How can a small agency compete with the larger agencies?

It’s important to understand the benefits to the client for using a smaller agency over the larger ones. These benefits are great to keep in mind when you meet with potential clients.


Finding the right Design Agency

Finding the right Design Agency

At DesignLab we value and practice forming close partnerships with our clients, so it can be stressful finding the right design agency when you are shopping around. 

In an industry where design agencies seem to pop up overnight, it’s important that you cut through the spin and find out exactly who you’re really dealing with to ensure that the “connection” is right for your needs.

Below we have listed down a number of basic rules to help you find the right partnership.

1. It’s all about relationships.

  • Do you need a quick turnaround or it just could be a a one-off job? Or could it be an on-going service where you need to deal with the same designer often.
  • Do you want to deal with the account manager or are would you prefer dealing directly with the graphic designer?
  • Are you happy with a “Tiger Airways” experience or do you want all the bells and whistles?

The above will play a big part on who will prove the right partner.

2. Budget Range

As the old saying goes “champagne taste on beer money”. If you’re spending $500 on a quick logo then don’t expect it to go far in a bigger agency that has large overheads. But, if you’re a large corporate company it’s not realistic to expect a freelance to have the capacity or experience to work on a project such as yours.

3. Size does matter

Just think your local mechanic doesn’t have the experience or tools to fix a Ferrari, a smaller design agency may not have the experience or staff to deal with a complex work. And as my experience shows I have seen smaller agencies try very hard to convince you otherwise, just beware of silver tongue “yes of course we can”. But if you’re a start-up/small business with a small budget, then a small agency is perfect for you.

4. But experience matters more!

Always ask to see a portfolio and case studies of the agency’s past work. Only then can you decide whether they have a proven track record of customer service and delivery. Look for the type of clients that agency has worked with. Do they have a portfolio of clients in your industry? And do they understand your market and your customers.

5. Client testimonials and references

This doesn’t mean just accepting what you see on the design agencies website, it’s better to see a real sample client list or even better yet call them yourself. You would be amazed what you might learn!

6. Industry Standard

Every industry has some sort of yearly awards, competitions etc. and the graphic design industry is no different. Find out if your agency tries to excel and submit their best work for annual awards. I mean graphic design awards on their wall won’t guarantee the right outcome for you, but it tells you that the agency has at some point proven they have the ability to deliver quality work at the highest level.

Another thing to do is check to see if that design agency is an accredited member of their respective association. If so, are they published on a industry website?

7. Don’t just be led by price

Trust me, the bitter after taste of bad design will long linger after the sweetness of the low price has been forgotten! Amazing design is always worth that bit more – it’s proven to help drive your business, generate sales and persuade customers, also you feel proud seeing it, I mean you have to live with it day by day, so you better love it! The design agencies who hold on their rates are often the busiest and best ones, because they don’t need to discount their prices. Why are they busy? Probably because they’re good at what they do and they know it.

8. Understanding the landscape

Over past ten years the graphic design landscape as a service has changed beyond recognition. Today you can hire an international design agency that you don’t even need to meet. On the other end of the spectrum there are numerous start up freelance designers offering a much more basic level of expertise, but at a very competitive rate. Design agencies come in all shapes and sizes, and most with a range of different services. From your traditional large agency (who are beloved by big brands and the public sector), to a mid-size or boutique agency who’s offering is every bit as good, but which target a different client profile.

9. It’s all about getting results

At its roots, graphic design is not about creating “a pretty picture”, it is an effective communication tool that, in the hands of professionals produces results. This means there should be an agreed objective or a measure of success. Find a partner with an understanding of both the commercial and marketing challenges that face your business, and don’t be tricked on just a design solution to a marketing problem.

10. Finally, it’s all about chemistry

This is important. At DesignLab we are all about chemistry that connects. Go with your gut  and move on to an agency you feel more comfortable with. Remember you are entrusting the face and reputation of your business with this agency, so chemistry is critical.

Talk to DesignLab today about forging a partnership for your business and finding the right design agency!


8 Biggest Branding Mistakes

When branding a new business or existing re-brand can be daunting without the proper knowledge or know-how, so it’s best you avoid our 8 biggest branding mistakes.

How branding adds value to your business

How does branding adds value to your business? A brand is so much more than just your logo. A brand is defined by how and why someone buys a product or service. This can include reputation, promotions, price point, communications and other areas.


Why Consistency Is Important To Successful Branding

Successful Branding is the key to differentiating yourself from your competition, you see if you don’t create a brand promise around the reality that you live up to, your brand promise will be pointless.

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.

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.