6 ways to ‘own’ your return to work

It’s that time of year when we say goodbye to holidays and hello to a new working year! Here’s our guide on how to shake off the holiday blues and ‘own’ your return to work.

  1. But first, coffee. Need we say more? This instant energy boost not only tastes delicious, but research shows that drinking coffee boasts a list of health benefits that will keep you strong and healthy all year long.
  2. Read, read and read some more. Get up to date with the hottest trends of 2018 by reading your way through every blog, Instagram feed, magazine and newspaper to ensure you’re filled with fresh pitching ammunition.
  3. #GoalDigger: It’s time to get serious, revisit previous goals and set daily, weekly and monthly goals so you can ensure you’re on the right path from day one.
  4. New year, new stationery. What’s more motivating than starting the year with a fresh selection of clean, untouched workbooks.  Not only do you begin the year with a clean slate, it’s the perfect way to get organised and plan for what lies ahead.
  5. Music therapy. Studies show that a killer playlist can play a major role in enhancing your mood. It has even been known to boost happiness and reduce anxiety.  There’s nothing like a ‘pop hits playlist of 2012’ to get you pumped for a big week ahead.
  6. Drop a line. Spend your first week back re-establishing contact with your beloved media contacts. Who doesn’t love a cheerful “HNY!” email first day back?!

We’d love to hear your top tips for smashing the first week back at work. Good playlist suggestions are especially welcome!

Best of 2017

And just like that, another year is done and dusted! What an incredible year 2017 has been in littleBIG land. We’ve loved working with our clients to achieve some huge goals, and celebrated some wonderful milestones, including our very own 10-year anniversary (congratulations Sal and Rich!).

We’ve had so much fun working with old and new clients on clever campaigns, hosted some fab events and launched some awesome new products, whilst introducing a bunch of new faces to our ever-growing family (including baby Bennett).

We’re grateful to all the amazing people we are lucky enough to work with to make the magic happen and thank you for your support.

From everyone at littleBIG we’d like to wish you a very merry (and over-indulgent) Christmas and a happy New Year.

As we close out this year, we reflect on some of our favourite moments of 2017:

Getting Social
Yes, we’re a social bunch here at littleBIG but this year we’ve gone next level – and I’m talking about social media. Social media is an integral part of any marketing strategy and this year we’ve focused on growing our social expertise in this ever-evolving channel to ensure we can provide our clients with compelling content and maximum ROI. We’ve implemented new processes and are proud to see the value this is delivering across our 13 (!) social media clients. We’re also continuing to build our strengths in the world of influencer marketing; seeing consumers rush to Big W to get their hands on the super fun Creativity for Kids Australia craft kits. The successful seeding campaign saw the likes of Pixie & Hunter Curtis share their craft creations and the brand’s followers grow overnight.

Creating Content

A key challenge in this social age is keeping your audience engaged with good content (without spending a fortune). We’ve had a ball working with some brilliant partners to create an epic amount of content (over 75 videos!) with stills and video shoots for POL, Australian Blueberry Growers Association, Workwear Group, Moments, Preston Market and more.

Building Brands

One of the key strengths of our team (if we do say so ourselves) is our ability to act as a one-stop-shop or outsourced marketing partner. We’ve loved being able create brands from strategy to implementation across all channels for amazing partners like Winemakers of Rutherglen and Australian Blueberry Growers Association. One of our highlights of the year was creating a condom brand. It’s been thrilling to develop a strategy to build Australia’s first condom brand aimed at empowering and supporting women; and then to execute all elements from packaging to website, to PR.

Sharing Fashion

We have our own style icon in the office (YASSSSS JP!) but we are also privileged to work with some of the greats in Australian fashion. This year we’ve had the pleasure of seeing one of our very own clients, Hoodedwept debut at Paris Fashion Week; showcased the brilliance of Felicity Cooney’s sophomore summer collection; supported amazing new start-up Closet Raid with their socials; helped get Daniel Wellington on the wrists of some of Australia’s leading fashionistas (including, yep JP); worked with some of Australia’s most high powered influencers and fashion media legends to show of Skechers’ awesome styles; and executed a high end editorial series of catalogues featuring over 400 products for the Workwear Group. We’re also super excited to be working on an Australian first for Dr. Martens… hush hush, but stay tuned in early 2018…

Celebrating with events, good food and good wine.

