news & views

Below are articles of general interest, items of news and clippings of content relevant to our design philosophy and industry. Turquoise Creative is a creative design agency based in Crawley, West Sussex, which specialise in Brand Design, Creative Design and Web Design. We are a team of talented people who are passionate about what we do.

When is it time for a brand refresh?

What is a brand refresh?

Firstly, you are probably wondering what exactly is a brand refresh.

A brand refresh can be thought of as a facelift or renovation of your brand. It is not a total overhaul of your brand (that is always an option) but something far simpler.

Refresh_Rebrand

Why would you consider a brand refresh?

We all know that change is a fact of business life. Businesses evolve. New products may be introduced appealing to a new types of customers. So whatever size your business is you must adjust to reflect your changing business and stay one step ahead of the competition.

Branding is all about distinguishing yourself from your competitors. But in marketing, it’s not just about differentiation, it’s about setting your brand apart and standing out from the crowd. Is your brand an asset or a liability in that endeavour?

So, to change the way your company is perceived a few tweaks here and there to your branding will help.

By making simple alterations to your branding and positioning, you can:

  • Maintain your brand’s integrity
  • Inject a new energy into your business
  • Iron out any brand inconsistencies
  • Ensure your company’s image is current in an ever changing world
  • Generate a buzz among existing customers and employees

Many businesses are taking this route as it requires far less risk than a complete brand overhaul and can get you the results you desire.

Your business may already have a logo that works well, but things change with time and you need to make sure your business doesn’t become out-of-date.

How do you know when it’s the right time to refresh your brand?

If your business is facing one of these 5 scenarios, a brand refresh (or facelift) is definitely worth thinking about.

1. Is your branding out-of-date?

Your logo might have been revolutionary when you started your business, but now it has aged and your business’s image is suffering as a result. Take an honest look at your visual branding and assess whether it’s moving you forward or holding you back.

2. Have your products / services changed?

Is your brand messaging an accurate reflection of who you are and what you offer today, or is it outdated? Most companies grow and evolve over time to stay relevant. As an example, Starbucks originated in 1971 as a retailer of coffee bean roasting, and their brand identity up until 2011 featured the word “coffee” but over the years they have expanded their business to include espresso beverages, teas, ice cream, etc. which ultimately led to dropping “coffee” from their name.

3. Is your branding inconsistent?

Perhaps you use one version of your logo on printed materials and another on your website, along with all the various strap lines because you can’t decide which work. This can be detrimental to your brand. You need to be consistent or your clients won’t understand what you are offering and to make it worse, you may be seen as sloppy and unreliable.

4. Are you reaching your target audience?

Has your target market shifted since you created your brand, or maybe you have changed the audience your product and services are aiming at? In this case, a refresh will allow you to reach exactly the people you want.

5. Is your business preparing for growth?

If your business is adding in new product lines, or considering a merger, then this is a good time to reassess your brand and make sure it has the strength to carry your business through such changes.

If you recognise any of these scenarios and feel that it’s time to review whether your brand is a true reflection of your business, give us a call. We’d love to hear your story and perhaps we can help. Call on 01293 886805 or email us.

Click on the Alkira brand refresh to see more examples

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Graphic design – Stop! Think!

Graphic design is more important to your business than you think

Stop for a moment and think of some of the world’s most iconic brands.

What makes them so unforgettable? And what can business owners, of all sizes, learn from them to gain the impact we desire?

It’s usually standout graphics, powerful packaging, appealing advertising or well-written copy. These attributes are achievable for SMEs, even acknowledging that their budgets are minute in comparison to these giants.

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Apple, Inc. is known for their amazing packaging designs, use of large areas of white space, gorgeous product photography and beautiful typography.

Nike uses type in a different way and creates maximum impact, inspiring imagery and bold colour palettes which all portray the energy and lifestyle their brand requires. Apple and Nike aren’t just examples of powerful branding, but outstanding graphic design.

