How to Become a Brand of Choice

Mediocre brands are rarely the talk of the town. People take time only to praise the incredible and warn against the incredibly bad. So what’s a brand to do?

Become a Brand of Choice

Unfortunately for customers, remark-ability isn’t the norm. Fortunately for brands, remark-ability isn’t complicated–and it will make you a brand of choice.

The simplicity of it all:

  • When you provide remarkable customer service, people feel valued.
  • When people feel valued, they remember your brand.
  • When people remember your brand, they choose your products and services.

The X Factor

Every company is obligated to deliver what they’ve promised. This isn’t remarkable. It’s expected. So how do you provide remark-ability?

Surprise and delight is the X Factor of business, and it means going above what’s promised to deliver an unexpectedly, delightful experience.

How to Surprise and Delight

Elevate Gear is now live! Our delivery process could be as simple as finding an empty box, slapping on a shipping label, and calling it a day. But how would this make us a brand of choice?

Instead, we’ve designed custom packaging that, in addition to a clean look, creates a surprise and delight moment for each customer.

Why Surprise and Delight?

It’s a simple and effective way to:

  • Make customers feel valued
  • Provide memorable service
  • Become a brand of choice

How can you provide remark-ability and become a brand of choice?

How to Run a Successful Internship Program

How to Make Your Internship Program a Win-Win

It’s almost summer and that means you’re getting ready to welcome your newest team members…

Summer interns

Despite the coffee-making, errand-running stereotype, your internship program can make a positive impact on both you and your interns.

Internships truly are a win-win: organizations benefit from the value added by an eager, determined generation while interns learn and develop under an experienced team.

Or at least that’s the dream…

A win-win internship only works if the organization and its leaders know how to run an effective program and are willing to prioritize an intern’s growth.

Accomplishing a successful internship isn’t as hard as it may seem and we’re here to walk you through the steps.

How to run a successful internship program

Download our free how-to guide for tips, and make your next internship program a win-win!

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A Quick Word on Leadership


5 Simple Tips


From Elevate Founder and President Billy Boughey


1. Listen well

Great leaders listen more than they talk. The next time you’re with your team, pay attention to the amount of time you spend listening to their ideas, feedback, and thoughts.


2. Care for others

When people think back to their interactions with you, they won’t remember what you said. They’ll remember how you made them feel.


3. Value everyone

So if a person values how they feel more than what you say, how do you leave a positive, lasting impression?


Pretend like every person you come in contact with has a flashing sign saying: “Make me feel like the most important person right now.”


4. Protect your time

Always ask yourself: is this the highest and best use of my time? This helps to manage your time well and prioritize the most important and urgent tasks.


5. Deliver great content

Face-to-face time with team members is important and good, but guess what–it’s the content that can make or break the experience. As a leader, you spend a great amount of time leading meetings, and maybe even hosting events or speaking engagements. If the content is valuable, your team will continue looking forward to time together.


For more on leadership, see our Confetti Style Leadership blog.

Top Leadership Resources

Free Resources


Building a Story Brand – Donald Miller
Leadership Freak – Dan Rockwell




Good to Great by Jim Collins
Start with Why by Simon Sinek
Creating Magic by Lee Cockerell
Mindset by Carol S. Dweck

Elevate Photo Contest

National Photo Month

A 10 second history lesson


In 1987, Congress officially recognized the month of May as National Photo Month. To this day, many individuals and organizations take advantage of this opportunity to acknowledge and appreciate photography.

In honor of National Photo Month, we’re inviting you to compete in the Elevate Photo Challenge for a chance to win free Elevate Gear.

How does it work?

Share about your favorite event or experience, and what made it so special!

The rules are simple:

1. Submit a family friendly photo on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook by 11 am Friday, May 5 (Eastern Time).
2. Choose a photo that represents your favorite event or experience. Be creative!
3. Use the caption to tell us about your photo. What made that experience so great?
4. Use #activatingideas and tag us (on Instagram and Twitter use @elevateteam) (on Facebook use @elevateliveevents)
5. Sit back, relax, and wait for the winner to be announced this Friday.

How to win:

We’ll award one winner for each social media platform (Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook). The photo with the most likes wins!  *Participants must follow all above rules to win. 

Thanks for participating and good luck!

How to Create a Positive Organizational Culture

Plywood People, a non-profit in Atlanta that leads a community of start-ups doing good, focuses on helping others build a culture fitting for their organization. This week, Plywood People featured Billy Boughey, Founder and President of Elevate, and his top 10 points on culture.

