Tag: brand strategy

05
Apr

Branding FAQs

Each and every day this week, we are answering frequently asked questions people have about their brands…  (Branding FAQs.)

Today’s question is…

Question – 4
Creating a brand is obviously an important part of business so how much should I spend on my brand?

Our Answer

Ha ha, one of our favourite questions – just like the chicken and egg conversation – what comes first a budget or a price?

We usually like to get things moving at the loft so we give costings pretty quickly after an initial enquiry. In all honesty, branding work can range from the hundreds to the thousands of pounds and much more for larger companies. There are also providers at all ends of the spectrum so there are no limits to what can be spent.

However, creating a brand should not be expensive. A lot of the character of a great brand comes from the culture of the company. The experience your customers or staff have on a daily basis – how people are greeted, how durable is the product or service itself, the quality of the after-sales process, does the company follow up well if there is a problem, etc, etc.

Each of these brilliant basics are just as impactful as great brand/marketing communications and they are completely free.

With regards to how much you should spend?

Spend whatever you are comfortable spending. You’ll know deep down how much certain things should cost and what your own budget is.

As mentioned above, you’ll find providers at all ends of the spectrum, don’t risk too much on an isolated project and look to capitalise on those moves that are delivering you results – be it a social campaign, regular website updates or some kind of video podcast, etc..

That way, a truly exceptional ROI is there for the taking.

As always, if you’d like some more information or ideas, please don’t hesitate to contact us…

Benedetto

 

Benedetto is an enthusiastic creative and business person.

His journey has taken him from a career in car design through to his current role as the Founder of the loft.

He is honoured to manage a great team, work with great clients and have a lot of fun mixing with so many great people in business.

<<< To see more of the loft’s brand solutions 

For more information on brand-building by Benedetto >>>

 


 

Branding FAQ’s (Previous Questions…) 
Yes, we are frequently asked questions on branding, website design, social media communications, etc – all the ins and outs of this wonderfully interesting subject – so we thought we’d wrap up some of the answers we generally give into a series of short posts.

These are our Branding FAQs.

Here goes…

Question – 1

We know branding is important, we hear about it a lot, we want to create a stronger brand and presence for our organisation but we just have no idea where to begin.

With Branding, Where Do I Start?

Our Answer
What a great question!

Start by working out what you want to do with your business first. Let your brand serve your business and not the other way around…

What do you want your business to achieve? More sales from existing clients? Attraction of new customers? Attraction of staff members? Improved reputation in the marketplace? Improved perceived value of your products/services? Something else?

The clearer you can be with the desired outcomes, the easier it will be to create ideas that boost your business and therefore your brand. You will also be in a position to give a much clearer brief to your creative/marketing agency and therefore help them more to help you.

To give a little more context, here are a few real-life examples, from clients we’ve helped in the past. 

A software company we worked with for many years was able to increase their sales with existing customers by sending out short little E-mail shots introducing them to new features of the software they were already using. By helping their operators to use their existing packages better, more people in the office started to use their software and licenses-per-customer increased significantly.

We’ve worked with countless companies and been able to help them attract new customers with just a few simple updates to their website. Small additions such as good testimonials on the home-page, less burdensome enquiry forms and a clear telephone number somewhere visible on the site. Each of these micro-details helping to transform the number of enquiries and therefore number of new customers gained by our client.

Finally, we’ve been able to help several manufacturing companies increase the perceived value of their products by simply creating and sharing high-quality, effective art-directed photography of their products. Photography which showcases their products in their best lights, being used by customers and presented in an eye-catching and seductive way. All factors which help increase the average sale value, particularly from new customers for those manufacturing companies.

Once clear on the outcome – the answers can be incredibly imaginative – sales promotions, small product giveaways, E-Books, parts of an E-Book, simple website updates, social campaigns, case-studies, bespoke newspapers, etc, etc…

At the loft, we always believe in spending a little more time in defining the end-outcome, keeping the solution light and manageable, then creating something which is easily repeatable once successful.

Helping business owners and organisation leaders to create stronger, more effective and commercially viable brands.

Question – 2

How do I make my brand stand out from the crowd?

