Mintwich Creative

Is Your Brand Strong Enough?



brandWhen you think about your company’s branding, the first thing that comes to mind is probably your company’s logo. And that’s definitely a key piece, but your branding strategy should extend well beyond it. (If you want to get caught up on the basics of branding, check out this blog.) Knowing your brand is everything you do that shapes how a customer feels about your company, it seems like a major to-do to get your branding in order. So how do you know if your brand is strong enough? Let’s take a look.

Measuring the strength of your brand.

To understand your brand’s effectiveness, put yourself in the shoes of your customers. If they see a piece of branding from your company, will they instantly “get it”? Will it resonate with them? Will it help them understand what sets you apart from your competition? Every piece of your branding, from your logo to your website to any advertising you do, should capture your company’s unique values and value-add.

How to build a stronger brand: get clarity on your company.

Before you can start building a strong brand, you need to get clear on what kinds of messages your company wants to convey. Here are a few key questions to get your wheels turning.

  • What are your company’s key products and services? List all qualities make them distinct from the competition.
  • What values drive your company? How are those values apparent in your products or services?
  • Does your company have a tagline or slogan? Is that tagline or slogan capturing the most important parts of your business?
  • What is your target market? What kind of branding do the major players in your target market have? How can your company set itself apart from them?
  • What is your company’s specialty or niche?

Having the answers to these questions can help you distill the most important parts of your company down. Knowing what differentiates you from the competition (e.g. innovation, customer support, reliability) and what really matters (e.g. environmental responsibility, community giveback) should inform you when creating a meaningful brand.

How to build a stronger brand: get clarity on your customer.

Now that you know what kinds of messages you want to convey, you need to think through to whom you want to convey them. It’s called a target audience for a reason; you need to understand them well enough to target them. Hone in on your target market by asking yourself these questions.

  • What age ranges am I trying to reach?
  • What income range is ideal for my products or services?
  • Are there any specific occupations or group affiliations that I can target?
  • Besides my company, what is my target audience likely to find interesting? Think through activities, events, other companies, and whatever else comes to mind.

As you get clarity on your target audience, you’ll be better able to focus your branding on them. If you were torn between two logos before, better understanding your customer should help you determine which is more likely to catch their specific attention.

Getting started.

Once you have the clarity you need, developing a good branding strategy comes down to careful crafting. Any messaging and designs need to share your company’s key message with your target audience. They should help you stand clearly apart from your competitors. A strong brand is a distinct, meaningful one.

Do you want help building your strongest brand? Contact Mintwich Creative. We have ten years of experience helping companies of all sizes create powerful brands that reach their customers with the right messaging.

Branding 101: What is Branding?



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Branding. You hear a lot about it and likely have a vague idea of what it is and how it might impact your business. But are you confident about the way your brand is presented in every interaction with customers and prospects? Can you rest easy knowing you have strong branding in place?

What is branding?

To help you gain clarity, let’s talk about what branding means in 2018. It used to be captured in whatever identifies your business. That was probably a logo, but could also be a slogan or even a handful of colors. Today, branding is much broader. It’s the perception your customer has whenever he or she thinks of your company. How do you make your customers feel?

While branding used to just be a way to differentiate yourself from your competitors, it’s evolved. You can no longer have a set-it-and-forget-it mentality with your brand. Because good branding is integrally linked to customer perception, it needs to move and shift with their changing behaviors and beliefs.

Branding isn’t just an ethereal idea.

Many people, especially small business owners, think of branding as some intangible, floating idea. Sure, major corporations need to think about it, but is it really important for companies that aren’t running national ads or stocking product globally? Yes! Branding gives your business a purpose. When you have brand guidelines in place, it saves your business from loose, “anything goes” marketing, customer service, and more. Defining your brand gives every employee on your team clarity – and they can pass that clarity onto your customers, helping you stand out from your competitors.

What is a good brand?

A good brand identifies key messages about your company and identifies them clearly. Remember, it’s all about how your company makes your customers feel. Branding is essentially finding a way to make sure that at every customer touchpoint – whether they walk into your store, receive an email from you, call into your support desk, or simply see your logo – your customers are getting a consistent experience from your company. With brand guidelines in place, you ensure that your prospects and customers see the best parts of your company up front.

