Tag: Creative Agency

19
Oct

Impactful Introductions!

Impactful Introductions!

One of the client’s we’ve absolutely loved working with over the last few months is PMA Recruitment Services. A new-start recruitment company which specialises in the construction sector. They believe in positive, personalised and sustainable recruiting – and as we’ve recently found out – making impactful introductions too.

We’ve been thrilled to help them make a splash with an incredibly bold new identity, some stunning letter-pressed business cards (more about these later) and this beautiful new website complete with this most impactful of introductory images.

If a pictures does speak a thousand words then this one really is priceless – beautifully captured while the PMA team were on-site, walking towards their work and messing around by the ever-aware Stuart Nicol (Nobody was watching him.) A beautiful photographic introduction to the company as well as the website.

PMA Recruitment Services have only been in business for a matter of months so far and are already moving incredibly quickly, we are sure you’re going to hear plenty more about them in the future, this is just the start. Check out their site >>>

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 portfolio 

Find Out More About Benedetto >>> 

 

16
Oct

Resolvelock

Resolvelock is a new locksmith service coming soon to Glasgow, Scotland and eventually the rest of the UK.

Their mission – to deliver the most responsive, agile and lightning fast locksmith service possible in the space that they operate.

We absolutely love branding at the loft and this project just reminded us at every stage why. We worked tirelessly with their team to create an identity which reflected all of their values, we used every tool possible to enhance our designs and we agonised over even the finest details to ensure that the finish was of the highest standard possible.

Bolder fonts selected, typeface weights ramped up, characters brought closer together, little cues of the service brought in, all overlaid with the most intelligent of vector motion patterns – each and every cue designed to make the logo look like it’s moving even as it sits stationary on it’s card.

And of course – the acid green, all of this given an almighty additional shot with the acid green colour, beautifully contrasted with jet-black as can be seen from these business card mock-ups.

Each and every detail, each and every action being used used to create a powerful brand identity for what promises to be an exceptionally exciting start-up – we wish them luck…

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 portfolio 

Find Out More About Benedetto >>> 

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

 

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.’ >>>

27
Apr

The loft is 8….

It’s 8 years to the day that I finally decided that I was going to fully commit to that freelance project that I had been doing called the loft. Somehow, and looking back I have no idea how I managed it, I had kind of made the transition from being a car designer to a graphic designer to a branding guy. There would be no going back to full-time employment, no return to car design, it was time to make a decision and get on with it and 8 years later – hey presto – we’re still here. I am delighted to report that we are doing better than ever, and despite the craziness of the current moment – I am more excited about the future than ever before…

So to celebrate, I thought we’d take a very quick swing through memory lane and celebrate 8 of our finest moments…

1) Thank you PSYBT

One of the greatest things about 8 years in business has been the peer-to-peer support from so many different people/organisations – The Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, Entrepreneurial Exchange, E-Spark, etc, etc… However, it was The Princes Scottish Youth Business Trust (PSYBT) which really helped us get going. The PSYBT Growth-Fund as well as the mentoring support I received in 2013 was, and still is, completely invaluable. For that we remain incredibly grateful.

2) First Designers, Ruth and Alejandro

By 2013, we really were on the move and during the most incredible weeks ever in October – we moved into our first premises and hired our first designers. This was their first day at work, picking up their I-Macs from the Apple Store. Our new studio was fully-operational by the end of that crazy Friday. Ruth and Alejandro have moved onto pastures new but did an incredible job and retain a very special place in the company’s history.

3) Altia Solutions, the start of something special. 

It would be difficult to talk about our company history without mentioning the amazing folk at Altia-ABM, or Altia Solutions, as they were known back then. We began working with them in 2013 and to date have carried out more than 100 creative projects together. They are all wonderful people but their CEO Ian Watson remains one of the company’s and my own personal best friends. (Here’s a little photo of me sketching some ideas for their old logo.)

4) Early Mornings, Late Nights… 

This isn’t one moment in particular, but a quick nod to those countless, countless early mornings and late nights that characterise our studio’s work ethic. We are proud that we road-test so many concepts, go into more depth to get it right and simply put more into each and every single project than many we know. Our version of creative chaos.

5) A 3-Year Chase of bus company, Alexander Dennis

Anybody that knows me will know that I can be pretty persistent – in fact, very persistent. After hearing the amazing Colin Robertson, CEO of Alexander Dennis, give a brilliant talk during a business dinner, I decided we would one day work with this exceptional bus company. We somehow managed to get his phone number, chased him down, sent him ideas for a company Christmas card, ideas to celebrate their 10th Anniversary. (Anybody that knows us, knows that if you ignore me too long – I will just start sending you ideas anyway,) talked to his Marketing Director, talked to his Group Corporate Affairs Director, talked to a new Marketing Director. Not entirely sure now how it happened but 3 years later we finally managed to work with them on a creative project. It was, and still is, a great honour to have worked with such a fine company and definitely a lesson that Persistence Pays.

