Viewing entries tagged
branding

How Important is Brand Messaging to a Startup?

At FL+G, we often consult with startups. One of the first things we talk about with these new companies is the need for strong brand messaging. We firmly believe that a strong core message is essential when building a brand because this process is about figuring out what needs to be said, what wants to be heard, and the best way to deliver it. To us, messaging is the branding decision companies should make before the logo design, before the website launches, before any marketing materials are pushed out.

Comment

SIXINCH Furniture Makes a Splash at Denver Design Week

IMG_6508.jpg

In October 2018, FL+G Agency was proud to showcase our client SIXINCH® North America’s furniture at a brand activation event at Denver Design Week. The event featured a panel of guests including SIXINCH’s Josh Taylor, our own Brian Rogers, Becky Mickletz of Remickz Marketing, and Brandy Sachen of Sofar Sounds Denver. The panel utilized SIXINCH’s colorful and funky furniture for the event, and audience members were encouraged to interact with the pieces following the panel.

The Denver audience was very receptive and interested in Josh’s extensive media background. He was able to discuss elements of digital media including videography, design concepts, copywriting, brand awareness, omni-channel marketing campaigns, and how these pieces have created the SIXINCH® North America brand. The crowd was very engaged with Josh regarding his company’s logo and design decisions, and in the Q&A, there were a lot of burning questions about his brand. It was a great opportunity to educate the Denver community on SIXINCH® North America while elevating Josh’s personal brand as an expert in his field. He shared his company's current goals for Denver, and and how he envisions his furniture’s presence in the Mile High market. It was also a great opportunity for everyone on the panel to network with design driven individuals, including interior designers and business owners (many of whom were actively interested in SIXINCH® North America’s catalogue of products).

Since SIXINCH® North America creates fun and imaginative pieces, FL+G sees their Denver presence expanding in many areas, including the live music venue, music festival, and nightlife spaces. We look forward to seeing the SIXINCH® brand grow across the country and truly anticipate them making a real splash in the Denver design world.  

You can learn more about our client SIXINCH® North America here and see more about the services our agency offers at this link.

Comment

Comment

Join FL+G for a Branding Strategy Panel at Upcoming Denver Design Week

DDW_PromoInstagram.png

Earlier this month, we brought you tips on building your personal brand. From identifying your strengths to publishing and sharing your own original content, there are a number of key components to establishing yourself as an expert in your niche. One way to continue building your own creative strategy is by connecting with top mentors in the branding space. This month, FL+G is proud to be creating an opportunity that will allow you to do just that at Denver Design Week this October 12th-19th. With FL+G’s own Brian Rogers on board, FL+G will be part of the panel “ More Than a Logo: How to Establish a Unique Brand in a Cookie Cutter World” on Thursday, October 18th. The focus of our discussion will be centered around how to set yourself and your brand apart from your competition, why your brand is more than your logo, and how to showcase your brand in the visual design world.

For this special event, FL+G is also bringing on industry expert Josh Taylor of SIXINCH® North America furniture. SIXINCH is not your average furniture company- their pieces are playful, unique, and whimsical while simultaneously having classic elements that keep them comfortable and functional. Their furniture has been featured in installations all over the world, and more recently, you might have even seen a piece like The Cliffy at a music festival! So how did SIXINCH brand themselves as a little more rock’n’roll than your average interior design choices? Josh will be sharing this with you, along with tips in his specialties of digital media, videography, design concepts, copywriting, brand awareness, and omni-channel marketing campaigns.

Along with Brian and Josh, the panel will also feature host Becky Mickletz (Remickz Marketing) and panelist Brandy Sachen (Sofar Sounds Denver). In the competitive marketing world, connecting with these mentors is exactly what you need to establish your own brand dominance.

Details for this Denver Design Week panel are below and you can snag $15 tickets here. Join our Facebook event for your chance to win two free tickets! Panelists are available for press and interviews; connect with us at publicrelations@flg.agency for requests. We can’t wait to see you October 18th!

Denver Design Week Panel details:

“More Than a Logo: How to Establish a Unique Brand in a Cookie Cutter World”

Thursday, October 18th 2018 at 1:30PM

The Yard at Denargo Market 2323 Delgany Street Denver, CO 80216

More About SIXINCH North America

Founded in Belgium in 2003 by Pieter Jamart and Michel Sels, SIXINCH was born from a passion for innovative materials and progressive design. In 2013, Peter and Michel partnered with U.S.-based Wieland Designs, a well-respected company in the furniture industry, and expanded the footprint for one of the most talked about furniture brands in the world. Their furniture has been featured in the international market at The Mondrian Hotel in Miami, The Centre Pompidou in Paris, Moscow’s Airport, and for commissioned installations in New York, Rotterdam, and Hamburg. With some of their more whimsical pieces, SIXINCH has even expanded their market into children’s hospitals, the aforementioned music festival space, and more. Earlier this year, SIXINCH North American opened their first showroom at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago during the NeoCon trade fair, the largest American trade fair for design professionals. One of the company’s most popular pieces, The Cliffy, has previously been the winner of a “Best of Neocon Editors’ Choice Award.”SIXINCH has a number of products newly available for 2018, from chic seated pieces like The Gnarly to the more fanciful and intriguing Tapa if you’re interested in browsing more.

