What We Do
The following is not an exhaustive list, as marketing-based projects are often unique and therefore don’t fall into a specific category of work.
Having a clear brand strategy is vital for any business – large, small and virtually regardless of sector. Depending on the nature of the business and what branding work has been carried out previously, establishing a clear brand strategy is often relatively simple and can just be about clearly defining values which essentially already exist. But whether it’s the latter or a more fundamental brand review for a large business, we’re able to bring all the necessary experience and knowledge to successfully carry out the project. In addition and because we don’t have the huge overheads associated with expensive London, Edinburgh or other major city offices, our prices for this type of work are typically a fraction of that of the large branding agencies.
Brand identity should be an output of brand strategy. So the strategic work forms an objective basis for the identity and for both of the two main elements – visual and tone of voice (the language of the brand).
We’ve previously carried out major brand identity projects for a wide mix of clients in different business sectors, and this particular discipline is an exceptionally strong area for us.
A marketing strategy is often confused with a marketing plan, or the words strategy and plan are wrongly seen as interchangeable. In fact a marketing strategy is there to define what needs to be done to deliver a business objective, and a marketing plan is about the actions to achieve the strategy. So, typically, a marketing strategy might be just one single and highly focused paragraph.
With small to medium size businesses often having a limited marketing spend, it’s clearly vital that the available funds are used wisely. Of course with so many potential channels to market through and with a host of tools available – e.g. advertising (both digital and traditional), direct mail, email campaigns, SEO, PPC, brochures, catalogues, consumer/trade shows etc. – trying to get the best return for the spend can turn into a bit of a lottery. However, with a clear marketing strategy in place, a proper marketing plan aligns the best tools to the job and therefore the plan has an objective basis, which in-turn ensures that available funds can be spent with confidence.
Very broadly, there are two main sides to this:
Many small to medium size businesses will typically not employ a marketing director or even a marketing manager (and rightly so – how would you keep them busy all week!). Marketing work is then often carried out by someone whose skills really lie elsewhere – e.g. sales. What we can help with is, effectively, providing a part-time marketing director/manager. So this is something Roger personally does and, for at least one client, means typically around just 5 hours of work per week (so therefore very cost-effective for the client).
For larger businesses, specific projects may arise from time-to-time which either fall outside the skill-set of the employed marketing team, or they’re just too busy to give the project the quality time it needs. And of course team numbers may fluctuate – e.g. for long term sickness and maternity leave etc. – and therefore an interim management role is appropriate. So for all these situations we’re able to fully manage the specific project – perhaps the production of a brochure, rollout of a new identity, or organising a trade show stand.
Content marketing and copywriting
Content marketing has become a key tool for both SEO and engaging potential customers online, and in both B2C and B2B markets across most business sectors. But if there’s one fundamental thing which holds so many businesses back in implementing a content marketing strategy, it’s getting that content written in the first place. Of course there is an option of asking your online marketing agency to write the copy as well as posting it online (be it your website, social media platforms, PR sites or blogs), but there tends to be a major problem with this: web agencies, even the large ones, tend to have a ‘one-size-fits-all’ copywriting style which will suit you if your brand values mirror those of Butlins, but if they don’t then chances are the copy is going to make your brand look pretty daft.
The key difference at Hughes Consultancy is that Roger will write your content having a) defined your market positioning and brand values, and b) having understood the markets you operate in. So if, for example, you’re a firm of undertakers looking to differentiate your offer through horse-drawn hearses, then expect to get copy which is sincere, caring but with an equine slant to appeal to horsey folk…
Sustainability and what it can mean in a brand sense
Crucially important to brands in the age we live in, sustainability is becoming central to business thinking. As a life-long environmentalist and with considerable specialist knowledge, Roger Hughes is able to help brands build sustainability into their strategy in a genuine, robust and appropriate way.
Courses and workshops about brands and branding
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Contact us now to find out more about how we could help and support your business.
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