Accept a brief you have not had the opportunity to explore previously and complete the project within the constraints of a client’s specifications to enhance both your design skills and contribute to your overall body of portfolio work with a view to aiding employability. I must also “create a digital folio”, however as I will be launching a Studio upon graduation, the identity, positioning & launching of my business will cover the portfolio area of this unit.
3 months ago I was approached by Drogo Montagu, Founder or luxury food distributor finefoodspecialist.co.uk, to consult them on how video could fit into their digital strategy. After quoting them rough estimates for our work, it was decided that the project would be too costly for them. However, upon being briefed that we had to complete an extra portfolio project, I contacted Drogo and offered to work with him to complete the project for a reduced fee, as I felt that the food industry project would be a good addition to my FMCG-focused portfolio.
Fine Food Specialist: The Brief
I worked with Drogo to analyse how video could fit into their content strategy. Whilst I recommended that they should not use video for techniques-sake, we looked into real problems the company was having and how we could overcome them, using video as an afterthought
Speaking with Drogo allowed me to better understand their business objectives, their company ethos etc, and after speaking to members of their audience, we came across the insight that many of their existing audiences have strayed away from purchasing expensive items such as £100+ steaks or accessories as they did not trust the brand.
With this new insight, we aimed to humanise the brand by giving it a face & a more credible, authentic voice to regain peoples trust by exposing the people behind the business & it’s journey.
It was agreed that we would focus on creating 3 pieces of content;
– An ‘About Us’ style video
– A recipe video to inspire purchases of their Wagyu Beef products
– A cooking demonstration video to encourage existing customers to try new meats through their BBQ meat boxes.
The final brief agreed and signed by Drogo can be found here.
Fine Food Specialist: The Process
When researching how other FMCG brands had portrayed themselves, I stumbled across Founders Brewing Co’s ‘About Us’ style video. This video acted as a main point of reference for the project. The interview style of the video, rather than a sales pitch made their description of their brand seem more human and authentic, making me think we shouldn’t follow a hard script, but instead talk freely about the business using talking points to build an authentic, natural narrative.
From here, I worked with Drogo to understand the key points he wanted to get across through the video, as I would now be formulating interview questions, rather than a script. We then created a rough interview script with the intended answers he wanted to portray on the day.
For the recipe videos, I created 2 storyboards (WagyuBeef-Recipe_Storyboard / BBQ-Subscription_Storyboard) based upon recipe guides to get a better understanding of the shots that would be required for the video. Whilst this was not so much for Drogo, the storyboard acted as a useful tool on the day to understand what shots and angles were needed.
Whilst also managing the contact between Drogo, myself and Joshua, who agreed to assist with the filming of the project, I also researched the set dressing, location, audio etc. for the project, purchasing props and hiring a courthouse that matched the tone of voice of the brand.
Fine Food Specialist: The Delivery
On the day of shooting Drogo, the client, chose to make a few amendments that altered from the storyboard. However because we had been thoroughly prepared these were not an issue.
When shooting the interviews, we made sure to film the interview multiple times, indoors and outdoors. However, it became apparent during the editing of the ‘Fine Food Specialist: The Story’ video, that the outside footage appeared much more authentic, rather than the dark, luxurious tone of voice presented by the red and gold interiors of the courthouse.
It was with this in mind that we used footage from the outside interview to humanise the brand as much as possible.
You can view the final videos below.
Fine Food Specialist: Self Evaluation
I feel as if I made the most of this project. Because of the initial brief, I worked with a real-life client on a real commercial brief of my own doing, which will more than likely lead into future work. I feel as if I communicated with the client regularly and to a professional standard, as well as organising a filming location, which I had not done before.
I am pleased with the outcome of the ‘Fine Food Specialist: The Story’ video, as I believe I was able to build an authentic, flowing narrative from over 30 minutes of interview footage. Whilst I am pleased with the 2 recipe videos, I feel as if the length and quality of audio let them down. It was stated in the storyboards that each receipt video would have overlaying music & captions to describe the process (similar to a Tasty style video), however, on the day the client requested that he add voiceover to the video. Whilst we had the minimal equipment to do voice over, we were not able to mask out the background noise of the grills, telephones etc with our equipment. It was these additional snippets of information that increased the length of the video, which had they been on social media they would not have been relevant.
However, as a whole, I feel the footage looks great and the client was very happy with the outcome of the project, saying “I was really happy with the end results and Mark delivered everything he said he would. Nothing was too much and it was a pleasure working with him. All the work was delivered on time in a professional manner and I look forward to working with him again soon.”
Double Up Social: The Brief
Three-quarters of FMCG brands are reaching less than 1% of their audience on social media. And what’s worse, seven out of ten of the same brands only engage 1% of their social media audience. This is due to 4 factors; poor social strategy, an unengaging or non-existent content plan, lousy community management and unintelligent ad spend.
In-house marketing teams and SME owners are looking for more efficient all-in-one agencies that can deliver all these features, however many agencies and social marketing teams stick to either social strategy OR content production, leaving a positioning gap for an agency or studio who understand the technicalities of social media to create clever social strategies AND compelling content.
I chose to develop my graduate studio to fill that gap.
