by Amara Relf | Feb 8, 2023 | Design and Branding, SEO
Craft breweries have experienced a surge in popularity in recent years, making it an exciting time to enter the industry.
However, with so many craft breweries vying for customers, it’s important to have a strong marketing strategy in place. Let’s take a look at the top seven marketing tips that you can use in your craft brewery business.
1. Utilise Social Media
Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter can be powerful tools for reaching and engaging with potential customers. By creating a strong social media presence, you can:
- Showcase the unique character of your brewery
- Promote events and special releases
- Build a community of loyal followers.
Utilising social media is a great way to make yourself visible in a sea of craft beer breweries. To effectively utilise social media, it’s important to have a clear strategy in place. Define your target audience and determine which social media platforms they are most active on. You can do this by creating a buyer persona. This will help you determine where to focus your efforts and ensure that you are reaching the right people.
Once you have identified your target platforms, it’s important to create engaging and shareable content. This could include photos of your brewery and its products, behind-the-scenes glimpses of your production process, or information about upcoming events and product launches. By sharing high-quality, relevant content, you can build a loyal following and attract new customers.
In addition to creating content, it’s important to engage with your followers and respond to comments and messages. This helps to build a sense of community and shows that you value your customers’ feedback. You can also use social media to ask for reviews, and conduct polls or surveys to further engage with your audience.
Engage with other users by adding location tags to your social media posts, which could be your store or a British beer festival. This will enhance your presence and reach on social media platforms.
Additionally, it is essential to interact with other craft beer enthusiasts!
Engagement is the key to success when it comes to social media algorithms. If your posts are engaging, they will be more likely to go farther thanks to the algorithm’s boost.
To maximise success, it’s important to regularly create high-quality content and interact with your audience on social media. Doing so can build trust and loyalty and form a community around your brand.
2. Host Events
Hosting events at your brewery is a great way to create a sense of community and build brand loyalty. By inviting customers or key figures from the craft beer industry to experience your brewery in person, you can create a personal connection and give them a taste of your brand’s unique culture.
Offering exclusive experiences can help inspire your followers and create a sense of exclusivity and community among your consumers.
This can drive customer loyalty and encourage them to continue buying your products and following your craft beer business. By offering unique and memorable experiences, you can differentiate your brewery from competitors and build a loyal customer base.
Events can take many forms, from tastings and tours to live music. By offering a variety of events, you can appeal to a diverse audience and create a sense of excitement and anticipation around your brewery.
Collaborating with other businesses and organisations is a powerful tool for craft breweries to promote their brand, attract new customers, and network.
One way to collaborate is by teaming up with local restaurants, bars, and other venues. This allows your brewery to expand its reach and gain exposure to new customers who may not have otherwise discovered your brand.
This can also create a mutually beneficial relationship, as the venue can attract customers with the unique offering of local craft beer.
Working with influencers and bloggers in the craft beer community is another effective way to collaborate and promote your brand. Influencers and bloggers have a built-in audience who trust their opinions and are likely to be interested in trying new craft beers. By providing them with free samples or access to exclusive events, you can gain valuable exposure to their followers.
Collaborating with other local businesses can be a great way to promote the local economy and create a sense of community. By working together, local businesses can support each other and create a vibrant and thriving local market. This is demonstrated by Donzoko Brewery Company, who collaborated with Leeds based film lab to create ‘Take It Easy Lager’ a beer that features a peel apart label with images on the inside, similar to a roll of film!
Additionally, many customers prefer to shop locally and support their local economy, so promoting these collaborations can be a great way to appeal to these customers and promote your brand.
Networking with other businesses and organisations can be a powerful way to promote your craft brewery and build a strong sense of community. Whether you’re partnering with local venues, hosting events and promotions, working with influencers and bloggers, or supporting local businesses, there are many ways to build mutually beneficial relationships and attract new customers.
4. Create a Loyalty Programme
Creating a loyalty program for a craft brewery can be a great way to reward loyal customers and encourage repeat business. A loyalty program is a system where customers can earn points or rewards for making purchases or engaging with the brand. These rewards can include discounts, free merchandise, or exclusive access to events and promotions.
Another important aspect of creating a loyalty program is making rewards desirable and valuable to customers. This can be done by offering a wide range of rewards that cater to different customer preferences, such as discounts on beer purchases, exclusive access to events and promotions, or merchandise. Additionally, it’s important to make sure the earning and redemption of rewards are simple and straightforward.
