Charitable Companies: Our 5 Favorite Brands That Give Back

Charitable Companies

Thanksgiving in the U.S. is one of the biggest times of years for consumers to bust out their wallets. With Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and other crazy seasonal discounts and sales, it’s hard not to focus on buying things. The Thanksgiving season is also very much about giving back, though – I know, crazy right?

Charitable companies with rock-solid mission statements are among some of our absolute favorites. While much of this time of the year is racked with anxiety and stress and buying, buying, buying, it’s always nice to take a look around and appreciate those businesses that are focused on giving back. Putting your money into the businesses that give back on a local community, regional, or even international scale, makes your purchase all the more worth it.

Let’s take a look at some of our absolute favorite initiatives from brands that give back. 

1. Pura Vida Bracelets

Who doesn’t love stylish, handmade jewelry to complement a holiday outfit? Pura Vida Bracelets is one of our all-time favorite charitable companies, with a mission to help support simplicity in life and the incredible craft of artisan jewelry and other goods. “Pura Vida” means “pure life” in Spanish, a Costa Rican philosophy that encourages the appreciation of life’s simple treasures. Following in line with this philosophy, the organization gives artisans full-time jobs while also helping to fund close to 200 charities around the world. With each purchase, Pura Vida donates 10% of proceeds to important causes affecting our planet.

Head to the Pura Vida Bracelets website here

2. Sudara

Being a women-run agency, our hearts are always with the millions of women around the world who are being held against their will in many capacities. Sudara is one such business that is actively fighting against slavery and sex-trafficking in India by providing women with safe opportunities to learn skills and move towards long-term careers. By offering real hope and true opportunity to these women through living-wage jobs, skills training, Sudara is helping women to gain more control of their lives and open up their futures to even more possibilities.

Head to the Sudara website here

3. Warby Parker

Being able to help someone see is a true gift in this world. So many communities around the world don’t have access to the kinds of vision care that’s needed to support a healthy, happy life. That’s why Warby Parker has stepped in to help bridge that gap and offer better vision to more people in need. With their charitable system, when you purchase a pair of glasses through their store, a donation is made to one of their non-profit partners who will help get someone set up with a fresh pair who really needs them.

 

Head to the Warby Parker website here

4. House of Light Goods

In the country of Mexico, there is a poverty-stricken crisis going on, with unemployment, imprisonment, and other important elements playing a role in the absence of many fathers. Unfortunately, this leaves mothers without the right resources or funds in a vulnerable place in trying to care for their children; this is where House of Light Goods comes in. A non-profit small business that provides real employment opportunities to single mothers in Mexico, House of Light Goods offers a safe place to work, and spaces for children to learn and play, funded by the purchase of a handmade scarf.

Head to the House of Light Goods website here. 

5. Amazon Smile

While Amazon is one of the biggest, most high-performing companies in the world, we can’t deny their influence on giving back. When you shop through their Amazon Smile portal, you can automatically have .5% of your purchase donated to charities of your choice! With absolutely no change in the overall price for you, the buyer, Amazon is set up to help you give back to organizations like the ASPCA, American Red Cross, The Nature Conservancy, and many more.

Head to the Amazon Smile website here.

 

Are you a company looking for charitable activities to launch in 2019?

Get in touch with our team – we’d love to talk shop and help brainstorm ways for you to give back!

How to Use the Psychology of Color for Your Brand’s Personality

psychology of color

Quick…. Think of your favorite brands from your childhood. What do you remember about them? How did they make you feel?

We probably don’t spend too much time thinking about why we find certain things more visually appealing than others. But the truth is that those feelings actually have deeper roots than we think.

Color is a critical part of all of our experience.  We become instantly attracted to or repulsed by the combinations of colors we experience, simply by walking into a room, reading a menu, or looking at a brochure. And yes, this absolutely extends to the decisions we make when we are deciding on making a purchase, both big or small.

What’s up with Color?

