Why Startups Must Become Master Storytellers.

Today in the startup world, it's AI, VR, Automation, Blockchain, etc. Tomorrow it's... 

Rapid acceleration and planned obsolence make for an extremely competitive and crowded marketplace for any startup in Consumer Tech, FinTech, Lifestyle, eCommerce and more. 

So what's a startup to do? We have the simplest answer: Startups Must Become Master Storytellers. Remember those early days of sitting, listening and imagining the possibilities from hearing and seeing a great story? Well, for some, we've lost sight of that idea.

The best startup brands in the world (Airbnb, Warby ParkerRobinhood, etc.) have captalized on this idea and connected with new and emerging audiences by bringing them into a world of unimaginable possibiities. From early-late stage, Marketing, Product and Technology Teams within a funded and growing startup environment need to break through the boundaries of CX (Customer Experience) in new and innovative ways. Through meanignful and memorable content, design and digital storytelling experiences we're able to reach and resonate with our users and customers at the deepest level: opening up a whole new channel of engagement. 

Preparing for 2018, maybe it's time for your startup to add storytelling into your mix of strategies?

 

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The Wave Of Disruption.

The Wave Of Disruption.

Is your brand riding the wave of disruption? Or, is someone else?

Competition is everywhere in this day and age. Look around, and you see it. Regardless of industry or market, options are now more widely availble for consumers and users.

For your brand, competition isn't the enemy...it's disruption. Are you the disruptor, or are you being disrupted? What compelling reason (or reasons) are you giving them to connect with your brand, cross-channel? What story are you telling that matters, and why should it matter more than eveyone else in your space? Where is the wow factor, in form and function? Who will listen and care, and why will they spread this message to others who care? When will it happen (later is too late)?

As the age of digital continues to elevate and evolve, so will their expectations. Connective design pathways have to connect more, engage more, and entice more than ever before. Your tribe of users require you to step up and own the landscape: to give them more than one reason to invest in your product, service or brand, at every marketing or sales touchpoint.

Truth of the day: Become a disruptor, or be disrupted. What will your brand do?

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Moondog Optics selects RNO1 as new Digital Agency.

RNO1 has recently been selected as the new Digital Agency and team extension for Moondog Optics, supporting the established optical design company to scale through memorable design and digital strategies.

Moondoog Optics provides innovative optical design and consulting services for consumer and life science products, with an edge in VR/AR. Moondog is an independent company with roots from Eastman Kodak, Corning Precision Lens, and Jenoptik - pioneers of modern optical design and manufacturing.

"We're thrilled to be aligned with Moondog Optics as their digital strategists on the front-lines of technology and design channels", says RNO1 Agency Founder & CXO, Michael Gaizutis. "Working with their Leadership Team, we'll be helping their brand to scale across digital channels, bringing future-forward solutions to life across the optical design vertical".

For more information on RNO1 and Agency News follow rno1.com.

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Your Brand's Quest For Disrupting Digital.

Your brand is on a quest: a digital quest.

You're trying to find your place in this ever-changing technological landscape, amongst a sea of competition, rapidly morphing devices, and platforms that didn't exist...even yesterday.

In addition to the all current digital outlets to worry about, you then have...AI, VR, AR, etc. Your mind is boggled.

So, what is a brand to do? We subscribe to the idea that "You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf". Surf, my friend, and you will overcome all that is in your way. You will begin to ride the brand wave

The disruptors out there (we all know who they are in different industries) don't accept their fate, they create it: and surf. They seek and set out to embrace all digital outlets that can propel their mission and culture forward as a brand. It's this shift, ebb and flow that allows them to thrive. 

Faced with too many challenges, the best brands adapt and overcome. Too many brands aren't focused on the future, which truly is the present as it relates to digital. They're complacent and used to what has always worked, thinking it will continue to work as it once has...until now. Until now, everything was easy, or easier. We used to be able to simply advertise and get calls or purchases. Now, we have to connect...connect or cease to exist.

Which will it be for your brand?

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How To Delight (By Design).

It's not an accident when brands make us feel delight. It's done by design.

Whether your brand is a funded startup disrupting SaaS or the world of eCommerce, a growing lifestyle company appealing to millenials or beach-goers, a mid-sized company or enterprise B2B company working to fundamentally change the world...it makes no difference. We have to delight, now more than ever, in every industry and at every possible turn.