Do you want help understanding branding and establishing a strong brand for your company? Contact Mintwich Creative today! We have a decade of experience helping companies of all sizes develop and implement meaningful brands.

How To: Brand Your Social Media



These guidelines will help you keep your branding consistent on social media.

Your business has a lot to manage. Keeping up your social media presence might feel like a low priority but you shouldn’t overlook it. An active presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. can help you put your business in front of a whole new audience!

When you post to social media, you want to make your business look its best. These tips will help you brand your social media, putting you in the best position to draw prospects and turn them into customers.

Be consistent with your messaging. 

Image via Unsplash

Does your business have a voice established on social media yet? It can be confusing for people to see one post that’s playful and conversational, followed by one filled with professional jargon. Think about what kind of tone you use when you have a conversation with an exciting prospect. That’s the type of voice you should be using on social media. Once you establish your voice and messaging, keep it consistent no matter when or where you post. Someone who finds you on Twitter, then checks out your Facebook, should be quickly able to tell that your business has an established voice across both platforms.

Be consistent with your imagery. 

Image via Bloguettes

First and foremost, make sure you’re choosing quality images to share on your social media accounts. No one likes looking at grainy, poorly-lit pictures!  When you publish images to your social media accounts, think of them as representations of your business. Clear, bright photos are best. If you’re not sure where to get good images, Pexels and Unsplash are a couple of our favorites.

The most important imagery on your social media accounts is your profile picture. Make sure you’ve chosen one that captures your brand and makes your business look great! (Psst. We can help!)

Be consistent with your posting. 

Image via Pinterest

If you’ve only ever posted to Facebook once, congratulations! You have a fresh start. Or maybe you have years of social posts on your business’s page. Either way, before you begin or continue publishing content, create a social media calendar for yourself. This sets you up for success and ensures that you’re not going to have months of silence followed by a barrage that will annoy your followers.

Branding your business online sets you apart from the competition and helps you make the most of social media. If you want to talk to a branding expert about how to best position your company across all digital platforms, contact Mintwich today!

Good packaging is much more than just a pretty face.

Promoting your business can be tricky. Which platforms will give you the best exposure? What kind of advertising will most resonate with your audience? If you’ve put energy into marketing your products, these questions probably triggered a hundred more. With so much to consider, it’s easy to miss opportunities that are right in front of you. That includes your packaging. The way you package your products tells the world a lot about your business. Think of packaging as ad space you’ve already purchased.

How do you capitalize on this opportunity? Here are a few tips.

  • Know yourself and your audience.

    The best packaging tells the world your business’s story. Brainstorm words or phrases that capture what makes your business unique. From that list, choose terms that are most likely to resonate with your target demographic. Keeping those words at the forefront during the design process will help you develop packaging that captures your brand.

tea packaging

  • Make it useful.

    Good packaging is both beautiful and functional. Don’t stop at pretty. If you can make your product as nice to use as it is to look at, you’ve hit the nail on the head. Want to get inspired? Check out Mintwich’s Packaging Pinterest board.

bowl packaging

  • Go green.

    We live in an increasingly interconnected world. It’s easier than ever to see how everything is related. So it’s more important than ever for your brand to think about big-picture issues like sustainability and social responsibility. Consider going green when you choose packaging materials. Moving from plastic to more easily recycled or compostable glass and metal will help you show buyers that you value environmental responsibility, just like them.  

  • Don’t limit yourself.

    Think packaging is only for businesses that sell tangible products? Think again! There are plenty of opportunities for service-based businesses to benefit from these packaging principals, from business cards to the gifts you send to valued clients during the holidays.

gift packaging

Would your business benefit from expert packaging design? To make the most of this pre-purchased ad space, contact Mintwich Creative. My full-service design studio can help you find packaging that fits your brand and your budget. I’m here to beautify your product.

Cynthia Rowley’s Art of Living



What makes Cynthia Rowley so fantastic? Why do I, as a graphic designer, feel drawn to her work?

The first thing you’ll notice is the geometrical lines – all those perfect right angles forming squares and rectangles everywhere. We are drawn to basic geometrical elements, because they are symmetrical, and human beings love symmetry. And right angles often form the foundation of good graphic design.