6) First Creative Provider of PETEX

Petroleum Experts are one of Scotland’s finest technology companies with a world-class team, leader and product. They had been going for 25 years without ever using a marketing/design/creative/brand agency and we were truly honoured to be the first that they would work with to bring their ‘Digital Oil Field’ software concept to life. Receiving one of their little glass statuettes of the visual we created for them remains one of the happiest moments of 8 years in business.

7) Obesity Action Scotland, First Big Pitch Win

Winning a pitch – either big or small – is a special moment and we were thrilled that our ‘Organg’ concept was selected by Obesity Action Scotland to raise awareness of the potential dangers of Obesity. Four years on – we still love this creative idea.

8) BBC

We have been so lucky to work with some great organisations and some wonderful people – one of these is the BBC who we worked with a few years ago. We’ve worked with lots of great organisations – big and small – over the years but there remains something quite special about working for ‘Aunty.’

9) MCR Pathways

We can’t really celebrate 8 years of business without briefly mentioning the amazing MCR Pathways. We’ve loved each and every one of the 11 Talent Tasters we have carried out, the creative work we’ve done together and the immense personal support Iain MacRitchie has given myself during my business journey.

Ok, one more than we really should have, but at the loft, we have a motto of always doing more than we’re paid for so 9 it is. To be honest, we could have spent all day listing them. Thanks to all of the wonderful people that have supported us, you know who you are, and here’s to another tremendous 8 Years…

Benedetto
BB

Benedetto is an enthusiastic Creative and Business person.

‘Design with soul’ may be the company tag-line, but to Benedetto, it is a way of life. He believes that creative and commercial enterprise is about purity of thought, honesty of construction and boldness of execution.

He believes in bringing out the true essence of human endeavour and considers his job of articulating the great work of people and companies an absolute privilege.

His journey has taken him from a career in car design through to his current role as the Founder and Creative Director of the loft, a branding consultancy in Glasgow.

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

29
Aug

Dr Iain MacRitchie, MCR Pathways and the LOFTCAST Video Podcast Production

Some of you may or may not know but the loft released its first ever video podcast production last month called loftcast, yes we like that title too. The loftcast is a brand new series designed to help individuals with big goals, ambitions and aspirations fulfil them by sharing the experiences of other high-impact people. Those who have seen it, done it and are now ready to talk about it. The first in our series seen us interview Dr Iain MacRitchie, a hugely successful commercial entrepreneur who is helping disadvantaged young people through his charity MCR Pathways. They really don’t come much more high-impact!

You can see the full interview on YouTube at http://theloft.video/loftcast

However, for those of you that are a little in a hurry check out these smaller clips of the interview.

Enjoy!

Benedetto

 

1. Introduction
Introducing a leader, entrepreneur and philanthropist. Iain has delivered over £500 Million in shareholder value, overseen a 6-fold increase in company profits and received international acclaim for the 18+ organisations he’s worked with. All of which, he states, pales into insignificance compared to the ‘challenge of a lifetime’ in supporting disadvantaged young people to realise their potential despite circumstances. 2000 young people supported so far with a plan to reach 5000.

 

 

 

 

2. MCR Pathways
Introducing MCR Pathways, a transformational programme supporting young people through the education system to make sure their talent defines them and not their circumstances.

 

 

 

 

3. A Journey From Commercial To Social Entrepreneur
From making money to making a difference, how a restless journey of goal-setting, being on the edge of the comfort zone and an ultimate search for satisfaction has led Iain to doing what he does today.

 

 

 

 

4. Creating Positive Change
How success is down to persuasion – persuading others that a change is the right thing to do and coming out your own head to understand, help and eventually lead others to success.

 

 

 

 

5. Being Comfortable With Failure
How thinking, dwelling and eventually boxing-off failure, or the fear of the unknown, in your mind can lead to freedom.

 

 

 

 

6. From A Mindset Of Failure To Success
From defining the best version of something to understanding where you are now and creating the steps in-between can lead to real transformations.

 

 

 

 

7. Removing Uncertainty
How uncertainty takes the wind out of everything and the importance of understanding – then removing it – for the success of your venture. All starting with a thought-process.

 

 

 

 

8. Creating The Best Version of Something
How there are sparks in everybody and the right combination of Motivation, Commitment and Resilience – can lead a person to become the best version of themselves.

