WHEN A BRAND REFRESH MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE
Paula Folz Writer
In today’s digital environment and the growing competitiveness to find a memorable space in the virtual world, we know it can be tough. The Kinetic team can help – we believe the success of any company depends on developing a strong Unique Value Proposition (UVP) and clearly and consistently communicating this through a powerful, compelling brand.
So what exactly is “branding?”
This is the process of creating a strong, positive perception of a company (its culture, impact and products/services) in a person’s mind. Effective and successful branding helps businesses differentiate themselves from competitors through such elements as logo, design and consistent messaging throughout all marketing communications.
No brand? Well… that’s still a brand.
It’s important to remember that if you have paid little to no attention to strategically clarifying and developing your brand, your business still has one. But it’s very likely completely different than how you intended it to be perceived.
Good branding is strategic, marketing is tactical.
At Kinetic, we work with our clients by carefully constructing their brands first through research and then by developing stories, relationships, strategic messages and visual assets – and using the right tactics to communicate this to the right audiences.
How it works in practice.
EBMS is a leading integrated healthcare-management company founded in Billings, Montana, in 1980. Its branding and brand architecture for its multiple departments and service sectors were disjointed, hard to navigate and had not kept pace with the best practices of the industry when the company first came to us.
Kinetic Marketing & Creative has since become its agency of record and the marketing arm of the company. But back then, we began by undertaking large-sample primary research efforts to understand the needs and expectations of the target audiences as well as by executing a comprehensive assessment of all of EBMS’ marketing communications and website.
It begins and ends with… research.
Research forms the basis of our strategic planning of any brand. Brands should speak one part to the truth of the organization and one part to the needs of those to whom they are targeting. Brands are developed with both an organizational authentic focus as well as an understanding of the goals of the consumer or user.
From the outset, Kinetic took up the role of objective consolidator with EBMS, ensuring that the data was collected and analyzed using methods that led to reliable, fact-based recommendations.
For EBMS, our brand research included:
- Organizational research to determine the unique DNA of the organization
- Primary research to understand its specific UVPs and how to communicate them to connect to its specific client segment audiences
- An assessment of the competitive landscape and trends to develop a relevant and future-flexible version of the brand
Our longest-standing competency within the agency is writing and messaging. We create brand messaging and UVPs that are consistent with our research and that have a distinct brand voice. This voice has a clear tone and tenor so that the brand uniqueness comes through clearly in the writing and sets the organization apart from industry speak, vague generalities and empty words. Our way of doing messaging also focuses on the needs of the target audience, as per our research, and allows the brand to speak as if it already knew what is in the minds of those it is targeting. The messaging component of a brand is how brand positioning is primarily established.
For EBMS, we identified three specific UVPs (the what that sets them apart) along with supporting tenets (the how they deliver the value) as well as a clear and compelling “brand promise.”
We also knew that the new EBMS-branded visuals needed to stand out and look modern but also had to be designed relevant to its history and narrative. We developed the brand via the company’s own design language to find a level of attitude and uniqueness that was creatively exciting.
We found that the website featured dated design, including generic stock photography that didn’t represent the company’s engaging, real-people-centric brand. The site did not reflect the dynamic, innovative company that serves more than 275 organizations and nearly 150,000 employees and family members across the U.S.
Kinetic set out to fix that.
The launch of EBMS’ updated brand identity, bringing together all of these organizations, employees and entities into a master branded architecture, was a key component of the new “brand strategy” for EBMS. A flawless, high-impact launch of the new brand identity was the focal point, both internally and externally, for EBMS and a key milestone in the execution of the new organizational strategy.
In addition to identifying three specific UVPs, developing a clear brand promise, updating the logos and hierarchy and providing an accompanying style guide for the new brand development, we went several steps further. Implementation also included website redevelopment, a PR campaign that targeted current clients, brokers and the internal team, a digital advertising campaign development and execution, inbound marketing (inclusive of marketing automation, landing page creation and email marketing campaign sequencing), video production, custom photography, portal development support (including user experience consulting and design; user testing charette), collateral design and internal newsletter production and distribution.
We then assisted EBMS in the launch its new brand messaging as well as communicating the new look and feel. The campaign not only unveiled and presented the new brand, it served to give audiences a feel for what was coming up (which at that time was miInsights, EBMS’ new website and Javelina upgrades).
The “new” EBMS brand gained awareness quickly as a result of the high-impact launch. Furthermore, by engaging the internal teams, employees, brokers and other users helped to build consensus regarding the rebranding of key assets and supported brand and messaging consolidation for the overall EBMS operations.
She loves languages, adventure and travel. She loves to explore new perspectives and learn about diverse life experiences. Those are terrific qualities for a copywriter, and Paula Folz puts them to work for clients every day. Her decade of experience in marketing and proposal management in the architecture/engineering industry adds even more insight.
She’s excelled at copywriting for years, but with Kinetic clients, “I get to be more creative than ever before. In many ways, this is cultural tourism as I learn about incredible companies that we get to work with on a deep level.” Paula, from Casper, Wyoming, earned a BA in Spanish at the University of Wyoming, where she also did graduate studies in Communications/Marketing.Read more about Paula