10 Highly Effective Holiday Marketing Strategies

How your business can bring a little joy to the world this holiday season.

Ahh, the holidays. The most wonderful…or should we say busy…time of year. Many small businesses rely heavily on sales during the holiday season. We’ve got some great marketing ideas that will help you end your year in good cheer! So snuggle up with your Pumpkin Latte and read along.

  1. Always have a plan. In order for a good marketing strategy to work, you have to actually plan for it. And plan early so that you are ready. Like three months in advance early. Whether it’s online advertising, email marketing, a direct mail campaign or all of the above, make sure that you start planning now, before you’re tangled up in tinsel. Oh, and make sure you’re staffed to handle the holiday madness too.
  2. Highlight your brand promise. Your business has something to give. You fulfill a unique customer need. Give your customers a fun and actionable reason why they should purchase from you.
  3. Spread good cheer using video. You’ve heard it all year long, when it comes to marketing, video is hot! In fact, 64% of online shoppers say that video on social media helped them decide on a product to buy (click to learn more) Create a personal connection this season with a live video.
  4. Make it personal. Personally thank your customers for all that they have given you throughout the year. Who doesn’t love the warm fuzzies you get from a thoughtful thank you? (hint: direct mail is still super effective. Check out our previous blog on this topic here)
  5. Make it easy. The holiday season is fun, but also filled with shopping, parties, and many other obligations that take up a lot of time. Create a marketing campaign that highlights how you can give people more time to spend with their loved ones this holiday season, or how you can make their lives easier or save them money. Highlight your top sellers or offer gift suggestions.
  6. Make it social! Almost 50% of online stores receive significant traffic from their social media pages. Create holiday tips & tricks that are socially shareable. Everyone loves a good graphic. Create something compelling that features the product/service you provide and position yourself as a lifestyle choice. Consumers love to be a part of something.
  7. Consistency is key. As one of the key components to building a successful brand, being consistent across all channels is mission critical. It builds brand recognition and loyalty.
  8. Don’t forget your SEO. The best way to make sure that you show up in search results is to make sure you have a solid SEO strategy. Because many keywords are seasonal, you’ll want to also make sure that you are ranking well for your main keywords. SEO takes time, so the sooner you start the better position you’ll be in December.
  9. Make them customers for life. Don’t be short sighted this holiday season. First, it’s likely that if someone purchase from you earlier this year, that they may purchase from you again. Furthermore, if someone purchases from you during the holidays, they are likely to purchase from you again at some point the next year. Keep them coming back for more.
  10. FOMO is real. That’s “Fear Of Missing Out” for those of you who didn’t know. And it’s a real thing. So use it to your advantage when it comes to marketing. People don’t want to miss out. Limited quantities, limited time offers you get the idea.

The best and most successful marketing strategies are the ones that have been carefully thought out, planned for and executed in a timely manner. Hopefully you’re ready for a successful holiday season. If not, we get it. We can help make the season a little brighter for you. Just give us a call!


Pam Oulundsen
DARCI Creative
Project Manager & Data Analyst

low cost web page seacoast nh

10 Tips for a Successful Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday is November 24, 2018

The countdown is on! Small Business Saturday is just around the corner. Don’t miss out on this opportunity as millions of shoppers show their love for local businesses!
Here’s a list of 10 super easy ways you can get ready and market your small business:

  • Update your social media with #ShopSmall profile pictures, cover photos and social posts
  • Take advantage of Shop Small’s customizable marketing materials. Click here to download!
  • Make shopping easy for your customers! Create holiday gift bundles for specific audiences…think…gifts for him, gifts for her, etc.
  • Create a compelling offer – even if it’s just free cookies and coffee while customers shop or free gift wrapping – an added incentive to shop local doesn’t hurt
  •  Send an email to your customers letting them know about #SmallBusinessSaturday and what you’re offering in store
  • If you are a local restaurant, use the #DineSmall hashtag on social media to remind and encourage your customers to support local restaurants
  • Extend your hours and take advantage of the day
  • Bring your community together, it’s what #SmallBusinessSaturday is all about! Collaborate with other business owners and team up for cross-promotions. Community over competition always wins
  • Be sure to staff accordingly. Top notch customer service is critically important. Be sure you are ready for the increase in store traffic.
  • Stay true to your brand and what’s most authentic to you.

These secrets are sure to help you have the most successful #SmallBusinessSaturday yet! But don’t forget to keep the momentum going! After you’ve recovered from your successful day, be sure to post a thank you to your customers on social media and send an email to your list enticing them to come back soon. Include images or videos of the day. I little thank you can go a long way!


