The difference between Traditional and Digital Marketing

There are many various mediums and platforms your business can use to advertise and succesfully market.

These platforms can be categorised under two main forms of marketing- Traditional Marketing or Digital Marketing. Once you have a clear understanding between traditional and digital channels and the purpose they each serve, you’ll be able to use each channel to accomplish your goals.

Therefore, we have teamed up with digital marketing agency Red-Fern to show you several techniques you can use for your business.

Why both private and public schools need to invest in marketing and creative design?

Let’s start by explaining what school marketing actually is.

School marketing is defined as the means by which the school actively communicates and promotes its purpose, values and products to the pupils, parents, staff and the wider community’.

Where a large amount of businesses do realise the importance of marketing, it is also this area that sees the most cuts when delegating financial funds; marketing can be considered as a lesser priority so it is common for schools in particular overlook their marketing when dividing up their budget.

However, if it is true that marketing and design are less important ingredients to thriving business, ask yourself – why do private schools need to bother investing in it? If a private school can effectively articulate its purpose and values without marketing and creative design, is there a need for it at all?

Firstly, let’s talk about what happens when minimal financial resources are devoted to the art and science of marketing a school. It’s true that the school might save itself the time and effort of creating a marketing strategy, but without it, this short-term satisfaction can become a long-term problem – as a result of no marketing, you may find your school undergoing a downwards spiral in exposure, and most importantly, a decline in enrolment figures.

We understand the huge undertaking of a marketing strategy may initially intimidate public schools: after all, private schools already have the longevity of foundations built from strong heritage and pre-established branding to pave their way to success. Teachers might even feel that their positions there are ‘cheapened’ in treating the school as an opportunity for marketing – however, by not investing in marketing, this means that your school could be reliant on communities, parents, and word of mouth to tell a story that you have the power to tell yourself

By changing your mind-set on marketing and by addressing the challenges of competition, recruitment/retention and tighter budgets, you could actually give yourself the ability to really take care of your brand. By hiring a specialist in this field, you are able to trust in how your school will be perceived. This professional will not only understand how to regulate your branding, but can also tell your school story, emphasise your values, and portray exactly what makes your school unique.

Investing in marketing does not mean that your school will be harassing or imposing upon prospective pupils and their parents in order to increase enrolment figures – in fact, it actually means that your school can connect with them more easily, through shared values and by behaving as an aid in the difficult process of choosing the right school.

The extensive selection of public and private schools can make it even more difficult to stand out and ‘win over’ prospective pupils and their parents. Private schools in particular can no longer rely on their legacy alone to outrank competition (after all, there are also the education fees to consider), but by using marketing as their skeleton key to success, private schools can secure those all-important relationships and connections with their target audience. So why shouldn’t all institutes not aim for this effect, regardless of public or private education? It could make all the difference.

But how can you stand out? In order to keep up to date with competitive schools, we suggest that you manufacture a strong brand alongside your respectable school heritage. Here are a range of cost-effective ways that you can help your private school invest in print and design which can increase your school’s enrolment figures.

Investing in a powerful prospectus

Think about your current marketing material and prospectus. Does it invite you to pick it up? If you had a pile of prospectuses under your arm, would yours make the final cut?

Or would it not even get a second glance?

56% of consumers state that print advertising is still the most trustworthy type of marketing and that readers engage more with a printed prospectus.  According to Forbes magazine, consumers are spending 20-30% longer reading text as opposed to an online alternative. This means you have 20-30% more time to really engage with that consumer and show them exactly what makes your school different.

For many years, we have specialised in offering an extensive service to the educational sector. This has resulted with us now working with a large amount of private and public schools within the UK. This cohesive partnership with the education industry has allowed us the ability to provide expert marketing, design and print advice.

Your school would be offered a tailored, bespoke package and advice to enable you to be noticed, trusted and engaged with by the right audience.

Maintaining an engaging modern school brand

Although your private school may have well-respected heritage, would you say that is reflected in your branding? Whilst we are aware that there are many elements to why students and parents choose certain schools, we are also aware that a school’s brand and marketing plays a massive part in this decision.

Therefore, it is crucial that your branding and marketing material reflect your school’s values, background and history, as this is your way of standing out from the competition.

The capabilities we have at Media Village make it easy for us to produce your educational materials.

We can make sure your brand is successful and meets the public at every point of contact, including external signage, websites, prospectuses, letterheads, social media, logo design and much more.

Marketing as storytelling

Storytelling through branding is more important today than ever before; with the average person viewing 100,000 digital words every single day, a refreshing narrative behind a brand can really stand out. Famous brands like Coca Cola and Marks & Spencer have been using the art of storytelling to their advantage for years now, and to great success.

