2u Creative Juices Bottled by the Brand 2u Collection, LLC : 2u Creative Juices — 2u Creative — Amy Morelli

Announcing the New Brand & Websites!!!

Branding, Websites, AnnouncementsAmy MorelliComment

I am so happy to finally announce the launch of our new brand almost 10 years in the making!  As a creative and brand developer it's often like the plumber with leaky pipes . . . I'm always spending all my creative energy with my clients, often I don't have the time or the energy for my own brand. So for the last 9+ years, I have been working hard to develop a brand that includes all 3 of my divisions that I'm in love with!  We hope you love it as well! 

The websites can be found at their old places: 2ucollection.com, 2ucouture.com and 2ucreative.net but we also have a  new domain where it can be found as well: 2ucreativejuices.com

I am so happy with how everything turned out, bear with us we are still adding products to our Paper Couture Stationery Store- But you can go to our Facebook page to see all of our current designs while we are updating. 

Please share with us your feedback below. I hope you are as enamored as I!


Prank-Vertising

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In today's media crazed society, how do you get your products to stand out? From billboards and commercials to Facebook and emails, we are constantly being exposed to media, in every aspect of our lives.

Here at 2u Creative we are constantly sharing with each other, YouTube videos and ads that impress us. Some of our current favorites fall into the category of "Prankvertisements", which are pranks that companies set up and film to demonstrate or emphasize their products. Most of these are strictly social media ads providing an easy way for everyone to share with friends. This new trend in advertising is extremely unique and creative. Here are some of our favorites!

1.

The Telekinetic Coffee Shop Surprise

- This prank was set up to promote the 2013 remake of the film Carrie. Absolutely genius!!

2.

Old Spice Body Spray

- The below photo was recently found in Facebook feeds. After viewing an ad for "The Push Up Man Shirt", an "Internet-ervention"from Old Spice begins. 

Mock Ad for The Push Up Man Shirt

Commercial for Old Spice Body Spray

3.

Toys"R"Us Field Trip

- A busload of kids think they are getting ready to go on a boring field trip when they are surprised with a trip to kid heaven, Toys"R"Us. 

4.

Nivea Deodorant Stress Test

- A fairly elaborate prank to sell some deodorant, but clever nonetheless. 

Major brands are beginning to use this approach as they realize how powerful "Prank-vertisments" are at generating social media buzz. Keep your eyes out for who will "prank" you next!

2013 Pink on Parade Breast Cancer Walk Collateral

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With a week left in October, which is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we couldn't pass up the opportunity to share the promotional pieces that we designed for the 2013 Pink on Parade Breast Cancer Walk. Seeing as most of the 2u Creative team is made up of women, we were excited to be apart of such a special fund raiser.

The event was a tremendous success, raising over $30,000 for this very important cause. All of the proceeds from the fun and family-friendly event will benefit the Comprehensive Breast Center at Florida Hospital Celebration Health


From young to old, two legged to four legged, the community showed up to walk the three-mile course through Celebration Florida and to show their support for patients battling breast cancer at Florida Hospital's Celebration Health. 

For more information or to participate in next years Pink on Parade Breast Cancer Walk please visit the Pink on Parade website.





2013 Pink on Parade T-shirt Design





2013 Pink on Parade Banner Design





2013 Pink on Parade Logo, Flyer, and Direct Mailer






The 2013 Pink on Parade Breast Cancer Walk was put on in partnership with: 

  




Gearing Up for September & Prostate Cancer Awareness Month!! - with Florida Hospital & Dr. Patel

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With September right around the corner, it is with excitement that we anticipate all that is sure to come for Prostate Cancer Awareness in 2013.  Revving up for this years campaign, we take a look back at last years efforts and inspirations.  Keep an eye out for more to come as we work with The International Prostate Cancer Foundation alongside Florida Hospital and Dr. Vipul Patel in this years efforts to "Give Prostate Cancer the Finger!"  


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Keeping us busy throughout the end of 2012 was a client which we hold in high regard, Dr. Vipul Patel, lead physician with Florida Hospital's Global Robotics Institute.  Pumping out precision pieces for them, in respect to marketing and branding, they have quickly become a primary client to which appreciation is due.  

At 2u Creative we welcome all opportunities to develop with a brand, build that brand, and deliver successes.  As each client expresses unique desires, we continuously seek to embrace their vision within design.  For the Global Robotics Institute the look is sharp & clean, with a subtle futuristic feel.

Take a look below at these polished, finished pieces. 
Continuing to work with the BEST!! - Lawton Printers

Prostate Cancer Screening - Direct Mail Patient Piece
A full color, 2-sided, fold out mailer with 8 panels of information educating patients on the importance of PSA screening, calling them to action & directing them to the leading surgeon worldwide. 






Testimonial Book - Prostate Cancer Survivors
72 pages of commemoration featuring stories of survivors along side photos, as the successes of 5,000 surgeries are celebrated. 





Let us extend thanks to Dr. Patel and his team for continuing to trust us in these endeavors, and furthermore for the referrals which have been made, and the various outlets of Florida Hospital Celebration Health that we have served as a result.  Keep an eye out for more from the Global Robotics Institute, Nicholson Center & Celebration Health

Attorney Greg Francis - Branding & Official Website Launch!!

