Real Estate Branding: The art of putting something on the map.


Due to Pittsburgh’s recent explosion in real estate growth, our agency has found ourselves working on more and more branding projects for commercial real estate properties, services, and various other category specific projects. This has been great news for the Pittsburgh market, and also for our agency.


I wanted to write a short blog that talks about some of the things we have learned in our journey into a new category.


People love to call things by their old name. This is an unfortunate Pittsburgh tradition, and I’m sure elsewhere throughout the country. It’s human nature to resist change and it is even harder when a certain building or property existed for years prior. Our approach to developing a name for commercial or residential real estate is to keep things very simple. You will most likely want to go with a short and succinct name that is catchy, fun and easy for anyone to say.  


When developing a logo for a property, we take a look at a wide variety of influences including the properties history, its location, physical appearance, and many other aspects. The final logo should be something that reflects the use of the building. If you are looking for tech companies to lease your space, go with something more forward. If you are leasing property for residential, go with something that reflects the vibe of your property or neighborhood. Make sure that whatever you choose will be easily incorporated into the building through the interior and exterior signage, marketing materials, staff uniforms, etc.


If you follow these tips, you will hopefully have a new property name and logo that not only represents your property but something that people will adapt and use for a long time.



John heads up business development at Elisco.
His primary focus is to build awareness about the agency’s unique capabilities among prospective clients, in addition to developing and maintaining relationships with current and past clients. Prior to joining Elisco, he established and fostered supply chain management relationships at PLS Logistics. John graduated from La Roche College with a B.S. in Marketing and Business Management.


Effective Advertising: What it means to invest in your brand’s growth.


It can seem that in today’s world, advertising is not driving the growth it used to. Massive amounts of money is spent on advertising, but more and more, that advertising is not being noticed and not leaving an impact on the intended audience. A few telling stats:

  • A study by the Advertising Research Foundation found that 69% of all US TV commercials receive no visual attention (putting up to $40 billion of investment at risk in the US alone); 27% air in an empty room.

  • Only 12% of supposedly ‘viewable’ ads are actually noticed by consumers, according to Lumen Research.

  • More than 600 million devices now have ad blocking, in what US journalist Doc Searls called the biggest boycott in history.

WARC outlines 5 constituent parts of effective advertising: 1. Invest in growth, 2. Balance your spend, 3. Be creative, be emotional, be distinctive, 4. Plan for reach, and 5. Plan for recognition

This blog will consider the first constituent: Invest in growth. This does not just mean investing money (although important), but investing time for strategy, research, and internal communication and goal setting.  

Investing in internal communication

Internal communication is crucial to successful marketing. It should be incorporated into a marketing plan at the beginning and throughout the campaign. It is important for your team to feel that their voices are heard, and they are contributing (if possible) or kept up to date with upcoming changes and plans. They must understand what the goals are and what is begin done to reach them. By being involved, they will be more like to be on-board with the general marketing direction and be advocates for your brand. They may also have some insider insight or ideas that would have otherwise gone unreported.

Investing time for research

The price-tag for market research can be hefty, but before beginning a strategic plan, it is important to know, not guess, how your brand is currently seen, who your competitors are, test market variables, understand your audience, and pinpoint opportunities better. Without market research, your dollars and time may be spent on the wrong focus.

Investing time for strategy

Take the time to plan. A strategic plan will define objectives, audience, messaging, challenges, opportunities, geographies, strategy, tactics, media, budget and timelines. Most importantly, a strategic plan will tell you what you should expect at various steps of the plan, which may be used to determine how effective your marketing is. Without taking time for a strategic plan, there will be no guide to determine best tactics, and it will be more difficult to measure success.

Investing money

To grow, you must ensure that your brand’s share of voice exceeds its share of market. To do this will require a budget. Keep in mind your brand size and the market. Does your brand have the space to grow, is it able to? Consider what media channels make the most sense for your brand to best connect with consumers. 

Lastly, focus on long term goals and revaluate your definition of ROI. Do not focus solely on the ROI ratio. Cutting your advertising budget may help the short-term ROI ratio, but it will damage the brand. Evidence from the landmark studies of Les Binet and Peter Field, on behalf of the UK trade body Institute for Practitioners in Advertising (IPA), suggests that an ideal split of marketing investment is 60% for long-term brand building and 40% designated for short-term activation. Advertising should be a long-term investment, and must involve strategic planning, research, milestone goals and timelines.



