Family holidays can take a temperamental turn when you’re trying to entertain teenagers, notorious for being even more difficult to amuse than the average toddler; but it doesn’t have to be that way.
Whatever! Holidays for teens
In this article for the SunHerald’s ‘Travel’ section, seven Australian teenagers share their favourite family holiday destination.
Contact us if you’d like a version of this story written for your own travel section, publication or website.
This is a feature article written for the August 2009 issue of internet business mag NETT magazine; it explores the process of choosing a new name for your business or product, talks to marketing experts about selecting names – and finds out, what should come first, the business or the domain name?
Brand Me: story about branding
See the full story here
(Reprint rights are not available for this story, however please contact us if you’d like an article about branding written for your own publication.)
Defining Corporate Identity: How well do you tell the world who you are?
Defining (or changing) your Corporate Identity usually starts with your company’s name, along with its visual identity – including its logo, colour schemes, designs, typefaces and page layouts.
The design of your logo and development of your corporate ‘style’ should satisfy the Seven Holy Virtuess of Visual Identity:
We live on a crowded planet – it’s hard to guarantee your logo will be unique; but the design of your logo should be distinctive enough to make your trademark conspicuously different from your competitors. Remember – you want differentiation in your market.
Don’t jump on the latest design fad unless you want to come back and rebrand again in two years time. If your visual identity (including your logo design) is trendy now – it will date very quickly and your customers will soon tire of it because they will see similar logos and brands everywhere.
Limit your logo design, avoid complicated graphics or overly-ornate designs. The best logo designs are seamless and simple, with one graphic idea, one symbol, one theme. Typography should be subtle and balance the visual identity and design.
Your logo design and your visual identity need to have strong internal integrity – they should work well in any size, from very small to very large, and have a good aspect and proportion – that is, your logo should not be short and wide or long and thin, but square-ish and solid-looking.
Your logo design could potentially appear in plenty of places – business cards, letterheads, packaging, signs, the side of your car, even on a uniform or T-shirt; save yourself future printing headaches by ensuring your corporate designs work, small or large, in print or paint, on vinyl stickers or via embroidery. Your logo design should work in colour as well as black and white and ideally, will lend itself to a linear version. A reversible logo design gives you lots more opportunity for differentiation, too.
Your visual identity needs to communicate visually – to be interpreted by your graphical right brain, not your verbal left brain. If your logo design uses letters or the name of your company, it needs a strong visual identity in its design so the form alone is recognisable without actually reading the words. And all the while – the words in your design must be easy to read.
It’s subjective, it’s hard to define – but ultimately, your visual identity needs to communicate a unified and appropriate feeling (“…it’s the vibe, man!”) that really sums up the positioning and the culture of your organisation.
Contact us to talk about the visual identity and logo design that’s right for your company.
A brand is the combination of the logo, image, identity, reputation and presence of an organisation.
Rebranding is a process that reviews all of these elements and considers changing some or all of them – for the better.
Why should an organisation undertake a rebranding process?
If an organisation has changed in its scope or market, rebranding can give a clear focus to the new goals of the organisation.
Often, many people – that can be customers, suppliers and strategic partners – may be unclear about the scope of what an organisation does. This may be hindered by the name, image and identity.
You want to be sure that your name, image and identity clearly match and represent the services you provide and how you provide them.
A rebranding process will review all of the elements of your brand and consider some options and suggestions you have to strengthen your image and change your image.
Rebranding should give you a strong and visible presence in the marketplace and to clear up any confusion that exists.
What does the rebranding process involve?
Rebranding can be a small or large exercise, depending on your aims, timeframe and budget.
Ideally, you want to ensure a cross-section of your employees, management, customers and strategic partners are involved in the process of possibly changing or adjusting your name, logo, image and identity.
Some or all of the following steps can help to ensure the change takes the knowledge and perceptions of these important stakeholders into account:
- Research: either face to face/one on one interviews and/or surveys
- Workshops: workshops with clients, staff & management are invited to attend to offer their input, comments and suggestions.
