Raincastle's Web Design & Marketing Blog

DrivingRain

Posted by Paul Regensburg on Mar 16, 2015 7:55:00 AM

The Five Most Relevant B2B Website Trends in 2015

Watching "Seinfeld" and then "Curb your Enthusiasm," has taught me to look for the universal truths, if not humor, in the mundanity of everyday life. Web design has as much mundanity as any other profession, but if you look carefully, there are patterns or trends (in addition to Responsive Design) worth noting that can help you transform your website from mundane to magnificent.

Content Now Drives Design
This may sound obvious today, but for most of the history of the web, we (web designers) designed the site first and fit the content in later. This is how it went:

  • Define your information architecture (site map) and navigation;
  • Layout the various design templates, which represent the different standard page types, i.e., About, Products and / or Services, Solutions, Contact Us with a form, etc;
  • Write copy;
  • Define visual assets;
  • Drop lengthy copy and images into template.

With this process, design could sometimes be a formulaic exercise.

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Tags: web design / B2B / trends
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Posted by Paul Regensburg on Mar 3, 2015 9:25:00 AM

How to Manage Brand Design During A Merger or Acquisition

Mergers and acquisitions create a lot of questions on how to handle different brands and brand standards. In order to create continuity throughout your marketing strategy and corporate communications, it’s important to rebrand. Although the process will yield a plethora of considerations, the decisions you make will bring clarity and purpose to your combined organization.

To avoid getting waylaid by the personal dynamics involved when two organizations join forces, it's best to start thinking about the brand design implications, from a high level, sooner than later. Here is a checklist of considerations to help you prioritize.

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Tags: branding / design
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Posted by Paul Regensburg on Feb 16, 2015 8:56:00 AM

Do I Need a Brand or a Visual Identity?

Sometimes when people come to us for "branding," I quickly ascertain that what they really mean is an updated "visual identity."

"So, you're looking for help integrating your vision, competitive positioning, audience messaging, market perception and corporate culture," I might ask. Just as often they respond, "I just need an update to our logo, collateral templates, PowerPoint, web design, etc." For many, the visual manifestations of a brand are "The Brand."

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Tags: web design / branding / design / design thinking / rebranding / brand / differentiation / design and business / Web Design Strategy / branding for websites
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Posted by Paul Regensburg on Feb 9, 2015 8:29:00 AM

SEO is a Process, Not a Project

I was looking over the analytics for our blog, Driving Rain, the other day and noticed that several posts had garnered particularly high traffic. For example, in conjunction with the website design work we've done for Clayton Christensen and Innosight, I had written a blogpost about how we applied Professor Christensen's "Jobs-to-be-done" methodology in creating his website, which has been among our most popular, at least by the standard of "number of visits." Another popular post we wrote was in conjunction with our website for Jim Stengel, former CMO of Procter & Gamble, which also drew a large number of visits.

Neither Clayton Christensen nor JimStengel were in the original list of keywords for our website, but upon viewing our analytics we learned how popular they were as keywords, hence the increased traffic they brought our way. Our end result has been an increased number of leads from other companies, including consulting companies, interested in the kinds of services we provided Messrs. Christensen and Stengel.

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Tags: SEO / analytics
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Posted by Paul Regensburg on Jan 28, 2015 9:56:00 AM

Brand personality: who really cares?

I don't mean to be flippant.

Many of our clients are B2B businesses founded or led by engineers, scientists or Harvard or MIT educated business people. Some are all of the above: smart, left brain visionaries, serious and focused. Often on the bottom line.

So why would something so touchy feely, so ethereal and hard to quantify as brand personality be something they care about?

Everyone wants to be Apple.

Everyone wants to, "Think Different."

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Tags: B2B / branding / copywriting / content creation / design / brand / design and business
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