Corporate ID

The difference between branding, marketing, and advertising…

I was researching a similar topic for one of our clients, and became fascinated by the differences between these “things” – these “things” that can either propel our businesses forward into an abyss of awesomeness, freeze our businesses into a state of stagnation, or hurl our businesses backwards into a state of non-existence. Yes…it is that serious…

When I started reading through various articles, it became more and more clear how crucial it is to KNOW the difference between branding, marketing, and advertising, and to not confuse them. Just KNOWING the difference will affect how you choose to get your business out there – actually GETTING your business out there will also become a lot more consistent and strategic.

After much interweb exploring, reading, and comparing, I have come up with my simple definitions:


Branding is what shows the world what your business stands for – it is the personality, the glue, and the passion behind your business. Branding is psychological.

Branding says, “Hello, I am trustworthy, reliable, cool, trendy, and awesome.”


Marketing is the act of getting your business/product out there. Marketing is practical.

Marketing says, “Hello, look at me! This is what I am and what I can offer you. Look at me!”


Advertising is simply the purchasing of a space where you can push your business/product. Advertising is persuasive.

Advertising says, “Hello! Here I am, now buy me!”

Once you understand these differences, you can understand the value of each one separately, and then also understand how they work together:

Marketing and advertising gets the public interested and gets them buying, but it is the branding that will keep them loyal year after year. 


Read more

The Entrepreneur’s and Freelancer’s Bucket List

We decided to create The Entrepreneur’s and Freelancer’s Bucket List because we often get despondent when our “big plans” don’t work, so we thought we’d share what else can be done just when you think it’s time to throw in the towel.

As a freelancer, you may become complacent in your current position – you keep trying the same things over and over again, but nothing reaps a substantial reward. As entrepreneurs, we can also get stuck in a rut of repeating the same marketing strategies or using the same channels for advertising, but at some point we need to change course.

Our Entrepreneur’s and Freelancer’s Bucket List offers you 5 simple things to do before you give up:

1. Get Published and be heard (more than once and in more than one way)

Write guest blogs for like-minded businesses or websites that share information about your niche market.

Write an eBook – This is actually a very easy thing to do – think about what you know and what you want to share and create a short, informative, and unique eBook, and then put it out there.

Give a talk or a presentation at a local business event or an event that is supporting your field of work.

Get interviewed by your local newspaper or radio station – maybe your favourite online magazine will want to hear what you have to say.

2. Get out there

Attend as many events as you can – trade shows, expos, conferences, and networking events.

Create your own event – why not? Everyone else is…

3. Create your own products based on your skill set – turn your service into a product.

4. Get out of your comfort zone

Go and have fun! Business opportunities often happen in the most random of places – let go every now and again and you never know what may happen.

5. Listen to your BIG dream and take action!

Contact the client/business that you really want to work with OR make that product that you have been dreaming of OR take a leap of faith and take on a business partner – whatever your BIG dream is, you need to really go for it at least once.

We hope that these inspire you to keep going, after all, there is a reason you starting doing this in the first place.


Read more

Why we love Pinterest…

Pinterest Blog Image6

Since we started our Pinterest page, we have found it very hard not to go onto Pinterest every day, and once we get going, it’s very difficult to stop. Pinterest is a platform where you can inspire others, be inspired, share your creativity, and connect with other like-minded people and businesses – we love it!

Here are a few examples of how we make use of Pinterest and what some of our boards consist of:

1. Design Inspiration

Pinterest Blog Image5

Our Graphic Design Inspiration board is filled with designs that we admire, that fuel our creativity, and it also gives us an opportunity to share those designs with others.This board focuses mainly on innovative design – we have another board that focuses more on creative/arty design. Seeing the type of graphic design images that are being created around the world opens our eyes to what is possible and inspires us to stretch our creative talents too.

2. Our Creative Work

Pinterest Blog Image3

Here we share our own graphic design images, which we have created for our various social media platforms – not only does Pinterest give us a platform to share these images, but they are also all linked back to our website, which serves an important SEO function.

3. Informative Infographics

Pinterest Blog Image4

Infographics are everywhere on Pinterest and we love to discover new and exciting infographics, which relate to our business and our services – we share not only what we find interesting, but we also share what we think our followers will enjoy too.

3. Logos, logos, logos!

Pinterest Blog Image2

We are obsessed with finding innovative, cutting-edge, original, creative and clever logo designs. Our Logo Lovin’ board is a selection of some of the best logo designs we have come across – these inspire us to step out of the norm when designing logos for our clients and it is a reminder that originality and creativity is crucial when it comes to a company’s identity.

