When discussing your new brand, the first thing anyone will ask is - what is your strategy? Naysayers if you ask me! Let me bask in the sparkle for a short while. Even if we do not like to think about such integrated thoughts when dreaming of your new logo or beautiful soon-to-happen website (Not a service placement - I promise), we have to eventually get down to the nitty gritty of it all.
"By definition, brand strategy is a long-term plan for the development of a successful brand in order to achieve specific goals. A well-defined and executed brand strategy affects all aspects of a business and is directly connected to consumer needs, emotions, and competitive environments." (Introduction to Brand Strategy, 2013)
Now the difficult part comes when trying to figure out your brand strategy, and how it will fit in with everything you are trying to achieve with your new business.
Your consumers awareness and associations lead to perceived quality, inferred attributes, and eventually brand loyalty.
A strong brand provides a series of benefits to a service, such as greater customer loyalty and higher resiliency to endure crisis situations, higher profit margins, more favourable customer response to price change, and licensing and brand extension opportunities.
Successful brands provide consumers with a variety of functional and emotional benefits that positively influence their perceptions and subsequent behaviour related to that brand. It has been shown that such brands can be important intangible company assets with a demonstrable financial value.
A distinctive brand personality can create a set of unique and favourable associations in consumer memory and thus enhance brand equity. The real value is in its intangible assets, and first among these is its brand.
Let's have a look at the hotel industry as a case study:
Hilton Hotels have used branding to widen their market share by introducing new brands, such as Doubletree, Embassy Suites, Hampton Inn and Conrad when existing markets have become saturated. This has allowed each different brand to establish its own position within the market.
The endorsed brand strategy puts a well-established name on a cluster of products or services. By endorsing a range of products, the lead brand can lend its good name and image to the entire brand family.
Hotel organizations have successfully franchised their brands, whereby the owning company allows others to sell the product using their model and specifications in exchange for royalties.
Intercontinental Hotels group has successfully franchised Crowne Plaza Hotels, which enabled the rapid expansion of the brand. There are some doubters as to the effectiveness of hotel branding. It has been argued that the plethora of hotel brands and branding strategies may lead to confusion amongst consumers.
The UK market is now becoming saturated with many low budget chain brands such as premier inn which are ideally suited at the moment to survive the current economic recession. Their national advertising campaign with a well known celebrity has also clearly targeted its audience as a quality budget brand that has the potential to steal many customers from the more luxury brands. However Premier inn brand does portray quality at a low price.
Hotels traditionally have focused on describing their services and facilities. Malmaison focuses its marketing on the experience of 'mal life' and eats, drinks, sleeps philosophy, which again creates certain images and expectations, known as emotional branding.
Loyal customers may attach more importance to the perceived image of the brand and associations as a reflection of themselves rather than the hotel services.
No you may be asking me how is the hotel industry going to help me with my own brand? When it comes to a strategy, much like most things in the creative field - every great idea has been borrowed and warped for a new purpose.
Pull your brand apart, and piece it back together - use glue form Nike, Hilton Hotels, Apple, & Google. Each different externally, but internally they have been warped from another company as well. This down the line, is the try secret to crafting that epic Brand Strategy. Copy & Paste greatness, conceptualise old ideas with new flair, breath life into something that was never there.
A logo encapsulates your identity and creates a sense of trust and familiarity in the minds of your audience.
Whether you are starting a new business or revamping your current branding you can assess your logo design with the following 5 important factors in mind to see if your logo is up to the task of being the beacon of your brand.
1. Is It Appropriate?
Your logo design should be an integral part of your branding and feel consistent with all of your other visual assets. As well as being appropriate as a symbol of your company it should also feel authentic to your industry. Choose symbols carefully to avoid any disconnect between your audience and their perception of your products or services.
2. Think Minimalism
Trying to cram too much into a logo will end up making it look cluttered and confusing, especially when used in smaller sizes. Avoid photographs or images that include text or lots of fine details as these not only lose clarity when used in small dimensions but can also become irrelevant as your business grows over the years. Try to stick to one, simple shape or symbol for the maximum clarity and longevity.
3. Keep It Clear
Don't compromise a clear graphic logo by applying special effects such as drop shadows, bevelling or patterns. Subtle effects can quickly be lost or distorted across devices and platforms and can reduce the effectiveness of an otherwise fine logo design.
4. Colour Carries Meaning
Colors carry meaning and can create an immediate impression of your brand. Orange and yellow give a feeling of fun and energy, while blue and gray inspire trust and authority. Intensity of color can also convey meaning, with soft pastel shades traditionally being chosen in the beauty and health industries with neon colors picked by brands that want to make a bold impression. Flat color blocks will be more visually effective than subtle shading and grading effects.
5. Make it Multi-Purpose
Your logo design needs to work in a variety of different dimensions. It should withstand being blown up to billboard proportions but agile enough to still look great when squeezed into a tiny box on social media. A professionally created vector graphic will scale properly where a graphic file can become distorted when resized. Lots of fine detail and text will quickly make your logo illegible when shrunk to fit small dimensions.
