It happened again!

When a glass table spontaneously explodes once, you think it’s a freak accident. When it happens twice, you start questioning if you will ever own a glass table again. Ever. And then you start to think, what else can just explode? My computer screen? My car windows? Certainly there’s a reasonable explanation. According to Ikea, that explanation is, tempered glass is designed for this. When we called about our exploding table, we did in fact get the same explanation. While it is likely true, they may want to come up with a better message, or at the very least, a better way to communicate this information. Because when someone loses an eye, they are going to want to hear something more than, it’s designed for this. (A Google search of exploding tables also shows this is far from the second time. Time to craft that message!)  

There’s a new WriteBrand in town.

It appears our Twitter account has been taken over! Wait, we have a Twitter account?   Tweets by AltWriteBrand

Name that Brand

One of the biggest challenges for any new company or an existing business looking to overhaul its image with a re-brand is deciding on a name. In the age of Apple, Google, and Uber, a clever name can make or break your company. It’s your first impression, and your sharpest tool for promoting brand growth and recognition. And while it’s totally acceptable to make one up, it’s also really easy to miss the mark. Recent naming trends inspired by top tech brands like Facebook, Yelp, and many others include blending words, borrowing words (or parts of words) from other languages, delving into mythology for lost names and meanings, changing the spelling or pronunciation of existing words, or making up completely new words. (We draw the line at tech-inspired baby names. Sorry, little Hashtag.) When you create a never before used name, you’ll have to infuse meaning through careful marketing and brand building. But you can only do this with a name that “works.” Think about Yahoo, which may have sounded silly a decade ago but is now one of the most recognized brands in the world. If the company’s impending sale to Verizon goes through, they’re going to have their work cut out for them imbuing the same recognition into their new name, Altaba. Sounds like a 90s remix of a 70s disco song. So how do you know if a name works? One crucial—and often overlooked—step in the naming process is to try saying it out loud. This is one of our favorite tricks to test-drive copy, and it’s equally effective for test-driving prospective names. When a name hits the air, you’ll know right away whether it’s working or not. (Saying it in your […]

The Dream is Still Alive Today

                            Today we celebrate a man who changed American history. A man who used words to encourage and empower a generation to do what is right. This speech is one of the most recognizable and quoted speeches in recent history, with good reason. These powerful words have stood the test of time and the test of mankind. So today, we honor Martin Luther King, Jr., and his words that changed history, and we celebrate with purpose.

Warm Merry Greetings from WriteBrand

  Here we are again—‘tis the season for hauling out ye olde holiday platitudes. What’s your go-to during the most wonderful time of the year? Are you a safe, “Happy Holidays” kind of person? Maybe “Seasons Greetings” is more your style? As coastal elites, we enjoy a good “Peace and Joy!” But we can also respect the hardliners who stick with “Merry Christmas” regardless of who they’re endowing their wishes upon, or where. (We’re looking at you, Cracker Barrel.) As writers, we appreciate the power of words. We adore words. We worship words. We live and breathe words. From the sweetest letter to Santa to the silliest songs (who wants a hippo for any holiday?), words bring us all together and make the holiday season resonate deep in our hearts. So it’s not out of disregard for words that we make this humble request, but rather out of our heartfelt love for them. Please, don’t waste your words this season by throwing around tired, overused greetings. Why not get creative with your holiday wishes, and say what you really mean? For example, instead of wishing the parents at your kids’ school Happy Holidays, how about, “Happy hemorrhaging your hard-earned cash!” Rather than sending your co-workers Season’s Greetings cards, how about, “Safe over-eating/aggressive-drinking to numb your emotions and survive a week with your relatives!” While we’re at it, let’s just go ahead and replace “Peace and Joy” with “We’re all in this together—let’s hunker down and get through it, shall we?” Here are a few other new holiday wishes we’d like to spread. Feel free to go forth and use them wisely. Late November: Here we go! December 26: Merry day after xmas—you did it! (..or […]

Sh** is blowing up over here. Literally.

Welcome to WriteBrand’s first Public Service Announcement. At approximately 11:30 Friday morning, Janelle’s tempered glass-top Ikea desk exploded. Not cracked, not shattered, it actually exploded. Kaboom.       Fortunately, Janelle was working elsewhere at the time and no one was in her office. We heard a loud bang and, after running to check all the occupied rooms, unlocked her door to find the entire room covered in broken glass. After ruling out anything falling on it or (we hope) paranormal activity, a quick Google search revealed that this is not unheard of. (Are you backing away from your glass-topped desk yet? Good. Keep reading.) Apparently tempered glass is easily “compromised”, and once compromised can spontaneously explode at any time. The good news is, tempered glass is made to break up into chunks not shards. (Note: chunks of glass can still cut you, but it is slightly easier to clean up.) The bad news is, um, it explodes!? Doesn’t this seem like something that deserves a warning sticker at the very least? You know, like, “Careful – coffee may be hot!” Or in this case, “Heads up – desk may be explosive!” After contacting Ikea customer service (don’t even get us started on the guy in the remote call center who asked us to help him get a job in LA – after we told him our desk just exploded), we were told by not one, but two representatives to collect the 25 pounds of shattered glass, put it in a box, and return it to the store with our original receipt in order to get a replacement. (Wow, just wow, Ikea. We’re making a list of things you can do with your meatballs right now.) […]

