This past year has brought with it a lot of change, for the better, at Laidlaw Group.
We began the year in our new office in Boston’s South End. Our new “home” is in a great building with not one but two elevators, a welcome improvement from having to walk up to the 4th floor loft in the Seaport location. Our new neighbors are fellow creative folks and have made us feel very much at home.
On the business front, we have expanded our client base nationally with the addition of the Association of Oncology Social Work (AOSW) and The Water and Sewer Distributors of America (WASDA), both located in Pennsylvania, NewStar Adhesives in Georgia, Inspirited Living and interior designer Kate Jackson, both in Rhode Island and Gagne and Son in Maine.
We also welcomed new clients in and around Boston including: retailer Gracie Finn, interior designer Barbara Bahr Sheehan, Logan Surgical Instruments, Webco, Bayscience Formulators, the 570 Market and our first client from across the pond in Ireland: International Equestrian trainer Niall Quirk. Getting used to doing business in multiple time zones has been an adventure, but the Laidlaw staff has risen brilliantly to the occasion.
I personally want to thank all of our existing clients. Without your support, loyalty and respect we would cease to exist. Thank you for supporting our creativity, trusting our judgment and allowing us to do our best work.
As an avid equestrienne, I am especially excited about 2014, as it is the year of the horse. My hope is that 2014 beckons promise, good health and prosperity for us all.
Laidlaw Group is proud to announce the addition of Barbara Bahr Sheehan Interior Design to their growing client portfolio. The Boston-based Laidlaw Group provides a wide range of services that incorporate state of the art technology to create integrated marketing programs that build brands. Barbara Bahr Sheehan Interior Design chose Laidlaw Group to rebrand the firm through the development of a new logo and a fully responsive website.
Barbara Bahr Sheehan Interior Design Inc. is a full service Interior Design firm specializing in Residential Interiors. Barbara is an ASID (American Society of Interior Designers) professional member. The company works with clients from the beginning of new construction or remodeling, right through to the installation of wallcoverings, window treatments and furniture, rugs and art and accessories. Barbara Bahr Sheehan Interior Design coordinates with Architects and General Contractors to ensure each project runs smoothly, and that the end results are well crafted, stylish and fully functioning interiors for clients in Boston Metro area, the Cape and Islands and Florida.
Laidlaw Group receives soaring praise for the launch of client Niall Quirk’s holding page, Facebook page and logo development. Within 24 hours, the Niall Quirk International Equestrian Coach Facebook page received over 1,000 Facebook “Likes” and over 50 comments by impressed users. With this incredibly successful launch, Laidlaw Group demonstrates their signature design capabilities and effective social media marketing strategy.
Niall Quirk, a renown international equestrian coach, trains riders at every level and has worked for the Equestrian governing bodies of the United Kingdom, South Africa and Ireland. Laidlaw Group captures Niall’s passion for training and holistic approach to riding with this holding page, showcasing his accomplishments and distinct classical style.
The Facebook page is a destination for the Niall Quirk brand, featuring daily posts and engaging content documenting Niall’s travels, equestrian clinics and sessions with international riders and trainers. Through sharing Niall’s content with relevant equestrian pages and organizations, Niall will build his reputation and share his coaching talents with users everywhere. Niall shares, “The response to both the Facebook and holding page has gone beyond my wildest dreams. Laidlaw Group delivered 1000%.”
Laidlaw Group is currently developing an interactive online destination for Niall Quirk that mirrors the compelling design of the holding page. Cindy Laidlaw, principal at Laidlaw Group, says, “Working with Niall has allowed us to expand our client base internationally and on a personal level, it couldn’t be a better fit as I’m an equestrienne myself.”
Laidlaw Group launches an interactive, state of the art web destination for Rakks shelving, reinventing Rakks digital presence. It is highly interactive, easily navigated and mirrors the Rakks design aesthetic with a minimalist blend of function and style.
Laidlaw Group, a fully integrated marketing communications firm specializing in building brands, created the new Rakks online destination. Over the 13-year relationship, Laidlaw Group has nurtured and grown the brand, leading Rakks to a high level of vision and integrity while shining the spotlight on Rakks high-quality products. Laidlaw Group exhibits its signature style with this latest website, incorporating a minimalist tone with compelling imagery.