- Final Workshop: a workshop where a small group of representatives of make a final recommendation to the Board on the suggested approach to rebranding.
A shorter version of this process can take place among a management team, with each selecting a trusted outsider for feedback and advice.
What will the outcome be?
A strong, relevant and contemporary brand image is vital for any organisation. Through rebranding, your organisation’s image may be refined, adjusted or updated, to ensure what you say about the organisation, matches the scope and range of services you provide.
It will mean that there is a good fit between your products and services and your identity and that people are clear about you we are and what you do.
This clarity can lead to further growth, a stronger presence in the market, attracting professional and talented and committed staff and business partners.
A good rebranding process can secure the future of the organisation by ensuring your brand is current, accurate and up to date.
Can’t our image just stay as it is?
Can we just change part of it now and part later?
If you have a situation of low levels of awareness, confusion and misconceptions about your organisation, it will create problems for you over the long term.
If you want to ensure that it is well known, well presented and strongly represented in the marketplace, rebranding should take place in a holistic way, with a new image presented in one hit rather than dribs and drabs.
Consumer health-care giant Kimberly-Clark commissioned me to write a series of SEO-optimised articles about conception, pregnancy, birth, and parenting for their Huggies parenting website.
I’m a mum of four and was delighted to write parenting articles for Huggies, who have put together a parenting website that tops most competitors in this hotly-contested space.
Despite the masses of information available to parents these days, there’s still new health research and new ways of tackling old problems that keeps this area a topical one with a large audience of keen readers.
I’ve been a freelance feature writer for Practical Parenting magazine for about five years now and have also written about parenting for The Age, the Sydney Morning Herald, the ABC and a wide range of magazines, and I’m always finding new angles and interesting relevant information – I never tire of this topic!
Dozens of articles were written for the site in 2008 and 2009 on topics selected by the Huggies brand manager based on extensive research by the company.
Copywriting included liaison with search-engine analysts, brand management and other key staff as well as independent research to determine appropriate statistics and the latest appropriate health information.
This is a feature article written for the May 2009 issue of internet business mag NETT magazine; it explores small business insurance and the role that an insurance broker can play.
See the full story here
(Reprint rights are not available for this story, however please contact us if you’d like an article about insurance written for your own publication.)
From time to time, I get commissioned by copywriting agencies, such as Australian commercial writing agency Corpwrite, to help them meet client briefs.
Between March and May 2009, I delivered an extensively-researched white paper for a large Australian information technology firm on behalf of Corpwrite. Thanks to my work with the whitepaper, about Cloud Computing, I was profiled in the Corpwrite newsletter and I’m pleased to continue delivering commercial IT copywriting for them, when there’s a need.
Commercial writing profile
SMH article about bloating
This story for the Sydney Morning Herald ‘Essential’ health section explores the implications of an Australian health study that found two-thirds of women suffer from abdominal bloating. More information is available from the Gut Foundation
Contact us if you’d like a version of this story written for your own health publication or website.
Technology Health Risks story
Mobile phones, computer screens and even gaming consoles all carry health risks; this article for Livewire, the technology section in The Age, looks at some of the common problems for technology consumers in Australia.
One source for this story was Canberra neurosurgeon Dr Vini Khurana, whose research suggests that heavy mobile phone use increases the risk of certain types of brain tumours. His website details his findings.
See the full story published in The Age here
Contact us if you’d like an updated version of this story written for your own health or technology publication or website; reprint rights for this story are available.
Time management book “Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity” has topped international business book bestseller lists for eight years. Written by mild-mannered time-management superman David Allen, a Californian management consultant, the book outlines a time-management system for the information age which solves a problem most time-stretched workers didn’t know they had: clearing the clutter of unfinished tasks littering their brain-space , by collecting and processing every task, every piece of information, every promise – then managing them through a process of regular reviews.
This story was one of the first to kick off the Whakate online management journal, now a well-respected international business publication.
(Reprint rights are not available for this story, however please contact us if you’d like an article about GTD or productivity written for your own publication.)