Brand Builder Blog

Insights from our UQ students


  • « back to main

    Drawing 101: What you need to get started

    Att percent

    Whether it’s for 10 minutes or a few hours, one of the most relaxing and fun activities to me is, drawing! It is so enjoyable to see your creative imagination come to life on paper! You don’t even need to be a professional or a very gifted drawer to do it. Here’s what you need:

    1. Paper or Another Surface To Draw On

    Be it white copy paper, a sketch pad, on top of your English notes, or pages of a novel you didn’t like, all of these can be sources to express your artwork and doodles on.

    Att percent

    2. A Drawing Utensil
    Depending on how bold you are, the thickness of the lines you are going to use or maybe just whatever you have around you, you’ll need a tool to produce art. I have found some of my most favorite pieces and doodles have been with both graphite pencils from a brand called General Kimberly and Sharpies!

    Att percent

    3. Erase With Grace
    One thing that is almost inevitable when using graphite, or anything non-permanent, is that you will mess up and need to erase. So whenever I have pencil in hand you can always trust I have some sort of eraser in the other! My favorite eraser is called a Faber-Castell kneaded eraser, that sticks any trace of graphite to it making it seem as though you never messed up in the

    Att percent

    4. Rule It Out
    This tool is not a must have every time you’re drawing but it is always pretty helpful to have a ruler on hand to map things out evenly. I find it most helpful when sketching with lines and shapes or even when making dimensions correct when drawing bigger!

    Att percent

    5. Add Some Color
    Black and white drawings tend to look flat and static so every once in awhile I find myself wanting to add some color with colored pencils. My favorite type are a brand called PrismaColor Colored Pencils. They have such a large variety of high quality colored pencils that will leave your drawing bold and beautiful!

    Att percent


    Thanks to Christina Guidry from University of California, Davis for this creative post!


    Top 5 Essentials for a Good Run

    1. A Good Pair of Running Shoes

    Running Shoes are obviously the most important part of your run. They are the foundation for workout and in many cases one of the only objects that prevents you from getting injured. I recommend the Nike Free as an optimal running shoe. The Nike Free comes in many styles and colors to cater to the broad taste of runners everywhere. However no matter what style or color, each running shoe has a balance of comfort, support, and weightlessness. They’re perfect shoe to help you stay fit and feel good doing it.

    Att percent

    2. Spotify Playlist
    Many people say that running is defined by the concept of “mind over matter; if you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” However, I would have to say that running is defined by the music you have to motivate you. Having the ideal playlist is extremely important, especially when running long distance. You want a playlist that has songs with the same tempo, but also songs you like so that you aren’t skipping every other song. I have come to find that Spotify has thousands of “Workout Playlists” for any and all runners. They compile songs that are upbeat to promote a lively workout but are generally the same tempo so your workout has consistency. Spotify understands the importance of working out and the way a great playlist can make a good workout that much better.

    Att percent

    3. A Sturdy and Reliable Water Bottle
    Staying hydrated during your run is an important component to maintaining your endurance and health while running. Camelbak makes a series of products that are perfect to accompany you on your run. Each product is equipped with a straw and a rubber piece to bite that makes drinking much easier while you’re running. They make water bottles that are easy to carry but also make small backpacks that are equipped with water bottles in them for even more convenience. Camelbak products are perfect for every runner and make staying hydrated easy.

    Att percent

    4. Good Quality Athletic Top
    A reliable and good quality running top can make all the difference in your run. Cotton shirts tend to hold in sweat and can make any run unbearable. I recommend Lululemon,Nike, or Athleta tops. The tops are comfortable, flattering, and lightweight. They are the perfect tops to give you a confident and comfortable workout. Available in a variety of colors and styles, there are tops for everyone. Some have built in sports bras for extra support while others are looser for a more relaxed feel; these companies make a top for every woman on the run.

    Att percent

    5. Fitbit
    Depending on what type of runner you are, you may be concerned with different aspects of your work out. The Fitbit is the perfect tool to help you track the different stages of your run. Connecting to your iPhone through Bluetooth, the Fitbit can track your steps, distance, heart rate and many other components of your workout to give you a full summary of how hard your body is working and what you’re accomplishing from your run.

    Att percent


    Thanks to Madison Phin from Miami University for this post!


