The Illuminist Blog

Jon Thompson

Recent Posts

Accountable Eats: Transparency & Cause Alignment for Food & Beverage Brand

Posted by Jon Thompson on February 07, 2017

Never before in history has a food purchase been such a reflection of personal ideology related to health, social issues, and safety as it is today.

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Celebrate Good & Inspire More: 5 Questions That Will Bolster Your Cause Initiative

Posted by Jon Thompson on November 15, 2016

As millennials continue to demand corporate social responsibility and genuine support of the causes they care about from the brands they work for and buy from, there’s an opportunity for brands to engage a new audience in a very meaningful way.  

Have you thought about what causes your organization could partner with to make a lasting difference in your community? Below are a sampling of the most important questions to ask yourself and your team while building a successful cause-related initiative:

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Watch Your Speed: Feedback Loops in Healthcare

Posted by Jon Thompson on September 28, 2016

We’ve all seen the “Your Speed” radar signs that tend to pop up on busier roads near schools or residential neighborhoods. The blinking warning of your speed causes you to take notice of your speed and slow down if necessary. These signs were first implemented as an experiment, but the stats have since shown that they are quite effective in reducing speeds overall—cutting down on accidents and making neighborhoods safer for pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists alike. The important takeaway from this example is that when we are presented with information about our performance, we tend to notice and improve. Even though we already have speedometers on our cars, calling out our speed and presenting it to us in this manner makes us take notice and change our behavior accordingly. Seeing the immediate feedback of our speed dropping is a reward itself.

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Which Story to Tell?: Six Key Considerations When Developing Story-Driven Content

Posted by Jon Thompson on July 20, 2016

In the past three to five years, there’s been a rapidly growing recognition in the business world that strategic messages become much more meaningful (and a lot stickier) when presented as part of a visual human narrative. Much has been written about storytelling and story structure, but there’s been little conversation around the part of the process that happens before you actually begin the telling itself: story discovery
and selection.

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Cause to Tell a Story

Posted by Jon Thompson on May 16, 2016

Corporate Social Responsibility has been found time and again to be the leading driver of how Millennials choose to consume and find employment with 84% of them reporting it affects what to buy or where to shop and 78% reporting it affects where they choose to work.

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On Video Length: Is Longer Stronger?

Posted by Jon Thompson on April 28, 2016

“Push” or “pull” content makes a big difference.

Google recently conducted a test of YouTube pre-roll video length to measure the ad recall and brand favorability of three different length videos (0:15, 0:30 and 2:17). But both the study and AdWeek’s coverage of it failed to note one very important distinction when determining the most effective length for online video—whether the content was “pushed” or “pulled”.

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Is Virtual Reality Going to Become the New Wild West for Advertisers?

Posted by Jon Thompson on February 11, 2016

Any time a new technology suddenly hits the mainstream, you can find a bevy of marketers suddenly asking each other “How can we use this to sell things?”

It’s happened in the past with the internet, augmented reality, geolocation, proximity technology, interactive installations, music recognition services, every new iteration of social media, and now—virtual reality.

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Why and How You Should Be Shifting Your Web Spending

Posted by Jon Thompson on December 30, 2015

The New Age of Content on the Web


Anyone who has ever managed a website knows how quickly it can become stale and fail to serve your needs. Small changes are never as easy as you hope and large redesigns take far more time and money than they should. Too often, they are outdated before they’re even pushed live. This is largely due to bad habits we’ve learned surrounding what we think it takes to make and maintain a website. And we’re all ready to move beyond this antiquated way of keeping our websites humming.

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The Challenge of Authenticity

Posted by Jon Thompson on December 28, 2015

If you’ve been looking closely at product labels recently, you may have noticed an onslaught of words such as “Artisan”, “Hand-crafted”, “Genuine”, and “Since 19XX.” While many companies have been enthusiastic about joining this trend, it’s important for companies to remember that these buzz words won’t have an impact when there’s not an authentic, shareable story in place to support these fashionable claims. Many brands are struggling to find ways to tout their “authentic” element, but there is a much larger, and more important component of authenticity than printing the word “authentic” or the year you were founded on a label. Consumers want to know the larger story behind the brand—a statement of purpose or values that resonates with them. Many brands are unaware of the authentic stories that are constantly unfolding in connection with their products—just waiting to be told in a compelling manner. Brands would do well to commit ongoing resources to the uncovering and sharing these narratives and by allowing the brand’s consumers be the heroes of these stories; letting their words and actions bring the story to life.

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Groceraunts and the Future of Grocery Shopping

Posted by Jon Thompson on December 01, 2015

Wandering through aisles bustling with shopping carts while passing hundreds of different brands of cookies, crackers and cereals may become a thing of the past. Today’s consumers are no longer looking for a one-stop shop and are underwhelmed by the traditional food shopping experience.

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