Building Brand Loyalty (Part 3)

The Secret Sauce

What brand loyalty comes down to is whether a brand can offer mutually beneficial interactions. 

Mutually beneficial interactions occur when both the business and customer share an experience that goes beyond the sale of a product or service. 

What does this look like? I’m glad you asked. 

We previously discussed how loyalty programs could offer mutually beneficial interactions, but it can also be applied in a broader sense of the business. 

This time, let’s consider a local wine distributor who is faced with the challenge of building brand loyalty. What are the incentives for a consumer to buy wine from this particular retailer, rather than the grocery store? The grocery store is convenient and offers comparable prices, so how do they win customer loyalty?

The answer, as you may have guessed, is through mutually beneficial interactions.

Employing a wine-pairing expert who can make personalized recommendations would be a great start for this wine retailer. They could even assist with menu planning. Taking it another step further, they may begin to host a series of wine tastings. 

With both of these suggestions, there is a mutually beneficial exchange between the customer and the company. Customers gain knowledge and practical advice about how to pair wine, and the retailer learns about customer preferences and information gaps that they can work to close.

When considering the interactions your business can offer, try to come up with original ideas that speak to the values of your brand. Distinctive interactions are more likely to stand out and create a stronger personal association between the experience and the brand.

Digital Experiences

Of course, since we are in a digital era, it’s also crucial to include a strategy for digital experiences.

A digital experience can be as simple as an expert-hosted live stream. Or, it could be as complex as a custom mobile application. In any case, convenience and quality should be a priority when designing any type of digital experience. 

Here are a few additional considerations that are important for digital experiences:

  • Personalization. How can you personalize the experience? By simply addressing a customer by their first name can help them feel more connected with the brand.
  • Customer Benefit. Don’t forget; the interaction needs to result in a mutually beneficial exchange. What is the customer getting and, more importantly, is it valuable?
  • Data Collection. A business will typically collect customer data as part of brand interactions. Consider the type of information that will help drive multiple business strategies for an even bigger impact.
  • Shareability. A digital experience can be much more fun when it’s shared with friends. Plus, it can promote engagement and result in more brand awareness. Now, with whom would you like to share your quiz results? 

Quality Content

If we’re talking about the secret sauce of brand loyalty (and we are), quality content is absolutely essential.

Generally speaking, customers don’t want to feel like they’re being sold something. Instead of approaching the customer like a hunter’s prey, lure them in like an expert fisherman. Customers want to know how a brand’s products or services can address a common problem they’re experiencing. Get them on the hook them by addressing their problem(s), then continue to reel them in with quality content.

For example, we can look at a brand campaign as a kind of hook; it’s appealing and draws people in. To continue reeling them in, consider writing blog posts, producing videos, or developing unique content that provides solutions in an altruistic way.

With this approach, consumers begin to trust that your business cares about their problems and wants to help (regardless of whether they buy anything from you or not). This may sound counter-intuitive, but it actually helps to draw people closer, where they can really see the value of your brand.

Customer Feedback

Do you know what customers are saying about your company? Because you can guarantee that online shoppers do.

Customer reviews are extremely important for eCommerce since shoppers aren’t able to hold the product in their hands or test it before they buy it. A good or bad review can mean the difference between someone buying your product or not.

The good news is that business owners can leverage positive customer reviews to boost confidence in online shoppers.

When potential customers see that others are satisfied with a product, a good review can serve as a measure of reassurance and confidence in the brand. If possible, engage with these customers by thanking them for their review or offering a discount on future purchases.

Additionally, if someone leaves a glowing review of your product or service, it’s worth reaching out to create a potential brand ambassador relationship. Consumers are keen on whether a review or sponsorship is merely transactional, so the more honest and authentic the review, the better it is for your brand.

As far as negative feedback, the best thing you can do is try to repair any lost trust by genuinely considering their feedback. For example, if a customer had a poor service experience, it’s often worth contacting the customer to smooth things over (and maybe get them to update their review). 

So, don’t be afraid of customer feedback, as it can offer valuable insight into what customers want from your brand. By addressing their feedback, whether positive or negative, it can help strengthen consumer trust and loyalty.

Building Brand Loyalty (Part 2)

Basic Ingredients for Brand Loyalty

In this second part of our ‘Building Brand Loyalty’ series, we are identifying some of the basic ingredients that a brand needs to start building a loyal customer base.

