Things to think about before cutting your hair

Things to think about before cutting your hair

No business should be afraid to get a haircut. What that means is businesses should not be afraid of rebranding. People don’t keep the same haircut from when they were children. Why should your business or creative content not be allowed to do the same? What follows is an example of this on a smaller scale. The story of how the PixelCast turned into Raisin’ Brand. Under the structure of three things to consider before you rebrand that the part-time employee writing this only thought about way too long after being tasked with the job to innovate the Pixel Labs podcast. 

Where did you start?

It’s important to think about where you started. For the Pixel Labs podcast, PixelCast, it was two young creatives who wanted to share their thoughts and opinions when it came to the creative world around them. Pixel Labs is a branding and marketing agency that was founded on creativity. The PixelCast was a good way to increase the following for the company. Additionally, it provided more content for employees to produce. It was simple and didn’t take up too much time. 

It was a nice haircut, to follow the previous analogy, but it wasn’t top dollar. It was hard to have a defined audience because it was ultimately a pop-culture creative podcast. Only really discussing ideas employees knew about from news sources and other social media platforms. There was no real direction for where PixelCast was going. It was as if a stylist was just hacking off chunks of hair hoping it would work out. Then leading to Pixel Labs growing their hair out when it came to the PixelCast by simply not sticking to it.

Where are you now?

Much like thinking about where you started, it’s important to think about where you are now. What have you been doing a lot of? Could you be doing things differently to spice it up? Do you have time and resources to revisit old ideas? For us, it was the last one. We had new employees and interns who were eager to have a project of their own. Having multiple people working on a vlog seemed a bit much, which brought the team back to the PixelCast. A haircut was long overdue so instead of taking it to a professional the scissors were handed to the intern because no real harm could be done, right?

The team spitballed a few ideas and decided the best approach to gain a following with the PixelCast episodes should be pre-recorded and scheduled like the vlog. Previously most were done by going live on social media. More importantly was the idea to bring on guests to share their thoughts, opinions, and stories. The haircut now was starting to take shape. One guest after the other was sharing what they knew about the creative world. Now guests could help build our following while we provided a little exposure to their talents. There’s more incentive to share these episodes because people like to promote themselves. The more we produced the more we started to like the shape of the hair. Until one day we took a step back and realized it was a bowl cut. It was all one layer. Creatives, mostly video creatives, would come on, catch up with the team, tell some fun stories, and leave people with some words of wisdom. 

This format wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t what we were exactly looking for. All it did was reaffirm people that all we do is video production. Not marketing, not branding, not graphic design, video production. Additionally, we gave them no valuable resources to use. It was just asking people we knew questions and they would tell us what they did. It was a simple haircut that no one would look twice at. A haircut that wasn’t us. 

Where do you want to be?

Day after day we would look in the mirror and wonder why no one has noticed our new haircut? Our guests noticed it because we invited them in and showed them why it was a good haircut. Everyone else just saw hair. We knew we wanted to do something different but didn’t know what. We began to talk as a team. We asked questions about how we could promote features of our company that people didn’t necessarily know about. We started in video production but we were growing into something more. A branding and marketing agency that can also handle creative work. How could we convey this message? Have guests come on our podcast to talk about branding and marketing. Have a solid mix to show who we are becoming but not let them forget who we were. We thought about our audience and realized if we wanted to develop a following we needed to offer more value. We didn’t want to just share experiences we wanted to educate people on branding, marketing, and creativity. We want to give people a reason to look at our new haircut, not just show them and explain why it looks so good. 

Ultimately leading us to Raisin’ Brand, a podcast about all things marketing & creative and how they come together to create brands. Showing how they all can work together and how listeners can make it work for them. We looked at our bowl cut and imagined flowing locks that are feathered and layered. A look that would make people go “I want that.” However, our bowl cut was too short for layering and feathering. Letting it grow back out would take too long. So we shaved our head so to speak. Erased PixelCast from existence and started fresh with Raisin’ Brand.

Now shaving your head to grow your hair out might sound counterproductive. Why start at square one when you already have a full head of hair? The answer is to make a statement. We wanted to show everyone we weren’t PixelCast any more, we were Raisin’ Brand. We wanted to start fresh and our three followers noticed. Because they started sharing our Raisin’ Brand posts. Rebranding is making a statement, showing the world who you now are.

You don’t have to change who you are. All you have to do is simply cut your hair.

Are you producing a podcast?

Are you producing a podcast?

It’s redundant at this point to say that podcasts are the new big trending piece of content that you can create. Podcasts have been gaining relevance and popularity for the past 5 to 6 years, and I’m sure at this point just about everyone has listened to one in some capacity. Of course, listening is just one aspect of podcasting but have you ever considered creating one? Now is literally the best time to start one if you’re interested, and even more so if you own a small business or brand. 

