Update an Existing Logo for Stronger Corporate Branding

When undertaking a major project like overhauling a business website or launching a new marketing initiative it is often advisable to review the business’s logo first. A logo is the cornerstone of any corporate branding foundation. If it is beginning to look dated it may be time to update an existing logo as part of any new marketing initiative.

In a recent series of projects for one of our clients we began by reviewing their existing logo.

Their logo branding consisted of a hand drawn logo combined with two lines of kanji characters, a logotype and a tagline. The entire combination was a little unwieldy. The hand drawn logo had served them well in the past but was beginning to look a bit outdated by modern standards. We wanted to retain the spirit and foundation of the existing branding while modernizing, integrating and improving it for more expanded uses going forward.

I started with the bowing figures from the existing hand drawn logo. The figures symbolize the special student and teacher (sensei) relationship of respect and the honor of passing down the tradition of karate. The practitioners (karateka) in this karate school wear traditional white uniforms (gi) so I decided to re-draw the figures using black outlines. This would leave the interior of the uniforms white which reflecting their traditional uniforms in contrast to the previous logo that was drawn with black uniforms. I used the old hand drawn figures and an actual photo of a bowing Shoshin Nagamine (the founder of the dojo’s karate style – Matsubayashi Ryu) as reference. I drew new figures with a fluid calligraphic brushstroke style in Adobe Illustrator using a stylus on a Wacom drawing tablet.

In order to facilitate the logo being used as an embroidered uniform patch I integrated the kanji characters, which read Matsubayashi Ryu Karate Do, around the figures in front of the rising sun. I imported the vector outlines into Adobe Photoshop and applied various texture layers and effects to create a version of the logo that looked like it was an embroidered patch for use on their corporate website.

I balanced the sizing and kerning of the logotype/tagline and combined them with the new logo in both a vertical and horizontal format. I created a full set of embroidered, color, gray-scale and black & white combined logos for use in all their corporate materials from traditional printed collateral to their online website.

I used the new logo and logotype as the foundation for a new set of branded marketing materials for the company including letterhead, envelopes, business cards, drill datasheets, event templates and a new 10-page corporate brochure.

I also used the new logo and logotype as the branding foundation for a new custom WordPress web site to extend their new corporate brand into the online arena.

DreamLight Can Update an Existing Logo to Strengthen Your Corporate Branding

When launching a major marketing initiative, DreamLight can work closely with your marketing team to update an existing logo and strengthen your overall corporate branding. We can then carry that new logo and branding into a wide range of marketing materials including; 2D/3D digital design, illustration,animation or custom WordPress website, interactive multimedia,application development.

Contact us for more information about updating an existing logo for stronger corporate branding or to explore your specific needs.

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The Essential Guide to Branding Yourself on Social Media

Whether you’re an established business owner, budding entrepreneur or an accomplished professional, social media can be a great way to open up new doors and opportunities. However, just as a business can’t create a profile, share a few links and then expect a stream of quality customers to come from that social platform, branding yourself in a meaningful way through social media is going to take some work. Fortunately, once you know where to focus your attention and effort, the personal branding work you put in on social media can be enjoyable and very rewarding.

With that in mind, I want to share some tips I’ve used to build a strong brand for myself across social media, as well as clients who have for social media consulting:

Keep It Consistent and Clear

If you already have profiles on multiple platforms and the way your name is formatted in the URLs differs slightly, it’s not the end of the world. For example, I have and . But if you’re setting up all your social profiles for the first time, it’s worth using a tool like Namechk to find a consistent username that’s available across all platforms.

Consistency is also very important in how you describe yourself. Since many people get anxious at the thought of describing themselves in a short bio, it helps to have a formula to follow. A popular recommendation for social media bios is to answer three questions and then weave those answers into a compelling bio that you can use on all your profiles. The three questions are: what do you do for a living, what are you passionate about and what value do you give to people?

