Category Archive of culture

Commit to Excellence: Don’t Settle for a Mediocre Seat

Commit to Excellence is the core value we begin with at North Star Marketing. It is also where we always return to start again because our core values are not a disconnected list of abstractions we love. They are each a part of an ongoing process that informs every corner of our work. Our creative director, Rob McDorman, deeply understands this commitment and process, and we can’t think of a better, more humble spokesperson for our leading core value.

Think about shopping for a chair. At some point, we’ve all gone looking for just the right one, either for the office or some room in our house. You don’t buy the first one you see or sit in. You probably do not buy the twentieth one you try out. You probably need to sit in a lot of chairs before you find the one you want. 

The winner usually brings together qualities like being well-made, comfortable, pleasing to look at, and in the price range you have in mind. All those things combine to make that one piece of furniture an excellent choice. 

I have found that excellence can be a surprisingly complex thing to try and explain. Often, it is simply easier to recognize it when we find it. When you sit in the perfect chair, you just know. I am a creative director and designer, though, so I am always trying to understand how to engineer excellence. Part of what I have learned with our North Star Marketing team over the years is that committing to excellence is both a process and a product. 

Excellence Is a Process Before It Is a Product

As a process, excellence starts with a high standard of expectation in the final product—we actively reject mediocrity or just doing “good enough.” Within the defined scope of a project, we will make the best thing possible. Every project has many facets, so we are counting on excellence from the whole team, from each department. If something does not work, we are constantly looking to improve our methods. Committing to excellence means a never-ending commitment to learning. 

Being a perfectionist and chasing excellence are not the same thing. Not even close. The perfectionist is obsessed with, and often paralyzed by, the need to achieve the impossible. They are also persistently dogged by their sense of failure to achieve it. 

The person or team committed to excellence refuses to do less than the best with all they have, right now. They know it will not be perfect, that there will always be more to learn, and more to improve upon. That love of learning, of exploring what might still be possible, even as you push the edge of your current capabilities—that is what a steadfast commitment to excellence looks like. 

What about the product? My short answer is: if you really commit to the process of excellence, the product usually takes care of itself. 

What a Commitment to Excellence Looks Like at North Star Marketing

The product of our commitment to excellence for our clients is effective, attractive marketing. We find the messages you need to help your company succeed and yield a high return on your investment. We develop websites, videos, print pieces, and other excellent vehicles for those key messages. We build strong, transparent, trustworthy client relationships. Maybe you have tried lots of versions of your company brand or messaging already. 

“When you find your real story, and see it beautifully told, you just know it.”

When you give up perfectionism and adopt never-ending learning and improvement instead, it is very liberating, but it also gives you a glimpse at times of just how much there still is to learn! 

Where do you think you might need to let go of perfectionism and embrace a life-long learning approach? What are some things that you’ve chosen to commit to excellence? What kind of results have you seen so far?


Never Sit on a Mediocre Chair: Advice from a Marketing Firm with a Commitment to Excellence

Think of a chair.
It may be a fairly beautiful chair; imagine its intricate carvings and a polish that reflects a flawless finish. But let’s face it… chairs are not for viewing; they’re for sitting.

At the crucial moment of trust, we place a significant measure of personal pleasure or pain, joy or embarrassment in the functionality of a chair. Unless, of course, you are the kind of impervious soul who enjoys ridicule, no one desires to come crashing to the floor due to a mediocre chair construction process.

No one strives for mediocrity.

We all know that mediocrity is the result (at best) of minimal effort. Striving is reserved for difficult things… valuable things. We see the value of chasing a dream or accomplishing a goal. Mediocrity simply accepts things as they are and does not push beyond normal desire to make anything better. Mediocrity, when accepted, is the acknowledgement that the goal isn’t truly worth pursuing and not valuable in the eyes of the pursuer.

Does anyone value mediocrity? Is there any honor or prestige that accompanies that level of effort? Should anyone feel natural pride or feelings of accomplishment from half effort? Quite honestly, one often feels a measure of shame in knowing that the effort could have been better and that it should have produced a more excellent result.

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Senior Creative Joins North Star Marketing’s Graphic Design Team

Bryan Ickes - Senior Creative

North Star Marketing welcomes Senior Creative Bryan Ickes to our talented Design team. Bryan started on August 1, 2013, and contributes to a wide range of creative services at North Star, including:

  • brand/logo development
  • web development (mobile, responsive design)
  • print collateral (catalogs, brochures)
  • online advertising (landing pages, e-books)
  • traditional advertising (billboards, direct mail, print ads) Read More

Public Relations Strategist Joins North Star Marketing’s Online Marketing Team

TaylorMeyersBURLINGTON, NC (March 21, 2013) – North Star welcomes Content Marketing Manager Taylor Myers to our growing Online Marketing team. Taylor started on March 1, 2013, and engages in a full range of Internet marketing activities, including:

  • search engine optimization
  • blog marketing
  • social media strategy and marketing
  • content marketing strategy
  • extensive content writing
  • online marketing management
  • project management

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