Bistro Morgan — Doughnut prince, social media king

He has been dubbed the ‘Doughnut Prince of Melbourne’, and at the age of 16 has already been in business for two years.

Morgan Hipworth started his business, Bistro Morgan, at the age of 14, balancing school books with doughnut cooks. The business name derived from when Morgan, from the age of seven, would cook his parents a 3-course meal — they would call it Bistro Morgan.

Morgan began supplying cafes around Melbourne before opening a pop-up store that sold 10,000 doughnuts and then, in 2015, Morgan opened up ‘bricks and mortar’ in Windsor — all while juggling full-time school work.

This amazing young person is filled with ambition and passion for what he does, not to mention sheer commitment to achieving his dreams. A key element of his success is social media, with apps like Instagram making a significant contribution to his achievements (and reputation).

 
 
 

Authentic sharing

These delicious doughnuts are perfect eye-candy to be shared and spoken about. It’s a social media gold mine with Bistro Morgan’s Instagram page having 54.5K followers, and growing. This hype has taken young Morgan on a media journey, appearing in everything from Broadsheet and Vice to the widely-read Herald Sun, just to name a few. The technical term for this is earned media; the result is thousands of dollars’ worth of free advertising.

 
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Morgan’s doughnuts have the power to cause serious ‘FOMO’, with thousands of posts being shared across Instagram and other social platforms. If brands can crack into this platform by posting sharable content, it can only be beneficial. This communal Instagram experience is a key strategy in creating hype behind a brand, particularly one centred around food. People will go out of their way to experience something they have seen their friends and followers doing.

Smart phones have made it incredibly easy to document our every move on social media. We are part of an ever-open and always-connected society where we share who we meet, the food we eat and the things we do on the weekend.

This has become common practice and Bistro Morgan’s doughnuts are a prime example, creating the perfect ‘Instagram-able moment’. This is something just about every businesses strives for — genuine recognition from genuine customers. Having authentic brand communication generated by the customer is the new way to be recognised.

Anyone fancy joining me for a Salted Caramel Tim Tam Syringe Doughnut? I’ll meet you there.

 

Images from: 
https://www.bistromorgan.com.au/
https://www.broadsheet.com.au/melbourne/shops/bistro-morgan


Hard Edge is a strategic marketing and creative agency for disruptive brands. 
To learn more email or
call us on +61 3 9245 9245.

Three essential design tips to build your brand

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It’s no secret that carefully considered creative can elevate your brand.

Whether you’re a disruptive start-up or have been in business for 20+ years, design will always play an important role in ensuring your brand is seen, heard and even loved.

However there’s often a lot of jargon in this creative sphere — different file types, typographic terms, and can someone please explain the difference between a logotype and brandmark?

With all this confusion, we’ve pulled together our design team to give you three top tips for understanding your brand and taking it in the right direction.

Chloë's tip: Take a holistic approach

A common mistake I see small businesses make is thinking that creating a logo is where the design process ends.

Your brand is so much more than just a logo: it’s a set of values, an experience and a feeling that are all connected. Some of the most successful companies have created lovable brands by staying authentic, relevant and consistent through all their communication, internally and externally.

One way to break down your brand is to think of it as a person. Your brand’s identity (logo, typeface, colour palette) is the person’s outfit — is it loud, feminine, dark, minimal? Beyond looks, there’s a personality and set of values that they live by and your brand should have this too.

Amy's tip: File (and keep track of) your assets

So an agency has put together the perfect identity for your business and supplied you with several logo files and a brand book. These are your brand assets and you’re going to need them for everything you produce.

Having your assets up-to-date and easily accessible really helps with organisation and timings for projects. If you can give the designer everything they need, you’ll save time and money. If you need a little help, we recommend a program called Frontify.

Damo's Tip: Remain consistent

Now you’ve got your perfect identity and know exactly where that logo is filed, it’s time to put it all into practice. If there are multiple designers or agencies working on your brand, be sure it’s all consistent.

Consistency is key. If everything looks and feels coherent then your brand will resonate with your audience. When brand communications don’t align, you risk losing credibility.

Right from the start, design plays an important role in each stage of your brand’s evolution. Follow these three design tips and you’ll be well on your way to building a brand that stands the test of time.

 

Images: Optus Rebrand by Re. Illustration by Resolution.


Hard Edge is a strategic marketing and creative agency for disruptive brands. 
To learn more email or
call us on +61 3 9245 9245.

