Where Did We Go?

SugarSmash Creative has morphed. Or moved! You can now find solutions to your branding, marketing, and PR needs at CYN WORKS!

Or contact Cyn directly – 925-413-0044 or cyn@cynworks.com.

Looking forward to chatting with you!

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Wine Walk, a bling ring, and a great SALE!

The Walnut Creek Wine Walk is Wednesday, September 15, from 6:00 -9:00!

Drop by Unveiled Bridal for some wine from Concannon Vineyards, taste yummy appetizers from Scott’s Seafood Restaurant and bling rings! The ladies of Unveiled Bridal will be giving away 100 pink bling rings, so be one of the first guests to 1513 Cypress St in Walnut Creek early to add some extra sparkle to your evening fun! Yves from YJM Photography will also be on hand along with gorgeous flowers from Megan Haney Designs!

The sale… rumor has it that there will be jewelry (bridal party jewelry as well as some custom pieces imported from France) that will be specially priced as low as 75% off for this event. Don’t miss it… something for yourself, your bridesmaids, moms, and mom-in-laws!

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WordPress.com Customization 101

One of the most effective ways of branding your site is to make all of the icons and buttons reflect your image. Even when you’re utilizing other well-branded products, you can make the connection between your site and their service a little easier by creating a visual gateway.

To make this connection, we take a bit of your brand and incorporate the name of where the button will take the consumer. That might be to follow you on facebook or twitter, get your blog emailed to them, add your RSS feed to their reader, or sign up for your newsletter.

Check it out.

Look at the custom buttons on the right-hand side of the screen for each of these websites.

The challenge with the Unveiled Bridal blog was to create a blog image that would blend with their beautiful website, http://www.unveiledbridal.com.  This blog is an intermediate step for the ladies @ Unveiled Bridal.  They want to get into the world of blogging using a WordPress.com platform with a plan to grow to a custom WordPress.org site in the near future.  We chose fonts from their branding materials to create their custom buttons for facebook, twitter, the RSS feed, and also the buttons that link back to pages in their website.

This is a work in progress.  Our goal?  Create a clean interface that references the colors from the image in the header but does not interfere with the viewer’s enjoyment of the artwork.

We had a lot of fun with this one!  We had three things going for us – (1) great photography of the dogs and sheep that are the core of the business, (2) mostly text used for content, which allowed us to be more playful with the navigation, and (3) a client who was willing to let us run with the design!

For http://www.CatherineWhallSmith.com, we chose a font that complements the site’s text and a color palette from the image in the header, which is one of the artist’s own works. The circle on her Facebook button is borrowed from one of the fabrics in her artwork, and a circle was chosen as symbolic of a face.

For CynsArtQuilts.com, we chose a muted blue and black color scheme  that would recede when the page was loaded with photographs or art. We included light illustration in the buttons, reflecting the whimsical nature of the image in the header.

For our own site, we picked up the font of the logo, the splash design of the logo, and then incorporated the blue bird of Twitter, all using the SugarSmash Creative color scheme.

When you build your website with SugarSmash Creative, we help you find all of the ways to reinforce your brand with your customers.

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Just 5 Reasons to Love WordPress.com

The more I use WordPress.com as a web platform, the move I love it.  Here are the top 5 reasons!

Google SugarSmash

Google SugarSmash

Reason 1. It’s easy for our clients’ clients to find them! Okay, truthfully, the best way for your clients to find you is to have a very unique name or product. Case in point, google SugarSmash, and we’re the only result on the first page and a half. However, it’s valuable to know that: WordPress.com automatically sends notifications to Google with every post and page update.

Reason 2. Everything in one place. This saves sooooo much time! This is my number one reason why I fell in love with WordPress.com. I started with a blog. Then I found it was easy to connect my RSS feed, Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, and Gravatar. Add a button for people to join your Constant Contact mailing list? Easy! Then I saw you could update your social media automatically when you post on your blog. All the sudden, our friends and fans on Facebook and our followers on Twitter were reading our blog. Cool!
Then the genius of WordPress.com hit us. We discovered you can add pages to your blog, morphing it into being a website of its own with its own URL. So efficient! Goodbye html coding and ftp servers!

Reason 3. A WordPress.com site is easy to design and build. We help our clients create the information flow, edit and create content, and develop a brand. It is easy to move text and images, add and delete pages, and reorder the navigation. We can review and make adjustments on the fly. Clients love to review and make changes, right? We start with a plan, yet we can be very flexible and intuitive throughout the process.

Reason 4. Customization. With over 90 themes and customizable headers, colors, and fonts, it’s possible to start with a template and end up with a custom-looking site. Most of our clients want us to create or revamp their graphics, and their website is a great place to show off their new, polished image.

