On the same page

Published on 20/03/2017 in by Erika Sykes
storm troopers

A Wonderstuff 365 article. Make them count


A beginning, a middle, and sometimes – but not always – an end. Stories are human. We think in narrative form. They resonate and are remembered by devotees who can quote lines, thrill in the details, and enthusiastically share with others.

Whether the story is visual, written or audible, the person telling the story brings the subject alive. By connecting and understanding the big picture themselves, they engage and enthuse their audience.

Brand stories are the same. A purpose, a journey, a storyteller, and an audience.

Most brand stories are created to communicate and engage with their clients and consumers – external to the organisations. But the people within the organisation, including those tasked with communicating to consumers, are often forgotten, leaving them unsure of the full story.

An organisation that invests in its staff to make the brand as alive on the inside as it is on the outside, will reap rewards, with an increase in morale, commitment and purposeful productivity. Helping employees understand that their role is important in turning the brands aspirations into reality connects them more definitively to the story.

If you’re not inspiring your staff to be brand ambassadors, you’re missing a business opportunity.

Internal communications are historically under-managed and undervalued, limited to emails, newsletters and other hands-off methods that tell staff what to do for the organisation rather than what the organisation does for them. Organisations fail to acknowledge that their staff are one of their most powerful brand assets, with a communication strategy to engage them being as important as external communications.

Deciding on how and when to engage in brand awareness and engagement activities with employees is pivotal to their success, as is true of all communications.

Adopting a participatory approach from the start is of course best, followed by regular and sustained activity.  Having an internal person or ‘team’ that is responsible for championing these initiatives internally and externally will maximise their intent.

March is the time most organisations are refining their next financial year brand strategy, so if that’s you, have you included a section for internal communications?

If not, consider how much richer your story will be by keeping your staff on the same page.

If you’d like to know more about improving your internal communications, and how this can add value to your organisation, email or call and talk to us.

Enthusiasm for all – developing a new brand for an established shopping centre

Published on 10/03/2017 in , , by Erika Sykes


NewRiver Retail, one of the UK’s leading property investors approached us to reposition a dull and outdated shopping centre in Birmingham.  Everyone had lost enthusiasm for it – the owners, the retailers and the shoppers.

By creating a new name and a colourful and vibrant identity which was applied throughout the centre, new life could be injected into the outlet, creating enthusiasm for the owners, retailers and the local community.

When creating the identity we ensured that the look and feel of the revitalised brand would appeal and be embraced by all its touch-points, delivering a solution that would attract a new generation of shoppers and gain the ongoing interest of new retailers.

“We needed a vibrant and colourful brand to reinvigorate our Centre in Erdington and Wonderstuff delivered!” Paul Wright, Director NewRiver Retail.



Need to reinvigorate your brand?


Click to read one of our 365 articles ‘Budgeting for Brand’ 

Achieve More with a strong brand and clear position

Published on 1/03/2017 in , , by Erika Sykes
ODF008 Twitter Header 1


When Gary and his team at ‘The Outdoor Fitness Company’ approached us to help re-position the company in light of new competition, part of the resultant brand evolution work we did with them was the development of the promise – ‘Achieve More’.

As our newsletter this month is about the role of internal communications in building an effective brand, we thought this was an interesting and relevant project to share.

The brand promise ‘Achieve More’ can be owned, believed and acted upon by both staff and clients – a positive ‘rallying cry’ that motivates, inspires and unites all in a shared purpose. By using this promise prominently in communications both internal and external, the statement becomes a powerful defining force for the organisation, its people and its activities.

The result of this united understanding and belief by all, is an organisation that has the strength of purpose to cement the brand as “The North East’s premier multi-activity fitness provider’.

“I am really excited about the clarity of the brand now as I really do feel its the missing link to most of what we’ve been doing.” Gary Nash, Owner.

ODFC Guidelines-icons


Need to reposition your brand?


Click to read one of our 365 articles ‘Your brand definition will stop you’.

Launch of Zoe

Published on 28/02/2017 in by Erika Sykes
Zoe 3a


It was excellent to meet up with David Dernie yesterday to see the fully launched Zoe packaged product – which looks fantastic!

This marks for David, the culmination of two years dedicated and focussed work, researching and developing the product alongside working closely with us to develop the brand and subsequent strategy.

David approached us with a bold vision, as he saw an opportunity in the market for a female-focussed sports nutrition brand. We worked with David through our brand consultancy programme to help him define his vision for the business and brand, and to understand his audience and communications.

The areas we worked on were: Brand Consultancy, Brand Name, Brand Development, Packaging Design, Website Design & Build, Social Media Graphics and Social Media Adverts.

The Zoe brand is positioned to offer women a high quality tailored product to assist their fitness and weight loss goals, and you can find out more, and purchase on their website now.

We wish David all the luck with his business and look forward to following the Zoe story.

All aboard with Bryan Edmondson

Published on 16/02/2017 in by Erika Sykes


The Northern Design Centre was awash with a who’s who of the region’s designers last night, all aboard  for Bryan Edmondson to take us on a colourful 20 year journey of the work of London agency Sea Design. The event was part of Design Event’s ‘Design Talks’, and was a great opportunity to see and listen to stories about the many memorable graphic design projects that Sea have done over the years, including their excellent work for long-standing client G.F. Smith. There was a palpable shared recognition and enjoyment from a room full of friends, colleagues and peers, all of whom have the many swatches, books and bespoke paper pieces in their studios.

Great to also hear about Bryan’s collaborations with photographer Rankin, typographer Wim Crouwel and the art/graphic design cross-over project done for Monotype.

A great night thanks to Bryan Edmondson and Design Event. We’re looking forward to the rest of the talks.


