When tackling a new project, you’re usually conditioned to think things will be straightforward: get project done by deadline and stay within your budget. Simple, right?
More often than not, we run into issues that both lead us to going way past our deadline and over our budget. It doesn’t have to be like this. Regardless of the size of your project, there are many ways to keep things on track.
1. Stay organized
All projects need a proper project manager – someone to maximize time, budget, and resources that’ll lead you to the finish line. Have a proper upfront meeting that can clearly establish the goals of the project – either laying out what kind of shots you want or what story you want to tell.
2. Know your scope
While successfully finishing your project is the end goal, you have to take into account all the steps it takes to get there. Each step is equally important as each step in your project depends on what came before it. Managing the scope of your project helps your stay on track
3. Proper feedback
Provide feedback that contains your input as well as a solution. Giving feedback that simply says that it’s not working for you or not what you want, makes moving forward toward your goal much harder than it should be. Providing next steps and ideas to make the project more to your liking, and reasonably so, will keep you on the right track. Adding more time to figure out what works best will ultimately cost more money.
4. Be prepared.
Have content ready to be implemented in order to finish out your project and meet your deadline. Let’s say you’re creating a brand new website. Not having content ready during the development phase of your project can easily put you behind. What good is a pretty website without the copy and photos to fill it ? Stay on track.
5. Know how to use your rounds of revisions
Make use of your rounds of revisions to either edit or improve the content already provided, not add additional content. Adding additional content which will also probably be revised only extends the project, rather than meeting your original deadline. For instance, if you decide that after x amount of revisions that you want to start over with, say, different colors and fonts, that will end up costing you more. Another example would be going into a fifth round of revisions, when your scope only included three rounds. This will not only extend the project, but will also end up costing you more.
Having a less-stressful, easy and successful project is not always a reality, but is a possibility. Document the time and steps taken throughout your project and you’ll already be one step ahead. Stay organized and revise accordingly, knowing full well how you’re project should be progressing. It’s always a learning game and will be an experience that’ll keep you on track for the next project you undertake.
We teamed up once again with our clients over atDTZ and Cushman & Wakefield, for a property shoot in and around Montgomery County, Maryland. Our purpose for this shoot was to showcase 9 (nine) different property listings available to be used for various marketing materials aimed toward future tenants.
Over three days, we made stops all over the Rockville, Bethesda, and the Downtown Silver Spring area, capturing beautiful shots of each of the properties, various floors that include the lobby, tenant spaces, and aerial views from the property rooftops. In addition to this, we captured several surrounding amenities that capture the desirable features available for each properties in the heart of each city (restaurants, shopping, etc).
Below are some behind the scenes images of the shoot.
Bright Light Media, along with GIGS, Headfirst Summer Camps, and Georgetown Events came together to throw the first annual community event, Pumpkin Rock N Roll in Kensington, MD.
Warner Circle Park was transformed into a full-blown Halloween extravaganza, filled with tons of family-friendly attractions, festival-style music performances, costume contests, and the main event: The Pumpkin Roll, a derby race of Halloween pumpkins-turned-boxcars.
And with over 2,000 attendees, the event was definitely a success!
BLM was responsible for branding the event, putting together a logo and all the marketing materials to share with the community. We put together an event website, designed posters, flyers, volunteer t-shirts, and event banners.
We couldn’t have asked for a better time, weather, or turn out. Let’s do it again next year!
As stated in our previous blog, an effective brand creates an emotional feeling or attachment, providing a better chance the everyday person will identify, use, and stay loyal to your company/brand. This is the goal. Your finalized logo is only half the battle. The other half: you need to practice an effective form of brand management.
What is brand management?
Brand management allows you to control and supervise all the tangible and intangible parts of your brand. There are concrete things like the product itself, print materials, publication relations (PR) and the not so concrete things like that emotional reaction to the actual product that we keep mentioning. Managing is a constant process of gathering all the various ways your brand is being used on all media fronts. You want to capture the attention of your niche market, you want them to buy your product, remember you, and most importantly, become a returning customer.
So how do you go about this? Here are some key points to effective brand management:
Create brand guidelines
Gather brand colors, logo, and the voice you’re going for
What is your brand’s agenda?