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In 2012, our branding division - 2u Creative, along side our custom stationery sister - The 2u Collection were entrusted with producing the brand, marketing, promotion, and design for a most exquisite event, The International Prostate Cancer Foundation Celebration of Life Gala… which would go on to act as a catalyst of exposure for both divisions.  As an unexpected perk, we embraced the newfound appreciation, and in the weeks to follow we were delighted as several Gala attendees began inquiring about our services.  

It was at this Gala that we were lucky enough to meet and mingle with Attorney Greg Francis.  Our initial meeting was through another client of ours, Julison Communications as we worked on the Oscar Robertson press event leading up to the Gala. Astounded by the level of unique excellence that we were able to deliver, Francis expressed his interest in employing us for his own marketing & branding efforts.


Gala Pre-Event Cocktails with Dr. Patel, Keisha & Greg Francis

We were thrilled!  The recognition was unexpected and – WOW! – our work had moved him enough to reach out.  Even more exciting was the chance to work with Greg Francis, recognized attorney of Morgan & Morgan and selflessly active member of our community here in Orlando, FL.

Greg’s accomplishments in practicing law are significant… however, mostly unexposed.  Having a passion for people and justice, Francis sought out to make his services more visible to those who could most benefit from his aid.  2u Creative took on the project headstrong proposing a top-to-bottom branding campaign to further include website development & social media marketing.

We are talking everything from Logo Design to URL Naming, Tagline Development, Campaign Concepts, Website Design, Social Media Set-Up & Marketing, Branding Collateral Design, Promotional Items and much, much… MORE!!

After consultations, meetings, discussions, designs, revisions, and more … the collaborative effort has finally taken shape as we present to you the finished elements of Attorney Greg Francis' brand.



The Color Palette:  Rich - Warm - Approachable meets Powerful - Honorable - Commanding

Official Website - fightwithfrancis.com

As Francis proudly announces the launch of his much anticipated website via his blog, we congratulate him & acknowledge him for trusting in our talents.  Our efforts focused on designing a clean, consistent and client friendly site that breaks the typical tendencies of attorney websites. It is our hope that fightwithfrancis.com does just this.

Don't forget to check Greg out on Facebook & Twitter @counselfrancis... or simply "like" him @fightwithfrancis on Facebook!

Branding elements brought together to create custom Facebook & Twitter backgrounds = Clear & Consistent Branding


We hope you enjoyed! Be sure to stay tuned as additional designs develop, we will be sure to share them!


"The Confidential" Prompts Full Re-Brand for the Studios of Liga Photography

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It is always with great joy that we celebrate the growth and success of our friends and colleagues here at 2u Creative of 2u Collection LLC.  Most recently we have taken great pride in an opportunity presented to us by long time friend and business associate Abby Liga of Liga Photography, as she moves forward in her most anticipated venture yet - The Confidential.

As we applaud all of those involved and eagerly anticipate what is yet to develop, we take a moment to share and reflect on the blood, sweat and tears that have gone into the project thus far...

As we began conceptualizing here at 2u Creative, we found ourselves delving a bit deeper into the Liga brand, beyond the idea of The Confidential alone.  Abby discussed with us the need for 2 new additions to her brand, a workshop division & commercial division.  In our initial design and development it became clear to us that things between the already established brand pieces and these new pieces were beginning to look mismatched.  Exploring this notion sparked a full re-branding campaign for Liga Photography and all divisions... with purpose of course.  They key is to be mindful of building a cohesive brand by looking at the elements and how they work TOGETHER, rather than building divisions separately and hoping they fit.  

Having worked on branding for Abby Liga of Liga Photography for many years, we have a true love for the brand and take pride as we graduate this brand to match the evolution of it's refinement.  We thank Abby for her testimonial and expressed gratitude:
"When I came to Amy about helping me create a brand for The Confidential workshop I knew she was going to come up with something amazing far beyond what I thought it could be. And much to my surprise it prompted full re-brand integration for all my divisions. We couldn't be happier with the refined versions of other divisions and as you can see below, The Confidential fits right in!
We are more than thrilled to bring you the fresh new color palette for Liga Photography showcased in the 5 separate, but cohesive logos presented below... and make sure to keep an eye out on the 2u Creative Blog as we will be introducing additional marketing pieces for the Liga campaign, enjoy!


Wedding Division Brand

Portrait Division Brand 

Commercial Division Brand

Workshop Division Brand

Blog Brand


Now a little peek at a few of the logos placed together for some insight on how to cohesively fit multiple divisions under a unified brand campaign.  Simply Refined!



Little did we know that The Confidential would spark this fabulous re-brand - To stay up to date with all of The Confidential secrets, make sure to  "like" the official Confidential Facebook page for full access, not-to-miss dates, photos, videos & more!!
And one last teaser as we invite you to watch & read more about The Confidential below!! 

A Workshop from the studios of Liga Photography - The Confidential: Illuminating Truth & Passion -  will take a fresh and intimate approach that is sure to set it apart from the typical educational workshop.  Those attending will experience a tailored, individualized approach while also delighting in the benefits of group expression and critique.  We could go on... however we have partnered with Jeffery Stoner Video to create a most fantastic teaser and invite you to view a glimpse of Miss Abby Liga as she exposes the intrigue behind The Confidential.


Also check out The Confidential website in progress at ligaconfidential.com - Stay tuned to the 2u Creative Blog June 1st as we will be sure to announce & feature the launch!

