Preview News Latest news and updates from Preview Creative en-uk (Wes Earp) (Rob Dove) <![CDATA[New Content Managed Website for Global Recruiters IDPP]]> We’re very pleased to announce the launch of a new logo and bespoke Content Managed WordPress website for global recruitment agency IDPP. A client for over 10 years, IDPP approached us with a brief to create a fresh, modern identity for the business, one that emphasised their international offering and a brand that conveyed their approach as their client’s resources partners.

With a new website that allowed maximum control over all content, a live feed of vacancies and the ability for contractors to upload their CV’s and apply for these positions directly, the new site is a great example of the type of solutions we can create for our clients.

For more information about the project please take a look at our Portfolio page and if you would like to discuss your requirements for a new logo or website do give us a call for a chat.

<![CDATA[20 things we?「どィび「ve done]]> To mark our 20th anniversary, we’ve looked back in time and pulled out some of the projects we’ve completed, or been involved in, and have been publishing, through our social media channels on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, snippets on each one.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Looking back in time… In 2010/11 we developed the brand guidelines, direct marketing and advertising for Power-One. … <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Preview (@preview_says) <a href="">March 20, 2014</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Check out! In 2009 we created the brand, website and direct marketing for Vine Resources <a href=";src=hash">#20previewtastybits</a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Preview (@preview_says) <a href="">March 19, 2014</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Looking back in time… In 2008/09 we helped <a href="">@Doctor_Hal</a> to make science look cool <a href=";src=hash">#20previewtastybits</a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Preview (@preview_says) <a href="">March 11, 2014</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Looking back in time… In 2008 we developed the brand and website for Sterling People <a href=";src=hash">#20previewtastybits</a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Preview (@preview_says) <a href="">March 18, 2014</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Looking back in time… In 2008 we created the brand and website for Vector. <a href=";src=hash">#20previewtastybits</a> <a href=";src=hash">#happybirthdaypreview</a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Preview (@preview_says) <a href="">March 10, 2014</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Do you remember how the Royal Academy of Dance website looked in 2008? <a href="">@RADheadquarters</a> <a href=";src=hash">#20previewtastybits</a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Preview (@preview_says) <a href="">March 13, 2014</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>In 2007 we created this website for Concordia to help them make the NHS better. <a href=";src=hash">#20previewtastybits</a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Preview (@preview_says) <a href="">March 17, 2014</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Looking back in time… In 2007 we developed the website for our friends IDPP <a href=";src=hash">#20previewtastybits</a> <a href=";src=hash">#happybirthdaypreview</a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Preview (@preview_says) <a href="">March 7, 2014</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Where are you planning to go on holidays? In 2006 we produced these brochures for Holiday Options <a href=";src=hash">#20previewtastybit</a>… <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Preview (@preview_says) <a href="">March 14, 2014</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Looking back in time… In 2005 we created the brand and website for Richmond Pharmacology <a href=";src=hash">#20previewtastybits</a> <a href=";src=hash">#happyb</a>… <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Preview (@preview_says) <a href="">March 12, 2014</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Looking back in time... In 1999 we created the brand for our friends Sterling &amp; Law <a href="">@IFA_London_</a> <a href=";src=hash">#20previewtastybits</a>… <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Preview (@preview_says) <a href="">March 5, 2014</a></blockquote>

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<![CDATA[Nice things people have said about us]]> We value our clients. They ARE our business! Our team have always worked hard to build and maintain relationships and we want to be sure all our clients get not only what they want, but what they need to help their business. We also value results and continuing relationships whilst we are still adding value.  

So we went and asked some of our contacts and clients for something we could use to help mark this milestone and we’ve had some great feedback! 

Here’s what they say about working with us.

“Preview guided and assisted hennessyHR with re-branding as well as creating and developing our website. Preview were passionate about ensuring every detail was as it should be and we are delighted with the results. hennessyHR would recommend Preview without hesitation to other companies wishing to re-brand or re-launch their website”

Lucille Hennesy, Hennessy HR

“NetSense have been providing Preview with IT support for a couple of years and I am proud of the working relationship that we have. The work they do is outstanding and I do not hesitate to recommend them to any of our clients who are looking for marketing, branding or website development”.

James Newbury, Netsense

“Having set Management Inspirations Limited up in 2004, I met Nick Broom shortly afterwards who very clearly explained to me the value of great branding. By 2005 Preview had created a focused brand for my company together with business cards and letterheads. It soon became clear that a meaningful brand creates professionalism, respect, identity and status. I continue to use and recommend Preview to this day – a strong brand that creates strong brands. Congratulations on the first 20 years”.

Robert Carpenter FCA FIoD FRSA, Management Inspirations

“Preview have been an absolute pleasure to work with over the years. Their attentiveness to our requirements and brand has produced excellent design which has undoubtedly given Ski France an image which we have been able to build upon ever since”.

Phillip Morris-Simpson, Ski France

“Gatwick Diamond Business have worked with Preview over recent years starting with the creation of the branding & style for the successful Gatwick Diamond Business Awards. Preview recently worked on the design for some corporate branding on our company car and we were delighted with the results. I would not hesitate to recommend them as we have always been pleased with the results”.

Jeremy Taylor, Gatwick Diamond Business Association

“I wanted to thank the team at Preview for helping us with our brand, stationery, brochures and website over the last 15 years. I have found you guys keen, attentive and quick to respond to my requests. Great work. Well done. Highly recommended!”

Akwasi Duodu, Sterling and Law

“I have been working with Nick and the Preview team since 2007; they have always adopted a professional and ethical approach that is always combined with business understanding and that essential creativity needed to deliver true value and differentiation for their customers. Preview are a reliable, and responsive organisation that puts the customer first; customer service is their highest priority.  I've recommended Preview to a number of organisations in the past and will happily continue to do so in the future.  I know they will not let me down.” 

Phil Thomson, Advantage Consulting

“Time constraints meant we had to heavily rely on Preview to work on our website re-design based on the limited information we provided, they excelled and were also able to work within our time frame – would highly recommend.”

Scott Horne, Lakeside Films

"IMA International has a long history of Preview working on redesigning our website through to designing our annual training and consultancy brochure and course factsheets.  We, and importantly our customers are very happy with these products. Best wishes for your 20th anniversary Preview!"

Chris Grose,  IMA International

"As secretary of REMA I have known the Preview team for well over two years and in this time they have always provided me with a flawless service. On several occasions they have delivered to tight deadlines at very short notice whilst staying within their original cost estimates. The individuals with whom I have become acquainted with have always been polite, friendly and very eager to help and as a result I look forward to continuing to use Previews excellent services for many years to come."

Andy Pledge, REMA

So, if you are thinking of getting your website working, giving your marketing a makeover, or your branding bolstered – please send us a brief, or come and talk to us – we’d love to work with you.

<![CDATA[Preview celebrates 20 year anniversary]]> Wow, twenty years, already!?

Time really does fly when you are having fun! It seems barely possible that it was way back in 1994 that I was setting up and now Preview is celebrating its 20th year in business.

It’s certainly been a journey; full of highs and lows, challenges and changes, but, to reach a milestone like this is something of which I am truly proud.

When Preview started there really wasn’t much known or publicised about this thing called the Internet, mobile phones were barely mobile, and faxes were still de rigeur.

Preview has adapted and changed to the different communication channels available, and we’ve achieved some fantastic projects over the years, thanks to a loyal and hardworking team, self-belief and humility.

We will be taking a glance back at projects and milestones over the past 20 years this month, so please look out for updates on our social channels and join in with the conversation and our celebration! 

Thank you so much to all our great customers, colleagues and friends who’ve travelled with this vehicle called Preview through the years, and here’s to the next stage in our journey. We are ready.

Now, where’s that cake knife?

<![CDATA[New website for Public Administration International]]> We're pleased to announce the launch of our new website for Public Administration International, London based specialists in management consultancy and development services. 

Built around a popular CMS framework, the new site allow's the team at PAI to manage all of the site content, add news and opportunities for consultants, feature these on the site homepage, and includes a forum for past course participants to discuss their experiences.

The highlight of the website is the extensive 2014 schedule of study programmes, which includes categorisation by course type and the ability for users to book their place on individually listed courses using an intuitive, four stage booking form.

Don’t hesitate to contact us for more information about how we can give you the ability to manage all your own website content with a newly designed and development website in 2014.

<![CDATA[New brand and signage for Cassino]]> Cassino Slots and Bookmakers is a small chain of amusement arcades situated across the South coast, with venues located in Littlehampton and Bognor Regis. Found at sea front and town center locations, each Cassino site provides customers with a wide range of slot machines, live betting, roulette and combination betting opportunities to cash in.

In order to reinforce the company’s reputation as an established, high quality chain of arcades where customers can enjoy a range of entertainment, and to encourage new clientele, Cassino approached us to develop a new brand identity in the form of a refreshed logo and a suite of images that would represent each of their attractions. The brand and images needed to be displayed on the exterior walls and windows of each location and a new main sign was also required.

Our creative team refreshed the logo to include a modern yet recognizable font, developed the brand colour palette and produced a range of stylized graphics suitable for large format, high-resolution reproduction. Using PVL’s in-house equipment and team of fitters we produced and installed a number of large printed di-bond, weather resistant panels featuring the new imagery at each location. With the assistance of our friends at an established sign company we also manufactured an LED backlit, Perspex and aluminum sign featuring the new logo for above the main entrance at the Bognor sea front site.

Now a highlight amongst the shops, takeaways and bars of Bognor sea front, Cassino’s new suite of brand images, marketing messages and eye catching signage stand out on the front of the building, encouraging tourists and regulars in to enjoy the games on offer.

Christina Casey, Director of Cassino Slots and Bookmakers, said, “We are very happy with the new signage and branding that Preview have developed for us. The new signage has given the Arcade a modern, fresh look.”

<![CDATA[New Website for Sterling and Law plc]]> Sterling and Law Group plc is a firm of professional independent financial consultants established in 1997. With their head office in London and consultants across the south of England they have built up a reputation as valued advisers with a focus and commitment to their clients.

Having worked with Sterling and Law for a number of years on developing and managing their brand, stationery and creating a range of printed marketing material we were very pleased to be asked to design, develop and host a new website for them. Their current site was out of date, difficult to manage and lacked the visual impact of their printed collateral, so they needed a new, modern, refreshed online presence that reflected their brand values, encouraged users to contact them and allowed content to be regularly updated and added. 

Following approval of a detailed brief we produced design concepts for a high quality, modern and professional website and also took the opportunity to refresh their logo before proceeding with development of a WordPress based site on our own servers. On completion of the page templates we dedicated some time to ensuring our client was able to populate all the pages using standard and custom written admin functionality, before launching the site within the agreed project schedule.

Managing Director Akwasi Duodu said “I wanted to thank the team at Preview for helping us with our new website. It is a major step forward from the old one –everyone who sees it is immediately impressed. I found you guys keen, attentive and quick to respond to my requests. Great work. Well done. Highly recommended!”

<![CDATA[What is a landing page?]]> It is a page where clients are directed after a click and is specifically designed to provide information that the customer was looking for. It does NOT form part of the body of the main website (you cannot navigate to it) so it’s ‘hidden’ from normal view. So why shouldn’t you just send people to a standard web page?

Perhaps your clients searched on a specific term in Google, or clicked on a Google Ad Word? Or you might have included a landing page link in the body of an email or a social media post. So at this point, it is good to give highly relevant, specific information which the client is actively seeking rather than send them to a generic web page. 

