The Blog and Pony Show

Archive for the ‘Branding’ Category

Scott Paul - 3:18 pm April 3, 2014

P&S Transportation “Delivers Great” with new branding and website

Schifino Lee recently launched a new brand and website for P&S Transportation, a leading national flatbed trucking and logistics company. The site’s contemporary design, poised messaging and heroic imagery of P&S drivers, employees and trucks reflect the company’s new tagline: “Others deliver goods. We deliver great.”

P&S Transportation engaged Schifino Lee to develop a new image and positioning that more accurately reflected the company. The Schifino Lee team immersed themselves in the P&S Transportation brand through discovery meetings with the executive team, staff members and drivers in order to understand the company’s values and focus for the rebranding.

“Delivering great means a company-wide commitment to providing the safest trucks and drivers, the finest staff and technologies, all focused on providing the best customer service and experience,” said Robbie Pike, CEO and Co-Founder of P&S Transportation, adding: “Our new website helps further that experience.”

In support of the new brand and website, Schifino Lee also assisted P&S Transportation in developing Driver Recruitment & Customer Brochures, a Driver Welcome Video, Stationery Package, Screen Saver and Prezi Presentation.

Amanda Koenn - 1:47 pm November 13, 2013

We.Love.Good.

With 32 stores, Westshore Pizza is the largest regional pizza chain in Hillsborough and Pinellas. However, they had a branding problem: inconsistency. Franchisees had different menus, different color schemes and logo variations from store to store.

Westshore Pizza engaged Schifino Lee to help boost sales and grow their franchises with a rebranding effort and an outreach campaign. The first step was organizing focus groups and interviewing more than 800 people about Westshore’s food, branding, pricing and other features. The research findings revealed that Westshore was viewed as a high quality, great value restaurant, but their inconsistencies were holding them back.

Incorporating these insights, Schifino Lee developed a new brand identity including a new logo — a simple circle with the name Westshore Pizza & Cheesesteaks; the “we” in Westshore distinguished to support the community feel of pizza. Schifino Lee also updated marketing materials, packaging and restaurant menus. Additionally, the research inspired TV and radio commercials and billboards across the region that targets the social nature of pizza.

Schifino Lee - 9:55 am September 24, 2013

Traditional TV: People are still watching. A lot.

These days it may seem like digital media has taken the world by storm. And while it is on the rise, Nielson is reporting great news when it comes to traditional television. 

As we become more streamlined in to the digital world, studies show that live audience numbers for TV have increased. What does this means for you? Two words: HUGE EXPOSURE. Even since incorporating added viewing options (ex: DVR, online streaming, mobile usage, etc.), total TV viewing has actually increased by nine hours in the past four years—a number that has nearly doubled. According to Nielson, within the first quarter of 2013 TV still remained the top form of media in monthly usage of various platforms for video viewing, accounting for 92.5% of all viewing.

While media formats, such as YouTube, seem to have “caught up with TV” boasting 1 billion users who consume 6 billion videos per month, these figures only represent a niche of visitors and video usage “per month for the whole world,” not the daily TV ratings provided by Nielson for the U.S. When translated in to numbers that could be compared to Google data, it was estimated that monthly worldwide TV viewing would be about 600 million hours, or 100 times the actual consumption of YouTube.

With the progression of the digital age in full swing, traditional TV has still proven to be a powerful media tool and comes highly recommended for your media mix. To discuss the optimal media mix for your brand contact our Media Director, Nordin Benhalima at Nordin@SchifinoLee.com or 813-258-5858 x236.

 

Schifino Lee - 12:30 pm June 26, 2013

Add some DAZZ to your home

When customers buy most household cleaning products, 90% of what they pay for can be water and packaging. Years of experience with concentrated cleaners in the industrial market taught David Shahan, President of SunState Labs, that there must be a better way.

That was the catalyst that motivated him to invent effervescent cleaning tablets. Once Mr. Shahan realized he had a product that could transform the way people buy household cleaners, he engaged Schifino Lee to create a name, look, and personality for his invention that would inspire retailers and customers to try it and buy it.

“The entire team at Schifino Lee has done a remarkable job taking my product from a simple idea, to a vibrant new brand capable of going head-to-head with the industry giants,” said Mr. Shahan. “They exceeded my expectations throughout every phase of the branding process.”

Schifino Lee created a brand strategy and integrated marketing campaign that includes the brand name (DAZZ), logo design, package design, website development, public relations, social media, and consumer advertising. The campaign will be used to position the new cleaning tablets, called DAZZ Cleaning Tablets, as a smart, affordable, ecofriendly alternative to existing household cleaning products.

