Pink is back! The Influence of Pink in Brand and Design

Well tickle us pink (yeah, we know), because today we’re talking about one of our favourite colours that’s taken the throne once again – pink! It’s bold, it’s vibrant, and it’s unapologetically back in the spotlight.  

So, let’s take a closer look at why this powerhouse hue is back in fashion and how it’s shaking up the design and branding world. 

The power and meaning of pink 

Pink has always been a colour loaded with meaning. Traditionally, it’s been associated with femininity, sweetness, and romance. However, modern interpretations have pushed these boundaries, giving pink a more exciting and versatile role. It’s a colour that can be both playful and sophisticated, soft and powerful.  

In branding, pink is used to convey a range of messages and emotions too. It can be warm and inviting or daring and rebellious. The key is in the shade and context! For example, soft pinks might suggest care and nurturing, ideal for wellness or beauty brands. On the other hand, bright, hot pinks scream energy and fun, perfect for products aimed at a younger, more typically adventurous audience. 

Barbie’s big influence 

Let’s talk about the elephant—or rather, the doll—in the room. Barbie. Yes, that Barbie. The Barbie movie (we love you, Margot Robbie!) has not only reintroduced us to this timeless toy but also reignited our love for all things pink. Barbie’s world is a pink paradise (when can we move in?), and this aesthetic has spilled over into the fashion and design realms in a big way. It seems that “think pink” is the new motto for brands. 

The film’s marketing was a masterclass in branding too. Every poster, product tie-in, and social media post was awash with vibrant shades of pink, creating an unmistakable and clear identity. This rebranding of Barbie has shown that pink is not just another colour; it’s a statement. It’s all about embracing a bold, unapologetic style and rejecting the notion that pink is “too girly” or “not serious”. 

Brands have picked up on this cultural shift too. Suddenly we’re seeing a lot more pink in the palettes. The impact is clear: pink is no longer seen as frivolous or niche. It’s powerful, versatile, and here to stay – and we are thrilled about it! 

Pink’s past prejudices 

Sadly, pink hasn’t always had it easy. For a long time, it was pigeonholed into a corner—deemed too feminine, too frivolous, or simply not professional enough. Fortunately, those days now appear to be a thing of the past. The rise of gender-neutral fashion and the breaking down of colour stereotypes have paved the way for pink to be appreciated for what it truly is: a versatile and exciting colour that can transform brands and captivate audiences. 

Take a moment to really think about it. Why shouldn’t pink be used in serious contexts? Why can’t it be the face of a powerful brand? The past few years have seen a cultural shift towards inclusivity and breaking norms. Pink is riding this wave, moving beyond its outdated prejudices and becoming a colour that represents strength, innovation, and inclusivity. 

Brands that nail their pink branding 

T-Mobile 

T-Mobile’s magenta is iconic. In an industry that has a whole lot of blue, black and grey, choosing such a standout colour was a smart move. This telecom giant has taken pink—a colour traditionally seen as soft—and made it synonymous with speed, reliability, and innovation. Their branding is a masterclass in consistency. From their stores to their promotional materials, the bold pink stands out, making them easily recognisable and reinforcing their brand identity.   

Victoria’s Secret 

When you think of pink in branding, Victoria’s Secret probably springs to mind. The brand has expertly used pink to define its identity, especially through its sub-brand PINK. Targeting a younger demographic, PINK uses a vibrant palette to create an image that’s both youthful and sophisticated. This clever use of colour has helped Victoria’s Secret remain a dominant force in the lingerie market, appealing to women of ages with a mix of fun and glamour. 

Glossier 

Glossier, the beauty brand that’s taken the world by storm, uses pink to communicate simplicity, elegance, and modernity. Their soft, millennial pink packaging is instantly recognisable and has become a symbol of their minimalist, user-friendly approach to beauty. Glossier’s branding proves that pink can be chic and sophisticated, appealing to a broad audience with its fresh and contemporary vibe. 

Pink in pop culture: Legally Blonde 2, Mean Girls, and the new Barbie 

Pink’s influence extends far beyond branding and into the realm of pop culture. Let’s rewind a bit and revisit some iconic moments where pink stole the show. 

Legally Blonde  

As if we could talk about pink in pop culture without mentioning Legally Blonde! Elle Woods, with her bubbly personality and pink outfits, taught us that pink can be powerful and professional. In “Legally Blonde” Elle’s pink wardrobe is more than a fashion statement; she redefines what it means to be a professional woman in pink, making it clear that competence and colour can go hand in hand. 