On your brand's epic journey to FILL IN THE BLANK here are the top 10 ways to drive delight:

  1. Connection first, then conversion.
  2. Create a compelling story (visual and verbal).
  3. Lead with different and disruptive.
  4. Be emotional and experiential.
  5. Give them what they crave (not need).
  6. Be meaningful and memorable.
  7. Always authentic and audacious.
  8. Think bold movements instead of trends.
  9. Humanize and harmonize your strategies.
  10. Go beyond your brand: have purpose and passion.

 

Ready for your brand to starting making waves? Ride with us.

 

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Logis9 partners with RNO1 as new UX Design Agency.

RNO1 has recently been brought on as the new UX Design Agency and team extension for Logis9, supporting the newly established SaaS startup to scale within the logistics industry, disrupting it through technology and design.

Logis9 is a tech-enabled, non-asset based 3PL, based in California. We focus on client-centered solutions and professional handling of our client’s logistic needs. Logis9 designs custom transportation solutions to suit today’s tech savvy marketplace with complete visibility of all your transportation needs. Our industry professionals have over 75 years of experience. Logis9 goal is to make it easy to move your freight with next level automation, saving time and money.

"We're excited to team up with Logis9 as a newly emerged SaaS startup", says RNO1 Agency Founder & CXO, Michael Gaizutis. "It's not every day you can fundamentally disrupt a long-standing legacy industry (...like logistics). Working with the Founding Team, we'll be mapping out design solutions between teams that help this brand to scale, aligned with their business mission".

For more information on RNO1 and Agency News follow rno1.com.

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Agency Spotter ranks RNO1 as Top 20 Branding Agency.

Agency Spotter is reinventing how brands find and work with creative agencies, design firms and many other marketing service providers.

Recently, RNO1 was ranked as a Top 20 Branding Agency when evaluated against 2,000 branding agencies and design firms. RNO1 ranked #3 on the Top 20 Branding Agencies listed.

"The top branding agencies quarterly report evaluates almost 2,000 branding agencies and design firms based on their credentials, focus and expertise in branding, client feedback, and project work. This report is focused on those who specialize in branding, brand identity, naming, and brand standards. .."

RNO1's Founder Michael Gaizutis said, "We're thrilled to be included in this Branding Agency Report from Agency Spotter: it supports and validates the brilliant Client Partners we work alongside (startups, lifestyle, eCommerce and enterprise brands), and the breakthrough solutions we provide between our teams, as a go-to Brand Agency Partner."

Be sure to follow rno1.com and @livethebrand for ongoing Agency News fueling the disruption in the design and digital landscape.

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RNO1 Shortlisted As Top 20 Digital Agency.

Agency Spotter is reinventing how brands find and work with creative & digital agencies, design firms and many other marketing service providers.

Recently, RNO1 was ranked in the Top 20 Digital Agencies Report when evaluated against more than 4,500 digital agencies. RNO1 ranked #5 on the Top 20 Digital Agencies listed.

"The top digital agencies quarterly report evaluates more than 4,500 digital agencies based on Agency Spotter's proprietary research methodology. This report takes a broad look at digital agencies, including digital strategy, marketing automation, web, mobile, e-commerce, social media, content marketing, email marketing, inbound marketing, CRM automation, search (SEO and SEM), and gaming..."

RNO1's Founder & CXO Michael Gaizutis said, "We're thrilled to be included in this Digital Agency Report from Agency Spotter: it supports and further validates the brilliant Client Partners we work alongside (including: funded startups, eCommerce, lifestlye, enterprise brands), and the breakthrough solutions we craft & create between our teams, as a go-to Digital Agency Partner."

Ready to Make Waves? Be sure to visit our newly launched agency website and follow @livethebrand for ongoing Agency News fueling the disruption in the design and digital landscape.

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The Non-Vendor Agency (You Needed Yesterday).

We've heard that name before...and even been called it, unfortunately (many years ago). That name that makes you feel like an outsider, working alongside (not with) Marketing, Product and Founding Teams.

Yes...that name. Vendor. Doesn't it make you cringe?

In the world of brand strategy and digital experience design, no one needs a vendor, but rather a true partner and team extension. At least we think so.

A Vendor by definition is: a person or company offering something for sale. A Partner by definiton is: a person who takes part in an undertaking with another or others, especially in a business or company with shared risks and profits.

When we get approached by well-rounded Marketing Teams, Product Teams or Startup Founders, we're charged with making strategic decisions that drive meaningful and memorable solutions for our Client Partners. That's right, we said it...Partners. We're a part of their core team, and true extension. We're a piece of the puzzle. We're a void in their current structure. Together, we can make waves.

