Early one morning while embarking on my daily commute from Roseville to 3fold’s Midtown Sacramento office I noticed a peculiar billboard on Business-80 that brought a smile to my face. With nothing but white text on a blue background, it read: “In the next 12 seconds, you will continue to be awesome.” That was it. No logo, no call-to-action, no strings attached. What a positive and inspiring message that hundreds of commuters are seeing every day, I thought. I’ve always secretly wondered why more businesses and wealthy individuals never made billboards like this that were so encouraging – just for the sake of being so – which made me appreciate this mystery campaign’s efforts that much more.
When I got in to work that day I had to ask my co-workers if anyone had seen it. I was intrigued by the billboard’s simple message of encouragement and wanted to find out what I could about it. After a few minutes of Google-ing, I found nothing conclusive indicating where this billboard came from or to whom it belonged. Immediately after mentioning it to my co-workers, our intern Chris walked over as excitedly saying how he’d seen the board too – and another that read “May rad-ness illuminate your path” – and has been conducting similar research. Both of us were baffled by the lack of information on the billboard. I mean, really? No one on the internet has said or taken pictures of anything pertaining to this billboard? In the end, we all agreed that it was simply a really smart campaign (because it had obviously piqued all of our interests) and concluded that the business behind the campaign would eventually come out and claim it.
Sure enough, this morning as I was driving into work, I looked for my favorite billboard on the freeway. Only this time, there was finally a logo and artwork attached to the encouraging phrase: Cartoon Network. I smiled again, this time amused at the genius marketing of the network.
This campaign demonstrated a few key points to consider moving forward:
- Being bold has clear benefits
- It’s worthwhile to think outside of the box
- There’s value to simplicity.
All of these points are also backed by a strong marketing strategy. As a personal fan of viral marketing campaigns, I’ve noticed that it’s the simple and mysterious things that tend to rouse the most curiosity. Cartoon Network’s billboard campaigns have certainly been a strong example of that.
Sometimes it’s the little things in life that matter. Like really little. Think 2 ½ by 3 inches little. Yep, I’m talking about business cards. As an agency that specializes in “exchanging creative currency,” we know the importance of distinctive design, and feel that the business card is often an underutilized opportunity for creative branding. This month we’ve created an other incredible infographic for the June issue of Comstock’s Magazine where we’re giving you the do’s and don’ts for creating a killer business card.
1. The Essential Info: The information your card should share, from most important to least:
- Company name and/or logo
- Email address
- Physical address
- Twitter handle
- Facebook address
- Social media icons
- License number (e.g. contractors only)
- Fax (seriously though, let’s hope not)
- QR code (please don’t)
2. Work with a professional designer: Don’t be afraid to ask for help
- Simply put, creative design may not be one of your core competencies. If that’s the case, recognize it, and consider asking a professional to design your card for you. A professional touch can go a long way towards conveying the intended message.
3. Be brand consistent: Otherwise, what’s the point?
- A card is a representation of yourself, and an extension of your brand. Business cards serve to attract business and spark conversation by being an accurate reflection of your brand positioning.
With these tips in mind, we encourage you to revisit your business card; is it really all that you want it to be? Visit Comstock’s Magazine online for the full article: https://comstocksmag.com/psycho-over-business-cards.
At 3fold we pride ourselves on our modesty. Sure we’re an agency filled with brilliant, creative, hard working, dedicated, attractive individuals…. What was I saying again? Oh right modesty.
While modesty is important, this month we’re proudly pounding our chest for the third installment of “Strategy of 3” in the May issue of Comstock’s Magazine. This month we explore the importance of distinctive design; using the story of renowned vineyard Orin Swift Cellars, we reveal a powerful three-pronged approach to branding. Enjoy!
1. Be Authentic: To thy own customers be true
- The first key to distinguished branding is authenticity. Known for delicious wines and distinctive marketing, Orin Swift Cellars focuses on conveying a personal touch with every bottle. By finding a way to authentically connect with your customers, your brand will find a resonance within the market that is both genuine and valuable.
2. Be Unique: Market to the beat of your own drummer
- Entering a highly competitive and over-saturated market, Orin Swift Cellars used two secret weapons to set themselves apart from the rest: creativity, and originality. Using provocative designs, names, and imagery, they conveyed the essence of their wines in an utterly novel fashion. It goes to show that product knowledge and creativity can often tell a brand’s story better than traditional means.
