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et to know the hilarious, hard-working, and creative individuals that make up the Creative Consulting family one blog at a time.
Hello readers, and welcome back to the blog! From all of us at Creative Consulting, we want to wish you a very happy new year! We hope that this year is one for growth, learning, positive changes, and exciting things for you and yours. While starting a new year can be overwhelming, we hope that you look at it with hope and walk towards it with an open heart and open mind. Also, don't forget all the goals, resolutions, and aspirations you have for 2021 were made to accomplish throughout the year. Don't try and tackle them all in January, believe me! By the time the 31st rolls around, you'll already be stressed, exhausted, and ready to abandon your goals. Part of making plans, aspirations, and goals is creating a strategy and a plan on how and when to accomplish them. Make sure to stick to that plan as much as you plan on sticking to achieving your goals. Do this with both your personal and professional goals, and you'll be heading towards a wonderful new year. We are here to help you accomplish all of your business goals for 2021, too! Looking to rebrand? Build a website? Have a logo designed? Create a social media play? Add blogs to your SEO? We are here to help you with all of this and more!
What better way to start a new year than introducing a brand new member of our team? While we ushered out 2020, we ushered in a brand new member of our team who arrived right on time and has been a perfect addition to our team. Summerville and beyond, it is my pleasure to introduce you to the one and only Madi Kirkwood! From one Maddie to another, it is my personal honor to write about and introduce you to her. From her very first day at the office, we could all tell this Summerville native was going to fit right into our crazy and creative team. Madi is still settling in, but she has put the first finishing touches on her office, has dove headfirst into her position and learning more about it, and is already coming up with incredible ideas to help move the company forward.
I do have to share my appreciation and admiration for my fellow Madi. A few weeks ago, a bunch of us were working at the conference table chatting and sharing ideas. Madi was working with me on these interview questions and having a hard time answering all of them. Talking about yourself is difficult, and letting someone (practically a stranger still at this point) write about you and share it all with the wide-open web is difficult and brave. I appreciate all of my fellow teammates for being such good sports and letting me share a peek into their lives. Madi and I share the love of Bullet Journaling and I admire her organization, her creativity, humor, and the dedication and hard work she has already given and shown in just the few short weeks she has been with the creative team. To jump right from graduation into a full-time job can be difficult, but to someone who has gone to school full time, worked, and had an internship all at the same time, this new time of transition for Madi will be a piece of cake. It is a joy to have her on the team, and I look forward to all the incredible things she is going to be doing for the company and all of our clients!
Name: Madi Kirkwood
How long have you been working at CC: Almost one month!
How did you hear about the positions: My professor from CSU sent me this way last month whenever the SEO Specialist position opened up, and I applied right away!
What do you do for CC: I am the Search Engine Optimization Specialist
What is your favorite part about working for CC: I love the team & how close everyone is here. A good team and communication are the backbone to any striving business, so I am extremely excited to continue to grow closer to everyone here!
What have you learned since you worked at CC: A better question is, what haven't I learned? I am continuously growing and learning more about how I can sharpen my skills and gain more knowledge every day!
What is your favorite part of your workday at CC: My favorite part of my workday is accomplishing a goal that I set prior to that day. It is incredibly encouraging to be able to succeed in the things I set for myself.
Favorite memory at CC so far: Any time I'm laughing with our team! I have loved being able to connect with my coworkers and learn about our shared humor!
Favorite Summerville Small Business (besides CC): Guerin's Pharmacy has held a place in my heart since I was in middle school. Memories of getting ice cream in the summertime or a cold glass of bottled Coca-Cola bring back amazing nostalgia.
What is your educational background: I graduated from Charleston Southern University in 2020 with my Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design & a minor in Business Administration in Marketing. I try to continue my education as much as possible because of my ever-changing field. I specialize in not only SEO, but I am also a branding and advertising designer!
What are your hobbies: I enjoy being crafty & doing digital illustration in my free time. I also like to play Indie style video games, going out in Charleston with my friends (socially distanced & masked up, of course!), and actively practicing self-care!
What is your favorite color: My most used color palette is a combination of shades of reds, blues, and yellows. I would say those are my favorite colors!
Interesting Facts about you: I am allergic to pineapple!
Favorite Food: Anything that has to do with potatoes, they're the most versatile food & I am a sucker for some good mashed potatoes!
Favorite Restaurant in Charleston/Summerville: Honestly, nothing beats my grandma's cooking, but if I had to choose, Eva's on Main is a wonderful place to go for a homemade meal!
Favorite things to do in Charleston/Summerville: Going to the beach and going axe throwing are some of my favorite things to do!
I don't know about you, but after I interviewed Madi and read through this, I had the strangest urge to go axe throwing and grabbing my favorite potato dish! I know I say this after every introduction, but I love how much more I learn about each of them when I get to write about them! I also enjoy how I can see each of my teammate's personalities shine through in how they answer. These blogs always make me smile, so I hope you are too! Cheers to January, Summerville! I look forward to another exciting year of bringing you the best Creative Consulting can give! Until next time Summerville, stay safe and stay caffeinated!