Double Up Social: The Process
I worked with Brian to get a better understanding on what it means to position a business. He very kindly ordered in the book ‘Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind’ which helped me better understand the philosophy of brand positioning and the importance of being first in your chosen field.
After discussions with Brian, twinned with research into existing social-first agencies, I decided to position and brand the identity of my studio around the idea of duality. Naming the studio took weeks….
I had 2 routes – merge together various words to make a new, unique word for my business, or use an existing word or phrase. I felt that using an existing phrase not only sounded friendlier, but it was also more memorable to users at first glance. I was originally sold on ‘Studio Cahoots’, with ‘Cahoots’ meaning for 2 things to work together. However I received mixed feedback from existing clients about the name, and as such, continued brainstorming.
After finding the phrase ‘Double Up’ in an idioms dictionary, I felt an instant connection. Not only did the name describe a sense of duality, both in services and in dual-connection with brands, but also a sense of affordability. The phrase ‘double up’ is often associated as getting more for your money in consumer-facing marketing schemes.
It was then time to develop an identity for the brand. I wanted to develop a logomark that either described the duality of the studio or the services I provide.
After much deliberation, I felt that including the services would be more useful than the duality, as this was already implied in the name. Instead, I developed a logo that tried to subtly include a social element.
After feedback from peers, I decided that this was too corporate for the tone of voice I was trying to convey: professional yet approachable. That, and the colours reminded me too much of LinkedIn.
Sticking to the universally appreciated blue, I developed the friendlier looking logo, with a more cursive style and lower-case typography to provoke friendlier thoughts to onlookers.
However, after discussions with tutors and peers, it was decided that the blue pallet may have been overused for social-based companies. Think Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr – even Bornsocial.com – one of my earlier references for this project.
From here I used Googles Material.io platform to find alternative colour schemes. I felt as if purple appeared the most subtle yet friendly, and so I continued the branding using shades of the purple HEX #7E57C2.
From here, I worked with Brian to identify a tone of voice for the studio. Using a very handy technique described by Brian, I collected a catalog of keywords to describe my business and services, all contributing to a professional tone of voice.
To ensure the studio still appeared a little quirky, I also included a few fun plays on the words double up, as well as introducing products that work well together, such as salt and pepper, to convey the idea that we work with brands, and that 2 brands are better than one.
Double Up Social: The Portfolio Outcomes
Once I had confirmed the name, identity, and tone of voice of the studio, I visited a member of the family who helped me register the business, and lo and behold, I was made Company Director of Double Up Social Ltd. on May 29th, 2018.
As the primary face of the business, the website had to be developed to a high standard. Acting as a services & portfolio site, www.doubleupsocial.com describes the services of the business, previous work, pricing, contact to email@example.com and successful case studies.
To promote the credibility of the studio, I also created a blog as a way of sharing relevant news, case studies and information about the studio. By talking about social media, we aim to prove to potential clients that we are experts in the field.
I then created a studio showreel, with an emphasis on the success statistics gained from working with commercial clients. I intend for the showreel to be shown at The Degree Show on my own monitor. Captions and text were used as a way of describing the work and its success without the need for audio, however, I will be providing headsets on the day.
I appreciate whilst much of the commercial work may not be the most creative, I aim to shadow that in the real-life statistics that prove the success of the work in achieving business objectives.
Studio Marketing Collateral
Other pieces of handout collateral were also created in readiness for The Degree Show. This included business cards, flyers describing the studio & my services and branded snacks to take away (you know, seeing as I am targeting FMCG’s and F&B’s after all). These have all been sent to print are set to arrive prior to The Degree Show.
Custom Studio Banners
In preparation for The Degree Show, I also created two custom banners to showcase the studio. Whilst one highlights the nature of the studio, the other acts as a case study banner with a focus on the statistics that back up each projects’ success, a USP compared to others at The Degree Show.
Custom Email Signatures
To further the professionalism of the studio, custom email signatures were created and applied to the studio email addresses. Graphics which linked back to social media and the blog were also included to attract more potential clients to the site, to further promote the studio.
Social Media Presence
To promote the studio, and to prove our expertise, Double Up Social is also present on Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. Facebook was excluded as this platform was not suitable for our B2B marketing strategy.
Through our social channels, I will be posting regular social media news, studio case studies, testimonials and past work, all to promote the studio as well as increase awareness & credibility of our work.
In addition to promoting the studio, I have also updated my personal LinkedIn, with the aim to continue contributing to the social media marketing community around me, as well as using LinkedIn as a channel for paid targeted social adverts for possible new client acquisition in the future.
Double Up Social: Self Evaluation
I am pleased with the progress that has been made developing the positioning, identity, tone of voice and brand DNA of my studio. Starting from nothing, I have been able to build a professional looking brand which has received positive feedback from existing clients & members in the industry.
I feel as if I managed my time well, leaving myself plenty of time to send off business cards, flyers and branded merchandise to print.
I am excited for what the future of Double Up will bring, and I am looking forward to running a variety of social adverts on LinkedIn to promote new customer acquisition once the business of The Degree Show has died down.
All in all, if you told me 3 years ago I would be starting my own social marketing studio – I would have laughed. However, I feel this has been made a professional reality throughout this project & I thank all the staff who have helped me on this journey.