With the foundational elements below, a brand can leverage success with repeat business. We suggest monitoring the success of these elements and leaving room to make adjustments as-needed.

Brand Identity

Think about your brand’s identity. Is it meaningful? Relevant? Appropriate? Consumer preference for a brand is often viewed as either an emotional or logical decision. When customer relationships are built on logic (for example, slightly lower prices), they are less likely to inspire long-term loyalty. 

Consumer psychology tells us that people desire a deeper reason to connect with a brand or product. This means that businesses must emphasize the complete experience when marketing a product. The goal is to create a brand to which people attach strong, positive feelings because customers will shop more frequently and spend more money when their logic is reinforced emotionally.

Before you move forward with trying to build brand loyalty among customers, first make sure that your brand identity is one that they can emotionally and logically connect with. If it’s not, be open to customer feedback and spend time refining your value propositions.

Social Media

These days, social media is a space where businesses have a lot of power to convert a lead into a customer. 

Even those who still shop in stores have grown accustomed to the process of locating businesses on social media as a quick way to vet the brand. 

A good social media profile can offer valuable information and opportunities for engagement. But not having a social account, or having a poorly managed one, will only serve to scare off potential customers.

Loyalty Programs

It may seem obvious that a loyalty program will help build brand loyalty, but we can’t overlook their effectiveness. In fact, a Forrester Research report found that 72% of adults belong to at least one online loyalty program. Additionally, it showed that customers join loyalty programs to save money, which ultimately influences what they buy. 

A loyalty program can be as simple as sending coupons via email or setting up a system in which certain actions trigger special discounts. Think about what your business has to offer and the unique ways that customers could interact with your brand. You will often find restaurants and coffee shops that offer loyalty cards, where customers receive a free sandwich or beverage after a certain amount of purchases. Perhaps you want to drive more in-store traffic, so you could offer a free service or a ship-to-store option to bring more people to your physical location.

Whatever you choose as a loyalty program, be sure to make it simple and easy for your customers. The purpose is to gain customer trust through positive experiences, so avoid any complicated rules or fine print that might cause frustration.

Customer Service

Since most businesses offer a similar range of products, excellent customer service can serve as a defining part of a brand that encourages loyalty.

It’s common for people to look for assistance online, hoping to avoid hold times and automated directories. For this reason, a great way to provide customers with quick answers is a Frequently Asked Questions page on a company’s website. 

Taking it a step further, many online businesses will feature a customer service dialogue window or chat-bot that can take care of customers instantly. 

Transparency

Simply put, customers are loyal to brands they can trust. And when it comes to earning their trust, transparency is key.

Business transparency means being forthright about various company operations that may be of public interest. Transparent companies share information relating to performance, revenue, internal processes, sourcing, business values, etc. 

Take, for instance, the beauty industry. When selling cosmetics, it’s extremely important for customers to have access to product ingredients. Making the ingredients easily available on labels or packaging can build trust with cosmetic consumers because it reassures them that the products are safe, cruelty-free, and don’t contain any harmful ingredients.

Of course, each industry will have its own consumer concerns. The sourcing of gemstones, the working conditions of clothing factories, and charitable contributions of non-profits have all been subjects of public scrutiny. 

So, what is it that raises eyebrows in your industry? And how can you make it more transparent to your customers?

By showing your customers you’re not hiding anything from them, you’ll build their trust in your company and earn their loyalty.

Building Brand Loyalty (Part 1)

There are brands we recognize, and then there are brands we live by. 

When we talk about brand loyalty, top names like Apple, Nike, and Disney come to mind. Undoubtedly, there are people who use Apple products exclusively, those who collect hundreds of Nike shoes, and those who can recite the lines from any Disney movie ever made. 

These brands all have loyal customers, and they didn’t get them by accident. 

And yes, they’ve spent decades building their brands, but there are basic branding principles that can still help younger or lesser-known brands become more recognizable and competitive within their industry.

To kick off this series about brand loyalty, let’s begin by understanding why it’s so essential to a brand in the first place.

Why Loyalty Matters

Some business analysts will argue that brand loyalty no longer exists. And yet, the success of the brands mentioned above tell us otherwise.

Not only does brand loyalty exist, but it’s also necessary for a business to achieve long-term success. 

A brand cannot sustain itself on new customers alone. If a business were built on one-and-done transactions, brand awareness strategies would be ends in themselves.

