New England Summer Fun

A week has already passed since the first “official” day of summer finally arrived, and here at Rumbletree, we are soaking up all the summer fun we can get when we step outside of the office. Summer Fridays certainly help with scheduling all of our summer weekend plans, so we decided to share (just a few) of our favorite summer activities New England has to offer…for all ages!

Theme Parks

As a kid, the most important day of the year is Christmas (even to adults). And as much as we all love summer vacation, that all important day can seem so far away… A trip to Santa’s Village gets you fired up and thinking about the upcoming big day (with or without children). It’s also a perfect place for parents because they can remind their kids that Santa is watching…and that being on your best behavior is crucial to get presents from the big guy.


Outdoor Live Music

There is nothing better than outdoor live music during the warmer months of spring, summer, and early fall. From a big band like The Lumineers at Thompson’s Point in Portland to a local guy like Joe Young on the water at Ornell’s in Kittery. This, in combination with a warm summer breeze and a tasty cool drink in hand…life, can’t get any better.


Recreational Biking

When the temps warm up, we love to slow things down by switching out the car for the bike. One of our designers shared her favorite New England bike route around scenic Cape Ann in Massachusetts with us (it’s a secret so don’t share it with anyone). 30 miles from Gloucester to Rockport (both towns accessible by the MBTA Commuter Rail) and back may sound intimidating, but give yourself the day, take in the scenery, and make plenty of stops along the way. Walk the trails and quarry of Halibut Point State Park, explore the site of Gloucester’s first settlers at Stage Fort Park, treat yourself to a Roy Moore Lobster, and be inspired by the quirky typography of the wooden shop signs along Bearskin Neck in Rockport.


Local Breweries

Every New Englander loves a good craft beer, especially when the temperature rises. We’re lucky enough at Rumbletree to be located on the New Hampshire seacoast, packed with local breweries and only a short drive from the awesome spots Maine has to offer. Whether it’s grabbing a drink with coworkers from our closest brewery (Throwback, we love ya!), stopping downtown at the Portsmouth Brewery, or even making the trek to Portland for a brew with a view, there’s no shortage of great beers to try!


Hiking Trails & Beaches

New Hampshire’s small (but mighty) seacoast has also allowed us to enjoy both the beaches and hiking trails in Maine and Massachusetts. Laudholm Farm Trail system in Wells, Maine, is a perfect hiking spot. You can easily access this trail and hike all the way out to a secluded part of the beach. Enjoy the wildlife preserve right down the road at Rachel Carson state park, and end your day with a lobster roll from Bennett’s in Kennebunk. A poolside Pina colada (overlooking the ocean) is necessary from the Colony Hotel in Kennebunkport. This day is sure to top your summer bucket list.

Which of our favorite summer activities will you try first?
Be sure to tag @rumbletree in your summer pics!

 

Rebrand or Brand Refresh?

An example of Rumbletree’s rebrand with Bedford Village Inn.


No brand lives forever without evolution. Or rebirth. There will come a time when your brand needs an overhaul to a certain degree, whether it’s a refresh or a full rebrand. 

It’s a crucial step in moving your company forward and positioning your organization for future success. Your current brand system may be limiting or dated, carry negative connotations, or have been created to target an audience that is no longer relevant. More likely, some combination of many issues has built up over time. This is your opportunity to assess what’s working and what isn’t. To start clean, with your current goals and audience in mind, and create something that is more true to your core. It’s also kind of fun. Read on to find out which approach might make the most sense for you.

1. Your brand kinda sucks

Let’s get this one out of the way quickly. If your brand was never very meaningful, relevant or credible, you’re probably a candidate for a rebrand. Take the opportunity to explore an entirely cohesive new brand, including logo, identity, attributes, messaging and more.

Tender Greens rebrand came at a time where a fresh menu, (including more than just salads) needed to be properly conveyed to customers. Designed by Paula Scher, this new look adds to the wide-variety of the menu and creates a unique shape with the letter “g” portraying a pan and a plate.

Verdict: Rebrand

2. Your audience or products have changed

You used to be known for no-frills products at a great price, but now you’re moving upscale. Or, you named your company ‘Gary’s Ski Chalet’ long before you realized you’d sell way more skateboards than snowboards. In both cases, it’s well worth investigating a rebrand to shake off old perceptions and reach new audiences.

Coach Inc., the parent company of Coach, took on a more diverse approach to the fashion industry in 2015, with the intent of becoming a house of brands after it’s acquisition of Kate Spade New York. With this addition, the company needed a new name to signal change and leave more room for future brands to join.

