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Will Weatherly

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posted by Will Weatherly Oct 22,2014 @ 09:03AM

DREAMCON: Advancing the digital arts

DREAMCON is an event coming to Columbia, SC to promote the world of digital art. What is digital art? Simply, digital art is the use of technology towards an artistic product, be it static (pictures), dynamic (animation), or interactive (games).

Playing card graphics? Digital art.

3D-Printing? Digital art.

Movie effects? Digital art.

Video game environments? Digital art.

Practitioners abound and the supporting industry is huge, but community, awareness, and education around the craft is far less public. Enter DREAMCON.

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Our work for DREAMCON during CreateAthon will spring from three objectives:

1) Establish a brand architecture.

2) Craft a visual identity.

3) Recruit competition entries.

 

posted by Will Weatherly Jun 10,2014 @ 01:55PM

A Little Reassurance

The fear of regret is a powerful driver of indecision.

As such, marketing ends up spending a large portion of its time at the entryways to brand funnels, asking would-be passers-through to keep focused on potential up-sides instead of potential down-sides.

But the fear of regret continues well past the end of the funnel. “Did I really make the right choice?” With all the noise, opinions, opportunities, and options, it’s easy for consumers to doubt, and easier still for them to switch.

So, smart brands are finding ways to keep in touch. It can be anything. Most often, the more personal and permanent, the better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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posted by Will Weatherly Apr 03,2014 @ 07:04AM

Sold by the box.

I honestly lost count. Fifteen? Maybe twenty. But cut me a break -- I mean there was fit, color, style, function, price, and retailer. Let’s not even get into brand. Hunting a new pair of dress oxfords was hardly my idea of fun.

But one pair got me. Upon trial, they certainly seemed closer to right than any of the others. That helped. The thing is, it wasn’t the only reason I swiped my card.

At the bottom of the shoebox laid a manifesto. My feet were busy thinking, so I took a moment to read it.

In those few seconds, I forgot my feet, and I forgot shoes. My imagination flipped on, and my head went to another place, to another thought, to another feeling. No other pair had encouraged such departure. With each previous, my focus remained fastened to the shoe from lace-up to “no thanks”.

Without that little head-trip, would I have purchased on product alone? Maybe so. But the imaginative journey undoubtedly facilitated a simpler, quicker, and more confident decision to buy.

Is your marketing escorting imaginations or blocking them? Here’s what I know. The product I bought shared similar features to a lot of products I denied. Only the product I bought sparked a vision.

posted by Will Weatherly Feb 27,2014 @ 04:20AM

Two Key Marketing Lessons From Architecture School

I didn't go to school for this. At least, it wasn’t my degree. But as my professional studies and experience in marketing have expanded, I've realized my time at the Clemson School of Architecture was far from wasted.

Two particular strategic approaches instilled there carried over beautifully:

1) Flip it upside down.

In Architecture, that literally meant pick up the volumetric shape you’ve been crafting, invert it and set it back down - wrong side up. Then, try to learn something you hadn't noticed before.

In Marketing, it means second-guess your assumptions. So your consumer definitely wants X and always needs Y? Periodically lay that certainty aside. First find, then look and think from, the polar opposite viewpoint. Buyer? Become a seller. Passionate? Role-play apathy. You may be surprised what insights you're missing.

2) Every touchpoint is an opportunity.

In Architecture, on presentation days, professors would provocatively tear off portions of student work and sling them to the floor. "Irrelevant," they'd mutter. This meant your overarching concept needed to more distinctly affect that element. Otherwise, it probably needed to be eliminated completely.

In Marketing, your brand is only as strong as you push it. Inventory your web of external communications (don’t worry, everyone else’s is just as tangled), and rethink elements that don't jive with your organization’s driving attributes. Bear in mind, it's rarely just your print ads and Christmas cards that need a fresh look. Your automated service reply emails, staff LinkedIn pages, and office lobby count too.

Once you’re finished and feeling really certain about things, flip it sideways.

Architectural Model

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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posted by Will Weatherly Feb 04,2014 @ 05:37PM

Why Marketing? In one sentence.

Friends ask me. Businesses ask me. Pastors ask me. Aspiring undergrads ask me. And certainly, I’ve asked myself -- why marketing?

In response, I used to spill out an unconvincing variety of half-baked sentiments which regularly required too many compound sentences, too much industry speak, and far too many occurrences of the word “brand.” Looking back now, I assume this was mostly just missing forest for trees.

Luckily, earlier this year, The Personal MBA by Josh Kaufman afforded me a new, holistic framework for my thoughts in the form of a keep-it-simple definition for business. According to Josh, a business is a repeatable process that:

1) Creates something of value

2) That other people want or need

3) At a price they're willing to pay

4) And delivers it in a way that satisfies expectations

5) While generating enough profit to make repeating the process worthwhile

Upon reading this, I recognized that all my scattered ideas of marketing, which had previously floated about unintelligibly, were settling quickly and comfortably into the space between elements 1 and 2.

What’s more, as my newfound marketing clarity emerged, I noticed it held together nicely when applied to the context of non-profit, personal, or any other type of marketing.

So, why marketing? (Here it comes...)

Marketing creates a connection between things of great value and the entities that will value them greatly.

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