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How to maximize your Black Friday marketing efforts

Black Friday officially marks the start to the holiday shopping season. It’s the kick off to what has turned into a four-day shopping frenzy – and whether you’re looking to capture Black Friday shoppers or Cyber Monday sales, you’ll have tons of consumers who are ready to jump on limited-time only deals. 

While this means the competition out there will be tough, it also means you’ve got a load of hungry consumers to target. If you’re gearing up to get in on the Black Friday or Cyber Monday action, here are five tips to help you make the most of your marketing.

How to maximize your Black Friday marketing efforts  |  Hue & Tone Creative

 1. Start it early

Don’t wait until the night before to advertise your Black Friday bargains. We’d recommend warming your audience up a week or two in advance so they: 

  • Know to come straight to you once your sale starts

  • Can start scouting out what items they might put in their basket

  • Can spread the word on your behalf


2. Be clear

People aren’t mind readers, so make it super easy for them to find out when your sale starts/ends, what the discounts will be, and which products or services they’ll apply to.

Drumming your Black Friday bonanza up to be something bigger and better than it is is a risky game to play. You run the risk of not only annoying customers on the day of, but also losing their long-term interest as well. 


3. Check your capacity 

If you’re lucky, your server will see a steep spike in traffic on and around Black Friday as consumers hunt through your site for the best deal. Make sure your systems can handle the increase in volume with ease - the last thing you want is your site or app crashing during peak buying times.


4. Take a targeted approach

Instead of sending out blanket marketing campaigns and hoping for the best, take the time to create a more tailored approach by digging into people’s behavior and targeting them based on past habits. 

Target people who have recently abandoned carts full of items that are now going on sale. It takes more time to set up, but if done right the results will be worth it. 


5. Make sure you standout 

Whatever medium you’re using - email, social media, direct mail, or otherwise, there’s a lot of competition out there. But it’s not only your competitors you’re competing against. 

You need to make sure your marketing collateral stands out from the stuff you typically send out so that recipients sit up, pay attention, and immediately click through to your website. Find the balance between an eye-catching Black Friday ad and your usual brand. It’s a great time to push the boundaries of your every day branding – just don’t lose your brand completely. 

Your Holiday Marketing Partner

Not sure where to start? Not a problem. Whether it’s support with your landing pages, social media strategy or email campaign, we’ve got you covered. For last minute Black Friday support, reach out to us at 336-365-8559 or

6 branding mistakes to avoid

Branding is made up of the values that guide you, the visuals that communicate who you are, and the language you use to communicate with your customers. 

If you’re a regular reader, the number one thing you’ve probably learned from our blog is how important branding is. That’s because it’s essential to attracting, converting, and keeping your customers. It builds loyalty, brand recognition, and acts as a touchstone for consumers. 

We believe branding should be flexible and fun. And, while consistency is important, that doesn’t mean all of your assets should be identical. No matter what your industry or offering, there's a few things we think you should avoid. Here’s our top six: 

6 branding mistakes to avoid  |  Hue & Tone Creative


1.  Sea of sameness

Think outside of the box and make sure your logo, values, and messaging differentiate you from what’s already out there.  

Everyone has competitors -- and chances are they sell similar or identical products/services. Don’t fall into the trap of trying to imitate what they do! Work with a designer to create a strong brand identity for yourself and then stick with it. It may take time, but you want to establish your identity separate from the competition. 


2. Behind the times

Don’t let your branding give off a less-than-contemporary vibe. In the customer’s eyes outdated branding translates to inferior products and subpar service. 

Just because you went through the branding process when you first started your business, that doesn’t mean you’re set for life. Your business’ branding should be periodically reviewed and tweaked to reflect the constantly evolving digital landscape.


3. Inconsistency

Consistency is key. Your market needs to be able to identify you across every channel and it’s counterproductive to have an entirely different look and feel across different mediums. Whether it’s on social media, direct mail, a billboard ad, or website banner, your brand should be instantly recognizable across everything you produce. If it’s not, you could miss out on brand awareness and the benefits of an omni-channel campaign.