Pam Oulundsen
DARCI Creative
Project Manager & Data Analyst

What is Roadmapping?

What is roadmapping? It’s defined as: “any plan or guide to show how something is arranged or can be accomplished.” Roapmapping is the first and most important step in the Brand Muffin process. It’s when we help define who you are, how you want to be known and where you want to go.

It’s mission critical.

Roadmapping is the first step toward baking up the perfect muffin for our small business clients. In order to get that delicious bite that leaves you wanting more, you first have to identify the key ingredients. Just like baking, strategic brand design requires the right ingredients, to keep your customers coming back for more, again and again!

How does it work?

Teamwork makes the dream work, baby! You’re the closest to your business, and that gives you a unique perspective. Yet, sometimes it’s hard to see the forest through the trees. We get that. That’s why we’re here. We’re a team of marketing experts, who will help you get clear on key ingredients of your marketing strategy. Our goal is to bring clarity to what’s working and what’s not so you can move forward in fresh new ways.

The end result:

Clarity. By digging deep and gaining clarity on who you are and what sets you apart in the marketplace, we’ll have a starting point on creating a Brand that really work for you.

Think your business has all the right ingredients, but you’re just not sure how to mix them up? Give us a call! One of our head bakers (eh hem, marketing experts) would love to talk!


Pam Oulundsen
DARCI Creative
Project Manager & Data Analyst

Introducing Elaine’s Unique Finds

Helping a Brick & Mortar store enter the online world.

Here’s the story:

For five years our client, Elaine, has been successfully curating and selling treasures that she carefully selects at reputable estate sales across the region. Her unique finds can be found at Glorious Possibilities in downtown Nashua, NH. But the opportunity to place an ad in a very targeted publication got Elaine thinking…should I be doing more? Is it time to get online?

The solution:

The answer to Elaine’s questions was a resounding YES! Which is what lead her to purchase one of our perfectly baked Mini Muffins, designed to help small business owners just like her grow and thrive.

The execution:

Elaine’s shop is essentially a store within a store, so we set out to create a Brand that reflects her unique style and would truly help her to stand out in the way she deserves. During our roadmapping session, we dug deep to really understand what Elaine does, how she selects her pieces, and the incredible research that she does for many of the items she selects. So when you make a trip to her shop, she enhances the experience by telling you the story behind the piece, where did it live before? Has it been loved? Who cared for it? And, because she’s so selective, we wanted folks to know that she’s sure to find “The Very Thing” you’re looking for.

Once Elaine’s brand identity was clearly defined we applied it to her gorgeous new website…something Elaine hadn’t envisioned she’d ever have. But with the help of the Brand Muffins bakers, she’s ready to take her business to the next level.

The result:

Elaine’s Unique Finds successfully launched her new website with a brand that truly reflects who she is. And, she couldn’t be happier!

We’re excited to share Elaine’s Unique Finds, where we know you’ll find The Very Thing! And next time you’re in Nashua stop by to say ‘hi’ to Elaine — tell her the Brand Muffins peeps sent you.


Pam Oulundsen
DARCI Creative
Project Manager & Data Analyst

Seacoast NH Website Design and Digital Marketing

Premier Seacoast NH realtor, Mary Strathern, launches her new website with Brand Muffins!

Go ahead, search for a realtor online. It’s very likely that you will come up with pages upon pages of real estate agencies. Does that really help? Whether you are buying or selling a piece of property, you want to make sure that you are working with someone who is committed to helping you buy or sell your home with the highest level of expertise in your local market.

That’s why our client, Mary Strathern came to us. As a premier real estate agent at the Gove Group, Mary came to us to help her stand out from the pack. We developed a brand for her that highlights why she’s been able to achieve Real Success In Real Estate, and then we created a new website, www.marysellstheseacoast.com as a resource for anyone looking for real estate on the Seacoast of NH.

With so much competition out there, how are you going to stand out from the pack? Brand Muffins is the perfect solution for any small business looking for big agency expertise on a tight, small business budget. We not only build websites, we build brands.
Mary has built a remarkable track record of delivering results throughout her 14+ years in real estate on the seacoast of New Hampshire. We’re proud to support Mary with the launch of her new website, www.marysellstheseacoast.com. Check out this powerful real estate resource for both buyers and sellers!

New Website Project Manager and Data Analyst Pam O


Pam Oulundsen
DARCI Creative
Project Manager & Data Analyst

The Power of a Good Tagline.

