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How print marketing can complement your digital strategy

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Many say that the days of print marketing are coming to an end, but we don’t believe this. After all, similar predictions were made after radio and TV were introduced and print survived both of these. In fact, many are unaware that the statistics are looking pretty good for print at the moment, with some even saying it’s being reborn: sales of e-books having slumped, magazines still in circulation, 3D printers being all the rage and sales of polaroid cameras steadily rising again. And while there’s no denying the fact that digital strategies are often the most practical, efficient and even cost-effective at times, there is definitely scope for print marketing to survive and remain relevant, even as our world becomes more and more digital.

What does print do best?

While digital media is unparalleled when it comes to providing data intelligence, targeting specific individuals and reaching the largest numbers, print clearly provides something unique, otherwise it would probably be obsolete by now. Here are some of the main areas where it has been known to out-perform digital:

Emotional connections

Studies show that people are more likely to have strong emotions toward something that’s real and tangible than something made out of pixels. Ever heard someone say they love the smell of books? These kinds of genuine sentimental connections are really unique to print.

Creating memories

Experts have found that our brains are better at retaining information from print than they are from digital sources. This is probably because print is far more physically immersive – you’re turning the page with your hands and feeling the intricate details of the paper. On the other hand, the routine action of scrolling, clicking and typing is so instinctive to most of us, that we often forget we’re doing it.

Standing out

Because consumers are so used to digital noise, they’re highly desensitised, often blocking out anything they deem to be advertising, whether that’s mentally or through an ad-blocker. Print on the other hand, is less saturated in this way. Without digital limits in place, it can catch eyes in unique and unexpected ways.

So, what’s the best way to use print in 2017?

We’re certainly not saying that it’s a good idea to rip down your socials, deactivate your website or slash your SEO budget. But having some print integrated into your marketing efforts may just broaden your reach and draw in some new business. Here are some of the top ways companies are using print to complement their digital strategies:

Variable printing

Not a whole lot of print material is personalised, despite the mass of data we have on our clients from all our intelligence. Variable printing is now better quality, more affordable and customisable than ever, allowing you to combine the personalisation of digital marketing and the immersive elements of print.

Business cards

If someone has your business card, the chances are you’ve probably met them in person. A tangible keepsake from your meeting will always be a great way to put you in your customers’ front of mind, especially as more and more communications become digital.

Finishing touches

Being able to add unique finishes to your print communications is now more affordable, customisable and accessible than ever before. Small touches can make a big difference, offering new opportunities to expand your brand image with new style, depth and character.

Here are some tips to help you make the most of your print communications:

 Be you

Your print communications shouldn’t differ too much from your digital material, so it’s necessary to ensure your style, content and energy remains consistent with your unique brand personality.

 Segway to web

Just because you’re using print, don’t forget to refer customers to your digital platforms. Always save space for email, web address and social handles to ensure you’re accessible as possible to your customers.

Triple check your work

Unlike web content, print mistakes can be very costly and time-consuming to mend. You should double ensure your content is proof-read, edited and thoroughly reviewed before it goes to print.

Need some help adding flair to your branding? Merryn Bourne Creative works closely with brands to develop unique integrated marketing communications strategies with a range of digital and physical touchpoints. For more information, contact us today.

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How you can grow sales by building a stronger brand community

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Here are some tips we’ve accumulated to help you strengthen your brand community:

Create meaningful content

Many organisations produce content solely for advertising purposes, but this often comes at the detriment of building a community. People tend to block out advertising material, or anything they deem to have too strong of a sales push. On the other hand, if your content is engaging, helpful and shows you really care about your product or service, your customers are far more likely to follow you, regularly interact with your material and even share it with their friends. If you’re unsure whether your content is adding value, simply ask: ‘If I were a customer, would I be truly interested in viewing this?’ If the answer is no, it’s probably time to reconsider the kind of material you’re producing.

Know your audience

We live in an era of personalisation. It’s essential to customise your communications to ensure individuals only see the information they’ll be interested in. If the option is available, why not tailor your message to specific individuals to ensure they get the most out of your communications? You can segment customers into groups that would benefit from a unique offering – for example, location, sector, purchase history, browsing habits or gender by reviewing the analytics data you already have about them. By feeling like your message has been tailored specifically to them, studies show that customers are much more likely to engage with you and become a part of your brand community.

Always be authentic

No longer do brands have to look authentic, but they also have to be authentic. Today’s socially conscious and tech-savvy consumers expect the brands they endorse to be honest, transparent, deliver on their promises and to remain true to their identities. They are far more likely to join brand communities that speak to human experiences, appear passionate about what they believe in and are willing to accept their faults. On the other hand, if these expectations aren’t met, criticism can spread like wildfire across social networks, devastating your credibility and making it near impossible to build a strong community. Remember, your credibility is one of your most valuable commodities, so use it wisely.

