3 things all excellent aged care brands do

Branding is everything when it comes to selling aged care. Families simply want their loved one to go to a facility that will take exceptional care of them, treat them with dignity and provide them with quality of life. When people shop for aged care, they’re not only looking for a good price, they’re looking for human connections – nurses who smile, amenities like home, as well as an environment of laughter and friendship. Strong aged care brands understand this, not only offering exceptional care, but communicating it in a meaningful way. Here are three signs of an excellent aged care brand:

1.They’re unique

Many aged care providers struggle to stand out in such a competitive industry. Often this is because they’re trying to be it all, for example, “a luxury facility at a low price with excellent care and quality of life”. While it can be tempting to try and corner the entire market, this approach rarely works. A strong aged care brand finds its niche – its unique selling point – and focuses only on this. What does it stand for? What does the organisation value most? An excellent brand will always avoid using things like quality of care or accommodation as unique selling points – these are merely standard expectations for the industry. Instead, it will focus on an area where it truly stands out against the pack, for example, it’s community, the diversity of its residents or the specific location. Remember, it’s the unique brands that have the strongest voices, so always dare to be different.

2.They’re consistent

The aged care industry is constantly changing, which is why it can be tempting to shift your brand offering to accommodate new market demands as they arise. While being agile to change is important, a strong brand never changes its essence or its core offering. While moulding your brand entirely every time there’s a shift in the market can work in the short term, it can destroy brand reputation in the long term. After all, there’s nothing worse than a company that doesn’t keep its promises. Remember, excellent brands dictate market activity – they’re not dictated by it. Your brand identity is one of your most valuable commodities, so stand your ground and remain true to your values no matter what happens.

3.They build community

An exceptional aged care brand doesn’t just care for its residents, but also the wider community. It utilises digital channels to keep residents’ families in the loop – not just to drive traffic to its website. Strong brands avoid the mistake of using digital communications for advertising. Instead, they offer meaningful information that loved ones and future residents will want to read. They understand that adding value is essential, offering up some of their aged care expertise to their networks. For example, providing healthcare advice, telling residents’ stories or keeping the wider community informed about what’s going on at the facility. Strong aged care brands understand that providing something worth reading helps to develop a stronger voice, and they do this wherever possible, going above and beyond the competition.

The team at Merryn Bourne Creative specialise in marketing for the Aged Care sector. We solve business problems, providing organisations with the right approach to engage clients and deliver the bottom-line results they’re looking for. Whether you need to review your current marketing or start afresh, we will write and implement the strategy to increase your brand reputation, market attractiveness and the overall velocity of your sales. For more information, contact us today.

How to make the most of your marketing data

Getting access to your marketing data is simple, but the hard part is figuring out how to use it. For example, how do you combine all your data streams – your website, social media pages and sales information – to understand the big picture? Data is abundant in today’s day and age and it can be extremely overwhelming. As a result, many organisations shy away from the stats, but this is a huge mistake. Research shows companies that turn their data into insights are far better at identifying threats or opportunities, leading to much faster performance and more growth. Here are five simple ways to make the most of your marketing data:

1.Define your goal

What do you want to achieve with your future marketing campaigns? Whether you want to corner a new segment of the market, build a stronger brand community among your current clients or introduce a new product, clearly defining your goal is the first step. When you know what you want to achieve from your marketing, making sense of your data becomes far less daunting. By having a clear question in place, you cut out all the useless information and keep only the most relevant, which is why a goal-oriented approach is key.

2.Build your framework

Now that you’ve got your goals set out, the only information you need to consider are the bits that answer your question. Rank your data by how well it answers this question and how directly it relates to your intended goal. With the most important data at the top, you’ll then need to segment your data into separate groups. For example, if your goal is to increase your sales within a specific market sector, you’ll need to pull apart all the information you have about that sector, the different kinds of customers you serve and their purchasing habits for this target market. It’s this process of segmenting and filtering where you start to draw insights from the information, so always be thorough during this step.

3.Bring insights to life

With your insights in front of you, you can now profile your customer – how and why they purchase products, their interests and how they spend their time. Don’t stop here though – getting stuck on single insights can cause you to lose sight of your goals. Put yourself into your customers’ shoes. Don’t think of your customer numerically, but rather, think of them as human: who are they? what are their interests? What frustrates them? What makes them tick? Data best achieves your goal when its used to tell a meaningful story, not when it’s a bunch of numbers on a database. This is why viewing your target market on a personal level is so important.

