April 3, 2014
We were delighted recently to be approached by a very lovely couple to help brand their big day with everything from Save the Dates and Invitations, to stationery for the day and even a wedding website.
The brief was to reflect the cool, quirky East London wedding that was being planned, and the result… a unique mix of contemporary, art deco, hipster and old school typography alongside funky blocks of yellow, orange, blue and grey. Making it one of the coolest wedding stationery suites and websites we’ve seen… if we do say so ourselves!
As we all know, wedding stationery is an introduction to the big day itself, so it should not only reflect the personalities of the happy couple but also gives the guests a taster of what to expect on the day. This has been a really fun project to work on and we’re just putting the finishing touches to lots more final additions for the big day that are obviously top secret, as is the website address I’m afraid, but we can give you a taster with some pictures here!
Wedding websites are a relatively new addition to the wedding suite of ‘must haves’. They are a great, very accessible way of displaying all of the day’s little details. Plus, not only does it inform and assist the guests leading up to the wedding, it is also a great place to display your wedding snaps afterwards, post messages and thank yous. The sky is the limit really and they can be tailored to suit.
One part of the website we really enjoyed working on was the map… we love a good map here at Mzuri, and this certainly gave our illustrative skills an opportunity to shine!
From the feedback we’ve had already, the invitations are going down a treat, and the website is a huge success. The Bride-to-be had this to say… “Thank you for your hard work in making our invitations and website so amazing. That map is a work of art – I love it. It is perfect. Thank you so much for making such an effort to make this so fabulous – we really appreciate it. We are so thrilled and have had so much amazing feedback.”
We have thoroughly enjoyed working on this project, and wish the happy couple every joy and happiness for the big day and beyond!
March 31, 2014
You may recall my blog post way back in January mentioning the fact that Mzuri is hitting the big 10 year anniversary this year and we are now busy drawing up a wish list of objectives for the next decade. Surprisingly, quite a bit of this process has also involved pondering how we’ve got to this point, because it wouldn’t have been possible without our loyal clients returning to us time and time again. Even away from work (as any business owner knows you really never switch off!), I keep finding examples of how the story behind a company or product can successfully create an emotional bond to their market – resulting in longevity and success for their business. Sophie La Girafe, a rather unassuming little rubber baby teether, was just such an example and has prompted me to share a thought with you…
After handing Sophie over to my son, I read the small booklet that had been attached to her neck. Within it was a short story of how she was ‘born’ on 25th May 1961 and how one day a certain Monsieur Rampeau came up with the idea of using natural rubber for a teething toy. What struck me was this toy – produced by Vulli, a company based in the Haute-Savoie region of France – has remained unchanged since 1961. Yet, even after 53 years, is still considered the world’s favourite teether (according to The Times anyway!). The manufacturers and press coverage around her 50th anniversary are clear on what has contributed to her phenomenal success – the product quality and the power of recommendations by satisfied clients.
Reflecting on Mzuri’s 10 year milestone, I am aware that a good number of our clients have remained with us since the beginning (thank you!) and have helped to shape the service we offer. Through recommending Mzuri to others, they also act as our champions purely because of their positive experience with us and the fact that we deliver on our commitment to creating the best result for them. I don’t mind admitting that during the recent, more austere times, some of our clients dropped away to find cheaper alternatives, happily most have returned to us now. I like to think that this has a lot to do with the fact that we have always placed a strong emphasis on building long-term relationships with all of our clients (old and new), so we can really help them and their business. For me, Sophie La Girafe is a very tangible reminder that whether a business is product or service based, quality does indeed stand the test of time – and how you tell your story to the market can emotionally engage your market and therefore lead to tangible benefits to the business by engaging and maintaining interest and connection with the outside world.
Let me leave you with a number of questions to ponder on. Are you (and all your staff) clear on your business story? How are you currently sharing your business story? If you’re not, and knowing that word-of-mouth is a powerful tool in any business, how could your story increase brand awareness and customer loyalty for your business?
