Posts tagged with "Brands"

Rodney Ramlochan image via Vaughn Lowery for use by 360 Magazine

Rodney

Rodney Ramlochan is an executive, entrepreneur, and global business generator who has dedicated his career to empowering others, identifying strategic relationships, and building world-class organizations. Driven by his passion for technology, fashion, lifestyle, and culture, he serves as 360 Magazine’s global business manager. Rodney builds market position for 360 by locating, developing, defining, and closing business relationships with leading brands.

Alongside his role at 360 Magazine, Rodney serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Dev-Byrne & Company, a national technology expense management firm serving premier clients ranging from global not-for-profits to Fortune 500 firms. He is a highly accomplished leader known for laser-like vision in formulating and executing cutting-edge strategies to achieve business goals.

Over the years, Rodney has held multiple roles within the business sector over the past two decades. As Vice-President and co-founder of an award-winning telecom auditing firm, he garnered an elite list of clients, taking the startup from obscurity to highly profitable in under three years. At Verizon, he oversaw large business units responsible for service delivery for enterprise clients.

Rodney completed both undergraduate and graduate degrees, with honors at New York University. He is a published contributing author who has written papers on service delivery and Total Quality Management. In addition, he has served on the Alumni Board Committee of New York University and the chairman of the board for St. Frances Cabrini Academy in Brooklyn, NY.

Nechelle Vanias Headshot 2021 via Jonathan Stinson at freedomunitedsocial for use by 360 Magazine

Nechelle Vanias Six Degrees of Influence Q×A

Nechelle Vanias is Chief Strategic Officer of the full-service digital marketing and talent agency, Six Degrees of Influence (SDI). Spearheading the agency, Nechelle looks to elevate professionally managed content. Through SDI’s three curated influencer content houses – The Vault, La Casita, and Twin Flames – the agency looks to offer a unique opportunity to both brands and content creators. 360 Magazine spoke with Nechelle about SDI’s approach to creating viral content, brand campaigns, Gen Z/Millennial trends, and more.

What void do the The Vault, La Casita, and Twin Flames houses fill in the professionally managed content collaboration house industry? 

Six Degrees of Influence (SDI) sought to create long lasting brands when developing The Vault, La Casita, and Twin Flames, not just an influencer hang out or Airbnb. SDI likens this approach some of the popular TV shows, like Love Island and Big Brother, where the audience falls in love with the show platform and may have their favorite contestants each season, but still come back to engage with the next season. In fact, SDI runs each of their content houses like a TV show production set replete with the same operations, including call sheets and writers’ room. This ensures a predictable, consistent and timely amount of content is produced for both the house social media channels and brand partners.

Six Degrees of Influence (SDI) uses a multi-channel content approach. What different channels do you use to promote content?

SDI employs social and live channels to promote the house’s content.  This includes live streaming fan events and on-site brand activations at the houses. The content houses’ reach is amplified beyond the house channels by hosting daily collaboration days with their influencer and Young Hollywood friends. [These collaborations] then create exposure for the guests’ audiences as well.

Is there a specific media channel that SDI influencers are currently focusing on the most? 

SDI knows that content creators can still earn more money that is relative to their follower count and engagement on Instagram and YouTube, than on TikTok. This is because Instagram and YouTube are established platforms from which brands have been able to experience quantitative conversion results over long periods of time.  Brands are still figuring out how to best use TikTok, thus while their marketing spends are increasing for TikTok. [However,] you can still earn more on the other platforms with less followers.  We have a creator with six five thousand followers on Instagram and earns $1,500 on average for one Instagram post, whereas her following of three hundred and fifty thousand followers on TikTok earns her $750 on average. Now, add in the fact that SDI has never seen followers move to other platforms in the way TikTokers are able to move their followers. Therefore, TikTok is still a large focus as it serves as an advertising tool to drive the growth of Instagram and YouTube. For these reasons, SDI focuses on Instagram and YouTube growth for the housemates, but certainly keeps TikTok front of mind.

What benefits does living in a content house offer influencers, as opposed to more traditional housing arrangements?

Collaboration amongst all creative types is a tried-and-true method of growing and being inspired.  Living in a content house offers influencers a tribe to go to for content ideas, support and camaraderie.  When run by SDI, that [support] comes with mental health check ins and encouragement. [Encouragement] is very necessary for influencers who are under an immense amount of pressure to maintain their brand. SDI also provides insight on platform growth, relationships with the platforms for exclusive campaign, and event opportunities, and secures brand deals for the housemates. Overall, in SDI’s houses housemates receive the support, resources and tools to grow their social platforms, increase their revenue potential and get a “masters” in the business of content creators.

