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Strategic Web Partner - John Hooley

I can't begin to tell you how much John (BlueBridge Development) has helped my company. We trade out our services for each other. He has done all the development for my web site, and I assist him with web design on his projects. He is easy to work with and allows me the freedom of design. 

He recently asked me to help him design a Joomla! extension web site called Code Haiku. The direction that he gave me was that the site was to be clean and the navigation to be user friendly.


 © 2011 Michael Johnson - Inkspot Graphics. All rights reserved.


Published in marketing 101

Humor in Marketing that gets them talking

A buddy of mine, Rob Grant, sent me this email from a micro-brewery (Rogue Brewing) that has a wonderful marketing program that gets their client base involved (evangelists) and talking about your business to everyone.


Marketing Letter



Now you can sign up!

So, I ended up going to their website and signing up to get my own Rogue Nation Passport. I love marketing merchandise like this. . .and you know I will show all my friends and clients! 


Smart group. If I were going to work for someone, this would be one of the creative places that I would put my heart & soul into.


 © 2011 Michael Johnson - Inkspot Graphics. All rights reserved.

Published in marketing 101
Tuesday, 14 September 2010 09:01

Give them a Reason - Beaver Buttons

Awhile ago I caught wind of a good promotional (buttons with your company brand on them). They are from Busy Beaver Buttons.


It was pretty inexpensive and they are kind of fun. So, I thought what the hell, I will give them a shot.


It is a great give-away and now I have another reason to connect with my audience. Send me your email address and contact info and I will send you one.


© 2010 Michael Johnson - Inkspot Graphics. All rights reserved.

Published in marketing 101

I started working with the Honest-1 Auto Care franchise back in 2003. I was responsible for creating over 200 pieces of marketing material for each new store. I had never worked on a project as large as this. We produced internal/external signage, banners, large corporate collateral, advertisements, coupons, embroidered shirts, jackets, ballcaps, ties and other promotional products. We were responsible for providing fulfillment for each new store. It was a challenge but a great experience. Since then, this small Las Vegas start-up has grown to over 20 stores across the United States. The Portland/Metro area has four (grand opening of Gresham store next week) of these stores that are overseen by the H-1 Area Representative Barry Cade. Within the last five years these stores have been very successful because of three marketing events.


1. Change (update) their logo


I think that this new logo is more professional. Very clean and illuminates a more environmentally friendly company.


2. ECO-friendly Auto Care



They offer their customers the option of using ECO Power which is a recycled synthetic oil, recycle scrap metal and all automotive waste liquids. Their stores are also using environmentally friendly products like water based solvents and cleaners and energy efficient lighting and recycled oil heaters. They also fund the planting of 100,000 new trees in a partnership with the American Forests Foundation.

3. Support of Community and US Military


They have teamed up with Legacy Emanuel's Children Hospital, Future Leaders of America, Clackamas High School Football, and Operation Homefront with car washes and donations from service work performed at Honest-1 Auto Care. These community events bring an allegiance of customers.


One of the local owners, Steven Grimes has been very successful in running his franchises in the Portland Metro areas. "In addition to being an entrepreneur, Grimes has been active in the military for 23 years and serves as a Lieutenant Colonel and Executive Officer for the 41st Brigade of the Army National Guard. Grimes had managed stores for two nationwide chains for 16 years prior to his Guard Unit being activated and deployed to Afghanistan for 12 Months in 2006-2007. While in Afghanistan he thought about starting his own business and upon returning home opened the Portland store in October 2007 followed by the Clackamas store two months later. He has currently just opened his third store in Gresham." (from


I can't think of a better way to support the men and women that have protected our country!


© 2010 Michael Johnson - Inkspot Graphics. All rights reserved.

Published in marketing 101
Wednesday, 21 October 2009 13:44

Joe Hall

JoeTo help Joe create his personal brand and identity. I researched Joe's competitors and their websites. After we established his corporate logo I began to design and layout his business cards. I thought about a different direction that would make his clients remember him and his company because nothing really stuck out (company is Hall Manufacturing Solutions). But then, I thought what is so different about Joe?


Joe is a skilled woodworker (he created custom furniture for his home in Fairview) and a knowledgeable salesperson with large woodworking machinery. Beyond all that, he enters Ironman Triathlons. One of his friends is Ken Wheeler who has a company, Renovobikes, here in Portland, OR. Ken's company produces these award winning, beautiful frames from various imported hardwoods.


When Joe makes a sales call he tells his clients about these incredible wooden frames that are all made with the CNC machines that he sells. Joe's clients are all in disbelief until he takes them out into the parking lot and pulls out a wooden bike and lets them ride it. I said, "Joe that is it, we have to put that on your marketing material because you have left them with a story that they won't forget. Can you think of any other salesperson that has a story as unique as this? This is not an ego thing…it is a great story!"


Joe thought about it and we finally made two sets of business cards, one generic and the other with his photo holding his wooden bike. I love this story and I have told many of my new clients.


Can you possibly think of something unique about yourself or your business?

Published in marketing 101
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"Just a quick note to thank you for doing a very professional job with my business cards and the brochure that you created for my business.


I was in a large retail store today putting forth a proposal to the store owner to sell and display my fence post brackets. We had finished our discussion and I asked the buyer if he wanted a sample fence post bracket and he said 'no because the brochure has everything that I possibly need to know on it. It was very well done.'


Mike, I wanted to pass this tidbit on because we so often get only complaints.


Thanks again for your integrity and creative design."


Chuck Williams - owner of Stur-D Fence Post Brackets

Hillsboro, OR