When working with startups, most of our clients fall in two courts: I don’t have a brand and just do whatever feels right, or I have a brand and I am married to this look for life.
What’s the big deal? Does branding even matter? Come on, you know the answer. Of course! I’ll hurry you through my favorite benefits.
Show and tell your audience who you are, what you offer, and why you do it.
- Great communication is clear and concise. Effective branding communication is both and also leaves your audience with an emotional takeaway.
- Create a sense of familiarity (also known as brand recognition.)
- Since trust is earned, familiar brands gain trust faster than novel brands.
- Our egos tell us to find the good in brands that remind us of ourselves.
- Develop loyalty
- Generate word-of-mouth referrals.
- Customers will give you more grace when you make changes or launch new products.
- Produce better-qualified leads ($$$)
- Clearly defined brand identities start with a clearly defined target audience. Strong branding tells your unqualified leads that your product or service just isn’t for them. Your sales team will thank you.
- Strong employee alignment
- A brand identity centers on a brand story. When your employees understand and see themselves in your vision, they onboard faster and stay connected to core company goals longer.
This is just a short list, but I think you get the point. It is freaking important! For a deeper dive, check out Tech Funnel’s awesome article.
But this isn’t just about branding. This about rebranding.
And this is where we got to get personal.
When starting HIVEMINDED Marketing, we spent hundreds of hours dreaming about who we wanted to be and what we wanted our audience to see in us. To figure this out, we started with our why.
Check out this list I pulled from our first meeting notes:
Then we came up with a mission statement. It changed a lot since this first version, but this got us on the right track.
Next, we came up with many first-draft logos based on these simple ideas:
Using these guidelines, we made several crude logo drafts and then narrowed the options to three possibilities.
Logo creation is an iterative process, usually pointing out what you don’t like more than what you like. Or, at least, it is with me. Finally, we decided to mix our favorite aspects into one cool logo.
We LOVE our logo.
It means something to us. It includes our hexagon bee that isn’t too cartoon-ish. It shows the importance of connection. It includes the 5 lines that correspond with our top 5 reasons to exist. The blue line runs through the middle. And who we are – HIVEMINDED – prevails while MARKETING is more understated. Marketing is our skill-set and the tool we use to do good. If we were talented chefs, this could say HIVEMINDED Café instead. If we were brilliant roofers, this could say HIVEMINDED Roofing. You get the point. Everyone has a skill they can use for good. Our gift just happens to be helping businesses and communities grow.
But… there is one problem.
We only use the blue for VERY special community service-related events. And, while we love the yellow in the bee, we don’t really like it when it covers a large area.
So, we decided to add another color to our brand identity. We gathered the team, discussed our brand story, reviewed our esthetic, and made the bold choice to make a change.
But what will people think? We are a marketing company.
Shouldn’t we get it right the first time???
NO! Our original logo represented who we thought we should be. And, mostly, we remain true to our original ideas. However, there are some important changes we made over the last 10 months.
First, we rented a beautiful space downtown and had the expensive pleasure of decorating. While going through that creative process, we aligned with the mid-modern esthetic. We picked updated retro items and colors that remind us of how far we as working women have come. Seriously, think about it. We are a woman-owned and women-operated marketing agency. Think back to what you know of the Mad Men era. It was a boys’ club. Women worked support roles in ankle-revealing dresses.
On behalf of Hiveminded, and to all the women who fought the big and little battles that got us here, thanks!
Second, there was a persistent problem. We find softer, more feminine colors appealing. The team wanted to include a pink or blush. We didn’t because we also want to be taken seriously. What if we include a soft pink and the male-majority of business owners and CEOs and business analysts see it as weak or fluffy? And trust us, we are not the only ones to think like this! We’ve helped several female-owned businesses brand or rebrand. Each expressing the “I want to be taken seriously” concern. Each avoiding creative aspects they love because you might not think it is the mark of a real entrepreneur. I guess we still have a long way to go. What do we do? Play it safe with bee colors we don’t love? Adopt a new color theme that might lose business? Profit or Progress. Hmm.
Okay, Sis. Let’s do this damn thing.
Let’s take the chin-held-high road that makes our daughters proud.
On behalf of my amazing team, I want to introduce you to our updated logo with softer colors and a more stylized font!
Is this the biggest, ground-shaking change ever? Nope. But it was still hard. The desire to be accepted habitually battles our passion for growth. I hope we always take the chin-up route.
In the end, we kept the things we loved and updated the parts we could do better. And, if you are wondering about the blue line, you will see us honoring Chris in a unique way this year. I’ll give you more information soon!
Thank you for supporting us in this journey, Friends.
Remember…Do Some Good Today.
Best wishes and warmest regards!
P.S. Look out for our new website (with hints of pink) this summer. I hope you love the new design as much as we do!