just peppered blog


Welcome to our blog, Just Peppered! We believe whole heartedly that sharing is caring, so we try to share our knowledge of branding, design and marketing with you at least once a month to help you achieve your goals.

So if you'd like to receive some real life, practical tips once a month (sometimes once every second month if life gets hectic) which cover everything from 'How to write a design brief your designer will understand' to 'Marketing hacks that make life easier' sign up to our newsletter.

For practical, real-life branding tips.

Here are some of our most recent articles:

  • When life demands subconscious branding

  • What is a logo concept anyway?

  • 'Behind the screen – Logo design' video series

  • The F-word: Fonts

  • The Branding Blackboard: Identify your target audience

Until next time, be creative!

Brand Creator and Owner of Sweet Pepper Creative

We used to be good at this. We used to be on the ball and send out at least one newsletter every month. Now it's one every few months...if we're lucky!

How did we let our newsletters, which we enjoy compiling, slip? What happened? Projects, deadlines, meetings, expansion happened. Life happened!

What happened? Projects, deadlines, meetings, expansion happened. Life happened!

You know exactly what we're talking about. Life gets busy and before we know it the important things, such as our branding and marketing, get put on the back burner. And when we remember that they need work, it feels like a mammoth task that we don't have time to tackle just yet.

We understand this because it's happened to us. So we've put together five subconscious branding tricks to carry you through the busyness.

These will help lessen your branding workload and get the rest of the organisation to help. The best part is they won't even realise that they are helping!

1. Decorate your office.

Decorate your office with your brand values.

What does your brand stand for? Quality, innovation, efficiency? Whatever your brand represents create posters about it and put them up around the office. Good spots are around the coffee and tea area, the water cooler and in meeting rooms.

Your team and the rest of the organisation will subconsciously read them over and over again, and eventually it will become second nature.

Brand value poster

2. Sharing is caring.

The marketing department is often one of the busiest. Fun, exciting, but busy. You often get requests like 'Please will you send me a JPG of our logo?' or 'Where can I find the latest copy of brochure XYZ?'. And pretty soon these small requests can become a mountain of work to do.

The answer? Create a shared marketing folder on the network and let everyone know where they can find it.

Include things like:

  • the official logo and logo guidelines
  • all the latest brochures and fliers
  • the branded PowerPoint template
  • the sales presentation
  • approved images to use
  • the brand guidelines
  • a Word document letterhead
  • a Memo template
  • folders for specific campaign collateral
  • something quirky (just to remind the other departments how fun the marketing department really is)

Not only will this save your team time in the long run because you won’t need to send out 10 emails to 10 different people each asking for the same thing, but it will create consistency in what is being sent out because let’s be honest, the other departments will sometimes send out their own version of fliers, brochures and logos just to get it done.

Additional tip: Include a link to this folder in the new employee induction pack!

3. Send them packing.

Include a packaged logo in the shared marketing folder mentioned above. This is the ultimate time saver and deserve a special mention.

One of the most common requests the marketing department gets is 'Please send me the logo.'

Have the logo packaged in a zip file ready to go and ask your designer to include:

  • the logo guidelines (This is important especially when it's being handled by people outside your organisation)
  • Logo used in print
  • Logo used in digital
  • Logo in full colour
  • Logo in black
  • Logo in white
  • Logo in any other approved colour variations (if applicable)

If all of the above is included you a) will have a consistent logo used everywhere and b) won’t have come backs for different requests which ultimately saves you time.

4. Subtle influence.

Put your brand guidelines up by the office printer, water cooler or coffee machine. These are the places people often stand waiting and will read just about anything while they wait, so why not have them read the brand guidelines. Subtle but effective.

The best way to do this is to ask your designer to create a colourful, interesting poster summarising your brand guidelines.

Here’s the one we’ve got in our office.

Brand Guidelines poster

5. You love me. You really really love me.

Well, perhaps their acceptance speech won't be as dramatic, but having a Brand Ambassador award will work wonders.

You’ve probably already got an ‘Employee of the Quarter’ award or ‘Long Service’ award, so just add the ‘Brand Ambassador’ award.

Recognise and reward the person who has shown all the brand qualities that your business stands for (Remember the posters from the beginning of the post? Use those as measuring tools.). It can be as simple as a certificate or in our case we let them bring their pet to work for a day and choose one afternoon off!

There you have it! Implement those five simple tricks and your marketing department will be less overloaded and manageable during the really busy and stressful times. The rest of the organisation will unknowingly help out and you can get back to doing the planning and strategising.

Until next time, be creative!

Brand Creator and Owner of Sweet Pepper Creative

If you've ever been involved in a branding or rebranding campaign you would've heard designers talk about the importance of a 'logo concept'. But what IS a logo concept?

We've done a summarised diagram below to show you what we mean by a concept.

For a logo to be valuable and long lasting it needs to be based on a strong concept. In other words it needs to have meaning. Get your logo concept right and all your other marketing collateral and branding will naturally follow.

Now you know the meaning or 'concept' behind our logo!

Our logo meaning

P.S. If you'd like to see the process of designing a professional logo watch our video series 'Behind the screen – Logo Design'.

Until next time, be creative!

Brand Creator and Owner of Sweet Pepper Creative

Ever wondered what goes into designing a logo? In our video series 'Behind the screen – Logo design' we literally take you behind the screen to show you exactly how.

