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digital marketing

 A Day in the Life on the Left Coast

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A Day in the Life on the Left Coast

At Left Coast Marketing & Design we have five core values we hold very close to us. These values are something every member of the team upholds, making sure we get the work done and have fun doing it. We believe these to be very important aspects of our business model ensuring our work is efficient and effective.

1. Customer Service is our #1 Service

2. Project Management is in our DNA

3. Love What You Do

4. Love Who You Work With

5. Work + Life = Balance

Whether we’re working on a design project, strategizing a digital marketing plan, or in the studio for a product shoot, we always make sure to keep our values in mind. It’s rare you find work which includes client visits in one of the most beautiful places in the world, Sonoma County and Napa Valley wine country. Below, we’ll show you a behind the scenes look at Life on the Left Coast and the madness to all our methods.

 

1. Customer Service Is Our #1 Service - Our clients are our #1 priority. We make sure to do all we can on our end to satisfy the needs of those we with whom we are doing business - having a plan, staying organized, and keeping a clear line of communication really strengthens the relationships we have developed through the years. Product photoshoots, for example, can be hectic at times, but always come together with an organized plan. We have our photo studio separate from the office, and if desired, we even go in to the clients’ studio space to get the job done! After the shoot, come all the edits - quite a timely process, but staying organized is what gets us through to a successful outcome.

2. Project Management Is In Our DNA - Design is one part of the creative services we offer, whether you need a logo refreshed, a brand revitalized, or innovative print material completed for your company, we got you covered. Our project manager, Jon Strachan, keeps his head fully wrapped around all of the projects coming down the pipeline to ensure efficiency and successful completion of projects on time and in budget. With more than 50 open projects at any given time, it is important for everyone on the team to understand and apply the importance of project management. Once we have full control over the projects at hand, we are then able to take our creative powers and put them to use. We work as a collaborative team and love to have brainstorming sessions to let all creative perspectives run free!

3. Love What You Do - One of our favorite tasks here at Left Coast are client visits! This means going out in the field and reaching each and every client. This point of contact means so much to us; we try and go as often as possible - after all, customer service is our #1 service! We love helping develop and execute innovative plans for our clients in their digital marketing and design efforts, making sure they have everything they need to carry on their business with a strong and consistent web presence and print materials.

4. Love Who You Work With - The team at Left Coast Marketing & Design is small but mighty. With less than 15 people on the team, we have a strong group of creatives putting their minds together to bring Sonoma County and Napa Valley closer and closer to achieving their marketing and design goals. There is nothing better than team lunches, jokes at the office (thanks to Jon and Dan), and client team outings! We can’t wait to see the team grow and the business thrive!

5. Work + Life = Balance - Mixing work with pleasure is an unstated rule here. We give our team the freedom to get their work done in their most productive place. Out by the pool, in the home office, or even working vacation-style from places like Tahoe and Cabo! It just makes Life on the Left Coast that much sweeter! We all have our sanctuaries and favorite spots and we are so lucky we are not cooped up in a cubical all day long!

 

Is your business in need of a great team to help elevate your brand with Digital Marketing or Design?

We're looking forward to hearing from YOU!

 

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Why a Logo Matters to YOUR Business

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Why a Logo Matters to YOUR Business

Everywhere you turn you are most likely going to see a brand’s logo. Whether you are at work, out and about in town, or even at home - logos surround you in your day-to-day routine. Take a second and look around you. It’s almost as if you can’t get away from them no matter how hard you try. Why are these pictures and words on products so important? Could you even imagine what your favorite product would be without that packaging design? As a business owner or a designer, it is very important to know what the purpose of a logo is and why it matters so much in making your business successful.

 

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The primary purpose of a logo is brand recognition.

You want to give people a visual representation of your brand. If it is compelling enough, it is something that will become ingrained in the minds of society and build success on the familiarity that people have with it. This one very special component of your company should be representative of your brand as a whole. Take the Nike Swoosh for example - when you see it, it is nearly impossible to NOT to think of their brand.