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In one of our very last blogs for 2020, we are wrapping up this blog series about the best things you can do for your business now to make the new 2021 the best year yet!
Hello, Summerville! Welcome back to the blog writer's desk! The year is slowly picking itself up and putting itself away, and boy was it one for the books. We are happy to see it go, and we are happy and excited to see what this new year will be bringing us. As all of us at Creative Consulting have been gathering for our last in-person meetings of 2020, it's been interesting to sit back and see what this year has taught us. First and foremost it has taught us how resilient our town is. Nothing can stop Summerville! In fact, through all of the challenges we have been through as a community, it has been incredible to see just how much we have supported one another and continued to grow together and for one another. We have seen compassion, hope, and the dedication each of you have to your families, community, and your passions.
We have also experienced so much support and an outpouring of love from all of you supporting small businesses of all kinds right here in town. You decided to shop small, give big, and give back to your community. You took more time to be proud of the movers, makers, and shakers right here in town, Thanks to that you now own beautiful pieces of artwork and homemade products made by your incredibly talented neighbors, and you have tried some of the best new dishes and desserts made from your neighbors that you might not have known about unless the pandemic had happened, a tough silver lining, but one just the same. We have also seen resilience in our industry that we are so thankful for. We are honored to support and care for your businesses, and to help build and support them to help reach all of your goals and more. It has been an honor working with each of you, and we look forward to ringing in 2021 with you and stepping into new beginnings.
In part one of this blog, we spent time talking about all of the financial things you can do right now to help save on your 2020 taxes. While many of those decisions, purchases, and money moves might seem like a little bit of strain on your business accounts at the end of a very difficult year, we promise that they are still good decisions. While you might feel every penny this time of year, you will appreciate the time you dedicated to following the list in our previous blog and spending a little more money now. Come April 15th, your tax expenses will not be as challenging to cover, painful, or a surprise. In this blog, we are focusing more on the business aspects of closing out a year. What can you be focusing on and working on now that can help you create the best business plan for 2021? How can you make your goals become realities? How can you uplift and support your team? Let's talk about it!
Year-End Count Down
Before we all wrap up our work for the new year and settle into our holiday parties with our coworkers, there is still so much left to do. This is our busiest time of the year, so we understand that sometimes things can get lost in the shuffle. Don't let that happen this year! Use this end of the year checklist to wrap up 2020 and get your head in the game for 2021! We know the pandemic has been devastating to so many of you, and many companies are still trying to recover from its reverberations. Keep strong, keep going, you've got this!
From all of us at Creative Consulting, thank you for an incredible year! We deeply appreciate your support and friendship and couldn't do what we do without all of you and the incredible town of Summerville. We are so appreciative to our clients who have been with us for years, our new 2020 clients, and all of our future clients. We wish you all a very exciting and wonderful 2021!
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Get to know the hilarious, hard-working, and creative individuals that make up the Creative Consulting family one blog at a time.
Hello, Summerville! Welcome back to the blog writer's desk! Our whole team hopes this blog finds you happy and well where ever you might be. I personally hope that you are relaxing somewhere comfortable, with a view from your favorite spot in your home, or sitting in one of your favorite places in our beautiful town of Summerville. Even though we've had a lot of rain recently, it's helping keep the grass greener longer - and have you been paying attention to the clouds when these storms roll in? There is always a set of silver linings with every season, and through this tumultuous year, I have personally been trying to find as many as possible. What have you been doing this week to find your silver linings? Sometimes it's hard to do that, I understand. When it's hard to do that in my personal life, I try to focus on the silver linings in my day to day work life. One of the biggest ones is that Creative Consulting has been such a constant through a year that you can't count on what might happen in a few minutes, let alone a few days. I have never been more thankful to work for a company that can be just as successful when we are working in the office as we are remote. Thanks to the wonders of Google Meetings, Email, and Hubspot (if you don't know what that is - it's an incredible tool for your company, so look it up!) we were able to adjust quickly to our first shut down. Once we were back in the office, it was like we had just seen one another the day before. That comes with working with such a great team. Being supportive, helpful, and available to one another has also made this year so successful. My silver lining this week is having the chance to go to work, work with such a great group of people, and continue the forward motion in the growth of Creative Consulting.
Welcome back as well to our second to last (gasp!) team feature. Thank you, dear readers, for following along with this journey. While I only have four more blogs left to write for Creative in what's left of 2020, I am excited to come up with my next blog series for 2021. Make sure to enjoy these last few blogs and check-in with what wonderful things will appear next year. I have already started to brainstorm, and I am getting so excited. This spotlight is very unique because I have the pleasure to introduce you to an amazing team member who virtually started the same day that I did. We were both originally hired to be content creators for all of the social media clients, the only difference between the two of us is that she had more social media clients while I had some social media clients and all of my blog clients. I look back and think about those first few weeks we spent together; helping train one another, our first few Monday morning team meetings, and our first Creative birthday. We might have been working together and for Creative for five or six weeks, and we were already helping set up Creative's 5-year birthday party. It was such a whirlwind; we were meeting people who had supported and cared for creative since the very beginning, meeting some of our clients face to face and the FOOD was amazing. That was my first true introduction to the incredible food and sweets that are made right here in Summerville, and even now almost a year and a half after that party, I still look back and crave the finger food and the personalized cookies we nibbled on that night. What is so special about this young woman, is that from the moment we started working with one another, we formed an instant friendship. We started as easy-going coworkers who loved having their desks right next to each other. Now, we have formed a deep bond and friendship that I wouldn't trade for the world.
