Brand Imagery for your Business

In this clever and high-tech age that we live, it really feels as if we are operating at a peak of digital communication. We are well aware that the digital age will only continue to evolve, but who could have predicted a global pandemic, which would lead to greater digital and online interactions at this time?

Now we have zoom meetings at the forefront of office interactions, and businesses are having to develop their brand identity with a greater focus on digital interactions. With this has come an increase in website optimisation, online blog content, eNewsletters, email campaigns and digital advertising. And finally, there is a need to boost social media marketing. All of which offer an opportunity to craft clever digital content. (And here comes your lesson for the day) “Always remember that content should not just be copy”. Words and images are most effective when they work together, and so this is where brand imagery makes its mark.

While we often talk about branding and brand identity, “Brand imagery” specifically is a visual tool used to tell the story of your business. It may be described as the aesthetic appearance of the brand’s core message and has the potential to strengthen your connection with your target audience. Your brand imagery may include (but is never limited to) video, photography, illustration, graphics, colour, icons, symbols and charts.

Brand imagery has always played its part in marketing and advertising, and with the recent rise in digital and online marketing, it plays a significantly greater role in business branding. Our digital world is highly image-driven these days, particularly for those maximising that scroll action on their social media feed (guilty)! So, what does this mean for your business?

It’s time to consider your use of imagery for your business branding. Let’s stop and reassess! Ask yourself…

What imagery do you use to represent your brand?

  • Are you offering customers a visual connection to your brand?
  • Within your print and digital marketing strategy?
  • As a key feature within your brand collateral?

Does your imagery allow you to connect with your audience, followers and community?

  • Is it relevant, appropriate and engaging?
  • Does it highlight your brand’s personality?
  • Is it important and inspiring to your target audience?
  • It is consistent with your branding to build trust with your audience?

Does your imagery communicate your values to your customers?

  • Can they gain insight into your brand message and culture through this imagery?
  • Does your imagery align with your values?

Does your imagery show off your brand’s style?

  • Is it consistent with your overall branding, logo and colour scheme?
  • Is it a clear identifier of your business?
  • Does the style of imagery align with your brand’s purpose?
  • Does your style stand out from your competitors?

Does your brand imagery, translate across digital platforms?

  • Is it designed for digital media?
  • Are you maximising the use of imagery across your digital platforms?

If this thought-provoking chat has highlighted holes in your strategy or left you wondering, then perhaps it is time to reconsider your business brand imagery with the use of the above prompts! OR why not allow me to help you?

I am all about building relationships with new clients and working together to create high quality and individually tailored branding for their businesses. And if this means fine-tuning your brand imagery strategy then let’s make it happen!

*Shoot me a message or fill in the enquiry form on my website and I will be so happy to get in touch with you!

Creating an eco-friendly workplace

For anyone who knows me, you would be well aware that I am super passionate about working sustainably in my studio! I am also proudly operating in a 100% carbon neutral workspace with help from the wonderful people at Trace (do yourself a favour and check them out here!).

I am always eager to chat with the lovely people around me about reducing our environmental impact in the office. Considering that you guys (my friends and followers) have shown up today to explore this topic further, I think it’s the perfect opportunity to break down the many quick, easy (and often overlooked) ways to encourage an eco-friendly workplace! Let’s go!

Reuse reuse reuse!

This step is an easy one. Replace single-use coffee cups, plates, and cutlery with crockery or reusable items. For those of you keen to support the environmentally savvy creatives out there, why not go that step further and shop cutlery sets, coffee keep-cups, and more goods made from recyclable materials!

*Grab this eco-friendly cutlery box set when you are on the go (yes, it’s dishwasher friendly – what a dream!) Made from sustainably harvested wheat fibre and ticking all the boxes!

Don’t forget to ditch the plastic water bottle (well figuratively speaking) and sub it out for a reusable one! We are so lucky to live in a country where clean drinking water is so accessible.

Reduce waste & Recycle!

Don’t make it any harder than it needs to be. Setting up a recycling system in your office space and work kitchen can be as simple as separating your waste into recycling, compost and rubbish.  Share the load and rotate the responsibilities with your office mates!

Not sure about composting? Surprisingly this solution to food waste, increased landfill and increased greenhouse gases can be super rewarding for everyone. Planet Earth Cleaning has a few handy hints right here.

For all my caffeine-loving friends, did you know your coffee pods can be collected for recycling too? Life Hacker has a few ideas on how you can responsibly dispose of them here.

OR if you are keen to change it up it might be time to skip the pods and purchase Fairtrade?

