Octane Holiday Photoshoot: Octane’s 10th Year Countdown

Achievement unlocked! 🎮 October is a big deal for us as it hallmarks our 10th year in business. We’re ready to celebrate! Each week on the blog we’re sharing top projects that have mused us from the inside out.


Project Recap

After years of thinking of it, we decided to act on it. A content photoshoot was finally in the works highlighting vendors that I worked with pretty regularly over the past several months.

Concept

Our concept was pretty simple, a holiday themed photoshoot to push out all holiday long. My goal was to let the vendors really do what they wanted within the holiday realm.

To make it special we brought in a MUA and videographer to cover the day. From Octane, each vendor received a personal holiday letter and gifts under the Christmas tree from founder, Danielle Meadows-Stinnett.

This day was all about empowerment. Many of us felt in some way in our entrepreneur journey’s that “we can’t” whether by trial or circumstance. This styled shoot was meant to whisper to all of us that “we can”. And beyond this day, in our own way keep striving for our passions.

Here’s the FULL list of vendors that partook the styled shoot:

  • Hosted by: Octane Design Studios / @octanedesigns
  • Photography & Venue: Franzetti Photography / @m_franzetti
  • Make Up: Edomoni Young / @Amavi_Beauty
  • Place cards & Menus: Octane Designs Studios / @octanedesigns
  • Event styling: Passionate Event Designs / @passionateeventdesigns
  • Onsite Videography: Cre8tive Visions / @ei8hty_se7en
  • Ugly Sweater Workshop: Octane Design Studios / @octanedesigns
  • Youth Tents & Quilted Blankets: JRow Everything / @JRow_Everything
  • Gifted Lifestyle Subscription Box: @mochamavenbox
  • Gifted Bowties: Deez Bowties / @deezbowties
  • Gifted Caligraphy Quotes: Caylie Mindling / @cayligraphy
  • Catering: The Mousetrap / @mousetrap_ky
  • Lunch Sponsor: Scale Consulting / @scalefemale Signature
  • Hard Cider: ‘Almond Spice’, Pivot Brewing Co / @PivotBrewing

Unity Breakfast: Octane’s 10th Year Countdown

Achievement unlocked! 🎮 October is a big deal for us as it hallmarks our 10th year in business. We’re ready to celebrate! Each week on the blog we’re sharing top projects that have mused us from the inside out.


Project Recap

In 2017 & 2018 Octane won the bid to design and produce the city of Lexington’s annual Unity Breakfast honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and even produced by Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.

We loved the deeper core values that this project taught us about fellowship, community and allowing unity to happen organically in inspiration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Concept Branding

Each year the event committee of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity determines a theme and the entire production design is based up on that.

Octane hired a team of professionals to handle day of AV production and the Day of social media while all graphics were designed in house.

In 2018 Octane collaborated with SamanhattanPR & Unsung Hero Media in creating an impromptu photoshoot at Phoenix Park in downtown Lexington that was used as the initial event design of the 2018 Unity Breakfast.

Print Items

Items included: event logo, social media graphics, table numbers, event program, tickets and bookmark.

Social Media

Social media headers and graphics were created to release the theme and promote the day of event.

Audio Visuals

The biggest element you could see was the giant two screens used to share words to spirituals, introduce each speaker, showcase pre-recorded interview segments with award recipients.

We were also required to provide finished DVD copies of the production in its entirety.

Wild Hearts Fun Run Superhero 5K: Octane’s 10th Year Countdown

Achievement unlocked! 🎮 October is a big deal for us as it hallmarks our 10th year in business. We’re ready to celebrate! Each week on the blog we’re sharing top projects that have mused us from the inside out.


Project Recap

Congenital Heart Defects (CHD) is the #1 birth defect in America affecting 1 in 100 babies born daily. Babies a mere few days old undergo life altering open heart surgeries, some a moments after birth. More than half do not live to see there first birthday.

Kerrington’s Heart is a Kentucky based 501(c)3 that provides support to families affected by CHD. Their support to families range from: support groups for moms and dads, fuel accommodations to get to doctors appointments, care packages, room decorations and event fundraisers to help advocate awareness of CHD.

In 2013, Kerrington’s Heart sought a new way to fundraise for Kentucky families affected by congenital heart defects (CHD) by hosting a local fun run 5K event.

Its original location was at the former commonwealth stadium now renovated as Kroger Field. At that time, the fun run was the first of its kind as a sole fundraiser for Kentucky CHD families.

Concept Branding

The initial idea was to showcase this was about CHD and that the location was at an iconic place, Commonwealth Stadium.