Mean Girls 

“On Wednesdays, we wear pink.” This line from “Mean Girls” became a cultural phenomenon, cementing pink as a symbol of popularity and power in high school hierarchies. The film used pink to represent both the exclusivity and the camaraderie of the Plastics, showing how colour can be a critical part of group identity and social dynamics. 

The New Barbie 

As mentioned earlier, the new Barbie movie has redefined pink for a new generation. The film’s visual feast of pink shades, from bubblegum to fuchsia, has captured the imaginations of audiences worldwide. It’s a reminder that pink can be playful, nostalgic, and forward-thinking all at once. The movie’s success has inspired brands to embrace pink in their marketing strategies, proving its enduring appeal and versatility. 

Final thoughts 

It’s pretty obvious at BeSmart that we love ourselves a bit of pink; our branding is magenta after all. Our use of magenta isn’t just about aesthetics though, we also use it to show what our brand is all about. This includes, uniqueness, creativity, friendliness, and even spirituality through magenta’s link to the crown chakra. This symbolises higher thinking, reflecting our approach to meaningful design. We always knew pink was powerful! 

 

Get in touch today to discuss your brand colours and how we can help you to create branding that really resonates with *your* audience!  

Proudly Authentic: Brands That Avoid Rainbow Hype And Show Genuine Pride

Pride Month is here, and with it we’re going to see a whole slew of rainbow branding and products. Now don’t get us wrong, we love to see the colours of the rainbow flying loud and proud! However, Pride month brings with it a whole lotta “rainbow washing”, with companies focusing on profits rather than authentic support.  

So, what is rainbow washing all about and how can you make sure your brand isn’t caught red (rainbow?) handed jumping on the LGBTQ+ bandwagon with ill thought-out campaigns? We reveal everything you need to know and even take a peek at some brands who have nailed authentic LGBTQ+ support!  

Okay, but seriously, what is rainbow washing? 

You know the story; It’s Pride Month, and every shop window you pass (in-person or whilst roaming the internet!) is adorned with rainbow-themed merchandise. Brands and companies are releasing limited-edition rainbow products, each claiming to be “supportive” of the LGBTQ+ community. On the surface, it seems like a glorious display of inclusivity and allyship. But beware! This phenomenon is what we call “rainbow washing”. 

Rainbow washing happens when companies and individuals use rainbow symbols and slogans to portray themselves as LGBTQ+ allies, yet their actions and policies tell a different story. At its core, it’s a performative display of support with a sneaky focus on using it for profits. This happens to a lot of awareness holidays, including Black Lives Matter, Black History Month, and Earth Day. 

So, how do I show support for the LGBTQ+ community the right way? 

Sure, rainbows are fantastic, but genuine support requires more than just whacking some colourful symbolism on your products and calling it a day. It’s lazy, unauthentic and can actually do harm to your company in the long run, particularly with Gen Z shoppers on the rise. This generation is more tech savvy and connected than any generation before it, and something they value above a TikTok dance, or a viral meme is honesty and unfiltered realness. 

You’ve told us the wrong way we hear you cry, so what the heck is the right way to show support? To get started on the path to true inclusivity, you need to think about the below: 

Educate yourself 

This one is really obvious, but it is often skipped. Before expressing support, take the time to educate yourself about the issues faced by the LGBTQ+ community. Learn about their history, the challenges they continue to face, and the progress they’ve made. Understanding their struggles and victories will give your support a more profound meaning and ensure you don’t wildly miss the mark with something that is instead pretty offensive… we’re looking at you, M&S sandwich 

Look beyond the rainbows 

Yep, the rainbows are great, but genuine support requires more than just colourful symbolism. Do you have inclusive policies for employees? Can you employ a member of the LGBTQ+ community to lead your campaign? Can you work with LGBTQ+ run companies or LGBTQ+ influencers? Will you be supporting or making donations to LGBTQ+ charities and organisations? Don’t try to blind your customers with rainbows, they will dig deeper, and your support will be seen as pure tokenism if its outed as having very little substance. 

Amplify LGBTQ+ voices 

We get it okay, not every business is in a position to make a donation. However, you can still amplify voices and show support within that community by sharing their stories. This leads us nicely into our next point! 

