What Turns Them On

You have identified a need in the marketplace and developed a possibly viable solution. You are ready to break off from the pack like an iceberg in search of your own niche.

Assuming you have a memorable and unique brand in your back pocket, is the next step to launch a website, reach out to friends and family to spread the word, and then wait for the dough to roll in? Continue reading

What’s the Buzz?

The conversation happening on various social media channels is a form of word-of-mouth that cannot be ignored. However, that doesn’t mean that a business needs to have every social media account there is to engage in those conversations.

Take note that there are conversations happening between people offline, which in most cases may carry more weight than online word-of-mouth. So, how does one effectively manage and cultivate meaningful conversations?

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Your Logo is Just the Tip of an Iceberg

iceberg brand story and logo

What logo comes to mind when you see the double golden arches (or part of it)?

It wouldn’t take long for anyone to immediately recognize it as the logo representing Happy Meals and golden fries; a gateway to the promised land of McDonald’s. The fast-food chain even turned their logo upside down in honor of International Women’s Day; a clever twist to their iconic symbol.

Inverted McDonald’s sign image from Pop Culture. Billboard image from blogTo.

Wouldn’t you like a logo as recognizable as McDonald’s?  You may say you are not as successful as this global franchise with a similar marketing budget, but the development of a key identity piece like a logo deserves much more time, effort, and money than you feel it needs. Consider this; your logo will be front and center throughout the lifetime of your business! 

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CASE STUDY: This is How We Roll

“… social media is a burger made by your brand for your audience. It needs to be served quickly, fit their tastes, be fresh and most importantly, look appealing.”Your Social Media Engagement Burger by Catalyst90

Treating social media content creation like making & serving a burger makes sense to me especially when I have a couple of clients in the food industry.

Being a fan of mind-mapping, I created one showing how I took a client’s product (eg. a sushi roll) and created twelves possible sushi-licious content for social media*.

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What is DS9HSE?

Whenever I have to give my email address to someone, it would often be received with a curious frown. For one, it is not just my name and two, I would usually have to spell it out it in International Radiotelephony Spelling Alphabets … that is

Delta-Sierra-Number-Nine-Hotel-Sierra-Echo-dot-Lima-Echo-Echo at gmail dot com

Okay, that’s a mouthful and I don’t blame anyone for being overwhelmed as he/she tries to write it down. After the recipient successfully records my email address, a question usually follows, “So, what’s d-s-9-h-s-e?

Let’s flash back to 2002 when I first started working as a graphic designer in the United States. The company was one of many subsidiaries of Bridgeport Holdings, and within a couple of years, I started providing design services to several other subsidiaries.

By 2005, the desire to establish an in-house design firm started taking root and by August 2006, D’sign House was formed. The six-character acronym, DS9HSE was created as letters/numbers you would see on vanity license plat to represent a longer word / phrase. As such, DS9HSE spells the name of the in-house design firm.

Entrance to D’sign House. Click to see
the space on my Facebook page.

I did not get a vanity license plate ’cause it did not, and still does not make financial sense … never quite understand why people would spend extra money to get a custom plate and pay a higher tag renewal fee yearly.

Anyway, we used the reference to driving to convey the goal of the design firm; to provide design solution that drives business goals. A brochure, shaped like a license plate, was created to explain the journey our clients would take with us as we go through the milestones of our design process.

While I am no longer at D’sign House (or does it exist anymore), the spirit of an in-house design firm stayed with me throughout my career to date. I enjoy being able to devote my attention to a small handful of clients, and learn about the brand thoroughly. Being in-house also allows me to develop holistic design solutions reaching both internal (eg. employees) and external publics (eg. consumers).

As with D’sign House, I brought with me that mindset to Home Creations from 2011 to 2015, serving within her marketing department in the areas of advertising and graphic design. While I did not rename the department, DS9HSE is here to stay … in my email address, in the URLs of this blog, and as my social media handles (Twitter and Instagram). Maybe one day I will become rich enough to get a vanity plate.