It’s no secret that the littleBIG team loves a good event and is crazy for good food and wine. Lucky for us, that’s our job and this year we’ve been celebrating up a storm with Moments’ fabulous launch event; Skechers store openings, influencer events and the big 25th Birthday; a huge 70th birthday party for Australian icon Wizz Fizz at Holey Moley, plus behind the scenes tours for the likes of the Today Show, Channel 7 and The Age; the biggest year yet, cracking 1 million visitors for the iconic Queen Vic Night Markets; and the transformation of a Melbourne laneway to a 3 day pop up cellar door event “Rutherglen in the City”, bringing all the magic of the Winemakers of Rutherglen to the Melbourne.

Growing our littleBIG family

On a littleBIG note, we’ve gained some incredible new team members (most notably Bennett William Harley) and celebrated 10 fabulous years.

Thanks again to all for your contribution, and we look forward to more amazing things in 2018.

The littleBIG guide to wellbeing at work

It’s the busiest time of year with Christmas parties, social gatherings, concerts, night markets, and plenty more. We are all trying to fit everything in and DO IT ALL. Our health can take the back-burner and saying ‘yes’ to some things may mean pushing other things down our priority list. Sadly, one of the first things we tend to sacrifice is our own physical and mental health.

We’ve got a list together of tips to stay on top of your health this silly season!

  1. Wake up and move your body – Laura Vanderkam, author of “What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast”, interviewed and studied the behaviours of CEOs for years before writing her book. She explains prioritising your morning and the way you start your day has a direct correlation to how successful you are at work. If you are a procrastinator, waking up and doing exercise will not only get the workout done early but it will also boost serotonin levels in the brain, increasing your mood and let’s face it, making you a happier, nicer colleague to be around! Hallelujah!
  2. Eat a healthy breakfast – Unfortunately, this is a huge one for most busy professionals. You get to work, the phone rings, your meeting arrives early, you’ve got 100 unread emails, you fed the kids, but you forgot to eat yourself! This is setting you up to make bad food choices because your blood sugar levels will drop and before you know it, you are craving and reaching for that processed sugar snack or that caffeine fix to satiate you until lunch.
  3. Have a water jug at your desk – If you are in an office with heating or air conditioning then it is easy to get dehydrated. If you have a jug at your desk, you will be reminded to drink water throughout your day.
  4. Be mindful at work – Mono-tasking is the new multi-tasking. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with workload so before you open ten tabs on your desktop, write a list and prioritise your tasks. If you work mindfully on one task at a time, you are going to work smarter not harder. You won’t have to check over the mistakes you’ve made so you’ll take half the time.
  5. Check yourself before you wreck yourself – Self awareness is the key when it comes to working in teams. Your attitude and behaviour will always affect those around you. Do you ever have a feeling or get a vibe when you meet someone without them saying one word? If you need to take a break or have five minutes in peace, go for a walk, have a coffee, or even chat to a colleague about how you are actually feeling. It helps to ride the waves of those emotions with supportive people around you – and be honest about it, suppressing will only make it worse.
  6. Let it go – Nobody is perfect and if someone annoys you or does something that you don’t agree with, talk about it with them directly and then move on. Don’t waste extended time and energy on things you don’t need to. We are all guilty of creating an elaborate story in our head and holding onto negative feelings.
  7. Take regular breaks throughout your work day – There is plenty of research now that proves productivity comes in bursts. The Pomodoro Technique is one method that enables you to learn to work with time and not against it. The aim is to focus while the timer is on, then you are rewarded with a break where you can snack, get a cup of tea or coffee, or just a bit of fresh air outside.

These tips, along with choosing real and wholesome food, scheduling in regular workouts, putting yourself first when it comes to health, and just learning to say no, are absolutely essential to being the healthiest and happiest human you can be. It’s time to make this December a good one by getting ahead of those New Year’s resolutions!

 

 

littleBIG guide to influencer seeding

I’m sure we can all appreciate the power of social media in the 21st century. When it comes to public relations and marketing, the likes of Instagram, Facebook and YouTube (among other platforms) play a massive role in brand awareness and can even translate to sales. The statistics speak for themselves – 71% of us are more likely to make a purchase based on a social media reference.