E-Events Timeless Branding

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The 2u Collection & 2u Creative has been fortunate enough to have worked with industry acclaimed wedding planner Lisa Stoner of E-Events for many years. We have had the pleasure of developing and evolving with her brand from it's inception and hold it close to heart.


After many years in business, and as E-Events matured our marketing & branding division, 2u Creative was given the opportunity to refresh the brand, giving a light & airy touch to a beautifully refined collection of marketing pieces.

Branding and furthermore Re-Branding is in the DETAILS!  Keeping signature components of the original brand, while incorporating them into a crisp color palette with newly embellished accents, allowed us to retain recognition of the E-Events brand and still further reinvigorate the feel. 

Enjoy the pieces below as you drift into a lovely example of re-branding with purpose!







Harmony Belle - Let Us Launch!!

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Long Awaited and Patiently Anticipated... We are enthused to announce that Harmony Belle is LIVE and ONLINE!

You may have browsed through the temptations of this flirty boutique as we have been flaunting sneak peeks to our readers for the past few months. We promised you'd be the first to get word of the official launch... and ladies... it's finally time to stop "window shopping"! 

Take a look below for a snapshot of the site as we congratulate Jennifer Morial-Kalina on her break-out boutique.




 ~Insider Incentive~
Deals, Drawings, Dollars and More!





Don't hesitate to visit Harmony Belle's Online Boutique, we have a feeling these fabulous wardrobe collections are gonna fly and trust us when we say you won't want to miss out on pieces that pop! Browse new arrivals, delicate dresses, tantalizing tops, blissful bottoms and an array of jewels and accessories!!  

We at 2u Creative would like to extend special gratitude to Liga Photography along with Shannon Stewart & Laura Kirkpatrick of America's Next Top Model for playing a key role in making these pieces come to life.

Global Robotics Institute - Napa Valley Conference

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We are always flattered when an existing client is so impressed by our work, that they feel confidence in referring us to their partners, collaborators, and extended contacts.  Such is the case with the Florida Hospital Global Robotics Institute who came to us by way of Dr. Vipul Patel.  We have been working with Patel throughout this past year and you may have seen blog posts of our previous projects. It is with great appreciation that we begin working with the Global Robotics Institute, most recently we would like to highlight a piece that we created for their 2012 Napa Valley Conference.



Aware that the conference was of high educational and collaborative basis, our goal was to build a complete, clear, and concise package of information for those professionals attending.  We began with a comprehensive pre-registration brochure that would highlight the nature of the program, educational objectives, daily agenda, faculty attendees, and all necessary travel information.  To finish, this would also act as the invite and official registration form for the conference itself.






For the actual conference, the brochure was translated into a quick-read format and broken down into 4 folder inserts for easy reference and accessibility.  A clean and simple 2-pocket folder was designed for basic organization, and finished the conference material for attendees.


Special thanks to Lawton Printers for bringing our designs to life!  Their execution is always flawless and they are no stranger to producing polished pieces, even under pressure.  We have partnered with them for years and would consider no other.

Harmony Belle Fashion Shoot - Sneak a Peek!

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Bubbling with anticipation here at 2u Creative as we continue to finalize branding for an exciting new client, Harmony Belle! For the past few months we have been working on brand development for the boutique, from creation to full on execution and the process is coming along beautifully. In our most recent engagement we acted as art director for a fabulous photo shoot done by Liga Photography. How about a behind the scenes look?.... Maybe more!? 


 
Founder and Fashionary!
Delighted that Jennifer Morial-Kalina (Left) of Harmony Belle trusted us with these moments. 
Pictured Middle is Shannon Stewart and Abby Liga of Liga Photography is pictured right!

As an added bonus it was such a joy to have both Shannon Stewart (Center) and Laura Kirkpatrick of American' Next Top Model (AMTM) on set with us. The girls were just dolls! True talents, both models also appeared on America's Next Top Model Cycle 17 "ALL-STARS!" 

Face Check Fierce
Abby Liga of Liga Photography shoots Shannon Stewart of America's Next Top Model (ANTM), Cycle 1 Runner-Up.


Color POP! 
Who doesn't die for a killer accessory?! Finishing the look with pieces soon to be in your personal collection. Clean and polished.


A little Hair... A little Make-Up
Simone Rosas of Makeover Station enhancing the already stunning Laura Kirkpatrick of America's Next Top Model (ANTM), Cycle 13 Runner-Up.


The Racks! 
I've already called dibs on my piece... Jealous?! 


Now, in preparation for the Harmony Belle E-commerce site (which is almost completed... can't wait!) it's time for another Sneak Peek into this fun and fresh clothing boutique. Ladies, start your wish-list....

Site launches in July, SET THE DATE!






I just love Love LOVE this line! Unexpected colors and combinations creating fun, flirty sophistication. Soft or Bold, even a bit of both. What a great vision Harmony Bell. A real treat... reader's you will be the first to know about the official launch. Keep posted!


Follow Shannon and Laura on Twitter

What are you blogging for?

AmyComment
I am a firm believer that blogging is key to keeping yourself relevant within any industry. Consumers are becoming more reliant on companies' abilities to blog and share via social networks than they are print advertisements and website content. In today's society you can't survive as a company by relying on one form of marketing. Obviously everyone's business is different. Some companies client base comes heavily from word of mouth recommendations while others have completely web based clientele. Whichever category you fall in to it's important to cross market yourself. Make sure people have heard from you online as well as from others. 



