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  • Drummond International website evolution

    Posted on January 15, 2015

    image of Drummond International website homepageThis is the new website that we have just built and launched for Drummond International it has lots of new feature and the content is presented to explain the all that they can do for companies by developing individuals within organisations. But we need to go back a lot further before we get to this point.  We were first appointed by Drummond International in mid 2008 to re-design their very first website. Although they found us on Google it turned out that a few years before we had designed a folder on a pro bona rate for the Skye-based childrens development charity Columba 1400 founded by Norman Drummond as well as having worked on a connected annual report and group brochure. So Village Edinburgh strikes again, search the world wide web for someone located 500 yards away.

    DI home screengrab 04 09 12 miniOn the right you can see the 2008-2014 website. A couple of years later and we were asked to help again by creating branded social media profiles for channels already used and then newly developing SM channels, these included YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+ once again Google Analytics data has been useful when evaluating each ones performance in turn.

    Even after many years of working together with them there was the need to submit a competitive tender and sit through an interview process. We happily did this as it was also a useful part of the briefing process, for both sides. It also ensured that our previous knowledge of the Client was updated and any possible assumptions were also corrected, we had to look forward not back. This was helpful to fully discuss advances in the internet and users experiences together with the rise in use of mobile devices, so a fully responsive website was needed. We were also provided with a mood board and a selection of wonderfully atmospheric B+W photographic images. It is rare to get so much information from a Client and does show great vision and organisation.  We did try to add more colour but the photos that that you can see on the site worked best in mono, however worth investigating other routes and visual treatments.  Back in 2008 we had installed Google Analytics onto the old website  and this data was reviewed by the when the new siteplan was prepared. It also provided an invaluable benchmark for the new site.

    Now in late 2014 and the staff of Drummond International felt it was time to completely refresh the company website including the style and page layout. The previous website content updates were done using Adobe Contribute, a very cost effective CMS (content management software as opposed to a bespoke content management system), Naturally it had its limitations but had worked well for 6+ years. With the rapid evolution of WordPress websites and all of the technical and editorial features offered a re-build was the best solution and a future friendly one too. The existing Blog was also WordPress so staff already had a good knowledge of creating and editing web content, another reason to go with a WP for the main site. We advised that the new blog should be integrated onto the website as this would give them better web traffic figures and be easier to encourage Blog viewers to visit main site pages.  It would also be much easier to update and include internal site links if it was one entity.

    screenshot of Drummond International website pageAlso a really nice design feature was suggested by the Client – the dynamic social media buttons, have a look at the mouse-over effect. We might add that feature to our own site the next time we refresh it.

    Websites are never truly finished and regular content reviews are essential, we hope to keep working with Drummond International for a further 6 years an more. Once again we have given our Client the tools to go on and build their brand and promote their services.

    So now if you need to find “an international leadership consultancy who work with some of the world’s most successful organisations to help leaders adapt and achieve in an ever-changing environment” you know where to look > www.drummondinternational.com

  • Domain name registrations; avoid the cheapest or you could pay later!

    Posted on January 4, 2015

    We have been registering domain names for ourselves and on behalf of Clients for over 15 years. We have found that the best formula is to open an account on behalf of the Client at 123-reg and then the Client has full ownership the domain names; the Clients has full control of the account; the Client has access and control over the company e-mails and the Client pays for all of these at cost price!

    There are more domains now than ever before and it is always worth checking to see if a previously registered URL has been released or if an unavailable domain can now be created and registered at cost price. Great to add to your domain portfolio and also to avoid errors or some sneaky competitors activity.  Start the search process here: Search and register domain names and see what is available.

    Why do we use 123-reg? After years of trying others (and some are quite good) we found that 123-reg offers more than the rest at no extra cost and gives real control to Clients via the Control Panel allowing us and them to do so much ourselves whereas other charge for some of these functions.

    • Price transparency with no sneaky hidden charges
    • No hidden charges to transfer away
    • Plenty of notice of renewals so no unwanted renewal charges, nor losing domains
    • Full access to DNS
    • No late penalty fees
    • No annoying advertising
    • UK based Technical and Account Help function, either by phone of online helper

    They host more than 1.4 million websites and over 2 million domain names – making them the UK’s No 1 hosting company with good UK based technical support. If you have registered your domain name somewhere else you can usually transfer it to 123-reg free of charge. Through 123-reg we offer all that you will need for most websites, including webspace hosting packages, e-mail set up and e-commerce if needed.  If a Client wishes we can also upload sites with other ISP’s such as Lumison, Fasthosts, UK2.net, Zen, Virtualnames and BT Openworld amongst others.  It costs nothing to search, click here. You can also read about the newly created gTLD’s (generic top level domains such as  .apartments .cloud  .credit  .plumber  .finance etc) here and about the new .scot domains too.

    Contact us if you are unsure of which type of domain to register as costs range from £3 to £35 per year and quite a few domains ought to be avoided.

  • Exhibition stands designed & built for Nikon

    Posted on January 3, 2015

    Montage of 4 exhibition stands for Nikon

    Our first introduction to Nikon was to assist them in taking existing graphics and text for other markets and making them work more effectively in Europe and the UK at a huge industry trade event called Semicon. The top right image was the first event where posters were design and flags created a lot of the branding effect.  We spent the next 8 years working with the Marketing and Sales team at Nikon to develop powerful sales propositions and impactful exhibition stands, many at 9m x 9m square which is a significant area to fill with ample display space, a built in meeting room for privacy, a kitchen and a reception desk.  The whole point of attending these trade events was to encourage face to face meetings between Nikons staff and existing or potential customers, so we built in seating areas for less formal meetings and chats with views of the DVD monitors so that Clients could see displays at any time.  Many of the later stands had back lit lighting and images running across the full length of the stand for maximum visual impact.  We always spent time developing the message for each years show, luckily Nikon always had something exciting to say and show as innovation is at the heart of the company. Nikon’s competitors were out in force at these global events so they actually formed a part of the target audience as not all innovations were for fully public consumption.

    photo of Nikon stand design SemiconThe Semicon shows took place across Europe and we designed and built exhibition stand for use in some of the largest exhibition centres in several cities in Germany, Spain and once in Russia. Each event had its own logistical challenges and a team was sent out to built the stand before the event and take down the stand 4 days later, often involving working over a weekend in a foreign city.

    backlit tall tower with Nikon logoThese stand need the modular display stand, graphic panels for each wall space and public area, with furniture such as meeting room desks and seats, a reception desk, stools and table tops, sofas for more casual seating areas, DVD and monitors a working kitchen with water and a sink, fridges and coffee machines all hired nearby to use the local power supply rather than having convertors and any risk attached to that. We also provided a full lighting rig that also needed to use the local power supply, so you can imagine the check list for  that operation. Add shipping the stand flatpacked each way and you can see how much work was involved in each show. We started the planing with Nikon around 8 months before the next season started.

    Nikon also had the outside back cover of each years show catalogue. This was a prime position which we exploited with adverts created specifically for each years show then rolled out as their international trade advertising campaigns. This ensured that the audience for the show and those in the trade not attending would also be exposed to the message of what this years new innovation would be. We were careful to use these ads to create interest in visiting the stand to get the full story.

    Montage of adverts for trade showsWe also tried hard to link the product attributes and brand values of the hand held Nikon cameras with the larger Nikon machines with a $12.5 million price tag. So leveraging the power of the equity brand and playing on the strengths of technology and innovation built around world class lenses. All work created by us in now copyright of Nikon and used with thanks.

    To see a selection of small er exhibition display stands and pop up systems click here >