print advertising examples for Pulse Fitness Global

Brand Consistency In A Globally Accessible World

Is the lack of brand consistency diluting your business image or even worse damaging your brand’s reputation?

Are you a marketing manager or business owner who’s thinking about launching your business into a new market, or maybe you’ve actually already been operating in a market for some time.

If you are you will know how important brand consistency is in terms of building brand awareness, especially when you’re competing, in a highly competitive market, or you’re entering a market where you haven’t established any kind of, presence or authority.

More opportunities for people and brands to reach markets
With the internet growing at such a rapid pace, and the ability to access the internet becoming more and easier through technology and communications, it’s created more opportunities for people and brands to reach markets you previously would have not been able to reach before. And do business with countries you wouldn’t have thought about doing business with before.

While on the one hand, it’s great for, obviously, business growth. On the other hand, it has brought with it another set of branding challenges.

So what are some of the things that you can do to ensure your brand image and the way it is represented is maintained and consistent?

One of the best ways for me to explain this is to give you an example. We recently did some work for an established UK sports solutions provider, and while they had already established a considerable pool of distributors and dealers in the global market, which had been growing and growing up steadily. What they hadn’t expected was;

  1. the amount of work that would be involved in servicing and maintaining the demand for brand assets to support dealers in marketing the brand at a local level.
  2. The consistency of how much work would be involved in terms of making sure that distributors presented their brand to the same, high standards as was expected in the UK.

While the client already had brand guidelines for their UK market activity, they didn’t have one for the global markets. So one of the first things that we did was to create a brand guideline document.

Debbie at FIRE Creative hit the ground running fully immersing herself in the brand, our product ranges and the wider company.

Linda Forster, Global Marketing Manager

Create or review your brand guidelines

So one of the first things that we did was to create a brand guideline document. While they already had a brand guideline for the UK market, they didn’t have one for the global market.

So the first thing that we did was to review the assets that were there already and then upgrade them and bring together a global-specific brand guideline document for the distributors. The second thing that we looked at was what we call a dealer resource file, which was essentially a document that contained all the different existing brands, material, assets, marketing material, and examples of those, really to set a benchmark of what dealers in local countries and local territories could do.

The third part and one of the key elements of the brief was around the way Pulse Fitness wanted to sell and position their products in the global market. This needed to be slightly different to how they were doing it in the UK. They wanted was a more product-specific marketing and advertising campaign that dealers could use to sell the fitness equipment either individually or as a group package. To build out the brand and also maintain consistency.

So why is this important?
Probably the best thing to do is pick out any one of the big global brands. You’ll see one thing that sets a lot of the big well-known brands apart is the consistency of how they use their branding. No matter whether it’s a staff member, a lorry, a shop storefront, or whatever it is, big brands set very clear standards around how their brand is presented at every different touch points.

As you can see brand consistency can actually be a crucial part of helping your brand stand out in the market.

So I really hope you find this useful, and obviously if you know anyone else that might find it helpful then please feel free to share it.

If you are a marketing manager, and you are concerned about the consistency of your current branding and marketing material, here are 3 ways we can help:

1) Schedule a call or book a brand discovery session here.

2) If you would like to learn more about our work with Pulse Fitness, you can access the full study here.

3) Read or watch How To Maximise Your Brand & Marketing for further insights.


selling without selling laptop graphic

Selling without selling

Selling Without Selling – How To Use Good Will and 5* Customer Service To Solidify Brand Loyalty

A couple of weeks ago my MacBook Pro suddenly stop working – right in the middle of an important client project! Worst nightmare, I know!  

Having used Apple Macs for about 20 years I figured a simple ‘restart’ would sort out the issue but unfortunately, that didn’t work. Even the client IT guy who knew some ninja restart shortcuts couldn’t get it to work.

Thankfully he had one spare and I was set up with a temporary Mac in no time.

But what about my trusty MBPro – it’s 4 years old and I don’t have any Apple Care… My thoughts were running wild! I mean, I run my whole business from my Mac, it’s the be all and end all of how I work, an extension of my mind, my brain!

( yes I know, I will explore my computer attachment issues in another post 😉 )

Lesson 1* | Make it super easy for your customers to contact you

As soon as it was lunchtime I jumped straight onto the Apple website, entered my contact number and the serial number of the product, and baam! within seconds (AND I MEAN SECS) they called me back.

Lesson 2* | Remember your customer’s name

Caller:  Hey Debbie, it’s Arran from Apple how can we help you today?

Lesson 3* | Take a – we’re in this together approach

Me: “My Mac isn’t responding and gets stuck when starting up”, Caller: Ok let’s see how WE can help you get this sorted.”  (IE We are all in this together.)

We spent the whole lunch hour on the phone, going through every Apple ninja restart and startup trick in the book. And although I had to cut the call short to get back to work they left me with full instructions on how to continue the checks and if that was unsuccessful to call them straight back.

So just to recap – so far Apple had spent about a good 2.5 hours trying to help, and at no point in any of the calls had they made feel like they were in a rush to get to the next call. Something a lot of product service providers often fail miserably on.

