November 8th, 2013
If you have a website or manage online media for your company, this article on SEO over at Medium (https://medium NULL.com/on-startups/f15264e5d790) is a must-read.
Medium is a great website, by the way. (I also wrote a post over there (https://medium NULL.com/architecting-a-life/d23beabdec32), as did Gary Vaynerchuk (https://medium NULL.com/ null@null garyvee).)
October 16th, 2013
(http://www NULL.google NULL.com/offers)Google sends me emails once a day. Their Offers program is a lot like Groupon. But sadly, they must hire interns to create Offers email ads. Or maybe businesses have the ability to create those ads. Several details were missed: a bad photo of a stack of blank DVD cases – and a click through – did not reveal what sort of Monthly Cricket Bill was advertised. And the man changing the oil appears to be under a lot of pressure from the weight of the car.
When something says Google at the top, recipients have certain expectations. Quality is one, and these ads did not deliver. Even though Google’s Offers program might be one of their smallest sources of revenue, it still reflects on their image.
Maintaining a high level of quality across everything you offer can be challenging. Stakeholders demand more and more products and levels of service. Delivery times are growing shorter and shorter. Profit margins can be razor-thin.
Sometimes a choice must be made: wide offerings with low quality or narrow offerings with high quality. Another alternative is to grow slowly enough that you have the proper infrastructure in place before you launch each new initiative.
Which way will you go?
October 8th, 2013
(http://www NULL.flickr NULL.com/photos/33288831 null@null N03/5675240248/in/photolist-9Dv6cN-nqeg8-8r3k42-6qKpds-dQJkWp-aj9LMt-7dPfns-5nww6M-58WjTT-99X974-7bzqf7)Blackberry is in the process of dying. I was surprised to see a recent Wall Street Journal editorial (http://online NULL.wsj NULL.com/article/SB10001424052702304906704579113473790334360 NULL.html) shouting the virtues of an old Blackberry phone. Mr. Allan Ripp declared to the whole world that he is not relevant within his chosen profession, press relations.
His rant against smartphones was similar to shouting in 1980 that personal computers were not a good thing. The tide has turned toward smartphones, and he needs to learn or die. It would be one thing if Mr. Ripp were in a profession unrelated to communication. Unless he experiences how many people consume news today, he will not provide press releases that work properly on smartphones.
This is not a rant against Allan Ripp. Rather, it’s a reminder to stay relevant. Be willing to try new technologies with an open mind. “Everybody’s doing it” is not a reason for you to join in, but it is a reason for you to understand what they are doing. If you want to communicate with fish, you need to learn how to swim.
Photo: Creative Commons licensed from langleyo (http://www NULL.flickr NULL.com/photos/33288831 null@null N03/5675240248/in/photolist-9Dv6cN-nqeg8-8r3k42-6qKpds-dQJkWp-aj9LMt-7dPfns-5nww6M-58WjTT-99X974-7bzqf7).
Garfield Estates (http://www NULL.garfieldestates NULL.com/) is a Colorado Western Slope winery. We have designed nearly every one of their labels.
Paul’s Christmas Ale was a very short-run ale, brewed during the cold winter of 2011.
August 8th, 2013
Perrier teamed up with Andy Warhol (http://warhol NULL.perrier NULL.com/) for a series of limited edition bottles.
The problem is that the bottles are a long way from Andy Warhol’s original art. (The top photo shows Perrier’s plastic rendition. The bottom photo shows Mr. Warhol’s art.)
Since Andy Warhol died in 1987, he cannot speak up for maintaining the integrity of his artwork. And Perrier is driven by profits, so their reproduction of his artwork is limited by cost factors.
Andy Warhol and Perrier are a good reminder that you need to stay on top of how the public sees you or your organization. You can keep your organization’s image in the best possible position by doing these things:
1. If you have a logo, make sure the latest generation is everywhere. (Yahoo did not do that. Update: Yahoo is actually trying out 30 different logos (http://www NULL.usatoday NULL.com/story/tech/2013/08/06/yahoo-is-getting-a-new-logo/2617033/) on the unsuspecting public. But for the average person, this may appear to be some kind of a mistake.)
2. If you partner with another organization, make sure they keep your identity intact. Logo Design Love has a great set of links to graphic standards manuals (http://www NULL.logodesignlove NULL.com/brand-identity-style-guides) from many major corporations. Download a few to see how that’s done.
3. Set up graphic standards for your organization. (See the link just above.) This involves things like keeping the colors consistent across everything you produce.
4. You need to have a good website and a social media presence. Give me a shout and I can help.