“Wait, you’re playing Pac-Man?”

We finished up with our science lesson this morning and sat down at the kitchen table for a snack. This is usually when the five-year-old has “tablet time” (we’re not the type of parents that abides by the “Screen Time!” mantra or severely restricts device usage…). As I was putting snacks out, I noticed he was playing Pac-Man. PAC-MAN. “Wait, you’re playing Pac-Man?” I asked in that sort of parental stunned manner that even a …

“Wait, you’re playing Pac-Man?” Continue Reading >

Don Jr’s Site is on Shopify

Donald Trump Jr is tweeting about how “big tech” is cracking down on “free speech” after his father was booted from Twitter, FB, IG, YouTube etc over the last few days as a result of the Jan 6 terrorist attack on our nation’s Capitol. What’s interesting here is that Trump Jr is using Shopify to sell books and bulk up his newsletter subscriptions after Shopify moved to also ban Trump-related sites this week: Shopify does …

Don Jr’s Site is on Shopify Continue Reading >

Marketing to Your Own Beliefs

I get these sorts of questions frequently from new clients: “Why aren’t my Facebook Page posts getting more likes?” “Why isn’t my website getting more views?” “How can I let more people know I’ve written / made / created / offer the best service / product in my area?” “When will people start responding to the emails I’m sending them about our product / church service / nonprofit fundraising?” “What is the best way to …

Marketing to Your Own Beliefs Continue Reading >

The Economics of Mask Wearing

For the last 18 or so years that I’ve been in marketing, I’ve used “democratization” and “community focus” as consistent buzzwords in both my consulting work as well as speaking at conferences etc. I don’t think there’s any better example as to why those terms are important than the experience of living through 2020. Specialization is everything as people are looking for a community in new ways online to replace the in-person human element we …

The Economics of Mask Wearing Continue Reading >

Top Posts of the Teens

I started writing email newsletters in 2002 and blogging in 2003 for a couple of marketing outlets. I was mowing the lawn on October 13, 2006, and had the bright idea to start a marketing blog called CostPerNews. It took off rather quickly and before I knew it, I was getting citations on Techmeme and flown around to speak at various marketing and tech conferences. Part of that adventure was luck and hitting the blogging …

Top Posts of the Teens Continue Reading >

Mailchimp Rebrand

They’re based in Atlanta… The email marketing company Mailchimp, which today is announcing a complete rebrand, could have easily given up the quirkiness that defined its branding as a young company the way many other giants have. Instead, with the help of branding agency Collins, Mailchimp is doubling down. It’s keeping its logo-cum-mascot Freddie the Chimp, for starters, and using an analog typeface from the 1920s as its new wordmark, and illustrating its new brand …

Mailchimp Rebrand Continue Reading >

Owning your own platform is important, and valuable

I often get the question from clients of why I mostly recommend having your own website on WordPress or a self-hosted platform in the age of Facebook. As companies who built their businesses and traffic flow on the back of Facebook over the years have found out, that can be a very precarious decision. Audience and perceived impact are good, but long-term value is much better. Don’t cheap out and build your house on someone else’s …

Owning your own platform is important, and valuable Continue Reading >

Nonprofits, the smartphone, Facebook, and Google

Interesting thoughts here from the NY Times CEO on how they are shifting focus in relationship to Facebook and Google due to the smartphone revolution … much of this applies to how nonprofits and churches can do better marketing as well: It’s about how you think about the product and what you’re trying to do and what is the value you’re giving to users. The areas of weakness in the publishing industry have been not …

Nonprofits, the smartphone, Facebook, and Google Continue Reading >

Your logo and Instagram content

Good advice to consider here, particularly for nonprofits and churches on slimmer marketing budgets looking to make the most impact possible on social media… What about content that doesn’t show a clear logo? What about companies with unbranded or non-logoed products? We’ve seen that a huge percentage of the content shared and posted on Pinterest is logo-free. It’s important to go beyond the logo to get the whole story of an image—how brand content is …

Your logo and Instagram content Continue Reading >

What Does Your Brand Do?

