Instant gravitas

Instant gravitas

Ally 360 Marketing

In the world of non-profits — museums, associations, higher education institutions and the like — it can take a very long time to become a trusted resource.  Lead times are often at a slower, more conservative pace — yet the needs and diversity of work is as pressing as any agency.

So how do you break through if you’re new in the market?

Initially launched as Membership Avenue (an interestingly unique name), the sales team found it hard to break through to the folks that could hire them, despite having a great portfolio and years of experience.  The name seemed to suggest something other than the services their target non-profits were searching for.

JSH&P was hired to assist in re-launching everything… from naming, initial brand development, logo design, web design and collateral and promotional creation.  We set out to craft a complete A-list brand from scratch.  We realized that in a referral world, sometimes all you get is the first 4 seconds of a website look to make an impression …from a memorable domain name.

The result was Ally 360, two naming forms combined to instantly convey a sense of trustworthiness and full service capabilities dedicated to non-profit marketing concerns.

Ally360 is one a leader in non-profit marketing, having worked with such distinguished institutions like the Chicago History Museum, Wolf Trap, the Milwaukee Public Museum and the Florentine Opera.  

That’s one good looking brand.

That’s one good looking brand.

Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery Specialists

If you’re a designer, it’s not often that your clients pay more attention to aesthetics than you do.  For Drs. Ken Dembny and Larry Sterkin of CPSS in Wauwatosa and Mequon, it’s a way of life.  They’re two of the most accomplished cosmetic surgeons in Southeastern Wisconsin and their tastes come with high expectations.

Sometimes, unifying a brand needs a simple graphic tool — like a banner.

As you can see from the work, adding the transparent banner with logo, tagline, doctors and contact info makes for a great way to get a lot of information in a condensed space, while providing consistency across many marketing mediums.  It also compliments bold beautiful models that “steal the page” when it comes to key focal points in any particular marketing platform.

“We certainly weren’t afraid to sell ‘sexy’ in our marketing, but sometimes, you get a situation like we faced with Brookfield Square, ” states JSH&P Creative Director Mike Farley. “They banned one of our ads, saying that it was too racy.  The funny thing of it was, was that it was directly across from Victoria’s Secret!  We let the brand banner extend down a bit further to get it approved. Go figure.”

Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery Specialists is one of Milwaukee’s premier cosmetic surgery practices for men and women.  The reputations of both Dr. Ken Dembny and Dr. Larry Sterkin are exemplary, both of whom have been listed in Milwaukee Magazine as Top Docs multiple times.

How to Reach Your Fundraising Goal

How to Reach Your Fundraising Goal

(With a little help from Gene Simmons)

I’ve worked on dozens of fundraising campaigns, for various churches, non-profits and educational foundations. I’ve helped raise millions of dollars for causes that I thought worthy of the effort. Each one, reaching it’s targeted goal. These successes have taught me a lot about what motivates folks to contribute to your vision, both the fundraising team and to those that break out their checkbooks. The best, and most inspirational lesson in fundraising for me, came from the most unlikely person and place, and I thought I’d share his wisdom with you…

Donald Trump’s Celebrity Apprentice

I rarely watched it (I presume with Trump’s Presidential campaign, that it’s in re-runs now), but I happened to stumble across the show a few years ago when Gene Simmons, the demonic rock star from the band KISS, was a contestant. True to the format of the show, the men were pitted against the women in a contest to promote something with one of the “stars” from the losing team getting fired at the end of the show. In this particular episode, Donald gave each team the task of simply selling hot dogs at Times Square (with a charitable organization getting the proceeds) — most revenue wins and the members of the team spared from being “fired!” The cameras capture all of the drama between cast members as they plan, prep, work and scheme the event, ensuring that we watch and boost the show’s ratings.

The women were lead by Omarosa, a take-charge gal who’s “famous for being famous”. The men were lead by C-list actor Stephen Baldwin — apparently Celebrity Apprentice has to dig pretty deep for its talent. I digress. Which celeb was on which team was not important, but the approach that each team took, turned out to be a great exercise in succeeding or failing at fundraising.

The ladies turned to an oldie, but goodie… “America, hot dogs and sex”. How could the quintessential American food, sold by attractive women go wrong? “Exposing more cleavage” seemed to be at the heart of their strategy. Be big. Be bold. Be fun. Be sexy. Who wouldn’t want to buy a hot dog from a voluptuous woman on a hot Summer day? It works. Kind of.

Meanwhile, the men were struggling to come up with an angle of their own. They even came up with a cool team name — Team Hydra — you know, the scary Greek mythological beast? Given enough time, they’d probably have made awesome t-shirts to wear to make themselves feel even more special. But that’s not especially a good plan for fundraising. It forgets what the purpose was in the first place. The purpose was NOT to sell the most hot dogs… but to make the most money. Period. That was the goal.

As they argued about what marketing message they needed to deliver to beat the girls, a booming voice yelled a choice curse word from an adjoining room in the hotel suite they were in, “Shut the f*** up!”

Gene Simmons had a plan… and a moment of clarity.

He got on the phone, called a few of his celebrity friends and asked them one very simple question, “Could you swing down to Times Square tomorrow and buy a hot dog for $10,000 for my charity?”

They said, yes.

While Omarosa and the female contestants sold individual hot dogs like, well, hot dogs, they raised about $10,000 at the end of the day. Pretty good. Team Hydra, on the other hand, took in over $50,000. You see, to successfully fundraise, you need to get big donors on board first. It’s that simple… and crucially important.

Gene Simmons: Rock star. Fundraising guru.

When you set out the thermometer that gets displayed on the street, you should have it over half-full to begin with (if not more), because you sought out your strongest contributors first; getting them to understand your mission. Once done, the final goal is almost assured because the little guys, like you and me, will contribute en masse because everyone wants to be part of a winning cause. By allowing everyone to see the apparent success of the cause at the start, the smaller contributors will be motivated to help you see the achievement toward your final goal.

Go Big on Old School

Go Big on Old School


Billion dollar international businesses are always looking for a great designer in Cedarburg, Wisconsin… aren’t they?

The age of the Internet is truly amazing.

However, for all of it’s marvels, this client from a few years ago was actually the product of “old school” contacts and referrals.   A good friend of mine, Michael Beightol from Coyote Marsh & Associates, contacted me about assisting him with a new opportunity.  Years before, we had done some work together on a European firm who wanted to make a splash in the American market.  Turns out, his brother (in Washington, DC) had connections to a firm with a similar situation.

Wallah!  Madrid meets Wisconsin.

The work we did, from website to marketing kit to trade advertising, still holds up pretty well today. That’s the hallmark of world-class design. It’s also the product of good relationships married to a good client.  Never forget to cultivate your personal relationships to build your business… even from unexpected sources!

Globalvia is a multi-national corporation based in Madrid, Spain that facilitates and builds some of the biggest infrastructure projects around the world, like bridges, tollways and light rail systems.