Archive for the ‘Branding’ Category

YOU’VE BEEN LYNCHED

January 4, 2023

Cristiano Ronaldo. Kanye West. Andrew Tate.

If Piers Morgan was an undertaker, he’d be investigated for filling his own coffins such has been the fallout for these men following their appearance on his ‘Piers Morgan Uncensored’ show.

Since their chin wagging with the gobby gammon, all three men have experienced catastrophic professional collapses – even if Ronaldo is being soothed by $4m-a-week to play exhibition football in the Saudi Arabian league.

Professional cigar smoker and misogynist, Andrew Tate, was arrested by Romanian police in one of the most brilliant self-owns ever, while the idiot formerly known as Kanye West has self-immolated, in honour of his fellow entrepreneur and misunderstood artist… **check notes** Adolf Hitler.

Morgan’s Midas touch might be only a coincidence, of course, but if he had his way there’d be a fourth victim – one Mick Lynch, the head of Britain’s Rail, Marine and Transport workers’ union.

Alas, while Morgan enjoyed friendly fireside chats with Ronaldo, Tate & Ye, his attempt to take Lynch down at the knees went awry, with the presenter’s attempts to rattle his guest falling flat – inspiring no end of humiliation on social media.

“Is that the level your journalism is at these days?” Lynch asked, when Morgan attempted a ‘gotcha’ by taking aim at Lynch’s obviously humorous Facebook profile photo – a bald puppet from cult 60s TV show Thunderbirds that bore a passing resemblance to Lynch.

“You’re about to wreak havoc on the country, and [The Hood – a fictional terrorist puppet] that’s a man who wreaked havoc on the world!” Morgan continued, unwilling to stop digging, before being put back in his place by Lynch; “Is that the level we’re at, don’t you want to talk about the issues, instead of a little vinyl puppet from when I was a kid?”

“You seem very irritated” Morgan argued, to an utterly nonplussed Lynch. “Well, I’m not”, he responded, as Morgan’s face became ever more crimson.

It was just one of a number of tete-a-tetes in which Lynch won by unanimous decision, going from an unknown trade unionist to a much respected national figure in a matter of months.

As we head into 2023, with public anger growing in many countries due to spiralling costs, inflationary pressures and a general disillusionment with elected leaders’ unable and/or unwilling to make a positive impact – Lynch has become a beacon of common sense and sensibility, in no small part due to those straight talking media appearances.


Morgan has been buried, with Kay Burley, Richard Madeley and others suffering similar fates. I have yet to see anyone ruffle Lynch’s feathers, and that applies to politicians who have endured the same fate as interviewers. He’s given the gotcha kings and queens on GB News a wide berth, however, insisting ‘They’re a bunch of right wing bigots from what I can see”.

Straight talking like that can get you in trouble, but only if you’re not concrete in your views and certain you’ve done your homework. Lynch nails both.

The 61 year-old, born in London to Irish parents from Cork and Armagh, cites James Connolly as his inspiration and has enjoyed quite the rise from a 16 year-old school leaver to a man holding the British government – packed with Eton and Oxbridge graduates – to account. He has gained support on the left, as one might expect – but a quick social media search will prove he’s earned respect from outwith the expected groups.

“If (he) had to do what my members do, getting up at all hours of the morning, working shifts in arduous working circumstances, putting up with all sorts of conditions…he wouldn’t survive a minute, and he wouldn’t have a future in the real world, where they’ve never done a hand’s turn – as my mother used to say.”

This comment, referencing Piers Morgan’s ‘bile and hate speech’, as Lynch called it, showed why and how he’s become so popular. In any media training, we speak about knowing your message and your audience, and being able to weave both into a conversation in an authentic way.

Lynch stands up for his key audience, speaks with a calm authority, and knows his topic inside out. Not a single interviewer or politician has been able to outdo him when it came to facts and figures (Brexit vote aside).

“As my mother used to say” is a classic soft touch to add to a quote – aligning him with his members; the average man and woman in the street.

He’s taken advantage of big ticket appearances on the likes of Piers Morgan’s show, Good Morning Britain, Sky News and the BBC – but he doesn’t over do it. A burst of media appearances ensures that each time he shares his message it’s fresh and we’re not tired of seeing and hearing him.

He’s also shown an eagerness to embrace social media and online channels that may reach a younger audience, an audience recent studies show are trending more to the left than previous generations, and staying there even as they age.

“The new media outlets and social media give us more opportunities,” Lynch said recently. “More and more people don’t trust the mainstream media for various reasons. The main thing is we have to convince our people, trade unionists, to take the action, and that spreads to other people in the community – whether it’s in your pub, your mosque, your church or temple, people have those discussions about what’s going on.”

Once more, Lynch gets his message across in a calm, concise tone, and effortlessly touches on multiple audiences by going beyond just ‘the pub’ when referring to communities where he’d like his message heard.

