Offsite Team Building (with the Fishies)

By Laura Olivieri Tulley

 

Recently, I attended my first annual “Peralta Design Hackathon” which was held at The Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk, CT.

Rather than hold it in the usual conference room forum, Ramon felt that the atmosphere at the aquarium would stimulate the creative juices, spark creativity and be a great backdrop for brainstorming.

Having only been with the company for 5 ½ months, I was looking forward to this opportunity to learn even more about the company. I already knew that this is the most hard working, dedicated and loyal team with whom I’ve ever worked. And, that it’s a breath of fresh air to work in a harmonious, upbeat, non-toxic work environment.

We opened by discussing what the company’s mission, values and visions are. (Actually, that’s a lie– we opened with coffee, donuts and egg and cheese sandwiches. We take our food and caffeine very seriously at PD)

As I already knew, Peralta Design’s mission is to help other businesses succeed. We do this by launching brands while delivering a superior customer service experience.

We all agreed that PD’s values are honesty, integrity and transparency (HIT!). No games. We just help and empower our clients in every way possible. Whether it’s middle of the night phone calls to the web team from a client whose site is down, to volunteering at community events to support an organization, we are there. That’s one of the things that makes us special and differentiates us from other agencies. We’re accessible. We’re all under the same roof and welcome clients to come in to see our office and meet the whole team.

Another differentiator for PD is that, unlike other agencies, we train our clients to manage their own websites and then (figuratively) hand them the keys. We even have our own server that offers more value at a lower price, which we can offer to our clients.

After a break, during which we toured a few different exhibits at the aquarium (the new jellyfish tanks are pretty spectacular), we delved into a team building exercise presented by Chuck Presbury, founder and president of Presbury & Associates in Norwalk. Our task was, as members of a CSI team, to individually read the briefing sheets and then work as a group to identify the suspect. As each of the briefing sheets had different facts, we had to trust the information each team member was sharing and listen to everyone’s opinions and theories. Although we identified the wrong suspect in the end, Chuck was impressed by how well we worked together. While there’s room for improvement (always, in every facet of life), overall we are a cohesive team built on respect.

Regarding our vision, we realize that continuous improvement and innovation are requirements in today’s competitive business environment. (Plus, it’s always fun to learn new things!) In addition to enhancing the services we currently offer, we are in the early stages of learning how to provide Augmented Reality technology to our clients. This will allow them to have more immersive and interactive relationships with their customers. In addition to AR, we will continue to build our repertoire of specialty marketing services. So stay tuned!

————————————————-

Ramon has over 20 years of experience in award-winning, market-proven, print collateral, marketing material, iphone/ipad app and website design specializing in corporate identity and branding. Ramon’s passion for entrepreneurial design was borne out of 10 years as Creative Director for Jay Walker at Walker Digital, the Stamford based idea laboratory and business incubator holding over 300 US Patents. Ramon served as Senior Art Director on the start-up launch team behind Priceline.com, a Walker company and invention. Most recently, Ramon’s logo and identity work was selected to be published in “Typography and Enclosures” the fourth book in the Master Library series by LogoLounge.

Peralta Design is an award winning, think tank and digital creative house (with offices in Shelton, CT and Palm Coast, FL). We not only help monetize ideas and determine what the MVP, the Minimal Viable Product is for you, but we also handle everything from logo design and branding, to recommending technology, to building custom web applications and websites. We also develop mobile apps and create promotional videos. As I also mentioned, we work with entrepreneurs, startups and companies (large and small) like yours. We Launch Brands!®

Need help with your brand identity or want to overhaul your existing brand? Need a responsive cutting edge web development project completed? Contact: ramon@peraltadesign.com 

Tell us about your next project at: http://www.peraltadesign.com/launchmybrand

Follow Ramon on Twitter @Peralta_Design

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Leading a Diverse Team in Turbulent Times

Collaboration Connection Team Brainstorming Unity

The leader of an organization sets the tone of the culture within that organization. Whether it’s a sports team, a small business or a country. Whoever is at the helm dictates the vibe of the tribe. If the leader is anxious, the team is anxious. If the leader is a maniac, the people he leads will be restless, irritable and discontent.

 

While we can’t control people, only how we react to them, we as leaders, need to be well aware of the nation’s climate, external forces and the constant barrage of negative news, mass shootings and natural disasters that we consume daily and be vigilant about not letting it adversely affect your company or place of employment.

 

At Peralta Design, our strength is in our diversity. We have so many different cultures, genders and nationalities represented amongst our team members under our American Flag: Black, White, Latino, Greek, Peruvian, Mexican, Italian, Dominican, Puerto-Rican and Irish to name a few. Like the TV show “This Is Us” we are a microcosm of what the America we dream of should look & feel like. Different cultures coming together as a unified, talented and dedicated team delivering a superior customer service experience through our H.I.T. Value System: Honesty, Integrity and Transparency.

 

But what happens when the weight of the world starts dragging us down? How do you make sure morale, productivity and creativity stays on 100?

 

Here are some things that help keep our team firing on all cylinders:

 

  1. Stay Positive at all times.

I believe there is a special place in the Cosmos where all the good ideas live. As a creative agency, we have to have a direct line to that place in the heavens. It is an abundant and unlimited resource that never runs out, and all you have to do is tap into it. The only way to access it is if you have an open, positive mindset. The energy in your team also needs to be positive otherwise you get cut off from this most precious natural resource. If you run a team that is in the idea business like we are, you need everyone on board with this one. You never know who on your team will have that breakthrough ‘eureka’ moment, so becoming aware of this concept is the first step. If you find yourself or one of your team members down due to current events, which will happen (we’re human), you let it run it’s course until they come out the other side, but don’t let anyone get stuck there for too long.

 

  1. Wear the world like a loose garment.

If we stop and think about it, we can always rationalize at least one good reason to not get out of bed in the morning. When things start to weigh us down, remember your purpose and make a gratitude list. Before you walk into that office, think about how much baggage you are carrying with you. Do you really want to drag all of that mental luggage with you all day? What can you let go of? How much of it can you really control? Think of the people that count on you to do your best each day, and get up and go make a difference.

 

  1. The Golden Rule.

We are not always going to agree on things , but being able to listen to each other and having the confidence to know that you have a voice within a team is critical. That confidence comes from others giving you the respect to value your opinion. A good leader will always have an open door to a team member that needs to express themselves. At then end of the day, there are common themes that are universal: justice, kindness, peace and treating others the way we wish to be treated. If someone on the team is struggling with these concepts, perhaps they just don’t do well in groups in general. Time to go!

