Make Sure the Real Thing Doesn’t Go Flat By Using the Wrong Ingredients.

Are you looking for innovative ways to remind your audience about why they love your brand as we come out of these difficult past three months? Speaking of revitalising brands, did you know today marks the 35th anniversary of the release of Coca Cola Classic, the marketing success story born out of failure?

On April 23, 1985, The Coca-Cola Company committed what has been named ‘the greatest marketing blunder of all time’ by announcing that it was changing the formula for the world’s most popular soft drink. It was a move intended to ‘revitalise’ the brand as consumer preference for and awareness of Coca Cola had been slipping over recent years.

“New Coke,” the first attempt to change the drink’s formula in 99 years, had the opposite effect and threw its consumers into unexpected turmoil. People disliked the idea of a new formula so much that they hoarded the remaining stock of the old formula Coca Cola in their basements. One man in San Antonio, Texas, drove to a local bottler and bought $1,000 worth of Coca-Cola. Everyone was talking about Coca-Cola, some even writing songs to honour the old taste. Protesters carried signs with “We want the real thing”.

 By June 1985, The Coca-Cola Company was getting 1,500 calls a day on its consumer hotline, compared with 400 a day before the change. Customers were not happy.

Then, on July 10th 1985, thirty-five years ago today, Coca Cola bowed to pressure and rereleased a version of the previous formula and renamed it Coca Cola Classic. New Coke was eventually phased out. Two network newscasts told the story of Coca Cola Classic’s return and it made the front page of virtually every major newspaper. Consumers applauded the decision and the Coca-Cola brand soared to new heights.

Ironically, the brand did get revitalised, if by default rather than design.

Coca Cola discovered in a roundabout way just exactly what their customers did and didn’t want. The discovery cost them dearly in the short term, but their ability to turn about-face and admit they had gotten it wrong meant that they were the long term winners.

What does this have to do with us as we emerge from lockdown?

Are your customers still happy with what they are getting? Are they even able to continue with what they have always had? Maybe things have changed and now it’s more about HOW they access or even hear about your products and services. People have an expectation now of digital capability and not every business is there yet. If products and services cannot be accessed and procured easily via digital means the chances are that a rival with that capability will win the custom.

Cre8ion is a 360 brand marketing agency, which means we can cover all your needs. We can ensure that your organisation is both visible and easy to access on digital platforms. As well as apps and websites, we can help you to stay on top of your social media – it doesn’t have to be a headache. We can help you to structure your social offering with regular, attractive, well-written content.

We helped WE Bridge Academy, an English Language College, to become more accessible by creating a new brand and digitising their whole application and payment process.

WE Bridge Academy teach and train overseas students to write and speak English to enable them to study at university. They needed a web presence that would deliver and their marketing material was due for a reboot. 

We re-branded the Academy with a bold emphasis on painting a future picture. With a strong story, we helped them to create empathy with potential students and we set about creating a new logo, creative strategy, and brand along with a new website with an emphasis on ‘connecting’ prospective parents, students, and agents with a personal touch. 

The website became a digital platform that could both house videos and simplify a complex (dated) application program. A steady stream of applications followed and adding LIVE chat to the website proved to be a resounding success. 

So, why not raise the bar, hire our hand and revitalise your brand?

Using Your Brand To Recruit The Best

Branding yourself well will help you as a start up, causing customers to choose your product and services over the competition. Did you know that presenting a strong, coherent brand will also improve your reputation as an employer? It will even help you to recruit and retain the right talent.

It’s not only customers who consider a company’s reputation before buying. When making a decision on where to apply for a job, job seekers will consider the reputation of a company as an employer.

To Retain

The image that your brand portrays should reflect how things are done within the company too. It shows your mission, vision and the values you instil and therefore suggests the kind of culture you have internally.

You will build your employees’ confidence by offering an environment where the same positive values are evident in the internal operations as well as the external image.

If management projects brand values to customers that are not reflected in how employees are treated then employees are not likely to believe in the brand themselves. They might also lose respect for an employer and would be less likely to give their best or stay and be a benefit to the company.

Imagine a company whose brand promised the customer the most up to date, technologically advanced product. Only, behind the scenes, little investment was being made to offer employees opportunities to learn new skills and advance their knowledge. If there were no growth opportunities or training potential to develop new skills, why would someone with high skill levels choose to stay or even come in the first place?

People respond to integrity so a brand needs to be a true reflection of everything a company does. This can then be promoted very effectively using social media and your website.

