Another Site Says We’re Awesome

Another Site Says We’re Awesome

When you’ve been around as long as we have, you tend to get accolades from all over the place.  Most recently, through the agency search site  They found us and want you to find us, too.

That’s all well and good, but almost all of our business comes from referrals.  So keep telling your business friends about JSH&P.  We’ll check and see if these guys send any business our way!

Top Agency?

Top Agency?

JacksonSpencer (aka JSH&P) was founded to provide world-class advertising, marketing and design services to smaller businesses who can’t afford the “big boys”. It’s also the way that I can support myself and my family.

“Do really great work and the rest will take care of itself.”

That’s really been the motto of the firm. It’s nice, then, when other groups, firms and individuals take notice of that work and give kudos.

We recently received another award, this time from The Small Business Excellence Awards program as being a top Wisconsin ad agency. And to that, we say, “thank you.”

And know what? We’ll keep up the good work.

Easy social media video

Easy social media video

Just do it.

When our client, Mayer Galligan Law wanted to step up its presence on social media in a way that’s cost effective and engaging, we helped Dan and Steve turn to video.

That’s not the normal answer that marketing firms give because “everyone knows” that to do video right, you have to be willing to spend… right?

Not so fast.

The problem with traditional video is that it takes so much time to script, to plan, to film and to capture audio.  But with today’s smart phones, you have just about everything you need to put together an authentic video that engages your audience.

The “trick” that makes it work (because you actually will do it) is to do what we helped coach Dan to do — namely, use their smart phone mounted in their car and simply start recording whenever you have something to say. 

The combination of being alone in the car on a drive that typically takes too long is a perfect way to get your thoughts out in the open.  Don’t worrying about production value or mistakes, because we can always edit in post, which helps make social media videos are a breeze to set up and post online.

Editing in Adobe Premier, Final Cut Pro, or just take care of it with iMovie.  Save as an MP4 file and upload it to your YouTube or Vimeo channel.  That’s about it.

Getting consistent with it helps your brand and the more you do it, the easier it becomes to add to your library of thought leadership and advice.

Interested to do this for your business? 

Just do it — give it a try… or call us in for a free lesson.

Form + Fitness Site Re-launch

Form + Fitness Site Re-launch

Training your clients to stay focused on their goals sounds a lot like good branding.

When Grafton Form & Fitness came to us to improve the user experience of their personal training clients at their Mequon location, they simply wanted a “fresher” look.  But just like a good personal trainer, we thought that their might be a little more work to be done to get their brand in shape.

They already had the right look, it just wasn’t being applied very consistently and the mechanics of how they were struggling to update their site made brand fitness darn near impossible.

With the right training and the right tools, Form & Fitness Personal Training Studio is now in great shape…

OK, so now, what about the big gym? 🙂

Hope springs eternal…

Hope springs eternal…

Isn’t that how it goes at the old ballgame?

For everyone around here, tomorrow, the Milwaukee Brewers will capture most of the media attention with their Home Opener against divisional foe, the St. Louis Cardinals. Starting right-hander Jhoulys Chacin will be squaring off against the Cards righty Miles Mikolas.

I write that as if I know who these guys are. Truth is, I don’t.

Don’t get me wrong, I know baseball and love the game, even played it in college — but I don’t follow it like I used to when I was a card collecting kid. Heck, I didn’t find out about Brewers MVP Christian Yelich until August of last year, when he, and the Brew Crew went on a tear to get into the playoffs.

At today’s game, the Brewers owner, Mark Attanasio, will have his sons sing the national anthem, Bernie Brewer and the Racing Sausages will be there… and all fans who are in attendance will receive a 2019 magnetic schedule. Oh, and guess what, they can interact with the team on social media using #ThisIsMyCrew and #BrewersOpener. That’s 40,000+ fans coming to a game to eat hot dogs, drink beer and buy merchandise… and share their experience with friends in person and on social media.

And then, 40,000 more will do it another 80 times this season.

(Perhaps there’s a reason why Mike Trout just signed a $426,500,000 deal with the Angels.)

So what does all of this have to do with you and your business?

We get so busy in our day-to-day affairs, that business can turn into a real grind. Not only for us as owners, but for our employees and our customers, too. There is no “down-season” and the churn to drive new prospects into customers and customers into brand ambassadors can lose its luster. It’s then that you hit a plateau and your work gets hard… really really fast.

In short, your business begins to burn out.

Have a Home Opener – every year.

New product launches, new websites, and even the next trade show can give us a lift to broadcast a new message and help fire up the team. But did you ever think to actually create a “Home Opener” for your business — to set a real date, each year, to “open up” your business, your products or services, to your adoring fans (and their friends)? This is not to change your brand, but to enhance your brand. Like major league teams, it’s time to show your excitement to your fans that you have new talent to add to the vets in your line-up.