Finally, to increase the effectiveness of your loyalty program, consider promoting it through various mediums such as on-premise, off-premise, social media, and email campaigns. This can help to increase awareness of your program and attract new customers to your brewery.
A loyalty program is a great way for craft breweries to reward and retain customers. By creating a digital loyalty program, offering valuable rewards, and promoting the program effectively, craft breweries can increase customer engagement and drive repeat business.
5. Be Consistent
Being consistent is a vital aspect of any successful marketing strategy, and this is particularly true for craft breweries. Consistency in branding, messaging, and social media posting can help to build trust, establish a strong brand identity, and attract new customers.
Firstly, consistency in branding is crucial for craft breweries. This means using the same logo, colours, and overall aesthetic in all of your marketing materials. This creates a sense of familiarity and helps customers easily identify your brand. Additionally, it’s important to ensure your branding is consistent across all your channels, whether it be on-premise, off-premise, or online. This is particularly important for social media, where customers are likely to come across your brand for the first time. Ensuring that your branding is consistent across all your social media platforms, like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or TikTok, will make it easy for customers to recognise your brand and increase the chances of them following you.
Secondly, consistency in messaging is essential to building trust with your customers. It’s important to communicate a clear and consistent message across all your marketing channels, whether it be on social media, email campaigns, or in-store promotions. This helps to create a sense of trust and makes it more likely for customers to believe in your brewery. Additionally, if your message is consistent, it will be easier for your customers to understand what you are all about, what your values are, and what you stand for.
Consistently posting on social media is crucial to attracting new customers and increasing customer engagement. A consistent posting schedule can help to keep customers engaged and build a sense of anticipation. This can help increase customer retention and drive repeat business. Additionally, regularly posting on social media can help your brewery to stay top of mind for customers and increase the chances of them visiting your brewery or purchasing your beer. A consistent schedule of posts can also make it easier for customers to follow your brewery and stay up-to-date on your new beers or upcoming events.
6. Use Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
SEO is a crucial part of any online marketing strategy, and it is important for businesses of all sizes and industries to incorporate it into their digital marketing efforts. By using SEO, businesses can increase their online visibility, attract more potential customers, and establish their brand as an authority in their industry.
One of the primary benefits of SEO is that it can increase your online visibility, making it easier for people searching for products or services in your industry to find your business. When your website and social media profiles rank higher in search engine results, they are more likely to be seen by potential customers.
Additionally, SEO can help establish your brand as an authority in your industry. By creating high-quality content and optimising your website and social media profiles, you can demonstrate your expertise and establish trust with potential customers. This can lead to increased conversions, higher engagement rates, and ultimately more sales.
Furthermore, SEO is a cost-effective way to drive traffic to your website, as it does not require a significant investment like paid advertising. It is a long-term strategy, the results can continue to drive traffic to your website even after the initial optimisation work has been completed. This means that the investment made in SEO can continue to pay dividends for a long time.
Lastly, SEO is an ever-evolving field, with new techniques and strategies emerging all the time. This means that businesses can always find new ways to improve their website’s visibility and reach a larger audience without having to spend a lot of money
In summary, SEO is a crucial part of any online marketing strategy and should not be overlooked by businesses of all sizes and industries. By using SEO, businesses can increase their online visibility, attract more potential customers, and establish their brand as an authority in their industry.
7. Experiment with your Marketing
Experimenting with different marketing strategies and tactics can be a valuable approach for craft breweries looking to stand out and attract new customers. This can help to identify what works and what doesn’t and allow breweries to continually improve and refine their marketing efforts.
Experiment with different platforms and channels to see where your audience is engaging the most. For example, it might be discovered that Instagram is a more effective platform for attracting new customers compared to Facebook. Or, it may be found that beer festivals are more beneficial than hosting a taproom event. Experimenting with different platforms and channels can help to identify where you should focus your efforts, and increase the chances of reaching the right audience with your message.
One of the main benefits of experimenting with marketing is that it allows craft breweries to stay ahead of trends in the industry. With the craft beer market becoming increasingly crowded, it’s important for breweries to find new and unique ways to promote their brand and attract customers. Experimenting with different marketing strategies can help to identify new opportunities and stay ahead of the competition.
- Utilise social media to showcase the unique character of your brewery, promote events and special releases, and build a community of loyal followers.