3. Be Bold: Go big or go home
- Taking risks may not always pay off, but the biggest success stories in history belong to the bold. In 2010, Orin Swift Cellars sold their two most popular brands in order to reinvest in their company, a move that seemed to call their business savvy into question. Proving critics wrong, however, Orin Swift expanded their menu, and subsequently their bottom line. If you want your brand to go the distance, then trepidation simply won’t do. Taking chances was, is, and always will be part of business. We suggest you take advantage of it.
Visit Comstock’s Magazine online for the entire article: https://comstocksmag.com/bottling-brand.
At 3fold we often tackle some of the most difficult objectives in marketing, but we’re 3fold so we welcome the challenge! In part two of our ongoing Comstock’s Magazine infographic series, we take a look at the thrill ride that is branding. Like a rollercoaster, the development of a successful brand can be both exciting and terrifying. But, fear not, 3fold is here to help take you from white-knuckled nausea to exalted triumph. Learn how your brand can be a “triple-threat.” Sit back, relax, and try to enjoy the ride.
1. The Story: Who you are and why they should care
- Much like the first climb of the coaster, your brand story should build excitement and anticipation. With each click of the track, try and answer these core questions: Who are you? What’s your purpose? Where do you come from and where are you going? Finally, why should your customers care? By answering these questions you’ll create a solid platform for brilliant branding.
2. The Experience: What your brand shares with the audience
- With steely resolve and a solid story, you take the first plummet into true brand development. This is the time when you actively create and implement your brand as you navigate the twists and turns. Anticipate the high and lows, and take special care to share the overall brand experience with your audience. The more interaction between your brand and your audience the better.
- The Myth: Growing your brand into something greater
- By far the most crucial aspect, a good retelling can turn the story of your branding experience into the stuff of legend. An engaging brand mythology will attract new and repeat customers, anxious to experience the ride that your brand provides. Allow your brand’s reputation to find it’s place in the market naturally, and it will soon become self-perpetuating.
Visit Comstock’s Magazine to read the full article: https://www.comstocksmag.com/brandings-triple-threatthe-ride-your-life.
Reposted from the MetroEDGE blog:
When I was selected as Chair of Metro EDGE I knew the position would open new doors and provide access yet unseen both personally and professionally. More importantly, I knew it would give me a platform to make an impact in the region I love so much.
What didn’t occur to me was that I’d represent Metro EDGE in Washington DC as part of the Metro Chamber’s annual Capitol-to-Capitol program! This weekend through May 7, I’ll be across the county helping to advocate for policies that will ensure our region is innovative and thriving for years to come.
It’s an exciting opportunity to represent the voice of our over 500 members on such an important platform. As I prepare to enter the offices of elected officials – both those who represent our region and those whose votes affect our region – it’s made me reflect on what matters most to young professionals back home.
Are there specific policies and priorities that we as a young professional community can collectively impact for the betterment of us all?
I believe Metro EDGE has already started the conversation with the accomplishments from the first quarter of the year. We created a strategic plan centered on the principles of strengthening our program, our members and our community. We hosted networking and professional development events and activities designed to inspire membership to collaborate with peers and the community. In collaboration with emerging leaders from across the region, we convened over 500 young professionals for the state’s first EMERGE Summit. I’m also proud to say Metro EDGE has now grown our membership to over 500 strong. Whew! It was a busy first few months!
Looking ahead, I expect Metro EDGE to stay just as aggressive. Perhaps one of the greatest large-scale mentoring events our region has ever seen, Executive Insight, returns to Downtown Sacramento June 17, and the line up is excellent. I predict a sellout for the 4th year in a row! I’m just as excited to participate in all of the networking, professional development and regional engagement activities we’ve lined up this summer to keep the collaboration and conversation going.
In the coming months expect to hear more about a three-prong initiative aimed at increasing meaningful young professional participation in the fabric of our region’s business community. This will include opportunities for scholarships to participate in programs like the Metro Chamber’s annual Capitol-to-Capitol and Study Missions, among others, a challenge to increase the number of regional leadership positions filled by talented professionals from our membership, and a formal program to initiate mentor pairing. Metro EDGE will also establish a platform for you to provide a voice in how we as young professionals implement the Next Economy Prosperity Plan.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – there has never been a more exciting time to be a young professional in our region. Metro EDGE will continue to work hard to provide opportunities for you to engage, develop, give and empower yourself in meaningful ways. I challenge you to take advantage of these opportunities. Our region is great because of the people who make it great. Join us at an upcoming event, join a committee or simply tell us what’s important to you.