You may not be planning on becoming a national icon in 2023, but if you end up in front of cameras and microphones, then watching and listening to Mick Lynch will be time well spent.

It’ll be more entertaining, at least, than watching Piers discuss the Saudi Arabian league.

The power of colour

December 12, 2022
Graphic Design - Fuzion Communications

Colour has a unique language, and the ability to change its meaning when associated with other colours.

When choosing colours to incorporate into your design, you will have to consider a few issues: contrast and harmony, which affect legibility, but you can also set the mood of a design by using the psychology of colours.

You must be sure your selected colours convey the right message.

Colours have a symbolic association in all societies, depending on the context, and different cultures assign different meanings.

For example, did you know that Green was associated with poison in the 19th century through its link with arsenic, while today it is seen as the colour of spring and sustainability?

The meaning of colour can change over time and of course across different cultures. If you are speaking to an international target audience then you will need to be aware of such differences.

Despite these local differences, colours have universal characteristics. Our brand’s main colour is light blue, which is seen as cool with some notes of calmness, peace and safety.

This is to explain that colour is a powerful tool for us and for you as the eye picks up this difference very quickly.

When we design a website, we use colours to help people navigate through the structure of the website, and when it comes to brochures or catalogues the process is the same: for example, we use visual associations to delineate sections.

When it comes to printing we, as designers, use spot colours and when selecting colours for this, we use a universal matching system known as Pantone.

It is a mix from 15 pigments. Colour Institute forecasts global colour trends and advises companies on colour in brand identity and product development. Every year the Institute picks a colour. The Pantone colour of this year is PANTONE 18-1750 Viva Magenta – In case you haven’t heard!

From Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Colour Institute:“As virtual worlds become a more prominent part of our daily lives, we look to draw inspiration from nature and what is real. PANTONE 18-1750 Viva Magenta descends from the red family, and is inspired by the red of cochineal, one of the most precious dyes belonging to the natural dye family as well as one of the strongest and brightest the world has known. Rooted in the primordial, PANTONE 18-1750 Viva Magenta reconnects us to original matter. Invoking the forces of nature, it galvanizes our spirit, helping us to build our inner strength.

So while many of the major paint companies selected a mix of soft neutrals, deep blue-greens and pretty pinks for their colours of the year, Pantone opted to go bold with a lively red.

The world we are living in is a critical context and for sure we all need to be stronger than ever, and Eiseman highlighted it to Time magazine saying: “As 2022 saw ongoing challenges like turbulent politics, the Covid-19 pandemic, and other issues facing our world, this year’s colour was based on an “unconventional time”“.

When thinking about your next challenge, whether it’s design-oriented or life oriented, remember that sometimes going bold is not always a bad thing!

#WinHappy!

Milena

Milena is a senior graphic designer with Fuzion Communications operating from offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

The 2022 World Cup in Qatar has caused a reputation crisis for FIFA

December 8, 2022

“It’s the most controversial World Cup in recent history and a ball hasn’t even been kicked. Ever since FIFA chose Qatar back in 2010, the smallest nation to host football’s greatest competition has faced some big questions. 

From accusations of corruption in the bidding process to the treatment of migrant workers who’ve built the stadiums where many lost their lives. Homosexuality is illegal here and women’s rights are also in the spotlight. Also the decision to switch the tournament from summer to winter. 

Against that backdrop, there is a tournament to be played here that will be watched and enjoyed around the world. Stick to football, say FIFA, well we will – for a couple of minutes at least.” 

Those were the words of former England footballer turned BBC presenter Gary Lineker as he opened coverage of the world’s most illustrious football tournament. He made it clear to viewers that the World Cup being hosted in Qatar is surrounded by scandal and it is not just Qatar that should be under the spotlight but world football’s governing body FIFA. 

This is not just the view of Gary Lineker but many people in both the football world and outside of that. Roy Keane speaking live from Qatar told ITV viewers that, “It’s been mentioned about the corruption with FIFA, the way they treat migrant workers, gay people…it’s great that it’s been brought up. They shouldn’t have the World Cup here; you can’t treat people like that.” It is such comments from high-profile footballing names like Lineker and Keane that has helped to drive increased media spotlight on Qatar and FIFA. 

You might be asking now, ‘How the hell were they ever even selected to host the tournament?’. The US Department of Justice reportedly claims that bribes were taken by high-ranking officials during the selection of Russia and Qatar as the tournament hosts for both the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. These are accusations that are denied by both Russian and Qatari officials. Of course, the words of these regimes have proven so honourable in the past!

FIFA’s reputation amongst football fans has always been one of caution in recent years. In 2015, FIFA headquarters were raided by the FBI and Swiss authorities in connection with an investigation into corruption by officials within the organisation and other associates connected. This investigation led to the removal of Sepp Blatter as FIFA President and investigations into the bidding process for both the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, as mentioned above. 