If you’ve been a part of a team, you know the impact culture has on the people, environment, and goals of an organization. At Elevate, we prioritize our company culture and view this as the most important metric in business. By allowing culture to determine our hiring process, business strategies, and scope of work, we design a team and environment that go hand-in-hand with our company vision.

Culture doesn’t happen by chance. It’s intentionally created and designed.

The Elevate culture is impacted by our five core values: relationships, remark-ability, enthusiasm, initiative, and bravery; and this might look something like:

  • Actively looking for ways to encourage others

  • Participating in team-wide book discussions

  • Welcoming ideas from all team members

  • Celebrating with confetti cannons

  • Attending relevant conferences

  • Greeting delivery drivers by name

  • Diving into leadership opportunities

  • Breaking into spontaneous dance parties when appropriate

  • Prioritizing team-building through activities and games

Head over to Plywood People’s blog to learn more about how to develop and maintain a positive culture (with tips for getting started!).

Huge thanks to Plywood People for featuring us on their #Plywords Journey!

A positive culture takes effort both to create and maintain, and our team is always looking for new ways to grow. Do you have any tips for building your organizational culture? Share with us in the comments below!

Oh, Snap!

We recently announced Elevate Gear, a new way to share stories and inspire conversations around meaningful topics. As we approach the final launch date, our team is prepping everything from inventory to website updates to marketing shots.

If you were to stop by our office last week, you would have walked into bright lights, white backgrounds, and a room full of confetti. This was our first-ever photo shoot, and it felt like a scene from America’s Next Top Model. We worked with incredibly talented photographers and came out of the process with fun bloopers, high-quality photos, and a few lessons learned.

3 Things Learned from Our 10 Minutes of Fame

Listen and Respect Your Clients’ Needs

Our photographers prepped for the photo shoot ahead of time, familiarizing themselves with Elevate’s company culture and office setup. We had quite a few, specific shots in mind, and they prioritized our needs throughout the day.

Because they took the time to learn about Elevate Gear and our vision for this new line of products, they had the ability to suggest relevant, creative shots from a professional’s perspective. We came out of the photo shoot with a great mix of our original ideas, as well as unique photos inspired by new friends.

Empower and Instill Confidence

As we’ve shared, this was our first photo shoot and our team members didn’t exactly come from a runway background. However, the photographers affirmed us, making us feel like the stars of Fashion Week.

Photo shoots can be awkward, especially if you’re a novice in front of the camera, and the day wouldn’t have been half as fun if we lacked confidence. Words are powerful and having an encourager behind the camera made all the difference.

People are looking for someone to make them feel confident in their decisions, and you have the unique opportunity to empower and encourage your clients.

Be Their Jiminy Cricket

Rather than passively participating in the photo shoot, our photographers actively led the day. They brought a level of expertise that shined when directing shots, setting lights, and giving advice. Because of their experience with photography and their leadership on the set, our team found it easy to trust their judgment and insight.

As you work with clients, remember why they’ve invited you in for a partnership. They’re looking for an expert in the field to lead them in the right direction. We say to be their Jiminy Cricket because they need guidance from a place of wisdom, experience, and expertise.

So how do you add value to your clients? Listen well, instill confidence, and provide clear direction.

Do you have something to add? Drop your suggestions for how to add value to clients in the comments below!

Follow us on social media and be the first to know when Elevate Gear goes live!


Style with a Story

Elevate Gear

It’s more than style. It’s a story to tell, a passion to follow, and a community to impact. Elevate Gear is inspired by phenomenal individuals and organizations making a positive influence in local communities and throughout the world.

The Justice Shirt

The Justice Shirt is one of our favorite items, created with the hope of increasing conversations around fairness.

Justice is a powerful word and one that relates to every person, community, and culture. For some, it can mean an end to stereotypes and unequal rights and, moving toward restoration. For others, it might look like freedom from abuse and oppression. Justice represents fairness from a global perspective, down to each person’s individual situation.

Inspiring Justice

Meet Justus Murimi (pictured above), an advocate for justice and the inspiration behind our new Justice Shirt. He’s the creator of Wrecked Lawns, a lawn care company providing work opportunities and leadership development for students in Dallas, TX.