4.  It’s not all about you

When you’re establishing your branding, it’s imperative to remember that what you’re aiming for isn’t about you and your personal preferences -- it’s about your potential customers or clients, so try to avoid getting too personal. 

Just because a color isn’t your favorite, doesn’t mean it won’t connect with your potential customers. If you're having trouble separating your emotions from the process, consider putting some data behind your decisions by conducting market research to gain valuable guidance.


5.  Lack of clarity

Your branding should quickly and effortlessly communicate what you do -- and it should easily grab your potential customer’s attention. In a world where time is a highly valued commodity, it’s essential you snag people’s attention quickly.

If your branding’s unclear, you run the risk of not being memorable…which may send them running to your competitors. 


6. Not following through

Never, ever make false promises. If you are a delivery company and your tagline is “always on time,” make sure you’re always on time! If you fail to deliver on your promises, your branding is irrelevant, and you leave yourself open to complaints and lost customers

Hue & Tone: Branding for the Piedmont Triad

Branding doesn't have to be hard -- in fact, with the right people in your corner it can actually be fun! Let us turn marketing into something you enjoy doing -- not something you dread. We can help you with everything from your initial branding to your day-to-day social media needs. 

Our 7 Favorite Posts of 2017

As we were planning out our 2018 content calendar, we got thinking about all the great content we posted over the last year: a total of 51 blog posts (to be exact).

From social media and font pairing to color inspiration and web design, we ran the gamut on everything marketing and design related. But out of all of our content, there’s a few posts that stand out among the rest. We’ve rounded up our top 7 -- here's what they are + why: 


Best branding post: 6 Signs it’s Time to Update Your Company Logo

Your logo is your company’s primary visual symbol, and one of your brand’s most important assets. If you haven’t changed it in a while, we’ve put together 6 signs that should kick-start a rebrand.


Best post for finding new customers: How to Create Customer Personas

Customer personas are detailed representations of your customers’ demographics, likes, dislikes, traits, and buying behaviors. These traits are not made up, you need to discover them through comprehensive research. Here’s how.


Most popular social media blog post: How to Curate Your Instagram Feed

Ever stumble across a gorgeous Instagram feed and suddenly come down with a major case of account envy? We’ve all been there. Creating a lust-worthy Instagram account is more than just slapping on a filter and a handful of hashtags. 

MOOD BOARDS: HOME SWEET HOME  |  Hue & Tone Creative

Our favorite design post: Mood Boards: Home Sweet Home

A compelling image can capture attention, tell a story, and help you connect with your viewer.  But inexpensive, non-cheesy stock photos can sometimes be hard to come by. To save you the hassle of hunting for decent photos, we’ve narrowed our top 10 (mostly free) stock photo sites.

Our pick for must read: 4 Elements for a Killer Landing Page

When it comes to lead generation, landing pages count. We've broken down our four must have elements for a lead generating landing page. 


Our most read blog post: 7 Squarespace Font Pairings

We've taken the guesswork out of selecting the perfect fonts by putting together 7 suggestions that will revive your favorite Squarespace template.

THE 6-STEP CONTENT CALENDAR  |  Hue & Tone Creative

Our most stress relieving blog post: The 6-Step Content Calendar

Creating a content calendar will save you time, provide consistency, and help you manage your communication channels. Avoid stress and get organized with this 6-step process.

Web Marketing + Design in Greensboro: Hue & Tone

Looking to market your business in Greensboro, Winston Salem, or the surrounding areas? Hue & Tone is a creative graphic design agency specializing in logo design, web design, social media management, and more. 

Event Spotlight: Motown Memories

It's been a little while since we've spotlighted our work on the blog -- which makes it the perfect time to tell you a little about Motown Memories, a fundraising event to benefit Rise & Shine (if you haven't heard of Rise & Shine, check out this post). 

We've done a number of projects for them in the past -- including a colorful anniversary campaign -- but our latest project has a whole different feel. Rise & Shine was looking for an upbeat design that would fit in with the colors and style of the Motown era. 

We started by putting together a moodboard to make sure we were evoking the right feel.

