Branding Par Excellence

According to DesignRush, we’ve been selected as one of the Top Branding Agencies in 2019.

We are thrilled to be named one of the best qualified branding agencies in Roseville, CA. Branding is one of our specialities and something we live and breathe at 829 DESIGN.

You see, your brand is the foundation of your company. It represents your company’s personality and is a promise to your customers. Branding is far more than the development of an icon or tagline. Branding creates the face and voice of your company; it drives communication strategies. A brand is worthless if it doesn’t connect with the right audiences in a relevant way. In today’s market, savvy companies are always evolving their brand strategies as the digital marketplace develops and changes, so make sure yours is up-to-date!

A great brand is actionable, compelling, and true. Two out of three won’t do. It must be a blend of all three. Give us a call at (916) 581-1777 or email us at hello@829design.com and let’s create something awesome!

The World of Curated Branding

We have discussed branding quite a bit on our journal because it is the major touchpoint through which customers find you and keep finding you. It is your calling card in the business world. Many in the industry have been wondering where the logo will be going next. We might be looking at the beginning wave.

This week, we are bringing up a new angle on the traditional logo that might seem a bit far-fetched or intimidating, but it might just be genius.

Have you thought about a curated brand? 

 
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What is a Curated Brand?

Have you noticed a few brands standing out lately? The age of consistent branding might be coming to a close. What will come next, you might ask? As Rory Macrae put it so well in his article: The age of the “Chameleon Brand” (Loving this term!!). In an age where everyone has their own customized desktop, cell phone, menu, and more, why should a brand appear the same to every eye? This is based on the same thinking that brings you the “share a Coke” campaign. Visually, the bottles are still very consistent with each other and the Coke brand, but each bottle is personalized in a very specific way. 


Google fiddles with this idea with their doodles all the time - more specifically, every time your birthday rolls around and your google landing page is decorated specifically for you. A company that has been doing this for much longer is M&M. You have been able to get personalized M&M candies made for years! Same old recognizable chocolates but with your message stamped onto them.


 
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Market Saturation

The market has become saturated with the same looks and feels. Not only that - we see giants everywhere, recognizable from a three-key jingle or a color. And they’ve caught on to it. So why do they need to plaster their logo across everything when its not needed? 

We are gradually stepping away from the traditional logo and branding, approaching the idea that you can morph into whatever your customer wants to see. Spooky, huh? One example of this is Netflix and their specialized content. They figure out what you love and select cover art for all the other titles to be most attractive to you. They figure this out in sneaky ways.


Morphing Potential

What we are asking is: What if you could do that with your brand? How lethal would you be in your market?! This might still be a few years out, but it is definitely worth talking about. What kind of morphing would your brand be able to cope with? It might be worth taking the time to make sure you have a “morphing potential” in your base brand. If theres nowhere to go with it, it will not go far.



While we all fear change just a little bit, it is something that your business depends on. It needs to be able to grow and change right along with your customers.

If you don’t have a chameleon brand, you might need to make some serious decisions.

Here are some questions to help you figure out if your brand is
flexible and dare I say…Chameleon-y?

  • Do I currently have a strong branding system to utilize?

    • Colors, typography, graphic style, mood, visual iconography, sound/music?

  • Is my brand translating well across all platforms?

  • Does my current logo remain strong when simplified?

 
 
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Spread Your Wings, Darling!


Let’s give you some morphing power

If you’re looking for a professional opinion or hoping to update your branding system, you’ve come to the right place. Begin your journey by clicking a link below. You will be put in touch with one of our expert designers.


Email us: hello@829design.com or call (916) 581-1777

The Dangers of Sameness

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We found an interesting article and wanted to share it with you, but we also wanted to translate it a bit and add our thoughts!

In a piece written by Tom Roach, he discusses the difference between distinctiveness and differentiation. While these two words might sound like the same exact thing, he discusses them as two separate schools of thought as it applies to marketing and branding. Here is a link to the article if you’d like to read it yourself!

