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Your Company Profile + Our Microsite = A Winning Online Presence

When you consider all the iconic duos that the world has come to know and love, it’s easy to see why they say the best things come in pairs. Think peanut butter and jam… snakes and ladders… Sylvester and Tweety… fingers and smartphones, to name a few.

Because we’re always creatively innovating, Coffee has come up with a fresh, winning combination of our own. One that’s good for YOUR business – the company profile and microsite merger!

As the name suggests, a microsite is a miniature website made up of a single, dynamic webpage, with multi-dimensional functionalities. It is simple, cost-efficient and a visually appealing platform with which to deliver snack-sized, but relevant, information about a business, product or service.

When we marry one with your company profile, it becomes a powerful tool with which to market your business online.

Our company profile microsites help you to establish an online presence fast, so that prospective clients and investors can find you in the digital space. You can include titbits of information related to your company history, products and services, vision and mission, track record and what differentiates you in the market – all the info that helps people decide that you’re a good entity to do business with.

We can also incorporate SEO and mobile-friendly functionality, making your business easier to find, and contactable on the go! Sure, the name may have ‘micro’ in it, but the rewards of our microsites are macro in nature!

If you already have an existing company profile that you feel is bang on the money… great! You’re halfway there. We can make that into a website. Let’s get started! Give us a call or drop us a mail to set up a meeting for a chat about how we can help you!

Get Your Brand Building On

Building a successful brand isn’t only about having a cool logo. It’s important, yes, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

There are so many aspects to a brand, from the website, copy, taglines, marketing materials and advertisements, to corporate culture and how employees conduct themselves. These all form a vital part of a brand’s DNA.

Now, with this in mind, we’ve compiled a checklist to help you along as you build your brand.

Side note, if you’re reading this and realise that you can’t check one of these points off the list, then come and visit our Studio and let’s get that sorted!

  1. A Mission Statement
    Never underestimate the importance of a mission statement. It provides a framework and a vision for your brand, defining your company, its objectives and its approach to reaching those objectives.What is your company most passionate about? Why does your company exist? Who does your company exist for? Your company’s mission statement needs to sum all this up in a clear and concise sentence or two.Essentially, your brand stems from your mission statement, so your logo, your tagline, voice, messaging and brand personality should reflect your mission.Don’t be vague. Customers want transparency.
  2. One Phrase to Rule them All
    Creating the perfect tagline is tricky. First, figure out how you want to be perceived and what emotional reaction you’d like your audience to feel. This helps to develop the right kind of words, tone and meaning that you would like to communicate through your tagline.Remember that once you’ve decided on a tagline, it’ll pretty much go on everything, so don’t hurry this step!
  3. A Logo
    First things first – hire a professional designer or agency with branding and identity design experience to help you build your brand’s logo!Don’t try and do it yourself. Microsoft Paint is not an acceptable medium for design. Professional designers will also develop brand guidelines to make sure that your brand look and feel is consistent.
  4. You Do You
    Stand out from the crowd, be unique! Don’t be a carbon copy of your competitors. Find interesting ways to communicate with your audience and speak (write) in your unique voice.Then, once you’ve found your style, be consistent!Ask yourself, “What am I trying to say to my customers?”
    “What personality would my brand have if it were a person?” (e.g. approachable, humble, or bold and loud?)
    “What do I want my customers to take away from interactions with me?”Then, before you rush off and write a whole lot of content in your new-found voice, listen. Listen to your customers. Are they Chatty Cathys or are they formal with a stiff upper lip?
    When you know who your audience are, you know how to talk to them.Consumers and potential clients want to feel like you understand, genuinely care, and aren’t just jumping on bandwagons, so communicate and be YOU!“When you write like everyone else, you’re saying, ‘Our products are like everyone else’s.’ Would you go to a dinner party and repeat what the person to the right of you is saying all night long? Would that be interesting to anybody? Why are so many businesses saying the same things at the biggest party on the planet — the marketplace?” –  Jason Fried
  5. Keep Calm (and Call Coffee Creative Studio)
    Patience is key. Rome wasn’t built in a day and your brand won’t be either. It can take years to carefully cultivate a strong brand presence. It takes time to build trust, but once your reputation has been established, you’re golden!*Disclaimer: you will run into problems, you will make mistakes, you will mess up a project, but that’s ok. You’ll learn from all of that, but most importantly, it’s how you deal with the hiccups that will make or break your growth. When mistakes are made, figure out a process or solution you can put in place to avoid making the same one again.
  6. Spread the Love
    Developing a company culture is core to developing a strong brand. People talk, right? You want them to say wonderful things about your brand. So, this leads us to our final point, put people first! Your brand is much more than the company – it’s the team of employees.That age-old saying is true: “People don’t do business with companies, people do business with people.” If your brand is built on strong relationships its overall reputation will be positive.Let’s be honest, your brand is defined by your customer’s overall perception of you, and if you’ve worked to build a positive image, they will have a positive perception.