Comment

Comment

Building Your Personal Brand

Taking the first steps to begin building your personal brand can sometimes prove to be a challenge. Here are a few tips to help get you started:

 

Identify your Aptitudes

Everyone has gifts and strengths; the key is finding yours. What is your passion? In what area(s) do you excel? What is “your thing” - the thing that you wish to have attached to your name? If you find you are having trouble, ask people whom you respect what they deem to be your greatest asset.

The public enjoys someone with whom they are able to identify. What are some of the unique things that define you? This can be as simple as your interest in health food, or as obscure as your participation in competitive Chessboxing. Connecting with the public is incredibly important as you proliferate your brand.  

 

Build Yourself ~ Build your Brand

Consistently making advancements in your area of interest means that you are not only developing yourself, but you are modeling an individual perpetually striving for more. Doing this will draw public interest. Successful people are constantly looking to improve themselves. Stagnation is highly counterproductive for anyone who wishes to enhance their personal brand.

 

Share, Share, Share!

Place yourself in mass-circulation! This can be done by uploading plenty of online content. Whether it be photos, videos, tweets, or any other medium, the priority is getting your name out there. The more you pop up (either by post or word of mouth) the greater your chances of reaching a broader audience. This expansion is vital for continued growth and visibility. Keep sharing media/written content of you doing your thing along with promoting all the qualities that make you unique and relatable.

 

Evaluate and Re-Evaluate

Which of your posts have received positive feedback, i.e. more likes/positive comments/shares? Which have received negative feedback? Why? By taking time to analyze how each facet of your online presence is perceived, you can better assess in which direction you need to be pushing your personal brand.

 

Keeping all that in mind, getting started begins with you... Identifying, Building, Sharing, and Evaluating. FL+G is here to help the process and to provide the additional assistance needed to promote the optimal version of yourself. Reach out today and let us help you build your personal brand!

Comment

Comment

Personal Branding - What We Can Learn from Christiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo. The name likely rings a bell, considering his great soccer achievement as striker/center forward for Real Madrid. What he has also been able to “score”, though, is the interest of the public. Ronaldo has a composite 133 million Instagram followers, 74.4 million Twitter followers, and 120 million Facebook followers. These are beyond impressive numbers. Ronaldo’s thoroughly crafted social media presence helps build and keep his following. Due to this ever-growing popularity, Cristiano has been able to warp his soccer career into multiple sponsorships and job opportunities. Christiano is THE soccer superstar from Real Madrid. He is the attractive humanitarian admired by soccer fans and non-soccer fans alike and a stellar example of building your brand and the benefits of doing so.

The key to developing a personal brand? It’s all about marketing an individual as the incredible product that they are. Consider the three V’s that come into play with personal branding: Value, Variation, and Velocity.

 

Value:

Value is exactly what it sounds like. If you want to build your personal brand, you want to be perceived as a person of value. In Ronaldo’s case, not only is he an incredible athlete, but he is also a charitable and well-traveled individual, devoted to his partner and family. Ronaldo received 19,000 retweets on a photo of him and his family enjoying each other’s company for a candid “Good Morning” tweet.

Defining what the public deems valuable means research; however, some things (charity work, for example) receive almost universally favorable feedback. Ronaldo’s photo on Instagram supporting “World Blood Donor Day” acquired over 3.3 million likes. His tweet about the Rohingya refugee situation highlighted not only his interest in “saving the children” but his involvement in world matters. This tweet received 21,000 retweets.

Variation:

Variation is vital in our increasingly attention-dwindling society. This means, along with your main identity (soccer in Ronaldo’s case), you also need to keep things fresh and well-rounded to display that YOU are fresh and well-rounded. Along with attractive posts and photos highlighting your primary skill/attribute, include various facets of your life. This can be family or anything else unique that contributes to who you are and why you’re “not like the other (athletes/entrepreneurs/artists)”. Ronaldo does a great job of this by including glimpses of his interest in exploring the world, fashion modeling, and being with his loved ones.

