Archive for March, 2009

Webisode 1 of GrafiQa (West) Binghamton Building Renovation

March 26, 2009

So the Renovation process begins.

The below video shows the interior/exterior of the building as well as some of the day 1 contractor interviews – We will be doing a series of videos throughout the process.

GrafiQa (West) at 199 state street will be a high-end  state of the art office/retail facility with our typical  modern, professional  & artistic flavor.

You can see our round 1 rendering and round 1 floorplan below for the new Offices.

The office exterior will be similar to our Oneonta office which can be seen at http://www.grafiqa.com/company.htm – click on the building image in the lower right.

Special thanks to our contractors at www.oldhomesfriend.com  and www.bestbuiltconstruction.com as well as local musical assistance from www.myspace.com/swathmusic

Twitter Use Up 1300% (and being used by working professionals)

March 24, 2009

Marketing Charts ran this eye-opening story based on Nielsen Online research that shows that Twitter usage is up by more than 1300% over last year.

This passage was particularly striking:

“Contrary to the belief that Tweeters are mostly teens, college students or friends just trying to stay in touch, Twitter is used by a larger percentage of older people…adults ages 35-49 had the largest representation on Twitter…”

So this isn’t something that only 15-year old cheerleaders are using just to talk about Friday night’s dance. This is a marketing tool that savvy businesses and not-for-profits can use to generate buzz and stimulate leads and sales.

Here at GrafiQa, we buy in. Go ahead and let us prove it by following Chris, Bijoy or Elizabeth.

So What Is This Social Media Stuff Anyway?

March 18, 2009

A lot of people talk about Social Media (or Web 2.0) – but not everyone knows exactly what it really means.

That’s okay. Like your mom told you when you were 13, it’s okay to be curious.

Web 1.0 was the first decade of the web, where the internet was a place to look and read. The information flowed one way: from a website to the user. Think of it like reading a brochure that happened to be online.

Social Media is a completely different beast. Over the last half-decade, the internet has changed from a one-way conversation to an active conversation between multiple parties.

asd

Blogs. e-Newsletters. Twitter. Facebook. Myspace. LinkedIn. Wikipedia. They’re all ways for anyone and everyone to take AND contribute information.

Since Social Media is where your customers, clients and donors are spending their time and money, it’s smart business to get in on that conversation with Permission Marketing.

It takes time and effort. Web 2.0 and Social Media tools require fresh, relevant and changing content all the time. But it’s worth it to stay connected with your market.

Social Media, Customer Service and Your Business Reputation

March 13, 2009

Outside of the GrafiQa workday, I play drums in a local band called Swath. We just released our second full-length CD and were psyched to be releasing this one on iTunes, Amazon.com and other online music sales tools.

Unfortunately, we’ve experienced some troubles with TuneCore, the service we used to upload the tunes to make them available online. Check out the details here and here.

We’re working through the problems, but our experience says a lot about how Blogs, Twitter and other Social Media tools seriously matter in today’s marketplace when it comes to customer service.

And it shows how every business’ reputation is on the line every second of every day because consumers have more power in the buy-sell relationship than ever before.

cnet on Twitter as a Brand Builder

March 11, 2009

Jason here at GrafiQa passed around this interesting article from cnet news about Twitter as a Brand Builder. It jives with a lot of what we’ve been talking about for the last six months or so internally and to some of our clients.

Several of us are avid Twitter-ers. You can follow Chris here, follow Bijoy here, and follow Elizabeth here.

The Commoditization Of Design: May Not Be Such A Bad Thing (In Some Ways)

March 6, 2009

As I was driving down the highway the other day, I noticed yet another company vehicle sporting an absolutely atrocious brand (probably designed by a sign company in a hurry). This got me thinking about how design has become more and more of a quick commodity in modern culture.

As a former designer, like my designer compatriots, I shudder at websites that feature logos created with lightning quick speed, that use multiple variations of a similar design, and that were done by designers who offer unlimited revisions for a couple hundred dollars (though the thing that many designers do not want to admit is that some of these cheap on-the-fly logos aren’t half bad for what they are and who they’re for).

But there is a big difference between what those guys offer and what high-caliber professional firms offer.

That difference is actually why, several years ago, we switched from being a design firm to being a brand marketing services firm. The difference is strategy.

Companies and not-for-profits may be able to get graphic design services cheaper and cheaper and quicker and quicker in today’s marketplace. But the bigger, better and smarter clients need strategy and real expertise when it comes to their brand, messaging, marketing and positioning. That’s a whole different ballgame than just making something look pretty.

So, while quick, cheap and decent design just might make the world look a bit prettier (which certainly isn’t such a bad thing), good strategy is what delivers real and lasting results.