Today I turned 65, a day many look to retirement or winding down a career. For me it seems I’ve just begun, with so many changes since my career started in 1975. From a drawing table with a T-square and ruling pen to the digital word where we live now. While technology and tools have changed, the energizing force that still drives me each day is the creation of solutions for the graphic and marketing problems that all clients face, large and small. I can’t wait to get to the office each morning early and start on the next set of solutions.
The other constant is relationships. Whether they are clients or partners in solving the problems, they are all invaluable. The contributions through the years have been invaluable and the names too many to list, but grateful for them all. Each new idea brings the support of those partnerships, because everything we do has numerous levels of contribution. Ultimately, the idea is the catalyst for everything from a logo to a marketing campaign. And those ideas can come from anywhere, anyone and at any time. You have to be discerning as to when they happen and are worthy of execution. Many great ideas never reach the surface and become “I thought of that” concepts. While many mediocre ideas are acted on and executed. While I think back to the many campaigns and projects that we have completed through the years I can also remember many that never made it to the surface.
So, my self-challenge in the last few years has been to act on the creative impulses that I receive and make them happen. It could be as simple as sending an email to a colleague or supplier to say thanks or waking up in the middle of the night and sending myself an email about an idea and then acting on it when you are at your device.
Lastly, organization is one of the most valuable disciplines needed today. At the pace of the numerous forms of communication, one must be organized, or they will quickly fall behind or create unnecessary stress. Quick access to files and responsiveness are invaluable traits.
Even though the 45 years, so far, that I have spent in this industry have flown by, my love for the craft and creating solutions is still young. It is my hope and prayer that I can reflect experience and excitement to those younger, because we are all created by design.
While some would think it was creative foresight that in the midst of the greatest pandemic we have experienced in 50 years, it was just good execution of a creative idea designed to generate interest and increase sales. The Corona brand has suffered in recent months due to the imagery and slogan, but no one on the marketing team could have foreseen these recent months and the need for social distancing, much less designed it into the imagery.
Everything is by design. From the beginning of time until today. Every identity, campaign and, for that matter, individual is by design and created for a purpose. In these days of fear, wonder and the unexpected let's not focus on the things that we cannot control, but on those we can. . . our thoughts, dreams and imagination. Andy Andrews says, "Fear is a misuse of our imagination. Imagination is a discipline." Neither fear or faith can be seen. Our thinking yields our choices and we can choose how we think. Imagination properly guided yields hope and faith. Don't obsess on what you can't do, but on what you can.
In the days and months to come, things will be different, guaranteed. But, they don't have to be fearful. An advantage of being older allows one to gather perspective quicker because of experiences in life, not because we know more, but because we have experienced more.
I for one, am choosing to learn, laugh and live every day with hope.
Living By Design
Digital Transformation, Lifecycle Marketing, Hype Cycle, Insights Driver, Martech……
Creating and analyzing your company’s marketing may seem complex. The options seem endless and opinions abound. More focus on digital marketing? Ramp up social media? Abandon tried-and-true advertising channels for the “new thing”?
We’ve been helping Midland companies make more money since 1983. As Farmers Insurance would say, we’ve learned a thing or two. We will sit down and talk with you, listen to your input and concerns and help you draft a marketing plan that works for you.
Real people who will pour a cup of coffee, listen to your thoughts and create something that works. That’s not so complex, is it?
Maybe you feel like your logo is just a fancy way of writing the company name. Or that updating your logo is a waste of time and money. If you feel this way, you'd be wrong. Your logo is important. Not only is this the first impression most people have of your company - it's on your letterhead, business cards, brochures, website, social media and signage after all. It's also the one image that stands for your company. And to paraphrase - an image is worth a thousand words.
