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Humans can be a precocious bunch, especially when it comes to their perception of brands. Companies spend tens and sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars making sure their brand appears consistently across signage, products, marketing and customer service.  Having a consistent brand speaks volumes about your company, and contributes to your brand’s public perception, which in turn impacts your bottom line. What is true for the more traditional brand interactions mentioned above, is also true online. Here’s a checklist for the major areas that might need some scrubbing up! Google Search It’s easy to neglect thinking about your brand in the terms of a Google search. According to Google, 38% of your customers begin their purchase path with an organic search, and how Google chooses to display your company – amongst the 20 million other results – really does matter. Has your company (and all it’s offices) confirmed their address details with Google? Confirmed addresses mean a greater exposure in search results, and your business name becomes searchable in Google Maps. People generally trust Google – and if Google trusts your business, that trust is transferred. Have you uploaded a site map for your website to Google Webmaster, and are you tracking your website with Google Analytics?    Uploading a site map gives users a chance to dive deeper into your site, to find the information they want more expediently, without having to search manually through the site. Google Webmaster and Google Analytics accounts give you a lot of data from which you can extrapolate the key search terms used to find your business, and the habits of users on your site. This is what a verified business location with an uploaded site map looks like Social Media Firstly, if your company is not on social media, it’s never too late. Make sure that all your social media channels have up to date content, and imagery (like your Facebook cover image) which displays the right information on mobile, desktops and tablets. Your cover image is also a good place to advertise to new engagers with your brand – you could encourage them to sign up for your newsletter, or view your latest annual report for example. You may also want to consider giving your page a (for example) a Christmas theme for December. Sure, it’s not appropriate for all types of brands, but it communicates a brand that is active, and current – with fingers on the pulse of social media. If you’re still to take the plunge into social media, our resident expert, Jamie Wilkinson runs some fantastic Social Media Master Classes designed for senior executives, or we can...

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Following our recent examination of Labor’s party branding, In my position as Senior Designer at Cannings Purple, Jamie Wilkinson and I investigate the roles that branding has played in the Liberal Party over the past five decades:     Video Notes: Welcome to Party Branding, where here in the Cannings Purple take a look at Australian Political branding over the last five decades. Welcome and thanks for watching. This week, we’re taking a look at the Australian Liberal party. 1970s Liberal Branding The modern idea of branding had not yet reached the Australian Liberal Party in the early 1970s. Possibly they had a logo, but hours of searching through archive photos libraries do not reveal a logo used anywhere, in their marketing collateral, or in photos. This, however, does not mean they did not have a brand. It was just not unified or consistent, at least on a campaign front. It was just a bit… Gunn ho. (sorry) Here we see a poster from 1970 for David Gunn. And a decidedly different looking selection of flyers from 1975 still with no logo or consistent branding. The first time we see some form of consistency in branding is this bumper sticker from 1975, and on the back of a young and spritely Alan Jones’ flyer from 1977. So it seems that by the mid 70s, the Liberal Party had the beginnings of a look for their collateral. Although it was piecemeal in its use at best. The early 1970s saw a plethora of leaders come and go. John Gorton resigned as Prime Minister in 1971 and was succeded by William McMahon – who lost the 1972 election to Labor’s brand powerhouse: Gough Whitlam and the ‘It’s Time’ campaign. The Liberals were hopelessly out branded in this campaign. Their response to the “It’s time” campaign was…  Wait for it… “Not yet” although they also used “Right today. Right for your future.”  Not surprisingly, they lost that election emphatically. But they learned from their errors. In the 1975 election, they launched their “Turn on the lights” campaign videos, copying the celebrity filled Labor brand strategy from the previous election – complete with Peter Brock; but without the personal focus on their leader, Malcolm Fraser.  The anti Labor slogan “This is the mess we’re going to clear up“ and “Think again. Vote Liberal. Your future depends on it” appealed to disillusioned Labor voters, and also perhaps the governor general. Malcolm also went onto win the last election of the decade, with slogans such as; “Liberal, doing the job” and “Let’s never forget”. 1980s Liberal Branding In 1980, we see the first images of the modern Liberal...

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The Australian Labor Party: #BrandParty

The Australian Labor Party: #BrandParty


Posted By on Oct 10, 2016

In my position as Senior Designer at Cannings Purple, I investigated the roles that branding has played in Australian Politics and elections over the past five decades:   Video Notes: Welcome to Party Branding,  Where we at Cannings Purple, take a look at Australian Political branding over the last five decades. Welcome and thanks for watching. This week, we’re going to take a look at the Australian Labor party and it’s branding over the past five decades. 1970s Labor The earliest logo I could find for the Australian Labor Party was the one here in the background, behind Gough. It’s utilitarian to say the least. A conservative early 70s Labor Party with quite a plain brand. But in the foreground, we see another brand: one much more exciting. Gough Whitlam. Gough Whitlam was the Kevin07 of the 70’s. He was Gough72. Gough americanised his campaign bringing youthful exuberance and celebrity endorsement and his famous jingle to Australian Politics. For the first time, an election campaign looked more like an advertising campaign. The Labor Party’s “It’s time” campaign and jingle was filled with celebrities. Repositioning the Labor brand from old-fashioned to modern, cutting edge and optimism for the future. The “It’s time” campaign was adapted from Sir Robert Menzies of the Liberal party, but Other campaigns in this decade include. “Whitlam: He’s so much better” , “Give Australia the go ahead” and “Get Australia Working” Messages and branding targeting women voters started to appear from this era onwards. The popular Gough Whitlam brand (together here with Little Patti) propelled the Labor brand to great heights in the early and mid 70s – but the Labor brand crashed with him as Malcolm Fraser and the LNP rose to power. 1980s Labor New decade, a new brand for the Australian Labor Party. In early 80s they ditched their initials for their full name in their logo, above the flag. The use of the flag initially raised quite a few eyebrows. Now of course, it’s been done to death and I’ve seen many brands with the Australian flag in it somewhere – but only political parties can really pull it off, and labor were the first. The branding became consistent in look and message. Big, bold, block type in their campaign flyers and bumper stickers helped create a brand that was solid, consistent and strong. Campaigns of the Hawke era include, “Bringing Australia together” “Put Australia First” and “Lets stick together. Let’s see it through”. Catchy headlines and slogans are great, but they can backfire. Liberal’s Andrew Peacock once stated: “The Answer is Liberal” and the Prime Minister Bob Hawke shot back “If the answer...