The easiest thought is an actual open house — to call in your best customers (and their friends) to re-new their interest in what you have to offer them. However, it could also simply mean establishing a digital launch of new creative work, new product offerings, introductions of new employees, vendor partners or associations that have improved your business. I guarantee you that you have business assets that have not been exposed to your customer base…

Have new certifications to show off or awards that you’ve collected? Taken pictures of your facility, products or people? Gone through your catalog? You could launch a new social campaign and drive traffic to a new landing page, complete with plenty of freebies — all for the price of admission — an email address. How about a dealer contest of some kind or advancing a new promotion?

Now is the time!

Don’t worry about being perfect. The real trick is you have just given yourself license to “brag” about your business to any and all simply because you created a Home Opener event… but it feels less like bragging and more like letting your team simply take the field. So here’s your chance to dust off your spikes, put a little rosin on the mound and show off your Major League stuff.

Know what? People pay good money to see that.

March Madness Mascot Deathmatch

March Madness Mascot Deathmatch

Forget about Duke, Virginia, North Carolina or Gonzaga…

it’s the Iowa State Cyclones you should be picking to win it all. 


There are many strategies in filling out your NCAA bracket, but until now, no one has given the “Mascot Method®” it’s due…

What’s the rationale, you ask?  

A fight to the death, on a basketball court, with five of the actual team mascots (and not a guy in a latex suit).  Also, they get to keep whatever armor, fur or skin; claws, fangs or weaponry available to them. We figure that’s only fair… you aren’t really much of a knight if you don’t have the sword and a suit of armor.  However, we don’t give much credence to imaginary characters — otherwise St. Louis University basically would win the title every single season (see below).   

Consider it gladiatorial combat:  

Why not Duke?
One might think the Duke’s Blue Devils might take it all every year, being “devils”, but in truth, the team was named after the French “les Diables Bleus”, a clever nickname for World War I Chasseurs Alpins — a French Alpine light infantry battalion. Formidable?  Perhaps, but being French soldiers, you know that a white flag can’t be too far behind.

Keep dreaming.
St. Louis could almost be unstoppable because the “Billiken” is “the god of all things that ought to be” — except for the fact that he’s simply a fictitious character contrived by a Missouri art teacher named Florence Pretz, in a dream in 1908. By that standard, you could name your team the Captain Marvels and win every NCAA tournament.

What the hell is that?
College mascots run the gamut with nicknames known only to their schools (i.e. Billikens).  Try these:
Hokies (turkeys); Terrapins (turtles); Orangemen (an Indian hoax); Racers (horses); Catamounts (cougars); Gaels (Irish folk); Sooners (land rush families); Tar Heels (poor naval store workers) and Aggies (farmers).

Spartans or Braves?
Or Knights, Raiders, Norsemen, Rebels and Pirates.  This is really tough to call, but there is a reputable resource that can give us insight — the 2009 TV show, Deadliest Warrior. We stated the rules of engagement above. What can Indian braves do against a Spartan phalanx on a basketball court?  We think the results speak for themselves.

Why not Sun Devils?
You might think that this “devil” would work where Duke’s does not.  You’d be wrong.  “Sparky”, the Arizona State Sun Devil is actually the third mascot for the school (after Owls and Bulldogs) and the name for little whirlwinds that kick up dust in the hot Arizona desert.  The best they can do is make some of the other mascots uncomfortable.

Guns vs. Knives… 
What’s the old addage, “Don’t bring a knife to a gun fight”?  This holds far too true for many of these menacing mascots.  Pirates may get a musket and Raiders (masked outlaws) get 6-shooters, but Rebels have rifles and Volunteers, too… while the previously mentioned Blue Devils are still in existence today, armed with FAMAS assault rifles.  

Cats vs. Cats.
In this year’s tournament, 4 teams use Bulldogs, but in two match ups — we get Cougars vs. Panthers and Wildcats vs. Wildcats.  We looked to their respective logos for guidance, but found that it’s impossible to pick a winner — meaning BOTH death matches go down scratching and clawing with all sides losing in the end.  

A force of nature.
Although it is true, that a cardinal does show up from time-to-time for Iowa State fans, “Cy” is only a sideline mascot because they couldn’t depict a 300 mph storm very well at games.  Given that the school is going back to a tornado only logo, it would appear that the road to the Final Four and the Championship would begin and end with a category 5 twister.

Here’s the full bracket, see how your favorites fare in the Mascot Method®… you’ll be thanking us for the insight.

JSH&P is a small business branding agency in Cedarburg, Wisconsin — famous for creating memorable brands for those that can’t afford March Madness budgets. 

p.s. > JSH&P also wants you to know that no mascots were actually harmed in the predictions detailed on this page.

