Meet Lauren, Our Spring Content Marketing Intern

Meet Lauren Graphic

Lauren is this semester’s Content Marketing Intern! She is a senior at John Carroll University (one of our favorite clients!) and passionate about social media. We’re having a blast getting to know her, so we gave her a little Q&A.

Tell us three cool things about yourself.

  1. I’m graduating college in just three years!
  2. I almost went to art school at the Cranbrook Academy of Art instead of John Carroll.
  3. I started a business out of my dorm room my freshman year. I paint custom designs Toms shoes and am even in a few boutiques across the US! Check out Elizabeth Rose Shoes

What is your favorite quote?

“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” – Vincent van Gogh

Top three binge-worthy shows on Netflix?

Definitely House of Cards! I watched the entire second season in one day—should I not admit that?  I also loved Lie to Me and Scandal.

What are your favorite blogs?

I’m a pretty artsy gal, so I love DIY blogs like DesignLoveFest. I also check out Entrepreneur Magazine, Design Milk, and The Verge every day.

What does a day a typical day at Kiwi Creative look like?

The nice thing about social media is that in changes every day. As a Content Marketing Intern, I spend most of my time creating a content calendar that encompasses Facebook, Twitter and the blog. I am also helping to coordinate the launch of our YouTube channel—stay tuned!

Do you have any advice for college students applying to internships?

Don’t be afraid to try internships in different areas, or move on when it’s not a great fit. Figure out what environment challenges you to grow your skills. And while we’re on the topic of skills, take advantage of opportunity to learn from your coworkers—no matter how many classes you’ve taken, I promise you don’t know everything.

If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

I wish I could pause time! I’d love to be able to hit pause, take a nap and then get back to work.

What was one fun thing you did last weekend?

My friends and I went to Cleveland Rock Gym for rock climbing on Saturday night. It’s a great workout and a ton of fun. I am now an officially certified belayer. (A belayer is the person who holds the ropes while you climb to keep you safe!)

What is the best way to waste time online?

I don’t even want to know the number of hours I have wasted on Tumblr!

What is the last book you read?

I read Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk. I’ve never seen the movie, so I was surprised by the twist at the end! It wasn’t my favorite book, but I appreciated the writing.

Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

I’m a curly haired, lipstick enthusiast with a passion for social. I drink way too much coffee and can paint a damn good pair of Toms.

More questions for Lauren? Leave us a comment below!

 

Written By Jen Lombardi, Head Honcho & Creative Genius

Kiwi Creative is a small marketing and design studio located in the lovely 'burbs of Cleveland, Ohio. We help small businesses and marketing departments within larger organizations with cool projects that involve graphic design and illustration, website development, online advertising and social media strategy. Oh, and we're a pretty awesome group to work with, if we do say so ourselves…

Meet Chris, Web Designer Extraordinaire

meet chris

We’ve got a new member of the Kiwi Crew! Chris Schneider is our talented new web designer—from websites to woodworking, this guy does it all!

First, tell us three cool things about yourself.

1) I am a partial owner of a local pickle company!
2) I am an aspiring woodworker.
3) I play drums in the worship band at Hope Christian Church.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

The best piece of advice I have ever received is from my Dad. I wanted to go to vocational school for an engine repair program, or maybe become a firefighter. He was the one who encouraged me to pursue something in the computer field. It’s turned out pretty great so far!

Top three binge-worthy shows on Netflix?

House of Cards, 24, Parks and Recreation.

If you won a vacation home in the location of your choosing, where would it be?

My vacation home would be on the beautiful island of St. Lucia. My wife and I honeymooned there and it was amazing.

If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

I just want to be able to teleport. Is that so bad? No more rush hour traffic, no flight delays, none of that…just think about where you want to go and BOOM, you’re there.

Do you collect anything?

I do not collect anything. I have lots of hobbies, but collecting things is not one of them!

Name the best song(s) to sing in the car.

Say It Ain’t So by Weezer and Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen—thank you Wayne’s World!

Which three things would you take with you on a desert island?

My Bible, drinking water and a sharp knife of some sort.

What is the last book you read?

Divergent, moving on to Insurgent as we speak.

And last (but certainly not least!), why did you choose Kiwi Creative?

I chose Kiwi Creative because I wanted to get back into the small, creative environment. My very first job was in a small environment and it overflowed with creativity. After several years in the corporate cube farm world, I needed a change. As soon as I saw the opening, I thought it could be a lot of fun. So far I was right on that assumption!

Have more questions for Chris? Leave a comment below!

