Insights

September 8, 2020

What You Ought to Know About SEO

Even if you haven't been tasked with hiring a web developer to build a site for your company, you have probably heard of SEO aka "Search Engine Optimization." So why is it so important? Simply put, it is about making your website and company visible online.


SEO 101

Search Engine Optimization is more complex, and more important, than ever before. It is crucial for your company to stay informed and constantly adjust, especially when 75% of people don't click past page one of their search! 

SEO 101

Here are some key terms to know:

  • GOOGLE RANKINGS - Where your website is ranked on a google search page. Ideally you want to be at the top of the search.

    How does Google '“rank” pages?

    • What is the searcher looking for? Search engines interpret what information searchers want to find, this includes adjusting for issues such as spelling errors and using the right synonym, or interpreting the category and relevancy of the topic. 

    • How relevant is your page? Algorithms will then analyze your website’s content to see if it matches the search. Keywords on your page that match the search are the most simple way a search engine will match your page.

    • How useful is your content? This is often measured through link backs, or how often other users have gone to your page for the same information. 

    • How user-friendly is your webpage? Beyond specific design features, the main way to tell is if your webpage loads properly and quickly on all web browsers and different devices.

    • Location, location, location - Search engines also use features such as where your business is located, or interprets user interest in the subject matter.

    TAKE AWAY: Think like someone who is searching for your page or a similar topic when you are considering SEO strategy. What would you want to find?

     

    (Back to other ways to improve SEO)

  • LINK BACKS - Links from one website/page to another. When a website links to your page it shows that other people like what you have to say, which makes your information more valuable. Search engines find popular pages easier, and link backs give your page more authority and another way to be found on the web.

  • KEYWORDS - Words and phrases that make your pages easier to find. Think about what you would type in to a Google search, and add those keywords to your content!

  • CLICK THROUGH RATE (CTR) - The rate at which a person will click your link in a search. Even if your content is the top of the page, it must still be attention-grabbing and informational to be of use to viewers.

  • EMAIL MARKETING - Successful email campaigns should send recipients straight to your website to increase clicks.


SEO
 

Ready to get started?

Let us help you with SEO so you can focus on what you do best. Please contact us to get started.


August 25, 2020

You’ve Got Mail!

What drives results in direct mail? It’s simple: send the right people, the right message, the right way, over and over again. Oh, and you definitely are going to need to have ways to measure your campaigns...But you first need a plan.


Letters

Don’t you like receiving letters?

So you're ready to gain more customers and start advertising with direct mail, but where do you start? Whether you are a big or small business, these are your next steps to consider:

WHO IS MY TARGET AUDIENCE? Construct or purchase a mailing list of people who will be interested in your product/service. You can visit USPS.

WHAT MATERIAL COULD I CREATE? This is where you get to be creative, but remember that a call to action and building customer relationships are the end

goals! You can send postcards, letters, flyers, and even product samples or gifts. 

HOW DO I CODE AND TEST FOR RESULTS? This step is important for tracking your return on investment. There are plenty of online resources to explain different ways of coding and testing for your campaign’s effectiveness. A simple, but reliable way to see results is to attach a specific coupon code to track purchases.


Direct Mail

Mail can be nostalgic and high impact.

IF YOU WANT TO TACKLE THIS YOURSELF:

  • If you have a high profile client, or significant revenue per transaction, you could consider using a site such as Moo.com or SendOutCards to send a personalized letter and/or gift.

  • USPS offers direct mail marketing solutions, and even has a page specifically to help small businesses!

  • Handwritten notes are a simple, yet very personal way to stand out to your clients. Check out Handwrytten to easily create and customize handwritten (by robots!) cards online.

  • There are plenty of other sites that will help you create the perfect campaign to target your specific audience. (Check QuickSprout for a list of a few good ones)


Mails
 

BUT IF YOU WANT HELP….

If you’d like an experienced team to optimize your direct mail campaign, we would be happy to help you!

