Absolute Blog

  • Posted 17/08/2016 by absolute

    The downside of great branding

    As a graphic design studio we are partner to lots of small businesses and a handful of large corporations. Amongst the small to mid-size companies the term ‘Branding’ is regularly misunderstood, and furthermore it’s often dismissed as being something that only large corporates need worry about.

    For the benefit of those naysayers, this article gives a few ideas about how small businesses can build strong brands too, and in doing so develop greater relationships with their customers.

    To begin with, we find that many small businesses fail to take advantage of the opportunities that branding offers because of their own preconceptions of what it is. The three responses we tend to witness include:

    Branding … that’s just another word for a logo isn’t it? Well no, actually it concerns the vision and values of your business; in essence it’s personality and the promises that it makes to your customers.

    Branding … that’s just a fluffy marketing term! Ha. Brands in-fact appeal to our emotional selves and like it or not, everyone has their own instant emotional reaction to your brand, because humans are wired to do exactly that. In considering branding ‘fluffy’, some folk are ignoring the fact that those instant reactions are an opportunity to engage and communicate with their customers at an instinctive level.

    Branding … that’s for multinationals with fast moving consumer goods. Traditionally it was. However many service related business came to realise that their customers were only able to make a judgement about their services after the purchase has been made. Whilst products have tangible benefits, services have no taste, touch or smell. They can only be experienced after they’ve been bought. Service business started to realise that as part of their sales, they needed to build confidence and a level of trust that they were the right choice for the customer, prior to the sale.

    The very essence of Branding can therefore be used in a variety of ways in support of the businesses desired outcome:

    To influence choice

    To build loyalty and advocacy

    To command a premium price

    To provide differentiation, particularly in highly competitive markets

    To provide a platform for growth.

     

    This means that across any business mix of promotional materials, customer and sales service, websites, advertising, marketing collateral, and yes … logos, the brand identity can be developed to communicate a range of recognisable traits and positive qualities:

    Pride - professionally designed logos and brand identity systems show that you are committed to presenting as a strong contender in your industry.

    Visibility – the majority of prospective customers look for highly visible, well-defined and reputable businesses when seeking to make a purchase. The look and feel of your identity plays a major role in the decision making process, particularly in an ecommerce environment where their only experience of your company prior to making a purchase is the website and content itself.

    Credibility - credibility with strong visual messaging in a professionally developed branding system, used throughout all business and marketing communications is how many of the most successful corporations stay one step ahead of their competitors.

    Appearance – your brand identity positions your business to work with larger organizations. This helps to increase margins by setting premium rates for your products and / or services.

    Retention – humans are visual people, and most people remember the things that they see, better than the things they read or hear.  A consistent visual identity for your business and marketing communications will keep you at the forefront of current and potential clients’ minds when they require your products and services.

    Stability – when you’re not in a position to claim that you’ve been ‘in business for 25 years’, a purposeful branding system can build the impression that your business is dedicated to the industry.

    Differentiation – if they follow the direction of your strategic marketing plan, then a professional logo and a strong identity system will enable you to position your business succinctly, and in the right place in relation to the competitors in your market.

    One great example of a small business reaping the benefits of a deliberate move to branding itself professionally is Brisbane based Exhibition & Display Services.

    Originally established for the Brisbane Expo in 1988, they are a very well established business with many longstanding customers. However their external communications were suffering from a combination of fundamental errors, the sum total of which was creating a lack of professionalism and emotional appeal, both of which are paramount in the minds of prospective customers looking for competency and experience in exhibition design and event hire services in Brisbane.

    In a steady approach over an 18 month period they have had their logo redesigned, then their website redesigned, then their business stationery, product catalogues and so on (all by us of course). The design approach itself sought to leverage the positive and more identifiable aspects of their existing materials, mainly the colour scheme, so that there rebranding was more of an evolution rather than completely throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

    With the introduction of clean bold lines, confident design typography, and a Swiss style colour palette approach with a breakout of complimentary swatches to enable navigation of their broad event hire product range, they’ve ‘honed’ themselves and in-doing so have created great pride within the business, and great interest from new customers. Our headline for this article was inspired because they’ve been almost too successful, with renewed interest in products and services making them almost too busy!

    Ultimately a brand has to be nurtured. Good branding takes time, thought and consistent application, but that doesn’t equate to a big budget. A good branding mindset requires both discipline and passion. It’s about caring for the big picture and the small detail.

    To discuss your branding, call us now on 07 3300 0494.

  • Posted 17/08/2016 by absolute

    The book title says it all

    Absolute recently attended the celebratory launch of the new edition of artist Jan Jorgensen's printed collection of works titled ‘Changing Places, Brisbane’. Following on from the popular first edition published by Macmillan in 2002, the new edition is illustrated with 54 new images of original paintings by Jan Jorgensen, who also wrote the accompanying poems. The new edition was designed and produced by us at Absolute Media.

    jan jorgensen book design brisbane

    Jan’s work has become increasingly important to both to art lovers and city historians alike. Her work captures the light, the everyday and the Brisbane that many do not see and this delightful book provides an interesting ramble through some of Brisbane's most historic streets and backyards. It records changes taking place in the city as the picturesque, old domestic architecture gives way to new developments and will doubtless be attractive to those interested in the changing faces of the city and in the familiar urban environment.