The new website offers a comprehensive overview of all Rakks products with exceptional, spanning photos featuring Rakks systems used in locations including the Conde Nast offices in New York City, the Metronome Building in San Francisco and soaring academic spaces at the University of Chicago.
Laidlaw Group developed a proprietary, interactive product identification tool that labels the products when the user hovers over the installation photos as a means of providing detailed specs including style, sizing and finish options. Laidlaw Group also provided directing, editing, voiceover and production services for a series of instructional installation videos that break down the installation process. The new onsite blog showcases architectural projects, profiles high caliber architecture firms and includes a “Style Spy” section that shares innovative, unique architecture.
Cindy Laidlaw, principal at Laidlaw Group, says, “On this project, Rakks benefited from the full suite of services offered at Laidlaw Group, from directing and filming videos, designing the site, building state of the art functionality under the site and even providing professional voiceover services. We’re very proud of our work.“
Interbrand, the world’s leading brand consultancy, released its annual Best Global Brands Report and crowned a new king. After 13 years at the top, Coca Cola has been dethroned and Apple now leads the way, with Google as runner up. With an ever-changing landscape and more consumer power present in today’s market place than ever before, leading brands expertly navigate the forces of progress, social change and technological advancement. The shifting terrain means brands must create and develop adaptable products and services that meet customers’ growing needs.
But in today’s shifting marketplace, it’s all about the brand. No matter how useful the product may be, it will not gain a competitive edge without marketing expertise and clear strategy. This is where Laidlaw Group comes in. Through building integrated communications platforms and state of the art branding solutions, we take our clients to new heights- delivering higher awareness, increasing market share and boosting sales.
According to Interbrand, strong brands improve business performance through an ability to influence customer choice, command a premium price for products and services and create passionate customer loyalty. The Top 100 brands were determined based on financial performance, influence on customer choice and the strength of the brand relative to competition.
Apple has not just changed the technological landscape; it has changed the way we interact with one another and with our work. In its brand report, Interbrand says, “Few brands have enabled so many people to do so much so easily.” Apple has never lost sight of the consumer-driven marketing approach and constantly creates new apps, devices and opportunities that meet customers’ growing demands.
Our clients are passionate about the products and services they offer. And we have the tools, expertise and experience to give them the competitive edge they need to thrive. At Laidlaw Group, we know our clients. And they trust us to take them to a place they’ve never been.
Laidlaw Group‘s latest work for Inspirited Living defines the luxury brand as a destination to hearten, inspire and encourage individuals to reach their full potential. Inspirited Living founder Lynne Bryan Phipps is an accomplished
, yachtswoman, interior architect and ordained minister. Laidlaw developed an interactive website that connects to a larger social media platform and offers a world-class shopping experience and vehicle for rejuvenation.
Lynne chose Laidlaw Group for this project because of their experience with international luxury brands, equestrian products and their knowledge of the health and wellness market. Cindy Laidlaw, principal at Laidlaw Group, commented, “I felt a connection with Lynne’s vision and as an equestrienne myself I knew we could make her vision a reality.” The word inspirited, which means “to instill courage or life into,” accurately describes Lynne’s accomplishments. Laidlaw Group created a brand that delivers the meaningful content in an effective and aesthetically appealing way.
From the moment the user enters the website, the immaculate white backdrop accentuates the vivid, screen-spanning photos and elegant typeface. Clear-cut dropdown menus share Lynne’s various forms of inspiration, from people and businesses to horses, stories and art. Features like the Daily Horoscope and daily inspirational quotes foster a rapidly growing community of inspirited followers. The website houses a blog and connects users to social media platforms including Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.
Thinking differently and challenging the status quo are key beliefs here at Laidlaw Group. Not only do we share OUR inspiration with our clients but, we listen to what inspires and drives them as well–not just as business partners but as individuals. Recently, a friend and client, Greg Lombardi, shared with us, an inspirational TedTalk given by Simon Sinek, on how true leaders inspire action by asking one simple question that every business, organization and individual should ask themselves: “Why?”
Sinek starts out by begging the questions: “What’s your purpose?” “What’s your cause?” and “Why does your organization exist?” Above all, “Why should anyone care?” Successful businesses and truly inspirational leaders thoroughly ponder this existential paradigm before any attempt to communicate an idea to the masses. Sinek reiterates one key point throughout; people don’t buy WHAT you do; they buy WHY you do it and the main objective is to do business with the people who believe what you believe. Also, what you do should simply prove why you do it. He states that communicating from the inside out rather than from the outside in, is the most direct way to reach and inspire people.
