turquoise blog

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

Brand Marketing – Making it work

In previous blogs we explored the fundamentals of brand marketing and how important your brand identity is when building a consistent brand, associated with positive and quality experiences. In this article, we look into the reasons, purpose and the desired outcomes of brand marketing campaigns.

Why invest in Brand Marketing

Brand marketing influences the decisions for both end consumers and businesses. It is most effective for developing repeat business, as any customer’s perception of a brand is going to be largely informed by their previous experiences with that brand. For customers and clients, the company’s brand represents instant knowledge of that company, service and standards they have experienced first-hand or heard about.

Brand Marketing

How to get started

When developing a brand marketing strategy, companies work to increase customers’ awareness of their reputation. This involves communicating what the company does and how well it does it and providing a way to bring that information to mind in an instant.

This instant aspect might be communicated through a logo that appears on all company material, product packaging, company website, business cards, stationery and email address. The brand name/logo should be ubiquitous so that customers associate the company and its reputation with every product and service that the company provides.

Brand marketing is as much about product and service quality as it is about communication, with poor quality affecting a customer’s perception of a brand far more than good quality can. This attention to quality must extend to every aspect of the company’s interaction with customers, including the company website and social media activity. Internet marketing of a brand cannot be done as an afterthought, with little investment; any deficiency will reflect on the company’s reputation, and all its products and services.

What if?

If you are struggling to get your Brand Marketing to achieve meaningful results, it may be worthwhile giving attention to the following areas…

  • Product/service quality – Does your business operate as your brand marketing communicates?
  • Competition – What is the competition doing, and where are they seeing the greatest success?
  • Bad timing – is the message, service or product misplaced for the time of year or industry evolution?
  • Lack of demand – are you struggling to demonstrate the value and uncover the demand?
  • Poor alignment with the target market’s values – does your messaging ring true with the values and expectations of the market?

Brand Marketing

How do you measure success in Brand Marketing?

Brand campaigns should have a number of defined and measurable objectives. You may want to increase your media references by representing thought leadership and innovation. Or highlight your successes through Press Releases, articles or social media. Whatever the desired outcome, it is important to consider what you are trying to achieve and how best to use Brand Marketing to achieve them.

With over 20 years in Brand Marketing, Design and Strategy, Turquoise Creative has the tools you need to build and maintain a brand marketing strategy that enables you to control how your business is perceived, builds trust and enables an open dialogue with clients.

Please give us a call on 01293 886 805 and let us know what you need. Alternatively, complete our FREE Brand Audit and let us talk through how your brand can work for you.

8 Graphic Design Predictions for 2019

2019 is in full swing, the trends of 2018 now nothing more than a distant memory. The need for fresh, innovative graphic design is now front of mind for many clients and their brands.

Looking at the year ahead, we have taken a moment to explore 8 graphic design predictions and trends we will likely encounter throughout 2019.

Strong Typography

Bold fonts will project strength, innovation and individuality. Easy to read and workable across mobile and tablet devices, we expect to see bolder typefaces taking centre stage through 2019.

Future Focus

Geometric shapes, futuristic colour palettes and abstract designs are going to be all the rage. Not only will your brand need to embrace the design but also the delivery, focusing on unique and engaged audience channels.

Colour is Back

Working with vivid colours including lighter hues that are bright and intense. As brands work harder to stand out from the competition, we are likely to see them employ more powerful colour combinations to ensure they stand out. Bright corals, vivid yellow and electric blues are going to be increasingly more common through 2019.

Light and Dark

There will be an increase in movement for brands towards contrasting light and dark colours. There was a shift from technology brands to this style late last year, given previous evolutions in design, it will only be a matter of time before more brands follow suit.

Duotones and Gradients

Duotones and gradients started becoming increasingly common last year, this year you will see them becoming more widely spread and innovative. Gradients are no longer going to be restricted to simple background, duotones and gradients will start taking centre stage for many designers.

Design Predictions

Minimalism in Colour

Historically, minimalism has been associated with natural or muted tones, this year however, you will see a new approach to minimalism, vivid, unique colours applied to create the “Pop” that we are always striving to attain.

Hand Drawn Illustrations

In recent years we have seen a move away from hand drawn illustrations, with many designers working with technology to create versatile creatives that can work across countless applications. This year, technology will take a back seat, as we focus on the personality and fun bought about by custom artwork and hand made design.

Authentic Original Photography

For many of us that work with photos on a daily basis, we are able to see a stock photo a mile off. As we navigate ourselves through 2019, you will see an increase in demand for genuine authentic stock images that showcase an honest brand with a clear brand identity.

The overarching theme of 2019 will be an honest reflection of the current times. It will need to be genuine, created with love, simple and honest. Hand delivered with thought and empathy for your audience. We are looking forward to an exciting year of innovative design and unique client ideas.

If you are looking to refresh your brand, stand-out at an exhibition or drive engagement on social media we can help you succeed.

If you are looking for a reliable design team that can deliver success through every communication channel, please give us a call on 01293 886805 and let us know what you need.

6 Tips on Delivering Design Feedback Effectively

design

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.

Be Specific

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.

Be Constructive

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.

Ask Questions

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.

4 Applications of an Effective Brochure

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.

DNA brochureTurquoise Creative have identified the 4 key brochures and what should be achieved from each.

Corporate Brochures

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.

Sales Brochures

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.

Financial Reports

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.

 

Interserve brochureWhy 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.

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…