Archives for posts with tag: brand design

In a world of commodities, there’s a sea of brands. How are you supposed to remember all of them? How are you supposed to process which appeals to you? It’s got to be Heinz but it’s always Coca Cola – that’s enough to confuse anyone!

You will naturally find yourself drawn to certain brands. This is through recognition. You see a brand, either consciously or subconsciously, and if you acknowledge it, you remember it.

I have seen Derren Brown lead peoples’ thought trails through pattern recognition. It works in a similar way with brands. You see them, you acknowledge them, you remember them.

But which brands are top of mind and why?

It’s different for all of us. Try this question and see what brands are your top of mind…

In 30 seconds (no cheating) name as many Cereal brands as you can….

3…2…1…So, what did you come up with?

You’ll find that the brand that come top of mind are with you for a reason. You’ve seen them, your brain has registered them, and you’ve remembered them.

The brands that reside with you, more likely that not will mean something to you- good or bad. It could be preference, prestige or pizzazz – there’s a reason you’ve remembered that brand.

There’s lots of ways that marketeers tempt us to remember brands – be it catchy slogans, jingles, iconic imagery, or conceptual style. Try these out and see how much you know about brands…


Washing machines live longer with….

If you like a lot of chocolate on your biscuit…

Now hands that do dishes can feel soft as your face…

For bonzer car insurance deals, girls get onto…

Kids and grownups love it so….


Vorsprung durch Technik

No nonesence

I’m lovin‘ it

Every little helps

It’s a bit gorgeous

Iconic images

An orange box

A yellow m

A panda

3 lions

A man with a moustache

A tick

A swan

A lime green circle 😉

Colour – what brands to you relate to these colours?




Yellow and Black

Red and Blue

It’s all about creating ‘stick’. Something that makes you consciously take note of it. It’s remarkable how much we don’t realise that we remember. And if you don’t keep an ear out later and see if you’re singing about mild, green Fairy Liquid as you’re washing up. That sea just got a whole lot smaller…

(by the way, send us your guesses via comments or social media!)

Emma Dobson is a branding expert and Touch Point guru at Happy Creative, a full service marketing agency based in Blackpool, Lancashire. To learn more or contact us please go to

Imagine you have a big watermelon. Now imagine you’ll try and get the whole watermelon into your blender to make a nice watermelon juice. It seems like a good idea.  Ermm, not so much, unless you have a very small watermelon and a very big blender.

Now imagine you also have a knife, with which you can slice the watermelon, so it’s divided into manageable chunks. With some of it, you’ll make some juice, with the rest, you’ll make a dessert and with the peel you will feed your backyard animals. That’s good usage of your product and enables you to serve different ‘markets’.

Market segmentation is just like that.

You may think you have a big market, but you can’t be everything to everyone. You have to slice it into chunks that you can handle, that you can understand and that you can work with to concentrate fully on squeezing the juice out of each individual piece. Segmenting your market is the key to your success as a business. ‘No one can please everyone all the time’, someone once said, and nothing could ring more true when it comes to targeting marketing.

By going after segments instead of the whole market, there is a much better chance to deliver value to the consumer and, consequently, increase your profit margins. By segmenting the market, you will be separating groups of buyers with distinct needs, characteristics and behaviours, who might require different products and a different marketing mix to match their requirements.

To segment your market you have a very sharp tool in the draw: market research.

You need to ask, you need to observe, you need to read between the lines, you need to interpret it. And once this research is done and you have a few segments that look appealing to your business, how do you know which one to target?

Here is a test you can perform, 5 simple but extremely important questions that you have to ask about that segment, so you can decide if you should invest in it. Here you go:

1. Is the segment substantial?
The market needs to be large enough to be profitable.

2. Is the segment measurable?
We should be able to measure the size and characteristics of the segment through different data sources.

3. Is the segment differentiated?
We should be able to distinguish between this segment and other segments in terms of the way they respond to the marketing mix elements.

