Summer Favorites; Beverage Edition

It’s no secret that the staff here at Trampoline enjoy a good drink or two. So much so that we’ve dedicated a significant chunk of our working lives to them. Visit the office and you’ll find a well stocked fridge, bar, kegerator, and coffee pot. Catch our team on the weekend enjoying a variety of alcohol related pastimes, from brewing beer (Staci is our fearless leader in this regard) to jamming out at a local watering hole. It’s safe to say we take our fluids very seriously.

For most of us, the competition for our beverage of the summer was stiff, no pun intended. The following list is a collection of drinks, artwork, and thoughts on what it means to be refreshed in the summer months. Pour yourself a beverage of your choice (we don’t judge!), sit back, and pick our brains.


Allison
:

My favorite summer drink is kind of a cheat answer because it involves two of my all time favorite drinks: gin and champagne. Mix those two with some lemon juice and simple syrup and you get my favorite cocktail: the French 75. It’s fizzy and botanical and just plain delightful. Drink it pinky up!

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Rob:

Oh G and T, Oh G and T,

You are the summer drink for me,

You’ve got the lime, you’ve got the bubbles,

Have 1 (to 10) and forget about your troubles,

Its fresh and crisp and easy to sip,

Great for a back porch or a boat trip,

Oh G and T, Oh G and T, the summer drink for me

Is it 5 o’clock? Alas, I long for thee

John:

Call me old fashioned, but I’m a fan of an ice-cold beer – preferably a strong IPA — after a long work week. It helps when your client, Druthers, serves up one of your favorites — the All-In IPA. A close second to IPAs are wheat ales like UFO, Hoegaarden or Allagash White. Unlike some craft beer connoisseurs, I won’t turn my nose up at a Bud Light or a cold PBR on a hot day! Hoo-ray Beer!

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Amanda:

My favorite drink is always my first drink. Which, in the summer, means at dawn. Yes, I’m deviating from the largely alcoholic list, but the truth is that coffee will never let me down-iced or hot, espresso or straight joe. The sensation of that first sip, no, even before that, the anticipation of the first sip, feeling the mug in my hands, smelling the sharp aroma and feeling the warmth from the pot, it is exquisite.

The perfect cup has cream, not creamer, thick, white, and ideally poured from a glass vessel. Not much sugar, but enough to stir a couple of times with a small spoon, the clinking of metal on ceramic priming me for the sensation of that first sip.

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Derek:

My fave summer sipper/slammer is also non-alcholic (surprise), as seen in a creative brief.

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Leslie:

My favorite summer beverage is refreshing and crisp with New York State apples and a hint of sweet: Peach! and more Peach! This cider pairs great with lakefront and adventure, two pups in the water and humans tagging along with their thirst-quenchers. Cheers to never-ending summers and Nine Pin Specialty Peach Tea Ciders!

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Sean:

In a home with three pre-teens…you drink what’s available.

I could fill a steamer trunk with Capri Sun™ straw wrappers.

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Oliver:

The Uinta Detour double IPA packs a delicious punch, and sends me deep into aromatic memories of a Rocky Mountain Pine Forest on a warm summers day. Both me and Uinta were made in Salt Lake City, Utah, and appreciate the allure of a refreshing brew paired with a big mountain view. The Detour is my go-to companion for any summer adventure.

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PaulaYou get the gist.

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Staci:

Bell’s Oberon

When our Communications and Media Specialist Megan asked what my favorite beverage is, it took me about three days to really wrap my mind around it. You see, I take my beer very seriously. My husband and I are homebrewers, plus I’m 4 months pregnant, so I wax nostalgic about the memory of it quite frequently.

Bell’s Oberon is my favorite Summer beer. It’s an American Pale Wheat Ale: a limited release with a smooth, citrus taste and fruity aroma. It has a brightly-colored, funky sun label design that draws me in, too. Brewed in the great mitten state, it takes me back to my Michigan roots. It wasn’t always readily available here in New York, so when I discovered that they started distributing here, I was excited.

Oberon is a great beer for a backyard barbecue, a camping trip, or a nice dinner out with friends. Now, if only Bell’s would release a clone recipe so I could brew some myself, I’d be thrilled.

Cheers!

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Megan:

I’ve been trying for a long time to be a beer person. As a brand spankin’ new college graduate, I have a special place in my heart/liver for $2 Busch Lattes and Natty Light pints (Busch Light and Natural Light respectively, for those with anything resembling self-respect). Craft beer is a staple in the office, with packaging (and samples!) coming in and out faster than you can pay your bar tab.