“When it comes to CPG Schifino Lee has a strong track record of developing compelling brands that speak to audiences, exponentially elevating returns. Dazz’s unique product offering, brand position and packaging puts it on solid ground for success,” said Paola Schifino, Principal and Co-founder of Schifino Lee.

“I was able to invent a cleaner that offers people a better product,” observed Mr. Shahan. “Schifino Lee was able to invent a way to show that DAZZ has the brains and beauty to compete against leading brands, at a fraction of the cost.”

Like DAZZ on Facebook by June 30th and receive a starter kit of your choice. Learn more about DAZZ on DazzCleaners.com, buy DAZZ Cleaning Tablets on Amazon, and follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest for special offers. Share this email with a friend, and please ask your local retailer to start carrying DAZZ so it’s more convenient for you to purchase where you normally shop!

Jeannette Adelman - 11:58 am June 11, 2013

Consumer demand for new homes leads to refreshed branding for home builder

Homes by WestBay, an award winning home builder based in Tampa, FL, wanted to refresh their brand to capitalize on the recent uptick in demand, as well as build awareness with new homebuyers and realtors. Homes by WestBay engaged Schifino Lee to revamp their look and create an advertising campaign to not only gain a larger audience but to enforce that with Homes by WestBay your Someday home can become a reality today.

Schifino Lee prepared a campaign consisting of a refreshed logo, email advertising and billboards. The campaign was used to highlight your Someday home at an affordable price while showcasing its beauty through high quality imagery.

While the logo embodies a relaxed feel, the company is fast paced in the world of homebuilding. Homes by WestBay’s Capri model was recently awarded the 2013 Grand Diamond Award by Tampa Bay Builders Association.

Amanda Koenn - 11:23 am May 23, 2013

AM820 launches new brand campaign to position it as the source for breaking news

AM820 News, the all-news AM radio station based in Tampa, FL, wanted to build awareness and position the station as the source for breaking news in Tampa Bay. AM820 News engaged Schifino Lee to develop messaging and an advertising campaign to gain listenership and enforce this unique positioning.

“Listening to AM820 gives you access to the fastest and most relevant reporting of breaking news, both local and national,” said Bruce Maduri, CEO of parent company Genesis Communications. “We realized breaking news is our competitive advantage and we needed to get this message out to as many potential listeners as possible within our broadcast area.”

Schifino Lee prepared a media campaign consisting of two :15 TV spots and a digital RSS billboard that provides up-to-date breaking news headlines. The producers at AM820 News are responsible for updating the billboard message with the latest breaking news using a new application which feeds data to the boards within seconds. AM820 was the first advertiser in the country to use this new RSS feature offered by CBS Outdoor.

Schifino Lee - 2:07 pm May 21, 2013

Unstoppable for 20 Years

In celebration of Schifino Lee’s 20 year anniversary we’ve developed a campaign to salute all Unstoppable companies that share our passion to change the world.

Listen to our :60 radio spot

Schifino Lee - 3:10 pm April 2, 2013

Merchants Association of Florida Announces Name Change to Sherloq Solutions

New Name. New Look. New Vision.

Merchants Association of Florida, Inc. (MAF) is now Sherloq Solutions. The new name, new logo as well as the tagline – Business Problems Solved – are all part of the company’s rededicated focus on the collection industry, delivering innovative solutions and unequalled support. The new Sherloq brand will be introduced in website marketing, sponsorships and advertising on April 2.

“The new Sherloq Solutions name marks a new era for the company, a full-service resource that delivers the gift of time, money and peace of mind,” said Erik Greer, President. “Sherloq Solutions is the outsource organization with the experience, expertise, structure and extreme personal care to represent your business as you would yourself. Sherloq Solutions is committed to helping its customers track down information and revenue.”

 

The name change demonstrates the company’s commitment in helping its customers achieve their goals by our increased investment in data and technology. “Sherloq stands for ingenuity, problem solving, resourcefulness and knowledge, while the ‘Q’ at the end connotes uniqueness and intelligence. It all fit their mission of tracking down information and revenue for clients,” said Ben Lee, Principal of Schifino Lee, the branding firm behind the new name and image.

The rebranding represents Sherloq Solutions’ expanded mission to use great technology along with our very experienced staff to produce timely and positive results. Sherloq Solutions’ new name reflects the resourcefulness, tenacity, personal service and loyalty to our customers practiced by MAF for nearly 100 years.

“Understanding that the Sherloq website would be a primary touch point for the brand’s audience, our goal was to make the site as user friendly as possible in an effort to increase sales leads and convert prospects. I believe their new website will do just that,” said Ian Nerney, Project Manager at Bayshore Solutions, the firm building the new website.

For more information about Sherloq Solutions, visit www.sherloqsolutions.com.

