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How do you like your eggs in the morning?

Having recently completed a recipe book called 100 High Protein Breakfasts,  I now feel qualified to offer an extensive range of egg choices in the morning!

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the third recipe book that we have designed for Louise Kang, the High Protein Cook, each one getting larger and more extensive.

One of the many joys of being a designer is to work with a client whose business is growing, and to feel a part of that growth, it is so very rewarding and makes the process even more enjoyable.

Louise is on an exciting journey and is very business savvy with great energy and drive, both good and necessary attributes, and of course the recipes are fab too!

highproteincook.com

 

At the end of 2016

As the year limps towards the end, I believe many people will be glad to see the back of it for all the global turmoil and the disappointing news at home.

We finished off our year with a couple of delightful projects, and being positive we are looking forward to 2017.

We created a shopping magazine for Archerfield Links that kicked off the Christmas spirit in November, then added some delicious food with a recipe book filled with Sweet Treats for the High Protein Cook.

Best wishes for the Festive holiday period and a peaceful and prosperous
New Year.

sweet-treats-cover sweet-treats-spread2

sweet-treats-spread

ah-christmas-magazine-cover_web ah-christmas-mag-spread_web

 

 

http://www.archerfieldgolfclub.com/christmas-at-archerfield

https://www.facebook.com/highproteincook/

Walking Festival Case Study

Background

Early in 2016 the Scottish Borders town of Coldstream announced that it would host the 22nd Scottish Borders Walking Festival during the first week of September.

The Festival was organised by a team of experienced walkers and local community members, but there was no one on board with a marketing background.

I felt that the Festival offered Coldstream a good opportunity to market itself to an audience that would appreciate what Coldstream has to offer, with the potential of return visits. I offered my services to develop a promotional plan for the event.

Actions and Results

The first step was to draw up a marketing plan outlining the importance of communicating the event both internally and externally. I felt it was key to get the local community as engaged as possible with the event, especially the retailers and hospitality venues, spelling out the advantages of a well attended and supported event.

The plan was based on what could be achieved with absolute minimum expenditure, within the resources available.

  • Local retailers were leafleted with information and requests to ‘dress their windows’ with a walking theme. They were then reminded of this nearer the event and many of the retailers responded by creating window displays.
  • A promotional flyer was created to support the main brochure, the flyer was aimed at a more local audience. As was a local advert.
  • A social media campaign was undertaken with the existing Twitter and Facebook accounts taken over and developed extensively, the followers and engagement in both cases massively increased. A small ad campaign ran on Facebook that pushed the followers to over 500.
  • For the walkers I organised a gift bag to be handed over as they registered, supplied by a local business, Bordefields Rapeseed Oil,  along with their product samples as a form of sponsorship. The gift bag also included a specially created information flyer listing the shops and local restaurants, as well as a specially designed Coldstream postcard, a festival T-shirt and key ring.
  • During the Festival I uploaded images daily to Facebook and asked for walkers to post their pictures, there was great engagement and lots of positive comments.

walking-festival-1-_web

Outcomes

The target for walk bookings was 500 and the Festival achieved over 600. The local community engaged and supported the events. The organisers were praised for running a very enjoyable event, and the visitors commented on the great atmosphere.

The money raised by hosting the event exceeded the expected amount and goes directly to benefit the Coldstream community.

 

 

Tasty Work

Hi Protein Cookbook

One of the enjoyable things about designing this recipe book, both in print and as an eBook for Louise Kang, The High Protein Cook, was trying out the recipes. I really recommend checking out the High Protein Cook’s website as there are lots of easy to follow, very tasty recipes, complete with videos. It does not matter if you are following a high protein diet or not, they taste great.

We love the Butter Chicken recipe in this house.

http://highproteincook.com/2016/05/25/butter-chicken/

 

Not standing still

Most businesses know that to stand still is to go backwards, and in marketing especially, reinvention is an on-going necessity. Marketing messages need to remain relevant to both old and new audiences. And those audiences are constantly changing ones.