Motown Memories  |  Hue & Town Creative

After the Rise & Shine team signed off on the moodboard, we dove right in and designed a coordinating poster and e-vite. Take a peak at our work below, or give them a call at 828-883-2295, ext. 15 to purchase tickets to the event. 

Motown Memories  |  Hue & Town Creative

Click to see the full e-blast!


If you live in the Brevard or Asheville area we encourage you to attend Motown Memories and see what Rise & Shine is all about!

Hue & Tone Creative: Non-profit Graphic Design

Is your non-profit looking to build a relationship with a marketing firm? We'll be more than your marketing team -- we'll be your community partner. Working together, we can create the social content, graphic design, and marketing plan to help you increase your local reach.

Client Spotlight: Rise & Shine, 20 years of making a difference

We know, we know -- we’ve highlighted Rise & Shine before… but when your clients just keep doing great work, it never gets old showing it off.

Throughout 2016, Rise & Shine has been hosting a series of events to celebrate and raise awareness for their organization. An afterschool program with a mission of promoting racial justice and equality, we loved being able to collaborate on collateral that's helping drive their mission forward.

All of our work for Rise & Shine features bright colors, eye-catching layouts, and vibrant photography of the program participants. We work to keep the focus on the facts and figures that demonstrate the program's efficacy, as well as highlight the organization's values. 

Take a look at the colorful collateral below!

Below, starting clockwise at top left: One-page infographic (front + back), homepage web slider, event program,  Facebook graphics, and bookmark.

Below, left: Booth signage
Below, right: Event poster for the "In Living Color" Dance Party

Below: Local Movie Theater Ad

Working with non-profits is a passion of ours, and we're always eager to dive into a new partnership. If your organization's marketing needs a boost, don't hesitate to reach out to us!

A Year of Hue & Tone

On April 1, 2015, Hue & Tone Creative opened its doors. In a literal sense, we opened one door – to our office on the Revolution Mill campus in Greensboro, NC. Figuratively, it’s been a year of many more doors opening and closing for this business. New clients and partners have made their mark. Processes have been refined. In a personal and professional sense, it’s been a year of learning what works and what doesn’t. 

You only get one first year in business – and I want to celebrate all the successes and challenges that entails. So, with that in mind, here’s an overview of the last 365 days! 


Where We’ve Been

Getting the keys to our office!

Getting the keys to our office!

Hue & Tone got its start in early 2015 as the new, relocated home of Hannah Pomphrey Graphic Design. I’ve been a freelance graphic designer since I was about 19, and was coming off a 9-5 stint in marketing. I realized, though, that it was time to start up a bona fide business in my then-new home of Greensboro. Here’s how I described my freelance journey a year ago:

It wasn’t until my first client gave me a $100 “tip” that I realized I had just found my new side hustle. I set out with my VistaPrint business cards in hand to find myself some new clients. I cold-called and did pro-bono work for local nonprofits until I found enough momentum to begin working almost solely on referrals.

Recently, I took a break from freelancing full-time to try out a 9-5. I packed up my mismatched furniture and my massive shoe collection and relocated to Greensboro, NC with the intention of settling into my much more ‘normal’ 9-5 job.

Turns out this 9-5 thing isn’t for everyone. Even the parts of freelancing that I thought weren’t for me – the irregular income, quirky clients, and doing my own taxes – were some of the things I missed the most. While some might call irregular paychecks and lulls in work terrifying, it now seems like some much-needed work/life spice.   

A year in, I’d still describe it the same way. Owning your own business isn’t easy – it’s not even in the same universe as easy. But the ability to work for myself – to shape the business objectives of my organization, while still getting my hands messy with design – is rewarding and worthwhile in a way I have a tough time explaining. Given the decision to make again, I’d make the same one.


Growth as a Company

As I said above, Hue & Tone’s first year in business has been a year of refinement and learning what works. I’ve had the opportunity to work with fabulous clients, new and old, and have worked to improve processes both on the client side and internally.

On average, Hue & Tone typically works with 10 to 20 clients at a time, and the scope of work taken on varies by client. I’ve done print design, web design, videos, social media, and consulting for large corporations, small businesses, nonprofits, and individuals. Some clients seek assistance on a per-project basis, while others hire Hue & Tone on a monthly basis for ongoing projects.

