Why do a brand audit?

Why do a brand audit?’ is something I constantly have to educate prospective and existing clients. Brand audits help businesses recognise their strengths and weaknesses, they create opportunities for improving, and find ways to help them stay relevant and move forward.

What Is a Brand Identity?

A common mistake most clients make is they think a logo is their brand identity. Branding is so much more than a logo and your stationary or website. A brand identity influences your customers’ experience,  it’s a way to differentiate yourself from your competition.

The Importance Of A Brand Identity Guide

The word “brand” is one of the most overused and misunderstood words in the market place.

Usually, it gets thrown around as metaphor, a label or a descriptor, whether the brand is a entertainer, athlete,  movie franchise or just simply a product. Regardless of the use, the goal of every brand is to induce customers to buy their pitch, and ultimately make a purchase.

But, many businesses often rely too strongly on advertising to do achieve this, failing to realise that there’s more to swaying customers than just a message. The employees, culture, identity and tactics of a business are as important as the advertising message when it comes to creating a winning brand.

So how do you make it all come together? By making sure that there’s more than just a great vision being delivered. Management and employees must be on the same page, and this is by implementing a strategy and creating a strong identity to develop and extend a great brand.

What is a brand identity guide?

Simply put, a brand identity guide is a manual that defines the identity and explains how it should be used, both internally and externally. It helps make a connection between the corporate identity and it’s brand promise, so that all elements connect in a coherent way that resonates with both prospective and existing customers.

What is a brand guide

The brand guideline also has instructions on how all the elements of a brand, business cards, adverts, signage, etc should be used in communication across the board.

It functions as outline for both marketers and designers, helping them to work together to perfect the logo, put together ads that are both striking, and maintain the integrity of the brand across a number of different platforms. It ensures that communication with customers is consistent with it’s values, and that all advertisements will resonate both visually with what you provide to your’e customers.

Branding guides

Once these competencies have been established, they can be expanded on to add a positioning statement, that includes the brand promise, as well as the key reason to use the brand. This should also be wary of the brands vision, and it should include the value proposition, which helps build loyalty.

A Brand Guide’s importance

An important part of all this is the brands personality, which poses the question “who is this brand, and what is it about?” Once this has been identified and expanded, it can be taken back down to a ‘brand mantra’, which is a short, clean way of expressing what the brand represents and what is it’s unique selling proposition.

Intel brand guidelines

This mantra must be unforgettable. Ideally, it should consist of an emotional and/or descriptor modifier. For example, the mantra of Nike is athletic performance / authentic. The simplicity of this mantra makes it stick in the minds of the customers.

Nike Mantra

That simplicity makes it possible to manage the mantra with the brand language that follows, whether it appears in a form of visual or verbal codes. The end result is an unforgettable message about how the company (in this example Nike) differentiates itself from their competitors.

The brand identity guide should contain rules for running a brand. It should speak about what your business achieves, but you should always remember that the brand should be focused on customer needs. In the end, the brand comes from the company, using the principals mentioned above out in the brand guide.

On a different level, the brand guide can also be used for budgeting. Budgeting can be broken down into sections, which can include the time spent creating the brand, along with the cost of designing stationery, signage, printing, etc. It could also include the cost of advertising, PR and the expenses of using a agency.

And finally, a brand guide can also be used to introduce new products or services. These must be consistent with existing brand values because pushing a brand too far can ruin it.

In summary a brand guide is most important to any business, large or small. You must think of it as a operating manual for your business. Without one can ruin your businesses integrity and overall brand value. Speak to us at DesignLab about how we can develop a brand guide for your business.

Social Media Trends to Make Your Brand Stand out in 2016

Are you looking to get tremendous results for your brand through social media this year?

Social media trends 2016

Social media is ever evolving as one of the biggest components for generating business sales and leads. It means that you need to come up with some plans that can stand you out from your competition.

Here is some tips.

Streaming Live Video Plays a Key Role

Video Streaming

Brands need to utilise live video streaming as a prominent option to connect with their customers and attract more customers.

Don’t get too concerned about knowledge because Periscope and Meerkat are apps that will let you do it easily.

Something to consider, consumers always trust a brand that has taken care about their customers and make every possible effort to fulfill their desires. We believe that streaming live video will bring you one stop closer to your targeted audience.

You can also use this option to share stories of your brand.

A Brand that Targets on Real-Time Engagement is Already Ahead

iPhone Engagement

When it comes to social media, consistency plays a major role, especially when people are spending 30% their time on social media.

Because this is a massive competition, if you are not listening to your chances properly, you will not be able to accomplish your targets.

So, keep your audience involved through constant interaction.

Have you ever thought that why giant brands like Coca-Cola or Starbucks are so successful on social media?

