Junction Client ChromaPress Launches New Website

Chroma Press New Site

Junction Creative Solutions (Junction) client ChromaPress is launching its new website.  The New York City based provider of high quality custom color transfers for designers, architects, students and model makers unveils an ecommerce website designed to simplify and streamline the ordering process for its customers.

ChromaPress has a full line of dry transferable products that will adhere simply to most substrates without the hassle and mess of water release decals.  Custom printed designs can be ordered in one color opaque with three finish options, or in a transparent style when the need is for see-through labeling.  To decorate an “unprintable” surface, a photographic image is available and is a great way to directly transfer an image without the use of a label.  Foil transfers and clear gloss varnish will add that special sparkle to a customer’s design.  Multi-color art designs and images can be combined into one-four color, one-pass transfer if desired.

ChromaPress provides customers with an easy four-step process to include product selection, custom file upload, checkout and delivery. The new site compliments the company’s dedication to delivering highly valued products and service conveniently.

“We are very excited for ChromaPress to enter the marketplace and are excited about our continued involvement with the growth of the business,” comments Julie Gareleck, CEO, Junction.

Learn more about ChromaPress at www.chroma-press.com.


About ChromaPress

ChromaPress is dedicated to serving our customer community with high quality custom color transfers that are easy to order and a great value.  Our experienced, digital technicians and color experts work closely with our clients on every design detail to insure a great result every time and on every order.  Visit www.chroma-press.com for more information.

About Junction Creative Solutions

Junction Creative Solutions (Junction) combines the intellectual capital of a consulting firm with the creative execution of an advertising agency to create effective and measurable strategies and solutions. The solutions align with specific business goals and objectives, and provide consistency from strategic planning through execution. As a result, our clients are able to maximize opportunities to react, adapt, and thrive — ultimately creating more sustainable and competitive businesses. Junction’s award winning portfolio boasts successful strategies and agency solutions for SMBs and Fortune 500 companies.

Player Misconduct Damaging an Iconic Brand

NFL Brands

The National Football League, known for being on the cutting edge of everything to do with marketing, has found itself in an unenviable position when it comes to player conduct.  Since the February 2013 Super Bowl Game, 31 NFL players have been arrested for their illegal, personal conduct off the field of play, an arrest rate increase of  75%  year over year.  Charges range from driving under the influence (DUI) to first degree murder and regardless of the severity of the offense the criminal behavior of so many of the games players is bad for the brand, bad for revenues and bad for the game of  professional football.

The recently filed, first degree murder charges against former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez is shedding a brighter spot light on a disturbing trend that is proving to be embarrassing and expensive for the offending players teams and the NFL as a whole.  In order to stem the damage to the brand after the Hernandez arrest, the New England patriots recently recalled more than 1,200 Hernandez jerseys at an estimated cost of $250,000 to the club.  While seemingly a costly maneuver, the total cost to the team and an the league in lost ticket sales, revenues from endorsements, advertising dollars and increased tarnish to the reputation and the NFL brand is huge.  As one NFL official recently commented, “one arrest is too many”.  Given the higher number this off season it is apparent that current policies to control player misconduct off the field are falling well short of effective.

When compared to other professionals earning, at a minimum, hundreds of thousands of dollars while working for a thriving corporate enterprise, the bad behavior seems even more statistically out of normal range.  Most corporate employees don’t enjoy the level of notoriety that place them close enough to the brands identity to do the harm that a badly behaved professional football player does to his teams and the leagues brand.  Football, while a business, is at its core is a sport, one that is played by young men from the time they are old enough to walk and run.   Viewership is part of the American fabric and a pastime for millions of men and women across the America and around the world.  Few businesses command the price for their products and even fewer generate billions of dollars from the secondary marketing of team and player apparel, merchandise and memorabilia.  Unlike your average or even high performing executive level players in the traditional corporate environment, NFL players are lauded, applauded and revered by NFL consumers, almost to the level of worship.    The NFL earned a reported $9.5 billion in revenue last year, any tarnish to the brands promise equates to a significant loss of dollars and missed marketing opportunities from sponsors who are becoming weary of the player misadventures.

The effects of recent bad news on the long term health of the NFL is difficult to predict with any degree of certainty, and even though the Hernandez case will fade from people’s memory eventually, many parents and fans, even those who love the game, are beginning to reevaluate the measure of importance they place on the sport in their daily lives.  The league’s 32 teams expect modest growth this year because of the lingering uncertainty over the economy, according to a January report from Bloomberg News. The problem of player’s misbehavior isn’t likely to contribute to increasing those numbers and may have a very nulling effect on the games value, even for the most ardent supporters.  The NFL leadership is promising action to address the issue with talk of increased behavior training, punitive fines to those offenders and even bonuses to players who successfully walk the line.