Reason 5. You are your own webmaster! Remember the days when it would cost you 4 days and $100 to have your webmaster post a press release on your website? That maintenance fee is history. Our clients learn to access the content of their website while working with us. And when we push the site live, they know exactly how and where to add fresh, exciting information about their businesses.

Bonus Reason. Incredibly cost effective. Our clients pay us for our knowledge in branding and our experience in design and information flow. Once their website is set up, their cost of maintenance can be as low as $50 per year.

Intrigued?  Can we help?  Call us!

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Social Media Activity by Industry, Courtesy of Hubspot

The folks at hubspot.com sent me quite a gift today.  It’s a 50-page social media analysis report, chalk-full of bold graphics & charts. It illustrates internet activity around 33 different industries! Hubspot.com researched the top four social media channels for marketers — Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube — to discover which channel is carrying most of the activity for any given industry. I thought I’d share a few screen shots to pique your interest.

They also make a good point in their explanation of the stats: Just because you see a channel where a large portion of the activity for your industry is taking place right now, don’t just jump in and follow the masses. Use strategic thinking to break out in new places that may not be worn down from overexposure to your products. I like!

And since they asked me to tweet & facebook about the report, I’m going to share the link to the entire 50-page report right here. Check it out!

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Stealing the Party – Great PR!

Kristin and I have ONE goal for Unveiled Bridal, our fun, downtown boutique client. Create buzz and PR – ASAP! We must capture the imaginations of brides, MOBs (that’s “mothers of the bride”), MOBs-nlaw, maids & matrons, and all members of their clan. Get in front of them at the right time of the engagement/wedding cycle. Showcase our client’s talents, products, and sense of style. Make it fun.

Kristin picked 5 events sponsored by the Walnut Creek Downtown Business Association that are perfect for our client and their customers. To get launched, she suggested the Fall Wine Walk (9/15/2010). Or, as Kristin put it, “Let’s steal this party!

Could there possibly be a better use of marketing dollars than piggybacking on an event where someone else is:

  1. Doing all the planning
  2. Creating all the funding
  3. Sponsoring all of the advertising
  4. Bringing people to your door in a festive mood?

I mean, help me, but this is a no-brainer, right? To give you a peak at how we’re turning participation into ownership, here’s our SugarSmash formula.

Formula to Steal the Party

  • Set the stage – Make the event feel like your party!
  • Partner with caterers/bakers who would like to be showcased or cohost
  • Invite a photographer friend who would like to take photos and meet people. If s/he provides digital photos for facebook, we LOVE this person!
  • Play music – something festive but not overwhelming
  • String fun lights that frame the windows to make sure everyone outside sees how much fun is being had inside
  • Coordinate outfits. Provide items for the hosts/cohosts to wear to that showcase your business
  • Put something in people’s hands! Preferably something they’ll value and keep around for a bit. Fun, branded chachkis, gift coupons for drinks at a local restaurant, invitations to visit you again for a special reason, or…?

Create Goals for PR

  • Create your own PR – use your constant contact database, your blog, your Facebook, and your Twitter
  • Use the same invitations you sell to brides, and invite your local clients
  • Invite your neighbors
  • Choose 2 other boutiques or restaurants who are participating to cross-promote
  • Set a charity donation goal and send press releases to the local media

Create Goals for Expanding Your Customer Base

  • Meet x number of people to add to your email list and friend on Facebook
  • Meet x number people who know a bride, bridesmaid, MOB, MOBnlaw, or hosting a shower, and create an incentive for them to introduce that person to the store
  • Make x number of appointments/bookings to create wedding invitations and design table settings

If you want to see how it plays out in real life, visit us on September 15 @ Unveiled Bridal, 1513 Cypress Street! We’ll be the ones in the sashes and boas pouring your wine!

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It’s All in the Package

Marketing is all about how you package your product. A window display is a perfect example.  A well-crafted window display will bring customers into your store and create continuing brand awareness and loyalty. For a window to do all this, it must be attention-grabbing, enough to stop a passerby and fresh enough to pique their curiosity. The longer you can keep a potential customer looking and interested, the higher your chance of drawing them into your store—and making that sale. Change your display at least once a month so that remain fresh and eye catching.

Here are some tips when packing your window display:

Don’t overdo it. Less can be more

Stack products or use a pyramid. Place items in the window at varying heights and depths

Be creative. Let your imagination run free

Remember your theme. Keep your window theme in mind and decorate according to that theme

Stock up on featured products. Feature the items that you want to sell

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