Don’t Underestimate Local

Although the Internet is a global platform, there’s still a lot of value in using social to connect with people in your local area. You can do this by filling out the location field in your profiles, as well as occasionally sharing local links as part of your social media content strategy.

Use a Great Picture

First impressions matter just as much online as they do offline. That’s why it’s essential to have a great picture that you can use on all your profiles. As mentioned above, using the same picture is a good way to build consistency for your brand. If you don’t currently have a great headshot and are worried about having to pay quite a bit to get one, you can get an awesome picture at a reduced price by looking for a up & coming photographer who will be happy to offer a discounted rate in exchange for being able to build up a portfolio.

For more advice on using social media to build a strong personal brand, be sure to look at my offered through Web Media University.

Digital Branding Strategies in  Healthcare industry

 Current practices devoted to improving patient engagement in Healthcare industries  show a lack of defined guidelines and confusion about what patient engagement is, how it is achieved, and how to produce meaningful outcomes. Patient engagement happens when Providers and patients work together to improve health.

Patients want to be engaged in their healthcare decision-making process, and those who are engaged as decision-makers in their care tend to be healthier and have better outcomes. A patient’s greater engagement in healthcare contributes to improved health outcomes, and  thus digital technologies and healthcare industries can bring about a revolution in patient engagement which in turn acts as a catalyst in healthcare branding. .

Is there a way for providers to connect with patients and families through engagement powered by portal adoption, secure messaging, social media, and other emerging health related technologies ?

The answer is YES!

To successfully achieve patient engagement in your health care practice, you have to consider these elements:

  • Create a culture of engagement.
  • Define your organization’s vision for patient engagement.
  • Employ the right technology and services.
  • Empower patients to become collaborators in their care.
  • Chart progress and be ready to change and adapt.
  • Ascertain the knowledge, skills, ability, and willingness of patients to manage their own health care,
  • Create a health care practice that prioritizes and supports patient engagement
  • Actively collaborate with patients to design, manage and achieve health outcomes.

A growing body of evidence demonstrates that patients who are more actively involved in their health care experience better health outcomes and have lower per capita costs compared to patients who are less engaged.7 Health care practices with a strong patient engagement strategy report increased efficiency, especially with the use of online portals for self-service check-in, automated appointment reminder and lab result services, and online and after-hours options for bill payment. Telephone volume decreases when secure messaging is introduced. And portal use can lower indirect and direct labor costs, such as mailing costs for lab results, online billing questions versus telephone, online appointment scheduling, and online appointment reminders.

  • First, understand where you are and where you want to be in terms of patient engagement. Discuss what patient and family engagement means to your senior leadership, board, staff, patients and their families. With these discussions, you can work with the definition of engagement presented here or generate your own custom definition. Create an “end state” vision of what your practice will look like when you have a strong patient engagement strategy in place.
  • Understand how users interact with smartphones and designing mobile experiences that align with these insights to connect people’s physical and digital worlds. For example, we use our phones all the time for navigation. How can you utilize this feature for your brand? Can a smartphone’s location services be used in way finding, to help visitors navigate your hospital?
  • Adapt online experiences to perform best on mobile. For example, when it comes to lead generation, consumers aren’t going to fill out a lengthy form on a phone. They want a simple click-to-call option, or a condensed form. If you want people to complete the desired action, you’ll have to design experiences with mobile in mind.
  • Cloud-based portals offer the most cost-effective, flexible and robust solutions for health care practices creating patient engagement strategies. A cloud-based services vendor offers a combination of software, networked knowledge and back office support with low up-front costs. This kind of solution gives users immediate access to new features and functionality that are regularly added to the system. It can also quickly adapt to new patient engagement initiatives and other changes as they come.
  • Consider patient portal solutions that offer a full range of integrated patient communication services such as live operator support and automated phone, text and email reminders. A fully integrated patient communication system can offer practices automated appointment and bill reminder services, and can provide secure messaging in the patient’s preferred format. Practices can free up valuable staff time by using widely accepted automated calls, emails, and text messages to specific patient groups. Automated, secure messaging can be used as a medical appointment reminder, to deliver test results, remind patients of a medication schedule, alert them in the event of a weather closure, or promote an upcoming immunization clinic or other population health event.
  • A patient portal can benefit patients and providers by enhancing patient access and increasing administrative efficiency and productivity. However, without adequate features, promotion and use, a patient portal won’t help anyone. Make sure providers and staff are on board with portal selection and use. Ensure the portal meets industry mandates for security, interacts seamlessly with your software system and can be customized for your practice. Promote the portal to patients. Track and celebrate portal milestones such as a certain number of emails collected or time saved from having patients fill out forms electronically.