Schifino Lee - 11:43 am February 12, 2013

Success Is In Sight: New Brand Communicates Business Publication’s Vision

The Gulf Coast Business Review is more about a vision for business leaders than a rearview look at the business day. And now its name reflects that.

“Review says ‘look back,’” says Matt Walsh, editor and publisher of the Business Observer. “Business leaders want to know what’s next, and that’s what we try to do — look forward.”

Walsh says the name-change decision also came from wanting to shake things up for the weekly business newspaper, which covers from Tampa to Naples. “We felt it was time to make a new statement, to refresh and rebrand our identity,” he says.

The Business Observer engaged Schifino Lee to help launch the fresh brand and tell its story in a way that inspires C-Level executives.

This new brand positioning communicates that business leaders can better succeed with the actionable insights offered by the Business Observer. Moreover, it keeps the focus on this region’s businesses while embracing a larger perspective. Just like the Business Observer.

For the main icon, Schifino Lee came up with the concept of using a paper airplane made out of the Business Observer publication. It flies over the state’s business areas to provide a better view of the business world – with local, regional, national and global insights that give businesses the power of the best information, insights and practices with integrity and authority. This has helped create confidence in the updated brand and build the foundation for future growth.

The work launched in the first redesigned issue (January, 2013). It will be utilized in other marketing and communication throughout the state in the coming year.

“Our focus is on getting the most relevant and compelling information to those who make decisions in business, and the new branding reflects that,” Walsh says. “We’re driven every day to provide information that’s relevant, compelling and useful. As we say, we report what the boss needs to know.”

Subscribe today or learn more at www.BusinessObserverFL.com

Scott Paul - 11:37 am January 22, 2013

“With Schifino Lee, You Can Do It!” – Tony Little

Most Americans know the name Tony Little. They associate him with images of Gazelles (not the animal), “You Can Do It!” and, yes, that iconic pony tail. By several accounts, Tony Little has logged more airtime on US television than any other celebrity (averaging about 6,000 hours a year). He has been seen on TV in 81 countries, touched over 45 million consumers and generated more than $3 billion in sales.

Tony Little WebsiteIn order to continue this long-term success in today’s always connected, never stopping world, Tony recognized the need to position his brand for future growth. He was familiar with the Schifino Lee team’s success building retail brands such as Lifestyle Family Fitness and Enterprise Rent-A-Car, so he reached out to us. The only mandatory: “I will not cut the pony tail.”

Schifino Lee built on Tony Little’s brand strengths: authenticity, approachability, making every day an opportunity to be positive. We developed a brand strategy and platform that communicated the idea of Enjoy Possible. Every touchpoint (Web, logo, social media, e.g.) communicates Tony’s inspirational and motivational “You Can Do It!” attitude.

Schifino Lee - 11:10 am January 3, 2013

Gopher Resource launches new brand campaign to support its mission, values and growth

There are over 200 million vehicles on U.S. roads. Every one of them has a battery that eventually must be recycled. Gopher Resource is a global leader in the safe and sustainable recycling of automotive and industrial batteries. Gopher engaged Schifino Lee to tell their story in a way that will inspire achievement in employees and confidence in communities where Gopher has facilities.

An important foundation of Gopher’s success is their culture of operational excellence and working together. Employees working together with each other and their communities. Gopher facilities in Minnesota and Tampa working together to implement best practices. Everyone working together to embody the Gopher principle of “A step ahead and the vision to be greater.”

To communicate this positioning and immerse employees in Gopher’s culture, Schifino Lee created a new corporate logo, a series of core values posters, screen savers, newsletter design, and iconic new signage.

The work was premiered at a town hall-style meeting to generate maximum enthusiasm and involvement amongst employees. Following the employee launch, customer-facing marketing materials were created. These included an updated website, corporate identification package, and building signage. A media kit, several new Web initiatives, and a community communications plan are in process for 2013.

“We help the world achieve a cleaner, safer future by the conservation of resources through recycling,” said Mark Kutoff, CEO of Gopher Resources. “That’s a social mission and a business mission wrapped into one.”

The new brand positioning communicates this message in ways that inspire employees to live the Gopher culture and achieve greater success. It enhances a perception with community leaders that Gopher is a responsible and valuable corporate citizen. And it creates confidence in the Gopher brand that helps build the foundation for future growth.

Schifino Lee - 4:24 pm November 8, 2012

Tampa Bay Sports Commission showcases what’s “New Now” at USF Athletics District.

Working with Schifino Lee on a multi-phase “New Now” facility marketing campaign, the Tampa Bay Sports Commission has been promoting the newly renovated USF Athletics District nationwide.

For the Tampa Bay Sports Commission, Schifino Lee produced a new website, print ad and advertorial featuring the nearly $70 million in improvements at the USF Athletics District, including the USF Sun Dome, USF Track & Field Stadium, USF Baseball and Softball Stadiums, USF Soccer Stadium and USF Campus Recreation facilities. If you haven’t experienced the new renovations first-hand, be sure you visit soon. It is amazing!

