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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

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.

Investing in a brand identity

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

Investing in a brand identity

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

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 identity 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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Brand case study: Sigma Partners

Sigma Partners

It’s a competitive world!

The results of a Google search for ‘Accountant in <your county> returns pages and pages of suggestions. This just confirms how competitive the accountancy industry is. Add to this the emergence of cloud technology, accountancy practices need to adapt and add value in order to stand out from the crowd.

Out with the old…

We met a forward-thinking team of partners in July 2016, whilst they were still trading as Wilder Coe. At the time, they were going through a restructure of the business. The evolution meant a complete name change was required and a new brand identity design that could incorporate two parts of the new business; the accountancy practice and the payroll bureau.

Sigma Partners

In with the new…brand identity

The steps to create a brand were completely unknown to the partners, so they were extremely happy to be guided by us throughout the process.

The name…

Firstly, we needed to come up with a new name. The name needed to reflect the firm’s experience as qualified Chartered Certified Accountants and their long record of excellence. It had to appeal to their target market; budding entrepreneurs, established businesses and individuals in vocational fields.

During a fun and energetic meeting, which we facilitated, the partners decided on the name Sigma Partners.

The logo…

The next step was to develop a series of brand identity designs playing on the sigma symbol.

Sigma PartnersThe uppercase sigma is familiar to those regularly using spreadsheets, however, the lowercase sigma symbol is not so well known and this is what we incorporated into the logotype to create a subtle but memorable identity.

Sigma Partners

The colours…

Research reinforces how important colour is when developing a brand identity:

  • 60% of the time people will decide if they are attracted or not to a message – based on colour alone!
  • Colour can increase brand recognition by up to 80 percent.

The dominant colours for the Sigma brand are green and blue.

Green symbolises life, vitality, balance and energy. This gives Sigma’s clients the reassuring feeling that they are qualified to assist their business.

Green is associated with growth, harmony, freshness, safety, and the environment.

Green is also traditionally associated with money, finances, banking and ambition.

Blue is a calming colour that denotes security, confidence, intelligence and trust.

Deep shades of blue are a sign of expertise, further endorsing the comfort that Sigma’s clients are in the hands of a qualified and skilled accountancy practice.

Imagery…

To reflect the local area where Sigma’s clients are based, landscape photography from around Mid Sussex has been used on the website, creating an energy and balance to the brand.

Sigma Partners

Consistency across all communications…

The new logos have been implemented across all communication channels, including stationery, advertising, website, signage and social media.

The lowercase sigma theme can also be seen throughout the website.Sigma Partners

The future for Sigma Partners

Sigma Partners now has a clean modern image and a new face to promote to their target market. Their new brand identity underpins how they help small and medium sized businesses in the Mid Sussex area to plan their business, handling all aspects of taxation from self-assessment to corporation tax, assisting in financial planning, audit and provide business consultancy.

“ From the beginning, Steve was fully engaged with the project and completely understood what we wanted to achieve with the rebrand.

All of the design concepts he produced were excellent and produced a considerable amount of dialogue between the partners!!

His vision and creative input was excellent and also keep the project moving and on track, whilst also advising on other items around the rebrand. We are all delighted with the outcome.”

What does your brand image say about you?

In order to flourish and grow, businesses need to evolve, just as Sigma Partners has done. If you feel that your brand no longer represents your business and you would like an informal chat to see how you can refresh or completely change your image, feel free to call us on 01293 886805 or email us.

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