WHERE LOCAL BUSINESS GROWS

Branding and Design Thinking

Branding your business is a science, the best brands in the world are the product of research, experimentation and they adapt over time.  The best brands also adapt to the medium used, from print to TV to the web and even your smartphone, brands evolve over time as the means of communication changes.

With the adoption of the digital world, your brand is now having to work harder than ever.  The online revolution has changed branding your business, from how we communicate, through to our business cultures.  Although the changes have been relatively gradual, one of the most visible is the way that ‘digital’ has changed how a company presents itself.

Every major business has evolved its branding to work better in the digital world.  Remember, online you don’t have a friendly salesperson and a swish showroom to create confidence in your business – there is just the consumer and your brand, that is it.  The trends are obvious:

Simplification –  On social media, a company’s logo has to be instantly recognisable at only a few hundred pixels wide – and yet the same logo has to work two metres wide above a store entrance.  Because of this, anything ‘busy’ on a logo has been quietly dropped or simplified, and the number of colours they use have been reduced.

Confidence – Partially as a result of simplification, and partially because of online attention spans (you only have a few seconds to secure someone’s trust when they come to your website), logos have become a lot more confident.  They don’t say a lot, but what they do say is instant and visual –  digital has brought the death of the strapline.

Emotion – Logos these days rarely say what the company actually does, instead they evoke a feeling.  For example, look how the Barclay’s eagle has become a shield to create a feeling of safety and protection.  The Argos underline has evolved into a friendly smile (an approach also adopted by Amazon and Thompson Holidays).

As a start-up business it’s unlikely you will have the benefit of high end Branding agencies, however, amateur attempts are often obvious and can kill an idea at birth.  A logo is not a Brand and a Brand is neither a pretty picture or name that the owner likes; a brand should reflect a way of doing business and it should reflect the needs of your customer.

Take professional help, don’t do it yourself to the detriment of your presentation – there are professional, low-cost solutions out there.

Content kindly provided by www.yorkshirepowerhouse.com visit them for free business templates & much more. 


Do it yourself or employ a professional
 

Your branding should be based on the needs of your target clients and not your personal likes or preferences.

But are you good enough to design your own branding and marketing materials or should you employ a professional design agency.

Try not to over complicate or over think your brand.

One golden rule is never trying to replicate another brand.  Apart from the legal implications, it can confuse potential customers and give the perception that your business lacks its own identity or personality.  You need to create something which is unique and original and reflects a positive image.

Start up costs might be prohibitive but it is always a worthwhile investment to consider engaging a design agency to assist in the creation of your brand as they are able to maintain a professional separation from you.

The combination of your ideas and a professional eye can make the difference between something ordinary and mundane to something distinctive and impactful.  Ultimately this is what will drive those precious sales and the life blood of the business.

Here’s the pro’s and con’s about deciding whether to DIY your branding, try an ‘auction’ approach, or take on the costs of a design agency?

DIY:  If you are a creative person and can actually form a professional standard of logo then this will obviously keen the costs down.  However, the risk is that ‘you’ think it’s great when a client recognises it for what it is – DIY.  And the time you spend doing DIY marketing is pro-active time you could be spending on your business development and actual sales.  DIY clearly carries risk and even if you are creatively trained, you’ll still be designing for you which is wrong – consider an external service to take yourself out of the loop but if you really insist, seek the opinion of genuinely independent people to cast judgement (not family and friends – they’ll tell you what you want to hear!).

Online ‘auction’ sites:  There are sites such as fiverr, 99 designs and Freelancer.com (amongst others) where you can essentially provide a design brief to a global network of creative designers who can then provide creative support on a freelance basis.  Clearly this carries some risk as the end designer isn’t really designing for your end client and is, instead, appealing to your own views and opinions.  However, you can access some very creative people without it costing the earth and achieve professional results this way.

Professional design agency:
  Normally much more local (and in Yorkshire, generally much more affordable than London agencies!).  The main advantage here is that you would normally meet and get to know each other.  The design agency will learn about you and your goals and will probably be more responsive to your needs.  BUT … of course, this higher level of service is more expensive because of the time spent.  Typically, logo design will cost anywhere from £200 – £2000 (often based on your ability to pay!).

Please take our advice … don’t depend on friends or family for this!  We’ve witnessed lots of business where their launches are delayed (or even cancelled) because of the design and marketing side of things being given to friends and family doing a favour!  Create a professional relationship and then you’re the boss.