Sinek cites the Wright Brothers as one example among many who have used their beliefs to validate their goals and capture the whole of society.
In the early 20th century, the pursuit for man-powered flight was equivalent to the social media boom of today–a pursuit expected to result in fame and profit. Sinek speaks of Samuel Pierpont Langley, a well-funded, well-educated and well-connected, competitor in the race for man-made flight. He had all the latest tools and top minds at his disposal yet he lost the race to two working-class, undereducated brothers who ran a bike shop in Dayton, Ohio.
In his talk, Sinek reveals the one key difference between the Wright brothers and Samuel Pierpont Langley to prove his point; the Wright brothers were driven by the core belief that building a fully functioning flying machine would change and benefit the course of humanity. On the other hand, Samuel Pierpont Langley was simply driven by the result, or in other words, the paycheck, not the belief. The Wright brothers surrounded themselves with people who shared the same dream, and through support and collaboration with those people–not just hired hands–they changed the world.
Sinek again reiterates that people don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it and that is what truly inspires and motivates.
“If you hire people just because they can do a job, they’ll work for your money. But if you hire people who believe what you believe, they’ll work for you with blood and sweat and tears.”
Pins. Boards. Repins. Attachments to your toolbar. To the uninitiated, and to those less tech or trend savvy than others, these words might sound like we’re setting up some sort of kitchen installation. But to the Laidlaw Group, LLC, to avid members of new social media platform Pinterest, and to cunning marketers, these four words make eyes light up and brains start buzzing. That’s because Pinterest, the Little Social Network That Could, burst onto the Web and rocketed its way to the top of everyone’s conversation. It blew past Foursquare, Tumblr, Google+ and even YouTube to become the number 3 social network on the planet, surpassed only by Twitter and Facebook. And that’s not even the most extraordinary part of the story — it did it all in only 12 months.
Pinterest was founded by Ben Silbermann, Paul Sciarra and Evan Sharp. The development began at the very end of 2009 and into the next year, with the site launching in a limited, invitation-only beta form in March of 2010. From there, it was a runaway train to success. In December 2010 they had 100,000 users, and the founders were still operating out of a small apartment. A mobile app was created in March 2011, receiving shocking amounts of downloads. By December 2011, the website was receiving 11 million visits a week. In January of 2012, it was reported that Pinterest was driving more referrals to retailers and businesses than YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn. Numerous awards followed, and by the end of that same month, Pinterest was declared the fastest website in the history of the internet to accumulate 10 million users.
That was eight months ago. Now, the two year old website is worth at least $1 billion. And it’s still growing. The primary demographics of Pinterest are the subject of most… interest. The site users skew heavily female. The breakdown is 80% female, 20% male. Half of the user base, male and female, are parents. Here are the age demographics.
1) Pinterest referrals spend 70% more money than visitors from non-social channels. This means people who reach retailer websites through Pinterest are willing to spend much more cash on their products than anyone else. This includes social media — Pinterest users are 10% likelier to shop than Facebook and Twitter users, and will spend 10% more, too.
2) Tutorials, DIY (do-it-yourself) and recipe pins receive 42% more clicks than other pins. This means companies focused on food, health, arts and crafts and fashion can benefit greatly from using Pinterest.
3) On average, Pinterest users are on site forone hour and 17 minutes. In a world full of advertising noise, where customers are extremely wary of ads and exasperated with salespeople and pitches, it’s getting more and more difficult to brand your products without customers quickly ignoring or leaving the area. Pinterest is a unique, almost miraculous exception to the rule. It’s literally a website where the people who always spend the most money (women and mothers aged 18-34) spend hours of their precious time making lists of products they wish to have or places they want to visit. Then they share these lists and interests with everyone around them.
We at Laidlaw Group, LLC, like many others, realize the unique marketing potential of a platform like this. That’s why we encourage the use of Pinterest with incoming clients. It’s all part of our ongoing, strategic efforts to maximize the exposure our customers receive and ensure that their businesses are always part of ongoing conversations, wherever the conversation is taking place. Social networking is here to stay. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and the other trend-setting websites are not going anywhere, and the user count for each service grows every single day. It won’t be long before everyone who can type is on a social network. Pinterest is just the latest, possibly even greatest, to enter the arena.