The reason blogging is so important is because it allows you as the business owner to be relatable. We all like doing business with people we know. There's a level of comfort involved with doing business with someone you know. The satisfaction of getting to know someone takes your working relationship to the next level. Sometimes the personal connections you make with people is what makes your professional relationship so valuable. Once people become fans of your work they want to see it continually, so show them! If you have a recent project you're particularly proud of then you need to be blogging it! Be confident and stand behind your work, when people see you're fully convinced your work is great they'll start to agree. 

It's also great to blog on topics that are in your expertise. Sharing ideas, articles, experiences, successes and failures is what makes us all better both as individuals and professionals. And that's what blogging is all about. Sharing your personal insights into your industry. Your blog should be often and relevant. Make you are writing something people will want to carve out time to sit down and read. Blogging is your opportunity to make your company really yours. I hear everyday from clients that they want their brand's logo to be so unique and the wording on their website has to be so different from that of their competitors. However, they never think to carry that desire for originality through to their blog which if attended to correctly could be one of their greatest assets. Make sure you are spending time with your blog because it is one of the most effective ways clients can associate with you. 

Photo credits from megamoneyblog.com 

Social Media-When does sharing information become sharing TOO MUCH?

AmyComment
In today's world, we are more increasingly living in a space where everything about our lives is made public. There was once a time in our history when paper and printing were such rare commodities, that in society we were more discriminate in what words were actually put out there for public consumption. Writings, statements, etc were scrutinized-- is this information important enough to share with the masses-- do we use our rare resources to convey "this message" (whatever it may be), or should we further think it through to make sure "this message" is worthy of the use of rare resources, and the time involved to produce it for the masses. This idea has been lost over time, as our society changes and grows and as our technology evolves.

These days, with social media, internet news sources, etc. it seems this idea has become lost all together, which is what prompted me to write this post. Are we sharing too much information these days- and are we sometimes spreading misinformation, because we don't spend the proper time verifying and vetting the information we do put out there.  Has social media and the internet made it so we don't take responsibility for our words? Should we use "free speech" as a crutch to post any message we want for the world to see? Shouldn't we have a social responsibility to make sure the words we put out in the world are accurate and true? Journalist are held to this standard, why aren't the rest of us. A Journalist can't write whatever they want about any topic or person without consequences. They have to work within ethical guidelines, because they can be held responsible for their words- due to libel and slander laws. 

As a marketing professional and designer I am often asked to manage my clients social media forums. And as a business owner myself with my own social life I've come to the conclusion that although we shouldn't be judged based on what we choose to do with our social lives and social media there's no controlling that we still are. Business professionals especially should be even more careful when it comes to what they post on their social media outlets. Although we do live in a society where we are free to speak our minds that doesn't necessarily mean we always should. Sometimes posting your opinion on something will cause people to judge you unfairly or jump to conclusions about the "underlying message" you are conveying.

Yes, we live in a wonderful time where we do have free speech and we can speak our minds, but should we always? This is something each of us has to decide for ourselves. But here are some things to keep in mind. You don't want to alienate a future employer, college admissions, client, friend, in-law etc. because they have inferred "what you mean" by a statement, photo, video, etc that you have shared with the world. Should we be able to post whatever we want with no judgement? Yes. But unfortunately in the world we live in today, it's just not that simple. The FACT IS, YOU ARE JUDGED ON WHAT YOU POST.


There are several things you can post for the world to see, but before you do you should think about the possible consequences. Posts and photos regarding....

1. Posting Digs, Jokes, or Statements "meant to be funny"
When you post something vague on your blog, twitter, Facebook, myspace, etc there is no TONE.  Sometimes you may write something that you think is funny- but could offend others. And since there is no voice inflection, or mischievous glint in your eye, the audience may have no idea that you were trying to be funny or make a joke. This recently has become an issue in the Tyler Clementi trial as well as in schools where students are being bullied via electronic means.  REMEMBER: the people reading your posts are not in your head. You may think you are being harmless with your posts, but they may be harmful to others. 

2. Partying too hard..Posting the innappropriate.
It is great to have fun with your friends, and post pics of these escapades. But think about what is appopriate not for the NOW, but for your future. Do you want to become very successful in your career to only have your past come back and haunt you? This happens all the time, especially in politics. For Example: Bill Clinton.. "I didn't inhale." Would he have been elected if there was video of him on Facebook actually inhaling? Who knows, but do you want to go to a job interview and NOT get the job because 5 years ago a friend of your posted a pic of you on the internet "praying to the porcelain god?"  It was funny at the time, right?

3. Getting too emotional...do you post TMI?
Do you post your life's ups and downs? When you are fighting with a friend, boyfriend, co-worker etc. Do you intentionally post things to "get a rise of them"? Do you share your intimate moments on a public forum. If you do, that is your choice, but remember YOU ARE BEING JUDGED. Have you lost out on potential clients, job opportunities, etc because you are viewed as Volatile or Emotionally unstable? You probably don't think you are viewed this way. But if you post all of your Personal Ups and Downs- then someone out there probably views you as an "emotional mess". Believe it or not this translates, and if a potential employer thinks this of you, they start to think, do I want to hire this person- will their dramatic emotional moments- affect their ability to do their job. Should they make a decision about you based only on your merits, and not what you put out there? YES-- but is this how it works? NO! What you post is a reflection of your character, and colleges and business owners have started checking Facebook and social media to see what kind of character you have. So be careful what and how you post. 

