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Elyse Sikora
OTR Cincinnati, Ohio
Recent Activity
It has been a long 20+ weeks, but somehow it all flew by. This project has been the first time I've gotten to work one-on-one with a client, while attending UC as a full time student. Up until this project, I'd done plenty of class projects with various clients, as well as several co-ops, where I was a full time staff member. This sneak peek into "consulting life" was a new and valuable experience. There were of course good weeks and bad weeks, ups and downs come with any project or relationship. Learning how to deal with those ups and... Continue reading
Posted May 17, 2010 at CAPSTONE!
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Having just finished up Dr. Machleit's Advertising Essentials class, it's human nature that I'm in a hyper-perceptive state of mind when viewing ads. Always trying to understand, what's the method, is it successful, and why? There just so happened to be a great article in last month's Fast Company magazine that not only triggered my ad awareness, but relates directly to the obesity epidemic. So, "Are You Pouring on the Pounds?" Apparently living in Cincinnati does occasionally leave us marketers out of the loop- there was quite a buzz in New York City last fall about a provocative and downright... Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2010 at CAPSTONE!
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It's been kind of nice to see my project come together in the past few weeks. I've spent my recent time wrangling a 60+ page paper- editing and revising it page by page. So what do I have to show? Well, I can't really discuss publicly just yet. Essentially, I have created a brand new service for Northlich to easily offer clients. I created a manual which can be handed to any employee so they can go through the process step by step for improving any brand. Now that the manual is finished, I'm working on a case study to... Continue reading
Posted May 2, 2010 at CAPSTONE!
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Designers are educators. We have to be. If I told people that I am a doctor, they would nod and have a pretty good idea of what it is that I do. When I tell people that I'm a designer, they also nod, but really have no clue what designers are capable of. Worst case scenario, they think, "ohh she knows how to make things look good." Best case scenario, they associate me with of one of the more publicized current designers and think, "ohh maybe she makes really funky expensive vacuums or overpriced teapots sold by Target." For the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 24, 2010 at CAPSTONE!
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If I've learned anything in the past 6 years of school it's that I'm responsible to take charge of my education. Professors will continue to teach the same classes year after year, whether those classes fulfill my needs, is up to me. As the capstone is winding down, and my final report is being assembled, edited, and re-edited, I'm already looking for new opportunities to practice The Big Picture strategy, and really have an impact on a company. Because my capstone project was less traditional than the strategy heavy, marketing planning projects that my peers tackled- I feel as though... Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2010 at CAPSTONE!
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Please leave a comment with your opinions about Taco Bell- especially their latest advertising campaign, "The Drive-Thru Diet." Is it believable, a fad, a joke, an indicator of good things to come? When I noticed the Drive-Thru Diet commercial for the first time, it was out at a restaurant, and the tv was on mute. My friends and I immediately laughed, because we assumed it was a joke, or spoof, meant to entertain. It wasn't until later that I realized my interpretation of the ad probably wasn't intended. Instead they are actually advocating a specific menu, targeting individuals who want... Continue reading
Posted Apr 13, 2010 at CAPSTONE!
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No matter how concrete our project briefs seemed at the beginning of this project- change is inevitable. Whether change comes in response to external factors, internal alignment, resources, or simply as a response to research findings, this is the point in the project when most of us are retooling our charters and final deliverable expectations. With about 7 working weeks left for capstone, the end is near- and definitive expectations should be set. Understanding why a project did not sync perfectly with the original charter is not about placing blame- it's more important for understanding how to write a more... Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2010 at CAPSTONE!
Although I have spent time living in Europe- a short trip back over spring break quickly reminded me of the vast differences of culture and its affects on marketing and business. The sustainability of my capstone project is quite questionable in relations to international applications. Is it worthwhile to work on projects with such narrow scopes that the results will only be applicable in one country? What I'm getting at, is the obesity epidemic. I was recently reminded how insulated the problem currently is. Experiencing several cultures around western Europe, it is obvious that they do not have an obesity... Continue reading
Posted Mar 28, 2010 at CAPSTONE!
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One of the key takeaways from the first half of the capstone project has been learning how to build and maintain positive relationships. Each of us has different issues to overcome as well as a different situation to deal with. Although class topics covered basic ways to find similarities and establish interest in relationships- we haven't talked about the simple realities of how difficult it can be for different job functions to relate to each other and collaborate. Marketers often find themselves working with various other professions either internally or externally to complete a project. Recently I worked on an... Continue reading
Posted Mar 13, 2010 at CAPSTONE!