Check out the latest ABC NEWS Segment on Pinterest!
Social Media Integration at Boston’s Laidlaw Group
For the last three years, we have focused on integrating social media platforms into our clients marketing communications programs. The social media channels have produced a substantial increase in brand awareness for our clients. This recent article from Ad Age Digital is worth a read.
Facebook is prepping for a massive IPO, Twitter is focusing its business exclusively on advertising and nearly three-fifths of digital decision-makers polled last fall said they plan to boost their social media ad spend over the next 12 months.
In an Advertiser Perceptions semiannual survey of nearly 1,200 people involved in deciding how ad dollars are spent digitally, 59% of respondents said they would increase social-media-ad spending in the next 12 months, compared with just 4% who said they would decrease spending on social platforms.
The survey also found that, on average, social media advertising will make up about 27% of digital budgets over the next 12 months, compared with 22% in the previous 12 months. No other digital category — including ad networks/exchanges, media companies, demand-side platforms, portals and agency-trading desks — expect to see in-budget share gains over the next 12 months.
About 60% of respondents work for agencies and 40% for brands, covering the Ad Age Top 100 advertisers in the process.
“The one area that marketers were more bullish on than agencies is social,” said Randy Cohen, co-founder and president of Advertiser Perceptions, which is expected to release the full results Tuesday afternoon.
Agency-trading desks, which handle bulk-audience buying on behalf of clients, was the only digital category in which respondents said they would decrease rather than increase spending over the next 12 months. Sixteen percent of respondents said they plan to reduce trading-desk outlays; 15% said they would raise them.
One strong caveat: The results indicate what decision-makers intend to do about allocating ad dollars. Results and other factors will ultimately determine what they actually spend, and Mr. Cohen said that while marketers feel they should be spending on social platforms, they are doing so without clear insights as to why. “From a results perspective … I think the jury is still out,” he said.
But what it does mean, if you’re in the business of selling social, is that the doors are open and, in many cases, the checkbooks are out.
The leading digital advertisers believe that half of their budgets in the next 12 months will be spent on brand-focused advertising. That number was just 25% or 30% three or four years ago, Mr. Cohen said.
Celebrities have been a vital part of creating and influencing the tidal wave that is Social Media. Social Media has created the opportunity for events like the Oscars to rise above traditional broadcast outreach and be personalized through social channels. This Sunday, People Magazine goes social, and we think it’s very exciting!
People Magazine Rolls Out the Red Carpet Partnerships with Gilt, Redbox Promote Oscars Coverage By Emma Bazilian
“This Sunday night, millions of viewers will tune into the Academy Awards to find out who takes home film’s top honors—and see who makes the ‘Best Dressed’ lists. To capitalize on the red carpet obsession, the People franchise is rolling out e-commerce and social media initiatives to put readers in the middle of the sartorial whirlwind that is the Oscars.
“‘Red carpet is the most anticipated coverage of the year among our readers,’ People publisher Karen Kovacs told Adweek.
To capitalize on that buzz, the magazine is sending subscribers an Awards Show Special issue spotlighting the season’s best red carpet fashions. To boost newsstand sales, People struck a partnership with Redbox to give single-copy buyers a free one-night movie rental.
“People also is jumping on the e-commerce bandwagon this year. People.com Stylewatch editors will curate items inspired by the evening for a ‘Get the Look: Red Carpet’ sale on Gilt Groupe. If the content-only partnership is successful (the magazine isn’t getting any cut of sales), it could lead to further e-commerce collaborations, Kovacs said.
“That red carpet frenzy is also evidenced on People.com, which gets its biggest traffic boost of the year on the day after the Oscars, according to People.com managing editor Janice Morris. In addition to covering the event’s fashion moments, People.com is encouraging readers to interact with the site through a live blog on the site and social media.
“Last year’s live trivia competition will return to People.com, but it will feature a new Facebook tie-in that lets participants play with their friends. Pinterest boards focusing on Oscars and red carpet fashion will be updated with photos from the evening. And People’s Twitter account will promote People.com content and encourage people to make their own best-dressed lists.”