Having the right data will allow you to think beyond the curve. You’ll be able to make business decisions with more confidence, sending you leaps ahead of the competition. Merryn Bourne Creative can help you turn your data into marketing intelligence. We solve business problems, providing organisations with the right approach to engage audiences and deliver the bottom-line results they’re looking for. Whether you need to review your current marketing or start afresh, we will write and implement the strategy to increase your brand reputation, market attractiveness and the overall velocity of your sales. For more detailed information, contact us today.


How to engage customers – eight essential writing tips for businesses


Nothing screams ‘unprofessional’ like poorly written marketing material. From typoos, to confusing sentences and unnecessarily Capitalised Words, writing mistakes can be ugly. Companies need to write correctly – but they also need to write well if they want to build a valuable and trusted brand. Here are eight tips for smoother, simpler and more effective business writing:

Be persuasive, not pushy

Companies that write to be helpful and show they really care about their product or service have better persuasive power than those that are too pushy. People tend to block out anything that’s too salesy, so your writing should show your customers your worth, not tell them.

Get straight to the point

Less is more. When your writing is simple, clear and concise, customers are far more likely to read and engage with it. Make sure you only say what’s totally necessary to get your point across – anything more becomes waffle.

Be accurate

Consumers are savvy, hard to impress and even harder to fool. This means businesses that use incorrect facts, figures or statistics will get caught out. To protect your credibility, it’s essential to strive for accuracy 100 per cent of the time.

Be authentic

Your business should have a strong voice that aligns with your target consumers. To build a solid relationship with customers, this voice also needs to be consistent across all communications touch points.

Be thorough

Your writing should answer your consumer’s main questions immediately, in their order of importance. Don’t beat around the bush – if you give customers the information they need, they’ll do more business with you.

Be human

Trusted brands don’t only write content to sell products, they write to build personality. Consumers are far less likely to engage with boring mechanical writing and are far more likely to connect with content that appeals to them on a deeper, human level.

Use tools

There are a variety of tools out there beyond Microsoft Word’s spellchecker that can help you improve your writing. For example; Grammarly provides extra proof reading and spelling advice (even on social media), Hemmingway Editor evaluates the simplicity and clarity of sentences, while Evernote can help you manage your time more effectively.

Proof read everything

Check, double check and triple check your work. Even the most well-written communications sound cheap when they’re rife with spelling and grammar errors.

Need help developing a written voice that motivates and excites? Merryn Bourne Creative can work closely with your brand to improve communications, connect with consumers and generate real sales results. For more detailed information, contact us today.

brand- our tech branding takeaways-fish-tank-creative

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.


email opt ins the do's and don'ts

Email Opt-ins the do’s and don’ts

email opt ins the do's and don'ts

With more than 200 million emails being sent out every minute of the day, it’s safe to say email is still a heavily used communication platform for consumers, brands and marketers alike.

But this isn’t the only piece of evidence which proves it’s too soon to contemplate the demise of email marketing. 59 per cent of B2B marketers say email is the most effective channel for generating revenue.


So, how can your business optimise its email opt-in rates?

For email campaigns to be successful, it’s essential your business works at engaging and attracting subscribers. However, building a lengthy subscription list can be challenging, especially given the inevitability that customers are likely to unsubscribe down the track.

That’s why, businesses need to implement marketing strategies that’ll maximise their opt-ins so they can not only keep subscribers active, but also invite new subscribers in to grow their list.

But, before you kick start utilising email opt-ins, it’s important to understand what your customer behaviour is like. For instance, you could track their social insights and be aware of their entire profile to make sure your email messaging is relevant and targeted.

Need some useful tips?

Here at Fish Tank Creative, we’ve compiled what we think to be some of the best practices for businesses when it comes to optimising their email opt-ins:

  • Identify your audience’s preferences and deliver a form that actually helps your customers through the signup process
  • Provide your audience with an opt-in offer that is specific, valuable and easy to understand
  • Keep the form simple
  • If you want to include animation or add interactive elements, make sure they don’t distract
  • Keep the copy clean and attractive
  • Make it easy to close the opt-in form
  • Keep the form optimised for mobile users in terms of its size, button placement and content
  • Make sure your form is placed in the right eye-path to attract conversion
  • Test a few opt-in forms and see which one works best for you
  • Make sure your opt-in forms carry your brand personality

We want your brand to stand out from the crowd. It’s important when you come to designing and implementing your email opt-ins, that you make smart choices so your business is standing out for all the right (and not the wrong) reasons.  

