Pivot by definition is to make a change in position

Pivot by Definition is to make a change in Position, Policy or Strategy

This subject has been on my mind for a while now. When I started to write this post, I had no idea that most business owners would be forced to pivot in order to stay in business, not just grow which was the original premise.


Pivoting is a way to diversify and gain market shares without completely revamping your business. It is also a great way to test new ideas in a safe environment. Now with the downtime and the necessity to survive, it’s your time to be creative.

Why Pivot?

  • Business is flat or stagnant and not growing at the pace that you would like
  • You’ve been working in a direction or concept that doesn’t feel right
  • Your industry is changing

Example:

Opening a store in a mall when malls are dying, and consumers rely on e-commerce and the ease of delivery. Amazon is the obvious pivotor and disruptor. They started out as an online retailer and now they have everything from physical retail spaces to health care to entertainment platforms.

How to Pivot?

  • Focus on what problem you are trying to solve for your customers.

Example:

If you are in a product classification, it can be a new iteration of what you are offering.

An example is how Apple consistently produces new editions of the Mac, Macbooks, iPhones along with releasing new technology that includes updates to make them function easier for consumers day to day activities.  

For a service business, look at how people are interacting and their habits whilst at home. Find a way to make their lives easier or more entertaining.

If you are an artist, consider different ways to expand or spread your art.

Think about creating a product line, small items like coloring books, notebooks and mugs or on a larger scale textiles and wallpaper. Check out Lori Weitzner and Heidi Holzer as they are two good examples.

  • Consider a Spinoff

Look at a new target audience for marketing your services.

Examples:

Interior Designers can focus on a particular segment of their business opportunities, such as making art advising or property management a turnkey program for clients.

Review your offerings

Stacey Bewkes founded Quintessence Blog in 2010 and then started doing a series of At Home videos that reside on Youtube and now she and her partner having written books.

PR/Marketing firms can look at using their expertise in one area and sell it to another industry.

You may be in lifestyle and corp company can use your expertise, mailing lists, connections, etc. You can also have an ancillary services like social media, media buying, etc.

Your store is closed temporarily, consider virtual shopping tours or offering new services remotely. Curbside pick-ups or local delivery.

Eleish Van Breems Home is enhancing their digital presence i.e. e-commerce channels and shopping virtually. They are also providing entertainment through their channels with videos of their travels, artisans creating the products they sell, the history of the products and maintaining the products. The next phase is hosting virtual events.

Review your mission statement and your value proposition

  • Are you missing something? Can you offer other services to clients or help them to things easier, cheaper, faster?
  • Take Baby Steps
    • Make changes piece by piece. See what feels right. Test ideas. Get feedback. Tweak them.  Then roll out.
  • Focus on your key features.
    • Less is more. Weed out things that aren’t working.
  • Evaluate your pricing model.
    • Can you offer a higher level of service to set you apart from the competition?
    • To get traction and new customers perhaps having a subscription model which creates recurring revenue.

Look at Harry’s razors.  This is a product you need on an ongoing basis and you don’t want to ever run out.  Peet’s Coffee another good example.

  • Search out emerging customer needs. What are the pain points? Fear. Large Spaces.
  • Home is safe and people will continue to spend more time there for foreseeable future.
    • So, what can you offer to comfort them? Creating experiences that make them trust you.

Pivoting is like pressing RESTART.

Let us know how we can help you.   We are offering 30-minute consultations as well as blocks of hours.

Think of us as your outside eyes and ears.

For more information, contact Beth@imagesanddetails.com.

Pivot by definition is to make a change in position2020-04-27T12:23:44-04:00

Seeds of Change

Seeds of Change…

It’s time to be planting new ideas for the future…


The inspiration behind this post was from a dear friend and colleague, Ellen Carey who started her business 25 years ago and aptly named it Seed, Inc. Her focus is on feeding and nurturing a design talent into a business that can then grow and blossom.

This is the moment we need to be doing the same for our own businesses, seeing them through a new lens and being open to make changes. Being an entrepreneur during the 1987 stock market crash, the AIDs epidemic, 9/11 and the 2008 financial breakdown, I have had to reflect, adapt and pivot in order to move my businesses forward. Here are a few things, that I’ve learned that can help you navigate the New Norm:

But first, remember that we as entrepreneurs by definition are risk takers. At some point, most likely alone, you started a business. You are self-reliant by the nature of having your own business. This is a scary time to be sure, yet so was starting a business.