 

Written By Lauren Kelley, Content Marketing Intern

Kiwi Creative is a small marketing and design studio located in the lovely 'burbs of Cleveland, Ohio. We help small businesses and marketing departments within larger organizations with cool projects that involve graphic design and illustration, website development, online advertising and social media strategy. Oh, and we're a pretty awesome group to work with, if we do say so ourselves…

How to Prepare for a Meeting with a Creative Studio

Your First Date with a Creative Studio

When potential clients visit our studio for the first time, it’s a lot like going on a date with someone you don’t really know. (I mean, aside from what tidbits you can gather online through cyber stalking.) We need to get to know each other—our personalities, our styles, our “family” members—in order to establish a comfortable working relationship.

The only real difference between dating and new business meetings? You don’t need to bring us flowers or chocolate. Instead, come prepared with these crucial pieces of information:

Company Background

It’s important that businesses have a clear vision of who they are and what makes them unique. These are like the first 10 “getting-to-know-you” minutes that you experience on a first date. Are you located in a sweet office downtown? Has your company been around for generations? Do you do something exceptionally well? We want to hear about it.

Customer Psychographics

In order to market well, we need to understand who your customers are. It’s not just their age or income we’re concerned about (although those are important qualities in a suitor), but their personalities—what they like to do, where they do it and what matters to them.

Current Marketing Materials

Be sure to bring in all of your printed marketing materials (brochures, postcards, etc.). We’ll want to talk about what you like or don’t like about them. Does your company have brand standards that we need to follow? Bring that information along, too.

Design Inspiration

This is the part of the date where you show us what you love. Bring some examples of creative graphic design that you like—whether it’s in the same industry or not. We’re not going to copy, but your design preferences will guide our general creative direction.

Chain of Command

We understand that not all decisions can be made without consulting with other team members or your boss, so it’s critical that we know who will be involved in what phases of the project. Who needs to give final approval for the newly designed pieces? Many design studios have a set number of revisions allowed per your contract, so be sure to include the decision maker in the beginning of the approval process.

Budget/Timeline 

When you plan a date, you usually have a general idea of how much money and time you want to spend—you wouldn’t pick a slow restaurant before a movie and you wouldn’t forget your wallet (hopefully!). You can have a great first date whether you pick fast food or a five start restaurant downtown—the same idea applies with us. A budget and timeline help us give you the best “bang for your buck.”

Arrive at your date’s door with these six pieces of information and your creative studio will fall madly in love with you. Being prepared puts first date jitters aside and allows a great working relationship to bloom. Feelin’ ready to ask us out? Contact us today.

 

Written By Maeghan Gorman, Business Development Dynamo

Kiwi Creative is a small marketing and design studio located in the lovely 'burbs of Cleveland, Ohio. We help small businesses and marketing departments within larger organizations with cool projects that involve graphic design and illustration, website development, online advertising and social media strategy. Oh, and we're a pretty awesome group to work with, if we do say so ourselves…

Super Bowl Ad Teases: Digital Integrated Marketing Done Right

Football, schmootball. Everyone knows the Super Bowl is all about the commercials, right!? (Er, can you tell I’m not a sports fan?)

It used to be that advertisers would keep their high-budget TV spots under wraps until the big day. But now, much to this digital marketer’s delight, brands are realizing the power that comes in building up hype before their commercials air.

Sure, Super Bowl spots still cost millions to produce and rely on big-name star power, but now they also come with Twitter hashtags, landing pages with teaser video content and more…all of which earns brands tons of “free” publicity through traditional and social media.

Our two favorite teases thus far? Arnold Schwarzenegger in teeny tiny table tennis shorts and the possibility of a Full House reunion. Thanks, Bud Light and Dannon Oikos. Now, enjoy:

Written By Jen Lombardi, Head Honcho & Creative Genius

Kiwi Creative is a small marketing and design studio located in the lovely 'burbs of Cleveland, Ohio. We help small businesses and marketing departments within larger organizations with cool projects that involve graphic design and illustration, website development, online advertising and social media strategy. Oh, and we're a pretty awesome group to work with, if we do say so ourselves…

2013 COSE Small Business Convention Recap: Another Year, Another Wild Event

COSE 2013I’m finally rested up from the COSE Small Business Convention! (For those of you who don’t know, the convention is an event for small businesses professionals at the Kalahari Convention Center in Sandusky, Ohio). It was my second time at the Small Business Convention, but this year I gave my first presentation. After I finished, I got to kick back, relax and enjoy another great event! COSE knows exactly what they’re doing, so everyone should take notes. Here’s how to plan an awesome conference, COSE-style:

Always Have a Few Activities Going on Simultaneously

Today, we’re all multitasking experts. Schedule multiple events at the same time. Compliment the main events by adding other smaller activities so everyone stays engaged.

