet.

However, that does not mean that someone must have a formal education in order to do web design, but it does mean that they just have to take the time to learn the important rules of aesthetic appeal.  Because in the world of marketing and advertising, appearances matter.

That is why I decided to make a list of the worst mistakes that someone new to web design should their hardest to avoid.

 


Number 7: Lack of Content Organization

 

 

 

When you were taught to write in school, you started learning the structure speech, then words, then eventually you could sort them into essays and/or books with multiple paragraphs in a standard format that everyone could understand.

Web content has the same structure that makes it easy to convey the message of the site to the audience through both the use of words and illustrations.

The content in the center of the web page (much like the paragraphs in an essay) is supposed to be structured in such a way that the viewer can tell which section the content is supposed to belong to.  If the sections are clustered together with little space or too far apart, your website will look like an untidy mess, not unlike a kindergartner who has yet to master penmanship or grammar structure.

Content for your website needs to sorted in such a way that it looks cohesive to the audience and should follow the path that naturally draws the eye in a top to down and left to right direction with enough space in between for the reader which section is which.

 

Here are a few resources that can better explain what I mean:

 


Number 6:  Lazy Use of Graphics

 

poor website graphics

Have you ever watched an old television show or a movie at some point in your life and noticed that the quality of the footage was filled with grainy squiggle lines, or that you could see the edge of the film strip?  These visual hiccups deter the audience from focusing on the film completely and ruins the immersive experience almost completely.

So, when customers see your website with an image that has a watermark on it from the stock site that you took your image from, or left-over pixels where the background of an image used to be or just blurry photos, these visitors are not going to be interested in your business. Because these errors reek of unprofessionalism, possible copyright infringement, and outright laziness.

The general rule of thumb when selecting your images is that it needs to be at the highest resolution possible, aka the size with the highest number of pixels, only use your own images or images that are free for public use and to make sure that you download png images so that the backgrounds are transparent and not white.

 

For further resources, check these pages out:

 


Number 5:  Bad Color/Pattern/Texture Combinations

terrible website color

 

It is almost surprising how much colors, shapes, and visual textures could influence how people communicate with each other. The right combination of those elements can send either an intended message that can attract an audience and the wrong combination relay a poorly made, unintentional message that can turn potential customers and connections away.

Oftentimes I have seen websites that either too many textures, blinding/inappropriate colors, and patterns that make no sense.

Here are a few resources that will help if you are struggling with colors and patterns.

 

For further resources, check these pages out:

Number 4:  Bad Typography

 

When it comes to building a website, typography, aka the way that your letters and words are styled and sorted, is almost more important than your choice of colors and patterns for your website.  Good typography serves two important functions. It both must be easy for your audience to read your content and it must set the proper tone.

You would not believe how many times, I have seen site owners choose an ill-fitting font for their main typeface, or that the size of the chosen font was too small for anyone to read properly.  And if your customer or audience has to struggle with either the identity of your website or with reading the necessary text, they will not bother sticking around to try to figure it out.

Here is a link to a couple of resources that put you in the right direction as far as what fonts to use, and what to avoid.

 

 


Number 3: Lack of Site Updates

 

With various professional fields (especially when technology or medicine is involved), it is crucial to keep up with the ever-consistent changing tide of progress, lest you get swallowed in a sea of competition.  Web design is no exception to these rapid changes in not only aesthetics but in user experience and functionality.

Between the constant creation and updates for both mobile devices and computer programs it is important that you consistently update your design to keep the structure ‘up to code’. In layman’s terms check and see if the website builder you use is up to date or if the program is discontinued.

But even that is more forgivable than the lack of content updates to your website. If you have changed your address, your phone number, or if you no longer offer a service then it would be important to take the extra time to notify your customers of these major changes.  But I have seen many a website fail to make these updates and wind up literally turning their own customers away, simply because of the unnecessary confusion.

