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Consumer Insights

Impulse buying: When they can’t resist

November 27 2021 / Sierra Soleimani

Over 50% of all purchases are made spur of the moment, with no prior planning. It’s a huge opportunity for emerging brand to capture those impulse purchases, but first we need to what emotions trigger impulse buyers. The beverage category in particular is a great case study of the impulse moment. Research shows that 57% of consumers will […]

Consumer Insights

The opportunity in product innovation

November 22 2021 / Alyssa Smith

While product innovation has always been a way to stir up interest, the last 18 months has seen an even greater demand for variety from food and beverage brands. 80% of consumers state they are craving something new from their favorite products, with millennials in particular looking to nostalgic brands to revive their favorite childhood […]

Consumer Insights

Shopping list marketing belongs in your 2022 marketing strategy

November 10 2021 / Alyssa Smith

With all the recent changes in tracking consumer data, the conversation around marketing and advertising has changed drastically. While email and SMS are now considered table-stakes for any strategy, we believe the most effective direct marketing happens where and when people shop—and for food and beverage brands, this means shopping list marketing. In order to […]

Consumer Insights

It’s never too late to start your holiday marketing plan

October 27 2021 / Jordan Hefty

Following a year where celebrations were intentionally small and largely took place at home, shoppers are looking to the 2022 holiday season as their “do-over.” With an estimated  7-9% increase in holiday spending this year, there’s plenty of opportunity for CPG brands to be part of this year’s fun.  Customers are on a mission to […]

Consumer Insights

Win Your Own Backyard

September 20 2021 / Peter Fezzey

Here’s the thing very few brokers or growth consultants will tell you: Scaling your distribution too fast can quickly ruin your entire brand. While the opportunity for growth is exciting, if you can’t advocate for good placement or stocking full product lines, your brand runs a high risk of being overlooked on shelves. And going into […]

Branding

How to ensure a successful rebrand launch

October 14 2020 / Drew Patrick

Rebrands are a second chance at a first impression. Rebranding allows companies to evaluate, refine, and organize priorities within their business: what is important to them and why, who their audience actually is, how to engage them, etc. Rebrands should be a reflection of that soul-searching. But change is hard, which is why rebrand launches […]

Creative Services

Why we started a grocery store (nearly) overnight

May 18 2020 / Kacha Azema

Skidmore’s journey through this pandemic has revealed some wonderful new things about our teammates, our adaptability, and what we can do when we’re turned loose to get creative. In the first week of quarantine, we quickly realized everything is different now. Our studio leaders stepped back and took a good hard look in the mirror. […]

Studio Life

Learnings from the first week of social distancing

March 23 2020 / Kacha Azema

Reflecting back on how our Skidmore team navigated the first week of social distancing, we found that we stumbled onto a few gems that really helped us have an unexpectedly great week. We wanted to share what we’ve learned in the hopes that there are some helpful nuggets you can take with you to improve […]

Studio Life

Skidmore 2019 Year in Review

January 9 2020 / Sierra Soleimani

Happy New Year, folks! Last year marked our 60th anniversary, so 2020 means we’re entering a fresh new decade as an organization as well. We’re grateful for the past six decades of business and hopeful for what’s to come. Re: 2019, it proved another action-packed, though slightly chaotic, year. We won new clients, made new […]

Branding

The battle for shelf space: Lessons from 3 successful brands

December 10 2019 / Drew Patrick

As an emerging food or consumer packaged goods (CPG) brand, you might feel like getting that first order from a big retailer like Whole Foods or Walmart means you’ve made it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a huge accomplishment—and one worth celebrating—but it’s just the beginning.   While having the right messaging and packaging design […]

Studio Life

THINK Business interviews Skidmore Studio Owner & President, Drew Patrick

August 21 2019 / Sierra Soleimani

This interview was originally posted on Jon Dwoskin’s “THINK Business” podcast. Drew isn’t your typical finance guy. As owner and president of Skidmore Studio, he’s a thoughtful strategic partner, relationship builder, and fierce advocate for the studio’s creative team. He’s passionate about helping good organizations grow through branding and fostering a workplace that’s happy, healthy, […]

Branding

Know your customer and technology will fall into place

/ Drew Patrick

Originally posted on JGA.com as a guest post by Skidmore Studio President, Drew Patrick. Back in the day, shopping was a simple affair. People went to the store to buy things. Then the internet happened. In order to keep up, traditional brick-and-mortar retailers rushed to create an online experience for their customers. Most didn’t do […]