It is my honor to introduce you to Rebekah McCubbins, the other half of the content creation team. Together with Kelsay, they make sure that hundreds of content posts go out every month. She is incredibly passionate about what she does, about her community, and her family and friends. I feel like every time Rebekah and I work together, she is teaching me about something incredibly important happening in the world, in pop culture, or telling me about an incredible recipe she made for her and her husband the other night. (I am still hoping to try her chickpea curry someday soon!). I love learning about new music, new artists, new companies, new restaurants from her. She is always five steps ahead of me in knowing the coolest and latest trends, and I am so thankful that she keeps me hip and cool. She is also just an incredible source of joy, putting the two of us together can be dangerous - especially during our Monday meetings. You get us going and we can interrupt and pause a meeting in a fit of giggles. I have loved working next to her from our very first days of work. A day hasn't gone by where she didn't ask or offer her support or help before she left for the day, checked in with how I was doing, or asked about what projects I am working on. Get yourself a co-worker who loves and cares as Rebekah does, and you'll understand how lucky you are once you do! Let's meet Rebekah, shall we?
How long have you been working at CC:
A little over a year!
How did you hear about the positions:
I stumbled across the position on Facebook and filled out the application. I didn't think I would get an interview, and I definitely didn't expect to get the position!
What do you do for CC:
I write social media content and manage the social media accounts for some of our clients.
What is your favorite part about working for CC:
Collaborating with the most talented people! Everyone here blows me away daily with their creativity.
What have you learned since you worked at CC:
It sounds cliché, but I feel like I learn something new every day. I think the biggest thing is that Stephen and Meg have been super transparent about the business side of CC, and that has allowed me to learn so much about business!
What is your favorite part of your workday at CC:
Any time that I get to collaborate with the amazing creatives I work with! Everyone here at CC is so sweet and so talented, and I love working with them.
Favorite memory at CC so far:
A little while after I started at CC, we hosted a 5th-anniversary party for the company. It was such a fun time! I got to know my still-new coworkers better and met some of the incredible business owners from around the Lowcountry.
Favorite Summerville Small Business (besides CC):
There are so many! I love the chai latte and baked goods at Coastal Coffee, the candles at ETC, and the macarons at Swank!
What is your educational background:
I majored in English and History and minored in Religion. I finished my Bachelor's degree at UofSC in 2019, and I plan to continue my education in English and get my doctorate in the future.
What are your hobbies:
Reading, Cooking, Embroidery, and Video Games!
What is your favorite book, color, song, movie:
Book: I've read so many that it's impossible to narrow it down to one, but a book I recently finished and loved is The Weight of This World by David Joy. It is a beautiful, haunting story that sheds a light on the reality of poverty in the South. I highly recommend his books!
Movie: V for Vendetta, The Princess Bride, and The Devil Wears Prada are all amazing, and I've recently become obsessed with Midsommar and The Day Shall Come!
Song: Right now I really love Water Me by Lizzo, but there are truly way too many I love!
I was homeschooled all the way until I got to college.
I am currently working on a set of small embroideries of sushi.
I have strong opinions about practically everything, especially the Oxford comma.
Thai food, soul food, and sushi!
Favorite Restaurant in Charleston/Summerville:
I love Pad Thai 1. They're right around the corner from our office, they're so sweet, and the food is delicious. I also recently discovered Alicia's Soul Food, which makes the BEST mac and cheese I've ever tasted!
Favorite things to do in Charleston/Summerville:
Shop, eat, and spend time with family and friends!
Reading this interview, you can just feel Rebekah's kindness, good heart, and passion. Reading back through this, it was even more of a walk down memory lane. Ironically, she and I had very similar experiences with our applications and first interviews. We both applied on Facebook and didn't think we'd get an interview. With my background in performing, I am so used to sending in my resume and information and not hearing back, so that's kind of what I expected. Thankfully, Stephen and Meg had a much different plan for both of us. We were also both so convinced that we tanked our interviews, but Meg and Stephen had a different idea about that as well, thank goodness! I am so excited to see what other incredible things Rebekah is going to do with her time working with Creative and in every venture of her life. Spoiler alert, I have seen sneak previews of her sushi embroideries, and they will make you crave a California roll they're just so incredible! Many thanks to Rebekah for taking the time for letting me interview her, and for sharing these wonderful insights about her and her time with Creative. I have loved sharing this with all of you. Coming up in December, readers, you will get to read the last team feature (until new team members join us!), which will be the blog writer's interviewer herself! Until next time Summerville, find the silver lining in your life, and stay caffeinated!
