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Create a Powerful Brand Identity

Unified standards are crucial for creating a brand that is memorable. How your logo is used digitally and in print can affect your brand perception with clients and prospects. In this video, hear from Design Consultant Robert Wasiluk as he shares how a logo kit and style guide help create consistency for your brand.

Your color and logo looks sharp, but does your brand need a better story?
Check out our storytelling guide to get tips.


If you prefer to read the video transcript, you may find it below:

Create a Powerful Brand Identity

Does your firm use a logo kit and style guide for visual identity consistency and recognition? These are important tools in communicating your brand effectively.

But what is a logo kit? A logo kit consists of your logo saved in a variety of file formats so your brand identity will stay consistent across different media formats. High resolution native Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop files are mainly used for print related materials. JPG, PNG and GIF files are mainly used for the web and presentations.

A style guide works in conjunction with a logo kit and is a set of standards for the design of print documents, website pages, signage and other formats that would include your visual brand identifier. The reason for a style guide is to ensure complete uniformity in style and formatting wherever your brand is used. Some of the items it covers are proper logo formats and their usages, official fonts and color palettes and other elements such as your brand voice, styles of photography and artwork that can be used. 

These standards are crucial for building a memorable brand, one that is easily recognizable and brings a clear sense of reliability and security. It also helps everyone in a firm and vendors of a firm stay on the same page, and present a unified brand to the public.


 

Refresh your Brand with Color title graphic

Refresh Your Brand with Color

As a marketer, it’s important when creating a brand to explore how the psychology of color sends the right message to prospective clients. Choosing the right combination of colors will help your audience know who you are and what you do. Choosing the wrong colors can be detrimental to a company or campaign. In this video, hear from Design Consultant Robert Wasiluk and learn what colors represent for your brand.

WATCH: FIVE DESIGN TIPS FOR SEO-FRIENDLY WEB DESIGN 


If you prefer to read the video transcript, you may find it below:

Refresh Your Brand with Color

Does your visual brand need a color reboot? As a marketer, it’s important when creating a brand to explore how the psychology of color sends the right message to prospective clients. Choosing the right combination of colors will help your audience know who you are and what you do. Choosing the wrong colors can be detrimental to a company or campaign.

Here is a list of primary colors and some of the color philosophy behind them.

For many of our service firm clients we see a predominate use of the color blue, which shows up in 33% of the top brands of the world. The color Blue is commonly used to convey trust, security and confidence. It’s also thought to put people at ease as it reminds them of the sky and ocean.

Red is also another popular branding color. It evokes warmth, passion and stimulates appetites. Restaurant food chains like McDonald’s and Red Lobster use it for that very reason. It’s also great for capturing attention.

Yellow is an ideal color choice for brands looking to instill positivity into their identity. It’s often associated with the sun and its different shades can help bring out hope and optimism. Yellow is often used in point of sale messaging, as it is proven to catch the eye quicker than any other color.

The color green is easiest on our eyes to read. It is a pleasing shade often used to convey calm and rest. Darker tones of green are connected with money and wealth. Like all colors, green has a negative side. It can often symbolize sickness, luck and jealousy.

Having a visual identity with a strong color philosophy behind it is crucial. It can make or break a brand or a campaign. If you’d like us to help analyze your brand’s colors, feel free to contact us through our website at www.ingenuitymarketing.com.

Rebranding? Tips for Brand Positioning and Roll-out

Is your brand muddied by years of neglect or “remodeling” by a few industrious staff? You know, the niche leader who adjusts a logo for a sponsorship ad or the administrator who doesn’t stick to the branded colors?

Aside from wrangling internal staff to present a consistent visual brand, the biggest weakness and threat for professional service firms is often the outdated look and feel of their websites. The top offenders?

  • Old font styles
  • Cluttered home pages
  • Content that is too focused on firm services rather than visitor needs
  • Not responsive on mobile devices

Does My Firm Need a New Brand?

A rebrand is in your future if your brand is five or more years old. Also, if competing firms have already invested in updated branding, you can’t lag behind on first impressions. Most cold to warm leads today are creating a short list based on your website and online impression. You can’t afford to ignore your brand when your pipeline depends on it.

Are you ready to rebrand? Check out our branding services.

Branding is more than a visual image or color.  A brand is the promise you make to clients and potential clients about what it will be like to work with you. Your brand promises a certain experience.

The promises of your brand are based on:

  • Stories you and your staff tell about the firm
  • Stories your clients tell about the firm
  • Name of the firm that is easy to pronounce and memorable
  • Strong brand positioning statement, key messages, and tagline
  • Visual image of your packaging, including logo, font type, brochures, stationery, proposals, and website
  • Your delivery of the client experience
  • Your talent brand to attract and retain professionals

If everyone is saying something different about your firm, it’s hard to distinguish your value from the crowd through marketing messages or sales communications. It’s also not competitive to say that your firm delivers “quality service” or “seeks long-term relationships.” Those messages are table stakes that everyone says. You must dig deeper to your firm’s true value.

Why is Branding Hot?

The secret of good branding is in integrating what staff, clients and the public think and expect from your firm. The best branding gains a strong and permanent place in the mind.     

A complete branding process in a professional service firm involves:   

Research

  • Leadership research – Five or more leadership interviews to seek common themes
  • Client research– “A” client phone interviews
  • Competitive research – Research on three to five top competitors
  • Community research– Current marketing materials, involvement and sponsorship/philanthropy review

Themes

  • Create a positioning statement – a summary that distinguishes your firm within a target market or markets
  • Create key messages – essentially the experience you promise to deliver in three to five themes that is different from other firms
  • Gather feedback from leadership and key employees
  • Conduct client focus group(s) to gather feedback on the themes

Tactics

  • Finalize competitive themes and positioning statement
  • Train leaders and staff on use of themes
  • Develop marketing and business development tactics surrounding themes
  • Develop or refresh of visual branding kit, including colors, logo, stationery, website, etc.