To Recruit

Your brand provides information to people who might consider coming to work for you. So, having established brand integrity, inside and out, you can start to leverage employees as brand advocates. If your company is doing great things, current employees are more willing to share their excitement online. Posting video testimonials in the careers section of your website from your employees about what a great time they are having will attract potential candidates.

Social media has made it easier for job applicants to find information and could be the primary tool a job seeker would use for research. Make it easier for them to find your company by posting blogs, photos and videos about company events, culture, employee highlights and benefits.

If you want to develop great branding identity to help you find the best talent we would love to help you.

Genesis, Making your Future Faster

Business start ups and entrepreneurs are often short of time (and money) when it comes to designing a decent brand to showcase their product and connect with their audience. Often the temptation to just “do it yourself “ (saving time and money) can lead to a poorly executed brand which fails to communicate the true quality of the product or service and engage the desired audience, wasting your valuable time and spending your limited resources in the wrong area.

We get it. We also understand the need for fast, cheap and great which is impossible to find, or so it seems.

How is it that technological advances have accelerated the pace of our culture, causing us to expect the instantaneous and yet the process of designing a brand remains relatively slow? So many of life’s requirements are available to order on the same day…..meals, flowers, furniture, clean laundry, instant answers on Google, groceries…. Who waits for anything these days?

Cre8ion understands the power of designing large bespoke brand builds but for start ups this type of investment of time and money is impractical. Money is needed for more pressing concerns such as rent, deposits, legal fees, accountants and even your first hire. What if we could remove some of the time and expenditure associated with a brand build?

We decided to respond to the instantaneity of our culture by making branding available on the same day using brand automation. Now, within just ten minutes, via the GenesisBrands website, a new brand can be born. Genesis is instantaneous, inexpensive, innovative, inventive and for business start ups it’s indispensable.

Fast, Cheap, and Great, find out more with our Genesis blog.

How to Build Great Brands

You have a great idea and a great product but how do you communicate to your customers how much they need to buy it? You need more than a logo or graphic design, you need a brand, but where do you start? Well, firstly, a great brand must have empathy with the audience. So, put yourself in your audience’s shoes and feel their pain. How will your product take their pain away? Secondly, ask yourself how your product will add value to your audience’s life. How will you make things better for them? You need to engage your audience and communicate to them how you can make things better. A good example is G.L.Integrity, one of our clients, who have identified their audience’s pain point – ie. that they have not fulfilled the expectations they had of life when they were younger. G.L.Integrity helps people to discover their purpose – what they want ultimately to achieve in life and, by dint of clever financial planning, makes it better by helping them to reach their goal. In order to engage your audience, you must get your story straight – telling the right story gets the right kind of enquiry. By telling the right stories Cre8ion has helped schools to reconnect with their parents and art galleries to paint the bigger picture. What is your measure of success? How do you want to grow? What exactly is it you are looking to increase? Increased numbers of clients, staff, premises or number of sales? Ask yourself the right questions in order to get to the heart of what you do and why you do it. Then you can devise a strategy which will add value by conveying the right message, telling a consistent story across all your communications, increasing your influence and achieving the desired growth.
At Cre8ion we specialise in brand marketing. We would love to take you through our branding workshop where we can help you to answer all of the above questions and create a brand that engages your audience, communicates how you can add value and creates the right culture. www.cre8ion.co.uk

Make a Name for Yourself on Instagram TV

It has been a good three months now since the launch of Instagram TV (IGTV) and although opinion remains divided on its potential, it has been named as a winner for regular posters such as vloggers due to some of its features (have a look at Benjamin Brandon’s ideas).

As well as giving you the chance to reach a whole new audience, the fact that content can be uploaded with minimal or no editing means that it can be created on a more frequent basis. Maybe it’s a product launch, a behind the scenes look, a product demo or an ad of your latest sales campaign that you can present quickly and easily. However, IGTV can also be used to show off content that has been well shot with a decent camera and edited properly, for that professional look.

Eight Tips to Help You Get Started:

1. Although filming on a smartphone works well outside, be aware of the need for good lighting when filming on your phone inside.

2. Some editing may well be required in order to optimise your content. Centre framing, for instance, is important, but your videos don’t always need to be highly polished.

3. IGTV enables you to create personalised thumbnails and write a title and a short synopsis of each video. Make these count.

4. Use regular Instagram hashtag strategies in order to create a following and check analytics for optimum posting times.

5. Upload your content at least three times a week.

6. Let your followers know within the first hour of uploading your video, that first hour counts!

7. Edit and upload content straight from your desktop.

8. Re-purpose existing video content but make sure you edit content from the original files, remember that video, by default, is landscape.

For those of you on mobile follow the link and have a look at Maddox Gallery’s IGTV where Cre8ion has used their existing video content and edited it for use on Instagram TV.