4. Venting about co-workers and clients....
This is a huge NO NO.. People have been fired for venting about their boss or place of employment on Facebook. It is never smart to post negative things relating to your job, employer, vendors, co-workers, friends, acquaintances etc. This is a bell you can't un-ring! Public forums ARE NOT the place for venting about people in your life.  Call a friend, get a cocktail and vent. We all need to vent sometimes, but posting things in the heat of frustration and anger, only leads to REGRET. And once it's out there you can't take it back! Yes, you can delete it, but you can never delete it from the mind of those who read it before you do.

5. Professing your political and religious views.....
We are lucky to live in a society where we have freedom in these areas. But always be aware, these types of posts can be hot-button issues for lots of people, so be careful what you post. You may have potential clients and/or opportunities with people that have very different views. This is what makes America great, everyone has the right to their own opinion. Remember though, just as you have the "freedom to post these things"- others have the "freedom to judge you or not do business with you because of your views". As a business professional you have to check your personal thoughts on these topics at the door. You don't want to alienate anyone in the business arena because you passionately post your thoughts and views. Although you are completely entitled to your own political and religious views just be prepared that sharing them could turn around and hurt your image or brand. And the same goes for all the topics I mentioned above. 


All of the above are topics that can possibly give your clients, vendors, friends, etc an unfavorable perception of you. All of us are individuals and that is nothing to be ashamed of or hide, however if you use your social media outlets for your company or the professional side of your life, you need to watch your personal posts. You can't be promoting your business or professional skills at 9am and then bashing your boyfriend or coworker at 2pm, without it effecting how your followers and/or clients view you.  When it comes to business, especially with our economy the way it is people want to spend money with trust-worthy, capable and consistent individuals. If you portray yourself to be anything but that, rest assured eventually your business/professional life will suffer. 

There are several Facebook privacy settings you can take to prevent people from seeing anything on your page you don't want them to see. Photo tagging privacy policies, sharing with only certain groups of people your posts and so on. Check all of your other social media sites for these same settings. It could help you limit what potential employers, clients, etc see.

It's true, your personal life should not dictate the way you are in business, but unfortunately it absolutely does. So be sure you are monitoring what your social media sites are saying about you. Think about what you are posting, be responsible with your words. And if you are trying to be informational in your posts, make sure that you research, and that you are putting accurate information out there.


International Prostate Cancer Foundation Educates

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Prostate cancer is constantly in the news. Well known figures, Warren Buffett and Ryan O'Neal were both just recently diagnosed which led me to realize there is a need for awareness which is what led me to do this post. 

One of our clients held a symposium in March to educate patients and families on the treatment options available to them regarding their battle with prostate cancer. The International Prostate Cancer Foundation's Education Symposium was held at The Waldorf Astoria Bonnet Creek. Speakers educating on topics such as Genetics, Diet and Exercise Prevention, Treatment Options and Life after Surgery are just a few from the days' itinerary. Prostate cancer is a growing disease and with these awareness efforts hopefully more lives will be saved and men can begin diagnosing their cancer early. 

For more information on the Education Symposium please visit the IPCF website where you can view live videos from each speaker. The International Prostate Cancer Foundation website also has a dedicated area titled 'About Prostate Cancer' where you will find information regarding; Understanding the Cancer, Risk Factors, Myths, Prevention, Early Diagnosis and Ongoing Research. I love being part of such a great cause. I get to work on projects I'm passionate about and the goals of my clients will benefit so many! Please visit the website and help us in the battle against prostate cancer. 

Present vs. Presence-Social Media Explained

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As I'm sure most of you are well aware social media is an infectious movement that is transforming the way we do interact; both personally and professionally-and it's here to stay. If you're not online talking about your company, just know that someone else is! It can be both confusing and time consuming trying to become well-versed in all the different social media facets and keep up with them. Some marketing consultants say to use every single one, others say it's best to do just a few and do them each very well. I don't know exactly where I stand on how many of the sites you should be utilizing because each and every business is so different. I do know however that to be successful you can't just be present on social media sites you have to evoke a presence. 


The key when it comes to capitalizing on social media is simple. Be present with a presence, be engaging and most importantly, be relevant. A great Facebook page is one that is always delivering relevant information in the realm of their product or service. Things people have an interest in are the posts you will find most read and shared. You must always make sure you're approach is in a fun, personable fashion. People aren't on Facebook and twitter to get the news, so make sure you're delivering much more than just information. Inside tips regarding your industry, how-to forums and anything else you think has relevancy to your brand, and your future clients is a great place to start. Even sparking up conversations on your social media networks about non-related things such as your favorite restaurant in town or favorite recipe {although not business specific} these personable touches might allow you to engage someone that wouldn't have normally read your post. Relationship building is key, especially on twitter, once that is established then you can educate. 


A company Facebook page with a daily discussion board, lots of fan feedback and comments with only 100 likes is much more beneficial than a page with 1,000 likes that is never updated and who's fans are never present on the page. Quality verse quantity is key, but of course the holy grail is to have both---a huge fan base and also a very interactive group of fans that are constantly liking, checking in and status sharing. If you've reached that, you can sit back and relax because your social media is now at 100%-NOT! No matter how many fans you have or how great your page interaction is you have to constantly press on. When we sit back and become complacent is when competitors sweep in. Besides, of all the things we do at the office on a day to day basis, I think we can all agree social media is one of the most entertaining tasks on our to-do list. 