Some important things about landing pages:

  • They contain very specific information which relates to the customer’s journey and their action. 
  • They are often ‘stand-alone’ and don’t have the standard navigation buttons of the main website
  • They nearly always include a ‘sign-up’ form to capture further information 
  • They always have an easy ‘call to action’ so a client can follow through quickly. 
  • They often include offers which might be time limited to encourage action

One thing is for sure – the landing page should look like you are still within the same website and there should be a way to find the original website even if it is discrete.

Landing pages should be simple and you should think of them as being single message. They should include: 

  • Logo and website styling
  • Compelling headline
  • A few bullet point confirming the visitor is on the right page, and what the offer is (the reason someone clicked here)
  • A few bullet points about the benefits of the offer
  • Sign up form with privacy policy 
  • Single call to action (often time specific)
  • T&Cs of offer

There is compelling evidence to show that landing pages have a MUCH higher conversion rate than moving people to a standard website form (they navigate away). It is also true that ‘single action’ landing pages have higher conversion rates than those with multiple actions or messages.

If you want to try out some landing pages for your next email campaign or social media posts – tell us what you are after and we’ll design something to get those enquiries rolling in.

<![CDATA[?「どィ?Help?「どィャカwe need another photo!?「どィャ ]]> Have you noticed how rapidly the online world has become a highly visual environment? Whether it’s your website, LinkedIn Company Page, Facebook posts, e-newsletter or a press release – we always seem to need more photos.

But should you be content with buying good quality stock images or commission your own photo-shoot or professional photographer to supply some beautiful bespoke images?

Here’s our top five reasons why we think you should commission your own.

1. Stock photography has become very easy to spot

As the world has become more literate and able to search for images online, so the value of stock photos has dropped. Websites with glowing people in pale blue shirts in a pristine glass office sitting at a white table with equally white smiles just looks all too familiar nowadays and doesn’t differentiate you.

2. Your own photos reflect your personality

Pictures of you, your staff, your premises – going about your daily business and interacting normally can say a lot about you and the way you do things. You don’t need to ‘stage’ too many poses, a good photographer will enjoy taking natural activity shots and they look a lot better.

Also – we strongly recommend that you get professional shots for your LinkedIn and other social media profiles. 

3. You can your own add branding and styling to your own photos

Some stock photos prevent changing the photo in any way under their licence arrangement. But when you use your own, you can super-impose other elements such as styling, colour, tints, logo, and words – making the image all part of your branding.

4. Wide format shots need commissioning

You’ll probably have noticed that most social media platforms (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter) require a wide format, landscape ‘cover photo’. And on websites, it is now common to have wide ‘banner photos’ in the centre of the screen, depicting specific services or target audiences. These need to be shot on a wide angle lens. Whilst you can manipulate some photos to achieve this wide format look, it is far better if you have commissioned a landscape photo at the outset as the dimensions (foreground, background and subject) will all be well proportioned 

5. It isn’t as expensive as you might think

If you commission a photographer for a day and give a clear brief as to the type of shots you want but ALSO how they will be used (e.g. LinkedIn Cover Page / website banner / profile pictures) you can achieve an awful lot in a day. You should also clarify how you would like to incorporate the brand styling at the post-production stage and we recommend that it is worth spending another half day or so for post-production. Prices start from about £500 and it is well worth the investment. 

So if you want to be really proud of your photos / images across all of your marketing materials, we recommend that you invest in commissioning your own photography and post-production.

It is a bit like buying new clothes – you spend a bit more for a high quality label and it always gets the compliments and admiration that they deserve. 

We can certainly help you select a great photographer, advise you on the shots and provide ‘art direction’ on the day to help manage the relationship between yourselves and the photographer. Clients who have used this service are delighted with the results and come back to us time and time again for the same service. 

Go on…you’re worth it.

<![CDATA[5 ways to improve your calls-to-action]]> Whether you do email marketing, manage web / landing pages, use social media, or use Pay Per Click advertising - you’ll need compelling ‘calls-to-action’.

And with so many people browsing on mobile phones or tablets - have you thought about how to design for that quick thumb / finger tap action? It’s the way forward.

Don’t be shy

People are browsing on your webpage, reading your email or reviewing your Google Adwords for a reason. They are considering whether this is relevant for them. If it is - they’ll want to take action so you need to make it easy for them to do it NOW (grabbing them while they’re in the mood and still on your page). It isn’t rude or ‘in your face’ - it is simply what people expect.

So here are some tips for those fun calls to action:

Colour coded, well designed buttons

Whenever you possibly can, convert your calls-to-action into ‘buttons’ for easy finger tapping on a mobile device. Consider colour coding them so that repeat visitors will learn your system and will make decisions more quickly.

Buttons might include:

  • Buy now
  • Get a quote
  • Keep me posted
  • Call me back
  • Ask a question
  • Try us out

Don’t be boring

‘Click here’ or ‘Submit’ are a bit dated nowadays. You can reflect your personality and perhaps add a little humour. It’s worth getting your buttons properly designed too for maximum impact. 

Keep them short

The good news is that if you are now going to adopt the ‘button’ approach, this will mean you have to keep to a low word count. But if you are using a clickable link – around 80 characters should be plenty!

Start with a verb

Verbs are ‘actions’ and so you need to tell them what to do e.g. “Discover top tips from the professionals…” or “Download your free guide now”. You will probably want to avoid adverbs as these dilute the message, however, the ones that do work well are ‘now’, ‘fast’, ‘today’, ‘here’.

Use numbers

We recognise numbers as adding gravitas to the message e.g. “Join more than 50 companies who’ve benefited from this course” so find a number that has relevance to your target audience and think about how to add it to your call to action.

Preview has worked with many clients to build powerful email campaigns that sell. Find out more about how we can help.

<![CDATA[Tips to help you gear up your online selling]]> You may have been selling via your website, perhaps using an order form, advertising the products online but taking orders over the phone.

But if you are now ready to gear up to online ordering and payment, it can be daunting knowing the best way forward. What are the options and what do you need to think about? 

You may NOT need a new website

Firstly, don’t panic, there are several options whereby you can integrate ‘shopping’ software within your website so take advice from your web design agency about which might be the most suitable. If you want to sell just a few items per month, you might find that you can use PayPal or EventBrite (for sessions or events). But if you want to sell more, you’ll need to think about whether you want to offer discounts, ship abroad, provide order tracking, take deposits or offer alternative ways to pay when drawing  up your specification for the shopping software you use.

You may need a new website

“Huh – I thought you just said I didn’t need a new website!” 

Well it will depend on the technology platform of your existing website BUT oddly, it can be cheaper to move to an entirely new platform designed specifically for shopping. Many of our customers are very happy using OpenCart, Magento and ZenCart and we’ve been able to adapt these to the precise requirements of our clients.  So starting again might actually be a good thing as it is a great opportunity to refresh your design / styling and update some of the rest of your website content – as well as streamlining the shopping experience.

Payment gateways

These authorise payments for online sales and they protect credit card details by encrypting sensitive information as it passes from your customer to the payment processor (e.g. bank or credit card company). Different merchants require different % fees depending on your transaction volume, amounts and frequency – there are services where you can compare the fee levels / providers for your type of business. And it is also worth asking your business bank – they may be able to give you a better deal.

Displaying your products / services

Almost all shops rely on images of a product nowadays although clearly this is harder for services. Think about how you will get high quality photos of your products or how you might represent your services (e.g. well-designed colour coded icons) to make the shopping experience easier.

Preview has many years’ experience in successfully integrating shopping software into client’s existing websites as well as branding off-the shelf software and building bespoke solutions. For some clients, we manage the photos and upload the products / prices, others do it for themselves. Our clients sell across the world, some with high volume / low value, others with high value transactions. Let us know how we can help you.

<![CDATA[Art D?「どィび「Signs joins PVL for Higher Visibility!]]> Burgess Hill based sign writers Art D’Signs have joined PVL UK and Preview as part of the ongoing growth of the specialist graphics, marketing and visual communications group.

Since 1975 Art D’Signs has been producing and installing high quality signage and vehicle graphics throughout Sussex and further afield. From traditional hand-painted signage to comprehensive modular sign systems, interior graphics and custom vehicle signage they are well known for their expertise and service.

As the UK’s leading manufacturer of reflective and specialist graphics for emergency service and highways vehicles, PVL also offer fleet wrapping and branding services to clients throughout the UK.

PVL already supply the entire Scottish and Welsh Police forces following successful recent tender wins. Preview worked closely with PVL to produce and apply a 1000 strong fleet of “snow leopard” vans as well as high profile “Harry Potter” bus wraps recently.

Preview and PVL are already based in adjacent offices in Victoria Way, Burgess Hill and the Art D’Signs team will relocate to PVL’s old premises a few hundred yards away.

Nick Broom, Managing Director of PVL and Preview said “We are excited that our combined experience in all areas of visual communication enables us to extend a versatile range of services to our growing customer base.”


PVL UK is the respected market leader in Emergency Services vehicle livery, producing bespoke reflective vehicle kits and fleet vehicle wraps and livery to clients all over the UK, Ireland and beyond in materials supplied by industry leaders 3M and Avery. 

Established in 2000, PVL comprises a team of people with their own expertise in manufacturing, sales and customer service. Customers are in both the public and private sectors and include Police, Fire and Ambulance services, Local Authorities, fleet operators, highway maintenance and sign shops. Customers are provided fast turnaround for their graphics, either supply only or fitted, with fitting offered throughout the UK. Reflective products are made to order from a vast and growing library of bespoke vehicle data covering every type of vehicle.

PVL have their own large-format printers enabling them to produce graphics on a wide range of materials for a huge range of surfaces including interior and exterior walls, floors and windows. For more information, see

Art D’Signs

Art D’Signs provides a wide range of sign, livery and creative solutions including vehicle graphics, banners, fascias, window graphics and shop fronts supplied and fitted to clients in the South East of England. A small team of experienced specialists with a wealth of knowledge and an understanding of the client’s needs, their customers are in the public and private sectors and range from local builders and individuals to large commercial corporations, shops, charities, councils, schools and colleges.

Art D’Sign’s customers require quality and reliability, problems solving, advice and prompt turnaround. Projects begin with a site visit and survey where required, with creative visuals provided before work commences. The range of their services and recent projects are revealed at

<![CDATA[LinkedIn - which staff members should use it?]]> You? Sales team? Senior managers? All staff? If you have responsibility for building business, the reasons for joining LinkedIn’s 200+ million members are compelling. It is perfect for finding new people, keeping in touch with contacts and showcasing your professional / company expertise. But have you considered how your staff should represent you on LinkedIn?

It is a question that I often get asked in our workshops and the answer is quite straightforward. As an employer, you would like your employees to represent your company in the best possible light but as any person has a right to set up their own LinkedIn profile,  it cannot be ‘controlled’ by the company as the licence agreement is with the individual. This means that you can’t restrict it to just ‘sales’ team or ‘senior managers’ or ‘customer-facing’ staff.