4. Looking back

Pinterest Blog Image1

Graphic Design of Yesteryear is dedicated to wonderful graphic design images from the past – we love these because it is great to see how far design has come, but it is also interesting to see the type of design that was popular way back then – we have also noticed how some of these design styles are making a comeback too, especially in terms of typography.

Our other boards include Web Design Inspiration, Inspiring Branding, Words That Inspire Us, Terrific Typography and Fantastic Fonts, Social Media Info, Thought Provoking Images, Creative Arty Design, and Brands in Full Bloom by Darvl Feril.

We would love to see what inspires you and your business, so find us here and we’ll follow you too! Happy Pinning!

Read more

The Importance of a Creative Brief

We have had people not sign on with us because we asked them to fill out a creative brief – their reason being, “Oh no, we just want something simple and quick. We thought you were a small company?” Here’s what we could have replied with…

Dear So and so,

We are a small business, but we are also a professional business and even though you would like a quick and simple logo, we would like to offer you quality work that ends up reflecting what you want. By filling out the creative brief, you give us insight into your brand, your competitors, the imagery you want, the style of your brand, what you stand for and how you wish to be represented to the public.

If you would like us to create something that is the opposite of what you want, letting us go around in circles, wasting our time and your money, by all means, don’t fill out the brief.

We would love an opportunity to create a logo for you that captures all your brand stands for – we are assuming that you would like the same thing? Have a think about it, weigh up your options (good logo vs. bad logo) and let us know when you are ready to fill out the brief.

Kind regards,
The Small, Professional and Creative Lotus Media Team

This blog is meant to highlight the importance of a creative brief to both potential clients and other design companies – here are the top 3 reasons you need a creative brief:

1. It gives you insights that you might not get otherwise (for both client and design company)

2. It is a map of what your client wants and where they want to end up

3. It provides security for both client and company when either one fails to provide what was asked for – go back to the brief and see what went wrong (if the brief is thorough enough, this shouldn’t happen).

5 Questions to ask in your creative brief:

1. Please describe your business
2. Who are your competitors?
3. Who is your target market?
4. What makes you stand out from other similar businesses?
5. Do you have any imagery, words or specific colours associated with your brand?

As a design business, save yourself hours of work and get your clients to fill out a creative brief. As a client, respect that a brief is needed to create something incredible for you; put 10 minutes aside, grab a drink, and fill out the brief – you won’t regret it.

For an example of our creative brief, you can go click here.

Read more

How to create a Design Style Guide for your brand

Let’s start by defining what a design style guide is – simply put, it is a guide to how your brand must be presented. This can refer to graphic design elements, fonts, colours, imagery, language style, your target market as well as your mission statement. Often businesses print this information out and create a book, which is often referred to as a Brand Bible.

You design style guide can be used as a resource for your own business and your employees, but it is also a great resource to have when needing to explain your brand to another company or individual. Here are the 3 most important aspects we find to be essential to any design style guide:

1. Just be yourself

Don’t get overly wordy and descriptive or think of it as a way to impress others – it is merely an outline of what you stand for and a way to show others (or reminding yourself) what your voice is and what brand elements bring this voice across. Keep it simple and to the point.

2. Use design to captivate the reader

Give some insight into why your brand colours were chosen, why a certain font speaks to you as a business, what imagery do you want associated with your brand and why, and explain the story behind your logo design – get creative and give examples of each of these style elements. The visual section of your design style guide can be equated to a sort of scrap book of ideas – share your inspiration and your journey.

3. Keep it updated

Your brand will develop and change over the years (sometimes even within a month), so it’s important to keep updating your style guide – don’t remove the old brand elements, just add onto it – this adds to your story, to your journey, and allows people to see how you have evolved.

To summarise , here are the suggested page headings for your design style guide:

1. Our Mission

2. Our Logo

3. Our Voice (as well as sharing how you portray this on various platforms)

4. Our Journey (this is optional and depends on how much of a journey your brand has had so far)

Having a Brand Bible to refer to every now and again is a great way to firstly remind yourself of what your brand’s voice is and, secondly, it is a great way to see if your brand still speaks to you – if you read over it and something doesn’t sit right with you, you have an opportunity to adjust your brand – without a style guide this change might not be noticed right away.

So, get your team together, go over your brand’s style and put together an exciting and creative guide to what your business is really all about!

Read more

Inspiring Branding – Get creative and get your brand out there!

In today’s inspirational blog we want to focus on why you should create a branding campaign that inspires your clients, your competitors and other creatives. There are two sides to branding your business or product – the one side involves creating your logo and deciding what your brand stands for, and then the other side involves incorporating that brand in as many different mediums as possible.

