How much should we spend on corporate rebrand

We are frequently asked what the cost of rebranding an existing business should be.
In fact we’re often asked this question before we even get the opportunity to sit down with the business stakeholders and learn more about their business objectives.
It’s understandable that for many businesses, a rebrand will be a daunting prospect and unless they have done it before how do you place a value of the service.

As a business owner, would you like a one price fits all scenario.  For example, if all the business owner wants is a new logo, what should that cost.  However rebranding is more than a new logo and if that is the only expectation from both sides, it really isn’t a rebranding project in the first place.

It’s not possible to offer a one-stop fits all price for rebranding project.  Every business is different, their challenges are not identical and the business opportunities vary greatly.
If you are rebranding because there is an opportunity to be first to market with a new product or service that has a massive potential upside, you would want to spend a great deal more time (and hence money) on the making sure you get it right.

A very rough guideline for B2B companies is first of all determine what their annual spend is for marketing.   

As a general rule, a company generating $1,000,000 might set aside 7% for marketing expenses.    ($70,000 for the maths challenged among us).
Marketing expenses might be made up of

  • general marketing collateral,
  • social media and content,
  • staff wages & training and
  • market research.

So, if we expect to spend $70k every year on marketing, what might we be expected to spend to create or re-define a brand  (recognising that both exercises differ from one another.)
I rough guide would be double your typical annual marketing spent, but let’s round it down in this instance to 10% of annual revenue.
Which would give us an extremely rough guide of $100k

What would the $100k spend be made up of?

  • Market & Competitor research
  • Brand Audit & Strategy
  • Logos, names & taglines
  • Brand Identity
  • Corporate and/or product stationary
  • Keywords & Content
  • Website & Social Media
  • Photography & Video
  • Marketing Collateral
  • Style Guide
  • Launch

Questions to consider before building your website.

1) What do you want to the website to do for you?
Other than getting new customers what else do you want your website to do for you?

Do you want to save time and make it easier for customers to access information?  As such, should you include FAQ and downloadable resources.  It is to capture email accounts so you can market to them, as such do you need to integrate with Mailchimp or other email newsletter services.

Without actually knowing what you want your website to do for you, how can a developer offer a solution?  
Should you expect to be asked these questions.  I think so.

2) Should the web designer spend time learning about your business?Designing a website requires a lot of time upfront getting to know your business.  Getting to understand your target customers, their buying patterns, your competition, how you are different and/or better than your competition, and hence understanding your essential. 

 

3) How good is the web designer’s communication?
When choosing a web designer, you need to have a rapport.  You have to feel comfortable with them, feel like you can be critical and that they are committed to achieving your goals.   There are a lot of good designers around who simply can’t take criticism or are uncomfortable talking to business owners one on one.

4) Is the web developer able to generate traffic to the website.
It goes without saying that you need traffic to your website and get results online, so it is essential that you make sure the web designer you use has the SEO skills needed to draw traffic and convert that traffic to enquiries.ne.

 

5) Does the web designer know how to build a responsive website?
Google is penalises websites that aren’t mobile-friendly. So making sure your web designer creates your website with responsive design is absolutely necessary.

10) How much should it cost?
Price shouldn’t be the main determining factor when looking for a web designer. You can expect to pay for what you get. Good web design takes time, and that’s what you pay for – their time.  Cheap websites are cheap for a reason.  They look ok, but have not been designed for your purpose.  The cost increases significantly when you think of the opportunity cost.  You only paid $500 for your website, but it gets no enquiries, so it’s actually costing you thousands of dollars every month.

 

 

 

How to choose a domain name

There are a number of elements to consider when it comes to selecting a domain name for your business.

Your business name
Its probably quite obvious, but if you’re creating a business website you should consider reserving your business name.   In some cases this is easy because the name is made up of one word such as ‘aurtra’ or ‘tetraq’.

In other instances, it’s not so straightforward, such as when there are multiple words involved such as ‘dusitbrookwater’ or ‘petejarvis’.  In this instance you could separate the words with a hyphen, but you really need to consider if the visitor is inconvenienced by having to type the hyphen.  (is pete-jarvis better than petejarvis)

And then there are instances where the name of your business might be just too long ‘paddington chiropractors’ or ‘auto carburetors’, which we shorted for convenience sake to ‘paddingtonchiro’ and ‘autocarbs’.