Verdict: Rebrand

 

3. Your brand is dated

It may seem obvious that a dated brand needs to be killed with fire, but it’s not so cut and dry. If your branding is still relevant and functional—but just happens to look at home on the dashboard of a Delorean—you’re better off holding on to what’s working and refreshing some of the design aesthetics. Skilled designers can find a way to evolve your branding without losing its essence. As an aside, brands go out of date much faster when their look and feel relies too heavily on current design trends. Try to avoid the trap of mimicking what’s hot now, unless you’re very good at predicting the future.

Remax refreshed their brand with the idea of appealing to a younger audience in terms of where first-time home buyers would be searching for their services: digitally. Remax is a classic brand, “but it’s only classic because it’s been around for more than 40 years not because it was particularly good.” Case in point, the brand is iconic because it has been around for some time, but the look needed a bit of refreshing. Remax’s new logo appeals to all digital platforms where most of their clients interact with the brand: online, email and via their phones. This proved successful because the final product needed to look good on a smartphone and on a yard sign.

Verdict: Refresh

4. Your brand system is limited

When your brand was first being developed, you didn’t think you’d need 23 versions of your logo and a 30-page style guide. Or maybe when you launched with two employees, the MS Paint logo you created fit the bill just fine. Now your company is growing up, and your branding needs are more varied and far-reaching. You need order and a set of clearly defined rules that can be applied company-wide. 

If you are happy with your brand overall, but find the lack of rules, consistency, and a true system are dragging your branding efforts down, you may be a candidate for a brand refresh.

SXSW (South by Southwest), is a growing conference and festival in Austin, TX, that celebrates the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries. Each year Foxtrot would wipe the slate clean by reimagining and creating a new look and feel for the event. Question: How do you create an established brand if the look and feel is constantly being redeveloped each year? Answer: Create a master brand. Foxtrot’s solution was effortless and systematic, allowing for a clean starting point to build off of every year to “fully unify the brand and shape the future role of digital services for the conferences and festivals.”

Verdict: Refresh

5. Your brand carries negative connotations

No company wishes to be in this position, but it does happen. If your brand is carrying baggage from past mistakes or poor performance, a rebrand can help clean the slate with consumers and reinforce a perception of positive change. Note that ‘talking the talk’ with a new brand means you also need to ‘walk the walk.’ If the negative perceptions of your company are caused by behavior that is still going on, don’t bother. 

KFC shortened their name in the early 90’s with the idea that they weren’t just “fried” anymore. While today this term has negative connotations with certain health trends being implemented by a lot of fast-food restaurants, KFC’s name change is not only smart for business, it’s smart for the design too.

Verdict: Rebrand

Now that you are a bit of an expert on the differences between a rebrand and a refresh, take some time to see if your company or business is in need of one or the other. Also, take a look at our work page to check out some of Rumbletree’s successful brand developments!

References:
Tender Greens
Tapestry
Remax
SXSW
KFC

Job Opportunity For Graphic Designer

Do you love design and also big ideas? Do you work well with others? Do you like a fast-paced work environment? Then we should talk. Rumbletree is looking for a creative graphic designer with up-to-date knowledge to interpret our client’s needs and to design solutions with high visual impact. You will work on a variety of projects, including websites, digital marketing, catalogs, product packaging, video concepting, exhibitions, corporate identity, social media, etc.

Responsibilities include:

  • Cultivate a solid body of work
  • Take the design “brief” to record requirements and clients needs
  • Schedule project implementation and define budget constraints
  • Work with a wide range of media and use graphic design software
  • Think creatively and develop new design concepts, graphics, and layouts
  • Prepare rough drafts and present your ideas
  • Amend final designs to clients comments and gain full approval
  • Work as part of a team with copywriters, designers, stylists, executives etc.

Requirements:

  • Proven graphic design experience, 2-5 years experience preferred
  • Possession of creative flair, versatility, conceptual/visual ability and originality
  • Demonstrable graphic design skills with a strong portfolio
  • Ability to interact, communicate and present ideas
  • Up-to-date with industry-leading software and technologies (In Design, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, Photoshop etc)
  • Highly proficient in all design aspects
  • Professionalism regarding time, costs and deadlines

 

Please email your resume to Alex at akellogg@rumbletree.com with the email subject line “Graphic Design position”.

Job Opportunity For Account Executive

Responsible for client communications, conflict resolution, and compliance on client deliverables.

Reviews all major deliverables (i.e. creative comps, strategic brief ) to ensure quality standards and client expectations are met.

Ensures that client issues are dealt with in an efficient, timely and client-friendly manner

Works with the Director on contract management and contract renewals and/or proposals for new work for an existing client.

Develops estimates and SOW orders for new client programs or initiatives.

Approves change orders and invoices, reviews actual vs. proposed project and ticket billable hours, and notifies client of changes in scope or estimates in advance of final billing.

Runs or is key participant in client status meetings and/or maintains program status documents.

Assists in the development of strategic and quarterly review presentations.

