Brand Interview – Emily Lutzker, OpenInvo

Emily Lutzker, OpenInvo

How long has your company been in business?
OpenInvo was officially incorporated in the Spring of 2010, but the web platform didn’t go live until the Fall of 2010.

Please tell us a bit about your company, its mission, goals…
OpenInvo is a marketplace for ideas and a platform for open innovation. Anyone with an idea, design, or invention for a new product or service can become an Idea Provider for free, and submit ideas. Idea Seekers are mostly R&D departments of corporations looking for innovation. It is our goal to be a bridge between creative people and companies. We believe that people should be valued for their imagination.

Do you donate to charities? Tell us about that also and why.
We don’t have the budget to donate to charities right now. But we did join a couple of arts organizations that helped spread the word about us if we became a member. I’d like to have OpenInvo do more of that in the future.

How did you know what typeface (font) would be right for your company wordmark or logo? How did you decide on the right color palette to fit your company look and feel? How did you decide which type of designer to work with, or did you design your own identity and web presence?
It was a process. I worked with art director Susan Sears to develop the look and feel of OpenInvo. We have a long history of designing together—she was the art director in an agency where I held my first graphic design job many years ago. We remained friends and worked on projects from time to time—often while concocting elaborate meals. Susan is one of these wonderful self-proclaimed typography nerds. It’s an art that is fast disappearing.

We wanted the company to appeal to both creative people and corporations, so that was the big challenge. We also wanted the site to feel special, but not obtrusive. To walk the line between big business and creative people is a big feat. I’d like to believe that we conquered.

In what order did you present your company to the world? Did you start with marketing and products, or website, blog and social media?
The platform itself is the main face of the company, so we built the logo, and then the site, and then other pieces around it.

How long after the launch of your company did you start pitching in social media?
I began the OpenInvo Twitter and Facebook accounts around the same time as the launch.

Did you do research or study any software, take webinars, teleclasses, before approaching any area of your marketing or web presence?
I think I’ve been working on the business of OpenInvo all my life! Coming from an interdisciplinary background of art, design, academia, media and critical theory around communication technologies, I can say I came to it from a layman’s perspective. What I personally lacked was the business experience, so I took a seminar, and I’m an information sponge, so would flit from webinar to how-to-blog on a daily basis. I’d like to think we never stop learning.

Do you advertise locally in newspapers and/or nationally in magazines? Are they effective?
OpenInvo is a startup so we don’t have the budget for advertising as of yet. Getting the word out that there is a resource for creatives is a real challenge.

Do you advertise online using Google, Facebook or on other company sites? Are they effective?
We don’t do it.

When you printed your products, packaging, business cards and other print marketing did you choose an online printer or visit a local vendor?
I chose an online printer because it was more affordable. I would have loved to use someone local, but it didn’t fit into the budget.

Did you know anything about different types of papers, when you wanted to print your marketing materials?
I know a bit about papers, and did print my business cards on 100% recycled stock. Unfortunately with the online printers it’s harder to get a sample beforehand. I have some adjustments to make for the next run.

Have you ever used “green” technology in printing, using FSC certified papers or recycled paper and if not, how likely are you at trying this on a next project?
I’d like to use “green” printing whenever possible.

Is there anything you haven’t yet tackled, but will want to do soon?
So many things! As a new company there is so much to explore! And being an innovation company that by nature puts unexpected things together, there is always so much to tackle: in business development, in the web platform itself, in fun creative marketing… where do I stop?

To learn more about Emily Lutzker and OpenInvo visit the links below:

Website: http://www.openinvo.com
Blog: http://www.openinvo.com/the-invo-blog
Twitter: http://twitter.com/openinvo
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OpenInvo
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/emilylutzker

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