Archive for the ‘marketing’ Category

Want to Make Your Marketing More Measurable? Eat Lunch!

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

Want to Make Your Marketing More Measurable? Eat Lunch!

The Flores Shop is honored to be a part of the Young Professionals Luncheon Series on May 29th where our Chief Creative Fella, Kevin Flores (and the rest of our cast & crew) will hob-nob with some of the area’s best and brightest, as well as talk with them about how to clearly define their unique brand stories, expand their communications arsenal, engage audiences and create measurable tactics for tracking the success of their marketing efforts – all while dining on some of Hanover’s finest cuisine! But don’t stuff your mouths too much, this will be a two-way conversation. We want to hear from you about your marketing challenges and successes too! So bring your questions and success stories for an interactive time of brand marketing therapy.

Are you a business owner or marketer?

Do you eat lunch?

Well, register here to join us at Hanover Tavern! Hope to see you there!

The Young Professionals Luncheon Series is brought to you by these fine folks:
Want to Make Your Marketing More Measurable? Eat Lunch!

Rebranding A Law Firm

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

Since 1991, Harman Claytor Corrigan & Wellman has handled trials and appellate matters in state and federal courts throughout Virginia, Washington, D.C. and the Mid-Atlantic region. HCCW is comprised of down-to-earth, approachable problem-solvers who work diligently together to form one of Virginia’s premiere civil litigation firms. From the receptionists, to the marketing director, to the senior partners — they all exude a warm, welcoming, vibrant demeanor without a trace of excessive formality, ego or legal jargon often associated with firms of HCCW’s stature and experience.

Sounds great right? Unfortunately the firm’s website and marketing collateral did not accurately portray HCCW’s actual culture and brand personality.

THE CHALLENGE

While the presence of the firm’s employees and partners was professional, pleasant and approachable, the firm’s branded materials felt very formal, stuffy and dated. Previous brand identity choices seemed to have been made from a cliché law firm palette of navy blue and gray colors, dated serif fonts, marble courthouse columns and impersonal lawyer head shots. Missing was any sense of vibrant energy, down-to-earth communication and emphasis on client needs that make HCCW unique in an industry of sameness.

BEFORE

Rebranding A Law Firm

OUR APPROACH

Research and Discovery
Through discovery session meetings with key HCCW personnel as well as client interviews, we began to develop our key messages and our target audience(s). It was great to hear what actual HCCW clients had to say about their experiences with the company culture. The client answers confirmed that down-to-earth, approachable problem-solver culture did exist. It was then our job to figure how to tell that story visually.

We felt strongly from the very beginning that there were a number of opportunities to make HCCW’s core practice area (civil litigation) more prominent in all materials. This would provide a clear understanding by the desired audience of the firm’s specialty area of expert knowledge and would eliminate inquiries from callers who needed other services. Our main objective was to make the firm’s core practice area exceedingly more apparent throughout HCCW’s branded materials in order to further establish them as the go-to civil litigation experts in the state of Virginia. This realization led us to the single most important thing we wanted the audience to remember. The civil litigation experts at HCCW provide prompt, honest communication throughout the claims process to ensure that the best outcome is reached in your case — with no surprises.

Logo Development
Our approach for the logo was to better reflect the down-to-earth professionalism and warm, vibrant culture that emanates from each associate and partner. We wanted to modernize the logo and strip out all of the unnecessary elements to better reflect the experience potential clients would have. Warm colors were a must along with clean, smooth fonts and visuals. Our designers went down all kinds of rabbit holes to find the right mix of modernity, cleanliness and elegance. It was definitely an exercise in knowing when to stop designing and let simplicity be the strength of the logo.

Rebranding A Law Firm

Business System Development
Once the logo was approved, we tackled the rest of the visual identity system. We again faced the same challenge of knowing how far to push the design to keep it current and sophisticated, but also when to stop designing and keep it simple and elegant. The hash mark shape of the logo lent itself perfectly to a custom herringbone pattern which quickly became the signature design element, showing up on all of the our pieces. For the business system we wanted crisp clean paper stock with presence. We relied heavily on elegant typography with minimal color. Each piece was finished off with a subtle herringbone pattern. For the business cards we were able to emboss the pattern for an extra touch of sophistication and texture.

Rebranding A Law Firm

Rebranding A Law Firm

Website Development
When we began our research into law firm websites, one thing became crystal clear. They ALL look the same. Our designers were bound and determined that this redesign would not look like a status quo law firm site. After many iterations we landed on a format that was visually pleasing, easy to navigate and warm. We also pushed HCCW to break the mold of stuffy headshots and boring list of accomplishments for each lawyer. They deserve a round of applause for putting their faith in us to take them where no lawyer head shot had gone before. We were able to convince them to use a hybrid of a traditional head shot and bright, warm and beautifully composed lifestyle shots. You won’t see anyone wearing a jacket or a tie in their bio shots. What you will see, is a group of damn good looking lawyers who are approachable and worthy of their client’s trust.

