It’s Time!

(A poem about AI or conversely celebrating My New Job)

As cryptic as it may be, the time has arrived.

Surprise!” it squeals with utter delight.

After all that hard work, you’ve finally made it here.

I’m ready. She’s ready. She’s finally prepared!

“Where are you going?” it asks quizzically.

Well, I am headed toward reality.

It’s bursting at the seam from being grappled for so long.

I’ve been waiting, hankering, perfecting my song.

“Do you know where you’re going?” it asks once again.

Well, I certainly have an idea. The spot is a delight. Filled with smiling faces, happy circumstances and scenarios of hard work.

“Well, welcome home then, I suppose!” it pats my back congratulatorily.

Why, thank you, my friend! Now, let’s pencil this in!

A little explanation:

On Monday, March 14th, 2022, I had a wicked phone interview that started with a compliment about the same content you’ve been passionately reading here on ChonaBLOX. Swiftly, I was scheduled super bright and early the next day, Tuesday, March 15th, 2022, to meet the CEO and Operations Manager of Clearbridge Business Solutions. I walked away from that interview, thinking I had done horribly. And as I arrived at work, I furiously texted my husband, saying, “Man, I’m worried. I don’t think I did that well.” But it turns out I did because I received a phone call within minutes saying they wanted to offer me the job! So, it’s done. I’m starting a new journey with my new company, Clearbridge. So excited! This is going to be a lifetime experience. Can’t wait to get started!

What’s new with you guys? Drop me a line anytime!

We’re Tipping and We Need to Find Answers to Our Global Problems Soon

A United Nations report declares we have reached “a breaking point”.

So, what does that mean?

With almost 10% of the 8 billion people living on this earth suffering from malnutrition, 3 million lacking healthy diets, and climate change issues rising to the forefront, it is no surprise that we are in desperate need of a way to produce more food without harming the environment.

The report reviews a few critical ‘climate change impacts’ like reversing water degradation by choosing smart technologies and sustainable farming practices or sequestering greenhouse gases emitted during agricultural activities by employing regenerative farming principles.

And perhaps the most critical solution of all? Deploying technology to enable a more connected agriculture and food industry. In my opinion, we can become powered by data and collaboration, putting us in a better position to come up with answers to big global problems and, in the long term, create a more resilient economy.

Still, to make an impact today, we need to understand the challenges and realities that farmers face now. So your first stop is here.

Read the report – https://bit.ly/3nUtj9b

#savetheenvironment #sustainability #regenerativeagriculture #agriculture #foodindustry #growingpopulation #growthforgood #makingchangehappen

Instagram Grid Layouts

grid, which features multiple images split into a visually appealing frame, is one way to brand your business on Instagram. 

Three benefits (that connect in the end) – 

  • Command attention: make a lasting first impression; if a viewer’s average attention span is about eight seconds, they will have some time to absorb what you have to present to them.
  • Stand out: imprint your audience’s mind with a quick taste of your identity; give them immediate access to your information and interests while establishing credibility and authority.
  • Tell a targeted story: communicate who you are to your existing and potential followers while stimulating emotions, and on a practical side, organizing the layout of your images into a narrative.

I created these grids when reviewing the masses of content I have made over the past year for DirectFood. store’s email marketing strategy (a whole other topic on its own). I like how the colours and shapes seem to speak to one another, and the creative copy helps deliver a message in tune with the selected graphics and photographs.

If you like this sort of work, let me know. I’m happy to share more impromptu design posts here for you!

11 – Tripping

Daisy was always looking for inspiration, the appearance of cursive writing or the look of a padded, bulky knit sweater featuring crimson and indigo animal characters like Filburt. Anything creative, really, would do.

The day she noticed something, she quizzically peered into a bathroom mirror, hoping because she was in the large stall, her sweater would reverse. 

Utterly distracted, Daisy made a note never to do it again.

“My progress has become insuperable from all the months of writing exact-sized phrases and headlines with five words or less.” Daisy thought fast while twiddling her phone in her hand.