 

  1. Empathy comes from thinking of others.

Something amazing happens when you do more listening than talking: you get to see how ‘the other side’ thinks! This is where empathy comes from. Different people have different perspectives. From those life experiences come different concerns, fears, and yes, prejudices. Keeping an open mind will help you look at things from a different angle and that’s where you begin to break down the stereotypes and misperceptions that may be blocking you from being a blessing to someone else.

 

  1. Throw your team into service.

At Peralta Design, our company culture is rooted deep in community service. While we cannot control what is happening around us, we can make a difference by helping those in need. Volunteering for the local United Way, speaking to students at Career Day and sponsoring a Back-to-School Supply Drive or collecting food & clothes for the needy are all simple service projects that will not only make an impact locally, but they will strengthen the team. We can often get ourselves worked up over external forces and when that happens, we become the victim. If you find yourself or a team member on the pity-pot more often than not, it’s usually because they’re thinking too much about themselves and not enough about other people.

 

  1. Have fun. Laugh a little (or a lot).

Racism, Social Justice, Politics, Hurricanes, Earthquakes, Poverty and Nuclear War are heavy topics. They have always been part of the American fabric and part of life. Somehow, some way, we still have to lace up our boots and do the good works we are destined to do. As leaders, we are motivators first. If things get too heavy, its time to lighten the load with humor. Levity in difficult situations is often the common denominator and can be a good daily reminder to not take things so seriously. It can also be a powerful tool to help keep your team motivated. We just installed a brand new 80’s style arcade machine in the office. We have challenges among the team on some of our favorite childhood games like Ms. Pacman and Donkey Kong. We have company off-sites and do team lunches. We have an office mascot – Handsome the Frenchie (even though he’s getting a bit grumpy in his old age). All of that keeps things fun!

 

  1. Talk about the issues, don’t ignore them.

Monday morning staff meetings aren’t just for looking at the “hot list” and reviewing the ‘radar.’ It is also the perfect time to go around the table and check-in on each team member. Seems like each week there’s a new tragedy or disaster. Talk about it. Get it off your chest. As a leader you will get very good at sensing energy. If you sense a disturbance in the force, it’s time to check on your team, otherwise it could slow your efforts down. As a leader, you’ll get better at determining when to give people space and when to pull them in. The real science comes from determining which will slow your team down more: checking in on the disturbance or the disturbance itself. I would suggest that maintenance is always ‘cheaper’ than repair, so get in a habit of ‘nipping things in the bud’ so that you can keep the company or your team moving forward as efficiently as possible. Once you sit down and have real conversations with the people on your team, you’ll find that we’re much more alike than we are different. Now go back and see Tip #1.

 

Ramon has over 20 years of experience in award-winning, market-proven, print collateral, marketing material, iphone/ipad app and website design specializing in corporate identity and branding. Ramon’s passion for entrepreneurial design was borne out of 10 years as Creative Director for Jay Walker at Walker Digital, the Stamford based idea laboratory and business incubator holding over 300 US Patents. Ramon served as Senior Art Director on the start-up launch team behind Priceline.com, a Walker company and invention. Most recently, Ramon’s logo and identity work was selected to be published in “Typography and Enclosures” the fourth book in the Master Library series by LogoLounge.

Peralta Design is an award winning, think tank and digital creative house (with offices in Shelton, CT and Palm Coast, FL). We not only help monetize ideas and determine what the MVP, the Minimal Viable Product is for you, but we also handle everything from logo design and branding, to recommending technology, to building custom web applications and websites. We also develop mobile apps and create promotional videos. As I also mentioned, we work with entrepreneurs, startups and companies (large and small) like yours. We Launch Brands!®

Need help with your brand identity or want to overhaul your existing brand? Need a responsive cutting edge web development project completed? Contact: ramon@peraltadesign.com 

Tell us about your next project at: http://www.peraltadesign.com/launchmybrand

Follow Ramon on Twitter @Peralta_Design

 

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“What’s Your Summer Job?”

By Olivia Hale

 

I’ve been asked a few times this summer, “What’s your summer job?” I’m a 16-year-old high school student, so it’s typical to have a summer job, but when I answer their question it’s usually taken with a look of surprise. I’m interning with two businesses that are impacting me as well as the community. How did I get this lucky in the small town of Palm Coast, Florida?

Through a friend’s referral, I heard about the “InternReady Program.” I looked into it and found that it was a pilot program offered by the Flagler County Education Foundation, my local school district. Taught primarily by Lisa Ekinci, a co-founder of a well-known local business by the name of Office Divvy, I would attend four Saturday workshops along with other high school students. We’d experience a combination of presentations, scenarios, and teamwork exercises. The culmination of the InternReady Program was my fellow students and I’s graduation and meetings with companies we’d have the opportunity to intern with. The interview experience was invaluable. Office Divvy gained feedback from the students and the businesses, and worked to create the best matches. I matched with both Office Divvy and Peralta Design, and I’ve gained a lot more knowledge about myself and the business world ever since.

At the beginning of my internships in early- to mid-June, I was working around 25 hours a week between the two internships. I have really gotten to see what it’s like to “go to work” around 9 to 5 on some days. Without the opportunities I discovered that led me to working here, I probably wouldn’t have gotten to participate in anything like a “real job” until I had a full-time, long-term job after college. As my summer has gotten busier with summer camps and other responsibilities, I’ve pulled back on my hours, but I’m still learning and moving forward.

I’m sure interning for a large and/or franchised business would be a wonderful experience, but I’ve had a unique experience with these two small-in-size-but-large-in-impact businesses. I’m often just a few feet away from CEOs  and co-founders, and I’m able to see things through their eyes. I sit in on staff meetings, I’m constantly exposed to what the team’s tasks are, and I know I make a difference that is recognized. This personalized experience has led me to learn a lot about myself, too. I’ve narrowed down my ideas about major and career paths. I know more about what makes me excited to complete a task, what I want my future work environment to be like, and how I want to brand myself. All of this has been a result of my experience with Peralta Design and Office Divvy that I wouldn’t have found anywhere else than Palm Coast, Florida.

