1. The “Rolls Off The Tongue” Factor
There’s a fine line between a catchy-sounding alliterative name and a tongue-twisting nightmare. Avoid names with too many syllables and too few vowels. And seriously think long and hard before taking two words, squashing them together, and creating your own name! You want a name that your customers can remember AND pronounce.
2. The “Is It Appropriate?” Factor
Make sure your business’ name and brand appropriately fits the nature of your business. For example, using the number 4 in place of the word “for” can be cute for a day care center, but not exactly for a legal services provider.
3. The “It’s Mine, ALL Mine” Factor
Choosing your URL and owning it is ever so important. You may find that once you finally pick the perfect name for your business, the URL with that same name has already been spoken for. And that can lead you back to square one. But it doesn’t have to. If your heart is already set on a name that works for you, you can still choose a URL with an abbreviated form of your business name. For example, our company’s name is Creative Intelligence Agency. We call ourselves CIA. So we went with the URL, ciastudio.com since it contains our company name AND one of the services we provide.
4. The “Picture It” Factor
Just as expectant parents sit around and picture what their unborn child will look like as he/she takes their first steps or walks down the aisle, new business owners should picture how their company’s name would look on collateral materials, signage, business cards, and the like. Besides being the smart thing to do, it’s fun.
Although we work with international corporations and create global marketing campaigns, at the end of the day Creative Intelligence Agency is a small business. So we know all too well the needs of companies like ours. The unique challenges small businesses face. The many hats small-business owners must wear. And how delicate a balancing act it can be when it comes to managing finances.
So it was with this intimate knowledge that we approached a new project assigned to us by JP Morgan Chase: To help launch Ink, a brand of credit cards designed specifically for small business owners.
We knew that the biggest challenge would be competing with business-card leader American Express. So we carefully examined and thoroughly marketed every benefit that Ink had over Amex. Turns out, there were many.
We created unique product positions for all Ink card products, then developed creative that generated awareness, attracted new cardmembers, and retained them. The client couldn’t have been more pleased.
After the launch, we were again called upon to strategize ways to capture a larger share from competitive cards. Using special promotions and educating our target on how to maximize card benefits, we won them over.To find out more about this winning relationship, check out our website: www.ciastudio.com
1. Determine exactly what you want your website to accomplish. Do you want to showcase what you can do? Do you want to give customers and prospects a go-to source of information? Are you thinking basic nuts and bolts or more fun and interactive? For our website (ciastudio.com), we wanted to say, in very bold terms, exactly what we do – right from the very beginning. No nonsense, no fluff. So before you sit down with a designer, you need to determine some very specific goals for your website. Then make a plan to accomplish them.
2. Beware of over-designing. How many of us have visited slick-looking websites only to realize that the company never really says exactly what it is they do? There are words floating here and there, music blasting about, and all kinds of cool things to click on … but no real content. There is such a thing as being too fancy for your own good. So keep it simple. Make sure your website looks good, but first and foremost make sure you get across what your business does and how visitors can benefit from what you do or sell.
3. Sell, sell, sell. Use powerful headlines, eye-catching photos, funny customer anecdotes, or whatever you have at your disposal to sell your business. Once someone visits your website, you’ve got an audience. It’s your job to keep them there for a while, sell them on your product or service, and make sure that when they click off your site they are now your customers. Give visitors multiple ways to find out more about your business, and be sure to have an area where you can capture their information. Because if the website doesn’t sell them, maybe a person-to-person follow-up call/email will.
So to sum it all up, your website should be easy to understand and easy on the eyes. Check out our website to see how well we follow our own advice. The Advertising Association of Baltimore has awarded us with a 2013 Silver Addy Award. So chances are we’re doing something right!
We all have bad days. Some of us more than others. But not our pets. If your dog is always eager and energetic, you know without a doubt that she’s going to greet you with the same enthusiasm every day, 365 days a year (unless she’s sick, of course). It’s behavior you can count on, unconditional love, and it’s the kind of positive energy that many workplaces are desperately lacking.
But not here at CIA.
We’ve got Chica, our beautiful 3-year-old boxer, who serves as greeter, entertainer, companion, and official cheerer-upper. Our employees consider Chica a coworker. She eats lunch when we eat lunch, takes bathroom breaks like we do, attends all meetings, and gathers at the watercooler for gossip.
When Chica is not in the office (like when her owners go on vacation), there is a very noticeable void among all of us here. Not that our coworkers are boring, it’s just that they’re not as fun as Chica. Even the FedEx guy misses her.
A recent article in the Baltimore Sun touts the benefits of having pets in the workplace, and we couldn’t agree more. Studies have shown that pets help relieve stress in work environments and promote an atmosphere of caring. Yes, caring. In the workplace. It can happen. It does happen.
We are in the midst of a marketing renaissance, one that puts the online digital and mobile worlds at the forefront. As a result, ancient design techniques and aesthetics that piggybacked off of the newspaper and magazine industries has to get a new makeover in favor of content design that addresses this drastic shift in the market.
One design expert notes that, “The importance of visual storytelling is clearly one of the year’s breakout trends. Facebook Timeline, Pinterest, and Instagram are forcing brands to think and act more visually. Couple that with the impact of mobile browsing, and these emerging trends give new meaning to the phrase ‘show, don’t tell.’ In other words, the “beautification of the web” era is upon us.”
We’re taking a coffee break (or water cooler break for those who don’t like the taste of coffee) to discuss a matter that often gets neglected – especially in this anonymous era of the online world. Admit it, we’ve all gone to a meeting or two and focused more on the unfortunate state or inappropriateness of the presenter’s attire over what’s being discussed. And as marketers, it’s easy to forget that your appearance is an extension of your presentation. In fact, it’s often been part of our creative process to ensure that we are what we present.
Today, we are going to focus on some tips for men – stylishly selected from a style article outlining some major fashion blunders to avoid. Our favorite tips to spiffy up your presentation look:
1. Get clothes that fit - Overly baggy clothes will make you look you’re wearing sloppy hand-me-downs.
2. Wearing a short sleeve shirt with a tie – Unless you work for a fast-food joint – stick to long-sleeve shirts and ties. Only if you want to stay looking professional and confident.
3. No Dirty Shoes – A stylish man keeps his shoes clean – free of scratches and dirt, eventually you have to get up from the table.
4. Unwarp those shoes – Dimples look good on ties, not the tip of your dress shoe.
5. Don’t step on your hemline – No cuffing your dress pants and no showing your ankles.
According to an AdAge article, the worldwide transaction value of mobile payments will total nearly $1 trillion by 2014, up from $162 billion in 2010. Face it, there’s no denying that mobile payments are one of the next big things in marketing. Companies can use their brands to access customer’s in-store purchase data and serve up targeted deals. For customers, the appeal lies in the simplicity of holding a phone up to the scanner to pay. No coins, no wallets, and no change.
The article points out a double-edged sword for marketers: how does one market a new form of digital commerce that has significant potential but little consumer interest, without simply relying on chance?
“Before a new marketing gold rush is minted, brands need to get back to the basics. Mobile payments need to be presented to consumers as an added value rather than a neat marketing trick. Otherwise, much like the recent Facebook IPO, the hype may deflate before mobile payments’ vast potential is realized.”