What's the feeling you have when you look at this American Eagle logo? The aim was to create a feeling of childlike exploration and freedom - using the eagle as the ultimate symbol of freedom and including retro graphics harking back to the childhood age of the target audience. Not only does the retailer want their customers to connect with their logo, they want to create an emotion related to their brand. Starting with their logo and extending through their branding, the retailer encourages their customer to relate American Eagle to good feelings - the freedom of childhood.
A strong logo allows you to rise above the competition. It sets you apart from the crowd. A good logo is memorable and appropriate. It sends the message you want to send and it creates a feeling among those who view it. What feeling do you want to create for your company? Strong? Compassionate? Technologically advanced? Experienced? Your logo should reflect the emotion you want your customers to feel. Every element of your logo helps convey this feeling, helps create a great first impression and helps cement these emotions in your customers' minds.
Let's talk about your logo and how it can be refreshed or redesigned to promote your company in the right way. Call Admarc.
Choosing the right domain name for your business can be tough. The pressure is on - once you begin branding with this domain, changing will be tricky. Putting some thought into your domain name up front is definitely worth the time spent.
First of all, a little domain info: a domain name is the part of your web address that is found after the "http://" or "www". In this example: http://admarc.com, the highlighted portion is the domain name.
Does a domain name really matter all that much? If cost is any indication, yes it does.
Some points to consider when choosing your domain name:
The best extension - With over 126 million registered names, the old standby extension ".com" is pretty saturated. You can still create a workable .com domain name but you might have to be creative. New extensions are being added (.biz, .shop, .info). Time will tell which of these domains become as recognizable as .com. For now, if you can buy a .com domain, do it.
Keep it short, keep it simple - A domain name should be easy to read, easy to spell and easy to pronounce. Remember, in most cases your email address will be based on this domain name. Every time you tell someone your email address, do you really want to say joe@8245tmleql ? When you've come up with a candidate, tell a few friends your domain name and ask them to spell it. Show your domain name to a few different friends and ask them to read it. If there is any hesitation or incorrect answer, go back to the drawing board.
Avoid numbers - Numbers in a domain name can be confusing. Is 5 spelled out or the number 5? It's best to avoid them when possible. If it's not possible, buy both versions of the name.
Say what you do - Most people automatically focus on their company name when buying a domain but sometimes it's a better idea to focus on what you do. Including keywords (oil field, medic, etc.) in your name improves your page rank and many people search for a category - not a specific name.
Check out the domain's history - People abandon domain names every day. An easy way to find out if your potential domain has been used before: Wayback Machine .
Purchase several domains - Domain names are relatively inexpensive. If you see any possibility of confusing your domain name (QuikiMart, QuickyMart), buy all the variations and point them all to your site.
Renew - Your domain name will expire. Keep track of the login and password with your registrar and be sure to renew! Once your name expires, it is open to purchase by anyone. And that anyone is usually someone looking to sell back to you at a higher cost.
Be careful - Sometimes, you miss something important - http://speedofart.com/ (Speed of Art gone terribly wrong.)
Admarc can help find the perfect domain name for your company We also register and renew the name so you never need to worry about losing it. Give us a call.
Whether you're hungry, running on fumes or ready to bed down for the night, the blue highway signs showing gas, food & lodging options are always a welcome site. With a quick glance, you can decide if you want chicken or burgers. As a business owner, these signs can increase traffic to your store from the moment they are installed - as evidenced by the 97% renewal rate.
What are the rules for these logo signs in Texas?
Additional Texas Requirement by Category
Lone Star Logos currently maintains and sells space on Texas road signs. Expect to pay between $900 and $3,250 per year for Mainlane Signs & between $150 and $750 per year for Ramp Signs. Daily traffic count determines cost.
If you'd like to talk about marketing your business, including determining whether highway signs are good choice for you, contact Admarc.
Advertising agencies are full of creative people. They come up with great "outside the box" ideas. Creative people see things in a way that "regular" people do not. Creative people have long hair and nose rings. Well, that last statement is not necessarily true. Our leader has neither and he's the most creative person I know.. (See proof of short hair and ringless nose below.)