After going over the checks the Mac still wasn’t responding, so the next step was to take the Mac into my local Apple store to have a technician look at it.

Lesson 4* |  First impressions last

The only way I describe an Apple store is like an elite football team, everyone knows exactly which position they play, and who to pass the customer to next.

If you’re just browsing your free to meander. If, however, you have an appointment you get fast-tracked to the front of the queue, just like in a 5-star restaurant.

I just love how simple and organised they make it.

I took my place at the Genius Bar (totally lives up to its name) where the technician was completely up-date with what was going on with my Mac. “I’m going to run through a few more system checks one more time and if that doesn’t we will have to do a complete re-install.”

And that’s actually what was needed, but again I wasn’t too stressed because Apple had reminded me to bring a back-up in their email appointment reminder just in case.

In total, the appointment took about 1.45 hours and at no point did the technician try to up-sell me anything. “As we have been able to fix your Mac in store today Debbie there is £0.00, nada cost for this.”

I mean how many appliances do you own or bought that provide this kind of service? I personally can’t think of any.

Lesson 5* |  The real money is in the value you provide

The funny thing is, while I was sitting there waiting for the re-install to finish all I could think of was…  I wonder how much I can get for my Mac if I trade it in for a new one today. Ka-ching! I’d love a new iPad Pro – Ka-ching!, Oooo that iWatch over there looks really nice…. Ka-ching! I know what my husband is buying me for my next Birthday – Ka-ching!

By showing me a huge amount of value through their customer service and support, Apple solidified me as a loyal and ready to buy the customer. Which reminds of this famous quote by the late Steve Jobs:

Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.  

Of course, one of the best places to start when reviewing your customer service strategy, is your companies brand values. 

Here are 3 additional resources that I highly recommend:
1 | Start With Why: Simon Sinek’s infamous TEDx talk
2 | Seth Godin: Tribes
3 | Apple Manchester – where the story was inspired!

Is it time to review your existing brand positioning and values?

If so, contact Debbie direct to discuss your current objectives.



Sports branding designs for Yoga G

2 Steps To Maximise Your Brand & Marketing ROI

Telling the world who you are and what you believe in is what good branding and storytelling is all about. It’s about taking a few well-chosen words and combining them with images, either still or moving, to really craft brands’ stories that are both memorable and meaningful.

So why is brand storytelling so important? And is it really possible to increase your brand awareness and even your marketing ROI by harnessing it?

I think so, and if you look around at the moment on advertising and in social media you will see how a lot of brands are exploring ways to really get more connection with their audiences.

So let’s looks at how you can use brand storytelling to maximize your brand and marketing ROI.

Step 1 | Your Words

From your narrative to your copy, everything from your brand values, your essence, your mission statement, your vision statement, your history all make up the core elements of your brand’s strategy.

From there, you have your content which includes everything from your marketing communications, your website copy, your social media copy. All of that is very much about words and the narrative and the tone.

When you get clear on who you are and what you stand for, you can begin to communicate with your customers more effectively and look at step two, which is your visuals.

Step 2 | Your Visuals

This is where you get to bring all of the words to life and tell your brands story and narrative in a more visually appealing way.

So what can you do from a visual telling story perspective?

Everything from your brand identity, your visual identity and the different ways that you might want to express that identity, whether it’s purely through illustration, purely through photography, purely through graphic design, or sometimes it can be a combination of all of those things.

And once you have achieved these two steps you can then combine them to fully market your business, and then start to roll out your brand assets across your marketing, social media, staff uniforms and signage and even store interiors. Use can also use mediums like video and animation to bring your brand’s story to life.

Sports branding designs for Yoga G
Brand Identity for Yoga G

So, when it comes to your business, is it really possible to increase brand awareness and even profits by harnessing the power of your brand story? We think so.

At the same time we understand that as a busy business owner or marketing manager with hundreds of competing priorities, it’s sometimes difficult to even find the time to think about your brand story and how to fully use it across your marketing mix.

Thankfully solving this problem for business owners is what my team and I do all day, every day. So here are 3 ways we can help:

1 | Book a brand discovery session
During this 60min session, we’ll take a look at what’s working and what could be better using the 3 C’s Clarity, Consistency and Credibility. Click this link to book your session.

2 | Download a complimentary copy of The Art of Telling Your Brand Story workbook and
learn the 6 essential deep dive questions
we ask when uncovering a companies brand or messaging strategy.

3 | Got a marketing brief you’re ready to discuss?
Contact Debbie direct to arrange a meeting debbiee (at) firecreativemedia (dot) com


Make your brand stand out

How to make your brand stand out

Is your brand identity starting to blending in or look outdated? Is the lack of consistency with your messaging and marketing having a negative impact on your sales & promotional efforts? If so, watch our latest vlog, where Creative Director, Debbie Evran shares 3 strategies on how to make your brand stand out 'for all the right reason' in the marketplace.

Today I want to kick things off by answering the question, "How do you make your brand stand out?” It's a question we get asked a lot by both businesses small and large, So I'm going to share three simple strategies to help you assess whether your brand is blending in with everyone or whether it's standing out.