 

 

 

 

9. Turnaround Professional Of The Year to Bust! (ALMOST)
How an unforgettable evening for Iain at the Savoy London, with 2 major award wins, almost went sour.

 

 

 

 

10. MCR – Motivation, Commitment and Resilience
How connecting Motivation, Commitment and Resilience can become the chemistry of change and propel individuals, teams and organisations to real and lasting change.

 

 

 

 

11. Bridging Vision With Reality
What do we want it to be? What is it right now? And what do we do in between?

 

 

 

 

12. Transformational Impact of MCR Pathways Mentoring
From 48.8% of young people progressing to University, College or University over a three-year period to 83%. Ridiculously effective but with simplicity at its heart.

 

 

 

 

13. Creating Sustainable Change
How spending time with those that need it and applying MCR principles has led to a more sustainable form of change – both in organisations and with young people.

 

 

 

 

14. Liam’s Story
From 4 years behind at school to a degree, job, home ownership and now mentoring others alongside his new wife – The Ripple Effect.

 

 

 

 

15. Realising Potential Despite Circumstances
How giving individuals the way, the choice and support can lead to freedom.

 

 

 

 

16. Testing Yourself & Challenging Habits
You don’t know what you’re capable off until you’re on the edges of your comfort zone.

 

 

 

 

17. The Future Of MCR Pathways
How Iain wants every single young person, close to the care-system or with social work involvement, to have MCR Mentoring as a right. And for the model to be introduced in every Western economy too. Dead Easy!

 

 

 

 

18. The Future For Iain
How sharing MCR’s techniques wherever they can be applied – institutions, organisations and even countries – gives us a glimpse into Iain’s future.

Thanks for taking the time to watch Iain. If you enjoyed our first video podcast production then, why not check out our second…  ‘Brian Williamson, Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things.’ >>> 

 

13
May

A shout-out to the successful ones…

It’s been sooo gratifying to hear about some of our clients successes recently. I ended the week last Friday on the train looking at LinkedIn on my phone and seen that one of our customer-experience clients had just won a competitive pitch to represent a global brand – nationally.

Another pitch win for a company that is doing remarkably well. We helped with the opening stages of the design of that pitch which included some pretty late-nights, 11th hour changes and one or two deck overhauls to get it into shape. To see that they had finally got it over the line a few months later was truly wonderful.

This comes at a time when many of our clients are expanding internationally, recruiting new people, opening offices, winning awards and experiencing phenomenal growth.

‘Partnership’ is something we take seriously at the loft – taking responsibility for the success of projects whether a task falls within our remit or not. It can be harder, at times, much harder. But in the end, it is also so much more rewarding and mutually beneficial.

So a quick shout-out to those who are knocking it out the park and for those that aren’t YET. We promise to do more!

Benedetto

BB

Benedetto is an enthusiastic Creative and Business person.

‘Design with soul’ may be the company tag-line, but to Benedetto, it is also a way of life. He believes that creative and commercial enterprise is about purity of thought, honesty of construction and boldness of execution.

He believes in bringing out the true essence of human endeavour and considers his job of articulating the great work of people and companies an absolute privilege.

His journey has taken him from a career in car design through to his current role as the Founder and Creative Director of the loft, a branding consultancy in Glasgow.

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

 

27
Apr

7 Years, happy birthday the loft…

It’s kind of unbelievable to think, but on the 27th of April 2012, I got the Companies House certificates e-mailed from our accountant and the loft was officially born.

7 years ago today.

It’s been an incredible journey and if somebody had told me what the future would hold, I would have thought they were absolutely mad! So I wanted to take a moment and celebrate the 7 best things about the journey so far. Here they are, in no particular order..

1. Friendships

Some say you shouldn’t mix business with friendship. I honestly don’t think you can have a business which doesn’t have true friendship at the heart of it – particularly in the services sector. I’m truly humbled and honoured with the friendships we have made in the last seven years – clients, partners, suppliers, some of our old staff and even people we’ve just happened to meet along the way. We’ve had friends lend us office space when we didn’t have a home, we’ve been paid early at times by people who wanted to help and we’ve been the beneficiaries of some great advice too.

To give an example of just how amazing our friends are… A few weeks ago, I was discussing a challenge we were having with a lawyer friend and old client. In addition to some good advice, he ended our coffee meeting by asking ‘what’s your mailing address?’ and one day later I received the absolutely amazing ‘Shoe Dog,’ the biography of Phil Knight, the founder of Nike in the post – an Amazon Prime gift. The most incredible gesture from a wonderful person and we’ve been blessed to have experienced so many of these in the last 7 years. People really are good, full stop.

