Welcome to our BLOG.

Whether it’s about branding, marketing, digital design, social media, green business, corporate social responsibility or our hometown of Seattle–we’ve got some things we’d like to say. Here you might find wisdom from the people whose brains we envy or shameless plugs for the ideas that get us fired up. Maybe even a behind-the-scenes look at what we do and the coffee we drink, or an occasional photo of whatever oddity happens into our view. Oh, and probably lots of cute animal pics too…we can’t help ourselves. Enjoy.


David Bauer of Hemispheres presenting at "What Seattle Really Thinks About Local"

New study: Seattleites love “local”… but many need more incentives

A new consumer study has revealed that Seattle-area residents care about local, independent businesses: 88% say that supporting these businesses is either very or somewhat important in their purchase decisions, and many are willing to pay more for the privilege. The love, however, is not without limits: Two-thirds of these consumers need more incentives to…

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Announcing the ADVANTAGE: LOCAL event series for Seattle businesses

If you run a locally owned and independently operated business in the greater Seattle area, we’ve got some exciting news. TRAY Creative is partnering with the nonprofit Seattle Good Business Network and Seattle-based customer insights agency Hemispheres to present ADVANTAGE: LOCAL — a new event series offering marketing and branding strategies for Seattle’s local, independent…

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B&W detail of flute keys and hands

Sure, you can cancel. But first, a sad flute.

When it comes to consumer perception of brands, it’s the little things that count. Things as small, in fact, as the hold music. Recently I decided to cancel a particular service I’d been using through Register.com, the domain registration provider. I was hoping to handle this quickly and efficiently online, but as is the case…

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April 25, 2013


More mentally stimulating than Honey Boo Boo (Image: DogTV)

Niche marketing goes barking mad: a TV channel for dogs

In an age where seemingly every niche market gets its own cable TV network, you knew something like this was coming: DirecTV has just announced the addition of DogTV, a premium channel targeted exclusively to dogs. Not dog owners. Dogs. DogTV features images and audio claimed to be specifically calibrated for canine sensitivities. According to…

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April 10, 2013

Lifestyle, Marketing


7 PowerPoint mistakes that put audiences to sleep

PowerPoint. The very word evokes fear and loathing in business audiences everywhere. The reaction of a typical prospect, upon learning that he or she will be subjected to your PowerPoint sales presentation, is that it’s 45 minutes of her life she’ll never get back. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Avoid these seven…

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April 2, 2013


Image: Starbucks

What keeps people coming back to your brand?

BrandChannel recently wrote about the intriguingly one-way relationship between Starbucks and its community of loyal fans. The coffee giant has managed to become one of the world’s most beloved brands despite the fact that, as BrandChannel points out, “they don’t even try that hard.” Take social media, for example. Here, Starbucks seems to break all…

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March 18, 2013

Branding, Marketing, Social media


Google Reader, we’re not ready to see you go

So Google has decided to shut down its Google Reader service as of July 1, 2013. If you’re not familiar with Google Reader, it’s an RSS service that allows you to keep tabs on updated content from your favorite websites. If you happen to be in the business of information, Reader is an invaluable content…

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March 14, 2013



TRAY launches new website for Caffe Vita

Here at TRAY we love us some coffee, particularly Caffe Vita, the popular Seattle coffee roaster that’s expanding into cities around the country. So it’s with great pleasure — and much caffeine — that we announce the launch of Caffe Vita’s new website. TRAY worked with the Vita team to determine how a new website and e-commerce…

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March 11, 2013

Branding, Design, TRAY News

Detail from content sponsored by CTIA, the wireless industry trade group, appearing on The Washington Post's website

The delicate balance needed for sponsored content

Online advertising — banner ads, rich media units, and the like — is a tough slog these days. It’s still hard to prove whether or not it actually delivers ROI. So more and more brands are turning to sponsored content, otherwise known as native advertising. It’s about integrating your brand’s voice and story into an…

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March 8, 2013

Advertising, Marketing