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Learn about what’s happening inside Turquoise Creative, along with interesting extras!

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.

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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Using Infographics

Make it snappy with Infographics

Our ever-diminishing attention is now less than that of a goldfish, which apparently is 9 seconds!

Since that’s the case we need to find ways of capturing people’s attention and engaging with them in super-fast time.

We live in an age where we are time poor and want instant gratification; think convenience foods and on-line shopping.

We don’t have time to read long detailed articles (we’ll keep this one short!).

Just give me the management summary!

This is why imagery is so important in your marketing. It helps you get across a message or evoke an emotion in seconds.

Think about your website. You have between 5 and 7 seconds to capture the website visitor’s attention. How do you do this? Probably with a well-crafted strapline and an image.

Let’s assume you have this nailed and you have gained their attention, for the next 10 seconds at least.

Question: How else could you provide the next chunk of detail quickly and in a way that’s easy to take in?

Answer: An Infographic.

This is an infographic we used in our article about colour and branding.

Infographics
This infographic is eye-catching. It inspires curiosity to look further. It encourages the reader to move from section to section taking in the content. It’s thought provoking; “I recognise that logo and see how it fits with the emotion”.

Most of all it imparts a lot of information extremely quickly.

Imagine how dull it would be if this information was displayed in sentences and paragraphs. Yawn! We bet you wouldn’t read it all.

Infographics are great for:

  • Livening up dry subjects
  • Summarising complex information in proposals or reports
  • Adding eye-catching visuals to web pages and blogs
  • Coaxing extra seconds of engagement to win over a prospect
  • They’re fun!

What might your Infographic look like?

Infographics are a brilliant way of getting information across quickly in an interesting and engaging way.

We hope this short article has inspired you to think about how you can use infographics in your marketing and sales collateral. We’d love to capture and create your infographic(s).

Give us a call on 01293 886805 or emails us to arrange a quick chat.

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Breathing new life into the PRS brand

It was evident that after 13 successful years the PRS Recruitment brand no longer reflected what the business was all about. When PRS Recruitment created a Facebook page they realised something was wrong, but couldn’t put their finger on it.

Their logo was distorted and the cover photo didn’t work. The image of lots of people dressed in work attire represented the variety of candidates they placed, but it looked more like a crowded platform of angry Southern rail commuters!

It was at this point that George Parker, Director at PRS Recruitment had a conversation with Steve Oakes of Turquoise Creative.

 

Why rebranding was necessary

PRS Recruitment services two distinct markets:

  • Temporary and contract staff to the transport, office and industries
  • Executive search in the fire and security industry

In order to appeal to these two different markets, PRS needed to develop a brand for each division, but one that still stayed true to the ethos of the company. A group of businesses was created and PRS Recruitment became PRS Group.

Turquoise Creative created 2 brand identities for each stream of the PRS business. A crisp, clean and fresh logo which represented the business in the modern world with the streamline: Matching the right people to the right jobs. The brand style and imagery was created to reflect a creative, forward-thinking established business.

Turquoise Creative worked with the PRS recruitment teams to develop a template for displaying jobs on social media. The template made the process of creating the job advert quicker, and at the same time ensuring the brand integrity.

From the design concepts, the website was built and social media channels defined. The other marketing collateral came online, which included flagship company brochure, business cards, stationery, advertising and signage.

The new website was launched in April 2017. Visitors to PRS Group can clearly see each division, PRS Recruitment Solutions or PRS Fire & Safety Recruitment.

PRS not only thought about their candidates, clients and prospects. Their offices had a refresh too! They redecorated and hung new signage and posters displaying the new images and key messages.

Benefits of the rebrand

The rebranding not only helps PRS with a clearer digital marketing strategy, it also provides them with flexibility for future business growth plans.

They can now easily expand their business by creating a new brand to reflect a different market sector. If they wish to sell parts of the business a division can be easily separated from the others.

“Steve’s ability to see the bigger picture and ask us questions about our business and plans for the future has been a hugely useful exercise. We’ve certainly gained a lot more than we ever anticipated. We now have a brand that puts us in a very strong position today and will also stand us in good stead for the future.”
Darren Hinton, Director at PRS Group

Next…

Has your business evolved over the years?

Does your brand reflect your business as it is today?

If you feel that your brand could do with a refresh so that it appeals to the right types of customers, please give us a call on 01293 886805 or email us.

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Investing in a brand identity

Q: What do an autism awareness charity and an accountancy practice have in common?

A: They both invested in creating a brand identity.

Autism Parent Empower wanted to raise awareness among families with children with autism letting them know that they could access key interventions locally.

Sigma Partner’s challenge was very different. They needed to communicate a change to the business name, as well as stand out in a crowded market.

Autism Parent Empower

Click here to find out how Autism Parent Empower’s brand identity evolved.

Sigma Partners

Click here to find out how Sigma’s brand identity evolved.

They both had very different challenges, yet the solution was exactly the same…

…to create a stand-out brand identity.

Creating a stand-out Brand Identity

A basic brand identity kit consists of a logo, business card, letterhead, and email signature. This basic set of materials can be extended to include: brochures, folders, flyers, website, exhibition stand and vehicle livery.

A successful brand identity is built around 9 characteristics.

Click here to find out how many of the 9 characteristics your brand has.

If you feel that your brand needs some attention, please do get in touch. You can call us on 01293 886805 or email ideas@turquoise-creative.co.uk

 

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