Strategic influence: The potential and the pitfalls of influencer marketing

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Brands of all shapes and sizes are coming to terms with how powerful influencer marketing can be. Tune into your Snapchat story or take a scroll through Instagram and you’ll soon see a list of celebrities and local identities promoting product after product. 

To give you an idea of the power and the price some brands are willing to pay to be endorsed, some key influencers have reportedly received six-figure sums for promoting a product just once on their social media platforms.   

Influencer marketing plays on the relationships a public figure has with their followers to help engage new markets and make new connections to people with similar interests and motivations. It works as part of an overarching marketing strategy and allows brands to tap into markets previously thought to be too challenging or out of reach.

It also builds a perceived one-on-one conversation about the product with a person they trust and whose opinion they value, via the social media platform the reader has volunteered to be part of and agreed to be contacted on.

This kind of disruptive marketing provides great opportunities, but there are some critical things to remember if you’re considering using a key influencer as part of your marketing strategy.

Who You Work With

The most important decision is selecting the right person. The person you work with will become the voice and the face people associate with your brand. They should project the type of brand experience the consumer will expect to have if they decide to purchase the product. And remember, it’s not just your image on the line — the key influencer cares about their followers and their own personal brand as well.

Metrics

To achieve results, any product endorsement must be part of a wider strategic marketing campaign. You should have a marketing strategy in place to measure ROI; this could be click-through rate or the rate at which sales increase over a certain time. The amount of followers a key influencer has does not necessarily reflect the amount they should be paid for their endorsements.

Relevance

It’s crucial that any content promoted by an influencer is relevant and is ‘in-context’ from the consumer's perspective (for example, the timing and location). By targeting only a few key influencers, you have the power to connect with vast numbers of people all over the world.

So who would be on your radar as a potential influencer? Think carefully.


Hard Edge is a strategic marketing and creative agency for disruptive brands. 
To learn more email or
call us on +61 3 9245 9245.

Gelato Messina – the nightclub of ice-cream

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Pumping music, staff dancing behind the counter and the Messina experience we all live for. When it comes to major players disrupting the ‘cool food brand’ category, Gelato Messina hasn’t just flaunted the rules, it’s rewritten them.

Declan Lee, co-founder of the infamous Gelato Messina, recently revealed that the business is based around one value, ‘honesty’. Not only is the superb ice-cream honest – it’s made from scratch, yep all 40 flavours – but the simple value of honesty plays a big role in staff culture, which is reinforced by the Messina customer experience.

Since 2006, the franchise has grown to 17 stores across the east coast and in Vegas, baby. Way back in 2008 it had the opportunity to use social media, before others were doing it with food. This is one example of how being disruptive in the early days helped build the business to where it is today. Gelato Messina had an early opportunity to build communities through social media, and did just that. But what is it about Messina that keeps us wanting more?

How Gelato Messina changed the game

The Messina Experience

 
 

It didn’t run with the traditional bright light-based ice-cream store fitout. Instead, Gelato Messina was bold and believed if the lighting was right and the mood was right, the business would attract everyone. The (house) music was inspired by Declan’s DJ background. The owners wanted Messina to feel a bit like a party, not over the top but fun. Basically, an ice-cream nightclub.

Quality Product

 
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Gelato Messina claims to make its ice-cream like no other in the world and goes to great lengths to make its product. It has 40 flavours and everything is made from scratch except two biscuits, which the company says it can't make better. Honesty at its best.

Social

 
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Messina Snapchat takeover. Say what? I guess when your core value is honesty, anything and everything is a possibility. Each store manager takes it in turns to document their weekend outside of work. It also shows off their personalities and is a great way to share with their audience. They are free to post what they want, just don’t be offensive or silly.

Messina doesn’t believe in made-up content. Back to honesty. It’s also employed a photographer and videographer to document the Messina Gelato process to create empathetic storytelling about the brand.

Tim Tams x Messina

 
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Some may say doing slightly odd things like collaborating with a commercial brand such as Tim Tams was a risk, but producing four limited edition biscuit flavours was nothing if not disruptive. Did Messina sell out? Marketing genius if you ask me. Although Messina already had the street cred, the collab definitely helped Messina’s brand awareness and a commercial giant was able to play with the cool cats for once, so a win-win for both.

Uber x Messina

 
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In 2015, Uber partnered with Messina to deliver free ice-cream as an incentive to sign up an Uber account. This was a very clever approach from both brands. Who says ‘no’ to free ice-cream?