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In part two of this blog, we are going to be discussing the best ways to go about successfully and painlessly rebranding your company.
Hello Summerville, and welcome back to the Creative Consulting blog! We are excited that you've returned to continue learning more about the importance and sometimes necessary steps of rebranding your company. In the first part of this blog, we discussed some of the many reasons why your company might need to rebrand. While the idea of rebranding does come with a negative connotation, we hope that our last blog has helped normalize the idea that more often than not rebranding is very refreshing and can be incredibly successful and exciting! We know it can be scary to even consider this idea, but we are here to help.
We can speak from experience and say that as we've helped many of our client's rebrand, that it is a very successful and positive step for your business when it's needed. It is an opportunity to learn even more about who you are as a business owner, express what makes your company unique in a whole new way, and reconnect with why you started your business in the first place. Rebranding is not starting from square one, it's reinventing the square itself. If you don't think your company has a brand or a very strong one, think again! Your brand holds much more power than you think, and it does deserve the time and appreciation to reflect your business. Let's get started on rebranding with some of the most successful and pain-free ways possible!
In our last blog, we talked about how one of the very first steps in rebranding is usually the need for a new logo. Remember, rebranding is much more than just changing your logo and crossing your fingers and hoping everything is going to be alright. This is going to be a multiple-step process, and you need to invest the same amount of time and energy into each of these steps for rebranding to be successful. Somewhere along the way, your branding that worked in the past has stopped working, and this needs to change!
[WHO YOU'RE SPEAKING TO]
As we mentioned in part one of this blog, one of the many reasons why a company should go through with a rebrand is because their audience is or has changed. Remember how we've mentioned those incredibly important, easy to find, and free analytics that all social media platforms give you? Please pay attention to them! Make note of who is responding to your social media posts, who is buying your products, and who spends the most time seeking you out online. If it's not the audience you expected or intended, that's okay! Don't be afraid to embrace a whole new group and demographic of customers. They are here to buy your product. With the free research that so many platforms give you, allow that to power other forms of research. Research what is attractive and what attracts your new group of customers. What appeals to them in marketing and what is the best way to reach them? Have you been operating mostly off your website, but this new audience loves Instagram and Facebook? Then it might be time to start a new overhaul of what your brand looks like and how you're reaching this new audience.
It's important to know and understand who this new audience is so you know exactly how to speak to them and sell for them. This can also be a situation where competitors have popped up with new products that are directly getting in the way of your company, and they are creating new competition that you never expected. Embracing and focusing on this new audience can help you build up a strong relationship with them and put you ahead of these new competitors. What is the most difficult part of this step? Time. You have to pay attention to these changes, learn about your new audience, and adapt to what this audience needs. In the long run, this will be time well spent.
[IS THE NAME IN THE GAME]
We might be throwing around the idea that changing your company's name has to be apart of the rebranding process and that it is very simple to do. Please by no means walk away from this blog series thinking that is the case. To rebrand, you do not have to change your name if you don't want to. If the name is still working and has become a staple to who and what your company does, don't throw it away. Changing your companies name can be one of the most dangerous choices in rebranding. This decision needs to be thought through with extreme care. If a new name is something that you and your company are working towards, then you should also consider a plan for introducing the world to this new name. Plan out how to successfully explain that the company that used to be known as "A" is now "X". Heading to the drawing board and brainstorming is one of the best ways you can go about coming up with a new name. According to Hubspot, some of the greatest ways to do so are:
When you're considering changing your name, a lot of the time that also comes with changing your slogan. Please consider why you are changing your slogan before actually doing so. If the slogan no longer matches your services and what your company represents then, by all means, changing it is appropriate. If you are sick of the slogan because you've seen it and said it for so long, consider hitting the brakes before changing it out of annoyance. If the slogan is still working, still catchy, and your customers still love it, there is no reason to get rid of it. Instead, put some new life into it and rediscover why the slogan is so important. If you decide to change your company's name, make sure it fits the current or new slog you've created too.
[WATCHING YOUR Ps & Qs]
Rebranding might go much deeper than what your customers see. This can be the most difficult part of the rebranding process, as this can touch on some very real and personal aspects at the core of why you started your company. Over time, as most companies do, you will evolve and change. Your products and what you're working towards can completely change from what they were when you started. This is a change in your vision. Your vision is the map as to why your company does what it does and the reason behind every decision you make. If this changes, your branding needs to reflect this. If your vision changes, many other aspects will change including your mission, your values, and the overall voice of your brand.
How are you feeling after reading this, readers? We know that rebranding can come off as a mid-life crisis or a personality swap. While that's how it might look on the surface, that is what you want and need to avoid. When rebranding, think of it as captaining a strong ship. The rebranding process is deciding to turn the wheel and create a new map to avoid oncoming storms and to finally find that treasure you've been searching for. It's a process that cannot be done alone or on a whim. We urge you to take both parts of this blog very seriously when thinking about rebranding. If it is still something you want to do, but it's just too daunting to do alone, we are here to help you take these important steps! Please feel free to reach out! Until next time, stay safe and caffeinated Summerville!