Be an ally all year round 

Coming as no surprise, one of the most telltale signs that a company is rainbow washing is that their support fizzles right out after Pride Month as they can no longer profit from it. To truly be authentic, make sure you’re showing support year-round. Stick by your values and be public with them. 

Be an ally all around the world or nowhere!  

When companies wave the rainbow flag in places where it’s ‘cool’, but don’t do the same in spots like Dubai and the UAE, where being gay is less accepted or even illegal, it’s kind of like they’re rainbow washing. It’s like they’re picking and choosing where to show their support for LGBTQ+ rights, which might make you wonder if they’re just trying to look good and make more money in certain markets, instead of really standing up for the community everywhere. 

Which brands have shown genuine pride? 

We’ve given you some examples of support, but to help bring these ideas to life, let’s have a quick look into which brands have supported Pride Month in the right way and why these campaigns were so flipping awesome! 

Skittles 

We’re going to give you another reason to love this tasty sweet! In 2017, Skittles, launched a distinctive campaign titled ‘Give the Rainbow’ to show support during Pride Month. Scrubbing clean their packaging, they released limited edition white packets with the tagline “During Pride, only one rainbow matters”. 

Why it works: Not only did the white packaging help them stand out in a sea of rainbow slathered products, the black and white packs made a powerful statement about the essence of Pride Month – celebrating the LGBTQ+ community’s struggle for equality. They also made it clear that the profits from each limited-edition pack would be donated to UK-based LGBTQ+ charities. This transparency in their charitable contributions added to the campaign’s sincerity and led to the campaign now being run yearly. 

Converse 

Converse aren’t just about the sweet kicks, they’ve also got some pretty cool campaigns! For their 6th annual Pride campaign, Converse collaborated with five young LGBTQ+ creatives and over 50 LGBTQIA+ Converse teammates and allies to create a dazzling Pride collection. 

Why it works: By collaborating with LGBTQ+ individuals, Converse ensured that the campaign’s essence was rooted in real experiences and perspectives. Beyond these colourful designs and slogans, Converse backs its campaigns with tangible actions. Over the past six years, the company has donated a staggering $1.3 million to LGBTQ+ organisations, including the It Gets Better Project, the Ali Forney Center, BAGLY, and OUT MetroWest. They don’t just talk the talk; they lace up their Converse and walk the walk! 

Ben & Jerrys 

Now here’s an ice cream brand that is really worth screaming for! B&J are all about those clever puns, often renaming their popular flavours to support key LGBTQ events. For example, to show support for Vermont legalising gay marriage, they renamed the popular “Chubby Hubby” flavour to “Hubby Hubby”. Similarly, they joined hands with Marriage Equality in Ireland, renaming their Mint Chocolate Chunk flavour to “EngageMint Party”. 

Why it works: Ben and Jerry’s have one of (it not the best!) track record of supporting LGBTQ+ rights. They’ve continuously shown unwavering support, signing the USA Amicus Brief in 2015, partnering with and participating in Pride events, donating to charities, and more. This very visible support shows that their renames and rebranding aren’t just meaningless gestures designed to make profits a bit sweeter. 

 

Could your branding and campaigns use a little work? Contact us today to see how we can help! 

Cracking the Comms Code: Let’s Conquer The Annual Report Labyrinth

annual report

It’s time to venture into the labyrinth that is the annual report – those enigmatic puzzles of paperwork that both challenge and intrigue us! We get it, the struggle is real, from deciphering the data to dealing with cryptic feedback from Sue in finance who seems to speak in riddles – no offence, Sue.

At Be Smart Design, we’ve got the map and the compass to guide you through this maze of paperwork with style and flair!

Balancing Info and Fun

Alright, let’s be real here—annual reports can be be as intricate as a maze, with twists and turns, surrounded by walls of information that leave us feeling lost. But who says informative can’t also be fun? We’ll help you map out your reports whilst taking you through the scenic route – keeping your report fresh and engaging without losing the important stuff.

Running from the boulder of deadlines

Ah, the crushing weight of deadlines—they seem to come hurling at you out of no where! With our lightning-fast workflow and a dash of creative caffeine, we’ll leave those deadlines in the dust without breaking a sweat.

Illuminate the way with your brand

Your brand deserves to shine, so why settle for anything less than stellar? We’ll sprinkle some pizzazz into your reports to keep that brand essence bright for everyone to see, ensuring your report beams “YOU” from start to finish.

