How to overhaul your creative identity with a rebrand

Have you considered renewing your creative identity with a rebrand?

The decision to overhaul your creative identity is not one to be taken lightly. Rebranding an established business is precarious work. Done wrong, the repercussions could range from disappointed customers and investors to financial and reputational damage.

A successful rebrand relies on a comprehensive knowledge of your sector, your competitors, your audiences, and a clear understanding of what is and isn’t already working.

Rebranding can help you access new markets, compete with more cutting-edge competitors, reconnect with existing audiences, align your name with a new political or economic landscape and differentiate yourself in a saturated market. It can be the boost of impetus your business needs to propel its name in front of new markets and stakeholders. And it’s often the precursor to a new level of growth.

Read on to discover if a rebrand is right for you, and consider the following steps to approach this creative overhaul confidently and strategically.

Consider why

A rebrand should be approached with a firm purpose – not just because you fancy a new logo. Ask yourself honestly, why do we need to rebrand?

Is it to modernise your look? To communicate a new vision? To engage new customers? To reflect a merger/acquisition, or maybe a new business strategy?

Or perhaps your brand has grown since the last time you visited your branding and you want your rebrand to reflect that. It’s important to identify your ‘why’ early on this journey.

Discussing strategy on whiteboard

There are a number of reasons you might consider a rebrand. And the impact of a rebrand can be hugely beneficial if it’s executed with a meaningful strategy.

Outlining the reason ‘why’ early on will help you make decisions that directly impact the end goal, and add meaning and purpose to your decisions and strategy. Ensure all team members, stakeholders and investors are briefed on the ‘why’, so they understand its purpose and are on board with the end goal. A rebrand is a journey, and to avoid rocky waters, you’ll want everyone to be sailing in the same direction.


Evaluate your existing brand and your existing audiences. What’s worked well for you in the past and what hasn’t? Could the reason for your rebrand stem from a problem with your existing approaches, such as a lack of cohesion, or a barrier to accessing new audiences? Take a look at your website traffic and conversions; your social media engagement; your POS communications versus sales. This data will help you build a picture of where improvement is needed the most, and could potentially identify what’s causing blockages or sticking points in the customer journey. Perhaps you have an engaging logo and design, but your website’s user experience and copy are losing visitors on the first visit.

Evaluating your existing approach will help you define exactly what needs to be improved and implemented moving forward.

Assign leaders

Each corner of your brand will need revisiting as a part of the rebrand. Everything from the logo and typography, to the tone of voice, website and user experience. Each aspect will be a creative project in its own right. For example:

Haidrun style guide

Design – Logo, typography, colour palette

Copywriting on desk

Copy – Tone of voice, mission statement, website content, slogans and headlines.

RPM website on mobile

Website – Development, user experience, styling, domain, maintenance and management

Instagram on mobile

Social media – Launch strategy, paid ad campaigns, audience segmentation, posting schedule and campaign implementation

This starts to build a picture of the sizeable project at hand. As a result, all team leaders need to be synchronised in their approach to ensure consistency and momentum are aligned. It’s a good idea to assign one main project leader who oversees the entire process; someone with experience in handling larger creative projects, like a creative director or account director. A creative agency will already have the talent in-house to manage and oversee the project, so if you’re not confident about approaching the project internally, consider partnering with a reputable external party.


Your markets, customers and audiences. What do they feel about your brand? What do you want them to feel? What do they think about the current look? Is your brand performing how you’d like it to, and does it reflect the morals, values and culture of your brand? This is a great time to talk to your audiences and gain real perspective in the form of quantitative and qualitative research.

Also consult your own evaluation of your existing brand (as mentioned above), and your competitors. How are your target audiences engaging with competitors?

Ultimately, your business values and strategies will underpin most decisions, but they should be well-informed by customers, audiences and real-time data.

Understand the new landscape

Last time you visited your brand, the world was likely a different place. Study this new landscape at length which should help you figure out where you fit, and how to respond.