We have proudly worked closely with Westholme School for many years, and the relationships we have established helps us to deliver their story in exactly the right way, to exactly the right audience. Our cohesive relationship with Westholme guarantees that we are working together and remain united in the pursuit of a common goal.

One of the main aims at Westholme School is to support each child in fulfilling their full, individual potential; the journey of a Westholme pupil, from 3 months old to age 18, is a unique story in itself… and one in which the school has invested its all. Therefore, we have created marketing materials in various forms that inspire and motivate pupils to succeed, with choice wording such as ‘flourish, cherish’.

Investing in professional photography to showcase your talents

Photography and eye-catching visual content generate more engagement and attention online; as we are a very visual society, it is the perfect way to communicate. With millions of images being posted on the web daily, your school’s need to be the ones to stand out against the rest.

With this in mind, the type of image you choose to illustrate your school’s name and reputation has the potential to attract new customers or instantly turn them away. We always think about the relationship between your content, your imagery, your school brand, its narrative and your target audience before we even press a button on the camera.

We offer as much time as needed at your location to enable us to really capture the perspective of school life. However, we always consider the information we have gathered and the main objectives of your marketing when taking pictures. Therefore, if your school aims to focus on extra curriculum activities, then we would tailor the photographs to portray this.

Making the most of your open day opportunities

Vast amounts of potential pupils, their parents and family members visit your school on one appointed day. You would be crazy not to make the most of it!

So, it’s time to shout about what makes you unique – show off your branding and make your school open day more memorable than any other. You can do this by investing in open day banners, roller banners that showcase your school’s impressive achievements, and any other effective marketing materials that will help your day be a huge success.

(We can also offer you all of these services in-house).

Marketing your school effectively allows you to learn how to position yourself successfully within the education market compared to your competition. It uses your unique attributes to communicate to the market, boost your reputation – and drive applications and enrolment figures.

Finally, by investing in marketing, design and print, schools can develop a better understanding of its current parents’ needs and underlying motives for sending their child to their school, as well as interesting the types of parents the school is not currently attracting so that you can determine target segments for future marketing communications.

 

You can see more of what we have done with other schools here

Download our free guide to a powerful prospectus HERE

New year, New goals

5 top tips to make sure your business starts on the right foot this year.

1.Refocus your brand

January is a popular time for companies to reflect on their current position, review their performance and take a look at their company image; however, we can get carried away in January and want to take on everything at once. Although this may be tempting to try, you should always invest in support when it comes to unfamiliar areas. Whether you are considering a refresh or a whole new rebrand, the new year is the best time to start focusing your time on new goals.

First of all, we advise conducting a brand health check before confirming how you would like to move forward. This will help you think about all the elements behind your brand image and reflect on their success in the previous year. These results can then help you decide whether a refresh or a rebrand is the right decision for you. Booking a free consultation with one of our graphic designers will allow you to sit and chat casually (over a cup of coffee) about your brand’s future. We can conduct a brand health check for you and, with our branding expertise and knowledge, advise you on the best way to move forward and work together to achieve your success. Additionally, we can start to think about how to give your brand substance and enhance the added value behind it. This can be done by designing printed material, producing marketing collateral that addresses your brand values, and working on a consistent brand image. All of the services mentioned are, of course, something that we offer and can help you achieve this year.

 

Last year saw several rebrands: from the extreme, which included name changes and unrecognisable logos, to more subtle facelifts that help breathe new life into a brand.Firstly, Uber announced a full rebrand in September last year, shifting to a new, simpler logo, just “Uber” in a custom sans-serif font.

Secondly, Weight Watchers, or as it is known now WW, also debuted its new logo, branding and name in September last year. The brand’s new tagline, “Wellness that Works” is intended to represent the brand’s renewed focus: health, fitness and feeling your best, rather than losing weight.

Finally, Debenhams the department store revealed a brand new identity – this was one of 2018’s biggest rebrands. Debenhams had used its previous identity since 1999 but the dynamic new look aims to show how much it has progressed since then.

To learn more about where to start with your branding, you could take a peek at our ‘10 Brand Elements and What They Mean’ blog HERE or ‘Brand Guidelines: What Are They and Why Do I Need Them?’ blog HERE.

brand focus

2.Tell your story this year

Storytelling is an effective and powerful technique that builds relationships – it doesn’t matter if you’re a small business or a huge enterprise, a brand story gives volume to your voice. From a scientific perspective, stories are designed to create emotions. We love them because they prompt chemical reactions in our minds that help us to feel pleasure, empathy and interest. For example, a story about a small business that made it to the top makes you naturally want to root for them.