So usually the best policy is to encourage staff to present a professional profile for themselves with your COMPANY NAME in the same format that you set up your company profile e.g. Preview (not Preview Ltd). If you explain how to write a good personal profile (with examples) and demonstrate the sort of posts you make, most employees happily comply. Encourage them to use a professional looking photo and perhaps you could arrange a team photo-shoot as an incentive where they get to keep the images they like best. There is a great benefit of having staff engaged on LinkedIn because they will show up in your COMPANY PROFILE as staff members and whenever they post anything, it will reach a much wider network with a link to your company details. This helps demonstrate individual’s expertise AND staff’s alignment to the company. But don’t forget that when employees post comments, they sit with that individual rather than on your company profile. Your LinkedIn administrator can always add posts referring to company activity.

We’ve found that encouraging best practice for staff has definitely proved to be the most effective way (rather than a free for all or policing bad behaviour) so when you have an exciting piece of news, a new video or an interesting tip to share – why not ask your staff to share it too?

We’ve trained many companies, sales teams and individuals in how to use LinkedIn – and they’ve really noticed the difference. Let us know if we can help you too.

<![CDATA[Site structure - now or later?]]> When you brief your web / graphic design agency – at what point in the process should you consider the site structure i.e. menus, navigation and content by page?

It is interesting that many clients want to see their brand developed FIRST with the graphic design coming soon after. They are then happy to consider the website structure at a later point. I think this is because this stage is exciting and motivational, as it gives meaning to the ‘idea’.

However, we believe that there are convincing reasons as to why you should consider your site structure at the EARLIEST stage possible.

The most important reason why you want to consider your website structure early on is because it is actually the articulation of your proposition. Your target audiences / key products / services / what you do / what you are known for / what makes you different – all influence how you will structure your site. This includes thinking about your main navigation menu, sub menus and any featured areas such as banners on the home page.  

Only once you have considered these important issues – will you be able to write a really good creative brief which clearly expresses WHO you are targeting, WHAT you stand for, WHY people should believe you and WHO your competitors are. Your graphic designer will do a much better job if they understand all this and know how you want to express your offering and which aspects are most important.

Nowadays, websites are using two or more navigation systems. Perhaps there will be a top or side menu bar and in addition some featured areas (may be banners) for different products / services. There may also be a way to navigate by audience type or by the customers’ requirements. You’ll also need to think about how you incorporate your social media feeds, blogs, testimonials, case studies, shop etc.  This makes it a bit more complicated at the design stage, but it provides better choice architecture for customers so they will engage with your site better and stay on page for longer.

There are some great free tools out there which help you structure your website called Wire Framing Tools

We also strongly recommend that you use a Creative Brief / Strategy document which once completed can prove invaluable to brief ALL creatives involved in the process including graphic designers, web developers, copywriters, photographers, PR and social media agencies.

So if you would like a hand pulling a Creatives Brief / Strategy together or you need help defining your proposition and website structure – just let us know.

<![CDATA[Social Media Branding]]> With 17% of all online time being spent on Facebook, around 175 million daily Tweets and over 200 million LinkedIn users - social media is truly a powerful force in marketing. So is your BRANDING on these social media platforms recognisable, compelling and consistent with all your other collateral?

The ‘banner’ or ‘cover photo’ in social media is an important way to represent your brand. Facebook has recently relaxed the rules about what you can incorporate on this image so you can now include clickable ‘calls to action’ - a big improvement. But check out Facebook Page Terms for the details.

You might also like to think about your Twitter background graphic. As you have very limited word count on your ‘profile’ make the most of this area where URLs are clickable (links to website, LinkedIn, Facebook) and leave out phone numbers, service descriptions or strap lines because you can put them onto the background graphic instead (which you will need to design to fit). On the ‘profile’, the text is always white so choose this background image carefully.

With 20 years’ experience in translating brands across various media, Preview works closely with companies to help them communicate their brand on social media. We also help companies devise their social media strategy and provide half day training sessions for those embarking on their journey.

<![CDATA[Branding Social Media for PVL UK Ltd]]> Consistency is a crucial part of branding and communications. When creating your brand, it's important to consider how it can be applied consistently across different media, e.g. from online to print. 

Specialist fleet graphics manufacturer and supplier, PVL wanted a presence on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to keep their customers up to date with current projects and news, as their customer and influencer profile ranges from informal contact to professional, senior decision makers.

For PVL, the same ‘banner’ image was deployed on their Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter pages and we ensured that, for each platform, the logo displayed correctly as social media sites all use different size and format files.

We now work with the PVL team managing and monitoring the content and growth of the traffic through their social sites as well as promoting their online shop, building their e-commerce success.

At Preview we understand brand consistency and how this can help your business. Talk to us about making a consistent presentation on social media sites and engaging with your audience.

<![CDATA[Printed brochures! The forgotten customer touchpoint?!]]> In this digital age it's a pleasure to be able to design new brochures for some of our clients. Ensuring brand consistency in print as well as online is an important part of the design process and through consistent use of brand imagery, type styles and presentation of the company logo we have been able to produce some invaluable collateral for our clients.

A4, 12 page brochures with pockets and inserts allow Independent Financial Consultants Sterling and Law to present the Wealth Management service to new clients, featuring striking images of some of London's most famous buildings that have now become key elements of their established brand.

Development business IMA International specialise in capacity building worldwide. A printed brochure that illustrates all of their courses and delivers their people focused brand is an important asset, which can be posted internationally and read in areas with limited internet access.

Our recent work includes square brochures for Allectra and Quest Professional. These corporate documents deliver their respective brands with clever use of imagery that ensures recognition and impact.

<![CDATA[New brand identity and website for Evosis]]> We recently launched the new brand identity and website for Evosis, a Brighton based business that enables organisations to achieve strategic, sustainable and systemic culture change and leadership development.

Our creative team worked on a new logo and colour pallette that reflected the theory of evolution as well as Founding Director Alison France's personality, before producing designs for a new website and a twitter company page. A suite of images was defined as part of the brand and business cards with a spot UV were also delivered.

The website was built in Wordpress in order to give the team at Evosis an easy to manage, update and maintain website which is also optimised for search from the outset. Ongoing SEO of the site with new content, blogs and integration of Evosis' twitter feed will ensure the site is kept fresh for search engines as well as a human audience.

Alison said: 

"The preview team proved to be the perfect solution for my requirements. I wanted a re-brand (including logo, colours and images), new website with improved functionality and SEO, business cards and exhibition materials. The team worked well together producing a fantastic result which looks amazing and does exactly what I want it to. Thanks guys!"

<![CDATA[CIM Survey - Marketing Confidence Monitor results ]]> We have just received the results of a recent survey (carried out in October) from the Chartered Institute of Marketing tracking marketers attitude, sentiment and outlook.

It details the findings from their first quarterly survey on marketers views, from all sizes of organisation and across industry - making it the largest and most representative study of its kind in the UK.

You can access the results in four different formats, from video briefings to infographics, top-line results to in-depth findings:

It’s only a few minute video and worth a quick look, we noted that:

  • There seems to be increased confidence in business prospects, despite a relatively large proportion feeling that global economic conditions have worsened.
  • Measurement is becoming more and more important (at last! What IS the point of spending anything on marketing activity if you don’t put metrics in to measure how successful it was or how much return you got for your investment!)

What’s your views, do you concur with those of the 1200 marketers who responded?

<![CDATA[Team Preview at Brands Hatch... The Crash!]]> On 11th November Nick took part in the MSV Trackday Trophy weekend at Brands Hatch. Take a look at the slide show of his crash and success on PVL's Facebook page.

<![CDATA[New Royal Academy Of Dance Enterprises ecommerce website]]> We're very proud to announce the re-launch of the Royal Academy of Dance Enterprises Ltd e-commerce website at

With a new clean, fresh and functional redesign, the new site has larger product images, a new monthly specials section and makes browsing though the large selection of products available even easier than ever before.

The site is now fully optimised for search engines and new social share features let customers post links to products in their Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Head of Trading Sue Bacchus said: 

'The site looks great due to a lot of hard work and effort by all concerned. We are very pleased with upgrades and have already seen an increase in customer orders.'


<![CDATA[Preview Open Morning]]> Preview and PVL are pleased to announce an Open Morning at their Headquarters in Burgess Hill on Friday 16th November from 9.30 till 12.30. Everyone is invited to join them.

Enjoy a coffee and a cake, meet some of the team and see some of their most recent web development, branding and vehicle livery projects and understand how Preview and PVL can help you and your business.

If you would like further information please email

You don’t need to register, just turn up on the day.

24 Victoria Way, Burgess Hill, RH15 9NF.

<![CDATA[Supporting Dance Proms 2012]]> Due to our very close working relationship with the Royal Academy of Dance, having designed and developed their Faculty of Education and e-commerce websites, we are delighted to be supporting Dance Proms 2012. This unique and exciting event celebrates the wealth of talent among the nation's young dancers and culminates in a gala performance at the Royal Albert Hall on 4th November.

Dance Proms was launched last year to find the UK and Irelands most talented dance students - in all dance genres, from ballet to ballroom, salsa to street dance and jive to jazz dance - and offer them a unique opportunity to perform on stage at one of the worlds most prestigious venues. It is supported by dozens of top names from the dance world and Dance Proms patrons include Anton Du Beke & Erin Boag, Darren Bennett & Lilia Kopylova, Matt Flint, Chris Hollins, Len Goodman, Wayne Sleep OBE and the RADs President Darcey Bussell CBE.

This years 450 students will go on to perform alongside guest appearances from Strictly Come Dancings Darren Bennett & Lilia Kopylova. Find out more about Dance Proms at and book tickets here.


<![CDATA[Hot (foot) off the press..]]> Excitement at the PVL and Preview offices today when I had a pair of my shoes wrapped orange!

After attending a networking meeting on behalf of Nick, I explained that I had trouble describing to people what PVL and Preview did, especially when it comes to wrapping things! Nick then came up with the idea to wrap a pair of my shoes in the company’s brand so that next time I was asked what we do I could point at my shoes and say “we can brand ANYTHING”. I refer to myself as  a “Shoe Enthusiast” and I am thrilled with my newly wrapped shoes. Fitter Lee did a fantastic job on wrapping them, although he is now concerned that his new role will be to wrap my shoes each morning to match my outfit! The feedback already from people who have seen the shoes is fantastic. At PVL we really can wrap anything!

<![CDATA[Short marketing workshops - book now!]]> Do you feel that the last few months have been more of an uphill climb than a walk in the park? And does that mean that you've not been able to think about your development needs as much as you wanted or fit them in around your busy schedule?

If so, you'll be pleased to hear that we will be running our great BITE SIZED training workshops again. The courses fit neatly into your day and help you update some of those important skills. Priced from £99 (+VAT) for a morning session, you'll find this a great value way to boost your performance.

The workshops are brought to you by expert marketing training consultant Liz Barnes (DipM FCIM) in association with Preview, a specialist marketing company with 18 years' experience helping businesses to achieve their sales and marketing ambitions.

The programme begins with our very popular Writing for Online Media course on 27th September; full details of which can be found here. For full details on all of our courses, please visit our Training page.

We provide in-house training for many of our clients, a great cost effective solution at prices from £375 (+VAT) for a half day and £650 (+VAT) for a full day.* With our extensive marketing training experience, we can bespoke courses to meet your needs and offer a range of alternative courses. Please email or call 01273 834434.

*Price excludes travel expenses at standard rail travel or 45p per mile. Training rates apply where training is delivered within a 60 mile radius of our Head Office.

<![CDATA[New CMS website for e-safety providers]]> Providers of e-safety software to schools all over the UK, Securus Software required a new Content Managed System (CMS) website that gave them the ability to make instant updates, include multi-media content, was a development of their existing brand and allowed the inclusion of more information, incorporating their separate support site content into one location online.

