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Your Number One Marketing and Outreach Tool Revealed

I ate at Chipotle today. Good burrito.

As I sat and looked around their restaurant, I was struck by the distinctive culture and experience they are building. Environment, communications, and personalities were in synch. Very impressive… creative brand positioning across the board.

I was intrigued enough to do a google search once back at the office. I found an interview with a Regional Director of Chipotle on how they are trying to build the brand and build awareness. Here’s what Phil Petrilli had to say:

“Word of mouth gives us some of our best marketing,” says Petrilli. (Chipotle does not advertise on television.) “When people understand what we’re doing, why it makes a difference and why it makes the food taste better, they’re excited and want to tell others about it.”

Churches. Ministries. Non-Profits. Word of Mouth… This is your Number One Marketing and Outreach Tool. Sadly, it’s often overlooked and underprioritized. Just like Chipotle, encourage your organization to build a marketing culture built on people telling your story to others. Coach them on what to say if they don’t know how to say it. (Hint: your mission would be an obvious start point or simply the difference it is making in people’s lives). It has been and always will be the most effective way for you to get the word out. (And let’s not forget about the ease and multiplied reach of people sharing within their online networks.)

IMPORTANT REMINDER: You are making a difference in people’s lives. You are a part of changing the world with the message of Hope. Let this simple messaging become viral within your tribe and you’ll be amazed at your return on investment. I hate that a burrito restaurant had to serve as my reminder here. Kudos to Chipotle  for making it a priority and expanding the reach of their brand.

BTW, nice napkins Chipotle (see above pic). Clever and deliberate to their brand… just like everything else I experienced while enjoying a mighty fine burrito.

Read the interview on the Chipotle Brand:


Social Media Revolution Video Installment 3

Here’s the latest video installment on the Social Revolution by Socialnomics author Erik Qualman. As with previous video installments… clarifying, thought-provoking, amazing, and maybe a little overwhelming. Well done.

DC & Australia’s Crossway Launch Baptism Site

Australia’s Crossway Baptist Church is one of the largest churches in the country and a leader in innovative ministry. Having previously partnered on the church’s website development, Crossway contacted DC to help with a bold, new initiative to increase the number of Crossway members who had been baptized. The church leadership envisioned an online tool that would take people through a curriculum that would teach about and prepare them for baptism.

Working collaboratively, DC and Crossway built a site that houses the interactive course that people can work on at their own pace and schedule. The site includes a series of videos, lessons, and a personalized way for people to track the progress in their spiritual journey.

Best of all, the church is open to other churches utilizing the site and its resources. For more information, contact Steve Fogg at Crossway.


Good Design Can Make the Everyday Better

Kudos to IKEA for this guerrilla marketing campaign that canvased the streets of Manhattan. We’re living in a time when good design matters to more people. Bad design is quickly dismissed or ignored… good design earns people’s respect and attention. Great concept and execution from IKEA. Empower good design.

Striking a chord: 4 recent launches

We thought it time to unveil a few sites we’ve helped launch over the last several months. Though our part in each project was strategic, instrumental, and highly visible, our client partners are the real heroes and winners. They’ve spent countless hours managing, maintaining, and safeguarding their sites and the results are worth noting.


The Mission Book.

When Caleb Crider and Larry McCrary from the Upstream Collective came to DC and told us about their plans for the Mission Book, we couldn’t wait to get started. The concept is basically this. Build a web site where missionaries (really anyone who’s mission is to make the Gospel accessible for others) can go and share their stories. The stories are aggregated on the site. Once enough stories are entered, they will be published into an ebook. That’s basically it.

We developed an interface for the Mission Book that is simple, but visually rich. The entries are dynamically generated and are made to look like book spines, which the reader can scroll through. For those wanting to participate in the conversation, we made it really easy. Story-tellers can personalize their entry by choosing from dozens of icons and picking their own spine color. They can even see a preview before posting their story.

Visit the site. Join the conversation.


Bluefield College.

Bluefield College is one of our favorite clients. We’ve been working with them since 1997 on everything from recruitment campaigns (4 to be exact) to institutional branding to a new athletic logo. When Kris Hardy and Chris Shoemaker asked us to help develop their new web site, we knew this would be a large undertaking.

Bluefield came to us having a good idea of what they were looking for. We developed an interface design that made sense for their varied audiences and reflected the quality and sophistication they were aiming for. We also focused on a content design and styling plan that would allow both consistency and flexibility within the Monk CMS they chose to serve as their back end.

Check out the results.


Chelsea Creek Community Church.

As a brand new church plant, Chelsea Creek is taking an approach that is drawing a lot of excitement and interest. Pastor Matthew Roskam and the leadership are building their church around the idea of conversation. Conversation with God, each other, and self. Besides capturing their goals for an aesthetic that matched their casual, conversational approach, we connected them to the Moja CMS. For a brand new start up, they’ve had an amazing response to the ministry they’re doing through conversation groups. The new web site plays a key role in facilitating preparation and participation of this vital ministry.

Here it is.


The Episcopal Diocese of Texas.

After meeting Carol Barnwell at the Consortium for Endowed Episcopal Parishes Conference in Austin last February, we knew right away this influential Diocese was doing some amazing things in their Episcopalian circles. For the web site project, our charge was to help them make sense of the large amounts of content, ministries, parishes, and partner organizations that  warranted priority real estate on their site. We created a home page interface with a strong visual and navigational hierarchy to help accomplish this and other objectives. The aesthetic reflects the level of taste and quality you’d expect from this influential organization. Interactivity flows from this design sensibility and takes on a more utilitarian role in the site. Users are finding it easier to get the information they need and the Diocese is getting rave reviews.

Judge for yourself.

The Anti-creativity Checklist

The reality is true creatives represent a select minority. (Sorry people.) Maybe that’s why so many are awestruck over those that see the world with curiousity, spontaneity, and no boundaries. For some, creativity comes very natural. For others its work and often times hard work.

Here’s a practical review on how “not” to be creative: The Anti-creativity Checklist by author, Youngme Moon. Very compelling. Great excercise of introspection for any individual or organization…