Is there a formula/process that SDI follows when attempting to create viral content? 

In order to achieve viral content you have to put out A LOT of content. It is foremost a numbers game – the more content you deploy the more you increase your chances of going viral. The second most important process of creating viral content is to study data, so that you are putting out a lot of purposeful content with the intent to speak to a generation. Have your content resonate with [viewers] and have them respond with affirmation through their views, likes, shares and comments. SDI is a very data driven agency, so we are looking at what the data is telling us, what the comments of the fans telling us, what is trending in pop culture, what do we hear the talent talking most about, what is getting the views.  Once SDI has the “what”, we start looking at the “why” so that we can determine how to leverage the data to create viral content.

SDI creates custom designed campaigns for individual brands. How does SDI go about customizing these campaigns for each brand? 

We curate campaigns for brands that align with their overall marketing goals and what we know will be embraced by the creators. We speak the brands language, but live in the creator’s world, so we know how to create a win-win collaboration. We also leverage the unique setting of a content house in our campaigns.  Most specifically, the ability to do on-site branded activations and signage at the houses themselves.  For example, if it is a beverage brand, we might recommend a branded glass front refrigerator by the pool. If it is a clothing brand, we might recommend a branded master closet with signage that is full of the brand’s clothing. If it were a cereal brand, we might recommend a cereal bar in the kitchen.  All of these concepts would include intentional branded content created by the housemates, but also a more subliminal exposure in the background of content. [This subliminal exposure] has proven to be successful in traditional product placement [methods] used in TV and film. The possibilities are endless, and we look to get as creative as we can. [SDI] pushes the envelope [with] of out of the box ideas that deliver conversations and increase brand awareness.   

Who are some of the most popular content creators that SDI represents?

SDI works with many creators, and the most popular doesn’t always mean the most follower count.

Rave Vanias with 350k is a brand favorite, doing campaigns for brands such as Cinnamon Toast Crunch, HP and Fenty Skin. She also pulls thousands of views when she goes live on her social channels. Her confident personality and accessibility make her a favorite all around.

Alessya Farrugia has strong numbers on all channels (2M on TikTok, 391k on Instagram, 176k on YouTube) and is another talent. [Alessya is also] a brand favorite for campaign activations on TikTok, Instagram and YouTube.  She also is one of the few creators that appear on the gossip sites for her great looks, and not for drama.

Joshua Suarez, with almost 13 million followers on TikTok, is one of our largest creators. [He has] has great chemistry with his girlfriend, Star Abelar, who herself has almost 10 million followers on TikTok.

So many influencers audition to join content houses. What qualities does SDI specifically look for when finding influencers to represent your full-service digital marketing and talent agency? 

SDI is looking for creators that have a great work ethic and want to be great. If someone is doing this as a hobby, they are not a fit for the agency. SDI is looking to go on a journey with talent that are looking to take their careers to the next level, reach their full potential, and aren’t afraid to do the work that is needed to be great!  SDI doesn’t just sign talent with large followings, because we know that doesn’t necessarily translate into big money or meaningful careers. SDI is looking for creators that are coachable and passionate about their art because those are the ones that have the greatest potential impact on the industry!

SDI mentioned that their demographic mainly caters to Gen Z and Millennial fans. Which Gen Z/Millennial trends are SDI influencers currently creating content about? 

The Gen Z and Millennial generations are very confident in their self-expression, and SDI looks to amplify those voices. Relationships and connections are a main theme in the content we create – whether that be romantic, casual, family or friendly interactions. These generations are more connected [to each other than ever before] in history, thanks to technology and social media. So, [these elements] play a large part in their lives and create a universal theme with which they can relate and engage.  

Is SDI looking to create any more content houses in the future? 

SDI does indeed have two more houses in development for 2021, with plans for international expansion in 2022. SDI wants to create an international network of content houses that can incubate future leaders and give brands a platform to weave into the fabric of their customers’ lives.

