Brand Buzz: Let Your Light Shine


This week’s Brand Buzz is a shameless plug for a RUSSO-developed community program. Because it’s our blog and we can do whatever we want. Enjoy!

Cruising around the neighborhood to see festive homes is a classic holiday tradition. But here in Lafayette, our community is so spread out that it makes it difficult to find the homes you want to see. Thankfully, there’s a map for that. has returned for the holiday season. The location-based website is powered by an annually crowd-sourced map that pinpoints decorated homes and businesses around Lafayette. So instead of aimlessly driving around, families can plan their routes in advance and track it on their smartphones — seeing different parts of the region they might normally never visit.

Created and operated by RUSSO since 2010, the website also hosts a competition for the best, brightest and wackiest decorations — giving homeowners and business-owners motivation to step-up their game. Participants are given a Publicity Kit that helps them use social media to attract votes. Last year, hundreds of homes and businesses registered and more than 32,786 votes were cast.

This year, for the first time, a portion of sponsorship proceeds will go to Healing House — a local organization that works with grieving children.

Lafayette Lights encourages community participation, gives families the opportunity to bond, and encourages spirited competition between neighbors. Please visit to put yourself on the map or just plan your route.

Brand Buzz with Jaci Russo on 96.5 KPEL at 7:40AM every Monday, so be sure to tune in on your way to work. And our new RUSSO eBooks: “Identifying The Competition,” “Thought Leadership,” and “The Great Outdoors” are available for download now at!

Brand Buzz: Bringing Holiday Cheer To Your Brand

Holiday Cheer Brand

I don’t know about your company, but it’s an annual tradition over at the RUSSO office to be completely slammed right before holidays. Our fourth quarter is typically packed with daylong meeting marathons and late nights at the office. It’s just kind of the nature of our industry to be a little relaxed in the summertime and the super busy though fall and winter. And that means by the time Christmas rolls around, we’re still barreling forward with our heads down — which makes it easy for us to forget about our own brand.

We’re a little different from other businesses because we’re a B2B company that specializes in improving other businesses. Which means we’re always focused on others. Our clients are our “customers,” in a sense. But even in the hustle and bustle of the fourth quarter frenzy, we try really hard to carve out some time to think about and plan our holiday efforts. Since we know we’re going to be busiest in the November, we start tossing out ideas for the RUSSO Christmas card or social media plan as early as August. And we suggest our clients do the same.

No matter who you are, there’s enough going on in November and December to keep busy. So when it comes to your business, ALWAYS plan ahead for the holiday season. Set aside a meeting or two in early fall to discuss what you’re going to do. Are you going to offer holiday specials? Are you going to send out gifts to clients/customers? Talk Xmas strategy and do the work early.

It might be as simple as creating and sending out Christmas cards or it might involve a full-blown holiday marketing campaign. This is the perfect time of year to tailor your marketing towards a different message. If you’re all about “image, image, image” all year, change that up in the fourth quarter and say something different; something spirited. If you’re placing media, be sure that your media has a heartfelt, cheerful tone.

Even though we’re past the “early planning” window, it isn’t too late to strategize about your holiday game plan. Get your team together [and call your marketing agency] and throw around some ideas.

The bottom line: Right now is the perfect time of year is to make your brand feel more human and soulful. You can reach people on an emotional level easier during the holiday season because they’re more receptive to it. So market from the brain with a message from the heart.

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