Now that we have given you the 5 important rule in starting you brand, let us know how it goes. If all else fails, drop us a message and we can assist you with your very own logo.
Search Engine Optimization in 2017 has become extremely complex.
As a beginner just getting into the swing of things we suggest you follow our SEO Tips and Tricks that will boost your Website ranking better in modern Search Engines. The below SEO tips and techniques are provided as per Google Best Practices and this covers most of the on page factors.
The Below list will help to improve the Keyword Analysis better.
Google Keyword Planner
Google Keyword Planner is the free SEO tool that is provided by Google and it helps to find out the Keywords search volume and relative Keyword ideas for you. Useful tool compare with other keyword analysis tools because Google is the top Search Engine used by people so its worth to use this tool.
Choose Key Phrases
Rather than selecting a single Keyword it`s better chance to ranking more than one keyword if you chosen Key Phrases. So select Key phrases that works better compare to keywords. List out Relative Keywords by relevance - List the relevant Searches and Keywords and use the words or phrase in the article going to publish in the blog for the selected keyword. Interesting and Descriptive article - No one is going to like boring long articles so write your content interest to read and descriptive content that will clear all things about the article title.
Quality of the Content
Don't copy Paste whole content from the other website that never going to bring you traffic. Google has very good eye to find out the Duplicate contents. Avoid Keyword stuffing and other Black-hat SEO tricks.
Short & Sweet Titles
Titles must be relative and the Key phrase Keywords must be present in the Title. To make website title tag to more search engine friendly read this Tips to optimize the title tag. Relative Meta Description - Writ a short and sweet 156 Characters that will explain your whole story of the article will help to know better in Search Engines Results Page.
SEO friendly URL
The Url of the content must be meaningful to the context. Then Search Engines will highlight the Url Keywords. It is also a boosting signal for the SEO in general.
Well there you have it. There is a lot more science behind SEO but this is a great starting point to get your brand out there for anyone to find organically.
Let us know in the comments below if this has helped you!
We love marketing, it is part of our DNA. And much like most things in life - it is constantly changing. We have seen the trends - and the biggest push we have seen in 2017 is Video. Video is King, and we are its followers.
If Facebook continues as an innovator in the video marketing industry, then we predict that next year there will be an even bigger increase in people uploading, sharing, and discovering videos on Facebook. As touched upon above, Facebook recently introduced live video and the reception has been very positive.
Twitter users are big on video, with 82% of users agreeing that they watch videos on a regular basis. Live video creates a new opportunity for marketers because viewers feel a sense of urgency knowing that they won`t be able to view the content in real time again. It`s this `limited` nature of live video that will increase the popularity of the platform and make it a feature to look out for in 2017.
Video marketing is effective for one simple reason: consumers like to watch videos! Watching a video is an easy way to digest information; and it`s almost as good as seeing the product you`re looking to purchase in person. For this reason, we predict that sales teams will require more and more video resources in 2017.
According to recent studies by Wyzowl, only 4% of people prefer to learn about a new product or service by reading a manual, just 5% prefer speaking to someone on the phone, and a huge 44% prefer to watch a video. Gone are the days where a brand would create a video, upload it to YouTube, dust off their hands, and get back to other marketing tasks.
More recently, social media channels have become the best place to share videos and gain exposure for your brand. Infotainment is almost like a new genre of marketing videos. As the name suggests, it is the amalgamation of `informative` videos and `entertainment` videos. Without entertainment, users will click away from your video and forget all about you. Virtual Reality has caused quite a disruption in the video world this year, and that looks only set to continue into 2017.
At the moment, VR videos are still a gimmick, a "Nice-to-have". Well until of course the now owned by Facebook, Oculus takes off commercially. Then this conversation of being a gimmick will fade - just like Periscope & the soon to be Snapchat in our opinion.
When I envisioned Kreate. Agency - I pictured a modern advertising agency. Our motto to this day is "Keep It Simple."
Now with life, we all go through phases of growth. And today - we have reached our fun, and rebellious years. You would have seen that we have updated our CI like my spouse changes shoes. It might be a good thing - it might not.
The beauty is, with the ever changing world of Digital - we allow ourselves to do such things. There are no more 100 year old brands, with ancient looking colour palettes and "The 90s-Called websites". Everything has become minimal - and I dare to say Sexy! (Queue 'Designgasm').
Now to our first major redesign, I rejoice. I life the tequila and shout "Welcome to Teenage Hood old boy!" Yes, tequila was a big thing in my teens - blame my craziness on this alone.
"What is different?" you might be asking. Well from a company standpoint nothing - but from a focused outlook on design. Everything. Gone are the days of grey & white, and some more grey. Welcome to colour.
Incorporating our Scrollable Showcase concept into our website was also a very important. Making each Project jump out of the screen is the way we did it. You will see each Project has it's own flare and it's own identity. This is because we wanted to show that no matter the brief - your Project would be different.
Oh, a blog. Now look at that!
We have finally progressed the move back into the territory with our very own blog. We will still be publishing everything on Medium - but our SEO guy is very happy about this.