But honestly? If I’m ordering myself a drink in the summer, expect it to be mixed.

There, I said it.

It’s summer, it’s warm, it’s the only time of the year that it’s acceptable to sit outside under an umbrella with a nacho in one hand and something cold and fruity in the other. Does this make me less “chill”? More high maintenance? Do I care? Ask me again after a few refills.

It’s Up to You

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People like to give advice, sometimes it’s a gift, other times it’s predictably hot air. 

Specialize in something.

Establish your niche.

Narrow your focus.

Stay in your lane.

The tricky part of navigating life, relationships, and the marketplace is to know when to listen, when to nod politely, and when to trust your instinct. Over the course of our nearly fourteen years in business we have heard a lot of advice, some we quote greatly for its evergreen brilliance. 

“If it doesn’t work, kill it quick.”

“If you don’t love it, don’t show it.”

“That’s not how the internet works.”

There are other moments we look back on and realize we should have listened to our gut. This is a long-winded way of saying that no one knows what’s best for you, but you. Have some fun. We guarantee that when you enjoy what you are doing and who you are doing it with, it comes through in the final product. 

Listen, keep what works, and move along.

Building a tower of TP for Morcon at the Wood Theater in advance of the Adirondack Theatre Festival‘s production of  The Boy in the Bathroom .

The Luxury of Pickiness

Picky

Selective

Discerning

Choosy

Overparticular

Opinionated

Fickle

As we all participate in the sprint/marathon/obstacle course for people’s attention the truth is that consumers, with very few exceptions, have the luxury of pickiness. They get to go full on House-Hunters-judgey and define their own expectations and reasoning.

 

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They can tune you out, be drawn to new things by a fleeting sparkle, or even change their minds without explanation. Being sneaky, disingenuous, or half-hearted is no way to win someone over. So what the heck are you supposed to do when algorithms constantly change, ad rates soar, the market gets crowded, and something like a fidget spinner comes along and makes your product or service as appealing as week-old potato chips in a bag that wasn’t properly closed?

 

We would suggest that the first thing you do is laugh. We’re all misunderstood, burned, and wounded from time-to-time, and the stories are often amazing. Honestly, finding true love is hard and the pitfalls along the way are inevitable, brand love is every bit as tricky.

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If consumers are picky, let yourself be upbeat, undaunted, and unyielding in your offering of your service or product. Remember that what you offer is something of value, it serves a purpose, produces an emotion or an outcome that is desirable. When people try to define you in a way other than that, go back to center.

We sell candles—-> We deliver light.

We write copy—–> We bring stories to life.

We have cabins for rent—–> Your yet-to-be-made memories live here.

It isn’t necessary to be like everyone else or to feel it’s a failure if you don’t appeal to all people. Be you and for the right people that will be more than enough.

Chemistry is the essence of communication

 

Chemistry does not happen in a vacuum, well, maybe high school chemistry does, it wasn’t my best subject. The chemistry I’m talking about is connection; the emotional or primal response people have to a person, place, or thing. It’s sensing as you walk into a place for the first time that you belong there. The voiceover in a commercial that makes you feel happy. The lines on a page that transcend ink on paper and instead become a battle cry or a love song.

Chemistry is the fuel in everything we do at Trampoline, because in the end getting market share isn’t about numbers it’s about hearts. Successful campaigns build loyalty and momentum, both of which are rooted in an emotional connection. It may be related to value or quality, but it is sustained by the relationship.

It’s ferreting out the words, colors, and placement that will allow an audience to feel the spark of connection, a literal pull to read more, get closer, and to commit. Keeping sight of the importance of chemistry is how we can let an idea we love or a font we think is beautiful be replaced by the elements that will mean the most to the gazes we want to hold. This is about us, as in more than one person, one agency, or one client.

A recent meeting at the studio to present creative had us crackling with anticipation. We had arduously pulled, poked, pared back, and refined a large project. At one point as the entire team was gathered around the table, Derek said, “You have too many wonderful things going on, we need to give a few of them more space to just be amazing.” He was right and we all knew it, but it was still daunting to edit. Hands grazed the paper, Staci said, “I just love what you’ve pulled out and how it feels.” We got quiet, Rob nodded. “I know you’re right, this is good. I can do that.” We stood around the table taking it all in and knowing that the changes would make it that much stronger.