Content kindly provided by www.yorkshirepowerhouse.com visit them for free business templates and more 
 

Communicating your message
 

This first task is to define your core customer message.   This should resonate and ‘speak’ to your customers and should pull them to you.  As part of your core business planning, your message should be reflected within your ethos and your branding … it really is worth practising the pitch in every situation, refine, develop and refine again to ensure that when you are communicating your message, it is well received, believable and accurate.

The next stage in communicating your message is to know who you are communicating with, understand that customer.  By understandning your customer, you will know what communication channels THEY use and this is where you then need to make your message heard.  Research how the customer gets their information, where, when, in what format, etc.

The avenues for communicating your message are many and varied, from face to face networking to the phone, through print to the internet, never before have there been so many options … and consequently, never so much confusion!

It is vital to pick your method of communication on the basis of research and evidence, and then stick with it, refining to optimise the strength of your message.  Changing your message frequently to ‘chase the latest fad’ will lose the benefit of familiarity and repeatability in the mind of the customer – consistency of message forms a strong foundation for your business.

Content kindly provided by www.yorkshirepowerhouse.com visit them for free business templates and more 

Traditional marketing techniques
 

In the rush to ‘go digital’ in today’s world, some areas of traditional marketing have been left behind, but then so have some markets and customers.  Sometimes, the ‘old ways’ are still the best for communicating and gaining attention.
Younger consumers have been born into technology, receiving thousands of electronic inputs per day, many will have never seen a TV advert, read a newspaper or received a brochure in the post.

This provides opportunity for traditional media, the receipt of a letter through the post has suddenly become a unique event for the younger generation and therefore an effective communication medium.  But posting a brochure is rapidly becoming one of the most effective mechanisms you can employ to gain attention while your competitors rely on trying to post more messages on social media or blast their way through more emails.

Paradoxically, in turn the cost of traditional marketing has now reduced as the providers have been forced to compete with more modern methods.  Brochures can now be printed in short numbers (just 50-100!) allowing for cost effective solutions.

Within this section, we will provide information on a wide range of ‘old school’ marketing techniques – but remember that the most effective marketing strategies are those that combine traditional techniques with modern digital techniques and forge a ‘complete strategy’, targeting customers at ‘just the right time’.

Content kindly provided by www.yorkshirepowerhouse.com visit them for free business templates & much more. 


 

 

 

Digital marketing techniques
 

The world of digital marketing is one of the fastest changing areas in the world of marketing today – often misunderstood and frequently misused … it offers exceptional speed, measurement and efficiency benefits when used well.

The main areas covered within digital marketing include:

Search Engine Traffic: Organic search engine optimisation, the process itself is free but shrouded in the black arts of SEO / black hat & white hat techniques … and full of areas to get it wrong and end up black listed by Google!

Search Engine Traffic:
 Pay per click advertising, extraordinarily fast in establishing reputation and building leads but costs money, shrouded in more black arts from the digital community but you can target competitors, brand names, trade names and you have complete control over your budget.

E Mail Marketing:
 Commonly also called email nurturing, this is supposed to be passive and gentle communication to build your brand and awareness and not spam (which is simply trying to sell things using un-targeted, mass emailing).

Social Marketing:
 Utilising the power and connectivity of the well known social sites including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.  Social marketing is one of the core areas of marketing failure with businesses simply blasting sales messages rather than social messages.

Digital marketing is a science … experimentation is key but a controlled environment and discipline is essential.  Results should be measured and activity should be strategic to be truly effective!  Read more within this section to get a better understanding.

Content kindly provided by www.yorkshirepowerhouse.com visit them for free business templates & much more. 