Fair-trade organisations like the Australian label Republica prioritise the use of organic resources and favour environmentally sustainable farming methods to preserve valuable ecosystems. Say no more! On top of this, they also promote the ethical treatment of labourers who are delivering our AM coffee fix.

Rethink staff travel!

Has your office considered the environmental impact of travel and commuting? (I.e., driving, burning fuel, carbon emissions – you know the drill!)

Reduce your travel hours and replace them with a trip on the train, taking the bike to work (hello new wheels), or some good old-fashioned carpooling! (You might find you’ll save a few dollars along the way too.)

With so many post-covid changes now the new norm, WFH has also become an option for more and more workplaces. If you have a choice? Take a day or two out of your week to work from home and keep things eco-friendly!

Reduce your carbon footprint by participating in virtual meetings (or “environmentally responsible meetings”) and while you are at it – save time, reduce costs involved and increase your productivity in the office! Hell yeh to ticking off that list!

How to flourish in your home office

Is it just me or is anyone else guilty of a cheeky Pinterest scroll during WFHH (working-from-home hours)? My current go-to is indulging in the #officeinspo trends which seem to be overtaking my feed. From plants to prints, and savvy storage set-ups – there are so many dreamy ideas out there for a stylish and easy office makeover. And I am SO ready to jump on board the bandwagon.

For my working-from-home and remote-based friends and fellow business-people, a little office redo can be a great way to help stimulate and motivate you in the long run. Remember that by setting the scene you are also setting yourself up for success!

While working from home can for some people seem like a drag (particularly amidst the covid chaos), and for most others it takes a certain level of drive to maintain motivation and a positive, productive headspace – I must admit that there is definitely an upside. I would be kidding if I said I didn’t enjoy working from the comfort of home. You have to love a space where blocks of chocolate and cups of tea are readily available, 90’s playlists and terrible singing aren’t frowned upon, and slippers are forever encouraged… (all day every day am I right?)

But, I won’t deny that with the good things come challenges, and there are times when things do get a little tricky WFH. So let’s talk about how to flourish in your home office and triumph those cabin fever blues that often come creeping in!

  1. It’s all in the routine
    Routine routine routine! Get that diary filled in at the start of the week to give yourself a clear idea of your pre-work schedule and structure/goals for each day. You will be much more inclined to get out of bed when the alarm rings if you have a few morning items to tick off the list before the workday starts. Allow time for a nourishing brekky, that cup of coffee, your morning walk or yoga flow – we all know these things can be vital for a healthy work/personal life balance. Don’t forget to keep your eye on the clock and make sure you are at your desk ready to start the working day according to your schedule.

  2. The snooze button is not your friend!
    We’ve all had our experiences with the snooze button… But during the working week, it just isn’t the friend for you. Don’t get me wrong, there can be days when we need our rest, or when the strains to our mental and physical health require us to take a break – and it is perfectly okay to do this. When you’re running by the schedule though, it’s important you meet the expectations you have set for yourself and show up for the day! You wouldn’t bail on meeting a friend or client, would you? So don’t let yourself down either.

  3. Signing off for the day
    Use the end of the workday to set your to-do list for tomorrow! While ideas and inspiration are still fresh in your head, it’s a perfect time to prepare for the following working day. I can assure you that tomorrow’s version of you will be stoked to get started!

    Remember to sign off for the day according to the clock and don’t let work overlap with your personal time. It’s important that you allow yourself some down time and this can be made easier by planning a relaxing or fun leisurely activity which will encourage you out of the office. Finish that book you’ve been reading, jump on the treadmill or get in the kitchen and prepare something yummy for tonight’s dessert!

  4. Designate your space!
    The number 1 rule of WFH is to designate an area for your office space and keep it that way. A physical separation of work and personal space is so valuable to how you operate in both settings. There is no way you want to be slipping into your workspace (and headspace) when you should be enjoying some down time. So, whether it be an entire room or the corner of one – you owe yourself a professional space where you can kick those goals!

  5. Give your office a refresh
    Like I said, hitting refresh on your home-office setup can be an easy way to set the mood and to provide a setting which separates itself from your personal space in the house. A lick of light paint, re-arrangement of furniture, or a motivational print on the wall might be all that is needed to aid in your work performance and give you that little kick in the right direction. (Or go right ahead and treat your office to an entire makeover!)

I caught up with the inspiring Katie Fox – Makeup Artist and founder of Little Pink Fox.

As a woman working in the creative industry, I am absolutely blessed to collaborate, learn from, and cross paths with fellow women in business each and every day. These relationships are ones which I greatly value – and ultimately, they drive my own passion around celebrating strong and innovative women.

