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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58 results found, page 1 of 6.  
Brand consultancy completes overhaul of 19th century mill

Thursday 29 November 2018

Following six months of hard graft, a six-figure financial investment and what feels like hundreds of hours of finishing touches, The Engine Room has moved into its new home in Mirfield – York Mills. The former 19th century piggery – once owned by the employer of Anne Brontë – was purchased by The Engine Room’s managing director Lesley Gulliver and founder Darren Evans, in January 2017. The £225,000 investment was bolstered with £150,000 of funds – including £20,000 of support from the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership – to completely transform the mill into the company’s new HQ. And what was once a dark, mouldy and disused property is now a vibrant 4,000 sqft space, with the ground floor a bright, open-plan workshop environment open to local businesses. Keen to salvage as many on-site materials as possible, scaffold boards have been re-used for the centrepiece staircase, for instance, and the old mill door is now the boardroom table. The original wooden flooring covers the entire expanse of The Engine Room’s first floor office, in which the mill’s original industrial hoist is also a key feature. Outbuildings have been cleared to pave the way for a 12-bay car park, sectioned off with metalwork from the roof. The former car port is now the main reception and an adjoining cottage has already been let. “It has been a real labour of love,” reflected Lesley. “We are lucky to have worked with some great partners on the conversion, but we’ve also spent many late nights deliberating over the details and managing the build, because we wanted to get it right. We’re definitely thinking of this as our ‘forever home’ – not to mention an extension of our brand – so we put just as much design, thought and effort into it, as we would one of our client projects.” Transformation of the cellar with brick-vaulted ceiling will continue in 2019. It is hoped that this space will be perfect for a number of small creative business lettings. Darren added: “It was a big move for us – not just financially, but because we’d been based in Huddersfield since The Engine Room’s journey began 17 years ago. But the timing is perfect. We’re maturing as a business, have shifted towards a pure brand focus, and have our eyes set on the next chapter of growth in 2019. There are two spaces for additional team members too, so York Mills is a very exciting place to be at the moment.”
Posted by Scriba PR Limited
A New Home for the Printasys team!

Friday 23 November 2018

Recently we made the decision to find somewhere to set up our base and create a space that allowed us to meet clients, connect with other local businesses and introduce them to CFH Docmail. It was important for us to have a base in the heart of our local town of Huddersfield so we could ensure we feed back into the local economy. We found a perfect solution that allows us the flexibility to meet clients and book out space when we need it. We are excited to announce that our new base is at the excellent 3M Buckley Innovation Centre and we couldn't be happier with our decision as we share the building with over 40 other businesses! We are also very pleased to be connected directly with the University of Huddersfield and we have had the chance to meet many of the academic team and students. We really look forward to working with them on projects in the future. Are you local or in the area? It would be great to see anyone who wants to learn more about what we do, or just to have a coffee and a chat. Let us know and we can book a time that works best for you! Get in touch: brian@printasys.co.uk or john@printasys.co.uk
Posted by Printasys Ltd
2018 Yorkshire and Humber Enterprise Awards

Friday 09 November 2018

We are delighted to announce that Equilibrium Risk have won the 2018 Yorkshire and Humber Enterprise Award in the Security and Risk Management category. The Yorkshire and the Humber Enterprise Awards returned to recognise the small to medium companies that have a positive impact on their customers in one of England’s most instrumental economic regions. The awards operate under a merit-based judging system which ensures all shortlisted organisations, regardless of their size and/or longevity, are assessed fairly and thoroughly. Katherine Benton, Award Coordinator discusses the success of this year’s programme: “Home to one of Britain’s most diverse economies, and containing cities established as leading centres of trade, Yorkshire and the Humber boasts a collection of traditional and modern businesses who are dedicated to promoting excellence within their industry. I am proud of all my winners and wish them the very best of luck for the future.” SME News, who host the awards, prides itself on the validity of its awards and winners. Equilibrium Risk’s Director, Luke Appleby, said, “I am delighted that Equilibrium Risk has won this award, especially as this award is given solely on merit. I would like to thank all the team for their hard work and commitment over this last year. Their hard work and ingenuity have really helped us distinguish ourselves from our competitors.” “I would also like to extend my thanks to our clients who have placed their trust in Equilibrium Risk to support them in developing and implementing their security strategies. It is thanks to them, that we are in this position. I am very much looking forward to the next 12 months as Equilibrium Risk continues to go from strength to strength."
Posted by Equilibrium Risk Ltd
3 day Christmas Camp at The Zone!

