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Business Competition Looking For Top Essex Entrepreneurs

The ONE competition 2014 launches today searching for one lucky start up business in Essex to be in with the chance of winning a prize package of business support worth over £30,000.


The ONE competition 2014

The competition is now in its fifth year and will give any new business that has been trading for under five years in Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire the chance to win a prize package worth over £30,000 of business support, advice, marketing and coaching over a 12 month period.

Previous winners include last year’s champions, Raw Nibbles, based in Glemsford, Bishop’s Stortford based A-OK Care Monitoring, Suffolk based brewers, Calvors and the Rose and Crown pub in Great Horkesley.

The East of England is thriving with new start-ups and *latest figures reveal that there are around 25,000 in the area, which makes it the fourth largest region in the UK – something our budding entrepreneurs should be proud of!

 

The lucky winner of THE ONE will win a prize package consisting of:

  • PR consultancy and implementation from Voice Communications to the value of £5,000
  • Design Consultancy from Phelan Barker to the value of £5,000
  • Website Consultancy from Rubber Cheese to the value of £5,000
  • On-line marketing from Climbing Trees to the value of £5,000
  • Accountancy advice and annual returns from LB Group to the value of £3,000
  • MyRuby call answering service for a year to the value of £1,500
  • Leadership and Management coaching package from Julie Clements (24 hours of one-to-one coaching) to the value of £3,500
  • Legal support from Ellison’s Solicitors to the value of £3,500
  • Business consultancy package from Graham Broughton Consulting to the value of £2,500

 

To be in with a chance of being crowned THE ONE 2014, complete the online entry form available at www.onecompetition.co.uk by Friday 31 October. Entrants will be required to provide a description of their business, product or service idea, details of their achievements to date as well as their ambitions and ideas about what they would use the prize package to achieve. Entry is only available to businesses which have been trading for less than five years and are based in Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire. 

The judging panel is made up of a number of local professionals who are specialists in their field, including Kelly Molson, Managing Director of Rubber Cheese. They will select a shortlist of finalists who will be invited to give a 45 minute presentation of their business idea at Layer Marney Tower, England’s tallest Tudor Gatehouse, the winner will be announced by the end of November 2014.

Nichola Cain, Managing Director of Voice Communications comments: “Following the success of last year’s competition, we are excited to be starting our search once again for THE ONE. The competition offers a fantastic opportunity for us to help an entrepreneur raise their profile through the power of PR, design and marketing and other crucial areas of business support.”

*Source: House of Commons Library. Figures from 2012.

Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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Local foodies create Grub Club Cambridge, a network for food & drink professionals.

Vhari Russell of The Food Marketing Expert, and Kelly Molson of local design agency Rubber Cheese have joined forces to create Grub Club Cambridge, a network for people in, or supplying, the food and drink industry. A place to get foodies together, chat, collaborate and make amazing things happen.


grub club cambridge gog magog dinner

Vhari Russell says, “There is a real lack of networking opportunities for food and drink professionals in the local area. We founded Grub Club Cambridge to fill this gap and allow passionate foodies to meet, collaborate and eat good food.”

Vhari has spent over 10 years in the food and retail industry. In that time she’s created, developed and sold food products for various producers and retailers. She is also an expert in pitching products to retailers.

Kelly Molson is the owner of local design agency Rubber Cheese, who has specialised in website design, branding & packaging for the food, drink and hospitality sectors for over 10 years, working with brands such as Chivas Brothers, The Restaurant Group and Market Fresh.

Together with their industry experience and knowledge, their aim is to hold quarterly networking dinners (with the occasional inspiring speaker) in fantastic surroundings, with great food and drink giving guests the time to chat and build relationships.

Their first event is a relaxed networking dinner being held at the award winning Gog Magog Hills Farm Shop in Cambridge. For just £36.00+vat, guests will be greeted with a welcome glass of Pimm’s followed by a delicious 2 course dinner in The Shack, the fabulous outdoor space.

Kelly Molson says, “We’ve created this unique network for fabulous foodies to chat and exchange knowledge and ideas. Our aim is for it to be relaxed, inspiring and fun. I can’t wait to meet more passionate foodies like myself and help turn their thoughts and ideas into a reality.”

To book your space for the Gog Magog Dinner, and for more information about Grub Club Cambridge visit www.grubclubcambridge.co.uk

 


 

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Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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Dingy + Ice + Captain Wag… what do you get??


Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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Russell’s first 3 months at Rubber Cheese

So... 3 months has passed here at Cheese Towers and so it seems only fitting for me to put down in words my experience so far!


Russell Mitchell, Senior Web Designer at Rubber Cheese

Leaving to go to a new job can be a difficult decision for anyone to undertake. At first you have the huge relief from handing in your notice (which you have worried about for so long) but as your start date draws closer, the anticipation and nervous worries of whether you have made the right choice start to sink in! I had known about Rubber Cheese as a company for a while and as soon as I arrived I knew I was going to be taken care of!

Rubber Cheese really helped me into the role even before I had started. The correspondence from Kelly giving me all the information about my position and the company really helped to reassure me. My first day here was great with a warm greeting from all the team members, pizza for lunch and cake from Trudy! Everyone made me feel really welcome and before long it felt like I had been here forever.

This year has seen many changes for me from moving house and changing jobs, but I think that with change always comes new and exciting experiences, and its always great to meet new people!

Moving into a more senior role is something I have been looking to do for a while now, and I am looking forward to embracing the challenges that it will bring. I am now looking forward to many months and years as part of Team Cheese and I hope the Christmas party will be as eventful as I have been told!

Written By: Russell Mitchell

Working as a Junior Web Designer Russell experienced first hand the wonders of making content for the web. After spending time with developers and designers in the field he realised that design was the right road for him so embarked on a career to become the ultimate web designer. Russell has created designs for national and international companies. He can also lend his hand to front end code when required.

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Designer Spotlight: Jon Burgerman

We love Jon Burgeman’s bold, wonky and slightly odd doodles here at Cheese Towers, so much that we had to shine a spotlight on his crazy talented self.


Since studying art in Birmingham and graduating from Nottingham in 2001 he has become the iconic leading figure of the ‘doodle’ art style across the globe. His work has since been featured in international newspapers, books, magazines and blogs including The Guardian, BBC, Huffington Post and Creative Review. He’s also a Spurs fan which makes Paul and Kelly very happy.

 

 

Jon often uses humour within his work which we love (you know how we enjoy anything witty). His work consists of indoor/outdoor murals, toys, sculptures, clothing, public performances and prints.. so a whole bunch of random goodies. You can buy some of them over at www.burgerplex.com.

 

 

Jon now lives in New York where he has developed his practice, taking on new exciting challenges and opportunities. As well as constantly creating, he attends exhibitions, universities and events around the world delivering lectures and running workshops where he encourages and inspires others that ‘#itsgreattocreate’!

 

 

Oh, and he has his own epic font too…

 

“It's Burgerman's belief that through these playful, creative acts, Art can act as an agent to change the world, by being the catalysis to allow people to change their worlds.”

 

 

If you want to follow the work of Jon Burgerman (why wouldn’t you?) check him out on Twitter, Instagram or find out more on his website.

All images © Jon Burgerman

Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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Airbnb Logo - How Can Designers Prevent This From Happening?

Yesterday Airbnb launched their new brand mark. It’s since gone viral, but for all the wrong reasons. Now we’re not here to have a pop at Airbnb - we'll leave that to everyone else! Yes, their new mark looks (almost) like Automation Anywhere’s logo, but come on.. surely this was an honest mistake!?


Airbnb logo

The words “everything has already been done” is becoming more and more true. For a logo to be effective, it needs to be simple, but is the world running out of unused simple logomarks? Designers are exposed to the same designs, shapes and forms, so our ideas will of-course overlap on occasions. We’re approaching the point where creating something truly unique is close to impossible. so our question to you is, how can designers prevent this from happening in the future?

 

Should we burden ourselves with the impossible task of researching every logo ever made before it’s finalised?

Should we drop marks altogether to avoid this issue, and simply use the brand name?

Should we overcomplicate our logos in an attempt to make them as unique as possible?

 

None of the above provide a suitable solution, but until someone creates the logo equivalent of WhatTheFont, (Search facilities such as Google Images and TinEye do exist, but all are so hit and miss) - what is the solution? How can we continue to create unique logos in a world where everything has already been done?

 

We’d love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to leave them in a comment, or tweet us @rubbercheese.

Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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Meet Russell, our brand new member of Team Cheese!


Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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5 vital elements your landing page should have

It’s vital that a marketing campaign has a dedicated, promotion-specific landing page. If you’re not sure what a landing page is exactly, or you have no clue what it should include, to save you from having a meltdown we’ve put together our definition of a landing page, and the 5 vital elements that build a successful one.


What a landing page should have

Firstly, what is a landing page?

You’ve probably seen those small adverts at the side of web pages, and if you’ve clicked on one, you may have been taken to a page that’s dedicated to a single campaign.  You might then have been asked to provide a few details in exchange for a white paper, ebook or newsletter subscription for example. That’s a landing page.

There are two types to get your head around...

Click through landing page: The main goal is to persuade the user to click through to another page, such as a checkout or registration page for example.

Click here to see a great example of a 'click through' landing page.

Lead generation landing page: Here the main purpose is to capture data from a user, such as their name and email address. In return the user will typically receive an ebook or whitepaper, a spot at a webinar, a discount voucher, gift or a free trial for example.

Click here to see an awesome example of a lead generation landing page.

For the purpose of this blog, we’ll be focusing on lead generation pages.


Why so vital then?

Landing pages turn your website visitors into leads, which is pretty vital don’t you think? Without a dedicated landing page for your campaign, all the hard work you’ve put in to getting people onto your website could be completely wasted.

If you’re now thinking, “so what’s the difference between a landing page and my homepage then?” In a nutshell, the purpose of your homepage is to promote your business, whereas a landing page promotes a single message, campaign and has a single aim: capture leads, or promote a product.

A great landing page will also help;

Build Expertise - you’re seen as an expert in a certain subject
Build Trust - which down the line could result in further commissions or sales

To get the best response rates from your campaign, the copy and layout of your landing page needs to be structured correctly, as like everything in this digital landscape, you only have a few seconds to capture someone’s attention - make it count.


What are these 5 vital elements you speak of?

 

1. A killer headline that says ‘THIS IS AMAZING!’
People give a site just 3 seconds to grab their attention, so creating a killer headline is key. Just like any other headline, it should be clear, succinct and relevant and should tell someone instantly WHAT it is they’ll get. For example, “How to build a killer landing page” is far more attractive than the snore fest, “A look at landing pages and click through measures”.


2. A short intro that says ‘YOU NEED THIS BECAUSE...’
The reader then gives the site a further 30 seconds to decide if this is worth pursuing, so keep your descriptive text short. If the text isn’t clear and concise enough to draw in your visitors, then they’ll leave the page quick sharp, so tell them in short nuggets and snappy bullet points that they’re in the right place, what they’ll get and how it’ll benefit them. Done.


3. An image or preview that says ‘SEE FOR YOURSELF HOW AMAZING THIS IS!’
The user not only needs to know what they’re getting, but they need to see it too. They’re choosing to give up information, time or money for your marketing campaign, so it’s important that they know what they’ll be giving it up for. Just a couple of pages from your fabulous white paper will show them what they’ll be missing out on, and no-one likes missing out on stuff.


4. A clear, simple call to action that says ‘GET THIS NOW
If the user knows they can get what you’re offering in a matter of seconds, they’ll do it. If it’s a form, it needs to be simple. The less fields the better. If it’s a button, make sure it’s visible across all devices without the need to scroll. Your call to action should be the only link on your page - so remove all navigation links or advertisements as all they’ll do is distract the user from completing the required action.


5. Send your new friend a big ‘THANK YOU’.
When people sign up to receive whatever amazingness it is you’re offering, make sure to give them a big personal thank you to share your gratitude, and to sow that first seed which could grow into wonderful relationship. Here’s a great, if slightly odd example of a welcome message which we love by Paul Jarvis...


Overall, less is more. Make it obvious. Don’t overcomplicate the page, it should have one clear product and message.. and one simple call to action. That’s it. Anything more and people will get too distracted to leave what you really want. Now, go and up your landing page game!

We really hope you found this helpful. If you did, click here to give it a cheeky tweet.

Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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Just Launched: Website for The Beefeater London, The Home of Gin visitor centre.

We are very proud to have worked on the website for Beefeater London: The Home of Gin, London’s first dedicated gin distillery visitor centre. The new custom built visitor centre has opened its doors to the public for the first time, allowing guests to become immersed in the history of gin in London, to get up close and personal with the fragrant botanicals used in the creation of gin and to view the live production process in the distillery’s cathedral-like still house.


Website for The Beefeater London: The Home of Gin visitor centre.

Established in London in 1862, Beefeater has recently opened it’s current distillery doors to the public for the first time. It will offer visitors to the capital a unique journey through history and discovery to see first hand how the World’s Most Awarded Gin is crafted, gaining a sensory of the ingredients and botanicals, finished off with a complimentary Beefeater Gin and Tonic. It’s one of London’s best kept secrets, and for it’s grand opening Rubber Cheese were hired to create a fresh website where visitors can gain a taste for the tour experience and book their tickets online.

Kelly Molson, Managing Director of Rubber Cheese says; “This was an exciting project to be a part of as it’s an important event in the history of Beefeater London Dry Gin. It was vital for us to make it as easy as possible for the end user to view on multiple devices, navigate and most importantly, book tickets for the new and unique tour experience.”

The website is responsive enabling viewing consistently across a multitude of devices. The site includes a live calendar of tour availability and includes booking facilities which takes payments directly and safely through the site.

Kelly Molson, Managing Director of Rubber Cheese says; “The number of bookings made prior to and after the official launch on the 22nd May has been fantastic, we are extremely happy with the result.”

 

For more information on The Beefeater Distillery - The Home of Gin visitor centre.
http://beefeaterdistillery.com/

 


If you're an editor wanting to publish this news story, please click here to download the related documents and images.

Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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5 winning real-time marketing tips, just in time for the World Cup!


Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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5 winning real-time marketing tips, just in time for the World Cup!

There were 2.3 billion people engaging with the World Cup in real-time back in 2010. This year it’ll be more like 3 billion. Competition between brands this time around will be fierce, but follow these 5 steps and you’ll be onto a winner!

Warning: many awful football related clichés included within this blog..


5 winning real-time world cup marketing tips

First things first (a quick sidenote): In our opinion, the best platform for real-time marketing is Twitter, but can also translate to Instagram, Facebook and Tumblr.

 


Step 1: Get scouting

Get on the ball and start searching online for current trending events and hashtags which have an obvious tie to your target audience. Things can change dramatically online so once you know the topic or event you want to get involved in, pass through steps 2 and 3 as quickly as possible to stay in the game.


Step 2: Establish your goals

Know your fans and keep them in the front of your mind as you tackle your goals and key messages on head first. Decide the topics you want to cover and any angles you want to avoid. It can be really easy to get caught up with the crowds, but you need to pull it back so it’s relevant to your brand or your results will suffer.


Step 3: Make great content

Only the greatest content will get the best results. Here’s one awesome example from the Superbowl blackout of 2013 - Oreo were quick on the ball and posted this brilliantly witty tweet which was "designed, captioned and approved within minutes," - it received over 15,000 retweets.... boom!

 

 


Step 4: GO LIVE!

Timing is everything in this game. If you know the exact time you’ll need to post your content for it to gain the most exposure, schedule it using a platform such as Hootsuite to avoid missing the ball. At the same time, be ready for any golden opportunities that may crop up un-anticipated - everyone loves a bit of spontaneity.


Step 5: Keep entertaining your fans....

Hang on, the game’s not over yet! Don’t just focus on gaining exposure, you also need to think about how you’re going to benefit from it - a step which often gets forgotten. Be prepared to monitor and engage with your responses and fans in real-time, create contests and giveaways that are relevant to your message to build your fan base keep the conversation buzzing.

 

Enjoy the World Cup folks! If you found this post helpful, click here to give it a cheeky tweet.

Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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Claim your Birthday surprise from Rubber Cheese….


Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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Just Launched: New Website for the NHS Addenbrookes Hospitals Post graduate Medical Centre

We were recently approached by the PGMC (Post Graduate Medical Centre) based at Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge, to design and develop a new ecommerce website.


NHS Addenbrookes Hospital’s Post graduate Medical Centre

The aim of the website was to provide a platform for showcasing training courses for the health professionals and to allow them to plan, apply and pay for the courses online, digitizing a time consuming manual process, which would save the internal team time and money.

PGMC provide education, training and continuing development for health professionals at Cambridge University Hospitals Foundation Trust (CUHFT). Ultimately the site needed to be quick and easy for the end user to navigate, with a simple to use bespoke admin system that all levels of users would be comfortable to work with.

Kelly Molson, Managing Director of Rubber Cheese says, “We spent a large amount of time creating the specification document for the site, due to the scale of the project, how many specialities and courses it was to bring together and the relatively short timeframes in place for the launch. Payment processes needed to be taken into account, an online calendar for courses and events was also required, all set to a responsive design."

Rubber Cheese developed a fully bespoke PHP site, including course booking taking payments direct through the site, with built in invoicing ability and a bespoke admin system for the courses. The website is very simple and clean, highlighting key areas of importance. The site is fully responsive allowing their audience to view the site on their mobile or tablet devices.

Jonathan Northrop, Paediatric Programme Administrator at Postgraduate Medical Centre says; “We first looked into Rubber Cheese on advice of our Project Manager. We needed a website which we were able to develop in phases. The team are friendly, helpful and very quick to resolve issues. I would recommend Rubber Cheese to someone who was sitting on the fence as they offered a better quality service & end product than their competitors.”

Kelly Molson says, “It has been a pleasure to design and develop this site for the Post Graduate Medical Centre at NHS Addenbrookes Hospital. It was important that the website is extremely simple to use, and that it makes the application and payment process easy and hassle free. We feel this has been achieved with the website we have produced, overall helping to enhance the careers of health students and professionals and the service they provide.”

 

To learn more about the NHS Addenbrookes Post Graduate Medical Centre, visit
http://www.cam-pgmc.ac.uk/


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Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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Just Launched: Website for Tormore, a Chivas Brothers owned whisky brand

We recently launched the new website for Tormore, the Chivas Brothers owned scotch whisky and premium gin brand.


