As Brandemix looks forward to the launch of our own new website (coming soon), it’s time to recognize and celebrate great website makeovers!
We’re holding a contest to reward the best refresh, revamp, and relaunch of websites (Click here for contest rules). Any organization, any size, profit or nonprofit.
Simply submit “before and after” images to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll post it the top ten judged entries on our Pinterest board during the voting period. Feel free to post as a web designer or a fan, even if you weren’t responsible for the change. Don’t have the “before”? Use the Wayback Machine.
The redesign with the most total likes, comments, and repins will win a free press release, distributed to hundreds of outlets, announcing both the design achievement and the victory.
We’ll also capture the success and and those responsible for it on video, and post it here on our blog and our Facebook page. The whole world will learn all about the website and the brand.
What kind of things are we looking for? Here’s the Lindal Group, a manufacturing company, before their website refresh:
This and other website makeovers are on our contest pinboard on Pinterest. Vote by commenting, repinning, liking — or all three! The website with the most total votes by Monday, September 17 wins the free press release, video interview, and eternal internet fame.
Submit your site, or any other, by emailing email@example.com. Remember to include both a before and after shot.
Branding and marketing executives beware. Although this year has seen a precipitous fall off in M&A activity, economic signs point to a strong finish buoyed by signs of recovery in Europe.
In a Harvard Business Review article, Jonathan Knowles, Isaac Dinner, and Natalie Mizik recently showed that companies that “fuse” their two logos perform better financially than mergers in which one partner’s identity is discarded or both partners’ logos are maintained separately. So it’s better to be a logo united than one divided.
Good advice. So what are the “fused” logos that get it right? Verizon comes to mind. It’s the result of Bell Atlantic acquiring GTE. But you don’t see either of those companies’ logos, colors, or typefaces. The new company positioned itself as a 21st-century high-tech innovator totally unlike its old-fashioned parents.
I also like the new AB InBev logo. It updates the 130-year-old Anheuser-Busch image and tones down the futuristic InBev font to create a new look that’s both classic and forward-looking.
You’ve heard about it at meetings – possibly from me. But what is a “brand plan”? It’s both an internal and external document. Internally, it describes your organization’s focus and goals, to align all employees with your mission. Externally, it provides a roadmap for marketing and promotion.
|It’s all right to have your head in the clouds when writing your vision and mission.|
SWOT It Out
A brand plan includes an analysis of your company’s place in the market, broken down into four parts: Strengths – including your expertise, uniqueness, resources, or anything else that gives your company an advantage. Weaknesses – issues that may be holding you back from your potential; what knowledge or capabilities are you missing? Opportunities – such as an emerging customer need that you can meet, a new technology that will change your market, or a reduction in regulations or costs. Threats – problems on the horizon such as a customer need, technology, or law that makes the market worse for your company.
You now know where you want to go, how you’ll get there, and your current and future advantages and disadvantages. Now you can create a strategy that will help you get from here to there, using your strengths to take advantage of the opportunities and avoid the obstacles. This means creating a strategy, the large-scale plan for success. Within this are tactics, the individual programs, products, and initiatives that contribute to the strategy. In war, strategy involves which battles you’re going to fight; the tactics are how you fight them. Don’t get them mixed up or you can find yourself wasting resources on a tactic or overlooking the importance of a strategy.
Bring in the Numbers
Visions and missions can be “touchy-feely,” but a brand plan should include numbers. If you’re launching a new product, how many will be in your first shipment? What are your metrics for success – sales, hires, press mentions, social media responses? What’s the minimum ROI that will allow you to move on to the next step? And what’s the budget for each of your tactics? Don’t let your enthusiasm make you neglect the most important numbers – time and money!
|Some brand plans are measured in months; others in hours|
3, 2, 1, Launch!
The plan is in place. Now it’s time to execute. Put that new budget to use and start designing, writing, creating, and shipping. After so much discussion and preparation, everyone will be eager for results. Help them out with a quick win, an easily achieved goal that boosts your employees’ confidence and builds momentum for the next round. Quick wins silence doubters and give you something to point to at the first few status meetings and say, “This worked.”
Your brand plan is finished. Guided by your mission statement, you’re implementing your strategy and tactics, making your vision a reality. You’ve made some quick wins, you’re analyzing the metrics, and you’re aware of both the perils and the promise of the future. You’ve put in place a solid foundation for success.
At Brandemix, we specialize in brand planning, brand architecture, brand positioning, and branding initiatives. If you’d like to learn more, contact me. I’d love to share our knowledge with you.
He showed how IBM, the conservative corporate giant, has been letting its hair down and opening its intranet to new ideas. The results have been greater collaboration, better retention, and more advancement opportunities. Here’s how IBM did it, and how you can too:
Nabeel showed us that IBM’s conservative image doesn’t really reflect the true nature of its employees’ creativity, resourcefulness, or satisfaction. If your business is large enough for an intranet, we’d love to put the lessons of IBM and other corporate superstars to work for you. Contact me for more details.