There are several websites out there now that charge a small nominal fee to allow you to manage your social media sites all from one website. Examples such as Hootsuite, Ping.fm and so on. This can save you time by seeing all your pages at once and posting to all of them at one time. If you haven't looked into these sources definitely do so as it could revolutionize the amount of time you spend weekly on for social media. Another website becoming increasingly popular is Klout it manages your sites and actually gives you a rating on how relevant your posts are to your followers. This can be a great tool to measure how big of an impact you are making to possible consumers and colleagues alike. I hope this blog was helpful and you are able to take some techniques and take your social media management to the next level. 


Happy tweeting, Facebook posting, checking-in, photo sharing, pinning and the list goes on and on!


Photo credits of vabulous.com 

Sneak Peak: Harmony Belle Boutique

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As many of you know shopping online has become a huge market. Black Friday online sales last year actually trumped that of in-store retail sales. Speaking of which, one of my newest clients is developing an online women's clothing boutique and I am thrilled to be a part of this exciting venture! The online store will feature unique pieces all priced under $100. 

We have been working on the branding for a few months now and before the website goes live I want to give all my readers a Sneak Peak of what's to come with this new clothing boutique. After all, it's never too early to start thinking about SHOPPING! Above is the final logo we have landed on, and below are a few small snip its of some of the branding elements!


As you can see we have married a couple different patterns and four colors to make this modern yet feminine and fresh look. When designing an entire brand I always like to include a background pattern or color as well as brand embellishments. I like to give the client as many options as possible and using a mix of patterns and colors really allows me to be creative and design something completely original for their brand specifically. 







Above and below is a business card concept, in addition to cards, logo and brand design I am also developing the website, packaging tags, coupons, gift cards and other marketing related items.




We are still in the production stages but the brand is definitely coming together. I am excited to see all the elements I've been working on get the finishing touches. Stay tuned for when the website goes live!







Importance of Branding & Advertising Part 3

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Many of you may know in the past, I've written a 2 part series on the Importance of Branding & Advertising.  Well, I had such a wonderful response to the first 2, that I decided to do a 3rd installment to focus on what I think is very important: Following through and delivering the brand you have created and promise. Too many people think that developing it and having a presence (website, printed pieces, etc) is enough.. IT IS NOT!


In Part I, I concentrated on defining a brand. Who are you as a company and how would you like to be perceived in the marketplace are the key factors you want to focus on when building a brand. I continued to go on about the importance of brand recognition and the value that branding can bring to your business with both clients and colleagues alike. 

In Part II, I shed some light on how to get started building your brand. Researching your competitors, evaluating your company and creating a plan on what items you plan to instill. More than anything, you must know what you want your branding to say about you. 

In this segment I want to focus on how to keep your company up to par with the brand you spent so much time and money building. Unfortunately, as consumers we have all been let down from time to time. Whether it was a bad dining experience at a restaurant or an underwhelming experience with a sales clerk at a retail store. I don't know about you but when I'm disappointed in a product or service I am most surprised when that company gave me no warning signs because they had such a well established brand. So my question to you is, how are you working to actually deliver the same caliber of service your brand is promising. 

I have some key points that I really feel are beneficial when taken and put to work: 

1. How am I BACKING UP my brand? 
When you first started branding or re-branding your company I'm sure you had a profile about your company that helped you build your brand. Items including; targeted marketed, how are you set apart from the competition and the services you offer. Saving and referencing this list from time to time will remind you of why you first started. What were your initial goals, and are you still meeting and dare I say it {exceeding} those goals. If not, perhaps you should re-evaluate. Promising the world to a client through a fabulous website and eye-catching marketing pieces means nothing if they can't get a hold of you, and when they do, your customer service and/or quality of work fails to deliver.

2. Never stop LEARNING!
You hear a lot of talk about continued education.......AND you should! Prioritizing and furthering your knowledge is how you establish yourself as a leader in your industry. Knowledge is power and if your competitors have more you will eventually get behind. Now let me clarify, I'm not saying you have to go to every symposium and register for every educational luncheon, my point is to keep yourself in the know. Only you know which learning sessions will benefit you and those are the ones you need to prioritize. And continuing education is all apart of what I mentioned above: keeping the quality and technicality of your work continuing on the upward track.

3. Produce GREAT work!
The bottom line is your work is everything. The finished product to a client says more about you than your brand ever will. However, that doesn't mean that all the other aspects of your business aren't equally as important. How are you conducting business? Are you professional at all times, are you open to compromise on a clients deal-breaker issues, do you have the "diva attitude" when a client is disappointed in your work, do you handle problems by being diplomatic, calm and solving them, or do you join your client in (what I call) "the anxiety frenzy", which not only makes you look bad, but usually renders you useless to deal with the problem at hand with a cool head. Are you direct and down to business when discussing money, contracts, etc. Do you engage your clients? Something as simple as taking too long to respond to a client email or phone call can disappoint the client and tarnish the brand you promise. Believe me, no matter how good the work is, if your customer service and client interactions are not mature, thoughtful and professional- this is just as bad as producing horrible work. Are you too emotional?  Do you take things too personally? Business is just that, you can't make everyone happy, and sometimes you will have a client that no matter what you do you won't make them happy.  Do you have the ability to disconnect from your emotional and personal feelings on the topic to engage them professionally and objectively to finish out the process as painlessly as possible (for both you and the client)? AND, most importantly do you deliver what you sell? I could work with you on developing the most interactive website and print campaign with a cutting edge logo design and business cards but if you are not delivering the level of service your clients are expecting the branding you just paid me to do is completely null and void. And your amazing work is tarnished, as well because the overall experience for the client was unsatifactory. Make sure the image you are portraying is the one you deliver in the end. 