Website for Tormore, a Chivas Brothers owned whisky brand

Chivas Brothers, the Scotch whisky and premium gin business of Pernod Ricard, has announced the global roll-out of two new small batch, single malt whiskies from its Speyside distillery, Tormore. Essex and Hertfordshire based Creative Agency, Rubber Cheese were tasked with designing and developing a functional website for the new brand to support the launch of the two new whiskies, and to expand the brand’s digital online presence.

The launch of Tormore 14 Year Old and Tormore 16 Year Old coincides with a new identity for the brand, as it aims to appeal to discerning drinkers who continue to drive the growth of the global super premium malt category. The objectives set by Chivas Brothers were to attract and encourage their target audience to discover the unique flavour profiles of the two whiskies and explore the Distillery’s heritage.

Paul Wright, Creative Director of Rubber Cheese says; “This project has been a very enjoyable one for us, it’s been great being involved in the development of the new identity of this prestigious whisky brand.”

 

 

To reach out to their target audience, Rubber Cheese designed the website with a very luxurious and high quality feel, reinforcing the purity of the spirit and the handcrafted feel which has been implemented in the refreshed packaging design. The site has been kept fairly simple and neutral to enhance the images, branding, functionalities and illustrations.

When the user visits the site they initially see the range of two Whiskies divided into two sections to help visually differentiate flavour profiles of the products. The user can then click on their whisky of choice for further information, to help decipher the whisky with the flavour profile most suited to them. When the user scrolls down further they can find out further information into the Master Distiller. This is followed by the history of the distillery and it’s region.

Alison Perrottet, Brand Manager Aberlour & Malts of Chivas Brothers says; "Rubber Cheese have provided Tormore’s new identity with an innovative, functional and exciting website which looks great and is extremely easy to use. The team at Rubber Cheese are all really down to earth so working with them on this project was really enjoyable. Their experience and expertise gave us total confidence which eliminated any stress.”

To learn more about the new Tormore whisky brand, visit
http://www.tormoredistillery.com/


If you're an editor wanting to publish this news story, please click here to download the related documents and images.

Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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Tormore Distillery


Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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Sawbridgeworth Town Council


Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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Just Launched: Sawbridgeworth Town Council Website

We recently launched the new website for Sawbridgeworth Town Council to become a useful and easily accessible resource of information, news and events for the town’s residents.


New Website for Sawbridgeworth Town Council

Kelly Molson, Managing Director of Rubber Cheese says; “As we’re based in Sawbridgeworth and love the town, it was great to be involved in this project for the local Council.”

Sawbridgeworth Town Council’s aim is to make Sawbridgeworth a better place to live, work and visit. To achieve this they required a flexible website that was easy and quick to update with the latest news and events, meetings, town information and contacts, to give them further time for other Council related duties. We built the website using a flexible Content Management System (CMS) to allow Council staff to make updates easily and efficiently.

Kelly Molson says; “The website had to be accessible to everyone in the town on a number of devices. For that reason we created a responsive website that’s mobile friendly.”

Richard Bowran, Town Clerk of Sawbridgeworth Town Council says; “Sawbridgeworth Town Council needed to refresh its rather tired website as part of the need to improve its communications with parishioners and the outside world. The main considerations were a creative but systematic approach preferably from a local company that would both be appealing and effective while breaking away from the mould that many local authority websites are tied into. Rubber Cheese impressed us with their initial ideas and grasped the feeling that we were trying to portray. They quoted a realistic fixed price for the project and laid out a time table of events which both the town council and they would have to adhere to.”

The site has since gained a great response from the Staff at Sawbridgeworth Town Council and its residents. It’s very simple to navigate, and includes features such as an online event submission form, latest news, meeting agendas and downloadable files.

Richard Bowran says; “From initial concept through mood boards and wireframes the process was both exciting yet inexorable and it was the town council who couldn’t keep up with the pace of development!  Rubber Cheese advised on new hosting arrangements and managed the seamless move from old site to new site liaising with the town council’s IT support company. We are very proud of the end result both in terms of the look, feel and functionality of the site on PC, Tablet and Phone, and in the ease with which we can edit and update the content. This has been a highly successful project and we found working with Rubber Cheese to be everything we’d hoped for.”

Kelly Molson says; “We are really pleased with the website which can now continue to keep residents regularly informed of useful information, to help better the Sawbridgeworth community. It’s been a pleasure working with the Town Council”

 

To learn more about Sawbridgeworth Town Council, visit
http://www.sawbridgeworth-tc.gov.uk

 


If you're an editor wanting to publish this news story, please click here to download the related documents and images.

Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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Why Barack Obama’s appearance on ‘Between Two Ferns’ is Marketing Genius

When you first hear that the US President, Barack Obama has appeared on the hilarious spoof chat show ‘Between Two Ferns’ broadcasted on the viral comedy video site ‘Funny or Die’ and hosted by 'The Hangover' star and comedian Zach Galifianakis, you just know this is going to be good.


Barack Obama's appearance on Between Two Ferns

We weren’t wrong. The banter between Obama and Galifianakis was comedy gold, including Galifianakis question to Obama. "It must kind of stink, though, that you can’t run, you know, three times." Obama shot back “No, I actually, I think it’s a good idea. If I ran a third time it would be sort of like doing a third ‘Hangover’ movie. Didn’t really work out very well, did it?”... genius!

Of course, The US President wasn’t there to create a viral video just for laughs. A few minutes into the witty interview Obama stated "I think it's fair to say that I wouldn't be with you here today if I didn't have something to plug."... Ah, we get it now. So what was he there to plug? The new affordable insurance options on HealthCare.gov. Definitely not the most exciting subject you could chose to plug on a comedy video channel, but still, it was a very, very smart move.

Funny or Die is a viral comedy video hub founded by American comedian Will Ferrell. It’s videos are aimed at 18-34 year olds and reach as many as 30 million views, which is perfect because that just happens to be Obama’s target demographic for HealthCare.gov. Obama stated “Most young Americans, right now they're not covered and the truth is they can get coverage all for what it costs to pay your cell phone bill.” - over 80% of 18-34 year old’s in America own smartphones, and you can bet that the vast majority of them will be watching this video on one, which makes that simple, thought out statement an extremely powerful one.

The video has raked in 12 million views in just 2 days, and thanks to some simple call to actions and gentle plugging, the Funny or Die website is currently the top referrer to Healthcare.gov, meaning that this slightly controversial and risky move has worked out nicely for President Obama, win!

 

 

It hasn’t worked out too badly for Zach Galifianakis, Will Ferrel and the humorous chaps at Funny or Die either. We can only imagine the steep incline of traffic they’ve received to their site in the past couple of days, giving them a much wider audience and loyal viewers, and they already have a place in the history books! (well, Wikipedia...)

 


Our biggest takeaway....

English comedian and Fawlty Towers star John Cleese once said ‘you don't have to be sombre to be serious’. This video campaign has proved this to us, and that a bit of humor can go a long, long way!

 

If you’re one of the few that hasn’t seen this video, it’s definitely worth 6 and a half minutes of your time. Give it a quick watch... it made us chuckle!

 

Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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A professional business needs professional photography. No excuses.

Your website is your shop front, and the images are your product. You can invest in a lovely website that uses the finest fonts and insightful copy.. but if you plaster it with low quality and irrelevant images, you’ll appear amateur and generic. Wave goodbye to that window shopper passing by, because no-one will want to spend their money on something lousy, no matter how beautiful the shop front.


Product photography tips

Professional imagery injects people with the desire to buy what you’re selling, so if you’re in the ‘foodie’ business, hiring a professional food photographer to make your dishes look as delicious as they taste, is a must.

Ask yourself, which Ploughmans looks the most appealing?

 

 

Yep, the second. Low quality images tell your audience that your product or service is unprofessional and a bit amateur.

Here are a few elements that make an image look more professional...

  • Good use of lighting
  • Thoughtful composition and angles
  • Vibrant yet correctly balanced colour
  • Large, high resolution images
  • Sharp and in focus subject
  • Simple/uncluttered
  • Well thought out background & atmosphere

When it comes to product photography, the photo is your sales pitch, so it needs to be of high quality. Here’s a few tips that’ll help you make your product images really effective and stand out, for the right reasons:

  • Show the product at all angles
  • Show the scale of the product
  • Let users zoom into the product detail
  • Show the product being used
  • Optimise the image for fast loading
  • Use video where possible

For example, which camera would you rather spend your money on...

 

 

The first image isn’t necessarily awful, but it’s obvious that the first has been taken by an amateur, here’s why...

  • There’s no contrast between the worktop and the camera so it all becomes a bit of a blur
  • It’s unfocused in areas, which means the consumer can’t pick up the important details
  • It’s all quite busy, and the bag in the background is distracting from the camera

The second image has a simple, contrasting and uncluttered background, the detail can be easily picked up, it has a much more professional vibe that will no-doubt appear more trustworthy to the consumer, which is always important.

If you sell a service, professional photography is just as vital. Take a quick look at a recent website we designed for the NHS Addenbrookes Hospital Post Graduate Medical Centre - they use professional shots of their staff and students giving a sense of professionalism and trust.


For businesses that can’t afford professional photography, stock libraries are the general ‘go to’, but be careful... cheesy stock imagery gets a big thumbs down. You know the ones;

  • Businessmen shaking hands
  • Employees looking extremely happy to be in boardroom meetings
  • A gold fish jumping out of a bowel of water

 

These types of images disguise your true business, they also try to fool your audience, but they know the truth! By investing in some professional shots of your office, your employees and anything that helps to tell your story, you’ll appear 100% authentic and genuine.

If you’re still swaying towards professional stock imagery, then here are a few of our favorite (free) image resources which have a more authentic feel. But don’t use images for the sake of it - images with no relevance to your business are confusing to the audience and are a total waste of valuable pixel space.

Death to Stock | Gratisography | Little Visuals | Unsplash | Picjumbo


So to round this off, before you decide to associate an image with your business, just ask yourself the following three questions;

Is it professional?
Does it look appealing?
Does it convey the correct message?

Answer yes to all three and you’re onto a winner - time to run around a field in a suit with a bunch of balloons (obviously!)

 


If you need some fabulous professional photography, or if you need an awesome website to make your business even more amazing, get in touch with us on 0845 867 6750

Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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Guess who’s on the list for The Drum’s Independent Agencies Census 2014…


Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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The Three Tuns


Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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The Best Instagram Users - Round 14

With all this dull grey sky and no end in sight for all this rain.. we figured everyone could do with a bit of inspiring Instagram goodness! So here’s a random bunch of brilliant instagrammers and fabulous photographers, who’s delightful squares of awesomeness are sure to brighten your day....

(And if you haven’t seen any of our previous rounds, go and check them out here!)


The Best Instagram Users

Ted Craig


Marianne Hope


Laura E. Pritchett (By the Brush)


Syzwnsdli


Nedijee


Do you know of an awesome Instagram user?

Don’t forget if you know an instagrammer who you think should be featured in our next round, you can either follow us on instagram, enter their name in a comment below, or simply hashtag an image with #bestinstagramuser.

Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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We’re working on the rebrand of Juice Master Delivered!

We are very excited to announce that we will be working with Jason Vale, AKA Juice Master. We’ll be working on the re-brand of Juice Master Delivered, and the re-design of their e-commerce website and packaging design.


Jason Vale Juice Master Delivered

Jason Vale has been described as one of the UK's leading authorities on juicing and has sold over 2 million books worldwide and is highly regarded as one of the most influential people in the world of juicing and health. Jason is the number one best-selling author of 10 books, DVD’s and CD’S on juicing, health, fitness and junk food addiction. Jason regularly featuring in national newspapers, magazines, TV and radio. The main website is a resource of information to help people educate and empower themselves to be healthier.

For Jason, juicing isn’t simply about creating a beautiful-tasting drink, it’s about so much more, it’s a way of life. He is the living example of the amazing results that can be achieved by incorporating juicing into our daily lives. Having suffered from asthma, severe psoriasis,eczema, extreme hay fever, obesity and many addictions including a 40-a-day cigarette habit, Jason cured himself through the power of freshly extracted fruit and vegetable juices. His asthma has now vanished; his eczema has disappeared; his psoriasis – which covered almost every inch of his body from top to toe – is 95% clear; his hay fever has improved dramatically and he is no longer overweight. Jason puts all of this down to the power of freshly extracted juices and is now on a mission to ‘Juice the World’.

We have already made headway on some fresh looking label designs, and we can’t wait start creating their awesome new look e-commerce website in the near future. We’re also looking forward to giving his popular juice therapy a go ourselves!

Watch this space for further updates on this exciting new project.

Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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10 content marketing tips for 2014

Our friends at Climbing Trees recently made this awesome video about SEO. Their key to great SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is really quite simple, 'make good stuff'. This made us ask, what makes stuff good? Well, we've answered in 10 simple tips to help you create content marketing gold!


Search Engine Optimisation by Climbing Trees

1. Visual

We’ve said this before, and we’ll say it again because it’s that important... people like anything visual that makes retaining information quick and easy. For example, infographics gain a huge share rate, video’s make up one third of all online activity, and images are worth a 1000 words each! So keep it visual wherever possible. Plus, visual content is proven to be far more shareable, win!

2. Educational

Sorry to break it to you but your readers generally don’t care about products or services, and they definitely don’t like being sold to. What they do care about is themselves, their business, stuff they like and content that will benefit them. Creating educational content within blog posts, ebooks and infographics will not only help out your followers, but it will also promote your knowledge and expertise, helping you gain the trust of your followers who may come back to hire your services, all because you’ve proved that you know exactly what you’re talking about.

3. Entertaining

You only have to scroll through your Twitter or Facebook feed to notice that people like to be entertained, whether it’s with the latest news, a funny video or a picture of a cute cat. When you’re creating content, pretend you're the reader and ask yourself, do I care about this? Should I care about this? Why should I share this? If you have great answers to these three questions, your content should rock it.

4. Original

This is pretty obvious, but it’s important that your content is completely original, completely your own and not duplicated anywhere else on the internet. Google doesn't like duplicate content, especially if it's low quality content, so if it finds that you are associated with duplicated content elsewhere on the net your rankings will suffer.

5. Humour

If you can remember reading a witty article or watching a hysterical TV ad, there’s a good reason for that. When used correctly, humour can cut through the noise helping you stand out and create an emotional connection with the viewer, which is what will make your brand memorable.

6. High Quality

To make Google happy you need to create quality content. To achieve this we recommend that you use professional imagery, hire experts to create you a sharp looking video, and make sure your written content reads professionally and grammatically correct. If you don’t have a copyrighter to take care of this, check out this awesome blog which explains a few simple edits which will make your writing 100% morepowerful. And this infographic will give you all the essential ingredients to write a great blog post.

7. Honest

The more honest and opinionated your website is the better. It gives you more of a personality helping your readers to connect with you and your brand. Anybody can find out ‘how to create a website’ on the web, so to make your article unique, you should share what you think makes a great website.. because that will be worth reading.

8. Consistent

To create an army of consistent followers you need to give them stuff to read/watch/look at on a consistent basis, whether that’s once a week, once a day or once a month - your followers need to know what they can expect from you in order to stay interested. If you promise a blog per day, then you start to fall behind on your word people will start to become a bit disappointed.

9. Sharable

Let’s face it, we don’t just want people to read our articles.. we want people to share it with the world. Thing is, people won’t share your content unless you make it easy for them. Make sure you have visible share buttons nearby to make it easy for your readers to tweet, like and share your content. And here's a handy tip; you can also use ‘click to tweet’ which lets you create lazy tweet buttons to make it quick and easy for someone to tweet your content. Genius!

10. Storytelling

Stories are what makes content great. Stories define, connect and entertain us, and they create that emotional connection that makes readers care. Every brand has a story behind it, and real people that we can connect to, so be sure to share the ambadassors of your brand, your history, and the things you've learned along the way with your audience.

 

That’s it, so get cracking and make good stuff!

 


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Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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21 Digital Predictions for 2014


Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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Pernod Ricard Works With Rubber Cheese


Written By: Paul Wright

Paul has over 13 years experience in Senior Design and Creative Director Roles delivering high-end eCommerce design which focuses on the user experience. Paul has the ability to design for the end-user and understands the customer journey through all touchpoints. He is skilled in translating the site information architecture into an easy-to-use navigation system, whilst making it an exciting and visually appealing user experience

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Why ‘Squarespace Logo’ is just plain wrong.

Yesterday, Squarespace launched a new tool that allows anyone to drag-and-drop their way to a shiny new logo. Kudos to the developers at Squarespace, the interface is very impressively made. Thing is, the concept is just wrong.


I often think “it would be cool to be a pilot”. In my spare time, I’ll play a computer game on a machine which allows me to fly around and pretend to be one. It’s great fun, but if you was to put me in the pilot seat of a real plane, I would just crash and burn.

Most people believe they have a bit of creativity in them, but it doesn’t mean they are designers, and they certainly shouldn’t pretend that they are.

Now, we don’t believe this tool is ‘damaging’ to designers. It definitely won’t replace what we do for a living because the people who would even consider using this free tool are not our target market.

We’re upset because Squarespace have created this free ‘fun’ tool for people who don’t understand the principles of good design. They don’t have the years of experience and training in the subject and their business will suffer before it’s even started. And all the while they’ll be mislead on what ‘branding’ even means.

The design industry work really hard to communicate messages effectively through high quality and unique design, helping existing businesses and exciting new start-ups alike to achieve their goals. Branding is much more than a crummy icon and some text. It’s a message, a visual identity that reflects your brand personality.. i.e. your passions, ambitions, values etc.. which makes you memorable and helps to differentiate you from your competition.

Contrary to Squarespace’s comments, this tool hasn’t been built with designers in mind. This is a tool for non-designers, featuring a limited shelf of options, to make a lousy, random and generic logo, with no authenticity, meaning or personality. Yet, Squarespace expect professional designers to “get involved” in providing Squarespace/’The Noun Project’ with random icons for pathetic fees - on behalf of all the self respecting and passionate designers out there.. “No. Just no.”

So, not only is this new tool spitting in the face of professional designers, but it’s a de-valuing the face of brand identity, and branding as a whole. We just hope that from this, people begin to realise that good design is not based on the tool, it’s the designer behind it.

