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Creative Briefs

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

4 Valuable Branding Lessons from Your Competitors

Posted by Laurier Mandin on Sep 20, 2016 7:30:00 AM

There are literally thousands of books about branding (about 298,000 according to a Google Books search). You could devote a career to studying the topic, and many people have.

But some of the best, most relevant lessons are very close at hand. You need to look no farther than others in your field. 

I’ve heard a number of entrepreneurs say, “we have no competitors.” Almost always, that's dangerous ego-speak. Unless your prospects have no alternative at all but to use your product or service, you have competition. (And if you’re among the innovators who truly do not, savour the moment. It won’t last.)

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Topics: branding

3 Healthcare Marketing, Branding & Web Design Myths You Need to Stop Believing Now

Posted by Laurier Mandin on Sep 15, 2016 12:23:03 PM

My first job out of college was at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in central Edmonton. Part of the job was creating newsletters, brochures, displays and other communication material.

And because the Royal Alex is a teaching hospital, I was always on call to photograph surgical procedures, autopsies, and any specimen the physicians found unusual or bizarre.

To a kid, the morgue and O.R. seemed pretty gruesome. But it was absolutely fascinating.

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Topics: logo design, web design, healthcare marketing

Is Your Service Business Growth-Driven or Brand-Driven?

Posted by Laurier Mandin on Aug 29, 2016 8:00:00 AM

There are many kinds of professional service businesses. Law firms, accountants, dentists, architects, chiropractors, engineers and consultants of every ilk.

And they’re as unique as snowflakes, each with its defining vision, personality and approach to what they do.

Yet almost every small and medium-sized professional service businesses falls into one of two camps: growth-driven or brand-driven.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, branding

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