Nike and Apple: How This Brand Collaboration is Changing the Way People Exercise

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nike“Nike+iPod is a partnership between two iconic, global brands with a shared passion for creating meaningful consumer product experiences through design and innovation,” Mark Parker CEO of Nike.

Nike Apps

There are hundreds of fitness apps on the market. But what makes a person download one app over another? Often times, it is a brand name recognition. Nike is a global icon and an industry leader in sports. So it’s no surprise that the Nike Running App and Nike Training App are two of the most popular health and fitness apps available in the App Store.

The Nike Running App tracks your runs and helps you reach your goals — whether it’s running your first race, or setting a new personal record. Suitable for anyone, whether you are a first-time runner or a marathon veteran, you’ll get the measurement and motivation you need to run farther and faster.

The Nike Running App is branded as the greatest running community, and with good reason. Nike Running Clubs are popping up all over the US. People are motivating one another to stay active and push limits to reach their goals.

But Nike realizes that running may not be the activity of choice for everyone. So they have also developed the Nike Training Club. Geared toward women, this app allows you to choose your fitness level and goal. The Nike Training Club picks from more than 100 workouts to get you on the fast track to fitness. Track distance, pace, time, and calories burned — then share those stats with friends.

iPod Sport Kit

Nike has made a name for themselves in the App store, but the brand is reaching new heights through a collaboration with digital industry leader, Apple. In 2006, Nike announced its plan to partner with Apple on a few different projects. The first project unveiled was the iPod Sport Kit. With this new venture, your iPod Nano can now do more than play great tunes during your workout: Slip the Nike+ sensor into any Nike+ Ready shoe, and it gives feedback on your speed, distance, pace and calories burned—right through your iPod headphones. Then, iTunes automatically uploads your workouts to nikeplus.com, so you can track your progress, challenge friends and more. Nike’s goal is to make many of its leading footwear styles Nike+ready, allowing millions of consumers to have the Nike+iPod experience.

“We’re working with Nike to take music and sport to a new level,” said the late Steve Jobs, former CEO of Apple. “The result is like having a personal coach or training partner motivating you every step of your workout.”

Why Brand Collaboration Works

The Nike and Apple brand collaboration is a great one. And many other companies could benefit from studying their partnership. But here are four reasons why a brand collaboration, of any kind, can be an advantage for both parties.

  1. Collaboration improves a brand’s image and spreads consumer awareness with a further reach.
  2. Brand collaboration strategies can help a company navigate through a less familiar market by joining forces with a company that understands a given demographic well.
  3. Collaborations can re-energize your brand because they are approached with the intention of changing up a brand’s perceived image
  4. Brand collaborations can be incredibly valuable simply in terms of publicity. Because there’s a novelty aspect to these kinds of projects, they tend to create a significant amount of buzz for the brands involved. Switching up a companies goods and services tends to draw attention, and with double the exposure, companies often benefit from it.

 

Sources:

https://www.apple.com/pr/library/2006/05/23Nike-and-Apple-Team-Up-to-Launch-Nike-iPod.html

http://www.trendreports.com/article/brand-collaborations

 

Photo Source: freedigitalphotos.net

8 Tips To Keep You Sane During Your Job-Search

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ImageLooking for a job can be overwhelming to say the least. Contending with posting resumes, looking through endless job listings and waiting for a response can add some stress to your job search. Enclosed are some useful tips to make the experience a little more manageable.

1. Develop a Routine

Develop a routine and stick to it. By allocating specific chunks of time towards Linked In searches, emailing acquaintances, networking, spending time on job search sites, and other related activities, you can plan and execute better. More importantly, you will feel that you are accomplishing something each day and not just waiting for recruiters or human resources to call you back.

2. Stay Up-To-Date on the Industry

Nothing is more of a turn-off than interviewing someone who is out of touch with what is happening in the industry. Do your research. Know the industry and the latest trends. Who knows, you may even impress an interviewer with something they didn’t even know!