 

Ramon has over 20 years of experience in award-winning, market-proven, print collateral, marketing material, iphone/ipad app and website design specializing in corporate identity and branding. Ramon’s passion for entrepreneurial design was borne out of 10 years as Creative Director for Jay Walker at Walker Digital, the Stamford based idea laboratory and business incubator holding over 300 US Patents. Ramon served as Senior Art Director on the start-up launch team behind Priceline.com, a Walker company and invention. Most recently, Ramon’s logo and identity work was selected to be published in “Typography and Enclosures” the fourth book in the Master Library series by LogoLounge.

Peralta Design is an award winning, think tank and digital creative house (with offices in Shelton, CT and Palm Coast, FL). We not only help monetize ideas and determine what the MVP, the Minimal Viable Product is for you, but we also handle everything from logo design and branding, to recommending technology, to building custom web applications and websites. We also develop mobile apps and create promotional videos. As I also mentioned, we work with entrepreneurs, startups and companies (large and small) like yours. We Launch Brands!®

Need help with your brand identity or want to overhaul your existing brand? Need a responsive cutting edge web development project completed? Contact: ramon@peraltadesign.com 

Tell us about your next project at: http://www.peraltadesign.com/launchmybrand

Follow Ramon on Twitter @Peralta_Design

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We Launch Brands®

A Case Study: AcedMyInterview.com

ami_logo

First question people ask us is what do you do? The second question is often, “Who are some of your clients?” The reality is that we are a full service digital creative agency, but our niche (you should all have a niche) is the startup space. What does that mean? It has a lot to do with our company mission and slogan: We Launch Brands®.

This week we launched what could be the future of recruitment, job placement and the premiere tool for hiring millennials. We launched AcedMyInterview.com and it’s a great story that goes a little something like this:

A Landscaper with a Vision

About 6 months ago, local landscape business owner turned visionary Dan Thornberg came to our offices to discuss a ‘big idea’ that he had been working on. He was referred to us by his good friend, fellow entrepreneur and PD client, Jefferey Acevedo of Champagne Grooming fame. Dan had a front row seat and witnessed how the team at Peralta Design launched the Champagne Grooming brand with identity design, website development and even package design for this very successful line of high-end men’s hair grooming products. Dan was self-funding this project and knew he was onto something big. He just needed help bringing it to market.

Dan runs a successful landscaping business and came to us with a rough outline of what the product was and how he envisioned it would work: all in PowerPoint format. One NDA (non-disclosure agreement) later, we met, we listened, and we began to enhance the vision. It’s as though some startup clients come to us with a distant vision that we help bring into focus. They know what they want, they just don’t know exactly what needs to be done to get there. We sharpen the vision, we may help monetize it and we not only develop the custom-tailored brand identity and look & feel, but we also recommend the proper technology that will deliver the concept to the end user in a dynamic, cost effective way that will resonate with the target demographic.

So You have a Vision, Now What

Once we have a clear idea of what the business is, how it will work and who will want to pay for it, we begin to layout a roadmap in the form of a proposal complete with deliverables and milestones. For Dan’s concept, which was originally named “Interview You”, we began with naming. We searched for URLs that were available that aligned with his product and thus “AcedMyInterview.com” was born. Once we settled on a name, we began to develop the Corporate Identity package which includes the logo design, the color palette and the style guide used for all communication channels, in this case, the website, pitch deck and animated how it works video. All of which we produced in house here at Peralta Design.

Here’s How Aced My Interview (AMI) Works:

 

In a nutshell, users, primarily millennials, recent college graduates, or anyone in the market for a job, buy mock interview sessions at $29.99 with real-life HR professionals that will provide detailed feedback in the form of a report card. The sessions are held via Skype and last approximately 20 minutes. Family and friends can also purchase sessions for others, and package deals are being developed. As we write, we are beginning to integrate other product offerings and AMI has already begun to form strategic partnerships with companies offering services that align with AMI’s mission: to better prepare people to enter or re-enter the job market.

Projects such as this are exactly why Peralta Design exists. Sure, there is pleasure in watching ideas come to life, but there is also an innate satisfaction in helping another fellow business owner execute on a vision. You don’t get paid for coming up with ideas, you get paid for making them happen. Shortly after live launch, a strong social media campaign drove traffic beyond original estimates and we had to increase server capacity. Those are good problems. Next up is an Adwords campaign and an investment capital round that will catapult this concept into Phase 2, allowing for greater technology capability and expanded functionality. We were able to launch this brand in a lean manner, allowing for proof of concept, market testing and consumer feedback with minimal capital investment. So far, response has been tremendous.

Make sure you visit AcedMyInterview.com, tell us what you think and don’t forget to book your next session – you’re going to like the way you interview. 😉


 

Ramon has over 20 years of experience in award-winning, market-proven, print collateral, marketing material, iphone/ipad app and website design specializing in corporate identity and branding. Ramon’s passion for entrepreneurial design was borne out of 10 years as Creative Director for Jay Walker at Walker Digital, the Stamford based idea laboratory and business incubator holding over 300 US Patents. Ramon served as Senior Art Director on the start-up launch team behind Priceline.com, a Walker company and invention. Most recently, Ramon’s logo and identity work was selected to be published in “Typography and Enclosures” the fourth book in the Master Library series by LogoLounge.

Need help with your brand identity or want to overhaul your existing brand? Need a responsive cutting edge web development project completed? Contact: ramon@peraltadesign.com 

Tell us about your next project at: http://www.peraltadesign.com/questionnaire

Follow Ramon on Twitter @Peralta_Design

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Usain Bolt Did NOT Sign With Nike

sports-usain-bolt-ad-london-uk

Why Usain Bolt would never leave Puma: The Puma + Jamaica Connection

By Ramon E. Peralta III

Thursday, August 25th, 2016

What is faster than Usain Bolt? Internet Rumors. With the closing of the much entertaining Rio Olympics this past Sunday, there seems to be an opening of new rumors surrounding the participating athletes. Most notably involving track and Olympic superstar Usain Bolt. Bolt has been deemed “the fastest man alive” after winning back-to-back gold medals in not only the 100m but the 200m and 4X100m in the Beijing and London Olympics. He has gone on to defend all three titles in his most recent, and said to be last Olympic showing in Rio this summer. When it comes to Bolt, strictly winning gold is not the only consistent thing his millions of viewers and fans have come to associate with the runner, it is also the leaping Puma® logo that can be found on his shirt, shorts, and shoes in every race. Puma®, a German athletics/casual footwear and clothing manufacturer, has had it’s eyes on the superstar for a very long time.