“Chills. Gorgeous work,” and then murmurs of “beautiful” and “really great work” as we all walked back to our desks.

Sometimes I think it’s actually that struggle that is the best part, almost like a sub chemistry between the designers and writers. I believe that effort stays in the piece, invisible, but there.

As our friends from Double H reviewed the pages we waited. “It’s really…I love it.”

We laughed and exhaled and called for high-fives.

 

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Draplinspiration

Good designers know that there is always more to learn. It’s an interesting industry to be a part of, like a log rolling contest. The rules and methods are constantly changing, and designers are systematically challenging the status quo. You have to keep shifting your feet to keep up, otherwise you’ll end up in the drink.

One of the ways we do that is to learn from fellow designers. On Monday, four of our designers attended an intensive logo workshop at SUNY Adirondack with one of the greats, Aaron Draplin of Draplin Design Company.

We filed into a tightly-packed classroom filled with computers, and waved hello to a few friendly designer colleagues and students who we recognized. The room buzzed with excited anticipation, wondering how many swear words and pearls of wisdom Mr. Draplin would bestow upon us.

Aaron Draplin running the design workshop.

Dressed in one of his signature trucker caps, full beard and sweat pants (he is a rockstar on the road, after all), he absorbed the energy in the room and began the workshop. He whizzed through Illustrator quick keys and stories about past clients as we fervently scribbled notes and sketches in our books. He told the story behind his work for President Obama and opened up his working files to show us how he works on a daily basis. “Don’t tweet this!” he’d proclaim, followed by “Keys to the kingdom!”

Aaron Draplin running the design workshop.

One of the most interesting anecdotes he shared was his journey from Michigan to Portland, Oregon. (He and Staci later shared a moment when they talked after the workshop and discovered that his mom hails from the same hometown that she does: Livonia, Michigan.)

Draplin's hand drawn map of Michigan.

After the workshop, the entire team sat in on his presentation—filled with the same heartwarming, hilarious and inspiring design stories, more swear words, and insight into the design industry.

Our team came away feeling inspired and refreshed, excited to have touched base with a designer we all admire. We laughed and shared, and came to work the next day with the tips we’d learned fresh in our minds.

Design is all about evolving, listening to the world, and moving people with the art we create. And when we learn and get inspired together, we benefit as a team. You see it in the work we produce. As he stated when he closed out the workshop, “I know this is going to sound really ‘Bob Ross-y’, but inspiration is infinite. Catalog those things around you.”

Draplin puts Rob in a headlock.

Joy-of-painting-Bob-Ross

International Women’s Day

Last week rumblings began around the internet about plans for “A Day Without a Woman,” which would highlight how much women do, at the same time that the celebrations of International Women’s Day were being planned. Neither has been without controversy, which actually seems to be par for the course for days-of-awareness and grassroots initiatives lately. Writing this as a business owner, mother of three daughters, and married to a man who was raised by a single mom, I have some opinions on all of it.

I’m not here to pick fights or sling harsh words, I’d really like to just talk about women, not because men don’t matter. I want to talk about women because our agency is women-owned. This isn’t lip service or “abusing the system” as I once had a man say to me. The reality is that of the 12 people who work here, 6 are women. Two of those women, Staci and Leslie, have been hired within the last six months. We didn’t set out to hire women, but as candidates for the open positions, they exemplified the skills and character traits needed in the mix at that time. They could not be more different from one another in how they design and think. I laughed at great length when Staci said, “I do none of the cooking and very little of the cleaning at home. Karl and I like to challenge gender roles.” Leslie talks about parental responsibilities over the dog she and her husband share.

I enjoy having women as a part of our team and I am proud to be a woman in a position of power who is able to open doors for other women. This doesn’t mean that I coddle women on my staff or set different expectations for them, in fact, I may be considered the least nurturing of anyone in the office. It’s ok.

I spent last week out of the office in order to be with my children during the school holiday. I haven’t always felt comfortable doing this and earlier in my career I chose not to a lot of the time in order to project a “professional appearance.” I understand, particularly as I follow the discussions online about participating in A Day Without a Woman and how someone women who have to work feel left out, that the flexibility and autonomy I have to take the time is not something that everyone has. I also know as a business owner that the work is still there to get done when I return, it’s really just delaying what needs to be done.