  • Disruption is part of our world and new norm. This means you need to be flexible and adaptable.
  • Quarantine causes you to isolate. Home is where it all begins. And for most, you are working from home which gives you extra time since you no longer have the daily commute. Use this time to:
    • Recall your difficult times in past. What lesson did you learn?  Skills? Opportunities? How can you adapt these to your current situation?
    • Stay Connected. Each day reach out to 5 – 10 people. Listen and learn.
    • Keep routine your as much as possible
    • Create a morning check in list
    • Even research new platforms or digital nuances that could help you expand
  • Look at all the communities you have. For example, I have a PR Owners Group, the Women President’s Organization, Design Industry Groups, Clients, Media Partners, Friends, Family.
    • See how you can interact and expand your reach. Explore ways to collaborate or event create an expert roundtable for more ideas or even to support those newcomers to the industry.
  • Be Creative and test new ideas. This is a good time to talk about ideas you had on back burner.
    • Explore things you are passionate about.
    • Do you like to entertain, so perhaps doing short video with a few tips? If you like gardening maybe work with a local beekeeper and create your own brand of honey. This can help the environment, your health and can used as client gifts as well.
  • Think Locally. To support the new reality, some of us are going to have to reinvent how and where we live. Focus first on opportunities for local and regional markets.
    • For the foreseeable future, many local businesses and services cannot provide services that keep them going and even their adjustments most likely are not enough to keep them afloat.
    • Think about how you can help them now or plan for down the road.
  • Finally, don’t forget gratitude. Show your clients you are grateful and are capable.
    • Send a care package or go the extra mile to create a coloring book that can be sent to client’s w/pencils, etc.

Let us know how we can help you.   We are offering 30 minute consultations as well as blocks of hours.

Think of us as your outside eyes and ears.

For more information, contact Beth@imagesanddetails.com.

Seeds of Change2020-04-22T13:49:25-04:00

Communication is More Important than Ever

Communication is More Important than Ever

Here are a few tips and takeaways from Images & Details, Inc to help you stay on course today and in the future.


Communication is key to keeping your business alive, surviving and even thriving.

It is more important than ever to stay in communication and support each other the best we can under these circumstances. If you haven’t already, make sure to touch base with your clients, vendors and industry colleagues to see how they are doing both personally and professionally.

This is the time to go through your contacts and reconnect with past clients, associates, friends. Use this down time to network. Call, text, email, DM. 

This can be a time of opportunity. If you don’t have a plan now, it is the time to create one. Look forward to 3 and 6 months from now but keep in mind lockdown could continue for a month if not more.  Determine who your current client is, who could be a potential client, and any new services that you can provide.

Take this time to explore new avenues and platforms to keep your message out there. Boost your digital platforms or learn ways to move your brand to a digital format.

For all, make sure your website, social media and any profiles online are up to date. Post frequently on your social media along with enhancing your engagement and interactions with fellow professionals and consumers. Announce on all media platforms any alternative methods you are planning on using for your business or services you would now like to provide. Make sure your websites are e-commerce friendly and have google analytics to be able to record how people are finding you.

Emailing is an easy and cost effective way to get your message out there. Your subject line is key to getting noticed.  Make sure to create a timeline on content, short messages are easier than essays. Make sure to add a subscribe button and start building a contact list as email marketing is a direct way to target people interested in your business. 

Since everyone will be focusing on remote technology, look into digital advertising. Google advertising and social media advertising are user friendly and can be done on smaller budgets. It can also be targeted locally. Test the water and see what the analytics tell you, you can easily stop or even expand depending on results. Local media are also emphasizing digital opportunities, so reach out and see what they have to offer. 

For local retailers, think outside the box. The goal is to promote product sales, think of how you can let people view products or store. Try video chats, like IGTV, Zoom, Youtube, Facetime, for personal virtual shopping. Or take a 360 video of your store that is on your website so people can see your inventory. Make sure delivery or curbside pickup is accessible for those who want to make sure they are social distancing. 

 Please reach out to us with any questions, thoughts, ideas.  Let us know how we can be of help. Remember this is a MARATHON not a SPRINT.

Keep safety in mind for both your customers and you employees.

For more information, contact Beth@imagesanddetails.com.

Communication is More Important than Ever2020-03-27T14:08:14-04:00

Speaking Engagements as a Tool for Success

You Are Your Best Advocate

Speaking Engagements as a Tool for Success


To put it simply: You are your best advocate. Of course, to build your brand you not only need volume in the voices backing you, but how do you draw in those supporters? To draw in support, one must utilize and enhance existing relationships to grow and build new opportunities. Participating in speaking engagements allows you to advocate for yourself along with fellow industry leaders, partners and media.