Use your brand in different scenes and settings
Find the ways your brand works appropriately – what works and what doesn’t
What sets you apart from your competitors?
Consistency is key
Once your logo and/or tagline have been created use it everywhere your brand appears.
The more your brand appears, the easier it is for people to have that memorable relationship with it and that’s the goal, to be memorable
Be consistent with your brand over time and across different platforms
Achieve consistency and credibility with your brand and company
Find your market and place yourself accordingly
Position your brand into similar areas for what your brand represents
Figure out what sets you apart from your competitors who are reaching out to the same market
Utilize social media and communicate and keep up with your target markets
In essence, an effective brand is only as good as its competent management. Be prepared to constantly push your brand. One successful push doesn’t equal a successful brand. Monitor your brand as the world perceives it. Press for a strong and clear message for the market you are trying to reach and make sure they have just as clear an understanding of your company as you do. Make a lasting impression.
A brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product, service or company. You can’t control the process, but you can influence it. – Marty Neuimeier, The Brand Gap
A company’s brand, before anything else, is the first thing a potential client associates with a company. It is the first thing they will come in contact with and begin to make a judgement as to whether this will be the company that is suitable for their needs. In regards to brand loyalty, will your brand be the one that they come back to each time, build their lifestyle around, or create an emotional attachment to? In short, having a substantial brand is extremely important.
How much does it cost for Brand Identity?
It’s time to take the plunge toward a lasting impression. So how much should you invest? Are you rebranding? Do you even have a logo to start with? It can be a very daunting task when trying to figure out where to begin in building your brand. Like any real investment, the prices vary depending upon your needs and current standing. For companies, it can vary by the size and how well established one is as a company.
Here’s an average consensus of brand identity costs for businesses:
General Start-ups / New Businesses – $1,500 – $7,000
Small Businesses – $7,000 – $10,000
Medium to Large-sized Business – $10,000 – $200,000
The Brand Identity Process
Your brand is a serious, long-time venture and an essential business activity that you will have to put a lot of time and effort into. You want a good brand identity and to get that, one must look at it as an important investment not only financially, but also from a manner of time, just as you would the selection of your office space or any business equipment that furthers your businesses growth. Treat brand identity the same, if not better, and do your research on reputable design firms who can meet your requirements and decide just how much you want to put into the future of your brand.
The general process of brand identity:
Research – Creative brief of what the business is and what their needs are. Clarify the vision and strategy.
Brand Strategy – Identify brand strengths and weaknesses, target audience profiles, and evaluate competition.
Sketches / Concepts – Imagine all the possibilities and placements of this brand as well as visualize the future of this brand.
Mocks – From colors to typefaces, choose the right visual elements to mock and start to bringing the brand to life.
Presentation – Present your new visual identity to the organization.
Finalize – Prioritize the brand and use the elements with real content.
Nine times out of ten, many established companies would rather not spend the money for a logo, let alone an entire branding package as it seems like a great brand identity is easy to attain since so many companies have great ones. This is the greatest lie one can tell themselves when trying to create a brand.
The bottom line is: clients with great brand identities invested a lot into making them great (aka you get what you pay for). The more money and time you put into a seasoned design agency, the more likely you are to attain the brand identity you’ve envisioned for your company and one that delivers results. And that’s any company’s goal, right?
Ready to spruce up your brand identity? Contact us today.
Instagram, the platform used every day by users to share their stories visually with images, has become a powerful force in social media. With an average of 55 million photos uploaded each day on this vast and fast-growing social network, it’s a tool that, if used correctly, can benefit brands and grow their audience.
Why should your brand use Instagram?
While it can’t be said for all social media, Instagram is a platform for everyone. Whether you’re a small business starting up in the world or a well established brand, Instagram is a visual force to be reckoned with, allowing just about anyone the option to tell (and sell) their story. Coming up with content for your feed can be challenging, especially with seeing what works and what doesn’t on the platform. But that doesn’t mean potential users shouldn’t try and keep at it. In the last couple years, mobile media has surpassed online media consumption and will continue in that direction. So take advantage!
