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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 for a very special edition of the blog. This is our very last team member spotlight (for now) and one of the very last blogs of 2020. While our beautiful little town is aglow both day and night with holiday decorations, people (safely) shopping and enjoying their surroundings, and everyone getting excited for the holidays, I will be officially taking over this blog. That's right! The blog writer herself will be stepping out from behind the pen and you will get the chance to get to know her a little better! I thought it would only be fair since my wonderful teammates took the time to let me interview them. While the appeal of being the mysterious masked writer for Creative Consulting does have a nice ring to it, I do have a substantial amount of FOMO (fear of missing out), so I thought why not? Let's jump into this thing, shall we?
Hello, everyone! My name is Maddie Casto and I am the blog writer for Creative Consulting! I was born in raised in Columbus, Ohio, and graduated from Wright State University with my BFA in Musical Theatre. I moved to New York City in 2012 with some of my best college friends, and we all dove into the world of the New York Performer; catering and auditioning. I didn't realize that once I settled into my very overpriced and tiny apartment that I would spend so much time in my polyester tuxedo and waking up at ungodly hours to stand in the line (in ALL weather) with everything I own to sing and act as best I could under two minutes for a bunch of strangers. Sometimes I'd have a great audition and a great catering shift, other days my audition bag would break in the middle of 8th avenue and a guest would "accidentally" splatter salsa down my all-white (oh yes, we had all white catering tuxedos too!) catering outfit in front of the high strung party planner. I was one of the lucky ones, though. I lived with some of the best people I've ever known, got to explore New York City like a local, and I did get to perform.
No one really tells you that once you get to New York that you'll be spending a lot of time moving away from it to go work while finding a (hopefully nice and clean) sublettor to fill your room and pay your rent while you're gone. Everything was worth it though, I've learned that more times than I can count. On top of multiple regional roles, I got to tour the United States with a children's show called "How I Became A Pirate", I got to perform in Las Vegas and Flordia with a jukebox musical called "The D*Word; Ditched, Dumped, Dating, and Divorced", I worked at one of most beautiful resorts in the United States singing some of my favorite music, and all along the way I continued to work and meet some incredible people while I was doing what I loved. At the end of my contract at said beautiful resort, I happened to send in my headshot and resume to a brand new theater in Charleston, SC for a brand new 1940s Musical called "Boogie Woogie Bugle Gals", and the rest is history. Thanks to this brand new theatre (34 West Theatre Company), Charleston became home before I even realized it. I was very lucky to do four shows with them back to back, hopping back and forth between New York City and Charleston between each one. Then, I met a redheaded chef, fell in love with him and his two very fat cats, and Charleston officially became home. I was in the middle of a wonderful artistic community, I loved this city, and I loved the person I was experiencing it with. I had grown up going to Myrtle Beach every year (don't hate - North Myrtle has a lot of charm!), but this was an introduction to a beautiful and bustling southern town that I didn't expect. I fell in love with so much, and fell in love hard. (Hello - can we talk about the food?!)
One thing many performers won't tell you or talk about is their time in-between shows. That's because it's not the most glamorous or mentally healthy time for a performer. Granted, if a period in between a show is your chance to see your family and friends or go on vacation, that's a totally different story. If you come off of a long contract, get a chance to settle in back at home, and a chance to recover, and still don't have your next show lined up? That's the danger zone. Your bank account starts getting low, your anxiety starts to get high, and you're curious if you'll ever work again. Many performers (not all - we are all very different and all have different paths) have what we call "survivor jobs" aka jobs that help pay the bills but aren't performing jobs. The best survivor jobs are the ones that you love and help ease that time in between shows. They are even better when you get to work with incredibly talented, hilarious, and kind people that inspire you and push you to be better. That's how Creative Consulting kind of fell into my lap - like many things in my life. All by chance, luck, and being in the right place at the right time.