Please contact us to get started.


August 25, 2020

Isn’t Direct Mail Dead?

More like out of fashion… The reality is that a well-designed and executed direct mail campaign is highly targeted to your audience, easily measurable and can make a big impact on sales. 


LLS.MAIL

Between remote work, Zoom everything and more email marketing campaigns than ever, the average person is under siege online. When they snap their laptop closed, it’s time to check the mail. 

While 2020 has provided the perfect setting for direct mail marketing, your print pieces still have to be on point and sent to the right person. Read more


5 REASONS YOU SHOULD USE DIRECT MAIL… AND SOON!

Direct Mail

1. UNIQUELY PERSONALIZED - Digital marketing tends to be very generalized. Direct mail can be addressed by name to each potential customer, and the material personalized for each mailing list.

2. ADAPTABLE - Do you want people to try your product, but can't get them in the store with COVID-19 restrictions? Send them a sample in the mail! With direct mail, your campaign is flexible and can meet your most creative needs.

3. TARGETED AUDIENCE - Data collection is at an all time high, it is simple to purchase mailing lists that will target the correct audience. 

4. EASILY MEASURABLE - It is a myth that you cannot track your ROI with direct mail. The key is coupons, and knowing how to track responses.

5. AN APPETITE FOR OLD FASHIONED MAIL People are spending more time alone at home than ever before: capitalize on your captive audience’s craving for more personable social interaction.


U.S.MAIL

Interested in getting started? Read “You’ve Got Mail!” to learn how.


Creative Direction May 15, 2020

12 SMART BEAUTIFUL HERITAGE BRANDS

Beautiful Heritage Brands

What makes a brand “Smart Beautiful”?

Smart means they observe a clear brand strategy that is generating attractive returns. Beautiful means a visual identity that is compelling, current and aesthetically elevated. Smart Beautiful means you have a brand that delights business people and creatives, quants and poets. They are the best of both worlds.

 

What is a Heritage Brand?

Heritage brands have history. They are well-recognized and accepted. They have a recognized track record of executing on their original brand promise. Loyal customers feel emotional connections to heritage brands. New customers can quickly attach to the patina and power of a storied name.

Well-articulated heritage brands are known for:

  • Longevity

  • Track record of performance

  • Long-held core values

  • Consistent use of brand symbols over time

  • Compelling history or company mythology


Budweiser
Everyman

The 5 Trust Factors

Okay, so people trust you. Great. But now you need to protect and build that trust. How do you do it? There are many ways to build trust but ultimately it comes down to doing what you say you’re going to do. (Just like with people) But it’s good to take a look at the five factors that have been demonstrated to influence trust in brands.

  1. Performance / Track Record 

  2. Consistency

  3. Integrity

  4. Caring / Concern (toward clients, employees, community)

  5. Shared Values

 

The best way to protect and promote your brand is to commit to a brand strategy. This requires discipline, faith and patience but the dividends are many. Heritage brands in particular have the heart and minds to stay the course through fads, feast and famine. Read more about brand strategy here. Read more about brand strategy here.


 
The best of the best

THE BEST OF THE BEST

These enduring brands have crisp yet iconic visual identities that make us fall in love with them all over again.


1. RALPH LAUREN

Ralph Lauren

FOUNDED 1967 | MADE TO BE WORN

Ralph Lauren Corporation is a global leader in the design, marketing, and distribution of premium lifestyle products in five categories, including apparel, accessories, home, fragrances, and hospitality. For more than 50 years, Ralph Lauren’s reputation and distinctive image have been consistently developed across an expanding number of products, brands, and international markets.

Ralph Lauren

2. HINCKLEY

Hinckley

FOUNDED 1928 | Built Just For You, Cared For Entirely By Us

From the very beginning, the yachts from the Hinckley yard were kept to the highest standards. Henry was not satisfied with many off-the-shelf parts and soon the yachts from Hinckley came to feature custom designed and fabricated hardware such as stanchions, chocks, pulpits and masts. This attention to detail made these yachts distinctive and, in time, they would earn the collective admiration of sailors and yachtsmen around the world.