Monday 05 November 2018

Our holiday camps are back at The Zone for the Christmas holidays, and this time we are doing a jam-packed, activity crammed, 3-day holiday camp for children aged 5-12 years old with competitions and prizes to be won! We’ve got it covered with a range of activities including dodgeball, table tennis, football, rugby, dance, athletics, arts and crafts, invasion games, a mini Olympics and a Stadium Tour! Our holiday camps give your child a chance to improve their physical skills, have fun and make the best teammates, all whilst staying active! Our fantastic coaches will support your children and make sure they have a fun and enjoyable experience in the safest of environments. All camps provide the opportunity for your child to meet new friends, develop their skills and techniques within the activity they have chosen to take part in. The 3 day holiday camp is only £40 for all 3 days, so what are you waiting for? Book today! Find out more: https://goo.gl/VLqzdm Book now: https://goo.gl/pcJ6SB Any questions or queries, please contact: reception@the-zone.co / 01484 442277 Kindly supported by The Maintenance Group
Posted by Huddersfield Giants Community Trust
Successful PPMA Exhibition for YPS!

Wednesday 17 October 2018

Between 25th and 27th September, Yorkshire Packaging Systems attended the PPMA exhibition at the Birmingham NEC, the foremost event for those in the packaging and processing machinery industry. The show, now in its 30th year, did not disappoint. The company’s newly redesigned stand, now incorporating a shrink film station, attracted hundreds of visitors over the course of the exhibition. YPS welcomed both existing and new customers on to their stand and so report that the sales team have returned to the office with scores of promising enquiries for shrink wrapping projects to follow up, both in machinery and film. YPS’s stand this year displayed a full complement of shrink wrapping equipment from their range, from entry level to high-speed, high-end machinery, and for a variety of different applications. The new ‘Servo X’ high speed side sealer and tunnel amassed a lot of interest from visitors who stopped for a working demonstration. As well as a machinery offering, the newly-launched B-NAT bio-based shrink film was showcased and as a result, YPS say that many visitors have arranged trials, impressed by its eco-friendly credentials. A further success was the popular ‘Bright Ideas Ambassador’ programme launched by PPMA this year, for which YPS managing director Glyn Johnson was put forward as the shrink wrapping expert. Finally, this year’s PPMA award ceremony was held on the evening of Tuesday 25th September at the Hilton Hotel in Birmingham. More entries than ever before were submitted to the judges this year and so YPS are happy to announce that not only were they selected as a finalist for their B-NAT shrink film in the ‘Environmental Initiative’ category, but awarded with a ‘Highly Commended’ accolade in the ‘Outstanding Customer Service’ category.
Posted by Yorkshire Packaging Systems Ltd
Print marketing firm shortlisted for property awards

Friday 21 September 2018

A Huddersfield-based print marketing firm have been nominated for an award at the prestigious Negotiator Awards. Mr Flyer, who specialises in servicing the property industry is in the running for the “Supplier of the Year – Products and Services (Marketing)” category alongside 19 other nominees. It is the third year that Mr Flyer have been recognised at the awards, which are labelled to be “The Oscars” of the estate agency world, with the winners hand-picked from many hundreds of entries. The winners will be announced at a ‘grand gala dinner’ in London on November 30th. Mr Flyer’s director, Andrew Robinson commented, “I am extremely proud that my team has once more being recognised as one of the best suppliers to the property industry in the UK. We work tirelessly to offer the best service possible and are constantly looking for ways to improve our business offering.” He continued “I believe this year will be even harder than previous years, with more than 19 suppliers shortlisted for the Products and Services category.” Mr Flyer was established in 2011 with the aim of providing a reliable and quality leaflet distribution service. The company has experienced rapid growth over the last 6 years. As a result of their continuous growth, Mr Flyer now employs 23 staff and have now expanded their service offering to become a full print marketing company. To find out more about Mr Flyer, visit their website www.mrflyer.co.uk
Posted by Hellomint Ltd
Wordsmiths at Scriba PR set to donate 250 books to Yorkshire’s youngsters