As an Account Manager, Melanie works with a variety of clients including Clearview Federal Credit Union, Community LIFE and Senior LIFE. She also manages public relations efforts for the agency and clients such as Solevo Wellness. 


Broken customer experience in banking.


We all know that consumers have increasingly demanded a smoother and faster-paced purchasing process for products and services across all industries. With our leaps in digital over the past decade, the “Now” economy not only expects this type of purchasing process, they demand it. In financial services, this certainly needs to become the standard as well.  

In a recent article by The Financial Brand,  Why Millennials Refuse To Open Bank Accounts Digitally, they’ve provided some very intriguing statistics on why financial brands need to make it a priority to map the customer journey with a specific focus on their digital properties. On average, more than 75% of e-commerce shoppers choose to leave a website before completing a purchase. That is a tremendous amount of people across all industries that are openly considering buying a product or service, but for a reason decided to leave your funnel. My advice, don’t encourage them with poor customer experience digitally.  

When it comes to financial services customer journey, it is hard to ignore these facts. Millennials made up 49% of those who opened bank accounts last year. Credit cards were the most common type of new account opened on web or mobile — 61% of individuals who opened a new credit card did so digitally.

I recently wanted to open a savings account with my current financial institution that already handles my checking and personal line of credit. I went through all of the steps digitally only to arrive at the end where they required a phone call confirmation. I thought no sweat, except they required a phone confirmation from the number listed on my account. This number happened to be my parent’s landline phone that I most likely used when setting up my account in 2006. Guess what happened? I definitely never confirmed the account with that number because the only time I am at my parents is on weekends when I am visiting, and not interested in handling my personal banking needs.

This whole process stuck out to me, and I wondered, why can’t I open an additional savings account with the financial institution who already handles my checking account? I was never angered by this, but slightly annoyed. I know a little savings account sounds like small potatoes, but these stats make it slightly more of a problem for banks. 31% shared their negative experience with a friend or family member, opened an account at another financial institution, filed a complaint, or discontinued their relationship. In my case, this experience planted a seed of doubt in my mind. Is this how they handle mortgages, car loans, other products? If it is, I don’t know if I would want to keep my money there or continue to explore other financial services. I certainly didn’t up and leave my bank, but it was an inconvenience for me. I never actually did open that savings account, and certainly shared my experience with others.

Now my experience was definitely not a crisis, but I think it should concern a financial services company into digging deeper through their digital customer experience. My advice, help people who want to spend their money with you, the cost is too high if you don’t.

If you would like help on mapping or furthering your customer journey or positioning your financial products, especially to Millennials, please let me know. Our agency would be more than happy to assist.



John heads up business development at Elisco. His primary focus is to build awareness about the agency’s unique capabilities among prospective clients, in addition to developing and maintaining relationships with current and past clients. Prior to joining Elisco, he established and fostered supply chain management relationships at PLS Logistics. John graduated from La Roche College with a B.S. in Marketing and Business Management.


Which social media network is best for your brand?


Comparing Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

It’s safe to say that in this day and age, most businesses are well aware of the importance of a strong social media presence, but it’s not enough for a company to simply be on social media. Businesses need to utilize each platform differently depending on their audience and goals. After determining these factors, use this guide to better decide how your business should be using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.


Facebook is rising in popularity with older generations and in rural areas. 41% of Americans over the age of 65 are on Facebook, and it’s the most popular social media platform amongst middle-aged adults so it’s a great platform for businesses looking to target an older demographic. Despite being heavily used by older generations, all ages, genders, locations, and interests can be targeted by paid Facebook ads. And, stats still show that Facebook is leading the pack for overall audience penetration.

In addition to fine tuning your targeting, Facebook allows you to create a detailed business page. This is where potential clients and customers can find your contact information, hours, reviews, events, website, and all the information they may be looking for about your business in an organized fashion.




Twitter is more popular amongst younger generations, specifically in urban areas. 40% of Twitter users are 18-29 years old. People turn to Twitter to receive quick and real-time updates about current events, in fact 43% of 30-49 year olds report using the platform as a news source. Twitter is a great platform to quickly respond to customer concerns and questions as well as comment on a trend or news story. Like Facebook, Twitter also offers targeted ads based on demographics and interests. It’s more effective to use Twitter to reach a younger audience in cities, and more effective to use Facebook to reach an older, rural audience.




