Branding Big Companies For The First Time

I have worked with smaller growing companies in the past. Their structure is flexible, their identity isn’t as established. It is in a way creatively limitless to the inexperienced. There are some cons with the little guys. You may have a grandiose idea that would do amazing things for them. After creating the story board, faux prints, data, a clean spreadsheet and a nice presentation – it is out of the budget, they have limited knowledge of business terms, or advanced techniques for brand awareness. Simply, they aren’t apart of that market which has a want, or need for that level of services. Then one day you get a chance to use those ideas in your head. Those notebooks can get used for the right company. The right brand. The right target audience. One of the big guys likes your style and wants to use your mind to help his company do better.



I am lucky enough to have a good rolodex of contacts in various industries and this one in particular (entertainment, professional sports and national NPOs) worked completely in my favor. I learned the ins-and-outs of how to take this campaign from a proposal – to presentation – to reality. It takes time to build report with any industry professional especially when there are other brands involved. Finding how one company’s artist works with a franchise’s image. What are the long term benefits from the partnership? Where will the income increase by implementing this strategy?

Creating everything from guerrilla video tactics, timed-PR releases, authentic presence on social media by find a campaign where users generate their own content – so much of it was excitingly overwhelming. It was all the things I had been working towards independently when I was sub-contracting. So much of it was trying to mimic tactics used by larger companies in an effort to replicate those kinds of results for start-ups and small to midsize companies I worked with. It was like there were no rules as long as the rules made you win. All the resources available to you.

I worked with a small team and together with our combined expertise we pull off something amazing. It was gratifying in a way I can’t fully describe when I was able to see the work myself and my colleagues did appear and be appreciated. I learned something. I was so used to working solo on helping companies make themselves better – I was able to be better because of a team that was just as motivated as me. With our range of experience of expertise, skills and contacts we did something none of us would’ve been able to do on our own. That is something I wish to do again. 

E-Cigarettes: Regulations, Opportunity & #Vooping. Yes, It’s A Real Thing.

It wasn’t going to be an easy road for the “smoking alternative” companies, or the E-Cigarette to compete against the well embedded nicotine giants. After all, they have lobbied for years using billions of dollars with no avail to change the minds of government officials to let them do as they please. If the new kids on the block thought they were going to just come in and grab that market share unregulated…today is a day of reckoning.

VAPPENAs a non-smoker, curiosity gripped me. It is futuristic array of flavorful choices and with a healthier alternative to traditional smoking; it had a cool factor with the glow that memorized me like a bug. I’ve tried E-Cigarettes of all types. To the standard Blu to a customized piece worth $200 that uses flavored “juice” that is heated and turned to vapor by a battery pack with a digital interface for optimal smoking comfort. It is a smoking product for Gen-Y.

As someone who enjoys picking people’s brains on why they chose the product, use the product and have loyalty – every E-Smoker is a brand ambassador for their product. Religious about how it works, its benefits to the consumer and how it “helped them quit smoking.” They are involved with the product the same way Apple and Android advocates are.


It is an advertisers wet dream. Extreme loyalty means there is a culture in the system and consumers are picking sides. Although the regulations are looming on advertising, the getting is still good. Think of how many commercial opportunities there are for social media advertising.

On Instagram right now there is a trend called #VOOPING and use your imagination to put the pieces together. Yes. It is people vaporizing while doing their business. It’s a real thing and you’re looking it up right now. You’re welcome. Seriously, go look. 

Like most digital products the design isn’t confined by it’s function. It’s not an analog product as far as cigarettes go. It will also be interesting to see where their looks evolve as they become more efficient, sophisticated and mainstream in the smoking community.

VAPCUSTOMThe package it comes in won’t be the only thing that makes it recognizable. Vaporizers have an intimate level of ownership that great products usually have. There is plenty of room for new competitors to enter the market to improve what’s there for the demand that is consistently growing. It is going to be interesting to watch and to be involved in.

Christopher Pickerel is experienced and educated in the area of digital branding and marketing. Follow him on twitter to get updated on his latest blog posts, content and videos at @CAPICK, or email him at