Here are some amazing examples of effective and creative branding ideas:

You can see how The Crunchy Grocer has incorporated this design to its website too – The Crunchy Grocer – keep your designs consistent throughout your business, from stationery to your website.


Blum’s series of branding materials follows a distinct theme – it is clean, uncluttered, pretty and creative – see there full branding campaign here.


Compartes Chocolate Bars have done an incredible job of creating a product brand that is recognisable worldwide – for more information on their branding, check out The Die Line.

Compartes-Chocolate-Bar-World-Series-Bar-02 Compartes-Chocolate-Bar-World-Series-Bar-03

We get most of our inspiration from Pinterest – to see what else inspires us, just click here.

Read more

Celebrating Women’s Day with a Giveaway!

This Friday, 9th August, we will be celebrating Women’s Day. For us, it is a day to remember women who affected our lives in ways we can never repay and then also admiring and acknowledging the women in the world who strive to be honest, strong, loyal and courageous (all while wearing many different hats).

As a token of our appreciation for the women in our lives, we are running a giveaway for the month of August. The giveaway is only available to women entrepreneurs and here is what we are giving to the one lucky winner:

A Lotus Media Corporate ID Package, which includes:

1. A Logo Design

2. An Email Signature

3. A Business Card Layout and Design

4. A Letterhead

Of course it is essential to celebrate women every day, but maybe be more aware this month of how the women in your life have affected who you are today.

Enter our giveaway here:

Read more

Rebranding Your Business

We are currently going through a rebranding process and I thought I would share some of our experience with you. Our reason to rebrand our business is not a simple one and not one that just happened over night. Rebranding, for us, was a result of many different circumstances coming together to point out that we actually do not fit with our current brand anymore.

If you have a business and you have gone through the branding/corporate identity process, you will be familiar with that feeling you get when you look at your logo or you browse through your website – you feel proud, you feel inspired, and you feel connected to your brand – it is an extension of you.

Just as any relationship, your relationship with your brand will shift, grow, change and take on new shapes, and we feel it is vital, when those changes occur, to acknowledge them and see if it changes the way you feel about your brand. It seems impossible to say that a brand will remain the same forever – look at Coca Cola, Apple Mac, Volkswagen, they have all rebranded themselves time and time again and always to their advantage.

Rebranding does not mean starting from scratch, it means building on what you have created and respecting what it has become – we have found that a business often has a life of its own and if we are not careful and aware, we might separate from it completely, only to realise it too late.

Our decision to rebrand was one made out of a passion for making sure that what we do echoes what we love – our brand needs to represent who we are (at all times) and exude an energy that resonates with our souls, our heads and our hearts.

We are very excited to share our new identity with you, and hope to do so shortly – for now, we still enjoy or current 80’s inspired, Tetris, youthful and energetic brand, but we look forward to stepping into the last half of the year with a new modern, wiser, holistic, and inspired look.

For your own rebranding, feel free to contact us at and let us help you stay connected to the brand you created.

Read more

Why do you need a Corporate Identity?

Logo design is one thing, but a well thought out corporate identity is what you really want to achieve. A logo design can be perceived as just an image that contains the name of your business, however, what it should really do is capture the essence of your business.

When someone walks into your office space, sees your logo, goes to your website, or attends your events, they need to be “hit” by your essence, and this “essence” is your corporate identity.

For us, as individuals, it can take up to a quarter of our lives (if we are lucky) to find our personal identity; to “find ourselves”. Your business’s identity, however, needs to “find itself” as soon as possible.

How to find your corporate identity:

Where is it hiding? Well, hopefully it will be hiding somewhere in your business plan. If not, it can probably be found hidden deep inside a well-organised brainstorming session.

What does it look like? Your corporate identity should include the following aspects:

1. A clear idea of what you offer

2. A clear idea of who your target market is

3. A creative and innovative logo design

4. A slogan/catch-phrase/ (this is optional, but make one anyway – it adds some fun to the process)

5. A personality – Yes, your business has a personality. Is it serious or fun? Is it creative or conservative? Is it trustworthy, loyal and committed?

6. A website – A website is like a person’s face – a website is your business’s face – actually, it is it’s entire body, clothes, mind, soul, and hair-do – make sure your face matches your personality.

So, the next time someone offers to do your company’s corporate identity, don’t turn around and say, “No, thanks, we already have a logo”. A logo is just part of your corporate identity – you are still missing the hair-do, the mind and many other exciting bits…

Why do you need a corporate identity?

Well, without it, your business is walking around like a person without a purpose, personality and an awesome hairdo – if YOU know your company’s corporate identity, others will too – find it and share it!

Read more