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Results by Design

You may have noticed a change to the way we position our Plus Two brand now with the introduction of our brand ethos: ‘Results by Design’

We are strong believers in the strength of a brand name and never advocate changing a company moniker lightly. Afterall  your brand name is the best, instantly recognisable, tangible, memorable piece of marketing collateral you have.

For example, contrast “I can recommend an agency called Plus Two as they created a fantastic website for us’ against ‘Yes the company that did our website were great, I’ll dig out their details… nice bunch of geeky designy types’!

Think Coca Cola… no need to change and we all instantly know what they sell.

Don’t change your well established name unless there is a concrete 100% compelling reason to do so. Otherwise you are risking an identity crisis. Think Royal Mail to Consignia (and then back to Royal Mail)….T-Mobile to Everything Everywhere to ‘EE’, and don’t get me started on Marathon/Snickers!

Our Plus Two brand has been around since 1984. That’s 30 years of history which you don’t ideally disregard on a whim. OK, so Plus Two doesn’t express what our agency is about in this modern digital world but then does AKQA, Publicis or WPP?!

I’m often asked why the company is called Plus Two. Well when the original Director started up the business he became very busy very quickly. This necessitated getting professional and employing more people. So there was a need for a company name and a need for two new employees….. “Plus Two”…bingo.

Recently, we have felt that we need to express the ethos of Plus Two and how we approach projects and client relationships. Prospective new clients who don’t know of Plus Two want to understand what differentiates us from other digital agencies.  If we use the Coca Cola analogy and take a look at their packaging they now roll with ‘Coca Cola – Real taste. Uplifting refreshment’. You may not agree with the sentiment but you know what it is all about!

Now embarking on a new brand essence/ethos/strapline project can take a lot of time… and being a very busy agency at Plus Two we just can’t afford that luxury!

So we allowed ourselves just 30 minutes and put four creative brains in a room. It’s amazing what you can achieve when you focus. It was like an episode of Channel 4′s Countdown! (prefer the 8 out of 10 cats version BTW!)

Everything Plus Two designs for clients is focussed on delivering an end result e.g. uplift in sales, increase in web traffic, more product awareness etc.

With this firmly lodged in the brain cells our ‘Speed Brainstorming’ crack team nailed it (in 29 minutes to be precise!).

Ladies and gentlemen we present to you: Plus Two – Results by Design.

Feeling suitably smug with our newly developed brand ethos, and speedy decision making, we felt we should take the same approach to Results by Design’s identity.

We designed a lot of good options and the decision process could have been very torturous until we thought ‘Why have just the one style when we can have many?’

So we are now rolling out the different typeface approaches and intend mixing them up across all our client communications – website, email signatures, proposals etc.

Results by Design brand styles

Results by Design… keeps us focussed on delivering the right result for all your projects this year and for many more years to come.

Filed in Agency Life, Branding, Creative Services, Digital Design, Digital Strategy, Inspiration, News, Top News | Leave a comment
Twitter’s Bootstrap has quickly grown into one of the most popular frameworks for web designers and developers. There are thousands of sites using Bootstrap for web design and front-end development. For a lot of developers and designers implementing Bootstrap is a ‘no brainer, some rely on Bootstrap for the responsive capabilities, while others simply like using the built-in elements.

 

Bootstrap

Bootstrap has enabled Plus Two to make web development faster and easier. The toolset was originally developed as twitter were seeing so many inconsistencies between developers working on their projects, which caused issues with the front end and the back end of their site. There are many benefits to using a framework like Bootstrap, most of them focusing on increased efficiency for building modern and responsive websites. There are lots of great resources too which is excellent for trouble shooting or inspiration.

What’s great about using Bootstrap is that development time is slashed. The libraries offer ready made code that the web developer can simply pick the right piece of code and fit it in to the design, the CSS is built with LESS which is a dynamic style-sheet language not dissimilar similar to SASS.
 
To make the most of Bootstraps time saving features the designer of a Bootstrap website needs to have considered the layout using the platform’s grid system (12 column, 1170px wide, each column being 70px with a 30px gutter either side). These kind of grid systems are commonplace for designers at the moment and although not mandatory to adopt this approach it does help a great deal. 

