HB Blog

Top 50 design blogs in the UK – we’re featured!

We were delighted to be featured in this infographic of the top 50 design blogs in the UK!

It was originally published on US site www.rebateszone.com/top-design-blogs

We’re in there at no. 41…

Check it out below!

Top design blogs

Source:rebateszone.com


Is your branding up to the New Year?

As I write this it’s the first ‘working’ week of 2016 and I’m starting to think about what I, and the business, will be doing differently in the year to come!

2015 was quite a year of change for us, with lots of new clients coming on board, but the year also saw us part company with some old ones. Why did we part company? Often when a new Marketing Manager joins a client company, or staff change, it’s a ‘danger’ point in the relationship as the ‘new broom sweeps clean’. Likewise, as our contacts move on in their careers, if we’ve added value to their businesses and done a good job, they’ll often take us with them!

While it’s sad to see the end of a relationship – on a much more positive note 2015 saw a lot of ‘lapsed’ clients return – some of whom have become our biggest clients over the last few months! Why did they come back? Because they realised we offer a good, honest, creative service at a realistic price. That’s why we’re still here, in our 17th year in business! As the economy has started to recover and confidence has grown, those clients have decided now is the time to invest in their marketing while their competitors are still pulling in their horns!

The Christmas break and the start of a new year is always a time when business owners perhaps have time to contemplate where they’re going and what they want from their businesses. As a creative business we always have big ideas about how we might do things differently in the new year and how we can balance running the business efficiently and profitably against those more ethereal creative impulses and the freedom we crave to be able to work without the constraints of budgets, margins and deadlines!

For many clients, one of their new year’s resolutions is to review their branding.

‘Branding’ is a term that’s used more and more these days to cover a broad range of topics. In it’s simplest sense it can just apply to an organisation’s logo, the colours, typefaces and style of imagery it uses throughout its communications. A more comprehensive definition of a ‘brand’ covers the whole interaction of a business or a product with its target audience – how it’s staff behave and respond to consumers, how its customers and stakeholders feel about it, whether they want it, aspire to it, simply need it, or even despise it – as a reflection of the ‘brand ethos’ or its values. That’s where ‘branding’ really comes into its own. An organisation – even an individual – can influence those target audiences through more subtle messages as well as through traditional advertising and marketing channels. Look at the explosion in social media, for example. These days a business – or a person – can communicate their values, their opinions, their credentials and their approach to dealing with people to a global audience instantly, in ‘real time’ and much more cost effectively than ever before!

To complement these more intangible aspects of branding, does your logo, your website and your printed marketing material reflect those brand values? Take a step back and look at what you’re trying to get across to your potential customer. Why should they buy from you? What can you offer that others don’t? How are you positioning your own ‘brand’? Is it homely and comfortable?, is it high tech and innovative?, is it glamorous and sexy?, is it aspirational and luxurious? – or is it a necessity (such as insurance) that’s more difficult to differentiate in a crowded market? That’s where branding in the broader sense comes into it’s own. It’s all about how you differentiate your product or service and put it in the forefront of your potential customers’ minds. Think about what REAL benefits your product or service offers, how have you helped others alleviate a problem or solve a need, how does your product or service make people feel about themselves? Get these messages across every time you interact with your target customers. (And don’t forget to keep in touch with existing customers as they’re much easier to cross sell products and services to than going out and finding new customers!).

So, does any of this really apply to smaller businesses? I think so.

I mentioned that even individuals can use both traditional and more recently evolved tools to communicate their ‘brand values’. Many of our clients are sole traders or micro businesses where their personal branding is all important as an integral part of the marketing mix. All of us who embark on conversations on twitter, write a blog spot, or attend a business networking meeting are projecting our personal brand every time we interact with our peer groups through these channels. And the bigger the company, quite often the more important the personal relationships are. As I said, when staff change it can be a risky time for a business relationship – so make sure your ‘personal brand’ as well as your corporate brand is memorable so you’re in font of mind when your products or services are called for!

We’re looking forward to working with you to develop your brand in 2016!


Shropshire Businesses Fight Back After Floods

Hunter Bevan have been asked to help tourism-based businesses in areas affected by the recent flooding and high winds through a Visit England funded consultancy initiative to develop and implement plans to counteract the after-effects of extreme weather.

Shropshire Chamber of Commerce delivered a programme of seminars for tourism businesses in Shrewsbury and Ironbridge, both areas affected by the recent floods, on behalf of Visit England, Telford & Wrekin Council and Shropshire Council. The seminars, entitled ‘Weatherproof Your Business’ brought together a number of local industry experts to impart their knowledge in developing plans and tactics in marketing and business continuity. In addition to the seminars, delegates were able to take advantage of a free half-hour one-to-one discussion with experts of their choice, and to book a follow-up free 3 hour diagnostic consultancy to examine the issues they faced in more depth, to enable them to develop more robust plans to strengthen their businesses through more effective marketing, PR, social media and continuity planning, and protect them from further effects of extreme weather events in the future.