It may take time to see outcomes in patient engagement.

But it is definitely worth the time.



Decoded: A complete guide to branding yourself as a musical artist

In your capacity as performer, musician, lyricist, tour manager and business strategist you also need to fit in the small matter of becoming a branding expert.

Nobody said this was going to be easy!

Although some musicians might see creating a brand as a something akin to exam revision, we’ve created this guide to hopefully show you that the creative process of devising and developing a brand is nothing to be feared.

In fact, it should be as absorbing and artistic a process as song writing itself!

Here’s what we’re going to cover:

Why some artists shy away from branding

How to begin creating a brand as an artist

The ‘3 Es’ of branding (careful now!)

Key takeaways

But before we begin… what actually is a brand?

We interact with brands all the time. In its simplest form it’s a logo, along with a name, tagline, design, symbol, or other feature that distinguishes it from its rivals in the eyes of fans or customers.

However, many will tell you that a brand is much more than that. It’s engrained in our tribal psyche as human beings to gravitate towards badges, flags, symbols and ideas– to claim allegiance to a cause, and literally ‘nail our colours’ to the mast.

Brand is visual representation of identity and the best artists in history are all about identity and identifying with their audience. So, as a musical artist starting out in a career you are already a brand whether you like it or not.

The question is whether you are a good, bad or just plain ugly one (in many cases this is no bad thing; check out those early Rolling Stones album covers!)

Image Credit: BP & O

Why many artists shy away from branding

A common mistake some artists make is to confuse authenticity with branding. ‘But isn’t it supposed to be about the music’ is a common complaint when discussing a band’s image, for example.

There’s a fear that credibility can be lost by taking any focus away from the music and concentrating on image.

While there’s no doubt that style over substance always causes problems, even the most credible artists in history have cultivated a strong, defined image, story and visual identity (AKA a brand!).

The Sex Pistols are credited with turning the entire music industry on its head; a vital disrupting force that led to one of the most creative and exciting periods in music’s history.

They were also entirely manufactured by Vivienne Westwood and her then partner, Malcolm McClaren. Does this make their music less credible?

The best artists have always understood that being a successful artist is about more than having well-crafted songs. Remember Nelly’s face band-aid, Madonna’s cone bra and Lady Gaga’s crazy, well, everything? All those quirks and styles helped created their image and brand as an artist. (If you want help finding your trademark style, we’ve got you covered.)

Artist branding is about taking that music and channelling its energy through a consistent visual style and identity. In a way that, hopefully, builds the kind of tribal loyalty that causes normal people to sell everything the own and follow you on tour for the rest of their lives.

Your brand should be considered as much a part of who you are as your music. It should be respected and nurtured just like any other valued artistic element. A Spinnup act we think really nails this is Swedish songwriter/producer/performer duo Vaz, who put a huge amount of effort into their brand, from their album artwork, to artist imagery and outfit styling. Check out their Instagram to see what we mean.


How do you begin creating a brand as an artist?

Paul Wilkinson, former Creative Director at MTV, believes that the trick when starting out is to take inspiration from your idols:

“When most artists start out they tend to emulate the people they admire as they find their own voice. The best place to start is to think about who inspires you and look at what they’re doing. Don’t directly copy what they do, but study them carefully and introduce your own ideas. Keep it simple.”

