Monthly Archives: December 2015

Michigan Design and Marketing Firm Receives Certification as Women’s Business Enterprise

Connection Graphics, Michigan based Design and Marketing Firm Receives Certification as Women’s Business Enterprise by WBENC

Michigan design and marketing firm receives Certification as Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) from WBENC

December 15, 2015 – Connection Graphics, LLC receives national certification as Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) by the Great Lakes Women’s Business Council, a regional certifying partner of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC).

“The Great Lakes Women’s Business Council is proud to have Connection Graphics as one of our newly certified women owned businesses.  They have tremendous talent and promise that we are excited to see soar even higher,” according to Michelle Richards, President, Great Lakes WBC.

WBENC’s national standard of certification provided by the Great Lakes Women’s Business Council Certification Committee is a meticulous process including an in-depth review of the business and a site inspection. The certification process is designed to confirm that the business is at least 51% owned, operated and controlled by a woman or women. According to WBENC, by including women-owned businesses among their vendors, corporations and government agencies demonstrate their commitment to fostering diversity and continued development of supplier/vendor diversity programs.

“We are pleased to receive this certification by WBENC. We look forward to fostering the growth of other women-owned businesses while continuing to provide marketing and design services to successful corporations,” said Connie Sweet, founder and CEO of Connection Graphics.

About Connection Graphics:

Connection Graphics is an integrative marketing and design firm located in the Lansing, Michigan area. For nearly 20 years, Connection Graphics has provided expert website development, graphic design, and marketing solutions.  Connection Graphics offers guidance for the most cost-effective and creative solutions available to achieve maximum results. Serving a diverse clientele of large corporations and manufacturers to start-ups and non-profits clients extend across Michigan and the United States.  Connection Graphics works in person or digitally, to develop a strategy and visual signature adaptable to each stage of a companies growth.

Certification as Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) from Great Lakes Women’s Business Council means Connection Graphics can help more corporations. If corporations have marketing services, graphic design, or website design and development needs, this certification can help to meet supplier diversity program goals with an experienced, responsible design firm.

The certification achievement is an important milestone for Connection Graphics as we continue to grow and to improve our corporate relationships while fostering the growth of diverse and other women owned businesses.  Through a culture of continuous improvement our mission is to create partnerships by delivering cutting edge marketing and design solutions combined with incomparable service that brings results and makes everyones job easier. 

About WBENC:

The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council is the nation’s largest third-party certifier of businesses owned and operated by women in the United States. WBENC is a resource for the thousands of U.S. companies and government agencies that rely on WBENC’s certification as an integral part of their supplier diversity programs.

Media Contact for Connection Graphics:

Connie Sweet

WBENC Women owned business certification

December 2015

Mastering the Art of Print Marketing

Our new ebook covers tips on print marketing for small businesses. Printing has different rules than digital or web design. Over the years we have received countless questions on preparing items for print. Whether you are producing your own print marketing pieces or preparing items to turn over to us the tips in this book can save you time and money.

Some of the topics covered:

  • Color Modes
    (RGB, CMYK, Pantone…)
  • Graphic File Formats
  • Print Resolution Graphics
  • Proofreading Marks
  • Postcard Design, Brochures and Direct Mail

    On the Blog:

    How to [Be Your Own] Brand Consultant – It’s Not Just About Brand Visuals

    connectivity enews graphics

    Many people confuse branding with company logos, corporate identities and websites. It’s true, consistent brand visuals are important to establish a brand identity. The company brand though begins with the intangible elements a company is built on.

    Questions included below…  Read More…

    Taking Care of Business 

    Choosing Web Hosting

    Some things to look for: 

    1. Adequate Space – Some hosting companies only allow so much space per website, be sure there is enough for your needs, also consider whether you plan on uploading lots of photos as these can add up over time.
    2. Advertising – Most all free hosting and some less expensive hosting plans are only able offer plans at these rates because they place there ads on your website. They place a large ad on your site to cover hosting, but you can get hosting for $10/month, They are getting very cheap advertising out of you.
    3. Bandwidth – This is a limit on the amount of traffic to your website. Some companies impose a limit on how often your site is loaded by visitors. If it surpasses the limit for the month, they can disable the website or send you a bill for the amount of the overage. Check the bandwidth limit of your web hosting company and what happens if you go over. Then you’ll want to track your usage to see if need to move to a more advanced plan.

    If you specific hosting needs and would like us to help you in determining a solution, contact us.

How to [Be Your Own] Brand Consultant – It’s Not Just About Brand Visuals

how to be your own brand consultant graphic

Many people confuse branding with company logos, corporate identities and websites. It’s true, consistent brand visuals are important to establish a brand identity. The company brand though begins with the intangible elements a company is built on.

Questions included below are important to ask before you start your company and well before you begin your marketing and promotions. Some of them will be easy, some may need to be honed in over time.

These questions can be used by start-up businesses or existing businesses that needs to evaluate their brand presence and definition. Grab a cup of coffee, pen and paper or open a text document and start noting answers for each section.

Brand Position

  • What unique value do you bring to the market?
  • What does your company do?
  • Who are your customers?
  • How does it benefit your customers?
  • How are you different from your competition?

Brand Promise

What does your company stand for and offer to your customers every single time? All brand decisions are based on this promise to prospects, customers, employees and partners.

Do you want to be known for:

  • high quality product or service
  • giving back to the community
  • niche market
  • 24/7 service?, etc.

Brand Personality

What are the specific personality traits you want your company to be known to provide or represent?

  • sophisticated
  • passionate
  • daring
  • sincere
  • strong
  • dynamic

What is your brand story?

Did you open an e-commerce shop with all Michigan made products to support local artisans? Did you author a book on a parenting because you want to help young mom’s and children?  Are you a manufacturing company built on a strong work ethic  and safety who has achieved ISO certification?

Share your company history here:

  • Why were you founded?
  • What value do you bring?
  • What products and services?
  • How does your story build your credibility?

Brand Associations / Visual elements

The physical assets of your brand; name, logo, website, font, tagline, business cards, print collateral, etc. When you are choosing images, fonts, colors for your brand visuals consider your market and message. Reflect your brand promise, personality traits, and support your unique selling position.

By all means be consistent! Start up companies may select brand visuals that are trending in the moment. Quickly they discover they don’t relate to their brand, they don’t stand out and are quickly dated. Take your time in this step and be sure to ask people outside of the company their thoughts on brand visuals you are considering.

You may find everything falls into place very easily. Some companies may find additional help of a brand consultant or a graphic designer with a strong grasp of brand marketing is helpful. We help companies at this stage and there are firms that have made brand consultation their specific niche. If you are a start up company without a budget to outsource a professional  brand consultant, don’t let it stop you from answering the questions. Your answers don’t  need to be award winning script others see. It is more about defining your brand to yourself first to help you to live it with your customers, staff, vendors and your community.

Stay connected! Which question is the most challenging for you? Did any of them give you new insight on your company brand? I’m interested in hearing how the process was for you.