Works closely with the project team in order to maintain a continuous knowledge of project status in order to identify potential issues and/or opportunities within or related to the project.

Recognizes and pursues opportunities for account growth and new business

Communicates the client’s goals and represent the client’s interests to the broader, cross-functional team and sets priorities for the day-to-day workings of the team in support of the stated goals.

Provides regular two-way communication between the client and creative team, to provide strong team representation and set proper client expectations.

Competitive/industry research and data synthesis to provide business intelligence to our clients and internal team members

Provides support to Sr. Director of Client Services and/or Sr. Account Managers as needed.

 

Knowledge and Skills:

  • Proven account management skills in creating, maintaining and enhancing customer relationships
  • Strategy development experience. Knowledge of social media, media buying, and other marketing types a plus.
  • Extremely detail oriented
  • Motivated, goal oriented, proactive. Must be able to work independently to problem solve.
  • High level of initiative and work well in a team environment
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Handles stressful situations and deadline pressures well
  • Social Media advertising experience a plus

 

Experience and Education:

  • Bachelors Degree in Marketing or a related field
  • 1-4 years of marketing experience, advertising/marketing agency a plus
  • Understanding of strategic marketing development principles is a must
  • Technically savvy
  • Excellent oral and written communication and organizational skills
  • Detail-oriented and self-motivated

 

To apply:

Please send your resume and cover letter to akellogg@rumbletree.com and kangulo@rumbletree.com

Your School’s Website: Branding and Optimization are Key

As a school, your marketing strategy doesn’t need to be complicated or overly expensive. But making sure your website is branded and optimized properly should be on the top of your priority list. For instance, the content on your site should enable your school to appear in more general online searches. The information must be relevant to ALL people, not just those within your school community, in order to appear high in Google rankings.

THAT’S WHERE RUMBLETREE CAN HELP.

We can work with your school to help you capitalize on critical yet simple web, content and social media strategies to:

1. Alleviate front office stress by including relevant content where it’s most visible
2. Improve communication between parents and teachers

3. Increase awareness around Parent Organization initiatives
4. Improve newsletter readership or newsletter development
5. Create more successful annual fundraising campaigns
6. Increase engagement with families and community via social media and your website

Whatever your marketing goals might be, we can help you achieve them with a simple, quick marketing strategy audit.

Check out our work with other schools here

Our entire portfolio can be found on our website

Overwhelmed by where to start? We offer full-service web design for new or existing websites. Contact Molly Patrick at mpatrick@rumbletree.com today for more information on how to improve your site and stand out from your competitors.

Job Opportunity for Front-end Web Developer

Front-End Web Developer

Rumbletree is in search of an experienced Front-End Developer for a client’s growing Web Development team.

Responsibilities will include:

  • Existing site maintenance & bug-fixes
  • Developing new features
  • Assisting with the planning & architecture of our next generation site

Required Knowledge & Experience:

  • Front-End development experience with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript
  • Requesting and consuming JSON data via AJAX
  • CSS3 transformations and transitions
  • SASS and SASS partials, including the use of variables and mixins
  • Distributed Source Control Technology (Mercurial, Git)
  • Task Runners, specifically Gulp, and an understanding of concatenation and minification
  • Proficiency with jQuery, Underscore and the general structure of jQuery plugins.
  • Proficiency with vanilla JavaScript, including modern features such as arrow functions and spread operators.

Familiarity with any of the following a plus:

  • Writing in-house code that is compatible with an established CMS
  • XML and XSLT transformations
  • VueJS
  • ReactJS
  • Coldfusion
  • Mura CMS

Please send resumes to Alex Kellogg at akellogg@rumbletree.com

5 Easy Ways to Improve User Experience on your Website

Visit Thirstymoosetaphouse.com to see how we implement these 5 tips!

Before you start thinking about designing (or re-designing) your website, make sure you consider your user first. Most people will only spend about 10-20 seconds* on a site, so you want to communicate your value clearly and concisely, just as you would an elevator pitch!

Here are some easy tips to have a better user experience:

Call out key services on the homepage. It’s imperative that your users have easy access to the most important information you want to get across. Even if you detail out these services elsewhere, include them right on the homepage so they are the first items users see.

Balance relevant information with engaging graphics. Adding images and graphics to written content allows your site to feel less dense, and will feel much more approachable for users. Make sure to use relevant descriptions as alt-tags for your images to help boost your search engine optimization (SEO).

Utilize infographics and visuals for quicker intake of dense information. You have a very small window to capture your audience’s attention, and even less so if you are trying to explain complex information. Make use of infographics and other related visuals to deliver the same information in a much more digestible format.

Create custom Call to Actions. Use your brand voice to reflect a more interesting CTA like “Our researchers are ready to help you grow your business, are you?”