“They offer one remarkable aspect that few mediums of content can really offer”

When it comes to content marketing for brands in the modern age, the first thought is to typically gravitate towards video and social media platforms. A large portion of the population is becoming more and more attracted to visual content, so it completely makes sense. As stated though, podcasts are HUGE right now, and arguably could overtake video someday. They offer one remarkable aspect that few mediums of content can really offer. Freedom.

Without the visual element attached to them, or often having the visual element be an afterthought, this frees listeners up to be able to multitask while listening. Got a 30 minute commute to work in the morning? Put on a podcast. Editing some new photos of your products? Put on a podcast. Cleaning the house? Put on a podcast. You see where I’m going with this, right? Podcasts allow us as consumers to do more, while still getting the same fix of juicy content that we oh-so-crave. This is why as business owners trying to reach these same consumers, we have no excuse to not start our own podcasts! 

“I can take my eyes off the screen, and be productive on my own time”

The ability to reach your audience in a new and exciting way is often enticing enough, but it also removes a lot of the initial barriers that often limit consumers from viewing your content in the first place. It’s much less of a commitment for me to throw on a new podcast that I’m curious about, than it is for me to take the time to watch through a commercial or video. I can take my eyes off the screen, and be productive on my own time while still soaking in whatever the podcaster is feeding my ears. I know this whole attention-span, ease of access aspect is probably sounding very Gen-Z of me, but this is the age we live in. 

“…why not join the ranks?”

In summary, if you want to access an additional portion of your audience, then making yourself available via podcasts is highly invaluable. No matter what your business may be, I truly believe you can find a way to make your podcast into something that your audience will love. Own an ice cream shop? Talk about your flavor of the week, or drone on and on about your favorite Ben and Jerry’s flavors. Own a thrift store? Talk about retro fashion through the years, and review products that you sell. Honestly, the possibilities are pretty endless. At this point there’s probably already a podcast out there for just about anything, so why not join the ranks? All it takes is a phone that can record audio (literally every single smartphone), and somewhere to upload the audio, and BAM. You’re a podcaster. 

If you haven’t already, we’d love if you took a minute to check out our newly rebranded podcast, Raisin’ Brand. We are sitting sown with some amazing peers and professionals to discuss marketing and creativity and how the two can come together to create a brand.

Getting Creative With Your Marketing During a Recession

Getting Creative With Your Marketing During a Recession

A recession. It was predicted to come soon, but we didn’t expect it to happen like this. The coronavirus has not discriminated against any businesses, from large corporations to local diners, there is no shortage of struggle. 

The visible struggle we are seeing highlights businesses that are making smart, business saving moves. For example, The Knotty Nail in Des Moines is a craft store and most of its business revolves around group parties and events (yeah really can’t happen with the current social distancing restrictions.) So it’s something that you’d expect to be hit hard with these current events, right?

The Knotty Nail selling out during a recession

However, their smart marketing moves, flexibility, and savvy social media usage has put them on the map as the go-to quarantine craft.

They did not hesitate during this time many businesses would, and hit the ground running offering curbside pickup and 20% off do-it-yourself kits. Every week they even come out with new kits which opens them up for customers repurchasing their products often. They then offer live instruction on their Facebook of crafts that can get a little tricky. 

Customers are loving these fun activities, and posting their finished products on social media!  This is an amazing opportunity for them because 74% of consumers say that word of mouth marketing is a key influence when they make purchasing decisions (bigcommerce.com).

And let’s be real, who isn’t
1. Spending an ungodly amount of time on social media right now
2. Looking for anything to keep yourself busy

With these smart marketing moves, no one is surprised they are selling out like crazy even in these beginning stages of a recession.

What can your business take from this success story?

Don’t give up

Simply becoming complacent during this time is one of the WORST things you can do. Yes, you do have to comply with social distancing procedures and place the importance of public health as your #1 priority, but taking these as an excuse to do nothing will kill your business.

Get creative

Without a creative mind behind the Knotty Nail, they would’ve thought “Oh if we cant do group event’s any more we need to shut down.” But obviously that didn’t happen. With quick thinking, you can determine what the public needs right now, and how you can fill that need safely, and conveniently.

Hit marketing hard

This isn’t our first recession. We need to take advice from those who have thrived during these situations. This article was what inspired us to write this post in the first place. It is an insightful look from the 2008 recession which takes a look at the Great Depression for pointers to help their current businesses stay afloat.

It was a time when several companies benefited from aggressive marketing while their rivals cut back. A good example of that would be Kellogg besting C.W. Post during that time. Consumers didn’t stop spending during the Depression; most just looked for better deals, and the companies providing those better deals came out stronger after the Depression ended. When spending picked up, consumer loyalty to those companies remained.

How Brands Thrived During the Great Depression by Dave Chase
Reach out to your community

Right now, many people are looking to give some love to their favorite local businesses. Engage with your community and they will be happy to support you if you support them in return.
#CedarValleyStrong

Stay safe and stay healthy ❤️️

Does COVID-19 have you working from home? Check out our recent blog post to learn some tips on how to do so effectively!

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