Thursday 06 September 2018

Huddersfield-headquartered public relations firm Scriba PR is encouraging youngsters to delve back into books, with the launch of a new competition on National Read a Book Day (6 September). Recognising the cognitive and wellbeing benefits associated with reading at any age, Scriba has challenged under 11s from throughout the region to pen a short story of anything up to 250 words. Authors of the best five tales will then be hand-picked to each win a selection of 50 books for their school, nursery or community group. Open to anyone up to the age of 11 with a Yorkshire postcode, the competition marks Scriba’s latest drive to maintain or ignite youngsters’ passion for the English language. The business has long supported over 16s with lessons, workshops and internships, keen to promote the power of words. But this is the first time the PR team has turned its attentions to the region’s youngest readers and writers. Commenting on the launch of the challenge, managing director Katie Mallinson said: “We’re a PR company specialising in tech so I’m not about to dissuade children from embracing the importance of digital literacy. But we are wordsmiths too and don’t want youngsters’ eagerness to delve into books, to be lost. “Away from the academic benefits, reading is proven to help people relax, relieve stress, improve memory and boost concentration. Books can also provide entertainment, stimulation and education, not to mention the opportunity for pure escapism. Plus, worryingly, UK statistics state that 5.1 million adults don’t have the reading skills expected of the average 11 year old. “We therefore encourage anyone aged 11 or under to send us their best 250 words – fictional or not – for the chance to win some books to share with their friends.” Founded in 2013, Scriba began its fifth birthday celebrations this June. The competition – with five winners – is the team’s latest way to mark its half a decade in business. The closing date for the competition is 30 September. Winners will be announced and the 250 books delivered, by Wednesday 10 October. Any youngsters wishing to enter the competition, should send their name, address, age, nominated school/community group – and of course their story – to louise@scribapr.com or Scriba PR, Wellington Mills, 70 Plover Road, Huddersfield, HD3 3HR.
Posted by Scriba PR Limited
High-voltage specialist Smith Brothers secures contract with CHP giant

Monday 30 July 2018

Elland-based high-voltage power contractor Smith Brothers has secured an Independent Connection Provider (ICP) contract with sustainable energy specialist P3P Partners, marking the electrical engineering firm’s first foray into the fast-growing combined heat and power (CHP) market. A leading provider of CHP services, P3P develops energy-efficient centres across the UK and has previously delivered state-of-the-art solutions to such household names as Jaguar Land Rover and Hilton Hotels. Having been appointed by P3P as the ICP for a new CHP facility in North Yorkshire, Smith Brothers will be responsible for delivering an 11kV connection to the local distribution network, handling all contestable elements on behalf of the Distribution Network Operator (DNO), Northern Powergrid (NPg). The scheme of works will comprise the design, installation and commissioning of a 300m 11kV cable route from the Point of Connection (POC) to Point of Supply (POS) and the establishment of a new NPg substation enclosure – including all earthing and civils aspects, plus the development of a Ring Main Unit (RMU) and Metering Unit (MU). Due to landscape constraints, the team will be required to conduct specialist Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) for a 120m section of the cable route. Commenting on the partnership, P3P’s project manager Evan Thomson said: “We were introduced to Smith Brothers by a third party and had heard good things about the team’s efficient project management and delivery on similar connection assignments. We’re looking forward to working with the team on this and subsequent schemes.” With construction work on the CHP site due to commence this summer and energisation set for October, plans for future project collaborations between P3P and Smith Brothers are already taking shape. Dave Ogden, commercial director at Smith Brothers, elaborated on the P3P contract: “We’re no strangers to complex renewables assignments, having completed over 50 large-scale connections in the past year alone. But this is our first venture into the CHP arena, so we’re thrilled to be welcoming P3P into our growing client portfolio and working alongside one of the sector’s biggest players.” Headquartered in Elland, West Yorkshire, Smith Brothers is a high-voltage power engineering contractor and accredited ICP, specialising in delivering turnkey network connection packages across an array of sectors – including renewable energy, utilities, industrial and commercial.
Posted by Scriba PR Limited
Historic public school revamps digital presence