While it’s important for brands to have their own presence on social media, a great way to gain even more exposure is to get products into the hands of social media influencers.

Over the last few years social media influencing has become a booming, multi-billion-dollar industry. This year alone, a Medikix study estimates that total spend on Instagram influencers has exceeded $1 billion. This amount is expected to double by 2019, so, if you think you have what it takes to influence the masses, now might be a pretty great time to jump on the influencer band-wagon.

Here in littleBIG land we’ve been busy bees working on our latest influencer seeding campaign for Creativity for Kids Australia (CFK).

Based on our experiences, here’s our top seeding tips to make the most of an influencer seeding campaign:

Know who you’re trying to reach

Influencers have the potential to tap into enormous audiences – 800 million monthly active users on Instagram, 2 billion on Facebook, and 1 billion on YouTube. However, when engaging with influencers it’s important to keep in mind who you’re trying to reach, and to select relevant influencers who speak to that audience.

In preparation for our CFK influencer seeding campaign we hand-picked 50 high-reach influencers with strong audience engagement across both parenting and craft, with the hopes of reaching parents with purchasing power, and kids (young and old) with an interest in getting creative.

Choose the right items to accompany your product

Pack your seeding boxes full of goodies to heighten your chances of gaining exposure across influencer channels (remember, if you’re using a contra approach the recipient isn’t obligated to post).

When selecting additional products to send, think about the influencer’s experience upon opening the package. Consider: What do you want them to do, think, or feel? What do you want their social post to look like?

Use a personalised approach

When it comes to gifting it really is the thought that counts. Know who your influencers are and tailor each gift to the individual recipient. In our approach for CFK, we read up on our influencers to ensure that we selected the right craft kit for their child in terms of age and gender. A personalised note is always a nice touch, too!

Stay tuned for updates on the outcomes of our Creativity for Kids Australia influencer seeding approach!

STAFF UPDATE: Meet the newbies at littleBIG

With so many exciting new clients joining our littleBIG family of late, our team has expanded! We have added two new faces to the littleBIG crew in recent times – Talia, taking on the role of Social Media Manager, and Steph, our new Account Director.

Help us welcome the new littleBIGsters on board and learn all about them below.

Talia Schirippa – Social Media Manager

Highlight of 2017 so far?
Travel! I started the year living in Berlin, then camped around the Australian Outback. Now I’m back home.

Something you can’t live without?
My friends, music, my best cat friend Dizzy (9 years old), escaping the city on the weekend.

Favourite place to eat?
My nonna and nonno’s house!

What do you do when you’re not working?
I’m always with friends, playing/listening/watching music, hanging with my boyfriend and using Pinterest.

What are you passionate about?
Music, friends, family, having a good time and always trying to be the best version of me.

 

Steph Ridley – Account Director

Highlight of 2017 so far?
Spending two weeks exploring NYC. It is the most amazing place!

Something you can’t live without?
My phone! Between being a social media junkie, keeping up-to-date with the latest news and touching base with my friends and family, my phone is never too far out of reach.

Favourite place to eat?
You never need to go far for great food in Melbourne, but Mr Miyagi on Chapel Street and San Telmo in the CBD are my absolute favourites – I am obsessed!

What do you do when you’re not working?
I love to keep active through running, pilates and yoga.

What are you passionate about?
Taking time out to enjoy the little things – whether it’s a trip to the beach, a jog on a nice sunny afternoon or discovering the ultimate espresso martini.

What’s your brand positioning and why do you need one?

This post was written by littleBIG Marketing Strategist Kate Thompson, a superstar when it comes to summing up what a business needs at the brand, strategic and tactical levels. 

You may have noticed marketers love a bit of jargon (I can hear our Creative Director’s eyes rolling here). There’s your brand identity, brand essence, your benefit ladder, your USP, your TOV. And if you’ve ever Googled any of these terms after a meeting with a passionate marketer you will see each one has a myriad of definitions! It can be overwhelming.

Here at littleBIG we like to keep things simple, but effective. A key place to start when building your brand is identifying your brand positioning. So what exactly is that?

Put simply, “brand positioning” is the process of positioning your brand in the mind of consumers.

