Is Your Business Experiencing a Branding Crisis?

Creating and refining your brand is one of the most important steps for a new, and even existing, business to take. It helps distinguish your business from your competitors, exemplify who you are as a company, and builds brand loyalty—meaning, people know what to expect.

Unfortunately, some businesses never take the initiative to really define their brand. Others, over time, lose their brand and run the risk of losing their business to “the other guys.”

If you’re unsure if your business is suffering from a brand crisis, answer the following questions to find out:

  1. Does your brand have an appealing logo?
  2. Does your brand use cohesive design and visual elements across all materials? (Tip: Eye-catching marketing materials lead consumers to select your product or service over others)
  3. Does your brand use the same voice and messaging across all materials?
  4. Does your brand have clear goals in mind? (Tip: Strategic messaging effectively tells your customer how to respond)
  5. Does your brand have repeat customers? (Tip: Memorable branding builds brand recognition and repeat business)

If the answer to the majority of these questions is “No” — you may be suffering a bit of a brand crisis, but don’t worry, we can help you through it!

Whether you need a full brand overhaul, or simple refinements to your existing logo or other marketing materials, such as your print publications (brochures, catalogs, direct mail pieces), website, social media, or marketing strategy, Back Forty Creative is here to help!

Contact us today for your free consultation or check out the variety of brands we have helped grow to their greatest potential.

Key Benefits of Working with a Marketing Agency

When people first consider working with a full-service marketing agency, they often question, “How much is that going to cost? However, with a team made up of marketing professionals who have worked both in-house and for agencies, we can assure you that the benefits are too great to let any presumptions of cost stand in the way—especially since you can actually save money!

Keep reading to learn more about the key benefits of working with a marketing agency.

Benefit 1: Save Money
We all know how important marketing is to a business. However, some businesses require more marketing efforts than others. Depending on your needs, working with a marketing agency can actually save you time and money. Since you eliminate the need to pay an individual or a team to handle these responsibilities, you no longer have additional full-time salaries to worry about. Furthermore, the cost of employee benefits, continued learning, and updating software and technology are also eliminated.

Benefit 2: Gain a New Perspective
There is no question that in-house marketing teams know their brand. But sometimes, the individuals on that team are so accustomed to what’s been done in the past, that it’s hard for them to step back and see other existing opportunities. Working with a marketing firm provides a team of creatives who offer fresh perspectives and innovative ideas. Don’t forget, agencies work with a variety of clients each and every day. Therefore, they have a wealth of knowledge of what does and doesn’t work for specific clients. 

Benefit 3: Build a Team with Broader Skillsets
As a business owner or an employee of a small business, you often have to do what it takes to get things done. This includes taking on responsibilities that you may not feel 100% comfortable completing—such as branding, design, and digital marketing. By working with a full-service agency, this dilemma is easily solved. Plus, marketing is the greatest potential to grow your business, so it shouldn’t be neglected despite your team’s capabilities.

Benefit 4: Receive Speed and Efficiency
When you work with a marketing agency, you are the client. So, your needs are always a priority, and will always be completed by a team of experts in the most effective manner. Agencies will work hard to not only meet your needs but exceed them.

Have we changed your mind about using a marketing agency? If so, we would love to help your business out! Back Forty Creative has a team of designers, developers, copywriters, illustrators, strategists, social marketing gurus, and everything in between, ready to work with you.

From traditional marketing to digital marketing, we do it all. Begin by browsing our portfolio or contact us today for your free consultation.

Interested in learning more about our strategic branding, print design, marketing, website design and development, and social media services? Follow us on FacebookTwitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram for updates.

Do’s and Don’ts for Businesses: Facebook Edition

Unless you’ve been living on a secluded island without wifi for the past decade, you probably at some point have recognized the impact of social media has had on the world. And even more so, how businesses are using it to their advantage.

In honor of World Social Media Day—June 30—we are sharing our “Top 10 Do’s and Don’ts for Facebook Business Pages. So, if you hold the responsibility of managing a business page for your company, or perhaps are thinking about setting one up, keep reading!

Do:

  1. Look professional. Include your brand logo and utilize the cover photo area. Fill your page with important information about your company, and make sure there are no spelling errors!
  2. Create content. Create interesting, useful, and relevant content that will engage your followers.
  3. Share content. Share related content by reliable sources who have your same mission, but perhaps offer a different point-of-view.
  4. Actively engage. Interact with your followers by liking and replying to their comments.
  5. Create a calendar. This helps hold accountability, even during busy times!
  6. Post regularly. It’s important to post often and when your audience is online.
  7. Respond to messages. Respond to any outreach in a timely manner. If not, you might lose potential business to the “other guy.”
  8. Include a call-to-action. This includes links to drive website traffic or asking your followers to do something—like complete a review.
  9. Run ads. Paid advertising is an effective way to garner new followers, enhance engagement, drive website traffic or generate leads.
  10. Excel in #hashtags. Use hashtags to increase interaction. This also allows people to easily find you during a search.