In all the cases above, our goal is to reflect the brand, keep it short and to make it memorable.

Should it be a .com or a .com.au
If your business is solely Australian it is far better to choose a .com.au domain name.  Google is more likely to index your business for Australian searches if the domain name reflects the fact it is based in Australia

You need to bear in mind that you need an ABN to register a .com.au domain name and that there is a minimal 2 year period for booking such names.

You don’t have to have a .com.au name, in fact you might choose a .com name if you want to attract customers from outside Australia.

Check for Trademarks
You’ve checked for availability and you’re established that your preferred domain name is available.  You should still consider if it’s legitimate for you to use the name.

For example, if your business name is “Sidyney Olympics’ you might want to check if that name infringes upon the “Sydney Olympics Games” before you book the domain name ‘sidneyolympics.com.au’

Keywords in the name
Keywords in a domain name can help make it memorable for people and for search engines.   Google says it doesn’t place importance on domain names that match keywords, but anecdotally it doesn’t seem to hurt and the anchor text you get from people linking to your domain can help.

There are lots of other things to consider, but this list will really help.
Call us and let us help you choose your domain name.

 

Why redesign a website

Redesigning a website can be a daunting task.  On a business’s list of priorities, the scale of the project can lead to procrastination and business stagnation.  Perhaps updating your business website is genuinely not a priority, but if you’re not sure, here are a few reasons to contemplate.

Your company had recently rebranding, perhaps servicing a new market that has different expectations when communicating it with.

Your website is outdated and features images, fonts or layouts that once worked but are no longer in vogue with your audience.

Internet browsers have improved vastly in recent years both in terms of speed and supported features.  Your site is not taking advantage of these improvements.

Your website is not responsive.  With 50% of traffic to websites coming from mobile devices, your website is not meeting audience expectation.

So what should I think about?
Well before jumping headlong into a redesign project, you should be mindful of your business landscape.  Ask yourself the following questions

What is good/bad about our current website.  Are we changing for the sake of changes or are there issues that must be addressed in order for our company to succeed.

Check out your Google Analytics account and make sure you know what pages have been particularly popular or unpopular  You don’t want to break something that is working.

Take a peek at your competitor’s websites.    There are tools out there that will tell you what their most popular pages are and can help you identify what you can do better.

Talk to customers.  Ask them what they want or need in order to do more business with you.

Why we don’t offer standard prices

Lots of companies publish the price and breakdown of their website design/development packages.
You’ve seen them before, Gold, Silver & Bronze packages, $500, $2,000, $5,000.

This can be reassuring for customers for whom price is the most important component of the job.  These clients feel comfortable knowing what they have to pay upfront, even if they have very little idea of what they actually need for their individual business.

But this model only really effective for the designer if there is a fixed number of design concepts, fixed number of pages and images.  If the numbers aren’t fixed the point between profit for designer and expectation of the customer can be very strained.
But what happens if the customer wants social media integration or search engine optimisation.  Who pays for that, the designer as an ‘expected’ feature of a package or the customer who must put their hand back into their pocket.

In our industry, we can’t offer fixed price solutions because all projects differ.  We can assume all projects will have a common fixed base of requirements, homepage, 5 content pages, 8 images, a contact form, but what else might be required.  What happens to the client who requires 200 pages and images.   How about if the client wants contact emails to be saved to a database or integrated into Mailchimp.  And of course what about the customer who wants ten revisions of pages because detailed requirements weren’t extracted early on.

Companies who offer fixed priced packages fall into a few categories. 
Those who are new to the industry and don’t know how to price their work.  These groups often find they have under priced their projects and it affects their ability to deliver the quality solution their customer expects.
Another work exclusively around free design templates for WordPress.  For this group ‘close enough is good enough’.  This mentality might be due to the fact they need to make a  profit on cheap packages or because they don’t know how to do any better.

Bear in mind, you don’t go to a doctor and expect a fixed price outlook to your condition nor can you expect a plumber to give you a set price on a job they haven’t worked on yet.