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Sometimes starting over can be a huge benefit to your company. Today, we are going to be talking about rebranding, when it's time to rebrand, and some of the best ways to go about doing so!
Happy blog reading, Summerville! We hope you're doing well and continue to enjoy our wonderful town to its fullest! We are working hard as ever over at Creative Consulting, and we love seeing more and more of you responding to our posts, reaching out, and starting the steps in working with us. We've truly been wonderfully overwhelmed by getting to know new people and their businesses every week. Helping companies at all stages of their growth and size become the company they've always dreamed of is one of the most rewarding parts of our job. If you have any questions, comments, or you're curious about working with us please don't hesitate to reach out. We would love to hear from you! Until then, make sure you're following us on Instagram and Facebook to follow all of our exciting news and ventures!
Today, we are going to be talking about rebranding. This might sound like a scary term to apply to any business, and we understand your hesitation. However, this doesn't mean throwing out your business and starting from square one. It means that after you accept the fact that while yes, this can be scary, it is well worth the effort and it can give new life to your company. Rebranding leaves the heart of your company and its products or services alone while you decide to change your image. This could mean changing the brand logo, the colors, your name, the symbols you use, or going in for a totally new design overhaul. It's a refresh of what you had and taking it to a new and improved level to catch a new audience, compete with your competitors, grow with the times, and become bigger than you ever were before.
It can be scary to totally change and edit the identity of a company and let go of all the time and effort you spent putting into your current brand, but please believe us when we say that it can take your company to a whole new level of success if you trust the process. In the first part of this two-part blog, we are going to be talking about red flag moments that will let you know that it might be time to rebrand. In the second part of this blog, we will be talking about successful steps and things to make the rebranding process as pain-free and successful as possible.
TIME TO REBRAND
We have new clients come work with us who already have a website and a social media presence. They've hit a wall and they aren't getting any response, customers, sales, and it seems like no one knows who they are or what their business does. In these situations, we do a few things to jumpstart these companies again including blog work, SEO, a new approach to their advertisement plan, new ideas when it comes to the social media pages, and so much more. One of the biggest things we do is help rebrand these companies. We redesign logos, change the color schemes and layouts of their website, and are consistent in what their social media posts look like. This helps create a consistent flow that allows audience members to remember their brand, connect images and layout to their brand, and entice people to check out and understand what this particular company does just by looking at their logo and branding. What are some other examples of when it might be time to start rebranding? Just like everything else in the business world, your company will change and evolve. This is the perfect time to start the rebranding process.
REASON ONE: Growing Pains
Over time, your company can begin to offer new services, new products, and can even change the focus of what is important for the company and what they want to provide to their customers. When this happens, your original logo might not incorporate all of these new ideas or what all you're now offering to your clientele. You want everyone who comes across your logo and branding to know exactly all there is to know about your company or, be inspired to find out more just by looking at it. If your original logo isn't providing this, then it's time to start thinking about rebranding to something that does explain all of these things for you. This can save you a ton of time in the long run, because there will be less confusion to clean up, fewer questions about what you do, and you can get directly to selling your services and products without hesitation.
REASON TWO: A Bad Day
It's something we hope never happens to your company or any future companies you might come to own in the future; but, once a company has a palpable and recognized bad reputation, it might be time to rebrand. A company can still have so much to offer even if it has hit a wall of a bad reputation. Their product still might have something important to offer its consumers. Everything can change if new management and new owners come into the picture, and with a refreshing rebrand from head to toe, this can be a total rebirth and survival of a company. Along with that, it can also help slowly remove the negative connotation associated with it. This can help your audience and a new audience see you in a brand new light with a new understanding.
REASON THREE: Getting In Your Own Way
Rebranding doesn't mean that you're failing or doing something wrong. It can simply mean your original logo and brand is getting in the way of your current success. For example, say you started your company 15 or 20 years ago. While your products are still popular and necessary, your font, brand, and color choices can make you feel dated and old fashioned. The fonts and colors you're using might have been popular all those years ago, but they might be tired and very out of style now. This can turn people away from your brand when they see it for the first time and make them choose your competitors instead. All because of your branding! Don't let this happen. Many businesses, no matter their success, know it's a smart move to rebrand because they've "outgrown their original mission" according to Entrepreneur. Also, once this rebrand happens, it's a great opportunity to put your logo on even more products! Have you had pens with your logo on them? Maybe try mini flash drives, portable phone batters, or mini hand sanitizer bottles! New products that people will use with your new brand on it is a double win!
REASON FOUR: Beyond the Competition
This is one of the most popular reasons why companies rebrand. If your brand is similar to your competitors or even a company that does something different than yours, it's time to shake it up. You want your logo to stand out and be remembered, not questioned, or confused with another company that could potentially take your business! Also, if your competition has a better brand than what you currently have, it's time to step it up and go one step further with a better brand than what they have. This can be pricey, but it will be worth it. Also, please avoid using anything overtly generic and never use stock images or art as part of your brand or logo. Sure, these can be used in other parts of your company, but not for who are!
