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Renascence Rack Cards Arrival

Posted by on Friday, August 16, 2013

Our friends at Renascence have some fantastic Rack Cards! They just arrived, and we're extremely happy with how they turned out.

Take a look:


Fresh Site Pick: Alabama Recovery Coalition for the Financial Sector

Posted by Production Productive IT on Wednesday, December 07, 2011

ARCFS Website

Alabama Recovery Coalition for the Financial Sector (ACFS)


Founded in 2006, ARCFS is Alabama's leading non-profit organization whose sole purpose is the maintaining and monitoring the stability the state's financial community - which includes over 120 participating banks. Their website provides access to information, news alerts and communication planning to all its members in the event of a natural disaster.

Keeping it Simple

ARCFS Old SiteARCFS required not only a visual overhaul, but more intuitive functionality as well that would allow its members protected access to its database of information and community. It's old site (see right) was way too crowded and not very intuitive. By simplifying the content, we were able to create a streamlined landing page that emphasizes the site's key call to actions and improve user experience.


Social Media in Action – Foosackly’s Facebook Success Story

Posted by Production Productive IT on Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Foodackly Facebook

Often times it’s easy to extol the virtues of social media, after all it’s sort of become a requirement for any business looking to find success online. However, it’s understandably difficult for small businesses just starting out to really grasp just how they can see results. A few common misconceptions are that simply having a profile on a social network is enough or that fans should be flocking to you in droves by your third or fourth update. After all, that’s how it works for the McDonalds and Nikes of the world right?

Surprisingly enough its small businesses that reap more benefit from tapping into social network like Facebook or Twitter than those larger franchises ever will. Those that start adopting it as a part of their marketing early on have the opportunity to create authentic connections with their followers – one on one – and establish brand advocates that are 100% active as opposed to accumulating 500,000 “unactive” followers.

Fusaiotti’s strategy was so successful... It not only helped identify potential markets where the demand was strong, but also strengthened his online community who have now become active investors in the project.

I read a news article earlier this week that demonstrated a prime example of a small business utilizing its social network to great effect (and profit). The company in mention, Foosackly, is a local business located in Mobile, AL that has grown from a single location to seven in the past 11 years. For his most recent restaurants (which should launch by Thanksgiving) Foosackly founder Will Fusaiotti took a unique approach to choosing the location – he asked his Facebook fans.

Fusaiotti’s strategy was so successful (more than 3,000 people voted) that he ended up opening two locations instead of one! It not only helped identify potential markets where the demand was strong, but also strengthened his online community who have now become active investors in the project. And Foosackly isn’t alone; plenty of small businesses have seen big returns on social networks by investing their time and personality to the brand. Naked Pizza, which we covered here previously, is a prime case study for finding the same success on Twitter.

How do you currently utilize your social networks? Do you make it a priority to reward and connect with your followers on a daily basis?


What is a Brand? Going Beyond the Logo

Posted by on Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Best Buy Brand

In today's world of touch-and-go media marketing it's important to seize every opportunity you can to make yourself stand out from the crowd. Traditionally, companies have been able to come up with a logo, perhaps a "clever" strapline, and plaster it on their advertisements while calling it a day. Not so anymore.

While a logo is often considered to be a company's most visually recognizable brand element, it should never be to be-all-end-all of your branding efforts. A logo, as paraphrased by Wikipedia, is a "supporting device that maintains visual continuity and brand recognition across all physical manifestations of the brand." In short, a logo is only one part of your brand (albeit an important one).

More than Just a Logo

Beyond the logo a brand is an abstract concept that describes the overall experience that customers receive through a variety of elements (logo, color, typefaces, strapline, and marketing). The most significant step in achieving a strong brand is to keep everything consistent- set boundaries on what can and cannot be done. This means defining how your logo can or cannot be displayed, where you choose to place your ads, and what specific colors should be used at all times.

"A brand is an abstract concept that describes the overall experience that customers receive through a variety of elements (logo, color, typefaces, strapline, and marketing)."

Who would your product or service appeal to the most: a 4 year olds or a 24 year old? Are you marketing to other businesses or to individuals? What's the typical behavior of your target audience, are they always mobile (iPhone, Twitter, YouTube) or do they spend more time reading (magazine, newspapers)? Understanding the right channels to use (Facebook vs LinkedIn) will make a huge difference in positioning your brand better than your competition.

Best Buy, a Good Example

One of the best examples of smart branding currently is electronic giant, Best Buy. Through the use of consistency, Best Buy's tech-savvy brand is unmistakable whether it's on Twitter, Facebook, magazines, flyers, or television. Best Buy even takes this a step further with the unique design of each storefront, emphasizing to customers the company's "cutting-edge" appeal.

Best Buy Website

Best Buy Twitter

Best Buy IPhone

Best Buy Store

Can you see how Best Buy uses its logo in addition to color, typefaces and layout to achieve its presence? Consistency doesn't have to mean that everything looks the same, only that they abide by the same principles you choose to define. The result is a clearly defined experience for their customers and a stronger brand presence in the marketplace. 



New Starbucks Ident Launches Today

Posted by Hanan Wilson on Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Starbucks Launch

As the official 40th anniversary of the coffee giant, Starbucks, the company has chosen to launch an all new "wordless" logo. Going a more minimalistic route, Starbucks' new duds feature an unshakable version of their infamous mermaid with all the words removed from it. A bold move to be sure, but one not so different than Nike's swoosh or McDonald's golden arches. It definitely conveys a confidence in both the brand and in the loyalty of its customer.

Starbucks Launch

The mermaid herself has also received a few nips and tucks according to Senior Creative Manager of Starbucks in-house team, Mike P, "...we enhanced her form in subtle ways, smoothing her hair, refining her facial features, weighting the scales on her tail to bring the focus to her face. We enlisted the branding firm of Lippincott to help with these refinements, and give us a better global perspective on the entire identity system."

Starbucks Launch

As a design element, this new evolution is a beautiful step in the right direction and looks simply amazing on the company's collateral materials (cups, bags, products, etc). Starbucks is probably one of the few exceptions (alongside those mentioned above) that has enough reach and recognition to pull something like this off and it's refreshing to see someone taking such a bold creative step towards creating something different.

So, what do you think? Like it? Hate it?

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