My business partner is out for a few days to spend time with her daughter who is away at college. Her absence in the office will be felt, but it is also understood that we all take time off and that we have different things that fuel us and root us. As a result of our personal lives and professional decisions, we bring different things to the business.

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Grace Bonney of Design Sponge and author of In the Company of Women: Inspiration and Advice from Over 100 Makers, Artists, and Entrepreneurs said in an interview with Business Insider about women and work-life balance:

“… I think the biggest sort of eye opener for me was realizing that almost all of these women had in common the idea that they had given up work/life balance, because I think that it’s a concept that doesn’t — it is not rooted in reality. I think that life and work are constantly in flux, and the market in which we’re all working is constantly in flux.”

Everyone is looking for balance, personal fulfillment, and professional growth. I happen to believe that the more we surround ourselves with people who have different perspectives and desires, the better we are able to navigate the world, service our clients, and define our roles.

This morning a friend of mine with a fierce digital business included Trampoline in a round up of women-owned businesses. The article below highlights women in the design industry who are making waves, gorgeous, bold waves.

 

33 Women Doing Amazing Things in Graphic Design

Today we sit at the precipice of more hires. Maybe they’ll be men, maybe they’ll be women, who knows? What I can say with certainty is that the jobs are available because of the contributions and sacrifices of women. I am grateful for the women and open minded men who came before me and made it not so outside the realm of possibility that I do what I do. It’s because of them that a meeting in 2005 played out in this way:

“Uh, hi, I’d like to speak to a manager about some work I’d like done.”

I smiled as I stepped forward with an outstretched hand and said, “You can talk to me.”

He did a double take and said with a laugh, “They let the women do the meetings here?”

I smiled again, “Actually, they let the women do the owning. What can I help you with, sir?”

 

 

 

First & Repeat Impressions

We have a long history of accepting interns at Trampoline. We’ve had high school students come for short stints, college students stay for durations designated by credits they will earn, and we’ve even had people between jobs who want to dip their toes in the agency waters. We try to make sure it’s worth everyone’s time, which means interns get to participate in the design and crit process, they get to experience client meetings, and their voices are genuinely considered.

Last year three of our employees were people who began as interns and, at the end of their internship, were offered a position. Then in the fourth quarter, we brought on two people who had both been interns years ago and then came back to Trampoline with years of design under their belts.

Today’s post is something that they wrote at our request. We talk so much about impressions, whether it’s repeat impressions, first impressions, or lasting impressions, we thought it would be great to hear some different impressions on Trampoline. Here they are, Rob and Leslie, inadvertently twinning as they rock bold glasses, neutral tops, and mild consternation at being pulled off projects for yet another photo opp.

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Trampoline in Leslie’s words:

First, Second, & Third Impressions

The first impression I had of the world of graphic design is when I visited Trampoline when I was a student at Glens Falls High School. Susan Botch, the art teacher, created an initiative where students had a chance to see “art in the real world.” Wide-eyed and excited, we were led up a set of narrow stairs in a downtown Glens Falls building at 196 Glen Street. There we met with the Tramp team, who were enthusiastic and ready to share their work with us. I remember the space well, long and narrow with the conference table up-front by the windows, client work on the walls and desks going all the way to the back. What a fun space to work in. The Tramps were legitimately excited about being there and talking design.

I was thrilled. We can create art for a living?! Graphic design? What is this? I didn’t know, but I was sold.

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Graduate GFHS? Check.

Graduate The College of Saint Rose with a BFA in Graphic Design? Check.

Second Impression.

After graduation, I interviewed and accepted an internship position for the summer at Tramp. This time they were located down the road at 166 Glen Street on the second floor above their retail space, Nine Authentic Goods. To get to their studio space, you walked through the store past an almost entirely local inventory, designed and crafted in the Adirondacks, and up the stairs in the back. I jumped right into working on packaging, signage, t-shirts, logos, map illustration… you name it! It was an invaluable experience to work up designs for merchandise and then to be able to walk through the store to see them on the shelves, let alone see people purchasing them! An internship with Trampoline wasn’t about making coffee, it was about creating and collaborating.

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That summer I won a Nori Award for a personal branding project and the Tramps were there by my side to congratulate me. The feeling that they were genuinely excited about my win made my night. But what was even more touching was that prior to the awards event, Trampoline handed me my own personal “something about being a super awesome intern” Tramp award. While it was an honor that The Albany Ad Club recognized my work, the personal recognition by the Tramp staff, who I worked with every day, felt personal and noteworthy.