 
Breaking the Mold

The whole idea of this article was to bring to light the fact that we are all trying to run successful businesses. In order to do that, we sometimes take the mold that we found was successful for one business then we change it just slightly to fit us and make us “stand out” a bit (while still being safely inside that mold). This doesn’t work too well though because you aren’t being distinctively different. You are still one of the masses that are trying to sell toner or blenders or whatever else. There is a definite risk to stepping out of the mold, but the risk for those who remain one of the masses is greater. As a business, you cannot risk NOT standing out. As Mr. Roach says in his article, “The idea of competitive advantage is intrinsically linked to difference. Which is why the marketing sections of business books always say the same thing – difference matters – and no marketing professors ever advocate sameness as a winning strategy.” (1)


$$$ Through Difference

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Brands are more successful when they set themselves apart. They might even get a better price for a product that is only slightly different than their competitors. Why is that? Because they look different therefore they MUST BE different. Worth the higher price tag, obviously. “An analysis of actual prices paid (from the loyalty card data of 2400 shoppers for 79 brands) showed that shoppers paid 22% more for brands they find different and meaningful vs those they didn’t, with difference alone accounting for 40% of this on average.” (2, Brown Study). How does one set their brand apart and make themselves seem more…more? Good question. I liked the way Tom Roach put it in his article. It’s not just a single smoking gun, it’s a culmination of several different things. Its a catchy tagline, a certain ad campaign, or even a branding strategy that isn’t at all what one would expect in your line of business. 

Not only does being different help you stand out in peoples minds, but it also helps predict sales in the future. “Brands which people score strongly for both meaning and difference grow sales around 8.2% better in the following year than brands which score poorly, with difference being responsible for at least 50% of the predictive power.” (3) This means that if you are different enough and have legitimate meaning behind what you’re doing and what your brand represents, you have a higher chance of being successful!


So what are we saying? 

  • Always shoot for unsaturated markets.

  • Break that mold and make a definite move towards individuality.

  • Keep looking for ways to be different and show you are different through public face, public interaction, or a number of different ways. 

If you are having troubles finding your way or you’re not sure how to start, begin by asking questions. Reach out to businesses that inspire you and ask what their secret is. Shoot your local experts an email by clicking HERE! ;) Definitely take a fine tooth comb to your business. Compare the visuals and websites to your level one and level two competitors. From there you can start deviating from the mold.

 
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It’s time to stand out.


Worried about your company in a saturated marketplace?

We can help you.


Email us: hello@829design.com or call (916) 581-1777


Our Sources:

1. Roach, Tom. “The Stupidity of Sameness and the Value of Difference.” BBH, BBH Labs, 20 Mar. 2019, bbh-labs.com/the-stupidity-of-sameness-and-the-value-of-difference/.

2. Kantar Millward Brown R&D study: Shopcom and FlyBuys loyalty card data merged with equity survey responses at respondent level. Based on comparing a composite score built from meaningful and different to price paid for actual brand purchases of 2400 consumers. Analysis includes 79 brands. Low = bottom 25%, Medium = middle 50%, High = top 25% on ‘Premium’ score built from meaning and difference

3. Admap April 2017, ‘Establish KPIs that grow brand equity’, Josh Samuel, Kantar’

A Discussion on Color (Part 2)

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Color Usage in Branding and Marketing

Thanks for joining us on our next discussion on color!

Now we all know that colors effect moods and emotions. They can trigger certain feelings when people encounter them. This makes it very important when selecting the right color or colors to go into your logo and identity.

But now we go a step further and say this: This can either make or break your brand.


Whats your style?

Hopefully, when you got a logo designed they also provided you with mood-boards and color palettes. (This is our standard operating procedure anyways). When you go to make a new sign or a new package for that new amazing product, you need to always make sure that it is the same color that you were using. And no, we aren’t saying “Keep it purple,” we are saying “Keep it 29:C, 52:M, 0:Y, 33:K.” Trust us, people can tell when the color is a little bit off. This is why designers get paid as much as they do for big companies like McDonalds and Starbucks. Not only does it look nice, but little things like this help with customer trust.