Brand building is a part of our DNA here at Coffee, and we’re passionate about it. We get excited about this stuff and we love to figure out how we can make a brand stand out from the rest.

If your brand needs some oomph or a clear strategy, we really would love to help. So, pop us a mail, come visit us and let’s get creative!

2018 Is Looking Bright!

2017 was quite a year! Donald Trump was elected the 45th president of the United States, 90’s fashion made a comeback, Beyoncé popped twins, 140 million hours were watched on Netflix every day, Greenery was the Pantone colour of the year, and Salt Bae caused a stir on social media as he flamboyantly sprinkled salt on carved steaks.

Over here, at Coffee Creative Studio, 2017 brought not one, not two, but three engagements, some very exciting new projects and one epic Christmas Party! We began 2017 with a Coffee Bean count of ten and ended the year with twenty-two! We’ve even gone international! Vito Feremans joined us from Belgium, and he’ll be with us for the next six months, or we may just have to keep him here… forever.

So far, 2018 has been incredible and we pretty much hit the ground running after the Christmas break, (hence the very overdue blog post), but it’s totally been worth the madness!

It’s already March and the year, as always, is flying by. As we look ahead, there are many more exciting things to come (including three Coffee babies – yay) and of course, we’ve got some great new projects lined up.

A definite highlight and achievement already this year has been launching The Sharks digital magazine, ‘Sharks Uncaged’ – go and check it out Sharks Uncaged. Blood, sweat and tears (almost) went into creating this publication and we’re insanely proud of our Beans! Our dev team, especially, spent many a late night (and weekend) at the Studio – so major shout-out to them!

As we head into the rest of the year, things are looking bright! We’ve got a bunch of epic e-commerce websites on the go, one of which is for a Chocolatier based in London (what are the chances of chocolate samples making the Atlantic crossing by mail?), we’re about to launch the new Hollywoodbets Dolphins website and we’ll be working on another collaboration with The SPAR Group developing their customer service campaign!

So, you certainly are keeping us busy – and we love it! So whatever your requirements this year, be it website, social media, or design, we’re here to be your preferred creative partner and help you achieve your business goals!

Give us a shout, let’s get together, have a chat and enjoy a good cuppa!

Our Coffee Products and Packages Are Made Espressily For You!

At Coffee Creative Studio, we’re committed to the challenge of helping you achieve your business goals, big or small.

So, to help you turn your business dreams into a reality, we’ve carefully enhanced our services, products and packages to best suit your needs!

In fact, we’re so proud of our new and improved services that we want to shout it from the rooftops, but, being the social media experts, we know we’d be more successful if we told you about them here!

So, without further ado, here they are!

  • Graphic Design
  • Website Design and Development
  • Brand Strategy and Consulting
  • Copywriting and Content Creation
  • Online Communications Services

Graphic Design
From logo, corporate identity, website, brochure or poster design, we do it all! We carefully consider every project so that your design is unique and not only builds a strong and identifiable brand image, but also resonates with your company ethos, mission and vision.

We’re not afraid to push the boundaries of design, and we’d describe ourselves as fresh, innovative and being able to think outside of the box!