So if and when you're ready to take the next step and find that Non-Vendor Agency (the one you needed yesterday), we're always within reach and ready to join forces. In the meantime, feel free to learn more about what gets us up in the morning, each and every day, and why we love what we do fueling the growth of game-changing brands of all shapes and sizes.

We're stoked to hear from you soon.

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Introducing the New RNO1 Agency Website.

Together, we can make waves. Meet the New RNO1.

Today, we’re excited to announce the launch of our new agency website, focused on a storytelling experience of who we are and why it matters. We’ve simplified our visual language, and worked to highlight some of our incredible experiences aligning with founders, product and marketing teams — as West Coast Brandmakers.

We've been grinding for 10+ years...

Over time, we’ve since grown to become an award-winning brand strategy and digital design agency with a brilliant team fueled to craft and create delightful and disruptive experiences. You’ll now find us aligning with game­-changing startups, lifestyle and eCommerce companies — to larger enterprise brands, worldwide.

We’ve redesigned our agency website to better serve our client partners with a simplified visual story and fluid UX pathway to how we approach brand, design and digital experiences. Since we're futurists, we're already looking ahead for how we can fuel growth for forward-thinking brands of all shapes and sizes.

Feel free to puruse through some of our Featured Work & Case Studies that support where we're headed as a west coast brand strategy & digital design agency.

We're stoked for you to take a look.

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RNO1 Recognized as Top Full-Service Agency in San Francisco.

At RNO1, we view ourselves as an extension of our client’s internal team. We pride ourselves on being able to offer the full suite of digital services in order to complete any of our client’s online needs. Great design and a well-rounded group of talented individuals are the cornerstones of our success. Our Fluid Movement approach allows us to adapt our strategies to your specific brand as the digital marketplace changes.

While we have realized that full-service agencies seem to popping up more and more often, we know how important it is to stand out among our peers. That is why we are especially thrilled to announce that we have been recently ranked as a leading full-service San Francisco agency by Clutch. Clutch is a ratings and reviews platform that uses a unique methodology in order to rank IT service firms, including digital agencies. 

In order to make the list of top SF full-service agencies, Clutch weighed a number of different factors, including; services provided, online presence, and reviews from past and current clients. Below, we’ve put a brief snapshot of what just one client has had to say about our work:

We are extremely humbled by our inclusion on this list, and can’t wait to see what the rest of 2017 has in store for us and our clients.  Want to read all of our great client reviews, and check out our online profile? Come to our Clutch.co page!

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Tribe Talking.

Tribe Talking.

Is your brand’s Tribe Talking? (Tribe = who your brand wants to reach out to, and who responds back to your brand).

  • What are ‘they’ (your tribe) saying about your brand, company, product, service, etc?
  • Who are ‘they’ sharing the conversation with and around?
  • Is ‘it’ (what they’re talking about) worth sharing and spreading?
  • Is ‘it’ connective and contagious?
  • Do ‘they’ feel empowered and enlightened: disrupted and delighted, at every touchpoint?
  • Is 'it' (the brand story) different and desirable?

If ‘they’re’ not already talking (or not talking enough) it might be time to re-tool and re-invent.

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The business of…emotion.

It's not what they think...it's how they feel.

When we craft visual stories, brand messages, and digital strategies that reach ‘them’ (your tribe) on an emotional level, something changes. We shift and shape the way someone rationalizes.

We take things back to a fundamental level, where choice is more obvious (and our gut reactions kick in). It becomes the business of emotion: for your brand, product, or service.

It (emotion) is more powerful and purposeful than any other Marketing strategy deployed, so why not lead with it? The end result is a fulfilled customer, user, and loyalist, ready to share their feelings about your business and brand.

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RNO1 Launches FORMATION: New Marketing Program

Recently, RNO1 launched a new Marketing Program tailored to growing startups, lifestyle and enterprise brands called FORMATION.

“FORMATION is a vehicle for our team to gain a better understanding of who a client’s brand is and why it matters, then take quick action steps to understand how that can translate into design and digital deliverables that delight,” says Michael Gaizutis, Founder and CXO of RNO1. “The key to our success is constant collaboration and sequential strategy to yield the best outcomes. At the end of the day, we want to add value where value is needed. It’s how we all win.”