2. Mentors

Mentors are great, they provide inspiration and a pathway to a better tomorrow and I’ve been so lucky over the years with the ones I’ve had. Lots of people have mentored me in some small way but I’ve also been fortunate to have three ‘kind of’ official mentors too. All three are business owners, all are incredibly successful and titans in their own ways. I can’t tell you how much wisdom, support and great ideas I’ve had from all three of them.

3. Values

There is nothing better than making a living from just being yourself and I’m so proud that the loft has an abundance of great values and lived them to the max too. Everything from pushing the limits of what is possible, to giving great ideas energy to grow, to doing more than you’re paid for, to treating clients like partners not customers, giving something back, finding the beautiful in the seemingly mundane and taking ‘Action’ at every opportunity. There are just so many and we’re at our very best when we live them in the truest way possible.

4. Great Work

We have done some staggeringly good work over the years, and again it goes way beyond what I’m personally capable off, something thats been truly satisfying. Branding projects packed with meaning to infographics that are almost works of art to brochures that are so inviting that you have to read what’s inside. Soooo many great projects and we invest so much time, effort and energy to painstakingly get it right time and time again and without this it just wouldn’t be worth doing. ‘Design With Soul’ IS more than a tag-line, IT IS a way of life.

5. Learning & Limits

You don’t really learn anything until you jump in and test your limits and boy have we jumped in at times. Some times we’ve got hurt, some times it’s been sore but each time we’ve gained something of incredible value. The kind of experience school can’t teach and money can’t buy.

6. Teamwork

We’ve been fortunate to work with some outstanding creatives – both in the team and also contractors and it is their contribution which really should be celebrated. Each of them have given and developed thousands of ideas, some of them absolutely mind-blowing and it is their energy that has helped our hundreds of clients over the past 7 years to achieve their outcomes using design and branding. They are the giants whose shoulders we stand on to make us taller as a company, a creative provider and as a brand.

7. Gratitude

This whole post is a little bit of an acceptance speech but it is worth mentioning again. I am just so grateful to the people that have helped, and you know who you are. But I am even more grateful to have had this experience, it has truly been a blessing. Every day I wake up – sometimes insanely early, sometimes with virtually no sleep, sometimes running on empty – but I just absolutely love what I do. I really love it in a way that words can’t describe. Helping people bring brilliant ideas to life is the most rewarding profession in the world and I’ll happily do it until the day I die.

Or at least for another 7 years.

Happy birthday the loft…

Benedetto

BB

Benedetto is an enthusiastic Creative and Business person.

‘Design with soul’ may be the company tag-line, but to Benedetto, it is also a way of life. He believes that creative and commercial enterprise is about purity of thought, honesty of construction and boldness of execution.

He believes in bringing out the true essence of human endeavour and considers his job of articulating the great work of people and companies an absolute privilege.

His journey has taken him from a career in car design through to his current role as the Founder and Creative Director of the loft, a branding consultancy in Glasgow.

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

 

13
Mar

Creating Company Culture – ‘Getting Buy-In’

We’ve been doing some work on the old folio recently – going through the back-catalogue, reminiscing about projects of yore and doing a bit of work on some of the company’s greatest hits. At the exact same time, we’ve also begun to work with a new industrial client on defining a very rich, strong and vibrant company culture for their brand.

Working on the current project and by stumbling upon past attempts has reminded me of some of the challenges involved when creating or defining a company’s culture. One of the main hurdles is ‘getting buy-in’ from everybody in the company. You see the brands with the strongest, most effective and successful cultures are the ones that have as many people bought-in as possible – this includes commercial people, technical people, financial people, other leaders, etc…

Successful and culturally strong companies will use their values, a vision or mission to inform every decision they make such as who to hire, how to manage resources or even manage crisis. So to help those who are thinking about giving this a go, we thought we’d put together a quick guide to help you get buy-in from other directors, board members, staff or stakeholders when creating that cultural framework for your brand. Enjoy!

1. Involve everybody
The most powerful cultures are created when everybody’s had a say in shaping it. So if you can… ask the team about the company vision, get everybody’s thoughts on the values and find out what makes your company special compared to all the others? There are different levels of practicalities with this and some stakeholders will be more involved than others. For example, for those owners who want to keep a tight grip on things – determine the values yourself but give everybody in the team a say in how they enact those values each day for a more effective outcome.

2. Use language that people can relate too
Vision, mission statement and values may not be words to everybody’s liking. In the past we’ve used phrases like – Who We Are, What We Do and Where We Are Going. We’ve used the word ‘Beliefs’ instead of ‘values,’ we’ve used expressions like ‘Reason to Believe,’ ‘Purpose Beyond Profit’ or even ‘Our Cause’ instead of ‘Mission Statement.’ At the end of the day, getting people to buy-in is more important than using a particular set of words, so have some fun and use whatever words you are most comfortable with.