Website Design and Development
We all know that in this day and age, an online presence is everything! One of the first things people do when they hear about your brand is a Google search for your website. If they find nothing – that doesn’t bode well for you.

We’re really passionate about website development, design and maintenance and, not to boast or anything, but our developers have mad skills and are pretty epic!

Our website packages range from:

  1. A template-based Landing Page, ideal for a start-up business
  2. A Mini-Site with a little more functionality
  3. A fully customised and designed Micro-Site with some serious pizazz
  4. An E-commerce package that’ll have your customers shop ‘til they drop and
  5. A Customised Website package, which is the most comprehensive of our website offerings and has all the bells and whistles!

Check out the design and website development we did for https://wearefood.co.za/ and https://silkbydesign.co.za/

Brand Strategy and Consulting
“Behind every successful business is a unique and hardworking brand strategy!”

There are literally hundreds of ways to market your business and deciding where to spend your money is vital! With a solid brand strategy in place, we’ll help you develop a clear plan of action, and once you have that, it’s easier to know which marketing campaign will work best for you!

With years of experience, our strategists will unpack your brand and help you lay the foundations you need to establish a clear brand strategy.

Copywriting and Content Creation
We’ve all heard that age-old saying, “content is king” and it really is! Clever copywriting attracts people rather than interrupts them, and in this busy world we live in, that’s more important than ever.

Our copywriters strive to keep their work charming and creative so that whatever your brand objective is, they’ll make it sound awesome. There’s no topic they can’t write about and trust us, they’ve had to write about some weird and wonderful topics.

Our content services include the following:

  • Concept Development
  • Content Creation
  • Content Editing

Online Communication Services
The newest and coolest kids on the block are our social media packages! We’ve spent months cultivating and roasting them to perfection to best suit our clients’ needs, and we’ve got to say, we’re super proud of them!

Our bespoke social media packages are as follows:

  • Instant Coffee
  • Green Bean
  • Light Roast
  • Medium Roast
  • Dark Roast

These packages vary in social media offerings so that we have a flavour to suit each clients’ needs and budget requirements. But, whether you take our smallest Instant Coffee or our biggest Dark Roast package, each has been carefully roasted to ensure they communicate your brand’s personality and take your social media to the next level.

In addition to these social packages, our online offerings extend to e-newsletters and SMS services, so no matter your social desires; we’ve got you covered!

If any of our services have tickled your fancy, pop us a mail and come visit our Studio for a cuppa and a chat

Cultivating Creativity

Where do creatives find their creativity and inspiration?

Well, if you look up the meaning of inspiration in the dictionary, it’ll definite it as “the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.”

In theory, this is wonderful, and it certainly sounds simple enough, but, let’s be honest, inspiration doesn’t always come easy, especially in the fast-paced, demanding world we find ourselves in.

Most of the greatest artists, musicians, songwriters, and poets all drew their inspiration from somewhere or someone. Back in a time where life passed by at a slower rate, and one couldn’t log onto Facebook and, consequently, disappear down a social media wormhole.

William Wordsmith found his inspiration in nature, Jane Austen found hers in other successful female authors of her time, and Leonardo da Vinci drew his brilliance from architecture and science.

Fast forward a couple of years and Vincent van Gogh relocated to Pairs for inspiration, Rock N Roll legend, Elvis Presley was inspired by Gospel music and J.K Rowling’s inspiration for Harry Potter came to her in the most peculiar of settings – while delayed on a train travelling from Manchester to London’s Kings Cross Station. Steve Jobs began his Apple dream after being inspired by Edwin H. Land, the genius behind the Polaroid Corporation and inventor of instant photography and ironically, Richard Branson was inspired by a quote from Steve Jobs.

“The ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.” – Steve Jobs

So, in this world of non-stop advertising, instant gratification, fast food, 2-minute noodles, traffic and noise, what inspires you? What conjures up that sudden, brilliant and timely idea?

We asked a couple of our creatives in the studio to sum in a straightforward sentence what inspires them and here’s what some of them had to say;

Designer, Mel said she’s inspired by Spanish and Moroccan architecture, fabrics and mammoth D.I.Y projects.