In design terms, Bootstrap is often associated with flat UI which focuses on simple shapes, colours and typography to emphasise clarity and usability. The flatness of style means simplifying interface elements – to create a crisp, clean design that focuses on the hierarchy of the content and streamlining information. Most of the sites that use Bootstrap do little to alter the look and feel. Bootstrap offers a solid foundation that you can use to prototype and design a completely custom site, but it doesn’t take much to customise your design and give your site a unique style yet retaining the underlying bootstrap responsive capabilities. These capabilities enable websites to be created that seamlessly shift from laptop to a tablet to a smart phone with super speed and efficiency. 

Bootstrap comes equipped with many elements that are being considered the future of design itself. For instance various features of HTML5 and CSS3. So Bootstrap has the potential to become a yardstick for web developers from now on. It also works with a central set of development code, so results are uniform across all platforms and therefore browser differences between Chrome, Explorer, Safari and Firefox should be a thing of the past. 

If you have a good working knowledge of HTML and CSS, you should get on fine with Bootstrap. There is also plenty of documentation to help you out, so you can quickly and efficiently develop responsive websites.http://getbootstrap.com/
Filed in Digital Design, Responsive Design, Responsive Development, Top News, Uncategorized, Website Design, Website development | Leave a comment

Over the festive period one of the best ways to thank your customers for their loyalty and show that you care and appreciate their business is by sending a customised Christmas eCard. It’s the ideal opportunity to remind them about your company products, services and any deadlines for getting work to you before you close for the festive period.

Stand Out From The Crowd With A Christmas eCard

For many businesses eCards are a cost effective, green and flexible solution that allows you to reach a greater audience and tailor your message.

Here are our top reasons why you should send Christmas eCards:

Maintain & Build Client Relationships

An online Christmas card is a great way to touch base with existing clients and prospects. They allow you to reinforce or market your services and ensure your brand is at the forefront of their thoughts moving into the New Year.

They are a particularly nice way to keep in touch with existing clients, even if you haven’t been in touch with them for a while, to let them know that you’re still thinking about them.

They can serve as a nice little reminder of any pre-Christmas deadlines, special offers or services you have and reinforce the message that you are on top of any demand. They also present a good opportunity to advise your customers of your festive schedule and when you’ll be winding down for Christmas. This is helpful to ensure that any work or orders can be scheduled and completed in time to cement the positive relationships that you’ve built with your customers over the last year. There’s no doubt your clients will appreciate you being so organised in the build-up to this busy period.

 Stand out from the crowd – Customised, Interactive Design

With an eCard you have the opportunity to really customise your communication, whether this is simply a festive greeting, an offer you’d like to promote or letting clients know your Christmas deadlines. There are many options for customising eCards and messaging, much of which will be dictated by your recipients.

As well as being customised to suit your marketing messaging , eCards can include links to your website and social channels  and can include animation to really bring your message to life. If designed and executed well they can create a real impact and impress your customers.

Another benefit of sending an eCard over traditional printed Christmas cards is that emails can be traced, tracked and monitored for their effectiveness.

Spread the Christmas cheer

Research shows that 48% of people forwarded an emailed greeting card, which means this is a great way for you to get your clients talking to others about you!

All in all, sending Christmas eCards is a simple and effective way of cementing, creating and maintaining client relationships in any business.

What are you waiting for, it will be here before you know it! Get your Christmas eCards sorted now!

Filed in Creative Services, Digital, Digital Design, Digital Media Design, Marketing Products and Services, Top News, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

When Gerber Juice approached Plus Two to pitch for the design and development of two websites for the launch of new Del Monte Juice brands, the Plus Two team rose to the challenge and went above and beyond to deliver a digital strategy not only for the launch but far beyond to ensure consistent development of the new brands across a range of appropriate digital channels.

Fruit Burst Visuals

Launching a new product is never easy but there are some simple ways to ensure you make the most of the opportunity and maximise the available budget.

The first step is to do your research and identify the right digital platforms through which to engage with your target audience. The next is to develop a well thought out strategy for activity on the selected platforms.

Following some initial research into the marketplace, the target audience profile and competitors for each of the new products, we developed a strategy for the development of not just the websites but appropriate digital activity that would enable Del Monte to create brand awareness, meet their objectives and stand out in the crowded marketplace.