So, if you want to make an effective sign-up form, this is what you should avoid when making an effective sign-up form:

  • Too many mandatory fields

Capturing information is good, but a lot of information makes visitors sceptical about how it will be utilised. Limit your form to a few fields, you can always use surveys to find out the rest.

  • Improper sizing for on-the-go subscribers

It’s recommended when it comes to designing your opt-in form that you keep mobile visitors in mind. Improper sizing will jeopardise your user getting a great experience.

  • Problems exiting the form while viewing

Some opt-in forms are so bulky that they occupy the entire screen, while others are small to see where to exit them.

Note: If you design your pop-up so that it does cover the main content of your page you’ll put your business at risk of being dropped down in Google’s search rankings. This could potentially hinder your site’s reach, and in turn, the overall success of your business. To avoid Google penalties, your business needs to ensure users have a positive browsing experience on portable devices.

For more information on how you can create beautiful email opt-ins as part of your business’s overall marketing strategy, please get in contact with us.



Is it time for a rebrand?


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 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 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.


Uplift your EDM open rate with A/B testing


Want to improve the effectiveness of your website’s marketing efforts, but unsure how to evaluate whether the changes will be successful or not?

The solution to your problem is A/B testing.

A/B testing involves running an experiment between two web designs (A and B). By comparing the two versions against each other, you’re able to determine- via statistical evidence – which web page performs or converts the best.

From this, you’re able to gain an insight into the behaviour of the visitors accessing your web page and adjust your website accordingly to maximise conversion rates.

Not only does A/B testing help you understand the impact you’re making, but it also gives you a much fuller understanding about your customers’ behaviour and preferences.

Starting point:

Once you have determined your goal – perhaps to increase conversion rates, reduce bounce rates or increase sales – you then need to decide what it is you wish to test on your landing page.

What can you test?

A/B testing can look at anything on your website that affects visitor behaviour.

However, try focus on aspects which are most likely to have a large impact. For instance;

  • Headlines
  • Call to Action text
  • Call to Action Button
  • Any graphics used in direct correlation to sales efforts

By focusing on the aspects which have the greatest impact on your customers, you’re less likely to get caught up on minute details which may only have a minimal impact.

How A/B testing works:

In an A/B test, you take a web page and modify it to create a second version of the same page. This change can be as simple as a single headline or button, or be a complete redesign of a page.

This leads to half of your traffic being diverted through the original version of the page (known as the control, or A) and the other half through the modified version of the page (the variation, of B).

Visitors are then served either the control or variation, and their engagement with each is measured, collected and analysed through a statistical engine. As a result, you are able to determine whether changes made to the web page had an impact on visitor behaviour – positive, negative, or no effect at all.  


The benefits of using an A/B test:

A well planned A/B test can help improve your bottom line by allowing you to better understand what works and what doesn’t. This means when it comes to deciding what marketing strategies to use, decisions can be made quicker with a result that’s guaranteed to be effective as the evidence found from the A/B tests will help you better understand what your customers are responding to.  

A/B Testing process:

When running an A/B testing experiment, you should treat the process in a scientific manner.

  1. Study your website data
  2. Observe user behaviour
  3. Construct a hypothesis
  4. Test your hypothesis
  5. Analyse test data and draw conclusions
  6. Report results to all concerned

For more information or guidance on A/B testing, please contact us on 02 8399 2223 or email us.



How to optimise your marketing funnel to generate sales


The concept of a marketing funnel can be used to visualise the journey that consumers take from the initial point of contact with your brand to the eventual decision to purchase. Most people engaged by initial marketing efforts won’t go on to make a purchase – they’ll get trapped around edges of the funnel at some point, restricting them from making their way through. Only a small number of consumers will make it through the narrow part at the bottom of the funnel, after they’ve made a purchase.

