Early Fall finds the beautiful Great White Egret in ponds and coastal marshes before heading to their winter homes. Featured on our October calendar, this majestic bird can still be seen throughout North America thanks to Harriet Hemeway and Minna Hall, the founders of the Massachusetts Audubon Society. These forward thinking women created the society in 1896 to share the importance of protecting the nature of Massachusetts and promote the idea that loss of wildlife for women’s fashion (Egret’s feathers were prized hat décor) would have long-term consequences. Their focused and impactful message was the key to their success. Need assistance focusing your message? Contact us today!
Featured on our September calendar, the plump and delicious fig, that we think of as fruit, is technically an inverted flower. It hides it’s blossoms from the outside world, only to be revealed when we dive in and take a bite! We thought sharing a favorite fig appetizer might help ease us all back into the season of busyness. Try out our recipe and know Cleveland Design is here to help you revive those projects hidden away for the Summer.
Grilled Figs with Prosciutto and Goat Cheese
- 12 figs
- 5 oz herb and garlic goat cheese
- 12 paper thin slices of prosciutto (about 1 inch wide)
- Olive oil
Choose ripe figs that are a bit soft. Remove stem and cut a hole in the end with a small knife. Take about 2 teaspoons of goat cheese and push into the hole. Soft figs are easier to fill with the cheese. Wrap the stuffed fig with a slice of prosciutto. Put the wrapped figs on skewers and cook on a hot grill about 5 minutes, turning occasionally. The prosciutto should be a bit crispy. You can also cook using your oven broiler.
View our Installation Guide for instructions on how to set this month's artwork as your background wallpaper.
August is here, and in New England its also what we call the ‘dog days’ of summer. The ancient Greeks are to thank for this saying. They noticed the brightest star, Sirius (the dog of Orion), rose and set with the sun during what seemed to be the hottest days of the year. While the Greeks were just trying to explain their world, the longevity of this hot weather moniker proves the importance of achieving relevant and relatable messaging.
Cleveland Design understands how impactful creative can provide meaning to your audience, no matter when their dog days occur. Contact us today and let's begin your next great project!.
View our Installation Guide for instructions on how to set this month's artwork as your background wallpaper.
Featured on our July calendar, the sweet delicious pineapples evoke thoughts of warm sunny days and images of the Hawaiian Islands. The pineapple, however, is not native to the land of beautiful beaches, leis and grass skirts. It was a transplant to the islands brought back for King Kamehameha from South America. How, then, did the pineapple become known as a Hawaiian delicacy? Through the power of advertising of course! A young James Dole of Massachusetts moved to Hawaii to begin his pineapple growing and canning business. A savvy entrepreneur, Dole is credited with developing the first nationwide consumer magazine ad campaign in the United States, and the rest is marketing history.
We at Cleveland understand how smart and strategic campaigns impact the success of your story. Let's partner on a groundbreaking project today!
Marketing and design teams approach creative assignments differently, which can make harmony a challenge. Marketing approaches the project as if talking to a group. Designers approach the project as if talking to one person. The goal for both is to fulfill the brand promise, but they can’t do that until they align the marketing strategy with the creative so it sends the same message from the beginning.
I recently had the opportunity to speak at HOW DesignLive in Boston. Partnering with Cleveland Design client Elizabeth Darragh, VP of Global Marketing Communications at Sensitech, we presented best practices to utilize, drawn from our years of working together, to allow designers and marketers to work together from day one and make great things happen!
We began with how the creative brief should become secondary to open discussions about the project, supported by knowledge, communication, and transparency. Traditionally, the creative brief has been used as the kick-off for campaigns and projects. Filled out by the marketing team, then submitted to the creative team, the brief tried to cover what the project should include to succeed, but it often missed the mark on what is truly required to achieve an excellent outcome.
The creative brief is named “brief” for a reason, it should be short and to the point of the overall project deliverables. The problem with the creative brief is it is created with the assumption everyone has the same background knowledge of the overall mission, including the strategy of company and their brand promise. Relying too heavily on the brief can kill opportunities for communication, shared vision and team support.
The brief does help define the overall scope of the project though, and is a vehicle to document the action plan, schedules, deliverables, and assign responsibilities. However, as a stand-alone document, it falls far short of the knowledge that is truly needed to implement the brand promise in your project or campaign.
To address the shortcomings of the brief, Elizabeth and I created a toolkit, for marketers and designers alike, that promotes clarity to guide the creative process by focusing on three key areas, Knowledge, Communication and Transparency.
Key knowledge of the company everyone on the team should have:
- The history and the who, what and why of the company
- How the company has evolved over the years
- What mergers or acquisitions have occurred
- The current brand promise and mission
- Understanding of every product and service, and how each serves the company’s mission and strategy
- Knowing the target market and demographics, and understanding the difference between the two
- Knowing which global markets the company is active in, along with the cultural differences in each market
Start talking! Work together, not as two separate teams:
- Communicate about all aspects of projects from day one
- Request that everyone be included in initial discussions
- Share ideas and best practices
- Keep dialogue flowing throughout the entire process
- Learn the capabilities of each team member, and utilize those skills
Being open and honest ensures everyone is on the same page while working together towards a successful outcome:
- Budgets—share from the beginning and discuss what is being allocated for what
- Give input on long-term budget planning so you can forecast as a team
- Assign who is responsible for what, discuss deliverables and timelines, review expected outcomes
- Who are all the decision makers, e.g., do Corporate and Legal need to approve?