Rebranding A Law Firm

Overview Brochure
The finishing touch to the HCCW rebranding package is their new Firm Overview Brochure. Whenever a potential client would contact HCCW for more information they would proceed to mail out stacks and stacks of paper with information on the client’s needs. Our job was to simplify that information into a customized and easy-to-digest brochure for each client. After a lot of research we landed on an under-sized brochure with a business card sized USB nestled in a custom die-cut at the back. We flooded pages with warm images of the HCCW staff and kept the amount of information in the physical brochure to a minimum. We wanted the physical brochure to communicate the culture and experience of working with HCCW and left the nitty gritty details to be digital files on the USB. The result is a saavy brochure that limits waste and gives potential clients exactly what they need to make a decision.

Rebranding A Law Firm

And there you have it. A rebranding that started from a done-to-death logo and website but ended up like no law firm you’ve ever seen. We took HCCW out of their comfort zone and pushed them to their limits. But by doing so we were able to tell their story in a visual way that is efficient and pleasing. Again, we’d like to thank the entire staff at Harman Claytor Corrigan & Wellman for trusting The Flores Shop to make them look good.

Rappahannock Electric Cooperative TV Campaign

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Last year Rappahannock Electric Cooperative (REC) acquired Alleghany Power and increased their service area by 13 counties. REC’s new customers were accustomed to a traditional power company, not a community-focused cooperative. REC wanted to help these new customers understand the benefits that a cooperative provides and also assure them that REC is invested in their community — because they are a part of their community. To communicate these brand messages, The Flores Shop produced two :30 TV spots that aired throughout the new coverage areas.

“One of You”
This spot was created to help establish REC as an integral part of the local community and separate it from other (non-co-op) electric companies as well as reduce the mystery of the new kid in town. “One of You” emphasizes that REC is thoroughly invested in their small town communities because the people who live there also work for REC.

“The Power to Help Our Community”
Many people who haven’t been a member of an electric cooperative don’t understand the difference that REC can make over a standard electric company. This educational spot helps to explain the member benefits that a co-op offers — differentiating it from a service-only organization.

Are you a member of a cooperative? Let us know what benefits you enjoy most!

This video’s gonna knock you out!

Friday, February 17th, 2012

Here are some shots of the wonderful cast and crew from our recent shoot for the Community Idea Station’s Big Idea Challenge.(Apparently we really like to point at things and we are obsessed with our smart phones.)

A HUGE thanks to our all-star production team at The BranchingCombat Sports Center for allowing us to shoot in their amazing gym and Ami Kim for providing these photos.

This videos gonna knock you out!

View More Photos from the Shoot

Infographic design finds a place to call home in the Virginia Association of Realtors annual report

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

Infographic design finds a place to call home in the Virginia Association of Realtors annual report

This week The Flores Shop delivered the Virginia Association of Realtors® (VAR) annual report entitled Pieces of Home: 2011 Virginia Housing Report. While VAR has released quarterly home sales reports in the past, this is the first time the organization has developed a year-long recap of Virginia’s housing statistics.

Leading the design team was our Design Diva, Jordan Schmidt. With Jordan at the helm, monstrous Excel spreadsheets (jam-packed with raw data and numbers) turned in to artfully-crafted and visually-effective infographics that make PowerPoint charts look like a 1985 “mobile” phone!

With many comprehensive reports and articles, each layout was strategically designed to ensure the data remains easy to comprehend engages readers from cover to cover.

We truly enjoy working with a roster of clients in wide ranges of industries — not only because of the diverse brands we develop — but also because we have many opportunities to learn about all of these industries from the experts. Their knowledge  always makes us SO SMART! And the analysts at Virginia Association of Realtors were no exception.

Even if you’re not in real estate, the report is packed with articles written by some of the most esteemed experts in the industry. Their informative reviews of the past year and educated predictions on what 2012 will bring should be of interest to any home owner given what we’ve all experienced in recent years! It’s been a challenging couple of years, but VAR’s analysts say that things like low interest rates and affordable home prices could make this year’s progress more significant that last year’s.

As VAR’s website points out:
“That’s just the numbers. It’s easy to forget that there are people behind that data. There are families who can finally afford a dream home, who can move to a better school district, or can refinance to stay afloat.  There are people wondering when they’ll be able to sell their homes, and who have taken the leap into buying their first.

Take them into account as you read through this report:  Virginia’s homes and families, communities and jobs- the lives that are more than dots on a chart or entries in a table.  These are pictures of homes, struggles, and celebration and our springboard into 2012.”

The annual report was unveiled at VAR’s Legislative Advocacy Conference on Tuesday and has already received coverage from The Washington Post!

View the entire report and let us know what you think!

Squirrels = Brand Consumers. Am I NUTS???

Monday, January 9th, 2012
From the branding-obsessed mind of Kevin Flores, Chief Creative Fella

Squirrels = Brand Consumers. Am I NUTS???  While propped about 20 feet up in a tree stand on a recent deer hunting trip*, I found myself surrounded and fascinated by dozens of grey squirrels working tirelessly throughout the day —  consuming and burying as many acorns as possible. While taking occasional breaks for playful games of chase with fellow bushy-tailed co-workers, they would quickly (and with much discipline) refrain back to the tasks at hand — searching, eating, digging and burying the fruits (or in this case, “nuts”) of their labor.