REASON FIVE: The Cool Kid On The Block
Another very popular reason companies rebrand is to reach a whole new level of customers and a new demographic. Does your product or service offer something for people of all ages, but for some reason your demographic is only reaching a certain age group? It might be your brand. Subconsciously thanks to our culture and how we associate different colors, shapes, pictures, and fonts we connect who a product is for, even if we are incorrect in these assumptions. Rebranding to attract everyone instead of limiting your reach can bring you more business and a wider reach. A new rebrand can introduce you to a whole new generation of customers who might have been looking for your product for years and they never even knew you existed!
How do you feel about rebranding so far? There are multiple reasons why it might be time or extremely necessary to do so. While it might not be an easy experience, it can save your company and prolong its lifespan. We are here to help you through the process and to help make it as pain-free as possible. In our next blog, we will be discussing some of the best tips, suggestions, and steps to take to make your branding process as successful as possible. Until then, stay safe and caffeinated Summerville!
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Get to know the hilarious, hard-working, and creative individuals that make up the Creative Consulting family one blog at a time.
Hello, Summerville! It's that time again where we introduce you to another incredible member of the Creative Consulting team! So grab your favorite fall beverage (have you seen Cuppa Manna's fall menu?! If not - go check it out NOW!) and get settled in for another wonderful read!
I know, as the blog writer, that you hear a lot of things from my perspective - but it's all I have, right? It's been so fun getting to know my coworkers a little better every time I sit down in my favorite writing chair and get to work on these profiles. We all create our own work schedules, so often through the week, we are like ships passing in the night. We see one another on Mondays and during other weekly meetings, but sometimes we might go a whole week without seeing one another. The freedom we have to create, work, and make CC possible is something that I consider a huge gift. Life, right now, has been so strange that creating a workflow for myself (and how everyone on our team has been doing) is a blessing. So, when I sit down to write these, it's like my teammate is sitting right next to me and we are sharing a laugh over an inside office joke. Nothing like work making you smile, right?
This woman was one of the very first team members that was hired after I was brought on. I came into the office during a huge transition, and for a while there our little family only had 5 members in it. It became apparent that we needed to grow and we needed some incredible talent to help Creative continue its upward climb. That is where Ms. Lizzy Smith came into the picture! Again, Meg and Stephan have an incredible way of hiring people who just fit together. Lizzy fit right in without a second hesitation. She jumped right into work and has kept creating incredible designs and websites since the day she began. Always positive, always quick to laugh, and excited about the work at hand - it has been wonderful to work with Lizzy. I constantly learn something new about the design world from her, and about social media at large. Also, another fun fact, we both got engaged a few weeks apart. There MUST have been something in the water, don't you think? I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I did. It is my pleasure to officially introduce you to Lizzy Smith!
After reading all of that, aren't you inspired to do an all day marathon of the Harry Potter moves while eating a pile of popcorn and starting a new Pinterest board full of DIY and design ideas? No? Just me? Well, that sounds like a perfect day for Lizzy and me then! Again, it's always so fun to read through these. Even as the writer of the blog and the individual who came up with these questions, it's funny how often these particular questions don't come up during the workday. You spend so much time talking about work (of course) and other random topics of the day, and you might not even know your coworker's favorite food! Now that I know Lizzy and I love popcorn so much, I finally have an excuse to buy those giant popcorn tins around the holidays full of flavored popcorn! Which, I will of course, be bringing into the office. Maybe. There you have it, Summerville! You now know one more member of the Creative Consulting team! I hope you've enjoyed this blog - and I look forward to introducing you to the last four members of our team in the upcoming weeks! Until next time, make sure to look for the positives in any challenge you might be facing this week, and treat yourself to something from your favorite local shop, bakery, coffee shop, or restaurant this week!
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We are finishing up our blog series on the best ways to handle negative social media comments. We know it's a difficult situation to deal with, but with enough preparation, you can be ready to handle anything!
Hello, Summerville! Welcome back to part two of our blog about handing negative social media comments. We hope that part one of this blog gave you a good basis for how to move forward if you are faced with this issue. As we mentioned before, this is not something we would wish on anyone. Sadly, it is very possible. Hopping on the internet and telling everyone exactly how you feel has become a trend since the dawning of Facebook, if not sooner, and has continued to grow stronger in the years following. As a business, you prepare for the inevitable with insurance, a strong plan, a good financial team, and a good workforce. Why not be prepared for everything you might face? Keep a watchful eye on all of your online networks, and be ready to handle everything and everyone you come across with an attitude of being calm, cool, and collected.
It might be incredibly hard, but take a moment to see the issue from the client's point of view. There will be people who will be angry just to be angry. If the product or service your company offers is broken, doesn't deliver as promised, or arrives extremely late, apologizing and owning up to your mistakes will help. Offering a discount, refund, voucher, or replacement can also help calm the tension at hand.