Written By: Paul Wright

Paul has over 13 years experience in Senior Design and Creative Director Roles delivering high-end eCommerce design which focuses on the user experience. Paul has the ability to design for the end-user and understands the customer journey through all touchpoints. He is skilled in translating the site information architecture into an easy-to-use navigation system, whilst making it an exciting and visually appealing user experience

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How to Create Meaningful Engagement with Your Customers on Facebook


Written By: Paul Wright

Paul has over 13 years experience in Senior Design and Creative Director Roles delivering high-end eCommerce design which focuses on the user experience. Paul has the ability to design for the end-user and understands the customer journey through all touchpoints. He is skilled in translating the site information architecture into an easy-to-use navigation system, whilst making it an exciting and visually appealing user experience

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The Best Instagram Users - Round 13

Well we’re back for our very first Instagram round of 2014, and we thought we’d share some awesome branded instagram accounts. If you need some instagram inspiration for your own brand, then take note because these brands are rocking it...


National Geographic

3,761,325 followers


Nike

3,200,873 followers


Starbucks

1,932,527 followers


Oreo

112,547 followers


Tiffany

1,050,618 followers


Do you know of an awesome Instagram user?

Don’t forget if you know an instagrammer who you think should be featured in our next round, you can enter their name in a comment below, follow us on instagram, or simply hashtag an image with #bestinstagramuser.

Oh, and if you've just found this blog series be sure to check out our previous rounds for more instagram goodness!

Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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Chivas Brothers


Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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15th
Jan 2014

Pernod Ricard Works With Rubbercheese


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Rubber Cheese designs a new website for the Chivas Brothers International Graduate Programme

Rubber Cheese is very excited to be working with Chivas Brothers on their latest website which will target Graduates to apply for their International Graduate Programme.


Chivas Brothers is the Scotch whisky and premium gin business of Pernod Ricard - the world's co-leader in wine and spirits. The objectives set by Chivas Brothers were to attract top level graduates, preferably qualified in business, marketing and/or languages to apply for their International Graduate Programme. It will allow them to become brand ambassadors in cities across the globe providing a solid foundation in the FMCG/Drinks industry that may develop into permanent positions at Chivas and a lifelong career.

Paul Wright, Creative Director of Rubber Cheese says; “We’ve worked on a number of great projects with Chivas, however this was the most unique in terms of target demographic, making it an exciting project to be involved in”

To reach out to their target audience, Rubber Cheese designed the new website to appear fresh and modern with a conversational and informal tone, meanwhile utilising the Chivas Brothers and Pernod Ricard brands. The site is fully responsive allowing graduates to easily view the site on their mobile or tablet devices. The site also includes embedded videos, various downloads and a private login area where graduates will be able to register and apply for the graduate programme by saving their details and then submitting various information and uploading a video submission.

Paul Wright says; “We designed the website to be extremely easy to navigate on all digital platforms. This should therefore encourage the number of applications for the Chivas International Graduate Programme”

 

 

Carol Murphy, Human Resources Manager at Chivas Brothers said; "They made the project easy for us and I’d happily work with the team at Rubber Cheese again. Why, because they committed to a very tight project timeframe and delivered what they said they would, provided fast responses to every query, always friendly and down to earth, inspired the creative design look and feel of the site, and are a talented team to work with."

 

To learn more about the Chivas Brothers Graduate scheme, visit the Chivas Graduates website.

 


If you're an editor wanting to publish this news story, please click here to download the related documents and images.

Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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Responsive Website vs. Mobile App?

The difference between Mobile Apps and Responsive Websites is a bit of a blurry subject, so to help clear it up for all our lovely clients, friends and followers, we thought we’d share all the facts with you so you can make the right decision for your business, because sharing is caring.


Firstly, what is a Responsive Website?

To put it simply, responsive websites are accessed through your internet browser. It’s interface smoothly adapts itself to the device it’s being viewed on, making it look great on mobiles, tablets and desktops.

 

Website benefits...

Universal: Where Apps are accessible on selected devices, responsive websites adapt to become universally accessible across all platforms and devices.

Cheaper: Responsive websites are on the whole a lot cheaper to develop, update and maintain than mobile apps as they require fewer resources.

Searchable: If you want your business to be found online in Google searches for example, you need a Responsive Website. SEO can be optimised to enhance this. Mobile apps on the other hand will not appear in search engine results, just something to think about.

Easy to Update: If you need to make any changes, update content, add blog articles or even design related changes, this is far easier and cheaper to do.

Tight deadline?: If you need to get something up and running, and quick, then you’re best off with a responsive website. App’s can take anything from a week to several months just to get through the app store approval process, that’s after the design and development... sheesh!

 

Here are three fabulous Responsive Websites for you to browse, designed by us of course!

      

 


...and a Mobile App?

‘Mobile apps’ are applications developed for small devices such as smartphones or tablets. Some come preloaded on the device, where others need downloading onto the device either for free or for a small charge.

 

App benefits...

Personal Functions: Apps allow you to use smartphone functions such as the camera, GPS, calendar, etc. They also allow you to use the users personal images, videos, locations and data to create a truly personalised experience.

Quicker: Apps are generally a bit quicker at functioning than Responsive Websites, as they don’t rely as heavily on internet connection and network speeds.

Complex User Interface: They can be made up of much more advanced and complex user interfaces for a truly customised and tailored user experience.

Micro-Purchases: Mobile apps allow you to create an in-app purchasing system, and to make a small fee for each download, which if successful could help your App to become profitable.

Push Notifications: Apps allow you to use push notifications to alert the user of a notification or reminder. Although, it is an optional function that the user can easily turn off, so it’s only really a benefit it the user leaves push notifications on.

 

And here are three awesome examples of Mobile Apps...

      

 


Here's what we think...

The right answer to which option is going to be the best for you and your business depends on what you want to achieve, but in case you’re still a bit stuck, here is what we think you should be prioritising.


#1 Priority - Responsive Website!

Having a responsive website is vital for any existing business. It should be the first thing you create as it’s what allows you to appear in search results consistently across all devices. You can then team your website together with your social networks and email newsletter campaigns to create a really strong online presence, you can’t do this with an App alone. Learn more from a blog we've written about Responsive Website Design.

 

#2 Priority - Mobile App...

In our opinion, an app should be an addition to your business’s website that takes full advantage of features that only an app can offer, such as GPS usage or the camera function for example. Please don’t develop an app for the sake of having one. Chances are it will be added to the list of 579,000+ app store ‘zombies’ already out there, and then you will sob at all the money and time you’ll never, ever get back. Only create an app if a responsive website won’t fulfill your needs, and if it will be a genuine benefit to your business’s goals. To help you create an app that will get noticed amongst the 900,000+ others, give our ‘5 Steps to App Success’ blog a quick read.

 


Talk to us!

We hope you found this post useful. If you did, please share with your friends using the buttons below, leave a comment or tweet us @rubbercheese.

We’ve created both successful mobile app’s and responsive websites for some wonderful clients, (we can’t talk about some of the apps just yet!) so if you need any further guidance as to what your business would benefit from the most, or if you would like your own awesome looking responsive website or mobile app designed and developed, then just hola!

Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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21 Digital Predictions for 2014

Well it’s the start of a fabulous new year, and we can see 2014 being another year full of even more new technologies and digital trends. To start you off in the know, here are our predictions of the top 21 digital trends that we should all expect to see more of in 2014, split into three handy bite-size categories for your convenience; Website Design, Marketing and Technology...


Website Design

 

Simplicity:

Everything surrounding us is becoming more complex by the day. Social networking platforms and new devices are multiplying, so it’s becoming increasingly important to simplify everything we can in order to communicate our messages clearly to our poor, slightly frazzled minds. Simplicity also helps buckets when it comes to website speeds, which is great for all those impatient so and so’s (so, all of us then!)

Flat Design:

Since the iOS7 update which gained some rather mixed reviews, ‘flat’ design has been used a lot the past few months. We predict that the trend will continue throughout the best of 2014, and we will see some vast improvements to the overall quality and style of flat design in the coming year compared to what we have seen so far, with slightly more depth... if that makes sense.

Parallax:

Parallax scrolling has become a really popular feature in web design this year, and we think that in 2014 we’ll start to see a slicker, smoother and more improved parallax scrolling experience. It does however need to be used with caution and in the correct way - scroll down to the ‘crafted for creativity’ section of the 53 website for a good example.

Designing for Retina Displays:

You may have noticed that the latest mobile, tablet and desktop devices appearing on the shelves have ‘retina’ display. This simply means you’re getting double the pixels, doubling the image sharpness, overall quality and helping to reduce eyestrain. So, we need to be designing our websites and digital applications for retina displays using optimised raster images or scalable vector graphics if we want them to future-proof them for longer.

Responsive:

Although responsive web design has been around for a little while now, responsive design will continue to become bigger and more wide spread. Click here to read our dedicated blog to find out more about responsive design and what makes it so vital for businesses.

Single Page Websites:

There was a time when a one page website was a simple holding page. That time has officially passed, now we have the ability to scroll down a page to infinity.. quite literally - you can even scroll the ‘Distance to Mars’. Single page websites are now much more interactive, user friendly and fun - we think we’ll be seeing this lots more in 2014. Click here to see a recent single page website design of ours for The Three Tuns.

Online Storytelling:

Using modern web design techniques like HTML 5 & CSS3, storytelling websites will become much more popular. Click here to check out a great website about which tells us the fascinating story of how much water we use per day, and how much gets wasted, all in a well designed, one page interactive website.

Infographics (with Interactivity):

Our brains crave infographics. Did you know it only takes us 150ms for a symbol to be processed, and a further 100ms to attach a meaning to it? Our suffering brains who receive 5x times as much information today as they did in 1986 really like infographics. They’re engaging, accessible, quicker to digest, and they are extremely sharable. So we think infographics will be sticking around for some time, and becoming a lot more interactive... like this one with added parallax!

 


Marketing

 

Quality Trumps Quantity: 

Since Google’s recent updates, quality content is becoming all the more vital. To get Google on your side, create unique, high quality content. And to get the people on your side, you need to entertain them, tell them stories and educate them with bite sized nuggets of information. Speed, personality and humour will help your brand to shine.

Emotional Storytelling: 

If you haven’t noticed, brands have been jumping on the bandwagon lately by getting emotional with their marketing. Without you knowing it, emotion pulls you in and creates a connection between you and their brand.. and when opinions based on emotions are formed, all rational thinking goes straight out the window, helping to increase sales.

Video:

Video will continue to soar next year. It currently makes up one third of our online activity, and it accounts for 50% of all mobile traffic too - mind blowing! However, as our attention spans are forever decreasing, we think the shorter the videos will gain huge popularity next year. For example Vine, Instagram and animated Gif’s we think will continue to grow. Check out out recent blog 'Video is King' for more info on how video is slowly taking over the world wide web!

Brand Personality & Emotional Connections: 

Having brand personality is becoming more and more vital for businesses who want to stand out in the abyss of twitter avatars and websites. Too often we’re seeing faceless companies trying to sell on Twitter. It does not work. People buy from people, and especially from entertaining brand identities who they’ll relate to. Brands such as Nike, Redbull and American Express are becoming more like ‘broadcasters’ to strengthen their brand identity, before spending money on traditional advertising methods, because it’s all about understanding what your customers care about, and keeping them ‘edutained’ (educated + entertained...)

Real Time Marketing:

Newsjacking is with us to stay. The era of real time marketing has provided companies such as Oreo with huge amounts of engagement online. We also think we’ll start to see more brands linking their TV spots with Tweets, as it’s an un-intrusive way of targeting their market. So advice to marketers out there, keep your finger on the pulse of what’s going on in the world, and find relevant ways to use it to your advantage... and fast!

Big Data: 

Data is everywhere, companies will become smarter with it and use it in more imaginative ways. They will start to market products or services to their consumers before they even know they need it. For example, Google Trends has used search terms to predict the spread of the Flu virus, Police departments are using it to predict crime before it even happens, and Planning Departments are using Big Data to establish how people’s locations and traffic patterns can be used for urban planning. Although it has proved useful to many, proceed with caution before using Big Data. Always respect your audience.

 


Technology

 

3D Printing: 

3D printing sounds pretty high-tech, but it’s actually very simple, and as more printers enter the market causing prices drop it will become more mainstream, but they’re not quite cheap enough just yet, so we think it might be a while yet before they’re seen in your average household.

The Personal Cloud: 

The worldwide cloud computing market has taken over. It’s advantages include increased reliability, data syncronisation, integration and the bonus... it allows you to access your files from anywhere in the world. It’s resulted in the ‘Bring Your Own Device’ movement (BYOD) to work environments worldwide, which is expected to grow further in 2014. So, if you haven’t yet migrated to the cloud, we think it’s definitely time to make the move.

Mobile: 

Quite an obvious one this. 80% of the global population owns a smartphone, and the number of mobile internet users is looking set to increase the number of desktop internet users by 2015, so the mobile movement will continue prominent throughout 2014... it’s no longer just a trend, it’s a way of life. This will make mobile marketing strategies and mobile responsive websites even more vital if you want your business to stick around beyond 2014.

iOS/Andriod Applications + SMS: 

69% of mobile users spend their time using Apps from the 900,000+ available in the app store. We think that in 2014 we’ll start to see lots more Apps which have a cleaner, simpler user friendly experience helping them to become more valuable to mobile users everywhere. Meanwhile, 92% of mobile users spend their time using SMS, and 97.5% of SMS messages are read within 5 seconds. Businesses have slowly started jumping on this bandwagon to get ahead of the game helping to increase their m-commerce sales... it hasn’t quite taken off to the masses just yet, but watch this space!

Smart Cities:

Location based software has started to soar. For a really great example of a genius location based marketing ploy, check out our post on ‘Meatpack Hijack’. Another innovative use of this technology is the ‘Rapid Rescue’ app by the Singapore Red Cross Society, which allows people who face a medical emergency use their iPhone to locate individuals near to them who are trained in first aid. Location based technology also allows you to find local businesses, restaurants, directions and more, all from your smartphone, very handy!

Face Recognition Advertising: 

Tesco has recently revealed their new plans to install face-scanning technology to it’s stores which will determine the age and sex of their shoppers, allowing them to target them with appropriate advertisements. Yes, it’s slightly invasive, and whether a machine will be able to accurately tell the demographics of a person is a bit controversial, but nonetheless it’s a big step in advertising which one day could make going to the shops a bit like a scene from Minority Report!

Wearable tech...?

Wearable tech has yet to take off.. and despite the media telling us we’re all going to start morphing into our smartphones in 2014, we’re not so sure. Not many people would go out in public wearing Google Glasses for their awkward appearance, and the slightly masculine Smartwatches on the market won’t be for everyone. For wearable tech to succeed it needs to have fit, function and fashion... we’re not sure if the mass market are ready for it just yet.

 


Tweet us your predictions!

So... you heard it here first! Any trends that you think we’ve missed? Leave your predictions in a comment below or tweet us @rubbercheese.

 

Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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Thank you for another fabulous year!


Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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The Three Tuns Website has launched!

Our most recent responsive website design for The Three Tuns, a warm & friendly village pub and restaurant has been officially launched!


Tim Lightfoot is the new owner of The Three Tuns, a warm & friendly village pub and restaurant, located in the beautiful village of Ashwell in North Hertfordshire. Tim was in the process of renovating the homely pub when he approached us for a brand new website design to tie in with the fabulous decor.

Due to the increase in mobile browsing, we proposed a responsive website design, which would be mobile friendly. We created a one page scrolling website which is extremely easy to navigate around. To achieve this we added a simple navbar at the top of the site that immediately takes the user to the relevant section of the page.

We worked closely with Tim on the styling of the site, to ensure the website tied in with the distinctly British look and feel of the pub’s new decor. We included details such as the fabrics, furniture, chosen paint samples and the existing features as inspiration for the overall style of the new site, enhanced with hand drawn style illustrations, patterns, lovingly chosen fonts and images.

Here is the final responsive website design from top to bottom, or just click on it to preview the website itself...

 

 

Together with manager Chris Middleton, Tim has created a relaxed informal way to enjoy great British produce in a warm & friendly local village pub -  definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area.

If you’re in need of a new mobile friendly and awesome looking responsive website, give us a ‘hola’ on 0845 867 6750, or if you prefer to type just drop us an email.

Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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The Best Instagram Users - Round 12

We’re feeling very festive here at Cheese Towers, so what could be better than a special festive edition of our Best of Instagram Series!

Now, you may recognise a few of this months Instagram users from previous rounds, that’s because Maddie the dog dressed as a reindeer is too amazing to leave out. We hope this makes you feel a bit festive!


@idafrosk


@kcdeane


@blu_mttr


@thiswildidea


@creaturecomforts


Do you know of an awesome Instagram user?


Don’t forget if you know an instagrammer who you think should be featured in our next round, you can either follow us on instagram, enter their name in a comment below, or simply hashtag an image with #bestinstagramuser.

Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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What is Responsive Design?


Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

Our Blog

Digital Marketing Show 2013 - Top Takeaways

Last Tuesday I hopped on the earliest train to attend the Digital Marketing Show at the Excel in London. Because knowledge is power, I had a notepad and pen with me ready to absorb as much information from the list of insightful seminars as possible.

I attended the very first talk of the day by a good friend and client of ours - Andy Lopata. I have to say, his seminar on networking strategy rocked the show for reasons I’ll share below, followed by Warren Knight of Gloople, Hugh Jackson of MediaCo, Louise Findlay-Wilson  of Energy PR, Kimberly Brind of Oracle and ‘App’ mastermind Chris Scull. All of the seminars, especially in the Content theatre were completely packed out with people sat, standing, and even crouched on the floor rapidly scribbling down notes.

In case you didn’t get the chance to attend I thought I’d quickly fill you in with my Top 10 Takeaways from the day...

 


1. “It’s not what you know or who you know, it’s who knows you.”

This was my most vital takeaway of the day, it was a total wake up call if I'm honest. Andy Lopata explained how we have been so consumed by the number of followers, likes and shares, that we’ve forgotten that there are people behind the numbers. Say you have over 5,000 contacts in your database.. ask yourself, how many of them really know you? How many would help you out if you asked? How many would refer you to a contact of theirs? If the answer isn’t 100% you need to work on your existing contacts, get to know them, meet up for a coffee and find out, what do they like/dislike? How could you help them? How they can help you? Once you know someone, and they know you well enough to want to help you and recommend your services, then you have a valuable contact, and the more of those you have the better.


