Oreos - Without the creme filling

Friday, April 12, 2013 by David McElyea

I admire those with the dedication to recognize a problem and provide the solution. 

 

 

Well done Mr. Neveel.  Well Done.

3 Helpful Hints to Create Loyal Customers

Wednesday, April 10, 2013 by Karin Hart

John Mackey, Co-CEO of Whole FoodsWhat is good customer service? Most of us struggle defining it, but many could give great examples, from past experiences, of what is NOT good customer service. Customer service should make everything in your business tick. Satisfying your customer should be the core focus for your entire team, regardless of the type of business you run.

I recently read an article on my flight during my travels this past weekend in the Southwest Airlines magazine, Spirit called,"What's the secret to creating loyal customers?", a short lesson written by Co-CEO of Whole Foods, John Mackey (picture of article above). It caught me eye because I was talking with someone just before I got on my flight about how we felt that Southwest has the best customer service compared to any other airline and why other airlines don't copy exactly what they do. Simply put, Southwest doesn't do much besides give you exactly what you want as a traveler. Thinking about how the customer service concept that Southwest and Whole Foods have, I thought if we can take their B2C mentality to a B2B mentality, how successful you might be as a company.

Not only is it important to give your customer what they want, but it is also really important to remember to stay flexible with your employees while they are serving your customers. As John Mackey puts it,"...if serving the customer is the primary goal, it's better to make a mistake by being too lenient than it is to alienate someone." How true that is for any business!

Here are my 3 helpful hints to create loyal customers within your business:

1. Give them what they want. By giving your customers what they wan from the get-go, they will automatically feel satisfied and therefore, complain less. Maybe if your lucky, they will have a nice experience and decide to recommend your business or return for another good experience.

2. Be flexible. This doesn't mean over-doing-it, but being reasonable goes a long way. Reward your employees for their good customer service. If you show them you care about how they treat your customers, they may do I more often.

3. Put yourself in your customer's shoes. What would make you loyal to your business as a customer? What could improve your business experience? It doesn't hurt to actually ask your customers either!

Sexy Blend of Throwback Style and Modern Technology at sea.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013 by Hans Walor

Loving this throwback style fused with modern functionality, its an aestheic masterpiece. The Ringle 39 is a blend of modern yacht technology with timeless values from the high art period of yacht design, reminiscent of the first half of the twentieth century. The highly experienced RIngle 39 team has really paid attention to every last detail in this high performance yacht.



 

SXSW looks to artists to get people off their phones and interacting

Monday, March 11, 2013 by Leslie Gabriel

Good idea... In my opinion there are too many people glued to their phones, and not enough "real" interactions.

Here is what SXSW is doing to get people interacting!

Story By John McDermott

SXSW has a unique problem: the bigger it gets, the less it becomes about the film, music, technology or the festival itself and more about the ad agencies, brands and marketing pap that surrounds it. 

But there are some SXSW employees who are fighting to redirect attendees' eyeballs away from the marketing side shows and back to the Austin Convention Center where the "actual" festival is held. Further, festival organizers would like attendees to actually "be" in the convention center and not on their devices.

That's partly why SXSW brought in New York City artist and educator Otis Kriegel this year. As one of the festival's several artists-in-residence, its his job to use art to distract attendees from their smartphones and precipitate face-to-face interaction.

Mr. Kriegel, co-founder of New York-based public art collective Illegal Art, spent Friday installing one of group's signature interactive art projects, "To Do." The project, which Mr. Kriegel has previously conducted in New York City and New Hampshire, involved littering a wall with nearly 5,000 Post-Its to spell the words "TO DO" over the course of seven hours.

When passersby encounter the wall on Saturday, they will be encouraged to write tasks on one of the slips of paper in the hopes that someone else will pick it up and follow its instructions.

"[SXSW] wanted to have more of a gravitational pull, to have people actually participating in the actual festivities in ways that aren't tech-based," said the wiry Mr. Kriegel as he worked four SXSW volunteers to arrange the pink and yellow squares.

Mr. Kriegel hopes the notes induce serendipitous meetings between art projects participants. He will be replacing the Post-Its throughout the week as they are taken and (hopefully) carried out.

Mr. Kriegel will also be working with fellow Illegal Art member Michael McDevitt for another art project called To Me that will be installed at the Blackheart Bar in Austin. Participants will write themselves postcards that will they receive in the mail in six months. The postcards are meant to help participants reflect upon who they are now and ultimately serves as "a memorial to your past self," SXSW said.

Morgan Catalina, saleswoman for SXSW's special projects, said that providing surprises is part of a marketing strategy that separates SXSW from other cavernous, monotonous tech festivals.