Velocity:

Velocity is arguably the most crucial component when it comes to building your brand. It is how you keep yourself in the forefront of the public’s mind. Photos, videos, tweets, and posts being uploaded at a high velocity means an enhanced social media presence.

Ronaldo Cristiano has a whopping 2,296 posts on Instagram (an ever-growing number) along with hundreds of Tweets/Facebook posts. This is a visual representation of how he provides the public with daily doses of his personal brand.

 

In addition to his great social media presence, Cristiano has also taken steps to be featured on various talk shows and even has his own film with the fitting name, “Ronaldo”. With each public appearance, the three V’s are utilized and he is lifted in popularity.

How is an individual to stay on top of all of this? That is where we come into play. FL+G is here to help you grow your following, develop a personal brand that resonates with the public, and open the door to new and lucrative opportunities. Contact us today for more information on our personal branding packages! 

Comment

Comment

Social Media - The Importance of Providing Value, Distinguishing Yourself, and Creating A Virtual Community

Social media has taken the world by storm. We live in an age where having a social
media profile is no longer a choice. It’s a must. Online branding and personas are no longer
limited to large businesses and companies, rather every single representative - be it a
representative for oneself or a representative for a larger group - is required to have an online
presence.

Comment

Comment

Choosing A Company Name: How 8 Agencies Picked Their Names

How does a company get its name? Is it through rigorous, consumer-based testing? Or conceived over a beer? Or by hiring an expert? If you are a start-up, you often don’t have the big budgets or time to conduct months of expensive research to identify the absolute best name. To better understand one of the earliest, and most important decisions entrepreneurs will make, the choice of the firm’s name, I sought insight from several agencies. Below are some of the inventive ways that companies arrived at their names.

Comment

Comment

A Rose by Any Other Name

A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME

“What’s in a name?” When Juliet, in Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”, originally spoke these words, Shakespeare was making the argument that language is random. Names are just labels used to distinguish one thing from another. To Juliette, the name “Montague” itself did not create worth or meaning.

 

Up until recently, FL&G did not have a name. We were an entity; a fully functioning company, however we had no set identity. If names are just labels, we shouldn’t need one to create meaning and worth, right?

 

Doing business with no name, however, was a challenge. Without a name, we had to navigate how best to introduce ourselves to prospective clients. We had no business cards, we used temporary email addresses, we couldn’t yet define our brand or our visual identity. We had less to fall back on and more to explain.

 

The sense of identity that a name provides is at the heart of why names are important to us as individuals and business entities. Names are descriptors that allow people to make quick judgments and assumptions about us. While we can understand the harm of assumptions (and the reasoning behind Juliet’s assertion), names provide the human mind a fast way to categorize a lot of information in a short amount of time.

 

Interestingly, names have also been shown to be a crucial factor in an individual’s internalization and development of their sense of self. Names help propel us forward on various paths of life and career. For example, a name can “exert unconscious influence over a person's own choices. Some scientific researchers contend that there are disproportionately large numbers of dentists named Dennis and lawyers named Lauren, and that it's not purely an accident that Dr. Douglas Hart of Scarsdale, N.Y., chose cardiology or that the Greathouse family of West Virginia runs a real-estate firm.”

 

If choosing a name would inevitably have external and internal influences, choosing the right one for our new agency was one of the most important decisions we had to make to date. This decision was one that would shape how we were going to be perceived by society and how we would perceive ourselves.

 

As an agency, however, there were other things we had to consider during the naming process, too. For example:

  1. How would our name influence our brand? We had to consider Brand Law #5, “The Law of the Word”, which dictates that a brand should strive to own a word in the mind of the consumer.  

  2. As a creative agency we had to be unique, and being unique in a world full of creative agencies who had already called dibs on certain words proved to be a challenge. Finding a name that wasn’t already taken while concurrently connotating the right message and voice meant we had to dig far and wide for ideas.

  3. We had to simultaneously find a domain name that 1. paired well with our choice, 2. was available, and 3. wasn’t exponentially outside our budget.

  4. We all had to agree. With five founding partners all located on different parts of the “purely rational” to “out-there creative” spectrum, we were all driven by different reasonings.

 

As we struggled to narrow down our ideas, we decided to let internal and external forces intersect. If society was going to judge us based on the name we chose, then why not include them in the process?

 

Working with Campaign US, we started by choosing five options that we believed we could internalize as we developed our agency’s identity. Then, we left it to society to chose one of those.  

 

As a result, we got the best of both worlds.

Check out the Campaign US articles to see how the process unfolded!

