Corporate Creative :: Design Articles for Business

Marketing by Email? Be Very Careful.


 Being mindful of your actions is not simply good advice for living… in business, it is a requirement.

A few days ago, my incoming Twitter feed took on a fiery tone. Anger spewed forth with abandon from one of my fellow business owner contacts. He was incensed, having discovered that a particular spammer had gone the extra mile to target his company’s clients as a group.


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Posted in Business, Issues, Technology, Tips

Corporate Identity Series :: Your Tagline


Writing a SloganYou’ve spent countless hours coming up with the perfect name for your business. It’s unique, brief, descriptive, and expandable. Beautiful. The next step is one that is often given a bit of a short stick… after all that brand naming wordplay, you now need to come up with a short, positive and catchy slogan for your business.

Many people are simply tired of words at this point. And that’s fine, but your tagline is important enough to warrant your full attention. So take a break, and come back to it when your mind is refreshed.

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Posted in Branding, Business, Tips

30 Little Things That Mean More Than You Think


30 Little ThingsLife is all about the little things.

I often wonder why so many of the business owners and brand managers who approach us are so obsessed with the overall machine, without giving so much as a nod to the cogs that make it work. I’m not talking about employee recognition here (that’s another topic entirely) but rather, the less tangible qualities that impact the customer’s experience in doing business with you.

How many times have you avoided returning to a restaurant with a shoddy bathroom? And how wonderful is that free tea or cappuccino at your favourite spa?

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Posted in Branding, Business, Tips

Corporate Identity Series :: Naming Your Business


Naming Your CompanyIn today’s highly competitive environment, the strongest brands are the ones that transcend the products and services they represent, and form a solid connection with the consumer.

While new business owners invest substantial amounts of time and resources into product and concept development, package design, advertising, PR and distribution, the act of choosing a name for their brand is often treated as an afterthought. As a result, we end up with generic and damaging brand names like ‘x place’ or ‘y barn’… or names that are already shared with dozens of other companies.

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Posted in Branding, Business, Tips

Building a Brand based on Trust and Authenticity


CredibilityThe fields of branding and marketing have a credibility problem.

More often than not, consumers associate brand-speak with trickery, exaggeration, misdirection and outright deception. The sad thing is, I don’t blame them. A lot of brands are disingenuous. What those brand managers don’t realize is that tricking someone into buying once is far less profitable than earning customer loyalty and trust over the long term.

Investing in your Brand for the Long Haul

Branding is so much more than just looking good. You need to pick up where we leave off.

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Posted in Branding, Business, Case Studies, Issues, Marketing, Tips

Smart Copywriting: Forget the “What”, Focus on the “How”


If there is one thing copywriters love to talk about it’s “Features vs. Benefits“. To us it makes all the sense in the world. However, many business owners who want to learn to write their own powerful copy struggle with the concept.

Features are the properties of a product or service. The features of a car might be anti-lock brakes, leather seats, or rear-window defrost. Benefits, on the other hand, show how those features will actually be of benefit (hence the name) to the user. Anti-lock brakes keep you safe if you have to stop quickly. Leather seats are more durable and luxurious than cloth. In copywriting, benefits are much, much more important than features.

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Posted in Business, Case Studies, Marketing, Tips

Your Online Brand and the Holiday Season


 From disparate beginnings, Christmas has become largely a cultural celebration for my generation – one meant to bring people together and place our focus on the people we love.

It has also become an uber-brand that represents intangible, un-buy-able values (peace, love, joy, family, selflessness) simultaneously with supreme commercialism.

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Posted in Branding, Business, Retail, Tips, Trends, Web Design

Search Engine Tunnel Vision


SEM Tips“I want our site to be number one on Google”

The number of times a client has uttered those words to us (or a close variation on the theme) is somewhat staggering.

Sure, we all want it. And for certain parameters, we can get it for you. But while Search Engine Optimization is a very important component of both web development and your overall marketing platform, it cannot stand alone.

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Posted in Branding, Business, Issues, Marketing, Tips, Web Design

Print is Not Dead


Green PrintingThe Green movement is in full swing, and in most ways it’s a very good thing. Marketing hype issues aside, many have worried aloud about the future of the printed word/image. With digital alternatives becoming increasingly pervasive, and former print industry leaders abandoning the page in favor of the screen, what’s to become of our beloved magazines and photo albums?

Luckily, in amongst the world of digital photo frames and web based magazines, the paper industry is taking notice and finally stepping up to the plate. Recycled paper has been around for a while, but as with any buzzword, use of the word ‘recycled’ doesn’t necessarily mean a whole lot. It could be as little as 10% recycled material, added to the fact that the raw materials are such a small part of the whole picture.

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Posted in Business, Collateral, Innovation, Issues, Packaging, Technology, Tips, Trends

Creating Winning Sales Copy


Everyone in business is in the business of sales. You may not be peddling widgets, but we’re all selling something. Like it or not, commerce depends on marketing: a high-pressure, highly competitive field where genuine talent seems to be diluted with morons. I’ve worked with a lot of highly impressive and capable marketing professionals, but I’ve also dealt with too many who fall into the other camp. The fact is, being effective in marketing requires intelligence, an intuitive and intimate understanding of human psychology, and a finely tuned talent for communication.

Personally, I rank selling myself up there with paperwork and taxes. I’d rather be doing actual design work than making a sales pitch. I’d rather be doing just about anything else, for that matter. But success in business demands we master not only our own craft, but also those fields that we depend upon to stay afloat (and prosper). In my case, I’m helped along quite a bit by way of the fact that I also happen to have a university degree in psychology, so I’m able to mesh what I know about design with what I know about people.

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Posted in Business, Marketing, Tips

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