In addition to Mr. Kriegel's To Do installation, Ms. Catalina has solicited similar projects that lie at the convergence of film, music and technology including an installation at Republic Square Park that will use a series of lights to make the park appear to be a tidal pool.

Ms. Catalina said the marketing side shows that occur within SXSW's orbit don't bother her. She is, however, adamant about making the certified event as engaging as possible.

Whether her artists will be able to get attendees to look up is uncertain.

"I'm literally putting my life in their hands," Ms. Catalina said.

F.E.D. - FIND.EAT.DRINK - a professional opinion on finding food and drinks

Tuesday, February 26, 2013 by Hans Walor

Travel guide iPhone app offers solid suggestions and tips from the "pros"

So often we find ourselves traveling or on the road for work, in a city that we may not know so well, and want to find a solid local suggestion. Up to this point it seemed that Yelp was the only "somewhat useful" app to help make decisions on what to check out as far as food and drinks. The only issue with Yelp is that it has such a broad range of people writing reviews, that some of the suggestions and recommendations come from very un-informed people who may or may not have a professional perspective on the scene.

We recently came across this new app, FIND.EAT.DRINK, that addresses this exact issue - with tips and suggestions from pros like Chef Richard Blais, coffee roasters and food writers. . After giving the app a whirl in our own neighborhood, we found the quality of their suggestions quite impressive, offering a more tightly edited selection than mass-marketed services like Yelp.

You can find this at the App store for Apple. Try it out!

Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon

Tuesday, February 26, 2013 by David McElyea

Have you ever played Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon?  We used to play a bit in college while enjoying refreshments.  For those that are unfamiliar with the game the object is to connect any actor to Kevin Bacon through movies that the actors have been in.  The idea is that Kevin Bacon has been in so many moves you can connect any actor to him with less than six degrees of separation.  For example if we use Anne Hathaway we can say that Anne Hathaway stared in The Dark Knight Rises with Gary Oldman who appeared in Criminal Law with Kevin Bacon.  Therefore Anne Hathaway has a bacon number of 2.  Google has made this an easy exercise now.  Just search "Bacon Number" followed by any actors name and Google will give you their Bacon Number.  Turns out almost all actors have a Bacon Number of 4 or less.

This is a graphical representation of all webpages generated in 2003.  The different colors represent different countries and the nodes represent the connections between IP addresses.  This graphic was created by Barrett Lyon the creator of the Opte Project.  The image is on permanent display at the Museum of Modern Art.  You can find other version of the image here.

The Web works in a similar way with links.  A study conducted  by Albert-László Barabási in 1999 determined that all pages were connected by 19 clicks or less.  I would guess this number has decreased since that time but I am not sure by how much.  The idea is similar to a Bacon number but instead of Kevin Bacon we have Search Engines to connect us to all webpages.  These digital Kevin Bacons have complied so much information that we are no more than 19 clicks from any webpage.

How many clicks does it take to find your content?

Evocative Photography by Alexandre Deschaume

Tuesday, February 26, 2013 by Hans Walor

I recently ran across Alexandre Deschaumes's photography and was quite taken back by the evocative energy his shots capture. Such power and magnitude to each one. These photos truely take you to another place. Take a look at some of his collections to see more inspiring images.

Alexandre Deschaume Photography





 

A Simple Guide to Keyword Research

Tuesday, January 8, 2013 by David McElyea

We have been doing a lot of keyword research lately for clients and I thought I would outline some of the steps we take during this process.

Step One - Identify your landing pages.  Your keywords should be associated with landing pages on your site.  These pages can be you home page or a specific internal page on your site.  Keywords associated with a particular page should be tight and concise.  You should not optimize one page for many keywords.  

Step Two - Rough keyword research.  This is a quick and simple step.  Review your pages from step one and come up with a short list of keywords for each page.  This can also be done as a brainstorming session with others.

Step Three - Check keyword popularity with Google keyword tool.  The Google Keyword Tool is a very useful tool in this process.  You can run your list through it and receive search volume data on your keywords as well as suggested keywords with data as well.  You will need a Google AdWords account to access this tool.

Step Four - Competitive analysis.  Simply "Google" your keyword list and review the results to determine the competitiveness of a term and your ability to impact the results for it.  Some highly competitive terms may not have the desired ROI and should therefore be eliminated from the list.  You can also review the results for any keywords that may not have appeared to you during the first three steps.

Step Five - Finalize the list.  Run your final list through the Google keyword tool again to eliminate any low volume phrases.  SEOquake and SEMRush also have good tools that can help with this process.