Case Study: Symplaris

Case Study: Symplaris

Brian Behnken is a smart guy… like a really smart guy.  The kind who starts businesses, sells them for tidy sum and starts them again.  What’s more, he knows how to dig through data and find savings for clients who are eager to it in their employee healthcare plans.

But, Brian needed to start from scratch.  He needed a name, logo, tagline, a look and feel for his new company, and he needed a website and marketing materials to make a big impact within his marketplace.

He chose JSH&P.

“Symplaris” came out of the word simple, of course, and the extension aided in an ease of saying the term.  It sounds established without being trendy.  

“We tried literally hundreds of naming possibilities and worked out way through the domains to find a .com that was available,” stated JSH&P founder Mike Farley. “Funny thing was that ‘simplaris’ was available, but priced through an auction site at $8,800.  We secured ‘symplaris’ with the “Y” and made a reasonable offer to the company that owned the “i” version.  They wouldn’t budge.  Dumb on their part, if you ask me…  since we just rendered their naming convention useless.”

The Gill Rule

The Gill Rule

Bob Gill is an 88 year old graphic designer who’s had the kind of career most of us can only dream about.  In short, you want your work to endure as long as Bob has… and yes, he’s the guy behind the typeface.  Show some respect.

That said, Bob authored a book back in the 80’s that changed my life.  I was called “Forget something or other…“.  I don’t remember.  Sue me.

What I do remember is that the book did two things… it actually showed me HOW he thought about design solutions that he faced and I could follow his execution.  AND, he had a knack for simplifying the design process with a few clever rules, that, for the most part, hold up exceedingly well.



It’s pretty self-explanitory.  If you or your copywriter has written something truly brilliant, don’t let the pictures get in the way of these great and compelling words.

That’s not to say you should dumb anything down.  Just follow that rule.  Make sure whatever imagery you think needs to be there, take second place to the words that are driving the “sale”.

Conversely, if you have an image that blows your audience away, why would you muck it up with a bunch of copy that dilutes what they just saw.  This simple balancing act has provided my work with a whole lot of sanity and smarts when our natural tendency is to vomit on everyone.  Don’t let your client do it.  Don’t you do it.

Here are some great examples of each:



Catalogs & Sell Sheets

Catalogs & Sell Sheets

For good graphic design firms, websites are at the core of everyone’s branding — but not every firm knows how to handle the “old school” marketing work that so many businesses in Southeastern Wisconsin need — namely, catalogs and sell sheets.

Every sales force wants to have a better calling card than just their business card.  Leaving a great sales kit behind (one that doesn’t get tossed into the cylindrical bin) is crucial in turning cold calls into warm leads into active customers.

We know a thing or two about providing the kind of work that not only showcases your brand and your products, but also does so in a way that really “sells”.

Next time you tired materials need an overhaul, look to us at JSH&P to add the spit and polish you’re brand demands.

The 6¢/day Marketing Plan

The 6¢/day Marketing Plan

OK, for any of you familiar with Gary Veynerchuk, the foul-mouthed sommelier (and king of sagely business advice for the connected generation), this statement is a blatant steal of his $1.80/day marketing idea.

It basically goes like this:

Post your own wit and wisdom, pithy comment, probing question or laugh-out-loud retort to 9 top articles under 10 different hashtags every single day. This started as an Instagram strategy that you can view here — and I recommend that you do. WATCH GARY

As a fellow “great” marketer, recognizing and swiping good stuff is crucial to what we do.

So I stole, adapted and credited.

Unless you’re like Gary, and have a camera crew with you all the time, a smartphone attached to your face or have no other workload to accomplish for the day, reading and posting 90 comments a day is a little tough to do. I guarantee you, if you did, you’d begin to get notoriety and a whole bunch of people checking out your profile, BUT, you may lose all of the clients you have because you have no time for them.

That’s why my 6¢ strategy may actually be one you can utilize AND see real results from.

The switch it this, if your wit and wisdom is worth 2¢ (and whose isn’t?), then EVERY DAY, find three articles or posts that are within your LinkedIn feed to add something to their conversation. That’s it. Doesn’t have to be War & Peace. Just play Johnny Appleseed.

Know what?

Often, asking a great question is all that it takes for others to recognize that you “know your stuff”. Don’t go posting self-serving stuff and links back to your own website. The people you are connecting with want advice that helps THEM — not you. Honestly, do this over and over again. It works by building up your brand, while building theirs, too.

Whether you are looking for a job, new business or business connections, this simple and timely strategy is one that you can actually live up to… and reap the kind of rewards that come to those who confidently build a brand of goodwill within their industry.