Cash or App

 
 

In the past, the fastest way to transact in an ice-cream shop was with old fashioned cash. Yes cash money. But as technology is developing at a rapid rate, Gelato Messina has created a super easy smartphone app that allows customers to pay with their phone, earn points and redeem exclusive member deals. 

Messina Creative Department

 
 

Garlic and vanilla gelato anyone? This concept is where eight customers are invited to a Sydney or Melbourne store to try a seven course degustation menu. This is how Gelato Messina challenges itself to make sure it’s continuing to push the boundaries on how certain products fit together. This is a true indication of what passion looks like in the cool food industry.

Would Messina be where it is today without its disruptive marketing approach? If you haven’t yet had the Messina Gelato experience, stop what you are doing right now and head down to your nearest store. And let us know what you thought (and which flavour you had).

 

Imagery sources: http://www.gelatomessina.com/au


Hard Edge is a strategic marketing and creative agency for disruptive brands. 
To learn more email or
call us on +61 3 9245 9245.

No ifs, just putts — a brand experience with a difference

Standing out from the crowd is difficult in such a competitive business landscape. Holy Moley Mini Golf Bar has scored a ‘hole in one’ with its creative Melbourne bar experience.

This isn’t just a regular Melbourne hang-out. It’s a bar showcasing colourful pop culture references through a cleverly designed 27-hole mini golf course. It takes going out to ‘par-tee’ to a ‘hole’ new level (no more puns — well, we’ll try anyway).
 


The level of detail and thought that has gone into the course is incredible, including the ability to change and rotate holes to keep the experience fresh and add an element of surprise and delight for patrons.

“One hole begins by navigating your ball through a refurbished pinball table,” say the folks at Broadsheet. “From there the ball drops onto a foosball table, and it becomes a two-player game: whoever scores gets a bonus point. Then there’s a Game of Thrones hole, with a throne made from putters.”
 


It’s all about experience

This experience seems truly engaging, taking the user through a memorable experience and leaving them wanting more. The concept is all about creating a brand experience that evokes a behavioural response. Something this clever creates its own hype, which in turn makes the experience appealing to others and ‘shareable’ through social media and word of mouth.

This memorable experience sets this brand apart from others. And isn’t that the goal – creating something customers love and want to share with their inner circle?

It’s a great example of being disruptive in a saturated market (there’s not many pubs to choose from in Melbourne) and creating something fun and inspiring that sets you apart from everyone else.
 

 

You know where we’ll be ‘teeing up’ (sorry, couldn’t resist one more) Friday night work drinks from now on.

 

Image and content sources: BroadsheetHoley Moley.


Hard Edge is a strategic marketing and creative agency for disruptive brands. 
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call us on +61 3 9245 9245.

Thumbs up or thumbs down to emojis?

At 84 per cent, Australia has one of the highest rates of smartphone ownership and, in recent years, we've seen the rapid increase in popularity of the beloved emoji.

Once a cute but unnecessary extra in teenage conversation, emojis are now a given in most online brand communications. Although still mostly used to engage Millennials, and sometimes met with an apathetic eye roll, they are a new visual language in which we all speak at times. What makes them so risky is that unlike traditional communication, there are no rules. Let’s take a look at a brand that nailed the integration of emojis into its campaign — and one that possibly didn’t.

Domino's Pizza Tweet and Emoji Ordering

What is it?

In 2015, Domino’s Pizza, with the help of its agency CPB Group, developed disruptive technology allowing customers to place an order through Twitter. Frequent customers needed to only use a single pizza emoji. They extended this to a texting service and on the first day more than 500 people signed up to order using the emoji.

Why does it work?

Simplicity and innovation is key on this one. Domino’s took a risk by potentially isolating a segment of its audience who didn’t have a smartphone or Twitter account. However, in doing so, Domino’s allowed for an exclusive interaction between the company and its most loyal customers. Emo-genius.

Chevrolet Cruze Press Release

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What is it?

How far did you get decoding that one? We’ll let Chevrolet explain: “Words alone can’t describe the new 2016 Chevrolet Cruze, so to celebrate its upcoming reveal, the media advisory is being issued in emoji, the small emotionally expressive digital images and icons in electronic communication.” The press release was distributed a day later in plain English for those of us unwilling to decode the original, along with the hashtag #ChevyGoesEmoji.

Why doesn’t it work?