However, we know that it takes more than brand awareness to maintain sales. We know that converting a lead is good, but creating a loyalist is even better. 

The conversion to brand loyalist is the reason we, as marketers, map out customer journeys and work on nurturing relationships with current customers. 

So, while we may think of brand loyalists as returning customers, they are much more than that. Brand loyalists help build a brand’s reputation, provide valuable feedback, and encourage others to experience the brand with them.

Let’s now take a look at how to recognize a brand loyalist...

Recognizing Brand Loyalty

Loyal customers exhibit four buying behaviors: 

  • They spend more money per transaction
  • They buy more frequently
  • They invest their time willingly
  • They refer you to their family and friends

Given these four behaviors, do any of your customers come to mind? 

Think about why they might be loyal to your brand. Do you offer an exceptional product? Excellent customer service? A great location?

While one good reason may be enough to get someone through the door, it’s often a combination of positive experiences that keeps customers coming back.

If you’re uncertain whether these four buying behaviors are applicable to your customers, it may be a good idea to set up a system in which you can keep track. Many businesses collect customer data during transactions, such as phone numbers and email addresses. 

This data can provide insight into how much of your business comes from repeat customers and can help you establish parameters around what your business wishes to define as a loyal customer. 

Take this week to pay attention to the loyalty displayed by your customers. Which buying behaviors do they exhibit? What are some opportunities for building loyalty with them?

Want to learn more? 

Come back next week for Part 2 of Building Brand Loyalty, as we’ll examine the basic ingredients needed for building brand loyalty.

20 Apps for Peak Productivity in 2020

A new year offers a fresh start, with 365 opportunities that could change your life!

Whether you’re working on a New Year Resolution, or want to find ways to get more done, here is a list of apps that can help increase your productivity for 2020.

1. Slack (Communication)

Slack is a great way to stay connected with your team wherever you may be. Chat one-to-one or with your group, and create channels where you can have focused conversations.

2. Mindly (Mind Maps)

Track your creative ideas with Mindly, a tool for mind mapping. Formulate topics and subtopics effortlessly, then print or share from the app.

3. Trello (Team Management)

Trello visually organizes your projects, much like a whiteboard full of sticky notes does. You can create boards and add cards to help you keep track of what’s done, in progress, or to-do.

4. Spotify (Music)

Spotify makes the list because it’s no secret that listening to music can help increase productivity. Check out a pre-made playlist for productivity (or whatever mood you’re in), then get to work! 

5. Todoist (To-Do List)

Todoist helps you complete your to-do’s by synching tasks across platforms and devices. More than a to-do list, the Todoist app makes it easy to add tasks quickly, set reminders, and manage your days in a way that helps increase productivity.

6. Strides (Goal & Habit Tracker)

Strides allows you to track anything from habits to SMART goals, with helpful reminders to hold you accountable and charts to keep you motivated.

7. Pind (Task Manager)

With Pind, you can do much more than create to-do lists. You can set location-based task reminders, collaborate on shared tasks, and even get directions to help you plan and carry out your tasks more efficiently.

8. Otter (Voice to Text)

The Otter app allows you to record live audio, but it also lets you search, play, edit, organize, and share your conversations from any device. Use Otter for more efficient note-taking, whether it’s a lecture, business meeting, or organizing your thoughts.

 

9. Fabulous (Daily Motivation)

The Fabulous app aims to help users create a healthier, happier life by building on daily habits and routines. Create your own goals, stay motivated, and gain self-discipline with science-based sessions that can transform your life.

10. Flora (Team Focus)

The Flora app helps you (and your team) stay focused by planting ‘seeds’ that potentially flourish into healthy trees of progress. It’s simple. Plant a seed when it’s time to focus. Stay on task, and the seed will grow. But, should anyone use their phone, the tree dies.

11. Adobe Scan (Document Scanner)

The Adobe Scan app can turn anything — receipts, notes, documents, photos, business cards, whiteboards — into an Adobe PDF with the ability to reuse text that’s been scanned. Recycling content is easier than ever with Adobe Scan.

12. Fiverr (Freelance Work)

Need help with projects outside your wheelhouse? Use Fiverr to find someone to help! Fiverr is the largest marketplace for digital services, making it easy to commission the right person for the right job. Transparent pricing and helpful reviews are also a plus.