Patrick T Cooper Press Picture via Patrick T Cooper for use by 360 Magazine

Patrick

From wardrobe stylist to CEO, Patrick T. Cooper’s career encompasses over 20 years in design. His prowess for defining creative strategies to fuel brands is what continually ignites Patrick. Innate artistic aptitude makes him a highly sought-after partner for Fortune 500 companies looking to garner consumer brand loyalty. Patrick’s diverse body of work includes corporate partners like Masonite as well as entertainment clients American Idol season 3 winner Fantasia Barrino, rock band 3 Doors Down, and legendary mogul Sean Combs. Patrick T. Cooper’s cutting-edge sense of style and genius allows him to envision beyond the predictable to create thought-provoking content that positively impacts diverse audiences globally.

As an African American man and LGBTQ advocate, Patrick is the epitome of the convergence of eclectic style, art, culture and people. As the official Chief Encouragement Officer, he’s committed to living authentically and celebrating originality. Patrick is also the Lifestyle Editor at 360 Magazine. Patrick’s mantra, “Being a trailblazer isn’t enough if we don’t encourage others to find and live in their purpose!”

Camera illustration by Allison Christensen

Six Steps to the Perfect Selfie in Seattle

By: Patrick T. Cooper

Patrick must admit – he has not mastered the perfect selfie. However, he thinks that Seattle in September could be the remedy for any travel woes as we pardon summer and welcome the fall. Considering that social media isn’t losing momentum, it is becoming increasingly evident that one must embrace society’s online culture. Time stamping oneself at destinations as proof of global citizenship is a necessity.

Seattle is a phenomenal location to let the eye wander. Ignite a bit of envy in ]coworkers, family, and friends with selfies in this majestic Northwestern city. Discovering the United States is paramount, especially when considering the effects of the pandemic. To that end, he is authoring this easy guide to exploring this travel destination gem.

Dismiss any stereotypes about this region being inundated with rain and overcast skies – Seattle is sizzling! Unseasonably warm and record high temperatures are paired with the city’s cultural heat. Seattle’s thriving art scene, architecture and delicious cuisine options make this city a must-visit. Hopefully Patrick’s article will prompt readers to shed their COVID-19 concerns and explore the world with care and caution.

The World of Hyatt

Selfie #1! The obligatory hotel check-in selfie challenge. Hyatt has the block sewn up in downtown Seattle! Everywhere one looks from the corner of 8th and Pine Street, they can find either The Grand Hyatt, The Hyatt Regency, or the Hyatt Olive 8. All of these destinations will make a stay in Seattle sweet. Each facility has discerning characteristics for ­the global citizen, with The Grand Hyatt being the mothership of sophistication and elegance. The Hyatt Regency is the true gift to the business traveler with its convenient positioning near the city’s new convention center. Finally, The Hyatt Olive 8, possesses a swanky, eclectic boutique feel. Hyatt’s CEO’s, Mark Hoplamazian’s, philosophy of growing with intent is clearly visible in the hospitality that is delivered by the staff and the entire team.

Patrick bit into TIDAL+ Burger as the first capture on his journey! The mind-blowing seasoning of this burger makes for a mouthful. Trust Patrick, foodies and travelers alike will want to share their initial bite with the world. Promise him to dip the corner of the sandwich in the signature black garlic aioli prior to indulgence. Hold up – thats not all! One must indulge in a proper night cap. March over to Andare Kitchen & Bar to sip the Triveri Blanc de Blancs Brut as a welcome to Seattle.

The Space Needle

Selfie # 2! What was once a man’s doodle became a defining destination and central figure for the 1962 World’s Fair. Still standing today is synonymous with the Seattle skyline, and remains a staple that never disappoints. To visit, take a brisk elevator ride towards heaven. Regardless of the day’s weather, the view from the space needle is astonishing! Dare to step out on The Loupe – the world’s first, and only, revolving glass floor. Ready for the perfect selfie above Seattle? Honestly, Patrick was mortified about standing on the glass flooring. Thankfully, he conquered my fear and embraced a wonderful experience.

The Public Market

Selfie #3! Catch some live fish throwing at the Public Market! This is an invigorating opportunity, to say the least. The Public Market is always jumping with a slew of activities, so one will never be bored. Fresh seafood or a brief coffee break are manifestations of Seattle’s cultural tapestry – and also make for gorgeous selfie backgrounds. Dusk is the best time to catch the neon glow of the Public Market signage. Bring a camera and become a part of the Seattle skyline.

The Nest Rooftop Bar

Selfie #4! Cocktails and bites are why everyone travels, correct? At least, that is part of Patrick’s ministry. The Nest Rooftop Bar is elegantly perched above the Thompson Seattle Hotel. This bar makes for a splendid city view, whether it’s day or night. Additionally, the restaurant’s lush, green garden wall creates an outstanding optic opportunity.