However, we understand that every business is different; some companies are naturally more entertaining and interesting than others. But, if there is a market for your business, then storytelling to your targeted audience is always a way to make your content more engaging, whether it’s the content on your website that shows the background of your company or the content that you post on your social media channels. We can help make your branding consistent, engaging, and tell your story through effective platforms that suit your target audience’s needs.

For example, if your target audience prefer to engage with printed material, we can design and print leaflets, business cards and brochures that tell your story consistently. Our website details a list of print and creative marketing services we offer. Click HERE to view them all.

To further support how important we believe brand storytelling is, we published a blog on our website titled, ‘Your Story Starts Here’. Click HERE to read more and discover the advantages an effective brand story could have for your company.

brand storytelling

3.Promote and build new connections

New year, new faces, and new connections – networking can be an effective key to business growth and success. Attending networking events in 2019 may seem to be a daunting challenge, but consumers buy from brands that build relationships with them – we can provide you with all the essential tools you need to be prepared and organised for networking, such as; printed brochures, business cards, and leaflets to hand out to your new connections.

Our sales reps would encourage people to start networking to expand their reach, get recognised and enjoy the benefits of growing your business through recommendations. We all know that in business it is a great feeling being recommended by somebody, or even just receiving a positive review. These two things give us a sense of pride and achievement that our hard work is paying off – comparing this to networking; you are surrounded by a group of people that make it their mission to recommend you. Additionally, by regularly attending networking events, this helps get your face known in the community, providing you with a great source of connections that can really open the door to talking to highly influential people in the future.

If you would like to learn more about networking click HERE, to read our ‘Power of Networking’ blog.

networking

4.Focus on updating your online presence.

If you are not making the most of your social media, you’re missing out on a fast, inexpensive and effective way of reaching almost half the world’s population. Furthermore, social media can help you humanise your brand and build real life connections with your customers. This adds value and trust to your company image and highlights how your customers are benefitting from your brand. As well as building connections with customers and potential customers, social media can also be a great platform for sharing your knowledge and expertise. For example, if you specialise in ‘education branding’, then you can share statistics, insights, articles and much more that show your expertise in this area and attract attention.

Additionally, social media posts and ads are key ways to drive traffic to your website. Sharing great content from your blog or website to your social channels is a great way to get readers as soon as you publish a new post.

Take a look at our social media accounts here:

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

Linkedin

If you are interested in focusing on your social media presence this year, then please do get in touch using the contact form HERE

5. Plan and choose realistic goals

Did you accomplish all the goals you set for 2018? Did you underperform in some key areas? Are you hoping to do better in 2019?

Everyone wants to set big goals for their business and a new year is a great time to reflect and create new goals. Everybody wants to double their revenue over the next six months, hire 10+ new employees to help them reach new heights. It’s ok to set aspiring goals, but in return you need to be realistic when doing so.

Therefore, if one of your goals this year is to focus on your branding and marketing more, then we can help you set and achieve realistic goals that help you succeed. Following a brand health check, free design consultation, and basically a good old chat, we can offer our solutions and services for you to meet your 2019 goals.

To get started, download our free design guide HERE

And finally: what are you waiting for?

Let’s start today to achieve your business goals.

Fill in our contact form by clicking HERE, use the ref: BLOG in the subject title

networking | blog

And finally, what are you waiting for?

Let’s start today to achieve your business goals.

Branding Insights

10 branding elements and what they mean.

If you’ve never thought about branding before, you may not be aware that there are ten different brand elements to think about. So, let’s start with the basics and define what a brand actually is and why they are so important to any business.

Let’s throw in a bit of history for you here: it was more than half a century ago when the term “brand” started to become apparent; believe it or not, it was used as a way for cattle ranchers to identify their animals! However, today, a search on the internet can give you a range of diverse definitions as to what a brand actually is. For example, some agree that it is “the emotional and psychological relationship you have with your customers”, whilst other might define it as a “type of product manufactured by a particular company under a particular name”, or even the “name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that identifies one seller’s product distinct from those of other sellers”.

Although all of these answers are correct in their own way, it’s this blog’s purpose to eliminate the jargon, keep things simple, and to sum up for you what we define a brand as…

 We say: “A brand is the personality of a business”.

Why is this so important to a business?

A strong brand can make a memorable impression and it enables your customers to know what to expect from your company. It is a way of distinguishing yourself from your competitors, helping you stand out from the crowd and build loyalty surrounding your brand.

A brand can help a business:

  • Grow its reputation
  • Win new customers
  • Boost employee pride and satisfaction
  • Build trust
  • Support your advertising efforts.