If you are a business owner, you may have hundreds of concerns to address during your working day, so you might be tempted to ignore the need for professionally crafted graphic design.

However, utilising a professional a graphic designer could be the integral step in the process of establishing and maintaining a successful business.

So what is graphic design, and how can good design help your business?

Graphic design is the process of visual communication, and problem-solving through the use of type, space, image and colour.

Graphic design helps you make a great first impression. Consumers tend to gravitate towards better-designed products, while providing a positive anchor in their minds. Good design gives you instant credibility, inspires confidence and trustworthiness, and clearly communicates its point to your audience.

Poor graphic design can have an adverse effect on your product or brand!

Have you ever visited a website that was hard to navigate, or an advertisement in a magazine that was hard to figure out?

Perhaps you left the website feeling frustrated and didn’t complete the task that brought you there.

Furthermore, an advertisement that is difficult to read or visually disorienting would fail to get your attention long enough to convey the message it was trying to. Advertisers spent thousands of pounds that fail to convert to a sale, and worse the design the costlier it can be for a business.

Good graphic design connects a marketing piece together.

Typography, colours, images, and the hierarchy are the resources a graphic designer uses to create a design that clearly communicates brand, information and value in an eye-catching way. Designers use these principles to minimise distracting, less-important elements and highlight the things that are important, allowing viewers to quickly see what they need to know to decide on a purchase.

Good graphic design make good business sense…

If you feel that your branding is inconsistent or elements of design are letting you down, let’s have a chat. Give me a call on 01293 886805 or email me.

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Children’s book design

Tuxedo’s Tales is a fun and informative book for children of all ages. Bringing wildlife and the countryside to life through the eyes of Tuxedo. This book will take you on a magical adventure as I tell you all about my year in the Sussex countryside. You’ll read about the new friends I meet and the adventures we have together. At the end of each chapter is a Pearl of Wisdom which will teach you good behaviour, respect and consideration, as well as a few of life’s ethics and morals.

The book includes lots of beautiful illustrations by Katie Tunn. Think of characters with kind eyes, soft coloured drawings; think of a modern day Beatrix Potter and you have Tuxedo’s Tales.
I am a real horse I do exist. I am alive and kicking enjoying my retirement being cuddled, groomed, going for leisurely rides and enjoying lots of carrots.

As Tuxedo was a rescued horse, a percentage of the profits of the book will be going to Horse Welfare so they can help other horses to have a happier life. I hope you enjoy reading the book
You can buy my book on this website here.  www.tuxedostales.co.uk

To have a look at our work for Tuxedo’s Tales please visit :
www.turquoise-creative.co.uk/portfolio/tuxedos-tales-book

 

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ACUMEN Launch Party

The Year of the Zebra

What a fun evening we had at the Gatwick Office Launch Party of ACUMEN BUSINESS LAW last night. It was held at the prestigious showroom of Mercedes Gatwick. Surrounded by the most amazing cars we were all entertained by a dance troop painted as zebras, free cocktail bar and food prepared by ASK Crawley.

Thank you to ACUMEN BUSINESS LAW for the evening and to Mercedes Gatwick for hosting the event.

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Exhibition design and build

It’s all about the experience… 

We had fantastic feedback from our client after their latest exhibition in Chicago. “Our best ever” were the exact words from GEW’s Marketing Manager.

These photos are a selection taken from LabelExpo which include a 7ft square Floor Decal and 9ft x 6ft imposing Entrance Banner. LabelExpo Americas is the continent’s largest event for the label, product decoration, web printing and converting industry.

LabelExpo Americas – www.labelexpo-americas.com

If you need to design and build a bespoke exhibition stand, or simply want to use a standard shell scheme and utilise a popup display system, then contact us now and we would be happy to help. Turquoise Creative… helping you stand out.

Have a look at other marketing work we have completed for GEW.    Please CLICK HERE

GERW-Labelexpo-strip

 

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Business Networking Tips

Great networking event coming up on the 9th October 2014 at Hartsfield Manor, Surrey. Early bird offer £25 (food included) book before 9th September 2014.