The tricky question was: how do you showcase CHD? Several suggestions were round tabled and the idea of being a ‘wild heart’ floated around and stuck. These kids uniquely had a not so average heart, they were in fact wild hearts. The heart-line inside the heart helped visually showcase this was about special types of hearts.

A different direction

The event was a success with several hundred in attendance. Once Kerrington’s Heart decided to continue with this fundraiser, another concept was brought by the board of directions to do a themed 5K event. The board decided on a superhero theme.

We created an event logo that incorporated some the initial elements of original design but with pop typography to better translate the superhero theme. By oversight of the race director and board of directors the event would be themed a specific superhero each event for variety.

Print Items

This specific project had lots of timely moving parts specifically with printing. Items included: sponsor packet, race e-packet, race posters, race medals, race bibs, graphic banners and yard signs.

In 2019 the race expanded to both 5K and 10K with a kids super sprint and special CHD honorary kids run.

Link to packet: https://wildheartsfunrun.squarespace.com/race-epacket

Website & Social Media

Although the website was originally designed on wordpress in 2017 it was permanently switched to a Squarespace platform.

Social media graphics were created to welcome teams that signed up to fundraise toward the 5K.

In 2017 Octane created more visual elements to showcase all the elements of the 5K ranging from the run/walk to costumed cosplayers and the ‘Kids Metropolis’ playing area with sponsored tables for kid activities.

2017 website: www.wildheartsfunrun.com
2017 5K Race Promo

Apparel

The official race t-shirt changed each year per superhero theme.

Bluegrass Brawl: Octane’s 10th Year Countdown

Achievement unlocked! 🎮 October is a big deal for us as it hallmarks our 10th year in business. We’re ready to celebrate! Each week on the blog we’re sharing top projects that have mused us from the inside out.


Project Recap

In 2014, Octane was hired as a media guru for local entrepreneur and renown local tattoo artist and business owner Tommy Ray Cornett in a newly explored promotion venture in local amateur and professional MMA (mixed martial arts).

We were challenged as a small company to do more (tv, video, pr) with less. We stepped up to the challenge.

Concept Branding

While the logos were predesigned, the show itself was called Bluegrass Brawl and previously coined with the phrase “Brawl Y’all”. We incorporated that into branding hashtags. #BrawlYall #LetsBrawl

Initially Octane created the secondary marketing (emails, social media, etc.) following the lead cover design originally made by Tommy. Over time as the promotion grew, Octane began to cover the main artwork for each live show.

To look more like national chains like UFC and Belator MMA we curated its own fighter stats graphics for fans to share.

Programming (weigh-ins & special events)

Similar to wrestling, contestants must make a certain weight to able to compete. Weigh in’s are the official kick off to the actual bout happening the next night. Octane strategized lots of ways to maximize exposure of the unknown fighters to broader audiences.

We began adding Facebook Live streaming at weigh-ins only to creative incentive for fighters to interact with new audiences and fans.

In effort to include more local businesses we sought sponsored partnerships with restaurants and pubs as locations to promote upcoming shows and discounts of food /services.

As the ‘fight culture’ grew on us Octane continually found ways to create community amongst the fighters with accommodating hotels, meet & greets and post interview conferences with the champs.

View this post on Instagram

#Ale8 #BluegrassBrawl #SharetheLex #LexKY

A post shared by Bluegrass Brawl (@bluegrassbrawl) on

Website & Social Media

In 2014 Octane redesigned the promotion company website for sponsorships, Pay Per View’s and online ticket purchases. In addition to the website we continued specific graphics for social media communities through automation.

Videos & Pay Per Views

With consistent events happening at the Lexington Convention Center Octane assembled a media crew to cover the overall event but most importantly, the fighters bouts. Our first ever ‘Night of Champions’ was edited for Pay Per View release on YouTube.

In effort to expand the promotions business presence Octane curated its own ‘brawl talk’ of behind the scenes interviews with past and present fighters within the promotions company.

For the ‘Brawl for the Cure’ breast cancer event we interviewed and met with interviewed cancer survivors about there own fight in comparison to the battle in the cage.

Live Media Crew from left to right: AV assistant Patrick Camp, Videographers & Photographers Brandon Turner, Rob Morton, Quinton Braggs and Jeremiah Oschwald .
Very first promo for Bluegrass Brawl MMA
Podcast show “Brawl Talk’ with MMA fighter Ben Sergent
PPV Recap of Bluegrass Brawl 11
Bluegrass Brawl 14 Promo

Email Marketing

The Mixx Magazine: Octane’s 10th Year Countdown

Achievement unlocked! 🎮 October is a big deal for us as it hallmarks our 10th year in business. We’re ready to celebrate! Each week on the blog we’re sharing top projects that have mused us from the inside out.


