Thoughts & Musing

Why We Choose Squarespace

A few weeks ago, we were asked to host a webinar by our friend Val Geisler on why and how we use Squarespace for our own website as well as many of our clients. We really believe Squarespace is the best option in an ever-growing sea of DIY website builders, so we were happy to share what we know with others. 

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Happy Anniversary To Us

This summer marks South of Belmar’s one year anniversary. Although we’ve been doing branding, design and marketing for a long time, South of Belmar is a relatively young venture, but we’ve accomplished a lot in the last 12 months. 

We’ve worked with 26 brands, helped produce dozens of events, designed 10 websites and over 18 logos and badges. 

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Rebel Coffee Co.

Meet Our Crush: Rebel Coffee Co. is an Australian owned and operated coffee roastery and distributary. They roast small batches of beans to make “high-performance” coffee for CrossFitters and coffee enthusiasts. A fairly new company, they’ve commanded a loyal following and have done an excellent job at creating a brand worthy of trans-continental crushes.

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Scenes from the Atlantic Regional

Two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to travel to the 2015 Atlantic Super Regional along with the SuperFit Games crew. This event combined the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions, which allowed it to bring in even bigger sponsors and more well-known athletes. Now in it's 8th year, the CrossFit Games is clearly focused on presentation, as they should be. The event is a real show, with $50 tickets and a jam-packed vendor village.

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Mac's Smack

Meet Our Crush Mac’s Smack is a locally-based body care company that is known in the health and fitness community and beyond for its high-quality lip and body balms. The company was started by McKenzie Payne after she had her first child and became obsessed with what ingredients were in the products she put in and on her family’s bodies. 

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Great Abiding Yoga

Great Abiding Yoga is owned by Becky Eschenroeder, a Richmond, Virginia native, who is an accomplished Yogi with a 200 hour E-RYT, RCYT. When her Yoga teacher, Arlene Bjork passed away in 2009, Becky made the commitment to being a full time yoga teacher and to get involved with her community through initiatives such as Project Yoga Richmond and YoKid.

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Taking Your Brand to Snapchat Pt. II

Last week I talked about what Snapchat is, and why brands need to stay on top of new social media outlets. But before you go trying to connect with followers on every social media platform, it’s good to know some basic rules of the road for each one. So this week we are giving you some basic Do’s and Don’ts when bringing your brand to Snapchat

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Taking Your Brand to Snapchat

According to Instagram, my very first post - a baby picture of my youngest sibling - happened three years ago this week. It was a "throwback" photo, but I had given it no hashtags to indicate that. The heavily filtered (probably "Valencia") photo received a whopping zero likes, as did the next three or four posts that followed. Instagram was something that my high-school-aged sisters discussed often and fussed over constantly, which was my clue to stay far away.

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Health Warrior

Health Warrior is a Richmond, Virginia based company best known for their chia bars that come in a wide variety of flavors. Although they’ve only been in business for a few years, they’ve grown phenomenally and have been featured in Oprah Magazine, Women’s Health, the Huffington Post, and the Wall Street Journal. Their brand essentially launched the chia superfood phenomenon and  set the stage for an amazing food that had been overlooked for decades, if not centuries.

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Constructing the East Coast Championship

This weekend, Richmond will host the SuperFit Games East Coast Championship at the downtown Convention Center. February 7-8, the forty top-placing athletes in events throughout the season will be competing in the “pro-division” for prize money and bragging rights, along with almost 500 Rx and Novice competitors. This is the biggest event of the 2014-2015 SuperFit season and the last before the CrossFit Games season begins with the Open kickoff on February 26th. South of Belmar has been thrilled to be able to design and implement the branding for the SuperFit ECC.  So what goes into branding a major event like this? Here’s a behind-the-scenes look.

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Brand Research & Monday Night Football

The world can be a constant source of aesthetic stimulation and inspiration, if you are inclined to see it that way. And if you are lucky enough to do the kind of work we do, you can take that inspiration and apply it to things that others may not expect to be visually appealing. For example, our branding work with the SuperFit Games has made the wonderful world of sports that much more exciting to observe. 

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In May, rap star Rick Ross gave an interview in which he credited his significant weight loss to "this shit called CrossFit." The next thing he said has sparked a social media sensation in the world of hardcore exercisers: 

"I call it 'RossFit' - it's called RossFit now."

People got excited - really excited. The corresponding hashtag, #RossFit, has permeated the Instagram and Twitter world. 

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Perfect Bar

Perfect Bar believes that “whole foods are the only acceptable source of nourishment for your body.”  With that in mind, this family owned company set out to create a product that aligns with their belief. The product they ended up with is a high-quality protein bar made from all-natural and mostly paleo-friendly ingredients. Although the Perfect Bar recipe has been in existence since the 1960’s, the bars just began being sold on the market around 2005. Where can you find them? In the refrigerated section of the grocery store - they’re that natural and fresh.

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Who's Your Muse?

In a blog last month, we discussed the “why” behind your business and how all good branding discussions starts with the question: “why do we exist?” Without knowing why you exist, it’s hard to convince other people to get on board. But once you have your why figured out, how do you determine which people you actually want getting on board? A Brand Muse is the inspiration for your brand. It doesn’t have to be a real person, (and in fact sometimes it’s better if it’s an imaginary muse friend), but it needs to be the idea of a person who aligns with your why.

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Identity Development: Anatomy of a Logo

Humans interact with hundreds if not thousands of logos on a daily basis. Some momentarily grab our attention (whether it’s for positive reasons or not), others we never even see. Still others have been so ingrained into our everyday life that they seem like a natural part of our environment (think Apple, USPS, Target, Starbucks), no more noticeable than the trees along the side of the road. But have you ever stopped to consider what goes into producing these logos: the good, the bad, and the seemingly omnipresent?

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Telling Your Brand’s Story

Social media has become an excellent way to tell your brand’s story. It meets your customers and clients where they are and connects with them on a level beyond, above and around the normal sales pitch. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be used to make a sale - it just has to be done the right way and in a way that feels natural and authentic to the platform you’re using as well as your own brand. In his best-selling book Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, Gary Vaynerchuk discusses how to connect with your followers on social media through subtle “jabs.”

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PurePharma is a health supplement company with an unparalleled passion for quality. They started in Denmark in 2009 with a mission "to reinvent the concept of the multi-vitamin by producing only products that deliver results and are scientifically proven." Their mission is reinforced by a half-dozen of the World's most elite CrossFitters including Samantha Briggs, Lauren Fisher, and Ben Smith. Their ability to attract these brand ambassadors is precisely because of the quality and excellence they exude.

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Finding Your Why

Branding your business is a complex process no matter what your business does. Since its meteoric rise in popularity, CrossFit affiliates now have the additional branding challenge of setting themselves apart from the dozens or even hundreds of other boxes in their area. The good news is that your box IS different - there is undoubtedly something you are doing, a specialty, approach or trainer that sets you apart, or at least there will be. Figuring out your "Why" first will help you define those differences and is a critical first step to successfully branding your business and setting yourself apart.

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