5 Tips for A Creative Retail Branding and Design Strategy

Quality retail branding is meant to connect businesses with customers in a way that builds trust and desire in the consumer for the brand and their product. Branding has been around since ancient times (from Roman columns to Chinese stamps), but modern commercial branding is a new phenomenon. People are more involved with brands than ever, locally and globally, to the point where two golden arches are immediately recognizable by almost everyone around the world, without any words in the picture.

In the complex world of retail, which is composed of multiple elements and disciplines, a consumer can see connections, or a lack of connections, between all the different aspects of retail at a glance. And that is where design comes in. Retail branding and design aims to create a harmonious and holistic schema out of all of the elements of retail, from personnel to product presentation. Design is not just about looks, but about function. Without a good branding and design strategy, retail stores are a mishmash of unrelated ideas that can confuse and put off potential customers.

Design your layout based on traffic flow:

When customers enter the store, where do they look? Which way do they go? Position your best products in areas where customers are more likely to notice them. Pedestrian traffic is often influenced by vehicular traffic. That is, in areas where people drive on the right side of the road, in-store traffic patterns tend to move in a clockwise pattern. Use these patterns to your advantage.

Create a focal point in your visual displays:

Don’t just bring attention to anything and everything in the store, but draw customers in by featuring one item prominent, whether that’s in a window display or in the middle of your store. Strategically position lights and other items to point to your featured product and avoid distracting customers by putting equal weight on too many items at once.

Make window effects:

Windows make small spaces look larger and more inviting. Creating windows in the walls separating two rooms can give the entire building a more airy ambience, or creating visual illusions of windows such as white panels or drapes around mirrors, can also create a window effect, increasing the feeling of light and movement, especially if you are in a small space.

Avoid clutter:

Clutter feels noisy and uncomfortable for customers. Don’t overload your customer’s visual circuits with signs and patterns and displays galore. Instead, use neutral colors for larger items and accent the space with smaller items with brighter colors, and do not place your merchandise too closely together.

Use lighting to your advantage:

Lighting is important in any shop, and especially so in small corners. Make sure that your store is well lit, or else you will not be making good use of your space – customers don’t usually prefer to wander into dark, shadowy areas, so any merchandise displayed there will not receive a fair consideration. Use a combination of different lights to keep the space illuminated and to add variety and interest to the space.

7 Best Tips For Healthy Clay Pot Cooking

Clay pot cooking is the oldest and time-tested method for healthy cooking. While people are struggling to fight the ill effects of modern ways of cooking, with this safe and simple way of cooking, nobody ever had complaints. This is probably the reason people are slowly going back to their roots by switching to clay cookware.

There is a new challenge with clay pot cooking today it is rare that people are making it with the health value in mind so the clay pots available in the market are unfortunately chemical laden and coated with toxic enamels and glazes (like ceramics). The more beautiful and colorful they look on the outside, the more toxins they may leach while cooking. The cheaper they are, it’s possible that additives are used to make them faster and smoother. It’s important that you choose a truly healthy pot and here are 7 tips to choosing and using the best clay pots:

1. Always Choose Primary Clay

Primary clay is the purest form of clay – it has absolutely no toxins. Only primary clay is naturally inert, so doesn’t react to food like metals and ceramics. There are many clay pots available in the market that are made from secondary or tertiary clay but they have contaminants that may leach into your food while cooking.

2. No Chemicals, Glazes or Enamels

Most makers start using chemicals to make the process easier. In fact, every mechanized process needs the raw material to be treated with chemicals. The glazes and enamels might make your clay pots and pans colorful, attractive and even robust but they contaminate food. So always choose a cookware made from unglazed primary clay (or pure clay).

3. Seasoning Is Important

Seasoning your pure clay pot as per instructions is very important for cooking delicious food every time and it also increases the life of your pot. Pure clay is naturally non-stick, so after proper seasoning, if done right, the food should never stick to the bottom.

4. Choose Ingredients Carefully

You have finally chosen the healthiest clay pot – great, but it will all be in vain if you won’t use the right ingredients. For healthy clay pot cooking, make sure you choose all-natural organic ingredients that are unprocessed and nutrition-rich. A balanced diet is all you and your family needs for a healthy body, so always pay attention to the nutritional value of your ingredients.

5. Cook At Medium to Low Heat

Pure clay pots are great retainers of heat and the near infrared heat radiating from their walls cooks food evenly with gentle heat. It keeps nutrients intact and food cooks in almost the same time at low-medium heat as it does on high heat in metal/ceramic cookware.

Cooking at low-medium heat not only prevents food from burning and sticking to the bottom, it also improves the durability of your pure clay pot.

6. Choose A Pot That Manages Steam Well

Steam management is an important aspect of healthy cooking. In conventional cookware, the steam pressure inside the pot gets too much while cooking with harsh, near-infrared heat from metals/ceramics. So their lids have vents to release excessive steam in order to protect the pot from exploding.

Not many are aware that steam is water-soluble nutrients. As the body can’t store them like fat-soluble nutrients, they are needed every day. If the steam is released freely while cooking, the food becomes nutritionally deficient.