When former UEFA official, Gianni Infantino, was elected President of FIFA in February 2016. He was elected to bring in a new dawn of respected and responsible governance to world football. However, his reign as president has failed to do just that. Infantino has instead overseen an organisation that has been dogmented by its past, failing to usher in that new dawn in which all football fans across the world hoped for.

Infantino remained silent when people criticised the holding of the 2018 World Cup in Russia despite Putin’s annexation of Crimea at the time and his regime’s anti-LGBTQ stance. Criticism of the bidding process into the 2018 World Cup and Russia’s holding of the tournament has become increasingly controversial post the event. Most partly due to the rise of what we now know as ‘sportswashing’ and Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine earlier this year.

In fact, these two issues have also contributed to the increased media scrutiny on current World Cup host Qatar this time round. A nation in which Amnesty International says, “Despite government reforms, migrant workers continued to face labour abuses and struggled to change jobs freely. Curtailment of freedom of expression increased in the run-up to FIFA World Cup 2022. Women and LGBTI people continued to face discrimination in law and practice.”

For Infantino, this is not Russia 2018 and he can no longer ignore the questions being asked by fans, players, football associations, and governments across the world. His and FIFA’s response to those questions centred around the issues described by Amnesty International, above, have left him and the organisation facing even further scrutiny and reputational damage.

On the eve of the tournament kicking off, Infantino held a press conference where hit out at the critics of FIFA, Qatar, and the decision to hold the World Cup there. He remarked, “What we Europeans have been doing for the last 3,000 years, we should be apologising for the next 3,000 years before starting to give moral lessons.” This comment was followed up with a series of personal confessions by Infantino in which he strangely said, “Today I feel Qatari. Today I feel Arab. Today I feel African. Today I feel gay. Today I feel disabled. Today I feel a migrant worker.” That was after Infantino told a packed press conference that he knew how it felt to be discriminated against because as a child he was teased for having red hair and freckles. 

This press conference by the FIFA President was met with much backlash, as many felt that he belittled the groups affected by the discriminations of the Qatari regime, especially members of the LBGTQ community and migrant workers. FIFA’s reputation took another hit only days later when it decided that it would book players who dared to wear the ‘OneLove’ armband onto the field of play during the course of the tournament. This came as many European nations had decided that the team captain would do this to show solidarity with the LGBTQ community in Qatar and across the world. 

On the back of this penalty, those countries who proposed to wear the armband decided not to do so. Subsequently, FIFA has remained relatively quiet on this decision but only to reinforce their ruling when asked to comment. It seems the approach of FIFA to negative publicity and public outcry over the 2022 World Cup in Qatar is to remain silent on the issues and when they do speak to defend their actions. Even if they are deemed to be extremely unpopular ones, especially in the West.

FIFA’s shaky reputation has taken a hammering in the last few weeks over the World Cup being held in Qatar. And it is clear that Gianni Infantino has not ushered in a new regime that many football fans would have hoped for when he became FIFA President in 2016. His actions of late are proven evidence of this.

Recently, the much disgraced former FIFA President, Sepp Blatter, admitted that it was a mistake to award Qatar the World Cup. If FIFA wants to start to repair its reputation, then its current president could follow Blatter’s lead by doing the same.

Despite all of this, the football continues and while money and corruption brought (or bought!) the tournament to this inappropriate location there has been some refreshing “purity” to the actual matches, The best players from a country play the best players from another country, and unlike club football where the teams such as Manchester City and PSG can buy success we are refreshingly seeing the opposite, with many surprises and shock exits.

So while football is actually winning, it is a real pity that the teams and the players did not come together, wear their armbands or even refuse to play at all. They are the attraction, the ones who have built the fantastic reputation of the World Cup and despite the best efforts of FIFA it still continues to be the most fantastic, celebration festival of football in the world..

Dylan

Dylan Morley is an Account Executive at Fuzion Communications, full service marketing and PR agency, with offices in Cork and Dublin.

Nothing says IMPACT like an event….

October 11, 2022

After a two-year hiatus on in-person events, it has been a busy few months at Fuzion, planning, organising, and executing a number of events for our clients.

From new pet-store openings to live cookery demos, art exhibitions and high-profile national container terminal launches – it has been a whirlwind……..and we love it!

There is nothing like an event to create a high level of impact – through both the media coverage gained, and the all-important lasting impression with clients and stakeholders. Even the simple act of inviting people to your event is an excellent way of getting their attention and making them aware of the initiative.

Events form a valuable part of a communications strategy, connecting clients with their customers, stakeholders, staff, and the local community….it’s all about taking a moment to thank those who are close to you, reinforce those connections, and celebrate the milestone your company has achieved.

The recent launch of the Port of Cork, Cork Container Terminal in Ringaskiddy was an excellent example of creating impact. Not only did we reach almost every news outlet that day – from national TV and radio news bulletins, to print, online and trade publications, but for the 200 guests in attendance, (some of which chartered flights from overseas to attend) the atmosphere created on the day is something they won’t soon forget.