Internship ends. Five+ years pass.

Third Impression!

Is there something about being on the second floor that just works? Who knows — but I made my way up, this time via elevator, to the second floor at 11 South Street. For what can be nerve-wracking for a lot of people, my portfolio review and interview felt very comfortable and welcoming. I was excited to share what I had worked on and was eager to learn what future possibilities could be with the team. It felt like coming home.

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Yes, websites upgrade, logos evolve, offices move… but good company sticks around. What has endured over these past 10+ years and has kept me coming back to Tramp is the sincere passion and care for what the people at Tramp do, all the while staying grounded. The love for design is strong within the family that Trampoline has built. Not only does it show in the great work that is produced, but the ability to enjoy the process of creating together as a team.

 

And now, Rob’s perspective on returning to Trampoline:

Jumping on the Trampoline…Again

In spring of 2012 my Pre-Press Production class had a guest speaker come in. The speaker showed examples of work, talked about the day to day office life and gave insights into running a business to a room full of mostly exhausted second year students (The class was 6 pm – 9 pm and primarily file preparation, mind you). Despite the lingering fog of late nights in the studio that hung over the room, the presentation was not lost on us. 16 heads attentively bobbed along to a story about planning a new business and the weight of jumping off on your own. “Ooo”s and “ahhh”s slipped out at slick images of newly designed beer labels.

After the presentation the guest speaker went to each student and critiqued their current projects, a logo suite for a restaurant that would be expanded into packaging and advertising. When my turn came I presented an admittedly half-assed attempt at a hand done logo featuring a far too (and yet not enough) detailed luchador. It was met with the kindness of a pro speaking to a student, but yet again the lesson was not lost. It needed work, if not to be reconsidered over all. The perfect metaphor for my skill level at the time.
………
That speaker was Derek Slayton and that logo certainly didn’t make it into my portfolio when I applied for an internship with Trampoline exactly 1 year later. I, to my own disbelief, secured said internship and was excited to be spending my summer a mere bike ride away from home functioning in an office and making the quality work that one might expect only happens in trendy urban environments, not a sleepy mini-metropolis at the base of the Adirondacks.

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The exposed brick walls and a giant piece of sheet metal we hung our critique pieces on were just half of the charm. The team was warm, welcoming, talented and not short on smack talk. Jokes hurled over the office dividing walls as often as music filled the rooms. Critiques were quick and to the point, yet informed and entertaining. Ideas bounced like excited kids on the company’s name sake. The insights provided that summer served as a macro version of that first critique in Pre-press and I felt as though my skill set grew 10 fold in just the three months I was there.
………
After relocating post-graduation, I moved home in July and was lucky to reconnect with the tramps at an AIGA event. The event was at a café that I had been using as my base of operation for freelance. After 6 months of borderline badgering on my part, they reached out about the possibility of doing some work together (imagine full on Tiger Woods fist pump levels of excitement). The interview felt more like catching up with old friends or teachers than a business ordeal. At one point a certain logo in my portfolio caught Derek’s eye. It was that same restaurant piece revisited after my summer at Trampoline.

The vibe is the same, the client list is ever-expanding, the team is more than double the size, the office is new and the work flow is a little different. The jokes still fly, just over the top of computer screens instead of divider walls. The giant piece of sheet metal is now a standing table. I felt the same sense of excitement I did as a college junior walking in on my first day, still ready to learn, but this time as a contributor and not just a student. No matter what is changed and what is the same it feels good to be back…bouncing on the trampoline.

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6 Ways to Turn Data Into Content

Last week Derek sent me a link to an AdAge article about consulting companies like Deloitte entering the industry, armed with data, determined to compete with math. Hiring someone to run numbers for you is a great idea, and can provide insight into who cares about your organization. Consultants are a great lens to view a given marketplace through, but that perspective doesn’t matter much without execution.

Accurate research can certainly inform your message, targeting individual segments. The AdAge article seems to take for granted that concepts will simply present themselves when the numbers have been crunched. I think there’s a lot of daylight between agencies on this point.

Rock-solid data doesn’t guarantee that the needle will move, as referenced by this article on Millennial preferences online. Campaigns need to have staying power, based on the research that digital advertising isn’t a transactional experience, it’s often a long-game. We’re all looking for something to share, an affirmation, or a way to define what is important.