Our Answer

Another great question and one with a bit of a historical context. The whole concept of branding was created by farmers branding their cattle to show ownership and to distinguish them from the others. In time, the profession has evolved, but the idea of differentiating your product, service or company remains the same.

The best way to help your brand stand out is to work out what is special about your product/service/organisation and celebrate that difference in the most effective way possible using all possible marketing channels.

If you’re a printer that is always on hand for clients with last-minute deadlines – find ways to communicate and celebrate your accessibility.

If you’re an accountancy firm with sector-specific expertise in one area – consider ways to celebrate this enhanced wisdom and knowledge.

If you’re an online retailer that sells rare and ‘hard to find collectable’ products – then this is the perfect place to start when crafting your message.

If yours struggling for answers for this one – ask your customers/staff or write a list – going on a journey of discovery about what is great about your own products, service, company, organisation or brand is great fun.

Question – 3
I keep hearing about Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, etc, etc. How can these help me to build my brand.  Where does social media fit in?

Our Answer
Another Great Question!!

All these channels are brilliant for giving you the opportunity to show off your brand to lots of new people as well as communicate with people you already know. As well as basic products and services, you can show off more of who you are, what you do and how you do it. All great mini brand-builders.

The options with social are endless – present a little bit about your team-members, showcase different ways people use your products, communicate which social causes you support, share customer testimonials, fun pics of the office, name-check people you are working with, etc…

Whether it is words, pictures or video – each and every interaction gives you the opportunity of another positive engagement with your customers, staff and others too – helping you to build and strengthen the way people perceive your brand.

As always, if you’d like some ideas in how to put this into practice, please don’t hesitate to contact us…

Benedetto

 

17
Feb

Exponential Impact with Hero Content

Why ‘Hero Content’ can multiply the effectiveness of your brand and marketing actions.

With marketing and branding activities – we’re always looking for actions that make the biggest impact for the least effort – E-Mail Campaigns, Videos, Podcasting, Blogging, Print, Old-Fashioned Advertising, etc, etc. Each of these will help us to persuade more people to do business with us, each of these can be honed to deliver outstanding results over time, each has their own specific types of benefit.

However, over the years at the loft, we’ve found that to deliver real and lasting impact – it is less a question of what but how.

We’ve learned that to create lasting change – what you produce must be able to hold somebody’s attention, should be high-quality and be something that lasts too. ‘Hero-Content’ might be a new phrase to many but creating it may be one of the biggest game-changers for any one of your marketing efforts.

Hero-Content is a higher quality of communication that can be used in a range of different places, in a range of different ways, it can be scaled up, used repeatedly and is endlessly flexible. It tends to be super high-impact, created by a specialist and can be anything from a high-quality infographic to a short 30-second video sound-bite to an effective ad. It can even be a paragraph of text successfully describing your company’s top products or services.

The advantages to your company’s marketing are many, however the real benefits of hero-content to rapidly-growing companies are more personal – having fresh, creative and high-quality creative on-file will save your Marketing Director many a sleepless night with tight deadlines looming fast. (The bi-product of any successful and rapidly-growing company.) It removes the pressure from creatives under tight time constraints and if used properly will give a level of brand consistency and professionalism that can only be advantageous to your company’s creative efforts.

Over the years, we’ve created high-quality hero-content for a number of companies – high impact infographics which industrial companies have used in brochures, websites and even sales powerpoints, abstract sub-brand identities for software companies, photographic imagery for professional firms, etc. Over the years, we’ve been an ‘On-Demand Agency’ with many rapidly growing companies and we’ve learned much about creating and using hero-content first-hand.

Here are a few things we’ve learned..

– We recommend creating hero-content as part of a bigger brand/marketing project – a company re-brand, a website, a brochure or formal campaign.

– It really should be done by a specialist freelancer or agency. Please make sure you agree to have full access to all creative outputs afterwards.

– Once you have agreement on a style that works – it is best to get as many variations from your agency/freelancer as possible – like most innovation projects – the first example takes the longest time to create. Afterwards, with a formula in place, it gets easier and quicker.

– And finally – although we’ve created lots of amazing stuff over many years to tight deadlines at the loft, beautiful creative that is still used many years after it was first produced. It really is best to take a tiny step back and give your freelancer/agency a little more time to get this spot on.