Therefore, it is important that branding is not just overlooked, as it can position your company and tell your story in a successful way. So, let’s take a look at the ten different elements of a brand and what they stand for….

 

  1. Brand identity

So firstly, let’s take a look at brand identity and its importance.

So what is brand identity?

Brand identity is the way people recognise the brand. It may be through the logo or other associated visuals.

For example, the ‘Swoosh’ logo of Nike is very simple, but is immediately recognisable worldwide, along with its strap line, “Just Do It”.

When creating your brand identity it is important to follow and create some brand guidelines, to make sure that your branding and the message you are portraying is consistent throughout.  Your brand identity is built up of many different attributes such as: logo design, colour scheme, key message, typography, and other elements that add to the way consumers visualise your brand as a whole.

Branding guideline| Blog
  1. Brand image

Secondly, how do people picture your brand in their mind?

What is the image associated with it?

The brand image associated with your brand can dictate how people perceive your brand and this can either be in a good way or bad way. For example, many brands have suffered from a damaged brand image, which as a result can be hard to change the consumer’s perception. A successful brand image is developed over time through your logo design, tone of voice and the way your company portrays itself. However, this brand image can be tainted within minutes through a misleading advertisement, a bad branding or design choice, or a controversial post with a misleading view.

The brand image also dictates what consumers expect from your brand. Consumers of Rolls-Royce, for example, are looking for high luxury products and expect high quality service; even if there is a gap for budget cars in its market, it would not stick to the overall brand image by offering this type of product. As a result of this, it may lose its branding demographic and some of its targeted audience may change their perception of Rolls-Royce.

  1. Brand positioning

Brand positioning is the process of positioning your product/service in the market, which segments what you are trying to achieve in a distinctive, targeted format. By positioning your brand it can justify your pricing strategies and determine the position of your brand. If you are thinking “I have no idea where to position my brand”, then ask yourself a few questions:

  • Do you differentiate your brand in some way? How?
  • Does it enable growth?
  • What are your brand’s unique values?
  • Does it produce a clear picture in your mind?
  • Is your brand believable and trustworthy?

There are various tactics you can use to position your brand, such as competitive pricing, attractive packaging, and exciting promotions to help attract customers and transform them into repeat customers. Another effective way of figuring out your brand position is to research your competitors and think about how you stand out and figure out a way to build your brand around your unique traits. Creating a specific brand positioning statement can be used internally and provide structure and consistency for your marketing strategy

4. Brand personality

Your brand personality is just like the personality of human being – we all have different unique qualities that make up our own personality. However, your brand personality can be whatever you want it to be, whether that may be empathetic or even intelligent. Every element of your brand identity that we talked about before, including the colour, brand name, typography and brand positioning, adds and builds up your personality for others to see.

Branding professionals state that there are five traits within a brand personality these are:

  1. Sincerity (down-to-earth, honest, wholesome, cheerful)
  2. Excitement (daring, spirited, imaginative, up-to-date)
  3. Competence (reliable, intelligent, successful)
  4. Sophistication (upper class, charming)
  5. Ruggedness (outdoorsy, tough)

Have you ever noticed that although two brands might offer the same service or sell the same product, for some reason you relate to one brand better than the other. This may honestly be down to taste or your own personal preference but this can also be down to the personality of the brand and how you feel when you come across that brand.

It is more than common for new business owners to be unsure of the brand personality they want to portray to the world, as this can be seen as a daunting decision to make. However, our team of graphic designers have experience and expertise in branding and developing a new brand concept for various businesses comes as second nature to them. Our free design consultations consist of brainstorming ideas together, understanding your goals and creating a successful brand that stands for everything you stand for.

branding guideline | brand

5. Brand equity

Brand equity is the value of a brand. It may include tangible financial value such as market share and revenue as well as intangible aspects such as strategic benefits of the brand. For example, Apple is a major technology brand and people perceive it is a premium, cutting-edge manufacturer of quality products. So, it is not only the sales but the sheer image that takes the equity to a different level altogether.

Positive brand equity can help a brand in many ways; it can be a strong catalyst for leading to brand extension and helping to develop a strong, trusting brand image. By strategically investing your marketing budgets in initiatives that help add value to your brand, for example additional services, contributions to charities or other additional perks, this can help drive short-term results.

6. Brand experience

Brand experience is all about how the customer feels when they interact with your brand -this may be a visual experience, a taste experience or just the feeling they get when they come across your branding. Also, if this is a service brand it may depend on the staff behaviour, the environment in which your service is offered, and the standard they expect when associated with your brand.