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The important thing to remember is that you are not forever doomed to use the same color. There are several ways to expand and utilize more or even adapt.

There are cases where the company logo has a series of colors that are used to distinguish multiple different facets of the company’s services. It is tricky because you have to balance the highly adaptive with remaining consistent and familiar. This example is brought to life perfectly in the FedEx logo.


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Maybe you feel the opposite way?

Good news: Some companies expand into other colors through logo updates, or decide to be rid of them altogether. This is a good choice for companies who are seeking a sleek minimalist look. Consistency is key but you don’t want to appear dated and stuck.

Color in brands is important when it comes to marketing and advertising as well. Some campaigns are based solely on a color like (RED). Remember your audience when marketing. Based on the gender of your audience, you might want one color over another. Use monochromatic for online ads, complimentary for more print media or to get more variety, and tri-colored ads to add sophistication and bold effect.


Color Doesn’t just put a pretty pop in your brand.

Wisely utilizing colors encourages reading by 80%. Not only that, but those readers will remember the material better! It draws the eye, enabling you to highlight key information and reinforce ideas. This is a good tactic for websites and layout design for when you just have a little too much copy. It helps to break it up and add some interest. Make sure to use colors that work with the brand color or that exist in the brand color palette. If that doesn’t work, it is also possible to theme your content (like a blog post) and make it specific to one color. But you have to keep that idea going and not leave an oddball standing alone. I guess thats the most important part - Commit to your idea and your vision.

We believe in intuitive design so we understand if you feel that in your gut something is right for your brand. If you have the option, always consult with a professional designer to ensure that your content and your marketing is clean, professional, and elevates your brand.

Creating a System

There are several ways to use a color in your brand, as we’ve said. There is a whole system that needs to be built and guidelines in place on the usage within your brand. Icons can be built to highlight statistics on a webpage or in a pamphlet, signage in your physical store can utilize your selected color or colors. Maybe your employees all have that same color of shoes?

We don’t want to stray off topic into clothing, but if you are curious about this, Google Starbuck’s employee dress code!

It’s far more complex than selecting a color and then plastering it all over the place. Luckily, there are experts in the field, ready to help!


Beautify Your Brand, Attract Customers.

Interested? Reach out today!

Email us: hello@829design.com or call (916) 581-1777

Influencing User Behavior

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This is a big one. It is the key into why you are or aren’t being successful. How do you motivate or influence customer buying? It has to do with how they interact with your product.


User Experience Design

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This is where user experience design comes in and WHY it is so important! A large part of the customer experience as it applies to your site is how they are navigating it. If you are blindly climbing a mountain and you never see a sign for a path, you are never going to find it and take it. You might even get frustrated and go home. 

The job of your website is to present to the viewer a problem that they relate to, introduce them to your product, and highlight all the wonderful things it will do to solve that problem that they have. Maybe even a few that they didn’t know they had. If you are just pointing out a problem and not providing an easy “Lets solve that problem” button, they will not be streamlined into the buying process. If you never say “Hey! This is how this thing will solve this pain point,” they will not see the point of buying your product. Good website design will do this so subtly that the customer will be receiving email confirmation of their purchase before they even realize what hit them!


The Role of Website Design

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The natural flow through your site, the choice of words, the mood of the photography that tells the story of your product and your customers; it all is vital to your site! Each of these has a crucial job in influencing the user behavior. Everything should be helping the customer to invest themselves into your product, believing you hold the answer, and creating the “I need this now!” attitude. If its not…you’re not there yet. You aren’t harnessing the full power of your website. 

Always have a call to action and an offer to solve that problem quickly followed by a button to get them started.

Question: What is a website you aren’t allowed to visit anymore because you can’t stop buying from them? Take a closer look. Why is that??


 

Science of Behavior

What makes a behavior? A behavior is born out of three parts: Motivation, Ability, and a Prompt. Each can be varied based on how motivated your buyer typically is, and the intricacy of the path to their purchase. Is there a difficult road ahead or a a “smooth sailing” option? Are they a high or low motivated person?

