I wanted to share some recent social media work I developed for DirectFood.store. Check it out and let me know what you think!
Brand strategy is my passion. What are you passionate about?
I compiled these images, which are re-designs (content has also been revised) of the original images in my post Brand Strategy and from the Recent Works – Direct Mail Proposal project I did in October. What do you think of the new design? It was inspired by mid-century modern graphic design. I did a whole series of work based on some images from a book titled, Mid-Century Modern Graphic Design by Theo Inglis. I will put together a #bloxbooks post about it soon. In the meantime, enjoy the work below. I am open to a discussion anytime, reach out!
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!
Let me know what you think of this project!
In my next few posts, I will showcase elements extracted from a direct mail proposal I created about brand strategy. The images below are a continuation of my Seller & Buyer persona study (also see image description in Previous Projects) and comment on the social aspect of selling and buying in the marketing industry.
Here is a pertinent excerpt from another relatable post Brand Names –
For example, we (Sellers & Buyers) make the same, dedicated connections when observing a special life experience. Then, this can be observed through products and services. We recall brand names and in the long-term, we remember who you are for what you can bring to the table. Then, the name you have chosen to attach to your products and/or services will become synonymous and eventually engrained in time.
The original document was printed on glossy cardstock and sized like a 10″ vinyl record cover. They were presented in a stack, so that the viewer could lay them out on a table and take in a visual and sensory experience.
I placed a variation of the BLOX rabbit mascot in the bottom right hand corner of the images, the seller mascot wearing the creative BLOX logo and the buyer mascot wearing the technical BLOX logo. I’ve just recently defined this aspect of my brand and have much more to explore regarding it in the future.
Here’s an interesting article you should read – Why people focus on the right-hand side of a design taken from creativebloq.com.
I am futuristic and that’s final. My mind lives in the future. Theoretically, I train envisioning that we can live in an entirely digital space. Practically, we live in this space doing regular things, but we also fend for ourselves using our brains. Oh, so this is life! Let’s put a couple of examples into perspective. Note: this post is starting to examine the concept of ‘internet of things’.
Abstract – thing / being / human / agreeance / motion
We live on a physical planet where issues like climate change are just beginning to surface. This a real and serious thing. A 16-year-old climate change activist from Sweden, Greta Thunberg is fighting with global politicians pleading, “How dare you!” Her statement is full of impatience. Does this quantify or qualify the time it has taken to have a crisis like climate change in focus? Now envision, in an utmost technologically advanced society, affecting the outcome of global issues via thought. Think about this – do Thunberg’s words permeate:
an action / integrity / longevity (experience) *creativity +strength
a brand / transparency / visuality (capability) *productivity -weakness
In certain applications that are already in place, we could debate the efficacy of an activist’s approach. However, would there be more power in advertising or marketing a cause if the objective considered certain design elements or art attributes? How do we implicate values like belief, trust and faith into a balanced and harmonious solution? And what would be the outcome of such an act? More opportunities? Less threats?
Think ads, television, movies, radio, books.
If those in charge of operating the goods either 1 – don’t fully comprehend new technologies due to incumbent roles and desires of maintaining diplomatic consensus or 2 – need to allocate funds to get everything in place, this does not mean they’re not participating in or understanding at all. And I’m talking highly established and evolved grey matter here! Executives of all sorts know, but the argument could be that we may potentially lack tacit knowledge and this is required to engage with younger generations or for that matter, older ones too. Throes of people that might already comprehend digitization (including all levels of being – thing, human etc.) are waiting for two things – a revolution and massive change. How is it going to pan out?
An example of Global Comprehension at work –
Do you remember when Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg endured a 2-day congressional inquisition on the possibility that his company helped to fix Trump’s election campaign by intentionally (or unintentionally) releasing Facebook user data?
- What was that all about?
- How would you explain it to a Baby Boomer, Millennial or Digital Native?
- How did this issue affect us in terms of technology?
- How did this issue affect us in terms of marketing and advertising?
- How did this issue affect us in relation to design?
- Does it bear any importance?
- How do we begin to explain these types of situations without being merely journalistic or too afraid to elaborate in a caption?
- Should it matter and why?
We are honourably asking, what does Facebook incentivize and why? Personally, I think they are doing something amazing and are truly planning for our future.
In spite of everything, both Thunberg and Zuckerberg bear weight and responsibility representing modern dilemmas that many people don’t want to talk about. Or perhaps won’t or can’t.