It’s safe to say at Fuzion, we put on a great show!

(Disclaimer: Working in partnership with an amazing, proactive client is also a great help!)

So how do we do it? Here are my top 10 tips to create a memorable event:

  1. Planning – planning in advance is key. Brainstorm, research and map out your event format and a guideline budget. Keep track of your activities, budget, suppliers, checklists and media targets in one, easy-to-follow spreadsheet that all of the team have access to and keep it updated regularly. A well-thought-out running order will be your bible!
  1. Personalise – wherever possible BRAND IT! Creativity goes a long way – from your event invite (we use Greenvelope.com – an e-invite that works a treat), to your catering, decorations, and staging – a running theme helps create a cohesive look and feel. Guests will appreciate the attention to detail.
  1. Guestlist – inviting high-profile guests, relevant to your event, will help attract media attention and adds a layer of esteem to your event.
  1. Create unique experiences – Add a dash of something EXTRA and involve your guests in an interactive experience to add the wow factor. A boat trip, guided tour, a live demonstration or performance….or a trip up a 50 metre high crane – the possibilities are endless!
  1. Make it ‘instagrammable’ – A quirky photo backdrop, mural, balloon art and other branded elements all help to encourage guests to share photos from your event on the day. Set a memorable hashtag for your event and get trending! Video footage, or better yet, drone footage will bring your insta-game up a notch.
  1. Divide & Conquer – behind every good event is a team of people running behind the scenes. Share out as many of the tasks and responsibilities as possible and have regular check-in meetings with your team to make sure everything is on track and everyone knows their role on the day.
  1. Suppliers – work with trusted suppliers, ideally those you have worked with before to ensure the smooth running of your event. Draft briefs for each supplier detailing your agreed setup and timings. A good working relationship with your press photographer is key – to capture ‘the money shot’
  1. Embargo or Exclusive? Select your key target press and contact them with the relevant information well in advance (at least 3-4 weeks if possible). This will allow them time to plan their story, arrange interviews and schedule time to attend the event in their calendar. Draft your press release early, have it approved and share it with select trusted media contacts under embargo. Sweeten the deal with a first exclusive to one of your high-profile national targets – though caution is advised here – choose carefully!
  1. Get stuck in – often with events, not everything is going to go exactly to plan, so allow for flexibility and get stuck in wherever needed. Comfortable shoes on the day are a must…..and breathe!

10. Got to have Swag offering a small gift or goodie bag to guests on departure is a nice touch that will ensure they are taking home something to remember you by…..

We also co-ordinate the speeches, ensuring that content isn’t duplicated (not always easy!) and for the team members who are in the spotlight with the media, we make sure they are well trained and prepared, to ensure that they do manage to communicate the important messages about the respective initiative – there is so much involved!

Of course, this list could go on for days, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach…..but executed correctly with the right event partners, who are as organised as they are creative, you are sure to create a memorable event and that all-important IMPACT.

Suzanne

Suzanne is a Senior Account Manager with Fuzion Communications, a key part of our PR and Event Management team. We operate from offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland.

The Love Island Effect – Fast Fame & Fast Fashion

September 22, 2022

It’s been one month since we last ran to the couch at 9pm to hear, for the last time this summer, “Previously… on Love Island”. 

For eight weeks of summer, Love Island almost has a chokehold over the nation. Those out for a Sunday drink calling it a night at 8.30pm, those holidaying abroad praying that their wifi is strong enough for Virgin Media player.

An average of 204,000 viewers tuned in across Ireland each night to see how the contestants were getting on, and who they were getting with. For those eight weeks, the reality TV show basically took over our social lives and had us hooked to our screens.

Each season, while romances, friendships and tensions build inside the villa, we watch the contestants’ social media followings build on the outside, particularly on Instagram. The rise to fame is fast, as fast fashion brands scramble to secure their newest brand ambassadors, fighting for the ‘best’ with their top competitors. 

Take Molly-Mae Hague – the most successful contestant ever on the show. Molly-Mae was slowly breaking her way into the world of influencer marketing before ever appearing on or being associated with Love Island, regularly posting on Instagram and sharing to her YouTube channel. She entered the Spanish villa with approximately 170,000 followers. Coming not in first, but in second place on series 5 of the show, there were countless fast fashion brands lining up left, right and centre to sign her up.

She was the first UK influencer that Starbucks had ever paid to post content for them. She exited the villa, to sign a deal with fast-fashion retailer, PrettyLittleThing (PLT), as a brand ambassador. Fast forward three years, she is now their Creative Director – she now has a whopping 6.4 Million Instagram followers, making her the most successful Love Island contestant to date. 