As part of the USF “New Now” phase, Schifino Lee also created a unique and eye-catching pop-up book that includes a scale model of the USF Sun Dome. This gives event organizers a closer look at the nearly $36 million in renovations. This 3D piece showcases the venue’s details, from the main entrance and seating bowl, to the adjacent Pam and Les Muma Basketball Practice Center.

The USF Athletics District promotion is part of the Tampa Bay Sports Commission’s ongoing “Tampa Bay is New Now” new facility marketing campaign which targets organizers and decision-makers of numerous sporting events.

Jeannette Adelman - 4:38 pm September 20, 2012

Schifino Lee elevates Sterling Research Group as an innovative creator of insights

Sterling Research Group is one of the industry’s leading full-service market research companies. Sterling’s passion, innovation and customization helps their clients create the most satisfied customers possible.

Schifino Lee was engaged to position Sterling as an innovator of insights for developing a universe of more satisfied customers.

The brand promise Schifino Lee developed for Sterling, “Pursuing Insight. Perfecting Experience”, emphasizes their promise to provide actionable insights unique to each client, so the solutions provided are authentic competitive advantages.

To support the new brand strategy, Schifino Lee created a new logo, tagline, website and electronic brochures that highlight Sterling’s commitment to renewing and revolutionizing client-customer relationships through leading-edge research technology.

Sterling Research Group is crazy passionate about pursuing the insights that can help clients transform customer experiences. If they’re not crazy passionate, their customers won’t be either.

Schifino Lee - 4:32 pm January 19, 2012

Schifino Lee renames and rebrands AMS as Spectrio to better reflect company’s broad new spectrum of service

Transforming on-hold to on-brand.

When two of the nation’s leaders in the on-hold and in-store marketing industry joined forces, the combined company needed a new brand name to fit its wider array of service offerings. Audio Messaging Systems (AMS) and IOHI together became Spectrio.

Schifino Lee worked with national leaders of Oldsmar-based AMS and Oklahoma-based IOHI to define the essence of the new company’s value proposition, and then create an engaging, original new name and brand. The name “Spectrio” reflects the broad spectrum of products and services offered by the company, while the branding matches its technology-focus and forward-thinking creativity. The new tagline: “Be heard. Be seen. Be inspired.”

Schifino Lee also acquired the web domain www.spectrio.com for the company, which was available due to the originality of the new name.

The new company combines the audio marketing skills of AMS with the interactive expertise of IOHI, to deliver solutions for on-hold messaging, IVR (Interactive Voice Response) prompts, ambient music and in-store digital signage. Spectrio’s clients include such national companies as LabCorp, Regions Bank, Terminix, Gerdau, Pep Boys, Raymond James Financial, Goodyear and Papa John’s Pizza.

This was the eleventh company Schifino Lee has rebranded in the past 12 months. “Creating new brands that help define a company’s value proposition and break through the marketplace clutter is a challenge we truly enjoy and excel at,” said Schifino Lee Principal Ben Lee. “Seeing the direct, bottom-line impact is also rewarding.”

For Spectrio, the new name has already proven popular with employees and customers. “Spectrio has received a great reaction from the new name, and it has helped them quickly frame their positioning and message to customers,” said Lee.

Schifino Lee - 8:10 pm October 7, 2011

AM 820 News launches with new format and brand, offering Tampa Bay: “All News. All Day.”

News radio on the AM side of the dial has been long dominated by loud and angry talk.  Knowing Tampa Bay residents spend a substantial amount of time in their cars, the station owners of WBBA 820AM saw an opportunity to give radio listeners something needed, desired and different: all news, all day in a straightforward and nonpartisan delivery. 

The result: AM 820 News.  Currently in the midst of launch, several programming and outreach components are in place, while others are continuing to roll out over the coming weeks. Audience response has been extremely positive. Per Arbitron, between June-August the station’s market share of listeners 18+ increased 67% and its cumulative listenership is up 31%.

AM 820 News offers a constant stream of local stories, traffic, and weather, along with news-you-can-use and national headlines. A joint content agreement with WTSP-TV (CBS-10) will include local forecasts, local updates, and simulcasts of 10 News broadcasts. AM 820 News has a 50,000-watt transmitter that covers most of central Florida, keeping traveling locals in the loop on hometown news.

In support of the station’s launch campaign, Tampa-based branding and marketing agency was called upon to Schifino Lee create the new branding, logos, print ads, digital billboards, and social media.  Outdoor billboards began appearing last week all around the Tampa Bay area, and print ads are schedule to run in the 4th Quarter. Meanwhile, social media including Facebook and Twitter is already starting to ramp up.