CYNTHIA ROWLEY FOR HOOKER FURNITURE BALTHAZAR KING UPHOLSTERED BED

CYNTHIA ROWLEY FOR HOOKER FURNITURE HORIZON LINE SQUARE ACCENT TABLE

CYNTHIA ROWLEY FOR HOOKER FURNITURE SKYLINE BOOKCASE

But just right angles can look so conventional. Too austere, too measured, too ‘designed.’ What Rowley does so masterfully is bring in elements that soften the geometry without undermining it. Look, for example, at her Balthazar upholstered bed. The marriage of such strong straight lines and right angles with gold metal and intense midnight blue plush fabric tones down the rigidity of the form. The same for the stunning pink daybed. With its spare geometrical lines, softened by pillows and an extraordinary color, the result is a showcase piece of timeless femininity.

CYNTHIA ROWLEY FOR HOOKER FURNITURE COCO DAYBED

Notice also how femininity is injected in her desk in black with impeccable geometry, is elevated with unexpected florals.

CYNTHIA ROWLEY FOR HOOKER FURNITURE FLEUR DE GLEE WRITING DESK

Geometry balanced with surprising, lush fabrics, colors and patterns is the hallmark of Cynthia Rowley’s design. The same elegant combination is what works in graphic design. Notice how the combination of luxurious gold and a rich navy offsets the strong lines of the menswear lookbook. Or how an organic bow works so well against the geometry of the packaging design of Ariel Gordon.

Mintwich Creative

See how the whimsical patterns work with the strong symmetry of the charming Mr. Boddington envelopes, how the gold in the New York sign renders the repetitive symmetry opulent instead of spare. And how just a small rounded element in the Soap cosmetic packaging is enough to bring a feminine touch to moderate the masculinity of the strong straight design.

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Mr-Boddington_envelopes

This aesthetic works beautifully in multiple graphic design projects, and it’s one I’ve drawn on for wedding invitations, food packaging, lifestyle products – brands that want to convey sophistication and elegance.

How amazing is this 15-foot-long mural of Midtown Manhattan’s East Side? Matteo Pericoli’s work is not only lovely, but has a charm and style that turns architectural renderings from just information about a building into a whimsical point of view of modern architecture. We wanted to share this private commission of his work for a Manhattan residence; imagine incorporating this kind of visual style as a motif in your home!

Bookmark mintwichcreative.com/blog/ and visit us every couple of weeks for new observations on great design from around the world. We can’t wait to share more with you!

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Design is Everywhere



The team here at Mintwich Creative was talking the other day, trying to put our finger on exactly how to describe design to someone. How would we answer that, without having to run through a verbal marathon of every genre, every period, every material, every designer, and every purpose?

Tough job, we agreed, and we all had a different definition; but rather than trying to define design, we wanted to share what we love, and what inspires our work. So here we go…

After much thought, discussion, cups of coffee, and a tour of collected bits of inspiration, it became all-too-apparent: what we love about design is everything! What makes it special is how you use it, what you choose to surround yourself with, and the place it has in your life. Whether it’s a favorite writing pen or that very special 1962 Baker club chair you inherited from your grandparents, design is a lens for life, and you can use it to make a one-time statement of taste, or a life-long signature of your personal style.

Baker Far East Club Chairs / Saffron Silk Club Chairs / Milo Club Chairs

But Mintwich knows that learning about where great design comes from can be overwhelming. Design incorporates so many amazing objects and environments, from vintage, to retro, to modern. How to make sense of it all? Let us help! By pulling together favorite articles, color palettes, examples of typography, pictures of fantastically-plated dinners, lists of places to see and stay, and other gorgeous flights-of-fancy that influence our work, the Mintwich blog is a big bay window (with amazing original metal panes!) onto the glorious world of design.

Here at Mintwich, we’re using our blog to present our unique way of defining the big open book of “design”. Our projects span from special event pieces like invitations and place-setting specialties, to corporate identity work for a wide variety of clients. From interiors and landscapes to fashion and typography; from furniture to flooring to super-sleek travel bags and killer running shoes, we look at everything and constantly find new things to feed our souls with the design we love. And now we want to share it with you. Visit us here for a carefully curated swan-dive into all things design-related.

Our favorite pretties for the week:

Color Blocked Chocolate / Frederiksborg Castle, Denmark / Custom Lettering / Gucci Metallic Pumps