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Creative Shopping Bags

Here are some businesses making creative statements with the every day shopping bag.

How to Create a Media Plan in 6 Easy Steps

The following article was written by my friend and neighbor, Gunes Yilmaztuerk, of Sollé Coaching.

Every businesses uses some form of Marketing. Word of Mouth. Internet. Social Media. Videos. Podcasts. Commercials. Newspaper Ads. Magazine Ads. The possibilities are only limited by our imagination – and maybe technology.
As I’m sitting here with my laptop, preparing a marketing and media strategy for a client, I realize that what every business does not use is a media plan. Why not? No time? This is one excuse I don’t believe in. No experience? No knowledge? No guidance? No template? Not understanding the need or the purpose? These reasons sound more viable.

So, without much ado, let me help you and let’s get to putting together a media plan for you.

First: Why do you need a plan?
– How else can you plan your spending?
– How else can you systemize your outreach?
– How else can you verbalize your goals?
– How else can you track what is working and thus invest your money more efficiently?

Second: What needs to be in a media plan?

1) Goals: Why do you want to advertise? What do you want to achieve that is reasonable within your budget. Be specific (with goals and budget!). Have measurable goals.

2) Target Audience: Who do you want to reach and why? What are the demographics? Is it broad or highly targeted? Geographic-specific?

3) Message: What do you want your audience to hear and think? Why should they care? Your mission, goals, and the needs/wants of your target audience should be taken into consideration.

4) Media List: Which media outlets do you need? Who in the media do you need to contact? List the appropriate channels and the people (reporters) and their contact info.

5) Frequency: How often do you want to reach your audience with each media outlet?

6) TimeLine: List “Who – What – When – Which Outlet”. This list should include who is accountable for which task (finalize design, finish script, etc.), when the deadlines are, what the milestones are. Someone on your team should monitor this list regularly and keep team members accountable. It can be a simple excel sheet, a timeline, or an outline with project planning software. Main thing is – get your roadmap in writing.

OK, you could stop there. You’d have a great media plan. But you still need to know what worked and what didn’t. So here is the bonus step:

7) Accountability Report: Have all the timelines been achieved? Have the goals been achieved? Which media outlets worked? Which ones didn’t? Gather all the data you have, analyze it, and change your strategy accordingly.

And voila – you have your media plan. Does it take a bit of work and planning? Sure. But can you see how this might improve the efficiency of your investment? How could a media plan help your business? What has stopped you so far?

The Marketing Power of the Graphic T-shirt

Custom t-shirts have been a favorite branding tool for many years, but it’s not until recently that the price have come down enough to make it worthwhile for smaller customers to participate. Online custom t-shirt shops allows more people the chance to showcase their creativity on a living canvas.

Think about it, how long a lifespan does a flyer campaign have? A newspaper ad? Then consider the fact that retro t-shirts from the 70’s and 80’s are still selling better than ever. With a t-shirt campaign, people may be wearing your message for years to come. We all have that special t-shirt that reminds us of something in the past. We’ll wear it until it literally falls of our shoulders. That’s the power of custom t-shirts.

This is a time of individual branding. We show our unique style and personality in everything we do, from which cell phone we use, to what color our iPod is, but most importantly, we use clothing to show who we are. Custom t-shirts fit the bill. It’s a cheap, fun and inclusive way of letting your audience know who you are and what you stand for.

It’s now cheaper than ever to get custom printing done. This is mostly because of the online print shops, which can save money on stock and staff, because they run their business online. Custom t-shirt printing is no different. The price is low, shipping is cheap, as low as a few dollars for smaller orders and no more than $20 for bulk orders. You simply can’t do better than that in the brick and mortar print shops.

Why t-shirts? Why not get a custom bag or coffee mug? Well, first of all, no one wears their coffee mug around with them all the time. The t-shirt with print however, has become an integral part of everyday fashion. It’s all good and fine to get pens and coffee mugs with your message on them, but you won’t reach the same audience that you will with the iconic custom print t-shirt. Express yourself!

Getting a custom t-shirt printed is a fun way to be creative and bring a group together. It’s also a very effective way of showcasing that designer within you! A t-shirt is like a living canvas, urban art and communication all in one.