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News

39 results found, page 1 of 4.  
Record growth for Yorkshire digital agency

Wednesday 11 April 2018

Creative digital marketing agency The Bigger Boat has achieved a record 43% increase in turnover for the period 2017-18. This substantial uplift in revenue follows significant change for the Mirfield-based company – founded in 2010 by directors Doug Main, Lee Boothroyd and Andy McCaul – whose services include branding, digital and search marketing. Creative director Doug recently completed the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses UK programme, after a successful application to this national – and well-recognised – scheme. Launched in 2010 – and designed to provide high-quality and practical support to leaders of small businesses in the UK – the opportunity was established to unlock the growth potential for more compact companies. Commenting on the course, Doug said: “It was fantastic to be chosen to participate and learn new skills. But the chance to liaise with – and bounce ideas off – fellow business owners has been invaluable, and left me with a real hunger to inject some fresh and forward-thinking ideas into how we run The Bigger Boat moving forwards.” The agency’s biggest growth to date also comes hot on the heels of a duo of key appointments, paving the way for an increase in their 60-strong customer base. Ruby Ribbons joins the team as a junior account manager, following a degree in communications at Northumbria University. She will be working on a number of client accounts – including UNTHA UK and SNF – and providing social media support as part of her role. Another notable staff member to join the creative crew is senior account manager Emma Heslop. With a wealth of experience in marketing – including 20 years in the design and print industry – Emma is already heavily involved in numerous client projects, and is currently handling the design and digital marketing for the agency’s biggest client, Little Tikes. Managing Director Andy McCaul said: “Both Ruby and Emma have the digital skills that we look for in all our staff – and have slotted into the team perfectly. With Emma’s vast experience, I am confident that she will bring a wealth of creative knowledge to the table.” Andy continued: “And Ruby has already embraced her role with an impressive level of commitment. We are looking forward to watching her grow and evolve in this environment.” The 11-strong agency is now on the lookout for a further account manager to increase its number, as their expansion continues into 2018.
Posted by Scriba PR Limited
Global Branding Agency Announces Launch of Accelerator Hub to Support Yorkshire Creative & Tech Start-Ups

Tuesday 03 April 2018

Elmwood, the world’s most effective brand design consultancy, is set to launch its first accelerator programme in June 2018. Elmwood LaunchPod is a unique project bringing creative and technology start-ups together into a thriving creative community, collaborating with them over a 12-week programme designed to take their businesses to the next level. Initial details about Elmwood LaunchPod, which will be hosted at Elmwood’s studio in Leeds (United Kingdom), have been released today, with the official launch of the accelerator programme taking applications from Monday 16th April until Friday 8th May. The inaugural accelerator programme is aimed at promoting the development of innovative consumer health start-ups, with Elmwood inviting both technology and creative (STEAM: science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) businesses who are innovating how people manage their health to improve their quality of life. As a global brand design consultancy, Elmwood is uniquely placed to o?er start-ups the guidance and support they need to ensure sustainable business growth beyond the 12-week programme. By bringing emerging technology and creative businesses into their community, they hope to discover how technological innovation can enhance brand experiences for both clients and consumers. Elmwood anticipates working with 5 start-ups when the 12-week accelerator programme commences, helping to support the next generation of entrepreneurs who are already hard at work to bring emerging ideas to market that will shape the future of consumer health. Throughout the 12-week programme, successful applicants will receive specialist insight from a world-class community of marketers and creative designers and free workspace at Elmwood’s creative and dynamic studio. Participating start-ups will also have access to expertise across Elmwood’s industry-leading global clients as mentors, as well as access to investors. Sarah Dear, managing partner at Elmwood and managing director of Elmwood LaunchPod, commented: “This is a unique project bringing together businesses with breakthrough ideas propelled by the power of design. “The future inevitably starts with an idea and some of the most innovative ideas are found among start-up businesses. Elmwood prides itself on being at the intersection of creativity and innovation and we’re looking forward to supporting the aspirations of health-focused entrepreneurs who are eager to develop the next generation of consumer health experiences into successful businesses that help improve people’s lives.”
Posted by KC Communications
New Apple IT repair centre opens in Huddersfield

Wednesday 28 March 2018

Check out our new Huddersfield service centre. Castlegate Huddersfield. This is who we are and this is what we do. HAD-IT Limited & HAD-IT (Huddersfield) Ltd incorporating HAD-COPY and HAD-PRINT Specialise in the Service and Support of Apple Products including Macs, iPads and iPhones etc. Our Apple Certified Engineers offer repairs from a simple Screen Replacement to Hard Drive Issues, Upgrades, Tuition and Training at very competitive prices. We also Supply and Support a full range of State of the Art Technology Colour and Mono Copier/Printers from simple Desktop to Large Format and Feature Rich Multifunction Machines with Full System Document Production all with a variety of Service, Maintenance and Support Contracts. In addition, our Printing Division offers a complete Graphic Design and High-Quality Printing Service to AO Size.
Posted by HAD-IT (Huddersfield) Ltd
Check out our New! Print Centre in Huddersfield

Wednesday 28 March 2018

Our Experienced Print Bureau Staff have a wealth of knowledge to make your Print and Graphics Project stand-out from the crowd.
Posted by HAD-IT (Huddersfield) Ltd
Your Local Apple IT Repair Specialists

Wednesday 28 March 2018

Hello, I’m one of the team at Had-It Limited. Our IT Technicians have a background with Apple Products, and have Apple training in their careers. We specialise in the repair of iPhones, through to Macbook and Apple desktops. So if you’ve had a slip and smashed your screen, we’re here to help. Prices vary on device and problem.
Posted by HAD-IT (Huddersfield) Ltd
Holmfirth property specialist recognised as a leading business figure

