How to choose your brand colours

How to choose your brand colours

Don’t be afraid to be bold—after all, did you know colour determines 62-90% of how your buyer will react to your business’s product? Every colour has different perceived meanings and connotations, so how do you know how to use them? Read our quick guide on colour: when to use it, and how!

1. RED

Red is an eye-catching colour that promotes action. It’s a warning colour, sharply bringing you out of a calm state and attracting attention.

How does it work?:
Red affects someone’s physiology: it stimulates the nervous system and slightly increases blood pressure.

Remember:
In electronic media, red is subconsciously perceived as a mistake—so it’s better not to use this colour for brands related to education, finance and IT.

Fits:

  • food / drinks
  • the medicine
  • beauty
  • sport
  • transport
  • real estate

2. BLUE

Blue is the colour of serenity, calm and dimension (think the sea and sky). As well as reliability and purity. It’s still a restful colour, and isn’t overbearing or unpleasant when used as bright shades. 

How does it work?:
Affects emotions: calms, balances, controls.

Remember:
Blue is a universal colour that suits almost everyone. Ideal for travel brands – blue is reminiscent of the sky, sea and mountains.

Fits:

  • transport
  • finance / business
  • IT / digital
  • real estate
  • medicine
  • tourism
  • family / children

3. YELLOW

An energetic, warm and inviting colour. Take a look at some of the world’s most iconic brands—Mcdonald’s golden arches are a recognisable symbol anywhere on the planet. 

How does it work?:
Yellow stimulates brain activity and improves performance. Gold denotes success, worthiness and value.

Remember:
Bright yellow is associated with childhood, and gold is best used for luxurious, high status businesses.

Fits:

  • clothes
  • sport
  • entertainment
  • tourism
  • family Children
  • art
  • education
  • animals 

4. GREEN

Green is the undeniable colour of nature, peace and freshness.

How does it work?:
It’s said to soothe the nervous system, lower intraocular pressure and sharpen vision.

Remember:
Often green is associated with sustainable causes and ecological benefits, making it a good match for food brands. Also associated with money (as it’s the colour of the dollar) and is suitable for the financial sector.

Fits:

  • food / drinks
  • education
  • IT / digital
  • real estate
  • the medicine
  • tourism
  • family / children
  • animals
  • finance / business

5. BLACK

In branding, black is the colour of order, professionalism and clarity.

How does it work?:
It denotes high cost, luxury and functionality—in the 19th and 20th centuries, equipment and machines were often first produced in black.

Remember:
Black (like most colours) has different cultural meanings: for example, in Russia, it is the colour of mourning and, in Japan, the colour of joy.

 

Fits:

  • beauty
  • art
  • clothes
  • real estate
  • education
  • sport
  • finance / business
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How SCAMPER, Euler’s circles and the How-Now-Wow method work

How SCAMPER, Euler’s circles and the How-Now-Wow method work

It’s four thirty. The office hums with impatience. The post-lunchtime urge to nap is both present and treacherous, and several bedraggled creative types sit slumped around a large blank page.  

Sound familiar? If you’ve ever had to brainstorm for a living, you’ll know that the elusive universal brainstorming technique (you know, the one that keeps your clients happy, gets you in under budget, and destroys your enemies)—doesn’t exist.

Take it from us, we’ve looked! And although we didn’t find it, we did manage to find the next best thing: our top five brainstorming techniques for effective idea generation. 

SIX HATS

You now have six imaginary hats. Each hat is a different colour and requires you to ask different questions about the problem at hand. Go through each hat in turn and approach your problem from a different perspective—take notes! 

White: Discuss your problem with an emphasis on facts and figures. What are the numbers telling you? 

– Hazelnut sales are down 20% from last year. 

Red: Rely on your intuition, focus on the feelings and emotions that arise when discussing the problem. 

– I’m to blame for the drop in numbers, I suck at targeting!  

– No, It’s just that less people are cooking at home, they’re ordering delivery. 

– This is a new reality dictated by the pandemic…

Yellow: What are your positive expectations for the project? What is it that holds positive significance in your idea? 

– Let’s come up with healthy nut based recipes and start promoting them on TikTok. Let’s print a cookbook and post it out with our hazelnuts. Our target market will be those interested in a healthy lifestyle—everything will be healthy, fabulous and green! 

Black: This requires critical thinking. You need to Identify all the risks and possible pitfalls in the implementation of your project.