Heads up! The Seattle Great Wheel illuminates the night sky from the restaurant’s vantage point.

The Seattle Museum of Art

Selfie#5! Refined yet welcoming, visiting the Seattle Museum of Art (SAM) is a moment to adore. Spend the day absorbing cultural education while viewing works of art from around the world. The Seattle Asian Art Museum is the SAM’s original home, and without a doubt the 1933 art-deco elements will be pleasing to viewer’s eyes. There are countless locations within the walls of this building for picturesque selfies.

Chihuly Garden and Glass

Selfie #6! Glamour behind glass at the Seattle Center. Upon visiting, one should expect nothing less than phenomenal from the native Washingtonian Dale Chihuly. Chihuly Garden and Glass presents spectacular landscapes for viewing, including the atrium’s ceiling art. One’s eyes will marvel at the plethora of hand-blown glass sculptures. Chihuly’s colorful artwork makes for an excellent back drop in his selfie repertoire.

Say cheese!

About Patrick T. Cooper

From wardrobe stylist to CEO, Patrick T. Cooper’s career encompasses over 20 years in design. His prowess for defining creative strategies to fuel brands is what continually ignites Patrick. Innate artistic aptitude makes him a highly sought-after partner for Fortune 500 companies looking to garner consumer brand loyalty. Patrick’s diverse body of work includes corporate partners like Masonite as well as entertainment clients American Idol season 3 winner Fantasia Barrino, rock band 3 Doors Down, and legendary mogul Sean Combs. Patrick T. Cooper’s cutting-edge sense of style and genius allows him to envision beyond the predictable to create thought-provoking content that positively impacts diverse audiences globally.

As an African American man and LGBTQ advocate, Patrick is the epitome of the convergence of eclectic style, art, culture and people. As the official Chief Encouragement Officer, he’s committed to living authentically and celebrating originality. Patrick’s mantra, “Being a trailblazer isn’t enough if we don’t encourage others to find and live in their purpose!”

Seattle image via Patrick Thomas Cooper for use by 360 Magazine

Seattle Public Market image via Patrick Thomas Cooper for use by 360 Magazine

Seattle Museum of Art image via Patrick Thomas Cooper for use by 360 Magazine

The Nest Seattle image via Patrick Thomas Cooper for use by 360 Magazine

Seattle image via Patrick Thomas Cooper for use by 360 Magazine

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Armon Hayes image via Armon Hayes for use by 360 Magazine

Armon

Armon Hayes is an editor for 360 Magazine and the creative director for Ace of Haze Style of Ace (AOHSOA). Armon’s innovative eye for detail allows him to create long lasting partnerships with clientele as he helps them develop their personal brands. His design brand offers styling, design services, brand management, and lifestyle products. AOHSOA’s brand motto, “It’s not who you wear, how” encompasses the thoughtfulness with which Armon addresses each individual client to best emphasize their strengths and build their brands. This personalized approach to brand management and styling allows for AOHSOA to stand out in the field of design.

Armon describes his career aspirations regarding AOHSOA: “I’ve always dreamed of being an entrepreneur in the retail/fashion industry. In addition to feeding my own design sweet tooth, I enjoy developing design ideas and working with others to help them fulfill their own creative dreams. I have married these passions with the creation of Ace of Haze Style of Ace (AOHSOA) in 2017. My brand offers not only a street-luxe clothing line, but also styling and design services, home and children’s decor options, and brand management–all with the goal of motivating and empowering other creatives to look, feel, and produce their best. Our goal is to express creativity through fashion, art, and lifestyle, encompassing all creative endeavors. The focus at AOHSOA is elevating our lifestyle and transitioning our mindset. We live on the cutting-edge and believe that the key to brand success is being a part of–and influencers within–movements of change. Our motto is “It’s not who you wear, how.” This approach means that personal style should transcend past fashion trends to reflect your personality and your brand: you. Whether you’re getting back into the workforce or celebrating a milestone, when you look good, you feel good, and the world around you recognizes such. With this in mind, anyone and everyone can benefit from my brand. My clients include individuals, retail clothing brands, non-profit organizations, an independent recording artist, beauty brands and a pop culture and design magazine. Through our products, events and services, each client’s brand has been elevated. In turn, clients have been empowered to dream, create and develop their potential as they share their gifts with the world.”