You can’t please everyone, but by understanding the new landscape and how your existing and targeted audiences interact and respond to it, you can target your niche more effectively.

For example, if you’re in the realm of B2B, there’s now a significant proportion of Gen Z in the workforce. Does this matter to your strategy? Do they have different expectations of how your brand should be delivered?

Consider all touchpoints

Does the office need a redesign to reflect the new creative identity? Does your social media strategy need realigning? Consider all touchpoints your audience has with your brand and consider how this can be brought into alignment with the overhaul.

Design office

Prepare for launch

As the saying goes, “don’t post and ghost”. You can’t hit the publish button on your new look and then fail to engage and communicate with audiences. Communicate your “why”, the rationale and the purpose. You may even want to share ’BTS’ snippets from the journey. A rebrand is a fantastic opportunity to shed some light on how your creative thinkers work together and share insights into your team’s personality. It also shows you care about your place in society and how your brand is received by its targeted audiences.

You’ll also want to build up some anticipation around the rebrand and its launch to excite existing and new customers. This is the starting point for gaining traction within new markets and also attracting potential new investors (if that is the end goal).

Communicating the rebrand well is essential to its acceptance and a good reception once it lands.

Hopefully the above has dissected the rebranding approach in a way that seems more feasible. There is no doubt it is a monumental task and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly, but there is always the option to pair up with external experts who can help you identify areas of opportunity or new ideas you might not have seen yourself.

We’re always happy to have a conversation with others about supporting a rebrand journey or branding from scratch. Let us know if that’s something you’re interested in talking about more!

Creating a tone of voice from scratch

If you’re yet to establish your brand’s tone of voice, or want to revamp your existing one, this blog will help guide you through the process of creating a tone of voice from scratch. Let’s get into it!

Your brand, without a voice, simply cannot thrive. Your visual identity is what attracts attention and enforces recognition, but without a voice, how can you connect with, educate, entertain, and inform your audiences?

What is ‘Tone of Voice’?

Your tone of voice is how you deliver your brand’s personality through language. It’s the style and characteristics associated with your communication – something that should become easily identifiable and consistent as your business grows. Can your customers recognise you without your visual identity? With an established tone of voice this will become easier in time. But a tone of voice goes beyond language and style. It’s an integral part of your brand strategy. It should embody your company’s values, carry emotions and become aligned with how you want to be perceived by your customers. 

Your tone of voice can be used through marketing devices such as social media, emails and campaigns or other communication tools such as TV and digital ads, blogs, or your website. This will inform the choice of language, punctuation, cadence, emotion and style in which you write and communicate. A tone of voice is usually defined by a set of guidelines that are cascaded across the whole company, but particularly followed by those in marketing and sales departments. 

Do you speak in short sentences, or do you prefer to take your readers on a storytelling journey? Do you indulge readers with the details or keep things colloquial and fun? Do you want to portray innovation and power, or serenity and honesty? To define your company’s tone of voice, there are a few things to consider:

What are your company’s values?

Every company has values. If you’re not sure what they are, refer back to your mission statement. And if you’re yet to create a mission statement, think about why you do what you do. What have you set out to achieve through your service, brand or product? What problems are you trying to solve and how do you see your brand making real change in the world? Considering those questions should bring you closer to revealing your company’s values, whether they are intentional or not. 

Referring to your company values can help you be clear about how you want to be perceived. If your values are centred around providing high-end solutions to real-world problems, you may describe yourself as innovative, knowledgeable and an expert. If your values are centred around giving back and helping others, you may wish to be seen as approachable, warm, and altruistic.

Who are your audiences?

Gen Z, or elderly? Women or men? The cohort you’re targeting will respond very differently to your communications. Plus they’ll have their own voice and characteristics that need to be considered. These will define which words, channels and styles you use to communicate so you can do so in a way that connects, resonates and creates impact.