Quite often there will be someone in your band or close to you that has a natural affinity for creating a visual identity. If not, it might be worth enlisting the support from someone who can.

Good artists collaborate, so find some inspiration from artists or designers who resonate with you and even see if one can help you begin to create a brand that will elevate your music to where it deserves to be.

“Try reaching out to your own fanbase,” says Paul. “If you have a few hundred followers ask them for feedback and see if any of them can do better. There’s bound to be someone amongst them who will step forward and offer good creative ideas. It’ll also help foster a sense of community, which is vital in the early days.”

One word of warning. When starting out remember that everything you post online will still be there a few years down the line, so take this stuff seriously from the start.

“Everything stays online these days,” says branding expert Bridgette of Zambesi Digital, “so think carefully before you put anything out there.”

“Are you going to be embarrassed in a few years’ time? Is it going to come back to bite you?”

Don’t get caught up in the moment. Guard your image jealously.

Image credit: Toward Music

What are the ‘3 Es’ of branding?

The 3 Es of Branding are often highlighted by branding agencies when helping companies to devise a new brand identity.

The Es stand for Enabling, Elevating and Enriching – and don’t just apply to the logo design and colour palettes, but are used to inform everything from imagery choices to the tone of voice.

We aren’t saying that these principals will always be applicable to every artist, but they help to give you an idea of how a professional agency might approach branding an artist.

  1. Enabling

In other words, whatever brand you choose should feel simple, effortless and accessible for anyone who is attracted to it either directly or through your music

  1. Elevating

Your brand should aim to create an experience through the senses. Think about textures, colours, environment and storytelling.

  1. Enriching

Fans should be able to feel part of what your brand represent. It should resonate with them and create that sense of tribe and community that they seek.

Think of what you can provide your fanbase with that will help this. What tangible objects can you give out at gigs? What different ways are there to interact with them?

When you get these three elements right it can create a catalytic effect that delivers real magic – which is all your audience is really looking for.

Key takeaways

  • Keep it simple
  • Study your idols; be inspired by them
  • Collaborate!
  • Take your time, get it right – you wouldn’t put out a half-arsed song!
  • Be careful what you post on social media – will you still be proud of this in 5 years’ time?

Branding is a living, breathing thing, so expect it to evolve over the years as you become more successful. Coldplay, for example, evolved from a simple scruffy busker look to the colourful and distinctive visual identity they enjoy today.

The most important thing is to take it seriously, and not dismiss it as some sort of inauthentic corporate exercise. It’s really all about visual communication and a chance to stand out from the crowd. And remember, enjoy it and your fans will too!



International Enviroguard Launches New Corporate Branding and Website

Mesquite, Texas — International Enviroguard, a leading protective garment and solutions manufacturer, yesterday officially launched its new corporate branding and a redesigned website .

“Our new branding and website more fully portray the innovative products we offer, the industries we support, and the value we deliver today,” said Aric Asplund, president of International Enviroguard. “With easy navigation and solutions detailed by industry and protection category, the new website helps customers more quickly find the perfect solutions to fit their operation, budget and needs.”

International Enviroguard offers disposal garment solutions for industrial and manufacturing, oil and gas, healthcare, nuclear, environmental remediation, food processing and cleanroom environments. The company’s product lines include protection from dust and particles, chemical splashes, sparks and flame, infectious diseases and much more.

The new website makes it easier for safety directors, procurement managers and end-users to find and order the disposable protective garments they need.

The website and branding also feature a new company tagline, Comfortable Confidence, a reflection of International Enviroguard’s commitment to designing garments that shield workers from pathogens, contaminants and grime while preserving the comfortable dexterity they need to do their job with confidence.