How to Approach Building a New Website for Your Brand?

Is your website in need of a refresh? Does it meet any of these warning signs? Revamping your website can feel like a daunting project. But it’s easier when it’s broken down into smaller tasks. Here’s our approach to the job.

What do you want your website to achieve?

To build a successful website, you need to know what it is that you want to build in the first place. It’s important to decide what purpose you want your website to serve. Are you looking to raise your brand awareness? Or maybe you’re after more leads? Or perhaps you’re at the stage where you are getting enough leads, but you’re struggling to convert them into customers? At Cre8ion, we can help you build a website that’s fit for your purpose, and speaks the language of your target audience.

social media, digital marketing, brand marketing, marketing strategy

Decide on the essential stuff first

If you’ve spent ages thinking about this, and you still don’t have a clear idea of what you want your website to achieve, look deeper. It may be that you don’t have a clear idea of your brand. So before you jump into designing your new website, spend some time really considering what’s unique about your business. What’s the drive behind what you do, beyond generating an income? What are your values, and where do you envisage your business going in five or even ten years’ time? If you’re not sure, we can help you discover these important elements at one of our specialist workshops, included in our 360-degree marketing model.

social media, digital marketing strategy, brand marketing, marketing startegy

Choose a creative concept that feels right

Once you know the ‘why’ of your business, and you’re crystal-clear on what your brand is about, you can start to design a website that will bring those values to life. If you trust the job to us, as part of our trademark approach, we’ll offer you a custom-built creative concept, based on what you’ve told us during the workshop, within your chosen brand guidelines reflecting your values. After that, we’ll tailor and tweak, until we know that you’re 100% satisfied with the chosen concept.

Investments-marketing-macbook-blog-xyz

Here’s our approach in practice. This is a website we created for our clients GL Integrity Financial PlanningWorking together with their team, we designed and built a website that reflects their personality and nature while still informing people about their services in financial investment. With a sleek and responsive design, this website looks great on any device, boosting user experience and search engine rankings.

So if you feel like it’s time for a website refresh, contact us today and you’ll place your new website in expert hands. You might also want to take a look at our top tips for web design.

How to Give Your Business a Slick, Luxury Feel

When it comes to brand marketing, why is the most powerful question that you could ask yourself. If you want to give your business a slick, luxury feel, you need to first figure out if the why behind your business supports this choice.

Branding is important because it communicates a powerful message about your business to your customer. But creating a marketing strategy for your brand is more than just picking out some nice fonts and colours, or building a new website. To find the right voice, tone and feel, you first need to figure out why you’re doing all of this in the first place.

brand marketing, marketing agency, brand, digital marketing

What is the why behind your business?

This is always the first question we ask our clients when we meet them for an initial workshop as part of our 360-degree Marketing Model. In the course of just a few hours, we sit down with their team and ask several questions about how their business started, where they are now and where they want to be. We do this to discover their unique mission, vision and values. In other words, we distill the why behind their business.

What makes finding the why so important?

You may wonder why we invest so much time into discovering the why. Although we are a marketing agency, the real story comes from you. In other words, we act more like facilitators who tap into the unique, authentic story that you have and create the means to tell that story to your target audience or perfect customer. We cannot make your business feel authentic and unique without first working out together what makes it unique for you. The more we discover about your business, the more we’ll learn about your target audience and build the kind of brand strategy that’s most likely to appeal to them.

marketing agency digital marketing brand digital marketing

There are many ways to tell a story

When it comes to brand marketing, the colours and fonts that we select for your business, and the kind of website that we build will depend largely on the nature of your business and the why behind it. We’ll present you with three creative brand concepts that you can choose from before we start telling your story to the masses. And if you feel like your business could benefit from a slick, luxury feel, we’ll build a marketing strategy that matches that concept, as we have done for our clients Pegasus Property Investments, Maddox Gallery in Mayfair and Flamingo Jewellery.  Here’s how we gave these brands a luxury feel.