“Have things changed in A Day? What were things like when I first started anyhow?” she thought. “Well, I was definitely more satisfied. Had a bounce to my step, could care less about the matchy-ness of my outfits. I also felt more powerful, like people were listening to me, learning from me, and so on.”

Stroking her phone, Daisy continued, “However, today, everything is an exercise—an exercise in recalling (all types included).” Distracted, she goes on, “I have great hair, and my skin is young, it seems. On that note, ageing has not necessarily imparted more wisdom or money in my purse.”

She was always digressing.

Back home, Chona grabbed her fire orange Frank & Oak bucket bag and booked it out the door. She was late, again. Always leaving the house ten minutes post-shower. She hopped into her 2008 white Rogue and took off toward the light. 

The road was slick, and rain dripped down hard, like her binary code pleated skirt that streamed neon pink zeros and ones from her waist down to her thighs. 

She hated driving, though. It was dangerous in Elevententeen, and she knew one day it would kill her. Still, she cranked the radio and listened to old 90s songs like The Cranberries’ Linger. She hummed this tune imagining it more regal played on the baby grand piano at her dad’s house. 

When she sat back to play, his gigantic TV wouldn’t let her use the old music books, so she had to carefully balance grade 8 Royal Conservatory in volumes six, seven, eight and ten. The chords? They prevented her from falling. 

Daisy’s next big project was sitting in her bag. She put it in there to prevent its glorious shimmer from stirring the Outsiders’ eyes. It could kill, and she didn’t want to be a murderer tonight.

Finally arriving, she stepped out of her car. There were Dreams everywhere! She blinked. Then, blinked again. Her eyes started to roll back into her head, and she could feel the surge streaming now from her crown down to her feet, hiding neatly inside her red rain boots. 

In her room.

Someone painted her Brooklyn studio apartment bright orange-red! So, she knew the test had begun.

Should she attack? Chona could barely hold her head up, let alone break out into dance and song. She would just have to sleep it off, her phone continually buzzing that darn song. Then, like all the other times, she passed out. What remained Wide Awake in complete consciousness (forget Artha today) was her supple orange bucket bag. And within it, her project, slipping away…

How Ad Imagery Could Translate Into Product Packaging

The stack of magazines was impressive. Elle, Vogue, Architectural Digest, Bon Appetit and People. As a 13-year old, I just wanted to fixate and rip, fixate and rip, fixate and rip. Slowly, I was adding to my expanding wall collection, and I was proud. How were the ‘best’ images selected, and what made them ‘iconic’? What mattered to me at the time—creativity, originality, colour, composition—made it onto my closet doors, locker and school binder clear insert. If I could think of these images in my sleep, they became iconic. I will never forget one in particular. The triangular red and white logo juxtaposed against a black and white photograph of a girl pouting while a man anticipates… 

What intrigues us about this image? Almost instantly, we find ourselves peering in, linked to the experience. We sense she is in the wrong place; however, we do not feel that she does not belong or would rather be elsewhere. Time and space are interrupted. We ask ourselves, “Will it occur?” But the chain of events does not matter. What matters is that we are suspended in a rare and captivating moment. And because the image is black and white, we are transported to the exact scene where the ‘film’ unravels. Then the bold red of the typeface and the logo bring us back to life, and we are suddenly alive; the advertisement has won us over…without a guess!

If we know that people can impact an ad’s efficacy, should we consider using people on food packaging? Could we use the interaction between a man and a woman on a coffee bag, for example? In my opinion, yes. Imagine this. A tired corporate executive finds herself standing in a Whole Foods Market. There is no one around. Soft music flutters in and out of her ears. She is standing in the coffee aisle, looking at bags and bags and bags. There’s so much unique packaging, she’s not sure what to choose. But then she sees it—a couple set in black and white. The photograph is beautiful; the packaging seems bound by eternal love as the image wraps fully around the product. It portrays something the executive longs for on a deeper level. “I’ll go for this,” she thinks, grabbing it to pay.