I had been doing some social media work of my own ever since I moved to Charleston in 2015 (again by sheer luck!) and realized that it was not only artistically fulfilling, it was also something I could take with me anywhere. I could get a show tomorrow (well, maybe not TOMORROW, thanks pandemic!) and take my job with me. Ironically it was social media that lead me to Creative. They posted a job advertisement on Facebook, and I just figured why not? I applied, interviewed, and now a year and a half later here I am, part of the crazy and wonderful Creative family, still learning every day, still being creative, and incredibly thankful. 2020 was a doozy for performers, as you can imagine. While there are some performing opportunities out there, I personally don't feel safe about those opportunities right now. With family members and loved ones in those danger zone ages, being engaged to a chef who works at a very popular restaurant, and just being honestly a little afraid of this pandemic, I have chosen to put performing on hold until it's safe (for me) to do so. This is why Creative has been such a saving grace this year. I've been creatively fulfilled, I have a wonderful community of creatives around me and a job. These three things have been taken away from a lot of people due to the pandemic, and because of that, I count my blessings every day.
So, that's me! Now when you visit the Creative offices and you hear someone who is (naturally) a very loud speaker and could potentially be caught singing a show tune or two, you have a better idea of whos behind it. This is also a big virtual hug to the Creative team, and to the whole arts community. You've inspired me with your perseverance and the fact that we are in this together. Since I owe my teammates the same kindness that they gave me - please find my questionnaire filled out below!
Name: Maddie Casto
How long have you been working at CC:
About a year and a half.
How did you hear about the positions:
I happened to see a job posting on Facebook that they had put out looking for a content creator and blog writer. I filled out an application, and about a month later I had my first interview with Meg and Stephen. Like I mentioned in Rebekah's blog, I didn't think I was going to get the job, but looks like the universe had a different idea!
What do you do for CC:
I am the blog writer!
What is your favorite part about working for CC:
The incredible people I work with. They're hilarious, so creative, intelligent, passionate, and I love that my job is another unique creative outlet. In another life, I wanted to be a writer, and by chance, this job is letting me do that!
What have you learned since you worked at CC:
I would have to write an entire blog on this topic! I do feel that I learn something new every time I'm in the office. One of the great things about working for CC is that it is a collaborative learning environment.
What is your favorite part of your workday at CC:
Working with this incredible team! Also, there is NOTHING like how it feels when you've finished writing your blogs for the month.
Favorite memory at CC so far:
Right after I started working with CC, it was their 5 year birthday, and Meg and Stephen threw a huge birthday party with incredible food and invited clients and friends to help celebrate. Seeing that room full of people who loved and supporting the business and meeting the clients was such an exciting experience. However, there is a new great memory that I make almost every week - and I am so thankful for that.
Favorite Summerville Small Business (besides CC):
OH MAN - can I tell you, I love so many, but my new favorite obsession is the Cuban Gypsy Pantry. The FOOD! If you haven't tried it yet - GO NOW!
What is your educational background:
I graduated with a BFA in Acting with an emphasis in Musical Theatre.
What are your hobbies:
Journaling, reading, playing video games, spending way too much time with my cats, watching movies and TV
What is your favorite book, color, song, movie:
Favorite Book: The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes, City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert/Where the Crawdad Sings by Delia Owens, and the ENTIRE The Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher
Color: Red + Purple
Song: I have so so many. My dad was a radio DJ in the 70s and 80s and my mom introduced all the musical movies to me growing up. I feel like if I name just one, I'm betraying so many others! If There's A Rock Tie Me To by Snow Patrol is one of my all-time favorite pop songs - Roses Turn is one of my all-time favorite Musical Theater Songs.
Favorite Movie: Basically anything with Tom Hanks in it or basically anything on TCM or AMC.
I am an only child, I've moved over 20 times in my life, my dad was a radio DJ in the 70s and 80s, I'm distantly related to Jacques Cousteau, I've met Rosemary Cloony's Brother (George Clooney's dad!)
Asian and Mexican food!
Favorite Restaurant in Charleston/Summerville:
Cuban Gypsy Pantry, Chez Nous, Rutledge Kitchen, Chubby Fish, NICO, Raw 167, Jackrabbit Filly, EVO, Millers All Day, The Daily, Bucher and Bee, Edmunds Oas
Favorite things to do in Charleston/Summerville:
Shopping, try new restaurants, spending time at the beach, spending time with my little family, and finding new coffee shops!
Thank you so much for coming on this journey with us - and here is to the continuation of learning more about our crafts, supporting one another, to a new year, and to working towards new and exciting things together as a community. Thank you for adopting me, Summerville, and for being so supportive of the company that has been so incredibly kind to me. Now that you know almost everything about me, back I go behind my pen! Until next time Summerville, find the silver lining in your life, and stay caffeinated!
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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!