I could go on and on all day about the incredible female founders who have stepped into my life, and for this reason I am thrilled to be able to introduce my readers to the passionate and enormously warm-hearted Katie Fox.

Katie and I caught up to chat about women in business, her path to self-growth and mental health advocacy in a regional community. Brace yourselves to be inspired!

Katie, can you please tell us a little bit about the vision behind your business Little Pink Fox? 

So basically, it was originally started as an add on to my makeup business to help brides with gifts for their bridesmaids.

I was like, it will be easy… I’ll put together a gift box of their favourite things and it will be so simple for the brides! Then I started seeing how much everyone was loving it, and realised I was also spreading the love and happiness, and making people feel special. So, I started on adding more products.

What drew you to working in the beauty industry?

As a teenager I loved playing with makeup. I never felt like a pretty person, so it helped for me to experiment and transform myself with makeup. I then had such a passion for it, and realised I loved making people feel beautiful on the outside, as well as the inside.

When you feel beautiful on the outside, it creates so much joy. I love being able to do that for people. Being able to bring out the natural beauty of each lovely person. Each person has their own unique and amazing features, and I love highlighting these.

What is your favourite product to date from the Little Pink Fox gift collection?

The body whips. I use it twice a day, so it would have to be this!

Note taken! *Pauses to add Little Pink Fox Body Whip to cart*

What would a typical workday look like for you? 

1. Check emails for Little Pink Fox and Katie Fox Makeup Artist
2. Check all my social platforms and respond
3. Make products
4. Chase up orders with retailers
5. Work makeup appointments around everything else!

We love your approach to mental health and your passion for lifting people up! What helps you to maintain your bright spark when you are on the job and dealing with people from day to day?

I am always taking care of myself physically, diet-wise, and being careful with who I spend my time with and who my tribe are. I make sure I spend time with positive and uplifting people. Watching and listening to the right things to keep me in the right state of mind. I’m a glass half full type of person. I love quotes and positive stories, as well as listening to people’s testimonials through self-growth (anything inspirational). I’m mindful of what I’m feeding myself, whether it be mentally or physically.

Are you able to tell us about local organisation Life Boat SE and the initiative you have developed to support them?

Life Boat SE is a community based group for locals with lived mental health experience, past or current. We are on a committee and share our journeys with mental health in a group setting to help support others.

We meet once a month and invite anyone to come along. We can help point people in the right direction to get assistance for their own mental health. We also offer mindfulness and positive stories to help create a community and safe place for people, where they can find support and connection.

I would have loved when I was growing up to see someone going through their own experience with mental health – but running a successful business. That’s what I want to be for other people.

5% of all profits from Little Pink Fox I donate directly back into this cause.

I imagine you have had so many proud moments throughout your career as a business owner, but if you had to pick one – what is your highlight?

1.How accepted we were at the trade fair in 2019 and 2.Going to America through eNVIsion with Flinders University.

I’m proud that I have created this from nothing, and all of the learning opportunities I’ve been given, through product development etc. And that I’ve stuck it out and kept going even when it’s been tricky or there have been roadblocks.  

I’m so grateful for my family’s support, and appreciative of all the amazing relationships that I’ve built with other women in business. The connections that I’ve made have been incredible.

What message would you give to women who are starting out or finding their feet in the business world?

To celebrate every micro-step (the small wins). Don’t be hanging out for the pot of gold, because every step helps you get to the bigger goal. Just to roll with it, acknowledge your failures and take them in your stride.

Make sure you really connect with other business owners and don’t look at people as competition. Share information and learn within the community freely; this is how we all grow – through sharing resources.

Be open to pivoting and continuing to test the market. See what people are responding to, it might be not what you originally thought.

Do something that you are passionate about, it can’t be money driven. You have to love it.

Be kind to yourself, it’s full on – but so so fun!

Let’s talk 2021, what’s on your bucket list for this year? 

I’d love to get into a few stores in Adelaide, and around the country. I have a few big personal things happening, so they are my focus but growing the retail side will be the focus outside of that.  

Let’s talk about the “Customer Database”.

Holy moly, what a few weeks it has been in the media world! Like the rest of Australia, you may have found yourself engrossed in current conversations centred around the shocking “Facebook News Ban”. This situation has highlighted the ability that social media platforms like Facebook have, to restrict users from their service with simply a swift flick of the switch.

Whether it was a right or wrong move from our friends at Facebook, it seems we all have our two cents to add to the conversation. But for me this whole experience has really cemented the fact that as business owners we cannot solely rely on social media platforms like Facebook as a means of connecting with our customers.