3. Follow Industry Leaders on Twitter

Twitter is a fantastic platform to share content and connect with people professionally. Think about the industry you want to work in and start following leaders in that industry. The key, however, is engagement. If you see a post that you find interesting, tweet back at the person or comment with a part of the article you enjoyed. Getting in front of industry leaders now could prove beneficial. They may be one of the people looking at your job application in the future. Being remembered as an insightful, engaging person can only help your chances of landing the job.

4. Get Social

If you live in a major metropolitan area, join a few professional groups. You could go to seminars or information sessions on particular subjects pertaining to your field.  It is a very good way to network with people who are in the field as well. Use Linked In as a resource or even meetup.com. For example, in Denver, there was a meetup group of unemployed people who pooled their resources to help each other find a job.Not only could it be valuable, but you could gain a great support system.

5. Develop Your Personal Brand

Spend time in between jobs to really do some soul-searching. What are you passionate about? What are your skill sets? And how can you marry those to find a job that you wake up excited to go to everyday?

Once you know what gets you fired up, embed that into creating a personal brand. A personal brand is about defining who you are as person and employee. Create a personal brand that is uniquely distinguishable & ideally memorable and communicate that brand through every outlet (appearance, online presence, graphic design of your portfolio, etc.). Remember, everything you do makes a statement.

6. Mind Your Health

Job-searching can be mentally exhausting, so keeping yourself healthy is essential. Maintain a healthy diet and exercise. Physical activity is a great way to relieve stress and tension. Meditation, journaling and prayer is also a great outlet. With lots of thinking time, the mind can be the devils playground, so be sure to keep it in check.

7. Give Your Time

If unemployed, consider using some of your time to volunteer. It can be very fulfilling to use your skills and gifts to help those in need. Plus, it can be a beneficial networking opportunity. You never know who you could meet. He/she may be just the right person to put you on the correct path to securing your dream job.

8. It Doesn’t Have to All Be Done Today

Job-searching can be a daunting task. And if you look at it as such, you will become overwhelmed. Yes, you could spend 5 hours searching for job postings on Monster, but you will be mentally drained after the fact. Take a break from the screen every once in a while. If you’re having an off day and just can’t seem to find a posting that you are qualified for, call it a day. Spending hours in front of the computer screen without any progress can really sink your spirits. I promise, plenty of jobs will still be out there tomorrow.

 

Photo Source: freedigitalphotos.net

Do you feel in a constant state of chaos? Tips to rebalance your life.

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work-life-balance-signpost-10088168With all of us on the fast track of life often times we fell overwhelmed. The cell phone ringing, email flowing in, demanding kids, pets or family it is hard to stay in balance. Do you even realize if your life is in a constant state of out of balance? Personal coach Laura Berman Fortgang states, “You know it’s time to make a change when misery and stress outweigh joy on a daily basis for two weeks or more.”

More than two-thirds of the employees surveyed believe they can “have it all” when it comes to a having both a successful career and a full life outside work. Work-life balance is so important that more than half of those surveyed have turned down a job offer because of the potential impact on it. Source: huffingtonpost.com

The book, Living Your Best Life and NOW WHAT? 90 Days to a New Life Direction, suggests evaluating the state of your life with the following quiz.

True or false:
1. I have more than enough time to do what I want to do.
2. I am on a health regimen that helps me feel energized.
3. I look forward to every day.
4. There are no people in my life (at home or at work) who drain me.
5. I love my home (location, contents, the feel, the style).
6. I have no clutter in my home and/or office.
7. I live a life pursuing what I want instead of what I should do.
8. My work is satisfying and rewarding.
9. I take at least two week long vacations a year.
10. I do not work on weekends.
11. I get plenty of sleep.
12. I have plenty of quality time with my children and/or the people who matter to me.
13. I have at least one hobby or pastime outside of my work and family activities.
14. I eat foods that make me feel energized instead of sluggish.
15. I have the space to take at least 15 minutes of silence a day.
16. I have friends that are easy to be with and a joy to spend time with.
17. I carry no heavy emotional burdens or addictive behaviors.

