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It’s More Than a Picnic Website

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www.morethanapicnic.com     (archived)

This e-commerce site was built with a CMS, allowing the website owners to update merchandise information on the fly. Not a new concept today. However, this site was developed in 2000-2001. There were no off-the-shelf or cloud-based CMS programs. The original site was programmed in perl and hosted on Linux/Apache servers. But when the client asked to have the website integrate with their accounting systems, the entire site was migrated to an asp-driven backend.

Idea Factory Website

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www.ideafactoryinc.com     (archived)

A nice little site designed to get users to product and brand information quickly and easily.

Harley-Davidson Rentals Website

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Click here for a larger image.

www.hdrentals.com     (archived)

Harley-Davidson approached GS Design to develop and deploy an online tool for the company’s new motorcycle rental services. The site needed to describe the new service, provide information on how and where to rent, and give advice on which type of motorcycle to rent. The design firm had exactly 21 days to get this interactive site up and running.

Mission accomplished. Not only was the site launched on time providing users an intuitive tool for renting a Harley-Davidson Motorcycle, the site garnered a Yahoo! Site of the Day nod.

Award

October 13, 2000 Yahoo! Site of the Day

AQS, Inc. Website

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www.aqssys.com    (archived)

Still fresh after all these years, the AQS website was a corporate site that was straightforward, easy to navigate, and pleasing to the eye.

An Answering “Lead” Shot…

Lead-free-Ad-8-11-mediumAll is fair in love and war.

Lead in drinking water. It’s a big deal; rather reducing and eliminating lead content in potable (drinking) water plumbing products is now a federally mandated big deal here in the United States.

A Badger Meter competitor had launched a full-out media campaign proclaiming that said competitor had the only lead-free water meter on the market. This is simply NOT true. Badger Meter has, in fact, several low-lead and lead-free products on the market.

The Answering Volley

Position Badger Meter as THE thought leader in lead-free initiatives.

The Campaign

Lead-Free White paper – Outlines current and pending lead-free legislation

Engineered Polymer Meter White paper – Examines superior design and durability aspects of the Badger Meter engineered polymer (plastic) meter

Utility quick reference guide – Highlights legislation, effective dates, and states effected

Press release – Announcing availability of white paper, quick reference guide and website

Trade advertising – Full page print ads and online display ads

Website section

Major industry conference technical session presentation – Conducted by the marketing manager/subject matter expert. Content was manufacturer agnostic. All session feedback praised the marketing manager for her objectivity and factual presentation.

Trade show branding – Major translights carried the campaign graphic/branding

Sales channel education and sales tools – Included white papers, quick reference guide, FAQ and a modified copy of the technical session PowerPoint

The Result

Except for a section on the competitor’s website, their guns went silent within three months of launching the Badger Meter campaign.

The Power of Social Media

Okay…so the site is starting to come together. I wanted to document this process as part of being part of the WordPress community. I’m also using this blogging feature to illustrate my thinking process as a communications professional.

I’m setting up my site so that all of my portfolio samples are blog posts. This will allow user/potential clients to ask questions or comment on my projects. I’m not sure anyone else has used this approach yet. However, it should give potential clients some insight into my capabilities and enable a dialogue they may not have anywhere else.

Am I showing all of my cards? Probably. I’m not too worried. You also have to have the goods to back this up.

Yep.

Oh…and the title of my post–

I posted six times yesterday. I haven’t socialized this little endeavor yet, but I already have two followers. Two hearty souls willing to hitch their wagons to this train. Thanks, Opinionated Man and Nate Ollie.

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Click here to see a larger image.

www.wpcbrands.com    (archived)

WPC Brands was a corporate site combining company and brand information. Note that even though this site is over 13 years old, both the navigation and page designs (User Experience/UX) are crisp and very user-friendly. WPC Brands is now part of Spectrum Brands.

Awards

2000 Milwaukee Ad Club, Gold Addy
2000 District 8, AAF, Merit Award

http://www.destinationoutdoors.com     (archived)

One of the first true “mini” sites, Destination Outdoors was the consumer information site of WPC Brands (now part of the Spectrum Brands family). While much of the artwork is now missing, the site was originally designed to read like a magazine, with major sections getting their own distinctive look and feel.

Destination Outdoors offered practical advice for outdoor enthusiasts with tips for optimum WPC Brands product usage. There was even a section dedicated to questions and answers.

While this site is over 13 years old, the User Experience/UX is still easy-to-use and the overall design engaging for the user.

Awards

2000 Milwaukee Ad Club, Silver Addy
2000 District 8, AAF, Merit Award
June 19, 2000 Yahoo! Site of the Day
June 21, 2000 Netscape Rage of the Day

Capers-Island-mediumWe should be so lucky to experience the wind and sun on our faces, the sand beneath our feet, and the sound of the ocean. We all need a gentle reminder to stop and enjoy the things life gives us for free.

I have a passion for my work that makes almost any branding endeavor successful — and a pleasure to create and maintain.

In essence, I offer freedom. Rest easy knowing your marketing or digital branding projects are in good hands and are delivering the results you expect.

Why did I select this image for the home page of my professional website?

The answer is twofold.

  1. Hands down, these two are the most complicated, trying, and, conversely, rewarding projects I’ve ever worked on. My daughters. Nothing or no one puts things into perspective like your own offspring. They instill humility by the bucketfuls. If I can successfully wrangle these two, I can handle most things you throw my way.
  2. Look at how carefree and unencumbered they are. I try to bring that kind of joy to my work and to my client’s work everyday. If we don’t love what we are doing, why are we doing it at all?

Altruistic? You bet. Karma. It’s a good thing.

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