Idea Lab

Introducing the 2017 Ideaworks Calendar!


We’re excited to show off the 2017 Ideaworks calendar! Each year, we brainstorm a new calendar concept to make sure it’s fun and interactive. Our team then works diligently to bring the concept to life. Once produced, the calendars are given to clients, business associates, and friends of Ideaworks, and they are always a hit!

For 2017, our calendar celebrates the unexpected by paying homage to the quirky holidays that tend to get overlooked but make life a lot more interesting. This year’s calendar design is a true representation of the culture and chemistry here at Ideaworks. We’re forward thinking; not afraid to suggest bold, new ideas to clients; and we work hard (and play hard too). Speaking of playing, the vibrant colors and dynamic images throughout the calendar also serve as a gateway to a wonderful augmented reality experience using the Layar App. Each month has something new and fun in store, and if that’s not enough, the back of each card is a puzzle piece.

Let us know if you’d like to receive a 2017 Ideaworks calendar, and we’ll be sure to get one to you. From all of us at Ideaworks, we wish you and yours a new year full of many happy surprises. Remember to make the most of each day, and of course, celebrate the unexpected!

Challenging Goliath: How small brands can challenge industry giants and come out on top

Whenever anyone starts a business or is trying to grow a business, it’s always the same dream – visions of your logo and company name everywhere, not being able to keep your shelves stocked, not having enough manpower to keep up with demand, phones ringing off the hook, social feeds full of conversations between engaged consumers, and too many media requests and mentions to count. However, rarely does this happen. Why? Because most times, business owners do not stop to give their company’s brand serious thought. You might have a great product or service to offer, but if you don’t position your brand correctly, your business won’t achieve true success.

Think about those brands you see, hear, and read about all the time, such as Uber, Dyson, Dollar Shave Club and Airbnb. Why do you think these brands are plastered all over the place? Yes, their success has placed them in the forefront, but it’s how they achieved that great success that’s the real story. The reason these brands are booming is because each one has challenged their respective market leaders, resulting in a revolution in that market. As such, each one of these brands can be referred to as a “challenger brand.” More specifically,  a challenger brand is a company or product brand that is not the category leader in a particular industry. Challenger brands play from a position behind the dominant player or leader in an industry. The process of achieving challenger brand status does not happen overnight. The aforementioned brands were and continue to be committed to their marketing strategies and did not shy away from putting a lot of time and effort into devising their marketing plans, brand identity and positioning. They carefully researched their respective industries and the key players. As a result, they didn’t jump in blindly; they knew their competition and how vital it was to have a solid marketing execution to attract customers.

Take look at Airbnb for example. For those who aren’t familiar, Airbnb is an online rental service that enables people to list, find and rent vacation homes. It is a marketplace for vacation rentals that charges a fee for connecting users with people who have property to rent. Founded just eight years ago, Airbnb already has over 1,500,000 listings in 34,000 cities and 191 countries. How does this great success happen when there are thousands of hotels and motels? It happened because Airbnb differentiated its service from the leading brand or in this instance, a category of brands in its industry, which are hotels. Instead of always needing to stay in a hotel with people all around or having to reserve several rooms next to each other if traveling with friends or family, Airbnb provides accommodations that are much more private than the typical hotel and allows groups of travelers to stay together instead of being sectioned off in separate rooms. Additionally, travelers can actually get an idea of what it’s like to live in the town or city being visited. Thus, Airbnb provides a greater cultural experience than staying in a hotel.

Differentiation is just one key characteristic of challenger brands. In sticking with the Airbnb example, not only does Airbnb differentiate itself from the average hotel, it also creates market segmentation. Early on, Airbnb identified those consumers who are under-valued or under-served by leading hotels, such as individuals who cannot afford grand hotels and/or hotels in close proximity to areas of interest for the duration of a vacation, along who those traveling in groups. With Airbnb, not only are there more desirable budget-friendly options, but groups have the option of renting a house verse being divided in a hotel.

Along with differentiation and segmentation, challenger brands also possess the following qualities:

  • Out-think, rather than outspend, the competition
  • Committed to being the best at what they do
  • Embrace productive disruption and unconventional approaches
  • Use the competition’s size against themselves
  • Provoke new conversation

When you think about Airbnb, isn’t it easy to see how each of these qualities is representative of the company?