Fast forward to this year. Gemma Owen, daughter of famous English football player, Michael Owen – remember that goal in the 1998 World Cup? Well, Gemma has now almost surpassed her fathers fame, at least with this generation. Gemma entered the villa with 79.5k followers and has now hit the 2 Million mark. Following in the footsteps of Molly-Mae, she has just last week signed an ambassador deal with PrettyLittleThing. 

Ekin-Su, the queen of this summer’s Love Island who did a 180 on the show and won the nations hearts, has quickly jumped to a whopping 3 Million followers, proving she is most deserving of that title. She has signed (supposedly) the biggest deal in Love Island history, with fast-fashion brand, Oh Polly, worth £1 Million. 

It has to be questioned whether Love Island has become the gate-way to fashion deals, as opposed to a path to ‘finding love’? 

Molly-Mae has previously admitted on her YouTube channel that she went on Love Island as a career move and did not think she’d find love, only to meet Tommy (queue the “awwww”). But was this a one-off?

Can Ekin-Su and Gemma maintain their Love Island romances? Deep down, do they really care once they have their brand deals? It is early days for them but time will tell – if love fails, they have fame and fast-fashion…

And as for brands, they all love a good influencer!

Mary

Mary O’Mahony is an Account Manager with Fuzion Communications, a full service PR, Marketing and Graphic Design agency operating from offices in Dublin and Cork.

Football & Brand Loyalty

August 29, 2022

The recent return of the Premier League for its now 31st season has begun to intensify rivalry and debate with the offices of Fuzion Communications.

As a Manchester United fan, I have been on the receiving end of most of the mockery that has taken place. However, it has not stopped me defending my club like I am a player or member of the coaching staff. In turn, this led me to think about why we show such loyalty to our football clubs compared to other brands, businesses, and organisations.

The process of being a fan of a football club is clear. You start to like football, you watch a couple of matches, you select the club you want to follow, and you support that club for the rest of your life. Seems easy and hassle free doesn’t it!

In reality, it is often not so easy and not so hassle free.

I first started to watch football in the 2007/08 season. At this time, Manchester United were the current English champions and my dad, a Leeds United fan, told me they were the biggest and best club in England, if not the world. Me being me, only the biggest and best would do and so I became a Man Utd supporter. Over the next six seasons, I would see Man Utd win four Premier Leagues, a Champions League, two League Cups, and a Club World Cup. Then Sir Alex Ferguson decided to retire as manager in 2013 and our reign of success came to an end.

Fast forward nine years, and I have not seen Man Utd win another Premier League title. This would have been unimaginable to think the day I started supporting the club and not just to me or Man Utd fans but to every other football supporter across the globe. So, after nearly a decade of no league titles and relatively little success, why do I or even should I continue to support the club?

Over the last few years,  I have been a generally unhappy and dissatisfied Man Utd supporter. If I was unhappy with any other brand, business, and organisation, then I would simply switch to a competitor, if available. There are plenty of football clubs that I could support instead. I am sure being a Manchester City or Liverpool FC supporter over the last few years would have made my life much easier (although United supporters do hold the bragging rights over Liverpool fans at the moment!).

The key reason why football fans do not decide to ditch their team for another comes down to brand identity. In any business or organisation, brand identity should be considered the essence of the brand. A strategic goal of any brand strategy is to develop a pathway for the ‘returning customer’. Creating a distinct and attractive brand identity allows you to further brand loyalty and retain it over the long-term.

To identify successfully with any customer or fan, your brand needs to include features that appeal to and satisfy their needs. Your brand identity should have characteristics, traits, and values that match your customer or fan-base, while also having a clear distinction from competitors. This allows you to build a high level of prestige for your brand and enables fans or customers to perceive their favourite team/brand as attractive and share a common identity with other fans. You will see greater brand loyalty translate because of this strategic approach.

The benefit of greater brand loyalty is important to the long-term sustainable future of any business or organisation. For those who partake in brand loyalty, whether consciously or not, they do so without cost being a significant factor, as they perceive a higher quality and better service than other brands.

Brand loyalty can only be considered as reached when customers repeatedly purchase a particular brand. For example, a regular cup of coffee at Starbucks can cost about 2-3 times as much as at a filling station or supermarket and you are not guaranteed the same product or service at different locations around the world. However, people will still queue in Starbucks stores, even if they are running late, for their coffee fix.

When you achieve brand loyalty then there are two reasons that a fan or customer will stay loyal: hope and expectation. Your brand’s loyal customer base will be hoping and expecting for a certain standard of product or service.

It is important to remember that achieving brand loyalty does not mean that you have that customer for life. That is where football clubs and more traditional business-orientated brands differ. It is much easier to ditch your regular brand of washing powder than your football club. You must keep your customers with a level of hope and expectation to retain brand loyalty.

But as is often said in sport and life, ‘it is the hope that kills you’!

Dylan

Dylan Morley is a PR account executive with Fuzion Communications, a full service Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency who operate from offices in Dublin and Cork

21 Questions with… Greg Canty!

July 22, 2022

Welcome to the first of our Fuzion Friday series, where we put 21 devilishly difficult questions to a team member, giving you an insight that Freud would be proud of.