Q: So, what are these dilemmas that require Global Comprehension?
A: Critical mass (Thunberg example) and artificial intelligence (Zuckerberg example)
Hypothetical Solution: recognizing power in unanimity (Thunberg example/things in agreeance) and leading with a ‘Productive Creative’ brain (Zuckerberg example/things in motion)
Note: the term Productive Creative is explored in Hustle & Float, a book by Rahaf Harfoush, a strategist, digital anthropologist, best-selling author and Executive Director of the Red Thread Institute of Digital Culture. She also teaches “Innovation & Emerging Business Models” at SciencesPo in Paris. This quote explains Productive Creative further –
But what happens when the product or service we are providing becomes more intangible in nature? The economy’s gradual shift to include more knowledge work meant that creativity was suddenly a highly desirable trait. That’s where the Productive Creatives came in: to stay relevant and profitable in a rapidly evolving economy, companies desperately needed problem solvers, strategic thinkers, and idea generators. This new type of work created a ripple within traditional workplaces, which now struggled to apply the same clear-cut approach to the creative class. Organizations had to adapt the decades-old systems that developed standardized organizational capabilities to ones that cultivated individual experts who could respond to market conditions with agility.
It would be time to show people – from all walks of life – what is actually going on. There is no need to be livid or paranoid or just plain complacent; if we just had Global Comprehension in place!
So let us say that today, we have the power, we have the goods, and we most definitely have the stage to set our differences aside and come up with new and inventive ways to approach our problems. So, the question becomes – can we altruistically and artificially fix problems like climate change? Could all the world’s brains come together and compute a solution that’s entirely technical (it could just be code of us walking around – engineering a practical application of semantics and proxemics really), but that would emote a creative shift in the planet’s thought processes, all things included? Without the desire to push our creative and technical limits, we will not progress. We will not move forward with fundamental ideas like artificial intelligence or critical mass.
If we can understand the essential framework of these new systems, future generations can develop and implement changes. Gen Y will test and research, then together, all generations can draw some very much needed transparent, accurate and responsible conclusions. The funny thing is, when the revolution (arguably renaissance even) is over and done with, what will be left? In other words, if there is no dilemma, did the dilemma even exist in the first place? This is my theory on Practicality – one planet, 1 human!
Today, let’s be practical (according to http://www.dictionary.com):
- relating to practice or action
- consisting of, involving, or resulting from practice or action
- of, relating to, or concerned with ordinary activities, business, or work
- adapted or designed for actual use; useful
- engaged or experienced in actual practice or work
- inclined toward or fitted for actual work or useful activities
This is a timely discussion and we are all a part of it. How does this make you feel? Worried, scared, unusual? Would you be interested in exploring these ideas further if they were presented differently? As a note, I am always speaking to a mainstream audience. I think connections need to be made for each and every one of us, not only for those residing in an academic pool.
Great work, talk soon!
Hope your weekends were fun!
I’ve started a third campaign called #impromptus. It’s focus is to develop and deliver brief commentary on interesting research I’ve come across relating to art + digital marketing + social media.
My goal with this campaign is to disseminate any relevant literature, then to relate researchers’ messages to my own studies on ‘global comprehension’. I’m still enraptured by the idea of defining the digital condition of human life, so I will use my blog ChonaBLOX and my articles on LinkedIn as an educational platform to inspire my vision – exploring the right-brained application of artificial intelligence.
Most of us don’t have time to read through pages and pages of research and sometimes content becomes too complex, so I will use simpler, more modern language in my interpretations while linking back to the original idea at hand.
To get us started here’s a great quote about gratitude –
“I looked around and thought about my life. I felt grateful. I noticed every detail. That is the key to time travel. You can only move if you are actually in the moment. You have to be where you are to get where you need to go.” – Amy Poehler
Takeaway: one must perform self-talk to quantify positive life events. For example, you could say – in one month’s time, I completed an intensive course, I received 3 valuable certifications, I took less naps during the day and I ramped up my workout routine. A grateful outcome would be an instance where you could tell yourself positively – I can tell the difference! I did this within this time frame! And then, reiterate the reason WHY this is of value. It really is all in the details. The details of putting the work into practicing self-worth. Time travel is just another way to say, I can live in the past to qualify my present. Then, these actions together, can bring about my future. Our future is really about seeing the path and the steps that were taken to get HERE. And Amy is entirely correct, to be able to move (with joy or intention) means you live in the NOW, you are HERE and able to evaluate everything around you, by placing measurable objectives around significant topics. For example, you could say – that test was comprised of 53 questions, they were challenging as they presented theoretical and/or fundamental situations that required analysis which uses thinking and my brain. This is significant because one year ago, I didn’t even know what marketing was. I didn’t even know that you could run Facebook Ads. I didn’t even know that I had the ability to study or the capacity to learn complex subject matter. On my own. With barely any additional help. This subjectification (or my attitude/viewpoint) classifies (makes relevant or arranges) each and every action in (my) life and like the #impromptus post below comments, this is the continual motion, the framework, the mechanism that guides our work on social media platforms like Instagram. As creators, we can make it right and pass that feeling along to our audience. And they can respond or reply by way of digital collaboration. And this example of gratitude is tough. It is very difficult to break down unity through creative + messaging. I hope you can make that connection!