    5 Essentials Tools for Online Shopping

    There are 5 critical things you need to prepare yourself before diving into the digital world of online shopping. These 5 things will help you stay focused and allows you find exactly what you are looking for in the shortest amount of time and at the right price.

    1. Slice
    An app that automatically picks up tracking numbers in your email whenever you buy something. The app alerts you when a price has dropped after you bought something and will help you refund your purchase. It also tells you when anything you’ve bough is recalled to keep you safe. Finally it allows for easy access to your receipts in case you want to return a purchase.

    Att percent

    2. PriceGrabber
    PriceGrabber is one example of many of an app that lets you search online stores for deals and lets you compare prices of similar products. This app will ensure that you are finding the least expensive option. It’s simple and easy!

    Att percent

    3. A full battery and good internet connection
    Be prepared for your online shopping experience and make sure your computer batter is fully charged! Don’t forget that good internet connection is key in snagging those last minute deals. I reccommend the MacBook Pro with the latest-generation Intel processor. It’s the best to quickly search the web for your specific needs.

    Att percent

    4. Caffeinated Beverage
    This tool is imperative to staying alert while online. Grab a Coke or coffee before starting your online shopping to ensure you don’t miss any last minute sales. Visit a local coffee shop for the perfect online environment to get you in the mood.

    Att percent

    5. Credit Card
    Last but not least, have your credit card ready at all times! You never want to miss out on a great deal.

    Att percent


    Thanks to Kendall Donohue from Miami University for this post!


    Meet Christina– Fall 2015 VIP



    UC Davis, Class of 2016


    What are the Top 5 things on your “bucket list”?

    1. Travel to Thailand, New Zealand, & Australia
    2. Take a road trip across the country with my best friends
    3. Attend a Twenty One Pilots concert
    4. Become a firefighter
    5. Meet the Dalai Lama

    Favorite recently read book/article/blog?

    • Kite Runner

    Last meal on your last day on Earth?

    • Chipotle Burrito

    Top 5 favorite brands?

    • Nike
    • Vans
    • RVCA
    • Obey
    • RayBan

    You in 7 words:

    • unique, comic, adventurous, lover, loyal, athletic, rad

    Do You Know Duke?

    Duke at a Glance

     Our Duke University VIP Gives some School Insight


    Duke Infographic

    Thanks to Julia Kahky for this great infographic.


    Report: Friends are strongest influence over purchasing decisions

    According to a new report published by Forrester, 70% of consumers trust brand or product recommendations from friends and family compared to only 10% who trust advertisements.

    Consumers also appreciate authentic and honest reviews of products by third-party sources.  Personalized messages about specific products now trump generic advertisements meant to appeal to mass markets.

    In a society that is constantly evolving to find a more efficient, advanced solution to every problem we have, it seems that marketing methods are taking an opposite approach and reverting back to grassroots efforts. Old school word of mouth works.


    Word-of-mouth marketing proves to be the most influential way to spread your brand message; this is especially true among college students. College students are often times making their own purchasing decisions for the first time in their adult lives, without the help from mom and dad. They are living in close quarters and are likely to turn to their friends for approval. Great marketing plans are versatile, but marketers should not discount the influence of good-old word of mouth when planning their next campaign. Every activity you do, whether it be print, social, video – should be working towards making sharing your brand easy and rewarding.

    Need some inspiration? Check out how Pepsi Max is creating content that their target market will want to share.


    College Students are “Shopping Detectives”

    In UQ’s #universitychat last Tuesday we spoke with college students across the country to learn more about their shopping habits this holiday season. According to our research US college students are expected to spend $6.8 BILLION this holiday season, but their shopping habits differ from past generations and if you want their business, your strategy needs to be different as well. 



    Most millennials prefer to make their holiday purchases online because they can:


    -Read product reviews

    -Research discounts

    -Ship for free


    College students almost act as “shopping detectives” – researching everything before making a final decision. Some may call it non-committal; we like to think of them as well-informed.



    When talking to some of our UQ Brand Builders about the steps they take when buying gifts we spotted a trend, 90% of students:


    FIRST Find reviews on the product

    THEN Ask friends who know a lot about the product

    THEN (SOMETIMES) Make sure it is what the person wants



    Millennials love Amazon, ModCloth, UrbanSpoonAirbnb, Getaround and Yelp due to the high level of transparency and the extensive reviews that are readily available.


