Friday Digital Roundup
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Welcome to Spaghettiville – The Story Behind the Rebrand
Howdy Partner, and welcome to Spaghettiville.
This town is the result of years of work, toil and tribulation and we’d like to give you a little tour and explain how it came to be.
Pull up a stool at the bar and I’ll tell you the history of Spaghettiville…
Back in 2011 none of this existed. Back then I was driving a van for a small business and Jo was working for an advertising agency.
I was tweeting for a wine merchant and I started to get some attention from local businesses. Jo was managing accounts for large automotive clients and also proofreading mountains of copy and advertising.
I accidentally started WarwickTweetup with a conversation on Twitter and I began running events and then Twitter workshops with my WarwickTweetup colleagues, Karen and Christie.
Jo began to spot lots of errors I was making in my writing online and in my blogs. She really wanted to fix it, so she came on board to correct me! Yup – I landed myself a place in the Correctional Facility.
Neither of us knew back then what we were going to create, and it wasn’t until 2013 that things changed for myself and for Jo.
Personal lives got changed. Homes got sold and things were messy for a while.
But good things can come from tough situations and we soon realised we kinda liked each other. (If only we still did! – Jo.)
We also realised that we complemented each others’ services too, so I left my job of 11 years and took the leap with Jo. We moved Jo’s Correctional Facility (her already established copywriting and proofreading business) into a new era and we’ve been building on that business ever since.
Things got exciting when we realised that we could finally afford a ‘proper’ website. We spoke to the folks at Edge of the Web and they agreed they could definitely improve on our home-made WordPress website.
But those darned creatives had a condition before we could move forward…
Edge said they didn’t like our brand.
They said it didn’t mean anything to them.
They said that JCF was not telling the story of our brand and that we really should consider changing it.
We said yes, right there, with no hesitations.
We knew they were right but it needed someone else to lead us into it.
And so began the journey and the rebrand that you may have followed for about the last six months.
It’s at this point that I need to explain the inspiration behind Spaghetti…
Last year we created something quite cool in our business
We started to email our list once a week.
We knew we needed to stay in contact and we knew we had to keep our list engaged, so we came up with the idea that we should send a funny, entertaining roundup of all the content that we’d found online that week.
It was fairly easy for us. Laura is epic at finding great content in her role as content curator and social media manager, I love writing, and blogging is something I can do at the drop of a hat, and of course Jo adds the much-needed polish to my writing.
So the email idea was born.
But what would we call it?
In only a few seconds I said how about “The Friday Digital Roundup?”
Yes! Yes, that’s it!
… and so it stuck.
It was a plain text email as we’d been told by experts that you shouldn’t over-design your emails. Images and graphics often don’t load on Gmail or mobile devices, and you’re left with “The Red Squares of Death”.
But after the first FDR our friend and IT Director Craig emailed us and told us we were wrong. (He does that a lot but we respect him too.)
“Look, you’re a digital agency and you create websites, social media, and visual content. Look at this email”.
In his email he’d attached a branded sexy email. “Lots of copy, but a nice branded design too. You should really think about branding your email.”
We toiled with it for a while.
We knew our other respected friend and copywriter Vicky Fraser sent awesome emails and she was a big fan of plain copy emails. She really knows what she’s doing!
But Craig was right and Vicky was right. So we decided to have a banner for the FDR but leave the rest as plain copy and we sent the idea over to Squirrel (our designer).
Squirrel is awesome.
Not just for creating top quality memes for our social media but because he just ‘gets’ us. We don’t really guide him. We give him the brief and he creates stuff – and he usually nails it first time without faffing. (He’s the stuff of dreams for any agency or designer.)
Squirrel sent back the banner for the FDR and it had a cowgirl on it with a lasso around the text because Jo’s ‘rounding up’ the content.
The Friday Digital Roundup was born.
The Friday Digital Roundup has become the email that wakes up business people for almost a year now. We haven’t changed the format as the feedback is pretty good.
But what does this all mean for our new brand?
Well on the list of happy FDR subscribers was Thom at Edge of the Web, and he very kindly said that the FDR is one of the only company emails he actually reads most weeks.
He liked the informal style we wrote in. He wanted us to build on this. He showed us a Wild West concept (inspired by the cowboy and girl that Squirrel had put together) that we loved.
Initially we were going to be called something else that was closely related – and I may share that with you one day.
But we loved the concept of the Wild West Warwickshire and us as wardens and prospectors in our digital town helping folk make the most our of social media and digital marketing.
So, why the name? Why Spaghetti?
Well the first brand name Edge came up with was going to be a risk as another business online was using something similar and we had to re-think.
We were gutted as it was an amazing brand name and we could have had a cool five letter name. But we dusted ourselves down and started thinking what we could be instead.
We went through LOADS of names and it was starting to look like we weren’t ever going to come to a decision on it.
Edge continued working on the concepts and website mock-ups and we carried on working on our clients’ social media and marketing, and we kept on sending out the FDR each week.
One Sunday evening I decided I was going to find the brand name.
It had to be Wild West inspired and it had to be one word.
I spent a good hour drinking wine and watching spaghetti westerns on my office Mac before I said to myself;
“I really must stop watching Spaghetti Westerns”.
It was perfect. It was a memorable word we all know and love.
It was western-themed and fitted our concept perfectly.
It was also Italian! Jo is Italian and we work from our home office in what was her grandfather’s home. (It was nice to link it all together.)
Spaghetti Westerns are also known as Italian westerns and we’d just found our new brand.
Spaghetti Agency was born.
Why agency? Well we’re a bit bigger than just Jo and I, you know!
There’s a team of us and we wanted to make sure that we were seen as more than just a twosome.
The branding and theme all come from the Wild West. We’re rounding up the town and we’re helping folk who enter it get the most from online marketing.
The town consists of four main areas:
- The Social Saloon – social media management.
- Todd the Prospector – analytics and online advertising.
- Round the campfire – social media and online marketing training and speaking.
- Jo’s Correctional Facility – YES… that’s right. JCF lives on in our town correcting your grammar and creating content for websites and advertising.
So we have an agency and we have four core areas to our offering.
We’re more organised.
We’re moving forward to help more businesses and we’re making it more obvious how we can do that.
Oh…. And we’ll be mostly wearing cowboy boots around town from now on but you may have spotted that we’ve been doing that for a while now… trickle trickle… tease, tease…
We hope you like the new look, bigger and better business
We hope you’ll continue on our journey and we hope that you visit our town some more.
We’ll be blogging each week on Spaghetti and we’ll of course be sending out our Friday Digital Roundup every Friday as normal… albeit with a new brand on the banner!
Thanks for readin’, folks!
What do you think? Tell us what you think about our new brand, business and website. Go on – shoot us your feedback in the comments!
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