Thanksgiving Karsh Hagan Style

Today, we enjoyed Thanksgiving lunch KH style. Our annual Pockgiving Potluck celebrates two of our favorite things: our work family and our love of food.

This year, we hosted the first KH Pie Contest, which allowed our staff to show off their skills in the kitchen. We had more than twelve mouth-watering pies to sample ranging from the classic Dutch Apple to the more modern Salted Caramel Pie.

In the end, the no-bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie was victorious.

It was the perfect way to kick off the holiday season, with great company and delicious eats. It’s days like these we’re glad stretchy pants exist.


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Harvesting Memories

Certain smells evoke powerful memories. The smell of turkey roasting suddenly takes us back in time to a warm home with family and the promise of a full belly. Fragrant wood smoke hanging in the cold evening air, wet leaves, and the tantalizing scent of rich foods prepared with love draws our memories back to holiday togetherness with family, past and future.

We all have memories that remind us of special moments. Here are some of our favorite traditions, both old and new, that make the holidays unforgettable.

  1. Making Oreo turkeys for Thanksgiving called Oreokeys
  2. A huge and intense family Turkey Bowl (football game) before dinner finishing off the night with a game of charades
  3. Thanksgiving every year in the mountains with family enjoying skiing and midnight shopping at the Silverthorne Outlets
  4. Annual Turkey Trot benefiting Colorado United Way. This workout preps the family for all of the Thanksgiving food –  with no regrets!
  5. Playing Bingo for gag gifts and random prizes on Thanksgiving after eating
  6. Making potato bologna from a Swedish recipe passed down through the generations
  7. Making lasagna around Thanksgiving in memory of loved ones

Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!

Sara Hart, PR Intern 

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Should I Build A Website or A Mobile App?


Sometimes you get so busy making things you forget to stop and discuss what you do with your peer group. Thanks to the group of digital professionals from Vladimir Jones, Cactus Marketing, MJD Interactive, and Mondo Robot for coming to Karsh Hagan to chat about a question that is top of mind in the digital era: should you build a website or a mobile app?

The short answer is: you probably need both.

Here are 9 important takeaways from the discussion we had as a group.

  1. Defining The Need

If you are starting with the phrase “we need a mobile app,” then you have not thought through what your objectives are very clearly.  

Step 1: Define your users and their needs and document your goals and requirements.

Step 2: Define your user interfaces. It’s likely that your users will need multiple interfaces as you build a relationship with them.

  1. Providing Utility

Often, the more utility or functionality you need to deliver the more likely you are to want a mobile app experience. Native mobile applications are better suited for performing complex interactions you repeat over and over again in context. However, this is not always the case; always refer back to point 1.

  1. It’s About Your Users; Not About You

Employ user centered design and focus on the features that are the most important to your users and prioritize these for release in your agile management software like Trello. Interview your users, ask them open-ended questions about what they want to see in your digital solution. By using this philosophy you will be able to determine what interface is best for the user and this will help you make a successful application.

  1. Relentlessly Prototype and Test It

Always build a prototype to test your interface before you define what your interface will actually be. You can build a prototype in code, but maybe start with a tool like invision.

Step 1: Create a clickable prototype first to validate your concept with your users.

Step 2: Build a working prototype to further test and repeat this process into the foreseeable future. or Lookback are good testing tools to use.

5. Get Feedback From Your Users

Once you have your Mobile app or Website out in the wild, solicit feedback from your users and leverage comments in the app store for improvements.  You can use surveys, chat, forums, and contact forms to get feedback. You may find that your users need a different interface for your app after you have released it.

6. Design an Experience

Many of the mobile design patterns of apps and sites are starting to blend together for good reason. Ensure you have a consistent design between your site, app, and all communication channels. Remember that users view you as one company and one digital relationship so make it feel that way.

7.Build Relationships

Think of your website and your mobile app experience as on ongoing conversation. Whether it’s an app or a site, your goal is to acquire users, engage them and get them to be loyal. So, make friends, listen to your users, know their behavior, respond to them, give them what they expect and build a personal relationship with them through automated marketing and communications. Leanplum or Sharpspring are good tools to enable this.

8.Engage With Data

Start to restructure your IT infrastructure around universal access to content and data through APIs. To build engaging websites, mobile apps, and other digital touchpoints you will have to access real time data. In other words, don’t start to paint the car and define how the stereo works before you put an engine in it.

9. Measure The Entire User Journey

Now that you have a website and mobile app, you will want to build an effective and seamless brand experience. To do this, you will need to measure every interaction throughout the entire user journey because you are only as good as your weakest link. There are a lot of sophisticated dashboard reporting systems out there but you can start with Google Sheets to refine your Key performance indicators and reporting. After you do that, you can migrate into one of the many automated dashboard systems like qlikview.

Since this is a digital world we love to learn new things each and every day. If you feel like we missed anything here, feel free to give us your feedback.