Neil Bevan, of Hunter Bevan Marketing and Design, based near Oswestry, said, “As one of the speakers delivering the marketing planning section of the seminars, I was keen to work with businesses that are finding it difficult to market themselves through difficult times, and to show them how they can prioritise their marketing objectives”. He continues, “Having a marketing plan in place, however simple, can make all the difference when disaster does strike, as you’ll know what to do, and how to keep in touch with your customers, rather than thinking, ‘What now?’. And, if you have a plan in place for the good times too, that can only serve to strengthen your business’.

Richard Sheehan, Shropshire Chamber of Commerce Managing Director, added, “The Chamber was delighted to be able to deliver these seminars to businesses who would ordinarily not be able to access the breadth expert advice imparted on the day, and within the diagnostic consultancies – particularly as we were able to access funding to deliver the seminars and consultancy free of charge to businesses who really need the advice.”

The seminars and consultancy sessions were funded by Visit England, Shropshire Council and Telford & Wrekin Council. The consultants delivering their expertise were Neil Bevan, Hunter Bevan Marketing and Design, David Bishop, Ninety One Consulting, Internet and Social Media, Felicity Wingrove, Zen PR, Carl Jones, Assistant Editor of The Shropshire Star, and David Williams of Henshalls Insurance Brokers.

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Pictured, from left:
David Bishop, Ninety-One Consulting, Rebecca Gutierrez, Leisure Tourism Officer at Telford & Wrekin Council, Dave Williams, Henshalls Insurance Brokers, Carl Jones, Deputy Editor of the Shropshire Star, Deborah Austin, Crystal Labyrinth, Ironbridge, Neil Bevan, Hunter Bevan Marketing and Design, and Richard Eley of Eley’s of Ironbridge.


New ShropShare logo launch

Hunter Bvean handing over the new ShropShare logo design

We’re pleased to have officially handed over the new ShropShare logo today!

We’ve donated the logo for ShropShare – a new initiative promoting best practice in CSR – Corporate Social Responsibility – and encouraging businesses of all sizes to get involved in activities in their local communities. ShropShare is a new, independent hub for socially responsible businesses that recognise the commercial and social value of investing in their staff, their communities and the environment. The Shropshire Launch is on Thursday next week at Caterpillar Shrewsbury Ltd – You can find out more at http://shropshare.eventbrite.co.uk/

Why do we get involved in this kind of project? Because each year we devote some time to community organisations and offer them design work as a benefit ‘in kind’ to help them to develop a professional corporate image.

What’s in it for them? They benefit from our creative team’s input into their design and marketing collateral – it might be for a new brand, or to promote an event, or to rejuvenate older marketing materials that an organisation might otherwise not have the funds to bring up to date. In the past, we’ve helped Shropshire RCC, St John Ambulance, The Institute for Rural Health, Shropshire Scouts, Grassroots Grants Shropshire, CRY and Young Enterprise, to name but a few. Our own CSR activity includes volunteering for organisations such as St John, Scouting, and giving time to Glyndwr University’s Graduate Enterprise Programme.

What’s in it for us? Well, you’re reading this PR piece and our objective, as well as the ‘feelgood’ factor of putting something back into the community, is that we hope we’ll raise awareness of Hunter Bevan through such donations and the resulting PR coverage… and that might lead to paying work from other, more commercially minded, organisations who like our altruistic side!

So, if you have a skill or a benefit you could offer a third sector organisation why not give it a go!


Apple have introduced a series of ‘long copy’ ads…

What’s your view? Have a look at the story in Creative Review

 


These new British Classic car stamps are great!

I like the simplicity – and, of course, the cars are the stars! See Link here.

 


We’ve had a great work experience student in this Summer!

James joined us for a week from a local school, learning about the design industry and getting to grips with the Adobe Creative Suite of software.

James worked on a number of ‘live’ briefs and we saw his work really evolve over the week he was with us. He got to work on branding, brochure and website projects and we have to say he’s a really switched on guy who’s not only creative, but had the right attitude to work, and fitted in with the team well. Good luck for the future James!


Oswestry Network Club’s New Leadership Team

Neil has been elected Chair of the Shropshire Chamber of Commerce Oswestry Network Club for a two year term from January 2014-2016. Heather Noble of Salt Solutions was appointed Vice Chair.

OSBREK 1 TA

Pictured (from left): Arnie Glausiusz of EvaStore, the 10 minute speaker at the meeting, Teresa Rowe, Events Manager at Shropshire Chamber, Keith Winter, President of Shropshire Chamber, and Neil Bevan of Hunter Bevan.

Read more about this story at www.loveshrewsbury.comwww.shropshirelive.com and www.midlandsbusinessnews.co.uk

Photo credit: Tony Adams PR – www.tonyadamspr.com


What’s in our portfolio?

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