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Business Branding Basics

Business Branding Basics

Understanding what your business brand is and then investing in your branding to reflect it will save you time and increase sales.

These 5 points will help you understand the importance of branding your business.

1. Brand versus Branding

Your business brand is the perception your customers and employees have of your business, and it is centred around your core business values and objectives.

Branding, however, is the action you take to communicate the values and objectives or your business. Your Business branding includes the creating a name for the business, the tone of voice, messaging and visual identity. The branding you undertake should define what your business brand is.

Start with a brand strategy to determine your business purpose and what your promise to your customers is.

2. Know who and where your audience are.

We know you care about your customers, but do you know who they are and how to reach them? By profiling your customers and understanding their habits it allows you to choose the right marketing material and channel, to target them. If your customers are more likely to be on online than reading the local papers, then invest in a great mobile responsive website and clever social media campaigns.

Likewise if most of your client/customer enquiries are via email then make sure you have well designed and targeted digital brochures ready to reply back with. Researching you who and where your clients are will result in producing valuable branding material that reaches your target audience resulting on more loyal customers.

3. It’s all in the branding guidelines

Branding guidelines is a guide for your brand identity. It indicates the best use of your logo, fonts and colour palettes. Your branding guidelines will display mock ups of how your logo could look on stationary, leaflets or signage and it should support your brand strategy. It acts as a reference point for any future promotional or marketing material you produce.

Business branding needs clarity and consistency

4. Consistency creates trust

Clarity and consistency in your business branding instills a sense of trust and familiarity with your customers. If you are rebranding ensure you change your identity across all your online and printed material. Don’t confuse your customers by mixing new with old logos, or with an inconsistent tone of voice.

From your business card, brochures and website your branding should be consistent through out, this means using the same brand messages, fonts and colour palettes and tone of voice.

 

5. Branding needs investment

Save time and money when you invest wisely in your business branding. Remember your branding should reflect your business and when it its done well your business will be remembered for the right reasons. In return you will build brand awareness, increase sales and grow your business. Find a creative branding team that understands the process and can deliver on branding your business effectively.

10 questions to ask yourself before you get a new website

A website is an essential tool for your online marketing strategy and deciding to get a new website or redesign an existing one can be a challenging process.

These 10 questions will help you focus on key points of your new website.

1. What do I want my website to do?

Having a good website will clearly communicate who you are and what your business does. It can help increase brand awareness, build trust and increase sales. There are 2 main categories of websites; brochure websites and e-commerce websites.

Brochure websites
Brochure or static websites are informative websites, indicating what you do and how you do it. They will include a contact form and have a call to action for example “Contact us today” or “Sign up to our E-Newsletter”. Under new GDPR General Data Protection Regulation regulations the data protection laws have changed. If you need guidance on this please let us know.

E-commerce websites
The purpose of an E-commerce website is to sell your product or service online, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Websites that sell online need a payment gateway like STRIPE that has a beautiful user interface for your customers but also an easy to manage platform for you to transfer your funds and review payment reports.

Before you start working on a new website you need to outline what it is you want to achieve for your website so you can then track your website and monitor it’s efforts. What return on investment to you want to see from your website?, what percentage increase on sales are you aiming for? By identifying this you will give a clearer idea of how much investment the website needs.

2. Should my website be responsive?

With over 60% of online content being viewed on a mobile or hand held device it is a given that a website should be mobile responsive. For this reason all our websites are mobile responsive which means they resize depending on the device they are being viewed on.

3. What is my SEO strategy?

Good Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is key to being found on a search engine like Google. Make sure that the right search terms are added to the writen content of the website, images are tagged correctly and H tags are used to support the relevant search terms. We work with copywriters that can weave the search terms seamlessly into the website copy and cleverly translate your story and values.

4. How will my website work with my brand?

Building a great brand takes time and it’s important that all your marketing material adheres to that brand, including your website.

The website should be functional, easy to navigate, clear and concise but it should also look great and be consistent with the existing brand that your company has. If you don’t know what your brand is then we can work with you to develop one.

