Incite by Design

Caustic visions and shared thoughts on design, marketing, creativity, philanthropy, pop culture and business philosophy by Toronto design firm, Ricksticks Inc.


Design for the Developing World Conference

As someone who has had the opportunity to experience a portion of my life in the developing world, namely the Caribbean and Brazil, I have been following some of the outcomes from the Design for the Developing World Conference.

Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO, from my experience living in the developing world made a very valid point. The real secret is the combination of design, communications, and implementation. Good design can add real value to our experience of the world but it is equally important that developing nations have information on how any designed solution can benefit the consumer, where to find these products, and to also make sure we design the distribution systems so that good design is accessible to people.

He also alluded to the idea that Philanthropy by itself does not have the power to make system wide change in the developing world but businesses can because businesses inherently build the systems that enable people to access good design.

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It's Awards Time Again!

Working with our amazing clients is in many ways an award just in itself. We love our work and they challenge us to think creatively, to communicate their message effectively, and enable us to explore our love of design. 

Today we received a letter from the International Academy of Visual Arts. We had submitted a few pieces of work to them and so everyone in the office crowded around with excitement to see what this was all about. As the envelope was opened .... We Won!

A Silver Award!
In the Best Visual Appeal category in recognition of our web design work for Aleah Sato, an exciting Toronto poet and creative writer. 

And a Second Silver Award!
In the Art category for our web design work for Elizabeth Siegfried, a Toronto fine art photographer and print artist whose work is exhibited throughout North America.


What Obama can teach us about business

One of my favorite magazines and blogs recently featured a fantastic article on the use of social media to promote business. The article was an excellent illustration on how even a small business can make social media marketing part of their marketing strategy and build strong relationships and connections with their customers.

You can find the article here.


The UK's Coolest Brands Report

Coolbrands is an annual initiative to identify the UK's coolest brands based on independent voting and consumer feedback. Today here are the top 5 coolest brands in the UK.

1. Aston Martin
2. iPhone
3. Apple
4. Bang & Olufsen
5. YouTube

The 2008 results featured many of the world's best known brands, but what was also interesting is that 55% of the Top 20 brands were technology & internet related brands. Making the Top 20 list: iPhone, Apple, YouTube, Google, Nintendo, Playstation, Bang & Olufsen, Sony, Bose, Facebook and Skype.

Are we becoming a more web influenced society? Will internet advertising influence consumers purchasing decisions even more in the future? Comments? 

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5 Steps for Getting Results from your Marketing

Growing a profitable business requires a systematic approach to marketing if you are going to be successful in increasing your client base and sales. Here are some tips.

No. 1: Define your goals
Write them down! Have a defined business objective that you would like to achieve with your marketing activities. Planning + execution = results.

No. 2: Know who you want to advertise to
If you have not specifically identified your target market, you are not going to be able to make the best decisions about marketing and advertising and your marketing will not help you reach your business objectives.

No. 3: Good design & good copywriting
A clear, concise, and well design message is important to cut through the noise in the marketplace and engage your potential customers. Good copywriting & design pulls your customer in to learn more about you.

No. 4: Make strategic use of your website
Customers are increasingly internet savvy today and use the internet as one of their primary methods to make buying decisions. Your marketing & advertising should send people to the right page on your website - the truth is that your home page may not be the first place they should land.

No. 5: Be Consistent
Many businesses fail to see the results from their marketing activities because they stop too early or change the approach. Make a plan, implement it, and stick with it. Give it time to develop and for your customers to get to know you and engage with you.


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