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 –
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:
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!
First, some definitions relating to this post –
Being = Choosing / Creative = Motivated / Productive = Happy / State = Requirement
Doing = Accepting / More = Drive / Less = Realization
Emotionality = The observable behavioral and physiological component of emotion. It is a measure of a person’s emotional reactivity to a stimulus. Most of these responses can be observed by other people, while some emotional responses can only be observed by the person experiencing them. (Wikipedia)
My aim with this post is to decipher emotionality, its key drivers and relationship to day-to-day environment and circumstance, including but not limited to, home and work life.
So, let’s start!
We moved to Abbotsford. I woke up at 6:30 AM preparing for my day. I go about the motions of getting ready – shower, makeup, hair, coffee – and in the process, I am lost. My mind is buzzing, yet it is shut off. I recognize for a brief second, but I haven’t found the reason. You could say I am slightly aware that I have not found my happy place. Too early in the morning, I suggest. Shrugging imaginary shoulders, I am okay with this, because I am just getting ready to go to work. This whole process takes time, it could probably arrive sooner (happiness) if I was paying more attention. Oh, and I should probably mention that my overnight oats make a significant difference. In making me happy. Funny, they don’t always taste so good!
I’m in my car, driving my new 8 minute commute. I feel rushed, but it’s okay, it’s not really bothering me. And so, this is my experience from weekday to weekday. The urgency in the situation is that I must recollect reasons why things are going well in my life. New job, great boss, opportunities for team work, collaboration. Fun, yet challenging projects. A ton of writing, well editing really. Weekly touchpoints. My Pinterest strategy. Our marketing video. Learning, growing, the usual stuff. But then, the things that aren’t going so well surface. I haven’t established a workout schedule, I left my yoga mat at the other place, I am stressed over what we’re going to have for dinner and about sleeping early – because that’s my new thing, sleeping at 9:45 PM. I used to be a runner. I just keep thinking about the scale!
So, my day is a choice of two states – happiness or sadness. As simple as it sounds, this is a product of my environment and circumstance and something that I have to track to ensure that I’m making choices that move me closer toward happiness. Smiling, breathing, accepting. Working, writing, being. These are just a few good things.
At work, I am beginning to see that in an endless sea of assignments (which I am able to complete), the intention of the work becomes lost stacked upon other projects, priorities and deadlines. We should always go back, perhaps a week or so later, and evaluate the work once again. Scrap that. We need to re-evaluate more often, like every other day. What was it for? Did you enjoy working on it? If not, what element made it obtrusive? Was the project completed on time? Will it be put to greater use? Will it lead to larger successes in the near or distant future? I shake my head in disapproval as I re-read this. That’s not the point, Chona. The point is, you have to do, then do again, then do more and finally rest.
In one example of choosing states, I’ve selected an image. Next, in pursuit of my happiest state, I decide to post it onto social media. The main two reasons being – I realize others will read my post and view my image and this makes me feel satisfied; and two, I am able to practice writing, designing and conceptualizing ideas and this makes me feel pleased.
The image will be broken down and some sort of analysis will occur. In this post, I have chosen a graphic image with text and the idea that I developed in my mind was pertaining to a milkshake. So, let’s call it The Milkshake. Magic. Something that obviously begets certain levels of pleasure, and contributes toward overall happiness, perhaps even eradicating sadness on the spot. A milkshake does that, as I’m well assured you are aware.
So, have a read and let me know what you think! I know we will all want a milkshake on a daily basis after this. Wink!
Do we start with the milkshake or whittle it down to the ingredients? In my opinion, productivity starts with desire (I want a milkshake), then the identification of key components (organic strawberries and maple syrup), a timeline (this will take 3 minutes), a deadline (well, it’s 7:45 am so that gives me 2 extra minutes to get to work) and result/outcome (this tastes great, could use some spinach).
A Doing More with Less stance claims that we don’t necessarily need to examine details (should I add spinach), but instead take a bird’s eye view (look at these 30 options), using creativity to discover (strawberry banana, strawberry raspberry or strawberry pineapple), contribute (let’s add maple syrup) and further existing strategies (let’s add flax and hemp seed) that may or may not need review (is this milkshake healthy).
This is where creative direction or management comes in. I will listen or be the one to direct, but know that these roles are significant.
Also, I will always argue that creativity contributes toward success on a larger scale. We may not be marketing for the milkshake company, but the nutritiously delicious and beautiful milkshake we drank at the beginning of our day or in middle of this post contributes toward performance and our overall well being. Expectations.
If an image (content + creative) has power, does it come from the creator or within? What does that say?
This post ends with a 3. That’s my mood, not a 4, not a 5, but a 3. And I do appreciate that it’s Valentine’s Day. Perhaps the issue is just that I move too fast, so I’m actually way ahead of time. Yes, that’s what it is. Exactly. Sip, sip!
