good design

When Good Design Goes to Waste

When Good Design Goes to Waste

Bad design is EVERYWHERE. But making sure that good design is seen among the sea of bad, especially with a new company, is a lot more complicated than just having a well-designed logo.

As a designer, I love creating logos. I know this isn’t always the case with every designer. A logo project can quickly go from being a fun endeavor to a complete nightmare; endless revisions, creative differences, having to explain one more time that no, I can’t just “copy what (insert existing company) did for their logo”. But then I finally hit that sweet spot when the creative heavens open, and I say, “I’m the greatest designer alive!” (let’s be honest, we designers never say that. We will always be the most critical of ourselves).

That’s great that you have a well-designed logo, but without an actual plan of attack, all of that good design will just sit on the shelf. All of that energy will be for naught. There are many different factors that will cause good design to go to waste.

  • The mission of the company isn’t clear. Can you clearly define what you want to bring to your consumer base?
  • The target audience was ignored or insufficiently researched. How can you speak to your consumers when you haven’t taken the time to find out what they really want?
  • There was no overall marketing strategy. Strategy and design go together like peanut butter and jelly, peanut butter and chocolate, peanut butter and… well, you get the idea. No one will ever see your brand if you haven’t thought through how to reach the masses.

At the end of the day, you want your company and/or product to be successful. In order for a brand to have real longevity, it can’t just look good. It has to be well thought out with strategy and tactics that make sense for your consumer base. Otherwise, the bad design out there will win. And no one wants to live in that world.



launching new product

5 Most Important Things To Know When Launching A New Product

5 Most Important Things To Know When Launching A New Product

There are a lot of factors to consider when planning on launching a new product to the market. While you are considering all the needed aspects of the product itself, like where to manufacture it, what materials to use, and how to engineer it to solve the problem, don't forget to take your potential customers into account from the very beginning.

1 | Target Audience Research

Before you start any new endeavor, you need to make sure you are figuring out who is going to buy your new product. Most entrepreneurs believe they have solved a problem – for people just like themselves. And most have taken the time to ask their family and friends if their idea is interesting. But you wont be successful if the only people willing to buy your product know you personally. You need to dig deeper, do the research and define who your target audience really is.  Their demographics, interests, where they live and work , where they play and what type of products they buy.

2 | Product Testing

After you figure out who is going to buy your product, you need to ensure that it actually solves their problem. This means making sure your product stands up to any claims it makes, and testing for durability, reliability and quality. Plus, you need to test for how your audience interacts with your product- and make improvements when needed.

3 | Branding & Packaging

Now that you know your audience, and have the product they have been dreaming of, you need to make sure you are attracting them – the best way to do that is to take everything you have learned about who your audience is and what they like, and create branding and packaging that appeals to them. Your brand needs to be clear and consistent and your packaging needs to work well with your product, work for the outlet that is selling it and be appealing to your audience.

4 | Timing

Launching a new product is exciting, and you will want to do it quickly because it is human nature to want to share your excitement with the world. But consider timing- be aware of if your product has a seasonal nature to it, and if you are selling via retail outlets what their buying patterns are like.

5 | Patience

Like above, you are excited, and you want to move quickly- but take your time, and consider the audience, and timing and be patient when it comes to launching your new product.  Be patient during the testing phases, and when working with professional agencies who are assisting you- taking your time and working through all of the hurdles will only make you more successful.

Taking each of these areas into account along with product development ensures a more successful launch- but it is just the beginning.  Once your product is introduced to the market there are a million more things to do.  Check out what's next.

New Product Launch

I Launched My New Product - Now What?

I Launched My New Product - Now What?

Congratulations!  You have launched your new product. You’ve done extensive market and industry research and testing. You know your target audience, and you’ve even designed a killer website! Your new product is sure to solve all the world’s problems.

But, it’s been a week, and no one except your mom has purchased anything.  Does this mean your product is an epic failure? Are you doomed? The answer is no.

First, relax and don’t let this freak you out. Here is a handy infographic to help you understand how the adoption sequence works. Chances are- you are the beginning.

neighborhood factor

Neighborhood Factor

Neighborhood Factor

This week we attended this great conference put on by NBHD Factor, a division of DNA Info. The conference took place at Chop Shop in the trendy Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago. We learned valuable information about new analytical data for marketers as it relates to branding and marketing to individuals through neighborhoods across the country.

We learned some surprising statistics, interacted with some phenomenal panelists and had great networking opportunities. The day got us thinking about ways we can use this new information to help our clients. We love days like that!

Think About This:

Individual Identity is tied up in the neighborhood a person lives in, plays in and works in. In some cities, like Chicago,  with a wide variety of neighborhoods, this sense of identity as related to a particular neighborhood means even more. As marketers we strive to identify specific target audiences for our clients brands - usually this results in a basic demographic overview with behavioral data. What applying neighborhood data does is include emotion and identity into the mix - that's a huge step for any brand to understand and leverage.

My team looks forward to utilizing this new, cutting edge data to help propel our clients brands as the landscape of identity and individual interaction with brands continues to evolve. Learn more about Neighborhood Factor.

email marketing

Email Marketing Best Practices

Email Marketing Best Practices

When I started my first business, I knew I would need an email marketing plan. But that was all I knew. I didn't know how to set it up, how to make it appealing and I certainly didn't know how to attract subscribers. I made mistakes constantly. If you are new to email marketing, you will too.

So here are some basic tips to keep you on the right track:

  • Make sure what you are saying is YOU. Keep it simple and make sure it's coming from you not a template or pre-boxed source of content. Your audience can tell the difference.
  • Don't focus so much on unsubscribes. It is bound to happen and that's ok. This is an opportunity for you to learn more about who DOES like getting information from you so you can build a better list.
  • Make sure you send people something they have interest in. Figure out what your audience wants to learn and give it to them.
  • Test everything. Seriously. Every. Single. Thing.

After I went through extensive training, studied email marketing practices and good old trial and error learning, I realized that email marketing can be and in most cases should be a part of your overall marketing strategy- regardless of what industry you are in. I also realized most businesses are still making common mistakes.  So use this infographic as a reminder, and let us know if you still need help.