A 2015 retrospective.

December 26, 2015 / Branding, Sales/Marketing
branding retrospective

At this time of year, it’s customary for bloggers and other industry pundits to look back at trends in the business — and extrapolate what it all means for the future.

Well, it’s been quite a year at Partners & Harrison, with lots of new projects and the addition of high profile clients like American University.

In the branding business, every year brings its share of insights. Here’s what we saw in 2015.

1. Digital technology continues to shrink timelines — everyone seems to be working on speed dial. And in some cases, 24/7.

2. Websites and microsites are becoming increasingly visual and cinematic. Large, visceral photography and video have become the norm, with copy being kept to a minimum.

3. Packaging design is getting more creative (in terms of form factor) and visually appealing as more and more companies realize the importance of brand design in influencing consumers’ buying habits at the point of sale.

4. Corporate responsibility and citizenship seemed to dominate many campaigns thematically this year. Consumers want to know what companies stand for as much as what they sell. (This year’s Super Bowl contained a plethora of socially-conscious advertising. A few standouts were Coca Cola and Dove.)

5. Experiential marketing — the growing importance of brand experiences and their emotional component — remains a dominant trend. We truly have entered the “human era” of branding and marketing.

6. And of course, the upcoming presidential election is dominating all forms of media — social as well as traditional.

Well, that’s the year as we saw it. Here’s to new exciting trends and clients in 2016. It’s still a fun business — and one that’s constantly changing.

Photo:  Jim Hickcox (Creative Commons)


Packaging and good taste.

November 18, 2015 / Branding, Design
coke packaging

We read an interesting article in Adweek a few weeks ago.

Research by Charles Spence, an experimental psychologist at the University of Oxford who investigates sensory perception of food, has determined that consumer perceptions of the taste of Pringles were actually altered by how fresh or stale the chips sounded. In further experiments, Spence discovered that product packaging influences taste perceptions, as well.

A failed packaging experiment for Coke involved a limited edition white can — designed as part of a fund-raising effort for endangered polar bears. The can was discontinued because consumers complained that Coke had changed its formula and the “new product” didn’t taste as good. Which wasn’t the case at all. It was a new can, not a new Coke.

The takeaway here: Color palettes, packaging, product shapes — even product names — can make or break your product. Design is more important that you might think. So choose wisely.


Mastering Logos and Their Impact.

November 1, 2015 / Branding, Design
logo design

Your choice of a logo may not determine the life or death of your business, but it will certainly provide a visual cue into the culture, values and behavior of your brand, which may in fact act as a springboard to gain customer recognition. Every day consumers come face-to-face with countless logos. However, few are unaware of the impact these visual icons are making through subconscious messaging.

A logo gives consumers an instant impression of your brand, so it’s critical to develop a design that’s not only dynamic, but captures your brand’s vision and strengths. In many cases, a logo may only have a few seconds to tell a story, which can make creating one the most difficult aspect of the branding process.

As you begin the process of turning the image of your brand into a commercial reality, we suggest considering these four characteristics:


1. Is it unique?
Does the logo design remind you of someone else’s? Having a strong, distinctive logo identity will not only show how different you are, it will set you apart from others in your industry and make your brand more memorable.


2. Can it be described?
If you want to generate word of mouth around your logo, people have to be able to talk about it – therefore, it must be easy to describe. The simpler it is, the easier it will be to describe. We recommend playing around with bold and clean-cut techniques and foregoing the overcrowded and busy designs.


3. Does it suit your purpose?
When developing your logo, it’s important to identify what you want it to accomplish. Are you looking to persuade? Capture attention? Create awareness? The purpose of your logo will depend on the type of business you have and the effect you want to achieve. Your brand’s personality — the characteristics of your company — can help you figure out the typeface and colors that are most appropriate for your business.


4. Does it suit your target audience?
It’s important to look at the demographics of your target audience when determining the style and tone of your logo. If you have a business aimed at targeting men, you’ll want to think about incorporating strong designs with a macho edge. Likewise, if you’re targeting women, a delicate logo with subtle colors might be something to consider.


Looking to create a new logo for your brand — or to come up with something to replace the existing one? Contact us. We have a wealth of experience creating award-winning logos for major brands in a broad range of industries.

Meet Sarah, our Fall PR & Marketing intern.

October 20, 2015 / Advertising, Agency News, Branding
public relations intern

Partners & Harrison is thrilled to welcome Sarah Gunarich as our Fall Public Relations and Marketing intern. Sarah is a senior, Public Relations major at York College of Pennsylvania, where she is also attaining minors in Marketing and Communications. Prior to interning with Partners and Harrison, Sarah gained industry experience as a Marketing intern at The PEAK Radio and a Public Relations intern at Moxie Design and Marketing, where she also worked as the Marketing Coordinator. Along with interning at P&H, Sarah is also interning at The Glatfelter Agency, serving as a member of the Public Relations Student Society (PRSSA), and working to become a board member for Equiteam Support Services, a non-profit organization in York, Pa.

During her free time, Sarah enjoys spending time with her family and friends, enjoying outdoor activities, supporting local businesses in downtown York, and binge watching “Law & Order SVU.” After graduating, Sarah plans on working for a company that presents new and exciting challenges and one that she’s equally as passionate about. She’s also looking forward to using her first big pay check to travel the world, work towards her PhD, and marry her best friend and love of her life.


Sarah’s Insider Info:

If you could be reincarnated into any animal, what would it be and why?
Definitely a dinosaur – preferably a herbivore! I think it would be neat to have a glimpse into prehistoric times and uncover one of life’s greatest mysteries.
What was the last movie you watched?
The Conjuring – It was part of the “30 Days until Halloween special” on Syfy, and of course I ended up watching it at nighttime when no one was home. I’m still terrified to go to sleep.
What’s your strength?
I like to think I’m very good at thinking on my feet. My best ideas and greatest works are always produced during high pressure or last minute situations – which I’ve found to be opposite for most people.
What’s your inspiration?
I’m motivated through challenge and opportunity. I like to be innovative and try things that haven’t been done before, or at least done well. Whenever I’m given a task, I put my heart and soul into working hard and pushing myself to overcome boundaries and defying the odds. “I can’t” is not in my vocabulary.
Living or dead, name a person you would want to have dinner with the most?
My grandmother Gunarich. She passed five years ago and I still find myself missing the Italian dinners and cookies she used to make for our family. I miss her laughter and hugs so much.
Favorite food/ drink?
I’m a pretty big sushi fanatic, especially for the spicy salmon rolls at Masa in York. I also really enjoy a nice glass of Primo Amore Moscato. It’s the perfect blend of fruity and sweet!
What brought you to P&H and what’s your favorite part of your new job?
As a college senior, I was looking for an opportunity in a cutting-edge and unique environment that was not only going to prepare me for post grad life, but also push me to work harder and think more strategically. I’ve thankfully been able to find that at P&H! Every day presents a new challenge, which enables me to think on my feet and strive to become more innovative. P&H doesn’t make me feel like I’m at an “internship.” Instead, I’m involved in the the creative process and constantly challenged to meet higher standards and adapt to new concepts!

We’re stoked to have Sarah join us for the Fall. She’s been doing a killer job with our PR, social media and marketing tactics. Check out some of her work on our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Google Plus pages.