Full details: http://www.bravobizevents.co.uk

Allocate time in your diary to network and maximise the time while you are doing so. Be open to any opportunities that may arise.


Attend a variety of different networking events – structured and open. Find the style of event that suits you and your business.


Always arrive early and allow time for parking and preparation. You don’t want to walk in feeling flustered.


Have some questions ready to ask people so you can confidently approach people and start a conversation.


Rehearse, fine-tune and polish your pitch so you can deliver it perfectly, every time – you often only have one opportunity to do so.


Prepare before you attend networking events. Have you enough business cards? Have you got a pen and paper? Is your pitch polished?


Be presentable – first impressions count. Make sure you are dressed ‘on brand’ for your business. Smile and be friendly. Be approachable.


Tell the story of your business or product. How you got started, or lessons you have learnt. People are more interested in a story than a sales pitch.


Be authentic. Don’t make promises you can’t keep. Be true to yourself and your business.


Make a note on business cards you receive of where and when you met the person for future reference.


Aim to help others – ‘Givers gain!’ Share advice and connections.


Remember: the person you are talking to is connected to many hundreds of people both off and online, so every conversation is valuable.


Think about building a relationship with people, not just selling your services to them. If we are all selling, then there are no buyers in the room!


Build relationships and provide value. The more you give, the more that will come back to you. Focus on helping the people you meet.


Introduce people in the room if you feel they could benefit each other. People remember the person who did this for them and are more likely to want to send work or connections their way in return.


Don’t take over a conversation: allow others to speak. Aim to put others at ease and try to include people in the conversation if they seem quiet.


Think of possible joint-venture opportunities.


Look for mutually beneficial opportunities. Let people know the benefits to them for working with you or purchasing your product or service.


Listen to others. Take an interest in them. We have two ears and one mouth for a reason.


Be clear as to the sort of introductions and referrals you would appreciate. Try to be as specific as possible. It’s amazing how close we can be to our dream connection. ‘Six degrees of separation’!


Look for suppliers as well as customers. We are all buyers and sellers.


Promote other people. Be ready to introduce contacts from a previous event to a new contact at the current event.


Networking events are just the beginning, following up is crucial. Email, phone, use social media and possibly meet for coffee if appropriate.


Schedule time in your diary post-event to follow-up. Ideally the same day or the following morning at the latest.


Always follow-up after an event – and fulfil any promises you made during the event.


Follow-up emails are easily ignored. Phone your new contacts and arrange to meet for a coffee to cement the relationship further, or have a Skype / video call.


Keep a database of all your contacts. Send them offers and advice.


Keep in contact with people. Nurture your current network of contacts as well as seeking new ones.


Connect with all new contacts on LinkedIn and follow them on Twitter. ‘Like’ their Facebook business page if they have one.


Target yourself to connect with at least five new business contacts a week. That equals 250 new business contacts a year, minimum.


Every new contact is potentially valuable – if not immediately, maybe in the near future.


Be patient. It often takes seeing someone a few times at networking events before any business transactions take place.

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BRAVO Business Event 2014

Are you fed up with business networking events that are all about selling? 

Well we are – and we’re doing something about it!

Great networking event coming up on the 9th October 2014 at Hartsfield Manor, Surrey. Early bird offer £25 (food included) book before 9th September 2014. Full details: http://www.bravobizevents.co.uk

Join us for a productive evening of networking with a difference. Our three structured networking sessions mean you will meet most of the other delegates attending – preventing cliques forming is a cornerstone of our events. Every delegate is issued with a coloured lanyard when they arrive and we ensure each colour is networking with a different colour in each session.

We also provide a detailed delegate list with full contact information for each delegate, social media links so you can follow and connect with everyone after the event, and space for a 30 word description of your business, your USPs or the sort of referrals you’re looking for to make all-important follow-up process much easier.

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