13. Toggl (Time Tracker)

Toggl is the time-tracking app that helps you see precisely how you’re spending your time and make improvements to boost productivity. It breaks down your hours by projects, clients, and tasks so that you can see what’s making you money and what’s holding you back. Plus, there are 100+ app integrations to help cut down on distractions. 

14. Acorns (Investments)

The Acorns app is a financial tool that invests small amounts of money, turning it into big savings. You can still control how much you contribute while acorns makes data-driven decisions that help you invest in a way that saves you time and makes you money.

15. Mindvalley (Personal Growth)

The Mindvalley app is for personal growth and development, helping you reach a better state of mind to accomplish everything you want to do. Mindvalley lets you access video-audio trainings and exercises led by world-class best-selling authors, experts & coaches who will coach you through your goals. 

16. Grammarly Keyboard (Writing)

Grammarly is the perfect app to help you eliminate writing errors and communicate effectively with others. Unlike spellcheck, Grammarly offers suggestions on style and tone, and works with Gmail, Twitter, LinkedIn, and nearly everywhere else you find yourself writing.

17. Robokiller (Call Blocker)

Is your phone constantly ringing with calls from robocalls and spammers? Then it’s time to get Robokiller, the app that will save you time and frustration by blocking these unwanted calls, even if they use different numbers. In fact, Robokiller claims a 90% reduction in spam calls within 30 days.

18. TimeTree (Shared Calendar)

Time Tree serves as your living room calendar, work calendar, and social calendar, all in the palm of your hand. Use the Time Tree app to maintain a productive schedule in a space where you can share and communicate with everyone in your life. 

19. Asana (Project Management)

Asana is a project management app that visually organizes your work. Simplify workflows, reduce errors, and see how busy team members are across projects—all in one view. If you have more to do this year, using Asana can help increase your team’s efficiency by 45%.

20. Evernote (Note Taker)

Evernote is a single place for your notes, ideas, lists, and reminders. You can scan webpage content, share information, and even search your notes by voice command. Bring your team’s ideas together and receive reminders about deadlines to stay on track.

Performing a Digital Business Audit

While looking ahead to a new year of marketing projects, it’s a good idea to include a digital business audit in your plans.

It is typically recommended that a business perform a marketing roadmap audit at least once per year. 

Depending on your business, you may even want to consider running them more frequently. The more often you perform an audit, the more you will learn about your company’s digital footprint. 

For example, Peak Activity takes a holistic approach to digital business audits by performing in-depth analyses that include marketing, technology, and operations to ensure the best possible experience for customers.

What is a Marketing Roadmap Audit?

A marketing roadmap audit is a comprehensive report detailing the strengths, weaknesses, and milestones of your marketing efforts. 

This often includes an assessment of your omni channel experience by breaking down the following:

  • A/B Testing Results
  • Brand Identity
  • Brand Messaging
  • Conversion Rate Optimization
  • Email Marketing
  • Google AdWord campaigns
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Site speed
  • Social Media
  • UX/UI
  • Website Compliance
  • Website Conversion Paths

Why Do I Need a Marketing Roadmap Audit?

A marketing roadmap audit is all about insight. It can offer a fresh perspective on your business with data-driven reports that support industry best practices.  

Whether your business has grown, downsized, or stayed the same in the past year, it’s important to understand why. 

Suppose your key distribution center experienced a natural disaster in the past year. To get a realistic picture of how the company performed throughout the year, you will likely need to consider the conditions or effects of the disaster that may have had a lasting impact. If you discover that a halt in operations created an additional set of problems, your roadmap audit can shine a light on any adjustments needed for the next year.

To put it simply, in order to get where you’re going, you need to know where you’ve been. Therefore, a marketing roadmap audit is your starting point for a new year of plans.

How to Perform a Marketing Roadmap Audit

A marketing roadmap audit can be a huge undertaking. Depending on the size of your business and the industry, you may be able to perform your own audit, but many businesses tend to hire an outside agency for their expertise.

The nature of an audit is to examine previous records, which means that you’ll need to start by reviewing the business plans and goals from the previous year. 

Questions to consider may include: 

  • Were timelines adhered to?
  • Were goals met?
  • Were there any unforeseen circumstances that impacted sales?
  • Did you stay within the budget?
  • What were some of the pain points experienced?
  • What were the most successful topics for content?
  • What are customers saying/experiencing?
  • How do we rank among the competition?

Data and insights should be analyzed separately, as well as a broad overview. To understand how things should work, it’s important to have a firm grasp on how they currently (or previously) work. Planning for the future becomes much more manageable once past issues are addressed. 