Following site-map and wire framing exercises we produced a modern, engaging and functional Drupal website with a design that delivers important information to a range of different audiences in a professional, sophisticated and fashion.

Marketing Manager Mark Taylor said “Preview provided designs that accurately reflected and developed our brand – and the site was well built and delivered. The Preview team are very responsive to new ideas or changes to the brief and will always come up with a solution to any issues that arise. Overall, the website has been a big step forward for us, allowing us to publish video, create news items and update the look of the entire site and this would not have been possible without the support offered by Preview.“

The website is online now at if you'd like to take a look and let us know what you think.

We have considerable experience in developing CMS based websites for clients, from using open source software such as Drupal, WordPress and Joomla to developing custom written functionality. Please contact us if you'd like to have a chat about your requirements for a CMS website.

<![CDATA[Wordpress website for recruitment partners Biz Recruitment]]> Biz Recruitment are one of the UK’s foremost recruitment partners, providing Executive Search, Contract Solutions and an innovative search portal service for companies worldwide. Requiring an easy to update and manage website featuring distinct design and branding, the partners approached us for our design expertise and experience in creating Content Managed System (CMS) website solutions.

The WordPress website provides clients and candidates with details on all of the services they provide, includes a feed of featured roles that are regularly kept up to date and added by the management team and news within the Technology, Contracting, Business and Recruitment sectors is fed directly into the website.

Director Grant Paskins said “We asked Preview to redesign and develop our website because we knew that they would provide us with something different to the standard recruitment sites that a lot of companies have. They understood our needs, their suggestions for features added value and they have delivered excellent results. Preview's post development support has been invaluable too, providing assistance quickly and effectively."

<![CDATA['Brand Me']]> The last five years have heralded the era of ‘public me’! We can’t help it – we already exist in the e-cosphere (have you ever tried Googling your name?).

And there are those who long to publish on every available platform and those who despise such flagrant self-publicity as pure vanity.

Given that these days, your personal brand profile (or ‘reputation score’) has become an important way in which you determine the impact you make – have you considered how you are going to influence what is seen or said about you? 

Features of a brand
Here are some things we know about brands:

  • Brands have meaning
  • They are well recognised
  • Brands have a personality
  • Brands are attractive
  • They command a price premium
  • They represent a short-cut for quality
  • Brands have long-term value

Is this true of you? What is your personal brand and what does it communicate about you?

Selling your service
The way in which we ‘place’ our trust in professionals has altered in the 21st Century, and whilst credentials and word-of-mouth reputation are still key factors, the mechanisms for developing these are now more profoundly linked to our ‘online reputation / publicity’ than ever before.

Top 10 criteria for selecting a service provider
The following list provides a useful checklist to assess your own performance but it is NOT in any particular order because of the differences between services:

  1. Previous experience (industry and functional)
  2. Qualifications and membership of professional associations
  3. Understanding of nature of problem / sensitivity to needs
  4. Testimonials of previous satisfied clients
  5. Personality and integrity
  6. Fees incl. transparency
  7. Clarity about deliverables and results
  8. Communication and presentation skills
  9. Responsiveness 
  10. Quality, reach and accessibility of published material

We have long-standing experience with several of our clients who sell their expertise as a service (lawyers, insolvency practitioners, recruitment consultants, accountants, academic professors, hairdressers, HR consultants, trainers, teachers to name a few) and all have to consider how they express ‘brand me’. Typically, one of their biggest challenges is how to produce high quality published material that reaches the right target audience and is cost effective.

Quality, reach and accessibility of published material (content management)
Your brand reputation is now being determined in part by what you choose to publish – from Twitter posts, to LinkedIn discussions, blogs, newsletters, videos on You Tube or podcasts on your website, Q&A forums, case studies, white papers or even webinars. Whilst this list can feel overwhelming, we have successfully helped many of our clients develop and implement a media rich ‘content’ plan – and often it is just one small step at a time, helping them to reach new clients and influencers.

If you don’t have the time to plan, write or publish – but you are keen to develop your brand presence, give me a call on 01273 834434 to have a no-obligation chat as to how we can help.

Extract from presentation by Liz Barnes to Institute of Consulting – 21st June 2011

<![CDATA[Refreshing the Parts Others Cannot Reach]]> Q. What links the Mars Bar, Hallmark Cards and accountants Ernst and Young?

A. As brands they have all celebrated their 100th birthday in recent years. And they are all successful and relevant to buyers today. 

Quick quiz
Can you put the following brands in chronological order from the oldest to the youngest? Some are over 150 years old and going strong! We’ll send a bottle of fine wine to the first person to email us the correct answer at

  • Santander
  • Hamleys
  • Cow and Gate
  • Douwe Egberts
  • Ikea
  • Ericcson 

And the bonus question…which brand used the ‘Refreshing the Parts Others Cannot Reach’ strapline?

In the eye of the beholder
Whilst beauty (and visual identity) is always judged by the beholder, it is also true that preferences evolve, almost unnoticeably over time as fashion moves on. You only need to dig out a few snaps from five years ago for you to see how clothes and hairstyles have changed.

When it comes to visual identity, branding and styling, we need to be confident that we still stand out from the crowd and that we are still communicating the messages and values we want our customers to hear.  Sometimes, a very simple refresh of a logo is all that is needed, other times, more radical changes are required.

Not just about the cosmetics
The need for a brand re-fresh can come about in a variety of different ways. Sometimes there is a strategic imperative, other times it is tactical. Perhaps the owner of the company has simply got bored with the current logo or your competitor has just launched a stunning new website.

We work closely with our clients to clarify the rationale behind a brand re-fresh, ensuring that it achieves their key objectives.

Here are just some reasons why our clients’ have asked us to update their visual identity:

  • Developing a new strategic direction
  • New competitors or existing competitors’ redesign
  • Wanting to reach new clients 
  • Serving a new market or new product development
  • Awareness that the branding is looking tired particularly versus today’s styling
  • Moving to a new technology platform e.g. a content management system
  • New name or ownership
  • Building a corporate image from which to conduct new PR and marketing 
  • Need for new signage, equipment or vehicles

And it can be helpful to have a third party involved in the process who is prepared to challenge the premise on which you’ve decided to go for a brand re-fresh. Sometimes we recommend research first, perhaps ascertaining your current position in the marketplace versus your competitors or what your clients currently think about you as an organisation and your service. 

The Starbucks case study is a great example of how a brand evolves. A radical early step followed by a subtle brand development, then recently, a big change with the removal of the brand name. This was a confident move on behalf of Starbucks, sending a clear and strong message (following Apple and Nike’s lead). 

If a brand’s identity is no longer determined by the visuals of the brand name, it has evolved to a state that is almost untouchable.

So if you identified with any of the reasons for a re-fresh above, whether it is strategic or tactical, we would be delighted to have a no obligation chat with you about how we can help design your visual identity and translate this onto any of your marketing materials.

<![CDATA[Protecting Your Brand]]> Building value
Just 3 months ago, Google’s brand was valued at a cool $111.5 billion. But what is fascinating about the Google brand, is that its typography changes almost daily and is indeed recognisable without any lettering – remember the outstanding tribute Google made to Les Paul?

Your brand should become your customer’s belief in what you stand for as a company. A strong brand enables you to charge a little bit more, be sold through more channels and be the product / service of choice because of its quality, reliability and reputation. This ‘little bit more’ spread across a wider customer base, who have a higher loyalty translates into incremental future cash flow i.e. building brand equity. And this is one of the best ways to create long-term value for shareholders.

What to protect
A picture paints a thousand words and your logo offers an immediate link to your organisation, with all of the positive emotions associated with it. So you need to think about how to protect your brand – the name, logo, design features, strapline to prevent it being copied or misused by another organisation.

In terms of visual identity, you can think of the brand as composing these different elements, all of which need protecting;

  1. The brand name. Made up names (e.g. Google) are more protectable than everyday names (e.g. Apple, Orange, Blackberry). But you will need to check that the name hasn’t been previously registered, and indeed that it makes sense and conveys the right messages to your customers.
  2. Strapline. An important way to summarise the key buying proposition and can be incorporated in the brand / logo design.
  3. Logo. This may or may not use the brand name and is an icon which is consistently used wherever the product / service or company name is depicted.
  4. Styling. Colours, fonts and layout all add to your visual identity. It is better to use a Brand Manual to avoid the inevitable desire of staff to edit these elements as they see fit. 

How to protect
Here at Preview, we have teamed up with Future Copyright to help make it easier for you to protect your visual identity. The more supporting proof of your brand, logo, and its use that you can evidence the better.

Historically, the only way was to formally lodge or register your brand with a professional agent / safe-keeper such as a bank, document archive or 'copyright offices'. As copyright, by definition, comes into being automatically, you are not required to register your material at all but in doing so, you now have more solid formal proof that can be legally evidenced if required.

Registering your copyright by the ways suggested above, although effective, can be archaic, laborious, and expensive. Although you get a certificate of your registration, your material remains locked away in a dead end, black box filing system – to the point that you may not exactly remember what the material was you filed in the first place! What’s more you may be charged to obtain a copy of your materials and some file services will periodically re-charge you a subscription cost you to keep your files on record. 

Future Copyright offers a far more efficient versatile solution that puts powerful authentication and management of your copyrighted works completely under your full retention and control with direct interfacing for licensing and publishing – all at a fraction of the price of standard services. From £1.25 per file it is also cheaper than sending your work you yourself in an envelope! 

If you’d like to give Future Copyright a try we can offer you a special promo code that will give you 5 free credits, just contact or 01273 834434 to find out more about how we can help you copyright your brand.

<![CDATA['Spot' the Snow Leopard]]> Have you seen a snow leopard meandering down your street recently? Probably not a real one, but you may well have seen one of these...

Preview helped sister company PVL (specialist manufacturer of vehicle livery) with the design of this stunning livery for AVC Group. PVL has printed and applied the graphics to a fleet of over 300 vans so far nationwide. We are so excited about this powerful branding that we want to share it with everyone!

Help Save the Snow Leopard
If you spot one of these vans, let us know via Twitter /email and why not just take a quick photo and post it for all to see? #spotthesnowleopard or email it to us 

Sponsoring ‘Spot’ the Snow Leopard
When we reach 100 tweets / emails – we’ll sponsor a snow leopard and if you send us your details, we’ll enter you into the prize draw to receive the sponsorship in your name for which you’ll receive a cuddly toy leopard, an adoption certificate, a photo fact book and updates during the year.

Your Brand Reaching More People
Vehicle wrapping is becoming a very popular way of advertising brands whether aimed at consumer or B2B. From just a few vehicles to large fleets, this is a cost effective medium for advertising in front of a wide audience in prime locations and as you can see – can be quite spectacular.

Easy for the Experts
Vehicle wrapping is actually quite a technical process, requiring specialist design, materials, inks, printing equipment and of course expert fitting. PVL has years of experience in manufacturing and applying vehicle livery using the best fitters. So like all experts… they make it seem easy. You’ll be surprised at just how little it costs for such massive exposure for a mobile advertising campaign. 

Just call us on 01273 834434 to chat about the options for you.

