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.

5 Search Engine Optimisation Quick Tips

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is now a much more common term as we continue to evolve through the digital age. As the internet becomes increasingly more important for the success of a business, it is crucial that you encompass some sort of strategy around SEO and its place as the foundation for driving a relevant and engaged audience. We look at 5 quick and easy ways you can get your SEO activity underway. Whatever your websites size or purpose, these tips could make all the difference.

All major search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo have primary search results, where web pages and other content such as videos or local listings are shown and ranked based on what the search engine considers most relevant to users. Payment isn’t involved, these listings are deemed organic/natural and are typically the most relevant, offering the best user experience.

If you build it they will come

Your website is rewarded for sending the right signals, SEO is the process of ensuring your content generates the right type of signals. Considering how search engines work, the algorithms which dictate their patterns, keywords and common terms are vital to the success of your search engine optimisation.

Audiences trust the organic results search engines provide. Studies show that over 80% of search engine clicks are generated from the top 3 organic positions after paid advertising. An investment in Search Engine Optimisation is a cost-effective marketing strategy, driving a relevant audience and increasing the credibility of your business.

Optimising a website for Search Engine Optimisation has multiple layers involving various levels of time, skills and experience. From simple editing and content adjustments to outsourcing SEO agents, engagement at any level will show a positive result.

We have listed 5 quick and easy tips to get you started with SEO. These are relatively simple but highly effective ways to get your foot on the Search Engine Optimisation ladder.

5 Search Engine Optimisation Quick Tips to get things started…

  • Focus Keyword

What is the main keyword you would like your web page to appear against in search results? Include this keyword as often as possible, without compromising content quality.

  • Meta Description

Edit the short snippet of information websites will use when presenting your page alongside the keyword results. Use the Focus Keyword within that description.

  • Image Attributes

When loading images on the page of your site, adjust the image attributes to include the Focus Keyword within the description.

  • Word Count

Typically, 250 – 350 words is minimum word count need to be competitive with your Search Engine Optimisation.

  • Outbound and In Bound Links

Having links to relevant content internally or externally is a great way of getting noticed on search engines. Building links within the content and externally linking where suitable are quick ways to generate an organic audience.

There are increasingly more companies looking to search engine optimisation for a cost effective, natural method for promoting their business. It is a critical tool for website owners to unlock an audience that is engaged with your message and interested in what you do. A good SEO strategy will benefit not only you, the website owner but your audience, allowing them to find you and the relevant content you offer.

If you need more information on SEO, it benefits and advanced options click here. There are countless companies in the SEO space that offer outstanding tools and Advice, we work with DigiBubble, a Surrey based digital agency offering thought leadership and advice for website owners of every level.

Branding – The difference between a rebrand and a brand refresh.

It is important for all businesses to monitor their industry and keep ahead of the changes in technology, message delivery and consumer integration. In modern times, the biggest change seen in years is the way that your potential customers interact with your brand. How your brand is delivered is key to the perception of your brand.

The evolution of online has meant that previous integrations have moved into the digital space and developed countless brand interaction opportunities. Simple elements like the differences in colour in a digital space is a good example of why your need to consider a brand refresh over a total rebranding. Your colour choice may have been made years ago, while it worked well at the time, across print the colour pallet used online is different

It’s imperative that your branding reflects your business and serves it up in a competitive and competent light to catch the hearts, attention…and wallets of potential customers. Simple elements, such as differences in colour shades can create a negative impression of your business.

As a business owner, you always try to keep your branding fresh and current in a world where attention spans are decreasing and the propensity to buy and research online is dramatically increasing.

So what is the difference between rebranding and refreshing a brand? Moreover, how do you know which one is for you?

Rebranding

Rebranding is more than just changing a logo or refreshing your website design. Rebranding is to change the entire image of your company from the top down. Not only the creative perception but your ethos and brand story.

When should you consider a rebrand?

  • Your brand feels out of date and is no longer effective or working for your audience.
  • Your audience has changed.
  • Your business offering, motivation and goals have changed.
  • Your business is going through a noticeable change such as merger or acquisition.

What are the risks?

  • If executed poorly you can alienate or confuse your audience.
  • Current customers can feel betrayed if your brand equity is not taken into consideration.
  • You risk cluttering your message rather than streamlining it.
  • The rebrand may not resonate with your employees.