- Host events at your brewery to create a sense of community and build brand loyalty by offering exclusive experiences, tastings and tours, and live music.
- Collaborate with other businesses and organisations to promote your brand, attract new customers, and network.
- Optimise your website for SEO to increase online visibility and reach a wider audience.
- Use content marketing to create valuable and informative content that appeals to your target audience.
- Leverage influencer marketing by partnering with influencers in the craft beer community to promote your brand and reach a wider audience.
- Create a loyalty program to reward customers for their loyalty and encourage repeat business.
Feeling Thirsty For More?
Ready to take your craft brewery to the next level? Don’t miss out on this opportunity to transform your brewery’s marketing strategy. Email us and let’s chat about how to achieve success!
by Amara Relf | Nov 16, 2022 | Design and Branding
In such a competitive market with a product that sells itself, it’s getting harder and harder to stand out from the crowd. With a sea of breweries, wineries and distilleries, it can be challenging to find inspiration for your next social media campaign but it’s not impossible! There are many ways to get creative with your campaigns…here are some of our favourites!
BACARDI : #BacardiHouseParty Campaign
The Bacardi house party campaign brought the fun back into their rum with musicals, partying and other experimental, creative experiences. Created by groups of friends partying, the experimental strategy highlights that you don’t need a massive budget to produce an innovative campaign that brings a sense of fun, excitement and relatability. Whilst BrandChannel coined the campaign the ‘Ultimate Millennial Fantasy’, it’s a fun way to play around with different target audiences. Perfectly executed with Bacardi Party Sessions, urging musicians to create the best ‘Bacardi Party Anthem’ to party with Bacardi, designing an experience alongside a drink.
How to be inspired by Bacardi:
#BacardiHouseParty invites people to the inner circle and enables the audience to feel a part of something special. Alongside the hashtag, the experience is a shareable one! Make your own collaborative experience that is fun and interactive, using unique hashtags to get people talking.
Neill Wine: Commune Magazine
Neill Wine Commune Magazines highlights sometimes the conventional way is best! Whilst magazines are a competitive market, the Commune Magazine is transferable and easily shared. As a result, this is a stable and constant way to get your brand out there and network with others through interviews and collaborations. Neill Wine have demonstrated that they are thought leaders, portraying their impressive expertise and knowledge. Consumers are able to recognise this, as a result the company’s consumers feel loyal to the brand. A magazine is a really fun and creative way to get your brand out there, and once the template is created, you can change the content throughout the seasons, holidays and events!
How to be inspired by Neill Wine:
Like Neill Wine, create your own magazine to be shared across social media, increase hits to your website and strengthen your brand identity. Use issuu.com to make your own flipbook and bring your content to life that will capture your consumers attention. Issuu has all the tools you need to create an interactive and creative magazine, using your own content and images. You can even embed videos, audio and slideshows to create fun, exciting and knowledgeable content!
Smirnoff: Show up, Show off #ServeFlavour
Smirnoff have progressively collaborated with popular drag queens and kings to promote their limited-edition vodka. The company have recognised the campaign isn’t just about the product, but the people behind it. This marketing campaign has had a lot of success as it gives an opportunity for people to be themselves and humanises the brand. Not only has this brought in the HUGE following of popular drag stars to their page, but it has also increased their social media engagement as consumers get a say in the ‘final’ of their Show up, Show off #ServeFlavour competition created between the drag stars. This is such a fun and creative way to get the audience involved, with lots of opportunity to create instagram reels.
How to be inspired by Smirnoff’s #ServeFlavour
Humanise your brand and connect with your customers by having fun with your brand!! Like Smirnoff, bring your brand to life with unforgettable characters, stories and humour. Although your budget might not be as big as Smirnoff’s, you can still create competitions and interactive, relatable stories where your customers can choose what happens next. The best way to do this is by creating a story that will resonate with them on a personal level. You can do this by asking the question, “what would my customers like to see from me?”. People love to feel like they are a part of something bigger, so why not include them in the story? Humans are naturally social creatures, so as a brand, it’s important to give them an experience that is fun, yet relevant to your product or service
Bottlechop : Great hampers, great wine and great art! What else could you ask for?