Puma first began sponsoring a fifteen year-old Bolt when the young phenom began competing in local amateur races back in the early 2000’s. This foresight into Bolt’s career would first pay off for Puma, a then dormant brand once popular in the 80’s when he competed and destroyed his competition in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. At this point in time, Puma was one of Bolt’s mere two sponsors. Today, he has global sponsors in the double digits and pulls in over $30 million a year in endorsements alone. Who is at the top of all those sponsors? Who else but the one who saw the superstar that Bolt would become then Puma themselves. So with rumors spreading throughout multiple news articles and all over social media platforms that Bolt has recently inked a “lifetime” deal with competing apparel/footwear manufacturing giant Nike, why should his fans believe he left his most trustworthy sponsor for one of its competitors? The answer to this is they shouldn’t, the rumor that Bolt signed a deal with Nike is just exactly that, a rumor. With the extensive mutual benefits that both Bolt and Puma receive by working together there is absolutely no reason for the two to part. Throughout Bolt’s career the benefits the two have received are substantial, from his first appearance in Beijing to his newly signed contract with Puma that will last through 2025.

The following is an excerpt from Puma’s Website:

PUMA and Jamaican Athletics: [a Timeline]

PUMA’s history with Jamaica dates back to 2001, when the sportlifestyle company first entered a partnership with the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA). The JOA oversees all Jamaican athletes competing in the Olympics; PUMA’s partnership with them ensures Jamaican athletes across all areas of sport are equipped with PUMA gear for their Olympic competitions. 

In 2002, PUMA began to partner with the Jamaica Amateur Athletic Association (JAAA) which oversees all of the Jamaican amateur track & field athletes.  That same year, PUMA also started sponsoring the ISSA Boys & Girls Athletic Championships, an annual competition for the best Jamaican high school track & field teams.  This year is the 100th anniversary of the Boy’s & Girl’s Champs, as it’s known throughout Jamaica.  It is one of the largest high school events in the world and each year a new set of promising young talents hit the track to show the world what they can do.  Many Jamaican Olympic medalists, including the world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt all competed in this event. 

PUMA is dedicated to fostering young talent in Jamaica and fully sponsors the following high school teams: 

  • St. Jago Boys
  • St. Jago Girls
  • Wolmer’s Boys
  • Wolmer’s Girls
  • Jamaican College
  • Calabar
  • Munro
  • University of West Indies 

For the past decade, PUMA has had a large stake in Jamaican Athletics, supporting Jamaican Track & Field from the high school level to top athletes. PUMA also supports those who compete outside of Track & Field in the Olympics through our JOA partnership.  

PUMA Sponsored Jamaican Athletes:

  • Usain Bolt, Track & Field
  • Trecia Smith, Track & Field
  • Jovanee Jarrett, Track & Field  
  • Lacena Golding, Track & Field
  • Andrea Bliss, Track & Field
  • Clora Williams, Track & Field
  • Jermaine Gonzales, Track & Field
  • Maurice Smith, Track & Field 

2000

PUMA begins sponsoring the Gibson Relays

2001

PUMA partners with the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA)

2002

PUMA begins sponsorship with the Jamaican Olympic Track & Field Team

PUMA begins sponsorship with the ISSA Boys & Girls Athletic Championships

PUMA enters partnership with the Jamaica Amateur Athletic Association (JAAA)

Usain Bolt become youngest ever World Junior Champion at 15 wearing PUMA apparel and shoes.

2003

PUMA enters an endorsement agreement with Usain Bolt 

PUMA begins sponsorship with the Reggae Marathon

2004

Jamaica women’s 4x100m relay team wins gold in Athens Olympic Games 

2008

Bolt wins Gold in the 100 meters at the 2008 Beijing Olympics

Bolt wins Gold in the 200 meters at the 2008 Beijing Olympics

The Jamaican Men’s Relay Team wins Gold in the 4×100 meters at the 2008 Beijing Olympics

2009

Bolt wins 12TH IAAF World Championships In Athletics in Berlin, Breaking His Own World Record in the 100m (9.58 seconds) and 200m (19.19 seconds). 

The year 2002 was the first time you would see Usain Bolt decked out in full Puma gear, as he would become the youngest World Junior Champion in the 200m. Soon after, in 2003 Puma would go ahead and pull the trigger fully endorsing Bolt under the Puma brand. Five years later, the manufacturing giant will see it’s bet on the young track star pay off more then they could have ever imagined. After winning gold in all three of his events in Beijing, Pumas presence online globally increased by 64 percent during the Olympics according to marketing agency Zeta Interactive. Puma found itself finally comparable to its competitors such as Nike and Adidas whom were way ahead of the company in terms of sports endorsements. This trend would continue as Bolt continued to win competitions outside of the Olympics and then again in London in 2012 and now Rio. To further prove the importance of Bolt to the brand, his latest contract extension will last through 2025 far after the track star has hung up his cleats. It has already been made clear that Rio was most likely Bolt’s last Olympic run so why would Puma continue to sponsor an Athlete who is no longer competing? Well, if you have ever heard of a man named Michael Jordan then you would know why. Michael Jordan, a 6x NBA champion and Finals MVP, has not played basketball professionally since 2003 and yet his Jordan Brand that is a part of Nike pulled in $2.8 billion in revenue last year alone. Now, Michael Jordan holds the number one spot in sports endorsement deals in history but clearly it is well worth it for Nike. Will Puma ever reach this kind of success with Bolt? Certainly not as track is not even close in terms of exposure to basketball and basketball shoes but the potential for success in the same way at a smaller scale is very much possible. So the next move for Puma and Bolt would be to create the same success they have had on the track off the track and hopefully at a larger scale.

11aw_ru_faas_bolt-2dw_200-185679-05_420x297mm_atl1

  “I’ve been with Puma pretty much all my life. I don’t know anything else but Puma” stated Bolt in a recent article in the Wall Street Journal. Bolt already has big plans for the future and of course they all involve the company that has been with him from the beginning, Puma. Like Jordan has done with Nike, Bolt would like to launch his own product line within Puma. He has even gone as far as coming up with the logo for his line which would be his famous celebratory pose where the star points upward to represent a lightning Bolt. We have already seen the great success that Puma and Bolt have had together through the past fifteen years or so but now we will have to see what the next fifteen years will bring with Bolt off the track. One thing we can say with the upmost certainty is that Usain has not and will never sign with Nike (or at least not anytime soon). It’s good to know loyalty still matters.