Branding Refresh

Sometimes a complete overhaul of your brand is unnecessary. If you are comfortable with your messaging, have a brand story that is engrained in your audience and employees mindset then a refresh may be for you. If the risk of alienating your audience or cluttering your brand is too high, then you need to consider what adjustments you can make to refresh and modernise your brand.

Why Refresh your brand?

  • To update and modernise your brand to appeal to a current audience.
  • To address market condition and changes.
  • When your brand feels disconnected from your offering.

Key Considerations

  • Maintain the essence of your brand.
  • Build messaging that is focused and clean.
  • Build and present an ethos that resonates highly with your customers.
  • Consider timing and leverage where possible to your company’s advantage.

Eventually, every brand needs to change. The world is constantly evolving, with new tastes, new innovations, and new demands from customers.

However, the extent to which you change, and the size of the decisions that you make to adapt to your new marketplace, depends on you.

A refresh is something that can improve and build upon a brand that’s already fundamentally robust. If you have existing loyalty for your brand, and things are going well, a refresh can help you to make sure that you stay competitive and remain on the right track.

A brand refresh can be a lot more than a simple lick of paint, however, sometimes, your brand refresh strategy will involve a complete re-think of what your company does, how it delivers, speaks, and behaves. However, the DNA of your company will remain the same.

With a rebrand, everything changes. You might be selling the same products, or providing the same services, but you become something entirely new. So, how far do you need to go to revitalise your company?

Do you want to know more?

If you are looking for advice on how to build a desirable brand identity we would love to help. We have looked into the key components of building your identity in our article on Colour and Branding. If you prefer to speak we are happy to offer some advice and direction on your desirable branding ambitions, get in touch, however, best suits you…

10 Years of Graphic Design and Branding

It is hard to believe that Turquoise Creative is already 10 years old. They really grow so fast!! We wanted to take some time to really appreciate this milestone. 10 years of working with some great clients, huge projects and fantastic people. We wanted to first thank all of our clients and customers that have made Turquoise as successful as it is. We have an extensive network or exciting businesses we have worked with, we have grown and evolved some truly outstanding examples of branding, graphic design and marketing creatives.

Looking at our Branding…

As part of our 10-Year celebrations we collaboratively worked through a branding exercise to refresh our logo. The original logo has served us well, we are recognised locally and have built a presence within graphic design, digital media and branding that we are truly proud to stand alongside. In an effort to stay fresh we refined the typography and refreshed the logo for a modernized look and feel that better reflected our focus on modern techniques and approaches to branding while remaining reminiscent of the original branding.

Upon Turquoise Creatives’ 10-year anniversary we thought that we would also take some time look at everything that has changed, evolved and innovated within the industry. In Branding and design, it is crucial to keep ahead of the curve, monitor trends and pioneer creative techniques. Our business relies on our ability to understand trends, industry developments, the mind of the consumer and their motives.

Looking back at the world…

One of the keys to our success is to keep ahead of news, trends and events. It is important to understand what key actions are affecting your clients, your inspirations and your results. As part of our 10-year celebrations we wanted to take a moment to look back over some key events that happened through the last 10-years.

What happened in the world of Branding?

2008 – April :: Facebook take over MySpace as the largest social network.

2009 – January :: Barack Obama takes office as US president.

2010 – January :: 3D Television widely available to the consumer market.

2011 – April – Google plays an April Fool’s Day joke on typography nerds by serving search results for “helvetica” in comic sans.

2012 – February :: Apple Launches the iPhone5

2013 – April :: Amazon launches Kindle Fire HDX

2014 – February :: Apple announced it new innovation, Apple Watch.

2015 – November :: Apple Smartwatch

2016 – May :: The Queen celebrated her 90th birthday and so did the rest of the country.

2017 – December :: Apple drops to #2 in the global 500 brand ranks. After 5 years at #1.

2018 – February :: Turquoise Creative celebrates its 10-year anniversary with a rebrand

Looking back at what we have learnt…

Turquoise Creative strives to learn, improve and understand what key patterns of thought shape the world around us. Within graphic design and rebranding it is key to actively learn from our experiences and make sure that these lessons shape our future actions. In the last 10 years, there have been some key movements in the thoughts around graphic design, branding, marketing and PR.