I’m a huge fan of great lines. It’s so awesome when something is delivered in a few words that really captures the reader (or the listener) and communicates the essence of a company or product. Like a lot of marketing terms these lines go by several names: slogans, taglines, straplines, or even mottos. But I refer to them as Positioning Lines to my clients. That’s because the string of words that you place alongside your logo and your company name are key critical to establishing your position within the market place.

Here are 5 tips to creating a great Positioning Line. 1. ID: It needs to support — and stay consistent — with the brand name. (eat fresh) 2. Sticky: Great positioning lines stick around because they’re memorable. (‘Does she… or doesn’t she?’) 3. Positive Benefit: You want to convey the consumer benefit for using your product or service in a positive way. (Just do it.) 4. Shine: With so many competing messages in an overcrowded playing field it’s important to set yourself apart with a creative and original Positioning Line, ie, don’t be boring and don’t do what others do. (Have it your way.) 5. KISS: Keep it simple, stupid. This is one of the toughest things to achieve. One word is rarely enough and 7 is usually too many. (Stronger than dirt.)

I think “mmm mmm good” is a much more successful line than, “It’s amazing what soup can do.” What do you think?


Darci Knowles
Owner & Creative Director

6 “Must Haves” For Website Success

When’s the last time you updated your website?

In today’s digital age, web design best practices are always evolving– and yet, there are a handful of core design elements that your website really should have at all times. Think about it: your website is a marketing tool that works for you around the clock, marketing to digital users from all corners of the web.

So, take a look at these key ingredients for keeping your online brand presence polished and up-to-date.

1. Mobile Friendly Design.
This used to be an option, but not anymore. Your site will be viewed on more mobile devices than desktops, and that statistic is growing every day.

When a website is optimized for the mobile experience, it’s called a responsive site. We optimize every single website we design for mobile, because it’s 100% relevant to digital users today. You wouldn’t want to exclude any of your site visitors and lose potential clients in the process by only tailoring to desktop viewing, would you?

2. High Quality Imagery.
We’ll be honest, stock imagery isn’t our favorite. (Go ahead and Google ‘stock imagery’ if you don’t know what we’re talking about.)

Investing in professional photography helps elevate your brand by giving it that essential personal touch. High quality imagery is crisp, professional, and 100% unique to your brand. So, it’s important!

3. SEO: Search Engine Optimization.
Is your site SEO savvy? When designing a new or existing website, we always recommend speaking with an SEO specialist (ahem, we have one in-house) about optimizing your content for search engines like the #1 Google. The stronger your SEO, the higher your website will rank, and that means you’ll see more traffic and increased brand awareness for your business.

4. Company Information.

When designing and writing your web content, let your offering shine – but don’t forget to share key company information like your team members, mission, office location and contact information. Usually this information will appear on an About page. As for your contact information – display this on every page, such as in the header or footer of your website. That will insure the information will be easy to find for those warm leads that want to get in touch.

5. Call-to-Action’s… on every page.
Similarly, incorporate a call-to-action (or CTA for short), on every page of your site. Your CTA may be simply, “Contact Us Today” or “Download Your Free eBook Here” – but whatever it is that you want your audience to do when browsing your site, make it clear that there is an actionable step to take. We like to design these buttons in a color that compliments a site’s design and also pops off the screen. Strategically place those buttons so they are easy to find.

6. Social Media Buttons or Links.
Last but not least, link your website to your social media accounts! And if you don’t have a social media account, go create one in the next 60 seconds and make a note to link the two. It’s very common for a visitor to look for an Instagram or Facebook page, because it shows that the brand is current and connected with their online community. A website tells your story in one way, and social media is where your brand’s personality can shine through regular, consistent posting. So go ahead and add some social buttons to the header of your site – and, you can also link your accounts via text throughout your web copy.

We could go on and on with more digital boxes to check off, but for now, make sure your site is mobile friendly, SEO optimized, connected to social, and includes key information, CTA’s and quality imagery. From there comes the fun part – those unique toppings that make your recipe rise to the top. Let’s get cooking!

Darci Knowles
Owner & Creative Director

Meet Pulse.

A design for fitness studios, personal trainers, and more.

You’ve heard us gush about our carefully crafted web designs, and you may have met our team of talented designers and digital specialists.

Today we’re showcasing Pulse, an energetic and cool aesthetic designed specially for entrepreneurs on a fitness journey.