“We use innovative materials that keep workers cool along with thoughtful design and sizing that improve fit and wearability,” Asplund said. “Comfortable Confidence reflects our belief that more comfortable products drive higher worker compliance with apparel safety protocols, ultimately leading to better worker protection.”

The branding and website will also detail the core goals that drive every decision at International Enviroguard, including:

Creating a more comfortable workday.

Comfort matters in the workplace. International Enviroguard uses innovative materials for cool comfort and breathability.  Garments are produced to ANSI sizing standards with thoughtful design for a better fit, greater mobility and fewer rip-outs.

Providing superior protection.

International Enviroguard is the industry’s go-to supplier after a crisis. The company’s expertise in assessing protective needs then rapidly delivering products has kept essential teams safe after floods, hurricane cleanups, oil spills and highly infectious disease outbreaks. International Enviroguard’s ability to quickly identify and deliver the best protection for the job extends beyond the company’s disaster-response work to its entire operation.

Innovating a better experience.

International Enviroguard is passionate about safeguarding what matters through innovation. Design thinking, flexible operations and an empowered culture drive the company’s team to continually identify and solve new challenges. This includes innovations to create better-fitting garments incorporating cooler textiles, advanced protection and user-driven product features.

Delivering affordable quality.

International Enviroguard’s unrelenting focus on the innovation of engineered protection also means the company can deliver superior protection with a lower total use cost. Products with a more comfortable fit, better performance and superior quality can reduce product waste through fewer rip-outs and increase safety through better worker compliance. The result is greater protection and productivity for a lower total investment.

For more information on International Enviroguard’s new website, branding and products, visit or contact 1-800-345-5972.

International Envirogurd is an ISEA member company.

The post International Enviroguard Launches New Corporate Branding and Website appeared first on International Safety Equipment Association.



8 Visual Branding Strategies to Make Sure You Stand Out

If you’re like most businesses, you’re probably spending about half your marketing budget on digital marketing hoping to stand out. But how do you know that your visual branding is really working?

With such a big chunk of your marketing budget devoted to getting out there in front of potential clients, you want to be sure that it’s working. Tracking your digital analytics will let you know how well you’re doing up against your competitors.

What most potential customers want is a brand that’s truly unique, that they can identify with. Most brands take the same cookie cutter approach to visual branding or else they try too hard and end up with ugly logos and abrasive ads.

In order for your visual branding strategy to ensure that you really stand out, follow these 8 tips.

1. Work On Your Website

As just about every potential client finds out about a new business through an online search, your website is going to make your first impression. You need to make sure it’s your best sales associate and your strongest brand representative. Your visual branding starts with your online presence these days.

While you may be tempted to use a template-based site, it might end up looking like 100 other businesses in your market. You won’t be able to stand out and you’ll end up working on something that looks just like your competitor.

Template sites offer the potential for a polished website that looks good on mobile devices. This is important. But it also needs to stand out.

Take a look at all of your competitors and see what works on their websites. Take note of what doesn’t as well. Then make sure you have something unique that takes into account all of the things you like about those other websites.

Your images and text need to reflect your client’s needs, not your own. Your website tells a visual story about what your brand is and why you do what you do.

Find a designer who understands what you’re about and you’ll be well on your way.

2. Professional Photography

Whether you’re taking photos of your staff, your restaurant or yourself, make sure you’re always getting professional photographs taken. While your iPhone photos might suffice for social media, clients know a great photo when they see one.

Get some headshots taken of the most important people in your company and have them on your website. Use them as visual branding tools for your company by posting them on LinkedIn and your company’s “About” page.

Whenever possible, avoid stock photography. Consumers know stock photography when they see it. If you want photos showing off your office or event space, hold an event for family and friends for the sole purpose of taking photographs.

3. Social Media Images

Make sure your brand has a presence on every major social media site. Get to know the kind of material that each one is known for and cater your posts for each channel.

Twitter is great for sharing a joke or throwing out a “one-day-only” promotion. Instagram is where you want to show your best photos and short videos. Facebook allows you to put up a little more text and an entire album of photos.