On average a logo design takes around 20-40 hours but don't worry we've sped up the recordings and sliced together just the basics especially for you!

Part 1: Logo design – Brief and brainstorming

Part 2: Logo design – Font selection

Part 3: Logo design – Logo concepts and colour selection

Part 4: Logo design – Presentation to client

Part 5: Logo design – Feedback and refinement ideas

Part 6: Logo design – Refined logo concepts

Part 7: Logo design – Presentation to client

Part 8: Logo design – Final logo and logo guidelines

Until next time, be creative!

Brand Creator and Owner of Sweet Pepper Creative

Today we are going to talk about the F-word: Fonts! Branding can quickly start to look messy and amateur so here are 5 branding tips for fonts you can implement yourself to keep your branding looking professional.

If you are more of a visual person have a look at the Prezi below (View it in full screen for maximum impact).

Or if you are more of a text-kinda-person we've also put it in writing for you!

Tip 1: Only use two fonts

Using more than two fonts means your brand will start to look messy and as your business grows it will become more difficult to manage. Choose one font for your headings and one font for your body copy.

Tip 2: Pick a 'web safe' font

'Web safe' fonts are those that most computers already have installed such as Arial, Georgia, Tahoma, Times New Roman, Trebuchet and Verdana. This will ensure your online communication, such as your website and emails, remains consistent and everyone will see the same brand.

Tip 3: Be consistent

Your brand, and therefore your font, needs to be consistent throughout your communication both online and in print.

Some sneaky buggers we often forget:

  • Email signatures
  • Website footers
  • Quotes and invoices
  • Signage
  • Email copy (Everyone in your company should use the same font in their emails)

Tip 4: Font colour

While we're talking about consistency remember to be consistent with your colours too. It’s good practice to assign a colour to your heading font and a colour to your body font.

An inside secret: 100% black for your body copy can be a bit harsh. Try using an 80% black or dark grey instead for a cleaner look and feel.

Tip 5: Stick to your choice

Once you've decided on your font choice stick to it. Changing your font is the same as changing your name or logo. If it changes too often your business won't be remembered. If you do need a change, aim to do it once every two years.

Another little secret: If you've chosen a classic font for your body copy, chances are your branding won't date quickly.

So there you have it. It's not the be-all and end-all of font advice but five tips you can implement yourself in your own business.

Of course, if you have any other tips please leave a comment and I'll be sure to post it up!

Until next time, be creative!

Brand Creator and Owner of Sweet Pepper Creative

Welcome to the Branding Blackboard, where we share practical branding knowledge so that your business has a credible, professional and trustworthy brand. Today we're going back to the basics: Identifying your target audience.

This is for all you marketers and business owners!

So go ahead and press play on the short video clip below!

Or if you are more of a text-kinda-person we've also put it in writing for you!

Our topic today is identifying your target audience.

In other words, who are the people you'd like to buy your product or service? Because branding is about making decisions that will make your business appeal to these people.

To build a target audience profile it is as easy as making a list.

Here's a tip: Be as specific as possible. It will make branding easier in the long run. Think IDEAL client.

In today's example we look at a business that sells billboard space.

Some of the questions we can ask ourselves are:

  • What is their gender most likely to be: In this case, male
  • What age bracket would they fall into: 30-40 years
  • What job title would they most likely have: Since our IDEAL client in this scenario handles big budgets we'd say Marketing Director
  • Which industry are they in: Ideally they'd be in large scale event coordination such as exhibitions, concerts, sporting events etc.
  • What is the purpose of their job: In summary, to market an event for increased sales
  • Where would they ideally be located: In Brisbane's CBD
  • Which social media platform do they most often use: Twitter. It is the easiest way to stay up to date on other big events and make international connections
  • What hobbies does your ideal client take part in: Running - As a Marketing Director in a fast-paced environment means it is essential to be fit; Wine tasting - another essential for event management plus a good way to connect with other high end clients; Photography - because it is relaxing.
  • Which three things about their work do they really enjoy: 1. Creative campaigns 2. Reporting positive campaign results to satisfied clients 3. The fast pace of the environment
  • Which three things about their work do they not enjoy: 1. Unrealistic deadlines 2. Unnecessary meetings 3. Miscommunication of ideas

If you are in the Business to Consumer market instead of the Business to Business market you will have different questions at points 3, 4 and 5.

These are just a few questions you can answer about your ideal client. Feel free to elaborate on them and add more to further flesh out your ideal client. The point is that the answers will help you target your marketing message and sales process to your ideal client.

For example, from the answers above we know that in this case the marketing department will focus their energy on Twitter more than the other social media channels; perhaps invite the client to a wine tasting event instead of trying to set-up a meeting; highlight their reliable and fast turn around service to accommodate the tight deadlines they work with.

You might be thinking Where do I find this information?

Quite simply, research. Which clients do you currently work with that you'd love ten more of? What do they comment on? Build a relationship with them so that you get to understand who you are talking to.

The next step is to visualise your ideal client.

It sounds slightly strange but by putting together images of your ideal client, their hobbies, likes and dislikes, will keep them front of mind. Pin it up somewhere in the marketing department on a wall close by. Trust me, this is what the big ad agencies do because it works!

So there you have it. Hope you enjoyed today's Branding Blackboard!

Until next time, be creative!

Brand Creator and Owner of Sweet Pepper Creative

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