We went to the Quicken Loans offices in Detroit recently to interview Laura Granneman, who will be the keynote speaker for Capital Area Women’s Lifestyle Magazine’s upcoming Inspiration and Influence Awards.
We were impressed by the atmosphere of the building. Bright, clean, professional … yet fun. Don’t get us wrong, the office was a very tightly run ship, we could tell the staff was serious about their work. But the overall vibe and flare just added to a positive overall experience.
Memes from the popular television show “The Office” adorned the walls, Big Head Cutouts instead of name plates on each cubicle – and great staff titles. Those were obviously there for the enjoyment off staff, but they sent a message. It spoke to us: “We want our employees to enjoy their jobs, and we want you to see how cool we are to work with.”
For example, what you would normally call the receptionist had a different title – “Director of First Impressions.”
It struck us. First impressions are indeed everything. When a meeting goes well, and everyone impresses from that first welcome to the last goodbye, you’ve done a fantastic job of showing customers they count and what your businesses is all about.
You only get one chance to make a good first impression.
But what if the first impression you give a potential customer or client is a big, fat fail?
What can you do?
Don’t walk away. Second chances are sometimes even more effective. You just have to recognize, rewind and reconcile.
So, you blew the phone call, the pitch or even the whole presentation. You’ve recognized it. Step one is admitting, as they say, you have a problem.
Now, rewind. What could you have done differently? What should you have said to close the sale, to build trust and gain a customer?
Finally, reconcile. An apology, a phone call, a heartfelt “I think we could have done better” goes a long way. How do you do that?
Make it right. Ask for a second chance and do the work you didn’t do right the first time.
Send a package, flowers or a creative gift. Gain their attention, look them dead in the eye and knock their socks off.
Follow up. Build trust. Make a good second impression and keep making them. There’s no room for complacency in a competitive market, but there is plenty of room to make a better impression.
Those of you who work in the creative field know how important inspiration is and how important it is to have a constant source of it. However, every so often, we get stuck. We aren’t sure what or how to use the many sources of inspiration in our crazy world.
What is inspiration? According to Wikipedia, inspiration, in an artistic sense, is “sudden creativity in artistic production.” In advertising, that inspiration plays an essential role in design. Can you imagine advertisements without it? They become lifeless, boring and mundane.
Advertising is not just giving consumers the information necessary to know what a candy bar tastes like, how much it costs and where to find it. No, it’s evolved into a combination of complex design work and well laid out content. Designers must constantly be pushing their own limits to come up with new and exciting ways to reach out to target markets. They need to be inspired.
How to become inspired? The best part of all of this is that anyone and everyone can be inspired. It doesn’t matter where you are, who you are talking to or what you are looking at. As long as you are open and willing, you can be inspired.
Where can inspiration be found?
• Nature: Look at the colors, the shapes, the sizes, the textures that seem to be randomly put together to make such beautiful pieces of art. Take note of it all and try to use nature’s colors or shapes in your next design piece.
• Magazines: Check out the different layouts that are being used today, or even were used in the past. Look at the different fonts, and the placement of those fonts in relation to images.
• Typography: Have you ever opened up a typography book just for fun? If not, I highly suggest that you do. Beautiful typography can make an entire design piece flow.
• Photography: Viewing different media, such as photography, can open up your mind to different ideas that you may have never thought of.
• The web: Need we say more? You can find anything on the web, just make sure you are still coming up with your own creative ideas and not stealing others.
• Emotions: Take whatever emotions you might have toward someone or something and use it in your next design.
We’re pretty stoked about the annual Lady Classic golf outing coming Sept. 19 to Hawk Hollow Golf Course. The golf outing is officially put on by Capital Area Women’s Lifestyle Magazine. While the event takes a lot of teamwork, it’s something that everyone here enjoys prepping for. Especially since this year the theme is 1980s!
You might think just our events team is involved, but putting together a golf outing is a pretty big undertaking, especially since it gets bigger and better each year. Teams involved include our communications staff, who write copy for digital and social posts, information for sponsors, packets and more. It then moves on to our design team members, who create graphics, printables and anything else needed for design purposes from logos to banners. Sales and marketing work with getting our sponsorships taken care of; and our event staff oversees each item is checked off on the appropriate list, putting in a lot of hours behind the scenes, addressing all the big (and small) details and making sure the day of the event runs smoothly. Our web team makes sure all information is available and that sign-ups can be done online quickly and efficiently.
We put a lot of heart into the events we put our name behind. From the Greater Lansing Business Monthly’s Entrepreneurial Awards to the upcoming inaugural Inspiration and Influence Awards, various conferences, Coffee and Connections networking events, campaigns and more – our job is to make sure each event we work on is a complete success.
If that means dressing up in our ’80s wear like some of our staff did in the image above, so be it.
