Branding

Shedding Light On A New Luminus

Creative restlessness. The concept that launched Luminus when it was two hustlin’ freelancers is the same concept that drives the newest brand interpretation. Co-founders Tim Bouchard and Mike LaDuca have always been driven by feelings of creative restlessness. Feelings that mean good enough never is, and greatness is an ever-evolving target.

Way back when, Tim and Mike were a freelance team creating websites for local businesses. But as they grew, so did Luminus. And as Luminus carved out its place in the Buffalo marketing landscape and became a destination for rising professionals looking for opportunities to explore, expand and exceed expectations, we transformed from a web design agency into something much bigger.

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Revving Up Your Social Media with Cause-Related Marketing

A social media profile is a direct extension of your business, and potentially the first point of contact for a large percentage of your audience. Does your social media account look more like a ghost town than a business profile?

If you’re getting lonely on social media, it’s likely that you’re isolating your social media marketing efforts. Believe it or not, your social media campaign needs to be able to communicate who your brand is concisely and accurately.

Values are an extremely important aspect of a successful brand, and social media only emphasizes the necessity for strong values. Through cause-related marketing, it’s possible to build loyal and meaningful relationships with your target audience through social media.

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The Purpose of a Mission Statement

We build brands and brands have a lot of components. Some are tangible and obvious: the logo, the website, the brochure. Some, though, are a little harder to grasp, and almost none are as difficult as the mission statement.

“This is all well and good, but where do we actually use this?”

Mission statements are what I would call a “soft” deliverable. They’re internally focused, meaning they won’t be directly used to court and convert customers. They’re abstract, usually centered around values and aspirations than any concrete efforts. They’re not something you can use; they’re something you live.

So I’m not surprised when people hold up their hands when we’re discussing their mission statement and say “This is all well and good, but where do we actually use this?”

It’s a fair question, but it can be difficult to answer. Mission statements are malleable little pieces of text – you can use them almost any way you choose. There are four basic uses of a mission statement that usually come to mind, however.

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Why Naming a Brand is So Hard

Nameberry.com is a website totally devoted to the art of naming babies. There’s an entire active forum where parents who can’t decide on a name can interact with “Nameberries” who will help you brainstorm potential names for your newborn.

The Nameberries are awesome and seem to be very helpful. The names they pitch are sometimes a bit too unique for the people who are asking (Atlas, Story and Anthem are all great names but can seem a little mythic for a newborn), but they’re almost always interesting and help folks to narrow down what they really like and what they really want.

The whole process reminds me of naming a product. Babies are much more important than products, of course, but you’re still confronted with similar dilemmas.

  • You want a name that you love.
  • You want a name that’s unique.
  • You want a name that truly fits what you’re naming.

The problem with all of these problems is that they’re impossible to solve, at least right away.

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The Simple Question I Ask Every Client

I ask new clients one simple question when I’m trying to figure out how to help them.

“Why do you deserve this?”

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Why You Need to Find an Enemy for Your Brand

Here are three stories:

  • I had a dream last night that I was driving.
  • I had a dream last night that I was driving, but I didn’t have any hands.
  • I had a dream last night that I was driving, but I didn’t have any hands. My wife was in labor in the backseat. I steered with my teeth, weaving in and out of traffic, making it to the hospital just in time.

The first story is boring. The second story is weird. The third story is weird, but at least it’s a story, and that’s because it has conflict.

You passed middle school English class. You know that all stories are supposed to have conflict in order to qualify as stories.

Similarly, brands need some level of conflict in order to rise above the level of mere commodities and become something that people can actually care about. While storytelling and conflict can take a variety of forms within a brand, the most common way to introduce interesting, loyalty-breeding conflict into your brand is by creating an enemy.

But why would you want to harsh things up like that? Isn’t there a better way?

The good news is that no matter how nice you are and how good your brand is for you, your customers and the universe, you can absolutely find an enemy that you can define yourself against.

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Accurately Quote Design Using Golden Mean Pricing [eBook]

We’ve all been there before. You’ve been approached to work on a project as a freelancer or small business owner. The client has unloaded a ton of information during a sit down that you have to digest and turn into a proposal that breaks down the scope of work and cost. Now you’re knee deep in the sales process faced with the challenge of assigning a price to a project requiring a range of creative services.

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We Are Very, Very Proud of the District 2 Regional Addy Winners from Buffalo

We got our hands on the breakdown of this year’s regional Addy’s winners from Buffalo.

Regionals are a big deal. Locally, we all go up against each other, which is exciting and inspiring and intoxicating. Regionally, we go up against 13 other clubs in our district (District 2 of the American Advertising Federation). That includes DC, Albany, Philadelphia, Baltimore and other major metros.

So we’re really proud to see Buffalo out there killing the game. To our peers: congratulations! Buffalo rules and so do you. We’re really proud to be a part of this community.

This blog post runs down the just the professional winners for now.

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How Identity Marketing Shapes B2B Content

I was reading a recent report from HubSpot and Buzzsumo that breaks down what types of content perform well for B2B and B2C marketing and one line in particular caught my eye:

“The aim of a B2B company in many ways is to make their buyer look like a hero inside their organization.”

In other words, maybe more so than B2C content (which tends to be more focused on entertainment), B2B content is often directed towards the ego. I don’t mean that in the sense that you’re trying to flatter your prospect. Rather, your prospect will assess the value of your content based on the kind of person that content might enable them to be.

“Nobody wants to be a shill for your brand… but they are happy to share information and content that helps them promote their own identity.”

Concerns like “is it true? Is it interesting? Is it relevant?” are still important, but in terms of value assessment, they’re sublimated to “how smart will I look quoting this in front of my boss?”

Content marketing with these kinds of concerns in mind is what I call “identity marketing.” It’s not a step-by-step process so much as a guiding question. With this content, what identity am I enabling my reader to adopt?

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Combining SVG & Contour Drawing to Make Druthers Druthers

The Project: Create a vertical scrolling animation that tells the origin story of the Druthers brewpub in Saratoga Springs, NY.

The Idea: Use SVG animation to create an interactive experience that still performs well across a range of devices.

The Problem: We’d never done anything like it before.

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