And don’t forget to start tweeting those photos! #spotthesnowleopard

<![CDATA[Making your mark at trade shows and exhibitions]]> Having worked with us previously to produce a number of smaller banners, the marketing team at the Financial Management Centre came to us when they needed a new large format pop-up banner too. To be used at exhibitions for new client acquisition and franchisee recruitment, the banner needed to advertise the TFMC parent brand as well as the three services they provide; The Local Bookkeeper, The Online Bookkeeper and The Local Accounts Department.

We designed and delivered the final result within their tight deadlines ready for a forthcoming franchise exhibition. From our initial design concept the final artwork was produced and signed off and then given to our supplier who we worked with closely in order to ensure a high quality and accurate finished end result.

Are you exhibiting this year?
If you are exhibiting this year, have you got the right materials to make the most of the sales opportunity? We have produced a range of large format exhibition materials from simple pull up banners to stands like the one above for TFMC, to posters, exterior banners and even full size wall artwork. With design support from us, our sister company PVL produced large backdrops for their own exhibition stand which featured a beach buggy with its own custom vehicle livery on display!

Find out how to get customers on your stand at your next exhibition visit our design page here and don't hesitate to get in contact if you have any exhibition requirements.

You can find out more about the work we have done for the Financial Management Centre in our Portfolio section, including Website design, digital personalisation and email marketing.

<![CDATA[Are you adapting to your audience?]]> In a recent survey conducted by EA, 6 in 10 under-25s thought Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg had a more important impact on history than Sir Isaac Newton and Martin Luther King. This clearly shows young people’s strong relationship with online communication and social activities.

The way young people interact with technology is constantly evolving:

With 500 new mobile devices and 100 new tablets being launched this year, so are their online attitudes and habits. Not only do they enjoy communicating with their peers, they’re also open to communicating with brands. Branded apps such as Barclay Card’s Waterslide app, with 10,000,000 downloads, are massive business and encourage repeated consumer engagement.

Engage with change:

Teens and those in their early 20s are a highly sought after target audience due to their relatively high rate of disposable income. Brands need to earn this audience’s attention and meet them where they already are: online and on their mobile devices.

  • The average student spend is £185 a week
  • Over 650 million people access the internet only with their mobile phone
  • 18% of iPhone users are on their handset for at least 4 hours a day

Soon, the Mobile Generation will have more buying power than all other generations combined - a fact your brand can’t afford to ignore. We can create an app to meet and engage your audience on a platform they are rarely without.

Make yourself available:

Apps are commonly used by young people as a method of passing the time, perhaps when there is a lack of Internet: on the train, in a lecture even. They can be practical tools aiding the user with tasks. It is estimated that approximately 125 years worth of Angry Birds is played every day and that 70% of consumers having already downloaded a branded app.

With this high level of consumer involvement with applications, it is clear that there is a large audience ready to be engaged. Through a functional or entertaining app, a brand can ensure a constant and positive association as well as a deeper relationship with its audience.

How an app can help your brand:

In education, apps can be used to assist in many aspects of student life, for example:

  • Providing an accessible and offline prospectus
  • Maps, timetables, jobs board, events and information for current students
  • Open day guides for prospective students
  • Near by attractions and offers, as the location can be as important as the faculty 
  • FAQs and a help forum directly linked to faculty staff

All of which will enhance the student experience, encouraging new applications and recommendations from current students.

Let us help you:

Young consumers are bombarded by many opportunities to explore and decisions to make. A branded app could ensure your target audience chooses you over a competitor by making you readily available in their preferred medium. Here at Preview, we recently created the Careers 4U App, commissioned by East Sussex County Council, which has been designed to get young people between the ages of 14 and 18 to start thinking about the wide range of careers available to them once they leave school or college. Take a look to see how we have engaged the consumer through this app and increased the presence of Careers 4U. Contact us so we can do the same for you.

<![CDATA[East Sussex County Council Careers4U App hits the iTunes App Store]]> The newest addition to our growing digital portfolio has gone live on the iTunes App Store after passing Apple's strict development guidelines. The 'Careers 4U' App, commissioned by East Sussex County Council, has been designed and developed to get young people between the ages of 14 and 18 to start thinking about the wide range of careers available to them once they leave school or college. The iOS application is free to download and use so if you have an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, please make sure you take a look at the Careers4U App now.

We're continually focused on keeping up-to-date with the growing possibilities that electronic based applications bring to our clients and the creative industry in general. Be sure to keep up-to-date by coming back to our site regularly as it makes for some interesting reading.

<![CDATA[The Future of Connectivity]]> Recently I attended the 2011 Internet World show at London's Earls Court.  Among the usual array of stands from various SEO, hosting and email marketing software agencies, were a series of key note speeches from some of the worlds leading online technology businesses.  One that caught my eye in particular was a seminar by CISCO's CEO Phil Smith about the future of connectivity and 'the Internet of Things'.

As we steer toward a future in which all our objects and environments are connected we will eventually find ourselves living a technologist’s dream, with everything part of the network. But how will people experience and interact with it? Will users see it as a logical step in the evolution of the WorldWide Web? Or is it going to be understood as something radically different from anything we have seen before? In a modest way, the 'Internet of Things' is already here. During the second quarter of 2010, more than twice as many connected devices as people were added by carriers in the US. Different kinds of gadgets and gizmos are gradually turning into hybrid devices that are services, as much as they are physical objects.

These days, the pads and pods - in all their different shapes and forms - are also expected to be the portals to an integrated ecosystem of services and applications changing the way people work, learn and play. And the trend is spreading to devices such as TV's, hi-fi equipment and even cars. Is this the beginning of a new era of innovative, intertwined, combined products systems and services that utilize the power of the networks? Perhaps, but first there are some problems to address:

The Internet has run out of Internet addresses… sort of. Perhaps you’ve heard the news: the last blocks of IPv4 Internet addresses have been allocated. The fundamental underlying technology that has powered Internet Protocol addresses since the Internet’s inception will soon be exhausted. When IPv4 was set up with a capacity for 4 billion unique addresses, the technologists of the time could not have conceived they would need to revise the protocol within their lifetime. Now, a new technology will take its place. IPv4′s successor is IPv6; a system that will offer far more numerical addresses reaching units that sound like something from an Arthur C Clark novel (approximately 340 Undecillion*) or 3.4×1038. 'If you think of IPv 4 as a golf ball then IPv6 is the sun'.


So what does this mean?

The internet has undergone a series of revolutions in it's short history. A business revolution took place early in it’s inception, in which companies realised the potential benefits of an online presence. Next, the power and focus shifted towards the consumers with information instantly and freely available on an unprecedented scale. Now, with 500 million people moving into cities of the future, the world is urbanising and the internet is set to undergo a new industrial revolution. When you talk about the future, you can talk about smart, connected communities. Intelligent urbanization.

Such large scale urbanisation will inevitably lead to numerous social, economic, and environmental issues, but planning with the future of connectivity in mind will give us the opportunity to create intelligent cities with architectures that address everything from green initiatives, smart electricity, productivity, government services such as education and health care, intelligent transportation and smart buildings. 

Imagine a central command and control that receives information from an integrated Sensor Technology Network which connects every function of the urban environment. Data is combined and aggregated to produce information, which in turn is analyzed and inspected to derive knowledge and insight. This allows city management to collect data about everything going on in an urban environment and retain this information indefinitely.

Not only does this help the city to react in real time to situations and conditions, but also the amount of history stored enables continuous optimization of all city functions, giving the ability to predict the outcomes of events. This includes examples ranging from traffic control to climate and energy management to home automation.

Consistent architecture of information means new applications and features can be added inexpensively and conveniently. Extending the management of cities and service offerings to residents and visitors, these new applications leverage the information provided from sensors, mobile devices, and people interacting with systems in the city. This unlocks the creativity of developers, and provides for new revenue streams and business models to be generated on an ongoing basis.

There are examples of intelligent cities already in place in South Korea’s Sondo City, intelligent motor control in Lisbon, Portugal and intelligent electricity systems in Germany to name just a few.

This new industrial revolution is NOT set to take place in the future. It has already begun.

<![CDATA[How to reach more customers via Facebook without buying an Ad]]> Launching a Facebook page for your company or brand is an extremely powerful tool to connect with new and existing customers. The easiest way to grow your Facebook fan base is with Facebook ads. These are powerful, specific and targeted ads that can increase fans tenfold. Facebook advertising can be very low cost, but if it's not in your marketing budget at the moment here are 5 easy tips you can apply to your Facebook channel immediately.

1. Promote your Facebook page
Make sure your social media is not only an online presence but that you promote it throughout all your traditional media, be that print, radio and TV or email marketing. Encourage customers to interact with your brand or business through these social channels. With social networking accounting for 1 in every 4 minutes spend online you can't afford to not be apart of the conversation.

2. Encourage sharing
We know that the most powerful method to increase growth is via word of mouth, so encourage your fans to share your page on their feed. This can be done by incentivising them with deals if your page grows to a certain number - update with content that will encourage others to share the news or offer. The reach through other people's networks is endless.

3. Engagement
This is key. Keep your page updated 3-4 times a week. Old news is no news. Make sure you keep the updates varied. No one wants to be bombarded with sales messages all the time. Ask questions, be helpful as well as giving fans news on promotions or sales. The most important thing is to be relevant so that fans 'like' or comment on your status - first and foremost to encourage engagement. When fans 'like' or comment on your update then this will be visible in their friends news feed. The more visibility your page gets the more potential customers will see your offers.

4. Respond
Your Facebook page needs monitoring. If someone comments, or posts on your Facebook page respond to it immediately. News on Facebook moves so quickly and you don't want to miss the chance for interaction with a customer or potential customer. If no immediate reply is required then at least acknowledge the post by liking it or simply thank them for the mention. This shows to your other fans that you are active and engaged with your page and you are listening to them.

5. Measure
As with all marketing activity, the most important aspect is the measurement. Make sure you measure and review your Facebook account regularly. Monitor the amount of likes and dislikes when making posts. Monitor the posts that work and don't work. With this data you can then adjust and fine tune your type of posts and the frequency.

Facebook is a great way of reaching new consumers, but social media also continues to grow in B2B markets too. In both arenas it's a low-cost route to reach new customers when used cleverly.

If you would like advice on which platforms are relevant to your marketing, creating content or managing advertising call us on 01273 834434.

<![CDATA[Avoid missing out as more of your web audience goes mobile]]> Consideration of how your audience are using mobile devices is becoming increasingly important. In 2011 there will be 500 new mobile devices and 100 new tablets launched.

And, by 2013 industry statistics show that more people will view the internet on a mobile device than on a PC. By 2020 there will be 5 billion mobile devices in use worldwide.

Did you know that 20% of job searches are already performed on a mobile device?

Mobile has become an important consideration for all organisations, not just those targeting the youth sector. The need to ensure your site renders correctly and that your emails are delivered well on a mobile are as increasingly critical to business users with their Blackberry as they are to consumers.

Mobile users behavior is usually characterised by: 

  • Microtasking - Using the phone for short bursts of activity
  • Local - Finding out what’s around the user
  • Bored - Using the phone for distraction or entertainment.

When considering your mobile audience, remember that not all content may be relevant at that point in time, so getting this aspect right is vital. For example, does someone viewing your website on a mobile need to see your full company history?  Is the complete depth of site navigation available on your main site essential, when quick mobile viewing is important?

On your website, the intro and section pages are designed to move your customers into the pages where the content lives. On a mobile you need your customers to see these more valuable content pages as soon as possible.