Make sure you are aware of the comments you're receiving. Keep notifications on and connect them to a phone or email that will be checked and monitored frequently. Also, make sure to follow up with any complaints and follow through with what you promise to offer your client. Make sure you understand what the problem is and discuss how it can be fixed. Once these terms have been agreed on, follow through with them and check back in with your client to make sure they're happy and satisfied with the situation. This shows that you really care, and you didn't just fix the problem and forget about them.
Sometimes you will run into a situation where an issue is out of your control. A system error could be beyond your knowledge to repair, your suppliers that help create your goods and services could be doing something to harm the quality of your product, and sometimes you are in a situation where you don't have the answers or a way to fix it yourself. That's okay - you're human. This doesn't mean you just toss it away and brush the problem off, you still have to fix it. What you can do is outsource someone who can help you. Recruit a good IT company, find a new supplier, and find the best of the best in what you're having issues with. This can cause a hike in price than just refunding your customer, but this can be a priceless decision to help keep your customer and continue bringing in others. It is never wrong to ask for help with something you don't know! Not only can this help relations between you and your customer, but it can be a learning opportunity for you and your team as well!
According to Forbes, 84% of people who go looking into a company online say they trust the reviews they see. Sometimes you can't help how people will respond or react, their anger could be something completely out of your hands. If you can, try to get ahead of any potential problems so negativity can be avoided. Listen to your customers before things get difficult. Have you been hearing similar small complaints? Have you been hearing the same suggestion over and over again? Have people been supporting you for a significant amount of time, but have been asking for a revamp of your goods and services? Listen to them! They are giving you excellent free advice, why not take it? If you can get ahead of the curve, this can help avoid negative situations.
Negative comments are bound to happen. It's how you deal with them that will make all the difference. Everyone is allowed to have their opinion, but make sure your voice as a company isn't quiet. Don't be afraid to connect with these unhappy people, human to human. Remember too, one bad comment does not reflect your company as a whole. Take it in stride, and keep doing what you do best! If you need help or would like to learn more, please contact us! We look forward to talking to you soon!
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Dealing with negative comments or bots is sadly something every business needs to prepare to handle. It's not a fun situation or topic, but it's always best to be prepared.
Hello, Summerville! How is our favorite city? We hope you're staying safe and making the best out of your week! This week's blog is going to touch on an uncomfortable topic that sadly every business that has an online presence needs to prepare for. When a company creates its online presence, its goal is to create a positive community to share their products, services, knowledge about their industry, to connect with their customers and future customers, and connect with anyone who happens to discover their brand. With the freedom that the internet allows and the ability to hide behind a keyboard, this positive community isn't always positive or well-received. People will have their opinions and the internet allows them to share them in an instant, regardless if they're good or bad.
In a world dominated by Google reviews, Yelp reviews, comments, and opinions, staying on top of these interactions is incredibly important. It's not a pleasant part of owning a business today, but it is a reality. Hopefully, this isn't something that you'll have to deal with often but just in case, it's always best to stay prepared. Social media and the internet has its own culture, its way of interacting, and its way of how best to communicate. It is a different animal compared to dealing with an upset or disgruntled client in real life, which is why many of the normal practices of dealing with these situations might not work. In this two-part blog, we are going to give you a few tips and suggestions on how to deal with handling negative comments, and how to move on from them.
Many trolls, scammers, and bots are trying to get an emotional response from you so they have the upper hand in making you and your company look bad. Don't allow them to do this. First, make sure to document these posts or comments. Take a screenshot on your phone or computer just in case. Deleting the comment won't be in your best favor. It could anger the person who commented in the first place, and it could also bring your integrity into question by the commenter and anyone who saw the post before the comment was removed, according to Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences. The only time you should remove a negative comment is if it has nothing to do with your company or if they are inappropriate. Remove these comments and block the user who is abusing and attacking your social media platforms. This is an example of people being mean to be mean.
Make sure to discuss your response with your fellow employees, if a response is necessary, and make sure to do it quickly. Anyone can see these comments, and news travels fast on social media. Make sure to get a handle on it before it handles you. With this being said, the continued conversation doesn't have to be in the public eye. Make sure to respond to every comment, but invite the disgruntled party to connect with you outside of social media. Invite them to email you or to directly message you to fix the issue at hand. Make it known to your customers where they can turn to if they do have issues and who they can speak to. This can channel these issues into a safe space instead of all over the internet.
The internet can be an easy escape and a wonderful addition to running your company. It can also be a harmful place for quick and ugly comments and opinions to spew. We do believe that inherently, people are trying to be good. Sometimes, a bad experience makes us angry for a split second, but that doesn't mean that we are bad people. The internet opened up a world of wonderful and it also opened up the possibility for a lot of ugliness. Learning how to deal with it professionally and quickly is a skill that you will acquire when owning a business. In our next blog, we will be continuing this topic and giving you more ideas on how to handle these situations. Until next time, stay safe and sound Summerville!
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Creating a strong brand identity can make or break your company's success. Here is why it is so important, along with a few tips and suggestions to make yourself stand out!