David Stewart, VP, Creative Technology Director

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5 Ways to Appreciate Employees

65 percent of working Americans have said that they receive no praise or recognition at work. This lack of employee appreciation can lead to unhappy people and unhappy people never stay long. Karsh Hagan takes pride in continuously applauding the national quality work that is created here.

From quarterly company parties, to career advancement, Karsh understands the value of keeping their people happy!

Here are 5 ways Karsh appreciates employees:

  1. Training opportunities and yearly reviews to motivate people. Every year, Karsh sends people to industry conferences like SXSW and schedules in-depth reviews for each employee
  2. Paid volunteer days to give back to the community
  3. Sharing the wealth. When things are good, bonuses are distributed!
  4. Celebrating holidays and key milestones like Thanksgiving, bridal showers, Karsh anniversaries, baby showers, etc.
  5. Free food & parking! A fully stocked fridge dedicated to refreshments and a snack bar to help keep everyone going, and no-hassle parking!

Today, we catered a surprise lunch to show our gratitude. Without them, we wouldn’t be us.

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The Evolution of the InnovAge Campaign

This year, Karsh Hagan developed a new campaign for InnovAge, demonstrating how they provide a deeper level of care for seniors. To capture the passion and pride demonstrated by each featured story, Karsh Hagan hired the remarkable photography talents of Randal Ford. When we presented the work, the clients were thrilled, confident that the campaign would have a strong impact on their target audience.

The TV spot used Susan Sarandon as the voiceover talent and was recently recognized as the best commercial of the year at the 2015 Art Director’s Club of Denver award show.

“Senior citizens want more than just the independence of staying in their own homes. They want to maintain their lifestyles and continue to participate in the activities they love,” said Carol Quinn, Account Director at Karsh Hagan. “That insight led us to this campaign that brought out the unique personalities of actual InnovAge participants. We’re so proud of the work and couldn’t have asked for a better client team to partner with.”

Dave Fymbo, Senior Copywriter

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A Big Thank You to Our Nation’s Heroes!

A hero is defined as “a man (or woman!) of distinguished courage and ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities.”

This Veterans Day, we celebrate the millions of people who have made it their mission to protect the freedom of the American people, but sometimes, our heroes need saving too.

That was the case for Jason, a retired Airman looking for a companion to save him from the loneliness and stress of re-assimilation to civilian life. Jason heard about the benefits of adopting a companion pet from a fellow veteran and sought out Pets for Patriots, a non-profit organization dedicated to creating life-altering friendships between active and retired military veterans and last-chance shelter pets across the country.

After connecting with Pets for Patriots and one of their hundreds of shelter partners, Jason set out to find his new best friend.

Tyrion, a large, male Pit Bull and Jason hit it off. “Tyrion has given me a companion in a pretty lonely world,” Jason said. “He can tell when I am depressed and dealing with high anxiety times. He is also very protective and just an all around AWESOME Pit Bull.”

Jason is also thankful to his fellow veteran for recommending the Pets for Patriots service. “The program is amazing and helps with expenses,” he said. For every pet adoption, Pets for Patriots provides a generous post-adoption stipend towards pet food and other essentials. They also provide ongoing discounted pet care from veterinary partners to ease the financial burden that comes along with pet ownership.

Karsh Hagan has had the pleasure of creating a pro-bono relationship with this amazing organization since it’s inception in 2009. Each year, the intern team creates meaningful work that creates brand awareness and educates future veteran members, shelter/veterinary partners and donors alike.

To celebrate this wonderful organization and all the veterans who have served our country, KH threw a breakfast for the agency where employees told stories of the veterans in their lives and our interns had the chance to share past work and their current involvement with the brand.

Rebecca Sadowski, Copywriter Intern 

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A Fresh Take on the Tradition of Tea

When you think of travel what gets you excited? Is it new experiences, beautiful destinations, or the warm and inviting people you meet along the way? These are the thoughts that inspired tea-artisans Jeremy Law and David Wilkins when they founded the newly launched, Denver-based tea brand Platform T.

Platform T boasts a unique take on tea by offering 60 tea blends, 15 reserve varieties and tea-infused cocktails to increase traffic after dark. With so many unique offerings, Platform T needed a partner to help them with their brand identity, so they reached out to us and here is what we did.

  • We named their tea lounge, Platform T
  • Created their brand standard
  • Designed the logo and collateral pieces, like to-go cups and aprons
  • Our designs inspired top local architecture firm, Oz Architecture, to carry the brand’s vision through to the interior of their first store that opened in Glendale this summer

The creative team gained inspiration from the owner’s love of travel, and the global story of tea. And, we are excited to announce that all the hard work has been noticed and loved by the design world!

Here is where Platform T packaging has been featured:

We are also happy to announce that we won an award for our Platform T logo design at the Art Directors Club of Denver’s annual design competition a few weeks!

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