3. Go beyond the obvious
Integrity, trust, honesty are regularly brought out as values by corporate organisations, these, alongside behaviours like ‘moulded around our customer’s needs.’ There is nothing wrong with any of them at all, however they are likely to be seen as the minimum people would expect from an organisation rather than the hallmarks of a great company.

Better to think a bit more deeply about this one – for example, go past integrity or honesty and talk about your transparency which is a bit more distinctive. However, if you must have ordinary values, then compliment them with extraordinary examples of behaviour which emphasise your commitment to that value.

For example…

Trust

‘We are the only company in the Wealth Management Sector which discloses all possible fees over a three-year period to our clients so they understand the maximum investment  – before an initial meeting.’

Or…

Integrity

‘We will always help you find the most cost-effective solution for your requirements  – even if it means suggesting products from a competitor.’

4. Use practical examples
Practical examples are absolutely brilliant at getting buy-in from potential sceptics. A few years ago, we worked with a ‘systems and software intelligence provider’ and and once we began to talk to developers about some of the more practical parts of what they do day-in, we started to get real buy-in for the values.

In this case…

‘Updates are made to our software, in advance of forthcoming legislation changes.’ helping form a company value of creating ‘Legislation Driven’ solutions.

This was something the entire team, particularly the technical people, were very proud off and a powerful customer-facing message too.

This nod to more practical concerns undoubtedly helped to get buy-in from the entire team for other values too.

5. Make something which can be customer-facing
Using the previous words as an example, it is always easier to get buy-in from the more commercial people in your company if you are able to craft something which is customer facing. Everybody who has the commercial success of their company at-heart always prefer some words that they can also present to potential customers – whether it’s on a pitch document, the website or somewhere else.

This also includes the creation of designing something presentable that can represent the values – anything from a one-page document that people can keep at their desks to something more imaginative like a cool vinyl wall-display or even a lanyard for people to wear so they can see the values they‘ve potentially helped to shape while they are working

6. Be creative
Again, in addition to the previous words, you can have sooo much fun doing creative things with your values – play with the words, combine different parts of the exercise, introduce graphics, etc…

I’ve included a few cracking examples below.

officeBranding

You can’t beat a creative wall mural which creatively shouts out what the company is about.

Team lanyards with the company values are excellent for fostering team spirit, creating a deeper understanding and are cool to wear too.

 

s3-brewdog_charter--default--600

The Brewdog Mission is unsurprisingly as compelling, authentic and uncompromising as you would expect. Genius!

That’s all for now, have fun putting those values together and don’t forget to get buy-in from as many people as you can. As always, if you need some help, give us a shout…

Benedetto

BB

Benedetto is a Creative Entrepreneur. He is on a mission to create a more exciting future for people using the power of bold and beautifully developed ideas. 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. He likes to make things happen fast and in a big way.

 

09
Mar

The Power Of ‘A Quick Sketch’

20 odd years ago, it was the romance of hearing about the then Alfa Romeo Head of Design, Walter Da Silva using his menu to sketch the design of a new car to a journalist in a Milan restaurant that sealed my love for the creative process. It made me want to become a designer and more importantly realise the power of a sketch. Something that has remained with me ever since.

Anybody that has worked with the loft in recent years will know that the one thing we do is sketch – quite a lot actually. Thumbnails of details on a post-it note, story-boarding an infographic on the back of an envelope, at times we even provide clients with hand-drawn sketch sheets to present ideas with their proposal.

Why??

Well firstly, it puts the person back in control of the process. In the days with more and more machine input – we believe in the richness, inspiration and creativity of the individual first and software tools second.

Secondly, it’s just faster. When timelines are getting squeezed – sketches allow you to explore more ideas quicker – taking a few minutes to draw something can also save hours of going down a wrong route with the computer.

Thirdly, they are usually more inspirational, more raw and crucially more open to interpretation. This is important at the early stage of the process when you’re wanting to get on the front foot with your ideas without too many restrictions that can kill creativity.

Fourth, they can give an invaluable insight to clients to help them visualise what you’ll create for well in advance.

Finally they democratise the creative process – anybody can have an idea and sketch it. Even if it is a bit rough at first. We’ve had work-experience students, clients, MD’s even accountants all make significant contributions to a creative project with some swipes of a pen on a scrap sheet of paper.

Want to accelerate, strengthen and enrich the creative process? Go back a step and go for a quick sketch.

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.