It’s simple. These brands are always active on social channels, and engage their audiences through a range of techniques. Such types of brands also respond quite efficiently which is yet another prominent reason behind their success.

So if you are expecting outstanding results from your social media, then get more focused towards real-time engagement.

 Collect Analysis for Decision Making

Data Analysis

Gone are the days when business decisions have been made on a ideal situation. Now with the fast advancement in technology, everything has changed.

If you want to create a social media strategy you have to gather facts and data to make a mature decision.

If you haven’t been collecting data analysis then it’s time for you to take it into consideration.

You don’t need to make any effort because there are plenty of data analysis tools available online.  We use Moz Analytics and SproutSocial.


Brands Should Focus More on Visual Content

Visual Content

Content (in text form) will no longer be enough to attract your customers. You really have to include video for making your content stand out more.

It’s a fact that social media platforms gets updated after every second with unlimited number of posts. So sometimes, it’s not possible for your’e user to read everything they come across.

Most of the times they will only consider reading a post that looks more appealing, and this is where video comes in.

It’s obvious that if you want to boost the visibility of your posts, make your content as appealing as possible through quality visuals.

Check out the following brands, they their audiences will get satisfied through visual content. Kate Spade New York and tHe Horse Footwear.


Customers Are Becoming You’re Ambassador

Customer is the ambassador

Satisfying your’e customer to make them your ambassador of your product is more important these days.

A potential customer usually conducts a research now before making their final decision. For this, they will ask other people about their experiences about your brand.

If you have already established a good relationship with your existing customers, they will certainly tell all their friends about it.

So, it is vital for you to satisfy your existing customers, so that they can become the real ambassadors of your brand.

New Publication Options Will Provide More Opportunities for Brands

Opportunities for Brands

Did you know Facebook has started to roll out a new Instant Article feature. We personally think this feature will be an amazing option for any brands, marketers and publishers and to convey their messages.

We live in such an informative age, which means it has become crucial for any brands to now educate their audience. Instant Article will be an appropriate feature for one of these purposes.

If you are targeting a more mature audience, then try LinkedIn’s new pulse features.

In summary, you now don’t need to miss any opportunity to win your audience, these publication features are quite useful tools that will keep you connected with your audience.


Smart phones Need to be Given Topmost Priority For Marketing

Smart Phone Stats

Browsing on your smart phone is becoming more and more the common way to be on the internet.

Do you know that the number of mobile-only internet users now exceeds desktop-only users?

If you are not using your smart phones correctly, then now is the time to think of it as the most powerful element for building up a social media marketing strategy for your brand.

It the sensible move because the majority of people now use smart phones to spend time using social media.

Because of this you will have to use appropriate size of images that look amazing on a smart phone. You may also have to re-structure your social content strategy accordingly to gain better results.

In Summary

Social media is emerging as one of the most appropriate platform for all types of brands. It is an ever-changing industry that requires you to be updated about the latest trends.


The importance of logo identity


Why is a logo identity so important? Because we mostly choose the products we buy based on their perceived value rather than their real value.

Logos are all around us. Think clothes labels, running shoes, TVs, smart phones, computers. From the moment we wake to the moment we sleep, they’re an ever-present part of our every day routine.

The average person sees 15,000 advertisements, logos, and labels in a day.

Don’t believe it?

To illustrate the constant presence of logos in our lives, I decided to spend the first few minutes of a typical working day looking at all logos on the products I interact with, beginning with my morning alarm. They ranged to Apple logo on my iPhone, Kellogs logo on my cereal box, Channel 9 logo on the TV show I was watching, Toyota logo on my car, school logo entrance at my sons’ school, a variety of logos on shop fronts as I drove to work.

All these logos in only 2 hours from me being up already, that’s just a glimpse into my day, which is not to say that there weren’t plenty of other logos around at the time — on other food products, books and newspapers, billboards and my clothing.

A logoless company is a like a person without a face.

For years, we have needed and desired social identification. Think of a farmer who brands his cattle to mark his ownership, or the stonemason who proudly chisels his trademark.

When you close your eyes and picture McDonald’s, what do you see? Golden arches? For those products and services that have a strong logo identity, it’s the identity that people often think of first, rather than the product itself. Think of Apple, Nike, Coke and BMW. Chances are good that without even showing you their logos, you’d have a fairly good idea how they look. But also be, a huge marketing budget is necessary to achieve the recognition rates of such organisations, but it’s important to “put on your best face.”

So you see logo identity is vital to any business that wishes to succeed and be remembered. Can you really out a price on that?

Call Spiros at DesignLab to discuss how we can help better your logo identity.

Pricing Logo Design


Every graphic designer ask the age-old question…. “How much should I charge my clients for logo design?”. So if you don’t know what your skills are worth, rest assured you’re not alone. I still wonder whether we are doing ourselves justice with the rates we have set, and I’ve been in charge of my business for what seems like a very long time.