    84% of millennials use online reviews to make a final decision about a product. Thanks to smart phones, some research products online while they are shopping in store. Millennials are three times more likely than baby boomers to turn to technology to help them with their decisions; is it any surprise that this is called the Information Age?



    If you want to appeal to the millennial consumer, you need to have a strong online presence. But more importantly, you need to know how to use it.  Customer feedback and reviews are a strong influence on student purchases, and must be capitalized upon.


    Listen to what people are saying about you online and most importantly be open to change! Connect with reviewers who have had a bad experience and either make it up to them personally or adapt your product/service.


    We love our Jambox here in the UQ office – but when the battery stopped working we were a little peeved… Jawbone sent us a new one no questions asked – so instead of a negative review they got a standing o from our team. Customer service can go a long way and in most cases one bad review cancels out ten good reviews.


    To appeal to the millennial consumer, brands need to go deeper than basic advertising.  Millennials are more socially connected and are constantly searching for more information. To successfully market to this group you need to have all your bases covered or these so-called “shopping detectives” will move on.

    (Thanks to our rock star intern Nupur Gambhir for this post!)


    Crowd Sourcing Challenge

    UQ has partnered with Pepsi to create compelling advertising through crowd sourcing and you are invited to participate!

    Your challenge is to harness your creative energy to create an advertisement that demonstrates how you live by Pepsi’s mantra, “Live For Now.” We will be compiling all entries into one collective crowd-sourced ad and presenting them to Pepsi’s marketing team, with a chance that your ad may be picked to be a part of their 2013 campaign. This is your chance to have your work shown to the world!

    Submissions can include, but aren’t limited to a video, a graphic, photograph, presentation, song… there is no wrong answer! We want you to choose and create something that is meaningful to you.

    There are only 4 guidelines to submit your work:

    1. Has to be your original work (with up to 3 entries per person)

    2. Has to communicate the Pepsi mantra: Live for Now

    3. Has to somehow incorporate Pepsi or the Pepsi brand

    4. Submit your advertisements below by midnight December 31, 2012.


    During a discussion at UQ’s offices today, we were discussing the future of advertising and made an interesting observation:

    Crowd-sourced funding works

    Crowd-sourced product development works

    Could crowd-sourced advertising work?

    So we decided to test it.

    What is crowd-sourced advertising you ask? It is when a group of creative individuals can come together to share their ideas and advertise a product. Right now we are finalizing a top notch client to test this idea and we want YOU to participate!


    New Data Challenges Myths that Millennials are Apathetic Voters

    While Millennials hold a lot of power in voting this election year (46 Million eligible voters to be exact), their generation continues to get a bad wrap as being uninterested and apathetic, specifically regarding politics.

    Our recent survey challenges some misconceptions about college students and the 2012 presidential election. While some might assume that college students are busy tweeting funny memes and playing a drinking game during debates, that is not the case. The data shows that students not only care about voting, but they are taking their role as one of the most powerful generations to vote this year very seriously, and understand the impact the election will have on their future.

    “The winner of this election will be president during a pivotal point in my life,” a student responded from The Ohio State University.

    In our recent study, UQ Marketing found that 86% of the survey takers nationwide plan to vote this November.

    “In some cases, it may hold true that college students are using social media finding news and information. But this generation is taking election season very seriously,” said Leah Bell, president of UQ Marketing. “Students know how important their role in voting is, and they’re educating themselves first before listening to what their peers post on Facebook and Twitter.”

    In fact, we found that less than 1% goes to Twitter and Facebook when looking for information surrounding politics. College students don’t hold value in this year’s so-called #Hashtagwars, with 60.9% of students turning to family and friends first when forming political opinions.

    College students also indicated similar amounts of interest in current political issues to that of adults in the work force. The economy ranked highest amongst college students, with 40% of college students claiming that economic policy was the most important issue for them in the upcoming election. These figures do not stray far from a poll conducted by Gallup Politics, which states that 37% of adults think that the economy is currently the most important issue in the country.

    The key for candidates this year will be to connect with Millennials and show that they can make a difference. Students aren’t just listening to social media and television ads. The candidate who is able to make a personal and compelling connection with Millennials is the candidate that is most likely to win.