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20 Feb 2014

March 2014 Newsletter


"Building Brand Ambassadors"

When you talk about your brand, your company, your much does it resonate with your customers and the larger public? When other people talk about your brand, your company, your work....does that resonate more?

Years ago, STCU realized that its members were its best possible brand ambassadors and began using testimonials on all of its communication channels. Hear how the process has evolved over time and what the credit union has learned about doing it right.

Kelly Fisher and Traci McGlathery of STCU will join Frank Swoboda of Corner Booth Media to present STCU's case study so you can learn how to build brand ambassadors for your business.

Friday, March 7
7:00 am - 7:45 am Networking & Breakfast
7:45 am - 9:00 am Introductions & Program
The Lincoln Center* – 1316 N. Lincoln Street *Parking is free!
Register Now



Love the customer, but don't LOVE the customer

Ah customers! They majority of them are picky, whiney, impatient, rude, demanding and so many other adjectives NSFW. That’s the wonderful Catch-22 of running a business. Without customers, you’re toast. But they can be HUGE pains in the ass! (You were all thinking it, don’t pretend you weren’t!) On the worst days, they make you question why you even started a business. But there are some diamonds in the rough who can add endless value above and beyond all the money in your marketing budget.

Brand ambassadors aren’t just customers; they are the town criers who tell others your business is AMAAZIIIING!! It’s more than just a logo shirt or hat that they wear in public. They have a sense of ownership in your business and they feel invested in your success. So they will post a review, tweet about great customer service, comment on your Facebook posts and blog about how your product beats the pants off the competition. Coke vs. Pepsi; Chevy vs. Ford; DC vs. Marvel; Canon vs. Nikon; these brands and millions more rely on ambassadors to tell their stories every day. Here are two more brands whose ambassadors have an impact on their success.

Apple – January 24, 1984, Apple introduced the Macintosh. In the 30 years since, Apple has carefully cultivated its fiercely devoted customer base. The Apple faithful revel in their love for the brand. You can ask are you a Mac or a PC and you will get a quick & definitive answer from a Cult of Mac member. A recent Apple user survey showed three fifths of respondents acknowledged their “blind loyalty” to Apple products. They are repeat buyers, early adopters, influencers who convince others to drink the Kool-Aid. So how has Apple done it? They made themselves the rebels; they chose to create products that went against the norm and deliver to you what you never knew you wanted. Consider your iPhone taking the place of watches, cameras, calculators, flashlights, address books, calendars, music players, compasses, maps and so many other things. Steve Jobs challenged us to think differently and to fall in love with Apple.

lululemon – lululemon’s brand ambassador program was a key pillar to building their business. Buy their yoga pants and you too can embody the lululemon lifestyle. Just don’t expect to represent their brand if you aren’t already in tip top shape. Their 2013 product recall turned into a PR debacle when the now-former CEO Chip Wilson put the blame on the consumer instead of the pants. "It's really about the rubbing through the thighs, how much pressure is there over a period of time, how much they use it," Wilson said of the pants. Got too much junk in your trunk? Still trying to achieve that elusive thigh gap? Then you probably aren’t an ideal customer to Chip Wilson. After all the work the brand did to build a community, Wilson destroyed that illusion by pointing out what women already struggle with, their size. The company is still working today to regain their stock value.

When you have ambassadors speaking on behalf of your company (both customers and employees), you need to make sure you are living up to their standards. If you stumble, the ambassadors will quickly let people know. It’s a control freak’s worst nightmare. But the benefits outweigh the risks. How do brand ambassadors fit into your business plan?



Apply to be a Judge for MarCom's 2014 Spark Awards
Calling all marketing, communications, advertising and design professionals! MarCom is currently looking for qualified professionals to judge 2014 Spark Awards entries. If you have interest in judging entries on some of our region’s best work, please contact Emily Easley, MarCom’s 2013-2014 Spark Awards Judging Chair at

Attend Whitworth Speed Networking Event - March 11
Give back to the student community and meet the next generation of marketing professionals at the next student-to-professional speed networking event at Whitworth University. On Tuesday, March 11 from 5:30-7 p.m. Whitworth students will pair up with MarCom professionals to get insight on resumes, interviewing and how to prepare for successful careers. Interested in participating? To RSVP and get more details, email Jonathan Manfredonia at

Interns Here! Get Your Summer Interns Here!
The MarCom internships are back, and you can apply to host one this summer! The internship can start as early as May and goes until fall 2014. Your organization can take advantage of the best and brightest from the next generation of marketing and communications professionals. Student interns receive a scholarship from MarCom, so there’s no cost to you.

There’s still time to apply before the February 28, 2014 application deadline, but the sooner the better.

Click here to download the host application form. For details, contact Jonathan Manfredonia at



Five Things to Never Say to a Designer
By Jennifer Van Eps, MarCom Visual Communications Chair
Producing beautiful, award-winning designs is tough. The quality of a piece, whether print or web, is closely tied to the quality of the message you’re sharing. To reach your target audience effectively, clear input and direction from a client to the designer (either internal or external agency) will result in the best end design.

Here are a few tips on WHAT NOT to say to your graphic designer as a client. Follow these and you’ll be on your way to Spark Awards fame! Read more...



Zipline Interactive is a boutique interactive agency based in the Pacific Northwest. We specialize in creating user-friendly and informative online experiences that generate business and we do it for clients of all shapes and sizes. Our handpicked team includes some of the most talented designers, developers, and programmers in the region. We have some great clients and would love to add you to the list.