Beyond consumers, a key target audience for the AM 820 News marketing campaign in this early stage is advertisers. Schifino Lee was selected partly because of its knowledge of what media advertisers want, gained from its long experience in national and local media buying. As part of its partnership with AM 820 News, Schifino Lee will also create and run its own ads on the station which is, ironically, a unique and unconventional practice for advertising agencies. Agency Principal Ben Lee said, “We are convinced the editorial environment of all-news is a smart place to advertise.”

AM 820 News is owned by Genesis Communications, which also owns five other stations in central Florida including 1040AM Tampa Bay, an ESPN station. “Our challenge for AM 820 News is to change people’s perception of AM radio and let them know that there’s a new and different option for those who desire news without all the partisan talk,” said Bruce Maduri, president of Genesis Communications.  “When you gotta know now, we hope people tune into AM 820 News.”

Schifino Lee - 2:59 am October 5, 2011

Social Media vs. So What Media

Fantastic Adweek piece (http://www.adweek.com/advertising-week/are-we-cusp-social-blindness-135427) points out that most marketers treat social media as if it were cheap broadcast media.

Audiences are tired of that. Businesses need to create relevant content and participate in genuine conversations – not mindlessly use social media with a short-term transactional mentality.

True social media is about building an emotional connection, not selling a transactional promotion. The best news comes at the end of the piece. When brands do the right things with social media, it is a powerful way to build equity and create measurable value.

We would love to learn from your experiences… Who is creating social media that is authentically social, and who is churning out social media that is merely “so what media?”

Schifino Lee - 9:26 pm September 6, 2011

Mad Men with wings?

Passion, jealousy and espionage — they do it all — and they do it at 30,000 feet.

Pan American World Airways was founded in 1927 as a scheduled airmail and passenger service operating between Florida and Havana. With its refined image and famous flying boats, or ‘Clippers’, the airline soon became synonymous with the romance and glamour of air travel.

Then, in the early ‘90’s, when things other than romance and glamour became fashionable, Pan Am flew off into the sunset.

Now, what’s old is new again.

The folks that bought the Pan Am brand name after the legendary airline went bust in the 1990s are trying to revive it.  In addition to the much-anticipated TV show on ABC this fall, we will see the takeoff of Pan Am merchandise, such as the classic blue-and-white bag called The Explorer.

Can the Pan Am brand fly high again?

Pan Am was about people getting dressed up to fly and experience a journey to a dreamy world above the clouds. In today’s flight plan, there is little fun and glamor attached to the thought of air travel. Pan Am offers everyone the glimmer of hope that travel can be a swanky adventure once again. (Then again, didn’t Jet Blue try to do this with their “Jetting” campaign a few years ago?)

Will people feel the same affection for Pan Am now because they remember the brand from 20 years ago? Will a new generation with no memory of the brand embrace Pan Am the way they embrace Mad Men or cocktail culture? If the show succeeds, will someone propose an HBO movie about rump Air or People’s Express?

Maybe blue & white logos are just where it’s at right now – Facebook, Twitter…Pan Am.

So is Pan Am Mad Men Meets the Mile High Club? Or just an eccentric product placement for a brand that no longer exists? As usual, it all depends on the quality of the creative content.

Schifino Lee - 1:36 pm May 18, 2011

A new brand of intelligence: Schifino Lee positions Celestar

Celestar, a fast growing defense contractor providing intelligence and other critical support services to the military, was ready to step up and take its place among the defense industry’s top-tier solutions providers. Schifino Lee translated Celestar’s core values of dedication, tenacity and initiative—honored military values—into a powerful, differentiated brand message that commands the respect and attention of its US and international clients.

Schifino Lee immersed itself in Celestar’s business with employee focus groups, executive interviews, competitive research and a marketing audit. We discovered a top-to-bottom dedication among Celestar’s mostly veteran workforce for “fully completing the mission.” Celestar’s emphasis on military virtues, such as loyalty and integrity, set them apart from competitors who tended to put corporate ROI above all.

With this understanding, Schifino Lee’s creative team developed a new logo, tagline and visual identity to express Celestar’s philosophy: “Passion for the Mission.” After this foundation was laid, Schifino Lee created marketing materials including print advertisements, collateral materials, tradeshow displays and a new website, www.celestarcorp.com.

Schifino Lee - 8:45 pm May 16, 2011

how to sell designer ice cream

Rachel would rather enjoy a Magnum than canoodle with Baptiste

Here’s a marketing challenge: make ice cream on a stick a super premium luxury product that size double-zero fashionistas will crave as much as Birken bags.