Create motivation for a person wanting the product. 
“This will solve your back pain forever!”
“You will have a brighter smile in less than a week!”
“The most comfortable bra, you will forget you are wearing it” (Yeah right!)

Then the ability of how easy it is to get started.
“Easy to sign up, just need an email”
“One-click ordering”
“30 Day Trial”

Next, prompt them to make a move.
“Enter your email to get started today!”
“Start making healthier choices by signing up for our newsletter!”
“Subscribe and save!”

Depending on your ideal customer and what you are selling, your prompts and selling points will need to be adjusted. Will you need a more enticing prompt to call them to action? Maybe. 

 

So what do you need in order to influence
the buying behavior?

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  1. Create Consistency
    People love predictability. They want to feel like they have an inkling on what is coming next and have that sense of everything fitting nicely together or clicking into place. It’s like creating that feeling that you get when you plug in your USB the right direction on the first try. “YES!”

    Don’t give them a chance to second-guess or get side tracked. Consistency provides a sense of trust, and familiarity. The very idea of UX/UI design is that you are creating a space that people enter into already understanding how it functions.


  2. Offer a “Happy Medium”
    People love to be given the option to customize and pick for themselves. They also love a package deal and a bit of a discount. What meets all of these points: Packaged services! Always offer 3 options.

    • Small, Medium, Large.

    • Silver, Gold, Platinum.

    • Beginner, Advanced, Elite.

    Generally speaking, they will always pick the happy medium. The place where they feel they are investing enough but not going overboard. They are getting what fits them; its not too big for their feet, but they can grow! And finally, it’s as non-commital and low risk as a buying situation can feel. 


  3. Create a feeling of urgency

    I’ll bet you know exactly what I’m talking about…

    • “Only 3 left!”

    • “Offer ends in 72 hours”

    • “Promo code for the next week is…”

    If you feel pressured into making a decision because you can see the door closing on an opportunity, you will probably make that leap sooner than if you had time to stop and thing “Hey wait…I don’t actually need a 5 piece set of bar-b-q tools. I only wanted a spatula!” When you see that deal, that offer, you are immediately triggered into that “WOW! What a deal!” mentality. They will buy what you are selling because they want the scarcity, and they want that deal. 


Getting Started?

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When influencing your visitor to buy, it’s important to avoid offering extremes. Make it WAY too easy for them to try it out only to be sucked in. No long term contracts or super elaborate sign ups. You might even make that happy medium choice more inviting by labeling it as “Buyers favorite.” Mention how it has all the bells and whistles that the smaller option doesn’t without the price tag of the bigger.

In order to streamline these all into a nice functional website, the design has to be on point. It has to be inviting and intuitive. If you have the feeling your website isn’t doing its job, it might be worth it to take a step back and get some professional feedback. Even some feedback from your customers!


Worried about UX Design?
Need a Professional Website Audit?

Ask about our free service today!
Email us: hello@829design.com or call (916) 581-1777

A Discussion on Color (Part 1)

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If you’re a local, you know we got a LOT of rain this winter!

What we designers love about the rain is that it comes with a great rainbow. So thats what we decided to discuss in this journal.

When people approach colors, they always gravitate to their favorites or to the one that speaks to them.

Important Note: Customers do the exact same thing.


We encounter colors all the time.

Out shopping you pick between the different colors of makeup or mugs. Maybe a certain pair of shoes you will request in a different color. Car shopping, clothes shopping, even food shopping! (Is an orange supposed to look this dark…?)  Not just that though. Have you ever gone into a restaurant or a business and immediately felt as ease? Or maybe the opposite? 


Next question: Did you look at the walls?

Many consumers don’t know this, but there is an entire psychology behind colors and the emotions they evoke. There is a good reason why so many social media sites use blue in their designs. It is trustworthy and professional. Color usage effects not just a logo, but the rest of the branding as well. We are talking poster designs, packaging, headers, and more.

For now we are going to stick to logos…branding will be the next part. 