March 6, 2014
The National Open Art Competition is now calling for entries of new, original artwork from both amateurs and professionals for this year’s competition. Celebrating the 18th year of the competition, this year’s judges include Norman Ackroyd RA, Vanessa Branson, Caroline Irby, Chris Orr RA and David Middleton. Read more about the competition and the judges here.
With a total prize fund of £60,000, and entries welcomed across the mediums of painting, drawing, original prints, wall hung installations and computer generated art, it is truly an open art competition. The competition exhibition will be held at the prestigious Somerset House this year from 18 September – 25 October, as well at other venues through the year.
The closing date for entries is 6 July 2014. Spread the word.
View all the competition information here.
February 5, 2014
Pancreatic Cancer Action have recently launched a range of ‘Understanding Pancreatic Cancer’ guides, the first three of an extensive series.
Designed by the team at Mzuri Design, we are very pleased to be working closely with Ali Stunt and the team at Pancreatic Cancer Action, alongside Consultant Surgeons and a Medical Writing Manager, on this important project.
Only 10% of the 8,000 or so patients who are diagnosed each year in the UK are eligible for surgery, and this is the only cure. This is because 90% of these patients are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer at a stage which is already too advanced. The goal of Pancreatic Cancer Action is to get more people diagnosed at a stage where surgery is still a possibility.
These booklets are intended to educate, inform and advise. They are comprehensive guides to explain every step of the cancer and the surgical procedures not only to the patients but also family and friends, in an easy to read and easy to understand manner, providing help, support and information at a time when patients and those around them need it most.
We hope these guides are a great success and look forward to continuing to work with the PCA team on the next instalment of guides, which will be released later in 2014.
If you would like to find out more about the wonderful work carried out by Pancreatic Cancer Action visit pancreaticcanceraction.org
January 15, 2014
We hope this blog finds you all well rested after a lovely Christmas.
If you are anything like us, you arrive back from work in the New Year fired up and ready to take on the world. Or, at least, those jobs that you really want to get licked this year. There is a unique optimism and energy at the beginning of a new year that needs to be harnessed to the max.
Like lots of businesses, as well as looking forward, it is also the perfect time for some reflection and the team at Mzuri plan to take a good hard look at our own marketing (what’s that I hear you say about practicing what you preach!) and have started to plan the changes we want to bring about this year. It is a red letter year for us this year: 2014 – the year that sees Mzuri Design turn 10! Exciting times.
So, we have started putting pen to paper writing our 2014 wish list – a new website, renewed email marketing, exhibiting at events, upping our social and mobile presence, an office refresh, more team get togethers (including a 10th birthday celebration of course!), exploring new opportunities and markets, creating inspired direct mail for Mzuri… the list goes on and on (and then will be sensibly tempered to what is achievable!). We will also be reflecting on our values and mission - the reasons we established a company 10 years ago and have been giving it our all ever since. It’s all about making sure we keep achieving the very best for our clients each and every time.
Enjoy writing your new year lists everyone – I hope you are feeling inspired, motivated and energised and that you have a great 2014 in business.
December 19, 2013
This year we would like to show our support for our friends at the charity Dreams Come True, in their work to fulfil long held dreams for children with terminal and life limiting conditions.
So, instead of sending printed Christmas cards, we will be making a donation to Dreams Come True to help them give these brave children and their families some golden memories and happy times together, despite their illnesses.
See below for more information about Dreams Come True and the fabulous work they do. www.dreamscometrue.uk.com
Wishing you all a merry Christmas and very best wishes for 2014.
Please note our office will be closed for Christmas from 5pm Monday 23 December until 9am Thursday 2 January inclusive.
For any urgent queries during this period please email email@example.com
November 5, 2013
It’s not often that we are asked to access the child in us in the course of a day’s work but the new website for Kids Clubs Directory demanded just that! The design of this site, with its fun ‘clublets’ and attractive brightly coloured layout, was the result of a careful balancing act between appealing to adult/parent site visitors and advertising members but also creating an eye-catching ‘childlike’ look and feel to express the intent of the site to offer an activity directory for children.