Having a bird’s eye view of the four-legged work-a-holics, and no deer in sight, I had nothing but time to sit and watch them. I thought about how their tireless work might relate to mine as a brand marketer. In my strange brain, I concocted a scenario where the squirrels were the consumers we try to reach and the acorn was our brand product or service. The squirrel actually eating the acorn (a.k.a. – consuming our product) represented a marketer’s end goal — a profitable sale.

The more I thought about it,the more parallels I was able to concoct. So after my camouflaged excursion in the woods, I decided to do my own kind of ‘digging’ — on the interwebs.

I searched terms on squirrel feeding patterns and found an article written by Anne Raver for The New York Times called “All About Squirrels And Nuts.” Apparently, Anne had also taken note of these hard-working varmints (only, her observations took place in a park in Brooklyn) and it sounded like she may have had some of the same questions I did:

“Is there rhyme or reason to which acorns they eat and which ones they bury?”

“Will they actually remember where they buried each acorn?”

“How many of those acorns will they actually find?!”

Before writing the NYT article, she found Dr. Peter Smallwood at Bryn Mawr College in Pensylvania. (SIDE NOTE: As it turns out, Dr. Smallwood is now a professor in my own back yard at the University of Richmond! Small world!)

Anyway, Dr. Smallwood studied squirrels with Michael Steele—a biologist at Wilkes College. In 1994, the pair wrote an article called “What Are Squirrels Hiding?” for Natural History Magazine which Anne used as the foundation for her article.

While reading her article, I realized that there are many parallels that we [marketers] can use if we imagine our target consumer is a squirrel, and our brand’s product, an acorn. I’ll use a few quotes from Anne Raver’s article to illustrate my point. (Then you can tell me whether or not I’m nuts!)

Anne wrote: Scientists have long thought that gray squirrels, can not only remember where they dug their holes, but also smell the nuts they have buried. (But they must not be too good at either skill, since studies show they fail to recover about 74 percent of the nuts they bury.)

Okay, let’s break this down.

In a forrest full of oaks, how many thousands of acorns do you think the average squirrel has the potential to see a day? Would you think that 3,000 might be a conceivable number? If so, that would be comparable to the number of marketing messages that the average consumer will see or hear in a day according to Fast Company.

While we may be exposed to 3,000 marketing messages a day, most of them flick in-and-out so quickly that they don’t actually seep past our subconscious. So, let’s say, for the sake of this article (and hopefully the restoration of my reputation as a “sane” person), that the acorns the squirrels actually pickup are equivalent to the brands or products that consciously register with us on a given day.

Once the squirrel makes the conscious connection with an acorn, he has a choice to make:

“Do I toss it away?”

“Do I consume it right now?”

“Do I store it away and try to find it later?”

This is a similar thought process a consumer has each time she comes in contact with your brand’s product or service. The nuts that are immediately eaten (a.k.a. – sold) are wins in our parallel! The ones that are tossed away were not enticing enough to keep the consumer’s…uh…squirrel’s attention. The ones that were buried made some kind of impression. BUT…let’s not forget, squirrels only recover TWENTY-SIX PERCENT of the acorns they bury! So the chances of that “squirrel/consumer” coming back for your “acorn/product” are decreased significantly if it’s not immediately consumed. Admittedly, I don’t have numbers to support this, but my guess is that the human consumer may (at times) be even more forgetful than the squirrel!

On to another quote from the article…

Anne wrote: They are also highly discriminating when it comes to deciding which nuts to eat immediately and which to store. …Naturalists have also noticed that squirrels don’t bury acorns infected with larvae, but eat these high-protein treats immediately.

This one struck a chord with me. It says that it’s not enough to just get the squirrel/consumer to pickup your acorn/product. While it interests them enough to pick it up, there has to be something more that makes them want to consume it immediately.

When the squirrel sees the added bonus of a larvae inside of an acorn, he thinks, “SCORE!” and devours the acorn without any thoughts of tossing it away or saving it for a later date.

Let’s face it, for most consumers, larvae in a product probably wouldn’t be very enticing. But the parallel in a consumer’s world could be having your acorn/product catch their eye and then realizing that it’s being sold at an unexpectedly affordable price! Or being surprised by how great the acorn/product feels in their hands once they’re interested enough to pick it up. Or maybe it’s another added benefit that nudges the squirrel/consumer to consume your product immediately — rather than toss it away or bury it in hopes of finding it again later.

So, here’s the breakdown:

Squirrel = Your Ideal Consumer

Acorn = Your Brand Product

Larvae = That Extra “Something” That Ensures Your Brand Product Is Consumed Immediately

Now, ask yourself:

Who are your squirrels?

Is your acorn attracting them?

Is there a larvae in your acorn once your squirrels find it?

What are the squirrels doing with your acorn?

Tossing it?

Burying it in hopes of finding it later?

Or consuming it immediately?

I hope the answers to these questions help you to better understand your brand’s appeal to your audience.

So…AM I NUTS???

*Not one freaking deer was harmed while concepting this story.
(Maybe I should have paid less attention to the squirrels.)