4 Tips For Big-Picture Marketing

In building a business, establishing and communicating an authentic brand message to a targeted audience is essential. Positioning your company in front of the right customers is the job of marketing, and a multi-tiered marketing plan will help to highlight the differentiator that makes your company special. As you descend into the inevitable marketing-plan minutiae, Read More

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Clean Out Your Attic!

It’s that time of year again. Summer’s over and the temperature in my attic has officially dropped below 100 degrees. I went up there last weekend and went at it –tossing away lots of unneeded stuff, ranging from old kid’s clothes to busted stereo gear to a couple of worn out chairs. It felt good to just throw this stuff out and reclaim a formerly cluttered space.

In our jobs and in our lives, our brains can become a lot like that attic. A few months back, wrapped up in the laundry list of challenges associated with owning a small business, I found myself waking up in the night thinking about work. Not good.

After returning (and recovering) from summer vacation, I revved up my workout regimen. I also decided to reinstate a long-lost personal routine. Rising with the sun, I sit down to write what author/creative coach Julia Cameron calls “morning pages.” I basically “clean out the attic,” writing free-form to create some mental space, find some clarity, and quiet the constant chatter going on up there.

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Site Lines

When we’re approached by clients thinking about building a website for their business, whether it be new site or a refresh of an existing site, the first question we hear is, “Where do I begin?”

In his recent article, “Designing A Small Business Website: Wants vs. Needs,” posted on Adobe.com, author/blogger Karol K provides some clear answers to that sometimes difficult question.

Content-wise, K recommends a less-is-more approach, while stressing the importance of keeping the overall site “clear and simple,” to better capture the essence of your business.

We couldn’t agree more, and we were struck by how the author’s points applied equally to website design and overall brand building.

It’s a long read, but worth your while if you’re getting ready to build that all-important website. Look it over, and when you’re ready to roll, you know who to call!

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Regaining Creative Confidence

We hear it all the time. “Thank God you guys are here, because I haven’t got a creative bone in my body.” As much as we love to feel needed, we beg to differ. That tendency to divide people into two groups – “creatives” and “everyone else” – has always been a dubious and not-very-helpful distinction.

In their acclaimed book, “Creative Confidence,” David Kelley, founder of international design and consulting firm, Ideo, along with brother, author and Ideo partner Tom Kelley, take a deep dive into the nature and power of creativity for anyone in any field. The pair coined the term “creative confidence” to counter the widely held notion that creativity is the exclusive domain of designers, writers, painters, musicians and the like.

“It turns out that creativity isn’t some rare gift to be enjoyed by the lucky few – it’s a natural part of human thinking and behavior,” say the Kelley brothers. “In too many of us, it gets blocked. Creative confidence is like a muscle – it can be strengthened and nurtured through effort and experience.”

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Slip Slidin’ Away

At Cronin Creative, we love the collaborative process of building powerful brands with our clients. After creating something strong, authentic, and unique to that client in their chosen market, we always stress the importance of maintaining that brand, keeping vigilant watch on every element of the messaging, every contact with every customer.

All too often, over time, that last piece of advice winds up being underplayed or even ignored. From a branding point of view, this can be a fatal mistake. Writing in Forbes magazine, author/branding consultant William Arruda summed it up as the difference between a promise made and a promise that’s actually delivered.

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