Friday 27 July 2018

An independent educational establishment based in West Yorkshire has revamped its digital presence as it marks almost 200 years since its construction. Silcoates – situated in Wakefield – provides academic learning to pupils aged between 3 and 18 years of age. But the website required a complete redesign to adequately reflect the forward-thinking approach of the school. Mirfield-based creative agency The Bigger Boat was appointed to provide the digital revamp for the well-established brand. The three-month project involved the design and development of a mobile-optimised Wordpress website – containing stripped back content and eye-catching images of Silcoates’ facilities and pupils – to better appeal to both current and prospective parents of attendees. The structure and accessibility of the site was overhauled, with less hard to find second and third tier navigation removed. Any area of the platform is now visible within 1-2 clicks, further improving the user experience and engagement as a whole. Already, statistics have shown a marked improvement on the previous site’s performance, with engagement quality up by 25% and a significant increase in the number of enquiries. Commenting on the redevelopment, The Bigger Boat’s co-founder and director Andy McCaul said: “The purpose of the new look site was to showcase the amazing facilities at Silcoates, as well as reflect its friendly and inclusive approach. One of the primary objectives of the project was to increase the number of potential customers visiting the school. “To achieve this, we have given the website a clean and contemporary feel, and added clearer calls to action throughout. Silcoates now has a platform which is better positioned to market the school, and is a great basis for further growth and functionality. With complete reporting integration, it will also enable data-driven decision making moving forwards.” Philip Rowe, headmaster at the establishment, added: “We’re thrilled with the new website, which shows Silcoates for the place it is – academic, welcoming, and inclusive.” Founded in 1820, Silcoates is based in Wrenthorpe, Wakefield, and has a wide range of facilities – including an indoor pool and drama studio – to match the variety of the curriculum on offer. In 2017, it was awarded the Yorkshire Society Community Award for raising £58,000 for local charities.
Posted by Scriba PR Limited
Businesswoman Completes Trio of 10k Treks for Charity

Monday 23 July 2018

Katrina Cliffe, the Managing Director of Huddersfield-based PR, Marketing and Social Media agency, KC Communications, has successfully completed a trio of 10k runs, and a mini-triathlon to raise money for babyloss charity, Tommy’s. Over the last two months, Katrina has completed three 10k runs in Manchester, Lindley and Leeds, plus a mini triathlon, which has seen Katrina raise over £1,000 in sponsorship for the charity who support research into miscarriage, premature birth and stillbirth. Over the past 14 years, Katrina and her husband John Cliffe, have collectively raised over £10,000 for Tommy’s the baby charity. Katrina commented: "Babyloss is an issue which affects thousands of families every year but is still rarely talked about. Babyloss has a profound physical and mental impact both in the aftermath and many years later which is why I continue to support such a vital organisation. The runs themselves were a huge challenge as I only started training mid-April and the heat during all four events was horrible, but I am proud that with each one my time improved and I finished with a 10k PB”. Even though Katrina has already raised a significant amount for the charity, she has no plans to stop, stepping up her distances to take on the York 10 Mile run in October, and the Leeds half marathon next year. In the meantime, if you would like to add to Katrina’s fundraising efforts, you can do so by texting: KCCC83 AMOUNT to 70070 or visiting www.virginmoneygiving.com/katrinacliffe
Posted by KC Communications
58 results found, page 1 of 6.  
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