4. Is the segment accessible?
We should be able to reach the segment in terms of communication, media and distribution.

5. Is the segment actionable?
We should be able to develop ways to attract and service the segment.

Ok, so now you have 5 ‘yesses’ and you have decided that you have a brand new target market for your product/service.

Well done, great stuff. But, how do you position your offering to this brand new market?

Here’s how to start: go back to your research. Remind yourself about how this market wants to be communicated to. Analyse their answers. Again, read between the lines.

Positioning involves placing your brand and everything that is unique about it in customer minds. A product or service’s position in the market is a complex set of perceptions, impressions and feelings that consumers have towards what you are offering them. It’s how they see it and how they see it fitting into their lives.

To position successfully you must have thorough knowledge of the key benefits sought by the market, so the more time and effort you invest on the market research, the more equipped you will be to come to the USP, which will be the pillar of your communication.

The unique selling proposition is about what makes the product special and different to the competition and it’s what makes people buy and buy again.

Invest in it, communicate it and promote it through your marketing mix. But overall, if you do one thing and one thing only, make sure you have taken the time to segment your market and got to truly know every pip.

Without that, all your efforts might just follow the watermelon juice down the drain or splashed across the kitchen walls. And that is one big cleaning up job.

Marilia Spindler is an Account Manager at Happy Creative, a full service marketing agency based in Blackpool, Lancashire. To learn more or contact us please go to

If a picture paints a thousand words, then why can’t I paint you?

Quiz nights in the local pub when I was young were often punctuated by the opening lines of the Bread hit, If. Of course it was generally only the first couple of lines that were ever played, mainly for the amusement of the older crowd to sing along to. Not quite as much a crowd participation event as Sweet Caroline, but it was certainly a pleasant interlude. By the way it was a hit in 1971 , as my dad would point out, he of the encyclopaedic pop knowledge for anything pre-1978. 1 point in the bag!

Still, the old proverb that inspired the line “a picture paints a thousand words” remains as true today as it did at any time. With the huge amount of content and knowledge easily accessible at the end of our fingertips (or on our smart devices) it seems we are exposed to the equivalent of 100 copies of ‘Crime and Punishment’ everyday…and sometimes it’s just overwhelming.

Partly this is exacerbated by the need to give our clients, customers or suppliers as much information as we can to help with their decision making. Individuals within B2B companies and consumers are making buying decisions based on the knowledge they gain from search engine sources, blogs, social media and company websites. It’s a seemingly endless task for many of us to keep on top of the additional information we need to provide day after day.

Sometimes it just makes our heads hurt. We are after all a visual species, our learning and memory is very much based on pictures. I can’t be the only one that remembers those memory challenges on Record Breakers with the late Roy Castle. Once they’d completed the challenge, the ‘secret’ of the contestants’’ success was always explained by the way they created a journey of pictures turning words, numbers or objects into a visual walkthrough. Visual representation is an inate way of learning, just look at the learning devices created for babies…A is for Apple.

With the increasing importance of social media as a primary communication channel and the challenge that this creates in getting sometimes complex messages over in few characters, Infographics have become a fabulous tool in any company’s armoury.

Never tried one? Well here’s a few tips in how to create a powerful infographic:

1. Pick a topic.
An infographic can be used for anything. We’ve created them for boots, teaching material, training tips and even a couple of birthdays. Any kind of information can be turned into a powerful infographic.

2. Create/Collate your data
Data, in whatever form is the crucial part of any infographic. Create it, collate it, however works best for you.

3. Framework your information
Before you embark on any design, you must arrange your information on the page.

4. Design
A powerful infographic design has the ability to entertain, inform and take sometimes complex information and turn it into a simple representation. The design of your infographic is the key to success.

5. Links and Distribution
Remember an infographic will need to be carefully distributed in order to be successful. Social Media, blogs, customer service and your website are all key channels. With these in mind you’ll need to ensure your infographic (whether it is a static or interactive one) includes the key links to landing pages so you can monitor successfully.