The League is in full damage control crisis mode.  They are committed to protecting their most precious assets, the NFL logo aka The Shield.  Team and League leaders are attempting to get out in front of the problem to appease the fans, customers, business partners including television networks and the scribes, those mythmakers who create “perceived perception” about football, football players, football owners, football coaches and the trappings of the industry.  Failing to curb the problem will ultimately result in significant damage to one of the most successful and venerable brands in history.

Advancing the Brand with One Voice

Brands Around the World

Brands are not merely a symbol or graphic design attached to a product but rather a creative endeavor that seeks to attach a company’s signature, to communicate how a company treats customers, the quality of its products and differentiates its offerings from a competitor’s.  Consistently applying this creative process across business units and products is the action that gives a brand its meaning and emotionally ties a consumer to a particular brand.  Creating brand value and successfully building its equity requires investment of time, persistence and dedication to speaking with one voice across all channels of media and through every form of marketing collateral.

Every marketer should pursue a long term strategy to insure that the brand promise is consistently applied to every unit or offering, mindful that even a small message dissonance can tarnish the overall effectiveness of a brand and its image.  A successful brand strategy relies on a congruent communication and a clear brand image considering all points of contact a brand has with a targeted consumer, whether digitally online or printed offline, to connect potential customers to a particular business through recognition.  Inconsistent or confusing messaging will have a negative and potentially permanent effect on brand value.

The spirit of a brand can only be inferred through its products and its advertising. The content of a brand grows and are governed by a unifying idea or guideline. Kellogg’s, for instance, does not attach its name to any one product: Frosties, All Bran, Special K, Rice Krispies all bear the marks of a single intention, marks that display certain values, attributes, and guiding principles. The brand becomes credible through endurance and repetition across all products, creating satisfaction and loyalty with consumers of various tastes and expectations.

SC Johnson, A Family Company, markets hundreds of individual products through 15 product lines including, Drano, glade, OFF!, pledge, Raid, Saran, Scrubbing Bubbles, SHOUT, Windex, Ziploc, fantastic, Armstrong and Nature Source, each branded around “What’s Inside Is Only the Best for Your Family”.   A 127-year old family company, SC Johnson is a brand that is consistently touting that it produces products consumers can trust, a company dedicated to giving back and a company with a mission to making an environmental difference, whether it’s products are cleaning windows, sealing in freshness, killing or repelling pests or opening a clogged drain.

A good brand delivers a clear unified message, confirms a company’s credibility, connects emotionally to targeted prospects, motivates purchasers and establishes long-term user loyalty.  Just as unity of command is critical to successfully implementing an army’s strategy on the battlefield, speaking with one voice when communicating the brand promise is vital to successfully building a brands value across all company units and offerings.

Leading Atlanta Neurologists Recognized for Advancing Improved Telestroke Care

Junction Creative Solutions client Acute Care Telemedicine (ACT) was recently featured in a MHealth issue dated July 1st.   AcuteCare Telemedicine is based in Atlanta and is the largest practice-based provider of teleneurology and other telemedicine services in the Southeast.   Licensed in eight states and currently practicing in Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and Florida, ACT is making an aggressive push to help smaller hospitals and networks that don’t have immediate access to neurologists.  Keith Sanders, ACT chief operations officer said, “We really feel that we can help hospitals of all sizes – hospitals with no coverage, or some coverage, or that can provide everything except the neurologist.”

Is Big Tobacco Making A Come Back?

When The Marlboro Man made his first appearance in the cigarette maker’s advertising in 1954, he became one of the first prolific characters’ representing a brand and opened the door for an industry that would spend more than $1 billion dollars in advertising each year over the next two decades. Since a ban on TV advertising took place in 1971 and the imposition of the Master Settlement Agreement of 1998 created broad restrictions on the marketing of cigarettes, “tobacco has been a relatively uninspiring marketing story because of the regulations and negative sentiment”, said Michael S. Lavery, an analyst for CLSA Americas.

That may all be about to change as three largest U.S. tobacco companies enter the electronic-cigarette (e-cigarette) market, Big Tobacco is poised to once again become a significant spender.  R.J. Reynolds, the second-largest tobacco company in the U.S., has announced it is poised to launch Vuse, its “digital vapor cigarette.” Marketed by its R.J. Reynolds Vapor Co., Vuse will begin marketing in Colorado — the first state in an eventual rollout — with print, TV and direct mail marketing from CHI, London.  Philip Morris USA, the nation’s No. 1 tobacco company, is expected to announce its own e-cigarette brand soon and Lorillard, the third-largest tobacco company in the U.S., will spend $40 million to market its e-cigarette brand Blu, more than double what it spent on measured media last year. “We see real opportunity for the e-cigarette category,” said Robert Bannon, director-investor relations.