When it comes to communication, the best ideas win. Concepts that make people consider a point, 30-second football spots that are so well done that they bring people to tears…these are what we talk about. Comedy, whether it’s slapstick or storytelling, unites a room with a laugh—and builds the rapport that we’re all in search of.

> Audience reaction, applause.

Someone wrote that joke or choreographed a pratfall, and it’s that work that’s easily overlooked or overpowered by big data. Ideas are subjective and therefore their effectiveness isn’t easily quantified. Having said that, everyone seems to recognize a good one.

This is all terribly self-serving, a blog post about the importance of creativity on an agency website. Probably a bunch of graphic design snobs in love with their own ideas.

…True.

There are other ways that we tackle a problem that have little to do with design. Decisions we make, as a group, to determine what the best course of action will be. Ultimately there is a visual component, but there are a lot of decisions (based on data) that inform what the best course of action will be. Here are six different approaches that we stand by.

1. Customized Messaging.
Create something unique and specific to an audience that reinforces a brand, even on a local level. Don’t rely on stock content, which can be terrible to begin with. What makes you different? Does a free typeface or a system font really work to communicate that?

Custom

^ The crew at Hunter Mountain are creating a 70’s skateboard-themed event at Empire Parks. Inspiration came in the form of Steely Dan tracks with a sprinkle of Hall & Oats. We named the event for the locale, and for the competitors—who will be judged on style points.

It’s very specific, it won’t work for another mountain, and that’s the point.

 

2. Consistency.
Keep things familiar at each brand touchpoint with the public.

Consistency

^ Big Slide Brewery & Public House contracted Trampoline to create a logo for the restaurant, some help with an exterior sign design, and a sticker. I wish they’d used us for more, but the reality is that we provided a flexible system of artwork that they’ve been able to use in their own executions from neon to socks. They have stayed true to the artwork, and have built a successful suite of repeat impressions.

 

3. Positioning, relation.
Aligning your brand with similar, successful entities. This falls into the category of Use What You Have.

^ Peak Resorts knows (data) that the strongest brand in their northeast portfolio of properties is Carinthia. The size and features available, content in its own right, puts the terrain park at the top of the list for skiers and riders in the east. Our strategy was to build on that brand equity and extend the imagery and color palette—black on black on black—to other mountains. The decision was a communication response to Peak’s assessment that terrain was the area that represented the most growth from a strategy standpoint. There was no need to reinvent the wheel, and ultimately it was an image pivot that embraced existing success.

 

4. Editing.
Classic less-is-more. Be selective and segment messaging.

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^ How quickly can you make a point? What is necessary and what is just noise? Druthers’ culinary chops are showcased here. Briefly.

 

5. Information Architecture.
Be clear and concise in delivery.Information

^ Design decisions certainly do factor into this category, but figuring out what goes where and how elements can be arranged to make communication easy and effective has to happen before layout. Understanding typography and how a [Western] eye accesses information on a screen or a page makes a difference to the success of a piece. Iconography, groupings, visual breaks, color coding. Decisions. Revisions.

 

6. Timing.
Be nimble with your messaging and you’re already relevant.

Timing

^ Communication built around events, or current events, can be some of the easiest to relate to or participate in. Real-time responses and interaction can convert fans faster than the most strategic media buy, or the wittiest headline. These events for the Lake George area are specific (see #1 above) customized communication that creates a sense of importance and helps to establish immediate demand.

We have a healthy respect for data, and have been actively measuring the effectiveness of our own work, to make our subjective industry a little more certain, particularly for clients new to Trampoline. Research is crucial to getting the creative right.

We’ll dig in ourselves or partner with great organizations like Schireson in New York City or Mt. Auburn Associates in Boston to make sure we understand our challenge. Follow-up, interaction, A/B testing, responsive design all matter and improve the customer experience, but they’re nothing without a concept.

Now More Than Ever

‘Tis the season of sales alerts, event invitations, and fundraising. Understanding and appreciating your audience is always important, but as the holidays and the accompanying obligations hit, it’s more important than ever to not get lost in the noise.

We all enter into it with the best of intentions. As consumers we think monitoring the sales will help us be more efficient, as marketers we think a sale will make us stand out. We agree as consumers to be added to the newsletter in exchange for a discount, a discount we marketers have carefully crafted with clients to make sure it’s enough, but not too much. Charitable donations take the edge off spending hangovers, and end-of-year goals push non-profits to reach for whatever last gifts they can.

