(616) 356-2545 15 Ionia Ave. SW, Suite 220 - Grand Rapids, MI 49503

A Website is a Website

November 15th, 2017 by Ima Admin

Wow, really?  That takes me back to the 60′s when we also thought a horse was a horse.. unless, of course, that horse was the famous Mr. Ed.

I suppose that if all you’re looking for is a tax write-off and/or to get the marketing department to quit bellyaching about not having one, then perhaps a static website that looks like it is from the 90′s and drives little or no traffic and generates few, if any leads will do just fine for you.

However, for the rest of you that are looking to invest in an asset that will not only build your brand, but gain you visibility, increase trust and ultimately generate more sales… then not all websites are created equal. You need your horse to be a unicorn.

Usually, a COMPANY wants a website for some basic reasons, including:

  • To increase sales and/or leads
  • To provide company information to prospects and/or investors
  • To increase brand awareness, exposure and/or trust
  • To create a method to stay in touch with clients.
  • To open an online e-commerce channel
  • To utilize / leverage social media

or

  • To be cool and/or awesome

However, PEOPLE have their own WANTS in life, such as:

  • People want to know how to make money.
  • People want to find ways to win money.
  • People want to learn how to save money.
  • People want to lose weight.
  • People want to look / feel better.
  • People want to have a better sex life.
  • People want to have a happier home life.
  • People want to have more knowledge.
  • People want to help others.
  • People want to experience personal success in life.
  • People want to develop friendships.

And as we’ve pointed out in previous posts, if these people are coming to your site, 75% or more of them want to do that via smartphone. There are billions of websites out there right now, but only a fraction are mobile device friendly – even with Google’s punative measures for being NON-mobile.

Next time you hear someone say they don’t know what their customers expect, have them call us at the Imagination Factory.


What is a Brand?

September 18th, 2017 by Ima Admin

So… What IS a brand?

It used to mean the symbol seared on a cow’s butt to thwart rustlers. But is a brand simply your logo?

Or is it ALL that comes to mind when you think of a person or company? When we think of Apple, we think innovation & design. Nike, we think athleticism & victory. That top of mind brain tattoo?

Recently, David Bowie died, but when we think of him, we think musician, artist, actor, and actually we think of a constantly changing brand… He was actually a master of the re-brand – from Major Tom to Ziggy Stardust to the Thin White Duke.

For many, the brand is the company. For others, its a personal brand. For some its both.

A website is quite often the first place prospective customers will encounter your brand. Sometimes before they get your business card, brochure or see you at a tradeshow.

During a discussion with a realtor colleague of mine, Brandon and I briefly discussed his unique opportunity in branding. I asked, “Are people buying a home from his firm or are they buying from Brandon or is it an equal priority?”

So when developing a website its important to know what your brand is and how to communicate that to your audience. This is something that one-size fits all templates can’t do for you – unless, of course, your brand is to be bland and just like everyone else.

What’s YOUR brand? Is it time to focus it or time for a RE-brand? Who do you know whose website isn’t communicating that brand as well as it could?

Have them call the brain tattoo folks at the Imagination Factory.


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!
Read the rest of this entry »


News: Inspiration or Desperation?

October 15th, 2016 by Ima Admin

time for changeChange happens for usually one of two reasons: inspiration or desperation.

Clients wanting to have us design that first website are generally inspired, sometimes desperate to finally get online. Re-designing an existing site is often an act of desperation over a failed site or sometimes is inspired by positive changes in the clients’ business.

BTW, we look at a bad website not necessarily as a failure, just an educational experience that might not have turned out so well.
Read the rest of this entry »


News: What’s the ACA Have to Do with Your Website?

October 1st, 2016 by Ima Admin

ACA_180x180So you’ve probably heard of the ACA (Affordable Care Act), right? What about Section 1557 regulations and how it could affect your website?

Who knows that the deadline to have the required non-discrimination taglines, statements and notices (in the top 15 languages unique to YOUR state) posted in your office, on your primary marketing materials AND your website was October 16th, 2016?
Read the rest of this entry »


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.


News: Threemendous

September 20th, 2016 by Ima Admin

Three fingersToday’s news update is brought to you by the number three. We hear many times that a whole lot of ‘things’ come in three’s.

Celebrities seem to die in three’s

Religion has the Father, Son, & Holy Ghost

In writing, things that come in three are funnier, more satisfying, more effective.

…Three Little Pigs, …Three Musketeers, …Friends, Romans, Countrymen

And a few of you may even remember, the cold war slogan …Duck, Cover and Roll.
Read the rest of this entry »


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.


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