Food, Glorious Food

What’s the best way to keep an audience happy during an event? Feed ‘em. The rest of our lives revolve around food, so it had better make an appearance at your event.

Keep It Digital

Surround your attendees with screens: TV screens, computer screens, projector screens. Create a dynamic and relevant hashtag for the event. Hype it up beforehand so all the attendees can create a shared excitement. Go the extra mile and have social media live stream. This gives your attendees a taste of stardom. When they see their tweet on the big screen, their picture glowing among the bright lights, their 140 characters live, you’ve assisted in creating a dream come true. They’re now a convention celebrity! And they’ll be one happy camper.

Don’t Be Dry

Include some “fun” activities throughout the event. Who doesn’t love ABC’s “Shark Tank?” Who doesn’t love a rockin’ 80’s cover band? That’s right. No one! Think about your attendees. Consider what they would do in their (infrequent) free time. COSE recognized they have a crowd of entrepreneurs who support start ups. They also acknowledged that creativity and risk-taking are consistent qualities in most entrepreneurs so of course, they arranged for a crazy, engaging band to “jam out.” What a great stress reliever!

So, in summary, don’t host a drab, simplistic event. Make it an experience for the attendee. Tap into their senses. Get your attendees involved. Make them feel a celebrity or a rock star. COSE hit the ball out of the park this year and I can’t wait to head back for Round 3!

 

Written By Maeghan Gorman, Business Development Dynamo

Kiwi Creative is a small marketing and design studio located in the lovely 'burbs of Cleveland, Ohio. We help small businesses and marketing departments within larger organizations with cool projects that involve graphic design and illustration, website development, online advertising and social media strategy. Oh, and we're a pretty awesome group to work with, if we do say so ourselves…

2013: Year of the Infographic

Infographic Samples

If you’re in the marcom industry (and haven’t been living under a rock), you’ve almost certainly heard the term “inbound marketing” or “content marketing” over the past several months. For already overworked marketing managers, this means producing a high volume of stellar content over a long period of time. Blogging, email newsletters, social media, white papers…all of these are crucial platforms for any brand’s content marketing strategy.

So why is a design studio blogging about inbound marketing? Well, besides being big believers in the whole philosophy, we’ve found our li’l niche in the trend: infographic design.

(In fact, so many clients have been requesting this type of project lately that we’ve nicknamed 2013 “Year of the Infographic” here in our Cleveland design studio.)

In our experience, a lot of marketers start out trying to produce these pieces on their own. But trust us…that chart you made in PowerPoint just isn’t doing justice to the stellar messaging it’s meant to compliment. And, sorry to be blunt, but no one will read your expertly written white paper if it looks like s**t.

Looking for a more professional solution for your content marketing and infographic design projects? Check out these portfolio samples (below) and contact us for a free estimate. We can help take your complex data and turn it into an easy-to-understand marketing piece.

Written By Jen Lombardi, Head Honcho & Creative Genius

Kiwi Creative is a small marketing and design studio located in the lovely 'burbs of Cleveland, Ohio. We help small businesses and marketing departments within larger organizations with cool projects that involve graphic design and illustration, website development, online advertising and social media strategy. Oh, and we're a pretty awesome group to work with, if we do say so ourselves…

Marketing: The Importance of Getting Back to Basics

Marketing: Back to Basics

Way back in your college days (for some of us, that was 20 or 30 years ago!), you probably learned a little something about the basics of marketing. And even though times have changed a lot since then—especially where technology is concerned—it’s STILL important to remember those fundamentals when developing a marketing strategy. So stop trying to make a Vine video just because you heard it’s the “hottest new trend” out there and let’s revisit the good ol’ four Ps of marketing—product (or service), place, price and promotion—BEFORE you embark on a new advertising campaign.

As your crotchety old professor probably taught you, the four classic ingredients to successfully align your business with your target market are:

  • Product (or Service): What are you selling and why should people care?
  • Place: Where/how are people going to buy your product?
  • Price: What’s the value of your product and how much will people pay for it?
  • Promotion: How will you reach your audience to convince them to buy you product?

While answering those questions will give you a solid foundation for developing a marketing strategy, it’s also important to think about these three newer Ps:

  • People: How do your employees and your corporate culture affect your product?
  • Purpose: What are your company’s values and how will your product change the world?
  • Persona: Moving beyond demographics (age, sex, ethnicity), what are the psychographics of your ideal customer…their pain points, their cultural attitudes, etc.

