Designs Group Consulting

DGC is an Arkansas-based marketing firm. As brand builders, storytellers, designers and operational gurus, we combine public relations, advertising, materials, technology, digital marketing and strategic planning to help companies leap forward.

Let us create the right brand story, or positioning, for your company and then share it through all available channels—print, digital, paid, social and operational. From logo creation to strategic planning, production and implementation Designs Group Consulting is your accompaniment to dare greatly.

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Websites

Websites are a vital marketing medium for every company… an absolute must have today!

Five key guidelines to follow when creating a new website:

  • Consistent branded layout
  • Easy-to-update content manager
  • Right mix of copy, photography and videos
  • Responsive design (works well on tablets, desktops and phones)
  • Social media links

Since your website will often serve as your first impression, (people usually search the Internet first to find products, businesses, services, etc.), spend the time and monies to make it great!

Logo, Tagline, Slogan & Icon

Branding Steps:

  1. Logo
  2. Tagline
  3. Slogans
  4. Icons

Some key starting steps to branding your company include creating the right logo, tagline, slogans and icons.

Logos should visually represent a company and create an unconscious emotional attachment.

Taglines should sum up your company tone and premise while reinforcing and strengthening the brand. These dramatic catchphrases attract attention, express value, make a statement and fortify memory. A tagline should be consistently utilized alongside a logo during the lifetime of the brand.

Slogans are generally used in product advertising and should match your brand and logo, make an impact, be honest and set your product or service apart from competitors. A company should only have one tagline but it may have many slogans – one per product or service. Slogan check list:

  • Identification
  • Memorable
  • Beneficial
  • Differential

Icons are visual representations of your company’s products and services. Icons should be used in conjunction with slogans in digital advertising and social media campaigns to reinforce product or service identification.

Blogging

Blogs should be part of a company’s social media strategy – content marketing is one of the most affordable yet powerful ways to increase your brand’s visibility and reputation. Blogging helps increase your SEO (search engine optimization), build customer loyalty, increase clients and extend your brand. It is recommended that you blog once a week… too frequent annoys and not enough disappoints.

Ideas for your blog content:

  • Promote Specials & Events
  • Educate & Inform
  • Entertain & Excite
  • Feature Products

Share your brand voice!

Top 4 Reasons to Blog:

  1. SEO – branded, keyword-optimized content on the internet helps strengthen your search ranking.
  2. Reputation – sharing testimonials, publishing product insights and posting topics your customers care about helps develop a solid reputation.
  3. Branding – project your company’s values and personality through blog content to bond with your clients on a deeper level and rise above your competition.
  4. Customers – share your blog posts on other social media outlets like Facebook & Twitter to increase your website traffic; blogging helps reinforce  the ‘heart path’ (emotional connection) with your customers and valuable content helps to build trust.

Logos

Creating the right logo is the first step in launching a brand.

If your company offers various products, programs or services and/or supports numerous internal departments each may also need its own logo.  When creating a “Brand Family” I recommend staying within the color palette of your original company logo but if you have to deviate from the palette make sure to maintain the brand look and feel.

If your logo did not hit the mark and/or needs updating, revitalize it and then seize the opportunity to re-launch with a full marketing and public relations campaign.

Below are some logos created recently by the Marketing Department team for Hot Springs Village.

RecreationDept_HSV_logo

PublicWorks_logo

Stars&Stripes_logo

IT_logo2

HSV_Permitting&Inspection_logo2

Human-Resources_logo1

SSL_logo

Apps Rock!

In my opinion, all companies should have their own App today. All are relatively easy to produce as well as quite affordable. Apps provide great benefits for both your customers as well as your company such as:

  • GPS navigation
  • Real-time social media connections
  • Surveys and instant feedback
  • Shopping cart features and benefits
  • Push-notifications for promotions and information
  • Client loyalty benefits like coupons and more

AGN Sports HSV_Design_Flow_Page_5

AGN Sports HSV_Design_Flow_Page_2AGN Sports HSV_Design_Flow_Page_6

HSV-VA-RACKCARD-FINAL_Page_2HSV-VA-RACKCARD-FINAL_Page_1

Communications & Public Relations

Communications and Public Relations are two different things!

Communication Departments should provide up-to-date information via Emails, websites, news releases, and social media posts. All should be in real-time, and some news should be released repetitively.

Examples of communication releases include road closures, severe weather information, community events, product enhancements, Board of Director news, etc.

Repetitive communication releases are beneficial for event promotions. Each release should highlight something different about the event yet consistently mention sponsorships as well as the event name, date, location and time.

The most successful event communication plan includes:

  • An event announcement release at least three months out
  • Bi-monthly event ‘highlight’ releases up until four (4) weeks out
  • Weekly releases until the date of the event
  • An Email along with website and social media posts released three days before the event date. (A social media boost two weeks before the event can help drive sales if needed)
  • Three real-time social media posts with branded pictures completed during the event
  • An event recap with sponsorship and participant appreciation as well as at least three pictures released within 24 hours of the event close

Communications = information

Public Relation Departments may send out releases that contain news, but press releases are truly their own form of advertising and promotion.

Press releases require a specific format for editorial pick-up and are traditionally used for attention getting promotion. The one-page format includes the following and should be on company letterhead:

  • Media contact Info
  • Date of release
  • Headline title
  • Subtitle
  • ‘Hot’ news in the 1st paragraph; (provide details and credibility); i.e. Hot Springs Village partners with Troon
  • The 2nd paragraph should include the summarized features and benefits; (reiterate the press release focus and add in the key information); i.e. top five benefits of the partnership
  • Standard information is usually found in the 3rd paragraph (and 4th if needed); (overview copy on your company and website address);  e. a short summary paragraph on Hot Springs Village and another on Troon
  • Short quote i.e. quote from the President of Troon on the partnership
  • Either ‘###’ or ‘– MORE –‘ should end the release

It is important to identify your news angle, insure your opening paragraph is to the point, all details are accurate and precise, the quote is brief yet exciting and contains a call to action, and the writing format is copy / paste ready.

Public Relations = advertising and news