An ergonomically designed pure clay pot and lid make sure when steam rises from food, condenses at the inner surface of the lid (the lid being cooler than the pot) and settles back into the food before cooking is complete. This way, the water-soluble nutrients are preserved and your body is nourished with them regularly.

7. Clean With Water – No Soap

Regardless of what the label says, all soaps are toxic. When you are using a 100% non-toxic cookware, it’s important that you keep it away from anything toxic or chemical laden. Pure clay pots are naturally porous, so food doesn’t stick to the surface. You can always clean them with bare hands in normal water. Though you can scrub it a little if burnt food sticks at the bottom.

By following these simple yet useful tips, you can do wonders with healthy clay pot cooking. This will not only keep your body nourished with essential nutrients but will also protect you from common infections and diseases by strengthening your immunity.

Construction Engineering Jobs Are Critical In A Building Boom

With the recent decline in home sales and the increase in foreclosures, we are poised for yet another change. New home sales are predicted to be back on the rise in the coming years and with the increase in new home sales will come an increase in construction engineering jobs. New construction will again take hold as soon as home prices are said not to go any lower. This leaves room for the prices to go nowhere but up.

Anytime you have new homes being built you will have construction engineering jobs being created. Over the last couple of years, many people got out of the industry as many companies were losing bids and jobs they had previously held. One company, for example, would routinely build hundreds of homes per year. However, when the housing crisis hit they went from hundreds to only building 10 homes in 2010. This of course left them to the only course of action to save their business and that was to lay off over 80% of their staff.

When these layoffs occur, you have many people out of work. When you have people from the construction industry out of work, they typically try to stay within the industry somehow. Therefore, what you end up with is possibly a construction engineer job being taken by a person who used to manage a job site. In addition, you will have a site electricians position being applied for by a plumber. It is not uncommon for people to switch trades when jobs are scarce.

When the economy is in trouble, people scramble. During this period, we had many people learn new trades and are now able to fit into multiple positions within the industry. Estimates now have the economy being revived in the next 3 years. In this period, we will see many new homes being built and this will result in new jobs being created. Some of these new jobs may be filled by people who are new to the industry while some will be filled by people who worked in the construction industry before the crisis and have since just changed the job they do.

Construction engineering jobs pay very well. In addition, any job that pays well will usually require some time spent in school. These are not jobs that just anybody can do. They require training and technical expertise. With all the layoffs over the last couple of years, many people went back to school. There were a percentage of people who had money saved and were able to take the time during their layoff to go to school. In addition, those who did and wanted to remain in the construction industry would have been smart to go into construction engineering. The amount of jobs available to a person with that training under their belt is almost triple what would have been available to them before going to school.

Therefore, with the housing crisis now estimated to be over within the next year or two many people will eventually be getting back to work. With new home sales comes new home construction and that brings jobs. Many who were out of work in the past will soon be able to return to work. If they were once in the construction industry, they may now have a chance to return to work as jobs in that industry will soon be on the rise. There will be many construction engineering jobs available to those who have the knowledge and training. Many people over the last couple of years have sought to gain that education and are now ready to put it to work.

Proper Use and Care of a Boat’s Electrical System

By the time a boat gets a few years old, it will probably have a number of things in the electrical system that need to be updated or replaced. When an insurance surveyor comes along, he may end up handing the owner a long, and costly, list of things that need to be corrected.

An electrical system for a boat is much different than that of a house or even a car. Sea water is a fair conductor of electricity. Therefore, there are some additional rules on the materials and methods of installation when it comes to boats.

Materials & Equipment – It is important that only equipment and materials rated for marine application be used. The American Boat and Yacht Council has very stringent standards for this. Things like common household wire and wiring devices, as well as electrical equipment and appliances should not be used on boats. These things are not properly constructed, insulated or grounded and could either start a fire, or worse, result in an electrocution. Federal regulations require that all electrical devices that are used in the engine compartment or bilges be "ignition protected" means that they will not create a spark that can cause a fire or explosion.

Buying Older Boats – When buying a used or older boat, one of the things to pay close attention to is how much rigging and alterations there are in the electrical system. Sometimes there are quite a bit. In most cases, the owner may not even be aware of why things are constantly breaking down. Usually he blames it on the pump or motor when actually faulty wiring is the problem. You should be aware that on boats with poor electrical systems, the cost of straightening it out can be pretty high.

Electrical systems do not last forever. Over time boat systems degrade, particularly when it comes to the effects of corrosion. It is recommend that a boat have an electrical system survey once every 5 years. This does not take long and does not cost a lot of money. In fact it may save you hundreds of dollars in unwelcome headaches. In most cases, the survey will reveal the effects of damage which may need to be cleaned up, along with a few minor repairs. The advantage is in not allowing these problems to accumulate to the point that it becomes a big, costly job.

Adding New Equipment

Most boats, particularly smaller ones, are not designed with the idea of ​​adding new equipment, even though nearly everyone does. But the primary reason why systems get so messed up is a result from the attempt to force something in where there is no provision made for it.