5. How will I measure the success of my website?

It’s important to track your website so you can monitor it’s success and ensure it’s meeting your goals. Use Google Analytics to monitor the volume of traffic, where it came from and what pages it goes to and for how long. Webmaster tools is used to publish your sitemap so crawlers see the latest website pages and posts.

6. Should I have a blog on my website?

Having a blog on your website allows you to talk about your latest successes, new offers and give your expert advice on topics. Overall it gives you the opportunity to create more valuable content on your website for people to read and for Google to crawl through which can help with your ranking for certain search terms. Time is an important resource when it comes to deciding whether you want to contribute to a regular blog.  A good web design team can train you on managing your own website, adding blog posts and/or manage it on your behalf.

7. What social media platforms are right for my business?

Integrating your social media presence on the website is an important step. You can integrate feed into the website or include icon links that direct the user to your individual social media pages. It’s important that you choose a social media platform that is right for your business. We suggest you use Facebook and Instagram if your business is very visual. Twitter is a great platform for Business to Business. LinkedIn is a great space for building your professional connections and for posting blogs.

8. What will be the website architecture?

There should be a logical flow throughout the website. The user should be able to easily find the information they need as quickly as possible. If you don’t know what  pages should be in the main navigation versus your sub navigation then ask your web team for help. Use the website header for the most important pages and the footer for secondary pages such as your website Terms of Use and Privacy Page. If you have an e-commerce website then you need to include a page that covers your returns policy and answers general customer queries.

9. What kind of security does my website need?

All websites should have an SSL certificate especially if they are an e-commerce website. Secure Socket Layers (SSL) encrypt data passed on a website between the web server and a browser. Having a SSL cert builds trust with a user. It is something that Google have become very vocal about and are insisting that websites have if they want to avoid having a “Not Secure” warning on your website. Having a proper website maintenance contract is vital to reduce site vunerability. Using website securing plugins is a given step to blocking certain IP addresses and reducing attempts to hack the website.

10. How much does a new website cost?

Your web design team will be able to give you a quote based on your needs and budget. Like any purchase, you need to look for value for your money rather than the cheapest option. Take a look at the websites of the top three web design companies you want to work with – doing a little research at the start will save you time and money in the long term.

Pixelpod are delighted to be shortlisted for the IDI Awards 2017

IDI Finalist Pixelpod 2017

Pixelpod are shortlisted for IDI Awards in September

(IDI) The Institute of Designers in Ireland is the largest and oldest association of design professionals and longest established creative forum in Ireland. The IDI is committed to advancing the value and impact of design – inspiring, supporting and learning from one another along the way. We aim to make design matter.

This is the 19th Annual Irish Design Awards, recognising, celebrating and promoting exemplary design vision, uncovering emerging talent and honouring outstanding achievement across all disciplines of Design in Ireland.

Click here to see the full lists of finalists

We are delighted to announce that Pixelpod have been shortlisted for the IDI awards for logo design. It’s our first time entering the Institute of Designers in Ireland award (or any awards) and we are really proud and excited about being shortlisted. We are equally proud of all the work we are producing in our Wexford based studio.

The project that we were shortlisted for was for the logo created for True Hearts a a wedding videography website owned by David Fallon of Fallon Media from Wexford.

To view our work visit http://www.pixelpod.ie

True Hearts - logo design IDI finalist 2017

3 years in Wexford

Pixelpod 3 years in Wexford made with lego

There is a lot to do when you have your own design studio. Here are a few things we  have learned since we set up Pixelpod in Wexford town 3 years ago;

1. Never stop analysing and improving
Design tools are always evolving and customers needs have become more diverse, so it’s important to continue learning, and improving in, what you do. Our customer experiences matter to us. We look back at each project and decide what worked and what didn’t, and learn from our experiences. We want our clients to enjoy the time they spend with us and the project as a whole.