Bottlechop have expanded their product and brand in a unique and modern fashion. First, their hampers are seasonal, personalised and offer great gifts, which appeal to differing clients and are able to provide an experience alongside their product. However, more notably, the company have kept ahead of the game by collaborating with local artists, such as Ruby Hughes (@sshepaints) which is an innovative approach to expanding their target audience and engagement. Through this, they have been able to reach potential customers from different demographics but also have a cross-over of similar interests. This is a clever way to build up brand loyalty and increase sales by engaging and exciting customers, who will ask the question…who will they collaborate with next?
How to be inspired by Bottlechop:
Look at collaborating with local independents! From artists to sauce makers, there are so many different creatives that would love to collaborate with your product. Collaborating aids in advancing your networking skills and engagement on your social media. It’s a win-win for everyone involved! Alternatively, like Bottlechop, create your own seasonal hampers to appeal to existing and new customers, engaging them with your brand. The holiday season is a great time of year to do this, but there’s no reason why you can’t plan on creating new hampers throughout the year.
War Horse Brewing: Pop Culture Aesthetic
Whilst War Horse Brewing is a fairly small company, they have been able to engage customers with their brand and create something fun using their Pop Culture Aesthetic cans. They have achieved this by using their horse mascot and dressing it up as different historical pop culture icons, such as Marilyn Monroe, Ziggy Stardust and Hulk Hogan. Not only are they a fun and creative way to broaden their consumers, but it keeps existing customers wanting more and creates fun and modern collectables. This product isn’t just about the beer, it’s about having fun whilst drinking their beer!
How to be inspired by War Horse Brewing:
War Horse Brewing is a great example of companies having fun with their products! Similar to War Horse Brewing many brands have created a mascot, don’t be afraid to get creative. Whether that means dressing up your mascot as different historical pop culture icons or doing something more whimsical like creating your own character based on an animal or person, it can help you stand out from the crowd and make people remember your brand. Don’t be afraid to take risks! Some people might say that War Horse Brewing’s branding is too much – but we think it’s just what they needed to stand out from the crowd and remind us how much fun drinking beer can be!
The Instagram account @drinkbabe highlights significantly that humour sells! With 164k followers on instagram, the company market their product without really ever showing it through the unconventional and creative approach; memes. This modernises their product that quickly and easily follows trends and contemporary culture. The reason why this strategy works so well is because it’s not just about being funny, but creating a community around their brand. However, the company’s humour is what makes them stand out from the rest of the competitive market. As a result, they have been able to produce memes and posts that are shareable, fun and create a strong brand identity and consumer loyalty.
How to be inspired by Drinkbabe:
Have fun with your social media if it fits the brand – let your personality shine through and people will buy into it. Use humour to create a community around your brand and make it easy for your audience to share and engage with you on social media. Be creative with your content, but don’t overdo it! A great mix of memes, video clips and regular posts will keep people engaged in your brand’s world and help you build an audience that is loyal to your brand.
To sum it all up:
- Create a fun, interactive, sharable experience for your audience.
- Produce your own magazine that is easily shared.
- Humanise your brand and connect with your customers by having fun with your brand!
- Collaborate with local services or creatives to widen your consumer base and increase your engagement.
- Design your own mascot to have fun with, and to make your brand stand out from the rest.
- Be creative with your content to build your brand loyalty.
by Dylan Comyn | Oct 22, 2021 | Design and Branding
For the past five years, the UK has seen a sharp growth in the number of breweries. In 2020 the number of breweries in the country went up by 216, with the total now standing at 3,018.
This got us thinking, will this continue to grow to a point where established brands dip into the market to keep the thirsty country afloat?
What would they look like? How would they taste? Who would buy them?
Well we have had a go at predicting the future, designing our own beers for various different companies who might even one day try creating their own.
by Dylan Comyn | Oct 12, 2021 | Design and Branding
Fantastic Image Formats and Where to Use Them
Picture the scene, you’ve just created an amazing design that you are proud of. Every single pixel has been rigorously checked and now it is time to share your genius creation with the world. But there is just one last hurdle to jump – get this wrong and it could prove to be costly!
In this article, we will explore all of the amazing image formats there are, helping you to navigate the maze and prevent you from falling into any hidden formatting traps, as well as offering hints and tips to help you find the perfect fit.
PNG vs JPEG
Before you embark on any design project the first thing that you need to identify is what is its purpose? This will ultimately decide how you are going to save the file.
Each format has its own benefits, and as a piece of communication, the format acts as the technical backup that your file needs.