– How is this going to work? Is there anything healthy about sugar, dough and deserts? With what money are we going to print these books? We’re almost bankrupt! 

Green: This hat is about creativity and imagination. Sit down and dedicate time to search for unexpected, creative and provocative solutions to  your problem. 

– A recipe from the 11th century is nuts with avocado and turkey on corn flour. We’ll find creative recipes to print on pfd, and then we include a QR code that links to instructional videos and extra content! 

Blue: The development of specific stages for the implementation of this goal. This is when we start to plan. What sort of timescale are you looking at? What’s the budget?

– We need to redesign, rename, search for influencers and begin seeding in social networks—let’s go!

 

What’s next? Depending on the task, you can try on hats in a convenient sequence. The technique can also be used with large teams. For example; divide the participants into six teams, record their ideas, then change the “hats” for the teams until all participants have expressed their opinion in each category.

LOTUS FLOWER

This technique helps you generate a solution for the main problem, by solving the auxiliary problems around it. Start with a main topic and expand upon it until you get to several different subtopics. You will need a 9 by 9 cell table – you can print or draw it. 

 

1. In the central cell, write the goal you want to achieve. For example, “Increase the number of active subscribers from one thousand to fifteen thousand”. 

2. In the eight petals around the center, enter the tools that would help achieve this goal. The following are suitable; UGC, influencer advertising, contests, targeting, content plan redesign, entry to other sites, collaborations, competitor analysis. 

3. Take each of these elements separately and come up with eight solutions to these issues.

To rework the content plan, you can try the following solutions: 

  • Re-analysis of target audience; 
  • TOV change; 
  • Updated rubricator; 
  • Increase in the frequency of publications; 
  • Emphasis on stories instead of posts;
  • Live broadcasts with experts that have not been held before;
  • Publications about brand partners who will share these posts on their own;
  • CTA and attempts to display a signature for a dialogue.

    As a result, you will have 64 different solutions to the problem, which can be combined and grouped in any way that seems logical to you.

    SCAMPER

    This method is more suitable for optimizing processes than for giving birth to a brand new idea. With SCAMPER, you need to answer questions from seven categories:

     

    S: Substitute—Is it possible to replace the components of the product to solve the problem? 

    C: Combine—Can it be combined with other solutions, functions or products? 

    A: Adapt—Can new elements and functions be added? 

    M: Modify—Can the product be modified? 

    P: Put to other uses—Can a product or idea be applied in another industry? 

    E: Eliminate—Can the product be simplified to reduce its disadvantages? 

    R: Reverse—Is the opposite solution, idea or product possible?

    Imagine that you were the first car-sharing service in your city, but have failed to develop your software for a long time and have become seriously behind the competition. SCAMPER will tell you in which directions you can move to fix this. 

    Spoiler alert: you can come to both a rebranding and a complete retraining—for example, a courier service.

     

     

    EULER’S CIRCLES

    Euler’s circles are relationship diagrams. They help to find the relationship between objects that appear to be poles apart. Euler’s circles are useful when you have a lot of concepts that you struggle to mentally connect. Unlike Venn diagrams, Euler’s circles show relevant relationships—as opposed to possible relationships between different sets. 

    There are six types of relationships:

    1. Equivalence. Mcdonald’s serves affordable fast food. MAC is a luxury cosmetics brand. You need to clearly associate your product with the niche it occupies. Think about what analogies you can draw and how to connect the psychology of your brand to the physical imagery your customers see. 

    2. Subordination (Coordination). Ethical hair brand Kevin.Murphy not only does not test products on animals, but also minimizes waste. For example, it produces a series of products in recycled ocean plastic. Although animal testing and ocean waste are two seperate issues, they both fall under the umbrella of sustainability. This is what sets the brand apart from other cruelty-free cosmetics. 

    3. Submission. Frame your concept in a way that is far from obvious. For example, tell us about your sunscreen, and how it should be used somewhere in the Far North. Many people still do not know that sun protection is a story not only about summer and heat. Surprise your audience, frame your product in a unique way.

    4. Intersection. What do your target audience and your product have in common? You care about the health of children, just like their parents—that is why you produce a series of stuffed toys that can be wiped with a damp cloth so that no dust particles accumulate on them. Relate your product to the humans that buy it. 

    5. Contradiction. The struggle of two conflicting opinions—all this storytelling power is at your fingertips. Think about the Twix’s ‘left & right twix’ Ad campaign. Or Marmite, you either love it or you hate it. 

