What’s on Tap?

The most successful craft breweries in America produce incredibly varied offerings, are largely regionalized in different corners of the country, and depend largely on word of mouth for marketing beer to new drinkers. These are big challenges, but in a market that shows substantial growth, breweries are reaching target audiences not through the beer, but through a well-executed brand strategy.

Any brewer can develop a recipe that is palatable, perhaps even exciting. Once someone tastes the beer, they may enjoy it. However, there isn’t much incentive to try the brewery’s other offerings without some sort of brand familiarity to bridge the gap. Good beer alone does not a successful brewery make, evidenced by tens of thousands of home brewers nationwide producing great tasting beer who have failed to reach any market outside of friends and family sitting in a basement bar on a Sunday afternoon.

One needs only to take a cursory glance at a successful craft brewery’s offerings to see that consistency of style in branding, packaging, and marketing leads to strong relationships with consumers who will choose that product time and time again. Dogfish Head, known primarily for their excellent 90 Minute IPA(India Pale Ale), produces 60 Minute, 120 Minute, and special 75 Minute versions which hit the store shelves and quickly disappear due to the rabid loyalty for the brand. Clipper City Brewing Company, makers of Heavy Seas, a “fleet” of offerings built upon a pirate theme, also has a devoted brand following. When a new Heavy Seas brew is released, the unique packaging and marketing drives sales with devoted customers eager to try the latest offering from a brewery they know and appreciate.

These and many other craft breweries have earned the trust of target audiences by maintaining a uniformity of brand image key to the success of any brand, regardless of the industry. Against a 1.0% decrease in overall U.S. beer sales in 2010, the craft beer market managed to grow by 11% in volume and 12% in dollars. Beer is an industry of fiercely loyalist tendencies. It is evident that strong brand value and a well executed marketing strategy can generate the high level of consumer confidence earned by craft breweries across the country.

In an age where competition is as high as consumer expectation, building confidence through a unified brand and well executed strategy is priority.

Square Centimeters of Real Estate worth $17.5 Billion

Flash back four years, to January 9th, 2007. Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Inc., is standing before an audience at the Macworld Conference & Expo in San Francisco, and unveiling the original iPhone to public eyes for the first time. There has been months of wide speculation and rumors, but nobody in the room has any idea that in just a few years’ time, the little device in Jobs’ hand will enable a wave of mobile applications that revolutionize the way consumers access and interact with content, and more importantly, from where they can do it.

Today, getting into the small squares of real estate on the home screen of a smartphone has become a primary objective of businesses and advertisers, creating a boom in terms of innovation and investment. Mobile applications (apps) allow users to access utilities, services, visual content, and entertainment, all from handheld, portable devices that aren’t limited by tether to a home or business internet connection.

The mobile app marketplace has become a crowded bazaar of competing vendors, all vying for one of the dozen or so square centimeters of space that a smartphone owner sees 200 times per day. A study commissioned by mobile app store operator GetJar reveals that the market will reach $17.5 billion by 2012, with up to 50 billion unique application downloads.

Realistically, the allure of the mobile app isn’t about the actual product or the service, – anyone can turn on their television or log onto the internet and experience the same content – but instead the ability to be accessible to the user from anywhere, anytime.  Naturally, with improved accessibility come increased visibility and credibility, two things that every business desires. Mobile apps have become a powerful tool for keeping in step with the increasingly tech-savvy consumer.

The way we consume content has changed yet again, and as businesses feel the pressure to keep up with consumer behavior in order to stay relevant, we are experiencing the birth of an exciting new economy. As the app market floods with thousands of options for which icons may occupy those tiny squares, staying connected to consumers has never been easier, but neither has it ever been more competitive.

Junction Creative Solutions Adds Marketing Talent Joshua M. Ardizzoni to the Team

Junction Creative Solutions (Junction), an Atlanta-based strategy firm, add another member to its expanding team.  Joshua M. Ardizzoni joins the Junction team as Marketing Coordinator responsible for driving brand awareness and visibility in the marketplace.

“Junction advises clients on the importance of being consistent in marketing efforts and I’m excited that our firm can actually live up to our recommendations,” comments Julie Cropp Gareleck, Managing Partner, Junction.  “We’ve experienced incredible growth in 2011 and in an attempt to manage the growth our marketing efforts became less of a priority.  I am pleased to welcome Josh to our team as his efforts are sure to drive impact for our brand and our business.”

Josh brings a notably diverse background, with experience in advertising market research, editorial writing for print publications, and creative content development. His experience spans various industries to include healthcare, retail, advertising, and political science.  In his role as Marketing Coordinator, Josh will be responsible for executing on Junction’s integrated marketing strategy that includes traditional, interactive, and social media tactics.

“Junction is a unique company capable of producing powerful results through a very dynamic and personalized approach,” says Josh. “Junction is committed to creating lasting relationships with its clients to build businesses.  Junction is equally committed to its team. I am thrilled with the opportunity to be part of a team and manage a brand that I believe in.”

J Mark Cropp Joins Junction to Manage Pennsylvania Office

Junction Creative Solutions (Junction), an Atlanta-based strategy firm, expands its team to include J. Mark Cropp, Executive Director, Business Development & Partnerships NE. Mark, a veteran sales professional and a natural entrepreneur, joined Junction in early 2011 and has worked efficiently to develop business relationships during a period that has seen the company grow at an unprecedented rate.