Tuesday 20 March 2018

Amy Wray – managing director of Holmfirth-based estate and lettings agent Applegate Properties – has been announced as one of Yorkshire Business Insider’s ‘42 under 42’. Established three years ago, the accolade recognises outstanding entrepreneurs in the region and predicts who will be leading business figures in a decade’s time. Each year, 42 professionals – all under the age of 42 – are hand-picked by the Business Insider teams from the North West, South West and Yorkshire. These individuals are selected not only for standing out within their region and industry, but also for demonstrating the potential to grow their businesses on a larger scale. Having founded the company in 2010, Amy has steadily expanded it and built a reputation for Applegate as the fastest growing estate and lettings agent in the Huddersfield and Holmfirth area. Starting out as a team of one, she has significantly expanded the workforce and now employs ten members of staff. Alongside the other to be recognised by Yorkshire Business Insider, Amy will be invited to a celebratory dinner at the Royal Armouries in Leeds. With some of the region’s most promising entrepreneurs and business figures, the event is set to be one of Yorkshire’s top networking evening for rising starts in the business world. Commenting on her achievement, Amy said: “I feel honoured and privileged to have been picked out from many other amazing business owners in the region. This is a great reward not only myself, but for the Applegate team as well. The business simply wouldn’t be where it is today without them all and the effort they put in. “It is thanks to every single employee – and the exceptional service we deliver – that over 70% of our new custom comes from word-of-mouth recommendations, and 98.9% of our existing clients would recommend us to someone else. I can’t wait for the dinner and I’m thrilled to have been invited to attend alongside some of the best professionals from the region.” This most recent acknowledgement follows the firm scooping up gold and silver in the 2017 Negotiator Awards – the UK’s leading programme for estate and lettings specialists.
Posted by Scriba PR Limited
Scriba PR wins business of the month award

Monday 19 March 2018

Huddersfield-based technical B2B PR firm, Scriba PR, is the latest company to scoop up Eaton Smith’s Business of the Month Award. Established in 1995, the accolade has previously been awarded to a diverse range – and size – of firms, and aims to recognise achievements made and also celebrate hard work, brilliance and innovation in business. Scriba has been selected as February’s winner of the award, which is open to applicants from organisations in the Kirklees, Calderdale and Wakefield regions. Each successful company is then automatically entered into the Business of the Year Award, where the overall annual victor will be revealed at a breakfast ceremony on 6 July at Huddersfield’s Cedar Court Hotel. Phil Clarke, Partner and member of the judging panel said: “Scriba PR stood out as a company that has grown through an innovative offering in a crowded marketplace. It is clear that there is continual reinvestment in the business, both in terms of developing systems and technologies, as well as staff training and well-being”. Katie Mallinson, managing director of Scriba, also commented on the firm’s achievement: “For the progress and hard work of the business to be recognised is so rewarding – and a great start to 2018! “I am so proud of our team and the consistent client growth over the past couple of years and I can’t wait to see what is next for Scriba – it is an exciting road ahead.” This acknowledgment follows Katie being awarded the Forward Ladies Start Up of the Year Award on both a regional and national scale, towards the end of 2017. Scriba PR was founded in 2013, and has boosted staff numbers from three to eight – and doubled its client base – within the last year. The firm provides communications support to technical B2B companies – in sectors ranging from waste & recycling to cyber security – who find it difficult to tell their complex stories.
Posted by Scriba PR Limited
Harrogate to Host Digital Knowledge Conference

Tuesday 06 March 2018

Harrogate Convention Centre is set to host the “Go Digital – Live” conference on the 23rd March. The conference, which is organised by the Digital Knowledge Exchange, part of the Digital Enterprise programme in partnership with BQ Live and Stray FM, is open to all SME’s in the Leeds City Region who are looking to boost the digital knowledge enabling them to upskill and grow their businesses through advances in technology The one-day conference which opens with a keynote speech from Deputy Leader of Harrogate Borough Council, Cllr. Graham Swift will also provide delegates with access to a range of industry experts including Becky Boyd from the Google Digital Garage who will be giving insight on digital advertising, Leeds Beckett University will be discussing the rise of chatbots and how to implement them into your business successfully, while Pascal Fintoni of Arclight marketing and Media will be offering advice on how to launch your own live video show. In advance of the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation, the Yorkshire & Humber Regional Cyber Crime Unit will also be advising on advances in cybercrime and how to mitigate the impact cybercrime has on companies and their customers. With up to 150 delegates anticipated to attend the conference, they will have the opportunity to register in advance to “Meet a Mentor” providing the ability to obtain on the day one to one support. To end the conference, there will be a Q & A Panel Session hosted by leading digital and tech specialists. A range of exhibitors will also make up the conference, providing delegates with the ability to discover some of the region’s most successful digital technology-related businesses.   To register for the event, visit https://www.godigitallive.co.uk/
Posted by KC Communications
Digital agency unveils new image following its biggest year to date