Internally, I’ve worked toward greater cohesion and focus for Hue & Tone as a business. That’s meant asking tough questions about the type of work I do and the clients I seek out. (For example: do I primarily work with local clients, or web-based businesses?) It’s also meant diversifying our portfolio so multiple skills and competencies are being exercised through our current body of work. It’s never my goal to do only social media projects or only video projects or only (fill in the blank here). When possible, I love working with clients across a wide variety of their creative needs – simultaneously working on design, video, and social, for instance. There’s a lot of interplay between different types of creative and having a hand in multiple pieces of the puzzle can add some coherence and visual consistency.

Finally, the growth of the past year has meant I needed to continue defining and re-defining the way Hue & Tone itself is marketed. You may have noticed some changes on our website, and here on the blog as well. I’d love to hear your feedback as I continue to learn what works.


A Few Stand Out Projects

With year one in the books, I’d love to share a few favorites and highlights of the year. Every project was an opportunity to learn and grow, and I’m grateful for each one. Here are a few that stood out…

Comprehensive Branding for CSDHH | Website and branding for CSDHH, a nonprofit that provides communication services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Notable for the opportunity to start from scratch and a desire, on the part of the client, to avoid the obvious. 

Revolution Mill Social Media | Design and daily management of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for Revolution Mill. From social graphics to #RevMillGSO, a chance to engage with a broad range of stakeholders (from future leaseholders to the community at large) about the live-work-create environment of Revolution Mill.

Pitch Video for Brown Investment Properties | An opportunity to create something rich, visually appealing, and (no pun intended) creative, while serving a strategic (and serious) purpose.


Favorite Blog Posts

Throughout the year, this blog has been a reliable place to share the ups and downs of Hue & Tone’s first year in business. Increasingly, it’s also become a place to share design inspiration and a few hints of the colors, textures, and patterns that fuel my imagination each day. Here are a few favorite posts from the year…


One of my favorite aspects of being a local business owner is the opportunity to interact with the community. Here are a few of my favorite Greensboro events!

Coffee & Conversation | A Greensboro Chamber event with for networking and learning about a new, focused topic each time.

IdeaNetwork | Organized by Cochran Creative Group, IdeaNetwork is an opportunity to come together, hear a speaker, then participate in a group discussion on the ideas raised.

Craft Freedom | An initiative to change the North Carolina law that restricts the growth of breweries by placing a cap on the amount of beer they can self-distribute, and a chance to support small businesses’ rights.


Thank You!

When all is said and done, the past year has been a big one – a wild one – a just-plain-irreplaceable one. It’s involved a lot of hard work, both of the creative variety and the messy, hauling-furniture-into-offices variety. None of it would have been possible without the support and partnership of many, so a few thank-yous are in order!

To Hue & Tone’s clients, thank you for your partnership, and for allowing Hue & Tone to help tell your story. It’s an honor every time!

To the community of Greensboro-based designers I’ve met, your advice has been invaluable.

To Sirtuah, and to my family, thank you for your patience and support through the crazy journey of the last year.

To the Greensboro community as a whole, thank you for welcoming me, welcoming Hue & Tone as a business and being a wonderful place to call home.

With all that said…that’s a wrap on Hue & Tone’s first year. It hasn’t been perfect, and I wouldn’t change a thing. Here’s to year two!

Client Spotlight: Little Toro Designs

When we were approached by Tawney Weir, the creative force behind Little Toro Designs, we were immediately inspired by her southwestern flair. This owner + maker + designer was looking for a place to not only showcase her product, but also Little Toro's modern desert aesthetic. 

As a business owner, there's nothing better than working with someone who is equally passionate about their craft. After our first short conversation, it was clear that Tawney's work was both inspired and sustained by the unique blend of cultures around her. 

Click the image to see the site live!

Click the image to see the site live!

Who Little Toro Is: Metalsmith jewelry handcrafted in Tucson, AZ. Inspired by the nature and culture of the southwestern desert.  