Don’t:

  1. Oversell your product or service. Remember to engage your followers and not just speak to them.
  2. Oversaturate the newsfeed. Space your posts out so that people aren’t inclined to unfollow you.
  3. Be unprofessional. Even with unhappy customers, it is important to show the utmost care in your response. Note that your response is viewable to all and can easily be shared.
  4. Forget about the weekends. Weekends are often the easiest time for people to get online, so don’t forget to post or schedule posts ahead of time.
  5. Plagiarize or steal content. Sharing valuable content is fine and highly encouraged, but don’t claim it as your own — give credit where it is due!
  6. Overuse #hashtags. Make sure they are trending and often used. #EnoughSaid
  7. Post just to post. Ensure you are posting relevant, high-quality content which you would want to appear in your feed.
  8. Forget to brand your page. You have a brand for a reason, and brand loyalty will only continue if it’s cohesive through all channels.
  9. Post long and boring updates. Make sure your posts are short and sweet, with a call-to-action.
  10. Don’t forget photos and videos. These posts get higher engagement and often reach more people.

If you’re new to social media, it can be daunting and time-consuming. An effective business page has lots of moving pieces. If your business lacks the resources to manage your business page, Back Forty Creative can help! From content development and curation, business page designs, targeted marketing, blog planning, and writing, and strategy for social channels — we do it all!

Contact us today for a free consultation and learn more about our social media services today!

Green Tree Woodworks — From Outdoors to Online

For the past few months, the Back Forty Creative team has had the opportunity to work with a new client, Green Tree Woodworks.

Green Tree Woodworks is a leading manufacturer of outdoor, wooden swing sets and playsets. With over 25 years of experience, they pride themselves on their high-quality construction and their wide variety of builds.

To better showcase their quality products and services, Green Tree Woodworks decided to move from outdoors to online with a new website design. The site implements a user-friendly interface, making finding product information quick and easy. It also features a blog to supply their customers with helpful information while boosting their search engine optimization (SEO).

We also created Facebook and Instagram pages to help grow their business online. Each month, we work with them to develop a social media strategy to best engage their online audience. We create customized content and schedule paid Facebook and Instagram promotions to reach new and existing clients across their targeted demographic.

Prior to working on their new website and social media pages, we also updated their logo and brand identity to better showcase who they are as a brand.

Overall, we are happy because our client is happy! Green Tree Woodworks owner, Steve. S. recently shared:

 “I am very happy with the results I have been getting with Back Forty Creative. They have taken my business to a new level. Customers have more ways of getting a hold of us and do not have to look hard to find us. I am also very happy with the service and the people I work with.”

 Is your business in need of a new website? Or perhaps you just want to start out on social media? Either way, Back Forty Creative can help! From strategy to responsive design and development to search engine optimization (SEO) — we do it all!

Contact us today for a free consultation and learn more about our web and digital services or social media services today!

5 Reasons Why Your Business Needs to Be on Social Media

As people spend more time at home, they are spending more time online. 2020 reports show that 3.8 billion people are using some platform of social media. Therefore, if you’re trying to grow your business, online is the best possible place to be right now since people are relying on it more than ever. In addition to being simple, efficient, and cost-effective, when done correctly, social media marketing can:

  1. Build brand loyalty. By sharing relevant content, you can create a dialogue which speaks to your consumers interests instead of just selling to them.
  2. Get your message out in the quickest way possible. This is extremely effective for new products, services, and special offers.
  3. Increase traffic to your website and provide a new means for your customers to get in contact with you.
  4. Best reach your target audience. Paid ads help target individuals most likely in need of your brand’s products and services.
  5. Decrease marketing costs. Social media is relatively cheap compared to other traditional forms of marketing, and you get to set your advertising budget.

If you’re new to social media, it can be daunting. While some platforms may work great for some businesses, it may not work as wells for others. Whether you’re in need of choosing the right platforms, developing a strategy, or creating ads and content, Back Forty Creative can help!

Contact us today for a free consultation!

Back Forty Creative Receives a Clean Bill of Health and Wellness!

We are happy to announce that Back Forty Creative received two 2019 Graphic Design USA Health and Wellness Awards! This award programs honors outstanding graphic communication encompassing the big picture of health and wellness: traditional medicine and healthcare; holistic and alternative healing; healthy lifestyles and nutrition; and the aging of our society.

And the award goes to…


Award Winner: Earth’s Delights
Project: Branding | Logo Design
We teamed up with Earth’s Delights to develop a fresh design for their company logo. Earth’s Delights is a health food market with the mission to provide healthy, organic, and sustainable options to their fellow health-conscious customers. With this in mind, we created a logo using organic brushstrokes and handwritten typography to emphasize their natural products and sustainable mindfulness. The logo’s color palette draws inspiration from the earth and represents the earth’s soil, vegetation, and the sun’s golden rays. Overall, we are all “delighted” this logo was such a success!

 


Award Winner: Green Pasture’s Poultry Farm
Project: Print & Packaging | Egg Carton Design
We collaborated with Green Pasture’s Poultry Farm on their branding and product packaging, which included their egg carton containers. Although the client’s product boasts healthier benefits when compared to fellow competitors, Green Pasture’s Poultry Farms often saw their competitors achieving greater sales. After analyzing the situation, they attributed their competitor’s success to their well-designed product packaging. Therefore, they called on us to help freshen up their egg carton packaging. It was important for us to create an even more compelling design that would not only look good but showcase the product’s wide variety of benefits. The new egg carton design features bold colors, fun graphics, and farm-fresh fonts contributing to an “egg”-cellent design.