One size fits none:

You should also consider the type of visitor who will look at your site on a mobile device; is it more likely to be a returning visitor or someone who comes to your site for the first time?

If you are a recruitment company it's more likely people will be coming back to your site to check new jobs, rather than to see your company history or credentials. On the flip side, if you're a doctor's surgery, people may be searching for you; in which case some content on your services, contact details and credentials are more important.

Keeping all these factors in mind, here are some specific mobile design and functionality considerations:

  • Simplify navigation
  • Reduce depth of navigation
  • Create a simple navigation home page
  • Make links obvious
  • Design for smaller screens
  • Prioritize content
  • Minimise user input
  • Keep form fields to essentials
  • Design for slower connection speeds
  • Keep page sizes small with minimal graphics

Statistical influence

We carried out some web usage analytics on our client sites and found the average number of mobile users to those sites is approaching 15% of the total.

Can you afford to miss out on these potential customers because they found it too difficult to find the information they needed?

If you have a smartphone, take a moment and have a look at how your own site appears, then have a look at Preview’s to see how a streamlined version of the same site is automatically delivered to your mobile. Our site has simplified navigation, reduced content, but also takes advantage of other features of a mobile, such as linking directly to the map or navigation software to provide pinpoint directions, and linking to the phone to enable a call to be placed without having to copy numbers.

Improving your own site’s mobile performance does not necessarily mean rebuilding your site or developing a parallel mobile version as we can often take much of the structure, coding and components from your existing site and a basic, workable mobile site can be delivered within a few days.

We can also deliver cost-effective, creative, promotional and practical mobile Apps (like the one we did recently for East Sussex County Council) for the iPhone, iPod and Android devices too.

Contact us now to find out we can deliver your website seamlessly for mobile users and unlock the potential of this growing market. If you don’t have a smartphone, we offer a free service to show you how your site or email marketing looks to users on various mobile devices. Please contact Wes for details.

<![CDATA[We Aim High with a world leader in renewable energy solutions]]> Did you know that scientists believe that enough solar energy reaches Earth from the Sun in one hour to power 100% of the Earth for a year? The constant increase of growth in the renewable energy market is testament to this staggering fact. Recently renewable energy companies have been moving their focus away from the more mature European markets, where solar power has seen a steady increase over 15 years, to the wider global market. The latest continent to welcome the pollution free energy solution, Asia, has seen a consistent increase in industry growth over the past 5 years.

Preview client Power-One, who became the world's second largest producer of renewable energy inverters in 2010, has seen a significant increase in global sales through product promotion and supporting a strong distributor network. We have managed and produced a number of magazine adverts in a multitude of global languages including German, Italian, Spanish, Chinese and French and are constantly developing new Power-One product campaigns for magazines within the renewable energy industry.

Global Marketing Communications Manager, Jason Nicholls said "... Preview's professional approach has helped our company reach a much higher level of marketing."

Take a look at the Power-One case study in our portfolio section to see the others ways in which we have worked with them since 2010.

<![CDATA[How far do your twittering rights go?]]> In a recent story in the Guardian Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has criticised the use of the social networking site Twitter over a comment made by star striker Wayne Rooney after he threatened a United supporter. Ferguson, who hinted that his players could be banned from using the site, went on to say "players are responsible for their actions... We as a club are looking at it because there can be issues attached".

We're interested in how you think Twitter should be approached internally? Do you think that employees should have their own accounts that represent the company or that a single account that is managed, monitored and authorised by a specific social marketing manager is the way to go? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

<![CDATA[New Ecommerce website for Maestro Records]]> Maestro Direct is one of the leading names in the world of strict tempo dance music including Modern Ballroom, Latin American, Modern Sequence and Old Time Dancing. As well as being an online music outlet, Maestro Records is primarily a recording company who have been making music for dancers for over twenty five years. They currently represent and record for some of the most popular artists on today's UK dance scene.

Maestro Records Ltd came to Preview with the mission to update their current online store. The key was to include a seamless purchasing system for its large current client base and to also be optimised thoroughly to gain a higher level of traffic for Dance Music related searches. The key to this project was to make the website appeal to and function easily for the mature target audience of Maestro Records, while also attracting a new, younger customer base and so avoid eliminating a large, potential additional demographic of buyers.

Newly launched at, the new online shop is integrated with the SagePay payment gateway; ensuring secure, reliable and seamless transactions for the customer.

Tommy Sanderson, Director of Maestro Direct said "Getting the right people to design our website was proving to be a nightmare until we found Preview. Within a short time we had a fully functional, great looking website. Thanks for a brilliant site and a great working relationship."

Would Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daley approve? See what you think.

<![CDATA[The future is clear, pin sharp actually]]> Last weekend Wes, Rob and I travelled to Birmingham with a hundred thousand or so other geeks to attend one of the UK's largest consumer based technology shows - Gadget Show Live. Industry giants Sony, Panasonic, NVIDIA, Bowers and Wilkins and Epic Games were just a few of the leading names exhibiting over the 5 day event that showcased the latest upcoming tech that to be hitting consumers this year.

On reflection, it was clear to see that the industry is still keen to push the capabilities of 3D this year with the latest 'pin sharp' Samsung 3D TV and various games being the most breath-taking examples.

It'd be a fair prediction to say that these probably won't be the only cases of 3D in our lives within the next few years, with the possiblity of 3D websites surely looming? Gadgets are constantly changing the way we work and play, let us know what other tech you've spotted that could be changing our lives this year.

<![CDATA[Helping easyJet Holidays take off]]> After recently combining services to provide low fare flights with great value accommodation, travel giants easyJet and lowcosttravelgroup tasked Preview with re-designing the existing and outdated easyJet Holidays website. The brief was clear from the off - intuitive functionality and user experience were key to a successful site that delivers bookings.

Similar to the award winning Lowcostholidays website that Preview designed in 2008, the new easyJet Holidays site needed an e-commerce site that is user friendly, efficient, uncluttered and provide users with an instinctive, no fuss booking process.

After designing a series of page templates and a production style guide the easyJet Holidays website launched in March 2011. Why not take a look at the full easyJet Holidays case study or judge the user experience for yourself at

<![CDATA[Empty rates, the small business relief scheme and reviewing rent and lease agreements in the latest Bisset Moffatt Hill newsletter]]> After what can only be described as an interesting several months within our financial industry, Bisset Moffatt Hill are just about to release their spring newsletter which summarises the most impactful finance and surveyor articles that have been featured over the last few months. Having just signed off the print proofs we're expecting the delivery of 3000 newsletters that will be dispatched around the UK next week.

Bisset Moffatt Hill are a team of qualified Chartered Surveyors that are regulated by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). Preview have supported BMH since 1999 and in that time have delivered a new brand identity, website, brochures, direct mail campaigns, regular newsletters and stationery. Our relationship with the Bisset Moffatt Hill partners is testament that a successful continuing relationship between client and supplier boasts a far greater return on investment than a one-off marketing blitz promoted by agencies that may not fully understand your business and sector.

<![CDATA[Ridding the world of Internet Explorer 6]]> We spotted an interesting article recently that highlighted the issues and dangers of using out of date browsers on computers. You may find it worth a quick read.

The article on Engadget caught our eye by including phrases such as 'horrible, out-dated web browser'. We were particularly interested to see the global user statistics, with 3.5% of users in the UK still using Internet Explorer 6. Compared with more modern browsers this is significantly low. According to statistics online, the current world leader with 29% penetration is Internet Explorer (IE) version 8, Firefox version 3 with 27% is second and IE v7 is in third place with 13%. IE6 falls short, globally, with only 7% of the share.

The advantage of making sure your browser is up-to-date is, first and foremost, security. Browsers do get updated for a reason - it's not just to annoy you with update requests just as you want to do something urgently! Using out-dated browser versions may have serious security flaws that allow malicious websites to read your files, damage your files, steal your passwords or infect your computer with viruses. Old browsers are prone to having bugs and limitations that may create problems when using modern websites. New browsers, on the other hand, are much faster and the creators are all continuing to improve the user experience. Some sites are only compatible with new browsers, especially technology heavy websites with video, movement or interaction.

In developing websites we aim to ensure that the site content is compatible and accessible by any browser; but there will often be certain modern techniques and functionality that aren't compatible with older browsers. Web technology is a fast moving industry and is always striving to be one step ahead. The older the browser used, the more limited or even basic the user's experience of the web will be.

For security and usability reasons we would encourage everyone to upgrade to the latest version of the browser you use. Your experience on the web will be significantly improved.

Have a read of the Engadget article and let us know what you're using.


<![CDATA[New legal rules for websites]]> As you may have spotted from their recent advertising campaign, from March 1st the Advertising Standards Authority's online remit will be extended to cover marketing communications on organisations' own websites. The UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing (the CAP Code) will apply in full to marketing messages online, including the rules relating to misleading advertising, social responsibility and the protection of children.

It is worth noting that this applies not only to your own website(s) but also to other on-line space under your control (ranging from banner adverts to copy you have provided to go on other peoples' sites about your business) AND to your organisation's Social Networking sites - Facebook, Twitter LinkedIn etc.

If you have not reviewed your site recently now may be a good time for a quick bit of housekeeping, making sure that all the copy and messages are up-to-date and taking down any out-dated material.

Some further free advice is available at the ASA's website.

Given the new rules we will do our best to prioritise any changes clients need to make to sites before March 1st. Please call Wes or email as soon as possible if you require any assistance.

<![CDATA[CIM Networking @ Browns Bar, Brighton]]> Fancy catching up and comparing notes with fellow marketers? Or making some new contacts? The Chartered Institute of Marketing Sussex branch is holding a networking social from 6-9pm on February 17th Browns Bar and Brasserie Brighton.

Full details can be found at

<![CDATA[New design for the Royal Academy of Dance Faculty of Education website]]> Yesterday saw the launch of the newly redesigned Royal Academy of Dance's Faculty of Education website. The RAD is one of the world's most influential dance education and training organisations and we have had the pleasure of working with them for over 10 years. The launch of the latest design update marks the third version of the site that we have completed for them in the last 5 years. The Drupal based, fully content managed website has individual, student user access for course resources as well as student and teacher course forums and prospectus information for new students looking to study with the RAD.

<![CDATA[Brand Guidelines for Frances King School of English]]> Last week saw the completion of the final part of our corporate identity guidelines for Frances King School of English, based in the area of Kensington and Chelsea.

We have designed the logo and produced guidelines for usage, defining the primary, complimentary and secondary brand colours, typeface and use of imagery. We have also developed an extensive guide that includes stationery designs, merchandise and a classroom decorating guide. 

The end result is a consistent brand image and feel that will extend from Frances King's website right into the classroom experience of their students.

This week the Principal of Frances King will be presenting the new identity to staff and students with aid of some A2 brand posters. We took delivery of these today and you can see some photos on our Flickr! account.

<![CDATA[Movember: Five taches and a little lady]]> During November we'll be joining the growing club of modern gentlemen (and ladies) who believe in the virtues of fine moustachery.

We've all decided to donate our faces (and Julie's legs) to raising awareness about prostate cancer, as one man dies every hour in the UK from the disease. From the 1st of Movember (formerly known as November) the guys in the office will be growing their chosen style of moustaches and the girls will be letting their leg hair grow wild! We're asking colleagues, friends and family to donate to the worthy cause.

If you'd like to sponsor us or keep up to date with our progress then just follow the link to our team page.


