That oh-so-recognizable move: smartphone in hand, thumb flicking upwards, stop, double tap. It can only mean one thing…Instagram. As the 7th most popular social platform with upwards of one hundred million users, Instagram is a goldmine of social media marketing waiting to be tapped, and we are goin’ in, picks in hand.
In the past quarter, we have started up three Instagram accounts, one for ourselves and two for our clients, Extensis and Mason County Tourism, respectively. Instagram is the third most used social platform used by millenials, and 73% of Instagrammers are between the ages of 15 and 35. As such, our campaigns have been crafted to target a young, vibrant audience. Although the three accounts aim to engage very different people with different interests, we have seen a positive upward trajectory across the board, and have learned quite a few interesting and somewhat unexpected lessons along the way.
Woven into the endless outdoor adventure that epitomizes the Columbia River Gorge lifestyle is a prolific art scene. Studding the mountain bike trails of Post Canyon and floating through the paths of ripping kiteboarders on the Columbia is an inherent natural beauty, and Hood River’s Big Art Walking Tour in our quaint downtown reveals an artful ode to those things we love and let define our lifestyles.
Nestled into the musty, moody underground cubbyhole of Al’s Den a few weeks back, the entire room full of our colleagues and some of Portland’s creative community sat in silent rapture at the thundering presence that is Rene Denfeld, author of the award winning new novel, “The Enchanted.” She brought to us the most recent event in The Persuaders Society, a brainchild of Blue Collar Agency c. 2012.
Wonderbag, the non-electric, portable slow cooker isn’t just a great kitchen tool, but also a life-changer for African women living below the poverty line. And now, they’re a Facebook success story.
From November 2014 through January 2015, Blue Collar worked with Wonderbag to run targeted video ads and link ads on Facebook to promote the North American launch of its portable, energy-saving heat-retention cooker. The Facebook ads resulted in 20,000 views at $0.04 per view. Social success!
We’re thrilled to welcome Jaime Singer to the garage as Graphic Designer.
Born and raised in Lancaster PA (yes, Amish people live there), Jaime grew up with three older brothers, who she credits for her thick skin and sense of adventure. After high school, she moved to Salt Lake City to be a full-time ski bum. (And attend university, of course).
Always a creative and hands-on person, Jaime earned her BFA in graphic design with a minor in photography at the University of Utah. Go UTES! After graduation, she moved to Hood River on a whim and fell in love.
Get to know a little more about our newest creative team member with some Q&A.
What’s your favorite thing about your job?
I love the fact that beautiful, functional design is number one here. Blue Collar stands behind their concepts and works hard coming up with unique solutions to the task at hand.
How did you get involved with Blue Collar?
I was freelancing and the stars aligned! It worked out perfectly. It was hard transitioning back into 9-5, but working with such fun and talented people makes it pretty easy. I am a young designer so I’m excited to be able to fine-tune my skills and learn from Blue Collar.
Blanketed in drippy mosses and mists, one usually ventures to the beautiful and serene Columbia River Gorge to escape the hustle and grind of the workplace. But the rush that comes from a breath-taking view after a strenuous slew of switchbacks certainly doesn’t end at the doorstep. Au contraire, inspiration from the wilderness is an integral part of any Pacific Northwest venture and here are five reasons why people who know how to have a good outdoor adventure know what it takes to produce good marketing:
1. What’s not to love about a well maintained trail beyond a hidden trailhead?
Sometimes an excellent well-traveled roadside marvel like Multnomah Falls is convenient and irresistible. Those that thirst for real adventure know there is something much more satisfying about a well kept trail behind a hidden trailhead. Off highway 14, up a residential backroad, it’s easy to miss the turnoff to a favorite hidden gem in the Gorge: Wind Mountain. The trailhead is marked by a humble sign but that only adds to the adventurer’s delight of a beautifully maintained trail to an excellent lookout. True, a nationally compelling, emotionally provocative, what-you-see-is-what-you-get Multnomah-like campaign, is undoubtedly effective. However, there is something much more satisfying and organic about a less ostentatious, speak-for-itself sort of tactic. Poler Stuff’s commandeering of the sweet and compelling #campvibes has social media working for them and their commitment to profiling real backyard adventures makes it feel as though we have stumbled upon a trove of amazing gear behind a mysterious trailhead.
Pinterest is an effective way to market and portray your brand. But how do you do it? And furthermore, who cares?
Pinterest hit the lime-light with it’s debut in 2010. Since then, it’s grabbed the attention of nearly 20% of the US population. A pin-board should read like a fine glossy magazine, clad with clear images and relevant content. No need to fluff it up with artsy photo filters like those commonly found on Instagram (don’t worry, we’ll breakdown Instagram in another post). The modern pinner wants niche topics, something specific that they can come back to. Whether it’s a new Tesla, an exotic destination—we’re dreaming of Corsica, or a flashy carbon mountain bike, a pin says “I’m interested”. Once you’ve got them interested, the next step is “I need it!” This is where you capitalize with Pinterest. Business2community.com says that “Many retailers saw the opportunity to leverage Pinterest and the stats are there to support that decision. Research from Bizrate Insights (2012) says that 70% of Pinterest users use the platform as inspiration for their purchases.”
I have fallen madly in fascination with the Mars One venture. For a number of reasons. The project aims to send four astronauts on a one way trip to Mars to create and inhabit the first permanent galactic colony. (No, this is not a scene out of your guilty pleasure space fantasy novel…) With the rise of a new wave of literal starry-eyed dreamers saying “thanks, no thanks” to government-backed rockets, blueprints are being rolled up and hauled into private pockets. This means that not only are these pioneers looking out from their rolling chairs onto the endless galactic horizon, but also onto the bold untamed frontier of market strategy. There are no rules when it comes to private funding on this massive scale, and as far as I can tell, the strategy thus far has been go big or go home.
When it comes to developing a brand, the work doesn’t end when the new identity is inked into a guidelines document. The hard part is consistently extending the voice and identity across every medium it touches. Sometimes this is out of our control, but fortunately CRKT understands the importance of maintaining and protecting the brand.
It all started with a trip to Portland with two goals in mind. 1. Find the best food trucks and carts for design and typography; 2. Enjoy eating some PDX delights. This is the story of the Extensis Food Cart Font-Off.