Whether you sit on a panel with other industry influencers or give a talk on your own, the insight and knowledge you share is greatly valued. The positives of sitting on a panel is that you are able to make connections with your peers, can compare and contrast points of view, and are promoted through their channels. On your own you can share intimate details on your business, your process and even the ups and downs that have led to your success which bonds you with others who are in a similar situation or let potential clients feel less intimidated to work with you. These types of events give you name recognition, credibility and promote you as a leader or expert in your field. It is also the perfect moment for media to learn more about upcoming names and build story ideas off of the unique details you might bring to the discussion.

As a company, we have been participating in speaking engagements on branding, marketing and PR. We recommend these experiences to clients who feel comfortable speaking, as it brings a face for people to connect with and remember. For example, we set up Atlanta based client Tish Mills- Kirk to participate in a panel discussion locally at Atlanta ADAC Market, this gave her the opportunity to build her relationship with vendors Style Library and Grizzel & Mann, meet and talk with an editor from AD Pro, along with explore the topic with fellow designers Michael Mitchell and Tyler Hill of Mitchell-Hill and Tim Green of Tim Green Designs. We also set Tish up to style a tablescape vignette in the Alden Parkes showroom with Replacements at High Point Market and were able to reach out to Style Library to help support her design through the rapport she received through the previous talk. She also engaged an audience in the space by participating on a panel with fellow designers Denise McGaha and Joni Vanderslice on unconventional ways to grow your business.

The more that you are out in the public eye the more opportunities become available for you and your business. Team up with brands targeting the same audience to make an imapact and gain eachothers existing followers. If you are a store or showroom make your space available for events and put together a few speaking experiences, this is trending as the best way to build engagement and feedback from the audience you are targeting. Don’t be afriad to add personality and a face to your business!

For more infrmation or help with an event, contact Beth@imagesanddetails.com.

Speaking Engagements as a Tool for Success2019-11-05T13:01:30-05:00

How To Navigate The Ever-Changing Landscape Of Media

How To Navigate The Ever-Changing Landscape Of Media

It’s time to create a new road map.

Over the last several years, media has taken a downward spiral, especially in the home and interiors sector. From the toppling of the mighty in 2018 of Hearst Tower — House Beautiful, ELLE Decor and Veranda, to last Friday’s news of Traditional Home downsizing and bringing 5 Publications under one editor, it’s a totally new landscape.

Last month, I moderated the “Changing Landscape of Media” panel at the Luxury Home Design Summit at the Chatham Bars Inn hosted by New England Home Magazine. It was a dynamic three days of incredibly compelling speakers and discussions. I would highly recommend attending next year’s event.

The big takeaway is: in reality, there are more opportunities today to be able to generate exposure for you and your company than ever before. The challenge is to determine who to approach and how to get them to notice you.

A few tips:
Content is key
Craft a compelling story
Know your audience
Be authentic
One to one conversations

Stacy Kunstel a long time stylist and media maven shared some thoughts of media from the old guard (print) to the new media and what’s on the horizon. Overall, there are many more opportunities to get exposure for your company, especially in nontraditional ways. The downside is how to decipher and determine what is correct for you and your brand. Here are a few of her thoughts on what design related companies might want to explore now: self publish, YouTube, Zillow, podcasts, designer in resident features, non-design media covering design.

Digital director Keith Pollock of AD shared insights into their power in the marketplace. They recently have grown to 4 million Instagram followers. In April, they launched a pro membership service for designers similar to Business of Home but with much more capabilities and customization. It provides opportunities to get published, sourcing assistance and train reporting. Tip from Pollock: pitch via email, be brief but give noteworthy details.

Adam Japko of Esteem Media discussed the new landscape and creating custom contact through native advertising. This feels and looks visually like natural content. There is a 61% growth in this category since 2016. One of the interesting tidbits is if you hear something, a few days later you typically only recall 10%, whereas if you see an image there is 65% recall. It is a visual world today. They are projecting dollars spent on influencer marketing to be $5 to $10 billion by 2020.
Tip: When working with influencers, brands need to “let go of control” this allows content to “be authentic”.

As a creative brand strategist, our recommendation is always to have a great story to tell and to spend the time to know who your target audience is. It is the method of delivery that is really different today. If you want to learn more give us a call.

Beth Dempsey
Images and Details
203.966.8203
Beth@ImagesandDetails.com

How To Navigate The Ever-Changing Landscape Of Media2019-07-09T14:27:20-04:00