The giveaway is that if you have to explain what an emoji is, there’s a good chance your audience won’t be decoding an emoji-laden press release, much less hashtagging about it. Cue that Millennial eye roll.

 
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In saying this, Chevrolet’s marketing team may have used this as a strategy to entice the press and create a bit of controversy around the new car, which it certainly did. I’m still not sure whether the event was seen as novel or just a bit ‘try hard’.

Emojis are clearly more than a fleeting trend and whether we love, hate, or fear them, they’re here to stay. Marketers and brands may be fumbling their way through new territory for now (we’re looking at you ESPN) but soon enough emojis will be so integrated, we won’t be able to imagine a world without them.

 

Imagery: https://hips.hearstapps.com/hmg-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/images/emoji-movie-still-sony-1476125868.jpg


Hard Edge is a strategic marketing and creative agency for disruptive brands. 
To learn more email or
call us on +61 3 9245 9245.

Are you sitting on a marketing gold mine?

Databases are marketing gold. That’s if they are collected, maintained and utilised properly.

Database marketing is a form of direct marketing that uses databases of customers or clients – existing, potential or lapsed – to generate targeted lists for direct marketing communications. Database marketing is key to any successful marketing strategy so here’s some helpful tips.

Organise/categorise your database

Use your database wisely. It is essential to sort your contacts into segments so that different people can be targeted with different messaging. Having the right information about your clients, communicating the right message at the right time – when they are ready to make a decision – is vital to the success of your marketing.

Keep in touch

You invest time and money in networking, good customer service, advertising and website development to get prospective customers to your door. Don’t let that effort go to waste. Establishing a communication stream to keep your company and brand top of mind, until they are ready to make a buying decision or referral, is key.

Don’t forget existing customers

Existing customers are a great source of repeat business and referrals. Keep track of these customers and be sure to reach out from time to time to show your appreciation for their business.

So what are you waiting for? Join the gold rush and add database marketing to your strategic marketing plan.


Hard Edge is a strategic marketing and creative agency for disruptive brands. 
To learn more email or
call us on +61 3 9245 9245.

It takes courage to become a disruptive brand

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Disruptive brands feel different for a reason. They break rules, they demand attention and, sometimes, change the way we live our lives. Here are three characteristics of some of the most successful disruptive brands.

Disruptive brands are risk takers

Disruptive brands are brave enough to be different and, in many ways, that’s why we love them. While there’s a very real risk of getting things wrong, when a disruptive brand is marketed successfully it can have extraordinary results.

One example is Scottish beer brewery BrewDog, the self-described “post-punk, apocalyptic, motherfucker of a craft brewery” that is breaking conventional rules and performing audacious marketing stunts along the way. Starting with a bank loan of just £30,000, BrewDog is entering the US market with a valuation of US$350m – and a story well worth the read.

 

 

Disruptive brands are good for customers and competition

Most industries are dominated by a few bigger brands and beneath them are tiers of increasingly smaller (but more numerous) competitors. The hierarchy is established over years and most changes occur when existing companies merge or acquire competitors.

Disruptive brands blow this balance out of the water. They upset the order of things and force long-established brands to adapt or die. The famous example is of course Uber, which challenged the taxi industry and completely disrupted what was long considered ‘normal’. Its technology, business model, UX and customer service broke the mould (and were scalable). Uber has forced the taxi industry to try to improve its competitiveness with better technology and an improved level of customer experience. While it seems unlikely to succeed, the traditional players have been forced to try. Disruption can be a powerful catalyst for change in any industry.

Disruptive brands have to work hard to stay on top

Successfully disrupting an industry can lead to huge success, but with that success comes an increase in logistics, administration and bureaucracy. More customers means more staff, more investment, bigger offices, increased procurement needs and more complicated reporting for shareholders.

Together, these responsibilities act as a natural dampener on innovation. Shareholders don’t like risk, and how can you disrupt a market when you’ve become the dominant player?

Yahoo was once the king of the internet and grew to become a US$140b Goliath in just five years. However a combination of factors, such the dot com crash, lack of innovation and poor internal decision making, meant Yahoo regressed. This opened the door for a superior disruptor – Google – to deliver a better solution, steal market share and, ultimately, dominate the world of search.

Improvement is inevitable in every industry sector. There will always be a company that finds a faster, more attractive, more efficient way of delivering an experience or outcome. The question is whether your brand is a disruptor or whether it’s sitting, waiting to be disrupted.

