Keeping Your Business Alive

Keeping your business alive during this crisis is undoubtedly on the top of many people’s minds. Needless to say, we are in uncharted territory with regards to everything going on today in our society. The Corona/Covid-19 situation and the stress of the times is starting to weigh on everyone.

First of all, we believe that the health and safety of our community is the number one priority. However, we also have hope that sooner than later our lives will return to something they resembled in the past. Nothing lasts forever. Our kids will return to school. Businesses and organizations will return to their offices. Commerce and the economy will begin to flourish again. Life will return to something that resembles what we had before Covid-19. Sounds like the speech given by Bane in the movie Dark Knight Rises, but true.

Open For Business!

77 Design Co. is open for business. Saving businesses online one day at a time! We’re not going to quit the fight. Unless, every business in the world ends, we’ll be here, and we will continue the fight for your success!

The advantage to a business model like that of 77 Design Co, is that we are nimble and able to adapt quickly. Double 7’s can function at 100% as a virtual business. We’ll utilize the very technologies we help to create for our clients. Our goal is to continue to brand and market your business or organization during these unprecedented times. In some cases, with current clients, they are FLOURISHING! Big time!

77 Design Co business card, keyboard, and flash drive.
Call, email, or text if you have questions. We’ll help in any way possible. Free of charge!

It’s understandable that the economy is going to suffer for a period of time, however, we highly recommend that your marketing efforts do not stop. Believe what you will, but now is the time to act. Time to double down on your efforts. The market may be soft because of this pandemic, but once doctors, scientists, and medical professionals get this outbreak under control the market will rebound. It will rebound in a BIG way! Once the pandemic is over customers will be back out buying like never before. Don’t be left behind. Come out on top.

What Can You Do?
Image of scrabble pieces spelling marketing.

Your customers are counting on you to be there at the end of this. For example, think about adding to or creating new elements for:

* Social media marketing​

* Email Marketing

* SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

* Blogging

* Remote blog or social media training for your staff.

* Updating or creating a website

* Direct Mail Marketing

* Radio Advertising

* Digital Marketing / Google ads.

Further, you can view ALL of our services here:


Adapt and change with the market BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT YOUR CUSTOMER NEEDS. Our community is all in this together. Above all, please don’t give up on yourself or your business and throw in the towel.

Don’t say there isn’t any opportunity in a down market. Refuse to say “no one needs what I’m selling, or I can’t sell what I have.” We’re all going to take hits during this crisis, but take a minute and think through your business, your verticals, and your products.

Where will your business be at the end of this pandemic?

What can you diversify with your products and services?

Where can you create a new product line?

Can you create a new avenue of marketing or drive demand for your product and a new line of revenue?

In addition, this Ad Exchanger link discusses more. Here is an important excerpt from the article, “Sales will be lower all around during an economic downturn, but the advertising you do today will help you over the next year, the next five years and beyond,” Wieser said. “This is actually a good time to build trust.”

Nothing Comes Easy

While it won’t be easy, it’s certainly possible to succeed in a slumping economy. We’re here to help and answer any questions you may have. For instance, let’s work together to develop strategies to help you navigate these uncharted waters.

77 Design Co. is committed to helping small business succeed, keep their doors open, and keep roofs over their family’s heads. Keeping your business alive during this mess is crucial.

We have been, and will continue to work for, local businesses at reduced rates, commission rates, or in some cases free of charge until this ends. The top priority at 77 Design Co is to see as many businesses through these tough times as possible. Once again, keeping your business alive is the only thing we want for you. In conclusion, if we all work together, we will survive!

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Marketing Success in a Down Economy

Marketing success in a down economy. Yes, your business CAN!

The Coronavirus has brought almost everything to a screeching halt. Tough times indeed, but the final story has not yet been written. Fighting for the success of your business is CRITICAL!

Dollar bills and coins laying on glass with the 77 Design Co business card.
Keep your business marketing and diversify!

The Great Depression was one of the hardest economic times for consumers and companies in American history. However, a few companies doubled down on their marketing and advertising. They adapted, and even developed new products/services during that time. That is to say, consumers still had options and choices to fit their budget.

No matter the economic climate, day of the week, time of the year – someone, somewhere, is still doing business. Shouldn’t YOUR business be out there to compete?

Sure, maybe people won’t replace their HVAC systems and buy add-ons like UV lights and extra filters, but there’s still repairs to be made. Maybe they will buy the add-on!