Cabrini: A case study in Aged Care

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When it comes to Aged Care, having a strong brand community doesn’t just benefit sales, but can significantly enhance quality of life for elderly people, which makes this extra important. Last year, Cabrini Care approached Fish Tank Creative to develop a multi-channelled communications strategy. By focusing on open and nurturing communications, our approach enabled closer communication between families, residents and staff. Here are some of the features we introduced to help build a stronger brand community for Cabrini:

A brand awareness campaign
Fish Tank Creative engaged the local community with a campaign of beautifully designed newsletters, articles, photography, blogs and Facebook posts. Not only did these provide important information and updates about day to day happenings, but they also emphasised the warm spirit of Cabrini, offering a glimpse into moments of happiness, laughter and joy.

Website redevelopment
We introduced a host of new, interactive web features to better engage families and members of the community. These included:

  • A monthly events calendar that updates in real time, helping keep families in the loop about activities during the month.
  • The “message a resident” feature, which allows users to send a personalised message or greeting to any resident, helping make their day.
  • An online booking channel, offering families the opportunity to book out the family dining space for special quality time with their loved one.

Information on the website and search engines has also been redeveloped for user-friendliness, ensuring the community has the best possible access to information.

As a result of this new approach, Cabrini says it now enjoys improved communication of important information and activities. But beyond this, the changes have also led to a more vibrant, open and engaged community, helping bring residents, staff and families closer than ever before.

Need help building a stronger brand community? Merryn Bourne Creative can work closely with your unique brand to develop an integrated marketing communication strategy. For more information, contact us today.

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Our tech branding takeaways

brand- our tech branding takeaways-fish-tank-creativeTechnology companies all want to be the next big thing. Their products often seek to meet needs that consumers don’t yet know they have. But a great idea is only the starting place: to stand out from the competition, they also have to show they’re competent and capable of running a sustainable business.

A brand is a brand is a brand. And then, there are technology brands.

While other industries face new competitors, technology companies face disruptors – companies that completely alter the competitive landscape – game changers. It’s a matter of survival. Technology companies that embrace their brand will elevate their value in the market and better position themselves for long-term success.

In a fast-changing industry full of fiercely competitive players, reliability is key. So it’s no wonder that blue—which appears in 61% of logos from the top technology companies— is chosen as a staple color. What is compatible with cool blue? Clean white. It appears in over 40% of industry-leading logos.

Google, Facebook & microsoft brand logos

Google, Facebook & Microsoft brand logos

Technology is all about innovation but, when it comes to colours, entrepreneurs shouldn’t be afraid to think outside the blue and white box.

 

NCIS Group brand Logo 2017

NCIS Group brand logo 2017

  • Modern
  • Masculine
  • Innovative
  • Different
  • Cutting edge
  • Freshness
  • Refreshment
  • Nature
  • Growth

Green is a dynamic, sustainable colour. NCIS wanted to be seen as different. It wanted to stand out from the other tech companies. We chose this colour for NCIS’ logo because it’s seen as modern and innovative, whilst also conveying sophistication and business acumen.

NCIS wanted it’s brand personality trait to be unique, bold and different from all the other tech company logos. And, their logo design has had a huge effect on how consumers have viewed their brand.

Different colours can say different things about your brand, and will appeal to different customers. So where should you start? Let’s break it down:

  1. Determine your brand’s personality.
  2. Explore colour psychology
  3. Analyse your competition

We can help you dig in to the data and psychology behind logo colour choices, and discover how colour is crucial to your customers, their choices, and ultimately your business.

It’s time you use colour to position your brand for success.

 

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Is it time for a rebrand?

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No matter how much you love your brand, there will come a time when you will need to change things up.

Your target market may grow uninterested, you may develop a questionable reputation, or new competitors may be putting pressure on you forcing you to mix up your business tactics.  

When you are faced with these challenges, there are only two options; you can stay with the branding strategy that got you stuck in this sticky-mess, or you can rebrand your business, turn it into something new and start the process of rebuilding.

Rebranding a business’s goals, message and culture is hard, especially if your brand has market status – is well known or successful.  And although many have tried to grow their brand, most have failed.

To be successful, a brand requires more than just a revamped logo. It demands a vision that inspires customers, investors, and others to transfer what they valued about the old and be continued on with the new. This way loyalty will remain regardless of your new identity.

It’s important to remember when rebranding that you should not to deviate too far from the core values you held and built into your business at the beginning of your journey. Dramatic brand changes could result in your audience losing sight in the business they had previously related to.  So, why do businesses engage in a brand overhaul?

There are a number of reasons why businesses rebrand their brand;

    • Competitors
    • Potential for growth
    • Keep up with the times/ staying relevant
    • The desire to target a new audience
    • Your business is merging with another
  • Damaged reputation

To nail rebranding it all comes down to smart, well-researched angles, savvy marketing and better quality control.

Learn more on how your brand could be the new #watchthisspace

We’ve discovered some businesses who experiment with their branding. In an attempt to find new ways to revive their brands these brands succeeded. We believe their brands have not only continued down the same successful road, but have also been made stronger.

Apple

Apple has possibly one of the best rebranding stories of our era. In the early-to-mid-1990s Apple came dangerously close to bankruptcy. The brand didn’t stand for much, and certainly didn’t stand out, until Steve Jobs took over the company and changed everything from the look to the product and the series of strong marketing and advertising campaigns.  