Don’t have thousands, or in some cases, millions of followers? Don’t sweat it. Instagram users are eager to connect with brands on a personal and inspirational level, and finding the right visual vision for your brand can make all the difference. Here are three points to get your going:
Audience: Target the right demographic, using proper hashtags for your brand.
It’s been a crazy ride but we’re proud to announce that our latest creative project, Mixtape Massacre, was successfully funded via the Kickstarter platform.
Click image to view in larger format.
What is Mixtape Massacre?
Mixtape Massacre is a new board game with a killer blend of all the classic 80’s horror archetypes you know and love mixed with so much 1980s pop culture, you can practically hear the gum snapping and the Cyndi Lauper playing. In the classic 80’s horror genre, far too often we are asked to sympathize and identify with the vulnerable and, let’s face it, often dimwitted victim. In Mixtape Massacre, you enter the shoes of some of your favorite horror archetypes and bring the pain all while breathing in the references to 1980s music, film, and pop-culture.
Setting Up the Kickstarter
We did a lot of research before our initial launch on Kickstarter, but quickly learned that the entire campaign would be a learning process. Prior to the launch we had to create a social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. We also needed to figure out pricing from different manufacturers, shipping rates for places all over the world, advertising expenses, and then settling on a budget.
Also in the time leading up to the Kickstarter we prepared all the advertising images we would need for our Kickstarter page, as the images are really what is going to sell the product. We also produced an animated video as most, if not all projects with a video perform better than ones without.
Before launching we spent the month leading up to the launch doing social media posts to gain attention, followers, and people interested enough to spread the word during the campaign. Then we sent out our first press release to multiple outlets and began the Kickstarter.
The Kickstarter Campaign
There was plenty of feedback from the backers throughout the 30-day campaign, pointing out things like foreign shipping costs and availability as well as their own ideas for extra characters and gameplay mechanics. This lead us to do further research in order to make our game and product easily accessible to international audiences as well as more appealing for different types of players.
From the beginning to the end, we were able to lower shipping costs, become EU-friendly (allowing our product to be shipped from within the EU without any extra customs charges to our customers), add Australia to our international list, and much more. We took a lot, if not all, of the feedback into consideration, trying to make everything work for our backers and deliver the best product possible.
The cool kids united in SE DC for Broccoli City Festival 2015!
If you weren’t at the Gateway Pavilion last Saturday, you were obviously missing out. Local lifestyle group, Broccoli City’s mission is to promote environmentally stable, healthier living lifestyle in cool, more relevant ways. Each year they throw a festival that features music, arts, lifestyle activities and more. The lineup this year for the festival included acts like Erykah Badu, Joey Bada$$, Jaden & Willow Smith, Tink, Kali Uchis, Kaytranada, Tiara Thomas, and many more.
As mentioned in our blog Event Branding: Broccoli City, Broccoli City reached out to us to do the branding for their Broccoli City Festival event that took place this past Saturday, April 25th. We started with a logo that branched off onto several forms of press and marketing tools leading up to the event itself. Our branding was felt throughout the entire festival, from press badges to the entire stage backdrop and more.
Branding is the corner stone of any business or entity, whether big or small, and can be very beneficial against competitors if your brand is effective enough. Local lifestyle group, Broccoli City contacted Bright Light Media as they were seeking a new branding strategy for their very popular annual music festival in Washington, DC.
And so it all begins with the branding. We came up with several different concepts for the festival’s logo. We worked with ideas to find the one that would fit their style, their company, and what they represent. Below shows you just a sample of some of the ideas brought to the table before we arrived at the final logo.
In today’s market, consumers have the mindset of I want it now and I want it fast that it only makes sense that they’d rather watch a 1-3 minute video containing the important information that sums up the ins and outs of your business in a creative, visual manner instead of reading paragraphs of visually-unappealing text. Successful businesses all have videos that market their company, and the longer a business waits to produce one is another day their competitors stay ahead of the game. Customers watch more video. Plain and simple.
Stats to Consider:
78% of people watch at least one video on Youtube
More than 500 years’ worth of Youtube videos are watching daily on Facebook
700 YouTube videos are shared on Twitter every minute
50% of mobile traffic is due to online video
75% of executives watch work-related videos on business-related websites at least weekly
70% of the top 100 search listings on Google are video results