Interested in learning more about FORMATION? Click here for the full FORMATION Press Release on Newswire, appearing nationwide across prominent online business networks.

Be sure to follow rno1.com and @livethebrand for ongoing Agency News fueling the disruption in the design and digital landscape.

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Be Intelligent. Brand Intuitive.

Be Intelligent. 

Have your brand, organization, and team understand why and how you will bring something to market (e.g., a new idea, product, service). Who will listen and care? Is it the right time? Does it drive delight and radically differentiate? Validate it, over and over. Test it, and then (after Step 2) implement. This is an intelligent path.

Brand Intuitive.

After you’ve compiled all the data, research, and findings, always trust your gut reaction (your perception of the marketplace, where it is today and where it’s going), before actually bringing anything and everything to market. Many times it’s this intuitive response that can make or break the future of your brand. Always trust your inner voice, and the path that you feel is right.

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RNO1 Founder Featured as Expert on DIY Web Builders.

In a recent study of DIY web builders and their users, Michael Gaizutis participated as an industry expert to offer his thoughts and opinions on the web builder market. As the Founder and CXO of RNO1, he has a wealth of knowledge about web design and its significance for those looking to create a strong and effective website, particularly for business use.

Clutch, a B2B research and reviews platform for businesses in the IT space, gathered responses from 307 individuals who have created a website using a do-it-yourself (DIY) web builder such as Wix, Squarespace, Weebly, and more. 

The intent of the survey was to shed light on a few of the most pertinent topics about the DIY web builder market. Clutch also looked to Gaizutis to provide insight on his own experience with web builders and how he believes they serve business needs – to an extent. 

1. The Typical Users of DIY Web Builders

Nearly half (53%) of survey respondents said they have an intermediate familiarity level with website builders, meaning they can set up a website on their own, including some advanced features.

“The survey findings definitely run parallel with what we see with many active users that are leveraging the DIY web building platforms, from individuals who are basic users all the way to more advanced users. It’s always good to see what is happening in the market place in terms of audience types, personas, and types of users in the way they’re leveraging these technology platforms.” – Michael Gaizutis

2. Websites Built Using DIY Web Builders

Over 40% of web builder users are building websites for business purposes. 

“Most of the clients we work with as a brand and digital agency here at RNO1 are leaning on us for a business interest, primarily. All of the work we do for businesses, whether they’re startups, mid-sized or an enterprise brand, is about helping them to grow in scale, to increase their reach across their user and customer base, and ultimately boost revenue.” – Michael Gaizutis

3. Complexity of Websites Built Using DIY Tools

Websites built for business purposes are typically more complex. 46% of users with a business website integrate five or more tools with their websites with the intent to generate interactions and conversions with potential customers.

“Business websites are not always lean, clean and connective, but instead, they are more complex. The design work that goes into these types of websites is really about understanding who our users are so we can delve into more information about the brand and their audience. Our goal is to help those brands and businesses to boost revenue and really increase their bottom line.” – Michael Gaizutis

4. How DIY Web Builders Serve Business Needs

While DIY website builders provide the tools to produce clean and high-quality websites, a more complex and business-oriented website may require an alternative solution.

Squarespace is a wonderful technology platform, and we leverage the power of Squarespace to build elegant and seamless marketing websites. Beyond those simple e-commerce website experiences, we would look to something like WordPress or Drupal for more advanced builds.” – Michael Gaizutis

Especially for websites focused on e-commerce, the implementation of advanced features may require assistance from a design expert.

“Depending on the platform, there can be limitations, but working with an agency like ours, at RNO1, we’re able to really help our clients leverage and access the most opportunities for growth.” – Michael Gaizutis

More insight from RNO1's Founder, Michael Gaizutis, can be found in Clutch’s full research on DIY web builders: https://clutch.co/website-builders/resources/web-builders-survey

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Agency Spotter ranks RNO1 as Top 20 Digital Agency.

Agency Spotter is reinventing how brands find and work with creative agencies, design firms and many other marketing service providers.

Recently, RNO1 was ranked as a Top 20 Digital Marketing Agency when evaluated against more than 4,500 global agencies. RNO1 ranked #6 out of Top 20 Digital Marketing Agencies listed.

"The top digital agencies quarterly report evaluates more than 4,500 digital agencies based on Agency Spotter's proprietary research methodology. This report takes a broad look at digital agencies, including digital strategy, marketing automation, web, mobile, e-commerce, social media, content marketing, email marketing, inbound marketing, CRM automation, search (SEO and SEM), and gaming..."