2. Don’t be a toolbox.

Chris Scull’s advice to anyone building an App was “Be awesome at a few things. Keep it simple.” - Instagram is a great example of an App that does a simple thing really well, and they have since become an extremely successful brand with over 55 million images posted daily. What you don’t want to do is become a toolbox filled with too many poor quality tools that force people to spend time hunting for what they need. People want the essentials handed to them in working order, and this doesn't just apply to App design.. it applies to all areas of business and life. So remember to focus on the quality, not the quantity, and the rewards will come. As Jeff Bazos said, “If you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful.”


3. “Personality is key”

Andy Lopata told us that he doesn’t engage with ‘professional’ personas as it doesn’t give him a feel for the person. Kimberly Brind also said that “employees shouldn’t be made to leave their personalities at the door.” The key is to let your brand personality and the people behind your business shine. Create individual personas, have photos of your staff members on your website and let them engage with people as themselves to represent the business. People buy from people after all.


4. “People don’t buy what you do, they buy WHY you do it.”

Storytelling is the key to insightful content. People don’t just want to know about your products and services. People find the story behind it all far more interesting. When you write, film or design any content, just ask yourself;

  • Would people want to share it with their friends?
  • Would it surprise them?
  • Would they find it interesting
  • Does it have universal appeal?

5. Get Going on Google+

Google+ was mentioned in various seminars as the social platform to watch. As we all know, Google is dominating the internet, and getting at the top of it’s searches is any marketers goal. The thing that not many people know is, Google rewards people that uses it’s accompanying services such as Google+, so having a reguarly updated account will get you some brownie points, and will help you with your mission of getting to the top of the rankings.


6. The lines between brands and publishers are blurring.

Newspapers and publishers are quickly migrating to the world of online. This means that for them, and us, there is a lot more competition and a grater appetite for up to the minute content. Brands have the same objectives as the news industry, there is a constant need to do more with less. What we can all take from the news industry is people’s need to be kept up to date with the latest stories. People love to be ‘in the know’, so writing blogs about the latest industry news and updates is a great way of gaining readers.


7. “Sell through your network, not to your network”

People don’t like being sold to, full stop. That is not what social networks are for. Social networks are for getting, well, ‘social’, for making friends and getting to know your customers. The more you do this, the more likely they will remember your products and services, purchase from you and recommend you to their friends as a result.


8. ‘Bite size’ nuggets are easier to digest.

No, I’m not talking about chicken. When it comes to copy, less is definitely more. The famous quote, “I’m sorry for writing such a long letter, but I didn’t have time to write a short one” by Blaise Pascal tells us that writing in short is a difficult task, but the chances of it being read are much higher. Kimberly Brind admitted to us that she, like many others has the attention span of a nat, and doesn’t have time in the day to be reading 20 page ebooks. Nuggets and extracts of key information and quotes on the other hand are much more convenient, less time consuming and more likely to be absorbed. So when you’re next writing a blog, copy, ebook or white paper, keep it as short as possible, highlighting key quotes and separating ‘bite size’ paragraphs with headings to make it much more digestible.


9. Change is happening, keep up!

To live in the busy world of Marketing you need to be adaptable, and able to react quickly to change. It took 75 years for the trustee telephone to hit 50 million users. For Twitter, it took just 3.

Just see how things have changed in the past 8 years in this image below of St Peters Square in Vatican City; The difference is pretty astonishing.

This shows just how fast new innovations and technologies can take off, so it’s important to keep an eye out for new trends, be in the know and learn about them early to keep your skillset up to date.


10. “How to attract people with online content...”

  • Social Media - 64% of marketers say social media is the 2nd most important lead generation strategy, and companies that use Twitter get x2 times more leads than companies who don’t. So, make use of Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, Youtube and LinkedIn to enhance your brand personality.
  • Inbound Marketing - Infographics, Video, Blogs, Webinars (share via social media)
  • Online Engagement - Get involved in Twitter conversations, engage on Facebook, Create and engage with LinkedIn Groups and get involved in communities on Google+.
  • SEO - Leave no stone unturned. Optimise meta tags, page content, image ‘alt tags’ and use Analytics and Google Webmaster to test and refine. BUT, don’t over optimise your content with keywords, Google can pick this up and it makes for a difficult read.

 


If you were at the Digital Marketing Show, it’d be great if you could share your own takeaways in a comment below. And if you didn’t get a chance to visit, I hope that you find my takeaways useful and are able to implement them into your marketing strategy.

Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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What is Responsive Design?

There has been some speculation in the media as to whether responsive web design is necessary. Hand on heart, we believe it is one of the most fundamental investments you could make for your business. Forbes also believes that if you don’t take advantage of responsive website design right now, or at least start planning for the very near future, you’ll be in danger of going out of business in 2014.


What is responsive web design?

Responsive web design uses flexible images and fluid grids that resize correctly to fit multiple screen sizes, including desktop computers, tablets and mobile devices. Have you ever viewed a website on your mobile that looked like a miniature version of the desktop website, which forced you to zoom in to view their content? That wasn’t a responsive website. A responsive website would have smoothly resized itself to fit the screen perfectly allowing you to easily scroll through the content.

 

Here are some responsive design examples lovingly made by us..

      

Beefeater Gin Responsive Website Design
Climbing Trees Responsive Website Design
Garfunkels Responsive Website Design

Note: if you open the above examples on your desktop computer, you can see how it resizes itself by adjusting the width of the browser.


Why is responsive design so important?

How many people do you know own tablet devices or smartphones? Lots, right? SmartInsights said that by 2014, mobile should take over desktop internet usage. So with that being said - it’s pretty vital that your website looks just as awesome on all screen sizes, big and small.

Think having a website that isn’t responsive won’t affect you? Well if you don’t depend on your website for business, it might not - but if you do depend on your website for leads and sales, you need to keep up with the advances in technology or before you know it, you’ll be the ‘floppy disk’ of 2014.

If you haven’t yet invested in a responsive website for your business, open up your current website on your mobile right now, and ask yourself the following questions:

 

“Can your potential customers easily...”

  • Navigate your website?
  • See your call to actions?
  • View your contact details and get in touch with you?
  • Read your copy?
  • View and click on your social networking links?

If you answered “no” to any of the above, it is more than likely already costing you valuable business.


So.. how do you build a responsive website design?

If you’re not familiar with website design and development, we would recommend hiring someone who is (like us!) to ensure that your website not only works on all sized devices, but also looks great and evokes your brand personality, as well as being easy to navigate, and uses design to get you the results that you’re after.

For other friendly designers and developers, we’ve built a responsive wireframe template for use in Adobe Illustrator - it even gained coverage in Mashable, Paul Olyslager, Econsultancy and Hey, Designer!


Want to know more?

Just give us a call on 0845 867 6750 or email us for a friendly chat about how we can get you up to speed and help future proof your website for years to come!

 

Client work always comes first, so we are currently in the middle of building our brand new responsive website which will be going live early 2014 - we're very excited. Keep your eyes peeled for the big launch!

Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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Rubber Cheese Bites: ‘Video is King’..


Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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We’re winners of the Harlow Star Business Special Recognition Award 2013

Last Thursday evening on the 7th November, Team Cheese got all dressed up to attend the Harlow Star Business Excellence Awards ceremony and gala dinner, which was held in the fabulous surroundings of the Manor of Groves in High Wych.


Guest speaker at the black tie ceremony was Vic Goddard, principal of Passmores Academy in Harlow, who gave a fantastic and inspirational talk to all the glamorous attendees.

This is was the first year these awards have run and we were pleased to have been selected as finalists in not one, but two of the 8 categories of the Harlow Star Business Excellence Awards; ‘Business Growth’ and ‘Small Business of the Year’; this alone was a great accomplishment for us.

 

 

Harlow and the surrounding area is filled with successful and talented entrepreneurs so the competition was very diverse and tough to say the least, but to our surprise we came away with the Judges Special Recognition Award for “a great pitch and to recognise the year that Rubber Cheese have had”

 

 

We were thrilled to be one of the 9 selected local businesses and entrepreneurs from 25 to come away with an award. It will sit proudly in the office at Rubber Cheese Towers.

 

Photos courtesey of Harlow Star

Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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How to Spot a Trend

Last week we attended a seminar called ‘How to Spot a Trend’ by Insider Trends held at the British Library in London. If you get a chance to attend one of these seminars we would highly recommend that you do - we took an awful lot away in just 3 hours, some of which we thought we would share with you to give you a little insight into spotting trends for yourself, aren’t we nice!


Firstly, what is a trend, and why should I be spotting them?

A trend is the general tendency or direction in which something’s going to move, develop or change. It’s defined by a shift in mentality or behavior that then influences a significant number of people.

Not to be confused with ‘fashions’ or ‘fads’ which increase dramatically followed by an almost immediate decline, trends last much longer and have a much greater impact on society.

It’s important to be on the lookout for the newest trends so you can plan more effectively for the future and introduce more successful initiatives to your business. By focusing on what will happen next, you can make more informed decisions in less time, saving a lot of energy and money in the long run.

 

 


Step 1: Know your objectives

Firstly, you shouldn’t dive into spotting trends before you know why you’re spotting them and what you want to achieve. For example, are you looking to find an idea that will make you money, or that will encourage your existing target audience to spend more with you? Who are you targeting? Establish your goals and chosen industry before you move forward.


Step 2: Understand the Landscape

 

The Innovators: These are your quirky, open minded and extravert people who innovate new ideas, try new things, take big risks and generally don’t care about what people think. Only 2.5% of people are innovators, so you may not even know one personally. If you do, it’s recommended that you get to know them, find out what they do, where they go and generally feed off of their thoughts and habits.

Early Adopters: They’re considered to be a ‘go to’ person for new information and early trends. They take the trends early on and encourage others to join in by reducing their fears. Often have disposable income/more free time to invest in trends at their early stages.

Early Majority: Take their time to asses products and new trends before they take them on - need to know that they won’t be considered strange. Willing to embrace new trends as long as they understand how it will fit in with their lives.

Late Majority: Adopt in reaction to peer pressure, emerging norms, or econimic necessity. Any uncertainty and fears must be resolved before they adopt the trend.

Laggards: Traditional, make decisions based on past experiences. Often economically unable to take risks on new ideas. Into specific hobbies  - could potentially be the innovator of a particular concept or industry.


Step 3: Look & Observe

Once you have a clearer picture of who you should be talking to, and where you should be hanging out, what you should be reading and watching - do it. Immerse yourself in information from your chosen areas, research as much as you can.

Handy Research Tools:

  • Twitter Search
  • Google Alerts
  • Google News
  • Kickstarter - a great website showcasing the latest products, inventions and trends.
  • Newspapers, magazines & blogs
  • Email Newsletters & Facebook Pages
  • Market research, surveys and polls
  • Everyday observations and conversations with industry experts, innovators and anyone else on the innovation curve

Step 4: Connect the Dots

Once you’ve collated information and the latest news from your chosen area, you can start to group articles together, assess and find connections between the elements.

Tools for collating and bookmarking your findings:

  • Evernote - A great tool that lets you assign photos, docs, scans, notes etc for future reference.
  • Pinterest - A great content sharing service that allows members to "pin" images, videos and other objects to their pinboard for future reference.
  • Delicious - An online social bookmarks manager that lets you save, organise and discover interesting links on the web.
  • Freemind - great free tool for creating mindmaps
  • Old fashioned pen & paper, sticky notes & white boards!

Step 5: Assess & Test

Once you have connected the dots between your findings and found re-occuring themes and connections, you can then assess the potential trends to see how they are doing in the current landscape, and make potential predictions for the trends future using the following:

 

Google Keywords: By using google keywords you can see the average number of searches that your potential trend is typed into Google each month, and compare them to other trends and keywords.

Google Trends: Google Trends is really good for seeing the fluctuation of trends, how well they’ve done in the past, how well they’re doing now and make predictions of how well they’ll do in the future.

 

Then ask yourself the following:

  • What are the needs that the trend satisfies (is it a trend or fad)?
  • How many people won’t be able to or be interested in taking advantage of the trend?
  • What will affect the speed of the trend?
  • Where is the trend now - who’s currently using it on the innovation curve?

Once you have a solid idea that’s on trend and that will survive within the current landscape, find out the following:

  • What demographics are you targeting (get to know them and ask them questions)
  • What is the investment required and how profitable is the idea?
  • What’s the longevity of the concept?

If you feel confident in your idea, don’t waste your all your efforts and research - use it! Test it out and make it available to customers as quickly as possible, before someone else gets in there first.


 

If you wanted to learn more about trendspotting, we would thoroughly recommend attending one of the monthly ‘How to Spot a Trend’ seminars by Insider Trends - the above lists just a few key takeaways along with a few bits of our own research, but by attending one of their seminars you'll watch insightful videos, gain skills and take part in challenging group activities which put trendspotting skills into practice - you'll also receive a great trendspotting pack which goes into the above points and other areas of trendspotting in a lot more detail - we couldn't recommend it highly enough, it's well worth 3 hours of your time!

 

And if you require some help branding and marketing your awesome business idea just get in touch - we’d love to help it become the latest ‘must have’!

Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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The Best Instagram Users - Round 11

It’s that time again! If you haven’t seen our previous rounds, click this link to check out even more awesome instagrammers.

This month’s round is a bit random. We came across the incredible @incredibeard who we just had to feature, especially with Movember fast approaching.. and due to the serious lack of other beard themed instagram accounts we decided to scrap the usual ‘theme’ and feature a slightly random set of instagrammers that we enjoy - we hope you like tashes, bicycles, graffiti and hedgehogs!


@incredibeard


@rbehner


@darcytheflyinghedgehog


@khiesti


@banksyny


Do you know of an awesome Instagram user?

Don’t forget if you know an instagrammer who you think should be featured in round 12, you can either follow us on instagram, enter their name in a comment below, or simply hashtag an image with #bestinstagramuser.

Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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“Video is King”

Here’s a couple of stats to get this going: YouTube is the number four website in the world right now, and it’s been said that the average visitor will stay on your website for six times longer if you’ve got video on your site. Let’s face it, wouldn’t you prefer to watch a 2 minute video, than spend ten minutes trailing through various articles online? We would. Nowadays, humans don’t have the greatest attention spans - latest research showed humans to have a shorter attention span than goldfish at a measly 8 seconds.. (how embarassing!).. which means we all need to start cutting out the fluff, say it quick and get straight to the point. Video marketing is a great way of doing this. Numerous studies show us that video is the way everything’s moving forward in this crazy digital world we live in, so there couldn’t be a better time to join in all the action!


Knowing this, we decided to have a short video made to give everyone an insight into the world of Rubber Cheese. It was the Harlow Star Business Awards that got our butts into gear and motivated us to do this. We had a very short time allocation for our presentation and only one person allowed in front of the judges, so we quickly decided that video would be the best way to introduce them to the team behind the brand, and to show them what we’re all about with some time spare to enjoy some cheesy popcorn, some fizz, and a maybe a few questions. It was very strange having a camera in our faces for an entire day (except for Paul.. who seemed to relish the spotlight) but since it was unleashed onto the world, it’s has had a pretty awesome response. Before we show you our little 2 minute 31 second movie, here are some things we learnt about video marketing along the way...

 

Video engages us

Studies show that humans are hard wired to be drawn to video content. Elements such as human voices, faces, emotions, body language and movement quickly grabs our attention, and makes converting and gathering information extremely efficient, engaging and memorable. Get this, a whopping 95% of information is retained via video content vs 10% of text based content - it's a no brainer.


Video tells a story

Video allows viewers to connect emotionally with viewers through sight, sound and storytelling. Ok yes, you can choose to read a good old fashioned book, but you can watch a movie in a fraction of the time whilst getting clear visuals.. Forrester Research even stated that a minute of video is worth 1.8 million words. So, if you or your target audience strapped for time, which is pretty likely, video is for you.


Video builds your brand

Anyone can write an article or a blog, but video of you and your brand is something no-one else can create as every brand is 100% completely different - thanks to the people behind it. Video allows you to quickly get across who you are, your personality, style, humour, energy and professionalism, all within the way you look, how you speak, and even through your body language.


Video forces you to keep things simple

By creating a short video, it forces you to cut out anything unnecessary and to put things in simple, quick and easy terms. Prior to filming this video we had been putting together some new copy and messages for our up-coming website redesign (it’s all very exciting, stay tuned!) but this all changed once we started filming. When you say things out loud you can suddenly hear things from the viewers perspective, and we suddenly noticed how we had overcomplicated our messages with some unnecessary jargon, which really isn’t us.. so needless to say this was quickly rectified so that the result was simple and to the point.


Video makes you personable

Have a quick think.. how many people do you watch on TV that you know have opinions of, and how many of those have you actually met? Video can tell a lot about a person. Using video to introduce your business allows people to get to know you and quickly relate and form an opinion of you. This forms the foundation of a relationship which can be built upon.


Video sells

According to recent studies, 64-85% of viewers are more likely to buy after watching product videos. Take Apple for example, their TV advertisements and high quality images practically sell their products for them. And as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, so a video must be worth... well, we don’t have time to count that high!


It’s the future

Did you know that video accounts for over 50% of all current mobile traffic? This will increase to at least two-thirds by 2017, and 92% of these video-watching mobile users like to share videos with their friends. This audience will only continue to grow, and as all the top search engine sites have made video a prominent factor, including video in your site will increase your chances of getting on the first page of google by a whopping 53%. Earlier this year when we visited Marketing Week Live 2013, Kimberly Kriss of AEG Europe made the bold statement that “Video is King” - we think she's right.

 


Anyway, here’s what you’ve been skimming our article for: Presenting...

‘Rubber Cheese: The Movie’...

 

 

We’d love it if you could let us know what you think in a comment below, and if you need some help with your video marketing, whether it’s getting started or improving the quality or strategy, just get in touch, we’d love to help you become superstars!

Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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Our Latest Work - Morrisons Deli Packaging

Our recent packaging design for a range of biscuits, chutneys, and bruchettas are now available at the deli counter of your local Morrisons..


About the Design

As our lovely clients at Market Fresh were so pleased with the previous packaging that we designed for their range of Morissons chutneys, we were then asked to take on the new challenge of designing the packaging for a range of high quality biscuits, chutneys, and bruchettas.

Market Fresh wanted the range to compliment the existing Morissons own brand label, but that gives a little extra punch to help it stand out on the shelf of the deli counters. They also wanted it to have a slightly home-made and ‘earthy’ feel. Whatever we designed they wanted it to tie nicely across the entire current range from crackers to the cheeses.