Burberry

Burberry is a fantastic example of how a brand can change its image with a few simple marketing tweaks. Just a couple decades ago, Burberry was suffering from a bad reputation, being associated as gang wear. In 2001, a new creative director, Christopher Bailey, took over and started introducing new products like swimwear and trench coats that were unaffiliated with previous images of the brand. Celebrity endorsements from Emma Watson and Kate Moss helped cement the new image of Burberry, and now the company is a major luxury brand, touted as a symbol of high class and wealth.

Regardless of the motives, these companies recognised the need to implement a comprehensive rebranding strategy to take their businesses to the next level.

Rebranding isn’t simple, and it can’t be done overnight. Instead, you’ll need to dive deep into your company and your target demographics; why, exactly, is your current brand failing? Is there a way to recover with your current audience, or do you need to target a new audience? What’s the best way to reach this new audience? What are the best marketing channels, ideas, and images to associate with yourself? There’s no right answer to these questions, and the possibilities can be intimidating, but in any case, if your current brand isn’t working—it needs to change.

Is your business interested in engaged in a rebranding strategy? Merryn Bourne Creative will work closely with you to help your brand succeed. For more information, please get in contact with us.

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With a consumer driven Aged Care market – you need to be visible.

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Australians are living longer and healthier lives and it is important that as people age, they have a choice about their care. These new government reforms are driving innovation and growth in the Aged Care sector.

In 3 weeks, home care packages will change to give your clients more choice about their care and who delivers it, in compliance with the 2015-16 Budget. Consumers will be able to choose a provider that best meets their needs, so get ready. People will be researching for their best fit, are you visible to your target audience?

How is your customer service? Are you keeping your clients happy? It will be easier for your consumers to change providers if they wish, for example, if they move to another area to live. If they make a change, the funding for their package will follow them to their new choice of provider.

The choice will be theirs if they are not happy they can change. Home care packages will be assigned to people based on their individual needs and circumstances. This will make sure people receive care in a way that is fairer and more consistent around the country. Be prepared for change.

As an Aged Care service provider, do you have strong messaging around how you improve peoples lives? Are you activating this campaign as part of your overall integrated communication plan? We can help you drive results in your market.

Merryn Bourne Creative can help you develop an integrated communication plan, suited to your unique Aged Care service. For more information, please contact us.

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How to boost your retention rate with customer aftercare

aftercare-blog-headerA Harvard study has found that a five per cent improvement in customer retention can lead to up to an 85 per cent increase in profits. This is proof that the relationship you have with your existing customers is important to your overall business. A company with poor retention is like a bucket with a hole in it – you can keep filling it up, but it will continue to leak until you patch it up.

The key to retaining customers is to treat your relationship with them like you would a friendship. Keep it personal, stay in contact and remember to say thank you. You’ll soon notice customers stick around for the long term. Here’s how to build this friendship with customers:

Say thank you after each purchase.

Sending a customer a humble ‘thank you’ email after they’ve made a purchase is a great way to keep the dialogue open and flowing. It also gives them a chance to provide valuable feedback on your service. This communication should let the customer know that you’re still here for them and that they haven’t been forgotten once they’ve made a purchase. While you can use this space to up-sell, cross-sell or to capture data, its more important to show the customer that you value their business, their feedback and their time. 

Keep in touch.  

Studies show that strong engagement between a business and its customers will result in higher overall retention and profit rates in the long term. This means that its important to take advantage of your mailing list of existing customers by creating engaging, helpful and consistent content that will be of interest to them. Not only will you experience less customers unsubscribing from your communications as time passes, but truly engaging your customers contributes to higher brand recognition and likeability.

Make it personal.

We live in an era of personalisation, which means its essential to make use of the data you have already have about your customers. A good way to personalise your messages is to segment customers into the groups you believe will benefit from a unique offering or proposition. Dependent on your product or service, segments could be based on anything from location, to age, gender, industry, or past purchases. By feeling like your message has been tailored specifically to them, studies show that customers are much more likely to engage with what you have to say, which could direct them to make repeat purchases.

Don’t come on too strong.

It’s hard for customers to feel genuinely valued in today’s world. They’re met with a never-ending barrage of marketing material each day in everything they do – from browsing online, to watching TV, checking their emails or even walking down the street. As a consequence, they tend to block out anything they deem too much of a sales push. By maintaining a genuine relationship, sharing useful information with them and keeping things personal, you can help stick out above competition.

Merryn Bourne Creative can help you develop a customer aftercare plan suited to your unique business. For more information, contact us.

CBC Group Responsive Wordpress Website

CBC Group responsive website

Merryn Bourne Creative and Concession Planning worked closely with the facilities management group, CBC GROUP to redesign their company website.

They now have a beautiful responsive CMS site with strong branding throughout. The new platform also features an interactive safety induction that allows for required sub contractors to complete an easy online questionnaire and agreement, which in turn cuts the internal admin processes for CBC Group.

For the potential client searching online, company statistics as infogrpahics show success in their sector in a snapshot, and gives the viewer a simple path to all core services, and required information.

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