“As I started working with students, I realized most of them had no idea how to be a leader. I saw kids graduating from high school–and graduation was the end of a cliff. They were destined to fail. They were sold the dream of college with no steps on how to get there, how to stay there, how to build income, how to network, how to provide for a family.” – Justus Murimi

Wrecked Lawns is specifically targeted toward students living in lower income, single-parent households. The program focuses on building leadership skills, as well as developing a plan for life after high school. Students learn how to mow lawns with excellence and communicate well with clients. Each student also has the opportunity to network with successful business leaders.

In addition to hands-on experience and learning opportunities, Justus focuses on personal development. Wrecked Lawns incorporates wiring workshops with resources like Myers-Briggs and StrengthsFinders, helping each student to identify their abilities and better understand their personalities.

Justus’ passion stems from his spiritual beliefs. Many of his students have faced abuse and trauma, and he hopes to see holistic healing through his development program. As an influencer of the next generation, Justus has a passion for seeing generational patterns broken, and for seeing his students thrive.

“Justice for me looks like going after a generation of students and seeing their hearts, bodies, and minds healed… doing what Jesus did for me.” – Justus Murimi

Elevate Gear

Justus’ story inspired our team to share the message of justice through Elevate Gear. Our hope is that each Justice Shirt will spark powerful conversations around fairness, equality, and impact.

We hope you’ll consider joining us in fighting for justice, whatever that might look like for you and your community. Follow us on social media and be the first to know when Elevate Gear goes live!

Planes, Trains and… Chick-fil-A

Elevate Team Chick-fil-a Grand Openings

It’s no secret new Chick-fil-A restaurants are opening around the country, spreading the one-of-a-kind taste of their original chicken sandwich. Did you know Chick-fil-A plans a First 100 event before each grand opening, giving 100 lucky people free Chick-fil-A meals for a year?

We’re partnering with this incredible brand to host each of Chick-fil-A’s grand openings, taking our team to over 100 cities in 2017.

First 100 Raving Fans

If you’re not familiar with this event, it’s an opportunity to be one of the first 100 in your community to visit a new Chick-fil-A and participate in the day-long festivities. Our team’s goal at every grand opening is to elevate the Chick-fil-A brand and help create raving fans.

In addition to introducing communities to their local Chick-fil-A, we also lead a culture building event to help new restaurant team members learn and connect with the company history and values.  

Hosting a First 100 Event

Though each grand opening is unique to its community and culture, we aim to provide the same opportunities for participants at every event:

  • Serving Others
    We partner with nonprofits like Feeding Children Everywhere, as well as local organizations to give participants an opportunity to serve their communities.
  • Building Relationships
    Our team prioritizes relationships and hopes to connect people through group activities and friendly competitions.
  • Joining the Fun
    We love enthusiasm and our experience leaders create a high level of energy through games, music and contests.
  • Engaging with Chick-fil-A
    One of our goals is to highlight the Chick-fil-A brand as we strive to create moments of engagement and learning at each event. We do this by teaching participants about Chick-fil-A through custom trivia, as well as providing introductions to the franchise operator and restaurant team members.

Partnering with the Hero

At Elevate, we like to say the client is the hero. We want to inspire fans to leave an event raving about the company’s brand, and because of their strong values and exceptional team members, Chick-fil-A makes this our pleasure.

Learn more about First 100 events and stay tuned for grand openings near you!

The Gratitude Challenge


During this season of gratitude, our team listed 100 gifts we’ve been given!

Today kicks off one of our favorite weeks of the year-Thanksgiving week. This week typically involves eating yummy food with family and friends, while reflecting on the things we are thankful for. Although the food can seem like the best part, fostering a heart of gratitude is the greatest win of all.

The word gratitude is defined as “readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.” This season we want to challenge you to act out of gratitude–to show appreciation and return kindness. It’s so important to take initiative in making others feel appreciated for all that they do.

To start us off, we’ve made a week-long “gratitude challenge.” Each day we encourage you to uplift someone. Here are a few ideas:

  • Write an encouraging note to a co-worker.
  • Affirm 3 people for their hard work.
  • Tell your boss what you appreciate most about him (or her).
  • Volunteer to do the dishes.
  • Give as many high fives as you can!
  • Send an encouraging text to a friend.
  • Make a donation of any amount to a cause that you believe in.

Want to share your gratitude story with us?

Email Let us know who you encouraged, what you did and how they responded.

To all of our Elevate family, friends and clients, we are thankful for you! Happy Thanksgiving and Keep Elevating!

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