WriteBrand announces full design capabilities in Microsoft Word

For years, WriteBrand has been a boutique copywriting and brand strategy agency, filling a unique niche in the West Coast marketing/advertising industry. And words have always been our focus. Today, we’re proud to announce an expansion of our capabilities. In addition to writing and brand strategy services, we’ll also be offering full design capabilities in Microsoft Word. “We’re highly skilled in Word after working in it all these years, so it was a natural step to offer these design services to our clients,” says WriteBrand founder Janelle McGlothlin. “And as writers, we have a natural knack for design. Writing and design are pretty much the same thing, really.” “We can do brochures, one-sheets, any kind of printed material. We can make it one-column, two-column, even do three-column, and we can put the page breaks wherever you want them,” says writer Mouncey Ferguson. “We can add images, too, though they can be a little glitchy. Because of this, we also deliver a pdf file that is compatible with Mac or PC.” “We can even use the ‘save as web page’ command and create a web page for you,” Ferguson added. “We have a dedicated process for learning our clients needs and understanding their vision, and then either making the text bigger or smaller to accommodate that vision,” says office manager and project coordinator Rebecca LaFond. “We can also make text bold, italic, or underlined for no extra charge.” We’ll also offer logo design services. Says writer Kat Popovic, “We can put your company name or first letter in one of hundreds of fonts, to create a logo that uniquely expresses your brand promise.” Other firms offer design services using other software, such as the Adobe Creative […]

In our Fridge: Hummus Edition

There’s a lot of hummus going down in the WriteBrand fridge these days. Clearly, hummus keeps us writing. So we thought it was time for us each to explore our deeper feelings on the subject. Hummus-related PTSD None of the hummus in that fridge is mine, I promise you. Hummus is dead to me. It’s not hummus’s fault. It’s not even that I dislike the taste, exactly. It’s that, like creamy peanut butter, mild cheddar, and apple juice, I’ve fed so much of it to my children over the past ten years, I’d rather go hungry than eat or drink it. I’ve smelled hummus literally thousands of times. I’ve cleaned its dried, caked beige-ness off of so many plates and knives—oh god, the knives!—off the table, off the floor… For years at a time, hummus was like my cologne—the scent that I carried with me, unknowing. Even thinking about it now, I can smell it, I can feel its texture. It’s with me. Chickpeas? Not a problem—I still drop them on salads all the time. But once you blend them with tahini, lemon, garlic, salt, I’m out. My kids, however, would love some. – Mouncey My feelings are fuzzy Hummus and me go way back. We were tight before it was cool, back when it was still considered “foreign” and even a little risky. I love me a falafel roll, slathered in the stuff. We’ll still be friends long after the masses have abandoned it and moved on to Icelandic Kale & Coconut Oil Spread, or whatever other condiment takes the throne next. But I’ll be honest. I rarely finish a tub of hummus before it begins to resemble a middle school science project. All […]

Weird, random, and wonderful things we know

One of the things we love about our job is that we get to learn about all kinds of topics we’d never come across in everyday life. And we’re not just scratching the surface—we dive deep. We know stuff about everything from Norwegian hydropower projects to Mexican banking. Here are just a few of the random (yet fascinating) things we learned last year, which, as writers, we really have no business knowing. The neck of a Fender Stratocaster electric guitar has to withstand 250lbs of torque exerted by the strings. And plain old corrugated cardboard, the very same stuff Amazon delivers your coffee pods and yoga straps in, when layered together with just the right amount of glue, can be made strong enough to replace the standard maple core Fender usually uses to make the neck. It’s true. We learned all about Formula One drafting and slipstreams—you know, like Ricky Bobby’s “shake ‘n bake” maneuver in Talladega Nights… Except these guys do it in Ferraris, not Fords. (Bonus points if you can figure out how this was related to IT infrastructure analytics, the project we researched it for.) Did you know that open workspaces reduce productivity? (Think: Office Space.) Better yet—did you know that adding “brown” or “pink” background noise (like the sounds of falling rain or rushing water) helps block out the regular background noise (ringing phones, chatty co-workers, annoying bosses, etc.) so you can focus? Yep, it’s called “noise-masking.” It’s a thing. You wanna talk architecture, infrastructure, energy efficiency, energy bars, generative design, impact design, corporate IT, IoT, social engineering, structural engineering, medical platform management, janitorial supplies, or even beaming fuel to rockets in space? Let’s go. We will talk you under the […]

Content marketing: A smarter way to connect

In the rapid-fire world of digital, on-demand everything, advertising has lost some of its punch. We are simply over-saturated. Businesses need to find new ways to engage customers and drive them to take action. And so, content marketing was born. Think of it as a great way to connect with your target audience and position yourself as the go-to brand and a thought leader (without waving your logo in their faces). Content marketing is about creating and curating valuable content that’s packed with the kind of information your audience is looking for, and delivering it to the places where they are looking. You can gain new customers, and also compel existing customers to act—whether you want them to visit your website, buy your product, or sign up for your newsletter. It’s all about crafting thoughtful, useful content and buttoning it up with a smart call-to-action that serves your audience, while also serving your brand. It’s not about thinly veiled self-promotion. So how does content marketing differ from traditional advertising? Think of it like this: When you advertise, you tell the world you’re awesome. When you use content marketing, you show them. It’s the anti-advertising way to promote your brand, your value, and your expertise. It’s about sharing ideas, instead of pushing products. As big fans of “show, don’t tell” (a golden rule of writing), we’re huge proponents of this strategy. And we’ve enjoyed dipping our toes into it lately, with some great results for our clients.     Creating Real-time Navigable 3D Infrastructure Models A piece we wrote about design visualization and civil engineering for the online magazine Informed Infrastructure.           CAD Manager’s Guide to the Galaxy This one for AEC […]