4. The price is right!
Well, Bob Barker said it and now so have I! Make sure you are pricing yourself properly within your industry according to your competitors. Pricing yourself to high could keep you just barely out of reach for someone that could have potentially been a profitable client for you. And pricing yourself too low could put you in a bracket with the wrong clientele. Knowing who you are within your market and re-evaluating that annually will help you keep competitively priced and keep that unanimous with your brand. 

5. Excel at Customer Service & Client Relations
Be the leader in delivering unparalleled customer service. Know what your clients are expecting and set out to give them that and more in the most efficient, cost appropriate and friendly manor possible. One thing I have always done is think beyond what the client initially asked me to do for them. Foreseeing their future needs and presenting those ideas to my clients lets them know I am always thinking about them and how I can best utilize my talents to help them be successful. Sometimes I present things they've never even thought of and in those cases especially it feels great to know I went above and beyond and perhaps that marketing idea was that client's next big thing. This is not only GREAT for your client relations, but good for your bottom line as well, as anticipating their needs is also a good way to upsell and generate more work for your business. 

6. Communication is KEY
How you conduct business with your clients, colleagues and competitors says a lot about you. Be approachable, be reachable and most importantly be relevant. No client wants to be flooded with emails everyday, but they do want to be kept in the loop in regards to their projects. I often find a weekly check-in with my clients is the best way to re-cap the goals of the week and how much of those got accomplished. Staying on the same page with the client and communicating effectively with them is key when delivering the customer service I just spoke about. On the flip-side, their is a such thing as COMMUNICATING TOO MUCH. There is a fine line to how much and what you communicate to your clients. As you gain experience you will better gage and use this boundary. For example, if a behind the scenes crisis happens, that will make you late on delivery- yet you know it's solvable- then there is no reason to get your client all upset by including them in the crisis.. A nice email, letting them know you ran into a snag- and will be a day late, is all that is necessary. Apologize, and restore their confidence by assuring them that you will deliver and you are focused on the solution. Giving them the gory details about the crisis and what you went through to deliver the project is unnecessary.

7. Maximize your expertise
You know your market and your product better than anyone else. Properly utilizing your talents and expertise is how clients will begin to trust you. If you're confident and stand behind all aspects of your company because "You know what you're talking about" people will begin to question you less and look up to you more. Know what you do best and do just that! Be confident in your skills and talent and don't be afraid to (gently and humbling) toot your own horn. You wouldn't hire a painter who's done tile work once or twice to re-do your bathroom. Instead you would seek out someone that specialized in re-doing bathrooms. Remember that when aligning yourself within an industry. Stick to your expertise and make sure that's the angle you are branding from. Don't try to take on tasks you aren't trained in, or strong at. It will dilute your brand and give you a reputation as the "Jake of all trades, Master of none". Everyone is guilty of this from time to time, it's easy to add services to expand the skills your business offers, but make sure you hire an expert in that area, so that you are delivering the high quality for all of your services, instead of being really excellent at a few things and mediocre at a few.  You should excel at everything your business offers.


In conclusion, developing a brand image is one of the most important factors in starting or re-branding any business. Your brand imaging is what makes a client call you but how you deliver your product or service is how they're going to remember your brand and call you again. 

International Prostate Cancer Foundation Gala

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International Prostate Cancer Foundation Gala

If you are a frequent reader of my blog you are well aware that a good portion of this month's efforts have been dedicated to the success of the International Prostate Cancer Foundation's Gala. I was first approached by the foundation to do all their marketing and our 2u Creative division took their concept and ran with it. We quickly decided to use a tree as the main focal point for all their marketing collateral including website design, marketing pieces and brand imaging. After designing their brand and marketing items they approached me to handle the stationary pieces for the upcoming Gala. I was able to hand over the next portion of the responsibilities to our stationary division, The 2u Collection. Having a stationary division is particularly beneficial for projects such as these where a client needs our marketing services and then also stationary needs for a social event.  

The average person does not know that prostate cancer is actually a genetic familial disease. That is why from the very beginning of the design process the tree was such a focal point. With the design of the Gala materials we wanted to keep the tree as a focal point, but obviously with any social gathering, items should look more formal and have a different aesthetic value than that of marketing collateral. As you can see below being able to work within my two divisions allowed for a seamless execution for all print materials, website and marketing materials to be unanimous with the stationary for their Gala.


The first design decision was choosing a color palette. The monotone array of greys, silvers and charcoals really made for an elegant statement. I was able to incorporate the tree in a more formal way by using silver and white foil stamping on a Neenah classic linen charcoal paper for the programs, place cards and menu cards. The tree was used on the cover of the IPCF program as well as inside the program, that paired with a stripe corner border were the two design focal points of all the stationery pieces. All the items were classic and timeless and although appealing to the women's eye were designed with a masculine look in mind. We really wanted to keep it masculine so the materials suited the overall goals of the foundation in who they are reaching.