We fully understand how comfortable it is for clients to know how much they can expect to pay for a project before they start.  We are also aware that we are the experienced party in the exchange and we are expected to be able to let customers know as early as possible in the initial conversation what we expect the final price to be.
To give a realistic price requires understanding what the customer needs, what their ultimate objective is and what price we need to offer the solution at so we can make a profit.

Give us a call, let us explain it in more details.

Review of latest free web safe Google fonts

Until recently web designers font choices were limited to a  small group of web safe fonts. These fonts didn’t pixelate or blur when displayed on monitors and worked consistently all the major browsers.  Adventurous web designers resorted to using Flash to use non-web safe fonts or spent a lot of money and development time utilising specialty font services.

Thankfully as internet browsers evolved, support for an incredible array of fonts become available.  Services such as ‘font squirrel’ enabled designers to create convert purchased into web-ready fonts which could be imported to the website and used (with caution) and a bit of coding knowledge.

With over 680 font families to choose from, Google Fonts library has so many fonts there is really no need for the overwhelming majority of web designers to ever purchase another font.  The font library is continously being upgraded, with a keen eye on the latest font trends.

Here is a look a some of the more interesting recent additions.

Maven Pro
This Sans Serif free font improved with geometric shapes. It exudes an image of modernity, stylishness, and elegance. With three ultra light weights, the extensive glyph coverage makes it ideal for most projects.

Lato
One of my favourites, its clean lines, style and versatility allow it to work for display and smaller text and includes different weights, making it an ideal family for larger projects.

Stalemate
There’s nothing like a simple script to bring attention to the text and this typeface does that masterfully. Unlike some other script options, Stalemate is highly readable (particularly at bigger sizes) and has a gender-neutral feel, so that you can use it for almost any project.

Ubuntu
If you’re working on a project that has multi-language requirements, this family includes a full palette of open source options from a sans serif to condensed to monospaced options that is usable in more than 200 languages. 

League Gothic
This traditional font has all the clean lines that work with today’s flat and material design styles.  When it comes to display options, this typeface is hard to beat. It has nice thick strokes, a tall x-height and highly readable style that works exceptionally well in a variety of uses. 

 

Conclusion
There are so many free font options available to web designers that there are real dangers of applying the wrong font for your purposes.
Fonts should reflect the documented branding strategy for your small business.
Why are you using it ?
What doe it do for you ?
Call us today and let us advise you on the font select that suits your objective.

Redesigning logos the right way

Examples of corporate logos that were redesigned in the last year

These companies take branding extremely seriously.  The understand the importance of perception of their brand and individual product.  It takes a lot of effort to successfully develop a brand and there are many reasons my companies might decide to change their logo.  However, just for something to do is definitely not one of them.

Here are a three reasons to change an established logo.

  • The company’s reputation and image has been damaged.
    The most immediate example that comes to mind is BP after the oil spill, but there are tonnes of examples.
  • The company has moved into a new market space.
    The phone company Nokia has transitioned many times, from paper milling to rubber plantations, the logo has evolved accordingly.
  • It’s hard to reproduce it
    Apples original logo was a rainbow coloured symbol, but the company found it hard to reproduce on various surfaces, so the single colour version was adopted.

Examples of changes this year

Guinness – the nectar of the Gods
You can bet the designers had to reign themselves back on this a few times.  The challenge here might have been creating something new and staying true to the established look. But by moving away from the trend of flat designs they’ve created a contemporary logo that reflects the brand’s history.

Guinness
Blue Lily Studios – Branding logos – Guinness

Gumtree – who hasn’t used it once ?
The logo re-brand was part of a website overhaul.   The core principals for the designers to consider were: modern, simple and digital. 
The new logo clearly meets it’s objective of being a clear, simple brand image that cultivates an online community.

Gumtree
Blue Lily Studios – Branding logos – Gumtree
Kodak
Blue Lily Studios – Branding logos – Kodak

Kodak
If ever a company had a need to re-brand themselves it’s Kodak.  On the heels of a previously not too successful attempt at re-branding, we thing this one nails it.
It maintains the red and yellow colour scheme, but adds a new typeface and layout.  The intention is to represent the perforations on the edges of old film stock.  –  Hats off to the designer.