Logos should be looked at as a strategic business tool. As much as the designers of the world want to run wild and create the best piece of art for a business to use as their symbolic brand representation, it should have a strong strategic foundation to stand on. As you go into brand development and design mode, you might ask yourself, “How can this symbol stand out amongst the rest and does it have the potential to “play with the big dogs” like Nike and Apple?” The key here is not to overthink it. When developing the logo design, simplicity is often key. The nicest thing about having some type of non-typographic symbol as your logo is the universality it has. Not only can it develop brand recognition in its native place of creation, but it can become recognized in places and cultures world-wide.

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You want to design something easily identifiable to the consumers' eye.

Think of yourself walking down the busiest street in San Francisco, Healdsburg, Sonoma County, or any city big or small  - what brands catch your eye? Maybe the ones you are most familiar with, or the ones with the brightest colors and intriguing pictures… Whatever it is, these are all factors that should go into your design process. As David Airey says in his book Logo Design Love, “A logoless company is a faceless man.” This means so much in your business’ creative brand development and something that should not be overlooked or come as an afterthought. 

 

Brand logos often influence buyer decisions. When thinking of your logo as a business tool, communicating the brand’s values and any additional meaning may effectively elevate efforts on sales, digital marketing and design. Let’s pretend for a moment that you are at the grocery store shopping for coffee. Now, you might have your go-to, and if you don’t you might pick one that you are familiar with (even if it’s just the name brand). But, what if you wanted to try something new? The options are endless and how do you choose one? More often than not, consumers are influenced by brand packaging and design when in the decision making process. They are left (almost) clueless if unfamiliar with the brand and may only shop by logo design or packaging. The common question people ask themselves is, “What looks good?” It is crucial for business owners and the creative team to keep this in mind when working with the logo.

By understanding the role of a logo design in your brands' development, you will be able to create strong brand identities that will perform for the business, rather than just creating a pretty picture. The logo that you create will be seen on almost all print and digital tools used for your business, including business cards, Sales POS, newsletters, signage and more!

Are you looking for someone to help you strengthen your web presence with design and digital marketing? Take your business to new heights - let’s discuss working together!


Sources: Logo Design Love by David Airey, Canva, Fast Co. Design, Logoworks, Think Marketing Magazine, Left Coast Marketing & Design, Nike, McDonald's, Amazon, FedEx, Star Wars, Apple

By: Tara Valle

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Meet the NEWEST Member of our Team!

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Meet the NEWEST Member of our Team!

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Tara Valle

Digital Marketing Coordinator | Designer


About Tara:

  "Originally I am from San Jose, California and I believe to have finally found my place in Sonoma County. I graduated from Sonoma State University with a degree in Business Marketing, a minor in Applied Statistics, and a strong passion to create and be apart of an amazing creative team. After graduating I decided to pursue online courses in Graphic Design to better my creative skill and give me the leverage I needed to find a job in a creative marketing agency. After a long two years of working hard to better myself and my skills, I was so excited to accept the Digital Marketing Coordinator and Junior Designer position with Left Coast Marketing and Design, a company I had my eyes on since the time I had graduated. I love how much the company promotes their core values and really sticks to 'em. After almost a month here, I am really looking forward to my time with the team and the endless amount of growth to come!"

 

Get to know Tara!

Q: Do you have any pets? 

A: I have a cat named Nala (the cutest), but I have been really wanting a puppy!

Q: What is the craziest thing you have ever done?

A: Last year I went skydiving in Colorado. It was pretty awesome and I would do it again any day!

Q: What is your favorite time of day and why?

A: "Golden Hour." 1. Because who doesn't love a good sunset? 2. This time of day means dinner and I LOVE cooking with friends!

Q: What is your favorite activity outside of work?

A: I really enjoy the outdoors and the adventure that comes with it! Whether it's a hike, a concert, a drive, or a camping trip, I love sharing that time with friends and loved ones - especially when I can capture it all on camera!

Q: If you were stranded on an island and could only bring one essential oil, which one would it be and why?

A: I would make sure I had Lavender oil. Lavender is light and mighty with the power to kill off infections, help heal wounds, and enables you to sleep soundly! After my time working for an essential oil company, I have become very familiar with essential oils and the healing power of plants!