Observe how your audience communicates with each other, with their peers, your social media and customer service teams. Market research is integral to developing your brand’s tone of voice. What’s acceptable among your audiences? What’s accessible and inclusive? What emotions do they connect with? These will help you identify preferences in language, what’s acceptable in terms of style, and what expectations there are to be met. 

A short exercise…

The following exercise will help you start to develop your tone of voice from scratch. Consider your choices carefully and refer to market research where needed. 

With the help of your team, make a list of:

  • 5 adjectives to describe your company
  • 5 adjectives to describe how you want to be viewed
  • 5 adjectives to describe your audiences

Do you see any similarities? These, along with your company values will be the building blocks for your tone of voice and will give you a great starting point in defining what your tone of voice looks like.

You may wish to build on those adjectives with short sentences that explain how they pertain to your TOV (tone of voice). For example, if one of those adjectives was ‘approachable’, you might start with something like:

“We are approachable. We speak in conversational language and avoid jargon.” 

Or how about, ‘professional’:

“We are professional. We avoid colloquialisms and always employ good use of standard English, including the Oxford comma.” 

Tone of voice is so important to your brand’s credibility and the relationships with your audiences. As a business grows, so do its internal teams. When bringing in new members, established tone of voice guidelines can quickly bring them on board with your communication style and the values you wish to be communicated. This ensures everything remains consistent and identifiable, and enables the brand to maintain connections and authenticity. A set of TOV guidelines can also be shared with external entities such as creative agencies or marketing consultants to help them capture your desired style and characteristics through design, social media, or ad campaigns. Voice and tone have the ability to evoke emotions and connection – these are essential to building a brand’s reputation and relationships with audiences.

If brand strategy is something you’re passionate about, get in touch with Stratos today and discover how to foster more meaningful relationships with your audience through strategic branding.

Everything is a remix: 6 nostalgic design trends to inspire your creativity today

You may have heard the term ‘everything is a remix’.

What probably springs to mind first is music. Beats, rhythms, lyrics and samples are remixed all the time. But as this documentary explains, remixes are everywhere. From blockbuster movies, to everyday household objects, to fashion and design. Trends and innovations are often recycled and used to inspire new creativity.

In this blog, we’ll take you on a nostalgic journey through some sentimental design trends that harness nostalgia.

Why is nostalgia so effective in branding and design?

Nostalgia: A sentimental longing or wistful affection for a period in the past. Some of these design trends may transport you back to simpler times of the past.

Nostalgia appeals to audiences on an emotional level, tapping into their connection and familiarity with a past era. But that sentimental value can inspire new ideas and thought processes that resonate with modern audiences. Revising old styles and trends can influence your design whether that’s a logo, a website, social media or even finer details such as colourways and typography. Let’s transport ourselves back through time and see what we can learn from some of the most influential and nostalgic design trends of the past.

1. Vintage photography

Vintage photograph

We’re so used to seeing filtered, edited and, high-quality images across adverts and social media, that we forget the times of grainy, black and white, raw photography.

But many brands use vintage photography in their campaigns to connect with audiences and engage with them on a more personal level. In an era of visual and photographic content, this trend is especially effective across social media platforms, where some brands even encourage audiences to share their nostalgic photos from their past. We’ve seen this strategy used by brands such as Expedia in their ‘Travel nostalgia with Expedia’ campaign, where they encourage users to come forwards and share their ‘throwback’ photos of past travels and trips. The sentimental value was unmatched. By prompting users to share a small blurb about the photo, this was a sure-fire way to connect emotionally with their audiences and harness that feeling of nostalgia, bypassing traditional marketing methods.

There is a huge market for vintage cameras and photography now, so consider using this method in your next campaign or as an ongoing creative device if it connects with your audiences in a meaningful way.

2. Graffiti

Graffiti on jacket

Street art became mainstream during the 90s, and audiences who grew up during this era can feel nostalgic about iconic graffiti trends. We’ve seen characteristics of ‘graffiti-style’ typography used by iconic brands, most notably, Alexander McQueen. Ahead of the AW21 launch of the McQueen Graffiti collection, the brand used signage and vehicle wrapping to generate exposure for the collection. The rough and edgy graffiti font is the centrepiece of the clothing collection.