Businesses need to learn to promote their brands through new channels without alienating their existing audiences.

Charities face the difficulty of managing such change whilst remaining relevant. Large national charities have marketing expertise and professional fundraisers to work with but smaller charities seldom have that luxury. Yet move forward and adapt they must.

Recognising that this skill is not available in house is one thing, investing in developing it is another. A charity committed to fundraising, must not rely on luck to secure funds or obtain large donations from rich people. They must see the activity as a key part of their business and must treat it as an integral part of the infrastructure.

One such charity is Muirfield Riding Therapy, a charity close to my heart as I started out there as a hands on helper many years ago. I have watched this admirable charity grow and develop and never stand still. The decision was taken to rebrand many years ago, using the word ‘Therapy’ in the title, despite some spirited opposition. The vision of the rebrand was to broaden their appeal and their ability to raise funds. I assisted with the re-brand and developed brand guidelines to ensure clear communication with everyone involved.

Recently Muirfield Riding Therapy has invested in a new campaign, including a campaign logo, the objective of which is to develop the social media marketing, in addition to broadening its appeal, especially to the younger audience. Although using new channels, the traditional routes have not been forgotten. Sub-campaigns have been planned and the charity has worked with specialists to develop and target these campaigns. The website has undergone a ‘refresh’ to reflect these changes.

Muirfield Riding Therapy is a charity that many businesses could learn a thing or two from: engaging, inclusive, good communicators and compassionate. And never standing still.

www.muirfield.org.uk

 

Jamie Oliver and David Loftus: the joy of partnerships

We’ve written in the past about long-term working relationships between agencies and clients, but on Instagram the other day I saw a post that made me think about it further.

David Loftus, the photographer, has been working closely with Jamie Oliver for some 18 years. It seems to me, from the outside, that they have built a very successful, mutually beneficial relationship. Jamie has enjoyed huge success and his beautifully photographed and designed cookbooks have assisted in that. David Loftus has no doubt gained new clients from the huge circulation of those books.

So I am guessing here that they have forged a great partnership, working closely through what can be at times, strained situations involving food and travel, and so can forgive each other the occasional bad days and mishaps and keep focussed on the end product.

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For us too, the best end result comes from a strong partnership. Having the confidence to be open and honest, and fully committing to, and enjoying the creative process.

Long-term partnerships don’t have to become stale; often they can produce better and better results. And like any good relationship, decisions can be made faster and easier when both parties fully understand each other, and communicate properly.

Without doubt, ‘a recipe for success’.

http://www.jamieoliver.com/

www.davidloftus.com/

 

Mind the Gap

Screen Shot 2016-05-18 at 21.32.38

One thing about being a designer is that you never fully switch off from closely observing brand identities, packaging, menu designs, website, signage, and every kind of typography. And of course any display, exhibition and interior as well.

Which of course means basically everything that is communicating a message around us, all of the time. Fortunately the observation is sometimes almost subliminal and you let it go, other times you get that old ‘wish I’d done that’ feeling and then other times it just jars, badly.

One of the latter experiences was recently when we were at a hotel on holiday, and the gap between a brand identity and the actual proposition was huge. Normally when we stay at hotels I have a quick peek at the website if I wasn’t the one that booked it. This time I hadn’t had time to look at anything to do with this particular hotel in advance.

As we approached the area I was a bit dismayed, as although it was in a good location for what we needed, the town was quite unappealing and the exterior underwhelming.

The hotel brand was old fashioned, fussy and gave the impression of a typical small town, rather run down, older establishment.

Therefore I was completely surprised when we walked in to a bright, white, spacious and contemporary interior, with an open outlook embracing stunning views of the sea.

The entire hotel had been thoughtfully and carefully designed, in a minimal, yet comfortable way. Cool interiors with interesting furniture and well thought out bedrooms. The exact opposite of the overly fussy brand identity, staring up at me from the lift carpet.