 

Ramon “RJ” E. Peralta, III is a Business Development & Sales Intern at Peralta Design. RJ is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Economics at the University of Connecticut and will begin a study-abroad program with UConn in London this fall. His expected graduation date is 2017. RJ has previously interned with Stamford-based St. Onge Steward Johnston & Reens as a Global Transfer Intern as well as with Southport-based BTRE Partners as a Sales/Finance intern. He most recently averaged a 12.5% rate of return as a Virtual Portfolio Trader with online Investment Management Firm Zolio. He can be reached at RJ@peraltadesign.com. 

Photos are property of Puma®

 

Resources:

http://www.forbes.com/forbes/welcome/?toURL=http://www.forbes.com/sites/kurtbadenhausen/2016/08/12/how-usain-bolt-earns-33-million-a-year-a-whopping-10-times-more-than-any-other-track-star/&refURL=https://www.google.com/&referrer=https://www.google.com/

Did Usain Bolt Just Sign The BIGGEST Deal In The History Of Nike?????

http://newsjamaica.blogspot.com/2008/09/digicel-puma-and-brand-jamaica-emerged.html?m=1

 

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SpaceHost™: Peralta Design Now Offers Web Hosting!

Desk with laptop against earth seen from space

SpaceHost has blasted into the web hosting arena!

Fasten your seat belts, We’re Ready for Lift OFF!

The crew of the Starship PD at Peralta Design has blasted into the world of web hosting at warp speed: introducing SpaceHost! Teleport to a new dimension of web services at Shop.spacehost.pro and you will access an array of new services such as:

  • Web Hosting
  • Spam-free Email
  • Web Marketing
  • Secure SSL Certificates
  • And more!

Exploring a new frontier?

Today, all businesses need a well put together responsive website. Here at PD we’ve been supplying our customers just that for years. However, many companies who approach us have yet to purchase their domain name or web hosting. A business name is often guided by what URLs are available. Always looking to help, we would gladly refer people to other sites for their hosting plans or to register their domains. But we realized as startup specialists, it is our duty to provide entrepreneurs with as many resources as possible. The launch of SpaceHost is another step along the road to being a one-stop-shop for startups.

Why SpaceHost?

Two words: Convenience and Value. Adding these services allows our customers the convenience of purchasing a domain name, web hosting, security, web development, and branding all in one place. In short, you can come to us with your idea and name and leave us with everything needed to begin marketing and business operations. All with the guarantee of high quality and reliable service that Peralta Design has provided for years. Furthermore, for an affordable price customers can purchase Web hosting with:

  • Unlimited websites
  • Unlimited space
  • Unlimited Bandwidth
  • Plus more

We have packages to suit all sizes and types of businesses.

Ready for launch? Visit us today to get your business off of the ground!

We Launch Brands®

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Pokémon GO: 5 Things Nintendo Should Do (If They’re Smart) To Capitalize On The App’s Success

By Moises DeLeon

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016

 

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Today I make a statement that, in 1998, would have made all of my 5 year old dreams come true: It seems that Pokémon have entered the real world. That’s right, Nintendo’s latest goldmine is the new app Pokémon GO- an augmented reality game that is taking the virtual reality based genre to never before seen heights while taking the entire world by storm. The game officially launched on July 6th and in the week since, Nintendo has been on a gargantuan winning streak. Some milestones being:

  • Generating over $1.5 Million USD per day from In app purchases
  • Nintendo stock value increasing over 35% since the first day of the game’s release (With stock value rising 25% on July 11th alone)
  • An increase of over $9 Billion USD in market value (With an increase of $7.5 Billion on July 11th alone).
  • Amassing a longer average time stayed in app than both Snapchat and Whatsapp
  • Being on track to having more daily active US users than Twitter according to data tracking site SimilarWeb
  • Topping both the Free App charts and the Top Grossing App charts simultaneously in the App store

With all of this newfound success, any good company should be focused on how to both sustain and increase it. Here are 5 things I believe Nintendo should do to continue monetizing their Pokémon platform. :

  1. Cross Company Poké-Promotions

Pairing Pokémon with company promotions is sure to be another big win for Nintendo. How might this look you may ask? Well, now when Target has a sale on jeans, they may also have a 40% higher chance of rare Pokémon appearing in their Men’s section. This could also expand to generating branded versions of their creatures. . So for our Target example, Pokémon caught inside of the store might have a red target around one of their eyes like the Target mascot dog, “Bullseye.” I for one am definitely hoping to catch a Machamp wearing a Supreme tank top.

  1. The Ability to Buy or Bid On Poké Stops For Long or Short Term Brand Presence.

Your local pizza place or coffee shop just beat out the competition. By giving businesses both small and large the ability to buy or bid for their establishment to be a Poké Stop or Gym, they can easily increase foot traffic to their businesses. Many companies would pay Nintendo good money to create that type of foot traffic. A way to bolster engagement directly from this feature might be to take an in app picture of something inside of the establishment, like a restaurant menu, to increase the in-game rewards for the consumer.

With regard to the short term, If there’s a small concert or live band performing at a venue, the event promoter should be able to purchase a 3 hour Poké Stop or gym pass to attract people. Couple that with a few “Lure Modules” to bring more Pokémon around and you have a recipe for a packed event!

  1. Tie Pokécoins or Items to Products

This is where you buy a Subway sandwich and get 10 Pokéballs or some incense (an in game reward that attracts Pokémon to your character). Nintendo could make a load of cash from companies who want to offer free in-game items or Pokécoins as a bonus to their products. Here’s my prediction for a Chipotle comeback if this comes to pass.

  1. In Game Advertising for Free In Game Items

Hear me out on this one. We all hate in game ads, but Nintendo could stand to make a lot of money if they make them optional. A small message appearing asking if you “would like to watch this 60 second advertisement to earn 20 Pokéballs” might not be too annoying for players and might garner a lot of click throughs. Companies being able to pay for their logo to appear on the game map could be a large value-add as well.

