Five tips for working with small businesses

Generally, by the time we work with small businesses, they’ve survived early development, have a strong sense of who they are, and are ready take their marketing and branding seriously. This is never more true than with small businesses in the fashion industry. But how is working with these types of clients different to others? Here are five tips that worked for us with local fashion businesses, Soul Society and White Rabbit Days.

Before we get cracking, here’s some White Rabbit Days fabulousness:

 

1. Listen

While these clients have lived their brand since they were brave enough to go out on their own, they generally haven’t been asked to articulate it formally, so discussing business plans and marketing strategy is often a first foray into outlining strategy. Our workshops have proved valuable in these situations by giving the client clarity and strategy to build on, and by giving us insight into the business.

It’s only by really listening that you can get a sense of what makes the business different. And, in the end, that’s the story you need to tell.

2. Figure out what they need from you

Don’t try to reinvent the wheel. Rather figure out why they came to you. For instance, Soul Society already had a great website and really strong branding. What they needed from us was help telling their story, which is exactly what we did for them.

3. Evoke the juice

Find out what makes the brand you’re working with special and communicate that. For instance, Helen, the designer behind White Rabbit has a really animated way of speaking – making up words and cracking jokes all the time – and we used that sensibility across the copy in the website. For example, the name White Rabbit Days comes from the way Helen used to explore a new city with friends on her travels.

You pick a direction, choose a road, a door, jump on a bus; follow the white rabbit (in a non-druggie way) and see where it takes you, what treasures you find, who you meet and where you end up.

4. Be flexible

Small businesses have particular pressures. Often the person you’re liaising with is also responsible for many other things like manufacturing, distribution and accounts. They’re juggling problems and opportunities all the time and this means that you might not have direct access all the time. Once you can arrange it, however, you can make decisions with the client very quickly.

Cash flow is another things that can be difficult for small businesses. Being flexible is crucial to being able to have a good working relationship.

5. Stay in touch

You never know where these businesses are going and who they’re connected to. Every big business was once small – stay in touch and who knows where they might take you!

Here’s some Soul Society fabulousness:

Soul Society

 

Select a brand to go to their Facebook page:

Soul SocietyLogo White Rabbit Days

 

Featured (top) image source

What makes you happy? Do more of that.

It’s quite surreal to get to a point when you no longer get the Sunday blues. No dreaded Carte Blanche music to round off your weekend with that all-too-familiar leaden feeling in your stomach. I find that I don’t mind going to work on a Monday at all. In fact, I actually quite enjoy it – particularly when we’re working on projects that mean a lot to me.

I know you might be harbouring some feelings of resentment towards me right now, so let me distract you by telling you about one of my favourite projects to date: a website for my old primary school, St Katharine’s School, in Joburg.

St Katharine’s wanted a new look and feel for their online presence, and, being an old girl, I felt like I was in a good position to translate the unique ethos and atmosphere of this amazing little school (no bias, obviously) into an online space.

I loved putting the website together, crafting the content, learning things about the history of the school that I’d never heard before (for example: during the 60s, the headmistress’s favourite form of punishment was to have the offender sit under her desk in her office for a given time), and generally creating something beautiful for a place that is very special to me.

What made it even better was the positive feedback that we got from the school, parents and old girls. A happy client is a wonderful thing.

So ja. I like this whole liking what you do thing. It’s working for me.

st ks

[Feature image source]

vine

Rise and Vine! Get the low-down on this micro video app

Over on our Facebook page, we recently launched Vine Vednesdays (Wine Wednesdays are still alive and well, remain calm). Named after a ‘Vignette’, a short impressionistic scene, this mobile app enables its users to create and post short looping video clips.

Why it works

The limitations of time (7 seconds) and editing (the camera records only while the screen is being touched) has forced users to become increasingly creative and to plan their precious moments. The result? Some really original entertainment.

In terms of watching Vines, the brevity of the looping clip makes the app mesmerising.

What people are doing with it

1.Capturing moments: watch cute kittens getting tickled or the view from  parasailing over turquoise waters.

2. Making moments: check out guys pulling off amazing tricks and some slightly bizarre theatrical moments.

3. Dorseying: founder, Jack Dorsey loves to take a selfie (usually half a selfie actually) with a scene, landmark or moment going on behind him. Dorseying has inspired many an entertaining parody.

For a taste of what’s out there, check out Vine’s Twitter account or just keep an eye on our Facebook feed for the best of the best every Vednesday.

vine infographic

Sources: http://www.cnbc.com/id/100807818,
http://eggboss.com/technology/10-facts-probably-didnt-know-vine/

What you really want to say on Valentine’s day

Fancying someone makes you a little crazy. The early stages of a ‘something’ with someone (heaven forbid you actually put a label on it!) are fraught with doubt and tentative steps. Throw in a whole day in which you are expected to create the magic of romance, the swoops of desire and affection, the wonder of finding a soul mate, and it’s bound to freak both of you out. Here are some cards that say what you actually want to say this Valentines day (unless you’re all gooey in love, in which case move along to Hallmark!)

awkward-valentines-card-1 card31 o-I-HEART-YOU-570 o-VDAY-CARD-4-570 o-VDAY-CARD-7-570 o-VDAY-CARD-8-570 o-VDAY-CARD-9-570 o-VDAY-CARD-10-570 o-VDAY-CARD-11-570 o-VDAY-CARD-12-570 o-VDAY-CARD-15-570 o-VDAY-CARD-19-570 o-VDAY-CARD-21-570 o-VDAY-CARD-INTO-YOU-570 o-VDAY-CARD-THING-570 o-VDAY-CARD-TOGETHER-570

Got any great finds to add? Hit us up in the comments below.

Source
Source
Source