Q&A with Spinks Creative: How to nail your brand in 2019
Back in October 2018, the Neo PR marketing team took on ‘Project Website.’ We were tasked with breathing fresh air into the Neo PR brand whilst highlighting our key propositions and showing off our business values. We are now the proud owners of a bold brand that brings together everything Neo PR is today.
Of course, we couldn’t do it alone! With the help of Joss Spinks from Spinks Creative Marketing, our website dreams could become a reality. Joss’ background in marketing agencies in the technology sector made him the perfect partner to design our website.
We quizzed him about all things marketing and how you too can nail your branding in 2019.
Hi Joss! Thanks for taking the time to speak to us. Could you start by telling us a little bit about yourself, Spinks Creative Marketing and how it all started?
Hello! I’ve always been a creative person, someone who enjoys working and meeting people and learning at every opportunity – so starting Spinks Creative Marketing was born from all of these things. My background has been working for and with marketing agencies in the technology sector and there came a point where I thought ‘Hang on, I can do this for myself, with my own rules’ so I did just that!
The business was initially started as a way of creating striking and fit-for-purpose content, but importantly, with a desire to cut the crap and design simple yet successful marketing materials that don’t need to have the ludicrous price tag the big guys attach to them. Marketing for the people, by the people.
“Marketing is more than making things look good – it’s about breathing life into businesses, offering solutions to problems and helping people to better connect with each other.”Joss Spinks, Spinks Creative Marketing
Why does marketing give you the buzz?
Marketing is more than making things look good – it’s about breathing life into businesses, offering solutions to problems and helping people to better connect with each other. It’s this connection; be it a smile at a post on Facebook, a click of an email that leads to a sale or someone seeing their ideas come into fruition, that gives me the buzz. I enjoy the creativity, building lasting relationships and pushing my talents to create better content.
What do you think are the key fundamentals of creating a brand?
We could be here for hours! A recognisable and a well-loved brand is one of the most valuable assets any business owns, so to get that right, there are a few basics to nail. So let’s squeeze the long list into a top 3…
✔ Focus on what you can offer to your customers. Here’s where you need to outline the key qualities and benefits your brand offers and focus on what makes you unique, the thing that your customers come back for.
✔ Build a set of values and a mission statement and stick to them. This mission statement defines a purpose for existing, informing every other aspect of your brand. Everything from your logo to your tagline, your message to your personality should reflect these values and show people who you are – as a business as well as individuals.
✔ Create a clear message and a defined look. The best brands convey who they are, what they do and what they can do for you, quickly and attractively. This goes beyond your logo (which you also need to get bang on!) and needs to resonate with your audience. When they see a colour, a word, a service, they need to think of you.
Digital marketing is at the core of nearly every company’s presence, but what’s the best way of getting heard online?
To me, it’s about getting the basics right. Get a good-looking website that does what it’s supposed to, nail your SEO strategy and make sure that every part of your brand that has an online entity, is optimised. However, the best written content means nothing if it’s not in front of the right people – so make sure you go where the people are paying attention!
Silly question – but how important is a website?
SO IMPORTANT. It’s often the face of your company, your modern-day business card, the first opportunity you have to show off, so you need to take it seriously. But more than looking good and leaving a lasting impression, it’s the backbone of your business and every type of communication, every piece of content, blog or email drives consumers back to your site. Beyond that, getting the basics right; like the imagery, the text, SEO, security, making sure it’s optimised are crucially important factors in representing your brand.
We love our new Neo PR website and it’s a great reflection of both our culture and the great work we do for our clients. So, what advice would you give to other companies who also want to inject a breath of fresh air into their brand?
I’m so glad you love your new site – I do too! My advice is simple – think about what you want your customers to say about you when you have left the room and work your way to achieving this. Once you identify how you’d like to be portrayed to your customers, the cool imagery, attractive designs and defined styles will follow easily because you’ll have a clear picture of how you want and need to portray yourself.
How important is collaboration between company and agency when it comes to creating a new website and are there any golden rules for managing the process? (For either side!)
In my opinion, the best collaborations are built on mutual respect, an agreed set of expectations from each party and the ability to enjoy each other’s company and have fun. This outlook really helps when it comes to creating a website as the process requires a lot of back and forth, actions on both sides and importantly trust – trust that your designer knows what they are doing and has your business’ best interests at heart. My golden rules are:
✔ Work together on building a wish list vs what is possible.
✔ Take a look at your competitors and see what you like and dislike about their websites.
✔ Your designer has a responsibility to build you a brilliant website, so expect some pushback if you keep telling them what to do – listen to their recommendations.
✔ Don’t be afraid to push the boundaries and be bold, as long as you stick to your original goals.
Are there advantages of working with other companies (like us!) when it comes to partnerships? How do you advise collaborating with other creative agencies?
The best collaborations allow each party to stick to what they do best – you have your own tasks to focus on, they have theirs, so build a relationship that allows for this. So knowing what the end goal is, how you each fit into this goal and understanding fully what is expected of one another, is a great way to work. But also, ask questions! How do you like to work? What’s the best way we can achieve our goal? How do I fit in to the wider project? The more you understand about each other the better your output will be.
Crucially, spend time with them away from the office – you’ll forge a relationship built on more than just work.
And finally, what are your predictions for marketing in 2019?
✔ Content continues to be king. The need to connect with your audience is needed more than ever. Inspire them, appeal to their emotions and provoke their thoughts.
✔ Our attention spans are shrinking. Can you say that paragraph in a sentence? Use an infographic instead of a blog? Can you ditch the paper and use a video? Oh, you can, then use a video…
✔ Invest in technology. If you’re not using personalisation, automation or at the very least social media, you best start.