Instagram is a visual platform that allows businesses to share videos, photos, gifs, collages, and other creative content as well as pay for targeted promoted posts. Like Twitter, it’s immensely popular with younger audiences, with 59% of American users being under the age of 30. Businesses like restaurants, cosmetics brands, and designers can benefit greatly by showcasing their services and products on Instagram, but all companies can utilize the platform. Shots of day to day happenings within your company such as lunch meetings, awards and accomplishments, or events your employees attend make for engaging content. Be sure to keep the focus on the visuals and employ relevant hashtags. Using Instagram stories allow businesses to create posts that disappear after 24 hours, so these are great for providing short updates to your audience and documenting conferences and events. Instagram Live allows for more engagement with your audience. When you start streaming, Instagram will notify your followers so they can tune in, and viewers can comment during the live streaming. Everyone can see comments, when someone joins, and the number of people viewing.




LinkedIn allows businesses to share professional content about industry news and trends. It’s great for B2B marketing and outreach as well as scoping out talented employees. 61% of LinkedIn users are between 30 and 64 years old, an age group made up of professionals that have amassed strong skill sets within their fields and extensive experience. Utilizing the “groups” feature helps you join conversations within your industry and connect with other professionals. LinkedIn is different because it’s solely for professional use, so it’s not the best place for B2C companies to reach consumers. However, it’s still important to create a detailed company page with updates about your business as well as posts that share your thoughts on relevant news.



Social media is an essential tool for businesses to use in order to connect with their audience, establish their brand, and start conversations. Social media is still new in comparison to other forms of media, so there’s lots of room for improvement and adjustment. Stay informed about trends and tools on different platforms and utilize them according to your company’s needs.




Jess graduated with a B.A. in Public Relations from Penn State where she helped lead student-run events such as concerts, lectures, and other free activities. Before Elisco, she held a variety of internships in marketing, public relations and SEO. As Account Coordinator at Elisco, Jess provides support to the agency account team and works with all things media to negotiate, purchase, and monitor digital and traditional advertising on behalf of clients. 


Café textures: free download.

The creative team is counting down the days till October 8th. This date marks our happy homecoming to 3707 Butler St. Unexpected repairs have kept us apart from our beloved building since mid-July and we’re eager to be reunited. Beauty Shoppe Coworking has welcomed us in the interim, but the truth is we really miss our space. Who can blame us? From the café’s tin ceilings to the second story hardwoods, it’s the little things that make us feel at home there.

To commemorate our much-anticipated return, I put together a free texture pack for creatives and café lovers alike. Included are closeups of textures found in the agency from floor to ceiling that I’ve collected over the past year. Hopefully these come in handy for your own projects, or simply give you a magnified look inside Elisco’s Creative Café. Enjoy!

Included in download:

  • 11 café textures (JPEGs at 300dpi)

To download the texture pack, click the button below.



Laura is a graduate of California University of Pennsylvania where she earned a B.S. in Graphic Design. While at Cal, she led the campus’ vanguard student-run design firm Studio 224. Laura is a member of Pittsburgh’s AIGA chapter.


CaféLife issue 1.


Last week we said farewell & arrivederci to our four summer interns. If you’ve been keeping up with our café blog, & we hope you have, you’ve seen some of their work first hand. Theresa (Copywriting), Brandon (Graphic Design), Joe (Business Development), & Sydney (Account Management) brought us fresh perspectives & impressive work all summer long. Today, we’re thrilled to share a taste of what they created for the Elisco’s Creative Café brand.

The CaféLife story started in early Spring; the initial intention being to send a simple newsletter to clients & friends of the agency. It dawned on us that we hadn’t sent out an email like this in ages. By the time our interns arrived in June, the project pot had been simmering on the backburner for months with an ever-growing list of ingredients to add in. Since our new interns had the bandwidth, we were eager to brief them. Theresa quickly pointed out that this was shaping up to be one lengthy email. This realization led the team to move to a new medium: Elisco’s own digital magazine.

Issue 1 includes updates on our unexpected construction, up & coming Artichoke Productions, & even a few family recipes. We’re proud of the work that went into the magazine & hope you love it as much as we do:



Laura is a graduate of California University of Pennsylvania where she earned a B.S. in Graphic Design. While at Cal, she led the campus’ vanguard student-run design firm Studio 224. Laura is a member of Pittsburgh’s AIGA chapter.