Developer, Scott, is most inspired by innovation, automation (particularly classic cars) and old school electronics/components made by hand and not machines.

Salesman and sports enthusiast, Kyle said he’s inspired and motivated by successful entrepreneurs, like Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, a hard work ethic and other people’s successes.

And copywriter, Jess is most inspired when she’s venturing to new countries, art galleries or disappearing into the African bush, with no cell phone signal or other distractions of everyday life.

So, get off the couch, venture outdoors, travel, draw, doodle, read, talk to people, find out their stories and challenge yourself, because, in essence, inspiration is everywhere and it can come from weird and wonderful places.

From Garage to Greatness

Once upon a time in a garage far, far away (well, not really, just on the other side of the hill in Westville), a couple of ambitious (and crazy) youngsters took on a freelance job. They had no idea at the time that this little job would be the beginning of an epic adventure.

If you’d told us six years ago that we’d be sitting in a super chic office in the middle of Umhlanga with a staff of sixteen, that we would be the creative agency for The Sharks and would have just landed an incredibly exciting project with The SPAR Group, we absolutely would NOT have believed you.

But, here we are, going from strength to strength and still loving what we do!

From working in a leaky garage to an office in La Lucia and then a move to Umhlanga, it’s been a journey of epic proportions that has certainly kept us on our toes! There has been plenty of laughter, tears, late nights, moments of “what the heck are we doing” and of course, copious amounts of coffee.

Over the last six years, we’ve been fortunate enough to work with some really inspiring brands and people, some of which have included well-known names like, FutureLife®, The Dolphins, Belgotex Sport and Fidelity Security and start-ups, including Republik and We Are Food. In addition to awesome clients, we’ve also been surrounded by a great team of staff (who we consider family)!

Our team of Coffee Beans are the life and soul of our business, after all, without them, we wouldn’t be where we are today. Their passion and commitment to each job has been phenomenal, and every one of them adds their unique flavour to our Coffee Culture. Thank you, Beans, for being an integral part of this crazy, exciting journey.

So, on our sixth birthday, we want to raise our glasses (and mugs) and toast to each and every one of you, big, small, start-up, and everything in between and thank you, from the bottom of our caffeine racing hearts, for trusting us with your brands and business, and allowing us to walk along side you as we help you achieve your business goals!

Here’s to another six and many more to come!

What’s Your Strategy?

Scott Cook once said, “a brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is—it is what consumers tell each other it is”. And nowhere else is this becoming more apparent than online where social platforms have made it easier for customers to engage with their favourite brands and in turn, publish and promote their (unfiltered) opinions.

So, as Social Media continues to be an important and popular platform for individuals and businesses the question is, “how are you using these channels to leverage your business offering and achieve your goals?”

With over 1.870 billion active users on Facebook, a billion on Whatsapp, 600 million on Instagram and 317 million users on Twitter it’s more apparent than ever, that if your company doesn’t have a digital strategy or presence, it’s seriously going to get left behind.

Here are five reasons why your business needs a digital marketing strategy:

  1. Gain direction
    If you don’t have a clear set of goals for what it is you want to achieve online (i.e. new customers, deeper relationships with existing ones) then you won’t know which resources to put in place to reach your goal.
  2. Stay ahead of your competitors
    If you invest in dedicating time and resources to your digital marketing approach, you’ll have the upper hand. If you’re not doing this, your competitors will leave you in the dust, taking potential clients away from you. An ad-hoc, throwing caution to the wind approach leaves you too vulnerable in the social media world.
  3. A digital presence = more clients
    With a social page and a plan in place, you can reach more people. When consumers and potential clients can find, and engage with you online, they’re more likely to give you their business than those they can’t find online.
  4. Better understand your marketplace
    Having an online strategy can help your business understand how potential customers think and interact online. It also helps you build a customer profile and monitor their behaviour in terms of their likes, dislikes, gender, age, location, specific interests and what they’re searching for. Knowing this will help when you’re looking to grow other aspects of your business.
  5. Stand out from the crowd
    With a strategy and clear plan, you can start figuring out how to differentiate your business from the rest. Customers want relevant, unique content and experiences and if you can give it to them, you’ll build brand loyalty.