If you’re interested in contracting PeakActivity to perform your marketing roadmap audit, contact us and we can help!

Creating an Effortless Experience for Clients on your Website

There is an increasing acceptance that the key to business success in a digital world is to provide an outstanding customer experience. Customers, often unwilling to put up with painful interactions, can and will abandon a site if the user experience causes even the smallest complication. 

What could be the solution to a website providing a poor user experience? Spend some time on your website or application, and while doing so, ask yourself what could be done better to decrease the frustration experienced by a common user. Put yourself into the shoes of your customer, so that your own familiarity with the site doesn’t get in the way of identifying common issues.

Are you looking to create an effortless website experience? Here are a few tips to a seamless website creation process: 

  1. Don’t just solve the current issue, head off to the next issue.

Great user experience will always put you one step ahead. It is best to know and understand your website so you can predict the next issue that your users may experience and offer solutions to that issue. Does your website have a page that offers classes? After viewing that page, people will likely be interested in signing up. So, you need to give them that opportunity to ensure their user experience is positive. 

The smart washing machine is an example of this issue. Samsung was already aware of the problem with their smart washing machine, therefore, consumers likely expected to receive an email with more information about the process of connecting the washing machine to the corresponding phone application. For ease of use, this information could have been included in the specs of the washing machine, better-allowing consumers to evaluate the pros and cons of the smart washing machine and make an informed purchasing decision.

  1. Do the thinking for them. 

Designers need to spend time when creating the website to decide the target market, what they are looking for, and what they will gain from spending time on the website. When a website has too much information, it detracts from the interactions taking place on the site. The more choices displayed on a page, the easier it becomes for site visitors to refrain from choosing anything and ultimately leaving the page altogether. Make sure you give clear calls to actions so that customers know exactly what action they are supposed to perform and when. 

Providing prospects with great user experience is critical to the success of your business. The goal of each website is to provide a positive user experience. You don’t need a complete website redesign to improve the user experience of your website. All you need to do is make changes that will result in easy and pleasant user experience. You’ll be surprised just how much of a difference these little changes can have on customer satisfaction and revenue.

What is an Omnichannel 

Originating in retail, but applicable to any industry, the term “omnichannel” has been a buzzword for the last several years. Omnichannel is an approach to sales that seeks to provide customers with a seamless shopping experience, whether they’re shopping online from a desktop or mobile device, by telephone, or in a brick-and-mortar store.

With each part operating on its own, customers may not recognize disparate channels as part of the same marketing effort, and this can be either confusing or instill a lack of customer confidence in your company. That being said, it is hard to create a true omnichannel with so many complex tools and systems that are unable to talk to each other. 

The future of shopping 

Whether customers visit a brick-and-mortar store or a website, whether they connect through a mobile app, a printed catalog, social media, or a phone call, marketers have to provide a seamless experience, regardless of channel or device.

Omnichannel is consistent, yet unique. It provides consumers with a means of purchasing through numerous different platforms, while also communicating and showing awareness in a way that is consistent with the platform the consumers are utilizing during their stage of the customer lifecycle. 

Nearly 75% of shoppers say they use multiple channels to compare prices, hunt for discounts, or use in-store tablets to shop online. Linking your online and in-store business is essential to stay competitive. By creating a fully connected eCommerce platform, shoppers can buy whenever they want, through any channel, on any device, and expect a variety of delivery options. 

Room for Growth 

Consumer demand for flexibility and choice is driving the pace of technology innovation in commerce, both online and off. Omnichannel retailing is a fully-integrated approach to commerce, providing shoppers with a unified experience across all channels or touchpoints.

Part of an omnichannel strategy is flexibility. New channels emerge and steal attention from incumbent channels. Brands with robust omnichannel strategies often rely on a headless commerce architecture, which allows brands to flexibly offer commerce anywhere there are customers. 

Unlock new channels for growth and future-proof your business with an omnichannel approach.

The Why and How of Product Images

We live in a visual world where image matters. The virtual world is no different. Photos and videos are the first things consumers see on your website. The question is, are your images compelling enough to keep them browsing, and eventually, convert?