 

Below is a list of top website building programs and hosts that are more recent to more outdated:

 


Number 2:  Poor Grammar

 

a website with bad grammar

The English language is hard to grasp sometimes, and nobody is grammatically correct 24/7 when it comes to sending text messages or typing out paragraphs. However, it takes a special kind of trolling or an almost brilliant form of laziness, if your customer requires translation for the rampant chat-speak in your blog.  With no periods at the end of your sentences, no capitalization at the beginning of your sentences, and atrocious spelling that can make a third-grade teacher cry, virtually no one will have the patience or the time to take your website seriously or do business with your establishment.

 

To avoid this web design sin, you can either have someone edit your content for you, or you can consult the multitude of websites that can help you with spelling and grammar errors in the links below:

 


Number 1:  Audio Automatically Playing in the Background

 

Back in the days of Myspace yore, web pages took ridiculously long to load, and you have a very limited amount of RAM to navigate with on your home computer, so when you loaded a friend’s profile page and you heard the latest pop ballad or television theme song, you were pleasantly surprised and entertained while you were looking at the photos of your latest outing.

10 years later, you have at least 20 web page tabs open, along with a word processor program and a playlist of your own music and when you click on a link, you hear a second audio track that is playing loudly and you don’t know where it is coming from.

What has been an amusing gimmick in the early 2000’s has now become an utter annoyance that is not unlike having nails screeching on a chalkboard and unless you are a musician with a playlist that can be turned on and off, you have no business embedding any audio of any sort on your blog or website.

 

For a list of reasons why this would be a great design handicap for your website, check out the links below:

 


 

Do you agree or disagree with me? Or maybe there was something I missed on the list. If you want to talk about it, comment on this page or on our Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/purpletieguys

 

Image Sources:

http://www.theworldsworstwebsiteever.com/

http://philsandovals.com/

http://chainsawtreeservice.com/

http://www.danstours.net/

http://www.stereoandalarm.co.uk/

http://www.benefitadvisory.com/new/benefitadvisory/

By | 2017-06-07T13:17:22+00:00 April 10th, 2017|list, mistakes, Post, top ten|Comments Off on 7 Deadly Sins of Web Design

The Purple Tie Show Episode 87

The Purple Tie Show combines business, marketing, and technology.

Let’s talk about video games for a moment. Gamestop is closing 150 stores this year. That’s because they’re not performing like they should. So, it’s a better option for the company to shut these stores down than try to fix what’s wrong with the company as a whole. They’re playing catchup with the rest of the world. People have long since moved to getting their merchandise from the internet, either through online retailers (like Amazon) or directly to their devices (like download only games). We’ll talk a little bit more about Amazon later in the podcast, but it’s worth noting that many of the businesses that failed in the early 2000s were mainly due to them sticking to a model that wasn’t sustainable in our internet-centric lives or were more of a hassle than the alternatives. That’s something to think about.

Second up on the agenda today, we talk about “Me too!” Everybody and their damn brother is jumping onto the bandwagon, and your company will either suffer or prosper because of it. Our main example of this is Amazon’s Services or Home Services or something like that. They’ll find a local service company to fulfill your request and send them to your house. Now, the only reason this works, and I’m kind of proud that I brought it up, is the fact that because people are starting the order on Amazon, whoever shows up automatically gains credibility. Because your ordered them through Amazon. It doesn’t mean they’ll do a good job, but it makes you THINK they’ll do a good job.

And lastly, we talk about death threats. They’re so common place among Internet personalities that they’ve almost become a sign of success. You’re getting death threats? Good for you! You’ve made it! But that doesn’t mean it’s okay. And that doesn’t mean that you can just throw them around over just anything. Our example is about a football game that was airing during a severe weather threat, and I’ll let Robert explain that in the podcast. But the take away is this. Death threats are never okay. Ever.

Check The Purple Tie: Inspiring Success on Facebook or Twitter for all your digital marketing, online advertising, and web design!

Listen to the episode!

By | 2017-05-02T14:52:57+00:00 April 4th, 2017|podcast, Post|Comments Off on The Purple Tie Show Episode 87