Infographics are an excellent tool for any business. Let’s face it, would you rather spend hours writing chapter and verse on classroom management techniques or would you rather produce something like this…

A picture really does paint a thousand words, even if I never did get that answer right in the pub quiz. I will now.

Simon Brooke is a Director at Happy Creative, a strategic marketing and creative branding agency based in Blackpool, Lancashire. To learn more or contact us please go to or @Happy_Creative

If this question was to be asked a decade ago the answer would have been a very simple one. When your time came, everyone you knew told you that “you HAD to get a degree. It’s the only way you’d get anywhere in life.” However in a matter of years the situation has changed dramatically.
The U.K has seen a rise in students aged 18-24 who choose not to continue their education any further. This is largely due to the rise in tuition fees, which has risen from £3000 to a maximum of £9000 per year.
Unable to afford this, most students have taken the option of going straight into employment with what little qualification they have, whilst students leaving university, who cannot find jobs related to their course, have taken part-time jobs to avoid going into debt.

So is it all worth it in the end? Did the past 3-4 years at university make any difference to your future? The question that is rarely asked is whether all the education received from university makes a difference in the world of employment. Is it possible to move up in this world without a standard degree qualification? Speaking as a designer who narrowly escaped the wrath higher tuition fees I can speak from the design side of this argument. Here is what I learned from my past 4 years as a student and what pitfalls current and future students should avoid.

Personally I feel that my own university education only helped to a certain extent. Whilst throwing money at an institution is not the answer to all of life’s problems I feel as though I expected a lot more from them (especially for the amount I had to pay over 4 years) than the limited time I would get with tutors in return. A lot of my design instinct primarily came from college education and self-interest in my area of design. A good portion of my growth came outside the classroom in libraries and online tutorials due to my own curiosity. It says a lot when services you can get for free do more to further your future than the one you pay £3000 per year for. Don’t get me wrong though, I am not saying that my university didn’t teach me anything. However I feel that they have promised me more than they could deliver. Overall the experience I got from university was great. The interaction with my peers and challenge of pushing myself to greater lengths was exciting. But speaking in terms of the quality of teaching, I wasn’t entirely satisfied. Of course this could simply be the university I went to or only my course in particular. There is no way to know now whether it could have been any different had I gone elsewhere. I think the same rings true for any course outside of design where you are left to your own devices to think more independently.

There is also the unrealistic expectation that with a university qualification you will be an expert in all areas when your education is finished. However this is entirely untrue (as myself and many other design students before me have learned). There are many skills, many advices, and a lot of information that a student cannot learn about in their three/four years regarding the fast paced world of design. Things like client expectations, the quick turnaround with some projects, tight deadlines etc. The biggest shock for me was how fast paced design studios are in comparison to the lenient two/three weeks you get on a single brief.

In the design world one of the most important factors in gaining employment is experience. This brings up the age-old contradiction. How can you get any job experience if no one hires you without any? Some ways around this include freelance work, entering design awards & competitions and work placements. These are areas you can focus on where your qualification isn’t more important than your ability to speak and work as a designer. The pitfalls of looking for a design job without degree qualifications are the level of work you find. No one expects to land the role of creative director within their first year so naturally you’ll have to start at the bottom and work your way up. It will be tough at first but ultimately it will save you spending £27,000+.

The best advice I can give is to do your research. Go to the university you want to join and ask questions. Ask as many questions as you want. Find out about your surroundings, what the living standards are like, where is the nearest superstore, how long does it take to travel from A to B. Ask current students what they think about the university. Remember, they will give the most honest answer (it’s not their job to sell the course). Never stop questioning even after you have settled on a decision. Bear in mind that if the worst of the worst comes you can leave or still complete the first year. You’ll have one bad year instead of four.

Hakim Shujaee is a Designer at Happy Creative, a full service marketing and creative agency based in Blackpool, Lancashire. To learn more or contact us please go to

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