Armon originally worked his way up in the retail industry, and now has created his own brand. He explains his journey to reaching his current achievements: “To me, success is measured as any opportunity from which I’ve had to learn and grow. In 2015/2016, before creating AOHSOA, I had the opportunity to participate in a spring product review when employed by True Religion as a store director. This experience sparked ideas in me for my future and gave me a raw understanding of the inner workings of a successful brand. My creativity and marketing sense was ignited in a way that I still look back on with gratitude. This experience led me to working as the assistant stylist for Toure Designs’ fashion show in 2018. At the fashion show, I had an idea that I felt would elevate a look just moments before the model was to walk the runway: having the model walk while shirtless. Fortunately, it was a very well received style suggestion. In that moment, I learned to trust my instincts, which has helped, and will continue to help, my endeavors with AOHSOA.

“More recently, I worked on several projects with independent recording artist, LaJune. As her personal stylist and creative director for three years, this is truly a passion project. During the pandemic, we collaborated on two live performances and two music videos. Additionally, we worked on an editorial shoot featuring Land Rover’s Defender to be featured in 360 Magazine. More recently, I hosted my second pop-up shop activation, The Bodega. The relaxed shopping event featured AOHSOA trunk options, and introduced a new assortment of blouses & dresses called “Onesie”. The one-size-fit-most offerings were a success, selling out of samples and having many orders placed. 2020 highlighted my need to develop a multifunctional living space, which has been an integral piece to my growth and development as a business owner. With the help of talented friends, family and supporters, we developed a space for myself and other creatives to come to develop their art and conduct business, with a twist. This living space has proved successful for both LaJune, AOHSOA, and my partners, as they may continue working, producing and creating safely during the uncertainty. The space, #360TRAP, has led to invaluable collaborations and partnerships.”

“While the pandemic has weighed heavy on small business owners, Armon found a way to take advantage of his downtime. He continues explaining how 2020 affected his career path and personal vision: “The pandemic has helped me realize the need for businesses and artists to pivot and evolve in order to overcome challenges. It became important to use the down time of lockdown wisely so that I wouldn’t lose the momentum I’ve generated, nor plateau creatively. I found myself unemployed and unable to operate AOHSOA in the traditional way. However, I felt even more committed to making AOHSOA successful and on the front lines of a movement of change. With the time the pandemic afforded me to commit myself to this passion full-time, I developed my administrative and brand management skill set in preparation for a resurgence. Additionally, the social justice movement gave people like myself an opportunity to reflect on the times and ways in which we can impact the world and its ecosystem. AOHSOA is committed to progress in diversity and inclusivity – it’s who we are. Expressing myself creatively supported me with a clearer perspective, and more importantly, an outlet for my process. I began sewing more, creating merchandise, and focusing on building my inventory and my social presence through blogging. I strategized around ensuring AOHSOA could survive and thrive in a pandemic, and set goals for the next six months. After creating a space, #360TRAP, in partnership with 360 Magazine, I developed concepts and ideas that mutually benefitted my business and my clients. I grew my client list and increased sales by $515 over this time last year. I honed in on social media engagement, adding a layer to my brand by sharing lifestyle aspects via my blog. On the blog, I discuss all things fashion, music and lifestyle, with elements of design. I am also working toward evolving this business into a bespoke brand with customized curations, as well as capsule fashion.

“As a precursor to World Blood Day and my birthday in June 2021, AOHSOA hosted a pop-up shop called the Bodega that featured several clients and sponsors. These collaborators included Respire by Design, The 6th Clothing Co., a local NYC tattoo artist,  Chinelos Tacos NYC food truck, CocoOil, and Zavor. The event was a direct response to realign and reconnect with my community post-isolation. I continued to develop concepts for LaJune, including a streetwear collection of merchandise for her third EP, Mind. The merchandise collection is titled #mindmerch, and has been made available to her fans and supporters of AOHSOA. Our partnership, live performances, and music videos led to a collaboration with Viacom and a video shot at Smash Studios. These challenging times have taught me to pivot (sometimes at a moment’s notice), adjust, and be consistent in executing my plans. Having a network of talented supporters and friends has allowed for delegation and shared responsibilities, and most importantly, resources. All of these efforts resulted in a 47% increase in site sessions over 2020, with 51% representing unique visitors retaining 38% of existing traffic. As we enter the fourth quarter of this year, at my digital shop we anticipate an increased in traffic shy of 26% of last year’s visitors. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, I committed myself to elevating my brand with proven success. I embrace future challenges with an open heart because I know they will only make me smarter and stronger.”