PR is more important than advertising

Advertising is expensive and not very credible, especially when used on behalf of a new brand. That’s why many of the most successful new brands were launched with PR. Public relations can be controversial, but that doesn’t work in advertising. Consumers are turned off by advertising that attempts to be controversial or attacks the competition. Consumers tend not to blame the brand if a story in the media does critique the completion or build.

The category is more important than the brand

Thinking in military terms, a country launched a military campaign to conquer a territory, likewise, a company launches a marketing campaign to conquer a category. From a branding perspective, brands rarely hold any value outside of their category. If a company tries build a presence across a different category, it is a risky journey that has to be carefully navigated.

When Apple decided to get into the smartphone business, it again didn’t use the Apple name. It called its smartphone “iPhone.” The Apple Macintosh brand was reserved for their desktop product.

Steve OakesThe visual is more important than the verbal

The concept of verbal or written communication has changed. The primary objective of a marketing programme is to place a verbal concept into consumer, the best way to delivery this is not with words at all. The visuals are the key to generate emotional appeal and drive your audience to engage with the deeper message.

The key change that we have noticed over the last 10 years is an increase in demand for companies to brand and present themselves professionally. The growth of the internet, along with the changes in behaviour of the consumer means that companies that would have never considered a brand identity in the past now have to consider their brand, how their company is perceived and how fragile their identity is. The freedom of information and the ease that potential clients can inform themselves on the process and requirements around graphic design has meant that we are seeing clients that are much more informed and knowledgeable about what they want and need.

The last 10 years have been a fantastic journey, as well as the people and business we have met, the countless brochures, logos and business cards we have built it has been most rewarding seeing the success we are having within our local area. We are recoginsed as professional, friendly and experienced and work hard to make sure we maintain this reputation. 10 years is a long time, it can he difficult to understand what events have shaped the position we see ourselves in everyday, it is important to look back and take time to remember how we arrive where we are, the events that helped and hindered and think about what more we can do to make sure the next 10 years are more successful than the last.

6 Approaches to Help Build a Desirable Brand

Studies show that 75% of consumers have developed a preference for a certain ‘type’ of brand. A desirable brand is one that enables the belief that we can become ourselves or achieve aspirational goals as a result of it.

Countless studies have been conducted suggesting that brands are valuable assets. Their colour, values and positioning are key components that can be actioned, however, its desirability is an emotive pursuit that is difficult to create artificially. A desirable brand can make us think and feel differently compared to neutral brands. They can influence our decisions, drive an impassioned response to messaging and drive us to champion the brand to family and friends. If executed well, a desirable brand is a hugely powerful marketing tool.

A brand that people desire is a tough undertaking that needs careful consideration and planning to execute properly. Companies such as Apple and their associated brands iPad, iWatch etc. have consistently held the top positions on respected desirable brand listings and surveys. Other companies such as Ferrari, Google and Samsung are a steady presence in reports designed to understand and quantify how desirable brands build and maintain their position in the conscious of consumers.

There are countless thoughts around the elements that make up a desirable brand. We have looked at 6 common practices for businesses who are trying to build a desirable brand. We think these are key areas that need careful consideration when positioning your brand and its message.

The Bigger Picture

It is common for a desirable brand to look at the bigger picture. They typically do more to impact people’s lives and actively look for a bigger role in the communities. They are the thought leaders, pioneers and develop a range of propositions.

Looking Ahead

A desirable brand understands where there is an opportunity in the near future, foreseeing a need, desire and limitations. This is more than a financial opportunity, rather a chance to meet the rapidly changing needs and behaviour of the consumer.

Allow Transcension

Do not get held back by the limitations of a category, a desirable brand is seen to transcend its rivals and not be held by the restriction of broad sweeping brand categorisation. This should be done with direction, you will be shaping and improving the world around us all and need planning.

Ambition

Desirable brands are looking for more than commercial rewards. This is secondary to a clear purpose that inspires customers, consumers and internal staff alike. Ambition allows you to build a rapport with your customers who are likely to be ambitious and can recognise similar motivational drives.

Innovation

Desirable brands build a rhetoric that encourages people to think, feel and act differently. They engage us in evolving an interesting story of innovation. They are seen to innovate beyond their category and look at anything they could potentially impact.

Build Energy

A desirable brand is energising the organisation towards success. Have a consistent direction towards goals and ambitions that are genuine and viable. Energy is more than producing a great product or service, it is about continuously re-evaluating and innovating to ensure the brand has a real role in people’s lives.

