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3 ways to make your pop-up booth actually POP in the crowd

If you are someone with an upcoming business or have just launched, then we are sure you know how great, pop-up stalls are for marketing your product. But, knowing that fact is incomplete without actually understanding the 3 key things that go into setting up a great booth. So without further ado, here’s what you must do –

Tell A Story

Let your pop-up store stand for who you and your business are. Let it tell a story of how your product came into being, where it is now and what the future holds.

Get Quirky

In a sea of pop-stores you want yours to stand out; make your pop-store as quirky and intriguing as you possibly can. Have a theme and communication that catches the attention of customers.
For example, we helped one of our clients set up a pop-up with a Try And Buy theme, and made sure all the collaterals created stayed true to the theme. Then end result?
It was well received by the customers and generated business successfully. (see the gallery below)

Make It Experiential

Take time to think about what you want your customers a takeaway to be. Apart from generating business you want them to remember your brand as something that interested and excited them.
If possible, give them a demo or trial of your product to create a favorable memory.

Following these 3 steps when setting up your pop-up stall will ensure that you reap the optimum out of your store and leave your newly found customers wanting more!


3 things you should know before hiring a design agency

Client – Agency clashes are common but certainly avoidable. They are nothing but the result of glitches that are left unresolved before starting a project or during the project. Most of this happens because of half-cooked homework, lack of clarity and lack of communication.

We talk with a lot of clients every day and there are a few guidelines that we created as a part of our project management layer. We believe that if these principles/guidelines are followed then the entire process becomes smooth, helps in starting the project in lesser time and adds efficiency in the outcome with seamless delivery of the project. Following are the three key factors that clients need to take into account before reaching out to an agency:

1. Clarity on Requirements

Time devoted to preproduction period can clear the clutter that comes in the way of a project. Knowing the requirement involves precision on what’s to be done and what’s not to be done. At times, inspiration is derived from a competitor’s product but we also need to understand that the competitor has put years of work to make this product. One cannot replicate it in one go.

To simplify the process, the requirements should be narrowed down to “What You Need” instead of “What You Want”.

2. Clarity on References (for Product Features / Product Design / UI / UX etc)

Whether it’s a product feature you are looking for or some sort of design style, an appropriate reference always helps and can save a lot of time. The references can also come in terms of feature working style, colour pallet/colour combination, UI design or any other thing you are looking for in your product. Sometimes, the reference may or may not come from a competing product or a product of similar domain but it always helps give a visual idea of what you are looking for.

Absence of right references may lead to major miscommunication and a situation of deadlock, so do thorough research and be ready with references for the things you need.

3. Clarity of Budget and Timelines

Planning a budget and timeline is always a great practice, but sometimes when it comes to services like tech, design, product development, prospective clients go out without doing proper homework and planning and then eventually get confused with the all the information they get from the market.

We understand that no one wants to pay more and any typical client who would want to avail a service would want to squeeze in the timeline and get the delivery at the cheapest cost possible, but people need to understand that quality comes at a price.

We are not asking you to spend an exorbitant amount on anything, but knowing your spending limit (both on the upper and lower side) and having a broad idea of timelines will help you to make a decision faster.

This practice is exactly similar when you go out there to buy a laptop or a car or anything else for your home. You do your homework, your research for what you are looking for and then plan your budget accordingly. We believe and feel that if client take into account these 3 factors before doing out in the market to look for an agency, the overall time before starting a project would be reduced by 70% to 80% and the project delivery will be done well in time and will be accurately done based on what you are looking for.

If you are still confused and don’t know where to begin from, feel free reach out to us. As mentioned earlier, we talk to many clients on a daily basis and for new clients, we help them understand what they need to be the project. Drop your requirement here, and we will be in touch soon.


Why b2b businesses need to market like b2c businesses

Does a B2B company needs to stand out in 2019 with strong brand presence and digital communication? Yes, more than ever. For years, B2B spaces have thrived on personal relationships which has led many businesses to flourish without no or little competition but this is the case no more.

Why now

It took B2B firms long enough to realise that there is a human taking decisions for a business, quite similar to how a B2C works. Forgetting the human on the other side of the business had led to a forgotten pattern of putting the best foot forward approach on all fronts.

Most midsize B2B businesses in India are still thriving on the notion that their businesses don’t need to have a digital identity yet and their physical identity and decade long relationships are enough. What they don’t realise is that with the changing business dynamics especially in 2019, the brand identity, communication & user experience will take precedence over the decade long relationships.

In 2019, it has become essential to adopt B2C like strategies to ensure that you reach the right businesses and retain the old businesses. Hence, going that extra mile to please your audience has become a mandate because at the end it’s a person interacting with another person.