Armon continues to work to grow his innovative, fashionable design brand, Ace of Haze Style of Ace. Through conducting SWOT analyses and evaluating his business practices, Armon looks to the future with determination and his signature creative flair. He is committed to inclusivity and actively works to pay forward his successes. Armon looks to use the platform AOHSOA has granted him to continue to pursue his own dreams, and help others do the same. He looks to not only building his brand empire, but also giving back to his community through charitable endeavors and his design abilities. Through creating opportunities for and mentoring the next generation of future fashion entrepreneurs, Armon aims to aid other young creatives in finding their own personal brands.

In describing his brand’s business model, Armon remarks that ” I believe that newly formed corporations should add activations for their diverse team members to feel comfortable and accepted no matter their color, creed, belief, sexuality or religion, and I aim to have AOHSOA be a leader in this effort. I want to position my organization to reflect the “Ballroom” culture within the LGBTQ community, by fostering a movement in life & style and allowing creatives a safe space to hone their skills and talents while they build their network. I am also looking forward to becoming more active in charitable endeavors, specifically working with kids/teens to help them find their brand within.”

Follow AOHSOA on Instagram and check out their website.

Armon Hayes image via Armon Hayes for use by 360 Magazine

LGBTQIA via Gabreille Archuletta for use by 360 Magazine

Ten Reasons Brands Should Celebrate Pride Month

By: Skyler Johnson 

As Pride Month approaches, it’s expected that we’ll see a number of pride-related products pop up. There are people that think brands celebrating Pride Month is “tacky” or “preachy.” However, it’s still important for brands to show their support for the LGBTQIA+ community, even if it’s just in the month of June. Here are a few reasons why:

10. Celebration of Pride Month Wasn’t As Good In 2020

Because of the Black Lives Matter Protests and Covid-19, brands didn’t celebrate Pride Month in 2020 the way they had in previous years. While they could have done both, a lot of companies didn’t. So, it’s extra important this year for brands to show that they still care about LGBTQIA+ individuals through celebrating Pride Month extra hard.

9. Generates Profit for Brands

Statistically, being in support of the LGBTQIA+ community has been shown to increase company sales. People will have more respect for those companies, and will be more likely to purchase their products. 

8. Supports LGBTQIA+ People for No Cost

While brands may have to change the packaging, that’s all they need to do to support Pride Month. There’s no real loss that can be had towards brands celebrating Pride Month, except for a few people thinking that it’s “preachy.”

7. Shows the Power of Brands

Brands are more powerful than you might think. After all, we’re constantly seeing them, and they are always affecting our lives, even if we don’t realize it. Everything we do– from brushing our teeth to putting on clothes–has us interacting with brands. And the actions of brands do affect us. Think about the uproar that Discord received over changing their logo. People got legitimately upset over the actions of a corporation. So people will be affected by brands that are supporting the LGBTQIA+ community, and may change a negative stance if their favorite brand supports it.

6. Recognizes the History of Hate Towards LGBTQIA+ People in the U.S.

It’s sickening how much hatred has been directed towards people just trying to live their lives. For a long time, there were laws that prohibited homosexuality and being trans was virtually impossible. 2015 was the year when gay marriage was declared legal, and that was only six years ago. Because of the long struggle with homophobia and transphobia, it’s important to recognize these people, and show them we care through the brands we as Americans deem as important.

5. Decreases Homophobia and Transphobia in the World

Although Americans are more accepting of LGBTQIA+ individuals compared to other countries (and even we’re not perfect), there are other countries that are much worse. A lot of countries still have laws that prohibit gay and trans individuals from being themselves. Given the international nature of these brands, they can help change the mindsets of people in countries that are much less accepting than the U.S.

4. Encourages Workplace Diversity

If members of the LGBTQIA+ community see that companies support them, they’ll be more likely to apply for jobs within the company. Diversity in the workplace has been shown to increase profit margins. 

3. Raises Awareness

I wouldn’t know about Marsha P. Johnson if they weren’t honored by Google during Pride Month. Brands can give people information on important people in the LGBT community, and makes people aware of history that would otherwise be forgotten. I was never taught about the Stonewall Riots in school, but Google allowed me to find information on this important piece of LGBTQIA+ history.

2. Supports LGBTQIA+ Individuals

LGBTQIA+ artists and creators have been historically marginalized due to their identity. There was a time, not long ago, when your career would end as a result of coming out. Now that there are more and more creatives able to have careers despite, or even because of, their identity. Brands should support those individuals via including them in their ad campaigns or creating a product inspired by them. Smirnoff’s partnership with drag queen Alyssa Edwards is a great example.