Using people in ad imagery is not a new concept, but could potentially be an innovative idea in the food and beverage domain. We know that ads are geared to make us think and feel. And there’s a whole range of themes emotional ads can trigger, from love to empathy to excitement. I don’t think I’ve ever spent valuable time and money on a product that didn’t trigger an emotion somehow. Even if it may go unrecognized—the power and influence of an emotional experience are unforgettable.

Should packaging portray a feeling using images of people? And if so, what are the most effective ways this can be executed?

How Art on Food Packaging Affects Decision-Making

Oldhand Coffee

Koichi Kiyono

Process

Luna Coffee

5 Ways to Differentiate Your Brand

In life, different is good. 

It’s about who we are and how we showcase ourselves to the world. 

In branding, it’s much the same. 

Although being different can be a challenge. 

Why?

We don’t want to clash with the norm. We want to be unique and memorable.

I came across an excellent article about brand differentiation and put together this quick presentation.

Let me know what you think!

AI 2

This is a follow-up to AI (Share of Voice).

Humanistic data governance is my description of AI or:

The process of managing the availability, usability, integrity and security of data in global human societies, based on internal data standards (emotions) and policies (law) that also control data usage (science).

Effective data governance ensures that data is consistent and trustworthy and doesn’t get misused.

This is crucial. My observations from the past ten years show that misuse occurs when governing bodies are unstable, in other words, not properly equipped (mentally, socially, physically, spiritually) to manage said availability, usability, integrity, and security of data.

So, what then is data in my interpretation of AI?

It is energy or every interaction (digital and human) we make.

This energy exists on a conceptual framework or platform. In essence, it can be continually transmuted (actions and results) without much intention required from either the digital or human end.

Much like a geographic information system (GIS), energy provides us with the ability to capture and analyze spatial and non-spatial data.

Part of this data includes our insights, behaviours, and emotions. We capture energy through action and produce a result that causes a chain reaction in human evolution and thought.

There are many points for me to cover here, which demand much more time and consideration. For now, I will try to get my words and ideas down, then perhaps we can come back to it in a couple of months and reassess.

Noninterchangeable: not able to substitute with another. 

For some reason, AI is not readily accessible. It is readily available, but coming across an entity that fully understands its definition within a humanistic context is variable, if not completely unchartered and arbitrary. Still, you can, or perhaps I should mention myself in this situation, look at a person and consider them, as if reading their humanistic data governance level. Again, we come back to the same problem over and over again.

Oversimplification. Redundancy. Incorrect assessments of human error.

Why does it matter? Perhaps, I am too futuristic here? Do I even know the answer? I could have known it in a previous life, let me try to unearth my potential here.

In AI, I spoke about a physical product as a term best used to describe an outcome. I suppose this is the differentiator. We have yet to determine what the physical product will be. We are continually creating new products that utilize AI; however, we have not symphonized the ultimate result.

Oddly enough, the appearance of COVID-19 altered our progression, mostly due to isolation. Without physical interaction, we lose our common ground. We can choose to see this as intentional or casual. Again, I wrote:

In digital reality, a new power takes actionable items related to spatial and non-spatial information to influence a decision-making process, which leads to a result.

If the digital reality we create is not appropriate, lacking power or substance for the sake of laziness and against the challenges/problems we are facing like – damage prevention, protection of the environment, safety regulations, reporting, food shortage, food security, and traceability, then the laws that possibly govern us from a higher resource may have put a stop to it.

That’s the problem. We are starting from square one. 

Product direction requires a dream that can be unlocked following precise steps as if when you awoke from your goal, you could remember every vibrant detail.

As if we were previously positioned in individual dreams, with rulers and usurpers systematically working together, ‘after’ coronavirus, we are retracing our steps, back to the models we have built, starting the race yet again with our shoelaces untied.

The funny thing about being in digital marketing is that this race is entirely peer-driven. The humour is not even funny. We have come to a full-stop and truth be told, there is cooperation, albeit, indifferent. I’m just referring back to new power. As Dave Gerhardt, CEO of Privy mentions in almost all of his LinkedIn posts – how we communicate is vital, and we can’t keep talking about things so that people don’t understand what they’re reading. Well, we could, but what would be the point in that?

