The In-Between of Marketing

Waking up to thunder, lightning—and snow yesterday, I realized that here in the midwest, we are experiencing the in-between time.

Not quite spring. Not quite winter. But a time when lines blur and shadows form. As the head of a LOHASian (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability) advertising agency based near Minneapolis, I realize that this in-between time moves through business in rhythms that mimic nature.

Those times when projects sit in limbo due to budgetary review. When new hires are postponed until venture capital is raised. And when proposals for new initiatives are passed  back and forth through decision making chains.

So as I sat at my desk listening to thunder and watching snow fall while organizing files, I came across this photo from last summer. It was a bit of a shock to see leafy green trees and Russian sage just outside my office door, when the trees now are still bare and ground is covered in snow.

It was such a perfect reminder of new growth that awaits. Winter is a time for rest. And spring carries the knowing that what was frozen will once again flow.

 

 

Lisa Proctor is the president and creative director of firefly180 marketing—a Minneapolis-based branding and advertising agency that specializes in LOHAS marketing, wellness marketing, green marketing and renewable energy marketing.

Springing into Green Branding.

 

 

I’m not an especially patient person—and often find myself wanting to leap ahead. Yet like the parable of the farmer who tries to tug at tiny, green shoots  in hopes that they’ll grow faster, only to kill the entire crop—the same is true for much in life. Especially branding.

As the head of a Minneapolis-based LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability) advertising and marketing agency, I find that the extraordinary process of building a brand is much like planting seeds. While brand architecture and strategy is being created through process, meetings, collaboration, refinement and data-weaving, for those looking in from the outside, nothing much seems to be happening.

Like seeds buried in dark rich soil, this is where brands take root. It seems that the fundamental and foundational aspects of branding take place below ground; yet provide all the essential components that bring forward the colors, text, brand ID, web presence, e-blast campaigns, direct response, print and web ads, brand voice, community and full-on experience that brings businesses to life.

So at this time of year, when the ground is still frozen, yet the light and longer days hold the promise of spring, remember to honor the below-ground time. Be disciplined about rushing the process. Allow the seeds you’ve planted so carefully and so strategically to work their magic before tugging at their shoots to bring them to the surface.

You’ll be rewarded as your brand comes into bloom.

Lisa Proctor is the president and creative director of firefly180 marketing—a Minneapolis-based branding and advertising agency that specializes in LOHAS marketing, wellness marketing, green marketing and renewable energy marketing.

 

 

 

The Beauty of Branding.

Brands are beautiful.

So are the people behind them. So when friend and client Leah Simon-Clarke extended her brand via a Joynoelle fashion show in Minneapolis recently, the result was as luminous as a Hollywood movie premier.

Whether in her role as visionary  and founder of Linden Hills  salon Extrados, or traveling to scout celebrity stylists in Los Angeles, Leah’s approach to beauty is more than skin deep.

As creative director and president of a Minneapolis-based advertising and marketing agency that supports businesses and organizations that effect change, I couldn’t be happier to be working with Leah as we peel back the layers of her brand.

Beauty of course begins with what’s inside each of us. Hers is an approach that starts with celebrating physical beauty as a vehicle to reveal the true radiance that’s been there all along.

It’s the same with a brand. Colors, graphics, images, type faces and voice are the outer elements that allow consumers to connect with a business.

But it’s the heart and soul of a brand…that  god particle that resonates with clarity, transparency and authenticity, that shifts consumer attitude from  interest into deep relationship—that makes brands shine.

Leah’s clients in Mpls as well as beauty industry trend-setters in LA agree that she is a star-maker. At firefly180, we are honored to be the spark that helps send her brand to the sun, the moon and beyond.

 photo credit: http://www.shariflemingphotography.com

Lisa Proctor is the president and creative director of firefly180 marketing—a Minneapolis-based branding and advertising agency that specializes in LOHAS marketing, wellness marketing, green marketing and renewable energy marketing.

Life and Marketing As a Work of Art

Meet The Hand, by Chilean artist Mario Irarrázaba. Installed in Punta del Este, Uruguay in 1982, this sculpture was originally envisioned by the artist as a warning to swimmers about the rough surf just steps away. But to me, this iconic sculpture is more about hope. Humanity. Our connection with nature. And our ability as humans to keep reaching for the sky.