There are many factors to consider when choosing a keyword strategy but hopefully this will give you a starting point for your project.

Happy Keyword Hunting.

Pushing limits...

Monday, January 7, 2013 by Richard Allen

Richard Allen

My experience at the first Icarus Session in Denver (organized by Seth Godin)

Monday, January 7, 2013 by Karin Hart

Last week I had the most amazing experience at the first Icarus Session in Denver (organized by Seth Godin). It all started with an email from Richard saying I should check it out about an hour and a half before the event started. I am new to Seth Godin’s blog, his books, and teachings, but after tonight, it is remarkable to see who he pulls in with his work.

I had never done a “Meetup” session before and really had never even heard of them before tonight. This session was held at the Jake Weidmann Art Gallery: the gallery, studio, and home of the artist and master calligrapher Jake Weidmann. Check out his work and website by clicking here. He is an incredible artist/calligrapher; your jaw will literally drop and hit the floor. His Master Penman Certificate is truly the most amazing and unique piece I have ever seen with my own eyes, although all of his art is just phenomenal.

Anyways, there could not have been a better place for this session to take place in. We were surrounded by beautiful art, new people, and a ton of energy. People shared their stories on their art form, ranging from book writers, to people trying to create iPhone apps, to “after hour” photographers. It was truly remarkable to see what the speakers had to say in the 140 seconds they had to say it in. People opened up not just about their art, but they really got into their life and what makes them who they are.

Many attendees raved about Seth Godin and his teachings. All I have to say, is I have a lot of learning to do and I definitely am intrigued by his way of thinking. He is so practical and simply said, people “get” him and he “gets” people. He connects with people in a real way that helps bring out the best in themselves.

I met several great people tonight, but what I liked most was that it was a gathering of new faces, where you had flexible, all inclusive conversation, the opportunity to speak to everyone, and get the chance to talk to individuals/small groups in more depth. I am so glad I went to this!  Just wanted to fill you all in on my little “Seth Godin” adventure. I am definitely attending the next Icarus Session in Denver, whenever and wherever it might be. You can find more about the Icarus Session here and sign up for the Meetups here.

 

Keeping up to speed with the interesting news on design, trends, and modern lifestyle taste-makers

Saturday, January 5, 2013 by Hans Walor


 

As the ammount of information on the web becomes more and more overwhelming, many of us search for a outlets of content that relates to our lifestyle, interests, or career path. Recently, I ran across this site called Protein. Protein is an insight platform that keeps you up-to-date on the latest global trends, behaviors and thinking through useful tools, daily reports and in-depth events. Sound interesting? I think so.

Protein does a great job of highlighting everything from design trends, entrepreneurial start up busineses, interesting interviews with taste-makers, relevant formum / lectures, new products, to insightful articles. Its defintely worth a few minutes of your time to check out.

Another great online news source for "Eye Candy"

Saturday, January 5, 2013 by Hans Walor



Here's another great resources if you are ever looking for some inspiration or just want to see some really cool projects that other artists / designers around the world are creating.

Visual News  is a place where you can find daily visual inspiration from around the world. This is an adventurous and socially aware group that believes the planet we live on is one of continual beauty and curiosities, so each day they strive to bring you some of the most interesting stories in art, design, technology and people.

As a collaborative project of Column Five Media, Visual News strongly advocates of the union between data and design, and continually searching for new ways to express the world around us in visually beautiful and easily understandable ways.

Colorado Gives Day

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 by Leslie Gabriel

 

 

 

 

 

Colorado Gives Day (happening tomorrow, Dec. 4) might as well be a state holiday. The idea: a 24-hour giving spree to hundreds of Colorado charities, big and small. In its inaugural year, the foundation raised $8.4 million for 529 charities; last year $12.4 million was donated to 928 nonprofits. Organizers anticipate an even bigger outpouring of generosity this year, and you can help by donating to any of the more than 1,000 participating nonprofits. It's super easy: Just go to www.givingfirst.org and find the charity you want to donate to. 

Airways has been a proud supporter of the Morgan Adams Foundation for 7 years, donating technology solutions as well as strategic direction. Please help support pediatric cancer research.

LEARN MORE >>

Top 10 Text Only Logos of All Time

Monday, December 3, 2012 by Leslie Gabriel

I thought this would be a good review for those who are interesed in type only logos. These are hugely successful.