Let’s start with Portable Network Graphics, aka PNG files. The format was designed to be used on raster graphics, screenshots and on logos. Because of this, the file size is large – a lot more so than JPEGs.
As a result of being so large, a PNG file supports lost compression. This means that it is extremely versatile, looking sharp and clear on a wide range of different ratios, from large main website images to thumbnails.
Providing great depth in colour ratios, PNG is especially useful when your design has areas of transparency. The alpha channel that the format uses will allow you to have partial to full transparency, which makes it useful for creating fades.
On the other hand, you don’t get as much versatility with JPEGs as you do with PNG’s. When you compress JPEGs this will alter the quality of the image or design. The file size is also a lot smaller, and because of this, you are unable to have transparency.
Despite its limitations, JPEG does have some benefits. It is the most common graphic format for photographs as it is able to display the same level of detail as a PNG at a fraction of the file size.
Due to being such a small file, this can also benefit when used on websites, as it will keep loading times low to improve someone’s experience on them.
Any Other Formats
When you hear the word GIF you immediately think of looping jolty videos of cats falling off tables. But they are also an effective and surprisingly easy format to create interactive designs.
A Graphics Interchange Format, aka GIF, supports multi-page formats, as well as transparency. This means that you can use the format as a more interesting way of displaying information.
You can use it to deliver messages in multiple parts, display different products a company sells with their prices and even create your own animations on it. This simple yet effective format can be a lot more powerful than just a still design.
Another format that is extremely useful when creating designs – especially on logos and text graphics is a Scalable Vector Graphic, aka SVG.
This is because an SVG is an image that can be searched, indexed, scripted and compressed. Most importantly it can be scaled in size without losing any quality.
Because of this, it is always useful to have a library full of SVGs that you repeatedly use in designs. This means that no matter what the file size of the design is, the SVG will always look crisp and not distorted.
Image Sizing Matters
The size of an image or design affects a lot of areas, some of which you might not be aware of.
Images that are optimised for the web generally fare a lot better than those that aren’t. There are three main reasons for this:
- They look good on the page.
- They load a lot quicker than those that aren’t optimized.
- They are easier for search engines to index – resulting in stronger SEO.
And it is really simple how to optimize an image for a website – ensure that the sizing of it is web-friendly.
The higher the resolution of an image, the larger the file will be. If you were to print off this image it would be recommended to go higher with the resolution.
However, on the web, it is a different story as this will slow the web page down significantly. This hurts user experience on both desktops and mobiles.
But just how do you strike the right balance between size and quality?
Let’s start with how much a file actually takes up. The more bytes that a file has the more likely it is to slow down a website. Images that are over 5MB are quite large files, whereas anything displayed in KB is more reasonable.
There are different causes for large files. This could be because the image dimensions are too large, the resolution is too high or because of the complexity of the design or image.
One quick and easy fix is to just make sure that your dimensions are not too big. The typical image on a website is 795×300 pixels, which might not seem too much, but you are still able to get the detail needed to communicate.
And when it comes to the resolution, this is measured in dots per inch. Printers sometimes require images to be printed in 300dpi, but this level isn’t required in computer monitors. Most of them are set at 72dpi or 92dpi, which means that anything larger than that is unnecessarily large, without being beneficial.
Most editing software has shortcuts that can help you bypass this. When saving a post, there is a save for web option, and this automatically saves an image at a lower dpi.
One final tip for when uploading an image to a CMS is to always name it something appropriate. A Google index crawler is more likely to understand an image with an appropriate name to what it is than to one with a default name, usually one that consists of numbers and random letters.
Getting the Right Dimensions
With this information on how to save an image for the web that is optimized, you can now explore other ways to get creative with the design.
The dimensions of a design will always be influenced by its purpose and destination.
When posting a design on social media, especially on Instagram it is worth noting how it will appear on a phone screen. Instagram itself has a preset square template, so by ensuring that your dimensions are equal, the design will fill them perfectly.
Instagram compresses an image to 600 x 600, but if you save your design as a PNG that is 1080 x 1080 your design will look flawless without any resolution being affected.
This is similar for other social media platforms, but the key thing to remember is that despite compressing your designs, the finished product will still look detailed. This will mean that any resolution around 1000x will look sharp and attractive.
Banners for Ads
Banners come in all different shapes and sizes. Because of this, they all have their own advantages in how you can communicate with them.
Some banners will allow you to pack it full of interesting images, design and copy, whereas some have less space, but can equally be as memorable and punchy.
