How Metaphor Can Help Your Brand


Your brand doesn’t exist only in your mind, but it isn’t necessarily a tangible thing that people can touch. So how can you bridge the gap between the brand that exists in the mind and the brand that people can actually visualize? Easy. Through metaphor. Brand metaphors are effective tools that will allow your customers to see what you want them to see.

What Metaphor Is

Your metaphor isn’t just what you say and how you say it– it’s how your customers view your brand. It’s the whole package. It’s why we say Kleenex instead of tissue, why people freak out over Rolex, and why people spend tons of money on Chanel bags. We believe in the brand. We believe in the story behind the brand. We believe in the lasting value of that brand. And we believe in the metaphor of that brand.

Visualize Your Brand

To make sure your clients can visualize your brand, you must make sure that you can visualize your brand first. To do this, think of objects that might represent your brand. Are you more of a Chanel or a Mossimo? Do you hold your customer’s hands or do you let them choose? Are you like the 4th of July or like mother’s day? Thinking in terms of metaphor can help you solidify your goals and express them in a more tangible way.

Become an Archetype

Another way to think about your brand’s metaphor is to visualize your brand as an archetype. Is your brand an outlaw? A sage? An achiever? Imagine your brand as a person. What do they stand for? What do they believe in? What can they achieve in a day? This activity can help you begin to see your brand as a caricature of itself– and it may help you notice  the direction that you want your brand to take.

Speak to Your Readers’ Emotions

An effective brand metaphor campaign involves listing those attributes that make your brand unique. What sets your brand apart? How can customers visualize your brand with one simple idea? How can you brand change the way people view themselves? Once you think of these things, you can start to create an effective brand metaphor plan that will speak not only to the minds of your customers, but to their emotions.

SMTP Cheat Sheet

SMTP Cheat Sheet

Make Your Email Work for You

Clients are consistently confused about how to set up their SMTP, and it’s a shame because there’s no one answer. Your SMTP settings depend on a variety of factors, but we want to make it easy for you to get the information you need.

If you’re confused about how to send and receive mail, look no further. SMTP is the way that your electronic mail is transmitted away from your computer or phone to the recipient’s computer or phone.

SMTP is handled differently by different ISPs

You have to make sure you properly set up SMTP on your phone or computer. Whenever we set up an email for you, we can handle all the receiving stuff, but you have to make sure that you apply the proper settings so that you can send mail out based on your Internet provider and/or your mail provider. In some cases, your Internet provider may also be your email provider.

Get Set Up

To get set up, you’ll want to check your mail provider (Gmail, Outlook, AOL, etc.) and look for their SMTP settings. Once you have those settings in hand, you can accurately set up your email account to send and receive mail.


Instructions on how to set up SMTP for Outlook.


Instructions on how to set up SMTP for Gmail accounts.


Instructions on how to set up SMTP for AOL.


Instructions on how to set up SMTP for Ymail accounts.


Instructions on how to set up SMTP for Zoho accounts.


Instructions on how to set up SMTP for iCloud accounts.

If you’re still having trouble setting up your SMTP, double check that the port you’re using is correct. Then, if you’re still having problems, contact your email provider for support. And remember, if you’re going through a different third-party server than the ones listed above, make sure you check out their website or service page for information on how to set up your SMTP.

Spam Issues

If you’re receiving a lot of spam, you may want to double check the port that you’re using. Port 25 is not very secure, and many providers block this port for security reasons. If you set up your mail but you still aren’t able to send outgoing messages, you may need to make sure that, if you’re using port 25, it’s allowed. If not, you’ll need to check with your provider to see if there are other port options available.

Resources on Blocked Ports

Time Warner Cable
Century Link
Cable One

For other resources, please visit your Internet provider’s website.

Spotlight on Southwestern

Southwestern College is a Methodist university that cultivates knowledgeable students who challenge convention. We developed a redesign of their site to focus on the unique opportunities, quality education, and financial options that Southwestern offers its students.



All colleges are different — some are required to go through their university’s media resource center for websites, and others are able to shop around and work with a webdesign firm. Each produces a different result, but when we worked with Southwestern’s admission site, we had a unique opportunity to blend easily navigable designs with elements from their main page.