Now that we’ve established what a challenger brand needs to do, let’s break it down even further and look at the five distinct types of challenger brands. Looking at each of these will help you determine if your business or organization is or has the potential to become a challenger brand. The five distinct types of challenger brands are:

  1. Lightening rod: Creates attraction, does the unexpected, adds shock value. Examples: Dollar Shave Club and Lady Gaga
  2. Heretical: Game changer, takes ideas from other industries and improves upon them. Examples: IKEA and Silvercar
  3. Foster rejection: Creates a “cult-like” following, focuses only on a very specific niche audience, hyper focuses on their target. Examples: Mini-Cooper and United Colors of Benetton
  4. Compulsive servitude: Over delivers, superior promises and services. Examples: The Ritz-Carlton and FedEx
  5. Constant Evolution: Technological advancements, the product or service is always evolving and does not stay the same for an extended period of time. Examples: Google Fiber and Shinola

Going back to our Airbnb example, which type of challenger brand would you say it is? If you guessed heretical, good job. This type of challenger brand best describes Airbnb because it is a total game changer in the travel/hospitality industry. Airbnb took ideas from this industry and improved them in order to create a much better consumer experience in many different ways. Which category do you think your brand falls into? Is it the same category you would like your brand to be in? If you think your brand can fit into more than one category, be careful. Think about the granular, fundamental purpose of your company or service. To be a challenger brand, you must have a clear vision and focus of what it is you want to do or provide.

The concept of challenger brands can get you thinking differently about your company. Every business owner wants the same kind of success Airbnb has seen in just eight years, but to do so, it’s imperative to take a step back and invest in your marketing and branding efforts. It might take a lot of time and energy, but the investment will be worthwhile when the dreams you had back when starting your business become reality. Click here to take our quiz to find out if your brand is a challenger brand, and if so, which type!

Does your brand fall into one of these five categories or do you think your brand has the potential to become one of these challenger brands? Connect with us. At Ideaworks, it’s our passion to think of ideas that will make your brand, product, or service stand out and resonate with your target market regardless if it’s challenger brand material or not. Who knows, after a conversation with us, you might start to see your brand in a new light.

Blue Chip Animal Farm to host Legacy of Love memory wall unveiling


Blue Chip Animal Farm invites the northeast Pennsylvania community to take part in its Legacy of Love memory wall unveiling on Saturday, November 5 at 1 p.m. at Blue Chip Animal Farm in Dallas, PA. The event will celebrate the installation of the organization’s Legacy of Love memory wall constructed entirely of commemorative bricks purchased by Blue Chip supporters.

Bricks purchased not only contribute to the ongoing construction of the memory wall but also help to offset operating costs at Blue Chip. Bricks can be purchased online at in addition to at the event. “We hope to create a wall of 600 memories at Blue Chip Farm, and to build a space of love and remembrance for all of the animals and animal lovers that have passed away. Those who purchase a brick are doing a service in memory of their loved ones because 100% of the funds will go to support the ongoing cost of operation of Blue Chip Animal Farm,” says Cordie Braun, director of Blue Chip.

Ideaworks has taken on Blue Chip as its charity of choice, which means we provide the non-profit with complimentary marketing services. Specifically for the Legacy of Love memory wall, Ideaworks  created the marketing materials and webpage, along with coordinating and executing the public relations effort for the unveiling event. Ideaworks also did the Legacy of Love billboard design, which can be seen in Luzerne and Lackawanna counties. Lamar Advertising was very generous to donate the billboard space. We hope you’ll come out and support this wonderful organization on November 5 and/or purchase a brick to memorialize a pet or pet lover in your life.

Ideaworks collaborates with hopeful Food Network star

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A few years ago, our team collaborated on a cookbook design project with Remmi Smith, youth ambassador chef for Sodexo North America, an international Fortune 500 company. At the time of the project, Chef Remmi was just 12 years old. Now at age 16, Remmi will compete in the teen tournament on the popular Food Network show, Chopped. Her episode is set to air on Tuesday, September 6 at 10 p.m.

Ideaworks created the concept for the cookbook and spearheaded all aspects of the project, which resulted in a unique cookbook for kids entitled, Global Cooking for Kids, featuring Chef Remmi Smith: Your Passport to Fun & Flavor. From cooking Remmi’s recipes to food styling to food photography to compiling and designing the book to distribution, the Ideaworks team oversaw the effort from start to finish. Even though the cookbook was made for kids, its recipes can be enjoyed by people of all ages.

All featured recipes were created by Chef Remmi and include a variety of flavors from places like Antarctica, Australia, Italy, Lebanon, Morocco, Peru and Puerto Rico.