Breaking down barriers

Everyone should have a chance to join the discussion, right? That’s why we’re all about making your reports accessible to everyone. Whether it’s adding some forward-thinking features or just keeping things simple and easy to read, we’ve got you covered.

Handling Stakeholder Expectations Like a Pro

Stakeholders can sometimes present challenges, but we’ve got your back. We’ll help with navigating their expectations and ensuring everyone walks away satisfied.

Keeping Compliance Cool

Regulations, rules—whatever you want to call them, they can be a headache! With our keen eye for detail and knack for staying on the straight and narrow, you can trust us to keep your reports compliant, legit, and ready to impress even the toughest critic!

So, there you have it, folks—annual reports, decoded by Be Smart Design! With us at your side, annual reports will become not just a task, but a thrilling adventure full of fun, flair, and boundless creativity! 

Get in touch to let us help you achieve annual report success!

Unlocking the Recipe: The Key Ingredients for Your Social Housing Annual Report

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annual report

It’s time to get that annual report cooking – so grab your apron and preheat those ovens! Just like baking a cake, creating your annual report requires the perfect blend of ingredients and a dash of creativity – but we highly recommend adding a sprinkle of Be Smart for extra flavour and guaranteed great results.

Mission and Vision

Think of your mission and vision as the key ingredients that give your report its solid foundation. Think of them as the flour that binds everything together, giving your report its structure and shape.

Financial Overview

Let’s not forget about the financials—they’re the butter and eggs that give your report its richness. Lay it all out, from revenue and expenses to investments in community development. Transparency is key, so make sure your financials are as smooth as butter!

Performance Highlights

Now it’s time to add some sugar to your report—those sweet, irresistible highlights from the past year. Whether it’s reaching housing targets, boosting tenant satisfaction, or championing community projects, these sweet successes will make your report sparkle.

Tenant Engagement and Feedback

Now, let’s add the secret ingredient—the voices of your tenants that give your report depth and flavour. Share their feedback, testimonials, and insights to show how you’re listening and responding to their needs

Community Impact

Time to add some sprinkles to your report—those little bursts of colour and joy that make it truly special. Share stories and victories that showcase the impact you’re making in people’s lives and communities.

Sustainability Initiatives

Let’s go green! Think of your sustainability initiatives as the organic ingredients that make your report eco-friendly and sustainable. Share your projects and initiatives, showing how you’re reducing your carbon footprint and making your community greener and cleaner.

Future Plans and Challenges

And now, let’s preheat the oven for what’s to come! Outline your future plans and challenges—the recipe for success in the years ahead. Share your strategic priorities, upcoming projects, and potential hurdles, demonstrating your forward-thinking approach. Just like adjusting the oven temperature for the perfect bake, these plans will ensure your community continues to rise and shine!

Engaging Design

And now that your cake is baked and cooled down, this is where the exciting part comes in – decorating the cake! Good design is the frosting that makes that cake too tempting to resist, keeping your readers engaged. From captivating graphics to intuitive layouts, a well-designed report enhances readability and ensures your message shines through.

With this fool-proof recipe and our creative flair, we’ll transform your annual report from a bland flan with a soggy bottom to a dazzling three tier masterpiece that will have your stakeholders asking for an extra slice. 

Get in touch today to discuss how we can help make this your best annual report season yet!

Calling all Comms people in Social Housing! Feeling overwhelmed about annual reports?

At Be Smart Design, we understand the pressures that come with annual report season for social housing providers. That’s why we’re thrilled to announce our latest campaign, ‘Be Smart Stress Less’, designed specifically to support social housing providers in creating stunning annual reports without the hassle.

So, you’re a busy communications manager, juggling multiple tasks, and the looming deadline for your annual report is causing stress levels to rise. And here comes our secret pink package – a delightful surprise filled with branded pink goodies carefully curated to take the stress out of your annual report preparations.

But that’s not all – along with our charming pink package, we’re offering our expertise in annual report design. With over 30 years of experience in the industry, including extensive work with social housing providers, we’ve mastered the art of crafting compelling annual reports that captivate stakeholders and convey your organisation’s message with clarity and impact.

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Why choose Be Smart Design for your annual report needs?
Here’s what sets us apart:

The Experience
With three decades of experience under our belt, we’ve honed our skills in designing annual reports that exceed expectations. We understand the unique needs and challenges of social housing providers and tailor our approach accordingly.