The solution:

  1. Hire Rachel Bilson, the unspeakably pretty (and skinny) actor/ model to be your spokesperson
  2. Retain uber designer and Chinese fan waver Karl Lagerfeld to make short films (web commercials) starring Rachel.
  3. Premier the resulting masterpieces at the coolest of all film festivals, Tribeca.

Now stand back as your brand goes viral and market share skyrockets thanks to the amazing, super cool, hyper stylized images that are not quite art, but not really marketing either.

(more…)

Schifino Lee - 7:03 pm March 22, 2011

Imaginary Sanitary

First came auto flush toilets followed by auto faucets. Some public washrooms now have auto soap dispensers that ejaculate the right amount of liquid into your wet palm. These conveniences are not about hygiene, but about saving money. But that hasn’t stopped the good people at Lysol—probably the #1 germ fighting brand—from offering home auto dispensers as a must-have  to save your family from heaven-knows-what that is lurking on that liquid soap bottle.

There is just a teeny flaw in this pitch. What do you do immediately after touching the so-called germy soap pump? YOU WASH YOUR HANDS! That’s why you touched the bottle in the first place. Any agent of infection you might pick up touching that tiny plunger is eradicated within seconds by the soap emitted from said plunger. Hygiene problem solved.

Are dirty liquid soap dispensers really a problem? According to the Hand Washing Fact Sheet of the Wisconsin Department of Health, soap bottles only need to be cleaned when refilled. Or use bar soap that is a whole lot cheaper.

And don’t get me started on the True Clean Towel (watch their video at your own risk). It never occurred to me that the portion of bath towel that touched my face this morning may have dried a more discreet section of my epidermis yesterday. Ewww, gross! But wait a second—wasn’t that, um, foot scrubbed with body wash and rinsed in plenty of hot water? So it was clean, fresh, odor free and exfoliated when it got toweled wasn’t it? Oh well, nevermind.

 

Schifino Lee - 4:46 pm February 23, 2011

Using Quick Response Codes

We wrote last week about QR (quick response) codes—that square matrix that connects a smart to web content. Today we’re adding some “best practice” guidelines for their use.

  1. Size matters. A bigger code is easier to capture, especially for phones with a hair-trigger auto focus. Trying to hold your phone just right to is really frustrating and will not engender good will.
  2. Get a commercial for the price of a bus shelter. QR codes to link to any kind of data. It can be text, flash, audio or a short video. So it is essential that—
  3. Content has to be mobile-enabled. What’s the use of connecting people to a web page or site they can’t read on a mobile device?
  4. All codes are local codes. QR codes let you run the same ad in multiple publications without any changes except for the code. It is even possible to use APIs to localize and personalize the resulting web experience.
  5. It’s okay to tease. When you include a QR code you can whittle down the ad, poster or even speciality network video to its selling essence and let the web carry all the details. Reaction becomes interaction as the viewer is able to get more information immediately.
  6. Close the deal in seconds. Talk about hot irons and strikes: an interested consumer can connect from your poster to your e-commerce site and make a purchase within minutes of first seeing your message.
Schifino Lee - 4:24 pm February 21, 2011

Schifino Lee launches new agency website & blog

Why are we refreshing our website? For the same reasons every business should consider:

  • To better represent who we are today (not last year or 2-3 years ago)
  • To take advantage of innovations in web programming
  • To simplify navigation for quicker arrival at what visitors want to see
  • To build a better showcase for our work
  • To create an efficient platform for future content
  • To refine our design aesthetics

As a leading provider of online solutions, our business has evolved so our online presence had to as well.
It’s imperative that we have a site that exemplifies what a website should be for our business and to convey our brand personality.

Some improvements you will see:

  • Featured work on the home page. Our product is what visitors want to see, so there it is.
  • More interactivity, because many brand experiences happen on the web today
  • New options for searching our online portfolio by industry and by category
  • A complete overhaul of our Blog to reflect the most current agency and industry information

And a few features you can’t see: We built it on an open-source CMS for easy updating; and we’ve incorporated some best practices for SEO (search engine optimization).

So please explore Schifino Lee’s new web experience, follow us on Twitter and visit often to see new content and catch up with our “Blog & Pony Show.”

For more information visit our website at www.schifinolee.com or please contact Ben Lee or Paola Schifino at 813-258-5858, exts. 224 and 223, respectively, or at ben@schifinolee.com and paola@schifinolee.com.

Paola Schifino - 7:49 pm February 11, 2011

Michelangelo, Bernini, Calder, Slee

Cradle of Champions before its unveiling in Fort Worth

On January 28, 2011,  Slee’s contribution to the civic monuments was unveiled by officials from the City of Fort Worth and Gerdau Ameristeel. The Cradle of Champions sculpture is the steel manufacturer’s gift to the city, one of the co-hosts of Super Bowl XLV, and was designed by Schifino Lee.

