The Goods

2014 Logo Trends

Mobile screens hold great influence on branding trends in 2014.

About the Author

Reesa is an art school taught / self taught / eyeballs taught designer based in Toronto, Canada, and is the Owner and Principal of Ballyhoo Design. If you like this post, then you may also enjoy more marketing tips and trends via the Ballyhoo newsletter.

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Today marks the official unveiling of the new Ballyhoo website, you guys!! I’m so excited to share with you what we’ve been up to behind the scenes! I’m like a proud web-mama! Before I send you over to check it out for yourself though, there’s one more thing we should cover on rebranding.

By this point in a branding process you’ve probably been digging deep with a professional, determining what your goals are, the right positioning, and the brand voice. You’ve worked with a designer and taken a good, hard look in the mirror to fine-tune your look and feel. You’re ready for your big day: it’s time to pull up your socks and finally go public!

But, wait. HOW do I actually LAUNCH?

If only launching a website was like selling a house. You fluff the pillows, bake some cookies for that homey smell, and the potential buyers rush over. But… you know… that won’t work here! Sorry gang. You should definitely still bake cookies though. You deserve ‘em!

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You’ve got to make a splash!

Tell everyone you know about your launch! Tell all those people you only vaguely know on your social networks about your launch! If you’ve done the research and the legwork, you’ve got the right tools at your disposal to promote your newly developed brand through marketing campaigns.

I’ve been giving you an example of how you can do it right here. This post–this whole Rebranding Series–is like marketing inception, you guys. I’m showing you how I’m launching my new brand and website. And now it’s launched! Yippee!!

I’m so proud of my new website. I can’t wait to hear what you think about it!

http://ballyhoodesign.co/

What’s Next?

In future posts, we’ll talk about how the
Search Engine Optimization we do for our clients helps get them more web traffic… and not just any traffic, but serious potential customers. I’m also going to cover what you need to know before hiring someone to design your website, including explanations on the hot topic of the moment: mobile responsive design and why you really, really need it.

Thanks for hanging with me this week!

This is Part 5 of a 5-part series on Rebranding. Curious what we covered before we were ready to launch? Here’s Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4. Open those puppies up in new tabs for some solid branding advice.

About the Author

Reesa is an art school taught / self taught / eyeballs taught designer based in Toronto, Canada, and is the Owner and Principal of Ballyhoo Design. If you like this post, then you may also enjoy more marketing tips and trends via the Ballyhoo newsletter.

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This is Part 4 of a 5-part series on Rebranding. If you want to catch up on the basics before you continue reading, here’s Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

Brand character. It’s the sort of thing that will make or break a customer engagement. So important. So constant. And so much more than just the style of your logo. How do you determine your brand’s very personality?

Have you ever been to a hip, independent coffee shop or boutique music store and suffered through lacklustre–or even blatantly rude–service from the painfully “cool” staff? I know my fellow urbanites will relate! I bet you’ve wondered how places like this stay in business. I’d also bet you’ve found yourself going back anyway because the coffee’s good, or they have a selection you can’t find elsewhere. There’s something to that, right?

Contrast this with an upscale restaurant. Think about the kind of place where the staff provide the most attentive service, the food is of premium quality and presentation, and everything centres around providing you with a memorable and pleasurable dining experience. Customers who value this sort of luxury and attention to detail go to these establishments expecting to pay for it. Those who don’t prioritize these things will go somewhere else.

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Now, I’m absolutely, definitely not saying there’s ever an excuse for poor customer service. I did my time in the service industry, and I think everyone would be a better person if they did too! But what if you knew your customers so well that you could just be yourself, whatever that may be? If you were really confident about your niche, in what you offer, people would know exactly what they were getting from you. The folks who were into that would come to you. No need to follow stiff (read: BORING!) conventions of marketing! Branding professionals usually have great insight on this stuff, and a good designer can really help solidify your brand voice through visuals.

Part of Being Memorable Is Knowing Who You Don’t Serve

It was a huge turning point in my business when I determined who my clients were not. My niche was so much clearer and marketing finally just CLICKED. I read a great article about this recently, so I’ll leave you with a little reading material: 3 Vital Marketing Lessons From the World’s Most Offensive Doughnut Shop.

Drop by tomorrow for the conclusion of the rebranding series. We’re going to talk about launching that shiny, new brand… and I’ve got a very exciting announcement to share! 

About the Author

Reesa is an art school taught / self taught / eyeballs taught designer based in Toronto, Canada, and is the Owner and Principal of Ballyhoo Design. If you like this post, then you may also enjoy more marketing tips and trends via the Ballyhoo newsletter.

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This is Part 3 of a 5-part series on Rebranding. If you want to catch up on the previous installments before you continue reading, here’s Part 1 and Part 2.

Yesterday’s post revealed how very, very into lists and research I am (very). Today’s topic is a toughie though… and honestly, this is something I had every intention of keeping private, shoving deep under the couch cushions in the history of Ballyhoo. Truth was, I didn’t like the name “Ballyhoo Society” anymore and had decided to change it. It was a mouthful. It was vaguely misleading. I had grown to just plain hate the sound of it!