<![CDATA[Preview Cluster V7]]> Today sees the launch of Preview Cluster 7. With a host of new features, the new version of our email marketing software has been designed to be as intuitive and easy as use as possible.

The new features include a new dashboard that has key information close at hand, a live feed of your account activity and improved Excel compatibility that allows you to copy and paste lists.

For more information about Cluster visit our website and to read about the new features and interface read our quick guide.

<![CDATA[New website for Zebedees Lunch Box]]> Last week we launched Phase 1 of the new website for Zebedees Lunch Box. Having worked with the team at Zebedee's for the last few years we were recently asked to develop a new corporate website and online ordering system. The site includes customer exclusive news, access to online menus, a newsletter sign up form linked to our email marketing software Preview Cluster and a postcode delivery check for new customers.

Zebedee's Lunch Box is a privately owned contract catering company, specialising in the supply of healthy, nutritious meals to schools and nurseries. Their nutritionally analysed hot lunches & desserts are prepared daily to ensure quality and freshness. Transported in temperature controlled containers, their meals stay hot until ready to serve.

With the new corporate site now live, development continues on Phase 2. Upon completion clients will be able to confirm orders for the following weeks lunches and include details of any special dietary requirements as well as view some of Zebedee's recipes.

<![CDATA[Biggest barrier to business exploiting search engine marketing and social networks]]> We were very pleased to be sponsoring CIM Sussex again this year as their events attract a great group of marketers and business people from across the county and some excellent speakers. Their first event of the season on Thursday, Maximise your sales with search and social media, was no exception with the venue seemingly full to bursting .... probably a fair indication of the interest in this area at the moment!

The presentation broke into two parts. A fellow sponsor spoke on the basic how to's and some more technical aspects of SEO and linking in with Social Media. Following that a major UK media group explained how they use their news and feature content to build the brand on-line through SEO and links with social sites. It was fascinating, although I'm sure every marketer in the room envied our presenter the richness of the content he had to work with ... not to mention his budgets!

The general impression from guests afterwards was along the lines of that looks a great opportunity ... I just wish I could do more. Having done a lot of technical search engine optimisation for clients, as well as a good deal of writing and content generation, the event got us thinking. What's the biggest barrier to business's exploiting search engine marketing and social networks more? Not feeling you've got the technical know-how? .... or not having enough content you think is strong enough to grab people's attention? ... not having the budget? .... or simply not having the time?

Let us have your views.

<![CDATA[Protecting creative and business concepts with a new app]]>

This week the highly anticipated Creative Barcode website was launched. We are pleased to have assisted with the technical development of the project and encourage everyone to find out more about how this new initiative lets agencies like Preview protect creative and business concepts. Downloading the app’ lets users start produce their own unique barcodes to uniquely identify creative work.

In the words of the founders “Creative Barcode™ protects written proposals, visual ideas and design projects with unique digital barcodes that identify the professional creator. It communicates concept ownership and denotes agencies and their clients’ ethical trading policies.”

<![CDATA[Preview goes surfing]]> In the run up to Christmas we have been helping new surf clothing brand, Wave Native, to build and launch its new ecommerce surf clothing site, The integration of a full content managed ecommerce system, company blog, gallery, and social media feeds created an extensive site that was completed on time and on budget.

The new brand, which is focussed on selling ethically manufactured surf clothing and leisure wear, went live in early December with a big PR and marketing launch planned for the new year. Keep an eye out for them and support another local business.

<![CDATA[Is design a way to combat recession?]]> According to new research from the Design Council, 54% of UK businesses are planning to use design to help them survive the economic downturn.

"It's the moment when design becomes absolutely critical to survival, growth and success - and it's great to see that there’s a growing recognition of this within the business community" says David Kester, Chief Executive of The Design Council.

<![CDATA[Why Brighton needs a brand]]> Last month Michael Wolff, co-founder of one of the world's most iconic design companies - Wolff Olins – addressed the city of Liverpool in a lecture called ‘Branding the City’. Wolff’s decision to focus on the brand identity of a city is another addition to the list of high profile bids to capture the brand of a city, in order to attract tourists and businesses. The City of Melbourne’s newly unveiled brand has caught people’s attention worldwide, as did The Greater London Authority’s recent (disastrous) invitation to tender for the design of a ‘Brand for London’. With all of this recent attention on destination branding, we thought it was a good time to consider the identity of our city and soon realised that Brighton needs a brand.


Why bother with a brand?
With the recent recession driving more holiday makers to British tourist spots, now is a perfect opportunity for Brighton to address its identity crisis. Over the past twenty years Brighton & Hove has undergone a massive cultural change. Development work and local communities have grown exponentially since it achieved city status in 2000. Tourism is still massive part of the local economy and with more than 8 million tourists visiting each year, it's vital that the city is able to compete with other seaside destinations.

Brighton’s identity crisis
Brighton represents a melting pot of history and youth. You will find a blend of social and economic groups mixing together happily. However focus on the city's nightlife has damaged its reputation in recent years. From its middle class cafe culture, to its architectural flamboyance. From booming digital businesses to exuberant nightlife. There are many different sides to Brighton, but it strikes us that there is no powerful symbol that can unite these different aspects.
There are existing logos used by Brighton & Hove City Council, that have different amounts of success and recognition. However Brighton deserves an icon that can become internationally synonymous with the city. Something infectious, something worn with pride by the people of Brighton, something that visitors are drawn to.

What a brand can do for Brighton
If you want to see a city using branding to its full potential, then take a look at how the 'I heart NY' icon created an inspirational worldwide icon. By building a brand that people believe in, you can promote Brighton to businesses, domestic and international students, tourists and investors. All of which brings money in to the city council, which can be re-invested.

Engaging the people of Brighton
Here at Preview we are excited by the power that the web can give communities. By connecting with Brighton's digital culture there is an opportunity to let anyone in Brighton have a say in how their home is portrayed. We would like to use the deep pool of digital specialists to develop a system for residents to rate, share, comment, discuss, record and respond to the city's culture. A shared brand that everyone has a stake in.

Creating the brand
Creating a brand for Brighton is a unique challenge and it would take a unique process to be successful. It's the task of a branding agency to get as close to clients and their audience, as possible. This is where we exploit our experience of working with public sector organisations. Our clients like to think of us as part of their company, including us in their board meetings and seeking our advice on their strategies. Our studio acts as an outsourced brand department, allowing us to submerge ourselves in the task. Working in partnership with clients, from ideas and planning, through to design, production and presentation.

An open invitation
We love to talk branding. We also love working with clients who challenge us. So this is an open invitation to Brighton & Hove CIty Council, to talk to us about Brighton's future and how we can help to make it better.

<![CDATA[Even Bigger Bangs]]> The Preview team turned out in force to support our client Dr Hal, while he and his team entertained the whole of the Brighton Dome Theatre with the Bigger Bang IV 'A Science Oddity' show. The evening was full of incredible explosions, fireworks, cryogenics, illuminations and dodgy gags! We've no doubt the audience left the show incredibly excited about the power of chemistry

There was also a special guest appearance on stage by Preview's office dalek. However, it was completely overshadowed by the life-sized version Hal and his team had built, which eventually had it's head blown off!

For more information on Dr Hal visit where you can sign up to his newsletter and receive updates on future shows and his range of educational science games.

<![CDATA[Happy Birthday to us]]> Last night was party night for everyone here at Preview. We invited our friends, partners and suppliers to join us in celebrating our 15th birthday. Not many agencies make it to 15 years of business, so we think it’s a landmark worth celebrating.

We’d like to say a huge ‘thank you’ to all of those who came to the party and helped to make it a very special night. The most respectable of the photos taken, can be seen on our Flickr feed (the rest will be held to ransom).

It’s great to look back at our achievements, but we are far more excited about the future. So we’ve decided to create a virtual time capsule of predictions for the next 15 years. We’ve already started the collection off by making our predictions for the next fifteen years, so now we’d like to hear from you.

Taking part is very simple. All you have to do post your prediction on Twitter, tagged with #preview15

<![CDATA[Can a brand survive without print?]]> Is print really dead?

More and more marketing plans are incorporating environmental policies. The need for printed marketing material is being questioned at every stage, to reduce costs and the impact on the environment. But we are asking are these reductions in print limiting how companies market themselves or is it the inevitable shift to fully digital brands?

<![CDATA[Gatwick Diamond Business Awards 2009]]> After the success of last year's Gatwick Diamond Business Awards, we were very pleased to be asked to produce another prelaunch campaign and event material for the 2009/2010 awards.

A teaser campaign has already been rolled out and the new site is live. Interest in this year's awards has already topped the previous event and tickets are almost sold out. So get in there quickly!

You can see our work as it progresses on our Flickr feed
And you can follow updates on the awards at the Gatwick Diamond Business Awards Twitter feed


<![CDATA[Is social media in your marketing strategy?]]> The recent news that "more than 80% of young adults in the world use social media to make purchasing decisions" has got many global brands taking their use of networking sites more seriously.

Surprisingly most SME's, education institutes and public sector organisations are still hesitant about making social media part of their overall strategy.

So we'd like to find out if you are making social media part of your strategy...

<![CDATA[Are you ready for Mobile Generation learners?]]> Each year colleges and universities up and down the country run intensive campaigns in an attempt to attract and engage new students. Marketing and branding budgets are spent on elaborate prospectuses, events, press ads and outdoor advertising. Many further and higher education institutes run strong campaigns with local schools in order to feed students on to courses, but despite all of these efforts it’s becoming increasingly harder to attract new students.

These challenging times, may be due to increasing numbers of distance learning options or the number of new academies opening. However it is more likely that it is due to the changing nature of the demographic. The upcoming generation of learners have been labelled many things, including “Generation Y”,  “Millennials” and “The Mobile Generation”, but one thing is for sure; they are part of a worldwide cultural phenomenon that is going change the rules branding and the way education is delivered. [more]

Due in part to the continual increase in E-Commerce and also due to the population spike, we can see that in less than five years time the Mobile Generation will have more buying power than all other generations combined - a fact that no brand can afford to ignore.

More and more evidence is being gathered to show that the next generation of learners have completely different buying patterns to anything that has come before. The Mobile Generation has grown up in a world where commentary on products and services has become commonplace. The advertising industry has struggled to engage younger audiences through traditional methods, due to their highly “brand aware” nature.

A recent survey unveiled some interesting facts on how digital technology now plays a central role in how young adults connect with the world
-    94% of people born between 1980 and 1990 own at least one mobile phone
-    97% own their own computer,
-    76% use an instant messaging service
-    69% use Facebook

So what can be done to prepare for this change?
By working with teacher trained consultants and by investing time in research we have built up a range of experience in the education sector and have learnt some valuable lessons about building strategic brand campaigns for colleges and universities:

Firstly the message you convey needs to be 100% sincere:
The Mobile Generation is a lot more respectful than the generations that have come before. You can’t treat them as if they don’t know anything and the worst thing you can do is act like you’re something you’re not.

Remember they use mobile technology to stay informed:
More than 25% of all internet traffic comes from mobile devices, so make sure your course material, news, applications and other digital services can be accessed by using mobile devices.

Keep an array of options:
Variety is completely acceptable. Don’t choose images or models that you think represent Generation Y. They want to see an array of personalities.

Ensure you are everywhere:
A lot can be learnt from Barrack Obama’s use of the web, during his 2008 election campaign. One thing we can take from it, was the campaign’s willingness to embrace all and every social network site and application available. Making his message widely accessible on every level.