When consumers come across the Media Village brand we want their experience to be flawless and memorable. So we highlight high customer service as one of our main priorities within the Media Village. We like our experience to be flawless, efficient and sticking to any deadlines given to offer the best customer experience.

Brand touchpoints are an effective way of perfecting the brand experience journey for every customer, making the most of every user interaction with your brand.

Customer touchpoints shape a customer’s perception of a brand. These perceptions shape brand identity as much as the work of any designer or brand manager. After all, brand identity is all about what the customer thinks – not what you think. Customer perceptions are created by a series of touchpoints: the interactions customers have with a brand.

Make a list of all of those touchpoints that you know exist. They might include the supermarket, radio ads, your salespeople, and social media.

Name your brand’s most valuable touchpoints. This will require data analysis to follow the progression of every sale, from contact to conversion. Which touchpoints are most overwhelmingly present? Which ones serve to advance clients through your sales funnel with the greatest efficiency? Once you have identified these touchpoints, capitalise on them.

Establish a goal for each touchpoint and document the data that supports its effectiveness in relation to that goal. Make all involved accountable for the success of each touchpoint, and in time, your brand will reap the benefits

We can help you to design and develop a consistent brand that can be transferred across every touchpoint in your customer journey. These may include radio adverts, social media posts, billboard designs, leaflets and signage.

Perfect your brand experience and this can lead to great successful reviews for your company.

7. Brand Differnetiation

Differentiation, as the word suggests is how a brand stands out in the crowd. For instance our brand at the Media Village stands out in the creative and print industry as we can offer the full creative marketing solution all under one roof – which not many people can offer. So this is an additional service that differentiates us from our competitors.

  • Product differentiation
  • Service differentiation
  • Image differentiation
  • Price differentiation
  • Creates value, justifies your decisions.

But you can also differentiate your brand from the elements we have mentioned earlier, such as visuals, customer experience, logo design, communication, key message etc.

8. Brand communication

Brand communication is the message it delivers through various sources like adverts, brochures, punchlines and hoardings. If the brand has to grow, it must be able to clearly communicate its core benefits to the customers.

We can help you with communicating your brand message through various mediums and platforms from online to offline. Delivering a consistent, clear message that speaks exactly to the right targeted demographic and suits your brand personality.

We work with a variety of different businesses that all have a slightly different way of communicating their brand to the public. For example, we have worked with Westholme School for a long time now and the relationship we have built together helps us to communicate their brand successfully.

Click here to read all about how we communicate Westholme’s brand values and image through creative print and design.

9. Brand gap

Brand gap is the difference between what a brand promises to deliver in its communications and what it actually does. For its own sake, the gap should not be very high. A successful brand must be able to deliver what it promises. No amount of advertising or content marketing efforts can save a bad product

That’s why our design studio arranges personal meetings with every client before we produce any form of branding content for your brand. This way we are making sure that there is no miscommunication or gap between what the brand is claiming to promise and actually delivering.

 

10. Brand extension

The final element is brand extension, which basically means going beyond the brand origins and offering additional value or services to the customer. For example, the one main product that you first start offering may have room for additional services that you can offer once your brand is further established. Taking the Media Village brand as an example again, we started predominantly as a printing company, but over the years we have adapted our services to be able to offer additional value to our customers. This has eventually led to us being able to offer the full marketing and creative solution for our customers all under one roof. Our brand now offers print, graphic design, photography, web development – and much more.

Once all the other brand elements have come in to place and you have established your brand more, this may be the time to consider a form of brand extension. We can help you extend your services but keeps the same consistent brand offering the same values to your targeted audience.

Although there are many advantages with brand extension, there are also, like always, some negatives along the way. Not all brands are fit for brand extension and it has been known to lead to a misrepresentation of the brand persona that customers struggle to understand. For example, if the new product that has come from the brand extension fails then this can spoil the image and reputation of the parent brand.

Take the ice tea brand Arizona as an example; they decided to launch a nacho cheese dip product. Thinking about this strategically, would their demographic of ice tea drinkers really be craving a cheese dip product? Evidently, this is why Arizona’s brand extension failed, therefore we advise when considering a brand extension to always include competitor research, think about the added value this product is going to bring, and consider the influence it might have over your established brand image.

Now you know all about the ten elements of branding, it’s time to start talking about your branding today…

Book your free design consultation here, and let’s talk about these ten elements and much more, to make sure we tell your brand story in the best way possible.

 

 

Now you know all about the ten elements of branding, it’s time to start talking about your branding today…

Book your free design consultation here and let’s talk about all these ten elements and much more, to make sure we tell your brand story in the best way possible.