Cincinnati, Ohio ABC News affiliate, WCPO 9 On Your Side, interviewed Brand Shepherd Creative Director, Dan Crask, for a take on a new niche sports apparel brand aimed specifically at tennis enthusiasts.

It was a pleasure to contribute some thoughts on why this new tennis apparel brand could be a big hit with its customers.

Or read the full article on WCPO’s website here »

We are thrilled to share an article written about us from What’s Up Wyoming, a community news source from the small suburb of Wyoming, Ohio, near Cincinnati, where we are headquartered.

Dan Crask has created a series of short-bite reads on a topic that most who hire creative services are never trained on: How to get the best work from a creative team.

A huge change is coming to WordPress in the coming weeks: Gutenberg.

Gutenberg is WordPress’ whole new editor.

It will replace the current editor area that looks like Microsoft Word when creating a Post or Page.

Thanks for stopping by and taking a look around our new website — our fifth website in our 12 years in business. Every-other-year we make it our goal to create a refreshed or totally new website that captures current and forthcoming best practices in branding and website creation. We then see how we do: are our web practices lasting the test of time? So far so good.

What’s new in this Brand Shepherd website.

1. Overhauled navigation.

The most-used part of any website is its navigation. The navigation bar truly is the lifeblood of a website because it what the brand uses to tell visitors what is important, and it’s what visitors use to get to where they want to go.

We overhauled our navigation to include totally new sections for Industries, What We Do, and News.

Search is now included, too. Up to this website, we let search out because, well, WordPress search has been pretty awful until recently. The new search capability within WordPress, however, is robust and useful.

Now, when you search for something, you get instant results from the search bar. Pick from one of the results, or view all the results on a page. It’s useful, and hopefully answers questions about our capabilities.


2. Industries Served

Perhaps the biggest change to our website is that we have grouped our work over the years into the various industries where we have developed niche expertise. Within each industry, you can find various examples of work. These are pages we will be adding to as well so that they become even more useful over time. To start, though, just showcasing that we know each of these industries very well is the best and most efficient place to start.


3. Get-To-The-Point Pages

We are respecters of time. With that in mind, we lead off with 2 buttons that instantly help the visitor who is short on time get to where they need questions answered. Our clientele boils down to Product Manufacturers and Professional Services. So we created a page for each where we provide a very short introduction on how we go about each niche, our core capabilities, and what we do. It’s simple and to-the-point.


4. What We Do

It’s the oldest question in business: “What do you do?” And with this overhauled set of content, we have thoroughly answered that question by providing all of our core services, explanations for each, and specific examples of each.


5. An honest news section.

It’s not that we were dishonest with our news section before, but, like so many businesses, our news section just didn’t get the frequent attention that it needed. So we call this “Occasional News From Brand Shepherd” to set the expectation better. Occasionally we’ll share an update or three of what is happening, and then it will be silent for months. Emphasis on Occasional, yet still worth the time.


There are more nuggets of goodness all over the website. Perhaps you noticed that we refreshed our own branding too? Or maybe the overhauled Team section in the Our Story page? How about signing up for new email announcements on our Contact page? Lots and lots of stuff that could be covered here, but we have client work to tend to, so we’ll leave this list at 5.

Everything on this website is what we believe are the present and forthcoming best practices in branding and website creation.

We would love to talk about how to help your brand thrive.

Some weekend fun: This photo was taken at a dedication of The Crask Inn over in Scotland yesterday. Brand Shepherd is owned by Andrea and Dan Crask.

See that priest’s staff — does the top of it look familiar in shape and color?! It’s our logo! Colors and all.

No coordination was made for this. We introduced the current Brand Shepherd logo and colors in 2013, so this is extra special. And, congrats, Crask Inn, for the dedication

? Today we have to say goodbye to Jake, the border collie who was a faithful member of the Crask family, and the inspiration for our business name.

The idea of ‘shepherding’ a brand was inspired by this dear member of our family. He loves structure, herding sheep (or kids) and whatever else we aim to get in order.

We had a picture in our head of Jake herding brand assets instead of sheep: Jake was moving around, getting logos, web sites, packaging, print, etc. into cohesive, consistent order instead of being scattered everywhere.

Some assets were totally lost, some were underfed, and some were just old and no longer agile.

But soon enough Jake had all the assets back in order, and they were all well cared for, bleating in harmony, and all was well with the flock.

And so Jake inspired us to become Brand Shepherd. His legacy lives on.

Rest In Peace, Jake.
You were a good dog. A very good dog.

?? FAIL ??

THE GOOD: sending print projects to an online printer is a way to get decent print at a low cost.

THE BAD: an online printer doesn’t have *any* cares to give if what you uploaded is obviously wrong because the uploader (Brand Shepherd) misunderstood the orientation.

THE TRUTH: we’ve entrusted this online printer with quick turn, low quantity work for over a decade. It’s perfect for disposable print work, and the quality does not look cheap. But when they switched to the website redesign and moved to their .com, stuff like this has been popping up and is expensive to fix.

Specifically, the orientation cues are non-existent. It’s your guess if this is a turn-and-flip, or just flip, or if what we’re looking at is adjusted for viewer orientation, OR if we’re looking at press orientation.

Ugh.

At first glance, it is all our fault.

A deeper look reveals a bad UX, and now diminished trust in a brand we’ve trusted for a long time.

Since accepting the role of the Wyoming Ohio Business Association’s volunteer COO, Brand Shepherd owner, Dan Crask, has tried to not put himself front-and-center, but rather look for the best possible pros to come and speak to the group about various topics.

But it was his turn for the April meet-up, and we had a terrific interactive talk about speeding up websites for Google’s pending mobile search changes.