The good news is that focusing on certain stages of the customer’s journey can give your customers the push they need to glide straight through. Here are the phases your customers will travel through on a successful funnel journey:

Attracting awareness
An optimised marketing funnel will have a wide entry point, effectively capturing the awareness of greater numbers of customers –the more customers that know about your brand, the better chance they’ll have of buying your product. To do this, you’ll need to make Search Engine Optimisation your best friend, getting very familiar with the tactics used to increase your search rankings – the higher your organic ranking, the more clicks you will get and the more exposure consumers will have to your brand. The key words used in blog content can positively affect SEO, while opening the brand to referral traffic. Combine these efforts and you’ll be leading customers to your virtual doorstep in no time!

Generating leads through interest
Once the consumer knows who a brand is, capturing their interest right away is essential for them to move onto the next phase of the funnel. Make sure your website is clear about your offering, what differentiates you from the rest and why consumers should be interested in what you have to offer them. At this stage, customers who aren’t interested will drop off pretty quickly, leaving behind the interested ones as potential leads for the business.

It’s important to remember that just having an interested customer is not enough – they’ll need to be transformed into a lead, or physical sales contact before they can make it through to the next phase. This is where a lead-optimised website is just as important to the customers’ journey as aesthetic design, function or even content. So, how do you turn your website into a lead generating machine?

  • Give customers lots of options to contact your business via phone, email or social media – a loud but also tasteful call to action.
  • Content, content, content! Create engaging, helpful and consistent blog posts that show you know really know what you’re talking about. This will make users want to sign up for your newsletter. Boom! Lead generated.

Positive evaluation of the brand and product
Consumers will shop around a little bit more before making their decision about your brand, its campaigns, social media, case studies, content marketing, email and newsletters. It’s here that consumers weigh up all the products in their consideration set and make a decision based on perceived value and quality. At this point, if they have any doubts about your brand, the customer will get stuck in the funnel and probably decide to go with someone else. If they like the personality of your brand, not just for the price or specifications of your product, you’ll have a loyal customer on your hands. They’ll glide straight through your funnel.

At this point, your customer needs to commit – whether that’s signing a contract or getting out their credit card. It’s essential to make the purchase decision as easy and pain-free as possible here, otherwise they’ll put off their purchase decision and risk getting stuck at the end of your funnel. This is where sales efforts, like trials and demonstrations come in, to make your product or service seem irresistible to the point where they have to have it, immediately.

Success! The consumer finally makes it through the marketing funnel and the sale has been finalised.

We can optimise your marketing funnel, contact us today.

web security header-01

Web Security – WordPress

web security header-01

99% of computer users are vulnerable to software vulnerabilities. Hackers use out of date versions of software including WordPress and WordPress plugins to access your data.

What is at risk when your websites not secure? Through a compromised website thieves can access your personal information, your clients information and a hacked website also leads to a blacklisting from Google, meaning your site won’t come up on any Google search listing.
So if all this can happen because you are not maintaining your website whats the point of having one? You’re not selling anything, all you have is basic website, you don’t really need it, right?
 Wrong. As we talked about in our post ‘Why Your Brand Needs a Website‘ a website, even a basic one can make a huge difference for a small company.

 Websites will:

  • Lend your company credibility. This is particularly important if you area home based business with no physical store front.
  • Save you time and money. Having all of your businesses information available online means you can spend less time answering
    questions and more time doing your job.
  • Keep your customers up to date with your latest products and projects.
  • Allow your brand to be accessed 24/7 from anywhere in the world.

 Web Security 101

With all this in mind, we have put together some simple steps you can take to make your WordPress site more secure, whether you are a tech wizard or a self proclaimed luddite.
Strong passwords

I know it sounds simple but it’s the first step, and can make a big difference!
 Avoid phrases or words or important dates. A password generators a great help with this, just remember to save it somewhere secure!

Limit your logins.

By limiting your login in attempts to 3 or using a 2 step verification system you can prevent brute force attacks which spam your login in page with passwords.  Visit ‘Two Step Authentication‘ to find out how.

Keep track of dash board activity.
Keeping a log of all the users and what actions they take on your dashboard will allow you to retrace your steps to where the point of breakage occurred.

Keep your site and computer up to date.

Keep up to date with the newest versions of WordPress, your themes and plugins. This also applies to keeping your computer and internet security software updated.
 Updates will fix any vulnerabilities and bugs.

Download your themes and plugins from a secure source.

Sure a free version of your favourite theme may sound promising but unsecured themes and plugins can contain malicious code that will make your website vulnerable to attacks.
A website is a great asset for your business, but like any investment it needs constant maintenance and care.