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We live in a world in which even the smallest tweak to a user interface, from Apple’s new design for its Music app, to the way a brand communicates on social media, can create millions of online shares and virtual column inches. User experience (UX) done well can create reputational kudos. Done badly, it can frustrate and anger your customers and clients. What is User Experience? User experience is any method by which a customer or prospective customer interacts with your brand to accomplish tasks. This is generally through a user interface, via an app, website, smart phone or helpdesk. If a customer is approaching your business with a specific goal in mind, the ease with which they achieve that goal is a measure of the success of the user experience. And it’s becoming increasingly important in our connected, digital world. Frustrating user experiences can create negative PR… or worse. When Facebook changed its interface in 2009, many users became frustrated. Plenty voiced their concerns through Facebook pages and groups (apparently immune to the irony of their platform of choice). The #bringbackoldfacebook hashtag was born and numerous articles were written on tech blogs about the issue. Luckily for Facebook, there wasn’t a similar service with better UX waiting in the wings and it lived to see additional (and better) UX changes over the years. This is in contrast to MySpace, for example which was killed off partly because of its clunky user experience by… Facebook! All of this can be challenging for companies which are still getting used to playing in the digital space. Bad user experience seems particularly obvious on digital platforms and so these companies should focus on making the use of these new services as efficient and easy as possible. Brilliant user experiences are essential to capturing Millennial markets Millenials are growing in their consumer power. There are now more millennials in America than Baby Boomers, a demographic reversal which happened in April. Millennials are getting older, earning more and becoming more mature in their tastes (Pokémon Go excluded). Brand sentiment isn’t usually inherited from one generation to the next, so just because parents are willing to put up with a clunky online banking experience doesn’t mean their kids won’t vote with their feet and find a better one. And of course, it isn’t just established brands which need to improve their UX. Uber’s much discussed business model is driven by a significantly improved user experience as much as anything else. If using your business services becomes too cumbersome (or the opportunity to access them doesn’t even exist online) Millennials in particular will tweet, blog, Snapchat and Facebook their discontent before moving to...

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Ive been lucky enough to style several Intranet sites over the years, and here are some of the tips I’ve picked up that I wished I knew a long time ago. 1. Code inside your browser using Developer Tools. Using the developer tools provided by your browsers, editing inside your browser is the fastest and easiest way to change those styles. It’s much faster than any other method, and you can see changes on the fly. I recommend using Chrome and Firefox Developer Tools – as they seem to display cleaner styles. 2. Use Advanced CSS Selectors Targeting the right div in your code can be really tricky, it helps to have some top notch selector skills under your belt. Here are some handy ones to get up to speed on: A. Selecting an Element by the end or beginning of it’s ID Sharepoint doesn’t make life easy. What looks like this one day: #MSOZoneCell_WebPartctl00_m_g_df2dc21f_a6ed_4272_8f13_bca4f5a7f9de Quickly changes into something else, breaking your styles. But you’ll notice that the start of the div is the same… Get around those pesky Sharepoint generated IDs by selecting their ending or beginning. Select an element that starts with MSOZoneCell div[id^=’MSOZoneCell’] { } Select an element that ends with MSOZoneCell div[id$=’MSOZoneCell’] { } You can change the [id$=’ ‘] to [class$=’ ‘] if needs be as well. B. Select element by it’s Title. Sometimes you want to modify a particular Webpart, but not others. How? Through selecting the title. Select Element by Title td[title|=”Webpart Title”] { } C. Selecting sibling elements Sometimes the easiest way to select an element, is to select the element adjacent to it. For the code: <div> <div class=”ms-topnav>text</div> <p> more text</p> </div> Select the ID-less and CLASS-less P tag  .ms-topnav + p { } These are just some examples of selectors I have used on a recent project, there are others! 3. Fresh CSS file Pretty basic stuff really, make sure your override.css file is located last in the list of referenced css files in the master page. Don’t overwrite any preexisting css files, because they will get overwritten at update time, wasting your good work! 4. Design wise I’m more of a designer than a coder. The temptation is always to show your client something amazing, but that will give you endless trouble to implement. Consider your skill set, and budget before commencing. 5. Backup regularly This goes without saying – but create regular backups and name them, just incase something goes terribly wrong. I like to have one at the end of every day. 6. Make your code clear to read CSS files for me often end...

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