In this digital age, the way your brand presents itself online, is as important as the way you show up in person. As a branding and website development Studio our aim is to assist individuals achieve their business goals and make a great first impression.

So, if you want to leave your mark online, give us a shout and let’s have a coffee and chat!

Why Schools Need a Unified, Consistent and Refined Brand

When you think of branding strategy, corporate businesses often come to mind rather than educational institutions. And yet, the benefit that schools receive from cohesive branding is monumental. The truth is that every single organisation that engages with the public requires some type of strategy for branding.

Today’s parents have more choice than ever before when it comes to nursery schools, primary schools, high schools and tertiary institutions. From private, public and traditional on-site campuses, to online campuses, learning facilities are changing with the tides. Your school needs to stand out from the rest in order to attract students and educators. A large part of a school’s reputation comes down to brand positioning. Without brand strategy, it can become impossible for educational instructions to connect with students, parents and other key people involved in the decision of where to send their child to school.

The Importance of Branding Strategies for Schools

Why are branding strategies so crucial for schools? For starters, a clear, defined, optimised strategy will offer the following advantages…

  1. Provide a consistent message on what is important to your school. By defining your school’s values and mission, parents and students will know what is important to the school. Articulating your school brand clearly allows you to define your own story, rather than letting other people define it for you.
  1. Achieve major business goals for your school. Brand positioning also allows you to attract higher quality students. This in turn makes it easier to meet your goals year after year. A strong brand builds reputation and garners loyalty. It also helps to strengthen bonds with alumni and encourages stakeholders to invest in your school.
  1. Enhances your reputation and status within the community. A clear brand works hand in hand with word-of-mouth promotion, helping to grow your reputation organically. Schools that have a strong online presence, consistent branding across marketing platforms and clearly defined purposes find it easier to establish a lasting reputation.
  1. Differentiate you from other schools. In the competitive space, solid branding can make all the difference for parents trying to choose between schools. Schools that have a strong presence across multiple marketing channels have a higher perceived worth. When value is the core deciding factor, choices can be made wisely without focusing entirely on fee costs.
  1. Attract a higher calibre of faculty and staff. In addition to attracting students, you also need to attract the right people for your faculty. A strong brand that represents its teachers in a way that is fair, positive and inspiring serves to attract future educators who want to work for your school.

Coffee Creative Studio offers a bespoke selection of branding strategy solutions for schools and various other industries within South Africa. To learn more about what we offer, contact us today and let us know how we can assist with your school brand strategy.

The Biggest Branding Mistakes (And How to Avoid Them)

Without a smart brand strategy, it can be all too easy to fall prey to branding mistakes. In fact, even some of the world’s most iconic brands have made poor decisions at some point or another. Whether it is trying to diversify a household name, being inconsistent with brand identity or failing to focus on the most important brand message, the one thing that all branding mistakes have in common is that they affect your overall reputation and success.

How do you go about preventing such mistakes? For starters, you learn to identify the biggest mistakes that can make or break your brand strategy.

Corporate Brand Strategy Mistakes to Avoid

Some of the things you certainly don’t want to do when it comes to branding include the following:

1. Inconsistent corporate identity

Using different logos, fonts, colours and elements is confusing at best, and damaging at worst. When you think of big brands such as Nike, Coca-Cola and Apple, you very likely think of their instantly recognisable logo. But it’s not only the logo that makes these brands stand out – it’s also their tagline, colours, fonts, styles and packaging. You would not expect to find an iPad packaged in an overly bright and bold red box. Consistently is the lifeblood of any brand. Your logo needs to be carried across on everything – website, emails, office signage, labels, letterheads, business cards, brochures and adverts. Your colours, fonts and style need to be cohesive as well. Customers need to be able to associate your logo, tag line, colours and name without having to think too hard. This is how you establish and build your legacy.

2. Poor visuals (or no visuals at all)

Branding is all about the visual images that form in people’s minds. These link your logo, name and brand on a level that is deeply embedded in your customer’s mind. Images are stickier than words, as we think in pictures. If you do not have a clear or consistent visual identity, you will not be easily remembered. Failing to incorporate visuals correctly can result in a brand that seldom stays in the minds of customers.