What do you do if the name of your growing, 5-year old business drives you bananas? Do you keep it anyway for continuity? After all: the business is registered… so is your domain, word of mouth is so important, SEO’s chugging away, and the name’s all over your documents. Don’t even get me started on email… the contacts, the change-of-address requests, updating my contact information everywhere… Eeep!

Yeah, well, I did it anyway. Inconvenience be damned.

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See, this wasn’t the first time I’d considered changing the name. When I first made the mental and legal transition from freelancing to a Super Official In Business For Herself person, I was already thinking about all of this. I listened to some advice to hold on to the “Society” in my business name, which was the part that I wanted to set adrift. Now, I see why that advice was given to me: the name is fun and whimsical, and that speaks to the voice of the brand, ties back into the emblem, etc. But it turned out to be bad advice, because I just couldn’t get behind it.

Never forget: Nobody knows your business better than you do! The best business advice you ever take might just be from your own gut instinct.

I thought that the name Ballyhoo on its own could convey everything I wanted it to. My gut just told me it could.

Before I settled on changing the name though, there was some important marketing detective work to do. Not nearly as sexy as brainstorming, but way important.


Beyond What Sounds Good: What’s In a Business Name?

Once you have name ideas, it’s time to widen the search: 

  1. Conduct research via official channels
  2. Research possible domain name(s)
  3. Get creative with Google queries
  4. Consult a marketing professional with your findings
  5. Register that business, buy those domains, uncork that champagne!
  6. Get the branding engine going

When you’re satisfied with your findings, dig into available (and unavailable) domain names and cover your bases with some Google searches. You never know what might be lurking out there to cause you grief later! Let your imagination run wild with possible mis-spellings, mis-interpretations, and even analyze what the words look like if you squint (seriously!!).

And last, but certainly not least: before you finalize that name, consult a marketing professional! Trust me: I’ve seen many a potentially awful, even downright offensive business name get past a lot of internal scrutiny.

On deck tomorrow: Brand Character. How do you make sure you’re striking the right tone so your market actually pays attention? Psst: I think you’re going to like the answer.

About the Author

Reesa is an art school taught / self taught / eyeballs taught designer based in Toronto, Canada, and is the Owner and Principal of Ballyhoo Design. If you like this post, then you may also enjoy more marketing tips and trends via the Ballyhoo newsletter.

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This is Part 2 of a 5-part series on Rebranding. If you want to catch up on Part 1 before you continue reading, head on over here.

Yesterday’s post left off after I faced the cold, hard facts: I needed to rebrand in a big way. I started in on the research…

I began like I usually begin things: with a big-ass list.

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I filled pages and pages with brain-dumps on stuff like:

  • Who’s my current market?

  • Who do I WANT my market to be? (psst: this is super important in a rebrand!)

  • Based on my current brand, how am I likely to perceived now?

  • How do I WANT Ballyhoo to be perceived?

I go through this stuff with clients all. the. time… but I found it surprisingly challenging to do it for my own business! My brain kept skipping to the end – the final brand – instead of allowing myself to go through the process. Bad brain! The process is so vital to reach an honest conclusion. This is why it’s super helpful for most people to get a professional involved. (Me, I just reminded myself that I am a professional and told myself to get it together. Ahem.)

I put in a little time picking the brains of trusted colleagues, friends, even clients. This was no time to be shy about anybody’s perceptions of Ballyhoo’s look and feel. I wanted honest feedback across the board. I asked folks about the logo. This didn’t seem likely to be very helpful… I got a lot of “I like it!” Not terribly enlightening.

When I dug a little deeper, I realized the feedback only spoke to what people knew (or thought they knew) about my brand. That was important information. Because I knew where I wanted to grow the business, I was careful to keep the thoughts and goals from my trusty big-ass list in mind and measure all this feedback against them.

All the same – and this is a vital part of the process too – I fumbled through a lot of stuff that didn’t work. I never intended to show these failed concepts publicly, but here we are. Work in progress and roughs revealed:

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Yeah, weird, right? I completely expected to take the visuals in a different direction! After a lot of iterations, I was able to pull out what people meant when they said they “liked” the original mark, and use it to my advantage in an updated brand more in line with the future of the business. I’d gone a little far astray from the character I needed in the brand – character that had been there from the start. I re-drew, refreshed, updated and cleaned up. And it felt right again.

Now. I had major problems with the name “Ballyhoo Society Graphic Design”, and when I began unpacking this, things started getting interesting.

Come on back tomorrow for some straight talk: what do you do if you kinda sorta hate your business name? Maybe you’re just unsure about it… we’ll deal with that too. I’m spilling my guts on my own journey through marketing my business and the business name game.

About the Author

Reesa is an art school taught / self taught / eyeballs taught designer based in Toronto, Canada, and is the Owner and Principal of Ballyhoo Design. If you like this post, then you may also enjoy more marketing tips and trends via the Ballyhoo newsletter.

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Welcome to Rebranding Week! 

