Industry jargon explained to make sure we are talking the same language...

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A

Adobe Illustrator

As you’d imagine, this is where you create illustrations, icons and graphics, as well as logos and more complex typography. You can save illustrator files as an AI (Illustrator's own file), EPS for use in print, or PNG and Jpeg for online & digital use.

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Adobe Indesign

Largely the platform of choice for print designers. You can save these files as Jpegs and PDFs, or publish online.

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Adobe Photoshop

Not just for photo retouching, this is generally where digital designers prefer to create their designs as it can best replicate the online experience.

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Alt Text

Alt text (alternative text), also known as "alt attributes", “alt descriptions", or technically incorrectly as "alt tags,” are used within an HTML code to describe the appearance and function of an image on a page. You can read more about Alt Text here.

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B

Boiler Plate Copy

Boiler plate copy refers to the standard sections that describe your company. Often you have short (Instagram Bio), medium (LinkedIn About section) and long (About on website). You'll often have a Press Release Boilerplate too - this is standard approved copy that aligns with your brand.

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Brand Assets

A brand asset refers to anything that is a component of your brand. More commonly used to refer to digital files, i.e. logos, graphic, imagery, icons, etc.

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Brand Audit

A thorough audit of what your brand is saying to its customers, generally looking at identity, website and communications.

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Brand Behaviours

A brand's behaviour refers to how a brand engages with its audience. It's about creating moments that instil the organisation into the hearts and minds of its audience.

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Brand Experience

Brand experiences are the key moments in the customer journey.

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Brand Guidelines

Brand Guidelines can vary greatly in length and detail. From a short distillation of the brand and a summary of the key points to take people on an immersive journey, to an extensive multi-language/market rulebook. Other terms for less extensive versions include Style Guide or Brand Book. When documenting your brand you need to consider who is going to be implementing your brand, and how much guidance they need. The last thing you want is to create a beautiful brand and see it appearing inconsistently in market.

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Brand Identity

Your brand identity is how your brand appears to the world, from visual elements (logo, website, packaging, etc.) to verbal (what you say and how you communicate with your staff and customers).

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Brand Language

Brand language refers to verbal (the words) and visual elements (imagery, colour, iconography) associated with a product, service or organisation. It's known as a language because consistent application not only helps products and services relate to one other, it also helps the customer to have a more consistent experience. This language becomes a real asset when it validates the brand as authentic and original.

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Brand Personality

Determining a clear character for your brand (just as if it were a person) is essential to escape a sea of sameness. It guides tone, voice and creative expression. Just as in life, personalities encompass different qualities and so an effective brand personality is genuine, reflective of an organisation's values and behaviours, and crucially has ample room to connect with audiences on different levels.

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Brand Proposition

Often referred to as a brand promise, a proposition is a statement that helps audiences understand what they can expect from your brand. It sets up expectations and generates excitement. The flipside? It's absolutely essential the brand delivers on that promise, no matter what.

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Brand Toolkit

A brand toolkit often refers to the very basic elements of the brand, usually including logo, colour palette, graphics, icons, photography style, illustration style.

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Brand Values

Values are beliefs that you hold dear and would stick to no matter what, even if they cost you money. They are the building blocks that influence behaviour, the content of your language and the messages you communicate. It's how people work together to bring the brand alive powerfully, consistently and competitively.

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Branding

Essentially branding is storytelling. It's about communicating what sets your company apart both verbally and visually, through identity, tone of voice, advertising and operations. Branding is often misunderstood and underestimated, but when done well it can change the entire way your company functions, giving a clear purpose to every department and a reason for customers to choose you over others.

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C

Channel Plan

A channel plan identifies the best mix of communication channels to reach your target audiences effectively, and plans your communications across that mix.

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Chatbot

A computer program designed to simulate conversation with a human usually over the Internet. Drift is a great example of a chatbot that has expanded into a fully fledged integrated marketing platform.

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Chatbot Broadcast

A digital message sent through a computer program (chatbot) to a community of people subscribed to a platform.

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Colour Palette

This is the suite of colours within your brand identity. People will have a very strong and subjective reaction to colour, so it is a very important part of the branding process.

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Competitor Research

Identifying and assessing the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors to inform your own strategy.

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Copy

Short for copywriting, copy is any kind of text based content that conveys or promotes your brand.

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Copyright

Copyright protects your work and stops others from using it without your permission.You get copyright protection automatically - you don’t have to apply or pay a fee. There isn’t a register of copyright works in the UK. You can mark your work with the copyright symbol (©), your name and the year of creation. Whether you mark the work or not doesn’t affect the level of protection you have.

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D

Domain Name

To put it simply, this is your websites address. As a simple example, www.google.com is Google's domain name, they also own additional domain names such as www.google.co.uk and www.google.org - dependent on what they choose to host on that site. Every domain is unique and no two different websites can share the same name. It can be made up of any combination of letters, numbers and dashes paired with a Domain Name System (DNS) e.g. .com or .org or co.uk. An important thing to note: each DNS needs to be purchased separately - owning the .com does not mean you also own the .co.uk.