Windows will still need to be replaced. Construction of new homes and buildings will still take place. People will still need to see the dentist. Cars will need to be repaired or insured. Groceries will still be purchased. Shoes will still wear out. Grass will inevitably grow and lawns will need to be cut. Some of these businesses may be halted right now. Doesn’t matter, there will still be demand in due time. High demand!

Until then, read on about how to diversify…

Life will go on we will adapt. Money may not flow as freely as it has in the past few years, but it will still flow. Thinking about it, maybe we took everything we had for granted (which is a totally alternative topic.) However, consumers still need products! Let them know you are there and can get them what they need!

1. Proctor & Gamble

How did Proctor and Gamble beat the Depression? Things got tough when grocery customers started cutting their orders. Inventories piled up. P&G realized that even in a depression people would still need soap (again no matter the time, day, economic climate, someone somewhere is doing business.) So, customers decided they may as well buy from Procter and Gamble. Why? Because they saw them, and saw them often.

Instead of pulling back their advertising, P&G throttled up. The company researched and actively pursued new marketing avenues, including commercial radio broadcasts. One of these tactics involved sponsoring daily radio serials aimed at homemakers, the company’s core market. In 1933 P&G debuted its first “soap opera”, Oxydol’s Own Ma Perkins. Women around the country quickly fell in love with the tales of the kind widow.

This program was so successful that P&G started cranking out similar programs to support its other brands. By 1939, the company was producing 21 of these so-called “soap operas.” In 1940, the company started its own production division for soap operas. By 1950, it made the first ongoing television soap opera, The First Hundred Years.

2. Martin Guitars

Like entertainment of the time, musical instruments would seem to be a vulnerable industry in a down economy. As a result, venerable acoustic guitar maker Martin made it through the Depression utilizing strategies that were deliberate and well thought out. Martin is known for some of the most high-end guitars in the world today. The company stuck to its principle of not giving high volume retailers discounts, which maintained its relationship with smaller dealers and cemented the company’s image as a fair manufacturer.

Martin also created an “entry level” line and began offering the new, less expensive models. They went on to enjoy great popularity. The ​guitar that comes to mind when someone says “acoustic guitar” is the “dreadnought” born out of necessity during The Great Depression.

Once again, marketing success in a down economy.

3. Breweries

Ah, Breweries! Yes, money was tight, but brewer’s core product, beer, wasn’t even legal! Talk about having it BAD! During national Prohibition from 1920 to 1933, about half of the country’s breweries closed their doors. Alternatively, several hung in hoping and working for a repeal. How did these brewers make ends meet during the Great Depression when they couldn’t sell beer to a distressed population of people? Worse, people who didn’t have jobs? By diversifying.

And then diversifying some more…. And maybe even a little more…

Brewers started venturing out into other enterprises including running dairies, selling meat, and other agricultural enterprises. Brewers were also allowed to make “near beer” that had only trace amounts of alcohol. Breweries applied their expertise to soft drinks like ginger beer. Frank Yuengling, who headed the brewery of the same name outside of Philadelphia, remained confident that Prohibition was just a phase. He personally diversified widely, including a foray as a bank president and opening a dance hall.

In the end, waiting out the storm by diversifying (and maybe brewing some illicit beer on the side) turned out to be a sound marketing strategy. According to a survey done by the American brewing ​industry, eight of the 10 largest brewers in the U.S. are pre- Prohibition brands that survived through the Depression.

Coors Brewing Company also diversified and weathered the storm during the Great Depression. Good stuff! We all (beer lovers) appreciate this today! Check out more brewery success stories here:

Another example of marketing success in a down economy.

A photograph of a case of Coors Original Banquet beer outdoors.

So, don’t say there’s not opportunity in a down market. Don’t say no one needs what I’m selling, or I can’t sell what I have. Use all of your resources and brainpower right now to come up with a plan.

We’re all going to take hits during this crisis, but take a minute and think through your business, your verticals, and your products. Can you diversify? Where can you create a new product line? How can you create a new avenue of marketing to drive demand for your product? While it won’t be easy, it’s certainly possible to succeed in a slumping economy.

We’re here to help in any way we can. Drop us a line.

Marketing Scrabble tiles and a 77 Design Co business card.

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Will Your Business Survive the Coronavirus?

Will your business survive the Coronavirus? Nope, this is not a health-related blog. No, we are not health experts or doctors. However, hopefully this blog will find those interested in securing the success of their small business through the tough economic times ahead. We are talking marketing, finances, and brand awareness here.