The resurgence is due to e-cigarettes not yet being regulated by the Food and Drug Administration; tobacco companies can tap certain media that have long been unavailable to their traditional cigarette brands.  Spending on e-cigarette TV ads increased 17.9% from 2011 to 2012, while print ad spending increased 71.9%, according to the Citibank report.  The rise in print spending could be a boon for magazine publishers but the continued growth of ad spending on e-cigarettes hinges upon how the FDA decides to regulate the burgeoning category.  Reynolds American CEO Daniel Delen said that a decision is “imminent,” at which point Big Tobacco could again be turned away from TV.   Any regulations the FDA may try to impose will likely result in a court battle, thus preventing any regulations from going into effect within the next year, but the path back for tobacco companies dominance in advertising is largely out of their hands.

Lorillard is jumping out in front of the competition with the Blu Cig online marketing program which depicts a character called Bob, alias Mr. Cool, a 36 year old smoker of unknown occupation. A flashback to the Marlboro Man era, while television commercials feature Stephan Dorff, encouraging viewers to “take back your freedom” and proclaiming, “We’re all grown-ups here!”  One obvious marketing challenge for all the players is explaining the technology and the use of the new e-cigarette, an unnecessary effort once left to former generations of smokers of traditional cigarettes.

It is not likely that big tobacco will ever reach its marketing spend of previous decades, but the e-cigarette has caused excitement and enthusiasm among an industry that has for a very long time been the marketing’s industries most restricted and most dormant segment.   More than 40% of smokers have tried e-cigarettes, and to spite the fact that about 80% of them return to traditional cigarettes, there is a large consumer base that wants to make a change.  It promises to be a realization of what up to now has been just a pipe-dream for the tobacco industry.

Building A Successful Brand Requires Advocates

What comes first, the chicken or the egg?  This well-worn conundrum has long prompted thoughtful contemplation and lively debate and not only about the subjects of creation and evolution.  In reality, the question is used much more as a metaphor for establishing the linier heritage for just about everything.  In a marketing sense one could metaphorically ask, what comes first, the brand or the core essence and values representative of the brand, those actions of the individuals that guide all the messages, products and services through the organization?

Building a successful brand goes well beyond the companies top-end leadership establishing a commitment to a set of ideals, missions and objectives, it requires critical involvement and buy-in from an organizations employees and associates in all operational levels.   Adobe’s Karl Isaac, director of brand strategy, has noted that “when done right, brand becomes part of the culture of the organization, and what it stands for.”  A successful brand becomes integrated within the individuals and embedded into the fabric of the enterprise.  Establish a dedicated team of brand advocates by following a few simple steps:

Identify who you are and your reasons for being.

Your brand will only be relevant to your customers if it is believable.  Walk the talk and deliver on the promise of the brand.  Involve employees and make them a key part of establishing the brand.  The process of development needs to create a brand culture that excites, educates and enrolls the entire organization to become brand advocates

Educate advocates on the brand heritage and purpose.

Provide a full understanding of where the brand comes from, its promise and how customers get value from it.  Encourage and insist on each associates understanding of the core principles of the brand.  Their unwavering involvement in delivering on the brand promise and fulfilling the customer’s expectations is critical to their participation in the company’s success.

Connect the brand to each employee and their specific functions.

Make the brand tangible to all employees, showing them what their role and responsibility is in the brand experience.  Linking the brand to each ones function is vital to understanding and advancing the core principles of the brand.

Leaders must lead by example.

Management at all levels of the organization must live the creed and set out a clear personal and professional example of support for the brand ideals.  All behaviors and managerial practices must gravitate towards fulfilling on the brand promises.

Most importantly, successful brand building is not a project with a defined beginning and an end, but rather a living and breathing process that requires long term commitment to the ideals, values and mission of an organizations leadership and fellow advocates.  It requires dedication, persistence and patience extended over time to establish and maintain successful brand awareness and creditability.

Celebrate July 4th with Your Customers

Independence Day, or the July Fourth Holiday, is the first celebratory occasion of each summer, known for big entertainment events, grand exhibitions of history and arts, and spectacular fireworks displays.  Coupled with seemingly endless outdoor barbecues and feast of all sizes and culinary specialties, marketing activities often have taken a bit of a back seat to the holiday celebrations in the past, but not anymore.  Retailers are pulling out all the stops to gear up for this July 4th Holiday, making an concerted effort to fill the void between Springs marketing promotions and the much anticipated late summer and fall shopping seasons.