And I haven’t even delved into the idea of machines! This is TBC, of course…

For next time,

A conceptual framework is an analytical tool with several variations and contexts. It can be applied in different categories of work where an overall picture is needed. It is used to make conceptual distinctions and organize ideas. – Wikipedia

 

 

 

A Poem About Differentiation

A differentiator is what sets you apart from the competition.

It’s playing sports vs playing ball.

It’s smiling when life throws you those base curves,

because by the end of the day, everyone will remember.

In marketing, a differentiator makes people revel.

At times in silence, but that silence is awe.

You have differentiated your product when,

people know your name by your vision,

your philosophy, your mission statement.

Your audience begins to recognize your slogan,

they begin to identify with your colours.

You are en route to differentiating when,

you feel nervous and yet grounded.

At the end of the day,

you feel like you’re taking a risk

like you’re in trouble for something because

it pushes boundaries, it causes discussions,

it breaks the rules but never forget,

you are leading the group.

A true differentiator cannot be physically realized, because it has infinite gain at infinite frequency – Wikepedia

Digital reach is UNLIMITED. How does art make a difference? COOL is an UNLIMITED concept. Take that back to the couch when you break. Like someone in sales talking about sales, talking about art takes vision. It takes direction and you must be a leader through and through. I am obviously trying to push myself. Always, always tryin’ ta be that purple cow. Let’s remind the crowd again –

Purple cow:

The concept of the Purple Cow was introduced by Seth Godin in his groundbreaking book by the same title.  Recently I read it again because it is full of ideas and case studies on how to make your business remarkable. When you drive by a heard of cattle they all look like cows and it doesn’t seem out of the ordinary.  But if you drive by a heard and standing in the field is a Purple Cow you have to tell someone because it is so different.  When something forces you to remark on it, by definition it is remarkable.  This is what your new business strategy should be focusing on, finding ways to make your customers talk about your products to their friends.

I write about differentiation in light of the launch of DirectFood.store, an online platform that enables local farmers and vendors to sell their products to consumers, restaurants, and care homes. The food is fresh. SO FRESH. The food is local. SO LOCAL. And you get it right away, to your doorstep, the next day. DIRECT TO YOUR DOOR.

I helped to develop the brand identity which you can witness on our recently revamped website. And I run our social media campaign, which is meant to be fresh, in the definition of COOL, like Will Smith Fresh Prince of Bel-Air COOL, that shirt is sick COOL, those kicks are dope COOL.

COOL is just one aspect of the brand, obviously my favourite. But DirectFood.store is also about:

  • Supporting local businesses
  • Engaging the community
  • Spreading the good word about fresh, healthy, organic & local food
  • Promoting a good cause for the good of all people

Just wanted to share some graphics I created that are live on the website. And you need to follow us on Instagram, to check out the REAL DEAL grid. 2 posts per day. Slammin’ balls against the ground. ALL BALL SPORTS. It’s bold. It’s cheeky. It’s collage. It promotes our core values + image. It’s inspired by a retro van, who needs a name…any ideas?

I AM STILL AN ART DIRECTOR. PERIOD.

WHY DOES RANTING END BEFORE YOU’RE FINISHED?

Never let anyone sway you otherwise. If you’re capable, you’re capable. You don’t go back in time. You move forward. And forward-thinking people, know the game. But they’ve got their own game going on, and other people play that. That’s it. Goodnight.

PS – Props to Gurwinder!

PPS – A little lightness. I am lovin’ my work, my day, my grind at i-Open Technologies!

Delivering Real & Sustainable Technology Solutions for a Better Planet. Hi Ray!