The Obvious

It is pretty obvious from the stock market, closures, and the craziness happening that we are about to go through a monstrous economic downturn. As a result, many will suffer if they are not prepared. You cannot argue that fact logically. It WILL happen. It may be a few weeks (hopefully) or it may be longer term. What must your company do to avoid falling into an abyss and suffering the fate of other ill-equipped businesses?

Design of a small business owner shackled to a weighted ball in blue with gold coins. Will your business survive the Coronavirus?

To clarify, the cancellations of trade shows, seminars, schools, business trips/meetings, sporting events, and many other high-profile large events will undoubtedly affect us all. In addition, restaurant, bar, and other establishment closures are imminent. Other small businesses are no exception. They will feel the heat also. In fact, many small businesses will be facing very turbulent times ahead. You need to prepare!

If you don’t want to hear anymore, go ahead and click the X button at the top of your screen. Consequently, what we say about preparation won’t matter. Don’t worry, we won’t hold it against you.

You’re still reading. So, what can you do as a small business owner to ensure that your company survives?


Throughout history, there are some fantastic stories of business success during or after an economic downturn. The story of Proctor & Gamble during the Great Depression is a great example.

To make a long story short: Proctor & Gamble doubled down on their advertising and marketing while other companies were cutting ad budgets. P&G understood that even during the Great Depression, people would still need soap. They started new radio ads and targeted homemakers with other new marketing avenues. They faced difficult financial times during the Great Depression, but never wavered on their marketing campaigns. When the recession ended, P&G came out on top as one of the leading soap companies in the world. These ads led to the creation of “soap operas.” Because they continued to stay in front of people. They were well recognized and created a brand awareness that other companies lacked. We’ll keep the story short. Look it up. See here for other success stories:

Moral of the story: don’t get left behind. Tough economic times require a HUGE push on your marketing. Scrape together what you can and get your message out. Not just any message, but the right message. Make your business known and visible. Cutting your marketing/advertising budget is a recipe for disaster.


Will your business survive the coronavirus outbreak? Well, that is entirely dependent on you, the business owner. We do have some recommendations though.

Woman checking phone while wearing  a Coronavirus mask.
COVID-19 has already disrupted every aspect of our lives.

Now that events are being cancelled, and working remotely is being encouraged, online marketing and social media will be more important than ever! Consumers will be home and will also be on their desktops, TVs, laptops, tablets, and phones even more.

We recommend looking into paid Google ads, consistent social media marketing, Geofencing, and/or pushing your business’s SEO (Search Engine Optimization) RIGHT NOW! Currently, we still have Facebook. Instagram and LinkedIn are still up. We still have Google. Cell phones are still working. Additionally, make sure that your company website is updated often and optimized. TV or radio ads will do wonders, too.

The creation of an interesting and visual marketing campaign is vital. Start thinking about it yesterday. Because, it will separate you from the competition. Your competition likely will cancel ads or downplay the importance of their marketing and advertising. They will suffer.


The cream will rise to the top. Prepared businesses will reap the benefits. The Coronavirus could be a serious hinderance or a unique opportunity to separate your business from the rest of your competition. The question is, how will you use this moment?

In conclusion, as a local marketing firm, we feel it is our obligation to help other local small businesses as much as possible. We are deeply concerned about the success of our colleagues within Westmoreland County, Pa. and the surrounding areas. The United States of America, our citizens, and the millions of small business owners here are a resilient bunch. We will get through, but it will be hard. Nothing new for any of us.

We must all be prepared though for the coming weeks, months, or hell…even years. As a result, you can plan to position your business for stability now. Will your business survive the Coronavirus?

77 Design Co orange logo on gray background.

Stay healthy. Stay smart. Don’t panic. Don’t let failure occur. We all need to stick together. Let us know how we can help. For a free consultation in creating a strategic marketing plan, feel free to touch base with us.

Reach out to us by phone at 412.889.3495, or or

Analyze. Create. Achieve.

Bad Business-Don’t Do It

Bad business, don’t do it! Don’t be that business owner others talk about…negatively.

by Email Marketing Girl.

We’re generally an upbeat, optimistic crew here at double 7’s, but sometimes we see (or unfortunately at times deal with) bad business. Focusing on the negative is NOT what we do. We help businesses get better through positive marketing tactics and reputation.

Rob Hoffman at the Narcisi Winery.
Be positive. Be on time.
Oh, we’re sure you’ve seen it too!

We all know them. We’ve all dealt with them, bad business owners. Maybe they aren’t aware of it. Perhaps, inexperience leads them into making poor business decisions. Likewise, cash flow could be an issue.