The truth is, you are creative. You may not paint like Grandma Moses or write like Hemingway but everyone has an undeniable creative side. Researchers have long known that the left side of the brain controls the more analytical and rational brain processes while the right side of the brain controls bigger-picture thinking and imagination. What we all need is a little more right-side time.
Why is it often easier to resort to the tried and true answer rather than strive for a creative solution? From the time we were born, we were rewarded for logical, analytic thinking. Learning to walk was met with claps and smiles. The mural we colored on the dining room wall was not so well received. In school, we were praised for answering math problems correctly and were scorned for daydreaming. Left-side thinking was encouraged. Right-side thinking was considered a waste of time.
Encouraging creativity is simply a matter of regularly working out the side of the brain that has been ignored all these years.
It's time to look for our creative side. "Creativity is intelligence having fun." - an Albert Einstein quote. He's a man who knows a thing or two about intelligence. Even old Albert is encouraging us to loosen up and create! Try something new. Let loose, give up expectations and have some fun. Share the results of your creativity with us here and at #MadeInMIdland . We're rooting for you!
Your brand reflects your company's unique "personality". The Style Guide defines the visual and emotional tone of that personality. A Style Guide is a written guidebook defining the do's and don'ts of representing your brand. Everyone from employees to ad agencies to media outlets should have access to this guide to insure a consistent identity.
Style Guide = Consistency Consistency = Recognition Recognition = Sales
Your Style Guide will include:
Below you'll find links to examples of Style Guides for some major companies:
No matter the size of your company, you need a Style Guide. Admarc can help you define your brand and establish rules for consistency in the representation of that brand. Call us or stop by for a cup of coffee.
These marketing trends may affect your bottom line in 2017 and beyond. Being proactive in addressing these trends will help keep you ahead of the pack.
Expert or Order Taker?
Who is the king of order takers? We would say Amazon. With this online giant, finding what you need is easy, orders are shipped right to your home or business, the selection seems endless. The process is simple, fast and can be completed from the comfort of your couch. Amazon is expert in giving you options and processing your choices. But that's it. Amazon doesn't know your business or your customer, doesn't analyze current trends or seasonal sales. Amazon isn't familiar with your local business climate or your target market. In 2017, the successful business will promote their expertise. Rather than focusing exclusively on product, these businesses will promote knowledge. Something Amazon can never match.
More and more, sales are driven by on-line content. You can now research a car, schedule a test drive and complete the purchase without leaving your kitchen table. Every business must have an online component and that component must provide real content to your customer. It's not enough to display your product. You must market your product on-line. Because more and more, that will be the only opportunity you have to connect with your customer.
Today's consumers are accustomed to marketing that is tailored to their needs. Promoting one message to all markets is becoming a thing of the past.
Admarc has the experience and expertise to guide you through changing trends and new marketing avenues. Contact us to learn more about how we can help grow your business.
Apple is the king of clean design - elegant, simple, uncluttered. No bells and whistles - simple sophistication. Clean design is definitely having a moment. Check out the shelves on your next shopping trip. Logic would have it that the loudest, brightest packaging would draw the most attention. But you will notice that the simple, subdued design draws you in as well. It can feel like a moment of calm in the midst of your crazy day.
You might think that "simple" means "easy". But you'd be wrong. Simple design is exponentially more difficult than "in your face" advertising. With clean design, each element carries more weight. No hiding behind loud colors, crazy graphics or weird fonts - "simple" demands real talent. Clean design requires each detail to be considered, thoughtful and exact. Simple is definitely not easy.
Radmir Volk's portfolio is a great example of clean package design. His packaging (unlike R.E.M.) doesn't say too much or not say enough. Give Admarc a call if your design could use a little simplification. We have the know-how to say exactly what needs to be said - no more, no less.
Fresh insights shared in the morning when ideas are fresh and the coffee is hot.