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Creativity Keeps Businesses Booming

Fortunately, working remotely is always an option for our team, but of course, it’s a necessity right now. Although our business office is closed, our home offices are open, and we are continuing to build our clients’ brands.

While COVID-19 is slowing down activities in some markets, it is providing opportunities in others. For example, we recently teamed up with Indiana Historical Society to build an online tool that allows Hoosiers to submit photos, videos and stories documenting how they are dealing with the “new normal” of life amid COVID-19.

We have been helping another one of our clients explain the financial aspects of this new normal on an almost daily basis, developing and distributing e-blast messages to their customers about tax filing and payment extensions, new loan programs, etc. To house the numerous financial updates, we created a COVID-19 Resource Center on their website.

We are also helping a senior living management company promote temporary jobs that have opened up in the wake of COVID-19, and we are documenting the many ways in which they are keeping residents and their loved ones connected despite visiting restrictions.

How are we doing all of this from the comfort of our homes? Here are a few tips and tricks that could help you and your business during this time as well:

Zoom Meetings: Zoom is the most popular video conferencing solution for companies with 500 employees or less. It’s gaining users rapidly amid COVID-19 concerns, adding roughly 2.22 million monthly active users since the start of the year. Allowing us to see each other and communicate face to face brings back a sense of normalcy and “business as usual.” It’s also keeping our company’s collaborative, creative spirit alive and thriving!

Task Lists: When everyone’s operating remotely, it can become easy to lose sight of what we’re all working on. That’s why we’re all sending each other bulleted task lists every morning. We also utilize Trello, which organizes everyone’s tasks in separate boards and lets you track each team member’s progress.

Sharing on Slack: Slack, our office newsfeed, has been our best friend lately. Not only does it allow us to stay in touch, but it’s been a great tool for boosting employee morale in the midst of COVID-19. Sharing pictures of our home offices — and the pets who break into them — is a particularly comforting activity.

Tapping into Creativity: When the mechanical shark kept malfunctioning during the production of Jaws, director Steven Spielberg took a less-is-more approach, making the monster’s presence known through menacing music and underwater point-of-view shots. This creative solution saved the film and made it even better than it would have been before. Think of COVID-19 as the malfunctioning mechanical shark you have to work around in order to keep your business booming.

By Brian Coles 
Chief Marketing Technologist / Owner

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Hands On With Sam

We’re highlighting our Coles Marketing collaborators by showcasing some of their many talents. Every day they contribute ideas, designs, strategy and so much more that drives positive results for our clients.

Our copywriter, Sam Watermeier, takes words and turns them into unbelievable stories that encapsulate our clients’ goals. From writing poems and creative works in his spare time to catering his writing for more technical products, Sam does it all. Below are some recent tasks he’s tackled:

  • Wrote copy for a new website
  • Interviewed and wrote three employee spotlight articles
  • Created a monthly corporate metrics report
  • Helped design and write the process for crafting a newsletter template

Sam’s Passions

Current Netflix Binge Show: Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee

Favorite Restaurant: Luciana’s Mexican Restaurant (Arroz con pollo is the perfect meal.)

Favorite App: Bravo TV, it allows me to stream the high-seas drama of Below Deck

Describe Yourself in 3 Words: Quiet, quirky, creative

Stay tuned to see who will be featured next!

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5 Q’s with VP of Creative Tim Coulon

He’s a Grateful-Dead-listening-dog-loving-daydreamer. Tim Coulon is the VP of Creative at Coles Marketing. He’s been here for more than 17 years and is still cookin’ up creative ideas that make our clients swoon.

 

1) How do you start your day? Are you a strong coffee/hit-the-snooze button person? Or a lemon water cleanse/yoga up-at-5 a.m. person?

I start by asking Alexa what the day’s forecast looks like. Always Starbucks in the Keurig. Pep talk with my Labradoodle, Woodford, and kiss the fam goodbye. I’m a huge Grateful Dead fan, so that’s on Sirius Radio for the drive in. NEVER talk radio. The last thing I want to hear in the morning to start my day is other people’s opinions. This routine starts my day off right.

 

2) Creative types aren’t really known for finding inspiration at their desks. Where do you get inspiration when you need to get the ideas flowing?

 Daydreaming. Yep. Little sessions throughout the day. I have perfected the craft of daydreaming while working. Thinking about upcoming trips, events, etc. I also listen to lots of music. I believe music is a huge part of where I find my inspiration.

 

3) You spearheaded a lot of creative projects over the years. What’s one that’s surprised you the most? Like, “leap out of your seat fist-pound” proud?

I’ve had so many projects throughout the years, it’s hard to rack my brain. But one that sticks out was for the Humane Society of Hamilton County. Not only did I love the way the project came out, I also directed one of our most successful photoshoots (plus I got to hang out with puppies all day). Nothing bad about that. And these dogs and cats finally found their forever home. Take a look and see the design. It’s clean. Cheerful. Fresh.

4) Trends. Trends. Trends. Give us your graphic design predictions for the year. What’s hot? We want to know! 

 First off, traditional design will never go out of style. Helvetica will never become a passé typeface. Simple has and will always be the better choice. And good typography always goes a long way.

To me, trends are just variations on the simple and traditional. When designers get bored, they try something new. And if it looks good, someone else will see it and use some form of it. Bam … new trend. I will say simple flat graphics/icons are currently hot now. So are bold, big typefaces and colors. But give it a minute, it will change. Who knows what the next day will bring.

 

5) Finally, what advice can you give to clients who are just starting to create a brand/look for their company? Where should they start?

Don’t try to do it on your own. Hire an experienced professional to help. The name, look and story of your brand speaks volumes. It sets the tone for your plunge into the marketplace. Be open to the ideas of the professionals. Remember, they’re professional for a reason.

Clients often look at their own brand from within the fishbowl. Since professionals are outside of the fishbowl, they can develop the brand with the customer in mind, while staying true to the core of the client.

 

Thanks Tim! Contact Tim at tcoulon@colesmarketing.com if you have questions about all things creative or just to talk shop.

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