Comment

How to Fix the Agency Model

Four Reasons Why a Production Structure Will Help Agencies Succeed

The idea that the agency model is "broken" is something that's been kicked around the advertising world for a while now, with few concrete ideas to suggest what might replace it -- until recently. During a spirited speech at the Association of National Advertisers' Masters of Marketing conference this October, PepsiCo president Brad Jakeman called out ad holding companies' lack of interest in acquiring content studios and the apparent reluctance of advertising veterans to move away from traditional platforms like TV.

While I'm not on board with the argument that the advertising world hasn't caught up to our digital reality, I can't disagree that the agency model is overdue for a full overhaul. It goes without saying that the days of producing a TV spot with some print and digital work to back it up are over, yet this is the workflow many agencies are still structured for. Brands are now expected to produce thousands of pieces of content in an endless cycle, on a fraction of the budget they might have had for a campaign 20 years ago. This is a state of affairs that most agencies completely understand, but are not set up to accomplish in the most effective, efficient way.

It's time for a better, smarter way of doing business. Today's client needs call for a model that grafts the creative assets of the traditional agency onto the structure and technical capabilities of a production company. Where planning was once integral to the usefulness of an agency, these days things move so quickly that the ability to be flexible and react instantly is often a more valuable and useful skill. This is what the production structure and mindset allows for. Here's what else it brings to agencies:

1. A production model allows agencies to bring content to market quickly. There's no waiting for back-and-forth with third-party production companies. There's no drawn-out approval process, no time spent briefing someone else's creatives, no worry that your team won't mesh with someone else's. You control the creative process and the production schedule, from start to finish.

2. It enhances the creative process by allowing for experimentation. Just as startups innovate through rapid prototyping and endless testing, agencies with production capabilities built in can keep pushing their ideas forward, and discard what doesn't work, without paying a third party for the project.

3. The agency production model allows you to produce a huge variety and volume of content across platforms. Delivering beyond the brief and showing your client that you're capable of iterating and pushing your creative in many different directions is hugely valuable.

4. It allows agencies to react to what's happening in the news and in culture in real time. It's not enough to just create content for your clients -- it needs to be relevant. This is crucial for brands trying to gain earned media and have a voice in the larger cultural conversation.

The agencies that are well placed in this era are those that were born from production companies in the first place, and later evolved into creative agencies. They have built their creative process off a production foundation and now are finding that they are well-suited to the current climate. But that's not to say that traditional agencies can't catch up. In fact, some larger agencies are wisely beefing up their production capabilities by building studios and hiring in-house production teams. In the coming years, those that don't or can't do the same will likely find themselves left behind.

By  Vann GravesPublished - AdAge - November 04, 2015.

FL+G Launches

 

Vann Graves departs Fancy Rhino, launches FL+G

Less than a year after joining the company, president and CCO Vann Graves has parted ways with Fancy Rhino, and has announced his intention to launch his own agency.

Based in Chattanooga, TN, the eight-person agency will be named FL+G, as determined by a poll of Campaign US readers last week. The name — suggested by Susan Credle, Global Chief Creative Officer of FCB and a friend of Graves — refers to the initials of the agency’s founding leadership team. (Integrated producer Ivannah Flores, strategist Kate Lamb, account director Sally Lynch and director/editor Josh Gross).

A veteran of BBDO and McCann Erickson, Graves left New York in 2014 to help Fancy Rhino, which is based in Chattanooga, evolve from a production house into a self-described "content creation company." The partnership won early attention with clever ads for Torch, a child-friendly router, that played on the innocent associations children have with terms like "blue balls" and "happy ending."

But the partnership was "not a perfect fit," Graves wrote in a column for Campaign US last week, and eventually dissolved.

Fancy Rhino currently has no plans to fill the role Graves originated, the agency said. Instead, Isaiah Smallman, cofounder and CEO, is "stepping back in as president," he said, and Drew Bellz, cofounder and CCO, will assume Graves’ creative duties.

"We’re happy to have Vann doing his own thing but excited about what we’re doing, and hopefully down the road we’ll have the chance to collaborate," Smallman said. The agency has also counted Kia, Samsung and Office Depot among its clients. 

Torch now becomes the first client at FL&G. The company is no longer working with Fancy Rhino.

Graves describes FL+G as "a creative agency that operates on a strategic production model. We stand by the belief that quality content is the way of the future for successful brands, so we’ve integrated a production mindset seamlessly into our brand building process," he said.

Allowing the public to pick his agency’s name was "a vulnerable experience," Graves said — and precisely the sort of thing he would advise a client to do, which is why he did it.

"This is exactly the kind of creative and experimental approach that I've always envisioned for my own agency, and I couldn't be more thrilled with the results," he said. "This type of process is what I would ask my clients to entrust me with, so, by kicking off FL+G in this way, we are representing how we will work with our future partners."

By Douglas Quenqua Published - Campaign - February 29, 2016