RNO1's Founder Michael Gaizutis said, "We're thrilled to be included on this list from Agency Spotter: it supports and validates the brilliant Client Partners we work alongside (startups, lifestyle, enterprise brands), and the breakthrough solutions we provide between our teams, as a go-to Digital Marketing Agency Partner."

Be sure to follow rno1.com and @livethebrand for ongoing Agency News fueling the disruption in the design and digital landscape.

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Super Bowl 2017: Game Day to Game Changing.

Football... Fun... Fans...

RNO1’s Agency Founder + CXO, Michael Gaizutis, recently took the digital stage in a collaboration with AdForum (the best and largest global advertising agency directory & creative library) to speak around Super Bowl 2017 and its ties to Squarespace (a thriving Technology Platform).

In his recent article, Michael highlights "the key difference in today’s Super Bowl vs. prior years, is the rapidity of change and accessibility to technology outlets. Information is everywhere, so driving an emotional connection is hyper-critical to a brand's success, especially during the Super Bowl." You can tap into the Full Article on AdForum to hear more insights on Super Bowl 2017 from an Agency's perspective, and where the strongest emotional bonds are forged between advertiser and audience.

Be sure to follow @livethebrand on Twitter during the Super Bowl for live tweeting around the hottest trends and movements from this year's Ad Spots and Campaigns.

So, grab a seat. It's (almost) game time.

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RNO1 ranked top SEO Firm in Seattle.

We’re excited to announce that RNO1 has recently been named a Top Seattle SEO Firm by Clutch, a Washington, DC-based research firm. RNO1 is also listed on Clutch as a Top Seattle Digital Agency.

Clutch first reached out to agencies in the Seattle Area with a proven record of delivering breakthrough SEO and Digital Marketing strategies. Clutch analysts thoroughly examined these companies based on various factors such as case studies, notable clients, and industry awards and recognition. Most importantly, Clutch analysts conducted in-depth interviews with some of our valued clients. Their positive feedback was very humbling. 

The west coast is known for innovation, from SoCal to Silicon Valley, but let's definitely not forget Seattle. We’re proud to say that not only are we a part of this innovation, we absolutely excel at it! RNO1 was recently included in a select list of top SEO agencies in the Seattle/Portland area by Clutch, a business-to-business (B2B) market research firm based in Washington, D.C.

With so many options out there these days, it can be tough for marketers to decide which companies really deliver. That’s where Clutch’s research comes in. Using a proprietary methodology that incorporates a dozen qualitative and quantitative criteria, Clutch identifies and evaluates top digital marketing firms around the globe.

Part of their intensive review includes one-on-one interviews with clients. Our client input played a big part in helping us land a spot among the top SEO firms. One of them, an independent record label, said: “We found RNO1 to be extremely responsive and exceptional at communicating. They were very creative, and my whole team was very happy with their work.”

Another client, a biotechnology company, said: “I felt like I was really their only client the whole time, and we weren’t. They also really seem like they enjoy what they’re doing, and it reflects in their work.”

We’ve enjoyed what we’re doing since 2008, serving key clients like Microsoft, Airbnb, Ericsson, and more over the years.

RNO1 is honored to be recognized among the leading Seattle SEO Firms that deliver unparalleled results for Client Partners of all sizes. Check out Clutch to see RNO1’s profile with full-length reviews and learn more about how we were evaluated.

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Companies, no more: Design Companies.

It’s 2017: Wearable Tech, Surface Computing, Mood Changing Walls, Self-Driving Cars…yeah, they exist. In this ‘Back to the Future-esque world’ we now live in, finally, finally, companies and brands are gravitating to the idea that their customers, users, partners, etc. don’t just crave great design: they expect it.

We stumbled on an article from FastCompany Design worth sharing (citing John Maeda, design partner at the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers) that noted “…designers are now hired at a rate of one to four compared to engineers at tech startups…”, when speaking to the rise of design in Silicon Valley. They go on to say “…to achieve great design, you need great business thinking/doing—to effectively invest in design—and you need great engineering—to achieve unflagging performance…”.

This isn’t just a trend, but instead, a movement and fundamental shift in business thinking. Architecting and building a stellar product and service, website or app is only half the battle. We need to reach and resonate with “them”, tapping into the emotional layer of our target audience at every possible touchpoint, driving a holistic brand experience.

When will your brand get on board … leading with design to delight?

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