Leading the way is Partner and Liverpool nut Greg!

  1. Tell us something about you that nobody else in the team might know.

I managed local bands for a few years, many moons ago

  1. What film have you watched more than five times?

Planes, Trains and Automobiles – a genius movie by John Hughes

  1. What work are you most proud of in the past year?

I did a series of podcasts for the Heritage Council, which were all quite different 

  1. Dream job?

Doing any job as part of Jurgen Klopp’s team

  1. Favourite brand? – Why?

Liverpool FC – I think football teams are the ultimate brand that we all have a deep connection to. You might change your partner, but you never change your team!

  1. Favourite Holiday Destination?

That has to be Siena in Tuscany in Italy for the Palio. It’s a beautiful city that oozes history and character as well as having great food and wine of course.

  1. Best lesson from your career?

Stay positive – when things are tough, roll those sleeves up, and get stuck in 

  1. Eurovision or World Cup?

World Cup!

  1. Who is the joker on the team?

That could be me !

  1. Recommend a podcast.

I think Hidden Brain is very clever.

  1. Reality shows – Love or Hate?

How about ‘detest’?

  1. Dinner party with 3 people – dead or alive – who do you invite?

Jurgen Klopp, Robert Plant and Ken Robinson

  1. If you could be anywhere in the world – where would you be & what would you do?

I would have a little music store/café in Siena.

  1. Who is your role model?

Jurgen Klopp and my dad

  1. What was your first job?

I had my own newspaper round

  1. Death Row meal?

Spaghetti Bolognese 

  1. Favourite book?

Good to Great by Jim Collins

  1. Your a grammar nazi oar not?

Not really

  1. First album you bought or downloaded?

Boomtown Rats’ debut album. I caught it in a small store in Dungarvan while staying with my uncle and aunt.

  1. Work from home – or office?

This social creature discovered he likes working from home!

  1. Most memorable ad slogans – why?

Ronseal – “It does what it says on the tin”!

Greg Canty is partner at Fuzion Communications, full service marketing and PR agency, with offices in Cork and Dublin.

So you want a new logo?

June 22, 2022

You’re beginning a new business or rebranding a program in the education industry. You want to get the most out of your time and money spent on a logo, but you’re not sure where to begin or how to proceed.

Here are a few pointers from our team at Fuzion and how crucial you are to representing your brand:

  1. Strategise

Establish goals and a strategy with your designer and creative team. To ensure that everyone is on the same page, start with a creative brief. A creative brief defines your goals and how you intend to achieve them.

Who do you want to communicate with and what do you want to convey to them? Your creative brief identifies your target audience, establishes measurable goals, and specifies the steps you’ll take to reach them, as well as the resources you’ll employ. This guide will be used by you and your team as you work together to create your new brand identity.

  1. Do your homework

Getting a sense of what’s out there in the market and figuring out where you fit in is a good place to start. It’s critical to understand your “story”, the core values and the organisation culture, who you want to appeal to, and what those people respond to.

Discuss your customers with your designer. What are their customs, habits, needs and interests and how would you define their culture? Your logo must appeal to them, foremost. Also, who are your competitors and what does their brand say about them? Are you familiar with the standard branding conventions in your target market? Should you follow suit or be the business that stands out by not following trends and thinking outside the box?

  1. Communicate your brand’s narrative in a compelling way

Often, first impressions with a new prospective customer are defined and represented by your logo and the other supporting branding . You and the design team will collaborate to ensure that your identity properly communicates your brand story, armed with a solid understanding of your brand. Your new visual identity should reflect your company’s culture and product, service, or idea, what you do and who you are. What you show the world—your logo and any other encounters your customer has with your brand—must create credibility, build relationships, foster loyalty, and drive action in your audience. The designer’s role is to turn your story into a visual symbol that expresses what you’re trying to say. Your assistance is critical in making that translation possible.

  1. The Design Methodology

Creating an image that communicates non-verbally is the goal of logo design. You and our designers will communicate in a way that goes beyond the written word. You want your customer to feel good about themselves and be motivated. This can be accomplished by appealing to a person’s existing visual vocabulary or by challenging them with a new association.

Fluency in this style of communication is crucial when selecting colours, typeface(s), and image material, as well as deciding on shape, form, line, movement, pattern, and texture. Sensitivity to cliché, overuse, market trends, and what is tried and true for your audience are all important considerations. Your designer is aware of this and can assist you in sorting through all of the possibilities.

Collaboration, education, open-mindedness, exploration, and trust will all be part of partnering with our team of experienced designers. The whole project will benefit. Don’t be scared to push yourself beyond your comfort zone. Comfort can sometimes lead to something that appears to be an off-the-shelf solution…boring!!