The results will be compounded, I promise…

To see more examples of ‘Hero Content’ as created by the loft.

Check out…

Altia-ABM, A Creative Partnership >>> 

Scottish Leather Group, Celebrating Sustainability >>> 

As always, if you would like a hand then please don’t hesitate to contact us>>>.

For more information on ‘Hero-Content’ >>>

 

07
Dec

Hero Content

Hero content is definitely ‘a must-have’ when it comes to managing lots of creative projects, getting out a strong message, locking-in consistency and doing so under tight time pressures.

What is this fancy phrase ‘hero-content,’ I hear you ask…?

Well, it can be anything from high-quality photographs, infographics, videos or even text. The big difference is that it is something that is exceptionally well-finished and personal to you or your organisation. Hence the ‘HERO’ part of the title. It’s developed to showcase what is best about a product, service or even an organisation and most importantly it is readily available on-file and can be dragged and dropped, copied and pasted or inserted into just about any marketing/sales/creative communication you’re working on. Most importantly, it can be done so at speed…

Hero content can include many different things, a sharp and well-finished set of icons selling the benefits of a product, art-directed photography which captures the spirt of an organisation, a professional and up-to date set of portrait pics of the team, an infographic of a metric you’re proud off, it can even be a well-written paragraph of what your company does. (Particularly useful for new-starts that are constantly having to raise investment.)

When it comes to creating hero-content… 

– We recommend creating it as part of a wider project – a website, a brochure, etc.

– It is the kind of thing that can be done by anybody but should really be done by a specialist. Make sure you agree full access to the creative and future rights afterwards.

– Once you have agreement on a style that works – it is best to get as many iterations from your provider as possible – like most innovation projects – the first example takes the longest time to create. Afterwards it’s all downhill from there…

– And finally – although we’ve created lots of amazing stuff over many years to tight deadlines at the loft, beautiful creative that is still used many years after it was first produced. (Some examples below…)  It really is best to take a tiny step back and give your freelancer/agency a little more time to get this spot on. The results will be compounded, I promise…

As always, if you would like a hand then please don’t hesitate to contact us. 

Benedetto

<<< For more examples of how we’ve used hero-content in the past.

For more information on ‘hero-content.’ >>>

08
Oct

Great Brands Sell Ideas First…

Whatever line of business you’re in, people don’t buy what you do they buy why you do it.

I got a very useful reminder of that this week when helping some early-stage entrepreneurs. They had a great software solution and were looking for ways to generate more leads from their existing website.

Having initially bored them with some worthy but rather uninspiring solutions (contact forms with less fields,) it dawned on me that to really make a significant gain, to really make a dent with what they were doing, that the site itself had to sell the higher nature of what they were offering.

In this case – a tailored solution for a specific user-group, up-to-date programme with current legislations and exceptional value.

What a difference this simple shift in communication had. It never ceases to amaze me how effective a new home-page image, tag-line and corresponding graphics can be to a potential client.

What’s more the exercise of implementing these ideas is fun and energises everybody in the organisation itself.

In Napoleon Hill’s classic ‘Think and Grow Rich’ the author states that “All master salesmen know that ideas can be sold where merchandise cannot. Ordinary salesmen do not know this – that is why they are ordinary.”

Successful companies know this too – Coca Cola sells the hit of instant refreshment not carbonated soft-drinks, Sky TV sells the cutting-edge of in-house entertainment not just TV packages and great politicians sell the vision of a brighter tomorrow not specific plans and policies.

If you’re selling professional services – sell the friendliness of the service. Selling gym memberships – sell the intensity of the exercise. Even if you’re selling double-glazing, sell the strength and protection of the final product first not the properties of the glass.

Logical information only confirms decisions we’ve already got our hearts set on. But the heart’s got to be set on something in the first place.

If you want a brand that is going to generate a lot of new business – sell the idea first. If you want a hand then give us a shout.

Benedetto

BB

Benedetto is an ideas-driven Creative Entrepreneur. He is on a mission to unleash the power of creativity to create a better world – for people, business and society. He is the founder of the loft, a design and branding house which operates worldwide helping companies bring their brands to life in the most imaginative and effective ways possible. A real man on a mission. Benedetto likes to make things happen fast and in a big way.