April 2016

Is your company

We hear a lot about a consistent brand experience, and how our employees are a part of that, but what does it mean?  A recent travel experience gave me the perfect example.

On a trip to Atlanta, a client put me up at the W hotel. In general, the brand experience in hospitality is very important. Having briefly worked at a Marriott, I’m familiar with what goes in to the experience – from how you greet customers to how the rooms are maintained. But this trip, one thing stood out to me more than anything else – the mats in the elevator.

“What is so great about elevator mats?,” you might ask. “What does this have to do with branding?”

When I checked in that afternoon, I noted the elevator mat said “Good Afternoon.”  And as I came and went throughout my trip, I noticed these mats changed to “Good Morning” in the AM, and “Good Evening” in the PM.

Good-Afternoon

What does this say about the W brand?  To me, this emphasizes an enormous attention to detail and to their customer experience. It also emphasizes what the brand is known for – a high-end, luxury experience. Not every brand would take the time to change elevator mats three times a day. Their hotel is the embodiment of what they stand for, down to the last detail.

It also says they trust their employees to be responsible and take care of the brand as if it were their own.  How easy would it be for someone to forget to change the mats – for one to say Good Morning at lunch time, or Good Afternoon in the evening?  Pretty easy.  But it never happened. The employees take pride in the brand and help to give a consistent experience.

Are you embodying your brand down to the last detail?  Are your employees?

As you may have noticed, I recently updated my photos on the website and social media.  I’m super pleased by the photos, and have gotten some wonderful feedback.  SO, this week, let’s talk a little about headshots.

Why invest in professional headshots?

As a designer, I help you put your best business face forward – with your logo, collateral, etc.  All these things are an investment – but so often we forget that we are the face of our business as well. Shouldn’t your headshots be an extension of you and your brand?

I understand the pain point of investing in professional photos, but it is more than worth it. By putting a professional face forward, you can help build trust with potential clients before they meet you. Would you rather put your business in the hands of Business A, whose CEO has a well executed photo?  Or in Business B, whose CEO used a snapshot and cropped out their significant other, party drink, etc?  You’d trust Business A every time.

Stacy Headshots

 

So who did my headshots?

I’ve gotten a lot of compliments on the photos, and for the record – any and all praise should go out to Mary Gardella of ‘elle and Nicole Palermo of Happily Ever After LLC.  Mary is currently running some wonderful Profession’elle marathon sessions where you get a mini-photosession with 2 photos, and make-up by Nicole at a discounted price.  They are the magicians behind the portraits – and I haven’t seen any bad ones yet.

Thanks, Mary and Nicole!

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Sometimes, as a designer, we spend too much time on the computer. There. I said it.  To all my design professors out there – you were right.

But, occasionally an opportunity comes along to do something different. That’s why I love District Bliss.

A month or so ago I got an email from Sara and Sarah asking if I’d do the paper products and giveaways for their DIY event in April – Makeup with Ariel Lewis.  And of course, I jumped at the chance. Working with District Bliss is awesome, because I can stretch my creativity, and do something – anything I want to – hands on.

For the DIY event, I did Mason Jar takeaways with burlap ribbon, name tags and Hershey’s Kisses. I also did hand sewn notebooks for all the participants to write in while taking the class.  Images of the final products below.

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One of the best parts of going to the event was seeing participants actually using the name tags and notebooks.

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Thanks, District Bliss, for another fun event!  I hope to collaborate again (and again).