September 29, 2015
Posted By: Marc

Sheri L Koetting Speaker WebsiteHave a look at MSLK’s recently launched site for our very own Sheri L Koetting. The site was designed with the sole purpose of highlighting Sheri’s speaking engagements and writing, and is geared towards programming directors of conferences, and symposia. Much like Sheri herself, the site is fun, dynamic, and colorful. Please visit the new site on your desktop, as well as mobile devices: http://sherikoetting.com

March 13, 2014
Posted By: Sheri

MSLKcontentFirstOnline

Businesses seem to naturally gravitate towards considering technology needs when looking to build or update an e-commerce site. However, the more valuable — and often overlooked — consideration is that of content. Without a doubt, technology is essential in helping to deliver the content, but technology without content is meaningless. I believe the best process begins with defining user desires and marrying those with   business objectives in order to create the ideal front-end user experience. Defining the user experience should then inform the selection of a technology platform, not the other way around.

When considering the type of content to be included in a user experience, we have found that it is important to consider the following key areas: Read more

March 4, 2014
Posted By: MSLK

Easton Architects is a leader in historic building preservation, helping educational, public and cultural institutions plan, restore and reuse their buildings for the future. Their new brand presence exudes the same sense of historical respect and refined simplicity that they bring to each of their projects.

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January 17, 2014
Posted By: Marc

MSLK-annual-report-blog-post-animation2

Annual reports are seeing a resurgence amongst a number of savvy consumer brands. Once only the domain of publicly traded companies and non-profits, annual reports began with humble roots to fulfill a fiduciary responsibility with shareholders and to file with the S.E.C. Typically, these reports were single-color, and had little to no design. During the 1950s, many large corporations turned this yearly obligation into lavish glossy catalogs, affording them an opportunity to tell rich stories of achievements to their most ardent supporters.

Annuals typically follow a “reverse mullet” convention of “party in the front” via photography and interesting production techniques, with “business in the back” where financial data was relegated. Many famous graphic designers throughout the 20th century created notable reports such as Paul Rand for Westinghouse and Bradbury Thompson for Westvaco. Some reports were ostentatious, others were profound. This trend grew well into the 1990s until Microsoft sounded the death knell by having their annuals available online, setting a steep downward trend in printed annual reports’ significance.

Then, in 2005, something interesting happened.

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March 8, 2012
Posted By: Ryan

If your brand’s core presence is online, you may have heard about Google Panda, a code name for their new ranking algorithm, still very much a work in progress. With all of the conflicting literature out there, I’m hoping to cut through the clutter, so you can understand what you can be doing to better optimize your site. At its most basic level, the aim of this update is to lower the rank of “low quality” sites and raise the rank of “high quality” sites. Google’s spiders are more “human” than ever and can detect many things they couldn’t previously. So you might be asking yourself, how do I become a high quality site in the eyes of google? Read on to learn about the three big ideas we’ve gleaned from our own research. Read more

October 27, 2011
Posted By: Sheri

 

In a market flooded with so many brands, today’s consumer is presented with an ever-changing array of options along with an increased sense of discernment about what and where to spend their resources.  To be successful, a brand must find ways to distinguish itself and stand out amongst the clutter.

The process begins with a business strategy and marketing plan.  It has a clear point of view and maps out a direction for future activities.  This written plan describes the business, outlines goals and defines a sustainable competitive advantage.  It is a document that will grow and evolve.  A strong plan is an essential foundation documenting specific strategies and tactics to guarantee objectives are met.  Furthermore, it helps businesses make decisions quickly and manages capital and promotional opportunities effectively throughout the year; allowing for the right investments in the right places always with an eye towards the “big picture.”

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October 20, 2011
Posted By: Sheri

Reaching people through online, e-commerce and social media has become an unquestionable requirement of doing business; particularly for smaller brands without the resources to do other types of advertising and promotion. However the online space is becoming increasingly more crowded as well. Gone are the wild frontier days of social media where anything would garner attention. In addition emailers and banner ads are all experiencing declines in user participation. Faced with these facts, brands should not run and hide, rather we see tremendous opportunities when each media is approached with a clear plan of action and a clear point-of-difference to share. Enter the alliance of strategic marketing and design. Marketing charts the course and design creates the vehicles that bring it to life.

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August 16, 2011
Posted By: Sheri

Can retailers generate more sales by utilizing mobile devices and social media? In a recent interview with Footwear Insight I was asked my opinion of how footwear retailers can and should be putting these tools to work. The truth is many  brands see e-commerce and social media tools as a way of growing their business online. However, we see it as more than that. As the article states customers are surfing the internet on their mobile devices more than ever. Optimizing your website and social tools to capture users who are on mobile devices can also draw more customers into your brick and mortar locations as well.

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June 14, 2011
Posted By: Sheri


Every fashion and beauty business is keenly interested in expanding their marketing into social media platforms. The natural inclination as a marketer is to approach these platforms as yet another media for traditional messaging and campaigns. However, this is not the most successful approach. Although brands should maintain a brand image on these platforms that is consistent with other traditional media, the conversation on social media platforms should not be a one-sided ad campaign. Social media should be regarded forums for customers, customer communication, and customer service. Read more

April 26, 2011
Posted By: Ryan


MSLK
has recently had the opportunity to work on a number of projects that have involved content strategy for social media. This was the primary challenge for established artist representative agency, Friend and Johnson, who was looking for ways to connect with a new generation of young art directors while also being found more easily by search engines. Their existing image-based flash site did not enable them to tell more in-depth stories behind their artists and overall brand, nor did it allow for more current social media sharing features. In order to address these issues, we recommended the creation of a blog, which would become the centerpiece of their online presence. Read more to learn about our strategy and design process. Read more

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