From logos to landing pages, to print media or full websites, color is something that creates a visceral reaction in humans. We can’t help it! Colors create an emotive response from each of us, whether based in culture, past experience, or personal preference. There is no way that we are not affected by color, even from our earliest ages.

No small feat for something that technically, doesn’t actually exist. Color is essentially based in perception, and businesses know this. The way we experience brands are rooted in those perceptions, but even knowing that doesn’t stop the way that we feel when we derive a common meaning from each of those colors.

Let’s take a look at some popular brands and how they use color to shape our decision-making experiences.

Red

         

Meaning: Excitement, Passion, Strength, Energy, Violence

In branding: In some of our most popular brands, we tend to associate the color red with energy, excitement, strength, and passion. Coca Cola uses this perception to their advantage, as they take the top spot as a reliable industry leader in refreshing beverages. Target is adept at using this in its logo to inspire confidence in their customer base that yes, you can find exactly what you need within their doors.

Example: Coca Cola, Target

Blue
          

Meaning: Trust, Loyalty, Dependability, Friendliness, Calm, Tranquility

In branding: Ah, trusty blue. Few colors are as popular in branding, because blue and its many hues are able to communicate so many different but important messages to consumers. Nothing shows this better than Facebook’s logo. At its essence, Facebook is essentially a space to connect with friends, and nothing conveys this more efficiently than through the use of the color blue. Even Blue Apron is in on the action, as there are few things more relaxing than the comfort of a good meal at home.

Example: Facebook, AT&T, Blue Apron

Yellow

     

Meaning: Energy, Positivity, Happiness, Extraversion

In branding: Yellow can be a tricky color to brand with, because it can create such distinct reactions in people. At its core though, yellow tends to represent energy and positivity. IKEA utilizes this effectively by featuring the color prominently in its logo. What could be more exciting than the possibility of a creative new beginning for your living space?

Example: Denny’s, IKEA, Post-It

Green

Meaning: Freshness, Energy, Vitality, Health, Nature

In branding: We can often find green where we need to express some vitality or freshness, which makes it a really popular color for brands that want to associate their products with health or nature. Whole Foods is a great example of this, and its name has become synonymous with fresh, healthful products.

Example: Starbucks, Whole Foods, TicTac, Sprite

Orange

Meaning: Excitement, Warmth, Confidence, Friendliness, Optimism

In branding: Well, hello there Orange. Often associated with friendliness, extraversion, and excitement, it’s no wonder brands use orange to inspire optimism in their customers. Check out how Tinder uses the color in its super simple logo to inspire people to use their dating platform. Get out there!

Example: Home Depot, Nickelodeon, Tinder

Purple

        

Meaning: Wisdom, Royalty, Spirituality, Honor

In branding: There’s something about purple that inspires a sense of respect. Depending on its warmth and hue, brands often use purple to evoke feelings of authority with their customers. We often tend to associate the color with a sense of wisdom and royalty. Is it any coincidence then, that Hallmark uses a crown in its logo? We think not.

Example: Hallmark, BBC

Black

         

Meaning: Elite, Exclusivity, Sophistication

In branding: There’s a timelessness to the color black that we’ve come to rely on. Often exclusive, sophisticated, and always impactful, businesses have come to rely on the color to communicate the message of sophistication. Think about how Uber uses black all through its branding, from its logo, to it’s “elite” “black car” upgrades; this message is an intentional one.

Example:  Uber, Louis Vuitton, Apple

Pink

       

Meaning: Romance, Innocence, Femininity, Innovation

In branding: Depending on its shade, the color pink can communicate so many things. When it’s soft, its more obvious qualities of romance and femininity are highlighted, and brands like Victoria’s Secret know this and use this to appeal to its clientele. When it’s used at a deeper shade, like magenta, you’ve got a sense of fun and innovation behind it. Think Lyft’s pink mustache campaign, which serves to communicate the direct opposite of older brother and chief competitor, Uber.