Bring in the experts:
That’s us! Creating a brand that connects with a cynical demographic is no easy task, so if you’d like to discuss how your college or university can benefit from our expertise please call our Managing Director, Paul Harvey on 01273 834434

<![CDATA[lowcostholidays website scoops award]]> At this year’s prestigious Travolution awards, our client beat off stiff competition from Thomson, Thomas Cook and STA Travel to scoop win the Best Agent-Operator award for their website (which we designed). Fist bumps and high fives all round our studio today.

The judges said:
“A clear and coherent design, no-nonsense approach which sticks to its core product offering. A fantastic example of how to stick to the basics but ensure the proposition is well-executed for its target audience.”

Lawrence Hunt, Director at says:
"Well done, you have worked so hard during the last 12 months in building our fantastic web site, thank you for your commitment and dedication you've done a fantastic job and you should be proud of our site"

Yay us.

<![CDATA[What is your brand worth to you?]]> According to research by Millward Brown Google's brand was valued at $100 billion. With more and more investors placing emphasis on brand valuation, it's about time we took stock of our own brands...

<![CDATA[What can marketers learn from the Innocent backlash?]]> Your brand, your promise
When you create and deliver a brand you construct an image, an image that customers will use to evaluate your business. That image has a number of different tasks, depending on your business objectives, but it’s fair to say that all brands should give a true representation of a business’s values. Your brand makes a promise to deliver on its image.

However, if your brand image hides a different story, it’s very possible consumers who have bought in to your product or service will feel cheated. We all know that a cheated consumer is not to be messed with, as the web provides limitless outlets for customers with negative feelings. [more]

Over the past ten years Innocent Drinks have built a £100 million brand by using well-penned copy, clever packaging and a minimal amount of advertising. Members of the Innocent fan club were regularly invited to participate in competitions that influenced products and packaging. In fact, they displayed all the hallmarks of a brand completely in tune with their customers.

Innocence lost
In April 2009 Innocent Drinks announced it had struck a deal with Coca-Cola. Innocent sold a stake in its company for around £30 million. This unexpected deal puts an entirely different spin on the Innocent brand, which many people felt was a home-grown British brand, offering a healthy, socially conscious alternative to the unhealthy, global, super brands.

The Innocent brand stood for honesty, healthy diets and environmentally friendly business practice. Which is world away from where Coca-Cola’s brand currently sits. Over the years Coca-Cola has been plagued by accusations of pollution, third world exploitation, market monopolisation and promoting unhealthy products, amongst other things.

The backlash
Since Innocent announced the deal, customers have begun to speak out against the company, claiming they have sold out on their values. Effectively they are being accused of breaking their brand promise. Groups have been set up all around the web to speak out against the deal.

Product sales are falling and boycotts have begun. Altogether, it would seem that Innocent’s bid to become a global brand has got off to a very rocky start.

Lessons we can learn

Innocent is by no means the first brand to suffer from take over backlash. Pret a Manger came under fire when it sold a stake to McDonalds, as did The Body Shop when it sold to L’Oréal. But these scenarios are an ideal time for marketers to engage with negative feedback. Social networks and blogs provide all the facilities that brand managers and marketers need to monitor customer reaction and connect with the key groups.

So, what can we all learn from these brands?

1.    Be honest when creating your brand
2.    Deliver your brand promise
3.    Listen when your loyal customers complain
4.    Respond to negative criticism and don’t attempt to cover it up

<![CDATA[Marketing or Finance, Who rules the boardroom?]]> On the 30th September The Chartered Institute of Marketing will try to resolve the old question of 'who rules the boardroom - marketing or finance?'.

At this exciting joint event, co-hosted by CIM Sussex and CIMA, you’ll hear views and insight from experts in both marketing and finance. You’ll then have a unique opportunity to thrash out and  solve a scenario around your table in a discussion hosted by representatives from CIM, CIMA, ICAEW, PWC and DMA.

Come along to understand what makes the suits in finance tick and the open-necked shirts in marketing buzz, and whether working closer together makes for a profitable future and peaceful co-existence.

Crowne Plaza Hotel, Langley Drive, Crawley, West Sussex, RH11 7SX

£30 non-member, £25 member, £15 studying member

18:00 Registration and buffet, 18:30 programme starts

Booking Tickets:
Call +44 (0)1628 427340 or book online

<![CDATA[Delivering an iconic British brand]]> Back in June we were very pleased to add the NHS to our client roster. As our work began we soon found that working with a brand that is so integral to British life comes with as many challenges, as rewards.

We asked ourselves; ‘how do we find creative new ways of delivering one of our country’s most recognisable and well-established brands?’[more]

We worked directly with Concordia Healthcare, an independent organisation who manage a network of health centres across London. They approached us to help them brand and launch each new centre. Concordia’s health centres are focussed on patient’s needs, rather than doctor’s schedules. This unique service offering provided us with the keystone in our campaign work.

We set about our challenge with our usual vigour and took the time to get to grips with the NHS’ robust set of guidelines, ensuring that we had a thorough understanding of the brand’s design principles.
Following the design and installation of each centre's signage the digital locations were created using a centrally managed series of websites; each one meeting the most stringent accessibility standards and focussing on delivering content as concisely as possible.

Finally we designed a selection of posters and direct mail pieces to launch each of the centres across the region and drive patients registrations.

So far the work has been so successful that another four centres are being planned within London, with further print and digital work to follow.

<![CDATA[Is free pitching bad for business?]]> This month we’ve been busy with pitches and we started to think, it’s been a part of business for many years and shows no sign off leaving.

<![CDATA[Adams & Remers launches brand online]]> Following their recent rebrand, law firm Adams & Remers turned to us to help them deliver their new brand online. We worked alongside their marketing managers to produce an in-depth online presence that not only serves the needs of their private and business clients, but also comes with a robust admin system, allowing the Adams & Remers staff to update content and news items quickly and easily.

<![CDATA[Preview appointed to deliver the NHS brand]]> Here at Preview we eat, sleep and dream brands, so we jumped at the chance to work with a brand as iconic as the NHS.

We have been working on delivering the NHS brand across a number of new practices in London. Each of the new surgeries will be supported with websites, advertising, signage and direct mail. Our digital team created a cost effect template system that allows us to quickly set up well-structured websites for each of the new surgeries that meet the detailed NHS brand guidelines.

<![CDATA[Changefirst goes live]]> The new brand work for Changefirst had its online roll out this week. We have been working with Changefirst since last year on a number of strategic and digital projects that will be launched over the coming months.

The website was created in conjunction with our lovely friends at Leapfrogg and will have some nice new content and functionality additions soon.

<![CDATA[We are 15!]]> This month we celebrated our fifteenth year in the creative business. Our age is something we are very proud and it’s something we think is worth celebrating.

According to a recent report on the Cultural and Creative Sector by the Learning & Skills Council the lifespan of a creative agency in the South East is just five years. When we look back at our history it’s hard not to feel proud of all we have achieved, but it also seems the perfect moment to look forward at the exciting times we have in front of us.

We marked our birthday with a (reasonably well behaved) team outing, but we that’s not all. We are planning a much bigger celebration later in the year with balloons and everything. More details on our plans and invites will be posted in the coming months.

<![CDATA[Nick is a fellow]]> We are very proud to say that Nick, our Founding Director, has been officially certified as a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM). The fellowship is only awarded to those who have held executive or senior positions within marketing for more than five years and have a proven track record of expertise and success in creating and implementing campaigns.

To find out more about CIM head over to their site.

To send Nick a (digital) pat on the back head over to our contact page.

<![CDATA[GBDA Awards Night]]> Last night Nick, Paul and Martyn put on their best bowties and attended the Gatwick Diamond Business Awards. Not only were we chosen to create the branding and marketing material for the event, but we were also lucky enough to be selected as finalists in two of the awards.

It's not everyday you get to see your logo design work carved in to a six foot tall ice sculpture. So we invited some of our business partners and clients to celebrate our work and nominations.

Thanks to everyone who came along and cheered for us and big thanks to Cadia for pulling together such a great event. We'd like to say congratulations to Marc Koska from Star Syringe, who won business person of the year and whose invention has helped to save an estimated five million lives. Also to Assurity Consulting who scooped the award for their commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility. Pretty tough competition for us!

We'll see you there next year.

Click here to see some photos of the event.

<![CDATA[Dr Hal brand goes live]]> After months of research and planning the first fruits of our work on the new Dr Hal brand has gone live. Over the coming weeks the first wave products and point of sale items will go to print, followed by direct mail and website upgrades.

You can see a taster of the work on the new Dr Hal website. We are all very proud of the work produced so far and are eagerly looking forward to the other brand material currently in the pipeline.

<![CDATA[Vine Resources]]> We are very pleased to announce that we have begun work on a strategic brand campaign with Vine Resources. A young and growing recruitment agency based in London, they turned to us to help bring their brand forward and drive new business over the course of the year.

We've begun work on devising a campaign strategy and creating a schedule of marketing communications. Work is also underway on developing the Vine identity and printed material. The first fruits of our labour will be seen in the coming months with lot's more brand goodness appearing later.

<![CDATA[Northbrook College]]> We’ve always been big supporters of design education and often take students through our studio to show them how we operate and, most importantly, the skills they need when out in a commercial environment. So we are all very proud that we've been asked to help with reviewing Northbrook College's newest design course.

The new Foundation Degree is due to launch at the end of this year and we've started working alongside Course Leader and design legend Mike Skinner to impart our collective wisdom and experiences of the creative industry. Sadly we've already been advised that office frisbee and body popping won't be included in course, as per our suggestions. Boo.

<![CDATA[Awards Fame & Glory]]> After more than fifteen years in business it’s still nice fantastic to receive recognition and this week we found out that we made it as not one, but two finalists in the prestigious Gatwick Diamond Business Awards.

With supporters including PricewaterhouseCoopers and RBS, these awards have gained a significant amount of credibility. We've been nominated for “The Award for Corporate Social Responsibility” for our work with local charities, disability organisations, local schools and voluntary work, and Nick has made it into the final 3 for “The Gatwick Diamond Business Person Of The Year”.

The winners will be announced oin the 12th March at a posh gala dinner at the Gatwick Hilton. Photos and results from the event will be posted here next month. The very best of luck to everyone involved, please keep your fingers crossed for us!

<![CDATA[]]> For the past couple of months we have been working with on the design of their newly launched website. Working alongside our genius technology friends at Intuitive Systems we developed the overall art direction and a suit of design templates. With a tight deadline and a complex backend system the project provided our designers with a great challenge that we are all very proud to see unleashed in to the world.

<![CDATA[The Preview 2008 Yearbook]]> The highs, the lows, the dramas, the glory, the romance it's all in there. We've been busier than ever in 2008 and instead of coasting in to the closing weeks we decided to make ourselves even busier by compiling a retrospective of the year.

We hope you enjoy reading it and we hope to see you all in there next year.

Click here to download the 2008 Preview Yearbook (2.5mb pdf)

<![CDATA[Matt Higson, Designer]]> Designer Matt Higson (right) has recently joined the Preview team, quickly settling in and diving head on into a number of projects including the design of a new brochure for IMA International and a direct mail piece for Concordia Health Care.

Matt brings with him an enthusiasm for typography, branding and an eye for detail plus his love of cycling and cakes means the office is now adorned with a multitude of deliveries of cycling equipment and afternoon treats.