Project Recap

In 2011, we met Nakia Coffman, founder of the Mixx Magazine, an up an coming indie hip hop publication paving foundations for writers and bloggers in the music and lifestyle industries.

Octane was hired to continue its streak of high end and contemporary layout and designs for its monthly turned quarterly publication.

Magazine Covers

The classic combo of bold with thin typeface was a big part or the brand strategy for the publication. The concept of “in between” became a coined phrase and tagline as it developed in marketing the magazine.

Layouts

This area felt strongest to us in not only giving the client what they wanted but having fun playing with the wild concept of space.

Website

As the publication grew in 2016, we strategized on meeting the online vs. print needs and was hired to help transition to an online publication. The design is still used today at www.themixxmagazine.com.

Media Kit

Our challenge was to take the vibrant energy that magazine was exuding in print and fuse into there initial media to create a consistent and cohesive branding.

Roots & Heritage: Octane’s 10th Year Countdown

Achievement unlocked! 🎮 October is a big deal for us as it hallmarks our 10th year in business. We’re ready to celebrate! Each week on the blog we’re sharing top projects that have mused us from the inside out.


Project Recap

In 2009, this project was one of the earliest things that showcased the full span of what Octane was capable of; creating community.

The Lexington Root and Heritage festival is a non-profit 501(c)3 honored and recognized by the Kentucky Tourism Council and listed as a top 20 event by the Southeast Tourism Society for over a decade. Curated by local community organizers in the 1980’s, the groups initiative is to celebrate the history and culture of the African American community. The 3 day festival includes 2 stages of entertainment, vendor booths, a kids area and gospel show.

Naming

While the traditional name of the event is the coined the ‘annual roots and heritage festival’ it was important in the branding process to include the modern generational reference: ‘roots’. This led to hashtag #RootsFestKY as the official hashtag for the organization and events allocating both the festival and location significance.

Concept Branding

The very first design was intended to rebrand as a festival logo. It was eventually used as the first t-shirt design we created. At that time the newly rebuilt and revitalized historic Lyric Theatre reopened and is a cornerstone both symbolically and physically in relation to the festival held in historic east side Lexington.

Apparel

Each year the concept or theme changed requiring us to ‘reimagine’ the festival design. Concepts ranging from iconic figures in Black culture to historical African symbols that translated to a deeper community message.

Website & Social Media

In 2009 the use of websites and social media was relatively new but becoming more and more common amongst this audience. Octane updated its website in 2009-10 and completely redesigned it 2012 while managing social media channels for the organization on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We partnered with local PR company @SamanhattanPR and local photographers to expand simultaneous coverage all day.

Audio Visuals

Each year the festival showcases an audio visual element consisting of a slideshow of sponsors, special thank you’s and advertisement of timeline of festival events. In 2014 Octane began adding a memoriam of iconic black community leaders that died within the year. In 2016 Octane elevated the presence with more video components.

Programming

In effort to help develop the programming efforts of the festival, we restructured and redesigned there sponsorship packet, helping to procure sponsorship and proposed including community building events like: Chess tournament, barber beauty competition and health and wellness expo.

Online MTG Creative Institute covers Canva Basics

Octane is driven by creating authentic spaces through its digital products and services.

Our monthly subscription group: MTG Creative Institute to help entrepreneurs curate new DIY digital marketing skills to elevate their business startup or small business.

Each month is a new topic with a library of live content & videos for you to watch later or right then. For September, we’ll cover Canva basics.

The group offers:

  • Exclusive deals and discounts on professional products Octane uses
  • Monthly live video tutorials on basic design skills (Mailchimp, Canva, Stock Images etc.) to help you thrive in your business
  • Exclusive work critiques and feedback sessions from Octane
  • Network and connect with other entrepreneurs across America
  • Access to our database of past e-learning videos

Enjoy a community of entrepreneurs looking to level up there business marketing on there on pace and level.

Octane launches monthly entrepreneurship group, MTG Creative Institute

Octane is driven by creating authentic spaces through its digital products and services.

We’re proud to announce our monthly subscription group to help entrepreneurs curate new DIY digital marketing skills to elevate their business startup or small business.

Each month is a new topic with a library of live content & videos for you to watch later or right then!