Hinckley

3. JOHN DEERE

JOHN DEERE

FOUNDED 1837 | Nothing Runs Like a Deere

Deere & Company is a world leader in providing advanced products and services and is committed to the success of customers whose work is linked to the land—those who cultivate, harvest, transform, enrich, and build upon the land to meet the world’s dramatically increasing need for food, fuel, shelter, and infrastructure. Since 1837, John Deere has delivered innovative products of superior quality built on a tradition of integrity.

JOHN DEERE

4. SALVATORE FERRAGAMO

SALVATORE FERRAGAMO

FOUNDED 1927 | High fashion and comfort are inseparable

Suggesting a way of being, as atmospheric and joyous as possible, proposing values instead of merely placing products. Salvatore Ferragamo continues embracing the diversities and complexities of the contemporary world. In doing so, it heralds with renewed dedication, the crafty inventiveness and inclusive spirit that have been there right from the beginning.

SALVATORE FERRAGAMO

5. CARTIER

CARTIER

FOUNDED 1847 | Never copy, always create

Cartier, whose name is synonymous with open-mindedness and curiosity, sees beauty in everything. Creativity, freedom, sharing and excellence are all central to its values. This vision enables a creative territory that is shaped around a unique style. From jewelry and fine jewelry to watchmaking and perfumes: Cartier’s creations symbolize the fusion of exceptional savoir-faire and timelessness.

CARTIER

6. CHRISTIE’S

CHRISTIE

FOUNDED 1766 | extraordinary art, unparalleled service, expertise & global reach

Christie’s is a name and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service, expertise and global reach. Founded in 1766 by James Christie, Christie's has since conducted the greatest and most celebrated auctions through the centuries providing a popular showcase for the unique and the beautiful.

CHRISTIE

7. FERRARI

FERRARI

FOUNDED 1947 | Only those who dare, truly live

Our story officially begins in 1947 when the first car built under the Ferrari marque, the 125 S, drove through the historic factory gates on Via Abetone Inferiore in Maranello. That said, Ferrari’s origins are inextricably linked to its founder’s entire life story. Born in Modena on February 18 1898, Enzo Ferrari passed away on August 14 1988, having devoted his entire life to motor racing. He became an Alfa Romeo works driver in 1924 but just five years later set up the Scuderia Ferrari at Viale Trieste in Modena to allow its mostly gentleman driver members compete.

FERRARI

8. ARIAT

ARIAT

FOUNDED 1993 | Performance Is In Our Sole

Ariat is committed to building a different breed of company, one that reflects our core values as a team and those of our consumers. Our company values have shaped our success since 1993 – a commitment to innovation, quality, integrity, teamwork and respect. We believe our values are what set us apart and have helped build Ariat into the one of the top Equestrian, Outdoor and Work brands in the world. Product quality is non-negotiable, and so is our collaborative culture and giving back to the communities we serve.

ARIAT

9. HÄSTENS

HÄSTENS

FOUNDED 1852 | We sleep. Do you?

Hästens has a rich history running back through six generations—from our roots as master saddlers to Hästens appointment as Royal Purveyors, and the Spirit of Excellence that drives us forward into the future. The journey to where we are now is one filled with passion, skill and the pursuit of making the best handcrafted beds in the world.

HÄSTENS

10. SEE’S CANDY

CANDY

FOUNDED 1921 | Quality Without Compromise

See's Candies has been making quality chocolate and candy Mary See's way for over 95 years. From the beginning, Mary took pride in her recipes and insisted on only the finest, freshest ingredients. See's has expanded from one chocolate shop to over 200 shops across America and a flourishing online store.

