Category Archives: Design

Meet Ken Koester: Haley Aerospace’s Branding Design Extraordinaire

Meet Ken Koester: Haley Aerospace’s Branding Design Extraordinaire | Haley Aerospace Marketing

It’s time for another behind-the-scenes peek at Haley Aerospace. Today, we’re sitting down with Ken Koester, senior design director and creative extraordinaire. He’s the talent behind much of the branding, advertising and marketing collateral we produce for our clients here at Haley, and he’s got more awards than we’ve got room to list!

Read on to learn a little more about Ken and what makes him tick.

Q. Where do you get your inspiration?

A. Generally, I get inspiration from anything that has a great idea behind it and is exceptionally well done. From fine art and graphic design to movies and music. Creatively, I like to immerse myself in the world of the client and the people who will encounter what we are creating.

Q. What design trends do you see coming down the pipeline in 2018?

A. I was glad to see, in the last year or so, the return to simplicity in identity design. Simple shapes, lines, type and forms either converged or played solo to create solid, lasting logos that are easily interpreted – and reproduced. I think we’re going to see a continued upswing and more attention given to those really simple elements in the coming year.

A fairly new result from the trend of responsive web design is companies refreshing their brand identities into modern, simplified versions. Creating a logo hierarchy that can meet the user demands of an endless assortment of devices and screen sizes. For instance, there’s Disney’s hierarchy of the “Walt Disney” full lockup logo with castle, just the “Walt Disney” logotype, just the “Disney” logotype and, most simply, just the “D” from the logotype.    

Q. What’s the coolest thing you’ve ever designed?

A. An invitation to the grand opening of a unique shopping mall built on the location where John Philip Sousa and his band originally played. The invitation was a small box that you were instructed to place on a flat surface. Then you opened it by pulling a side of the box down, and a marching band wind-up toy walked out. It took a lot of engineering and test mailings, but it resulted in a very successful mall opening.

Q. What are your biggest design pet peeves? The deadliest sins of design, in your opinion?

A. Using bad photography. Nothing can mess up good design quicker than having to use poorly photographed, low-resolution images. It is always better for a client’s brand image to shoot new professional photography that is unique to them, rather than relying on stock images.

Making a brand look like everybody else in an industry is a pet peeve too. The point should be for the company to be more memorable than the competition and stand out, not be camouflaged within the market.

Q. What’s the best part of being a designer?

A. Being a designer in the creative brand marketing business allows me to work in hundreds of different industries. I get to learn all about the operation, management, sales process and customers of completely different, but equally interesting, companies.

Q. What can clients expect when they use Haley Aerospace’s design services?

A. Integrity. Creativity. Friendliness.

Q. When did you know you wanted to be a designer?

A. My parents said it was when I tried to paint pictures with my baby food. However, my first recollection of being aware of good design was watching television and the opening titles to the great Stanley Kubrick movie Spartacus. I remember just being awed by the iconic and dramatically lit photography, along with beautiful typography (and, of course, the music). It wasn’t until I was in college that I learned it was designed by one of the greatest graphic designers of all time, Saul Bass.

 

We’ll be introducing you to more of the team here at Haley Aerospace in the coming months, so stay tuned to the blog and watch for our emails. You won’t want to miss it!

 

4 Signs You Chose the Wrong Branding Agency

branding agency

Recognizing that your branding needs work is only the first step toward success.

Once you do that, you still have to find a good branding agency, work with them on perfecting the best possible look and feel and, finally, launch that new branding to your customers and employees.

It’s a long road ahead. And unfortunately, if you fail to choose the right branding agency, it can be a doomed venture from the get-go.

Are you currently looking for a branding agency to help brand or rebrand your company? Have you already settled on one to guide you through? Here are a few signs they might not be the right fit:

  1. Their branding’s not up to snuff. To really evaluate an agency’s abilities, look at their own branding. Does it look modern and in line with today’s trends? Have they carried that branding across all platforms, like their website, blog, social accounts and more? Does their brand say something and speak to customers? Chances are, if they can’t create a brand that works for their own agency, they can’t do it for you either.
  2. They’re not doing any research. Did your branding agency start sending you mock-ups and design ideas right off the bat? Consider that a major red flag. No branding work should be done without some serious research first. That means talking to your customers, your employees and anyone else the new branding will target. If a research phase isn’t included in your agency’s plans, it might be time to look elsewhere.
  3. They don’t have a varied team. A branding agency of 2 people isn’t going to cut it, because branding is a multifaceted genre. It requires great marketing tactics, killer research skills, top-notch graphic design chops, and a stellar digital strategy to boot. Look for agencies that boast a varied team of professionals – people who are great at marketing, design, copywriting, digital and more. Together, they will make your branding better and stronger in the long run.
  4. They don’t know your marketplace. If you can find a branding agency that specializes in your marketplace, you’re already 5 steps ahead. Sure, you could go with someone who has their hands in many buckets, but if you really want someone who gets your space, your customers and how to reach those customers, then choosing someone with real industry experience is key. If your agency doesn’t have past clients in your sector or they simply don’t specialize in anything, you may want to head back to the drawing board. A specialty agency can take your new brand so much further.

Your branding plays a huge role in your company’s success. It’s what potential clients experience when they come to your website, connect with you on social media or even just call you up on the phone. If it’s not done perfectly, it could mean a lost sale, or worse, a dinged reputation.