2. Take Breaks
Not just tea breaks or lunch breaks but we have learned that you need to take holidays away from the studio. Being creative every day isn’t always possible so you need to take a break from your work. If you don’t, you are likely to burn out. So it’s important to run away every now and then, have new adventures and experiences and refuel. Then come back, and give it all you have.

3. Remember to do it your way
Knowing what other studios are doing well locally, nationally and internationally is really important, but you need to carve your own design path. We have spent time developing and improving our own design standards and processes. Don’t just look for inspiration online but in books, music, your interactions and personal experiences and make every design project count.

4. Don’t try and do it all
Designers are problem solvers and we sometimes like to think we can solve all the problems even the non-design related ones. So our advice for anyone setting up their own design studio is know what your really good at, know what your ok at and then with everything else ask an expert in that field.

5. Happiness is infectious
When James and I first talked about what we wanted for ourselves and Pixelpod studio we knew it was all about happiness. Happiness for ourselves and the designers and clients we work with. In the last 12 months we have take better steps to make the studio a happier place to be. We have redesigned how we work internally but also our surroundings. On Wednesday evenings we try to work on personal or non client work which allows us to discuss ideas we don’t normally talk about. Our studio is warmer (new heaters), we have a new kitchen and over all it’s a more interesting place to work Having a happy and positive work environment reflects positively on our work and on how we treat and interact with our clients. Lolly – an awesome brand and website designer, started working with us in April of 2016 and it’s been a lot less stressful since then!

The Rediscovery Centre

Creative, educational and sustainable

The Rediscovery centre in Ballymun, Dublin is an impressive organisation. They are a social enterprise committed to finding new uses for materials or just revamping them. They also provide community employment and training through innovative reuse enterprises, creating new products from unwanted materials.

They are really resourceful revamping clothes into beautiful bespoke items, furniture restoration, and reusing paint. They even recondition, service and upcycle bicycles that would otherwise end up in landfill.

We should have a rediscovery centre  in every county in Ireland!

– and they also do gift vouchers! Call them 01 8429811 for more information.

A Tale of Momentum & Inertia

A Tale of Momentum & Inertia

A wonderful CG short from the very talented animation studio HouseSpecial – You can view more of their work at: housespecial.com/all/

Creative Director – Kirk Kelley,
Director – Kameron Gates,
From an Original Story by Allan Turner and Kameron Gates

Fat Bottomed Fairies

Mixed-media artist Samantha Bryan, based in West Yorkshire, takes us into her world of fat bottomed fairies.

What are the day to day reality of fairies? How do the live? Not normally things we think about but these are the things Samantha Bryan thinks about.

“Inspired by Victorian Gadgetry and Invention Samantha Bryan creates suspended, wall mounted and free standing sculptures out of a combination of wire, leather, found objects & collected materials. These unusual sculptures depict everyday life in ‘fairyland’.”

Find out more on her website samanthabryan.co.uk.

Inspiring Quotes From Social Good Summit 2014

Inspiring Quotes From Social Good Summit 2014

The fifth annual Social Good Summit is happening, where some of the most innovative minds in social good come together in New York City to discuss ways we can help solve the world’s biggest issues. The theme of the Summit is #2030NOW, which addresses the challenges our world faces now and in the future, and on the need for long-term, sustainable solutions to these problems.

You can watch the Social Good Summit Live courtesty of Mashable, or follow on social media using #2030NOW .

Dr. Donald Hopkins

The Carter Center

Pharrell Williams,

Singer

Roxanne Rahnama

Student Activist at UC Berkeley

Jimmy Carter

President

Creative Compulsive Disorder

Celebrating creativity in all forms… Zina we salute you!

In August 2013 my friend Zina asked if I could shoot a video for her portfolio. She needed something that would showcase her work but also tell a little bit about her personality and her interests. We had two days to shoot and edit so we shot an interview and smashed something together to meet our deadline.

On November 20, 2013 Zina passed away due to a hiking accident in Ouray, CO. After the funeral I revisited the footage and made this short as an attempt to capture her personality and creativity. I never planned to release it online but now I have a chance to share her and her creations with all of you!