Earn one point for every time you said “true.” If you answered “true” more often than “false” (a score of at least 9), you are probably living a well-balanced life. If you scored 8 or less, your lifestyle may need to make some changes.

Didn’t pass the quiz? “Stop. Take two days off immediately to regroup and relax,” Fortgang advises. “Ask yourself what you are hating, tolerating, or resenting about the current state of your life. Make a list and start doing your best to correct things right away.”

Balancing the demands of career and personal life will always be challenge. Keep a diary of all of the events you do for 3 days or more. this will give you a sense of where is your time really going. Also record how do these things make you feel. Are they things you could delegate to someone else? Are you just over booking yourself or are you letting others dictate your schedule? Of course there will be situation you just can not say no. But overall are there any trends that are sabotoging your happiness and are time suckers.

Consider these tips to rebalance your life:

  • Track your time. Track your daily tasks. Decide what’s necessary and what satisfies you the most. Cut or delegate activities you don’t enjoy or can’t handle.
  • Explore of your options. Ask your employer about flex hours, a compressed workweek, job sharing, telecommuting or other scheduling flexibility. See if there is another staff member who will switch or take up additional hours that are challenging for you. Of course you would want to check with your immediate supervisor prior to doing this option.
  • Learn to say no. Whether it’s a co-worker asking you to spearhead an extra project or your child’s local cub scout group asking you run a kid’s party, it’s OK to politely decline. Do not accept these things out of guilt or obligation. You need to set aside time for the activities that are meaningful to you.
  • Leave work at work. Create a boundary between work and home. Make a conscious decision to separate work time from personal time by putting all electronic devices on vibrate or on the charger.
  • Manage your time. Organize tasks in groups or do a little daily. For example, running errands all at once or doing a load of laundry daily, rather than saving it all for your day off. Put family events on a weekly calendar with an daily to-do list. Prioritze and let the rest go.
  • Reinforce your support system. At work, join forces with co-workers who can cover for you — and vice versa — when family conflicts arise. At home, enlist trusted friends and family to help in with child care or personal responsibilities when you need to work overtime or travel.
  • Take care of yourself. Maintain a healthy diet, add a physical activity daily and get enough sleep. Set aside time each day for an activity that you enjoy, such as meditating or reading.

Check in with yourself periodically to gauge if you are in balance. Share with us below on ways you rebalance and de stress. 

Source: Webmd, Mayoclinic and Huffington Post.com. Image source: freedigitalphotos.net

If your business took a selfie, what would people see?

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Selfie. This was Oxford Dictionary’s 2013 Word of the Year. The word gained momentum throughout the world as it evolved from a social media buzzword to mainstream shorthand for a self-portrait photograph.In today’s digital world, people are constantly posting pictures of themselves to Instagram or Facebook for the whole world to see, with #selfie as the caption.

But what does this buzzword have to do with business? Think of a selfie not just in regards to your personal life, but from your company’s perspective. If your business took a selfie, what would people see? How would people feel?

The answer to this question lies in your brand strategy. But what is your brand strategy? It’s not just a logo. Your brand permeates all the key components that drive your business. It communicates to your customers and defines their experience. But building real connections with your customers takes time. Relationships are worth the investment.

For example, take the well-known fast-food chain, Dairy Queen. There are a few Dairy Queens in my neighborhood, but I can tell you in a split second which location is the one I actually want to go to. But why should the location matter? Aren’t all chains the same? Ideally, yes. A customer should know what to expect when they walk in the doors: friendly employees, attentive customer service and fresh food. But realistically, not all locations of a business may uphold these standards.

So how do you ensure that your business is consistent with everyone it comes in contact with? It starts with a commitment to your brand strategy. This requires reflection, intention, vision and focus on how it will make your customers’ lives better.

But where do you start? Baker Creative can help. Our strategies will ensure that everyone company-wide is working together to improve internal communication so there are no disconnects between the company culture & the customer and no missteps to hitting your goals.