 

How Long Does It Take?

This initial branding process can be completed within one to two months, depending on the availability of clients and leaders. But its value for getting everyone to speak the same language about your firm will pay dividends in the consistency and ease of promoting your firm going forward.   

New Brand, Now What?

To the roll-out! Finalize your new brand program by scheduling a firm story/key message training and integration of the brand into everyday use. Make it fun for everyone to embrace the new brand. Change is hard, so get everyone on board early in your roll-out. Consider a small celebration internally before you announce to clients and the world through your materials, client communications and public relations.

Learn how to roll-out your new brand in this blog post.

Remember that good branding is not safe and not always pleasant! If there is controversy about the brand promises or the images used to portray them, it probably means the work is good. It often forces a culture shift. Not everyone may like it.

How Do You Know That Your New Brand is Working?

It’s working when it allows you to talk about your firm with confidence and explain how it’s different from the competitors. It’s working when people respond with affirmative nods and additional questions. Now you have an opening to share your unique story and build stronger relationships. 

See how we created an award-winning brand for Casey Peterson, Ltd.

 

 


 

Five Design Tips for SEO-Friendly Web Design

Is your new website designed for search engine optimization? Robert Wasiluk, design consultant at Ingenuity Marketing Group, shares five design tips to consider for SEO-friendly web design. Learn SEO best practices for your website including video crawling, alt text on images, responsive site design, site speed and 301 redirects. Implement these five tips and enhance your website’s SEO performance.

As mentioned in the video
Site speed test: https://gtmetrix.com/

Learn about Ingenuity’s digital marketing services.


Brand positioning
that gets noticed

Go beyond visual representation when rolling out your brand.

When most people think about their brand, they think only of the logo and the visual representation to their audience. However, in its entirety, your brand extends to the idea of your business in the minds of those you are connecting with and the promises you make regarding your brand. As Robert Wasiluk, our design consultant   said recently in this video on branding, “good brand positioning will help project you as more professional and experienced…and a good first impression of your brand will convince clients and prospects to check out your social pages and website, giving you valuable leads.”

Your brand tells your clients and prospects about your promise to them and communicates what is unique about you. If your brand promise is in line with how your clients view you, then the firm can more easily deliver on its core values and focus on growth strategies. This translates to improved brand loyalty through retention of your best clients, referrals and acquisition of new ones. It can also cultivate improved employee satisfaction and engagement.

How to roll out a new brand

We often get asked by clients how to roll out their brand once the market research and design process are complete. This is often the stage that gets missed to accurately communicate and promote your brand positioning —  not only outside the firm but also inside. Keep in mind that not everyone is involved in the branding process within your firm. The team will need to better understand the value of the new brand in order to embrace it and communicate it. Here are some tips:

  • Develop an internal rollout strategy that includes branding key theme training, sales questions tied to themes, proposal content in line with key branding themes and a fun team activity or celebration. You can also order “gifts” like t-shirts or desk accessories with the new visual brand and create posters of your key themes.
  • With your external rollout, keep your audiences in mind. You will need communications for existing clients to help them understand the value of your brand positioning. If you did client interviews or focus groups, make sure to share your new brand with those clients first and make them feel special.
  • For prospective clients, promote your new brand through social media and updates to your website. Consider adding content that outlines the new brand or specific web features and updates that visitors should pay attention to. Consider a unique marketing or ad campaign to promote your brand positioning.
  • Although this tip is tougher, don’t rule out opportunities for getting press attention for the brand positioning. This could be done through professional associations and industry associations or civic organizations in your region. Occasionally, general or business press will publish the news if your firm is a larger employer in the region. Be prepared with a release and talking points.

There are many more aspects to your brand positioning after the messaging and visual design are complete. Even if you have already created your brand, it’s not too late to put a strategy in place to reinforce it to your team internally, clients and prospects.

Not sure where to start? Get support for brand positioning and rolling out your brand.


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7 Proposal Writing Tips

7 Tips for Writing Winning Proposals

7 Proposal Writing TipsWriting a proposal can be a daunting, but very important, task. In order to win new business, your proposals need to be great. We’ve helped clients from all industries define their value proposition, improve proposals and successfully close the deal.

Here are seven tips for writing winning proposals from our team to yours:

  1. Avoid jargon. Unless you’re specifically using the prospect’s language, avoid using jargon. Reduce wordiness by eliminating unneeded words. Write as if you are speaking directly to the prospect. The proposal should be readable and engaging with consumable pieces of information.
  2. Answer questions posed in the RFP. The prospect will include the problems they are trying to solve. Specifically answer those questions with your solution. For example, does a government agency need to audit their recent tax returns? Use the proposal to explain why and how your firm will not only complete the task, but exceed expectations.
  3. Include a value proposition that sets you apart. What makes your firm unique?
  4. Include pricing levels. The prospect wants to see options. Give them pricing levels, such as gold, silver and bronze.
  5. Use photos and graphs where possible. Illustrate numbers and important figures with infographics and photographs. This will draw the reader’s eye towards the important stuff and help break up the text.
  6. Use the back cover, if possible. This is prime real estate. If you have some freedom with the layout of your proposal, sneak something important on the back cover. Client testimonials are an easy one to include on the back cover.
  7. Respond quickly and keep it short. On average, winning proposals get to the client in less than three days and are less than five pages long.

Do you need help with your value proposition, improving your proposals and closing the deal? We do that. Contact dawn@ingenuitymarketing.com.


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