By the way, if you’d like to caddy for the event, become a sponsor or sign up –visit calwm.com/lady-classic, or send an email to email@example.com.
*Special thanks to Kellie’s Wooden Skate and Kellie’s Consignments for providing much of the 80’s costuming pictured.
One of the first things that comes to mind when you think of a famous brand is the logo associated with the company. Your logo is a representation of your brand; it delivers a message you want to convey, evokes an emotional response and defines a business.
A well-designed logo can set you apart from competitors and help attract more customers. As a representation of your overall brand identity, potential customers viewing your logo can picture the values and benefits your business provides.
Having an effective company logo creates a connection between your business and potential customers. By displaying your logo on different marketing platforms, it becomes familiar to customers and, ultimately, builds trust between your customers and your business.
When creating a logo, it’s crucial to understand that the image is how you will be recognized by the public. People make snap judgments – accurate or otherwise – about images within moments of seeing them. An appealing logo can help kickstart your business and become your identity to potential customers.
Increasing brand awareness or brand recognition is one of the most beneficial things your logo can do for your company. It becomes a way for people to identify you and conveys a sentiment about how reliable your business or product is to consumers.
Something to consider when designing or redesigning your company logo is a color scheme. A company can use the color scheme of a logo to develop an emotional link to a product or brand. For example, green suggests happiness or energy and lavender can have a calming effect on the brain. Understanding how every component affects consumer perception is important because attracting more customers the overall objective of any business.
Interested in updating your logo? M3 Group has an award-winning team with PACE, ADDY, Davey, Earned Media and Communicator Awards that span multiple years for logos and more. Although original implementation is essential, the most critical element of any project is the effectiveness of the message to achieve the desired goals and objectives. Impeccable execution is what drives our work. We aim to provide tangible results for every project. Learn more about how we can redesign your company logo to reach ultimate results. Visit m3group.biz to get started today.
With the rapid growth of social media, every business should be leveraging proper social media channels in some way. Give your brand a social media touch. Engage with your customers, generate more business and improve your digital marketing efforts with social media. The possibilities are almost endless when it comes to digital marketing to reach the 2 billion active users on Facebook or Instagram.
According to a study done by HubSpot, 90 percent of all marketers indicated that their social media efforts had generated more exposure for their businesses. More and more businesses are successfully experimenting with social media advertising.
Social media advertising can help build brand awareness. Unlike traditional advertising, social media allows you to reach out to target audiences through paid social ads. Social media promotions create an inbound marketing channel for businesses. You can specifically target the audience allowing your ad to reach peak performance and drive growth to your business.
Customers usually take to social media when trying to interact with a business. Social media is a more approachable way for people because it is a communication path that is less hassle for them. It allows a more personalized experience with the customer service departments. Along with offering that customer service aspect, businesses should also monitor conversations taking place regarding the company, broadcast important company announcements, answer all questions or concerns, and build relationships with customers via social media outlets. That helps enhance your brand’s loyalty to its customers.
Before applying any of the above recommendations, first be sure to create a strategic and solid social media strategy that is ready to be implemented. Utilize your social media accounts to show customers there is someone behind the screen that wants to help them. And finally, be consistent with your social media efforts to utilize your social media marketing efforts to the fullest capacity.
Social media advertising is one of the most cost-effective ways to spread your targeted message. M3 Group uses analytics and data to find the best use of your advertising and marketing dollars. Let us help you use your social media to its fullest potential. Visit M3Group.bizfor more information today.
Our office has a lot of qualities we are proud of. A freshly renovated building; full of our bright branding colors, art from talented local artists, lots of natural light and plenty of space to move about with laptops and be creative. M3 has meeting rooms on each level (one features bean bags), a kitchen and even a small work-out room.
Day to day, one of the things that make us smile most is visits from our furry friends. Our staff takes turns bringing our pups in for at least part of our workdays.
We’ve been lucky to have dogs in our midst who love to just lay at our feet while we work but are happy to play when we are. It creates a positive environment which is good for staff, good for the pets and creates an enjoyable workspace overall.
In fact, according to therapydogs.com, dogs in the workplace lower stress levels, boost morale and trigger workplace interactions that might not normally take place.
Things to know if you plan on creating a dog-friendly workplace:
- Consider surveying all staff to be sure there are no allergy issues, fear of dogs or objections.
- Take turns or limit the number of pets per day.
- Ensure your office is pet proof.
- Have rules in place, owners should supervise pets at all times.
- Bring pets who are comfortable around other people other than it’s human.
- Hyper pets should probably stay home.
- Pets should be up to date on shots, flea control, etc.
- Consider the liabilities, and it never hurts to make sure you are covered for “just in case.”