    Copies are on sale at Mary Ryan’s and other reputable bookstores. And anyone who spots Absolute’s former Paddington studio on in one of the published artworks … is very observant!

  • Posted 17/08/2016 by absolute

    Can you see the page for the pixels?

    Centenary Natural Therapies Clinic (CNTC) is a longstanding provider of naturopathy, remedial massage and acupuncture services based in Brisbane's Western suburbs.

    When looking for a business to handle their Search Engine Optimisation business they were referred to us by one of their clients … who is in-fact one of ours too.

    cntc-web

    When we started to analyse their website, visitor traffic and SERP's it became startlingly apparent that whilst they were achieving great visitor numbers, they in-fact had a massive bounce rate of over 80% (the bounce rate being those visitors who leave a website from the same page they entered, without exploring any further).

    From CNTC's perspective, most of the visitors that their search results were attracting were being turned-off by the landing page content. A combination of factors - inappropriate colour use, misleading headlines, unsuitable visual tone, key word discrepancies and content placement - were clearly sounding alarm bells. Much of CNTC's content was actually suitable, but the compounding result of content misplacement, overly-strong sales messages in the wrong parts of the page layout and general 'addition attrition' meant that it was quite misleading and misinformative. Interestingly no one was really at fault for this problem scenario but, over the course of its lifetime, as greater reliance was being heaped on the website as a productive sales tool, the net result became conversely more detrimental to its purpose as more and more content was added. Our client was just so close to the problem that they couldn’t see the page for the pixels!

    So before channelling resource into their search engine rankings for keyphrases like 'remedial massage Brisbane' or 'acupuncture Brisbane', we were clear that this problem needed to be addressed first and recommended giving their website a makeover to make it more appealing to their respective target audiences.

    As you'll see if you follow either of the above links, whilst still containing much of the original content the website design is now perfectly apt. Following some careful re-organising, toning down and repackaging of information, the site is also far more communicative, with a hierarchy of prioritised information and with clearly navigable paths to the most in demand information. Most importantly the website meets their client expectation of what a service provider of natural therapies should look like, so on finding the site visitors are now exploring an average of four pages per visit.

    We are now focussed on CNTC's SEO keywords and with a number of them now listing on Google page one, we are very proud to report that in January this year, CNTC's bounce rate was less than 24% … which is a significant improvement.

  • Posted 17/08/2016 by absolute

    Rebranding: an oldie but a goody

    For anyone that is considering re-branding to improve their business efforts, but who doesn’t want to blow the budget in one go … take note.

    Some 18 months ago we embarked upon a process to overhaul the marketing materials for Brisbane homecare and aged care services provider, Jubilee Community Care (JCC). A Government funded organisation providing aged care services Brisbane based JCC assist elderly people who want to continue living at home, but who require assistance with day-to-day tasks that have become too difficult to do on their own, such as cooking, shopping or gardening.

    With a target audience predominantly consisting of 50 somethings who are looking to third party help for their ageing relatives or friends, as an alternative to going into a care home, Jubilee’s materials had been treated as something of an afterthought and were not communicating the organisation’s experience and the benefits of their service. Instead of portraying the many positive aspects of the elderly people being able to stay at home, they had become a bit gloomy.

    Following a strategic review and planning session, we started with the public front end of their business; their website design. We used this project to establish a refreshed design, palette and imagery with an approach focussed upon emphasising the many strong positives that the organisation has to offer, using imagery specifically showing their clients enjoying their diverse interactions with JCC’s support care workers, in scenarios typical of the help often required.

    Specifically we used the opportunity to engender some pride within the organisation as well as beyond it, with care workers and support staff also enjoying the fact that they were bringing comfort, support and strong companionship to clients.

    With the benefit of seeing the benefits of the refreshed website, JCC has since tasked Absolute with the job of bringing its other core materials in line with the new branding which has seen us tackle print, digital and signage. Of course the net result is that they have steadily refreshed their branding and marketing communications materials without blowing the budget.

    If you’d like to discuss your organisations branding, contact us for more details about how we can make it work in your favour.

  • Posted 01/01/2016 by absolute

    Welcome to Absolute OZ

    Absolute Media is a full service advertising, graphic design and multimedia studio based in Brisbane. We combine creative ideas with leading–edge technology to give our clients maximum advantage.

    Now 11 years young, we have worked with many A–list advertising brands including Ford, Diageo, Dubai Tourism and Hilton Hotels. Absolute's strong customer service and attention to detail help to maintain a diverse portfolio of customers, and win awards.

    Our innovative solutions combine traditional & digital media to produce advertising, marketing, multimedia, web site design, branding, online marketing & corporate video, and our approach is simply Explore : Create : Engage

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