3. Out-dated marketing materials

You may have had a stellar brand strategy for the last decade, but if you have not updated your materials, you are wasting your chance to stay relevant in your consumers’ minds. Old brochures that no longer reflect your goals or vision, business cards that have not been updated since your new website was launched, ugly emails that are not user-friendly or optimised in any way, tired ads that run on radio, television or print without inspiring anyone… even an ancient website that is slow loading and hard to navigate. These things can all set you back in your branding efforts.

4. Failing to focus branding on your core service

Focusing your strategies on your core service is fundamental to branding success. What is it that makes your company unique? What is your main claim to fame? If you are trying to list every service and product that you offer, across all of your marketing channels, you will lose attention quickly. When you think Apple, you think of smart phones. Google is best known for its search engine. Nando’s is known for its spicy chicken (and tongue-in-cheek ad campaigns). What is YOUR brand known for above all else? Instead of trying to be known for everything and anything, fine-tune your messages by focusing on the thing that you do best.

5. Thinking that names don’t matter

Before Monster energy drink came along, the drink’s creator, Hansen Natural Company, tried to launch a similar drink in the exact same size under the name Hansen’s Natural Energy Pro. The launch was a failure. When they launched Monster, it quickly became a worthy competitor to Red Bull. Instead of making a wild guess at names, build your marketing strategy and then choose a name that reflects your strategy.

Keen for more expert brand strategy advice? Coffee Creative Studio provides a range of brand consulting and strategy solutions that help you take your brand to the next level. Contact us today to learn more about what we offer.

Brand Guidelines

When to follow the rules…
(Especially when it comes to branding)

As creatives we generally like to think of ourselves, as Steve Jobs so eloquently put it, “crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules…”. But when it comes to certain elements, particularly those in the world of design, we will confess that we are sticklers for a particular set of laws. Not merely perfectionists, we are law abiding to the point of annoyance. And, geek alert, we get maybe a little too excited when we see others following them too.

We know you are wondering, “what on God’s green earth are you crazy people talking about? What are these rules and why do they evoke such enthusiastic adherence?”

Queue drum roll… introducing the blessed… Brand Guidelines!!!

Don’t get all judgey this “bible for brands” is, simply put… beautiful, and a sure way of ensuring that your brand is communicated consistently and with the same pizzazz that it was initially intended.

There is nothing more disheartening than spending hours, days, weeks and even months finalising a beautiful new logo and brand for a client, only to see it a few days later slapped on the on back of a mini van with a random typeface and ugly 1997 embossed effect smacked on top! Come on people! *hidesface*

A brand guideline/booklet/bible/whatever you want to call it is a rulebook of sorts for your company stationary. Covering colours, fonts, logo do’s and don’ts and some general how to’s, it is one of those imperative little documents that should be passed on to anyone who dares touch your beautiful branding. We are talking to you Aunty Sue over there in the corner… sorry but your 5-minute “tutorial” from Johnny (who works in a completely unrelated industry) does not make you a design expert and, news flash, owning an illegal version of Photoshop does not make you a pro!

Ok, enough with the rant! Did you pick up that this is something we are REALLY passionate about?

It’s pretty simple though, follow your brand guidelines and you can be sure that 99.9% of the time you will always ensure that your brand looks beautiful, even 20 years from now! Unless you used a horrible designer…!

So, what should your Brand Bible cover?
Some brands get beautifully specific with their guidelines covering tonality and photography style as well as what iconography can and can’t be used.

If you don’t have the time or budget to develop something so complex all we suggest is that you make sure the basics are covered. Don’t get caught looking at your company branding 10 years from now wondering how your red turned to burnt orange and how you suddenly found yourself using a mix of 36 different fonts across different mediums.

A basic brand guideline should include:

  • Colour palette (RGB, CMYK, Pantones)
  • Font/type style
  • Logo do’s and don’ts
  • Layouts and grids
  • Web specific elements

Simple, right?