Keeping this in mind, I thought it would be the perfect time to have a chat about how we can reach our customers in a variety of (digital) ways…

–        If digital newsletter platforms like Campaign Monitor and Mailchimp ring a bell to
         you, then you will know that both offer an effective way to connect with customers –
         at the click of a button. These All-In-One integrated marketing platforms assist small
         businesses in managing and talking to clients, customers and other interested

–        Developing a Website for your business (with the help of online services like
         Squarespace, WordPress and Shopify) is another measure that can be taken to direct
         customers to a central source of information which promotes your brand. These
         sites also offer integrated email marketing features so that users can promote their
         product, service or event via electronic mail.

The beauty of this mixture of mediums is that they can all be used to store customer details and will double as a trustworthy “Customer Database”. If this term is new to you and you’re wondering what a Customer Database is, then let’s take a moment so that I can explain – and give the CD the 60 seconds of recognition it seriously deserves! (Can you tell I’m a big fan?)

By definition: *the customer database is – a contact list – on the internet – storing valuable info about your customers – and allowing for interaction with said customers via methods like email*

Why do you need a customer database…? I never thought you’d ask! While your Customer Database will provide a secure foundation for customer details and will allow you to reach out to your followers with ease, this information is valuable for driving sales or tailoring product catalogs and other marketing material to your list of followers. These steps are all vital in helping your business to grow!

Here are a few simple ways to add customer details to your business address book…

–        Through Surveys and competitions
–        With a Call To Action box via your website (share this link across all of your
         social platforms)
–        At point of sale whether it be in store or online (or during trade shows)
–        In person – while networking at events

If you know me well, you will know how much I value any opportunity to bring an educational element to my creative business! I love delving into new topics with my followers and lifting the lid on my own industry tips and tricks… If you’re interested in learning more from me then you can find the Jessica Elise sign up box at the very bottom of this page!

Do colour palettes really matter?

When going through a branding process, you’re asked A LOT of questions. Why? Because I want to make sure that I know EXACTLY what you’re wanting your brand to say, how you want it to feel and WHO your brand is.

One of my favourite parts of the branding process is working on the colour scheme. The poor ol’ colour scheme can be a little bit overlooked, but it will help you so much in the many years working with/on and in your brand. It will help keep things consistent, recognised, and of course, gorgeous! Just think, so many brands are known for their colour palette alone, think Tiffany (blue), Cadbury (purple) and even Coca-Cola (red).

There is a little bit more thought than “this is a pretty colour” when I work on your brands colour scheme. Did you know that there is a WHOLE science around colour theory? Why? Because different colours evoke different emotions and responses from people. I’ve listed a few dot-points below of what some colours evoke (note you can have different shades of these colours, obviously, but these are the generic few);

Pink – compassion, gentleness, intimate, nurturing
Red – ambition, strength, attention, energetic
Yellow – creativity, happy, optimistic, extrovert
Orange – creative, secure, passionate, curious
Blue – patience, tranquility, intelligent, trustworthy
Purple – luxury, ambition, visionary, truthful
White – clean, fresh, good, pure, sophisticated
Black – elegance, formal, glamorous, secure, serious
Green – fresh, balance, giving, abundant

Isn’t it amazing! What colours are you drawn to most? Let me know below 👇

Logo vs Brand

I often get asked the question, “what is the difference between a brand and a logo?”.

I offer various services, depending on what you are needing as a business. I LOVE helping developing branding for businesses, but I also love helping clients give their logos a refresh. I’ll explain more below. 👇👇

Your logo is your visual shortcut of your brand. It’s a visual mark that should showcase the essence of your brand. It will be the main touchpoint of your business to your clients, such as your website, print collateral, ads, uniforms, etc. It’s important to have a well designed logo as it should create consistency throughout your business, it helps your business to be easily identified in a sea of competitors, it fosters professionalism and should create an emotional connection with your target audience.

Your brand is everything about your business, your brand identity (name, tone of voice, visual identity and your logo), your business statement, your advertising and communication methods and strategies, your website, your product and packaging design, pricing and more. It should clarify what your business is, and what it isn’t.

Basically, if you don’t know your business well, your logo will not full-fill the purpose it should. I know, it’s blunt, but it’s important that if you are going to the effort of starting a professional business, you should invest in creating a brand that stands for what your business stands for.

If you’re interested in learning more, or if you think that your business has a few gaps in its branding identity, send me a message. I’ll happily do a branding audit for your business, even mention this post for a discount on the audit x