3. Retro

Game over sign

Making a nod to retro products, fashion trends or colourways in your design is likely to help you stand out over competitors. Not only does it carry with it an element of personality by exploring bold, bright colours, and psychedelic patterns, but, as predicted by The Design Nest, we should expect to see an uprise in retro creative during 2022.

We often see old styles and trends recirculate in later years, so opting for a retro design can, ironically, help you appear ahead of the trends.

4. Pop art

marilyn monroe pop art frame in cafe

Pop art feels like a part of modern life since we’re so used to seeing fragments of it weaved into modern design. But it actually emerged in the mid-1950s in Britain, and late 1950s in America, peaking in the 1960s. Appealing to Gen X or baby boomers, consider pop art nuances to add character, personality, or even inspire fonts and type styles.

5. Old school packaging

cadburys dairy milk packaging across the years

For some reason, it’s so irresistibly shareable when a brand shares its old packaging or branding from a previous era. A way of saying to your followers – look, do you remember this too?! Perhaps it can elicit positive and fond memories of the past, or draw comfort in reliving those memories by continuing the exposure of those images.

Just look at this campaign by Cadbury released in South Africa, celebrating 80 years of Cadbury by showing the iconic packaging designs through the years. Whether you remember the Cadbury wrapper of the 60s or the noughties, this image will evoke memories and likely engage with audiences on an emotional level across a large demographic. Cadbury knows their product, and generally speaking, chocolate is a symbol of affection, love – a treat. We rarely associate chocolate with negativity, right?

6. Bold geometrics

Geometric light fitting

Originating in the 1940s, bold, geometric patterns were usually seen around the house. The most popular display was tiling and flooring in the kitchen. Bold prints were used as a way of punctuating otherwise bland, wooden furniture, and adding a pop of colour to the home.

Geometric patterns are often used to complement more contemporary designs and have been recycled time and time again. Their popularity in modern design can be attributed to their ability to subtly lift a simplistic or minimalist design. Logos, business cards, or mailers can benefit from a hint of bold geometrics without overpowering a design.

Sometimes a look back over the past can inspire and recharge your creative juices. The idea is to remix. Blending contemporary with vintage is nothing new, but it can spur on unique designs that elevate you above competitors and resonate with wider audiences.Thinking about a rebrand? Get in touch with a member of the team and let’s talk strategy and design.

What is a creative agency and why should you work with one?

You’re probably aware of the term ‘creative agency’, and you may even be connected to individuals who work at them. Stereotypically, they share updates about exciting and colourful campaigns, office ping pong tables and Friday beers on social media, but we can assure you there’s a lot more substance behind the scenes.

It’s easy to think a creative agency’s work is a bit of a vanity project. But what goes on beneath the surface is actually something strategic and valuable.

So what is a creative agency? What happens amongst the quirky office decor and ping pong tables day-to-day? And more importantly, how can they help you achieve your goals?

What is a creative agency?

A creative agency is a bundle of creative experts across different fields who specialise in helping brands achieve their marketing and branding goals. As a part of those wider marketing initiatives may come design, digital marketing, creative campaigns, advertising and branding. The value of working with an agency partner is unmatched. You’ll likely be assigned an account manager through which you will access all of the agency’s expertise and teams to achieve your goals. This maximises the investment and allows you to achieve tangible results in terms of brand exposure, lead generation, ROI and customer retention.

The beauty and the brains

Step foot into any creative agency, and you’ll find talented creative folk alongside strategic, logical thinkers. The thinkers and the doers. The strategy and the design.

Through a partnership with a creative agency, you’ll have access to not just beautiful creativity, but also the rationale and focus needed to ensure it’s not just a vanity project.

Their teams are built to complement each other’s work, enabling them to deliver work of substantial value to their clients. The creative and the strategists work side by side, and if you’re really lucky, now and again you come across someone who can do both. Overseeing each department is usually a seasoned expert in that field, such as a creative director, account director or client services director. A creative agency is committed to delivering the best results possible for its clients and will place immense value on you and your account.