Mark brings more than 35 years of experience as a successful entrepreneur and former senior executive at an International Fortune 500 company. His background in strategic business consulting, sales, and marketing adds immense value to both existing and prospective clients. Mark’s expertise spans various industries including finance, travel and hospitality, manufacturing, construction, real estate, and retail.

Julie Gareleck, Managing Partner, Junction, says “Mark is an incredible asset to Junction, bringing great knowledge of how a business thinks and functions.  Simply put, he’s been on the other side of the table as an entrepreneur. We anticipate Mark being able to generate a host of new business, continuing to drive our client base in the Greater Mid-Atlantic region.”

“The inventive solutions that Junction offers for businesses and entrepreneurs the ability to grow and thrive. Most business owners aren’t specialists in areas like strategic planning, marketing, and interactive solutions.  Junction simplifies the process enabling companies to maximize those channels,” says Mark. “I look forward to building relationships with organizations in need of Junction’s services and helping to sustain the incredible growth of their businesses.”

Tamika Stewart Joins the Growing Team at Junction Creative Solutions

Junction Creative Solutions (Junction), an Atlanta-based strategy firm, adds Tamika Stewart as Project Manager to its growing team. Tamika brings more than 5 years of experience in account management in the interactive advertising industry with demonstrable achievements throughout the course of her career.

“Tamika has a blend of traditional and interactive advertising account management experience,” comments Julie Cropp Gareleck, Managing Partner, Junction.  “She’s proven to be an effective project manager leading multi-million dollar accounts…. greatly contributing to profitability and on-time performance.  We look forward to her continued success with our clients and at Junction.”

Tamika’s background in traditional media serves as a unique perspective on strategic marketing and interactive executions.  Her knowledge and experience working on blue-chip accounts like AT&T and DELL will be useful as she steps into a lead role with the Yahoo! Inc. account at Junction. Tamika works closely with the senior operations team to implement streamlined workflows across business segments.

“I am excited to be a part of a firm that creates effective solutions for businesses, from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies,” says Tamika. “I am eager to work with the growing team and the clients at Junction.”

Junction welcomes Tamika to the team!

Richard J. Eydt Joins Junction As Executive Director of Business Development & Partnerships

Junction Creative Solutions (Junction), an Atlanta-based strategy firm, expands its team to include Richard J. Eydt, Executive Director, Business Development & Partnerships. Richard (Dick), a seasoned executive, joined Junction in February 2011 and led the company to achieve record growth in Q1.

Dick brings more than 30 years of experience as a successful marketing and senior sales executive working for some of the most noted Global Fortune 500 brands. His consultative approach adds immense value to clients looking to create more sustainable practices to maximize performance and growth. Companies in his portfolio include: Starwood Hotels, Marriott, Hertz, Virgin Atlantic, UPS, American Express, Mastercard, Kraft, Pitney Bowes. MetLife, New York Life, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Ernst & Young, Deloitte, Dassault Falcon Jet, Ricoh, Tiffany and Siemens.

Dick’s efforts have contributed notable achievements for Forbes Magazine, AdWeek, Harper’s Magazine, Rocket Media, American Lawyer Media, and the Donovan Group.   In his new position, he will be responsible for identifying and securing business development opportunities and partners to expand Junction’s portfolio.

“After talking with Julie Gareleck about Junction’s vision, client commitment, portfolio, and results, I knew this was a special company and wanted in,” said Dick, Executive Director, Junction.   “Junction has smart, hard working team members, all with integrity and a single focus to do what’s best for the client. Junction is a is good fit, allowing me to leverage my sales and marketing skills, consultative approach, and extensive contact list of Fortune 500 companies.”

“I am very happy to have Dick as an integral part of our firm. He is committed to developing and maintaining client relationships,” comments Julie Gareleck, Managing Partner, Junction. “His unique approach aligns with Junction’s mission ultimately contributing to measurable sales growth in just 3 months.  Dick’s insight and leadership is an asset to our clients and our internal team.”

Join us in welcoming Dick to the team!

“Going Global” is the new “Going Viral”

I remember that fateful morning of September 11, 2011 when two planes had hit the World Trade Center. I was at work.  One of my co-workers was listening to the radio. Instantly, we were intently focused on the silver box (yes, the radio) because the office didn’t have a TV.  We listened to the news unfold as it was reported.

Nearly 10 years later, the news of Osama Bin Laden’s death circled the globe within seconds of the official word of his death.  The report broke before the President finished his remarks, let alone made it to the podium. It’s being called a media frenzy – a social media frenzy.

Facebook’s Osama Bin Laden is DEAD Facebook page received more than 150,000 “Likes” within 2 hours, nearly 300,000 “Likes” by morning. Surely the number has tripled by the time this blog post has been published.  Twitter was abuzz with nearly 4,000 tweets per second during President Obama’s speech. Per second!?

Social media has certainly been linked to its fair share of controversy with inaccurate reports, stories, etc. However in this instance, the sheer power of social media connected global audiences with unprecedented quickness enabling the world to discuss this historic news.  Adam Ostrow said it best in a blog post that social media has become a “real-time discussion board.”  And to no surprise, we all have a lot to say.

We’ve surpassed viral…and gone global.