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Showing posts from October, 2018

Four Tips for Authentic Photography in Marketing

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In a digitally saturated generation, today's marketer's need great stories and striking, memorable images.
Regardless of your business or your market niche, powerful visuals can make all the difference! Consider these statistics:

Articles with relevant images average 94 percent more views than text alone and a press release with photos increases online views by 15 percent.
Sixty percent of consumers who use online searches prefer to contact a business whose listing includes an image.
70 percent of e-commerce shoppers say the product image is very important for purchasing decisions.
Your viewers crave expressive images, so photography is crucial in marketing. Photography offers a slice of life view that communicates authenticity and value to your customers. How well do your images translate the nature of your business? Are you using drab photos or bland stock selections? Three benchmarks to evaluate your images are:
Engagement and Emotional Response
What emotions do your photos ev…

Grow Productivity Through Purposeful Leadership

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Replace Chaos with Focus
Lost productivity costs companies millions each year.
While it is hard to quantify exactly how much is lost, certainly distraction alone prevents daily peak performance. Besides hunger, sleepiness, bodily functions, and simple brain fatigue, productivity research shows that 48% of employees waste time surfing the web (including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube), 33% lose work time socializing with co-workers, and 49% are managing personal calls, texts, and e-mails.
It's true: time is money. But time is more easily lost than dollars, so how can you push yourself or your team to be more focused? Maybe you want to spend your time wisely, but find yourself running in circles or falling short each day. How can you shift from being "busy" to being more effective?
By re-focusing on one thing: purpose.
Your purpose is more than what you do while you're checking e-mail. It's more than what you do while compiling reports or sitting in meetings. These…

Start Mouth-Watering Conversations Through Word-of-Mouth Marketing

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Karen Weber-Mendham was a part-time librarian and mother of three when she turned her family's propensity for garlic cheesy bread into a cool million.
This northern Wisconsin family often ordered cheesy bread while waiting on pizza. Weber-Mendham said the kids' appetizer passion was so strong "they would arm-wrestle each other for a piece!"  
Cheesy fever inspired the family to enter the 2013 Lay's potato chip competition, "Do Us a Flavor," challenging customers to create a new chip flavor to hit store shelves that year. Lays was swamped with 3.8 million submissions as the contest winner was given the better of two options: $1 million or 1% of the flavor's net sales over a year. Beyond fame and fortune, Weber-Mendham was given the opportunity to ring the bell at the New York Stock Exchange and was flown to Los Angeles for the big reveal with Lay's endorsement celebrity Eva Longoria.
"Eva was so genuine and happy for me when I won,"

How Typeface Affects Your Brand Expression

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Flavors have tangible effects on your body and your mood.
When you eat spicy food, your heart rate increases or your face may sweat. When you taste your favorite ice cream, reality seems to fade to slow motion as you prolong each morsel of delight. Is food really that powerful, or is there something more at play? More than likely, the foods you eat conjure whole streams of past experiences in your mind. The context or culture an individual brings to their experience will significantly affect their interpretation.
The same is true in design.
Whether it's colors, photo filters, or layouts, every choice plays into a viewer's experience with your brand. Often, we overlook typeface as an important design attribute but font is hugely expressive and making the right choice is critical. In fact, in 1923, when Poffenberger & Franken conducted research into how readers perceive different typefaces, people responded quite uniformly to typeface and product pairings and used similar…

The Power of Store Ambiance and Sensory Cues

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Unmistakable Ambiance
As viewers enter the Richard Mille watch boutique in Paris, their senses are inundated with beauty. Large glass panels are etched with details of the emblematic RM tourbillon, giving viewers the sensation that they might be entering the heart of the watch itself. Extreme elegance buoys buyers through the store, with black leather chairs, Macassar ebony, and brushed steel accents. The impact is palpable.
As a primary showcase of the watches, these interior design elements are vital. The Paris boutique offers a theatrical look with a touch of femininity. "I wanted to go against the traditional macho design, with its dark materials, cold metals, and dark atmosphere," said Mélanie Treton-Monceyron, the watchmaker's creative director. "I thought we needed to open the shops, give light and add lighter colors."
Treton-Monceyron says she's stirred by functional spaces like hotels, airports, and factories, rather than drawing inspiration fro…

Keys for Change: Small Businesses Making a Big Impact (Part 2)

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Connor's Collision Center of Richmond, Virginia, was looking for a way to build a charitable culture in their business, so they launched the "Recycled Rides" program and began donating rehabbed vehicles to individuals nominated by the community.
In part 1 of this series, we explored the story of one changed life (Georgette Carter) and the way businesses are strengthened through innovative corporate giving.
What about your business?
Maybe you can't rehab cars, but every company can give back in some way! That starts with a desire to grow in generosity and a plan to carry that out. Unfortunately, some business owners pull back from giving because they find themselves strained by the number of needs or a plethora of last-minute requests. To grow in giving, they need a narrowed support focus to help them move ahead.
Identify Brand-Extending Areas of Support
Smaller companies may find it helpful to develop target giving priorities that relate to their mission or their br…

Keys for Change: Small Businesses Making a Big Impact (Part 1)

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The winter of 2013 was a hard one for Georgette Carter.
As a single mom raising two young boys while she cared for a father with dementia, money was very tight. Then, she totaled her car and found her resources – and her hope – were nearly gone. That is, until a 1996 blue Ford Contour arrived from the Connor Brother Collisions "Recycled Rides" program.
Conner Brothers of Richmond, VA, overhauls donated cars and awards them to people who have been nominated by community members. Carter said her heart was rehabilitated almost more than the car she received:
"It turned my life around. I can get to my job on time, and I don't have to maneuver to get my child out of daycare. I'll never take that for granted again."
Getting Others Involved
Small businesses like Conner Brothers are creating innovative giving models that not only impact people but strengthen the business and the character of the companies themselves.
Kevin Conner said his company donated its first car …

Printed Gifts Are Perfect Any Time of Year

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Providing your customers with a small memento of your business is one of the best ways to keep your brand top-of-mind.
However, many business owners struggle with ideas about what they can use as gifts that are cost-effective, memorable, and useful to their clients. There are plenty of options on the market today in terms of promotional products, but a thoughtful printed gift may be the ideal option for your business.
Here are some of the ways that businesses are making themselves memorable in print!
The Gift of Humor
Knock knock. Who's there? Etch. Etch who? Bless you, friend. 
There are few things that will put a smile on someone's face more quickly than a corny knock-knock joke. You know they are terrible, but you still have to smile! Your customers will feel the same way, so why not gift them with a little light and laughter in their life? A small printed joke book is the perfect way to let your customers know you're thinking about them. Humor has been shown to build tr…

Color Combinations that Tax the Brain

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Easy on the Eye
Humans are creative beings, and one of our favorite ways to express ourselves is through words.
Words can bring sweetness to the soul, arouse dormant hunger, or give voice to beauty in the world.
That's why names are such serious business. How much thought do we give to naming a pet? Or a child? Beautiful names can bring a charming nostalgia or an air of sophistication to the bearer.
But while some names are sweet on the ear, they don't translate well for the eye, causing potentially years of frustration for your grade-schooler (or your veterinarian!).
Here are five names that are fun for the ear but a nightmare for the eye:
    Eulalia (Yu-LAY-Lia), like the mayor's wife in The Music Man
    Azaiah (Az-EYE-ah), which has rocketed in popularity since 2000
    Grigoriy (Grig-OR-y), a Russian variant of Gregory, meaning "vigilant or watchful"
    Bludeuwedd (Bloo-da-e-wedd), referenced in Steinbeck's Sweet Thursday, a Welsh name meaning "face of flo…