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Creative Briefs

Thought-provoking insights into the Graphos world of web design, branding, inbound marketing and everything in between.

How Your Web Design Company is Holding You Back from Greatness

Posted by Laurier Mandin on Aug 2, 2016 10:01:56 AM

Most web design agencies take a fairly similar approach to their work. And considering a business’s website is by far its most valuable sales and marketing asset, that methodology is completely wrong.

Because it’s holding back your business growth.

Let me explain. The web design cycle typically goes something like this: 

Your business needs a new website to replace one that’s become outdated. The web design company presents a pleasing UX design, sketches up some wireframes, does a spit-and-polish on your old website’s content, and pulls it all together in a template. Perhaps there is a bit of SEO tweaking to bring the “new” site up to current standards. A little testing (hopefully), and away you go. Everything seems fine, and you get some reassuring compliments. It’s definitely a step up from the old site.

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Topics: web design, Growth Driven Design

A 5-Step Guide to Differentiating Your Brand from the Competition

Posted by Laura Erickson on Jul 26, 2016 9:31:05 AM

If you’ve been trying to attract more clients to your business, I have some advice you may find counter-intuitive: Narrow your focus.

In an era of big-box retail and A-to-Z shops like Amazon, many businesses feel pressured to be ALL services to ALL people. The truth is, fitting in means failing.

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Topics: branding

4 Branding Lessons from the MasterCard Logo Redesign

Posted by Laurier Mandin on Jul 18, 2016 2:54:08 PM

To hear my design team discussing the newly redesigned MasterCard logo, you might have guessed some preventable tragedy had just happened.  

A lot of “why, oh why?” and “what were they thinking?”

I try not to (publicly) slam new logo designs when I haven’t been privy to the design brief, but I admit my initial reaction was along the same lines. The credit card giant’s first rebrand in two decades struck me as something a first-year design student might have slammed together under pressure, not the careful work of Pentagram, one of the world’s highest-profile independent studios. 

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Topics: logo design, branding

26 Crazy-Smart Ways to Generate Online Leads and Increase Sales

Posted by Laurier Mandin on Jul 14, 2016 10:03:44 PM

If you’re in sales or marketing, your job is to generate new revenue for your company. 

I know how challenging that can be. For years I fought hard to create slow, incremental and often hard-to-substantiate successes for my clients.

Advertising is brutally variable and complicated, making it easy to burn through a lot of money without much to show for it. At my Edmonton web design company, we spent decades refining processes and methodologies for search engine optimization, pay-per-click marketing and social media marketing.

Inbound marketing software closed the loop, creating distinct advantages through integration, and provable ROI that builds momentum over time.

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Topics: Sales Lead Generation

3 Online Marketing Insights that Change Everything

Posted by Laurier Mandin on Jul 5, 2016 10:25:37 AM

2017 will be the official breakthrough year of digital marketing. For the first time ever, online marketing spends will surpass TV advertising. It’s a significant, if inevitable turning point. 

For marketers an CEOs alike, this milestone is proof that digital is where you need to be focusing your efforts and investment. This global marketing revolution has been led by accurate real-world metrics. Businesses are re-investing where they see results.

Online marketing is clearly what works best – and it’s worth doing right!

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Topics: online marketing

This Little App Will Disrupt the $320B Automotive Service Industry

Posted by Laurier Mandin on Jun 27, 2016 10:28:30 AM

The term “disruptive technology” is much overused, especially in the world of mobile apps. There are loads of helpful ones – but utility and function are minimum requirements.

In order to be a genuine “disruptor,” an app must transform the way a large number of us do an ordinary thing. Like Uber, iTunes, Airbnb, and a small handful of others have turned major industries on their heads.

In order to be technologically disrupted, the target industry must be ripe for change. Better yet, be broken. 

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Topics: web design, branding

The 3 Secrets of Crafting a Powerful Brand Name

Posted by Laurier Mandin on Jun 15, 2016 2:56:56 PM

If you think of the most powerful brand names today, which ones come to mind? Google? Starbucks? LEGO? Or maybe Amazon. All have cemented their place among the world’s top brands.

But how did they come to occupy such an important part of our collective consciousness? And more importantly, how can you replicate some of that power in your own brand name development project? 

Each of these successes is part of a larger brand story, but the name origins are always fascinating – and the journey of their creation can be enlightening.

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Topics: branding, marketing

Redesigning Your Company Logo: Evolution or Revolution?

Posted by Laura Erickson on Jun 6, 2016 12:06:24 PM

When a company logo starts to show its age, a troublesome question begins to torment the brand owners: to update, or redesign the thing entirely?

There is often not an easy answer. At Graphos, one of our favourite project types is logo design and branding. When an existing business initially comes to us for a marketing project, we always take a good, hard look at their logo.

It’s common for brands, new or established, to become stuck with a logo nobody loves; between putting together all the pieces of a startup, then the pressures of day-to-day operation, it can be easy to neglect that critical, highly visible piece of communication between the business and its audience.

But we know first impressions are everything. How does your logo perform? Take a fresh look at your company’s logo and ask yourself these seven questions:

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Topics: logo design, branding

Why Smarketing Will Change Your Business (and How to Get Started)

Posted by Laurier Mandin on May 31, 2016 7:00:00 AM

I have long been aware of the awkward tension between clients’ sales and marketing departments, and it’s only in recent years that I’ve come to understand why it exists. After all, these are two deeply inter-related and interdependent functions, both critical to the revenue pipeline.

Marketing and sales are essentially a relay team, created to collectively attract and convert new business. Their success, and that of the company, depends on it. So they ought to get along swimmingly.

But they seldom do. Marketing teams lament that sales leads are wasted by lazy or cherry-picking salespeople. And sales staff blame marketing, saying its scattergun targeting and spun copy result in crappy leads. 

The two roles are so tightly connected, yet seldom work together harmoniously.

Ever wonder what would happen if they could?

The answer is actually quite remarkable.

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Topics: marketing

5 Web Design & Marketing Secrets to Increase Web Traffic

Posted by Laurier Mandin on May 16, 2016 6:46:57 AM

As business owners and marketers, we obsess with our online conversion rates. We finesse our content, do A/B testing, and comb through the metrics in fanatical detail.

And there are a lot of important metrics, all of which depend on one key factor to ultimately be successful: strong web traffic. Without a steady flow of visits from qualified prospective buyers, you can’t possibly hit your true potential sales numbers. 

You can fine tune your landing pages until you’re blue in the face, but it’s not worth anything unless the visitors come. Here are 5 ways to make them do so in droves:

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Topics: web design, marketing

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