Pegasus Property Investments – when colours speak louder than words

Our latest client Pegasus Property Investments in Mayfair, London is a property investment company that specialises in providing investors with access to a wide range of property investment opportunities. For them, communicating a message of reliability and luxury was paramount. We created a website and branding that incorporates deep colours, complimented with a touch of gold to create this sense of trust and luxury.

digital marketing, brand, social media

Maddox Gallery in Mayfair – a dynamic website and videos for art investors

In the highly competitive environment within which Maddox Gallery in Mayfair, London operates, getting ahead of the game to showcase new artists is essential. That’s why we continually deliver web development for Maddox to get in step with the art scene and showcase the next shining star in the art world. From Banksy to Warhol, Picasso to Theodore we aim to make Maddox Gallery the place to invest in art by creating dynamic videos for their events at top speed without compromising on the quality of content.

brand marketing, digital marketing, social media, brand strategy

Flamingo Jewellery – simplicity equals luxury

We reworked the Flamingo Jewellery logo and created a striking F and J symbol that can be used as a stand alone icon or as part of the full words, ‘Flamingo Jewellery’. This approach fits the luxury market model of simplicity and translates well for the offline requirements such as stationery and enquiry forms for exhibitions. We also sourced the print to ensure a rose gold foiling finish on a high class textured paperstock to further communicate a high class message.

This is what Emily Rogers, the Founder and CEO of Flamingo Jewellery, said about working with us: “This fantastic and professional creative agency has recently helped us tell our story and relaunch our brand and we highly recommend them.”

Are you looking for a marketing agency that can help you build your brand and take your business to the next level? Then look no further and get in touch with us today.

How Instagram Can Boost Your Marketing Strategy in 5 Easy Steps

Instagram was set to be a success from the start. This social media platform had a staggering 1 million users only two months after its launch date in October 2010. After being bought by Facebook in 2012, Instagram has grown to become one of the world’s leading social media platforms, hosting the content of its 400 million active daily users. So Instagram is definitely the place to be, if you want to promote your business online. At Cre8ion, we decided it was about time to get connected! Since we launched @cre8ionstudios on Instagram at the start of February, we’ve gained a growing number of followers and learnt a few ‘tricks of the trade’ that we want to share with you. Here’s our 5 steps to Instagram success.

Decide on your Instagram brand message

Start with your Instagram profile bio. How would you describe your business in a single sentence? At Cre8ion, “we love to build and work on brands that give our clients infinite possibilites” which is what we want to shout out to the world. Once you’ve established your brand message, you can then think about your Instagram marketing strategy.

Think consistency and branding

It’s important to post regularly and with a consistent message. Since Instagram relies heavily on photos and videos, you’ll need to build up a bank of of these, to ensure that your posts always go out on time. When deciding on what kind of visuals to create, Instagram have discovered three features that the best-performing brands use on their platform. “Branding ads with your logo, colors or iconography drives awareness. Creating a concept that tells a story aligning to your business goal drives brand lift in areas like perception, message association and favorability. And making your creative posts polished and well crafted amplifies results overall.” So consistent branded photos and videos that are easy to recognise as your brand will go a long way. Let’s now look at these in more detail.

Make use of the photo editing tools

Instagram’s initial success was thanks to their filter and editing tools that could make almost any ordinary image look extra-ordinary, and the easy-to-use interface that allowed for these photos to be shared with a number of other users world-wide. Since then, a number of features have been added to Instagram’s photo editing tools. For some help with navigating these, see tip number five on this list to familiarise yourself with some great and easy-to-use photo features that are available on Instagram.

Create and share 60-second videos

Since 2016, Instagram also let their users to upload extended 60-second videos. Because of the fast-paced culture we live in, it’s a good idea to stick with this time frame for any of your online videos. Short and snappy videos can be incredibly effective, as in the case of our clients Maddox Gallery who have a whopping 10.7k (at time of writing) followers on their Instagram profile. For Maddox Gallery, we created batches of short, sharable Instagram videos that help tell their visual story on the most visual social platform out there. For tips on how to create great video content, see our previous blog post.

Find the right people to follow and tag

As well as having great content on your Instagram profile, it’s important to follow and tag the ‘right’ people. Here’s a few tips to follow:

1. When you’re just starting out, the best way to ensure that you have a good number of followers behind your profile, is by linking your Instagram profile to all your other online accounts. Use the same username for all your social media profiles (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc.) to ensure that your brand is easy to find and consistent.

2. Announce your launch to all your email contacts too, but make sure that you have a good bank of content lined up before you launch.

3. Hashtags can go a long way too – think of what kind of people you want to reach, and what kind of topics they may be interested in. Then do some research to find if there are any hashtags available with that topic.

4. It’s also important to not only post on your profile, but to see what your followers are upto. Like and comment on their posts, or contact them via the direct messaging feature. For more engagement tips check out this post by Neil Patel, one of the top influencers on the web, according to the Wall Street Journal.

At Cre8ion, we love helping businesses thrive. So if this post has inspired you to get started on Instagram or to re-vamp your marketing strategy this year, then get in touch with our team today.