Tuesday 13 February 2018

Marketing agency Splitpixel Creative has unveiled a fresh brand identity and a new website following a record year. This change is the largest facelift to date for the West Yorkshire-based company, which was founded in 2008. Following growth of 30% in 2017, and sizeable investment in new staff and premises, the agency plans to focus on further development of skills and technical processes over the next 12 months, as it celebrates a decade in business. The new website is built in WordPress, with marketing automation platform HubSpot integrated for lead generation and management. Following the approach used by the agency for its own clients, the new site places a greater emphasis on advice-led thought leadership content and downloads, in addition to highlighting key projects Splitpixel has completed in recent years. To retain recognition, the new logo has been simplified with a very light touch, and the original brand colours have been repurposed in various ways. Splitpixel designer, Rob Marshall, said, "As well as the branding, the previous custom-coded website was no longer a true reflection of the company. We wanted the focus to be on the content rather than intricate design, so it's been completely stripped back. The overpowering block colours of the previous iteration have gone, leaving a more grown-up, bold use of white space." The team of 12 – whose clients include West Yorkshire Playhouse, Arville Textiles and local charity Unique Ways – was recently shortlisted in the ‘Best Website’ category at the Northern Digital Awards, recognising the work completed on their biggest project to date, for Sodexo. Splitpixel's director, Charlie Herke, said, "To remain current, you need to evolve, and we've had a fabulous year of change – we’re still the approachable team we've always been, but our professionalism and results focus are now being represented. We wanted a fresh new image to show that the company has matured – and that we're ready for the next ten years. “The new website will be pivotal in positioning us as a strong digital agency within West Yorkshire, and in enabling us to work with other businesses who wish to realise their online potential.” The new website can be viewed here: https://www.splitpixel.co.uk/
Posted by Scriba PR Limited
Kirklees’ Biggest Business Conference Returns

Tuesday 06 February 2018

Following on from the huge success of the 2017 Conference, the Mid Yorkshire Chamber is delighted to be hosting their 2018 Kirklees Business Conference (KBC) at John Smith’s Stadium, Huddersfield on Wednesday 21st March. The free, one-day conference has become an unmissable event in the local business calendar which is dedicated to helping businesses to connect, learn and grow. Attracting over 600 business people and 50 exhibitors, KBC includes a fantastic programme of engaging seminars, a discussion panel, surgery sessions and open networking throughout the day. This year the Mid Yorkshire Chamber is proud to announce an official partnership with Google bringing a Digital Garage to KBC as part of the seminar programme. Running alongside the four seminar sessions, more surgery sessions will also take place following their success last year. Held by local businesses located in the stadium boxes, the surgeries will provide the opportunity for companies to run their own seminars, workshops or one to ones. Rory Bourke, Events & Sponsorship Co-ordinator at the Chamber said: ”Kirklees Business Conference is definitely shaping up to be a day not to be missed. The conference is a fantastic opportunity to raise your profile, make new contacts and learn from other experienced professionals. There are many opportunities for local businesses to get involved through sponsorship, exhibiting or attending as a delegate.” Confirmed conference sponsors and partners include; AD:VENTURE, The John Smith’s Stadium, The Design Mechanics and Social Progress. Delegate tickets are free but registration is essential, significant interest is anticipated therefore early delegate booking via www.kirkleesbusinessconference.co.uk is advised to avoid disappointment. For further information about the conference follow @MYBizConfs and #KirkleesConf on twitter. To find out more about sponsoring or exhibiting at the event please email events@mycci.co.uk or call 01484 483679.
Posted by Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce
39 results found, page 1 of 4.  

Events Posted

2 results found 
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How To Get More Clients Using LinkedIn
Wednesday 25 April 2018, 16:30 - 18:00
Firth Street, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, HD1 3BD
Free Entry - 18 places
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How to Start a Business Blog - 7 Secrets You Need to Know
Monday 11 June 2018, 10:00 - 12:30
Brian Jackson House, 2, Yorkshire Childrens Centre, New North Parade, Huddersfield, HD1 5JP
£35 - 8 places
2 results found 
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