  1. Social Initiatives to Create Good Press Around Nintendo

Nintendo can foster a great company image by doing things like setting up Poké Stops or influencing rare Pokémon appearances at blood drives or community service events. They would actively inspire more people to get up and get out to places that need the support, as Nintendo quite literally has the power to control where people move through incentive now. If Nintendo ever wanted to throw their hat in the political realm, they could make polling stations Poké Stops on Election Day and watch voter turnout explode.

Another initiative could be fitness. The gamer population, often stereotyped as couch potatoes, are now up and walking more than ever (Oh how I wish this was around in grade school when my mom would tell me to put the game down and go play outside). Nintendo can set fitness incentives for gamers, all the while increasing average time spent in application. For example if a player jogs for a certain distance with the app open, from that point forward their chances of running into stronger fighting type Pokémon increases.

With the rapid growth of Pokémon GO, Nintendo has collected a consumer base that, thanks to augmented reality, can be utilized and marketed to in ways never attempted before. The main question on the table now is: Will the success continue or will this be another fad? Well, with an expansion plan that already includes giving the ability to trade Pokémon and battle each other more consistently they definitely have people excited for the time being. . Couple this with the nostalgia factor from a generation of past Pokémon trainers from the GameBoy days, and the prospect of an app update with new Pokémon from the Johto, Hoenn, Sinnoh, Unova, Kalos, and Alola regions (Yes, these were all game versions) and I think Nintendo will have our attention for years to come.

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Moises DeLeon is the Director of New Business Development & Sales at Peralta Design. Moises is a Syracuse University Class of 2015 Graduate with Dual Bachelors of Science Degrees in Entrepreneurship & Emerging Enterprises and Finance. He is also the founder of two startup companies: Young Black Successful, LLC. (YBS) and Labyrinth Consulting Group, Inc.

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The Art of Email Response Time

our clients are happy clients smile on business card

Happy Clients are Good

Responding to client emails is an art form. Of course, using proper English, grammar and tone is important. For now, let’s focus on the timing of client email responses. How quickly (or slowly) you respond can determine whether that client is a Tier One, Tier Two or high/low priority. Response times can sometimes be taken personally: it lets a client know where they sit in the food chain. I’ve never heard anyone complain about getting a response too quickly, if you take too long, however, you run the risk of losing an opportunity, or worse, losing a client. Rule #1: Respond as soon as possible. We can honestly say that we’ve won business simply for responding quickly. Sounds simple, but far too many people take way too long to reply. Being too busy is not an excuse. Before you know it,  you might find yourself busy looking for work.

Negotiating has its own set of rules when it comes to response timing. “Making them sweat” might work well when negotiating , but that’s off topic. For the sake of this post, we’ll just talk about the back & forth communication that take place during project management or a workflow.

There is a true science to response times. If your ‘business hours’ are the standard 9-5, you may find yourself facing challenges when responding to clients in our new global economy with different time zones, whether it be different parts of the country or different parts of the world. Our mornings are their nights and vice versa and in many cases, you can use those time changes to your advantage. But let’s assume we’re all in the same time zone…

Recently, we had a ‘learning’ moment when a team member responded to a client at 12:30am. Normally, this wouldn’t be an issue for a client or strategic partner in Nepal for instance, but when you are in the same time zone, emailing a client at 12:30am may not actually be a good idea. Here’s why:

Providing a client 24/7 access can get very expensive. We currently don’t have any clients that are paying a high enough retainer to expect to reach us at 12:30am, let alone get a reply. We don’t want to be reached at that time either. What happens when you email a client at 12:30am? You imply that it is OK for THEM to email you back at 12:30am. When you do that – you go back to Rule #1: Respond as soon as possible. That might be 9am – which is over 8 hours later. In this case, we just don’t want to ever encourage or imply that we’re up late working a night shift (even if we are) and that the same customer service experienced during the day will also be delivered during the graveyard shift.

No. If there is a graveyard shift, which there often very well might be, let the communication be between team members, not clients. When its team members, we might be using G-Chat or some other instant messenger app to communicate anyway. The other reason that sending an email to a client during the middle of the night might not be a good idea is because it just might not get seen. Tons of spam comes through at night and your very important update might get pushed down and never even read.

So what can you do if you’re up late, need to blast out an update and might not be in the office the next day? Remember, just because its convenient for you doesn’t make it convenient for your clients. Save the email as a draft, get up early and press send in the morning. Alternatively, having a fellow team member send the update/communication at a later time might have its own advantages: looping someone else into the thread allows that person to reply in a timely manner when you can’t.

Basecamp®, or other project management software comments are excluded here because although they are a great way for clients and service providers to communicate, its understood that comments made here will be/can be replied to the following day. If I’m commenting on a project status on Basecamp, I’m doing so so that there is a record of it, in one location and its also time-stamped. I also know that everyone is getting a push notification that an update has been made. I don’t have to worry about it not getting read.

Best practice is to keep your communications as close to business hours as possible. Rule #2: Respond during business hours. I know that our workforce is changing and everyone’s a road warrior / work from home / work around the clock digital mad max type these days, but we have to have some standards. Remember: when anything goes, everything goes. I think you can justify a 2-3 hour swing in either direction and still be on point (7am/8am/9am through 7pm/8pm/9pm) because we do end up working early / working late. Anything outside of that time frame and you are entering the danger zone of something not being read.

Side bar: don’t even get me started on Florida time (we’re about to change that forever). We’ve recently expanded into Florida and have already encountered the phenomenon of sending an email out and not hearing back for (gasp) 24 hours. Its like sending an email to someone in Florida is like the Bermuda Triangle. I know its laid back down there, and we’re from the rush-rush-rush North East, but there is something to be said about priorities and attention. We’ve already begun to bring our style of rapid response time to some new Florida clients and they appreciate it as part of the world-class branding and customer service experience we’re bringing down south.

The art of email response time: Is it the end of the world? No. Is it something that can help set the tone of what the company culture is? Absolutely. You are training your clients on what type of customer service experience they can expect to have when they deal with you every time you communicate with them. Whether it’s having someone courteous with a clear, calm and friendly voice answer your phone when a call comes in, to the way in which you phrase your emails, to the timeliness or time of day/night of your reply; the way you communicate is the way you do business.

At the end of the day you want happy clients that will not only keep coming back, but that will send more clients your way. Every single client we’ve ever met wants to be treated special. They want attention. Responding to them promptly and during “normal” business hours is one easy way you can let them know that they are your #1 priority.