So that the products are in keeping with the ranges mentioned, Senior Designer, Rachael used a hand drawn font, eye catching colours and a consistent gingham pattern that had been used on other Morissons own branded items. We also suggested that the range was branded with ‘deli’ as it’ll be located in the ‘deli’ counter.

Overall we thoroughly enjoyed working with Market Fresh on this exciting project. Keep an eye out for the new range in your local Morrisons!

Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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Morrisons Deli Packaging


Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

Our Blog

10 geeks that changed the world

One Wednesday night whilst watching Harvest on BBC2, I had a bit of an epiphany. I know, that's a strange start but stick around as it gets better...

In this particular clip they were discussing the new craze in vegetable growing - miniature vegetables that top chefs pay good money for to add decoration to their meals. Then along came Professor John Allen - lecturer at St Andrews University, with the discovery that if a mixture of blue and red LED lights are shone onto plants it enhances photosynthesis and generates flowering up to four weeks earlier than those grown under daylight alone - he’s now working with a forward thinking farmer to produce these crops that are easier to grow, have better nutritional value and generally taste better. So between the farmer and the professor working together, the world of farming has pretty much changed forever... right then!

This got me thinking about how other awesome geeks have changed the world, and as it turns out... there are a lot. So that you can feel like you’ve gone away from this blog with some extra knowledge you may not have had before, here are just 10 awesome geeks that without their discoveries.. the world would be a very different place today. You probably wouldn’t be reading this blog right now without them, so we thought they all deserved a bit of extra credit thrown their way...


Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg is an American computer programmer and entrepreneur who co-founded a little site called Facebook - you may have heard of it. He’s now the chairman and chief exec of Facebook. He’s pretty rich.

Thomas Edison

Electricity was first experienced by Benjamin Franklin. However practical use of electricity was discovered by Thomas Edison.

Edison filed over 1,000 inventions. He developed and innovated a wide range of products including the electric light bulb which was financially backed by J.P. Morgan who marketed the product to make it a house hold commodity and turning it into the now global brand General Electric (you may recognise the logo) - so without these guys the world would be a pretty dark place.

Abraham Pineo Gesner

Abraham Pineo Gesner was a Canadian physician and geologist who invented kerosene used in kerosene lamp to make light, which was later developed by Polish pharmacist Ignacy Łukasiewicz. Then John D Rockefeller came along and funded his research and started the Standard Oil company which dominated the oil and petroleum industry.

 

Albert Einstein

Einstein is one of history’s greatest thinkers, scientists, physicists and inventors who’s theories led to new ways of looking at time, energy, space, gravity and light. He also invented the famous equation E=MC squared. If that doesn’t say ‘geek’ then what does. He's also the man behind the quote: “The best design, is the simplest one that works.” 

Charles Babbage

Babbage created the first mechanical computer which proved to be the prototype for future computers. He was a mathematician, philosopher, inventor and mechanical engineer, and well rounded geek who’s now considered to be the 'Father of Computers'.

 

Bill Gates

You probably already know Bill Gates as the man behind Microsoft, the largest personal computer software company. He is one of the best known entrepreneurs of the PC revolution.

Tim Berners Lee

Developed the http:// protocol for the internet. Yes, he invented the world wide web - without this guy you wouldn’t be able to shop online or tweet people across the globe, that would be tragic.

Alexander Bell

Credited with inventing the first practical telephone. He also worked on optical telecommunications, aeronautics and hydrofoils, which all sounds pretty geeky.

 

Steve Wozniak

Another awesome computer geek has to be the co-founder of Apple, Steve Wozniak; who single-handedly invented both the Apple I and II in the late 70’s, which as we all know contributed massively to the computer revolution. The other man behind Apple, Steve Jobs would then transform the computers and digital interfaces into something useable, innovative, aesthetic and fun to use before they took the market by storm.

Evan Williams

Not everyone knows much about Evan Williams, but he was the creator behind two of the most powerful internet communication technologies - Blogger and Twitter.

 


It’s important to mention that a lot of the awesome geeks above wouldn’t have made this list if it wasn’t for fellow marketers, entrepreneurs and businessmen who saw the potential in their ideas, took them to market and made them sell. You could say that the geeks are the brains behind it all, but there also needs to be some beauty - that thing that makes people suddenly need that new product in their lives.

Conclusion: It’s good to work with geeks!


Any awesome geeks that you think should be on our list? We’d love it if you could share them in a comment below...

Written By: Paul Wright

Paul has over 13 years experience in Senior Design and Creative Director Roles delivering high-end eCommerce design which focuses on the user experience. Paul has the ability to design for the end-user and understands the customer journey through all touchpoints. He is skilled in translating the site information architecture into an easy-to-use navigation system, whilst making it an exciting and visually appealing user experience

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Rubber Cheese: The Movie


Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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We’re finalists of the Harlow Star Business Awards 2013

We are all very excited to have been selected as finalists in the ‘Business Growth’ and ‘Small Business of the Year’ categories of the Harlow Star Business Excellence Awards 2013.


Managing Director Kelly Molson says, “We are all delighted to have made it to the finals of not one but two categories for this years Harlow Star Business Excellence Awards. Rubber Cheese has gone from strength to strength in the past year. This was achieved by understanding the sectors we deliver the best results for and focusing our sales & marketing efforts on these by becoming an expert in the industries."

For the past 10 years we've provided branding, digital, web design, bespoke development, packaging and social media strategy services for an impressive number of blue chip clients. These include global FMCG company Pernod Ricard, Beefeater Gin, The Restaurant Group, Wincanton RM, Schneider Electric and other successful organisations including Ark Schools, The NHS, Market Fresh & Optimus Sourcing.

"We’ve been able to increase our staff levels and can now offer new services. We are so proud of what the team has achieved. Itʼs been immense hard work by the whole team which has really paid off!”

The winners of this year’s awards will be announced at a gala dinner, which is being held in the prestigious surroundings of the Manor of Groves, on Thursday 7th November - fingers crossed!

Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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10 Years in Business - Our Top 10 Current Favourite Places to Eat

Because we love our food, this month we've each shared our current Top 10 favourite places to eat - enjoy!


Paul (Wag)

 

Kelly

 

Rachael

 

Trudy

 

Liam

 

Ruth

 

If you’d like to share your top 10 favourite restaurants with us we'd love to hear them in a comment below...

Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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The Best Instagram Users - Round 10

And we’re into the double digits for Round 10! If you haven’t seen our previous, single digit rounds, click this link to check out even more super talented instagrammers.

So, this month we’ve been on the lookout for some of the most creative people on instagram. It wasn’t an easy search - there are more creatives on instagram than you can shake a stick at, but we think you’ll really like the ones we’ve chosen, featuring floating people, flying cars, angry fruit and giant gummy bears - enjoy!


@brockdavis

@mente_de_rufus

@alexmdc

@brahmino

@samanito


Do you know of an awesome Instagram user?

Don’t forget if you know an instagrammer who you think should be featured in round 11, you can either follow us on instagram, enter their name in a comment below or hashtag an image with #bestinstagramuser.

Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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Rubber Cheese Bites: 5 Steps to ‘App’ Success…


Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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Make your office a happy place.

Here at Rubber Cheese Towers, we think your office space should be an extension of your brands personality, a place that makes you and your employees feel happy, comfortable and creative. If you think about it, it’s likely that we spend more time at our computer desks at work than we do in our own homes. Do you really want to be sat in a dull, soulless and un-imaginative office space for near on 40 hours a week? Of course not, it would sap the life and motivation out of anyone.

We wanted to turn Rubber Cheese Towers into a bright and positive environment filled with creativity and inspiration. We have put a lot of love into our quirky office, not only to make it look inviting and personable for our friendly visitors, but we also believe that creating a comfortable and fun work environment enhances our own creativity and productivity, helping us all to get lots of exciting stuff done!


Google. Leading the way forward.

Take Google for example, the worlds most in demand employer. Their innovative office designs and relaxed, fun approach towards their employees has been the subject of numerous articles in the media in the past few years, suggesting that the importance of fun at work improves employee morale and productivity.

Here are just a few of Google’s ‘perks’ that boost the morale of the work environment;

  • The roof of their Torronto office is vacated by a crazy golf course, how awesome!
  • They’re given the freedom to spend a fifth of their time working on whatever innovative and crazy projects that they like.
  • When their hair gets to that annoying length, they can schedule a haircut onsite completely free of charge!
  • They get use of a fully equipped gym to keep their health in tip top condition.
  • They can also choose to play some pool, ping-pong or even video games to pass their spare time.

And with the monstrous search engine leading the way raking in over £64 million pounds each day (that’s right, each day!)... the money spent on these perks and crazy office spaces must be paying for itself! Thing is, when someone is given so much, they go out of their way to give back to show their appreciation, which is how they see such amazing results.

 

So, back to us...

Here are a few sneak peeks into our office on the third floor of Sawbridgeworth Maltings, overlooking some canal boats and plenty of ducks.

Here you can see our little chicks, inspiration wall, the CheeseBoard Room and what we call ‘the hole’, a little private space divided by some colourful ribbons. Oh, and anyone who exits the hole must come out in a ‘Stars in their Eyes’ fashion!

Paul, our Creative Director has accumulated a collection of fun and inspirational retro items over the years that co-inside with our Brand Personality nicely, whilst giving the office a bit of a quirky vibe which we like.

And it may not be a crazy rooftop golf course, but we do have a dart board - just for when we’re feeling a bit competitive on our lunch breaks...

Our verdict.

We truly believe that making your office a positive and fun place to be will result in happy employees, a happy business and very happy business owners, so everybody wins then - hoorah!


Over to you...

Anyway, we’d love to know about you and your very own office space. How do you make your work environment a happy place to be? Please share with us by leaving a comment below...

Oh, and for even more sneaky peaks into all the goings on at Rubber Cheese Towers, just click here to follow us on Instagram.

Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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What is a Creative Agency?

People say not to judge a book by its cover, but if you had the choice between two books with exactly the same story inside and both identically priced, with the only difference being that one has a beautifully designed high quality hardback cover, and the other is a slightly dull paperback.. which would you stretch to pick up off the shelf first?

Yes, it’s likely that the beautiful hardback had time and money invested into making it stand off the shelf, but the return on investment it gained made it far more profitable than the sad little paperback, which remains sat on that shelf gathering a light coating of dust, poor thing. So, if you could chose one book to represent your business... which do you think it would be?


Defining a creative agency

Creative agencies are responsible for making you stretch for one product over another, they’re the reason you stay on a website for longer than the average 3 seconds. They help you remember businesses, and give you that little nudge to go and engage with them. Their job is to turn you into a loyal customer. How do they do this? With buckets of talent, skills, experience and strong values... they combine design, strategy, advertising and digital services, to solve problems and create something that you will love.

 


3 fundamental reasons why you won’t regret hiring a creative agency

 

1. Because good design is good business

You can’t build a beautiful house without strong foundations, and you can’t build a successful business without a strong brand. This is something only experienced and talented creative professionals (like us) can give you, not your friends cousin who recently bought a copy of Photoshop - tools don’t make a designer.

2. Return on investment

Remember the books, and how one was picked off the shelf for it’s high quality and eye catching design leaving the other on the shelf to gather dust? This is made happen by talented creative agencies who are passionate about what they do. Without their help to create a results driven design, you too could end up left on the shelf with the others who aren’t making any sales, which would be very sad indeed.

3. Consistency is key

A creative agency has all the skills and services required so that your brand is kept consistent across all areas of your business. This means your business will always be dealt with by the same designers who know your brand almost as well as you do. They’re basically your very own creative department, just in a different part of the country that’s all.

 


Choosing your creative agency

Ok, so here we could say that we’re the only creative agency you’ll ever need as we’re pretty darn awesome at what we do, so you should definitely nip over to our contact page and give us a “hola”.. But actually, we may not fit all your needs. Perhaps you like to have face-to-face meetings and we’re just a bit far out of your reach, whatever the reason for not getting in touch with us, we’re sure it’s a good one, so we’d still love to help you find the agency that’s just right for you. Here are just three things to keep an eye out for...

Quality

First and foremost, their portfolio needs to be of a high standard. Bad design can be even worse than no design at all. Ask yourself the following;

  • What are your first impressions of their portfolio?
  • How experienced are their designers and team members?
  • What kind of clients have they worked with and what were the results?
  • Were the clients happy with the service and end result?

Size

It’s true that bigger isn’t always better. If the team is too large, your work and communication could easily get lost in the abyss of overcrowded systems.. and as their client you could become a small fish in a big pond getting left with a lack of personal service and dedication to your project. On the other hand, hiring a ‘one man band’ could mean that when they inconveniently take a holiday, your project will come to a grinding holt - not ideal.

Put some thought into the size of the agency you want to work with. Who would you be dealing with? Will you get to speak directly to the Designer or an Account Handler? Each creative agency has a completely different set-up and come in many shapes and sizes, so make sure you find the one that suits you.

Values

Two creative agencies may provide the same services, but it’s their values that set them worlds apart and differentiates their outcomes. For example, which of the following do they value most;

  • Happy Clients
  • Happy Employees
  • Innovation & Creativity
  • Honesty & Transparency
  • High Quality & Excellence
  • Social & Environmental Responsibility
  • Clear communication
  • Profit & Growth

While their core values won't change what they do exactly, it can show through in the work they produce, so we recommend finding an agency who’s values are in line with your own as much as possible.


We hope this post has given you a little insight into the world of creative agencies. Have any un-answered questions or anything you'd like to chat with us about? Visit our contact page to get in touch, or you could leave a comment below. We'd love to hear from you!

Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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Garfunkel’s - The Restaurant Group


Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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The Best Instagram Users - Round 9

It’s time for Round 9! If you're a newbie to this blog series then make sure you check out some of our 8 previous rounds for a little catch up.

This month we kinda wish we were on holiday with our Senior Designer Rachael, who’s off enjoying lots of cheese and wine in France. We’re not jealous at all, instead we thought we’d just pretend we’re on holiday by fantasising over some gorgeous travel instagrams taken by some pretty awesome photographers. Ok, it didn't really help, but we still love these stunning images..



@daveyoder


@everythingeverywhere


@muradosmann


@UnCornered_Market


@Passionpassport


Do you know of an awesome Instagram user?

Don’t forget, if you know a talented instagrammer who you think should be featured in our next round simply tag their name in a comment below, or hashtag an image with #bestinstagramuser - we can't wait to see your suggestions.

Remember to follow @rubbercheese so you catch round 10!

Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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Market your Restaurant to Success in 5 Simple Steps

Let’s face it, everyone loves food.. so marketing a restaurant should be easy, right? Thing is quite often vital marketing mistakes are made, things get forgotten or simply ignored. So if you’re in the midst of marketing a restaurant give these 5 steps a quick read to make sure you’re on course..


Step 1: Market to the right people

Like in any business before you go on to do anything, having a clear cut understanding of your target market and their demographics, characteristics and interests could not be more important. Start off by asking yourself the following..

  • Who is your target audience?
  • How can you attract them?
  • What do you want to gain?

Once you’ve answered these you should have a stronger understanding of what they like, don’t like and what is likely to bring them to your restaurant.

Step 2: Know your brand

Your restaurant, your food and your employees are the face of your brand. Those elements will always make your brand unique and different from anyone else. People who live and breathe their own brand are truly the best people at what they do. Not sure how to solidify your brand personality? Just ask yourself the following..

  • What are your passions, values and ambitions?
  • What is your unique selling point?
  • What makes you and your restaurant different from the competition?
  • What characteristics does your restaurant, food and employees have?

Just for example, if you produce high quality food using only the best local ingredients, and you pride yourselves in offering a luxurious experience that customers won’t forget, it’s important that you own these qualities and make sure that absolutely everything you do and say both online and offline is consistent with your brand. People who live and breathe their own brand are truly the best people at what they do.

Step 3: Give back

Giving back to your most loyal customers who play a vital role for your business will benefit both parties alike. Just a small example; introducing a loyalty card scheme is a great way to give back to your customers all the while creating you more frequent business. Perhaps after your customer has spent £250 they get a special prize or a big discount off their next visit. This would encourage people to come back often, plus it’ll help generate some word of mouth too. Random acts of kindness will always get your business far.

Step 4: Get social

Social media is a free, easy and effective way of communicating with your customers. It allows you to reach a whole new audience that may not have come across your restaurant otherwise. Not sure what to post? Here are some ideas to get you started..

  • People LOVE pictures of food, and as you have lots of it be sure to share lots of images of ingredients and dishes with your followers to entice them to come back. Also don’t limit yourself to just using Facebook and Twitter for example, give Instagram and Pinterest a try too, food pictures on these sites go down really well!
  • If you’re wondering what to add to your menu or what new furniture to order, just ask your lovely customers to see what they think, they’d love to be involved!
  • If you a have a group celebrating a special occasion with you, why not ask to take a photo and post it to your Facebook which they can tag themselves in. Firstly it encourages page likes and engagement, but it will also do the rounds on your customers profile pages helping spread the word of your restaurant.
  • People love offers so make sure you share any promotions and deals you have going on.
  • People also love to be in the know, so any restaurant news and events that are happening, tell your followers immediately so they can be the first to know!
  • When someone takes the time to engage with you, acknowledge it with a reply as soon as possible.

Step 5: Look professional

Having low quality marketing materials will reflect in the quality of your restaurant and its food, so if you’re not investing in high quality menu designs, food photography and website design, what does that say about your food exactly? Here are a few things you should be investing in..

Professional branding: Only trained and professional designers will be able to produce you the visual branding your restaurant deserves. They will be able to create something that speaks your brand and apply it consistently to your menus, signage, website and anything else you fancy.

Professional photography: Top notch photography is something your restaurant cannot succeed without. Nuff said.

High quality website design: There are too many old restaurant websites out there looking a bit neglected. The age of animated Flash sites are long gone, and some of the old and dusty development methods they were built with won’t be doing them any favors. Mobile is future, so having a responsive website design that looks awesome on all devices is now completely essential, and everything else from the content, images and the finest of details must be carefully considered. Check out Garfunkels for example, lovingly designed and built by us of course.

 


Need an amazing website, logo, or a helping hand with your marketing strategy? Just click here to get in touch with a friendly member of Team Cheese, we would love to help add a bit of flavour to your fabulous restaurant!

Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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Rubber Cheese Bites: Do you have Brand Personality?


Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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3 simple ways to mould honesty into your brand.

No-one likes being kept in the dark. Not only is it a bit of a gloomy place, but not being able to see what’s around you is bound to make you feel very untrusting and uncomfortable. This is reflected in business - when customers are kept in the dark and can’t see who you are, what you’re doing, how you’re doing it or what’s hidden away in the fine print, you’re making it really difficult for anyone to connect with you and trust your business.


McDonalds put themselves in the firing line last year by launching their campaign ‘Our Food, Your Questions’. The campaign lets anyone ask anything they like about McDonalds, their food and processes, and the nutrition team promise an honest response. Sometimes the answer is a simple and concise statement, other responses have been helpful videos that explain their answer in more detail. They made themselves vulnerable to attack, but luckily it has paid off! It’s given McDonalds the chance to lay any false allegations that were made against them to rest, and the process has made the company appear honest and trustworthy to their consumers.

 

Here are three things you should aim to be in order to build an honest brand that consumers will trust...

 

Be Human

If you’re reading this you’re most definitely human, so you inevitably have quirks, values and opinions, but are these qualities of yours reflecting in your brand? Do you talk and write to your customers in a friendly and conversational tone as if they were a friend? If not, we’d recommend giving our recent article on brand personality a quick read to help establish your brands voice and for some examples of how you can implement it into your marketing strategy, which will help to make your business appear a bit more human.

Be Vulnerable

As long as businesses are run by humans, no business will ever be perfect. But if you’re open and honest about the areas of your business that can be improved, it allows your customers to relate and maybe even empathise with you. And we all get it wrong sometimes, so when screw ups occur and a customer is affected, be human and say you’re sorry, in simple straightforward language. Apologising is a sign of bravery, not weakness.

Be Open

Aristotle Onassis once said, “To succeed in business, it is necessary to make others see things as you see them.” In the social world we currently live in, this statement has never been so true. By laying everything out on the table that you know about your business and it’s products along with how they’re made, who they’re made by and what all the costs or implications are, this gives your customer the power to make informed and educated decisions. So cut out the fluff, keep it simple and make it super easy for people to learn about your business.

 


If you need a helping hand with your marketing strategy and implementing honesty into your brand, give us a hola.. we'd love to help you out!

Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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5 Steps to ‘App’ Success

With over 900,000 ‘Apps’ available in the app store, developers are really struggling to get their apps noticed. Over 579,000 apps are labelled ‘zombies’ that don’t even appear in the charts, and the few that do get downloaded often don’t even get used! 68% of smartphone owners use just 5 or fewer apps on a weekly basis, many have been said to be “impulse” buys where users lose interest almost immediately.

There are however some great ‘App’ success stories; Candy Crush Saga for example, the fun free app which has been rated the most popular game on Facebook has over 45.6 million average daily users, and rakes in over $633,000 per day through in app purchases. This is an extremely rare case though... so before you dive head first into creating an App thinking you’ll make some quick and easy dosh, we would encourage you to think again and read the 5 steps below before you get started...


Hang on a minute, what’s an ‘App’?

For anyone reading along not sure what the term ‘app’ really means, it’s quite simple... ‘app’ is the noun short for ‘application’ referring to a software application, (aka software program). It typically refers to a program which you use online or on your mobile or tablet device, so you may often hear the terms ‘mobile app‘ or ‘web app’ here and there.

Does your business really need an ‘App’?

When we visited Marketing Week Live 2013 earlier this year, Kimberly Kriss, Vice President of Marketing for AEG Europe stated that AEG have failed to create a successful app and it’s simply not an area that works for them. Fact is, it won’t work for everyone, but the success of your app really does lean on the following vital steps that you really should consider if you don’t want to become another ‘zombie’...

 

Step 1. A Good Idea

This is the make or break step - the idea for the app is without a doubt the most vital element of all. If the purpose of your app isn’t fun, functional and doesn’t make your target market want to engage it’ll end up with the rest of the zombies for sure! If you think you have a fun or problem solving app that people will love to use, chances are it may already exist so do check to make sure you won’t have any major competition. If your idea is neither fun nor useful, seriously consider whether it’s worth developing any further.

Step 2. Professional App Design

Your app icon is the first thing a potential user will see, so it’s massively important to get spot on. It is pretty vital to hire a professional who can give your icon and user interface the attention to detail it requires. A professional will know how to keep the icon and user interface clean, consistent, and they’ll understand the balance between keeping it simple and making it eye catching at the same time.

Step 3. High Quality Build

Building the App is the tricky part. Not only are good professional app developers few and far between, but they’re not that cheap either. When looking for for a good developer make sure they have good knowledge of Objective-C, the programming language for iOS, and Java, the programming language for Android apps.

Also make sure that your App is developed in a way that makes it universal across both mobile and tablet devices. Here’s a handy link that explains universal App design and build in a lot more detail.

Step 4. Make it Free

Unsurprisingly, paid apps are declining year on year. Fact is, people would rather see a few adverts pop up every now and then than pay a mere 69p for an app which may or may not be useful to them. Having a free app doesn’t mean you won’t make any money. Apps generate a lot of their revenue from advertisements and in app purchases, and with the number of downloads being significantly more you’re best off joining the ‘free’ trend for yourself.

Step 5. Marketing

Many will complete the first four steps, release it to the app store and wait for the money to start rolling in, in which case they may be waiting a pretty long time. It’s like anything in this world, you need to tell people that your product exists if you want people to go out and get it. Firstly you’ll need a short and punchy, attention grabbing title for your app, like “Candy Crush” for example. Then you’ll need to bombard the press and social networks with teaser videos explaining how this app is going to benefit the user. For someone new to all this it can be quite challenging, so do hire some professionals (like us!) to ensure it’s done right.

 


Have you created an App? We’d really love to hear your ‘App’ related stories (good or bad!) in a comment below... or maybe you have a great idea for an app which you’d love to create but still not sure where to start? Just get in touch, we’d love to help you out!

Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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The Best Instagram Users - Round 8

And we’re back with Round 8! If you're new to this blog then go and check out previous rounds for a little catch up of some truly epic Instagram users we’ve gathered so far.

This month we’ve been sniffing for the top dogs on Instagram. There are a lot of adorable dogs on Instagram so the choice was pretty tough... but we narrowed it down to the ones we think have some pretty great photographers for owners. We’ve got adventurous dogs, superhero dogs, ‘suited up’ dogs and the just damn cute dogs! They’re adorable, you’ll love them we know it!

 



@thiswildidea - Maddie the Dog


@dearbeta - Beta the French Bulldog


@andrewknapp - Momo the Border Collie


@humative - Haru the Australian Shepherd


@mensweardog - Bodhi the Shiba Inu


Do you know of an awesome Instagram user?

We hope you love our choice of the top 5 dogs on Instagram! Don’t forget if you know an avid Instagrammer who you think we should feature in our next round simply tag their name in a comment below, or use hashtag an image with #bestinstagramuser - we’d love to see your suggestions!

Also remember to follow @rubbercheese so that you don’t miss out on round 9!

Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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Do you have Brand Personality?

Your brand is not just a logo, or the decorative bits that go on your business stationery... it’s a collection of perceptions made by the consumer. We recently wrote about the ice cream empire that is Ben & Jerry’s, and how their “if it’s not fun why do it!” motto and caring personality have built their business into one of the most personable and iconic brands loved by the world over. They show us exactly how those who live and breathe their own brand are truly the best people at what they do, and by showing a bit of personality and being a bit more ‘human’, your business is bound to succeed.


Think of your business as the window between you and your consumer. If you don’t have your brand personality thought out and applied to your business strategies both online and offline, your blinds are completely shut. This lets people decide for themselves of the sort of person you are, they may think you have something to hide, or even worse - they could simply walk past and not look back - not good! What you need to do is get those blinds open, get that light flooding in and let the people outside see exactly who you are and what your business is all about... you want your unique qualities to shine through that window to all the passers by, so they feel like they know you at first glance.

 

Here are a few reasons why you should have a personable brand;

  • If people know who you are, what you look like and what you’re madly passionate about it, your customers can relate to you much easier helping to built relationships (and leads!) much faster.
  • Building a personable brand which is open and honest about who you are and what you value will build a solid trust between you and your customers.
  • Having a unique and strong set of values and personalities will help you stand out in a crowd making you and your brand far more memorable.
  • Informing all employees of your brand personality and visual branding guidelines will keep everything your business does consistent, from the tone your staff should use when speaking to your customers to what your documentation should look like.

 

To help solidify your brand personality, just ask yourself the following questions;

  • What are you passionate about?
  • What do you value?
  • What are your ambitions?
  • What makes you, you?
  • If you were a “...................” what kind of “...................” would you be? (fill the blanks with whatever you like!)

 

So you know your brands personality, but what the heck do you to do next?

Well to help you get started, here are just three examples of how we make sure our brand personality stands out in a crowd...

 

We talk about ourselves...

We think that in business it’s really important to know exactly who you are dealing with, so we like to make it quick and easy for people to get to know the people behind Rubber Cheese, what we like, don’t like and what our favorite things are. People have often told us that they feel like they know us before we even meet! Check out our profiles for yourself, or even our lists of Top 10 favorite things such as movies and TV shows... we know that you’ll have something in common with at least one of us!

 


We like to help people...

Not only do we love to help our clients make their businesses even more amazing, but we also love to help people we don’t know, and people like us within the design industry. Here is our Cheese Ipsum generator we built so designers and creatives alike can enjoy the fun and cheesy goodness....

 

 

We also built a free responsive wireframe template for friendly web designers and developers to use, we gave back to the community and helped the Wilderness Foundation by planting trees in the snow (yes really!), we took part in the 7km Gorilla run raising over £1k for charity and we like to help our local community by buying and using local - be it food, products or suppliers. We’re also committed to reducing our impact on the environment, and we have written a bunch of helpful blogs and articles too... we’re pretty nice like that.

 


We keep it fun, consistent and honest...

Of course, your visual presentation has something to play, so long as it’s kept clean and consistent. We get a lot of lovely compliments on our branding and how it’s really memorable, fun and unique (which luckily is just what we were going for!) We love to let our fun personalities shine through our branding. As if the name Rubber Cheese doesn’t say ‘fun’ enough, we also like to use bold colours and fonts in our marketing material both online and offline, and we do love a bit of comedy which is where our funny little ‘cheese headz’ come in!

We also like to keep the language we use, whether it’s in blogs, tweets, emails, on the phone or in meetings nice and friendly, simple, open and honest, always.


No-one knows you or your business better than you, but if you feel that you’d benefit from a helping hand from some friendly branding professionals do get in touch, we’d love to help!

 

Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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What we can all learn from Ben & Jerry’s - “If it’s not fun, why do it!”

Ben & Jerry have a slightly different business model to most; They believe that business could (& should) be about more than making money, which on it’s own differentiates their brand from the competition. Instead they have built their ice cream empire on heartfelt values which have obviously worked out for them! Here are a few of their values that we can all learn chunks from...


Ben & Jerry’s began in 1978 when childhood friends Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfields, armed with a $5 qualification in ice cream making decided to chase their dreams. They chipped together (pun intended..) and renovated an old petrol station to their first ever quirkly little scoop shop in Vermont, and using old fashioned ice cream freezers they began to churn all the fun & creamy ice cream flavors they’d been dreaming up! They always served their customers with a great big smile, keeping in mind their one very simple aim; to make the best possible ice cream in the nicest possible way.

Over the years Ben & Jerry have continued to recognise the role business plays in society by initiating innovative ways to give back to the environment, communities and to improve people’s quality of life the world over. These values and missions they continue to hold so tightly has moulded Ben & Jerry’s into the famous brand we know and love!

 


“Business has a responsibility to give back to the Community”

 

 

Back in the days of Vermont, Ben & Jerry invited members of the community of downtown Burlington to watch movies on a projected wall once a week turning their parking lot into a mini drive in. This became an anticipated event for the local community. As they have evolved they continue to create various large scale community projects helping to to fix, clean, build, and restore things that improve the quality of life in their neighborhoods and communities, all the while bringing people and communities together - how lovely!

 


“It’s what’s inside that counts”

 

 

Fundamentally, if your product or service isn’t up to scratch, your business simply won’t work. Since the very beginning, Ben and Jerry have sourced only the best chunks, swirls and ingredients they can find for their famous ice creams. It’s the outstanding quality of their ice creams that got the Burlington locals talking and promoting their brand which is what created the strong foundations that allowed the business to evolve into the ice cream empire that stands today.

 


“Change is about action, not talk”

 

 

Ben & Jerry are committed to implementing Peace and Justice, and helping to change the world for the better. Where some people simply talk about how great the world would be if we could just change this one thing for the better, Ben & Jerry find something they are passionate about, and they take action, and do whatever they possibly can to make sure the change actually happens.

One thing they feel very strongly for is marriage equality, so since 2009 they have been advocates promoting gay marriage by introducing their legendary flavor ‘Hubby Hubby’, and more recently ‘Apple-y Ever After’ and ‘Engagemint Party’. They also have a page on their site dedicated to this issue with discussions and example letters that people can send to their local MP. So not only are they promoting the issue, they have created a call to action which will make a real difference.

 


“Cows and farmers have feelings too”

Ben & Jerry both understand the importance of keeping their suppliers and employees happy, as after all, without them they’d have no ice cream! They have always made sure that all their employees are on a livable wage and they hold a deep respect for individuals inside and outside the company and for their communities, while continuing to support local farmers, making sure the milk that goes into their ice creams are always purchased from happy farmers, and happy cows.

Just click the picture below to see a fun interactive feature on their website called “Cow Cam”, which lets you watch for yourself just how happy the cows really are...

 

 


“Great ideas only come to life with courage”

 

 

Ben & Jerry always had big ideas and big dreams, but what they also had was the courage to turn them into realities. Putting all of their life savings into the adventure they started 34 years ago was a big risk, but they did it anyway.. and look where it got them. As they say “Chasing a dream is like chasing the chunks in your cookie dough, you make it happen.” So if you have a dream locked in your noodle, chase it! All it takes is passion, planning, and actions.

 


“If it’s not fun, why do it!”

Exactly. If you’re not having fun running your business, or have no passion for what you do, then why do it? If you’re not, it’s going to show to your customers and everyone around you which makes for one very unhappy business. Ben & Jerry’s branding is definitely not serious, it’s fun, quirky & vibrant, and we love the funny cows featured in their marketing material!

They even have slides in their offices as a way to force fun onto their employees...

 

 


On top of their core values, they continually seek new and creative ways to market their brand online and offline, and alway keep up to date with the latest innovations and technologies. Their marketing strategies and campaigns are effective, integrated, consistent, imaginative, engaging and personable, so pretty much spot on! We can all learn a lot from Ben & Jerry.

Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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Easy Ecommerce

Online sales are growing by more than 19% year on year. The UK is one of the most internet based economies in the world, and online shopping contributes to over 8.3% of the UK’s economy.

62% of Brits shop online as it’s time saving, easy to compare prices, there’s more variety, less taxes, no crowds and no travel expenses... so if you find the term e-commerce daunting and have been putting off creating your online shop front, trust us when we tell you it’s much easier than you think to get started - you definitely won’t regret it, we promise!

Here are 3 really great online platforms which allow you to create your online store quickly and painlessly... (no web design experience required)


1. Shopify - Packages from £9 - £115 per month

Shopify Store Example - http://www.hardgraft.com/

 

Pros:

  • 100+ professional responsive mobile friendly themes that are easily customisable.
  • You have the option of creating your own bespoke template with HTML/CSS if you’re technically minded, or if you’re looking to outsource to an external website designer.
  • Free trial available
  • Fully featured Content Management System (CMS)
  • Easy system so you can start accepting orders in minutes!
  • Over 70 payment gateways available for painless customer checkout
  • Blogging Platform available.
  • Multiple languages, taxes and currencies
  • Unlimited web hosting worldwide with unlimited bandwidth which has speed/security built in.
  • You can use your own domain name
  • Advanced store statistics
  • Coupons and Discount Codes available.
  • Marketing features to boost SEO
  • Social network integration
  • Customer profiles so you can find their contact details and learn their shopping habits at a glance.
  • 24/7 support from real human beings - very well rated.


Cons:

  • Pricing is a bit high, but then again you get what you pay for.
  • There are transaction fees involved (excluding the most expensive package) that are between 1-2%, so less than the industry standard.
  • For a larger store (selling 10,000s of unique products) things could get a little messy, based on customer reviews. This means that organizing so many items into clear, easy-to-use groups is not as easy with Shopify.
  • They have a unique liquid customisation setup, not PHP. People familiar with PHP have said to have found this a bit of a learning curve when customising their templates.
  • Blogging feature is a bit basic if you're used to the likes of Wordpress.
  • Initial set up requires a bit of technical know-how, especially to get the domain name redirecting correctly.


Best for:

Small-medium ‘B2C’ businesses selling just about anything.

 


2. Supa Dupa - Packages from £0 - £49 per month

Supa Dupa Store Example - http://www.danyeyi.com/

 

Pros:

  • A selection of professional themes to choose from.
  • Slideshows & Lightbox features.
  • Simple, user friendly admin dashboard.
  • Can customise with your own logos and banners.
  • Coupons and Discount Codes feature.
  • Accepts Paypal & Credit Card Payments
  • Social network integration
  • Start accepting orders in minutes!
  • You can use your own domain name
  • You have the option of creating your own bespoke template with HTML/CSS if you’re technically minded, or if you’re looking to outsource to an external website designer. (only for the pricier packages)
  • Built in SEO features.
  • No transaction fees & no contracts.
  • You can list up to 10 items with their Free plan or upgrade to one of their monthly upgraded plans.
  • Multiple languages, taxes and currencies
  • Support via email & phone (phone: Mon-Fri 9am-5.30pm)


Cons:

  • Unless you pay for the highest package at £49 per month, with the other lower priced packages you are fairly limited to the amount of products you can upload, number of images, page customisation, and on top of that your transaction fees are substantially higher. 
  • With the free package, although there are no transaction fees you can only upload 10 products with one image for each, you get very minimal features and no design controls and you can’t use your own domain name.
  • Their HTML & CSS customisation for high end packages has been said to be a bit confusing.
  • Built with creatives and fashionistas in mind, so may not be suitable for all retail sectors.
  • Not many SEO & Marketing features making your site harder to find.


