Creative Business & Buzz

I co-owned Engine 5 Design Co. for two years before the dot-com bubble burst. Back then, brand and image ruled the marketing landscape. What happened since? Branding, although still important, has given way as dominant trend for customer-focused marketing. This includes CRM, one-to-one, social media, etc. The internet and technology allow for any desired metrics, and the desire is strong. So the image slant in marketing is gone for now. But creativity is still - is always - important. Innovation in SEM, viral marketing techniques and the mobile web can keep us all on our toes. Do we rise to the challenge?




° Engine 5 Creative Portfolio & web Animations

See some of my creative work I did through my dot-com era agency Engine 5 Design Co. (website previously linked and described in the "Tech Industry" section; logo shown above).

° AFC Enterprises creative project management & execution

AFC Enterprises sought to grow and retain its franchise membership through marketing and PR promotions (such as kits and newsletters). They came to Cobalt Design Group who in turn entrusted these projects to me for creative and project management. I worked with AFC contacts and freelancers to identify project needs and objectives. As result AFC increased quantity of franchise commitments consistently, from 1,600 in 1998 to 1,930 in 1999 and 2,290 in 2000. During that time franchise revenue also increased as share of total, from 12% to 15% to 18%. One newsletter series also won three Phoenix PR awards. See a sample of my AFC work.


° Tableaux Vivant Photography website

Tableaux Vivant wedding photography came to me seeking a website designed and built to show off the photography portfolio and fit their brand. They were starting from a simple contact info web page. This took them to the next level, showcasing much of their great photography. See the site I designed and built for them.

° Trade Show campaign Creative Direction

My employer wanted a creative, attention-getting campaign for an important trade show event. Sales wanted promotions and attraction that would bring crowds to the booth and generate leads and conversations. I brainstormed, creative directed and wrote copy for a successful campaign which Sales estimated achieved 35% more leads than the previous year's event. Read the pdf case study.

° National Envelope Company innovative products

National Envelope Company's subsidiary had technologically inovative product concepts and came to Cobalt Design Group in 1999 seeking brand identities and promotions. Cobalt (my employer) in turn entrusted me to concept and oversee production for new, specialty product branding such as BoxPak expedited/overnight envelope package. These product line brands were successfully launched and the client grew over next six years from 900 employees and six manufacturing facilities, to 4500 staff and 22 facilities. See my package design.


° Website Architecture and Creative Direction

I've been providing creative direction and good usability to websites since the dot-com bubble. I took a transportation technology corporate site from 150 pages to redirect and rebuild at 100 pages, from research, to hiring an IA, to design and development and site launch. As all links and page names changed, search engine results were brocken upon lauch. I personally admined Google tools, fixing all search issues day by day and achieving higher rankings for new planned keywords. See the pdf of sample screen shots for my various sites. Or, See the final, live transportation technology website.


° Photography and Photoshop Photo-illustrations
See my work in Flickr
. Flickr

°event theming - creative concepting

Project Read Corporate Spelling Bee, an annual fund-raiser, was seeking creative direction for their next event. I concepted theme titles, copy descriptions and image for their branding. Final chosen identity was applied to T-shirts and program covers for a high-success fund-raiser. See the original presentation options.

° Websites & Flash built

Over the years I've designed and built a number of websites and created Flash animations from scratch, utilizing Adobe CS tools such as Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash and HTML coding and CSS. I've also integrated and customized Wordpress-based CMS and blog websites. Access these sites.


° Product-Family Branding and Promotions

A family of transportation technology products required brand strategy, facelift and cohesion. I researched competitor brands, message and strategies to drive new creative for these products. I directed and wrote copy and image for promotional campaigns and brand identities. Campaigns included various web ads as well as traditional tactics. As result, brand-name related web searchs increased 24-26% year over year for two years and web-based sales leads increased 30%. (also found in this site's Tech Industry section). See the pdf.

° Collaborative Idea Programs to Capture Innovation

Inspired to facilitate greater brainstorming and idea breakthroughs, I researched and proposed employee suggestion programs to my employer. Creative, collaborative thinking can grow accomplishment and group pride. For technology companies, ideas are critical to growth. For more information, open the pdf.

° Easy Toys

Why do childrens' toys have to be store-bought? Here are some that can easily be printed or created.

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° The Future of the Written World: What the Web Really Means for Writers, Readers and SEM.

What is the web doing to creative professions? I have studied and reported on various sources. Read more.

° Marketing for Creative Freelancers and Work Hunters

From my own experience, I know that promoting oneself as a creative can be the hardest work to do. Accordingly, I have studied and reported strategies and tactics for job-hunters and creative freelancers in my "Knowledge Marketing" section.

° Globile Phones: The New Voice of Culture?

I have reviewed information about the mobile internet and the role of mobile phones as personal creative expression. (click here).

° Retails Told Around the World

I have explored the differences in retail store and experience design around the world. What new technology and creative innovation occur to meet the challenge of global brands in inconsistent reseller placement scenarios? (click here).

° For more of my creative marketing research observations
See my web and creative marketing blog
. wordpress

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Copyright 2009 Jake Aull