    6. Opposites. These two don’t come into conflict and instead coexist peacefully together. Those with naturally straight hair want to curl it, and those with curly hair—straighten it. Your salon doesn’t care who they are—because they’ll do incredible styling for both. Use this to shed some light on your positioning strategy.

     

    You can apply Euler’s circles to: 

    • Check if the strategy is relevant to the project. 
    • Analyse competitors’ content. 
    • Develop TOV, corporate colours, branding and identity. 
    • Make sure that there are no points of friction or inconsistencies in the brief.

    HOW-NOW-WOW

    In this technique, you place ideas on an axis. It has four directions:

    Wow is the coolest option. The goal of the session is to arrive at a stage of development where the majority of your ideas are in this box.

    Edible coffee cups, chocolate bombs and sweet milk straws have all had a wow effect in coffee shops recently, and they are easy to implement. Think about what you have to offer? An innovative recipe for a cookie that doesn’t break in tea? 

    So, which of these techniques are the most suited to you and your team? Remember, there’s no universal brainstorming technique as there is no universal brain—so try out some methods that are as vibrant and entertaining as the people you work with.

    Don’t forget to check:

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    Jack Mackie about finding job during the pandemic, future of content creation and how to create trends

    Jack Mackie about finding job during the pandemic, future of content creation and how to create trends

    How to get into Content Creation profession from Film and Media and how Kickstart Scheme can help with that move. We spoke to NoFrames Content Creator Jack to know more about his career development from a freelancer to a pro and requested some tips for beginners in content creation.

    – Tell us how and why did you start Content Creation profession. Where did you study?

    I studied at the University of Stirling, an undergraduate degree in Film and Media. Focusing on Advertising and Content Development within university and in my freelancing experience creating visual content for Rangers TV and other clients. Content Creation is at the heart of what I have done and what I continue to do.

    – What else did you do before NoFrames? What important experience did you get?

    Before NoFrames, I have had many work experience opportunities: freelance video editing, camera operating and many runner/PA positions creating visual media and writing copy for various social channels. Working at NoFrames was the next step in focusing on that experience.

    – How did you find NoFrames? Why did you decide to choose this company among many others offering the same job?

    I initially applied to NoFrames through LinkedIn and the Kickstart Scheme. Graduating last year mid pandemic, it became difficult finding work within my field of expertise. The opportunity provided through NoFrames has given me the confidence and a positive outlook on my future within the industry. The team at NoFrames, especially Irina and Sophie have given me great encouragement and advice, and I am grateful to feel as accepted as I do within the team.

    {
    Graduating last year mid pandemic, it became difficult finding work within my field of expertise. The opportunity provided through NoFrames has given me the confidence and a positive outlook on my future within the industry.

    – What exactly do you do in the team as a Content Creator?

    As Content Creator, my job is to create visually interesting content and copy for NoFrames’ social channels and for their varied B2B and B2C clients that work with the company. Creating a unique sense of brand identity through these pieces of content is what I prioritize. Working with our Social Media Manager to take into account the distinct aspects of each client and frame their work in an approachable and engaging way!

    – What do you like most about that job?

    I love that I can apply my creativity and have the freedom to try new things. Working with clients in different fields also gives me a great understanding of how to manage and curate for brands in sectors I haven’t worked in before. It gives me a diversified pallet for future projects.

    – How do you see this profession developing in the future?

    With the nature of Digital Marketing, the trends that are popular now, may not be tomorrow. It is a fast and ever-evolving space. I see myself trying and testing new types of content over my time at NoFrames. Developing a deeper understanding on what consumers are looking for when searching online.

    – Give us some recommendations on how to become a great Content Creator, something like a checklist from Jack Mackie!

    My checklist for creating great content all stems from understanding your target audience and to think outside of the box.

    01

    Understanding composition

    Knowing how to layout and present your material is perhaps the most important part of being a Content Creator. The first impression a person looks at the posts you have created is everything. Make sure to brush up on your presentation skills and the tools you utilize to ensure you are bringing your all to whatever project you may be working on.

    02

    Putting in the time to research competition

    Understanding what others are doing in the same field is very helpful and a great way to discover what works for others and what may work for you.

    03

    Identifying current trends and creating content for future trends

    You shouldn’t only rely on others for great content. You must put in the time. Researching and experimenting can lead to advances in how you shape your own content and can help you identify what works and what may work well for your client in the near future. Always be on the pulse of emerging trends and new ways of innovating.