So it goes with art or any creative endeavor.  Meaning and interpretation contain as many layers as we have words to express. The same is true with marketing, messaging and branding. As the head of a global and mobile, Minneapolis/St. Paul-based advertising and marketing agency, I know that messaging that resonates with one person may not with another.

That’s the beauty of brands. Part art, part science,  brands that try to be a lot of everything; amount to a lot of nothing. Brands are unique. They speak a language all their own. They are how we connect emotionally to products, services and businesses. And of course, while a luxury brand might convey the quintessential aspiration for one person, the same brand could smack of needless excess to another.

Like art, we all see things a bit differently. And at the end of the day, perhaps branding is fundamentally all about offering a little helping hand. Connecting. Reaching out. Of being held. And holding.

 

Lisa Proctor is the president and creative director of firefly180 marketing—a Minneapolis-based branding and advertising agency that specializes in LOHAS marketing, wellness marketing, green marketing and renewable energy marketing.

 

 

Marketing—An Expanded View

Pretty much the last time I rode a horse, it was attached to a pole in the parking lot of a grocery store. That all changed in Argentina a few days ago.

As a guest at a 20,000 acre ranch worthy of JR Ewing, I spent hours galloping through fields of wheat and cattle. As I looked out at the green expanse below and  the endless sky above,  I celebrated the total joy of trying something new. Feeling the brush of grain against my feet. And surrendering to beginner’s mind, loving the fact that even though I don’t know how to ride—my horse did.

As the head of a Minneapolis-St. Paul based advertising and marketing agency that specializes in working with mission-based businesses, non-profits, sustainable companies, yoga studios and alternative healing practitioners, I know how easy it can be to get stuck behind a desk. Or in a boardroom.

That’s why firefly180 marketing is mobile and global. My office can be as small as my 11-inch Macbook Air and as big as well…the Argentine sky. When I travel, I take my clients with me. And they love seeing the world. So do I. As I gain perspective, so do they. As I explore unchartered territory, the discoveries are reflected back into the accounts I lead. Every taste, touch, sound and new friend I make adds dimension to advertising strategy, LOHAS (Lifestyle of Health & Sustainability) branding, website design, brochures, ads and brand positioning.

While we live on a small planet, the experience is limitless. The more of our authentic selves that we bring to work, the better, more creative, more award-winning the result. So I invite you to step out beyond your office. Get out of your comfort zone. Play. Take risks. And even if you simply try a new food, ride the experience like the wind.

 

Lisa Proctor is the president and creative director of firefly180 marketing—a Minneapolis-based branding and advertising agency that specializes in LOHAS marketing, wellness marketing, green marketing and renewable energy marketing.

 

 

 

 

Bridging the Language of Branding

Standing in front of the extraordinary Women’s Bridge  in Buenos Aires, I was struck by the capacity we in our humanity have to create beauty. To bridge differences. To bridge culture. And language.

The same is true for branding. As the president and creative director of one of the first advertising and marketing agencies  to specialize in working with LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health & Sustainability) clients in the areas of green marketing, cause marketing, social change advertising and yoga advertising, I know that brands at their core are all about connection.

Like a bridge, branding connects us to how we feel about a company, product or service. Brands are about emotion. Of course every company wants its brand to elicit a positive response. But a brand is just a brand, it has no power to control how people feel. In their most pure state, brands are good friends. They support you. They tell you the truth. And they connect you to incalculable ways to align with your values through the purchasing decisions you make every day.

 

Lisa Proctor is the president and creative director of firefly180 marketing—a Minneapolis-based branding and advertising agency that specializes in LOHAS marketing, wellness marketing, green marketing and renewable energy marketing.

 

Have You Hugged Your Brand Today?

Having worked in the green marketing space for most of my career, I’ve been called a tree hugger more than once. And I’ve hugged my share of trees. If you haven’t, go outside and grab the first one you see. Mother Nature can always use a bit of love.

So can brands. At firefly180, a Minneapolis-St. Paul based marketing agency that specializes in green marketing, LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health & Sustainability) marketing, wellness advertising and social change promotion—we love brands. If fact, through our brand work, strategy and creative process you could say we hug them daily. Which I guess makes us brand huggers.