Who you are, what you do, who you do it for and why it is better, special and different. You could think of it like an elevator pitch to answer “why is your brand different from the others and why is it the best choice for the customer?”.

More than ever, consumers are bombarded with advertising messages and a host of brands to choose from. Since most of your competitors probably offer similar products and services, to truly stand out you need to consistently deliver a positive, memorable experience each and every time consumers think of or interact with your brand (from your Facebook page and recruitment to answering the phone and advertising). Your brand positioning is the tool with which to do this.

Not to be confused with a tagline (which is a customer facing expression of your brand), brand positioning will help you and your team make the right marketing and operating decisions for your business – drive your marketing strategy, determine customer messages, keep communications focused and consistent and ultimately leave a long lasting positive, credible impression on customers. Your brand positioning is the key pillar of every communication.

Let’s look at some world famous examples:
• Target: Style on a budget.
• Volvo: For upscale American families, Volvo is the family automobile that offers maximum safety.
• Home Depot: The hardware department store for do‑it‑yourselfers.

And their taglines:
• Target: Expect more. Pay less.
• Volvo: For life.
• Home Depot: You can do it. We can help.

Don’t make the mistake of trying to come up with brand positioning on your own! To do this effectively, you need to discuss your brand with your employee, customers, and other stakeholders, and do robust research on your competitors.

Closer to home, the littleBIG team have worked some wonderful brands like Winemakers of Rutherglen, Absolute Care & Health, Preston Market and Australian Blueberries to develop their brand positioning.

We like to work through the brand’s objectives, offering, target audience, competitors, brand pyramid, essence and unique selling proposition in an informal, collaborative workshop. Our team then do further research and distill this into a simple, clear document that outlines the brand story, essence, key messages, tone of voice and unique selling proposition.

This will set the tone for all communications going forward so that all key stakeholders have a clear understanding of what is required to successfully communicate the brand to consumers/market.

It can seem overwhelming to try and develop a brand positioning. But actually, once you have that clarity it will simplify and provide certainty to your marketing decision making. Without certainty, you default to the status quo. To actively position your brand means you have to stand for something. Only then are you truly on your way to owning your very own position in the mind of your customer.

Staff update: Welcome to our newest littleBIG babes

Times are a changin’ in the littleBIG office. Steph and Rhi have moved on to their next big career and life adventures and Kris is about to embark on her London move. Not all sad news though as we’ve welcomed a few absolute legends to our family, adding to the wealth of knowledge and experience we already have in the team.

Introducing Darinka, Nevada, Georgie and Penny. Get to know a bit about them below.

Darinka Hrkalovic – PR & Marketing Assistant

Something you can’t live without? 
My phone! I am constantly checking social media feeds and reading news bits from different media outlets.

Favourite place to eat? 
La Camera on Southbank – it is my favourite spot for authentic Italian food.

What are you passionate about? 
Fashion – I see it as a way of expressing yourself. You will always catch me reading fashion blogs and magazines and checking out street style all over the world.

Nevada Fontana – Marketing & PR Coordinator

Highlight of 2017 so far…
The highlight of 2017 without doubt would have to be my move from quiet Perth to the (super cold) hustle and bustle of Melbourne.

Oh and joining the amazing team at littleBIG of course.

Favourite place to eat?
I have a current obsession with the delightful South-East Asian cuisine up for offer at Hawker Hall. If you’re like me and find it impossible to decide what to order, the ‘Feed me’ Menu ticks all the boxes.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?
When I’m not working you’ll find me mastering zen with hot yoga, brunching or searching for the best espresso martini in town.

Georgie Gascoigne – Studio & Senior Account Manager

Highlight of 2017 so far…
Getting engaged!
What are you passionate about? 
Design, physiology and wellbeing/health.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working? 
Pilates, sleeping, cooking, painting, crafty projects that take forever to finish.

Penny France – PR Account Director

Something you can’t live without? 
Morning and afternoon tea tend to punctuate my day, so I’d have to say regular cups of tea (it’s the Brit in me) and quality chocolate biscuits.

Highlight of 2017 so far…
Holidaying up in Queensland where my sister lives – beach, sun, good food and good times on repeat.

What are you passionate about? 
Without being too soppy, my beautiful little daughter who brings so much joy and madness into my life!

My 5-tip survival guide for making it through your first day at a new job.