- Are there other product management teams involved?
- Bring Sales into meetings if they are the end users of the campaign
Utilizing the tips from this toolkit will help create a smart team of marketers and designers that works well together. Start talking from day one, bring your knowledge to the table, and share ideas and expectations. When you commit to work together as a team, aligning creative and marketing strategies, your next project is sure to bring brand promises successfully to life.
If you've ever grown a dahlia, you know there's no more spectacular flower in the garden, and our June calendar features one of the many varieties. Much like the dahlias' gorgeous array of colors, styles and sizes available, deciding which design direction to take with a project can become an overwhelming choice. At Cleveland, we embrace variety, but will help guide you to the beautiful, smart, and on brand design you need for your campaign. Contact us today to talk about how we can help grow your industry presence and make your projects bloom.
Last month, Digital Summit held a 2-day conference in the heart of Los Angeles for hundreds of digital marketing professionals. Being a designer, this was a huge opportunity and great learning experience. I heard from industry leaders, such as Mitch Lowe (co-founder of Netflix), Jessica Cohen (Mashable), Cliff Seal (Pardot), Kirsten Benson (Getty Images) and more. While many different topics were discussed at the conference, one overarching takeaway was this idea of “storytelling in marketing.”
This was a new concept to me, so I found myself asking “what is storytelling for marketing, and how can I apply it to what my clients and I do?”
Start to think about your audience's journey—what product or service do you provide that makes their life easier? What particular problem are you solving for them? Once you have that figured out, you can then begin to tell a story around the journey that they will genuinely relate to.
Some reasons why storytelling has become a more popular marketing tactic in recent years (and there is some science to it!):
- When you hear a story, you tend to put yourself in the shoes of whomever you're watching, as if you were the one going through the experience first hand (this is called neural coupling).
- Stories can be 22x more memorable than facts. The brain releases dopamine when experiencing an emotionally-charged event, which makes it easier to remember. This can be incredibly beneficial to marketers looking to educate potential customers on more complicated ideas or systems, or when sheer facts aren't getting the point across.
- Hearing a story activates more parts of the brain, making it more engaging. This helps to make it more memorable and also more enjoyable.
- And of course, everyone enjoys a good story!
When using storytelling in your marketing strategy, it's important to remember that everything should be genuine. Always work from real-life experiences, and really think about the emotions your clients already feel. Reach out to current customers and interview them, get testimonials and some real down-to-earth stories. This will help you to connect with both existing and potential audiences in a more meaningful way. This more meaningful connection, in turn, helps to really strengthen your brand's identity.
While storytelling was the most prominent topic at the conference, it certainly wasn't the only topic. Stay tuned for more blog posts with insights into some of the other concepts I was introduced to at the summit.
Becoming a leader in your industry is easier to achieve when can promote your brand, both internally and externally, in a timely fashion. We understand the slow down that occurs working with layers of people at some firms, so Cleveland Design was built on the premise of direct relationships between you and your designer. Cutting out the middleman allows us to help our clients stay on schedule and on budget without ever sacrificing design. Download this month’s calendar, then contact us to see how together we can bring your projects across the finish line.
Bringing Designers and Marketers Together. i.e., kill the creative brief and start talking. Presented by Jonathan Cleveland of Cleveland Design and Elizabeth Darragh of Sensitech. Monday, April 30, 11:15 AM – 12:00 PM
Marketing and design approach everything differently, which makes harmony a challenge. It’s often said that Marketing approaches the work as if talking to a group (i.e. how the overall campaign will help sway a new audience of customers to their product), while the Creative's approach is as if talking to one person (i.e. how an individual will react to the visuals, products and brand). The goal for both is to fulfill the brand promise, but they can’t do that unless they can align marketing strategy and creative and speak the same language from the beginning.
In this presentation, Jonathan Cleveland, Principal of Cleveland Design and Elizabeth Darragh, VP of Global Marketing Communications for Sensitech, will describe the evolution of their 13 year relationship as designer and marketer and share a case study of a recent rebrand (including for market and product segments, position acquisitions, and development of a new website) that combined the talents and skills of everyone involved and brings a unified voice, great visuals, and a successful market strategy. Save yourself 12 years and come to listen, learn and talk.
We made it through Winter and now that Spring is here, we can’t help but dream of those hot Summer days! At Cleveland, we strive to be forward thinkers and always plan for the future. So allow yourself to day dream about those sweet Summer months and let’s start to plan for them. It’s never too early! Contact us today to see how we can help make your marketing ideas become a reality.