I plan on telling our Metro Chamber counterparts a lot about what matters to Metro EDGE members while here in DC, so don’t be shy! Email me and tell me about what’s important to you.
In a study undertaken with the University College London Business Psychology School, participants were asked to read a reduced edition of Metro on a tablet, with one group asked to navigate using a traditional mouse and a second group asked to use the touch screen to navigate. The results revealed that spontaneous recall of six adverts was on average 28 percent higher among those who’d used the touch screen as opposed to those who had used the mouse. The study found that the advertising was also received more positively when consumed using a touch-screen device.
Looks like the majority of Americans are hooked on online videos. We’re pretty sure several someones definitely watched 397 cat videos to hit their average.
61% of the American population watched an average of 397 online videos in the month of January, 2014. Of those, 36% (or about 143 per person) were advertisements. This is more than double the number of ads from 2011, when 15% of online videos were ads.
Another key trend points towards higher mobile usage–in 2012, 1 in 12 videos were watched via mobile, while in 2013, that frequency jumped to 1 in 6.
These stats come from Shutterstock and comScore, who partnered to create a video documenting the herculean rise of online video within the digital world. “Show Me Something” tells the story of how our relationship with moving pictures has evolved since they came online.
Kickstarter, one of many crowdsourcing platforms that have taken off int he past few years, recently posted its first ever quarterly report.
In just the first quarter of 2014, the site showed:
- $112 million in total pledges
- 680,000 new backers
- Nearly 4,500 projects were successfully funded
- Donors pledged more than $1.25 million per day to campaigns
Why is this interesting? The marketplace–and its direction–is no longer limited by lack of power or access to major funding. The “people” are funding the shows, products and causes they want to see–and doing so with just $1, $5, $50, or $1,000 to give. And these campaigns-made-good are making a big impact.
Recently, Oculus VR, a project funded through Kickstarter, for $2 billion in March, made news when Facebook acquired it after it’s grassroots buzz. Also in March, The Square was nominated for an Oscar in the Best Documentary Feature category, making it the seventh Oscar nomination for a Kickstarter-backed project. Four separate Kickstarter projects were also nominated for Grammys in January. On March 14, Veronica Mars hit theaters after raising more than $5.7 million on Kickstarter last April.
Grassroots marketing is now big business.
Here at 3fold, we’ve built our reputation on our ability to integrate communications strategies to benefit our clients in new and innovative ways. And, we’re often asked, “How do you do it?”
Well get ready Sacramento, because we’re pulling back the curtain in a new monthly series with one of our favorite local publications, Comstock’s Magazine.
Already known for our unique culture and one of the best places to work – we have the proof – it doesn’t come as much of a surprise our first piece of advice centers on employees.
So just how should you integrate employees into the dreaded but oh-so-necessary staff meeting? Improving comprehension and maximizing retention is as easy as 1, 2, 3:
1. Commence: Keep your agenda to 3 priorities
- By entering your business meeting with 3 priorities, it allows for a more organized approach where you can categorize ideas, issues or news and spearhead plans with a more tactical approach.
2. Condense: Condense each discussion to its simplest form
- By utilizing 3 points, your already half way there! Discussions are meant to be inspiring, so shortening your content into a simple form of discussion allows your team members to speak up, be creative and discuss areas of interest or opinion.
3. Dispense: Reinforce outcomes by dispensing key takeaways
- Creating a business meeting centered on one theme can be hard enough. After a creative, positive and prioritized discussion, make sure to reiterate those key points so team members maintain focus. Remember: everyone needs to be on the same page!
Pick up your March issue and tell us what you think! And, keep an eye out for the next issue of Comstock’s Magazine, where we breakdown what makes a brand a “triple threat.”
Emilie Cameron, our Sr. Public Relations Manager and chair of Metro EDGE – the young professional program of the Metro Chamber, recently joined fellow YP leaders Dr. Michael Marion and Dean O’Brien for a conversation with Studio Sacramento host Scott Syphax about envisioning what it will take to attract and retain the next generation workforce in Sacramento.