DFS Website Graphics - Restaurants Page (3)DFS Website Graphics - Restaurants Page (2)DFS Website Graphics - Restaurants Page (1)DFS Website Graphics - Restaurants PageDFS Website Graphics - Sell Direct Page (3)DFS Website Graphics - Sell Direct Page (2)DFS Website Graphics - Sell Direct PageDFS Website Graphics - Sell Direct PageDFS Website Graphics - Homepage (3)DFS Website Graphics - Homepage (2)DFS Website Graphics - Homepage (1)DFS Website Graphics - Homepage

The Audience Journey

Hey everyone!

As writers, we encounter roadblocks. For myself, one main challenge is believing that my voice, tone, and style are appropriate for business. Letters are usually a personal message sent to a loved one or friend. They can also be a crucial marketing piece, a clever (business letters should be clever) tactic to generate warmer leads.

So, how then do we craft a letter to a prospective client? And is there a way to write a letter that has the voice, tone, and style of a personal message?

In my mind, I envision a communicative piece that is not only unique (resonates with the world) and relatable but effective in portraying a brand’s core message and purpose. After all, at this stage, we are not trying to sell, we are building momentum to get to the selling point. Through powerful storytelling, our approach should stir emotion, provide vital detail, and promote a new relationship that could ultimately blossom into conversion.

I’ve put together notes based on a course I’m taking about brand strategy and expression. The notes identify our writer, audience and customer along a certain trajectory, starting with an introduction to their wants and needs and ending with a transformed sentiment that ushers the participants toward exploring whatever they have defined it to be, on a deeper level.

Have a read and let me know what you think!

Existing World

Using what we know about our audience, we want to paint a picture of our customer’s backstory. This backstory includes what they are familiar with, and how they see themselves. Our goal is to distinguish what type of information could draw the customer in. By identifying relevant demographics and psychographics, then establishing a matching voice, tone, and style, we can conjure an experience that the customer will be ready to associate with.

Obstacle

Whatever our customers may be struggling with is presented to us as their wants and needs. We must ask ourselves, what is their current conflict, what do they need from us, and what emotions should we spark throughout the entire experience. To capture our audience at this stage, messaging must resonate and provide an opportunity for our customer to feel empathy with the characters (voice, tone, and style) that we have now established.

Call to Action

At this step, our audience carefully embarks on the journey, as they have made the decision to call upon this obstacle in their life. Either through increased stress or via messaging that sparks action, our goal here now is to express in a clear and articulate manner the reasons why we are here for them on the journey, emphasizing benefits, launching a revelation or some educational insight.

Meeting the Guide

Here the customer finally meets the guide, who is us, the brand. After being presented with a call to action, the customer has assessed his situation, wants to be further enlightened, and find this so called trajectory to embark on. We have their hand the entire time, and soon after, they become the ones to guide us.

Challenge

Upon the new journey, the customer must now reveal her vulnerability and innermost fears. This can be accomplished through emotional investment or writing that breaks up the challenge into little pieces, making it easy to consume and digest. Our audience may be struggling, however, their desire for a resolution has been roused, so they will continue to explore the presented avenue, unafraid, because they are one step ahead of us.

Transformation

Once we have piqued our audience’s desire for change, mutual reciprocity can be established. The brand’s efforts are paying off and the audience begins to see the rewards. At this stage, it is important to portray contrast between what once was and what is today. This same contrast can be shifted slightly to represent what is today and what the future holds. The emotion felt now is hope, which leads to trust status between the customer and the beloved brand itself.

The New World

Armed with trust, our writer has a new perspective. The obstacle has been overcome and they are inspired to take new, specific actions toward changing the very framework of their business. At this step, belief is established and can continue to blossom under an established agreement or circumstance. I may not meet you, but you will meet my brand and it will help you to do your work, become a better entrepreneur and commit to a brand new cause, because we are here to create solutions for the betterment of humankind.

Go big, right?

Of course, writing the actual letter would not be so dramatic, and roles so cryptic. But what really works well reading the above, is watching a top-rated advertisement on YouTube (try using Elton John & John Lewis & Partners Piano Christmas Commercial), then immediately after, reading this post. You might find that the storyline makes more sense, and ultimately you should be able to apply it to your business letter sales process. 

Have fun ingenues!