The Know-how
From financial statements to complex data visualisation, we have the knowledge and expertise to handle all aspects of annual report design. You can trust us to deliver professional results that showcase your organisations achievements and impact.

The Creativity
Annual reports don’t have to be dull and uninspiring. Our team of creative professionals brings fresh ideas and innovative design concepts to the table, ensuring your annual report stands out from the crowd and leaves a lasting impression.

So, why stress when you can ‘Be Smart Stress Less’ with Be Smart Design? Take the first step towards a stress-free annual report season by sending your annual report project our way. Let us handle the design, so you can focus on what you do best – making a difference in the lives of those you serve.

Not convinced yet? Feel free to check out our portfolio to view our work, or take a gander at our home page to read some testimonials from other happy clients.

Get in touch today – and let’s make this annual report season your best one yet!

The art of visual storytelling: how to use design to tell your story

In a world that’s chock-a-block with content, it’s not just what you say but how you say it that counts. The art of visual storytelling is the secret weapon to make your brand not just stand out, but pop like a fireworks display in a pitch-black sky. Dive into this useful guide and discover how to use design to tell your story in the most eye-catching way possible.

Unravel the plot

First things first – you need to know your story. Gone are the days of just pushing products. We’re all about creating narratives that make people feel something, that make them want to be besties with your brand. But before you unleash your creativity, take a moment to jot down what gets your brand’s heart racing. What makes it tick? What’s its story? What makes you different from the rest?

Create captivating characters

Now that you’ve got the essence of your brand, it’s time to put a face to it. When it comes to your brand’s characters, whether it’s a lovable mascot, a charismatic spokesperson, or even unique typography, it’s important to capture your brand’s personality. Be true to yourself and your brand, and above all, make it unforgettable!

Set the scene

Your brand’s visual identity is the captivating stage where your story unfolds. Choose colours, shapes, and patterns that truly reflect your brand’s vibe and core values. Consider how these captivating elements can blend harmoniously, creating a sense of movement and depth. Oh, and consistency is key! You don’t want your audience to feel like they stumbled upon a completely different story with unexpected plot twists. Keep it cohesive and ensure your brand’s visual identity remains true throughout.

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Make them laugh, make them cry
A good story has emotional ups and downs. So, don’t be afraid to play with emotions in your design. Use contrast and surprise to keep your audience engaged and eager for more. Be bold and take risks, but don’t go overboard. After all, you want your brand to stand out, not stick out like a sore thumb.

The power of the picture

There’s a reason why they say “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Visuals have the power to convey your brand’s story in an instant. So go ahead and unleash your creativity! Embrace striking images, whimsical doodles, or even playful GIFs if they align with your brand’s personality. However, make sure they stay in harmony with your brand’s overall aesthetic and, most importantly, remain faithful to your story’s narrative. Let your visuals be a compelling reinforcement of your brand’s message.

Put it all together

Now that you have all the ingredients at your disposal, it’s time to create your visual storytelling masterpiece. Use hierarchy and composition strategically to guide your audience through the narrative, ensuring that they’re engaged and informed at every step. And don’t forget to conclude with a compelling call to action that leaves a lasting impact. It’s the final touch that will truly make your story shine.

So, there you have it – the art of visual storytelling in six simple steps. Go forth and weave your brand’s tale in a way that’ll leave your audience craving more. And if you need a helping hand, don’t be shy – reach out to a distinguished and top-rated design agency like ours. We’re all about taking risks, being assertive, and helping brands tell their stories in the most irresistible way possible.

7 hot branding topics of the year

We’re coming to the end of 2023, so we wanted to share the hottest branding topics that are currently setting the industry ablaze.

At Be Smart, we pride ourselves on staying at the forefront of what’s in, what’s out, and maintaining a playful and light-hearted  approach to not scare people off. So, get ready to explore the cutting-edge branding strategies that are captivating audiences right now in the ever-evolving landscape of creativity.

Engaging audiences through sensory branding

Sensory branding takes engagement to a whole new level by creating immersive multi-sensory experiences. Can you recall the chirp of Skype’s incoming call, the swoosh of an email being sent from an iPhone, or the percussive theme of Netflix’s start-up? These are all examples of sound branding.

Sound branding can have a powerful psychological effect and can be used to trigger specific emotions or actions. A distinctive and consistent sound can also increase brand recognition, making your brand easily identifiable amidst the noise of the market.