Is your goal to light a fire under the viewer, or are you trying to help them feel relaxed? That might be the decision between red and green. Even genders come into play with color. Did you know that men are more drawn to bold colors while women are happiest with softer tones?


What are the benefits of color usage in a brand?

Simple: memorability. Studies show that color increases brand recognition by 80%! Not only this but it might help pick you out of the crowd and make you more desirable to some.

Is there a brand out there that you associate with a certain color? I’m gonna challenge myself just for fun. See what you come up with!

Red - Coca Cola

Blue - Facebook

Green - H&R Block

Yellow - McDonalds

Orange - Nickelodeon

Purple - Hallmark

Black - Nike

To jump ahead slightly: Color also helps add depth to your brand. If you are a company who’s goal is to help inspire kids to be more creative, you might want to consider orange. But if you are a whole foods company focusing on organic and natural ingredients: Green all the way!! The message is coded in - in the CMYK! We recommend having a selected color palette built when the logo is developed. From there, the branding can naturally evolve into something amazing!

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ROYGBIV

Let’s get to it!


Keep in mind that the meanings and feelings brought on by colors often overlap and contradict. It is all in the execution of the usage. This is why its important to consult a designer near you ;)

Red

This is a color of passion. It can also also drive response and create action with its fiery warm tone. It communicates power, strength, and determination. There is a romantic and steamy side while also eliciting feelings of youthful playfulness.  

Orange

This is a vibrant and rich color that often inspires creativity. Energetic vibes with the freshness of yellow while not straying all the way into the power of red. In this way, it is truly the color of change - positive change. It is balanced, often being associated with wealth, success, and high society. Orange can be incredibly vivid while also being soft and natural. 

Yellow

She is the happiest of all the rainbow. The color of the sun itself, spreading positivity and optimism. It can be very warm, it is good to use for relationships and friendship. Feels clear and light. But beware, this color can also feel confusing and overbearing. It can catch the eye but then might not let you go again. People can find this color to be chaotic and annoying.

Green

Fresh, organic, natural, growth…all words that align themselves with this royal and rich color. Green has been rightly claimed by the natural world, giving the feeling of wholesome energy and fertility. Like yellow, there is a darkness that can make you feel jealous, sickly, and envious. But when used correctly, this is an honest and gorgeous color. Green has been used to stimulate hunger, sooth emotions, and make one feel strong and inspired. Green is a very well rounded color. 

Blue

This is probably the most social color, stirring feelings of interaction and relaxation. Blue historically makes viewers feel serene and peaceful while also inspiring creativity and authority. It is also a cold color if you’re not careful. Trustworthiness won’t be lost is you chose to use blue.

Purple

Probably the most royal out of all the colors. This is historically rooted because purple was a notoriously hard pigment to obtain. Purple is dignified, powerful, and mysterious. Also closely associated to magic and fantasy. It is firmly etherial and powerful. Rich and regal, perfect for any brand wishing to become prominent in the eyes of the consumer.

White

Historically paired with purity and innocence, white is an excellent color to communicate serenity and goodness. It is a color of light and positivity. Probably best to be used with minimalist and simple branding.

Black

It goes without saying that this is a color of darkness. If purple was mysterious, this color is doubly so. Black isn’t always negative, but you have to be cautious when incorporating it. Black is strong and elegant, power and elusive. It is moody to be sure. 

Grey

Practical and timeless, it is a good halfway neutral color. It makes people feel comfortable and safe while being strong and stable. Be aware that it may appear moody and hopeless


Question Time!!

  1. What do you think of this photo?

  2. What story does it tell you?

  3. Any juxtapositions that you are feeling?

  4. What kind of ad could this be used for?

 
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Wow, that was a lot to read through…

So what are we trying to tell you here? Color matters in design work. No matter what color you pick for your brand, it will stand out better than if it was just in black and white (That being said, your design needs to look good in black and white regardless). Color can be endlessly useful, but it must be used wisely. 


In the next part, we will be discussing the importance of color in branding as well as in marketing. That will be a deeper dive into the use of color now that you get the psychology behind colors themselves.