So without further ado, here’s my first #impromptus post – Gratitude Via Social Media
I hope you like this new project, any feedback is more than welcome!
The power is in us to incite wonder and change!
What a whirlwind of week it’s been!
Between studying like a madwoman and trying to maintain a consistent posting schedule, I’ve designed some quick, quirky graphics for various topics up on The ChonaBLOX Blog.
Right now, they are being shared across multiple platforms (remember, have you had your FILPTS today?) and I will present them in one swift punch once my colour scheme (rainbow, of course) has had its say.
I suppose it would be my most current body of work, should any amazing agencies in the air desire a digital marketer with an artistic penchant to boot!
For now, here’s a sample. A graphic designed today for my latest #girlstories post – her name is SABRINA and she is a…GHOST!
Check out her story as it relates to two other Elevententeen characters, Judge Judy (I know, and yes, on purpose) and Alice from Wonderland.
And last thing, two very important marketing terms that I’ve come across lately and seem to apply to my work – top of mind and evergreen. Here are a couple of simple definitions.
First, per Wikipedia –
In marketing, top-of-mind awareness (TOMA) refers to a brand or specific product being first in customers’ minds when thinking of a particular industry or category. … At the market level, top-of-mind awareness is more often defined as the “most remembered” or “most recalled” brand names.
And second –
Evergreen content is content that is always relevant – much like the way evergreen trees retain their leaves all year around. Interesting and relevant content that does not become dated is necessary in order to be found online by search engines (The Balance Careers).
As we enter the beginning of Q4 or reach the end of the year, I want to consider these definitions as they relate to my brand and marketing strategy. How have these terms applied to your business? Do you think they are relevant and does applying these concepts to your work produce less disparity between yourself and your audience? Let’s have a brainstorm!
PS – Halloween is just around the corner, what are your plans?
PPS – FILPTS is a BLOX acronym standing for Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter & Snapchat.
PPPS – I gotta up my Snapchat game! Any cool tips or tricks my friends?
My work strategies always begin with my mission statement (or simple variations of it) – Simpler is Larger.
In other words, we must create work that is easy to understand, so that businesses can afford more time and apply more effort toward ‘larger’ things.
Read this quick review on supporting businesses using social media strategy.
When choosing clients, consider engaging with businesses that are focused on change or influence. Clients should be dedicated toward defining or refining their digital marketing plan.
- An example of change could be increasing purchases of an item that has just entered the market and the business’ product list.
- An example of influence could be supporting a new real estate development that gives back to Indigenous groups.
We should launch campaigns that matter to the community and foster promotions that “persuade target audiences of the relative merits of a product, service, brand or issue”. Think objective and the answers to it. Will the audience (buyer) believe in what they see? Does it make sense? Does it make the business more approachable? Will the work and project parameters make us (seller) happy and productive?
- An example of a campaign would be to recognize employees within a large organization. This matters because each employee plays a specific part in helping the company succeed. The employees represent community, because they live where they work and work where they live. Think local (global further down the line), sustainable, viable and profitable.
- An example of a promotion would be to develop quick, one-minute videos showing customers a range of products and how they could be used at home. Imagine a household cleaning products line or sleek and modern furniture for the bedroom, then promote the best-selling features of the products in an environment where buyers dwell. Think top of mind, clear, fast and evergreen.
- At the end of the campaign/promotion cycle, offer an appealing call to action like, “Our products are made with environmentally friendly, cruelty-free ingredients! Click here to see PROOF and we’ll send you a FREE antibacterial cloth!” Or, offer a discount on stale inventory like, “Receive a FREE eco-friendly table lamp with any purchase of a nightstand!” Think longevity, adaptability, convenience and action.