CANDY

11. TITLEIST

TITLEIST

FOUNDED 1932 | The #1 ball in golf

The Titleist success story began one Sunday in 1930, when Phil Young missed a well-stroked putt in a match with his friend, who was head of the x-ray department at a local hospital. Convinced that the ball itself was at fault, Young and his opponent went to the hospital, x-rayed the golf ball in question and found that its core was off-center. It took Young and Bommer three years to perfect the first Titleist golf ball, but when it was ready in 1935, it could truthfully be introduced to club professionals and golfers as the best ball ever made.

TITLEIST

12. WALL STREET JOURNAL

FOUNDED 1889 | The daily diary of the American dream

The most ambitious people in the world read The Wall Street Journal. Winner of 37 Pulitzer Prizes for outstanding journalism, the Journal includes coverage of U.S. and world news, politics, arts, culture, lifestyle, sports, health and more. It’s a critical resource of curated content in print, online and mobile apps, complete with breaking news streams, interactive features, video, online columns and blogs.

WALL STREET JOURNAL

Business Management April 15, 2020

Innovating Through Disruption

In this new age wrought by the devastation of COVID-19, what used to work will likely not work anymore. And even if it does still work, there may be fewer people willing to pay for it. The mandate for many is clear: Innovate or die. 


Clayton Christensen

If only Clayton Christensen, the godfather of disruptive innovation, were here to see it. Surely, he would see this tumultuous time as one of dazzling possibilities and hopeful renewal while at the same time stoically acknowledging the devastating toll of human suffering being taken around the world. 

 

In his seminal classic “The Innovator’s Dilemma,” Christensen argued that technological advancements can create cheaper, faster, and overall better substitutes for existing products, and in turn create industry growth. If necessity is the mother of invention, the time for his ideas are now. 

 

Christensen posited three types of innovation:

  • SUSTAINING innovations refer to incremental improvements on a continual basis. Toyota’s “Kaizen” commitment to subtle constant improvement would be an example. Basically, we’re talking about the minor tweaks necessary to stay competitive and nothing that could generate a big win or a big loss. It’s a noble path tread by unknown heroes. 

  • DISRUPTIVE innovations are cheaper inferior substitutes that appeal to a much broader set of customers (higher volume with lower margins). An ATM is a perfect example. For the consumer, you don’t get that over-the-counter friendly customer service but your bank fees could be lower and the machines are easier to access. Meanwhile, the bank grows its base via middle-class conveniences. --Disruptive technologies usually emerge on the edges in insignificant markets. Typically, they aren't relevant for a leading firm's best and most profitable clients. This encourages innovation from upstarts who haven't been lulled into complacency serving lumbering giants.

  • BREAKTHROUGH innovations break business models. They disturb incumbents and delight customers. Remember when email rolled out and on the US postal service tried to tax it? There wasn’t much they could do. Actually, there probably was but there isn’t much creative energy at the post office.  (Except for in 1977, when one USPS visionary launched an early form of email which failed due to bureaucratic interference. Despondent, he left and went on to start a company that would eventually be sold to UPS for $100 million.) Read about at Bloomberg "The Post Office Almost Delivered Your First E-Mail" 

So which are you? 

  • The businesses mildly impacted such as grocery stores can likely muddle through by keeping up. (sustaining)

  • The businesses hard hit may be threatened by novel approaches. For instance, commercial real estate landlords facing the suddenly the threat of immensely relevant virtual office. (the disrupted versus disruptive) 

  • The businesses created in this environment or supported by it, such as new medical delivery models or education systems, have the potential to help make a better world. (breakthrough)

If you are interested in learning more about Clayton Christensen, Harvard has a collection of his best essays available online here

You can also get his book. In researching this article, I became most interested in his philosophy of life and downloaded his book "How Will You Measure Your Life" on Audible. Based on the excerpts I read, it should be a good quarantine listen.

This watershed moment in history brings to mind my favorite quote from Eric Hoffer, a San Francisco longshoreman and self-taught philosopher:

“In times of great change, learners shall inherit the earth while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists." 

 

Good luck out there.