Your brand is your company’s soul; your company’s selfie. It is the difference between selling something and becoming a part of people’s lives from generation to generation.

To discover what Baker Creative can do for you, please visit our website at baker-creative.com or call us today at (614)836-3845.

What is really on your “bucket” list?

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great-wall-of-china-100100284

I often wonder if our “bucket list” is really on the surface what we really want. On my bucket list, I want to go the the great wall of China, visit Bora Bora, and go to the south of Italy by the sea. Take five minutes to consider what would be on yours.

Upon further evaluation, do these list of items nod to something symbolic, something deeper? By auditing these wishes much like an anthropologist may go on a dig. Am I willing to get my hands a little dirty to unearth the truth? To delve into  the authentic reasons why I want to visit these places. What themes are these speaking to me visually as I roll them over in my mind’s landscape?

With one stroke of the my mind’s brush more of the reasons seem to appear much like a valued artifact. I notice my theme is tranquility, and serenity. A nod to what has come and the possibility of what is to come. The anticipation of planning a trip that revisits back in time is sharp contrast to what we know to be today’s truths of what seems to matter at the moment.

The cell phone ringing, the emails and tweets raining in like colorful confetti. In retrospect, all of it not mattering much a year from now. My bucket list seems to be about spending time with my family from a place of serenity and peace. So I invite you to take a short break from your “busy” to take a breath and go deeper,
so you don’t miss it’s true meaning. Be open, walk up to edge of the calm pool. Focus on what matters and go swimming in the deep.

Life is waiting…

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Don’t wait for your ship to come in – swim out to it.
~Author Unknown

Photosource: freedigitalphotos.net

Call Centers: The Key to Your Company’s Success

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ImageI doubt I am the only one who gets that feeling in the pit of my stomach when I realize I have been redirected to a company’s call center. Let’s face it, most of us hate call centers. Why? It boils down to our past experiences with customer service.

If you are a business-owner and your company has a call-center, ask yourself these two questions:

  1. Are you getting a lot of complaints from customers about your call center? Or even complaints from your call-center employees about the customers they speak to?
  2. Do you feel that you are missing out on potential sales because of the way your call center functions?

If you answered yes to one or both of these questions, then your call-center needs to step it up.

A call center is usually the first impression customers have of a company. A customer assigns a voice, an attitude, a personality to a company within the first few seconds of their interaction with a company’s call center employee.

Call centers are often an overlooked part of sales and KPIs. If you are looking to improve brand loyalty, then good customer service matters.

As a business-owner, you have to ask yourself the hard questions. Do you have the right staff and training to support your sales strategy? Your talent affects your market value. It is not just the key decision makers who are the most essential people in your company. In fact, your call center is an extension of your sales team. You never know who could be on the other end of the line. It could be someone from Forbes Magazine! How your call center employees handle a telephone call could make or break a customer’s brand loyalty to your company. It really is about how your customers experience your brand daily, consistently.

Running a business is not all about making money. Your company should focus on being consumer-centric if you want to be successful in today’s marketplace.

Baker Creative recognizes that every touch point matters. We partner with your HR management to recruit, develop, communicate, train and retain your talent to think, understand and speak with one voice. Baker Creative is here to help you stand out – to help you realize your company’s full potential. Because when every one of your employees is connected to your company’s mission and vision, anything is possible.

Photo Source: freedigitalphotos.net

Pinterest: Maslow’s Answer to Self-Actualization

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pinterest_badge_redA successful business is not all about sales and numbers. A large part of a company’s success is knowing how the target consumer thinks. Their needs. Their motivation. The why behind the buy.

It is rare these days to find an agency with the capacity to do primary research on consumer behavior. But at Baker Creative, our in-house research lab delves deeper into the psyche of a consumer. We know that figuring out what makes a target customer tick is an essential part of a successful business plan.

But how does the psychology of consumers translate to an online world, specifically social media? More than you think.