Experiential marketing is the key

Well, we agree that a B2B brand can’t adopt all that a B2C brand does, but there are still a few strategies that one can adopt and practice it consistently to strengthen the brand position. If you are a B2B brand, here’s what you can do-:

Social is king

Social media reigns power and that is just not restrictive to B2C companies but extends to B2B. With everything and everyone going social, it is essential for a B2B brand to have a social media presence.

You can start by at least setting up Facebook and LinkedIn pages (Instagram and Twitter, though are not mandatory but good to have). If you already have these pages, then make sure they are active. We’re often asked by a lot of B2B brands that what do we publish to keep our pages active. Here’s what you can do -:

  • Post brand integrated graphics on important national days, festivals or special days relevant to your industry. For instance, if you’re a manufacturing concern you should post on Labour Day or if you’re an organization that supports sustainable development then you should post on days like Environment Day, Earth Day, etc. apart from posting on Independence Day, Diwali, Eid, New Year, Christmas, Republic Day, etc.
    Not sure how to do this, we can help you do this through our product Social Cue which can resolve all your concerns in one go
  • Post updates about your company such as esteemed customer visits, achievements, awards or employee activities, etc. If you dig deep, your company must be doing something awesome every now and then; all you need to do is to showcase it to the world

Building brand value via campaigns

If not a social media campaign for the business, creating an image synonymous to your brand value can work via social awareness campaigns on topics related to your business such as sustainable development, green and clean environment, etc. And if campaigns like these pique’s someone’s (content curation platforms) interest; who knows you become the talk of the town overnight. Well, this might sound to you a long shot but this is the power of social media where information travels faster than light 😉

Tapping the traditional methods

As they say, old is gold and therefore sending out business newsletters to keep your audience updated and spreading information through blogs are easier, tried and tested tactics to ensure retention. If you think who reads emails these days, then read the below-:

On average, marketing emails have a click-through rate of 3.57%. Meanwhile, on Facebook, paid ad campaigns and targeted posts possess a 0.07% click-through rate.


Finally, don’t fall for the cost benefit analysis

n most cases, B2B businesses shun off the idea of marketing or building a strong presence saying “We don’t have deep pockets to fuel this up and it does not bring in business”. Then there are those who’ve tried it but stopped it since they could not see results in 2-3 months. What they are hugely missing on is that no one gets it on the first day whether its a B2B brand or a B2C brand. One has to be persistent in the marketing efforts (be it posting on special days, sending newsletters, writing blogs) to see the results.

Yes, it does cost you a dime, but it will be worth it in the long run.


Power deck – compelling presentations like never before

So, you are a startup founder and met an investor in a startup conference. After your basic conversation, exchange of visiting cards and your business pitch to him, he asked you to mail your “Pitch Deck” to him and moved on.

Here it is where the trouble starts, and you can be in any one of these situations –:

You have never made a pitch deck before and are unsure about how to make a deck?

You have a deck in place, but you are unsure about the content and flow?

Your pitch deck is badly designed and doesn’t leave a long-lasting impression?

Apart from meeting an investor, you might meet a potential client or a top executive of a company you wish to partner with. Again, the conversation will end up on the same note – “Send me your deck and I’ll get back to you”. i.e. they would want to see some kind of a document, preferably a marketing deck or a sales deck or some sort of product presentation to understand your offerings and learn more about the business.

“Quoting my personal experience, I get requests from so many early-stage startup founders to mentor them and help them with various challenges, and again the first thing that I ask for is a Pitch Deck. Unfortunately, I never hear back from more than 50% of them. And even all those who share it well in time have presentations which are content heavy, aesthetically unappealing and too boring to go through“ ~ Dilnawaz Khan, Founder – Codesign Labs

Most of the founders end up using some sort of a template or a DIY solution but making a deck using these has its own set of challenges:

YOU are “NOT content experts”; and may end up writing long boring paragraphs and make the presentation content heavy

YOU are “NOT design experts”; and may end up designing something “good looking” but that something good looking may be not be the right visual representation of the content; leave aside following the brand guidelines

YOU will eventually “end up wasting a lot of TIME” which could have been used to tick off some really important tasks of your lists

We know that making a presentation is not as simple as it may sound, and startup founders make innumerable mistakes in making the presentations and eventually waste a lot of energy and time.

Over the past 6 months, while we were working on various design assignments, most of the companies admitted how badly they needed someone for presentation designs (including content) as they had to invest a lot of time doing so.

We started speaking with our clients, startup founders, and also incubators and hearing their challenges; we started to build a productized service that not only will help craft an effective and more compelling presentation but will eventually help them land at the investor or client meeting they have been eyeing for.

Today, we are super happy to launch: POWERDECK, a one-stop destination that fulfills all your presentation design needs.


Are you really not going to upgrade your business?