M3 Group has had a fantastic 2018 so far! We’ve enjoyed working out of our new headquarters on Saginaw Street, our staff continues to grow, and we are proud to offer our clients a larger array of services than ever before. In addition to those services, we continue to be the proud publisher of Capital Area Women’s Lifestyle Magazine, Greater Lansing Business Monthly and ing Magazine.
As an organization that’s engaged in so many different facets of business, it’s truly an honor when others recognize what we have achieved. That’s why we are excited to share that M3 Group was recently honored during the 14thannual Michigan Celebrates Small Business Gala as one of 2018’s “Michigan 50 Companies to Watch,” an awards program presented by Michigan Celebrates Small Business.
Companies making it to the “Michigan 50 Companies to Watch” list are a remarkable group of second-stage companies. With six to 99 full-time-equivalent employees and generating $750,000 to $50 million in annual revenue or working capital from investors or grants, these companies form the backbone of the state economy. Representing all regions of the state and a diverse range of industries, agencies like M3 Group are known for their exceptional, entrepreneurial leadership, creation or use of innovation in creative ways and their sustainable, competitive advantage.
Congratulations to all who were recognized; we are thrilled to be in your company and sharing this recognition with you.
We don’t like to pat ourselves on the back by reflecting on all of our (many) accomplishments and awards, so here’s a short list of our credentials:
- Addy Awards
- Alfred P Sloan Award, Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility
- Best of Business
- Communicator Awards
- Davey Awards
- Entrepreneurial Awards of Greater Lansing
- Junior League of Lansing Community Partner Awards
- Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Small Business Award
- MarCom Awards
- Pace Awards
- Videographer Awards
- WCA Placemaker of the Year Award
M3 Group celebrated its newly remodeled office this morning with a ribbon cutting ceremony. Featured speakers included Tiffany Dowling, M3 Group founder and CEO; Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero; Karl Dorshimer, director of Business Development, Lansing Economic Area Partnership; and Kathie Dunbar, Lansing City Council member. See press release for full details about this huge milestone for M3 Group.
Local branding agency plans to start $625,000 renovation project
LANSING, MI – M3 Group, Lansing’s full-service branding and publication agency, has announced that it has plans to move into a new building that will give the company more space. M3 Group closed on the property in mid-July and the estimated budget for the project is $625,000. The creative team hopes to be in the building in early 2017.
Founder and CEO, Tiffany Dowling and her team will soon renovate a church built in 1892 and make the corner of Seymour Avenue and Saginaw Street in downtown Lansing their new home. The new building will provide more space for M3 Group’s growing staff so that it can do more around the state and beyond.
Dowling, who started the company more than 14 years ago, has grown the organization into a large and respected agency in the area. Now staffing 25 full-time employees, the entrepreneur has big dreams for what’s next for organization.
“When I started this adventure 14 years ago, I wanted to make a difference for businesses in our community,” Dowling said. “Now it’s time for us to move into a bigger space and continue to grow our amazing team so we’re able to do more around the state and beyond.”
M3 Group was founded in 2002, when Dowling set out to provide creative, reliable and effective marketing services to the greater Lansing area. The M3 Group team has expanded significantly over the years and now offers clients a full array of services including: public relations, communications, brand creation and assessments, graphic design, website development, social media management, video production, audio production, event planning and management, and media planning and buying. In addition, M3 Group is publisher of three area magazines: Capital Area Women’s Lifestyle Magazine, Greater Lansing Business Monthly and ing Magazine. With a growing need for additional staff, M3 Group’s current space is shrinking faster than ever.
“M3 Group’s growth has been exciting. We’ve added new departments and mediums to offer our clients the best results-driven solutions possible, but with growth always comes a few small challenges, in this case two buildings,” Dowling said. “This new space will bring our team together in a whole new way and I am excited to see the team’s synergy and creative capacity when we are all under one roof.”
The old brick church that will soon be M3 Group’s office was previously owned by Hay & O’Rourke Law Firm and had been designed to meet the law firm’s needs, but does not currently suit the needs of the creative agency. Dowling and a team of experts will work to reinvent the space, creating an open, airy, creative place where she and her team can move freely with plenty of room to grow. Modern furnishings, glass walls and additional work stations will complete the space.
“A big part of M3 Group is teamwork and collaboration, so I want to create a space where we can all be together but still have places where smaller groups or individuals can break off if needed,” Dowling said. “I want our clients to feel comfortable and I want my employees to be proud to come in to work each day to a space that meets their needs.”
Dowling will add additional space to nearly 8,000 sq. ft. property by potentially adding a mezzanine and upgrading the garden level to accommodate more working space. Dowling is working with the architects and contractors to conceptualize the space to make sure there is room for expansion and growth among her team, and to include a few added benefits like an event space, photography studio and sound booth.
M3 Group is a full-service branding and publications agency based in Lansing, Mich. rallying together to move businesses forward. For more information, please visit m3group.biz.