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Joe Schram

Designer, technologist, humanist, product leader. Solo @bstwrk, formerly Principal @sparktivity; Advisor @aigaraleigh; former Chapter Advisory Council @AIGAdesign

Raleigh, NC

10 posts

Building Strong Communities, Pt. 1

Conversations with friends who are leading companies or working product-side often drift toward the topic of attracting business and generating revenue. We share stories, swap tips, and commiserate on what we’ve learned about making a good fit between the product and the people we’re hoping to serve. Whenever I'm thinking about this kind of fit, my mind is often snapped back to my first real sales job—even though I've faced much larger stakes in the time since. Over two decades ago, in the summer between high school and college, I got a part-time job as a clerk…

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Northwestern Mutual + B&EA

Improved Client Experience for a High Performing Financial Advisory Team With a fresh research-based value proposition, improved digital deliverables, and a new client experience perspective, this high-performing financial advisory team is now delivering a differentiated service experience to existing and prospective clients. The Client Being part of Northwestern Mutual helps the team at Business & Estate Analysis (B&EA) provide exemplary service to their advisory and wealth management clients. Against the backdrop of a such a well-known national brand that serves investors of all types from all walks of life, B&EA leadership wanted to make sure that…

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Hiring A Designer Pro Bono

People ask me all the time how to approach designers (or other knowledge workers) for pro bono work. The first thing I always say is to remember that pro bono doesn't mean free, it means for the public good. You're asking for a contribution of time and energy to improve the human condition. Don't Go For the Broke Angle The best way to attract a quality designer to a project is to approach them, share the story of your project and what you're working on, and ask them for pro bono support. Choose someone whose values align with your own…

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Freakout @ Hopescotch

On September 9th, 2016, I gave a talk at Hopscotch Design festival in Raleigh on the topic of Designing for Hope and Action; here are selected images from that talk annotated for anyone who wants to take a deeper dive. Friends everywhere. This grilled cheese sandwich sold for $28,000. This really happened. Where it all began, mostly. Keep those eyes open. An open and shared workspace of community-minded people and business. I'm proud to work here. History teachers still love this song. A first step for understanding media. TLDR; the format of the content delivery changes the content itself,…

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Yum! Brands & KFC Global Development

A Compelling Prospect Experience for an Iconic Global Brand With a new research-based value proposition, improved sales collateral, and the blueprint for a digital sales pipeline, this business development unit inside a Fortune 300 company can now deliver a differentiated sales experience to franchise prospects. The Client A global powerhouse with $17BN in system sales, and over 20,000 restaurants in 125 countries, KFC has committed to being the premier quick service restaurant (QSR) franchise since 1952. After three decades of growth from very profitable expansion in Europe and Asia, KFC parent company Yum! Brands turned their focus to increasing…

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