Archive for the Barrie marketing Category

Mayor Lehman’s Award Dinner Gets Press

Mike Beard's Further Adventures in Barrie

MARK WANZEL PHOTO Chuck Kyd, co-founder of the Barrie and area Camphill Communities Ontario, joins Siobhan and Tyler as they make muffins during a day program in Barrie. Camphill will be hosting its first Tribute Dinner on March 7 at the Barrie Country Club.

“Mike arrived wearing his pitcher’s glove, not his catcher’s mitt!” …a quote from Donna Douglas’ article in last Thursday’s Barrie Examiner about the upcoming Camphill Communities’ Tribute Dinner for Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman.

It shows the rather incredible community support for the Mayor, for the Camphill Community charity and yes, for me – a newcomer to this friendly town.

Here’s the link: http://www.thebarrieexaminer.com/2013/02/13/volunteers-grow-a-significant-event

Adventures in Branding – Chapter 2

Graphic Design in Barrie

Barrie Ontario population: 125,000

Little did I realize, looking at 40+ houses in Barrie, that it wouldn’t be so much the house but the community of Barrie that would mean so much to me and to my hopes of building a local design business here.

I have found so much openness and raw spirit, in fact so industrious are the people that I have been fortunate enough to have met in my newly adopted environment, that I am refreshed. When planning our move from Aurora to Barrie, further from my original Toronto base and further into the snow belt that is the reality in most of Canada, my wife and I realized I could literally work – anywhere. Cue the orchestra. Freedom at last!! Most of my design work has been local in character, that is small business has been my life blood throughout my career. Perhaps as a precursor, early on I had spent many years working for the home builders of southern Ontario marketing upwards of 30 new home communities from Peterborough in the east, to Barrie and Victoria Harbour in the North to Mississuagua and even Cambridge in the West. In each case illustrating local lifestyles and nearby amenities became a central theme, as proof of concept in my marketing effort.

So when is Graphic Design local? It is certainly a field that demands little in the way of space – just me and my computer really. But innovation is wired into the DNA of what designers do. I believe that good if not great work can be done in unlikely places. What good design needs to thrive is an enthused and open minded community, which I have found in Barrie. It needs competitive spirit which Barrie has in spades. Access to the best of world design is, like so much today, available on the net.

I am doing great work here. Come with me.

Adventures in Branding – Chapter 1

Your branding just has to work

Good design may be good business, but your brand just has to work.

It looks like we, meaning my wife, two small terriers and myself, will flourish here. Vastly different in spirit and temperment from where we came, Barrie turns out to be the entrepreneurial capital of Canada. Who’d a thunk it? In a city of 125,000 there are 7,250 businesses and counting, figures from Dunn & Bradstreet via the Barrie Public Library. My wife, ever the cynic, says that’s because there are no jobs here. Evidently Barrie got hurt ‘bad’ by the opening of Canada / US free trade early in the 90’s, in the Mulroney years, as many of the established American offices simply and quickly picked up and left. Now the good news for business, at least the study of creating business, is local Georgian College and its program for entrepreneurs.  I have to mention the vibrant networking community within the Barrie Chamber of Commerce. Evidently Google drew more guests to its July event up here than they did in downtown Toronto. Barrie defines Google’s intended premise, ‘local’, ‘local search’, ‘local business’ in all its promise.

This series of posts will address the ideas of branding, personal rebranding and yes, graphic design in Google’s newly defined ‘local’ setting, with my new city of Barrie playing a central, starring role. What does local branding mean in a city with a business for every 17 people, and over 5,000 of them between 10 and 100 strong?

A year ago when we moved, none of this was expected. All of it is welcome. More later.

Graphic design is just the beginning

ONEMANAGENCY_LOGO-02

I offer my customers high level branding, graphic design, advertising headlines and copy, campaign consultation, local marketing, logo and graphic design, the writing of marketing slogans, press releases, web sites, articles, ad placement, media consultation. I am proud to create and supervise each customer project with great personal care and tact. Some of these technologies are presented in coordination with experts I know and trust in the field.

They started calling me a “one man agency” a few years ago when I was the Marketing Director at ATS, a national transportation company located in Toronto. At the time I was developing the ATS Healthcare brand that turned out to be so successful. One of the testimonials presented on this site is from my senior executive during the brand launch.

But the nickname stuck and is quite apt. I wrote all the marketing materials, the internal newsletter and a variety web sites, had designed and produced them all, including brochures and award-winning calendars (a staple at transportation firms) invented a brand and described what it meant in both Pharmaceutical and Transportation magazines, designed the logo, wrote and placed ads… well, I did it all marketing-wise.

I have mounted some of this work and much else at mikebeard.com.

I work out of my home studio in Barrie, Ontario. My local Barrie number is 705-984-4752. I never charge for initial conversations and am currently offering a free assessment of all your graphics, sites, ads …. literally anything you would like to throw at me. I will send you a professional report with the results of my findings.

How Google makes a bundle . . .

Interesting to see just where Google scores the most real cash, and you guessed it, wealth begets wealth. Insurance, Loans and Mortage are the top ad-words, collecting over half of Google’s money. Here’s a handy link for further, FREE SEO exploration: Wordstream’s Keyword Research Test.

Also of note, with Google’s recent embrace of everything local, these topics are indeed local. Most demand a working knowledge of place and at least a personal connection to a broker. ‘Broker’ is a term that really means a nearby professional in whom I am willing to invest with ‘trust’ Perhaps, it is Google who is the broker here, to their great advantage.

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