Opportunities to showcase retailers products are themselves taking on an entertainment and celebratory theme, all wrapped up in the red, white and blue and sparkling with messages of deep discounts and massive savings for those shoppers who are willing to take a few hours away from the festivities and find a bargain.

This year, Macy’s, the master of special event marketing, will continue to solidify their lead in entertainment advertising and marketing with “It begins with a spark”.  The annual Macy’s fireworks display who will be scored by Usher, who will “curate” the score and the fireworks themselves.  Macy’s believes Usher’s involvement will expand the audience for the show, which is broadcast nationally and won some 8 million viewers for NBC last year for the retail giant.  Macy’s strives to make the shopping experience fun. “It’s not just about shopping – it’s about retail entertainment, says a spoke person, we are dedicated to creating special experiences for our customers by hosting a variety of events in our stores and communities.”

July is usually a great month of for car-shoppers and for this year major automakers are hopeful that it will once again prove to be the lucky month for them.   Dealerships all across America are pitching the tents and polishing the inventory to capture the attention of buyers and lure them under the big top and into a great deal.  July is one of the months in a year where car buyers are able to save a lot in purchasing vehicles since incentives and rebates are offered by automakers in an effort to reduce their inventory prior to the arrival of the new models in early fall.

But participants need not be mega stores and huge, hard-goods marketers to capitalize on the excitement of this Independence Day.  Small and mid-sized businesses and local specialty shops can get in on the action with a well thought-out and well-planned strategy to link to the months most spectacular day, the most important thing is to participate and be part of the action.  Coordinate promotional activities with area events, focusing on the food, entertainment and the colors of the Holiday.  Be prepared to do something special for those customers and clients who support you throughout the year.  If hosting an event is out of the question, participate in one of the local Fourth of July celebrations by becoming a sponsor or creating a tie-in with popular public celebrations.

Whatever the decision, promotion is the key to success, be sure to get your brand and message out across all media and collateral; whether print, digital or social, a well buttoned up message broadcast to your market will ensure that you are player and not benched on the sidelines.

According to Plunkett Research, surveys show, that in general, consumers are focused on increasing their savings and paying down debts and with persistently high unemployment levels and a difficult environment for job seekers, customers are reducing retail spending.  Consumers will continue to be more conservative and when they do spend, they want to feel like they are buying merchandise that is fairly priced, if not a significant bargain.

Taylor your July Fourth marketing message to reflect the current economic environment and consumers concerns and expectations wrap it all up in red, white and blue and launch it with celebration.  Lead with your best holiday effort, get involved don’t be left out.

All Roads Lead Through Gettysburg

By all historic accounts, it was a series of typical hot summer days that greeted the approaching visitors to a small, quiet town located just over the state line in a Commonwealth called Pennsylvania and a town known as Gettysburg.  At the time the town was most famous for the geographical fact that “all roads lead through Gettysburg”, a unique convergence of important roads that lead to the nation’s cities of commerce and government.  This was the reason for the approaching entourage of soldiers representing both sides in the great American Civil War.  They were tired, hungry and in the need of supplies that would be instrumental if they were to continue the conflict.  Few, if any, of those approaching visitors or the towns residence had any inclination of the magnitude of the coming day’s events would have on the history and the preservation of the United States of America.

This year marks the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, a historic event that is of monumental importance to all Americans.  As the sun set over the horizon on July 3, 1863, more than 51,000 of those approaching soldiers would be casualties of the bloodiest battle every fought on American soil.  Their struggles and sacrifice on these three days would become a watershed moment in the preservation of a nation that was first born, “conceived liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal”, exactly, to the day, just 87 years before.

Today the town of Gettysburg is very much the same but very much different than it was in July 1863.  All roads still lead through the center of town.  A typical small town in many traditional ways; peaceful, scenic and home to less than  ten thousand diverse residence whose values remain founded by honesty, integrity and a work-hard ethic.   It is home to a variety of corporate and public entities and educational institutions, among them Junction Creative Solutions (Junction).

Junction arrived in Gettysburg several years ago when the growing marketing and business development firm headquartered in Atlanta, GA, needed representatives located closer to their northeast client base; it is natural fit for Junction.  All roads continue to pass through Gettysburg to the majority of the country’s commerce and urban centers and the values inherent in the people of the region are congruent with the values, mission and vision of Junction Creative Solutions. We are proud to be part of this exciting, energetic community and join with our fellow residence in welcoming all visitors to the 150 Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg.  It is fitting that we, as beneficiaries, remember and honor those many thousands of soldiers who paid the ultimate price to preserve the union of these United States those first three days in July, 1863.

Happy Birthday America!