Nextphase Strategy Blog



How to be a Great Branding and Marketing Client

Achieving great results from a marketing agency has two parts to it. Here is the obvious part: you should hire a company that best fits all of your requirements. The second and often neglected part is being a good client to work with. Without both parts of the equation, the work that comes out won’t reach its full potential. So, keep the following simple tips in mind when hiring an agency’s services.

  • Provide as much information as you can during the creative brief.
  • Communicate your objectives - short-term and long-term.      
  • Participate actively in the project.
  • Be responsive.
  • Make clear what success is in your dictionary.
  • Remember that changes almost always affect deadlines.
  • Give constructive, specific feedback.
  • Acknowledge your limitations.
  • Trust the expertise of the hired agency.


Adopting these traits will help you get the most out of your relationship with your agency – and optimum results from your branding and marketing programs. 






Top 5 Tips for Professional Marketing Material

Even with the importance of the web these days, most companies still have a need for printed materials – whether they are brochures, product sheets, newsletters, presentation folders, trade-show hand-outs, direct mail, case studies and so on. Here are our top five tips for developing compelling, sales-oriented marketing materials.

1.   Define whom you are writing for. Resist the urge to develop content for a variety of audiences. Appeal to your main audience with content that will lead them to take action.

2.   Hook them with the headline. The headline is what will initially capture attention and prompt the reader to read on. Make sure that it is short, concise and communicates a key benefit.

3.   Use subheads to guide content. Subheads help guide your reader through your document, separating it into manageable, readable sections. They can also highlight benefits and keep interest at a peak. Used appropriately, they’re powerful tools for getting your message across clearly and effectively.

4.   Be sure all your materials have a ‘family look’. Every piece of literature doesn't have to look identical, but they should all look planned as a compatible unit. Picture all of your marketing materials laid in front of you on a conference table. Does it all look like it comes from the same company? It should.

5.   Invest in good images. Companies sometimes scrimp on getting good photos of their equipment, job sites, people and projects. Strong, professional photography will go a long way to reflecting the quality of your product or service while amateur snapshots can give a poor impression. Consider professional photography as an investment in your future.





Put Your Best Face Forward

When you manage a brand, you have an image to groom. This is especially true online, where people from all around the world are constantly scrutinizing your brand. What’s more, it takes a very long time to create a positive brand reputation on the Web, but it takes just seconds to ruin it. 

What, then, should be monitored to protect your brand’s image and prevent any mishaps? Any posts, feedback, mentions, reviews, testimonials, comments, links and more containing the following should be monitored closely.

  • The name of your company
  • Brands operated under your company
  • The names of your employees
  • Your corporate website domain
  • Phrases that identify your brand
  • Your clients
  • Your competitors


Monitoring can be done quite easily by using tools such as RSS Feeds, Google Analytics/Alerts, Hootsuite, and Twitter Search. If you see any flags, respond in a timely manner, while being courteous and professional. Likewise, if you receive positive feedback, show your gratitude- a few words can go a long way and this will help in spreading a positive online image of your brand.





What Colour is Your Business?

Regardless of our culture, gender, or age, we can’t help but be drawn in by the colours surrounding us. Indeed, colours are everywhere, all the time, and they are one of the first elements our brains process when we notice something. Colours are so powerful that they stimulate our nervous system and evoke physiological and emotional states.

Of course, our unique experiences influence how we perceive colours as individuals. This is why the same colour can often mean different things to different people. For example, writing one’s name in red ink may mean nothing to a Norwegian, but it is condemned by a Korean as red is linked to death. So, it should come as no surprise that colour can be part of your marketing strategy to influence your customers’ purchase decisions.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common colours in business and how they are interpreted in North American culture.

  • Red

o   Commands attention
o   Stimulates senses
o   Symbolises energy, excitement and passion
o   Encourages action; thus, a selling colour

  • Yellow

o   Represents cheerfulness and playfulness
o   Uplifts people’s moods
o   Stimulates mental activity
o   A fun, happy colour

  • Green

o   Creates a sense of calm
o   Associated with nature, environment, vitality, and health
o   Soothing on the eye
o   Colour of money 

  • Blue

o   Most popular colour in business and in general
o   Implies loyalty, trust, and conservatism
o   Reduces tension and fear
o   A reliable, responsible colour

  • Black

o   Suggests authority, boldness, and stability
o   A classic, luxurious feel
o   The ultimate power colour
o   Can add seriousness or weight to a brand

  • White

o   Colour of new beginnings
o   Symbolizes simplicity and organization
o   Associated with innocence and peace
o   Adds purity and transparency to a brand

Now, take a look at the colours used in your business’s brand assets: your logo, brochures, business cards, office, website, and so on.  And remember to take into account your target market. Are your colours painting the picture you want reflected in your marketplace?