Learn about what’s happening inside Turquoise Creative, along with interesting extras!
Ideally, you and your graphic designer will collaborate harmoniously on the perfect solution for your needs the first time around. In the real world, however, the design process is naturally iterative as you and your designer work to mesh the two perspectives together, which some may find difficult. And that’s…okay.
The goal of the design process is to unify your vision with the designer’s creative expertise to achieve the most effective result. This is where providing useful feedback can make the difference between a flop and long-lasting marketing that enhances your brand while attracting new customers.
Aside from the quality of the finished solution, there are very real budget and timeline implications to the feedback and revision process. A simple brochure can easily balloon into a laborious project if feedback is broken out over several weeks. A two-month packaging project can turn into a five-month ordeal if feedback doesn’t have the market and goals in mind — leaving neither the designer nor the client satisfied with the results.
So how can you provide useful feedback to your designer and keep your project on track?
Here are six helpful tips:
Focus On Your Audience
The main goal of any design project is to reach your target audience. Try to put yourself in the end user’s shoes when evaluating the design. For instance, if you don’t like the colour yellow, but your designer gives you valid reasons why it might appeal to your customer, don’t rule it out based solely on a personal aversion.
Your designer is there to help you solve a challenge, and in order to do the best job, he or she needs to know exactly what you believe is not achieving the design goal. Frame your feedback by specifying what design element (i.e. font, colour, image, etc.) is not working and why. Also keep in mind that asking you clarifying questions is the designer’s way to determine the most efficient path to improving the piece, not to challenge your feedback.
Your designer just spent hours working on a solution he or she believed was perfect for your project objectives, so take a moment to appreciate the effort and look for the positives in the design before taking out the red pen.
Take Your Time
Have you ever said the wrong thing in the heat of the moment? Feedback is the same way. If you’re unsure about how to explain your critique, take it home and sleep on it. It’s amazing what 24 hours can do for your perspective.
Assume your designer has the best of intentions and the approved design strategy in mind. Ask why they chose a specific solution if you don’t think it fits the strategy — their answer may surprise you and change your mind.
Compile Your Feedback
Make sure to compile feedback from all the stakeholders involved with the project into one document. Reconciling overlapping or contradicting ideas before giving it to your designer. This will save your designer countless hours and your budget undue stress.
The design process can be uncomfortable. But a little patience and thoughtful collaboration go a long way when it comes to helping your designer deliver the best solution for your business. Of course, a foundation of trust and mutual respect is the key to a productive creative partnership, which is why it’s important to find the right designer or firm in the first place.
If you are looking for a reliable design team that are not afraid of sharing their thoughts then feel free to give us a call on 01293 886805 or email us.
Given our recent work with Coverzone and their 2018 business and consumer brochure we thought we would have a look back at an article we put together on the importance of a well-considered and designed brochure.
Brochures that are designed and produced well, are one of the most important marketing tools for your business. A company brochure is just as vital to your business as your most basic marketing tool – your business card.
We like to highlight Coverzone as a client for the purpose of this article. Coverzone really see the value in their brochure, they consider the process at great length and employ countless professionals to execute a well thought out strategy. They are hands-on and involved in every element of the project, allowing us all to deliver a final product we can all stand proudly alongside.
It is your opportunity to create a lasting impression. Make sure that it is a good one.
Sells the credibility and capability of your company to establish trust with your prospective customers. A corporate brochure enables you to project your credentials in a positive way and outlines the benefits to anyone using your company. It should highlight your strengths and deal with any queries that a prospective client may have. It should leave your prospect with a lasting impression of your company and a desire to know more about you.
Sells the benefits your prospective customers will experience if they choose your product.
A sales brochure provides focus on a single product or brand and the options available. It ‘shows and tells’ your prospective customer why they need it and the benefits they will have in purchasing your product rather than that of the competition. It should leave your prospect with a lasting positive impression of your product and a desire to know more about it.
Product or Service Directories
That put your portfolio online with an easy to use format so that your customers know what products or services you sell.
Product or service directories must provide the reference material your customer needs to know when making a purchasing decision. It should be a comprehensive technical manual detailing your main product or service specifications and include any diagrams, photos, etc that help your prospect to choose the right product or service.
Most important of all it should be designed with your customer in mind – how will they want to use it, what ways do they want to search for product or service.
Project a positive image to stakeholders and potential investors.
Financial reports are often a legal requirement but have the power to present your company in a positive manner even if the content isn’t such good news. They can project your aims and ambitions and reflect the image of the company you want to be. The statistical information can be presented in an interesting and graphical manner so that the dynamics of what you are about are delivered in a consistent message on every page. It must provide the reader with the understanding of your company’s current position and sell the destination that you seek to achieve.
Why you can’t mix and match these brochure types
When companies try to combine these functions with a ‘one brochure fits all’, they often end up with a confusing document that you can be certain is difficult to read. If it isn’t being read then it can’t do its job.
An acceptable combination of two or more types is often seen in a corporate folder brochure. This works best if the folder carries the corporate information and focuses on selling the brand (i.e. the benefits of dealing with you as a company). The pocket then holds either product or service specific information, it can also hold special deals, sales sheets, price lists, etc.
How and when to use your brochure to gain the maximum impact
You can use your brochure with an introductory mailer – This will need a powerful sales letter to accompany it so that the prospect has a reason to take the time to read it.
A ‘leave behind’ following your initial sales call – Even if you have mailed out a copy in advance of your meeting, it is always a good idea to leave another copy as a reminder.
A response mechanism – fulfiling requests from potential clients for literature, either in response to an ad or a phone enquiry.
The key to the successful use of your brochure is planning and research, find out what works and why!
Research the Competition
Get hold of your competitor’s brochures, pick out the points and techniques which you feel best to communicate the sales message you have.
Determine your Budget
This will depend on:
Quality – This can be based upon the quality of brochure your competition has produced. If your prospective client has to present their research to a higher authority how would you want your brochure to compare?
Quantity – The quantity should be based upon how many you will realistically use within a year (or to sell the product you have – for instance, we produce a brochure for a housing developer who typically only has ten houses at each development, we find that fifty brochures are all that they usually require.)
Determine what you want your brochure to achieve.
Listed above are the four main types of brochure but there are many kinds of brochures and their look and feel are completely determined by the job they must do. Keep your brochure focused on the main points of the message you want.
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 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.
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.
- 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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Then the less obvious:
- Email signature
- 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 email@example.com.Other articles relevant to :