Remember, your business is as interesting and one-of-a-kind as the clients you’re designing for! Few design decisions are made at random, so don’t be hesitant to inquire about the rationale or reasoning behind any aspect of the designer’s work. You’ll get an informed response every time.

Bringing examples of what you like and don’t like, to your designer, is a smart place to start. Often, the designer will provide an overview of the competitors logos as well as other design samples in your field. Being objective might be difficult at times, but keep in mind that you’re designing for your client. Try to keep an open mind if for example you hate green but all research points to it and your designer proposes it. Conversely, if you’re seeing a lot of green and you know your customers prefer a different colour scheme, don’t be afraid to tell us. When it comes to achieving the proper design for a project, everyone needs to be open-minded.

  1. Different types of logo designs

A simple Google search will demonstrate just how many different kinds of logo design approaches are out there. It’s an important question to ask your designer what style they feel will work for you, as certain styles may be more suited to your brand than others—stylistically, historically, and for practical reasons such as cost, timing, and as explained below, usage. Go ahead, have some fun, explore some different types of logos named below and see what resonates.

EXAMPLES: Symbols, The Wordmark, Initials, Seals, Crests, Enclosures, Combination Logos, Certification, Accreditation, and Network Logos.

  1. What is your main use case?

It is critical to consider all of your identity’s applications when designing. These are usually mentioned in your creative brief. Knowing these current and future use cases will aid the designers in making decisions that will ensure optimum legibility, consistency in appearance and impact, and the capacity for the logo to be reproduced accurately across all media. A brand guide can assist you and your team in directing the usage and use of your logo and identity materials in all scenarios, and is one of the components that Fuzion offer as part of a full visual identity package.

Here are a few identity-related use-cases:

Marketing Collateral: stationery, print brochures, posters, point of purchase displays

Online Marketing Materials: website banners, email header, email signature, social media avatars or icons

In-Motion: video, titling, animation, broadcast, 3D, motion graphics, etc.

Apparel: uniforms, name-tags, hats, tee-shirts and accessories

Signage: in-store signs, exterior signs, trade-show displays, vinyl banners, vehicle wraps, decals, badges, flags and more

Premium Items: printing on fabric, plastic, wood, glass, metal items, in single, multiple, or full-colour versions; engraving logo on glass, wood, or stone, etc.

Packaging: printing on paper, label stock, plastic, etc.

Product: durable impressions (printing, moulded, embossed, engraved) on glass, metal, fabric

  1. Make a great impression every time

How can you make your logo operate in a variety of settings? In the vast majority of circumstances, you’ll require multiple versions of your final logo, here are some examples:

• Horizontal and vertical proportioned copies of your brand mark.

• Full-colour, single-colour, grayscale, and black-and-white versions.

• A version without the tagline. If you want to produce different taglines for different market categories, do so now, in the proper style, rather than later.

• For smaller applications, create simpler versions (like a 10mm-wide mark on a credit card, for example)

• Simplified or abbreviated versions for various applications, such as dropping the name and only using the symbol on a product.

  1. How much should it cost?

Your logo is an investment—in your company, in your brand, in your team and in your customer.

As with any investment, how much you spend and where you spend it are critical to getting a good return for your money. Our responsible and experienced design team can structure a quote with line items for any or all of the project phases: strategy, research, preliminary sketches, meetings, revisions, final artwork, file preparation, style guide and more. The prices for each phase are typically based on estimated hours @ an hourly rate. Our estimates allow you to see how the fee is being allocated—for what service, and how much you are investing. Or you may receive a flat fee, with a description of what is included.

Last but not least

Your company and your customers’ relationship to you is symbolised by your logo. A thorough, informed, and thoughtful partnership on building a new identity, as well as competent brand execution and maintenance, can ensure that both you and your customer has a seamless experience with your brand.

Mark

Mark Kenny is part of the graphic design team with Fuzion Communications, a full service Marketing and PR team with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland.

LIV vs. PGA: How the Issue of Sportswashing Has Thrown the World of Golf into Disarray

June 16, 2022

The creation of the LIV Golf Invitational Series has sparked huge controversary and casts real
doubt over the future of golf.

This new golf tour is financed by the Public Investment Fund, the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia. You may recognise the Saudi PIF, as it was also in the news late last year after its purchase of Premier League club, Newcastle United.

The LIV Golf tour, along with the purchase of Newcastle United, has sparked much public debate because it is seen as an attempt at sportswashing by the Saudi Arabian regime and its Crown Prince, Mohammad bin Salman.

Sportswashing is a relatively new concept, but the term itself derives from the more familiar ‘greenwashing’. The process of an organisation spending more time and money on marketing itself as environmentally friendly than on actually minimizing its environmental impact.

Sportswashing is just as deceitful as greenwashing. Sportswashing is the practice of an individual, group, corporation, or government using sports to improve their reputation, by either hosting a sporting event, the purchase or sponsorship of a sports team, or direct participation in the sport itself. For world leaders, the practice of sportswashing is a strategy of reputation management. It is being increasingly adopted by countries with historically poor records when it comes to human rights.

