Yup, regardless of the industry, we’ve likely all heard this, “…who’ll do it cheaper.” There’s always someone cheaper. We are a society that loves being cheap. Some big names (that you can easily name from ‘A’ to ‘W’) have built empires on being cheap. Yet being cheap doesn’t necessarily mean being smart, and paying less doesn’t always mean getting more value for the money, taking less time or getting better results.
That least expensive paint you found is more likely to NOT cover in one coat, but WILL take more time, and leave brush marks than a more expensive brand. Likewise, that cheapest window cleaner WILL leave streaks and cost you more in time to re-clean them. How’s that cheap toilet paper or doggie poop bag working out for you? Do you really want to gamble your health and future on the cheapest condom you can buy?
But its not just products, its true for services as well. There’s probably nothing wrong with the flooring product in this picture, but the execution and results are not what was expected. Read the rest of this entry »
Many of America’s greatest innovations began with the big question, “What if…?” and the solutions were even bigger. Virtually every business, large and small started with the question, “What if…?” Often one ‘what if’ leads to other ‘what ifs’.
Let’s assume that your ‘what if’ has lead you to develop a business, but your current ‘what if’ has you on the fence about the need for a website. Let me save you some time – you need one. A good one. Professionally designed to catch leads, increase sales, tell your story, differentiate you from the others – regardless of your industry. Want to know why? Read the rest of this entry »
Like all of us, our pets, our cars & homes, websites age – some better than others. A website may become outdated, non-functional or you may have new needs/goals. Web technologies evolve, coding languages change, and site visitors expectations will increase as they become more sophisticated. Web design is a cyclic and regular process as companies change, new technologies develop and new fashions come along.
Its a smart plan to consider re-designing a site once a year, but at least once every few years. Cyber years, like dog years, are not the same as human years. An older, outdated site can look neglected and can imply poor customer service. However, the frequency of redesign depends on many site, company internal and external factors.
During the 1939 hit movie, “The Wizard of Oz”, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and Dorothy, chanted the memorable phrase, “Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my!”. Today its just as likely that the things to be concerned about are AI (artificial intelligence), Hackers (those ne’re-do-wells seeking profits at other’s expense) and Drones (those minicopters that homeowners, realtors, the military deploy and Amazon may be using to deliver our orders) – Oh My!
Lions, Tigers and Bears aren’t necessarily out to eat us or the primary characters of Oz, but then neither are AI, Drones and/or (some) hackers necessarily ‘bad’. Read the rest of this entry »
Over the past several months, w/ increasing frequency, we’ve seen emails from a malicious scammer named Mel (“Mellie”, “Melina”, “Melika”, and “Meleana”, et. al.) filling out a client’s website form, and very aggressively claiming copyright infringement. Recently ‘Mel’ changed her name or has a colleague named ‘Amber’.
The email arrives via your website contact form and accuses you of using copyrighted website images and tells you to click on a link to see the list of the images that are in violation. Even when think it’s a scam, you’ll be tempted to follow the link. (DON’T CLICK THE LINK) The writer threatens to file a complaint with your hosting company and sue you. Read the rest of this entry »
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… Read the rest of this entry »
It’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.
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.
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.
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.