Ability to pivot and rethink

The landscape is constantly changing out there and if you get stuck in your ways you’re likely to get left behind. Creative agencies make it their mission to continually grow and evolve in line with the current times, in order to best serve their clients. They’ll be there to advise you on trends and help you make decisions about your strategies moving forward. For example, if you’ve previously stuck to print campaigns but now is the time to try something digital, a creative agency will have the expertise and capacity to support you to refocus and try something new.

When working in a business, we all know it’s easy to get stuck in the business and not spend as much time working on the business. A team from a creative agency can help you take a step back and assess the bigger picture, offering ideation and recommendations to get your creative juices flowing. This arrangement should be a partnership, which is why many businesses employ the support of a creative agency because they know they will maintain some creative licence themselves.


A creative agency will take a strategic approach to everything they do. A great creative agency will go one step further and get you involved on that journey. This might include customer research, focus groups, competitor analysis, usability testing and data collection. When you are working with a ‘why’ in mind, your work becomes more purposeful and your investments bring bigger payoffs.

A creative agency should be open and amenable to your suggestions too since you know your clients better than anyone. Look out for creative teams that don’t listen to your needs and work on vanity metrics. A bespoke marketing strategy that will underpin all of your creative and brand is the way to go.

Alignment and consistency

Flitting from different internal departments or different contractors is going to cause confusion and a disconnect within your marketing, brand and messaging.

A creative agency will be dedicated to your creative and marketing outcomes. In the process, they will put together brand guidelines, a tone of voice, and nuances that become recognisable and unique to your brand. Their dedication to your account means you are more likely to see alignment and consistency in any output.

A partner

Creative agencies like ourselves here at Stratos believe in becoming an extension of your team. We are a partner, and that’s how we intend on treating the relationship. Over time, we get to know our partner’s brand like our own. That relationship is the foundation for creating and executing successful strategies. 

If you’d like to learn more about working with a strategic creative agency, look no further than Stratos. Find out more here, or contact a member of our team.

Creating a brand identity in a competitive market

A brand identity doesn’t need to be overly clever or complex to be effective.

We know from some of the world’s most powerful brands that the simplicity of their brand identity is rooted in their brand’s presence wherever in the world we see them. And that simplicity speaks for itself.

Campaign slogans such as ‘Just do it’ and ‘I’m lovin’ it’ are synonymous with their brands, and require no backup from other brand markers to be recognisable.

Shockingly, across 7,000 people surveyed, 88% managed to identify the McDonalds logo, compared with 54% who recognised the Christian Cross. And while brand identity ventures much further than logo alone, it’s McDonald’s powerful brand identity that has solidified the company as the unmistakable market giant we know today. Everything from the language, the symbol, the packaging, and the colours are known as unmistakable markers of the brand. And this starts and ends with the brand identity.

So how, in one of the most competitive environments we’ve ever seen, do we create a brand identity that is unique, memorable and remarkable?

The work you do on your brand identity will be some of the most important work you do.

As mentioned above, brand identity goes much further than simply your logo and name. It’s about creating a brand DNA that seeps into every interaction your customers and prospects have with your brand. It should be woven into your brand’s voice, messaging and creativity. It should be recognisable without needing a logo or a name. When we understand this, we understand the position of brand identity as the umbrella to everything else ‘brand’.