Best for:

Handmade crafts people, ‘B2C’ Retailers large and small. Fashion boutiques in mainstream or niche, Photographers and Creatives looking for a commercial outlet for their work.

 


3. Tictail - FREE

Tictail Store Example - http://fantasticfox.tictail.com/

 

Pros:

  • It’s free - and no hidden transaction fees! (Paypal fees still apply though)
  • Start accepting orders in minutes!
  • You can use your own domain name
  • There are some professionally designed templates available.
  • You have the option of creating your own bespoke template with HTML/CSS if you’re technically minded, or if you’re looking to outsource to an external website designer.
  • Built in SEO features.
  • Accepts Paypal & Credit Card Payments
  • Multiple languages, taxes and currencies
  • You can upload 5 images per product at high resolution
  • You can upload unlimited products
  • Hosting is 100% free!
  • Simple, user friendly admin dashboard.
  • Social network integration.
  • Store statistics available.


Cons:

  • Not as many templates to chose from.
  • All support is made via online agents, this could mean a waiting period between asking your question and receiving an answer.
  • There’s a visible Tictail logo on your stores home page which can’t be removed.
  • Templates aren’t that easy to customise according to online reviews.
  • To have a custom domain name, password protection or discount codes involves paying for an extra Tictail ‘Apps’, they’re pretty cheap though (between $1 and $5 per month)


Best for:

Small-medium ‘B2C’ businesses selling just about anything.

 


We'd love to hear from you!

If you’ve had any experiences with the above suggestions, or if you have a preferred platform that you think should be included we’d love to hear your thoughts in a comment below. We’d also love to know if our article has prompted you to get your business online, which platform you decided to try out and your impressions of it so far...

Although, if you’re still feeling a bit out of your depth, or feel that your online store needs a bit of a professionals touch, contact us to find out how we can help get your store online and make your business even more amazing!

Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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Marketing Week Live 2013 Key Takeaways - Round 2

If you haven’t yet read Round 1 then definitely give it a quick read so that you’re all caught up. And if you already have we’re pleased to see you back! We hope you find the next 5 fundamental lessons that I took from Marketing Week Live 2013 just as useful...


6. Be Transparent

Being completely open and honest is vital, being shady and keeping secrets will only lead to fall outs. If things go wrong, be open and honest about it and provide solutions - that way people are much more forgiving and it won’t damage the relationships you've spent time and effort to build.

7. Keep your finger on the pulse

This world of social media and marketing that we live in is a very, very crowded place, full of changes, new innovations and technologies, it can be hard to keep up! If your business keeps you too busy to keep up with the world around you, hire someone who can. It’s important for your business to keep up with it’s competition and to constantly be in the know.

8. Get Creative!

To get creative with your content you need to step outside your comfort zone. If you feel something isn’t working, change it up, try something different. People love variety so experiment often, try new things and keep it fresh and exciting, and most importantly have fun with it! If you’re not having fun it’s bound to show, leaving you little engagement and sales in return.

9. “Video is King”

Kimberly Kriss of AEG Europe made the bold statement that “Video is King”. Let’s face it, people are extremely busy and there really aren’t enough hours in the day, so we would much rather spend three minutes of our time watching an interesting video than ten minutes reading an article. As I mentioned in Round 1, our attention spans are now at a measly 8 seconds which means we need to get straight to the point, and fast! Video, quite simply is the fastest way to show your audience what you’re about and to convince them that you should work together. Not only is it a great way to share your journey, but videos are more likely to be shared creating multiple links back to your site boosting your SEO.

10. Good Marketing takes brands from eyes to brain, Great marketing takes it to heart.

The key to a successful campaign is emotion. When opinions based on emotions are formed, all rational thinking goes straight out the window. Take the successful 'Share a Coke' campaign for example, which was mentioned numerous times throughout the day. By having people's names on their famous bottles instantly creates an emotional connection between the brand and consumer which is the key to increasing sales. 

 

If you couldn’t attend Marketing Week Live this year I hope that you’ve benefitted from this blog feature, and if you did attend we’d love it if you could share what you took from the day in a comment below...

Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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Rubber Cheese Bites: 5 ‘Pinteresting’ business tips…


Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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Rubber Cheese is 10 today!


Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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Thank you for a fabulous year!


Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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Facebook has changed! Don’t worry we can help!


Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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We Are Nine!


Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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Packaging Highlight - Round 4

These made us smile! Someone pinned these very quirky ‘Corkers’ onto our Pinterest Community Packaging Board, and we just had to share them in our next Packaging Round.


Corkers are an interesting and entertaining little craft set designed by reddish studio for monkey business, consisting of pins that transform standard wine corks into the most adorable little creatures. There a few species available; monkey, deer, buffalo, bear, bunny and crow, and perhaps the cutest robots we’ve ever seen! The cork isn’t included in the set giving you the perfect excuse to finish off that bottle in a hurry.

 

 

Why we love it

We love these ‘corkers’ as they're fun, and they encourage adult creativity and interaction. The design of each creature is very simple, quirky and sophisticated - you can clearly tell that they're an adults toy. There’s no reason why you can’t get a bit creative by mixing and matching body parts to create your very own personalised ‘corker’ too. We like the simple packaging design, the way it conveniently hangs on a wine bottle is quite genius and makes giving a bottle of wine to someone as a gift that bit less boring!

 

We think these ‘corkers’ would create the perfect entertainment for an adult dinner party, although a bit of a safety hazard if you’ve had one too many...

Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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Marketing Week Live 2013 Key Takeaways - Round 1

Last Wednesday I was lucky enough to attend Marketing Week Live 2013 at the Olympia in London. The place was buzzing with like minded marketing professionals, the hall was filled with quirky and fun exhibition stands that invited user engagement, and the seminar halls were packed out with people queuing out the doors to attend! All in all it was a great day out.


I attended a number of inspiring seminars. ‘The Manifesto of Modern Marketing’ by the CEO of econsultancy was very interesting, (I would highly recommend having a read through the manifesto for yourself!) as was ‘Engagement through Content Strategy’ by TUI UK. The highlight for me however had to be ‘Brand Growth and Customer Engagement in a Multichannel World’ by Kimberly Kriss, Senior Vice President of Marketing for AEG Europe. She really hit home with a her presentation, she was honest, passionate and for a forty-five minute presentation she managed to cover a lot of ground!

 

I thought I’d share with you my round-up from the day in two bite-size installments. Here are the first 5 of 10 fundamental lessons that I took back to the office with me...

 

1. Customers are Individuals

No longer should we call our customers ‘advocates’, ‘audience’, ‘fans’ or ‘communities’... they are quite simply individuals, human beings, and we should treat them that way. Take them on a journey with you, be open with who you are and what you’re up to. Treat them with gifts, look after them when things go wrong and speak to them like friends. This in turn will form strong and valuable relationships that are long lasting, and bottom line - it will drive your profits!

 

2. "Give consumers a want to engage in a rewarding way"

Before deciphering the content you’re going to include in your strategy, it’s important to know your customer, what they like, dislike, what they enjoy reading or watching and what they’re likely to engage with. If you don’t know this, make use of your ‘virtual boardroom’ by simply asking them! And overall, your content must be good. It must be strategically laid out, grammatically correct, original, relevant, interesting and engaging.

 

3. Keep it Simple (Blobs vs. Chunks)

In 2000 our attention span was 20 seconds. Today it is only 8 seconds... (that’s less than a goldfish!) so your content needs to be short and sweet to ensure you hold their attention. Over time blogs and emails will become shorter, while images and video will become more and more prominent. Lay-out any textual content into short and easy ‘blobs’, as apposed to large ‘chunks’ of text with a sharp and attention grabbing headline, a short intro and simple paragraphs. This will help it become easier to digest and less overwhelming making it more likely to hold the readers attention.

 

4. “Mobile is the new playground” - Kimberly Kriss, AEG Europe.

Since last year, mobile has seen a growth of 148% in usage, and a whopping 99% of ‘millennials’ born from the early 1980’s to the early 2000’s are mobile users. As smartphones get cheaper and the younger generation expands this is only going to go in one direction, so jumping onto the mobile bandwagon now will be vital for your business in years to come.

 

5. Unify and Integrate

Social networking and marketing is so complex and fragmented these days, people are viewing your content on all different sized screens...

Mobiles are used mostly in the morning.
PC’s and laptops are used mostly during the daytime
Tablets are used mostly during the evenings.

...so it’s vital to make sure that your website and it’s content looks the same across all channels. The experience needs to be unified and seamlessly integrated. Investing in a responsive website design is a must for any business looking to stick around for years to come!

 


If you attended the Marketing Week Live we’d love it if you could share what you took from the day in a comment below, and if you couldn’t attend I hope that you can benefit from my little round up... stay tuned for round 2!

Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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Rubber Cheese joins Tastes of Anglia

Rubber Cheese recently became Affiliate members of Tastes of Anglia, and are offering 10% off to other fellow members!


Rubber Cheese recently became Affiliate members of Tastes of Anglia, a vibrant food and drink marketing organisation created by the Government and the ‘Food from Britain’ campaign over twenty years ago. Their primary aim is to promote the very best local food and drink companies in the East of England, so we think that it’s a pretty great community to be a part of.

 

Whether you’re a grower, producer, retailer or simply a lover of all things food and drink, the Tastes of Anglia website lists hundreds of farmers markets and food and drink festivals in the region, along with an array of shops and restaurants that stock and serve only the finest local produce.

 

 

We really look forward to working alongside some other lovely members to help make their business even more amazing. If you’re a fellow Tastes of Anglia member, we’d love to help you...

Create a new website
Brand a new product
Perfect your food packaging
Create an effective social media strategy

...and as you’re a member of TOA we’ll give you 10% off!

 

Give us a call on 0845 867 6750 to have a chat with Kelly or Paul about how we can boost your food business!

Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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Marketing Genius - Meat Pack ‘Hijack’

The competition between retailers has never been so fierce. Creating a campaign that will attract and engage customers can be quite a challenge. ‘Meat Pack’ however has made marketing look easy with their and ground breaking, and quite cheeky ‘Hijack’ campaign - we love it!


Operation Hijack

The edgy and trendy Guatemalan shoe store ‘Meat Pack’ put mobile marketing to innovative use with their recent campaign. Using GPS tracking technology, the ‘Hijack’ mobile app detects the location of their target customer, and once they enter a nearby competitors store, a discount clock is triggered on their smartphone starting a count down from 100% discount, and dropping by 1% each second - the user is therefore encouraged to ditch their competitors and race to Meat Pack as quick as they can in order to get the highest possible discount. The app then automatically posts the customers successful discount redemption on their Facebook profile.. very smart!

Check out the video of Operation Hijack in action..

 

 

Why it’s Marketing Genius

No longer does a piece of paper with ‘voucher’ printed on it guarantee you sales, nor does it catch the attention of your target audience in a creative way. Everywhere we look there are offers and discounts we can get our hands on if we look hard enough, but ‘Hijack’ has truly broken the mould. Here are just a few reasons why we think it’s been so successful..

  • There was a clear strategy in place as it was aimed purely at their target market.
  • The campaign is personalised to the user from the moment the triggered count down appears on their smartphone.
  • There's an innovative use of technology with it’s GPS tracking mobile app.
  • The customer experience that this campaign creates is undoubtedly a fun and memorable one!
  • This campaign is extremely creative in its concept, design and use of technology.
  • It got people talking on social media sites helping to positively promote their store.


Finally a promotion to get excited about, we just wish we could get involved!

Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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We Love Pinterest!

Having racked up over 48.7 million dedicated ‘pinners’ in just 3 years, and driving more referral traffic than Google+, Youtube and LinkedIn combined, Pinterest has grown to become one of the busiest and hottest social platforms online. We love Pinterest as it’s a handy tool for storing designs we find inspiring, as well as being a great place to show off all our work!

In a nutshell, Pinterest is an online ‘pin-board’, allowing users to ‘pin’ images and media from anywhere on the web onto their own set of customised ‘boards’ for quick future reference. It has become a huge marketing tool for business, and has been proven to be a very valuable resource for traffic generation and sales. If you sell products and/or services primarily to consumers (B2C) then your business is bound to thrive on Pinterest!


5 ‘Pinteresting’ business tips:

 

1. ‘Pin’ Often

Pinning plenty of original and professional, high quality images will help you get lots of ‘likes’ and ‘repins’. Images that are at least 600px wide will look the best. Before you start pinning though, consider what your followers really like and want to see so you can tailor your pins with them in mind to ensure you’re reaching the right demographic.

2. Make your Profile Professional.

Take some time setting up your profile, making sure it has links to your website, Facebook and Twitter, as well as a short bio on your business. Also ensure that on a first glance of your Pinterest page your boards are filled with professional and interesting images, so set your ‘board covers’ to show the best of the best!

3. Add a ‘Pin it’ Button to your Website

Adding a ‘Pin it’ button to your website allows your website visitors to to quickly pin your website content to their boards for all of their followers to see. Also when you upload pins directly from your computer, remember to insert your website’s URL into the ‘link’ box on the edit screen. This means that when your ‘pins’ are clicked on it will take the user directly to your website.

4. Keep your Boards Organised

When you create your pin-boards, organise them into specific categories and fill them with professional and eye catching images to draw people in, meanwhile keeping in mind what will interest your target audience. And as well as promoting your products and services, create boards that will show your followers the ideas, places and people behind your brand.

5. Join & Create ‘Community’ Boards:

Pinterest is the only social network that allows you to invite your followers to help you create your content. Inviting your followers to be a part of your community board, and to ultimately express themselves and their interests through you is a connection far deeper than liking and retweeting - it takes user engagement to a whole new level that you won’t get on any other network! Once you’ve started to grow your community, you can then share your Pinterest account, pins and specific boards on your website and other social platforms.

 

Here is our popular Packaging Community board...

 

 

You’re more than welcome to join our Community board - If you’d like to get involved simply get in touch or leave a comment below and we’d love to send you an invite!


Follow Us!

Why not follow us so you can browse through what we’ve done, and what we like...

Rubber Cheese - 86+ Followers | 227 Pins

Rachael - 4,107+ Followers | 2,710+ Pins
Paul - 2,109+ Followers | 1,171+ Pins
Kelly - 201+ Followers | 77+ Pins
Trudy - 85+ Followers | 1,798+ Pins

Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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The Best Instagram Users - Round 7

The Best of Instagram is back with Round 7! If you're new to this blog then check out previous rounds for a little catch up of what we started back in 2012.

In this round we’ve featured our favourite ‘foodie’ Instagrammers! There has been a lot of debate about the excessive amount of images posted of food on Instagram lately. Now we love food, especially gorgeous images of food that have been lovingly prepared and created into 612x612px mouth watering masterpieces! Here are just 5 instagram users who make food look beautiful that we think you’ll love, enjoy!


@idafrosk - Ida Skivenes


@julieskitchen - Julie Lee


@redhongyi - ‘Red’ Hong Yi


@spoonforkbacon


@thuglifeforevs - Emily Blincoe


Do you know of an awesome Instagram user?

We hope you love our choice of top 5 ‘foodie’ users! If you know of an Instagrammer who you think is worthy of being featured please tag their name in the comments section at the bottom of this page, or use the hash tag #bestinstagramuser and we'll consider them for the next installment - we’d love to hear your suggestions!

In the meantime don’t forget to follow @rubbercheese so that you don’t miss out on the next round!

Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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Food Retailers Launch a New Food Labelling System

From today, major UK food manufacturers and retailers have introduced a new and consistent food labelling system to be displayed on the packaging of a range of food products.

To help customers make healthy choices while racing through their local supermarket, the new ‘traffic light’ system will indicate the healthiest options at a glance.


Green  - The more green lights a label displays the healthier the food choice.
Amber - If a food contains mostly amber you can eat it most of the time.
Red - If the food or drink is red in a particular nutrient, we should try to cut down on, eat less often or in small amounts.

Until now, retailers each had different labels on their packaging, all explaining the nutritional information in different ways - ways which make their product appear at it’s healthiest. Having a standardised system across pre packaged products in all stores makes the information far more valuable and trustworthy to the consumer. Retailers amounting to 60% of the food sold in the UK have already signed up to this scheme. These include retailers such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons, The Co-operative, Waitrose, Nestle and Pepsi will be rolling out the scheme across their products over the next 18 months.

However, this scheme is currently volountary, allowing food and drink manufacturers the chose whether they use the new system. Yet to have signed up are Coca-Cola and Cadbury. Despite this, it is heavily recommended by the Government that retailers and manufacturers sign up to this universal scheme to help consumers make healthy and informed decisions.

If you’re a packaging designer or a food retailer, click here to view a helpful ‘front of pack’ nutrition label guide put together by the Food Standards Agency.

Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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The ‘Share a Coke’ lesson

If you’re on Facebook or Twitter, it’s unlikely that a friend of yours hasn’t shared an image of a personalised Coke bottle with their name printed on the label, much like this one below...


It’s all part of Coca Cola’s latest ‘Share a Coke’ campaign. The idea; To encourage people to ‘Share a Coke’ with their family & friends. Coca Cola is constantly being chased by it’s competition, so creating a campaign that would get people across the country talking about the brand with their friends and family, both offline and online is exactly what they needed to accomplish. In the past month or so social media sites have been bombarded with images of personalised Coke bottles being ‘shared’ online. Meanwhile the chilled aisles of supermarkets up and down the country are filled with people rummaging for that bottle with their desired name, so it’s safe to say that this campaign has been a huge success!

 

So what makes the ‘Share a Coke’ campaign so successful?

It’s all down to the emotional connection between the brand and the consumer. We admit, we wouldn’t normally pick up a single bottle of Coke on our weekly shops, but there’s something a bit exciting about spotting a product on the shelves with your name printed on it, especially when it’s such a world renowned product such as Coca Cola. So when we see a bottle with our name on it, an instant emotion is triggered, and when opinions based on emotions are formed, all rational thinking goes straight out the window! So, the lesson we can all take from the ‘Share a Coke’ campaign is as follows; Creating a strong emotional connection between the brand and the consumer will make you sales. Always.

 

We may not all have our name on a famous Coke bottle, but we all know someone that has which allows us to buy multiple bottles for our friends and family, making us feel that extra bit special. That’s what makes this campaign so great.

Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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10 years in Business - Our Top 10 TV Programs

And this month's Top 10’s are.. [drum roll please].. TV Programs!