ImageSocial Media: Fulfilling Our Basic Needs?

The more we begin to analyze social media’s effect on our psyche, the more it parallels Maslow’s hierarchy of basic needs.

Begin with Maslow’s third basic need of love and belonging. We connect with friends and family via Facebook, reinforcing the belief that we are loved when someone requests to be our “friend.” Or we “connect” with people on LinkedIn and “follow” people on Twitter. How interesting are the word choices “friend,” “connect” and “follow.” The creators of social networking sites chose these words for a reason. They have a connotation of love and belonging. Doesn’t everyone desire to feel that, no matter if the form is physical or online?

Maslow’s fourth basic need is self-esteem. Doesn’t it give us all a little boost of confidence when we gain followers on Twitter or someone “likes” our Facebook status? We often post about an accomplishment with the hope of people congratulating us. We share a Good Samaritan story to show our respect for others or flesh out our LinkedIn profiles to gain respect from others. As much as we may not like to admit it, the online world has become a source for approval and acceptance when our confidence is lacking.

The fifth and final hierarchy of needs is self-actualization: morality, creativity, spontaneity, problem-solving, lack of prejudice, acceptance of facts. Most social media platforms don’t seem to fulfill this final need. But this is where Pinterest comes into play.

A Fully-Realized Self

Unless new to the social media world, you have probably heard of Pinterest. Pinterest is a pinboard-style photo-sharing website that allows users to create theme-based image collections. Users (called “pinners”) can create and share collections (“boards”) of images (“pins”) that they use to do things like plan trips, organize their homes, or save recipes.

“Pinterest boards are like its users’ personal happiness collages,” says Dr. Christopher Long, a professor at Ouachita Baptist University.  “[They represent] things that I appreciate, that I desire, and that express who I am, whether the things are cupcakes, shirtless David Beckham, or an inspirational quotation.”

Pinterest is a getaway for many users. It is a place where everything has a space. A way to step out of a chaotic life and into an alternate world. A secluded oasis to create visions of the future.

But most of all, Pinterest encourages self-actualization. This is what sets it apart from other social media platforms. Pinterest users’ activities on the site are directly connected to their lives outside the Internet. What they see on the site can inspire them to act. To travel to that beautiful destination. To live out those inspirational quotes. To tackle a DIY project that will complete their dream home.

It could be a bold statement to say that an online outlet may be the thing that is fulfilling one of our most intangible needs. But that is where our world is headed.

Pinterest is inspiring us. Motivating us. Sparking new passions. Helping us realize our real-self. And when we finally discover what makes our soul happy, we should pursue it.

Photo Sources: psychology.about.com & about.pinterest.com

Using Lemons to Make Lemonade: How RadioShack’s Super Bowl Ad is Bringing the Brand Into the Future

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ImageAs someone who works in the marketing world, you can bet that I was more intrigued by the Super Bowl commercials than the actual football game. And I, of course, couldn’t help but view every ad through my marketing lens. Although many ads made me laugh, and a few tugged on my heartstrings, I was most intrigued by RadioShack’s ad.

If I had to predict what I thought would be the best ad of Super Bowl XLVIII, I would have guessed Doritos or Budweiser. But RadioShack? Really? I haven’t heard much about the company lately. Are they even a thriving business anymore? I’ve always viewed them as a company that is a little behind the times. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one thinking this. But I think this is exactly what RadioShack wanted their audience to think. And why their ad concept worked.

The RadioShack ad, titled “The ’80s Called: They Want Their Store Back,” poked fun at RadioShack’s unfashionable brand with old celebrities like Hulk Hogan, Mary Lou Retton, and Alf stealing the store’s outdated merchandise. Then a voiceover says, “It’s time for a new RadioShack.” (See full ad here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUwwZHdx6SU)

According to an interview with Forbes magazine, RadioShack’s CMO Jennifer Warren said, “We’re using the Super Bowl as the platform to get people to rethink RadioShack. This ad is meant to grab attention, make viewers laugh, and let people know, it’s out with the old and in with the new RadioShack.” And it seems to be working. RadioShack’s stock grew over 7% in early trading on Monday (source: Forbes.com).