We first made note of the design elements on the parent site — the unique hover-colored menu, the sectioned-off spotlight categories, navigation categories, the font type, background colors, and color scheme. Then, we applied those elements into our new design in order to highlight some of the cool opportunities that Southwestern offers.


unc mainunc admission


Many schools have different designers for their main pages and their admission pages, so it creates a dissonant design that confuses prospective students. Take the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for example. Their admission site lacks many of the design elements that the main page has — they have different backgrounds, different menus, and a different color scheme — there’s no continuity.

And if a website isn’t easy to navigate, users are more likely to leave the site quickly. We made sure that Southwestern’s admission site was customized to their needs and fit in with the rest of their content seamlessly.


Because of the size of the site, we knew we needed to push the boundaries to make sure all of the content would be highlighted properly and each subpage would be easy to access. We designed a fully responsive website and a custom CMS so that users could focus on the important information and colorful design no matter their device. We also wanted to streamline the editing process for Southwestern, so each department has the ability to edit and manage their own content.


School Spirit

Southwestern College

Southwestern’s colors are black and purple to reflect their Halloween-like mascot, the Jinx. So when we were designing the admission site, we knew we wanted purple to play a large role.



We chose Museo’s font family because we liked that the typography was a little bit open, a little bit authoritative, and even a little bit casual. We also wanted to ensure that the admission page was part of the whole, so we had to make sure our font matched the font on their parent site.


financial aid

One of our biggest challenges was making sure the most important content stood out. We made pull-quotes in purple so that students could quickly see some of the coolest facts and stats that Southwestern boasts.



We made it simple to navigate this site. Because there’s tons of content, we had to make it possible for people to scan at their convenience. Southwestern’s new homepage showcases some of their most important information — from application help and financial aid information to campus life information and social media connections, we wanted the homepage to have it all laid out. This site stands out with a scrolling social media section, “ask an admission officer” feature, staff directory, and a scrolling menu to highlight SC’s most important links.



We created an easily searchable directory that would allow prospective students to connect directly with an admission counselor or staff member.

As Strong as their Students

Southwestern is dedicated to providing a quality education that allows its students to go beyond the borders of the classroom and discover what’s important to them. We loved working with Southwestern on this website redesign. Check out their full admission site here.

What to Ask your Developer

What you should ask your developer.

Getting a website designed doesn’t have to be a harrowing task. If you have the right questions, you can make it really easy to work with a developer who will give you exactly what you need.

“Can I see your portfolio” is always a good place to start. If you like the looks of the projects your developer has made in the past, it will be more likely that you’ll like what they’re going to do for your site.

Make sure your developer understands your needs. If you need specific applications or if you have specific needs, communicate those with your developer before you sign on. Make sure they have the capabilities and know-how to built a website or mobile application for you.

Make sure your developer is updated on the latest Google analytics. Google frequently adjusts their algorithms, so you want to be sure that your developer is aware and knowledgeable about these changes and how they affect your rankings.

Ask your developer how they support you after they launch your site. Will they create your site and then leave you on your own? Are they willing to fix any mistakes for free? Do they make it easy for you to update your site yourself? Will your developer help you improve your mobile rankings even after the site is launched? Make sure you fully understand what type of support your developer provides.

Before you begin, you should be sure you understand what your developer needs from you. Will they need your existing domain information? Will they need logos? Web content? If you know what you need to provide before you go into it, you can be sure that you give your developer everything they need to create a custom site or app.

Ask your developer whether your website will function properly on cell phones or iPads. It’s important that your site can be easily adapted for different platforms.

Figure out how your developer measures success. Will your developer track your analytics? Will your developer hire a third party?

Do you know which platforms your website or application will work on? Ask your designer whether he or she is designing for Android, iPhone, Blackberry, and Windows. The more adaptive your site is, the better.

Ask your developer how they communicate with their clients. Some prefer email, some prefer face-to-face meetings, some prefer Skype; figuring this out early will help ensure that your professional relationship goes smoothly. You want to find a developer who will update you on their progress and who will communicate any errors with you.

Does your developer have a preferred CMS? Getting to know which CMS your developer works with will help you make sure you feel comfortable with what they do.

Ask your developer how long this project will take. Most developers won’t be able to give you a firm date that it will be completed because developing comes with a lot of trial-and-error, but they should be able to give you a timeline of sorts.

What’s your developer’s decision-making process like? Do they make all the decisions themselves? Do they follow a specific chain of command? How many eyes will be on your design? Once you understand this process, it will be easier to communicate with your developer and their team.