This powerful, modern design was built to empower the small cycling studio or the city-wide yoga chain. Show off your beautiful studio space, easily integrate with MINDBODY to keep your schedules and bookings up-to-date, and keep the act of finding a class or booking a workshop easy peasy for your customers.

Design features of Pulse include:

  • Responsive design for mobile devices
  • Drag-and-drop page editor
  • Back to Top button
  • Mailing list integration
  • Class scheduling & booking via MINDBODY
  • Minimalist blog
  • Featured social icons
  • Featured team section
  • Pricing page
  • Live Instagram feed
  • Featured multiple locations

Whether you run a fitness studio, or you’re an online business owner who likes the modern and sleek look of this demo, Pulse is a versatile design option that can be shaped to fit the needs of your business and showcase the true power of what you can do.

And remember, when you choose any Brand Muffins design, you’re choosing a layout that will set the foundation for your website and branding materials. You’ll see your own logo, color palette, fonts, copy, and imagery – it will feel uniquely you. So don’t get too hung up on the colors or imagery in any of the design demos that you see – these will change and adapt themselves into a stunning design that speaks to your brand and your business.

Ready to get started? View the Pulse design demo for a taste of what Pulse can do for your brand, and select the Brand Muffin that entices you the most. Then we can begin building your project, and that’s where the fun really begins.

Alanna Hogan
DARCI Creative
Copywriter & Executive Assistant, Social Media Manager

Meet Nantucket – A design for bloggers

Are you a lifestyle, mommy, nutritional, travel, fashion or any other kind of blogger? This one’s for you!

Designed to highlight your content and unique aesthetic, Nantucket has all the bells and whistles a blogging journey requires. And it’s well equipped to grow with you, as you grow your readership and make a name for yourself.

Design features of Nantucket include:

  • Responsive design for mobile devices
  • Homepage slideshow
  • Optional side drawer navigation menu
  • Drag-and-drop page editor
  • Back to Top button
  • Mailing list integration
  • Frontpage blog with sidebar
  • Featured area for banner ads and promotions
  • Featured area for headshot and bio
  • Featured social icons
  • Live Instagram feed

Whether you’re launching a blog for the first time, taking a DIY’d blog to the next level, or seeking a platform to elevate your personal brand and position yourself as an expert, Nantucket is designed to let your unique voice shine.

Like the look and feel of Nantucket but aren’t a blogger yourself? No worries! We always encourage our clients to select the design that excites them the most, regardless of the specific field it was designed for. If you haven’t, you might want to check out our library of web designs, each carefully curated with a variety of small business professionals in mind.

And remember, when you choose any Brand Muffins design, you’re choosing a layout that will set the foundation for your website and branding materials. You’ll see your own logo, color palette, fonts, copy, and imagery – it will feel uniquely you. So don’t get too hung up on the colors or imagery in any of the design demos that you see – these will change and adapt themselves into a stunning design that speaks to your brand and your business.

Ready to get started? View the Nantucket design demo and select the Brand Muffin that entices you the most. Then we can begin building your project, and that’s where the fun really begins.

Alanna Hogan
DARCI Creative
Copywriter & Executive Assistant, Social Media Manager

Announcing Soul Stepping

Do you have an idea for a business that you’ve been dreaming up for years? You’ve worked through all of the details and now it’s time to lay the groundwork, build your brand and get ready to launch. It’s time to call in the experts!

That’s exactly how things happened for our friend and client Karen Montminy. She had an idea, a dream, a vision… but needed our support to make it all come to life! Working together, we were able to create a brand vision and marketing plan that was both meaningful and strategic.

Brand Muffins was the perfect solution for this ladypreneur, who was looking for big agency expertise on a tight, small business budget. We helped her nail down her strategy, tighten up her messaging and enabled her to launch a stunning, user-friendly website.

We’re proud to announce the launch of Soul Stepping in my Flip Flops, a holistic wellness blog and resource to empower women to live their best lives – mind, body and soul. Karen’s stressful career in pharmaceutical sales and then recruiting fueled her desire to help women ‘get back to themselves’ through nutritional health, exercise, mindfulness and self-care.

Take a look at www.soulconfident.com!


Pam Oulundsen
DARCI Creative
Project Manager & Data Analyst


Soul Stepping in my Flip Flops blog content serves as a holistic health resource that will leave you wanting more! Check it out for yourself and sign up to receive Karen’s latest and greatest blogs right in your inbox! And stay tuned for details about her wellness retreat to Mexico in 2019.