The digital strategy enabled development of the brand personality, creation of opportunity to promote brand awareness and encourage brand affinity. Cross sell opportunities were identified and added value was provided through an engagement programme all forming the basis for an effective eCRM programme moving forwards.

All requirements from the original brief were explored and considered however in some instances alternative recommendations were made to better suit the objectives.

The key was to remain focussed. Making the budget work harder by doing a few selected things but doing them well.

The key platforms selected for engagement were the websites and mobile apps. With a move into social channels once the brands were established.

For the first new product ;’Fruit Burst’, a childrens fruit drink, the website was designed around an overarching idea of discovery and ‘fun learning’. Inspiring discovery through having fun. This would appeal to both the children and their parents. Establishing a relationship with both and reinforcing Del Monte’s overarching proposition.

The website design provided an opportunity to deliver this idea through the look and feel as well as the content. To create an engaging platform for the target audience to ‘discover’ more about Fruit Burst as well as other more educational content.

On site games were recommended and developed to encourage interaction, repeat visits and engagement with the brand. A HTML game was developed whereby visitors compete against the clock to match all the pairs of fruit, and against each other to get their name featured on the Fruit Burst leaderboard.

‘Factoids’ were recommended as a fun way to keep the site updated and fresh with new content which underpinned the discovery strategy. See these in action at www.fruit-burst.co.uk.

Fruit Burst Factoids

A mobile app game was designed based on the concept of Sir Isaac Newton discovering gravity when an apple fell on his head. The app which is due to launch in the app store in the next couple of weeks, requires players to move Isaac to get apples to fall on his head.

The game will be promoted on the website and on Fruit Burst packaging.

Fruit Burst App - Isaac's App

Del Monte also wanted a way to promote their new Occassions range, a juicy cocktail mix that could be enjoyed at any occasion/party on it’s own or mixed with alcohol.

A whole host of ideas were brainstormed, explored and rejected but one simple yet effective idea remained which was put forward to the client.

The idea: ‘Del Monte Occasions will help make any occasion great’.

The mechanic: An App.

You know the feeling, we’ve all been at a party, wedding, networking event or even on a date and found ourselves a little stuck for conversation. The Del Monte Occasions, Conversation Emergency app is now here to help.

If someone is having a little trouble and needs some conversation inspiration they simply press the emergency button on the Conversation Emergency app and they will receive a fun and interesting conversation starter to break the silence. Making sure any occasion is great.

The app is available in the app store now, simply search ‘Conversation Emergency’.

Filed in Application Development, Creative Services, Digital Strategy, iOS, Marketing Products and Services, Top News | Leave a comment

The arrival of the royal baby and future king coincides perfectly with the birth of our new digital marketing offering AIM.

AIM, Affordable Intelligent Marketing is aimed specifically at small and medium businesses to provide them with the royal treatment at an affordable cost.

AIM For Results - Affordable Intelligent Marketing

AIM is the brainchild of agency directors Nick Cockburn, Rob Macdermott & Matt Eccles.

Throughout their collective years working with some great big brands and smaller ones alike, they identified a distinct lack of affordable digital marketing resource for both strategy and execution available to smaller businesses.

AIM has therefore been developed to provide tailored digital marketing solutions from a highly experienced team to suit your business objectives and budget.

We’ll work with you, as an extension of your team to review any existing activity and provide you with a strategy and content plan identifying the right mix of digital marketing for you.

We provide a free audit of your current activity and an initial consultation without any obligation or charge.

There is a simple online questionnaire which we call our ‘Digital Fact Find’ for you to complete. The Digital Fact Find aim’s to provide us with all the information we need to complete an audit of your existing activity. From this we can understand more about you and recommend the best digital marketing activity to ensure your business objectives are met.

A programme of monthly activity is agreed and a monthly budget set for a minimum period of 6 months. Whether it’s a Google Adwords campaign, email marketing or search engine optimisation you need. We will manage it all for you and provide monthly reports of the results.

We have a number of small businesses already signed up and seeing great results. For example, Sports Courts UK Ltd have seen almost a 200% increase in web traffic in 6 months. Find out more about the other great results achieved for Sports Courts and a selection of other clients.

Head on over and check it out at www.aimforresults.co.uk

Filed in Digital Strategy, Marketing Products and Services, Top News | Leave a comment