The next step is establishing or fine-tuning the objectives for presentation. We need to understand the business’ identity (more to do with the company itself) and image (more to do with their brand) to develop an effective expression of their work.
- Some examples of identity aspects would be things like catch phrases (trendy sayings), slogans (company mottos), keywords (descriptions), tone (for example academic or casual), values, a mission statement and a vision. Identity aspects can be imbued in the work and are most likely to be effective in a post’s caption or ad copy.
- Some examples of image aspects would be things like branded colour scheme (best to stick to one or two), a logo (optional), a tag (optional), branded typeface (best to stick to one or two) and style (for example, sleek and modern). Image aspects can change, it’s important to be flexible.
Next, true potential will be revealed via design elements, bringing everything together for the audience to capture. The best design elements to consider would be things like source (where is the content coming from – stock imagery or work from an artist), medium (what forms do they want to use – photography, graphic design, text-based, video etc.), composition (how will images be composed), pattern (what pattern will the posts follow) and grid utilization (applying creativity to posting layouts).
The main goal of a social media strategy is to achieve balance + harmony with the work itself and to find the ‘sweet spot’/the magic for HOW the work is done. You will know your goal has been met when 1 – both the Seller & Buyer are satisfied with the results; 2 – an efficient workflow has been put into place; and 3 – you have a good idea of HOW to put everything together for publishing. And with the right timing/scheduling and succinctly, yet artfully composed caption/copy, clients’ social media platforms will sing! Think always compete with the best.
Remember, if our work is easily understood and done, then the client’s business can consider a greater capacity (which in turn opens up new avenues for us!). Have metrics set up to evaluate the work. If businesses are wondering HOW to put together the required metadata (aspects and elements) / to successfully scale relevant data (the large scale attributes like brand image and company identity) / which in turn impacts the fluency and efficacy of their overarching campaigns and promotions / we can provide a concept kit in a simple and easy to read format.
If you’re enjoying this new listicle style I’ve been using lately, please let me know. I would be happy to produce more work this way.
Cool guys, have an amazing day!
Let’s jump right into it.
We all know things are different. We rarely use our phones to place calls anymore. Progressively, we are relying on different social media platforms to reach out – to friends, family, co-workers and customers. We can interact with more people at once. No need to place a phone call (unless you want to close a deal); we can send a snap using Snapchat, add tags to Instagram Stories or relay continuous messages via applications like Facebook Messenger. And think, we are doing this while doing the same thing with others. All at once. In synergy, together. Thing are really changing!
The following listicle written for Jelly Marketing, touches on this new ‘permanent impermanence’ or our ability to communicate in infinite ways via digital platforms, a.k.a. social media. Social media is here to stay. Read on to find out HOW social media maximizes communicative potential!
1 Creating New Sets of Social Skills
One of the most amazing ways communication has changed via social media, is in its integration of new sets of social skills or groups of attributes more focused on visual communication. The people we are interacting with are more inclined to be engaged, because they are constantly absorbing positive social imagery – videos, gifs, stickers, emojis and even colourful applications in the form of digital writing instruments like pencils and paintbrushes. Communication has become fun! It’s almost as if this function of elements has paved a way for our social skills to light up a space. Try using Canva to bring light to your brand, for example. In this space, our feelings and emotions are heightened, so as a result we are more likely to engage in this new way, time and time again. In our current adaptive environment, this may contribute toward new forms of success.
New York Behavioral Health emphasizes this idea stating –
“Our ability to process emotional cues is associated with personal, social and academic success (Knapp & Hall, 2010).”
2 Leading with Identity
Social media has provided us with ways to express ourselves, something that is more difficult to do in a short face-to-face encounter or during a mobile phone call. We can use all the different platforms to form our image & identity, then we can choose the ways we want to share this information with others. And the greatest thing about social media is that again, it is a 2-way communication channel, so we can interact with other individuals who have similar interests or attributes. This may increase our levels of self-image or esteem. Of course, there are many discussions that would argue against this, but the point of the matter is – it’s your identity and YOU can choose. We can start to pick apart our best features and develop them further using social media aspects like, a profile picture or Facebook cover photo. Even curating a group of boards showcasing who you are and what you like on Pinterest can help develop your identity!
Dr. Uğur Gündüz is an Associate Professor at Istanbul University for the Faculty of Communication and he wrote a research article published in 2017 for the Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences on The Effect of Social Media on Identity Construction (www.degruyter.com).