Include more relevant information in the footer. Oftentimes footers can be forgotten from a user experience point of view, but if used correctly, it can act as a visual sitemap of your web content and as a teaching tool for new or confused users.

Overwhelmed by where to start? We offer full-service web design for new or existing websites. Contact Molly Patrick at mpatrick@rumbletree.com today for more information on how to improve your site and stand out from your competitors.

*Nielsen Norman Group nngroup.com

Rumbletree’s Favorite Super Bowl Recipes

We’re more than ready for next Sunday’s Super Bowl game! As an office full of Pats fans, we’ll all be cheering on #12 while chowing down on our favorite foods. Need some last-minute suggestions for you game day snacks? Well, look no further!

 

Stack
Super Bowl food of choice: Buffalo Chicken Dip
It’s my favorite because it’s easy to make and DELICIOUS.
Favorite team: Go Pats!

Brendan
Super Bowl food of choice: Shrimp cocktail & cream cheese dip (with salty potato chips)
It’s my favorite because the salty chips with the sweet dip are yummy and there is no cooking involved.
Favorite team: Pats

Jenna
Super Bowl food of choice: Buffalo Chicken Dip
I absolutely love buffalo chicken dip because it’s hot, cheesy, spicy and delicious on all flavor levels! For an extra taste, I’ll use Hint of Lime Tostitos chips :).
Favorite team: PATRIOTS! (I am a bandwagon fan)

Becky
Super Bowl food of choice: Guac (obvi)
Guac is the best Superbowl snack for so many reasons – its versatility, the fact that you get to eat tortilla chips with it, and because I don’t have to turn on my oven to make it!
Favorite team: The Pats! YAY TOM! (I would say the Jets but I’m a fair-weather fan.)

Charlie
Super Bowl food of choice: Sally’s Hors d’oeuvres (Tiny piping hot bubbling, golden brown, cheesy treats)
Favorite Recipe:
1 Loaf of Pepperidge Farms thin white bread.
Mayonnaise
Small onion
Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Paprika

Directions:
Take a serrated knife and cut the crust off the bread slices. Then quarter the slices and place on a Teflon baking tray. In a mixing bowl, combine 1 pound of sharp cheddar cheese and enough mayonnaise to hold the cheese together. Slice one small onion into thin slices and quarter. Using a fork and spoon, top each quartered bread slice with the Cheddar Cheese mixture. Place a small piece of onion on top of the cheese mixture.

Finish each with a small dash of Paprika. Place tray under over broiler for 3-4 minutes (or until golden brown and Cheese is bubbling). Plate and serve right away. (I’ve been known to crush a tray of these all by myself!)

Favorite team: Go Pats!

Amanda
SuperBowl food/drink of choice: a tasty local craft beer
Favorite Recipe:
1. Get off couch. Step 2: Walk to fridge. Step 3: Open fridge. Step 4: Select Beer. Step 5: Open Beer. Step 5.5: If no opener is readily accessible, follow these steps (ignore the name of the site, this applies to my ladies out there as well). Step 6: Enjoy.

It’s my favorite because it’s delicious, requires no plate or utensils, and I don’t need to worry about anyone double dipping their chips in my beer…well, let’s hope not.
Favorite team: Notre Dame Fighting Irish (if it has to be NFL then I suppose the Cincinnati Bengals)

Kelley
Super Bowl food of choice: chicken wings
Favorite Recipe:
Google “chicken wings near me” and order

It’s my favorite because chicken wings are amazing. And they go with everything, especially football.
Favorite team: The Pats! Tom Brady actually once asked me to marry him.

Maria
Super Bowl food of choice: Buffalo Chicken Crescent Ring
It’s my favorite because it’s delicious, savory and spicy, but easier to eat than wings.
Favorite team: I don’t have one, but I say Patriots because of peer pressure.

Marisa
Super Bowl food of choice: Veggie Buffalo Wings
While this recipe might not be the easiest for everyone to whip up on game day, the outcome is totally worth it. It’s (somewhat) healthy, extremely delicious, and you can pair it with your favorite dipping sauce—yum!
Favorite team: The Patriots

Molly
Super Bowl food of choice: Bacon-wrapped dates with parmesan
Everywhere I go, these get gobbled up so quickly! Yes they’re good, but they’re also easy to grab and throw down the hatch :). And everyone loves bacon, right?
Favorite team: Patriots!!!!!!! Go Pats!!!

Brian
Super Bowl food of choice: Turkey meatball sliders
Step up your ball game! Easy to make and great as leftovers. It’s fun on a bun.
Favorite team: Patriots!

Jess K.
Super Bowl food of choice: Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
It’s my favorite because you think they’re bad for you, but they’re not!
Favorite team: Go Pats!

How are you celebrating game day?