Nature as Inspiration for Brands.

 

For me, there is no separation between life and work. So as I settled into a perfect sandstone bluff overlooking the Pacific, with seals chattering below and pelicans flying above—I felt the warmth and grounding of the stone. I was also working through the identity elements for a new brand firefly180 marketing  is launching.

The brand architecture and messaging strategy were complete, the logo and tagline were approved; and layout for business cards and other ID elements were underway. This new business is about to make change in a big way. And this moment, which merged sea, sun and stone, felt solid, balanced and supported. Which led me to suggest to the client, that  instead of using traditional business card stock, we should find a heavier,  more substantial and sustainable fiber to reflect the solid, credible and supportive services they’ll be offering. A simple suggestion, yes…but one that directly impacts this brand and would create a deeper, more memorable experience for clients and potential clients who receive this card.

As president and creative director for a  global and mobile advertising agency that works with mission-based based businesses, I’ve worked on brands from sailboats, beaches overlooking volcanoes, from trains in Argentina—even the Tenderloin District of San Francisco (where by the way, I found a great boutique hotel!) So whether it’s website content and design,  social media, print or digital ads…or every kind of communication strategy in-between, ideas flow from many forms.

As marketers and brand strategists, it’s those moments when we step outside the box—and out of the office, that can open us to to creative that may not have come otherwise. When we do, inspiration moves freely, like waves in an infinite sea.

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.

 

Baby Steps & Marketing Locally Grown

Locally grown has created quite the buzz the last few years.

Is it better to buy organic? If your fruit and veggies have been grown locally, but conventionally, are they better than crops in transition? And just what does “local” mean? The same country? State? City? Neighborhood?

As the head of a Minneapolis/St. Paul based LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health & Sustainability) advertising and marketing agency—and a creative who has worked in this category for more than two decades, I invite you to take a lesson from my wise but young friend here (wearing the “Locally Grown” onesie and Seventh Gen diapers) and try to relax.

What’s important is that we all try to the do the best we can. Even baby steps matter. So whether you’re buying organic produce from out of the country, or organic that’s been shipped in from the next state, or if you’re supporting your local farmer by buying local and conventional, it’s your conscious choices that are important.

And while yes, buying local and organic is best, for most it’s not always possible. That’s a fact. And on this beautiful spring day as I walked with friends to their local neighborhood urban farmer’s market, I felt so grateful for the array of choices we are offered. And for the fact that while I work in the green, organic and wellness space I don’t feel the need to draw a line in the sand and proclaim everyone on the “other” side as wrong somehow.

Callum’s green “Sustainably Grown” shirt speaks volumes. So does my white tank. While the word’s aren’t visible, it says “Peace Warrior.” So consider resisting the urge to point fingers at those who are “wrong”, join me in celebrating what’s right…then encourage even more right action.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taming Your Dragon & World Changing Marketing

 

While at the Sacred Monkey Forest in Bali recently, I got the chance to tame a dragon. Everyone should try it—at least once. Especially those of us in the world of branding and marketing.

In my career I have spent hours in meetings while brands were literally wrestled to the floor. The number crunchers wanted better and faster results. The admin side wanted to squeeze strategy into a more conventional shape. All the while of course, the creatives breathed fire.

I’m glad to say that as president and creative director for a Minneapolis/St. Paul based advertising and marketing agency, our approach is much different. Working with green businesses, eco advertising, wellness marketing, yoga studios and others in the space of creating positive change—we embrace uniqueness. Strange shapes. Long spiked tails. And most of all, fire.

The secret to gaining the most from your brand is to make friends with it. Love it for its scales. Its yellow eyes. And strange green hue.  Don’t try to change it. Rather celebrate what makes it unique. Difference is what make us—and our brands memorable. After all, Why fight a dragon, when you can ride one instead?

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.

 

 

Ketut, Bali & Full Circle Marketing


As president and creative director of a Minneapolis/St. Paul advertising and marketing agency that specializes in green marketing, mission-based marketing and branding, LOHAS marketing, organic advertising  and green energy, I’ve often experienced how seeds and ideas planted months or years before can come forward in unexpected ways.

Years ago, when I headed marketing for the Utne Reader, an iconic national progressive lifestyle magazine, I came across a book that had been sent to the editors for review. Eat. Pray. Love. and author Elizabeth Gilbert were then virtually unknown. But I was drawn immediately to the book and read it—actually devoured it all in one night. For Gilbert, the catalyst for what became an international best-seller and Hollywood movie was a prophetic reading with a Yoda-like Balinese medicine man named Ketut.

Through a series of synchronicities and seeming coincidences, I found myself at Ketut’s home in Bali just weeks ago. It wasn’t planned. I didn’t know it was possible. I didn’t even know where he lived. But there I was all the same, basking in the radiance of a beautiful man who was all smiles and virtually no teeth. He read my palm, the shape of my eyes, my ears, my back and my knees—and as we shared, laughed and connected, I felt the seeds of what Gilbert planted for me years earlier coming full circle.

Those seeds were all about possibility. About the mystery and flow of life. And how a spark, a thought, desire or intention planted days, months or years before can spring forth unexpectedly. Sometimes miraculously. Always bringing us full circle.

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.

 

A Band and Brand in Orbit—the Minor Planets!

 

City Pages says:Thompson has a voice that is at once heartbreakingly fragile and startlingly robust. Every note she sings is somehow imbued with a sense that this whole damn world could collapse at any moment.

Minnesota Public Radio says:Thompson and Christopher come across as two people who grew up singing together, it’s so natural and easy and not forced…the whole record, it feels so natural. 

Clearly The Minor Planets‘ new album, Shadow in the Water, is sending critics into orbit. So do yourself a favor and discover a whole new galaxy of musical deliciousness right here in Minneapolis. Brands and bands have much in common They give voice to a message. They’re experiential. They’re authentic. They move you. And they groove you.

I’m extraordinarily lucky to walk the path with my friend and muse, singer/songwriter Dana Thompson as she speaks and sings her truth. Dana and her creative partner Eric Christopher have birthed a lush, moving, introspective musical journey that has fans and critics not only on their feet, but in their hearts as they explore a new, uncharted and noteworthy universe.

Dana and I met years ago while working with green and mission-based musicians like Dave Matthews, Jack Johnson and others—helping them shine light on creating change in the world. Today, I am honored to stand beside Dana as she shares her own message of music and passion with audiences far and wide.

Music is indeed the heartbeat of the universe—the time is now to tune into the Minor Planets.

 

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.