We like debates, data, human psychology and the unexplored. Read, share and disagree at will.

Brands are more than the sum of their parts. So why not build them that way?

Creating a brand from the ground up is a daunting task, so people often want to break it up into smaller design tasks; logo creation, color selection, voice and tone, and brand design “look and feel.” But breaking down a new brand that way can be short-sighted. When you craft a brand with individual bits you are making a scary assumption that they will all fit together nicely in the end. This denies clients – and the entire agency team...

Brand and Marketing Research: Getting Started

I am a firm believer in research first for almost everything in life — from planning a trip to starting a home project. Of course, nowhere is this more true than in my professional life. At KPS3 we start every project with some type of research. Research is especially important before undertaking a large marketing project, such as a rebrand, advertising campaign, or a new website. Clients often come to us knowing they should do some research but are...

Brand and Marketing Research: Choosing the Right Research Methods

One of the biggest parts of planning a research project is deciding what type of research to conduct given your goals and available resources (time, human, and financial). To help those of you gearing up for your own research, I’ve written up some short pros and cons lists for some of the most common brand and market research methods. These lists are by no means exhaustive but should give you an idea of which methods to explore for your project....

Lessons in Design: Font Pairing

I wish I could say there’s an exact science on how to pair fonts well in design – there isn’t. But I’ll break down my method and practices I use everyday. Font choosing can be tricky: use too few and the design can fall flat, use too many and you’ve overwhelmed your reader. It’s about finding the right balance for the piece you’re working on. This isn’t one of those posts where I give you endless examples of which...

8 Tips for Conducting Focus Groups with Patients

For healthcare organizations, there are many reasons to use patient focus groups as a market research tool. Focus groups are a very suitable means of gaining in-depth information about your patients’ experiences and feelings, and they also provide the moderator (and client) an opportunity to observe facial expressions and body language. As with any research tool, there are also downsides to any focus group: they don’t provide quantitative data (which is important for organizations to be aware of in using the results for...

Higher Education and Distinctive Branding: To the Victors Go the Spoils

Higher education branding has never been more important, as demographic shifts, economic and competitive pressures, and public/ private investment and philanthropy decisions bear down on the success or even viability of America’s colleges and universities – institutions that remain the envy of the world despite their challenges. Yet branding is rarely the strong suit of college or university presidents. Lucky are the presidents whose chief public relations or marketing officers “get it,” and even luckier for the institutions if...

Let’s Get Personal (Through Empathetic Marketing)

When I first started my marketing career in the early ‘90s, account planning by and large consisted of studying primary and secondary research in order to arrive at a solid strategy. Fast forward to today. In working with so many different, sophisticated clients and having been through the sea change of tech, the “discovery” phase is now comprised of so much more than studying traditional market research. It seems that my empathetic nature has helped immensely in developing solid...

Marketing to the Un and Underinsured – Part 2

Part 2 – Implementation In Part 1 of our Marketing to the Un and Underinsured series, we wrote about research and the “Aha!” moments that help fuel our decisions. Nothing thrills us more than being able to back up our strategy with data gleaned from primary and secondary research, and that’s the key to many of our campaigns’ successes. But having the right research is just half of the recipe. What we do with the research and how it’s...

Do you have internet cred?

A business’s online reputation is their reputation, made instantly accessible by the ease of internet search. With 97% of consumers going online to research a local product or service, Google’s first page of search results may as well be your business card. There’s no separating the digital world with customer experiences, no matter where they occur. So whether information comes from your company’s website, customer reviews, or a hasty tweet, it lives online forever. While you can generally control...

What I Learned from ICON8, the Illustration Conference

Sometimes the best advice is the simplest. And it helps if some of the best art directors, illustrators, publishers, and animators are the ones giving it. In July, I journeyed to the hipster capital of the country, beautiful Portland, to attend ICON8, the Illustration Conference. “Why an illustration conference?” you may ask. “You’re a designer, you don’t draw all day and paint all night.” And to be honest I got a lot of weird reactions when I told people...