Brand identity key considerations

What are your core values? Your primary messages? How do you want people to feel when they communicate with your brand and interact with your product? These are all key considerations before embarking on the creation of your brand identity. Let’s dig a little deeper below…

Language and tone

Most successful brands will have watertight tone of voice guidelines. These will establish the personality and tone you wish to be conveyed through your communications from the very beginning. These will consider language choice, abbreviations, vocabulary and colloquialisms, to name a few. Are you warm, friendly, approachable, or professional, corporate and knowledgeable? Once these have been set, ensure these guidelines are followed by your team across all departments. From copywriters working on your website to content writers developing your blog to social media executives. But, there does need to be an element of flexibility. Your ‘Cookies’ pop-up message will indeed be different to a social media post, as will your T&Cs. Take a look at Innocent Drinks for an example of this done well. While their tone and personality is colloquial, light-hearted, self-deprecating, their ‘Cookies’ message might not directly embody those traits. But, it’s still clear they are being true to their guidelines by opting for more conversational language as opposed to stuffy, corporate speak. We suggest checking out their Twitter feed too, for a bit of light-hearted social media research!

Be unique and memorable

As human beings, we are all unique in our own ways. Some of us may be ashamed or try to hide our unique traits so we can blend in. But with our brands, we should embrace those qualities that differentiate us from others. Following the crowd and trying to blend in will not end well, especially in such a saturated market. So, embrace differentiating qualities whether they come from your team, your product, or your own personality, and pour them into your brand DNA to create an unforgettable experience for your customers.

Be patient

A successful and powerful brand identity won’t materialise overnight. It requires strategic planning, direction and focus, and it will take time to develop. Similarly, a successful brand identity isn’t one that’s simply launched one day and left to its own devices the next. You’ll need to implement a strategy to maintain and tweak your brand identity over time, in line with landscape changes and cultural expectations.

Be open-minded and flexible

Drop things that are not aligned with your identity and abandon strategies that do not sit well with your audience. Be open-minded and open to constructive criticism. Treat your audiences and employees as brand advocates and listen to their feedback. Brand identity will encompass several elements pertaining to your brand, as far as the people you hire and your on-site culture. A powerful and effective identity is consistent and effective across all channels and carries your brand DNA, whether that’s an experiential campaign, digital marketing platforms or packaging. A brand identity needs to have all employees, advocates and customers on board.

Stay agile

Gen Z are rapidly saturating the marketplace and as they move up the career ladder will begin to seep into the B2B world too. Brands cannot afford to be stuck in their ways. Your brand identity needs to be agile and flexible, and open to new channels of exploration in order to cater to, and relate to, newer audiences. This might seem contradictory in some ways, but let us explain. A brand identity is centred around your personality and values, yes. But that doesn’t mean you should completely shut down further development. If you remain true to your core values and brand beliefs, and keep your strategy aligned to those values, you will naturally maintain consistency while practising agility. Establishing your brand identity shouldn’t be hard or taxing. It should come naturally if you are clear on your brand’s personality and core values. And this takes us back to the importance of simplicity. Doing too much at once will be to the detriment of that consistency. The more challenging part will be communicating that to wider audiences, but with the considerations above, you can maximise the time your audiences spend with your brand by creating an unforgettable and recognisable experience that elevates your brand above competitors.

If you would like to explore the creation of your brand identity with a helping hand from our team of strategists and creatives, feel free to get in touch.

Why branding is worth the investment

We can’t stress this enough: Your brand is your company’s most valuable asset.

Despite the expense of creating and promoting your brand image, you will see a return on your investment. You will build trust in your customers, stand out from your nearest rivals, and make more sales in your business. If you haven’t given a lot of time to your brand, then now is the time to do so. Branding matters and it’s vital for the ongoing growth of your business.

Why It’s Important To Invest In Your Brand

You’re a busy business owner with a myriad of expenses to consider. It’s tough, we know, especially when you’re constantly trying to stay financially afloat. But the money spent on your brand is well worth it, and these are just some of the reasons why.

First Impressions Matter

Consider Tinder users who swipe left or right depending on who they see on their smartphones.

Consider your choices when buying wine. Most people buy supermarket wine on the basis of what the label looks like and the price, not the contents. Design makes you stand out on the shelf, more appealing and more memorable.

First impressions matter in all facets of life, and so it is with your product. If your brand image is unappealing, perhaps because your product design is bland and unattractive, a customer is unlikely to choose your product over your rivals. You need to do what you can to stand out, be that on the supermarket shelf or online, and this means creating a brand that will attract buyers to you.

