Imagine that you are tasked with defining a new brand. You’d probably tend to start by selecting colors and fonts, creating a logo, and designing a website. Yes, all of these brand elements are essential, but they focus primarily on the visual aspect of branding. What’s missing are ways to engage the rest of our senses…
Cobalt wins three platinum and one gold award in the 2021 MarCom Awards, sponsored by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals.
Looking for some last-minute gifts or perhaps something a little more titillating than the typical holiday fare? (No offense, but who really needs another ugly tie or another scented candle?) These science-inspired ideas deliver the best gift of all — the delight of discovery.
Tell a better brand story by developing and consistently implementing a brand messaging framework.
Writing lists correctly is not rocket science, but there are rules to follow. This is a beginner’s guide to writing lists.
In this article, we explain how to create a simple, concise internal communications strategy that you can use in any industry.
Interviewing a subject matter expert can be stressful or even intimidating, but with just a little preparation, you can get all the info you were hoping for … and more. That’s why we’ve put together this article about how to conduct successful subject matter expert interviews.
The best doers don’t always make the best leaders; read these tips to lead better.
Review everything you need to know to start designing websites that appeal to different personality types.
The language of loneliness has been universal this year. A close look at how loneliness, isolation and solitude can help and hurt us.
Ten corporate communications best practices every science-based company can use to increase engagement, promote understanding and win customers.
Here are Cobalt’s eight predictions about post-COVID marketing.
During a global pandemic, it can be helpful during our own isolation to take a peek at artists and thinkers who used solitude to their advantage in their writings and processes.
Clichés aren’t always bad. They can foster togetherness, inclusion and mutual understanding — a verbal or visual common ground.
Need a break from the COVID-19 virus? Cobalt has rounded up our best recommendations to escape reality.
At Cobalt, where a third of our team works remotely, we find ourselves particularly well-positioned to help you be productive while working from home. Read on for some tools and tips.
Writers and designers are “creatives,” but they work quite differently. What can each creative discipline learn from the other?
Imagine internal and external communications as two partners in a well-functioning, long-term relationship. Like any great partnership, they’re better when they work together and play off of the other’s strengths.
As January 2020 dawns on us — our 15th year of business — we’ve drawn up a list of 15 Communications Resolutions.
We get it, the communications landscape can be a bit confusing. So we broke it down for you.
Take some time to reevaluate and rebalance your sales and marketing efforts.
Also called vision boards or inspiration boards, mood boards are tools for communicating a feeling, theme, persona or mood for a design or a style in a way that can be quickly absorbed and understood by those viewing them. Mood boards can be used to confirm that all stakeholders are on the same page or get feedback if not. Join Cobalt Communications Art Director Mark Miller on an exploration of this vital design tool.
Aristotle once remarked, “We are what we frequently do.” If this is the case, do we want to be our email inboxes? And does the “Inbox Zero” email management technique function as the cure to the email abyss or compound the disease? This article examines Inbox Zero to determine its utility.
Even for the most experienced marketing pros, the responsibility of keeping your brand’s content flowing across the web can be daunting, even exhausting. It’s like feeding a monster that’s never satisfied. So,in this article, we turn to a familiar mantra of environmentalism — Reduce, Reuse, Recycle — to explore how marketers and business professionals canget more mileage out of theircontentand do more with less.
Swearing in the workplace used to be a no-no — no questions asked. But as three-piece suits have been replaced by khakis and no-tuck shirts, so too have we become more casual about the occasional oath or obscenity. Research shows that swearing can play an important role in communication, though there are some who argue it has no place in civil discourse.
Sun Tzu, author of The Art of War, is often regarded as one of history’s greatest military strategists. According to the Chinese general, if you want to defeat your enemy, you must know them as well as you know yourself. The same is true if you’re marketing a brand — to succeed, you must know your competition.
Ali, Namath, Secretariat — we remember winners because they overcame staggering odds to reach the pinnacle of their sport. But if there’s a winner, there must be a loser. History’s winners and losers can teach us a lot about how to communicate effectively. In this article, we consider a few classic victor vs. vanquished duos to uncover important marketing lessons.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the terabyte-sized mountain of data that piles up every day from our business systems and processes. But the mountains of data represent a goldmine of opportunity — if you can find the right nuggets. That’s where KPIs come in. Grab your harness and pick axe and let’s start exploring the majestic wonder of KPIs.
Leaders of all kinds may feel they’re working 24/7 to take their organizations to the next level. There are this year’s trends and this quarter’s results and next quarter’s forecasts to worry about. You’ve built 7 highly effective habits but may feel frustrated enough to scream those 7 dirty words or commit one of the 7 deadly sins. Let’s reverse-engineer successes of organizations that have made it to where you want to be.