Finding Paris in Pittsburgh.


I have recently been haunted by a certain Facebook video poking fun at study abroad students. The blonde caricature student rambles again and again, “when I was abroad…” filling in the blanks by longing for every European cliché from a more relaxed lifestyle to a different drinking culture.

This is a stereotype I may just fall into, but with a tiny bit of pride. This past spring semester I studied abroad in Paris. And yes, for four months I got to bask in espresso, sidewalk café terraces, and croissants galore. Sometimes clichés are beautiful. 

At the beginning of my study abroad program, we had a week-long orientation that included presentations on cultural and academic differences. During one of these sessions, our presenter lamented that while she loves the laid-back business style of the French, she often craves American efficiency. 

“Americans are just so efficient. They respond to emails; they have quick meetings. When I work in France everyone wants to get coffee or have a two-hour long lunch before anything gets done.”

I have to admit that I had noticed a difference in my day-to-day activities in Paris. Things take a bit longer in France. They aren’t rushed quite like they are here—unless you’re walking through the metro.

Americans really do value efficiency and convenience. We have quick meetings. We snack all day to keep from getting hungry. We don’t use all of our vacation time.

I was surprised to learn there was no online portal for my university and that professors most likely would not respond to my emails within 24 hours. I was also shocked by how often my host family had off work/school for a national holiday. 

And then there was the food. My host family made the most delicious dinners. In the early evening or sometimes even late afternoon, the smells would begin to waft through the house. Each night we sat down at the dinner table—no take-out or rushed fifteen-minute dinner. Sometimes it was just three or four of us, sometimes all six people. And we always had an appetizer or dessert along with our entrée. 

While I’m at school, I barely make myself three real dinners a week—and that’s a good week. I love how people in France take the time to enjoy food, from taking hours to eat, to shopping for fresh food at specialty stores, to spending hours in a café just to have a coffee. In the majority of cafés, you don’t see laptops and people working. They just sit, talk, and enjoy their espresso or café crème.


I thought a lot about which style I preferred. The truth is I like a little bit of both. I wanted to bring some of those French traditions back with me, especially when it comes to food. But would it really be possible for me to live like that in the U.S.? How would I find time to cook each day?  Where even is the closest bakery? 

I realized that while I may be able to add some crepes into my diet, I would have let a lot of the other things go. If I have time to go to a farmer’s market, great. But the way I live at home just isn’t conducive to spending hours each night cooking and eating.

In the midst of this culture shock, the time came for me to apply for summer internships. Elisco was the first one I applied for and the first reply I received:


I started to stress out because I realized how badly I wanted this internship.

“We’re reviewing your resume over espresso & croissants.”

It was only one sentence, but it made me really, really excited. I realized there might be a place where I could have the best of both worlds.

I enlisted my roommate’s help for my project. We spent the next few days running around Paris searching for the letters to spell out “Elisco.” Once I had photographed all six letters, I combined them into a photo collage that I posted on Facebook. A few weeks later, I was offered and accepted the position with Elisco. 

Sure there may not literally be any croissants, but I had found a place that had the American friendliness and efficiency I missed while in France, and also valued food like the French. We understand that food is more than just fuel, but an experience, a ritual, and an important part of life.

In the Elisco office, I’m surrounded by photos of food, the people are passionate about food, and every catered lunch is wonderful. The neighborhood helps too. I can help finish a proposal template before noon and then enjoy lunch on any one of Lawrenceville’s restaurant patios. Some days the people-watching rivals Paris’.

Because maybe how you get things done has less to do about where you are on the map, and more to do with what you value. A good meal doesn’t have to be sacrificed to squeeze in a meeting. Why not have both? Maybe we can forgo the formality of a corporate French lunch, but keep all of the flavor.  

And lucky for me, there is a French bakery right up the street.




Sydney Brown, Account Management Intern

As a Strategic Communication and French Studies student at the Ohio State University, Sydney seeks opportunities that allow her to combine her interest in communications with her passions outside the classroom. At OSU, she works on marketing and campus engagement for student organizations including BuckeyeThon and She’s the First. Sydney recently studied abroad in Paris, where she was able to improve her French; she hopes to keep advancing her language skills in her future career, or simply through her love for travel.