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Creative Combustion Blog

Marketing and branding tips for the badass small business owner.

Showing 1 posts originally aired in November 2011

November 29, 2011

Give Your Customers A Little Something Extra

Drive-by Truckers encore

Great rock bands have been doing it for decades. They deliver a monster show. They work their audience into a fever pitch. Finally, after a few bows, they make their way off of the stage as the crowd roars. But they know the concert’s not over—not until they come out for an encore. Sure they could head straight for the tour bus, but instead great rock bands always give their fans more. 

That was exactly what happened when the Drive-By Truckers (pictured above) made a stop in Pittsburgh. After they finished their set, they came back out for a hand clapping, hard charging southern rock encore. The crowd LOVED it. I LOVED it. And that got me thinking about how much I love it when small businesses give their customers that little something extra. 

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November 22, 2011

Celebrate Small Business Saturday

Jerry's Records small business storefront

There’s just something about small businesses that you have to love. The unique character and product selection you can’t find at big box retailers. The pride of ownership that permeates through their employees.

Jerry's Records in Squirrel Hill, PA

When you stop and think about it, small businesses are the one thing that makes each city or town different from all of the others.

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November 17, 2011

Using Twitter To Generate Leads And Drive Engagement

nowait tweet to eat twitter marketing campaign

Looking for a creative way to leverage Twitter to generate leads and connect with your followers?

NoWait, creators of a really cool App designed to help eliminate long waits at popular restaurants, asked their Twitter followers to recommend those they think could use their queue management and mobile marketing solution. As part of their  “Tweet to Eat” sweepstakes, participants also have the chance to win a $50 restaurant gift card for their efforts.

If you’re a small business owner and you’ve been thinking about using social media to help generate leads and drive engagement, there are definitely a few key takeaways from their campaign you should consider.

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November 16, 2011

What’s Your Small Business Vibe?

locally owned restaurant atomosphere

Friendly? Uptight? Hipster? Disheveled? Disinterested? Every small business has a vibe. And it typically plays a HUGE part in defining your small business brand. In fact, I would argue it’s often more important than any product or service you’re selling. Your customers experience it the moment they walk in your front door. It shapes the way they perceive you, your products and your services. It defines their shopping experience.

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November 15, 2011

Making The Most Of Your Holiday Email Campaigns

holiday display

This is a Guest Post by Campaigner Product Manager Paul Turnbull

34% of small businesses are implementing their first holiday email marketing campaign this year. That’s according to an internal survey we recently conducted at Campaigner. Since the holidays are the most critical time of the year to attract new customers and boost sales, it’s vital those first timers understand how to effectively create and distribute their email campaigns if they’re going to have a successful and profitable holiday season.

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November 11, 2011

Building A Community Around Your Ecommerce Store

Shopify sign

I recently had the chance to write a guest post for the folks over at Shopify, makers of awesome online stores for businesses large and small. Tons of cable companies and internet providers advertise how easy it is to start an online business, but none of them ever talk about what you need to do once you're online to actually build a successful business.

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November 4, 2011

New Look

New homepage for ShawnGraham.me small business marketing website

Images help to tell a story. When I first launched my website back in April, I used an image of an open road to greet visitors and to represent the idea of the journey ahead for potential clients. 

The passing lane symbolized speed—blowing past the competition. The bright light beaming over the horizon symbolized the potential of what lies ahead—the successful completion of the project.

Although it worked, I decided it was time to go in a different direction. I needed to find an image that captured the true essence of my focus on marketing and brand strategy for badass small businesses.

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November 2, 2011

Obsessive Design And Grassroots Marketing Help MINIMAL Snag Multiple Awards

TikTok + LunaTik iPod nano watch kit

Right around this time last year, Scott Wilson and the folks at MINIMAL used crowdfunding powerhouse Kickstarter.com to help bring their TikTok + LunaTik iPod nano watch kits to life. In just 30 days, they were able to raise more than $900K making them the unofficial crowdfunding poster child.

Earlier today, Scott Wilson and the folks at MINIMAL beat out thousands of other iPod accessories to win iLounge’s “2011 Readers’ Choice Award-Accessory Maker of the Year”—an award based entirely on popularity and votes. Their story is particularly interesting for small business owners and entrepreneurs on two fronts. 

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