2016
01.20

Shoeboxes have been overturned, the entries have flooded in, and we’ve crowned a winner! Valerie Hahn is running off with the $500 prize for creepiest photo. And for good reason! Shifty Santa wearing blush? We’ll pass on that lap. Regardless, congrats Valerie!

In response to learning she won the grand prize, Valerie responded “Thank you so much—I’m stoked! We take out this picture every year and laugh and laugh at it. My aunt has it hanging on her refrigerator year-round.” Truly, creepy can’t be held down by a season. That’s poetic.

And the #MyCreepyChristmas Winner Is…

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2016
01.19

After a couple of painful weeks dealing with the starter/battery issue, I am happy to say that things have really turned around for my 500×500 Challenge project. Since my last installment, I finalized the simplified wiring harness in about two sittings, and swiftly moved on to some fun stuff.

500x500 Challenge: Progress

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2016
01.15

Inspired by miles of trail and fueled by the backstreet dive bar, April Donovan doesn’t shy away from any challenge, though she has an affinity for those of the creative sort. The first to show, and the last to leave, she’s a driving force in the Blue Collar Garage, and the fearless leader steering headlong into the project-around-the-corner.

This Jill-of-all-trades is quintessentially blue collar. Made of the same stuffs as Hood River’s backwoods and set in a neat typeface, she’s Partner and Creative director of Blue Collar Agency. And it’s about time you got to know her.

 

Meet the Partners: April Donovan

Meet The Partners: April Donovan

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2016
01.05

We’re happy to hang our hats on another excellent year at Blue Collar as we speed into what’s sure to be another one full of great clients, quirky mechanic shenanigans, and a fresh jar of elbow grease. Tighten your bootstraps as we embark on a whirlwind “year in review” journey.

Plenty happened in 2015 that makes us want to holler, “Woop woop!” At the top of that list is our new work with Mason County, Washington, and their spiffy new website. Soon thereafter we upped our social media game with three new Instagram accounts. We log on with excitement every morning to see the numbers ticking upwards. Oh, and we produced a really awesome four-day photo shoot (read: party weekend) in Hood Canal collecting a hoard of photo and video assets to beef up our content strategy, social media and website.

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2015
12.30

I wish I could say that things always go as planned…but that’s obviously not the case. As a project manager, and someone who strives to be detail oriented, accepting the fact that I’m not always in control can be a challenge—at work, and outside of it. In short: I had hoped to be much further along with the rebuild of the XV750 right now than I am, but that’s all part of the game.

How to Win Cross-Channel Marketing

The Formula For Success

Take a peek at my first post to get a bit of background on the 500×500 ride and the motorcycle project. At publication of that post, I was still working on my carburetors. Soon thereafter, I cleaned them up and put them back on the bike. Then I was ready to move on to electrical diagnostics. Typically, this is how it goes:

  1. Using a new battery, check the starter—it usually works.
  2. Hook up the battery and see if the starter button works—it usually doesn’t.
  3. Start working backwards with a voltmeter to find why it isn’t working. Sometimes it’s something as simple as a bad ground, sometimes it necessitates hours and hours of diagnostic work.
  4. Once the engine turns over, make sure you have a spark—more often than not, you do.
  5. Hook up a gas tank, and make it run!

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2015
12.18

Imagine picking up the phone and calling a friend to confirm dinner plans for next week. The next day, you run into her on the street and ask, “Hey! We still on for dinner next week?” She’ll think that you’re losing it, or she’ll be insulted and annoyed by your constant reminders. Either way—no bueno.

The same bodes true for online marketing. Your potential customer expects that she be met on her home turf (whether that’s Linkedin, banner ads, or her email inbox) with personal and cohesive messaging. Without a plan to create a human experience, your consumer will feel as confused and annoyed as your friend in the above scenario. Don’t let your advertising fall flat—read on for tips on how to shape up your cross-channel marketing game and get a better ROI on your online advertising endeavors.

How to Win Cross-Channel Marketing

The decision-making process has moved from a linear to a circular journey with four phases: initial consideration; active evaluation, closure and post purchase.

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2015
12.10

Outdoor Retailer is a who’s who of the outdoor rec industry, serving up sweet new gear, networking possibilities, and industry insight. With the winter session right around the corner, we’re revisiting the presentation Blue Collar’s own Rob McCready gave this summer, in which he shared hugely important advice for those focused on reaching buyers in a crowded marketplace. He took on what has in the past been a bare-knuckles streetfight between manufacturers and retailers, but has today largely matured into a civilized collaboration. The short conclusion? If done right, they can all play nice–especially when it comes to outdoor gear.

Get in the know about emerging and evolving trends that are not just changing the way people buy, but creating fundamentally different relationships between brands and consumers. Hop on the train or get left behind!

Ecommerce Streetfight: Manufacturers & Retailers in a Direct Sales World from Blue Collar Agency on Vimeo.

 

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2015
12.09

You’ve crafted the perfect message, carefully tapping into the interests, affinities, and language of your target audience. You’ve used color and imagery to make the message visually appealing, with concise text arranged to be legible at a glance. However, it’s not too late to destroy your hard work. Without proper testing and optimization, your beautiful email won’t make it to your audience’s inboxes—or if it does, may end up rendered so poorly that it goes straight into the trash.

Read on for three steps to ruin your email marketing.

3 Simple Ways to Nurture Customers

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2015
12.09

2016 is upon us! Every year, Thanksgiving comes and goes and the rest of the year tends to fly by in a cacophony of greens and reds. But before the ball drops into the New Year, we love sitting down, looking back, and raising a glass to the awesomeness that filled up the preceding 12 months. This blog serves as a humongous thank you note to all of the excellence we have been surrounded by in 2015.

Here’s to You

Paring down the excess leaves us with a simple and resounding ‘Thank You’. At the end of the day, our work is filled with meaning because we get to work with kindred, curious souls.

If you know Blue Collar, you’ve heard us talk about a passion for hardworking ideas. We strive for an unswerving pursuit of performance. As such, we aim to work with people who feel the same, or at the very least, aim to find inspiration in their greatness. That we brush shoulders on the daily with like-minded, never-say-die creatives is refreshing, and a major motivator to improve each and every day. So…

That said–we have a number of huge, personalized shout-outs to heave about.

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2015
12.07

This past summer, Pew Research published a massive report on parenting and social media and one resounding fact was crystal clear: moms are using social media—a lot. 75% of parents use some form of social media, but mothers are much more engaged than fathers. Women already dominate social media, and mothers are even more invested. So what do moms think of all this tweeting and friending and pinning? It depends. Regardless, you should definitely care about what moms think of social media.

Moms face an innate battle with social media. It allows them—and their children—to be more socially involved, which in an age of cyberbullying and sexting means that many women join social media to keep an eye on their kids.

What Moms Think of Social Media

Moms might be online looking for diapers or recipes, but they’re also independent women with unique and individual tastes.

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