You Will Beat Your Nearest Rivals

There’s a reason why Apple are market leaders in the world of technology. There’s a reason why Coca Cola has found great success with its soft drinks. Its because they have done much to create and cultivate a brand image, and this makes them more recognisable than many of their nearest rivals.

People trust such companies for the quality they offer and are more likely to choose their brands over those companies that don’t have the same reputation. They know that when they see the Apple or Coca Cola brand image, they are going to get something of value, and not a waste of their money.

You want the same for your company. With a recognisable brand image and a reputation for quality, you will do much to beat your rivals.

You Will Close More Sales

After gaining audience attention through your brand design, you will be able to build trust through the quality of your product. You will then be able to communicate key brand info to your customers when they get to know more about you, such as the ethos behind your company. These all go hand in hand and form a part of your brand image.

When you start to build trust in your customers, you will close more sales when they continue to buy from you. You will benefit from their word of mouth too and gain new customers.

But why can branding be expensive?

Branding can be expensive upfront, but when you think of it in terms of how much revenue it can bring in off the back of it, it starts to look extremely good value for money.

There’s a lot that goes into a branding project. It isn’t as simple as creating a logo, choosing colours and designing some branded assets, there’s a lot more to it.

We’re a branding agency that get to know you, your company and the demographics that your business appeals to in order to unearth your key brand attributes. We will help you capture new audiences, generate more attention and increase revenue through a creative brand strategy that gets results.

Don’t just take our word for it

I have worked closely with Stratos over the past 2 years and it’s fair to say they have become a trusted partner to Purity over this time. Stratos has frequently displayed a strategic & creative mindset coupled with a willingness to support, which has ultimately brought in more business for Purity. Rob Quinn – CEO

What is strategic design?

Strategic design management is the relationship between design & business strategy. There are many facets to it which we will delve into below.

When it comes to the design of your website, it is not as simple as picking a colour scheme and a layout and making it look pretty. There’s a lot more to it than that! Design requires a strategic approach if it is to be as effective, as it should be. Strategy plays a critical role in design, and having a strategic mindset is a requirement if you are to ensure that your site delivers the results you are hoping for. With that in mind, read on to discover everything you need to know about strategic design and the different elements of it.

1. Evaluate the project in a holistic manner

There are five different elements when it comes to implementing a strategic web design. The first is being able to evaluate the project in a holistic manner. This includes viewing the bigger picture through the lens of the company you are building the site for. You also need to be able to assess all opportunities and constraints too.

2. Understand the project and goals

Once you have done this, it is all about getting a good understanding of the project. You need to make sense of the project in terms of business and design goals. The outcome’s project should be tied back to the objectives that your company has, showing key results that are going to help in terms of supporting those objectives.

3. Learn and plot milestones

You then need to learn. Formulate the parts of the strategy by planning milestones and tasks that directly support the core objectives. Many strategic questions will need to be asked at this stage. One of the most vital questions is asking who you will be designing the product for. This is a vital stage because you need to ask the right questions in order to have the right information to build an effective site.

4. Execute your strategy

The fourth element is executing the strategy. Once you have put it together, you must act on it and ensure you include the entire team. Collaboration is a key ingredient for effective strategic thinking. The execution of the strategy is made easier when web designers have brand guidelines to follow.

5. Check your efforts and make improvements

Finally, the fifth part of the process is the checking stage. You need to make sure that you reassess the effectiveness of your approach to every task as it is completed throughout the design process. Determine how effective they have been in achieving your desired outcomes and goals. After all, the best businesses are those that are constantly striving to achieve more and do better.

So there you have it: everything that you need to know about strategic design! We’re a strategic creative agency that can help you make the most of your website to achieve your business goals. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today for more information. We have years of experience in the industry and design strategy is the cornerstone of our business.