A desirable brand constantly drives to engage us in an evolving and interesting story. They innovate across all areas of product, operations and society and do not limit themselves by broad categorisation. They provide all of us with a consistent and evolving story of evolution and innovation. They are considered thought leaders and contribute to an ongoing supply of news, stories and conversation points. They are foremost in the minds of their customers, generate pride and encourage

Do you want to know more?

If you are looking for advice on how to build a desirable brand identity we would love to help. We have looked into the key components of building your identity in our article on Colour and Branding. If you prefer to speak we are happy to offer some advice and direction on your desirable branding ambitions, get in touch, however, best suits you…

T: 01293 886805

E: steve@turquoise-creative.co.uk

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We are a creative design agency based in Crawley, West Sussex, which specialise in Brand Design, Creative Design and Web Design. Turquoise Creative create and design all the ‘touch points’ of your business including:

How to conduct a Brand Audit

If your brand was a cup of coffee what type of coffee would it be?

Imagine stepping into your favourite coffee shop, where a welcome smile awaits and the familiar aroma reminds you this is the place where you are delighted to spend the next ½ an hour simply relaxing.

You know the coffee experience will be perfect, just as you like it because it always is.  The smooth, rich flavour sets you up for the rest of the day. One thing’s for sure, you’ll be back again and again and again.

Brand Audit Guide with a cup of coffee

 

But, life’s not always full of the perfect coffee experience, is it?

Along the way, you’re subjected to dishwater masquerading as coffee. At least you have a suspicion it’s going to be dire, so you can choose to refuse. Unlike the cup of coffee that’s full of promise, but the first bitter sip sends your taste buds into a frenzy of disappointment.

Just as your expectations are set from the ambience of the coffee shop, the design of cup, the look, smell and taste of your chosen latte, cappuccino or espresso, so do your customers have an expectation as they familiarise themselves and interact with your brand.

Where along the coffee scale does your brand sit?

It’s a serious question to consider. Depending on how eye-catching, inspiring and dependable the interactions your prospects and customers have with your brand will determine how successful your business is.

How do you know where your brand is on the coffee scale?

The answer: A Brand Audit

Conducting a brand audit is a worthwhile exercise. There are many benefits to gain. You can:

  • Double check that your brand accurately reflects the business as it is today (not how it was when you first started out)
  • Determine how outsiders perceive of your brand (it may be different to what you think)
  • Make small adjustments to correct misalignments and avoid misunderstandings
  • See how you stand up against your competitors. What do they do well? How can you counteract that?
  • Check that your brand will take the business into the future
  • Ensure your brand encourages loyalty from your customers
  • Retain and attract the best employees

Gather the evidence

The first steps of a brand audit are to gather and list the evidence.

Start with the obvious:

  • All tangible marketing materials including business cards, flyers, brochures, letterhead
  • Your business plan
  • Your business story
  • Brand guidelines (colours, fonts)
  • Website including a list of all domains
  • Signage

Then the less obvious:

  • Keywords
  • Email signature
  • Invoices
  • Vehicles (wrapped, clean)
  • How is your telephone answered and what is your voice message?
  • What is displayed when you pop up on the Internet? Check your Google account and online directories you registered with many years ago.

A useful way to build this list is to think about all the touch points a prospect has from first becoming aware of your business through to when they become a customer and a returning loyal customer.

Review your list

Having gathered the evidence, the next step is to review. You may scatter the hard copy marketing material on a table. What does it say? Dishwater or strong and robust? Is it consistent?

When was the content on your website last updated? Does it reflect an accurate image of the business? Are all other online instances consistent?

How do your employees perceive your brand? Ask your customers too, if you can?

Write a brief report of your findings. The framework of a SWOT analysis could be helpful here.

You may be quite attached to your brand, after all, it’s your baby, but it’s important to keep an open mind throughout the review.  This is when a third party’s opinion will be most useful. Of course, you can do a DIY brand audit, but when you consider the benefits that this review brings to the business the opinion and advice of a brand specialist completes the job properly.

We invite you to take the Brand/Coffee test?

By now you’ve probably realised we are just as passionate about our coffee as we are about creating desirable brands.

If you’re serious about creating a strong and trusted brand that will stand your business in good stead over the coming years, get in touch and let’s arrange a chat over a nice cup of coffee.

You can call us on 01293 886805 or email us ideas@turquoise-creative.co.uk.

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