My experience in branding really stems from my time as a founder. When I started my own company, my cofounders and I took the business through the entire Lean Startup model of creating a memorable brand.
From idea to reality – we played naming games, came up with adjectives that described our brand, developed a logo, wrote out our vision and mission statements and were constantly referring back to these documents and iterating on them as we evolved.
It made sense that after putting my own startup to bed, I would go onto impart a lot of the lessons I learned about branding to other aspiring founders and small business owners. So it was that in the summer of 2018 I worked with Tweak Social Media Marketing to help them redefine their brand.
Tweak began as a one-woman-show in 2013. In the last 6 years, the business had grown tremendously and had gone from one employee to five, from one customer to dozens, and from a single offering – social media marketing – to nearly a full-service marketing agency. So, quite naturally it was a good time to redefine the brand.
Before we began, we took a bit of time to do a “current state” assessment. I wanted to understand how the company began, how the brand evolved, and where Martha envisioned it going in the next 5 to 10 years.
One of the biggest challenges was that Tweak’s brand was almost inextricably linked with Martha’s personality. The two had more or less become synonymous. So one of the main goals of the project was to untangle them in order to create space for Tweak to stand on its own.
We began with a brainstorm session that involved Tweak’s entire staff. During this first workshop, I asked them to come up with as many adjectives as they could think of to describe Tweak’s brand values, personality, visual identity, and tone.
For each category, they were given a time limit and free reign. In a rare occurrence, I encouraged them to deliver quantity, not quality.
From there, we reviewed all the adjectives from each category as a group and did an initial culling of duplicates or words that were way off base. Then, we went about thoughtfully discussing and debating each adjective in each category (values, personality, visual identity, and tone) and putting them into buckets: yes, maybe and no.
In the end, we were able to hone in on 4 words everyone agreed on for each category – and voila – Tweak had refined and redefined what the company stood for. Better yet, everyone on the team took part in the process.
We finished with a fun branding game that involves using other brands as analogies for further defining what kind of marketing agency they are.
Tweak’s Brand Values
Integrity / Community contribution / Customer-centric / Dynamic
Tweak’s Brand Personality
Talented / Resourceful / Savvy / Unique
Tweak’s Visual Identity
Vibrant / Modern / Professional / Creative
Tweak’s Tone of Voice
Enthusiastic / Storytellers / Thought leaders / Personable
It’s been over a year since we worked together, and Martha and her staff more confident about their everyday client communications and the way they represent Tweak’s brand.
Even though Tweak operates in a small, competitive market, she can rest easy knowing that Tweak’s brand inspires confidence in current and potential customers.
Not only that, but Martha recently pulled off a successful merger with a much larger web design company, in large part due to Tweak’s strong brand and a great reputation with their client base.
Here’s what Martha says about our branding partnership:
“We had the pleasure of Britany’s time at Tweak Social Media & Marketing this past Summer as she transitioned from living and working in New Zealand to Colorado. It was one of the most energizing periods in our 6-year history. Brittany is not only skilled at social media as a whole, she exposed our rural Wisconsin digital marketing firm to the latest trends in digital marketing and she also performed a branding session for us that helped reshaped our attitudes about who we are and who we want to become in future. Brittany is intelligent, articulate and pragmatic. She works hard and expects it of others. A totally awesome person to have on your team.” – Martha Beller, Owner of Tweak Social Media & Marketing