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Anatomy of A (Successful) Creative Brief

We all know the optimistic feeling of winning a new client. The possibilities for the project are vast (at least as far as the budget will stretch) and the possibilities for creative are endless. With all the excitement, it’s far too easy to jump into a project, rushing with ideas and innovative approaches – both on the part of the client and the creatives. As the course of the project moves forward, inevitably, clients make changes, designers take liberties and as a result – the true message of the campaign can get lost in translation. This possibility for a communication breakdown can result in costly edits, time spent in development and meetings – or even worse, a stalled project. To combat the possibility of ill communication, a team must employ a few critical tools to aid in optimal workflow. Enter the creative brief – a document that could be described as the core of successful creative…

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6 years, 3 months ago
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The Power of the White Paper for Brand Influence

Content is king, as they say – and nowhere does this resonate than with the discerning users of todays digital landscape. Now an integral part of any brand strategy, content marketing is an essential part of what an organization needs to survive. Customers are inundated with clever headlines, 140-character limits that tend to be leading (many times to nowhere), and graphics that may not be relevant to the message. No longer is lackluster search material going to bring conversions – and with that, a brand must deliver high-quality, useful and valuable content. This is where the often overlooked tool of the white paper comes into the picture. Designed to educate the market about a product or service, the white paper is a short document that complements the selling process with facts crafted to inform the user and heighten their knowledge about the organization. To be successful, the content must be useful…

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6 years, 4 months ago
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Ideas First, Innovation Second

With a nearly constant stream of updates, optimization strategies and new technologies coming to market on a daily basis in the grand pursuit of disruption, the result can be somewhat uninspiring – stemming from lackluster and underdeveloped ideas. If the goal is innovation, then we could be waiting around for awhile. True innovation is lighting in a bottle and it won’t always strike when the time and conditions are right. To increase the possibility of disruption and innovation, ideas must flow freely and swiftly to even stand a chance of becoming a reality. It’s one thing to have a wealth of good ideas, it’s quite another to make them become a reality and on the road to becoming something useful, even life changing. A few aspects can aid in ensuring great ideas become disruptors. Speed It’s true, timing is everything. Time to market with a good idea is possibly the most…

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6 years, 4 months ago
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Spring Clean Your Image with a Brand Refresh

If you feel that you are out of touch with your audience, it might be time to spring clean your image with a brand refresh. Rebranding is done for different reasons. Sometimes it’s to target a bigger audience that can be lead to growth. Other times it’s to adapt to the changing environment and stay competitive. Regardless of the reason, this is a big change that requires big adjustments to not only your brand presentation but to also how your company functions on an internal level. So where do you start with your Rebranding? The first order of business is to figure out exactly what you want to change and how you want to change it. Is your current strategy limiting you from growth or hurting your company in some way? How can you refocus and reposition the brand goals so that you can get on course to where you…

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6 years, 4 months ago
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A Closer Look At Digital Personalization

The importance of a personalized brand experience is constantly on the minds of marketers, brand managers and designers alike. In particular, a digital approach to personalization, if orchestrated well, provides users with an experience that is specific to their interests and behaviors. A personalization strategy can range from the use of complex data usage –  like that of Amazon and Facebook, which offers recommendations based upon viewing history or a simple approach on a more customer service oriented platform. Delivering a successful personalization strategy can be very tricky if not planned and implemented with the detail that users expect. Many initiatives fall flat and result in increased user drop rates and decreased user satisfaction. The ideal personalization plan can bring many benefits to both the user and brand it is supporting. Driving higher conversion, the content provided to the user is highly useful and aids in saving the user time in…

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6 years, 5 months ago
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Simplify Design to Amplify Clarity

From design to content strategy, with specific attention to the web, minimalism has taken precedence. The right techniques can improve the legibility of design, create perception of expertise and foster true connection. The big question emerges: how can designers go about distilling down the essence of complexity to an elegant and powerful design without veering too far off course and peeling away valuable layers of information? We can all recognize that the current and longtime climate of complexity is building by the day. Complexity has become a large part of our lives and as a result, resources are at a minimum. A clear driver for a simplicity approach is to serve the user. Simplify (the message) Solve (a problem) Save (user resources: time, money) Taking steps to achieve minimalism will not only allow greater cognition for the user, but fast track the ultimate goal of conversion. Pare Down It’s inevitable that aspects must be removed or edited. There are only…

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6 years, 5 months ago
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Elevating Projects Through the Creative Brief

Kicking off a campaign, launch or site design is the undoubtedly one of the most optimistic points of a creative project’s lifecycle. There is a deep sense of possibility and excitement, along with a fresh new client relationship. Pencils are sharpened and it’s almost like the first day of school. It’s easy to jump into a project, rushing with ideas and innovative approaches. At a project’s inception, everyone from the client to the designers seem to agree upon a process to move forward and before you know it, the team is off and running – sometimes in different directions. As the course of the project moves forward, inevitably, clients make changes, designers take liberties and as a result – the true message of the campaign can get lost in translation. This possibility for a communication breakdown can result in costly edits, time spent in development and meetings – or even worse, a…

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6 years, 5 months ago
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Creating Addictive Content

It’s one thing to create content to promote your business, but how do you create something that people get addicted to and look for to on a regular basis? Getting the answer to this question can actually be what determines if your marketing strategy succeeds or not. Once you get your followers hooked to what you create, you’ll eventually build fans that will share, promote, and buy your products and services. This will naturally build your brand and help you build a strong position in the marketplace. First and foremost, everything you create needs to be easy to read and consume. So if you’re writing an article, you want a clear headline that draws the reader in. The headline should be engaging and provoke curiosity to get the reader to commit. You want the article to a certain flow and cohesiveness. To accomplish this, you should organize your article better,…

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6 years, 5 months ago
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The New Age of Packaging Sustainability

With Earth Day (April 22nd) and Arbor Day (April 24) placing a spotlight on sustainability this week, statements on the ecological aspects and efforts of business across industries abound. Despite the fact that sustainability should ideally be on the agenda for every company and brand everyday, the yearly spotlight can act as a needed catalyst for change. Taking into consideration a growing population and a middle class rise, the increase of consumerism and the prevalence of ecommerce will see no decrease. As many of these consumers are eco-conscious to a certain extent, and following some semblance of sustainability practices – packaging is, and will continue to be a necessary component of the consumer equation. With the growing market, looking at packaging as a commodity – a necessary part of the product life-cycle opens up the conversation to ecological responsibility. Most companies and organizations reaching a level of public recognition and/or…

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6 years, 5 months ago
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Digital PR Done Right

With the technological shift and ease of use in finding all that we need online – the world of media relations and the art of the press release have drastically changed shape right before our eyes. Digital PR is now a thriving business segment and an integral part of marketing strategy with specific relation to events, promotions and launch initiatives opening up a new reach to vast audiences that could normally not be reached through static print content. This new model of media relations borrows from multiple platforms of digital marketing including content strategy, social media and SEO. The most effective tool in getting fresh and appealing content to populate for SEO, whether paid or organic, is with the use of the digital press release. The press release as we know it remains the hallmark of the media relations sphere – and the basic elements endure –  but critical steps must now be taken to optimize…

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6 years, 6 months ago