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LEFT COAST MARKETING CELEBRATES 10 YEARS! Join us as we look back...

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LEFT COAST MARKETING CELEBRATES 10 YEARS! Join us as we look back...

It’s hard to believe but Left Coast Marketing & Design is celebrating it’s 10 year anniversary this month! It seems like yesterday that we launched our first client website selling imported wine online and producing photography and other digital media to support the sales effort. Does anyone remember what was happening in March of 2008? Well things weren’t exactly bright and rosy as our economy was on the brink of disaster, but we had no idea that the worst was yet to come. A great recession, housing crisis, and a global market meltdown later...we finally made it through the gauntlet. To say the least it has been a wild ride as a small business here on the Left Coast with lots of peaks and valleys...but I am happy to say we are here to stay.

My wife and business partner Stacey is solely responsible for our company being what it is today...without a doubt in her mind she believed that if we put all of our energy into our business and our clients we would make it a HUGE success! Of course, success can be measured in many ways but I always bring it back to our clients...several of which have been with us since we launch back in 2008. We have worked with over 100 clients since 2008 providing creative services to support food and beverage brand & product marketing as well as hospitality, lodging and real estate. We share in our client’s success stories which never gets old as every day is a new day with a new challenge. I think what Stacey and I are most proud of is the talented group of creative people that represent the Left Coast family and the culture that our company has today. We look forward to seeing what the next 10 years bring...

We are not big fans of wordy BLOG posts but for this exercise we wanted to document the timeline of our company’s inception (as well as parts of the prequel) for the very first time. We hope our customers and future customers enjoy reading about the journey...

  • The Prequel Part I -> 2006: Dan co-founded a company called Artisan Media which was a leader in the video marketing space for the food & beverage industry. With co-founder David Elkins they produced documentary style videos with winemakers and culinary professionals broadcasting to a video streaming platform that was gaining quite a bit of attention called YouTube. While videos were so much FUN to make the gigs were few and far between so to make a few extra bucks they starting a photography services called Bottle Shots. LOVE WHAT YOU DO.

  • The Prequel Part II -> 2007: After acquiring 100% ownership of Artisan Media (which in today’s dollars could hardly basically afford you a MacBook Pro) Dan launched a wine industry digital asset management platform called Wine Media Kit. With all of this video and photography we were producing we needed a better way to store and access the files in the global marketplace. Again, we were on to something very big...until a small company called DropBox came up with a pretty darn good solution of their own. PROJECT MANAGEMENT IS IN OUR DNA.

  • The Beginning -> 2008: Left Coast Marketing & Design was founded in March of 2008 by Dan and Stacey Chapin. Anyone who knows us won't be surprised to learn that it was the only name we could agree upon. Our original business model established to provide direct marketing support for an import wine brand -> specifically a dry pomegranate wine from Israel called Rimon Wines. When our client/partner decided to abandon the DTC sales operation we inherited a website and inventory to sell. Of course, this came with a new requirement that we purchase purchase the wine from our customer as a distributor a resell it as a retailer. Let me tell you that sales were great and marketing wine online at that time was a piece of cake! If we only knew what we were getting into...unfortunately we ran out of “pay dirt” for Left Coast Marketing & Design when our business partner stopped importing the wonderful Rimon Wines merged the two companies under LMC umbrella to provide Digital Marketing and media production services. It was at this time we also decided to focus more on creative services and less on software programing. CUSTOMER SERVICE IS OUR #1 SERVICE.

  • The Big Break -> 2012: After bidding on several large projects to help us take the leap...we landed facebook wine marketplace account working with Wine Direct and building a photography studio inside of the Wine Direct warehouse which was originally going to house the Amazon wine marketplace digital media production. In less than 6 months we shot over 1,000 product images  which allowed us to quit our day jobs and focus 100% on our fledgling creative business. There are several mantras that we hold dear at Left Coast Marketing & Design which will be the subject of another BLOG...but back in 2012 we started to develop our CORE VALUES that we hold dear today. LIFE + WORK = BALANCE.