1. Gives Brands a Reason to Donate to Show they Care

A lot of brands have donated part of their proceeds to charity. LGBTQIA+ people are thus given the resources they need to survive and thrive.

Mina tocalini illustrates article for 360 MAGAZINE

Brands You Will Love In 2021

There is no shortage of new and established products out there for consumers to try in 2021. One thing that has become obvious over the past year is consumer preference for quality. Because online shopping has skyrocketed consumers in the U.S. and around the world are seeming to tend to require more information about the products they buy. The reason being that, while browsing is something you do even when shopping in person, the level at which you can browse when ONLINE shopping is far superior. 

Say you are at a big box store looking at laptops. Maybe there will be ten options there for you to choose from or, if the place is especially large, maybe you’ll get twenty. But on the internet, there are literally hundreds of options – all of which you can research and choose from at your leisure until you choose the right one. While increased variety is certainly not a bad thing, it can also lead to something called “decision paralysis” where your mind gets overwhelmed at the number of options and defaults to something familiar. This is where curated lists like the one below come in handy: We did the research to pick out some of the best brands so that you don’t have to!

Organic Protein

Whether you are a fitness fanatic or not, protein powder is on just about everyone’s shopping list these days. Supplementation should not be thought of as a “substitute” for a good diet but, when taken in combination with a good diet, high-quality (preferably organic) protein products like those from Orgain can make a world of difference in terms of your overall health. 

Adding a high-quality protein powder or drink to your diet can lead to better muscle growth, improved appearance of your skin, more energy, less hunger, and more. 

A Secure, Portable Cubby

Tech Tub2 is a way to keep multiple electronic devices safe when you travel with kids, or students, or whatever the case may be. The device is epecially designed for educators but also has important uses for coaches, parents, and others.

Athletic Apparel

Like every other facet of life, exercise (and physical activities in general) have a uniform. That’s not to say you should be wearing a suit on the basketball court, but you should be wearing the athletic version of the RIGHT STUFF. And that’s where tasc performance comes in. Offering some of the best in bamboo-based technology, clothing from tasc will help you look the part and feel the part whenever you are doing something athletic. It’s high-performance athletic apparel for adults with an authentic approach to their fitness.

High-Quality CBD

CBD has a wide range of benefits, many of which are only now be discovered by the American public. But not all CBD is created equal. If you are looking for a product to help you sleep better or to help reduce your muscle or joint aches and pains, considering going with broad spectrum CBD from Healist Naturals.

Shaving Done Right

LTHR Shaving makes shaving a genuinely enjoyable experience. Sure we all know that a warm, old-fashioned shave feels better and makes you look better than a rush job. But who has the time? With the hot lather shaving device by LTHR, now you do!

The Best In Men’s Jewelry

JAXXON is bringing back men’s jewelry in a big way. Whether you’re thinking about a gold chain, silver bracelet or anything in-between checkout JAXXON for high-quality jewelry at reasonable prices.

The Best Way to Get Comfy

This faux fur blanket from Everlasting Comfort is the only comfort you’ll need while traveling or when snuggling up on the couch. The right blanket makes all the difference when it comes to sleep or relaxing at the end of a long day. That is why, even when it comes to your blanket, it pays to get something that is genuinely high quality and which will feel comfortable enough to help sleep better and relax easier.

Conclusion

Organic protein, athletic apparel, and more. Many products have come out over the past year with those listed here being among the best. Enjoy!

Mena Garcia illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Mena Garcia

By: Katherine Fleischman

Argentine-born “it” girl, stunner, and globe trotter Mena Garcia is in the process of launching her sustainable, vegan, and cruelty free fashion and beauty brands, as she searches to keep mother nature at the top of her priority list. Gone are the days of harmful damage to our beautiful earth as we move towards ensuring a green future and Mena wants to play her part in proving that fashion doesn’t have to be harmful to the planet. “In the past technology and the science of materials was limited to just niche sectors such as medical clothing, technical clothing, and sportswear. I’m here to put my spin on things and bring the fantastic technology we have to the forefront and prove that we can all wear sustainable clothing,” said Mena.

As scientists, researchers and designers join forces to try to reduce the carbon footprint that the fashion industry currently stamps, independent designers like Mena will be crucial to leading the way and showing fashion giants that if she can do it, so can they. “I believe we can really make a difference by using our voice on social media platforms and by setting online trends to really catch the attention of the largest fashion brands around the world. Independent brands like mine can truly make the difference here.” Mena, who has been modeling since her teens, has almost three-quarters of a million Instagram followers and this platform will undoubtedly help her cause. 