Studio Life

New look, same creative studio

June 12 2019 / Sierra Soleimani

We, a branding studio, have a fresh new brand identity ourselves. This includes an all-new Skidmore Studio logo, visual identity, and website.  Our creative studio based in downtown Detroit is in its 60th year in business. As we approach a new decade of growth, our leadership team felt a rebrand was imperative to reflect the […]

Studio Life

Peter Fezzey joins Skidmore Studio’s leadership team

June 11 2019 / Sierra Soleimani

Skidmore Studio welcomes Peter Fezzey to the team to direct all account and new business efforts. Fezzey joins the studio with 15 years of experience in strategic partnerships and business development. At Skidmore, he is responsible for building new business relationships, developing client growth strategies, promoting the studio’s services, and overseeing internal project teams to […]

Studio Life

Skidmore Studio honored as one of the 2019 Michigan 50 Companies to Watch

April 22 2019 / Sierra Soleimani

Skidmore Studio was recently recognized by Michigan Celebrates Small Business as one of the Michigan 50 Companies to Watch in 2019, an awards program recognizing advocates of small business in Michigan. Companies who are selected to receive this honor are a remarkable group of second-stage companies. Defined as having 6 to 99 full-time-equivalent employees and […]

Client Spotlight

Client Spotlight: How a small social biz grew into a statewide staple

March 5 2019 / Drew Patrick

In 2016, the folks behind Michigan Farm to Freezer trusted us to redesign the core piece of their brand identity: their packaging label. At the same time, the Michigan-based processor of fruits and vegetables moved their freezing facility from Traverse City to Detroit to expand their reach. Two years and a whole lotta growth later, […]

Branding

Every brand’s guide to slang, memes, and Internet Speak

January 28 2019 / Drew Patrick

Does speaking internet count as being bilingual? If so, we at Skidmore Studio are skilled translators capable of guiding you and your brand on a journey through this vast territory of garbled, unstable language. The slang, memes, and writing style of the web are incredibly important tools in any modern communicator’s kit of parts. The […]

Studio Life

Skidmore-designed digital wallpapers (free!)

December 19 2018 / Kacha Azema

When we’re not busy with client work, the team pursues mini side projects that inspire us and deepen our creative practice. Sometimes this works sees the light of day, and sometimes it’s just something we share with one another. To close out the year—and, honestly, because so many clients have headed off on vacation—we’ve spent […]

Branding

3 food-focused clients we’re extra grateful for

November 14 2018 / Drew Patrick

There’s a lot to be thankful for this year. We have a new owner. We’ve experienced 200 percent growth in office dog attendance. And every time we step out the front door or take a walk around town, we see how Detroit has gotten a tiny bit more vibrant. One of the best things about being […]

Studio Life

When you love an organization enough to buy it

October 2 2018 / Drew Patrick

A little over nine years ago, Tim Smith asked me to play a round of golf. I accepted even though I didn’t care much for the sport. I figured I’d follow his lead. But, just two holes in, I could tell he wasn’t much of a golfer! “We could’ve just gone to breakfast,” I lamented. […]

Studio Life

In good hands: Skidmore Studio transitions ownership

October 1 2018 / Sierra Soleimani

We have some big news to share here at the studio: Our current president, Drew Patrick, is officially the owner of Skidmore Studio as of today, Oct. 1, 2018. He purchased our almost-60-year-old legacy studio from our dear friend Colleen Smith, wife of former owner Tim Smith who passed away unexpectedly in January. While the […]

Consumer Insights

Food tribes: Fighting the good (food) fight

September 13 2018 / Kacha Azema

Think about the last time you went out to eat with friends, or the last time you invited someone to your home to share a meal. If there were more than three people in your group, I’ll bet one of them had a dietary restriction or food regimen that limited your dining options. And I’ll […]

Branding

Brand over marketing: The 60/40 split

June 28 2018 / Kacha Azema

Here’s an idea that may be controversial: You should be investing more time and effort (and therefore $$$) into your brand than your marketing. Sure, we’re a little biased (we’re a branding studio, after all), but the data backs it up. “Media in Focus,” a report on the effects of mass marketing produced by Google […]

Studio Life

Xenith rebrand and packaging work featured on Brand New

June 27 2018 / Sierra Soleimani

This week our Xenith rebrand was reviewed the much loved and feared Brand New site by the folks at Under Consideration. It’s a strange/scary experience to release your work into the wild, and having it analyzed by respected peers in the design community takes this feeling to a whole new level. Thankfully, we were in […]

Branding

Mastering the “Stop, Hold, Close”

May 10 2018 / Kacha Azema

As one of the most important brand–customer touchpoints, a brand’s packaging needs to stand out from the competition, while also answering how the product solves a customer’s needs. Here at Skidmore, we use the “Stop, Hold, Close” method – a process for getting the most out of that sliver of time a customer spends contemplating […]

Studio Life

Fun meets function in EMBC beer can design

January 24 2018 / Drew Patrick

Nothing better than kicking back with a beer bursting with flavor AND personality. Luckily these cans we designed for Eastern Market Brewing Company contain both. Check out a piece from Packaging Strategies Magazine on the design!