Responsive & More Responsive
Even though we always pride ourselves to being 100% Responsive - sometimes things happen. We have treated our own website the same we would with any client. Be as meticulous as possible. Not only trying it on every browser and devices we have to our advantage - but also via In-App browsers. Yes, we took that extra step.
Gradient. Very Original...
We know that gradient is the in thing right now, and I won't deny that this was a big factor in the redesign. But we always said that we would only use a gradient when it was deemed necessary. But boy doesn't it look pretty!
But why such a different approach?
This was asked on the first testing phase of the new look. And the answer comes down to this - at heart we are all fun and out-going, and I would like for our online presence to show this.
So to summarise, yes we re-branded the site (again). Yes we
love our new site (again). And yes, we will most probably rebrand again. This is why it's called #NewNew.
Let us see what #NewNewNew would bring down the line. For now, enjoy the pretty subtle animations and gorgeous gradient. I know I will.
For years the epitome of the marketing field was the agency — the golden, stars in your eyes, ad agency. This hasn’t changed for a very long time.
And the reason being, is the recipe that was invented for the modern agency by Matthew Brady in 1866 was something extraordinary and different. Brady offered “photographs, ambrotypes and daguerreotypes.” His ads were the first whose typeface and fonts were distinct from the text of the publication and from that of other advertisements found at that time.
Once the Global Advertising Model took over things would never be the same. Globalization of advertising originates in earlier days of the twentieth century. American advertising agencies began the process of opening overseas offices before the two World Wars and accelerated their globalization throughout the latter part of the twentieth century.
My all time favourite agency when growing up is Ogilvy & Mather (est. 1948). They set the standard in the beginning, in my opinion, for how an agency created truly revolutionary ad’s for clients.
Their first major contract was Guinness, and in 1950 the unveiled this amazing advert porn for the perfect guide to Oysters for Guinness.
The advertisement was successful, and several other pairing guides, including birds and cheeses, followed it.
This was the start of something amazing. As David Ogilvy would always say: “Do not … address your readers as though they were gathered together in a stadium. When people read your copy, they are alone. Pretend you are writing to each of them a letter on behalf of your client.”
Now — is the agency formula actually dead?
Yes & No in my opinion.
Yes, because the way clients & campaigns were treated have become more personal thanks to boutique agencies. Nothing is better than sitting down with your client with the well selected team of Copywriters & Designers on your side and pitch a relationship rather than a sale.
And no, because the core of an agency is, and always will be, to market things to customers who didn’t know they wanted it in the first place. This entertaining game of cat & mouse we as marketers play to understand our clients and their customers makes us outside thinkers. It makes us feel the rush of something that not many people get.
Nothing beats a great proposal, a great idea, a great story!
We as humans tend to settle into our ways fairly quickly, and from then on out we will cringe at any hint of change. This tends to be a big problem in our field though, as new technology pops up every second.
A few years back — having a word processor based in the cloud seemed foolish, now it is just second nature.
Collaboration has become the biggest draw for app connectivity, and content management systems has overflooded the market on this case alone. Hell, even Microsoft Office Suite allows shared documents now — in my opinion as a last cry for help to keep the millennials at bay?
For us at Kreate, we have taken the idea of collaboration and worked it into our ethos. Work remotely, safely, and consistently. So when it came to picking our dream choice of apps, things became rather interesting.
Just a few mandatory things before I jump into the list of products & services we use for each of our three pillars; we use Google Drive & Docs for all of our shared data across the board.
All our shared files with clients also go in the cloud, with a safe backup back out our offices if Skynet ever decides to take over. For all of our CRM & inter office chatter, we use Zoho Office Suite — very similar to Google Business, but we found it to be more comprehensive across the board (except for storage unfortunately).
So let’s get into it, with the first pillar being branding. As most designers know — Adobe is king when it comes to design. For us, this is not the case anymore. We have tested the waters, and jumped in head first by using Affinity Designer & Photo for our clients branding. They offer great compatibility with Adobe files and work incredibly fast on Mac OS (a Windows version is in the works) . We still have Adobe in the background just in case, but we believe that Affinity is the future of design (especially when dealing with vectors).
Marketing is a bit more tricky, as you don’t really have products that benefit from this. Here we absolutely love Google’s Analytics (especially the breakdowns) and Zoho Social — which collects all of the brand’s social accounts and makes a very clear picture of what works and what doesn’t. You can even post directly from the service.
Finally, we have digital. We have two main products we love using — one being Blocs (where our website was built on if you were wondering) and the other being Squarespace. We have never been a fan of CMS builders — especially ones with templates, but Squarespace has a certain originality and creativity that we simply love.
When speaking about Blocs, it is one of the most pleasurable programs I have come to learn in the past few years (it took me a total of one weekend to master it) — and our clients absolutely love the slick, polished, and responsive sites we manage to build on it
So there you have it folks, our favorite tools of the trade at this moment in time.
But hey, we never know what can happen in a month or two. Maybe this list will already be obsolete.
If you have any questions, or would like us to help you out a little bit more with these programs — please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.