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Diane Mahan (a designer in our office) sent me some information she found online. I thought it appropriate for this blog, as the point of writing this is to help Klündt | Hosmer clients and potential clients achieve the business success they are after.
This economy is affecting everyone, and while it makes "sense" to hold back on spending money on brand-building and advertising during a recession, this research shows why doing so will actually harm the perception of your business. Often in life and in business, the "right" thing to do often "feels" wrong... it's the paradoxes that generally allow for the most success.
Research Brief from the Center for Media Research
by Jack Loechner
ADVERTISE OR DIE
According to a new Ad-ology Research study, "Advertising's Impact in a Soft Economy," more than 48% of U.S. adults believe that a lack of advertising by a retail store, bank or auto dealership during a recession indicates the business must be struggling. Conversly, a vast majority perceives businesses that continue to advertise as being competitive or committed to doing business.
C. Lee Smith, president and CEO of Ad-ology Research, says "It is critical to advertise in the current economic climate, to maintain long-term positive consumer perception of your brand... advertising... assures consumers of a business' reliability... "
So take a deep breath. Remember that what "feels" right, isn't ALWAYS the right thing to do. Trust in the power of the paradox. Don't let your lack of advertising and marketing investment write the epitaph on your businesses' tombstone. At Klündt | Hosmer, we can help you tell a much better story.
Last night I delivered a keynote presentation at the Spokane Club annual membership meeting.
Mike Fleig, General Manager of the Spokane Club had asked me to make a presentation on the benefits of visual branding for businesses, organizations and for the Spokane Club.
After a very nice introduction by Greg Bever, Spokane Club President and publisher of the Spokane Journal of Business, I began the presentation by telling the audience that 95% of human thought is done at a subconsious level, and that emotional responses to what people see take place in less than 3 seconds. With that in mind, it is critical to intentionally direct what people see about a business or organization, as their future decisions are based on that emotional response (either good or bad).
Using a series of slides, we looked at a variety of photographs that generated emotional responses from the viewers. We then talked about how the communication elements of ink, paper, fonts and pixels can be used to properly (or improperly) generate the desired emotional response for a business.
I wrapped up the keynote by presenting the new logo we recently designed for the Spokane Club's Burgundy's Restaurant.
I received a good response to the presentation and Darin and I received a round of applause when showcasing the new logo. It was a fun evening.
After developing a great regional online social networking platform in 2008, LaunchPadINW decided to change how it worked. Unfortunately, that change resulted in a lot of members bailing on the product and going to Facebook for their social networking experience.
Sometimes the best way to move forward is to go backward. That's what LaunchPadINW did. Yesterday, they admitted their error and are re-launching their social networking site back on the original Ning platform.
The way they handled the announcement was inspired. They sent out an email to members comparing their botched "upgrade" to other "Great Disasters of America's Past." While the ill-fated "upgrade" doesn't quite compare to the Titanic, Hindenburg, or Exxon Valdez, over 1,100 members were affected by the crash. LaunchPadINW is inviting "survivors" back to the original site. I know I will be happy to come back to LaunchPad.
Way to go Bill Kalivas, Bill Peabody, Allen Battle, and Michael Orr. You guys took a tough situation and came out winners.
Find out more at the LaunchPad website.
Alright, I have been making posts about design, or what has been going on at Klündt | Hosmer, and frankly, that is what a corporate blog is for. But I just came across something, that although it has nothing to do with design or visual communication, everyone who reads this blog has GOT to check this out.
On April 21, Tyler Bradt from Montana, kayaked Palouse Falls. Yeah, Palouse Falls. If you have not ever seen this waterfall in person, it is worth the two hour drive from Spokane to see it. Especially at this time of year. They are pounding. I have been there in April, and it really is inspiring. I can not imagine what it must feel like to see them over the nose of a kayak on the brink. A 186-foot drop. One-hundred-eighty-six-feet... in a kayak. A new world record.
Our SEO partner, Ed Reese tells me that it is imperative that corporate blogs contain relevant content available to search engines. OK... I will attempt to make this post relevant to a visual communication firm.
I wonder if Tyler Bradt has a LOGO? He's got his own WEBSITE, but a BROCHURE wouldn't hurt. As for a BRANDING STRATEGY, I think KLUNDT HOSMER could put something together for him (if he lives long enough to use it!)
I had a very interesting lunch meeting today with Michael Lovas and Pam Holloway. They are partners in the business consulting firm About People and authors of a new book titled, Axis of Influence–How Credibility and Likeability Intersect to Drive Success. I have known Michael and Pam for several years and am always energized by our conversations.
Their new book addresses answers to the following questions: Why do people like you or trust you? and Why do they hire you or follow you?
As visual communication consultants, my clients must trust me, my partners and staff in order to hire Klündt | Hosmer in the first place. And once they decide to hire us, what convinces them to actually follow our advice?
I have often wondered how to best gain credibility and how to leverage "likeability" or a generally friendly personality to generate new business and build relationships. It appears that Michael and Pam's book may provide me with insight into those questions.
The back cover of their book includes reviews from experts on how the human mind works. Eldon Taylor, author of "Mind Programming" says this about "Axis of Influence", "Read this book before your business associate, neighbor or significant other reads it. You'll discover the hidden thought processes that operate inside the minds of the people you seek to influence and those that seek to influence you."
Thanks to Mike and Pam, I now have a copy of their book on my desk... and expect to gain a solid understanding of how to enhance my personal "Axis of Influence." It's definitely a book I will read with a highlighter in my hand.
Yesterday, Michelle Hege of Desautel Hege Communications and I delivered a "Using New Media" presentation at the state convention of the National Association of Insurance & Financial Advisors of Washington. The event was held at the Red Lion Inn at the Park in Spokane.