Okay, so right off the top I’m going to let you in on a secret:

It was long past high time for me to rebrand and I knew it. My business had evolved, my focus had shifted, and so had my market. After 5 years (now 6 years! wow!), things looked very different than they had when Ballyhoo started. And good thing, too! Every passing year has seen the growth of Ballyhoo from a one-woman operation doing logos and business cards for (mainly) artists and small cultural organizations, to a pool of top-to-tail, full-service marketing talent for much larger B2B and B2C clients across Canada. Beyond just design services, Ballyhoo began offering Web Dev, Social Media Marketing and Strategy, full Marketing campaigns, and SEO – not to mention the printing, photography, and copywriting I frequently oversee for our projects.

I knew it was time to do something about my business’ public image. I was embarrassed to send folks to my website, apologizing that it was out of date. I even cringed at my business name… that was especially scary. Talk about an identity crisis! I felt stuck. Oh, and did I mention how daunting it is to brand yourself if your job is to brand other businesses? Super daunting.

How Ballyhoo Society Design became Ballyhoo Graphic Design.

First things first, I did some research. What I found out… well, I’ll be honest: I was surprised.

Meet me back here tomorrow. We’ll get down into the nitty gritty of how the research works, actionable rebranding tasks, and how I settled on the new Ballyhoo brand. I’ve actually talked myself into showing you my own failed logo concepts. Hoo boy, the dirty laundry’s a-comin’ out!

About the Author

Reesa is an art school taught / self taught / eyeballs taught designer based in Toronto, Canada, and is the Owner and Principal of Ballyhoo Design. If you like this post, then you may also enjoy more marketing tips and trends via the Ballyhoo newsletter.

Can Writing a Blog Help Your Business?Well hey there, welcome to the Ballyhoo blog! 
It’s still kind of weird for me to be here, actually. Even though I’ve been encouraging my clients to blog for their businesses for a dog’s age… don’t ask me why it’s taken so long to catch on myself. What’s that about the cobbler’s barefoot family?In any case, here we are! And today I wanted to share just some of the reasons why blogging can so helpful for businesses, and get you started on best practices. Pretty pixels are more my style though, so enjoy this infographic. Feel free to share it in your network and spread the love! We’re all in this thing together. I hope someone brought cookies.

Can Writing a Blog Help Your Business?

Well hey there, welcome to the Ballyhoo blog!

It’s still kind of weird for me to be here, actually. Even though I’ve been encouraging my clients to blog for their businesses for a dog’s age… don’t ask me why it’s taken so long to catch on myself. What’s that about the cobbler’s barefoot family?

In any case, here we are! And today I wanted to share just some of the reasons why blogging can so helpful for businesses, and get you started on best practices. Pretty pixels are more my style though, so enjoy this infographic. Feel free to share it in your network and spread the love! We’re all in this thing together. I hope someone brought cookies.

(Source: bit.ly)

About the Author

Reesa is an art school taught / self taught / eyeballs taught designer based in Toronto, Canada, and is the Owner and Principal of Ballyhoo Design. If you like this post, then you may also enjoy more marketing tips and trends via the Ballyhoo newsletter.

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Let’s talk about branding! This is the first in a series of posts that discuss what goes into crafting the most effective brand for you
 
A good logo is of vital importance to successfully branding your business. I’ll give you a sec to let that earth-shattering revelation sink in. 
 
Okay, so we all know that logos are a strong signifier in the “personality” of your brand. At a glance, they communicate your style, your principles… in essence, what you’re all about. 
 
There can be any number of combinations of type styles, colours, icons, or illustrations used in logo design, but when I’m helping a client narrow down the direction for their new logo, I find it the most helpful to sort everything into five categories. Of course, each type has its own advantages and purpose–talking this out with your designer can illuminate what might be best for you. 
  
Logo Design Categories:

Read More

About the Author

Reesa is an art school taught / self taught / eyeballs taught designer based in Toronto, Canada, and is the Owner and Principal of Ballyhoo Design. If you like this post, then you may also enjoy more marketing tips and trends via the Ballyhoo newsletter.

The Science Behind What Naps Do For Your Brain--And Why You Should Have One Today

High-performance napping just has this inspirational bent I can really get behind!

fastcompany
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About the Author

Reesa is an art school taught / self taught / eyeballs taught designer based in Toronto, Canada, and is the Owner and Principal of Ballyhoo Design. If you like this post, then you may also enjoy more marketing tips and trends via the Ballyhoo newsletter.

fastcompany:

Good morning!
Here are a few tips to help you be more productive today:
The 25-hour work week, and other radical ideas for better employee productivity 
How your habits become productivity draining
5 smart-but-simple apps that make you happier, healthier, and more productive (really)
Have a most excellent day! 
[Image: Flickr user Cindy Cornett Seigle]

fastcompany:

Good morning!

Here are a few tips to help you be more productive today:

Have a most excellent day! 

[Image: Flickr user Cindy Cornett Seigle]

About the Author

Reesa is an art school taught / self taught / eyeballs taught designer based in Toronto, Canada, and is the Owner and Principal of Ballyhoo Design. If you like this post, then you may also enjoy more marketing tips and trends via the Ballyhoo newsletter.

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