Archive for the ‘Branding & Design’ Category

In a Digital World, Does Direct Mail Still Work?

Posted by

Gaining customers starts with awareness. Even though the Metropolitan Methodist Hospital is one of the more well-known hospital systems in San Antonio, their Emergency Room facility at the Quarry Market Shopping Center was relatively new, and residents didn’t always remember where they were located. So, the hospital reached out to Robot Creative for help with an awareness campaign.

The challenge was to get word out to the families living around the Quarry Market about the full-service ER right in their neighborhood. To do this, we presented a plan that included digital marketing blended with traditional forms of advertising like community outreach and direct mail.

According to a research by the Data and Marketing Association conducted in 2018, direct to consumer advertising has a response rate ranging between 5% for prospect lists (possible customers) and 9% for house lists (current customers). Physically handling a post card can create a different response than seeing an ad on a screen. According to stats quoted by the USPS, a majority of consumers feel mail is more personal than the internet and prefer it as the format for unsolicited information on unfamiliar companies.

Knowing that the tactile effect of a physical mailer was likely to have a good response rate, we developed several campaigns featuring hyper-local content that would appeal to our target audience.

  1. Post Cards – We designed and sent post card series to family households in the targeted region around the ER. These included information on the location of the facility as well as a brief description about services and unique qualities of that facility. There were two series, one with designs that featured local students/parents and one with prominent residents from the area. This gave readers familiar faces with which to identify and engage. We also included static and variable maps, showing each household’s unique directions from their location to the ER. This personalized and local experience made these mailers more relevant for residents in the area. Imagery from each campaign was utilized in both social and print advertising during the same time frame, increasing frequency and reach on the selected audience.
  1. Magazines – We also created a special magazine, In the Loop, to specifically reach new residents who recently moved into the same neighborhoods. These magazines gave a more in-depth overview of the Metropolitan Methodist Hospital and Quarry ER, still including information like location, but also education on preventative care and when to visit the ER versus an urgent care center or a full-service hospital.MMEC In The Loop Magazine

Compared to their peers within the system, the patient count at the Quarry ER increased 18% in the first year of this effort, while the system average declined. This proved that awareness campaigns utilizing a multi-touch point approach can and do work for B2C marketing.

Need more customers coming into your location? Contact us today to develop a winning strategy.

When your brand speaks, what does it say?

Posted by

Your brand is like your business’ personality. You may have created it yourself, you may have hired a branding company to develop it, or perhaps it has evolved unintentionally. However it was developed, this is your brand.

If you aren’t managing your brand, it may begin to communicate information you didn’t anticipate or don’t want. These “brand fibs” can take on many forms – some are subtle and some are more obvious. The following are common brand missteps to look for and avoid.

Aren’t you a bit underdressed?
The foundation of a company revolves around its mission statement and business goals – it’s at the core of why you’re in business in the first place. All your branding decisions should be in alignment with these goals. By veering away from who you’ve said you are and what you are about, you’ve just broken your promise to your customer. Let’s say, for example, you are a high-end custom home builder. You’ve done a good job of creating an office and work environment that echoes luxury. Your products and services are superior to your competitors, and your target audience has a high level of education and income. If your branding communicates a less-than-average quality and speaks at a level lower than that of your audience, disconnection occurs. This affects the perceived value of your offering and how much your potential customers are willing to pay for it.

What’s with the shifty behavior?
This is probably the most common mistake made by small businesses. Using and applying your brand to all your marketing materials, business cards, stationery items, website, etc. should be done with consistency. The regular visual and verbal reinforcement of your brand leads to higher recognition and memorability for your company. By changing up brand elements on various mediums, you can dilute your overall brand and lose out on potential customers knowing who you are and what you’re about. For example, if your branding colors are Pantone shades of blue and gray, don’t let John in accounting change his business card to deep purple and yellow because those are the colors of his college alma mater. Even more subtle variances in things, like inconsistent use of font selections, can chip away at the strength a consistent brand can communicate to your audience. This shifty brand behavior also affects the perception of trust from your customers – they’re not sure what to expect if your brand is all over the place.

1997 called and wants its color palette back.
An issue can arise if what you are communicating with your brand is not as applicable as it used to be. Industries are constantly evolving and moving forward and your brand needs to move with it. Let’s say you started your dot com company in the 1990s and haven’t made any updates to your overall branding since. Does your brochure or website have phrases like “Surfing the world wide web” and “The information super highway”? Are there dial-up modems in photos, and a high concentration of beveled buttons with drop-shadows? You get the idea. If you aren’t moving with your industry, your industry (and competition) are leaving you behind.

So is all of this really that big of a deal?

Will I go out of business if I use a different shade of orange on my website than on my brochures or if I use Comic Sans on my letterhead? Maybe not, but in an increasingly competitive market, you will probably lose ground (and business) with your competition that has a similar, clearly branded offering. In addition, some brand missteps will affect customer perception more than others, but continued and cumulative veering from your brand can cause lasting and sometimes permanent damage to your overall company image.

Brand Audits and How They Work

At Robot, one way we evaluate a company’s brand alignment is to perform a brand audit. It’s an exercise we use to inform whether your brand needs some minor tweaking or a complete overhaul.