Build your brand, generate revenue, grow your customers.

Contact us through the following


Email us: hello@829design.com or call (916) 581-1777

Goal Setting 101

Action Steps For Growing Your Business

 
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It’s safe to say that if you own a business, you are probably looking to grow and expand. While it is a long process, there are a few different tactics you can use to make sure you are heading in the right direction.

There are a few areas in which a business needs to grow, not just in their pocketbook. The three sides of this triangle are financial growth, customer related growth, and brand awareness. 


 
  1. Write it down
    And I don’t mean a note in your phone or on your computer. Writing goals down on a paper has been scientifically proven to help chances of these goals being remembered. Writing down just a brief statement is a good start. But ultimately, it is a good exercise to really buckle down and define what, when, how, and most importantly why


    Important note for this step: Don’t just write “I hope to double my customer base in six months.” write this instead: “I have over doubled my customer base in six months.” It literally rewires your brain. In Brian Tracy’s book, No Excuses, he talks about how writing out your goals in this voice actually changes your mental state from “I wish this was me” to “This is the person I am” and you start acting like the kind of person you need to be to attain the goal.


  2. Define your Purpose
    If you don’t define the why, then you have a goal with no purpose and no backbone. You need a good strong reason for doing what you are doing. The emotional driving force behind it, if you will. The “why” helps focus you and also ensures that you will be able to see your first step, and then those subsequent steps. Defining purpose helps keep that fire lit in your soul. Keep your eyes on the prize!


  3. Game Plan
    It is always good practice to expand on the details of your plan. Once you know why you are doing it, planning steps helps to flesh it out in your mind. It is important to note that the mind is a powerful thing, and the power of seeing something written out, writing it out, and reading it every day is monumental. Describing the process and journey to this goal only makes it that much more attainable in your mind. Being able to think the process out and notate small milestones to reference also helps you track progress and not get lost in the sea of self-doubt.


  4. Keep Tabs on Progress
    Like a stairway, a goal has many action steps involved. It is a series of initiatives. In order to grow your customer base, what are you doing? Signing up for a service to help organize email blasts, incorporating an email collection point on your website, marketing campaigns and tactics to target new customers and create repeat customers…

    For each point along the journey, there is a smaller task that you can check off. It’s important to pat yourself on the back, but never forget to use those small successful moments to keep charging forward.

    It is also important to note that there will always be stumbling blocks. Something will take a little longer than you’d like, or you have to wait on production, or there was a delay in this other thing... Never get too fixated on these negative things. Keep pushing onward. Success is not for the faint of heart. It’s the journey, not the destination.


  5. Delegate
    Remember that it might be your company, but there are many men on your ship. Progress doesn’t happen because the captain is up helping unfurl the sails. Don’t be afraid to delegate. You hired these folks for a reason, let them shine. This gives you time to focus on future goals, planning, and contingency planning. You don’t need to fret over the small stuff when you have bigger things to do!

    It’s hard when you came from having your own nose on the grindstone. Sometimes you have the feeling that you can do it faster or better, but that will get you nowhere. Boost your teams morale, keep it positive. Let them know they are valued. Growth is a team sport, so kick some tasks to your team and the pace will undoubtedly pick up. If needed, take some extra time to nurture and mentor your team so that you can all be more efficient and feel more satisfied with your work.


  6. Track and Reassess
    It’s scary to check in and see where you’re at, but it’s important to know when the process is working and when it’s not. Don’t be afraid to stop and reassess. Follow your gut and make sure to keep positive and trust the advice of your team of experts. Make sure to check in with your team and see whats is working and whats not. 

    Keep in mind that the road of success has many twists and turns. There will be moments where you have to rework and change direction, but just like Walt Disney said, “Keep Moving Forward.”

 
 
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When it comes to goal setting, what do you struggle with the most?

Do you set specific goals or generalized goals?

What methods do you use to stay on track?


If you are looking to expand your business by reaching more customers or growing your brand, keep us in mind.

There are experts at your beck and call:


Email us: hello@829design.com or call (916) 581-1777