Happy birthday to us!]]>
Strategy, to us, is about devising a plan to help our clients take their product to market. But sometimes it goes even higher than that, it’s a pre-product decision. Our most effective consultancy (on strategy) comes when the product hasn’t been designed yet, let alone the marketing strategy to sell that product.
Let us elaborate.
Our most successful client relationship to date is with a financial services company who came to us with an outline of their business. They knew the sector to which they were going into and they had enlisted a group of stakeholders and investors who liked their idea.
The first job was to work out with this group (of 15+ individuals across 9 businesses) a consensus for what this company was going to ‘be’. Not the obvious ‘be’ of being a financial services provider, but the ‘be’ of culture. What type of business were they going to create. Our work here was about extracting from those individuals what each of them thought in an open forum with their peers, analysing and seeking agreement across all stakeholders to ensure that everyone was on the same page.
Now we knew what kind of a business we were creating the strategy for we could move on to analysing values, developing personality traits; putting in place the brand strategy. What this essential first-step did was give a central reference point for all future business decisions. It afforded them a clear grounding and a clear direction for growth and has helped them define their proposition ever since.
In short, an effective strategy.]]>
Picture the scene: you’ve got a day jammed full of meetings with new and existing clients alike. Your paraplanner and administrator have already left your a stack of post-it notes on your desk asking you for various decisions, and your 10 o’clock (a possible new client) is late. That’s okay because you can deal with those questions and contact your Platforms CRM to release a new fund for another client. But they’re still late.
30 minutes after their appointment time a mid-20s, unshaven man, with several piercings and a tattoo poking out of the top of his v-neck t-shirt arrives at the office to meet you. Already disappointed at their lack of punctuality you begin your usual preamble about your adviser firm when his phone goes off. Quite unexpectedly he takes the call, meanwhile you seethe. You’re already thinking this person is going to be a very bad client; lots of work and probably a small income to invest. You’ll no doubt hand him off to a junior member of staff to handle once you get through this meeting.
We all love to think that we’re intelligent enough not to take people at face value. Not to make assumptions before they’ve opened their mouth, nor to assume the way they dress, or that week-old five o’clock shadow, defines who they are. But subconsciously we do, and then spend the rest of the time fighting those opinions.
It could turn out our gentleman above is a professional footballer with a £200,000 a week salary or heir to a family fortune.
But when it comes to the image of a business you really cannot get away with such a lack of care and attention. For as we judge individuals by their ‘cover’, so too do we judge companies. And when we judge them we are much less forgiving. How many times have you searched online for a product or service, selected the first link and arrived on a website that looked like it was created in Word? Or one with a confusing page layout and unclear descriptions? Your reaction? Close the page and try the second link in your search.
The value of spending due care and attention on your businesses look is, alas, an unquantifiable one. For no two logos should be alike. What works for one business will not work for another, and so on. But the UK Design Council estimates through its research that businesses who invest in design get a 15% return on their investment and that 50% of businesses make their investment back within a year.
When every customer is judging your book by it’s cover, can you afford to cut corners? It could very well be the difference between growth and stagnation.]]>
They’re timed to go out in the post to coincide with PhotoBox’s first ever TV advert in mid-November (in the UK) and we’ll be following that up with a Radio Times promotion too (that we’re also designing).
We can’t wait to let you see the work and will pop it on the site ASAP.]]>
We are thrilled to have designed the cover of the October edition of The Bath Magazine, which showcases the creative genius that exists within the historic walls of Bath today and how it means big business for our city. You can pick up a copy now from the Bath branches of Waitrose, Starbucks and Pret a Manger, and M&S Café plus many other locations in and around Bath.
Hannah Sturgeon turns the spotlight on the creative digital industry here in Bath, which brings in around £183m to the city. You can read the full report, including an interview with our very own Brian Copeland here.
Plus, here is a ‘behind the scenes’ look at the story behind the cover, as featured within the article:
Graphic Clinic, which is based in the heart of Bath in offices at Bartlett Street, believes that design works best when it creates a clear dialogue between brand and customer.
It is run by Brian Copeland, who says: “By knowing who the audience and client are we can actively engage with them. We’re repsonsive to the demands of clients; experienced at listening and understanding their goals and their customers’ needs; and identifying the best solutions to ensure those are met and built upon. We believe all businesses should have access to strategic creative thinking, not just those with the deepest pockets. Which is why we offer our clients brand strategy, management and delivery at an affordable price.
“We have the experience to tailor creative solutions across any channel and actively thrive on working in all of them. From high street banks and international drinks labels to local SMEs, we are adept at giving businesses more than just graphic design.”
Graphic Clinic was founded nine years ago. It has a wide ranging remit, from designing logos and posters to working alongside PR firms on campaigns and to enhance businesses’ search engine optimisation (SEO). The studio has also designed book covers and, of course, worked alongside The Bath Magazine to come up with graphics to illustrate the powerful and largely invisible engine of creativity that lies in the heart of Bath.
This engine of creativity is fed by many sources, with collaborations and partnerships from businesses ranging from one-person outfits working out of their homes, to really big organisations. As you can see from Brian’s two designs – on our cover and on the previous page – creative Bath is fuelled by talent from all kinds of places, including our respected two universities, the museums and galleries, festival makers, programmers and designers.
This book is part of, what we understand to be, a trilogy of books that explores the unseen Scotland of real people.
You can buy a copy from Amazon here for 80p.]]>
Using our illustrated characters we created 3 unique and informative animations that demonstrate to financial advisers how clear and simple their new pricing would be when set in a real-world story.]]>
Or is it?
We were recently asked to produce an eye catching book cover for Kenneth P Stephens collection of short stories set in the undiscovered parts of Scotland. So what else could we do than start researching book cover design in the post-print world.
We were amazed, astounded and apoplexy that so many authors are choosing to cut corners on their cover designs. All that hard work, slogging away at their laptops producing wonderfully crafted word smithery and then they wrap it up in something that they bash out in MS Paint in the final evening before the deadline.
We couldn’t let Kenny suffer that fate so we snuggled down with a decent malt, fired up the iPad, devoured his prose and set to work the following day. The result is above.
We’re looking forward to the arrival of his second collection of short stories and will serve up the creative solution here when it’s published.]]>
Cristina comes to us from Music Glue having spent the last few years working within the music industry helping them grow their offering to artists and venues alike.
If you want to have a chat with Cristina about how Graphic Clinic can help your business grow just drop her a line on 01225 480900 or email her.]]>