Customers come to your site with lots of questions about your products, product features, and overall brand. They’re also wildly impatient. They expect page loads under 3 seconds and effortless, intuitive UX. And once they find what they’re looking for, they’re making faster decisions than ever. Great product photography is critical in those key decision-making moments. It tells the customer who you are, what you have to offer, and more critically, if you can help them, and it all happens almost instantaneously. So, how do we create those high-quality, conversion-worthy product photos?

5 Steps to Your Best-Ever Product Photos

 

  • Simple Is Best: Let Your Product Shine.

 

Congratulations. A customer—Ella—has come to your site with questions about your product. Now, will she find the answers she’s looking for in your photography or will she bounce? Step one is basic: make sure Ella can see your product in detail by shooting it against a simple white backdrop. Showcase your products without distraction so that she can find the precise features she’s looking for. Remember, your job is to anticipate Ella’s needs before she’s even aware of them. This could mean shooting multiple angles to ensure every detail shines. Help Ella imagine what it would be like to have your product as her own and she might even convert.

 

  • Reinforce Your Brand with Lifestyle Photography.

 

Wonderful, your product photography is aces. But your customers also want to see your product in action. Use lifestyle shots to tell the story of your product, answer customer questions, and let them know what your brand is all about. Remember Ella? You’ve built some brand equity simply by answering all of her product questions—and quickly! Now’s your chance to cultivate brand loyalty by forging an emotional connection.

Are you casting your lifestyle shot? Consider your key customer personas as you select the people and places in your shot. Does your cast reflect the diversity and demography of your customers? And what does the location say about your brand?

 

  • Make Sure Your Lighting Is Just Right. 

 

When taking your product photos, don’t forget about lighting. If your product is the star, lighting is your best supporting actor. She sets up your star for success and definitely adds drama.

Natural light can be a terrific, easy, and affordable option. The sun can be a little overbearing when taking your photos outside, so it’s best to use the natural light coming through your windows to give you the perfect lighting. Your window will need to be large enough to fully light your product. If you don’t have access to a window that will provide enough light, you can shoot your product photos outside. If the light on your product is too bright or direct, try to distribute the light to better showcase your product. You may consider using a reflector. This will help you direct the light exactly where it needs to be to showcase your product for your best product photos.

Unfortunately, you can’t always depend on the sun for consistent product photography. If you’re shooting a volume of products, you’re going to need a basic studio setup. This includes a camera, white backdrop, different backgrounds, and a light box with two light bulbs. Pro Tip: If you can’t use natural light, use a fluorescent light bulb. These bulbs produce light that most closely resembles natural light. Fluorescent bulbs will give you that natural light look even when the sun is nowhere in sight.

 

  • Consistency Is Key.

 

The product images on your website should be similar in look and feel. For product detail images shot in studio, this means consistent backgrounds, lighting, and angles. You’ll also want to crop images so that the products are sized and scaled consistently across your site. Taken together, this consistency will help our friend Ella quickly sort through your many fantastic products, answer any lingering questions, and with any luck, finally convert.

Lifestyle shots don’t need to be quite so regimented. But remember, you worked hard to create lifestyle images that tell the story of your brand. And you want that story (and overall creative direction) to be clear and consistent as well. Consider creating a simple style guide that documents all of your image requirements for both product and lifestyle images so that you have a lodestar you can return to time and time again.

  1. Optimize Your Images for Quality and Site Speed.

You’ve taken some beautiful product photos. Now it’s time to optimize them so that they look their best without slowing down your site.

JPEGs are the best option for your typical product or lifestyle photos. Optimized properly, they’re the smallest and highest-quality files. Experiment with quality levels as you save your initial images, with the goal of setting a site-wide standard. You’re trying to strike a balance between quality (meaning no noticeable deterioration in the image or obvious pixelation) and file size.

PNGs are a good option for images that have text like a logo or banner. When graphics with text lose quality, they can appear pixelated. PNGs reduce that pixelation so that your text reads as clearly as possible.

The most common mistake when doing product photography is a lack of proper equipment. To make your product shine, you will need to use the right camera, lighting, angles, and composition. Change up your background, create different perspectives, and move things around until you have the right angles. Your photos are the first thing your consumers are going to see, so make them compelling enough to result in conversion.

Great product images tell a story. They tell your customers who you are, how you can help them, and can spark a long-term relationship between you and your customer. We hope our simple steps have given you the tools to produce effective product photography and will help you chart a path towards a faster, more relevant and compelling site.