All of these channels will make your brand more approachable and friendly. If you’ve got a new product, take a photo with it. Show people using it.

It will seem more legitimate and help people visualize using that product in their own lives.

4. Videos

Video content is the center of the visual branding world right now. Creating videos will help you build a stronger following, so long as they match your brand.

Be sure that you’re dressed for success in even the most casual videos.

Shoot in consistent settings while you build your brand. Be warm and try to build a connection with your audience. If you have editing capabilities, add your logo discreetly to the bottom corner of the video.

5. Branding Your Images

Think about ways you can create clever infographics or make some graphic quotes. Images with text have been shown to attract more viewers for longer.

Make sure that any graphics are consistent with your overall visual branding approach.

Think about what each image means before you post it. Run it past people on your team to ensure that it fits with what you’re trying to communicate.

6. Your Personal Profile

If you have a company that’s separate from your personal life, be sure that your social media profile fits with your branding strategy.

It’s important that your personal profiles are sincerely personal. You should feel comfortable writing about movies you liked, music you’re listening to, or a vacation you’re excited about. Don’t make it another promotional tool, but know that it’s part of the whole picture.

Whether you’re on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Snapchat, maintain that double consciousness of being on brand and being yourself.

7. Giveaways

Find the right image you want to use for promotions and then start using it to signal that a deal is on the way.

When clients see this image or this image frame popup on their screen, they’ll stop and take a look. Having consistency will build your visual branding. It will burn itself into customers’ minds and that color or logo combination will build a positive emotional association.

No matter what you choose, be sure that it fits with your overall brand look and feel.

8. Email Signature

Come up with a company-wide email signature look. This will allow a consistency no matter who a client speaks with at your company.

It also looks professional and gives your words a bit of an extra authority. For an extra piece of flair, add your headshot so people know who they’re writing to when they respond.

The Key To Visual Branding Is Consistency

No matter which direction you go, no matter what industry you work in, consistency is your best friend. Having a consistent brand will make it easier to have an impact on your audience.

If you’re ready to take your online branding to the next level, read more here on how to figure out whether you should hire someone or take it the DIY route.

5 Domain Branding Strategies Every Marketer Should Follow

Buying a new domain can be a stressful process. Odds are, that domain branding will become the main address of your company’s website for years to come. Your upfront research and hard work could pay dividends over the life of the domain. To help you acquire a new domain for the long term, we have put together these domain branding strategies to follow.

Incorporate Corporate Branding

Quite simply, a corporate brand should buy a domain the reflects their name. It can include CompanyName.com or CompanyNameLLC.com. For corporate companies, this is a simple strategy to have one domain for the entire corporate site. Of course, you can either include all the brand identities under the corporate domain or setup other domains for brands that are not directly associated with the corporate brand.

Utilize Product Or Service Branding

Alternatively, if you company is very products driven, you can buy domains based on the products. Since there are not many .COM domains for single word products, you can try different variations to brand the domain. For example, if Product.com is taken, you can register TheProduct.com or GetProduct.com. These types of domain variations all you to get around the issue of taken domains. Moreover, it unifies the branding of your domain and products.

Consider Exact Match Domains

Similarly to choosing a product focused domain, you can register domains based on keywords that you would like to rank for in the search engines. If you would like to rank for “product reviews”, you might try to buy domain names that include those terms. In this case, you could buy ProductReviews.com or an almost-exact match domain like MyProductReviews.com. While some SEO experts advise against exact match domains, you could have some major benefits with partial match domains or exact match in less competitive industries.

Invest In New gTLDs

As new generic Top Level Domains are released, we have more opportunities to brand domains names further. The new extensions like .CLUB or .CAPITAL can provide context to your website domain. Additionally, it can provide branding in terms of location with extensions such as .UK and .NYC. If you want to be on the cutting edge of domain branding, you will want to buy domain extensions that are most relevant to your brand.