There seems to be a kind of collective amnesia that it all becomes too much right about NOW. We hiss at another Gap email, roll our eyes at the second West Elm email of the day, and the Change.org capsules make us wince. December and January we clean house, but by July we’re jumping back in to saying yes.

How do we fix it, both as consumers and as communicators? If you ask me it comes back to consideration. You don’t have to sign up for every email. Say no to the club, don’t give your email to every clerk that asks.

Wait, what are you saying? Are you saying stop accepting new information?

Maybe.

Trampoline is an agency, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t people. We have always believed in doing what works, not just copying what everyone else is doing.

What is the goal?
How do we make it easy for people to do what you want them to do?
How do we not panic?

We consider—don’t broadcast a message, share a story. Don’t cut prices, enhance value. Don’t build a list, grow a network.

Is this all just industry spin? No, it’s the difference between saying something to someone over the phone and saying something to someone over the phone as you smile. Creating communications that are built around an idea that is mutually beneficial are more sustainable and defensible then blind marches toward hitting goals.

Perhaps the answer is instead of a perfunctory, end-of-year thank you, we brainstorm a vibrant and compelling message for mid February. We really think about how the person opening the email is going to feel. Are we doing this for them or for us?

We ask it of ourselves as an agency every day, is this design for our client or is it for us? The answer is that when we do the best for our client, that ends up being the best for us, and, with any luck, these are efforts that pierce the noise and put messages in hearts, heads in beds, and kids in the classroom.

Greatest Gifts: Volume 1

It’s Giving Tuesday—the perfect time to support non profit organizations in their efforts to improve the world around us. Remember all the cash you saved shopping the Black Friday Sales a few days ago? It’s time to do some good with that. Trampoline submits, for your philanthropic consideration, 10 of our current clients in the Non-Profit sector. These are groups of dedicated pros who are having an impact in our region and our world—through changing economic conditions, political administrations and news cycles. We are lucky to work with these groups, discover more about their missions and motivation, and put strategies in place to elevate both awareness and support for great causes.

We’ve also included—below these worthy opportunities to contribute—a second list of clients and contemporaries who donate their time and talents regularly. These companies set the example of community-minded philanthropy, and we’re equally proud to partner with them, and inspired by their efforts. We hope you are too. Now: let’s go make a difference. Better still, a sum.

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Paul Smith’s College, Brighton, New York

The only four-year college in the Adirondack Park produces leaders in the Forestry, Hospitality, Culinary, Science and Recreation industries. We’ve worked side-by-side with administrators, faculty and students to tell the PSC story over the past 18 months: rebranding the college and executing a strategy that targets the individual strengths of potential students. We filmed as they answered, from treetops and through kitchen windows, what it means to be a Smitty. The school is small, and faces funding challenges that many small colleges struggle with nationwide. Paul Smith’s is working hard to stay true to the Adirondacks. We hope the region will respond in kind.

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Hudson Headwaters Foundation, Queensbury, New York

The Hudson Headwaters Health Network has seen unprecedented growth over recent years. They’ve opened or built new facilities in Glens Falls, Queensbury and Warrensburg, and have just broken ground on a new building in Champlain, New York. The growth isn’t about buildings, it is about the fundamental and life-saving services that people need and the capacity to offer it without delay. HHHN exists as a direct response to need: an aging population in remote areas of the Adirondacks, in need of care. We’ll be creating a campaign for the Foundation, an extension of the repositioning and marketing work we’ve completed for HHHN over the past year. Don’t wait for a capital campaign to get involved with the future of healthcare in our region, find out more about volunteering or other ways to support the network.

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Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, Sheffield, Massachusetts

A $40 Million endowment means a lot of good can be done, but only with the help of regular contributions to support it. BTCF distributes grants to help fund programs with high impact in western Massachusetts and Eastern New York. A gift to BTCF can be allocated to a specific Fund to support your interests. We’re excited to be a part of their progress points, with our partners at Mount Auburn Associates, moving forward into new areas of concern for the Berkshires and the Hudson Valley.

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The Lake George Land Conservancy, Bolton Landing, New York

We’ve laced up our boots to put a new spin on the Hike-A-Thon for its 5 year anniversary. There’s nothing better than the view of Lake George from one of the nearby summits. Well, maybe the view from a dock—but that’s the whole point: protect the water quality by conserving the land that surrounds it. We’ve been doing our part to make the Lake George watershed a safe place for 15 years now. Not into hiking? Donate.