The artwork is made from steel recycled, cast and rolled  by Gerdau at one of its mini mills. This is the the third time the Brazil-based metals companies has given a monument to a Super Bowl host city.

The sculpture stands in Sundance Square, the heart of Fort Worth.

According to a story on ESPN cable and internet, Cradle of Champions honors the rich tradition of scholar football in Texas. The 14 tons of steel come from North Texas Stadium, which was recently demolished, and high schools were asked to contribute some bit of steel from their own facilities. On the back of the sculpture will be engraved all the names of Lone Star high school and college football players who have and will play professional ball.

Roxie Clements - 12:52 pm January 17, 2011

Slee helps end the foreclosure crisis

“Creating a great user experience and establishing a superior brand, in addition to providing outstanding service offering is important to us. With Schifino Lee we accomplished it all.”

—Eric Friedman, President of PREO LLC

Schifino Lee has helped Tampa, Fla.-based PREO rebrand itself and its website with a consumer friendly new face and user experience that captures the brand’s promise of value and speed.

PREO is the complete online solution the real estate market needs to make short sales work. PREO brings together lenders, buyers, homeowners and realtors to turn foreclosed and underwater properties back into family homes.

The new look and user experience was the result of a series of calculated steps, designed to ensure that the online marketplace for short sale and REO properties matched consumer needs, as well as the brand characteristics of the company.

Schifino Lee researched how consumers use online sites to search for short sales and utilized these findings to help PREO keep its promise to make short sales and REO sales faster, cheaper and easier for everyone involved.

Value is important because, in this economy, people expect to get the best home for a great price. But equally important is the speed at which a short sale can be realized – typically not short at all. PREO offers the best value by listing the lender’s lowest acceptable price, which speeds up the sale process, because consumers are no longer guessing what the bank expects for the property, the deal can be done more quickly on PREO deals – in approximately 45 days.

Ben Lee - 12:16 pm January 11, 2011

Logo Evolution

A client asked last week, “When is it time to change our logo?” Eric answered him briskly, “When your company changes.”

Your logo symbolizes your company. It stands for all your corporate values and represents the customer experience. When those aspects change significantly—that is they improve—the logo needs to be updated to capture them. That’s what Starbucks Coffee will be doing in March when it rolls out its new mark.

Among my favorite logos are AT&T, Shell Oil and Volkswagen—all old ones that have evolved over the years with their corporate ancestor. Mostly they get modernized to reflect progressing aesthetics. Shell Oil, for instance, has updated its shell and evolved it from a representational image to an expressionistic one. Volkswagen’s initials-in-a-circle have gotten sleeker, more high-tech (and expensive) looking as their cars have done the same.

Apple Computer started out with a crunchy-granola, fruit label type logo that spoke of its California upbringing and small-company, “hand selected” philosophy. It was a great way to represent food and wine and a new way to talk about technology. As Apple dedicated itself to simplicity and being the computer anyone and everyone could use it drastically simplified its logo to just the apple with rainbow. Changes from rainbow to black to white to chrome reflect contemporary aesthetics as well as Apple’s position as a technology leader.

None of the companies we just discussed use their name as part of their logo. This is partly language-neutral globalism, partly ubiquity and partly pride. Starbucks has joined this crew with a 40th anniversary iteration of their mermaid. A company spokesman said that the mnemonic refinement reflects refinement of their strategy.  The Associated Press dug a little deeper (January 5, 2011)

“The brand is now evolving to a point where the coffee association is too confining and restrictive,” said John Quelch, a marketing professor at Harvard Business School. “Starbucks is fundamentally selling an experience, but by no means is coffee the only part of the experience. It is important that they not have a logo that is too confining.”

I never did see the connection between mythical human-fish hybrids and coffee. I sort of get how she can symbolize the other-worldly, get-away-from-it-all experience of relaxing with a good cup of coffee (something Starbucks has never had). But what she has to do with students and officeless consultants sponging wi-fi, lines of SUVs snaking toward the take-out window and the pseudo-socializing of social networks someone needs to explain to me.

Paola Schifino - 3:10 pm January 4, 2011

Luxury & Vanity

HermesFWAdCampaign8

What is significant about this ad from fashion and luxury goods purveyor Hermes?
It’s not that there’s nothing the least bit vulgar or titillating about it. Or that it occupied the back cover of a speciality magazine (Opera News) with advertising focused almost exclusively on its specialty.

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Ben Lee - 12:18 pm December 27, 2010

Instant Authenticity

Why build a connection with consumers when you can buy one, ready made and only a tad out-of-date? Lucky Whip anyone?

Short & Sassy is how I like them.

Short & Sassy is how I like them.