Change Your Legal Company Name

Interestingly enough, some companies are changing their legal entity names to include “.com” so the company name is actually a domain name. This is perfectly legal and has some positive benefits as the company name actually drives traffic to the website. The domain will receive more publicity and referrals because it is constantly mentioned by anyone talking about the company. However, it can be very tough to change an entire brand or company around a single domain. You will have to change to a new logo design too. If done well, it could be a unique strategy to drive more traffic to your domain.

These are proven strategies for branding your domain name. If you are planning on to buy a domain soon, consider the pros and cons of each approach for your company. A good branding strategy could make a huge difference in your company’s domain popularity and authority in the future.



Corporate Branding: Use Custom Framing & Art to Tell Your Story

Hanging in our office, is a quote by Frank Lloyd Wright: “Whether people are fully conscious of this or not, they actually derive countenance and sustenance from the ‘atmosphere’ of things they live in and with.”

This philosophy drives the corporate culture at Coyle Studios. Each employee has a unique sense of humor, style, motivation, etc. Our company is made up of our collective uniqueness and is reflected throughout the studio on our walls. When we work with corporate clients on custom framing projects, we ask them about their corporate culture and frequently take a tour of their space.


Because it’s easy to slap a 2” white mat and a thin black frame on a piece of art and say, “Done. Put a nail in the wall.” It’s harder to evaluate your art, your space, and your brand to come to a creative framing solution.

Think about last year’s . When you walk into Planit, there is no mistaking their corporate culture. On their walls, you’ll see their branded colors, quotes, funky art, and things that inspire them. It is a modern, open environment that makes you envision collaboration, innovation, and creativity. (They also have some of the we’ve seen in a while).  

An office should reflect the company that inhabits it. If your space does not effectively convey you or your company to others, you can easily improve that by making a change in your art. Here are a few tips:

Think about your story and values.

Choose art that is meaningful and expresses your values. We had a client that wanted their walls to tell the history of their company. They were a non-profit that handled corneal tissue donations to help reverse corneal blindness, and they had albums of newspaper articles, donor photos, and letters throughout their 50+ years of business. The marketing team wanted the most compelling articles framed for their lobby, pictorial donor photos framed for their conference room, and recipient photos framed for their hallway. Their walls told their story in a way that words could not – you could see the impactful work they accomplished. Visitors were inspired to help. A floral canvas print from a box store would never have the same effect.

Embrace your accomplishments.

Diplomas, awards, articles about a company or employee – these are all strong additions to your walls. We’ve seen clients frame promotional items, successful campaigns, or group photos from an annual sales event. Framing an object with significance (i.e. a hammer, wooden spoon, gavel, stethoscope, presidential pen or conductor’s baton) will speak volumes. It is important to include employee and company achievements to not only impress clients, but to help employees feel valued and part of the team.

Can’t find what you want? Go custom.

Don’t settle for something because you feel you need to fill a space. One client wanted to surround himself with iconic images from the two places he’s lived – Maryland and Canada. He chose a few original Coyle fine art Maryland photographs and an aerial of Toronto to be framed for his office. Another client commissioned a local Baltimore artist to create a series of prints of one of their downtown locations to be framed for their corporate offices in Annapolis. If you want a piece of art that doesn’t exist, create it.

Be better than the black frame.

Most people choose a thin, black frame because they perceive it to be inexpensive and safe. While it is a safe option, it is not always the most cost effective option. There are so many cool frames out there for the same or even better price point as a black frame. We’ve seen clients embrace champagne, silver, weathered metal, color, and rustic wood frames for their corporate art because it works better in their space or accurately reflects their style. If you choose a black frame, choose it because it works – not because you’re afraid.

Think about alternative options.

