Tech Appeal

Leveraging social media for a nonprofit cause

Monica Gonzalez recently logged onto the Facebook page of Weave Inc., an organization that treats survivors of domestic and sexual abuse, to post a simple message about how the nonprofit helped her overcome a nightmarish ordeal.

Jan 1, 2012 Allen Young

Target Audience

Niche marketing for small-business growth

When photographer Jill Carmel moved to Sacramento in 2008, she brought a bevy of cameras, a keen eye for composition and her dream of launching a niche business in a new city — a risky move, but passion trumped fear.

Jan 1, 2012 Carol Crenshaw

Bottling a Brand

Morton’s The Steakhouse. Special reservation. Best seat in the house. And a bottle of wine ingloriously named “The Prisoner.” It was a first date, and I may have overdone it trying to impress the woman who would later become my wife.

May 13, 2014 Craig Amazeen

Reel to Real Estate

Today's home sales call for video, social media

To sell a house in today’s market, real estate agents can’t simply shove a sign into the lawn, schedule an open house and expect offers to roll in. Competition is fierce. Increasingly, the agents who are successfully selling homes in this marketplace have embraced high-tech marketing, including videos.

Nov 1, 2011 Samantha Bronson

Coupon Clicking

Sweet deals could sour for overeager business owners

With megasites Groupon and LivingSocial trumpeting daily deals that lure throngs of customers with up to 70 percent discounts on everything from dinners to skydiving lessons, it’s no surprise local businesses are signing up. After the deal is on, though, does the promise of new customers and more revenue add up?

Jul 1, 2011 Carol Crenshaw
Fred Sconberg, Upbeat Workouts Apps

Nonprofit Revenue

Charities raise money through social enterprise

A Sacramento software startup has launched an iPhone application for runners that picks music to go with a workout and can add customized coaching instructions along with the beat. When users pay to download the coaching data, a donation goes to a nonprofit of the coach’s choice.

Dec 1, 2010 Adam Weintraub

Chain Selling

Local entrepreneurs sell through big retailers

Like many independent business owners, Christine Trice has a product she believes in and plenty of potential customers. Trice, the owner of Sacramento-based Brown Bag Botanicals, also has a limited marketing budget to reach those customers.

Dec 1, 2010 Linda DuBois

Where the Green Hype Grows

The hazards of marketing eco-friendly products

As consumers fill their lives with reusable shopping bags, organic foods and energy-efficient vehicles, touting the environmental friendliness of goods and services has become an increasingly important marketing strategy for companies worldwide. This, coupled with vague government guidelines for green marketing claims, is causing challenges as competitors, consumers and environmental advocates demand standards and verification of these claims.

Oct 1, 2010 Christine Calvin
Mas Cocina Mexicana in Roseville.

Good Eats

Restaurants get creative to pad the bottom line

Mikuni Japanese Restaurant and Sushi Bar felt the recession in April 2008 when catering sales began to slide. When the financial pinch hit the chain’s eight restaurants in the second and third quarters of 2009, its management team refocused marketing efforts.

Jun 1, 2010 Joanna Corman
Christee Owens, co-owner and president of Icing on the Cupcake, has sent cease-and-desist letters regarding branding issues.

Brand of Others

When it's time to protect your company

Don’t mess with Icing on the Cupcake. The two-year-old specialty bakery in Rocklin has trademarked its name and isn’t shy about protecting it. Go open your own boutique bakery and sell cupcakes if you want, but steer clear of that brand name if you don’t want to hear from a lawyer.

Jan 1, 2010 Robert Celaschi