Ready, Steady – Shoot! The Secrets to Successful Brand Photography

Did you know that online posts that have an image attached to them will result in a whopping 650% higher engagement rate than posts that contain only text? What’s more, according to Inc.com, visual media is the way forward when it comes to digital marketing. If you want to boost your website traffic with some great marketing content, then you’ll need some fantastic imagery to go with the written word.

Custom-made or crowd-sourced?

It’s a neat idea to have an entire bank of imagery at your fingertips – often cheap or even free, crowdsourcing sites can provide the right image for a selected topic. So what’s the downside? While crowdsourcing images and photography can help cut down on costs and time, there are a few things to bear in mind. Crowdsourced content is not unique – there is always a chance that another business may have chosen to go with the same idea, and it’s difficult to check if they have. While crowdsourcing websites may have a range of images available on a number of topics and keywords, the quality is not always great. If you do happen to find a top notch photo that you absolutely adore, there is yet another catch…

The elements of style.

Great brand photography must match the style and colour palette of your business, as well as meeting any technical requirements and image dimensions. In other words – hunting for a photo may be fun, but making it compatible with your website and the overall marketing strategy is often a highly technical process. It requires professional input – high resolution photography, paired with a unique concept that matches the look and feel of your brand.

Slick and professional look.

In the case of our client Kingston Barnes, the photographs used in branding materials (including brochures and booklets) are professionally edited by our designers to match their brand colour palette resulting in a slick and professional finish. And with a little help from our talented team, our clients Selectronic continue to keep pace with the latest developments in technology. They mix cutting edge web solutions with bold photography and stories that engage their clients.

Adding a personal touch.

As well as making your brand look more professional, high quality images that are consistent with the overall concept of your brand can also make your business feel more personal. Having a ‘meet the team’ section is a simple yet effective way of engaging your customer and helping them feel more at ease with your brand. For some ideas on how it can be done, have a look at our clients Kingston Barnes and Al Bacio – both use different and unique concepts in their ‘meet the team’ pages that reflect the brand message.

At Cre8ion, we have the experience and drive to create stunning photography for your brand. Get in touch with our friendly team today to have a chat about how we can transform your brand!

How to adapt your marketing strategy to attract new clients while keeping your loyal ones

A good marketing strategy needs to evolve over time. Shifts in economy, technology and people’s preferences can all affect the choices that your customers make. More importantly, these factors can affect where your customers find your business. Remember when people used Yellow Pages instead of Google search? It wasn’t all that long ago. New demands in the marketplace can lead to expansion in the way your business operates, and this may lead to new strategies to keep your brand looking ‘fresh’ and exciting.

Brand evolution.

Re-inventing your brand identity and website from time to time is good practice, employed by numerous successful brands, including the likes of Apple and Shell. Change is good – and it doesn’t mean losing your loyal client base. Even your logo and brand message can be subject to change – take a look at the evolution of Mercedes-Benz or Coca-Cola slogans over the years, for instance. To ensure progress for your business, keep an open mind – just like in other areas of life, anything is subject to change – from your website, to your logo, to the brand language and even your customer base.

It’s all about timing.

So when is the right time to consider changing your marketing strategy? Looking to attract more customers, expanding and approaching new markets or introducing new products or services into your business range can all signal that a change is at hand. In fact, this is something we touch upon during our workshops that we conduct before helping you re-design your marketing story. As part of our personalised approach, we come to you to discuss where you see your brand today, and where you see it in a few years’ time. By working together, we look for the best direction to steer your brand to face the future. So your new brand strategy will be a collaboration between the talented ‘makers’ in our team and your own vision for your business.

Then and now

Over the years, Cre8ion have helped a number of clients express their vision and ambition. Here are a couple of examples of that process.

Digiprint

Then:

Digiprint approached Cre8ion needing to reboot their online offering, so we provided a creative strategy of three brand concepts to enable we delivered the right message.  The chosen concept ‘Colouring your world’ is based around strong black and white imagery with striking colour aspects, while refining their logotype in line with app trends. This creative strategy enabled our digital team to create a brand new cutting edge website for Digiprint where customers can create accounts, log in, shop online, and read regular blog content.

Now: digiprintgroup.com

Nova Primary School

Then:

Nova Primary School came to us as Avon Primary School initially, and after our creative workshop we worked together to develop the new name Nova Primary School. The name Nova is after the star, tying in with the school’s new theme ‘Teaching the Stars of Tomorrow’. Once the new name was in place, a radical new image followed with bright shapes and wacky angles giving the Nova brand the edge to stand out from the crowd.

Now: novaprimaryschool.co.uk

So if you feel that the timing is right for your business to re-invent its brand and marketing approach, then contact Cre8ion today for a chat and free quote.