Example: Victoria’s Secret, Dunkin’ Donuts, Lyft

Brown

Meaning: Earth, Nature,  Reliability, Dirtiness

In branding: Brown is another color that can be so effective when used well and can go so wrong when used ineffectively. It often serves to communicate a connection with nature and a sense of reliability. Brands like Cotton and UPS know this and use the color to craft a message around reliability with their brands.

Example: UPS, Hershey, Cotton

Color and Your Brand

It’s almost impossible to dive into the meanings of all colors, just like it is almost impossible to detail each person’s experience with those colors. But what’s crucial to know is that color is indeed important, and it absolutely has an effect on our deepest and earliest emotional responses. These feelings, of course, affect our buying choices, and even the way we elect to engage with our favorite brands. For marketers, it’s critical that we are taking this unique psychology into consideration when building out brand personalities.

If you aren’t sure how to get started making sure your brand’s personality is well communicated, don’t worry! We can help you with that, and more. Hit us up!

Watch This Space: How IGTV is Changing B2B Marketing in a Big Way

IGTV B2B marketing

Via TechCrunch

Even if you have been taking a well-deserved vacation in 2018, you probably heard about the big changes that have hit Instagram in the form of it’s newest feature: IGTV. Instagram’s fresh video feature is changing the way B2B marketers and influencers alike reach their audiences, and we’re taking a look at exactly how it’s done.

Imagine yourself as a millennial (or really, anyone born after 1982), who is just waking up, or waiting for your morning commute to work or to class, and you have about 10 minutes to watch one of your favorite shows. How likely would you be to check your mobile device for a quick check-in to your favorite channel? We’re willing to bet the likelihood is huge. In fact, in 2016, smartphones replaced TV as the most watched device by millennial users.

Even if this demographic doesn’t fit you, the reality is that for the highest number of mobile users born after 1982, this is exactly the case. The growing majority of people who have access to devices (68 percent of all adults, to be exact), are forgoing traditional TV platforms nearly altogether, in favor of streaming services and user-generated content. And those cable TV bundle packages? They are racing toward extinction.

IGTV B2B marketing

Via Android Police

This presents a giant shift, as Instagram’s new feature–which functions as a home feed addition or as its own stand-alone app–provides nearly constant access for marketers to reach their target audiences. What makes this feature an even bigger opportunity? The fact that, just like its  1 minute and 15-second video predecessors, content that gets shared on IGTV channels are interactive: users can like, react, comment, and share. It’s the brand promotional gift that keeps on giving.

Your job? Making content highly watchable. But how can B2B marketers do that, especially since paid advertising isn’t available yet? And what kind of content is ideal for marketers to share?

Well, there are two components to this. Think form and function.

  • Form: Making incredibly engaging content
  • Function: Making sure that content is formatted in optimal, highly shareable ways.

Let’s Talk Form

What kinds of ways are B2B marketers connecting with their brands’ audiences? The crucial thing here is staying creative, and showing the human side of the brand. At the heart of social media, people are looking to make a connection.

Worried that your brand doesn’t have a “face”? Don’t be. There are plenty of ways businesses can get creative about the kind of content they are broadcasting on IGTV to connect with users in a variety of ways.

This might be through:

  • Tutorials
  • Reviews or unboxings from influencers
  • Product demos
  • Team or staff highlights
  • A “day in the life” video series
  • Short series featuring the product or service in use

The possibilities are actually wide open! The key here is to stay creative. Engaging content is shareable content, and users are more likely to interact regularly with brands they connect with.

Let’s Talk Function

Since we’re assuming that your content is a home run, let’s talk about how to format it so that it works within the parameters of IGTV.

In order to optimize viewership on IGTV, the important things to remember are…

1. Capture videos in portrait form. Contrary to the square ratio that is optimal in a typical IG feed, filming in portrait mode allows for channels to fill the screen, and function as a real channel does. Dig deeper, to find the actual specs to help you, but the important thing to remember is to keep it vertical.

2. Think through your bio. The first two lines of the bio will be visible on the channel, so be sure that it captures what you really want to say, and that featured products or services are really well represented.