Hello, Summerville! We hope you're doing well. The smell of pumpkin spice abounds, all of our favorite stores here in the square are starting to put out decorations. We also might be a tad embarrassed about the number of baked fall goods from Swank that we've already sampled. To say the least, we are pretty excited about fall! Celebrating Summerville, supporting our fellow local businesses, and creating exactly what our clients want is a part of our brand. The bright orange color we use in our logo is a part of who we are. We are quirky, hardworking, and usually a little over-caffeinated. This is who we are and what makes us unique as a company. All of these are traits that we are proud of and what we want our current and future clients to know about us.
All of these elements are a part of our branding. It's the part of our company that you see online, what you see when you drive by our office, and what you hear about us when you ask about us around town. Brand identity is the unique fingerprint that people will see and look into before they meet the people behind the business. This is why having a strong branding identity is so important.
More Than Just A Logo
Granted, yes. Your company needs a logo, a color scheme, and fonts that you'll use consistently. There is something very special in seeing your signage, window decals, business cards, website, social media, and stationary all decked out in your logo, colors, and fonts. All of these tools are necessary because you'll use them to catch the eye of your future clients. When it comes to the whole of your brand identity, this is a very small part of the whole story. Your brand identity is so much more than your meticulously created logo. It is your reputation, how you want people to perceive you, your unique and individual voice, and what you want to be known for. It needs to stand up to the challenge, support your business, and get your message across.
What It Does For You
Now that you've established what brand identity is what can it turn around and do for you?
It takes work to create your brand identity. Creating your logo didn't happen overnight, and your brand identity won't provide these amazing benefits to you overnight either. The steps to creating a strong brand identity aren't overwhelming, they're actually very straight forward. The challenge is implementing them into your workflow and your company's everyday life.
How To Get Started
As we said, strong brand identity doesn't happen instantly. It takes time, research, and doing all of those necessary tedious things that arent the glamorous side of owning a business.
The list goes on with the many ways you can create, strengthen, and grow your brand identity. This blog is just a peek into everything that is available to you. We did mention that this took time, right? Every company and business is different. You need to find what works for you. We just wanted to provide a little foundation for you to build on. The long and short of it is that brand identity is important and it's worth your time. If you need help or would like to learn more, please contact us! We look forward to talking to you soon!
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Curious about lead generation and exposure for your business? Not sure what the difference is between the two or what they can do for your online marketing? We are here to answer all those questions and more!
Hello, Summerville! We hope this blog finds you happy and well. This has been a very exciting few weeks for us, and if you've been following our social media pages (which if you're not - catch up!) you'll understand why! We've started a new local business feature, we've started a brand new video series answering all your business questions, and more! Stephen was also a recent guest on Invest Local!, a fantastic local podcast. Visit their website to hear Stephen give the insider scoop on what it's like to run a top-tier, full-service agency that handles client's brands from a hands-on and personal approach! We have so many exciting things coming our way, and we are so thankful for the amazing community of Summerville for helping us make it all possible!
One of our most recent posts on social media was dedicated to Lead Generation vs. Exposure. Did you know that there are two main types of digital marketing? That's right! Lead Generation and Exposure are those two main types. Lead generation seeks out new leads or sales and exposure grows your audience and brings awareness to your business. We wanted to dig a little deeper into these ideas and talk a little more about how both can help your company grow and why they're so important. If you want to know which focus is best for your business needs, reach out to us! We can help you understand the strategies used in each type of marketing, and help you create your custom system.
One of the most important things for businesses to gain through their marketing is to convert followers into clients. You don't want to waste time or money into an advertisement plan that doesn't get attention or any conversion. That goes against the whole purpose of why you have an advertising plan in the first place. With the way that the market is right now, and with so much up in the air, you want to make the most of your advertisement right now. Your goal, as always, is to attract the highest quality followers and leads that are going to turn into consistent and supportive customers.
According to Forbes, most new small businesses fail because they didn't have enough exposure in the beginning, to get the clientele needed to get them off the ground. Early exposure can help you get ahead of the game, ahead of your competitors, and help keep your head above water. The main focus is to grow your audience at a steady and productive rate. You need to understand and know your product and what demographic will be most likely drawn to your goods and services to make this a successful campaign. Once you understand that, you can begin to expose them to what goods and services your company offers, and why you're the experts in the world of your industry. It's an important process that needs to be seen in the early stages of your company and throughout its entire lifetime.
What is very important to remember is that both types of marketing are not only important to your business, but also to one another. Someone might be introduced to your company due to your exposure, and thanks to the efforts of successful lead generation, could become official clients. It can be difficult to pick and put either practice of marketing into successful action. We are here to help you make those decisions and to make that marketing dream become a successful reality. Have any questions? Please feel free to reach out, we'd love to hear from you! If you would like more in-depth training and someone to help you walk through your issues, we can help you with that. We offer individual social media training to walk you through on how to use each platform. If you or your company wants to take another step up in your online business world, we are here to make that happen. Don't hesitate to reach out. We are here and excited to help your company grow. Thank you for continuing to follow us, learn with us, and support us. We are here for you Summerville, no matter what!