She talks passionately about using “waste from oranges to make silk,” or “pineapple leaf for a leather alternative” and spectacularly “agricultural waste bacteria.” As Mena continues to learn more, she’s using her education to find out interesting new ways to create sustainable fashion in a term she coins as “trash fashion” – using literal waste to create something new. “One person’s trash is another person’s treasure certainly comes to mind!”

“I’ve been studying with expert Mila at Estudio MG in a special collaboration with Closet Sustenable in Argentina. I’ve learned so much, including some incredible things. One of the main focuses is creating materials inspired in nature where cells and proteins are being used to create different types of real leather but in a totally sustainable, vegan and cruelty-free way.”

However, it’s not all smooth-sailing or simple. To be true to the cause, it is essential to be sustainable throughout the whole process. Everything from material sourcing, grading, dyes, and packaging needs to be clean and green. Mena said “I want to also make sure that workers during the production process are treated fairly, with respect, are safe, and paid fairly. To be truly sustainable, the entire process needs to be true to the terms “sustainable, cruelty-free, and vegan.”

Mena is certainly one to watch in 2021 and 2022. She says “it will take some time because piecing it all together perfectly is crucial, but I’m ready for the challenge and encourage everyone to join the cause! You can follow Mena on Instagram or her website for more about her modeling, image-consulting, and her upcoming brands.

Mena Garcia image courtesy of  Do-Tell Publicity
analysis illustration by Rita Azar for 360 Magazine

The growth guide to Instagram 

Is your business growth starting to slow down a bit and you’re struggling to get it up again? Have you ever thought about using Instagram as a part of your marketing strategy in order to grow your business?

Launched in 2010, Instagram has been around for a while, but is well known for being one of the most popular social media platforms to date. Instagram has a user base of over 1 billion people, many growth services such as Growthoid which help to organically gain followers, and more businesses and brands on top of that. Instagram has become very popular among the business community and a great way for brands to promote themselves and grow. Just having a profile isn’t enough though, and neither is just posting advertisements. There is a lot more that goes into social media marketing, and making use of a platform to grow isn’t easy but it is well worth the work. 

If you are new to Instagram then you might not know how to use the platform effectively. Here is a brief guide on how to grow on Instagram.

Have a good profile 

When it comes to social media, people tend to think that all that is important is the content you post, and all they want to do is advertise their brand or product as much as possible. While, yes, it is essentially about advertising, there is so much more that goes into the behind the scenes work in order to have a well-run and successful account, like starting off with a good profile.

It is so important to have a good and easily recognisable profile so that followers can quickly discover who you are and what’s your brand is about. Included in your profile should be a good username that is short, catchy, and at least the same or similar to your brands actual name. There should also be a profile picture that is your brands logo or something to do with your brand, and a good, well worded bio that include your location and website link. 

Post at the right time 

Contrary to some people’s beliefs, there is actually a wright and wrong time to post on Instagram. The general rule of thumb is that it is best to post in the evening when people are done with work and school for the day and have dome down time to spend on their phones. While this is a good baseline to follow, it changes from business to business, depending on their target audience, as well as their location and time zone. 

A great way to discover what the best time is for you to be posting, is by looking at analytics. By looking at different posts you can see which one did better at different times of the day, and which allowed you to get more followers. From there you can plan out a posting schedule to post at the most optimal time for your followers to see your content. 

Use reels 

Although a relatively new feature to the app, reels are quickly becoming one of the most used parts. Similar to TikTok, reels allow you to post short form videos that can be filmed, edited, and posted all from the same platform. It is a fantastic way to show off parts of your brand like the behind the scenes or meeting the teams, without tainting your actual grid or timeline with things that don’t match it. 

Partner with brands and influencers 

Although it may seem counterintuitive to be working with the competition or with other brands, it is actually very helpful and a great way to be introduced to a much larger audience. Partnering with other brands is a great way to collaborate and allows for you to support them while they return the favour and support you. You could even collaborate with brands that have products which may accompany yours. For example, if you are a company that sells sportswear, you may want to collaborate with a brand that sells protein powder. 

You could also enlist the help of influencer to grow your account. Influencer have massive followings that will listen to their every word. If you can get an influencer to speak well of your brand, you will be set for a while.