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E

EOP / EOD

These are acronyms for 'End of Play' and 'End of Day'. It's a short hand often used to describe an expected deadline e.g. "you can expect the next draft by EOP".

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EPS

An EPS is a vector file and is widely used in print design. A typical image file (eg. Jpeg or PNG) is made up of a finite number of pixels and will blur when scaled above said size, but an EPS is a drawing or illustration format and is therefore scalable to any size. Logos should always be available as an EPS for large format printing.

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F

Favicon

A favicon, also known as a shortcut icon, website icon, tab icon, URL icon or bookmark icon, is the circle you can see in your website tabs when you open a particular website.

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Fonts

Technically a font is the variation or weight of a typeface, eg. bold, regular, italic, with the typeface being the distinguishing letterform (eg. Arial, Futura, Gill Sans). However, the term font is also used commonly to refer to the type family and the weights within it - eg. "What font is it? Futura Bold". If you say font though we'll know what you mean.

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G

GDPR

Regulation in EU law to protect personal data and privacy, including limiting the sharing of personal data. All websites now must be GDPR-compliant if they are in any way capturing data, for example using a contact form.

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Google Spiders

Also known as crawlers and spiderbots. They are internet bots that systematically comb through the internet, indexing webpages to help the Google search engine understand what's on any given web page. Once Google has this information they can correctly show only relevant content when someone searches for something.

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H

Haptic Feedback

Also more fancily known as kinaesthetic communication. This is when a device (e.g. your phone) responds to your touch with some form of feedback. Most commonly this is a small vibration or a buzz. It helps confirm to the user that they have to do something or can be used to enhance the experience of the device e.g. vibrations that may occur in a controller if you crash in a racing game.

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I

Image Usage Rights

All purchased photography, illustration or video content will come with usage rights - this refers to where you can use the asset and for how long, and the quality & size. Rights are also dictated by any models featured and their contract terms. For quick reference, digital use is typically cheaper than print, and single market is cheaper than global/multi-market. It's worth paying close attention to where you are going to use imagery and how long your campaign needs to be, so that you are only paying for what you actually use.

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Intellectual Property

Intellectual property is something that you create using your mind - for example, a story, an invention, an artistic work or a symbol. You can own your intellectual property, and transfer the rights to it. Having the right type of intellectual property protection helps you to stop people stealing or copying:

• The names of your products or brands

• Your inventions or innovations

• The design or look of your products

• Things you write, make or produce

Copyright, patents, designs and trade marks are all types of intellectual property protection. You get some types of protection automatically, but others you have to apply for. In the world of brand creation, it is important to consider the type of protection you need.

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J

Jpeg

A Jpeg is an image file made up of pixels. It is the most commonly used image format for photography and online/digital graphics because you can fully control both the file size and image quality (via ppi or pixels per inch). You can't have a transparent background with a Jpeg though, so PNGs (or EPS for print) are preferable in these circumstances.

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L

Launch Plan

A written overview of your ideas, activities, content and processes to release a product or company effectively into the market. This is a plan for all involved to follow. Usually includes a pre and post-launch plan too.

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Logo

A logo is the distinguishing symbol of your company. A logo generally involves some sort of graphic, whereas the term 'word marque' is used for a purely typographic identity, ie. simply your company name.

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Lookalike Audiences

A targeting option provided by Facebook, allowing you to reach new people who are likely to be interested in your business as they're similar to your existing customers. This targeting option requires you to upload your customer email lists or connect your Instagram account in order for Facebook to analyse the data.

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M

Marketing Strategy

A long-term plan for finding, communicating with and retaining customers. Often delivered by multiple teams or individuals.

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Messaging Framework

Often used alongside audience personas, a message framework incorporates all elements of your brand's foundations – proposition, values, personality and tone of voice – to identify the most important messages for your potential clients.

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Metadata

"Metadata is data about other data". As far as definitions go, this sounds unhelpful but is in fact a perfect description of what metadata is. Metadata is a system of data that helps to give information about other data. It's used to define pretty much everything from videos and pictures to spreadsheets, and it's useful to help store a history of a particular file or track down a specific relevant file e.g. by file type, date created, file size, etc.

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P

Packaged Assets

This is everything you've been shown for your brand, packaged in a folder and ready to use. It will typically include your logo in all formats (EPS, PNG and Jpeg), social icons, photography, working files (as agreed), graphics and fonts.

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Page Furniture

Basically any copy or assets that are on every page, but secondary to the main information. So it could be page numbers, a condensed version of your logo, a copyright, or a page description.

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Pixel/Facebook Pixel

A code that you place on your website. It collects data that helps you track conversions from Facebook ads, optimize ads, build targeted audiences for future ads, and re-market to people who have already taken some kind of action on your website. A very clever piece of code.