“Having met Chef Remmi through Ideaworks’ partnership with Sodexo gave us the idea to create her own cookbook for kids,” said Donna Hansbury, president of Ideaworks. “I’ve never known a young girl who has such a passion for cooking. Remmi’s recipes are innovative and flavorful; it’s crazy to think that at her young age she created these tasty international combinations, but it just shows her knack for being in the kitchen. Remmi’s clever cooking techniques will serve her well on Chopped and make her tough competition. She’s going to do great, and we can’t wait to cheer on Chef Remmi!”

We’re excited to welcome three new hires!

With our client work increasing and demands escalating, we recently added three employees to our creative team. We are so happy to have McKenzie, Chelsey and Allison with us. Please take a moment to meet the newest members of Ideaworks Marketing:                                                

McKenzie SuttonMcKenzie Sutton: McKenzie Sutton serves as the agency’s marketing communication director responsible for overseeing content development on all projects. McKenzie’s previous roles include marketing coordinator for Sodexo Campus Services at King’s College, assistant project coordinator for Children’s Miracle Network at Geisinger Janet Weis Children’s Hospital in Danville and director of marketing at Capstone Wealth Management Group in Clarks Green. McKenzie graduated cum laude from King’s College in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts in mass communications and English writing.

ChelsChelsey Tupperey Tupper: Chelsey Tupper joined the Ideaworks team as the agency’s director of client and public relations. Chelsey is responsible for potential client outreach and leading the public relations effort for the agency. In addition, she manages client accounts and provides marketing communication assistance. Chelsey has previous experience in agency services and held positions at Borton-Lawson, Pride Mobility Products and New Era Eye Care. Chelsey graduated magna cum laude from Flagler College, located in St. Augustine, FL in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts in communication/public relations.

Allison SimenkiewiczAllison Simenkiewicz: Allison Simenkiewicz was hired as a graphic designer and is always looking for creative ways to incorporate the latest design trends into her work. Allison graduated cum laude from Wilkes University in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in integrative media. She completed internships at CornellCookson, Inc. and the Petroleum Service Company. Even though Allison is fresh out of college, she has already received a silver award from the American Advertising Federation (AAF) for a poster campaign she designed. The award was presented earlier this year.

Red Nose Day fun at Ideaworks

The Ideaworks team shows off its red noses in support of Red Nose Day.
The Ideaworks team shows off its red noses in support of Red Nose Day.

On May 26, the Ideaworks team participated in the nationally recognized Red Nose Day- a day dedicated to helping children while being silly, sharing a laugh and having fun. The red noses were available for purchase at Walgreen stores around the country, and proceeds from Red Nose Day benefit children and young people in the U.S. and also those living in some of the poorest communities in the world.

At Ideaworks, we are committed to helping those in need, so when we heard about Red Nose Day, there was no question that we would participate, and boy did we have fun wearing our red noses!

The money raised for the Red Nose Day Fund in 2016 will go to the following charities:

  • Boys and Girls Clubs of America
  • charity : water
  • Gavi – The Vaccine Alliance
  • National Council of La Raza
  • Children’s Health Fund
  • National Urban League
  • The Global Fund
  • Save the Children
  • Feeding America
  • Covenant House

If you didn’t participate in Red Nose Day this year, be sure to join the fun in 2017!

Hansbury Named To Top 25 Women In Business

Ideaworks President and Chief Operating Officer DONNA HANSBURY was recently named to the Top 25 Women in Business by the Northeast Pennsylvania Business Journal. A 1983 graduate of Bloomsburg University, Hansbury holds a bachelor of science degree in business administration with a focus on accounting. It’s her savvy business acumen, along with her creative side, that has made her an invaluable part of the Ideaworks team, putting her special touch on nearly every project that comes through our doors. “I have a natural curiosity to learn new things, so I am never afraid to take on a new challenge,” she said. Congratulations to Donna on this well-deserved recognition!









Twas the night before Christmas, when all through our house
Not a computer was stirring, not even a mouse.
Our files were stored on our desks with care,
In hopes that new projects soon would be there.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
We sprang from our chairs to see what’s the matter.
Away to the window D2 flew like a flash,
Tore open the curtains and pressed her nose to the sash.

It’s the puppies from Blue Chip she claimed with glee,
They’re all here to play with us come all to see.
Our entire team joined in with fervor,
Knowing these furry friends will be in our hearts forever.

Happy Holidays from all of us at Ideaworks and best wishes for a healthy and happy New Year!

P.S. This Holiday Season, please don’t forget our friends at the Blue Chip Farms Animal Refuge. Learn more about how you can do something “pawsitive” this coming year by visiting