Branding

Striving for extraordinary partnerships

November 3 2017 / Sierra Soleimani

Recently I was asked, “What makes a really good client?” My initial reply was to spout off a series of thoughts I developed over the years working with clients of all shapes and sizes. Statements that were primarily from the studio’s perspective, like…They need to be big thinkers. They need to have a budget. They […]

Design

The do’s & don'ts of candy packaging

October 26 2017 / Kacha Azema

The Skidmore candy drawer is basically our water cooler – and this close to Halloween, it’s packed full of treats. Which is why this episode of Branding Bites is all about candy packaging. Watch as Shawn and Kacha break down the packaging tricks that sell our favorite treats. Rather read than watch? Check out the transcript […]

Branding

Menu writing tips from a hungry copywriter

October 11 2017 / Drew Patrick

Menus are everywhere – the cozy chalkboard at your neighborhood café, the oversized menu at the local burger joint, the minimalist menu at your favorite upscale restaurant. Big or small, simple or complex, beautiful or merely functional, menus are arguably the most important touchpoint between a restaurant’s brand and its customers. However, as pervasive as […]

Consumer Insights

Keeping fans in the stands

September 28 2017 / Drew Patrick

Sports teams straddle the line of brand and entertainer, with most of their success depending on the unpredictable rise and fall of the season. They can always depend on their core band of brand loyalists to show up rain or shine, but is there a way to appeal to fair-weather fans on a cloudy day? […]

Consumer Insights

Takeout, carryout, and all things delivery

September 14 2017 / Drew Patrick

As different delivery methods battle it out for who can grow the fastest, it’s no wonder about 20 percent of people in the US order food delivery at least once a week. Now, there’s no limit to what cuisine you can eat from the comfort of your own home any given night of the week […]

Branding

Talking to your audience

August 28 2017 / Kacha Azema

Most brands these days are learning how to walk the walk and truly uphold their brand values, but can they talk the talk? In this week’s episode of Branding Bites, Shawn and Kacha share their knowledge on how to better identify, talk to, and connect with your audience. Rather read than watch? Check out the transcript below! // TRANSCRIPT Kacha: Welcome to Branding Bites, […]

Branding

3 things all insurgent brands must do

August 9 2017 / Sierra Soleimani

We all love to root for the underdog. It’s why the Rocky films have grossed over $1.5 billion worldwide. Rocky Balboa, one of the most beloved underdog movie characters of all time, beat Apollo Creed, Mr. T and that huge Russian dude, with a simple philosophy: Don’t play by their rules. This “upstart” attitude holds […]

Design

Indicators you need a new logo

January 31 2017 / Sierra Soleimani

You can update the menu, redesign the interior, and launch a new advertising campaign, but unless your restaurant keeps its logo fresh, you’re going to miss out on new and returning customers. As a communications tool, everything about your logo – from the decision to use a serif or sans-serif font – sends a message […]

Consumer Insights

Loyalty programs worth the love

January 17 2017 / Sierra Soleimani

Loyalty programs have been around forever, as has the question of whether we, as marketers, are making the most of this opportunity to retain our customers. The answer: Usually not. This week we take a look at restaurant loyalty programs with an eye on improving the customer experience and program effectiveness. How can your brand […]

Branding

Detroit dining and bonbon branding

January 10 2017 / Sierra Soleimani

Detroit has been featured in some of the country’s most respected publications and topped lists of America’s hottest food cities. And as Detroiters ourselves, we can confirm: the food is incredible. But there is also much to learn from the brand building efforts of some of Detroit’s most successful restaurants and chocolatiers. In this week’s […]

Consumer Insights

Marketing innovations for 2017

January 2 2017 / Sierra Soleimani

We’re taking a quick look back at 2016 and helping marketers plan for the year ahead in today’s episode of Branding Bites! Tune in to watch Shawn and Kacha share their insights into restaurant branding opportunities related to employee ambassadors, digital ordering, loyalty programs, and more. Rather read than watch? Check out the transcript below! […]