Ramon has over 22 years of experience in award-winning, market-proven, print collateral, marketing material, iphone/ipad app and website design specializing in corporate identity and branding. Ramon’s passion for entrepreneurial design was borne out of 10 years as Creative Director for Jay Walker at Walker Digital, the Stamford based idea laboratory and business incubator holding over 300 US Patents. Ramon served as Senior Art Director on the start-up launch team behind Priceline.com, a Walker company and invention. Most recently, Ramon’s led his team in developing creative projects for the Clinton Foundation’s Alliance for Healthier Generation and the Chicago Cubs Charities.

Need help with your brand identity or need a responsive cutting edge web development project completed? Contact: ramon@peraltadesign.com

Follow Ramon on Twitter @Peralta_Design

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FABIO PERALTA: The World’s Greatest Cab Driver Passes On

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I wanted to honor my cousin, Fabio Peralta, known affectionally in some parts of NYC as the “World’s Greatest Taxi Driver” not just because of his charming personality, strong work ethic, superior driving abilities, (which all Peralta’s think they have), but it was because of something special that he inspired his passengers to do.

You see, Fabio Peralta’s goal was not only to get you from Point A to Point B in the Big Apple, but he wanted to inspire something in you. He had a gift for inspiring all of his passengers to create something, anything at all. He was known to hand his passengers a blank pad and a pencil, or at times a pen and a stack of copy paper (hey, you might mess up the first time) and asked them to create art.

“I don’t care what it is. Whatever comes to their brain, I say.”

Fabio didn’t do it for the money either. He found a special joy in what many might think was a non-glamorous job. Fabio knew that each moment we spend is precious, even if its a moment with a perfect stranger and he inspired his passengers to “create art.”

Fabio’s story is one that many NYC Dominican immigrants share: he arrived here as a teenager at the age of 14 in 1965 and immediately made a positive impact in his community. He spent over 46 years driving a Crown Vic yellow cab in NYC and over the course of his career, collected over 20,000 sketches from random doctors, lawyers, computer geeks and the like. Fabio had the gift of vision, a passion for inspiring creativity and although he never had the right opportunity to let it flourish or refine it in a university or online, he used his gifts to make the world a better place. Had he been born a few years later, he might’ve been a Youtube sensation or even inspired a reality TV show.

Fabio collected the sketches from his cab and would save up enough money to get them published. Once he got them printed, he would just give the books away. Initially he gave them away to anyone who would let themselves get filmed by him for another vision – a movie about his passengers.

The New York Post’s Tom Namako once interviewed my cousin for an article (you can view it here: http://nypost.com/2009/06/15/every-rider-is-his-art-fare/ where Fabio claimed to have created videos of over 214 passengers. He was a filmmaker too. He was a creative director. He was an inspiration.

Fabio goes on to explain why he asked people to draw in his cab, “They have to enjoy the ride, not be worried about the things going on around them..”

The last time I saw my cousin Fabio was just a few short weeks ago at the NYU Medical Center in NYC. I brought him a sketchpad and an artist kit full of markers, pastels and colored pencils. I wanted HIM to draw something for a change, but he may have been too weak to even do that by this point.  He was somewhere around #600 in line for a liver transplant. He left the earth this week, suffering from complications from his illness. Fabio spent his last days surrounded by loving family, his children and his grandchildren and I can say that even though I was afforded the opportunity to study Visual Arts in college at age 18, and Fabio made a career out of driving a cab, he didn’t let his job stop him from his passion. He lived with a genuine love for creativity and inspiring others. He was a ‘ball-buster’ and a prankster right until his last days. He loved making people laugh and he was fascinated with creativity and inspiring others.

Fabio, you inspired me and everyone you came in contact with and I know you are up there with the angels collecting drawings in the sky.

Video about Fabio Peralta in action produced by Italian media company:

Resources:

Another post as featured in TaxiGourmet.com

http://taxigourmet.com/2009/12/07/featured-cabbie-fabio-peralta/

http://theworldlink.com/news/local/nyc-cabby-turns-taxi-into-art-studio/article_0bb4a94f-1e6d-5677-932b-7cf03ffa7d81.html

Ramon has over 22 years of experience in award-winning, market-proven, print collateral, marketing material, iphone/ipad app and website design specializing in corporate identity and branding. Ramon’s passion for entrepreneurial design was borne out of 10 years as Creative Director for Jay Walker at Walker Digital, the Stamford based idea laboratory and business incubator holding over 300 US Patents. Ramon served as Senior Art Director on the start-up launch team behind Priceline.com, a Walker company and invention. Most recently, Ramon’s logo and identity work was selected to be published in “Typography and Enclosures” the fourth book in the Master Library series by LogoLounge.

Need help with your brand identity or need a responsive cutting edge web development project completed? Contact: ramon@peraltadesign.com

Follow Ramon on Twitter @Peralta_Design

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Bob Scinto a Hometown Hero

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As an active member of the Bridgeport Regional Business Council (brbc.org) I can personally attest that as a business organization, it affords many opportunities for networking within the Greater Bridgeport area. Fearlessly and selflessly led by Paul Timpanelli, the BRBC is the largest business association in the region, and is comprised of three Chamber of Commerce affiliates: Bridgeport, Trumbull and Stratford. Throughout the year, the BRBC hosts a variety of professional development and networking events and this morning I had the pleasure and good fortunte of being amongst the many local business leaders to attend “Inside the CEO’s Office”, billed as an exclusive opportunity to connect with the region’s top chief executive officers.

This morning’s event featured Robert “Bob” D. Scinto of Scinto, Inc. and it was not to be missed. A legend in my adopted hometown of Shelton, Bob Scinto is a world-class real-estate developer with real estate holdings representing almost 5% of all taxable property in the city. What impressed me the most during this morning’s presentation was not that he’s recognized as Shelton’s Top Taxpayer, but how a man from humble beginnings from Bridgeport’s West End can become successful while giving back and remaining a blessing to so many along the way. That is truly something to aspire to. A true rags to riches story that continues to this day.

I was so inspired by his candid talk with us this morning, that I wanted to share some of the many bits of wisdom and insights into his life that he dropped on us, as I’m sure will inspire you as well.

Here are some the notes I jotted down into my iPhone’s note pad and photos from the event:

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Bob Scinto’s Plumbing Truck

Bob Scinto – humble beginnings, troubled student, pushed through school and graduated without being able to read. He was diagnosed with a speech impediment and was dyslexic. Despite these difficulties, he worked hard as a plumber, driving this truck around the streets of Bridgeport’s West End, earning $93.50 a week for over 5 years, servicing clogged toilets and fixing furnaces until one day, while eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, sweating, while covered in coal-dust, he thought to himself that there must be another way.