Whether  it’s a catchy jingle, an engaging podcast, or an immersive VR experience, sound branding can create an additional touchpoint that engages your audience in a unique and memorable way.

Minimalist branding: the power of simplicity and elegance

Sometimes, less is more. We’re noticing a clear trend in the branding world – minimalist design is proving that simplicity can have a significant impact. Brands are increasingly leaning towards straightforward designs, clean typography, and uncluttered aesthetics.

The idea here is to eliminate unnecessary fluff, allowing a brand to shape an identity that is sleek, refined, and instils a sense of confidence. Subdued colour palettes, generous use of white space, and the principles of minimalist aesthetics combine to create a bold yet understated statement. In a world where simplicity speaks volumes, minimalist branding is truly finding its footing.

Storyliving; the rise of immersive narratives

Step into the realm of “story living”, where storytelling transcends the boundaries of traditional marketing. Instead of simply telling a story, immerse your audience in a narrative that transports them to another world. Through interactive experiences, virtual reality, or augmented reality, you can engage your audience on a deeper level and make them active participants in your brand’s story. Prepare to leave a lasting impression by creating unforgettable adventures that blur the lines between fiction and reality.

Celebrating diversity through inclusive branding
The modern landscape of branding demands inclusivity. It’s all about appreciating the diverse facets of society, dismantling stereotypes, and fostering a universal sense of belonging. It’s crucial to include diversity in your visuals, communicate inclusive messages, and weave this ethos into your brand narrative.

By nurturing an environment that reflects a variety of experiences, your brand can connect with an expanded audience pool. Your commitment to equality and inclusivity won’t just make a significant social impact, it will also allow your brand to make a positive impact and resonate with a wider scope of customers. The message is clear – inclusivity isn’t just beneficial, it’s an absolute necessity in today’s world.

Interactive packaging: engaging consumers with interactive design

Gone are the days when packaging was just a container to carry a product. Now, it’s a unique opportunity to entertain and charm your customers. Interactive packaging brings together design, tech, and a dose of playfulness to craft an unforgettable unboxing journey.

Think of QR codes revealing exclusive digital content or tactile elements that appeal to more than just the eyes. Cutting-edge packaging designs hold the potential to enthrall  your audience, making the interaction memorable even after the purchase is made. So, let’s break the mould and make packaging an exciting part of the customer experience!

Sustainable branding: saving the planet, one bold brand at a time

Now’s the time to roll out your green ethos and show the world that sustainability is more than a buzzword for your brand. Sustainable branding is no longer optional; it’s an expression of your mission.

Let’s put the spotlight on your dedication to a more sustainable future, showcasing your eco-friendly practices, and enthusiastically broadcasting your green initiatives.

Brace yourself to appeal to an ever-growing cohort of eco-aware consumers who aren’t just looking for brands that talk a good game, but actually play one. Embrace sustainability, and watch your brand resonate on a whole new level.

If you’re eager to unleash our design prowess and work some branding magic, reach out to us! Let’s collaborate and create something extraordinary together.

How To Lead The Way and Gain Trust On Social Media

Housing Associations, you’ve got a mixed bag of folk to reach out to, which means your marketing communications, especially social media, need a touch of TLC. Your social media managers will be juggling a whole circus of news, from shiny new builds to the latest buzz from the local community. The question is, how do you shine out from the crowd and really connect with your audience?

Well, we’re here to give you a leg up. Stay tuned for our savvy tips on how to master the social media game and win over your audience’s trust. Let’s dive right in, shall we?

Be different by being authentic

Authenticity isn’t just a buzzword; it’s the star player in the game of trust, particularly in the digital playground of social media. Let’s wave goodbye to faux smiles and posts that paint an incessantly rosy picture. It’s time to bring some raw honesty into the frame.

Social media is the stage for authenticity and transparency, so don’t tuck away your mistakes in a corner. Be brave enough to admit when things have gone pear-shaped and address your followers’ concerns head-on.

But remember, it’s not just about holding your hands up; it’s also about how you right the wrongs. Discuss how you’ve tackled the problem, and elaborate on the new measures you’ve introduced to prevent a replay. That, my friends, is how you build trust with your followers and keep them coming back for more!

Bromford – Cyber Incident: How would you talk about it?

Choosing the right social media channels

Social media is a brilliant tool to connect with your residents and stakeholders. But remember, not all channels are created equal. So, it’s about creating content that fits like a glove for each audience.