 The design collaboration with Lisa Stoner of E Events really brought out the beauty of what we had created. The tables were dressed in green table linens, each had a lush floral centerpiece and clear glass gold beaded chargers. When menu cards, place cards and table numbers were placed on the tables, paired with the individual table pin-spotting the details of the pieces really came alive.




The grand finale of this event, like any were the favors. The foundation selected to hand out individual tree seedlings that each had a tag designed by The 2u Collection describing the meaning behind the seedling. Each guest was invited to take this seedling home and plant it in their own yard in honor of someone who has or is currently battling prostate cancer. This touch really put a memorable emphasis on why the tree was the focal point for the event and the foundation itself.




The event was one of the most rewarding I have ever had the opportunity to work on. Not only were both of my divisions contributors to the overall design and success of the event and the IPCF brand itself but I personally am continually touched by the efforts of Dr. Patel. I am honored to be part of the journey IPCF has begun and look forward to all the projects we work on together in the future!  


Of course there are so many people involved in helping execute this, but I want to give so much thanks to Lawton Printers. Not only are they amazing at what they do, they treat their customers like family and will move heaven and earth (if needed) to turn my designs and ideas into beautifully printed finished pieces! Another big thanks to Jeffrey Stoner of Stoner Video for supplying all these beautiful images!

Full Brand Collateral for IPCF- Lawton Printers makes our work look GOOD!

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If you are a regular reader of my blog, then you know the last several months we have been hard at work for both an amazing client and an amazing cause, The International Prostate Cancer Foundation. We have been working tirelessly to develop and execute a brand that will spread awareness and promote education for this formidable disease. Of course there are so many people involved in helping execute this, but today I want to give so much thanks to Lawton Printers. Not only are they amazing at what they do, they treat their customers like family and will move heaven and earth (if needed) to turn my designs and ideas into beautifully printed finished pieces! (Stay tuned in the next few days for a blog post I will do on the AMAZING and ELEGANT pieces they helped me with for the IPCF Gala Event)


We started off the brand with the website, which we launched late last year. If you haven't visited it yet. Please do! fightingprostatecancer.com



Then of course, Stationery. Lawton Printers did an amazing job. And as an added texture experience on the business cards we added soft touch and Spot UV coating. The client loved it!




Next on the Agenda, a informational summary overview piece, just enough information to give the audience an overview of the International Prostate Cancer Foundation and it's mission and goals. (Stay tuned, in the next few months we will probably create a similar piece that is a more in-depth explanation of the foundation and its goals for the future. Which excites us around here!)
Once again, Lawton Printers really brought this piece alive! Soft Touch and Spot UV details on the cover really impressed the audience at the last IPCF event!

Great Detail shown here, the last 2 pages were perforated, one page is a donation form, and the last page is prostate cancer facts you can share with a loved one.




An independent donation card, is very helpful at events, if a supporter doesn't want to take the full brochure. A Lawton Printers piece as well.


Next onto Event Pieces, as you seen if you've read the blog before we have really done some amazing things in the past few months launching the foundation, from a media day and education event with Oscar Robertson, to an Education Symposium for Patients. At these events, it's always important to have your brand presence front and center. To both deliver your brand messaging and to start planting the seed for brand recognition. Below are some of the event pieces we designed and produced, a pop up sign, wristbands and a flyer.
above photo of Dr. Vipul Patel, NBA Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson and Amy Morelli 


International Prostate Cancer Foundation Media Day with Oscar Robertson

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NBA All-Star Legend Oscar Robertson speaks out to create awareness! Oscar not only sits on the board of the Foundation, he is also the Honorary Chair of the Foundations Launch Gala that will be held March 10th. I am so grateful to be working alongside one of NBA's greatest legends in conjuncture with The International Prostate Cancer Foundation.

Dr. Vipul Patel, a renowned prostate-cancer surgeon, has operated on more than 5,000 men from around the world, including Oscar Robertson which is how the former NBA legend got involved. In launching this foundation, Dr. Patel's goal is to make Central Florida the global epicenter for the battle against prostate cancer, a disease that is currently the number 2 cancer killer among men.

In Partnership with Julison Communications and The International Prostate Cancer Foundation we have been working on a National Public Relations Campaign to promote the launch of the foundation and educate the public on some of the important facts of prostate cancer! Thursday, February 22nd Oscar participated in a Media Tour that helped us officially launch The International Prostate Cancer Foundation and create awareness world wide on the importance of getting screened. The measures being taken by the Foundation will help educate men worldwide about the danger of prostate cancer and hopefully as a result we will all see the battle of this cancer become increasingly less threatening to men everywhere. 

With the help of Oscar Robertson the Foundation was able to get worldwide coverage and reach millions with the campaign of prostate cancer awareness. ESPN, Bloomberg News, Yahoo! Sports, Fox Sports Radio, NPR and Sporting News are just a few of the media outlets that also featured the story!
  
  
Emcee of the Education Event, Greg Francis (left), Oscar Robertson (center), Dr. Vipul Patel (right)

Oscar got a great surprise when this fan asked him to sign his FRESHMAN year high school yearbook.

Click on this image to see Dr. Patel and Oscar's appearance on Good Day Orlando

Oscar at one of the many radio interviews he did across the nation.