December 5th, 2013 | Posted by Steve George
The Marshall Stanmore speaker has a retro design with analog controls, brass details, vintage front fret and iconic script logo. That’s where the old stops and the new begins. It features Bluetooth wireless, 3.5mm auxiliary, RCA connection or optical mini-jack. When not in use, it has PowerSaver and Standard standby modes to reduce environmental impact. This speaker is also compatible with Apple TV and other devices that use an optical output.
Being a Senior Art Director, I find myself drawn to these vintage qualities. The attention to details, materials and typography draws a heavy appreciation of this product design. These qualities seem missing in some product design these days.
Although I have not heard the sound quality myself, it’s touted to fill your small spaces with big sound from a compact footprint. Knowing several musicians that use Marshall amps, I would be willing to believe that the sound is going to be great.
This would be a perfect gift to kictstart anyone’s heart, especially the rocker on your list. It can be purchased from a number of retailers including apple.com.
Categories → Design & Culture
November 11th, 2013 | Posted by Georgia Relich
I didn’t think it did . . . until I read this article in The Atlantic. The article talks about an immensely popular Harvard course in Chinese philosophy whose three core tenets provide a way to approach everything from relationships to career decisions, and I think, marketing and branding.
- The smallest actions have the most profound ramifications. From a Chinese philosophical point of view, small daily experiences provide endless opportunities to understand ourselves and others. When we notice and understand what makes people tick, we develop a better sense of who we are. From a marketing standpoint, we know we can’t speak to people in a relevant way if we don’t understand them. It’s not about what we want to say about ourselves but what they need to hear about us.
- Decisions are made from the heart. In Chinese, the word for “mind” and “heart” are the same. But, not for most marketers. They insist that we make decisions in the rational mind, but new studies in behaviorial psychology prove that the heart makes the decision, while the mind rationalizes and validates it.
- If the body feels, the mind will follow. Here, the article cites not only the Chinese philosophers, but Artistotle who said “we are what we repeatedly do.” Consistency, consistency, consistency. We can’t say it enough in branding. Make the promise and then live it, say it and be it . . . over and over again and in every interaction.
Categories → Branding, Marketing Principles
November 5th, 2013 | Posted by Susan Weissman
For many years, marketers followed the adage of communicating benefits, not features. Tell your customer what’s in it for them. Right? Wrong. We weren’t going far enough. All of the research now tells us that one of the biggest mistakes B2B marketers make is communicating business values (which drives consideration) without communicating the “personal values” inherent in buying the product or service you’re selling.
So what is the difference? Business values are functional benefits and business outcomes. They speak to your mind, not your heart. I know we all want to believe we’re making very logical decisions based on data. And yes, we need to check the data and make sure we’re getting the basic characteristics we are looking for. But all the research indicates that even when we are making multi-million dollar decisions, we are making them based on emotions. The emotions can be categorized into three personal values (according to CEB/Motista Survey): professional benefits (I will look good, smart, maybe I’ll get a promotion); social benefits (everyone is doing it, this is a popular trend, I feel like I’m in the know moving in this direction) and emotional benefits (I feel confident, safe, empowered by purchasing from this organization).
It’s extra work to get to the personal value. You need to think about what your customer needs and wants, what problem she is dealing with and how your service or product helps to solve that problem. If you can translate your business values into personal values — you’ve got gold.
Categories → Best Practices, Marketing Principles, Trends & Research
October 4th, 2013 | Posted by Christine Manfrede
Earlier this week, Google announced 14 new features to Google Analytics—one of which should be extremely impactful for marketers: audience reports. Yes, you’re finally able to see the age, gender and interests of your visitors. This is a game changer.
Now there is vast potential to draw insights, create tailored messages and reach your best prospects. Your criteria can get so granular as to indicate what content is being accessed by, say, English-speaking 18 to 24 year old females who are interested in cooking. And this kind of info can be segmented by channels or campaigns.
This new level of demographic acumen will allow you to better inform both online and offline marketing efforts by targeting your most best customers, and potentially finding unexpected outliers, as well.
The interests segmentation will probably offer the most audience insights. However, as a designer, I’m personally interested seeing the differences in how the genders and various age groups interact with sites.
The other exciting announcement is the launch of Analytics Academy—free community-based video courses focused on helping people use and understand the new features of GA. As Google has already announced 70 features this year, this level of assistance is truly welcome. You can complete each course at your own pace during a three-week window beginning on October 8, 2013. The first course, Digital Analytics Fundamentals, is now open for registration.
Videos are now available within the Google Analytics interface, offering relevant reports as you’re looking at them. This is huge. Prior to now, instructions were only offered through the boring haze of the Google Analytics Developer portal.
All in all, GA is becoming increasingly more robust, complex and integral. I’m happy to see that Google is offering tools that will help us focus on people and not just hits, allowing us to navigate the ever-changing world of analytics.
Categories → Trends & Research, Web
September 27th, 2013 | Posted by Hunter Lansche
This year, we teamed up with Smith Moore to put together a “100 Days of Celebration” campaign to mark the 100-year anniversary of the company’s founding. The campaign culminated in a company-wide Cardinals game and party on August 24.
Way back in April, we helped Smith Moore kick off the 100 days by sending out boxed baseballs with save-the-date information to all employees, along with an anniversary-themed celebration cake to the main office. Each Friday during the summer, momentum was built for the August 24 party with employee-centered trivia e-blasts that encouraged interaction and awarded some employees with gift cards. The final piece of momentum for the big day was a short video that we put together. Our goal was to showcase the true spirit of Smith Moore, which itself embodies their ability to stand the test of time.
The campaign and video were hits. The response for the Cardinals game was huge, and their party lasted well into the night. It’s a collection of work we’re very proud of here at Dovetail. If you can spare 90 seconds, check it out the video below!
Categories → Branding, Client Work, Design & Culture, Financial Services, Media