    Don’t forget to check:

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    NoFrames co-founder’s tips to help you work effectively with marketing agencies

    NoFrames co-founder’s tips to help you work effectively with marketing agencies

    In movies, working with agencies (as well as within them) looks like a dream; the client sets the brief and after a week or two you’re showing a crazy presentation, their sales skyrocket, everyone is happy, and you all drink champagne on yachts. In reality, managers don’t look like Hollywood stars and it’s not all smooth sailing.

    However, the power lies in the approach. We’ve collected some universal tips to make your work with contractors and agencies pleasant and productive, so that the mention of a manager won’t cause a nervous tic.

     

    01 

    Discuss Responsibility and Specific Requirements 

    Conflicts often arise due to the fact that, in the beginning, both parties fail to discuss who is who, what they do, what the tasks are, and what the parties expect from each other. For example, it would be a nasty surprise for the client if the agency didn’t provide the drafts, and the agency’s project manager might struggle without a proper introduction to the material.

    The main issues are dealt with in the contract. However, things such as the type of report, time and form of communication, specific tasks and wishes—it’s far better for them to be discussed and registered at the start. Has there already been a conflict with previous agencies? This can also be worth talking about.

    02 

    Set the Tone—Choose the Style of Working That Suits You Best

    Some prefer to give direction and rely entirely on creativity, while others need to control every step. It’s better to discuss which style is most natural to you before you start, so that the agency has time to adapt to you. If the work is also controlled by the international head office, then it’s crucial to immediately discuss its criteria, restrictions, norms, rules and terms.

    Remember that you are the face of the brand you represent. And it depends on you how the agency will treat the company. Therefore, be adequate and do not forget that you are communicating with the same people.

    03 

    Don’t Guess, Stay in Touch

    Most of the communication problems between a customer and the contractor arise when there’s a misunderstanding. Letters and messages do not convey emotions; someone can be enraged by an SMS with dots at the end, and someone else—the presence or absence of an emoji. The best way to avoid all of this is to meet or call regularly, so you can clearly indicate the frequency of reports and know when to expect results.

    Meetings are time-consuming for both parties, so prepare for them as much as possible. Write down all the issues you want to discuss in advance. Be honest with the agency and speak up right away if something is not pleasant or embarrassing. Even if you are talking about a manager who works with you, this will help stop problems from accumulating and reduce unjustified expectations to a minimum.

    04 

    Participate in Internal Meetings

    At first, it might seem like demons are being summoned right next to you: guidelines, brand books, creative approval, and so on and so forth. But, if you’ve been invited to brainstorm, don’t refuse. On the one hand, you will better understand what is generally going on in the minds of crazed digital people, and on the other, you will play the role of a consultant and give useful advice.

    No one knows the product and its audience better than you do, and this will help turn the work in the right direction. Now it’s possible to avoid a situation where someone has conveyed the wrong information, and avoid future misunderstandings. Save time and avoid unnecessary edits.

    05 

    Record All Agreements

    Did you phone and meet? Excellent! It’s best practise to confirm and record everything. Agree on the format in which everything will be recorded. The best option is to send and receive all the agreed information by email as this is the method of approval that is most often outlined in the contract.

    For convenience, discuss how you will label the subject lines and file names, and where you will communicate and store all the documents. Respond in specific threads on a specific topic, and do not interfere with all messages in one lump text—use replies.

    06 

    Work As a Team

    An agency is powered by people, it’s not a wishing well. They have experience and observation. Therefore, learn to listen to their opinion and argue your position. Constructive criticism is very good. If you don’t like an idea, tell them what you would like to improve or in which direction to direct the flow of thoughts. Imagine if you were told: “Everything is bad, redo it”—how would you do it? Both parties are interested in efficient and high-quality problem-solving. 

     

    You hired an agency because of their experience and skills. Therefore, if some idea does not seem very good to you, try to listen to their advice anyway.

    07 

    Speak the Same Language

    If you have a new idea, don’t rush to the phone and dump it on the agency manager with the phrase “Monica, we have a great idea, take a pen and write it down.”. Get together with your team and first rationalise the idea yourselves so that it sounds clear, understandable and logical to other people. If necessary, add pictures, videos and any other examples that will help. And try to avoid specific terminology and internal slang: the chances that you will be understood are close to zero.