We discussed the benefits of using websites and social networking (Facebook and LinkedIn) for insurance agencies and financial advisors to introduce, engage and interact with their clients and to gain new business. Using examples of branding and interactive work we have developed for Hart Capital Management, Moss Adams, and Cochrane & Company, along with DHC's research and insight into new media benefits and pitfalls, the attendees received a strong introduction to how to make use of these communication tools.
Approximately 50 people from across the state attended the lunch presentation, which concluded in a lively Q&A session.
I really enjoy working and presenting with Michelle Hege. She is a consumate professional and her knowledge and presentation style compliments my own. Desautel Hege and Klündt | Hosmer have teamed up on a wide range of branding and corporate communication projects over the years. Hopefully, yesterday's presentation will result in more work for us to do together.
This morning I attended the launch of the Spokane International District. The event was held at the Bay Market on East Sprague in Spokane. About 60 people attended the event, including neighborhood activists, business owners, city staff and elected officials.
The Spokane International District is an area of town that is going through a renaissance. International shops and restaurants are moving into the area, and a dedicated group of people are helping to make living and doing business there easier, better and more successful.
I attended the event at the invitation of Councilman Mike Allen, who is spearheading the development of the district, along with partners Impact Capital and snap! Councilman Allen asked Klündt | Hosmer if we would assist with the development of a visual identity for the district. I came to get a better sense of the neighborhood and meet the business owners and investors who are making things happen.
After the presentation, everyone was invited for refreshments at One World Spokane. If you have not visited this restaurant at 1804 E Sprague, then get over there soon. This is a non-profit organic community kitchen where you can choose your own portions and set your own price for what you eat. If funds are short, you can even exchange an hour of volunteer work for a meal. An awesome concept, and a really great place to have a great lunch or dinner. If you want to experience a one world, very unique spirit, this is the place to go.
Klündt | Hosmer is excited to see East Sprague blossom as the Spokane international District and is happy to help visually brand the neighborhood.
This morning, Tobby Hatley and a crew from Cutaway Media stopped by Klündt | Hosmer's office to shoot a video in preparation for the AGORA Awards. We were nominated by a client for this prestigious Greater Spokane Incorporated business award and went through a two-phase review and interview process on our way to becoming a finalist in the medium-sized business category.
Tobby interviewed Darin, Jean and me, asking us questions related to Klündt | Hosmer's success, our design philosophy, and where we feel our firm and industry is headed in the future. The video was shot in our smaller conference room, in front of a backdrop of artist Tim Lord's colorful "Zodiac Shoes" painting.
It was fun working with Tobby and the Cutaway Media crew on this interview. We hope that at the AGORA Awards ceremony, to be held at the Davenport Hotel on June 2, Klündt | Hosmer will be announced as the AGORA winner.
Last week I had the pleasure of having lunch at Isabella's with Ed Clark, of The Clark Company. Many of you already know Ed. He has been a Spokane advertising icon for decades, and now publishes the "How's Business?" eNewsletter, and hosts a business radio program on KXLY 920 AM.
Ed and I had a great time reminiscing over 25 years of Spokane advertising and design. Ed has an entertaining wealth of information on the evolution of the advertising industry in the region, from the days of Coons Corker Shotwell, Adams Ham Mulcahy, and Clark White & Associates, to 1980s graphic design start-ups Whynotgraphics, Spilker & Associates and Wild Bill Graphics, and on to the present time.
Much has changed in Spokane advertising and design over the years. When Klündt | Hosmer opened its doors in 1987, typesetting was still handled by Tradegraphics and Typesetting Unlimited (all gone the way of the dinosaur). Graphic designers had about 60 font families to choose from (not counting rubdown type sheets from Letraset) and most of our graphic design supplies were sold by Ratels (an art supply store) on Garland Avenue. Today's young designers would have no clue about waxers, #11 Exacto blades, parallel rules, Letraset markers, amberlith and burnishing tools... things we used every day.
I remember the first page layout program I ever purchased (in 1986), Ready Set Go! that ran on my Macintosh Plus computer. With 1 MB RAM and an external 20 MB hard drive that cost over $1,200, I was pushing the design techology envelope! Then came the Macintosh SE and PageMaker 1.2, galley output at TypePlus and a scanner that swapped out with the ribbon cartridge of my Apple Imagewriter II printer. Can you believe we designed 11" x 17" spreads on the Mac's original 8" black and white monitor?
Lunch with Ed was a nice trip down memory lane. It was great taking a look at where we've all come from and where we're going.
To subscribe to Ed Clark's "How's Business?" eNewsletter, sign-up at his website.
Klündt | Hosmer was honored last night by receiving 7 winning entries at the 2009 Spokane Regional MARCOM Association Spark Award event held at The Lincoln Center in Spokane, WA.
We'll announce details on the award-winning projects in our next "In the Spotlight" eNewsletter, but in the meantime, we CAN say that we had a great time at the event. It was wonderful catching up with friends and clients and seeing the impressive design, marketing and communications projects that were created in Spokane last year.
Our own Ashley Martin headed up the event for MARCOM and it went off without a hitch. Way to go, Ashley!
Klündt | Hosmer was a GOLD sponsor of the event, which allowed me to give a welcome "toast" to the attendees. We also held a drawing for a subsciption to Communication Arts magazine, which was won by Jennifer Van Vleet, of Coffman Engineers.
Thanks to the Spokane Regional MARCOM Association (and Ashley) for hosting such a fun event. We are proud to be associated with the organization and congratulate all of last night's winners.