 

Header image source: http://littlegreatideas.com/photo/smashing/large-7.html


Hard Edge is a strategic marketing and creative agency for disruptive brands. 
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call us on +61 3 9245 9245.

Look who’s moved in next door

Ghostbusters got it right: “Who you gonna call…?” The power of relevance and recognition in the immediacy of the moment between the brain and the hand on the phone is why people should already know your brand’s name.

Brands that achieve the ultimate goal of people referring to their product by name rather than the generic term, such as Esky, Coke and Hoover, have spent decades and millions to weave their brand into the fabric of culture. The power these brands have is almost an unfathomable mountain for the brand that has its hand up in a crowd of thousands.

These days, companies know they must be memorable, dependable, have a great customer experience and be easily recognisable across the plethora of channels they need to be present in. But is that enough? Is it enough to just be good, or even great? No, not when a disruptive brand enters the ring or sets up camp next door, on the previously unoccupied vacant block that no one knew what to do with.

So what’s it take to get noticed in this noisy environment of brands? For a company to stand out and scale to being a large player, they have no choice but to be disruptive. Not just in the way they do things, such as Uber and Purple Bricks, but in the way they present themselves to the market. Disruptive marketing is destined to be the next over-used marketing term, like ‘guerilla marketing’ back in the ‘80s and ‘90s, but that just confirms it’s a recognised fact that it works. To be a serious player, the status quo needs to be challenged. ‘That’s the way we’ve always done it though?’ will never be muttered by a winner.

Disruptive brands make something better, simpler and different. That poses a particular set of challenges for a creative agency. They have to communicate a message that aligns to the brand but also changes behaviour. In 2003, a Melbourne-based entrepreneur devised a better way to do business-to-business payments in the travel industry. It revolutionised the industry, but that education piece of doing things differently and better didn’t happen overnight. Their marketing constantly strives to simplify their message to reflect the simplicity and benefits of their virtual card payments system. Today that company, eNett, processes tens of billions of dollars in payment flows. Uber had to bring people around to a new way of thinking and, at the same time, gain their trust to pre-enter their credit card details into their app. Because they achieved simple and direct messaging, word of mouth did Uber’s marketing for them. From nothing to US$60b in seven years.

The innovation behind disruptive brands is thought leadership material and contains endless numbers and coding, but the marketing they require is the direct opposite. It has to be human to be relatable, simple to make changing behaviour accessible, cool so it will be popular, and have the clearest of BVPs to guide every output.


Hard Edge is a strategic marketing and creative agency for disruptive brands. 
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call us on +61 3 9245 9245.

Disruptive brands: a bloody good idea, and the guts to believe

Let’s cut to the chase. If you want to stand out from competitors, do things differently. Disruptive brands are different because they get people engaged and immersed in their brand’s equity.

Apple, Amazon and Uber’s success isn’t about finding new markets. It’s entering established markets and disrupting (and improving) the way things are done through innovative technology and thinking. Turning their competitors upside down in the process.

“Disruption is all about risk-taking, trusting your intuition, and rejecting the way things are supposed to be done,” is how Richard Branson puts it. “Disrupting goes way beyond advertising; it forces you to think about where you want your brand to go and how to get there.”
 

 

Into the fire

Last week, I saw Notel Founder James Fry demonstrate his new start-up. It was inspiring to witness how he disrupted the accommodation sector by importing six retro Airstream trailers from the U.S., had them lifted by crane on to an unused Melbourne laneway rooftop, and fitted them out as five-star accommodation.

His guiding objective was simple: do the opposite of what traditional hotels do and offer an experience along the way. He did away with the expensive minibar, for example; supplied a 12.9” iPad instead of a television, minus the expensive movie selection, with Netflix ready to go; and created a smartphone app that allows access to your five-star caravan.

James asked an old friend, Jake Smallman (Studio Self-titled) to develop a clever identity and way finding system and enlisted the infamous Ash Keating to spray-paint a mesmerising feature wall. As if this disruptive idea wasn’t clever enough, the ingenious part was James relied only on Instagram and PR to spread the word. He didn’t use any advertising.

So has it worked? Well, weekend accommodation is booked out for the next six months. Would this brilliant idea work outside Melbourne? Let us know your thoughts on this disruptive brand and get in touch if you need help differentiating and marketing your brand.


Hard Edge is a strategic marketing and creative agency for disruptive brands. 
To learn more email or
call us on +61 3 9245 9245.