There’s an array of situations that this topic could cover. However, we’ll just discuss a few things we have seen from our own marketing experiences. Consequently, we hope this blog will help SOMEONE out to avoid making bad business choices. Further, we also hope this will allow consumers (all of us) to be aware of what to look for.

Follow up! Communication is key!

First one I can think off the top of my head is not having a good lead system. Show up when you say you will. If someone calls you about an inquiry for your services, make sure you call them back! We all understand people are busy but you should reach out within 24 hours. A 24 hour response should be a maximum time frame. At least say, we have received your request. We are gathering some information and will reach out to you shortly. 

Have a client meeting? Don’t show up late. I think that is pretty self explanatory, especially if this client is paying you money for your services. 

77 Design Co business card, keyboard, and flash drive.
Call, email, or text if you are late or have to cancel. Customers appreciate this!

Don’t bite off what you can’t chew. If someone wants a certain service that you don’t feel comfortable with doing, or you do not have the necessary resources for, make sure you are up front with the client. Either you lower your overall price or do not do that service. That is to say, refer them to someone who can. You do not want to put your name on subpar work. 

Don’t overcharge or change pricing without first notifying your customer. Talk to them first about an unforeseen situation/cost on a project. This happened to one of us last year on a home project. Needless to say we were not thrilled with how it was handled. Subsequently, we reviewed this local business negatively on several platforms. They have yet to respond to the review, and did nothing to remedy the situation. Bad business, don’t do it!

There’s that word again, CONSISTENCY!

Make sure your brand is consistent. You need flyers, cards, emails, a website, brochures, etc., all branded with your logo and colors. Consistent brand identifiability is key. If this is something you do not have currently, find a print shop or marketing professional that can help you with this. Branding is huge!

Be social, NOT socially unacceptable!

Above all, behave on your social media channels. That is to say, don’t get involved in political debates, foul language, controversial topics, or bad mouth competition. Definitely don’t be posting drunken photos and videos while you are out. If your personal page can be tied to your business, make sure its also acceptable content. All of the above are things we’ve seen in the past by business owners, and recommend NOT DOING.

For example, post fun, informative, and creative information. Sure, everyone likes to have fun once in a while and this can add personality to you and your business. Most noteworthy, make sure what you share and post is clean and inoffensive.


Finally, online reviews. Reputation is everything in business. If you get a bad review on Yelp, or Google (to name a few) don’t ignore it. Respond kindly and accordingly. Explain a little about the situation and what you may have tried to do to right the wrong. DO NOT get mad and respond in anger. Be courteous in your response. Believe us when we say potential customers will see these reviews if they are thinking of using you, and many will appreciate your amiable response to the review.

77 Design Co gray and orange logo

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What is the Best Thing About Your Business?

What is the best thing about your business? Do you show this to the world?

By Email Marketing Girl

Email Marketing Girl drinking wine.

When we ask this question, we hope it starts to generate some thought. Gets those creative juices flowing. Why are you in business? What is the best thing about YOUR business? What are you doing to display this in your marketing?

So, we stand by the initial thoughts we had when we began this partnership. That is to say, in order to effectively market your business, you have to show personality. Likewise, show customers why you care, or how you help. Generally, people will be more likely to purchase from you if you SHOW them who YOU ARE as a company or individual.

Photo of Rob and Bobby.
Yes, we like to drink beer…and bourbon. However, we work our butts off before enjoying either.
Could it be company culture?

Do you have a high retention rate of employees and they absolutely love working for you? You need to showcase this on your companies social media platforms, especially LinkedIn, where a large amount of people find their jobs nowadays. Photos and videos! Share them.  

Is the best thing your product? 

Make sure this product is front and center on your website to showcase it the most. Also be sure to post about it on your social media. Similarly, share photos and videos!

Are you the best at social media? 

Whether it be you personally, as your company, or a service you provide to customers. This is huge since we are living in a social media world. Everyone looks to social media platforms and everyone, almost everyone, is on social media. You can’t hide…

Customer experience top notch? 

This is wonderful! Make sure that you are putting customer reviews on your website, in your emails that you send, and on social media. People look to reviews for everything. That is to say, they trust those reviews, so make sure they are easily accessible. Reviews are becoming increasingly more important because it’s sometimes the only thing customers look for.

Is your office space super hip, or tech savy? 

This is great for millennials. The more hip, the better. But be sure to update your office and show it on all platforms! People want to see what kind of office you work in. So, whether it be a person that wants to work for you, or a customer that is intrigued, it would do best to explain and show your space.   

77 Design Co gray and orange logo

Analyze. Create. Achieve.