     

    It is normal if the customer doesn’t know every advertising term and all the industry nuances. Therefore, to make it easier for you to understand the causal relationship of the agency’s proposals, you can arrange for an introductory lecture for your marketing team and a list of terms with human definitions.

    Here at NoFrames, we also have rules that have been developed with experience and can help clear up a number of issues for agencies. They will help you work in a more streamlined manner and effectively solve problems.

    1. Key decisions. The main enemy of productive work is miscommunication. To avoid misunderstandings, we determine at the beginning who will make the main decisions on behalf of the client. This person can transmit the wishes of the team and make edits. From our side, the project manager is appointed as responsible. 

    2. Working with edits. We prepare all the content in advance and put in corrections from one to three working days. We wait for feedback so we can better understand the brand and learn how to avoid too many edits in the future. Experience shows that in the first three edits, all issues can be resolved. If no comments are received within three working days, we consider that the work has been accepted. 

    3. Prioritise Introductory Information. We are for teamwork, so we ask our clients to provide all information on time, from logos to guidelines. 

    4. Resolving Issues. We discuss all questions in the corporate email chain. This is very convenient as the dialogue is available to everyone and the information is not lost. If the manager communicates with the customer by phone or in a messenger, then he writes down all the main points and sends them to the client by email. 

    5. Force majeure. We, like most office employees, work on weekdays from 09:00 to 18:00, but we understand that sometimes unplanned situations arise. If the issue really cannot be closed during business hours, the team tries to help the client as quickly as possible. However, this is an exception, not a rule. Our employees like to spend their free time with family, friends or outside the city—and we do not want to deprive them of this pleasure. 

     

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    How to write great copy

    How to write great copy

    There’s writing, then there’s copywriting. We’ve got a three point check list of what you need to remember when you’re writing copy—and you’d be crazy not to read it.

    When we find ourselves explaining the concept of copy-writing to the curious few that ask, we always end up making the same statement; “Copywriting is writing that sells.”

    In a more literal sense, any text that makes up marketing or promotional literature is a piece of copywriting, and you can bet it’s been disassembled and dissected time and time again by a dedicated copywriter.

    Copywriting is the art of taking a 3 word phrase and loading it with enough meaning to send stock flying off the shelves. It’s the art of connecting to swathes of the population at a time, in the tightest of character counts and without alienation. If that’s what copywriting is then there’s one thing it isn’t—and that’s easy. 

    We’ve put together the Three Golden Rules of Copy; so sit back, scroll down, and watch it get a little easier. 

    Keep it Real.

    This tip is all about letting your writing embody the approachable, conversational tone that copy often has to take. Sounding overly preachy can alienate your audience and leave them feeling as though you ‘know better’ than them. Although it’s easy to list the countless benefits of your services, that doesn’t mean the people reading it will believe you. Be mindful of the tone your copywriting takes—sarcasm carries risk.  

    Look at the copy you’ve written and say it aloud—it is awkward? Would someone really talk like that? Would they understand the words and phrases you’re using? If they wouldn’t, fix it. 

    Get Ruthless.

    An old english teacher of mine used to refer to pointless and wordy sections in essays as ‘waffle’. Waffle is the undeniable enemy of great copywriting. 

    Get ruthless when you edit. If a phrase can’t be justified, don’t use it. If the first word that springs to mind doesn’t click with your customer base, don’t use that either. The flow and shape of your sentences themselves are just as important too—if you overload your copy with long, unfamiliar words it’ll all get thrown out of whack. 

    Don’t let personal fondness for a particularly satisfying phrase overrule the requirement to keep copywriting simple and sharp; if you’re not writing for your customer, you’re not writing copy.

    Know your Customer.

    Before you start to write, get to know your customer. There’s a few techniques for this, such as building character diamonds and writing customer profiles. 

    The customer that you’re writing for should be at the heart of every decision you make. Picture them sitting across from you—would they connect to what you’re saying? Would they feel valued, and feel as though your expertise had value too? An old copywriting tip is to push the benefits of a service as opposed to the features. It’s about going beyond what something does and understanding how it makes us feel.

    There you have it. Three simple tips to help you understand the strategy that goes into writing copy. Of course, this is the tip of the iceberg. The morphing face of marketing and advertising throws up new challenges for copywriters every day, and in truth no amount of ‘tips’ will make you as good a copywriter as writing as much copy as you can will. 

    Although, there’s one piece of advice that cannot be ignored. 

    If you want to write great copy; you need to be reading it!

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