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Of course, better that the hotel was smarter than the brand identity, rather than the other way around, but considering the owners had paid such close attention to detail it was sad that they had got the visual identity so wrong.

I was itching to start designing, but then again I was on holiday – did that really matter?

http://www.hotelmiramarestabia.it/index.php

 

 

Any publicity is good publicity?

On the eve of the Cheltenham Festival this week, retired Champion jockey Tony McCoy and a retired racehorse were paraded dressed in Harris Tweed as a publicity stunt sponsored by William Hill.

Both looked rather uncomfortable and the poor horse looked simply ridiculous.

A fashion designer had created the outfits, and apparently it took Ms Sandham-King and her team of seamstresses and tailors, four weeks to create the suit using more than 18m (59ft) of tweed.

In my opinion, the result did nothing to enhance Harris Tweed’s image or boost the reputation of the fashion designer. I fail to see how this comic outfit could generate anything other than a snigger, which may be OK for William Hill but not for Harris Tweed. One wonders if Harris Tweed agreed to this or was it outwith their control?

The cap with holes cut out for the ears makes me question if a fashion designer had really been involved. If so, the creative talents weren’t stretched very far at all.

Tony McCoy and Harris Tweed horse

Thoroughbred horses are elegant creatures and the use of Tweed on these majestic animals could have been used to much greater effect, unless it was William Hill’s intention to draw attention to themselves by simply ridiculing them.

Harris Tweed is undergoing a huge revival according to Ms Sandham-King, and this stunt would attract attention at an event attended by what would arguably be seen as its target audience. However I would be surprised if either the die hard racing fans who wear Tweed suits, or the potential new audience would see this as an inspiring example.

Yes, it got news coverage, but was it good news?
William Hill may not be bothered that they have ridden rough shod over a quality brand as long as it got media space.

How can retailers still be surprised at the growth of online sales?

As retailers post their Christmas sales results once again, there has been a further trend towards online shopping. What seems strange about this is that some retailers were still surprised by it, and others have not fully embraced the online market.

‘John Lewis Managing Director Andy Street admitted to the BBC on Wednesday, that the retailer had been surprised at the speed of the shift from shops to online this Christmas’.

The whole online retail experience has matured and the associated delivery businesses have really got their act together. Think how quickly we’ve become used to overnight delivery and become impatient if items take 3 or 4 days to arrive. The great development is in the communication of these delivery companies. Nowadays there is very rarely the issue of having to wait in all day with no idea of a delivery time.

With more people working from home these days, sitting in front of screens all day, online shopping is the natural environment. With many high streets becoming the predictable line of anonymous, bland, big retail brands, it is no wonder that people are drawn to the often niche, quirky and unusual offers online. Location is no barrier, so international retail offers are accessible as are the major London shops such as Selfridges and Fortnum & Mason.

But of course we need to be careful what we wish for, as retailers stretch their budgets to create more and more tempting online experiences, the physical store experience may suffer, and as selfish shoppers, we want the best of everything.

There is much talk about reviving high streets and this takes hard work and innovation to compete against the juggernaut that is online, but by retailers working together along side enlightened town councils, there is hope. The Scottish Borders has actually seen an increase in footfall in some of its towns which is encouraging and all down to investment and hard work.

There is no escaping it.

http://news.markets/shares/john-lewis-sales-figures-highlight-the-accelerating-shift-to-online-shopping-7763/

http://www.itv.com/news/border/2016-01-05/study-finds-rise-in-footfall-across-border-towns/

What a Collection

We recently completed a leaflet to promote the shopping available around the estate at Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire.

Apart from a tempting array of retail offerings, Gleneagles has created a fabulous range of travel accessories, named The Gleneagles Collection. Each item is beautifully crafted and subtly branded with the famous Gleneagles crest. As you would expect from a brand with such impeccable standards, these items reflect the heritage and quality perfectly. This is a really good example of a natural brand extension.

Gleneagles Retail Therapy Leaflet

We are thrilled to continue our long association with Gleneagles Hotel – working with such an iconic brand is so rewarding.