IGTV B2B marketing

Via Brit + Co

Looking Ahead: Reaching IG Users with Paid Ads

Currently, there is no real capability for paid advertising on IGTV, but that could change in the near future, says Kevin Systrom, Instagram’s CEO:

“There’s no ads in IGTV today… [but it’s] obviously a very reasonable place [for them] to end up.”

Your best bet? Start thinking ahead about how to incorporate the possibility of paid advertising in your digital marketing future. No doubt, the future will be here sooner than you think.

So what are you watching? Or more importantly… what do you want people to see? Get some tips on how to master social media marketing through Instagram and other channels. Then, let us know how we can help you be great!

Client Spotlight: Preparing a Sustainable and Humane Future with Technology

video script

Technology and how we utilize it is constantly changing – oftentimes evolving for the better. With every advancement in our connected, digital society comes new challenges that must be overcome in order to remain inclusive, accessible, and reliable.

One of our clients, Digital Future Society, is on a path to “unite individual efforts from industries, policymakers, and entrepreneurs to build a humane future for our society, empowering citizenship and leveraging on technology to build a new social contract.” In a rapidly changing technological environment, they’re on board to help people everywhere benefit from digital tools, the internet, and more, in a way that is truly humane and sustainable.

In a video recently released, team Oliver + Sons had the pleasure of crafting and communicating their mission. Through a series of workshopped writing sessions, we were able to come up with a full script and creative direction for the storyboard to help bring Digital Future Society’s goals and message to life. Take a look at the video right here:


Need a script workshopped for an upcoming video project? We’re always here to help out

5 Tips and Tricks for Personal Branding on Social Media

personal branding

Not that long ago you probably were sitting at your desktop computer on a website called MySpace.com, creating an account with the handle @iloveponi3s with a friend request from some guy named Tom. Fast forward to the year 2018. You probably have a variety of accounts on several different platforms, with more professional usernames and are still trying to figure out who Tom is. Much like you and I, social media has evolved tremendously since 2004. Facebook alone has seen a jump from 1 million to 2.2 billion monthly users. Because of this astronomical number, companies have gotten smarter and started funding marketing and advertising campaigns solely for social media.

While companies are using social media to market themselves, so are individuals. Your social media accounts can be considered an extension of your resume or profile. Here are some tips and tricks to successfully building your personal brand:

1. Pick Your Top 3 Platforms

With new social media networks emerging every day, trying to join all of them can be overwhelming and time-consuming. A good rule of thumb is to choose three platforms to focus your efforts on based on a few criteria:

1) A platform on which people you want to connect with are engaging.

2) A platform geared toward your particular brand (more visual, writing-heavy, etc.).

3) A platform that helps you accomplish your social media goal. 

Once you have decided which social media platforms best suit your needs, update them with current information and delete the others you have chosen not to work with.

Make this decision based off who you are trying to reach. If it is future employers, then ask yourself: what are they most active on or who is their target market? Using this tip will allow you to easily convey your message using the platforms that best suits your needs

2. Delete the Red Solo Cups

Consider all of your accounts extensions of your resume. I know partying is fun, but when making a post you should ask yourself questions similar to this: “Would I want my grandmother seeing this?” If the answer is no, then your potential boss probably doesn’t want to either. This does not mean refrain from posting pictures from social gatherings; it just means alcohol or other explicit activities should not be the focal point of the post or picture. On Facebook, if you are really wanting to show a group of friends a picture that may not be appropriate for your boss, create a Facebook group between you and your friends. There, you can share all types of pictures, memes, and videos without having to worry.  If you are curious as to what classifies as “inappropriate for work” check out this article on CNN about 10 people who found that out.

3. Share Posts About Your Interests

If we continue with the extension of your resume theme, future employers will be interested in knowing who you are as a person. They will want to know how they can relate to you or how your interests align with their company. So, for example, if you are a huge Game of Thrones fan, share occasional posts or articles about it – your boss could also be a fan, and it could be a bonding moment for the two of you to talk about.