Sadly, brands are often taken for granted. They can get a bit dusty. Out of date. Less relevant. And, well, a tad boring. That’s where firefly180 comes in. We wake up brands. Shine them up. Bring out their authentic and unforgettable voices. And we love them. Truly, we do.

So take a look at your brand. How is it positioned for 2012 and beyond? How is your audience responding? How does it reflect your organization’s growth and learning? Whether it’s time for a complete make-over, a strategic evolution or simply a hug. Give us a call. We’ll love it as if it were our own.

 

Lisa Proctor is the president and creative director of firefly180 marketing—a Minneapolis-based branding and advertising agency that specializes in LOHAS marketing, wellness marketing, green marketing and renewable energy marketing.

 

 

 

 


Fireflying into Fall Marketing

As the leaves let go and nature bursts open with flames of red, firefly180 marketing is flying into fall with firey color of our own.

Check out our new website now updated with more vibracy, more work, more case studies and more of all the great creative you’ve come to expect from an advertising and marketing agency that works with clients who are in the business of creating positive change in the world.

For us, our work is about more than doing a job. It’s our passion. It’s our purpose. And whether our Minneapolis-St. Paul based agency is creating green marketing, LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health & Sustainability) marketing or advertising for mission-based or sustainable organizations—we are clear about bringing change to light.

 

 

Life is an every spinning spiral, with spring leaves budding, opening, growing, then falling before the season of  rest. Brands are the same. Ever budding, growing, evolving, resting…then bursting forth once again. We honor that process, our clients and the gifts that unfold throughout each season.

 

Lisa Proctor is the president and creative director of firefly180 marketing—a Minneapolis-based branding and advertising agency that specializes in LOHAS marketing, wellness marketing, green marketing and renewable energy marketing.

An Organic Expression of Gratitude: Dinner on the Farm

Local organic food not only tastes better—it’s healthier for us, the planet and farm workers. What better way to savor it, than on a visit to the farm. I got to do just that, thanks to Dinner on the Farm,  a brilliant dining concept that brings urban diners to uber organic farms near the Twin Cities.

As a leader in LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health & Sustainability) marketing and organic branding and marketing, I often work with businesses and organizations that promote organic food through brand development, website design, events, advertising and more.. It’s a personal passion. In fact food  itself is extraordinarily personal. And organic farmers are often our unsung heroes.

On this beautiful summer midwestern evening on a wind powered Wisconsin farm, I joined about 100 others to celebrate the earth, great food and a great community. And while I savored grilled lamb, hummus, baba ganoush, fresh naan,  herbed tomatoes and watermelon sprinkled with fragrant basil, I sang a silent song of celebration to farmers across the globe. Grateful for their work, dedication and artistry.

In the silence between the notes of that song was  the expression of gratitude for the beauty and wonder of this planet—and for the miracle of  tiny seeds (and tiny actions) bringing forth wondrous fruit and growth on every level.

 

 

Lisa Proctor is the president and creative director of firefly180 marketing—a Minneapolis-based branding and advertising agency that specializes in LOHAS marketing, wellness marketing, green marketing and renewable energy marketing.,

 

 

Synergy in Work, Life & LOHAS

For more than two decades, I have been incredibly fortunate to live my passion in life and work. When I became one of the first in the country to specialize in green marketing, Laurie Brown—who then owned Restore the Earth Store, became one of my first clients. She also became one of my closest friends.

When leaders gathered recently in Boulder, CO for the annual LOHAS Forum, Laurie and I were there.  Today we are as mission-driven as ever. Laurie at Eco Bonus, and me as the head of my own advertising and marketing agency specializing in LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health & Sustainability) marketing, green marketing, wellness advertising, yoga advertising and social marketing.

LOHAS, as a market psychographic, is very much about consumers living in alignment with their values. The same is true for those of us who lead this category. Whether through our work, activism or buying choices, we as individuals have enormous capacity to effect change. Sometimes that’s easy to forget.

But the fact is, there are countess points of light across the planet who are beacons for good. Just like, firefly180 marketing—we’re sparking change and illuminating the way.

Lisa Proctor is the president and creative director of firefly180 marketing—a Minneapolis-based branding and advertising agency that specializes in LOHAS marketing, wellness marketing, green marketing and renewable energy marketing.