1 | How up-to-date is your brand identity?
Maybe you've had your brand identity for a long time. How unique is it? How different is it? The economic landscape is constantly moving and changing so quickly and rapidly online. People and brands are having to reinvent themselves a lot faster, maybe within two years you have to re-look at your brand identity and say, "Is it relevant* to the current market and is it relevant to where you're going?" 

*(what I mean by relevant is - how representative is your branding to what your business now offers? As a business evolves or grows the branding can often get left behind.)

2 | Are you being consistent with your branding.
From your marketing, your brand identity, your website, your marketing material, is it consistent? And again, is the way that you're communicating through those mediums consistent? And is it compelling enough? That is also something that's really important. You know, it's that whole idea that what you're saying is the same as everybody else? Or, or is it different? Is it unique? I mean the key thing here is really looking for what makes your business different from somebody else?

Of course… we did say three things, so...

3 | Is your brand positioned currently in the marketplace?
This is about looking at where you're positioning your brand in the marketplace. Sometimes a business might get to a point where it realises that in order to move to the next level you need to up your game, elevate everything that you're doing because the market that you were currently serving and the way that you were promoting yourself within that market was okay, but now you want to take your business to another level. And that creates another challenge, for example when you want to take your business from one level to the next and the way you marketed and branded yourself at the current level, no longer serves you in the next level, only because the next level is a lot more competitive.

So those are three strategies to consider when exploring how best to make your brand stand out. Within each of those three concepts, there is obviously a lot of other information. So in the next couple of videos, I'll delve deeper into the specifics of what strategies and ideas that you can do to help your brand; for example, be more consistent or be more attractive.

If you enjoyed the strategies that I've shared today, why not leave a comment below and I'd love to hear what you think.

If you're ready here's 3 ways we can help:

To learn more about how FIRE Creative can help take your business branding and marketing to the next level book a complimentary brand discovery consultation here. In it, we'll explore what's work and what's not along with what your core branding objectives are.


What is branding experience

What is branding?

A couple of weeks ago I was at a local networking event. While introducing myself to an attendee, the gentleman came back to me with a question, which is, "What is branding?"  He said, "Is that like logo design?"

It's weird, 'but I get asked this question quite a lot. People say, "Oh, so is that logo design or graphic design?" So I thought I’d answer the question that, first, no, branding is not logo design. Branding and logo design are two very, very different things. Your logo design is just one aspect of your branding.

A lot of people think that branding is just the business image, that it's purely just your logo, your marketing etc. But it's not just how your business presents itself from an image perspective, it's also how it communicates. It's then how every single person in your business communicates. So if you think about your business and think about every single touchpoint that somebody has to connect with your business, each one is an opportunity for your brand to either do well or not do well and for me, it is definitely something that I think, business owners often overlook.

Especially in the area of customer service and customer relations. The number of brands that I go into, maybe on the surface they look really great, they've fantastic branding, fantastic look and feel, but then you walk into their shop and you get treated like, basically, crap. That is branding.

Why spend all that money having this great branding, great look and feel, only to have the people in your shop not flying the flag for your business. And if that person then doesn't carry through and doesn't represent your brand in the right way, then it's just a missed opportunity.

While people may look at that person and just see one person, every person is a network. Every person then knows lots of other people. I'm sure a lot of people already know how important word of mouth is in business, and this is where your branding and word of mouth can really, really make or break your business and your brand. And if like I say, on the surface you go to this length of having these really great brand values and you make a brand promise, but then you don't deliver on that brand promise, that is an impact on your branding.

Oh yes, and I nearly forgot, a book that I highly recommend that you read. The book's called "The E-Myth" by Michael Gerber, which, I think I have a copy here. It has some really great insights and ideas about what branding is, you'll find a couple of really great stories in it about how important branding is as part of the customer journey.

He tells a story, about how he went into a barbershop and the first time he went into the barbershop he had a great experience, he was offered tea and coffee and the whole thing was a really great experience. And then a couple of months later he went back to that same shop, and the second time he went into the shop, the haircut and whatever was fine, but he didn't get asked for coffee, the person wasn't as tentative as last time. But he thought he'd give them the benefit of the doubt, and then the third time that he went back, the experience was worse than the second time.

And he talks about, that most people naturally have this kind of "three strikes and you're out" process. So your first experience with that brand is really, really great. Obviously, the first thing you want to do is you want to go back and tell everyone, right? And if then you go back to that same place a second time and your second experience wasn't as good as the first experience, you kind of feel a little bit let down. And in the back of your mind, you're then thinking, "Mm, maybe I'll give them, maybe give them one more go." And if the third time, the experience isn't as good as the second or the first time, then you've kind of had it? You've lost the things. And I think given the fact there's so much competition out there, that these are really, really important things: making sure that you know all the different parts of your branding, and your branding really communicates and really is consistent across all the different things. That is what the difference between logo design and branding. Branding is everything. It's basically everything.

Thanks for reading, why not leave a comment below and I’d love to know what you think branding is.