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What are people saying about your products, services, company, or brand? Regardless of whether they tweet, post on walls, blog, email, or simply add a digital comment, their voices can now be heard. Commonly referred to as “chatter” these often informal blurbs of opinions and experiences can be significant predictors in telling the future of a market. But what types of chatter are important? Like many abstract issues in the marketing world, business professionals have found ways to quantify and rank aspects of social media. As marketers already knew- it’s not just what you say, but it’s how you say... Continue reading
Posted Mar 7, 2010 at CAPSTONE!
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Now in my 6th year of collegiate education, I can say that I am no stranger to the topic of assessment. Week after week, professors find ways to evaluate our progress including: participation, peer reviews, group projects, exams, and self assessments, to name a few. My capstone has presented a ‘Freaky Friday’ situation, where I am now in control of creating an assessment system. I have decided to share some of key points of assessment design. Many of my peers may soon realize that there is usually no preset system for rating your project, or your client’s progress. So when... Continue reading
Posted Feb 28, 2010 at CAPSTONE!
Trying to get over the initial research hump of my capstone has been time consuming. Between communication issues with the client and varying levels of expectation, I have felt like the past three weeks have sent me running in circles. Throughout previous experiences, I have worked on an extensive amount of research projects for many different companies. This is the first research based project however that is requiring me to go 'by the books' literally. In week 3 my client informed me that all of my research had to be properly cited. This I accept as my responsibility, and as... Continue reading
Posted Feb 18, 2010 at CAPSTONE!
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Assessing and comparing products is familiar territory for myself, as a designer. When brands are tied to products, this research also lends itself to my skill set. Assessing brands that are tied to services however, is proving difficult to get a handle on. On one hand, comparing two services is straightforward. What are the pros and cons of each offering? But what are the pros and cons of each brand as it relates to services? Now my research has gotten far more complicated. Although my project aims to add value to the Northlich brand, intermediate goals require assessment and ranking... Continue reading
Posted Feb 14, 2010 at CAPSTONE!
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Spurred by a Business Week article, “Best Global Brands,” I began to wonder how the recession could affect my mission to improve brands with a focus on obesity. Throughout the most recent recession, major companies like Coke and Visa have trimmed down marketing budgets. Although it will not have an immediate impact on sales, how will this short term solution affect their brands in the long run? In contrast, companies like American Express are maintaining their efforts, and even some companies are increasing marketing efforts and brand building, like: Kleenex and Louis Vuitton. The focus of my capstone, lies in... Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2010 at CAPSTONE!
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The very first meeting I had with Northlich gave me the opportunity to peek into the agency world, but also forced me to go deeper than just a peek into who I am, and what I have to offer in this industry. One of the red flags that quickly arose was the concept of marketing with social media. With words like blog and tweet getting tossed back and forth constantly, I began to think- “Am I hip enough, to do this? Am I the only 24 year-old that has been avoiding Twitter?!” Although I’m not sold on the need for... Continue reading
Posted Jan 18, 2010 at CAPSTONE!
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I'm pretty sure that it doesn't involve a cloudy, blustery day with a torrential downpour of Skyline Chili, Red’s caps, and flying pigs… For a more reasonable definition, I’ve turned to Northlich a local brand engagement agency. They have coined the term, ‘cultural storm’, which refers to a collection of trends that has been catalyzed by external social, economic, or cultural factors. The next BIG cultural storm happens to be the focus of my capstone project- the obesity epidemic. A national crisis, obesity in America is unavoidable. We see it, and deal with it every day. The United States has... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2010 at CAPSTONE!
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I'm pretty sure that it doesn't involve a cloudy, blustery day with a torrential downpour of Skyline Chili, Red’s caps, and flying pigs… For a more reasonable definition, I’ve turned to Northlich a local brand engagement agency. They have coined the term, ‘cultural storm’, which refers to a collection of trends that has been catalyzed by external social, economic, or cultural factors. The next BIG cultural storm happens to be the focus of my capstone project- the obesity epidemic. A national crisis, obesity in America is unavoidable. We see it, and deal with it every day. The United States has... Continue reading
Posted Jan 7, 2010 at CAPSTONE!
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Jan 3, 2010