Has it ever happened to you that you had this amazing idea for your business (at night, while traveling) but couldn’t access the information you needed immediately? Have you found it annoying that you need to depend on your employee to procure information that you require instantly! Haven’t you wished so many times, if you could have all your data in one place and a magical system that can collate it for you to give you just what you need, whenever you need and wherever you need?

Well, it is not so difficult now, thankfully. The market is flooded with advanced technologies (software, programs) that help improve efficiency at work, develop flexibility and help in business management. We’ve already spoken, in our previous blog, about the best kind of tools that all companies should use to improve and advance their working style. Now we can’t help but wonder what is stopping you from using these tools for more efficiency and ease? Here’s why we think a lot of people are not able to do so.


The reluctance to move out of the comfort of already set working system irrespective of how tedious and incompetent it is. (The sooner you move out of your comfort zone, the better it is for your business)


Even if somebody (like this article) has convinced you to try one of the work management software, one does not try it religiously. What we forget is that all new things need time, patience and some persistence


No single tech software can take care of all kinds of requirements of a business setup. Their efficiency lies in being focused in one key area. They, like humans, work best in combinations; just like, not every employee can do all the work. And we need a consolidated team that supports each other’s skills!


Free stuff is always preferred, anywhere! However, we also know that quality comes at a price! You want value; you pay for it as well. It would be a good idea to test the software free and see its suitability with your working processes. If it is doing wonders for your workforce, no harm in spending a little buck (which might actually turn out to be a saving when you do the financial analysis)


This is one of the major reason, we feel, is people’s apprehension towards technology. Indeed, it is a fair one too. Nowadays, most good software are being developed keeping in mind the security challenges and most of the data they capture is encrypted too. Moreover, you don’t have to bother as long as you’re using software for better team collaboration and communication.

Indian IT industry has reported to have grown US$167Bn in 2017-18 according to IBEF.

This is huge and very impressive and hence, a very convincing reason for companies to integrate technological advancement in the workings of their companies to keep pace with their ever-growing peers.

Next time you’re discarding a software; just take a moment to think if any of the above is the reason to do so!

Read our blog on tools that every growing business needs:


Is there a problem with your agency …or you?

Do you feel your creative is like your friend? Do you think micromanaging your project manager at every step is a sign of your involvement? Have you ever come back to your project manager with “references” as feedback with all the creative work turned on its head?

If it’s a yes, you’re absolutely.. WRONG. Micromanagement is a thing of the past and your project manager is not your best friend! At best he’s a paid professional whose main job is to find the problem with your business and solve it. So trust them. After all, you need an outsider’s point of view because you as an insider cannot objectively see where the problem exists.

What you don’t realize is that there’s a thin line between trying to set contextual boundaries and suffocating the project manager with too many references, creating an information overload that doesn’t really add much value to the final outcome.

The truth is that not all the feedback you give can be implemented. There needs to be a line between where the ego ends and the larger good of the product’s success takes over. After all, you’ve invested in your agency with a lot of consideration and money.

Similarly, the manager also needs to learn when is it right to to say no or yes to a piece of feedback. We at Codesign Labs have been practicing this with utmost care.

Here are our favourite strategies for the client and manager to arrive at the best possible results for the project:

1. Explain your solution and educate the client

s an intelligent manager, one should handle these situations tactfully with a pinch of salt! This is the nature of the business and one need to find a middle ground in the combined interest of not compromising on creative outcome and the business not seeing any benefit even after the new campaign is implemented. Give a solid, end to end coverage of your plan with the campaign, so that the client knows you have considered all their pain points.

2. Give factual data that proves your solution is the best

Sometimes, clients can be a tough cookie because of how your creative vision doesn’t translate in their head the way you expect it to. This could create a never ending loop of changes which would not only delay the project but may also cost you a client. Do not get defensive or hold the creative high ground! Provide hard facts about the metrics of how this campaign will pan out beyond your creative vision and translate into numbers.

3. Mitigate risk in the mind of your client

Without compromising the idea, give references to old work or links to similar previous successful campaigns so that they have an assurance that the idea has worked in the past, all this while making sure your original idea stands out.

4. Contextualize your conversation

Provide the client with an option to select any two options between the classic triad of money, time and scope. That makes it easier for both the parties to decide the best possible approach to take with the project.

5. Do your best to work with the changes

If the client is still adamant on going his way, try to accommodate some of his feedback you see best fit with the vision you have in mind.

6. Let go or pass on the project

However, few of our clients have gone to the length of demanding to sit with the designers to guide them. It’s backbreaking for the client, but also shows a lack of trust in the designer. All this only ends up messing with the outcome. The client needs to understand that one can’t get into an expert’s shoes unless you are one. In such cases, we’ve passed on the project.

But, we might not need to do that anymore, since this handy guide helps fill the communication gap in the client-manager relationship. You now know how to find a middle ground with your project manager who stays on top of all things while all you do is concentrate on what you’re good at.

Looking to hire one? Drop us a line at

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