If you’re interested in getting t-shirts printed, I’d love to answer your questions.  Please contact me, or go to www.raygunprint.com

How To Be Uncreative

1.    Always hold meetings at the same time and same place, with the same people and with the same fixed agenda. You believe that it shows you are in control and that everyone likes structure.

2.    Always listen to the same music, eat the same food and read the same books. You believe that this shows you know what you like.

3.    Say ‘it will not work’ instead of ‘I wonder what will happen’. This avoids embarrassment and you can always blame luck if it really does work.

4.    Try to avoid failure at all costs. People never get to the top by making mistakes. Do they?

5.    Always take the easy way out or use the first idea that springs into your mind.

6.    Never start anything unless you know how it will turn out. This is also a sign of control and avoiding mistakes and always makes sure that wacky ideas are never given the light of day.

7.    Never ask ‘why’ or ‘how’ because you may discover something unpleasant or the answer may contravene tip number.

8.    Always discard ideas or plans that have flaws in them. They are useless and can never be made to work.

9.    Never share ideas with others, yours are too valuable and they have nothing to contribute.

10.    Always believe that you are creative and that others are idiots.

‘Speak Nicely’ T-Shirts Spread the Message of Goodwill

Our words have such a big impact on how we see the world and how we interact with each other. This is a key to treating the environment well also, and it’s an important message to impress upon children as eary as possible so they grow up to respect other people, themselves and the world at large.

We’ve all seen those rather disturbing kids’ message t-shirts and clothing emblazoned with rather, um, inappropriate words and phrases. It seems like they’re everywhere, and who wants their 8-year-old daughter running around with shorts that say ‘Juicy’ on the rear end? Not to mention all those onesies

A company called ‘Speak Nicely’, founded by the mother of four young children, seeks to remind us all of the power of our words and provide items for children and adults with uplifting messages. ‘Speak Nicely’ items are printed with sayings like ‘Honor People’, ‘Say Nice Things’ and ‘I Am the Future’.

Founder Audrey Weitz:

“In my own search for children’s clothes, I am amazed by how our culture invites us to use our children to inappropriately promote companies, or worse spread messages that can be hurtful to others. I developed this line to help build up our children. We need to give them the opportunity to use words to make their own little worlds, as well as a grander one, a more beautiful and peaceful place to live.”

8 Creative Ways To Use Your Business Cards


Despite the emergence of social media, business cards prove time and time again that print is far from dead.  So, you’ve spent all of this creative time and money composing and printing your business cards, and now 1,000 of them are staring at you from your desk asking, “What now?”

Having business cards isn’t enough.  You’ve got to move them.  Here are some creative tips.

  • Always, without exception, carry your business cards with you. Keep them handy in a pocket, not tucked away in a wallet, purse, or business card holder. You want to be able to grab one quickly on the spur of the moment to use in an opportune moment.
  • If you work with a product that you ship through the mail or hand deliver, always include a business card. If you work with Pampered Chef, Mary Kay, Avon, or any other type of home business and hand deliver your orders, staple or tape your card to the box or bag.
  • When visiting restaurants, always drop your business card in the bowl for giveaways. The restaurant is probably going to put your name on an email list, but people will see it. Also, leave one on the table after you have finished eating at a restaurant.
  • Put your business card on public bulletin boards in grocery stores, the library, your child’s school, the health club, or the doctor’s office.
  • If you frequent the library and check out books frequently, place a business card in the book before returning it. Or, just visit the library or bookstore and tuck your card in books relevant to your business. The reader will get a nice surprise when he finds your card.
  • Ladies, leave business cards in department store dressing rooms and in the baby seat area of shopping carts. Leave them in the locker room at the gym.
  • Leave your business card in waiting areas of doctor’s offices, dentist offices, hospitals, hair salons, nail salons, auto shops – anywhere that has a waiting area.
  • Ask people to hand out your cards. Good contacts for networking are hairdressers, realtors, and teachers. Think about who you know who has contacts with lots of people and supply them with some of your cards.

What if Microsoft Designed the Packaging for Apple’s iPod?