Not everything needs to be framed. Yes, the framer is telling you this. One of our clients wanted to have original Baltimore fine art photos in their lobby, but they didn’t want it framed. They wanted , and the end result is phenomenal. Metal prints are a lightweight alternative framing solution that can work in even the most traditional office. If metal isn’t your thing, there are print options on wood, acrylic, and bamboo. We’ve worked on projects for clients who have loved these unique display options and enjoy having multiple choices.

Choosing art for an office doesn’t have to be hard or generic. is more than following a style guide in graphics or choosing the right photos for your social pages. Branding should extend to all of the spaces a company inhabits – physically and digitally. Take your offices to the next level, and surround yourself with pieces that inspire you and reflect your corporate culture.

Coyle Studios is a proud AMA Baltimore sponsor. To learn more about Coyle Studios, visit their . Photo credit: Coyle Studios.

Talent Branding Strategies

According to , CEOs have developed a laser focus on human capital and talent management activities and cited human capital as the number one global challenge. While customer relationships, innovation, operational excellence and corporate brand and reputation were also listed as top challenges, identifying ways to develop, engage, manage and retain talent was identified as the most pressing challenge.

As one of the authors of the report, Rebecca Ray, SVP Human Capital at The Conference Board pointed out, Though particular strategies vary from region to region, business leaders worldwide are working to optimize their greatest resource — their employees and those who will lead them.”

There exist any number of strategies that an organization may choose to initiate to address these human capital needs depending, of course, upon their unique goals and desired outcomes. The report lists numerous strategies that are often evaluated and selected including providing employee training and development, focusing on internally developed talent to fill key roles, and improving succession planning for both current and future needs. In addition, organizations often identify the need to improve the effectiveness of front-line supervisors and managers as well as the need to enhance the effectiveness of the senior management team.

One strategy that may be gaining more steam in the United States and Latin America is improving employer branding (including articulating employee value propositions) to attract top talent. The report states that “… while human capital practitioners are focused globally on building and leveraging a strong employer brand and employee value proposition to attract and retain talent, especially in highly competitive labor markets in emerging economies such as Asia-Pacific and China, CEOs in the United States and Latin America do not see it as an essential tool to meet the Human Capital challenge. ‘Improve corporate brand and employee value propositions to attract talent’ is the twelfth-ranked strategy in the United States and thirteenth in Latin American in the human capital space. It is tied for fourth in Europe and seventh in Asia.”

I think those are quite interesting results.

CEOs will undoubtedly agree that their organizations put forth considerable effort in ensuring their vision, culture and image are in alignment with their corporate brand; it’s what directly leads to reputation amongst all stakeholders (customers, investors, employees, etc.) and impacts all lines of the business. This impact is realized whenever and wherever the general public comes into contact with the brand. Those public perceptions, many CEOs would agree, are important.

So what about the employer brand? Why is an understanding of its importance not firmly embedded in the minds of CEOs?

One challenge for HR leaders is to ensure that CEOs understand that allocating the resources necessary for the development and maintenance of an employer brand can assist in meeting the challenges of attracting, managing, developing and retaining talent.

Many executive leaders have a traditional view of “recruiting and staffing” and employer branding is quite different. Recruiting and filling open requisitions has often been a short-term, stop-and start process whereas branding is a continuous, ongoing, and long-term process that shares the unique culture and ‘story’ of the organization. A true and authentic employer brand, with a consistent message and aligned experiences fulfills promises to candidates, applicants and employees.

As stated in the 2014 Global Trends Study by Employer Branding International, “ease in attracting candidates (35%), employee engagement (32%) and recognition as an employer of choice (28%) are the main benefits gained from employer branding programs. Other major benefits include reduced recruitment costs (225), higher job acceptance rate (19%) and decrease in staff turnover (19%).”

Identifying the best talent needed to meet organizational goals is only the beginning.

Developing an effective employer branding strategy can allow companies to gain a competitive advantage in the human capital game and winning the game requires the CEO and senior leaders to be fully onboard champions.


this post originally appeared at HR Leads Business.