At my new job, we run group presentations every Friday. This is my first contribution, which talks about 2 useful acronyms that can be leveraged in content marketing. Let me know what you think!
I worked on these two documents over the span of a year. They were presented during my second interview with I-Open Technologies and contributed toward landing the position! Have a read and I hope you enjoy them. Even though I won’t have as much time to work on Blox. Communications, I’m sure my new role will provide ample opportunity to develop and implement more exciting campaigns.
I won’t go on about the trials and tribulations of 2019, because there were too many. The year felt like a constant questioning of my best-fit existence.
This was me: So, there’s tape (and mind you, I’m pondering colour, weight and texture) on the middle of the ground and I must jump back and forth, from side to side almost every day.
In the end: I did make some spectacular connections (lol), some I hope will not expire AND I have exited on the other side (but which side of the tape, she said? L.) victorious, in my eyes.
Looking forward to fulfilling the role of Online & Digital Specialist for I-Open Technologies and their group of companies. Some keywords I hope to define and tackle – connection, automation and transformation … to the future everyone!
I created a brand strategy presentation with the hopes that it would inspire change. As mostly an introduction, I failed to address several elements, including company (Buyer) positioning, strategic factors and most importantly, key stakeholders (employees). Failures aside, I’m quite confident that I could deconstruct the design and come up with a feasible, long-term plan that would incite metrics for profitability, scalability and an improved customer experience.
The greater joy is the chance to do this work with a team. A fearless leader to look me in the eye and say, “This is amazing. But what are you going to do with it, Chona?”. And then, to be surrounded by other supportive creators; we could sit down together and come up with something rather attesting! Marketing is always about brilliance, because there are a trillion answers and a trillion more ways to approach what we do (thanks to our beautiful digital landscape!).
Enjoy #impromptus no. 3 and take note: having a template works wonders and I highly recommend it to anyone trying to develop their technical writing skills.
*Featured Image by Kasimir Severinovich Malevich | Black Cross (1923)
Here’s a rant I wrote when returning from a run a little while ago. Sometimes these ideas get stirred around during physical activity, perhaps a cocktail tumbled by adrenaline, cortisol and/or endorphins. Needless to say, it doesn’t take much energy for me to produce content, as I’ve said this time and time again. What takes energy – and time – is pairing down said content, so that it makes sense to my audience and can relate to my work as a whole. Have a read (some major thesis edits were made) and tell me this: how would we A/B test to further quantify/qualify this as an experiment?
abstract – italic (R) : Visual Transparency & Communication, what makes AI right-brained, Insight / bold (L): platforms, IT, ME, WE, US, UP sales, Currency / underlined words have DUAL meaning (typically analog vs digital
2-way communication is what we’re dealing with today. It is no longer multiple channels (which I think is still the way most dominant marketers believe it to be), but 2 separate, individually performing platforms that interact with each other, either knowingly or not.
So, say there’s Platform A and Platform B. An example of this idea is when I sat down to use Markeko’s FB Blueprint Exam Study Guide YouTube video. As platform A, I intentionally participated in communication. Markeko was Platform B and he simply took my need and fulfilled it. Now, the way this works as a 2-way communication experience is what I take from him is fed back in his direction. He may not know this, or need it, however, the point of the ‘internet of things’, is this interaction in existence.
IT (internet of things) is a thing in the air, in our system, online that is being dispersed, received, re-dispersed and transmuted into other forms. These forms utilize adaptive learning or my exploration of AI as a right-brained system. IT will impact our economy and the poverty line, because we will be able to apply it to everything (Visual Transparency/Communication). WE can begin (as marketers, social media specialists, art/creative directors) to imbue all of our work with this element.
IT is not a new element. Marshall McLuhan’s explorations of ‘medium as the message’ were done in the late 50s. But our society has changed, and we have not figured out a way to apply his concept to our new technologies. IT has been explored by many (think movies, books), but we (apparently) have a small percentage of geniuses, intellectuals and educated individuals with high IQ+EQ+PQ (Global Comprehension), so we have an enormous remainder of people left out externally.
The amazing proposition (GC) is that, again, we as marketers and social media specialists have both the ability and avenue to distribute this new form of technology, as we are catering to clients, businesses large and small, that require some form of interpretation for their business needs. We are developing their projects, campaigns and overall the content of their identity with purposeful motivation. Therefore, behind the scenes, each project or campaign where we can apply the maximum effects of visuality (Visual Transparency/Communication) will cause massive changes in branding, marketing and sales applications. This holistic approach will impact the general stream of Insight (Insight Selling – right-brained) and paired with Solution Selling (left-brained), we are fully realizing AI and what it can do, for society, culture and most importantly …
This is my notion of XE (Currency). High-quality work that only a true and talented artist can create, combined with that person’s ability to make the most abstract concepts and ideas, will turn them into (Visual Transparency/Communication) money. I say money (interchangeable with Currency/Insight), because we know WHAT this is – customers, clients, target audiences are accustomed to a high-level customer experience.