  • Expansion Part I -> 2013: Many of our clients were in need of help to support their sales & marketing initiates beyond our digital media production services. After referring enough of them to other design agencies we decided that it was time to make fulfill our clients needs by expanding our superpowers. We launched print design and custom publishing services. This has been the best decision we made although it was also the first step in taking our business to the next level. CUSTOMER SERVICE IS OUR #1 SERVICE.

  • Diversification -> 2015: As our company grew we saw value in expanding to other industries to bring our ideas and best practices to other small businesses while staying 1-degree of separation from the wine biz. Expanding from the wine industry we found ourselves gravitating to specialty food and beverage, hospitality, retail, and even real estate. What we did not expect is that our knowledge based also expanded and we brought ideas and best practices back to our wine industry clients. It is this diversification coupled with deep experience in knowledge within the wine industry niche that forged the creative superpowers that we have today. LOVE WHO YOU WORK WITH.

  • Expansion Part II -> 2016: Following our Core Value #1 that CUSTOMER SERVICE IS OUR #1 SERVICE we finally added Website Design & Development to our list of service offerings in order to solidify our holistic marketing and creative service value proposition. This new offering fit into our company culture so naturally it seemed to be the piece we were missing all along. And the best part...we welcomed Tony Immordino from Wine Minded Design and his right hand man Stan Tausan into the Left Coast team! CUSTOMER SERVICE IS OUR #1 SERVICE.

  • Onward and Upward -> 2017 through to Today: Our team started to grow and our core team members began to spread their wings! Left Coast Marketing & Design's veteran graphic designer Chelsea Bond was promoted to Lead Designer for the print design portfolio. Sarah Seabourne, SSU graduate, has spearheaded the new chapter of Digital Marketing Services. Jon Strachan our newest member, is project manager and quarterback when it comes to organization and getting the job done. He also has a design background which lens itself well to understand the creative process and our clients needs. Everyone has a different set of superpowers so I will save that for another BLOG post...but in closing we just want to say THANK YOU to all of our clients, many of whom are still with us since the early days, and we are so grateful for the opportunities we have been blessed with the the amazing team that carries the Left Coast Marketing & Design flag today. LIFE + WORK = BALANCE.

  • OK...that's it. Don't forget to RSVP to our 10 year Anniversary party and we hope to see you there!!

 

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Client Spotlight: Robert John Vineyards

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Client Spotlight: Robert John Vineyards

Robert John Vineyards is a limited production boutique winery located in Napa, California that specializes in the highest quality cabernet sauvignon and sauvignon blanc wines. RJV wines was founded in 2009 by Robert John Nowinski who took an interest to the wine culture when he was on a business trip in Napa Valley. Being an orthopedic surgeon from New Albany Ohio, he felt disconnected from the numerous wine enthusiasts that he was surrounded by on the trip and it bothered him that he was not able to converse with his colleagues about wine. Motivated and inspired by his experience in Napa, RJ decided to make learning about wine his new hobby. Once he had read all the wine books he could, he realized that the only true way to really immerse himself in the wine culture, was to go back to Napa. During his trips back to wine country RJ was able to meet with winemakers and vineyard managers who gave him exclusive insight on how wine is made and information on small producers in Napa Valley. Learning from winemakers, especially those who were doing things a little different from the norm, helped launch RJ’s career in wine.

In 2009 RJ was a man on a mission, he started calling grape growers and winemakers asking if he could purchase fruit and he had had his lawyer look into availability of possible names for his brand. RJ decided to use his own name to trademark his brand and so, RJV Vineyards was born.


RJV Vineyards has been a Left Coast Marketing Client since 2015 and we have had the pleasure of working with them during numerous projects including their recent trade show event where we helped them prepare by designing their tastings notes, expandable backdrop, wine club forms and email marketing campaigns! We also took the bottle shot photos that are used on their website.

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RJ looks at wine like art – and calls it, “a personal expression of self interest” and loves how wine is something that brings people together and creates experiences. We absolutely love working with RJV Vineyards and look forward to many more creative projects with them in the future!

By Sarah Seabourne

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