In the case of the LIV Golf Series, it is Saudi Arabia and its leadership that has come under intense media pressure within the sports world. Saudi Arabia is a particularly repressive regime, with an appalling human rights record. For those living in Saudi Arabia, ‘freedom of expression, association, and belief’ are not seen as basic human rights.

People who defy the rules of the Saudi regime, can suffer dire consequences as a result. The Saudi Crown Prince, Bin Salman, has been accused of committing several high-profile crimes including the killing of journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, in 2018.

Given the distance in belief systems from the Saudi regime and those of us in the West, it is surprising that so many prominent and successful golfers have agreed deals to participate in the inaugural LIV Golf Series. Some of the players that have committed to participate so far, include the likes of Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Louis Oosthuizen, Sergio Garcia, Bryson De Chambeau and Ireland’s own Graeme McDowell. All of those mentioned above are previous Major winners.

On the back of their participation in the Saudi PIF funded LIV Golf Series, all LIV players have been suspended from participating in PGA Tour events.

When questioned on their participation in this new tournament the LIV rebel golfers have rubbished claims that they hold any responsibility for allowing the Saudi regime to use the sport of golf in their own sportswashing game. Graeme McDowell argued at a LIV press conference that “as golfers if we tried to cure geopolitical situations in every country in the world, we played golf in, we wouldn’t play a lot of golf.” This remark, in turn, could be seen as a dig at golf’s traditional PGA Tour. Another Irish golfer, Rory McIlroy, has hit out at the LIV Golf Series on numerous occasions over the last few months and has backed the PGA Tour’s decision to suspend those participating in LIV events from the PGA. “I certainly don’t envy them, but I’ve always felt this is the best place to play golf, and I still believe that”, McIlroy said speaking to the media after winning the 2022 Canadian Open.

The establishment of the LIV Golf Invitational Series, along with the participation of some of golf’s most decorated and celebrated players has shaken the world of golf over the last week. Those players subsequent suspensions from the PGA Tour have led to speculation that they could be banned from playing in future Major tournaments and even, the Ryder Cup. Any ban from participating in golf’s four Majors and the Ryder Cup could signal the death of golf as we know it.

The ever-increasing debate around sportswashing will continue to fracture long-standing relationships in golf and across the world of sport, as this important societal issue continues to come to the forefront of not just sport, but business, civil and political society.

The issue of sportswashing will begin to show the true characters of our favourite sports stars, clubs, and competitions. The more instances of this kind, the more our loyalties will be tested as sports fans.

Is everything and everyone for sale, including our reputations?

Dylan

Dylan Morley is a Junior Account Executive with Fuzion Communications, a full service Marketing and PR agency with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland.

Back to Branding

March 14, 2022

To gain a deeper understanding of branding, consider your emerging identity – your adolescent brand.

You may not have realised it when you were younger, but we all had a brand!

Back then, your brand was developed by pushing your personal boundaries of fashion and music, ethics, morality, and friendships, as well as objectives and ambitions for the future.

Thinking about your youthful brand is important because it allows you to merge the numerous pieces that came together to form your identity – the image you had of yourself, and the image others had of you. It’s a riddle — and it’s crucial.

People create opinions of one another. It’s difficult to avoid it. As a result, people developed opinions about me. To those folks, those perceptions were my brand.

The way I interacted with them, the clothing I wore, the music I listened to, my principles and opinions, as well as what they expected of me, all became part of my brand.

Some people knew me well, while others didn’t, yet my brand was built by first impressions.

Others would create my brand for me, if I didn’t invest in clothes, music, and culture. And in today’s environment, social media, blogs, and online presence are just as much part of defining an adolescent brand.

My adolescent brand was more about face-to-face encounters, behaviours, ethos, attitude, outlook, what I did or didn’t do, and my values. These fundamentals are vital to the development of a brand.

At different times, different people perceived me in different ways.

As a result, for various people, I needed to have a distinct brand perspective. There would have been many similarities, but there would have been some differences as well.

Parents, for example, might have seen me differently from my friends in several respects. For instance, if I talked to my Mum in the same tone of voice as I talked to my friends, there would have been a serious communication breakdown!

It’s exciting to imagine how your brand will touch so many different sorts of individuals. It isn’t about deception or claiming to be someone else to please people or to fit in. That doesn’t go as planned.

No one is able to deceive a huge group of people for very long. When it comes to your brand, it’s all about being yourself.

Growing up is a lot like piecing together your business or organisation’s identity jigsaw, but from a different, more mature perspective, and just as when I was younger, the best way to get to the truth is to ask the most basic questions.

Who are you?

Neill

Neill MacCann is a senior graphic designer with Fuzion Communications who provide a full suite of print and digital graphic design services from offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland.


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