The group offers:

  • Exclusive deals and discounts on professional products Octane uses
  • Monthly live video tutorials on basic deign skills (Mailchimp, Canva, Stock Images etc.) to help you thrive in your business
  • Exclusive work critiques and feedback sessions from Octane
  • Network and connect with other entrepreneurs across America
  • Access to our database of past e-learning videos

Enjoy a community of entrepreneurs looking to level up there business marketing on there on pace and level.

Just for August; use the ‘back to school’ promotion tier to join for $20. (Normal price $25) Valid for August only! Join today!

Octane Launches eBook on Amazon Kindle

That’s Right! Octane has a book specifically on digital branding! 

“Building or rebuilding a business and unsure of your vision or marketing message? Have a business plan but can’t seem to make it come to life? Beginning your business startup and struggling with basic steps to hone in your business branding?

In this eBook, millennial entrepreneur, podcaster, and 10 year minority business owner Danielle Meadows-Stinnett details DIY branding basics for startups and small businesses to curate and fine-tune their brand.”


Why an eBook?

I get asked tons of questions about branding each day! This is the fastest way to share quick and easy steps on building your personal or business brand beyond what’s trending, like:

  • Finding your voice in branding
  • Starting your brand strategy
  • Techniques and mindsets for business growth

Reserve your copy with a pre-order right now! 

Ten things ‘to do’ to prep your social media for holiday marketing

The holidays are HERE! As business owners we strive to stay ahead of the game before shoppers get into the holiday spirit. Branding & marketing for the holidays is a full time job so Octane offers 10 things to do to prep your social media for the holidays:

Update Your Social Profiles

Make sure all your social mediums are updated with the latest branding and updated logo for the holidays.

Put Forth A Master Plan (posting schedule)

I often pre-schedule my posts based on basic timeframes for social media. I encourage you to take a full 30 minutes in the morning or evening to plan a full 7 to 10 days worth of posts. Set a weekly and monthly goal for yourself to balance your engagement with your clients.

For content, share quick tips, quick fixes , practical advice & testimonials for the holiday.

Have Online Support Info Ready

When I purchase something for my kids that doesn’t pan out, nothing is more infuriating to me then the lack of customer service to help fix my problem. Same applies to the basics of any good business that offers support online. Share a link, or have a button that leads to more detailed explanation of your service support.

Cool Tip: Can’t afford the fancy “online chat” feature? I love the use of the Facebook Chat option directly usable on your website. It’s connected me quickly to customers who have questions about products that usually leads to a same day sale.

Get Equipped with Your Social Tools

There’s so many amazing tools out there! Some of my fave tools I used this holiday season for Social Media are:

You may have others! Feel free to share!

Team up with an Influencer

You may or may not have enough time for this depending on what your product is for the holiday season. Its really important to me as a business built on the connection of other businesses to make room for collaborations during the holiday season.

For instance my family print + ship holiday cards include free sticker and coloring activity sheets for kids. These are designed by a local vendor / influencer that I politely emailed earlier that best works with my company values.

Advent Calendar Countdown

Countdowns are all the rave! When customers see they have limited time to do something, it can often push to a sale. Make every day feel special with some freebies or select discounts with each new day. Feature some of your fave products that keep your products / services top notch. Don’t forget to tag them in your social media posts!

Cool Tip: Celebrate the “12 days of Christmas” with exclusive coupons/ discounts or offer FREE shipping on select days of the week to increase days with lower sales.

Run a Customer Appreciation Coupon

The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is PERFECT for these moments! Take advantage of this the open window when people are most looking for deals.

If you’re selling goods online, use “Cyber Monday” as a way to get the extra sale. If you’re a physical storefront use creative marketing in person and across social media to get shoppers to you.

Create Social Media Only Discounts

This has grown a lot since it started years ago. Again creating incentives for people creates greater intention of them to use your product/ service.

Create Bundles

Make purchasing simple for customers by offering the freedom of choice in there shopping experiences. Do you create t-shirts AND socks? Offer them together!

Octane offers FREE blank white envelopes for all print + ship orders during the holidays because who needs to make a separate fun for envelopes?

Get Behind a Cause

I cannot encourage community enough! We ARE stronger together! Partner up with your local non-profit for #GivingTuesday or give a portion of your holiday sales to a program making impact where you are.  Here’s a few of our favorites:

At the End of the Day, You’re Not a Robot

Be yourself. If you’re not big, don’t fake it. If your super small, show your dedication to the craft making the BEST product / service. The more you give to people, the more they want to give back to you.
Be human to the people folks. You may be surprised by the return of human comfort it gifts you!