Don’t let your branding be your downfall. Make sure you choose the right branding agency to help guide the way. Contact Haley Aerospace to learn more today.

Why B2Bs Should Get Visual With Their Branding

visual branding

It can be hard to admit sometimes, but branding in the B2B world can often be boring. We use the same old colors on our logos, we market to the same old executives and C-levels, and we attend the same old trade shows every year.

Fortunately, this branding standstill doesn’t have to continue.

The web is moving toward a more visual strategy, and though at first glance this tactic might seem more primed for B2C brands, in fact, visual content can actually help reinvigorate a mature or static brand.

What do I mean by visual content, you ask? Well, that includes things like infographics, charts, videos, memes or even just great photos – anything your customers can see and interact with visually.

Have you started going visual with your branding? If not, you may want to. Here are just a few of the many benefits it can offer B2Bs:

  1. It’s more exciting. Let’s face it: It’s easy for a B2B to be boring. You know you’re only marketing toward C-levels and execs, so numbers, stats and PowerPoints become the norm. While those can sometimes work to sell your services, adding some visual spice to your branding strategy can go a lot further. This is especially true in the aviation world, where visuals can be especially stunning. Just think: An aerial photo of your planes in action instead of a bulleted list of PowerPoint? What do you think will sell better?
  2. It’s shareable. Visual content is super shareable, meaning people are more likely to forward it to a colleague or friend, retweet it on Twitter or share it on Facebook for others to see. That means more referrals and more potential customers will see your brand. It’s a win-win that equals a stronger customer-to-brand connection and more leads in the long run.
  3. It tells a better story. Storytelling is a big part of branding. It keeps customers engaged – even long-term ones – and it makes people feel more like a part of your brand, like they’ve been there with you through it all. While a good story can certainly be told with words, like the old adage says, “seeing is believing.” A little visual content can make a big difference in telling a wow-worthy story to your customers.
  4. It brings clarity. In the B2B world, our sales pitches can sometimes get a little complicated. We sell complex products in a high-tech industry, and it can be easy to get bogged down with the nitty-gritty details. While this can be overwhelming with just plain text, an infographic or chart can help bring some clarity to the situation, making it easier to digest and understand.

Think your B2B branding may be getting boring? It may be time to take your visuals to the next level. Contact Haley Aerospace to see how we can help up your branding ante today.

Why a Flawless Mobile Site Is Vital to Aviation Marketing

aviation marketing Mobile siteHaving an amazing, well-designed desktop site is certainly important, but in this day and age, there’s nothing more vital than a flawless mobile site – especially for aviation and aerospace brands.

You’d be amazed at the chunk of web traffic that comes from on-the-go consumers. Tablets, iPhones, Androids, eReaders and other new technology have truly changed the way our world works and does business.

If aviation brands want to stay relevant (and profitable), they need to keep up. That means having a beautiful, persuasive and 100 percent functional site that shows up properly across all devices – whether they’re phones, tablets or even web-enabled TVs.

Mobile friendliness is a crucial part of any aviation marketing strategy, and if you haven’t broached the subject at your company yet, it needs to be priority No. 1 – starting today.

 

Are You a Part of the Problem?

Get out your phone or tablet and pull up your company’s website. How does it look? Does it resemble your main site, or is everything out of alignment and jumbled? Can you read the text without zooming in and out? Can you navigate to and from pages easily? Do contact forms and links work?

Unless you’ve specifically had a mobile site designed, it’s pretty likely you’ll come across some issues. And if you’re having issues, imagine what it’s like for your customers. What if they need help or have a question? What if they want to buy a product but are unable to? That would be pretty frustrating – and it might even turn them off your brand for good.

The truth is a great mobile site is more powerful than you think – particularly for aviation brands. After all, when you’re in the aviation or aerospace industry …

  • Your clients need to access you on the go. Whether you operate an airport, airline, FBO or a fleet of charter jets, one thing is undeniable: You cater to travelers. Those travelers want to connect with you, get information, buy products and get help wherever they go. If your site doesn’t work on their portable phones and tablets, that can’t happen. That means a lot of unhappy customers on your hands.
  • You need to be on the edge of technology. The aviation and aerospace industries are some of the most advanced in the world. They’re responsible for developing amazing new things – rockets, planes, avionics systems and more – and customers expect brands in this field to be on the absolute cusp of technology. What will they think about your brand’s tech savvy if you can’t even get a simple mobile website up? (Hint: It’s probably not good!)
  • It helps with SEO. Since such a big chunk of web traffic now comes from mobile phones and tablets, search engines now consider a site’s mobile functionality as a ranking factor. To put it simply, that means if your site works well on a mobile phone, it will have a higher search ranking than one that doesn’t. In a big-budget industry like ours, that can mean the difference between a million-dollar sale and a lost customer.
  • You need to look professional. Customers aren’t going to spend thousands of dollars (sometimes millions, depending on your products) on a brand that’s not up to snuff. If you want to bring in the big spenders, you need to look worth every penny. Your web presence – both on a desktop and on the go – plays a huge role in how you look to the outside world. So if they’re aren’t at their very best, you’re probably losing out on some valuable business.

As a longtime aviation marketing expert, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a client with a stunning desktop site that became a jumbled mess when pulled up on my smartphone. If this sounds like your brand, it’s time to make your mobile site a major priority – before it impacts your reputation, your sales and your profits.

Want to learn more or get help perfecting your brand’s mobile site today? Contact Haley Aerospace now.