Creative Combustion Blog
Marketing and branding tips for the badass small business owner.
Showing 1 posts originally aired in January 2012
January 25, 2012
Small businesses are always looking for ways to engage their customers by putting promotional postcards in shopping bags, handing out pens and pencils with their logos on them, or asking customers to fill out a brief survey following their visit.
When you get it right, your customers will take action. When you get it wrong, those takeaways will wind up in the nearest garbage can or recycling bin, you’ll be out a buck or two for the cost of producing them, and you’ll miss the opportunity to create a dialogue with your customers.
So how can you use your promotional materials to drive social engagement?
January 23, 2012
It’s one thing to use straight forward, matter-of-fact status updates to talk about your daily lunch special or a new product.
It’s another when every word you choose drips (like the cheddar and horseradish sauce pictured above) with excitement over what you’re selling (or sharing).
The folks at Joe’s Doghouse, a hotdog cart located on the campus of Carnegie Mellon University, could have just posted “Cheeseburger with horseradish sauce and fried onions” and called it a day. But they didn’t.
January 19, 2012
This is a guest post by graphic artist and illustrator Melissa Ott.
As a designer, logos are something I have an intimate knowledge of. I love them. I study them. I observe them everywhere I go.
Unfortunately, I find a lot of small businesses either don’t have a logo or, if they do, have a DIY version that they threw together in about 5 minutes using Microsoft Word.
I’m not sure what the fear is among small business owners; maybe the idea of working with a designer to create an awesome logo seems overwhelming, expensive or inconvenient.
While it can be all of those things, I’m here to tell you it doesn’t have to be any of them.
January 10, 2012
QR codes have always seemed to have so much promise.
They’re the hipster cousin of a UPC barcode--they’re really cool looking and they’re a little mysterious.
When they started popping up at businesses everyone hoped they’d be the that “one thing” that would allow shoppers to quickly and easily bridge the digital divide. They wanted their customers to use QR codes to connect with their products, websites, mobile apps, and promotions. But they just haven’t caught on. At least not yet.
January 5, 2012
It all started with a short video clip from Gary Vaynerchuk and an innocent Facebook status update. What resulted was a nice little debate about whether going viral is an effective marketing tactic. Nothing like a little social media action to get the blood pumping before tonight’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy.
In Gary’s clip, an aspiring entrepreneur with stars in his eyes decides to go for the Hail Mary of all Hail Marys by asking Gary to tweet about his business to all of his followers. Gary commends the guy for his hutzpah, then quickly shoots him down for the bush league move.
Did the attempt to go viral work?
January 4, 2012
You have a great business and a great new product and you really want to be featured in TechCrunch or “insert name here” publication.
But here’s the thing—so does everyone else. The more prominent the blogger or media outlet, the harder it is to get noticed.
Although the PR industry hasn’t entirely come to grips with it, the age of skillfully crafted press release has gone the way of the dodo bird.
If you’re a small business owner and you’re trying to get some love from bloggers or the main stream media, you’re going to have to try something different.
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Over 10+ years as a marketing consultant, Fast Company blogger, and university director, Shawn has worked, interviewed, and partnered with hundreds of CEOs, entrepreneurs, and senior executives from innovative and highly successful businesses. Continue reading »
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