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News & Updates

Online Sales Tax

June 25th, 2018 by Ima Admin

On June 21st, 2018, the Supreme Court of the US (SCOTUS) overruled 1992’s Quill Corp v. North Dakota case in South Dakota v. Wayfair in a 5 to 4 vote.

Back in 1992, Quill stated that US states could only change sales taxes on companies with a physical presence in the state. Effectively, Quill determined how state taxes worked with e-commerce from the web’s first days. Started in 1956, Quill, a direct and mail order office supply retailer, has grown to be one of the largest business-to-business office supply retailers in the U.S. at over $1 billion in annual sales with 70% of that coming from internet sales. Quill was acquired by Staples, Inc. in 1998.

The 1992 Court did not have before it the present realities of the interstate marketplace or how the Internet’s prevalence and power would change the dynamics of the national economy. Here’s some of the 2018 reasoning…
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Site Redesign: Imagination Factory

January 30th, 2017 by Ima Admin

jugglingIt’s finally here! The new IFI site. During 2016, Team IFI launched ~20 new client sites (several quite large with an extensive list of features); We ghost blogged through the year for six clients; We managed SOCS, our Suite Online Catering System, for a dozen minor league baseball ballclubs around the country; We handled the tradeshow support needs (design of trinkets, handouts, posters, banners, A/V shows, even tailgate flags) for several clients; We designed / produced numerous direct mail campaigns for several clients totaling over 200,000 postcards (mail merged and EDDM); we handled Adwords campaigns for a couple retained clients; we designed a variety of new logos, business cards, and newsletters for several clients; and we managed site (and server) updates/upgrades for over 50 managed client sites.

Whew!
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Tradeshows: Brides and Tattoos

September 30th, 2016 by Ima Admin

One of our clients, CTMAX, has been expanding their practice to include non-invasive cosmetics. After much research, CTMAX acquired a highly specific (pico-second) laser for reducing blemishes, scars and spots in a shorter time with less pain. They also discovered that the same device excelled at also removing tattoos with the same benefits.

As a result, they have found themselves taking booth space at bridal shows and tattoo conventions such as Tommy’s with the need for various tradeshow and promotional item materials.

Naturally they called on their long-time designer, IFI (since ’95). We rose to the challenge by designing/producing these large scale posters and banners for their shows along with promotional items including engraved bottle openers, can koozies, etc.


Site Launch: Andy Mast Greenhouses

September 19th, 2016 by Ima Admin

Andy Mast Greenhouses grow a wide range of high-quality bulbs, spring plants, mums and poinsettias to help homeowners beautify their homes and gardens year-round. Not available directly to the consumer, the product of their tender loving care can be found in Kroger supermarkets throughout the United States.

That said, when thinking about developing their first online presence, they wanted to serve two distinct audiences – their retailers as well as the consumers – both with different reasons for visiting their site. The retailers want merchandising assistance while the end user can benefit from care and feeding information.

Andy Mast came to the Imagination Factory for a creative online way to meet the needs of both groups PLUS allow their staff to tell a climate-conscious planet their ‘green’ story. We designed an easily managed site w/ a searchable and categorized seasonal product catalog and blog categories of direct interest to both groups.

Take a minute to STOP and smell the mums at the fresh new Andy Mast Greenhouse site.


Site Launch: Groom Team USA

September 1st, 2016 by Ima Admin

GroomTeam USA, Inc. is a non-profit organization which encourages professional pet stylists in the United States to maximize their grooming education and skills, and offers them the opportunity to represent the U.S. at World Team Competitions.

Many of the stylists in GroomTeam are members of the award-winning, Learn to Groom Dogs site, which IFI launched a little over a year ago. The team knew that we could make a site that would tell their story and inform their followers about the team, their events and ways the public could help.


Site Redesign: Kawasaki Precision Machinery

August 22nd, 2016 by Ima Admin

IFI_Blog_KPM_552x587Kawasaki is a leading manufacturer of hydraulic systems and components. Kawasaki’s technological leadership and customer-centered philosophy is well-known around the world.