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Pitney Meadows Community Farm, Saratoga Springs, New York

Sustainable Agriculture in urban environments continues to be an important issue. We’ve supported the farm-to-table movement for years with work for organizations like the FarmHouse Restaurant, CLS Farms and Capital Roots. When Paul and Sandy Arnold approached us about the Pitney Meadows project: preserving green space in Saratoga that will be used as a working farm, food hub and event space, we were ready to get our hands dirty. The property closes in December, all plans have been approved by the municipality. All that is needed is a boost in startup capital. Remember: you reap what you sow.

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Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership, Malta, New York

This passionate group of economic development pros will assemble teams of real estate brokers, community planners and municipal leaders to bring new business into Saratoga County, and help to grow the businesses already in the area. The Prosperity Partnership helps with grant applications and assists with startup and location management. It also promotes the Luther Forest Technology Campus and is involved in workforce development issues in our region—from continuing education to recruitment and more ways to incentivize and promote the efficient growth of our region’s economy.

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Double H Ranch, Lake Luzerne, NY

Our hearts and minds were won over by the staff, campers and volunteers at Double H long ago. In fact, they were our very first client. We’re proud to support the ongoing efforts to give a week at camp to kids and families who need it the most. Critical illnesses are no obstacle to having fun when you spend a week in the woods. We had the chance to interview campers, and parents of campers this year, and have learned a lot about dedication, loyalty and love. A contribution to Double H is like giving magic.

 

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SerioüsFun Children’s Network, Westport, Connecticut

The parent company of Double H Ranch, SerioüsFun takes Paul Newman’s message of philanthropy to the international stage. At places like Barretstown in Ireland or the newly opened Sola Puti Kids’ Camp in Japan, critically ill children are enjoying themselves, meeting diseases and challenges head-on, and creating lasting friendships. The Global Partnership Program is a worldwide attempt at making a difference—including efforts like December’s AIDS awareness initiative. Give the gift of camp this year!

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The W!LD Center, Tupper Lake, New York

More than just adorable otters, the Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks took a leadership role this year by completing their I♥NY grant-funded study on the travel habits of Millennials. Turns out, they’re a complicated market to predict. The study, compiled by Schireson, Assoc. of New York and interpreted and executed by Trampoline, outlined statistics, discussed misconceptions and presented strategy to address Millennial Travel concerns. Help the W!LD Center continue to make the Adirondacks a destination with a contribution.

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Safe Water Network, New York, New York

The next time clean, safe drinking water fills your glass, consider a donation the the Safe Water Network. A little goes a long way, and in certain areas, the difference between healthy communities and the outbreak of disease is access to clean water.

               .  .  .

Giving Tuesday isn’t just about the organizations that you can give to, it’s also a day to consider all the organizations who take it upon themselves to give back all year long—something we all ought to consider. We are inspired and motivated by the efforts of many of our clients and neighbors who give far more than many people will ever truly realize. We wanted to tip our hats in their general direction and say thanks for being involved in the giving world.

At Druthers Brewing Company, All-In is more than an IPA, it’s a way of operating and giving back to the community. Look for a Druthers pour at your next gala event—then offer a toast back to them for their support.

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Glens Falls National Bank does more than finance homes and host checking and savings accounts, they contribute in countless ways to education, health, community, and business. The odds are good that if you’ve been to a walk, race, festival, or performance, GFNB has helped make it possible.

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Lake George RV Park has been a family-owned business for more than 50 years. Perennial sponsors of many events, they also have recycling programs that benefit organizations like Double H Ranch. Dave king is a founder of the Adirondack Theatre Festival that brings thousands of patrons to Downtown Glens Falls every summer.

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Mannix Marketing will get you found on the internet, they also assist worthy causes, quietly making possible what traditional budgets never would have, all in the spirit of, “They need it, we can do it, and it’s the right thing to do.”

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Once we got to know the partners at Meyer & Fuller, lawyer jokes didn’t make as much sense. These are two of the kindest, most generous people we know. They make giving back fun. Objection! Your Honor, giving is fun. You don’t have to be showy about it, it doesn’t have to be on a certain day or a set figure, you just do it and keep doing it because it feels good knowing you are making a difference.

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Everyone’s favorite theme park goes beyond a Great time to support organizations throughout the North Country. They provide event space, donate workers to help with on-site needs and get behind initiatives that improve our region. Two hands up for Six Flags!

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