Our full brand audit package starts with target audience profiling and user perception surveys. The results confirm who you’re selling to and what your current brand is communicating. Along with this information, we review all your marketing materials (both visual and messaging) to determine where there may be alignment issues with your brand. Finally, we provide recommendations on what materials are working for your brand – and which ones are not working and in need of a refresh. More times than not, companies have a solid brand base to work from and just need some guidance or rework on a few pieces of collateral.

Maintaining a consistent brand is hard work. Sometimes it’s very obvious to a company/owner that their brand is not working together or is not quite aligned with the business and mission goals. They’re just not sure how to get back on course or fix it. In other instances, you may not even realize what your brand is communicating with your marketing efforts. Remember, your brand is always talking. Every touchpoint factors into the perception of your company.

If you suspect your brand has alignment conflicts, contact Robot for a brand audit to make sure your brand is saying what you want it to and need it to say!

Learn more about how Robot can help with branding >>

Responsive Logos – a Study in Scalability and Branding

Posted by

by Andrew Watson

A recent project by London based designer Joe Harrison, shows an experiment with the logos of some major brands and how they might adapt to a responsive environment. Responsive web design has gained a lot of traction in the past few years to address the widespread use of mobile devices and tablets that require information to be viewed in a different way than a traditional computer monitor – at smaller sizes, different aspect ratios and flexible orientations.

Most designers create stacked and horizontal versions of a company’s logo to accommodate different uses. This project is fascinating because it shows how a logo can scale in response to a device while proving that a solid brand is recognizable even in it’s simplest form.

Visit the site http://responsivelogos.co.uk and drag your browser window left to right to see how these logos scale. I love it when you get to the smallest version and it’s just the logo mark and color. The brand still comes through – super cool!

How would your logo respond?

LegalPRO Software Branding, Collateral and Website Development

Posted by

IGN_websiteBRP_websiteLegalPRO develops, sells and supports legal software products. To support the growth of LegalPRO’s most popular product, BankruptcyPRO, and to assist cross-promotion efforts for other products, Robot developed a cohesive suite of brands, brochures, tradeshow materials and integrated websites for the parent company and its products.

Websites for BankruptcyPRO and I-Got-Notices, two software products, were part of an all-encompasing brand overhaul for LegalPRO in which the spirit, energy, and accessibility of a small team were captured through an updated website and accompanying collateral materials.

LegalPRO’s “big enough, but not too big” size and flexibility were the key messages communicated through team highlights, approachable language and selective use of hand-drawn graphics to emphasize the approachable nature of the LegalPRO team.

Robot also created a company overview brochure that carries across the same style of imagery and the message of individualized service. The LegalPRO team is a big focus in the brochure and is introduced with a fun, personable approach, representative of the company brand. Illustrated headshot photos with brief personal bios provide a snapshot of each individual’s personality.

LegalPRO’s company culture and attentive customer service set them apart from the industry. The new branding and sales tools highlight these key differentiators and provide end users with a company overview that is in-line with its approachable attitude and personalized service.  

Travis Commercial Real Estate Brand and Website Update

Posted by

TC_LOGOTravis Commercial Real Estate Services, a leading commercial real estate company in San Antonio, wanted to refresh their overall brand and website.

The goal of the rebrand was to slowly transition, rather than radically reinvent the logo, mindful of the investment required to apply the brand across signage throughout the city.

Logo and Stationery
travis_stationeryWhile maintaining the original mark and overall type arrangement, Robot updated the typography of the logo and replaced a drab khaki with a brighter, fresher shade of green. A bold pattern was added to a new stationery package, and a secondary color palette was developed.

Website Updates
The updated logo and color palette are pulled into the design of the new website, along with refreshed content and new photography. Technical upgrades to the website included:

  • Integration with third-party property search tools, allowing for automated refreshing of current property listings
  • Responsive design, allowing users to access the site using mobile devices and tablets
  • An easy-to-use content management system, making it possible for Travis Commercial to update copy and photos throughout the site

travis-responsive

 

A Brand-Driven Approach – Sierra Motors

Posted by

Front1b

Sierra Motors first contacted Robot to develop a logo and identity package. But after the logo, stationery and messaging were complete, we didn’t stop; in fact, you might say we punched the accelerator.

Environmental Branding
It was important to Sierra Motors that customers immediately pick up on the brand message when they walk onto the lot or into the sales office. To communicate this message, we developed custom vehicle magnets with main messaging points, testimonial posters highlighting customer feedback, license plates with custom frames and rearview mirror hangers. We also provided signage recommendations for each lot.

Refreshed Website
Screen Shot 2012-06-29 at 4.23.23 PM
To tie the brand into Sierra Motors’ online presence, we designed and produced content for sierra-motors.com. Functions of the website include a simple lead capture form, a refer-a-friend feature and access to an online payment portal for customers.

Collateral Materials
To round out Sierra Motors’ identity, Robot Creative developed additional printed pieces, including a tri-fold with vehicle maintenance guidelines and a handout card with information on Sierra Motors’ referral program.

Read more about the original brand development