What They Needed: A clean + modern website that embodies Little Toro's desert chic style without distracting from the product. 

What We Delivered: A customized Squarespace site with e-commerce capabilities. By highlighting Little Toro's beautiful editorial photography (by Puspa Lohmeyer Photography) we were able to not only keep the product front and center, but also capture the essence of the brand.

The takeaway? When inspired editorial photography meets clean web design, e-commerce magic happens. 

If you feel like your website could use a refresh, get in touch -- we'd love to do a free assessment of your current website!

Client Spotlight: Reclaimed Lumber and Beams

Reclaimed Lumber and Beams is a fun client to work with because, quite frankly, I want to personally purchase almost everything they sell. Partnering with this business on social & design projects means looking through photo after photo of gorgeous, hand-crafted wooden furniture and home installations. 

Today's Client Spotlight is a look at the warm, visual social presence we've created for RLB. 

Who They Are: A North Carolina-based business with a big national footprint, integrating reclaimed wood/antique lumber from the Appalachian mountains into residential and commercial construction (think: everything from rustic mantles, doors and tables to barnwood siding and flooring). 

What They Needed: RLB draws clients from all over the U.S., so they needed social that could reach wide and convert to sales, while still maintaining a personal, small-business feel.

What We Delivered: The Reclaimed Lumber and Beams Facebook page  is warm, conversational, and heavy on photography -- giving potential customers a glimpse of the wide variety of projects RLB could create for their home, office, or venue. Q&As and behind-the-scenes content keep followers engaged, and links drive them back to the RLB website. This is retail, but it's not big-box -- projects are personalized and driven by the customer. Glimpses of previous projects get those ideas moving for soon-to-be clients.

The takeaway? Every business has a personality, and its social presence should match up with it. A cool, detached tone works for some businesses, but that's not the personality RLB needed to project online. 

What personality are you cultivating for your business or organization on social media? If you have questions, I'd love to talk.


Our Work: Comprehensive branding for CSDHH

I've been so excited for this particular post! It was tough to wait until the work was complete and ready to share.

Our Work: Comprehensive branding for CSDHH -- Hue & Tone Creative

I could keep leading up to it forever, so I'll cut myself off. Here's a look at the website and comprehensive branding we created for CSDHH, a fantastic nonprofit that -- as the acronym suggests -- provides communication services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. 

CSDHH just celebrated its 40th anniversary, but had never been branded -- so this was a true start-from-scratch situation, which was a fun challenge to take on. They wanted natural, earth-toned branding that didn't go straight for the obvious -- things like hands or ears. 

The solution: the repeating motif of keys, which represent with the right level of subtlety that this is an organization that's unlocking doors and breaking down barriers for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community. CSDHH's new tagline -- Opening Doors, Connecting People -- brings that theme full-circle. 

Our Work: Comprehensive branding for CSDHH -- Hue & Tone Creative

Now after 40 years of service to the community, CSDHH has clean, comprehensive branding that communicates, subtly but clearly, what they're about as an organization. That was a cool thing to be a part of -- and it was even better to get to know the people of CSDHH. My gratitude to them for allowing me to be a part of the process, and more than that, for all they do for this community!

If you have questions about your organization's branding, I'd love to talk. Email me at, or you can click the contact tab here.

Our Work: Creating Community Week (print and web)

I've mentioned our work for Revolution Mill, a historic redevelopment site in Greensboro offering office and event space, a restaurant and (soon) residential.  Here's a look at the print and web collateral we created for Creating Community Week, a series of events aimed at sharing the vision of Revolution Mill with the public.

Print and web collateral for Revolution Mill Creating Community Week -- Hue & Tone Creative

A few notes about the work: 

  • The design needed some visual and textual continuity, which is why we developed the seal-style logo you see here.
  • A consistent (but not rigid) color scheme of red and teal adds to the continuity between each piece.
  • The look here is consistent but not uniform, as the audience for each event varied -- from residents of the surrounding neighborhood to creatives/ad agencies to CEOs and community officials.

Let us know what you think! We'll be back tomorrow with a few links to end the week.