Kubernetes as the future of infrastructure

Container organization allows developers to package applications to be deployed more easily and quickly. Containers are enveloping the world of software development for companies of all sizes, from small startups to Fortune 100 companies. The momentum behind Kubernetes, as the future of infrastructure, will not be slowing down any time soon.

What is Kubernetes?

Kubernetes is a platform first developed by a team at Google. The goal of Kubernetes is to provide a container management system. Kubernetes has rapidly become the most popular among the engineers at Google, with many other companies actively contributing to the project. By leveraging Google’s extensive experience of running software on a large scale, Kubernetes can now help run software in a modern cloud environment.

How does Kubernetes work?

Let’s say an application environment is your lunchbox. The contents of the lunchbox are all made and assembled before you put them in, and changing one item in the lunchbox does not impact the other. Each piece is isolated in its own container. The Kubernetes system is like a lunchbox that allows for the expansion of certain contents (scaling), with the isolation of every unique item and the ability to remove any item without affecting any of the other contents (immutability).

Kubernetes eliminates many of the manual processes involved in deploying and scaling applications in containers.

Kubernetes is an open-source platform that automates container operations. With containerization as a trend that’s taking over the world, Kubernetes allows people to run all kinds of different applications in a variety of different environments. If you need to keep track of many different containers, schedule them, and orchestrate them, Kubernetes is your solution. 

Our Veterans – an Honor and Privilege to the PeakActivity family.

Our Veterans – an Honor and Privilege to the PeakActivity family.

Veterans Day, originating as Armistice Day on November 11, 1919, was celebrated for the first time on the first anniversary of the end of World War I. In 1926, Congress passed a resolution for an annual observance. However, Veterans Day was not officially recognized as a national holiday until the beginning of 1938. 

Veterans Day originated and is still observed today as a day to honor and respect the men and women who dedicated their lives and made unbelievable sacrifices to fight for the freedom of America, this beautiful country we call home. 

At PeakActivity, we are very proud of our veterans and the sacrifices they made for our country. We are honored that they chose to become part of the PeakActivity family after dedicating their time to the service of our country. Like all veterans, they have helped mold and shape America into its current glory, and we are privileged to have them as part of our team. 

This Veterans Day PeakActivity is honored to recognize our team members that served our country.

Kim Nalepka, our Social Commerce Specialist, dedicated 12 years of her life to service in the Marine Corps. During her time in the Marines, she was stationed in North Carolina and had 5 active tours to both Iraq and Afghanistan. 

The military provided experiences that shaped Kim to be the strong, hard-working, and confident person she is today.

“My military experience instilled courage and self-confidence to overcome fear in the face of adversity and to accomplish goals in stressful environments. It gave me the opportunity to build strong leadership, critical thinking, and decision-making skills during combat situations. The way my military experience affects my life today is understanding the importance of teamwork and understanding people and their personalities, to be able to work through complex situations and resolve conflict. Solid leadership, good judgment, and integrity are necessary to build a strong foundation for any company or business.” 

– Kim Nalepka

Mathew Vermilyer, our A/B Testing and Optimization Lead, is originally from Chicago, Illinois, where he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps at the age of 18. He served as an Ordnance Technician from 2009 to 2013, with one tour to Afghanistan in 2011.

“The military provided me with some of the most impactful years of my life. I was molded by my experiences, changing my outlook on hard work and dedication. The military taught me the true meaning of a team and inspired me to lead by taking ownership. I am grateful for my time spent in the military, and while challenging, I would not change a single moment”.

– Mathew Vermilyer

Joey Collins, a full stack engineer, devoted four years of his life to service in the army. During his time in the service, he was stationed in Fort Bragg, NC as a part of the 82nd Airborne division. 

“During my time in the Army, as part of the 82nd Airborne Division, I jumped out of more planes than I landed. My experiences we’re life-changing and I have been forever impacted by the time that I served our country. I went into the Army as an introvert, and during my time of service, quickly became an extrovert. With a job of interrogator, it is almost impossible to be shy. The time that I spent in the Army gave me the confidence to chase after everything I have ever wanted out of this life. I have been forever changed and I am very grateful.”

– Joey Collins 

We, at PeakActivity, are honored to have Kim, Joey, and Mathew on our team. We are very proud of the time they spent serving our country. As we continue to grow our team, we would be honored to add more veterans to the PeakActivity family.  

On this Veterans Day, we want to thank all of the veterans who served our country. We are truly grateful for the sacrifices you made during your time of service.