This innovative new directory site is aimed at parents looking for one off and on-going activities for their children and its enormous breadth and diversity of options meant that our challenge would be centred around making the site as intuitive, simple and straight forward to use as possible for both visitors and members alike.
To achieve this clear-sightedness in the site, by definition, meant that a huge amount of data would need to be processed efficiently and in a number of ways. As a result the programming and build of the site was a complex project with layers of architecture and automation to facilitate as much as possible internally, reducing the load on the site administrator and simplifying the front end processes.
Our client, Rachel Harris – Director of Kids Clubs Directory, wrote a lovely letter after the site was launched…
I just wanted to thank you for all your hard work in putting my website together. The website has been a great success with the clubs and activities that it represents.
I was particularly impressed at the way that you grasped an understanding of my business needs and the complexity of the website it required. You came up with some fantastic enhancements which will really make a difference to the way the business develops.
…Your commitment to producing the website was exceptional. I always felt that you were keen to give me your best work and it was pleasure to do business with you. I’m looking forward to Phase 2 and will be in touch in due course…
With Kind Regards
November 4, 2013
While thumbing through a recent paper over the weekend we came across some interesting and staggering statistics on Google and the growth of the web since 1998. We were so surprised we thought we would share them with you in our own infographic style…
October 16, 2013
We recently designed, developed and launched a new website for our client ESS LLP. Although the overall site plan is a simple one the challenge lay in accommodating all the necessary variables. As the company has more than one focus or ‘arm’ the website needed to accommodate the potential requirements of several very different groups of visitors and express a range of stand alone key messages while staying firmly on brand and retaining the simplicity required by the client.
We approached this project by planning the site in two halves, both relatively similar but accessed independently from icons on the home page. The two halves of the site, ESS LLP – Energy Saving and Contracting and ESS LLP – installing and servicing Nuaire Ventilation are not interlinked and so act as separate and independent resources. In addition, an icon linking to a pre-existing site (Oleonix Solutions) was also added to drive traffic to that area of the client business.
This solution to the challenge of bringing multiple areas of the diverse client business together in one website, whilst maintaining their individuality has worked very well and the client is delighted by the result.
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Predictions from those in the know suggest that the rise in real time, social related marketing heralds a distinct decline in the traditional scheduled ‘marketing campaign’. This new style of fluid relationship marketing will change the face of the traditional spend on marketing and alter the landscape of accepted channels of communication. Customers interact with websites, on social platforms and with offline content at their own pace, when it’s relevant to them, the challenge for marketers is to be there when the consumer is ready, not when the business is.
So what else is new?
The increasing fluidity of the marketing mix is affecting Search Engine Optimisation too. Looking ahead, SEO will become less and less about the technical aspect of on page promotion and more about really good, valid, original content that can be socially consumed and shared.
Lines between SEO, social media and content are continuing to blur more and more as time passes and focus shifts from on page SEO to the mix of off page SEO options.
While we understand that the focus of online marketing is all about the content, it shouldn’t be forgotten that a picture paints a 1,000 words. Sites like Instagram and Pinterest have it sussed but the expansion of social sharing is a huge opportunity to make sure that your pictoral content is working as hard as everything else you do.
Along with everything else you need to consider there’s now a new term for making sure you are seen as a good company to do business with. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you ‘Reputation Management’.
Reputation Management, as you might imagine from the name is the practice of managing your business reputation both on and offline as a provider of goods and/or services. We’ve all seen reviews of businesses online that make you determined never to use that particular provider….ever…but just how do you legislate for that one, ‘impossible to please’ customer who just won’t give you the chance to resolve the issue? Well the answer is you can’t, but you can turn it into an opportunity to demonstrate just how good your customer service actually is via a range of media and with a selection of effective tools.