Mr. Scinto’s first property was a 3-family home he bought in Bridgeport. By the time he was 24, he was collecting 39 rents a week on another property he had saved up for and purchased. He was on his way to be one of the most successful real-estate developers in New England.

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Bob Scinto’s in Action

“If” by Rudyard Kipling

Bob shared with us one of his first major deals and how he waited 8 hours for a chance to speak with Frank D’Addario about purchasing a property along the Merritt Parkway. He quoted the poem “If” by Rudyard Kipling’s famous line: “to wait and not be tired by waiting.” Bob went on to share how he recites the entire “If” poem every other day when he practices his yoga.

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Bob showing us the famous headline that first labeled him a “businessman”, a headline written by Shelton legend and friend of mine, the late Herman Wolf

Overcoming Obstacles

Asked about his lowest point as a developer, and Bob said “1990” without hesitation. He said he woke up one morning and was $70 million in debt and was losing $500k a month with about 360,000 square feet of empty office space in his inventory. It took him 11 years to get out of that debt, but he never gave up.

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The view from the top of Bob’s marquis property – The Renaissance, a high-rise luxury condo building in the heart of his corporate park here in Shelton. It is actually the highest point in Fairfield County. In the distance is Long Island Sound and Seaside Park of Bridgeport. One thing Bob made clear is that he never wants to forget where he came from.

Sound Advice; Bob Scinto Quotables:

On Self-Worth

“Your self worth comes from your mother and your father.” A big reason that Bob Scinto gives back to the youth is that he realizes how important early education is to the development of our young people. He can often be heard saying how much he loves speaking to young people. He shared a very personal story of his battle against ringworm as a child, and how his mother’s constant care and sacrifice made him feel that he ‘must be worth something’ for her to be going through all that trouble of taking care of his affliction.

Bob’s Three Pillars

  1. Service:

“Doesn’t matter what you do, you can always be of service to other people.” Bob shared a story from his plumbing days, and the look of joy on the faces of three little boys who were finally able to use the bathroom after Bob came by and unclogged it. I found it fascinating that he still travels with the same plumbing auger that he used back in those days. It’s a reminder of where he came from. Something that is very important to Mr. Scinto.

  1. Compassion

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During his days a plumber, Bob often traveled with a camera and would often try and capture people from different walks of life going about their day doing everyday things, making pancakes, going for a walk, doing work around the house. He was very inspired by a book he passed around, “The Family of Man” which features people from all over the world. Having compassion for your fellow man is something very near and dear to Mr. Scinto.

  1. Imagination

“See what you are, become what you see. See yourself as a good person, and become that. Use your imagination to get your life in the right direction. It was during his days as a plumber that he had his epiphany: he used his imagination to drive him towards the world of real estate. A world that he is dominating in today.

A Good Landlord

During the question and answer period, someone asked Mr. Scinto how he has adapted to an economic climate where there are fewer workers in Connecticut in 2015 than there were in 1990. A world where many telecommute, how can a real estate developer that sells office space not only survive, but thrive. Mr. Scinto’s answer was as sincere as the man himself: he quickly replied, “If you’re just going to rent office space, you’ll go out of business. You’ve got to rent a lifestyle.”

What he meant by that is that his customer service and treatment of his tenants and his entire Scinto experience is what sets him apart from the rest. He personally calls each tenant on their birthday, and prides himself in the finest of tenant gifts during the holiday season. With pride, he shared how there were over 1,500 photos with Santa taken over the holiday season. Bob Scinto knows how to treat his tenants. But he is also a very shrewd business man, and has placed a hedge bet by securing and developing rental properties at various affordable price points so as to assure a home within the Scinto family for anyone who may be in need of office space.

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Bob Scinto’s office is full of inspirational books, quotes and posters. He quickly turned on some music and said that he ‘loves to play music from his youth, it keeps him young.” Carol King’s ‘I Feel the Earth Move’ was playing in the background during our tour.

Time Management

“80% of your income comes from 10% of your time.”

Bob Scinto is very careful as to how he spends his time and thus says that he has become very good at hiring ‘brains’. He surrounds himself with people smarter than him and then trusts them to do their jobs. That way he can focus on retention and maintaining the client relationships and still have plenty of time to actively participate on 15 boards. Among these are Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Fairfield County, Discovery Museum, Junior Achievement of Western Connecticut and the Boys Club/Girls Club of Bridgeport. He is also very passionate about the Bob Scinto Foundation which provides full scholarships for local youth.

The Thrill of the Solution

As a creative director, you may wonder why did I leave so inspired from a real estate developer’s talk, but I can honestly say, that I haven’t been as inspired by a successful person such as Mr. Scinto in a very long time. My favorite Scinto quotable was actually about happiness, but it was also about problem solving, something that as a creative, is part of my job. Mr. Scinto said that , “The secret to happiness is your ability to solve problems. The thrill of the solution is the thrill of business.”

I can completely relate and agree to that. We are all be in the problem solving business in one way or another and there is a thrill that we all chase. I hope these notes and photos were able to inspire you as much as they inspired me. Mr. “Bob” Scinto is proof positive that you don’t have to look very far to find a real-life “hometown hero” – sometimes they are literally in your own backyard.

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For more information on Bob Scinto and the Bob Scinto Foundation, visit:

http://www.rdscintofoundation.com/bob_scinto

Commercial Real Estate & Office Space Rental

http://scinto.com

Ramon has over 22 years of experience in award-winning, market-proven, print collateral, marketing material, iphone/ipad app and website design specializing in corporate identity and branding. Ramon’s passion for entrepreneurial design was borne out of 10 years as Creative Director for Jay Walker at Walker Digital, the Stamford based idea laboratory and business incubator holding over 300 US Patents. Ramon served as Senior Art Director on the start-up launch team behind Priceline.com, a Walker company and invention. Most recently, Ramon’s logo and identity work was selected to be published in “Typography and Enclosures” the fourth book in the Master Library series by LogoLounge.

Need help with your brand identity or need a responsive cutting edge web development project completed? Contact: ramon@peraltadesign.com

Follow Ramon on Twitter @Peralta_Design

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