Branding

Instagram Live & FOMO for restaurants

December 20 2016 / Sierra Soleimani

We enjoy a special guest this week as Sara joins Kacha in the hot seat to share strategies for Instagram Live, menu item branding, and more. Click play for their answers to questions including: How can restaurants make use of Instagram Live? (at :30) What has made HopCat a success with millennials? (at 2:13) How […]

Consumer Insights

Food promotions that really deliver

December 7 2016 / Sierra Soleimani

We explore the world of food promotions in this week’s episode of Branding Bites! Stay tuned as Shawn and Kacha share strategies for creating successful stunts, ads, and unexpected extras. Click play for their answers to questions including: What types of promotions drive the most sales for QSR, fast casual, eatertainment, and casual dining brands? […]

Branding

Restaurant apps, biscuit theaters, and Airbnb

November 28 2016 / Sierra Soleimani

In this week’s episode of Branding Bites, Shawn and Kacha dive into the world of restaurant apps to discuss which restaurants are delivering a great app experience. And as always, they share their thoughts on everything of note in food, beverage, and branding this week! Click play for their answers to questions including: When is […]

Branding

Branded videos and virtual reality

November 16 2016 / Sierra Soleimani

There is a lot of focus on branded video content in the food marketing space right now. Take Chipotle’s School of Guac, Cap’n Crunch’s Earliest Show, and Jack in the Box’s Cravings Hotline for example. In this week’s episode of Branding Bites, Shawn and Kacha discuss branded video content and its role in the food […]

Design

Photogenic food and resurrecting Chipotle's brand

November 8 2016 / Sierra Soleimani

In this week’s episode of Branding Bites, Kacha and Shawn got together to share their thoughts on the exciting world of food, beverage, and branding. Check out the video for their answers to questions including: How can restaurants, bars, and breweries make their products more photogenic on Instagram? (at 0:15) How should Chipotle move past […]

Branding

Millennial slang dictionary: November 2016 updates

November 6 2016 / Drew Patrick

We created this millennial slang dictionary to help marketers decode words and phrases trending on social media. And since these trends change constantly, this entry is regularly updated with additions, deletions, and new examples. November 2016’s new additions are highlighted and include: curve, GOAT, receipts, feels bad man, and smol. This month, we’ve also retired “fomo”, […]

Branding

Building a cult brand and redesigning Taco Bell

October 31 2016 / Sierra Soleimani

In this episode of Branding Bites, our strategy director, Kacha Azema, and our design director, Shawn McConnell, got together to talk about what’s happening in restaurant marketing this week. Tune in for their responses to questions including: How successful were Frontier Lager’s recent #findflavour Instagram ads? (at 0:13) How can a restaurant achieve cult status […]

Consumer Insights

On McDonald's, Gilmore Girls & more

October 18 2016 / Sierra Soleimani

In this episode of Branding Bites, our strategy director, Kacha Azema, and our design director, Shawn McConnell, sat down to share their insights on what’s happening in restaurant marketing this week. Tune in to see Kacha and Shawn answer topical questions including: Is McDonald’s goal of 5,000 pieces of content realistic for the rest of […]

Consumer Insights

Millennials + Food: A love affair

August 22 2016 / Sierra Soleimani

Millennials’ obsession with food is no mystery. You can see it on any and every social media channel, with photos tagged #foodporn and #onthetable and #nomnomnom. You can sense it in the rise of the term “foodie” (a term with which half of millennials identify1), and the barrage of new restaurants cropping up in your […]

Branding

Celebrating a centennial by keeping in step with the times

August 8 2016 / Shawn McConnell

Last year the National Parks System attracted 305,000,000 people. That’s more visitors than Disney theme parks, the NFL, MLB, NBA, and NASCAR combined. And this year is looking even better. You have to admit – for a government agency to pull these kind of numbers, it’s pretty impressive. How does a 100-year-old organization maintain its […]

Branding

How to win the Labatt Games & other brand activations

August 2 2016 / Sierra Soleimani

Just a few days ago, I was crowned a winner of the Labatt Undomesticated Games. If you know anything about the event, you probably want to hear my team’s strategies for dominating the oversized slingshot. But that’s a secret I’ll never tell. Instead I want to share my thoughts on the event as a millennial […]

Branding

3 tips for creating brand experiences millennials love

July 25 2016 / Sierra Soleimani

Marketing leaders have an incredibly complicated task in trying to optimize their marketing spend while achieving the best return for their brand. While plenty will debate the merits of spending in the traditional vs. digital spaces, it’s the experiential world that may be most deserving of your investment – especially if you want to stay […]