Originally designed back in late 2009/2010, the KPM-USA site had served this client well, BUT was showing its age a bit. Built before tablets & smartphones became a predominate method for surfing the web, this site needed both a facelift and some structural changes to make it more mobile responsive as well as reflect Kawasaki’s industry leadership. Besides mobile-responsiveness, the new site adds an interactive distributor locator for North & Central America as well as a private distributor only area.

To see the new look and capabilities, visit the NEW KAWASAKI USA site.


Site Launch: Cutting Horse Training Online

August 9th, 2016 by Ima Admin

IFI_Blog_CHTO2_552x587Similar to a previous client, Simone & Duncan, owners of Cutting Horse Training Online (CHTO) out of Texas had built a successful online video education program that was functional but had outstripped the underlying design and technology of their current partners.

Having seen the transformation the Imagination Factory for the other client, they asked what was possible. CHTO had a few more things happening in their site, so once again we spent a lot of time investigating their specific needs, researching current technology they were using, and especially discussing the shortfalls of the current site – for both the owners and the users.

The result is a subscription-based, members-only, ecommerce, mobile-responsive site with hundreds of streaming videos & podcasts from multiple sources and by numerous training partners and grooming experts from around the world. Additionally, this site also needed to tie into third-parties InfusionSoft & Click Funnel for extensive email marketing campaigns, Dartfish for private video critiques, and SoundCloud for Podcast streaming. The site allows members to search and view streaming categorized videos on their desktop, tablet or even smartphone. In addition to basic ecommerce for books, DVDs and apparel, the site also needed to support an event calendar/ticketing system for clinics and workshops. Members may subscribe monthly, quarterly or annually to one of three different membership levels via several payment gateways to gain access to videos that are searchable by category, by training partner, by title.

This one raised the bar, yet again, on the built-in functions and capabilities that we’ve been asked to design into a site!

Mosey on over to the NEW CHTO site.


Site ReDesign: Kentwood Office Furniture

July 14th, 2016 by Ima Admin

IFIblog_KWOF_552x587Although many of our website solutions are built to serve our clients well for many years, technology continues to march forward providing new options and marketing channels of which to take advantage. At a minimum, we suggest revisiting the site design every five years or less.

Kentwood Office Furniture is the Midwest’s specialist in high quality remanufactured, used, and new office furniture and is well aware of rapidly changing environments. As a result, Kentwood Office and the Imagination Factory takes a look every 2-3 years at the site and how best to leverage the new technology and aesthetics in their site.

For your own closer inspection, visit the NEW KENTWOOD OFFICE site.


Site Launch: Haisma Design

July 11th, 2016 by Ima Admin

IFIblog_HDC_smFor nearly two decades Haisma Design Co. has been creating stunning luxury homes, as well as, designing extraordinary living, commercial, and recreational spaces for our extremely satisfied clients.

Sadly, their website wasn’t doing them and their work justice. They went looking for a web & marketing company that ‘got them’ and worked as diligently to satisfy their clients as they did. They found the Imagination Factory.

Like IFI, their award-winning work can be seen across North America, from Key West to Minnesota, and across the state of Michigan. And now, your can see it too, right from your desktop, tablet or smartphone.

Come see their extraordinary solutions at HAISMA


Marketing: Keeping the USPS Busy

June 20th, 2016 by Ima Admin

IFIblog_FMB_PCs-282x300Another of our long-time web clients in a different part of the country, has over the years, been very successful with an old school method of marketing. Florida has different plumbing and backflow requirements than many of the other US States. Many of the properties that they service have owners that reside in other states.

While email marketing might be quicker, they’re more easily missed and are harder to pin to your cork board or refrigerator than a 4-color printed postcard. We designed these four postcards, one for each primary service Flamingo Plumbing and Backflow offers – general plumbing, drain & sewer cleaning, grease trap cleaning & lift station / backflow service.

Approximately each quarter, we have up to 40,000 postcards printed, address-merged, pre-sorted and drop shipped to our client for sending out.


Sounds delightful! Let's get to work.

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