With Google Ads, there is a range of common dimensions used that can fit into one of four categories:
The most commonly used square size is 250 x 250, but you can also use a small square, which is 200 x 200.
With rectangles, there is a similar variation in that the most common is 336 x 280, but you can also have smaller ones, with 300 x 250 another size that is regularly used.
The benefit of using squares and rectangles is that you will find that there is a lot more space to express design. The shape of the surface area allows you to use different features and stylistic techniques.
Alternatively, skyscrapers and leaderboards are slightly different, as they have a more stretched surface area.
Named after their resemblance to the city skyline, the most common skyscraper is 120 x 600. Leaderboards are the opposite, they are wider than they are tall, with 728 x 90 being a go-to size.
Due to its shape, leaderboard designs are much more compatible with copy, as you will be able to fit a sentence naturally. This would be harder to do with a skyscraper, but equally as effective and you can clearly put all the important information in divided sections.
In terms of the actual design, it is worth noting that because of the size the image is going to appear at, the text has to be large and clear. Short, snappy straplines and keywords are important here as you are trying to grab people’s attention. By accompanying this with a call to action button, the headline keyword will act as a hook for the audience to “Find Out More”.
One final thing that is worth noting is that Google is extremely good at compressing image files without a decrease in the quality of resolution.
This means that you will be able to create your templates in a larger size to improve resolution, as long as they can be compressed into the file size requirements.
For example, a square template with a Google Ad size of 250 x 250 can be designed at 500 x 500, 1000 x 1000 or even 2000 x 2000. By saving as a PNG, this will mean you will have the same glossy design.
So what have we learnt from this scratching of the surface into the complex world of design? First of all, it is a minefield. But it is one that we can stop and think about before we set.
Every design format has a purpose, and you should observe these to tailor your design to its overall purpose.
The simple steps and considerations that you have to take might not seem like much, but the result of them will be incredibly effective.
by Myles Doncaster | Aug 12, 2021 | Design and Branding
How to create a Brand Manual
So we’ve successfully commissioned and completed our brand project and we’ve got a shiny new brand identity sitting on the tarmac ready to take off.
What happens next will determine whether all the blood, sweat, and tears at the design stage will actually pay dividends or not.
The last thing that anyone wants is to have an amazing brand that is either applied inconsistently or hidden in a cupboard. This stage of the brand process is commonly called the Roll-out and is probably the most important stage in the process.
To help smooth the path of the Roll-out, welcome to your new best friend – the Brand Manual.
What is a Brand Manual?
The Brand Manual is the handbook that should be supplied when every new brand is taken out of its cardboard box. Look on it as an instruction booklet which explains the thinking behind the design of the new brand, the technical specifications of the design, and appropriate guidance as to how the brand should be applied to all the collateral that a company uses on which their brand appears.
So let’s take them one at a time. A new brand should speak for itself in terms of its ability to communicate an idea or theme. However, the Brand manual will probably show the old brand and give a brief synopsis as to the thinking behind the redesign. It’s also an opportunity to explain the less obvious elements that aren’t immediately obvious to the casual viewer.
A Great Example
One of the best examples is the FedEx logo and the directional arrow in the negative space between the e and x. Believe it or not a large percentage of people just don’t see it.
Next comes, the “tech spec”. Designers are a pretty precious bunch when it comes to their creations and rightly so. Consequently, they want to make absolutely sure that the brand is faithfully reproduced when a third party, which could include suppliers of printing, signage, vehicle livery, promotional goods and a host of others get hold of it.
Advice on the appropriate resolution of image, colour specifications, safe areas and formats, should be provided to ensure that when reproduced, the design looks exactly the same as it did when it was first presented to the client.
Finally, the manual will also show examples of how the brand applies to a representative range of items that the company plans to produce. This will differ in each instance but typically the brand will be shown on stationery, signage, vehicle livery and clothing. It will also give the designer the opportunity to recommend size, positioning, background colours and additional design elements.
Many Brand Manuals don’t stop there. It’s not uncommon, especially in larger companies, for the Brand Manual to extend to other aspects not directly related to the logo itself such as style of communication, tone of voice, imagery etc. However, unless you’re Google or Amazon it’s probably best to keep it succinct.
Show the world
So we’re now armed with our Brand Manual and are prepared to inflict bodily harm on anyone who doesn’t follow its guidance to the letter. How and when do we share it with the world?