This a great example of a company taking customers’ attitudes toward their brand and reshaping it. Giving the brand a facelift. Turning a brand that has faded into the background into a brand that is at the front of consumers’ minds.

At Baker Creative, we can help you re-energize your company! We offer strategies that can foster innovation and embed your brand’s soul into the lives of everyone who comes in contact with it. Contact us at 614.836.3845 to get started today. 

Photo Source: freedigitalphotos.net 

Are you overwhelmed by planning for you next move in business?

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814_3Many entrepreneurs shoot from the hip and hit the ground running. Some never stop to take a chance to evaluate their past performance or changes in the marketplace until one day there has been a shift in their business. Proper planning is the key to keep your staff, clients and finances on the right track. Let’s face it there are a ton of ways to invest a budget. On occasion, I will meet with a potential client who states their plan in “right here” as they point to their head.  Lets face it, a plan that has not been put down on paper is a dream with little commitment. How can a owner or manager properly communicate with the team if the plan is not written down as a blueprint for next steps. How can it be properly assessed and tweaked as an ever changing plan in your head?

Here are a few small tips to help you get started on your next steps:

• Plan early before your staff arrives at the office. Being quite helps you focus and listen to your inner small voice.

• Create a vision board to where you want to be in 2014. Cut out words and images of where you want to be to communicate with your team your vision clearly. Paste them on a sheet of paper and post it in a visible place for all to see in your work area.

• Share with your team your vision and discuss what that would look like and how it will help them in their job roles. Discuss the impact on your customers.

Baker Creative can provide an outside assessment to provide  the right next steps for your business. Get started today by calling 614.836.3845.

Photo: freedigitalphoto.com

What’s On Your 2014 Business Bucket List?

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647_2Though we can make a new start any day of the week, there is something especially appealing about starting fresh on January 1st. If you haven’t done so yet, now would be a great time to sit in silence, reflect on 2013, and create your 2014 business bucket list. What did you do well this year and how can you improve on it next year? What didn’t go quite as you had hoped this year? How will you make sure to correct it going forward?

What are your goals for next year?

Baker Creative, want to help you with your 2014 business bucket list. Over the next four weeks, we will explore topics that commonly appear on business owners’ bucket lists. Here are a few of the topics that we will be discussing:

Create Good Content

You’ve probably heard “Content is King” more than you care to recall. Creating original content by writing blogs, using strong images, and creating compelling copy is important for attracting (and retaining) customers and driving them to take “profitable action”. You know why creating good, original content is important but do you know how to successfully create content? We’ll offer some useful tips.

Increase Brand Recognition

Does your brand stand out in the mind of consumers? Would it be recognizable to customers if they were only to look at your logo or read your slogan?  Brand recognition is what every business owner strives to achieve. Whether you have unlimited resources to achieve brand recognition or if you’re working on a shoestring budget, it is possible to increase your brand awareness without breaking the bank. We’ll give you a few pointers.

Drive More Traffic to Your Business

The holiday season is often a profitable time of year for many retailers and other businesses. Now that the holidays are almost over, we’ll offer information on putting plan in place to continue generating foot traffic into your bricks and mortar location during “off-peak” months.

Increase Your Social Media Traffic

Perhaps you took the plunge in 2013 and created several social media accounts. Hopefully your social media pages took off like gangbusters but if you’re starting to feel like it would be easier to win the lotto than to get people to “Like” your Facebook page. We can help with a few pro tips to help you build your online social media presence.

While creating your 2014 business bucket list may not involve hot air balloons or an exotic, safari trip to Kenya, it is still no less exciting. A new year, filled with new opportunities to make your business shine, is right around the corner. Are you ready?

Share what’s on your business bucket list in the comments section below.

Photo: freedigitalphoto.com

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