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Pixels

Pixels are how we measure image dimensions, so for example 1080 x 1080 px is the standard Instagram tile size. The number of pixels per inch is how we determine image quality as well as the file size, so for example 72-144 ppi is great for online images as it keeps the file size small for quick page loading, and looks sharp to the naked eye. Images for print are dictated by dots per inch (dpi), but essentially work on the same principles, requiring 300dpi for the image quality to be good enough. File size for print generally does not matter.

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Png

A PNG is an image used for online and digital design. You can have a transparent background with a PNG, so it's often preferable to a Jpeg for logos and graphics.

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Promoted Posts

A post on your Facebook or Instagram profile which you have put budget behind to drive greater exposure with some top-level broad targeting options. If a post has performed well, you may like to invest in it reaching more people.


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R

ROI

An acronym for "Return on Investment". ROI measures the gain or loss generated by an investment relative to the money invested. The more gain that is made, the stronger the ROI is.

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S

SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of increasing the quality and quantity of website traffic, by increasing the visibility of a website or a web page within a search engine i.e. Google. SEO refers to the improvement of unpaid results and excludes direct traffic/visitors.

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Slug

The slug is the wording that appears after your website url, so for example in www.cousinbranding.co.uk/jargonbusted, the slug is ‘jargonbusted’. Naming the slug can help with people navigating your site easily, as well as SEO

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Social Assets

This really depends on the platform, but generally this term refers to the imagery or graphics you have on your social media channels. We will often say Social Profile assets when talking about just the imagery / icons / logo assets that populate your social media profiles, but you could also have social brand assets for Instagram posts and stories, Facebook posts etc.

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Social Sharing Image

Sometimes called an Open Graph Image. This is the image that appears when someone shares a page of your website. Imagine if someone shared a web page to their Facebook feed, this image would appear with some descriptive text. On most website platforms you can specify this image to control what your business and brand looks like when it is shared digitally.

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Squarespace

A tool for building websites without any coding knowledge. You choose a template that best suits your purpose, and then can control type, colour palette, imagery and some layout features. If working with a Squarespace expert like Using My Head though, you can change almost all aspects of the template with additional code.

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Targeted Ads

Adverts that have been set up to be shown to audiences with specific characteristics. E.g age, gender, location, interests etc...

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Targeting/Targeting Audiences

To focus on serving content to people with a particular demographic, who have specific characteristics or attributes, these groups are called audiences.

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T

Tone of Voice (TOV)

Tone of voice is how the character of your business comes through in your words, both written and spoken. It's not about what you say, but rather the way that you say it, and the impression it makes on everyone who reads or hears you.

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Trademark

A trademark is a type of intellectual property with a recognisable sign, design, or expression to distinguish your products or services from those of others. You can register your trade mark to protect your brand, for example the name of your product or service. When you register your trade mark, you’ll be able to:

• Take legal action against anyone who uses your brand without your permission, including counterfeiters

• Put the ® symbol next to your brand - to show that it’s yours and warn others against using it

• Sell and license your brand

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Typography

The styling and appearance of a brand font, or an individual piece of copy.

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U

UX / UI

UX stands for User eXperience, and UI stands for User Interface. These terms are mostly used when referring to digital plaforms such as websites or apps, and refer to the design of the functionality and experience design, so basically how someone interacts and moves through the content.

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V

Verbal Identity

Verbal identity or verbal brand identity is the linguistic component of an organisation's brand. It incorporates brand language, the terms in which an organisation describes itself and its products, but also covers the names of corporations and the products they sell, taglines, and the “voice” of the brand, defined as the personality and tone in its communications. In conjunction with visual and sensory identity, it is a key component of overall brand identity.Verbal identity has increasing importance due to the increase in two-way conversation between brand and consumer. Social media, has led to a sharp rise in its prominence over the last decade. This ability to engage in an ongoing dialogue with customers provides an opportunity for companies to more firmly cement their products and services into the consumer consciousness, but doing so successfully requires a consistent, well-defined approach to the use of language.

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W

Webflow

Webflow is a product used to design, build, and launch bespoke websites with an online visual editor. Intermediate developer and design knowledge needed, but it doesn't neccessarily require coding from scratch.

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Webhooks

Webhooks allow one app/site to communicate information to another app/site automatically e.g. MailChimp (an email platform) uses webhooks to take signup information from your website and add it into your newsletter database.

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Website Builders / Platforms

There are a huge number of platforms through which you can build a website. Here are just a couple to get you started - Webflow, Squarespace, Wix, Weebly, Shopify, WordPress, Go Daddy, BigCommerce… the list goes on.

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Wireframes

Wireframes are the building blocks of a layout design. It's a simplified way to show where elements sit within a design without getting caught up in the details of aesthetics (e.g. colour, fonts, etc). It allows us to show the full layout of a page, test it, tweak it and develop it until we're happy to turn that layout into a final design.

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Working Files

This is the file that the designer is working from, and is usually in the Adobe format (InDesign, Illustrator or Photoshop file). The output though will likely be an image file, PDF or online link.

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