Today, it’s easy to see brand positioning at work in some of the most recognizable brands, such as Netflix and Whole Foods. But even if you don’t have the resources of these big consumer brands, even if you’re a small B2B businesses, you can apply the principles of positioning.
Every day, we’re bombarded by the maddening susurration of voices coming to us via the internet. Much of it is potentially interesting, but most of us don’t have the time, inclination or supernatural abilities to absorb it all. That’s why, as marketers and communicators, we must produce content that stands out and grabs the attention of our busy and easily distracted audience. One great way to do that is to start telling stories. In this article, we share some basic storytelling techniques that can be adopted easily as you develop content for common social media platforms.
The quest for perfection is everywhere, and it’s easy to get sucked in. But perfection can be detrimental, especially to small business owners or marketing managers who have long to-do lists and fewer productive hours to get things done. Let’s take a look at some of the consequences of an unhealthy obsession with perfection — and how we can use perfection to make us more productive.
Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt, or FUD, is a fear-based marketing strategy used in disciplines such as public relations, advertising and even politics. Influencers use FUD techniques to make us stop, think and change our behavior to choose their preferred option over another more questionable option. Keep reading to learn how you can leverage fear in your marketing — and when you might decide to avoid it altogether.
Each September, Interbrand releases its “Best Global Brands” annual rankings. While we wait to find out who will top the 2018 list, let’s take a closer look at the importance of brand consistency to businesses large and small, whether they sell to other businesses or direct to consumers.
The north pole is at the top of the world, and the south pole is at the bottom. But why is this? There is no scientific reason that one pole should be considered “up” and one “down.” A brief history lesson about the Mercator projection can help us appreciate the importance of a fresh perspective in our creative strategies.
Every time consumers shop, they face a plethora of products of all types, even for the most mundane items. At first glance, most shampoos, light bulbs or televisions may seem the same or at least very similar. So advertisers are constantly looking for ways to differentiate their products and make them stand out. Using science is one way to do that. But is the science real or is it soft, squishy and skeptical?
When you think of brainstorming, you might conjure up images of the Schooner Tuna creative session from Mr. Mom: agency team members gathered in a conference room, cigarette smoke billowing, clothes wrinkled, Chinese food growing crusty in the takeout containers while ideas died their slow death on an easel pad. A lot has been learned about brainstorming since then, including the fact that groups are not always better than individuals when it comes to generating great ideas.
Cobalt moved to a new office location in November 2017. It didn’t take us long to realize that Cobalt-branded signage was critical to day-to-day operations — and to our overall brand.
Successful environmental branding creates a physical space that effectively embodies a brand and communicates its attributes, personality and key messages. That space may be in retail stores, restaurants, office environments or even at tradeshows. It is accomplished through intentional design of a space’s atmosphere and carefully considers factors such as color, texture and materials, size and smell.
Cobalt Communications president and director of strategy, Leslie Harris, has been named a Board Member at Large for the Mid-Atlantic Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development (MASHSMD). Leslie and her fellow board members will be working together to grow MASHSMD’s membership through engaging and educational networking events that bring together healthcare marketing and communications strategists from across Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania.
Encouraging innovation in today’s business environment takes much more than a suggestion box placed in a breakroom. Leaders of forward-thinking organizations don’t wait for passive inspiration to strike. They design spaces and situations that actively propel creative thinking, helping teams to think big — and fast.
Achieving understanding can always be “easier” on an audience … but can’t always be “easy.” When creating infographics, you should strive to facilitate understanding, but if you oversimplify information too much or fail to give readers additional opportunities to dig deeper, then you may be falling short as a communicator.
Eclipse mania may be fading (along with the white-hot images on our retinas), but the idea of an eclipse — an obscuring of light from one celestial body by the passage of another between it and an observer — made me think about how this phenomenon applies to communications. Is it possible to behave in such a way or deliver messages in such a way that the audience only remembers the person sending, not the content being sent?
So what’s in the DNA of a great name, the unseen coding that makes it look and sound like a million dollars? Our checklist dissects five simple requirements that will help your brand grow into an empire worthy of worship.
Annual reports — glorified financial statements or robust marketing tools? (Hint: we believe in the latter.) Even though Cobalt is a private company and we don’t legally have to publish an annual report, we chose to create one (and go digital) for 2016 because it offers so many marketing opportunities. And your company could reap these benefits, too.
As a company owner, leader or manager, you’re not just building a business. You’re building a brand. “Doing business” refers to day-to-day operational stuff. “Building a brand” refers to developing an idea that is worth loving — an idea that will connect what you do with the people who consume it and create a memorable, emotional reaction. And the secret to building your brand? Knowing what’s important and what’s urgent.