Here is an excerpt relating to my idea of leading with identity –
Social media enables identity expression, exploration, and experimentation; something natural for the human experience. It is the agencies in real life, which provide a source of names for different sectors, that inspire the internet communities and the interactions they make within themselves.
3 Adaptive Learning
The ways that we communicate via social media are vast. It is not only a means to communicate with other people in new and creative ways or for establishing a specific digital identity. It is a structural tool that can be used to learn, teach and educate ourselves and others by employing incentive and authoritative techniques. Take for example, Instagram. Today’s Social Media Coordinators put together detailed strategies while skillfully composing content + format. We are learning to use the left side of our brain by applying grids, patterns, permutations and combinations. On the other end of things, we are training the right side of our brain by developing context and adding visuality to the mix.
The future of Generation Z will rely on social media to communicate findings and research relating to topics that are impacting the world. A couple of examples are the state of the science behind climate change or evaluating mental health based on technological consumption. According to a recent study, more and more teachers and professors are incorporating social media into their classrooms to engage students and support their educational development, whether online or in person (Ashford University).
4 Critical Mass
In marketing, critical mass is the idea that one, small movement in the form of an idea or expression can expand the sheer power and capacity of digital media. This can work in two ways, one – it helps users become aware of today’s most pertinent topics, current events, trends and critical intelligence that affect the way we communicate and do work. We don’t need to rely on a newspaper, we can obtain various points of view on the same topic from several different sources. Then, we can cross-postulate for our own purposes or to share with others across platforms like a blog or company e-newsletter. We can even use the least amount of words to create sustainable influence and significant reach (Twitter). Sharing information has never been so easy! We need to take advantage of critical mass in that sense. The second way is – contributing toward HOW businesses communicate. This impacts brand awareness, brand loyalty and even methods for prospecting and retaining clients. Sellers and buyers can flaunt their understanding of today’s fluctuating market (not just stocks and bonds stuff) without having to depend on outside sources, if they are connected to social media. It’s a two way street and we’re giving each other high fives!
Merriam-Webster points out that, “Once these elements reach the size that enables a company to operate efficiently, it is said that a company has reached its critical mass. Critical mass is the point at which a company becomes profitable.”
In this case, the elements are social platforms which provide new hubs of information that can make or break a company’s profitability. Social media has truly become a vital and crucial form of business development. Businesses cannot thrive without it. We communicate and work with it. Period.
Check out this article for more information – Social Media: The World’s Newest Source of Profit
5 Communicating Your Vision
In an era prior to social media, how did we figure out or map our goals? Probably with a vision board, a thought bubble written down on paper or by simply sitting down, daydreaming about what we could accomplish. This has changed so much today. Now, we can objectify our goals and visions using platforms like LinkedIn. Here, you have ample space in the About section to describe your ideas. It becomes a part of your LinkedIn profile, so other people, including employers, can see what you’re all about. But what’s even better is, you can use this section to produce timely updates relating to your journey. Others are watching and they can see the progression.
Instagram alone has become an indispensable tool for business owners. Through thoughtful curation and strategy, businesses can be portrayed in a respectable light that touches on what they offer, how they care about their customers, and in other words, what they do best. Think – campaigns that reflect a company’s core values, promotional posts that keep customers interested in products and services or spotlights on employees and company best practices, so customers can really know what they’re putting their money toward.
The hope for today is that we may collaboratively succeed using our most innovative tools (social media) and techniques (social media strategy), to communicate with others from all facets of life.
Jelly Marketing is an award-winning Digital Marketing & PR firm providing digital ads, social media, SEO, & public relations services to brands in Vancouver and the Fraser Valley. Their case studies explore various client objectives and the innovative + mainstream ways we can produce results by catering toward communicating vision. Have a look!
That’s it for today and remember everyone, always think of PRAC and are you living it today – Popularity, Relevance, Authority & Credibility.
The power is in us to incite wonder and change!
This content was developed prior to leaving VanWhistle Media. I wrote it in my small, orange notebook. I was thumbing through that today, putting some definitions together for my Definitions post. It’s amazing how you can return to something, months later and it has become more relevant than it was when it was originally written! The photo was taken at the Starlight Drive-In Theatre in Enderby, BC.
What do YOU think?
If you would like to see the Abstract for this post, shoot me an email anytime – firstname.lastname@example.org.