The minimalist approach can go a long way, especially when you have a text only logo, meaning that it is free of any emblem or other distinct pictorial element. Text only logos can also include alettermark. A good example would be the McDonald’s “M”. According to DesignCrowd, 8 of the top 10 brands – fromInterbrand’s Top 100 brands of the world 2009 – use a simple wordmark or lettermark logo. Also 51 of the top 100 brands of the world use a wordmark or lettermark logo that is, their logos are simple, text-only and free from icons, pictures or emblems. 

Published by: GRAPHICDESIGN.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

In glorious Bello Script, the Pinterest logo comes together in perfect harmony as an icon, while remaining strictly type based. The subtle point on the P is just enough to make it extra iconic, yet still remain a letter.

 

 

 

 

 

Creative director Benjamen Purvis, together with legendary type designer Jim Parkinson, who drew the new logo, took their inspiration from 1930s European auto-racing posters — ruggedelegantunadorned. “It’s handcrafted, masculine, and authoritative,” Purvis says. “I think it perfectly expresses the spirit of our magazine.”

Seth Godin's - Fall 2012 recommended reading list

Thursday, November 29, 2012 by Richard Allen

Some GREAT reads here.
Click on the image below to get links to all of these books.
 



http://sethgodin.squidoo.com/

HTML Debugging Like a Boss!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012 by David McElyea

HTML debugging can be a time-consuming process.  I have a couple of tools I like to use it make the process quicker and easier to identify where the trouble code may exist.  Seasoned pros will know these tools.  If you haven't used them you should check them out.  

The first tool is Google Chrome.  In addition to a great keyword analysis tools Google provides us with a powerful browser.  With Google Chrome you can right-click and choose "inspect element" on any HTML page and see the code that drives an element.  You can adjust the styles that are associated with the element, the styles this element inherits and you can also add in-line styles and see the changes they will have in real-time.  If you're not sure of the property you're trying to affect just start typing and Google Chrome will list all valid properties.  The Google Chrome De-bugging window is a valuable tool that he's many times during blog template design builds.

The second tool is Firefox.  Firefox allows you to right-click an element of webpage and choose inspect element as well.  You can modify change your CSS styles from this view much like Google Chrome.  One unique feature to Firefox is the 3-D view button.  The 3-D view gives you a rendering of a webpage and the different style layers that exist.  This can be especially helpful if you're having trouble aligning particular layers.  Another must-have plug-in for the Firefox browser is Firebug.  Firebug is one of the most robust debugging solutions available.  If you dont have it, get it.  It is free.

Happy de-bugging,

David

Find yourself doodling during meetings, lectures, or converstaions with friends? Good for you!

Thursday, October 11, 2012 by Hans Walor

Sometimes its just easier to listen to someone in a meeting while you are drawing a picture or doodling. It helps some of us think and stay awake :) This is a really interesting article discussing the benefit of being a doodler.  FULL ARTICLE  on Smashing Magazine >>

“I Draw Pictures All Day”  - Click on the image below to read the full artilce.
By

Doodling a lightbulb

Doodling helps us Retain Information

Marketo and Dreamforce 2012

Thursday, October 11, 2012 by Richard Allen

Good to know we are using Marketo the No. 1 rated Marketing Platform on the market along with some other powerful tools such as Salesforce! Check out the pics from the Mascone Center Expo. and Dreamforce 2012.

Busy, Busy, Week in San Francisco!

Monday, October 8, 2012 by Leslie Gabriel

Fleet Week is a United States Navy, United States Marine Corps, and United States Coast Guard tradition in which active military ships recently deployed in overseas operations dock in a variety of major cities for one week. Once the ships dock, the crews can enter the city and visit its tourist attractions. At certain hours, the public can take a guided tour of the ships. Often, Fleet Week is accompanied by military demonstrations and air shows such as those provided by the Blue Angels.

Unfortunatley, we weren't able to be there this year. Many of our friends did make it to Fleet Week and took in the 34th America's Cup World Series. The finals will be held in San Francisco 2013 with even bigger boats, the AC72. 

Photographer: Gilles Martin-Raget

America's Cup World Series 2012

The Anatomy of a Successful Social Marketing Campaign [INFOGRAPHIC]

Friday, September 28, 2012 by Hans Walor

- Salesforce Blog

It’s a business-eat-business universe and B2B marketers today must fully utilize social media channels if they want a chance at surviving alone in the deep recesses of space. A good social marketing campaign often times starts with the blog, or the mother-ship as I like to call it, then branches out to cover each of the social networks with tailored messaging optimized with keywords. Paying attention to the characteristics of each social platform and playing to their strengths is essential to optimizing for maximum virality.

See the full Article HERE >>

In the following infographic, we examine the elements of a successful B2B social marketing campaign to help you learn how to make your business move at the speed of light.