4. Share Updates Regularly

Keeping your content current is very important. On a site like LinkedIn, potential employers look for information such as a college degree, previous employment, skills, etc. If you switched your major after Sophomore year from Biomechanical Engineering to Business Analytics, potential employers need to know this information. If it isn’t up to date, you could be getting messages from NASA versus Walmart. Keeping the content current will only increase your chances of being attractive to all potential employers. This article gives you four steps to follow when updating your LinkedIn profile based off where you have been and where you want your career to take you.

personal branding

4. Curate Your Own Content  

Yes, while sharing posts made by others is important, creating your own content is just as, if not more important. You must show that you are an expert in the areas you are claiming. For example, if you had an Instagram account that was intended to show off you as an interior designer, posting pictures of inspiration houses in which you had no part in helping decorate does not build credibility for YOUR design skills.

Finding the perfect balance between the two is key. Sharing personal photos is still very important. If you are trying to brand yourself as an interior designer don’t just post pictures of homes, show people that you have a life outside of your career. People like to feel connected to the accounts they follow and this will only help to increase your following with the interest in you and your design.

Here are just a few examples of content you should be sharing to really increase user engagement

– Practical Ideas: posts related to what you are trying to brand/promote. Depending on what you’re trying to do, this would include… ideas/tips on how to brighten up your fashion style, home decor, travel, etc.

personal branding

– Motivational: These types of posts are to get your followers more engaged in your page, to get them to “like” you. Spreading a little motivation or inspiration is sure to put a smile on their face. You could even start a weekly trend “#MotivationMonday” to start your followers week off positively. A great way to implement these types of posts is through the use of “stories” on Snapchat, Facebook or Instagram. Stories allow for a quick 10-second view of a post, this way you don’t have to mess up the aesthetic of your page.

– Moments in Your Personal Life: Brag about yourself, share a tender family moment, or just a photo of something you think your followers would enjoy seeing that is more personal.

personal branding

– Content: Lastly, content to help build your credibility. This should be the majority of your posts. This is where you show off to your followers what you do best. If you ’re an interior decorator you show off that house you designed, a real estate agent share your listings, fashion influencer your cute new outfit, whatever shows you doing your best you.

5. Study Influencers

YES! PEOPLE ARE GETTING PAID TO POST ON SOCIAL MEDIA! PAIIIIDDD!!! Wouldn’t you like that to be you? Study the popular page, it won’t take long until you stumble upon a user that has over ten 10K followers. Look at what they are doing and use it as an inspiration. If you like certain aspects of the account that you see, you can integrate them into your own page while still being original. For example, on the platform Tumblr, accounts will use consistent filters. By that I mean all of their photographs will have the same kind of color schemes or noticeable gradients to them. Or, if it is a more textual based platform like Twitter, their posts will have a consistent tone of voice.

Check out multiple accounts and gather ideas about things you like and even things you don’t. Find what works for you and what will make you feel like you are accurately representing yourself and your brand. Here are some influencers I follow:

Instagram:

@doyoutravel is a great account for the wannabe adventurer.

Love interior design? Check out @beckiowens  

Want a combination of fashion and travel? Check out @isabellath this girl might live the coolest life ever.

Twitter:

Brooke Hammerling, @brooke, is a PR maven who’s account is a perfect example of a balance between professional and personal content on Twitter.

Big on business? @fredwilson is a businessman, venture capitalist, and blogger who actively uses Twitter.

Facebook:

@galmeetsglam is a great Facebook fashionista to check out.

One of the 1984 Apple marketers @guy is the person to follow if you’re fascinated by the tech world.

Creating a personal brand on social media is not a cake walk. It requires a lot of thought, attention to detail, and research. It is not about what you look like, it is about who you are, and what your beliefs, goals, interests, and aspirations are. People will be drawn to you on social media the way they are drawn to you in person if you have accurately represented yourself. With time and dedication, you will have your pages up and running successfully before you know it. Just remember to keep this advice in mind along the way.

Have any first-hand tips for building up your personal brand online? Let us know in the comments below!