There is a great quote I use with new clients which reads ‘It took me a few seconds to draw it, but it took me 34 years to learn how to draw it in a few seconds’. This sums it all up so nicely. As an experienced designer you may be quick, but it has taken years of practice to get to that point.

You can’t be expected to price a design project without first understanding the needs of your client. I just don’t know how some designers can advertise a list of predetermined prices for x amount of concepts with x rounds of revisions, they are attempting to commoditize a profession that by definition can’t be commoditized.

Every client is different, so every design project will be also.
It makes no sense to me to pigeonhole your client into a specific price bracket. What works for one will not work for another, and your time profit a big hit when you limit yourself to a set range and attract clients on the basis of price alone.

The pricing formula

Pricing logo design is far from an exact science formula, and even when you think you’ve covered every  factor possible for determining your costs, another one will crop up and force you to recalculate. It’s important to consider what affects the amount you quote, and how you can ensure you actually make a profit.

Print costs

A logo design is likely to contain a range of print design, such as business cards, letterheads, or a  brochure, and it is difficult to determine how and what to charge your client for providing this service.

Designers normally charge a markup on the total print costs when they handle this service for the client. This is their way of recouping the time and effort spent liaising with the print company. There’s no industry standard percentage, but somewhere between a 15 and 20 percent markup is a good starting point.

My advice is to advise clients to deal directly with a printer locally. This helps clients in two ways: They save money that is otherwise spent on my markup, and they build a business relationship with someone local, which can save a significant amount of money on future print runs. And if your clients take the time to ask a printer how to make the most of the money they plan to spend on their printing project, they likely will be surprised at the advice and help the printer delivers.

Level of expertise

Only you know how much your skills are worth, and this value is the result of your experience in dealing with clients. I frequently ask myself if I’m charging too much or charging
too little, and I reckon every other designer does too. But the main goal is to make sure you’re compensated for the level of experience and education;  the overheads for your office space, equipment, electricity and heating, etc; and the expenses you will incur as a result of working through the design project with your client (travel costs, your time, etc).

Quick turnaround times

If a client is under pressure to have a job completed within a tight time frame, then you need to consider applying a “rush job” markup. Accepting the request means that you, too, will be under increased pressure to get the job done, and might result in a rescheduling of your existing projects. I recommend a markup of 20 percent to 50 percent, depending on the urgency of the deadline and the client.

Additional services

When a client needs a new website to go along with their logo, consider it a wonderful opportunity, even if such a service falls outside your skill set. It’s situations like these that allow you to provide that extra level of service and support that is most useful to your client.

Down payments

It is essential that you receive a down payment prior to commencing work—especially when dealing with a client with whom you have no prior relationship. If you don’t get one, it’s easy to be taken for a ride.

I made a mistake of falling into this trap in my early days of being in business. I once worked with a client with whom I had an understanding that full payment would be made after I sent final artwork. I supplied my client with the designs, but almost immediately after, my client contact evaporated, and I was left with nothing.

I would recommend at leat 25 – 50% deposit. This is not unreasonable to ask, and it quite common practice in business.

The money exchange

After having worked with overseas clients for some time, I began to wonder about fluctuations in exchange rates, and whether I should factor these into my initial quotes. It’s worth considering, because there might be a sudden dip in the exchange rate before you receive full payment, potentially leaving you out of pocket.


Good Business Card Design Adelaide

Good business card design Adelaide is so important to your brand. Your business card can be considered one of the most important marketing tools you can have for your brand and business. You are giving you’re contact information to potential customers. In order for the business card to do its job, it has to be professional, memorable and attractive.

It is very important for your business card to be attractive and memorable. Think that some people receive hundreds of business cards and they rarely remember any of them. Making your business card memorable is and should important.

Some mandatories we advise all our clients are your logo must be simple and symbolic to your business services and the industry that is associated with. Having your website and email address is a must these days. Customers will be searching for a website where to look for information about your business and for an email if they want to contact you. If you’re missing these, you better keep the cards to yourself, cause handing them to people would be pointless.

What people appreciate more than anything else in a business card is it’s quality. Your brand is reflected by your business card, and if you have one with a good paper quality and print finish, the first impression of a possible client will be far better than from a regular business card.

In short business cards will never go away. They remain an effective tool for building networks and keeping in contact with clients.


The business cards showcased below are a really good example of how to make your card stand out.

Speak to Spiros at DesignLab if you want to take your business card to the next level and really stand out.


business-card-design-adelaide-1 business-card-design-adelaide-2 business-card-design-adelaide-5 business-card-design-adelaide-4 business-card-design-adelaide-3 business-card-design-adelaide-9 business-card-design-adelaide-8 business-card-design-adelaide-7 business-card-design-adelaide-6