There are two schools of thought – the “Hard Launch” or the “Soft Launch”.
Going hard means that a date is set for the launch and thereafter the old brand is completely replaced with the new version. Stocks of anything with the old brand on it are disposed of and new stock is ready to go on the date of the launch. It’s “out with the old and in with the new” in one fell swoop.
This approach can prove to be quite expensive and possibly environmentally unfriendly if, for example, large stocks of brochures, stationery and other printed material need to be disposed of. The advantage is that clarity, decisiveness and a feeling of positivity can be strategically used to influence how staff feel about the new brand and the company in general. Everyone likes to work for a company that is dynamic and single-minded in its vision.
The soft launch takes the foot off the throttle. A date can be set for the brand launch but the new identity is introduced much more gradually. So when stocks of printed material run out they are replaced with new branding. When finances allow, new signage is applied and vehicle livery changed. Inevitably there will be a changeover period where the old brand may coexist with the new until it is eventually replaced.
The downside to this approach is that it may portray the company as indecisive, conservative, and a bit less dynamic. There are really no rights or wrongs and much will depend on how determined the owners or managers are to implement the new brand and whether finances are available to speed the change.
Finally, it’s always a good idea to keep your staff onside with what’s happening. Getting their “buy-in “ can often determine the successful roll-out of the brand. Including them in research sessions at the design stage, asking opinions, and explaining in detail the logic behind the process will all help to make them feel invested in the new brand. When staff feel proud and enthused about the image of their company that positivity will be apparent to customers.
A successful Brand Identity design and Roll-out project should result in a company feeling better about itself, looking better to its customers, and poised to capitalise on these feelings of progressiveness, dynamism and aspiration in its marketplace.
by Dylan Comyn | Jul 5, 2021 | Design and Branding
Whether you are just starting your business out, or are an established name in your field, the logo is the first thing that you want the world to see and understand about your company. As a result of this, you want it to grab attention, make a strong impression and form the foundations of your brand identity.
Creating a new logo is not just something you can quickly knock together in a matter of hours. A wide range of factors will influence your decisions, helping to steer your creative vision.
1. Understanding the Brand.
Before you even open up your design software, it is important to lay the groundwork in the form of base company research. Whether you are acting on behalf of a client for a company you are not so familiar with, or as part of an internal design team, you need to understand the company from top to bottom.
To build a bigger picture, ask these questions and answer them in as much detail as possible:
- What makes you different from your competitors?
Another way to understand your business is to identify your customer base. Create a mood board, creating a comprehensive understanding of who your customers are. What other sort of brands would they be loyal to? What are the visuals and designs that they are attracted to?
Although this won’t magically solve what your logo will look like, it will help you understand what you are trying to achieve, and also importantly, what sort of designs you would be trying to avoid.
2. Research the Field
Naturally, when you start to create your logo, you want to stand out from the crowd. This shouldn’t stop you from checking out what the competitors are doing with their logos, branding and identity.
For example, if you are tasked with creating a new brand for a barbershop in Leeds, create a logo board displaying logos side by side.
Having a range of logos on a sheet will help you to notice similarities and differences in the way that brands use text, font, colour and icons, as well as noticing certain layouts.
From a design perspective, you can then draw inspiration from the ones that you think work well, whilst also informing you on what to avoid.
It is worth remembering that the idea isn’t to reinvent the wheel. Most ideas have been tried and tested before, so there are rules and conventions in every industry that can be followed.
3. The Design Considerations
After researching your competitors, as well as getting a good understanding of the company whose logo you are creating you will be at a stage where it is finally time to start your design.
Every designer has their own process. Whether that be picking up a pencil and sketching some conceptual ideas or diving straight in, whatever works best for you.
Within this though, there are certain considerations and factors to observe.
One of the most important ways to set the tone for the logo is through the font and typography. Is the font used appropriate for the logo? From your research on other competition, you would be able to see exactly what styles similar businesses go for, whilst also seeing what would be wildly inappropriate.
Can you combine typography with icons? Some of the best logos are layered in a way that have icons embedded within them that have a meaning or are they of significance. This is something you can get creative with. Does your company have any objects that are synonymous with the service? For example, could a hair salon use any letters to create a pair of scissors?
You may have set company colours that you are planning to use for your logo already, but it is worth thinking a little bit about this before you make your final decision.