Think TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook for customer and resident engagement, and keep LinkedIn and Twitter in your arsenal for business and corporate communications. There might be some overlap, particularly for companies who’ve got their ears to the ground to understand how residents feel.

However, it’s always a smarter move to create bespoke social content for different platforms than to churn out the same message across all channels. Trust me, your followers will thank you for giving them a tailored experience!

Respond quickly, and honestly

To show your followers you genuinely value their two pennies’ worth, it’s crucial to respond promptly and honestly to their comments and messages. This shows you’re all ears and ready for a chat.

Setting up alerts can be a handy trick to ensure you don’t let any interactions slip through the net. But, let’s not forget the personal touch. Avoid sounding like a robot, and mix up your responses so they don’t all kick off with the same old line. Remember, it’s not just about what you say, but how you say it.

And when it comes to complaints, honesty is always the best policy. Avoid biting off more than you can chew by promising something you can’t deliver. Always aim to take the complaints off the public stage as professionally as you can.

With this approach, you’re all set to build a loyal following and bolster your relationship with your audience. After all, every good conversation starts with good listening.

Use social media to showcase your work

Social media is a great way to share stories and highlight the good work that your organisation is doing. Share photos and videos of your work, and share testimonials from satisfied residents. People will trust reviews over the Housing Association’s word, so get lots of reviews and case studies that external parties can research into themselves.

Consider hiring a social media manager

If you don’t have the time or resources to manage your social media accounts effectively, consider hiring a social media manager to help you. This person can handle day-to-day tasks like responding to comments and posting updates, freeing you up to focus on other important tasks.

Ready to lead the way? Contact us today.

How involved should you as a client get in the design process?

As a branding and design agency, we’re all about injecting a sense of playfulness, exhilaration, and a dash of daring into our work. We’re self-assured in our skills and delight in working with clients who are ready to push the boundaries and take a chance on something new.

While we value our clients’ unique creative visions, it’s not uncommon for us to meet clients with a rather precise concept, leaving little wiggle room for input. We acknowledge that clients possess diverse views on their brand identity, but here’s the thing – design is a collaborative process! We need to work together to create something that meets your goals while maintaining the overall quality of the design. Have faith in us; we’re the professionals, and we’ve got this down to a fine art.

We take the time to listen to our clients’ ideas and provide them with our professional opinion, it’s important for clients to know that their intentions are well-meaning, and our ultimate goal is to help our clients achieve their vision while creating a design that resonates with their audience.

Change is scary

Switching things up can be a bit nerve-wracking, and many clients prefer to play it safe. They think that if their look has always been a certain way, it should stay that way. However, we’re here to tell you that sticking to the tried-and-true isn’t always the best plan. Just take a look at Apple, a brand that’s transformed over time while staying true to its core values. Recognised worldwide, its logo even morphed into a trendy status symbol. We cheer on our clients to be daring and let their creative juices flow when it comes to their brand identity.

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Working with the client

When clients bring their ideas to the table, we handpick the finest ones and mix them with our own imaginative flair. Our mission is to craft a design that embodies the client’s desires and the essence of their branding. And, let’s face it, we’re head over heels for clients who want to shake things up, ditch the old look, and embrace something zesty, thrilling, and attention-grabbing. But, here’s the catch, clients sometimes get cold feet and veer towards safer, run-of-the-mill designs because they’re hesitant to push the boat out.  Or they have an executive board who are more conservative in their views, despite the client avatar.

This can be disappointing, but what’s more upsetting is when they ask for one thing but mean something different. This usually happens when the client doesn’t have a clear idea of what they want or who their target audience is. We understand that design is just like writing; it needs a clear plan, a purpose, and a lot of expertise. But that is where we come in with the right questioning technique and sometimes moodboards.

Leave it to the experts

We understand that clients have their own creative vision, but sometimes it’s best to leave it to the experts. We have the expertise to identify design elements that only work in a particular design. Believing in the design journey is the secret sauce for success, and trust us, we don’t want you to end up with a lacklustre look.

A dud design can leave a substantial dent on a business. It’s akin to rocking a dodgy haircut; it messes with your mojo and overall aura. Loads of folks tolerate subpar designs and are gobsmacked by the traffic boost when we spruce things up. But, some clients struggle to envision the long-term oomph of the design. That’s why it’s vital to let us unveil the magic that could unfold once you take that daring plunge.