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Amanda Koenn - 12:33 pm December 20, 2010

Season of Giving

For the past 3 years, Schifino Lee has celebrated the “season of giving” with donations to select charities on behalf of our clients and friends. We feel that passing along our success is the best way to honor the people who make it possible. They’ve told us that they really appreciate the gesture, so we are continuing the tradition.
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Schifino Lee - 2:24 pm October 27, 2010

What I’m doing here

In this edition of Blog and Pony Show Tyler Ward, our newest intern, explains why he signed on.

I’m interning at Schifino Lee because I’m hungry for new experiences. I have a strong background in finance, and anyone in my shoes and his right mind would be pursuing jobs in investment banking right now.  Maybe I should say anyone in his left mind would be pursuing a job in investment banking since that’s the analytical side of the brain.  And there’s the problem: I am in my right mind—creative and eager for all kinds of stimulation—and left-brain businesses such as law and finance do not have the creative energy that stimulates me (at least in entry positions).

So far nothing has quenched my thirst for new experiences and creativity as well as advertising and branding.  It is exciting, motivating, and thought provoking to constantly have a fresh task at hand.  Furthermore, I love learning new things and I learn best by doing (I read far too slow, even after numerous speed reading classes, to learn fast enough to be “contempt”).

My experience at Schifino Lee so far has been fast paced and stimulating (which I certainly expected since my other experiences with Paola Schifino—a close family friend—have been far from ordinary).  So far, Schifino Lee has given me exactly what I want, I have asked – to learn while having the chance to be creative.

Finally, I need to confess that my left brain did play a part in my decision to intern here. All this experience will look good on my resume.

Tyler Ward is not only our best dressed intern ever, but the best-dressed man in the office. He is a recent graduate of Stetson University and is a native of Tampa.

Paola Schifino - 4:05 pm July 15, 2010

Y branding is big news

When an organization unveils a new logo it usually get s a squib on the business page. But this past Tuesday it was big news. I mean BIG news. From Tampa to Enid, OK, to London, UK to Mumbai, it was in practically every daily newspaper and online news feed you can think of. It even made the front page of the New York Times. (more…)

Schifino Lee - 5:25 pm June 28, 2010

Verner visits The Dark Side

Verner, the creative intern, returns to share a milestone in his career.

Today, for the first time, I experienced the business side of advertising (a.k.a. The Dark Side). I saw how a sale is made and how hard it is to be an account executive.

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Schifino Lee - 11:46 am June 9, 2010

The Naming Game

Coming up with a name for a company or product is the biggest creative dare Schifino Lee is challenged with. It’s hard work because in just one, two or three words you have to say a hundred things that will resonate for decades.

Before I show a client new brand name suggestions I ask them, “What are the most popular children’s names today?” Up comes a PowerPoint slide with two cute cartoon toddlers named Rival and Usurper. “These are most popular girls’ and boys’ names in the US,” I say. “You probably know them better as Emily and Jacob.”

The lesson is: a name is what you make it. A name has intrinsic meaning—Emily stands for rival and IBM stands for International Business Machines. (more…)

Schifino Lee - 11:17 am April 29, 2010

Marketing is not rocket science. It’s nanotechnology!

plasma-thermSchifino Lee team members prepare for another day in the highly scientific, technologically advanced world of advertising and branding. Here we don our clean suits before entering our deep thoughts think tank. Not one particle of dirt or dust or mental schmutz is allowed to penetrate our intellectually pure mind space to ensure that your brand strategy and marketing messages are uncontaminated by clichés or mediocrity.

Actually, this is the team assigned to our newest client Plasma-Therm visiting their St. Petersburg, Florida, facility on April 22. Plasma-Therm makes the machines that make micro chips and nanodevices. Their technology is what makes it possible for smart phones to run all those apps and for Wii controllers to know if you’re rolling a strike or a gutter ball. Schifino Lee will be preparing an advertising campaign aimed at the semiconductor trade.

Paola Schifino - 10:01 am April 27, 2010

A new model for earning value

On April 17, at an event in Nashville, TN, Tim Tebow said his Super Bowl ad for Focus on the Family cost him sponsorship deals. He didn’t say who objected to his pro-life, pro-traditional family (some would say anti-woman, anti-equality) message. If these companies do not support his values, he’s right not to shill for them.

The recently graduated University of Florida quarterback is learning the ropes as a sports celebrity, trying to find the right balance between his athletic and personal lives. That is: creating value without compromising values. (more…)

Schifino Lee - 12:59 pm April 23, 2010

4/23/85 A date that will live in branding infamy

Today is the 25th anniversary of the most spectacular failure in the history of brands. New Coke officially began its 77-day life span on April 23, 1985.

The truth is New Coke consistently beat old Coke and Pepsi in taste tests. It sold well and even recaptured brand share for the Atlanta-based beverage maker.

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