A guide to creating a tactical design strategy

A lot of people have a tendency to assume that strategic planning and strategic thinking are the same things. While it may appear that this is the case, they are actually different. Strategic planning incorporates collecting data and figuring out the right path to go down for the project or business in question so that the goals can be achieved. Strategic thinking, on the other hand, involves everyone, at all levels of your time, continually locating and contributing to the activities that add to the success of the organisation. With that in mind, in this guide, we are going to take a look at how you can put together a tactical design strategy for your business or project.

How to implement strategic thinking in design

To implement strategic thinking in design, you need to observe company goals and search for trends around these goals. Practice viewing the bigger picture and why it’s vital to the client.

You should also make note of any problems or issues that are raised throughout the design process, and be sure to communicate these with everyone on the team.

How do you create a design strategy?

Let’s take you through the steps to follow:

Define your brand

The first thing you need to do in order to put together an effective strategy is to define your brand. Who are you? That’s the first question that you need to answer. You then need to determine what you stand for and what makes your brand unique. This involves looking at your competitors in the market and figuring out what makes your business different from the crowd.

A lot of business owners find that defining their brand is more challenging and difficult than they expected it to be. Nevertheless, branding is an imperative part of creating your design strategy. You cannot think about where you’re going if you don’t know where you are at the moment.

For further information, read our post on why branding matters

Because of this, it is vital, to be honest with yourself during this part of the process. You need to be realistic about where your business stands at present. This is the only way that you will be able to plot a clear and effective path for moving forward.

What are your goals?

Now that you have defined your brand, you can start to think about your goals. What do you hope to achieve? You need to outline what your ultimate goals are.

If you don’t have a clear and evident direction in terms of what you are aiming to accomplish, it can be extremely challenging to put together a strategy that is both effective and purposeful. You must know where you want to get to in order to put together a route.

After all, you wouldn’t get in your car and simply start driving, would you? You need to know where your end destination is first and then you can figure out the best route to take.

Carry out your research

Research can often be a boring and difficult part of the process, but it’s a very important one. It is a vital part of ensuring that you comprehend all of the aspects of your audience, the market you operate in, and your competition.

As a company, you must comprehend where you sit within the market and how both your competitors and your customers view you.

In addition to this, you need to have a complete understanding of the needs and wants of your audience. It is not enough to just know who they are. You need to understand what drives them and what they are looking for.

The type of design that is right for your company is going to be hugely influenced by your audience demographics, and this incorporates their goals. This is why it’s of huge importance to carry out extensive research at this stage. If there are any gaps or you do not carry out your research as effectively as you should, it is going to show later in the project, as your design will not fully fulfil what your consumer base is looking for.

Find any gaps and make sure you fill them in

You may have noticed a few gaps through doing your research. Are there any customer needs that are not being met at the moment? What sort of issues is the industry facing at the moment? What are the fresh opportunities that you can capitalise on?

The greatest way to differentiate yourself from your competition is to make sure that you are actually doing something different. Reinventing the wheel is not going to get you anywhere.

By creating fresh and new solutions to current issues, you make sure that your brand is valid and exclusive, and you also generate a tangible point of difference that your potential customers and current customer base will recognise.

Turn objectives into strategy

At this stage, you have got all of the information you need. Now, you must piece it all together. You need to consider how you can turn your insights from research and objectives into a design that is compelling.

Of course, this all depends on what your goals are and what your research has unearthed. However, you need to ensure that all of the elements of your site have a purpose, and this is why the prior stages regarding research and asking yourself some key questions is so critical.

Measure results from your efforts

Last but not least, the best businesses out there today do not remain stagnant. They continue working on their efforts so that they can get better and better.

The only way you are going to do this successfully is by reviewing your efforts so far. Use data so you can find out what is working and what is not working.

You will then be able to make the tweaks that are required to push your business forward.

Contact us today for more information

If you follow the steps that have been provided, you will have all of the ingredients needed to ensure success. However, if you have any queries, or you need an expert strategic creative agency, all you need to do is give us a call on 01908 04 06 08 or drop us a message via our contact page.