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Introducing Alignment + Action

by Darren Schwindaman | Principal / Designer

Photo by Joshua Sortino on Unsplash

We help solve many different brand and marketing challenges at Creative Distillery, but there are some threads that weave throughout all of our work. One concept in particular comes up in almost every client meeting. It’s fundamental enough to be meaningful to businesses at any stage of development, but also broad enough to work on continuously.

‘The Best You That You Can Be’

If I’m being honest, the way I hear this concept in my head is “the best you that you can be.” It conjures up images of self-help seminars and my face on a book (which, admittedly, I wouldn’t hate.) For a branding firm working in 2018, we need to be a little more sophisticated. However, this simple concept does center my thoughts for clients during meetings.

Why be the best you that you can be? In my experience, it’s the only way that you’ll be able to follow through with the actions it takes to bring your vision into reality. Chasing what success looks like for other organizations will only work for so long, and you likely won’t have the capacity or the drive to gain momentum.

Alignment

Our first job is to tease out the core of what you as an organization truly want, even if you haven’t previously articulated it to yourself or your customers. If there are internal forces that are pulling you in different directions, nothing we do on the marketing side will ultimately work because it won’t read as authentic to your audience. No matter the industry, today’s marketing currency is authenticity. Audiences demand it, and there is no substitute.

One of the things I find time and again is that organizations have values and challenges similar to those of individual people. If you’re familiar with personal development, the following ways to start thinking about alignment for your organization may sound familiar:

  • Have a clear vision for the outcome you want.
  • Match your internal mission statement to your public-facing mission statement.
  • Understand what unique value you’re bringing to the marketplace.
  • Understand your audience, and what might be preventing them from undertaking the change you envision.

Action

As a creative firm, we identify challenges and make things (from social media ads to websites) to solve those challenges. There is a quote often attributed to Einstein that goes something like this:

"If I had an hour to solve a problem, I'd spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and five minutes thinking about solutions."

If we’ve spent our first 55 minutes achieving alignment, we have a shared understanding of our goal and where we can move the needle to help achieve it. Before we try a solution, we identify all the obstacles that are preventing your audience from taking action and see where we can exert leverage to get a better outcome.

We’ve done a lot of work for public health campaigns in Mississippi, so I’m always attuned to that world. I recently heard a public health official commenting on radio about the challenges to getting Mississippians to be more active: walking and running instead of driving, for example. A traditional approach to this problem might advertising all the health benefits of physical activity and hoping that it’ll change behavior.

Ultimately, this approach is not going to move the needle because it’s out of alignment with the real obstacles for the audience to be more active. In certain parts of the state, there are dangers that make walking unsafe, such as streets with no sidewalks or lighting, or aggressive stray dogs. Residents in these areas don’t need a marketing campaign to convince them that walking is healthy; they need a process to develop solutions to these structural problems. Considering your business challenge as a symptom allows us to see the system as a whole and get to work on the root causes.

Before we take action, we figure out a strategic sequence that will unlock value for your business at each stage. For example, if your website isn’t optimized, we need to improve it before we start driving traffic to it. Everything you see in our Work section is intertwined with alignment so we know we are taking the correct and most valuable action. Only when alignment and action are in harmony will we generate the impact we want.

Photo by Joshua Sortino on Unsplash

Want to start getting aligned? Talk to us at info@creativedistillery.com.

Now Hiring: Account Manager

by Melia | Director of Client Success

Update: This position has been filled!

If you have a mind for organization and a heart for customer service, and you're able to keep a cool head in a fast-paced environment, consider joining our Jackson-based team as an Account Manager! This is an entry-level position.

Our team takes pride in delighting our clients, and the Account Manager is a key part of their success – someone who not only takes care of client requests, but also anticipates their needs.

Role:

  • Lead customer service, as the first point of contact for clients
  • Develop empathy for clients – understand client industries, business goals, and pain points, and conduct proactive check-ins to ensure client success
  • Manage traffic – assign and communicate projects and tasks to the team
  • Manage projects – break projects into tasks, schedule them by priority, and keep them on a timeline

Qualifications:

  • Must have a Bachelor's Degree, preferably in marketing, business, or communications
  • Experience in a customer service position required
  • Client management experience a plus
  • Excellent professionalism and written and verbal communication skills
  • Exceptional ability to develop and maintain relationships with wide range of personalities and industries
  • Strong organizational and project management skills

About you:

  • Professional and customer-service oriented
  • Entrepreneurial spirit
  • Tech-savvy, fast learner, familiar with cloud-based software
  • Self-directed
  • Hyper-organized and detail-focused
  • Ability to manage a high volume of clients and projects at once
  • Positive energy and sense of humor
  • Team player
  • Works to exceed expectations
  • Enjoys working with clients who have a meaningful mission and impact

Benefits:

  • Health coverage
  • Cool workspace located in the heart of Fondren
  • Diverse, energetic team
  • Supportive culture and good work-life balance
  • Creative work that we can all be proud of

Our video gives a good sense of our team, our vibe, and the work we produce:

If you're interested, we'd love to talk! Send a cover letter and resume to info@creativedistillery.com, and feel free to reach out with any questions.

Now Hiring: Video & Photo Content Creator

by Darren Schwindaman | Principal / Designer

Update: This position has been filled!

We’re looking for someone to join our creative team. The ideal candidate is self-motivated, easygoing about collaboration, and invested in producing excellent creative work for clients that matter.

We value variety and fresh ideas, and an ability to roll with creative direction and client feedback to produce the best possible end result.

Our video gives a good sense of our team, our vibe, and the video work we produce:

Must haves:

  • Technical knowledge of appropriate equipment & software
  • Ability to capture beautiful images, still or moving, in the camera frame
  • Positive attitude

If you're interested, we'd love to talk! Send a letter, resumé, portfolio or reel to info@creativedistillery.com. If you have more questions, send those too and we can talk more.

Introducing Melia Dicker

by Melia | Director of Client Success

Hello! I’m Melia Dicker. Some of you may know me as Darren’s wife, or as his co-founder at Creative Distillery. I’d like to introduce myself to some of you, and get reacquainted with those I worked with when I was on the team the first time around.

A Range of Experience

When I relocated from my native California to Jackson, I co-founded Creative Distillery with Darren and then made a career shift after our son, Evan, was born. I went to work for two large state agencies and an education foundation, where I gained a variety of valuable experience: developing digital marketing and public relations strategies, managing a large-scale social media following, and working on big-budget advertising campaigns that included email marketing, video production, and cross-platform media buying. I also had a chance to sit on the client’s side of the table, which helped me understand how Creative Distillery’s clients experience working with us. I’m excited to bring the skills I’ve gained back to the agency where my career in marketing started, so we can serve our clients even better.

A New Role — Director of Client Success

Our main focus at Creative Distillery has always been to create work that delights you and helps achieve your goals. Darren and I created a new position for me, the Director of Client Success, to focus exclusively on making sure we’re moving the needle for you. I’ll be your main point of contact, guiding your projects from intake to completion and monitoring your results (sales, social media engagement, web traffic, and so on). As I return to Creative Distillery, I’m most excited about making a positive impact in many different arenas through marketing. We work with organizations and businesses in fields as diverse as health care, manufacturing, and government, and it’s incredibly rewarding to help you leave your corner of the world better than we found it.

You can reach me at melia@creativedistillery.com. I look forward to meeting with you soon and creating beautiful, powerful work together.

Job Opening: Web Developer

by Darren Schwindaman | Principal / Designer

Creative Distillery team

Update: This position has been filled.

The Creative Distillery web developer helps marketing clients by translating designs to the screen with beautiful, responsive, client-friendly websites.

Requirements:

  • Proficient in HTML, CSS and Javascript
  • Able to create dynamic websites with interactions fueled by javascript and css
  • Domain and hosting management experience is a plus
  • Design chops are not required but must stay current with web design trends
  • E-commerce/Stripe integration experience is a plus
  • Able to clearly communicate with team and clients when needed
  • Proficient in Wordpress but also comfortable with learning and adapting to a new CMS as needed
  • Familiarity with SEO

What we do through branding, design, and digital is to achieve real-world outcomes for clients that we believe in. We especially appreciate working with people who are able to understand the spirit of the outcome, and then conceive and articulate creative solutions to get there.

Creative Distillery is proud of our diverse, inclusive, and supportive company culture. We're right in the middle of Fondren, Jackson's neighborhood for food, nightlife, music, and more.

We are ideally looking for someone available to work regular full-time, because we believe this allows for better continuity with clients and material and contributes to the company culture. This allows us to grow together. However, we are open to working with someone as a regular, ongoing contractor.

Send work samples, cover letter, and resumé to info@creativedistillery.com.

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