Interesting in learning more about the seven Ps of marketing? You’re in luck: I’ll be presenting an in-depth workshop called “Marketing: Back to Basics” at 9:15 a.m. on Thursday, October 24th during this year’s COSE Small Business Convention at Kalahari Resorts & Convention Center in Sandusky, Ohio. (I’ll also be hanging out with fellow Kiwi staffers at Booth #86 during exhibit hall breaks, if you have any specific questions.)

Hope to see you there!

Written By Maeghan Gorman, Business Development Dynamo

Kiwi Creative is a small marketing and design studio located in the lovely 'burbs of Cleveland, Ohio. We help small businesses and marketing departments within larger organizations with cool projects that involve graphic design and illustration, website development, online advertising and social media strategy. Oh, and we're a pretty awesome group to work with, if we do say so ourselves…

Meet Maura, Our Newest Content Marketing Intern

Meet Maura

Say “hi” to Maura, Kiwi Creative’s new Content Marketing Intern! She’s a fun, ginger-haired lady who loves social media, photography and traveling. We can’t wait to get to know her…and what better way to do that than a Q & A?

First, the obvious question: Why did you choose Kiwi Creative?

To be honest, I was struck by the bright, quirky vibe of the company. I felt like it matched my personality so well! I could tell it was a creative, laid-back atmosphere. Who doesn’t love that?

Tell us three cool things about yourself.

  1. I studied abroad in Madrid last fall.
  2. I’m a cat lady. But not the crazy kind.
  3. I’m a New Year’s baby.

What’s your favorite color?

Purple and blue. I know, I know. That’s two.

Favorite TV show?

“New Girl” and “30 Rock.” There’s no way to choose between them. They’re both fantastic!

If money was no object, where would you go and what would you do?

I’d go back to Madrid in a heartbeat. Next on my list is London, but I really want to visit just about everywhere!

What’s in your refrigerator right now?

Spinach, eggs, Greek yogurt, chicken, and bagels…staples of the poor college kid. And some ice cream in the freezer, but that’s a given.

If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

I’ve always thought it would be super cool to have magical powers. Probably explains why I loved Harry Potter as a kid.

What’s your favorite childhood memory?

My Dad planted sunflowers in a square patch of our garden and we called it our “Sunflower Fort.” My siblings and I read books and played in there all summer! My backyard was (and is) the best.

Name one thing you wish you could do better.

I really wish I could do graphic design. I can appreciate things that are well-designed, but I just can’t seem to replicate it. Bummer!

Which three things would you take to a desert island?

  1. My phone. (Is there WiFi on a desert island?)
  2. A coffee pot. (I would die without it. Or at least be super cranky.)
  3. My family. (Yeah, I’m sentimental like that.)

What is the last book you read?

Other than textbooks? It’s been a while. I think it was “Angels and Demons”?
I’m trying to read “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” currently, but I’ve been on page 10 for a month.

More questions for Maura? Leave us a comment below!

Written By Maura Stewart

Kiwi Creative is a small marketing and design studio located in the lovely 'burbs of Cleveland, Ohio. We help small businesses and marketing departments within larger organizations with cool projects that involve graphic design and illustration, website development, online advertising and social media strategy. Oh, and we're a pretty awesome group to work with, if we do say so ourselves…

Poppin: Bringing the Brand Experience to Life

Poppin Mousepad

A few weeks ago, our designer Jamie finally wore out her mousepad. (Poor girl’s been working too hard, huh?) Anyway, I bought her this new kiwi-licious mousepad on Poppin. It arrived fast and shipped in some very awesome (and personality-filled) packaging. I thought it was so cool, I even tweeted about it:

Poppin Packaging

 

For a normal brand, making this sort of impression on a customer AND even getting a free social media shout out would have been amazing. But did Poppin stop there? Nope. Yesterday, I got this thank you card in the mail:

Poppin Thank You Note

When was the last time you received a HANDWRITTEN thank you note from an online retailer? (I’m assuming most of you said “never.”) Did Poppin need to send it? No, of course not. But now I’m officially so enamored with their company that I’m actually blogging about them for FREE. How’s that for cost-effective advertising and brand loyalty?

So what’s the last thing YOU did to make YOUR company stand out? Or are you just taking your customers for granted and need to step up your game? If you need help thinking of unique ways to extend your brand message throughout the sales cycle, why not contact us today to brainstorm some ideas?

And kudos to you, Poppin, for creating a stellar brand experience from beginning to end.

Written By Jen Lombardi, Head Honcho & Creative Genius

Kiwi Creative is a small marketing and design studio located in the lovely 'burbs of Cleveland, Ohio. We help small businesses and marketing departments within larger organizations with cool projects that involve graphic design and illustration, website development, online advertising and social media strategy. Oh, and we're a pretty awesome group to work with, if we do say so ourselves…