With love from Wonderstuff.

Published on 14/02/2017 in by Erika Sykes


Valentine’s Day Giveaway.

We love giveaways and lots of you told us you loved the concrete bookends competition we ran in January. So for Valentine’s Day we are holding a ‘this morning only’ competition to win another free Wonderstuff original.

If you sign up to our newsletter on our website this morning (closing time this lunchtime 12.30pm), we will choose and contact one person this afternoon to receive a print of their choice from our selection of Wonderstuff screen-print originals. Even better, if you haven’t got a Valentine’s present for your loved one yet – pick it up from us this afternoon and you’re sorted for this evening! We’re open until 6pm. Signing up to our newsletter means you’ll receive our monthly ‘365’ articles on all matters brand and design, news, events and notice of other competitions and giveaways.

Click Sign up to our newsletter at the top of this page, enter your details, and subscribe.

Good luck to everyone.

The value of design for SME’s

Published on 8/02/2017 in , by Paul Alderson
Good design is good value


Good design proves its value over the long term for SME’s.

This work for long term client of ours – Redford – has been in use for over 5 years of use, and it is still delivering the brand as clearly now as it did then.

Invest in your brand.

For business growth, budget for ‘brand’.

Published on 6/02/2017 in by Paul Alderson
For business growth, budget 'brand'.

A Wonderstuff 365 article. Make them count.

As one (financial) year ends…

While managers are focussed on achieving goals for this financial year, most boards – and owners – spend these last months planning the year ahead.

Planning to invest in growth?

Planning usually includes the growth of the organisation, and the resources required to achieve it – with budgets set against typical areas such as Resources, Materials and Costs; in order to establish priorities and set targets in numerical terms, providing direction so that organisational objectives can be turned into practical reality.

So how much have you budgeted for your brands growth?

Brand – and return on investment

Brand is an investment, just as your office and machinery – without them you cannot deliver your service (or product) to your clients. Similarly, you know that investing in a cheap solution now will often lead to headaches later on.

Investing appropriately allows you to focus on delivering the product or service you offer, in the way your clients expect – to enable growth. Your brand – and design – is a tool to help you achieve your goals; and one that’s proven to provide a greater return on investment than almost anything else.

“On average, for every £1 businesses invested in design, they gained over £4 net operating profit, and over £20 net turnover.”
Design Council

Our experience shows that a successful design solution can last around a decade, though the value of names and identities is typically much longer. For the typical investment, that’s incredible value.

How do you measure this ROI?

As with any capital expense, you plan that the investment made will provide return on investment over a period of time (and you’ll often finance it to allow for this), and set some metrics for this to ensure it delivers. Yet many organisations don’t treat design in this way.

The Design Business Associations Design Effectiveness Awards provides a great resource to understand the value for clients (large and small) who do value design, and measure the return on investment.

The key is to spend time during the planning stage understanding what to invest, and what return to expect, over that timescale. And realise that – like any tool – your brand will work for you long after it’s delivered.

If you’d like to know more about brand and using it to grow your organisation, email or call and talk to us.

Sneek peek at new e-liquids range packaging design

Published on 4/02/2017 in , by Paul Alderson
brand packaging - e-liquids


Here’s peek at some of our recent work for Vapourlites – their Hi VG packaging range.

This is part of a much larger project to reposition the brand ready for new legislation coming into effect in May 2017. To date the project has included name generation, brand identities, label, carton and outers packaging and point of sale design.

Brand Vision = Business Growth. SME Workshops.

Published on 24/01/2017 in , by Erika Sykes
Brand Vision Workshop


Book your place online here

Dates: Tuesday 14th, Tuesday 21st February and Tuesday 7th, Tuesday 14, Tuesday 21st March 2017.
Venue: Your place of work, or ours – Wonderstuff Newcastle, NE3 1DH.

To build your business,
build your brand.

With the increased power, and choice, of the consumer the dynamic between you and your audience has changed. Successful organisations now have an active and on-going relationship with their brand, taking into consideration the role it plays in the larger world, both inside and outside the organisation.

Know your vision to build your brand. The first step is to identify what you’re aiming for both as a business and as a brand, to establish your ambition. Once established, ambition can be defined and turned into a vision.

Business goals are typically financial or quantitive. Brand goals are typically intangible or qualitative. Together they enable you to build the business you want, the way you want it.

This workshop will provide the understanding, principles and support to enable you to define your vision with two sets of goals, one for business and one for brand, and to develop your organisation’s vision phases and timeline.

Realise your brand vision.

Who is this for?
New organisations needing to understand how brand can impact their business.
Existing organisations needing to unlock business growth in competitive markets.

Why take part?
These workshops provide the opportunity to step back from your day to day in order to help develop and clarify a vision for the future of your business and understand how your brand will enable this. This is equally beneficial for a start-up business or an established organisation looking to clarify and define the business’s next steps.

Where and when?
Part 1 – Workshop Event:
Choose from – Tuesday 7th, Tuesday 21st February, 7th March or 21st March, 2017. 2hrs. 09:30-11:30, inc refreshments.

Part 2 – Individual Meeting:
Scheduled for the following week at a time to suit you. 1hr.

What do I take away?
A clear understanding of why and how your brand can grow your business.

A documented Brand Vision Timeline (where you want to get to and the stages involved, typically in 6 or 12 months phases) and the thinking tools to use this to propel your business forward.

Individual £240 +vat per place.
(Limited places per workshop)

Still not sure if this is for you?

Speak to Paul (Founder) or Erika (Brand Consultant) on 0191 447 2727 to find out more about the workshops, and understand if they can add value for you and your organisation.

Book your place online here