3 Reasons Why You Should Outsource Your Brand Strategy

Branding is an important consideration for any business, whether you’re an established firm or a rapidly growing start-up. You may want to think twice about DIY-ing your brand development, though. Here’s why: Continue Reading

We Got The Beat: CNP’s Greatest Hits From the 2018 ADDY Awards

We’re so excited! (And we just can’t hide it.) Last week, our crew attended the 2018 ADDY Awards, hosted by AAF Polk County at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland.

An annual event to honor excellence in advertising, The ADDYs offer local industry pros an opportunity to get our fancy on and celebrate the area’s raddest creative work.

With the exception of the unnerving “MUST BE BORN BEFORE 1997” sign posted at each bar, this year’s totally awesome theme brought us back to a time when shoulder pads, teased-to-high-hell hair and Tom Cruise were all perfectly normal. Gotta love the 80s. Continue Reading

In Defense of Deliberate Design

It’s a tempting proposition. For a few minutes of your time and a couple hundred dollars or less, you can have a new logo delivered to your inbox at Amazon Prime speeds. The commoditization of design—and, let’s face it, most services in our industry—is everywhere. As a graphic designer, I’m often asked, “But really, what’s the difference?”

It’s depth. Continue Reading

Duplicate Content: Menace or Meh?

We’ve all seen it. Within otherwise peaceful groups, there can arise certain differences of opinion that are instantly polarizing: Coke or Pepsi. The oxford comma. How to pronounce “gif.”

In the SEO world we have quite a few debates like that, and one of our most hot-button issues is duplicate content.

Clients often ask, “Is duplicate content something we really need to worry about?”

As with so many things in life, the answer isn’t black and white. While duplicate content isn’t as bad as some shady SEO practitioners make it out to be, it’s certainly not as good as those selling duplicate content claim—and rarely is it part of a great businesses marketing strategy.

Continue Reading

Merry Christmas, From Our People to Yours

I’m not quite sure when or how it happened, but somehow December is drawing to a close and 2018 is right around the corner. Before we take a break from Santa’s ad shop to spend some quality time with our families, I’d like to thank our wonderful clients for giving us the opportunity to make a living doing what we love (and perhaps, more importantly, for helping ensure that we still love doing it when the work day is through). Continue Reading

How to DIY a Respectable Headshot with Your Phone

The situation: You need headshots for your website, but you’re out of budget and too pressed for time to hire a professional photographer. Hey, it happens. Although you’re always going to get the best results from a professional, taking the DIY route is better than foregoing photography altogether—for digital applications. (We’re bound by our Hippocratic design oath to tell you that this is a no good, terrible, very bad idea for print.) All you need is your iPhone and a basic understanding of the do’s and don’ts of portrait photography, which, lucky for you, this post is all about.  Continue Reading

How We Make the Big Idea Happen

It’s easy! We lock ourselves away in a dark office, drain a Madison-Avenue-sized bottle of single-malt Scotch and then stumble out five minutes before the big, important client presentation with the Eureka moment in hand.

The truth is a lot less romantic and always involves 99 percent Thomas Edison-like perspiration. Big ideas are more likely to emerge when a group of passionate, fearless and creative people – focused on a common challenge – generate lots of smaller ideas that in many cases can add up to something truly unique, remarkable, relevant … and big. Continue Reading

Want Great Work? Start by Falling in Love with the Problem

Whether you’re a designer or a developer, working in an agency boils down to solving problems. (How can we get people to buy more? Click more? Share more? You get the idea.) Ideally, this is a two-step process:

  1. Define the problem.
  2. Solve the problem.

Seems straightforward enough, but does it always happen like that? Not by a long shot. Continue Reading

Creating a Bulletproof Brand Guide

Consistency is crucial to the health and success of any brand. But maintaining a consistent brand presence can be a major challenge, especially when you’re working with a large team or collaborating with partners outside of your organization.

Without an internal reference point for your brand, discrepancies and confusion become inevitable, and that can seriously affect how your customers see you*. On top of that, if you constantly have to clarify what’s “on-brand,” you’re really wasting a lot of time and not arming your team with the tools they need to do their best work.

*Life Pro Tip: There’s nothing wrong with trying new things, but don’t be that guy trying to bring back frosted tips in 2017. It’s not gonna happen. Continue Reading

You Can’t Sell to Everyone—and That’s Okay

Marketing is not like throwing a birthday party in first grade. So hold back on that value pack of Lisa Frank invitations, because you won’t be including the entire class.

But.but.but. Why wouldn’t I want to cast a wide net? I could be missing out on a potential sale, and that feeling would be worse than realizing you left the freezer door open and all the ice cream has melted. Continue Reading