Brand guidelines: stimulate or stifle?

Brand recognition is undeniably important to promote and protect a company’s identity, but does adherence to inflexible brand guidelines stifle sales results when the primary creative objective in a DR ad is to deliver response?

At AJ, we know successful DR advertising combines great creative with smart media buying, working together to drive the lowest cost per sale.

DR creative needs to include a point of difference, a reason to buy, product benefits and to show range. With such high demands, we ask clients to be open-minded, flexible and to trust our depth of DR experience.

This at times causes unease. Clients can become understandably nervous about the tendency of direct response ads to veer away from brand guidelines. We appreciate the investment clients devote to their brand but know from experience that following such guidelines too closely can be detrimental to response.

When you are looking to create a responsive ad to drive sales off the page, strict adherence to brand guidelines can get in the way. AJ’s creative team know what they’re talking about and our ability to turn around failing press is rooted in our true understanding of DR. As a result, based on our recommendations, we’re always prepared to take responsibility.

At AJ, we believe you can reflect a brand’s visual identity without it compromising an optimised direct response ad. It’s just a matter of balance.

Brand guidelines are developed for a reason, they help to define and communicate the personality of a company. They are not there to stifle a company’s bottom line. When style takes over from substance, it’s time to re-consider.

Learn more about how we can produce the right DR creative to support your brand. Contact Lesley Bowman on 01225 758222 or email lesley@aja.co.uk

Staying ahead of the competition

AJ is keeping Harrington & Byrne ahead of the competition in a busy coin market by expanding reach inside and outside their traditional press channels.

AJ started working with gold and silver experts, Harrington & Byrne, five years ago. Over that time, spend has increased significantly aiming to maximise return from press as quickly as possible.

When the coin market started saturating, and CPNC increased, AJ had to work harder and smarter to drive costs down. First was the need to replicate the positive results seen from Harrington & Byrne’s traditional full-page ads. These have been complemented by a range of sizes including half page and 20×2 mono. A variety of positions, such as OBC and solus TV and puzzles sites, and multiple sections have also been used to maximise the breadth of readership within a single title. Testing new titles was another important part of the redeveloped media plan.

Just as more press titles bring new audiences, so do additional channels. AJ has bolted on online display packages at huge discounts to attract a different audience and encourage online traffic to the Harrington & Byrne website.

The biggest move, though, has been to test TV, bringing yet another fresh audience and exciting potential. An initial two-week test in February has expanded into a constant TV presence ever since.

With the low-hanging fruit well and truly picked, hard work and clever planning is bringing new life to Harrington & Byrne’s results ensuring they stay ahead of the competition in an increasingly competitive market.

Contact Lesley Bowman on 01225 758222 or lesley@aja.co.uk to discover how AJ can drive up your results.