Put your trust in the design adventure and believe in our know-how. We get that you have your own vision, but come on, let us work our magic! Together, we’ll whip up a design that captures your brand’s spirit and gives your business a brilliant boost.

So, if you’re ready to take that leap and create a design that resonates with your audience, get in touch with us. We’re here to help, and we promise it’ll be a fun and exciting ride.

Happy Birthday to us all at Be Smart! 30 reasons why we love design

Happy 30th Birthday to us!

As we throw confetti, pop champagne, and nibble on birthday cake, we can’t help but get giddy about our passion for design. In our 30 dazzling years as a boutique branding and design agency, we’ve seen first-hand how design shapes our lives, tickles our emotions, and whispers sweet nothings to our purchasing power.

Whether its product design making our everyday lives feel like a walk in the park, graphic design luring us into the captivating world of logos and ads, or architecture setting the scene for our moods, design is our passion.

As your friendly neighbourhood design wizards, we’re all about creating not just pretty pictures, but designs that make hearts race and eyes twinkle. We’re bold, daring, and oh-so-ready to concoct unforgettable branding assets for our clients.

So, sit back, grab a slice of cake, and get ready to read 30 reasons why we love design and why you should too!

1. Creativity is our jam.
Our brains are like creative playgrounds. We live to create and create to live!

2. New friends everywhere!
Who doesn’t love making new pals? Our clients become part of our quirky little family.

3. Problem-solving ninjas.
We’re like design superheroes, swooping in to save the day with mind-blowing solutions.

4. Conquering the world, one design at a time.
Seeing our work out there is like watching our babies grow up and make us proud.

5. Inspiring others with our passion.
We’re all about creating designs that make people want to take action.

6. Designing for the greater good.
We love using our powers for good, helping with charity work and making the world a better place.

7. Lifelong learners.
We’re always levelling up, staying on top of trends, and pushing the envelope.

8. Collaboration is our middle name.
We thrive on teamwork, whether it’s with clients, freelancers, or our own design squad.

9. Riding the wave of change.
We love the ever-changing landscape of the design world, and we’re always ready to adapt and grow.

10. Designing from the heart.
We pour our soul into every project, especially when we’re passionate about the cause.

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11. Creative synergy.
We’re like a hive mind of design brilliance, bouncing ideas off each other and making magic happen.

12. Embracing innovation.
We’re at the forefront of cutting-edge design, always exploring new ways to wow our clients.

13. From start to finish.
We love watching our design babies grow from tiny seeds to full-blown masterpieces.

14. Earth lovers.
We’re all about eco-friendly design and helping our clients go green.

15. Never backing down.
We live for the challenge and the chance to flex our design muscles.

16. Brand wow-ness is our speciality.
We help our clients shine like the stars they are.

17. Onboarding like a boss.
Our smooth and seamless onboarding process gets clients excited and ready to rock.

18. Feedback fiends.
We crave client feedback like a fine wine, using it to fuel our creative fire.
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19. Referrals are our love language.
There’s no better feeling than being recommended by a happy client.

20. Brand therapy sessions.
We dive deep into our clients’ minds to unlock their full potential.

21. Digging for gold.
We push our clients to go further, break boundaries, and achieve greatness.

22. Work hard, play hard.
Our team get-togethers and lunches are legendary, keeping our creative juices flowing.

23. Typography nerds.
We swoon over stunning typefaces and the endless possibilities they offer.

24. Reinventing the wheel.
We’re all about innovation, always searching for new ways to dazzle and delight.

25. Best office and furry friends.
Our cool converted church and adorable office dogs make every day a blast.

26. The “WOW” factor.
We live for those jaw-dropping moments when our clients are stunned by our work.

27. Colourful science experiments.
We adore playing with colour and diving into the psychology behind it. It’s like mixing potions in a design lab!

28. Giving back with style.
We love using our design skills to help those who might not be able to afford us. Spreading good vibes and making the world a better place, one design at a time.

29. Proud design parents.
Seeing people wear our designs is like watching our children soar. We love seeing our creations come to life on everything from snazzy workwear to fab office decor.

30. Client BFFs.
We don’t just work with clients, we form creative bromances that last a lifetime. It’s all about the laughs, the fun, and the jaw-dropping designs that make life a non-stop party.

So if you’re ready to get your design groove on and create some branding magic, hit us up! The Be Smart team is here to make your dreams come true.