Interested in learning more about our branding services, packaging and print design, website design and development, and everything else related to responsible design for all good businesses? Make sure to check back for updates or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Natural Hope Herbals — A Natural Choice for this Year’s Hermes Awards

The Back Forty Design team is naturally very excited to announce that two of our recent projects with Natural Hope Herbals won big at this year’s Hermes Awards!

Award Winner: Natural Hope Herbals Product Guide

Following a complete company rebrand, which consisted of concepting over 300 product packaging design elements, Natural Hope Herbals realized it would be extremely beneficial to develop a product guide to give to potential and existing clients. This brochure design serves as a great tool since it outlines each and every product providing detailed information about their product’s natural ingredients and health benefits; it also serves as a great reminder for the client to continually update their Natural Hope Herbals inventory!

Award Winner: Natural Hope Herbals Website

As a well-established company specializing in a variety of herbal products and supplements, Natural Hope Herbals called on Back Forty Creative knowing that developing a new e-commerce website design was imperative to not only drive product sales, but to also create awareness of their quality ingredients and health benefits. Since their product lineup includes a wide-range of products including extracts, salves, and syrups, it was important to create a clean and easy to navigate website, and also present customers with the knowledge most necessary for their health. Through this collaboration, the Back Forty team was able to enhance their brand while driving product sales.

 

Interested in learning more about our branding services, packaging and print design, web and digital design, and everything else related to responsible design for sustainable agriculture, food, and lifestyle businesses? Make sure to check back for updates or follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Our Award Collection Just Grew a Little Bit Bigger!

The Back Forty Creative team is excited to share that our recent project with Thorvin has just received a 2018 Graphic Design USA (GD USA) Award!

 

Thorvin Branding + Marketing Collateral

Did you know that kelp has a wide-range of health benefits and can be used in products ranging from nutrition to personal care? Neither did we! By teaming up with Thorvin, not only was Back Forty Creative enlightened on the health benefits of Thorvin’s kelp-based products, but we also got to work on a wide-range of materials for the Thorvin team to use at an upcoming tradeshow. Together, we created a multi-page brochure and a variety of event signage including pull-up banners, a tablecloth, and product labels. We can now say that We can Help Market Kelp.

 

Interested in learning more about our branding services, packaging and print design, web and digital design, and everything else related to responsible design for sustainable agriculture, food, and lifestyle businesses? Make sure to check back for updates or follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Back Forty Creative Wins in Health and Wellness!

We are happy to announce that Back Forty Creative received three 2018 Graphic Design USA Health and Wellness Awards! And the award goes to…

Award Winner: TeraKashi Bokashi by TeraGanix Packaging
We teamed up with TeraGanix to provide a fresh redesign for their TeraKashi EM-1® Bokashi packaging. What exactly is EM-1 Bokashi? EM-1 Bokashi is most commonly used for food waste, recycling, accelerating compost maturity, as a soil amendment, and for odor control when added to pet litter. Together, we recycled their current branding to modernize their new packaging. By creating colorful, illustrative artwork and by using metallic print effects on the full-color package, this bag is guaranteed to catch the eyes of those looking to heighten their composting game.

Award Winner: Natural Hope Herbals Product Labels
We collaborated with Natural Hope Herbals to redesign a wide variety of product labels — around 400 in case you were wondering! Natural Hope Herbals products range in nature — from extracts to tea blends to salves — to provide natural solutions to help tackle health issues such as cardiovascular, digestion, oral, and endocrine. Although this award recognized the product labels, Back Forty Creative has worked with Natural Hope Herbals on a variety of design projects including their new website, product guide, and a variety of marketing collateral—some of which are also award winners!

Award Winner: Albert Lea Seed Bags
To better differentiate their seed bags from one another and to stand out among the competition, Albert Lea Seed called on Back Forty Creative to develop new artwork for their full product line of seeds. The Back Forty Design team took a minimalistic approach to best adhere to the craft paper print capabilities and to showcase the crop at hand. The Albert Lea Seed and Back Forty Creative collaboration won’t stop here, stay tuned for updates on their new website design.

Interested in learning more about our branding services, packaging and print design, web and digital design, and everything else related to responsible design for sustainable agriculture, food, and lifestyle businesses? Make sure to check back for updates or follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

When One Barn Door Closes, the Same One Opens (because that’s how doors work), and a Mural is Painted

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We recently expanded our office space and spent last week connecting the two units with a new barn door entrance, and painting a gigantic mural. It took 6 people (with lots of elbow grease) 4 days to complete the mural, but we finally wrapped it up last Friday night! Maybe we should have saved a bit of elbow grease for the door because it’s a little squeaky right now. We’ll deal with that later.
To read our post about the historical significance of our office building, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, please click here: http://www.andacreative.com/category/school/