This post was written by the fabulously named Nevada Fontana, who recently joined the littleBIG team as PR & Marketing Coordinator after relocating to Melbourne from Perth. Welcome Nevada!

So, you’ve landed your dream job, had time to celebrate with all your friends and family but now it’s actually time to go to work.

Starting a new job is always super exciting but also a nerve-wracking experience at the same time. Having recently made the leap myself, to help you with your transition from old to new, facing the fear of the unknown, I have listed my top 5 tips to help you survive your first day in your new job.

Tip 1 – Be early.

I once read that people who are fifteen minutes early, are more successful in life (who knows if this is entirely true) but from then on, I made it my goal to always arrive early. For your first day allow enough time to tackle traffic, find parking, oh and suss out the closest coffee shop.

Nev’s tip: Being fashionably late on your first day is not cool.

Tip 2 – Buy lunch.

We all know bringing lunch to work is the key to successful saving but for this first week I give you permission to treat yourself. Sure, store bought lunches are delicious, but it’s also good to take a break from the first-day information overload, socialise and help avoid the awkward “who’s lunch smells?” situation.

Nev’s tip: Think twice about bringing canned tuna on day 1. 

Tip 3: Listen and ask questions.

I know…everyone says it over and over again, but it is a must to always ask questions. No one expects you to know or remember everything – so it’s always better to ask before completing one of your first tasks completely the wrong way.

Nev’s tip: No question is a stupid question (even if it’s asking where the toilet is)

Tip 4: Smile

A smile is contagious, makes you feel better and live longer – so what’s not to love? Walk in every morning with a giant smile and you’ll set yourself up for success.

Nev’s tip: Keep smiling… it makes people wonder what you’re up to. 

Tip 5: Be yourself.

The most important part of starting a new job is just to be you.

Remember, It was you who landed the job (so you must be doing something right!). Stay friendly, happy and passionate from the get go, and you’ll be a part of the furniture in no time.

Nev’s tip: But maybe try to keep the Harry Potter obsession under the rug until week 3. 

Bonus Tip: Say Thank you.

I would like to extend a massive thank you to every single member of the LittleBIG Team. Thank you for making me feel so welcomed and especially for making last week the best first week, ever.

 

YOU by Skechers: A woman’s shoe, designed for you

One of our longest standing clients (and global footwear giants!), Skechers is expanding its lifestyle range to include a collection curated for women in all walks of life, Skechers YOU.

Dropping in stores this month, Skechers YOU combines lifestyle and wellness in one, providing the modern woman with both comforting support and style.

Featuring a responsive, cushioned insole to make every step comfortable, the lightweight sneaker has been constructed with soft woven mesh fabric, providing breathability and freedom of movement with each step.

Available in six stylish colours, the YOU sneaker is extremely versatile and easily paired with active-wear for a casual stroll, or styled up for lunch with friends for a sport-luxe look.

These affordable sneakers are priced at $149.95 for the lace-up style and $119.95 for slip-ons.

YOU by Skechers is launching Australia-wide, both in-store and online.

Set to be a wardrobe essential for any modern woman, Skechers YOU doesn’t compromise style for comfort with an active lifestyle in mind.

Facebook: /SkechersAusNZ

Instagram: @skechersausnz

Where to find images that don’t suck

This post was written by littleBIG’s youngest creative gun, Joel Langford. With an ever-growing list of design tools under his belt, he lets us in on some of his latest learnings… 

Design and imagery have always gone hand in hand. The combination of great photography and epic design will always create beautiful artwork. However, this imagery needs to be the correct match for the design work. Hence why it is vital to have a strong free stock image library, providing high quality images to pair with high quality design.

The following are my top five sites for free stock images, that have helped me improve my design work…

Unsplash.com

Unsplash is the most valued free stock image website in my library.
Its collection of stunning photography and user friendly interface makes it a clear first on the list.

 

Lifeofpix.com

Lifeofpix showcases some exceptional free photography, providing images with an excellent range of applications.

 

Kaboompics.com

Kaboompics provides a large spread of images, useful for a broad range of design work.

 

Negativespace.co

Negativespace boasts a broad range of high quality free stock images, useful to any designer.

 

Pixabay.com

Lastly, Pixabay contains an array of excellent photography, a perfect tool for any design work.