Longevity and repetition are two of the hardest to use tools in a marketer’s toolbox, but also the most effective. via Marketing at millennials won’t save your tired brand | The Drum There are definitely some points in this post that I disagree with (importance of having a “famous” brand and working towards that being a goal for your organization for one), but this sentence did stick out to me as something that I need to …

What Does Your Brand Do? Continue Reading >

Check Your Logo Against AI

  Logo Rank is an AI system that understands logo design. It’s trained on a million+ logo images to give you tips and ideas. It can also be used to see if your designer took inspiration from stock icons. via Logo Rank – Check your logo design with deep learning Little more “machine learning” than “AI” but I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. Still, this is a pretty handy tool I’ll be using …

Check Your Logo Against AI Continue Reading >

The Importance of Getting Your Details Correct

  My partner Merianna was preaching at a nearby church last month and she needed a time estimate for the drive that Sunday morning. We googled the church and got the address. While on the results page, I noticed their “Hours” stated they were closed. It was a Sunday. That felt… peculiar. It wasn’t intentional, of course. It’s just a tiny detail that is easy to overlook. But when you only have, on average, about …

The Importance of Getting Your Details Correct Continue Reading >


Further confirming the notion that your website address really doesn’t matter that much anymore, I present linkmoji. Enjoy.

Becoming Entreprenuerial In Your Profession

Earlier this year, my good friend Thomas (a PhD candidate and officiant of my marriage) wrote a very timely post about his decision to blog despite some who advised otherwise… Why I Blog — Thomas J. Whitley: “Though many academics have resisted the move toward ‘branding,’ it has long been a part of academia. One’s credentials, what they’ve written, and where they’ve taught make up their brand and determine, to a large extent, who reads …

Becoming Entreprenuerial In Your Profession Continue Reading >

Should You Use or Host Your Own WordPress Site?

I am often asked by Harrelson Agency clients and potential clients if they should use a site or have us build and host a WordPress site for them. Money is often a main concern, as you can pay $100 – 120 a year for a pretty solid site without much fuss. A hosted WordPress site can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars in building costs, and more for …

Should You Use or Host Your Own WordPress Site? Continue Reading >

Small Business and Church Unwillingness to Be Personal

‘”We believe the new bars will inspire people to not only quickly identify their own symptoms and satisfy their hunger, but give them a new, fun way to call-out friends and family on who they become when they’re hungry, too,” says Snickers brand director Allison Miazga-Bedrick.” Source: Snickers Swaps Out Its Brand Name for Hunger Symptoms on Painfully Honest Packaging | Adweek “Brand apathy” is a very real and serious issue for both large and …

Small Business and Church Unwillingness to Be Personal Continue Reading >

Logo redesigns that missed the mark

The foundation of any brand is its logo. As such, with every redesign, a brand risks alienating its core following, who then flock to social media to broadcast their disapproval. But why do logo redesigns upset us so much? It all boils down to identity. People with strong connections to a brand tend to react negatively to redesigns, ultimately affecting their attitudes towards the brand as a whole. Source: 10 logo redesigns that missed the …

Logo redesigns that missed the mark Continue Reading >

I just threw up in my mouth.

“After 127 years under the ownership of the not-for-profit National Geographic Society, one of the world’s best-known media brands will be handed over to 21st Century Fox.” Source: Rupert Murdoch Is Buying National Geographic – BuzzFeed News This magazine was my childhood and expanded my worldview beyond Mullins, SC. Ugh.

The ‘Real’ Colonel Sanders and Bad Branding

“Other than not quite looking like him, his voice being different, and his inability to cook the world’s best chicken, we thought Norm was the perfect choice to play the Real Colonel,” said KFC US CMO Kevin Hochman in a statement. “I think the fans will agree.” Source: Norm Macdonald Is the ‘Real’ Colonel Sanders in Latest Ads from W&K I generally appreciate advertising campaigns that give a nod to the past but push a …

The ‘Real’ Colonel Sanders and Bad Branding Continue Reading >

You Need the .com of Your Name

If you have a US startup called X and you don’t have, you should probably change your name. The reason is not just that people can’t find you. For companies with mobile apps, especially, having the right domain name is not as critical as it used to be for getting users. The problem with not having the .com of your name is that it signals weakness. Unless you’re so big that your reputation precedes …

You Need the .com of Your Name Continue Reading >

Scroll to Top