To understand what colours might be best used together, you can use the colour wheel to help inform your decision-making process.
Marketers use techniques to create colour harmonies by simply referring to the colour wheel.
Colours at the opposite end of the wheel will naturally complement each other, but other relationships like Analogous colours, where they sit next to each other on the wheel can also be used to create pleasing harmonies.
Using the image above, try out the different techniques on your own design.
4. The Social Media Test
You have got to the stage where you are fairly comfortable that you are pleased with the logo. The design is pleasing, there is the right level of text and iconography on there and you can’t wait to show it off to the world.
However, there is one more consideration to take. How will it look on social media profiles?
When someone is scrolling through Twitter or Facebook on a mobile screen, they are only going to see a tiny logo in the corner of the screen.
Is this going to be instantly recognisable and memorable? This can be done through using the colours wisely, a hierarchy of elements on the logo so something stands out, or by the layout or shape of it.
A good way to think of it is how would it look as a widget for an app? If you can create an icon or letter that is instantly recognisable, like the Facebook app logo, when seen repeatedly the consumer will know instantly what the logo stands for.
by Robin Hetherington | Mar 31, 2021 | Design and Branding
So what exactly is Brand Identity? I suppose if you asked the proverbial person in the street he/she/they might say it’s a logo or a symbol that represents a company.
They would probably think of the most obvious examples of brands like the McDonalds golden arches or the red and white Coca-Cola can with its distinctive script. Common and obvious examples they may be but at least it demonstrates how Brand Identity affects every single one of us in our everyday lives.
Brands are all around us, big or small they determine the way we think about the services and products we use and influence our lifestyle and our purchasing decisions.
Consciously but often subliminally, we make judgements based on how we feel emotionally about the brands that surround us and that’s because they actually speak to us in a range of different ways.
Fundamental to this communication are ‘Brand Values’. These are the foundations, the DNA of any Identity project and are determined by a process of discussion and self examination. Many companies will know instinctively what their brand values are, others will be unaware that certain values underlie everything they do.
How your employees speak to your customers, how they dress, what your office or shop looks like, how motivated your staff are, how you regard your Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and many, many other factors will determine these values.
So say them out loud. Write them down. Don’t be modest and above all try to be absolutely honest. Typical values may be: experience; integrity; transparency; expertise; friendliness; informality – there are no rights or wrongs.
Feel free to suggest values that you may not have at the moment but to which you aspire. Think about your Brand Goals. The type of company you might like to be in the future may entail embracing new values.
Becoming aware of and framing these Values then allows us to effectively tackle the next stage of the process – The Brand Proposition.
The Brand Proposition should use the Brand Values to establish what the company feels its point of differentiation in its marketplace may be. Sometimes called the Unique Selling Point (USP) or company mission statement the proposition is the vital piece of communication that any brand will want a consumer to be aware of and to influence their thinking.
There have been many examples of how brand experts have explained this proposition. The ‘Elevator Pitch’, ‘Vision Statement’ or what you might say to your potential customers if they were in a theatre audience and you had a microphone and 30 seconds to tell them why they should pick your brand.
If you’ve done the groundwork, you should be aware of your values, know why they make you unique and why your customers should find that attractive. Then it’s on to the next stage and letting the Creatives in on the act.
We’ve established that we’re not starting to design an Identity or logo from a blank page. Using the knowledge gleaned from the process to date, an experienced designer will use the Brand Values and Brand Proposition to create a design that works, differentiating the company from its competitors.
Iconography, typography and colour choices are all vital components of the brand’s structure and should be carefully considered and implemented.
The process is a bit like having a bespoke suit made by an experienced and talented tailor. It should reflect character and personality, feel comfortable and appropriate and above all should fit the wearer so that they feel confident and reassured about how they are regarded by others.
There’s also a reasonable amount of due diligence required in terms of checking competitor activity, and making sure that (probably unintentionally) the brand doesn’t look like anyone else’s. Registering copyright with the Intellectual Property authorities should help in this process.
Someone who knows a lot about these things once said that a great Brand Identity should be “a badge you wear with pride”. So a new identity should make everyone associated with the brand feel better about themselves and confident that others will feel the same.
The story doesn’t end there however. Making sure that your new brand is “rolled out” effectively and implemented consistently so that it is always seen in its best light is vital to its success or failure. So I think that’s maybe the subject of the next Brand blog sorted.