And then, it just turns into a pay-it-forward type of system. Pay me, I will pay you back, well now, let’s pay them, and finally, why not just pay the whole existing world? I am scaling the most minute, Critical Mass to create a huge tidal wave effect. Again, this effect is imbued, may or may not be intentional, but the point is, it will snowball toward to right direction, UP.
This is the way I built it. More equality, happier business owners, more enticing and vibrant ads, campaigns that focus on world change and not simply on reach vs influence.
I would love to present this idea to the CEO of Microsoft and see what he would have to say. The most brilliant thing I have experienced, just in the last week, is while studying for the FB Blueprint exam (September 2019), I’ve begun to learn these new terms, almost 100% analytical and in turn I am funneling my right-brained ideas into beautiful left-sided friction. Highly needed as my conscience purports many individuals disagree with anything termed right-brained. So then, let’s get measuring!
The below is more abstract, but perhaps you want to read it –
The strength of application lies in between ability (to develop sound) and our ability to apply (these concepts) to solutions (sight) that would impact our interaction with customers. I often develop concepts in sets of 2. I believe DUALITY is a great way to present information (internally and externally), because it provides CHOICE (to see and/or hear). And everyone likes to choose what they think is BEST for them. This is where my Seller & Buyer persona study began – choosing a WAY to communicate, to tell a story, to sell/buy a TALENT, that’s IT/ME/WE/US/UP!
And so, can you see how we hear things together?
I just wanted to break down the steps that were involved in developing a digital marketing startup agency. Now, I don’t have a formal background in business or marketing, so it’s taken me awhile to put all this information together. One thing I know about being a mostly abstract thinker is that, following a logical progression based on reasoning and detail is a lot easier than gathering data that is specific to a certain cause and effect. So, this is my attempt at quantifying and qualifying the work I did at VanWhistle Media. Note: I am no longer affiliated with the company. The reason why I left was that my creative vision did not align with the founder’s business style. The owner is always in charge – #winknudge! Jeremiads aside, I am now identifying with the title Creative Director because my work crosses over the walls of artistry into a very consummate dedication toward design and strategy.
If you have any feedback, I am all ears. Please reach out!
Duration: 6-month contract
Goal: To establish company through brand development and product awareness.
Outcome: Sizing market, understanding market potential and organizational design.
It seems I’m always saying it’s been awhile…
This #impromptus was inspired by a late night stroll on social media. There are a ton of relevant ideas floating around LinkedIn and one particular video by Simon Sinek Inc. spoke about measuring success based on momentum. I relate to that idea, because my own work is based on the journey or process and the amount of energy, force, power or strength that can be gathered for my benefit or my clients’. Great value can be found when we step away for determined time frames, so that every element of the story can be reconsidered or put into context. For the type of artist that I am, I pound out content ad infinitum. So when I heard Simon hail momentum, I too thought – this is where I am. This past month, I’ve been learning to apply my work toward specific goals and a targeted audience, which is why I like defining my projects within campaigns. This allows me to compartmentalize content and I can begin to categorize my ideas. I’m sure in the future this will amount to greater output and ultimately quantifiable results, but for now it is accurate to say, I’m all about explorations.
One thing’s for sure – if you’re losing sleep at night over your ideas, they are tied to your brain. Let them float away or they will never take full form or function.
With that said, goodnight!
I was excited about creating these designs. The work was produced using Canva and took about 30 hours (including printing and assembling) to complete. I left out the personal part of my proposal, but I hope you can derive a positive sentiment from the style + tone I chose to go after!
This portion of the proposal defines a brand strategy in three parts – the social media aspect (WHAT), art direction aspect (HOW) and digital specialty aspect (WHY). At best, these aspects are shared and applied to a project equanimously in order create a sweet spot, ‘the magic’ or WHERE and WHEN true potential can emerge.
This whole concept is derived from Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle Theory which purports that great organizations create their foundation by addressing WHY they exist, HOW they go about their mission, and then finally, WHAT they do.
In my model, social media is used as a product or service we sell, however this can be changed to web development, SEO, email marketing etc.
The HOW is the people who are involved in the project. It is what sets us apart from the competition. It is what makes us unique and indispensable.
Lastly, WHY is the ultimate outcome. Very few organizations know WHY they do what they do. Why is not about making money. That’s a result. Why is a purpose, cause or belief. It’s the very reason your organization exists.
In synergy, any set of core values can be realized. In my model, I value belief, faith, trust and love. As a brand strategist, my ultimate outcome paints a beautiful picture for both the seller and buyer. The PICTURE is the agency differentiating itself from competitors. WHERE and WHEN this occurs impacts results – profitability, scalability and customer experience.
Have a look at this brief slideshow and let me know what you think –
Remember, there is always room for further or greater interpretation. This is the sweetness of advertising. Branding is the #1 method we can use to portray our message, whether that message be creative, technical or both, a brand is responsible for defining who we are and what we do!