Kelly

  • Homeland
  • Him & Her
  • Masterchef
  • Come Dine With Me
  • Lost
  • Friends
  • The Office
  • The Inbetweeners
  • Silent Witness
  • The Apprentice (for comedy value)

Wag

  • Breaking Bad
  • 24
  • The Office
  • Only Fools & Horses
  • Lost
  • The Inbetweeners
  • Homelands
  • The Gladiators
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus
  • Quantum Leap

Rachael

  • Apprentice
  • Mad Men
  • Doc Martin
  • The Office
  • Lost
  • Would I lie to you
  • Him and Her
  • Royal Family 
  • River Cottage 
  • Celebrity Juice

Liam

  • Top Gear
  • Family Guy
  • The Big Bang Theory
  • The Simpsons
  • Friends
  • Band of Brothers
  • The X-Files
  • CSI
  • Modern Family
  • MythBusters

Ruth

  • The West Wing
  • Sherlock Holmes
  • Life on Mars
  • Have I got news for you? 
  • Mock the Week
  • The Last Leg
  • Holby City (Guilty Secret!)
  • Dr Who
  • Would I lie to you?
  • Strictly Come Dancing

Trudy

  • Friends
  • Keeping up with the Kardashians
  • Made in Chelsea
  • New Girl
  • Modern Family
  • The Only Way is Essex
  • The Apprentice
  • Gavin & Stacey
  • The Big Bang Theory
  • Everybody Loves Raymond

If you’d like to share your top 10’s with us we'd love to hear them! Just leave them in a comment below...

Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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The Value of ‘Free’

A while back we lovingly created a wireframe template for responsive web design and kindly shared it on our blog for other fellow designers to download, giving them a useful and premium tool for building responsive websites, completely free of charge.

A lot of work and expertise went into building this template, so some may say giving this away for free is pure nonsense, but in fact this good deed has benefited us in a number of ways...


Increased traffic to our website

After a recent analysis of our Google Analytics, we discovered that our handy wireframe template has landed on a number of big sites:

 

Mashable

 

E-Consultancy

 

Hey, Designer

 

Thanks to all the people who liked this handy tool, shared it with their friends and added links to it from external sites, it has become our most popular blog post to date. It has increased traffic to our website and helped us become more recognisable, which all helps towards getting new clients.

 

Made us appear knowledgable and trustworthy

All the people being guided onto our blog from these popular sites instantly rate us as a knowledgable company with expertise in this area. It’s important to make people aware that you know all the ‘ins and outs’ of your industry. After all, there’s no point having all this knowledge and expertise if no-one knows that you hold it. The trick is to share helpful snippets of what you know, publish it via your blog, social platforms, newsletters etc, and sit back while your website visits rocket.

 

Plus, it made us feel good inside.

Not only does helping others feel good, it helps build relationships. People will remember you, what you gave them and if they liked it enough they may give back - whether it’s in the form of a like, comment, share, tweet or perhaps a link on their site. They may even love what you gave them so much that they want to hire your services. Cha-ching!

 

What to avoid when giving away freebies:

  • It may be free, but no-one wants ‘cheap’. Make sure the quality of your product represents the quality of your business.
  • Make sure it’s relevant and consistent with the nature of your business and it’s branding.
  • Don’t give away so much that potential or existing clients won't require your services.

 


If you’re a web designer or developer, click here to download the brand new updated version of our free responsive wireframe template for yourself!

 

The updated wireframe template includes:

  • 1,280 pixel wire frame template
  • New column and gutter widths
  • A notes area
  • and lots more graphical elements!

 

Let’s face it, who doesn’t like a freebie?

Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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Our Latest Work - Packaging Design for Market Fresh

Our latest packaging design for Market Fresh has just been launched onto the shelves of 300 Morrisons stores nationwide, and they're going down a treat!


Our latest packaging project has been launched! Fresh on the shelves of 300 Morrisons stores nationwide are these newly branded, and extremely delicious chutneys. They’re already flying off the shelves and gaining rave reviews from chutney lovers all over! We love designing packaging, and we especially love chutney (with cheese of course!) so we were really pleased to be involved in this exciting project.

 

About the Design

It was requested that the overall design blended with the Morrisons branded products already on the shelves, so very similar fonts and colour palettes were chosen to compliment this design style. We had to design a strong image that was versatile and would sit well over a range of related products. We think that the simple yet gorgeous illustrations do the trick! They were created to not only grab the customers attention, but to inform the buyer of the chutney flavor instantaneously without the need pick up the product to read the label. Often items are stacked one above the other, so it was important to make practical use of the side panel to help inform and attract buyers. The illustrations placed against a light solid background contrasts nicely against the bold colours used in the decorative yet subtle motif on the top of the packaging. The pairing of the clean Sans Serif font with a decorative Script font works at giving the style a unique flavor.

 

Keep an eye out for these next time you’re in your local Morrisons! We’d love to hear your thoughts in a comment below...

Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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10 Delicious iOS App Icons

Apple have sold a whopping 30 billion+ apps since the race started in 2008, and with over 650,000 on the market available for download, the design of the app icons could not be more crucial. It is, after all the very first thing the user sees. It needs to stand out, appear professional and embrace simplicity. Super realistic icons we think work best.


Here are 10 delicious examples that we think fit the bill. They’re of course food and drink related!

 

1. Design by Julian Burford

2. Design by Alex Litvinov

3. Design by Julian Burford

4. Design by Alena Sofina

5. Design by Ryan Ford

6. Design by George Otsubo

7. Design by Nina Geometrieva

8. Design by Eddie Lobanovskiy

9. Design by Ryan Ford

10. Design by Ryan Ford

 

Have an example you’d like to share? Just drop us a link in the comment box below!

Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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Market Fresh


Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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Beefeater Dry Social Media


Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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Website Highlight - Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Restaurant Website Relaunch

The relaunch of Jamie Oliver’s ‘Fifteen’ website is enough to whet your appetite. It’s stunningly clean ‘one page’ design is so user friendly -  there’s no need to flick through numerous web pages just to find their dinner menu, simply scroll down through the gorgeous mouth watering images, and voila - there it is, easy peasy!


Why we love it

We love this website because it’s simple. In the very first line of the website they state "Our intention at Fifteen is to cook elegant, rustic, clean, honest food". Each of these traits have been clearly portrayed within their website design and branding.

It’s ultra clean responsive design leaves the user plenty of breathing room. They have only included the essential information making them appear very down the line and honest, while giving the design a completely clutter free appearance - a vital element to get right for ‘one page’ websites. The very simple and elegant branding adds real quality to the overall appearance, we love the clean font that’s been used throughout. The large parallax scrolling images are pretty stunning, and the use of the off-white rustic textured background works well at creating contrast against the modern black text. Everything down to the ‘Make A Booking’ widget looks well branded and consistent. For us it’s a winner!

 

 

Just click here to enjoy the ‘Fifteen’ experience for yourselves. ‘Bon appetit!’

Designed by Superfantastic

Written By: Trudy Collins

Experience Trudy’s previous experience in marketing and graphic design roles, sandwiched with a love for design and all the goings on within the industry makes her an ideal addition. She has a Diploma in Art & Design, and is currently studying part time towards a BA Hons in Graphic Design & Illustration which we think could come in handy!

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Hoots


Written By: Kelly Molson

Kelly has over eighteen years design experience focusing on the food, drink, hospitality and healthcare sectors. She has held a variety of positions from Junior to Senior Designer before co-founding Rubber Cheese in 2003. During her career, Kelly has supported a number of high profile clients including Pernod Ricard, Hamleys Toy Store, NHS, Barclays, The Restaurant Group, House of Fraser, and Paperchase.

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10 years in Business - Our Top 10 Albums

It’s Top 10 time again! This month we share our Top 10 Albums so far.


Rachael

  1. New Town Kings - M.O.J.T
  2. Paolo Nutini - Sunny Side Up
  3. Offspring - Americana
  4. De la Soul - Stakes is high
  5. Steve Wonder - The Definitive Collection
  6. Prodigy - Fat of the Land
  7. Lauren Hill - The Miseducation of Lauren Hill
  8. Bob Marley - Roots of a Legend
  9. The Coral - The Coral
  10. Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend

 

 

Paul (Wag)

  1. Because of the Times - Kings of Leon
  2. Definitely Maybe - Oasis
  3. Kings & Queens - Jamie-T
  4. Silent Alarm - Bloc Party
  5. Hot Fuss - The Killers
  6. Friendly Fires - Friendly Fires 
  7. L.A. Woman - The Doors
  8. Fat of the Land - Prodigy
  9. What's Going On - Marvin Gaye
  10. Surrender - Chemical Brothers

 

Kelly

  1. Ed Sheeran +
  2. Prodigy - Fat of the Land
  3. Plan B - The Defamation of Strickland Banks
  4. Michael Jackson - Off the Wall
  5. Steve Wonder - The Definitive Collection
  6. JayZ - The Black Album
  7. Jimi Hendrix - The Ultimate Experience
  8. Wham - The Best of Wham
  9. Oasis - (What’s The Story) Morning Glory?
  10. The Killers - Hot Fuss

 


Liam

  1. Off The Wall - Michael Jackson
  2. A Rush of Blood to the Head - Coldplay
  3. Channel Orange - Frank Ocean
  4. Californication - Red Hot Chilli Peppers
  5. Like Drawing Blood - Gotye
  6. Silent Alarm - Bloc Party
  7. Hot Fuss - The Killers
  8. Songs For The Deaf - Queens of the Stone Age
  9. Speakerboxxx/The Love Below - OutKast
  10. xx - The xx

 


Ruth

  1. Oasis - (What's the Story) Morning Glory?
  2. Amy Winehouse - Back to Black
  3. Paolo Nutini - Sunny Side Up
  4. Queen - Greatest Hits
  5. Duran Duran - Rio
  6. INXS - Kick
  7. Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon
  8. Michael Jackson - Thriller
  9. David Bowie - Let's Dance
  10. Tears for Fears - Songs from the Big Chair

 

How many of these have you heard? If you want to share your Top 10's with us just leave a comment below.

Next month....Top 10 TV Programs

Written By: Kelly Molson

Kelly has over eighteen years design experience focusing on the food, drink, hospitality and healthcare sectors. She has held a variety of positions from Junior to Senior Designer before co-founding Rubber Cheese in 2003. During her career, Kelly has supported a number of high profile clients including Pernod Ricard, Hamleys Toy Store, NHS, Barclays, The Restaurant Group, House of Fraser, and Paperchase.

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Designer Spotlight - Eiko Ojala

Eiko Ojala is definitely one to watch. His work is innovative, original and very clever.

An illustrator, art director and graphic designer from Estonia, Eiko is an artist who has really caught our eye. Producing work for organisations such as The V&A  and The New York Times as well as being nominated for “Young iIllustrators Award”, he is definitely worth checking out.


Eiko Ojala has created a set of beautifully designed illustrations crafted out of a series of coloured papers. Carefully crafted incisions and considered layer building combine together to create elegant illustrations with their own unique style. The overlapping of paper mixed with clever lighting and professional photography create true shadows that bring the work to life, giving the illustrations a further dimension.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We love these illustrations and definitely think they’re worth shouting about. Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.

Check out more of Eiko’s work at http://www.ploom.tv/
All artwork © Eiko Ojala.

Written By: Rachael Hudson

With over 10 years experience in both print & web roles Rachael is an ideal all rounder. With a background in the highly competitive Estate Agency industry, Rachael’s skills lie in creating fantastic new brands and translating those brands across all your marketing materials whether that be a corporate brochure, website or beautifully packaged new brand.

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Packaging Highlight - Round 3

Square One Coffee is a small roaster and coffee retailer in Lancaster City, Pennsylvania. They are a single establishment that pride themselves in only roasting 100% organic and 100% Fair Trade Certified™ beans, making them one of the few roasters in the region to do so.


The Square One Coffee range is every coffee lovers dream. They include interesting combinations such as Lemon, Cherry & Caramel to the indulgent Malted Chocolate, Butterscotch & Hazelnut. With such bold flavours on offer they had to create packaging that would compete.


To kick start the new branding they commissioned a local design agency to revitalize their existing logo. Having set the style they set about enhancing their former packaging designs to complete the look.



Why we love it

We love everything about this packaging. The combination of raw graphics and 2D illustrations work really well together, giving an overall polished product.


Each package includes a generic design using rustic tones and textures to portray a raw aesthetic, that really compliments the product inside. Every package is then adorned by a beautifully illustrated sticker encapsulating the country of origin through iconic illustrations. The use of stickers is an ingenious way of keeping packaging design and printing costs low, which is so important for smaller retailers.


The 50’s style inspired illustrations really make this brand stand out in the market place. A true example of good calculated design over the need to conform to the prestige of indulgent spending. We love it!

 

Brand Driven Results

Due to this clever use of branding the company experienced a 50% sales increase in the first week of the relaunch. It’s just a shame they don’t sell it over here!

Written By: Rachael Hudson

With over 10 years experience in both print & web roles Rachael is an ideal all rounder. With a background in the highly competitive Estate Agency industry, Rachael’s skills lie in creating fantastic new brands and translating those brands across all your marketing materials whether that be a corporate brochure, website or beautifully packaged new brand.

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Beefeater Gin Hub


Written By: Kelly Molson

Kelly has over eighteen years design experience focusing on the food, drink, hospitality and healthcare sectors. She has held a variety of positions from Junior to Senior Designer before co-founding Rubber Cheese in 2003. During her career, Kelly has supported a number of high profile clients including Pernod Ricard, Hamleys Toy Store, NHS, Barclays, The Restaurant Group, House of Fraser, and Paperchase.

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The Wilderness Foundation - Day Trip!

So todays the day of the Rubber Cheese outing. We’re off to contribute to sustaining the environment by planting trees at the Chatham Green Project for the Wilderness Foundation.


The Wilderness Foundation are an organisation that help to preserve the world’s wild places whether that be out in the wilderness of South Africa or closer to home in the heart of Essex!

The Chatham Green Project is a conservation and education initiative on 400 acres of farmland in the heart of Essex. Focused on sustainable land use, the project investigates how we can utilise the land more effectively to better balance the needs of farming, nature and communities in the 21st century. Through this initiative, they aim to educate over 3,000 school aged pupils each year... and some slightly older participants too!

It's nice to take time out of work and everyday tasks to give a little back....so we did!

Looking out of the window on the morning of the tree planting, the weather had not been kind to us. We new it would be cold, but snow!! Never the less a bit of hard work and we’ll be sure to warm up.

Wellies, gloves, hats, scarfs and plenty of layers (as well as an extra pair of tights for some), and we are ready to set off! A short journey in the car and we are greeted by a little winding track that meanders through the countryside, leading to a lovely little courtyard of farm buildings. Each building has been lovingly restored and filled with local businesses, one of which being the Wilderness Foundation. We’re here!

A Little Help

To help us in our quest we are joined by the lovely girls from Climbing Trees and Voice Communications. All wrapped up and ready to go Jake, Head of Conservation (slightly out numbered in the girl/boy ratio) talks us through the activities for the day. First stop, over to the storage barn to pick our trees.

There was an array of lovely trees to choose, from Lime trees to Oak and the most popular, Cherry tree. With our forest of Cherry trees and a few others thrown in for good luck, we pick our spades and head outside.

The hum of chitter chatter begins as we head off over the snow covered fields. On our way to our designated plot we pass a wonderful Mongolian Yurt. The Yurt standing proud in this winter wonderland looks amazing, we take a look inside. Once we have all huddled inside in hope of a little warmth, we were met by members of the Wilderness Foundation taking five from their working day to enjoy a bacon sandwich around the fire, how perfect!  Anyway things to do so once again we continue on our quest.

 

 

We reach our spot and it’s beautiful. We soak up 360 degrees of snow covered fields and crisp blue skies. Maybe the weather has been kind after all, the views are amazing.

After a little demonstration on how to plant our trees we get to work. An hour and a half later we stand back and admire all our hard work. Every tree is planted and we are feeling very pleased with ourselves. 

 

 

The Nature Trail

After the obligatory group photo, Jake Suggests a nature trail! The chance to be 10 again....um yes please! With a unanimous ‘Yes’ Jake leads the way.

This is where Jake really comes in to his own. We are presented with a multitude of nature gadgets to aid us in getting up close and personal with the wildlife there. We spied on rabbits in their burrows, watched river life in the little stream that runs through the woods and planted a secret camera to catch snap shots of wildlife in their natural habitat.

With red noses and slightly damp (and for some very muddy) clothes, we head back to the barn.

All Done

For all our hard work Jake invites us in for tea and biscuits. The warmth of the barn was very gratefully received as we started to thaw and our faces began to glow. We sipped on tea with the odd chocolate digestive dunked in for good measure. After some more chatting (I know!) we thanked Jake for the experience and left him in peace.

Everyone had a fantastic time and we hope to pop back in the summer and have another go, if they will have us of course!

 

Written By: Rachael Hudson

With over 10 years experience in both print & web roles Rachael is an ideal all rounder. With a background in the highly competitive Estate Agency industry, Rachael’s skills lie in creating fantastic new brands and translating those brands across all your marketing materials whether that be a corporate brochure, website or beautifully packaged new brand.

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Valentine’s Cheese Head

Forgotten that special someone's gift this year? Need a last minute Valentine's pressie?


Make it with love. Download your very own Valentine's Cheese Head Desk Buddy.

Just cut-out the loving character and glue together to make your loved one smile this Valentine's day.

 

DOWNLOAD THE LOVE HERE!

 

Written By: Kelly Molson

Kelly has over eighteen years design experience focusing on the food, drink, hospitality and healthcare sectors. She has held a variety of positions from Junior to Senior Designer before co-founding Rubber Cheese in 2003. During her career, Kelly has supported a number of high profile clients including Pernod Ricard, Hamleys Toy Store, NHS, Barclays, The Restaurant Group, House of Fraser, and Paperchase.

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Hosting T&C’s


Written By: Paul Wright

Paul has over 13 years experience in Senior Design and Creative Director Roles delivering high-end eCommerce design which focuses on the user experience. Paul has the ability to design for the end-user and understands the customer journey through all touchpoints. He is skilled in translating the site information architecture into an easy-to-use navigation system, whilst making it an exciting and visually appealing user experience

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About Us

Hello, we’re Rubber Cheese, a full service creative agency specialising in design and development for the retail sector, located smack bang in the middle of Hertfordshire & Essex borders. 


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